Monday, December 15, 2014

Almond Butter Freezer Fudge

Since by last post was all about the coat your teeth with sugar and put you into a coma sweet fudge, here’s a much healthier option that you can keep in your freezer all year round! 

  • 2 cups of creamy almond butter (I used almond/hazelnut)
  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tbsp of raw honey, melted
  • 1/2 tsp of salt 

1. Prepare an 8 x 8 pan by lining it with plastic wrap, set aside.

2. Mix together all of the ingredients until smooth, pour into pan and freeze until firm.

3. Remove fudge by lifting plastic wrap out of the pan, cut into 1 inch squares.  Store in the freezer in an airtight container until ready to consume.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Easy Chocolate Fudge

 Normally fudge doesn’t make the cut on to my Christmas baking list, but this year it somehow made it's way on there, and now it might very well become a part of the holiday baking tradition.

It’s so easy, and such a sweet little indulgence that can be cut into perfect little squares that make my OCD smile.

  • 3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ tsp of vanilla
  • ½ cup of pecans, chopped *optional

1. Line a 8x8 or 9x9 pan with tin foil, and lightly grease.

2. In a medium sized saucepan, over low heat, mix the chocolate chips with the condensed milk until the chocolate is completely melted.

3. Add salt, and vanilla and pecans, mix until combined and pour into prepared pan and refrigerate until firm. Cut into small squares and store in an air tight container in the freezer or fridge.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Stuffed Pepper Soup

I love me some stuffed peppers! Probably because I grew up on them. My grandma made THE best ones and ever since I started cooking for myself I have been making them.

With that being said I love this soup even more! It's the exact same taste but much easier to make and you get the perfect ratio of ingredients with each bite!

  • 1 lb extra-lean ground beef
  • 1 package of spicy ground sausage
  • 1 c onion, diced
  • 14oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 2  green peppers, chopped
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 4 cups of beef broth
  • ½ tsp of dried basil
  • ½ tsp of dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 2 cups of brown rice, cooked al dente
1. In a large saucepan, brown your beef and sausage with the onion over medium heat. If there is excess fat, drain.
2. Add remaining ingredients, and simmer for 30 minutes. Rice and peppers should be soft.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Fresh Pressed Juice Review

To date, I have tried 3 different juiceries. I started out wanting to do a juice cleanse, but more recently I just decided it was good way to get some extra fruits and veggies in me. I feel so much better when I eat healthy, I truly am my own worst enemy at times.

Even having a few juices a day helps me remember that and get me back on track with a more healthy and balanced diet.

I found that a full on cleanse almost resets your body and your cravings, which is nice, because if you don’t crave junk, then it’s a heck of a lot easier to avoid it.

Buying fresh pressed juice is expense and it’s even more so when you do a multiple day cleanse. In my mind, you’re getting good value in what you’re buying as the bottles are a good size and to make that much juice, it would take a lot of fruits and veggies. And the best thing is no cleanup for you. Just adorable bottles filled will nutrients.

Anyway, people are always asking about my experiences and which ones I liked the best so here it is!

Total Cleanse

When I first started looking, not a lot of places delivered to Calgary. So my choices were limited. But Total Cleanse seemed like a good fit, so I ordered a 2 or 3 day cleanse (I can’t remember) Even though they are located in Toronto, they deliver across Canada.

I opted to select my own juices for my cleanse as I knew right off the bat the Cashew Milk had no place in my fridge. For some reason, it’s didn’t appeal to me at the time. So I got a selection of the others.

The start day of my cleanse, I can home to a box of juices packed on dry ice. I was so pumped to try it out. So the following morning, I packed my juices in my bag and headed to work. I was already hungry so I cracked the first one right away. I think it was the Lemon Rush….not very tasty. I got through it but it took hours as I could only manage a slip at a time. Finally, it was done and I was on to the Green Energy….I really didn’t care for this one. So I didn’t drink it and moved on to Very Berry, which was amazing! Which made sense as it was almost completely fruit. Needless to say, I threw in the towel on the first day. In my mind, It was hard enough to be on a liquid diet for 3 days but not likely what you could have made it impossible for me anyway.

This cleanse obviously wasn’t for me. I have noticed that since I ordered they have a new flavor, Citrus Splash which sounds like it would taste pretty good.

Glow Juicery

Once I got the hankering to add some fresh pressed juice to add to my day again, I started googling every place even remotely close to me. Learning from my experience last time I knew that finding a juciery that blended fruits and veggies would be more appealing to me, I was on a mission.

I came across Glow Juicery, and seemed to perfect. The downside being they are based in Edmonton, and don’t deliver. However, it just so happened that Andrew was working in Edmonton M-F so he could bring them back for me. Yay!

I ordered 5 juices and had them for a Friday night when Andrew got back. These juice were pretty tasty! I would buy them again but without them being local it makes it more challenging. And I find drinking juice is much easier during the week, as I tend to indulge more on the weekends. Since Andrew only came home on Fridays this was my only option. However, if you live in Edmonton, this place is worth a try!

Juice Because

On to the next! (And yes, I saved the best for last) I found these to be the best tasting juices by far! I actually enjoyed drinking them!

Not to mention they are local and come in the cutest 6 pack box! I ordered 6 to try out, 2 Betty, 2 Shirley, and a Peter, and Hank.

They seem to add ginger and/or lemon to most of their juices which I think is one of the reasons they taste so great. My favorite is Betty. But they were all wonderful. I will definitely be ordered some more juices from Juice Because, and if your live in Calgary, you should too! :)

Happy Juicing!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Pizza Buns

I bought a pop can of Pillsbury pizza dough strictly as a backup. However, plan B became plan A when my weekend got away from me and I lost complete track of time. I intended on making whole wheat dough from scratch so the buns would have even a very small amount of nutrients. But that didn’t happen. I mean it’s a pizza bun, let’s not kid ourselves, this isn’t a healthy recipe. But they aren’t huge, so if you make a lunch out of one with some veggies on the side. All and all your diet isn’t completely blown.

Once cooled, I wrapped them up individually and froze them for the days I didn’t time to make my lunch ahead.

  • 1 can of pizza dough OR a batch of your own recipe
  • Pizza Sauce
  • Cheese, grated
  • Toppings

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Unroll, or roll out pizza dough into a rectangle. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce, sprinkle cheese, and toppings.

3. Starting at one end, roll up the dough with the toppings inside. Once you have a large roll, cut into 1’’ pieces and place roll on it’s side on the baking sheet. Bake for approx. 20 minutes.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Banana Bread

I will pass this recipe onto my future offspring. No other banana bread recipe compares. It is the best. In fact, I often double it and always make 2 loafs as a general rule. I slice it up, wrap then individually and keep them in my freezer to grab as a snack on my way out the door.

  • 2 cups of flour (you can use whole wheat or half and half)
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 over ripe bananas, mashed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease loaf pan and set aside.

2. In a large bowl or kitchen aid, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla, mix well.

3. Add flour, salt, baking soda and bananas. Mix until combined and batter is smooth.

4. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for approx. 60 minutes, or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Butter Tart vs The Pecan Pie Tart

Welcome to the Tart Show Down!
Where both tarts are deemed winners. Like why choose? Make both!

This was my first time making both of these little seasonal treats, and it was much easier then I thought it would be.... Okay so I used stored bought, frozen tart shells. I work full time, please don't judge me, the guilt has been keeping me up at night as it is. ;)

These both freeze extremely well. In fact I always prefer mine frozen or cold. yum!

Butter Tarts
  • 1/4 cup of butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of pure maple syrup
  • raisins
  • 1 package of frozen tart shells (approx 20)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place the tart shells on it. Sprinkle raisins in each shell (as desired). Set aside.

2. In a large bowl or kitchen aid, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla, eggs, and maple syrup, mix well. (the filling may look chunky with small butter pieces, that's okay, it's freaked me out too, but it will melt in the oven when baked)

3. Spoon filling into each shell on top of raisins, taking care not to over fill. Bake for approx 15 - 20 minutes, pastry should be golden and filling is bubbling. Let cool.

Pecan Tarts
  • 3 cups of pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of corn syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of butter, melted
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/8 tsp of salt
  • 1 package of frozen tart shells (approx 20)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place the tart shells on it. Set aside.

2. Stir together sugar and corn syrup in a medium bowl. Stir in pecans, eggs, and next 3 ingredients.

3. Spoon about 1/4 cup pecan mixture into each tart shell. Bake for approx 25 to 30 minutes or until set. Let cool.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mini Pineapple Upside Down Cakes

I always thought of Pineapple Upside down cake to be in the same category as Jello molds. Something your mother would have made for “special occasions” and for some reason that thought remains in my mind in black and white. It feels like it’s from a completely different generation then my own. But I’ve been seeing the recipe in the mini form, a TON on Pinterest, so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and join in. Besides, what else was I going to do with canned pineapple?

So I think that if you like Pineapple Upside Down Cake this is a great recipe, I just don’t think I’m a huge fan of it. And when I say I’m not a huge fan, that means I ate 2 of the little cakes the same day I made them. If I really like something, I eat the whole thing and pretend it never happened. ;)

So put on an old movie, throw on flapper dress from the back of your closet and take a trip to the 20s with me as you bake these sweet little cakes.

  • 4 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 1 cup of brown sugar, packed
  • 2 cans of pineapple chunks, drained and sliced in half
  • 21 maraschino cherries
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of butter, melted
  • 1 tsp of almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, grease 21 muffin tins cavities.

2. Arrange 5 slices of the pineapple chunks at the bottom of each cavity so it forms a circle, place a cherry in the middle of each. Set aside.

3. In a small saucepan, melt ½ cup of butter over low heat, mix in the brown sugar then spoon over the cherry and pineapple pieces so it’s divided evenly.

4. In mixing bowl or kitchen aid, beat the eggs whites until soft peaks form. Add the white sugar and continue to beta until stiff peaks form.

5. Fold in the egg yolks, flour, baking powder, and salt, until just combined. Then mix the butter and almond extract.

6. Spoon batter evenly into each cavity, bake for approx. 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges of each cake with a table knife. Turn over onto wire rack and let rest for a minute or two.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots

Bacon? GOOD!
Tater Tots? GOOD!
Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots? AMAZING!

Who knew the best appetizer at the party would be so easy? It’s probably the best because it’s awful for you, but it’s “party” food so you should live a little and eat as many of these suckers as you can! Because I promise you they won’t last long and will be the first to go!

  • Bag of Tater Tots, thawed
  • 1 ½ packages of bacon
  • Toothpicks

1. Cut the slices of bacon in half, wrap each piece around a Tater Tot, and secure with a toothpick.

2. Heat oven to 400 degrees, line a baking sheet with tin foil, and place a metal rack on top. Place the tots on the rack. Cook for about 20 minutes. Bacon should be fully cooked. Serve immediately. (But they're also pretty good cold)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Couscous with Almonds & Broccoli

I was over the top impressed with this recipe. My step mother was the first to make it for me, but this was the first time I actually made it myself, and man was it easy. Another healthy, tasty, quick meal for weeknights. You're welcome! ;)

  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup of silvered almonds
  • ½ tsp of dried sage
  • ¼ each of salt and pepper
  • 3 ½ cups of chicken broth
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 cups of frozen broccoli
  • 2 cups of couscous

1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, almonds and sage, cook until onions are translucent.

2. Add the chicken broth, carrots, and broccoli and bring to a boil.

3. Remove from heat, add couscous, cover and let stand until the broth is absorbed and couscous is cooked (about 5 minutes) fluff with a fork and enjoy!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pork Lettuce Wraps

This recipe was recommended by my sister. It’s a quick weeknight meal that’s delicious, low carb, and healthy! What more could you could ask for? In fact, you could swap out the pork for ground turkey to make it a little more lean!

  • 1 package of ground pork
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup of mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tbsp of ginger, grated
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/3 cup of Hoisin sauce
  • Romaine lettuce leafs

1. In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat and saute onion and red pepper until soft.

2. Add in the ground pork , mushrooms, ginger and garlic and cook until the pork is no longer pink. Mix in the hoisin sauce and cook through.

3. Spoon filling into the lettuce leafs, wrap and enjoy your guilt free meal!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pumpkin Apple Cake

Happy Fall Y’all!

Or for those of us that live in Southern Alberta, Winter. Yes, we got snow already. Sometimes I wonder why I live here, then I spend a day in mountains with Andrew and remember why.

Anyway this cake is the essence of Fall, pumpkin, apples and a dash of cinnamon. It’s an easy, no fail recipe, that gives you a moist cake that isn’t too sweet, perfect with your morning cup of joe.

  • ½ cup of butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups of sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 4 apples, diced into cubes
  • 1 cup of canned pumpkin
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • ½ tsp of nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease a bundt pan and set aside.

2. In a large bowl or kitchen aid, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla, eggs, pumpkin and apples, mix well.

3. Stir in the remaining dry ingredients and pour batter evening into the pan.

4. Bake for approx. 55 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Cool before turning pan over.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Caprese Pasta Salad

Caprese Salad is one of all-time favorite things. So I naturally gravitated to this recipe. It’s a nice light side dish, perfect for a warm summer day…….ahhh who am I kidding? I would eat this morning, noon and night, every season of the year. Yes, it’s THAT good!

  • 2 cups of Pasta, cooked and drained
  • 1 container of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 container of Bocconcini cheese
  • ½ cup of fresh basil, chopped finely
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of garlic

1. In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, tomatoes, and basil. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the dressing. Drizzle onto the pasta. Add as much or as little as you like. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Cookies n Cream Puppy Chow

A few of my co-workers requested more puppy chow, so I decided to mix it up a little and try out a new recipe. And let me tell you, this one was every bit as good as original one I tried. You just can't stop eating this stuff, it's totally addictive!

"Cream" Puppy Chow

  • ½ box of Rice Chex Cereal
  • 1 cup of white chocolate chips
  • ½ cup of Oreo cookie crumbs
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar

"Cookies" Puppy Chow

  • ½ box of Rice Chex Cereal
  • 1 cup of milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup of Oreo cookie crumbs
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar

1 bag of Oreos, broken into bite sized pieces

"Cream" Puppy Chow:

1. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper and set aside.

2. Place half of Chex cereal into a large bowl. Measure out powdered sugar and Oreo crumbs and place into a large zip lock bag or tupperware container with a lid. Set aside. (Keep powdered sugar handy in case you need to add more when mixing)

3. Melt white chocolate and stir until smooth. Pour melted chocolate over rice cereal and stir until coated.

4. Transfer chocolate coated rice cereal into your plastic bag or tupperware container with sugar/cookies. And shake until even coated.

5. Dump onto the cookie sheet to cool.

6 . Repeat steps 1-6 using "Cookies" Puppy Chow ingredients.

7. Once cooled, mix the "Cookies" and "Cream" Puppy Chow together andmix in the broken up Oreo cookie pieces.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Holy Guacamole

If I had to choose between guac and salsa, I’m a guacamole girl all the way! I love the stuff, can’t get enough. That pretty much goes for avocados in general. I will add them to sandwiches, wraps, pasta, pretty much anything I can.

I used to struggle to find the perfect time to use avocados. They wouldn’t be ripe enough so I’d wait then go to use them and they would be overly ripe. The trick is once they are just about ripe; throw them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. The fridge pretty much stops the ripening process all together so gives you a few extra days to get your ducks in a row to make something.

The other trick with guacamole is storing it. If for some crazy reason you don’t devour the entire bowl, it will brown within hours. I used to throw it away but someone suggested covering the gauc with about half an inch of water, then using plastic wrap over the bowl and store it in the fridge overnight. Then when you want to eat it, dump the water out, give it a good mix and enjoy. This method won’t keep for much longer then the next day but at least leftovers won’t go to waste!

  • 4 avocados, peeled, pitted, and mashed (leave slightly chunky)
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lime or lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of red onion, diced finely
  • 1 tsp of garlic salt
  • Pepper to taste

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Peach Bundt Cake with Peach Glaze

What say’s summer more than peaches?!

I figured since summer is slowly coming to an end (sad I know) I decided I pay tribute to what has been an awesome summer with a little peach cake.

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 1 ¾ cups of sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of vanilla greek yogurt
  • 3 cups of flour
  • ½ tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp of baking soda
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 1 ½ cups fresh peaches, peeled and diced
  • 1 can of peaches in light syrup, drained (reserve syrup for glaze), diced
  • ¼ cup of butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp of syrup from canned peaches
  • 1 cup of icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease a bundt pan and set aside.

2. In a large bowl or kitchen aid, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, and eggs one at a time until well mixed.

3. Add half the flour, and yogurt and all of the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined, then add the remaining flour and yogurt, Mix well.

4. Spoon half the batter into the pan, cover with canned and fresh peaches, then pour the remaining batter on top.

5. Bake for approx. 50 – 60 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.

6. To make the glaze, mix melted butter, icing sugar, and peach syrup until smooth. You may need more syrup or icing sugar depending on consistency. It should be thick but still pour-able. Spoon over cake. Keep cake refrigerated until you consume.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chicken Pad Thai

This is my latest attempt of "take out at home". I love Thai food! And this dish really hit the spot. I substituted a yellow pepper for bean sprouts. I'm not a huge fan of them to begin with, but had fully tended on using them until they looked all slimy in the bag. yuck!

  • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup of green onions, sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced into small pieces
  • 2 eggs, scrambled in a bowl
  • 1 package of brown rice noodles, cooked and drained
    1/2 cup of ketchup
  • 4 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp of crushed red chili flakes
  • chopped peanuts

1.  In a bowl or large measuring cup whisk together ketchup, fish sauce, sugar, peanut butter, and red chili flakes. Set aside.

2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and cook in a large wok over medium heat until cooked through. Add in the green onions and yellow pepper, saute for minutes then transfer for a bowl.

3.  Crack eggs over preheated pan (where you cooked the chicken) and allow to fry for a bout a minute ,then break it up with a spoon. Add the chicken, onion and pepper mix back into the wok along with the sauce and mix together. Add the noodles and toss to coat in the sauce. Garnish with peanuts

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Caprese Quick Bread

This was really good. Like really, really good.
I usually bake while Andrew is away and then cut and wrap up individual pieces to freeze for him to eat when he's back or take with him next time he leaves for work. With is bread, I convinced myself that Andrew doesn't like end pieces of things, so instead of letting them go to waste I would just have a taste now and the rest as snacks later. Ha! I devoured both of pieces right away, not even a crumb remained.

I didn't put measurements for the cheese, basil, or sun-dried tomatoes. You can really use your judgement on those depending on  what you like.

  • 2¼ cups of  flour
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1¼ tsp salt
  • Mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • Fresh Basil, chopped
  • Sun-dried-tomatoes, with oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ tbsp of olive oil
  • 1¼ cups of buttermilk
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan or baking dish.

2. In  a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in the cheese, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes.

3. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add eggs, olive oil and buttermilk, Stir with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Spoon into the loaf pan.

4. Bake for approx 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. The bread should be a golden color.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Eyelashes for Days

I’ve done it all. Eye lashes extensions, tried every mascara under the sun and even used a serum to encourage growth. What is it with girls and their lashes?!

Only two things have worked for me; Ageless Lashes and Younique 3D mascara. Obviously, the extensions gave amazing results but they are far too pricey and ruined my real lashes. When they were removed all I had left were little stubs. Needless to say it was an extremely sad week for me. :(

After trying countless mascara brands I was very skeptical when I first heard about Younique, thinking it was more of the same. But it’s not. The combination of gel and fibers allows you to build your lashes up and up, pretty much as long you as you want them. But be warned that this can be extremely addictive and after using it, you will never be able to go back to just ho hum regular mascara.

For me, what worked best was using a very thin coat of your regular mascara (emphasis on the very thin coat) then use a coat of the Younique gel, then immediately after the green tea fibers, and gel again to seal it. I also like to use a brush without anything on it to keep the lashes separated in between coats. Repeat gel, fiber, gel until you achieve the desired lash length.

Just a little beauty find from me to you! ;)