Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook 2011

Book Review: Momofuku Milk Bar by Chef Christina Tosi

I own a lot of cookbooks and it’s time I share some of them with you. This is my new series for the month, sharing my favourite baking books with you and why I love them! There is a book out there for every level of baking skill out there. First up….

Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook 2011Book:  Momofuku MilkBar
Author: Chef Christina Tosi
Publication date: 2011
Baking skill level: Intermediate to advanced

My story for this cookbook begins when I first visited New York a few years ago on an Easter long weekend. Among the many recommendations received, Momofuku’s Milkbar was a hot my list!

Momofuku Milkbar did not disappoint at all! Even though I was tragically recovering from a case of food poisoning the day before, I put on my big-girl-pants and forced myself to make it to MilkBar before leaving New York.

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My Perfectly Imperfect Nostalgic Chocolate Chip Cookie [Recipe]

[Warning: this post may induce intense cookie dough cravings. Read at your own risk.]

The other week I was seriously craving some cookie dough. Like, Cookie Monster craving. I could have eaten an entire batch if it was before me at the time. I have no shame in admitting this because I know some of you have likely had a similar craving!

Cravings happen. You know you want to eat some of this…

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Why I am not following my dream

Around this time last year I was full-swing in the midst of my pastry school experience and I cannot deny that it was one of the best experiences of my life. Seriously.  You can read in my previous posts about why I chose to go, and how intensely I am passionate about baking. I love both the science of it and the artistic elements required to make beautiful desserts. I have grown particularly fond of cake decorating, as you may have noticed in my Instagram feed.

Julia Child says, “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”

I have to admit, this quote still rings true for me but I view it differently than I did last year. Continue reading

Week 5: Five baking tips from a pastry student

It has been five weeks into the program at Northwest, and despite my exhaustion, I still love every minute of it. I can hardly believe there are still 10 weeks to go because we have already covered so much. What else is there? Well, we still have to learn about cakes, chocolate, sugar work, frozen desserts, etc… Yes!

Rather than detailing through each day’s rises and falls with yeast, I thought I would share some of the lessons I have observed from class to share with you in your kitchen, and some more photos from class…. just because I love looking at my photos (and hope you do too).

Last week, we wrapped up the second week of bread and I think I speak for most of the class when I say we were ready to move on from bread. There was a lot of yeast, bread flour, kneading, kneading, and more kneading… all by hand too (so we are familiar with the dough feels). My hands are super dry from all the work with flour and frequent hand washing. The sampling of bread was FILLING too. I felt more tired after bread days than in previous weeks, just because of the bread samples. It all tastes so good though. Mmm. Fresh bread.

I don’t want to leave you with the wrong impression about bread week though, I loved learning about bread, working with yeast and gluten, and how to make both yield the bread you desire. It’s truly a science and I found it fascinating. But after two weeks, I think I have decided working purely with bread full-time, might not be for me.

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My first brioche buns! I am holding a traditionally shaped brioche bun, with a little ball of dough on top. Brioche dough is soft and it was hard to shape – I need more practice.

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#10 & #11 Finding Tiny Bites & Casual Baking in Vancouver

To wrap up the long weekend, and double up on my blogs (in lieu of missing yesterday, due to giving thanks) here are a couple more quality sites to add to the Vancouver food blog repertoire in my blog or bust challenge include TINY BITES and the CASUAL BAKER.

#10 – Tiny Bites is a blog lead by one, Karen Hamilton, with two additional contributors. Karen is  a women after my own heart, as her blog encourages local tourism and helping Vancouverites decide what to ‘bite’ on. The blog is another award-winning site in the food blogging community – check it out!

Screen shot of Tiny Bites food blog

Tiny Bites food blog

#11 – Casual Baker, is sweet blog written by Sheena, a Vancouver women with a self proclaimed penchant for sweets – bake on my fellow foodie! Her blog is simply baking, since 2006, and covers an array of recipes, handy to have in your shortcuts toolbar as a cookbook in your virtual library (She even has a recipe index – convenient!). Her stories paired with the recipes are great, sometimes including music video YouTube links and other fun-interesting parallels.

Her photography is rustic reflecting the baking and recipes; looking oh so tastefully homemade. I would definitely support this casual baker if passed in a farmer’s market.

Casual Baker food blog

Casual Baker food blog

Baker’s Market: A Sweet Find in South Vancouver (with #4)

Connie at Bakers Market

Connie, founder of the Baker's Market, staff's her own booth on opening market day.

This past Saturday the Vancouver Baker’s Market reopened for it’s second fall season, after opening last year. It will now be open every Saturday from now to December, 11am – 3pm; and although it’s a bit of a trek to get to in South Vancouver, it is worth the trip!

Connie started the Baker’s market last year, and is excited about kicking off another season of local bakers. “Every week we get different vendors, so you gotta come every week to check it all out,” she said amongst the buzz of the market.

Buttercup Cake Design at Baker's Market

Buttercup Cake Design at Baker's Market

The opening Saturday vendor’s included our friend Amanda Goats, local pastry chef, who I chatted with a few months ago and has since launched her own business: Buttercup Cake Design.  Amanda will be at the market every Saturday this fall, and is just one of many fun vendors on display.

Miss Mandy’s Sweet Treats, selling mini bundt cakes and home made chocolates, is another vendor at the market and sold out quickly.  Damien’s Belgian Waffles, real Belgian waffles, in many flavours and even chocolate covered were heavenly to sample.  Other vendors included fresh baked bread, cupcakes, cookies, mini-pies, and much more.

Damien's Waffles on display at Baker's Market

Damien's Waffles on display at Baker's Market, white chocolate covered in bottom right - rich & yummy!

The vendor list is available on the market website, but be sure to arrive early because the fresh baked goods move quickly!

There were approximately 12 vendors on Saturday and 10 new vendors will join this coming Saturday – making it a tight squeeze with all the more to feast your fall sweet-tooth on!

Connie had a minute to spare while staffing her own booth at the market, so I could ask about the market’s beginning.

How did the Baker’s Market start? Basically I love baking, and my friends got tired of eating my stuff. And I really felt that there are so many talented people out there who want to share their products, so instead of giving it away I thought we could try a central location where people can share their love of baking.

Baker's Market Guest Book table

Baker's Market even has a Guest Book table with fun fridge magnets!

BLOG OR BUST #4: GOURMET FURY!

The Gourmet Fury is another great Vancouver Food Blog, who also happened to cover the spring season of the Baker’s Market earlier this year.  Although I first learned about Melody Fury, the author, earlier in my summer of blogging. Then, she had just covered solid ground during the Winter Games through her posts with videos, photos, and recipes as part of her culinary tourism angle.

Melody is also the founder of Vancouver Food Tour; and has an accolade of coverage and awards already for her quality food blogging. As another great foodie to follow, Melody continues to validate Vancouver as a quality place to eat. She eats and Tweets, and is a fun follow – enjoy Gourmet Fury!