Basil Pesto with Sunflower Seeds

June 29, 2014

20140622_132738 My basil plant is prolifically producing and I love, love, love the fact that it has tripled in size in this beautiful Vancouver weather. What better way to use basil than to turn it into an all-purpose pesto! You guys are probably used to pesto made with basil and pine nuts but really, pesto can be a combination of any greens/herbs/fruits, nuts, lemon juice, olive oil and grated Parmesan. After all, pesto  just means paste in Italian. With the price of pine nuts going off the roof lately, this is a basil pesto that uses sunflower seeds. If I were you, I’d toast the seeds until they are slightly brown and fragrant but feel free to skip the roasting, if you’re feeling lazy. I don’t like my pesto to be emulsified. It’s a state you’d get if you blitz all the ingredients into a blender. The combination of lemon juice and all the other ingredients turns the paste into a light green cream and I hate that. I want my basil pesto to be a fluid sauce, glistening with oil and with all the finely chopped ingredients visible as you run your spoon in it.  This is my recipe for pesto. 🙂

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Lemon-Lemon Thyme Cake

May 18, 2014

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I love lemon desserts. Lemon meringue pie, lemon cream cake, lemon-vanilla pound cake, lemon-anything, actually. Now, this recipe from Nigel Slater might be my favourite lemon dessert recipe to date. The Lemon-Lemon Thyme cake is moist, sweet, lemony and woodsy with the addition of lemon thyme; the lemon-thyme syrup adds to the burst of sunshine on this cake and helps keep it moist as well. I highly recommend using lemon thyme in this recipe but if you can only get regular thyme, that’s fine too. The recipe is pretty straight forward but I’ve tweaked Nigel’s recipe for the cake a little bit by adding more lemon zests.  read more …

Compound Butter Recipe

February 28, 2014

IMG_20140228_013133I love compound butters. A dollop of these flavoured butter goodness can take any dish through the roof. What is compound butter? It may sound fancy but that cannot be further from the truth, it’s basically butter mixed with whatever herbs you have at hand. Garlic butter is an example of a compound butter, and I am sure you know how delicious it is when slathered onto toasts. You can easily make your own flavoured compound butter at home. Store it in the freezer and it freezes well for up to a year and when you want to use it, just open the packaging and cut a few chunks out. In the fridge, depending on what herbs you used, it can last quite a long while too. I just wouldn’t recommend storing your compound butter in the fridge for long periods of time if you used a lot of fresh herbs.

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This is my version of compound butter, made in a food processor. You can also make it by hand, you just need to make sure your butter is soft and your herbs finely chopped. And you should make a lot of compound butter, especially when butter goes on sale. 😉  read more …

Black bean brownies

December 20, 2013

black bean brownies
I was a skeptic when I first read this recipe at the Minimalist Baker. I was wary about because black bean is not a conventional ingredient in baking but the number of reviews raving about these brownies can’t be lying, right? They’re not liars because these black bean brownies are divine! These brownies are chocolatey, fudge-like in the centre and they are gluten-free; and completely vegan. Eating
them makes this Christmas feel, how shall we put this, like a guilt-free indulgence. Oh, don’t forget to lick the batter off the spoon, it’s safe.

The black bean brownie recipe takes 5 minutes to put together, if you have all the ingredients. If not, I suggest you buy the ingredients because they are multipurpose and great for health too. And you will make the batter in a food processor or a blender. My other brownie recipe is pretty awesome too. If you want something traditional and non-vegan, that’s the one you want make.

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How about a Green Sriracha sauce?

November 3, 2013

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When the Sriracha sauce’s factory was threatened with closure, the foodie world went into a frenzy. Like, there are people out there genuinely concerned about the potential shortage of their beloved red Sriracha sauce. The LA Times even published their solution to the potential shortage by sharing their recipe on a DIY Sriracha sauce. Luckily, the court overturned the ridiculous suit and the world is all well again. For now.

The recipe from LA Times was easy enough with only 5 ingredients and 25 minutes from start to finish. I started to wonder, how about a green Sriracha sauce? “Don’t be silly”, my friend tweeted back.

Well, silliness is what got me 2 x 250 ml of green Sriracha sauce. And it’s pretty dang good! I followed the recipe very closely in a way, the only thing different are the proportions of the ingredients and the chilies I used, of course. I had more than 1 pound of chilies to work with so I taste-tested along the way to come up with the measurements below. You’re welcome. My lips are burning and my nose is leaking like something awesome as I’m writing this. Okay, TMI.

Before you start:

  1. Remember to not rub your eyes with your chili fingers.
  2. You don’t have to remove the seeds and stems from the chilies.
  3. You will need a food processor/blender.
  4. Use non-reactive cookware.
  5. This recipe uses serrano and jalapeño but you can use other green chilies as well.

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