Pumpkin Challah Chips

Pumpkin Challah Chips + Hummus

here’s the truth about disappointments:
they’re bullshit
and like most things in life,
they’re prevalent
i won’t tell you
how often i’ve been disappointed
by things, by people
like i said,
it’s all bullshit
i will tell you that it all factors
down to perspective
and the adequate handling of it
some would call it avoidance
others would call it compartmentalization
i call it getting on with it

the fact is,
not everything i make in the kitchen
comes out golden
i make plenty of garbage
sometimes inedible
if i’m lucky i can revamp the dish
and salvage it somehow

over thanksgiving i baked a pumpkin challah
it came out tough,
a bit too dense for my liking
the french toast we ended making with it
came out just ok
we had more than half leftover
there had to be something
that could be done to
adequately handle it
and so,
i got on with it
sliced it up real thin
threw it in the oven
and challah chips were born
i included hummus in the pictures
trust me,
just a smattering of
bread crumbs do not make
pretty pictures

Pumpkin Challah Chips + Hummus

i used this pumpkin challah recipe
for hummus, it’s your very typical concoction of chickpeans/garbonzo beans + tahini + lemon juice + salt & pepper + olive oil in the food processor

Pumpkin Challah Chips + Hummus

calamansi olive oil bread

Calamansi Olive Oil Bread

some weekends ago,
maybe it was two ago,
i had brunch with some of dw’s friends
i remember it was a blustery day
warm in the sunlight
cold in the shade
the kind of weather you felt
silly for toting a jacket
but foolish without a scarf

these friends of dw’s
had just returned from a jaunt out west
where they picked calamansi fruit
from their father’s tree
and shared with me
just the smell of these tiny citrus fruits
took me back to the time
i lived in manila
when my nanny made fresh calamansi juice everyday
a drink that wasn’t quite like lemonade
but had all the components to quench a thirst
that only childhood and tropical heat can produce

because our home now is nothing like
the heat the Philippines is known for
i like to utilize the oven much more often
than is necessary in the cooler months
there is always something to bake,
you know?
a cake
roasting veggies
any reason at all to turn that knob
and so with that in mind
after a whirlwind 2 days in Charlotte
last weekend,
before the calamansi could go bad,
i used them in some breakfast cakes
to add a touch of sour and sweet
and all good things reminiscent of
the tropics
these cakes were born.

edit to add: felicia of dish by dish adapted this recipe, found here.

Calamansi Olive Oil Bread

calamansi olive oil bread
adapted from gourmet traveller, Sept 2011 issue

makes 12 mini loaves

300 g sugar
3 eggs
1 cup almond milk (any milk, animal or otherwise)
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice 11 calamansi (that’s how many i had… alternatively, you can use juice of 3 lemons)
2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder

preheat oven to 350F

in kitchen aid mixer, beat sugar, eggs and pinch of salt until thickened

combine the almond milk, olive oil and calamansi juice, mix. slowly add to egg mixture. add in the dried ingredients

divide among greased tins (i used my mini loaf pans, though i think cupcake/muffin tins would be fine, or just one loaf pan, but the baking time would be different).

bake for 13 minutes

allow to cool before removing from tins

serve warm or at room temp

best eaten day of, with coffee or tea, or if you can’t possibly eat them all in one sitting, wrap well in plastic wrap, will keep for the week in fridge

makes 12 mini loaves – calories: 259 | total fat: 19.6g | saturated fat: 2.9g | cholesterol: 40.9mg | sodium: 24.6mg | total carbs: 16.9g | dietary fiber: 0.7g | sugars: 0.2g | protein: 4.1g

Calamansi Olive Oil Bread

vegan indian feast

Vegan Indian Feast

last week dw & i went on a Road Trip
to upstate New York,
to Rochester,
for his high school reunion
the thing about seeing where
the love of my life went to school,
the streets he ambled on,
(just kidding, the man doesn’t amble)
the little pizza store he used to
order from that got robbed,
is that i got to meet the him Before,
the him before we met,
and my opinion of him was re-enforced,
the man i’m officially (and legally)
binding my heart to is a good guy
he is sincere
he is the salt of the earth
he is so funny
and he can be so g h e t t o sometimes,
dropping old-school rap lyrics
at a moment’s notice,
which just tickles me so much

during our 4 day stay up there
we dined on indian twice
i will admit to
being in absolute AWE
that these small ethnic establishments
meticulously indicated what ingredients they used,
if it was merely vegetarian,
or specifically vegan
they scored major points with
me in that regard, and
it made me so incredibly annoyed
with the places we have here further south
that do not pay that kind of attention

anyway, despite having had indian
so recently
i was inspired to try my hand
at making a few of the dishes i tried
i will admit that the flavorings
were not as bold,
i had a light hand on spices
and spiciness levels
and my naan making skills could
use some practice
but dw, being the good guy that he is
devoured everything
the daal, or lentil stew,
will probably be a staple for us
as the weather cools
eggplants are in season now,
as are tomatoes, although i suppose
canned tomatoes could work in a
the flavorings
were all the better the next day
as leftovers

Vegan Indian Feast

peshawari naan
adapted from manger

2 cups sifted spelt plain flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp active yeast
1 tsp sugar
½ cup coconut milk, lukewarm (the drinking variety, not the canned stuff)
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tbsp olive oil, for brushing over the naan before serving

Filling: 2/3 cups mixture of dried coconut, chopped raisins and handful of sunflower seeds

in a small bowl, mix milk, active yeast and oil together, leave for a few minutes while the yeast is activated

sift flour into a large bowl. add salt, sugar, baking powder and mix well.add the liquid ingredients and start mixing the dough with a fork or a dough whisk. dump mixture on the counter and knead for about 10 minutes, or until you get a soft dough. shape into a ball, lightly oil and put back into the bowl, cover with a clean cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.

when ready, preheat oven to 450F.

divide the dough into 6 balls, cover, leave to rise in a warm place for a another 15 minutes.

on a lightly floured surface, roll the balls to a small palm-sized circle, add a tbsp of nut mixture in the center, wetting the edges with some water. fold the circles in half. roll again to an oval shape, so all the nut mixture gets spread out in the naan. place the naans on a hot pre-heated baking tray, and bake for about 5 minutes, until they puff and have a few brown patches.

when ready, brush naans with olive oil. serve immediately.

yields: 6 medium naans, serves 6, or 3 per person… – calories: 165 | total fat: 0.5g | saturated fat: 0.2g | sodium: 248g | total carbs: 34.6g | dietary fiber: 1.7g | sugars: 2g | protein: 4.8g

red lentil curry
adapted from Real Simple

splash of canola oil
2 TBL chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, chopped
half red onion chopped
1 TBL curry powder
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 large potato, cubed
1 cup red lentils (soaked overnight)
4 cups water
kosher salt and black pepper, to taste

in a pot heat up the oil and add in the ginger, garlic & onions. saute until fragrant and softened. stir in the curry powder, coating the mixture well. next, throw in the carrots, potato cubes and lentils, stirring the pot to warm all the ingredients through. at this point, season with salt & pepper. pour in the water, bring to a boil and then a low simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the veggies are soft.

serve with naan

serves 6 – calories: 374 | fat: 11g | saturated fat: 1g | cholesterol: 5mg | sodium: 549mg | protein: 19g | total carbs: 50g | sugar: 7g | fiber: 6g | iron: 3mg | calcium: 78mg

Vegan Indian Feast

baingan bharta
adapted from sinfully spicy, recipe found here

1 large eggplant
some oil to rub over the eggplant
3 TBL olive oil
1 cup chopped red onions
1″ fresh ginger root, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh tomatoes, rough chopped
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 whole dried red chilies
1/2 tsp garam masala
Salt, to taste p

reheat oven to 325F wash and dry eggplant, cut in half length-wise. rub with oil. when oven is warm, put eggplant cut side down onto cookie sheet. roast for about 30 minutes. the goal is to soften the flesh and have it pull from the skin.

meanwhile, in a mortar & pestle, grind the coriander seeds and dried red chilis. set aside. remove the eggplant from oven, allow to cool. when easy to handle, peel off the skin. you can remove seeds if you’d like. using a fork, mash or tear the flesh. set aside.

in a pan heat up the olive oil. add the chopped onions, sauteing until translucent. add in the chopped ginger and minced garlic, until super fragrant. add in the coriander & red chili mixture, mix well. finally, add in the tomatoes, until mixture has softened. at this point, i season with salt & pepper to taste. add in the mashed eggplant and mix thoroughly, again season to taste. remove from heat, add in the garam masala. bam.

serves 4 – calories: 124 | total fat: 11.2g | saturated fat: 1.8g | cholesterol: 1.3mg | sodium: 278mg | total carbs: 5.7g | dietary fiber: 1.2g | sugars: 2.8g | protein: 1.3g

Vegan Indian Feast

coconut egg curry

Coconut Egg Curry

incidentally when i think of Indian food
i think of Ethiopia.
when we lived in addis ababa
there were only two restaurants
we frequented:
an italian cafe that boasted
the most impeccable service
and an Indian place
where i had my first ever taste of

Indian food also makes me think
of a Bangladeshi boy who used to leave
me love poems in my locker.
we always ran into him and his family
when we dined at the Indian joint.

since africa
(a place i still dream of)
my experience with Indian food
has been a love/hate battle.
the harmony between spices
and ingredients
perfectly balanced with
rice or
but is just havoc on my system,
particularly if butter or cheese
plays heavily in the dish.

Coconut Egg Curry

this dish, for me,
is a godsend
i love eggs,
in any form
and while it does play a
minor role against the heavy
punches of cardamon and even cinnamon
i am appeased
because hello
Indian food at home is the best

just a note,
i have attempted two different
one from the beautiful Journey Kitchen
that was lovely
but the one i feature today is from playful cooking
which really satiated my cravings

Coconut Egg Curry

also, the recipe calls for
unsweetened coconut flakes
yeah, i couldn’t find the unsweetened
stuff in my pantry
so sweetened went in
it wasn’t cloyingly saccharine
but i would imagine the
dish could do without the
added sugar

just so you know,
again, we lived in Africa for just under
two years, i was only in
8th & 9th grade,
and always heavily chaperoned
on the rare occasions i would
venture out of the compound
i barely remember my time there,
i can only recall the
loveliness of the landscape
the cold climate living in Mt. Entoto‘s shadows
the quiet dignity of ethiopians

Coconut Egg Curry

dutch oven bread

Dutch Oven Bread

may is disappearing quickly,
much quicker and cooler than anticipated.
we’ve been traveling this season,
almost at a manic pace.

i must confess that i am
better suited for the quiet mundane of
A Set Schedule.

last week, for something to divert my attention from
i began a series of confessions on
ranging from the silly to the downright
i won’t divulge them here,
but i will share with you this one confession:
for all my desires for a happy gut,
soaking & fermenting,
sometimes i just want a quick & easy recipe
where none of that is required,
and so enters this recipe for bread.

while it does require an overnight rising,
therefore requiring some forethought,
it’s a very easy recipe
there is no kneading involved
but you will need a dutch oven.

june is shaping to be a usual summer month of berry picking and csas
it will shape in the everyday kind of way that happens only when you’re staying close to home
and i confess to reveling in the very thought of sameness.

what confessions would you like to share?
no worries, i won’t judge! 🙂

Dutch Oven Bread

dutch oven bread smothered with garlic-herb olive oil
adapted from simply so good

3 cups organic AP flour
1 3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp yeast, i use red star
1 1/2 cups warm water, i just turn the tap on to warm

dump all ingredients into a bowl and mix with a fork or, you know, a handy dandy dough whisk. it’ll be a lumpy mess, not too wet or dry. cover with plastic wrap, leave on counter, forget about it for 18-24 hours.

when ready, heat oven to 450F. when it’s reached that temp, put dutch oven or cast iron pot in oven for 30 minutes. meanwhile, generously dust counter with flour. dump out the dough onto the counter and just shape into a mound or ball. cover with kitchen towel for the 30 minutes the pot is in the oven. when ready, put the dough into the pot (be careful to not burn yourself!) (edit to add: an option is to plop the dough on parchment paper and then plop into the pot. less chance of getting in contact with the hot pot!), cover and bake for 30 minutes. then remove lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes. remove bread and allow to cool on rack.

during the first 30 minutes of baking, in a sauce pan add 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 generous tsp of dried herbs (oregano, dried thyme, or italian spices is fine) and 3 cloves of minced garlic. on med-low heat just allow the oil to warm through, infusing with the herbs and garlic. for the final 15 minutes of bake time, when you take the lid off the pot, with a pastry brush, brush the olive oil on top of the bread.

great for dipping, or if you have any leftover, make into croutons.