Pasta with Asparagus, and Anchovy/Caramelized Garlic Toss Up

This was inspired after seeing Melissa Clark of the New York Times caramelize garlic. I love garlic so much, so this finally quenched my desire for a quick pasta dish. It was exactly what I wanted. It is also a twist on the Bagna Cauda dressing, again by the excellent Melissa Clarke. The mellowing anchovies in oil are so versatile and now with caramelized garlic, how can you go wrong? Continue reading

Quinoa and Spinach Bake

Seriously, what do you call this? A cake? A bake? A casserole? A throw-stuff-from-the-cabinets-and-fridge-together? You need pretty much 4 things to throw this together. I am sure you can vary the ingredients and quantities. I am sure you can make it vegan and omit the egg and make this on the stove top and forget about baking it… If you don’t have an egg, we’ll call it that you delibarately made it vegan! :) On some days you just can’t bear a trip to the supermarket, sometimes you need to empty your cabinets, sometimes you want something new and something old and something healthy, but not too filling…. And sometimes you have all that come together. This is it.

Quinoa? Check. Spinach? Check. Egg? Check. Yoghurt? Check. On your marks… Ready, set, go!  Continue reading

Chèvre Chaud au Vinaigre Balsamique Sucré

This is one of my favourite things to have when I go out to eat. And it always costs as much as a full meal, and you find it in the appetizer section of the menu. Maybe if N. America understood to not put 300% tax on French cheeses, maybe it won’t cost as much as a steak. On the other hand, I have my mother’s voice in my head, saying that ‘the human body is not a camel’, but I can’t help having these things while I still have access to, and then… well, that future looks, with regards to cheese, a bit deserted, so I try not to think about it.  Continue reading

Moules à la Marinière with Oven Fries

Did you know that you can make the same restaurant food you usually ooh and aah over in your own kitchen? Did you know it will cost you at least half that? Did you know how much more proud you will feel and how much better tasting it will be? Yes, I am inventing hot water! :) I dislike going to restaurants where what they’re serving is something that I know I can make at home, and I can make it better and with better ingredients and probably less fat and less sodium. I don’t want to come out as holier than thou, but if I go to a restaurant, I want it to be an all-out unforgettable experience. And those, don’t come that often, because they’re pricey. I mean, there is a reason a bowl of pasta at a franchise restaurant doesn’t cost as much as a bowl of pasta at a one-off restaurant with a good chef. Therefore, in the meantime, you turn your own kitchen in the best restaurant you can have :) Continue reading

Coquilles St. Jacques à la Sauce Caramel Orange

Every day on the news they are talking about the crisis taking over Europe. They are talking about which sectors of the economy took a bigger or smaller hit than the same time last year, or the years previously. The one sector that sees an upswing is food. Cuisine. And most importantly, chocolate. Are we buying chocolate to make ourselves feel better? Well, it sure beats anti-depressants. But what is remarkable, and I a living proof of this, is that when people don’t have the means for other pleasures in life, they splurge on food. Think about it: you want to go on a holiday, but that will cost a lot of money. But a bag of truffles is not that destructive to your wallet. So you got for it. You go for the little things. And you take the time to enjoy them. Which, in itself is not a bad thing, because we need to step back, “stop” time and enjoy and savour every bit of it. Because, just like the small truffle, it’ll be gone in a flash.  Continue reading

Spinach and Soft Boiled Egg Tartine

The other day I wondered what is new on the Smitten Kitchen and why wasn’t I getting the new posts in my Reader. I was before, wasn’t I? I think… So I typed in the address to go and check… Sure thing, there was a new post. And it was ideal! Not only did I have everything, well, all but 2 things, but we’ll get to that, but it’s a revisited recipe on another one I have for baked eggs with spinach and mushrooms. I have often thought of my baked egg recipe and have somehow put it off. I don’t know why, it is really easy to make…. But this one, just made it that much more easy! Gourmet lunch for one! Score! Continue reading