Perfect Summer Salad - Watermelon, Feta and Basil

Seriously. The best. So refreshing, and the flavours play so nicely with each other, it's like they were separated at birth. And it's too easy.

Roasted Beet, Goats Cheese and Arugula Grilled Cheese Sandwich

(The soundtrack for this meal included Grady "Revolutions per Minute", and Gary Clark Jr "Blak and Blu".)

We often make this sandwich with our French Onion Soup because they both use caramelised onions, and they are amazing together. This meal is perfect with beer.

Roasted beets and goats cheese is a classic flavour combination and is awesome for any season. Also, the colours in this sandwich are gorgeous!

French Onion Soup that REALLY is Just Amazing

Seriously you guys. It doesn't take a short amount of time - you really ought to have your own chicken stock on hand and you have to use caramelised onions which take about an hour - but it's SOOOOO worth it. Forget the salty shite that gets served up at pubs with flavourless mozzarella. THIS is the bees knees of French Onion Soup.

French Onion Soup shown served with a roasted beet, arugula and goats cheese grilled cheese sandwich. We often make the two together because they both use caramelised onions.  

Meyer Lemon and Rosemary Squares

Nearly every Sunday we go to Brad's mom's place for a big dinner. I had some of these Meyer lemons I wanted to try out so I tried to find some inspiration for a dessert. The lemons were kind of a cross between a regular lemon and a mandarin orange. Pretty tasty! And the squares weren't too sweet so they were a total crowd pleaser! (Even Brad had more than one bite, and he really doesn't like sweets.)


Silky Scrambled Eggs

(The soundtrack for this breakfast was Jack White "Blunderbus", and Radiohead "OK Computer".)

This takes a couple minutes more than scrambled eggs normally do, but it's the proper way to do them and totally worth a bit of extra effort because they are just really really tasty! Allison didn't even like scrambled eggs until she tried these ones! We had them on tasty home made bread with local smoked bacon and fried tomatoes.

Make Your Own - Delicious Knead-Free Bread!

Brad has been making this bread every three days or so lately because it's just so easy! Full disclosure though, it is about a 20 hour process, so think ahead. But sooooooo worth it.

You'll need a cast iron dutch oven, about five quarts or so. They range from $70 to $400 depending on brand and where you get it. (Ikea has an oval one for $70. WELL worth the investment though!)

Grown Up Mac n' Cheese

(The soundtrack for this meal was Frank Turner "England Keep My Bones" and The Coppertone "Hidden Deams".)

So we wanted some comfort food, such as a baked pasta and Brad felt like some meat, and it wasn't Friday yet. Enter our individual French onion soup dishes that enable us to eat the same thing together, but with slight differences.

We enjoyed our grown up mac n' cheese with a salad with homemade vinaigrette and Brewhouse Pilsener.

The Crabbiest, Yummiest, Easiest Crab Cakes. Seriously.

(The soundtrack for this evening was Puscifer "Donkey Punch the Night" and Grady "Good As Dead".)

So I had a hankering for crab cakes, but not the crappy, potato-filled ones you get at restaurants, and DEFINITELY not ones with the fake crab-flavoured pollock meat. Blech. So after perusing some recipes online, I took some bits from each and made THE BEST crab cakes I've ever had. 

We enjoyed them with a salad of spinach, roasted sliced beets and goat cheese with homemade vinaigrette and topped the crab cakes with homemade aioli and had some BEAUTIFUL Spanish Cava with our meal.

Make Your Own Aioli/Mayo!

Definitely a "must know" for any one truly interested in a fully from-scratch meal, making your own mayo/aioli is actually REALLY easy.

Our Perfect Cup Of Coffee

(Soundtrack for this lazy Saturday morning is Tom Waits "Used Songs")

It starts with Phil & Sebasitan's 15 Kilo Oromia Union Ethiopian Beans. We use just over 1/2 cup of beans and grind them in our little grinder and into the French press while the water is boiling.

Oh Hi, Chicken Pot Pie! - Friday Night Meat Feast 1!

Iiiiiiiit's Friday!

(Our soundtrack for the evening consisted of: Tegan and Sara "Closer", Japandroids "Celebration Rock", and The Flaming Lips "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots".)

We had roast chicken that Brad made a couple days ago, so didn't want that to go to waste. (We'll blog about how to roast a chicken so it's ridiculously juicy next time we make it.)

Here's how it looked:

Ehrmagerd. We enjoyed it with beautiful, buttery, Californian Chardonnay, by the way.

Make Your Own Pie Crust

According to my friend Kristie, it's committing a grave sin to not to make your own pie crust once you know how. And boy, it was my first attempt tonight, but I think she's right. It's just too east not to.

I think I made some rookie mistakes, like not rolling it thin enough, and not doing an egg white wash before we put it in the oven, but no more than two more times and I'll have it mastered.

Here's Kristie's recipe:

Don't toss those extra chilies or herbs! Dry your own Instead!

We bought a package of red Thai chilies not too long ago for some AMAZING paella with vegan chorizo sausages (maybe we'll make it again in order to blog it...?)

Well, the package had over 20 chillies and we weren't going to be able to use them all fresh before they went bad.

Clever, clever Brad strung them up and they're currently drying in our kitchen.

I think we just put an end to herbs sitting in the fridge begging to be finished if we don't use them straight away...

Make Your Own White Sauce (Bechamel)

White sauce can be flavoured in SOOOO many ways, but here is a tutorial for the process for a neutral white sauce, plus some ideas for flavours.

What you need:

  • Equal parts of butter and flour (We used 1/4 cup each here)
  • Milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Make Your Own Vinaigrette - Never Buy it Again!

I don't even remember the last time we bought vinaigrette salad dressing from a store.

It's been years since we've had the three, four or six plastic bottles of dressing all 3/4 full taking up room in the fridge door. Since I discovered how ridiculously easy it is to make my own, I make some in a small batch (half a cup at a time, maybe?) and use it til it's out. Lather, rinse, repeat

One of the most useful kitchen gadgets I've ever bought is this salad dressing cruet...