RSS Feed

Category Archives: Treats

Tips for Kids in the Kitchen

Posted on

Watch the video below for my favourite ways to get kids to help with cooking AND eat what they make:

Mentioned in the video:

Toast Removers (not the one shown in the video): Grip & Grab

Ranch Dip: Creamy Ranch Dip Mix

Dip Container: Prep Bowls

Fruit Dip: Carrot Cake Sweet Dip Mix

Sweet Sprinkles: Tutti Fruity Whole Food Topper

Savoury Sprinkles: Everything Bagel Whole Food Topper

Spaghetti Sauce: Marinara Sauce Mix

Chicken Soup: Chicken Broth Mix

Pudding: Vanilla Bean Instant Pudding Mix

Black Bean Brownies: Gluten Free Chocolate Brownie Mix

What works to get your kids to try healthy foods?

Advertisements

Bran Muffin Mania

Posted on

IMG_3377

As a little girl growing up in Victoria, I remember regularly going to a “healthy” restaurant/bakery called Viteaway with my grandmother where she would buy me a “slug muffin”.  Though we called it a “slug muffin”, no slugs were harmed in the making of these oversized treats. These were sweet bran muffins topped with half a date that looked, to my imagination, like a slug and so they were named (not my greatest marketing moment).

While I was aware that bran was “good for me”, I enjoyed the crisp and crunchy top of the muffin, the dense, but fluffy, interior and the rich flavour of the molasses. The date (or “slug”) was an extra treat that I often kept until the end to savour the sweetness.

IMG_3379

Since then I’ve appreciated the delicate contradiction of an excellent bran muffin: healthy/tasty, sweet/savoury, light/moist, soft/crispy. My son also enjoys a bran muffin that is well balanced, especially if it’s crammed full of blueberries.

This recipe serves up all the key elements and is easy to tweak with different combinations of spices and fruits. I’ve started with the version that takes advantage of fresh blueberries and and warms up the flavour with Chai Spice.

IMG_3373

Blueberry Chai Bran Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 large egg, beaten lightly

1 cup yogurt (or sour cream)

1/4 cup molasses

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 cup fresh blueberries (or frozen)

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup wheat bran

1 tsp Chai Spice

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  3. Beat in egg, yogurt and molasses
  4. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then add to the wet ingredients
  5. Stir in blueberries (if they are frozen, rinse them first with cold water to remove any ice crystals)
  6. Spoon the batter into a Perfect Portion Muffin Pan
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until springy to the touch
  8. Cool on a rack and enjoy

Variations

Ginger Raisin Bran Muffins

Substitute raisins for blueberries and ground ginger for the Chai Spice

Cranberry Bran Muffins

Substitute dried cranberries for blueberries and Pumpkin Spice for the Chai Spice

Kitchen Hack: plump up dried fruit for baking by covering with cold water in a small pot, bringing it to a boil and then letting them soak while you assemble the other ingredients. Add a cinnamon stick to the pot to add a bit of spice. The sweetened spicy water can also be used to thin the batter, if needed.

What is your flavourite fruit to add to bran muffins?

Summer Sizzle Tips and Tricks – Video

Posted on

Watch the video below to see how to keep your cool in the summer heat while making simple dishes and refreshing treats:

Mentioned in the video:

Slicing and shredding: 4-in-1 Mandoline

Steaming: Multipurpose Steamer

Grilling Fruits: Coconut Lime Sweet Dip Mix

Pudding Pops: Chocolate Instant Pudding Mix

Pudding Pie: Vanilla Bean Instant Pudding Mix

Ice Cubes: Iceberg Mold

Iced Tea: Brentwood Teapot

Iced Coffee: French Press

Veggie Noodles: Veggie Twist and Spiral Slicer

Salad Dressing: Miso & Ginger Nourish Dressing Mix

Salad Topper: Garlicky Dill

Brie Stuffed Veggie Burger: Recipe

Pickled Onions: Quickles Pickling Mix

Sauce: Big Burger Sauce Mix

I love to chill out with frozen desserts and fresh salads in the summer time. What’s your favourite treat to handle the heat of summer days and nights?

Eat More Bar Extravaganza

Posted on

img_5083

Homemade treats are always the best, especially when they are a better copy of a commercial sweet! While I’ve never been a fan of Eatmore candy bars (too sugary), this version has become an indispensable part of our family’s annual Christmas cookie tray tradition.

img_0395

Year after year, but

img_2001

I love making them in Epicure’s Perfect Petites Silicone Cookware as it gives it the perfect shape and makes it super easy to pop them out! I used to cut them into bars, but they never looked so scrumptious.

img_0393

Eatmore Bars

Ingredients

1/2 Cup smooth peanut butter

1 Cup golden corn syrup

1 3/4 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 1/4 Cups rolled oats

2 Cups dry roasted peanuts

 

Method

  1. Pulse oats in a food processor until small flakes (but not oat flour)
  2. Chop peanuts, but agin, not to a dust
  3. If not using silicone cookware, grease a 10″ x 6″ pan
  4. In a saucepan, bring peanut butter and corn syrup to a low boil and stir well.
  5. Remove from heat, add chocolate chips and mix until melted
  6. Add oats and peanuts and mix them in
  7. Pour into pan or scoop into silicone cookware
  8. Chill to harden (thaw for five minutes, then slice into bars, if using a pan)

Do you have a favourite store bought indulgence that you’ve made better at home?

Gingerbread Spice Cookies

Posted on

Sleigh Cookie

Forgiveness is important, especially in baking. I love this cookie dough because it lets me get away  with a LOT: flavouring, tearing, re-rolling, flour substitutions, over baking. I’ve never made a bad batch and that’s why I’ll keep using this recipe until there are Food Replicators in every kitchen (then I’ll program it in).

img_4922

The most recent variation was for a Kids Cooking Class featuring Festive Treats, so I amped up the cheer with Epicure Gingerbread Spices. You can keep it plain vanilla (as long as you use the good stuff) or add your favourite spice blend.

img_4919

Gingerbread Brown Sugar Thins

Ingredients

2 1/4 Cups (270g) all purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 Cup (226 g) unsalted butter, softened

1 cup (213 g) packed dark brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 TBS Epicure Gingerbread Spices

Method

Preheat oven to 300F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or reusable non-stick baking mats.

Mix flour, salt and spices together

Beat butter, brown sugar and vanilla until light in colour and texture (about 3 minutes in a stand mixer with paddle attachment on medium speed). Then add flour mixture gradually to make a smooth dough. Press dough into a smooth flat disc.

Break the dough into 4 roughly equal pieces and roll each one out on a lightly floured surface until 1/8 inch thick.

Dip cookie cutters into flour and cut out shapes. Arrange cookies at least 1 inch apart on the sheets. Scraps can be gathered, rested for 5 minutes and re-rolled.

Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes (lift one up and check that it’s firm). Cool on sheets for 3 minutes then move to cooling racks until room temperature.

Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days unrefrigerated.

The dough can also be kept in the fridge, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 5 days. Let it warm up before rolling out.

Decorate if you desire or keep them plain! Do you have a favourite cookie cutter shape? I love heart-shaped cookies any time of year.

 

Kids Cooking Class: Festive Treats

Posted on

eabb56f7-4b6d-4fc7-8767-2ef78e81d1deOne of my favourite parts of the holidays is baking! I like to use tried-and-true family recipes AND also get creative by trying new concepts and ideas.

The only way to make baking more fun, is to have enthusiastic helpers, so I put together a Festive Treats Cooking Class for 5 to 10 year olds and it was a cosy good time! We made:

  • Eggnog Pudding
  • Candy Cane Brownies (Gluten Free)
  • Gingerbread Spice Cookies
  • Cranapple Fruit Dip

While the young chefs made the sweet snacks, they learned about following recipes, adapting recipes, kitchen safety and the importance of trying new flavours BEFORE deciding if you like it.

I’ll be sharing the recipes (links will be added above), but would love to bring a class to YOUR kitchen and cook with your kids and their friends so they can measure, mix and make it themselves! Enter your name, email and time options below to find out more:

What is your favourite festive treat?

 

Luscious Lime Lassi

Posted on

IMG_4418.jpgSometimes you just need a pick-me-up! A little something to refresh, recharge and rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.

I was working up the energy to go to the gym, when this concoction occurred to me, I was picturing what I had on hand to work with and it all started with the bowl of limes on my counter. I knew I have Greek yogurt in the fridge and once I put those two pieces together, the rest of the puzzle just fell in the blender.IMG_4419.jpg

A tangy citrusy boost in frosty liquid form: Luscious Lime Lassi! A lassi is a traditional drink from India that always has yogurt as a base, but can branch out towards savoury or sweet and salty.

I threw together the ingredients that I had on hand to make this dreamy drink and made it to the gym, with a skip in my step that was definitely not there before.

IMG_4417.jpg

Lime Lassi

Ingredients

Juice 1/2 lime

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk

1 cup ice

1 TBS Coconut Lime Sweet Dip Mix

1/2 TBS Sweet Coconut Vegan Protein Blend

Optional Garnish: Tutti Fruity Whole Food Sprinkles

Method

Blend all ingredients until frothy

Enjoy!

Do you have a go-to warm weather drink to cool you down and charge you up?

 

 

%d bloggers like this: