Valley road trip

6 May

The weather has finally turned for the better out east. Just wanted to share some pictures of the weekend. I was lucky to see my first sunset at Peggy’s Cove. Even though this is a huge tourist attraction it is always beautiful to see. The granite rocks and the picture perfect small fishing towns get me every time. Also we took a drive down to the valley and soaked up the sun. It was a lovely weekend and a great start of things to come this summer.

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Spring!

31 Mar

Spring is finally here after months of deep freeze here on the eastern coast. I was lucky enough to go for a hike the other day. It was a 5k loop around a partially frozen lake. We hiked up rocky bluffs and through forests with the ground covered in snow. It was a beautiful day.

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I chanced it today and brought out our patio furniture. Fingers crossed the weather holds. Our produce pack will also be starting in about a month and I’m looking forward to the weekly visits and the amazing local food! Happy Easter to all my friends and family all across this beautiful country of ours. Xoxo

#22 Lemon Puds

4 Mar

I warn you know as I had been warned: Don’t make these when you are alone as you will eat them all in one sitting. You have been warned.

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This recipe was sent to me by my sister when she was down in Australia. I assume Pud means pudding but I’m not really sure. The recipe makes only 3 medium sized puds and would be perfect for a dinner party or a tuesday night by yourself. I feel bad about eating them all but they were so good. Anyways, the recipe is really straightforward. My only difference was to watch them in the oven as my oven runs hot so it took less time. The ice cream on top is a must. I also found out they are good the next day cold from the fridge. Chewy and dense and lemony. Enjoy!

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#23 Heart shaped cream filled cookies

18 Feb

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So begins the first of my list of 34 things to make before I turn 34. Valentines day was last week and I thought it was a good opportunity to try out these cute little cookies. I altered the cream filling only by tinting it pink. I brought these to work and they were done by midday so I take that as a sign that they were tasty. I would make these again for different occasions by changing the shape and maybe the colour of the cream filling.

The weather here is getting better and the snow has melted with the rain. Sign of spring maybe? Hoping anyways. This winter has taken it’s toll and I’m ready to be inspired again by my produce packs and the warm sun hitting my shoulders. I’m looking forward to a farm visit in a couple of weeks as well. It will be nice to reconnect with Jen and Dave and to see how the farm is doing. Also I think a little baking is in order that day!

Have a lovely week everyone and bake these cookies….

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Heart shaped cream filled cookies
recipes via Shutterbean

Cookies:

1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp coarse salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
cream filling (recipe below)

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Stir together your butter,sugar, and egg. Add the wet ingredients to your dry and stir until a dough forms. Divide the dough in half and roll out each one on a sheet of parchment paper until 1/8 inch thick. Put in fridge until firmed up, about 30 mins.

Meanwhile make your cream filling…..

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp milk
food colouring if needed

Beat butter with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugars and beat until mixed. Add vanilla and milk and food colouring. Mix until spreadable.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take dough out of fridge and cut out heart shapes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes and spread on a cooling rack when done. Once fully cooled spread the cream and sandwich cookies together. Keep in fridge until ready to serve.

Makes about 25 cookies or so and can be stored in fridge or on the counter in a container for up to one week.

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27 Jan

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Lately I’ve become uninspired. I don’t know if it’s the daily grind of working creeping in or if it’s the winter blahs. I know myself well enough now that if I make a list I’m pretty good at working on getting things done. I was thinking that I wanted to become more active and alive in this little space of mine. I was trying to figure out how to make that happen because taking pictures of my daily boring dinners wasn’t going to do it for me.

I am dreaming of summer and my produce packs and gardening and the beach and swimming and camping and….well I could go on and on. Apparently the coldest temperature for Halifax was recorded just the other day. Ugh. I can’t take this winter anymore. So here I am bundled under my blankets in my living room drinking cups of coffee watching you tube videos of Spain on the road again. I have been working on a list of 34 food items/ideas to make before I turn 34 on July 2. That gives me about 6 months to work through this list. There is nothing (so far!) that is too crazy or weird. Just everyday things that I think the hubby and I will enjoy. Right now my list is at 22 and I will continue to add and cross off ideas as I go. I will try my best to document my progress as I go along.

1.Homemade Ice Cream
2.Donuts
3.Grilled flatbread
4.Ketchup
5.Sangria
6.Gnocchi
7.Polenta
8.Seafood bake on the beach
9.Fondue party
10.crepes
11.Tourtiere
12.Chicken fried steak with gravy
13.Handpies
14.Falafels
15.Pierogies
16.Biscotti
17.A real poached egg
18.Beef wellington
19.Homemade frappucino
20.Chicken pot pie
21.coconut milk hot chocolate
22.lemon puds (recipe from my sister from Australia)
23.heart shaped cream filled cookies
24.baked fried chicken
25.slow cooker bacon jam
26.
27.
28.
29.
30.
31.
32.
33.
34.

Any ideas on how to finish the list? Wish me luck! xo

Angel Food cake, Snickerdoodles and Holiday Fun

30 Dec

It’s been busy around our house this holiday season. I started a full time job a couple months ago so I’ve been getting into the groove of balancing life and work again. It’s a full schedule of working, baking, coffee dates, dinners and christmas time. I’ve done a lot of baking this holiday season and trying out new recipes. I want to share two recipes for you today. I use Joy the Baker and Shutterbean for most of my baking and cooking inspiration. First recipe is Snickerdoodles. I had never heard of these cookies until I moved to the east coast. Let me tell you that these are amazing cookies. They are between a cake and a cookie and not too sweet but have a little crunch of cinnamon sugar. I baked these for a cookie exchange and for the girls at work. The second is for angel food cake. I made this for a friends dinner party on Christmas Eve. The glaze was almost like a chocolate truffle. So good!

Snickerdoodles
*recipe from the Joy the Baker cookbook

cookies:

2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

topping:

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup sugar

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a larger bowl beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute between each egg. Stop mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add flour mixture at low speed until well mixed. Put mix in the fridge for half hour. Place the rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a small bowl mix the topping ingredients. Spoon the dough into little balls and roll each one in the sugar mixture. Place on the baking sheet and cook for 12-14 minutes until slightly browned on the edges. Cool on a baking sheet. These will last in a container for up to 3 days. You can freeze these but they are much better fresh. This recipe makes approx 2 dozen cookies.

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Black and white angel food cake
*recipe from shutterbean

2 cups fine sugar
1 1/3 cups cake flour (not self rising)
1 1/2 cups egg whites (10-12 eggs)
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cups grated semi sweet chocolate

for the glaze:

1/2 pound semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine 1/2 of the sugar with the flour and sift them together 4 times. Set aside.

Place the egg whites, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric stand mixture fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until the eggs form med-high peaks about 1 minute. With the mixture on medium add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of sugar and beat on high speed until the mixture becomes thick and shiny. Add the vanilla and mix another minute. Pour the egg mixture into a larger bowl and add the flour mixture a 1/4 at a time. Fold the flour into the egg mixture with a spatula. Once all mixed in add the grated chocolate and fold in.
Pour the mixture into an ungreased tube pan, smooth out the top and bake for 35-45 minutes until it springs back to the touch. Remove from the oven and invert the pan onto a cooling rack. When cool run a knife around the egde of the cake to remove from the pan.

For the chocolate glaze melt the chocolate chips in the heavy cream over a double boiler. Pour glaze over the top of the cake until it drizzles down the side. Eat and enjoy!

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I hope everyone had a great holidays and have a great time welcoming in the new year. I hope to add more to this little space during the new year and expand beyond just recipes and food. Thank you to all that read this little blog. Love you all xo

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Brown Sugar Shortbread

27 Nov

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Like it or not the holiday season is upon us. Yes I already have my tree and decorations up and I know it’s not even December. My excuse is the hubby is gone to sea until the week or so before Christmas so I wanted to decorate while he was home. The holidays to me are about family, friends, snuggling up watching old christmas movies (national lampoons is my ultimate favorite!), and baking up a storm. This years first holiday baked good is brown sugar shortbread. This is a super easy recipe that any one can do. Just a few ingredients and some time is all that is needed. It is not overly sweet but melt in your mouth buttery. Perfect for those cold nights that roll in from over the ocean.

Brown Sugar Shortbread (or Scottish shortbread)
*recipe adapted from Bake with Anna Olsen

3/4 cup room temp butter (unsalted)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease a removable bottom baking dish or you can use a greased pan. Mix butter and brown sugar together until fluffy. The key to shortbread is to make sure you really mix the butter and sugar together for a good few minutes. It ensures the shortbread sticks together and also breaks apart nicely when cooked. Add the flour and salt together in a separate bowl then add to the butter-sugar mixture slowly until a crumbly mixture. Pour mixture into greased pan and press mixture together until even throughout. Poke holes with a fork all over shortbread. Cook in oven for a whole hour until lightly browned. Cut into squares or pie shapes while still warm. Enjoy!

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