BBD #36 - Corn Jalepeno Lava Bread

Well - this is my first time participating in Bread Baking Day! It is a monthly event where people who are passionate about baking bread make bread that falls within a specific theme. Participant entries are rounded up on the first of each month and posted on the host's blog. This month the theme was "Corny Bread" hosted by Girlichef .

I didn't want to just make corn bread (although I love cornbread), so I settled for making Corn Jalepeno Lava Bread. I found the recipe on CookingBread.Com. I had never seen that website before, but it really is a great resource for people who like to bake bread or people who would like to learn or improve their skills. There are so many great recipes with step-by-step instructions and photos! Do check it out when you have a minute.

This bread was a bit time consuming to make - you make a mixture the night before and leave it sit overnight, then there are two 2 hour rises and another 1/2 hour rise prior to baking for 35 minutes. So definitely do this on a day when you have all day! But I promise - its worth it! The bread is absolutely delicious - so tender and flavourful and don't forget cheesey. And don't cut back on the jalepeno - it sounds like a lot, but trust me, it is not spicy at all - the jalepenos must mellow out as they are baked in the oven because they add a lot of flavour, but not much heat!

Now, on to the recipe:
Corn Jalepeno Lava Bread
Recipe from CookingBread.Com

The night before:

  • 1 1/4 cup bread flour (I used regular all purpose)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast

The day of:

  • 1 3/4 cup luke warm water
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 3 - 3 1/2 cups bread flour (I used regular all purpose flour)
  • 1 cup diced, seeded jalepeno peppers
  • 3/4 cup corn niblets
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups gruyere cheese, shredded


  1. The night before, combine the night before ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature 12-18 hours or overnight.
  2. In the morning combine the water and cornmeal in a small saucepan. Bring to a low boil then turn the heat down and simmer for five minutes. Stir frequently so mixture doesn't burn. Remove from heat and add the butter and honey. Stir until well incorporated.
  3. Pour into stand mixer and let stand until cooled to 110F. Once cooled, add the night before mixture, yeast and one cup of flour. Mix on low speed until well blended.
  4. Add the salt, 3/4 cup of the jalepenos and 1/2 cup of corn. Mix til blended.
  5. Start to add the flour slowly. The dough needs to be sticky, so don't add too much. While mixing on low speed, you want the dough to stick to the bottom of the bowl, but not the sides. Continue to knead on low spead for 8 minutes more. Afterwards, leave in bowl and spray with oil spray.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in bulk.
  7. Using a wooden spoon, punch down dough, then cover with plastic wrap again and leave to rise for another 1-2 hours or until doubled in bulk. After second rise, sprinkle good amount of flour on counter (remember, dough is sticky). Take the cheese and mix in remaining jalepenos and corn. Put the dough onto floured surface and sprinkle more flour on top. Using your hands, lightly press the dough into a 12x12 square. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the dough. Roll the dough as you would if you were making cinnamon buns - you should have a nice log shaped loaf. Pinch the seam and ends closed.
  8. Take a large tea towel and sprinkle it generously down the middle with flour. Place the dough on the floured tea towel and sprinkle more flour on top. Wrap the dough with the tea towel and leave on the counter to rise for another half an hour.
  9. Before you cut the dough, preheat the oven to 425F. When oven is ready, cut the dough into 4 even pieces. Spread open the tops so the cheese is exposed. Place onto parchment lined baking tray with cheese side up. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

What great bread! I have never made bread with cornmeal before, and this was delicious! I love that there was cornmeal and whole corn in the recipe. :) This is a bit labour intensive, but sure is worth the effort. Such a unique bread and something you could mix up the flavours in over and over again. I bet some chipotle peppers would be delicious in this recipe too... the possibilities are endless. I will be making this one again!

Happy Baking my Friends! Enjoy. :)


The Daring Bakers Challenge - January 2011 - Biscuit Joconde Imprime/ Entremet

Since I joined the Daring Bakers in August I have constantly been amazed at the cool things we've made. I have conquered a number of culinary adventures that I never dreamed I would be able to complete. And then this challenge came along... it seemed so complex, so difficult, and as though I would never be able to successfully complete the challenge. I spent a few sleepless nights worrying about how this dessert would turn out...

The January 2011 Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Atheroshe of the blog accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert. You should check out her blog for some beautiful entremets - she is so very talented and really did host an amazing challenge!

Now, despite being more terrified and stressed out about a challenge than I have been since I joined, I really enjoyed making this dessert and most definitely will try it again. I would love to perfect this technique - it is such a beautiful way to present desserts for special occasions and always leaves people wondering how you achieved such beauty in a dessert! I chose to make individual desserts as I was having a dinner party that weekend, so I figured I may as well make them. Even if they looked ugly, at least they would taste good!
I layered a no-bake vanilla bean cheesecake which I adapted from my mother-in-law's go-to cheesecake recipe, with a chocolate-kahlua mousse. I topped with sweetened whipped cream and a small piece of joconde imprime. I found the mousse to be far too rich for my taste, however my husband really loved it as did my dinner party guests, so I think this may just come down to my personal preference. However, I would highly recommend the no-bake cheesecake recipe (please see below for details).
Since this is going to be such a long post, lets get on with the instructions. Be sure to read through all the instructions prior to attempting this recipe!!!! Maybe read through them a couple of times... :)

Step 1: Make the Joconde Sponge


  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 1/2 tsp white granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted


  1. In a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites and white granulated sugar to firm, glossy peaks. Reserve in a separate clean bowl to use later.
  2. Sift almond flour, confectioners sugar, cake flour in the dirty egg white bowl.
  3. On medium speed, add the eggs a little at a time. Mix well after each addition. Mix until smooth and light. Fold in 1/3 of reserved egg whites to lighten the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Do not overmix.
  4. Fold in melted butter.
  5. Reserve batter to be used later.

Next Step: Make the Joconde Paste to pattern your sponge:


  • 14 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups + 1 1/2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 7 large egg whites
  • 1 3/4 cup cake flour
  • food colouring gel or paste


  1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add egg whites. Beat continuously. Fold in sifted flour. Tint batter to desired colour (colours).
  2. Pipe batter into desired patterns on a silicone baking mat placed on an upside down baking sheet.
  3. Slide the baking sheet with the paste into the freezer for 15 minutes until hard.
  4. Remove from freezer. Quickly pour the joconde batter over the design. Spread evenly to completely cover the pattern of the decore paste.
  5. Bake at 475F until the joconde bounces back when slightly pressed, approx 15 minutes. It will bake fairly quickly, so do keep an eye on it.
  6. Cool. Do not leave too long or it will stick to the mat.
  7. Flip cooled cake onto parchment paper dusted with icing sugar, remove silpat carefully. Cake should be right-side up with your pretty pattern showing.

Next Step: Prepare the Molds for the Entremets:

  1. You can use a spring-form pan, biscuit cutter, ring molds, or PVC pipe cut approximately 3 inches high.
  2. Lay a piece of parchment paper on a baking tray. Stretch cling wrap over the bottom of the mold and up the sides. Be sure to pull it tight so it creates a smooth base for your dessert. Line the inside of the ring with a curled piece of parchment paper. Cut the paper to the top of the mold as this will make spreading the entremet layers easier.

Next Step: Preparing the Joconde for the Molds:

  1. Trim the cake of any dark, crispy edges. You should have a nice rectangle shape.
  2. Decide how high you want your joconde wrapper. Traditionally it should be about 1/2 the height of the mold.
  3. Once your height is measured, cut with a ruler into nice even strips. Besure strips are cut cleanly and ends are perfectly straight.
  4. Press the cake strips inside of the mold, decorative side facing out. Push and press the ends together to make a beautiful seamless ring around the mold.
  5. The mold is done and ready to fill.

No-Bake Vanilla Bean Cheesecake


  • 1 pkg light cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 envelope dream whip
  • 1 vanilla bean


  1. Beat cream cheese & sugar until smooth & fluffy. Stir in vanilla and vanilla bean seeds. Prepare dessert topping according to package directions. Fold into cream cheese mixture.
  2. Spoon into individual molds until cream cheese mixture comes up about 1/2 way to the top.
  3. Leave in fridge overnight to let cheesecake set. Then make the mousse.

Make the Kahlua-Chocolate mousse based on the mousse part of this recipe. Spoon on top of set cheesecake mixture and level the tops as best you can. Mousse should come all the way to the tops of each mold.

Serve by garnishing with whipped cream & chocolate shavings. Enjoy!

Wow! What a lot of work and a lot of steps! But it really was worth the effort. Despite not being perfect, they really were beautiful and so much fun to serve at my dinner party. Thank you so much Atheroshe for sharing such an amazing technique with us Daring Bakers. This challenge was oh-so-daring, but I learned so much and enjoyed every step of the way.

Happy Baking my Friends!


Maple Pecan Shortbread

So I know shortbread cookies are associated with the holiday season, but really, you can make shortbread any time of the year. I would encourage you not to make it all the time since it is quite high in fat and calories, but as a treat once in a while it should be just fine. This shortbread is extra special with the addition of maple syrup, toasted pecans and a little bit of orange zest. The cookies have a bit of an exotic edge to them while still maintaining the traditional shortbread texture and richness. Be sure to cut these cookies small - they're rich and you won't need more than a couple of bites to be satisfied.

These cookies are quick to whip up and they taste great - they're a real treat. Bring them to work and share them with your co-workers. They'll be really pleased - and if you cut them small, they won't be worried about not sticking to their healthy eating new years resolution!

Maple Pecan Shortbread
Recipe from Holiday Cookies (www.cuisineathomespecials.com)


  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • minced zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp maple extract
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted, chopped
  • icing sugar for dusting


  1. Whisk flour, cornstarch and salt together in a bowl. Set aside. Cream butter, brown sugar, and zest together in a bowl with a mixer until blended. With the mixer running, slowly drizzle in syrup and extract; beat until incorporated.
  2. Add flour mixture to butter mixture in 2 or three additions, beating at low speed just until combined. Fold in the nuts.
  3. Pat dough into an 8" square about 3/4" thick on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until richly brown around edges and golden in the center. Sprinkle a thick layer of icing sugar over the shortbread
  4. While hot, trim edges, then cut into 1" squares and let cool on the pan to room temperature. To serve, transfer shortbread to platter.

*Note: These cookies can be frozen for up to one month.

*Note: as you pat the dough onto the baking sheet, periodically dip your fingertips in a bowl of water. This will help keep them from sticking to the dough.

Give this recipe a try! You will love how quick it is to whip up and how deliciously unique this shortbread is.

Happy Baking my Friends!


Sauteed Mushrooms on Crostini

Starting to think about your Super Bowl party? Looking for some classy and delicious appetizers to serve to your guests that aren't the typical natchos that Superbowl parties are known for? Make this appetizer! It is so yummy tasting and quick and easy to make. This recipe is also versatile - pile it onto crosini for a simple appetizer, garnish a creamy soup with it, or top your barbequed steak with it! I am drooling right now thinking about how good this was.

Since I know you're busy and its a week night I will keep this post short! So - on to the recipe.

The Mushroom Thing
Recipe minimally adapted from The Girl Can't Cook

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 500g fresh wild and/or domestic mushrooms, sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • a bit of fresh thyme


  1. In a nonstick pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute, until the garlic just begins to colour lightly (not brown). Add the onion and cook a minute longer, then stir in the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
  2. If you are using any dried mushrooms in the mixture, cover them with cold water or white wine and microwave for 1 minute, then let them sit in hot liquid until they've rehydrated. Drain and combine with the fresh sliced mushrooms in the pan. Cook until the mushrooms give up their liquid and begin to colour, about 5-10minutes, then stir in the white wine. Cook until most of the liquid is gone.
  3. If using cream, stir it in now and continue cooking until the sauce is reduced and thickened. Season with the fresh herbs and serve with toasts or crusty bread. Makes approximately 2 cups.

Happy Cooking my Friends! Wishing you a great week... only 4 days left til the weekend! :D

Chocolate Banana Bread

I am always down for banana bread. Whats not to love? Sweet, light, fluffy and served warm it is just delicious. Now add a bit of chocolate to that mix and you've got a banana "bread" that can sub in for dessert in a pinch. The chocolate just adds that extra bit of decadence that takes this from a snack to a dessert. It really is a special recipe that even non-banana bread lovers will enjoy. Try out this recipe next time you have some over-ripe bananas hanging out in your fruit bowl (or freezer...).

This recipe is from Tyler Florence's cookbook - Tyler's Ultimate in the dessert section. I know his recipes usually involve dirtying every-other dish in your kitchen, but this one is different! You will only dirty two bowls (one of which could just be dusted out since it only holds dry ingredients) and the pan you bake it in. So if you're the kind of person who doesn't like baking because it makes your kitchen too dirty and you have to do too many dishes - make this recipe. You will be pleasantly surprised at how easy it is and how quick the cleanup is afterwards. You may just find yourself making this over and over again!

Chocolate Banana Bread
Recipe from Tyler's Ultimate

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened, plus more to grease the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (less if you use salted butter)
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 2 large egs
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I probably added about double that amount because I like my vanilla)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan (or any other baking dish the batter will fit in). Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in large bowl. In another bowl, cream butter until lightened in colour, then beat in the chocolate, eggs, bananas, and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Do not overbeat.
  2. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake until toothpick stuck into center of the bread comes out almost clean, 50-60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool at least 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

I hope you enjoy this recipe - I know our family did! The key is in beating the butter til fluffy and then not overbeating the batter after you add the dry ingredients. The batter doesn't need to be smooth - just make sure it is evenly moistened. Happy Baking my Friends! I hope you're enjoying your weekend. :)


Salad with Strawberries, Feta & Homemade Croutons

Alright, no show-stopping pictures tonight or elaborate recipes... just plain simple and tasty. Back to the basics! Here is a great salad to serve any time - slice up a grilled chicken breast, fan on top and drizzle with a nice balsamic dressing and you've got a quick, healthy and yummy weeknight dinner. No, your husband probably won't be crazy about it, but once a week won't kill him right?! He might even, *gasp* start to like "healthy" dinners! But, please don't hold your breath... I wouldn't want you to pass out from waiting for that to happen. ;)

Any way, I'll keep this post short so my attempt at humor doesn't drive you crazy and so you can get on with your evening. :)

For the salad: place some baby spinach in a bowl, top with some toasted sliced almonds, sliced strawberries, crumbled feta cheese and homemade croutons. Drizzle with a nice balsamic vinaigrete and enjoy!

To make your own croutons:
Take some day old bread or scones. Cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Place in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Season with 1/2 tsp each of ground cumin and oregano and 1 tsp of minced garlic (or a little garlic powder). Toss to coat the bread cubes with oil and seasoning, then place croutons on a cookie sheet ina single layer and oast in a 400F oven for 10-15 minutes, until golden and crisp. Season with a little salt and set aside. Croutons keep well in a plastic bag at room temperature.
*Crouton making instructions are courtesy of Cinda Chavich from the Girl Can't Cook cookbook. Feel free to use whatever spices you like though!

Happy Cooking my Friends!


Bocconcini Tied with Proscuitto

I, unlike my mother, love to entertain people - I love to cook and bake for friends and family. I don't know where I get it from, but it is one of my favorite things to do. When I entertain I always like to have a little something out for people to nibble on when they arrive to keep them satisfied until dinner is ready. Bocconcini Tied with Proscuitto serves that purpose very well!

First though, some interesting facts about bocconcini. Bocconcini is a very mild, unripened cheese. Because of how mild and soft the cheese is it takes on flavours very easily making it perfect for this starter which is flavoured by chili infused olive oil. Bocconcini originated in Naples where it was originally made only from milk of water buffaloes! How cool is that? The cheese balls are now made of a combination of water buffalo milk and cow's milk. In Italian the word Bocconcini is translated to mean small mouthfuls, which is exactly what they work out to be - they're about the size of a hardboiled egg. You can purchase Baby Bocconcini which are about the size of large grapes and I would recommend that if you can find them, you use them for this recipe.

Bocconcini Tied with Proscuitto
Recipe from Tyler's Ultimate, p. 30
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 heaping tbsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1 strip of orange peel
  • 12 baby bocconcini
  • 6 strips proscuitto
  • fresh rosemary and thme sprigs, for garnish


  1. Combine the oil, thyme, rosemary, chili flakes, and orange peel in a small bowl or jar. Set aside and let sit for at least one hour to allow the flavours to infuse.
  2. Wrap each bocconcini in a strip of proscuitto and use a toothpick to secure. Drizzle the bocconcini with the infused chili oil and garnish with fresh rosemary and thyme.

Oh, I think I forgot to mention how quick and easy this recipe is! It is perfect for when you're already busy as a bee in the kitchen and the last thing you feel like making is a labour intense starter for your guests. So, instead of instinctively putting out a bowl of chips, put these yummy bites out for your guests. Your guests will appreciate them and you will feel far better knowing you made them yourself!

Happy Cooking my Friends!


Peanut Butter Cups

Ready to have a treat? Afraid to make a whole batch? Make these mini peanut butter cups - decadent and satisfying with built in portion control. These got rave reviews in our house and will definitely get rave reviews in your house too! Another bonus? They're quick and easy and have a very short ingredient list. Freeze them so you can only have one or two in a sitting because you have to thaw them out before you can bite into them!

This recipe comes from one of my favorite baking books - The Best Bake Sale Ever by Barbara Grunes. Every recipe I've tried has been so delicious and there is something for everyone in this cookbook! This cookbook is also great for people who are involved in bake sales (willing or not!) - it has awesome packaging ideas, tips for setting up your bake sale table and advice on how to sell the most baked goods! I would highly recommend this cookbook for anyone who likes to bake.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cups
The Best Bake Sale Ever by Barbara Grunes

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 6 ounces semisweet or white chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup chopped candied or honey-roasted peanuts (I made homemade candied cashews instead)


  1. Line the cups of mini muffin baking pans with mini paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, with an electric mixer, mix together the peanut butter, graham cracker crumbs, and sugar. Mix the melted butter.
  3. Spoon the candy into the paper-lined muffin pans. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, or until set.
  4. Melt the chocolate in a microwave-proof cup in the microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth.
  5. Pipe the chocolate over the peanut butter cups. Sprinkle with the candied peanuts. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes longer, or until the chocolate has firmed up. Store in the fridge.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! I just love how easy and quick they are to whip up. :)

Happy Baking my Friends!


Picadillo Pot Pie

I love trying new recipes as you may have guessed if you follow my blog and I get sick of eating the same food all the time. I also love ethnic food and I was really excited when I came across this recipe for Picadillo Pot Pie - a classic dish with a South American twist! This is a great way to use up ground meat that you may have kicking around your freezer or for a vegetarian option, substitute a can of black beans. Serve this with a yummy salad drizzled with olive oil and lime juice and sprinkled with sea salt and fresh ground pepper and you're set.

Don't try making this on a week night after work though because it is a little time consuming to make and the last thing you want to be doing after work is spending hours in the kitchen (unless of course you're me)! You can also take the meat mixture and wrap it in calzone dough and bake it that way if you feel so inclined. Making the dish this way would be remniscent of South American empanadas. Whatever way you decide to make this yummy dish, you will enjoy the spice and new flavours it brings to your table.

Picadillo Pot Pie
Recipe adapted from the Guy Can't Cook by Cinda Chavich

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large red or yelow bell pepper, chopped (I omitted this, though it would be delicious)
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (or lamb, turkey, or chicken)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp crushed dried red chili pepper or 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 cups plain tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp lime juice or wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • one can black beans, rinsed and drained (the recipe called for a can of sliced black olives, but I wasn't too into that)
  • one 341ml can sweet corn
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup stone ground cornmeal
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp utter
  • 1 cup stone ground cornmeal
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided


  1. To make the filling, heat the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat, add the onion, garlic and bell pepper. Saute for 10 minutes. Add the ground beef to the pan, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until its no longer pink. Stir in the cumin, dried crushed chili, and chili powder. Add the tomato sauce, lime juice, cocoa powder, black beans, corn, raisins, and worcestershire. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes, then stir in the 1/4 cup of cornmeal and cook for a couple of minutes, until thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sample your filling - add a little more cayenne or a bit of chili paste if you'd like it hotter. Pour fillin into a shallow casserole dish.
  2. To make the topping, heat the water to a rolling boil in a saucepan, then add 1 clove garlic (minced) and butter. Use a whisk and stir constantly as you slowly pour the 1 cup of cornmeal into the boiling water. Immediately reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring for 5 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat and stir to cool slightly.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small blow, beat the egg with the baking powder. Quickly whisk this mixture into the cooked cornmeal, then fold in 1 cup of the grated cheese.
  4. Pour the topping over the filling in the casserole dish, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake at 350F for 45-55 minutes or until the top is set and lightly browned.
This recipe was a welcome change from all the meat and potatoes over the holiday season! What kind of recipes are you cooking in your home now that the holiday season is finished?
Happy Cooking my Friends!


Celebration - 100th post!

I am celebrating with sparkling wine & delicious cake tonight! Tonight marks my 100th blog post since starting A Tale of One Foodie's Culinary Adventures in June. I can't believe I've completed 100 posts already - I feel like I just started my blog. I hope you have had as much fun reading my posts as I've had writing them. I wasn't going to do much to celebrate, but I decided to make a cake today and decided to try my hand at doing a bit of basic decorating. Definitely need lots of practice, but it was fun to have a theme and something to celebrate, so here we are!

I've included some step-by-step photos of making the cake. Making the cake didn't require much technical skill, but it did have a number of components, but it was definitely do-able in an afternoon. I used frozen strawberries so my cake isn't as beautiful as it would have been had I used fresh berries, but it still tasted delicious. I also substituted cream cheese for the mascarpone cheese because that was what I had on hand. This cake is a great way to use up lots of whipping cream if you have leftovers!

Since I'm celebrating tonight, I'll keep this post short. You can find the recipe for the cake here. The ingredients are quite basic - I had everything on hand I needed to make the cake. No pesky trip to the grocery store required today! Basic ingredients also result in being able to make this cake on a budget which is always a nice bonus.

For sparkling wine we decided to go with Yellowtail Bubbles from Australia. It is a nice, medium-dry sparkling wine with a lovely finish. It is really reasonably priced - about $15 per bottle in the BC Liquor stores. Nothing too upscale, but it still tastes delightful and the bubbles are just so fun!

So lets raise our glasses! Thanks to all of my great readers for following my blog and providing feedback to me. I've had a great time posting all 100 of my posts and hope for many more posts to come in the future.
Happy Baking my Friends! See you soon.


Chicken with Creamy Pesto Sauce

I made this recipe a while ago and I am finally getting around to posting about it. This is a quick and easy recipe that is great to make on a weeknight after work. You'll be out of the kitchen in no time. Using a good quality bottled basil pesto will ensure your pasta has the best possible flavour. Evaporated milk instead of heavy cream adds creaminess without a lot of extra fat. Add some steamed vegetables to round out this dish and you've got yourself a quick and delicious weeknight meal.
I really enjoy the Classico Basil Pesto when I don't have time to make my own. Its flavourful and really reasonably priced in the grocery store. I know you're all busy and don't have time to read a rambling post, so I'll keep this one short and sweet. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did. The leftovers are great tasting - it seemed like the flavours really married so nicely when the dish had a chance to sit overnight in the fridge.

Chicken with Creamy Pesto Sauce
Recipe from Canadian Living Everyday Favorites, p. 212
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (384 ml) evaporated 2% milk
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto (or 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil)


  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate.
  2. Add onion, garlic, mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper; fry over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until no liquid from mushrooms remains, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add wine; cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Whisk flour into evaporated milk; add to pan and cook stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in pesto.
  4. Return chicken to pan, turning to coat. Simmer until no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes.
  5. Serve chicken over cooked pasta with steamed veggies.

This chicken was delicious and with how easy it is to make, you'll be relaxing in no time. And maybe your husband will like it so much he'll offer to clean up afterwards... haha Yeah Right!! Don't hold your breath.

Happy Cooking my Friends!