May 09, 2012

First of the Season: Rhubarb

Although the weather has been cold and damp here, we are actually well into spring because I used the first of my rhubarb!  I love rhubarb in the spring when there is no other fruit available (ok, technically it is a vegetable), but as the season progresses I find it harder and harder to use up.  So a few years ago I bought a small cookbook entirely devoted to rhubarb recipes (at Value Village, naturally). 
On the weekend I decided that I would randomly open the book and make whatever recipe happened to be on that page.
Behold. Royal Rhubarb Dessert!
This recipe for Royal Rhubarb Dessert was a little off-putting because it required dry strawberry jello! And I couldn't quite figure out how it all went together until I started making it.
First I pushed a pie-crust type base into a pan.
I thought it fitting to use my pyrex bowl to contain the
Rhubarb in this likely mid-century recipe.
Then, onto the piece-de-resistance: sprinkling the jello onto the rhubarb layer!
And here it is with the top layer on, ready to go into the oven.
After 30 minutes it was done.
The jello soaked up the moisture from the rhubarb, and as the dessert cooled the rhubarb layer became firmer.
And here is a cooled slice.  It cut and stayed together surprisingly well.  But besides being day glow pink, you wouldn't even know that it had jello in it.  The pie crust-like base contrasted nicely with the other softer layers.  I enjoyed it, but am not sure if I would make it again.  First, because I rarely have jello on hand.  Second, because there are so many other recipes to try out!  What are your favourite ways to use rhubarb?

May 05, 2012

May 5th Garage Sale Haul

Today was grey and rainy.  Not pleasant enough to spend outdoors doing yard work, but good enough to hit garage sales.  The first ones I've been to this year.  Many were fundraisers.  I think they were timed to coincide with the opening day of our very popular farmer's market.  I probably went to ten today, and I've grouped my haul into categories:

For some reason I didn't have a 1/4 measure.  But now I have this little white tupperware one. 25 cents.  And two canisters for dry goods. $1.50.

A game, paper doll and seek-and-search book for my little niece and nephew that I'll be visiting in a few weeks.  $1.00.
Well, you can read the titles.  I will say that I keep picking up Philippa Gregory books for my 'to read' shelf, but haven't yet read one!
On the upside, I liked the style of these shoes.  On the downside, I rarely wear heels and these are made of all man-made materials.  But, on the upside they've never been worn and were only .50 cents.  So I took them home.  Behind is a hanger for scarves, belts etc. 10 cents.

I also bought some chocolate chip cookies at one of the fundraisers, but there are hardly any left to photograph!
So, these are all fairly practical items but a good start to garage sale season, nonetheless. 
I'm linking up to other rummagers from Her Library Adventures Flea Market Finds.

May 01, 2012

leftovers + creativity = delish lunch!

I stumbled into making a great 5-ingredient salad with leftovers from the fridge.  
We had some basmati rice left over from Indian takeaway, and a rapidly aging cauliflower. As I was holding both scanning the fridge for inspiration, I remembered this Jamie Oliver recipe for Salmon Tikka that my sister introduced me to (which I highly recommend).  I thought that if salmon smeared with curry paste tasted so good, so would cauliflower. 
Dished into lunch containers the next day
It was great!  We ate it for lunch for two days, and then the following weekend I made it for a potluck.  Everyone wanted the recipe, so I've come up with one:

2-3 cups cooked white or basmati rice
1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
2 Tbsp Patak's mild curry paste*
2 tsp vegetable oil
2-3 Tbsp chopped cilantro (or more!)
3/4 cup defrosted frozen peas

Smear the cauliflower with curry paste and drizzle with oil.  Spread on pan and roast in a preheated 400 degree oven until soft and browned, around 25 minutes.  When cooled mix with rice, peas and cilantro.  Enjoy!

*I have no affiliation with Patak's, but would take freebies if they wanted to send me some!