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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18 Jan
Chocolate Winner

Oh, so close. One number lower and I could have launched this post with a really cool reference to Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. You know. What's the secret of the universe? 42! Oh, I could have had fun proving chocolate was at...

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14 Jan
Leftover Apple Roasted Chicken Soup
Here. Sit down. Put your feet up and enjoy a bowl of soup. While I encourage you to admire the bowl from my sister (another Christmas present) I defy you to remain polite as you sip this soup. You'll want to shovel it into your mouth quickly so you won't have to share. But don't. There's plenty for all. Besides, it's worth savoring. I'd like to tell you I slaved over this rich orange soup, tinkering for hours with the proportions. But I didn't. In fact, I made it last night while cooking two other dishes. I tempted fate by turning on my haywire oven long enough to roast the mini pumpkin that had been chilling on my window sill for months. I then pureed the cooked vegetable into the slurpy, sloppy drippings from last Sunday's Apple Roasted Chicken.
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13 Jan
Slow Cooker Refried Beans Dip
There are two problems with refried beans. One: They tend to be very fattening. Two: They look like something that came out the back end of a flatulent donkey. This slow-cooker recipe solves the high-fat issue. The lovely dish my sister's boyfriend gave me for Christmas solves the other. Look at the sensual, distracting curves. See the bright red tortilla chips? Isn't it festive! Ole! You hardly notice the brown glob in the centre. The resulting "refried" beans have the depth of flavour you get from the authentic version but without the frying or the fat. Make them as spicy or mild.  Use Pinto or Romano beans. Toss in some black beans if you like. Serve this dip with some sour cream, guacamole, salsa and chips. Or slather some on a burrito. It's up to you. No matter how you eat them, just serve them in a very distracting bowl.
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12 Jan
Raspberry Hot Chocolate and a Book Giveaway
When I was a child, my father used to make an ice rink in the back yard. He'd pile us onto the toboggan and pull us around to flatten the snow. Then, night after night, he'd zip up his navy blue snowmobile suit and disappear into the dark. When he came back in, his mittens would be coated in ice and his nose and cheeks would be bright red. The fix? Hot chocolate. When the rink was finally ready, after what seemed like weeks, mom would lace  up our skates, stuff us into an envelope of winter wear and send us out to slip and slide the afternoon away. We'd return with numb toes and ice-encrusted lashes. The cure? Hot chocolate. Today, as I face yet another snow shovel, I find myself craving this drink -- only a grown up version. As luck would have it, Dominique and Cindy Duby, chocolate artisans from Vancouver, have released a new book focusing entirely on chocolate. And their hot chocolate recipe is a raspberry version. And  raspberry is the only chocolate flavour  my lemon-loving dad likes. So I figure this was meant to be. I had to try it.
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08 Jan
Spicy Green Beans
Wouldn't you know it? The week I post my culinary resolutions, my gas range rebels. The stovetop works just fine, but the oven fluctuates wildly,  making baking a crap shoot with wheat and a roast chicken dinner  the poultry equivalent of Russian roulette. And the real kicker? My stove's so old a replacement thermostat is no longer available. Since I want to replace my aging 24-inch range with a 30-inch version (which requires moving cupboards in a 145-year-old kitchen with plaster and lathe walls) it's not going to happen until spring. Something tells me it's gonna be a looooong winter.
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06 Jan
Marcy Goldman’s Apple-Raspberry Patchwork Crostata

We have a tradition in our house. One of us usually kicks off the new year with a kitchen disaster. Last year, I discovered dried beans can, in fact, go stale. This year? I botched the pastry. Crostata no less. What else? I learned the hard...

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05 Jan
C Food – Food Photography taken to the next level
A while ago I wrote about some tricks food photographers use to make the final dish more appealing. As you can tell from some of my less than stellar shots, I make the dishes I blog about and try to present it as you'd see it. While this sometimes inadvertently supports my tagline, "Real food. Real life. It ain't always pretty," even with my good shots, I find a kind of sameness creeps into my work.  Different soup, different bowl, same angle. Sigh.. So when I had the chance to speak with Robert Clark and Harry Kambolis, co-authors of C Food (Whitecap Books, 2009), I found myself in the odd position of wanting to talk about photography, not food. Based on the sustainable seafood dishes from their Vancouver restaurant, C, executive chef Robert Clark and owner Harry Kambolis took an usual approach to photography to inspire readers. They ignored conventional plating and presented their dishes -- all fully edible -- in ways that merged food with art.  While the recipes are straight forward, by pushing the styling so far from the finished dish, Clark says they hope to remove the anxiety of reproducing a recipe and free up the reader to create a dish that's their own. With the help of photographer Hamid Attie, known for his innovative use of light, the three collaborated to produce a cookbook worthy of any coffee table. The results? Luminous photographs with an architectural quality.
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04 Jan
My New Year’s Resolutions for 2010

It's that time of year again, when I post my resolutions online in the earnest hope that when my willpower fades, the fear of public humiliation will keep me going. Despite being on my list for two consecutive years, I still haven't brought myself to embrace...

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24 Dec
BetterBaking.com Winners and Happy Holidays

Earlier this week I selected a recipe from The New Best of Better Baking.com by Marcy Goldman. To enter the contest, you were to guess which page this recipe was on. The two closest guesses, without going over, would get a free subscription to BetterBaking.com...

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23 Dec
Giving and Receiving

This plateful of Crayola-coloured cookies, arrived unannounced in a holiday-green tin with a handmade tag. My 16-year-old, non-baking niece made them. Not only were the sugar cookies her idea, she helped shop for the ingredients (hunting down every sprinkle option in the store) baked them, iced...

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