Although I haven't quite done enough cooking this month, I have had a lot of fun in the kitchen. Near the end of April, I made three pies for my church's fish fry(well, two were for the dinner, one was to keep my family from being angry at me for giving away pie). Originally I had planned to make apple pies, something I am well-practiced at. Unfortunately, I only had enough apples for one pie and nowhere near enough fruit in the house to make anything verging on familiar territory. I took a deep breath and ventured out into the unknown: cream pies. It took several phone calls to my best friend's mother(who is a prize-winning pie maker) but I successfully made two chocolate cream pies. This victory launched me into the scary new ground of meringue pies. I read my cookbook very carefully and then, with Kian's help, made my very first lemon meringue pie. I even squeezed the lemons instead of using bottled juice. Uber fancy, I know. Having extra limes in my fridge(having been purchased to make coconut rice and beans), I then tried a Key Lime pie. It was also delicious. (Just in case you can't tell, I'm super-duper proud of myself. I made a meringue pie, twice!)
Next up came the rhubarb. I love rhubarb but neglected to freeze any last year. This made for a very sad winter as I waited not-so-patiently for spring and made puppy-dog eyes at those lucky souls who had excess rhubarb in their freezers. I had planned to buy some at the market, but my FIL dropped off some gorgeous thick stalks from his garden instead. Kian was so excited about the rhubarb that he followed me around with a stalk, demanding that I cook it. Unfortunately I had a massive headache so was not able to cook. But as soon as the pain let up a little bit, I stewed up some rhubarb for us. It only took about twenty minutes and then we ate it piping hot on vanilla ice cream. We were both happy campers. On a side note, the smell of rhubarb is actually quite nice when you feel like you're going to die from a headache. I wonder if it could be used as a remedy...
Part of the reason I was so desperate to get my hands on some rhubarb was to try this luscious cheesecake. Now some recipes sound amazing, only to leave you disappointed. Not this one. From the shortbread crust to the sour cream topping, this is a cheesecake worth making. Oh, and it was quick and easy, for a cheesecake. I made it in less than an hour and then let it cool for about three. I can't say for sure since I didn't really let my family eat it, but I think it may become a household favourite.
Yesterday my friend wrote about making iced coffee. My husband agreed to start the cold brew for me last night and I finished it this morning. If you are a coffee person, try this! I'm out of condensed milk, so didn't get to try that version, but oh is it good! We did not make the full recipe, but it goes quite far. I am currently a very happy woman. :) I added almond extract to my
Speaking of iced beverages, I made iced tea out of orange rooibos yesterday. We were planting our seedlings today at the community garden plot and were asked to bring along snacks. Since it's been rather hot, I decided to bring a refreshing beverage. My kids adore iced tea of any variation and I wanted to clean out my tea cupboard, so it was a win-win.
I have not wanted to turn on my oven since it's been so stinking hot. Instead I made these black bean and quinoa burgers for dinner. They held together quite well on the barbeque and were eaten by the pickiest member of my household. The burgers are a little on the bland side which made them perfect for him. In addition to the avocado, I topped my first burger with a lemon sheep's cheese and the second with Bulls-Eye Guinness BBQ sauce. Healthy and delicious! For dessert, I made banana ice cream. What makes this "ice cream" fabulous is that it contains only one ingredient: Bananas! After blending it, I stirred in peanut butter and chocolate chips. A friend said she added a teensy bit of chocolate sauce making it decadent. I will have to try that next time.
Next on my list of things to do include making limeade(I still have leftover limes) and quinoa salad(yeah, I have leftover quinoa too). I've also been looking at various grain-free lunch options. My children have been extra-picky recently, so I'm not sure what they'll eat. Kian tried a celery stick stuffed with mashed avocado, topped with peanuts and then dipped in soy sauce. The recipe needs work, but my older children have decided that they don't like avocado. It's very sad, I know. And now I'm thinking of how to make the perfect Asian-style celery(It's a Wonder Pets thing)...I hope you've enjoyed reading about my culinary adventures. I know I have. :)