Before we moved to Calgary, I had a list of things that I was hoping for in whatever apartment we chose to rent. A balcony or outdoor space was at the very top of the list. I have never had access to outdoor space in any of the places I’ve lived in before so I was dreaming of a herb garden, a chair to read on, and maybe even a BBQ. Of course, when we actually moved to Calgary and realized how difficult it was to find any place at all, my list of requirements became much, much shorter. The quest for outdoor space went down the drain. In the end, I love our apartment and I’ve even managed to keep a few pots of fresh herbs alive (which I love! Fellow apartment dwellers, don’t despair. You can keep a bunch of herbs alive as long as you have a nice sunny window.) but an indoor BBQ is obviously not a possibility. Luckily, we have very nice, friends that have an entire deck, filled with a multi-stage (home-built!) garden and a big BBQ. So, when they asked me if I wanted to try grilled pizza, I jumped at the chance.
There are a bunch of foods that are perfect blank canvases, that you can make over and over again using the same base recipe and technique and it never gets old. I am sure that applies to a lot of dishes, but when I think of that blank canvas, I think of ice cream and bread. It’s not like I have an endless supply of homemade ice cream and bread on hand, but when I am in a creative rut and I think of random flavor combinations (particularly ones that lend themselves to sweet dishes), I can usually turn them into an ice cream or bread creation. So, when I couldn’t get apricots and almonds out of my head for the past couple of weeks, I decided it was time to take the plunge and make something already. Here it is: Apricot Almond Bread.
It’s been far too long since we have had french toast. There have been a number of occasions when we wanted to make it so badly that we’ve gone to the local pharmacy (the closest store to us that sells any sort of food) to find bread. Alas, we could not bring ourselves to buy the wonderbread-esque stuff that they sell, so it’s been a while. Yesterday, though, was our ten year anniversary so on top of feeling hungry, I was feeling nostalgic. French toast is our special breakfast food. Before I learned how to make scones, pancakes or crepes, french toast was our thing. So, I knew that I had to make some challah in preparation for a very special Sunday morning french toast meal.
I’m always on the lookout for fresh carbs that come together quickly. You obviously can’t bake a loaf of bread on a whim, so I was on the lookout for some good tea or soup-dunking fare (sweet or savoury is always a dilemma, am I right?). While I’ve never had them before, biscuits seemed like a pretty good idea. They are very appealing with their crunchy looking golden brown exterior and soft-pillowy insides. I could only imagine the number of varieties of biscuits one could make once you have a solid base recipe in your repertoire, so I was off on a mission to find one.