And I’m Back…

I presented you with lumpy breakfast cookies and then disappeared. I know. I don’t know what happened to the last two months. There was the election. My mom had a birthday. I made these:

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They are a version of the poached vegetables from PlentyThey were pretty good, but I think I prefer my vegetables roasted so I didn’t post about them. I also made this cake, which I can’t recommend highly enough–especially if you double the recipe, bake it in three cake pans, and stack the layers with orange marmalade in between and butter cream frosting on the outside. That’s a birthday cake.

I forgot to take pictures of the finished product, but I did capture these lovely egg shells about halfway through the project.

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After the birthday, I finished up in Boston. There was Thanksgiving. I made this pumpkin chiffon pie:

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It was delicious. Maybe someday I’ll remember what I did and write about it here. As you can see, however, it is surrounded by our to-do lists, which might tell you something about why it was not written about this year.

Then I had a birthday, which involved an amazing trip here. Last year, for my birthday I baked four brand new cakes. This year I made two trusted standbys. Here’s one:

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It’s really just this cake with candied oranges (and apparently a stray lemon seed) instead of strawberries and orange juice in the syrup.

Then I went into a sugar coma and spent the rest of December alternating between eating too much sugar and too much raw broccoli, both of which made my stomach hurt. Somewhere in there I managed to make five different kinds of pickles and write a conference paper but those are stories for a different day.

One night, after Noah and I had spent too long at a holiday house party and thus had skipped dinner hours and eaten too  many cookies, I also made a dish that Shauna at Gluten Free Girl described in a recent post.  I saw the words “avocado” and “fish sauce” and knew I had to make it. The dish is roasted broccoli with an asian-flavored avocado dip. It was the perfect late night snack, but when I tried make it again today the avocado was too hard to mash. It was still edible though so I decided to deconstruct the dish into a salad. I’m glad I did. This salad is perfect for a day when you are looking to eat large quantities of broccoli but also want to be a little more gentle with your stomach.

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Roast Broccoli and Avocado Salad (for one, but easily scaled up):

– 1/2 small head of broccoli cut in to florets

– Olive oil, salt, and furikake for roasting

– 1/2 an avocado

– 3 scallions

– 1 tsp rice vinegar

– 1/2 tsp fish sauce

– Red peper flakes

* Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

* Toss broccoli with a good splash of olive oil, sprinkle of salt, and sprinkle of furikake and spread on baking sheet. (You can pick up furikake at most asian grocery stores, but you can also skip it if you don’t have it on hand.)

* Roast until the broccoli is crisp at the tips (about 20 minutes, but be sure to toss it once while roasting).

* Cut avocado in to small chunks and slice scallions into rounds.

* Toss broccoli, avocado, and scallions with fish sauce, rice vinegar, and red pepper flakes to taste.

Enjoy!