Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Gingerbread Spice Mix

i think i've got gingerbread on the brain, ever since last weeks gingerbread loaf.
 i find myself searching for the winter like, christmasy aroma on the daily, so i thought it would be the perfect time to share the recipe for gingerbread spice mix.
a perfect hostess gift this holiday season, or to simply spoil yourself.
add it to oatmeal, pancake batter, hot chocolate, buttered toast, pretty much anything.

let the sprinkling begin.

Gingerbread Spice Mix

2 tablespoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cloves

combine the above spices in a small sealed container.

Friday, 25 November 2016

Gingerbread Loaf w/ Orange Glaze

this morning i met my lovely, favourite girl & bitmogi twin at starbucks for our routine early morning coffee date.  
now that the red cups are out, so are all the seasonal treats; cranberry bliss bars, snowman cookies & gingerbread loaf.  cueing holiday willpower.

you'll be impressed to know i didn't take home a slice of the gingerbread loaf despite the temptation.  nope, instead i made an entire loaf at home as the ultimate challenge in willpower.
aromatic warm spices now fill my entire house and moist gingerbread loaf now fills my belly.
i'm feeling extra festive this fine friday.

Gingerbread Loaf w/ Orange Glaze

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup buter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

orange glaze

1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice

preheat oven to 350F.  spray 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with non stick spray and set aside.
in large mixing bowl combine the first 6 ingredients and whisk till incorporated.
in bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.  add in egg, applesauce and vanilla and mix to well combined.
add dry ingredients and mix till batter just comes together.  do not over mix.
pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  (note: if top starts to brown too quickly, cover with tinfoil)
remove from oven and allow to cool before turning loaf out onto a cooling rack.

to make glaze: whisk together sugar and orange juice.  pour over completely cooled loaf.  allow glaze to set before slicing.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

mix & match quiche

i love pie.  
and it's safe to assume that if i can have pie for breakfast, the day is off to a perfect start.
best thing about pie for breakfast, is it's called quiche.  so it's less like pie and more like just eggs.  healthy by all accounts right?

Mix & Match Quiche

1.  make the crust
preheat the oven to 375F.  line a 9-inch pie plate with pie dough (store-bought or homemade) and crimp as desired; chill 30 minutes.  line with foil, fill with pie weights or dried beans.  bake until the crust is set, about 20 minutes.  remove the foil and weights and continue baking until lightly golden, 5 to 10 minutes more.  let cool while you prepare the filling.

2. choose your vegetables
prepare 1/2 to 1 cup total (choose up to 3).  transfer to a large bowl.
asparagus, roasted and chopped
broccoli, chopped & roasted or steamed
kale, chopped & sautéed (or frozen spinach, thawed and drained)
jarred roasted peppers or cherry peppers. roughly chopped
frozen peas, thawed
mushrooms, sliced & sautéed
potatoes, shredded & sautéed
cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
radicchio, chopped & sautéed 
olives, pitted & sliced (use up to 1/4 cup)
onions or shallots, sliced & sautéed
scallions, chopped

3. add meat (optional)
prepare up to 1/2 cup total (choose 1 or 2)  add to the bowl with the vegetables.
bacon, cooked & crumbled
sausage, cooked & crumbled
ham or salami, chopped
corned beef or pastrami, chopped
rotisserie chicken, shredded
crabmeat, picked over

4 add cheese
shred or crumble 3/4 to 1 cup total (choose 1 or 2).  add to the bowl with the vegetable mixture and toss
swiss, gruyere or jarlsberg
monterey jack or pepper jack
ricotta salata
goat cheese

5. make the quiche
whisk 3 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, half-and-half or milk in a large bowl.  if desired, stir in 1 to 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs, 1/2 teaspoon paprika or chili powder, or some grated lemon zest.  spread the vegetable-chesse mixture in the crust, then pour the egg mixture on top.  reduce the oven temperature to 350F and bake until the filling is set, 40-50 minutes.  let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.

possible combinations....

recipe & images courtesy food network magazine

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

sheet pan chicken w/ roasted baby potatoes

this time of year is a food bloggers nightmare.  truly.  the fact that the sun goes down at 4:30 before dinner is even in the oven means that my photos turn out to be an embarrassing attempt at trying to make good food look appealing and it's not happening.

does anyone have a light box they want to lend me?

my shattered iPhone and i gave up at an attempt and instead i'm sticking with the photo from the recipe i made.
thanks daylight savings.  and winter.  and no light box.
jen fail. blog fail.
dinner win.

Sheet Pan Chicken w/ Roasted Baby Potatoes

16 ounces small yukon gold potatoes (cut to 1-inch)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
2 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
2 tablespoon dry white wine
3 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoon honey
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
2 teaspoon canola oil

place a jelly-roll pan in oven.  preheat oven to 500F (leave pan in the oven as it preheats)
carefully remove pan from the oven.  coat pan with cooking spray.  add potatoes to pan; bake at 500F for 10 minutes.
combine olive oil and next 5 ingredients (through honey) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat.  add chicken to pan; cook 5 minutes.  Turn chicken over; drizzle chicken evenly with about 2 tablespoons mustard mixture.
add chicken to jelly-roll pan with potatoes; bake at 500 for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and chicken is done drizzle potatoes with remaining mustard mixture; sprinkle with remain 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

serves 4

recipe & image courtesy cooking light.com

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Loaded Au Gratin Potatoes

everything you love about a loaded baked potato in au gratin potato form.

cheddar cheese.
sour cream.
green onions.

i might not ever look at au gratin potatoes the same way again.

Loaded Au Gratin Potatoes

8 cups golden potatoes, sliced thin
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups half & half
1 cup 2% milk
1 clove of garlic, grated
salt & pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1 cup sour cream
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups cooked bacon, chopped
1/3 cup green onions, sliced thin


in a large pot of boiling water, add potatoes and cook until tender 8-10 minutes.  drain and set aside.
in a large pot, melt butter over medium heat.  add flour and cook for 1 minute.  add half & half, milk, garlic, paprika and salt and pepper.  cook until the sauce comes to a low boil.  remove from heat and stir in sour cream and 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese.
preheat oven to 350F
spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
place 1/3 of the potatoes at the bottom of the dish.  layer 1/3 of the sauce, the cheese, the bacon and the green onions.  repeat process 2 more times.
cover with foil and bake for 45-50 minutes.  remove foil and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes more.

slightly adapted from 

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Neapolitan Cupcakes & Bowling Themed Birthday

this past weekend we celebrated our littlest mouse in the house turning 7 years old.  i'm still unsure as to how this happened  since i can vividly remember bringing her perfect little self home from the hospital like it was yesterday.  to say she inspires me each and everyday would be an understatement.  she is growing into a young lady that i'm so proud to call my daughter and her tenacity and zest for life is something to reckon with.

this year she requested two things.
1)  breakfast = chicken & waffles w/ sriracha & pure maple syrup {that's my girl}
2)  a bowling themed birthday party w/ homemade cupcakes & pink frosting, oh and only girls.

here is a look at how it all paned out.  happy birthday sweet girl.  i love you more than you'll ever know. xo.

Neapolitan Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Buttercream Frosting

favourite chocolate cake recipe (halved)

favourite white cake recipe (halved)

strawberry buttercream frosting


1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 1/2 - 4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons fresh pureed strawberries
1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt


cream together butter and 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar at a time.  after each cup of sugar has been added, add strawberry syrup 1 tablespoon at a time, then add vanilla and beat on high for about 20 seconds to lighten the frosting.
add a pinch of slat and whip on high for a final 20 seconds.
use immediately or cover and refrigerate up to three days.  

yields: 2 cups

layer cupcake batter into muffin cups first using chocolate then white to 2/3 cup filled.  bake according to directions.  allow to cool before frosting.

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