Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Greetings, earthlings.

Ok.  I know, it's been approximately forever since I posted here (a year and 2 months and 1 day to be precise!) but I have a good reason.  (Well for the last couple of months anyway.  I'm not sure what happened before that.)  My latest project:

So I guess posting won't be regular for a while yet (if ever).  But hey, baking life continues in the meantime, so there's hope yet, right?

Tuesday, June 16, 2015



The first year I lived in Vancouver, my friend and I went blueberry picking (my first time ever) and I went a little nuts and came home with something like 40 pounds of blueberries. Which I proceeded to eat all of, over the course of a week. I almost od'ed on blueberries, so you would think I'd have learned my lesson. Last week, same friend and I went strawberry picking (my first time ever!) guessed it. I came home with waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many strawberries. I've been eating a giant bowl of strawberries for breakfast all week, which is barely making a dent in my bounty. I hate to say it, but I'm starting to get tired of eating strawberries (I KNOW I'm going to regret saying this when the season is over and we're back to crappy imported fruit.)

Early morning #baking. Homemade puff pastry strawberry tarts for #breakfast. Now off to work for more baking wheeeee

Fortunately strawberries lend themselves to being cooked. I had some leftover puff pastry in the freezer (one of the perks of being a baker!) so I threw together these strawberry puff tarts. (Actually--they were meant to be turnovers, but I was um, having some shaping problems, so tarts to the rescue.) That used up oh...only a cup or so. Damnit.

I just made strawberry sorbet base, which is chilling in the fridge as I type, getting ready to be churned. That took care of a pound and a half...only another 5 pounds or so to go...

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Good morning

#strawberry mousse #tart.

Hello there. I've decided to try to resurrect my blog from the dead, now that I have a tiny bit more free time. So to that end, it's strawberry season here in beautiful British Columbia, and I went a bit crazy last week and bought a full flat.* Which I then carried 1.9 km home in my arms, while fending off marauding crows and seagulls. Worth it, though! After wallowing around in piles of strawberries, I decided to make a tart. There she be, in all her moussey, jammy glory.

Okay well, time to go layer a cake! If there's enough light when it's done, I'll document it on film--this one's a chocolate toffee crunch cake. Mmmm, toffee. And then to work. So let's see if I remember to come back and post some more. I actually have lots to say, mostly things about how my life's changed since I gave up the glamorous life of a compliance officer for the glamorous life of a baker...

*Don't worry Mr. Strawberry man, I will bring the flat back next week. Promise.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


Salted toffee chocolate cookies

OH LOOK FIRST POST IN FOREVER. Can't stop to chat though because now that I'm an actual professional baker* sometimes I get to start work at stupid o'clock (not that today is one of those days--6:30 is totally a late start compared to 4:00 a.m.!) Anyways, before I head off to go roll my daily allotment of croissants**, here is something I baked at home. Mmm, melty chocolate and toffee pockets in delicious chewy cookie...

And guess what! For all you people who have read food blogs and thought 'Damnit, I wish I could eat that'--YOU CAN. This cookie (and its brethren) will be available for sale today at the Baker's Market. Stop by and say hi to my partners at the Petit Four Pastries table and check out all of our goodies. Samples will be available and admission and parking are free!

*Some day I may get around to filling in the gaps, but the short version of the last yearish of my life--I went to culinary school! I moved to Canada! My compliance days are behind me, and now I'm paid to bake! You might guess that this is infinitely more soul satisfying than working at a bank. You would be right.

**My coworkers at the bakery and I figured out the other day that I've made somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 croissants already. You'd think by now they would be consistently shaped, but no, I still get the odd mutant....

Monday, September 30, 2013

Out of the Abyss

Sous vide venison

Well, this has been the longest case of blog deliquency, ever (a year and 17 days, not that anyone's counting). In my defense, it's been a very eventful year and 17 days, which I am determined to start writing about before I forget it all (one thing that has not changed is the sieve-like state of my brain). So anyway, yeah. Until next time (which will be soon! I swear!) hHere's a photo of one of the courses that my class and I served on the second to last night of culinary school--sous vide venison. Yeah, that's right--I'm a culinary school grad!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

CSA Adventures: Tomatillo chicken stew


There has been a distinct dearth of cooking posts on this blog lately (and by lately, I mean...months). I've also been really bad at keeping up with the stuff I've been doing with the veggies I've gotten from my CSA this season; heck, I haven't even really been taking pictures of the last few shares or the food I've made from them. But this week I got tomatillos*! Aren't they pretty? I don't think I've ever eaten tomatillos before (at least, that I know of) and definitely had never cooked with them, so started off with suggestions on Flickr to make salsa. Of course, that would have left me with a lot of salsa and no I did a little digging around the internet and came across several recipes for chili verde in all its variations. Sounds good to me!


Tomatillos are easy to prepare--just take off the papery husks and give them a rinse (the tomatillos themselves turn out to be strangely sticky!) You can make salsa verde with raw tomatillos, but most recipes that I came across suggested roasting them first, so I did the same.

Roasted tomatillos

I also added a jalapeno and a couple of cloves of garlic (yes, all from the CSA) and left them under the broiler for about 10 minutes. Timing will vary based on your broiler, so check after 5 minutes and see if it needs some more time. Let cool off for a couple of minutes (mostly so you don't burn yourself!) and then transfer the tomatillos, de-skinned garlic, and jalapenos to a blender or food processor. If you are a cilantro lover, you can also add a couple of handfuls of cilantro. Pulse until everything is uniform.

Tomatillo sauce

Isn't it pretty? Season with a little salt and some lime juice. You could just use this as a dip for chips, or you can use this as the basis for a stew, which is what I went with, and it's just a couple of extra steps. I followed this recipe from Simply Recipes, except that I left out the ground coriander (don't have any) and added additional cilantro.

Tomatillo chicken stew

And here it is, just before I demolished it. The jalapeno turned out to be SUPER spicy, so I added a bit of sour cream to help tame the heat. This would be great over rice or with tortillas...but I just ate it as is. I'm saving room for the barbecue that I'm about to go eat! Woohoo! Until next time! In the meantime, maybe you're interested in seeing some of my other CSA Adventures.

 *Heh, my spellchecker doesn't recognize "tomatillos" and keeps suggesting "automatism" instead.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pig Island!

Pig Island

Ok, wow--I had this whole post written up on Pig Island but Blogger seems to have eaten it. GREAT! First post in 2 months and it disappears into the ether! Sigh. Well, anyway, to sum up in a more concise manner, I attended Pig Island (with thanks to the organizers for the press passes!) over Labor Day weekend; you may be able to guess from their (cute!) logo and name that this is an extremely pork-centric event. Apologies to any vegetarians/vegans; you may want to skip this one! On with the pictures:

Pulled pork sandwich & coleslaw

Pulled pork sandwich from Dinosaur BBQ, one of my favorite places. True story--back when I was in college in upstate NY, we used to drive specifically to Syracuse to eat at Dinosaur. I'm glad there's one within walking distance of my apartment now!

Pulled pork sandwich

Pulled pork sandwich from John Brown Smokehouse. I liked the pickled veggies on this one a lot.

Pulled pork sandwich

Pulled pork sandwich (are you sensing a theme here?) from the Waterfront Ale House, home of lousy food and an ugly owner. Hey, they said it, not me! And in fact, it's not true. The food was pretty good. (Can't say one way or the other about the owner, though!) Maybe this is a good time to mention that all 80+ pigs were sourced from local farms.

Grilled pork belly with peaches, arugula, and tiny croutons

Another of my favorites; grilled pork belly with peaches and arugula from Edi & the Wolf. The tiny croutons were awesome.

BBQ collar with grilled peaches & pickled cabbage

Barbecued pork collar with grilled peaches and pickled cabbage from Mangalitsa. Another fave!


There were pig heads everywhere. Apparently there was a vegetarian stand somewhere, but I never saw it!

Roasted pork with triticale

Roasted pork with triticale from Bobolink Farm. They also very kindly gave me a whole bunch of pig cracklings which were deeelicious.

Porchetta and beans

Porchetta and stewed beans, from Betto. You can see a few more photos here. I'll tell you--this event came the day after an epic lunch at Eleven Madison Park (a subject for another post), and I was not planning to eat as much as I did. But apparently I can't resist the smell of grilling pig! Very glad we attended, and next time I will be prepared and bring a blanket so I can take a nap afterwards.