Summer herbs

I found some shiso leaves on sale, and I got to make a true version of my favourite summer dish, which is marinated tofu + ricotta + shiso (usually I use basil and mint instead of shiso), from Harumi Kurihara.  

The sauce is 1/4 cup soy sauce + 2 teaspoons superfine sugar + 1 Tablespoon mirin (or sake with 1 teaspoon sugar) + 1/2 Tablespoon grated ginger. Add in a little chili, lemon or lime if you want. Lightly heat the sauce. Then pour over soft or silken tofu topped with ricotta. Sprinkle on fresh shiso leaves, toasted sesame seeds and a handful of bonito flakes. 

This is so good with spinach and feta salad dressed with olive oil and lemon. I also love it with chili oil on top. The basil and mint option is easily just as nice as the shiso version. 

I think this is a good recipe for children to make, as the ratios are very flexible and there is a lot of pouring and sprinkling and little heating or cutting. Or to make yourself and maybe have some beer with lemon as you work away. Maybe the kids are at camp! Summer!


Buttermilk is a very pretty word. It seems like it should taste a bit better, given the name. Anyway, I feel like whenever I buy a litre of buttermilk I use half and don't finish before the expiration date. This is a list of recipes that, together, use one full litre. Of course, there are always pancakes (Snowy & Chinook ones), too...

Cocoa buttermilk cupcakes, un-iced. I tried some buttermilk icing, it was good, but these are best plain.

Chocolate cherry oatmeal cookies (add teaspoon or two of regular milk if the dough doesn't hold together).

I used the homemade cupcake liners (see below) for these cornbread muffins (via apples & butter) — however, to tell the truth I was multi-tasking and used twice the amount of baking soda on this batch by accident and they were slightly horrible. The recipe is good, though, I promise ^_^

You can make cupcake liners by smooshing a square of paper over a glass. About 6" is a good size of paper for a liner. You can use origami squares, for example. I would try to choose paper that is not too chemically treated and coated — this is parchment paper.