Thursday, April 30, 2015

Life Hacks: Episode 1

So... I tried (so far unsuccessfully) to make coffee cake muffins today. 
Baby E was fast asleep in her car seat after our walk home from mommy & me yoga (which we had to leave early because she was tired and refused to sleep. She felt crying would be better) so I put her up on the table and reclined her and decided to spend the quiet time getting some baking done.
But my brown sugar, having been relegated to the back of the cupboard for too many moons, is hard as a rock. So while I attempt to soften it up I decided to start a series of life hacks. 

I got the idea from my talented friend Danielle over at Ginger Rose who comes up with incredible food hacks for Kraft Canada. 

Instead of food hacks (because 1. I'm not clever enough to think up any and 2. I can't get my ingredients in order to actually do this) I'm going with life hacks. 

Life hacks for the sneaky and lazy woman. 

So here you go. 
Episode 1. 
Enjoy :)

P.S. Don't tell John he's been getting duped for weeks. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday's Child : 17 Weeks

Sorry for the lack of posts - last week I was out of the house most days and truly I've done nothing worth blogging about.
Hopefully that will change this week!

Here's my Tuesday baby post in the meantime - complete with another video!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Birthday Baking Part 2: Cracker Jack Cupcakes

Part two of the delicious birthday cupcakes is up!
Again, recipe is courtesy of The Brunette Baker.

Start with the base:
Peanut Butter Cupcakes
(or no-nut butter if you're like me)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line muffin tin with muffin cups.
  • In a bowl, cream together 2 cups packed brown sugar½ cup butter, and 1 cup peanut butter/no nut butter. Add in 3 eggs, one at a time, and 2 tsp vanilla
  • In a separate bowl mix together 2½ cups flour2 tsp baking powder, and ½ tsp salt. Mix into the peanut butter mix, alternating with 1¼ cups buttermilk.
  • Fill liners 2/3 full and bake for 14-18 minutes then allow to cool.  

Then pull out the salted caramel you made before and whip up some salted caramel icing
(it's maybe the best icing I've ever made):

Salted Caramel Icing
  • Cream together ½ cup butter (softened), 4 cup icing sugar, and 1 cup salted caramel. If your frosting isn't the right consistency (mine wasn't) then add cream or milk 1 tsp at a time until the desired consistency is reached.  

Put it all together by topping your cupcakes with caramel corn and peanuts (I don't think I have to mention that I skipped the peanuts) and then drizzling with salted caramel. 

These cupcakes are so tasty and very decadent so you probably won't want to eat more than one. 
But if you do, go for a second without any hesitation!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Birthday Baking Part 1: Salted Caramel

My dad's birthday is on Tuesday and we're planning a baseball-themed party.
I volunteered to be in charge of desert so I'm making an appropriately baseball-themed desert: 
Crackerjack Cupcakes (& cake balls)!

Because there are a few steps involved I thought I'd share and break the process down into two posts.
First up: salted caramel.

Be warned, this is DELICIOUS and you will have a hard time not eating most of this before you use it. 

Make extra.

(Recipe from The Brunette Baker)
Makes 2 cups.

  • Over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup sugar with 4 tbsp water and bring to a boil. Without stirring, allow sugar to boil until it turns a golden-amber colour - about 6 or 7 minutes. **Do not leave the stove as this colour change happens quickly** 
  • Remove from heat and carefully add in 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 tsp vanilla. Do this carefully as the mix will bubble up. 
  • With a wooden spoon, stir in 3/4 cup room temperature butter and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir until butter is melted and incorporated.  Pour into a container and allow to cool. 
  • Dip everything in your kitchen into a spoonful of this sauce and try not to eat the entire jar. 

I want to make so much more of this sauce. 
So much more.

Save at least a cup of this for part two of the cracker jack cupcake recipe!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Oven Roasted Jerk Chickpeas

In my new ongoing quest to find quick snacks that are also healthy, I came across roasted chickpeas.
Believe me when I tell you that these are incredibly easy to make and are so tasty - especially if, like me, you can't enjoy nuts.
You can use pretty much any kind of seasoning you want. 
I used jerk seasoning because I had a lot of it on hand.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Open a can of chickpeas and drain out the liquid. Spread the chickpeas out evenly on a baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with desired seasoning.
  • Bake for about 30 mins. Then let cool and enjoy!
This snack is about 125 calories per 1/2 cup and is loaded with protein and fibre! A much healthier alternative to chips....or chocolate, if we're being realistic about my snacking habits.