Monday, February 25, 2013

Tomato pesto galette

I've been following a number of beautiful Swedish blogs (via the magic of Google Translate) and one of the lovely blogs, Matgeek, is having a contest to whip up a dish featuring tomatoes (well, that's what I hope it says...Google translate doesn't always get it right...). 

The first thing that came to mind was a tomato galette I had made ages ago, possibly even for a girls' night?  I can't remember. Either way, I really loved the dish and wanted to make it again.

The actual use of tomatoes is really simple, but they really shine in this recipe since they are used whole and I love the way cherry tomatoes explode. Also, some guests from the Netherlands just brought us a a whole whackload of amazing cheeses (they clearly know us very well, it seems), and one of the cheeses was a goat cheese infused with herbs (sorry, no name or identification) that were basically made to be part of this dish.

The actual dish is quite fast to put together, which is absolutely a necessity during these long days of thesis writing. 

Here is the rough recipe:


Basil and black pepper cornmeal galette crust

100 g    white flour
50 g      whole wheat flour
50 g      coarse cornmeal
chopped basil
lots of black pepper
salt (amount dependent on the saltiness of your butter)

85 g      chilled butter
50-75 g ice water

Mix your dry ingredients.
Cut butter into dry ingredients until olive-sized.
Drizzle in cold water, bringing dough together until just forms a shaggy ball (I like to keep my butter chunks still intact, so I don't really work the dough much at this point, almost like puff pastry).

Chill for an hour or so.

Tomato pesto filling

Cherry tomatoes (pierced...just in case they explode)
Pesto (I did a basic basil, garlic, parmesan, toasted pine nut, olive oil with a little lemon zest)
Cheese (anything goes...I've done this with sharp cheddar and soft goat cheeses as well)
Cooked crispy Bacon

Roll out the dough into a thin circle-like shape.
Spread bacon along the bottom.
Mix together tomatoes, pesto, cheese.
Pile in the middle of the dough, then wrap the edges up, brush with milk

Bake in oven at 175C until golden brown, serve with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to add a touch of sweetness.



Sunday, February 17, 2013

Elephants on Parade

This project came about through laziness. I began to crochet a baby blanket for my girlfriend in Idaho who is due with her first little one anytime now. I quickly realized it would take me waaaaaay longer than I wanted it to, so began the hunt for a new project. Hats are generally pretty quick (especially for newborns!) so I found this little cutie on Ravelry.

Once I finished the first row of elephants, I decided to finish off with stripes instead of doing the second elephant row in the pattern, a) because the hat was knitting up a bit tight due to my inexperience with fair isle knitting and b) I needed to get this thing DONE!

All in all, it was a quick project, knitting up in fewer than 3 hours....a nice alternative to the never ending baby blanket.  I lined it in fleece, which I also discovered I need a lot more practice doing. But I think it will do the trick to keep a new little head warm and super stylish. :-)

I'm hoping to go visit my friend sometime in early April to help her out with the baby.  I'm also hoping to take Lara along...........updates to follow!

Weekly Links

I love old photos.

This is my uncle, mom, and I, taken by my dad in 1988. My dad enjoyed photography when he was younger, and passed on his amazing tripods to me (which I try to use diligently, but I am too lazy to get it out most of the time, even though I KNOW pictures are wayyyyy better with them!). I never was into photography when I was younger, but now I wish I had learnt how to develop film (there was a class offered in my high school), or kept all those photography books my dad had in our old house. 

Taking a basic photograph course has so far been the best thing I've done for my own photography knowledge, but I know I could be taking a ton more photos and, more importantly, sitting down and taking the time to sort through them, analyzing and figuring out exactly what settings/styles/colours/etc, etc, etc, I love. As of right now I like maybe 1 out of every 500 photos I shoot...and I often think...gee...if I had just taken this shot from a slightly different angle, or slightly more exposed, or just taken 2 more seconds to compose the shot, it would've been awesome!

Anyways. All that to say: I love this photo.  Brilliant job, dad.

Onto the links for this week:


Evolution gets it right most of the time.  And sometimes, it fails horribly. (Find the pelican. It's my fave.)

I would spend a lot of time at any bar that had this. A lot of time. (Mara - unicorn cameo!).

Speaking of unicorns: turn a beloved child into one. Sadly, US shipping only.

Another costume (for me).

Everyone should see this. No wonder we have unrealistic expectations about our bodies.

A viewing of the pink freshwater Amazon dolphin has always been on my bucket list - now add this guy, as well.

This form is so practical. And smart. And practical. Why don't I do this already?

Lots of love from Uppsala,

Cooking challenge #3 results: Spring on a plate.

This was by far one of the freshest and hearty things I made this week. Inspired by this post, I threw together whatever was in our house onto a plate - avocado, tomatoes, corn, a potato, thin slivers of shallot, quick pan-fried snap peas, and some purslane (a wonderful surprise from our veg basket). The real secret was the pan fried halloumi, a poached egg, and a good grinding of pepper...with these three ingredients, no dressing was necessary!

I could probably eat this style of salad once a week, especially during winter, when any reminder of Spring is welcome!

Anyone else eat anything delicious this week?


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Weekly Links

Four years ago to the day, I was walking amongst gigantic redwood trees in California. It was beautiful. I loved it. Today, I am sitting inside watching the snow fall and sipping on a cup of Transcend coffee in Uppsala. It is beautiful. I love it.


This weeks' links:

This wonderful video has been floating around, and you should watch it. Especially if you're having a bad day.

What I'm wishing for this Valentines' day? Medjool dates. You'll never need chocolate again. (And from what I recall, a favourite of Mr. All-American).

I love me some funny underwater photography.

Confused about the whole donation process? GiveWell does a comprehensive review of many organizations. If you find it difficult to donate large chunks at a time, or if it helps to be able to directly relate your life choices to your ability to give, then this simple site/app might be what you're looking for (however, despite low operational costs, do be aware that the credit card company gets a chunk of each transaction...but I still stand by it if helps remind me to donate regularly!).

How to fold a TWO SECONDS.

Standing up for what you believe in.

Have a phenomenal week, ladies!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Cooking challenge #3. A healthy reboot.

Happy Friday, ladies!

After getting back from a trip away from home I always crave fruit, vegetables, and my Le Creuset. Eating out is fun, but sometimes I just want to throw a handful of arugula and pickles on a plate with a side of popcorn and call it a night, you know?

So, for this next challenge I am putting out a call for fresh dishes that will help me stop craving the homemade ricotta at Corso 32, or the the white chocolate blueberry bread pudding at Canteen, or the combat juice at The Garneau, or the macarons at the Duchess, or the number 33 at King Noodle House, or the Traditional at La Poutine, or the coxhinas at Transcend.

I clearly need help.



Saturday, February 2, 2013

Weekly Links

I'm back from Edmonton!  Brought back some goodies from Transcend - I love how they get all vacuum-y when they travel. I've always wanted a vacuum-sealer.

And a label maker.

And a six-pack.

Maybe I'm asking for too much.  I'd be happy with just a label maker.

Not too many links this week as I didn't have the usual web down time whilst in Edmonton, but I'd be happy to waste some time with other suggestions (*coughsomeoneaddablogpostcough*).


Splurged while in Edmonton and bought this Lululemon bag in mint. It's quite expensive, but amazing - it has 5 million pockets and can fit all my gym, shower, snacks, and work/laptop stuff. It was a dream as a carry-on for the plane, though didn't so much fit in at the Oilers' game (maybe if it came in Orange and Blue?).

Not going to lie: I've got Tetris skillz. And after seeing this, I now understand so many things about myself.

Another truth: I've got no dance skills. But I wish I did.

We may (sidenote: T-Mac showed me the proper use of may and might this week) get to stay in our current apartment for an extra year! This of course means that my brain instantly went into "what can we buy to make this house more Shafong-y" mode. Rugs. They really tie a room together.

This shelf is also neat.

I have always meant to do more reading on the sustainability and environmental impact of farmed vs. wild fish - and still haven't. But, this pretty infographic caught my eye (and clearly falls on one side of the equation). I have no idea what the source is for this, but if anyone has any good, unbiased papers/documentaries/articles about this topic, I'd love it if you sent it my way!

And, remember: Bitches get stuff done.

Have a great week ladies!