What We’re Reading – Jan 1, 2014

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We met on Twitter; interest piqued by each other’s profiles, and conversed about our shared passions and interests in 140 characters or less. We eventually did brunch to determine if virtual admiration would lead to in-person friendship. It did, and we continue to meet regularly over coffee and something sweet.

Jodi is a professional editor; Deborah is a chef. We both like to write for public consumption, and we both read — a lot. We find the term “blogger” ill fitting (the search is on for a bespoke identifier) and agree that there is an abundance of good food storytelling online — via narrative, recipes, and images — crafted by passionate amateurs like us. We’re publishing our favourite finds on the 1st and 15th of each month. Subscribe to either of our feeds to get our updates, and join in the hunt — leave a comment to tell us about your food-writing discoveries.

Reading

Where to find great coffee in Paris (no, it’s not everywhere).

If you love food and are planning a visit to Charleston, My Kugelhopf has a fabulous itinerary.

“I say it every year, I know. But this year? It was the WORST in the kitchen so far. So many fails. So, so, so many. In the very beginning of the year, I was finishing some recipes for my cookbook. Hello, self doubt and fails in every way? Oh yes. It wasn’t just that though. Lots of new recipe experimentation and good old ideas that tanked. Fun!” Grateful for the candor of this post.

Where to look for the good parts.

Celebrating the longest day of the year: “…turn towards the sun, wherever you can find it. May it loosen your shoulders and unspool your thoughts and may the hush and stillness settle in, if even for a moment or two.”

There’s so many things to like about this post on failure, least of which it’s about so much more than burned cookies (the line “Failure’s good because it re-calibrates, ratchets down expectations, humbles our cute foolish penchant for perfect” applies very widely beyond the kitchen). The accompanying recipe, with notes on adaptations from the original, also segues nicely into our first pick in the next section, a new feature for the roundup, which is rooted in the principle that not every recipe works exactly as published.

Recipes

To The TestMiso Tahini Soup

Jodi - Considering I often slurp back a mug of white miso dissolved in boiling water while waiting for my breakfast proper to cook after weekend long runs in the winter, this soup nicely takes that practice up a notch, adding some veg nutrients and carbs.

I suspect the recipe uses tablespoon measurements for the miso so that less or more can be used according to taste—I used more, to the tune of 6T to pump up the saltiness. I also used an acorn squash photosince my green grocer had no delicata; other than having to take the extra step to peel it (delicata skin is much thinner and tender, and therefore more edible), I don’t think it had a deleterious effect on the final product.

Would I make it again? I’m a soup-for-lunch kind of gal and could see myself adding this recipe into my rotation of concoctions I make on Sunday to eat throughout the week.

Miso Tahini SoupDeborah – Nigella Lawson would categorize this dish as temple food (as in the body is a temple). Fitting to test it for this first month of the year when healthful resolutions run rampant. It’s the perfect dish post yoga or Pilates (I do neither).

The recipe works as written. Only one small question arises about why miso measurement is 4T and tahini 1/4 cup when they are the same quantity.  It comes together quickly and the flavour overall is okay—I’d like less lemon zest and more salt (I used white miso). It’s a bit too lean for me—but that’s remedied with a cupcake for dessert.

It has limited appeal in my house—James would stage a revolution if this were dinner. Would I make it again? No.

Satsuma Herb de Provence Salt - time to roast just about anything.

Spicy Winter Citrus Salad, perfect for this time of year.

Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with Pomegranate Syrup.

Escarole, pear, gorgonzola, nuts. Yum.

The cold, dark days of January call for comfort food. Here’s an Eastern-European take on choucroute; serve it alongside some juicy, plump sausages.

Smoky beetroot hummus with green garnishes looks lovely.

Photos

Photos of fruit inspired by Flemish still life paintings. Gorgeous.

Brian Francis writes a hilarious blog, Caker Cooking, chronicling his adventures in “mangiacake cuisine.” Here’s his best and worst of 2013 in photos (with funny captions, of course).

Video

We’d cook just about anything Trine Hahnemann was making. Here she shares a traditional dish she cooks for Christmas Eve. We think these potatoes would be just as delicious with any roast dinner.

Move over Gingerbread House.

A Christmas feast recap from the Amateur Gourmet. (No need to worry—he’s still Jewish!)

 

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Author: Deborah Reid

Pro-chef living a delicious life. Twenty five years working within striking distance of a gas range. My appetite is as large as my enthusiasm.

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