I was in a little bit of a salad dressing rut. I went from someone who was extremely not-confident in throwing together a dressing to someone who could basically put one together completely mindlessly, but as it turns out, it was always the same one. I always turned to mustard for a kick, so whether I used honey or maple syrup for sweetness, cider vinegar or lemon for acidity, I always ended up with a very mustardy tasting result. No problem, but sometimes a girl needs some variety in her life.
There are some stores where it’s just wise to hand out samples. When we were in Vancouver a few months ago, we stopped at a store that sells dried fruit and nuts. We went specifically for their vegetable chips (which I have tried to replicate, unsuccessfully), which are amazing. The first time we tried them was actually when we were leaving Vancouver, snacking on them on the car-ride to Calgary, wishing that we had discovered their glory earlier when we could still buy them whenever we wanted. Regardless, as we browsed around the store, one of the guys that worked there was handing out samples of all sorts of flavoured nuts. We tasted the garlic roasted almonds and couldn’t resist. We left with a bag that we have since treasured as it slowly dwindles down to nothing.
As much as I love experimenting in the kitchen, sometimes you just need to eat. Fast. However, more often than not, I still want a nice warm meal that I won’t regret 10 minutes after eating it. The other night was a night just like that one and I went through my mental account of what we had in the fridge. Leeks. Carrots. Cherry Tomatoes. Tofu. I started trying to put together a meal in my mind, when I thought, forget it, a bowl of pasta is all that I want. For some reason, I always feel like pasta is a cop out. Before I took my interest in cooking seriously, pasta was on the menu easily 4 times a week. It is warm, comforting, filling and easy. But, I think I have to get over it, because sometimes pasta is just the right thing.