I was reading an article recently about the return of vintage desserts. Desserts from the 50’s and 60’s are making a huge comeback right now, which makes me extremely happy, as I have a penchant for vintage recipes (vintage anything, really!). I think the pandemic played a huge role in their return – not only were we dealing with ingredient shortages last year (specifically flour), and making few and far between shopping trips, but we were also craving comfort food. The dishes that might have come out of our grandmothers’ kitchens. While we are dealing with a global pandemic, most of our grandparents were enduring the Great Depression and rationing of WWII – not too dissimilar crises. After reading the article I took a moment to glance at the comments section and saw that a cake called, “Elvis Presley’s Favorite Pound Cake,” from Epicurious.com, was mentioned several times. It’s a whipping cream cake – essentially a pound cake made with heavy cream in place of milk or buttermilk. All pound cakes, by nature, are decadent, but this one is over the top! Not only is it made with heavy cream, it also uses seven eggs which provide lift so that no other leavening is needed. I can see why it was the King’s favourite!Continue reading “A Cake Fit for the King (of Rock ‘n’ Roll)”
Sunday feels like the most decadent day. It’s the day we linger in bed long into the morning, watching the news and catching up on all the shows we missed during the week. Extra coffee is a must. If you brew your coffee in a French press, try adding a tiny pinch of sea salt to the grounds before pouring in the hot water. It neutralized the acid and brings out the flavours for a perfectly balanced cup coffee.Continue reading “Banana Bread with Berries and Lilac Flowers”
“Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.” –Morticia Addams.
There are “normal” hand pies, and then there are my Halloween hand pies. I’m not a huge Halloween person, actually. Out of all of the holidays, it’s one of my least favourite. Of course, there are elements of Halloween that I love – the earthy magic, the subtle eeriness, black cats and classy black candles paired with winter-white pumpkins, carving Jack O’Lanterns with my kids, the sense that the veil between this world and the next has been lifted for just one enchanted evening – but I try to carry this magic with me throughout the whole year, not just on Halloween. What I don’t like is that here in the US the holiday has been distorted and come to symbolize something dark, morbid and evil. It’s used as an excuse to be tastelessly gory with violent images decorating houses and bloody costumes, or it’s a reason for people to simply act ridiculous. I don’t want to sound old-fashioned here but, to me, Halloween is deeper than just a child’s holiday. It means Samhain bonfires and forest magic; harvest celebrations with apples, pumpkin and corn; the turning of the seasons; light to dark; a night to feel closer to family and friends who have passed on; and for the little ones, trick or treating! (Little ones only!) In my opinion, the guts and gore take away from the etherial mystique that surrounds Halloween, and they’re anything but classy. Continue reading “Halloween Hand Pies”
Sundays. I spend the whole day in the kitchen – no time constraints, unhurried, set apart from the pressures of the work week – piecing together whatever we might have been craving in the days prior. There’s often a pot of pinto beans simmering on the stove for my husband who grew up eating them with every meal. I make a big batch that he can dip into during the week. Meat is braising slowly in the oven with tomatoes and red wine, thyme and bacon. Continue reading “Crêpes with Strawberries and Cream”
As evening fell, I stood by the window with a glass of wine in my hand and saw her. Opening the back door – the one that led from the kitchen – she gathered her flowered housedress and white apron in one hand. Slowly she approached the five steps that led to the garden and very carefully, unsteady, she descended. I always watched her, never leaving that window for fear that if her knees buckled and she fell I would have to run out to help. But she never did fall, and once down in the garden she walked among the rows, chatting with someone unseen, perhaps a bird, perhaps a rabbit, or ghost, or maybe she talked only to herself. I never knew. Continue reading “Strawberry Balsamic Hand Pies”
A cocktail is a little like a blank slate, an empty canvas. At least it is to me. A base spirit on which you can write whatever story you would like. There are so many possibilities with which to fill all that blank space, and sometimes I don’t even have to think about it – a gin and tonic, a dirty martini, an old-fashioned are all on repeat. But some days I want to break from the mold, create something unusual, write something that’s never been written before. And that’s when I sometimes suffer from what could be akin to writer’s block (“cocktail block”??). Continue reading “Strawberry-Balsamic Shrub Cocktail”