Recipes

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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.
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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