Sunday, March 27, 2011

Online Bake Sale For Japan: Matcha and Wasabi Chocolate Truffles

JapanTruffles (4)

Living on the Pacific Ocean comes with some problems. We sit on the Ring of Fire, which means earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are a pretty real and constant threat. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we've been super lucky thus far - the last volcano that's blown it's top was St. Helens in 1980. The largest earthquake I've felt since I've lived here was the Seattle 6.8 in 2001 (I remember sitting in school and hearing that one rolling in before it even hit us). Besides those two big blunders, we've been lucky not to be hit with a large natural disaster around a big city in a while. I could not imagine what would happen if Vancouver was in the same situation that the Tōhoku region of Japan is in right now.

Because we sit in the same Pacific Rim danger zone as Japan, a lot of us here in BC feel connected to the disaster. Sure, the province has practiced what to do in an emergency situation, but that doesn't mean we're ready. Surviving a major earthquake is hard - surviving the aftermath is downright life-altering. What really comforts me is that, no matter where the disaster happens, the rest of the world always go out of their way to help. The Canadian Red Cross collected $6 million dollars from citizens so far for Japanese relief aid - and that doesn't include the millions that have been given by private donations. We've donated, but it doesn't seem enough for our Pacific Rim brethren. This is why C&C decided to join the Online Bake Sale for Japan set up by wonderful blog, The Tomato Tart.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Captain Kirk: Neapolitan Astronaut Ice Cream Cupcake

In a small town in Iowa, something spectacular will happen on March 22nd. Not during this year, no. And not next year. This special little event will be taking place in the year 2233. How do I know, you ask?

Because Gene Roddenberry told me so.

KirkCupcake (7)

For this month's Mystery Box Challenge, we were asked to use cupcakes to celebrate an extra special birthday. I ask you, what could be more special than the birth of James Tiberius Kirk? Or, the future birth? Whatever it is, the 22nd will be a day for nerds to celebrate. And what's a celebration without cupcakes?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Green Thumb: Sweet Pea Cupcakes with Sour Cream Frosting and Candied Mint

There are some colours that are pretty verboden when it comes to a dessert plate. No one wants to see electric blue or crayon purple next to their spoon. Magenta and chartreuse are even worse. It's hard not to imagine how many chemicals and food colours are hiding inside those unnatural shades. Then there is our old friend, green. It's fine on your dinner or lunch, but when it pops up in the middle of your confectioneries, it might turn your stomach a bit.

But, really, if you think about it, the healthiest things in life are green.

sweetpea_RT (2)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

One-Handed Chilli-Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits

I've broken a lot of bones. Luckily, they've always been pretty useless bones anyway - a pinkie toe here or there, maybe a couple fingers. That sort of thing. Now I find myself without the use of my hand - my right hand more specifically. My whole forearm is covered by a giant, bulky fiberglass cast. The tops of my fingers are poking out here and there, like sad little cocktail weenies. People look at this horribly freakish appendage and give me the "God, I hope you're left handed" look. Unfortunately, I'm not.

When it comes to broken bones, I take a few hours to feel sorry for myself. Quickly, however, that pity is replaced by an overwhelming feeling of stubbornness. If I break my collar bone, I will insist that I am still able to lift very heavy objects over my head. If my ankle twists, I will try and go out for my daily run. If go blind and catch the plague, I will still try to convince Mr. C that I can still go to work. It's just my nature. Now, with a broken right hand, even I have to admit that I'm pretty useless - even opening jars, unbuttoning buttons, and putting toothpaste on my toothbrush requires the aid of Mr. C.

But that doesn't mean I'll stop baking:

biscuits_chillicheese (7)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kiss My Bundt - Giveaway Winner!

I loved going through all the entries to this giveaway. It was like we were all huddled in the kitchen together, pulling out ingredients and gabbing about our favourite cake. There was some lovely recipes in there - I would suggest that you try all of them - but the one bundt that left both Mr. C and C oooooing and awwwwwwing was -

The darling Monet's Pear Bundt Cake recipe from her blog, Anecdotes and Apple Cores

We really can't wait to try your recipe during our CSN review, Monet! And we really can't wait to send you your own Norticware bundt pan! Just drop us an email with your information, and we'll make sure it's sent as soon as possible. Yay you!

Yay Bundts!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Vermont Maple Oatmeal Cookies

When I started to journey around the world (of cake), I got a lot of pleasant emails letting me know that they would love to travel and eat baked goods with me. I felt very popular. For a few seconds. Then came the onslaught of questions - the majority of which was asking me whether or not I had already picked a cake to make for the United States. There were tons of suggestions, some of which I've never even heard of (re: Smith Island Cake). These emails made me nervous. We've got an awful lot of Yankie readers - what happens if I make the wrong cake? 

So, I decided to give you southerners a bit of ego boost. Yes, you guys have fifty crazy microcosms, each boasting it's own unique flavour spectrum. Yes, we could go on and on about all the different desserts you have to offer. I guess it's time to give you guys your own little journey.



So, as we journey around the world, we'll make sure to take a few (re: fifty) stops in America. Each stop with highlight a state's own unique cookie/brownie/bar/anything that isn't cake and/or pie. I've got a good handle on the American scene (a couple of cross-country car trips in a little Mazda will do that), but I'm always willing to hear your suggestions via the comment box and email.

So, let's get a move on the first American treat:


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Kiss My Bundt - A CSN Review and Giveaway

I'm a brand name snob. Not when it comes to groceries - I will buy knock offs like Oatty Os and Crispy Rice like nobody's business. But, when new kitchen gadgets are involved, I feel the need to only collect the big names on the playground. For instance: Kitchenaid mixers, Silpat mats, and Le Creuset cast iron are all must haves. There's only one problem.

I can't afford my snobbery. I have a Black and Decker hand mixer and a no-name silicone mat. I don't even own a cast iron pan. Shame on me.

Luckily, a magically fairy (named CSN Stores) came a-knocking on my door. They offered me a gift certificate so I could review something bright, shiny and new for you all. Of course, I had to go with a big name. And, of course, I had to go with bakeware.

Norticware is one of those brand names that I dream having in my kitchen. Now, thanks to CSN, I'm going to have one delivered to my door. I chose one of their amazing bundt pans - mostly because I don't have one in our test kitchen yet. Now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever baked a bundt before. Horrifying, I know.

This is where the giveaway part comes in. When my new Norticware pan gets here from CSN, I'm going to need a really kick-ass recipe to try out for my official review. I need you - my baked-goods-worshiping friends - to provide me with such a recipe. And, for your yumminess, you will be rewarded with your very own bundt pan from CSN Stores. Pretty sweet deal, eh? Here's the deets for y'all:
  1. Leave a comment and link us your best bundt recipe. It can be from your own blog, or from one that you love. All that we require is that it's both unique and super yummy. 
  2. In order to be officially entered, you must follow us on Google Reader or some other RSS feed thingy. 
  3. For another entry, you can tweet: "Kiss my Bundt and win a new Norticware pan from @CCCakery and @CSNStores -"
  4. We'll be choosing our favourite recipe on Wednesday, March 9th. If we can't choose, we'll just use good ol'!
Awesome? I know. Can't wait to see all the amazing recipes come flowing in!
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