Done way back on a warm day in the summer (obviously not ideal pie crust making weather).  2 guys + 3 girls in the kitchen one late Saturday night.  Time to have the battle of the pies.  The battle per se: lard crusts vs. margarine crusts vs oil crusts.  Dan, an avid lard lover (bleh) vs. Lauren, the margarine lover vs. Tammy, the lover all pie and wanting to experiment.  In my unbiased opinion (cough, cough)…the margarine won. 

I did throw in a special ingredient…in the form of…VODKA.  I reduced some of the water in the recipe and threw in Vodka.  The science behind it being: alcohol will moisten the pie and make it easy to work with and roll out, but the vodka will not result in gluten formation…hence a nice, tender, flakey pie.

I rule.

We did blueberry, apple…and Helen’s fruit of choice, apricot.  I gotta admit, apricot pie…pretty good.

Alex, the other macho man in the kitchen was the photographer.  These aren’t his pix, his are much, much (x 10) better.


Cinnamon buns are grand. But they are overplayed.  I don’t play.  I am cool remember?

You know what else is cool?  The blog Kitchen Unplugged…and so is this post.

Enough talk…more pictures.  I heard you say that.

Recognize this picture??? I liked it so much i had to use it.

Save yourself the trouble: use a coffee grinder or ground cinnamon. Or not, i have man hands.

The dough, the fat, the cinnamon, the suga suga.

It’s like butta baybeee…no really, it was margarine.  I’m so tricky.

The two lovers reunite. A little ying, a little yang.

Hey…we’re uneven…

Ohhhhhh…i get it…hello chopstick.

After the tanning session…we’re so darn cute.


The recipe ( i didn’t have cardamom, used margarine and cut back on the fat…i think i used about 3 cups of flour too)

Cinnamon Butterfly Recipe (yield 12 rolls) (recipe adapted from Cinnamon Ears by Beatrice Ojakangas and Kitchen Unplugged)

  • 10 mL active dry yeast
  • 125 mL lukewarm water
  • 50 mL margarine (melted)
  • 50 mL sugar
  • 1 large egg 
  • a pinch of salt
  • 750 mL flour (called for 2 1/4 cups plain flour )
  • filling: 30 mL margarine; 50 mL sugar mixed with 15 mL freshly grated cinnamon.
  • glaze: 1 egg mixed with 5 mL milk and 15 mL of sugar sprinkled on top. I wet the sugar with a few drops of water so it clumped.


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Dissolve 1 mL of sugar in a bowl with the water. Drizzle yeast on top and let rest for 5 mins.
  3. Combine the melted margarine, sugar and egg in a bowl.  Add the yeast mixture.
  4. Combine the flour and salt.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  5. Knead the dough, adding more flour if needed, until the dough is smooth.  Let rest for at least an hour.
  6. Flour the counter, roll out the dough to a 12″ x 24″ rectangle, spread the margarine and cinnamon sugar onto the dough. Roll up, starting from a 24″ side. Cut roll diagonally (the first and second cut are in an opposite direction, so an individual roll with 1/2″ width on one side and 3″ on the other)
  7. You should end up wtih 12 rolls, using a chopstick, make an indentation in the middle so the two cut edges will be forced upward.
  8. Place rolls on a parchment lined sheet and let rise for about 5 minutes.
  9. Glaze the rolls with the egg/milk mixture and sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

I had left over steak and cheese.  2 of the best foods on earth, yet leftovers…gasp, but how?

Ok, let’s do this thang. Calzone styles baby!


The cast: Steak, mushrooms, homemade pizza dough, tomato sauce, onions, mozza and parm.

My misto with olive oil: if you don’t know what this is, you better ask somebody.


Onions with butta…the fragrance of love.


Caramlezing. i heart onions and mushrooms together.


                 Fleur de sel: again, if you don’t know you better ask somebody…or google it at least.


                                Load on some mozz and top with the steak…eat some steak, eat some cheese.

Top with the onions and mushrooms. Throw on some parm. Drool.

                                            Get them all cozy and comfy together.

   Fresh outta the oven…oozing with cheese…high five!

They were so ripe and spotted…and neglected.  I don’t really like bananas plain…but in baked form…those babies satisfy like no other.

So the banana bread recipe was a basic…with a twist. Just a teeny, tiny one that included rum and flambeing. That’s all. Teeny, tiny i said!

Poor, lonely, neglected bananas.

Chop, chop, chop

Time to get you bad boys saucied up!

Hmmm…almost empty anyway…

Burn baby burn! I mean, caramelize baby caramelize!

Hey, don’t judge me…it’s just a little drizzle more…more…more.

Hello you sexy thangs! 



  • 3.5 medium ripe bananas (3 for the bread, 1/2 for the decoration if you want)
  • 30 mL rum (well more or less)
  • 15 mL butter
  • 15-30 mL sugar
  • 375 mL flour
  • 5 mL baking soda
  • 1 mL salt
  • 175 mL sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract
  • 70 mL melted butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 8×4 inch loaf pan (you’ll also have some leftovers for about 4 muffins…or you can just use 9×4 inch pan and make a bigger loaf).
  2. Slice the 3 bananas. Melt the 15 mL of butter in a large sauce pan, over medium heat and add the brown sugar until the mixture thickens. 
  3. Add the bananas and continue to cook until the bananas soften and just begin to caramalize.
  4. Add the rum and tilt the saucepan until the gas ignites the rum and then quickly shake the pan until the flame disappears.  If you are working with a electric stove, you’re going to have to use a match to quickly light the rum (and not burn your hands/face/hair off).
  5. Set bananas aside to cool slightly while you prepare the batter.
  6. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
  7. Combine the melted butter, vanilla and egg in another bowl. 
  8. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and then throw in the bananas.  Mix until just incorporated and pour into greased pan(s).  Decorate the bread and muffins with the other 1/2 sliced banana if using. Bake for about 40 mins for the loaf and about 20 minutes for the muffins.
  9. Let cool in the pans for about 5 minutes and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
  10. Enjoy the sexy bananas.

Peaches are goood.

Peaches + blueberries in a nice, flaky, with a hint of crunch crust = hello lover.

I love this blog…so inspired by the pictures, commentary, recipes, author.  The food looks amazing.

I followed the recipe, but I used blueberries instead of raspberries, subbed plain nonfat yogurt for the sour cream and didn’t add any butter to the filling.  Result…see above…the whole hello lover bit…mmm.

My pic isn’t as nice, boohoo, but you get the idea.

I like chocolate.  I like cookies. I like chocolate chip cookies.

But those are boring. (And i’m not boring…i am awesome…and humble)

So as i was scoping out pages, i stumbled upon this.

So i went for it.  I just made a basic cookie dough recipe (forgive me, i forget what i put in) and nixed the choco chips.   Then i rolled some parchment (no pastry bag, i’m high roller that way) and made little “chips”. Baked the chips for about 4 minutes.  Melted down some callebaut semi-sweet chips.  And dumped the “chips” in.  I saved a few nice ones for decoration.

They turned out awesome.

So i went to take pictures…and gasp my camera battery was dead!!! So then i resorted to my cell phone to take pics (see below, so horrible…and i cursed a lot) I then realized, “lauren, just charge your camera, IDIOT!”)

i can’t believe how awesome the above  pic turned out.  You have no idea, i felt so profesh.

And below some poor shots.  The last two with my camera phone.


There was a time, when i was making rolled sushi and okonomiyaki, every day for about a month. The people at the Japanese market I go to…must have thought i was crazy going in and getting fresh fish almost daily.

Back in the beginning of the year.  A little sushi party.  I prepped all the fish, veggies, fillings…and then my friends did their thang. 

We started it off with some sake shots.  I hollowed out some cukes…refreshing…but i got impatient (me, impatient, i know right…) and cut through some cukes…so sake was flowing out, baller style? No.

Oh baby.  Tuna, toro, hamachi, salmon, chopped scallop, crab, smoked salmon, quail eggs, prosciutto, chicken teriyaki, uni (shudder), unagi, mango, avocado, asparagus…ok I can’t go on.

7 layer dip…nawww…7 layer sushi. Because that’s how we roll baybee…or press…