The Meringue Mountain Range (so-named for it’s remarkable resemblance to dreamy meringue topping) is a remote area of snow-covered glaciers and high-altitude peaks located in a seldom visited part of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
In this short video, you will have an incredible flying adventure. Experience the thrill of a close-up aerial flyover of the famed Mount Meringue—the highest peak in the Meringue Mountain Range. In this exciting flight, you will see rare, never before seen aerial footage of the fabled Meringue Mountaintops.
Lemons don’t grow here in Calgary but, happily for me, as soon as the first lemons of the season are picked in late January in California, bags of them start flowing into our local grocery stores. To me, lemons are like a taste of sunshine, and no more so than when I get my hands on that first fresh bag of lemons in mid-winter, as the bracing winds are still swirling the snow around—it’s a promise of the coming of spring. Isn’t it something that we have such easy access to something as amazing as a fresh lemon?
Making and enjoying a homemade Lemon Cream Tart is the perfect way to brighten up any day. Because the pastry loses some of it’s crispness after a day, this tart is best on the day you make it (not that that’s stopped anyone around here from devouring any meager leftovers). Sweet, lemony and creamy, this tart is definitely a crowd-pleaser.
Technically, it’s still winter, but more and more are the days starting to feel spring-like. This is the time of year I lose my winter penchant for hot drinks and hardy desserts and start to crave something lighter, like the fresh cherries I put up late last summer. It’s the perfect time to whip up a Cherry Eton Mess, a delicious, light, airy dessert reminiscent of the taste of summer. Cherry Mess is made by creating alternating layers of cherry compote, freshly whipped cream mixed with chunks of homemade meringue, and toasted sliced almonds. Prepare to swoon: one spoon of this beautiful mess is transcendent.
My homemade marzipan balls with orange blossom water and candied orange peel, dipped in white chocolate and garnished with chopped pistachios.
Seize the moment.
Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.
Chocolate-Covered Marzipan Balls
Chocolate and marzipan pair beautifully together. And nothing could be easier than rolling marzipan balls and dipping them into the chocolate of your choice. Make some of these, throw a few into a festive bag along with some Homemade Chocolate Truffles (see my previous post) and you’ve got a great gift.
“All you need is love.
But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
~ Charles M. Schulz
A Fabulous Gift to Give and Receive
High quality chocolate truffles are a chocolate lover’s dream come true. Made from only a few simple but perfect ingredients—good chocolate, heavy cream and a bit of butter—truffles impart their pure chocolatey goodness in one perfect, creamy, heavenly bite. The other great thing about truffles, that you may not know, is that they are fun and easy to make—albeit somewhat of a sweet chocolatey mess (which, of course, is the kind of problem one wishes to encounter more of in life). If you can bear to give any away, these Dark Chocolate Truffles make a lovely gift.
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.
In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
~ Julia Child
The Great Fruitcake Debate
The ultimate fruitcake—no, I’m not talking about me. I’m talking about that ubiquitous dense cake filled with nuts and dried fruit which materializes everywhere around the holiday season. The debate about fruitcake seems to know no neutrality: most either love it or despise it. I once fell into the latter camp—the fruitcakes of my youth were all dark, dried-out spice cakes containing bits of strangely coloured unidentifiable things. I could never abide it. Naturally, I concluded that I detested all fruitcake. But I was wrong.
“Cooking is at once child’s play and adult joy.
And cooking done with care is an act of love.”
~ Craig Claiborne
Almond Layer Cake with Orange White Chocolate Ganache Filling and Frosting
If you’re as crazy about anything with almond paste in it as I am, then this Almond Cake is definitely the cake for you. This dense, extremely moist cake is to-die-for delicious and it’s super easy to make. I’ve baked this cake many times and it has turned out perfectly every time. While I’m normally not attracted to cakes, especially frosted cakes, I’m nuts about this cake—the first morsel always makes me swoon.
These no fat, low sugar biscotti are one of my favourite little snacks. They go great with coffee or tea. While I love to bake, I’m not usually attracted to overly sweet things, so these cookies are the perfect little treat for when I do feel like something just a little sweetish. There is no butter or oil in these traditional Italian cookies. Biscotti—so named because they are “twice cooked”—are easy and fun to make and they store well in an airtight container for up to a month at room temperature (though I doubt that they’ll last you as long as that). Continue reading →
This post is humbly dedicated to my Japanese friend, Takami
“Love learning for its own sake,
and connect a wide array of ideas
from different fields of study and disciplines.
~ Robert Green
A Culinary Experiment: Making Soba Noodles
My partner and I are not professional cooks, but we do enjoy a fun culinary challenge. We’ve wanted to try making fresh homemade soba noodles since we came across a recipe for them in our pasta-making cookbook. Soba (そば or 蕎麦?) is the Japanese name for buckwheat. It is synonymous with a type of thin noodle made from buckwheat flour. Soba noodles are served either chilled with a dipping sauce, or in hot broth as a noodle soup (Wikipedia).
One does a whole painting for one peach
and people think just the opposite—
that the particular peach is but a detail.
~ Pablo Picasso
The Perfect Peach
Peaches are my favourite stonefruit. The perfect peach, for me, is tree-ripened and has never been refrigerated. Oh, it is so heavenly to eat—so juicy and succulent, it drips like honey when you bite into it. Best to enjoy one of these luscious fruits over the sink and not worry about the sweet honey nectar dripping down your beautiful face.
Cherry season is nearly at an end. But just before the cherries completely disappear from the markets, I like to put some up so that we can enjoy a bit of the summer sunshine embodied in those sweet fleshy red orbs come winter.
My favourite way to preserve cherries is to either candy them or make a cherry compote. Candied cherries have a higher sugar content and have a more concentrated, candied flavour, whereas cherry compote uses less sugar and has more of a fresh fruit flavour. Both are delicious, both are super easy to make (see my post on Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream for candied cherries), and both freeze incredibly well. If you love cherries, I recommend checking this recipe out and putting up some cherries—it’s such a treat to have in the middle of a cold winter.
Since everyone who tastes my cherry compote wants the recipe, I thought I’d post it. If you love cherries and still have some available where you live, do try making this—you’ll be glad you did. If you’ve already missed the fresh cherries for this season, you can make this compote any time of the year using frozen whole cherries from the supermarket.