Since I was about fourteen, I have spent many afternoons imagining that Martha Stewart was hovering over my shoulder, guiding me. She has helped me learn how to roast a turkey, make various types of pastry, how to properly hold a chef’s knife, how to make fresh pasta, how to make stock, and much, much more. She was my inspiration when I first started out in the kitchen and my first reference most times when I want to try something new.
Though I may reside in the city, at heart I believe I am a bona fide cottage-goer. I love the planning, the packing, the driving, the arrival, the unpacking, the stay, the clean up, and even the long, weary trip home. I think what does it for me every time is the truly magnificent eats we always manage to have. My parent’s cottage kitchen is about 3 feet wide by 7 feet long – it is an original “galley” kitchen. There are no fancy gadgets and not a heck of a lot of space, but some of my most memorable meals have been prepared in that kitchen. Something special happens to food once it travels north of the city; it takes on a new fascination for me, a whole new meaning and of course an entirely new flavour.
When I got married a few years ago I vowed not to cheat on my husband; never to love another the way I do him. I pledged a few other things as well (like to not irritate him too much and to make him breakfast on the weekends) but the “love” one is the promise causing me some difficulty today. When I started this blog I swore to myself that I would not allow it to enter into my private life too much, that I would avoid blogging about the really delicate facets of my existence. I am about to break these two very important covenants.
I grew up in a house where dessert was never an after-thought. That sweet, final touch to each evening meal was something we were guaranteed to get, no matter the occasion – or lack thereof. Dessert to my family is something you don’t dare question or forget, you indulge in it, enjoy it and most of all you’d better not forget to bring it.
Those who know me well know I am a huge tea drinker. Actually, just about any hot beverage appeals to me, but tea seems to be at the top of my list lately. I used to be a chronic java addict, but I tried to give up coffee last summer while in the hospital (not a difficult task when the coffee is as bad as it is in there). It stuck for a while but these days I find a cup of coffee every now and then is a lovely indulgence.
I think that teeny, tiny desserts are a fantastic way to end a meal. Such sweetness and delicate flavours all tied up in a cute little package to present to your dinner companion(s). I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a book of mini desserts for a while now…and finally I found one.
The mother-and-daughter team who wrote the amazing baking book, “The Whimsical Bakehouse” are now tempting us with plenty of wonderful new recipes for tiny cakes, cupcakes, tiered cakes, cheesecakes, pound cakes and muffins – and ingenious ways to decorate them (think mini cakes that look like bowls of popcorn, ice cream cones, hats, and even baskets of flowers).
I was asked recently what some of my favourite cookbooks were – a friend was looking for ideas for Christmas presents for a few of her foodie friends. This was a question I have pondered before and I always end up saying something like “all cookbooks are great!” or “anything by Martha Stewart is always good”.
Well, not this time.
I’ve decided to start a “reviews” section on my site and I am going to list some of my favourite and possibly even a few of my not-so-favourite cookbooks and will review a few of them along the way. So stay tuned for more reviews in the near future and an evolving list of my all-time favourite cookbooks.