Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Roasted Beet Salad with Whipped Goat Cheese and Maple Balsamic Dressing

When I was in California back in June I had the pleasure to eat at Chef Tyler Florence's San Francisco restaurant Wayfare Tavern. It was a fantastic meal -- the starters, avocado salad and bacon-wrapped dates, were particularly memorable as were the popovers -- and one that has inspired me to try a few new things in the kitchen since getting back.

Up until a few years ago I was a beet hater. Probably because of the fuschia-tinted pickled variety I was used to growing up, a mainstay at family dinners (I think my grandpa was the only one who liked them). But I recall having a roasted beet salad at a downtown restaurant and realizing just how delicious a beet could be -- earthy and sweet, slightly warm, and dressed with a simple citrus vinaigrette. I think there must have been some goat cheese in there as well, because beets and goat cheese are genius together.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Deep Dark Chocolate Brownies

I knew I was in trouble when Annie Rigg used the word "squidgy" to describe her brownies.

Squidgy. YES.

I also belong to the "brownies should be fudgy, not cakey" camp, so I couldn't wait to give Ms. Rigg's recipe for Deep Dark Chocolate Brownies a try. My absolute favourite dessert, for those who don't know, is a warm-from-the-oven brownie, fudgy and almost pudding-y, with some softly melting vanilla ice cream over top. So rich and squishy and chocolatey it borders on the pornographic -- my friend O and I bonded over one very much like this at Garde Manger in Montreal, read all about it here.