Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spooky Witches Fingers

There's usually not a lot of opportunity for my little guy to help me in the kitchen, except for today's cookie recipe! We made Spooky Witches Fingers from I made mine with half white flour and half whole wheat. These were fun to do up for Halloween and I'm sure will be a tradition every year! The baking time says 20-25 minutes but mine were done at 10 minutes so make sure you keep a close eye on them in the oven.


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1 (.75 ounce) tube red decorating gel


  1. Combine the butter, sugar, egg, almond extract, and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Beat together with an electric mixer; gradually add the flour, baking powder, and salt, continually beating; refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
  3. Remove dough from refrigerator in small amounts. Scoop 1 heaping teaspoon at a time onto a piece of waxed paper. Use the waxed paper to roll the dough into a thin finger-shaped cookie. Press one almond into one end of each cookie to give the appearance of a long fingernail. Squeeze cookie near the tip and again near the center of each to give the impression of knuckles. You can also cut into the dough with a sharp knife at the same points to help give a more finger-like appearance. Arrange the shaped cookies on the baking sheets.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until the cookies are slightly golden in color, 20 to 25 minutes.
  5. Remove the almond from the end of each cookie; squeeze a small amount of red decorating gel into the cavity; replace the almond to cause the gel to ooze out around the tip of the cookie.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding

Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding
Want a great start to your weekend? Make some bread pudding! This was my first time making it and it turned out great. I had exactly 6 pieces of Cinnamon Raisin bread left which matched up to this recipe from perfectly. Instead of the 3/4 cup of sugar it calls for I just added 1/4 cup. Top it off with some whip cream and you have a fab breakfast, brunch, coffee snack, or dessert. So delicious and it is warming me up on this chilly morning.

  • 6 slices day-old bread
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Break bread into small pieces into an 8 inch square baking pan. Drizzle melted butter or margarine over bread. If desired, sprinkle with raisins.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Pour over bread, and lightly push down with a fork until bread is covered and soaking up the egg mixture.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly tapped.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Cupcakes

There are so many Halloween goodies out there on all the blogs I see and you can't help but get into the Halloween spirit of things and make something too! I made up a batch of One Bowl Chocolate Cake batter and made them into cupcakes which turned out great. I love this recipe because the cake is so moist and hands down beats any cake box. This time around I used whole wheat flour. As for the icing, I went simple and used a can of Pillsbury frosting with the decorator tip on top. Best invention ever! Happy Halloween baking! 

Easy Alfredo Linguine

Alfredo Linguine w/ bacon, mushrooms, & salmon
Keyword here is: EASY! Start with the two main ingredients for this dish which is the Alfredo sauce and the linguine noodles. This is just the canvas for your creation because from here you can add whatever you want! Tonight we enjoyed our Alfredo Linguine with some fresh minced garlic (which was added to the sauce), bacon pieces, mushrooms, and topped it off with some lemon dill Atlantic salmon trimmings. What would you add to your Alfredo Linguine???

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cinnamon Pear Crescent Rolls

Cinnamon Pear Crescent Rolls
Pillsbury never lets me down! Here is another creation using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls as a dessert. All you need is one ripe pear, cinnamon, lemon juice, vanilla, and of course a package of crescent rolls. Preheat your oven as directed on the package. Slice up the pear into slices then add about a teaspoon or more of cinnamon, couple squirts or 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice, and a 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and mix up all together in a bowl until everything is well coated. Roll out the pre-sliced pieces of rolls on a baking sheet and put about 3-4 slices of pear in each and roll up and sprinkle the tops of them with some sugar. Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes until golden brown on top. For an extra sugar/cinnamon boost you can make your own drizzled icing which is just mixing up some icing sugar and milk. This is a super easy dessert if you are expecting company to go with your tea or coffee. The pear stays nice and crisp inside the roll. Try it out!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Taco Pizza on Pita Bread

Taco Pizza on Pita Bread
Looking for a healthy and easy side dish to have with your spicy bowl of chili? Anytime we have chili I always need something to dip into the chili. I remembered having a package of large size pita bread in my downstairs freezer and started to think. I had a bottle of taco sauce so I added that to the pita bread and then topped it with some marble cheese. I baked it in the oven at 375 degrees until the cheese was melted and the bread was slightly crispy but not too hard. Then I just sliced it up into pizza slices and bang my hubby and I had a yummy side dish. Everything together tasted like a plate of chili cheese nachos, but minus all the 'bad' ingredients. If you don't have any taco sauce, salsa would work perfectly too and you can really have fun with this and add all kinds of different toppings like tomatoes, sliced jalapenos, peppers etc. What else could you create with your pita bread?

Easy Turkey Pot Pie

Turkey Pot Pie w/ Bisquick topping
To use up the leftover turkey we had, I made my kids a nice and easy turkey pot pie. The easy part was making it with Bisquick! There is a recipe on the back of their box for pot pie. All you need is a can of cream of chicken (or any other cream soup you like), whisk in a bit of milk, add some seasonings of your choice (onion powder, thyme, pepper, parsely), then some chopped cooked turkey (or if you have no turkey use chicken, or ham), frozen or canned corn, peas, and carrots. Put it all in a 9" glass pie baking dish. Turn your oven on to 350 degrees. Next make the Bisquick topping which is just a cup of Bisquick, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1 egg mixed up and then poured all over the turkey mixture. Bake in the oven for about 30-35 mins or until the top is browned. This was a great way to use up leftovers and give my little guys a great supper!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Crunch

Pumpkin Pie Crunch
To use up that 1 cup of lingering canned pumpkin I decided to try out this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Crunch which popped up as one of Food Network's featured recipes today. I had to half the recipe since I only had 1 cup of pumpkin. It turned out as yummy as it sounded. The yellow cake batter on top gives the crunch and has a salty taste to it but it goes well with the sugary pumpkin pie filling. I topped mine with some walnuts and some cinnamon and nutmeg. I can't wait to have some more leftover pumpkin again!


  1. 1
    Combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, spice, salt.
  2. 2
    Pour into greased and floured 13x9 baking pan.
  3. 3
    Sprinkle cake mix over pumpkin mixture.
  4. 4
    Cover with melted margarine.
  5. 5
    Bake at 350 for 50-55 minutes or until golden.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Almond Biscotti

Almond Biscotti
This was my first time trying out biscotti and I didn't really know what to expect. Biscotti are a twice-bakedoblong-shaped cookie from Italy. It was actually a long process but I think the end result paid off to see these crunchy 'coffee dipping' cookies look like something you would buy at a coffee cafe. The Joy of Baking website always has great recipes with follow along vidoes so you know it's always going to be great! Instead of dipping them into chocolate, I made a glaze with icing sugar (about a cup), a tablespoon of milk, and a drop or two of pure almond extract. Just get it to the consistency that it can be drizzled.

I wasn't sure if they froze well, so I did a little research...

"Store: the cooled biscotti between sheets of parchment or wax paper (especially when you have chocolate dipped ones) in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover. They will keep well for quite a while. They also freeze nicely (except for chocolate dipped) in an airtight plastic bag for a few months. You can freeze glazed biscotti but the gloss of the chocolate will dull."

Almond Biscotti: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Toast almonds for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely. 
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  
In a small bowl lightly beat the eggs and extracts together.  
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer) combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Beat until blended (about 30 seconds). Gradually add the egg mixture and beat until a dough forms, adding almonds about halfway through. On a lightly floured surface roll dough into a log about 14 inches (35 cm) long and 3 - 4 inches (8 - 10 cm) wide. Transfer log to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 - 40 minutes, or until firm to the touch (log will spread during baking). Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rackfor about 10 minutes.
Transfer log to a cutting board and, using a serrated knife, cut log into slices 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) thick on the diagonal.   Arrange evenly on baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes, turn slices over, and bake another 10 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
Note: Can substitute hazelnuts or walnuts for the almonds. If desired, add 1 tablespoon (5 grams) of orange or lemon zest to the egg mixture.
To dip in melted chocolate - Melt 3 ounces (85 grams) of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate and 1 teaspoon (5 grams) vegetable shortening or butter in a small metal bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until melted and smooth. Dip one end of each biscotti in the melted chocolate and let dry on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Makes about 28 biscotti.

Almond Biscotti:

1 cup (145 grams) blanched wholealmonds
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract

Cocoa Crackles

Cocoa Crackles
Here is another cookie recipe from Sesame Street's Yummy Cookies - Baking with Kids. Cocoa Crackles are a soft chocolate cookie that will keep your kids happy and you too! They freeze really well and are a great snack with milk or a coffee. I bet you can't each just one...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Turkey & Pumpkin Pie ~Happy Thanksgiving!~

Struesel Topped Pumpkin Pie
Thyme & Rosemary
We had our Canadian Thanksgiving this past weekend, but due to shift work, my hubby was not able to celebrate it so we waited until he was on his days off. I cooked up my turkey the night before and sliced it all up and then made my turkey soup the next day by boiling down the remains. I have lots of plans to use up the turkey meat since I really don't like wasting food. I can make sandwiches, casseroles, pot pies, and a great soup out of it all. I'm always up for a new recipe so I'll be on the hunt for a good turkey one!

You can't have turkey without a homemade pumpkin pie for dessert. I found a recipe on the Life Made Delicious website for a pumpkin pie with a streusel topping. I wasn't overly impressed with the topping. Maybe if I had used cold butter instead of margarine it would have made a difference. The crunchy pecans on top were definitely yummy and a nice twist on a simple but spicy pumpkin pie. I used a Pillsbury pie crust for a guaranteed great crust.


1/2 pkg (425 g) Pillsbury* Refrigerated Pie Crusts (1 crust)
1 can (14 oz/398 mL) canned pumpkin (1 3/4 cups/425 mL)
1 can (370mL) evaporated milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon
1 tsp (5 mL) ginger
1/2 tsp (2 mL) cloves
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped pecans
1/4 cup (50 mL) packed brown sugar
2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter or margarine
  • Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 425°F (220°C). Prepare pie crust according to package directions for One- Crust Filled Pie in a 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate.
  • Combine all filling ingredients in mixer bowl. Beat at low speed until well blended. Pour into pie crust.
  • Bake at 425°F (220°C) for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350°F (180°C) and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine pecans, brown sugar and flour for topping; cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Spoon on top of pie.
  • Bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until knife inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool to room temperature, or serve chilled, if desired.
  • Garnish with whipped cream, if desired.