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.
Masterchef Australia is back and I love it just as much as ever. On the program, there is something called a mystery box challenge where the contestants are given a limited number of ingredients to work with and are judged on their creativity and the deliciousness of the dish. Right now, I feel like I am in a mystery box kitchen. We are moving from our apartment at the end of this month and I have been working hard to use up all of the ingredients that we have left in our kitchen. I’ve been doing pretty well so far, slowly making my way through all of the grains and cans of beans that I usually stock up on but as it dwindles, I am having to get creative. I realized that I had an abundance of sesame related things: tahini, white and black sesame seeds laying around and that was where these sesame squares came from. I probably would have never thought of them without the pressure of wanting to not let anything go to waste.
A few weeks ago, we were leaving our friend’s apartment and she offered us a few springs of fresh oregano from her garden. Obviously, I accepted. Ever since I started my little indoor herb garden, I am convinced that there is nothing more convenient and delicious than having whatever amount of fresh herbs that you need at the ready. I never grew oregano though. I didn’t think I would use it often enough to merit it a spot on my small herb table. I was very pleased to leave with my little gift and made sure to stick the sprigs in a small cup of water in the fridge to stay fresh while I decided what to do with it. That night, I went to the store to buy the reddest tomatoes, crispest cucumbers and the best goat’s feta (which we are now completely obsessed with) that I could find. If I didn’t live with an olive hater, I would have grabbed some of those too. With all of those lovely, summery ingredients, I made a simple Greek salad. It was so good that it has become a weekly staple for us ever since, which is saying something because that rarely happens around here.
I love going to the markets and seeing the spring and summer produce slowly appear. Every year, when summer turns to winter, I miss the abundance of fruit and vegetables that are in their prime but after a few months, it’s easy to forget what a good tomato looks like. Now that peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes are back and super cheap, I feel like my dinners would be lost without them. While there is nothing better or fresher-tasting than crunching into a whole red pepper or a lightly salted tomato sometimes it’s nice to have a warm, hearty meal. In fact, there’s nothing more satisfying than applying a little bit of heat, some herbs and spices, and coaxing the best, freshest produce into an easy, weeknight dinner in under half an hour. That’s exactly what this spring ratatouille is.