Monday, 29 April 2013

Blueberry Cheesecake Breakfast Smoothie

I'm having a love affair with cottage cheese these days.  My favourite way to eat it (aside from in lasagna) is mixed with yogurt and fruit.  It's my new, go-to post workout breakfast; protein packed, high in calcium and low in fat.  Plus it comes together in seconds.



This morning I traded in my spoon for a straw, and decided to make it in smoothie form instead. #winning #springtime #ilovesmoothies





Blueberry Cheesecake Breakfast Smoothie


Ingredients:
1/3 cup 2% cottage cheese
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup frozen blueberries
3/4 - 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
splash of vanilla

optional: honey to taste

Method:
Place all ingredients in blender or food processor, whirl until smooth.  Add a little more almond milk to achieve desired consistency.

Yields: 1 large or 2 small smoothies



Sunday, 28 April 2013

Baby Reveal Truffles


By now, you must have seen, heard, or perhaps even been to a baby reveal party.  If not, they are all-the-rage with expecting parents and basically a creative way to share the babies gender with close friends and family.  Everything from boxes stuffed with coloured balloons to be released; to cakes you cut into that are dyed either pink or blue (or maybe both if it's twins)  Fun, right?

Given my baby train has now permanently left the station, I decided that I would help one of my friends share her baby news in this new fun way.  ET is pregnant with baby #2 and I was able to convince her that we should do baby reveal treats in order to tell a small group of friends her exciting news.  
Sidenote: it also meant I was let in on the secret early and what could be more fun than that?
I decided to ignore the popular cupcake and cake trend, and opt instead for truffles.  Cheesecake truffles.  Every pregnant and non-pregnant girls weakness.


Congrats ET I couldn't be more excited for you and G.  Thanks for allowing me be in on the little secret and to help share your most wonderful news....




....it's a.....




 ...BOY!!



Cheers to a healthy pregnancy!  I can't wait to meet the new soon-to-be heartbreaker.
XOXO


Golden Oreo Cheesecake Truffles


Ingredients:
36 golden Oreo cookies
6 oz cream cheese, softened
12oz white chocolate or vanilla candy melts
red or blue food colouring


Method:
Place cookies in food processor and whirl until mixture becomes fine crumbs.  Add in softened cream cheese and mix to combine.  Add in food colouring a few drops at a time until desired colour is reached.
Roll mixture in balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Transfer to freezer until firm, approximately 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt chocolate or candy melts in microwave according to package directions.
Dip balls into melted chocolate, garnish with sprinkles or icing.
Let set, refridgerate and enjoy.

Yields: 36-48 truffles
Store in air tight container in fridge.



Saturday, 27 April 2013

Spring = Fruit + Chocolate

My favourite chocolate and fruit combinations include strawberries and pineapple, without question.  Those fruits on their own are spectacular, but when dipped in chocolate they become even more delicious.  Funny how chocolate has that effect....on everything...


After an early morning visit to the market, we came home with some delicious looking raspberries which I decided were going to be our dessert for dinner.  Lucky for us.  Even luckier, is that I still had an open bag of chocolate chips (a rare occurrence,) and thanks to Pinterest the idea to stuff them in the raspberries.  Perfect end to a Saturday meal @ home with my favourites.  





Chocolate Chip Stuffed Raspberries


Ingredients:
raspberries
chocolate chips (white, milk, or dark)

Method:
self explanatory.  stuff one chocolate chip into a raspberry.  eat one for your self.  repeat. 


Friday, 26 April 2013

It's My Blogiversary Again So A Cookie Seems Appropriate...


Didn't we just celebrate the our first blogiversary?  I can't believe another 365 days have passed and we are another year deep into this relationship.  It's safe to say we're in it for the long haul.

In the anniversary world, two years is marked by the gift of cotton. How does that pertain to food blogging?  A new apron perhaps?  Or better yet, Cotton Candy.  Yes, Cotton Candy, that's what I want.  Too bad there are no outdoor festivals or fairs happening at the moment, in order to get my hot little hands on some.  Fail. 

Guess it's back to the kitchen for me...

Let's make cookies.  That seems anniversary appropriate.



Last year I  celebrated with a giant cookie, this year I'm scaling it back and making an individual cookie in a mug, in a microwave, in 40 seconds.   A perfectly sized treat to celebrate my 2 year mark.  Happy Blogiversay to me!


The only thing that would make this cookie better, is a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Too bad our freezer is currently out of stock at the moment.  Looks like it's just the cookie today.  But next time.....oh next time...



Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Ramekin


Ingredients:
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
pinch of salt
3 drops vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp oats
1 Tbsp chocolate chips

Method:
Melt butter in ramekin or mug in the microwave.  Add in sugars, vanilla, and salt.  Stir to combine.
Add in yolk and stir again.  Add in flour and oats, then stir again.
Finally add in chocolate chips, mix one last time.
Cook in microwave for 40-60 seconds.
Serve warm & top with a couple more chocolate chips if desired.


yields: 1 serving
slightly adapted from No. 2 Pencil

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Lemon Cream Cheese Scones

Scones on Monday?  Why not.  Who says they should be reserved for weekends?  Not this girl, and most certainly, not today.


I really can't think of a better start to the week then fresh, right out of the oven scones.  Paired with a nice mug of green tea and you have a recipe for a very happy morning.


The lemon-fanatic in me was making her appearance known today, more so than she does on any other given day, so lemon it is.  I thought about pairing it with ginger, or perhaps blueberry, but ended up deciding on cream cheese.  Who doesn't love cream cheese?  

And scone success was had.  

I think I want to add cream cheese to all future scones, just saying...
Happy Monday!




Lemon Cream Cheese Scones

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons milk

lemon juice & sugar for topping


Method:
Preheat oven to 375F.   Line baking sheets with silpat mat or parchment paper.  Set aside.
In large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest.  Cut in butter.
In separate bowl combine milk, egg and cream cheese.  Add to dry ingredients.  Stir to combine. (if necessary add a little more milk) 
Turn out onto lightly floured surface and knead 5-10 times.
Pat out to form a circle 1 1/4-inch thick, cut into 8 equal segments.
Transfer to prepared baking sheets, brush each with lemon juice and sprinkle with sugar.   Bake for 15 minutes or until golden in colour.

Serve warm.

Yields: 8
adapted from Betty Crocker

For you other scone-fanatics out there, check out my other delicious flavours:

Dark Chocolate Orange
Cranberry Chocolate Chip
Butterscotch Apple
Blueberry Almond
Cinnamon-Sugar Whole Wheat


Thursday, 18 April 2013

Healthy Pineapple Zucchini Muffins

Muffins make me happy.
Muffins that are healthy and taste great, send me over the moon.



You could argue that zucchini should always be used in baking.  Okay, maybe it's just me that wholeheartedly believes that statement.  

Exhibit A: Bread
Exhibit B: Cookies
Exhibit C: Oatmeal
Exhibit D: Muffins

Let's be honest, eating vegetables never tasted so good.
Daily dose happily achieved.

Today I decided to make a new muffin.  A muffin complete with some of my all time favourite things....(although why would I make a muffin with anything else?  That's just silly.)

Pineapple Zucchini Muffins.



I think I just outdid myself.  It would seem that my two favourite little people are also in agreement on this fact.  

I urge you to bake these.  Stop everything, and do it now.  Also please bring me more when you do.  My stock is running dangerously low.  








Pineapple Zucchini Muffins


Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry
2 eggs
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tsp vanilla

Method:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray 12 cup muffin tin with non-stick spray.  Set aside.
Mix first 7 ingredients in a large bowl.  Add in zucchini, mix.  
In medium bowl, whisk eggs, pineapple, yogurt, and vanilla.  Fold into the dry mixture until just combined.
Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter evenly amoung the 12 prepared muffin cups.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick when inserted in the centre comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out to cool completely on a rack.

Yields 12 muffins
adapted from my zucchini lemon loaf

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Coconut Rice



I'm a huge fan when it comes to Basmati rice.  In terms of rice, it's probably my favourite, unless we are taking about bacon fried rice, then that would reign supreme.  But since we're not, Basmati it is.

Question. How do you improve upon something you already adore? 
Simple.  Sub out water for coconut milk.  Welcome to our new go-to for cooking rice.  I blame Hawaii.  





Coconut Basmati Rice

Ingredients:
1 cup Basmati rice
1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Method:
In medium saucepan, bring rice and coconut milk to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to steam for an additional 10 minutes.  Fluff with fork.  Top with sweetened coconut.

Yields: 4 servings

  

Chocolate Fudge & Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

My regularly scheduled sushi date night with my husband has been cancelled.  (Insert sad face here)
He traded in our Monday tradition to go out to dinner and a hockey game with some guys.  Can you believe it?  Rude.  So because I'm sushi-less on this Monday night, I needed to cheer myself up somehow.  Cookies seem like an appropriate solution.  Right? 



I'm not sure who is going to benefit more from this, me or my husband?  Who when he comes home, will find a delicious batch of fresh baked cookies waiting.  Hmmm, maybe I need to rethink this....or not.

After the success of my impossibly easy White Chocolate and Cherry Chip Cookies, I decided to change up the flavours and make a Chocolate Fudge Peanut Butter Chip concoction.








Fresh baked cookies await. 


But I still want sushi.







Chocolate Fudge & Peanut Butter Chip Cookies


Ingredients:
1 box chocolate fudge cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
splash of vanilla
peanut butter chips


Method:
Preheat oven to 350F.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat mat.  Set aside.
In large bowl, combine oil, eggs, cake mix, and vanilla, blend together using a wooden spoon.
Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, top each cookie with 3-5 peanut butter chips.
Bake for 7-8 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 3 minutes before transferring to wire rack.


Yields: approximately 2 - 2 1/2 dozen cookies
Adapted from my White Chocolate Cherry Chip Cookies

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