Fried eggs with za’atar, like some of my favourite recipes, was invented from leftovers. While making breakfast one Sunday morning, I found some extra za’atar spice mixed with some olive oil and a chunk of mozzarella in our fridge. I had already started frying some eggs, so I sprinkled the spice and chopped cheese right into the hot pan.
I received the greatest compliment from Donatello – he told me it was his favourite style of eggs I’ve ever cooked. Considering he eats eggs every day, I was very flattered.
The Cathedral Hat by Mamachee is a quick and eye-catching crochet project. With some small changes I made it toddler-size, here modeled by our friend’s almost-two-year-old daughter.
We have been seeing brioche knitting all over Ravelry, Instagram, blogs, and yarn frolics. It seems to be a relatively new (ish?) method of colourwork that has many people in awe. Somehow, however, similar colourwork in crochet hasn’t been as popular. I wonder why?
Crocheting hats for toddlers is a fun and rewarding project, as the hats crochet up quickly and the kids make adorable models. Check our our previous two toddler hat patterns.
Our strawberry rhubarb charlotte was inspired by one we had at Au Pied de Cochon this past June. We were so impressed by the delicious dessert that I adapted it for Tomiko’s unofficial birthday party over the Canada Day long weekend.
The tart rhubarb makes this strawberry rhubarb charlotte really special, since we can only get rhubarb during a few months the year. I added some gelatin to the rhubarb compote, and then folded that into the majority of the whipped cream to set in the fridge. Then I added a few whole strawberries and piped some of the reserved whipped cream over top. Due to it being July 1 long weekend, I was going for the red-and-white theme of Canada Day, but instead I got a Japanese flag. Oh well, at least it’s still applicable!
I used a store-bought sponge cake base, but you could make your own sponge cake for the strawberry rhubarb charlotte. The sponge cake and lady fingers soak in a weak simple syrup to soften them enough to trim without crumbling. I also reserved about half a cup of the cooked rhubarb to spread over the sponge base for a stronger hit of pure rhubarb. Even with all the rhubarb though, the strawberry rhubarb charlotte as a whole isn’t too sweet or too tart – in fact, I think it’s close to perfect!
For some variation, you could also switch out the rhubarb and strawberries with other seasonal fruits; Ontario peaches come into season in August and September, and they would be excellent in a charlotte (possibly just mashed and cooked enough to dissolve the gelatin). Cherries would also be delicious, as would cooked apple and raspberries. Try soaking the lady fingers in other syrups too – a fruit-infused syrup would add another depth of flavour, or one spiked with a bit of rum or brandy for adults.
Since this dessert needs at least a few hours to set, it is great for preparing ahead. I trimmed the sponge cake, trimmed and soaked the ladyfingers, prepared the rhubarb mousse, and assembled the majority of the charlotte the day ahead and left it, covered, in the fridge. I then added the strawberries and piped the reserved whipped cream just a couple of hours before serving so that the berry juice wouldn’t bleed into the cream. The gelatin sets the mousse and makes it really easy to cut into. Unfortunately, we served the charlotte in the evening and couldn’t get a good photo of the cross-section.
This za’atar manakeesh is almost not even a recipe – it’s so easy and only needs three ingredients. I always have the first two in my pantry and the third ingredient in my overpacked freezer. I sometimes make this as a quick snack when guests come over or have it for breakfast with a fried egg on top. Another delicious variation is to add a few slices of cheese on top (mozzarella would work well) before toasting it, which makes it almost like a pizza. In fact, when we first moved to Saudi ten years ago and weren’t familiar with Arabic food, we would always request “pizza” from our mom, which would be this za’atar manakeesh or another variation, akkawi manakeesh.