Monthly Archives: January 2013

Monthly Miettes: Crème Fraîche Scones

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Miette (recipes from San Francisco's most charming pastry shop)

Kicking off our return to Monthly Miettes, Aimée from Food, Je t’Aimée tasked us with making Crème Fraîche Scones. Apparently, these scones are no longer sold at Miette bakeries but due to popular demand the recipe was included in the cookbook. Crème fraîche is added in order to provide the dough with a slight tang to compliment the lemon zest, and also to keep the scones nice and moist. Delicately treating the dough along with the stipulated technique of freezing the scones prior to baking gives these Miette favourites their famed flakiness.

Ingredients for Crème Fraîche Scones

I was excited. My hubby loves scones and I had promised the girls a special tea party for their teddy bear picnic. The stage was set for success. Unfortunately things don’t always go as planned…

Too Dry!

Crème Fraîche Scones

Right off the bat I knew the texture of the dough was off. I mixed the dry ingredients with the butter until it looked like cornmeal, but after adding the crème fraîche and heavy cream the dough was still too dry. The recipe says it should look “undermixed and crumbly” but with 3 ½ cups of flour with a mere 1/3 cup each of crème fraîche and cream there just wasn’t enough liquid. So I added more cream. And then some more. But despite the additional liquid when I pressed the dough into the pan I quickly decided it was nothing more than a hopeless mess.


Frustrated at yet another flawed recipe in a book that continues to underwhelm me, I cut my loses and dumped the dough.

But scones had been promised and scones were expected so scones there would just have to be!

Crème Fraîche Scones (recipe from epicurious)

In the end I found a fabulous recipe on epicurious which turned out so well I am adding it to my collection of family favourite recipes. Served with strawberry jam and some Devon cream it was pure heaven. As for the Miette recipe, I hope the other blogger have more success. I’m not ready to give up on this book! Let’s hope next month’s results are better.

For more information on Monthly Miettes or if you’re interested in participating, please visit Food: Je t’Aimée 




Muffin Monday: Maple Apple Muffins

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Maple. Apple. Cinnamon.

These three flavours are cast in lead roles for this week’s muffin recipe, and the results are definitely worthy of a curtain call!

The original recipe hails from The Sweet Chick, and is a straightforward recipe that blogger Carole created specifically for her daughter who wanted to bake apple cupcakes. Despite the initial inspiration to make cupcakes, purists can rest easy knowing that this recipe is not one that blurs the line between cupcake and muffin. There is no denying its muffiness in terms of texture and lack of icing.

Maple Apple Muffins

The oatmeal/cinnamon/brown sugar/butter topper provides a nice crunch to the muffins without being overwhelmingly sweet. To heighten the flavour of cinnamon in the topping I decided to add cinnamon chunks, something I highly recommend trying with this recipe. The bits of apple softened beautifully after baking, and the Greek yogurt kept the interior nice and moist. Basically think apple pie in the form of a muffin.

Muffins don’t get better than this my friends!

For the original recipe we used in this week’s Muffin Monday, please visitBaker Street

Maple Apple Muffins

Don’t forget to visit Baker Street’s site and be sure to check out what the other food bloggers have baked up this week!

Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.

COOKBOOK REVIEW Vegetarian Entrees That Won’t Leave You HUNGRY

Review written & photographed by Jordan A.R.

Vegetarian Entrees That Won’t Leave You HUNGRY is available for purchase through our online store or at local bookstores. For more information on this book please visit Thomas Allen & Son.

Vegetarian Entrees That Won't Leave You HUNGRYLukas Volger’s book Vegetarian Entrees That Won’t Leave You Hungry (published by The Experiment, $17.95 USD) confronts a prevailing misconception that, without meat, a meal lacks the power to fill you up. Not only does Volger provide recipes that prove the heartiness of vegetarian cuisine, he does it without any pomp. An approach I found refreshing. His writing is both honest and friendly, offering easy to follow recipes that also encourage you to try a few twists of your own.

Throughout the book are scattered little tutorials on subjects that vary from soups and dressings to hosting dinner parties and cooking just for one. The eclectic list of recipes guarantees that you’re bound to find something you’ll want make, whether it’s homemade paneer, kimchi, pizza, or just a simple salad.

Bulgur Salad with Kale & FetaCassoulet with Tomato-Roasted Carrots & ChardRiesling Poached Pears



Cookbook review written & photographed by Stay-At-Home-Chef

Good Food to Go (cover image)Good Food to Go is available for purchase through our online store or at local bookstores. For more information on this book please visit Random House of Canada Ltd. 

For some reason I always find it difficult to get back into the swing of things after the winter break, especially when it comes to packing school lunches. The initial excitement and lunchbox creativity that heralded the arrival of September has completely worn off and I find myself searching for inspiration. Luckily this year I knew just where to turn!

Good Food to Go (published by Random House, $19.95 USD) is one of those books that you will turn to again and again when searching for new, healthy lunch ideas for your kids. Visually it comes across as quite unassuming, but don’t let the lack of book ‘bling’ deter you from adding it to your cookbook collection. Just look at my copy – completely littered with sticky notes and folded over page corners.

Good Food To Go

When it comes to packing kids’ lunches, there are a lot more pressures compared to when I was a child. For example; healthy homemade food, BPA free environmentally friendly containers, everything must be nut-free, oh and yeah your kids have to actually like the food. Talk about a tall order for busy parents!

Good Food to Go contains great advice on how to get your kids more involved in packing their own lunches, effectively utilize leftovers, helpful meal planners to prevent getting into a lunch rut, and a great list of pantry essentials. I love the sidebars littered throughout the book that include lots of interesting nutritional facts/information, food preparation tips, and suggested ingredient variations and substitutions. The information is well researched by authors with years of training and experience in nutrition and pediatrics.

The book is divided into the following sections: Getting Started, Vegetables & Fruit, Sandwiches, Picnic-Style Lunches & Snacks, Soups, Super Salads, Encore Performances (leftovers), Baked Good & Desserts, and After-School Snacks. I must admit that I found the index to be quite frustrating to navigate, as it is structured around themes so when searching for a particular recipe it was often difficult to find. Also, Good Food to Go closely follows Canada’s Food Guide, so be prepared to have that particular agenda promoted throughout the literature. That being said, if you happen to follow a vegetarian/gluten-free/dairy-free lifestyle it is easy to make the necessary adjustments.

The authors argue that the fast paced culture of North American family life in combination with easy access to cheap, processed food continues to result in poor eating habits and a steady increase in health related concerns such as child obesity.

I couldn’t agree more.

As we continue to work extended hours and cram even more extracurricular activities into our children’s already over scheduled lives, it can become difficult to find the time to prepare healthy home cooked meals.

Scary stuff. Perhaps that’s why the thing I love most about this book is that it provides readers with practical, affordable, and easy strategies for packing nutritious lunches within the confines of our already busy schedules and tight budgets.

I have come to rely heavily on this book as a source of inspiration when it comes to food for my kids. All of the recipes I have tried so far have turned out wonderfully, and as I prepare to return to the world of full-time work I know I will reach for this book often.

Cinnamon Loaf (slice)Fruit Filled Jell-O FingersToasted Whole Wheat Pita Chips & Homemade Hummus