Monday, 22 July 2013

In My Kitchen: Chocolate Raspberry Pie

After picking two heaping pailfuls of fresh raspberries last week I've been trying to work them into just about every meal. It's been a lot of berries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner around here and I for one am loving it. There's been raspberries in my yogurt and in my salads, handfuls stashed in take away containers to nosh on throughout the day. Brett made a yummy raspberry syrup that I put in my prosecco the other evening as a delicious twist on a kir royale. Lastly I made a very decadent, and very easy to make, chocolate raspberry pie with a graham cracker crust. It certainly packs a punch in butter, cream, and sugar content but what kind of chocolate pie worth eating doesn't? Read on for this super simple recipe...
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 7 ounces of graham crackers (about 13 or 14 of the full sized crackers)
  • 1 1/3 cups of heavy cream
  • about 2 and a half cups of raspberries
  • 12 ounces of semi sweet chocolate (I used Baker's chocolate but chocolate chips would work just fine too)
  • 9 tablespoons of unsalted butter (chilled)
  • 1/2 a teaspoon and 1 pinch of coarse salt
Preheat your oven to 350. 

For the crust: If you're lucky enough to have a food processor, combine graham crackers, sugar, and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt in there. If you're like me and don't have one just chuck all of those ingredients into a zip lock bag, seal tightly, and get out a rolling pin. Bash and roll out that sucker until you get a very fine crumb. Transfer cracker crumbs to a mixing bowl. Melt the butter in a pan and then stir into crumb mixture until it just comes together. Press crumbs firmly into a 9 inch pie dish; you can use a flat bottomed drinking glass or measuring cup to really flatten it in there. Bake until the crust is dry and a bit brown around the edges, about 20 minutes. Cool in the fridge.

For the filling: In a large saucepan, bring cream to a low simmer over medium heat. Add in the chocolate and a pinch of salt. Stir until melted and combined. Take the pan off of the heat, break up about a cup of raspberries with your fingers and stir them into the chocolate mixture. Pour chocolate into cooled pie shell and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Before the pie is completely set, arrange the remaining berries on top and then return to the fridge to cool and set completely, about 1 hour.

This pie would go great served with whipped cream or maybe even some vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Berry Picking

Yesterday Brett and I took a mini road trip up to Whittamore Farms to pick some raspberries. Walking up and down the rows of trellised bushes, under a particularly hot late afternoon sun, we slowly filled our little cardboard pails. Between stolen mouthfuls of contraband berries (you're not technically supposed to eat any until they weigh your final haul) we talked about the kinds of fruits and veggies we'd grow someday in the garden of our future home. Raspberries of course, strawberries and cherries as well, heirloom tomatoes, snap peas, and maybe some pumpkins for Halloween too. 

Hmm now what to bake with all of these berries in my fridge? I'm getting a definite sense that chocolate may need to make an appearance. Stay tuned...

Thursday, 4 July 2013


I bought my beloved Blythe doll some months ago and subsequently discovered the wonderful world of vintage Skipper doll clothes. Skipper is Barbie's little sister and in the late 60's/early 70's she had the grooviest mini wardrobe around. I would say that at this point my collecting is bordering on obsession and I'm totally fine with that. I mean look at all of the teeny details! The quality and beauty of these little clothes actually blows my mind a little. Now if I could some how figure out a way to get them in my size I'd be all set.
Brunch, or more specifically breakfast, is my favourite meal of the day. Sadly I usually sleep through the brunching hours or have to work and it inevitably passes me by. So it always feels kind of special when I manage to steal away for a breakfast out. The last brunch place I tried was The Guild, a relatively new brunchie spot in my neighborhood, and it was quite yummy. Brett and I shared the scrambled eggs with cured salmon and asparagus which came with the most tender, dense, and buttery chive biscuit. It was positively dreamy. Their caesars were no slouch either (and I'm quite picky when it comes to spicy tomato/clam juices and booze).
My Mum recently sent me a package with a bunch of her lovely old dresses in it. A swingy Comrags dress with a white rose print on a black background has quickly become my go to summer uniform. Don't the painterly roses remind you of the kinds of flowers Van Gogh used to whip up?
Way back in May Vampire Weekend came out with a new album and I went to see them in concert. I've had "Modern Vampires of the City" on constant repeat ever since. I also went to a see Devendra Banhart at the beginning of June and it was glorious. Random fact: I had no idea that Fabrizio Moretti (formerly of the Strokes) was Devendra's new drummer. I nearly had a heart attack when I saw him up on the stage. My high school locker was absolutely plastered with pictures of Fab and seeing him in person not twenty feet away practically made me faint! Old flames die hard I suppose.
A few of my goals this summer include having as many picnics as possible and being outdoors whenever I can. These pictures are from a particularly epic al fresco afternoon a few weeks ago that was organized by my friend Sarah. There were also two adorable hippie girls wandering around Bellwoods park selling homemade flower crowns that day. I, of course, bought a handful of them.

(picture of Vincent Van Gogh's "White Roses" from here)

Monday, 1 July 2013

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day everybody!

In honour of our great nation's birthday I've taken a few pictures of a really sweet Royal Canadian Mounted Police paper doll game I found. Apparently it used to belong to a little dude by the name of James Roberts way back in the day. I particularly enjoy the, ahem, mildly boastful claims under the "Living Legend" blurb.

Here's hoping that you've all got some beers on a patio to enjoy, maybe some BBQ to tuck in to, fireworks to see, and a Canadian or two to hug today xo