Recipes

Potato Latkes, stacked -- TheMessyBaker.com
Recipe: Potato Latkes
Potato Latkes, draining - TheMessyBaker.com I was going to make you guess what's in the photo above, but the post's headline gives it away. Darn you, Google, and your search engine demands. If you hover your cursor over the image, you will know, these golden fritters are potato latkes. I made a big batch after the recent potato-fueled food fight. I'd like to tell you this was culinary revenge, a well-thought out, two-pronged political move to advocate potato farmers while sticking it to the makers of Fake Food in a Canister. But to be honest, it was simply a quick way to satisfy my stomach. Thinking about potatoes all day left me  hungry -- for  potatoes. So, with little more than four medium spuds and an onion on hand, I cooked the only thing I could think of that used these ingredients. Latkes -- and lots of them -- was the result.
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Recipe: Crumpets
In this age of pre-made artisanal everything, some foods remain defiant. While you can buy decent heat-and-eat naan in the grocery store, flaky croissants at any good bakery and to-die-for bagels at delis, crumpets remain elusive. The store-bought versions are rubbery and taste like they're sprinkled with vinegar. The real ones? Slightly chewy but light, with only a hint of a sourness. The trademark holes harness a sea of  melted butter on which honey or homemade jam buoy with delight. Yup, I wrote that sentence high  --  on the memory of my homemade crumpets. Although crumpets can be mass produced, their prime is too short to make them mass marketable. Within a couple of hours they morph from golden brown butter sponges into wan, pockmarked hockey pucks. And because crumpets are best only fresh-from-the-griddle, I'm breaking several of my unwritten culinary rules to share this recipe. To make these I:
Forty Creek Pecan Pie
Forty Creek Whisky Pecan Pie
Forty Creek Whisky Pecan Pie by TheMessyBaker.com In our home, birthdays are about dessert. It doesn't matter if the ingredients send me to six specialty shops, or if the results require a small team of architecture students to assemble. If you can dream it, I will make it. Providing you're a family member. Two-recipes-in-one, Frozen Lemon Pavlova? Of course, Mom. Hazelnut Mocha Tort with fancy chocolate topping? My pleasure, Allison. Non-Jammy Raspberry Pie? Anything for you, my only Father-in-Law. So this year, when Andrew asked for Pecan Pie I couldn't say no.
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Fennel Salad with Golden Beets and Apples
Fennel Salad with Maple Candied Pecans - TheMessyBaker.com [box type="info" style="rounded" border="full"] Update: Sorry. The contest is closed. However, the fennel salad recipe remains open to anyone willing to give it a try. [/box] As one of the world's most gullible people, I hate April Fool's Day.  Apparently watching me scramble for the binoculars is a hoot. And my reaction when I discover the rare bird at my feeder is actually stuffed? Priceless. But it's not only family who gets a rise out of me. Last year a respectable Ontario food centre had me believing locally-grown hot-house pineapples were this close to hitting the stores. While the fake bird was private, I outed my pineapple ignorance publicly on Twitter. So, this year, to be safe, I decided not to open my email, read the news or pop over to any of the social networking sites before noon. But April Fools found me anyway. I had written this blog post a month ago. Having arranged a special April Fool's giveaway, I was on top of things and just sitting pretty until March ended. But when I went to my computer, the file was gone. I have never inadvertently lost a post in all my years of blogging. I've had the server crash mid-composition, but never has a saved file gone AWOL. Until today.
Raspberry Pie about to go into the oven - TheMessyBaker.com
Raspberry Pie

Raspberry pie is risky business. Jam-style diehards want theirs sweet, sweet, sweet, while people like me long for a slice that will pucker the palate. After all, the ice cream's supposed to smooth things over. Right? If the filling isn't stressful enough, then there's the crust...

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Recipe: Thai Curry
Ingredients for Thai Curry - TheMessyBaker.com Today I'm on CTV News at Noon. It's my 7th appearance and I've decided it's time I actually cooked something. Oh, I've diced apples, sliced peaches, mixed salad dressing, stuffed peppers, roasted an array of vegetables and even pulverized chickpeas in the name of hummus, but I've never actually cooked anything. So today, I'm making Thai Curry. Live. Can't you just feel the tension? I can't tell you more than that since my host, Kyle, will be making decisions as we go. Will he pick red curry paste or green? Chicken or beef? And just which vegetable will he toss into the mix? Tune in to find out. For those who can't catch the show, I'll post a link to the clip later. In the meantime, here's the basic recipe we'll be making. It's quick, easy and should be ready to eat by the time you've cooked the rice. Got a favourite Thai dish? Or questions about Thai cuisine? Drop by the comments section. It's always open. In the meantime, here's the basic recipe we'll be using.
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Giveaway: National Toast Day
As a child, cinnamon toast was the litmus test of illness. If you could choke down a few bites with flat ginger ale or weak tea, then you knew you were going to live. If you couldn't stomach the toast -- or even the thought of food -- you were ill indeed and packed off to the doctor. Although I usually ate cinnamon toast only when ill, today it is a comfort food I turn to on occasion when nothing else appeals. Perhaps it's the small of toasting bread or the intoxicating mix of melted butter and crunchy cinnamon-laced sugar? Either way, I have a soft spot for cinnamon toast. Today is National Toast Day and in a valiant attempt to stamp out toast brutality, a sin for which I am guilty, Gay Lea is hosting a giveaway worth $200 giveaway. The basket includes:
  • A year's supply of Spreadables butter coupons
  • A breakfast cookbook
  • Toast necessities – spreading knives, toast tongs, toast cutter, egg cups, napkins
  • A gift card to Cora’s Restaurant
For the skeptics, Spreadables is not hydrogenated fake food. It's all natural creamery butter with unsaturated canola oil added to make the it spreadable -- hence the name. The giveaway is open to Ontario residents. To enter,
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Recipe: Spicy Green Beans
You know you're getting old when St. Patrick's Day arrives and instead of wondering where you put your green belt and shamrock earrings, you make a mental note not to drive anywhere after 6 PM and place bets on how many drunks are going to stagger by at 3 AM singing Danny Boy at the top of their lungs. Whether you find this video achingly sentimental or innocently humorous will depend on how many green beers and whiskey shots you've had. Since I'm stone cold sober, I think it's pretty funny. But then again, they had me the moment the Swedish Chef bobbed on stage. In honour of St Patrick's day, I'm not wearing shamrocks, downing Guinness or posting a recipe for artificially green food. Instead, I'm typing with a delightful lilt and sharing a recipe for a food that's naturally emerald green and close to my heart. Beans. Gotta love 'em no matter what the calendar says.
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Recipe: Chicken in Samfaina Sauce
The last few days I've felt like a cast member of Glee. No, I haven't been dancing about the living room singing mash ups. I've  just gone quietly about my own business only to get a great, big slushie thrown in my face. While these icy facials came from above, not eye-level, they were just as jolting. After enduring a couple of sneak attacks, I'm beginning to think Old Man Winter is a bully with a very bad attitude. What's he plotting next? A cosmic wedgie? So, to avoid the next inevitable ambush of winter, I ran to the library like a good little student and hid behind a book. In the process, I warmed my ice-splashed face with the sun of Spain. Through the gorgeous images in The Food of Spain: A Journey for Food Lovers, I basked in a recipe for Basque Baked Tuna, dipped my toe in the Cantabrian Sea and gorged virtually on figs loaded with honey, almonds, chocolate and cream. I sailed away from my troubles on a fishing boat, disembarking only to wander the markets or stroll through an olive grove. I lingered so long I'm surprised I didn't get sunburned.
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Orange and Carrot Salad
Winter has returned with a vengeance, Dumping great soggy clumps of slush on our heads. In the face of this penetrating cold, I don't want hot soup. I don't want great steaming mounds of comfort food. I want warm temperatures and sunshine. And I want it now. So I'm pretending they dishwater gray sky is brilliant blue and eating something that tastes like summer. Oranges. While I love oranges, I hate peeling them. Not only does it hurt my wonky thumb, somehow I always manage to squirt juice all over myself or anyone unlucky enough to be within spraying range. Sure, I can tackle tiny, loose-skinned clementines, but when faced with large navel oranges that might as well be bound in duct tape, I haul out the chef's knife and cut them into wedges. So, what do I do when faced with a fruit salad?

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