Cookie Dough Truffles

I know Christmas is over, but I was being lazy and didn't get to posting these.  I think this is the last of my Christmas baking that I need to post.

These were a HUGE hit....everyone loved them.  I, once again, can thank Kari @ Beautiful Inspirations for this one.

You can print the recipe off from here.

The only changes I would suggest...

- After you roll the balls, freeze them.  This will make them much easier to dip into the chocolate.
- I added a little vegetable oil to the chocolate because so many other chocolate dipping recipes call for that.  I then used a fork to dip them into the melted chocolate.

Make sure you use mini chocolate chips in the truffle.  I did not and wish I did.  You don't want to have these cute delicious truffles and then WHAM...giant chocolate chip....doesn't work well.

I think I need to take a break from baking now for a little while.  I'm currently in a sugar coma and on my way to being diabetic.  I love Christmas!

Warm Quinoa, Spinach and Shiitake Salad

I really like this salad....Ben does not.  I think it does require a certain "taste".  It definitely won't be something everyone likes.

You can get the recipe from here.....good ol' Martha Stewart.

The only change I made was that I used cremini mushrooms instead of shiitake, because that is what I had.

Let me know if you try it and how you liked it.


White Velvet Cookies

Another good one from Kari @ Beautiful Inspirations

I know these probably look like your ordinary sugar cookie or shortbread or whatever other plain white cookies are out there.  However, I can assure these are not.  They are so good.  Just don't mess them up like I did.  Boy...did I ever mess them up.

You can print the recipe from here.

Okay so this is what I did wrong.  When I was gradually adding the flour, something seemed weird, so I reviewed the recipe and sure enough...I forgot to add the sugar.  I added it after the flour.  I think that affected the taste of the cookies because the sugar didn't probably blend in.  I also either rolled mine too thin or baked them too long, because they weren't as soft as they should have been.

Next time I think I would leave the icing white so they had more of that "winter" look to them.  I was going to pipe the icing on, but laziness got the better of me.  I'd for sure pipe the icing on for presentation purpose if I was serving these up to any company other than my family.

Either way....deliciously cream cheesey cookies.  Low fat too.


Okay...maybe not.

Coconut Rum Balls

Another super easy recipe.  I'm all about easy baking.  I'm lazy like that.

After searching through what felt like 5,284 recipes, I decided on this one.  I found it at allrecipes.

I didn't have all the ingredients on hand and I also don't like walnuts in my baking so I did make some changes.

Instead of crushed vanilla wafers I used crushed graham crackers and instead of the walnuts I used coconut.

I, also, didn't roll them in anything.  It's that lazy part of me coming through.  I think I would next time or dip them in something.  They look weird or off not being covered up.  They feel a bit naked.

Peanut Butter Snowballs

I loved these.  They are beautiful and so easy to make.  I got the recipe from a blog friend...Kari @ Beautiful Inspirations.

You can print the recipe off from here.

I only made a couple of small changes to the recipe.  I chilled the dough before rolling it into balls, so it wouldn't be such a sticky mess.  I, then, put the balls on a cookie sheet in the freezer to harden up.  After previous chocolate dipping experience, I found it was messy if I dipped into the hot melted chocolate and they weren't chilled enough.  By freezing them I found they were VERY easy to dip just using a fork.

I also added some vegetable oil to the chocolate...just a little....when melting it.  Don't ask me why.  I have just noticed most chocolate melting recipes call for this, so I did it.

Anyways...let me know if you make them!

Hot Broccoli Dip

This is so easy.  You can prepare it in the morning, cover it and keep it in the fridge until it's time to heat up and serve.

I got the recipe from Kraft Canada....so you know it's going to be simple and easy.  You can print it off from here.

There aren't really any changes I make, except I don't measure and I use whatever cheese I have on hand. 

I hope you  know you don't have to use the brand names or whatever ingredients they list.  For example...I don't use "Miracle Whip Calorie Wise Dressing", I use my mayo I have.  Keep that in mind when looking at recipes.

Anyways...I served it up with a variety of crackers.  It was a hit and there were no leftovers.


Peanut Butter Cups

Okay, so there were SO easy to make and they taste so much better than any candy you buy at the store.

Joy of Baking pulls through again with a good recipe.  You can find this one here.  I can thank a facebook friend and old high school friend for posting this on facebook months ago.  I bookmarked it and ended up browsing around their site and using quite a few of their recipes for Christmas.

Here are the changes I made...

- I just used hard margarine instead of butter
- I used vegetable oil when melting the chocolate instead of shortening.
- I wanted my tops to be as even as possible, so when I was putting the chocolate on top of the peanut butter, I found I needed about a tablespoon (recipe says to do a teaspoon).  I ended up needing to melt more chocolate.  I melted another 1/2 cup of each and it worked out perfect.
- I would also suggest putting your peanut butter in the fridge while melting the chocolate.  It'll make it easier to scoop.
- I had the perfect amount (with my chocolate addition) to make 36 of them.

Let me know if you try it.

Candy Cane Whoopie Pies

Another good one from Joy of Baking.  You can get the recipe from here.

These are so good!!  I made mine WAY too big and when I served them up the other night, I ended up cutting them all in half.  If you make these, make them bit size.  They puff up quite a bit in the oven, so don't worry about keeping them small when you're putting them on the cookie sheet.  

The recipe says to "drop heaping tablespoons" so that's what I did.  Don't.  I would do half the size next time.

The recipe also calls for "dutch processed" cocoa.  I didn't really want to go buy something when I had a full thing of regular cocoa, so I did some research on the internet and found that you can use regular cocoa if you also add it with baking soda.  They say 3 tbsp of cocoa to 1/8 tsp of baking soda.  Me, being the rule breaker I am, just added some baking soda without really measuring.  Maybe that's why my cookies were so big?  I don't know.

Anyways...they were a hit.


Peppermint Patties

Okay so here is what the picture of them look like on their webpage....

Here are what mine look like...

Here is my attempt at "staging" a good photo of them...

I want to know how they got theirs too look so nice.  Either way...these actually do taste good.  Just like those ones you can buy in the store.  And ignoring how they look, they were easy to make.

I got the recipe from here.

The only change I made was with the chocolate coating.  They said to use shortening with the chocolate to melt it, but I used vegetable oil instead.

Here are my suggestions and what I would do different for next time...

They say to "lightly dust the foil with icing sugar" (to prevent them from sticking)...I say do more than "lightly dust"...these suckers are a sticky  mess.  Also it says to flatten each ball with the palm of your hand...make sure your palm has icing sugar on it...sticky sticky sticky.


I don't know if you can freeze the peppermint filling part, but if you can, I would...after you've shaped the patties.  I'm a baking rookie, so I don't know these things.  I found they melted as soon as they hit the hot melted chocolate coating, which made them fall apart and hard to deal with.

Make them smaller and thicker.  I think I made mine too big and too thin....maybe that's why they melted  when I was trying to coat them.

Let me know if you try them and how yours turn out.

2012 UPDATE:  Made them for the third time this weekend.  I used wax paper to line the baking sheet and still lots of icing sugar. We made the dough and put it in the fridge for about an hour.  Then we rolled them into a ball and slightly flattened them.  None are bigger than a quarter and we kept them sort of thick.  We left those in the freezer overnight.  The next morning, we only pulled a few out at a time to dip in the chocolate.  They turned out to be a perfect sized treat!

Peppermint Bark

These are too easy.  It makes a small batch (8x8 pan), so you might want to double it if you're entertaining or bringing them somewhere.

You can print the recipe off from here.

Let me know if you try it!

2013 UPDATE:  This was our 4th year making these.  We don't use a recipe at all any more because we always have melted chocolate left over from our other baking.  When all our baking is done (we do one big baking weekend and that's it for Christmas) we take the melted chocolate and depending on how much we have left, we just pour it onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Let it set in the freezer.  Oh and feel free to get creative with your toppings....use whatever you have on hand.  We always have left over crushed candy canes, but coconut would work well too.  

Soft Gingersnaps

Oh my are these good!  I love Starbuck's Ginger Molasses cookie and this is the closest I've ever tasted to it.  They were soft...they have the perfect amount of spices so they aren't too sweet....I love them.

I got it from allrecipes...you can print it off from here.

I followed the recipe exactly...except the salt.  I only had salted butter, so I just omitted it from the recipe.  I found in my oven they took exactly 9.5 minutes to be perfect.  You don't want to pull them out before they crack on the top.  They probably won't look done, but they are if they are cracking.  Mine flattened as they cooled.  Even 2 days later, they are still perfectly soft.

A new favorite recipe for sure!


Christmas Baking

I've only attempted "Christmas Baking" once.  Years ago.  We needed practice.  It wasn't pretty.

Only this year have I started to enjoy baking, so I thought I might try this "Christmas Baking" again instead of just mooching off my mom.

I want to try some things she wouldn't make, so we can share our goods.  My mom does a lot of traditional Christmas baking...which I love. 

I'm having a hard time deciding what to do.  Here is what I have so far...

Rum Balls courtesy of Martha Stewart

Peanut Butter Cups courtesy of Joy of Baking

Peppermint Bark courtesy of Joy of Baking

Peppermint Patties courtesy of Joy of Baking

Peppermint Whoopie Pies courtesy of Joy of Baking

Here's my problem.  You probably noticed they are ALL chocolate.  I'd like to step out of my chocolate box and try something else...but what?  I love soft chewy ginger molasses cookies (especially Starbucks), but there are so many recipes out there...where do I even start at finding the right one?

I'd also like to make homemade marshmallows but I don't have a candy thermometer.  Yes, I could easily go out and buy one, but I just don't want to right now.

I don't like nuts in baking, so any of those recipes are out of the question.

Do you have some recipes or suggestions for me?

Please...help a sistah out.


French Dip

I made this last week.  It was so good! By far, one of the best I've ever had or made.

You can find the recipe here.

My only suggestion is to cut back on the salt.  I wouldn't salt the roast before, it was a tad on the salty side.

Also, even if you're not a beer drinker, you have to trust me on this...you don't taste the beer. 

I toasted the buns with provolone cheese first and then added the meat. 

Make sure you use the juice to dip your sandwich in!!

Ham and Asparagus Crepes with Hollandaise Sauce

Okay so there is no real recipe for this.  I sort of made it up, I think.

I roasted my asparagus in the oven first.  You could also grill or boil it or however you like it.

I also made a basic crepe recipe, but omitted the sugar and the vanilla and added some grainy mustard to it.

Then I put some ham and aspargus in the crepe...

...rolled them and put seam side down in a baking dish...

....and sprinkled asiago cheese on top.  Next time I'd put the cheese in the crepe.

Baked it at 350 for about 15 or so minutes.  You just need to heat everything up all the way through and melt the cheese.

Then I made this hollandaise sauce and drizzled it on top just before serving.

Yum.  So good!


Creamy Spinach Ravioli

Need a quick easy dinner idea?

I got this one from Kraft Canada right here.

I loved it.  The only change I made was that I only had plain cream cheese, so I added some minced garlic and dried herbs to it myself instead of buying herb and garlic cream cheese.  Make sure you don't overcook the ravioli...you don't want pasta mush for dinner.

I served it beside some lemon pepper grilled chicken....delicious!


December 6 - 10

Here's our meals for the week....

Monday - creamy spinach ravioli with grilled chicken

Tuesday - taco pie (didn't end up having it on Friday night)

Wednesday - chicken broccoli divan with fusilli

Thursday - warm quinoa, spinach and shiitake salad

Friday - tuna cakes with homemade tartar sauce and mixed greens


Baked Beans

Is it weird that I love baked beans?  I don't know what it is...but I love them.

They are so easy to make.  I dump all the ingredients into my slow cooker in the morning and I let them cook all day long and when I get home from work, I have a pot of deliciousness waiting.

I got the recipe from my mom.  You can print it off from here.

What are your feelings on baked beans?  I know my sister hates them...it's funny watching her trying to be a good example to her kids when eating them.



Hi.  Mom?

Can you please make me these?  I'll be over this weekend.

You can get the recipe from here.

Thank you.



November 29 to December 3

If you pop by my house this week for dinner, this is what you will be served...

Monday - going to my good ol' Monday standby of pita pizzas (we go grocery shopping after work and by the time we do our 1 hour drive home, we need an easy dinner)

Tuesday - crepes ( I'm craving fruity dessert crepes...I know...no nutrition, but I'm craving it, so I'll probably do blueberry crepes)

Wednesday - french dip (found a new recipe with high reviews I really want to try) and roasted potatoes

Thursday - basque-style chicken with roasted zucchini

Friday - taco pie...I love taco pie and haven't made it in forever.


Greek Night

My family is having our annual or for this year semi annual Greek night.

It will be the full spread...

Greek Salad
Chicken Souvlaki
Pilaf Greek Style
Greek Style Potatoes

I also wanted tossed salad with the Greek House dressing I love so much but I'm pretty sure we have enough food already.

Normally we make them in stages and graze all evening, however, we have found that we fill up on the first couple of items and then end up not eating the rest.  We are going to try and make the whole spread at once and see what happens. 

That way we see all the food and just take a bit of each.  We can snack later in the night or have leftovers.

I never posted pictures when I originally posted the recipe, so I'll try to take some pictures to add to each recipe.

I do have a couple of new recipes to post, but for some reason, I've actually found myself very busy lately. 

Have a great weekend!


Vietnamese Spring Rolls with Hoison Peanut Sauce

When I am allowed to chew again and when I have someone I can share them with, I really want to make these....

Don't they look so light and refreshing?

Here is my problem, I've overdone the peanut Asian flavour so Ben no longer likes it.  He also doesn't like Hoison, so these would not be a household favorite for dinner.

I'll have to wait until I have some friends over or I go to someone's and we make them.

In the meantime...you make them and let me know how they turned out and what changes you made.

The recipe is here.

UPDATE:  I made these and blogged about them.  They were so good!!



November 22 - 26

Here is my meal plan for this week....

Monday - cream of wheat

Tuesday - plain no fun soup...something with no chunks in it...has to be smooth

Wednesday - protein shake

Thursday - scrambled eggs

Friday - hopefully I can eat solids again if not probably cream of wheat again.

Okay so that isn't exactly what I will eat, but I'm sure it's not going to be much different.

I had my wisdom teeth pulled this weekend so I'm on a no chew diet.

mmmmm....who wants to come for dinner?


Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

My kitchen has the worst lighting, so I had a hard time trying to take a good picture of it.  I couldn't.  All my pictures make it look horrible, you would never want to eat it, if you saw my pictures.

They have a picture posted up here along with the recipe you can print off.

I remember hating this as a kid, now I love it.  I followed the recipe and found it actually tasted better the next day as leftovers.

Roasted Tomato Soup

This soup tastes nothing like the store bought canned tomato soup.  This one tastes like real tomatoes, so if you're making this expecting to taste like Campbell's you might be disappointed.  I, however, love the taste of homemade tomato soup.

1. Layer a baking sheet with foil and arrange quartered tomatoes and garlic cloves.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

2. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  I would actually do mine longer next time.

3. When the tomatoes are cool enough to touch, removed the skins and peel the garlic.  This step is very messy.

4. Cook onion in butter until softened.

5. Add peeled tomatoes and garlic, honey and stock.

6. Puree the soup in batches in a blender or use a stick blender. Stir in cream and salt and pepper and simmer. (The recipe on the webpage does not list cream in the ingredients so I just poured some skim milk in...eyeball it...I think I added a little too much)

7. Serve.  I made grilled turkey and roasted red pepper panini's for our side.

You can print the recipe from here.

Let me know if you try it.

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

These are my new favorite cookies.  They are soft and chewy and you can change the recipe to your favorite cheesecake flavour...(ex: chocolate orange, turtle, choc mint, etc).

I stored mine in the fridge for the first couple of days and then moved them to the freezer.  They are even soft when you pull them out of the freezer....seriously...just like cheescake.

You can print the recipe from here.

These are the changes I made...

1. The first time I made these, I wrote out the recipe from the computer very quickly.  In my haste, I did not notice that it said 3oz of cream cheese and I added the whole block (8oz) of cream cheese.  When it came to the part where you are suppose to roll out the cookie dough, I noticed mine was too runny to roll.  I went to the computer to see where I messed up and I noticed that I more than doubled the cream cheese.  So.....I doubled up the rest of everything else.  I love how my cookies turned out, so I might do that again next time on purpose.  If you follow the recipe exactly, please let me know how your cookies turned out.

2. I did not use the Oreo cookie crumbs that you buy in the store.  I used whole oreos and put them in my food processor until they were crumbs.  I liked the idea of having the creamy center flavour in there too.

3. I would skip the white chocolate drizzle...they are sweet enough.  I started with it, but then decided to leave it off the rest.

4.  These are a cookie that actually don't taste fresh out of the oven.  They taste better when they have cooled.  I tried a warm one and thought it was way too sweet and didn't know what I was going to do with all these cookies, since Ben and I didn't like them....and for me to say they are too sweet....that's HUGE!  I tried them once they had cooled and from that day on I ate about 4 or 5 a day....worth every pound!!

If you love cheesecake you will LOVE LOVE these!

French Onion Soup

I love French Onion soup and I've never really thought to make it at home.

I think the recipe landed in my inbox or I must have stumbled across when browsing through allrecipes.

Anyways...I loved it.  I mean, it has cheese and bread in it...how could I not like it?

You can print the recipe from here.

These are the changes I would suggest...

1. Even though the recipe does says "do not brown the onions" you want to make sure you caramelize them.  This is where the flavour comes from.  If you read the comments, you will see a lot of people say this.  If you decide to caramelize the onions, it will add on to the cooking time by quite a bit.  You don't want to fry the onions crispy, you want to slow saute them until they are soft and a beautiful caramel colour.

2. I skipped the sherry as I didn't have it and wasn't going to buy it just for this.

3. I don't have oven safe bowls, so I did not put the soup in the bowls and then broil the bread.  I baked the bread in the oven so it was crispy, then broiled it so the cheese bubbled nice and brown.  I used romano, mozza and parmesan since this is what I had already.  If you just broil the bread or put the bread right in the bowl and broil it, expect soggy bread where it sits in the soup.



November 15 - 19

I had a hard time planning our meals this week.  I don't really feel like eating anything.  I've been like that the past few days.  I just want someone to tell me what to eat and I'll do. 

Anyways...this is what I came up with...

Monday - ham and asparagus frittata

Tuesday - sloppy joes

Wednesday - spinach and mushroom crepes

Thursday - lemon ginger chicken with rice

Friday - up in the air due to plans


Meatball Heroes and Oven Roasted Potatoes

I've never had or made meatball subs, but the picture on the webpage where this was posted made it look so good so I gave it a shot.

I'm glad I did...it was delicious....and filling.  I barely at mine.

I got the recipe from Real Simple.  You can find a printable version there.

I did some make some changes.  First of all, I used fresh homemade meatballs.  They are so easy to make and taste way better.  I baked mine in the oven, then I heated up the sauce in a skillet and added the meatballs to that.

I did, however, buy store made pasta sauce.  I have yet to find a good recipe and master a good red sauce from scratch that I love.

If you don't follow my other changes, at least do this one.  I thought that if I followed their way for heating up the bun, I probably would have a soggy sandwich by the time I added the meatballs and sauce.  I also didn't think the cheese would melt like their picture from just adding it after the meatballs.  So I cut the buns in half, added the cheese and baked them in the oven until everything was toasty and melted...then I added the meatballs.

Now onto the oven roasted potatoes!  I love oven roasted potatoes.  I've never really ever had a recipe for them, I just kinda make it up each time.  I like to try a variety of ways.  One of my favorites is tossing the potatoe cubes in olive oil then adding onion soup mix and roasting...so good.  I also like to just sprinkle them with "vegetable" seasoning sometimes.  Garlic powder and dry dill are also a fav.

I saw this recipe on another blog and she raved on and on about it so I figured I would try it.  They were good!  I did find they took a bit longer to get that crispy outside I love.

Anyways...you can get the recipe here.

Let me know if you try either of these!

Lime Chicken Soft Tacos

Yes, I have them in a pasta bowl.  Yes, it is sitting on a desk.  The pictures I took at home the night I made it looked horrible due to dark lighting (my kitchen really needs some better lighting).  Since I always have my camera in my bag and I made these at work for lunch one day, I decided to use that picture.  We have great lighting at work.  I have them in a bowl because "someone" in our office never cleans his plates, so I'm stuck using the dishes he doesn't....which means...bowls.

Anyways...that kind of complaining and what not is for my other blog.

I love Mexican food, however, I get tired of the old standby typical food, so when I find a new way to try out some tacos or something, I'm all for it.

I got this one from allrecipes.  You can go there to print it off.

I follow don't alter the recipe too much.


Carrot Soup

I love this soup.  It's easy...it's comfort... and the left overs freeze well.  I always double the recipe.

In a large pot saute onion, garlic and margarine until soft.

Then add water, carrots, rice and chicken bouillon.  Bring to a boil an then simmer until rice is cooked and carrots are soft.  The recipe says 20-25 minutes...I find it takes 30+ minutes, but I don't chop everything really small.

This is the fun part...the messy part.  It's actually a bit tedious unless, you wait for the soup to completely cool.  If you do this when it's still hot, you only can add a bit at a time so it doesn't spill over when you blend.

Scoop the soup bit by bit into a blender and blend it until smooth.  If you have one of those immersion blenders, I'm sure that would work perfect.

Smooth.....and beautiful...

And messy.....

Very messy....but that might just be me.

Then I put it all back in the pot and make sure it's heated through.  Serve it with parsley, salt and pepper. Since I'm a dried herb kinda girl, I used cardboard parsley...fresh would be better.

Printable Version Here

You know the drill....let me know if you try it!!


November 8 - 13

Here is what will be served up at our house this week...

Monday - roast, potatoes, sweet and sour cabbage

Tuesday - roasted tomato soup with grilled paninnis

Wednesday - sweet and sour chicken over rice

Thursday - steak with baked beans

Friday - we're in Kelowna for the weekend


Are They Donuts or Muffins

These look like muffins, but taste like those mini sugar donuts from the fair.

A friend posted about them on Facebook, so I immediately asked for the recipe.  She got it out of her local paper and sent me the link for it.

I may or may not have eaten 3 of them immediately.

Actually at one point following the next couple of days after making these, I asked Ben how many he had eaten.  I was embarrassed by his answer, because that meant I had eaten the rest.


However...if you do make these, I'm accepting thank you notes in the comments section.

Printable Recipe Here

The only change I made to the recipe was that I added brown sugar to the white sugar and cinnamon at the end....the delicious mixture you roll the warm donut muffins in....mmmmm....so good.


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...that I can email you new post notifications?

Click on my profile to the right and email me your email address and I will email you when I put new posts up.


Chicken Pot Pie

This is not going to win you any culinary awards and it isn't the most beautiful dish you have ever prepared, however...it has flavour...and it's easy.

Embarrassingly easy....but we all need dishes like these.  Especially on busy nights or "I don't feel like spending lots of time in the kitchen" nights...

Yeah...you know what I'm talking about.

There is no "printable" version of this because there is no real recipe.  I have no idea where I got this idea from, but I've been doing this for years....I probably read it somewhere.

You start with some cooked chicken (this was about 2 breasts) that are just seasoned with salt and pepper.

Then you add some slightly undercooked potatoes...or potatoes that have completely cooled.  Mine were actually still warm and a bit mushy, so I didn't mix them in with the mixture...I put them in the crust first, then poured my mixture on top.

Because when I make this I'm extra lazy, I just use powdered versions of these...look....I'm so lazy I can't even refill the garlic salt...no wait...it's powder....apparently I'm cheap too...

Add some veggies.  I use a frozen vegetable mixture that I've thawed out....and by thawed out, I mean let hot water run over them until they are not frozen.

Then I added a can of cream of chicken soup and I added a can of cream of mushroom too, but it was no name brand and I was too embarrassed to take a picture of it....but then I told you anyways, so I guess it doesn't matter now.

Get one package of this...

Pour your mixture into one of the crusts.  Sometimes when I'm feeling extra naughty, I'll add shredded cheese at this point.  I did not deserve it tonight...so no cheese.  I put it on a cookie sheet to save my oven from spillage.

Take the second crust out of the tin plate and put it over top....pinch the edges.  You can try to make it look pretty, but I didn't feel like it.  Pierce some holes in the top

I baked mine at 400F for 40ish minutes.  You want to know the inside is hot and bubbly and the crust is nicely browned...

and if you're fancy like us, you just scoop it out with a serving spoon...