Let’s talk a bit about friends. There are all kinds of friends; casual, situational, childhood, fair-weather. There are also those rare kindred spirits you feel as if you’d known forever, even if the calendar says otherwise.
How are these bonds forged? How do you quantify the unquantifiable? Is it the fact that they are always game for that ridiculously early yoga class? Is it because they make a killer latte or that they aren’t stingy with the name of the hairdresser that makes them look so fabulous? Perhaps it’s because they willingly helped you both pack and unpack this summer? Maybe it’s because their name appears on the donor list of every single fundraising mission you have embarked on? Or is it because they are both a wine lover and a fearless co-chef? Passionate reader, loving mother, wisdom dispenser, career advisor….You all know who you are :)
It might also be the fact that they share every good recipe they come across. My most recent favourite is this amazing baked chicken recipe that I am about to share with you, as everybody could use a good friend, right?
Baked Parmesan Chicken
Original origins unknown – shared with me off a well-used piece of scrap paper
- 2 lb chicken thighs/drumsticks, skin on
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried mustard
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne/chipotle/paprika – favour your preferred flavour profile
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley/oregano/thyme (see above)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
This post has as much to do with my family tree as it does food. You may need a flow chart to follow along…
I have a sister. She is a very, very, very lovely sister. She has a boyfriend. He is also lovely. Recently, he discovered that he is allergic to dairy. Not so lovely :(
Have I mentioned I also have two lovely cousins? It’s true. These two cousins also have lovely parents who were in town to help their children (the cousins) prepare for their upcoming adventure to Thailand. I wanted to make a cake to celebrate their visit but also wanted aforementioned boyfriend to be able to enjoy it. So I fired up the internet to see if there was such a thing as a dairy-free cake (I know, I know…I am new to this whole alternative diet thing).
I came across this recipe on the WholeFoods Market website. You can find the original here. I tweaked it slightly to compensate for the sad state of my pantry. The result; a very moist and flavourful cake. It was also a very pretty shade of pink if that matters.
Dairy-Free Strawberry Cake
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 c. coconut milk
- 1/2 c. vegetable oil
- 1 c. pureed strawberries – can use frozen but at this time of year, why would you?
OK – let’s make a deal. You pretend that the last 12 months or so of radio silence didn’t happen and I promise to be a bit more attentive. Sound good? Now that we have that bit of business out of the way, let’s talk about fruit.
Walking into the produce section at this time of year is almost too much to bear….in a good way. All those ripe and beautiful berries and luscious stone fruits just waiting to be taken home. My problem is indecisiveness. I truly can’t chose between the many offerings summer brings. The inevitable result is a fridge full of fruit that even the most ambitious of eaters just can’t get through.
So, yesterday I was contemplating two orphaned peaches who’s best days were clearly behind them. I could have made a crisp but I really didn’t want to turn on the oven on such a beautiful day. I was also committed to bringing a salad to a picnic planned for that evening. Out came the food processor….
Peach & Ginger Salad Dressing
- 3 very ripe peaches, peeled
- 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup neutral oil (wouldn’t recommend olive here – vegetable or grape seed will do nicely)
- small pinch of salt
1) Blitz everything except the oil in the food processor or blender until you have a puree.
2) On low, drizzle in your oil until emulsified. Taste and adjust accordingly. Depending on the sweetness of your fruit, you may want to fiddle with the amount of vinegar or honey.