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Archive for February, 2012

A few weekends ago we were invited to a potluck dinner. I have been meaning to try the Apple Sharlotka recipe from Smitten Kitchen, so I decided to make it for the dinner. The recipe was a hit! Everyone loved it.

The recipe is super simple. The hardest part (and it’s not even that hard) is to chop the apples. The recipe requires 6 apples, so it takes a bit of time to chop them. Other than that, you simply beat the eggs with some sugar until it fluffs and then you add some vanilla and flour. That’s it!! It is the simplest dessert I have ever tried. And is delicious, which is a big plus.

Since the Sharlotka was for the potluck, I only had a small piece, so I decided to make it again. I happened to have some Bosc pears that I picked up from the market, so I decided to use them instead of apples. I only had 4 pears, so the fruit was bit scarce, but it still came out just as good. The pears definitely gave it a different taste… it was sweeter. I even cut the sugar by a ¼ of a cup. Next time, I will cut it even more if I use pears again.

One thing that I would like to mention is that the Sharlotka gets moister and moister every day. It is nice to try a piece once out of the oven (reminiscent of a just-out-of the oven piece of apple pie), but it is just as good the next day and so on.

If you like apples (or pears), definitely give the Sharlotka a try.

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I got inspired to cook again. With my food aversions, including not liking cooking onions and garlic, I have not been too inspired lately. It is kind of difficult not to cook with those two staples.

Kumquats

Kumquats

Joel mentioned that we should stay in and cook a nice dinner and watch a movie on Valentine’s Day. I was sold! I stayed home sick the day before Valentine’s Day and decided to watch the Food Network. One of the shows that I caught was Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. The host was cooking arctic char, which is a fish that is similar to salmon. She was also cooking a salad, which I thought would be really nice. Since I had some salmon that I picked up at the Public Market, I decided to try the recipes for Valentine’s Day. The menu included:

The dishes were simple to prepare and ended up tasting super delicious!

I never thought about wilting lettuce, but it was really nice! Also, the roasted pears, nuts, and cheese added great flavors. I used blue cheese and pecans for Joel, since I cannot eat blue cheese or pecans (they taste horrible still). For my salad, I used goat cheese and almonds. Joel raved about his salad, so I guess it worked. :) My version was just as nice.

Wilted romaine salad

The kumquat sauce was lovely too. It included kumquats, 1/2 a stick of cinnamon, orange marmalade, ginger, sugar, vinegar (I used rice vinegar), thyme, and jalapeno. It was tart and sweet. I was expecting it to be a bit spicy due to the jalapeno, but it was not. I guess I should have left some seeds when chopping it. It was really nice with the seared salmon. I have not tried arctic char before. I’ll have to try it once I can eat any fish again.

Seared salmon with kumquat compote

The cake was delicious, of course! I have made this cake dozens of times and I still have not gotten sick of it. It is always a big hit.

Espresso chiffon cake

The evening was lovely! The dinner was delicious and the movie was nice. We ended up watching “Crazy, Stupid, Love”. I loved it! It was funny and quirky. My kind of a movie and evening!

Joel and I

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