Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Gingerbread Cake Balls

I really love holiday baking... and I really, really love gingerbread! These gingerbread cake balls are super moist and have a really strong yummy gingerbread taste!

You can use either milk or white chocolate dipping wafers when doing your coating, I've done both ways and both are good. (Milk chocolate pictured).


2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
1 cup boiling water

Preheat your oven to 375 F.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and ginger, then set aside.

In a mixing bowl beat together the butter and brown sugar until creamy (about 2 minutes) Beat in the eggs and then add in the molasses until well combined. Immediately stir in the boiling water. Add in the flour mixture and mix until smooth.

Pour the batter into a 9" x 13" pan and bake for about 30 minutes.

Let the cake cool. While the cake is cooling make your cream cheese icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

2 cups icing sugar
8 oz. pkg of cream cheese

Mix the icing sugar and cream cheese together with mixer until creamy and thin (you don't want it to be thick and creamy, it should be a bit runny - you can add some cream to it if you need to 1 tbsp at a time).

Store in the fridge until the cake is cooled completely.

Crumble the cake into a large bowl and pour the icing mixture overtop. Using your hands, mix the cake and the icing together until the cake is completely saturated with icing - pop into the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Line a couple of baking sheets with wax paper.

Once the cake/icing mixture is cold, roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and place on wax paper. Put back into the fridge for about 15 minutes.

While the balls are setting, you can start your chocolate coating.

Chocolate coating

3 cups chocolate dipping wafers (milk or white - whatever you prefer)

Place a saucepan filled about a quarter of the way full with water over low heat. Place a glass bowl into the saucepan (make sure it's not completely submerged in water, it should sit so only part of the bowl is in the saucepan).

Pour your chocolate dipping wafers about 1 cup at a time into the bowl and let them melt, stirring until thin and creamy (you can add a tsp or so of shortening to help thin it if you need to).

Drop the balls into the chocolate mixture one at a time coating completely. Retrieve them with a fork letting the extra chocolate mixture drip off. Place onto wax paper and top with nutmeg or sprinkles.

Let them set in the fridge for about 30 minutes, then they're ready to eat!

Store in the fridge.



Thursday, 18 July 2013

Caprese Chicken with Gnocchi

This is my first blog post in FOREVER... I know, I know. But I have a good reason.

I've been a little down in the dumps lately in regards to cooking. My little girl is currently nursing and she's allergic to A LOT of things which means I've had to cut a lot out of my diet which really limits my cooking. When I say a lot, I mean a lot too... Milk, Soy, Egg, Nuts, Beans, Peas, Lentils, etc. So basically any kind of normal baking is not in the picture right now. She's 9 months old and I plan on weaning her to a milk alternative at 1 year, so I'll hopefully be posting a bit more come the fall... so please bare with me.

I posted a pic of tonights dinner on Instagram and a friend of mine asked for the recipe, so I figured it's a good opportunity for a blog post.

You can cook the chicken any way you'd like to, me personally I BBQ'd it... so that's what I'm going say to do for this recipe.

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt and Pepper (to taste)
3 Tbsp EVOO
3 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes (cut in half)
1/2 Cup (loosely packed) Torn Basil Leaves
1/2 Cup Shredded Mozza Cheese
1 Pkg Gnocchi

Cook the chicken breasts however you prefer (I BBQ'd ours... or rather my hubby did!).

While your chicken is cooking, in a large skillet heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the minced garlic and saute until fragrant (a few minutes).

Add in the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes until the skin on the tomatoes starts getting wrinkled. Add in the torn basil and cook for another minute or so. Then move your tomato mixture to the side of the pan. Reduce the heat to low.

Boil your gnocchi. The nice thing about gnocchi is that it only take about 2 minutes to cook. Once they all float to the top you're done! Drain the gnocchi and set aside.

Add in your chicken breasts, top with about 2 tbsp of shredded mozza cheese (I used vegan cheese for this due to my dietary restrictions.. but I used real cheese for my hubby's). Spoon about 1 - 2 tbsp of the tomato mixture on top of each chicken breast, cover with a lid and let sit for a few minutes until the cheese is nice and melted. You'll have lots of leftover tomato mixture.. don't worry.. that goes with the gnocchi.

Remove the chicken breasts and turn the heat back up to medium-high, then add the cooked gnocchi to the skillet. Saute the gnocchi for about 4-5 minutes until it's a little bit browned, mixing it together with the leftover tomato mixture.

Plate you're meal and voila!! You're done! Easy as that.. this whole meal took all of about 20 minutes to make. :)



Sunday, 3 March 2013

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Soup

This is a great soup for a cold snowy day.. creamy, delicious and healthy!

1 tbsp canola oil
1 small onion chopped
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
1 pound butternut squash peeled and cubed
1 pound sweet potato peeled and cubed
1 medium potato
4 cups of chicken stock
2 cups of water
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a stock pot and add the onion and cook until tender, add in the minced ginger and cook until fragrant (about a minute). Add the sweet potato, squash, potato, chicken stock and water and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until sweet potato, squash and potato are tender.

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth (if you don't have an immersion blender you can do it in the blender in batches).

Add salt to taste and you're done, easy as that!



Saturday, 16 February 2013

Corn and Black Bean Salad

I was always looking for a nice side dish to go along with my enchilada recipe  and this salad turned out to be perfect!! It's super healthy, super yummy and super easy to make!

2 cups canned black beans (drained)
1 1/2 cups corn niblets
1 1/2 cups diced tomato
1 cup diced bell peppers
1 1/2 medium avacados, diced
1/3 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
3 tbsp Presidents Choice green onion/cilantro/avacado salad dressing
(If you don't live in Canada and don't have Superstore, you can use 1 lime (juiced), 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper for dressing instead).

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, top with the avacado dressing and toss until well coated. Let sit in the fridge for about a half hour or so before serving to let the flavors mingle!

Easy as that!



Sunday, 10 February 2013

Cookie Dough Fudge

I was craving something super sweet this week, so this weekend we were headed over to a friends house and I decided to make some cookie dough fudge to bring along!

It turned out awesome!! Perfectly gooey, perfectly yummy!

This was super easy and very quick to make!


1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Line a 9" x 9" pan with parchment paper.

Cream together the butter and the sugar until well combined. Add in the vanilla. Then add in the flour 1 cup at a time until well mixed.

Beat in the sweetened condensed milk and mix until well combined. Add in the chocolate chips and pour into the pan.

Put into the fridge overnight to set. When ready to serve cut it up into bite size pieces.

Store uneaten fudge in the fridge.... although you might not have any uneaten fudge.. haha!



Spaghetti Squash Boats

Since I had my sweet little baby I've been looking for ideas for healthy meals since I'm back on Weight Watchers (and I'm happy to say I've already gotten back to my pre-baby weight!!). The skinnytaste blog is great and she posts WW points + values which is awesome.

I got the idea for these from her recipe. They turned out fantastic and I'll definitely be making these again!

1 medium sized spaghetti squash
2 chicken breasts (cut into chunks and cooked)
oregano/salt/pepper for taste
2 cups Light shredded mozza cheese
2 cups marinara sauce

Start by cutting a slice into the spaghetti squash (this is so it doesn't explode when you microwave it). Pop it into the microwave for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Put the halves onto a cookie sheet cut side up. Top each half with the chicken breasts, seasonings, 1 cup of marinara each followed by 1 cup each of cheese.

Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, once they're done cooking let them cool for about 5 minutes and you're done! Eat right out of the squash, the inside is like noodles only much healthier.



Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Pesto Chicken with Tomato and Mozza

I was looking for things to do with the recent pesto recipe I made and I got an idea from this recipe on Skinnytaste. I like to cook healthy, but I also prefer breaded chicken over unbreaded, so I  whipped up my own version! Turned out great!

2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup pesto
2/3 cup shredded mozza cheese
4 slices of tomato
2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
sprinkle of oregano
1 egg, well beaten

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Mix together the panko breadcrumbs, parm cheese, salt, pepper and oregano in a shallow dish.

Coat the chicken breast in egg and dip in the panko breadcrumb mixture coating well on all sides. Lay on baking sheet.

Bake chicken for about 30 - 35 minutes or until no longer pink inside.

Take chicken out of the oven, quickly drop 2 tbsp of pesto on each chicken breast, top with 2 slices of tomato and 1/3 cup shredded mozza. Then pop back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Easy as that!!! Serve up alongside your favorite veggies or pasta.



Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Butter Tarts

This is a really quick easy recipe for very yummy butter tarts.. nice and gooey!

24 frozen tart shells
1 can low fat sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup corn syrup
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1 egg, well beaten
Pinch of cinnamon
2/3 cup golden raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Arrange tart shells on baking sheets and let thaw for 10 minutes.

Whisk together all ingredients aside from raisins and pour into tart shells. Drop raisins into the butter tart mixture in each tart shell (I do it this way because the raisins seem to sink to the bottom and don't pour as evenly if you stir them right into the batter).

Bake for 18 minutes or until middle is set and pastry is golden.



Source: Adapted from Eagle Brand Foods

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Presto! It's Pesto!!

First of all, I have to say my husband would like to take credit for the title of this blog post! Haha!

I got a food processor for Christmas which I was VERY excited about. So I promptly whipped up this easy pesto recipe! I swapped out the traditional pine nuts for hazelnuts (I was feeling Christmassy) and it turned out great! You can use any type of nut you like though.

2 cups of fresh basil leaves (packed)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup hazelnuts
3 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper

|*If you're using a larger nut like I did with the hazelnuts, you'll want to put the nuts in first and pulse a few times to get them into a bit smaller pieces before adding in your basil leaves.

Start by combining the nuts and basil leaves in the food processor and pulse a few times. Add in the garlic and pulse again.

Run the food processor on low, while slowly adding in the olive oil in a constant stream. Add in the parmesan cheese and pulse until blended. Add in a bit of salt and pepper for taste, pulse a few times more and ta-da! You are done!!!

Coat a pasta noodle of your choice with your pesto or add it to pizza or chicken or bread, etc. Get creative and enjoy!!


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Prosciutto and Provolone Wrapped Asparagus

We had some prosciutto wrapped asparagus this summer at a friends house when we went over there for dinner and it was delicious! We were browsing at the Italian market and I decided to make this dish, but added a twist of my own, provolone cheese!!

This turned out amazing.. it was a great little appetizer, perfect prelude to a nice pasta dinner! If you've had prosciutto before you know it can be very salty. I've included a bit of salt to the coating I gave my asparagus, but I love salt, so if you don't like it as salty just eliminate it from the asparagus coating.

12 Asparagus stalks
12 pieces of thinly sliced provolone cheese
12 pieces of thinly sliced prosciutto
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
A dash of salt
A dash of oregano

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Start by putting the asparagus into a large bowl and drizzle it with EVOO. Add in a dash of oregano and a dash of salt (since prosciutto is already very salty, you can eliminate this salt if you don't like it that salty). Make sure the asparagus is very well coated.

Wrap each stalk of asparagus with one piece of provolone cheese, then wrap a piece of prosciutto around the asparagus and provolone.

Lay on a baking sheet side by side and bake for about 15 minutes in the oven. Let sit for a minute or 2 before transferring to a tray and serving.



Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Taco Pierogies

Ever have leftover taco meat that you don't know what to do with? I'd always find after a taco night we'd always have leftover taco meat but no more shells.

I decided to use some of our leftover taco meat with pierogies one night and it turned out fantastic!! It was super quick and easy to make.

This recipe only makes 2 servings. If you want it to feed more, you'll have to make more taco meat instead of using leftovers like I do.

Taco meat (about 1 cup)
12 cheese and potato pierogies
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup guacamole

Boil the pierogies as per normal cooking instructions and drain.

Heat up the taco meat in a skillet over medium heat. Add in the sour cream and pierogies, stir together and let the mixture heat up for a couple minutes.

Serve up 6 pierogies in each serving and top with 1/4 cup of salsa and a 1/4 cup of guacamole.