• Bonnie’s holiday tart Bonnie’s holiday tart

    Bonnie’s holiday tart

Bonnie’s holiday tart

I’ve known Bonnie Mo since our Ryerson University days, back when she was Bonnie Malott and we were journalism school undergrads. We kind of fell out of touch after tying the knot and having children, as one does, but I always kept with her career on social media – with increasing attention when she began writing for Food Network Canada and developing recipes. She’s the real deal.  You can check out her website here. So when I saw her Instagram post for her holiday tart, I knew it was going to have to be a last-minute addition  to my holiday menu. 🎄 Caramelized onion, hot pepper raspberry jam, pancetta & brie. The Holiday Tart makes its annual appearance. A photo posted by 🐝Bonnie (@bonniemo) on Nov 20, 2015 at 4:12pm PST And even though I was near-crazed, like I always am at that time of year, with the amount of food I […]

  • Butterscotch Fluffernutter Krispy Bars Butterscotch Fluffernutter Krispy Bars

    Butterscotch Fluffernutter Krispy Bars

Butterscotch Fluffernutter Krispy Bars

It’s been ages – like months – since I’ve felt comfortable sitting down doing nothing. But my dishwasher is whirring, the kids have been fed, I have leftovers for dinner, tomorrow’s lunches are packed, my work clothes picked. I really don’t have any excuse not to sit down and enjoy my Fortnum & Mason Earl Grey tea while it’s still hot. That’s a lie. I have a basket of laundry waiting to be folded. But I always have a laundry basket waiting to be folded. So I deserve this break, right? In any case, I made this ages ago. And I forgot what the recipe was so I hemmed and I hawed and I delayed blogging about anything. But after doing some online sleuthing, I realized I found it. Here it is if you decide to make it, and I think you will.  I also realized that I had some residual […]

  • Alton Brown’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Alton Brown’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

    Alton Brown’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Alton Brown’s Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

  I went through a phase a few years ago where I was trying to find the recipe for the perfect chocolate chip cookie, I think I came pretty close with a few great recipes from my experiments, five years ago, but my appetite has not waned. I’m a sucker for a good cookie. And a good cookie will tempt me to stray from my diet, every time. When I saw Alton Brown post his recipe for ‘ The Chewy,’ my curiosity was piqued since his approach is quite scientific. This recipe, unlike the others I’ve tried, holds true to its promise. It is truly chewy, on the day it’s first baked, even the day after, and the day after that. It also looks almost like it came out of a bag or straight off the cookie sheet at your neighbourhood bakery. It doesn’t quite live up to the promise […]

  • Dulce de leche thumbprint cookies with sea salt Dulce de leche thumbprint cookies with sea salt

    Dulce de leche thumbprint cookies with sea salt

Dulce de leche thumbprint cookies with sea salt

If I had to summarize my last 12 months of baking with two ingredients, I’d have to say they were: dulce de leche and sea salt. So, despite the fact I’d already picked my contributions for the annual cookie exchange I love to attend, I simply couldn’t resist adding this to my roster at the last minute when it popped up online. To be honest, I thought I would be mixing Nutella and dulce de leche somehow but the recipe calls for Nutella to be used in half the batch and dulce de leche to be used in the other half. Since I had so much dulce de leche, however, I simply used it on all the cookies. As I mentioned this was one of my three types of cookies I took to my friend’s annual cookie swap: The others were the pecan pie cookie, and a chocolate chip cookie I’d never tried before. […]

  • Bon Appetit’s holiday party mix Bon Appetit’s holiday party mix

    Bon Appetit’s holiday party mix

Bon Appetit’s holiday party mix

I’ve been making David Lebovitz’ sweet and spicy party mix every year since I first discovered it in 2011. This year, I thought I’d try something new, something that looked a bit more festive. So I painstakingly tracked down all the ingredients listed in the recipe to make Bon Appetit’s Party Mix.  No, Bugles and roasted peas (not the wasabi variety) are not that easy to find. As for Terra Stix, forget it. I think they may actually be discontinued because the high-end grocer that can usually source everything told me the supplier hadn’t been bringing it for a while. Truth be told, I don’t really know why I made this, I barely touched it. But it seemed to go down well at work, if you like savoury, crunchy, salty party mixes, this will go down well. The garlic, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce mixture adds an unexpected kick, and it was welcome, […]

  • Pecan Pie cookies Pecan Pie cookies

    Pecan Pie cookies

Pecan Pie cookies

This is a bit of an odd recipe. At first glance I thought it would be the easiest out of my three contributions to the cookie exchange this year. It turned out to be the biggest disaster, in fact, but I was able to save it. I tried to double the recipe as you don’t exactly get enough of cookies out of one pie crust, and maybe that’s where things went wrong. Still, I decided to blog about it for two reasons: One; using ready pie crust as the base for a cookie is a game-changer; two; because I was able to dial it back when it went so spectacularly wrong. You can find the recipe here but be sure to read my notes below before you embark on this one… Substitutions: I used Tenderflake frozen pie crust instead of making my own pie crust. The trick is to take it out […]

  • Homemade Samoa cookies Homemade Samoa cookies

    Homemade Samoa cookies

Homemade Samoa cookies

I’m tired, way too tired, to get creative here so I’ll cut to the chase: Shortbread crust, caramel, coconut, chocolate. Need to know more? I didn’t think so. These are Samoa cookies, also known as the cookies I will never make again. While the idea of rolling out cookies and letting your kids use cookie cutters sounds wonderful in theory, it is anything but. By the time their sticky little hands cut out the cookies with the 1,543rd cookie cutter they settled on, the dough is too warm. So, you end up throwing it out. But I digress. This was a several day, multi-hour process. Worth it? Yes, they turned out extremely well. But I will never take so many hours to make them again. If you have children who are grabbing at you demanding milk, no cold water, no freezing water! Or need you to moderate an argument, or make […]

  • Chocolate espresso tart Chocolate espresso tart

    Chocolate espresso tart

Chocolate espresso tart

I’m rather late in blogging about this because I’ve already made it several times. It’s been such a hit that I went to buy the rectangle-shaped tart pan as seen on the photo of Canadian Living because I knew I’d make it again. And it’s not one of those items sitting in my cupboards slowly gathering dust, I’ve actually used it to make this delectable tart, and I’ll likely make it again soon. In fact, selfishly, half the reason I’m blogging this is so I don’t lose the recipe for it. Sorry for the less-than-stellar photos, but the problem with this tart is that it never seems to hang around long enough for me to take a great picture. And believe me, these photos don’t do it justice. It’s beautiful in its stark simplicity but if you prefer to jazz it up a bit, some fresh raspberries will do the […]

  • Alton Brown’s Over the Top Blueberry Muffins Alton Brown’s Over the Top Blueberry Muffins

    Alton Brown’s Over the Top Blueberry Muffins

Alton Brown’s Over the Top Blueberry Muffins

One of my oldest childhood memories is my dad taking me to a bakery near our old apartment in Scarborough, Ont., when he bought bread on Saturdays, and treating me to a freshly baked blueberry muffin. I still remember the smell of the bakery and the taste of that warm muffin. This must be why I’m not a big fan of fruits in baked goods of any kind, but I’m a sucker for blueberry muffins. And whenever I’m having a particularly stress-filled morning, and need a bit of a quick comfort, I reach for a muffin. That doesn’t bode well for my perpetual diet, I know, but sometimes I make a huge batch like this and freeze most of it. If you know Alton Brown from television, you know he’s not your typical celebrity chef. He’s much more cerebral than the rest and uses science to explain what works and what doesn’t. […]

  • Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

    Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars

For the second year in a row, I took my two sons – and my dad – apple-picking just north of the city. The landscape is beautiful, everyone feels very self-sufficient and productive after bringing home the fruit they picked themselves, and there’s some grandpa bonding time too. This year, however, I was a bit more prepared. I knew I would need to pull some more apple recipes out of my hat because the apple sauce I made lovingly last year with the leftover apples just sat there taunting me. So when I saw this recipe for Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars on Pinterest, I knew I’d be making it. I’m not really an apple pie kind of girl, to tell the truth. But… the salted caramel sold me. Substitutions: None Would I make this again? No, because, it was delicious when it came out of the oven but kind […]