Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Full-On Chocolate Tarts

This weekend was a chocolate kind of weekend and it all started with the simple desire of making homemade chocolate dough. Whenever things get hectic around me, or I feel a little ungrounded, I like to turn towards something that never fails me - like making a classic dough. No matter how many times I make it, I never cease to be amazed by the fact that a few simple ingredients can turn into a pliable, homogenous disc of perfection. When things feel uncertain or fragile the kitchen becomes -- even more so than usual -- my happy place. I find endless comfort in knowing that the right amount of flour, butter and sugar will always come together. This might be my cheesy moment of the week, but I'm sure you fellow baking-lovers can relate - am I right?

Friday, November 2, 2012

Steel-Cut Oats with Cinnamon Pears

Ah, breakfast.To be honest breakfast has always been pretty low on my list of favourite meals. I usually have unorthodox desires (read non-breakfast desires) that I don't always have the time to fulfill in the morning when I'm rushing to get ready for the day ahead. I went through a Japanese-inspired phase a couple weeks ago that consisted of a bow of white rice topped with toasted sesame seeds, a nori sprinkling, sliced avocado and a drizzle of sesame oil. In a bit of a Goldilocks fashion, I seem to have trouble finding my perfect  breakfast option -- the one that will keep me satisfied for the better part of the morning. Because, let's be honest. when you work in a Test Kitchen, the last thing you want is to be overly hungry when you first walk into the office!

Steel-cut oats have solved my breakfast dilemma - for now! These golden pearls have a wonderful bite and texture, and, although they take a little while to cook, they really make a wonderful breakfast option that will keep you full for hours.

This version is sweetened using seasonal pears tossed in brown butter and cinnamon and topped with toasted almonds and a drizzle of flavourful honey. I can't think of a better way to start the day at this time of year.
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