Monday, November 26, 2012

The Essence of Swiftness

Very often these days my schedule and my living circumstances dictate quick meals - there isn't the luxury of long slow cooking any more. Eat, grab bag, run out the door, jump right into things.

Enter this tomato-tuna pasta, which fulfills all the necessary requirements: it's quick, it's tasty, and it's nutritious. I've used it quite frequently in the past; I think I might need to resurrect it again for days when speed is of the essence.

Provided you have everything handy, this comes together in a snap. It would go beautifully with a handful of rocket or arugula or even mixed greens.


1 quantity spaghetti sauce (I used Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion)
1 can tuna (either in water or in oil, I used the one in oil because I like the taste better)
1 quantity pasta of your choice, however many servings you want/need (I used gluten-free pasta, obviously)
Black pepper and parsley flakes to season (optional)
A drizzle pumpkin seed oil (optional, but I had it so I used it)
Parmesan cheese (optional)

1. Prepare the pasta. Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil, salt it till it’s almost sea-salty. Add in a small trickle of olive oil so the pasta doesn’t stick. Put in the pasta and cook till al dente.

2. While pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. If your spaghetti sauce and tuna are already at room temperature, you can just mix the two together in the bowl/plate you want to serve the pasta in. If the spaghetti sauce is cold, you might just want to gently warm it up on the stove and add the tuna to it so it’s nicely hot to serve. Season with black pepper and parsley flakes if you want.

3. When pasta is done, drain well and put into bowl with the tomato tuna sauce. Mix together well. Add a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil if you have it or want to. Add cheese if you want to or have it – I didn’t so I made do without, but it still tasted fantastic.

4. Serve immediately.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Sweetness for the Rain

The weather lately has been either scorchingly hot or wet as an eternal shower with no off-switch. Today it was overcast skies and lots of rain - not quite the ideal for a day off, but this time it didn't matter since I was going to stay home and relax after a long stressful week.

Besides, there was this to add a little sunshine and sweetness to the day. The perfect touch.

Greek Yogurt Sunshine
Adapted from Tessa Kiros, Apples for Jam

Couple spoonfuls Greek yogurt (it's much thicker than ordinary yogurt)
A drizzle honey or condensed milk
Dried craisins (or pomegranate seeds or whatever dried fruit/fruit you prefer)

Choose a nice bowl or cup to put the Greek yogurt in. Drizzle the honey or condensed milk over the yogurt. Sprinkle craisins or whatever fruit you want over the top.

Smile and enjoy with tea, coffee, or whatever makes you wake up in the morning.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Memory of Ratatouille

It started off with a conversation, like it always does. One of my best friends, Sacha, remarked that he was off to make food. When asked what sort of food (yes, I'm nosy that way) he said, "Ratatouille." And that brought up a whole drift of memories from university overseas that revolved around this particular dish.

Sacha is Swiss-German. He spent most of his life shuttling between India and France, and is now mostly based in France, when he's not in the US. His father (who is of German descent, I believe) taught him this particular recipe - not that there were much in the way of proportions when Sacha taught it to me back in the day. They also cooked it in copper pots, and I haven't had, nor likely will have, copper pots, but it sure came out well in my beat-up soup pot that Sacha used to make it for me when he visited one Thanksgiving.

I've been ill and busy for the past few weeks and I haven't cooked ratatouille in a while, which is probably why it took hold of my mind like an obsession. And finally, two days after that conversation, I now have a tub of ratatouille sitting in my fridge quietly to mellow its flavours together - and it's just as good, if not better, than I remembered. I have no idea how traditional the recipe is, just that it's my friend's family recipe and that it holds many, many lovely memories for both of us, so any purists out there, please don't scream murder just yet. This is what I was taught, and this is what I remember. Everyone's got a food memory of that sort - even if it's your mother's cooking, right?

Comfort food. It's a beautiful thing.

Important Note:
Please be aware that eggplant tends to suck up oil worse than thirsty plant roots sucking up water. It's going to look as if there's not enough oil in the pot when you first start cooking up the eggplant, but it will regurgitate the oil later on during simmering time, I promise. DON'T add more oil at the beginning stages no matter how dry the pot looks or you'll wind up with a pool of it in the ratatouille later on - which you definitely don't want!

Also note that eggplants have a notorious tendency to turn to mush, and it will do so whenever you stir the ratatouille. Sacha says he's never been able to keep it from breaking up so much, so no worries if it does that during cooking - just as long as it doesn't turn into paste you're fine.

Sacha’s Ratatouille

1 large eggplant, diced into cubes of about 1cm
1 medium to large zucchini, diced into cubes of about 1cm
2 capsicums, diced (or bell peppers), either 1 red and 1 yellow, or 1 red and 1 green, or…you get the idea
Several cloves garlic, smashed and roughly cut into large chunks
1 – 2 tbls olive oil
A shake of herbs de provence (I used fresh sage, rosemary and thyme)
Lemon juice, to taste
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Heat olive oil on medium fire in a large, deep pot with a heavy base. Put diced eggplant in to sauté, till somewhat shrunken in capacity. You don’t want it to cook through totally, but it should be getting cooked – the colour change will alert you. Be careful however – the eggplant can stick to the pot bottom if you’re not careful so keep stirring.

2. Add in the diced zucchini and sauté together with the eggplant till the zucchini starts getting cooked.

3. Add in the diced capsicums and sauté together for about 1 minute. Stir well to make sure eggplant isn’t stuck to the bottom of the pot.

4. Put in your herbs, stir everything together, turn heat down to low. Cover the pot and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30-45 minutes. Sacha says 45 minutes, but he usually makes a gigantic pot and this quantity is enough for about 1-2 people, so I capped mine at 30 minutes of simmering time since you don’t want everything to turn into a homogenous mass.

5. After 30-45 minutes (or sooner if you see your eggplant starting to turn to puree when you stir), turn off the fire and take pot off the stove to let sit for about 3-5 minutes to let it cool. Add salt to taste, and a squeeze of lemon juice, also to taste. The lemon juice is the magic ingredient here – it brightens the taste of the vegetables extraordinarily and makes the whole dish something really special. I used a few sprinkles of my Tuscan herb salt, but ordinary salt will do. Add a dash of freshly ground black pepper and mix everything up well.

6. You can now do one of two things: You can serve the ratatouille up right away, or you can let it sit overnight for the flavours to mature. Sacha’s family leaves it overnight and has it cold the next day, and I like it that way myself. If you want, you can heat it up too which should be just as good! I had some today on pasta and will leave the rest for tomorrow, but if you’re impatient and hungry, attack away. It is still really, really good.

Other (Less Crucial) Notes:

You want a good amount of eggplant in the ratatouille, as it tends to break up quite easily. It should be the main bulk of the dish, with the zucchini as a supplement. Also, zucchini doesn’t turn to mush as much as eggplant does.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In The Absence Of, Create: Tuscany

If my previous post hasn't given a clue yet, I have Italy on my mind at the moment, not least because my friend Ale is getting married this weekend and I'm thrilled for her. She's also been gently nudging me to visit for quite a while now, and while I really want to, finances dictate a little while longer before I can actually do that.

While surfing around on the net two weeks ago for something entirely unrelated, I came across a beautifully simple little recipe for Tuscan herb salt, using garlic, sage, rosemary and black pepper. The concept fascinated me enough to want to try it, so I got hold of some rosemary and sage, and went to work while I was simmering up the pot of ragu in my previous post.

I always forget something whenever I'm working recipes from memory. This time, it was the garlic and the black pepper because I wasn't referring to the recipe when I was i the kitchen. However, it still turned out beautifully fragrant, and left my hands full of the loveliest scents of sage and rosemary. I mixed the salt and herbs together, spooned them into a jar, and put it in the fridge as recommended.

I may very well be opening the jar a lot just to sniff those pure, clean herbal scents. Just to relax.

Italy On My Mind

My friend Ale is Italian. She is gorgeous, funny, talented, an amazing artist, and is one of the loveliest people I know. She loves cats, has two beautifully oversized ones of her own, and loves to cook as well. During one of our infrequent chats online, we got around to talking about ragu, and the recipes we used. She was sweet enough to give me her version and I decided that I just had to try it.

Amazing success! It's quick, easy, and the hardest part about it is taking a little time to dice the vegetables. The smell of the ragu simmering on the hob is heavenly.

Ale didn't give me exact quantities of ingredients for her ragu, she just told me what she used in it and I made approximations, then wrote it down for safekeeping. I'll definitely be making this again, as it's even better over a couple of days in the fridge. Thank you so much Ale!


1 large or 3 small young stalks celery, diced small
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
½ a leek, green leaf part, sliced
1 small can tomato puree (6oz, or 170g)
¼ - ½ cup water
500g ground beef, pork, or a mix of both
Drizzle olive oil for cooking (1 tsp maybe?)
4 Italian sausages, sliced (optional)
Fresh or dried herbs (I used chopped, fresh sage and rosemary)

1. Heat up the olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium heat, and add the diced onion and sliced leek. Saute for about 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly; you want the onions to have a bit of a brown edge, but not totally scorched, so adjust your sauté time accordingly.

2. Add in the diced celery and carrot. Stir constantly to sauté so nothing burns. You want them to be cooked and looking a bit softish or wilted.

3. Add in the ground beef and stir to break up. Let the meat cook and brown a bit, mixing it up with the vegetables in the saucepan. If you are using Italian sausages, add them now. Add in the entire can of tomato puree, mix everything together well, and add a little bit (maybe 1/8 cup) water to deglaze the pan and make sure nothing sticks. Stir everything up again to incorporate, add the rest of the water and stir again. You want the sauce to have just a little bit of liquid to simmer, not be a soup.

4. Bring the saucepan to a simmer, half-cover with the lid (ie, don’t put the lid on completely, just leave a little vent so the pan’s mostly covered), and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the saucepan; if it does and won’t easily nudge off the bottom with a few good stirs, add a little water. If you have sprigs of herbs or dried herbs, put ‘em in now. I forgot, so I added chopped herbs at the end.

5. Season to taste with Tuscan herb salt (if you have it. I just made a batch so I used that) or ordinary salt, let simmer for another 5-10 minutes, then turn off the fire.

6. Serve hot over pasta, polenta or risotto (or in my case, just plain boiled rice).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Ladies Who Lunch

I have a friend whose name is Ping. Ping is probably more fit than two of me put together, and is as gorgeous and smart as they come, maybe even more. She has a personality as big as her heart, and like any good Malaysian, she loves food.

Ping discovered some time ago that her body reacts adversely to certain foods - bloating, pain, stomach discomfort. One of the things she can't tolerate any more is gluten. She had to give up a lot of foods she really loved, and one of them was Chinese pot stickers and Japanese gyoza.

I have another friend named Pearl. Just like her name, she's radiant and precious. She has a huge heart and a big smile, and she has the most wonderful, sunny attitude no matter what happens (unlike me). She also has two beautiful children, an amazing, devoted husband, and a lovely big kitchen.

Due to certain circumstances beyond my control, I've not been able to do a whole lot of cooking, and I can't bake in my kitchen much any more. It's probably contributing to my current state of permanent stress, but it can't be helped. Life happens.

And out of life happening, this is where all our stories start to merge - Ping's, Pearl's, and mine. When Pearl found out about my kitchen situation, she offered her kitchen so I could cook and destress, and she invited Ping to come too so we could all have lunch and spend time with each other - something we don't do nearly enough in the midst of all our busy schedules.

So that's how I wound up in Pearl's beautiful kitchen two weeks ago, making gluten-free pot stickers dough from the recipe in Laura B. Russell's terrific book, The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen. Shauna of Gluten Free Girl had mentioned this book to me quite some time ago, but I'd totally forgotten about it until I saw it in the bookstore a couple months back. I have to admit the main reason I bought it was because it had a recipe for pot sticker dough, and I have MISSED eating pot stickers. Just like Ping!

I was a bit nervous about trying the recipe, mostly because I've had some incredible disasters happen with things like homemade gluten-free pasta, which came out not quite like what I wanted it to. The minute I put the flours together, poured in just boiled water and kneaded up the dough though, I was sold. The dough felt so wonderfully silky and - yes, I won't deny it - wheat-flour like in texture. I loved everything about it, now it just had to make it past the taste test.

Rolling out and kneading the dough took a little bit of practice, but nothing I couldn't handle. Note to anyone who decides to try the recipe out of the book: cover the rolled pieces of dough with a damp towel, otherwise it'll dry out really fast and become brittle. My first batch of pot sticker skins suffered that fate. The second time, I used the damp towel and all went swimmingly well.

One of my favourite ever Vietnamese cookbook authors and bloggers, Andrea Nguyen, published a wonderful series of gluten-free pot sticker dough posts on her blog, Viet World Kitchen. The one I've linked to is the recipe I used out of The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen. Andrea is an amazing cook and a lovely, lovely person - go check out her series of posts on gluten-free dumpling dough, they really are worth the read.

Once we'd finished cooking the pot stickers, it was time for the taste test. All three of us agreed: Absolutely fabulous! They tasted just like the real thing, perhaps a touch stickier, but that was all right. And the best thing is, Ping not only loved them, she didn't get any ill effects from them later on!

We've decided to make The Ladies Who Lunch a bi-weekly affair. This week's offerings will be Shauna's gluten-free bread sticks and gluten-free spaghetti with Marcella Hazan's tomato sauce with butter and onions.

Thank you Andrea, Laura, and Shauna for making it possible for Ping and I to eat the stuff we love. It means so much more than we both could ever say in words.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Risotto: The Food of the Gods (Or Something)

Ever since discovering the amazing thing that is Rice Cooker Risotto, I've been making full use of my rice cooker and churning out quite a few of these quick, delicious meals. Risotto is becoming a staple of my diet, and given it's the middle of the year where 'Busy' becomes far too much a way of life, it is my manna from heaven.

To quote Gershwin, 'S'Wonderful! S'Marvellous!'

I haven't cooked a lot over the last two months because I've been busy shuttling to and fro across various parts of the city to rehearse for a musical that just completed its run this weekend. I've also been staying some nights with a friend, which means I've not had time to do much more than step into my kitchen, open the fridge, grab a bottle of water and run.

By way of penance, and because this is such a lovely recipe it would be a crime to keep it to myself, here is one of my favourite ever rice cooker risotto concoctions. It is fabulous with a handful of salad greens or spring greens, and satisfies my comfort food cravings like nothing else can. I might actually toss in a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil next time, but that might overwhelm the delicate flavour - we'll see!

Rice Cooker Chicken Leek Risotto
Serves: 2 hungry people for 1 meal, or 1 person for 3 meals

1 cup Arborio rice
½ or ¾ cup hard cider (or just use white wine, cider is what I had)
2 cups good chicken broth
½ a large leek, sliced into rings
½ a carrot, diced
1 small stick celery, diced
½ tablespoon olive oil
Good handful grated parmesan cheese


1. Drizzle olive oil into rice cooker pot, and turn the cooker on to ‘Cook’ so it heats the oil up. When the oil is warm and fragrant (this should take only about a minute or so), put the Arborio rice into the pot and stir to coat with oil for about 30 seconds. Add in the leeks and stir into rice.

2. Add the cider or wine into the pot with the rice and stir a couple of times. Then add the chicken broth, the carrots and celery, stir well, and put the rice cooker lid on. Make sure the cooker’s turned on, then leave it to its own devices.

3. When the risotto is done and the rice cooker goes to the ‘Warm’ setting, let it sit for 10 minutes before turning off the power. Stir in the parmesan cheese (you can leave it out if you’d rather, it still tastes great).

4. Serve with a good handful of nice fresh salad leaves. Can also be garnished with parsley and pistachio-pepper flakes (recipe below).

Pistachio-Pepper Flakes

5-6 pistachio nuts
About 10-15 black peppercorns

Put peppercorns into a mortar and pound until coarsely cracked. Add the pistachio nuts and keep pounding until the nuts are almost a coarse powder. Store in an airtight container and use to season food.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Cornucopia of Bright Vegetables

Sometimes inspirations for healthy eating can come in the most unlikely places. This year during their debut concert, one of my youth chamber singers brought in two or three plastic containers of salad that her mother had made for everyone to share. It consisted of lightly poached assorted vegetables with crab sticks, tossed together and eaten on its own. No dressing, no nothing - it didn't need it, and it was both healthy AND so good.

This memory came floating back to me about a day or two ago when I was deciding how to fit in a good, substantial healthy dose of vegetables in my diet, and not really wanting to have yet another lot of salad greens for lunch. So I made up an entire batch of it, had a most excellent meal, and saved the rest for today to accompany an experimental Mushroom Rice Cooker Risotto.

I used Veganza's recipe here as a base, but left out the canned tomatoes and the veggies in the recipe since I didn't have any on hand. Instead, I tossed in a pack of sliced brown mushrooms as per steps 1-3, let it cook, then stirred in some frozen baby peas at the very end of cooking time just to warm them through.

I was a bit skeptical as to how the risotto would turn out - I've always done my risottos the traditional way of dying over a hot stove and stirring all that stock in ladle by ladle. Well, despite being just a little too sticky (I'll cut down the water or stock next time perhaps), the entire thing came out BEAUTIFULLY. Tasty too!

It paired up beautifully with the remaining poached vegetables for a healthy, satisfying meal. Just what the day called for.

And in honour of Amanda, and her wonderful supportive mother, here is Amanda's Mum's Healthy Salad, modified a little to fit what I had on hand.

Amanda’s Mum’s Clean Healthy Salad

A selection of vegetables, whatever you want, really, but this is what I used:
1 small to medium head broccoli, cut up
2 medium potatoes, diced fairly large
1 large carrot, chunked
1 pack snow peas
2-3 fresh baby Portobello or white mushrooms
A few crab sticks (optional)

Poaching liquid:
Water, enough to cover vegetables and then a little bit extra
2 tsp salt or less
A good glug cooking wine (I used cider, just use whatever you got)

1. Put the potatoes and carrots into a medium saucepan which has a lid. Add enough water to cover the vegetables, and then about maybe an inch or inch and a half more (there are other veggies that will go into the poaching liquid so you don’t want too little liquid in there). Add 1-2 tsp salt. Add a glug of cooking wine or cider.

2. Set the saucepan on the stove and bring to a boil. Continue to boil for a minute or two, then check on the carrots – they should be tender. Using a slotted spoon or just draining them on the side of the pan, lift the carrots out of the poaching liquid and set aside. Bring liquid to the boil again.

3. Add in the broccoli. Give it 30 seconds to a minute, just enough to blanch, rather than boil. Lift the broccoli out with a slotted spoon, or drain it on the side of the pan, and set it aside with the carrots.

4. Add in the snow peas and mushrooms. Give another 30 seconds or a minute, then lift out and drain. Set aside with the carrots and broccoli.

5. Add the crab sticks, if you have – you just want it to heat through, because if you cook it too long it turns into this nasty sticky swelled mess.

6. By this time the potatoes should be completely cooked through and soft. Lift them (and the crab sticks if you’re using them) out of the poaching liquid and drain, then add them to the other vegetables. Toss them lightly just to mix up the colour and all.

7. Save the poaching liquid if you can – it makes an excellent stock for rice, soups, or risottos even.

8. Serve veggies either hot or cold, on their own or with other protein like shredded meat, even boiled eggs.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Salad Mondays, and the Versatility of Poached Chicken

Since my last post about my reluctance in eating salad (and that was a while ago *coughcoughcough*) I've instituted something called Salad Mondays.

Every Monday, a good friend and I have started coming to our choir rehearsal studio a bit earlier with ingredients for salad - it varies from week to week. We've been known to bring chick peas and tuna, a can of sweet corn, fruit cheese, grapes - whatever we fancy can be put into a salad without endangering the taste and mucking it up. The basic idea is, we throw everything together in a big bowl, mix it all up, and then we have a good, healthy, filling and tasty salad for dinner. Plus, we get to say that we've eaten ONE very healthy meal, with all those fresh veggies and fruits.

This does mean that I do tend to look for salad ideas, because by Monday sometimes my brain goes completely blank, and I default to tuna-chickpea salad. Which is all well and good, but one needs variety after all.

So when I stumbled upon Maki of JustBento's recipe for easy poached chicken yesterday, the 'Ahah! Salad material!' lightbulb went off in my head.

The recipe calls for half a chicken breast, but they were out of them at my grocery store so I used chicken strips instead. They turned out just fine. I didn't have sherry on hand so I used the remains of some hard cider I had in the fridge to add to the poaching liquid. And as usual I forgot something - the ginger in the recipe, which would have added a very nice flavour to the chicken.

But! And this is the point - the chicken turned out amazing, even with the substitutions and my brain fart about the ginger. Tender, flavourful, and not overpoweringly salty, it's perfect for light salads, adding to soups, quick sandwiches, and quick breakfast frittatas.

Defintely a keeper as far as recipes go.

In fact, it inspired me so much, I came up with another quick salad recipe - just in time for next Monday too, even better!

Shuku’s Poached Chicken Salad with Shichimi Togarashi and Capers
Serves: 1 hungry, or 2 less hungry, people

½ poached chicken breast, using Maki's recipe
A good handful salad leaves (a mix of lettuce, rocket, wild greens etc works well)
A handful cherry tomatoes
2-3 spears fresh baby corn, snapped into rough rounds
2 tsp drained capers

2 tsp. gluten-free mayonnaise / soy mayonnaise
A splash mirin
Shichimi togarashi

1. Tear salad leaves into bite-sized pieces and place in a medium-sized bowl. Add cherry tomatoes, capers, and baby corn rounds.

2. Shred chicken breast or cut into bite-sized pieces. Add to salad vegetables.

3. Add the mayonnaise, a dash of mirin and a good dash of shichimi togarashi, and toss everything together.

4. Serve right away.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Reluctant Salad, or, Time Flies

I'm not entirely sure time flies. I think it ninja-stealths its way past because before we know it, it's already March and my last entry was when?

Oops. Yes. I know. Life ate me again. I will attempt to be better at this blog thing.(Not, of course, that I think anyone but a handful of friends -reads- this, mind, so the lack of updates doesn't seem to be a bother.)

I have a confession to make. It's weighed at me for some time now, and since I'm trying to get my health back on track with exercise and diet, maybe it will feel less like I'm betraying healthy eaters every where.

So. Here goes.

I really don't like salad.

Maybe it's because my conception of salad has always been the tasteless shreds of wilted iceberg lettuce strewn over a plate with flecks of tired red cabbage and stumps of mortified carrots, but I've never really dug into it with any real enthusiasm, not since my university years.

Now, that's not to say I damn -all- salads to be cast aside. A wonderful Lebanese family changed my conception of green leafy salads when I was still a struggling post-graduate student in university. They had spinach salads, with tomato and cucumber and onions, and a sprinkling of lemon juice, sumac, and olive oil. All this topped off with pine nuts! And tabbouleh - parsley salad with tomatoes, onions, bulgur, lemon juice, and olive oil for dressing. Up to that point in my life I hated parsley. After two years of having lunch at their house though, I was a parsley convert. Now I love the stuff.

But since coming back to Malaysia, salads haven't been something I run out screaming to obtain. All right, so maybe the fact that I'm not a great fan of the ubiquitous cucumber either might have something to do with it.

And then you have healthy eating. And needing fresh vegetables in one's diet. And all that jazz. I wouldn't actually have done anything beyond grunt at this, except that I fell sick recently in the middle of sorting out exercise workouts, work, and streamlining my diet. Which meant that fresh fruits and vegetables were probably going to be good for my immune system... I ate salad. A sort of variation on this recipe here, because I am trying to kick myself into working out and gaining stamina for advanced vocal examinations. I've had it three times already, each with a slightly different twist. The dressing, I have to admit, is lovely.

I left out the spring onions, substituted chickpeas in place of kidney beans, and bypassed the cheese because a) I didn't have any b) feta is expensive. I did add half a cup of leftover cooked quinoa and some pasta to bulk it up, as well as some wakame I had in the fridge from preparing something else. Didn't come across baby spinach so I used a pack of mixed salad greens instead - arugula, rocket, lamb's lettuce and some other lettuce varieties that actually pack a powerhouse of taste. More importantly, I like 'em, which is half the battle.

So maybe it's not quite enough to make me a salad convert, but I will admit - I'm not quite so ornery about disliking the stuff any more. Enough that I'll probably eat it once or twice a week, just to get in my required dose of greenery.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Hamburger New Year

I'm not sure I was ready for 2011 either when it came, I certainly wasn't ready when it ended and now we're into 2012 for some 3 days already. Where did all that time go?

I don't make resolutions - I am a resolution. Whatever comes, I'll resolve it somehow, because life's too short to sit frozen like a deer in the headlights, seconds from the collision.

Love a little more. Make more time for things that matter, the people that matter. They may not be there for much longer. Sing. Create. Make art, even mucked-up, messy art because the imperfections are what you must learn to accept if you ever want to get beyond your stilted tunnel-vision focus on yourself.

In short - do life.

So for the first day of 2012, I had hamburgers. Haven't had one in heavens knows how long. And because of this recipe and Shauna's labour of love, and a decision to kick myself in the butt and get to making them, I sat in the kitchen at my parents' house and had my first gluten-free hamburger ever. I had to tweak ingredients, I didn't use gums, only flax seed meal, I had to improvise by weight. And it felt empowering, it felt good, and more importantly, it felt -right-. And the results were wonderful. Imperfect, but so perfect at the same time.

Take time to be quiet. Reflect. Cook. Bake. Make time to be still.

Do life. It's short.

Happy 2012, all.