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.

IMG_1654
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.
Flour-Measuring
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...

040808192440
13 May
My Mother’s Hands | Lemon Curd Recipe
My Mother - TheMessyBaker.com 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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04 May
Recipe: Butter and Maple Blondies
According to my mother, I have loved butter ever since I was old enough to sneak a one-pound brick of it out of the grocery bag, quietly peel back the foil, lick off a good inch, rewrap the evidence and slip it back in the bag. I think I was about 4. Today, I consume fat far more responsibly and the cat is the one who sneaks licks of butter.
Although I use this dairy product prudently, my love of butter remains. I cannot imagine Christmas without rich, buttery shortbread. What would boiled lobster be without its melted sidekick? Just another bottom feeder. And popcorn? Don't even think the word "butter-flavoured topping." So, when Stirling Creamery hosted an evening at Ruby Watchco to showcase their new butter collection, I just couldn't say no. Ruby Watchco in Toronto Before this butter-infused evening I thought there were two kinds of butter -- salted and unsalted. And I was wrong. So very, very wrong.
03 May
Kitchen Disasters & Fixes — Today’s Winner

We have our first winner. Joni, who tends to burn things, has won a copy of my new app Kitchen Disasters & Fixes. I'll be giving away a copy of the app each day this week until Sunday, so if you have an iPhone, iPad or...

Splash-Screen
01 May
Kitchen Disasters & Fixes is now on iTunes

Hooray, hooray! The month of May. My iTunes app went live today. Okay, I'm not a poet. But I have written a pretty good app. Having had more than my share of Kitchen Disasters, I thought it might be a good idea to share my hard-earned...

Baby daffodil
27 Mar
Back in April

As luck — and Murphy — would have it, I encountered some serious computer issues right after the maple syrup trek. I couldn't download photos or work for more than half an hour without the system grinding to a halt. And surfing the web? My...

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