Eating my Feelings Vanilla Bean Pound Cake

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This rich and buttery pound cake is simple to make but so elegant to eat while wearing jammies and watching “90 day Fiancé” or “My 600 Pound Life.”

Number of Servings: 1, perhaps 8, or even 12 depending how one is feeling that day 😉 This blog is a judgement free zone.

Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 50 Minutes

Total Time: 1 Hour 5 Minutes of drooling in front of the oven

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 tablespoons milk (skim, low fat, or whole)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste or a vanilla bean
  • 1-1/3 cups cake flour … but seriously any flour you can find during this pandemic (I used AP), spooned into a measuring cup and leveled with a straight edge aka knife.
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 13 tablespoons salted butter, softened (no need to cut it in pieces) 16 tbls is a cup so y’all need to do some math or buy the butter in the sticks. Yes Salted … to be honest I only bake with salted butter. I remember saying it to my French instructor at Le Cordon Bleu and he almost fainted 👀 I’m too old to care anymore.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and set an oven rack in the middle position. Lightly grease an 8-in x 4-in x 2½-inch loaf pan with butter like you are in an episode of Mad Men. Dust with flour, shaking off any excess. (Alternatively, use a nonstick cooking spray with flour in it, since we are 6 weeks into a pandemic the 1950s way suited me just fine.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla until just combined.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), place the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended. Add the butter and half of the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to medium (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining egg mixture, in 2 separate additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to combine. Do not over-mix. (The batter may have a slightly curdled or grainy appearance — that’s okay.)
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a thin wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  5. Place the cake on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap the cooled cake in plastic wrap or store in a large sealable plastic bag.
  6. The wrapped pound cake will keep for several days (it will never last the long) at room temperature, for one week when refrigerated.
  7. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. After it is completely cooled, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

Easter Egg Flourless Chocolate Torte

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I love Nigella Lawson, always have, always will. I read her cookbooks like novels. Her cookbooks are fun to read and evoke memories of my own childhood.

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I am hosting 12 for dinner tomorrow to celebrate Easter and I wanted to mix it up in the dessert department. I made a carrot cake (my favorite) but I know my husband loves chocolate. Hello flourless chocolate torte! It really easy to make and will be easy to eat I am sure.

If you are looking to try something new tomorrow, try this!

Happy Easter!

 

Sweet and salty energy bites

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These are a staple in our house! The kids eat them for snacks after school, on the way to the gym, Joel grabs them for a snack. I make a batch weekly and they are always eaten. If you have 10 minutes you can whip up a batch.


Dry mix.

  • 2 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup milled flax seed
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I use mini)…save for the end

Wet mix 

  • 1 1/2 cups nut butter (I usually use 1/2 almond and 1/2 peanut butter)
  • 1/3 honey
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 tbls coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt (this is key!)

Place wet mix in microwave for ~45 seconds until melted- stir and add into dry mix. Once mixed add in 1 cup chocolate chips and roll into balls.

Makes 32 keep in fridge and enjoy! These are delish!

Chicken & black bean flautas perfect for Taco Tuesday!

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This meal is start to finish on the table in 30 minutes!

Who doesn’t like Taco Night? I know tacos are always a dinner favourite in this house, so I think you’re really going to love this Mexican-inspired dish. Flautas are rolled-up tortillas (hence the name, which means ‘flute’ in Spanish) that are baked or fried to golden perfection. I filled my flour tortillas with spiced black beans, ground chicken, poblano peppers, Monterey Jack cheese and cilantro. Served on the side is a homemade salsa and spicy crema! Buen Provecho!

Here is what you need!

  • 1 Onion – minced very finely
  • 1 Bunch of cilantro – dice up stems finely and reserve leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic – minced or rasped
  • 1 Lime sliced in half
  • 2 Tomatoes diced
  • 1 Poblano pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 can / 540ml Black beans
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream thinned out with 1 Tbls of water
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack shredded
  • 8 flour tortillas (medium sized)
  • 1 pkg of Old El Paso chicken taco seasoning OR do what I do and just toss a bunch of seasonings into the mix like garlic, salt, cumin, oregano, onion, paprika, dried ancho, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, chili, Cayenne pepper etc…

Preheat your oven to 450 or 425 if using convection bake. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with some oil (this will make the flautas crunchy, I used garlic oil)

1. In a medium fry pan add 1 tsp of oil and then the ground chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add in 1 garlic clove minced and 1/2 of the onion cook until translucent and season with S&P.

2. In a separate bowl add drained and rinsed black beans, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 of the onion, cilantro stems, cheese, 3/4 of the diced poblano pepper and seasoning mix. Once cooked chicken is cool enough to touch add it to this mixture and mush together with your hands. My favourite part! 😉 Taste and check for seasonings… make this your own. Add more garlic or salt, cumin, chili powder anything! This is your dinner… a recipe is just a guideline remember!

3. Now it’s flauta time! Lay out of the eight tortillas on your counter divide the chicken and black bean mixture evenly on the eight tortillas. I put the mixture about a third of the way down onto the tortilla and then I rolled them up like giant cigars. Once rolled up put them on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper brush the tops with oil this will make them crispy and pop these bad boys into your preheated oven for 15 minutes.

4. Now that these flautas are in the oven getting bubbly and crispy now it’s time to make your sides, so take your diced tomato, the rest of the onion the rest of the poblano and put it in a bowl season with salt and pepper and squeeze in half of the lime. Add in cilantro leaves and voila salsa done. The Crema is just as easy. Either use Mexican crema or take your sour cream put it in a bowl add a tablespoon of water use the rest of the lime juice from the other half of the lime and add a squeeze of Sriracha. Done.

5. Pour a glass of wine, or make a margarita and relish in the fact that your dinner is almost ready.

6. Take the flautas out of the oven and slice in half… they will be crispy on the outside and melty and delicious on the inside 🤤 serve with your homemade salsa, crema and I served mine with a side salad.

Buen Provecho!

Dreaming of backyard pizza parties? Your dream can now be a reality!

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I have always dreamed of having a backyard with a huge stone pizza oven. But I’m afraid it’s going to be baby steps for me to get to my dream, so I started my journey on Mother’s Day when I treated myself to an Ooni Koda gas pizza oven from Capital BBQ.

This pizza oven has changed my life. It is portable, meaning I can pack it up and bring it to a friends house for dinner. It weighs 12 pounds, the design is sleek, I can store it in the off-season in my kitchen. It is powered by a propane tank and it only takes 15 minutes for it to come up to 930° and it cooks delicious Neapolitan style pizzas in 60 seconds.

The high temperatures help pizza dough quickly transform to a perfectly chewy-but-crispy crust, all while drawing any excess moisture out of any sauce, cheeses & toppings you have on your pizza. The result? Crispy crust, with no sogginess. A pizza lover’s dream!

I do have a couple of tips I have learned in the 5 times I have used my pizza oven.

  • Use only quality ingredients – I make my own dough and sauce and boy does it make a difference!
  • Use a wood pizza peel to put the pizza in the oven and the metal one to pull it out
  • Do not multi task when you are making the pizzas, they take 60 seconds and every 20 seconds you turn the pie in the oven
  • The less toppings the better. Since this cooks quickly you need you keep the toppings light
  • Try new things! I created a Flammkuchen style pizza that is the 💣
  • It is not just for pizza! With a cast iron pan you can look steaks and chicken in it too!

The cost. My Ooni koda cost me 499$ CDN plus tax. I would say it was the best money I ever spent.

Pizza dough, sauce and recipes coming soon!!

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

I don’t know about you but I love a good cheese ball as part of a charcuterie board. I know it sounds bit retro but I don’t care.

They are creamy, and tasty and SO easy to make. You can whip this up in 10 minutes. I prefer letting it set overnight so the flavours come together but I have also been known to eat this straight out of the bowl… this is a judgement free zone 😉

Here is what you need:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sharp cheddar cheese shredded / of old white cheddar
  • 1 cup dried cranberries chopped and divided
  • 1 cup pecans chopped and toasted 
  • 1/4 cup chives or green onions chopped (I prefer chives)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp of seasoning salt 
  1. To Toast Pecans: Pre-heat oven to 375F. Place chopped pecans on a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes or until aromatic. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, cheddar cheese, ½ toasted pecans, ½ cup dried cranberries, chive or green onion, seasoning salt and garlic powder until well combined.
  3. Place mixture in the center of a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and cover completely with wrap while forming it into a ball shape. Place in fridge until ready to serve.
  4. Just before serving, combine remaining ½ cup pecans, ½ dried cranberries, and 2 tablespoon chives on a flat surface or cutting board. Unwrap the ball and roll in cranberry-pecan mixture.
  5. Serve with anything and devour! 

Love me some bagels!

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Continuing my pandemic weigh gain I deciding to dabble in bagel making. They are crazy easy to make and even easier to eat. Make these today!

NEW YORK-STYLE BAGEL RECIPE
Makes: 8 medium-sized bagels
Total Time: ~2 hours

Optional Toppings: Everything seasoning, poppy seeds, or sesame seeds. (Everyone in my house prefers plain bagels, so I went with 3 Everything and 5 plain) 😉

Preparation:1. In ½ cup /120ml of the warm water, pour in the sugar and yeast. Do not stir. Let it sit for five minutes, and then stir the yeast and sugar mixture, until it all dissolves in the water.

Ingredients:
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 ½ tablespoons (4 ½ teaspoons) granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups / 300ml warm water
3 ½ cups (500g) bread flour or AP flour what I used (you will need extra for kneading)
1 ½ teaspoons salt

2. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast and sugar mixture.

3. Pour 1/2 cup / 90ml of the remaining warm water into the well. Mix and stir in the rest of the water as needed. Depending on where you live, you may need to add anywhere from a couple tablespoons to about ¼ cup/60ml of water. You want a moist and firm dough after you have mixed it. I had to use all the water.

4. On a floured countertop, knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Try working in as much flour as possible to form a firm and stiff dough.

5. Lightly brush a large bowl with oil and turn the dough to coat. Cover the bowl with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and let it rest for another 10 minutes.

6. Carefully divide the dough into 8 pieces (I did not have a scale so I made a ball and cut it in half and half again and again until I had 8 pieces). Shape each piece into a round. Now, take a dough ball, and press it gently against the countertop (or whatever work surface you’re using) moving your hand and the ball in a circular motion pulling the dough into itself while reducing the pressure on top of the dough slightly until a perfect dough ball forms. Repeat with 7 other dough rounds.

7. Coat a finger in flour, and gently press your finger into the center of each dough ball to form a ring. Stretch the ring to about ⅓ the diameter of the bagel and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Repeat the same step with the remaining dough.

8. After shaping the dough rounds and placing them on the cookie sheet or granite or wooden board, cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF.

9. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Reduce the heat. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to lower the bagels into the water. Boil as many as you are comfortable with boiling. Once the bagels are in, it shouldn’t take too long for them to float to the top (a couple seconds). Let them sit there for 1 minute, and them flip them over to boil for another minute.

10. If you want to top your bagels with stuff, do so as you take them out of the water. I didn’t brush them with egg wash I just sprinkled on and voila!

11. Once all the bagels have boiled (and have been topped with your choice of toppings), transfer them to a lightly oiled baking sheet or in my case I oiled the parchment paper on my baking sheet.

12. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown. I rotated the pan 1/2 way through.

13. Cool on a wire rack… or if you are my kids tear one open slather it with butter or schmear it with cheese cream and devour it.

Enjoy putting on the pandemic pounds !

The Bomb Banoffee Pie 🤤

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Description

Banoffee pie is an English dessert pie made from bananas, cream and toffee, combined either on a buttery biscuit base or one made from crumbled biscuits and butter.

In simple terms it is a pie that is freaking delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 5 Tablespoons (72g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup (67g) granulated sugar
  • 1 and 1/4 cups dulce de leche**
  • 2 large bananas, sliced

Whipped Cream

  • 2 cups (480ml) cold heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar or granulated sugar*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • optional toppings: chocolate shavings, chopped nuts, or toffee bits for garnish

**

What is Dulce de Leche?

Dulce de leche is similar to caramel, but a little sweeter and creamier. It’s prepared by slowly heating sugar and milk until everything caramelizes. If we’re getting all scientific, I learned that a lot of the flavor comes from the Maillard reaction. Interesting! Dulce de lecheis Spanish for candy made/of milk. There are a few ways to prepare dulce de leche including:

  1. The classic method of cooking down and constantly stirring milk and sugar
  2. The shortcut method of cooking sweetened condensed milk

We’re using the shortcut method today, Both are delicious!

You need 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, a non stick frying pan, spatula and patience.

Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk into a non stick frying pan. Put heat on medium and stir with a spatula. You want the milk turn into a deep caramel colour that we will use for the banoffee pie. This whole process will take anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Whatever you do don’t stop stiring it! You can also do it on medium low heat too. This is a marathon not a sprint.


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. If you’re starting out with full-sheet graham crackers, you can use a food processor or blender to grind them up. Or crush them in a zipped top bag with a rolling pin. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl until combined. The mixture will be thick, coarse, and sandy. Press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Make sure it is tight and compact. Use the bottom of a flat measuring cup to press it down tightly. Bake the crust for 15-16 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes (and up to 2 days) before adding the layers. Meanwhile, make the whipped cream. (Next step.)
  3. For the whipped cream: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium peaks form, about 3-4 minutes. Medium peaks are between soft/loose peaks and stiff peaks and are the perfect consistency for topping and piping on desserts.
  4. Spread dulce de leche on top of the crust. Arrange banana slices in 1-2 layers on top of the dulce de leche, then spread whipped cream on top.
  5. Refrigerate pie uncovered for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Garnish with toppings before serving, if desired.
  6. Cover and store leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It won’t last 5 days…. just sayin’.

Putting on the Pandemic Pounds Cinnamon Buns

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Big, fluffy, soft and absolutely delicious. I have to admit I’m not much of a baker. I prefer to wing it in the kitchen, but with baking you can’t do that.

This recipe is pretty fool proof however! It takes a while though… from start to finish you are looking at about 3 hours or so. On a rainy day these are perfect to make!

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • ¾ cup warm milk (whole milk or 2% preferred) (110 degrees F)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons quick rise or active yeast (1/4-ounce package yeast)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup salted butter, melted
  • 3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling:
  • 2/3 cup dark brown sugar (light brown sugar also works)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • For the cream cheese frosting:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Warm milk to around 110 degrees F. I like to do this by placing milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwaving it for 40-45 seconds. It should be like warm bath water. Transfer warm milk to the bowl of an electric mixer and sprinkle yeast on top. Add in sugar, egg, egg yolk and melted butter. Mix until well combined. Next stir in flour and salt with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form.
  2. Place dough hook on stand mixer and knead dough on medium speed for 8 minutes. Dough should form into a nice ball and be slightly sticky. If it’s TOO sticky (meaning it’s sticking to the bottom of the mixer, add in 2 tablespoons more flour.) If you don’t want to use an electric mixer, you can use your hands to knead the dough for roughly 8 minutes on a well-floured surface.
  3. Transfer dough ball to a well-oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel. Allow dough to rise for 1 hour to 1 ½ hours, or until doubled in size. This may more or less time depending the humidity and temperature in your home.
  4. After dough has doubled in size, transfer dough to a well-floured surface and roll out into a 14×9 inch rectangle. Spread softened butter over dough, leaving a ¼ inch margin at the far side of the dough.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar and cinnamon. Use your hands to sprinkle mixture over the buttered dough, then rub the brown sugar mixture into the butter.
  6. Tightly roll dough up, starting from the 9-inch side and place seam side down making sure to seal the edges of the dough as best you can. You will probably need to cut off about an inch off the ends of the dough as the ends won’t be as full of cinnamon sugar as we’d want it to be.
  7. Cut into 1 inch sections with a serrated knife or floss. You should get 9 -12 large pieces.. I got 10 🤷‍♀️
  8. Place cinnamon rolls in a greased 9×13 inch baking pan or round 9 inch cake pan. (I also recommend lining the pan with parchment paper as well, in case any of the filling ends up leaking out.) Cover with plastic wrap and a warm towel and let rise again for 30-45 minutes.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees or 325 convection bake F. Remove plastic wrap and towel and bake cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes or until just slightly golden brown on the edges. You want to underbake them a little so they stay soft in the middle, that’s why we want them just slightly golden brown. Allow them to cool for 5-10 minutes before frosting. Makes 9-12 cinnamon rolls.
  10. To make the frosting: In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Spread over cinnamon rolls and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Scones

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These Best Ever Vanilla Bean Scones are the perfect homemade coffee shop treat for vanilla lovers! Follow all my pro tips for making the best flaky scones!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 vanilla bean or you can use 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter COLD and grated
  • 3/4 cup cream – I used heavy but you can use coffee cream
  • 1 egg

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Start by sifting the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a clean, dry bowl using a sieve or sifter. Tap the sieve against the palm of your hand until all the dry ingredients have passed through it and you’re left with the lumps. Push the lumps through the sieve with your finger tips.
  • Next, slice a vanilla bean down the centre lengthwise using a paring knife. Skip this step if you are using vanilla bean paste or extract
  • Open it up and scrape out as many of the teeny tiny vanilla bean seeds as you can using the back edge of your knife.
  • Even after you’ve scraped out all the vanilla seeds you can, don’t throw away the rest of the bean! Put it in your sugar container for vanilla sugar.
  • Add the vanilla bean seeds to the flour mixture and blend in using a whisk. Try your best to break up the clumps of vanilla bean seeds, but if there are a few tiny clumps left that’s ok. The vanilla bean seeds will probably disappear into the flour mixture, but don’t worry. They’ll become visible again once the wet ingredients are added.
  • In a liquid measuring cup, measure the cream and add the egg. Whisk together using a fork and set aside.
  • The next few steps should be done quickly, as you’re working with cold butter and you want the butter to be as cold as possible when it hits the heat of the oven. This will result in a flaky scone, rather than a heavy and dense one.
  • Grate your butter, right from the fridge, into little pieces and dump it into the flour mixture.
  • Using your hands (wash them well first and remove any rings), pick up handfuls of the butter and flour mixture, rubbing the pieces of butter and the flour between the heels of your hands to create “sheets” of butter. You should act quickly here, and don’t allow the pieces of butter to sit in your hands for any length of time as the heat from your hands will cause it to soften. The goal is to create paper-thin pieces of butter, small and large throughout the mixture. Once there are no thick chunks of butter remaining, only thin sheets, remove your hands from the mixture. Hands equal heat, so handle the mixture as little as possible.
  • Pour in the wet ingredients and mix roughly with a fork. Do not over mix, or the result will be heavy and dense. Once the wet ingredients have been incorporated but there are still several streaks of flour, turn the dough out onto a clean and floured counter surface. Press the dough down into the counter and then fold one half over the other half like you are folding a piece of paper. Press down again and make another fold. Repeat this 2 or 3 more times, gathering any outlying dough bits and flour into your folds. Don’t knead the dough like you would if you were making bread, and don’t stir or mix the dough like you would if you were making muffins. Scones are technically a pastry, so the goal is flaky layers that are created by the thin sheets of butter and all the folding.
  • Once your dough is formed after folding several times, shape it into a 10-inch rectangle (approximately).
  • Again, be careful not to handle the dough too much, so a few little cracks here and there are fine. I sometimes sneak in a few mini chocolate chips for Holly into 1/2 the batch. 😉
  • Cut the rectangle into 12 squares with a very sharp knife
  • Arrange the squares on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 18-22 minutes. I usually set the timer and start watching them after about 16 minutes. You want them to stay nice and white and not get too brown, especially on the narrow end of the triangle.
  • Remove them from the oven when they’re just barely golden brown on the bottom and the surface of the scones lose their shine. Let them cool for 3-5 minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Eat and enjoy !

Cranberry Pecan Cheese Ball

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I don’t know about you but I love a good cheese ball as part of a charcuterie board. I know it sounds bit retro but I don’t care.

They are creamy, and tasty and SO easy to make. You can whip this up in 10 minutes. I prefer letting it set overnight so the flavours come together but I have also been known to eat this straight out of the bowl… this is a judgement free zone 😉

Here is what you need:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sharp cheddar cheese shredded / of old white cheddar
  • 1 cup dried cranberries chopped and divided
  • 1 cup pecans chopped and toasted 
  • 1/4 cup chives or green onions chopped (I prefer chives)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp of seasoning salt 
  1. To Toast Pecans: Pre-heat oven to 375F. Place chopped pecans on a baking tray and bake for 5 minutes or until aromatic. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, cheddar cheese, ½ toasted pecans, ½ cup dried cranberries, chive or green onion, seasoning salt and garlic powder until well combined.
  3. Place mixture in the center of a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper and cover completely with wrap while forming it into a ball shape. Place in fridge until ready to serve.
  4. Just before serving, combine remaining ½ cup pecans, ½ dried cranberries, and 2 tablespoon chives on a flat surface or cutting board. Unwrap the ball and roll in cranberry-pecan mixture.
  5. Serve with anything and devour!