Monthly Archives: December 2010

  • Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

    Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Gingerbread Trifle

  I first discovered the recipe for this trifle months ago. But I knew that the only time I could get away with serving a dessert as decadent, as creamy, as luscious, as gooey, as spicy, as flavourful as this one was during the holiday season. And so I flagged this recipe way back then and made a note in my BlackBerry calendar that I must make this trifle for Christmas Eve this year. No sooner had someone taken a spoonful of this trifle did I hear my name being called out, to ask about the recipe. Truth be told, my family is not really a trifle crowd. The ladies often ask for chocolate, or perhaps cheesecake, but for the most part we are nibbling on cannoli or Middle Eastern dense date-filled cookies after our holiday and birthday feasts.So, I didn’t really know how trifle would go down. I had […]

  • Nigella’s Christmas Cornflake Wreaths Nigella’s Christmas Cornflake Wreaths

    Nigella’s Christmas Cornflake Wreaths

Nigella’s Christmas Cornflake Wreaths

  Growing up, Rice Krispie squares were an exotic treat. Celebratory desserts, at our house, were more likely to be baklava, or kenefe (a sweet cheese pastry made with kadaif), or perhaps melomakarona (Greek honey cookies). So, I will admit that I have never ever made Rice Krispie treats and the prospect of making these Christmas Cornflake Wreaths was a bit daunting. These aren’t your typical melted mallow-and-cereal treats, though, these are Rice Krispie treats all grown up.I got this recipe from Nigella Lawson’s cookbook Nigella Christmas, but you can also find the recipe here. Yes, these are a little kitschy but I think that’s half the charm of a holiday dessert. Despite all the effort I put into Martha Stewart’s chocolate gingerbread house petits fours, these are the treats that got rave reviews when I took them into work. Crunchy, gooey, and the addition of the sesame seeds offset the syrupy […]

  • Chocolate Gingerbread House Petits Fours Chocolate Gingerbread House Petits Fours

    Chocolate Gingerbread House Petits Fours

Chocolate Gingerbread House Petits Fours

  If you are looking for Christmas cheer, you will be disappointed, tonight. I’m rather more Grinch-like than Cindy Lou-like tonight, but with good reason. In less than two months I’ve had bronchitis – twice – and my son’s sick with his own eye and ear infections. I’m nearly at the end of my rope but the show, as they say, must go on. No rest for the weary. Bah humbug. Bah.So – why am I blogging? That’s the very same question my parents asked me, repeatedly, when I first informed them I would be launching a food blog. Back then, perhaps it was a bit of a vanity project. Now, it is my retreat. When I can control so little of my world, this is one small corner of the cyber-sphere that is mine. When I talk, it doesn’t really matter if no one’s listening. I bake because I want […]

  • Chocolate & Zucchini’s Canelés Chocolate & Zucchini’s Canelés

    Chocolate & Zucchini’s Canelés

Chocolate & Zucchini’s Canelés

  It was love at first bite. Sorry I can’t resist a cheesy play on words. Back to the batter at hand (tee hee). I first made canelés, if you might remember, at Bonnie Gordon’s School of Confectionary Arts. I signed up for the two-day course mainly to learn how to make macarons. And I did, and they were delicious, and I had rave reviews. But. As soon as I had learned how to make the macarons, all I could think about was how delicious these unassuming canelés are. Sure enough, they are near-impossible to find in Toronto (only at Nadege Patisserie I believe – that’s Nah-dej, not Nah-deh-jeh). So I had been craving them ever since. Even the stash I brought home didn’t  last very long because these are best eaten hot, on the same day. You should know however, that the crepe-like batter is forgiving and will stay in the […]

  • Cookbook Review: The Gourmet Cookie Book Cookbook Review: The Gourmet Cookie Book

    Cookbook Review: The Gourmet Cookie Book

Cookbook Review: The Gourmet Cookie Book

    I’ll cut to the chase. This is hands down, the best baking cookbook for 2010. And I’ve been through at least a couple of dozen of the latest and greatest just in the past year. Despite all the cookie collections that have recently hit bookshelves, “The Gourmet Cookie Book”   (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) is not just any old compendium of cookies. This book lists the single best recipe for each year from 1941 to 2009, offering not only an archive of the best cookies over the decades, but documenting America’s history and evolving taste buds through its cookies.  Its honey refrigerator cookies, for example, were published in 1942 when the war was on and sugar was rationed and Gourmet did “its patriotic bit” by printing an article telling its readers how to use honey in place of sugar. The mocha toffee bars were published in 1987 when the stock market had just crashed […]

  • Welcome Baby Girl Cupcakes Welcome Baby Girl Cupcakes

    Welcome Baby Girl Cupcakes

Welcome Baby Girl Cupcakes

  Please excuse the blurry photo. I took this photo moments after I finished assembling these cupcakes at our friends’ house and all I wanted to do was get a close look at their sweet newborn. You may remember my Welcome Baby Boy Cupcakes, well those were for her big brother. These cupcakes are a simple vanilla cake base, topped with Martha Stewart’s seven-minute frosting, and adorable rattles I had picked up at Michael’s ages ago for an occasion just like this one. I chose to make the seven-minute frosting because it had held its shape so well when I used it to make lemon meringue cupcakes and I was hoping it would travel well – it did. There is nothing I hate more than toiling over cupcakes only to have my hard work ruined when the vehicle I am travelling in makes a sharp right. Be warned, however, this frosting is sweet, and it […]

  • Crisp maple shortbread cookies Crisp maple shortbread cookies

    Crisp maple shortbread cookies

Crisp maple shortbread cookies

  The recipe for these gems comes from the latest issue of Chatelaine but you can also find them here. Unlike other more traditional shortbread recipes, these were just buttery enough, just light enough that you can eat more than a couple without feeling like you are going to keel over from the sheer weight of the butter. And the maple glaze is the perfect touch to elevate a, let’s face it, often boring and overexposed cookie. Add this to your repertoire and you won’t be sorry.Best of all? This isn’t one of those recipes that produces a sorry output of a whole 20 cookies. I got dozens of cookies out of this batch and froze most of them for the holiday season. (I already took a few out to see how they freeze and after spending some time at room temperature, they are as good as new).Admittedly, these cookies […]