Archive | October, 2009

Chestnut Cake

29 Oct

I love when the seasons change, there’s always a different variety of foods to choose from and I find that my pallet also changes with the season.  The summer staple of berries is replaced with apples and tangerines, I don’t know why but those seem like winter fruits to me.  I’m pretty sure it was the way I was brought up. 

As the winter months and the holidays approach I also find that I start baking with different ingredients.  I so cannot wait for the holidays to make gingerbread; sure I can make it all year round but it just doesn’t taste the same in the sweltering summer, know what I mean?

Yesterday I was inspired to try something different using something wintery, what’s more wintery then chestnuts.  There’s this great shop, Consiglio’s my place that sells an array of Italian products (did I mention I live in one of the two little Italy’s in Toronto?).  This is my go to place for Italian goodies, so naturally that’s where I went when I was looking for chestnut flour I needed for a recipe I found on a great Italian blog; Menu Turistico

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Italian Apple Cake

20 Oct


You know that feeling you get when something triggers a memory and you’re suddenly transported back to your childhood? 

It can be something as simple as the smell of bubblegum, for me it was a little Italian recipe book from Bertolini that my mom has had for years.  I was over my moms the other night and I asked her for her apple cake recipe or torta di mele.  She then came back with this little recipe booklet that I haven’t seen in years. 

Aside from the great recipes it holds, the one thing I remember most is the story at the end of the booklet, the story of Maria Rosa. As a child I used to beg my mother to read it to me over and over again, I loved the characters, the pictures and of course the story.   Flipping through the pages I felt like a little girl again in my mother’s kitchen, I almost asked her to read it to me …almost.   The booklet itself according to my mother is 40 years old and she has kept it in pretty good condition.  I asked her to borrow it so that I can scan it to have a copy for myself (not sure if I am breaking any copyright laws here, no copyright notice on the booklet itself). 


The first recipe I made was the Torta Di Mele or Apple Cake.  My mom has been making this for years and everyone who tastes it asks for the recipe.  Continue reading

Lemon Cranberry Bread

15 Oct

I love this time of year, the crisp cool morning air, the leaves change colour, the approaching holidays.  What’s not to like, well aside from a bitter Canadian winter?  I’m not quite sure if it’s embedded in our human genetic makeup passed down from the caveman, but as soon as the temperature dips slightly I feel the need to eat everything around me as if preparing for a long hibernation.

Here’s where it gets tricky for me.  It’s been about a year now that I have been watching my weight, and I’m proud to say I have lost a significant amount.  Funny enough I started this endeavour during the fall of last year, Halloween was difficult and then came the holidays.  I told myself that if I can make it past the holidays and not give into temptation then I can really do this.  And I did.  You may be asking me, “Anna, why have a blog about baking, or how can you even bake at all?”  Well the answer is actually pretty simple, I do it to test myself and oh yeah I love baking & cooking.  Continue reading

Weekend baking…for dinner!

5 Oct

What we have here is a cake, but not your typical cake or maybe it’s a pie…after all it does have a crust, but it’s also layered, confused yet? 

This is a potato “cake”; I’ve been making this for years.  It’s one of those recipes that’s been in my family for decades, my mom made it, my grandmother made it and now I’m making it.  I learned not from a recipe but by watching my mom.  The only difference between my version and that of my mom’s it that she puts the bread crumb crust on the top of the cake and I out it on the bottom. 

This cake boasts two luscious layers of mashed potatoes, sandwiched in between is homemade salami (I’m Italian, is there any other kind of salami?) , mozzarella, hardboiled egg and parmesan cheese.  It’s assembled and baked to delicious goodness in a 9-inch spring form pan. Continue reading

It’s almost the weekend…

2 Oct

Stacked pancakes by you.

I almost consider Friday part of the weekend.  It’s the Eve before the official weekend starts, and doesn’t everyone celebrate Eve’s…there’s Christmas Eve, New Years Eve…and that’s about it.  Come to think of it we should definitely have more Eve’s or we can just make them up like I do.  This post is in honour of Saturday Eve.

There’s nothing I look forward to more than sleeping in on Saturday mornings.  I get up around 5:30AM everyday to go to work and so the thought of sleeping in until 8:30AM is bliss.  Anthony and I have a Saturday morning routine, I make pancakes.  It’s just an unspoken thing between us that has developed over our 8 years of marriage (yikes!). Continue reading