For Dad [Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies]

My first time in a kayak,  with Dad, circa 1995.

My first time in a kayak, with Dad, circa 1995.

It was my Dad’s birthday yesterday. He’s the man who’s got me out on more hiking trails than I can count, on cross country skis and skates, in kayaks and canoes. He’s taught me about everything from board games, to Monty Python, math, and growing snow peas. He’s incredibly supportive, and can be incredibly sarcastic. From him I inherited my love of word games and Jesus Christ Superstar. We sing around the house, and once performed a wonderfully awkward duet from The Phantom of the Opera. He’s one of my favourite travel buddies. I think he’s pretty cool.brownbutterchocochipDad’s made a few appearances here before, in the shape of his famous (in this house, anyway!) garlic tomatoes, du Puy lentils, and oatmeal bread. But even the healthiest man gets a craving for a buttery dessert sometimes. So when he told my mum he really felt like good old chocolate chip cookies, she whipped up a batch of the tastiest brown butter chocolate chip cookies(recipe courtesy of Joy the Baker) to accompany our favourite standby chocolate cake to celebrate. dad'scookies So Daddy-o, happy, happy birthday (!!), here’s to you and many more years to celebrate. xox

Happy Birthday, Mum! [One Bowl Chocolate Cake]

If it’s true that daughters turn into their mothers, I think I’m OK with that.  I admire my mum a ton. As far as mums & daughters go, I think we get along pretty darn well. And I’m really glad we do, I know I’m a lucky kid! She embarrasses me every once and a while, but isn’t that kind of the point of being a parent? (Ha! Shows what I know about parenting! And more likely, I embarrass her right back…)

“Octopus Arms”

When it comes to working in the kitchen, we couldn’t be more different.  My mum is the type of person who cleans up as they go along, so by the time her recipe is done the kitchen is as clean as it was when she started.  If I’m baking, there’s usually a fine layer of flour that’s settled over the kitchen and the task of cleaning up after myself can often seem daunting. (As my mum points out, if I just cleaned up as I went, this wouldn’t happen…)

My mum’s birthday was actually a little over a month ago now and I totally meant to post this for the occasion — it’s the thought that counts, right? I’d talk about blaming my disorganization, but I feel like I do that often here…
Anyway, whether you fall into the same category as my mum of domestic & organized goddess, or mine, of scrappy kitchen forager, this cake is a winner.

Happy Belated Birthday, Mummy! — mama circa 1987

With the help of my mum, this cake was the first I ever made.  Incidentally, I made it for my mum’s birthday several years ago and it actually didn’t turn out so well: my brother and I forgot to grease the pan, so we just served the cake in the pan.  We wanted to refrigerate it once we had iced it (with really, really thick chocolate ganache) so we put some (unlit) candles in it and popped it into the refrigerator until dessert…when it came time to serve it the ganache had become so hard it was impossible to cut the cake (or get it out of the pan), and the candles were pretty much cemented in there. …it still tasted really good, though!
Since then, I’ve used this recipe so often I think I have it down to 10 minutes of prep time — pretty handy for a dessert that can actually look pretty fancy if you don’t bring robots into the equation (not that there’s anything wrong with them!).

This is the cake that comes up in my house for practically every birthday or occasion — just because it’s so easy to make doesn’t mean it isn’t decadent! Rich, moist, and intensely chocolatey, this cake is the bomb…I got it from my mama!  Mum’s One Bowl Chocolate Cake