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.

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
23 Sep
Unrestrained

Where've I been? At the computer having my ego reduced to the size of a shriveled raisin. I decided to tackle video technology. People talk, you slap a few clips together and voila, video! How hard can it be? Very. Oh, sure, video might look like a single benign entity, but it's really a hostile gang in disguise. The camera beat me up while Final Cut stole my lunch money and Vimeo gave me a wedgie. The audio just stood by and laughed.

Before sending my pride to the emergency room for stitches, I spent two Saturdays in Toronto's famed Distillery District. I wasn't wandering the cobblestone streets, sampling the artisanal fair or hobnobbing with celebrities at TIFF. Nope, I had the audacity to think I was up to learning the craft of multimedia story from the internationally acclaimed, multiple-award-winning photo journalist, Brent Foster. While Brent  introduced us to the concepts of wide, medium and tight shots, various software components and the importance of audio, the best piece of advice he could give us was, "Fail!"

So I did.

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
20 Sep
Winners: Rouxbe Online Cooking School and CSN
We have a winner. Or two, actually. Well, three if you count the successful launch of the newsletter. Anyway, thanks to Random.org, I was able to select the winners without too much fuss, which is quite an accomplishment given the glitches that plagued this seemingly simple endeavour.
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
17 Sep
Newsletter- finally, sort of
Good news. I'm ready to launch my newsletter. Bad news. Mail Chimp's kinda busy right now. So, while I sit and twiddle my thumbs, why don't some more of you sign up? It's free. It'll make me feel good, and it'll give you a chance to win some things. Signing up is easy, click here and fill in the form. Mail Chimp will send you an email making sure it really was you and not some college prankster signing you up for something you don't want. You say yes, yes, you really do want the newsletter (because, you do, right?) and bing! you're on the list. A fresh, crisp Christie's Corner newsletter lands in your inbox come Saturday. What's in the newsletter?
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
14 Sep
Last Chance for Rouxbe Lifetime Membership

When I joined my gym, I felt the pressure to act quickly so as not to miss out on the special low-low price and no-no initiation fee that expired at the end of the month. That was in June. July? They extended the offer. And...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
10 Sep
Recipe: Blueberry Peach Yogurt
I'm going to steal President Barack Obama's campaign slogan, "Yes, we can!" Hope he won't mind. It's for a good cause -- yogurt. You see, while I love my homemade yogurt, for almost a year I've been frustrated. The instructions on my electric yogurt maker clearly state, in bold text and ominous wording,  to add nothing to the yogurt but starter. Despite the machine's packaging, which shows little pots of pastel coloured (and presumably fruit-flavoured) yogurt, it was designed to incubate plain yogurt only. Their options for adding flavour involved stirring in sweetened fruit post fermentation, which I already do. So imagine my delight when Pat Crocker's newest book, The Yogurt Bible, arrived complete with recipes for flavoured yogurt. Yogurt full of fruits and spices you add before you fill those little bottles and hit "start." When I read this I wanted to shout to all the frustrated homemade yogurt fans out there, "YES, WE CAN!"
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
08 Sep
Educational Books for Cooks
Here in Ontario, school began yesterday. Despite having graduated from university last millennium, to this day fall still brings anxiety dreams where I race from room to room trying to find my class, or arrive on campus only to learn I forgot to register, or worse -- I'm enrolled in nothing but advanced math, for which I lack all prerequisites. Even when I'm fully awake, the September nags at me to crack the books. And since my focus is now on food writing, the books I turn to are usually culinary. While the following recommendations contain recipes, and lots of them, their primary focus is on education. Their aim is not to provide you with recipes to follow, but to give you culinary knowledge so you can create delicious meals on your own. While these books have a similar purpose, they come from opposite ends of the spectrum. One is beautiful, serene and informative. It makes me want to move to the country and raise chickens that lay blue eggs. The other is crammed with more information than my brain can hold, but funny as hell. Being a Gemini, I like them both, and for very different reasons.
Chocolate-Pear-tart
07 Sep
Recipe: Pear and Chocolate Tart

When you do nothing to your pear tree but leave it be, you can expect trouble. And trouble came to my friend in the form of dozens and dozens and dozens of bug-free, blemishless, picture perfect pears. Her punishment? Driving some over to me. That'll...

Rolled pastry
03 Sep
Recipe: Pate Sucree

This is -- or rather was -- Aunt Hilda's pastry board. It's now mine and I'm hoping her tenacity and good baking karma will transfer to me through this well-loved board. Not only was Aunt Hilda a fabulous cook, she never stopped learning. After years...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
01 Sep
Honey Roasted Pears Recipe
I'm telling you up front, this cookbook scared me when it arrived. I haven't the patience to make confit, wouldn't touch foie gras if you paid me and can't even begin to tell you where to get quail eggs. Venison, bison and Cornish hens have never been, and likely will never be, on my grocery list. And quite frankly, I'm a bit afraid of pickled eggplant. But despite all this, Simply In Season: 12 Months of Wine Country Cooking by Tony de Luca is just the kind of cookbook I need. Yesterday, while Stick Figure Charmian was falling off a treadmill, Real Life Charmian was looking for ways to break out of her comfort zone. And the path to culinary inspiration was sitting right on my shelf.
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
31 Aug
Draw A Dream

[caption id="attachment_3757" align="alignnone" width="648"] Jody Mace draws my dream in which I fall off the treadmill.[/caption] This is me, in all my stick-figure glory. You can tell because a) the caption says so, and b) it ends in disaster. Before you write to inquire how I...

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