september noms

it’s the time of the month that i talk about what tasty goodness i have been creating! even for all of the budget measures that had to be taken, we have done quite well for ourselves.
last night, knowing it would be my last very free evening of the week, i went on a three hour cooking “bender”. (woooooo) i turned on a couple of podcasts (rick steves, this american life) and finally prepared my second annual kimchi canning, this time with almost two kilograms of delicious spicy cabbage. last year i made one jar and it lasted until spring with no problem! looking forward to eating even more delicious fermented foods this year and maybe alex will even get in on the cabbage love.

as well, i made my second batch (in two weeks) of pumpkin cookies. but these, these are no ordinary pumpkin cookies. they are the best and most delicious baked good i think i have ever put into my mouth hole. tasty byproduct of cooking with pumpkin: getting to roast pumpkin seeds!
only after the fact did i realize what a boring sounding (yet responsible) adult i have become. but hey, someone’s got to feed us.

it got me thinking that for all the time i spend cooking, i wouldn’t really even say i like cooking. sometimes baking can be a fun event, but generally, it’s all a necessity. i have to do it, because i like eating so much. i have high standards for myself when it comes to eating delicious foods, especially types that aren’t easily found here in the czech republic. and those foods ain’t going to make themselves.

it sounds mildly depressing to admit that i spend so many hours doing something that i am only neutral about, but i think eating good food is important. i like to think back to how important food and meal preparation was for our grandmothers and great-grandmothers and how, at least in my home country with its i’m so busy working culture, people have generally strayed from spending time creating healthy homemade meals. for me, spending time on making and eating great food is a high priority. i fortunately have a fair amount of free time during my weeks to dedicate to this. i know many people can’t, and in the future i may not be able to as well.
but one can do what they can with a couple free hours on the weekend: prepping some snacks, baked goods, or cooking beans for a busy week to come to make life a little easier after a workday.

but more about what else i’ve made. september began beautifully. alex and i enjoyed this lovely warm sunday morning on the balcony eating french toast, drinking our tea, and pretty much just loving life. we’ve gotten in the habit of weekend brunches beginning about 11:00 or 11:30. because who cares, it’s the weekend.

i made this fantastic salad with a spicy peanut dressing and realized it needs to be something i make much more often. red pepper, cabbage, chickpeas, carrot… even alex was satisfied with this as an entree! the dressing is so easy to whip up and will easily be a new favorite dressing to use with any ol’ salad to spice things up.

in other asian-inspired cooking (which, let’s be honest, is most things i cook), i tried out this recipe for orange sesame tofu and coconut lime rice which was very beloved. the rice is actually cooked in coconut milk instead of water and is so delicious and creamy! the flavor of the tofu was absolutely excellent, but as it was baked in a marinade, it didn’t become crispy like pan-fried tofu, which i would prefer. if only there was a way to combine the two! i served it with a side of steamed broccoli with the rest of the marinade drizzled on it. definitely a keeper of a recipe.

september was definitely an oustanding month in the cooking department, and i even have another simple but fabulous veggie recipe i can’t wait to share with you! what were you cookin’ this month? anything autumn inspired?

other september food posts: ukranian-style borscht & the $35/two people grocery challenge.