roasting - you win some, you lose some

I don't really do a lot of roasting - at least, not in the kitchen.  But somehow, through no intentional effort, I ended up roasting two different foods last week - once for dessert (that turned out so-so) and once for dinner (that turned out well). 

 (We'll start with dessert.  I was intrigued by this recipe's blending of olive oil and maple syrup.  Hmm...not ingredients I would think to mix, but okay.  We'll see how this goes.)

 (Ahhh - this is why I was making this recipe.  Wildcat Guy is a big fan of strawberries, so making a dessert with them seemed like a nice way to treat my love to something yummy.  At least, I think it's going to be yummy.  This is right before I douse them in olive oil and maple syrup. And by douse, I mean drizzle.)

 (Wait a second.  This is not how they are supposed to look.  At all.  Oh bother.  The only thing that made me feel remotely better was the fact that these really ugly strawberries actually tasted good.  And then, after I tossed them in yet another interesting ingredient - balsamic vinegar - they tasted even better.  So I went with it...ugliness and all.)

 (Looking like this, the cake will never win any awards.  But we both really - really! - liked the cake - with or without the strawberries.  The flavor is mild and full all at the same time.  In fact, we sat on the couch trying to think of all the other foods we could try on top of this cake.)

(So even though I'm classifying this as a loss by comparison, it's still a win for our tummies.  I mean, I kept the recipe - that's a good sign.  I also found a comment on the recipe that suggests warming the strawberries in a saucepan.  I may have to experiment with that.)
 (The next night, it was time to roast some cauliflower for a salad I wanted to try.  Mainly because I've never cooked with tahini and this seemed like a good option for changing that.)

(Skillet full of onions, anyone?  Unlike the recipe's author, I don't mind raw onions.  In fact, I enjoy the crispness and tanginess they bring to a raw salad. The only thing to be cautious of?  Finding the balance between cooking them until they're tender and caramelizing them.)

 (I would make a joke about asking him to peel them, not play with them...except that I'm the one who asked him to make rabbit ears out of the crazy-long carrots I didn't know I'd purchased at the grocery store.  He's such a good sport!)

(He's also a great sous chef.  One of my favorite things about cooking dinner is him sitting at the counter - sometimes to help, but always to chat with me...about our days, sports, or whatever.)
(But back to the food - this time, I had a roasting success.  The cauliflower was slightly brown around the edges and nicely cooked...just right for mixing with the onions, grated carrots, and tahini sauce.  For anyone who might try this recipe, be aware that the sauce alone - with tahini, olive oil, water and lemon - tastes almost too strong.  Mix it in with the veggies, though, and it's perfect.)

(I served it in big scoops with burgers on the side.  It was a tasty and filling meal!)

(And as I mentioned yesterday, it makes good leftovers, too.  I ate some of the leftovers over sticky rice, and it was almost like stirfry.)

So, gooey strawberries aside, my first couple of attempts at roasting turned out fairly well.  Always nice to add a couple of new recipes to my book and a new cooking technique to my abilities.

Where I am: home 
What I'm reading: The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson


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