Remember how I was telling you about how it has become something of a tradition for me to bring baked goods into work on Friday mornings for the office staff to enjoy? Well recently there has been some hot debate among my colleagues over which treat has been the best out of everything that I have brought in so far. Based on the opinions I have heard, the top two vote getters’ so far have probably been my Blueberry Oatmeal Crumb Bars and the White Chocolate Raspberry Sweet Rolls.
My boss is of the opinion that the Blueberry Oatmeal Crumb Bars were the absolute best and over the past couple of weeks he has been not so subtly hinting that he would like me to make another batch. Last week he came up to me and said “You know what was good? Those blueberry bars you made a few weeks ago… we should bring some of those back into the office. “ Super subtle right? (Not.) Never the less, I aim to please and decided that the next thing I bring in for Friday treat day would be a nod to his favourite Blueberry Oatmeal Crumb Bars.Read More
For some people, Summer is a time for hitting the beach; for others, Summer is a time for lazy vacations; for me, while I enjoy the latter, Summer is most importantly a time for Pie! Oh yes! Now you may find this hard to believe, (probably not,) but has been absolutely no shortage of pie in my house this Summer. In fact, the number of pies that I have managed to bake this Summer is definitely bordering on insane – but come on, how could I possibly pass up the opportunity to bake with some of the Summers finest and freshest local fruits??? The answer to that questions is simple – I couldn’t and I most certainly did not.
Let’s start from the beginning…
Whenever my mum and I get together for a little mother-daughter baking sesh’, we can’t help but reminisce on all of our past baking expeditions. It’s so much fun for us to remember all of the Lazy Saturdays, Sunday afternoons, Christmas mornings, and after-school evenings we spent cramped together in our tiny –albeit very dysfunctional – kitchen, baking up a storm and laughing the time away.
We shared so many special moments in that kitchen, so nowadays whenever we get to spend precious time together in her kitchen, it’s hard for all of them to not come rushing back to us. Like the time our broken oven door collapsed on my moms arm just as she was pulling a bubbling homemade blueberry pie out of the oven, which subsequently let her to drop the pie flat on the floor? (okay – so this is funny to think about now, but at the time it was just plain devastating) Or how about the time we tried to make a model of Neptune for my science project out of homemade blue Rice Krispie squares and ended up absolutely covering the kitchen. (and ourselves) in blue, sticky, marshmallowy mess? By the end of this Neptune, Rice Krispie debacle we were laughing so hard at ourselves we could barely stand.
As our time together in her kitchen grows less and less frequent due to our diverging schedules, we always make sure to basque in the memories whenever we do get the chance to bake together these days. However, I think these next few months are going to be particularly full of baking nostalgia because my parents recently sold my childhood home, and come January 2016, they will be officially moved out and we will no longer be baking in her old little kitchen. I know it seems silly to have such an emotional attachment to something like a dysfunctional kitchen, but that cramped little kitchen is home to some of the memories that I cherish the most about my childhood. I would be totally lying if I said I wasn’t completely heartbroken that we will now have to say goodbye to our little kitchen – it’s not going to be an easy goodbye for my mum and I.
Because its summer time and I have just been completely overwhelmed by all of the gorgeous local berries that are lurking behind every corner, I have been going a little overboard with the fruit pie making situation. Can you blame me? I mean come on, is making a lot of fruit pies realllly a bad thing? Personally I think there are much worse problems that a person could have besides having an overabundance of fresh fruit pies in the house… Am I right?
I whole heatedly agree with the above statement, and I think that Cole does too; however I am a girl who likes to change things up when it comes to creating in the kitchen. So this week when I couldn’t help but buy a very large case of blueberries from the farmers market – because really…. who can resist a case of fresh local blueberries – I vowed that instead of making a pie I would do something completely different with these blueberries.
I have a very serious question for you – Is there anything more perfect in this world than a classic golden crust fruit pie? …
Is the answer to this question as obvious to you as it is to me? I mean honestly I don’t think I can think of anything that is more scrumptious than a ooey, gooey, sweet & tart pie filling that has been baked to absolute perfection encased by a thick, flaky, buttery, golden brown crust – seriously… I got nothing. Especially when you eat your slice of pie with a hearty scoop of vanilla ice cream…. I mean you just can’t get any more perfect than that…. you just can’t.
For heavens sake, even before I put this pie in the oven, it was a thing of beauty and before it was baked to ooey gooey fruity, flaky, buttery perfection, I just had to snap a shot. Once I had assembled the lattice top, I was about ready to just dive in and eat the raw pie dough and fruit filling right then and there – no baking required. I don’t know about you, but I am not at all opposed to eating raw pie dough – is that gross of me? Maybe, but I don’t care. Raw pie dough is delicious and if you don’t believe me, I insist you give it a try – I won’t judge you. Remember, there will never been any food related judgement on this site 😀
I don’t know about you, but if there is one thing in the world that I can’t possibly resist, it would have to be apples and cinnamon. You see, me and apples with cinnamon -we go way back. There is a history there that can never be forgotten, and apart from the fact that cinnamon and apples are a match made in taste bud heaven, I think that it is these lingering memories that make any thing with apple spice so irresistible to me.
Growing up, my mum worked hard to keep our diets as healthy and balanced as she could, while still allowing us to enjoy the wonders of delicious homemade foods. So while we were allowed to indulge in a scoop of ice cream or a slice of chocolate cake for dessert from time to time, for the most part those kinds of desserts were reserved for special occasions, and were not part of our regular meal plan. However, after we had finished our suppers – including all of the broccoli and carrots on our plates – we were always rewarded with a little something sweet at the end of the day.
My mum’s go-to desserts were usually freshly cut fruits, which she would jazz up with a little something extra – like bananas with a bit of milk and brown sugar; or fresh strawberries with whipped cream; or apples with cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar. Looking back on it now, this dessert seems so simple and yet, this was one of my favourites as a child. I mean how can you go wrong with apples and cinnamon? The answer to that question is simple – you can’t – like I said before, they are a match made in heaven.
How many of you out there, who like me, are of the opinion that a day isn’t complete unless it ends with a little bit of dessert? I don’t know about you, but I can’t seem to help myself when it comes to my dessert cravings after I have finished my dinner. It doesn’t have to be a fancy dessert – just that little something sweet to satisfy my need for sugar before the day is through.
Like I said before, my desserts do not need to be fancy – In fact, most nights I am perfectly content with calling a bowl of freshly sliced strawberries or a spoonful of chocolate almond butter my dessert for the evening. However, there are definitely days when I crave something a little bit more decadent for my weeknight dessert. My cravings for something a little bit more complex in the dessert department usually come at the end of a very long work day or as was the case yesterday… at the end of a very longgggg Monday. Yes, Mondays – I think you know what I mean…
So after Cole and I had finished eating a very healthy dinner of grilled chicken breast with broccoli & kale salads, I felt like we were extremely deserving of a delicious dessert to reward our healthy couple behaviour :p So while Cole was out in the garage working on his truck and various other man tasks, I was scanning through my pantry and fridge for some inspiration for the perfect surprise weeknight dessert for two.
Because I hadn’t exactly followed through on my plans to go grocery shopping over the weekend my ingredient stock was a little low. I was fresh out of eggs and the only ingredients I had (besides dijon mustard and lots of carrots) was about 1/4 cup of butter and a few blueberries from a previous baking endevour. My first thought – I can work with this 😀 Immediately my mind got stuck on the idea of a fresh, warm blueberry crumble for Cole and I to share with a scoop of vanilla ice cream while sitting on the couch watching Lost on Netflix (because we are currently obsessed with that show.)
Good Morning everybody!
Alright my fellow Vancourverites, let’s just ignore the fact that it is the most gloomy Monday of all time here in Vancouver today, and try to focus on the positive! Contrary to the fact that it is pouring down rain and utterly miserable outside today, for the most part I think we have to admit that Spring has definitely arrived here in Vancouver! I mean let’s face it, our trees have leaves on them, our cherry blossom trees have been blooming like mad, grass is getting green, and it’s gotten to the point where you can actually step outside and be greeted by that amazingly fresh, floral scent that I can only describe as the amazing scent of Spring. All things considered it has been wonderful so far this Spring, so I will try my best to ignore this very rainy and depressing day… and I will hope that the weather forecast for the remainder of the week brightens up to include at least a little sunshine! Pleassseeeeeeeeee!!!
Anyways, with summer just around the corner (sort of) I seem to have one thing, and one thing only on my mind – baking with lemons! Ahhh yes – it is that time of year when the sun comes out, the weather starts to get warmer and I start to experience intense cravings for the sweet and tangy delights of all things lemon infused! There is just something so fresh and crisp about lemon desserts that make for a perfect finish to those simple and light spring / summer meals, wouldn’t you agree?