Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blueberry Buttercream for Blueberry Macarons

Blueberry macarons

Woah, where has the time gone? My 2 months of summer vacation have flown by in a blur! Somehow in the past two months we visited Iceland (gorgeous place), Toronto to visit family, and a roadtrip of the small towns here in Alberta!

Since it has been a while since the last macaron post I bring you these gorgeous blueberry macarons. For these blueberry macarons, I used freeze dried blueberries. I have found that when making fruit based macarons the freeze dried components are much better for the texture and taste of the macrons compared to using real fruit. There is also less fruit juice that may potentially seep out of the macarons while they are resting in the fridge.  
freeze dried blueberries about to go into the food processor
Freeze dried blueberries
To make the blueberry macaron shells, follow the directions in my Macaron Basics posts here. For the macaron colour of these blueberry shells I used 3 drops of Wilton Teal gel food folouring. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

French Madeleines At Home

A tray of recently baked madeleines with the closest madeleine flipped over showing the browned shell side.

As you may have come to suspect, I love all types of French desserts. Certainly, macarons are on the top of the list but so are French Madeleines. On one side they have these beautiful fluted lines, and as you bite into them they taste like light fluffy butter cakes. I recall making a batch of these for dessert for friends that came over. After eating one of the madeleines, our friend's 3 year old asked if he could have more "shell cookies". Yup, I guess that is what you could call them! Thankfully, french madeleines happen to be very easy and quick (about 30 minutes to prep and bake) so making more batches of these "shell cookies" for the 3-year old in all of us isn't too hard at all. 
A green ceramic egg tray with three white eggs in it.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Irresistibly Smooth Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

It's officially summer here in Edmonton which means sunny days spent on the patio, visiting friends, and just enjoying all that summer has to offer. One of my go-to appetizer dishes in the summer when friends or over or one that I bring with me to a party is a good old hummus dip. 
When I first moved to Edmonton, there was a hummus dip that I always got from the Strathcona Farmer's Market. It was half regular hummus and half roasted red pepper hummus in the same container. I loved it and used to buy it all the time to have with my pitas, bagels, and pretty much anything I could dip or spread it on. A few weeks ago, I opened the pantry and saw a jar of roasted red peppers sitting there. It dawned on me that although I often make our go-to hummus  (and blogged it), I had yet to make my own roasted red pepper hummus. 
There aren't too many ingredients needed to make roasted red pepper hummus so I quickly gathered what I needed from our pantry. To blend all the ingredients together, I threw all the items into the Vitamix.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dinner Buffet at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald

A few weeks ago on June 17, the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald had their kickoff to their Friday night dinner buffets. I have always enjoyed going to the Fairmont for meals. Their Confederation Lounge and patio has a great view of the Edmonton River Valley and serves classic cocktails and casual food. The High Tea at the Harvest Room is one of my recent favourites along with the tour of the Queen suite. Based on the previous experiences I knew that the dinner buffet would have a good selection of food. I was invited to attend and offered a discount of 50% for me and a dinner companion.
Chilled Crab Legs!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Café Linnea: Pop-Up Recap

Salmon Galette with layers of buckwheat crepes, smoked salmon, ricotta, poached eggs, fried capers
Salmon Galette
A few weeks ago, Giselle from Duchess Bake Shop mentioned to me that plans were underway for a pop-up featuring their upcoming brunch bistro restaurant - Café Linnea. As I love brunch, this pop-up certainly piqued my interest! When the tickets for the pop-up were released time slots were quickly filling up and yet I somehow managed to score a ticket for the 6:45pm seating. 

Yup, you read that right I got ONE ticket. For any kind of dining out, I have always had at least a dining partner (usually Dan) to accompany me. I have never done something like this by myself before and that is when it dawned on me that I could potentially be eating alone. Visions of sitting by myself at table for one quickly filled my mind. Even though, Dan tells me that he has eaten many times by himself, it is not something that I find in my comfort zone. Of course, there is nothing wrong with eating by yourself, but I felt that I needed to confirm with the planners that this would be ok. To my pleasant surprise, I found out that I would seated at a table with Giselle of all people! Although I've briefly chatted with Giselle at some events, I've never had a chance to have a conversation over dinner with her, and I never imagined that it would happen this way.

picture of the Cafe Linnea pop-up menu

Café Linnea is a partnership between the Duchess Bake Shop and Chef Kelsey Johnson. The dishes on their pop-up menu hinted that their future menu may be a blend of both Scandinavian and French cooking. This pop-up was a chance for them to try out their dishes and for the waiting staff to do a trial run.
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