Inspiration for a sweet table


Remember my fall list? Well, it’s been keeping me pretty busy. Tonight, as we roasted cinnamon marshmallows over the open fire, and the flaming maple leaves fell all around us, I contemplated taking a little hiatus from this space. You know, since fall is such a busy time and all.

But then I realized that we’d be heading into Christmas once I returned, and after Christmas is Blissdom (yes, I’m going) and then in February is that engagement party I’m throwing and Mateo’s birthday and, and…

It’s always a ‘busy time’, so I’m just going to keep posting here and there when I have a few minutes and keeping you up to date with the goodness leaving my kitchen.

Speaking of which, have you seen the Chilled Pumpkin Cheesecake? Just in time for our Thanksgiving? Yep. Don’t miss it, nor the new vlog that I had a ton of fun making. (just ignore the pantyhose comment, OK?)


On to the food! In this case, the sweets. I had the opportunity to bake up a storm for a baby shower for one of my most favorite people ever, Angela. She makes up half of the Tim Chin Photography dynamic duo (check out our last family photo shoot with them) and she’s about eight months pregnant with Tiny Tim, as I like to call him.


I had to go a bit nuts with the food. Ange is such a stylish girl…and loves food almost as much as I do! Here are some of the sweets that the guests feasted on:


Sour Cream Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting. You’ve seen the cake before, now meet the mini-cupcake.


Chai-Scented Creme Brulé, because creme brulé is Ange’s favorite dessert ever. I infused the cream with a little of Philippe de Vienne’s Chai Spice Blend, and it was just enough to give the dessert a hint of something special.


Quebec Pear and Candied Ginger Individual Crisps, served warm with Cinnamon Whipped Cream.


Prosecco-Lime Gelée with Seasonal Fruits, inspired by this post on Desserts for Breakfast. Refreshing, elegant, and low-fat, if you’re concerned about that.


Chocolate Pecan Puddle Cookies are a must at any event, as are Orange Sandwich Cookies with Chocolate Caramel Ganache.

S’mores! Traditional graham crackers, cinnamon marshmallows (blue for ‘boy’) and dark chocolate squares. (I used Lindt). I torched these á la minute for the girls.


Close up of the sandwich cookies. I used Jamie’s Chewy Lemon Cookies, which were fantastic because they can be mixed up, rolled into logs and frozen in advance. I used orange instead of lemon and it paired well with the dark chocolate.
For the filling I prepared Robin’s Dark Chocolate Caramel Sauce, and let it firm up before filling. These cookies were pretty, bite-size and perfect for a baby shower, however they had to be refrigerated right up until serving. Not a warm weather cookie!

There were also mini Lemon Poppy-Seed Cupcakes, and these Nutella Brownies. And that was about enough.

Congratulations again to the mother-to-be. I’ll bet the little guy was kicking up a storm after this sugar rush! Way to get him hooked on crême brulé early…

Simple Chilled Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe (vlog)

Thanksgiving is just one week away for us Canadians and around here that means a few constants such as pumpkin desserts, little boys in button-down shirts, and turkey dinner for fifty.

While pie is a staple on the sweet table, I like to round things out with a cool and creamy cheesecake, preferably pumpkin, since they are so plentiful now. A pie is best enjoyed warm from the oven (not always feasible on Turkey Day), but I’m convinced this chilled pumpkin cheesecake only gets better after a day or two in the refrigerator, making it the perfect do-ahead dessert.

I’m keeping this post short because you absolutely must watch my latest vlog. Not only do I demonstrate the easiest cheesecake I’ve ever made, but it is jam-packed full of practical kitchen shortcuts and time-savers! [Read more…]

Weekend Links: Canning 101 edition

Thanks to all who came and hung out during our Preserving Autumn week! I loved reading all your comments and hearing about your own kitchen experiments, projects, and preserving success.

Here’s further proof that the canning bug is spreading. Thank you to all who sent links and shared what you’ve put up this season!

Savory

[Read more…]

Preserving Autumn: Classic Applesauce Recipe

What is there really to say about applesauce, except that it is essential? It’s one of the first solid foods most ever eat and remains high on the comfort food scale as you grow older. Making applesauce every autumn is obligatory around here and an obvious addition to our Canning 101 series.

Right now families are flocking to the orchards on the weekends for a favorite Québec fall pastime: apple picking. The apples that are gathered can keep for a few weeks or even months if stored properly, but the best way to extend their enjoyment is to preserve the harvest through canned homemade applesauce.

Stirred into yogurt, baked into cookies, or layered between crêpes are just a few of the ways we enjoy our applesauce. Then there’s always straight from the jar, with a spoon, just like when we were teething tots.

Here is a basic step-by-step tutorial on how I make and can my applesauce. It’s straightforward, easy to make in large batches and just delicious! [Read more…]

Preserving Autumn: A Canning Series

It’s back! Our Canning 101 series on Simple Bites returns to feature the gorgeous produce of autumn.

With posts every day and a star-studded line-up of contributors, this series is sure to inspire you to put up some of the seasons flavors for year-round enjoyment.

Jennifer kicks things off today with not one, not two, but three amazing recipes for homemade pizza sauce. Her method for pizza sauce with oven-roasted tomatoes is my new favorite recipe – smokey, sultry and oh-so-simple.Curious as to why we’re spotlighting canning so often around here? Here are 9 Good Reasons to Can Your Own Food, an article I posted earlier this month highlighting the various motivations home canners have for what they do. It’s a list nearly anyone can relate to – including Time.com, who quoted from the post in a recent article on simple advice for saving money.

In our canning series on Simple Bites, we’ll be featuring apples and tomatoes, two favorites of the season, preserved in simple ways. The series will run all week, so be sure to stop by every day and be inspired!