Tasting the Past – Flora’s Chocolate Molasses Cookies

Voilà! Flora's molasses chocolate cookies.

Voilà! Flora’s molasses chocolate cookies.

Searching the battered blue notebook for a dessert last to bring over at friends proved to be quite intriguing. Flipping through the pages, I stumbled upon four variations of a molasses cookie. I opted for the one that contained chocolate.

This would prove to be quite the kitchen experiment: only the ingredients were listed. There was no method… none whatsoever. I would have to wing it, conduct a bit of research, tweak the recipe if need be. continue reading

That time we were on the cover of Covet Garden magazine

Cover page of Covet Garden magazine

Covet Garden cover boys. Photo: Naomi Finlay

Welcome to our home!

My partner and have been featured in the February edition of Covet Garden, a Toronto-based online publication. Each month, the magazine explores a home and gives of glimpse into the lives of the people living in it.

It is Australian-born and Toronto based photographer Naomi Finlay’s lens captured the essence and warmth of our home. We enjoyed opening up our home to publishers Lynda Felton, Jessica Reid and Rhonda Riche

It was quite a treat to share anecdotes of our thrifting road trips throughout southern Ontario, and elsewhere across Canada. Our issue shared our love for Canadiana and all things vintage.

There was an obvious stop into our kitchen that featured our fondness for Fiestaware. We were also able to share our undying love of coffee!

Check it out! Let me know what you think!

Tasting the Past: Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie on a blue platter.

Brutalism meets baking: Boston Cream Pie

I’ll be honest, it has taken some time to get into gear and actually start cooking for the blog again. However, as soon as I stumbled upon the Boston cream pie recipe in larger notebook, I knew, that’s this was the recipe I wanted to try to get the ball rolling. I’ve tasted some from the bakery or restaurant and had the odd doughnut by the same name, but I’ve never baked a Boston Cream Pie. I was quite excited. continue reading

A New Chapter for Tasting the Past!

Bird's eye view of two notebooks and a bunch of recipe cards

Tasting the Past: 2014 edition. New finds

Last year, an old wooden box was introduced into my kitchen. It prompted some culinary time travel thanks to a bunch old school recipes that were chronicled here under the Tasting the Past label.

I’m pleased to say that this journey back in time through food will continue. Over Christmas, my partner offered me two hard covered notebooks filled with many more handwritten recipes. Once again, it will be interesting to chronicle this culinary experience. continue reading

A new year: rediscovering the joy of blogging

Ham and a sliced fig

Holiday ham: fig and balsamic glazed ham

Hi!

It has been so long. Feels a little strange to be posting – especially after such a long hiatus (4 months!). A new year means new beginnings. Time to start fresh and rekindle with the joy of blogging again.

At the beginning of last year, I had a semi decent run for a couple of months. Then, things obviously slowed down quite a bit. Procrastination may have got the better of me. Can’t blame anyone but myself for that. continue reading

Tasting the Past: Suella’s Brownies

Brownies on a plate topped with raspberries

A piece of Suella’s brownies topped with raspberries.

After spending most of the summer out and about or prepping dinner by grilling away on the barbecue, this lazy Labour Day afternoon proved to be the right moment to revisit the wooden box of culinary treasures. It has been weeks since I had taken a peek at it. A handful of recipes had been singled out previously, but none seemed right for the day.

I stumbled upon a folded piece of paper with a brownie recipe with the inscriptions “Suella”, and “Very good” on the top right of the page. There seems to be another two words on the sheet of paper, but I can’t seem to make them out.

An old wooden recipe box with a recipe

Revisiting the wooden box for a Tasting the Past post.

Another interesting detail about this recipe is that I finally may have found some information about the potential original owner of the box. The recipe was written on Circle B Equip. Co. stationary. Even the address of the company was listed: Buffalo Prairie, Illinois. A quick search on Google shows that this community is located about four hours West of Chicago. Finally, a clue as to where this recipe box may have come from. I’ll have to continue sifting through the box for more clues.

Back to the recipe… After thoroughly following the list of ingredients and instructions, I was a little unsure of the outcome. This was based on a little mishap that occurred while trying to remove the brownies from my Pyrex dish. Pieces of the brownies had broken off. I had thought that the texture of the brownies was perhaps more apparent to a chocolate cake. Luckily, upon tasting, the texture felt right. Worried for nothing!

The recipe called for some icing. It was the right time to put my mother’s tried and tested quick icing recipe to work. It simply calls for icing sugar, butter, water and liquor. I simply added a bit of cocoa and voilà!

Brownies

 Ingredients

  • 2 cups of sugar
  • ¼ cup of cocoa
  • 1 cup of melted butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. of vanilla
  • 1 ½ cup of flour
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • ½ tsp. of baking powder

Method

  • Preheat oven at 375 °F
  • Mix sugar an cocoa together. Stir in melted butter, add eggs and vanilla.
  • Mix well and add dry ingredients.
  • Stir in nuts.
  • Bake at 375 °F for about 25 minutes
  • Top off with favourite icing.

Quick chocolate icing

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup of cocoa
  • 2 tbs of water
  • 2 tbs of liquor (or orange juice)
  • 2 tbs of melted butter

Method

  • Mix all of the ingredients until smooth.
  • Serve with fruit or a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream
a bowl of brownie batter and eggs

Labour Day labour of love: brownies.

Nonna’s Fried Zucchini Flowers

Closeup photo of zucchini flowers

Zucchini flowers: a sure sign of summer.

It’s that time of year again! That moment, where bright orangey-yellow flowers on zucchini plants are in full bloom. It was also about at this time of year that these same flowers prompted a summer inspired blog post.

Seeing them at Vicki’s Veggies’ kiosk at the Stop Farmer’s Market at Wychwood Barns struck a chord. It brought me back my Nonna’s back yard where countless amounts of zucchini flowers, tomato plants, herbs and vegetables could be found. During the summer months she’d always serve some fried zucchini flowers as a nice savoury snack.

Needless to say, I had to emulate this childhood memory by preparing a batch. I had previously asked her for the recipe, but since it has been about two years since the last time I had prepared them, I was a little rusty. The best way to know how it’s done is to go directly to the source. So I called up Nonna. continue reading