Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Pumpkin and Sage Pasta


I was at the Singapore National Museum last week and I saw these watches on display. They are designed by Hanson Ho and Matteo Colella. The placard said that the watches explore "the relationship between the quantitative and qualitative aspects of time." The hour, minute, and second hands are all the same length. This "allows for both the absolute and arbitrary reading of time, catering to the needs of the various contexts and situations."


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pan-Fried Threadfin with Pine Nut Brown Butter

When I started blogging (on my personal blog) way back in 2004, there was only person who read it--my best friend; she started blogging first and we were doing it to keep in touch. After a while a few others started reading my blog, too, first my parents, then some friends.

In time I realised that I wanted to blog mostly about home cooking. So I started Simply Cooked in 2009 and imported all my cooking-related posts from my personal blog. And now there are more readers than my best friend and my parents! (I'm up to 15000 pageveiws a month, actually, so thanks for reading!!) I feel blessed to be able to share ideas with you, thoughtful bloggers and readers.


Monday, February 16, 2015

Chez Panisse's Baked Goat's Cheese Saald

During our honeymoon we had one memorable meal. We were young and poor at the time, so we planned to have one fancy meal out during our week in Quebec City. We went to a restaurant called Toast near our auberge (inn). It was the most expensive meal either of us had eaten up to that point in life. (I seem to recall that it cost about $100. This was ten years ago, by the way.)

We still talk about some parts of that meal. We remember Anthony ordering a salad that came presented in a massive bowl that tilted the spinach leaves towards him. There was a piece of baguette balanced on the leaves, covered with two pieces of oozing, baked goat's cheese.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dukkah Roasted Chicken with Tahini Yogurt

Would you rather have a live-in massage therapist, or a live-in chef, or a live-in cleaner? I'm quite happy to do my own cooking. But cleaning--oh yes! I would rather leave that to someone else. And a live-in masseuse! Wow, wouldn't that be amazing?

There is a little shopfront near me that does neck and shoulder massage while you sit (face forward) in a chair. I have bought a little package of time that I can redeem in 15 minute blocks. After work from time to time I wander over and get 30 minutes of neck and shoulder rubbing. It is amazing. After my first visit, the therapist struggled with my tense muscles. She said, "You should come back again next week." I giggled. Sign me right up.


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cherry Tomatoes with Asian Greens and Garlic

I was having the kind of work day which I wished would end. I love my job is so many ways--I'm a teacher and I love my students and my subject. But I really don't like marking student notebooks. It's an essential part of my job and so I do it a lot. But I was having the kind of day in which success at marking had to be be achieved by comfort eating chocolate at the same time. Ugh.

By the time a class set of books were marked, I think I had eaten four mini bars of mint chocolate and three mini packs of M&Ms. My stomach felt awful but I was so relieved to be finished. I packed up and left from a twelve hour day. Dinner could be simple, since my husband was not going to be present. In the end, all I wanted to eat was a bowl of vegetables. Do you have days like this?


Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Slow-Cooked Beef Ragu

A story of awkwardness: being alone in a crowded place. A couple of months ago, I was at a bar on a Friday evening; three bands were playing and I knew a few of the musicians from work. I still had one crutch with me. (It had been five weeks since I had a bad tumble while running and injured my knee.) The bar was packed, and I’m sure the number of people would have been against fire regulations in another country.

I found a seat against the back wall and propped my crutch up behind me. A few friends were nearby and chatting with me, but eventually they went to mingle and I was alone. Sitting there by myself in a packed bar, I began to feel very awkward. I worked hard to relax the pit-of-my-stomach tenseness and sit there with a pleasant look on my face.


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Food Gurus by Stephen Vines [book review]--and Sesame and Dukkah Cubes

Food Gurus: 20 People Who Changed the Way We Eat and Think About Food by Stephen Vines is a collection of essays about people who have impacted food today. The figures examined range from Bartolomeo Platina (1421-1481) to current food personalities including Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver, and Alice Waters.

The book covers a diverse collection of cooks, chefs, and writers. Platina was (arguably) the person who first created cookbooks and popularized the idea of cooking from a recipe. There are a handful of French greats included, such as Georges August Escoffier, Fernand Point, and Antonin Careme. More recent figures are Delia Smith, Elizabeth David, Julia Child, Dr Atkins, and Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's.


Friday, January 30, 2015

Foodies Read Challenge 2015

I'm joining a blogging challenge called Foodies Read. This will become the landing page for all my food-related reading during 2015. I plan to read nine to thirteen books, making me a "sous-chef" level member.  This will be easy(ish) to achieve thanks to my ongoing membership of the food-related book club, the Kitchen Reader. Would you like to join in?

Foodies Read 2015

My 2015 food books:

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Daikon "Risotto" with Spinach, Feta, and Pine Nuts

I have so many ideas to share about how to eat more vegetables! Recently I have been replacing different parts of our meals with vegetables. Last week and this week I made vegetable "risotto". Last week I made turnip rice for a red wine risotto and this week I am sharing a recipe for daikon rice. Daikon is a little like radishes in taste and like a rolling pin in size. It is quite crunchy when raw and cooks up quickly. This risotto made an excellent weeknight meal.


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tomato, Basil, and Red Wine "Risotto" with Aubergine

I am learning how to make vegetable "risotto". It is so simple and I feel myself getting healthier while eating it.

Real risotto requires minimal preparation time but quite a patient, long cooking time. Veggie risotto takes more preparation time but a fraction of the cooking time. Overall, I'm really happy with the "risotto" that I made out of turnip, which is pictured here.


First I used my spiralizer to make turnip noodles. (Here's my first spiralizer post and you can see which one I own by looking at the pictures and the links.) Then I took the turnip noodles and pulsed them in the food processor for about five seconds in total. I did this in batches, until all the turnip was turned into bits the size and shape of rice.

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