Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Baking Goal: Hummingbird Cake

Don't you want to eat this whole cake just by looking at it!
Check out the the recipe at The Cozy Little Kitchen

Monday, 29 August 2011

Super Blueberry Lemon Muffins

These muffins are wonderful!! They're the right balance of sweet, soft and fluffy, and I love the sugar coating on top. They're a serious treat in the morning!

2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Rind of 1 lemon
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Lemon Butter Topping
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and lemon rind.

Beat egg; add milk and butter

Add egg mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until just mixed (batter will be lumpy). Stir in blueberries.

Fill muffin pans/liners 2/3 full.

Bake at 375F for 20 minutes.

Combine melted bitter and lemon juice. Measure sugar in separate dish. Dunk tops of slightly cooled muffins into lemon butter and then sugar.

Makes 16 medium muffins.

Baking My Way: Pillsbury Whole Wheat Zucchini Cookies

I had a zucchini in the fridge that needed to be used, it was on it's last day so I looked up a recipe with zucchini (surprised that there even was on in the book!) and got to work.

I wasn't too sure how they would turn out but they taste amazing! They are super moist, and not too whole wheaty, which is was good. I wanted healthy but I still wanted them to taste like a dessert. It's a nice change from the usual chocolate chip cookie!

I give these a 4 (1 being "I'll never bake them again" and 5 being "They are now one of my favorites")

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
2 cups shredded zucchini, drained
1(12-oz.) pkg. (2 cups) miniature chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. In large bowl, combine sugar, brown sugar and margarine; beat until light and fluffy. Add lemon peel, vanilla and eggs; blend well. Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Stir in remaining ingredients. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350°F. for 9 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool 15 minutes or until completely cooled.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Savory Sunday

Wow, all I have to say is yum!! Great recipes guys!! Also I wanted to remind you or let you know (for those of you who didn't see the post) about helping me out with picking a chocolate cake/dessert to make for our anniversary! Check out the post here and link up anything you think I might like! The more chocolate the better!

Strawberry Muffins from Joyful Baker

Banana Split Cheesecake from Lady Behind the Curtain

Alfredo Lasagna Roll-Ups from Artsy-fartsy Mama

Dairy Free Bean Fudge from Whole New Mom

Sweet Corn Pizza from Cook with Sara

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 :)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cheese Cake

I'm looking for a cake to make for our anniversary and wow, this would be some cake! I think this one is just a little too intense for the time I have to make it but it's on the list!

Health Tip Of The Week: 20 Ways Sugar Can Ruin Your Health

Seeing as I am doing a series on baking it might seem a little odd that my health tip for this week would be one about sugar! BUT speaking from experience having too much sugar in your system can cause some serious problems! Now baking and snacks are all good and wonderful, but everything in moderation! So here are some things to think about before going overboard on the sugar...

In addition to throwing off the body's homeostasis, excess sugar may result in a number of other significant consequences. The following is a listing of some of sugar's metabolic consequences from a variety of medical journals and other scientific publications.

1) Excess sugar can suppress your immune system and impair your defences against infectious disease.

2) Excess sugar upsets the mineral relationships in your body: causes chromium and copper deficiencies and interferes with absorption of calcium and magnesium.

3) Excess sugar can cause can cause a rapid rise of adrenaline, hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children.

4) Excess sugar can produce a significant rise in total cholesterol, triglycerides and bad cholesterol and a decrease in good cholesterol.

5) Excess sugar causes a loss of tissue elasticity and function.

6) Sugar feeds cancer cells and has been connected with the development of cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate, rectum, pancreas, lung, gallbladder and stomach.

7) Sugar can increase fasting levels of glucose and can cause reactive hypoglycaemia.

8) Sugar can weaken eyesight.

9) Sugar can cause premature aging.

10) Excess sugar can cause your saliva to become acidic, tooth decay, and periodontal disease.

11) Sugar can cause autoimmune diseases such as: arthritis, asthma, multiple sclerosis.

12) Sugar greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections).

13) Excess sugar can cause gallstones.

14) Excess sugar can cause varicose veins.

15) Excess sugar can cause a decrease in your insulin sensitivity thereby causing an abnormally high insulin levels and eventually diabetes.

16) Sugar can lower your Vitamin E levels.

17) Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.

18) Sugar can interfere with your absorption of protein.

19) Excess Sugar causes food allergies.

20) Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.

There was a total of 76 points on the negative effects of sugar!! That’s a lot of reasons to watch your sugar but I think the 20 I listed should be enough proof that we really should watch it with how much sugar we take in daily. A little goes a long way!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Emergency Blog Hop: I need help, I need a cake!!

Ok, so I need some help! Our 2 year anniversary is coming up and I'm having the hardest time finding a cake to make. I want a cake something like this....

but this cake is pretty intense and I was thinking maybe more something like this as well...

Or this...

But I'm loving all the layers in the other one (the first one). I want something with chocolate chocolate chocolate but different textures and good stuff.

So here's what I'm asking:

- Please link up anything you think I would like
- It can be just a really great icing, a full cake, a layer you think would go good in the cake (I might just create something from all sorts of recipes)
- It can be from your site, someone else's site, or it can be a site where you think I might find something.

Please leave me a comment with any suggestions as well!!

Thank in advance for your help!!

Baking My Way: Oatmeal Coconut Fun Chippers

My gosh are these cookies good!! We were going to some friend's cabin and I wanted to bring a cookie that was good for, well, camping. I had baked most of the "normal" cookies already so I did some flipping, found this one in the book and decided to give it a try. It was a serious hit. I lost track of how many I ate over the weekend and needless to say I didn't come home with any! This is one of the cookies that Marshall has put on the "You must bake this again, often!" list.

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups Flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup coconut
1 cup multi-colored, candy-coated chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat brown sugar and margarine until light and fluffy. Add milk, vanilla and eggs; blend well. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in oats, coconut and chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375°F. for 9 to 13 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

Recipe Source

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Baking Goal: Zingy Orange Ginger Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

Doesn't this cake look wonderful? I can't wait to try and make it!
Check out the recipe at Eat, Run, Read

Monday, 22 August 2011

Baking My Way: Pillsbury Crisp Chocolate Snaps

I had a girl friends birthday party so I thought I would make these to bring a long (I promised some baking). I didn't have any butter, shortening or even margarine (the last two I almost never have) and I'm trying to stick to the grocery budget so I looked up other substitutes and I had no idea that you could just use oil! Here's the post I did about oil and the conversion but I didn't know you could do that. For some reason I thought you had to do a combination if you didn't have enough butter, but no, you can use just straight up oil. And I'll tell you other then the difference in how the batter looks at first you can't tell or see (or taste!) the difference!
I give these a 4 (1 being "I'll never bake them again" and 5 being "They are now one of my favorites")

2 cups sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups margarine or butter, softened
6 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted, cooled
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon red food color, if desired
3 eggs
4 cups All Purpose or Unbleached Flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar

In large bowl, combine 2 cups sugar, brown sugar and margarine; beat until light and fluffy. Add chocolate, vanilla, food color and eggs; blend well.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 1 to 2 hours for easier handling.

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cookie sheets. Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; roll in 1/4 cup sugar. Place 3 inches apart on greased cookie sheets.

Bake at 350°F. for 8 to 12 minutes or until set. (Cookies will puff up, then flatten during baking). Cool 1 minute. Remove from cookie sheets.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Savory Sunday

So yummy! Check out these great recipes!

There was something wrong with my The Sweet Details button so if you have it on your blog grab the renewed code at the bottom!

Have a great Sunday everyone!

PEACH PECAN UPSIDE DOWN CAKE from The South Padre Island Flip Flop Foodie

Deep Dish Pizza from Picture Perfect Cooking

Parmesan Chicken from Trilogy Edibles

Apple Walnut Zucchini Bread from Cooking with K

Almond Joy* Brownie Bites from Flour Me With Love

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 :)

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Health Tip Of The Week: Conquer Your Cravings

Here are a few practical tips to help curb unhealthy food cravings!

1. Never go anywhere without packing a healthy snack, like fruit or nuts.

2. Keep water with you at all times. Drinking water can often curb hunger pangs.

3. Think of a healthy alternative. Instead of ice cream, choose frozen yogurt, instead of chips and dip, choose baked chips and salsa. Any healthy change is a change in the right direction.

4. Control your portions. Take small amts at a time and go back only if you need to. (Even go so far as to take a smaller plate if you have to. It will make you feel like you are eating lots, and also keep you from taking too much)

5. Eat well balanced meals 3 times a day. Make sure they are high-fibre content meals. Fibre helps curb sugar cravings.
6. Distract yourself. Go for a walk, call a friend, etc.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Baking Goal: Zucchini Bread with Lemon-Buttermilk Glaze

Wonderful right? This looks like a great summer treat!
Check out the recipe at Brandy's Baking

Monday, 15 August 2011

Baking My Way: Spicy Banana Bars

So I had one rip banana and I was just going to go for the default when that happens- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins but I remember about my goal and decided to find something that would work. I found this recipe and although presentation wise it doesn't look that great these bars are super tasty and make a great spring or summer light treat! Also great with tea or coffee!

I give these a 4 (1 being "I'll never bake them again" and 5 being "They are now one of my favorites")

- 1/4 butter
- 1/3 mashed banana
- 1/4 milk
- 1 egg
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans

- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2-4 teaspoons water

Bar Instructions:
- Heat oven to 350.
- Grease and flour 13x9 inch pan.
- In a bowl mix butter and banana; blend well.
- Add milk and eggs; blend well.
- Add all remaining bar ingredients; blend well.
- Spread in the prepared pan, bake for 20-25 minutes.

Frosting Instructions:
- Melt butter in a small saucepan.
- Stir in icing sugar, lemon juice and water
- Spread over warm bar
Cool completely before cutting into squares

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Savory Sunday

Hey all!

Hope you had a wonderful week! Here are my picks! Link up as many recipes as you'd like! Have fun!

Raspberry Friends from Lemon Drop

Quinoa and black bean bowl with Peach Salsa from Loving Life

Creamy Garlic Shrimp Pasta from Like Mother, Like Daughter

Roasted Zucchini Pizza (with Homemade Sauce) from Crazy for Crust

Oven Baked Potato Frittata from I Can't Stop Crafting

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, 13 August 2011

Guest Writer: Aelea

What is your name? Aelea

Where do you live? Winkler, MB

What's your favorite recipe? I have this amazing recipe for chocolate chip cookies with caramel in the middle that are a hit whenever I make them!

What's your favorite kitchen tool? I have this one mixing bowl that I love! It's one with measurements on the sides. It's taller then some which is great! I find when I go to bake at people's houses with them, it's good to have a mixing bowl that goes a little higher up then normal because you never know how fast the “low” on an electric mixer really is! hahaha

What do you live by in life? One person can change the world. It's a very true statement!

My name is Aelea and I'm pumped to be the guest blogger for today! Hmmm.. I always find it interesting to write a short paragraph about myself. I was once in a job interview and they asked me to tell them about myself. I mentioned things I liked to do in my free time and the responose I received was “How does that relate to this?” was an awkward moment but now I always think in context! I love to bake! My mom was quite crafty in the baking department and I think I got some of that passed along to me. Just since my move to Winkler about a year ago have I really started to try get into baking – It's always nice to make things I've never made before and treat others to the things I bake! My husband owns a coffee shop and baked goods and coffee go very well together so I'm always willing to share! :)

Cake Pops.
After seeing ridiculously cute owl cake pops online, I thought I'd have to try it for myself.

Things you'll need:
One baked and completely cooled cake
Frosting (You can either buy a tin of frosting or use homemade. I personally love Cream Cheese icing so that is what I used. Ingredients and Recipe below)
4-6 cups chocolate waffers
Popsicle sticks/skewer sticks (I found skewer sticks easier to find since it's summer!)

Candy for decorating owls:
Candy Necklaces for eyes
White chocolate chips for ears
Brown smarties for wings
mini candy coated chocolate for nose
Star shaped sprinkles for feet

1 brick of cream cheese
2 cups icing sugar
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp milk
Cream the cream cheese and butter together. Beat in icing sugar and add milk to desired consistency. I tried to match my consistency to that of a can of frosting.

Step 1) Bake your cake! I made a basic chocolate cake but you can really do whatever kind you want! Even a box cake mix! Make sure your cake is completely cooled before you start using it for the cake pops. To ensure this, I baked my cake the night before.

Step 2) Crumble your baked cake. A couple methods I found that worked well were to take out a couple chunks and do as Bakerella does – rub the two chunks together. It goes into small, crumbs which is ideal. Another way was taking a fork and attacking the cake as if you were scrambling an egg with it. I'm not sure if there is a best way to go about this. If your cake is moist, over attempts to crumble it wil just make the pieces clump together. Place crumbs in a large bowl.

Step 3) Mix up your frosting. Add frosting into crumbs and stir with a wooden spoon under cake is completely covered. Put in the fridge for a few minutes to allow the mixture to cool so it's not as sticky. I'd say about 10 minutes or so.

Step 4) Take out mixture from fridge. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and roll 1Tbsp clumps of cake into balls and place on sheet. Feel free to toss these back into the fridge while you melt the chocolate.

Step 5) In a slender, yet deep bowl/mug, melt the chocolate waffers. I did 30 second intervals in the microvawe...I also didn't pay attention and was texting and burnt my first batch of chocolate in the microvawe so be sure to pay attention! (although, once the burnt stuff starts to cool down, it still tastes delicious to eat while you are baking!)

Step 6) Dip one end of the popsicle/skewer sticks into the melted chocolate then place mid way into cake ball. Dipping it in the chocolate first has a glue type effect. It will help the stick stay in place.

Step 7) After all your sticks are inserted, it's time to start putting the ears on the owl. I took a spoon full of melted chocolate and put it on a plate. From there, I'd dip in the white chocolate chips into the chocolate then place on top of the cake ball to form ears. Insert the cake pop into the styrofoam or any other creative method of a holder you can come up with while the chocolate hardens.

Step 8) After the chocolate hardened and the ears are secure, take the cake pop and dip the entire thing into the melted chocolate. DO NOT twist the cake pop in the chocolate. The chocolate is thick and the movement will actually remove the cake pop from the stick. Just dip it straight in until it is covered up to the base of the pop, then pull out. Rest the stick on the lip of the cup/bowl and lightly tap the stick so that the excess chocolate drips off the cake pop. This step probably takes the longest. Be patient when the excess chocolate is dripping off. If you leave some on, it will run down the stick.

Step 9) Once all are dipped it's time for the fun stuff! Adding on the candy to make them look like owls! I took some of the melted chocolate and put it into a small plastic sandwich bag and cut off the tip of the bag like an icing bag. This gives a nice “glue” tip for attaching the candy.
I started with Eyes, then did the nose, feet and lastly, the wings. Just place a small amount of chocolate onto the candy, then attach to the cake pop. Hold it on for a few seconds while the chocolate glue dries a little.

Step 10) VOILA! Cute little owl cake pops! They are adorable AND delicious!!!

As you can see from the picture, I made a couple other kinds:

I melted while chocolate and added blue food colouring to get the green colour.

And for the ones on the far left, I took some leftover Cream Cheese Espresso icing I had from a birthday cake and dipped the cake pops in that, then rolled them in chopped almonds!

If you're interest in doing a guest post here's all the info! I'd love to have you post!!
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