Food

I enjoy cooking. It's always been a passion of mine, but only recently have I started to really go crazy. I have been inspired by the great food available in the Grand Rapids area and by some of the programmes on the Food Network TV channel in the US. During the summer we get a lot of ingredients from Fulton Street Farmers Market, and 2013 saw the Downtown Market open right across the street from us. It's a foodie's paradise, and having the extra farmer's market option across the street was great. We have switched back to using Fulton Street as they are open more days and have a longer season.

I have been a vegetarian since 1988, my girlfriend at the time was a veggie and I decided to give it a go. I don't mind cooking the odd bit of meat for the wife, but would prefer not to. I usually let her cook her own leg of chicken or whatever.

I am the proper definition of vegetarian, where I don't eat anything that caused an animal or fish to die. I consume eggs, milk, cheese, etc. Most cheese is made without animal rennet these days. We get farm fresh eggs from free range chickens whenever possible. And I even check for gelatin on yogurt - it seems organic products are the way to avoid that, they use pectin instead.

When eating out, I enjoy Indian, Chinese, Thai, Ethiopian, "Eastern Mediterranean" (Hummus, Stuffed Grape Leaves, etc) and Italian.

I thought I would list our favourite recipes on here just as a way to keep them safe. The list will grow over time. We don't cook using recipes though. Most of what you see here is baking or method related.

Appetizers

Arancini
A great way to use leftover risotto, this Sicilian snack is easy to make. Think elevated mozzarella sticks.

Veggie Dip
A traditional recipe handed down through the Avery family, this is our tweak of it.

Breakfast

Pancakes UK style
These are more like French crêpes, and traditionally served on Shrove (Fat) Tuesday.
Pannukakku
Something different for breakfast if pancakes are getting boring. It's Finnish for... pancake...

Bread

Buurezüpfe
A delicious morning bread similar to Challah, enjoyed by the Swiss with some good jams or Gruyere/Emmentaler
Pizza Dough
A basic pizza dough recipe for bread machine or regular usage.
Zed's Bread
A very British bread recipe taken from a children's book that Dan was sent by his nan.

Cookies

Sugar Cookies
Best recipe we have ever found for sugar cookies.

Dinner

Welsh Rarebit
A great British treat, which I love making with good local ingredients.
Yorkshire Pudding
How to make the quintessential English roast dinner side dish.

Pasta

Spätzle
A great easy alternative to pasta or other starch with your meal. In Baden they cook them with grilled onions and sauerkraut, in Bavaria and Tirol they do grilled onions and cheese. It's easiest to make with a Spätzlehobel, but it's not absolutely necessary.

Pastry

Hot Water Crust Pastry
A British staple for heavy crusts like pork pies, but I also use this sometimes for smaller items like mince pies
Rough Puff Pastry
Adaptation of Gordon Ramsay’s recipe on the BBC Good Food website, adjusted for U.S. measurements
Short Pastry
Used for mince pies, bakewell tarts and other nummies