Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Brining Chicken

Crispy chicken skin, crispy crispy chicken skin!
Am I late? I'm not late. If I get this up within the hour, I'm not late.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Chocolate Mille Feuille

Chocolate Mille Feuille
Not quite Mille Feuille. Cent Feuille?

I totally failed October's Daring Bakers' Challenge, which was Mille Feuille.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Paella, no seafood

Paella, no seafood

I can't say I loved this paella, though I could see the paella potential. The first problem was that my doctor forbade me from eating any more experimental seafood until I've seen an allergist. Since I live in the land of snail-slow health care, that will be never. (I miss the days of medical nepotism in which my pa made a call and I immediately saw whichever specialist was best. I didn't even know what I had!) So I was already sub-enthused about my paella options while admiring everyone else's lovely shrimp and mussel dishes. What's a paella without a big, whole, kinda-creepy-looking shrimp sitting in the middle?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Apple Tart with Maple

Apple Tart Recipe

It's hard not to want to bake fruit-based desserts in the summer. All the fruits at the farmer's market just look so beautiful. Not that apples are really in season right now, but I've wanted to make this tart for a while. I think it is very pretty along the same lines as the impossible nectarine tart, but with a fraction of the effort.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Fish En Papillote, Basa

I actually did end up baking something "en papillote" as per July's Daring Cook's challenge. I used to cook salmon en papillote all the time; it was one of the first things I really made consistently when I moved away from home. It's easy, delicious, healthy, and it doesn't leave many dishes--a perfect University meal when you're tired of going to the meal hall. But this delicious fish story has a tragic ending.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Earl Grey and Chocolate Battenburg with Grape Jelly (and Ice Cream Battenburg!)

chocolate earl grey battenburg
Eaten with coffee, not tea.

In honour of the Queen's diamond jubilee, June's Daring Baker's challenge was battenburg cakes. I was excited for this one, and my flavours started out with a taste of a gorgeous artisan concord grape jelly at the farmer's market. Our market recently moved into a new building, big and open and airy. I think it was a good move as the building is more green, more accessible, and can house more vendors, but I miss the twisting halls of the historic market in the brewery and so I tend to stop back in there to look at the handful of vendors who staunchly stayed behind, along with those who are moving into the vacuum. That's where I tasted the concord grape jelly, and after pairing it with chocolate (you always need chocolate) and earl grey (which seemed appropriately British) in my head, I went back and picked up a little jar. The whole cake got covered in chocolate plastique because, of course, almond-based marzipan is poison in my house. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Spinach and Ricotta in Home Made Egg Cannelloni

J just leaned over my shoulder and said, "That looks sooooo good!!"
To which I replied, "Yeah, you already ate it. Remember?" 

To my delight, June's Daring Cooks Challenge was home made cannelloni. I've never made my own pasta. I've used my mum's pasta maker to make the ribbons on the famous and absolutely wonderful (that's high praise from an anti-cake person like me) Ribbon Cake from Bon Appetit, and I've used it to craft clothing for Fimo figurines when I was a pre-teen (generous mother), but I've never used it to make pasta.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


how to braid challah
All those summers of braiding gimp bracelets were good for something!

May's Daring Baker's Challenge was challah, which I was jazzed about because I've never braided a loaf on my own and I like how pretty and distinctive challah is. Plus, the stuff I've had at various shabbat dinners has been delicious (my friend K makes a mean challah the size of a baby).

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Julia's Boeuf Bourguinon

So, this post is long overdue. May's Daring Cook's Challenge was Julia Child's Beouf Bourguinon, made famous by that movie in which Meryl Streep was charming and Amy Adams was irritating. I've certainly been interested in making the dish because it seemed like some sort of cooking right of passage. I was pleased to get the challenge and I had a lot of fun making it. All day long.

Saturday, April 28, 2012


nazook recipe

April's Daring Baker's challenge was to make either (or both) Nazook or Nutmeg cake, both of which are traditional Armenian desserts. I made the Nazook immediately and planned on avoiding the nutmeg cake because the idea of something's entire flavour profile being nutmeg just didn't really appeal to me. Plus, flaky pastry sounded much better than cake. I ended up making both and it turns out that Armenians know good dessert.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Goat Cheese Olive Loaf

goat cheese bread recipe

I don't know why I've been sitting on this post. This was the third quick bread that I made for February's Daring Baker's Challenge, and I think it turned out to be the most photogenic. I though it had a lovely flavour, which is impressive given that I'm only just flirting with the idea that I don't hate olives. If I were to make this again, I think I'd actually use black olives instead of green. I'm a bit more friendly towards green because I like the ones that are stuffed with almonds, but I found them a bit to. . . mild? Not salty enough? I'm not enough of an olive connoisseur to know much about their flavour profiles. I also think that black olives might make the bread look even prettier. David Lebovitz, whose recipe this is (of course), calls for either colour, so it's not like I was taking a huge risk going green.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Grrr! Tiger Bread!

The bread says, "I am delicious. Crunchy on top and soft inside." 
March's Daring Baker's Challenge was fun, but was over-shadowed by my preparing for my thesis defence and freaking out about it possibly being cancelled by a faculty strike. The defence went ahead last Friday and after three hours of me courting laryngitis, my committee members shook my hand and called me "doctor". Yay! Hell if I can remember much about baking this bread, though. I recall being initially disappointed that we weren't being called upon to make a persnickity dessert. Oh well, maybe next month.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Baked Brownie

Eat me.

This recipe has been floating around the internet for a couple of years now, enjoying the praise and preening.  Everywhere you look, blogs will tell you that this little brownie, from the Baked bakery cookbook, is the best brownie you'll ever have. There are a couple of brownies on my list to bake and finally, after moving in with someone who would make sure that I didn't eat the entire batch myself, I got around making this one.

Is it the best brownie I've ever eaten?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Braised Moroccan Chicken

low fat chicken breast recipe
The yellow is the turmeric, not just my camera.

I've been really enjoying Daring Bakers. I don't remember quite what made me join Daring Cooks, but it was probably precisely that--I'm enjoying Daring Bakers. The thing is, I dare to bake normally. I like baking. I'm really not a very courageous cook.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Luna Café's Chocolate Beet Loaf

chocolate quick bread recipe
As you can see, I undercooked it.
This is the second quick bread that I made for February's Daring Baker's Challenge.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

At One Point, I Made French Macarons

French Macarons
Admire a specimen from my friend's tea cup collection. I don't have a tea cup collection because I don't drink tea.
Little did I know their true purpose was to display macarons.

About a month ago I stumbled upon a bizarre section of youtube seemingly dedicated to hundreds of home made My Little Pony music videos. It made me sit up straight and say, "what are these and why are they everywhere?! And can I force my boyfriend to watch them?" That's what French macarons did to the internet a few years back--I woke up one morning and they were everywhere. Eventually, I forced my boyfriend to eat them after adapting them to eliminate the poison almonds.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Thomas Keller's Pink Grapefruit Cake

grapefruit cake recipe

February's Daring Baker's challenge was quick breads and so, because I had some time after handing in my thesis, I made three. This first one is comes from Thomas Keller's book Ad Hoc at Home, which my mother owns and I covet. It is maybe less of a quick bread and more of a cake, but it was easy to make and was baked in a loaf pan, so I'm going to call it a quick bread and then deem it an acceptable breakfast substitute.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sel de Mordor Caramels

caramel recipe

If you get caramels at a shop, the salt sprinkled on top makes them "fancy" and therefore increases the price by a billion percent. As if the salt comes from some place no normal person can easily get to. Mordor, in fact. Let me go back and rename this post.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Sucks

swiss meringue buttercream
This cupcake reminded me of the one on the banner that S drew for me.
You thought I made that banner? I'm not that clever.

I was originally going to title this post, "Martha, your buttercream sucks." Looking around the internet, however, it turns out that the buttercream recipe I made has also been attributed to Dorie Greenspan, and is very similar to copious other Swiss meringue buttercream recipes. Thus, I have concluded that ALL buttercream recipes suck. That's good, because I hate to pick on Martha. I love her even though she makes me feel completely inadequate. She challenges me to make beautiful things that I would never think to make without the burning fires of feminist hatred her encouragement.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Impossible Nectarine Tart

nectarine tart recipe

I made this nectarine tart about two years ago, using the birth of a friend's child as an excuse. I was obsessed with it for a few weeks before I made it, and eventually went ahead and shelled out for the Chambord. It's one of the prettiest things I've ever made, and was obviously made before I got my own camera.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

peanut butter cookies
Perfect, puffy and golden.
Yesterday I had a sudden craving for peanut butter cups.

Easy Croissants

croissant recipe
These are too pretty for me to have actually made them. I must be lying.
I called these "easy croissants" not because the recipe is somehow different than any other croissant recipe, but because it turns out croissants are easy. I've wanted to try to make them for ages, but didn't because I thought that they might be beyond me. I finally had a weekend free and I thought, "I'm up for the challenge!" But it wasn't challenging and I spent most of the day playing Skyrim.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chicken Stock for Lazy People

chicken stock

The making of home-made soup (this one in particular) without access to either home-made stock or some seriously good local stuff was previously forboden*. Stock that comes in cans and boxes at your grocery store is like a sad memory of what stock was supposed to be before someone threw it down the stairs and drove over it with an Asphalt Compactor a few times. At least, the type at my grocery store. Maybe your grocery store is magical.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Basic Scones


Here are my basic scones for January's Daring Baker's challenge. I really enjoy scones, and make them fairly often (at least, in comparison to how often I consume other breads, which isn't that frequently). I find that quick breads don't hurt my stomach as much, for whatever reason. Also, I really like anything that tastes primarily of butter. Especially with butter on top.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, with Pear

butternut squash soup
This soup does not contain bananas, but (quite against my will) my house does.

This is my favourite soup. It might be your favourite soup, too. It's also really easy if you already have a batch of home-made chicken stock in your house and you haven't contracted a fear of your immersion blender as a result of a horrible exhaustion-plus-stupidity-plus-walnut-pesto accident that landed you in the emergency room with the end of an immersion blender attached to the end of your arm.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Christmas Lamb 2011

lamb recipe
I didn't make dessert for Christmas dinner. It was just Jake and I, so I wanted to keep things simple. Thus, I replaced the normal Christmas elaborations in favour of eating POUNDS AND POUNDS OF LAMB.