Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Yogurt Waffles

According to the original recipe, these were supposed to be very light and melt in your mouth. I didn't find that, but then again I decided to switch things up a bit and makes these a little bit healthier by using part whole wheat flour and greek yogurt instead of plain yogurt. So they were pretty dense and a little chewy on the outside. But because of this, unlike with normal waffles, I felt full after eating them. And by full, I mean I couldn't even think of eating anything else for a long, long time. There ended up being a lot of protein in these, so that would be the cause of my 'fullness.' Or it could be that the batter was not liquidy like the normal waffles we make. Instead it was like paste it was so thick.

I really enjoyed these, I made them on a morning that it was only myself at home, so I had nobody else's opinion on them, but I don't think everyone in the house would like them. Primarily because they are 'different' from the waffles that we have eaten for so long. So, not 'bad' just 'different.' Typically our waffles are light and incredibly fluffy and you could eat about a half dozen of them because they are just like eating glorified air. These ones are the exact opposite. So, instead of eating one of our old recipe that was enough waffle to fill the entire waffle iron, these ones that I made, I stretched the batter thin and ended up with smaller waffles. Which was a good thing in the end. I strongly encourage you to make 6 waffles out of this recipe. You could (if you're using the same size round waffle iron as I am) really get only 4 normal sized waffles out of this, but don't do that to yourself, seriously. Go for the 6.

This recipe came from Bake-aholic.

Makes: 6 Smaller (or 4 Normal Size) Waffles     [Go for the 6]


1 C. All Purpose Flour
1 C. Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tbsp. Baking Soda
1 3/4 C. Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
2 Eggs, separated
3 Tbsp. Butter, melted


~In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, powder and soda. Set aside.
~In a medium bowl, whisk yogurt, egg yolks and butter together. 
~Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a few strokes to form a (very) lumpy batter.
~Preheat waffle iron.
~In another medium bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form.
~Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the batter. (They don't fold well, because of how thick this batter is, but try your best to get them fully incorporated into the batter.)
~Cook waffles according to the instructions for your waffle iron.
~Top with whatever toppings you desire.


Nutrition Facts

Serves: 6
Calories: 253
Carbs: 32 g
Fat: 7 g
Protein: 13 g

Monday, 30 July 2012

The Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Awhile ago I said I was going to go through and post about my 3 favourite chocolate chip cookie recipes. Unfortunately, I think my list has now changed yet again as I've tried out more and more recipes. But, while this recipe may no longer be in my top 3, I still felt like I had to share it because these cookies do have a unique flavour (due to all shortening / no butter and all brown sugar / no white) and I did promise earlier that I would reveal my top 3 of that point in time. So here it is.

On a much sadder note, you may have noticed that there is no images for this post. Well I have a good excuse (and no it's not camera problems or bad pictures). I'd just rolled out the cookies all perfectly and got them lined up nicely on the cookie sheets while the oven was preheating. Now because I use the convection, I don't really have to preheat but bear with me. So the oven was at about 270 on it's way to 375 and I had just opened the door to put the first tray of these lovely cookies in and this absolutely awful sound came from the oven. The digital controls also dimmed right down and at first I thought we'd just had a brown out, but the overhead lights were on and they didn't flicker at all. But then again, the awful grinding / frying electronics sound that was emitted from the oven wasn't your typical (or healthy oven) sound. After fiddling around with it for a bit I decided to throw the cookies in anyways because according to the thermometer it looked like the temperature was still rising. It was at 280 and so I set the timer for 7 minutes because the recipe said 8-10 and I figured because it wasn't at 375 it would take almost the full amount of time (even though the convection usually cooks way quicker). So the buzzer goes off after 7 minutes and the digital thermometer only said 340 (which isn't right, it should have got up to temperature by that time, so I'm positive now that something isn't right). Well I opened the door and my cookies were perfectly (and evenly) dark, dark brown. And I mean, you know that golden that you talk about seeing a hint of around the edges of a cookie to know they are done, well these cookies were that colour everywhere. But upon touching them they still seemed really doughy (just the texture that I would pull them out of the oven at on a normal day). An important thing to note is that these cookies really aren't supposed to brown much if at all. So I tried them and they tasted normal, they just didn't look so swell. I don't know what's happened to the oven, it seems like the fan wasn't spinning properly on the convection and maybe something to do with the thermostat, but I don't know for sure. All I know was that the sound that I heard was a really nasty sound. So now will you forgive me for not posting a picture of these cookies?

This recipe can be found on the box of the Golden Crisco.

Makes: 3 1/2 dozen


3/4 C. Golden All-Vegetable Shortening (Crisco)
1 1/4 C. Brown Sugar
1 Egg
2 Tbsp. Milk
3 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
1 3/4 C. Flour
1 Tsp. Salt
3/4 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 1/4 C. Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
3/4 C. Milk Chocolate, chunked


~Preheat oven to 375 F.
~In mixer bowl, cream together shortening and sugar until light and fluffy.
~Add in egg, milk and vanilla and beat well to combine.
~Mix in flour, salt and soda, and beat.
~Stir in chocolate.  
~Scoop dough onto cookie sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes (for soft cookies) or 11-13 minutes (for crunchy cookies).
~Cool slightly on sheets and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.


Sunday, 29 July 2012

Thai Wraps

I guess I should probably post something healthy, just to prove that I can after the last several posts. This is another one of those, use up your leftovers things and it was just perfect. The chicken that had been cooked several days ago, may have just gotten a little old if we had to eat it plain again for yet another night, but this spiced it up just nicely. Plus, as an added bonus, I think from the time I opened the fridge to when we sat down at the table was less than ten minutes. Not a word of a lie. 

I first tried this creation at a friend's place. It was one of those, we need something quick but impressive sort of nights. So thanks Shannon for the great idea.

Makes: 4 Wraps


2 C. Chicken, diced (and cooked any way you like it.)
1 C. Carrots, grated
1/2 Long English Cucumber, cut into matchsticks
1/4 - 1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
1/3 lb Rice Noodles (these are typically bought in 1 lb packages)
1/4 - 1/2 C. Sweet Thai Sauce
4 Wraps


~Cook your chicken however you prefer, (we just used leftover chicken that we reheated) then cut it up into small slices.
~Cook noodles according to the package instructions.
~Prepare vegetables.
~Place wrap on a plate and microwave for 10 seconds to soften.
~Lay all ingredients down the centre of the wrap and roll it up.


Saturday, 28 July 2012

Margarita Cookies

I had to laugh one day when I was sitting in class. I don't actually remember what was being discussed exactly, it probably was about an upcoming exam and what you should do in order to get the best possible mark. Well, all I remember was the instructor blurting out that she really liked chocolate and tequila. While I didn't agree with her on many points that she discussed in class, I do have to agree with that statement. It wasn't the only time I've had an instructor give a hint on how to boost your exam mark. One time in high school the teacher said she like Reese's and so the next test we wrote one guy in the class stapled a King Size Pack of the chocolates onto his test before he handed it in. I wonder how that turned out for him?

So, as you can probably figure out, these cookies were a good match for me. Unfortunately, I started making them and really didn't have all the ingredients and I'm not talking about sugar or flour. I mean, my limes were all the colours of the rainbow (1 was green, 2 were yellow and 2 where purple), so I salvaged the one that still looked like a normal lime and added in some lemons as substitute. Unfortunately it seems that every time I go to make something with lemons I have limes, and vice versa. I also didn't think I had any oranges, but then I found some satsumas in the bottom of our citrus bucket. Well, I don't think satsumas really zest very well to begin with, and these ones were pretty ripe so they would have nothing to do with zesting. Then I realized I'd taken my tequila to the cabin and left it there. So I replaced that with Triple Sec.

All in all, these cookies are more like citrus shortbread than Margarita Cookies. But, I really wanted to make them for the weekend and this was the last chance I was going to have to get in the kitchen so I had to settle for these changes. I'm going to post both what I did and what the original recipe was, because I really liked the flavour of what I ended up with, but would still like to try the lime and tequila pairing just to see what that's all about. What I ended up with was a citrusy sugar cookie / shortbread like cookie that was perfectly bite size and yummy. And by bite size I mean extremely tiny (smaller than even my small cookies I make), but that's okay right?

One final note, I found the directions on this recipe really wordy and so I really was just scanning through looking for what I knew should have been there. This caused one problem and I beg you not to repeat my mistake. The recipe said place cookies on a lined baking sheet. I didn't do this. I never line my sheets as I've never had a problem with them. Sometimes I don't even grease them when called for, because things just seem to come off of them easily. Anyway, don't make this mistake. Please, please, please GREASE the cookie sheet. Because these cookies are brushed with egg yolk and then rolled in sugar, the edges caramelized onto the sheets and I could not get them to come off. The first 3 or 4 slid off perfectly when I pulled the trays from the oven and quickly scooped them off, but they cooled (and hardened) quickly after that and it was the point of no return. I ate a lot of part cookies as I was trying to  transfer them to racks, and I made a huge mess. So again, GREASE your cookie sheets. That's all.

I got this recipe from All Things Yummy and it looks like the recipe originally came from Dorie Greenspan's Sables au Citron but Smitten Kitchen adapted it to what it is today. How's that for a credit? Whew!

I'm going to put the original recipe in black, and what I used instead beside in green for easy reference.

Makes: 5 1/2 Dozen


1 C. Butter
2/3 C. Icing Sugar, sifted
2 Egg Yolks, at room temp.
Pinch of Salt
2 Tsp. Tequila (4 Tsp. Triple Sec)
Zest of 2 Limes (1 Lime)
Zest of 1/2 Orange (3 Lemons)
2 C. All-Purpose Flour

1/2 C. Clear Sanding or other course sugar (1/3 C. White Sugar)
2 Tsp. Flaky Maldon Sea Salt (1 1/2 Tsp. Sea Salt)


~GREASE cookie sheets.
~Put the butter in mixing bowl and beat until smooth.
~Add in the sifted icing sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky.
~Beat in 1 of the egg yolks (reserving the other for later), salt, tequila and zest.
~Beat in flour just until the flour disappears.
~Divide the dough into 3 balls and wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
~Form each ball of dough into a log that is approximately 1 - 1 1/4 inches thick.
~Wrap the logs in plastic and chill again for 2 hours (1 hour).
~Preheat oven to 350 F.
~Combine your two ingredients for the coating.
~Beat your remaining egg yolk.
~Brush logs of dough lightly with the egg yolk and then roll in the sugar coating. (I found it easiest to do both the brushing and the rolling on a spare cookie sheet. Then to press the coating in I transferred the log to another piece of plastic and rolled it up sushi making style and pressed the coating in this way.)
~With a sharp knife, slice each log into cookies (about 1/4" thick) and place on the cookie sheets.
~Bake for ~8 minutes or until edges where the egg coating is starts to turn golden but the rest of the cookie is still light.
~Remove trays from oven and pull cookies off right away.


Thursday, 26 July 2012

Raspberry-Coconut Buttermilk Muffins

Now, I typically like to keep my fresh berries for eating by themselves. But, I was not prepared to be fighting with frozen raspberries for this recipe, because frozen berries in a thick batter = streaking and mushing. So, I caved and used the fresh berries from our bushes. This recipe pretty much used up today's pickings, because unfortunately it is an off year for our bushes. My Grandpa would be so disappointed. His raspberries were his pride and joy and ours have never lived up to those standards. Maybe twice in a year I'm lucky enough to taste a raspberry that tastes exactly like his did. The funny thing is, I don't even know if I'm comparing what I taste to his actual berry taste, because I would have been only 3 years old the last year he would have had his bushes. But that taste just triggers something, I swear.

Another thing that brings up memories is when I first opened the bag of new coconut for this recipe and the first thing that comes to mind is Tim Hortons donuts. The ones with the yellow or blue tinged coconut that adorned the lemon or blueberry donuts that were (what I assume to be) seasonal specials. So much artificial colouring that would make a parent of today scream in terror, but I loved them. The smell of the coconut just brought me back to those donuts, which is funny because there is a lot of other (and better things) that coconut could remind me of, but oh well.

This recipe is one of those ones that was a newspaper clipping that has been photocopied and placed in my Mom's Recipe Binder (you know it's good when it's been passed around like that). I don't know who recommended it to her, probably somebody made them and shared them at work, and from what I can make out from the top corner, it looks like this appeared in the Times Colonist, but when I do not know.

Makes: 9 large muffins


1 3/4 C. Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/2 C. Unsweetened Medium Coconut Flakes, divided
1 Egg
1/3 C. Sugar
1 C. Buttermilk
3 Tbsp. Butter, melted
1 1/4 Tsp. Vanilla
1 C. Raspberries


~Preheat oven to 375 F.
~Grease muffin tins or line with paper liners.
~In a large bowl, whisk the flour, powder, soda and salt with 1/4 C. of the coconut. Set aside.
~In a medium bowl, combine egg, sugar, buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
~Sprinkle raspberries with 2 Tbsp. of the dry ingredients and toss to coat.
~Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine with a few quick stirs. Batter should be lumpy. Don't over mix.
~Gently fold in the raspberries.
~Scoop batter into prepared tins.
~Sprinkle top of muffins with the remaining 1/4 C. of coconut (it will look like a lot, but it really is the perfect amount for 9 muffins. So if you are making more than 9 muffins, you'll want to increase the coconut topping accordingly, otherwise these muffins rise really strangely if they don't have enough topping on top. Strange, I know.)
~Bake for 20-22 minutes or until puffed and golden (and toothpick comes out clean.)
~Cool slightly then remove from pans and then cool completely before storing.


Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Prettiest Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are the Pretties Chocolate Chip Cookies I've ever made. Oh yeah, and they taste not too bad either. Looks and charm, what more can a girl ask for? No seriously, they're puffy and crackled and perfectly round and smooth, but they also contain a large quantity of chocolate.

On a side note, I feel like I named this blog wrong. I should have called it Konie's Kookies, because as you can see, I seem to make cookies (and muffins) more than anything else.

I'm going to make this post completely random and shoot off in another completely opposite direction now, because I don't have anything else major I'd wish to talk about today. And because it's my blog, so I have the authority to make these types of decisions you see. So, you know how I usually claim I'm a healthy eater (except for those cookies and muffins I'm always posting about)? Well, I'm sitting here typing up this post about chocolate filled chocolate chip cookies, as I'm stuffing my face with fish and chips. And I'm not talking something I prepared myself. I mean full on fat and salt content that would probably make me start crying if I allowed myself to think about what I had just consumed. But I won't go there...no I won't. So I'll just talk about cookies. Because you know, I love those things too much to ever give them up.

This recipe is from The Big Green Bowl.

Makes 6 1/2 dozen (and I didn't even make them bite size like I typically do. These were normal sized.)


2/3 C. Vegetable Shortening (I used the regular one [it came in a blue box for me], verses the golden one [in the yellow box])
2/3 C. Butter (for anybody using cubes, this is 1 cube + 2 1/2 Tbsp.), room temperature
1 C. Sugar
1 C. Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
3 1/2 C. Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Salt
1 1/2 C. Semi-sweet chocolate chips (or whatever type you prefer)
1 C. Milk Chocolate Bar, chopped


~Preheat oven to 375 F
~In mixer bowl, combine shortening and butter. Mix well to soften.
~Add sugar and then cream together (I did this for almost 3 minutes to get it really whipped.)
~Add eggs and vanilla. Mix again to combine.
~Add in flour, soda and salt. Mix again until everything is well incorporated.
~Stir in the chocolate.
~Scoop dough and really quickly in your hands roll it into a loose ball then place onto cookie sheet. (Don't handle for more than a few seconds as the dough is already really soft.)
~Bake for 7-9 minutes, until they have the faintest hint of golden around the edges, but the centre still appears uncooked.
~Cool slightly on sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.


Friday, 20 July 2012

Inside-Out Nachos

Inside-Out Nachos or maybe better still, Upside-Down Nachos. Whatever you call this gooey looking mess, you can't deny that it is awesome. It tastes awesome, and is also awesomely simple to make. You see, we were out shopping and came across some great little tomatoes. They were bigger than the biggest cherry tomato I've ever seen, but smaller than a roma (but still round). Anyway, so I got thinking that I'd like nachos when I got home, but I hadn't had dinner yet and nachos really don't satisfy me for dinner. Plus, they really aren't all that good for you. So I came home and in less time than it took to put all the groceries away, I had this whipped up. You can serve this as either a side or a main dish, depending on your situation, because it does contain all the food groups. That is, if you count whole grain tortilla chips as from the grain food group. Try it, it's a much healthier alternative to nachos, but still has the same flavours.

Serves 2


1 C. Meat, cubed (I used a left-over pork roast, but you could easily cook up some ground beef, turkey, etc.)
1/2 C. Salsa
1/2 Tsp. Cumin
1/2 Bell Pepper, chopped
3 White Mushrooms, chopped
1 Medium Tomato, chopped
3/4 C. Tortilla Chips (I used the whole grain ones)
1/3 C. Cheese, grated


~Prepare your meat any way you want into bite size chunks. (I cubed the previous day's pork roast.)
~Place meat and salsa in a microwave safe bowl. Stir to evenly coat the meat.
~Sprinkle mixture with cumin.
~Add pepper, mushroom and tomato. Stir to evenly distribute everything.
~Microwave on high just long enough to heat everything through (for me this was about 2.5 minutes).
~Measure out chips and break them into small (quarter size) pieces. Add to heated mixture and stir to combine.
~Spoon mixture onto dishes and top with grated cheese. 
~If cheese doesn't melt you can return the dish to the microwave for 20 seconds.


Thursday, 19 July 2012

Toffee Bars

This recipe is simple. And by simple I mean crazy quick. If I didn't have to keep unlodging butter clumps from my mixer it wouldn't have even taken me all of the 20 minutes that it did take to mix and throw the pan into the oven. I was initially excited about the prospect of making something with such a short ingredients list. But I was also sceptical that there was no leavening agent in this recipe, something that most cookie recipes (and cookie bar recipes) utilize. There wasn't even any eggs. Well, I got over that and went on my merry way, only to realize once this was in the oven that there was a bigger concern than this not rising. And that was that there is no liquid in this recipe (unless you count 1 1/2 Tsp. of Vanilla as liquid). Well, it came out of the oven and I cut a piece to try. Despite it being very, very flakey and dry, it cut very nicely into squares and did not crumble into a pile of dust as I had feared. Even after transporting them to work the next day, they stayed intact. I'm calling it a miracle, because I honestly don't know how this happened.

Now these definitely weren't my favourite thing I've ever made, but everyone else seemed to love them as I brought home an empty tray from work. I'm just going to attribute this to my preference of a chewy cookie, and not a crunchy. So, if you like crunchy, crispy cookies, this is for you. In the reviews where I found this recipe people talked about how this was like a cross between a chocolate chip cookie and a shortbread. I think they hit the nail on the head here. As this has the appearance of ccc's but the dry texture of a good scottish shortbread.

I found this recipe over at The Big Green Bowl and I omitted the nuts the original recipe called for and instead used some butterscotch chips, because hey, the recipe name said toffee so I had to include something. Even though I know that butterscotch and toffee are not the same thing.

Makes 2 Dozen Bars


1 C. Butter, softened
1 C. Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 C. Flour
3/4 C. Chocolate Chips
1/4 C. Butterscotch Chips 

(original recipe called for 1/2 C. Walnuts, chopped but I didn't include this)


~Preheat oven to 350 F.
~Grease a 9 x 13 baking dish.
~In mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and vanilla.
~Stir in flour, chips and nuts (if you're using them).
~Pour mixture into baking dish and pat down.
~Bake for 16-18 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges.
~Cool and then cut into squares.


Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies

Well I have something I have to get off my chest. I did something this evening I swore I'd never do, but the devil pulled me in. Yes, I'm talking about Pinterest. You see, I've only ever set foot on that dreaded site twice, and the first time it was really by accident. The thing is, I know myself too well. I have this amazing amount of focus and so I can sit down and lose myself and look at the clock and see that it's four hours later. No, I know that Pinterest and I will not get along, and it is not because I won't like it.

It may sound funny that the reason I found myself on the site wasn't because of food. After all, you would think that because I have a food blog, I would want to find more inspiration.  But actually, it was because of kitchens. My mom always said that when you spend enough time living in a house, you'll learn what's good and what's bad about the set up and you'll make those adjustments for the next house you get. I never really understood what she was saying, because she kept talking about sections of floor, corners and cupboards (or that's what I think she meant.) Now I get it though, because as I've been spending more and more time in the kitchen I've come to realize that one day when I finally get to build a house from the ground up, the kitchen is going to be the focal point of the house. I know a lot of people say that when you have company over, you don't want them anywhere near your kitchen because it's such a mess, but the reality is, you spend most of your time in the kitchen even when you have guests, and most of the people I know just cram themselves into the kitchen with you regardless of how ugly of a mess you have. (Some even start doing dishes because they feel sorry for you.) So, why not make it a large space that is amazing? Yeah, I can see a lot of money being spent in the future on this kitchen. Even though I am so incredibly thrifty, I think that that would be a good use of money.

So this brings me back to Pinterest. Because I sort of have these ideas in my head, but I'm not artistic in the slightest and thus have no really good way to express what I'd one day like, I figure I can start accumulating images now of what other people have done and then one day put them all in front of someone with some artistic ability who can connect it all together. So that is my justification for signing on to the whole Pinterest craze. It's kind of like my Twitter usage. I signed up there and then never used it so I deleted my account. Then I resigned up and still to this day I have never sent a single tweet. I do follow many many people though. Mainly surrounding country music or anyone that has anything to do with the Bachelor/Bachelorette (yeah, yeah I know, but haters can hate.)

Back to the food. I didn't like these cookies. Then I still didn't like them. But then I really liked them. At first I found them to be lacking something. But, maybe that was just because I was comparing them to what I believe is my favourite chocolate chip cookie which have so much flavour. Well, then these cookies didn't get eaten all that quickly so I threw them in the freezer, because even stale or bad cookies come out of the freezer tasting better. Well, frozen they weren't wonderful either so I stopped eating them but didn't throw them out (I guess I had hope for these poor suckers.) Then a few days ago we were out of cookies, except for some really bad oatmeal ones (I don't know why I made them, I'm not even fond of oatmeal cookies, but I had a craving for them), and so I pulled the container out of the freezer one more time...and they were good. Actually, better than good. Now I don't quite know what it is. Maybe it's just that at first I was comparing them to the best cookies and then by the end it was a comparison with the worst cookie. Or as I'm sitting here I'm remembering that I really overcooked the first couple of trays of these cookies. Maybe all the cookies on the top layers of the container were the overcooked ones, and now I'm getting to the normal ones. Or, maybe it's just a little of both.

With all that being said, I won't get rid of this recipe like I had been planning to do awhile ago. I wasn't even going to post on this recipe even though I had the pictures all ready to go, but things change.

I used the recipe that I got from Catz in the Kitchen, and because I didn't plan to share the recipe, I never marked down if I made any changes to it. I'm pretty sure I stuck with it pretty closely as I don't stray too far with cookie recipes. I usually only slightly increase the vanilla and add more chocolate. Oh, and for the hot chocolate mix, I used a package of Starbucks Mix that was caramel flavoured with caramel pieces in it. When I went backtracking to try and find who the original poster was for this recipe, I had to trace it back through many blogs. And I think I can say that The Little Things I Find is where it originated. One thing I just noticed is there they call for 4 packages of hot chocolate mix, which seems a bit excessive to me and I'm glad the recipe I used only called for the one.

I never knew what 'creaming' meant until I got my mixer. Before I used to 'crumble' not 'cream' butter and sugar. Oops!


3 1/4 C. Flour
1 Pkg. Hot Chocolate Mix
1 Tsp. Salt
1 1/4 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 C. Butter, softened
1 C. Sugar
2/3 C. Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 C. Chocolate Chips


~In a medium bowl, whisk flour, hot chocolate mix, salt and baking soda together. Set aside.
~In a mixing bowl cream together butter and sugars.
~Add the eggs and vanilla to butter mixture and mix to combine.
~Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix.
~Stir in chocolate.
~Place dough in the fridge for 1 hour.
~Preheat oven to 350 F.
~Drop cookies onto cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes, making sure to not over bake (which is hard seeing as they are already a dark colour to begin with, but a very important step).
~Cool cookies slightly on baking sheet and then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.


Monday, 16 July 2012

Mishaps with Coconut Milk Whipping Cream

Want to see where I'm writing my blog post, seeing as it's summer and I want to blog but also be outside?

Want to see who my little writing helper is?

Here she is looking like her Mommy.

And here she is looking like her Daddy.

It's amazing how just a mere 5 seconds apart she can look like two completely different dogs. I also love that I got to meet both of her parents and so I'm able to pick out the resemblance to each of them at different times. To most people, she's just a dog that looks like any other dog, but I guess like a mother can look at her twins and tell them apart, I can pinpoint the differences in her and can tell that doggy genes really do get passed on.

Okay, now back to the food...

...And I don't have a recipe to share today. Instead I have some interesting bits I'd like to share. I guess you could call them mishaps as the title suggests. Anyway, did you know that you can make whipped cream out of coconut milk? Well I learned this fact a little while ago and was very excited that there was a dairy free alternative to whipped cream. But...I have yet to be able to prove this little fact. I'm still in the experimentation faze you see. I did everything that the instructions told me to do (well maybe not, I may have bought the wrong milk to start with, shaken the can, not skimmed the cream off and not let it cool enough), I can't see why it didn't work? Can you?

In all honesty, I think that there is truth behind this idea. As you can see, I just made too many left turns when I should have been turning right. Next time I'll do what I'm told. And that is:

~Get a can of regular coconut milk (not the light version).
~Get it good and cold in the fridge (not try to flash cool it in the freezer as I did).
~Don't shake the can or invert it (I only wanted to make sure the liquid hadn't frozen).
~Drain the clear water out of the can and use the top cream (Oops, kind of hard to do when you shook the can.)
~Retrieve your mixing bowl and beaters or whisk attachment from the fridge where they too were getting cold (I did this!!!)
~Pour cream into bowl and working quickly, add icing sugar and vanilla to taste (I'm looking good here still).
~Beat until it thickens (it sort of did, not by much).
~Enjoy right away (we did, on hot pie which caused the cream to just melt into a puddle instantly. Maybe it's better on cold desserts).
~Store any extras in the fridge (did this too! Now here's where it got interesting...).

When I looked in the fridge the next morning I couldn't believe what I saw. Because I had shaken the can and thus combined the coconut water and cream, my mixture wasn't really thick enough to thicken if that makes any sense. But, when I stored it back in the fridge, the layers separated again and because it was now in a clear sided container (and not a tin can that left you blind to where the layers stopped and started) you could clearly see that the water had sunk and the cream had risen. As an added bonus, when I stuck a spoon in the top cream portion, it had the consistency I was looking for the night before.

That being said, my recommendation is...

Open your can of regular fat coconut milk a good half a day in advanced of when you want to use it. Pour the liquids (both cream and water) into a clear sided container and store in the fridge. When the layers have clearly separated, skim off the cream and whip this.

I think this should work better than what I had originally seen to do, which was punch a whole in the bottom of the can and drain off the water. I figure that doing it that way there would be a very fine line between not draining enough water and wasting your cream because you would essentially be going at it blindly.

One more thing to keep in mind is that while this may look and act like whipped cream, it does still taste very much like coconut. I'm sure you could eliminate some of the kick by adding in more icing sugar and vanilla if you aren't a fan of the flavour, but while I thought it was a bit different to taste the coconut I wouldn't say it was bad. It was just slightly bitter, but more sugar would easily mask that and so when I try this again I will play around and get some exact measurements to share. As I was eating this by the spoonful out of the mixer bowl I was reminded of a coconut cream sandwich cookie that I always loved as a kid. They were one of the decent packaged cookies that you could buy because they had a soft flakey cookie and loads of amazingly flavoured cream in the middle. Unlike Oreos which always seemed like a dry, stale rip off to me.

So, I've rambled on about this for long enough. I was going to share two other mishaps that have recently occurred but I think I'll save them for a later date now. As I don't want to overwhelm anyone with my failures.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Tarter Sauce

So, the only problem with this tarter sauce is that I have a really awful picture to show for it. Unfortunately, the sun was just a little too bright and all the things on the plate seemed to become a blinding mass of glowing white. It's too bad because if I had have had just a couple more minutes I would have got a decent picture, alas that didn't happen. So, as a bit of compensation I'm going to include a couple of unrelated (to the recipe at least) images that I really like because they just seem to represent summer.

No, I don't have a recipe for this. I think it was canned peaches, tequila, some juice and ice, but I can't say for sure. You see, I made this last summer in a huge batch that I then kept in the freezer for when the time was right. Well, that time never came last summer, it was simply too cold out to be drinking frozen concoctions. But today was finally a frozen drink day. Maybe one day I'll make it again and post the exact recipe. Until then, enjoy this nice taste of summer.

But back to the tarter sauce. This tarter sauce recipe is a lot like a basil lemon veggie dip that we make as well. I much prefer this, because I'm more of a dill person than a basil person. The good thing about both of these recipes though is that they are a creamy white dressing that does not have sour cream in them. Yay, dairy free! Because the tarter sauce is so similar to the basil veggie dip, I have been known to use up the tarter sauce on my raw veggies.

Recipe based very very loosely off of a recipe I clipped out of our local grocery chain's (Thrifty Foods) flyer.

Makes: 1 C. of Sauce


1 C. Mayonnaise
Zest of 1 Lemon
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
3-4 Tbsp. Fresh Dill
2 Tsp. Yellow Mustard
2 Tsp. Pickle Juice
4 Dill Pickles, finely chopped
1/2 Tsp. Hot Sauce


~Measure out all ingredients and combine them in a container. (I just mix in the container I'm going to store it in, that way I don't make more dishes than necessary.)
~Mix well to combine.
~Store in the fridge for at least half an hour to develop the flavours. (Really the longer the better, but sometimes that just doesn't work out.)

Enjoy...on fish, burgers or as a veggie dip!

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Mom's Banana Chocolate Muffins

Growing up my Mom only made one type of muffins. Well that's probably a lie. I'm sure she tried out other recipes, but this was the one she always went back to. Now, even though I've been on a muffin kick for the last several months, I actually haven't tried out this recipe. I thought I'd give it a try though today, because with the heat our bananas are turning quicker than we can eat them.

This recipe was originally a banana loaf recipe and it did not have any chocolate in it. My mom converted it to muffins though, because she found banana bread difficult to get cooked evenly throughout. Some batches, instead of putting in the chocolate she'd throw in blueberries. Now, while I love blueberries, I was never that fond of them in this recipe. I think because it just goes so well with the chocolate. I also have the faintest memory of her using canned peaches in these muffins as well, but she didn't do that all that often.

So the most amazing thing happens when you cook these muffins. They get incredibly crispy on top when you pull them out of the oven, but when you store them in a container they go very moist and soft. Meaning they will turn quite quickly if stored in a warm place. I don't care how full you are when these come out of the oven, you have to have one. Of all the other muffin recipes I've tried, I have never had anything quite like it. The thing is, when baking these, you need to make sure the tops are dark brown. No golden here, you want them to be dark. Be patient, it will happen, and it is so totally worth it. I can't stress this crispy factor enough.

My mom got this recipe from my Aunt Laurel (at least that's what it says on her copy of the recipe.) Where she found the recipe though is a mystery to me, so that's as far as i can take these credits.

Makes: 12 Large Muffins


1 C. Banana, mashed
1 C. White Sugar
1/4 C. Vegetable Oil
1/2 C. Sour Cream (we use either applesauce or soy yogurt instead to make this dairy free)
2 Eggs

1 1/2 C. Flour (I used whole wheat)
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 C. Chocolate Chips
3/4 C. Milk Chocolate Bar, chunked


~Preheat oven to 375 F
~In a medium bowl, combine banana, sugar, oil, sour cream and eggs. Whisk well to combine.
~In a small bowl, combine flour, powder, soda and salt. Stir.
~Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir just enough to combine.
~Mix in chocolate.
~Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tins. Fill them just about to the top. (These muffins puff up amazingly and go really crispy on top. You don't want to have not enough batter, because you'll miss out on this if there isn't enough batter to rise above the edge of the tin.)
~Place tins in oven.
~Bake for 18-20 minutes or until dark brown and crispy on top.
~Remove from oven and allow to cool. 
~Store in a sealed container (but make sure to eat a few with the crispy top before you store them away).


Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Candied Chocolate Cookies

It seems that I can finally say summer has arrived. Now, I've been waiting to say this for a good two years now (is that all, it feels like so much longer?) For me to say that it is hot outside, it has to be at least 33 degrees C, 35 C is better though. While we haven't reached those temperatures yet, I have to say it does feel pretty warm out. Much to the displeasure of all the people I interact with at work who complain that 24 C is much too hot for their liking...but...the day before they were cursing how dreary, wet and cold it was. I know right? You can't win. Man am I ever glad that some people can't control the weather. As hormonal as it is around here on a daily basis, I couldn't even imagine how crazy it would get.

So when I say that finally summer has arrived, I must clarify what I mean by finally. You see while it seems that everywhere in North America has been breaking heat records for weeks upon weeks, we have had the coldest June on record. (I'm a little jealous right now, the hotter the better for me.) Anyway, no big deal right? I guess if you had a nice May...or April...or March...or Summer 2011, you wouldn't really mind. Yes, you are reading that right. It's not just that we didn't have a nice spring, but we had no summer last year, and the summer before that besides being a long time ago, I'm pretty sure I didn't get to enjoy it because I spent the whole summer recovering from surgeries. It's been awhile since I've had summer, so now you can see why I've dedicated a whole post to the weather.

Do you know why I'm telling you all this? It's because I'm now going to tell you that my posts are going to be few and far between hopefully for the next two months. Yes, that's right, because summer has arrived!! And hopefully it will stick around for at least two months. I can't miss out because who knows when it may come around again. Plus, I'm in desperate need of some sun because I feel so incredibly pale, it's scary.

Something that is not pale though, are these cookies. They honestly look like little hamburger patties that have been left on the BBQ while someone cooking them decided it would be a great idea to go and change their sheets and flip their mattress, all at the same time as they should have been BBQing. Resulting in the most amazing looking hockey pucks that have ever come off the grill. Not to mention the smell. No, not me, but they know who they are! While these cookies are absent of any charcoal, or burning smell for that matter, they aren't short on pure sweetness. Now, I have a sweet tooth, and by that I mean I think my sweet scale is a little broken (but what food blogger's isn't?). With that being said though, even I found these to be a little sweet. (But not too sweet, I should clarify!) That's not to say that I didn't instantly reach for another one though and throw it into my mouth. On a positive note, for those of you who (are insane) don't have a sweet tooth, never fear. For these cookies once cooled, aren't nearly as sweet.

The one other interesting thing I found about these cookies is that when you pull them directly from the oven and eat them, they have the texture of an amazingly gooey and chewy brownie. But when they cool, they almost have a candy texture to them, kind of like an almond roca. Oh yeah, that's because of all the toffee bits that go into these cookies. Because of that, I feel that I have to change the name from Butterscotch Toffee Chocolate Fudge Cookies, to Candied Chocolate Cookies. Sweet lovers rejoice. Plus, there's no eggs, so, feel free to nibble away as you're rolling the dough.

This recipe is from Sally's Baking Addiction.

Makes: 3 Dozen Cookies


1/2 C. Butter, softened
1/2 C. White Sugar
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1 Tsp. Almond Extract
1 1/4 C. Flour ( I used whole wheat)
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
2/3 C. Cocoa Powder
1/3 C. Milk
3/4 C. Butterscotch Chips
3/4 C. Toffee bits (I used skor)
1/2 C. Chocolate Chips


~In a large mixing bowl cream butter, sugars, vanilla and almond extracts until smooth.
~Add flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Mix to combine.
~Mix in the milk.
~Stir in chips and toffee bits.
~Chill dough for at least 30 minutes.
~Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
~Roll cooled dough into balls and place on baking sheet. Keep remaining dough in the fridge while waiting for the batch to bake.
~Bake for 10-12 minutes depending on the size of the cookies. These cookies do crisp up once removed from the oven so don't overcook. 
~Remove trays from oven. Cool for 1-2 minutes then transfer cookies to a cooling rack. (If you wait too long to do this and the cookies cool, they aren't as easy to remove from the trays.)


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Chocolate Mousse Tort

When I began this blog, I had every intention of writing mostly about the desserts I make. Unfortunately (or fortunately), I'm a pretty healthy eater and so it became difficult to post fancy desserts on a daily basis. I had two options. I could only post desserts, and have my posts few and far between, or I could make this blog mirror my eating (and thus cooking habits). I chose to do the latter because I really wanted to be able to look back on this blog and see everything that I had made.

This recipe just happens to be one that I am incredibly happy that I found. Plus, as an added bonus it looks absolutely stunning and tastes like heaven too. I actually made this and took the pictures of it years ago, when I had never even heard of food blogging. Now I figure is as good a time as any to pull the images out of the depths of my albums to share.

The recipe comes from Kraft and the only adaptation I made was that instead of using Nilla Wafers (because they were on a manufacturer shortage at the time. The nerve right?) I had to settle for some store bought shortbread cookies that were slightly larger as they were the closes thing I could find (I was looking for round, small, plain cookies). The shortbread worked just fine, but you won't quite get as many servings out of this dessert if you use larger cookies because you have to cut between cookies to get a slice. But then again, maybe you want larger slices.

One other thing to note, this recipe calls for fresh raspberries and for good reason. The first time I made this dessert it was in the middle of December (hence the Xmas plate in the pictures) and unless you were willing to pay a fortune for a half a dozen imported raspberries, the only option was frozen. Well, let me tell you, frozen berries are great for some things, just not this. This dessert is all about presentation and it's really hard to make something look good when your berries are flat and mushy looking, and in small pieces or large clumps. It was sort of a nightmare. I sat and hand picked each berry out of the bag and inspected it to make sure it was in fact a whole berry and not a piece of one. Then I placed it on paper towel and waited them to thaw. Meanwhile I had another piece of paper towel over top of the berries and I kept lightly patting them to get the juices away from the berries as to try and prevent them from mushing. You see how imprinted this memory is on my brain after all this time? This was no minor procedure I'm telling you.

Anyway, so for the most part I succeeded in getting the berries to be presentable. But, I now know it is well worth the $6.00 you'll pay for the tiny container of berries in the winter. I won't be that cheap again; I've learned my lesson.


Serves: 16
37 Nilla Wafers
4 Squares Semi-Sweet Chocolate
2 Pkg's (3.9 oz each) Chocolate Instant Pudding
2 C. + 2 Tbsp. Milk
1 Tub (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
1 Pkg. (8 oz.) Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 C. Sugar
3/4 C. Fresh Raspberries


~Stand 16 wafers along the inside edge of a 9-inch round pan that has been lined with plastic wrap.
~Melt 3 squares of the chocolate.
~In a medium bowl, combine pudding mixes and 2 C. milk. Whisk for 2 minutes.
~Add in the melted chocolate and mix to combine.
~Stir in 1 C. Cool Whip.
~Pour mixture into prepared pan, making sure that the wafers stay pressed up against the side of the pan.
~In another bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and remaining milk with mixer until blended.
~Stir in 1 C. of the remaining Cool Whip.
~Spread mixture over pudding layer, making sure not to mix the layers together.
~Top with remaining wafers (you want them to be placed as close to the next wafer as possible because this torte is inverted and the top becomes the bottom, so essentially you are making the crust here.)
~Refrigerate for 3 hours.
~Shave remaining chocolate square into curls using a vegetable peeler. (This didn't work so well for me, even when I slightly warmed the chocolate as the original recipe instructed. I got tiny flakes instead of curls, it still looked and tasted fine though.)
~When tort has set, invert it onto a serving plate and remove plastic wrap.
~Top with remaining Cool Whip (a large blob on top, don't spread it around like frosting), berries and chocolate curls.