When we were kids, dessert wasn’t part of our weeknight routine – my parents tried to pass off fruit as dessert, the same MacIntosh apples we’d get in our lunches if you can believe it – but on nights when my dad went squirrely hunting through kitchen cupboards for something chocolate, she’d whisk up a pot of pudding on the stovetop. Cocoa-sugar-cornstarch-milk makes a simple pudding of the sort you can get in a box (only better), but I’ve come across a few formulas that call for pouring warmed milk over chopped chocolate in a blender, then whizzing it up to melt the chocolate and incorporate just enough air to give it a sort of mousselike consistency. As a kid, I obsessed over chocolate mousse – it was chocolate in its purest form, I thought, with its airy-smooth mouthfeel, knowing it was an emulsification of two of my favourite things – chocolate and cream. I can’t recall the last time I made chocolate mousse –Continue reading


I forgot how much I love a creamy, sloshy rice pudding. It’s the sort of thing I make semi-regularly, but never with a recipe; I resurrect leftover cooked long grain rice, or use short grain if I make it from the beginning, but it’s always thick and diner-style, and I’m usually the only one to eat it. I forgot how delicious a runny rice pudding is when it’s ice cold; like melted ice cream, sweet and rice-flavoured, and in this case spiked with cardamom. It’s fantastic. The recipe comes from Noorbanu Nimji and Karen Anderson, a couple of gems who just released a new cookbook – A Spicy Touch – the theme of our cookbook club (Bite Club!) the other night. It was hot, approaching 30 in the afternoon, and something in the back of my mind reminded me that cold rice pudding spiked with cardamom would be a very good idea. Of course they had a recipe for it.


I’m a sucker for British terminology. (And really, any words – food-related or not – spoken with a British accent.) I’m sure it has nothing to do with my current (late!) obsession with Downton Abbey, and trying to catch up late at night when everyone else is asleep. This morning I couldn’t take it any longer and baked myself a batch of currant scones to nibble with coffee whilst finishing season 3. Last night I cooked dinner for 20 in the CBC studio – it was a meal auctioned off at a fundraiser, and we had friends from Heritage Park and a few familiar CBC voices around the table. I cooked upstairs in the wee cafeteria kitchen, and made vast quantities (enough for the night crew in the news room too) of Ina Garten’s Indonesian ginger chicken (success!) and Vietnamese fried rice and Szechuan green beans, and for dessert, Meyer lemon and Key lime possets with toasted coconut shortbread alongside. (I was wooed by aContinue reading