Recipes

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Peach and Arugula Salad
Here, in all her glory, is Green Leaf Platter in what turned out to be her final performance. Less than 24 hours before her untimely demise, GLP was working the salad like nobody's business. A true artist to the end, she presented like no one was watching. As promised, here is the recipe for the peach and arugula salad demonstrated a couple of days ago on CTV's News at Noon. You can watch the video
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Double-Double Chocolate Cake
I'm still on a bit of a high. Last week, Monica Bhide came for lunch. With her family. On her birthday. Which just happened to be her son's 11th birthday as well. While I was thrilled she was coming and touched she would choose to spend her birthday with me, I was a bit nervous and funneled my fears into the menu, the dessert in particular. My fallback birthday cake is an unremarkable recipe brought to celebratory heights via copious quantities of booze painted onto its surface and a whole pint of whipped cream crammed between the layers. Not the sort of thing for children. In addition to kid-friendly, I wanted something decadent, something chocolate and something Canadian for my American visitors. The prefect solution sat on page 179 in The Harrow Fair Cookbook. Double-Double Chocolate Cake.
Raw Sweet Potato Salad - The Messy Baker
Raw Sweet Potato Salad

Sweet potatoes are confusing. People call them yams, but they're not. Even though you're far more likely to encounter a sweet potato than a yam here in North America, I think we embrace the term "yam" because it's more fun to say. Weighing in at...

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Frozen Lemon Pavlova
This recipe proves two things. One: Candied flowers can last. Two: Size matters. As to the first point, I sugared these violets in April. The last of the batch I created for a Canadian Gardening article, they remained perfect, crisp and crystallized in their tiny plastic container. For 3 months. Take that dratted summer humidity! As to the second point?  When I made this a sublime dish a few years ago, my tiny kitchen quickly turned the situation ridiculous. Meringues cooled in the dining room while dirty dishes circled in a holding pattern over the living room coffee table. With no counter space left I whipped the cream crouching on the floor as my hand mixer splattered dairy product on the walls. Upon presenting the dessert, I'm told I punctuated the birthday greetings with "Never Again" instead of heartfelt exclamation marks. "Happy Birthday, Dad Never Again  Hope you like the dessert Never Again May all your birthday wishes come true Never Again." But this is what Mom wanted for her birthday dessert. Since I can refuse her nothing, this is what I made
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Oven-Dried Tomatoes
Oven-dried tomatoes - TheMessyBaker.com Brain, meet Fingers. Fingers, meet Brain. I hope you two become best of friends. Pronto. Because if you don't start working together really soon, I will be forced to give up this blog and move to a remote region of the world where there is no Internet access and only tinned soup for supper. What did I do this time? Despite finding the recipe in the index, reading the instructions and looking at the photo, my fingers typed "oven-roasted" tomatoes when Grow Great Grub clearly gives readers the low down on "oven-dried" tomatoes. I'm tempted to quietly correct this error and distract you with ice cream. But having asked you to vote and promising to post the results, I think you'd notice. Especially since the one recipe whose title I botched turned out to be the winner. So, for those of you who were looking forward to oven-roasted tomatoes, here's a refresher on how to roast vegetables. For the tomato version, I'd add chopped fresh basil, some crushed garlic, a pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper. When done, top with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. And for those who intuitively knew what I meant, here is the recipe for oven-dried tomatoes. They're different, but just as good. And last longer.
Easy Roasted Lemon Potatoes - The Messy Baker
Easy Roasted Lemon Potatoes

I have decided to strike the following phrase from my vocabulary: How hard can it be? It gets me into trouble. For example: Hey, honey, I need a new stove. Why don't we just knock down a wall and add an eat-in kitchen while we're at it....

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Lemon Pie Ice Cream
Looks can be deceiving. Plain old vanilla ice cream? No. Guess again. It's actually lemon. With some orange thrown in. I based this ice cream on my father's favourite lemon meringue pie recipe, which calls for condensed milk. With a bowl of oranges threatening to dissolve into a green powdery heap before my eyes, I salvaged the best looking one and added it to the mix. The results? An exceptionally creamy Philadelphia style ice cream with a light citrus flavour. No eggs. No firing up the stovetop. Just a few minutes with the microplane -- important factors in this relentless summer heat.
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Salted Watermelon Sorbet
Sometimes simple is best. No gooey sauces. No sugary sprinkles. No toasted flakes of anything. Sometimes all you need is a tiny pinch of salt. Last week, over Watermelon Agua Fresca, Andrew told me that as a child one of his favourite memories was eating big slices of watermelon sprinkled with salt. As a kid, we too slurped our way through the oppressive summer heat with watermelon. Only all we did was spit the seeds at each other and hope no adult noticed. Within days of our conversation, I came across a recipe for watermelon sorbet that called for a dash of fleur de sel. Taking my cue from the agua fresca, I swapped lime for the original lemon juice and added a hint of vodka to keep the sorbet nice and smooth. But I kept the salt just as is.
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Linda’s Chocolate Lover’s Oatmeal Cookies
The word "gifted" can get me all riled up. When used to mean "naturally talented" I have no qualms. In fact, I rather like it when applied as an adjective to child prodigies, musicians, artists, mathematicians, healers and even plumbers. And believe me, plumbing is a gift not bestowed up on me or any of my immediate family. To me, "gifted" is a useful, generous and surprisingly handy adjective.  But it's one rotten past tense verb. My inner grammar teacher wants to rap knuckles and assign lines when someone says someone gifted them something when they mean they were given a gift. And being forced to write two someones and a something in the same sentence doesn't help the cause. And yes, it's ironic that acts of generosity can make me grouchy. So, let me demonstrate the correct use of the word via  food.
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Browned-Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies - TheMessyBaker.com A while ago I solicited recipes for the ultimate chocolate chip cookie. A lot of suggestions rolled in. Conflicting opinions on walnuts, oatmeal and chefs flew through cyberspace. Some people loved Alton Brown's recipe. Others called it "cakey" and touted the ever-popular David Lebovitz. Thomas Keller's name cropped up frequently, while a small but vocal group swore on their grandmother's baking pans that Cook's Illustrated's browned butter version was the best. Make that The Very Best. Ever. So I did some research into the various options. Some recipes called for chopped chocolate. But with chips readily available that just seemed like extra work. Other recipes used bread flour, which I don't stock. So I nixed them. Many demanded an extra yolk. Needless to say, I was a little put off by this requirement since I hate wasting food and never know what to do with an extra white. Two or three? Make meringues. But one? However, I adore browned butter and hunted down the Cook's Illustrated recipe. Even though it called for that pesky extra yolk, it used ordinary flour and included my beloved walnuts. So I was willing to sacrifice some albumin for the cause. Then I read the instructions.

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