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.

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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...

Maple trees in Ontario, tapped for making maple syrup
15 Mar
Maple Syrup – The Ultimate Slow Food
[caption id="attachment_7278" align="alignnone" width="500"]Maple trees in Ontario, tapped for making maple syrup Jo Marie's maple tress tapped for sap.[/caption] When I was nine, we moved to a house with two huge maple trees in the side yard. Years before, someone had tapped the trees and left the spiles in the trunk. Intrigued by the metal protruding from the bark, I asked my mother what they were for. When she explained, I blithely suggested we make our own maple syrup. Without even pretending to consider my request, Mom said no. At the time I thought my mother — the woman who baked bread, made pastry and even created hand-dipped chocolates for Easter — was being incredibly unreasonable. She wasn't. I now understand why.
milehigh
05 Mar
Recipe: Perfect Elephant Ears (Palmiers)
Elephant Ear - TheMessyBaker These are elephant ears. Or palm ears. Or palmiers. Or French hearts, or butterflies or glasses. No matter what you call them, these sugar-laced puff pastry treats are one of my all time favourites. Like most things worthwhile, they are a labour of love. And I love my father. So I made a batch to welcome him home after a month abroad on a volunteer mission. But as Murphy would have it, my website went haywire* during the process. I tried to restore the site between rounds of rolling, chilling, slicing and baking. The results? A salvaged blog and a pan of burnt elephant ears. Another senseless waste of pastry.
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
29 Feb
A lighter approach to olive oil ice cream
This isn't the best ice cream photo in the world, but it was perhaps the best ice cream experience I've had in a long, long time. And to think, I was prepared to dislike it. Despite my recent revelations regarding misguided food biases, I still haven't fully learned to open my mind when I open my mouth to taste. And for the past few years I've carried a grudge against olive oil ice cream — the one time "it dish" of the culinary world. Recipe variations clogged the internet. Food writers crafted sonnets about it. Trend spotters trampolined the dish at the top of their Hot Lists. For a while olive oil ice cream was the salted caramel/chocolate bacon/sweet potato fries of frozen desserts. It was embraced by everyone but me. I had tried it at the celebrity restaurant that started the whole craze, and within 10 seconds regretted my $7/bowl purchase. While the initial flavour was pleasing, it left my mouth coated with oil and the lingering aftertaste was of ... well... olive oil. So, as Pimenton's paella class wound down and Chef José Arato delivered bowls of homemade vanilla ice cream drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, I figured I'd take a spoonful and politely claim to be too full to finish. If I'd been alone, I'd have licked the bowl.
paella
26 Feb
Recipe: Paella
Making and enjoying paella - TheMessyBaker.com One of these days I'll learn how to take notes, shoot pictures and eat, all at once. This sort of multi-tasking would have come in very handy last week when I attended a paella class at Pimenton in Toronto. Greeted by a table full of tapas, fellow bloggers chopping vegetables and a warm and welcoming Chef José Arato, my anxiety over arriving late due to the rush hour drive melted. It took at couple of Tortilla & Chorizo Tarts to calm me down, but they did the trick. Until the class, most of my knowledge about paella came from Posh Nosh, a British cooking show spoof. Unlike the TV version, Chef José's paella was cooked on the stove top — not in the ancestral Aga — and uses bomba rice, not Italian arborio. Who knew you can't trust the BBC for cooking advice?
clotted-cream
21 Feb
Homemade Clotted Cream

Shrove Tuesday doesn't have to include pancakes. Today is really about gorging on rich foods before the 40-day fast of Lent. Pancakes just happen to be cooked in grease, filled with eggs and topped with more decadence.  It's okay to think beyond the griddle. Any...

preserved-lemons-almost-done
17 Feb
Recipe: Preserved Lemons
Making preserved lemons - TheMessyBaker.com It's time to strike another item off my Culinary Bucket List. In an uncharacteristic display of patience, I tackled preserved lemons. They require endurance, not because they are hard to make, but because they take 4 weeks to cure. In the meantime, to scratch my immediate-gratification itch, I started a Tumblr — a place to stuff all those little items I can't clutter up the blog with. It'll be a home for stray thoughts, non-food shots (which don't necessarily translate to cats), and food shots that aren't good enough for Foodgawker but tell a story I want to share. I'm still figuring it out, but if you care to pop by I have added a link to the far right of the menu bar. Go on. Click it. I dare you. Anyway, I started researching preserved lemons

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