Back in the Day: Review

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I have books that languish on my shelves for ages before I make something from it. The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook is different. I keep reaching for it when I’m looking for something to make. To be honest, it had me as soon as I saw the “s’more pie” recipe. I was even willing to buy a kitchen blowtorch for it.

Cheryl and Griff Day own a bakery in Savannah and have compiled the recipes from the bakery into one sweet book. Southern comfort food is instantly obvious when you begin to flip through the pages. The recipes draw you in and you’ll want to make everything out of the book. I love the gorgeous photography and the way the authors take the time on instructing you on how to get the best results out of your baking.

The first recipe I tried was the s’more pie for my Western themed party. This chocolate was deeply intense (I used 70% cocoa) and I think a standard bittersweet (50-60%) would make the pie less rich. I had to scale back in using all of the meringue topping because it was already starting to look like it was a mile high. You can easily just make the chocolate pudding portion as a quick dessert option. This pie screams showstopper:

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Guinness Cupcakes with Irish Cream Frosting

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Originally published on sweetspot.ca

I’m smitten with Smitten Kitchen. Every time I visit the site, there is something that begs to be made.

In honour of St. Paddy’s Day, I tried the chocolate whiskey and beer cupcakes. This little cupcake is packed with a chocolate Guinness cupcake, filled with an Irish whiskey ganache and then topped with Bailey’s Irish Cream frosting. An incredibly moist and rich cake with a frosting that’s sweet, but not over the top.

I did run into some problems with this recipe:

  • There is such a thing as too much butter. When making the cupcakes, the batter separated resulting in an oozy layer of butter. I think I let the batter sit too long that caused the separation. Try having the eggs and sour cream already beaten to prevent this. Another solution is to use less butter, maybe 1/2–2/3rds the amount.
  • My ganache turned grainy. This was an easy fix, I just beat the mixture with an electric mixer until it was smooth as silk.

Despite these issues, the cupcakes turned out so well that I’ll be making another go at this for next year. Don’t fear the booze that’s in this recipe. You can only taste the Irish Cream in the frosting (don’t like Irish Cream? Replace it with milk or cream instead).

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Momofuku Milk Bar Bagel Bombs

Momofuku Milk Bar Bagel Bombs

I have a habit of going on cookbook binges and then having them sit on my shelf for ages without trying a recipe. It’s not that I do this intentionally, life just happens.

I never bought the Momofuku cookbook that everyone has sitting on their shelves. But Momofuku Milk Bar was instantly on my list when it came out. I can’t even tell you how long it has been sitting on my shelf before I used it.
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Links: Healthy meals to keep you on track

Black cod with swiss chard
Black cod with swiss chard from Bon Appetit cleanse

It’s almost the end of January, how is everyone doing on their resolutions? One of my goals is to eat healthier and cook dinner more often. The down side of eating better? My grocery bill has significantly gone up with all the fresh fruit and veggies I’ve been buying. It’s given me a better perspective on how some people just can’t afford to eat healthy.

I’m hoping this healthier eating doesn’t fizzle out so I’ve dug up some links to help me (and you) stay on track:

Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse: There’s no juice fasting with this cleanse, it’s for people who like to eat. Basically, it’s 14 days of eating the way you should be eating: no processed foods, less sweets, minimal booze. Even though they tell you not to have dairy, there were a few dishes that had yogurt and goat cheese. I’d like to see less of that in the next version. I didn’t do the full program because R doesn’t eat red meat and I’m pretty weak when it comes to resisting sweets. The menu is great for ideas and I enjoyed how it’s all planned out. The Black Cod (Sablefish) with Swiss Chard, lemons and olives earned a place on the fancy meals list. The breakfast recipes were easy to prepare and for the most part filling. However, 3 rye crackers with smoked salmon and avocado did not cut it for me as a breakfast. The Salted, seedy chocolate bark helped curb sugar cravings and so easy to make. Just melted chocolate (done in the microwave) and you sprinkle the toasted seeds on top. I want this chocolate in my fridge at all times.

Whole Living Action Plan: Another better eating action plan. This one is 21 days long with breakfast, lunch and dinner planned out. Recipes for me to try Blueberry Mint Smoothie and Baked Salmon with Coconut Broth.

Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl: A friend recommended this recipe from Oh She Glows. It’s a variation on a recipe from one of her favourite vegan restaurants in Calgary, The Coup.

Weekend Glow Kale Salad: I’ve only had kale chips which I love, but I’ve never had kale in a salad. I don’t like bitter greens, so I never wanted to try it. The recipe says this is for kale skeptics so it sounds like a recipe for me.

Chickpea, quinoa and roasted yam salad: I fell in love with this salad when I was recipe testing from the Whitewater Cooks with Friends cookbook.

Pear and Arugula Smoothie With Ginger and Walnuts: I’ve been using my juicer and my blender more lately. This NY Times recipe sounds like an interesting combo of flavours.

DIY Energy Bars: I’ve been looking for an energy bar recipe and The Kitchn has rounded up several. The DIY Power Bars looks especially good!

Raw Brownie: I haven’t made any raw recipes yet, but this looks pretty tempting.

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