SALTED CARAMEL APPLE MACARONS—WITH WANDERLUST

My favorite time to make macarons is when the weather starts to cool. My favorite time to bake anything is, really. When it's not so terribly warm that turning on the oven just contributes to the heat. Although I'm a fan of summer produce, the apples, pears, figs and squash that come out this time of year are wear my heart really lies. While they are good on their own, adding a bit of cinnamon here, some nutmeg there really does emphasize the flavors.

These are salted caramel macarons. They worked shockingly well, and I imagine they tasted delicious as they were snatched up in no time. The shell contains freeze-dried apples, and the filling a salted caramel with partially dried apple bits throughout. They are a great introduction to those fall flavors that I love so much.

The recipe can be found over at with wanderlust.

BLACK BEAN + SWEET POTATO HASH

Black Bean Sweet Potato Hash
Black Bean Sweet Potato Hash
My abilities in the kitchen are limited to my ability to follow a recipe to a tee. I am a much better baker than I am a cook, likely because of the free-flow that comes with putting a dish together. Baking has specific rules and regiments, and is so much more about the chemistry. When cooking, I often doubt my palette, which is more or less unrefined. It comes with practice, this cooking thing does.

This dish was a happy accident. I had scheduled another meal in its place and decided on a whim to abandon the meal. Crunched on time in the evening, I thew together a few simple ingredients that I had on hand. Ever so pleasantly, it turned out well. I've made it three times since (all in the same week).

As mentioned above, cooking has a definite free-flow. If you don't have edamame on hand, use whichever vegetables are available to you. I imagine corn or any vegetable with a bit of tooth would be great.
Black Bean Sweet Potato Hash
BLACK BEAN & SWEET POTATO HASH // Serves 2

1/2 sweet potato, cubed
1 TBSP olive oil
1 cup black beans
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup shelled edamame, fresh or frozen
1/2 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut sweet potato into bite-size pieces. On a sheet of tin-foil, toss the sweet potato with 1 tsp olive. Roast for 30 minutes. In a pan, heat remaining 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Sauté onions until translucent. Add cumin and cayenne, and coat. Add black beans, edamame, and sweet potato to the pan, and cook for five minutes, or until edamame is cooked through. Taste, and add salt and pepper dependent on preference.

MEALS THIS WEEK

I have been making a point of meal planning in an attempt to get some variety into my diet. I have this really terrible way of stumbling upon a great dish and eating it to death. My school schedule means that I am home before supper time three times a week, leaving ample time to be creative in the kitchen

Yoga Pot
Yoga Pot

We had this meal on an achingly hot day. Terrible preparation on my part. It was tasty and filling. There is a lot of spice and flavour that goes into this dish. I skipped the lentils and served mine over quinoa.

Chickpea Cutlet
Chickpea Cutlets with Mustard Sauce // Cracklin' Cauliflower

I had a bit of an obsession with seitan when I first discovered it. I have yet to find it anywhere in-store here in Calgary, so I made my own. This recipe for chickpea cutlets is from Veganomicon. I expected something very unlike what this recipe turned out to be; more of a chickpea fritter, I suppose. What it is, is a sort of mock meat with a chickpea base. It's the kind of recipe that I imagine would be good for someone who has recently become vegan or vegetarian and still misses the bite of meat. For me, the consistency was foreign, and honestly a bit odd. The flavour was there — the texture not so much. I've had Whole Foods version of Cracklin' Cauliflower on numerous occasions. It's a bit spicier than this version, which is more about flavours that you would commonly find in Indian cooking.

Burger and Soup
Portobello Burgers and Corn Chowder

Le me start by saying that I am not much of a mushroom or soup girl. Mushrooms, because I can't cook them, and soup, because its boring. This supper made me appreciate mushrooms and soup. The burgers are from Sprouted Kitchen, and the soup from "Small Plates & Sweet Treats." I made the burgers to please my mother and the soup to please my father (plus, a chilly day called for soup), and walked away a happy camper myself. My thoughts on what made the soup so good is the coconut milk. Hands down.

Black Bean Hash
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Hash

Confession: I ate this three times this week. I was supposed to have a black bean quesadilla one evening, but on a whim decided to abandon the plan. This dish was born out of a desire to clean out the fridge, and it just so happened to turn out heavenly. Isn't that the most pleasant surprise? The ingredients are simple as can be, and I imagine that the recipe is versatile depending on what you have on hand. I'll share the recipe soon.

Tempeh and Mung Beans
Pan-fried Tempeh and Mung Beans

This is my favourite meal of all time. It comes straight from Heidi Swanson's "Super Natural Everyday." It is simple. It takes almost no time to put together, and it lasts me a days worth of leftovers (I cut the recipe in half).

What were your favourite recipes this week?

THE SEPTEMBER PLAYLIST

The September Playlist

I can hardly believe that we're already almost through September. Not only that, but a month through the semester. When I think of September, I think mostly back to my year living in Victoria. There is a true fall in Victoria. Everything was still green, as it was most of the year, but the leaves were changing color and the temperature cooled down. It was chilly enough to have a warm coffee in the morning, and to wear something more appropriate to the season (sweater weather!). Here in Calgary, we haven't seen many signs of fall just yet. We've finally gotten a small bout of summer weather, scorching as it is. It's coming though, fall. I can hardly wait.

The September playlist is found on Rdio.

WITH WANDERLUST

WW

Today marks the official 'launch' of my new blogging project with Gabi. The site is called with wanderlust, and it is going to be a compilation of stories, recipes, and the like. Our general theme is the twenty-something condition, which I think is safe to say that a good chunk of us suffer from. While we are definitely still in the works of getting the nitty gritty details down with with wanderlust, a few items have already been posted that I'd love for you to check out.

Head on over to with wanderlust to let us know what you think, and make sure to follow us on Bloglovin!

EARLY AUGUST DINNER

August 9, 2013 Dinner
August 9, 2013 DinnerAugust 9, 2013 Dinner
August 9, 2013 Dinner

This one is long overdue. In early August, I had a few friends over for a market fresh dinner. It's not often that we are all in the same city and available to get together... Usually only once or twice a year does this actually happen. It'd been a year or so, and we were well due to catch up.

Early in the day, Gabi and I took an adventure to the Calgary Farmers Market to collect our produce, made a stop at the liquor store, bakery, and cheese shop. I spent the afternoon cooking up the meal (I have yet to master the art of good hostessing or collective cooking). I made some of my favorite dishes as well as a few new ones. We all met later in the evening for some good food, drink and conversation under the summer sun.
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