Friday, 31 October 2014

candy corn parfait

happy halloween.

if your day looks anything like mine then you are probably going to be on a sugar high as of 10am.
between halloween parties, pizza dinner, trick-or-treating with friends, and the ever important candy inspection (aka 'tasting,') it's important that at least breakfast begin healthy.

with candy corn.

well sort of....

...'candy corn' parfaits

fruit & yogurt,
light & healthy.

yesterdays snack & todays breakfast.


'candy corn' parfait

pineapple chunks
mandarin orange slices
vanilla greek yogurt

in a glass jar, layer in pineapple, orange slices and yogurt.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

peanut butter cheesecake football dip

i'm sure we can all agree that the only thing better than one dessert, is two desserts.
in fact, if you don't share this belief than i'm certain we can't be friends.  clearly you have judgement issues.

so after being approached to review the new cookbook from fellow blogger, Dorothy Kern, Dessert Mash-Ups: Tasty Two-in-One Treats You'll Adore, i was in, like 110%, in.
from breakfast to late night 'open the fridge door when no one is looking' snacks, this book has you covered for two-in-one treats. pumpkin cheesecake french toast, lemon meringue fudge, chocolate chip cookie toffee bark, and almond joy dip to name a few, you and your taste buds are sure to benefit from these delicious mash-ups.

our household is on somewhat of a football kick as of late.  mr handsome and i are both in some fantasy pools (where my team is reigning supreme over his, despite my lack of a running back)  so in honour of our love of football, peanut butter, and cheesecake, this dip is the perfect trifecta for an afternoon of sunday football watching with fellow football lovers.

enjoy.  xo.

peanut butter cheesecake football dip

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 to 2 cups powdered sugar, as needed
1/2 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
chocolate sprinkles or chocolate chips, for the outside of the football
melted white chocolate or frosting, for the football laces

pretzels, animal crackers, or cookies, to serve

with a hand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and peanut butter until mixed.  mix in the vanilla.
add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and mix until combined.   (if you want a stiffer mixture, add the full 2 cups of powdered sugar)  mix in the mini chocolate chips.
turn out the mixture onto a large sheet of waxed paper.  use you hands to form it into a football shape.
place the waxed paper on your serving plate (it helps if the plate has sides - less mess!)  cover in sprinkles or chocolate chips, pressing them into the surface a little so they stick.  pull up the sides of the waxed paper to help you press the sprinkles or chips onto the sides of the dip.  pipe on the laces using melted white chocolate or some leftover frosting and chill until ready to serve.  cut off the excess waxed paper before serving.
store covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
serve with pretzels, animal crackers, cookies, or a spoon

yields: 4 cups

image and recipe courtesy: dessert mash-ups: tasty two-in-one treats you'll adore

Saturday, 18 October 2014

pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

the best part of a can of pumpkin puree is that you can usually get 2 or 3 recipes out of each one.  it also lends itself to much versatility in the kitchen; everything from smoothies to salads to the always beloved pie

yesterday i incorporated it into a savoury, hearty salad, and today the remaining was made into a kid-approved favourite, the oatmeal cookie.  

pumpkin for the win.  xo.

pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip cookies

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

preheat oven to 350F.  line baking sheets with silpat mat or parchment paper.  set aside.
in stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars.  add in egg, vanilla, and pumpkin puree.  mix till well incorporated.
in large separate bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips.  add dry mixture to the mixer and whirl together.
fold in the chocolate chips.
drop cookie dough by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets.
bake for 12-15 minutes.  allow to cool for 1-2 minutes on baking sheet before moving to cooling racks.

yields approximately 2 1/2 dozen

Friday, 17 October 2014

triple grain, pumpkin, black bean & spinach salad

last nights vegetarian dinner is also going to be today's vegetarian lunch.
hooray for leftovers.

mr handsome had a company function last night which meant the kids and i were on our own for dinner plans, making it the perfect opportunity to experiment in the the kitchen with a savoury pumpkin salad. loaded with black beans, quinoa and spinach, it was a nutritional powerhouse to say the least.

salads in the fall are wonderful when served warm, with seasonal ingredients and hearty grains.  
and pumpkins aren't just for carving or pie eating (gasp) they are great in non-sweet dishes like soups, stews, and yes, even in salad.

cheers.  xo.

triple grain, pumpkin, black bean & spinach salad

1 1/2 cups quinoa, amaranth, millet blend (sonoma valley farms)
3 1/2 cups no salt added chicken (or vegetable) stock, divided
1 (19 ounce) can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 large red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 - 4 large handfuls of baby spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp curry powder
sea salt & pepper to taste

in large pot bring 2 1/2 cups of stock and grains to a boil.  reduce heat and cover cooking for approximately 18 minutes.  remove from heat and set aside.
in large non stick pan, heat oil and add onions cooking until translucent.  add in garlic in the last 30 seconds.  stirring often.  add in pumpkin, remaining  cup of stock, curry powder, salt & pepper, stirring until well incorporated.  add in beans and heat through.
add pumpkin mixture to cooked grains and spinach and stir to mix.


serves 8

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Blueberry Soba Noodle Salad

blueberries are something that are found year round in our home.
whether fresh in the summer, or frozen in the winter, we consume them almost daily since they come with so many added health benefits.

most people think of blueberries as a vehicle for sweets or breakfast items, but they can also be used in salads and savoury dishes for an extra dose of antioxidants at lunch or dinner.

here is a fresh approach to an asian noodle salad with the always loved blueberry.
thanks bc blueberry council for another fun way to enjoy the fruit we adore so much. 
cheers!  xo.

Blueberry Soba Noodle Salad


4 cups soba/buckwheat noodles, cooked & cooled
1 cup BC blueberries, fresh or frozen
3/4 cup extra firm tofu or cooked chicken, cubed
1/2 cup mandarin segments, chopped
1/2 cup snap peas, chopped
1/2 cup carrot, 1-inch long thin julienne
1/4 cup bell pepper, diced
2 teaspoon sesame seeds for garnish

vinaigrette (recipe follows)


3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon honey

in a large bowl, whisk together all vinaigrette ingredients until combined.
add all the prepared salad ingredients and toss with the vinaigrette.
garnish with sesame seeds.

serves 6

image & recipe courtesy bc blueberry council

Thursday, 9 October 2014

pumpkin pie rice krispie squares

the pumpkin obsession continues as the pantry supply dwindles.

today i decided on a fall twist to a beloved family treat.

pumpkin pie rice krispie squares.

it's almost like two desserts in one, which means it's mandatory to eat two in one sitting.

or at the very least one and a half.

Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Squares

6 cups rice krispies cereal
250g package mini marshmallows, plus 1 cup
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch ginger
pinch nutmeg
pinch allspice
pinch of salt

generously spray a 11 x 7-inch baking pan with non stick spray. set aside.
in large saucepan over low heat, melt butter.  add in pumpkin and stir until warmed through.  add marshmallows reserving 1 cup and stir till melted and well blended.  remove from heat stir in vanilla and spices.  allow to cool for 10 minutes, stir in remaining cup of marshmallows and allow to cool for another 30 minutes.
add cereal, stirring until well coated.
using a spatula sprayed with non stick cooking spray, press into an prepared pan.  cool. cut into bars.

slightly adapted from the kitchn

Tuesday, 7 October 2014


all monday dinners should include pizza, wine, and great friends.
it should be mandatory.

yesterday mr handsome and i had dinner plans with one of our favourite couples m&d at Bocce, located at 110 2207 4 street sw.  
owned by the same group that operates Mercato, one of my favourite restaurants in the city, i went in with high expectations for this upscale casual restaurant and had my sights set on the pizzas.  as expected this restaurant was great and will be frequented regularly whenever i need a good pizza fix.

best part, i got to take home the group leftovers which made for a fantastic lunch today.
pizza on monday AND tuesday.

 potato croquettes |  pecorino romano, parsley, bocce ketchup

mussels |  semi dried tomatoes, fennel, caper berries, garlic, white wine

manzo |  seasoned beef, onion, provolone, mozzarella, jalapeƱos 

isola |  italian ham, pancetta, roasted pineapple, mozzarella, smoked scamorza, rosemary oil

boschetto |  mortadella, pistachios, smei dried tomatoes, olive oil, mozzarella, parmigiano

funghi |  roasted mushrooms, arugula pesto, pinenuts, tallegio

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