Recipes

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Recipe: Accordion Potatoes
It has been brought to my attention that I have been writing a bit too much about chocolate. As if there's such a thing. However, I don't want to give you a false impression of my eating habits, so I will change the topic (briefly) to non-chocolate things. Since woman cannot live by chocolate alone, I (occasionally) make other foods. In fact, I baked potatoes last week. See...
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Recipe: Salted Caramel Apples
To help celebrate the 200th anniversary of the McIntosh apple, I'm taking part in The Ontario Apple Growers' challenge. They're looking for the best candy apple recipe -- ever. After careful consideration, a bit of testing and a second-degree burn to my index finger, I have determined that caramel-coated apples are the Kobayashi Maru of fun food. For those who don't know their Star Trek (or fail to get their sci-fi references second-hand from The Big Bang Theory) this is geek-speak for "no-win scenario." Since I was more a Caramel Apple Kid than one who liked to crack her teeth on flaming red, rock hard candy apples, I decided to play with a grown-up salted caramel version, maybe with a sprinkling of crystallized ginger for those who want a bit o' zing along with their sweet & salty. How'd it go? You be the judge. Here's my enthusiastic set-up shot. Imagine the Macs dipped in obedient caramel. Here's the reality.
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Recipe: Venetian Chicken
Depending on which urban legend you cite, the Inuit have between 17 and 31 distinct words for snow. I have but one. And I can't use it here. This weekend's additional donation of crystallized water had me dreaming of escape. While I wouldn't turn down an all-expense paid trip to the Caribbean, my warm-me-up fantasies tend to focus on Europe. I realize they get winter there too, but my memories revolve around steamy summers spent backpacking through Europe, drooling over intricate architecture while getting fat on frozen treats. Since I wasn't going anywhere the snow ploughs couldn't reach, I turned to my bookshelf for a mental vacation. And Venice was the first stop on my imaginary trip. My copy of Tessa Kiros's Venezia: Food & Dreams is pure escape. From the gold-edged pages with the satin ribbon bookmark to the opulent photography, this is not a book you turn to for quick dinner fixes or innovative new recipes. Instead, it's a book you melt into as the wind howls outside your window. Kiros describes Venice as "One of those rare moments when you grasp the magnificence of this world," and her books captures the elegance, vivacity and beauty of the Floating City.
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Recipe: Chocolate Waffles
Last Saturday, along with two double lattes, I ate waffles and raisins. As far as my food intake went, that was about it. We shall not count the wine as I consider that "medication." Andrew was pretty steamed at me for ignoring my health -- a luxury I often deny him -- but I was stressed, and carbs and coffee are the way I cope. After ignoring my blog theme's upgrades for well over a year, I decided Saturday would be the ideal time to catch up. As punishment for my neglect, I was forced to leap three generations in one go. Being clueless about all the incremental changes that had gone on in my absence, things got messy. Very messy. Hence the sugar and caffeine.
Decorative chocolate drizzles - The Messy Baker
How to make decorative chocolate drizzle

During the chocolate demonstration, Derrick made this decorative chocolate drizzle for Emily. As in Emily Richards. I'm not jealous. Really. After all, my name's too long. And too hard to spell. So demonstrating chocolate script with "Emily" makes sense. I guess. After Derrick showed off demonstrated, he...

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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.
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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:
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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:
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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?
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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...

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