Recipes

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Recipe: Spiced Grilled Chicken
You've all heard the expression "Dollars to doughnuts." But in my world the expression should be, "Doughnuts to Morocco." Those versed in Moroccan cuisine might assume the connection comes from sfenj, the popular Moroccan street food that closely resembles the North American doughnut. You'd get a Brownie point for your knowledge, but you'd be wrong. That logic is far too straight-forward. When Joanne and I made the hand-forged sour cream old-fashioned doughnuts, the conversation started with how much we missed cooking together and quickly bounced about like doughnuts frying in hot oil. We careened through brownie baking in our shoebox of a kitchen, rolled past knitting expeditions and landed hard on travel memories. By the time the doughnuts were being packed up, we had made a pact to celebrate our 50th birthdays with the two of us taking a trip together. Like we had to Banff, Montreal, Cape Cod, England, Lisbon and New Zealand. Sometime in 2013, we will take a trip together. Some place we've never been. Somewhere bright and lively and exotic, filled with smells and sights unlike those on Southern Ontario. Somewhere our husbands have no interest in going. Morocco is high on the list. And I've been dreaming of tagines and sweet North African spicing ever since.
Luscious Lemon Pudding
Recipe to Riches | Luscious Lemon Pudding & a Review
Luscious Lemon Pudding It's a cold, raw, rainy morning and I'm breakfasting on Grandma Glo's Luscious Lemon Pudding, which won last night's Recipe to Riches challenge. I had hoped to serve it to guests tonight, but I don't think there will be enough left. I'll be making a second batch later today as it's an easy recipe and I'll take any excuse to justify my stand mixer's existence. I admit, before the episode aired, I was rooting for Glo McNeil, partly because she's 82 and partly because her recipe has lemon in the title. I'm always on the look out for a good lemon recipe since it's one of the few desserts my father likes. And frankly, if I have to make another Lemon Meringue Pie for a family occasion, I just might throw it at someone. The problem? I'm no fan of pudding. I find it slimy with a disconcerting skin-like seal. But  I was willing to throw myself on this one for my father's sake. The results were a delightful surprise. Luscious Lemon Pudding has all the elements of the pie my father loves -- lemony, sweet and creamy -- but without the fuss of pastry. It's ubelievably light and, as if I was being rewarded for my sacrifice, the "pudding" is actually a velvety sauce that swims below the mousse-like topping.
4 doughnuts
Recipe: Sour Cream Old-Fashioned Doughnuts

May I drop another name this week? How about Jess Thomson? She's an award-winning food writer, a photographer and a recipe developer who once completed a marathon recipe-writing stint by producing a recipe a day -- for a whole year. I wouldn't be surprised if...

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Recipe: Plum Lavender Jam

Plums and nectarines

I always thought I had a pretty good childhood. Each winter, my father would make a skating rink in the back yard, which we and our friends would use for noisy hours on end. And when we came in bright pink and shivering, Mom defrosted us with mugs full of homemade hot chocolate. I had a grandmother who let me eat dessert first and an aunt who invited us to her cottage each summer for long weeks spent doing absolutely nothing in a way only a pre-Space-Invaders child could do. If there was one thing missing from my youth, it was a dog. I now know the missing element was actually an orchard.
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Recipe: Pear and Ginger Conserve
Someone, who looks suspicious like my husband, informs me that I missed the whole appreciation concept when I moaned about Thanksgiving in Saturday's post. Apparently, it's all about gratitude and love, not weather preferences. He's right. As usual. While I might not be ready to offer you pumpkin recipes, I was and am very grateful. For many things. Like this view of the garden. And my sister's help with the planting when the 200 daffodil and tulips bulbs I bought somehow expanded into 1200+ .
Jade Soup
Jade Soup
Jade Soup is bursting with leafy greens and herbs - TheMessyBaker.com I'm feeling rather ornery. It's Canadian Thanksgiving this weekend but the weather is downright balmy and I can't face the thought of autumn, let alone winter. I don't care that the leaves are turning glorious colours or the nights are perfect sleeping-weather-cool. I don't want to make the obligatory pumpkin pie -- even if it's damned good. I don't want to slurp delicious squash soup or gobble succulent stuffed turkey. And if you're just a tad like me, you don't want to either. At least not this weekend. Not this early.
Tonka bean crisp
Apple and Tonka Bean Crisp
No peaking. Just answer the question. What are tonka beans? Are they: a) a line of kids' toys b) an ancient Polynesian percussion instrument c) urban slang for "I don't care"
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Recipe: Basil Cheddar Scones
Last week I was in Banff, Alberta, surrounded by the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. It was unseasonably warm and the cloudless sky was the shade of cerulean blue you find only in a paint box. It was mid-afternoon and I'd had nothing but airplane coffee and a packet of the biscuits you can only get at 35,000 feet. A local suggested my friend and I grab a bite at a nearby café. Being obedient tourists, we did as we were told. Hungry, but not wanting to spoil dinner, I went for soup. I expected to be taken by the homemade tomato and acho pepper soup and ordered the basil and cheddar scone merely to fill my stomach. I usually find bakery scones disappointing. They've sat on the counter too long. They're too dry, too bland, too expensive. I'm not bragging, but no bakery scone stands a chance against my fresh-from-the-oven ones. The ones I'm making in the photo on my about page. The ones I make every Christmas morning. The ones I want served at my wake.
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Recipe: Baco Noir Wine Jelly
Homemade Red Wine Jelly - TheMessyBaker.com Get smug while making preserves and you'll smart for it. Think you're too coordinated to need a funnel? Well, let me tell you, one blob of 220°F  jelly straight to the thumb will change your mind in a heck of a hurry. It certainly made me rethink saving a few bucks. After a couple of years eyeballing it with a ladle, I'm now the contrite owner of a stainless steel canning funnel from Lee Valley. And no, they didn't pay me for the mention. I'm just trying to save you some grief. Of course, to make the trek worthwhile, I left with an herb infuser and jelly bag. I was determined the next batch wouldn't beat me. And it didn't.
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Recipe: Watermelon & Raspberry Soup

When I signed up for the watermelon carving challenge I figured inspiration would arrive by the time I received my personal-sized watermelon and its accompanying dual-ended melon baller. It didn't. So, I scoured The National Watermelon Promotion Board's website to see if anything sparked an idea. One look at the fun and fanciful watermelon rabbits, sharks and hedgehogs and my brain seized. I got the sculpting equivalent of writer's block. I went blank. Totally and completely blank. To kickstart my creativity, I looked through books, surfed the net and flipped through magazines. I meditated on the issue. I rolled the watermelon about the kitchen floor. I even went to bed envisioning the word "watermelon" in bright pink letters in hopes the answer might come to me in a dream. It didn't. After days of lackluster watermelon inspiration I resigned myself to failure. While I sulked on the back steps and contemplated leaving the adorable little watermelon in the refrigerator until it dissolved into something unrecognizable, a Japanese anemone caught the breeze and bobbed about in the garden. This soft pink flower is one of my favourites. Its simple and elegant petals are a final splash of light summer pink before deep autumn tones take over. Gently curved anemones speak to me more than over-stuffed double roses, ruffled hybrid lilies or busy asters. And then it hit me. I was making things too hard. The answer to my watermelon dilemma was waving at me. So, here is my watermelon carving challenge entry:

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