Sunday, November 27, 2011

Occupy Kitchen!

So yes, I haven't blogged in a while. It doesn't mean that I'm not busy! I'm still cranking things out of the kitchen, but a lot of what I was making was for my Christmas project. Ironically, today, I decided to scrap the original idea and go with a more generic focus. My idea was to do a Chinese-food themed cookbook, but I realized that trying to make presentable dishes every weekend, whether or not I wanted to eat them or not, was turning into a very ambitious project. And I was losing my passion for it very quickly. I think it will be something I will put together later, but I think I need to spend more time perfecting my recipes and figuring out better lighting schemes in the darker months.

But aside from Chinese food, I am still baking away! Two big birthdays came and went - which meant two cakes were made along with some other treats cranked out from my oven.

Have you ever heard of Domo-Kun? He's this Japanese...err..."character" who is actually a mascot for a TV station. It's all a bit weird, but he's very cute and adorable and can be seen adorning many people's cell phones, key chains and other typical swag areas. A friend LOVES Domo - so why not make her a Domo cake for her big day? I've seen it done many times before (online) and as I was not going to do extremities (gah, I don't think I can find a box big enough for arms and legs) - it was a simple square chocolate cake.

I present to you... Domo-cake!

Cake: Dark Chocolate Cake (classic standby recipe, it never fails to shock me how much sugar it contains)
Filling: White Chocolate Mousse (next time will use gelatin or a proper egg-white stabilizer)
Frosting: Chocolate Buttercream
Details: Eyes - Girl Guide Chocolate Mint Thins, Mouth - White Candy Melts, red colouring

Yes, it does look like a Deep 'n Delicious cake! :P I used a fat star tip to pipe the buttercream. The cake was received very well, and was as delicious as it was cute!

Monday, October 31, 2011

10 Minute Dinner

I don't usually post about my day-to-day eating. It's usually fast, tasty and not so pretty looking. I'm all about the end product, heck, I've been known to eat things straight out of the pan! That's why I generally post about my baked goods. You eat one or two (or a dozen) and then get to work photographing the rest. I can take my time angling my cookies or slices of cake 'just so'. But with dinner? No, no, no, no - I gotta eat. Now.

But I was struck by the beauty and simplicity of my dinner tonight and was inspired to capture it for all to see.
I present to you my 10 minute dinner (which proves the point that good, healthy and fast food can be had):

Creamy polenta topped with sauteed kale and a couple of fried eggs!

I started the polenta first: 1/2 cup cornmeal + 1 cup water + 1 cup milk. Bring to a boil over medium and keep stirring until thickened - this takes about 5-8 minutes or so. Add in salt, pepper and grated cheese to taste. At around the halfway point, throw your eggs on one side of a frying pan and a couple of handfuls of kale on the other side. Throw the lid on for a couple of minutes. All of it should come together around the same time.

And for economy's sake, let's do a price breakdown for tonight's dinner:
Polenta: 40 cents
Eggs: 92 cents
Kale: 50 cents

Total for dinner: $1.82 (let's round up to $2 incl extra ingredients)

Seriously! A $2 dinner!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mmmm...warm apple pie.

Nothing like it. Even Koi seems to think so.

I spent a weekend in the Okanagan cheering on some friends as they completed their first half-marathon! Woot! One of the things I really wanted to do while in the area was get some local fruit. We stopped by a local market and picked up a few pounds of apples and some other regional specialties (which also included three bottles of fruit liqueur!). I couldn't wait to use the fruit when I got home and prepared some small pies (top crust only) with pate brisee and a mix of McIntosh and Ambrosia apples. It's super easy - add sugar, spices and some starch (cornstarch, tapioca) and ta da! You've got pie!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Neapolitan Marshmallows

I forget what inspired me to make tri-flavoured marshmallows. It was something on Tastespotting I think, but it got me thinking about combining different flavours...but I'm not sure how I settled on neapolitan marshmallows. The base itself is easy to make and is flavoured with vanilla, and I have seen many variations of these fluffy treats, so why not combine it all?

So the method was simple enough: make the generic marshmallow base and then divide into three portions and flavour with strawberry and chocolate. For the strawberry I used some homemade jam and pink food colouring. For the chocolate I used cocoa and espresso powder. I placed a piping bag in a tall cup and folded over the edges for easy filling. I filled the bag in thirds (from the top, around the edge) with the three flavours and held my breath. I had no idea how the flavours would settle, but they turned out pretty tasty! It's pretty neat how the colours marbled, I piped them into two shapes: long logs to cut up later and "kiss" shapes to top cookies.

Yes, that's right! Cookies! You thought I was done at the marshmallow, right? Nope!

I made a basic sugar cookie dough, cut out small rounds, topped each round with a dark chocolate or white chocolate callet and then plopped a marshmallow kiss on top. And the results? Simply divine.
This recipe is definitely labour intensive and it's something I probably won't make very often, but I was really excited to execute this vision and was glad that it worked out well.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Urban Harvesting

As much as I am a city girl, I do love being out in the "country". For me the real appeal lies in the necessity and ability to plan, plant, tend and harvest your own food. I have been accused of taking this concept a touch too far in my own personal life. In an upcoming post I'll go into more detail - but I made strawberry marshmallows. From scratch of course. And the strawberry flavouring? From the jam that I made from the strawberries that I painstakingly picked from the farm. A true full circle moment that Martha Stewart would be proud of - not that she would admit it. She would probably smile, put her hand on my shoulder and tell me that I should have strained the jam before stirring it in. Anyway, I didn't have an opportunity to pick blackberries this year. The trip out to the farm is pretty long and I couldn't justify going solo just to pick a couple pounds of fruit. I was lucky that the local grocery store had a special on and I managed to get my blackberry fix.

I finally got to make a recipe that has been sitting in my book for a couple of years now; waiting for that day when I would come home with a few buckets of freshly picked blackberries. So maybe not this year, but there is always next.

I made Martha's blackberry shortbread squares - and they were so good. The dough incorporates ground almonds and orange and as I pressed it into the pan, I inhaled the scent, an intoxicating melange of almond, butter and sugar. Even the ground almond meal gave off that very distinct smell that only seems to come out when the nut has been pulverized, allowing the oils to release. It's a pretty basic dough that you pat in the pan and then sprinkle 4 cups of blackberries on top (whole). A cup of dough is reserved to sprinkle on top. Even though it came out great, I think it could've used another 8 minutes in the oven just to really crisp up the middle. It came out a touch soft (no matter when served on a plate with ice cream) but I think a few hours in the fridge should solve this nicely for tomorrow's distribution.

As you can see, I had a terrific time taking pictures of these beauties. When the light is good and the product is fresh, it's effortless, the best models you can get.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Vibrant Summer Colours

Strawberry season on the West Coast is short.

But very sweet.

I made a vow a few years ago that I would not eat strawberries outside of June, and for the most part, I have stuck to that promise. Sounds drastic, right? But once you've tasted a local strawberry - you'll understand why the 10.5 month wait is worth it. Many of the strawberries available year round are enormous and lack the true panache of flavour a strawberry in June has. First of all - it's not even red on the inside! And the flavour is so watered down...I feel bloated after eating a handful and only barely tasting 'strawberry'. But a local strawberry is small and so, so, so red. On the outside and the inside. These little jewels are only available at their peak for about 6 weeks (max) and during those precious 42 days I eat as many as I can - usually burning out by the end from tasting too much fruit!

This year I did my annual pick in the local fields and came back with 10lbs. And a plan = jam, sorbet, bake, freeze and eat. All in that order too. I should note that I understand why strawberries can be expensive - they are extremely difficult to pick! Unlike blueberries which grow on very comfortable waist-to-shoulder high bushes, strawberries are grown on small shrubs really, I mean they're more like leafy hedges actually - but you have to squat to get them. Yes, squat. Low. In the sun. For hours. And then paw your way through the dirt, through the leaves and vines to get those precious berry gems. I've learned to carry a small paring knife to pick the berry by the stem and not crush the fruit off the stem with my fingers. My friends laughed at my when they saw my "set up" - a big plastic box lined with a tea towel for end-of-row storage and a smaller cardboard carry-along for my picking. Every 15 minutes or so I'd empty my cardboard box into the bigger one to be weighed at the end. The tea towel cushions the berries and provides a barrier from the hard and hot plastic. Once you get them home - you must "deal" with them right away. 5 lbs were gently rinsed and put in a large pot for jam. Another 2lbs were also rinsed and put in a smaller saucepan to make my sorbet reduction. The remaining fruit was distributed between baked good, the freezer and my tummy :)

(1 3/4 cups juice, 3/4 cup syrup)

I decided this year to reduce the strawberries over heat to really extract as much pure flavour as I could. Normally I would blitz them in a blender and then strain it - but I really wanted a more complex and bold strawberry flavour. It took a while, but it was worth it - let the berries cook and release their juice. Their ripeness was perfect and in no time I had a saucepan of red juice. I strained it and let it cool.

I mentioned before that you need a sugar syrup for the sorbet - so I used the leftover ginger-infused syrup and the combination was simply divine. Really very refreshing and bold - exactly what I needed to keep me motivated to wait those next 10.5 months.

June 2012 can't come soon enough!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cake & Ice Cream

It's a classic combination, isn't it?
I recently celebrated a friend's birthday and after a terrific dinner at a local izakaya joint, we went back to mine for cake & ice cream. The cake was a multilayered fruit&cream&ganache tower, finished off with a scoop of butter caramel ice cream swirled with dark chocolate. Although the cake was awesome, I was really excited to see my friends' faces when they sank their tongues into the ice cream.
I can't tell you how happy I was to see that they enjoyed it as much as I did. Butter Caramel Ice Cream (from David Lebovitz) - it's a winner!

I managed to take some blurry photos of the actual making of the ice cream, I'll share them later this week.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ice Cream as an Art Form

In an issue of Gastronomica, there's an article on whether food can be considered art. I wholeheartedly agree with this notion, but I understand if others do not. After all, food, for all intents and purposes, is sustenance for our bodies. It's fuel - plain and simple. But I do believe that food is also pleasure - and when done well can be just as or more affecting than art. I don't know if I've ever been moved to tears by food - but there have been bites that have been life-changing. Sometimes it has been a "perfect" bite - the ultimate blend of the senses, others have been the realization and product of superior technique and pure ingredients. And sometimes, it's just damned good. I don't need to explain that food is beautiful - I mean, go check out any issue of Bon Appetit or back issue of Gourmet or even food blogs out there - you will see pictures and food styled and crafted so well, it is hard to fathom that it actually exists in real life and is edible!!

Anyway, I went into this long introductory story to set up another story of a conversation I had with the Mothership. I was lamenting the lack of freezer space due to some overzealous ice cream making and she said, "well, why don't you just stop making ice cream?"

I froze (not literally, hahaha). I was also shocked and hurt. The Mothership is an artist, if anyone were to understand my need to create, invent, and experiment with desserts of the frozen variety - it would be her! I coolly asked her, "well then, you should stop painting. Goodness knows you have enough artwork around the house? Why do you need more? Why do you do it?"

"Ice cream is MY art. It may be unconventional, but it's what I do to express myself and be creative."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

It's Been a While!

Yep, I know - it's been too long! I can guarantee you that I haven't been idle in the kitchen - I've actually been really busy cooking away! I'm doing a lot less baking as the weather is slowly getting warmer and I've been doing a lot more cooking - but not a lot of it particularly blog-worthy. Yet.

As the season is getting warmer, it's time to bring out the ice cream maker again. Wheeee! Not that it has stopped me in the winter - but now I have opportunities to bring a pint or two over to friends to enjoy.

There are a few times in the year when ataulfo mangoes are ripe - it's a short season but I try and take advantage of it by eating as many mangoes as I can. This year I decided to make a mango sorbet. This dairy-free treat can be just as amazing as their more creamy cousins, but the trick is to get really ripe fruit. Again, consider that the flavour must concentrate, so anything less than taste perfection is unacceptable. A local market was selling "ripe" mangoes for 99cents/lb (vs the more firm less ripe ones for double the price) - I promptly picked up 5. Martha Stewart (of course) has a fantastic recipe for sorbet - which is essentially 2 cups of fruit puree to 1 cup of sugar syrup. For the mango sorbet recipe - it was 2 cups puree + 1/4 cup water + 1 1/4 cups simple syrup. I sliced up some fresh ginger and infused it into the simple syrup to give the sorbet a bit of a kick - and yes, it was delicious!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mmmmm...cookie. Shiba approved (not tested).

No Shibas consumed any chocolate in the making of this post! Only some intent sniffing.
Long weekend = extra time to bake = blog-stravaganza! :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

First Memories

As a child, I loved to read. When my family made trips to the mall, they would leave me unattended in the bookstore for hours while they did their shopping. I'd bury my head in the tales of Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, Nancy Drew, Anastasia, and Tintin. But these days the books I read are more of the culinary variety or...also whatever catches my eye. One of the very first recipes I ever made (with the assistance of the Mothership) was Pee Wee cookies - a recipe from the Pee Wee Scouts series (a literary equivalent to the Girl Scouts if you will). For a long, long time, it was the only recipe my family ever made. Part of it had to do with the fact that the Mothership really liked these cookies and another part of it was that it was really one of the only cookie recipes we had in hand. And that it's darned easy to make.

In honour of Mother's Day, I whipped up a batch of Pee Wee cookies for the Mothership and presented it to her, along with a Sudoku book and some Belcolade chocolates.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Very Non-Royal Cake

I'll be honest - when the "official" wedding photos were released by The British Monarchy Flickr site, I gasped with excitement when I finally laid my eyes on...the McVities Chocolate Biscuit Cake. Yes, I loved the pictures of the Duchess of Cambridge's dress, but I am a cake nerd at heart, and I was anxiously waiting to hear and see more about this Chocolate Biscuit Cake.

My Royal Knockoff

Prince William/Duke of Cambridge specifically requested this as his groom's cake - which is really an excuse to have two cakes at your wedding! I don't blame him at all, when the "official" cake was a fruitcake monstrosity (tasty, I'm sure, but not what I would've liked at my wedding) - so why not have something a bit more decadent to nibble on? Immediately I set about trying to replicate this cake - and when I found some recipes, I was surprised and a bit disappointed that it was not more...complex. Yet I give him kudos for picking a cake that is a favourite of his and not at all traditional 'elegant' choice. The North American version would be an icebox cake - cookies layered with icing and then chilled, both to solidify the sugary mass but to soften up the cookies as to give a more cake-like texture. When I was explaining the process to my coworkers, I describe the cake as being "a chocolate brick" - and indeed it was, a heavy, dense, and rich chocolate treat.

Basically - the recipe is to prepare a chocolate ganache and then pour it over crumbled up cookies and then press it into a mold. Chill overnight and then cover with chocolate. Seriously - that's it! No baking required. Heck, only one bowl required really. The recipe for the ganache differs from source to source, but basically it is chocolate + cream + extra additives (incl butter, honey, coffee, liqueur, eggs, vanilla).
All the ingredients you need!
1 pkg McVities Rich Tea cookies

A whole lotta chocolate

The occasion for me replicating the cake was for the birthday of a coworker, and I knew he would appreciate the special history of this cake. I amped it up of course - I couldn't bear to serve such a simple cake, so I added a layer of berry jam and Grand Marnier under the chocolate coating and then dotted it with white icing. I think an added twist would be to do a more whipped ganache frosting and add toasted slivered almonds on the sides. In the 'official' McVities video, the batter is MUCH more whipped and soft looking. My theory is that they might have done a 40/60 split on crumbs and bigger cookie pieces (vs 100% big cookie pieces) and perhaps folded in some whipped cream, or beat the ganache for a lighter texture (think mousse-like).
The brick goes into the pan

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Return to Maida Heatter

What a great name, right? "Maida Heatter" - a name fitting for such a big personality!

I answered a cute pre-date questionnaire once (sent by the bachelor on his own accord) that asked if I preferred regular or mini cupcakes. Unfortunately, our opposite responses were indicative of the relationship which was short-lived. I responded that I was more into "regular" cupcakes as, to be quite honest, I love cake! (I'm pretty sure I've declared this many times before!) Sometimes I find the mountain of icing to be distracting from what should be the true star of the dessert - the cake. Icing is comprised of ingredients that are all delicious on their own - butter, sugar, flavouring, and if you're lucky - maybe a touch of meringue. But cake is a whole different story - it takes some skill and chemistry to create something special. Too much of one ingredient and you're stuck with a cake that's either too wet, alkaline, dry, the list goes on.

Oh yeah, cake. Maida Heatter. Anyway - I had a craving for cake! Good, dense, cake. The only thing that could cure my itch was a cool slab of pound cake. Mmmmmm, maybe with a touch of lemon and sugary glaze. And the only one who could write me a prescription for what ails me was her, Maida Heatter. So out came the cookbook and the page was opened to a recipe for a "Sand Torte". The name for "traditional" pound cake is derived from the ingredients needed - a pound of eggs, butter, sugar, and flour! That's four pounds of ingredients right there! This dense and fine-crumbed cake is usually served with tea but I've always enjoyed it warmed up a bit with some fruit and ice cream. This Sand Torte called for a similar amount of ingredients, but luckily not quite all four pounds! Instead of a full portion of flour, it was divided between flour and cornstarch, which created a lighter and tighter crumb which contributed to the "sand" texture (fine grain) of the cake, which to be honest, tended to the dry side. My Sand Torte came out a bit dry, I'm not sure if that is the standard, but I think next time I may try it with a touch of flavoured syrup.

Another reason it is called Sand Torte is that it calls for the pan to be dusted with breadcrumbs! I didn't have any on hand, so I used panko instead (haha, Japanese honey-ed breadcrumbs) but I didn't find that it made a difference. Either the batter swallowed up the crumbs or the panko didn't 'show up' enough.

I finished the cake (which came out BEAUTIFULLY golden brown) with a quick strawberry jam-based glaze. It looked like a giant donut - but just a bit more decadent.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Freestyling on Feeling

I commented to a friend today that I'm slowly regressing into my Chinese culinary roots. To which she retorted, "you're turning into your mother!" Which, in all honesty, wouldn't be such a terrible thing. However that would mean that I had only a arsenal of 6 dishes to make. Awww, sorry Mothership, but we all know it's true. I'm a lot more adventurous in the kitchen, and she's acknowledged that - and I think my attitude around food has rubbed off on her quite a bit. If she likes something I've made, she'll ask me how I did it, what did I change from that last rendition, or if I added something new. I would like to think I've expanded her palate a bit, but one of my favourite "mom" quotes is, "I don't eat the couscous!" (in response to anything cooked, granular, and remotely resembling couscous)

Anyway, getting back to this post. I had a craving for dumplings...homemade dumplings. I have noticed that I don't have any food in my freezer that's quick to prepare and nutritious. Don't get me wrong, I do have a lot of nutritious food in my about four different parts or frozen solid! And a spoon can only eat so much oatmeal and yogurt. So I decided to make some dumplings - which take about 10 minutes to cook and served piping hot. I didn't have a recipe in mind, but there were a few things I wanted to integrate - such as sweet potatoes and yams. I was definitely looking for a vegetarian-themed filling and went with:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What a Difference a Few Ingredients Make

I received a lovely gift today - a partially filled ice cube tray, full of egg yolks! You can always count on your mother for random stuff like that. In her defense, I did ask that she freeze egg yolks for me when she makes eggs (1 whole egg + 1 egg white = 1 egg yolk for the spoon!). This means that I will have to cede my jar full of frozen egg whites that is sitting in my freezer. Yes, that's a jar FULL. And then some. What can I say, I make a lot of ice cream! But then again, I post nearly all of my ice cream creations, so regular readers probably do realize that I get through a lot of ice cream.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Test of Patience

It's really amazing how yeast works. If you have never worked with yeast - it can be quite rewarding, yet frustrating at the same time. It must be coaxed out of its freeze-dried slumber, fed and bathed in a warm milk bath (sugar snack optional) only to be put through the paces in a mixer with the hopes of creating some sweet gas to inflate those bread molecules. Delicious, no? The actual making of bread doesn't take too long, but it's the waiting for those periods of activity that can really drive someone nutty. To make a bread recipe is a real test of one's ability to plan ahead and read a recipe - in my case, I failed.

Bottom line - the recipe turned out beautifully - but it was also finished close to dinnertime! I completely misread the 2nd rise in the recipe. Here's how it went:

Make dough - rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Punch dough down - rise for 1 1/2 hours.
Shape dough - rise for 30-40 min.
Bake for 45 min.

So there you go. Homemade bread, it's delicious - but it take a long time.

For the rises - I left it in the warmest place in my apartment - my bathroom!

Before the third rise - the rolling out & swirling.
Letting the freshly baked loaf Barricelli suggests, "on its side". It took a great deal of self control not to rip it apart and shove it in my mouth right there. The crust was...buttery and flaky - almost croissant-like.
Ah yes, I forgot to mention. Doused in syrup & then rolled in sugar. Oh yeah.

My twist on it this week was a cinnamon-raisin swirl. Overall, it was great, although I think I could have rolled it out thinner and made the swirl a little tighter. The gaps in the bread wasn't as aesthetically pleasing but made for extra-eggy French toast the next day.

Having my coffee while prepping my breakfast. It was a good Sunday morning :)

The recipe was from the Sono Cookbook by John Barricelli - who mentions that he wakes up in the middle of the night to get started....I can see why!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A New Kind of Comfort Baking

My comfort "go to" recipes have always been very sweet - chocolate chip cookies, oatmeal raisin cookies, quick cupcakes, and anything else similar. It's never been bread. Ever. Just too difficult - whether it takes too much time or involves too much effort. On a personal preference note - I am not a big bread eater. Don't get me wrong, I love sandwiches and good quality bread, but a loaf can sit in my freezer for months. Months!

With the recent turn of cold weather I have been suffering through, I've been craving more substantial baked goods, especially those that are not super-sweet. A couple of weeks ago I hosted my first ever Chinese dinner - it was more like a banquet really (I can only cook for 4...or 10 - nothing in between!) and I served steamed lotus paste and red bean buns. These are simple sweet bread with a mildly sweet filling. It is almost savory in nature - but for a Chinese spoon, it's extremely comforting. It brings me back to my childhood - eating dinners in loud restaurants and being served red bean, lotus and hot tapioca desserts at the end. I'm starting to go on a tangent here - but I'll post later with more pictures from the Chinese dinner.

Anyway, I made a recipe from the latest Martha Stewart Living - a Chocolate Swirl "Coffee Cake" - it's more like a loaf/cake...or for those who visit Solly's in Vancouver - it's like a fluffier chocolate babka! (which is my favourite item there) A sweet yeast dough is swirled with a bittersweet chocolate filling, topped with a rough streusel and then drizzled with icing. And amazingly, it wasn't that sweet.

It was however - a lot of work! Breads are definitely a weekend project. Start the dough, take the dog for a nice long walk and then prepare for the second rise (and filling). Wait for the second rise while watching some TV or doing some light cleaning and then pop your creation into the oven. Chill and enjoy the amazing smells that will fill the space. The worst is when it is done - and you still have to wait! I'm not sure what it is about freshly baked bread, but you definitely have to wait for it to cool. I believe it may have something to do with the yeast finishing the reactions and/or the crust and bread to settle. Anyway - a very  long wait later, I finally got to take a bite of this delicious bread/cake - and wow!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I have 27 Valentines at work!

There aren't a lot of ladies at my workplace - typical of the industry I suppose, and I would like to think I play a role in bringing the few of us together every once in a while. A coworker suggested the company "commission" some Valentine themed cookies - and I really couldn't think of a better way of giving us gals a nice treat for putting up with the stinky boys.

Unfortunately I ran into a problem I've had in the last few years - I do not have a large heart-shaped cookie cutter. In the past, I've used a plastic stencil to trace & cut out shapes - but this year I decided to freehand the hearts. I think it added some originality and personality to the hearts - no two were alike! (just like in real life, yuk yuk yuk) The recipe was a basic sugar cookie dough and then decorated with pink & white royal icing and Smarties. Each cookie was also personalized with their name written in chocolate. Each cookie was also gifted with some small chocolates or gummies - what a delicious day!

Some photographic evidence...

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Taste Teaser

The chocolate broke easily as my teeth sank into the dark brown coating. It made a satisfying snap as it crumbled into the marshmallow and then onto my tongue. Although the coating was not perfectly tempered, the taste was in no way compromised - it was sweet and rich without being overwhelming. As I inhaled, I could taste peanut butter and graham cracker hit the back of my throat. The taste of nostalgia wafted through my nose as I breathed in those familiar smells of my childhood and when cookies weren't so complicated. It crumbled with no resistance, crumbling in a buttery chocolate mess in my molars. I gently separated a cloud of marshmallow from the cookie - how can something be light and rich at the same time? It was like biting into a cloud, a silky cloud of spun sugar that transported me into confectionery heaven.

 Just a tease of the post to follow....

Monday, January 24, 2011

A New Year - Time for....?

Yes, yes, yes, I know - it's been too long! I definitely haven't been idle though - it's still as busy as ever in the spoon kitchen with all kinds of fun treats being churned out. It's just taking me a while to transition those projects into a post here - but they are on their way!
I'm going to try and post more often - and perhaps not necessarily about stuff that I have made, but my thoughts on any interesting culinary trends that I think are particularly relevant or interesting. I try and make 'my rounds' of my favourite blogs - so why not share some of those gems with you?
I hinted in a couple of posts about something I was working on for the holidays - it was a cookbook! Yes readers - I published my very first cookbook! Granted, it was a small collection of recipes, but I was so touched so see the genuine reactions of the recipients. I wanted to give something back to those who have been so supportive of my culinary efforts and I think they were taken aback by how much I have done in the last year or so. I'll post a couple of snapshots of the final product as well as some tips for those who are considering doing small scale self-publishing as well! (it's easy!)