Okay, eagle eyes, this is not a cookie recipe! But for something as impressive as these chocolate bark variations, it was too easy for me not to share it with you in the run up to the holidays. If you've got people coming over this weekend or early next week, this is a pretty impressive sweet to lay on them after dinner or a gorgeous treat to wrap up in a small tin.
I was a bit nervous to make bark as I have limited experience working with chocolate. But after spending some time reading what David Lebovitz and Stephanie Jaworski have to say, and taking a walk down the street to the awesome Soma Chocolate to pick up some spectacular ingredients I felt prepared. What turns out to be the only tricky part is tempering. So, when you buy a nice bar of chocolate and it's a bit cool to the touch, it's shiny and doesn't melt the second you touch it — that's because it's been tempered. When chocolate looks dusty or grey? It's not bad, it's that the cocoa butter has just risen to the surface. You could absolutely make bark without tempering it, but it wouldn't be quite as glossy and or have the nice snap you get from tempered chocolate. Read more
Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for holiday entertaining? Like, a recipe that knocks people out? Or a signature cocktail you hand people as they come in the door? I'll be honest, I don't have a lot. And when I think of the parties that people used to throw — those parties your parents had that you observed through the banister before you were shooed off to bed — were made of up those little details. My mom used to make these appetizers — pastry turnovers filled with mushrooms that she'd serve warm at parties. They were insanely good. I've decided I need a few of these retro-inspired recipes in my roster this year. And so, meet my new favourite things: warm, tuna-stuffed tomatoes.
I decided to use Cloverleaf's Tomato & Onion tuna, which gives you a great starting place in terms of flavour. I made up a simple mixture using the tuna, mayo and mustard, some celery and scallions for texture and cheese for a melty finish. I wanted something you could eat in one bite so I decided to try Campari tomatoes — you know the kind that are about the size of a golf ball? These are really quick to make and they are definitely going to be the new trick up my sleeve. Served warm, they're super yummy, not too filling and have exactly the retro vibe I was going for.
When I gave Esme one after school (one didn't cut it and she ended up eating four!), she said, "These would be so great to serve at a party." Exactly. Read more
It's comfort week and I could easily spend our time together in this post complaining about the polar vortex snap that hit Canada, and most of the mid-west States, this week. However, it's too obvious of a complaint and it's also WAY too early for fussing about winter, especially since it's not technically Winter yet. Instead I'll get back to my regularly scheduled whining about the random circumstances in my day that make me cry. Recently, while I was doing a household chore that I dislike nearly as much as chipping ice from my windshield, I thought about how much extra time I'd have each week if I didn't have to go back to the grocery store for that one thing I forgot or if I didn't have to spend 30 minutes opening and closing the tray of our home printer to correct the mystery "error" that is causing the machine to hold the last few pages of Scarlett's current events project hostage. You know, the copies of the articles we needed, like, yesterday. I bet I could fit in that manicure I so desperately need with all my found time. Now that's what I call a comfort week!