Tag Archives: Blogs

Sweet n’ Sour Cherry Pie: Simple Sassy & Super-Fast

Where do you stand in the current pie v. cake debate?  I have been noticing that there is a raging controversy regarding the respective merits of each iconic dessert category.

Risking the accusation of being wishy-washy, I refuse to opt for one over the other. I embrace cake for its chocolate, vanilla, mocha, caramel, and similar incarnations (though citrus and other fruit work well in cakes, too).  Pie highlights fresh fruit better, one can argue, yet there are exceptions,  e.g., chocolate cream, butterscotch, chess, and custard pies.

In the summer, I  tend towards pies and their fruit-based cousins, the grunts, slumps, cobblers, crisps, crumbles, pan dowdies, betties, tartes, and gratins (the last two hailing from the French side of the family).  But I will use berries I have picked and frozen for pies and their relatives during the winter.  I have been known to bake a cake or two in the summer for a special occasion.  So a seasonal delineation does not work for the pie v. cake battle in my kitchen, either.

I have always liked the idea of cherry pie, often much more than its reality.  As a child, I ordered it for its redness (my favourite colour) but, since then, I avoid it generally.  If I think there is any chance of a gloppy, gummy, artificially coloured, pre-made red filling, I will opt for another dessert. This is the sad state of cherry pie-dom in North American restaurants and bakeries, I hate to admit.  Pie should be a revelation, not a disappointment.

Sometimes life is just a bowl of sour cherries....

At our Saturday market last, I noticed a basket of gleaming sour cherries:  they were so bright and red and perfect that, on first glance, I thought they were the season’s first cherry tomatoes.  I had not known that our island had any of the sour cherries I had been fantasizing about lately, so I could bake a classic cherry pie.

So having purchased one punnit (or, basket, but I love this technical term), I decided to make a sour cherry pie. Later, I regretted not having bought more.  I needed far more than the eight ounces I had for even the most modest of pie filling recipes – beyond individual tarts, with which I did not want to fuss:  it is summer, after all.  I augmented the sour cherries with four ounces of sweet Lapin cherries I had on hand, from the Okanagan (fruit basket of British Columbia, since you asked). Then I decided on a top-crust only British-style pie I found in A Baker’s Tour, from baking guru, Nick Malgieri.  The juicy red filling I adapted from food-blogger-celebrity-diva, Deb Perelman, of Smitten Kitchen.

(I hope my blog buddy, Jackie, of the hilarious, creative, and informative site,  I Am A Feeder, will comment on this alleged British-top-crust-only pie habit.  This makes me recall the 1970s farce, No Sex Please: We’re British.  Maybe it should have a sequel, No Bottom Crust Please: We’re British.)

For the pie crust and filling recipe… Continue reading

Twelve Wonderful Food Blogs Worth Investigating: Spread a Little Bloggin’ Sunshine

What would your list of your twelve favourite food blogs look like? It was more challenging than I thought to create a roster of one’s top dozen sites.

The charming blogger, Ewa, of Delishhh gave me a “Sunshine Award”. She blogs from not-too-distant Seattle, is careful in creating good posts, and features some unusual examples of Swedish cuisine among her many recipes, so I really do enjoy her site. Ewa and I share a fondness for lingonberries (give them a try, people), but I did not expect such a nice compliment out of the blue. Thank you, Ewa!

Winners can copy and paste the above award for your site.

While I had noticed these cheerful badges on some blogs, I had not given much thought to the award. I now know more about the Sunshine Award. When one receives an award, she or he must:
1. Nominate 12 bloggers.
2. Put the award logo onto the sidebar or within a post.
3. Link the nominees within that post.
4. Let the nominees know they’ve received this award by commenting on their blogs.
5. FInally, link to the person from whom one has received this award

At first, I thought this seemed a bit like a chain letter or an online counterpart. For my younger readers, chain letters were sent via “snail mail” in “hard copies”. The letters arrived in something called “envelopes”. The enclosed printed epistles urged recipients to make 12 photocopies and send them to 12 people in order to have good luck and avoid doom n’ disaster. However, the Sunshine Award does not appear to have a dark side or any threatening aspect. The award is all about sunshine and love, right?

Jinja enjoys stretching in the sunshine.

I decided to focus on food blogs, either exclusively or, at least, in part, on gustatory topics. I also chose to highlight those sites which are not the big-name-celebrity-chef-baker-or-amateur-cooks-who-have-made-it-so-big-in-the-blogospere-that-they-have-book-and/or-movie-deals. (Tired of my excessively hyphenated adjectives yet?) As this honour is completely subjective – as opposed to some objective criteria for blog awards?!? – I wanted to include blogs by good friends as well as those of people I have never met except via blogging.

Here are my nominees: Continue reading