I’m a sucker for magazines and food blogs. The food part of the newspaper? Love. Recipes my parents have tried? Tested and true. One (of many) problems with this is I’ve accumulated an embarrassing amount of magazines and bits of paper torn out of different sources, or photocopied from Mom and Dad. I totally know there are all sorts of gadgets out there to help people like me digitized and sort their stuff; the thing is, I can’t be bothered. I like my bits of paper and scraps of recipes floating around.
See I have a routine. And it, sort of, works. There are some magazines sacred enough that one does not rip the pages out to “save” a recipe. These magazines are Bon Appetit and Martha (and Vanity Fair, for the stories). So to remember an interesting recipe that should go in the “try” pile, I’ll either place a post-it on the page to identify it, or I’ll take a picture, which makes very little sense, or I’ll add it to a Word document I keep of recipes to make.
Other sources of paper recipes, say from the newspaper or a different magazine, get ripped out and filed in a binder I keep in the kitchen. Curried Pork Meatballs was one of those recipes. I’ve had it ripped out for ages, because the picture looked smoky and delicious and there are only three ingredients (four in the original, three in mine). And they are meatballs! On a skewer!
New York City’s Milk Bar, is renowned for many things, among them: Compost Cookies®, corn cookies, and, of course, Crack Pie®. Cheeky? Yes. Obsessive worthy? I’ve heard, yes. I’ve never been to Milk Bar, but now that they’ve branched out to Toronto, I feel like our next trip out east will feature a stop at the first Canadian Milk Bar.
I’ve read about Crack Pie® before, on various blogs and when it featured in Bon Appetit’s September 2010 issue. Most recently, I binge-watched a PBS program on Netflix called The Mind of a Chef. PBS is pretty cool, and hosts David Chang, Sean Brock, and April Bloomfield are even cooler. On season 1 with David Chang, there’s a couple appearances by Christina Tosi. So, the bait was set, and when her most recent cookbook Milk Bar Life was released I scurried to the bookstore to pick up a copy.
When making Cobb Salad, I dare you not to a) prepare extras and extras of toppings, and b) not eat said toppings before it’s time to assemble your salad. Case in point, anytime I make something that calls for bacon, or chicken, or really any protein, I have a hard time not doubling it. See, bacon and chicken just freezes SO well. It’s brilliant to pull it out of the freezer in a hurry. And I dislike bacon-cooking so much, I’d rather do it once for an entire package. So you’ll see from the photos, I had a hard time not overboarding on the bacon/chicken/(ok, avocado too) amounts.
Cobb Salad is a wonderful thing. You’ll likely have most ingredients already. You can omit or substitute ingredients. It’s a meal in a bowl. It just works. For years, I didn’t really understand the beauty of the Cobb Salad. When I was growing up, Cobb Salad, Chef’s Salad, and Chopped Salad sounded awfully similar – therefore suspicious. It wasn’t until well into my 20s that my parents started making them, and in Marcus and my Sunday night dinners with them we finally got to give them a try.
There’s a cherry tree that grows in my parent’s backyard. Birds like the tree. I like the tree. And late last summer, my Mum gifted me some beautiful, shockingly red cherries. I froze them, adding a bit to smoothies here and there, thinking of pies and tarts I could make. And then – then! – Sister and I came across this recipe in her new cookbook Flour, Too.
See we’re cherry people (along with, obviously, muffin people). Cherries were like candy when Sister and I were little. There’s a home video of my third birthday, and my Mum made a cherry syrup/compote to go over the cake she baked. I swear I know exactly what it tastes like. Cherries run so deep in our veins, my “secret password” at school – you know, in case a stranger tried to convince me s(he) was taking me home as a favour to Mom – was: cherry. An integral part of my childhood.
These cherries in particular are not just bright and beautiful. They are tart. They are sweet. They are everything good about baking with cherries. Sweet cherries are wonderful, yes. They make great snacks. But for baking, I prefer these puppies. Pip included.
Many years ago I was vegetarian. I’ve returned to meat for some years now (it’s really hard not to eat street meat in Greece!), but for most of when Marcus and I were dating I was vegetarian. Marcus and I met at university, and since he graduated a year before I did he moved to Calgary (new home for him) about a year before I did (same home for me). It was a big move for him; he was leaving his family and friends for a bit of unknown out west. Marcus had made a couple friends, fell in love with his bike, lived with my parents for a couple months, got a job with the employer he’s still with now, and then moved out on his own with a roommate.
I came back home for Thanksgiving that year and checked out the new place of Marcus’, and he made me dinner. He made me these, these delicious, addictive, totally vegetarian sweet potato burritos. To this day I don’t know how he found the recipe online, but he did, and he made them, and they blew our minds. With the traditional chili spices, they taste, well, chili-esque. The trick is the sweetness of the sweet potato, which balances the cumin and chili powder and cayenne so nicely, especially with the cheesiness and sour cream goodness. Everything is better with sour cream, it’s true.