Chai Spiced Apple Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

Chai Spiced Apple Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

As soon as September arrives, I’m eager to segue into autumn baking – is there anything better in life than the smell of apples and warm spices wafting from the oven?

This is one of my favourite fall cakes – it’s moist, fragrant and studded with apples. You’ve seen it before, here. It’s a casual dessert, one that gets eagerly gobbled up for breakfast with coffee the next day. But this time I was entertaining and wanted to make it special.

Buttermilk Waffles

Buttermilk Waffles

I woke up at 6 am on Saturday, to a very endearing “Hi! Hi! Hi! Hi!” being chirped in a little voice from a crib. You can’t really be unhappy about an early morning wake-up call when someone is so excited to see you, and to start the day. So I made waffles, little peanut glued to my hip, as he almost always is while I’m cooking. (Please focus on the cutie and ignore my crazy-pants bouffant-y hair in that photo, thanks hubby.)

ABC (Apple, Beet, Carrot) juice

ABC (Apple, Beet, Carrot) juice

I got a juicer! It’s an appliance I’ve been eyeballing since I did a collection of juice recipes for a Canadian magazine, using one borrowed from a friend. Would you judge me if I told you that cocktails were my primary motivation for wanting my own? Imagine all the incredible libations that could be poured with fresh ginger juice, fresh cucumber juice or fresh sour cherry juice as a starting point? I’m gonna have fun with this baby!

Steamed Mussels in Beer

Steamed Mussels in Beer

My mom was visiting last week and we spent hours trolling Granville Island (a tucked-away nook of Vancouver, with an enormous market, restaurants, and lots of art galleries). We were in search of new art supplies and the freshest seafood.

Mom’s mussels are something I eagerly anticipate emerging from her kitchen every summer. Even though she visited me this year, instead of me making my annual August pilgrimage to New Brunswick, I still wanted to experience the briny, garlicky smell that brings me right back home. So when Stella Artois invited me to join them in celebrating their six hundred years of Belgian brewing heritage with a heritage recipe of my own, I settled right away on this one!

Grilled Panzanella (Tomato & Bread Salad)

Grilled Panzanella (Tomato & Bread Salad)

SEPTEMBER! How the?!

See, my little guy was ill for a couple weeks in August, first with some baby virus (roseola, curious moms), with strep throat hot on its heels – then I caught the latter, and before I knew it August had passed and we had spent most of it laid out on the sofa in the throws of fever.

Everyone’s all better now, and I guess it’s time to take a deep breath, strategically plot my cooking moves for the last few weeks of peach/berry/tomato/cherry season, and accept that summer is winding down. But not over!