This time of year can be so tricky in the kitchen, can't it? For me, it certainly can. It seems so long ago that we had fresh garden goodness all day long, and so far away still until that will return. We're all getting a bit sick of the winter squash still kicking around, and we just finished the last of the potatoes. There are still ferments going strong, thank goodness, and we're buying a lot in for sure. We're even nearly out of pork, and definitely low on chicken! I'll need to adjust our numbers this year, to accommodate those teenage bellies I'm filling. It's impressive, and shocking what's being eaten on a daily basis! But, knowing that the garden goodness is still quite a ways off, I'm trying to keep things interesting in the kitchen - both for the eaters and the makers of dinner. New cookbooks, new recipes, fresh takes are being added to the repertoire and experiments happening each week. Some things happening this week....
I mentioned the new Alice Waters book, My Pantry last week. I've been enjoying that, trying out a few things, the most exciting being tahini. Why have I never made my own tahini before now? This is a great mystery to me, for it was so easy and so much tastier and it couldn't have been more simple. Hooray for new staples! (My Pantry: Homemade Ingredients that Make Simple Meals Your Own by Alice Waters and Fanny Singer)
And with that tahini, this delicious dish made its way onto the table. (Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl from the Minimalist Baker)
For a year or so now, I've craved the banana bread with black sesame seeds that Portland bakery Tandem makes. The bakery is far too conveniently located near the theatre where Ezra spends more days than not, and I don't know how many times I've stopped in to have a cup of hot chocolate, that banana bread, and do some knitting. A lot, let's just say. My belly is grateful, but maybe not my hips? Hmn. Oh well. It's good bread. I've been playing with trying to get as close as I can to their recipe, and then discovered one online that is SO very close (though I don't think Tandem uses peanut butter, I think it's an essential inclusion!). We are all quite happy with this discovery. (Black Sesame Banana Cake with Peanut Butter on Food 52)
Also on Food 52 (I get a lot of recipes there, and love the ability to organize and save my favorites), we recently made the baking sheet macaroni and cheese. We're all firmly in the camp of loving the crispy bits of macaroni and cheese, and this simple way of coking it certainly makes for more crunch. (Baking Sheet Macaroni and Cheese on Food 52)
We've made nori rolls a few times lately, and I'm not sure why we got away from that being a regular dinnertime feature. It's such an easy dinner for us, combined with some noodles. And I usually can make enough so that there are lunchtime or at least snack leftovers for the next day (leftovers are hard to come by around here). (Spicy Peanut Udon with Kale on Food 52)
And last, but not least, a new source of inspiration just arrived in the mail this week, in the form of our friend Christine's new book about sweet frozen desserts. All sweet, but no refined sugar! I handed the book to the younger three when it arrived and asked them to dog-ear what they might like to try. The entire book is now dogeared so it looks like this coming season, we'll be full of frozen treats. I won't complain about that. (Icy, Creamy, Healthy Sweet: 75 Recipes for Dairy-Free Ice Cream, Fruit-Forward Ice Pops, Frozen Yogurt, Granitas, Slushies, Shakes, and More by Christine Chitnis)
I've got beans soaking right now for tomorrow night's crock pot chili (Jimmy Fallon, who knew?)...and tonight, well tonight is dinner out as it just so happens that we're all running in a million different directions (or three) and convening in town for pizza (Flatbread, we love you). It's all about balance!
. . . . . . . .
And you? What's happening in your kitchen this week?