Sunday, November 13, 2011

What's Going On?

I am a creature of habit.  I love making lists. It's comforting...some may say I have control issues.  ;)  It's how I convince myself that I'm organised.  Well...not totally disorganised.  I went grocery shopping today--with my list.  Separated by store, with their respective bargains, the top right corner of every grocery list with what I must buy.  After my first stop, my list disappeared.  I don't know what happened to it.  It wasn't in my wallet.  It wasn't in my handbag or in one of the grocery bags.  DAMN!  I was feeling a little lost at my second stop, trying to remember what I had written down.  But I'm happy to report, I survived.  I may have veered off course a wee bit--a wedge of Black River Gorgonzola and a pound package of lady fingers--but I'm okay.  Look Ma, I don't need a list in my hand (pocket, handbag, glove box) all the time.

The kitchen has been its usual busy self.  My mind is beginning to race with what to bake and make for the holidays (both eating and giving).  I made mini cinnamon scones and cream cheese cookies (aka 'crack cookies') for a work meeting, and I baked a second round of Oreos today.  One of the problems I have (if you want to call it that), is once I make something, and it's really good, I'll make it again...and again...and again.  Case in point...applesauce.  My first go-round was Asian pear sauce; since then I've made apple-pear sauce, persimmon-peach sauce and plain old applesauce.   The same has happened this week with chicken.  I cooked four large breasts the other night because I had an idea to make a variation on golumpki.  It involved steamed cabbage leaves, shredded chicken, sauted carrots and onions, and basmati rice with lots of curry powder and sesame oil.  The results were good...the execution needs improvement.  So now I have a lot of leftover chicken.  It's been 3 days of chicken salad (again...and again...and again), but let me tell you...the cats are thrilled.  It's not every week where they get a daily dose of chicken.  They can smell it a mile away and are all sitting pretty while I get their bits ready.

Here are some photos from the last week.  It may be a bit of the same old, same old....but it's still delicious.

Mini Cinnamon Scones

What can I say?  The price was right!  Now I have to decide to what do with them.

Jill's Fabulous Onion Tart

Oreos Round 2:  Softer Cookies, Better Filling

Persimmon-Peach Quick Bread

Persimmon-Peach Sauce, aka The Obsession

Chicken Stuffed Cabbage...Thai Golumpki?

A song to start the week....just as relevant today as it was in 1971...

Friday, November 4, 2011

One Year to the Day...

...I started this blog.  That's's the one-year anniversary of Kat Cooks Bakes Eats!  When I started writing, I figured if I was lucky, I'd have some friends and family read a post or two and indulge me.  I look at that traffic widget and I still cannot believe the locations that check in here.  I am floored, flabbergasted, grateful, and humble that so many people find their way and actually read this.  The internet is a BIG place and I have a very, VERY small space in it.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Now, if I didn't talk about food, I'd be doing you a disservice.  Last week, three of my best friends (affectionately known as The Girls) and I met for lunch at Breadbar in Century City.  It was my first time there and I really enjoyed it.  I had the Cauliflower Soup and finished every last spoonful.  It was amazing.  Served with homemade croutons and drizzled with a curry infused oil.  Like I said...AMAZING.  I came home, determined to make it myself.  I don't think I was home half an hour before I poured olive oil in a jar and added a liberal amount of curry powder to the oil.  Over the past week, I'd shake the jar, turning it over and over to mix the spice and oil together.  I bought a head of cauliflower over the weekend, already had cream in the fridge, made croutons late last week and had vegetable stock in the freezer.  All the ingredients at the ready.  Last night was the night.  The air was turning cooler and the clouds started rolling in (Yes!...we're going to get a bigger taste of Autumn here...rain and cold weather for longer than a day).

I changed the soup up a bit, turning it into roasted cauliflower and carrot soup.  It was absolutely delicious.  I still topped it with the curry oil and homemade croutons.  Just right for a cool evening and definitely would have been better with a grilled cheese sandwich accompanying it, but I was feeling a tad lazy and didn't want to wait to have my soup.

Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Soup
(by me)

1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
3 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

Optional:  curry oil, croutons

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss cauliflower, carrots, and garlic with olive oil in oven-proof dish.  Sprinkle Parmesan and a bit of salt and pepper before popping it into the oven.Roast vegetables until soft (not too soft, not too hard, but just right), about 40 minutes.   In saucepan, heat stock and add vegetables.  Bring to high simmer for 5-7 minutes.  Remove pan from heat, and with immersion blender or regular blender, puree vegetables and stock.  Add cream and mix to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

You don't need to drizzle it with curry oil or top with the croutons, but I highly recommend it.  I love how the curry flavour mixes with the cauliflower.