Latest Entries »

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 11.38.13 AM

What you will need:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1/4 stick
1/2  yellow onion
8 fresh sage leaves
2 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 medium Granny Smith apple
2 1/2 cups  vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
4 pounds whole butternut squash (about 2 medium), halved lengthwise and seeds removed

 

Steps to yummy goodness:
1. Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
3. Place the squash pieces cut-side up on the baking sheet.
4. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and brush all of it over the tops and insides of the squash halves.

5. Season generously with salt and pepper.
6. Roast until knife tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour.
7. Meanwhile, peel, core, and cut the apple into medium dice.
8. Cut the onion into medium dice. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan or  over medium heat.

9. Add the apple, onion, and sage, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened (about 7 minutes).

10. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

11. When the squash is ready, set the baking sheet on a wire rack until the squash is cool enough to handle. Using a large spoon, scoop the flesh into the saucepan with the sautéed apples and onions; discard the skins.

12. Add the broth, water, and measured salt and pepper, stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

13. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces of squash, until the flavors meld (about 15 minutes).

14. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.
15. Let everything cool just a bit

16. Using an immersion blender, purée the chilled soup in batches until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

 

.:Side Notes:.
You can easily garnish this with extra cream, roasted pumpkin seeds, crushed walnuts, extra crispy bacon bits, rosemary, honey…etc, feel free to top with any of them for whatever your craving that day.

If you don’t have an immersion blender feel free to use a normal blender. Just let the soup cool a little then purée the soup in batches until smooth, removing the small cap (the pour lid) from the blender lid and covering the space with a kitchen towel (this allows steam to escape and prevents the blender lid from popping off) then reheat in a pot.

This is a great make a head meal just cool the finished soup to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or stick in the freezer up to 1 month.

 

Advertisements

Pumpkin Spice Granola

pumpkin-spice-granola

 

What you will need:
2/3 cup honey
3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree, canned is my easy to go so don’t be afraid to use it too
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups raw pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 cup whole brown flax seeds
1 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped


Steps to yummy goodness:
1.
Preheat oven to 300 F and line a 9 x 13 inch metal cake pan with parchment paper.

2. In a small saucepan, whisk together and bring to a slight boil the honey, coconut oil, and vanilla. Remove from heat.

3. Whisk in the pumpkin, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon.
4. In a large mixing bowl, stir the pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, flax seeds, and chopped cranberries together.

5. Pour the liquid honey mixture over the dry ingredients and stir together.
6. Pour the mixture into the parchment paper-lined metal pan and press down until you have an even thickness.

7. Bake at 300 F for 25 minutes, stir the granola around half way though the baking process, you can leave it quite chunky or break it up depending on how you like it.

8. Remove from oven, let it cool completely on the counter, and then transfer to the refrigerator for one hour or overnight before breaking into small pieces and storing in air tight container (see some other ideas on what to use this granola for below).

 

.:Side Notes:.

I love using this granola as a cereal just use a fork or spoon to break up the granola mixture into small bite-sized pieces. Store in a refrigerated jar and enjoy over you choice of milk or milk substitute (almond, coconut, soy..etc).

This goes great over vanilla yogurt or Greek yogurt.

Feel free to mix up the berry choices dehydrated berries work amazing. You can also add chopped up nuts like almonds, walnuts…etc

If you want to turn this into pumpkin spice granola balls or bars on the go here is how
Dark Chocolate-Dipped Balls:
Grease your hands with coconut oil. Using the cooled and set granola, roll ~1 tablespoon of the mixture in your hands to form a ball. Dip the balls in 1/2 cup melted milk or dark chocolate chips. Place on parchment paper and then the refrigerator to firm and store

Bars:
After Step #8 just cut into the bar or square shape you like and store in the refrigerator.

 

 

Multipurpose BBQ Rub

Screen Shot 2017-09-04 at 10.18.04 AM

 

What you will need:
1/3 Cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons seasoned salt (my go to brand is Lawry’s)
2 Tablespoons garlic powder
2 Tablespoons onion powder
2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
2 Tablespoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon cracked black pepper
2 Tablespoons cayenne pepper

Steps to yummy goodness:
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
2. Give it a good stir and keep in an air tight sealed glass jar.

To use: Use one to two tablespoons of dry rub for each pound of meat. Rub onto beef, poultry, lamb, pork or season vegetables and either cook immediately or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.

.:Side Notes:.
This recipe yields approximately 1 cup of rub

Store any remaining rub in a sealed container in a cool, dry place. The flavor will fade over time, so it should be used within 3-4 months for best results

If you’re not a fan of spicy food feel free to leave out the cayenne pepper.

sour-cream-coffee-cake-muffins-with-glaze

 

What you will need:
For the muffins:
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
2 Large Eggs
5.3 Ounces Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt, 150g
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 Teaspoon Coffee Extract
8 Tablespoons Coconut Flour
2 Teaspoons Instant Coffee
1/3 Cup Sweetener
3 Scoops Vanilla Protein Powder
3/4 Cup Rolled Oats
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk

For the crumble top:
1 tsp coconut palm sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp flour, all purpose
1/2 tsp butter

 

Steps to yummy goodness:
1. Take out a food processor and combine all of your ingredients into it aside from your ground cinnamon (if you choose to not use a food processor just make sure you turn your Rolled Oats into flour before mixing everything together it can be done in a blender).

2. Process everything together.
3. Take out a muffin pan, coat it with some non-stick cooking spray, and then evenly distribute your mix into your pan.

4. Top each spot with some ground cinnamon and an equal amount of the crumb topping.

5. Bake on 350°F for 30 to 40 minutes

 

.:Side Notes:.
If you don’t like coconut milk feel free to use regular milk or other milk substitutes.

You can also top it with a simple icing sugar drizzle, like in the photo.

If you don’t want to use the crumb topping, you can top these with chocolate chips or crushed almonds or walnuts

 

Being a parent of a child with a disability there are many things I can relate to but also feel very alone with. It’s why when I saw this video in my social media feed from the fine people over at The Mighty I felt the need to share it. The video is short but filled with things that you may relate too, simple reminders you needed to read / see again and maybe even a few things that will be helpful as well.

The video is called:
Secrets of Being a Special Needs Parent

I hope it helps you feel a little less alone or perhaps spread some understanding if you happen to be reading this but aren’t a parent to a special needs child or even a parent at all.

20526815_10159121319295173_1936916335_n

 

What you will need:
For the crust:
1 12 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
13 cup margarine, melt


For the filling:

1 cup whipped cream
1 (8 ounce) cream cheese, room temp
14 cup sugar
1 tablespoon gelatin
3 tablespoons milk
1 cup blueberry syrup, recipe for that is in the link below

 

Steps to yummy goodness:
1.Combine crumbs and sugar, pour melted butter.
2. Press into pan spring form pan (this recipe is great for a 9inch pan) chill and cover while you prepare the filling.

3. Soak gelatin in milk for 5 minutes, and heat it up (or place it in microwave) to melt the gelatin.

 

4. Beat cream cheese, add sugar.
5. Gradually pour this while beating the cream cheese mixture.
6. Fold in whipped cream.
7. Spread the filling mixture on top of crust and let chill for 2-4 hours in the fridge.
8. Top with blueberry syrup before serving.


.:Side Note:.

Blueberry syrup recipe can be found here:
https://diaryofatattooedmom.wordpress.com/2017/08/07/homemade-blueberry-syrup/

Remember the syrup must be thick or else it’ll fall from the cake.

If you press the crust into cupcake liners and then fill with mixture you can easily use this recipe for personal sized cheesecakes which are great for lunches, parties..etc

Homemade Blueberry Syrup

blueberry syrup.JPG

What you will need:
2 cups blueberries, either fresh or frozen
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 T lemon juice

 

Steps to yummy goodness:
1. Wash your blueberries well, and pick off all the stems – or at least as many as you can find.

2.Place the berries into a heavy saucepan, and add 1/2 cup of water and the sugar.

3. Stir to dissolve and cook on medium high heat. As you stir, keep watching for stems and other detritus to pop up and carefully pick them out with a clean hand, before the syrup got too hot to handle.

4. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. You’ll notice that the berries continue to change color and texture. They’ll swell, some will break, and they’ll turn a deeper, richer purple.

5. While the mixture is simmering, mix together the cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 cup of cold water, using a fork to ensure it all dissolves and there are no clumps.  This will help thicken your syrup

6. Slowly pour the cornstarch mixture into the syrup, stirring constantly while you do so to ensure it all gets mixed in.  Simmer for a total of 15 minutes or until the syrup reduces to the thickness you desire.

7. Add the lemon juice and stir to incorporate, then remove the syrup from the heat. Taste your blueberry syrup and determine if you need any more sugar. Add a teaspoon at a time until it taste right for you.

8. Now this step is totally optional, you can either strain out the blueberries as you put the syrup into a clean air tight jar or if you like a more rustic feel / cooked blueberries you can leave them in and pour the whole pot into a clean air tight jar.

 

.:Side Notes:.
 I use mason jars when it comes to storing the syrup for a long time because I know the seal is always effective and since they’re glass it won’t get stained by the syrup. I also keep a little in an oil/vinegar glass bottle for easy pouring.

This is a pretty universal recipe feel free to switch out the blueberries for any berry you like or is in season.

Feel free to use this on pancakes, waffles, on top of cheesecake. You name it you can put this recipe on it, it’s is a great little addition for when you want to change it up from normal syrups.

Be back soon

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 11.10.20 AM

We’re out going on adventures, getting some inspiration and making wonderful memories to share.  I promise to be back soon and share it all.

Screen Shot 2017-07-03 at 8.11.57 AM

For those that don’t know a simple syrup is used in a variety of beverages call for sweetening to offset the tartness of some juices used in the drink recipes. Granulated sugar does not dissolve easily in cold drinks or ethyl alcohol. Since the simple syrups are liquid, they are easily mixed with other liquids in mixed drinks, making them superior alternatives to granulated sugar while adding a nice little twist / sweetness.

A wide variety of flavoring  can be made, often in combination with each other, such as herbs (rosemary), spices (chipotle chilis; cardamom), or aromatics (orange peel; lemongrass; ginger). For instance, syrupus aromaticus is prepared by adding certain quantities of orange flavouring and cinnamon water to simple syrup. This type of syrup is commonly used at coffee bars, to make flavored drinks. Infused simple syrups can also be used to create desserts, to add sweetness and depth. Now that Summer is here I wanted to share a simple syrup recipe that works with any type of Summer berry that goes great into everything from cocktails to the everyday lemonade.

 

What you will need:
1 cup blueberries, any berries can be used
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
one tablespoon vodka, optional, will last longer with it

 

Steps to yummy goodness:
1. Combine blueberries (or whatever berries you are using), sugar and water in a saucepan set over medium heat, bring to boil.

2. Reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The blueberries will burst on their own, so don’t worry about chopping them first.

3. Pour through strainer, gently pressing to extract as much juice as possible; don’t press too hard, it’ll make your syrup cloudy!

4. Mix in vodka (if using), transfer to a mason jar

 

.:Side Notes:.

This simple syrup should keep in the fridge for 3-4 weeks without or vodka or 6-8 weeks with vodka (although mine always seems to disappear before then)

If you are using bigger berries like strawberries bump the recipe up to two cups instead of the one cup this recipe calls for.

Happy Birthday Canada!!

Happy-Canada-Day-Wishes-Image

 

Tomorrow is the 150th Canada Day, there will be BBQ’s, fireworks and all sort of fun memories being made. From my family to yours I wish you all an early, safe but loads of fun Canada day.