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.

Potato Latkes, stacked -- TheMessyBaker.com
19 Apr
Recipe: Potato Latkes
Potato Latkes, draining - TheMessyBaker.com I was going to make you guess what's in the photo above, but the post's headline gives it away. Darn you, Google, and your search engine demands. If you hover your cursor over the image, you will know, these golden fritters are potato latkes. I made a big batch after the recent potato-fueled food fight. I'd like to tell you this was culinary revenge, a well-thought out, two-pronged political move to advocate potato farmers while sticking it to the makers of Fake Food in a Canister. But to be honest, it was simply a quick way to satisfy my stomach. Thinking about potatoes all day left me  hungry -- for  potatoes. So, with little more than four medium spuds and an onion on hand, I cooked the only thing I could think of that used these ingredients. Latkes -- and lots of them -- was the result.
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18 Apr
Potatoes: This Spud’s for YOU
With dozens of product pitches landing in my inbox daily, it takes a lot for one to stand out. Yesterday, one jumped off the monitor and poked me in the eyeball. Their selling point. "[It] takes just 2 minutes to prepare in the microwave  -- no extra pots or dishes to wash." Oh, they had me at "microwave". But not in the way they intended. What left me rubbing my eyes in disbelief? Their approach. Was it to promote their product? Not so much. The aim of this campaign is: "To create humorous posts about how potatoes are a boring alternative to Fake Food In a Canister." (Note: I have changed the name of the product in question to protect The Shameless.) Too dumb to insult a root vegetable all on your own? Maybe one of these suggestions will get the creative juices flowing:
  • An image and story of talk show host potato that has put its guests to sleep
  • An image and story of a potato totally underdressed in it's (sic) plain old skin for an event
  • Showcase kids talking about how boring potatoes are and how they love Fake Food In a Canister
  • Showcase how potatoes don't cut it - they're so worthless to eat - doorstoppers, brick-fixes (spoof on home entertainment show sponsored by Fake Food in a Canister)
Apparently, it's even funnier if you drag children into it. Nothing like teaching them how to run a smear campaign early. As a proponent of real food -- and a potato lover -- I'm not taking this sitting down.
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12 Apr
5 Things I Never Thought I’d Have in My Pantry
KeepSecret Can you keep a secret? After going on and on about Homemade This and From-Scratch That, I've come to realize there is a spot for convenience foods in my life and in my cupboard. While I prefer fresh to tinned, homemade to reconstituted, the food snob in me has learned to make concessions. I just don't usually broadcast them for fear that fessing up will get me banned from the culinary section of the Internet -- or at least pelted with organic heirloom tomatoes. While the following items are to food what K-Mart is to fashion, they do the trick -- under specific circumstances. So here is my culinary confession. My pantry contains the following non-artisan, non-organic, far-from-fresh items. And I'm not about to give them up.
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11 Apr
Recipe: Crumpets
In this age of pre-made artisanal everything, some foods remain defiant. While you can buy decent heat-and-eat naan in the grocery store, flaky croissants at any good bakery and to-die-for bagels at delis, crumpets remain elusive. The store-bought versions are rubbery and taste like they're sprinkled with vinegar. The real ones? Slightly chewy but light, with only a hint of a sourness. The trademark holes harness a sea of  melted butter on which honey or homemade jam buoy with delight. Yup, I wrote that sentence high  --  on the memory of my homemade crumpets. Although crumpets can be mass produced, their prime is too short to make them mass marketable. Within a couple of hours they morph from golden brown butter sponges into wan, pockmarked hockey pucks. And because crumpets are best only fresh-from-the-griddle, I'm breaking several of my unwritten culinary rules to share this recipe. To make these I:
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08 Apr
Surreal Winners
[caption id="attachment_4899" align="alignnone" width="427" caption="Bob Blumer, the Surreal Gourmet at The Drake."][/caption]   Normally, I sit back and let technology do the dirty work for me. I rely on Random.org because it's neutral, easy to use and absolves me of any bias. But this time, I asked you to sway me with your words, and you did. I gotta say, you are a good-natured bunch. I was expecting horror stories of water balloon bombings or tacks on chairs. The worst gag was a toothpaste tube stuffed with mayo -- but it must have been effective. After I stopped laughing, I spent hours wondering how the heck he'd managed to do it. And Melissa? She dropped by to share a lovely story about Bob Blumer's graciousness. She already owns the book I'm giving away, so wasn't even entering the contest . So, here I am left smiling at your stories and acts of kindness, and kicking myself for volunteering to sit in the judge's chair. But I've no one else to blame, so here goes. The winners of  Glutton for Pleasure: Signature Recipes, Epic Stories and Surreal Etiquette by Bob Blumer are:
Forty Creek Pecan Pie
04 Apr
Forty Creek Whisky Pecan Pie
Forty Creek Whisky Pecan Pie by TheMessyBaker.com In our home, birthdays are about dessert. It doesn't matter if the ingredients send me to six specialty shops, or if the results require a small team of architecture students to assemble. If you can dream it, I will make it. Providing you're a family member. Two-recipes-in-one, Frozen Lemon Pavlova? Of course, Mom. Hazelnut Mocha Tort with fancy chocolate topping? My pleasure, Allison. Non-Jammy Raspberry Pie? Anything for you, my only Father-in-Law. So this year, when Andrew asked for Pecan Pie I couldn't say no.
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01 Apr
Fennel Salad with Golden Beets and Apples
Fennel Salad with Maple Candied Pecans - TheMessyBaker.com [box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"] Update: Sorry. The contest is closed. However, the fennel salad recipe remains open to anyone willing to give it a try. [/box] As one of the world's most gullible people, I hate April Fool's Day.  Apparently watching me scramble for the binoculars is a hoot. And my reaction when I discover the rare bird at my feeder is actually stuffed? Priceless. But it's not only family who gets a rise out of me. Last year a respectable Ontario food centre had me believing locally-grown hot-house pineapples were this close to hitting the stores. While the fake bird was private, I outed my pineapple ignorance publicly on Twitter. So, this year, to be safe, I decided not to open my email, read the news or pop over to any of the social networking sites before noon. But April Fools found me anyway. I had written this blog post a month ago. Having arranged a special April Fool's giveaway, I was on top of things and just sitting pretty until March ended. But when I went to my computer, the file was gone. I have never inadvertently lost a post in all my years of blogging. I've had the server crash mid-composition, but never has a saved file gone AWOL. Until today.
Raspberry Pie about to go into the oven - TheMessyBaker.com
28 Mar
Raspberry Pie

Raspberry pie is risky business. Jam-style diehards want theirs sweet, sweet, sweet, while people like me long for a slice that will pucker the palate. After all, the ice cream's supposed to smooth things over. Right? If the filling isn't stressful enough, then there's the crust...

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25 Mar
National Toast Day Winner

Who knew so many of you were toast fans? And with such diverse tastes. Some like their toast light, others call anything short of dark brown "wimpy." You gobble it slathered with butter of all kinds. -- plain, maple and peanut. While sweet jam go...

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24 Mar
Recipe: Thai Curry
Ingredients for Thai Curry - TheMessyBaker.com Today I'm on CTV News at Noon. It's my 7th appearance and I've decided it's time I actually cooked something. Oh, I've diced apples, sliced peaches, mixed salad dressing, stuffed peppers, roasted an array of vegetables and even pulverized chickpeas in the name of hummus, but I've never actually cooked anything. So today, I'm making Thai Curry. Live. Can't you just feel the tension? I can't tell you more than that since my host, Kyle, will be making decisions as we go. Will he pick red curry paste or green? Chicken or beef? And just which vegetable will he toss into the mix? Tune in to find out. For those who can't catch the show, I'll post a link to the clip later. In the meantime, here's the basic recipe we'll be making. It's quick, easy and should be ready to eat by the time you've cooked the rice. Got a favourite Thai dish? Or questions about Thai cuisine? Drop by the comments section. It's always open. In the meantime, here's the basic recipe we'll be using.

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