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butter tarts (a delightful Canadian dessert)

As a youngster and even now, getting my hands on a butter tart is a culinary delight.  One bite and the filling is drip-off-your-chin runny or slightly set, ooey gooey sweet, and encased by a flaky crust that melts in your mouth.  A cute little hand pie that one could devour with 3 bites; maybe less if you wanted to show off how much you could stuff into your mouth!  Butter tarts are not difficult to make. Continue Reading →

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panna cotta with raspberry jelly

panna cotta with jellyTraditionally, panna cotta, is served on a plate by unmolding a ramekin.  If this is your first time making this Italian dessert, my recipe elimates the unmolding.  I remember the first time I made this and the mold, for some reason, did not set all the way through.  Perhaps the gelatin didn’t dissolve completely.  Get creative and use any glass you like, even tea cups!  This dessert is light enough to serve after a heavy meal and making it ahead allows for more time with your friends and family. Continue Reading →

double chocolate chip parfait – how to use a failed recipe

double chocolate chip parfaitIt happens.  Cooks of all levels have experienced a failed recipe at least once, maybe more.  The thing is, a failed recipe has room for improvement and making it into something better the next time around.  That’s how we discover things, through trial and error.  Continue Reading →

chocolate fudge

chcolate fudge - homemade holiday giftI cannot recall the last time I made fudge.  It was a family favourite growing up and around the Christmas holidays, there was always some to be had.  My mom always had the pantry and freezer full of cooked goodies.  The laundry room became the storage area for fruit cake, plum puddings, cookies, squares not to mention tins of Ganong chocolates.  It was an out-in-the-open treasure chest that as a kid I could not ignore (a few times caught with my hand in the cookie jar).  Continue Reading →

blueberry-blackberry fool

blueberry blackberry foolBlueberry-blackberry fool has to be one of the easiest desserts to make.  Not everyone is a fan of blackberries but mixed with blueberries and cream, it’s guaranteed to be a hit at the dinner table.  Both blueberries and blackberries are in season so look for fruit that’s plump but not mushy to touch.  Continue Reading →

Lemon Tart – a bit of sunshine

Lemon TartThe weather here has been grey, wet and cooler than our usual Spring. We were in Paris for a week and it either rained or was overcast with periods of rain showers throughout the day. We came home and had a repeat of Paris weather. It’s been so wet mushrooms are sprouting up in our lawn so when patches of blue sky poked through the clouds this morning, I was elated.  Continue Reading →

orange jelly slices

orange jelly slicesAccording to What’s Cooking America, gelatin was once considered a sign of wealth, before the commercial version appeared, only members of the elite classes could afford it. It took hours to render gelatin, clarify it, and turn it into fancy aspics, molded salads, desserts. etc. The use of gelatin was a sign that the host or hostess had the means to support a kitchen staff with the skill and time to create such a dish. When gelatin became available commercially it still was a symbol of culinary sophistication.  Continue Reading →

plum dessert – fresh and light

plum dessertA dessert concludes the main meal and for me, it’s the last thing I think about when planning a meal.  I’m just as happy to snack on fruit and a bit of cheese than fill my stomach with another course. I am usually too full.  But give me an option to savour fruit with yogurt, I’ll always make room.  It signals to my brain something fresh and light.  Continue Reading →

devil’s food cupcakes

devil's food cupcakesDevil’s food conjures up something sinister.  We’re all familiar with deviled eggs, devils on horseback (dates wrapped in bacon), chicken alla Diavola (devil’s chicken) etc.  And according to What’s Cooking America, the term deviled is used to describe food that is dark, rich, chocolate, spicily piquant or stimulating.  Continue Reading →

DIY ferrero rocher

diy ferrero rocherI’ve mentioned it before.  I don’t really have a sweet tooth but if there’s one chocolate that halts me in my footsteps, it’s ferrero rocher.  While I am not a fan of milk chocolate the combination of hazelnuts wrapped in what reminds me of nutella (yum) along with a crisp wafer…I’m salivating just thinking about it!  Making your own chocolates is a labor of love and I was curious to see if I could replicate my own ferrero rocher.  I went sleuthing for a DIY version on the internet.  Turns out there are quite of few. Continue Reading →