Big announcement time: Nate and I bought a house!!
We moved in the middle of August and have settled in pretty quickly – we love it here. We are in Shawnigan Lake, about 40 minutes from Victoria where we both still work, but we traded up for lots of privacy and green space. Plus the Cowichan Valley has a seriously thriving local food scene, which I am very much looking forward to exploring!
Kat of The Bobwhites was our August 2012 Daring Baker hostess who inspired us to have fun in creating pâté à choux shapes, filled with crème patisserie or Chantilly cream. We were encouraged to create swans or any shape we wanted and to go crazy with filling flavors allowing our creativity to go wild!
Challenges like this are the reason I joined the Daring Bakers: ridiculous, whimsical, finicky, cream-filled pastries. I LOVE IT!
Seriously though, why NOT make cream puff swans? They are super tasty and anyone who sees them will be very impressed. They won’t be able to help it. Continue reading
This summer has been all about pizza for me – and the perfect summer pizza is a grilled pizza. This one is topped with smoked salmon, goat cheese, red onions, capers, and arugula. So good! Head over to the SeaChange blog for more pictures and a full recipe tutorial.
When I saw that this month’s Sourdough Surprises project was pie dough, I got very excited. So excited that I actually made this pie back at the end of July because I just couldn’t contain myself. Fruit pies are one of my very favorite things to bake and I was stoked to see a recipe for a pie crust using sourdough starter. And after making and eating this pie crust, I can officially say that my favorite way to use my sourdough starter is in sweet pastries, such as pie or danishes. The starter gives such a richness and complex flavour to pastries that for some reason I don’t taste as much in other applications, and the smell of it baking in the oven is mouthwatering. Continue reading
Last year sometime, I went to a homemade calamari feast at my friend Katheryn’s house. (I brought dessert, and also helped disembowel about 300 little squid. My kind of dinner party!) One of her other guests, who was from the Szechuan province of China, concocted a delicious Szechuan spice mix for dipping our calamari: a combination of sugar, salt, black pepper, Chinese 5 spice powder, and hot paprika.
I have a banana bread weakness. Whenever I see a new and interesting recipe, especially one that has been raved about, I can’t help myself: I have to make it. I stockpile over-ripe, frozen bananas in my freezer (I think that’s a form of enabling) just so that I can bake banana bread whenever the mood strikes me, as it did the moment I read about this sugar-topped coconut version.
I had most of a can of pineapple in the fridge and thought it would be a good addition to the loaf. It was. And while the coconut and pineapple add texture and sweetness, the sugar on top adds crunch, and the dark rum adds a bit of luxury, my favorite part of this banana bread is the hint of nutmeg in the batter. Somehow it brings all the flavours together and makes them sing. I know this sounds awfully flowery for a loaf of banana bread, but MAN is it ever good! Continue reading