Friday, October 29, 2010

Photography for the Gastronome

It is no secret to those who know me that I am obsessed with photographing food, both from my own kitchen, and also from local restaurants. What I lack is the knowledge and equipment of a professional food photographer.

While perusing the pages of the August 2010 edition of Food and Drink, I discovered that the newest "point and shoot" cameras now have a setting called "Cuisine Mode."  How perfect is this for a novice like myself? I also came across a good article on amateur food photography, which can be found here. I now have a voracious appetite for this new technology. It all sounds so yummy, doesn't it?

Retro cam photo from, Aug 2010 Food and Drink personal scan.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

St. Jacob's Market

Drive over an hour for a remarkable farmer's market? You bet.
St. Jacob's is well worth it.

First stop? To fuel up, of course. We didn't even make it past the first vendor. Good thing they were selling pierogies. 

Next stop? To source out the sweets. It took me 1.3 seconds to spot the vendor selling freshly made doughnuts with cinnamon sugar. I must find me one of these lovely doughnut fryers!

Again, I am glad this place is not within walking distance. It could prove dangerous to my backside. Post gluttonous doughnut behaviour, we set out to shop the produce. I

After making two trips to the car with food, we made one last stop in town at The Cake Box. This was our third "pit stop" for sweets. I must learn some restraint! This little shop is adorable.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dutch Apple Pancake

This is so easy and elegant! And so good! I slightly altered the William Sonoma recipe found here to be healthier.


1 apple, cored and cut into 1/2" slices
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
2 eggs, room temp
1/2 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
confectioner's sugar for dusting

1. Butter a 9" ovenproof pan/pie dish
2. In a fry pan over medium heat, melt 1 tbsp butter. Add the apple, cinnamon and sugar and saute, stirring occasionally until the aple softens and browns. Set aside.
3. In a bowl, using a whisk, beat the eggs. Add the milk and whisk until blended. Sift the flour into the mixture. Add the olive oil to the mixture and whisk until smooth.
4. Pour the battle into the prepared pan and arrange the apple slices on top. Bake until the pancake is browned and puffed up, about 30 minutes.  Dust with confectioner's sugar and serve immediately. Serves 2-4

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Your Style at Ethan Allan

I am not normally a fan of magazine or online quizzes that attempt to define some aspect of my personality. However, I will make an exception for the style quiz over at Ethan Allan which can be found here. Of course, I took it 7 times to check for consistency because I question things that present themselves as so final and conclusive. I know it’s just a style quiz. But why do I need to fit neatly into some sort of decorative box? I oscillate between a desire for flowing white curtains and wisps of lavender to bold colours and strong spaces. And that’s perfectly fine. I wouldn’t want it any other way. The following images are from the Ethan Allan website. 

As it turns out, my style over at Ethan Allan is primarily “estate” which they define as “an eternal American summer. Sporty. Charming. Breezy yet cultivated. A union of antique inspiration and geometric clarity. Civilization in peaceful coexistence with robust outdoor life. In the main house or the guest cottage, effortless elegance.” Pretty accurate description of my general preferences. " What’s your style?


Monday, October 11, 2010

Fall Drive: The Hills of Headwaters

The weather yesterday was perfect for a fall drive through parts of the Hills of Headwaters. I went a little camera crazy because the colours were absolutely gorgeous.

Coffee at Holtom's bakery in the Village of Erin. There was no way I was going to pass up on a homemade doughnut.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Chudleigh's Apple Farm = Baking Inspiration

This popular apple farm was packed with visitors last weekend even though it was raining and rather cold. And despite frozen fingers, the day at Chudleigh's was enough to inspire some home baked apple treats.

I went home with 5lbs of Toleman Sweet apples and serious cravings for sweet treats. I made baked apples marsala (found here). Insanely good. They almost feel healthy. Almost.

I also made a triple batch of multi-purpose butter cookie dough from the William Sonoma Food Made Fast series. I used one portion to make a rustic country style brandied apple and dried cherry tart (found here) and froze two disks for future tart endeavours. Gotta love easy and uncomplicated yet delicious recipes. 

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Perfect Pumpkin Cupcakes

After picking up an adorable cake stand at Home Sense for $10, and fitting it with candy corn grosgrain ribbon, I was eager to top it with some pumpkin cupcakes. Here is a recipe for the perfect pumpkin cupcake - spicy, moist and fluffy with a cream cheese icing. The recipe is super easy and the results are seriously addictive.

Mini Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing
- Makes 30 mini cupcakes

1 cup cake and pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ginger, allspice, nutmeg
1/2 cup salted butter (room temp)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Icing Ingredients:
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4 cup salted butter
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line mini cupcake pan with paper liners. Spray lightly with olive oil so the cupcakes don't stick.
2. In a large bowl, blend butter, both sugars and eggs until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin puree and vanilla.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together cake and pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices.
4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and whisk until smooth.
5. Fill liners with batter almost to the top. Bake 16 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.
6. To make icing, blend cream cheese, butter and confectioner's sugar until smooth and creamy.
7. When cupcakes are completely cooled, decorate with icing and sprinkles.

I'm absolutely in love with the decorative possibilities of this cake stand. The ribbon can be changed for any occasion and celebration, which makes it incredibly versatile and fun.

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