Saturday, November 12, 2016

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting
Melt in your mouth goodness! Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting
My favourite cookies of all time are soft sugar cookies. You know the ones — soft and sweet, with the best buttercream frosting on top. The frosting is always piled on generously, slightly set, dusted with colourful sprinkles. These Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting are SO much better!
Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting
Pumpkin spice all the things!

I could enjoy one of these cookies any time, but now that it is fall, my craving has changed. I love pumpkin spice lattés, and this cookie has that same spiciness. And the frosting? To. Die. For. It is rich and buttery, with a smooth, caramel flavour that pairs perfectly with the spicy sweet pumpkin cookies. They literally melt in your mouth!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies with Brown Sugar Frosting
Soft, spicy, sweet. And that frosting is also delicious eaten with a spoon! Yup, that happened.

Recently a good friend gifted me a batch of these cookies, and for about a week, I spent cool, autumn mornings on my patio with an Americano coffee and a plate of these yummy bites. I’ve made several batches since, and trust me, they make an excellent breakfast!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Summer here in southern BC is a veritable cornucopia of fresh, ripe berries of all kinds. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries – all are plump and sweet from the summer sun. This Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake is easy to whip together and highlights the best of our summer fruit.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Cake: it's what's for breakfast. Yep, you heard me.

Since summer has arrived in full force, I’ve been a busy bee; buzzing from one activity to the next. As a result, my garden has been — shall we say — gently neglected. Oh who am I kidding? It is overgrown on the west side with blackberries. 10-foot tall raspberry canes as thick as a baby’s arm, with razor-sharp thorns just waiting to bleed any unsuspecting passers-by. The up side? The branches are so heavy with giant, glossy berries, they are practically laying on the ground. We love berries of all kinds, and this is my absolutely favourite coffee cake to make with fresh berries. Any berry will do – use whatever you have.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
Prepare to inhale several slices of this raspberry goodness.

Click through for the recipe....

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Very Dog-tastic Birthday Cake

A Very Dog-Tastic Birthday Cake

My sweet little boy turned one on Sunday! Yes, you are correct in assuming my sweet little boy is actually a big, drooling, furry, dog!

Here's Cooper when he was a wee pup:
Cooper as a wee puppy
Cooper as a wee puppy; only 6 weeks old.
As I am always making cakes for everyone in the family, I wanted to make one for Cooper. It had to be special; quality, dog-tummy-friendly ingredients, and still look somewhat birthday cake-ish. I think I was successful!
Birthday Cake for a Dog
What's in a dog-tastic cake? Wild salmon, brown rice, free range egg, mashed potatoes, and greek yogurt. Drooling yet?
Coming up with ingredients wasn't that difficult. I pictured a meatloaf-type construction and went from there. I used canned wild salmon and mixed it with some cooked brown rice for a binder. Then I mixed in a free range egg. I divided the mixture into two 4" springform pans and baked them until set. The mashed potatoes are simply instant mashed (perfect for a frosting texture!) mixed with greek yogurt.
Birthday cake for a dog
Oh please can I just eat it right now? Hurry and take the photo already!
I think he liked it.

Birthday Cake for a dog

Want to make one for your pooch? Click through for the recipe...

Monday, June 27, 2016

Frozen Cocktail Pops

Frozen Cocktail Pops

Deliciously boozy cocktail pops will cool you off in no time

When the weather heats up and summer is in full swing, get ready to grab one of these icy, grown-up treats to cool down.
We tested 3 flavours: Coconut Cream Limoncello, Tequila Sunrise, and Gin + Tonic

Ah, summer! I'm a fan, for sure. I love lazing around in my backyard, pretending it's a tropical resort. You can bet I'll be lounging in my oversized sunglasses and maxi dress, clutching a colourful cocktail. And when the temperature rises, a frozen cocktail cools me off perfectly. The fact that it's on a stick is beautifully effortless. 

Frozen pop molds come in all shapes and sizes. The mold I use makes ten pops, using about three cups of liquid. These recipes have been designed to fill my mold; you may need to adjust the amounts to fill your mold. If you have liquid leftover, well consider that your bonus cocktail! Your mold may also have its own sticks, saving you from purchasing extra.

Click for all the recipes...

Friday, March 4, 2016

Healthy Edible "Candy" Bracelets

Make Your Own Healthy Edible Candy Bracelets!
Healthy edible candy bracelets
A healthy, fun craft for kids!

Spring break is here! I remember my idyllic spring break days fondly. Since it was always raining, my afternoons were spent colouring, reading, staging fantastically melodramatic movies starring Barbie and her crew — it was a time of imagination and creativity. When imagination wore thin, Mom would break out some arts & crafts project that would occupy bored minds for a short time. Eventually, bored kids would drive our Mom to give up and we would embark upon a rare outing to the corner store, meagre allowances in hand. How exciting that was! My sister and I would chatter excitedly about what we would get — Mike & Ike’s, Bottle Caps, Pixy Stix, and Lik-m-aid Fun Dip were usually on our list. But the one we would ALWAYS run for first, was the Candy Necklace.

To this day, I can still see myself unwrapping the necklace from its crinkly cellophane package and jamming the necklace over my head. Usually hair got caught in-between the candies, but I didn’t care. I always tried to make it last forever. I would then go about my day with an elastic cord hanging out of my mouth, pink stains on my lips, until the necklace was gone. Later came other candy jewelry — bracelets and rings. 

Healthy edible candy bracelets
There are endless patterns to create – and better for you than candy!

Candy jewelry is so much fun, but can you imagine how much sugar and food colouring they contain? With people cutting back on sugar and artificial everything these days, why not try a healthy, natural alternative? These Healthy Candy Bracelets are fun to make, and healthy, too! You need very few ingredients and tools. Smaller children may need assistance getting the needle through some of the tougher fruit, or help with scissors, but the delicious result will be worth it!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies
Mmmmm peanut butter everything!

Friends, I have a dilemma.

I absolutely LOVE peanut butter cookies. As a kid, my sister and I would make them all the time. They were so easy, required very few ingredients, and our mother would trust us to be able to make them with minimal supervision.

Fast forward sound effects to years later, and I met and married this wonderful dude who is my best friend and husband. He only has one teeny tiny flaw, though. He HATES the aroma of baking peanut butter cookies. I know, right?! Because of this, my enjoyment of peanut butter cookies is limited to those rare occasions when he's not at home.

Like recently! Yay, friends, peanut butter cookies! I didn't want to make the usual, I wanted to make over-the-top-peanut-butter-awesomeness-in-a-cookie. These are oatmeal peanut butter cookies, with chopped, roasted peanuts, peanut butter chips, and sandwiched around the creamiest, peanut-butteriest peanut butter frosting ever. I am dying over these, they are so good. I keep them in the freezer, and that makes them even better, if you can believe it.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Sandwich Cookies
Try one of these Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies – frozen! Wow!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Cheesy Dog Cookies

Cheesy Homemade Dog Cookies
Cheesy homemade dog cookies — great for training or for gifting to your fur friends!

So you've made all these goodies for your family and friends; but what about your fur friends?
We recently welcomed a new addition to our house — a bouncing bundle of fur and teeth who requires A LOT of training. Like, a metric ton of training. And all that training requires a LOT of treats. Like a metric ton of treats!

Bouncy pup likes cheesy dog cookies
Our bouncing bundle of shark puppy — he requires a lot of training!

I was not feeling great about buying treats from the store. I needed so many, and the decently-made cookies were expensive. The cheap ones? Who knows what's in those. Yuck. With these cheesy homemade dog cookies, at least I know exactly what's in them. And I can adjust the recipe slightly if a friend's pooch has any food allergies. And the best part? Dogs LOVE them!

Let me know in the comments if your pup loves them, too!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Rich Chocolate Fudge

Oh chocolate fudge, how I do love you. You are creamy. You are rich. You make me hide batches of you around the house so no one but me knows where you are. I am a squirrel in your presence.

Rich decadent chocolate fudge
No fudge here – move along.

We made fudge a lot when I was a kid. In fact, that original fudge recipe is on this blog, and you can find it here. It doesn't quite taste the same, however, because I think the manufacture of marshmallows has changed since then. When I stumbled upon this variation, I was ecstatic! This tastes exactly how I remember it from childhood! It really is very, very close to the original. I know you will love it, too.

A quick note about marshmallows — do not use old marshmallows, where the bag has been open for awhile. Trust me, freshly opened bags of marshmallows really do make a difference.

Rich Chocolate Fudge
Based on this recipe from Nestlé

3 cups white sugar
1 can evaporated milk
1/4 cup butter
4 cups miniature marshmallows
24 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Line two 8-inch-square baking pans with foil and set aside.
  2. Combine sugar, evaporated milk, and butter in large saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Time it! Remove from heat.
  3. Stir  in marshmallows, chopped chocolate, and vanilla extract. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into prepared pans. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm. Lift from pan; remove foil. Cut into pieces. Store tightly covered in refrigerator.