Spaghetti Carbonara

Looking for an easy lunch (or dinner), that isn‘t leftovers or a sandwich? Clara’s been eating grilled cheese for the last few days and we both wanted a change, so a lunchtime pasta was the answer. I’ve been enjoying Carbonara for years, and haven’t followed a recipe. I know that I like it a bit saucy, so I add some cream which I am positive is not authentic. Typically an Italian recipe is egg yolk, guanciale, Pecorino Romano, and black pepper, with the pasta water to thin it out. So apologies to all my Italian friends who are shaking their heads right now as I use the whole egg and add cream. Below is my own version, one that you can make from your pantry without any special Italian grocery

Beautiful bagels

Making bagels at home never occurred to me before, until I saw my girlfriend Lisa post her beauties. This is a commercial yeast based recipe, so it’s incredibly easy and doesn’t require the stretching and folding that Sourdough requires. I looked for an overnight cold proof recipe, as I wanted to do the mixing the night before and the baking the next day. For mixing the dough, I highly recommend a stand mixer and dough hook. Bread flour also gives a more authentic bagel chew. It’s about 2 hours prep before you can put them into the refridgerator overnight, but don’t have to be me and make these at 9pm at night. Feel free to prepare earlier and leave them in the fridge longer. Ingredients 1

Halloumi salad with dates and mint

This salad can be a great starter when portion is scaled back, or an easy main course meal. Whenever I’ve had Halloumi before, it’s been very simple. Fried with a lemon wedge on the side to squeeze. While I love the simplicity, this version takes it to the next level. Once the carrot purée is complete, the salad takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and assemble. I first enjoyed it at M Bar, a roof top restaurant in Seattle. Headed by Executive Chef, Jason Stratton is also a James Beard Foundation semifinalist, Best New Chef for Food & Wine magazine, and former Top Chef contestant. While this isn’t the exact recipe, this is my home version, suitable as a side for four people. Note in my p

Buttermilk pancakes

As a family, we love to go out for brunch on the weekends. We’re in about week five of social distancing, so all our meals are eaten at home now, including brunch. This weekend I whipped up Buttermilk banana pancakes from scratch. I’ve never used pancake mixes, as it’s so easy to make them if you have a good recipe. Buttermilk is the key to making this batter fluffy and extra special. There is no sour taste at all. This is my tried and tested recipe, from an oldie but a goodie, The Joy of Cooking, first published in 1931. Ingredients 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 3 Tablespoons white sugar 1 Teaspoon baking powder 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (if you use regular milk, no ba

Croque Madame

Everyone loves a grilled cheese. To take it to the next level, and very easy to make for a crowd, the Croque Madame is the answer. This is a recipe for four sandwiches. The Béchamel sauce will have leftovers, but add more cheese and you‘ll have a queso dip. You can also use the sauce to top lasagne before you bake it, or as a macaroni and cheese sauce, so versatile. Ingredients Eight slices of bread, toast them lightly Two cups of grated cheese, preferably Gruyere Sliced baked ham, enough for four sandwiches, this is the time to use the good stuff Dijon mustard Béchamel sauce (makes 2 cups) 5 Tablespoons butter 2 Cups of milk, cream or a combination 3 Tablespoons of flour Salt and pepper 1/

Shakshuka

I made a Shakshuka for our weekend Easter brunch, an ancient dish from the Middle East which has stood the test of time. Shakshuka is essentially eggs coddled in a tomato based stew, with garlic and cumin. I topped mine with crumbled feta and fresh avocado slices. Chopped parsley, green onions, or chives make it Instagram worthy. Typically it’s served with warmed pita or flat bread. We still had some homemade whole meal Sourdough loaf, which we toasted and buttered. I found that I was able to fit six coddled eggs into the pan, but I think you could squeeze even in two more, making it a total of eight. If you have any leftovers, you could easily top it on pasta or rice. Let me know if you m

Brioche Bostock

Our amazing neighbours dropped off a loaf of the most amazing Brioche like bread. Since forever, my favourite pastry at La Boulangerie is Bostock. This is an almond based paste that puffs up when baked. Brioche is a sweet, leavened bread that is richer due to addition of an egg. You could try making it with any other breads, just slice it thick. Ingredients 1/2 cup of apricot jam six thick slices of Brioche bread 1 stick of softened butter 1 cup of almond flour 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 1 egg 1/2 cup sliced almonds powdered sugar for dusting Equipment needed large baking sheet parchment paper to line small sieve for powder sugar dusting phone to take a picture because

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