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!