It’s been fun!

It’s also been kitchenless.

Still, there’s been some room for constraint-inducing creativity. Subsisting mainly on sandwiches has hardly been as unpleasant as it sounds. Here’s an idea: Roast beef, provolone & deconstructed pesto.

This is the result of a) Not being able to afford (or finish) a humongous bottle of pesto & b) Being dead sick of turkey-cranberry-brie sandwiches. It’s fun, colorful and yummy!

Multigrain bread (or whatever you fancy)
Roast beef
Parmesan/Provolone/Brie (I love using these brie bites from TJ’s)
Basil leaves
Walnuts (toast them first! In the microwave is fine), crushed
A clove of garlic, split halfway, lengthwise
Butter/olive oil

If you have the fortune of being able to toast bread, toast the bread. Drizzle a little olive oil onto the bread and rub lightly with the cut side of garlic (don’t be too enthusiastic, the garlic rubs off far more strongly than it appears to). Assemble the sandwich however you like and enjoy!

As someone who fiddles around in the kitchen a lot, Google is usually a source of abundant information. Any sort of recipe you can dream up has already been done somewhere and documented – it’s nice, though quite discouraging sometimes because it casts into doubt your ‘originality’. In any case, I was very surprised that I couldn’t find much on a japanese smoked salmon pizza I had been dreaming about. Oh, plenty of smoked salmon pizzas — crust, cream cheese, dill, red onions, salmon, capers — but I wanted to put a twist on it (nah, actually, I ran out of red onions. But I had plenty of green ones!). Google-stranded.

Thankfully, pizzas are very forgiving. As long as you have a good balance of flavours and textures and don’t sog things up too much, it will, more likely than not, taste amazing. They lend themselves very, very well to experimentation, so I gave this japanese thing a shot (gold star if you spotted the pun!).

Here’s what went into the pizza:
– Whole-wheat raw pizza dough (I used a flatbread recipe from Joythebaker)
– ‘Sauce’ – instead of traditional tomato, I went with a mixture of sour cream and a syrupy japanese glaze (aka microwaved leftover marinade from the eggplant.. more on that below)
– Avocado
– Marinated eggplant (equal parts soy sauce, mirin and brown sugar – about half to one teaspoon each. Once the slices have soaked for a couple of minutes, set them aside and microwave the liquid for 45 seconds on high until it’s syrupy and thick. Mix with equal part sour cream for the pizza sauce)
– Smoked salmon, of course.
– Goat cheese
– Those Green Onions
– Roasted nori/seaweed

Assemble as desired – it doesn’t matter, really! – and give the whole thing a drizzle of olive oil to help things along. Bake in a preheated oven (the highest it’ll go) for 5 minutes — and you’re done!

Sorry, no time to take a proper photo of the baked pizza. It was really good, surprisingly! Sliced cherry tomatoes would have been a nice touch, but I didn’t have any.. feel free to swap out whatever looks right to you. Enjoy!

These are very simple to make — shortbreads with jam sandwiched in between them. But they are exquisite and dainty-looking for so little effort, and of course, delicious.

Jammy Dodgers
biscuit recipe from warmbreadandhoney


175g salted butter, chilled and cut into small nuggets
225g plain flour
125g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp natural vanilla essence

Rub the butter into the flour until you have fine breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, vanilla and egg yolk and knead until you have a smooth dough. Wrap this in cling-film and chill for 20-30 minutes in the fridge. While it’s chilling, preheat the oven to 175 degrees and line a couple of baking trays with baking parchment.

When the dough is ready, roll out fairly thinly (2-3mm) and cut into biscuit shapes of your choice. In half of the biscuits, you need to cut a little window for the jam to show through. Either use a smaller cutter, or a sharp knife. Place on the baking trays (they won’t spread too much, but leave a little space around each one to help them to cook evenly), and cook for 10-12 minutes until pale gold in colour. Leave them on the trays for a few minutes and then carefully transfer them to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely.

Sandwich your favorite jam in between a pair of hollowed and whole biscuits. Enjoy!

Does anyone know why jpegs tend to desaturate themselves on the web?

When it comes to quickbreads, there are two extremes: On one end you will find the low-this, low-that, whole-grain, high-fibre, cardboard-like species. On the other? Cuboid cake.

This particular banana bread sits squarely in the middle of that spectrum. It is a Happy Medium Banana Bread, soft and moist but not oily, scrumptious but not cloying in its sweetness. It is half whole wheat and half white, half sour cream and half 2% milk. It has flax seeds but it also has walnuts. Compromise without compromise. Try it.

Happy Medium Banana Bread
adapted from Eileen’s Best Banana Bread

75 g whole wheat flour
75 g all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons ground flax
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed (~3/4 cup)
1/4 chopped walnuts
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons sour cream (or yogurt if you like)
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons canola oil

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease or line an 8 x 4″ loaf tin.

Combine dry ingredients (flours, baking powder & soda, salt) in one large bowl and wet ingredients (everything else) in another. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, being careful not to overmix.

Pour the batter into the tin and smooth out the top. Bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Note: This makes a cake that isn’t very tall, especially if your tin’s edges slant outwards. If you want a full-sized loaf, feel free to double the ingredients.

Cool in the pan for a couple of minutes and turn out onto a wire rack. Serve as is, or toasted with butter/peanut butter/jam/nutella/cream cheese. Enjoy!