the basket

On July 17, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I cannot say enough good things about this Memories bike basket from Netherlandic brand Basil, a complete game changer, bike-wise.

basil memories bike basket

Tough and stylish, available in several fun colors as well, this hooks on a rear rack (just gravity holding it on, so easy to remove as well) and cleverly includes a handle. I often shop or pack directly into it like this. It makes all kinds of previously tiresome errands a breeze.

basil memories bottle bike basket

On a grocery run recently I realized what a lot of wonderful use I’ve gotten out of mine, which I’ve had for about two years, and how much I admire the look. Such handsome and functional design, and in perfect harmony with the retro design of my bike.

on the menu: whole roasted branzino

On May 22, 2015 by theseventhsphinx

I’ve been wanting try new fish, and new methods of cooking fish. Whole roasted branzino is easy with great presentation value.

roasting branzino

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I started roasting some fingerling potatoes about 30 minutes in advance as the fish cooks quickly, especially in a hot oven. There is a range of roasting approaches, ranging from ~20+ minutes at 350° to 10 minutes at 500°. I went for a happy medium, around 16 minutes in a 425° oven. I jumbled together a few recipes, mainly this one and this one.

branzino

Pillivuyt Eden porcelain oval baking dish

I was really pleased with the flavor and texture of this branzino, a.k.a. Greek sea bass. There is the appeal, too, of the fish being fresher and less expensive when purchased whole (I didn’t gut it myself, though this would be pretty badass to be able to do, and I aspire). The cavity can be stuffed with any number of herbs and accents, I used lemon, basil, garlic, thyme, and salt.

branzino

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omelettes: what you should be doing

On August 27, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

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OK, I love eggs, and I love eggs that have been manipulated into any shape that falls under the umbrella of omelette. This is not about omelette technique (whatever achieves the desired texture and the happiest family of ingredients for you that day, go for that) but about flavor.

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Brussels sprouts, scallions, red onion, camembert, asiago, nutmeg

Whether a creamy French-style omelette, folded, rolled, stuffed, some combination of these, or something in frittatta territory, these principles apply. It doesn’t really matter what the other ingredients are, either. So, next time you are whipping up an omelette, try one or all of the following.

1. fresh herbs – My favorites are parsley, tarragon, chervil, basil, and thyme, but anything you like. Dill and cilantro can also be interesting. This is Thai basil. Any or all. I like to beat them in with the eggs as well as employing as garnish. Fresh over dried: fresh much, much better in this context.

2. pimentón – beat this into the eggs along with your salt and pepper (and herbs). Adds a little smoky kick. You can successfully add this to anything savory, incidentally, and many sweet things, too.

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3. nutmeg – grate fresh (ideally) over as garnish or beat into the eggs. Use in moderation and your omelette will have an added richness without explicitly tasting of nutmeg (though explicit nutmeg can be good, too). Nutmeg is a true friend of eggs, and can be added virtually anywhere they are.

4. truffle salt – an excellent way to add a dark, creamy depth to the whole scenario. I tend to use it as a garnish rather than an internal element. Much preferred to truffle oil, which is all synthetic. I like this one. Also put on fries. Also put on any potato. Also put on pizza.

5. bonus cheese – Whatever cheese you are adding, add another one. It almost doesn’t matter which. In this example I have asiago and camembert. I use whatever I happen to have around. This is an easy way for the flavor to make a big jump in complexity, with the right cheese.

6. Greek yogurt – add a generous spoonful as a garnish. The tartness of the yogurt cuts the richness of the egg while the creaminess compliments and enhances the creaminess of the egg. Highly, highly recommended. As is the case with most ingredients, the better the yogurt, the better the final result. This Tide Mill Creamery yogurt is a wonderful organic one from Maine.

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Good luck.

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on the menu: hazelnut waffles

On July 2, 2014 by theseventhsphinx

I’ve been going to town with my waffle iron. This batch has some hazelnut syrup mixed in for a bit of nutty interest and half of the vegetable oil replaced with coconut oil. The best waffles yet.

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It took me months to break out the waffle iron (I was imagining it as prohibitively time consuming in my mind, the making of waffles) but now that it’s out, I’m on a roll. It doesn’t take long at all to make waffles! The format is ripe for experimentation. Next up: spelt flour.

There’s something obscurely satisfying about using a square waffle iron to make round waffles. Why did I not get the round waffle iron, you may wonder, which was after all quite a bit less expensive, and already round?

Well. I did not want it.

It’s no use trying to understand the labyrinthine workings of my peculiar heart.

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This plate is a lovely one from Royal Copenhagen.

Ah. I love breakfast.

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on the menu: pho!

On July 7, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

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Pretty pleased with my first pho attempt. Used this recipe, roughly. I had with it that kind of pseudo-success that gives me the impression I can do much better next time. I am so sure of this that it is almost as if I have already done it so well as I soon will.

Of course I would like a dish that is almost wholly made up of garnish.

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