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Showing posts from April, 2010

Cookbook #17: Flavours

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Adapted from Cookbook # 17:  Flavours(2000)

Recipe:  Malted Chocolate Puddings

This cookbook was one of the first presents I ever bought the husband.  Uninitiated in the world of All Things Donna Hay, I liked the cover and the photography within.  Everything looked pretty simple, and I was sort of delighted by the layout (whole chapters on vanilla! ginger! salt & pepper!).  I thought the book was clever and appealing.  It seemed like a fine, if somewhat generic, gift.  Since that day, however, this book has become splattered, creased, splotched and dog-earred.

Back in those Pre-Donna-Hay-Knowledge-Days, the husband was living in a grungy little apartment in Salt Lake City with quite possibly the most horrific furniture I had ever seen (there may have been lassos incorporated into the patterned "velvet" on the sofa).   These were the last halcyon days of his undergraduate career, and his apartment (shared with one roommate and two cats) overlooked trash dumpsters and a p…

Cookbook #16: Tapas

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Adapted from Cookbook #16:  Tapas:  Little Dishes of Spain (1985; there is a new updated version now in hardcover)

Recipe:  Olive Paste and Blue Cheese Canape/ Creamed Blue Cheese with Brandy

(Or as the Spanish say:  Canape de Pasta de Aceituna Negra y Queso Cabrales/ Crema de Cabrales al Conac)

Quite simply, I want to go to Spain.

I almost went once, many years ago.  I had elaborate plans for New Years Eve in Barcelona after Christmas in Chamonix where I was supposed to be after a week in Paris.  But then the train unions in France went on strike, and I couldn't imagine shuttling around France and eventually over to Spain any other way (I lacked imagination at 21).  I called the whole trip off, instead spending another week in London, where I made a fool of myself over some boy named Warwick (like you do at 21).  But I had plans, such wonderful, elaborate plans for Spain with its little dishes of salty foods. Instead, I have to recreate these fantasy dishes at home or find them …

Cookbook 15: Noodles Every Day

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Adapted from Cookbook #15:  Noodles Every Day (2009)

Recipe: Rice Noodle Soup with Beef and Herbs (Pho)

Sometimes things just get a little overwhelming.  And when they do, there's pho.

When the husband gets sick, this is exactly what he demands (I call for canned Chicken Noodle-o's.  I know it's disgusting; he clearly has a more refined palate).  While neither of us is currently feeling under the weather, pho is a wonderful comfort food that soothes what ails you.

We picked this cookbook up at Green Apple Books, the best darned used bookstore in San Francisco.  As we're both fans of the noodle, this cookbook is a delight.   As was the hour and a half spent in Green Apple Books looking at cookbooks.

So last night, I started the stock, which is the most essential part of the recipe.  Do not, I repeat, do not think you can make pho with any old beef stock.  Star anise and daikon are the super secret ingredients that make this a comfort food and not a bowl of oxtail soup.…