Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Star Cookie Sandwiches

Are you feeling all holly jolly?

We're totally in the spirit around here, despite the fact that we don't have our tree up yet. We've had a few health setbacks (hello, colds and oral surgery!) and plus our tree is incredibly fake and the storage unit is a pain to get to. But that will change tonight, when we unwrap that sucker and get it all set up.

Of course, trees are great and all, but the one thing that really makes a home feel ready for the holidays is baking.

There's nothing like our little apartment smelling like spices and sugar, and a counter full of special baking to grab and nibble on.

These cookies are inspired by Oreos and shortbread, combining the two into a little holiday cheer. Creamy butter icing sandwiched between bright red shortbread stars -- perfect for Santa or a cookie exchange.

What will you be leaving for Santa this year?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Ginger Cranberry Oat Cookies

Have the thermostat wars started in your home?

I swear, the only thing that gets more heated around here are debates about toilet paper consumption.

I like the warm. Jay likes things cold. Freezing cold. Like, all windows open while it's snowing out cold.

Sometimes I think the greatest gift I could give my boyfriend would be to set him adrift on an arctic ice floe, with a sack of quarter pounders, and wave as he gently floats away into the frigid sea.

Thankfully, I can distract him with a big plate of cookies while I crank up the heat -- and then everyone's happy. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Gooey Espresso Chocolate Marshmallow Cakes

I was worried these were maybe going to be a little bit too much.

Too much chocolate, too much sweetness, too much all at once, too much too close to Halloween candy hangovers -- but once they came out of the oven all I saw was mocha-y perfection.

Delightful little mocha cakes with a soft centre topped with an Espresso Crunch marshmallow from Kimberley's Kitchen.

Kimberley is BC's resident marshmallow queen. But to bring everyone more handcrafted marshmallow goodness, Kimberley needs to expand her kitchen. She could use a little help with fundraising to get the perfect workspace to bring her marshmallows to the people.

Your donation doesn't go without a little swag -- check out the different gifts for each donation level (one of which is a recipe book which includes a special treat by yours truly!)

Check out how to donate here and keep on scrolling for the recipe for these gooey masterpieces.

*This is a sponsored post, but my love for these delicious marshmallows is all my own.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Halloween Monster Cookies

 Sometimes I'm really, really bad at doing things.

Especially following a schedule, being on time, and coming up with cute ideas like decorating the house for a new season. (Probably because I don't have a house -- we rent a small ground floor apartment). 

I've been super jealous of all my instagram buds this week who post pictures of autumn mantels, gourd and gold porches, and backyards full of fresh fall veggie crops.

Know what would happen if I decorated my front door with painted pumpkins, boots, and other knick knacks? Strata fines up my butt and a bunch of annoyed neighbours who have to step over that crap in the hall.

Know what would happen if I put it outside our backdoor? The cracked out strangers who walk through our yard at 4am would steal it all.

Ahhh city living. I wouldn't trade it for the world, though. So what can I do instead of cute decorating themes? Adorable baking, which nosy neighbours and backyard creeps generally don't get their hands on.

These fuzzy little monster cookies are as easy as 1-2-3.
1: Make the cookies.
2: Ice the cookies.
3: Plop on some eyes.

Perfect for little bakers, classroom parties, non-classroom parties, and general eating purposes. Ready to learn the details?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lemon Raspberry Muffins

Remember how that little kid from Sixth Sense saw dead people?

My boyfriend has a similar problem. Except instead of dead people he sees ingredients. And he is completely unable to shape those ingredients into anything that remotely resembles food for himself.

Before we started dating he was a complete McDonald's addict, and now -- thanks to me -- he eats at least one healthy meal a day. But if I'm not around to point out food to him? If there isn't something prepared, something that can be eaten as-is? Well, he really can't get his shit together and wanders around like a zombie moaning for a fresh kill.

"Feeeeeddd meeeee. Feeeeeeddd meeeee!"

"Eat a muffin," I told him the other night. But he grumbled and said it isn't meat and why don't we just have freshly prepared dinners on hand all the time? But he took a bite. And then another. And then proceeded to eat half the tray of them because they were (no surprise) really, really good.

So the next time you need to feed your hungry hoards, try these Lemon Raspberry Muffins. They're easy, quick, and can be popped in the freezer. Everyone wins!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hallelujah! BC's school strike is over, and the boy had his first day of Grade 3 yesterday.

It's an understatement to say we were both ready for the extended break to be over. When you're trying to work at home with a very bored 7-year-old, these extra few weeks of summer break can seem like eternity.

To try to keep some harmony (and sanity) in my home, I enlisted the boy to help with some easy work tasks. Cleaning up my kitchen messes, coming up with copy ideas, and yup -- food styling.

These cookies were made with his help, and the photos are entirely styled by him. The recipe comes from a little tiny book I made for my parents when I was in preschool, complete with a little blue handprint on the cover and some very questionable late 80s recipes.

Thankfully a good cookie recipe never goes out of style -- unlike Jell-o salad and the whole "everything as a ball" phase cooking went through for a bit there.

Do you have any tried and true recipes in your family? I'd love to give them a try!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Mint Brownie Cake

Let there be cake.

Rich chocolatey cake. Filled with mint buttercream. Topped with rich, thick ganache. 

And let us eat it all. Like, right now. Because when it comes to cake, more is more.

A friend and I just bought tickets to see Jim Gaffigan in a few weeks, and whenever I make a big, fat cake I can't help but be reminded of his routine on how cake is the ultimate symbol of gluttony. If you eat a whole pizza, people are like, "Wow you were hungry!" But when you eat a whole cake, people are like, "Man, you've got a problem."

None of that crap here -- come over, grab a fork, and let's dig in. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cotton Candy Cupcakes (Dairy-free)

My son has two new obsessions: football and cotton candy. 

For the record, I'm equally supportive of both.

We took him to a BC Lions game the other day and appropriately indulged in all the favourite sporty snacks: pretzel dogs, popcorn, gatorade, pop (no pop for kiddo -- apparently I draw the line somewhere) and a big honking cloud of cotton candy. To see his favourite sport up close was the highlight of his year -- but to celebrate the day with brightly dyed spun sugar? Well, heaven all around.

Suffice to say, cotton candy is now a much asked for flavour in the baking department, although, if you ask me, nothing comes close to the real thing. These cotton candy cupcakes, however, are a very close replacement, and brightly capture the spirit of fairs, festivals, and stadiums.

Even better? There's no dairy for anyone with dairy allergies or lactose intolerance. Hurrah!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Frosted Cookie Cakes

Summer, I'm holding on for just a little longer okay?

I always have this weird delusion that when summer hits the livin' will get easy. This may have been true in my youth, but it hasn't rung true for most of my 20s, and as I quickly approach 30, I have a feeling it won't happen there, either. Instead of beaches, hikes, and sleeping in, this summer is filled with driving to and from camps, arranging playdates, a heavier workload, studying, family health issues, my own health issues and weather too damn hot to turn on the oven.

While being busy with a full life is awesome, unwinding and connecting is, too. Thankfully, we have had our moments of solitude, of lake-swimming and nature strolls, too. I'm just hoping that next year, finally, is the year we get a little more.

Today's treat is bright and fun, just like summer. It's a cookie meets cake, thrown into hyperdrive. Because who doesn't love chocolate chip cookies and funfetti everything? We've got layered buttercream and cookies to create little cookie cakes that are perfect for picnics, potlucks, and birthdays.

Stack and go, friends. And enjoy a little summer haze for me.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Mojito Cookies

If I had to choose between sitting around and drinking or sitting around and eating cookies, the cookies would win pretty much every time.

Especially Mojito Cookies. Because when you make the cookies taste like a delicious classic summer cocktail, and who can say no?

Packed with mint, lime, and topped with a hint of rum, these mojito cookies are a frontrunner for my favourite batch of the year. 

Even better? They're rolled in sugar, giving a helping hand to creating the perfect blend of chewy and crispy. On the second day the flavours are even more pronounced, and power to you if they last that long. (I had to fight off my family so I could take pictures. They're like cookie vampires).

If you don't drink alcohol, just replace the rum with some good old vanilla bean (not the extract, since it also contains alcohol), and be on your way to a hot, lazy afternoon in the sun.

I liked to eat these with a glass of cold milk, but they'd be equally tasty paired with the cocktail they're named after.

What's your favourite summer beverage?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Homemade S'mores Marshmallows

My boyfriend is an unapologetic, certified marshmallow hater.

I know -- sometimes it's hard to love him. But I persevere, and somehow he endures all the weird crap I throw out there, too. Like when I get nervous that automatic doors won't open. Or my never-ending hatred of mayonnaise.

So when I yelled at him from the kitchen (over my Drop Dead Diva and his Madden) that I was making a batch of soft, homemade marshmallows I didn't get much of a reaction.

When I coated them in chocolate and graham crackers, well, suddenly the unappealing sugar pillows of five minutes ago were something he couldn't shove in his mouth fast enough.

Turns out S'mores Marshmallows can exorcise the marshmallow hater inside us all.

You could make these with store bought marshmallows, but it really won't be the same. I recommend either following the recipe below or ordering from a marshmallow guru like my friend Kimberley over at Kimberley's Kitchen. Seriously, she makes marshmallow magic.

For extra fun, toast each marshmallow. I used one of those long barbecue lighters, but any form of fire will do.

Want to see some behind the scenes treats? Follow me on instagram!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Strawberry Basil Scones

 I want to pretend that these strawberries came from my garden.

But my new (and very adorable) strawberry plant is currently struggling against an onslaught of ants, a couple aphids, and my never-ending neglect.

Sad, but no less true.

So while I come up with watering schedules (leaving it to my much more reliable child), and natural pest solutions, store strawberries suffice.

These bright red beauties are from a real farm nearby, with people who actually know what they're doing. But the basil? Well, I grew that myself, and it makes a perfectly tasty companion in these delicious low-fat scones.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Breakfast Raspberry Rolls

I know I've said it before, but breakfast is totally my jam.

I would join breakfast committees. I would hold meetings in support of the day's fairest meal. I would lobby for the advancement of breakfast.

Okay, maybe except instead of advancement, it would really be just wanting pancakes and sausages and stuff. So it would be more of a "in support of traditional breakfast" type thing, but also in support of every other breakfast, and maybe mandating that breakfast always happens. I don't know. The details can be worked out later.

(On that note, anyone fellow bloggers want to form a breakfast club?)

One detail that doesn't need to be worked out is that dessert for breakfast is awesome. Especially when it just tastes like a warm cinnamon bun, but is packed full of fruit and other deliciousness instead. Enter these Breakfast Raspberry Rolls, which fit the bill perfectly.

Baked in a skillet, drizzled with a warm vanilla glaze, and a light yet filling centre full of berries and a hint of lemon.

If you didn't love breakfast before, you will now.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Never Miss a Recipe -- Subscribe By Email!

Okay, so it's is kind of shameful that it took me this long (don't look at those archives...) to get a few options for email subscription set up but here we go! You can either subscribe via reader OR by my super awesome new weekly newsletter.

Subscribe below or over to the right on the sidebar and you'll never miss a recipe, a contest, or a giveaway. (And I have a few cool ones coming up!)

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Low Fat Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate Glaze

I love testing out low fat recipes on my boyfriend.

I leave a plate of goodies casually out in the kitchen, waiting for him to come home from work. He sees them, takes a bite, and I wait, with a kind of sick experimental glee, to see whatever reaction is emerging. Sometimes he detects something is missing, sometimes he's totally fooled. I am amused either way.

These cookies are an example of him accepting the low fat content with no complaints. They're fudgey yet light, totally dunkable for milk, and the glaze adds just the right extra hint of chocolate. And not to mention the whole "less than 1 gram of fat per cookie" thing...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Donuts with Chocolate Glaze

I've been feeling restless lately. 

A combination of repetition, stress, and some personal things that don't have a space in these pages. 

So what's the answer? Getting my ass into the kitchen and creating something. 

Often I find myself wishing I could draw, or even just doodle to pass the time and get out thoughts in a way that seems less like work. (When you're a professional writer, sometimes you need another outlet).

But I'm useless when it comes to art, so I stick with the type you can eat instead of draw.

These cookies are one of my favourite recent creations, baked and decorated to look like little mini donuts.

How cheerful, non? I love a little touch of whimsy.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Apple Bundt Cake with Spiced Frosting

There's something so perfectly nostalgic about a Bundt cake.

Like knitted doilies and swimming caps. Like silverware and fine china cabinets. 

All sort of timeless in their own way, but still distinctly linked to an era they can never fully escape.

Bundt cakes remind me of grandmas. Of childhood disappointment over frosting to cake ratio. And of lukewarm tea, cooled just enough so when I inevitably spilled it in my lap, we could all laugh it off and carry on just the same.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Strawberry Cars


I can totally make healthy things sometimes, I swear.

I originally saw these cars a month or so ago on Pinterest, but I can't find the original link, so if you know who made them, please let me know. 

I decided to recreate them with some instructions so you can make them, too. The boy was thrilled to see this little guy waiting for him after school, and your [insert loved one] would be equally thrilled. Plus they're perfect for year-end school parties if you don't want to get the little ones hyped up on sugar!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

No-Bake Single Serve Chocolate Drop Cookies

I love TV.


Can we just establish that? Because I feel like I don't talk about it enough here, and I know it's super cool to not have a TV, or cable, and pretend you don't watch it and all, but I do. Oh, I do.

Not only is the programming increasingly more innovative and exciting than movies (especially when it comes to roles for women -- ahem) but on a significantly less high-brow note, I love being able to yell at pretend people doing pretend things while hanging out with my boyfriend. What can I say? I love stories, whether they come on my kindle, a secret whispered at a party, or a carefully crafted plot on the small screen. No TV or pop culture shame here.

And no snack shame either, because when you're in the middle of marathoning Parks and Rec and Netflix starts its countdown to the next episode and you realize that your chip bag is empty, you have to act fast.

I developed this recipe to be so quick you can make it in a commercial break, or for you non-TV watchers, a coffee break from crafts or something.

This recipe makes about 2 cookies, but it can be easily scaled up to make more. Seriously -- I've made at least a dozen following the Rule of Just Adding More. If you want more variety, you can always sub in some nuts, coconut, dried fruit, cocoa nibs, sprinkles, or whatever your heart desires.

Now, if you want to chat TV, what are you currently watching? We're into The Voice, Hart of Dixie, Parks and Rec, New Girl, About a Boy, and we're eyeing Scandal.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Parmesan Bacon Biscuits

 If I were ever trapped on a deserted island, I'd want to bring carbs.

And bacon.

And cheese.

And wifi, TV, and my family and stuff. Oh, and an epi-pen, because is this place tropical? The last time I was in Mexico my mouthed swelled up like a water ballon. No repeatsies, thanks.

I'd totally want these biscuits, too, because biscuits are some of the best things ever to begin with, and these ones have bacon and cheese in them... so, you know. They're ridiculous.

Oh, and not to mention the part where they're baked in bacon fat.

I can't think of a meal these wouldn't be good for. Pair them with eggs for breakfast, maybe a pot pie or pasta for dinner. One of my faves, so give them a try!


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