Saturday, December 17, 2011

Eggnog Waffles

I like to change up breakfast on the weekends and came across this delicious recipe for Eggnog Waffles on and just had to try them. Luckily I even had some eggnog on hand so no trips to the grocery store needed.

I don't own a waffle maker but I was watching Jamie's Family Christmas and he made Waffles on a grill pan. So I decided to give it a try. It works really well and I don't need to buy a waffle maker! 

2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups eggnog (I used low fat)
1 egg
6 tbsp veg oil
1 cup pecans (optional but recommended)

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. 

Combine eggnog, egg and oil in a bowl and whisk together.

Pour eggnog mixture into flour and stir to combine. Fold in nuts. 

You can you a waffle maker or a grill pan. I tried to make a giant waffle the size of the pan but I could not flip it and ended up cutting into 4 and then flipping. So I cooked the remaining in batches of 2. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Peanut Butter Cups

So again I was blog surfing and came upon this recipe from It's Yummy to My Tummy. They looked so delicious!! They were messy to make but fun at the same time. I think next time I would roll the filling into ball and just dip them in the chocolate.  But to try them! I already have an order to make them for a Christmas Party next week.

1/2 cup Peanut butter
2 tbsp butter
pinch of salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar

16 oz chocolate (can use milk and semisweet or dark)
1 tbsp shortening 

For filling combine butter and peanut butter in a bowl and microwave for 20 seconds. stir and add salt and sugar. Set aside

For coating, combine chocolate and shortening in a bowl. You can melt the chocolate in the microwave (power 5) or over a double boiler. 

Spoon or brush chocolate into mini silicone cups (you can use any size or shape you want). Refrigerate until hard. 

Spoon peanut butter mixture into each cup almost to the top. Smooth tops by wetting finger and pushing down. 

Cover each cup with chocolate and refrigerate until ready to serve. 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Brown Sugar Shortbread

I was blog surfing today and looking at some recipes and stumbled upon Bakergirl and found this recipe. Looked delicious and I have been craving shortbread and the store bought ones are always disappointing. 

1 pound butter
1 cup brown sugar, packed
4 - 4 1/2 cups flour

Cream butter and brown sugar. Add 3 3/4 cups flour and mix well. Turn dough out onto floured surface.

It will look like this:

Knead in as much remaining flour to form soft non sticky dough. Rolls out to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into 1 inch by 3 inch pieces and pick with fork. 

Place on Baking sheets about 1/2 inch apart. 

Bake at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes until they turn light brown. Remove and place on cooling rack.

They are almost too good to resist eating them right away! But be careful of burning your mouth like I did.

Cinnamon Rolls with Cinnamon Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Whenever I go to the mall I pass Cinnabon and it smells so delicious. But I always resist the urge because I refuse to pay almost $5.00 for something I can make at home that is just as good if not better.   And usually I have some kiddos tagging along. They always ask for them. So I decided to give in and make some. 

These were a hit at home and I took them to work to share during a meeting and they were a hit there.

Dough                                            Filling     

4 1/2 - 5 Cups Flour                    1 cup brown sugar    
1 pkg yeast                                  1/4 cup flour 
1 cup milk                                    1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter                               3/4 cup cold butter
1/3 cup sugar                                
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Combine 2 1/4 cups flour and yeast in mixer bowl with paddle attachment.

In a saucepan, heat milk, butter, sugar, salt and vanilla to 120-130 degrees F. 

Turn mixer on low and add milk slowly. Once combined add eggs, one at a time. Once all have been added, beat for 3 minutes. 

Change to dough hook. Knead in as much remaining flour to make moderately smooth and elastic dough. It will no longer be sticky to touch. (about 5 minutes)

Place ball of dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 45min- 1 hour until doubled in size. Punch the dough down and turn onto a flour surface. Cover and let rest for 10 min. 

In the mean time, we'll make the filling. Combine Brown sugar, flour and cinnamon in a bowl and cut in butter until you get a crumbly mixture. 

Roll out the dough. sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over dough. Roll the dough into a log and cut into 8 or 12 rolls. I make 12 cause they go farther. Place into a greased baking dish (9" X 13") cover and let rise 45 min -1 hour. 

** you can also refrigerate them at this point. I like to make them at night and bake them in the morning. This recipe works really well that way. Just take them out 30 minutes before baking. **

Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 min. You can cover them if they are getting too dark. 

Cinnamon Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting
3/4 cup cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon

Add all ingredients to electric mixer and beat until fluffy and smooth

Spread icing on Cinnamon Rolls and Enjoy! These are pretty much AMAZING!!!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake

My boyfriend kept talking about wanting lemon poppy seeds cake. So I finally made it for him. I prefer to use mini loaf pans, so I have included the cooking times for regular and mini sized pans. 

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon zest
4 tbsp poppy seeds
1 1/2 cups butter
5 eggs
3/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds. Beat in butter. Then add one egg at a time, beating after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan(s).
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes for large loaf pan or 30 minutes for mini loaf pans.

In the meantime combine sugar and lemon juice in a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat to dissolve sugar. Let cool to room temperature. 

Once cakes are done remove from oven. Prick many hole in the top of the cake with a toothpick. Brush the top of the cake with the syrup, letting lots run down the sides.

Let cool for a few minutes then remove from pan and place on wire rack. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mango Chicken Quinoa

I really like quinoa (an ancient grain packed with protein) and was looking for some recipes. So I purchased the cookbook "Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood". This recipe stood out and looked delicious. 

2 cups chicken stock
1 cup quinoa
1 tbsp olive oil
4 chicken breast, diced
1 1/4 cups zucchini, diced
1 red or orange pepper, diced
2 tbsp orange juice
1 ripe mango, diced
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup sour cream

Place chicken stock and quinoa in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 min. Turn off heat and leave covered for 6 min. Then fluff with a fork and set aside.

Heat oil in a large pan. Add chicken and cook for 5-7 min, browning chicken on all sides. Add zucchini and peppers, continue to cook another 10 min til veggies are tender and chicken is cooked. 

Add orange juice and stir to combine. Heat for 2 minutes and add mango and cilantro, heat slightly.

To serve, place quinoa on plate and top with mango chicken. Garnish with cheddar cheese and sour cream. Enjoy

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese

When I am hungry late at night, grilled cheese is often my first choice for a snack. I was getting bored with the regular grilled cheese and was thinking of ways to change it up. I really like Jalapeno Poppers, so why not make it into a grilled cheese. It has a nice flavour and not to spicy, although if that is what you want you can leave some of the seeds in. 

To make 2 sandwiches.

3 jalapeno peppers
4 slices of bread
cream cheese
cheddar cheese 

Cut the jalapeno peppers in half and take out seeds. place open side down on a cookie sheet and broil until blackened on top. Place hot peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. This will steam the skins and help making removing them easy. After about 5-7 min, peel the skins off the peppers and slice into thin slices.

In the meantime butter one side of each slice of bread, and put cream cheese on one slice of the bread. Place the jalapeno peppers evenly over the cream cheese (use as much as you like). Cover with cheddar cheese and place top slice on it. Grill until golden and cheese is melted and gooey. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Pancake Breakfast Cookies

So I was watching "Recipe to Riches" with Nick a couple week ago. It was the COOKIE challenge. This Pancake Breakfast Cookie came in second place but we both agree it should have won and we wanted to try it. So i found the recipe and gave it a try. 

These cookies are absolutely delicious! I will make again. I have been surprising everyone with them and asking them to guess what is in the cookie! 

1/2 cup butter
1 pkg bacon (500g) cooked til crispy and crumbed.
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp butter milk (or sour milk see note at bottom)
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

In a small sauce pan melt butter over medium heat and continue cooking until tan and has a nutty aroma, stirring often. Once tan, remove from heat and pour into mixing bowl. Cool

Once cool enough to handle. add sugars, butter milk, maple syrup, vanilla and egg. Mix thoroughly.

In a separate bowl mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and combine. Fold in bacon. Let set for 30 min.

Drop by tbsp on parchment lined cookie sheets. ** I use a mini ice cream scoop to make my cookies.

Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven. for 8-10 min. Let cool 5 min on tray then move to cooling rack!

**Sour milk - Mix a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar into regular milk and let sit for a couple minutes.

Ouefs en Cocotte

So on my lazy weekend mornings, this is a breakfast I like to cook. It's easy and I can be creative with the flavorings and cheese. 

**You will need 2 ramekins per person and a baking dish to fit the ramekins.

2 eggs per person
salt and pepper

Goat Cheese and Herbs
1 tbsp goat cheese
1/2 tsp herbs (I like chives and dill)


Jalapeno Popper
1 tbsp cream cheese
1 tbsp cheddar cheese
roasted jalapeno (as much or as little as you like)

Preheat oven to 350. Butter ramekins. Place cheese and herbs and spices in the bottom. Crack an egg into each ramekin. Season with salt and pepper.

Goat  cheese and herbs on the left and Jalepeno Popper on the right

Place ramekins in baking dish in the oven. Pour boiling water into baking dish to about half way up ramekins. 
Bake for 20-25 min. To your desired doneness. 

Yummy and Delicious. Jalapeno Popper (left) Goat Cheese and Herbs (right)

Carrot Cake Pancakes! with Cream Cheese Glaze!

So I was looking for something different for breakfast, I was getting sick of toast and cereal and came across this interesting recipe. They are amazing :)

1/2 cup pancakes
2 eggs
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup crushed pineapple
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp raisins (optional, but recommended)
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
dash salt

Place carrots in a microwave safe bowl with 1 tbsp water, cover and heat for 1 1/2 min. Once cool enough to handle, add eggs, pumpkin, pineapple, milk, vanilla, raisins and 2 tbsp of water. Combine and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Stir well and add wet mixture. Combine thoroughly.

Heat skillet in medium heat. Cook pancakes 2-3 min till bubbles form on top, flip and cook 1-2 min more. 

Cream Cheese Glaze
2 tsp powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp cream cheese

Combine Sugar, vanilla, and milk in a microwave safe bowl. Add cream cheese and microwave 40 seconds. Stir until smooth. Serve over pancakes.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Beef Fajita Burgers with Seared Peppers and Onions

So another recipe adapted from Rachel Ray, from her 30 Min Get Real Meals Cookbook. Her meals are always so flavorful and easy. It was a hit and everyone wants one for lunch tomorrow too.

Beef Fajita Burgers

2 pounds ground beef
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp grill seasoning (I prefer Montreal Steak Spice)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2-3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 pkg flour tortillas

Combine meat, Worcestershire, spices, thyme and grill seasoning. Make into rectangle patties to fit the tortillas (I made mine a little too big and had to cut in half). Cook 5-6 min per side. Serve with Cheddar cheese and sour cream.


Seared Peppers and Onions

1 tbsp EVOO
2 large peppers, sliced thin (any colour, I used red and orange)
1 onion, slices thin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 cup green chili or tomatillo salsa (I made my own, will post)

Heat large skillet and add EVOO. Add peppers and onions and cook for 5 min. Add garlic and jalapeno cook for 3 min. Add Salsa, toss and cook one minute longer. Serve on Fajita burgers.

Meatball and Sausage Pizza Stoup!

So I was looking for something hearty to make on a cold evening and found this recipe by Rachel Ray! I love her Stoups (thicker than a soup not quite a stew) It absolutely delicious and filling.

2 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
1 pound bulk Italian sausage (if you can't find it regular will do, just need to take casing off)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 can pizza sauce (15 oz) I use whatever pasta sauce I have on hand
1 pound ground beef/pork mix
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
2 tbsp Italian bread crumbs
1 egg yolk
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp allspice
handful of chopped fresh parsley

Heat medium sized pot over medium high heat. Add EVOO and sausage. Break up the sausage and continue to brown it. Add 2 cloves of garlic, the onion, carrot and celery. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and pizza sauce and raise heat to bring to a boil.

In the meantime, in a bowl combine, ground meat, remaining garlic, grated cheese, bread crumbs, egg yolk, salt, pepper and allspice. Form into bite-size balls and drop into the boiling liquid. After all the meatballs have been added and soup returns to a boil , reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the parsley, stir and serve. Sprinkle more cheese on top.

So this blog has been in the works for a while and is long waited for.

I love cooking and always have. I have been cooking for as long as I can remember, there are pictures of me when I was 2 covered in flour in my grandma's kitchen. I worked in some restaurants when I was in high school. When deciding what I wanted to do after high school it was a toss up between Chef and Child and Youth Work. Well I went with the latter and have kept cooking as a hobby.

I also love sharing my recipes and the food I make, so recently people have been asking me more and more for the recipes. I decided a blog would be the best way for me to do this.

In case anyone is wondering where the name came from here it is. Yaya is my nickname that started with my brother. It is what he called me when he couldn't say my name yet and it has stuck. As for the rest, I feel cooking is like magic, you never know what is going to come out and when it works people are amazed at the creations!

So please have a look through and enjoy! I will make sure to credit when credit is due.