Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Baking Goal: Butterfinger Cake

Doesn't this cake look wonderful? It's made it to the list of recipes to try when I'm doing baking my way through my Pillsbury cookbook!

Check out the recipe at Val So Cal!

Monday, 30 May 2011

Baking My Way: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are wonderful! They are so soft and chewy and just such a great chocolate chip cookie; perfect for a chocolate chip cookie sundae! Next time I wouldn't make them with the sunflower seeds but I had to follow the recipe to truly bake through this book!

With this recipe there are 4 variations so look out for posts on that too! It's going to be all chocolate for a little while!

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 shortening
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chocolate chip
1/2 chopped nuts or sunflower seeds

Heat oven to 375

In a bowl combine sugars, shortening and butter, beat until light and fluffy.

Add vanilla and eggs; beat well.

Add flour, baking soda and salt; mix well.

Stir in chocolate chips and nuts/seeds.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool 1 minute, remove from cookie sheets.

I've shared this recipe at:

The More The Merrier Mondays
Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Tasty Tuesdays
Tutorial Tuesdays
Show me what ya got 
Dr. Laura’s Tasty Tuesday
Take A Look Tuesdays
Tuesdays at the Table
Hand Made Features
Anything Related
Two Maids A Baking
Show & Tell Wednesdays
Idea Sharing Wednesday
Whatever Goes Wednesdays
Recipes I Can't Wait to Try
What's Cooking Wednesday
Whatcha Makin' Wednesdays
What I Whipped Up Wednesday
Whisking Wednesdays  
Making It with Allie
Strut Your Stuff Thursday
Hookin' Up With House of Hepworths
Show Off Your Stuff Party
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday
It's a Keeper Thursday
Full Plate Thursday
Feature Yourself Friday
Creation Corner Friday Link Party
Frugal Friday
Foodie Friday
Fantabulous Friday
Recipe Linky @ Big K, little a
Feasting in Fellowship Friday
Bake with Bizzy  

Health Tip: Preventing & Getting Rid of Slip Ends

I had really long; half way down my back hair a couple of months ago but cut it off into a cute little bob. Although I love it part of the reason I cut it was because I had constant problems with split ends. I got haircuts regularly but I guess somewhere in there I still wasn’t taking care of my hair enough (I think some of it had to do with the water in our apartment but that’s another story). I read in a book (Baby Proof) the other day about doing a sort of test of beauty on women. You take a woman that’s pretty but then imagine she has horrible, puffy, out of control hair and then ask the question “Is she still pretty?” The argument was that hair is a huge contributing factor to a woman’s beauty so it’s not really a fair test. Anyways, what I’m getting at is that we all love having wonderfully beautiful hair so here are some steps to take to give your hair a fighting chance to show off and to help you really take care of it well.

To reduce tangles and get rid of split ends, brush your hair before you take a shower. While you’re in the shower, try not to bunch up your hair while you’re washing it. Make sure your hair hangs straight down, apply shampoo near the top of your scalp, and work the lather downward by gently working your fingers in a zigzag motion down the length of your hair. This will prevent tangles that encourage breakage when you brush after your shower.

To get rid of split ends, use plenty of conditioner during and after a shower. Some conditioners are good for your hair, and others aren’t. Generally speaking, those conditioners that are more expensive or found in reputable hair salons are the better conditioners. Conditioner will not only help keep your hair feeling luxuriously smooth, but it will also help prevent breakage and the resulting split ends by lubricating your hair. The problem here is that conditioners that make your hair easy to brush tend to leave more residues.

As a rule, hair specialists tell you not to brush your hair while it’s wet if you want to get rid of split ends. This is where the last two steps come into play. Let’s be honest with ourselves, and admit that we need to brush our hair while it’s wet because we don’t have a lot of time in the morning. If you did the first two steps above properly, and you didn’t bunch your hair up with your towel, you should be able to brush your hair quite easily when it’s still wet.

Don’t use hair dryers, curling irons, or hair straightening devices if you’re serious about getting rid of split ends. Anything that uses heat to treat your hair, barring “thermal hair treatments,” is bad for your hair. Instead of frying your hair on a daily basis, why not do what I do and take a little more time in the morning to allow your hair to dry without a hair dryer. Make sure to brush your hair in such a way as to spread it across yourself, exposing more surface area and thus reducing the time it takes to dry.

If you have split ends already and you want to get rid of those split ends, make sure to cut at least 1 and ½ inch up the hair to prevent further splitting. Split ends do have a tendency to keep splitting if you give them the chance. If you have time during the day, or in the evening, check your hair occasionally for split ends and simply cut about one to one and a half inches above the split end, and apply a conditioning treatment (pomade?) to the recently split end to ensure not more splitting.

For more info click here

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Savory Sunday

Hey all!
Hope you had a great long weekend! (I think you readers in the states have your long weekend this weekend, us Canadians has our last weekend).

A little change to Savory Sundays: I decided to leave the party open all week; letting more people have a chance to link up, and then post my picks on the next Sunday's party (instead of just the next day on Monday). I've got a lot of exciting things for the blog that I want to do so I thought this just made a little more sense.

But for today I'll leave you with this video that always puts a smile on my face. It makes me feel like a kid again. 

Here's how it will work:

1) Link up to the link below (link as many as you want but try to link something savory if you can)
2) Grab the Savory Sunday button and put it in the post you are sharing
3) Leave a comment after you post
4) I'd love for you to become a follower if you're not but it's not a requirement :)

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Guest Writer: Kait, from Kait Souch Online

Location: Toronto area, Ontario

Favourite Recipe: Homemade sushi!

Favorite kitchen tool: Not really a tool, but I can't live without cheese, bacon bits & green onion. They can make any dish better instantly! If I had to pick a tool, I'd say my frying pan.

About me & my blog:  I'm a girl from the Toronto area, who loves everything vintage, hand-made, fashion, photography, tea, design, gluten free, new recipes, tea and eco-friendly things. Also is a firm believer that sandwiches always taste better when cut diagonally. Blogs about all of the above… yes even diagonal sandwiches.

What do I live by: See above.. sandwiches cut diagonally ;). 

My favourite quote though is "choose a job you love, and never work a day in your life" - Oscar Wilde

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks! (Gluten Free version as well)

Hi everyone! I'm Kait from Miss Kait Online! Recently I found out I had to go on a gluten free diet. Wasn’t a huge deal.. until I couldn’t find any mozzarella cheese sticks that were gluten free! So I learned how to make my own! For all you kiddies out there who can eat gluten, just switch out the gluten free substitutes for the normal stuff. It’s a fairly simple recipe, but  be warned: it is messy and time consuming when making it by yourself. Lets get cracking! Here's what you'll need:  

Rice (or bread) crumbs
Dried parsley 
Mozzarella cheese strings
2 eggs
Rice (or regular) flour.

Put the following ingredients in bowls like so: 

Cut the mozzarella sticks in half. Take them one by one and roll them first in the flour, than the eggs & milk, then the crumbs. Repeat this process until you have the desired coverage of your cheese. (I do this about 2 or three times)

Once they’re all done, place them on a tray and flash freeze them for about 20 minutes. This will make it easier to fry them without the cheese fully melting inside and creating a mess before they’re cooked. While they’re freezing, I like to take this time to prepare the sauce.

For the sauce you’ll need a can of tomato paste, finely chopped onions, 1 clove minced garlic, oregano, basil, salt & pepper, sugar, ¼ water, 1tbsp olive oil and garlic salt. Combine all the ingredients in a pot and warm. The sugar is to take out the acidity of the tomato paste, generally 2 pinches does the trick.

Once the sticks are nice and cold, its time to fry them up! Fry them in some sunflower oil (canola or olive oil works as well) until they are golden brown. I typically refreeze some of them after they’re cooked. I reheat them in the oven at 350F for about 10 minutes for a quick snack. You can eat them when they are right off the pan as well!

How good do these look?! You can use this method on so many different things, veggies (its great for onion rings), fish, whatever you can think of! As someone who can’t eat gluten it’s a really handy recipe to have. And of course, like everything else in life they taste great with a martini ;). Enjoy!


Interested in being a guest writer? I'd love to have you! Click here for all the info!! The more the merrier!

Friday, 27 May 2011

I'm a guest writer!

Hi lovely followers!

I just thought I would let you know that I did a little guest post at Porcelain Heat, Ivory Tooth and I wanted to tell you about it!

It's called Styles Files, and as you guested it it's all about ones personal style!

I'd love it if you all went over and showed her (and I) a little support. It's my first time doing a post like it and it was a lot of fun!!

I'm also looking for guest writers for my Beautiful and Unique posts (on my other blog) so if you are interested check out the info here! I'd love to have any of your wonderful lady do a post (sorry boys, only the ladies for this one!)

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Shirl's Birthday

It was coming up to my mother-in-laws birthday and of course that means party, and because of the time of the year that means bbq!

This is the Pina Colada Cheesecake I made. It turned out great!

Marshall, looking good as always.

Doug, being a goof, as usual.

Marshall and Ashley, very excited about the pasta salad.

Marshall, taking 20 pictures of me convinced if he just keeps shooting he'll get at least one that I like (I have a little disproving smirk on my face) he's still learning how to use our new camera

Justin with his two burgers.

One of the items on her wish list at the store.

The brothers enjoying some wine and the sun. 

Happy Birthday Shirl!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Baking My Way: Frosted Cashew Cookies

I forgot I bought cashews when I was cleaning out the cupboards and found them. I was wanting to do some baking anyways so I went through the book and found this recipe.

The cookies were really simple and turned out great. Marshall says that they have made it to his favorite baking list (along side Snickerdoodles, Pecan Blonde, Mint Surprise Cookies and, Rocky Road Fudge Bars) so they are definitely worth posting about!

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon each baking powder, baking soda and salt
1-3/4 cups salted cashew halves

1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons half-and-half cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners' sugar
Additional cashew halves, optional


In a bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar. Beat in egg, sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Combine dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in the cashews.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
For the frosting, lightly brown butter in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat; add cream and vanilla. Beat in confectioners' sugar until smooth and thick. Frost cookies. Top each with a cashew half if desired. Yield: about 3 dozen.

(I dipped the cookies right in the icing to give it a nice fully coated look and a wonderfully sweet taste)

I've shared this recipe at: 

Tuesday Time Out
Tempt my Tummy Tuesdays
Slightly Indulgent Tuesday
Tasty Tuesdays
Tutorial Tuesdays
Show me what ya got 
Dr. Laura’s Tasty Tuesday
Tuesdays at the Table
Hand Made Features
Make it Yours Day
Anything Related
Two Maids A Baking 
Show & Tell Wednesdays
Idea Sharing Wednesday
Whatever Goes Wednesdays
Recipes I Can't Wait to Try
What's Cooking Wednesday
Wandering Wednesdays
Making It with Allie
Thrilling Thursday
Strut Your Stuff Thursday
Creative Juice Thursday
Hookin' Up With House of Hepworths
Delightfully Inspiring Thursday
Recipe Swap Thursdays
It's a Keeper Thursday
Full Plate Thursday
Sweet Tooth Friday
Creation Corner Friday Link Party
Frugal Friday
Foodie Friday
Fantabulous Friday
Creative Girl's Blog Hop
Sweets for a Saturday
Check Me Out Saturday
Whatcha Got Weekend

Baking Goal: Old-Fashioned Chocolate Layer Cake

Doesn't this look great? I posted about the Lilac Bakery a few weeks ago and this cake looks almost exactly the same and I just can't wait to try it! 

Check out the recipe at Our Best Bites

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Savory Sunday Picks of the Week!

I started picking the recipes I wanted to feature this week from the submissions at Savory Sunday and before I knew it I had a Mexican theme! Not intentional but I guess I'm craving it and I don't even know it! Hope you all had a great long weekend! And thanks again for stopping by and sharing a recipe!!

I'm looking for guest writers so if you're interested check out the info here!! The more the merrier!

Creamy Chicken Taquitos from Meals For Real

Sun Dried Tomato Salsa from Gluten Free From A-Z

Creamy Tortilla Soup with Chicken & Chips from Girlichef 

Nutty Rice from Bizzy B. Bakes

Nutty Sweet Potato Soup from My Sweet & Savory

And of course a sweet choice too: Cookie Dough Brownie from Pinch of This, That & The Other

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Baking Goal: Protein Bars!!

Don't these look amazing?! I was just thinking the other day that I wanted to learn how to make my own and then while doing some blog surfing today I found these! I really can't wait to try the almond one! Yum!

Check out the recipes over at Moore Minutes!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Savory Sundays!

Hello again! Here's another weeks Savory Sundays! Sorry I'm a little late on starting it this morning, I totally forgot with all the gardening I've been doing. Speaking of that I thought I'd show you a few photos of my on going project! I'm working on a garden space and this is where we're at so far!

After the big sort out last summer and just getting the yard out of it's jungle state we decided we wanted to do a few more things.

First on the list was for me to get some garden planters. Marshall being the handy man that he is made me some. We started off with 3 and soon realized we'd need a lot more! I now have a total of 7 and am still wondering how I am going to plant everything I want to.

So far I have: Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries and I'm going to plant tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and lettuce.  This will be my first go at veggies (since I was little and did it with my mom) so I'm really excited about it!

You'll see from my last post (over at Captive Creativity) about our backyard work that this area was totally covered in red cedar chips. It wasn't horrible- well I thought it was horrible- but they did a bad job at it and put black gardening mesh down that didn't let water through so this area was not only ugly but a giant puddle every time it rained. It was totally wasted space and you could tell they just didn't know what to do with it. I decided that this would be the best space for my garden so I started the huge task of taking all the chips, roots, rocks and junk out of the space.

I have no idea what they were thinking with what and where they planted but it made no sense. Marshall and I spent hours out there working on the space and now we're at the point of seeding which is so exciting!! 

I bought this Bleeding Heart plant because it's a perennial and I'm trying to stick to those and because it was my great grandma's favorite flower and although I've never met her I'd like to stay connected to my family and my roots. 

I have no idea what this is. As I was digging everything out I found it and thought I'd let it grow and see what it turns into.

Our new sour cherry tree! I can't wait until it starts to product those pretty flowers as it blossoms!
 (Putting the news paper down stops what was once there from growing back. You have to do your best of course to get all the roots out before you do this, but this is a more natural way to start new in a space and now have that old plant come back)

Check out more gardening stuff and how my yard is coming over at my other blog Captive Creativity!

Here's how Savory Sundays works:

1) Link up to the link below (link as many as you want but try to link something savory if you can)
2) Grab the Savory Sunday button and put it in the post you are sharing
3) Leave a comment after you post
4) I'd love for you to become a follower if you're not but it's not a requirement :)

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