This is what’s been happening to me lately when I see a new recipe. First, I think, “no, it’s too involved.” That thought is promptly followed by “if I don’t make this now, I might not ever get to make it.” And then I embark on a bunch of projects that are fun while I’m doing them, but aren’t only fun either. It’s tiring work, cooking. But this now or never mentality, I’m not sure where it comes from. I will be very busy over the next few years, writing a book. So perhaps I’m worried that I’ll have less time or simply be less inclined to take on things that are involved. The panic of “do it now–or else” might also have to do with anxiety about making sure one is always pursuing something worthwhile, for the betterment of the self. It’s a way of thinking I’ve always been inclined toward, but it’s been especially strong since finishing the year’s required reading. But there is also something very poisonous about that kind of thinking: it lets our self-doubt always be sitting just next door, ready to pounce. This is a long winded way of saying that I’m always thinking I should be doing more. But looking here, I’ve been up to a lot in my spare time. Here’s some of what I’ve been cooking lately.
Sun-dried tomato dip from Gourmet Today. Reading the archives of Tipsy Baker inspired me to make this. I thought I was just using up pantry ingredients but this was a huge hit with my guests. I subbed walnut oil for the olive oil and neither my red peppers nor my sun-dried tomatoes were packed in oil.
Cardamom cake from My Bombay Kitchen. This is the most incredible cake I’ve ever made. Please make this.
Golden Cream and Apple Tart from Patricia Wells’ Bistro Cooking. I don’t think I like her books, but I’m keeping this one because this tart was phenomenal. Apples are covered with a mixture of crème fraîche, egg yolks, and sugar. Need I say more?
Roasted (green) Cauliflower, Hazelnut, and Pomegranate Salad from Plenty. It’s supposed to have a dressing with cinnamon in it. That didn’t sound good to me so I used the dressing from…Suzanne Goin’s Persimmon and Pomegrante Salad with Arugula and Hazelnuts. The dressing is superb and highly recommended. It makes more than you’ll need for this salad.