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.

Peach Mango Soup
07 Sep
Peach Mango Soup Shooters

Peach Mango Soup Shooters

I don't think of soup when it comes to pairing wine. And I don't think of peaches when it comes to soup. And I don't think of tart when it comes to sweet, sweet peaches. So a cayenne-kissed, very tangy-yet-sweet peach-mango soup designed to go with Gewurztraminer is exactly the kind of shake-me-up dish I needed to save me from the stupor of Peach Rut. Yes, Peach Rut. It's not often talked about in public, but it is a professionally recognized condition that frequently afflicts food bloggers. Victims find their immunity severely depleted from the stress of creating increasingly complex variations on salsa, ice cream, jam, pie, galettes and upside down cakes. Once grilling and salad options have been exhausted, so is the blogger. New strains of the virus emerge each season, frequently taking the form of Tomato Fatigue, Apple LetDown or the dreaded Dear-God-Not-Another-Zucchini Panic Attack.
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05 Sep
Recipe: Roasted Radishes
  Radishes at the Farmers' Market - TheMessyBaker To observe my mother eating radishes is to understand that over-used phrase "living in the moment." They are not munched like baby carrots or popped into her mouth like grapes. They are consumed with quiet, focused deliberation. To begin, she sets a small bowl of radishes on the table beside her. They are scrubbed and trimmed, with just enough stem to form a handle. She then carefully pours a modest pool of salt on her plate before plucking a radish from the pile. Once she has selected a radish, she nibbles a tiny piece from the tip and dips the freshly exposed end into the salt. She then proceeds to eat the radish, crunching away with a look of peaceful concentration on her face. She doesn't talk. She doesn't touch the other meal items in front of her. She devotes herself fully to the radish. She repeats these steps until her allotment of radishes is gone. The rest of her meal them resumes.
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02 Sep
Recipe: Pavlova
Individual Pavolvas are an easy way to enjoy summer fruit - TheMessyBaker.com If you asked me to describe my father's taste in desserts, I'd tell you he's a lemon man. When he turned 65, Mom and I baked 13 lemon meringue pies for his party. He squeezes fresh lemon juice into his tea and sometimes even orders lemon pie as an appetizer when we dine out. He likes things tart, not sweet, choosing citrus over chocolate any day. Based on his dining history, pavlova is not something he would like. I was so sure of this that when my mother asked for pavlova for her birthday dessert, I made a peach galette as well -- just for Dad. Turns out Dad loves pavlova. Almost as much as he loves lemon. You learn something new every day. So, for the closet pavlova fans out there -- and even for those who like to flaunt their love of this powder-puff dessert - here's the recipe. It has a little lemon in it to cut the sweet. Hey, maybe that's why Dad likes it...
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01 Sep
Recipe: Roasted Strawberries
Writing about strawberries in September seems unreal to me. When I was a kid, September meant corn. Cobs and cobs of hot corn slathered in butter. Strawberries ushered in the summer holidays. They didn't close them.
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31 Aug
The Custom Pantry
Look past my freshly harvested garlic and the stone fruit hogging the counter. See all those boxes lurking in the background? They were expropriating my dining table under the pretence of helping me organize the pantry. Or The Prototype, as I now call it. From last year's renovation and until last month, we shoved tinned goods and baking supplies onto a lopsided IKEA storage shelf in the dining area and a big steel rack in the living room. Like most temporary solutions, they were ugly, marginally serviceable and far more permanent than anyone imagined.
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02 Jul
Happy Canada Day (belated) and 4th of July (early)

Yesterday, I'd meant to wish everyone a Happy Canada Day (or Dominion Day, in the case of my husband). But that didn't happen. I blame the carbs. The day started with pancakes and waffles on the patio -- with just enough protein to keep us level. Add...

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28 Jun
Recipe: Island Steamers with Fennel, Tomato and Lime
Dear Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge, According to numerous news reports, you are coming to Canada and making Prince Edward Island one of your destinations. An excellent choice. While I haven't been to the smallest province in our Dominion since I was a teenager, I assure you, it's charming. Red sand beaches, red-haired heroines and red-skinned potatoes. What more could you want from a country with a bright red maple leaf slapped smack dab in the middle of its flag? We're nothing if not colour coordinated. I know I'm not going to meet you on this occasion either,  which is a shame, because I, too, was an Anne of Green Gables fan as a child. I'm sure we have lots more in common, but judging from your whirlwind itinerary, we wouldn't have much time to mine the depths of our shared experiences even if we did meet up. I realize it's customary to give visiting royalty gifts that reflect the location toured. Since this is just a cyber meeting, and one-sided at that, I'm going to talk about the gift I would have given you had our paths crossed. Unlike the Apple Ginger Truffles I made in honour of your wedding, this is something that won't mess your lovely outfit. As an added bonus, it can fit in your carry-on so you don't have to worry about paying extra luggage fees. If our paths were to cross, I would give you a copy of Flavours of Prince Edward Island: A Culinary Journey by Jeff McCourt, Allan Williams & Austin Clement. Portable, informative, and with evocative photos that cover most aspects of island life, this is the perfect gift for you. When your friends ask you what Prince Edward Island was like, just hand them the book. When you hanker for Crab-Stuffed Mushroom Caps, Cranberry Chutney or Chocolate Potato Cake with Red Raspberry Mud Puddles, call in the kitchen staff and just hand them the book. But be sure to ask for it back. They might want to keep it. This gift even holds the potential for controversy, which I am lead to believe is imperative for a successful Royal Tour.
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15 Jun
Swamped

This is where I am. In a remote stretch of wilderness, ankle deep in murky swamp water with Yodi-knows-what nibbling at my ankles. Only when I say "swamp water" I actually mean "projects" and those pesky ankle biters are really just the "little things" that...

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08 Jun
Sustainable Seafood No Matter Where You Are
As today is World Oceans Day, I thought I'd tip my virtual hat to all the finned, tentacled, shelled, non-land animals out there. I know. I know. One look at my recipe index and you'll see I don't cook a lot of fish. While I'd like to blame the lack of a reliable fishmonger, the real reason is my husband doesn't like anything that comes out of the water. Not even mermaids. That, and the fact I'm a little bit scared of ruining expensive ingredients. Steak is forgiving. You can claim culinary triumph on anything from blue to well-done. But fish and seafood? They slip from perfection to inedible in no time. So, in honour of World Oceans Day, I have four solutions for those who love seafood and the planet. Don't like fish? Have some galette with Andrew. Everyone else, enjoy what the lakes, oceans and waterways have to offer. Guilt-free. No matter where you are.
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06 Jun
Recipe: Rhubarb and Raspberry Galette
Technically this is an original recipe. But like all dishes, its initial creative spark came from a patchwork of ideas. The pivotal concept, pairing rhubarb with raspberry, came via David Lebovitz, who posted a link to Lottie and Doof, who got it from Bon Appetit. With rhubarb on hand and some of last year's raspberries hogging precious freezer space, I took a peek at the recipe. The ingredients were simple enough, but the instructions called for cooking and cooling the filling before baking. I'm lazy. This was not about to happen on a Sunday afternoon. So, I turned to a simple Raspberry Pie recipe, thinking I'd just substitute minced rhubarb for a good portion of the berries. Meanwhile, a bottle of Mexican vanilla called from the cupboard and an orange on the counter begged for attention. I'm not sure how the almonds nosed their way into the dish, but they did. And I'm glad.

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