ottolenghi’s eggplant with buttermilk sauce & pomegranate

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We just purchased Ottolenghi’s Plenty and have been cooking out of it almost every night since we got back from Zanzibar.

I admit I do not cook middle eastern foods often enough (though it’s my favorite region of cuisine) and there was a bit of a learning curve. I’m just not that knowledgeable about how to properly season an eggplant or how much lemon zest to replace sumac with.

My favorite dish so far was the roasted aubergine with buttermilk sauce and pomegranate.

It tasted even more delicious the next day.

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homemade ice cream sammies

icecreamsammies

I picked up these Tovolo ice cream sandwich molds on a whim since I’m craving ice cream sandwiches that you apparently can NOT find in South African grocery stores (let’s blame my recent ceaseless sweet tooth on the running, shall we?).

You do not technically need to spend money on some plastic ice cream molds, you can use cookie cutters and parchment paper a la Smitten Kitchen (you can also just use her entire recipe because, let’s not kid each other here, she’s the Queen).

But if you’re like my mom and like a little brownie with your ice cream, might I suggest using brownie batter and making them reeeally thin?

You need:
Your favorite brownie recipe (store bought if you want to blaspheme/be REAL)
Your favorite ice cream (I used madagascan vanilla, IT’S RIGHT NEXT DOOR)
Ice cream molds
Saran wrap for storing

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masala street corn

masalstreetcorn2I like to put Sriracha on everything so it’s no surprise that recently people are slathering it on corn all over the food trucks and blogs and calling it a day. I can do you one better- while it’s not advisable for foreigners to buy street food in India there is a delicious (mythical to you, foreigner) masala corn that, like most Indian things, is chat-pata.

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smoothie bliss

smoothie

Let’s be honest- sometimes the only thing that gets me through my runs is the promise of a smoothie at the end. A smoothie that packs lots of nutrients and a little bit of protein is the perfect lunch or post run snack. After my long runs I usually buy myself a smoothie for a treat, but can’t really justify it 5 times a week. Because it is entirely too much work to make a smoothie evvvery daaay (the cleaning lady doesnt come daily??) I make one big batch and put them into popsicle molds, and have a freezer full of healthy smoothie pops that I can eat as-is or put into a glass in the fridge to melt before my run.

Afterwards I feel light and healthy. Some people like protein powder, but I’ve tried it and makes me feel like I have cement in my stomach. If you’re a protein powder person you can add it, the possibilities are infinite.

What are your favorite smoothies?

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chipotle duck carnitas + habanero cream sauce

duckcarnitasduckcarnitas2duckcarnitas1duckcarnitas3One of my classic woe is me tales of living around the world is the utter lack of delicious Mexican restaurants easily available when a craving of enchiladas verdes or adobo pork carnitas should strike. We poor souls are left to fend for ourselves, but these duck carnitas almost makes up for being far away from Taqueria y Fonda (between 107 & 108 on Amsterdam, people!)…..almost.

This recipe is easy to do but a bit time consuming because you have to slow cook the duck breasts- you could do the duck part the night before or in a slow cooker while you’re at work, but I like it best for a relaxed Sunday meal.

Duck carnitas with habanero cream sauce (for 2):

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the cake trials of 2013: salted caramel buttercream

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A while ago I had the most delicious salted caramel buttercream cake at The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I wanted to recreate it for P’s 30th and since caramel is infamously difficult to make I’ve done a couple trials, and come to a conclusion: buy your caramel from the baking aisle!