One of the weirdest things that happened when I started this blog was my struggle when I had to measure ingredients. I never, ever measured anything (other than for baking purposes) before I started this blog and it really threw me off. My process for making sauces and dressings was to throw things into a bowl, taste and adjust as I went. Basically, it was very difficult for me to guess what a shake of this or a squirt of that measured in terms of teaspoons and cups. One of the disasters that stands out in my mind was when I tried to make these charred brussel sprouts for the blog last year. I had been making versions of these brussel sprouts all winter and they were one of our favourite dishes. I felt like I had the process down perfectly: lightly steam, drain, char in the same pan and dress with a delicious sauce. But, when I tried to measure out what I normally just throw into my pan as my sauce, everything was off. It was disgusting. The biggest problem was that I used way too much of everything and the brussel sprouts were drowning in their glaze. I never attempted the blog-version (i.e. measuring) of these again, until now. We finally bought our first batch of brussel sprouts this year and I forgot how much I love them. I can’t believe we have gone so many months without these. Either way, they are back and this time, I measured with much more skill. Now you can make them too!
A very long time ago, I worked in a kitchen for a short period of time. The restaurant was a steak house and I worked on the salad station. It was a time in my life when I was debating quitting university to go to culinary school so I thought it was a good idea to get some experience in the kitchen before I made such a life-changing decision. For a lot of reasons, I didn’t end up going to culinary school but the one dish I think of when I think of that time was their caesar salad. I remember, on my last day, the chef I was working with gave me a little container of the caesar dressing because he knew I loved it so much. Since then, I have never really made my own caesar salad dressing. This is because every time I looked up a recipe they called for anchovies, which I have never been able to find at the store. A couple of weeks ago, I got a massive craving for caesar salad and decided that instead of tracking down anchovies, I would just try to make a dressing without it. On top of that, I knew I wanted it to be a kale caesar salad. I finally got my hands on some black/dinosaur kale again (which is my favourite in salads) and since caesar salad dressing is quite heavy, I didn’t want any delicate greens that would get weighed down.
The summer fruit was here and now it’s gone. It happened so fast. Summer is definitely my favourite time for fruit, and I eat a lot of it. It’s my snacks, my breakfast, and my dessert so I need to fill the void fast. The past couple of weeks the best fruit I can get my hands on is definitely the plums. I love stone fruit so much and I am more than pleased that the plums are delicious at this time of the year. I bought some plumcots at the store the other day and have been snacking on them whenever I need a bit of a pick me up. In even more exciting news, I also came across these small purple Italian plums at my local organic grocery store. They are a lot smaller than the black plums I normally get. While I am sure I could have easily eaten a dozen throughout the week, these little plums were destined for something greater. Something I have wanted to try for a long time now, a plum cake that I read about on Smitten Kitchen a couple of years ago.
Part of me can’t bear to do anything other than shove my face with fresh, raw fruit now that everything is in the markets. I love berries a lot but if you made me choose, I think stone fruit would be my favorite. Especially peaches and nectarines. There is probably nothing better than a juicy, sun-warmed peach that pulls perfectly away from the pit. I am so grateful they are back. However, I couldn’t get the idea of poaching peaches in their own juice out of my head. I was watching Masterchef Australia (hooray! I still can’t get enough of that show…) the other day and one of the contestants cooked carrots in their own juice. I thought this was a pretty brilliant idea but because I am not such a fan of cooked carrots (although I am tempted to try them like this! I will report back) I decided that peaches would be a great way to try this intriguing technique. And so, I decided that poached peaches and cream was a very acceptable way to use my beautiful raw peaches.