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.

01 Jun
Kitchen Disasters & Fixes | One-Day, One-Dollar

Spend a dollar. Save a dinner.  Not a bad slogan. May 1st my app launched. A month later, I'm celebrating with a sale. Today only, Kitchen Disasters and Fixes is priced at $0.99. Both the iTunes version and the Android version are  2/3 off the regular price of...

29 May
The Family Garden Project
The Family Garden Project - The Messy Baker Who are these people and what on earth are they doing? No doubt this is what neighbours wondered all last year as they saw a great circle of grass tilled, newspapers laid down, earth piled up and various people walking about the mess pointing, shrugging and scratching their heads. After a year drawing, planning, redrafting and wild guesses, the family vegetable patch came to be this past week. A neighbour took the bird's-eye shot (above)  from her second-story window. In case you're curious, I'm  the one the far right crouched down. The ridiculously large green thing on my head is a gardening hat. I like to think it makes me look like Audrey Hepburn. No one else sees this.
24 May
Smoky Bacon and Kale Gratin
Marriage often requires compromise. After almost 10 years, Andrew and I have sorted out the domestic chores, bill payments, and even litter box duties. Yet despite impressive and extended negotiations, we remain deadlocked on certain foods. Andrew loves anything bacon and groans at almost anything that once had roots. Me, the reformed vegetarian? While I'm always open to desserts, I want less meat and more vegetables on the menu. This dish seemed like the perfect solution.
22 May
I’m on CTV today

If you're at home or have a TV recording device (VCR, PVR, DVR, JFK LMONP or whatever) I'm in Kitchener today on CTV's News at Noon. I'll be saving the world (or at least South Western Ontario) from senseless cooking disasters. Tune in as I...

20 May
Cast-Iron Skillet Chicken
Cast-Iron Skillet Chicken - TheMessyBaker.som I'm filing this skillet chicken under "Why didn't I think of this?" This dubious looking chicken is one of the best I've ever had. Moist, juicy and with an impossible crisp skin. It also won me over with its simplicity. I made this in between bursts of gardening. Charmian 246. Weeds 0. Like all good recipes and techniques, this arrived in a cirucuitous route. Karen, a fellow roast chicken fanatic, read about the method in the New York Times, who in turn described the technique as "age-old" and "classic." The idea is to cook a whole chicken evenly using a hot cast-iron frying pan. By splaying the legs and placing them directly on the hot pan, the dark meat begins cooking before the breast meat even hits the oven. The bird emerges evenly cooked with crisp skin and moist meat. I'm sure someone is going to tell me this is how they used to do it in the 1700s or that their grandmother  never cooked a bird any other way, but it's new to me, so I'm passing it along.
15 May
Making and Breaking the Culinary Rules

Barb Freda is my kind of cook. She has firm opinions about cast iron frying pans, loves to break long-held culinary rules, and spells my name right. What more could you want in a fellow food writer? Not much, except perhaps to be invited along...

13 May
My Mother’s Hands | Lemon Curd Recipe
My Mother - These hands turn 80 this summer. These hands have picked strawberries, made jam, kneaded bread, rolled pastry. They have decorated birthday cakes, anniversary cakes and wedding cakes. They have changed diapers, washed clothes, sewn dresses, mended seams, darned socks, stitched buttons, ironed pleats. They have tied shoelaces, braided hair and wrapped presents. They have stroked sweaty hair from fevered foreheads, wiped away tears, plucked thorns from fingers, applied bandages, massaged aching muscles and held the hands of the dying. Despite arthritis, they carry on.
French Rolling Pin
11 May
My French Rolling Pin
This is my French rolling pin. It doesn't have easy-grip handles. It doesn't have ball bearings. It isn't made from cold, heavy marble. It's just a smooth, tapered piece of hardwood. For years I wondered why anyone would choose this style over the comfy-handled version with ball bearings I grew up with. Then last December, watching pastry chef Anna Olson use one to roll a perfect circle of dough, I saw the Rolling Pin Light. Its tapered form allows you to guide the dough in any direction you want. My other pin bullied the pastry, shoved it about, barked orders at it. The resulting tussle left all parties looking somewhat dishevelled and my ego fully bruised.
Preserved Lemons
09 May
Moroccan Lemon Chicken with Preserved Lemons
Some days you just have to take a deep breath and say, "Well, it tasted great!" The day I broken open my stash of  preserved lemons was one of those days. With bright yellow lemons and deep green mint, I thought I could turn out a dish as pretty as the photo in the book that inspired me. I was wrong.
07 May
Tips on Cooking Fish and Kitchen Disasters App Winners
Monday. One of the most maligned days of the week. According to the Mamas and Papas, not only is Monday untrustworthy, it will leave you crying. All of the time. Now I can't have that. So below is a list of the people who won a copy of my app Kitchen Disasters & Fixes. Since fish seemed to stump a lot of people, I am sharig a few of tips from the Fish & Seafood section, so you're all winners.

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