Thursday, 28 June 2012

Baking Goal: Apple Fritters

I'm drooling over here....doesn't this look great? Check out the recipe here!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Slow Cooker Ribs & Root Veggies

This is a great recipe and the best ribs recipe I have tried yet! Doesn't matter how expensive or "great quality" you buy. If you do this recipe you can get the cheapest ribs and it will make them tender and tasty!

4 pounds pork baby back ribs
salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup chili sauce
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 dash hot sauce
5 red potatoes (don't peal, all the good stuff is in the peel!)
5 carrots (don't peal, all the good stuff is in the peel!)
1 medium onion
Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Season ribs with salt and pepper. Place in a shallow baking pan. Brown in oven 15 minutes. Turn over, and brown another 15 minutes.

In a medium bowl, mix together the ketchup, chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, oregano, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and salt and pepper.

Largely chop call veggies and put them in the bottom of the slow cooker. Drizzle a little olive oil on the veggies and season with a little salt and pepper. 

Place ribs in slow cooker. Pour sauce over ribs, and turn to coat.

Cover, and cook on Low 6 to 8 hours, or until ribs are tender. (Or 3-4 hours on high)

Optional: If you want to have a little more crisp to your ribs put them back in the oven, at 400 degrees for 10-20 minutes. 

Monday, 25 June 2012

Summer Salads

I often stick with what I know so I thought I would find some really great options and make myself try them. Here's what I've found so far and man I can't wait to try all of these!

Spicy Coleslaw with Apples & Pecans from The Cozy Little Kitchen
Field Greens & Strawberry Salad from Food, Folks & Fun
Ribboned Asparagus Salad with Lemon  from Smitten Kitchen
Grilled Alvarado BLT Salad from Veggie Converter 365

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Frozen Berry Lemonade

Doesn't this look great? It reminds me of the blended strawberry lemonade at Starbucks...oh yum!
Check out the recipe at Fresh Plate

Friday, 22 June 2012

Baking My Way: Cherry Winks

If you've made cherry winks before you know that these don't look exactly how they normally do (no cherry piece right in the middle) but if you follow my blog you know I often don't stick right to the recipe. BUT with this one the only thing I really changed were: used half whole wheat half white flour, used walnuts instead of pecans, cut back on how many cherries were in it and didn't put the cherry on the top. Other then that (ya....I guess I changed a lot....) they're totally the same!

Either way this cookie is really tasty. Not overly sweet (I think mainly because I cut back on the cherries) but a nice treat with an interesting combination of flavors. They would make a good road trip or camping/hiking cookie!

3/4 cup shortening
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup maraschino cherries, chopped
2 1/2 cups crushed cornflakes cereal
10 maraschino cherries, quartered

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.

Cream the shortening with the sugar. Blend in the eggs, milk and vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in the chopped pecans, chopped dates and 1/3 cup maraschino cherries.

Shape teaspoonful sized chunks of dough into balls. Roll each ball in the crushed corn flakes. Place balls on the prepared baking sheets and top each cookie with 1/4 maraschino cherry.

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool completely before storing in airtight containers.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Baking My Way: Fresh Orange Cookies

These cookies are great! I'm not usually a huge fan of orange in baking but I really liked this! I didn't use the orange peel in the frosting but I think it would be good either way (I think there was already enough orange going on in the cookie, but that's just me). This would be a great cookie for a tea party or a summer or spring time event. 
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons grated orange peel
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
2 to 3 tablespoons orange juice

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine sugar and 1 cup margarine; beat until light and fluffy. Add sour cream and eggs; blend well. Add all remaining cookie ingredients; mix well. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 375°F. for 8 to 11 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets.
Meanwhile, in small bowl, blend all frosting ingredients until smooth, adding enough orange juice for desired spreading consistency. Frost warm cookies.

Health Tip of the Week: What You Need to Know about Your Metabolism

Metabolism gets blamed when people put on weight or have trouble losing weight, but you can learn how to speed up your metabolism. Increasing your metabolism can help you burn calories, replace fat with muscle and give you more energy. The key to increasing your metabolism is understanding what it is.
Metabolism is a combination of physical and chemical processes called anabolism and catabolism. Anabolism is the constructive phase of metabolism in which body cells synthesize protoplasm for growth and repair. Catabolism is the destructive phase of metabolism in which complex substances are broken down into simpler compounds producing energy which is essential for the proper functioning of body cells. Together, these processes distribute nutrients which are absorbed into the blood after digestion.

Three factors determine your metabolic rate, which is the amount of calories your body uses every day. The basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the rate your body uses energy for vital body processes. The rate you burn energy during physical activity and the rate you use energy during digestion of food are the two other factors involved in your total metabolic rate. To improve your metabolic efficiency you only need to alter what you eat and what you do a little bit to experience a difference in how you look and feel.

Information found at

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Baking Goal: Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies

This whole bacon thing seems to be everywhere! I'm not sure what I think of it yet but I think they cookies look great so I'm totally going to give this a try. 
Check out the recipe at Hannah in the Kitchen

Monday, 18 June 2012

Baking My Way: Toffee Crisps

These cookies are great for a sundae or just on their own. I think I even took a few with me to a movie! I love home baked cookies while watching a movie. Seriously one of my fav things!

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (6-oz.) pkg. almond brickle baking chips

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

In large bowl, beat sugar, brown sugar and margarine until light and fluffy. Add 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 baking chips. Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto spray-coated cookie sheets.

Bake at 375°F. for 8 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Crusty Italian Bread

Oh this makes me think of the hotel we stayed at in Italy on our honeymoon. This makes me want to get out there again! Check out the recipe here.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Strawberry Cheesecake

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen sweetened strawberries, thawed
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 eggs
1 tablespoon water

Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, combine strawberries and cornstarch; cover and process until smooth. Pour into a saucepan; bring to a boil. Boil and stir for 2 minutes. Set aside 1/3 cup strawberry sauce; cool. Cover and refrigerate remaining sauce for serving.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in milk. Add lemon juice; mix well.

Add eggs, beat on low just until combined.

Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over crust.

Drop half of the reserved strawberry mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls onto cream cheese layer.

Carefully spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over sauce.

Drop remaining strawberry sauce by 1/2 teaspoonfuls on top.

With a knife, cut through top layer only to swirl strawberry sauce.

Bake at 300 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set.

Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.

Refrigerate overnight. Remove side of pan.

Thin chilled strawberry sauce with water if desired; serve with cheesecake. Store in the refrigerator.

Adapted from here

Monday, 11 June 2012

Baking My Way: Orange Caramel Spritz

(I didn't have a cookie press so I used just a piping bag without a head. It still gave the general idea of the cookie I think)

Well I usually love anything with cream cheese in it but to be honest I sort of felt like this was a waste of my cream cheese. I didn't like the end result of the cookies and I didn't find I even tasted any caramel which I was really disappointing in. Again, still glad I tried it and another recipe done in the book.

1/2 cup butter, softened (do not use margarine)
1 (3-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
1 1/4 cups all purpose or unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon colored sugar

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat butter and cream cheese until creamy. Add brown sugar and orange peel; beat until light and fluffy. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour and salt; blend well. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 2 hours for easier handling.

Fit cookie press with desired template. Fill cookie press; press dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Sprinkle cookies with colored sugar.

Bake at 375°F. for 7 to 10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Cool completely.

Recipe Source:

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Alfredo Sauce

There aren’t a lot of options in the grocery store for Alfredo sauce, and the options that are out there are super expensive (to me at least). I’ve never really been good at sauces so I started to give up when I got a few wrong, but I had a lot of confidence I couldn’t screw this one up so I tried it the other night. It turned out great! It’s really easy, and sort of fun, and you can add whatever sort of spices you want and it seems to just make it better (sort of like a blank canvas for sauces). So give it a try and see if you like it!

1/2 cup Cream Cheese (or sour cream)
1 cup Milk 0-2 %
3 tbsp. Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Clove Garlic
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
3 tbsp. Dry Parsley or 1/2 cup fresh

The best way to make this consistent is to use a blender. Put cream cheese, milk, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper in blender. Blend until there are no clumps, pour into saucepan on medium heat, cook for about 10 minutes (or longer to make the flavour really take!). While cooking add parsley (if fresh chop finely) and save some for garnish.

Have any good ideas, or substitutes for this....share them, leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Cooking Goal: Creamy Lemon-Herb Pasta

Doesn't this look wonderful?! I think I could eat a lot of this one! 
Check out the recipe here at Sweet Luvin' In The Kitchen

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Triple Berry Cheesecake

 This cake is so tasty! (Sorry the photos aren't better, I forgot my camera at home so iphone it was!) It's light, very fruity and perfect for summer! The cake it's self isn't very sweet so the frosting adds a little treat to the cake.

1 1/2 pkg (each 8 oz/250 g) cream cheese
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
1 Pinch salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 cup mixed berries

10 graham crackers 

1/2 whip cream
1/4 icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons berry liquid


1. Crust: Layer the graham crackers at the bottom of a 7'' spring form pan

2. In large bowl, beat cream cheese until softened. Gradually beat in sugar; beat for 3 minutes or until smooth and light, scraping down bowl twice. Using low speed, beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down bowl often. Blend in lemon juice, vanilla and salt, then sour cream. Pour over crust.

4. In a small sauce pan heat sugar and berries until you get a berry sauce. Add berry sauce, minus 4 tablespoon liquid, to the cheese cake by the spoonfuls. Mix in if desired or let there be areas with more berries then others etc.

5. Bake in centre of oven at 325°F (160°C) for 1-1/4 hours or until shine disappears and edge is set yet centre still jiggles slightly. Let cool.

6. Make frosting by whipping the whip cream, until soft pecks form, then add berry liquid, then adding icing sugar, a bit at a time to get the desired consistency.  Spread frosting on cooled cheese cake.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Baking Goal: Red Currant Walnut Sheet Cake

Doesn't this look great! Can't wait to try it!
Check out the recipe at Catalina Bakes

Monday, 4 June 2012

Triple Chocolate Cookies

 These cookies are seriously good! If you want a good decadent chocolate hit these are the perfect option! I feel like they should be more of a chocolate cake, in a fancy bakery then a cookie. They are that decadent and rich. I had taken a different recipe and made some changes to it because, well, I simply wanted more chocolate! I hope you love them as much as I do!

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, combine brown sugar, sugar and butter; beat until light and fluffy. Add almond extract and egg; blend well.

Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in white chocolate and dark chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake at 375°F. for 8 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool 1 minute. Remove from cookie sheets.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Candy Coated Pecans

I haven't tried out this recipe yet but it looks really good! I make candied nuts all the time for salads and I just love it! It's such a nice addition and it makes me eat more greens which is always a good thing!


  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 dash vanilla extract
  • 4 cups pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). Line a cookie sheet with wax paper. Spray the wax paper with cooking spray.
  2. Beat egg white until stiff. Add brown sugar and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Mix in pecans and stir until coated. Pour the nuts onto the prepared cookie sheet.
  3. Bake until browned, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
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