Friday, August 26, 2011

Where I've Been

Well... I've not updated for two weeks I think? Just thought however might haven been awaiting a post would like an explanation. I won't be giving exactly that but... I've got a little video for you all of my trip out west. This only accounts for 5 of the ~14 days I was MIA but enjoy none the less! 

Monday, August 8, 2011

Holy, Delicious Banana Bread

OK, so I really like bananas. I feel as if for the past 365 days, if there's a banana in sight Imma eat it (only one a day though, must save some for later). So you must understand how upsetting it is to wake up and find that your banana's are just a bit too ripe. You tear up a bit and then realize, they can still be used! To make this ........

Sighh, Isn't it just lovely? Initially, I had planned to used just this recipe for buttermilk banana bread. However, once the batter was all mixed up I saw chocolate chips. Just sitting in the cupboard. So, in they went. I'll admit I may have gone a bit overboard but it's chocolate so you won't hear me complaining.

While I was at it I thought I'd add a bit more sweetness and so I whipped up a quick cream cheese frosting and covered the top of the bread (cake) while still warm.

The quick cream cheese frosting
4.5 tablespoons of softened cream cheese
3.5 tablespoons of agave nectar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Mix it all up and you're done.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pasta with Lemon and Shrimps

10 days or so have gone by since I started my little vegan challenge and I'm done! Sadly, I didn't get the chance to photograph many of the meals I was 'forced' to make. I really enjoyed being vegan for this short amount of time but my family of meat eaters would not support it over the long term. Oh well, many of the dishes will be made again so I hope to post them as soon as I can. 

Now onto tonight's dinner. I'm so glad to have seafood, eggs and milk back into my diet. Oh how I missed them so! We hosted 10 people for dinner tonight and we had this lovely pasta, a salad which I take no credit for and a honey cake (which have no pictures of). 

The pasta was great served cold and had a nice refreshing lemony taste, perfect for the crazy hot weather we've been having here. For those of you interested here's the recipe for the pasta: RIGHT HERE! Note: I used alfalfa sprouts in place of rocketcress. 

I would include the recipe for the honey cake however, it was a little dry at points so once it's perfected it shall be posted. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Forever Nuts

I never liked tea. Though if you met me now you'd never this. I remember the first time I actually enjoyed a cup of tea. My family went out to an indian restaurant after one of my cousin's dance recitals. Chai tea was brought to the table, and feeling adventurous I decided to have a sip. It was delicious! The moment I got home I tried desperately to re-create the tea with no success. I wasn't happy with another cup of tea until a friend introduced me to DAVIDs TEA. The flavour of the tea was just so interesting, chocolate, mint, and peppercorn in a black tea. Mmmm. I visited DAVIDs TEA on Monday with my aunt who is visiting from Australia. We decided to pick a fun tea to try. We chose Forever Nuts and it legitimately tastes like apple pie! Oh and of course turns an amazing pink colour.  

Though I now love tea. I never liked iced tea. Though to be fair I had only ever tried Nestea. Forever Nuts makes a great iced tea however (like many teas at DAVIDs TEA)! Unlike Nestea, I can choose to add no sugar to my drink. Plus, the flavour of Forever Nuts is so much more interesting than what ever Nestea is, and likely a lot better for you. Hope all you tea lovers and 'tea haters' enjoyed this post, and I'll write to you all again very soon.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mmmac and Cheese

I've always thought vegans were crazy. I mean no milk or cheese? Ahhh how does one survive? Well I've decided to challenge myself, and so I will be eating vegan for the next 2 weeks or maybe longer.

So what a better way to begin my vegan challenge than with a blog post about my dad's macaroni and cheese. Ahh, it's torture just looking at it. I made this mac and cheese a while ago and I've had the picture just sitting on my computer for weeks. Though why should I keep it to myself. So here it is...

Mmmmm, sadly the recipe my dad made up for me at the time was not cheesy enough for my liking but I've found that what is written bellow works perfectly. 

Dad's Mac & Cheese

For the sauce:
4 Tbsp of butter
1/4 cup of flour
3-4 cups of milk
3 cups of cheddar
1/4 cup of goat cheese
2 tsp worchester
1/4 parmesan cheese (it can be the the dried stuff)

For the topping:
1 Tbsp melted butter
3/4 cup of bread crumbs (rice crispies and potato chips work great too)

1. Melt the butter and combine with flour
2. Whisk in milk and microwave for 2 minutes
3. Whisk and combine remaining ingredients
4. Microwave for 5 minutes and stir
5. Cook pasta and set oven at 400℉
6. Combine sauce and pasta in a lightly greased casserole dish
7. For the topping, combine butter and bread crumbs and sprinkle over the pasta and sauce
8. Cover and bake for 15 minutes
9. Remove cover and bake for another 5 minutes

I will continue posting some 'non-vegan' foods (there is slight build up of photos) along with some new yummy vegan recipes. Please let me know if you try out this recipe and how it turned out for you!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

For Mom

First weekend at the cottage and what a weekend it was. We celebrated Canada Day and my mum's birthday! WOOHOO! Typically, I would make something quite fun for my mum's birthday but I was faced with a challenge... our old cottage oven. This oven will burn everything. And so I stood there wondering, "how will I make something fantastic with this oven and Duncan Hines cake mix?" So I cake up with this.

For the icing I found some milk chocolate whipped icing in a tub. I marked the top of the cake with a shot glass and cut out the shape with a butter knife along with the burnt part on the bottom. I will admit it was quite the challenge and icing the first few crumbly cakes, I nearly burst into tears. However, everything payed off in the end. The mini cakes looked so much prettier and tastier than any cake that would have come right out of the oven. I finished off the mini cakes with some blueberries, raspberries and a scoop of a vanilla ice cream. And for those of you in the states (or just no-chocolate-people) you could make these vanilla for the Fourth of July. Hope everyone else had a great weekend and I'll leave you with another puppy picture.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Taste of Summer

Ahhhh. Finally summer! To be honest I'm not sure what my favorite part of summer is. Wether it's the freedom, the nicer weather, or the food. Oh my, so many potlucks, BBQs and picniks! Well to kick of the summer I had a group of friends over to swim and eat. Unfortunately, the weather was not the best it could have been so the swimming was minimal but the food was fantastic. Everyone brought something from these gorgeous local field strawberries....

To these perogies.

And incase you all were wondering what I made. It was these pink lemonade cupcakes.

I don't think anything tastes more like summer than lemonade and pink lemonade? All the better! The cupcakes were great. Very sweet with a bit of sour which came mostly from the icing and a really nice spongy texture. Typically, I'm not one to decorate my food because I can never seem to find icing tips or other little additions. Luckily, my friend brought over her icing tips and these pretty paper parasols to add a little extra to the cupcakes. And finally, for those of you who wish to try the recipe here it is:

Source: Simply Sweet Bake Shop
Yield: 9 Cupcakes

1 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Pinch salt
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 egg whites
1/3 c. thawed frozen Pink Lemonade Concentrate
1/4 c. buttermilk
Pink food coloring

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pan with liners. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg whites and lemonade concentrate. Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of flour mixture and two of buttermilk, beating until just smooth.
3. Add just enough food coloring to turn the batter a light shade of pink.
4. Scoop batter into liners (fill about three-fourths full). Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting (see below).

Lemonade Buttercream:
3 c. + 3 Tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. pink lemonade concentrate
Pink food coloring

1. Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt, lemon juice, and a few drops of food coloring to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined.
2. Turn the speed to med-high until the buttercream is fluffy and uniformly pink. Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

I will definitely be making these again. Maybe in cake form? yummm. Hope everyone is having a great start to their summer and I will be talking to you all very soon.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day

First off, happy Father's Day to all dads out there. This year our Father's Day started off with a 5K run to raise money for our town's hospital and later on the day some family came over for the pretty meal you see bellow.

Sadly, I had nothing to do with this meal so I have nothing to share other than, the salad my grandmother made was delicious! I will do my best to recreate it some time. For any of you that may be checking back every once and a while for a post, I'd like to apologize for not posting much lately. I have a very busy week ahead of me but then I should be back to posting more frequently.

Talk to you all soon!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

More cookies? Yes, of course! Actually, these are props for a play tomorrow but they're edible, homemade and delicious.

The request from the friend using this prop was just chocolate chip cookies. Honestly, I was disappointed I was kind of hoping to make some interesting flavored cookie. Oh well another day I suppose!

Here's the recipe I used from 'Handle the Heat'.

In the end these were great. It only just occurred to me that I hadn't made chocolate chip cookies for a couple months! These cookies certainly fixed the problem of a lack of chocolate chip cookies. The recipe made A LOT and I made huge cookies. They also had a nice soft texture with super crunchy out sides. The cookie was also very nice and buttery.

One unexpected twist. Typically, I use semi-sweet chips for my cookies but we bought milk chocolate by accident. Still needing some darker chocolate the rest of the semi-sweet was used up and the remaining chocolate was milk chocolate. The taste overall? Heaven. I'll definitely be mixing the two chocolates more in future chocolate chip cookies.

I really could write about these cookies late into the night but they are making me hungry and I really must sleep.

Sweet dreams ;)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Deep, Dark Chocolate Cookies

Alright so I was definitely in a chocolate mood. Not just a sugary, creamy milk chocolate but a dark almost bitter dark chocolate. These cookies were perfect. I brought them to a birthday party with a bunch of kids who thought the cookies tasted just like only cocoa. So fair to say they weren't popular there butttt all the parents loved them, one parent ate so many his wife has cut him off from dessert for a week.

So for any one who wishes to try these here's therecipe from the blog Abbey Cat Chat. The only thing I did differently was to add about 3/4-1 tablespoon of extra cocoa powder and used milk chocolate chips to offset the darker cookie.


Monday, May 30, 2011

Tales of Lemon Squares and Spring Rolls

Hello! Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend I definitely did and though it was a busy one I still got the chance to cook a bit ;) Friday between singing lessons and homework I tried a recipe for lemon squares for my mum's book club. They tasted excellent and were and definitely satisfied mum's constant lemon craving!

So for anyone who wants it here's the recipe.

For crust
1 cu flour
1/8 tsp salt
½ cu confectioner’s sugar
8 tbsp butter, melted but not hot
For filling
2 lg eggs
¾ cu sugar
1 ½ tbs. flour
6 tbs. juice from 2 lemons
2 tsps finely grated lemon rind
Oven 325.…cook crust for 20 min.
Spray an 8 x 8 first and then fit an 8 inch by 16 inc. foil over the bottom and
Up the sides it is much easier to get out of pan.
Press crust into pan and bake 325 for 20 min. (I found it took a little longer)
While baking whisk eggs, sugar, flour and lemon juice and zest in a bowl.
Remove pan from oven and pour mixture over and bake until just
Set about 20 min. Let cool in pan for a few min.
And then put on a rack for further cooling.

I also managed to make some vietnamese spring rolls in the last few hours of the weekend to pack for my lunch today. I've never attempted these so the first two or so were a mess. No surprise that no one took those two for lunch. Though I forgot to buy cilantro they were still great and once I got going, super quick to make. Sadly I didn't get any pictures of them this time but I can promise you that they will be remade and they'll get they're own post.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mother's Day

Alright so here's a super late post but regardless Happy Mother's Day! For my mum I decided to put together a brunch with two of my best friends. I put my self in charge of salmon eggs benadict, brown sugar meringues and cinnamon buns. Also on the menu, a tomato fresh mozzarella salad, avocado boats (posted for the previous WW) and asparagus. Oh and I note that these pretty pictures are thanks to my friend.

Enjoy the pictures and I hope you all had a great Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Brownies with a little secret

Alright so I'll admit this is not a pretty picture in any sense. However I've been wanting to make a post on these for so long I couldn't bear it! So here they are, my black bean brownies

Who would have thought you can get this ^ from this v ?!

So when I discovered a recipe for these I was ecstatic! I know a lot of people who require gluten-free diets. One family member of mine can't even have corn (which rules out about ... oh anything in a box)! But for gluten-free and umm "non gluten-free?" alike these are great! Not only are they super tasty but super fast to make as everything is mixed in the blender.

Black Bean Brownies
1 can of black beans
3 eggs
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1 pinch of salt
3/4 cup of white sugar
1/2 teaspoon instant coffee

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x8 square baking dish.

2. Combine the black beans, eggs, oil, cocoa powder, salt, vanilla extract, sugar, and instant coffee in a blender; blend until smooth; pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until the top is dry and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 minutes.

I have topped these with cream cheese icing, chocolate icing or just sprinkled them with chocolate chips all of which taste great. They can definitely stand on their own however!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays - Dance Dance Dance

I'll start off my first 'Wordless Wednesdays' entry with a few words. Another blogger though I can't remember who it was started these and I thought it was a great idea. I'll post a favorite picture of the week each Wednesday. So here it is, my first "Wordless Wednesday".

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A crowd of two - Smore Jar Cakes

This Friday night consisted of me and a friend playing tennis, watching Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 and making these cute smore cakes in a jar.
May I just say, oh my goodness this is such a creative, tasty recipe! When I found it roaming about I immediately thought of the family cottage. Though I will run the second I hear the buzzzz of a mosquito I'm willing to risk a couple bites for a smore down at the campfire. For those of you that may not know a smore consists of a toasted marshmallow and a piece of chocolate sandwiched between two gram crackers. Yum.

So these cakes are exactly that in cake form and they're huge! They also turned out quite nicely though not quite cooked enough, oops, I couldn't wait any longer! That aside they were great.

I think that these would be great for a picnic. Everyone gets their own jar of cake, no plates with cake sliding of them required. Plus they pack really easily, just pop the lid of the mason jar back on and throw them in your bag with forks and spoons!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Out: Ritorno

Today was fairly exhausting doing yard work for a good part of the day. However, going out for dinner was an excellent treat for the end of the day. The whole family headed out to Ritorno, an italian restaurant. I shared two dishes with my mum. The Linguine Pescatore and Polenta Primavera. I must admit, I'm a sucker for pasta. Nearly anytime I eat out I find myself ordering some pasta dish, so I'm glad I had the opportunity to try the polenta (though it's not far from pasta). Surprisingly, I enjoyed the polenta the most! While the linguine was quite good the polenta was astounding. It also seems simple enough to make, meaning it may be reproduced in my own kitchen sometime soon!

Linguine Pescator: $20 Black tiger shrimp, mussels, clams and fresh fish

in a tomato, white wine and basil sauce.

Polenta Primavera: $15 Slow cooked Polenta topped with a roasted vegetable medley,

spinach and goat’s cheese.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Avery!

Today is my sister's 12th birthday. At her birthday part last weekend I enjoyed the company of several 11 and 12 year old girls, watched bride wars and heard all about the cute 7th grade boys. Though this pretty little cake was enjoyed at the party I didn't get around to blogging till now.
The recipe I used was off of It tasted excellent and was extremely rich! It was nearly the consistency of a brownie and VERY moist. However, it was quite a challenge to construct. Once I pulled the cake out it started to crumble and the chocolate marshmallow icing would stick to the crumbs. In the end the cake looked quite nice and everyone enjoyed it. I may consider making this one again if I'm feeling up for a challenge.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Soba Noodles

These next two posts will be a little delayed.
Soo, last Friday I was feeling adventurous and wanted to try soba. For those of you who don't know soba is a japanese buckwheat noodle. I prepared the noodles hot with sesame seeds.

Though I haven't tried the noodles cold it seems to be a fairly popular way of preparing soba. I found the soba to be a bit sour which made it a lot more interesting in comparison to a typical noodle, as it doesn't really need a sauce to add flavour. The sour taste likely won't appeal to everyone. My sisters tried some and found the sour taste a bit too much.

Keeping with asian cuisine I made some crispy tofu triangles with asian dipping sauce.

These however I found rather disappointing. They were quite bland and the taste of tofu that I quite enjoy wasn't quite there. In addition I found the asian dipping sauce a bit too watery, it didn't stay on the triangles. It was a lot better with sweet and sour sauce but the sauce was all you could really taste.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mother Daughter Book Club

Tonight my little sister hosted her mother daughter book club at our house. They read was "We All Fall Down" by Eric Walters. Which by the way is an excellent read! It's extremely touching, and leaves you with a lot to ponder. It's also a quick read, so you have no excuse not to read it ;)

So, on to the food. I made these cake batter truffles (recipe from love veggies and yoga)
I can't think of a better occasion to make these! The girls there are at that age where you could eat cake batter for every meal and be completely satisfied and they looked sophisticated enough for the moms. It seemed as if they were well enjoyed the only complaint been that they were a bit too sweet/rich. Just keep in mind that this is essentially eating the flavour of birthday cake ice cream covered in chocolate. Sounds simply amazing to me!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Hello to whom ever might be reading.
Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookies have been all over tumblr so for a friend's birthday I decided to make her a batch (of course leaving a few for myself). My sister, who particularily enjoyed them has dubbed them the Choreo.
I used this recipe.
I think they came out quite well. I was later told that you could steam the Oreos so that they aren't quite so crunchy. Personally I quite liked the way they turned out! Though don't be fooled these are indeed huge (like a heart attack in a cookie) but delicious none the less. Just looking at this picture makes me want to go for a run!

Well, Happy Baking!