Tag Archives: lemon

Frozen Limoncello Parfaits

Surviving the weekend: brought to you by sore feet, bruised knuckles, and burnt finger tips.

Yeah — I just started a new job.

Other than a few mishaps here and there, everything is going well — it’s not my ideal type of work (their pastry is very “homey” and everything gets garnished with a gooseberry), but I work with friendly people and I stay pretty busy on dessert station most of the night.

That said, having the last two months off has definitely been nice.

As a person who’s almost always had kind of employment (and school) going on since age 15, finally being able to afford some downtime has been unreal.

I went to the beach, slept in, caught up with friends, did nothing, made sketches of desserts and played around in my tiny kitchenette on more productive days.

Sigh — going back to work is always bitter-sweet…

On one hand I love working and being busy, but on the other hand I like being able to sit around with a glass of wine whenever I want.

Oh, and making tasty things whenever I want, like frozen limoncello parfaits.

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Raspberry-Basil Lemonade Marshmallows

I love marshmallows — who doesn’t? Soft, luscious, melt-in-your-mouth morsels of sugar…

Until a few months ago (read: before pastry school) I didn’t even know they could be one of those things you made at home. Mind, blown!

Of course, like many other kinds of candy and confections, there’s a reason why people tend to not make their own marshmallows — they’re equipment and precision-heavy, and, while not beyond the reach of any home cook, they require a staunch commitment to measure, time, watch, and multi-task with very little margin of error.

It’s no wonder that most people think it’s just easier to buy ’em at the store!

But, here’s the greatest thing about making your own candy — especially your own marshmallows — they’re like a blank canvas for flavour!

These were inspired by one of my fellow bloggers, daisy. She made raspberry-basil Italian cream soda a while back, and it really got the gears in my head turning.

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Strawberry-Almond Shortbread Bars

Okay, here it comes — cover your eyes if you’re not in for a bitch fest or if you hate delicious summer fruit (psych! no one hates delicious summer fruit).

What is up with the weather?

I’m starting to feel like we’re getting a bum deal on our yearly allotment of summer heat around here.

The markets I saw in Europe were bursting with rainbows of fresh fruit (even in May!) and reading about the “warm desserts for cold winter nights” from my foodie friends Down Under is making my eye twitch — your nightly low is my daily high!

Uh, like… hello? This is jealousy talking — can I come visit you?

I went to the local farmers market last Sunday, armed with cloth bags and cold, hard cash for bundles of berries, and what did I see? Strawberries, strawberries, strawberries!

Aaaand that was pretty much it. Just strawberries — all of our other local crops are late.

So, what do you do when life gives you strawberries? Make strawberry bars!

These sweet and sticky bars are full of fresh strawberry flavour and buttery nuttiness, all while being soft in the middle and crunchy on top — oh, and did I mention that they have a delicate and crumby base?

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Lemon & Thyme Tea Cookies

Sometimes pastry school doesn’t offer a whole lot of creative freedom.

A lot of pastry student time is taken up by making our daily quota of croissants, baguettes, breads, scones, and muffins, or by glazing chocolate cakes, fruit mousse cakes, or making tiny desserts for stocking the school cafe.

Every so often, though, I’ve got enough time to whip up a batch of these tiny lemony delights!

My excuse is always, “I’m making them to sell in the bake shop!” even though a good handful of these always end up in my stomach.

The flavourful nuances of these delicate, crumbly tea cookies hinges on using a rich, high quality olive oil (preferably extra virgin), fresh thyme, and, of course, beautiful, fresh lemon zest.

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Mulled Wine & Vin d’Orange

The closer we hurtle towards Christmas, the busier everything gets!

And my life has been intensely hectic — between going to school and working two jobs, it can be tough to de-stress at the end of the day. You’d think that after 14 hours of being on my feet that falling asleep would be easy, but sometimes it’s really not.

This is unusual for me, but I’ve actually been a bit of an insomniac over these last couple weeks despite how physically exhausted I am.

Also, dead serious: I’ve been dreaming of dessert! Not even kidding!

Lately I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night, my fading dreams swirling with visions of mince pie and gingerbread and bûche de noël — clearly I’ve got pastry on the brain, even when I close my eyes!

The worst part about it is how I wake up totally starving just because I’ve been seeing all this tasty food in my head, then it’s hard to go back to sleep all mentally overstimulated and curiously hungry (and I refuse to be a midnight muncher — it’s just not good for your health).

Is this an appropriate FML moment?

Anyways, winter time is definitely the best time of year to get’cho bake on — there’s nothing as comforting as a heavy blanket and a warm treat from the oven on a frost-dusted winter night — and it’s also the best time of year to get’cho drink on.

Nightcap of choice: glühwein, also known as: mulled wine — not so popular in North America, but it’s got a really long and rich history over in Europe.

The soothing sweetness, the aroma of spice and fruit, the warm liquid in your tummy… yes, mulled wine is where it’s at!

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Stöllen

Oh, god — December. Just get out already!

Now, normally I try to write about something light-hearted or historical for my blog, but lately I’ve just been sitting at my computer, anxiously blanking out at the screen, or wasting my time on memebase sites.

While most people wait in anticipation of December and relish in the Christmas season, I fear it.

Like, literally fear it.

Worrying about the Christmas season keeps me up at night — December offers me nothing in terms of relaxation and happiness.

Time off from work? Not with two jobs!

Time off from school? Not unless you count the two weeks off that I will spend working!

Buying presents that I seriously don’t want to buy and getting stuff that I seriously don’t need? Not constructive — I’d rather keep my money for bills and have my friends and family do the same!

Family dinners? Seriously awkwaaaaard.

Not to mention that there’s almost always snarkiness or fighting that breaks out.

My ideal December would involve a month of hibernation and intermittent waking periods for baking cookies and drinking wine and eating stöllen. For reals.

Anyways, enough complaining. I try not to complain, because, seriously — all I’ve got are first world problems.

If this is a season to love and be thankful, then I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.

Like rum spiked nog and stöllen!

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