Friday, December 31, 2010

Festive Vanilla Marshmallows

Hello wannafoodie readers! Caitlin here from Some of you may recognize me from the wannafoodie header (I'm the one wiping my mouth in the stripes). I'm so excited to give you a peek into the marshmallow-making date I had with Christine last week! I wasn't sure we'd be able to get through making two batches of marshmallows in my teeny-tiny kitchen, but our mission was accomplished.

I was first inspired to make marshmallows when I was thinking of a Christmas gift to give the members of my book club. I wanted to make them something that they could drink or eat while curled up with a book on a cold winter night. Homemade hot cocoa and marshmallows seemed like my most adventurous bet. So, armed with my laptop, I set out to find the most manageable marshmallow recipe I could and I stumbled across this recipe from the Joy of Baking. The first batch went off without a hitch and I invited Christine over to make a second batch for stocking-stuffers. We decided to adapt the original recipe slightly using vanilla bean pods and food colouring for a more festive and flavourful feel.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Caramelized Banana French Toast

I loved making french toast when I was younger. It was wonderfully satisfying and delightfully simple to make. Something so decadent about it. That lovely custard sopped up by a previously forsaken slice of stale bread... vanilla and cinnamon... sometimes some nutmeg... some sort of fruit, if I was so inclined... otherwise a healthy smear of butter and dosing of maple syrup. Perfection.

The sheer simplicity of this breakfast favourite almost made (and makes) me giddy with excitement. It's almost laughable how stale bread, some eggs, cream and some seasonings can transform into a ~$15 brunch item at a restaurant. This past weekend's brunch at home reminded me how easily I could compete, not pay $2 a cup for my much-needed gallon of coffee and eat in my pajamas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Poutine... (or gravy on the fly)

There are days when I feel completely less than virtuous as far as it comes to cooking... and certainly when it comes to eating. Oh yeah, these are the days where you just want to eat your stress. Or, eat your feelings as I joked to Amanda earlier today.

Ok ok... this is probably not how I should preface this little bit of tasty goodness. The truth is that eating broccoli doesn't always cut it. There are times when you need something unapologetically fatty or salty or sweet to satisfy that craving in your belly.

That said, I think that this is a slightly more virtuous version of one of my favourite stress-day indulgences... the glorious poutine. The fries are the baked fries from a few months ago... you can find those wonderfully squeeky cheese curds in any decent cheese market or deli section... and the gravy, while not laboured over while cooking a meaty chunk of something, is a step above a powdered version. Considering all of that, I will sit proudly, fork in hand, and enjoy every morsel of this satisfying treat.

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