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.
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
1 1/2 cups nut butter (I usually use 1/2 almond and 1/2 peanut butter)
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!
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.
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
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.
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.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, and vanilla until just combined.
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.)
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.
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.
The wrapped pound cake will keep for several days (it will never last the long) at room temperature, for one week when refrigerated.
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.
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 orschmear it with cheese cream and devour it.
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!
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
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:
The classic method of cooking down and constantly stirring milk and sugar
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.
Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
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.)
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.
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.
Refrigerate pie uncovered for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Garnish with toppings before serving, if desired.
Cover and store leftover pie in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It won’t last 5 days…. just sayin’.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cut into 1 inch sections with a serrated knife or floss. You should get 9 -12 large pieces.. I got 10 🤷♀️
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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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 !
When you live in Ottawa, and it’s the winter and it’s cold than Mars (true story) I crave soup. This delicious Italian Wedding soup always makes feel cozy and warm. Italian wedding soup is a combination of a killer broth, mini tasty meatballs, a small pasta, veggies and greens.
I honestly adore soup. I love it for lunch with a piece of crusty bread and it makes a great appetizer before dinner. My youngest Holly loves this soup (she loves meat) my oldest Chloe avoids meat like the plague, so I wanted to create a version that would appeal to both kids. Chloe just eats hers minus the meatballs.
This soup is made on the stove 🙂 sorry Instant Pot lovers this is old school 🙂 This soup will keep in your fridge for 5 days and freezes superbly well. Rolling the meatballs are the most time consuming part of this recipe so if you have child labor kids to assist you, use it.
Ingredients for Pork Meatballs (can be done ahead of time and frozen):
1pound ground pork (makes a tender meatball, but you can also use beef)
1/2cuponion, finely diced (about 1/2 medium onion)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced (or use a rasp)
~3liters chicken broth – organic if you can (or homemade… I don’t have time for that though :)…)
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1cup orzo, seme di Melone or acini di pepi
1poundfresh tender spinach
2 tablespoons finely diced mixed herbs
In a large bowl, mix together pork, onion, garlic, Parmesan cheese, salt, bread crumbs, herbs, and egg until combined
Shape into tiny bite-sized meatballs, roughly 1/2 inch in diameter; place onto parchment covered cookie sheet and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use. Luckily if you live in Canada during the winter you can put these babies outside to freeze while you prepare your broth 🙂 * Refrigerating is important as it will keep them from falling apart in the soup. You need a minimum of 30 mins to set up.
In a large stock pot, melt butter; add onion, carrots, and garlic. Saute until tender, but not soft (about 5 minutes)
Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Turn to simmer, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
Taste and season with salt and pepper, to taste
Drop meatballs into broth; cook 7 minutes. Add pasta of your choice and cook 5 minutes
Add herbs and simmer for 30 minutes to meld flavours, adding more broth, if needed. Add spinach for the last few minutes.
Serve with crusty bread, or garlic bread (my kids favourite) and top with additional Parmesan cheese. I also love to add a bit of Sriracha to my soup too.
I am officially obsessed with my Instant Pot. My pulled pork was a big test because I swear by using my slow cooker for 12 hours to make the “perfect” pulled pork. I saw pork shoulder bone in on sale at the store today so I picked one up for 18$ for 3 kilos. A steal!
Prep is the same, but instead of taking 12 hours in a slow cooker however I had pulled pork on the table in 75 minutes!
Here is what you need:
3 kilos of pork shoulder bone in (remove the skin and slice into fist full chunks)
Dry rub – start with 2/3 cup but you may need more (I use my own rub but you can buy one from the store)
1 bottle beer or can of coke or root beer (not sugar free)
1 onion thinly sliced
1/4 cup bourbon
1 cup bbq sauce – I use homemade but you can use your favorite store bought BBQ sauce.
Cut the pork shoulder into fist full chunks keeping the bones.
Rub each and every pork chunk with the dry rub.
Typically I would do this 24-48 hours in advance and keep it in the fridge but today I did it all in one step.
In your instant pot press the sauté button and add a splash of oil. Add sliced onion. Sauté for 2 or 3 minutes. Add pork chunks.
Layer meat and onions, meat and onions.
Pour beer over top. If you want it gluten free don’t have a beer use root beer/coke etc. in this case I used a radler. Try to make sure the meat is evenly in the pot and mostly covered by the beer.
Put on instant pot lid.
Press meat button, set for 75 minutes and put up your feet and relax.
Fast forward ~90 mins (once instant pot is finished and done venting open the lid.)
Remove bones and discard. Shred meat with fork or tongs. The meat is like butter and just falls apart.
You will have a lot of pork juices (these are delicious and if you want to scoop out 3 cups you can use it for baked beans) reserve a good 3 cups, you will most likely have 5-6 cups of juices.
In the instant pot add back in the pork, 2-3 cups of porky juices and the bourbon and BBQ sauce. Press sauté button and cook for 5 minutes or so. You want to taste the sweet pork, not just the BBQ sauce so start with a little, you can always add more.
This made 8 cups of meat and sauce. Enough for 4 dinners. It freezes superbly well. I use it for tacos, on nachos on my famous pull pork pizza! Think about it, 4 dinners for 18$ is a great deal.