Hello friends. Have you met homemade chocolate pudding? If not, let me introduce you. You can thank me later.
A far cry from the mysterious powders you can buy in a box, real chocolate pudding is made with cocoa, cornstarch, sugar and milk. It tastes infinitely better than the packaged stuff, and really doesn’t take any more time. It is thick, creamy and deeply chocolatey – but happily, it isn’t nearly as rich as it tastes.
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I got a torch for Christmas. Mmm hmm, someone had enough faith in my self-coordination to offer me a butane-fuelled fire thrower. That someone obviously wasn’t around for my high school graduation dinner when I blew off my eyebrows, lashes, and the front third of my hair when lighting the BBQ…
But I mean, there are some things that are just worth risking. I’d sacrifice at least one eyebrow for a creamy, rich custard, infused with fresh vanilla bean and topped with a caramel that shatters with a satisfying crack of the spoon… any day. However, no need to be dramatic. I survived and so did all my facial follicles, and we enjoyed the most incredibly luscious creme brulee. Continue Reading »
I am quite distraught that it is 2011 yet I am not zipping around in a hover car while my personal dish-bot cleans up my kitchen. Instead here I am using my boring normal car and washing my own dishes like a sucker. C’mon technology geeks, what is the delay?!
I really didn’t mean to take four-week blogging hiatus… it just happened. I went home to New Brunswick (on the Eastern coast of Canada), home to my mama, and my fluffy doggy, and my beautiful sister, and a houseful of burly stepbrothers. Here’s what I was up to:
I made marshmallows. It was a huge gooey, sticky, sweet mess. Homemade marshmallows are heaven. One crucial tip, however – USE GOOD VANILLA. I used some extract that smelled kinda weird, and guess what? My marshmallows tasted kinda weird. Surprise.
A few weeks ago it seemed Christmas couldn’t get here fast enough. Now it’s December 12th and I have absolutely no idea what happened to the last half of November or the first half of December, the time in which a wise person would have done most of her Christmas shopping to avoid the sweaty, elbowing, glassy-eyed, merchandise-crazed mobs rapidly taking over the city. On that note… how would everyone like a homemade gift this year?! Say, FUDGE perhaps?
It snowed in Vancouver. Which made it profoundly important to bake sugar cookies shaped like Christmas trees and cover them in sparkles. It also means my willpower broke and I busted out the faux-garland, the family of snowmen, the giant stockings, and the sparkly Christmas wreath. And yes, I have already watched Elf. There’s no going back, people, Christmas is happening.
For all fans of mint and chocolate, have I got the cookie for you. They are like Christmas in your mouth. In fact, with the rich smell of these tasty treats baking in the oven, it took all my strength to keep my Christmas boxes in the basement. The thing is, once I get started, I am unstoppable. I am obsessed with Christmas.
I managed to keep the sparkly holiday paraphernalia in storage, but compromised by extracting every December food magazine issue from my overstuffed-to-the-point-of-being-a-safety-risk cookbook bookcase and having another cookie.
Pumpkin cheesecake. If you haven’t tried it, here is my suggestion: drop what you are doing; run, do not walk, to your kitchen and start preheating your oven; tie your frilly apron strings snugly around your waist, and ignore all phone calls for the next hour. Trust me, you want to undertake this killer dessert with the urgency it deserves.
Although reminiscent of the traditional pumpkin pie, pumpkin cheesecake is richer, creamier, and even more sinfully delicious. With a silky vanilla-bourbon caramel sauce and nutty toasted pecans it could arguably be considered a religious experience. Continue Reading »
Do you ever get the urge, at 6:30 pm on a weeknight when everyone is already starving, to whip up something markedly not weeknight appropriate? Say, lasagna for instance? I did. Last night. I simply turned a blind eye while my hungry counterpart stole nibbles of shredded cheese from the counter for himself and our furry companion, and everyone was happy when dinner finally made it’s appearance two hours later.
On a rainy Fall night, when you aren’t quite sure how you feel about November showing up unexpectedly and without permission, there is nothing like a piping hot lasagna to cheer you up, with a thick layer of chewy cheese on top and crunchy edges. And let me tell you – roasted eggplant and portobello mushrooms make a killer lasagna. I surpassed my own self-expectations with this one.
This time of year I experience rapid onset gourd obsession, which makes for significantly more cumbersome market-trip wise than my summertime berry obsession. However, although gourds are significantly heavier and more awkward to amble home with, their redeeming quality is that they are happy to sit on the counter for weeks while you mull over what to do with them.
Pumpkins baked in cheesecakes, spaghetti squash shredded under a hearty marinara sauce, those lovely acorn squashes hollowed out and filled with butter and brown sugar to roast, butternut squash in soup or in ravioli with brown butter and sage – the possibilities, both sweet and savoury, are delightful and seemingly endless.
This soup was born of my need to find a creative use for the several pounds of shredded turkey meat I froze after (Canadian) Thanksgiving two weeks ago. I incidentally also made 12 litres of turkey stock with the intention of canning it.
Unfortunately, it was only when I had pots and jars covering every square inch of my kitchen that I popped open my laptop to google processing times, and learned something I should have known – you can NOT safely can homemade stock using the water bath canning method. Botulism is not killed at the temperature of boiling water. You must have a pressure canner, which uses pressure to raise the water temperature higher. Gah. Now I have a freezer stuffed to bursting with five-pound “turkeystock-sicles” in Ziploc bags creating a serious hazard to unsuspecting toes and their clumsy owners. Continue Reading »