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Mom’s Strawberry Pie–Recipe Review

Mom’s Strawberry Pie–Recipe

We all have foods that are part of our family’s history, like Grandma’s tomato sauce, or Dad’s mashed potatoes. This strawberry pie is one of our family things. While she didn’t develop the recipe, my mother perfected its execution and a June without this pie being served at least once, was just not the same. As I mentioned last week when I posted the recipe, this is the first of three versions of fresh strawberry pie that I will try out this month. When I say “fresh” strawberry pie, I mean both that the strawberries used are fresh...
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Apple Crisp–The Results

Apple Crisp–The Results

In April I tested a few versions of apple crisp. Although June is hardly the month for apple crisp, I’d like to resolve that particular recipe quest. Anna Olson’s crisp was good—the textures were all just right—but the pecan flavour took over. The recipe from the Simply Recipes blog was a disappointment, such that I can’t help thinking they must have got the size of the baking dish wrong. I managed to review both of those recipes (check out the reviews here and here.) But I never wrote up my review of Martha Stewart’s recipe, although I did try it out a...
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Leah’s Pasta alla Carbonara

Leah’s Pasta alla Carbonara

At long last I’m tying up a few loose ends from my April recipe quests, way back when I was testing recipes for cod au gratin, pasta alla carbonara, molten chocolate cakes and apple crisp. Over that month, I determined that the Canadian Living recipe for cod au gratin was just fine and needed no tweaking (although you could add onions if it suits your taste). And you can read my raves about David Lebovitz’s hot chocolate (aka molten chocolate) cake recipe, which needed no improving as far I was concerned. However, none of the recipes for pasta alla carbonara or...
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Recipe Review:  David Lebovitz’s Hot Chocolate Cakes

Recipe Review: David Lebovitz’s H

That David Lebovitz. He’s gotta be his own man. Most others call these molten chocolate cakes. But to Lebovitz, they are “Individual Hot Chocolate Cakes”. Well, a cake by any other name tastes as sweet, and I had only to glance at the instructions to know that we were talking about the same thing. I love David Lebovitz’s blog. I discovered it a year ago when we were in Paris on a family vacation. I was trying to find somewhere in that beloved city to buy kouign amann, or Breton butter cake, a flakey, caramelized butter and sugar concoction we...
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Recipe Review:  Canadian Living’s Cod au Gratin

Recipe Review: Canadian Living’s

At last! Time to pit my old standard cod au gratin recipe against the others and see how it holds up. The recipe I usually use is from The Canadian Living Cookbook. I find the Canadian Living cookbooks to be very reliable–they are go-tos in my kitchen, kitchen encyclopedias, as it were, much like The Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook is for many people. The Canadian Living recipe for cod au gratin differs from others I have seen. The cod is oven-poached in milk until it is flakey. The milk is poured off the fish and used to make the béchamel sauce. ...
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Simply Recipes’ Apple Crisp

Simply Recipes’ Apple Crisp

Simply Recipes is a food blog run by Elise Bauer. It’s a well known blog and Bauer is also the founder of the Food Blog Alliance. So although she may not be as well known as Anna Olson and Martha Stewart, whose recipes I’m also testing, Bauer’s got some creds. I was a bit surprised to see that Simply Recipes’ apple crisp calls for a 9 x 12 inch baking dish. Most crisps tend to be made in a 9 x 9 or 8 x 8 dish. If the ratio of the ingredients is increased accordingly, it shouldn’t be a problem. But that’s not the case here. The...
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Mario Batali’s Pure Italian Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Mario Batali’s Pure Italian Spaghe

Mario Batali, the well known Italian-American chef, is a purist when it comes to his spaghetti alla carbonara. He uses eggs only–no cream–and offers instructions on how to cure your own hog jowls, should you want to go more authentic than bacon or pancetta. I opted for bacon, even though I used pancetta when testing Giada De Laurentiis’ version, because it’s the sauce I’m really interested in figuring out. How do I replicate the mouth-warming heartiness of the best carbonaras I’ve eaten? Batali’s recipe uses four separated...
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Michael Smith’s Molten Chocolate Cakes

Michael Smith’s Molten Chocolate C

Double boiler for melting chocolate. If you’ve ever seen Michael Smith’s show Chef at Home, then you probably know how he encourages home cooks to enjoy cooking, and not be afraid to wing it a bit. He often foregoes the measuring cup, favouring the eyeball method. I can’t help but love his approach for how it supports the whole idea of recipe experimentation. But for this recipe quest, especially since it is a baking one, I’m sticking with the exact measurements. Michael Smith’s molten cake recipe includes egg whites, sans yolks, whipped...
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Cod au Gratin Goes Cosmopolitan:  Review of Rock Recipes

Cod au Gratin Goes Cosmopolitan: Review

The second of the cod au gratin recipes I’m testing is from Rock Recipes. I have to admit that I’m rooting for this recipe because the creator, Barry Parsons, is a food blogger from St. John’s, Newfoundland, the home of cod au gratin. Parsons has changed things up with the addition of several ingredients that are anything but traditional. Parsons’ twists include savoury, which is a very traditional herb in Newfoundland. However, he also suggests the not-so-common-on-the-rock substitutes of dill or tarragon. I used tarragon, as I still...
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The Crispiest Crisp of Them All

The Crispiest Crisp of Them All

Sugar, by Anna Olson, is one of my favourite cookbooks. I love me my desserts. Although I have tried many of the book’s recipes, I had never tried the one for fruit crisp. Olson’s is a blueberry/pear crisp, but she says the topping works with any fruit. Taking her at her word, I tried it with apples. The unusual thing about this recipe (for which the ingredients are listed here) is that the crisp includes pecans and cornflake crumbs. Pecans just happen to be my favourite nut, so no sales pitch needed. The cornflakes are a harder sell. But as Olson...

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