Recipes

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Recipe: Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Mousse
I know that when I see a recipe calling for basically three desserts rolled into one, I skip it in favour of something simpler, like cookies. But if you think about it, pie is two desserts in one. The crust and then the filling. And many squares -- say a classic Canadian Nanaimo -- require two or three steps. So don't let this multi-part recipe scare you. It's actually no harder than pie and beyond delicious. In fact, during the 2-hour chocolate demonstration we not only witnessed Derrick Tu Tan Pho make ganache-filled macarons, he whipped up these beauties as well. And topped them with drizzled chocolate. Granted, we had no interruptions and a pro at the helm, but if you're busy, you can make the brownies ahead of time. Or the mousse. Or just the mousse. As an incentive, here are two of Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho's best tricks.
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Legume and Lentil Recipes to Get You Through the Winter
Legume Recipe Round Up I'm on CTV's News at Noon today talking about lentils and legumes. I'm not sure who be hosting since Kyle, my usual side kick, won't be there. Wonder if it's something I said? Or maybe he's afraid I'll make him stuff another pepper. After all, I did give him the tippy one. Whoever the host may be today, have no fear. No problematic peppers. Just some dried beans and a piece of wicked cool stainless steel kitchen equipment. I'll be discussing how to incorporate beans into your diet in ways that won't require you to book time off work -- to accommodate the supposedly long cooking time or that other reason people shy away from beans. With a reputation for hogging stove time only to make you socially unacceptable, beans are misunderstood. If you cook your own from dried (with a pre-soak done while you sleep) you:
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
iSpice Winners and Monica Bhide’s Favourite Spice
Today I get to spread more joy. I think I could get used to this. It makes me feel a tiny bit like Oprah -- you win an iSpice, and YOU win an iSpice, and YOU win an iSpice!  The only difference? Everyone was expecting a mass giveaway. And the winners don't have to pay the taxes on their prize. Oh, and you can't drive away in your brand new iSpice. But you can drive with one in your pocket, so that's pretty neat (only don't scroll spices while driving!) Although, it took a few clicks of the button at Random.org,  we have our 10 winners. Are you ready? A big congratulations to:
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Chocolate Macarons
Macaron with chocolate ganache Remember my resolution to espouse joy, accept my weakness for sugary treats and let the professionals worry about the camera work? Well, today I share with you one of the highlights of my food writing career and a few less than stellar pictures. Recently, I spent an afternoon at Bonnie Gordon College with Master Chocolatier Derrick Tu Tan Pho. Not only did I learn a lot about one of my favourite edible culinary inspirations, I got to make impossibly shiny macarons and near-nebulous mousse alongside some of my favourite human culinary inspirations. Forgive me if I name drop or two but wouldn't you get a little excited if you sat beside the iconic Elizabeth Baird for two glorious uninterrupted hours, watched the talented Emily Richards drizzle her name in chocolate, piped batter alongside the all-knowing Susan Sampson and talked muffins with prolific author/editor Jennifer Mackenzie? In between mouthfuls of macarons and potentially addictive chocolate pearls, I scribbled enough notes to fill a small binder.  So I'm breaking my afternoon of chocolate nirvana into a few of posts, which I'll share with you over the next little while. After all, too much chocolate in one seating will spoil your dinner. Plus, I get to relive the joy a few more times. Did I mention I sat beside Elizabeth Baird?
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Recipe: Green Bean Fries

There is something subversively satisfying about finding a fried vegetable recipe in a healthy eating book. I was thumbing through Clean Start: Inspiring You to Eat Clean and Live Well with 100 New Clean Food Recipes by Terry Walters. Hidden somewhere between the longest title...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Recipe: Cranberry and Apple Cake
Listen to Ina. She is wise. When the Barefoot Contessa says use a 10-inch glass pie pate, use a glass pie plate. When she says use fresh cranberries, use fresh cranberries. But you know me. I never listen. Or more precisely, I don't always think ahead. I dive into recipes head first, often to find the culinary waters muddy, turbulent or shallow. With company arriving and frozen cranberries going begging, I made the best choices I could under less than perfect circumstances. So, when faced with using a 9-inch glass pie plate or a 10-inch ceramic pie plate, I pulled out the larger dish. When forced to choose between using frozen cranberries or producing no dessert at all,  I opted for frozen fruit. And while I stand by my decisions, I paid a price.
Carrot-Orange-Ginger-Soup
Ginger Orange Carrot Soup
Carrot Orange Ginger Soup - TheMessyBaker.com I'm not psychic but something tells me that before the winter is over, my copy of Jeanelle Mitchell's For the Love of Soup is going to be dog-eared, grease-splattered and a fought over. Sorry extended family, but you'll have to get your own copy. I can't imagine being without mine for long. I first heard about this book more than a year ago from my beef-searing buddy, Heather Travis. One minute we were dissing salt-laden condensed soup, the next she was raving about a little recipe book I'd never heard of and begging me to find a copy. As luck would have it, Whitecap recently reissued the nearly decade-old title last month -- with a makeover to match its younger sister, For the Love of Salad. Like its older sibling, For the Love of Soup isn't a photo-rich, high-maintenance bombshell you drool over but abandon after a few dishes. Instead, this quietly pretty book is the kind you bring home to the family.
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Recipe and Giveaway: Chipotle Shortbreads
Move over Julia Child and Paula Dean. I'm the Butter Queen today. Now that the jack-o'-lanterns have been extinguished and the last of the waxy mini-chocolate bars have been gobbled, we can safely move onto thoughts of holiday baking. While I'm not ready to rummage in the basement for stockings and mistletoe, I am more than ready to plot the goodies I'll be baking in my recently renovated kitchen. And as I do, visions of shortbreads dance in my head. Those who know me will vouch that I'm a huge shortbread fan, making variations that run from a classic 4-ingredient cookie to a savory Pecan Cheesie. So when I was offered the chance to post a butter giveaway, I couldn't say no. "Butter give away?" you ask in a mixture of awe and joy. Yes, butter give away. Who says dreams don't come true?
Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
I’m Cooking Beef at the Royal

Don't say I didn't warn you. You are amongst the first to know. In fact, I haven't even had time to tell my parents yet, so no complaining about the short notice. My news? On Sunday, November 7th at 1 pm, I'm hitting The Entertaining at...

Charmian-Logo-New-transparent
Recipe: Plum and Orange Sorbet
The pears went bad so I called on the plums. The plums started to go so I... reached for the ice cream maker. I could have made preserves, but I had too few plums to make jam worthwhile. The fruit would have slipped from iffy to unusable by the time I had found the jars, sterilized them, heated the water bath, located the labels...  No, I needed a quick fix. Plus, I'm still in the any-excuse-to-use-my-brand-spanking-new-food-processor stage. The result of my plum panic is a palate cleansing sorbet -- the kind you get in fancy restaurants between courses. You won't want to sit down to a big bowl of this -- unless you've got a lot of chocolate sauce on hand. It's fresh, intense and if you don't rasp away too much of the orange pith, very smooth. It's ideal for a hot summer day. Of course, I created it just as the autumn winds whip in.

Subscribe to my newsletter.

It’s easy. It’s free. It’s informative.

 

Receive weekly tips, recipes and advanced notice of upcoming events.

Yes, please!