March 17, 2013
I’ve been vagabonding around Paris of late, staying at one obliging friend’s apartment after another while they’re out of town, house-sitting or cat-sitting or what have you. It’s a great way to experience different parts of the city, to be sure, but it’s also a formula for feeling constantly not-quite-at-home.
There are things I do to make myself feel less like an interloper into someone else’s space: saturating the house with my favorite music; drinking inordinate amounts of tea while staring out of the windows, familiarizing myself with the view; making the kitchen smell like my kitchen.
One of the defining smells of the kitchen in which I grew up is sesame oil. My standard after-school snack when I was a little girl was a bowl of rice mixed with a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil, the distinct nutty smell of the oil amplified by the heat of the rice.
This bowl of greens and grains is like a grown-up version of my carb-bomb after school snack. Delicate Brussels sprouts leaves and crunchy coconut are tossed in an Asian-inspired vinaigrette, walked quickly through the oven just to get them toasty, and served over hot, fluffy brown rice. I know it sounds way too healthy to be exciting, but trust me: this is some seriously addictive stuff, friends.
October 26, 2012
This is one of those recipes I had to make five times over before I posted it on the blog, because each time I made a batch I ate all of it before I got pictures.
You’d be surprised how quickly one smallish Asian girl can scarf down two apples’ worth of chips, especially if they’ve been baked to a caramelly brown and have the scent of pumpkin spice coming off of them.
Can you tell I’m obsessed? In fact, I’ve got another batch of them in the oven right now, making the apartment smell of apple pie heaven. I keep thinking I’m going to wrap them up all pretty and give them to friends as little gifts, but then I just eat them all again. I mean, it’s not like they’re deep fried or anything.
October 15, 2012
I know we just skipped into mid-October, but stay with me here. I know there are still tomatoes out there at the markets, and there’s no better way to celebrate a good tomato than to smash the heck out of it on some bread.
To be honest with you, reader, I haven’t been in much of a cooking mood. I still cook, of course, but it hasn’t been joyful experimentation in a while. It’s been stuff like this: simple, tasty, but but but.
I have to convince myself that it’s something you want to see. It’s just some bread with stuff on it, after all. Not even a sandwich. But this blog is about connecting with people, and maybe someone out there just wants a snack and doesn’t want to go out and buy camembert or smoked paprika to make one. But I bet you have bread, and garlic, and oil, and tomato, don’t you?
October 11, 2012
This thing I am showing you today, is an atmospheric snack.
We all know that combining garlic and oil and heat can make a house instantly smell delicious. It makes mouths water and stomachs rumble. Well, as it turns out, if you do the same thing with garlic and lemon and thyme and smoked paprika, the effect is multiplied several times over. I don’t think my house has ever smelled so enticingly like a spice bazaar.
I used to fry these in oil, as the original recipe dictates, but I generally prefer to oven-fry as it creates less of a mess and less of a danger of scalding myself with hot oil. (I’m kind of a klutz.) Oven-baking also results in chickpeas that are crispy all the way to the cores, instead of just a crispy shell hiding a mealy interior.
Warning: these have that Cheetos problem where your fingers will be dusted in orange powder after you’ve eaten them. They’re also just as addictive as Cheetos.