Chocolate Miso Cookies (aka The Best Chocolate Cookies)

I always keep a jar of miso in the fridge. When I’m drained from the day, and when I’m unhealthily obsessed with my weight, I conjure up a sad concoction of steamed vegetables and call it dinner. Miso became a lifesaver because when I stirred a generous spoonful of it into my dinner, it suddenly lifted everything – and dinner was less sad. Miso’s a flavor bomb that imparts a savory and rich intensity to anything it touches. It belongs in more places than you’d think: I put it into sauces, sandwiches, soups, and even, yes, desserts.
miso chocolate
Continue reading “Chocolate Miso Cookies (aka The Best Chocolate Cookies)”

Pasta with Potatoes

I know that my first post in January should be something healthier, something involving #detox, #cleanse, and #cleaneating.  I know that the first days of January are filled with aspiration and ardor – the pubs empty, the gyms crammed, the office cafeterias packed with determined homemade salads. I know that everyone’s attempting to become a better version of themselves, which generally involves being “healthier”, which usually means weight loss, which often can be detrimental mentally.  Because so many of these new year resolutions fail. These unsuccessful resolutions can in turn make you feel like a failure. And when these failures are linked to body image, well, that’s unhealthy.

I wanted to share something comforting with you today, especially if you, too, find January to be the Monday of months.
potato pasta
Continue reading “Pasta with Potatoes”

Lingonberry & Rosemary Crumb Tarts

I try not to be a food snob but when my boyfriend asked if we could have dinner at Ikea I turned up my nose. His eyes sparkled as he recounted the times he ate there with his family, and he spoke of them being together, of him ordering the steak, of all the happy memories.

Endearing, I thought, but no. Dinner at an Ikea cafeteria that’s not out of necessity was an unappealing prospect to me. I was imagining it: the clingfilmed salads; the rows of cold dishes bleakly sitting on metal shelves; the hot food counter featuring dreary trays of beige meatballs. I said no. Upon reflection, however, I realized that I was a b*tch robbing him of his nostalgic cravings.
lingonberry tart
Continue reading “Lingonberry & Rosemary Crumb Tarts”

Savory Carrot Cake

I had consecutively experimented with different diets at one point. Not for weight loss purposes but rather to challenge myself as a cook. Adopting a vegan diet taught me to use miso, nutritional yeast and tahini to really boost the flavors of otherwise bland ingredients. My gluten-free diet led me to explore alternative grains. The paleo diet was too expensive for me to sustain as a student for more than a few days. And the raw diet turned me into a horrible human being.
savory spicy carrot cake.jpg
Continue reading “Savory Carrot Cake”

Ricotta Pie

Back when my waistline was independent from my diet, the New York Cheesecake from Starbucks was a regular snack of mine. I remember having that rich, calorific cheesecake in conjunction with a sweet, sugar-laden frappuccino. Talk about the blessed metabolism of the youth. With time, my waistline and my palate have both developed an aversion for those cheesecakes as they are distastefully sweet and heavy. Instead, the more tempting version today would be the Italian cheesecake with ricotta, which is lighter and more delicate.
ricotta pie.jpg
Continue reading “Ricotta Pie”

Salmon & Fennel Open Sandwich

“Sh*t, did I just spend £35 on two coffees and two sandwiches?”

That was my first visit to Norway. That was breakfast. That was the result of me stupidly saying, “let’s go out for breakfast, my treat” to my boyfriend. I didn’t know better. The worst part is my sandwich was not even memorable, I had no idea what I hate. I hate overspending on forgettable food.
salmon open sandwich Continue reading “Salmon & Fennel Open Sandwich”

Earl Grey, Honey & Orange Macarons

The raw ingredients for these macarons work out to be roughly 25p each, and this calculation is based on retail prices and on organic eggs & butter, thus with whole sale prices and non-organic ingredients, let’s be conservative, we’ll say it would be just shy of 15p. Obviously the rent of the facilities, and the  cost of the chef, electricity, and equipment need to be considered too. Furthermore, with human error and just the regular “shit happens” moments mean that not all the macarons made in a batch will be in the adequate aesthetic state to be sold. Let’s say the rate is 80% for a decent pastry chef, 80% of the macarons made will be sold. I don’t know how much that all adds up to to tell you the average cost of a retail macaron is, but i can tell you that at £2 a bite, the mark up is preposterous.
earl grey macaron Continue reading “Earl Grey, Honey & Orange Macarons”

A Really Good Apple Cake

This post is really about how to salvage a cake disaster. This was a cake that took a long time in the oven, and it was my third cake of the day, and it was getting late, and I just wanted to go to bed. Therefore, as soon as the cake was done I retrieved it from the oven, and tried to take it out of the tin after five minutes instead of letting it cool properly. So… I inverted it… And half the cake was stuck to the pan. After a series of expletives I pulled myself together as I had to solve the situation. This was my boyfriend’s 30th birthday cake. I had made him three cakes, one for each decade, and the apple cake was his favorite. apple cake Continue reading “A Really Good Apple Cake”

Three Cup Chicken

I love discovering the food-words that exist exclusively in certain languages. Shememodjamo, for instance, is Georgian for “I accidentally ate the whole thing”, to describe situations where one continues to eat despite being full. This word needs to exist in more languages.  This Three Cup Chicken dish is most perfectly described as 下饭 (xia fan) as we say in Chinese, which translates to “sends the rice down”, ie the robust flavor renders the dish perfect with rice. This word, understandably, has little place in other languages.
three cup chicken
Continue reading “Three Cup Chicken”

Hazelnut & Cherry Loaf

Nutella is fascinatingly one of the most successful brands in the world. It’s so universal that it has been the happy part of the childhoods of people from all angles of the world (or at least in the West). It is so universal that the brand is responsible for forming the association between hazelnut and chocolate. That’s my theory, at least. People say hazelnuts are reminiscent of chocolate, that when roasted, contain deep notes of cocoa. I say bullsh*t. You’re used to the two being together because of Nutella. When you have roasted hazelnuts on its own, you think it’s missing something – its long term partner chocolate.
IMG_2740
Continue reading “Hazelnut & Cherry Loaf”