Chocolate Petticoat Tails

The amazing thing about shortbread is that really, you only need three ingredients to make a darn delicious cookie: butter, flour, and sugar. A few additions like cocoa and salt are nice additions but not absolutely imperative. This buttery chocolate shortbread was baked in a fluted tart shell to give it a pretty scalloped edge.

Tip: Cutting the wheel into the "petticoat tails" can be a little tricky to do without breaking the narrow points. Allow the shortbread to cool for about 15 minutes before cutting straight down using a chef's knife. The cookie should be cool enough so that it "sets", but not so cool that it becomes crunchy and crumbly.  


Mmmmmac and Cheese

It's been oddly cool in Vancouver for the past few days, so I don't feel that mac and cheese is quite so out of place during a season typically filled with light, fresh, zesty summer fare. In all its ooey, gooey glory, this pan of comfort is enjoyed by my family year round (and is one of my grandmother's favourites!) I wasn't one of those kids that had ketchup with their Kraft Dinner, but I put thinly sliced tomatoes on top for a little freshness to cut the richness. I put panko on everything these days and here it works well for a some crunch on top of the pasta.
I used cavatappi (which was labelled "scoobi doos" on the package. I have no idea why.) I'd recommend sticking to old school elbows though, since the cavatappi tends to be a little too thick and chewy for the cheesy sauce.


Sweet Saltines: Toffee Crunch Bars

I love the buttery, sweet, salty crunch of English Toffee. This is a quick way to get a similar result without fiddling with a candy thermometer. It's also the most delicious use for the humble saltine crackers that I know of...


PATCh Pasta

Hurrah! It's time for a new post after a very, very, very long break. Here's a bright, colorful pasta perfect for summer dining. 
This combination was inspired by what seems to be a British dish: Crab, Rocket and Chili Linguine. A little Googling brings up many variations of the same flavour combinations and Tesco even has a prepared packaged version. Despite the simplicity of the preparation, all the ingredients play very nicely with each other. The rocket (also known as arugula) has a mild peppery bitterness that cuts through the tomato's sweetness. Everything is warmed through with the chili. The result is big flavour payoff for a pretty small handful of ingredients.
Recipe after the jump...