Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin and Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches

When I hosted Thanksgiving this year, I wanted to serve an array of desserts but try to steer away from doing the classics only. This is how this delicious treat idea came about - creamy pumpkin ice cream sandwiched between two crinkled, ginger cookies. The toughest part was finding good pumpkin ice cream. If it weren't Thanksgiving, I probably would have whipped up a homemade batch, but given the amount of food I was already making (herbed and butter turkey, wild rice and hazelnut stuffing, Brussels sprouts with pancetta, pumpkin praline tiramisu) this was an easy make-ahead dessert. I whipped up a batch of homemade ginger cookies the night before, and simply added a heaping tablespoonful of pumpkin ice cream right before serving.

The only tricky part was finding the perfect pumpkin ice cream! Il Gelatiere (one of my favourite gelato stores here in Toronto) didn't disappoint - they had a wonderful homemade batch of the fall-flavoured goodness. And to package these, I opted for these little chevron pouches - each just fits one of these two-bite treats!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chevron Chic

Pretty patterns have always been on the top of my home decor love list, and I currently have a particular penchant for chevron. When things gets a little chaotic, I find solace in this predictable yet whimsical pattern. A little touch here and there is really all you need to add a little pizzazz to your kitchen space. The gold tray is gorgeous isn't it?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pork Shoulder with Tomatoes and Pancetta

Lazy fall weekends lend themselves so beautifully to meals like this one that I couldn't resist not sharing it with all of you. 

Now that the leaves have started to turn and that the pumpkins have become the staple of most markets, I find myself yearning for the ultimate comfort foods around. This kind of dish is not only quite budget-friendly (you pay less for these tougher cuts of meat that need a long time to slowly cook) but it's also a great way to feed a hungry crowd with little effort. Once you've browned your meat and nicely caramelized the bottom of your pan, all you need is to add a flavourful base - in this case pancetta, onions, carrots and herbs - and some liquid to cook the roast in. The hardest part of this type of meal really is the waiting. I imagine that in large dwellings it may be easier to seek refuge in one corner of your space so you don't have to endure the warm aromatic smell of slow-cooked meat, but in my cookie-cutter Toronto condo, you really can't escape the sweet aromas of the kitchen.

For the few hours needed to bring this meat to fork-tender perfection, my apartment turns into a haze of goodness. And the best part? The leftovers! I'm not usually a big leftovers person - I like creating a new meal from scratch whenever I can - but this lends itself so perfectly to be tossed with a freshly cooked bowl of herbed pasta, or piled high to top toasted focaccia bread.

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