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Where did Summer Go?

9 Sep

     

Wasaga Beach Sunset

    

OK, so I may have misled you people.  I promised to me back to blogging and well, I did not live up to my promise.  So here I am sitting at my desk at work at 7:15AM in the morning, with a little time to spare before my workday starts at 7:30AM and I was thinking about my little blog and serious lack of recent (can you say, “understatement”?) entries.  I should not have committed to updating in my last post.  What I should have done was just take post that I was taking the summer off. Which I did kind of, I mean I did work but I did spend a lot less time in the kitchen.  The reason…pretty simple actually…it was so bloody hot this summer and the thought of turning on that oven was just as appealing as watching paint dry.  We live in a very old house so we only have two window AC units, therefore, the house it still relatively warm.  I mean it was so hot that I actually went to sleep downstairs on the couch to get some relief.  But now the weather is changing the mornings are cool and frankly there is no excuse for me anymore.  I’m actually looking forward to getting back in the kitchen with my camera, during the summer I have collected like a zillion recipes and bought a few (read half a dozen) new cookbooks.  I find I always do a lot of baking in the fall and winter which is great except for the fact that when I do my baking after work it tends to be dark out already, so I’m limited in how much natural light I can shoot in.   

 Well enough about me.  I hope you all had a great summer.  I personally love the heat and with a proper AC unit I could probably live in warm climate all year-long.  If you’re still around I thank you and I will get back to blogging soon.   

 In the meantime let me share with you some pics from my summer!  

   

 

Sun setting in Varadero

   

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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

Apple Pie

8 May

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I love all things pie, but I never really ventured into the land of pie making until this year…especially Apple Pie. I have only ever made two types of Pie in the past, either Lemon Meringue or Cherry Pie.  We have a cherry tree in our front yard that boasts the most perfect and sweet cherries imaginable.  So it’s only natural that I make Cherry Pie, which has become one of my favourites.

But for some reason I had never before attempted to make Apple Pie until this year when my husband (Anthony) requested it. I was always worried about making a double crust pie, and I am partial to butter crusts so I wasn’t too sure how an Apple Pie would turn out.  I used my basic pie recipe (recipe to follow) and really don’t follow a recipe for the filling.  I do always use Granny Smith apples; I prefer their firm texture and keep its shape nicely when baking.  Granny Smith do tend to me more tart, so I do add a little extra sugar.  Another trick that I picked up is to scatter some bread crumbs on the bottom crust before putting in the filling; this will prevent a soggy crust.

I made this particular pie posted here for a dinner party, and it was a huge success!

Recipe to follow after the jump 🙂

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