Last weekend I spent a few days on Salt Spring Island, where I grew up, with a bunch of girlfriends. We stayed in a house on the ocean and basically just vegged out. There was a lot of talking and laughing (obviously, it was a house full of girls), a lot of eating and a little drinking (OK, more than a little), some suntanning (or in my case, burning), and there may or may not have been a very loud sing-a-long to terrible 90′s music (any Aqua fans out there?).
Nate and I had a pretty quiet Easter weekend at home, so instead of a big Easter Sunday dinner, I made a quiche with leek and bacon, a dish of scalloped potatoes, and a green salad (and dessert, of course – that post is coming!). I was lucky enough to have dinner with my parents on Salt Spring on Good Friday, which included not only the traditional baked ham but also a huge pile of fresh crab, caught by a family friend. It was amazing, but after all that food I was quite happy to keep it lighter for the rest of the weekend.
I’ve ordered buttermilk pancakes in restaurants many times and I’ve never really been able to taste the difference between them and regular pancakes. But once again I had a carton of buttermilk in the fridge leftover from a baking project, and buttermilk pancakes seemed like a good way to use it up. When my aunt came to visit at Thanksgiving, she brought me a copy of the Cook’s Illustrated 20th Anniversary All-Time Best Recipes, which contains a recipe for the Best Buttermilk Pancakes. This is where the Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes recipe came from, and they certainly weren’t exaggerating about that one, so I figured that these pancakes would be pretty good.
Happy Easter! I hope the Easter Bunny brought you all lots of chocolate.
This Easter I wanted to make some special hot cross buns (as in, more special than these or these). I was thinking something along the lines of “hot cross bunnies” (haha, I’m so punny… bunny… sorry) but then I came across these spiced stout sourdough beauties from Lauren Bakes (she recently posted a chocolate chip version, too), which stopped me dead in my cutesy little bunny tracks. Her recipe contained dried fruit soaked in tea plus a sourdough levain made with Guinness, which I swapped out for chocolate porter because, well, I’ll take any excuse to buy it, really. Continue reading
I almost never buy buttermilk, but a few weeks ago I had some in the fridge (leftover from making these) and was looking for ways to use it up. Scones jumped into my head because I also happened to have some lemon curd to use up, and there is practically nothing I like better than scones with lemon curd.
Valentine’s Day. An excuse for heart-shaped baking. I’m in!
Lemon is my favorite sweet/dessert flavour second only to chocolate, but it’s hard to buy decent lemon baked goods. I hate fake lemon even more than I love real lemon, and unfortunately most of the time, store-bought lemon-flavoured things are pretty dreadful. So in the case of lemon, it’s best to take matters into your own hands.
This Christmas I asked Santa for a waffle iron (mainly so I could make Belgian Liège waffles, which I plan on doing soon), and he delivered! I christened it by making a totally wonderful waffle recipe that yielded over a dozen gigantic waffles – luckily they froze well! These are not those waffles (that recipe is coming though, I promise!), but they are just as good. I’ve been collecting lemon ricotta pancake recipes for years – ever since having some of the lightest, most delicate and delicious pancakes at a bed and breakfast – and a week or so ago I happened to have both lemons and ricotta on hand… and a new waffle iron! A quick Google search revealed this lemon ricotta cornmeal waffle recipe, and I was on my way…
Sometimes I swear that Jenni and Shelley, the ladies behind Sourdough Surprises, are inside my head, reading my thoughts. I was just contemplating baking all my leftover Christmas chocolate into brioche buns when they announced that January’s Sourdough Surprises recipe was going to be just that: sourdough brioche swirled with chocolate and topped with struesel, also known as babka.
Coincidence (noun): a striking occurrence of two or more events at one time apparently by mere chance.
Serendipity (noun): good fortune; luck; the faculty or phenomenon of finding valuable or agreeable things not sought for.
Was it a coincidence or serendipity that just days after bookmarking these roasted pear and chocolate chunk scones, I discovered that the Sourdough Surprises project for this month was sourdough scones?
Pumpkin spice muffins are one of those things that seem to spring up in every coffee shop and bakery on the very first day of fall. The ones I’ve had the most are the Starbucks version – not because they are the best, but because they are everywhere. The Starbucks pumpkin spice muffin is more like a pumpkin cupcake and has a cream cheese filling inside, which, while a good idea, has sort of an odd, gelatinous texture. My ideal pumpkin spice muffin – which I have been on the hunt for – is denser, warmly spiced, and has a cream cheese filling with a much more cream cheesey texture. I tried to create such a muffin last year and failed miserably, so I’m happy to say that this recipe pretty much nailed it.
Oh hai, Riley-cat!