This vegan and gluten-free nectarine blueberry crisp is wonderful any time of year! Fresh tender fruit is baked soft and syrupy with a buttery crisp topping.…Read More
Baking is a salve to my grief and this apple cider cornflake crisp is a result of that. My grandmother and my mother died, three days apart, three weeks ago. I feel lost. Helpless. Broken. Spending time with my daughter, and baking are the only things that bring relief. Baking, a skill taught to me by my Mum so many years ago, is something I carry with me, a constant reminder that she was real. She existed. And she will continue to live through me and my recipes.…Read More
This strawberry rhubarb bread pudding recipe is so easy to make and doesn’t contain any eggs or milk. Instead, sourdough bread is tossed with maple syrup, melted butter, and a little sugar and left to soak for a short time. Bread pudding is a go-to recipe in our house and we switch out the fruit based on what’s in season during the spring and summer. Rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, and peaches all taste terrific in bread pudding – consider mixing them together – while apples and cranberries are great options for the colder months.
This post was sponsored by Atlantic Superstore, however all views and opinions are my own. I will never endorse anything I don’t use or love! Thank you for supporting brands that help make kellyneil.com possible.
Making oven roasted spiced pears will bring out a more caramelized, rich flavour than poaching. A simple recipe combines pears in a casserole dish with brown sugar, spices, and a small amount of liquid for one hour at 350ºF. Spiced pears make a great addition to both sweet and savory dishes!
With flavours of fresh lime, ginger, and chopped mint, this watermelon pavlova recipe is a simple, gorgeous dessert, perfect for all of your summer entertaining. Whether a quick slice for breakfast, or a snack on the go, packed in a picnic basket, or at a BBQ, watermelon is the quintessential summer fruit!
This post was sponsored by National Watermelon Promotion Board, however all views and opinions are my own. I will never endorse anything I don’t use or love! Thank you for supporting brands that help make kellyneil.com possible.
This post was first published on June 22, 2018 and was last updated September 25, 2019.
This Strawberry Shortcake With Chai-Spiced Biscuits is a hardcore signal of summer for me. Strawberry shortcake was a staple in my house when I was a child. I can still picture my Mum hulling fresh berries, layering them with biscuits and whipped cream. I put a spin on this childhood summer classic with chai-spice in the biscuits, and a touch of rose water in the whipped cream. You can find my recipe for Homemade Chai Spice here.
This post was first published on August 8, 2017 and was last updated September 6, 2019.
This Cider-Poached Rhubarb Pavlova features tart spring rhubarb roasted with hard apple cider and sugar showcased on mini-meringue shells. We chose to add fresh lilac blossoms to the whipped cream for this pavlova. Make your lilac sugar a few days in advance if you want stronger lilac flavour. If lilacs aren’t in season you can substitute any other edible flower you like, or leave them out completely. Also consider using store bought meringue shells to simply make your life easier!
This post was first published on June 28, 2017 and was last updated September 25, 2019.
Nova Scotia Blueberry Grunt is a classic East Coast fruit dessert! Traditionally made on the stovetop, this blueberry grunt recipe is baked in the oven; Walk away and forget about it until the timer goes off! It’s a quick, simple, and tasty way to get the most out of fresh or frozen blueberries.
This post was first published on December 28, 2016, and was last updated December 26, 2019.…Read More
Did you know lilac blossoms are edible?
My neighbour has a number of beautiful old lilac trees growing on his property and has generously given me license to take what I want (including his abundance of rhubarb which should be ready next week!).
So yeah, lilac blossoms.
They’re a little bitter and taste kind of how they smell.
I read somewhere that they taste lemony.
Mostly they’re just soooooooo pretty.
Lemon Lilac Puffs
1 recipe of 6-Minute Microwave Lemon Curd
1 package frozen puff pastry
– bake puff pastry into desired shapes
– top with lemon curd and lilac blossoms
*The wooden cutting board featured in this shot was a ‘Welcome to Cape Breton’ gift from Teena Beaton, owner of Just Bored Boards here in Cape Breton. You can visit Just Bored’s Facebook page here or, find their handcrafted cutting and cheese boards at a number of locations across Nova Scotia including: Down To Earth Art Gallery, Antigonish – Made In The Maritimes Artisan Boutique, Bedford – The Gaelic College of Cape Breton, Cabot Trail, EnglishtownRead More
Old Fashioned Apple Pan Dowdy is a recipe that simply feels right to make in the fall. Each year I watch sweet, fragrant apple blossoms mature through the heat of summer into crisp red-skinned spheres. As the days grow shorter, the fruit falls to the ground, withering, absorbed unto the earth. And then it begins again. The life-cycle of the apples reminds me of Elodie Gallien – my maternal grandmother – and her losing battle with Alzheimer’s. The autumn, and the apples, raise thoughts inside of me, both sweet and sad.
This post was first published on October 3, 2014 and was last updated September 1, 2019.
This Old Fashioned Apple Pan Dowdy post is part of The Nanny Project, an ongoing personal series exploring the relationships and connections between grandmothers, recipes, the past, and present. I started The Nanny Project in the fall of 2014 and wrote it as a bi-weekly column in The Chronicle Herald from October 2017 until the spring of 2019.
My friend Gabby Peyton and I recently drove to Dempsey Corner Orchard in Aylesford, Nova Scotia to pick peaches. Feeling inspired by the peach orchard, Gabby wrote a short essay about our visit; I wrote a recipe for Peach Bourbon Bread Pudding With Vanilla Bean. The bread pudding recipe is super simple, and takes less than 25 minutes in the oven. It’s also egg-free, with a rich, crispy texture from butter combined with white sugar. Feel free to swap out any other summer fruit you like, but don’t skip the bourbon or vanilla bean unless you absolutely must.
This post was first published on September 5, 2014 and was last updated July 31, 2019.
I love the notion of classic cocktails, especially the Negroni – a perfect marriage of Sweet Italian Vermouth, Campari and Gin – but the reality is, I’m kind of a sissy when it comes to hard liquor.
I prefer the flavour of alcohol to be masked by pretty flavours like elderflower cordial, fresh-squeezed Clementine juice or interesting homemade simple syrups.
And yet, something about old-fashioned classic cocktails calls to me.
So I got to thinking – maybe I could enjoy a Negroni by balancing the dominant alcohol flavour more towards my liking.
A tender poached Bosc pear resting in a pool of dark and rich, sweet and deeply-bitter syrup will give my New Year’s Eve table the wow factor I was hoping for.
Negroni Poached Pears
4 small-medium Bosc pears
1 C Sweet Italian Vermouth (aka Red Vermouth)
1 C Campari
1 C Gin
1 C Water
Alton Brown recommends coring pears from the bottom – do this then cut a thin slice off of the bottom so they’ll sit upright when finished poaching – remove skin from pears with a vegetable peeler
lay whole cored pears on their sides in a small pot that gives them enough room to move around a bit – add Vermouth, Campari, Gin and Water to pot – David Liebovitz recommends cutting a parchment circle to cover pears while poaching – I totally did this and recommend doing it too – bring liquid to a simmer/gentle boil and cook pears 25-30 minutes, maintaining a constant simmer/boil the whole time – I lifted the edge of the parchment every 5 minutes or so and gave the pears a bit of a turn
gently remove pears from Negroni liquid with a slotted spoon and stand each one upright on a plate – put plate of pears in fridge to cool – turn up heat on liquid to medium-high and boil Negroni syrup down to about 1/2 C, around 30 minutes – pour hot Negroni syrup into a heat-proof vessel (I used a Pyrex measuring cup) and set aside to cool
serve cooled pears topped with cooled Negroni syrup – if you want to get fancy you could add a dollop of lightly-sweetened whipped cream, a wedge of Clementine for squeezing and a mint leaf
I owe my love of lemon curd to Aimée White – Food Je t’Aimée. It was during a tea party at her house that I had my first encounter with this gorgeous tart and creamy spread.
It’s been an ongoing love affair and since that afternoon, I’ve played with recipes for lemon, lime and Clementine curds. Walking through the farmer’s market the other day, I noticed that Noggins had lush bunches of fresh pink and green spring rhubarb. After the obligatory rhubarb crisp for Sean, my thoughts turned toward curd and I thought, why not?
Totally winging it, as I normally do, I used my favourite lemon curd recipe and just substituted a pound of washed, chopped rhubarb for the lemon juice and zest. I thought about straining out the chunks of rhubarb but in the end said screw it and decided to leave them in for flavour and texture.
You want to make this. Trust me.
I made this Vanilla Pudding Recipe from CHOW.com and layered it in cups with the rhubarb curd and a sweet little Amaretti cookie on top.
1 pound (454g) fresh rhubarb, washed, chopped (use as many bright pink pieces as possible including the parts around the bottom of the stalks)
1 Tbsp water
1 C sugar
4 egg yolks
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/2 C butter
– combine rhubarb, water and 1/2 C sugar in a pot – cook on medium-low heat until rhubarb is very soft, about 14 minutes – smoosh all pieces with the back of a rubber spatula or mash with a potato masher
– whisk egg yolks, kosher salt and remaining 1/2 C sugar – scoop out about 1/2 to 1 Cup hot rhubarb and whisk it into the egg yolk mixture a little bit at a time to temper the yolks and then add everything back to the pot with the remaining hot rhubarb – whisk together
– add butter and cook over med-low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy
– dish into clean Mason jars or other airtight storage containers
*I usually halve this recipe and it makes two 250mL Mason jars full of curd
We’ve been pretty lucky weather-wise here in Halifax this summer. Nothing but full blown sunshine until today.
Today it is damp and gloomy and grey.
It’s a Rice Pudding kind of day.
Warm, straight from the pot with a good shaving of fresh nutmeg and cinnamon on top.
Rainy Day Rice Pudding
1 Tbsp butter
3/4 C Arborio rice
1.5 C water
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 C milk + 1/2 C
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
melt butter in medium sized saucepan – sautée rice in butter 1-2 minutes – add water and salt – bring to boil – lower heat and simmer 20 minutes until water is absorbed
add 1.5 C milk – bring to simmer – cook 20 minutes until thick and creamy – add sugar
in small bowl whisk remaining 1/2 cup milk and the egg together – slowly add some hot rice to the milk/egg mix, a little at a time, whisking constantly until you’ve added 1/2 C hot rice
pour tempered egg/milk mix into pot of rice – cook 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until thick and creamy
remove from heat – add vanilla
garnish with fresh grated nutmeg, cinnamon, a drizzle of honey, maple syrup, shaved chocolate or anything else you like
(recipe adapted from here)Read More
I finally found the perfect vanilla frosting recipe for cupcakes and it’s all thanks to my friend’s Cape Breton grandmother. Nanny Burke’s Buttercream is now my go-to, classic American-style vanilla frosting recipe!
Nanny Burke’s Buttercream is the BEST
You may remember my attempt at making pink peppercorn cupcakes with vanilla frosting. They looked ok but the frosting had as much flavour as a of a jar of Vaseline (and the texture to match). Recently, I made bacon and baileys cupcakes – a play on my social media handle @baconandbaileys. I baked coffee-flavoured cupcakes and topped them with Baileys frosting and candied bacon. I used what I thought was a decent buttercream recipe but it turned out to be so sweet I couldn’t eat it!
Nanny Burke’s Vanilla Frosting Recipe To The Rescue
When I told a friend about my frosting fiasco she said, “Oh – you need Nanny Burke’s Buttercream recipe!” She emailed her grandmother in Cape Breton and Nanny Burke graciously shared her recipe with me. Nanny Burke said that, over the last 50 years, she’s tried a TON of vanilla frosting recipes and this one is by far the best and easiest.
Cupcake Baking Tip
On a side note, here’s a weird and interesting cupcake baking tip that I discovered when I was making my cupcakes for Nanny Burke’s Buttercream. I used Ina Garten’s recipe for Coconut Cupcakes and baked the first dozen at 350ºF until golden, about 22 minutes. While they were in the oven I had another look at the recipe and realized that I was supposed to bake them at 325ºF. I reduced the temperature in a panic for the second batch and here’s what happened:
Does The Cupcake Baking Tip Work?
This cupcake baking tip was just a random fluke that happened to me, however, hundreds of people on Pinterest swear it works! Did it work for you? Let me know in the comments below!
Nanny Burke's Buttercream
- 2 cups butter
- 4 cups icing sugar sifted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Place everything in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low until sugar and butter are combined. Increase speed of mixer and mix 2-3 minutes.
Halving the recipe also works and frosting freezes well.
Icing sugar is also called confectioner's sugar or powdered sugar.
This post was originally published on April 5, 2011 and was updated on June 19, 2019.Read More