Appetizer

Canadian Clanger by The Messy Baker
Canadian Clanger

Ignore the standard dictionary. It will tell you a clanger is a blunder, a mistake, and a conspicuous one at that. This pastry is anything but a dud. It’s a riff on an old-fashioned Bedfordshire Clanger, a long hand pie stuffed with spiced meat on...

Mushroom & Chevre Hand Pies by The Messy Baker
Mushroom & Chevre Hand Pies

May I present to you Mushroom & Chevre Hand Pies. These piping hot appetizers feature the often-ignored, much under-rated white button mushroom. Sure, a mushroom by any other name would sound more interesting, but why stuff a pricey, short-seasoned morel into pastry where it’s battling cheese,...

Dill Zucchini Fritters
Dill Zucchini Fritters

Summer is racing for the finish line. Before it gets there, it has some hurdles to clear. One of those hurdles is zucchini. Sure, an individual zucchini isn’t much of a challenge, but what about the bushelful your neighbour left on the back porch ?...

Spinach Dill Pockets
Making Spinach Dill Pockets on CTV

The Messy Baker launched two weeks ago today. I’m not sure where the time has gone, but since the book’s release I’ve hosted a garden party book launch, been on stage with Kim Severson at the Decatur Book Festival in Georgia, found myself on the...

Italian Turkey Meatballs with Yogurt Sauce
Italian Turkey Meatballs

Language is funny. It has a way of sliding sideways when you’re not looking, slipping under things or going into hiding. A few years ago, I developed a homemade, bite-sized meatball  to wean my husband off the commercial, frozen version he would nuke to the...

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Muhammara – Walnut and Aleppo Pepper Dip

Muhammara (pronounced moo-hahm-MRAH) is a classic Mediterranean dish. It's a dip. It's a spread. It's addictive. You have been warned. Pitas are the authentic accompaniment, but I've been gobbling muhammara on homemade piadinas to no ill effect. Don't let the simplicity of the dish fool you....

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Asparagus and Mushroom Tart with Red Wine Cheddar

I know better than to go shopping without a list. I have at least three iPhone apps to help me compile them. Pads of paper cling to the fridge simply so I can jot  down items as I deplete their inventory. Lists prevent wastage, overstocking...

Mushrooms Rockefeller makes a decadent appetizer - TheMessyBaker.com
Mushrooms Rockefeller

I got myself into this and I'm going to get myself out. I did not, repeat not, acquire a one-trick pony of a pan. I could point you to the Indian, Thai, Korean and Japanese variations of the aebleskiver, but really, they're all just spins on batter...

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Pushing Boundaries
Onion Bhaji with Chaat Masala Recipe - The Messy Baker I did it. Despite containing three ingredients I've never used before, I made onion bhaji. And I pronounce them to be good. Make that "very good."  Andrew, who inspired the selection, claimed they were "delicious" and "as good as the restaurant's." So, with a flourish of my typing fingers,  I am proudly striking the first item off my 2013 Culinary Bucket List. Onion Bhaji recipe. Done. And done well. But I can't take all the credit. Monica Bhide suggested I look at her recipe for Onion Rings with Chaat Masala. I did. But I hesitated at the list of ingredients. I didn't know what chaat masala was. I had never heard of carom, and thought fenugreek was like fennel. Thanks to this recipe I got schooled. And it was far less painful than writing lines.
Rosemary Almond Crackers
Rosemary Almond Crackers
So-and-so can't touch gluten. Whatshisface is allergic to eggs. Dairy gives Thing-gummy a rash. And Hoojicky? Garlic sensitivity. Happy Holidays, indeed. I feel for you. I do. Having been on both sides of this equation (I have played the role of allergic guest and accommodating host over the years) I feel for all parties. Unfortunately, it's very hard to find a recipe everyone can eat, let alone will gobble. Sorry, but not matter how many times you suggest tofu pudding, I'm not going for it. Given the scope of food allergies and sensitivities, I have decided finding the perfect party food is downright impossible. But I've come close. This recipe from Superfood Kitchen by Julie Morris (Sterling Epicure, 2012)  is egg-free, soy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, transfat-free and dairy-free. Yet this cracker is not flavour- or texture-free. It's pleasant on its own and plays nicely with almost any savoury dip you throw at it. And if that isn't enough, it also provides me with an opportunity to use my fancy dehydrator again. Win-win or what?

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