Art of Pies.

Last night marked the first class of my Art of Pies classes. First we made pie dough, enough for week #2 and #3. Then we made a Custard filled Phyllo Pie with an Orange and Cinnamon Syrup. It was good. I have never worked with phyllo pastry before, so I was unsure of what to expect. But its great. The result is light and flaky, and super yummy. I’m definitely going to have to use that again in the future.. and not just for pies either. 😉

Next week’s class: a Cherry Cream Cheese Streusel Pie and a Strawberry Rhubarb Apple Crumble Pie. Yummy!
(And yes.. you read that correctly… I’m making 2 pies next week!) Ha!


Cream Puffs and Chocolate Eclairs!

Yes, I know.. just by reading that title your mouth starts to water. But that title does not even begin to describe how incredibly delicious and absolutely perfect my cream puffs and eclairs turned out. They turned out so well, that I totally and completely amazed myself! hahaha. Heck, I was looking at the 4, yes I said 4, pastry boxes filled with these glorious desserts, thinking to myself  “Geez, I look like I just raided a high end bakery shoppe!”. 😀

But alas, I didn’t. Instead I … yes, I…. created all of these unbelievably light, airy, delicately fluffy pastries filled with yummy whipped cream (and some with cherry filling as well).. and dipped in chocolate.


I have impressed myself. 😉

Here’s what I did. First I made the Choux Paste that becomes the actual pastry. I then piped out fingers (for the eclairs) and rossettes (for the cream puffs). Then I baked them until they puffed out and were  light and airy on the inside, and were slightly golden on top. Then I cut every eclair and every cream puff in half. I dipped all of the eclair tops in chocolate, and some of the cream puff tops. I then put a cherry filling in each of the cream puffs. I then piped every eclair and every cream puff filled with whipped cream. When that was completed, I placed all the pastry tops back on top of their matching pastry bottoms. Last but not least, I then sprinkled powdered sugar on the tops of all of the cream puffs, including the ones that had been dipped in chocolate.


Chocolate Eclairs.
Cream Puffs.
My little bakery shoppe stocked with boxes of Cream Puffs and Chocolate Eclairs! 😀
Puff Pastry Swan made by Chef as an example of what you can do with the Eclairs. 🙂
Puff Pastry Swans.

More pies?! Yup, more pies!

You’re probably reading the title and asking the question: “What is she talking about? Pies? What about pies?”

Well, the answer is simple. I have just registered for another baking class (while still doing my Monday night class). The class?! The Art of Pies! 🙂

I was debating about registering for one or two classes. And I was also debating, if I only register for one class, which one? The  classes? The Art of Pies, and The Art of Pastry.

As much as I wanted to do both classes, I ultimately decided that I will do just the one class, and that class is The Art of Pies. I start my class next week Tuesday. So now I will be having baking classes on Monday and Tuesday nights! Yay!


Soft Rolls!!

Bread, bread, bread and more bread! That was the theme of last night’s baking class.

In Ontario, we have a provincial holiday called Family Day that happens in February. And because of that holiday, last week’s baking class was cancelled. Well, not exactly cancelled, but postponed may be a better way of saying it. Either way, I discovered that when last Tuesday rolled around, I began to go through withdrawls because I had not had my weekly baking class the night before. Needless to say, by the time yesterday night came knockin’, I was more than excited about my class.

But here’s the thing.. Yes, I was excited that my class was back in session, but even more so, I was super excited about what I was learning to make in class: BREAD!

I have always wanted to learn how to make bread. There is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked bread. And last night’s class did not disappoint. What we ended up making was bread dough, that was cut down to about 3 oz sizes, and rolled into soft roll balls. Then we made a huge selection of breads from those soft roll balls.

First item – was a tear-away loaf. In a 7 inch cake pan I placed 1 soft roll in the centre, and 6 others surrounding it. I then covered my soft rolls with seasoning (salt, oregano, chili pepper spice) and cheese. Lots of shredded cheddar and parmesan cheese. It was then left to rise, and bake. When done, it was huge! It had expanded high above the cake pan into this loaf several inches high. And to top it off, it tasted amazing!

The next thing I made was a braided loaf. I rolled out 3 soft roll balls, long and narrow. I then braided them into a long, yet thick loaf. I seasoned the loaf with garlic and a pile of cheese. When finished, it had expanded to almost twice its size. The cheese melted into the braided curves, and the inside was soft and yummy.

The last thing I decided to do with the soft rolls were to turn them into bread art! 😉
First, I created double-knot rolls.
Second, I tied figure-eight rolls.
Thirdly, I tied small braided rolls.
And lastly, I created rolls into the shape of doggy-bones. 🙂 They were super cute!
I then seasoned each style of rolls with different seasoning, and put them in the oven to bake.
When completed, all of my rolls looked like they were perfect little works of art – beautiful to look at, and even better to eat.

Can’t wait until next week’s class!


Baking class last night took a completely different direction from just a couple weeks ago.  Pushed aside were the ‘healthy’ baked goods for the devilishly sinful creamy ones!

Cream Caramel and Bavarian Cream.

First we made the Cream Caramels. The caramel on top was golden. The entire dessert – light and airy.. with just a subtle delicate flavour.. Yummy!

Then we made the Bavarian Creams.
If you have never had a Bavarian Cream.. boy are you missing out. Its decadent and creamy. It reminds you of ice cream with the same texture and fullness. Yet, its lighter, but super creamy at the same time.
I flavoured mine with raspberry..
They taste divine!

Happy New Year!!!… and all that jazz.. ;)

Okay okay.. so I am about 12 days late in wishing everyone a “Happy New Year”, but I still wanted to. 🙂

These past several weeks have flown by. I was so busy I didn’t have time to go online, let alone post anything on my blog. But now I am back and with some very cool news:
I have enrolled in George Brown College’s Culinary Program!!!

I am very excited and a bit intimidated at the same time.
I had my first class last night in the Baking Arts Program.
I have my full chef’s uniform (which I look cute in).. and I have still have to get all of my required tools for the program (the required items list was just given to us last night).. But I did learn to create pie dough from scratch. hahaha
Next week: Apple Pies!!
I’ll let you know how they turn out.

And yes.. as soon as I get a picture of myself in my chef’s uniform, I promise to post it on my blog!


November 22, 2009 – Mrs Russia is crowned Mrs World 2009!

Congratulations to Mrs Russia – Victoria Radochinskaya who has won the Mrs World 2009 beauty pageant, which took place in the Vietnamese city of Vung Tau.

Seventy-eight participants, aged between 19 and 41, competed for the title of the world’s most beautiful married woman. Vietnam, the host country, was represented by two contenders.

The final round of the competition took place on Sunday November 22, 2009.

Victoria Radochinskaya, 31, became the 15th winner of the contest since it was first held in 1985. The PR specialist received the $150,000 jewel-studded crown (a crown of white gold decorated with 63 rubies) from last year’s winner, Ukrainian Natalya Shmarenkova. She also was awarded a necklace of precious stones that cost US$20,000.

First runner-up was Mrs America – Andrea Robertson, a 33 year old professional model.

The second-runner-up was Mrs. Hoang Thi Yen from the host country Vietnam. She works as a director of UBS in Ho Chi Minh City.

In the final round, the candidates competed in three parts, swimsuits, evening dresses and on-stage question. They set an impressive scene as they paraded on the catwalk with a burst of enthusiastic applause from over the 3,000 plus audience.

The organising board first chose the 12 best candidates (Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Costa Rica, Cote, South Africa, England, Vietnam, Poland, Brazil, America, India), then the top 6 beauties from India, Poland, Brazil, Russia, the US and Vietnam before selecting the top three for the Q&A section.

The evening was conducted by American Alan Thicke and Miss World Vietnam 2007, Ngo Phuong Lan. The Mrs World 2010 contest will be held in Seoul , the Republic of Korea.

(Pictured above – L to R: Mrs World 2007 Diane Tucker (America), Mrs World 2009 Victoria Radochinskaya (Russia), Mrs World 2008 Natalya Shmarenkova (Ukraine).)

Mrs. World 2009
Mrs. Russia

Top 3 Finalists
Mrs. Vietnam
Mrs. America
Mrs. Russia

Top 6 Finalists
Mrs. Brazil
Mrs. America
Mrs. Russia
Mrs. India
Mrs. Vietnam
Mrs. Poland

Top 12 Semi Finalists
Mrs. South Africa
Mrs. England
Mrs. Vietnam
Mrs. Poland
Mrs. Brazil
Mrs. America
Mrs. Malaysia
Mrs. Philippines
Mrs. Russia
Mrs. Costa Rica
Mrs. India
Mrs. Ivory Coast

Mrs. Congeniality
Mrs. Denmark

Best Costume
Mrs. Hong Kong