On Rhubarb

I heart rhubarb.

I have a big bag of it in the fridge. Sacrificing a few stalks, I made this here skillet cornbread with roasted rhubarb embedded in it.

And then served warm with butter and drizzles of honey.

Because I am a savage.

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Holla!

I love books. One of my favourite past times is to explore a bookstore, pouring over fine print on glossy jackets before settling on one (or ten) choices. But I find that ever since I really got into grad school, and now with my new job being very similar to academic work – the last thing I want to do after a day of learning, hunched over a desk reading lines of a manuscript or journal articles, is to sit and read more.

Don’t get me wrong. My job is great. Learning is a sport. But, balance, you know? So in the off-hours, I set aside books to hike and explore and take pictures and bake foolish things full of sugar.

I want to do. So, on this gorgeous spring day, I’m heading out to take the dog on an interminable walk.

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But first, breakfast. Brown sugar challah bread (courtesy of my new favourite food + photography blog, My Name is Yeh.) Only tweak was a brown sugar glaze and sea salt sprinkles (pomegrantes ain’t so plentiful in Atlantic Canada).

I won’t tell you how many pieces I ate. Or how long I didn’t wait for it to cool completely.

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Pita Bread

It’s hard to come by a good pita wrap in the foggy city. In another effort to bridge cravings for wonderful international cuisine, I decided to try and make a respectable substitute at home.

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Traditional Greek Pita Bread

It sounds like it would be a pain in the a…but they’re really easy to make. A few minutes to bring together in the standing mixer, about an hour or so for rising, and then a quick cook in a hot iron skillet. While they didn’t give the traditional “pocket” (but I think that was due to rolling them too thin), they tasted great – soft and chewy.

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We used ours for falafel wraps, using the box mix for falafels, along with some tiny tomatoes, arugula and feta. I tried to make a garlic emulsion (toum), but that ended up an exercise in washing lots of dishes and having no results. It’s seen drizzled in the photo, but should have a mayo consistency. A challenge for another day – one where it isn’t post-party!

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Sunday Funday I: SXSW

Sundays are always associated with big family meals.

They’re also amazing excuses to have good eats while watching the foosball.

Last week, we had the kids and went with the full-on Sunday roast dinner, with Yorkshire puddings. Initially skeptical, then entertained by the volcanic popovers, I think I’ve converted them to the delicious, delicious dark side of gravy-laden carbs.

We had carrots, too, of course. We’re not complete animals.

This weekend, it’s a party of two, but why relegate ourselves to TV dinners? Better to know what’s in your food, plus the freezer is always there for leftovers.

But, let’s not kid ourselves. Football food is serious food. My favourite inspiration is How Sweet Eats annual compendium of tailgating treats. Good luck trying not to drool.

Today’s Menu

Snack
Hot Spinach Dip (Martha Stewart) with Olive Oil Bread (my mom’s recipe from somewhere)
Made this for my sister’s bachelorette party, and watched as bridesmaids hoarded the dish, sitting in a corner like crack-addled squirrels.

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These babies – Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Peanut Butter Cups – are also now hiding in my freezer, because I’m a sucker for cookie dough. And peanut butter cups.
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Pork chops with corn and slow cooker bacon bourbon baked beans
Some people complained that there was too much booze in the beans, but I didn’t find it at all. Just really sweet and tasty.
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Next week is salad. I promise.

Superbowl Sunday

I love me some football. The sport itself is fun to watch – the intensity, the athleticism, the personalities on the field.

And then there’s the pre-game festivities – the tailgating culture, full of newfound friends in the parking lot, sharing drink and breaking bread and having laughs.

The bread that’s broken, of course, famously includes everything buttery and oozing with cheese and subjected to charcoals fuelled flames. Amazing.

I try to incorporate a little tailgate whenever we watch games at home. A great reference point for your own tailgate menu is this food blog: How Sweet It Is – 135 Football Recipes

For our Superbowl Sunday, we decided on a couple things, as it was only a few of us.

Snack to have at hand: Chicago Mix Popcorn

I used a recipe, but found it was pretty off in some key areas. So, just pop 2 cups of kernels and divide in half. Toss one half with cheese powder (I used a nacho cheese dip mix, found with the taco stuff) and 1/2 cup melted butter. The other half, make a caramel on the stove and toss with the remaining popcorn. I had to bake mine once coated.

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Pre-game supper: Chili in Bread Bowls

The bread bowl recipe worked wonderfully: Baker Bettie – Homemade Bread Bowls

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Bread bowls shaped and ready for the oven

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Finished bread bowls

The chili was an improv piece: we browned 1/2lb each of ground beef and stewing beef, and threw it in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours with four small bell peppers and two small yellow onions, all chopped; a can of chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, a can each of rinsed red kidney beans and black beans; a small tin of tomato paste; about 1/2 cup each of beer and water; and half a jar of spaghetti sauce (because when ready to serve, we realized it was too watery – but the only store open then had sauce). Salt, pepper, chili powder all to taste.

It was still awesome possums.

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Halftime show: Korean fried chicken wings

If you’re ever in Toronto, visit the Gabardine restaurant. The BEST Korean fried chicken wings – or any kind of chicken wing, period. Crunchy, just enough sauce with a little spice, tang, and Asian flavour.

Don’t know why my mind went back to that great meal last July, but decided our wings would try to mimic them. This recipe was our recipe, and while not taking the Gabardine’s crown, still crazy good – Korean Fried Chicken Wings

Even though we weren’t starving post-chili, we couldn’t help ourselves with these and essentially polished off the whole lot.

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Korean Fried Chicken Wings