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Recipe: Roasted Radishes
  Radishes at the Farmers' Market - TheMessyBaker To observe my mother eating radishes is to understand that over-used phrase "living in the moment." They are not munched like baby carrots or popped into her mouth like grapes. They are consumed with quiet, focused deliberation. To begin, she sets a small bowl of radishes on the table beside her. They are scrubbed and trimmed, with just enough stem to form a handle. She then carefully pours a modest pool of salt on her plate before plucking a radish from the pile. Once she has selected a radish, she nibbles a tiny piece from the tip and dips the freshly exposed end into the salt. She then proceeds to eat the radish, crunching away with a look of peaceful concentration on her face. She doesn't talk. She doesn't touch the other meal items in front of her. She devotes herself fully to the radish. She repeats these steps until her allotment of radishes is gone. The rest of her meal them resumes.
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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...

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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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.
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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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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.
Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers - The Messy Baker
Recipe: Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers
  Spicy Quinoa-Stuffed Peppers - TheMessyBaker.com I admit it. I'm lazy and messy. Thee mere thought of  forcing gobs of unruly stuffing into tall, wobbly-bottomed peppers is an open invitation to Murphy. But, I got smart, knocked the suckers on their side and stuffed them full without so much as an "oops." Anyone who's grappled with a towering stuffed pepper will thank me for this culinary cheat. There's no embarrassing spillage in the kitchen. And at the table? Hungry eaters can dig in without drafting a plan of attack that involves advanced physics and an extra limb. Nope. Just grab your knife and fork and dig in. As a bonus, the shallow version cooks faster. Everybody wins. Except Murphy. With fall in full swing and a bounty of big, sweet, inexpensive peppers at hand, I'm sharing my stuffed pepper tips with Kyle Christie (no relation). Tune in to Kitchener's CTV News at Noon if you can. There'll be not-so-deadly nightshades, oh-so sharp implements and the ever-present danger of spillage. And that's before I even reach the studio.
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Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Cilantro Dressing

A local Indian restaurant makes an addictive appetizer -- bite-sized vegetables dipped in a spicy chickpea batter, deep fried and served with a cilantro dipping sauce. Whenever Andrew and I dine there, I pluck all the cauliflower florets from the plate and eat them myself....

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...

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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