Monthly Archives: November 2010

  • Pumpkin and cream cheese muffins with pecan streusel Pumpkin and cream cheese muffins with pecan streusel

    Pumpkin and cream cheese muffins with pecan streusel

Pumpkin and cream cheese muffins with pecan streusel

  Cream cheese is a necessity in our household. When we run out, we go into panic mode. Even when my son won’t eat anything else, he will eat cream cheese on toast. I’m no different. I love cream cheese on my bagels, in my slow cooker chicken stew, in my fettuccine Alfredo, and especially in my pumpkin muffins from Starbucks. But you can’t get Starbucks’ pumpkin cream cheese muffins year-round and so whenever my craving hit when they were out of season, I was fresh out of luck. Until now. I’ve been searching for a comparable recipe but wasn’t satisfied until I came across this recipe from the Brown Eyed Baker blog. What was most appealing about this recipe was the technique that freezes the cream cheese filling in a log so that it won’t ooze out of the muffin while baking. Brilliant. Substitutions: Weeelllll, you know me, I can be impatient and rushed, so I […]

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  • Cookbook Review: Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen Cookbook Review: Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen

    Cookbook Review: Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen

Cookbook Review: Nigella Lawson’s Kitchen

  Just when I thought Nigella couldn’t possibly produce another cookbook, she came out with this nearly-500 page heavyweight “Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home.” (Knopf Canada) Like many of her previous cookbooks, this one is meant to give us a glimpse into her household, by way of her feel-good food solutions for the harried weekday cook. Can this book live up to the high standard of past success? I’ve interviewed Nigella in the past and she was nothing if not utterly charming. Exactly what you’d expect. But lately, I will sadly admit, some of her recipes have been hit or miss. I am going to take partial responsibility for this though, because I don’t embark on any of her recipes without keeping in mind she is not a professional chef. Nor does she pretend to be. While I follow some pastry recipes with military discipline, there are some recipes, like Nigella’s, that I […]

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  • Dare to Dream: My Christmas wish list Dare to Dream: My Christmas wish list

    Dare to Dream: My Christmas wish list

Dare to Dream: My Christmas wish list

  The older I get, the harder it becomes to make a wish list. Am I the only one? Namely because if I want something, I buy it. And if something is beyond my reach, I usually put it out of my head. Still, there are some things that I still dream about, because to purchase them for myself would be sheer folly. And impractical. And I am about as impractical as a pair of double-strap Birkenstocks these days. But I’m not going to lie — I would like to be indulged now and then. So, without further ado, here is my “Dare to Dream” Christmas wish list (ahem, hubby, you can start your shopping now!)Edible gingerbread playhouse: I saw the life-size gingerbread playhouse you see above in the Neiman Marcus’ holiday catalogue and my jaw dropped. You can have it for a mere US$15,000. According to the catalogue, this “unique edible playhouse is handcrafted of 381 lbs. of gourmet gingerbread and 517 […]

  • Happy second blog-iversary to me Happy second blog-iversary to me

    Happy second blog-iversary to me

Happy second blog-iversary to me

  It’s been two years since I wrote my first post. I’ll be honest, I never really thought I’d last two years. After all, so much has changed in my life. We’ve moved to a larger home (with more kitchen counter space and more room for my appliances and gadgets) and my son is almost 15 months old. Life is understandably more hectic these days. And though I took a bit of a hiatus after my son is born, I think I’m back into the swing of things.I’m a firm believer that the more busy you are, the better organized you are, and I think that reflects itself in the fact that I’m back to work, but baking more than ever. And it’s important to me because baking is my quiet time. It’s the time of day when the house is clean, my son is sleeping, and I can take […]

  • Cookbook Review: Bobby Flay’s Throwdown Cookbook Review: Bobby Flay’s Throwdown

    Cookbook Review: Bobby Flay’s Throwdown

Cookbook Review: Bobby Flay’s Throwdown

  Bobby Flay didn’t always rub me the right way – especially during his appearances on “The Next Food Network Star.” He was arrogant, abrasive even. But when I caught a few episodes of “Throwdown,” in which he goes head-to-head with chefs who have staked their claim as the best at making iconic dishes or desserts, he was humble, generous. His companion book, “Bobby Flay’s Throwdown” (Clarkson Potter) gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at how the cooking challenges went down, lists both recipes, and declares the winner. I’ll admit it’s a hodge podge of recipes with no apparent theme and I didn’t really know where to start. But when I review I book, I have to try at least three recipes, so I buckled down and chose a few. You’ll find my quick and dirty reviews below, but keep reading to get excerpts of other recipes thanks to the good people at […]

  • Boston Cream Cupcakes Boston Cream Cupcakes

    Boston Cream Cupcakes

Boston Cream Cupcakes

  I was inspired to make these cupcakes after seeing a variation of them in Martha Stewart’s cupcakes book I am always writing about. I had my sister-in-law over for lunch as I wanted to indulge her request for cupcakes with dulce de leche, which I’ve used as a filling before. I wanted to try something different, however, than the same old same old and I remembered seeing these in the book I mentioned (they also appeared in the February 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living).So, rather than following the recipe in the book and making vanilla cream, which you can also find here, I decided to use dulce de leche instead. I’ll admit it was delicious, if a bit unorthodox, but perhaps too sweet for my taste. The dulce de leche competed with the chocolate-ganache glaze, which you can find the recipe for here.The cupcakes themselves were a plain […]