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We learned that a cast iron skillet works in a pinch if you run out of pie dishes. Pardon the mess, but these beauties are ready for some heat.

I didn’t really grow up eating pie – savoury or sweet. And even now, pie only makes an annual appearance in our kitchen  – in the form of apple pie, made from scratch, of course! (Which by the way, is easy as pie.)

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The use of our new pasta machine = success!
We are now in dire need of more semolina and eggs.

We inaugurated our newest kitchen toy in the company of friends (thanks J & S for driving all the way from Toronto), and ended the pasta meal with my second attempt at tapioca pudding. This time, I 1/2-ed the eggs, substituted 1/2 of the milk with water, and slightly decreased the amount of tapioca. Much more to my liking, although the boy preferred the first, more custard-y version. He is of course, more than welcome to make it his way if he decides to tackle the (easy-to-make) dessert.

I haven’t forgotten: I’m still working on the massive post on our Mexico trip.

For now, enjoy the fun wordcloud generated by wordle.


I had tapioca pudding for the first time 2 weeks ago in Mexico.

I’d argue that my childhood wasn’t deprived at all; it’s just that I grew up on a Chinese version of this. Sai mai lo (one of my favourite desserts since childhood) is a thinner, non-custard soup-like dessert served warm or cold. Taro is a common ingredient, there’s often coconut milk involved, and it’s sweetened with rock sugar. I’m adamant about the taro part, so I never make sai mai lo unless there’s taro in the kitchen.

Being in London, I haven’t gone out of my way looking for taro. Which means we have tapioca pearls kicking around in the cupboard. Which means I can make tapioca pudding! I gave this recipe a try after borrowing sugar from a neighbour (I’d finished soaking the tapioca and realised we had none), adding a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon. I didn’t care for it warm: too custardy (my bias for sai mai lo), too salty (I’ll half the salt next time), to milky (sai mai lo incorporates water). Chilled overnight, all of that unpleasantness disappeared. I’m looking forward to tweaking this till perfection…

pie! first ever lattice top was a success

Holiday huzzah! The boy and I had planned on hosting a dinner party last Sunday before the mass exodus from London (ours included). With our love of wining and dining guests/friends, we naturally started the cooking craze mid afternoon and guestimated (teehee) for 5. Honey-wasabi roast chicken! Roasted potatoes with onions and green peppers! Green salad! Apple pie!

Sadly, our friends failed to show (they had valid explainations, and we’re no longer too upset at them). Pick-me-ups that evening included homebrewed porter and wheat beers, a few episodes of House and Family Guy, and a bath.

Not all was lost – leftovers made fantastic lunches.
And I managed a mostly decent looking pie for my first ever lattice top.

[repost from chanlindsay.blogspot.com]

I was commissioned to whip up a dessert for a dinner party of sorts on the 26th – so after much deliberation and clicking through recipes at epicurious.com, I’ve settled on making a double chocolate torte to impress family friends I haven’t seen since last December. It’s supposed to turn out something like this (operative words here = “supposed to”):


Of course, it being Christmas and all, everything’s closed tomorrow (well, today, technically), and of course, me being a talented procrastinator, I make a mad dash for Loblaws earlier this afternoon before their early 6pm close, only to find that they had no bitter- or semi- sweet baker’s chocolate. So off to Price Chopper, where I left in glee – not only did they have the stuff I needed, everything was ridiculously cheap. (250g philly cream cheese = 1.50$!! There’s definitely going to be some sort of cheesecake concoction next week, and I think I’m going to expand beyond the tried and true lime almond cheesecake and look for something more festive…) Anyway, I don’t end up on the kitchen floor until 10:30(ish), and I realised I needed butter. And that everything was closed. (Where’s a dep when you need one?) I finally find a 24hr Rabba that was still open. Which, of course, was fabulous. After all of that effort, this better be the best damn chocolate cake! Tomorrow, it’ll be cheesy Christmas songs (I’m still not feeling festive, and we’re almost 3 hours into xmas day already, so maybe that’ll do the trick?), and me versus the cake, part II: chocolate mouse.