I’m pretty pleased with how frequently I’ve cooked and baked in my kitchen this past month! I’ve been trying to not cook too much with pumpkin until November but just couldn’t resist one pasta dish.
As a side note: I’m starting to feel like I don’t make a lot of photogenic foods. Or maybe I just lack camera skills…
coconut bread with blueberries and chocolate chips
notes/modifications: my first gluten-free baking with coconut flour! This made for a very squat, dark, and unattractive bread but it was very moist and quite good. I added 1/3 cup of chocolate chips because I wanted something a little gooey in addition to the blueberries. Baked for 1 hr and 10 minutes.
kimchi bacon fried rice
recipe: very loosely adapted from http://momofukufor2.com/2010/03/bacon-kimchi-fried-rice-recipe/
notes/modifications: I basically halved everything (and still felt like I had plenty for three meals, which is what the original, unhalved proportions were supposed to yield). Left out the kimchi liquid since my jar didn’t have very much, and left out the onion since I didn’t have any around (subbed with green onions as a garnish instead). I also cooked the eggs in with the rice, as opposed to separately. Next time I might prefer a fried or poached egg on top instead. I added a tablespoon of fish sauce for extra saltiness, and a tablespoon of gochujang for extra spice.
jacked-up banana bread
notes/modifications: subbed applesauce for all of the melted butter, used white sugar instead of brown, subbed some cardamom and a dash of allspice for the nutmeg, added a heaping half-cup of chocolate chips, and baked for 1 hour in a 9×9 pyrex pan. Very moist and good! But there are so many more banana bread recipes out there to explore…
bacon & pumpkin pasta
notes/modifications: I ended up making it not-so-healthy because I subbed half and half for the evaporated milk. I also added a dash of sage to the pumpkin sauce. I would definitely make this again, though I wish I had a more appropriately sized pot for cooking/saucing pasta.
paleo mug cake
notes/modifications: It doesn’t look like much, but I’ve been obsessed with this dessert — it’s so easy to make, tastes like a chocolate chip cookie, and makes one serving size. Chris was skeptical of this dessert at first but loved it as well once he gave it a taste. I don’t really keep almond flour around so I subbed in an extra tablespoon of coconut flour, and I definitely don’t use an entire tablespoon of vanilla extract (I just guesstimated a few dribbles). Microwave for about 1 minute 45 seconds for optimal gooeyness.
majestic and moist honey cake
modifications: added 1 tablespoon of ground ginger and several grinds of black pepper, subbed 1/2 of the oil for applesauce, subbed apple cider for the orange juice, and rum for the whiskey. Baked in a 9×13″ pan for ~50 minutes.
notes: So majestic! So moist! I love this cake! I first made it four years ago (and put apples in it) and thought it was pretty good, but I wanted to embellish and improve on it. I was a little worried when the batter was all mixed up because it seemed very, very heavy on the ginger… I’m glad the final product is not too gingery, though it does veer away from being “honey cake” and more into “spice cake”/”gingerbread” territory. Next time I won’t add the extra ginger and black pepper, though I did really like using apple cider & applesauce in it — the cake is so incredibly moist and finely textured. I think the cake is delicious enough to eat on its own without any frosting, though I garnished it with a little powdered sugar to pretty it up.
chocolate sorbet and apricot pistachio ice cream
recipes: The Perfect Scoop
notes/modifications: I’ve made the chocolate sorbet before (over 3 years ago) and had really liked it, but I don’t think this batch came out quite as well. I used two Endangered Species 72% dark chocolate bars — next time will continue to play around with different brands of chocolate. (I think the first time I made the sorbet, I might have used Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Bittersweet.) David Lebovitz always makes a big deal about how you must use California apricots (and not Turkish!) so I sought those out to use. I normally prefer Turkish apricots for snacking because they’re plumper, sweeter, and have a more subtle apricot taste — but for this ice cream, I think that using the more intensely-flavored California apricots is the better choice. The ice cream mix was really, really tart and apricot-y before freezing, but after chilling in the freezer the flavors mellowed out. The white wine that I used was Starborough Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough 2012.
smokehouse chickpeas ‘n’ greens salad with (no longer) vegan cornbread
salad recipe: Salad Samurai
cornbread recipe: http://www.theppk.com/2007/10/vegan-cornbread/
notes/modifications: for the salad, I left out the carrots and subbed yellow onion for both the red onion and shallots. It came all came out pretty well. Unfortunately, the cornbread was really disappointing — I’ve made it in the past (completely vegan) and liked it but this time I made it with dairy milk instead of soy milk and it was oddly bland, barely rose in the pan, and the bread itself didn’t really get golden… it stayed a really unappetizing pale blonde shade. It was fine to eat, but I think I’m going to start looking for other cornbread recipes now. :-\
sunny side up eggs, bacon, and cornbread with guacamole
notes/modifications: Chris made this for brunch — nothing super fancy, but everything was just so nicely cooked and I love having breakfast made for me so I wanted to take a photo to remember it by. 🙂
special noodle bowl (bun)
restaurant: chez thuy
notes: went with Kathy for lunch — this is supposed to be the best Vietnamese restaurant in Boulder. If that is indeed true… then it makes me a little sad. The food was good, but not necessarily rave-worthy or craveable to me. Kathy says that New Saigon in Denver is a step up from Chez Thuy, so I’m hoping to try that one out next. On a separate note, she also recommends Yak and Yeti for Indian, over Curry and Kebab in Boulder. Yak and Yeti has two locations — the Arvada location has better ambiance, but only serves their dinner buffet on Fridays and Saturdays. The Westminster location isn’t quite as nice, but the dinner buffet is served all week long.
sour cream cornbread
notes/modifications: Now, this is the shade that cornbread should be! I cut the sugar in half to 2/3 cup because I’m not fond of very sweet cornbread, upped the salt to 1.5 teaspoons, and used low-fat sour cream. I also used 1/2 medium grind cornmeal and 1/2 coarse grind (I think it was polenta) cornmeal because I like some texture in my cornbread. I made this for my office’s Halloween party — it was a chili/dessert potluck, and I couldn’t decide if I wanted to bring chili or a dessert. Solution: bring cornbread, which serves both as an accompaniment to chili and also as a dessert with some honey! This was way better than the previous cornbread — I would definitely make this again. The cornbread is fine but unremarkable when it is room temperature… but once you warm it up (30 seconds in the microwave) it is so magical and moist!. The recipe did call for an awful lot of butter though (a full cup) so maybe next time I’ll cut back on the sugar even further to just a 1/2 cup and sub half of the butter with unsweetened applesauce to make it healthier. Baked for 34 minutes, but next time I might cut it back to about 32.