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Laksa, Delicious Laksa

laksa

When I get sick, I don’t crave chicken soup. I crave one of two things — tomato soup from a can with grilled cheese and dill pickles (hat tip to Kate and our dining hall days — I also crave this when perfectly healthy), or spicy beef ramen noodles (hat tip to football player roommates who once bought a 48 box of these from Costco for the house). Unfortunately for me, my favourite spicy beef ramen noodles are no longer accessible to me, for two reasons. One, my fave brand was Safeway’s own, which doesn’t seem to exist anywhere near me in Australia. Two, I refuse to buy a one-use styrofoam cup just to enjoy guilty pleasure empty calories.

What does all of this have to do with laksa, you may ask? It seems that in my quasi-invalid state today, I craved what is arguably the grown up version of these two comfort foods. Laksa, that spicy, creamy, savoury, tart, sweet, and overall delectable goodness. I’m a convert.

Just fyi, my invalid state today was caused by surgery on my ear — cosmetic, as I had a big keloid scar lump there from an old piercing. It was my first time ever going under in complete anaesthetic, which on the whole wasn’t so bad. Other than nerves in the morning, I’d say the whole experience (so far) has been about as pleasant as getting a cavity filled. So, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend this if you’re sick in the gastro way — a really hot laksa could sure do wonders for a head cold though!

Another disclaimer. I think I’ve had laksa only a handful of times in my life, and two of those were my own homemade version. As a gal who grew up in small Canadian town with no Asian food other than Westernised Chinese and Japanese, I’m no connoisseur or particular whiz at Asian dishes (yet). But frankly, so long as it’s delicious, who really cares, right? Enjoy this with a nice cold beer any time of ear. Er, year.

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Posted: November 5th, 2013 under Easy, Joni's Blog, Mains, Recipes - No Comments. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Blueberry Banana Oat Muffins

blueberry banana muffins

Every now and then a recipe comes along and you say to yourself: “This is it. I’ve found it.”

And that’s what these muffins are! I’ve made many a muffin in my time and there’s a difficult balance to find between taste, health, moistness, and of course flavour. Some muffins are just too healthy. Some are a cupcake by another name. To me, a good muffin is one that sits pleasantly in the middle of the scale, with a great flavour to boot.

The next time you have blueberries in your fridge/freezer just begging to be baked into something, pull up this recipe and enjoy!

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Posted: June 22nd, 2013 under Baking, Breakfast, Easy, Joni's Blog - 1 Comment. Tags: , , , ,

Butter Tart Squares

Ahh, butter tarts. That delicious, gooey, rich treat that you can really only justify eating in the middle of a dark, cold, Canadian winter. Or, if you’re me, in the middle of a hot Australian summer because Christmas just wouldn’t be Christmas without butter tarts!

I’ve shared my family’s usual recipe for butter tarts here, but I have to say that this method really measures up. It’s got the same wonderful flavour and you don’t have to make your own pastry or try to get store-bought pastries home in one piece. And, you can slice them up a little bit smaller, so you can savour the squares just a little bit longer.

It’s your choice to add raisins, pecans, or walnuts — I used lightly roasted walnuts in this recipe and it turned out a treat. Enjoy!

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Posted: May 27th, 2013 under Baking, Desserts, Easy, Joni's Blog, Recipes - No Comments.

Jamie Oliver recipe round-up!

I have wanted to do this post for quite some time now! I’m not alone in my love for Jamie Oliver’s cooking, and I have to say that I’ve watched and re-watched his Ministry of Food TV series and 30 Minute Meals series over and over. And, there’s quite a few recipes on this blog that are Jamie O-inspired.

I say inspired, because I very rarely actually cook recipes exactly how they’ve been laid out in a cookbook (or if I do, I don’t share them here because they’re not my own original recipes… some baking & technical stuff excepted). Like Jamie, I love to use fresh and “from scratch” methods, but UNlike Jamie, I can’t afford every single beautiful ingredient, or I simply cannot be bothered to get something specific when I can substitute or do without.

I also want to do a shout-out to friend and fellow food blogger, Lorina, who actually cooked her way through Jamie at Home in 365 days. She’s so brave! Check out her blog My Year With Jamie Oliver here.

Okay! On with the recipes!

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Posted: November 20th, 2012 under Cook Books, Joni's Blog, Recipes - No Comments. Tags: ,

Random Post: French Canadian Maple Syrup Pie

I’m going to make a bold claim here: I think that maple syrup is as good as chocolate. (Gasp! Shock! Horror! Disbelief!) And much like chocolate, it’s really only worth having if it’s the good stuff. My grandmother’s family on my dad’s side has been in Canada since the 1690s, meaning that they were some of the first French settlers in Canada. Three hundred years is more than enough time to develop a unique cuisine, and the French Canadians really know their maple syrup, pies, and other tummy-warming dishes for cold nights (just you wait for my dad’s split pea soup!).

I’m not entirely sure where this recipe came from, but my dad’s scribbled note at the bottom of it says, “This resembles what my grandmother Latour made often.” And this woman… I never met my great grandmother Latour, but I’ve heard the stories of their large Catholic family gatherings on holidays, and my dad’s recollection of the sheer number of pies has me reeling. Maple, pumpkin, chocolate, apple, cherry, so on and so forth—if I ever end up being half the cook that woman was, nay, a quarter, I’ll count myself proud.

So here you go. One authentic, French Canadian maple syrup pie. I’ve included a link for some well-priced maple syrup at the bottom of the post for you Canadians or Americans. The irony is that (good) maple syrup is the same price and the same brands in Australia as what you can get in western Canada.

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Posted: August 9th, 2010 under Desserts, Joni's Blog, Moderate, Recipes - 5 Comments. Tags: , , , ,