Happiest Tuesday to you! I’ve just returned from a weekend of celebrating Mia’s 12th birthday! It was exactly what you’d expect out of a 12th birthday weekend: we played with slime, got locked in a room with a zombie, and ate unicorn cake that was dangerously close to looking like a penis cake. It was my first time, ok? How was I supposed to know that rolling marzipan around a log of rice krispies treat and then adding grooves all around and painting it with edible shimmery dust would make it look like an almond flavored wiener of gold? 🤷🏻♀️ It’s not my fault. But thank you, Instagram friends, for setting me straight and encouraging it to be more conical and pointy at the top. See? It got better:
The next time I make a unicorn cake I’m going to make two ropes of marzipan and twist them together so that the grooves are plumper and smoother, like the one here. Does anyone in Grand Forks need a unicorn cake?? I want to practice my unicorn cake now. Or maybe even a narwhal cake? Mia’s into narwhals too, I hope this lasts so I can make her a narwhal cake next year.
The whole time I was making this cake I was also watching the World Figure Skating Championships free dance, which was a treat!!! It was a bummer that the Shib Sibs weren’t there but (!!!) Kaitlyn Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker went in their place and my heart just melts when I watch them. They have this young, old-fashioned, first-time-in-love vibe that’s almost as Disney as Meryl and Charlie and it just makes you love them soo much. And then I was running terribly behind on my unicorn horn de-wienering but had to stop everything and give Papadakis and Cizeron my full undivided attention because that was the last time we’ll see *that* program and, sigh, I still can’t get over it’s beauty. Of course they broke the record again. Of course!
I’m really sad that the skating season is over but now Eggboy gets to have his sports time fun since cycling is about to start.
Oh but not before our last ski trip hurrah! We’re heading to Whistler at the end of this week for Passover and I’ve been looking forward to this for forever. Whistler seems like the most adorable winter wonderland and you know I love a good mountain!! I’ll be giving Passover cooking demos when I’m not skiing, at Pesach on the Mountain, so I’ve been working up a bunch of new Kosher for Passover recipes including these shawarma stuffed peppers. These peppers are super easy to make. Easier than they are to eat. (Are Eggboy and I the only people who have always struggled with the mechanics of eating a stuffed pepper? Or do you also find this dish slightly flawed in execution?) Maybe we should just eliminate all shame from the equation and use our hands to eat these like an apple. Eh. They are worth the little mess though because they have warm delicious shawarma spice all up in it and when you cover them in a pool of creamy tahini sauce, mmmmm, they are good.
I’ve made these a couple of different ways: one with rice and one with cauliflower rice. Rice absorbs the juices and binds the filling together nicely while the filling in the cauliflower version stays a bit loose and juicy. Juicy lucy. I personally prefer the texture of the rice version but the cauliflower version is still super tasty and a great Passover dinner if you’re not going to be eating rice.
shawarma stuffed peppers with tahini and herbs
2 tb olive oil or canola oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp shawarma seasoning
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 lb ground turkey
1 c (6 oz) cauliflower rice or 1 c cooked basmati rice (from 60g dry rice)
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
4 large or 6 small bell peppers
1/4 c (50g) tahini
3 tb cold water
fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint), for topping
Preheat the oven to 400ºf.
In a large skillet or pot, heat the oil over medium high heat and add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until soft, 5-7 minutes. Add the shawarma seasoning and turmeric and cook for another minute. Add the ground turkey and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few turns of pepper. Brown the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula. When it’s all cooked through and no longer pink, reduce the heat to low. If you’re using cauliflower rice, microwave it (covered in a bowl or in the bag it came in if the package says that it’s ok) for 3 minutes. Add the cauliflower rice or basmati rice to the skillet and stir in the diced tomatoes. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers, core them, and place them in a casserole dish. Fill the peppers with the turkey mixture and then bake for 35 minutes.
To make the tahini sauce, stir together the tahini, water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste until smooth. When the peppers are done cooking, squeeze them with additional lemon juice, top with a nice big blob of tahini sauce, and a pile of fresh herbs. Enjoy!
photos by chantell and brett quernemoen!