Friday, December 27, 2013

Black & White Cupcakes

Black & White & Obsessed All Over

I have a new obsession: black & white. Maybe not technically new, but this graphic combination has taken over my life! My recent fave fashion find is a black & white striped tee from Smart Set – the stripes feel so fresh and summery. The latest wheeled addition to our household is a gorgeous little black Mini Cooper, aptly named Oreo. And I have been obsessed with creating the perfect black & white manicure. Leave shades of grey to the steamy novels – I’ll take black & white any day!

Black & White Cupcakes  
Livin' in perfect harmony
Since black & white is on my mind, I decided to create an easy, delicious Black & White Cupcake to share with my friends and family. The cupcake is a rich, devil’s food chocolate, light and fluffy, and frosted with rich vanilla buttercream. To top it off, I added the ubiquitous black & white cookie — a mini Oreo, of course. 

Click through for the recipe…

Friday, December 20, 2013

Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Cookies

Chewy chocolate cookie goodness
I have jumped on gluten-free bandwagon! I started avoiding gluten mostly out of curiosity. I wanted to see if I would feel different, or better, if I didn’t consume it as much as possible. It is still too early to tell, but it hasn’t been as difficult as I imagined it would be.

Stack 'em up – inhale!
This recipe contains no flour, however, it does contain nuts and egg whites, so it is not completely allergy safe. What they are is moist, chewy and packed with amazing chocolate flavour. They are so rich and satisfying that you’ll only need to eat one. OK, maybe two!

Gluten-Free Chewy Chocolate Cookies
Based on this recipe at Martha

Makes 24 cookies
3 cups icing sugar, sifted
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1 cup almonds, chopped and toasted (method below)
4 egg whites

  1. Pre-heat oven to 325°F. Place chopped almonds on a cookie sheet and place in the oven, shaking it occasionally, until fragrant – about 10 minutes. 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together icing sugar, cocoa and salt until combined. 
  3. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips and toasted almonds and stir until combined. 
  4. Stir in eggs whites very gently until just combined. Do not over mix. 
  5. Drop by heaping tablespoonful onto parchment lined cookie sheets, about 2” apart. 
  6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, turning pans halfway through, until tops of cookies are shiny, cracked and dry to the touch. 
  7. Cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Red Wine-Roasted Rhubarb & Strawberry Shortcake for Mother's Day

Wine-Roasted Rhubarb & Strawberry Shortcake
I recently returned from a wine-soaked weekend holiday in Naramata, BC. For those who are unfamiliar with this beautiful wine region, Naramata is perched just northeast of Penticton, overlooking the shores of Okanagan Lake. Dotted among the winding country roads are over twenty wineries, each with a lovely setting and tasty wines, of course. I came home with over a case of unique vintages; some to enjoy now, and some to save for special occasions. One bottle in particular stood out as a recipe-friendly red — a 2010 Montage from La Frenz Winery. This robust red is a blend of Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, with notes of dark fruit, plum, cherries with a vanilla finish. — perfect for making this Red Wine-Roasted Rhubarb and Strawberry Shortcake!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Homemade Cheez-Its

or, Confessions of a Cracker Addict!

Homemade cheddary squares of addictive goodness. Betcha can't eat just one!

I have a confession to make. I am addicted to crackers. It’s my go-to junk food. It’s what I reach for instead of popcorn when watching a movie at home (in the theatre, too. Shhh! Don’t tell). My all-time favourite crackers are the tiny, orange, squares of cheddar-y goodness. They are like crack...ers. You know the ones I mean! I can easily inhale a whole box in one sitting. Afterwards, of course, there is the guilt that sets in. How many unpronounceable chemicals did I just consume? Is there an alternative where I know exactly what I am scarfing down? You know me — I didn’t stop looking until I found it. And I did.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Paska: A Traditional Easter Bread

Sweet, moist Paska bread!
I remember, as a young girl, visiting my Mennonite Grandma and Grandpa often in their tiny shoebox apartment. Despite the lack of space, their home was always warm and inviting and full of comforting aromas. There was always something good to eat when we visited.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chewy Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Bright, chewy little bites of lemon goodness!
Winters around here are grey. Dull and grey. The seemingly endless greyscale days, desaturated and devoid of colour, make me crave bright colours, bold flavours and loud music. Lucky for us, the fruit in season this time of year is citrus! Navel oranges, heavy with sweet promise, are at their very best. Lemons and limes are plentiful and perfectly juicy.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Petite Vanilla Bean Scones

3 scones = 1 regular-sized scone, right? RIGHT???

Whenever I indulge myself with a treat from that certain coffee franchise (you know the one I mean!), my eyes are always drawn to those tiny, speckled white jewels — the petite vanilla bean scone. Such a sweet, vanilla-packed bite in a tiny, guilt-free (almost) size. My budget gets tighter this time of year, so I set out to see if I could make a petite vanilla bean scone for myself.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Blueberry Cream Cheese Quick Bread

What? There's fruit in it.
The holidays are over, and all the Christmas treats have been devoured, mostly by me. The gingerbread, chocolates and shortbread cookies are now a sweet memory. Lately, I have been craving fresh fruit (but not mandarin oranges, haha). When I saw fresh blueberries on sale at the local grocery, I knew I wanted to bake them up into something non-holiday related. Result: Blueberry Cream Cheese Quick Bread!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Gifts from the Kitchen: Cookies for Santa

Better hurry Santa, those look mighty tasty
My sister and I left cookies out for Santa on Christmas eve. It was always a big debate: chocolate chip or shortbread? Chocolate chip usually won the day. Tradition ruled that we also leave carrots out for the reindeer.