Sunday, 27 November 2011

Panettone, Revisited

Life has been a little chaotic as of late, with a job change in the works and several events and fundraisers I've been involved in coming to a head. It's been a lot of fun, but it's been difficult to fit blogging into my new schedule! I'm hoping that'll change very soon, once I settle into the swing of things and find the time and space to make it all work.

Something I've been meaning to share with you for a few weeks now is the play-by-play and the aftermath of my day spent making Panettone. It was quite an event, after all, so I absolutely feel that it deserves two posts!

What do I mean by aftermath? Well, it's not so much that the recipe had a large yield, but Panettone is so dense and filling that a little goes a long way, especially in a household of two. And what else do you do with an abundance of left-over bread before it goes bad? Thanks to our friend Ron who initially gave me the idea, I found a great recipe for Panettone Bread Pudding on Food Network Canada.

From The International Collection, by the Canadian Living Test Kitchen.

Monday, 21 November 2011

For the Love of Soup!

Nothing says comfort like soup, and nothing says soup like a burst of cold weather. Don't you think?

I've been sick for over two weeks now, so I've been cooking and baking a little less (hence no Muffin Monday this week), but still indulging in more than my usual share of fall-flavoured soups. A creature of comfort on the best of days, I seek these kinds of foods out all the more often when feeling under the weather.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Spiced Cranberry & Buttermilk Bundt Cake

Did you know that Tuesday, Novermber 15th was International Bundt Day? I found out the day of, thanks to Twitter, and was beyond excited. 

I love Bundts. I love making Bundts. I love eating Bundts. I love saying the word 'Bundt'. I like trying to get both the 'd' and the 't' in my pronounciation, or, at least, I like knowing they're there; it rolls of the tongue differently, knowing it's a 'dt' and not just a 'd' or a 't'. I even like spelling the word 'Bundt'. How's that for nerdy?

Wonderfully, I was just gifted a pretty, new Bundt pan from my mom (who seems to always be passing along these little gems) and what greater excuse to break it in than on a day celebrating the Bundt itself? This officially brings my Bundt pan collection to three, and I have no intentions on stopping there.

Last - and perhaps best of all - I heard about this food blogger who celebrated International Bundt Day by posting 30 days of Bundt cakes in the lead up to November 15th. That's commitment! The name of her quest? I Like Big Bundts. Genius, right? This word nerd sincerely appreciated her clever play on words. Visit Mary's blog - The Food Librarian - for 30 fabulous Bundt cake recipes.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Gingerbread Muffins with Brown Butter Frosting

Christmas may seem a long way off for some of you, but with Baker Street's holiday series in full swing, it certainly smelled like Christmas around my kitchen this weekend!

Anuradha offered us a basic Gingerbread recipe, giving us plenty of room for creativity, so I'm excited to see what the other Muffin Monday bakers have devised this week.

Every week, MM participants tell funny stories about how the people in their households have begun to expect and anticipate the new week's muffin. Well, F. was asking me for Muffin Monday muffins by Wednesday of last week. When I told him I'd need Muffin ESP in order to do that, since we don't get the recipe until later in the week, he was pretty disappointed - in both the outcome and my inability to read An's thoughts. Poor boy had to wait.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Food, Wine, & Art for a Cause

I have no recipes or photos for you today. Instead, I'm helping to raise awareness around two very honourable and worthwhile events taking place this month: the first for Adsum House here in Halifax, and the second from Bloggers Unite for Africa, happening online. Both are doing wonderful things to help people in need, and both could use your support!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Apple Buttermilk Muffins with Coconut Crumble

This week's Muffin Monday assignment is bursting with all my favourite, seasonal flavours of autumn. Who could turn down a muffin recipe that calls for apple pie apples? Really?

Once again, I was dying to know how these tasted, so I didn't change much. I did add more of the pie spices to the crumble, and I used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. Also, I wound up with a lot of extra batter, so I filled an extra 6-cup pan with the excess. I knew that little pan would come in handy some day! For those extra 6 muffins, I added a sprinkle of butterscotch chips to the top before adding the crumble, inspired by this recipe I made a few times last month.

I absolutely loved the combination of spiced apples and the crispy coconut on the top. I don't recall ever having this combination before, but it's definitely one I'll try again. The end result was a moist, crumbly muffin that was full of flavour.

Now I have 18 of these apple pie-inspired beauties on my hands. This Muffin Monday business is rough!

One of the nicest crumbles I've ever made! In sight, taste, texture. A great recipe.

Friday, 4 November 2011

On Panettone, for Paolo

Chapter 1: A Story

It was early November 2006 and I was just two months into my quarter life crisis. I had finished the course work for my Masters program a few months previous and was half-heartedly working on my thesis, as well as working full-time. I was twenty-five, alive, and itching to skip town. I remember listening to Breakdown by Jack Johnson on repeat in my car, feeling positively stuck on a path I couldn't see a way off of. It wasn't a bad path, but I was feeling antsy, bored, and uninspired.

I hope this old train breaks down
Then I could take a walk around
And see what there is to see...
All the people in the street
That I'll never get to meet
If these tracks don't bend somehow

Belle (yeah, that's right, from Beauty and the Beast) knew where I was coming from when she sang: "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere / I want it more than I can tell." Even as a kid watching Disney movies, words like these resonated and stuck in my bones. My heart and mind were completely elsewhere. I was tired of being a spectator; I wanted to start participating in life.