Tuesday, 2 December 2014

French Onion Soup


I love french onion soup.. and this recipe NAILS it!! Like, I'm talking restaurant quality french onion soup. I was SO impressed with how this turned out - and it was really easy to make!


1/2 Cup Butter
4 Medium Sized Onions Sliced Thin
2 Cloves of Minced Garlic
1/4 Tsp Ground Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 Tsp Salt
A Dash of Ground Black Pepper 
3 (10 oz.) Cans of Beef Consomme
1 1/4 Cup Beef Broth
1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
6 Thick Slices of French Bread (Cut 2 of those slices in half so you have 4)
2 Cups Shredded Kraft Italiano Cheese

Melt the butter in a stock pot, add in the onions, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and salt and pepper.

Cook that mixture, stirring often until the onions are soft and caramelized (about 30 minutes).

Add in your beef consomme, beef broth and vinegar. Simmer for another 30 minutes.

Broil your bread for a couple minutes, flipping once until they are nice and toasty (I butted mine a little bit and added my herbed garlic sea salt).  Remove the bread once it's toasted, but keep the broiler on.

Remove the bay leaf, and ladle your soup into 4 oven safe serving bowl (or french onion soup bowls, if you have them). Place a slice and a half of french bread into each bowl and top with 1/2 cup of cheese.

Broil for about 5 minutes until the cheese is nice and bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for a minute or so (it'll be super hot - obviously).

Enjoy!!


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Christmas Crack


This stuff is amazing.. it's no wonder they call it Christmas Crack!! I can't get enough, it's addictive and is hands down my favorite thing that I've made in all the Christmas baking I've done this year!!

And best of all - it's SO easy to make!!


1 Sleeve of Saltine Crackers (approx)
1 Cup Butter
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Cups Chocolate Chips
1/4 Cup Toffee Baking Bits
1/3 Cup Christmas M&M's

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

Line a pan with tinfoil sprayed with Pam (or any kind of oil spray) and place crackers, salt side up on the tray - you may have to cut some in half to get them to fill the entire tray properly.

In a saucepan, melt the butter, then add the brown sugar. Bring it to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes whisking constantly. Once the sauce has thickened a bit, pour it over the saltines (spread around with a spatula to coat all the crackers).

Bake for about 5 minutes until it is bubbling. Take the tray out of the oven and pour chocolate chips evenly over your crackers. Pop back into the oven for about 2 minutes.

Take the pan out of the oven - the chocolate chips should be very soft. Use a spatula to spread the chocolate around to coat the cracker/brown sugar layers completely.

Immediately scatter your toffee bits and M&M's over the chocolate layer and place pan into the fridge to set.

Once the layers have all set and are solid, you can peel the tinfoil off the underside and break the Christmas Crack into pieces.

I dare you not to get addicted. 

Enjoy!!


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Turtle Cookies


These Cookies are SO good.. like crazy good!! If you love turtles, you'll love these cookies!




 Cookies
 1 Cup Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Butter (softened)
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 Egg Yolk (separate and keep egg white in another bowl plus 1 additional egg white)
2 Tbsp Milk
1 Tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Pecans (finely chopped - I put mine in my magic bullet)

Caramel Filling
20 Soft Caramels (I used Kraft Caramels)
3 Tbsp Heavy Cream

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Combine your flour, cocoa and salt - set aside.

Cream together your butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in your egg yolk, milk and vanilla and mix until well combined. Slowly add in your flour mixture.

Wrap your dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about an hour, or until firm.

Whisk your egg whites in a bowl, and place chopped pecans into another bowl.

Roll your dough into 1" balls, dip in egg whites, followed by pecans and place on a greased baking sheet (I just spray mine with Pam). Using a tsp to put an indent in the center of the cookie.

Bake for 12 minutes. Once they are done and removed from the oven, use your tsp to make the center indent again (just deep enough to hold some caramel).

While your cookies are cooling, make your caramel filling by microwaving your caramels and heavy cream for a couple minutes (stir after 1 minute).

Fill each cookie with about 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of caramel sauce. Let that set for a few minutes before transferring to your racks to cool.

Enjoy!

 Recipe adapted from: The Kitchen is my Playground





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Chocolate Peppermint Blossoms


Here is another recipe that was made with the help of some American goodies!! Peppermint cream filled Hershey's Kisses! You can sub out the peppermint kisses we get here too if you want, and I saw some mint ones at Wal-Mart.


1 1/2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cups Cocoa
1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp salt
1/2 Cup Butter
1 1/4 Cups Sugar
3 Eggs
1/2 Tsp Vanilla
1 Tsp Peppermint Extract
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar (for rolling)
Peppermint Hershey's Kisses (I used about a bag and a half and I think I made about 40 cookies)

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt - set aside.

Pour your powdered sugar into a small bowl and set aside. 

Cream together your butter and sugar until fluffy. Then beat in the eggs and extracts until combined. Slowly add the flour mixture until well combined.

Chill the dough for about an hour.

Once the dough is more firm, roll into 1" balls and roll them in the powdered sugar.  Place them onto cookies sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake for about 12 minutes. Once baked, let them cool for a couple of minutes before pressing your kiss into the center. To keep the kiss from melting, you can pop the trays into the fridge or freezer for a few minutes too - with my really melty ones, I added another kiss on top of the melted one (I bought a lot, so I had kisses to spare!).

Enjoy!


 Recipe Source: Bake@350




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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cheesy Conies with Broccoli and Chicken

Don't ask me why I call them Conies...  my family has just always called them that. I think it probably stems back to being a kid and not being able to pronounce macaroni and they came out "conies". I'll have to ask my mom to know for sure... haha! But in our house, shell macaroni is called conies.

This was pretty quick and easy to whip up for dinner and it was yummy, and most importantly - kid approved!!


2 chicken breasts (cooked and diced into bite size pieces)
2.5 (dry) cups of shell macaroni
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 cup onion (diced)
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
2.5 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Boil your conies for about 8 minutes, then add your broccoli florets and boil for another 2 minutes. (You'll be making your sauce while these are boiling). Once done, set aside until sauce is complete.

Put your butter into a deep skillet over medium heat, then add your onion and let it cook and get soft for a few minutes. Add the flour to the butter/onion mixture until the onions are coated completely - let that cook for another minute or two. Add in the milk to make your roux. Stir with a wire whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add in your salt and pepper and let this simmer to thicken up.

When it's thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add in your cheese. Stir until the cheese is fully melted.

Stir in the conie/broccoli mixture, add in your cooked chicken and voila! Cheesy conies with broccoli and chicken!

Enjoy!!

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Friday, 10 October 2014

Cinnamon Cookies with Pumpkin Spice Kisses


This post is for all my American friends!!

For some reason, here in Canada we just don't have all the seasonal goodies that the states have. Fortunately, I have a friend who travels to the states on a regular basis and brings me back goodies when I ask! So I am fully stocked with pumpkin spice goodness at the moment (marshmallows, baking chips, pop tarts, coffee creamer and best of all KISSES!). I love.. like looooove pumpkin flavored everything!

Unfortunately, you can't get the pumpkin spice kisses used in this recipe here in Canada, so unless you have someone to send them to you, or you're making a trip south of the border sometime soon, you might not be able to partake in this recipe... but these cookies are pretty darn good, so they'd be alright without the pumpkin spice kisses too!


Recipe Source: Budding Baketress

1/2 cup of butter (softened)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
3 tbsp milk (if dough is too crumbly)
1/3 cup sugar (for rolling cookies in)

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Unwrap your pumpkin kisses, throw them in a bowl and put them in the freezer (this will keep them from melting when you put them on your warm cookies).

Cream together the butter and sugar, add in the vanilla and eggs.

In a separate bowl sift together all the dry ingredients. Slowly add the dry mixture to the butter mixture. Once mixed, if the dough is too crumbly you can add in some milk to make it a little smoother.

Roll the dough into 1" balls, then roll in sugar. Place onto a greased cookie sheet.

Bake for about 9 minutes.

Once done baking, let the cookies cool for a few minutes and then press your kiss into the cookie.

They may melt a bit, so you can pop the whole pan into your freezer if you'd like to keep them from melting too much. I didn't do that, and I probably should have.... haha!

Enjoy!! 

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Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

This is one of the best soups I've made in a long time. I highly recommend this one. It was delicious, quick and very easy to make.



2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp oil (I like to use avocado oil)
2 cans of cream of tomato soup (I use Campbells)
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups half and half
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp italian seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 cups tortellini
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese for garnish


Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat, then toss in the garlic and saute for a few minutes until golden brown. Add in the tomato soup, tomato paste, half and half, chicken stock and spices then bring to a light boil. Once boiling, add in the tortellini and cook as per package directions.


Pour it into your bowl and garnish with parmesan cheese! So easy, and so delicious!


Enjoy!!


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Recipe source: Key Ingredient

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting

Salted.Caramel.Frosting..... need I say more?

This is hands down the best icing I've ever made... I want to put it on everything. These chocolate zucchini cupcakes are a pretty darn delicious thing to top with it! ;)



Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
2 cups flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
3/4 cup sour cream
1 cup chocolate chips

Salted Caramel Icing
3/4 cup butter
3 cups icing sugar
3/4 cup caramel sauce (I just buy mine pre-made)
Sea Salt for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Mix the vegetable oil and sugar together, add in the eggs and vanilla, then the sour cream. Add in the zucchini, then slowly add in the flour 1 cup at a time. Add in the cocoa, and spices. Once mixed well, fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon into your cupcake liners and bake for about 35 - 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before icing them.

Cream together the butter and icing sugar. Add in the caramel and mix until smooth.

Put icing into your piping bag and ice each cupcake. Once their iced you can sprinkle a little bit of sea salt onto the icing of each cupcake (I use a pink Himalayan sea salt grinder and do one grind over each cupcake).

The last time I made these, I dribbled a little bit of caramel over the icing before salting them and that was delish, but I haven't done that every time - they're good either way! :)

Enjoy!!


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Monday, 29 September 2014

Pumpkin-snap Cookie Sandwiches with Cream Cheese Icing

First off, let me say... Ohmigoshhhhh were these amazing. AMAZING. I can't wait to make another batch.. they are now my very favorite cookie.

You can make cookie sandwiches out of these babies like I did. Or you can just leave them as pumpkin-snaps.. but let me tell ya... making them into sandwiches with the cream cheese icing took them to a whole new level.

What I did, was basically took my gingersnap recipe, doubled it, subbed out half of the butter for pumpkin, tweaked a few things and voila!! Amazingness!! I promise you, you will love these.


Cookies
1.5 cups butter (softened)
1.5 cups pumpkin puree
4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup molasses
6 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp baking soda
3 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar (for rolling cookies in)

Cream Cheese Icing
16 oz. Cream Cheese
3/4 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream the butter, pumpkin puree and sugar together. Add the eggs and then the molasses and mix well. In a seperate bowl, mix the dry ingredients and slowly add them into the pumpkin mixture over a few additions.

Roll the dough into 2" balls, then roll them in your sugar and set on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2" apart (I wanted to make the cookies pretty big since they're going to be sandwiches - if you want to do smaller sandwiches, then just do 1" balls, 1" apart).

Bake for about 11 - 12 minutes, let sit on sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring them to a cookie rack to cool.

While they're cooling make your icing by combining all of the ingredients until well blended. Refrigerate the icing until you're ready to use it.

Once the cookies have cooled completely, then you can make your sandwiches. Just fill a piping bag with icing and put about 2 tbsp of icing on the underside of half your cookies, then place another cookie bottom side down against the icing on each of them and there you go! Cookie sandwiches!!

Enjoy!!


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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Santa Fe Cheesy Beef and Rice Casserole

This time of year I like comfort foods. Nothing's better than crisp fall weather and cozying up inside with a warm, satisfying meal - except for maybe a deliciously satisfying dessert... haha!

I really like mexican, tex-mex, etc. and I was looking for an easy ground beef dinner idea that wasn't boring old tacos, or spaghetti, so I whipped up this Casserole last week and it was a hit! I'll definitely be making it again.



1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, diced
3/4 cup black beans
3/4 cup niblet corn
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 cup cooked rice
1 cup beef broth
3 tbsp taco seasoning (or more if you like - I like lots).
Sour cream (to top each serving with).
2 cups shredded tex mex cheese
1/2 cup crushed up tortilla chips

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cook the ground beef thoroughly (once browned add in the onion), once beef is cooked then you can drain the grease. Add the beef broth, tomato sauce and taco seasoning and let simmer until most of the broth is absorbed (should still be a bit saucy). Add in the black beans, corn and rice and combine well. Add in 1 cup of the shredded cheese and mix through.

Pour into your casserole dish and place lid on top. Bake for about 15  minutes, then remove lid, add the remaining cheese on top and sprinkle the crushed up tortilla chips over the cheese. Bake uncovered for another 15 minutes.

Top with your desired amount of sour cream for each serving.

Enjoy!!


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Monday, 15 September 2014

Super Simple Pecan Pie

First post in a while - looks like a trend here! What can I say, I'm super busy these days and find it hard to get the time to sit down and put up blog posts. As always, I'll try to do better, but can't promise anything! ;) I'm at home sick on my couch at the moment, so whaddya know?! I have some spare time to post!

I took a crack at Pecan Pie this past week and it turned out great!! I will definitely be making this again! It's the perfect fall dessert!

And this recipe is SO easy!!


1 (9") pie Crust (or you can do homemade, I'm lazy so I bought one!)
1 1/2 cups pecan halves
3 eggs (beaten)
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp butter (melted)
1 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 F. and place your pie crust in your pie dish. Sprinkle the pecans evenly in the bottom of the pie crust.

Beat your eggs in a small bowl and set aside. Melt butter and set aside.

Combine eggs, sugars, melted butter, and mix. Add in your corn syrup, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract, whisk with your mixer until well combined.

Pour the mixture into your pie crust over your pecans, the pecans will rise to the top.

Pop in the oven and bake for about 45 - 50 minutes. You may need to cover the edges of your pie crust with tinfoil after about 20 minutes to prevent your crust from over-browning.

The middle of the pie should be a tad jiggly when you take it out. Let the pie set for about an hour and it will firm up.

Store uneaten pie in the fridge.

Enjoy!!! :)

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