Extra-Crisp Pear Lavender Crisp | Simple Bites #dessert #pears #recipe

Extra-Crispy Pear-Lavender Crisp

This post is sponsored by KitchenAid Canada.

Local apples are not quite sweet enough for my liking yet, but fortunately we have pears from neighbouring province Ontario to tide us over.

Bartlett pears have replaced peaches on my kitchen counter and the first basket I bought fulfilled their destiny in this dessert. I’m a big fan of the super simple slow cooker apple crisp (it’s a great kitchen job for kids), but lately I’ve been craving a really crumbly topping. An extra-crisp fruit crisp.

Fortunately, one of my favourite Canadian bloggers, Charmian, recently released a cookbook titled The Messy Baker and I found just what I was looking for between its beautiful covers.

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onion_header

A Spring Onion Tart

When I was a child, onions were one of the few vegetables I loved to eat.

Generally they came in the form of pizza topping, but after a while onions started to adorn my sandwiches, and I sought them out whenever my mom cooked up a vat of her beef stew. Once I discovered the joy of roasted garlic, I was hooked on alliums for life.

One of the building blocks of cooking, alliums deserve a place in pretty much every meal. Granted, not everyone loves them as much as I do. I’ve been converting my 6-year-old to an onion fan, slowly but surely, because I’m sure he has an amazing cooking career ahead of him and he needs to understand the onion. Or at least, be able to throw together a fantastic pasta sauce and garlic bread.

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Mocha Pie with Espresso Whipped Cream | Simple Bites #pie #mocha #recipe

Mocha Pie with Espresso Whipped Cream

I couldn’t tell you when the craving for a mocha pie originated, only that it is a desire I have been trying to ignore for the better part of a year.

My affections lie firmly in the fruit pie camp, which is why the urge for a rich pudding of dark chocolate and coffee, tucked into a flaky crust and topped with mounds of espresso whipped cream was a mystery to me. I’m usually all about the rhubarb pie in the spring (three recipes and counting), but this year, I’m serving up mocha.

Mocha Pie with Espresso Whipped Cream | Simple Bites #pie #mocha #recipe

Fortunately, Easter is just around the corner, and chocolate is usually on the menu in many shapes and forms. I’m going to go ahead and suggest that this cream-topped mocha pie make an appearance on your table for the holiday. And if it is, please invite me over.

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How to blind bake a pie crust | Simple Bites #tutorial #pie #baking

How to blind-bake a pie crust

Danny and I were trading off household jobs one recent Saturday morning and I pointed out that he should do the dishes. I was planning to blind bake a pie crust and needed to get the dough in the fridge to chill.

“You’re going to WHAT now?” He asked, clearly dubious of the credibility of my task.

“Yeah. You know, prebake a single pie crust, to hold a cream filling.” I explained. And because there was pie in his future, he conceded to doing the breakfast washing up.

It’s no wonder he had no idea what I was talking about. I seldom make cream pies, so strong is my fondness for the fruit-based variety. But I had an idea for a pie that I wanted to make for Sunday dinner and so a-blind-baking I went, while Danny kept an interested eye on my work.

Strawberry season is nearly upon us and that means fresh strawberry pie needs to be on your weekend brunch menu, as well as mine. To do so, we need to know how to blind bake a pie crust. Read on for the tutorial! Don’t worry, it’s a cinch.

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whole-wheat double chocolate mint cookie dough for gifting on www.simplebites.net

Whole-wheat double chocolate mint cookies (food processor)

Last weekend we hung lights on the house, wrapped our twig tree in twinkly lights, and put on a big pot of spiced hot apple cider to welcome a dozen friends for my annual cookie swap.

It’s the event that kicks of the holidays every year, held early enough in December to give us ample time for baking before the Christmas parties and other calendar duties take over our days and nights. The snowstorm held off for us and an afternoon flew by, sweetened by over one thousand home baked cookies. [Read more...]