Category Archives: dessert

Summer Slump?!

I’m half in a writers-block-food-slump and it’s NO good. I think it’s a combo of working a ton and this new ultra-cheapo-budget that my husband and I are giving a whirl. So I’m using this first paragraph to whine a little bit… $60 a week on groceries?! Resigning to eating pasta (without cheese or cream or any of those good but costly and lactose-filled delicacies)?! I am in a summer foodie hell.

Luckily, my friends can cook! I went into Kitsilano on the weekend where my hippie-dippy-lovely-veggie-headed friends made a scrumptuous tofurky feast! Before your turn your nose up in disgust, it was actually pretty great! The key, apparently, is all in how you marinate it. I am no tofurky expert but I definitely suggest you try some for yourself before you judge!

Along with the faux-meat came a spread of stuffing and mashed potatoes with garlic scapes which my host grew herself and was kind enough to send home with me! Home-brewed iced tea and lemonade. And a GORGEOUS salad of edible flowers and greens grown by this amazing woman! For dessert? Fresh strawberries and ice cream (lactose-free coconut ice cream for those with allergies) followed by a long walk along the ocean and then more dessert! A coconut-raisin-carrot cake topped with bourbon glaze made by yours truly.

It was a good weekend. A filling weekend. A sunny weekend. A weekend made all the better by Charles Francis Mordecai M.D. (pictured below). The memories are almost strong enough to pull me out of my slump… perhaps a trip to my garden this evening will quell the un-inspired-cooking.

Here is a recipe for Pickeled Garlic Scapes from beautiful blog Not Without Salt (which just so happens to be… drumroll… our featured blog of the day/week/whenever I think to feature a blog!)

Pickled Garlic Scapes

1       pound or more of scapes, whole

3       cups vinegar

5       cups water

¼     cup kosher salt

Fresh Basil Leaves

Chili Flakes

Boil the water, vinegar & salt solution. Pack hot jars with whole scapes, 1 fresh basil leaf, a pinch of chili flakes (depending on your spice tolerance) and then the brine. Put on lids, place in a hot water canner and boil for 45 minutes. Leave at least 2 weeks before serving to get best flavor.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under dessert, Dinners, Food for Thought, Recipes

Pie = Friendship

I was standing in line at the grocery store talking excitedly to my husband about the bourbon pecan pie I was going to make him. It’s his favorite pie… perhaps even his favorite dessert… so I knew he would put up with me going on a food-excitement-rampage. I mentioned how excited I was to make the pie, and also to try making sweet potato pie. It’s something uncommon around our parts, I’ve never tried it, but I have such a love for southern eats that I know I have to try it eventually.

That was when the kind blonde woman standing in front of me turned around. She asked, with a smile, where I was going to get this recipe for sweet potato pie. She had also never had it but told me about a buttermilk pie that her Mennonite mother used to make on a regular basis. She then went on to tell me about her mother’s delicious pie and paska and the wonderful memories that connect food to childhood and end up staying with you forever.

This is the reason that I love food. It is SO powerful, connecting taste and smell with people and emotions. Certain flavors can bring back the memory of loved ones or transport you back to your oma’s house when you were 6, eating potato pancakes with sugar spinkled on them and drinking a tall glass of chocolate milk.

Food brings people together. With the promise of sharing pie recipes, my grocery-store lady and I exchanged e-mails and said goodbye. She later sent me the link to a pie website with a good buttermilk pie recipe and when I make me sweet potato pie, I’ll be sending her the recipe as well!

Now the only decision I have to make is whether to make Jamie’s American Sweet Potato Pie or Joy the Baker’s…. sounds like I’m going to be making two!

1 Comment

Filed under dessert, Food for Thought, Recipes

Meals in Minutes

I got a new cookbook. In fact, I got the all new Jamie Oliver Meals in Minutes cookbook!!!!!!! And I’m over the moon.

It’s a fantastic book with, as always, brilliant pictures. It is put together in a super unique way to. Rather then flipping through different meat, veg, salad, dessert sections and peicing together your own meal, all the recipes make up entire meals. The instructions are also laid out so by the time you are finished cooking, your entire meal is ready, hot and on the table (including mouth watering simple desserts and unique refreshing beverages!)

The book also includes fantastic advice on kitchen prep, a well-compiled list of kitchen musts, helpful hints on presentation, and always encouraging words on shopping for meat, eggs, poultry and fish. A ton of recipes also include instructional videos when you go to the website!

Jamie Oliver – Videos – Introduction to Jamie’s 30-Minute Meals.

I don’t know where to start with this one so I have decided it’s going to be a start from the first meal and work my way through, sort of deal.

My first Meal in Minutes?

Broccoli orecchiette, zucchini & bocconcini salad, and prosciutto & melon salad!


Now, I want to say right now, it’s not all good news for Mr. Oliver. His book, although being  “the fastest-selling non-fiction title of the year,” has been under fire. People are claiming that his meals are taking longer than 30minutes, sometimes up to an hour and a half. I love Jamie and so far, with the 6 Jamie Oliver cookbooks I own, the times I have been disappointed have been few and far between. So as well as cooking each and every meal in this book. I plan on posting the results to you as well as the total time it took me.

So if you aren’t sold on Meals in Minutes or if you just like spending time with me, keep reading The Supper Club!

And if you’re hungry, come over to my house.. there will be a meal waiting.

5 Comments

Filed under dessert, Dinners, Food for Thought, Recipes

Sweetly Simple Coconut Cake (with Mango Filling!)

Bake a cake for your moms birthday! That’s what I did over the weekend and it went over like gangbusters! For all of you who tasted it and wanted a piece or for all of you who didn’t taste it (but like the sound of it)… here is the recipe!

Mango Filling

¾ cup sugar

¼ cup cornstarch

1 cup mango nectar

4 egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla extract

½ cup butter (cut into 8 cubes)

 

In a saucepan whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in nectar, yolks and vanilla. Cook over medium heat until thick (about 6 minutes). Remove from heat. Whisk in butter, one cube at a time, until completely combined. Cover and chill for 2 hours.

 

The Simplest Coconut Cake

This cake originally came from a Martha Stewart cupcake recipe which I’ve slightly tweaked until it both tasted great and worked for a cake recipe!

3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

4 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 cup shredded coconut

1 1/2 cup butter or margarine

2 2/3 cup sugar

4 eggs and 4 egg whites

3 tsp  vanilla extract

2 cans of coconut milk

 

Heat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and coconut. In an electric mixer cream together butter and sugar. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with 2 additions of coconut milk. Beat until combined after each addition. Bake in two 8” cake pans until golden brown and a toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean!

I cooled my cake quickly, in it’s pans, in my fridge freezer. Make sure it is completely cooled before cutting open and filling with your mango filling!

I then iced it with a quick and fluffy seven-minute frosting recipe, from Martha Stewart, which I flavoured with coconut extract instead of vanilla! I’m pretty liberal with my extract and just ended up adding a little more and a little more till I thought it tasted coconuty enough!

4 Comments

Filed under dessert, Recipes

The List

My sister lives in sunny California and you would think that she would have so much available to her there that a trip to (mostly) rainy B.C. would bore the daylights out of her… not so! She sent me a list of things that she was craving to do when she comes out for a visit this summer and I thought that I would share it with you all so you can join in on the Fraser Valley fun.

Whether you are a health-nut, vegan, peace-nik hippie or a scotch swilling, redneck, meat-eating man-child… or just a normal person… I think you’ll have fun doing at least one of these things.

1. pick berries.

I know, I know, why pick berries when you can hire someone to pick them for you? Come on, people. We live in the Berry Capital of Canada… or something… and berries are delicious. And when you pick them, you can eat them, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Plus fresh raspberry jam and homemade blueberry pie and strawberries with cream. Come on! Do it.

2. go to bard on the beach

This has nothing to do with food. Not everything does. But it’s so fun and if you go you can pick up a Japadog in downtown Vancouver. Worth it.

3. go to the fireworks downtown

There’s nothing quite like eating soft pretzels, drinking hot chocolate and watching the symphony of fire. Classic Vancouver summer.

4. go to cultas lake water slides

Slip sliding around downtown and, again, another reason to eat a hot dog?!

5. go to granville island and eat awesome tarts and oysters on the half shell

We live near the ocean. We can have fresh seafood whenever we want it. Oysters are a dream come true.Check out Tony’s Fish and Oyster Cafe. Also, there is an over abundance of delicious tarts on Granville island, stop by Terra Breads for an amazing peach-rosemary tart, you won’t be disappointed!

6. get a pie from Krause Berry Farms

Custard piled high with strawberries. So delicious yet, for some reason, it can’t be duplicated at home. Believe me, I’ve tried.

7. go for high tea

Serendipitea in downtown Abbotsford has a gorgeous high tea for any lady. Gentlemen, be warned, fine china, flowers and petite desserts may be enough to shake the manliest man to his core.Try either the ice wine tea or the strawberry fields. My favorite.

8. hang out in down town abby

I’ve talked about it before. I will talk about it again. I live in downtown Abbotsford and I absolutely love it. Small boutiques, used books, some of the best coffee that I’ve ever had. On a sunny day there is not much I like more than walking the short streets of my home town.. just don’t trip over a hobo while you’re doing it!

9. go to down town van and eat at a food truck and that place in gastown with the muscles and happy hour oyster bar!

FOOD! I love it.

And if you need help narrowing down your food truck choice… let me help you!

Re-Up BBQ: for slow smoked meat sandwiches

Fresh Local Wild: exactly what it sounds like with vegetarian options.

Eli’s Serious Sausage: Vancouver’s premium local sausage stand

Cartel Tacos: Korean fusion tacos

La Brasserie: A warm & cozy Franco-German bistro

Now be off. Go. Eat. Have fun!

4 Comments

Filed under dessert, Dinners, Food for Thought, Restaurant Review

My Cake Blog

I’ve started a second blog which will advertise the new branch of my work, For Cake’s Sake, which is a new shop in Abbotsford where you will be able to find all your cake decorating and baking needs!

Along with all our store sales and specials, I’ll also be posting about cool baking links, cake decorating news and ideas, and some great teaching websites and decorating techniques.

So if cake decorating is your thing or if you just like watching Cake Boss and Ace of Cakes and your itching for more cool stuff to look at, take a gander at my second blog:

http://www.cakessake.wordpress.com

p.s. DON’T WORRY! I will still be posting every week and sometimes every day. I know I had you panicked but I’m not going anywhere. I could never leave you. And I could never run out of foodie facts to tell you about!

Leave a comment

Filed under dessert, Food for Thought

A Nice Cup of Rage.

I’m ranting today. It’s raining outside so I am officially ranting.

There is something wrong with Abbotsford, British Columbia. There is a vast majority of coffee shops around every corner of this city but for some reason, there are none with comfortable seating, good food and drink, nice atmosphere and good prices. You would think that when someone opens a coffee shop, these are the first few things they would focus on. Yet for some reason on Sunday night, a group of 6 girls spent an hour driving around the city looking for a good cup of coffee and a comfortable seat.

The evening had become cold so we all headed from Mill Lake Park to Aftethoughts (the most popular coffee shop in Abbotsford due to their delicious foods) and, of course, it was packed. Not a seat left. We headed to Starbucks with its icy air conditioning and uncomfortable seats… and although I am a fan of their high-fat high-sugar drinks and treats, the atmosphere is very get in and get out. We drove past Go Go Beans (closed) and Intercity Cafe (closed). I had also checked out a second Starbucks… CLOSED. argh!

The frustration peaked. We went to ABC Family Resteraunt (my least favorite place) where I had a good cup of Mighty Leaf Tropical Green Tea and an awful piece of apple-peach pie. DO NOT BE LURED IN BY THE PROMISE OF CRISPY, FLAKY CRUST!!! It is a lie. It is soggy and my pie was an uneven mix of lava hot and ice-cold. Gross.

So that’s it, I am opening up my own place one day. And until then, I am transforming my home into the new coffee lounge for my friends in Abbotsford. I will not have a night like that again.

5 Comments

Filed under dessert, Food for Thought, Restaurant Review