Sunday, March 2, 2014
This post isn't really about the salad. It's about the dressing, because you could pour it over shoe leather and it would still taste so god damn delicious you would eat the entire thing and ask for more without even realizing you'd just eaten a shoe (hypothetically speaking). Because holy shit, this peanut dressing puts all other peanut dressings to shame. If you eat this peanut dressing and then try eating a different kind of peanut dressing or sauce, you'll feel like you're committing peanut sauce adultery, because once you eat this peanut dressing you will realize that it's THE ONLY PEANUT DRESSING you will ever need, want, or desire.
Let me explain.
This dressing, which has all the usual elements of a good peanut sauce (peanut butter, acid, heat, a touch of sweetness), has a generous addition of fresh herbs that turns it into something altogether more moving and awe-inspiring. So don't be surprised if you find yourself eating it out of the jar or suddenly realize you just ate two entire heads of broccoli because you couldn't stop dipping broccoli in this dressing in order to eat more of it.
I don't know what else to tell you, except that one roommate of mine, who has relatively neutral feelings about peanut butter (we try not to speak of it because it hurts me), declared this dressing so good that she would "eat it on anything." ANYTHING, people. I once ate a bowl of cold noodles drenched in this sauce (partly because there was nothing else in the fridge) but it was STILL AMAZING. It's so peanut buttery but also fragrant and tangy and just a bit spicy and would this taste good on tofu, soba noodles, or raw spinach, or drizzled over steamed broccoli and cauliflower? YES. TO ALL AND ANY OF THE THINGS, YES.
So, if you respect yourself you will make this dressing and enjoy it on many things, perhaps this salad included.
Monday, February 24, 2014
The moment I saw this recipe I knew I needed it in my life. I mean, it's eggy fried herb-bread. I love all of those things. It has all things that are good!
And then I decided that I wanted to add cheese, because...well, because cheese. It kind of speaks for itself.
For me, French toast has generally meant kind-of-soggy egg bread that's been drowned in syrup and, generally speaking, totally underwhelming. I will eat it, but never in my life has it been a favoured or even sought-after breakfast food. Except for this one time I had baked French toast that tasted like custardy bread pudding with a hint of cinnamon and divinity, the dish has never done anything for me.
But this...this toast. Oh my god. Hearty, whole-grain bread dipped in egg and grated cheese (EGG AND CHEESE, PEOPLE, THIS PAIRING IS GOD'S FAVOURITE COUPLE) with a bit of fresh parsley, then fried in butter (because this is what you do when you love yourself), and finally dipped in Sriracha (and we all know that I have FEELINGS about Sriracha). It is glorious. Like cheesy eggs on toast only the two have fused to become one - a glorious fusion that is at once salty, crispy, eggy, and has BITS OF CRISPY FRIED CHEESE ON IT that is cut perfectly by the parsley and YOU'RE WELCOME.
Savoury French toast. Fry it in butter. Grate extra cheese on it. Embrace it.
Friday, February 7, 2014
I've had a very intense affair with peanut butter over the years. It began in earnest when I was in university, during my first year out of residence, living in a house and buying my own groceries (LIKE AN ADULT). It felt so glorious for all of the first few hours of my independence, until I found myself standing outside a Sobeys holding eighty pounds of groceries (WHY DID I BUY A CARTON OF MILK. THESE YAMS ARE SO HEAVY OH GOD.) and a thirty minute walk away from my house. Motherfucker. Independence, it turned out, was no longer having access to my parents' car and realizing the joys of cab fare in a town with no transit or of sucking it up and trudging home like the most miserable of the seven dwarves.
But wait, I was talking about my intense love affair with peanut butter. It all started so innocently - just a little spoonful straight from the jar, just a little something in times of snacking. But it tasted so good. I'd stand there in the middle of the kitchen eating peanut butter straight from the jar thinking, "Who needs toast? Peanut butter doesn't need toast - fuck toast. This is stand-alone deliciousness. I'll just have one more spoonful - nope, screw spoons, I'll just use my finger like an adult, no, a sexy adult - no, that would be messy. ...Why is so much of my peanut butter gone?"
It got so bad that I actually started to ration my peanut butter purchasing. It was not always successful. I would go through peanut butter fasts and they were UNPLEASANT. My peanut butter addiction was so bad in my last years of university that I would sometimes go through one jar in a week.
In the end, I didn't go through rehab, my desire to constantly consume peanut butter just waned. It no longer burns with the fire of a thousand suns. My love of peanut butter is like the slow burn of warm embers. If stoked, it will light a fire.
But then there is this breakfast crisp, which came about because my brain had the thought: "What if I made a fruit crisp that was fruit topped with PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE DOUGH."
Sometimes I'm a god damn genius. This breakfast crisp is a layer of jammy, naturally sweet, slightly tart raspberries topped with crunchy, peanut-buttery crispness that TASTES LIKE COOKIE. It's like a peanut butter cookie jam thumbprint but GIANT and the jam filling is a pound of raspberries cooked until they become gooey and jam and practically like jam but with all the awesomeness of fruit, real fruit, so you can feel good about eating what tastes like a jam explosion beneath a layer of peanut butter cookie but with fibre.
Damn, I'm good.
Saturday, January 25, 2014
The internet is a wonderful thing.
For example, the other week I was googling for recipes and the title "Sriracha Caramel Corn" popped up in my search results. As my brain processed the words I was seeing before me I went very still. In that brief moment, my whole world was that magical sequence of three words and all that they implied. Sriracha caramel corn. SRIRACHA CARAMEL CORN.
I almost fell of my chair. Holy shit amazeballs. Sriracha caramel corn? Oh my god. What fabulous wizard genius did I have to thank for not only having the vision to put Sriracha in caramel corn, but for then putting it on the internet for me to find and hence make FOREVER.
Because just think of about it. Caramel corn is already awesome - it's two amazing things: popcorn covered in fucking caramel. Covered in caramel, people. You wouldn't think this could be more delicious, BUT WAIT, let's add some tasty firestorm sauce from the heavens to it, because just imagine the sweet and crunchy goodness of caramel corn laced with smoky, sweet, spicy Rooster Sauce, as if you're receiving a gentle hug from a jalapeño on your tongue while eating pure decadence and WHY ARE WE ALL NOT MAKING THIS RIGHT NOW?
Don't you dare accuse me of overreacting. My feelings about this caramel corn are WARRANTED. It's a damn miracle this entire post isn't in caps-lock. I exercised more self-restraint here than I did when I shovelled all of this caramel corn into my face with the speed and grace of a baleen whale encountering a swarm of krill.
Please do yourself the service of making this caramel corn. If you're feeling extra nice, give it to people as gifts, or serve it at parties. Or, lock yourself in your room, hug the entire bowl of it to your chest and eat all of it because NO REGRETS, just tasty sweet firestorm forever.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Yesterday I ate IKEA cookies for dinner. It was not intentional or in any way planned, but it was a life choice I made, and while I kinda mostly regretted it when I was struck by the sensation of being full of various wafers of dubious quality, and I definitely later regretted the choice to sip my friend's lemonade in the theatre (lemonade and chocolate go together like coffee and toothpaste, don't do it, for the love of god), it's hardly the worst food choice I've ever made. (I once melted an entire bag of chocolate kisses, stirred in a bunch of crushed tortilla chips and ate it. Actually, no, that was amazing. I did go through a phase during which I tried, for months, to create an energy bar out of lentils. I ate a lot of weird shit during that time.)
Suffice to say, I make a lot of weird food choices. (As a kid, I thought I was a genius for dipping carrots in milk. It's pretty underwhelming, don't do it.) Sometimes, they work out. Sometimes...well, sometimes you find yourself in a theatre shoving half-full boxes of IKEA cookies into your friends' hands in a last-ditch effort to save yourself from them.
So yes. Sometimes I eat boxes of cookies. They are not my proudest moments.
However, it's not all cookies and tortilla chip fudge. Sometimes it's whole grains, spicy peppers, luscious mangoes, and the tangy punch of lemon cut with the earthiness of curry powder and the creaminess of yogurt. It's quite a mouth full, but I guarantee, it's a good one.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
The rest of world seems to have gone on various detox diets and juice cleanses, while I've been working my way through a pan of chocolate cake. I literally mean a pan of cake. In fact, I mean two. Two pans of cake. Cookie sheet pans. Filled with cake. Covered in chocolate glaze. Because I either hate or love myself a lot.
Not to say I haven't, like so many others, said to myself: this year I will eat better. This year I will not slice off pieces of frozen cookie dough and feed them to myself. This year I will not each tortilla chips for dinner. This year I will not substitute samosas for every meal. And the list goes on.
We all have our lists of things we can do better, and I often berate myself for so often failing to follow through with resolutions. I spend so much time looking back at all the things I've done wrong that when I look ahead I don't see possibilities so much as the failure I'm already predicting. And ain't that just depressing.
So I made a pan of chocolate cake, and I ate it (with help, though, thank god), New Year's resolutions be damned.
However, in the spirit of being good to myself, I also made these energy bars. I received a coupon for Natural Delights Medjool Dates (which are decadent bites of amazing, thank you nature), and so naturally I went straight to my food processor with them to create these chocolatey, peanut buttery treats that make me think I'm eating delicious junk food even that I know they're made with nothing but good things. Thank you, medjool dates.
Because while chocolate cake is delicious, it's simply inadvisable and bordering on insane for me to continue making pans of cake. But with these treats, I can have my all-natural energy bars that taste like candy and eat them too.
Thursday, January 2, 2014
The world outside has been mostly ice for the last few weeks. My first steps out the door are always taken gingerly, although the dog trots along merrily. He, for one, is in love with this new land of ice - at the park he's more interested in munching on the ice that's coated the ground, as if the world is his own giant popsicle.
I'm less keen on the cold, even though I spent most of my life in northern Ontario where the winters are frigid and chill you to your core. I used to spend hours outside, in full snowsuit regalia, sledding in the sandpit until my face was red with the cold. I'd come in from sledding and my mother would make hot chocolate to warm me up, and I'd drink it slowly, letting the giant marshmallows I stacked it with melt and turn into gooey blobs of deliciousness.
This soup isn't exactly a hot chocolate with marshmallows, but it has a similar effect on you after coming in from the cold. It's spicy, rich, but full of enough greens to make you feel good about it. It also happens to be a cinch to whip up and budget friendly, too.
So if you're coming in from the cold and need to warm up, this is the soup for you.