Thursday, December 15, 2011

Ultimate Ginger Cookies

Ultimate Ginger Cookies
Here is a healthy version of ginger cookies with lots of ginger kick! The grated ginger makes these little guys pop! They are nice and soft and you can increase the fibre by using one cup of whole wheat flour. These cookies are so addictive that I guarantee you won't have any to put in the freezer... none made it to mine for very long. Thanks to Lisa over at Sweet As Sugar Cookies for sharing the recipe and check out all her other ginger cookie recipes! I made mine all in my Kitchen Aid Professional 600.

Chicken Orzo Soup

Chicken Orzo Soup
This soup is easy to throw together and use up your left over chicken or turkey. All you need is 2 cups of chicken broth (or 2 packages of OXO Chicken) and bring it to a boil and add 1 cup of Orzo. Then add some frozen corn, peas (or other veggies), and your cubed chicken. Add your seasonings: fresh or dried parsley, thyme, salt and pepper to taste. This is the perfect soup on a chilly day! 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares

Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
I'm all about using up leftovers and that goes for dessert things too. I had some leftover chocolate chip cookie dough in the fridge and some peanut butter frosting. I did a quick search for some peanut butter recipes and found the perfect one that went with my ingredients except I had to tweak it a little. I had enough cookie dough to cover and spread the bottom of the tin and then spread some of the peanut butter frosting on top and added a few chocolate chips. This recipe calls for another layer of cookie dough on the top. I baked it at 325-350 degrees for about 20 mins. If you want peanut butter and chocolate, you got it in this little square of goodness!
1 1/2 cups ( 375 mL) icing sugar
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) crunchy peanut butter
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) vanilla
1 pkg (510 g) Pillsbury* Refrigerated Chocolate Chip or Chocolate Chunk Cookies
  • Heat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  • Combine icing sugar, peanut butter and vanilla; mix well.
  • Press half of dough into bottom of ungreased 8 or 9-inch (20 or 23 cm) square baking pan. Press peanut butter mixture evenly over dough. Cut remaining dough into thin slices and arrange on top of peanut butter mixture.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until chilled. Cut into squares. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

Cinnamon Roll Cookies
Cinnamon Roll Cookies... need I say more? All you need is a Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix and you are on your way to some easy and delicious cookies. Definitely a new favourite around here. Check out this blog to see the full recipe and step by step directions:

1 pouch (17.5 oz.) sugar cookie mix
½ cup butter or margarine, softened to room temp.
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
1 tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. milk

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Russian themed Dinner!

My Russian dolls from Ukraine. 
It's really special when you can take part in trying out another person's culture and cuisine. We had the pleasure of having our Russian pastor over for dinner and had fun enjoying some Russian cuisine together!

I did some research on Russian food before attempting to create something and headed straight to all which I trusted would have some great home-cooked type of Russian food, and it did! I found a recipe to make Chicken Kiev, Kartoshnik, and a Ukrainian Apple Cake.

Chicken Kiev 
Chicken Kiev is basically herbed butter wrapped in chicken and then rolled into bread crumbs and fried. There is a bit of a process to it but worth it because it turned out great. It's also one of those recipes you can tweak and add whatever herbs you want. I baked these in the oven for about 40 minutes instead of frying them. <>

Kartoshnik is Russia's version of mashed potatoes. But not just simply mashed potatoes like we would prepare them, but this also has eggs, cheese, and baking powder which creates a fluffy cake-like mashed potatoes. To give it some great flavour after reading some of the reviews of it turning out bland, I added some bacon and sprinkled the top with some of the bacon pieces and some dried thyme. This side dish was really good even if it just was 'mashed potatoes'. <>

For dessert, I found a recipe for an Ukrainian Apple Cake called a Yabluchnyk which sounded really nice and rustic. The base is a dense cake texture and the top is sliced apples with a strudel creating that traditional cinnamon aroma while it's baking in the oven. <>

Overall, I survived creating some Russian cuisine with a little Canadian flare! ;) 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal

Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal
This is one of my favourite recipes to tweak. There are so many variations that you can try out! This time around I added a 1/4 of pure pumpkin instead of the oil and a 1/2 tsp of pumpkin spice to the mix and out comes this wonderful breakfast/brunch creation with tons of pumpkin pie flare! Top this off with some whip cream and pecans or yogurt and fruit and it'll be the hit of your get together this season. What I love most about baked oatmeal is that it is super easy to make! Enjoy all your overnight company this Christmas!

Baked in a 8" x 8" baking dish (which feeds about 9 people):

Baked in an 9" x 13" baking dish:

Banana Cupcakes w/ Peanut Butter Ball Frosting

Banana Cupcakes w/ Peanut Butter Frosting
What do you do with a peanut butter ball recipe gone wrong? Well, turn it into something else of course! I had some ripe bananas to use up and instead of doing up a banana bread, I opted for some banana cupcakes from and topped them with a homemade peanut butter frosting from a soft batter which had a hard time forming into balls. Here is the recipe for the banana cupcakes with the frosting recipe it came with: 

1/2 cup shortening (I used margarine)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (I used eggnog!) 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk


  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and sugar. Add the eggs, vanilla, bananas and buttermilk. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to banana mixture. Fill 18 paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. In a small mixing bowl, cream the butter, sugar and enough milk to achieve desired spreading consistency. Frost cupcakes.
 Here is my Peanut Butter Ball Frosting as adapted from Joy of Baking.

2 cups of smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2- 3 cup icing sugar

To complete the peanut butter ball flavour, top them off with a drizzle or blop (is that even a word???) of melted semi-sweet chocolate! Enjoy this recreated yummy dessert!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Chocolate Cake w/ Cream Cheese Egg Nog Frosting

I took my One Bowl Chocolate Cake recipe and tweaked it a bit. Instead of milk I used light Egg Nog and added about a 1/2 a teaspoon of nutmeg to the batter. The batter smelled delicious and I added it to a well greased tube pan. It baked for about 45 minutes.

For the frosting, I used a block of fat free cream cheese, a cup of icing sugar, and a few teaspoons of Egg Nog. I spooned it all over the cake once it had cooled then added some snowflake sprinkles and some nutmeg. I love this chocolate cake recipe because it gives a nice fudgy moist cake.

One Bowl Chocolate Cake Recipe


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two nine inch round pans.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer. Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate 'Candy Cane' Brownies

Christmas flavours are starting to appear. Here is an easy way to jazz up some brownies by turning them into candy cane flavoured brownies. All you need is a box brownie (or your own recipe) and PC (President's Choice) Candy Cane Cookies (or mint flavoured Oreos if you live in the states). Chop up about 10 cookies and add to the batter. Bake in the oven as directed on the box. Once they've cooled you can make a mint drizzle by taking about a cup of icing sugar and a few teaspoons of milk and green food coloring.

Tuna Casserole

Tuna Casserole
Here is an easy meal to throw together with just a few simple ingredients but it packs lots of flavour! All you need is some pasta, can of tuna, can of cream of mushroom, a few seasonings like parsley, thyme, onion powder, pepper, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese.

Boil your pasta (I used egg noodles), season with salt, drain, rinse and return to the pot. Add cream of mushroom soup, tuna, and seasonings and mix well. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Add the mix to a glass baking dish (I used a glass pie dish for a family of 4). For the topping add some Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. If you don't have bread crumbs you can always crush up some croutons which is what I did. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. This is a great recipe to improvise and make your own!

Now, I have to say my husband is not a lover of mushrooms let alone cream of mushroom soup, but after eating this he didn't even know there was a mushroom in it and kept raving how tasty it was... until I told him I made it with cream of mushroom. Haha. I'm a sneaky wife like that. ;) \

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lemon Garlic Chicken Drumsticks & Potatoes

Lemon Garlic Chicken
In the mood for some lemon? Get your taste buds jumping with some lemon garlic chicken and potatoes. Really easy to put together too! Make your own marinade by adding about 1/4 of olive oil to a 1/4 or more of lemon juice with a few minced up garlic cloves and some dried rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper to a zip lock bag filled with chicken drumsticks or thighs (or both). Marinate overnight for more flavour. Grab a 9" x 13" glass baking dish and add sliced potatoes and pour the chicken from the bag over the potatoes. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Put some tin foil over the baking dish. This dish will take an hour to cook so at the 30 minute mark, take out the chicken and turn the pieces around. The scent of these delicious lemony soaked potatoes and chicken will fill your kitchen! Enjoy!

Before going in the oven. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stuffed Brownies

Stuffed Brownie 
I've started my Christmas baking and was very excited to try these little beauties out. These are simple and easy when you use a box brownie mix and the drizzle of peppermint icing brings out the candy cane flavour of the cookie in the middle. These can also be made in muffin tins with or without paper liners (be sure to grease the pan if not using liners).

All you need is:
Brownie Mix
Oreos or President Choice "Eat the Middle First" candy cane flavoured cookies

Follow directions on the brownie box (or use your own recipe) and cover the bottom of the tin or paper liner with some mix then add a cookie and cover with more mix. Bake as directed on box.

1 cup of icing sugar
2-3 tsp of milk (or more to get a good drizzling consistency)
1/4 tsp peppermint or mint extract

For more stuffed brownie ideas... you can look at these neat sites:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

So many fun things you can do with your leftover Halloween candy! I settled for stuffing pieces of O Henry and Peanut Butter Cups into the infamous chocolate chip cookie recipe created by Picky Palate. I find the batter a little thick so I've had to add an extra egg and it has always turned out great for me. Also, I used a tablespoon of cookie dough for the top and bottom. After using up the chocolate, I crushed up a bag of regular potato chips into the leftover dough and added some mini M&M's which created a sweet, salty, and crunchy texture. These cookies are even great straight from the freezer. Here is the recipe!

2 sticks softened butter
3/4 Cup packed light brown sugar
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
3 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
10 oz bag chocolate chips
1 bag Oreo Cookies, I used the double stuff :)
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.   In a stand or electric mixer cream butter and sugars until well combined.  Add in eggs and vanilla until well combined.
2.  In a separate bowl mix the flour, salt and baking soda.  Slowly add to wet ingredients along with chocolate chips until just combined.  Using a cookie scoop take one scoop of cookie dough and place on top of an Oreo Cookie.  Take another scoop of dough and place on bottom of Oreo Cookie.  Seal edges together by pressing and cupping in hand until Oreo Cookie is enclosed with dough.  Place onto a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake cookies 9-13 minutes or until cookies are baked to your liking.  Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.  Serve with a tall glass of milk, enjoy!