Blog Post List

This blog post list contains the most recent blog posts from The Messy Baker in reverse chronological order. You can also browse by recipe category or use the search function.

Zucchini fries-1
23 Aug
Zucchini Fries | A Baked Version
These came from my section of The Family Plot. The one on the right is about the size you find in the supermarket on any given day. The one on the left? It dwarfs a butternut squash. At a whopping 5 pounds, 5 ounces it's bigger than some newborns. And I'm not talking premies. Folklore says the cabbage patch is the source for babies, but this bambino came from a singe zucchini mound. My sister planted four. I fear for our sanity. Just as I was figuring out what to do with the six pounds of bland squash, these arrived.
Explosion
16 Aug
It’s Raining Butter
Butter Explosion - The Messy Baker strikes again I have melted butter in the microwave for years without incident. Well, okay there was the fire incident, but I never made that mistake again. Today, just as my new baking column at Recipes.ca launched, I had a series of baking disasters. The one pictured above was #3, so that should be the end of mishaps - for today at least. The first was a muffin recipe I'm creating for The Messy Baker that somehow derailed. Instead of light batter I found myself mixing something akin to melted silly putty. The next batch mixed according to plan but when I pulled the tin from the oven, its edge clipped the rack and all 12, beautifully risen muffins tumbled into the oven or onto the floor. "Rats!" I said. Or something like that. Even mangled, the muffins tasted good, so I moved onto the popovers. The butter I'd melted earlier in the morning had solidified again, so I popped the pyrex into the microwave for 15 seconds. Twelve seconds later, I heard a POP and discovered the mess pictured above. I said "Rats!" again. Only louder, and perhaps with a few variations thrown in. So, exactly what happened? Science.
Berry Semifreddo Diptych-500
14 Aug
Mixed Berry Semifreddo
Okay, now I feel guilty. What was I thinking? Posting two recipes in a row that required special equipment. First a food dehydrator, then an ice cream maker. Let's blame the peaches for being so enticing. As an apology, here is a recipe for a frozen treat that requires nothing more elaborate than a loaf pan. Oh yes, and that pesky blender. You do have one, don't you?
peach sorbet scoop
12 Aug
What to Do with Less-than-Perfect Peaches: Peach Sorbet
Peach Sorbet is dairy-free, gluten-free and delicious - TheMessyBaker.com The other day I posted about fruit leather (aka fruit roll-ups), which is an easy way to use up fruit that's no longer ready for its close-up. Whether you make it in an oven or dehydrator, the method is embarrassingly easy. Just blend, pour, then abandon for hours on end. It's ideal for lazy people like me. And the results are quite possibly addictive. Just ask my sister. The astute reader will notice that I had more peaches on hand than a couple sheets of fruit leather required. And you'd be correct. I had enough on-the-cusp peaches for a batch of  peach sorbet. Clean, refreshing peach sorbet. See, it's already beginning to melt in the heat. 
Peach and Ginger Fruit Leather - The Messy Baker
09 Aug
What to Do with Less-Than-Perfect Peaches – Fruit Leather

[caption id="attachment_8131" align="alignnone" width="500"] You don't need a dehydrator to make fruit roll-ups, but if you're looking for an excuse to buy one, these will seal the deal.[/caption] What do you do when you have less-than-perfect peaches squatting on your counter, threatening to dissolve into a...

coloured eggs-1
07 Aug
Eggs From Jude’s Back Yard
[caption id="attachment_8094" align="alignnone" width="500"] A dozen reasons why raising your own eggs is worthwhile.[/caption] Do not adjust your screen. These eggs really are light blue. And ivory. And beige. And speckley brown. And yes, that big one in the middle is pointy at both ends. My cousin Jude and her husband brought eggs from their backyard coop when they came to celebrate my mom's 80th birthday this past weekend. Mom got a party with cake and presents. I got fresh, home-raised, free-range eggs. I think I came out the winner. For the first time in my adult life I saw, touched and ate eggs raised by someone I know, delivered by chickens with names. The blue ones are courtesy of Banana, Big Bird and Roadie,  arucana hens. Jasmine and Ginger, the Buff Opringtons,  supplied the dark brown eggs and this one, with its inky brown spots...
garlic harvest-1
30 Jul
How to Grow Your Own Garlic
A friend has a theory that my family is part vampire. We are unnaturally pale and live a very, very long time. I am about to disprove this theory. I don't shrink at the sight of garlic. In fact, I grow it. This is garlic straight from my garden. It's shaggy and covered in dirt. Not at all like the pristine white bulbs you find in the supermarket.  It hasn't been trimmed or cleaned yet. I wanted you to see what it looked like straight from the earth. I started growing garlic a few years ago because the only option at the supermarket was spongy, bitter bulbs from 10,000+ kms away. I haven't looked back. And as with most things, I keep learning as I go.
Corn with Chili Lime and Cilantro Butter-1-2
26 Jul
Corn with Cilantro-Lime-Chili Butter
Cilantro, Lime, Chili Butter turns plain corn-on-the-cob into something special - TheMessyBaker.com This week's Gastropost challenge was to "recreate or revisit a food experience that will refresh sunny memories of summers past." With strawberries and peaches already covered, my mind went to corn — a food that leaves me conflicted. In season, corn-on-the-cob means both the height of summer and its dreaded end. The following essay was published in the Globe and Mail a few years ago. I think it's time to pull it out, pluck the corn silk from between its paragraphs and see how it goes. The recipe follows. We never had any exotic toppings when I was a kid. It was just plain butter and salt. And plenty of it.
Indian Green Beans
23 Jul
Indian Green Beans
Handful of green beans - TheMessyBaker.com I don't know if there are the Fortex pole beans or the Maxibel French filet beans. I suspect they are a mix. I can't tell because the vines are so thick the leaves obscure the labels. Plus, I was too busy picking beans to bother looking. Regardless of their official name, these are the first crop of beans from my section of  The Family Plot. Back in May, I planted them with one recipe in mind. Today I got to make it. A few months ago, Monica Bhide made me a variation of her Green Beans Subzi, a spicy vegetable dish with lots of flavour and crunch. She strayed from the version in her cookbook Modern Spice, and added coconut chips for extra crunch because she knows I like texture.  Since that meal, I have searched for coconut chips and come up empty handed. Unable to locate this ingredient, I substituted extra large coconut flakes. They aren't exactly the same, but I'm not about to complain.
Peach tomato salad with bocconcini - TheMessyBaker.com
19 Jul
Peach, Tomato Salad with Bocconcini
  Peach tomato salad with bocconcini - TheMessyBaker.com When a spring frost destroyed much of the tender fruit crops in Ontario, I was afraid I wouldn't see a local peach this year, let alone one that delivered a true peachy taste. Fortunately, I was wrong. While the size of the crop may not be large, the peaches are beginning to roll in, and they are sweet, flavourful and juicy. After the intense heat of the past few weeks, I couldn't bring myself to turn on the oven. Too impatient for ice cream (and with a cracked filling that made me temporarily sensitive to hot and cold food), I decided to make something very simple with my first batch of peaches. Something that would also let me experiment with the new basils I have in the garden. Alongside the opal, leaf, and Thai basils, I planted lime basil and -- get this -- lavender basil. While the lime basil had a bright, citrusy taste, the lavender version was surprisingly mild and had a floral scent that screamed out for peaches. So I obliged.

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.

 

Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!