Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Honey Garlic Sauce

I've always enjoyed having a jar of honey garlic sauce in my fridge for stir fry. But I find there is two types of honey garlic sauce. You've got the liquidy one you get in the jar from the stir fry section of the store, or the thick and gooey and sticky one you get on wings or meatballs at a bar. I also find that the different textured ones have very different flavours (or maybe that's just the different brands talking), but I feel like their flavours are so different that they shouldn't be labeled as the same thing. So you're probably wondering, where am I going with this and I have to be honest, nowhere. I'm just rattling on and on and on. So I'll stop now.

Okay, so this sauce tasted amazing, it worked amazing, it was thick and gooey and sticky and it tasted exactly like the sauce we get on our wings at the bar we like, except for one tiny additional flavour in it that I suspect may be my addition of the chilli peppers. Anyway, a word to the wise, don't sit around over the stove and worry that it is not thickening. I was about 3 seconds away from dumping in another scoop of cornstarch when all of a sudden the entire sauce just magically changed. On that same note, don't walk away from the stove, it takes a bit but when it does change it is very quick and you need to be stirring.

This sauce is great on stir fry, would be excellent on wings or meatballs or anything you could really think of that would be better with some sugar and garlic drizzled over top.

Makes ~ 3/4 - 1C.

This recipe can be found over at GroupRecipes.com


3/4 C. Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. Corn Starch
3/4 C. Water
3 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp. Honey
3-4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Tsp. Dried Chili Peppers


~Combine sugar and cornstarch in a small pot and mix to combine.
~Add in water, soy sauce, honey, garlic and chillies.
~Bring mixture to a bowl, whisking constantly.
~When mixture changes from a watery to syrupy consistency (it's impossible to miss, if you are unsure, you haven't reached it yet) give it a few final stirs and you are done.


Monday, 28 January 2013

Hearty Raspberry & Orange Pancakes

I struggle with pancakes and because of that I'm kinda scared of them. Give me yeast doughs or pastry any day, but not pancakes. But, I'm trying to slowly get over my fears. Unfortunately it's not working so well. As you can see these are a bit dark on the outside. The funny thing I find with pancakes is I rarely have ever eaten a golden pancake like you see in magazines. I don't know how they do it, but I've never managed it, nor has my Dad who loves his perfect pancake. I think it all has to do with the type of pan you use. So I'm going to blame this one on the pan. The good thing though is while they don't look all that appealing they actually are. They look black and burnt, but they never seem to taste like that, and these ones are full of amazing flavour inside.

These are very heavy pancakes due to the greek yogurt and whole wheat flour in them, kinda like my Yogurt Waffles. One of these (and a few bites of a second one that I shared with Kona) was plenty. Top it off with some butter and some lemon curd and you are good to go.

One other thing, I know that it kind of defeats the purpose of putting dairy yogurt and soy milk in this, but for some reason I believe vanilla soy milk (even the fat-free variety) makes thicker and more flavourful pancakes. Try it and see (even with Aunt Jemima mixes it makes it taste home made).

Adapted from Baking Bites

Serves 2-3


1 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Egg
2/3 C. Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 C. Vanilla Soy Milk
1 Tbsp. Orange Juice
1/2 Orange, zested
1 Tbsp. Butter, melted
1 C. Raspberries, fresh or frozen & thawed


~In a medium bowl, combine flour, powder, soda, salt & sugar. Mix and set aside.
~In another medium bowl, whisk together egg, yogurt, milk, OJ, zest & butter.
~Pour dry ingredients into wet and stir until combined.
~Preheat a griddle or skillet and grease lightly.
~Scoop batter into hot pan (if too thick and doesn't spread, gently spread with the back of a spoon), and sprinkle top with raspberries. 
~Cook until brown and then flip and again cook until brown.


Sunday, 27 January 2013

Peach Streusel Muffins

So, I really love these muffins. I guess I should add an 'also' to the end of that sentence, because if you go back to the early days of this blog you'll see that I kinda have a muffin obsession. But this one is a different sort of love. It's not a chocolate love like in my Banana Chocolate Chip muffins, or a lemon love like in my Lemon Macaroon muffins, or even a nutella love like in my Nutella Bran muffins. No, this recipe is a versatility love and it also feeds the perfectionist in me because they always seem to work, whatever you throw at them (or in them). For example, I substituted out the required two cups peaches called for and instead added in two cups worth of any of these combinations:

~Cherry Blueberry
~Carrot Blueberry
~Apple Nutmeg

The possibilities really are endless. I know my favourites were the peach (the original recipe called for peach), the apple nutmeg (tasted like a great apple pie), and the carrot blueberry. Isn't this just amazing? I mean, how many fruit muffins can you make into a carrot muffin by just throwing in carrot and having it work? I definitely am incredibly grateful I came across this recipe. And the fact that it has a streusel on top just makes it even better.

One thing I would recommend is that you use paper muffin liners for this recipe. Due to the amount of fruit and moisture in the batter (and then the crispy and hard topping), it is very very difficult to get these muffins out of the tins in one piece. And by very hard I mean impossible. Let me put it this way, you've been warned. Other than that I have yet to find anything you can really do wrong with this recipe. One other small hint though for aesthetic purposes is if you want the muffins to not be slightly sunken in the middle, make sure you have covered the entire top surface of the batter before baking with the streusel mix. Other than that it's smooth sailing. Oh, and if you are using canned peaches, it is rather difficult to check when they are fully baked. Simply because the peaches are so moist and abundant in this recipe and when you stick your toothpick in it often comes out wet. A word to the rise, these are really resilient to over baking (the top just seems to get better, and there is so much moisture in the batter), that you are better to leave it in for a couple more minutes than you think.

Recipe adapted from Best Health Magazine.

Makes 12 muffins (if making smaller muffins and thus more muffins, you'll have to increase the amount of streusel topping or you won't be able to cover each muffin completely).


1 1/2 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 C. Finely Chopped Pecans (omitted)
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Lemon Zest
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Salt
1 Egg
1 C. Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/4 C. Butter, melted
1/2 C. Buttermilk
2 C. Peaches, diced (I've only ever used canned due to the season, but originally calls for fresh)

1/2 C. Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
2 Tbsp. White Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
Pinch of Salt
1/4 C. Toasted Pecans, roughly chopped (omitted)
1/4 C. Butter, melted


~Preheat oven to 400 F

~In a medium bowl, combine flour, pecans, baking powder, soda, zest, cinnamon and salt, and set aside.
~In a large bowl, combine the egg and sugar and whisk until well combined. 
~Add in vanilla, butter, and buttermilk and whisk to combine
~Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, making sure not to over mix.
~Fold the peaches into batter.
~Spoon batter into lined muffin tins.

~In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix with a fork (or fingers) until you get a chunky (evenly moistened) mixture.
~Spoon mixture onto muffin batter

~Bake at 400 F for 5 minutes then lower temperature to 375 F (without opening oven door) and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes. If muffins are browning too much on top and are still soft inside, lower the temperature to 350 F and bake until the gooeyness is gone in the centre).

Monday, 21 January 2013

Taco Pie

So this pie is basically the same thing you get in the Old el Paso Taco Pie box. But, it has more vegetables in it and it doesn't contain that scary taco seasoning that I'm sure is just sodium. It does contain that awful cheese sauce though in the form of Salsa con Queso. Unfortunately, this last time I made this I didn't enjoy it as much. They've changed the cheese sauce that I normally buy and much to my surprise, when I sampled it, it had absolutely no flavour. So, my dish was a bit bland to say the least. But, maybe it was just a faulty jar (at least that's what I'm telling myself, instead of that they changed their recipe). I might have to resort to making my own sauce at some point, but for now I'm going to try stick with the jar stuff simply for convenience. Not that it would be hard to combine velveeta and salsa to make the sauce myself.

Anyway, turns out I didn't have an adequately deep round pan to get the required four layers in. So my pie may look slightly strange because it only has two layers (I had to split it up into two shallow pie pans), but it still works just as well.

After I made this dish this past week I got to thinking that you could easily make this into a vegetarian option (not that I have any desire to go vegetarian), but using black beans instead of the beef. Just a thought.

So, the idea for this comes from Old el Paso, but really everything else is my own creation.

Serves 5


1 1/2 lb. Ground Beef
1/2 Onion, diced
1 1/2 C. Salsa con Queso (or whatever cheese sauce you decide upon)
1 1/4 C. Salsa
1/2 Tsp. Cumin
1 Tsp. Chili Peppers
4 Soft Tortillas
2 Tomatoes, diced
1/2 Bell Pepper, diced
1/2 C. Corn Kernels
1 C. Cheese, grated


~Heat skillet and cook beef and onions until cooked through.
~Add in cheese sauce, salsa, cumin & chilis
~Preheat oven to 350 F.
~Place 1 tortilla into a greased round dish (make sure the tortilla fills the dish)
~Layer with 1/4 of the beef mixture, vegetables and cheese.
~Top with another tortilla and repeat until you have four layers with the meat, veggies and cheese on top.
~Put in oven and bake until heated through and cheese is bubbly, approximately 15 minutes.


Sunday, 20 January 2013

Green Citrus Smoothie

Here you have a green smoothie, without all the typical green smoothie ingredients. Yup, that's right, no spinach. You read that right. This smoothie contains just enough tart and just enough sweetness in every sip. Typically my smoothies usually end up being pink or purple because of some form of berries being added, but this one avoids that all together and really it's green so that's all the encouragement I need to make it. One suggestion, we keep all of our fruit at room temperature, so this smoothie ended up being pretty room temperature by the time we served it. If you aren't up for that, add a bit of ice into the mix before blending.

I found this recipe in a local grocery store's flyer but it can also be found on the Thrifty's website.

Makes: 3 - 1 Cup servings


4 Kiwi, peeled
1 Orange, peeled & chunked with pith removed
1 Banana, peeled and chunked
Zest of 1/2 Lime
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1 1/2 C. Vanilla Yogurt (or plain)
1 Tbsp. Honey


~Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
~Pour into glasses and serve.


Thursday, 10 January 2013


Now I know this is a food blog, and I also have to admit that I don't look favourably on food bloggers that all of a sudden throw in a post about their vacation, or their garden, or their latest craft, but I'm going to do just that. Because I think they look cool and I took pictures of them and I want them to be seen (and so I'll remember to do them next year again).


So I've seen this one above in a couple of different places (for the life of me I can't remember where), but there were a lot of extra cranberries leftover so we gave it a try.

What You'll Need

Plastic Wrap
Large Vase
Fir Boughs

To Assemble

~Scrunch up plastic wrap and place in the bottom of the vase.
~Put a layer of the greenery on top, followed by a layer of cranberries.
~Repeat until you have filled the vase up to the top.
~Top off with water.


This one wasn't my idea, my Mom threw one of these centrepieces together at the last minute a couple of years ago and I always forget about this simple one. Unfortunately, the picture doesn't do it justice.

What You'll Need

Shallow Glass Bowl
Salal (the green leaves)
**Optional** Cranberries

To Assemble

~Place lemons in the bowl
~Arrange greenery around them
~Sprinkle with cranberries if desired.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Buffalo Cauliflower 'Wings'

Okay, these are good. And by good I mean I think I took the top layers of skin off of my tongue. Yes folks, these are very hot. But good, oh so good. I had requests to make them two nights in a row.

So as I said, these are hot, hot, hot but they taste exactly like hot wings, but not so much like buffalo wings but that could easily be remedied by using the buffalo flavoured Frank's Hot Sauce instead of the original.

Serves 6 people

Source Tasty Kitchen


1 Head Cauliflower, in florets
1 C. Milk
3/4 C. Flour
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 C. Hot Sauce
2 Tbsp. Butter

Optional ** Blue Cheese or Ranch Dressing for dipping


~Cut cauliflower into florets.
~Preheat oven to 425 F
~In a medium bowl whisk together milk, flour and garlic
~Dip each piece of cauliflower into mixture and let excess drip off.
~Place on a greased cookie sheet
~Spray tops of cauliflower with oil
~Bake for 20 minutes until fork tender
~While baking, in another medium microwave safe bowl melt butter then add hot sauce.
~Heat mixture just before tossing the baked cauliflower in it.
~Serve immediately as it cools very quickly.


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Cinnamon Buns

Haha, if you look at the labels in which I've classified this recipe under you'd be laughing too: Dessert & Breakfast! Anyway, moving on...This recipe is one I always use, and by always I mean the one or two times a year I feel the need for cinnamon buns. Sorry, let me clarify, I feel the need for cinnamon buns more than once or twice a year but I can only justify them on those few occasions.

I wasn't as stuck on my last batch of these as I usually am, but ironically everyone else who tried them said they were the best ones yet. The only thing I did different was use my KA instead of hand kneading these. The recipe really was written to be made all by hand from mixing with a whisk to kneading by hand for ten minutes. I decided to speed it up a little this time and so these will be the directions I share because that will be how I make these in the future.

I am going to warn you, these do not taste like Cinnabon which is kinda unfortunate in a way because I like Cinnabon, but I guess it's probably an okay thing that they aren't so sickly sweet right??

The source for this recipe amazingly enough is my middle school home ec. teacher. Yes folks, I actually do use a recipe from that class (actually I use a couple of them still). This recipe though is the reason why yeast doughs never scared me like so many people I know. I always knew that if you could make a cinnamon bun work out and rise you could make a simple loaf of bread work.

Makes 12 Rolls (every single time, no matter what I do I always get 12 and if I double it I still get 24 exactly without fail)


2 1/2 - 3 C. Flour
2 Tsp. Yeast
1/4 C. Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1/4 Butter, softened
2/3 C. Hot Water
1 Egg

1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Butter, softened
1/4 C. Raisins or walnuts (optional)


1 C. Icing Sugar
1/4 C. Butter, softened
1 Tsp. Vanilla
water or milk (very little)


~Combine 1 C. of flour, undissolved yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Stir.
~Add butter, hot water and egg. Beat with paddle attachment for 1 minute or until thick and elastic.
~Gradually stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that leaves the side of the bowl.
~Knead for 5-10 minutes (by hand) or less if using a stand mixer.
~Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let rest for 20 minutes.
~Meanwhile in a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
~Roll dough into a 12" x 10" rectangle on a floured surface.
~Spread dough with butter (like you're buttering toast) and sprinkle with the sugar mixture and raisins or nuts if desired. 
~Roll dough up tightly starting at the 12" side. Pinch the ends to seal.
~Cut roll into 12 - 1" pieces either with a serrated knife or dental floss (ideally).
~Place rolls into a greased baking dish (all 12 will fit in a 4 x 3 arrangement in a 9"x13" pan or for a better placement use round pans to give each roll a bit more space to expand)
~Brush rolls lightly with oil.
~Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for a couple of hours on the counter or overnight in the fridge.

~Preheat oven to 375 F and bake cinnamon rolls for 20-25 minutes (or until lightly browned).
~While baking, mix icing sugar, butter and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add a small amount of milk or water and whisk out any lumps. If too thick, add more liquid. If too thin, add more icing sugar until you reach desired consistency.
~Spread icing on slightly warm cinnamon buns.


No Raisins (so much prettier and much tastier this way!)

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Margarita Cake

I could say a lot about this cake but I'll keep it simple because I could go on about it all day. So let me just tell you that this is the most amazingly moist cake you'll ever eat. And the fact that you could get drunk just off the glaze is good enough for a lot of us who eat this. Plus, it is so incredibly simple to make. Just throw everything in a bowl, mix and you're all set to enjoy.

This recipe was given to us by a neighbour but I actually tracked her source down to allrecipes.com.

Serves 8


1 Pkg. Lemon Cake Mix (use a Brand Name variety, not a store brand. I made this mistake and it was not good)
1 (3.4 oz) Pkg. Instant Lemon or Vanilla Pudding mix 
4 Eggs
1/2 C. Oil
2/3 C. Water
1/4 C. Lemon Juice
1/4 C. Tequila
2 Tbsp. Triple Sec Liqueur (or if you don't have this substitute Grand Marnier - but it changes the flavour quite a bit so only do this in a pinch)

1 C. Icing Sugar
1 Tbsp. Tequila
2 Tbsp. Triple Sec (or Grand Marnier)
2 Tbsp. Lime Juice


~Preheat oven to 350 F & grease and flour a bundt pan.
~Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat for 2 minutes (30 sec if using stand mixer)
~Pour batter into bundt pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
~Cool in pan for about 15-20 minutes before transferring to a platter to finish cooling

~Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until smooth.
~Drizzle over mostly cooled cake.


**A couple of hints:
~When the cake has just come out of the oven and is still in the pan, poke holes in the bottom and pour a small amount of tequila over the cake.
~Make a larger batch of glaze and as soon as you pull the cake out of the pan, drizzle a portion of the glaze over the cake and allow it to soak into the hot cake. Then glaze as usual with the remaining glaze when the cake is warm to cool.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Most Popular of 2012

Happy New Years guys! I have to admit, that while I normally struggle for the first few weeks of the new year to write the proper date, I don't think I'm going to this, this year. Honestly, the last few weeks I've been struggling to write the correct date. I'm all messed up and keep writing 2013, because right before Christmas at work we had to do a lot of advanced work for the first part of January and so everything I did had to have a 2013 date. So basically, I haven't enjoyed the last weeks of 2012, because I now keep finding myself writing 2013. Who would have ever thought that possible right?

Again, something else I hate reading from other food bloggers, but something I'm going to do myself. Sorry!

When I first started this blog back in June, I never thought I'd be able to do one of these types of posts though. Simply because I never expected I would have 78 posts. I thought I would have 7 and you can't really do a top 5 from a selection of 7. Well, I guess you could but really what's the point? But with 78 things up there, I think I can safely select the top 5 from that. I might even do my own top 5 favourite things I've eaten (aka the recipes I didn't just try but keep going back to again and again). Now I know the most popular list isn't exactly accurate as things I've posted back in June have had a lot more time to collect views, but bear with me because their was actually a pretty good spread of dates for the top 5 posts.

So without further adieu here's the Most Popular Posts of 2012 (as per reader views):

4th (Tie): Twisted Tuna Wrap

4th (Tie): Spiked Pink Lemonade Slush

3rd: Nutella Stuffed French Toast Sandwich

2nd: Appletini

1st: Butterscotch Marshmallow Square.

Okay, now this list is hard. Very hard. I was going to do 5, but I'm going to have to do 10 because when I went through everything I posted, I pulled a list of my favourite things and it amounted to 20 items. What this exercise did succeed in getting me to do was to realize there was about half a dozen things I said right after eating them that I had to make again. Well now months have passed and I'd forgotten about them. But let me tell you, I've now remembered them and am super excited to make them again. So in no order...My Favourites of 2012.

And there you have it folks.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Chocolate Spoons

Okay, now these were fun to make and even funner to give. Plus, I'm excited to make them again, but to use marshmallows instead of spoons. One of the people I gave these to got so excited and kept repeating over and over again that we should put a patent on the idea because they were awesome. I think I broke his heart when I told him that we couldn't get rich off of them because it wasn't my idea and a lot of people had done this before me.

Anyway, if you are one of the people that hasn't done this before, let me share the concept with you. It's very simple, relatively inexpensive and did I mention it's fun?

To make these, all you need is plastic spoons and dipping chocolate (and it helps if you have something to stick the dipped spoons into to hold them while they set, instead of having to hold them like I did for quite awhile before I stuck them in the cups to hold them as you can see).

~Melt your milk chocolate and dip each spoon into it. Tap off the excess and if you've got any lumps or creases on it, tapping will help smooth those out as well. Set them aside to harden.

~After the chocolate has set, dip the spoons again, repeating the last step.

~When the chocolate has set, melt the white chocolate and drizzle it over the back of the spoons. Allow to harden.

~Wrap each spoon up in plastic wrap and tie with a ribbon.

See, simple right?

Now all they (or you) have to do is place the spoon into your hot coffee or hot chocolate and stir. Or, I've got this desire to eat ice cream with one of these, it wouldn't melt on the ice cream, but if you held it in your mouth long enough with each bite...