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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22 Sep
Three Farmers Camelina Oil Winners

You commented. You tweeted. You came up with some innovative and hunger-inducing ways to use Camelina oil. Me? Turned to Random.Org and selected three winners, totally without bias. It took three whole button clicks. I'm exhausted! So a big congratulations and a bottle of Three Farmers Camelina...

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20 Sep
Recipe: Baco Noir Wine Jelly
Homemade Red Wine Jelly - TheMessyBaker.com Get smug while making preserves and you'll smart for it. Think you're too coordinated to need a funnel? Well, let me tell you, one blob of 220°F  jelly straight to the thumb will change your mind in a heck of a hurry. It certainly made me rethink saving a few bucks. After a couple of years eyeballing it with a ladle, I'm now the contrite owner of a stainless steel canning funnel from Lee Valley. And no, they didn't pay me for the mention. I'm just trying to save you some grief. Of course, to make the trek worthwhile, I left with an herb infuser and jelly bag. I was determined the next batch wouldn't beat me. And it didn't.
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19 Sep
Recipe: Watermelon & Raspberry Soup

When I signed up for the watermelon carving challenge I figured inspiration would arrive by the time I received my personal-sized watermelon and its accompanying dual-ended melon baller. It didn't. So, I scoured The National Watermelon Promotion Board's website to see if anything sparked an idea. One look at the fun and fanciful watermelon rabbits, sharks and hedgehogs and my brain seized. I got the sculpting equivalent of writer's block. I went blank. Totally and completely blank. To kickstart my creativity, I looked through books, surfed the net and flipped through magazines. I meditated on the issue. I rolled the watermelon about the kitchen floor. I even went to bed envisioning the word "watermelon" in bright pink letters in hopes the answer might come to me in a dream. It didn't. After days of lackluster watermelon inspiration I resigned myself to failure. While I sulked on the back steps and contemplated leaving the adorable little watermelon in the refrigerator until it dissolved into something unrecognizable, a Japanese anemone caught the breeze and bobbed about in the garden. This soft pink flower is one of my favourites. Its simple and elegant petals are a final splash of light summer pink before deep autumn tones take over. Gently curved anemones speak to me more than over-stuffed double roses, ruffled hybrid lilies or busy asters. And then it hit me. I was making things too hard. The answer to my watermelon dilemma was waving at me. So, here is my watermelon carving challenge entry:
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16 Sep
Recipe: Butter Rum Pound Cake
I was going to post this on Monday, September 19th, official Talk Like a Pirate Day. But I used up all my lame pirate jokes back in 2006 when I needed a tie-in for my rumball recipe. Despite getting so tipsy spliced t'mainbrace sampling the rum-laced glaze that I came this close to bellowing out a sea shanty, this will be a straight up, pirate-free pound cake post -- which is only fitting since Camilla V. Saulsbury shouldn't share the lime light with anyone, let alone a scurvy, one-eyed bilge rat. What makes Camilla so special? Not only did she create 750 muffin recipes a while back, her new book, Piece of Cakehas 176 tasty and easy-to-make variations. Carrying the one, that's 926 recipes she's come up with in one year. I'm chuffed when I come up with three variations on galette. How's she do it? Spin a flavour wheel? Pull herbs out of a hat? No, According to Camilla, it's a "savant thing" she's done all her life. In college, her classmates thought she was a meticulous notetaker, but in reality she was scribbling down flavour ideas during lectures. Higher education has never been put to such good use.
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15 Sep
Three Farmers Camelina Oil and a Give Away
Update: Since The Three Farmers won their bid on Dragon's Den, I have been getting a lot of questions about this oil. If you are interested in buying some, there is a list of retail outlets on the Three Farmers' site. Click here to see the list.
Is bright yellow the new olive green? These tiny mustard-coloured seeds are from the Camelina plant. Although popular in Europe since the 1940s, Camelina oil has been commercially available in Canada only since December 2010. I'm no trend spotter, but if I'm right, Camelina might be Canada's answer to imported extra virgin olive oil. 
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14 Sep
Wordless Wednesday: Cat Wants Out

Note to self: Re-paint the screen door or buy a new one. Note from orange tabby: A new one, please. With a cat flap.          ...

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13 Sep
Recipe: Green Beans with Smoked Paprika and Marcona Almonds
I've created a monster. Or half a dozen monsters to be precise. Seems I've become the unofficial pastry chef for potlucks. In the past month alone I've made three fruit galettes, two rounds of pavlova, a gigantic chocolate-orange torte, a double batch of ginger cookies, champagne sorbet, and a couple of ask-for-seconds bundt cakes. I'm forgetting what vegetables look like. Oh wait. They look like this..
Black Cherry Raspberry Galetter by The Messy Baker
11 Sep
Black Cherry and Raspberry Galette with Walnut Frangipane and Ginger
Black Cherry Raspberry Galetter by The Messy Baker Do you really need me to write out the instructions with a recipe title like that? Clearly I didn't name the dish with Twitter in mind. Instead, I created this for my parents' anniversary. When asked what he wanted for dessert, Dad requested a "red galette." After a bit of probing, I learned this was code for "use raspberries." When I asked what he wanted to go with the raspberries his response was blunt. "No peaches!" Turns out Dad likes his peaches in their natural state, not cooked. So much for the peach galette I made him when I thought he didn't like pavlova. Perhaps I should start issuing surveys before planning a menu for family events. So, with walnuts in the pantry and a batch of this season's black cherries in the freezer, I riffed on the ruby red rhubarb and raspberry galette my father liked so much. I even made an oil-based pastry so my newly dairy-free sister could enjoy dessert. It was a bit brittle and needed the support of a pie plate, but I got bonus points for the attempt. Despite springing a few leaks, the results were deemed Breakfast Worthy, which in our house, is the ultimate compliment.
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09 Sep
Schwartz’s Deli
No one guessed the meaning of yesterday's mystery sign. Via Facebook, email and other sources, readers hazarded the following guesses:
  • clackers
  • "dual hose bibs for firefighters when looking for water in downtown areas...also known as a Siamese connection"
  • "a place where you could plug something in to charge it"
  • a warning of "low hanging lights"
  • a practice area for the gymnastic sport of rings
  • and my favourite -- it means you "ARE allowed to peep in the door mail slot"
All valiant efforts. All wrong.
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08 Sep
Montreal Mystery Sign

Huh? Andrew and I saw this sign in Montreal. Often. It appeared in a wide variety of locations which only made its meaning more perplexing. While we came up with some creative interpretations, none of them made any sense. Got any ideas? Post your suggestions in the...

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