Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Happy National Margarita Day!

February 22, 2012 is National Margarita Day!

Sadly, there is no ice in my house.  But I've made do...

Margarita, no ice

Rim your glass with salt (I like purple) by wetting edge and dipping edge in salt on a plate.  If you don't have a proper glass, a cocktail glass will work.

About 1 oz tequilla (or whatever looks good)
A splash of triple sec
Limeade or bar lime mix to top it off.

Garnish with a cherry, preferably with a stem.

Usually, I throw all the above in a blender and give it a good whirl.  Frozen margaritas are my favorite.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

12 Ladies In A Tent: Helping Hands For Hungry Homes

I have recently joined a great group of ladies for an event called 12 Ladies in a Tent Helping Hands for Hungry Homes in support of the Barrie Food Bank.  This event, taking place June 8 - 12, 2012 at Allandale Station Park plans to raise 150,000 lbs of food.

We are collecting food and monetary donations at Simcoe North Fixtures & Packaging and other locations to be named shortly, prior to the official event.

The 5 day event itself will include many activities, cook-offs, BBQs, entertainment, dream auction and much more!  Details will be released shortly.

So support your local food bank and come out to see the 12 Ladies June 8 - 12!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

It's that time again - holiday baking!

Between 4 kids, starting our own business and my University course, baking is done in bunches.  Today's collection is below.

Interestingly, I just discovered one of my old recipes is gluten-free and egg-free! 

The gluten and egg free oatmeal caramel squares are delicious!

 Got hungry so I made garlic cheese buttermilk biscuits while the crust for the pecan bars were baking.
 Not quite cooked here but when it cools, this ooey, gooey pecan bar will be amazing!  Shortbread type base with butter tart-like topping.
Plain salted caramels (Fleur de Sel) this time.  I may dip these in chocolate or drizzle with same.  Also great with graham cracker crumbs as a base.

And, from Sunday, brownies, cupcakes (iced in either mint, chocolate or chocolate with Kirsch) and butterscotch bars.

Tomorrow, I hope to work on lemon-cranberry biscotti and a few more cookies.  What are you baking this year?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dinner is in the bag er...pot.

Life has been very busy these last few weeks.  I quit my full-time job to run my own business.  The grand opening is October 13, 2011.  My daughter is in the hospital and my son has an ear infection.  Another child doesn't want to go to the school in the am and the 4th kid, well she is helping out a lot but is tired.  Thank you to my 13 yr old for helping keep the house together!

So, because I want to feed my family home-cooked goodness and we are crazy-busy, I pulled out the crockpot!

Using leftover steak from Sunday dinner and a bunch of rough cubed root vegetables (carrots, potatoes, squash and turnip), I started a yummy stew that will be ready by supper.  I prepared it the night before, refrigerated it and simply had to put the pot into the crockpot to cook before running out the door.


2 cups cut up beef (raw or leftover roast/steak)

4-5 large carrots

7-8 potatoes (I like more)

2 cups assorted chunks root veggies such as turnip or sweet potato or even squash (I lucked out with a precut pack on super clearance but in great condition at Shoppers Drug Mart)

Beef broth - I am trying the Knorr gelatine based broth this time - full package

1-2 tbls cajun spice

2 onions finely chopped

pepper, rosemary, parsely to taste (add salt later as the beef broth can be fairly salty).

water to barely cover veggies

I would also be tempted to throw in some Worcestershire sauce and/or a touch or brown sugar.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  You can thicken in final hour by adding a little corn starch mixed with water.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thank goodness for Fro Dough!

Wonder if anyone else uses the term Fro Dough?  Well, in my case, I'm referring to the stash of ready to go cookie dough balls in my freezer.  Having been handed a note at 6pm asking for any type of goodies for a kinder grad tomorrow, I immediately thought of the ginger snap dough I had ready to go!  within minutes, fresh ginger snaps were baking in the oven, filling the house with the smell of molasses and spice.

I then whipped up another new cookie using an existing base recipe and adding dark chocolate, oatmeal, white chocolate and dried cranberries to create a yummy cookie fit for school!  My preferred combo with this dough is cranberry, pecan and lemon -- not school safe!

Well it's 10:19pm and still a ton of take home work to finish, not to mention household chores!  Better check the cookies and get to work!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cupcakes galore!

In less than 1 month, I have baked over 12 dozen cupcakes - for only 2 events!

Most recently, it was for my daughter's 18th birthday.  She requested chocolate with mint frosting.

The batter was yummy and thick as I mixed it up (again in too small of bowl).  It seemed almost criminal to stir in 2 cups of boiling water to the mix however the result is always worth it!

Earlier in the month, I made 4 types for my grandmother's 90th birthday celebration - lemon, red velvet with cream cheese icing, chocolate and vanilla.  The lemon cupcakes were a smash hit among the retirement home crowd!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Scones for the Royal Wedding

In honour of the Royal Wedding, I decided that scones were in order - at 10:45 pm!  So easy to make, I was done cooking by 11:05pm.

Cranberry Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (frozen brick)
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cup half and half cream with 1 tbsp lemon juice (let sit 2 minutes)
1 large egg
 Mix all powdered ingredients in bowl.
Using cheese grater, grate frozen butter into powdered ingredients. (Leave block whole to give you something to hold)  

Using a fork, mix butter into flour mix until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Stir in cranberries.
Mix egg with cream until well mixed.
Using fork, mix liquid into flour/butter mix until mix forms dough (will be flaky and loosely formed.)
 Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Use hand to form dough into 2  3/4 inch thick rounds.  Slice like a pie into 6 pieces.  (If you want larger scones, make one round)  Sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until scones start to brown at edges.
Best eaten while warm!

This was a double batch.
You may also wish to try raisins or other ingredients.  Dare to be creative!