Cupcake Diaries – Desmond & Beatrice

Cupcake Diaries: Desmond & Beatrice - Candy Coated Culinista

Cupcake Diaries: Desmond & Beatrice – Candy Coated Culinista

Desmond & Beatrice is on my Cupcakes quest list and I finally had a chance to visit this shop.

Place: Desmond & Beatrice
Location: 750 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON, M4M 1H4 (647)-352-2257
Hours: Monday – Sunday 10am – 7pm
Website: https://desmondandbeatrice.com/
Prices: $2.75 each. $6.22 for two with tax.

Review
This was a very dense cupcake with an inch of swirled buttercream frosting. I loved the density of the cupcakes, because then I feel that one is enough. The frosting was rich and sweet. I am not a frosting fan so I only ate enough to taste test. Mr. C. had the strawberry cupcake and enjoyed every bite. He also noticed the density also. I also heard “yum” as he ate it.

Blackberry Strawberry Chia Jam

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I am trying to cut some of those hard to pronounce ingredients from my life and here’s my attempt at jam. I don’t really use jam unless in baked goods, but if I can get Mr. C. to like this more natural organic preparation, I’d be really happy.

Yield/Serving: 1 pint
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: about 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• Handful of strawberries, stems cut off & cut in quarters
• Handful of blackberries, cut in half
• Handful of frozen cranberries
• 5 tbsp agave nectar
• Juice from one orange
• 1 tsp pear extract
• 3 tbsp chia seeds

Assembly
1. Prep the berries and pour into a small saucepan over medium-high heat and allow berries to break down.
2. Add orange juice and allow to boil stirring frequently.
3. Add in chia seeds, pear extract and continue to stir.
4. Reduce to low heat and allow jam to thicken up.
5. Pour into mason jars and let cool to room temperature.
6. Store in refrigerator.

Tips
• Jam will keep for up to two weeks.
• Use any type of sweetener or no sweetener at all if you like.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This jam was fast and simple and healthy. The chia seeds work well as the berries and seems to help the jam bind better.

Lemon and Blueberry Yogurt Cake with Vanilla Glaze

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

I was walking to work one morning and it was such a nice day out (for March), that I decided to take my walk to work outside and not use the underground PATH. When I got to Yonge & King there were free samples of Silhouette Greek Yogurt being handed out. I was given blueberry and since Mr. C. has his favourite yogurt already in the house and I don’t like the stuff unless it’s in a smoothie, (It’s a texture thing). I decided to find a recipe where I could use it and not waste my freebies. I knew that yogurt could be used in cakes to make it extra moist so I made a go of it.

Yield/Serving: 1 bread loaf pan & 1- 9” cake pan
Prep Time: 30 minutes for cake, 10 minutes for syrup and 10 minutes for glaze
Cook Time: 55–60 minutes for Bread loaf and 50-55 minutes for 9” cake pan
Difficulty level is: Medium (Labour intensive but so worth it)

Ingredients
Cake
• Flour to grease the pans
• Butter to grease the pans
• 3 cups all-purpose flour
• 4 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp of salt
• 400g Blueberry Greek Yogurt
• 2 cups sugar
• 6 eggs
• 2/3 cup canola oil
• Lemon zest grated from one lemon
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 125g (4.4 oz) fresh blueberries & 2 tsp flour
Lemon Simple Syrup
• 2 freshly squeezed lemons, juiced
• 2/3 cup sugar
Vanilla Glaze
• 3/4 cup powdered sugar
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• milk, as needed

Assembly/Method
Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
2. Grease and flour a bread loaf pan.
3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. In a separate large bowl (or your mixer bowl), whisk together the yogurt, sugar, eggs, canola oil, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
5. Now add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix (using the paddle attachment) until batter is smooth.
6. In a small bowl sprinkle 2 tsp of flour over blueberries and toss to coat.
7. Gently fold blueberries into the cake batter.
8. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick tester comes out clean.
9. Now start of the lemon simple syrup. (see below)
10. When the cake is finished baking, run a silicone knife along the edges of the pan to loosen.
11. Let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
12. Transfer cake to wire cooling rack on top of a sheet pan.
13. Pour the lemon syrup over the cake and allow it to soak in.
14. Let cake cool (for at least an hour or longer if you have the time).
15. Prepare the vanilla glaze. (see below)
Lemon Simple Syrup
1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, stir together the lemon juice and sugar.
2. Cook until the sugar dissolves completely.
3. Turn off heat and set aside.
Vanilla Glaze
1. In a small bowl, stir together the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and enough milk to make a glaze consistency.
2. Pour over the cooled cake and let it run down the sides.
3. Transfer to a serving platter, slice and enjoy!

Tips
• I was making dinner and baking at the same time so counter space was at a premium for me. If you don’t have lots of counter space you can take the cake out of the pans and let it cool, and put the cakes back in the pan and pour the simple syrup on them. When it’s time to pour the glaze on, you can place the cakes on some wax paper on a cutting board and let it cool – This is what I did.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
I gave Mr. C. six thick slices to take into work in the morning, and within an hour of him getting in, he emailed me to say. I have requests for the cake recipe.
“I have to say that was delicious indeed. And I didn’t feel guilty eating it…should I have?”

“I do like my lemon-y desserts. Also, it’s totally moist and that glaze was definitely the best”

Mr. C. said, “The cake was really moist and I enjoyed the bursts of fruit flavor when you bit into those pieces. The lemon added a bit of tartness to it and the hint of vanilla glaze on the outside made for a sticky mess on my hands, but it balanced against the tartness of the lemon nicely. If anything I would ratchet up the icing used a little bit to balance between the sweetness and tartness, as the blueberries were fairly tart themselves.”

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Lemon & Blueberry Yogurt Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Sweet Treats Peep-Toe Heels

DIY Sweet Treats Peep-Toe Heels - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Sweet Treats Peep-Toe Heels – Candy Coated Culinista

I saw a pair of shoes I just had to have. I was watching Masterchef Canada and a contestant vying to be on the show walked up to the judges in these shoes that had sparkly ice cream cones on the back. Immediately after to show finished I was tracking these shoes down. They were a Karl Lagerfeld & Melissa Collaboration. Looking at the shoe I was sold. They were made from eco-friendly recycled rubber, meaning a vegan shoe and there is the added scent of perfume throughout the shoe, because I can only guess how stinky a rubber high-heeled shoe can get. I ordered my shoes online and to my chagrin they were a little snug and since Melissa shoes don’t come in half sizes I had to return them. I’m not one of those girls who squishes their feet into a smaller shoes, because they look so good. I don’t want the bunions and broken toes thank you, but still after I returned them I was still thinking about these shoes and I thought I can make a shoe myself can’t I? All I need is paint, some sparkles and I’m on my way. As my design process evolved I said, “well now I can do macarons my favourite treat, and I was all ready to start decorating when I found some great supplies that made my ice cream shoes evolve into my Sweet Treats Peep-Toe Heels.

Supplies
• A pair of patent leather shoes, any style you like(I got my from Aldo for $14.99 in the clearance section)
• Green painters tape
• Newspaper
• A box to spray shoes in.
• 1 can of Krylon Watermelon indoor/outdoor spray paint, any colour you like
• Fine Sand Paper
• Extra Fine Sand Paper
• Nail Polish Remover
• Cotton balls
• Q-Tips
• Stickers, any design you like
• Spray on Glitter Sealer

Assembly
1. Buy a pair or patent leather shoes or find an old pair in good condition that you don’t wear anymore.
2. Using green painters tape, mask off the whole shoe excluding the heel.
3. Stuff the shoes with newspaper and wrap more painters tape around the shoe to keep the newspaper in place.
4. In a well ventilated area inside a box (so paint doesn’t get on other objects and surfaces) spray paint over the heels in thin even coats.
5. Repeat spray painting the heel as many times as needed to get the colour desired.
6. If the paint starts to bubble, lightly rub the area with fine and extra fine sandpaper.
7. Re-spray the area that needs touching up.
8. Let the heels dry for a day before you start on the next step.
9. Remove the painters tape.
10. If the paint has bled through remove with a little nail polish remover on a cotton ball or a Q tip.
11. Apply stickers onto the heels and press down firmly.
12. Apply glitter spray over the entire shoe and apply a few coats until the amount of sparkles you desire is reached.
13. Let cure for a day or two.
14. Enjoy your craftiness and your amazing new spring shoes.

Tips
• Multiple coats are needed. If you spray on too thick of a layer at once it will bubble and run.
• Spray paint dries within 5 minutes or so depending on the manufactures label; but I wasn’t going to risk my hard work so I gladly waited a day or two to let it cure between stages.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
I had to show these to my dad because I felt so proud of what I did and he said he really liked what I did and “good job, those look so good”
Mr. C. of course loved them and always motivate my crafty side, because I get so happy and my face lights up when I creating with my hands.

My thoughts
The sparkles was an after though when I was trying to look for a sealer of some sort and couldn’t find anything. I walked around Michael’s and got inspired.

DIY Sweet Treats Peep-Toe Heels - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Sweet Treats Peep-Toe Heels – Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Sweet Treats Peep-Toe Heels - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Sweet Treats Peep-Toe Heels – Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Sweet Treats Peep-Toe Heels - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Sweet Treats Peep-Toe Heels – Candy Coated Culinista

Inspiration Shoe - Candy Coated Culinista

Inspiration Shoe – Candy Coated Culinista

Inspiration Shoe - Candy Coated Culinista

Inspiration Shoe – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy One Year Anniversary Celebration Cake

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Celebration Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Celebration Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Anniversary Candy Coated Culinista!

Cheers to one year of blogging.

As they say time flies and has it ever. Last May I finally decided to start this blog because my favourite cookies (Post #1 – Chocolate Diablo Cookies from the Tacofino Food Truck in BC) were a part of a cooking club challenge. I took this as a sign to do a little bit more with my love of baking and cooking, and till then my escapades sat on my laptop in many word documents just for myself. Since my mom passed away almost three years ago I have been promising myself to do and try everything once; even if I’m unsure whether it is a weird food or a new activity. Let’s face it we have no clue when our time is up and it would be great to say at the end, that we have tried and done all we could, when we could and was able to. With my new philosophy I have been keeping to it and am proud to have reached my one year with consistently posting and sharing my food journals. From my food to my DIY’s, my lemony letdowns to my quests, events, techniques and adventures I have enjoyed this blog immensely. Every day when I am going about my daily routine I find that food is always in my head in minor or major roles. I am thinking about food styling, photo shoots, food pairings, and “is this blog worthy” or not and just jotting down ideas on sticky notes for later. Sometimes things come from it and sometimes not; but one thing that I notice resonates with me is I love a good challenge. Occasionally the food I pick is a real challenge; but for me it’s all about the journey and what I learn from it. Even when my recipe becomes a lemony letdown it’s ok, because this is just step one in a journey to master what I am trying to achieve. One day I will get there no matter how many attempts it takes me.

Thanks for reading and enjoying my blog so far as I love hearing the comments and even the requests to try something new.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 10
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Cake
• 3 ½ cups cake flour, sifted
• 4 tsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
• 4 egg at room temperature
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup 2% milk, at room temperature
• Sprinkles, confetti quinns, to decorate

Frosting
• 2 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 5 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• Food colouring

Assembly
Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line two 9” round cake pan with parchment paper and grease and flour the parchment paper.
3. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.
4. Using an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter until soft, 1-2 minutes.
5. Add ½ cup of sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
6. Add eggs and the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
7. On low speed continue add in the flour mixture and the milk alternating in three parts, ending with the flour and let mix until just combined.
8. Divide the batter into the two prepared cake pans and smooth the top.
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pan until completely cooled.
11. Use a cake leveler and shave of excess if needed.
12. Place frosting on top of the first cake and frost, then place the second cake on top.
13. Frost the remaining sides of the cake.
14. Decorate with sprinkles
Frosting
1. Using an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment cream butter on high until light and fluffy.
2. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
3. Add confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time until well combined.
4. Add in vanilla extract and food colouring and combine.
5. Decorate the cake.
6. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Tips
• If your frosting is too thin, you can add more icing sugar a few tablespoons at a time until you achieve desired consistency.
• Wrap each cake in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 1 hour to allow the frosting to adhere well.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my second layered cake ever and I was quite pleased that my frosting this time wasn’t hard and it was easy to spread and decorate. I did find my cake to be dry and too crumbly though and I have to re-vamp this recipe. I still gave pieces to my friends as they have to suffer through the bad along with all my perfectly edible treats they get all the time. I told them upfront that “It’s a little on the dry side but you get all the good treats so you have to at least take a bite and chuck the rest. There is ten dollars in buttercream and that isn’t going to waste.” This is how you guilt people into eating your food and for my friends it works. My next attempt I think I will be to make a simple syrup to pour over the cake to help it stay moist and possibly find a cake decorating class in town. I also had issues moving the cake from the decorating table to the cake stand. I am such a novice I know I am missing some key important steps to make this whole process easier. I was still super proud of myself and almost a year from my first attempt at making a layered cake to today the results have vastly improved and for that I am truly thankful.

I received many compliments on my buttercream as it wasn’t overly sweet and had the perfect texture. I was even asked to make a batch for God-son’s mother. She was making cupcakes for her God-son and wanted my buttercream. Yippee! She is a wonderful cook, baker, seamstress, hairstylist basically anything creative she is great at; she even made my wedding, bridal shower and bachelorette party cakes. This made me feel totally amazing.

**** I did some quick research and it could really be anything : the oven temperature is too high, too much of an ingredient, not enough of another, over baked, the recipe itself, the flour, too many eggs or butter, not enough fat, too much sugar. These could all be the reason why my cake turned out poorly. It’s a great starting point but this is basically means any and possibly this entire recipe was wrong. I think it’s time to try another recipe and see what happens. I will decorate a cake again one I have achieved the perfectly moist cake.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Celebration Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Celebration Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Celebration Cake - Candy Coated Culinista

Happy 1 Year Anniversary Celebration Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Dip Dyed Ombre Denim

DIY Dip Dyed Ombre Denim - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Dip Dyed Ombre Denim – Candy Coated Culinista

If I can find a cheap pair of denim, I am bound to start getting creative.

Difficulty level is: Easy & Fun

Materials
• Inexpensive skinny jeans, any colour
• RIT Dye (Green Apple)
• 1 Large rectangular bucket or bin
• 1 bucket
• 3 litres of vinegar
• 1 cup salt
• Laundry detergent

Assembly
1. Follow the instruction on the RIT Dye bottles, and pour into containers.
2. Quickly dip your jeans into the bucket of dye and dip to just below the pockets.
3. Remove from the dye bath and let it hang dry.
4. Once they have dried it is time to set the dye.
5. Place jeans in a bucket and cover completely with vinegar.
6. Soak for 1 hour or longer.
7. Remove the jeans and place in the washing machine on the cold cycle with ½ cup of salt and laundry detergent.

Tips
• Use whatever colours you like.
• Wash the jeans alone the first couple of times to ensure you don’t damage any of your other clothes.
• Hang dry to keep the colour vibrant if possible.
• When washing after use colour safe detergent which brightens colours.
• I would suggest buying one size larger than you usually wear. Once the dye is on the denim most of the stretch is gone. I found mine to be a little snug. I can still wear them, but just a heads up.
• Let the denim dry hung up for 1 week or longer.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This denim turned out much better than my tri-dye denim. This time around I let it dry for a month. I just hung it up and let it air dry and cure naturally. I had no bleeding which is what I wanted my prior pair to look like. So if you are in no rush the longer you let it cure the better and stronger the dye will stay. Just think of it like an oil painting. It needs to cure.

DIY Dip Dyed Ombre Denim - Candy Coated Culinista

DIY Dip Dyed Ombre Denim – Candy Coated Culinista

100th Post – Candy Confetti Cupcakes

C.C.’s 100th Post - Candy Confetti Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

C.C.’s 100th Post – Candy Confetti Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista

Wow 100 posts! To celebrate my 100th post I decided to make cupcakes from scratch. I have been apprehensive making cupcakes as mine never seem to get enough rise or lift and it’s quite vexing to me. I have been working on my cupcake decorating and piping techniques and I’m quite pleased with how my skills are growing. When I started I was using and offset spatula to decorate and now I have graduated to a proper piping bag and everything. So cheers to my first 100 posts and too many, many, many more to come.

Yield/Serving: 24
Prep Time: 25 min.
Cook Time: 15-18 min., cupcakes
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Cupcakes
• 1 cup 2% milk, at room temperature
• 4 large egg whites, at room temperature
• 1 whole egg, at room temperature
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 cups cake flour, sifted
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp sea salt
• ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
• ½ cup sprinkles, or quinns
Maple Buttercream Frosting
• 1 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
• 1 cup pure maple Canadian maple syrup
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
• Food colouring
• Non-pareils Sprinkles, coloured sugar, candy pearls, for decorating the top

Assembly
Cupcakes
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. Prepare two muffin pans and line with cupcake liners and set aside.
3. In a large bowl combine egg whites, egg, vanilla extract and ¼ cup of milk and whisk.
4. Using an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda on a low speed for half a minute or so.
5. Add in the butter and blend for another half minute then add the remaining milk and mix until just moistened.
6. Now increase the speed and continue to mix for one and a half minutes.
7. Slowly start adding the egg mixture stopping between ever so often to allow the flour to absorb the egg mixture.
8. Once all of the egg mixture has been added fold in the sprinkles by hand until just combined.
9. Pour mixture into cupcake liners about ¾ of the way add bake for 15-18 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean when inserted.
10. Remove from baking pans immediately and let cool completely on a wire rack.
Frosting
1. Using an electric stand mixer with the whisk attachment cream butter on high until light and fluffy.
2. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
3. Add confectioners’ sugar one cup at a time until well combined.
4. Slowly add in the maple syrup and the food colouring until desired colour is achieved
5. Transfer frosting to a piping bag, and pipe along the top of the cake.
6. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Please Enjoy

Reviews
“You can tell your wife, I don’t like maple (but yes of course I still took a cupcake, I’m not stupid) and that she used the perfect amount of maple because it wasn’t overpowering…just a hint so it was yummy.”

Surprisingly there are many people, who don’t like maple syrup, and you call yourselves Canadians, it’s almost sacrilegious. They still enjoyed my cupcakes though as it wasn’t heavy on the maple syrup. It probably helped that the maple syrup I used is from one of my dad’s students as their parents own a maple syrup farm. You can really taste the difference when you have true & pure maple syrup versus the artificial brands.

My thoughts
I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I was putting a lot on this one recipe as it’s for my 100th post, but it came out great. Every time I looked through the oven window the cupcakes were doing its thing and looking great. The sprinkles in the batter added a lovely color to the cupcake and I made the icing it one of my favourite colours. Next time I will try to see if I can make the batter moister somehow. It wasn’t dry, but I just want to see if I can make is moister like the ones I get from the bakeries. I liked how it wasn’t too dense, as I prefer my cupcakes to be more light and airy versus dense. I think I have my scratch cupcakes recipe, now to start tweaking it.

C.C.’s 100th Post - Candy Confetti Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

C.C.’s 100th Post – Candy Confetti Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista

C.C.’s 100th Post - Candy Confetti Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

C.C.’s 100th Post – Candy Confetti Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista


C.C.’s 100th Post - Candy Confetti Cupcakes - Candy Coated Culinista

C.C.’s 100th Post – Candy Confetti Cupcakes – Candy Coated Culinista

Chuck Hughes

Who: Chuck Hughes -Chucks Day Off (Airs on Food Network Canada)

Alright so I am about to gush about Chuck Hughes, he is absolutely my most favourite Canadian Chef. Don’t get me wrong I have a bunch of Canadian chefs that I call my favorites, but there’s something about this man. Yes he is handsome and has an accent, but that’s not it. Yes he is tattooed which I find really cool; but it’s this man’s passion for food. Even the simplest of dishes he makes on his show “Chucks Day Off” exudes love and passion for his customers, employees, distributors, electricians, cleaners, the neighbours on his restaurants street and I could go on. He just loves making food for the people in his life in those minor and major roles. He’s a down to earth guy that loves what he does and nothing is better than that.

When he won Iron Chef America (a show I love to watch) I was glued hoping he’d win. The secret ingredient was Lobster and Chuck loves lobster, he has one tattooed on his arm. He made a lobster roll with a bloody Caesar cocktail, lobster poutine, lobster and onion ring salad with carrot butter and avocado and lobster-mushroom risotto and jerked-spiced lobster. (Some of these recipes are in his books.) Let me tell you it didn’t look good. I thought he was going to lose for sure, the critiques from the judges didn’t seem so nice and his face looked a little beaten down, but he won! He beat Bobby Flay who has a pretty good record on Iron Chef. So Chuck became the first Canadian to win and did what Roger Mooking and Lynn Crawford couldn’t do. I was so happy and even my dad watched it too and when we were talking the next day he said, “Did you see Iron chef, that guy you’re always watching won” to which I replied “Yes dad, yes I did and it was great.”

I have been watching his show for years but sadly the only book he had out was in French so my limited ability to read French would have ruined any recipe I tried. When he released Garde Manger in English I picked it up right away! This was my chance to finally try some of his cookbook recipes without the need of a translator!

Mr. C. and I were supposed to visit Garde Manger on our trip to Montreal, but those plans fell through and I was left wondering if I will ever get to visit his restaurant or have a chance to meet him, but my chance was on the way. His signing was at 12:00pm and I arrived minutes to 10:00am on a Mother’s Day. This was going to be my first mother’s day after my mom’s passing , so instead of staying at home and being down and depressed, Mr. C and I decided it would be a good way for me to get through the day and with it being Chuck and all, it felt designed just for me. I was first in line and was very thrilled about that thinking the whole time “This never happens to me!” Normally the biggest fans are there earlier, but then I realized I am the biggest fan.

He didn’t talk much prior to the actual autograph signing, but he made up for that when I got my book signed. Being the first in line has its perks, I got a few precious extra minutes with him. He shook my hand (I hadn’t had that yet at any of the book signings I have been to) and I told him that I loved his White Chocolate Meringue recipe; which was a hit with my husband who is not a fan of Meringue and an Irish co-worker who absolutely loved it. He told me that he is not a fan of Meringue himself either, but he makes it because people love it. The same can be said for Fennel and a lot of his recipes have Fennel in it. He then told me that you can’t be a chef and cook just what you like, which is very true, it would be hard to make any money. So I got my signature and thanked him for coming to see us in Toronto, and walked away one happy girl. We were treated to finger sandwiches, coffee and a lovely three tiered cake from Pusateri’s Fine Foods, a gourmet grocer in the same mall as the bookstore. All in all it was a great day, and my best book signing yet! It made a very hard day that much better.

Thanks Chuck.

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