Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I made a mistake. I baked something, took pictures of it while standing over the table and getting really really excited to share it with you, only to realize days later when I was getting ready to blog it, that I had already done it in 2012. It's no big deal, besides, it's a delicious idea for Valentine's Day if you're into that sort of thing. If not, it's still a fabulous cake to share with your friends and family, it's full of chocolate and still delicately sweet. My parents loved it, we each had a slice with a scoop of cookies and cream ice cream while watching tv.
Sunday, January 19, 2014
I’ve been ignoring my blog. I’ve been procrastinating this post for the longest time. I’ve typed up many drafts, then stoped mid-sentence and decided what I’m typing is stupid and no one is remotely interested in my shopping adventures in New York City or the fact that I failed as a food blogger and only went to two (!!!) bakeries in one of the greatest cities of the world (though I did have an amazzzing ogre-sized chocolate chip cookie and a salted pecan butter cookie).
I haven’t been motivated to do anything. I even have pictures from an ice cream circa November 2013 that I haven’t bothered with. I blame work, it’s exhausting mentally and physically. I can barely keeping my eyes open Monday to Friday (sometimes Saturdays too), when I finally come home after my 90 minute commute, I just want to pass out in my bed, pull the covers over my head and sleep till the next day.
Thank god for cookies. There's no going wrong with butter and sugar, and the magic that happens when you blend them together with some flour with fresh ginger and add a large pinch of cinnamon. These cookies are soft and chewy on the inside, without the crystallized ginger, they are mildly spicy and go well with a glass of milk in one hand. My friend had a birthday party and as usual, I baked. I gave her a batch of these cookies wrapped in tissue paper with a homemade card tucked into it. I saved a few for myself to get through the cold winter days. I’m advocating cookies increase work morale and productivity.
Sunday, December 1, 2013
I made these cheesecake squares for a birthday party a few weeks ago. I don’t like showing up to a party empty-handed. Cake makes perfect conversation-starters, especially if you're shy around a new group of people and love being showered with compliments. Besides, who doesn’t like to celebrate their birthday with a little sweet treat?
These bars are delicately sweet, the filling is velvety smooth and rich, it sits on top a thick graham cracker crust flavoured with a hint of cinnamon. I prefer cheesecake with a thicker crust for some textural contract to the cream cheese and these seal the deal. Also, you might have noticed the flaky sea salt, everyone at the party loved it. The combination of salty and sweet never gets old. Happy December!
Sunday, November 24, 2013
I had a craving for chocolate chip cookies. I knew exactly what kind I wanted: thick, chunky, cookies riddled with generous pieces of dark chocolate and a little sea salt on top to off set the sweetness. The kind that of cookies that makes you lick your lips right before biting into them, the kind that is so full of chocolate, it melts between your fingers. Finally, I made these and viola, my cravings were settled.
I picked up work at another nursing home a few months ago. The staff are great, I'm finally starting to learn people's names (though my eyes still linger over their name tags when in doubt) and the best part, the commute is the shortest compared to my other nursing homes. I brought a box of these cookies to work and everyone loved them. I offered them bright and early at 7am to my coworkers, word spread like wild fire and they came barging into the office for more. Are these the legendary cookies with the legendary hyperbolic title? My coworkers certain think so.
These cookies are similar to the NY Times version I blogged about here and the whole wheat version here, the main difference is the use of oat flour in this recipe, which gives it an extra textural mouthfeel. There's also grated chocolate, for extra chocolatelyness, which is never a bad thing. I used the NY times tip in leaving the dough overnight in the fridge which improves the flavour and is highly recommended.Recipe here!
Saturday, November 9, 2013
Eggplants were one of those foods I despised as a child. My face twisted in disgust when I saw that my parents had ordered them at a restaurant, they looked like fat worms slouched over each other, lurking in a dish smothered in some sort of gooey sauce. I hated their weird silky texture and imagined how easily they could slip down my throat, latch onto my esophagus and multiply by the dozens. Ugh. I begged my parents not to scoop any for me (along with onions and cooked carrots, my other childhood food aversions).
Then as I grew older, I started to enjoy the purple vegetable. I don’t exactly remember the turning point, but suddenly stopped dreading the sight of them when we dined out. I actually liked their slipperiness, how they slithered in my mouth bursting with a salty, chili sauce riddled with ground pork. That’s still my favourite way to eat them, especially with a bowl of rice soak up all the garlicky sauce.
I’ve never had them in a sweet dish and I think we can agree, eggplant rarely comes in a dessert form, but thanks to my friend Claudia who sent me this recipe, here we are with eggplant tarte tatin. Does that sound heavenly? It tastes awesome by the way.
The vegetable is shredded then sliced into thick matchsticks, boiled with butter and sugar until golden. The eggplant turns into luxurious pieces, reminding me of ripe pears but still retaining that familiar peppery bite. Blackened bits of eggplant clung to edges of the tart, which I picked at uncontrollably. The puff pastry is a superb vehicle for holding the eggplant candy (Ha! Never thought I’d use those words together) and besides, everyone loves flaky crusts.
Who would have thought caramelizing vegetables, let alone the humble eggplant, would transform it into a toffee-like substance? These could totally count as your serving of daily vegetables.
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Last weekend was my birthday. The days leading up it I was caught up with extreme fatigue at work, my long commutes and early wake up calls sometimes bring me down. Besides, the bewilderment of being another year ‘wiser’ seemed unreal. When Friday finally came, I was ready to parrrrty. I went to Reservoir Lounge with some close friends, enjoyed many sweet cocktails (Mmm I can still taste the strawberry coconut martini), not to mention the tequila shots my friends bought me, and one of them made peanut butter cupcakes with the most decadent chocolate frosting I've ever had. We drank some more then danced a little. We left after midnight, and my boyfriend, Jacques, drove us home.
The next day we slept in, had a lazy morning drinking coffee and reading the paper, Jacques and I planned our pub crawl for the night. We managed to hit Biermarkt, Lou Dawg's for chili cheese poutine, and then Bassline. It's rare that we get to spend the whole day together and it was awesome. He spoiled me and I was thankful for it, he’s my instant cheerer-upper.
I know the recipe is long, I looked at it once and immediately turned up my nose, ready to find another simpler project to do, but trust me on this, you won’t regret making this babka. It’s a sure crowd-pleaser that you will make over and over again.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Once a week I drive up to Collingwood for work. It’s almost a 2 hour drive but the breathtaking views and the overload of fall colours make it my favourite commute. On the highway, I drive through rolling hills and patches of thick fog that permeate the air. In the mornings, the sun spills its golden light over towering trees, and they glisten various shades of red, orange, yellow and green, an autumnal rainbow if you will.
I used a recipe I’ve blogged about before, replacing the cinnamon with a pumpkin spice mixture. I was going for sweet rolls jacked up with strong pumpkin spice but the flavours came out meh, instead of pow! Still, the texture is awesome, the dough is easy to handle, as the brown sugar melts, it smells faintly like caramel. The cream cheese frosting moistens the bread just enough and makes my sticky fingers all worth it.