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How to Make Rainbow Swirl Frosting

If certain coffee franchises have taught us anything through their creative iced drinks, it’s that when it comes to all rainbow-coloured or unicorn-inspired  people are all in. So why shouldn’t the tri-coloured frosting be all the rage with cupcakes, too? Thanks to a little kitchen creativity, you can get that same pretty rainbow effect without heading out to the bakery or fancy cake shop.

Rainbow Frosting, Two Ways

Anna Olson has two ways to achieve a tri-coloured swirl that works for any colour-combo of your choosing. That means decorating with soft pastels, funky neons, or with themed birthday or anniversary party hues – it’s as simple as scooping icing into a piping bag.

Anna Olson puts a pastel concoction to the test with a fresh batch of cupcakes, first by using three separate piping bags joined by a special coupler. The tool helps to give the icing a rainbow-like effect, with perfectly defined edges. Then, for those of us who don’t have such fancy tools, she shows us how to create a pretty tie-dyed effect using one large piping bag and a simple star tip. Sure, those edges may fold into each other a little more, but it’s actually a really pretty and neat way to finish off a traditional cupcake. One that’s guaranteed to be loved by children and adults alike.

It may sound like a fancy schmancy way to top the traditional dessert, but it’s actually really easy. Even novice bakers can get the hang of this with a little practice and a spare frosting plate.

“I love that no two cupcakes look the same… it almost looks like a bouquet of flowers,” Olson says towards the end, once she’s decorated half-a-dozen impressive yet oh-so-simple cupcakes in a matter of seconds.

With frosting tips like these, you’re certain to be the star of your next birthday celebration, potluck get-together or cupcake party. If you can resist the tempting colours long enough to actually get them there without eating them all first, of course.

You special little unicorn, you. And now as someone out there probably once said, “keep calm and cupcake on.”

Want more recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth? Check out 30 Celebration Worthy Cupcake Recipes.

Pudding Chomeur is The Québec Dessert We All Need in Our Lives

It’s no secret that some of our favourite foods are French Canadian classics; Tourtière, split pea soup, maple everything and of course, gravy-and-cheese-curd-smothered poutine. But when it comes to desserts, nothing beats syrupy, sweet pudding chomeur.

What is Pudding Chomeur?

If you haven’t had this classic, quintessential Québec dessert and you love the taste of fresh maple, this is definitely one you’ll want to add to your recipe box. The dish first rose in popularity during The Great Depression, when factory workers were forced to be a little more creative with what they had on hand, especially if they wanted to indulge their sweet tooth. For French Canadians that meant all the staples for a basic cake (flour, butter, milk and eggs) and tons of maple syrup that they sometimes sourced in their very own backyards. (If they didn’t have access to maple syrup, they used brown sugar as a caramel stand-in instead.)

The result was pudding chomeur, which roughly translates into “unemployment” or “poor man’s” pudding. Don’t let the name fool you though; once you dig into these single-serve cakes and all of their glorious maple goodness, you’ll feel like you’re indulging in the richest (not to mention easiest to whip-up) dessert ever.

Anna Olson has her own elevated riff on the dish, where she takes a regular old cake base—no added vanilla or lemon zest here—and gussies it up with some additional butter and brown sugar for a little extra luxurious richness.

Get the recipe for Anna Olson’s Pudding Chomeur.

Then comes the really delicious part: the maple syrup concoction. Olson simmers up maple syrup, water, vanilla and more butter and then douses her uncooked cakes until they’re swimming in the stuff.

“You’re going to think it’s too much syrup,” she advises. But it’s not. It’s really, really not.

For you see, as the pudding chomeur bakes up, the maple syrup bakes down, thoroughly soaking the cake and transforming it into a sweet, syrupy ramekin of heaven. You end up with cake on top and all of the maple goodness for dipping and dunking underneath.

It’s so simple you could make it on a weeknight, but it’s also rich enough to serve to guests at the end of a fancy dinner party. Another bonus? Your house will smell absolutely incredible.

Now that’s what we call une bonne idée.

Want to try your hand at more classic dessert recipes? Take a look at this list of Anna Olson’s classic baking recipes.

5 Tasty Waffle Iron Hacks That Go Beyond Breakfast

There’s no denying that fluffy, fresh waffles are pretty much the most heavenly food ever. But who says your waffle maker is limited to breakfast use? The handy appliance can cook far more than your favourite brunch dish, which means they’re no longer relegated to a pre-noon meal in our books.

With a little kitchen creativity the sky’s the limit — so why limit yourself to sweet breakfast waffles topped with berries and cream when you can use your iron for incredible, savoury lunches and dinners, too? Think waffle-inspired sandwiches, pizzas, creative side dishes and more. When you break it down, there’s so much more to this comfort food than syrup and jam. Not that we’d ever complain about those toppings either, mind you.

Take this recipe for a simple Margarita Pizza, for example. Fresh pizza dough is waffled up to crispy perfection, then topped with tomatoes, two kinds of cheese and shredded basil at the very end for a new twist on a classic that’s calling our name. It’s simple, savoury and something outside of your typical slice of pie. The fact that it’s ready in a matter of minutes is just an added bonus.

 

Now how genius is that?

But we don’t have to stop with pizza — swapping out regular old bread for seasoned waffles makes for the perfect sandwich twist.  The Sweet Potato Chronicles gals whip up some tasty examples in the video below, breathing new life into Southwestern Corn Waffles (made with buttermilk and topped with Monterey Jack cheese);  Caprese Waffles (stuffed with fresh mozzarella); and these Thanksgiving Waffles, which take turkey and sweet potatoes to a whole new level.

 

It’s amazing how just a few adjustments to a waffle batter can result in so much goodness. Looking for more waffling inspiration for your next lunch or dinner? Try these recipes on for size.

Breakfast-for-Dinner Savoury Waffles

Who says you can’t have breakfast for dinner? Good old-fashioned cornmeal batter is waffled up to perfection and then served with your choice of fresh eggs, sausage or bacon in this riff on a classic.

Taco Waffles

These cornbread jalapeno waffles are stuffed with more traditional taco ingredients like shredded chicken and pico de gallo for a fun, Mexican waffled twist.

Waffle Maker Quesadilla

Who needs waffle batter when you have wheat tortillas laying around? Stuff yours with some fresh cheese and let the iron do all of the work while you waffle around.

Discover genius hacks for your slow cooker, freezer and more.

 

 

 

4 Comforting Sheet Pan Dinner Recipes for Easier Cooking and Clean-up

When we’re in a rush and looking for shortcuts in getting dinner on the table, sheet pans are a life saver. They let you roast your main and sides together (like in this Glazed Chicken and Broccoli Sheet Pan Dinner) saving you time and clean-up.  What if we told you that economy-sized sheet pans can also be used to bake up some of your favourite comfort foods, and in some cases even give them a slightly healthier twist? Think classics like lasagna or meatloaf, all baked up to perfection in a short enough time to get dinner done on a weeknight.


This eggplant parmesan is baked, saving you the mess and stress of frying. 

Okay, so you may have to do a couple of extra dishes during prep, but considering how hearty and wholesome these recipes are, we’d say it’s worth the extra effort. Check them out:

No-Fry Sheet Pan Eggplant Parmesan

Trade in your fryer for a sheet pan and whip up this easy comfort food with a healthier twist. Crispy eggplant is topped with a quick, homemade marinara sauce and then smothered in mozzarella and Parmesan until it bakes up into a bubbly pan of yum.

All-Crust Sheet Pan Lasagna

If you’re a fan of those crispy lasagna edges then this recipe is most definitely for you. Pre-cooked noodles are assembled on a sheet with delicious ricotta, sausage and a homemade sauce. It all culminates in not just the perfect lasagna flavour, but it also allows the edges to cook evenly, giving you crispy perfection with every bite.

Extra-Crunchy Sheet Pan Mac and Cheese

Want to take your regular old bowl of macaroni and cheese to the next level? Spoon it out into a pan sheet and cover it with deliciousness like panko and butter. In the oven, the top will crisp up and the noodles will bond together in all of their cheesy glory, creating little squares of mac ‘n’ cheese heaven that will have you coming back for more.


Sheet Pan Glazed Meatloaf
What’s not to love about savoury, caramelized meatloaf the way your mom or grandma used to make? What we enjoy most about this sheet pan version of the comfort food staple is that thanks to its wider surface area, you’re guaranteed that each bite comes with that glazed goodness from the top that we all know and love.

 

Looking for more easy dinners? Try these Hearty Sheet Pan Dinners That Make Clean-up A Breeze.

Hosting the Perfect Parisian Dinner with Laura Calder: Good Wine is Not Pretentious

Here’s part three in a series of charming short Paris videos from Laura Calder.

Laura and her friend Philip Haddad are throwing a dinner party in Paris for expat friends and we’re invited along for the ride.

Their first stop was the local market for inspiration, their second stop was for some incredible bread, third stop — wine and cheese, bien sûr!

I love how Laura just breaks stereotypes about wine, pretensions and dare I say it… the French. I also love the line about wine-loving company — that you need one bottle for two people but 20 bottles for 10! Ha… I’ll drink to that.

Hosting the Perfect Parisian Dinner with Laura Calder: Go the Distance

Here’s part two in a series of short Paris videos from Laura Calder.

Laura and her friend Philip Haddad are throwing a perfectly bohemian dinner for expat friends in Paris and we’re invited along to see how it’s done.

Their first stop was the local market for inspiration.  For their second stop, Philip who happens to be a bread aficionado, takes Laura waaaay across town for some incredible bread.  Low-carb be damned!

Hosting the Perfect Parisian Dinner with Laura Calder: Get Inspired

I just adore these short videos by Laura Calder from Paris. It’s the next best thing to being in “The City of Light” (“La Ville Lumière”).

This latest in a 7-part series is all about how to throw the perfect bohemian Parisian dinner.

Laura’s first stop is the local market, bien sûr, where she heads out with her friend Philip Haddad, Toronto dental surgeon and bread aficionado.

For me there are so many Parisian moments in this video — like when she says she’ll slip into something more “uncomfortable” (Parisians dress impeccably even to take out the trash) or the “revolutionary” concept of buying just one slice of pumpkin or one stalk of celery. LOVE.

Laura Calder’s Random Acts of Christmas: Giving and Giving (and giving!)

Here’s the latest video from Laura Calder.  The host of French Food at Home has been experimenting (and having tons of fun as you’ll see in the videos) with telling food stories where food isn’t directly mentioned.  The last one was about the humble chopstick, this one involves a tall, handsome stranger and perseverance.  It’s also hilarious.

Laura Calder’s Random Acts of Christmas: An Underground Movement

Laura Calder, the host of French Food at Home, has been busy shooting a series of videos just in time for the holidays. She told me she wanted to experiment with telling food stories where food isn’t directly mentioned.  Here’s the first in the series, centred on an every day kitchen utensil.

Can a simple, little chopstick really save a dreary day? Watch and find out.

Effortless Holiday Entertaining Tips From Laura Calder

Want to know how to throw party platter together in 5 minutes? Watch this latest video from Laura Calder, host of French Food at Home.  She’s been shooting these short sweet videos from Paris and this one is so timely. I just love what she does with radishes. So simple yet so chic.

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Amazing Easter Recipes from Breakfast to Dessert

Want to step up your game this Easter and serve up dishes that will totally blow your guests away? Check out our suggestions for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert!

Click on the image below to watch the video.

easter-meals

Recipes from the video:

Poppy Seed Buckwheat Crepes Recipe
Fresh Spring Veggie Pasta with Rustic Pancetta and Fresh Cheese Recipe
Apricot Pistachio BBQ Grilled Rack of Lamb Recipe
Floating Islands Recipe

Video: Michael Smith on Holiday Traditions

michael-smith-holidays

With the holidays quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about planning dinners, gatherings, and gifts. In the video below, Chef Michael Smith talks about carrying on old traditions as well as the importance of creating new ones.

 

 

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