Orange Rosemary Pecan Zucchini Bread

 

Orange Rosemary Pecan Zucchini Bread with Orange-Honey Butter | Korena in the Kitchen

Unlike most gardens at this time of year, my garden is NOT overflowing with zucchini. All summer I’ve had two zucchini plants busily putting out flowers, but zucchini have both male and female flowers which need to be cross-pollinated in order for the little baby squash at the base of the female flower to grow, and my plants just couldn’t seem to coordinate their schedules to have both kinds of flower blooming at the same time. My potential zukes never got past this stage before shriveling up and dying (very depressing). And now the plants are succumbing to dusty mildew, so my homegrown zucchini dreams are over for this summer. Sadness.

Orange Rosemary Pecan Zucchini Bread with Orange-Honey Butter | Korena in the Kitchen

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Afternoon Tea at Abkhazi Gardens

Afternoon Tea at Abkhazi Garden | Korena in the KitchenAs you know, I recently had a birthday, which means I also recently had a birthday tea party with Lynette. We had been meaning to go to The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden for years but never got around to it – and then when I found out that the woman who has the locker next to me at the gym is the owner of said Teahouse, it finally gave us the nudge we needed to make it happen.

The Abkhazi Garden has a pretty interesting history (it was created by the actual Prince and Princess Abkhazi and their story is rather amazing) and today it is owned by The Land Conservancy of BC and maintained by a dedicated group of volunteer gardeners.

Abkhazi Garden flowers | Korena in the Kitchen

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Lemon Crêpe Cake

Lemon Crêpe Cake | Korena in the KitchenSo… it’s been a while. I wish I could say I’ve been too busy vacationing or holidaying to post anything, but I’ve just been working and unmotivated to blog. I actually made this cake for my birthday (32!) back in the first week of July, and it’s taken me this long to get it up here. We’ve had an incredibly hot and dry summer so far here in BC, and as a result there are hundreds of wildfires burning throughout the province. The day I made this cake, we awoke to a hazy sky and blood red sun casting an eerie, apocalyptic, Martian filter over the world, thanks to the smoke from all those fires settling over Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland. It was the strangest light for taking photos, so please excuse if the pictures look a little weird.

Lemon Crêpe Cake | Korena in the Kitchen

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Daring Bakers: Charlotte Royale

Rhubarb and Custard Charlotte Royale | Korena in the Kitchen

For the June Daring Bakers challenge Rebecca from BakeNQuilt.com challenged us to make Charlotte Royale and Charlotte Russe from scratch. Savory or sweet Charlottes were definitely tasty showstoppers.

As a kid, I remember seeing the Charlotte aux Bluets recipe in the Canadian Living 20th Anniversary Cookbook and thinking that it was the pinnacle of sophisticated and elegant desserts, so you could say that doing this month’s challenge was sort of like ticking an item off my bucket list. The Charlotte (Royale or Russe) is a chilled dessert based on Bavarian cream or mousse, either molded into a domed shape and covered in slices of jelly roll (Royale), or spooned into a loose-bottomed cake pan and fenced in around the edges by lady fingers (Russe). I had plans to make both versions this month, but only managed to get the Royale completed. Russe is still on my list!

Rhubarb and Custard Charlotte Royale | Korena in the Kitchen

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Sourdough Plum and Almond Cream Galettes with Thyme

Sourdough Plum and Almond Cream Galettes with Thyme | Korena in the KitchenAs much as I love making pies, the simplicity and ease of a galette is pretty hard to beat. No fancy equipment needed, no special skills or pastry techniques – just a good pie crust recipe and some perfectly ripe fruit. It’s still pretty early in the season for local fruit around here, so I used plums from California. I absolutely love the tart, jammy flavour of cooked plums, and they are just gorgeous when baked: the gradient from yellow flesh to reddish-purple skin is so pleasing. I added a little bit of fresh thyme (plums love thyme, believe me) and some almond cream underneath the fruit, because it helps to soak up some of the fruit juices that inevitably leak out of a galette, and also, YUM.

Sourdough Plum and Almond Cream Galettes with Thyme | Korena in the Kitchen

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Rhubarb Jam with Vanilla and Earl Grey

Rhubarb Jam with Vanilla & Earl Grey | Korena in the Kitchen

Every year I get so excited about rhubarb season, and then often don’t actually get the chance to make anything with it. I have a rhubarb plant in my garden but I’ve moved it ever single year since I got it three years ago (I keep planting it in less-than-ideal places), so it’s never really had a chance to get itself established, and I’ve never gotten a rhubarb harvest from it. But this year I was determined to do something with rhubarb – so I made jam.

Rhubarb Jam with Vanilla & Earl Grey | Korena in the Kitchen

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Daring Bakers: Lamingtons

Classic Lamingtons | Korena in the KitchenFor the May challenge Marcellina from Marcellina in Cucina dared us to make Lamingtons, an Australian delicacy that is as tasty as it is elegant.

The story goes that these little treats came about after a serving maid dropped some squares of sponge cake in chocolate icing, and her boss, Lord Lamington, Governor of Queensland, suggested that rather than throwing them out, she roll them in coconut “to avoid sticky fingers”. I’m not entirely sure that this story is water-tight, however, as the Lamington is also claimed by New Zealand and is known as cupavci in Bosnia. But regardless of who came up with them, they are a good idea.

Classic Lamingtons | Korena in the Kitchen

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Sourdough Scones {Strawberry Nectarine Shortcakes with Balsamic Syrup}

Sourdough Scones and Shortcakes | Korena in the Kitchen

I love scones, and I love sweet baked goods made with sourdough starter. So how is it that I’ve only made scones with sourdough starter ONCE before? It was time, and the Sourdough Surprises challenge this month was to make sourdough biscuits (which I took to mean scones), so I had a good reason. I modified a buttermilk scones recipe to use mature/discard sourdough starter, which has a comparable acidity to buttermilk and therefor the action of the chemical leaveners is similar. These scones are tender and slightly springy on the inside and crunchy-crumbly on the outside. They’d be great served with butter, jam, and a cup of tea, but I decided to turn them into shortcakes for dessert with the addition of some fruit and whipped cream.

Sourdough Scones and Shortcakes | Korena in the Kitchen

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Turkish Delight

Turkish Delight | Korena in the Kitchen

For the Month of May, Rachael from Pizzarossa challenged us to make candy but not just any candy! She challenged us to make Turkish Delight, or Lokum.

This month, I joined the Daring Cooks (counterpart to the Daring Bakers) to make Turkish Delight, the jelly-like, powdered sugar-coated squares of rose water candy. If it sounds a little weird, that’s because it is. Weird, but good, and the homemade version is pretty close to the Turkish Delight I remember eating in the holiday candy boxes that my teacher parents usually received around Christmas.

Turkish Delight | Korena in the Kitchen

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Mini Vanilla-Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake

Creamsicle Cheesecake | Korena in the Kitchen

This year for his birthday, Nate requested a creamsicle cheesecake. I’ll admit that the creamsicle combination of creamy vanilla ice cream with orange isn’t usually my first choice – especially when there is creamy vanilla ice cream with chocolate to be had instead – but since it was his birthday, I acquiesced. Compared to the chocolate caramel bacon insanity cake from his birthday a few years ago, it was a relatively simple request.

Creamsicle Cheesecake | Korena in the Kitchen

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