Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pesto Chicken Pizza

Here's another recipe I made for my sister's party. Home made pizza makes a great party food as it's easy, recognizable and still tastes great cold! ;)

This pie is a little more sophisticated as it is made from pesto instead of tomato sauce and is on flatbread rather than heavy pizza dough.

  • Flatbread (home-made or store bought)
  • Pesto sauce
  • Cooked chicken breast, chopped
  • Sun dried tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
  • Mozza cheese, shredded

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Lay the flatbread on a baking sheet or pizza stone, spread the pesto sauce on the flatbread so it is evenly covered.

3. Sprinkle half the cheese over the pizza, and top with the chicken and tomatoes, then top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the crust is golden and cheese is melted. Bon Appetit!

Fig & Brie Bites

 Another easy appetizer that tastes like you spent hours in the kitchen. Flaky pastry with fig jam, brie cheese and a touch of sea salt.

These are a great make ahead appie. In fact since they are puff pastry they actually hold their shape much better if you freeze them prior to baking.

These bites are rustic looking so don't worry too much about trying to make them look prefect. I know, it was hard for me too! ;)

  • 1 box of puff pastry, thawed in the fridge
  • 1 wheel of Brie Cheese, with the rind removed
  • Fig jam
  • Course sea salt

1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with wax paper. This will be used to freeze the bites.

2. Roll out the puff pastry into a large square. (Use minimal flour for rolling out otherwise the puff pastry will not stick to itself) Cut into equal squares, about 1.5 x 1.5 inches.

3. Spoon about half a teaspoon of fig jam into the middle of each square. Then place a small piece of cheese on top of that. (I know I'm not giving exact measurements but use your judgement, should be proportionate to the jam and pastry)

4. Fold over the corners of the pastry around the filling to make a bowl or basket. Place on the wax paper a sprinkle the sea salt on top. Place in the freezer until firm. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Baking Instructions - Bake at 375 degrees on parchment paper for 15 - 18 minutes. The pastry will puff up and the cheese and jam will be gooey.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Birthday Decor

For my sister’s 30th birthday bash, I wanted to decorate the house without spending a ton and still make it look sophisticated and cute. So I improvised and made a few things myself to cut down on costs. After all, most of the stuff just ends up in the garbage when the last guest leaves anyway.

I decided on a silver theme with a hint of white and pop of red. One nice thing about having her birthday this time of year is that it made it easy to find sparkly silver items too add to the décor.

One of my good friends, Kristen is a Wedding Planner, so she came over and helped me figure out where everything should go and with the decorations. It's so nice to have talent friends! :)

Flag Banner 101

Tape and scrap book paper will be your best friends for this people! I suppose if you were making a banner to use again and again, using glue and ribbon would probably be a better way to go. For me, it was a one time use so using tape was the quickest and most effective method. I actually didn’t even hang it, I just taped it right on to our fireplace mantel and it worked perfectly!

The first thing I did was cut out paper flags (triangles) using different patterns of scrapbook paper. I traced the one I liked until I had enough flags for each of the letters.

Then I printed out each of the letters with a circular boarder, cut them out and glued them to the middle of the flag. If you decide to string them using ribbon you would then need to punch holes and so on, but all I did was tape each flag to the next. Be sure to curve the flags as you tape them to give them that “hung” look.

I had ordered some paper flowers off Etsy for the party, I wasn’t sure how was I going to use them but as soon as I saw the banner I thought it would look adorable and add a little punch of color to it. So I glued a paper rose in between each flag. This worked great as it also hid the overlap and any tape that might have peeked through. (I ended up using the remainder of the roses scattered among the plates on the food table to continue the theme)

And there you have it! A cute, easy, and cheap banner to use once, or again and again.

Tissue Pom Poms

I have always loved the look of these, but this was the first time I actually made them! I was a little discouraged at first as the tissue kept tearing as I pulled them apart, but after doing a few I got the hang of it.

If these are also new to you, here is a great tutorial on how to make them.

  • A few tips from me to you
  • Use more than 8 sheets of paper per pom pom I found that 12 made much fuller pom poms
  • Buy good quality tissue paper
  • Be gentle with the tissue
  • Make sure the ribbon or string is long enough to hang it from where you plan on using them
  • For hanging clusters, use different sizes, colors and string lengths to make a full arrangement. I also incorporated balloons and some white spirals to mix it up.

30 Years of Photos

Since this is a milestone birthday I wanted to do a little something extra. I saw this idea on Pinterest, and lucky for me it was yet another cost effective decoration that made a statement.

I collected photos from friends and family that would be at the party, and printed them off in B&W. Next, I cut out a large “3” and “0” from Bristol paper to glue the photos onto it.

This was a great idea because everyone at the party including the birthday girl can take a little trip down memory lane.

Here one of the food table, unfortunately it's empty as once the guests started to arrive I totally forgot to take more photos! I will be posting more appetizer recipes that I made as well, stay tuned! :)


Friday, December 20, 2013

Egyptian Magic

A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Here’s another beauty product my sister got me hooked on. Great timing as winter can really take its toll on your skin. This moisturizer not only works great, but it’s not expensive and it’s made with all natural products such as Honey, Beeswax, Olive Oil, Royal Jelly, Bee Pollen and Bee Propolis.

When you open the jar it looks very stiff almost like a lip balm, you’re supposed to scoop some of it out and rub in it your hands at which point it will almost turn into an oil, then apply it to your face, body etc and your skin will feel moisturized and hydrated immediately!

You can order online or look up your closest reseller by visiting their website

Monday, December 16, 2013

Amazing Appetizer – Spinach Bites

This has been a busy month! We moved, it’s Christmas, and it’s my sister’s 30th birthday! This year we decided to throw her a party at our new house. I plan on doing a whole run down on all the menu items and decorations but for now here is another great appetizer recipe!

Since the party day will be super busy I made these ahead of time and froze them. I love things like this because I much rather make my own appies then use store bought stuff.

Don’t let the spinach fool you, these are not the healthy-est but they sure are delicious and very easy to make! Besides, it’s Christmas….the diet starts January 1st, right?! ;)

  • 1 package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 boxes of Stove Top stuffing (Chicken)
  • ¾ cup of melted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • Ground Pepper to taste 

1. In a large bowl combine the spinach (make sure you squeeze every last of moisture out of it) stuffing, and cheese. Add in the melted butter, eggs and pepper. Mix well.

2. Chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes. This gives the stuffing a chance to soak up some of the butter and egg.

3. Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with wax paper. Roll mixture into balls (approx. 1’’ in size) and place on baking sheet. Place tray into freezer until they firm up, then transfer to a large zip lock bag and store in the freezer. When ready to bake, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with tin foil and spraying it with pam (trust me, these things will bake right on otherwise) and bake at 375 degrees for about 16 minutes, tops should get golden brown.

For more amazing appetizers click here.

Monday, December 09, 2013

No Bake Cookies

Sometimes I feel like baking and then I remember how long the actual baking part can take and I get sad, then I stop being sad and make no bake cookies. ; )
As it turns out these cookies are also gluten free, but unfortunately not sugar free. The original recipe calls for 2 whole cups of sugar and man are they sweet. I cut it in and half which makes just right! Quick recipe if you ever get a late night cookie craving.

  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 tbsp of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of peanut butter
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 3 cups of oats

1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with wax paper.

2. In a large sauce pan heat the sugar, butter, cocoa powder and milk until the butter is completely melted.

3. Add in the peanut butter and vanilla until well combined. Mix in the oats and drop spoonfuls onto the baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm. Store in the fridge. Makes approx 16 cookies.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mint Chocoloate Cookies

I don't buy into the whole just because it's mint flavored it needs to be green business. In fact, I find most artificially colored green food very unappetizing. With that being said, these cookies are deliciously mint flavored without being green. One bite is like Christmas morning. Totally amazing recipe, pin it, save it, print it, just make it! ;)

  • 1 cup of butter
  • 1 3/4 cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp of peppermint extract
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 3/4 cup of mint chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup of semi sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a kitchen aid beat together the butter and sugar, once smooth, add in the eggs and peppermint extract.

3. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt until a thick dough is formed. Mix in the chocolate chips.

4. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place on baking sheet. Press each ball down slightly to form a disc. Bake for approx 9 mins. Make sure you don't over bake, cookies should be soft in the middle. Makes about 24 cookies.

These cookies taste great right out of the freezer! :)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

We All Worry Too Much

So we bought a house! Super exciting and super stressful all at the same time. Especially since we're simultaneously selling our condo. BIG learning experience for me. Anyone that knows me knows I have been a major stress case during this whole process. To those people - I apologize, and also thank you for you support! ;)

I've been watching Grey's Anatomy while Andrew has been gone and (Spoiler Alert) there is an episode where Teddy's husband dies and long story short they talk about how people say they are having the worst day because they got a speeding ticket, or spilled coffee on themselves etc. Basically first word problems. We don't know how good our problems really are until something actually awful happens to us, like losing a loved one or battling a disease. This hit home with me since I haven't been sleeping and crying over trivial things that coincide with the beautiful house we will soon get to live in. Basically feeling sorry for myself, because I can't put up my Christmas tree, and am overwhelmed with address changes and legal documents. It was a refreshing reality check that I very much needed.

So let's make a pack to try our best to stay positive and not to sweat the small stuff! :)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Last week I bought some gelato from a local shop that packaged it up in mason jars to help rebuild our Zoo (we had some major flooding in our city last spring which unfortunately damaged a lot of our city) At first I questioned the flavor "Banana Cinnamon Animal Cracker", but after trying it I got hooked. Needless to say that it inspired to wonder down the banana cinnamon road, which lead me to this yummy recipe.

A twist on a old favorite, delicious moist banana bread with a little cinnamon surprise in the middle.

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of light sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp of skim milk
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 cup of  flour
  • 4 tbsp of cinnamon mixed with white sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease a loaf pan.

2. In a large bowl or kitchen aid, combine sugar, egg, vanilla, sour cream/yogurt, milk and banana. Add the salt, baking soda and flour.

3. Pour half of the batter into the pan. Then evenly sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar mixture on top. I made mine so that no batter was showing, but it just depends how much pf a swirl you want. Pour the remaining batter over the cinnamon layer and bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool before cutting.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Flake Scones

If you've ever eaten a cinnamon scone from Cobbs bakery and have been in a constant search for the recipe ever since, welcome to the club! ;) This recipe is pretty darn close, so give it a whirl and see what you think!

It's all in those little cinnamon sugar flakes. It's a small extra step that makes a world of difference.
Instead of just having a cinnamon flavored scone, you get tasty little bits of business throughout.

For the cinnamon flakes -
  • 3 tbsp of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp of water

1. In a small bowl, mix together the sugar (3tbsp) and cinnamon. Add the water, and mix it very well. It will develop into very dry paste. Add more water if required, but add only a few drops at a time.
2. Spread across a baking sheet and pop in the oven at 350 degrees. They need about 8-10 mins in the oven total, but you will need to scrape the pan with a spatula so that it doesn't harden into one giant piece. Do this a few times during the baking process.
3. Scrape the bits one last time and let cool completely.

For the scone base -
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder 
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 cold stick of butter (cut into 6 cubes)
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 cup of yogurt or sour cream 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray.

2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt into a large mixing bowl and combine.

3. Toss in the cubes of butter and use your fingers to rub in the butter with the mixture until well combined. It should resemble a course meal.

4. Mix in the Cinnamon sugar flakes.

5. In another bowl mix together yogurt/sour cream and milk.

6. Pour the milk/yogurt mixture into the dry mixture then use both your hands to mix them together and form into a ball of dough, then pat into a 8 inch circle about 3/4 inch thick.

7. Cut into 8 triangles, place on the baking sheet and bake until golden, about 15-18 minutes.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Blackberry Pudding Cake

This little adventure came about because I bought some blackberries that ended up being a bit tart to eat on their own. So I decided to bake something with them. The trouble is I was out of butter and it was snowing pretty good so I decided my efforts would be better spent finding a recipe that used blackberries but not butter. And this is what I came up with -

I must say this is the STRANGEST recipe I have ever made in my life. When I put it in the oven to bake I laughed to myself thinking it was crazy. I re-read the recipe about 5 times to make sure I wasn’t missing a step. So now you know. Trust in this recipe!

You actually bake this in a glassware dish. I just put in the mason jars to store for individual servings, and since they are glass you would be able to heat them up in the microwave or oven because this one is best served warm and with ice cream! ;)

  • 2 cups of fresh blackberries
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 3 tbsp of coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1 cup of evaporated milk
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of cornstarch

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 12 glass baking dish.

2. Mix the blackberries with the lemon juice and line the baking dish. In a separate bowl mix together flour, 1 cup of sugar, baking powder, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and evaporated milk. it should be a thick batter, spread on top of blackberries.

3. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, boiling water and cornstarch. Pour this mixture over top of the batter in the dish and bake for approx 40 mins or until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean in the center. Serve warm. (This is where I thought it was strange, you basically have 1/2 inch of water on top of your batter, but it all somehow incorporates into this moist cinnamon, warm, berry winter cake like nothing I've ever tasted)

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Crock Pot Beef (or Chicken) & Broccoli

I friggin LOVE Chinese food! We don't get it very often which is actually a good thing because I have zero will power and I eat myself sick.

But this recipe is a nice compromise between all the deep friend yumminess that usually accompanies Chinese food while still kicking the Chinese food craving. Oh and I did I mention that it's super easy? ;)

I normally make it with beef, but this past time I tried out chicken and it's just as tasty in a totally different way. So put down that take out menu, get out your crock pot, and get cooking!

  • 1 pound of beef tips or chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 cup of beef or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup of  brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch or gravy flour
  • Fresh broccoli florets, as many as you like, steamed

1. Place beef or chicken in a crock pot. Add in the broth, soy suace, sugar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. Mix until beef or chicken is evenly coated.

2. Cook on high for approx 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Once the meat is complete cooked, add in the cornstarch or gravy flour to thicken the sauce.

3. Add in the broccoli (I steam mine before as I like it a little softer then just adding it to the pot raw)

4. Stir to combine and let it cook for another 30mins. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Bacon & Egg Muffins

Healthy? No. Tasty? Heck YES!

These little muffins make the perfect breakfast on the go. They are super easy and are one of those things that taste even better the next day!

I was going to make them for Andrew to take to work for breakfast but just as I was loading the groceries in the car I got a text saying he was heading out of town again come Monday. So I ended up making them for us to have on the weekend. I must admit, it’s nice to wake up to breakfast already made. We just popped a few into the microwave and enjoyed them with our morning coffee.

  • 1 can of Pillsbury Grands Biscuits
  • ½ package of bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
  • 1 cup of cheese, shredded (I used marble, but whatever floats your boat!)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, grease 10 cups of a muffin tin.

2. Separate each biscuit, stretch it out slightly, and press it into the muffin tin. Divide ¾ cup of the cheese and sprinkle it evenly on top of each biscuit.

3. Beat the eggs together in a measuring cup with a little S&P and pour egg mixture evenly into on top of the cheese on each biscuit. Then top that with the bacon, then the remaining ¼ of cheese.

4. Bake for approx. 16 minutes. Biscuits should be golden brown and egg should be firm.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is basically a switch up from my original Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe I posted earlier on my blog. Since it's Halloween I just happen to have some of those little individually wrapped caramel squares in the house. And I thought to myself "Man this would be good in cookies!" so that is exactly what I did!

I was tempted to look for a recipe that specifically called for them, but then I thought to myself again "Why try another cookie recipe when I already have the best one at my finger tips?"

Exact same recipe, just add pieces of the caramel squares for a totally different cookie experience.

Oh and these cookies were so good that I forgot to take a photo, so I had to take one the next day at work...hence the classy styrofoam plate. ;)

  • 2 ¼ cups of flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips (for some reason I think the mini ones taste better)
  • 3/4 cup of chopped up bits of caramel squares

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.

2. Cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.

3. Beat in flour, baking soda and salt. Incorporate the chocolate chips and caramel bits.

4. Drop spoonful’s onto baking sheet. And bake for approx. 10 mins. The trick to these cookies is to slightly under bake them. There should just be a small hint of golden around the edges and tops of the cookies. They will firm up when cooled. This will ensure they are moist, soft and chewy.
Store in an airtight container.

Makes roughly 2 dozen cookies.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

I must admit I am not a huge fan of quinoa on its own. But I love love love this salad! All of the veggies and flavors combine and something magical happens.
  • 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup of uncooked quinoa
  • Half of one large red onion, dice
  • 1 large red pepper, dice
  • ½ cup of kalamata olives
  • ½ cup of crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ tsp parsley
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup of olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

    1. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar, set aside.

    2. Cook quinoa in the chicken broth, along with the garlic clove. (I use my rice cooker and it works great!) Discard the garlic and scrape the quinoa into a large bowl.

    3. Add the onion, pepper, feta, olives, parsley and salt to the quinoa. Drizzle the olive oil dressing and mix evenly. Refrigerate and serve cold.

      Saturday, October 26, 2013

      Home Made Focaccia Bread

      Nothing compares to home made bread. Warm out of the oven, it is heaven!
      • 2 ½ tsp of active dry yeast
      • ½ cup of warm water (very important it’s between 105 degrees and 115 degrees)
      • 1 ½ cups of milk
      • 6 tbsp of olive oil
      • 5 cups of flour (I used 4 and 1 cup of whole wheat)
      • 2 tsp of salt
      • 2 tsp of rosemary (dried or fresh)
      • 1 tsp of thyme (dried or fresh)
      • Coarse salt, to taste

      1. In a small bowl, pour the yeast over the warm water. After 5 mins or so it should become creamy, mix and stir in milk and 4 tbsp of olive oil. Set aside.

      2. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, rosemary, and thyme. Mix in yeast mixture with a wooden spoon, a soft dough should form.

      3. Knead the dough on a floured surface until it becomes smooth. Place in a clean bowl and cover with plastic, set aside for about an hour, the dough should double in size.
      Tip from my step mother – do not let it sit too long or it will fall. 

      4. Grease a large cookie sheet or jelly roll pan. Shape the dough into a rectangle and transfer to the pan so it covers it completely. Cover with plastic and let it rise one last time, about an hour.

      5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Press you finger tips into the dough so it’s dimpled, about 1 inch apart. Drizzle the remaining olive oil across the top of the dough. Sprinkle with the coarse salt. Bake for approx. 25 minutes, bread should be golden and firm to the touch.

      Thursday, October 24, 2013

      Linen Closet Update

      I believe the root of all my re-organizing lately stems from the fact that I want to move. We are starting to outgrow our little condo, and storage space is a hot commodity. Trying to keep everything looking neat and tidy when shelves are at capacity is not an easy task. So until the day comes where we can finally move, I am trying to do little things to keep me sane that can "move with us".

      Since I am a naturally organized person, my linen closet was never a total mess but the original boxes I used were starting to fall apart and I wasn't feeling the color anymore so I decided this would be my next project.

      I searched the web for some inspiration and decided on a mix of baskets and fabric boxes in various sizes (all from IKEA) I also purchased some sub-dividers for each box so that I could keep them tidy inside. Most of the boxes I chose have a space on the front for labeling which comes in super handy if you are using multiple boxes of the same shape/design.

      Some words of wisdom - Try to pre-plan of you want your space to look like before heading to the store. Even though I did this and even drew a little diagram, it was very over-whelming in the storage section at IKEA.

      I will admit, this project wasn't cheap. I had big time buyers remorse after checking out. The little things can add up fast! BUT I find myself opening this closet throughout the day just to admire it. So in my eyes the money was well worth the happiness it brings me.

      Tuesday, October 22, 2013

      Pumpkin Scones

      That’s right! More pumpkin! These scones are sure to kick your pumpkin craving if you aren’t sick of it yet! They are so good!

      I originally planned on leaving them without the icing but I caved, it makes them sweet and gooey like a cinnamon bun.

      • 4 ½ cups of whole wheat flour
      • 5 tsp of baking powder
      • 2 tsp of cinnamon
      • ½ tsp of nutmeg
      • 1 tsp of salt
      • ½ cup of brown sugar, packed
      • ½ cup of cold butter (1 stick)
      • 3 cups of pumpkin puree
      • 1 cup of milk
      • 1 cup of walnuts, chopped
      • 1 cup of raisins

      1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, grease a large baking sheet.

      2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and sugar. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry cutter or your hands, until it forms a course meal.

      3. In a spate bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, and milk. Add into the large bowl with the meal, stir until combined with a wooden spoon.

      4. Mix in walnuts and raisins. Drop large spoonfuls on the baking sheet. Bake for approx. 16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

      5. Wait until scones are completely cool before icing.

      For the icing

      • 1 cup of icing sugar
      • 1 tsp of vanilla
      • 2 tbsp of milk

      1. In a small bowl, mix together icing sugar, vanilla and 1 tbsp of milk until smooth. You may need to play around with the quantities of sugar and milk to get the consistency you are looking for, I prefer my icing thicker, but if required add part or all of the remaining tbsp of milk.

      2. Using a spoon, drizzle over the scones. Store in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container.

      Sunday, October 20, 2013

      Glitter Pumpkins

      I love Halloween, I actually love all holidays and I always have such big plans to go all out. But they always sneak up on me and I run out of time. This year wasn't an exception but I saw this idea on a day time talk show and I fell in love with the idea so I made time. On the show they used real pumpkins which looked great, but I decided to use fake ones so I could reuse them for years to come.

      For this project you will need - various sized fake or real pumpkins, Mod Podge (I used the glitter kind), a large paint brush, various colors of fine glitter (orange, purple, black) and aerosol hairspray. I got all my supplies from Micheals.

      I put down a garbage bag to avoid glittering the whole kitchen. I would recommend doing one color at a time and washing the brush in between to avoid sparkle cross contamination.
      Holding the stem of the pumpkin, brush a generous coat of Mod Podge across the pumpkin, sprinkle the glitter all over the pumpkin until it's covered. You might have to filter the glitter that didn't stick back into the jar to re-use. Set the pumpkin on a plastic bag to dry, you might have to turn it on it's side to allow the bottom to dry as well. Once, completely dry, spray with hairspray. This will make sure the glitter stays on the pumpkin.

      Happy Halloween! :)

      Saturday, October 19, 2013

      Engagement Photos

      Uggggh I hate getting my picture taken! I am not photogenic person. But unless I sucked it up through a photo session, there would be no record of Andrew and me ever having a relationship!!! That may be an exaggeration but it would be nice to have a few professional photos that we both like that we could put up and give to family.

      It ended up being last minute decision, luckily my dad is an awesome photographer and was able to accommodate us before the leaves turn brown and our city becomes a winter wonder land.

      It actually wasn’t so bad since we just did a quick session that was only about an hour and a half total. If he’s up for it we might even get him to do another mini session with us and the dog. :)

      Here are a few of the ones we liked -

      Mason Jar Fruit Crisp

      Perfect fall dessert in a single serving jar!

      I had some left over fruit that was about to turn and some extra mason jars from my spice reorganization so I decided to make these. It was super easy and I didn’t even bake them at the time! Just put them together and popped them in the freezer until I decided it was a good night for dessert.

      I’m all about make ahead and freezing things. Sometimes the week can unexpectedly get away from you so it’s nice to have some quick things on hand just in case. And they are oh so cute!

      Thank goodness they are mostly fruit…I know that doesn’t make them “good for you” but let’s pretend because I pretty much ate one for dessert every night until they were gone.

      I kind of just winged-it with the quantities, using how much fruit I had on hand, so you might need to tweak it a little depending on how many you plan to make. I ended up with 7 one cup mason jars.

      For the filling –

      • 6 cups of fruit (I used blackberries, strawberries, and gala apples)
      • 2 tbsp of flour
      • 2 tbsp of sugar
      • 1 tsp of vanilla
      • 1 tsp of cinnamon

      For the crumb –

      • 11/2 cup of flour
      • 1 cup of large oats
      • 2 tbsp of brown sugar
      • 1 tsp of cinnamon
      • 1 stick of butter, cold (1/4 cup)

      1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the filling until all of the fruit is evenly coated. If using apples I recommend peeling them first.

      2. In another bowl, mix together the flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon. Using a fork or your fingers, cut in the cold butter until it is well incorporated and you have a crumb type mixture.

      3. Spoon the fruit filling evenly into the jars. Top with crumb and slightly press into jars. Secure lids and freeze. OR bake jars without lids at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Top should be brown, and sides should be bubbling. If baking from frozen, follow the same directions, but increase the bake time to 30 minutes.

      Wednesday, October 16, 2013

      Morning Glory Muffins

      There’s a lot going on in these little muffins! The perfect post-Thanksgiving muffin to get you back on track and eating a more balanced diet again. ;)

      • 2 bananas, mashed
      • 2 cups of carrot, grated
      • 2 apples, grated (skin on)
      • 3 eggs
      • ½ cup of coconut oil (melted)
      • ¾ cup of brown sugar
      • 1 ¼ cup of whole wheat flour
      • ½ cup of oats
      • ¼ cup of ground flax
      • ¼ cup of bran
      • 2 tsp of baking soda
      • ¼ tsp of salt
      • 2 tsp of cinnamon
      • ½ raisins
      • ½ cup of walnuts, chopped
      • ½ of coconut flakes
      • ½ cup of chia seeds

      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a 2 muffins tins for 15 muffins.

      2. In a large bowl or kitchen aid, mix together banana, carrot, apple, eggs, coconut oil and sugar.

      3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, oats, flax, bran, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Incorporate this dry mix to the wet mix in the large bowl.

      4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir just to combine. Spoon batter into muffin tins and bake for approx. 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Makes approx. 15 muffins.