• Cranberry Jelly

  • Linzer Torte Cookies

  • Almond Chocolate Toffee

  • Savarin filled with tipsy fruit

    Savarin Cake

  • Rösti

  • Meringue

  • Jammy Almond Tarts

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Cranberry Jelly

My holiday mantra this year is “keep it simple” and these sparkling jellies are simplicity in a glass. Made of cranberry juice and a splash of Grand Marnier, these grown-up jellies are both sweet and tart. I’ve dusted the rims of sherry glasses with fine sugar before pouring in the fortified juice. Once the gelatin […]

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Linzer Torte Cookies

Nothing says holiday like a sugar-dusted cookie filled with jam. Linzer Torte cookies are scrumptious and gorgeous in equal measures. Made of toasted ground almonds, sweet butter and a whisper of lemon zest, these dainty cookies sandwich a filling of raspberry preserves. An adaptation of Austria’s classic Linzer Torte, these cookies are one of the […]

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Almond Chocolate Toffee

The first time I made toffee, it turned out beautifully: a crisp sheet of caramel-coloured ice that snapped into shards of buttery bliss. The second time I made toffee, it crumbled in my hands. The third time, it turned a grainy mess ….  I’ve had my issues with toffee. Fortunately, I discovered a few tips […]

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A message to the reluctant cook,

Sometimes you’ll scorch the rice, burn the sugar or overwork the dough.  You might under-cook, over-salt or overcrowd the pan.

I’ve made all these mistakes and plenty more.

But with every blunder, a new lesson unfolds. Knowing what NOT to do is as important as knowing what to do. If your cooking history is, um, colourful, consider yourself ahead of the curve.

With practice, you’ll learn to trust your senses:

Touch your food.  You’ll feel when the dough is ready or when the meat is perfectly cooked.

Smell  your food. Your nose knows if the fish is fresh or funky — or when the garlic’s about to burn.

Listen to the sizzle and the sputter.  It’s telling you if your pan’s the right (or wrong) temperature.

Watch your food. It’s always perfect — just before it burns.

Taste as  you cook.  You’ll know if the soup needs a pinch of salt or a squeeze of lemon.

Most importantly, relax and enjoy the pleasures of the kitchen. And have a glass of wine while you’re at it.

Just don’t toss in the apron!

Denise Marchessault