Quiche Maraîchere w Pumpkin – Cooking with Pumpkin (Series)

This is part two of my series regarding pumpkins and how to cook an entire one without any waste.

Today I’ve made a vegetable quiche with a few modifications. Maraichere refers to market-fresh produce.  I snuck in pumpkin which doesn’t add a lot of flavour, but does add a lot of nutrition (if you’re into that sort of thing).  The substitution of yogurt instead of heavy cream gives this dish a nice tartness and smooth texture.

Printable Recipe

Pictured is a basic balsamic reduction. 1/2 cup balsamic vinager, 1/2 cup water, reduced to half.


Pumpkin Cake with Frosting and Olive Oil Roasted Pepitas

This is part 1 of 4 from “What I did with an entire pumpkin.”

I missed the boat with Halloween this year, which was a giant disappointment.  I was busy moving. I didn’t know where any of my things were.  No costume, no candy, no ghosts, no fun.  This year I’m going to try and mash together Halloween and Christmas in the best Tim Burton fashion.

Pumpkin is the telltale sign of fall.  It may be November, but there are plenty of them around.  Here’s what I did with the first quarter of the pumpkin:

Printable Recipe

Woodlot Restaurant, 293 Palmerston Ave, Toronto

Woodlot, Woodlot, Woodlot.  All the foodies are talking about Woodlot.

We went last night to this wonderful little restaurant/bakery with very great food and unfortunately dismal internet presence.  They have a vegetarian menu and a meatatarian menu, which I think is a fantastic idea.  My friend Adam is the barista during the day there, so go check out his handsome face while you buy a coffee and pastry.

The wine list is affordable.  They also offer two beers at the $5 price point.

What did I eat?  Some tasty, tasty plates.

Click ‘more’ for the food porn photos I quickly and embarrassingly took while hiding my camera under my coat:

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Recipe: Authentic Hollywood Fake Blood via @MarkGatiss

I know it isn’t really ‘food’, but it certainly is edible.  Click here for the video.

Mark Gatiss‘ recipe for fake blood:

2 cups of golden syrup (other brands are available)

1 cup of warm water


10 tsp red food colouring

10 tbs cornflour (a little bit at a time)

5 tsp blue food colouring

5 tsp yellow food colouring

peppermint to taste

Completely edible and delicious.

Behind the Scenes: Pork, Apple and Braised Red Cabbage Pies

Image from the Bourque Street Bakery book.

I’ve had a few requests for the “secret” to my prize winning pies I cooked for 86’d at The Drake .  There is no particular secret, but a practiced technique that work every time.  An experienced cook memorizes techniques and ratios rather than recipes.  Memorize the patterns in your favourite dishes and before long you’ll see what I mean.

The Bourque Street Bakery book is a fantastic companion.  It is gorgeous and I recommend getting yourself a copy.  Today, I’m writing about my modifications and tips.  Here is what most recipe books won’t tell you:

Making pie/tart shells is a lengthly and time sensitive project.  You have to chill your dough before rolling it and chill it after it is rolled and cut.  You have to work quickly to make sure the chilled dough doesn’t stretch from the heat of your hands (which will cause shrinking in the tart shell).  For this particular instance I used buttered and floured muffin tins instead of French rings, which worked very well.  I made sure to take the shells out of the tin as soon as I could handle them and put them on a cooling wrack. My “secret” in this case is using vinegar instead of water in the tart shell.  Vinegar or any briny substance will cause the shell to flake nicely.  Going half and half on lard and butter works nicely too.

The second issue was the braised meat.  A lot of people argue about searing a piece of shoulder or simply placing it into the pot.  I personally find that searing meat generates far more flavour.  This particular book instructs to put the meat on top of the gently cooked vegetables.  Instead I seared the meat, removed from the pot and cooked the vegetables on top of the meat and deglazed with liquid. I’ve literally written a one page recipe in that previous sentence.  Follow it and it will treat you well.

Thirdly, taste your food.  Taste your food in the beginning, in the middle and the end of the process.  Taste, taste, taste.  Taste your raw dough. Know what is happening in that pot!  Jesus murphy, just do it.

When I tasted the filling from the book it wasn’t right.  I know I’d done everything to the letter, but it wasn’t ground breaking.  There wasn’t enough tartness to the sweet, fatty meat.  What’s the perfect contrast to hot, sweet fat? What’s sour, crunchy and cold?  A pickle.  Et voila.  Added a pickle to the bottom of the tart.

Use your imagination when you cook.  Have fun!  There are no secrets.



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Hot Chocolate on a Stick (via Pennies on a Platter: Serving Tasty Recipes Into Your Home)

Very cute idea! Hot chocolate on a stick.

Hot Chocolate on a Stick Hot Chocolate is a favorite drink in our house during the winter, especially on snowy days like we’re having today.  We will drink all kinds of hot cocoa, from the cheap Nestle and Swiss Miss, to the gourmet Ghirardelli. We love it in all forms. I think I have found my favorite hot chocolate option in this recipe, Hot Chocolate on a Stick.  It is such a great perk that these will keep in a sealed container for one year, and all I have to do is wa … Read More

via Pennies on a Platter: Serving Tasty Recipes Into Your Home

Bourque Street Bakeoff (via National Post)

Amy Rosen did a little write up in the National Post yesterday regarding the Bakeoff I participated in this month.

Strawberry Financier recipe below:

Amy Rosen, National Post · Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010

Two of my favourite things are judging people and stuffing my face, and last week I had the opportunity to do both at the exact same time when I was a judge at a Food Blogger Bakeoff to celebrate the release of Bourke Street Bakery, a fullcolour softcover cookbook put out by Paul Allam and David McGuinness, the bakers and owners of the famous Sydney (Australia) boulangerie of the same name.

The book is gorgeous, inspirational and mouth-watering, with detailed recipes ranging from spelt sourdough bread and brioche, to croissants, savoury tarts, biscuits (that’s what they call “cookies” over there), cakes and pies. Really, anything that you would ever want to know how to bake is in this book, and every recipe looks doable and delicious. But here’s the thing: Most are also time-consuming and take plenty of patience.

And that’s why I’ma cook and not a baker.

Luckily, there are a lot of enthusiastic bakers out there, including our contestants in the aforementioned Food Blogger Bake-off, which was held at the Drake Hotel in Toronto. Kristina Groeger, Andrea Toole, Stephanie Dickison and Joel Solish all chose recipes from Bourke Street Bakery to perfect and present to us judges, including chocolate cherry cookies, gingerbread, Kristina’s winning dish of pulled pork tarts and these easy financiers.

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