Category Archives: Must try

Butter tarts

Butter tarts

Summer always reminds me of cottages and butter tarts. Butter tarts are of Canadian origin and taste similar to pecan pie, but with runnier filling. Every individual has their own preferences about what makes a good butter tart. For me, I can’t stand raisins in mine while for others it’s essential. Pecans or walnuts and a not too runny filling for me is perfect.

This is the easiest crust to make ever. It uses shortening (lard is even better) so it doesn’t lose its shape. For pie crusts I always use butter, but it’s just not the same when making these tarts. I made minis because it was for a party. After making the mini size I found that I preferred this size better. I only end up eating half of a regular sized one anyway.

Here’s a pro tip for getting out your tarts from your muffin pans: use small strips of parchment at the bottom. All you have to do is pull the tabs.

This recipe is a mash up of 2 of Anna Olson’s butter tart recipes.

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Momofuku Milk Bar Bagel Bombs

Momofuku Milk Bar Bagel Bombs

I have a habit of going on cookbook binges and then having them sit on my shelf for ages without trying a recipe. It’s not that I do this intentionally, life just happens.

I never bought the Momofuku cookbook that everyone has sitting on their shelves. But Momofuku Milk Bar was instantly on my list when it came out. I can’t even tell you how long it has been sitting on my shelf before I used it.
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Lola’s Smashed Potatoes


Lola’s was our brunch spot when R and I went to Seattle. I have never been a fan of side dishes, they’re pushed aside so I can focus on the main.

When I had to restrain myself from eating all of the smashed potatoes in order to finish my eggs benedict, I knew I had to re-create these at home. I was reeled in by the crisp potato skins which contrasted the soft insides. And the spices! There was nothing bland about it.

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Repeat worthy

Mustard-Soy Glazed Salmon w/Brown Sugar and Ginger

This is a repeat post of a mustard-soy glazed salmon that I love to make. I already posted the link to this recipe for my blog, but the picture I had to go along with it was pre-Lowel EGO lights and very amateur photography skills. It looks awful.

Mustard-Soy Glazed Trout with Brown Sugar and Ginger


Considering this recipe is still a staple for me despite my ever-growing cook book collection it deserves a second mention. Try it out.

Mustard-Soy Glazed Salmon with Brown Sugar and Ginger (from Not Your Mother’s Weeknight Cooking

4 3/4 to 1-inch thick center-cut salmon fillets (6 ounces each), skin on
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
3 to 4 cloves garlic, crushed
4 teaspoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350F
2. Cover a shallow rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place fish skin side down and spread a thin layer of mustard on it.
3. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Drizzle over the fillets. Sprinkle each fillet with a teaspoon of brown sugar and dot with little bits of butter. Bake in the center of the oven for 12 to 15 minutes until firm and opaque. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

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Thai-style Chicken with Basil

Thai-style Chicken with Basil

I’m working on my spice tolerance and this is one of those dishes that helps me with it. If I make it too spicy, I’ll chug a beer down with it, but that won’t stop me from continuing to eat it. It’s that good.

This recipe comes from Cook’s Illustrated. They say that they’ve kept this version relatively mild, but I find it too spicy to use all the chiles. I should also mention that I find some types of gum too spicy to handle so take that into consideration when making this dish.


2 cups fresh basil leaves, tightly packed
3 medium garlic cloves, peeled
6 green or red Thai chiles , stemmed
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast , cut into 2-inch pieces
3 medium shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


1. Process 1 cup basil leaves, garlic, and chiles in food processor until finely chopped, 6 to 10 one-second pulses, scraping down bowl with rubber spatula once during processing. Transfer 1 tablespoon basil mixture to small bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon fish sauce, oyster sauce, vinegar, and sugar; set aside. Transfer remaining basil mixture to 12-inch heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet. Do not wash food processor bowl.

2. Pulse chicken and 1 tablespoon fish sauce in food processor until meat is chopped into -approximate 1/4-inch pieces, six to eight 1-second pulses. Transfer to medium bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes.

3. Stir shallots and oil into basil mixture in skillet. Heat over medium-low heat (mixture should start to sizzle after about 11/2 minutes; if it doesn’t, adjust heat accordingly), stirring constantly, until garlic and shallots are golden brown, 5 to 8 minutes.

4. Add chicken, increase heat to medium, and cook, stirring and breaking up chicken with potato masher or rubber spatula, until only traces of pink remain, 2 to 4 minutes. Add reserved basil-fish sauce mixture and continue to cook, stirring constantly until chicken is no longer pink, about 1 minute. Stir in remaining cup basil leaves and cook, stirring constantly, until basil is wilted, 30 to 60 seconds.

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