Autumn

Avocado Tomatillo Sauce - TheMessyBaker.com
Avocado Tomatillo Sauce

It has snowed so much lately my shovel and I are on a first name basis. It sees my boots coming and says, "Hello, Charmian." I nod, pull my hat down over my ears and grab the chirpy shovel in a choke hold. Together, Shovel...

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Apple Roasted Cornish Hens | Improv Recipe

This improv recipe is a testament to my impulse shopping, poor sense of timing and the power of the common cold. Impulse shopping:  A few months ago, I found fresh Cornish hens at the butcher shop. As I stood at the meat counter waiting to be...

Elizabeth Baird
Elizabeth Baird and Schnitz Pie

Go to your bookshelf. Pull out your most dog-eared, battered, and beloved cookbooks. Who wrote them? If you're Canadian, chances are at least one of them is by Elizabeth Baird and her intrepid team at the Canadian Living Test Kitchen. How many bear her name?...

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Tomatillo Chicken – An Unexpected Canadian Harvest

When I was a child, my mother had a vegetable garden in the side yard. She grew runner beans and radishes, beets and Swiss chard. I remember neat rows of fancy-topped chives whose pungent smell drove me away, and giant bunches of rhubarb that whispered...

Concord Grape Sherbet by The Messy Baker.
Concord Grape Sherbet

Concord Grapes leave me conflicted. They fill up my senses in a way that would do John Denver proud. They also break my heart. When I see their deep blue-purple skins overflowing the baskets at the market stalls the joyful, creative part of me wants...

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Cooked Jam with Frozen Fruit | Raspberry Currant Jam

Cherries, currants and raspberries arrive at such an inconvenient time. It's hot. It's often humid. And our old stone house holds the summer heat like a wood-fired brick oven. Once the warm weather has worked its way into the walls, I'm hesitant to fry a...

Concord Grape Pie - TheMessyBaker.com
Canadian Food Experience Project – Concord Grape Pie

My Cherished Canadian Recipe Everyone in my immediate family uses the same shortbread recipe. We got it from my mother, who got it from her mother, who got it from a rather odd neighbour. My grandmother wanted the recipe so badly she dutifully wrote out the...

dipych2
Cumin Carrots with Cilantro Vinaigrette

Fool me once, shame of you. Fool me twice (a dozen times), shame, shame, double-shame on me. It took years, but I learned my lesson. No Newspaper Recipes. None. Do not clip them for me. I will throw them out. Do not make them for...

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Another Breakfast Soup
Sweet Potato Apple Ginger Soup - The Messy Baker Soup for breakfast is working. Sort of. But after a couple of weeks of savory Asian Chicken and Quinoa Soup, and a gentle Lentil & Lemon Soup, I'm wanting to start my day with something sweet. While I crave a raspberry danish or waffles dripping in maple syrup, I am saving these desserts-in-disguise for special occasions (and no, getting out of bed in the morning is not a special occasion, even for this late-rishing Night Hawk). So I poked about a bit and found a soup that's sweet, healthy, and very warming. Sweet Potato, Apple and Ginger Soup. They had me at ginger. Add a side of multi-grain toast and a grating of sharp cheddar, and I'm one happy eater. The soup recipe comes from The Apple Lover's Cookbook by Amy Traverso (W.W. Norton & Company, @2011). If you think apples are boring, this book will make you think again. The Braised Brisket with Apples and Hard Cider was a hit with my carnivore husband and my in-laws enjoyed a brunch including the apple-laced Dutch Baby (a German pancake that thinks it's a popover). My favourite part of the book is the 30 pages dedicated to 59 different varieties of apple. At last, I have an in-depth look at the apples I often read about but can't always get at my local Farmers' Market. But it's not all Mutsu, Granny Smith and Gala. Ever heard of Black Oxford, Ashmead's Kernel or Jazz? They're new to me. I'm now aching to bite into a Hidden Rose to taste what Traverso describes as a "red-fleshed novelty." The fleeting Pink Pearl ("when it's gone, it's gone") sounds deliciously whimsical, and who can resist anything called Westfield Seek-No-Further? Not me. If you're feeling stifled by the same-old, same-old grocery store apples, don't be.

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