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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20 Oct
Recipe: Plum and Orange Sorbet
The pears went bad so I called on the plums. The plums started to go so I... reached for the ice cream maker. I could have made preserves, but I had too few plums to make jam worthwhile. The fruit would have slipped from iffy to unusable by the time I had found the jars, sterilized them, heated the water bath, located the labels...  No, I needed a quick fix. Plus, I'm still in the any-excuse-to-use-my-brand-spanking-new-food-processor stage. The result of my plum panic is a palate cleansing sorbet -- the kind you get in fancy restaurants between courses. You won't want to sit down to a big bowl of this -- unless you've got a lot of chocolate sauce on hand. It's fresh, intense and if you don't rasp away too much of the orange pith, very smooth. It's ideal for a hot summer day. Of course, I created it just as the autumn winds whip in.
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18 Oct
Recipe: Plum, Chocolate & Frangipane Pie
Had the pears held up I would likely be writing about broccoli or Swiss chard. Health food fans lament; pie lovers rejoice. On Saturday, with guests arriving and the clock ticking loudly in my ears, I tossed my dessert plans into the garbage along with the perfect-on-the-outside, punky-on-the-inside pears. Unable to rest upon the laurels of a well-tested dessert, the pressure was on. With little on hand but plums and leftover ingredients from my recent stone-fruit baking exploits, I tossed components together like Dr. Frankenstein creating a new life from. All that was missing were lightning flashes and ominous organ chords. The crust was the leftover pate sucree dough (which froze beautifully). I sprinkled in a layer of chocolate borrowed from the Pear Chocolate Tart,  slathered on butterless frangipane lifted from the recent Peach, Apricot & Plum Galette and topped it all with a generous coating of sliced plums. Using the only egg left in the fridge I whisked in some cream for a custard to hold it all together.
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15 Oct
Food Processors – Too Much of a Good Thing?
I've been sitting on this post for a few days, not sure what to say. I had planned a feature-by-handy-feature appliance review, but feel I should issue a PSA instead.  You see, I broke down and bought a food processor a couple of weeks ago. Since then, I find myself embroiled in a fervent love-hate relationship. The love goes out to the machine which shreds carrots without endangering my knuckles, chops vegetables faster than I can peel them and even makes my beloved pate sucree pastry less messy. The hate? That's all for me. Not because I spent $200 on an item I once shunned (in my defense, it was a $400 machine on sale) but because of what it's doing to me. It's the $112 ice cream maker all over again, only without a frosty treat at the end. I'm so determined to prove my purchase was worth the money  and the dedicated counter space my brand new 97-pound stainless steel chopping wonder requires that I'm overusing it. Sometimes with disastrous results.
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13 Oct
Recipe: Caramelized Apple Pancake Syrup
Don't get me wrong, I like pancakes. But sometimes the expression "Flat as a pancake," describes my enthusiasm for this dish. Unadorned, they're pallid, uneven, and large-pored. This describes my skin without make-up. It's not something you should be serving guests before noon. Oh, sure I can drizzle them with maple syrup, but sometimes you need to shake things up a bit. It's apple season and since I put apples in the pancakes, why not put apples on the pancakes as well. The results?  A pan of goopy, butterscotchy fruit that cooked in the time it takes to make a supporting batch of flap jacks. So decadent and sweet, it's enough to make the maple syrup sulk.
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12 Oct
Recipe: Plum Frangipane Tart
Plum Frangipane Tart by The Messy Baker Little Jack Horner's got nothing on me. What's he got? A corner, a thumb and a nursery rhyme no one understands. Me? I've got fresh plums and frangipane. That's right. You heard me. Frangipane. I know. It sounds like a resort cocktail, but it's really just fancy food talk for a filling made with ground almonds. And plums and almonds go together like boozy fruit-based cocktails and tiny paper umbrellas --  or sneaky little boys and pies -- so this was combination seemed obvious. I had pastry left over from the annual Thanksgiving Concord Grape Pie -- enough to make a 6-inch tart. So, I got creative with the plums. Compared to the in-your-face-I'm-a-GRAPE pie, this one is subtle. But subtle's good. Good enough to stick your thumb in.
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07 Oct
Recipe: Roasted Squash and Pear Soup
I missed the last of the season's peaches on Saturday by THIS much. You can't see it but I'm holding my thumb and index finger about 4 inches apart. The universal translation for this gesture is one hour of time for each inch of empty air. I got to the Farmers' Market just after 10:00 AM and the grower told me the last few baskets of peaches went "first thing." Since the only 6 o'clock I'm acquainted with arrives at supper hour, I decided my plans for the peaches were just not meant to be. So I grabbed some pears and plums and shuffled home to fill the peach void with something equally luscious but so different I wouldn't feel cheated. As I walked in the kitchen and slammed the door, the large butternut squash on the counter rolled over like a surrendering puppy. The answer was  soup.
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06 Oct
My CTV Appearance

Normally, after I've been on TV, there's a lag between my appearance and me posting the clip. It's a rather complex procedure that requires six technical steps, a good two hours of uninterrupted time and a generous glass of merlot. I swear, I can cook...

Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers - The Messy Baker
05 Oct
Recipe: Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
  Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers - TheMessyBaker.com I admit it. I'm lazy and messy. Thee mere thought of  forcing gobs of unruly stuffing into tall, wobbly-bottomed peppers is an open invitation to Murphy. But, I got smart, knocked the suckers on their side and stuffed them full without so much as an "oops." Anyone who's grappled with a towering stuffed pepper will thank me for this culinary cheat. There's no embarrassing spillage in the kitchen. And at the table? Hungry eaters can dig in without drafting a plan of attack that involves advanced physics and an extra limb. Nope. Just grab your knife and fork and dig in. As a bonus, the shallow version cooks faster. Everybody wins. Except Murphy. With fall in full swing and a bounty of big, sweet, inexpensive peppers at hand, I'm sharing my stuffed pepper tips with Kyle Christie (no relation). Tune in to Kitchener's CTV News at Noon if you can. There'll be not-so-deadly nightshades, oh-so sharp implements and the ever-present danger of spillage. And that's before I even reach the studio.
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04 Oct
GEMS of Gluten-Free Baking Winners

Some days I wish I could be Oprah. I want to point to everyone around me and shout, "And YOU win a book , and YOU win a book, and YOU win a book!" While I normally give away a single book, this week I have...

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27 Sep
Recipe: Gluten-Free Ginger Cookies
I kid you not. These ginger cookies are gluten-free and chewy. Truth. I swear to you on my Aunt Hilda's marble rolling pin. Don't believe me? If you live in or near the bustling metropolis of Guelph, ON, pop down to The Bookshelf on Saturday, October 2nd between 11:00 AM and 1:00 PM and try some. Dan The Bookseller is baking up bunches of these gluten-free cookies from GEMS of Gluten-Free Baking for you to sample. While you're nibbling, pick up a complimentary copy of Off The Shelf and read my book review. Like the cookies and concept? Pick up the book itself. Dan's arranged for extra copies on hand. For those who can't take advantage of Dan's baking skills, I'm giving away two copies of GEMS of Gluten-Free Baking by Wendy Turnbull. Two copies. Two ways to enter. Here's how.

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