Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sundays with Joy! Chamomile Cupcakes with Honey Frosting!

Well today's recipe reminds me of Spring! Unlike the weather we have been having this week! It has snowed  twice! It's April!! Like really! Thankfully we have only gotten a little bit, but most of my family live in Thunder Bay and they have gotten dumped with snow twice! It would be really nice if Spring showed up sometime soon! 

This week our Sundays with Joy recipe is Mini Chamomile Cakes with Honey Frosting. Which Joy has posted on her Blog, so click on the link above to get her recipe or you can buy her book Joy the Baker Cookbook and get all her awesome recipes there. I am currently enjoying one with a cup of tea while I write this post for you all.

So if anyone knows me they know I LOVE tea! Some have even said I have an obsession! I have a huge cupboard which I purchased specifically with my tea collection in mind. I have probably close to 50 different types of tea. Anything from orange pekoe to chai to green tea with pineapple and everything in between. Some one at work bought me a teapot cookie cutter this week! I can't wait to make some cookies with it. 

But of course I ran out of chamomile tea. I really wanted to make these as they were and did not feel like experimenting until I at least tried them as they were meant to be. These little beauties are light and not too sweet! The frosting is gooey and delicious! Just see for your self!

I think I will experiment with the flavours in this recipe! Some thoughts are Green tea and citrus or earl grey and lavender(such a good combo) or orange pekoe and maple. I have so many idea running through my head. I will have to wait for an occasion to bake them, so I am not tempted to eat them all. I am trying to cut back on the sweets. I am going to also experiment and see if I can make these healthier and still taste just as good! 

But for anyone interested here is the nutritional information for 1 cupcake

Calories 246
Fat          7.3g
Sat Fat    4.3g
Cholesterol 37mg
Sodium    100mg
Carbs     43.4g
Sugars    33.8g
Protein    2.5g

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hamburger Soup

It has been a while! I apologize for the lack of posts over the last 2 months. Life has been busy, however, I am back.

Today's recipe comes inspired by my future mother in law! She has made this a few times and it is so quick, easy and adaptable. It's hearty and just perfect for a cool day! Although I do also enjoy this on a summer day too.

Hamburger Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery diced
3 carrots sliced
2-4 potatoes (depending in the size) cubed
1 cup corn
3 cups tomato juice
4 cups water
3 bouillon cubes
4 tbsp rice or barley
salt and pepper to taste
** can add any other vegetables you would like (broccoli, cauliflower, peas, peppers, etc..)

In a large pot over medium heat; cook ground beef. Drain beef and set aside.
Add onions, celery and garlic, saute until soft and translucent. Add remaining ingredients and ground beef and stir well. Simmer for 2 hours.

He asked... I said YES!!!

I have been MIA for a while and I do apologize! Things have been very crazy over here. The kids are keeping me busy for sure! But I am back and have lots of good recipes to share! Last post I shared about my trip to Mexico in January, this time I will share a little about Easter weekend. We went up to Manitoulin Island as usual to visit the bf's family. Which I always look forward to, it is so beautiful and quiet... well not in the house with 16+ people. Usually the lake has started to melt and the ice has drifted out when we get there. This year it was different, it was still frozen! So the bf asked if I wanted to go for a walk on the lake. 
As you can see in the picture below it was a beautiful sunny day! This picture was at the beginning of our walk, shortly after the jackets came off.

He reminded me to bring my camera along to take pictures cause I usually forget when we go for walks and always miss something cool. His mom told us to take the girls with us but he didn't want to. Shortly after we started out, his mom and the girls came out for a walk to. That's how we got the nice picture above! They continued on their way while we took more pictures and enjoyed our time alone. Further into our walk I was facing the other direction and when I turned around he was on his knee!!! Up he asked me to marry him!!! and of course I said YES!!! and for all of you who are going to ask to see a picture of the ring!! I have added one for you!

Now begins the fun of planning the wedding!! So excited for that!!! and now I have to remember to call him my FIANCE!! which I keep forgetting... 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sundays with Joy: Red Velvet Marble Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Icing

This post is a few days late! However these last 2+ weeks have been crazy for my and have kept my from baking, cooking and blogging for the most part!

In my last post I mentioned I was going on a trip to Mexico! It was fantastic! The picture below is of our group. We enjoyed lots of sun and relaxing. It was cold and snowy here that week, so it was the perfect one to be gone for. There was also a 50 degree difference in temperature some days. I also got to visit with my friends Jenny and Danny while I was there. It was great to spend time together, although not enough and we didn't get to have our BBQ :( Oh well next year it'll have to be. 

So last weeks Sunday with Joy recipe was Red Velvet Marble Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing.
I decided to make Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Icing instead. 

The marbling turned out awesome. I use a different method than Joy uses. I scoop the different batters into the pan and opposite and then swirl a butter knife through the batter to make the marble effect. Joy suggests pouring one batter in and then the other on top and then swirling the knife through.

Also I only had gel colouring, so I used 3 tsp of the gel and 2 tbsp of water. I needed the extra liquid in order to to mix the cocoa powder in to a paste. It had no effect on the batter and worked great.  

This cake was delicious. I took it to work to share and everyone loved it.
If you would like the recipe grab Joy's book Joy the Baker Cookbook and check out her blog for more great recipe Joy the Baker

Monday, January 21, 2013

S'mores Rice Crispy Squares!

Good Morning! So I am leaving to Mexico today for a week! I am so excited for the warm, uh hot, sunny weather! I am also excited to see my friends Jenny and Danny, while I am there, and to enjoy cooking with them. This trip will be my 5th time going. It is a trip my work plans every year.

I work for a Foster home agency and we take 8 youth over the age of 16. It gives them an opportunity to travel and experience another culture. It is an absolutely fabulous week and doesn't feel like much work. It is great to see the smiles on their faces and get to know them better.

So I will leave you with this recipe, and a promise for some more Rice Crispy Square versions when I get back. I have been creative!

S'mores Rice Crispy Squares

1/4 cup butter or margarine
5 cups marshmallows (big or small)
2 tsp vanilla
4 cups Rice Crispies
2 cups Honey Nut Cheerios
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 tbsp veg oil
9 extra marshmallows (cut in half) * can use mini marshmallows
4 tbsp graham cracker crumbs

Grease a 9x13 baking dish and set aside
In a microwave safe bowl, melt butter for 30 seconds. Add marshmallows and microwave for 90 seconds.
Add vanilla and stir until combined. Add Rice Crispies and Honey Nut Cheerios and stir until combined.
Dump into baking dish. Wet hands and press mixture firmly. If it starts to stick to your hands, wet them again.

Place chocolate and oil into microwave safe dish and microwave on power 5 for 90 seconds. Stir until melted. If there is still lots of unmelted chocolate, microwave on power 5 for 30 more seconds. Pour over Rice Crispies. Sprinkle graham cracker crumbs over top and place marshmallow halves evenly over top.

Place under broiler for a couple minutes to toast the marshmallows.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Cheesy Broccoli Zucchini Quinoa

So this year I have made some promises to myself. I don't like to call them resolutions and I didn't make them on New Years, they were started months ago. One of them is to continue strengthening my healthy lifestyle. So with this I have been searching out inspiration for healthy, but delicious meals with protein and vegetables.

I love quinoa on it's own but I also like to experiment with it in different dishes. This is one of the dishes I have come up with. This is delicious on it's own for lunch but also good as a side.

Cheesy Broccoli Zucchini Quinoa

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 small zucchini, shredded
1 broccoli stem, peeled and shredded
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

In a saucepan combine water and quinoa and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 15 min until liquid is absorbed.

Toss in broccoli, zucchini and cheese and stir to combine and melt cheese.

Nutrition Information (1 cup serving)
Calories 294
Fat 12.5g
       Saturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 30mg
Sodium 189g
Carbohydrates 32.4g
Fiber 4.9g
Sugar 5g
Protein 13g
Vitamin A 8%
Vitamin C 39%
Calcium 21%
Iron 3%

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sundays with Joy: Lavender Lemon Bars

It's that time again! Sundays with Joy! This weeks recipe is Lavender Lemon Bars! I just love lemon bars and have never made them before! So what a perfect time to do it. I also really like using lavender in baking. I use it in shortbread and I have this nice iced earl grey tea I make with it as well. 

So this was not a recipe I wanted to change anything in, because well, it sounded just perfect. These were absolutely delicious and what made it even better I had people to share it with. My friend hosted a Scentsy party on Friday and I was asked to bring something, well this was it and they were a hit! 

*I am not sure what happened though because my lemon filling split when baking, however still delicious!

If you would like to get your hands on this recipe you can buy Joy's book HERE and for more awesome recipes visit her blog HERE

If you would like to join for Sunday with Joy group, visit the facebook page HERE

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ooey Gooey Goodness

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope everyone had a good holiday season! Mine was great; got to spend time with my brother, sister in law to be and my niece as well as my grandparents who were down visiting. We got to go to Manitoulin Island to visit my bf's family! It was so beautiful there and there was snow! Cause here in southern Ontario we have been lacking snow this winter! The only down side was that I was sick from Dec 22 -Jan 7; started with a cold then the flu then a cold and the flu again!  

Do you guys make new years resolutions? If so what are committing yourself to accomplishing this year.
I have made a few. One is to continue working on my healthy lifestyle that I have been working towards since the fall. For me this includes healthier food choices, exercise and also letting myself indulge in portion controlled ways. So far so good I have lost 15 lbs since October. 

Another one is to post more regularly. I always have some excuse as to why I am soo busy and can't.  But I know I have time because it was easy to find time to fit in my exercise. 

My last one is to take care of myself. Along with the healthy eating and exercise I am going to give myself more me time so that I can continue to help others the way that I have been up to now.

So onto my first recipe of the year! I am not sure what to call this, I have seen many different versions of this cake called so many different things. So I am just going to call it Ooey Gooey Goodness! If you have a chocolate craving this will satisfy it! This is also hard to resist so if you don't have good self control, make sure you have people you can share this with.

Ooey Gooey Goodness

1 box chocolate cake mix (substitute milk for water, butter for oil and add an extra egg) 
1 can light sweetened condensed milk
1 jar chocolate fudge sauce (I prefer PC Dark chocolate fudge sauce)
3/4 tube light Cool Whip (not fat free, that stuff is gross)
2 Skor* bars, crushed/chopped 

Bake the cake according to the box. *I prefer to make the substitutions noted above, as it has more flavour)
Once you take the cake out of the oven, use the end of a wooden spoon and poke holes all over the cake. Then pour the can of sweetened condensed milk evenly over the cake. Pour the fudge sauce evenly over the cake and let cool. Once cooled, spread the Cool Whip over the top and sprinkle with Skor pieces.