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Carrot, Apple and Walnut Muffins

I didn't cook anything at all last week because between being out of town with family, a sick kid and then ending the week with a couple of 13+hr work days, there was no opportunity to spend any time in the kitchen at all, apart from making tea and smoothies. We ate a lot of toast and miso soup and spent lots of time in bed watching tv and then I was off to work, not eating anything to write home about apart from an old school Sheriff's lemon meringue pie that the food stylist had baked for the ad. We were shooting a commercial for Sheriffs (now owned by Dr Oetker) and I was instantly transported back into my mother's kitchen. Not being much of a birthday cake kind of girl, I asked for a lemon meringue pie every year as my birthday cake instead. I didn't realize until I was well into my twenties that my mother's famous lemon meringue pie was ALWAYS Sheriff's (much like pretty much every other mom from our generation) and although I make my own lemon curd now, I do have a soft spot for the furniture polish taste of Sheriff. That's my new slogan I am going to pitch to Dr Oetker
 "It still tastes like Lemon Pledge... but in a good way!"

A slow week for cooking but a good week for pinning

There has been no cooking this week at all. We were not home from Friday to Monday and Monday was family day so that means a movie and then ordering in some thai food. Cut to The Kid coming down with something for Tuesday and Wednesday, a full 12hr++ work day for me on Thursday and a shorter day on Friday and you know what that means.
Nobody is doing much cooking so I have nothing new to share. I have, on the other hand, had lots to time to browse the net and I have pinned some amazing looking things that I want to make in the near future.

would you just look at this delicious looking lentil soup??
It's from a beautiful blog called the spice spoon and once you are there , have a poke around

cookie ice cream with espresso caramel
This one is from a blog called seven spoons. COME ON!! ice cream that you don't need a machine for filled with crunched up cookies and espresso caramel? I could bathe in this ice cream. I have made a key lime pie ice cream using this evaporated milk/condensed milk method and it's so good

cappuccino pancakes with mocha syrup
If The Kid wasn't sick, these were going to be our shrove tuesday pancake dinner. I don't even like pancakes and I was so exited about eating these babies

hungarian meatballs
I found this one of food 52 which is such a great food community where all kinds of food bloggers from all over the place enter their contests and share their yummy recipes with everyone. This one was the runner up for the best recipe with paprika contest and I would make The Kid very happy if I made these puppies

Strawberry Marshmallows for Valentine's Day

You know, we don't usually do much for Valentine's Day anymore. My son is too old to bring home lovely macaroni and glitter crafts and to be honest, every day is Valentine's Day with Shack.
Shut up, I mean it.

Anyway, this year, our school's bake sale to raise money for Free the Children is today. Since it's Valentine's Day it was a nice opportunity to make something themey again. They get plenty of delicious muffins, cupcakes, brownies and cookies so I try to do something a bit different every year.

The marshmallows I made a few years back sold out instantly so the time to make them again was here. To make them more valentiney, I thought they should be pink so I added strawberry pulp to the actual marshmallow and used some freeze dried strawberries for dusting. Using a heart shaped cookie cutter did enter my mind but there is too much waste and the fact that they are pink and I am packaging them up in heart covered little bags is enough.

Coconut Chicken Red Curry Soup

I have had a no good, terrible, miserable head cold all week. Thankfully, I have my magical TCM drs who take such good care of me (Traditional Chinese Medicine, not Top Canadian Model). I went in unable to breathe through my nose and feeling like I was walking around with a giant Mitt Romney bobble head on my neck. After a nice cupping, some well placed needles and magic nose drops I drove home, breathing through my nose for the first time in days and by morning I was feeling more human again. The very last thing that was needed was a nice, spicy soup so, I present to you, a nice spicy little soup.
Not so summer friendly but it works - don't ask how, it just does

Espresso Meringues

I volunteered to bake some sweet treats for our school's Ladies Night this weekend and really wanted to try something new. I happened to have a bag of meyer lemons AND had a request for lemon bars so those were definitely on the table. Those lemon bars are so good it's a shame to not make them and I want to make sure that at least one dessert is going to be guaranteed to be delicious. I have a reputation to uphold over here. That said, my lemons were small so I threw TWO into the food processor instead of one and it was just a bit too much - they had a really mild, bitter aftertaste that wasn't strong enough to make me not want to eat them, just enough to prevent them from being fabulous. Learn by mistake and even if you think your lemon is tiny, just use one.

For a second treat, I was thinking of something chocolately to balance out the sweet, tarty lemon bars but then I saw these Espresso Meringues and pinned them and couldn't stop thinking about them. I love meringues and they are good thing to make for a bunch of chicks who are always watching what they eat - they are fat free and low calorie but still sweet and you don't feel like you are eating something diety. The espresso flavour elevates them to a very grown up taste, another plus for a group of moms who are out to have some wine and snacks and enjoy not being moms for the evening. Trust me, we all eat enough rice crispy treats and brownies to last us a lifetime at all kid centred events and I think we deserve some stuff that most of the kids wouldn't like even if they were there.

Take that you stinking kids!

Its Friday It Must Be Soup! Feb 3rd is Zuppa Toscana

It's time for soup and I wanted something like white bean with kale and was about to just make a pot of that when I found this recipe for zuppa toscana on Eclectic Recipes and pinned it. It seems that this is a copy cat recipe for the soup they serve at Olive garden. I don't think I have been to an Olive Garden so I can't vouch for it based on any actual experience with soup from the garden of olives but it sounded yummy to me. To be honest, the only thing I know about Olive Garden is that it was rumoured that they didn't use garlic, which is a really weird thing for any Italian chain to admit to. What's next, no tomatoes?

Almost Famous Chef Competition and A Winner!

me and the winner,  Daniela Molettieri

This is the second year in a row that I was invited to attend the Canadian Regional San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef competition held at the Calphalon Culinary Centre here in Toronto. Six young canadian chefs from all over the country went head to head to win a spot in the final competition in Napa Valley where they will compete , hoping to win the title of The Almost Famous Chef as well as a nice fat cheque.

Blueberry Pumpkin Seed Muffins

My son is so much like me in so many weird little ways. When I was a child, I would eat the same breakfast every day for months on end and then one morning, without warning, I would come to the table and reject my breakfast and ask for something completely different. That would become the new breakfast for the next undetermined amount of time until I would do it again, making my poor mother crazy. The Kid does this as well and he now has decided that his new favourite breakfast is a muffin and a fruit smoothie. For the last year or so, he has eaten one piece of french toast with a glass of soy milk almost every single morning. On occasion I can talk him into eating eggs but he is a creature of habit when it comes to his morning meal on school days.

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