Hands on

BlueberryOrangeMarmalade
Setting up a Canning Kitchen & Giveaway

In June, Amy Bronee came to town for a book signing at The Bookshelf. If her name is familiar, she’s the author of The Canning Kitchen and writes the Family Feedbag blog. While I had only to stroll a few blocks from my home, several food bloggers drove from out...

Deep Dark Cherry Chipotle Brownies by The Messy Baker
Buying Dark Chocolate for Baking

I’m on CTV News at Noon today, making Deep Dark Cherry & Chipotle Brownies and hopefully not too big a mess. This recipe graces the cover of my book and is a hit with people who love a bit of heat with their chocolate. That...

Spinach Dill Pockets by The Messy Baker
Working with Phyllo Pastry

Phyllo is that shattery pastry found wrapped around many Greek and Middle Eastern treats. Thin as tissue paper, it’s notoriously hard to make from scratch. While it has a reputation of being finicky to work with, it’s surprisingly co-operative if you treat it graciously. I didn’t...

5 Things I never thought I’d have in my pantry
5 Things I Never Thought I’d Have in My Pantry
5 Things I never thought I’d have in my pantry Although mounds of  icy snow still lurk in the shadowy parts of my front yard, I choose to believe spring has finally arrived. I see crocus bulbs forcing their way through the compact soil in my neighbours’ gardens, and while nothing green has appeared yet in mine, I am acting as if my lawn is awash in daffodils and snow drops. Part of this cunning ruse involves partaking in the annual spring cull of Unnecessary Culinary Objects. Over the winter, fancy mixes and far-fetched condiments burrowed their way into my pantry. I blame Christmas, Valentine’s Day and boredom. During the cull I tossed guacamole mixes full of MSG and pre-made sauces loaded with six different kinds of sugars and fake flavours. Yet I kept some items that might surprise you. The following post is from the archives. Three years later, it still holds true:

5 Things I Never Thought I’d Have in My Pantry

Can you keep a secret? After going on and on about Homemade This and From-Scratch That, 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.
How to get more flavour out of your chicken stock
Make the Most Flavorful Chicken Stock

Not everyone reads the comments section, so I thought I'd start a separate post to share the conversation I've been having with Barbara about chicken stock. Barbara has moved to a small apartment and is re-learning to make stock without $7 stewing hens and a...

Avgolemono Soup by TheMessyBaker.com
Waste Not – Avgolemono Soup

Avgolemono soup might be hard to say but it's incredibly simple to make. It's so easy, you can make it when you're sick and wobbly and barely able to stand without sneezing so hard you knock yourself over. I proved that the other day. Being on...

Sam-Adas-cream-NO-LOGO
Beer Batter Orange Crepes

This post will come as a surprise to those who know me. I'm not a beer drinker. Yet here I am creating a recipe using ale. Samuel Adams Latitude 48 IPA to be precise. Why? Because I was asked. And they specifically wanted a dessert,...

Avoiding Food Waste - Roasted Cauliflower gets a face lift
Tackling Food Waste

This month’s Canadian Food Experience Project focuses on resolutions. I could have used my culinary bucket list as my contribution, but I don’t do proper resolutions and felt this was a bit of a cheat.  Then I rethought things. I’ve been wearing blinkers. The word “resolution” has...

Reactive and non-reactive materials in your kitchen
What is a non-reactive pot or bowl

A lot of recipes, especially for jams and sauces, call for a non-reactive pot or bowl. When a recipe writer specifies a non-reactive vessel, we're not trying to be confusing or cryptic or sound like a know-it-all -- even if that's how we come off....

Dried peaches made in a food dehydrator - TheMessyBaker.com
8 Reasons to buy a Food Dehydrator

My bedroom closet houses clothes, shoes, a cat-clawed housecoat, my knitting needle collection and a food dehydrator. Too wide for our narrow pantry, this unit spends most of the year in a corner of my closet looking like an abandoned R2-D2 action figure on Boxing...

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