Friday, August 19, 2011
Last week, Jennie, from In Jennie's Kitchen, posted a creamy peanut butter pie recipe for her husband Mikey, who recently passed away from a sudden heart attack. Peanut butter pie was Mikey's favourite, and Jennie wanted everyone to make this pie and share it with their loved ones.
The response that Jennie received was incredible. It seemed that every picture on Taste Spotting was a Peanut Butter Pie dedicated to Mikey and loved ones. Even searching #APieforMikey on Twitter, you will find an enormous amount of support and love from food bloggers world wide.
Jennie's post really pulled at my heart strings and the fact that she wanted us to give love by making a pie was just amazing. I've experienced how powerful love can be when you loose someone. Two of my greatest friends, who I'm lucky enough to have as room mates, both lost their mom's to cancer. Maegan lost her mom, Mary, in April last year and Robyn's mom, Jane, passed away not even two months ago. I was so grateful that I got to see Robyn's mom one last time in May before she passed. I wish I could have been there for her service.
I did attend Mary's service last year. I remembered thinking how many people were in the church. People were packed in the pew, standing along side the wall and lining up out to the parking lot. I had never seen so many people at a funeral. It was clear to me how much people loved Mary. And even more clear how much people loved the McWades.
After Mary's service the McWade family had a get together to celebrate Mary's life. This house celebration seemed to turned into a huge party filled with drinking, stories and laughter. Yes, there was laughter and I had no idea I would be laughing that day since I spent the whole morning in tears. The drunkenly-told stories that each person had about Mary, and how she and Stew met playing baseball just filled me up with joy and love. We were all packed in their kitchen smiling and listening to these stories while we remembered Mary.
At this point in the night, it hit me, and it hit me hard. I finally understood what the Beatles were singing about all this time. Over and over the thought "all you need is love" repeated in my head. I finally got it! And told everyone at the party that I got it. I've always thought.. no... you need water, and food and shelter. But none of that stuff matters when you loose someone you love. What you need is love and the McWade family had so much love that night it was incredible, it was pouring out of everywhere and everyone. This is when I knew that they would be okay, because they had love and love is all you need.
So I am making this pie for Mary, Jane and of course Mikey. This pie is for them and I hope they feel the love that I am putting into this pie.
For Creamy Peanut Butter Pie recipe, click here.
Posted by Erica Chen at 10:13 PM
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I wish I could say that I invented the combination for this delicious summer pizza... but I didn't. It took one of the best Italian restaurants in Toronto to figure it out. They call it the C't Mang pizza at Terroni and no substitute toppings are allowed.
Each dish at Terroni is carefully created to achieve that perfected taste you experience in each bite. I never imagined fresh pears on my pizza, but when I took a bite I was instantly addicted.
You first experience the saltiness of the prosciutto, followed by the fresh sweetness of the pear, back to the saltiness of the gorgonzola cheese, ending with a lingering taste of honey and a crunch from the walnuts. Also, there is no sauce to interfere with the combination of all these toppings, just pure goodness on this white pizza.
So give this pizza a try. Everyone I've made it for has loved it. It makes the perfect summer get together pizza!
Pear Walnut and Prosciutto White Pizza with Honey
Makes 4 individual pizzas
- pizza dough
- 2 cups of mozzarella, grated
- 150 g of gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (if you can't find gorgonzola, the more milder and Canadian borgonzola will do)
- 2 pears, sliced
- chopped walnuts
- 125 g prosciutto
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 450 F.
- Stretch out your pizza dough as thin as you can, without ripping the dough. If you are afraid of ripping the dough, use a rolling pin. You should be able to stretch it out to at least 8 inches. Make a circle, square, rectangle, whatever you like.
- Once you have all four pizza's stretched out brush the top of each pizza with a teaspoon of olive oil. Now sprinkle the mozzarella evenly onto each pizza. I like to save half of the mozzarella to finish off the top of the pizza, but you can spread all of it down if you like.
- Crumbled the gorgonzola onto each pizza, followed by layering the pears onto each pizza. Sprinkle the walnuts on top of the pears and then layer the prosciutto on top. If you have half the mozzarella, sprinkle the rest on top. Drizzle each pizza with honey and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.
Posted by Erica Chen at 7:07 PM
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Are you a fan of lemons? Yah!
Are you a fan of blackberries? Yah!
Are you a fan of ricotta..? Heck Yes!!
Okay, well then I have the perfect muffin for you. Well, I have the perfect muffin for my roommate, who will eat a whole tub of ricotta in a sitting. It may have something to do with her half Italian side. Of course I do enjoy ricotta, just not so much on it's own. But in muffins?! Heck yes in muffins!
You wanna know what ricotta does to your muffins? It turns your dull everyday muffins into this beautiful moist cake-like texture that makes you want to savour every bite. The whole muffin is quite the experience. A crunch from the turbinado sugar on top, into sweet lemony-goodness with a little blackberry surprise.
Please try this recipe, you will not be disappointed. It is so simply delicious.
Lemon Ricotta Blackberry Muffins
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup ricotta cheese (whole or low-fat is fine)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh blackberries ( I think it's safe to say any berry would do.. raspberry...blueberry..strawberry..you get the idea)
- Turbinado sugar-for sprinkling on muffin tops
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners or grease the pan. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. Whisk the lemon zest and sugar together. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar and lemon zest mixture together until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Add the ricotta cheese and beat until smooth. Beat in the egg, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended. Using a large spoon, fill each muffin cup half way with batter. Add three blackberries to each muffin cup. Top the muffins with remaining batter so blackberries are covered. Generously sprinkle turbinado sugar over each muffin top.
- Bake muffins for about 20 minutes, or until the tops are slightly golden brown. Let muffins cool for five minutes and serve.
Posted by Erica Chen at 2:06 PM
Sunday, August 7, 2011
The town of Oliver, located in the Okanagan, is the wine capital of Canada. This small town contains 10% of the nation's wineries. Which isn't too bad considering Oliver only has a population of 4300.
Although the town may be best known for it's wineries, it is not known for it's happening night life. In fact, it seems as though the town shuts down at 5pm, making it hard to find a place to eat, unless you are a senior and you eat dinner at 4.
There was one restaurant that seemed to grab my attention. Best of India is the name of the place and you guessed it, it's an Indian restaurant. Living in Toronto, I have the flavours of the world at my finger tips, so I was craving some good Indian food. I was a little hesitant to try the place, as the the tinted windows made it seem like something shady was going on. The first time I drove by it I wasn't even sure if it was open for business. However, as person who likes to try new places and new restaurants I thought I would give the little Indian restaurant a try.
Despite the shady tinted windows, the inside of the restaurant was filled with the aroma of delicious Indian food and was brightly painted the same beautiful colours you would see in many Indian spices. It was a relief to see that I did not walk into some dodgy restaurant and even more of a relief to see the menu.
We decided to start with the Vegi Samosa. Just a heads up, the samosa is quite spicy but they don't state it on the menu. Then we ordered the Chicken Cuurry, I couldn't resist the "special curry sauce" and the Dal Tarka for the vegetarian.
Both dishes were delicious and the bowls were wiped clean with the naan bread. If you are fan of butter chicken I would recommend getting the Chicken Curry instead. I've had the Butter Chicken and it wasn't the best I've ever had, not that it was bad, I mean I have never had bad Indian food, I don't know how it could ever taste bad, but it was not the best. Go for the Chicken Curry made with that "special curry sauce". Yum!
Best of India
36094 97th Street
Pick up and Delivery available.
Posted by Erica Chen at 9:30 PM