Although this winter hasn't been anywhere near as chilly as last year, I still prefer summery heat. But, winter is a good excuse to have lots of yummy baked and roasted meals, so that's what we've been doing. I guess we need to take advantage of it while we can, since the summer temperatures usually mean it's far too hot to turn the oven on.
We resurrected one of our favourite meals from last year, the Mexican Lasagne. This one was different from those past, because it has our new-found favourite ingredient, fresh corn. It also contains pressure-cooked kidney beans, sweet potato, capsicum, and tomatoes, and it was topped with a beautiful dollop of avocado mash after it came out of the oven. We also did the usual doubling-up of oven heat by baking some corn muffins, and throwing in some tater tots.
Another favourite is veggies roasted in simple flavours. The picture is a bit dim, but the pink things are radishes roasted with salt, pepper, and coriander roots. Above them is a mixture of plain potato, orange kumara sweet potato, and purple skin/white flesh sweet potato. The tubers were tossed with some flour, cumin, paprika and black sesame seeds and they got all crunchy in the oven. Finally on the plate you'll see Andy's recent favourite dish--spinach (or silverbeet, in this case) sauteed with garlic and shredded carrot, then splashed with soy sauce.
And while the oven is on, why not make dessert? Strawberries were on special last week so we grabbed two punnets. I really had a craving for strawberry shortcake--despite the fact that it is a quintessential summer dessert. I remember really hot days in summer when strawberry shortcake was our entire dinner... my mom was the best! Andy wasn't too keen on the idea of these, because he envisaged hard shortcake biscuits. But, he was pleasantly surprised at the delicious simplicity of scones and strawberries, topped with a bit of custard.
The other thing winter is great for is curling up on the couch with a good book.