Saturday, May 29, 2010

i heart balsamic vinegar

Charlotte: "I'd like you to make 4 different vinaigrette's using balsamic vinegar. Use whatever flavours you want, different textures and consistencies, different oils... but I need 4 to taste test tonight."
Me: "Sure!"
Charlotte: "Whichever one I prefer will go on the new menu (starting Tuesday, June 1st)."
Me: "Seriously?! AWESOME!"

3 reasons why this request got me so excited:
1. I heart balsamic vinegar... like, I could drink it straight up and be perfectly happy.
2. I heart challenges... especially culinary challenges.
3. How cool that something I create could end up on the new menu? I think pretty darn cool.

I took some time to think about what I wanted to make... after all, I was asked make 4 different options! So I started off my evening working on some other things:

Cleaning out the fridge and then reorganizing it. Check out all those supplies lined up on the counter. Pretty awesome eh?! I heart getting to the Whalesbone on Friday nights' and getting to set-up the dessert station. Pulling out the sauces and toppings and organizing them so that I can quickly assemble the sundaes as the orders come through - LOVE IT!

Making mini donuts, dipping peppermint fillings in melted chocolate, doctoring up the flambeed bananas, cleaning the fresh berries for that nights fresh fruit option (raspberries, strawberries, pineapple) - don't those strawberries look so juicy and delicious? They were.

I then cleaned some more greens :0) It went waaaayyyyy better this time round - especially dealing with the dill. They seemed to cooperate with me better this time round.

I made some sundaes. I liked Davine's choice: 2 scoops ice cream / strawberry coulis / chocolate ganache / espresso syrup / fresh fruit... lots of it all chopped up. Pretty eh? I though so. Especially that line of ganache. Sigh.

Then I started on the vinaigrette's. Upstairs to the fridge for an egg, lemon, grapefruit, chives, garlic, Dijon mustard, creme fraiche. Back downstairs to pull out the balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, burnt honey, sugar, a selection of spices, and salt.

I started on the first option. I decided to call it India - since i used some garam masala and mustard seed. I thickened it up with some creme fraiche (rather than plain yogurt) and sweetened it with some brown sugar. It needed some lemon juice once I had added the balsamic vinegar and then the canola oil. This was a flavour profile that I would totally enjoy at home.

Number two was called Canadian - maple syrup was the star... along with the star anise that I ground up. Some garlic added a little flavour to it too... but other than salt, this was all about the maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Again I used canola oil so that the oil wouldn't overpower the flavour of the other ingredients.

Third option was thick and creamy - a Dijon and garlic base, coupled with lemon juice and lemon zest, honey, balsamic vinegar and an egg yolk. I then slowly incorporated the extra virgin olive oil... a slow emulsion. Nice and thick. It still needed something... salt was added.. but I still (even today) think that it needed an extra kick of flavour. But it was nice and thick, super creamy and really consistent.

Finally, the fourth one, and my favourite to make, my citrus vinaigrette. Diced grapefruit, grapefruit juice, finely chopped chives, salt, honey and the extra virgin olive oil to balance the grapefruit with the balsamic vinegar.

I was super happy with what I had made and was excited to have the ladies blind taste test... BUT I did learn a couple lessons making these... although I heart the burnt honey on ice cream... it is completely wrong for the vinaigrette's. Just plain ol' honey would be much better. Secondly, I should have gone upstairs and taken some goodies from Charlotte and Jenna's work station - some green onions, other herbs... I would have created a more chunky dressing along with the others.

But... in the end, the ladies sampled them with some beautiful tomatoes and liked the ideas I came up with. They're going to work off one or two (perhaps creating a new combo?) of the vinaigrette's that I had them taste test and round it out... make it a little less bitter or not too sweet.

I still think it's AWESOME that one of my ideas is going to end up on the menu June 6th. Even a tweak idea is UBER COOL!

For those of you interested in finding out which vinaigrette is going to be on the menu - hit up the WBOH as of Tuesday.

Oh! And if you could have made one... what would you have made? Leave me a comment and let me know! I heart hearing from everyone!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

ode to Jenna & Kshonze

So... another week, another blog entry about the Whalesbone. I know... you must wonder if I ever go home? I'll admit... I do spend lots of time there... but you see, it's just so much fun. And I don't just mean the working part, I mean the people. I heart the crew.

You've already met Charlotte. She's the head Chef. And she's super cool. But there are lots of other super cool, awesome people that work there too. I want to introduce you to two of them: Jenna and Kshonze (or Kshonz-ay as Charlotte calls him).

Saturday night. Tasting menu. Jenna and Kshonze behind the saucier and me sitting directly in front of them. I think it's the best spot in the house - I get to chat with the Chefs and see what they're doing while eating some pretty amazing food. Yeah... incredible evening. Exceptional food.

You'll notice the blurry pictures of the two Chefs... it's because they move so fast! HA! Actually, just my playing with my camera. But I think the effect is pretty cool.

Notice how Jenna wears pearls while she works? She was also wearing "moderately" short-shorts... it gets really hot back there after all... you can't blame a girl for wanting to be comfortable while working. She also makes the best desserts. Like her peanut butter chocolate cheesecake. DECADENCE in a bite. I took a picture of my piece. Jenna's also the one who walked me through making chocolate ganache last Friday night. I heart her for that (and all her amazing talent).

Then there is Kshonze. The first time I worked at the Whalebone he and I hung out together in the prep kitchen. He taught me how to cut carrots. Seriously. He also let me make cake. I heart him just for that. And the fact that he is cool as a cucumber. Pretty cool eh?

My evening started off with some local bread, brown butter (a million sighs) and an assortment of oysters. East Coast and West Coast representation... B.C. oysters being my favourite of the evening. Kshonze got me some balsamic vinegar and we were good to go...

Jenna and Kshonze then created my tasting menu:

pickled beets and beans / seared albacore tuna / scallop ceviche / blue cheese ... OK the blue cheese just played off the beets and the seafood perfectly. And honestly, the fish was melt in your mouth tender. And doesn't the plate look pretty?

greens and radish / diced potatoes / spotted prawns / lobster tail ... two salads on the plate. Well, the block. You can see the trio getting plated... and then you can see my clean plate. Except for the prawn shells. So light and fresh. I heart lobster (thanks for listening to my request guys).

a shot of Sailor Jerry's spiced rum... it's gross. Seriously. The one thing I don't recommend at the WBOH. But... it'd be rude to refuse right? So down it went. Maybe it was meant to clean my palate for the next course.

fiddle heads / asparagus / beans / seared pacific salmon / white wine butter sauce ... the salmon was... in a word... perfection. The skin was crisp, the centre was tender and flaked apart. The sauce wasn't heavy, it was light and just drizzled the plate. The bed of greens still had a bite and tasted so fresh. I heart this course.

Pascale's vanilla ice cream / chocolate ganache / fresh fruit / salted peanuts ... I don't have a picture of the sundae. You keep seeing them and honestly, the picture just didn't turn out. I personally would have added more ganache... but that's just me ;0)

finally... I know, I know! I'm still eating!!!!

peanut butter chocolate cheesecake ... Jenna's decadent cake. It's dense and creamy with a kick of cinnamon in the filling. Jenna also made an oreo cookie crumb crust. Seriously!

This my friends, is why I keep going back to the WBOH. Clean flavours. Major taste. But really... it's the crew. They rock. I heart them. This is my ode to two of them.

Oh! I also added a picture of the Paella Valenciana... so that you can see what my paella portions look like when cooked ;0)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

wanna toffee break?

I heart it when I find a recipe and just can't wait to try it. I mean, seriously, isn't it great when you flip through a recipe book (or are surfing the inter-webz) and you find that one recipe that gets your taste buds going and your hands itching to pull out all those ingredients?!!

That's how I felt about this recipe. That's how I like to pick my recipes... sigh.

I'm back to the happy baker's recipe book (well, she's just so darn happy... and so am I, so why not right?)... Erin baked an (i'm not boy crazy) toffee maple shortbread... just the thought of maple and toffee together made my mouth water. There was only one thing... I didn't have any maple extract. And I really try to stay away from imitation extract when possible... so I swapped out the maple for some vanilla. Am I ever happy that I did!!!

The shortbread ended up being nice and crunchy, with the surprise of the toffee bits (which luckily didn't overwhelm the buttery base), and the vanilla was just a nice subtle compliment. I think I have a winner. AND I am totally inspired for my holiday baking (I know... it's only May and I'm already thinking Christmas baking... sad, but true): cherry-chocolate shortbread. Yep. That's right. I bet you can't wait for me to share those with you eh? Well... knowing me, I'll be making them sooner rather than later... I do need to test them out right?

If you're in the mood for a delicious cookie (which I might add would go GREAT with ice cream and freezes well), turn on your oven and whip these together. Totally worth it. I promise.

Toffee Vanilla Shortbread
3/4 c. butter, room temperature
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. toffee baking bits

Preheat your oven to 300 F. Spray your 8-inch square baking pan with some non-stick spray and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer (using the paddle attachment), beat together the butter and powdered sugar; increasing the speed to medium, you want it to get like and fluffy.

Add the vanilla extract and the salt. Continue to beat together.

Lower the speed of the stand-mixer and stir in the flour and toffee pieces. Erin's recipe says not to over mix... I took that to mean that the batter should come together and be as smooth as possible (given toffee bits).

Once the batter has come together, put it in your square pan and gently pat the dough out (get it nice and even); I used my fingers... just wet them a little and the batter will spread nicely.

Bake for 35 - 40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Place your pan on a wire rack and allow to cool before cutting them into squares.

note: you'll notice that I use my zester as my guideline for cutting my squares... I was able to get over 2 dozen shortbread's out of this recipe... and they were evenly cut and sized! Gotta love that trick :0)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

lobster, ganache and a whole lotta sundaes

Let me tell you about my Friday night... which means, let's talk the Whalesbone.

I arrived early and was able to enjoy the family meal (fried chicken, burgers, salad... delish!). Then Char and Jenna handed me my list of tasks.

1. Portion seafood for paella. No problem. See all that lobster tail? Yeah, I thought it was pretty darn awesome. Cut in half, grab a claw, some clams, some spotted prawns and mussels. Add all of that to the deliciousness of sausage, peas, rice... that's something I think everyone should check out when they stop by the restaurant.

2. Cut up dark purple beets. On it! I HEART beets!!!! And Char is all about it being organic and artisan... so not having to cut everything in small, precise pieces was fine by me :0)

3. Clean greens... a task I thought would be the simplest and it turned out to be a right pain... the miniature greens all over the place... and they took forever to dry (in order to be put away). I didn't heart that task.

4. Asparagus. Prep it by removing the woody ends and store it in water in 1 L containers. Easy as pie.

5. And finally... make ganache. Sigh. You'd think that would be the task I'd be most enthusiastic about... but you see, last week Jenna asked me to make ganache and I figured "no problem, I make ganache at home, I can make a batch for Jenna." Nope. I messed it up. I actually labeled my 1 L container the "fucked up chocolate ganache"... it was that bad. Jenna apparently went on to save it after I left. You could understand why I was tentative to make another batch. ESPECIALLY because it was going to cover a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake for Adrienne's birthday (she works at the WBOY). The pressure was on.

Jenna walked me through it. "Don't mix the peanut butter with the cream, add it to the chocolate, pour the boiling cream over top and melt them that way." "It'll be OK Lynne... I promise. Your other ganache wasn't that bad... I was able to fix it."

Well my friends. I absolutely HEART this ganache recipe. Easiest one EVER. I'm going to make some... not tonight, but soon :0) And seriously, it combines chocolate, peanut butter, cream and... honey. Yep. Killer combo.

So I did that, re-organized the fridge (let me tell you... it gets cold in there when all you're wearing is a pair of shorts and a tank top), and make SUNDAES! I know... I blogged about it last week, but really... people come up with pretty fabulous ideas when topping their vanilla ice cream.

Take Gordon. I like Gordon. He picked chocolate ganache. fresh fruit (apple, banana, pineapple, maraschino cherry) and... RHUBARB!!! Good choice Gordon. You are one of my picks for "best of" the evening.

Then there was the duo... two scoops of vanilla. One with the coconut dulche de leche, the other with strawberry coulis; both with the peanut butter cups and the cookie dough. She labeled his card as "The Copycat". I like that. Plus, they look really pretty side-by-side. They also win a place in my top sundaes of the evening list.

Nadine. You rock! You decided to top your two scoops with flambeed bananas, brownie bites and salted peanuts. I'd totally pick something like that... well done! You too are on the list.

And finally, the winner. I was being TOTALLY biased when I picked this one. I'm OK with that. I hope you are too. Sara stopped by and surprised me at the end of my shift. She came down and was chatting with me and sampled some of the cookie dough I'd made the week before that I had just taken out of the freezer. She thought it rocked. And since I think she rocks, I made her a sundae. So my pick of the evening is:

1 scoop vanilla ice cream. chocolate ganache. rhubarb. cookie dough. maraschino cherries (from the batch I made). marshmallow fluff.

A solid sundae for an even more solid friend.

So that my friends, was my evening at the Whalesbone. Can't wait for next time... and watch out... maybe YOUR sundae will be selected as one of my favourites. And then I'll be blogging about you too :0)

Friday, May 21, 2010

flour, butter and lemon

I baked 11 dozen cupcakes. All in one go. With my mini little oven only allowing me to bake a dozen at a time; I became a cupcake making machine. And loved every second of it.

You might be wondering how I found myself in this situation... Well, a few months back I was sharing a drink (or two) with some friends when the subject of wedding cakes came up. Here's a snippet of our (slightly intoxicated) conversation:

Me: "Steph, who's making your cake"
Steph: "No one yet. But I want cupcakes"
Me: "I can make cupcakes"
Steph: "What's your price?`
after some negotiation...
Steph: "Done. Your hired!"

The next conversation...
Me: "So Emily... we have a cupcake order for May"
Emily: "Awesome!"
Me: "That means you'll have to decorate 125 cupcakes!"
Emily: "Yep. No problem!"

And that my friends is how Emily and I ended up with an order for 125 cupcakes PLUS a cutting cake. The bride isn't a lover of all things chocolate... but she sure does love all things lemon... and we know that I heart baking anything with lemons. 11 dozen lemon cupcakes later, my entire apartment smelled of lemons, sugar, and butter; tart and sweet - a perfect description of the bride ;0)

I'm most proud of the cutting cake... it's so pretty! I'd recently given in and bought some 5-inch, 6-inch and 7-inch spring form pans and haven't regretted it one iota! A mini tiered cake with a 6-inch round sitting atop a 7-inch round. Too cute. Seriously.

I brought Emily the cake rounds ahead of time, so that she could cover them in a lemony butter cream and white fondant. She then came over to my place to begin the task of frosting lemon butter cream atop each and every cupcake (I tried to help, but really, I'm not a decorator and she's just so good...why mess with a good thing?!). She is the queen of the swirl... her left hand perfectly poised with icing bag in hand, she is able to elevate the simple cupcake into wedding cake elegance.

Oh yeah... and since there were a few "overstock" cupcakes we decided to sample one... the cake was moist, slightly tart, which balanced by the sweet butter cream. I'd call that a success!

Next week we aim for 6-inch, 9-inch and 12-inch rounds... another week, another cake! I am so stoked!!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

yep. i'm awesome. and so is my baking

I recently fell on my face. No, no, not literally :0) Just emotionally. You know the kind of fall right? The "you jump into something with someone and it doesn't always work out" kinda fall on your face? My postive spin on the situation is that I am baking. A lot.

Joy the Baker blogged about falling on her face (that's where I got the expression) ... she decided to bake a tres leches cake. I decided to bake something else.

You see... and this really did put a smile on my face... I was recently given a book. A beautiful recipe book. One that I already own. It happens. If you check out my kitchen and my living room, the common denominator would be books... I have lots; especially cookbooks.

But back to my gift...I decided to go and swap it out for something new. That's how I ended up with the happy baker chick - a guide to emotional baking ;0) It was PERFECT! Filled with gorgeous pictures, humourous stories and mouth watering recipes... my type of book (and the author Erin is pretty darn awesome too).

So these are my Holy Heck! I'm Awesome Bars!

I worked off of Erin's (the author) recipe (her's are known as yum yum squares), but I added a few of my favourite things to her base and came up with these. They are AMAZING. Great with wine (yes... been there, done that), a real sugar boost for breakfast (again, been there, done that) and easy to make.

Holy Heck! I'm Awesome (bars)

1 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. butter, room temperature
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1 c. flaked coconut
1/2 c. walnut pieces
1/2 c. pecan pieces
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Grab your 8-inch square pan and spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy (use your paddle attachment and a medium speed). Lower the speed and stir in the flour. You should end up with a cookie dough like texture. Gather it up and press it into your sqaure pan (nice and even). Set aside (don't pre-bake the crust).

Grab your stand-mixer bowl and paddle attachment (again) and combine the eggs, salt, vanilla and sugar together. Toss in the nuts, chocolate chips and coconut; stir to combine. Spread this mixture over the top of the crust.

Bake for about 20 minutes (or until the top is golden brown). Allow to cool on a wire rack and cut into squares when you're ready to serve... I got about 32 squares out of this recipe... they are sweet so a little goes a long way. And they freeze well too... in case you were wondering ;0)

This should be your go to recipe when you need to remember how awesome you are! I'd like to thank Erin... your book made me giggle. I really needed a good giggle.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

chocolate and root beer... Manu's favourite combination

You remember Manu right? Of baking sausage and cheese bread fame? I thought I would share with all of you his favourite dessert combination. You see, Manu loves, loves... LOVES root beer. It's the only type of soda he drinks, given the chance to have a soda; and he especially enjoys the one I'm about to share with you... an extra thick, super creamy brand... I use it as my "secret" recipe in the following cake.

You might be wondering why I'm making Manu the theme for this blog entry? Well you see, Manu is turning 10 in a few days... TEN!!!! You know what that means? He is leaving the world of single digits behind and joining all of us in the exciting land of the double digits!!!! I can clearly remember my tenth birthday; my parents wanted me to have an "extra special" cake: so they asked a family friend to make me a "professional" cake - in the shape of a sheep, with fondant icing... it certainly was memorable, but more because none of us (imagine a gaggle of ten-year old girls) enjoyed the thick butter cream frosting, nor the fondant... and felt horrible cutting into a little sheep!

So I figured I would share this cake recipe with Manu's mamie, fabulous aunt,and papa - all of whom I know would love nothing better than to make this little hobbit happy and bake him a cake he'll remember (and love to eat)!!!
Expect an intensely rich, moist, dense, chocolaty cake... with a hint of root beer. I've made this several times and have discovered the secret. You need to use 2 cans of root beer - the best, most organic quality you can find. Then you need to use it in the cake batter and in the frosting... and finally, you need to serve it with some whipped cream. Fresh vanilla whipped cream; it cuts the sweetness and actually reinforces the idea that this is a root beer float cake!
note: the flavour really comes out as this cake sits... so making it a day in advance is not only a good thing... it's strongly recommended ;0)

Root Beer Cake
2 c. root beer
1 c. dark unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 c. butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 large eggs

Preheat your oven to 325 F. You can either bake this recipe in: a bundt pan, mini bundt pans (they look like big donuts that way - and you end up with 12) or a round pan... I was able to make one 6-inch round and two 5-inch rounds with this recipe. Obviously, anything goes - just spray with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the root beer, cocoa powder and butter until the butter has melted. Add the sugars and whisk until they've dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and the salt. Set aside.

Once your root beer mixture has cooled a little, beat the eggs and temper them with about 1/2 c. of the batter (you don't want them to curdle). Add the tempered eggs to the saucepan and whisk until well combined. Gently fold in the flour mixture (I used my whisk, I just was gentle). Don't worry if the batter is lumpy. Lumps are good and the batter is very loose.

Pour the batter into whatever baking pan you've picked and cook for 35 - 45 minutes. Once baked (your knife tip should come out clean when inserted in the centre), allow to cool on a wire rack.

Now for the frosting... I'd like to say that the measurements are completely accurate... however, as is the case with me making butter cream, I tend to add more of this and that as I go along... until it looks as thick as I want it to look, and tastes as sweet as I want it to taste.

Root Beer Frosting
1/4 to 1/2 c. butter at room temperature
1 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/3 c. root beer
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 - 3 c. powdered sugar

In the bowl of your stand mixer beat the butter (use your paddle attachment). Add the cocoa powder, continue to beat. Toss in the salt, about 2 cups of the powdered sugar and 1/4 c. of the root beer. Keep beating until smooth... this is when I added more root beer for flavour and powdered sugar to thicken it up.

Once done, spread on top of your cake... whip up some whipped cream or scoop out some ice cream... and there you have it... A cake fit for a newly turned 10 year old, as well as all children at heart...

A root beer toast to you Manu, on your special day! And yes, I know it's not until the 25th of May - but this way I've given everyone who loves you a chance to make you your favourite cake! :0)

Monday, May 17, 2010

i heart foodies... and sundaes

Six degrees of separation is an interesting thing, don't ya think? Here is a snippet of a conversation between my father and I last week:

Papa: "I'd like to send you a review written in La Presse (Montréal newspaper) about restaurants in Ottawa. It was written by your cousin Ève."
me: "Neat... by the way, I'm working at The Whalesbone every Friday night."
Papa: "That's the restaurant that was highlighted..."

Awesome that my cousin has such great taste eh? ;0)

Jump ahead to Friday night. Charlotte pounds on the floor (my cue to run upstairs and get a dessert order), and hands me a page cut out of a newspaper, and asks me to translate it. There it is, the article my father had been talking to me about, the one I had randomly mentioned to Charlotte and Jenna when I walked in for my shift. Small world eh? But the best part... seriously, the best part, is how the article came to be in Charlotte's hand.

These two older gentlemen decided to drive all the way up from Montréal to have supper at the Whalebone - informing us that it was all thanks to Ève's review in La Presse. I love people who take their food seriously, I especially love it when they go 2 hours out of their way to try something new... all that to say... i heart foodies. Oh, and I especially heart Ève because not only did the Whalesbone make her list but so did some of my other favs; Chez Eric(Wakefield), Soup'Herbe (Chelsea), Oz Cafe (Ottawa), Delish (Hull... Chloé's resto) and the Wellington Gastropub(Ottawa)... well done Ève! Claps for you and your taste buds!!!

Now onto my adventures in the prep kitchen! ;0)

It was an evening full of desserts. Which at the Whalesbone (as of May 1st) means SUNDAES!!!!! Oh, how I heart Jenna's sundae list... all the homemade goodies she makes to accompany that scoop of Pascale's vanilla bean ice cream (or two scoops... or for the truly decant, even three!). Mini cheesecake bites, brownie bites, cookie dough, pecan chocolate skor bar (sigh, my favourite), granola, caramel corn, flambé bananas, strawberry sauce, passion fruit coulis, chocolate ganache, espresso sauce, butterscotch sauce, candied apples... you see, and I haven't even mentioned them all. Sigh.

The biggest problem with the sundae bar (as a client that is) is what to choose! Seriously, you read the list above. When that little sundae menu card is placed in front of you, it takes time to come up with the perfect combo... how much chocolate today? or do I want it to be fresh and light? Half and half? WHAT TO DO!!!!?

That's where I came in on Friday. You see... people were enjoying Charlotte's tasting menu... which meant that they got to enjoy my "tasting" sundae. I decided to take the opportunity to make whatever combo that caught my fancy. Picture this, Charlotte gives me an order for 4 tasting sundaes. I run downstairs, grab the order card and just look at my sauces/topping options. Then I start grabbing the ingredients, I pull out the glass bowls, scoop out ice cream and start my creations.

Here are some of the sundaes I came up with...
vanilla bean ice cream, butterscotch sauce, peanut butter skor bar, brownie bites
vanilla bean ice cream, passion fruit coulis, fresh fruit (banana, pineapple, maraschino cherries), granola
vanilla bean ice cream, chocolate ganache, salted peanuts, peanut butter cups
vanilla bean ice cream, coconut dulce de leche, chocolate chip-cherry cookie dough, sponge toffee
vanilla bean ice cream, strawberry coulis, fresh fruit, brownie bites
vanilla bean ice cream, flambé bananas, brownie bites (yeah, i think these are some of the best brownies ever), candied apples

and then my favourite... the one I ended up making myself at the end of the night... my pat on the back for a good night of scooping ice cream, generously piling on the sauces and toppings and then running up and down the stairs as quickly as possible. My personal favourite, and please, feel free to ask for it the next time you wander into the Whalesbone and sit down for the "make your own sundae"...

vanilla bean ice cream. chocolate ganache. rhubarb compote. granola.

Seriously. A slight tart sweet sundae. And you'll notice... I didn't leave anything in my bowl.

note... I'm writing the following because I hope it'll force Jenna into adding this to the menu (write it and it shall be. Right?)... Jenna mentioned that she'd love to make shortbread cookies... break those up, toss in fresh strawberries and whipped cream... the strawberry shortcake sundae. I think that is a FABULOUS idea.

And the best way for all of you to find out if she takes the hint is to show up and enjoy your very own sundae. I'll be more than happy to serve it up for you!