For the past few weeks we’ve been living with our friend in Calgary. We’re moving away at the end of this month but we got rid of our apartment a month too early so we were lucky enough to have a place to stay. One of the great perks of living in this house is the outdoor space. I’ve never even had a balcony, so being able to sit and work on the porch or the backyard has been amazing. Nothing beats fresh air and the neighbourhood cats that come to visit every once in a while. There was even a small family of red robins that build a nest in her tree and I got to sit and watch the babies take their first flight. Basically, the outdoors is filled with the best distractions. To top it all off, she has a small garden with some herbs and rhubarb. The rhubarb wasn’t being used, so our friend suggested that I make some rhubarb muffins so that it wouldn’t go to waste.
As I mentioned in my last post, I have been trying to get through all of my food before we move. I had almost a full jar of tahini leftover and so it was high on my priority list of things to use up. I was also invited to a potluck BBQ. As soon as I put two and two together, I knew what I had to make. I had spotted this recipe for tahini chocolate chip cookies on Molly Yeh’s website a little while ago. I knew I wanted to make them but I also knew that they were a very dangerous snack to have around the apartment. The type of snack that I would eat until I felt vaguely ill (but deeply content) and that was best shared with others. And so, I used my last stick of butter, my last bit of sugar, and my final cups of flour to make these cookies. And I am happy to report that I don’t think I could have used the last of all of my baking ingredients in a better way.
I’ve been on a bit of a baking spree lately. I actually really enjoy baking but I have very little self-control and try to limit the availability of sweet treats hanging around the house. The other day I was looking for a super healthy cookie recipe and I found this recipe, which was great as a snack, but it did not resemble a cookie in the slightest. It was more of an oat bar. While I appreciated that there were tons of whole, hearty ingredients in them, they didn’t taste like a dessert at all and would never satisfy my mid-afternoon sweet tooth (in retrospect, I think that the “cookie” referred more to the shape of the bar than anything else). Although, on a side note, I did find it hilarious that my boyfriend was enjoying crumbling them into his breakfast cereal until I told him there were beans in them, at which point he was less keen on the “bean cookies”. Needless to say, I was still on the lookout for a healthy-ish cookie. I eventually came across a version of these vegan chocolate almond cookies on My Darling Lemon Thyme. Of course, the chocolate and almond combination immediately caught my eye: they are a match made in heaven. On top of that, I liked how the only non-vegan ingredient in the original recipe was an egg, which is pretty easy to replace. Even though I’m not vegan, I like to have a few vegan desserts in my arsenal to share with friends that are or bring to potlucks.
I never learn when it comes to beets. I always buy them, come home, stare at them, and have no idea what to do with them. I don’t love beets in juice and never really eat more than a couple of bites of roasted beet salad. Don’t ask me why: they are gorgeously sweet and earthy and have a lovely, firm texture but beets just aren’t my thing. So, last week when I went to the store and bought a bag of beets, I came home not knowing what to do with them, again. That is, until I remembered borscht. I love borscht and it has been on my list of things to make for this blog for a very long time. I have no idea why I haven’t gotten around to making it, but I’m so glad that I finally did. I realize that for someone who said they don’t particularly like beets, borscht is a strange thing to like. But I’m ok with being a little bit strange. And I can proudly say that this soup is great and I won’t mind eating bowl after bowl of it in the coming days (this recipe makes a lot of soup!).