Recipes

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Recipe: Roasted Radishes
  Radishes at the Farmers' Market - TheMessyBaker To observe my mother eating radishes is to understand that over-used phrase "living in the moment." They are not munched like baby carrots or popped into her mouth like grapes. They are consumed with quiet, focused deliberation. To begin, she sets a small bowl of radishes on the table beside her. They are scrubbed and trimmed, with just enough stem to form a handle. She then carefully pours a modest pool of salt on her plate before plucking a radish from the pile. Once she has selected a radish, she nibbles a tiny piece from the tip and dips the freshly exposed end into the salt. She then proceeds to eat the radish, crunching away with a look of peaceful concentration on her face. She doesn't talk. She doesn't touch the other meal items in front of her. She devotes herself fully to the radish. She repeats these steps until her allotment of radishes is gone. The rest of her meal them resumes.
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Recipe: Pavlova
Individual Pavolvas are an easy way to enjoy summer fruit - TheMessyBaker.com If you asked me to describe my father's taste in desserts, I'd tell you he's a lemon man. When he turned 65, Mom and I baked 13 lemon meringue pies for his party. He squeezes fresh lemon juice into his tea and sometimes even orders lemon pie as an appetizer when we dine out. He likes things tart, not sweet, choosing citrus over chocolate any day. Based on his dining history, pavlova is not something he would like. I was so sure of this that when my mother asked for pavlova for her birthday dessert, I made a peach galette as well -- just for Dad. Turns out Dad loves pavlova. Almost as much as he loves lemon. You learn something new every day. So, for the closet pavlova fans out there -- and even for those who like to flaunt their love of this powder-puff dessert - here's the recipe. It has a little lemon in it to cut the sweet. Hey, maybe that's why Dad likes it...
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Recipe: Roasted Strawberries
Writing about strawberries in September seems unreal to me. When I was a kid, September meant corn. Cobs and cobs of hot corn slathered in butter. Strawberries ushered in the summer holidays. They didn't close them.
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Recipe: Island Steamers with Fennel, Tomato and Lime
Dear Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge, According to numerous news reports, you are coming to Canada and making Prince Edward Island one of your destinations. An excellent choice. While I haven't been to the smallest province in our Dominion since I was a teenager, I assure you, it's charming. Red sand beaches, red-haired heroines and red-skinned potatoes. What more could you want from a country with a bright red maple leaf slapped smack dab in the middle of its flag? We're nothing if not colour coordinated. I know I'm not going to meet you on this occasion either,  which is a shame, because I, too, was an Anne of Green Gables fan as a child. I'm sure we have lots more in common, but judging from your whirlwind itinerary, we wouldn't have much time to mine the depths of our shared experiences even if we did meet up. I realize it's customary to give visiting royalty gifts that reflect the location toured. Since this is just a cyber meeting, and one-sided at that, I'm going to talk about the gift I would have given you had our paths crossed. Unlike the Apple Ginger Truffles I made in honour of your wedding, this is something that won't mess your lovely outfit. As an added bonus, it can fit in your carry-on so you don't have to worry about paying extra luggage fees. If our paths were to cross, I would give you a copy of Flavours of Prince Edward Island: A Culinary Journey by Jeff McCourt, Allan Williams & Austin Clement. Portable, informative, and with evocative photos that cover most aspects of island life, this is the perfect gift for you. When your friends ask you what Prince Edward Island was like, just hand them the book. When you hanker for Crab-Stuffed Mushroom Caps, Cranberry Chutney or Chocolate Potato Cake with Red Raspberry Mud Puddles, call in the kitchen staff and just hand them the book. But be sure to ask for it back. They might want to keep it. This gift even holds the potential for controversy, which I am lead to believe is imperative for a successful Royal Tour.
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Recipe: Rhubarb and Raspberry Galette
Technically this is an original recipe. But like all dishes, its initial creative spark came from a patchwork of ideas. The pivotal concept, pairing rhubarb with raspberry, came via David Lebovitz, who posted a link to Lottie and Doof, who got it from Bon Appetit. With rhubarb on hand and some of last year's raspberries hogging precious freezer space, I took a peek at the recipe. The ingredients were simple enough, but the instructions called for cooking and cooling the filling before baking. I'm lazy. This was not about to happen on a Sunday afternoon. So, I turned to a simple Raspberry Pie recipe, thinking I'd just substitute minced rhubarb for a good portion of the berries. Meanwhile, a bottle of Mexican vanilla called from the cupboard and an orange on the counter begged for attention. I'm not sure how the almonds nosed their way into the dish, but they did. And I'm glad.
Tripel Chocolate Brownie Cookies - Made with love by TheMessyBaker.com
Recipe: Triple-Chocolate Brownie Cookies
This is Mairlyn Smith. Like me, she has a  frequently misspelled first name and a passion for chocolate that borders on illegal. She even has an impossibly small kitchen (like mine was until last year). I had the pleasure of interviewing her earlier this month and the longer we talked the more I realized we had in lot common. By the end of our conversation, the only difference between us -- other than hairstyle and a few inches of height -- is that I don't go into grocery stores with a big blade and hack at the root vegetables. Other than that? We're practically twins. She also wrote a health-conscious cookbook that fits my tagline, putting flavour before looks. Unlike many health-focused cookbooks, where fibre content and finger-wagging trump taste and joy, Mairlyn's Healthy Starts Here!: 140 Recipes that Will Make You Feel Great is rooted in pleasure and practicality. She believes, and backs up with studies, that treats are essential to your emotional health. She believes if  something is "good for you" it should also taste good. She believes cooking shouldn't be so complicated you end up huddled in the corner nursing a bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome and an anxiety disorder.
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Recipe: Yogurt Chicken with Chutney Yogurt Sauce
This photo the best I can do. The final dish was delicious but it's all gone and I figured a shot of the bones wasn't going to cut it. So here are some of the spices you'll need. Trust me, you'll be glad you rummaged about in the cupboard for that hidden jar of allspice. The resulting sauce was so tasty I used what little was left over as salad dressing. This recipe comes from 100 Perfect Pairings: main dishes to enjoy with wines you love. My cyber-friend Jill Silverman Hough (we've emailed but never met) is the author behind this brilliant little book. When I asked her favourite recipe picks, she named some dishes, but diplomatically suggested my recipe-first approach needed a tweek. She wrote:  
My advice? Pick a wine you like, then pick a recipe in that wine’s chapter...  I think you’ll be most likely to find something that’ll really turn you on that way.
She was right. While it's not hard to get me excited about a delivery system for shiraz or cabernet frac, I get sulky when confronted by a chardonnay. But with a mom and two sisters more inclined to off-dry-pushing-sweet whites, I figured this was an opportunity to compromise. So I gave Gewurztraminer, my mom's favourite, a try. And I'm glad I did.
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Recipe: Fried Avocado with Lime-Cilantro Dipping Sauce

Wanting to redeem myself from the monumental failure of my salted caramel candy apples -- which devolved into sliced apples and a dip -- I accepted the task of creating an avocado recipe for MissAvaCado's Cinco de Mayo Blogger Challenge. The results have me wondering...

Raspberry Peach Tart - TheMessyBaker.com
Raspberry Peach Pie with Frangipane
Raspberry Peach Pie about to go into the oven - TheMessyBaker.com While the daffodils have finally poked their heads through the earth, my freezer remains packed with containers of frozen fruit squirrelled away from last year's harvest. They're so precious to me, I save them for special occasions. Very special occasions. As along as the sooty, deathless snowdrifts maintain a Narnia-like hold on the Earth, nothing seems special enough. (Unless you are celebrating your 85th birthday. And then, I will bake you a raspberry pie upon request.) Of course, the weather eventually breaks and my fear of endless winter melts into a different form of  panic. How can use my frozen treasure before a) it goes bad or b) I need the freezer space for this year's bounty? So, with company coming -- very special company, I may add-- I put a dent in the inventory and got creative. The ginger-peach carrots were okay, but no worth writing about. I won't waste your time with the recipe. And I apologize to the peaches. They deserved better. The dessert? I redeemed myself with Raspberry Peach Pie.
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Recipe: Apple and Ginger Truffles
As a child, whenever my table manners were less than stellar, my mother would fix me with a gaze that could freeze time. With a mixture of horror and regret, she would inform me that I was not yet ready to have tea with the Queen. Her tone implied an invitation had been winging its way to our humble home, but had been yanked from the queue the instant my elbows hit the table. Four decades later, while my table manners have improved vastly, Tea with The Queen eludes me. I have also failed to receive an invitation to the upcoming Royal nuptials. I'm sure they mailed it, but like the invitations of my childhood, it vaporized en route due to my behaviour. I blame the truffles.

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