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How-To

Heavenly Treat:  Angel Food Cake

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Heavenly Treat: Angel Food Cake

A true Angel Food cake is only leavened by eggs whites and requires only five ingredients plus some flavouring.   Homemade Angel Food may not be as tall, but it should still be light and airy and it will also have a superior taste to the boxed versions.  In fact, it tastes so good that my son thinks I should change the serving size on the recipe from eight to one to two servings!

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How to Crown your Cookies:  Royal Icing

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How to Crown your Cookies: Royal Icing

Now when it comes to icings, I am all about the buttercream (check out my blog for my Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe).  While buttercream is great in a sandwich cookie or as a dip for sugar cookies, it is not optimal for decorating as it remains soft and will squish and smudge. For detailed decorating you need to use royal icing.  Royal icing is a simple mixture of egg whites, icing sugar and flavour that is easy to pipe with and dries hard so your cookies can be moved, stacked and stored without the risk of smearing. 

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Blitz Puff Pastry

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Blitz Puff Pastry

Working with the butter block and keeping it contained in the dough can be a bit tricky and turns off many home bakers.  But don’t be discouraged, the is a way to get a very tasty homemade puff pastry with a bit less (okay, a lot less) stress….Blitz Puff Pastry.  As the name suggests, this is a faster version of puff pastry. 

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A Cocktail's Perfect Partner:  Pork Rillettes

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A Cocktail's Perfect Partner: Pork Rillettes

When I have friends over for dinner, I want to enjoy their company and not be slaving away in the kitchen.  This is especially true when they first arrive and it is time for a pre-dinner cocktail. I always want to have something ready to go to serve with those cocktails; preferably something slightly salty, something that can be made at least the day before and something with a bit of a “wow” factor.  The answer is often Pork Rillettes.  The French name makes them sound fancy, but really they are simple to make (but no need to tell your guests that). 

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Favourite Banana Bread

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Favourite Banana Bread

To use up all those bananas, I have tried banana-oatmeal cookies, banana snack cake, banana pancakes, banana ice-cream and more, but in my family’s opinion those are all a waste of time because chocolate-chip banana bread will always be number one in their hearts.

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Slow Cooking

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Slow Cooking

I am the proud owner and loyal user of a cast iron Dutch-oven (okay, the owner of three) and it is my go-to for many things included slow oven braises.  The only thing with the Dutch-ovens is that they do require a little bit of attention and they cook things must faster than a slow-cooker, so they don’t work for the “turn it on and forget it” cooking that is sometimes needed.  So, I did a little research and realized that I could convert most of my favourite Dutch-oven recipes into slow-cooker recipes. 

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Mushroom & Garlic Bliss

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Mushroom & Garlic Bliss

It is the time of year when hosts and hostesses get to shine or collapse from sheer exhaustion.  To keep ourselves out of that latter group, we need to be prepared with tried and true recipes. I came across this recipe for Garlic and Gruyère Stuffed Mushrooms last year when I was helping a friend out with a Christmas luncheon.  Since then, I have made them a dozen times!  These would be perfect to nibble on with a glass of champagne as you toast the New Year!

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The World of Buttercream

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The World of Buttercream

In previous posts, I have given you recipes for the best (in my opinion) chocolate, white and yellow cakes.  As I am making a birthday cake for Glambaby #1 (chocolate, with chocolate icing, long sprinkles and round sprinkles, and a Power Ranger on top, in case you were wondering), I realized that cake is not really cake without icing!  To be honest, I was never a fan of the icing as I always found it too sweet, but then I discovered buttercream and I was won over.  I am going to teach about the various types of buttercream (not all buttercreams are created equal) and share my favourite go-to icing, Swiss Buttercream.

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Baking Science - High Altitude Baking

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Baking Science - High Altitude Baking

Have you ever heard someone say, I made this cake all the time and now that I moved to Calgary it just doesn’t work?  Well, that is because Calgary is at 3557 feet (1084 m) above sea level and baking anywhere over 3000 feet (912 m) is considered high altitude baking.  Our thinner air messes with baking recipes since they are usually written for sea level kitchens. 

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How a Food-Lover Survived a Cuban All-Inclusive

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How a Food-Lover Survived a Cuban All-Inclusive

When we told people where we were going to Cuba, everyone said, “Mona, you know the food is not good.”  Well, they were right, but it is possible to sustain yourself (and not only on the fresh fruit garnishes of your rum drinks).  Based on my experience and chats with others who have travelled to Cuba, here are my tips for surviving a Cuban All-Inclusive resort.

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 Classic Cream Scones

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Classic Cream Scones

I also love scone because they are so easy to make.  In about 10 minutes I can have a batch ready to go in the oven.  When we have overnight guests, I love to tempt them out of bed with these warm, mildly sweet treats.

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