Saturday, April 30, 2011

plum and rosemary upside-down cake

Happy Royal Wedding... weekend! Hurray! William and Kate are married and everyone is happy. I'm sure everybody is sick of hearing about it - except me. I spent hours watching the Royal Channel's rebroadcast of the ceremony last night. When Adam came home from work, he went on immediate alert because there I was, sitting on the couch, fixated on the screen, all red-eyed and stuffy. But no... there was no need to escalate threat levels. It was just my typical response to anything even vaguely emotional happening on tv.

So, in order to celebrate this momentous occasion (and because all I need is an excuse), I baked a cake! One made with plums, which are purple, which is the colour of royalty... right? Ok, maybe I'm stretching it.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

pea and mint soup

It was not my plan to make pea and mint soup tonight. I had another soup planned. One that involved potatoes and sausages. Perhaps you might be wondering what led me to change my mind. Well... okay, I'll admit it, but not without a hefty dose of shame.

Every month, my office holds "treats day." This means that the lunch room is filled with treats. Cookies, cupcakes... you name it. It changes every month. Well, today it was treats day, and the treats were Easter candy. Mini peanut butter cups, mini eggs, gummy worms, jelly beans, ju-jubes... I think you can see where I am going with this.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

orange blossom sugar cookies

Did you ever watch Pippi? I watched those movies over and over and over again when I was a kid (on beta, because I'm old). If you did, I dare you to watch them again. I watched the first one about two years ago and I was shocked at just how awesome and surreal it was. There were many laughs. Pippi kind of blew my mind! 

The reason I mention Pippi is because I'm reminded of her every time I bake cookies that require a rolling pin and cookie cutters. Incidentally, like Pippi, the cookie cutters I used (aside from the bunny) are of Swedish origin - they come from Ikea - so I'd like to personally thank Sweden for inspiring a fun afternoon of baking!

Friday, April 22, 2011

black forest pudding cake

Have you ever made a pudding cake? No? OH MY... that's a problem that needs to be fixed right now. Pudding cakes are awesome. Dash away any fears you may have about jello crystals because I'm going to let you in on a little secret: there is no actual pudding in a pudding cake. These magical wonders occur when you pour boiling water over a thick batter before baking. The end result is a moist cake that has developed its own sauce as part of the baking process. It's kind of like a delicious, cherry chocolatey science experiment!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

baked oatmeal

The first thing people say when you move from Vancouver to Montreal is "enjoy the weather!" (often followed by a snicker). My response was always, "I will!" Nothing makes me cranky and lazy quicker than a dreary, drizzly morning. Enduring a Vancouver winter entails months upon months of solid, unrelenting rain and a sky so dark and grey that you just want to crawl back into bed. Not so here. The winters may be long and very cold, but at least they are bright and sunny.

Today, however, we are having Vancouver winter weather. Behold the healing powers of oatmeal!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

butter chicken

There is a story behind this butter chicken. Before moving to Montreal, I worked for a company that had an annual potluck at Christmas. One of my co-workers was famous for bringing his wife's amazing butter chicken to the potluck every year. Before I left, I asked for the recipe and I got way more than I expected. On my penultimate day of work, I found a huge and very heavy plastic bag on my desk. It contained a recipe, a full batch of butter chicken, rice and little spice packages. Amazing!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

buttermilk mixed berry muffins

I am a morning person. After spending my teenage years (and my early 20s) sleeping until the afternoon (yes, after noon), I am finally one of those people that non-morning-people hate. I am peppy, cheerful and excited to take on the day. My boundless morning energy has me washing dishes, sweeping floors and doing other such housework. With my lack of grace - or, as Adam says, my lack of proprioceptive sense - it is a nice gesture to placate the late sleeper in the house with baked goods to make up for all the crashing around. These muffins make a wonderful peace offering.  Not only are they fruity and delicious, but they contain three out of four food groups. What more could you want?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

lemon ricotta pancakes

When your brother comes to visit, and has been kind enough to bring you flowers, lemon ricotta pancakes are a great way to show your gratitude.  I have always been a fan of the lemon/pancake combination. At our house, we always dressed our crepes with a sprinkling of sugar and a squish of fresh lemon juice. This delicious pancake, however, is not a crepe although it has a similar texture to one. There are a whopping three eggs in this recipe. That, coupled with the ricotta cheese, gives these pancakes their crepe-like characteristics. The recipe is perfect for two, though it would feed three with something else on the side. Serve drizzled with honey.