Monday, October 17, 2016

Sour Cream Cherry Pie from Duchess Cookbook

Sour Cherry pie from the Duchess cookbook
As you may recall one of my Food Resolutions for the 2016 year was to cook recipes from the Duchess Bake Shop cookbook. Over the past year, one of the recipes I have enjoyed making is Sharileen's Sour Cream Cherry Pie Recipe from page 159. This pie has a super flaky crust mainly due to the addition of butter as well as lard. I like how Duchess' recipe uses a stand mixer, so all you need to do is mix the ingredients at slow speed with the stand mixer. The key is to ensure there are still small chunks of fat in the resulting pie dough. In the past, I used to find sour cherry pies as too sour, but this one has good balance between the sour and sweet and as the saying goes: when life gives you sour cherries, you make sour cherry pie!
cubed butter and lard

mixing the cubed butter and lard with flour

mixing the dough up with a stand mixer

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Edmonton Fall Home Show - Ticket Giveaway

It's that time of the year where the Fall Home Show comes to Edmonton on October 21-23, 2016! I know that it certainly does not feel like Fall here in Edmonton, and like you, all I want to do is stay indoors. However, this is the perfect opportunity to talk to experts, find some inspiration and get some practical information. I have been to the show several times over the years and there is always something to see, do or learn at the show - even if you don't own a house or live in one (like us). Aside from having the opportunity to ask designers about a home renovation, finding more information about doing a brand new build or a DIY project that you have in mind, there is also the Food Stage. Certainly, this is a part of the show that is particularly interesting for me. This year there are a number of Cooking Stage Guests throughout the weekend, including the opportunity for you to be an amateur cooking partner with either Chef Shane Chartrand (from Sage) or Chef Doreen Prei (from Get Cooking) on Sunday October 23.

Regardless of what you are interested in, I am sure you will find something exciting at the Fall Home Show. If you want to attend you can purchase your tickets online or in person. You can also try your luck at entering to win two tickets for the Edmonton Fall Home Show from me! Just enter your information into the rafflecopter below and following the instructions. The winner can choose any of the days to attend the show (Friday October 21-Sunday October 23) and will be picking up their tickets at the show office at the Edmonton Expo Centre. Contest starts October 13, 2016 and ends at

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Poached Eggs from the Dirty Apron Cookbook

Heritage Eggs from University of Alberta Farm
Over the past 3 years Dan and I have been part of the University of Alberta Heritage Chicken Program. As a result, we have a continual supply of gorgeous heritage eggs every two weeks. Before participating in the Heritage Chicken Egg program I was never a huge fan of eggs unless they were scrambled, in an omelette or used in baking. In fact, my point of contention of eggs was that I really disliked runny eggs; especially sunny side eggs or poached eggs. However, when we started the Heritage Egg program, I discovered that sunny side heritage eggs could be really tasty, so much so that it is the go-to method for cooking our heritage eggs. I've always wanted to try different methods for cooking eggs and was excited to try a poached egg recipe from The Dirty Apron cookbook. If you haven't heard of the Dirty Apron, this cookbook is a collection of the most popular recipes from Vancouver's Dirty Apron's cooking school's and delicatessen.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Feastival of Fine Chefs 2016 - AFPA

Program for FEASTival and a bottle of win on the table
Last week, I was invited once again by Michelle (the tiffin box) on behalf of the Alberta Food Processors Association (AFPA) to partake in the FEASTival of Fine Chefs. I was excited to not only meet the chefs from the participating establishments and experience a multi-course dining experience but to also bring my husband Dan along. This was the 28th event for the FEASTival of Fine Chefs with tickets being $125. Like last year, there were a variety of establishments that participated in the event. All establishments do not receive their ingredients until 24 hours before the event.

Upon checking in, all participants were asked to choose a number packet. The number that you pick helps guide you towards having a four course meal where each course comes from a different establishment. All menus reflect food that is grown and/or processed in Alberta.

Sample Menu from Ernest's at Nail
Example of one of the many menus at the 2016 FEASTival of Fine Chefs. 
Before the dinner started, everyone had the chance to walk around, check out the different establishments, view their menus for the night including a preview of the dishes, or bid on the silent auction items. This was helpful, because it was easier to find where your course was being served from as each course came from a different place.

Here are some photos of the appetizer course from our table. We made all attempts to ensure that everyone got a different number so that there were almost no repeat dishes at our table. That way we could have a bite of each dish if we wanted. 

Crispy Pork Belly on a rectangular plate from River Cree Marriott
Brittney's Pork Belly from River Cree Marriott

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Homemade Salted Caramel Recipe

I have recently become slightly obsessed with salted caramel. It all started when I decided to re-visit making salted caramel macarons. In the past, the salted caramel that I made has either been too hard (candy stage caramel), too runny (making a huge mess when filled in macarons) or had the consistency and flavour of what was butterscotch-like to me.

This summer, I made a batch of caramel almost every few weeks until I got the consistency and flavour that I wanted. As a Speech-Language Pathologist (my other life when I'm not blogging) I would describe the consistency that I want as "pudding thick". This is when the caramel can be spoonable, but when the spoon is placed upright, the caramel will not stay upright and slides slowly down. In terms of flavour profile, after making different batches of salted caramel with varying degrees of colour (light brown to dark), I came to the realization that a dark almost burnt caramel was best. When a lighter caramel is used in the macarons it is difficult to distinguish that it is a salted caramel macaron. However, once a darker caramel was incorporated in the buttercream, everyone was able to say with certainly that it was a salted caramel that they were eating.

Homemade Salted Caramel Recipe
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 tsp fleur de sel


  1. In a heavy pot (with tall sides) pour in a cup of sugar and add in a splash of water. Melt the sugar at medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the whipping cream in a small saucepan or pot at medium heat for 5 minutes. Once it starts getting hot, turn down to low heat.
  3. Continue to melt the sugar. Do not stir or touch the melting sugar as this will disturb the crystals. 
  4. Allow the sugar to melt completely. It will start to turn from a light amber colour to very dark amber (about 10 minutes). 
  5. Turn off the heat and slowly add in the warmed whipping cream (in 3 parts). Use a heatproof silicon spatula or spoon and stir quickly. The liquid will bubble up very fast so be careful to not burn yourself. 
  6. Continue to slowly pour in the whipping cream, stirring after each addition. 
  7. Slowly add in the unsalted butter and stir until incorporated. 
  8. Stir in the fleur de sel
  9. Transfer the caramel to glass jars. Once cooled they can be stored in the refrigerator.

    Salted caramel stored in mason jars and my re-used petit pots!
Enjoy your homemade salted caramel. The salted caramel can be kept in an air tight container for a few weeks. If you want to make a double batch of salted caramel, just double the recipe and ensure you have a large enough pot with tall sides. This will prevent you from getting burned due to the steam and heat! Try out the recipe and in no time you too will have many many jars of salted caramel in your fridge!

To make my salted caramel macarons click here. 
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