Spring & 50 new foods

Happy spring! Wait, is this my first post of the year? Well. Happy 2013? Have some cake.

Chocolate cake

Really though, I prefer spring as a time to celebrate a new year anyway. It’s just much easier to get excited about new beginnings when there’s actual sunshine and blue skies and budding trees to feel inspired by. And dandelions. I’m really loving all the dandelions this year.

Spring is also the time when I start to feel motivated about food and cooking again. Our kitchen can get pretty cold in the winter and after long months of wanting to wrap myself in every blanket I could find before even thinking about going in there it feels amazing to be able to leave the balcony door open and cook barefoot.

Though I’m happy to celebrate a new year, for some reason the idea of New Year’s resolutions never really appealed to me. I guess I thought of them as unpleasant things people create to make themselves do things they’re not really that excited by, but of course they don’t have to be like that at all. This year I thought it would be fun to make a list of foods I’d been wanting to try for a while but somehow hadn’t gotten around to making myself. Some of these I’ve tried at restaurants, others I’ve never even tasted, but they’re all foods I really look forward to trying at some point this year. I’ll come back to this list to mark off the items as I try them and if I write about them on this blog, I’ll add links the the posts as well.

1. Pita bread with real puffy pockets
2. Ciabatta on 14 August
3. Baguettes
4. Croissants
5. Puff pastry
6. Muffuletta sandwich
7. Yorkshire puddings
8. Calzone
9. Samosas
10. Spanakopita
11. Lahmacun
12. Sushi that I like
13. Saffron risotto
14. Beetroot risotto on 13 April
15. Tortellini
16. Vegetable stock on 4 September
17. Wonton soup
18. Miso soup
19. Eggplant bacon or coconut bacon or carrot bacon or chickpea bacon or another creative vegan bacon recipe that genius people have come up with
20. Something with jackfruit
21. Stuffed artichokes
22. Hasselback potatoes
23. Rice paper rolls
24. Enchiladas
25. Roti like this one from Vegetus on 4 September
26. Cashew mozzarella from Artisan Vegan Life
27. Chimichurri something on 11 April
28. Romesco sauce
29. Stroganoff on 10 September 2015
30. Sliceable seitan for sandwiches on 8 August
31. The holiday ham from Caribbean Vegan
32. Tofu Benny from Vegan Brunch
33. Falafel that’s deep-fried rather than baked on 5 September 2015
34. Yoghurt
35. Jam on 5 September
36. Churros
37. Carrot cake
38. Tiramisu
39. Flourless chocolate cake
40. Sticky toffee pudding
41. Banoffee pie
42. Coconut cream pie
43. Tarte tatin
44. Clafoutis
45. Chocolate chantilly with just chocolate and water
46. Dulce de leche
47. Agar pudding on 2 July 2015
48. A really coconutty coconut ice cream
49. Miyoko’s flax foam
50. Vanilla extract

I included a few foods that I’m slightly intimidated by (such as stuffed artichokes and baguettes) and I’m sure not all of these will turn out well on the first try (I already pulled my first batch of disappointing croissants out of the oven yesterday afternoon), but I have to say, I love having this list of delicious meals (and desserts!) to look forward to!

By the way, the chocolate cake at the top of this post is a version of this Wacky Cake recipe from Where’s the Revolution? which I absolutely love. It uses such simple ingredients that most people probably have on hand, but I love the flavour and texture and to me this is just the perfect chocolate cake. This time I made it with spelt flour and I always like to add a little extra cocoa powder and a few drops of almond extract as well.