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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23 Nov
Recipe: Green Bean Fries

There is something subversively satisfying about finding a fried vegetable recipe in a healthy eating book. I was thumbing through Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well with 100 New Clean Food Recipes by Terry Walters. Hidden somewhere between the longest title...

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19 Nov
Thanksgiving Survival Guide
I'm a big advocate of knowing your limits. While I'm very good at producing stellar individual dishes (Cranberry & Apple Cake aside), I'm not as gifted when it comes to co-ordinating large, multi-course meals. Want chicken curry on rice with a veggie? No problem. Drop by anytime for a soup, salad and savory scone. And I'm always happy to whip up a batch of ginger cookies. But ask me to produce a stuffed bird, three sides, sauce and dessert? I channel my inner hypochondriac and start searching for the thermometer. Expect me to serve this to a dozen people while wearing heels? Well, let's just say I play the "Small House with an Eat-In Kitchen" card as often as I can. And thanks to my parents, with their large kitchen and even larger dining room, this excuse works every time. All I have to do is show up with a Pumpkin Pie and I'm golden. But I realize not everyone has this Get-Out-of-Cooking-Thanksgiving-Dinner-Free option. So, to help those who are flying solo with the holiday hosting, I'm acknowledging my limits and handing the reigns over to the pros. Knowing the challenges of organizing and executing a holiday dinner, the good people at Rouxbe Online Cooking School have created a Step-by-Step Holiday Guide to get you through Thanksgiving (or Christmas for that matter).
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17 Nov
Recipe: Cranberry and Apple Cake
Listen to Ina. She is wise. When the Barefoot Contessa says use a 10-inch glass pie pate, use a glass pie plate. When she says use fresh cranberries, use fresh cranberries. But you know me. I never listen. Or more precisely, I don't always think ahead. I dive into recipes head first, often to find the culinary waters muddy, turbulent or shallow. With company arriving and frozen cranberries going begging, I made the best choices I could under less than perfect circumstances. So, when faced with using a 9-inch glass pie plate or a 10-inch ceramic pie plate, I pulled out the larger dish. When forced to choose between using frozen cranberries or producing no dessert at all,  I opted for frozen fruit. And while I stand by my decisions, I paid a price.
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15 Nov
Ginger Orange Carrot Soup
Carrot Orange Ginger Soup - TheMessyBaker.com I'm not psychic but something tells me that before the winter is over, my copy of Jeanelle Mitchell's For the Love of Soup is going to be dog-eared, grease-splattered and a fought over. Sorry extended family, but you'll have to get your own copy. I can't imagine being without mine for long. I first heard about this book more than a year ago from my beef-searing buddy, Heather Travis. One minute we were dissing salt-laden condensed soup, the next she was raving about a little recipe book I'd never heard of and begging me to find a copy. As luck would have it, Whitecap recently reissued the nearly decade-old title last month -- with a makeover to match its younger sister, For the Love of Salad. Like its older sibling, For the Love of Soup isn't a photo-rich, high-maintenance bombshell you drool over but abandon after a few dishes. Instead, this quietly pretty book is the kind you bring home to the family.
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09 Nov
Gay Lea Butter Basket Winner

[caption id="attachment_4274" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="A winning butter sculpture at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair"][/caption] I'm beginning to suspect the Random Number Generator I use to select winners isn't so random. It has a history of favouring late entries. This  contest is no exception. The winner of...

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08 Nov
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair — On stage and off
[caption id="attachment_4247" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Being introduced on stage at The Royal. Note the pristine fingers."][/caption] I left the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair yesterday with a cooking demonstration under my apron, a new friend and a Batman bandage on my right middle finger. Two out of three ain't bad. My cooking demonstration was a team effort. In the background, Andrew operated the point-and-shoot while Heather Travis, Director of Public Relations for the Beef Information Centre, dished trivia and handed out recipes. [caption id="attachment_4249" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Heather Travis keeps things lively while I sear beef."][/caption] Meanwhile, I desperately tried to judge the heat of the pans by listening to sizzling steaks against the cacophony of  PA messages and a cattle auction not 30 feet away. Given the circumstances, things went really well. My proof?
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07 Nov
Teat Tweets at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

This is ContrastAmanada. She's an 8-year old Holstein who isn't afraid to milk herself and has her own Twitter feed. I struggle with social media, but with the help of University of Waterloo's Critical Media Lab, a herd of bovines from Buttermine Farms in Brant,...

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04 Nov
Recipe and Giveaway: Chipotle Shortbreads
Move over Julia Child and Paula Dean. I'm the Butter Queen today. Now that the jack-o'-lanterns have been extinguished and the last of the waxy mini-chocolate bars have been gobbled, we can safely move onto thoughts of holiday baking. While I'm not ready to rummage in the basement for stockings and mistletoe, I am more than ready to plot the goodies I'll be baking in my recently renovated kitchen. And as I do, visions of shortbreads dance in my head. Those who know me will vouch that I'm a huge shortbread fan, making variations that run from a classic 4-ingredient cookie to a savory Pecan Cheesie. So when I was offered the chance to post a butter giveaway, I couldn't say no. "Butter give away?" you ask in a mixture of awe and joy. Yes, butter give away. Who says dreams don't come true?
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29 Oct
What to do with leftover pastry dough
  Mini Apple Pie - Using up leftover pastry - The Messy Baker I just can't bear to throw out leftover pastry scraps. As a child, when my mother made pie, she salvaged every shred of dough and produced a treat I found more tantalizing than the star dessert itself -- the Rolly-Polly. She gathered the leftover dough, rolled it into a long strip, slathered butter down the middle, sprinkling it with cinnamon, brown sugar and -- if we were very lucky -- chopped walnuts. She then rolled the pastry strip into a log, bent it into a circle and pinched the ends together, forming an uneven, edible wreath. Inevitably, the over-handled dough cracked, but while it baked, the buttery brown sugar oozed out and caramelized into crunchy burnt nirvana. As soon as it was cool enough to handle, she cut the Rolly-Polly into bite-sized portions, which we gobbled boldly in the face of our fast approaching dinner. Last week, with fresh apples from the market watching my every move, I forewent the Rolly-Polly. But I didn't waste the scrippets of pate sucree cut from the rim of my Pear, Chocolate & Frangipane Pie. I gently patted the dough into a large ramekin. In went half an apple, chopped and tossed in cinnamon and brown sugar. I folded the edges over the top, which didn't quite meet, and baked it along with the pie. Voila! Apple Something. Served with a drizzle of creme fraiche, it was a lovely, unpretentious treat I ate as I cleaned the kitchen. A reward for all my hard work.
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25 Oct
I’m Cooking Beef at the Royal

Don't say I didn't warn you. You are amongst the first to know. In fact, I haven't even had time to tell my parents yet, so no complaining about the short notice. My news? On Sunday, November 7th at 1 pm, I'm hitting The Entertaining at...

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