Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cranberry Seed Muffins

I made you some muffins.....

with my little elf. 

Beware that they may not have been made in the most sanitary way.

Elves like to lick their fingers when they bake.

They're still good though, no worries there.
Fresh, tart cranberries, with crunchy pumpkin seeds. 
A true seasonal delight.

Cranberry Seed Muffins
Makes: 12 large muffings
Source: Canadian Living 2011 Special Edition

1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup oat bran (or wheat bran)
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
⅓ cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
¾ cups white sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp finely grated orange zest
2 eggs
1 ⅓ cups buttermilk
½ cup butter, melted and cooled
2 cups thawed cranberries

3 tbsp each oat bran, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds

1) In a large bowl, whisk together flours, bran, baking powder, baking soda and salt; whisk in sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
2)In a separate bowl, whisk together white sugar, brown sugar, orange zest, eggs and buttermilk. Whisk in butter until combined; stir in flour mixture in 2 additions just until combined. Stir in cranberries. Spoon into 12 greased muffin cups.
3) Mix together the bran, sunflower and pumpkin seeds for the topping. Sprinkle on the muffins. Bake at 375°F until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spicy Feta

My head is swimming, my nose is running, and there are nails in the back of my throat. 

Ick, ick and ick.

Consequently, I've been using 'The Backyardigans' as babysitters for the last few days.

So unfortunately, the only thing taking residence in my brain is '' We've got the whole wide world in our yard to explore. Now it's time for us to have a snack, meet you next time when your back with your friends the Backyardigans....''

That being said, I'm going to have a snack.
The jalapeƱos in this are going to burn out my cold and the garlic is going to boost my immunity.
And then I'm going to bed.

Spicy Feta
Slightly adapted from: How Sweet It Is
Makes: about 1½ cups

1 brick of feta cheese (8oz)
2 whole jalapenos
3 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp
1 small bulb garlic
juice of half a lemon
zest of half a lemon
salt and pepper

1. Chop the top off the garlic bulb and drizzle it with the teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap it in foil and roast for 25 - 30 minutes or until golden. At the same time, brush the jalapenos with olive oil  and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the in the oven until charred, about 15 - 20 minutes, rotating at least once. Remove both from the oven and let cool.
2. Once jalapenos are cooled, remove the skin, cut in half and discard the seeds and ribs. Finely chop. (Don't touch your eyes!)
3. In a medium bowl, crumble the feta. Add chopped jalapenos, lemon zest and juiced. Squeeze roasted garlic out of bulb and directly into the feta. Add the 3 tbsp of olive oil and mash with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. The feta will be a bit ''wet'', sort of cross between a dip and spread. Serve with pita chips, bread or spread on a sandwich. Keeps for about 1 week.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vegan Banana Breakfast Bar

As my daughter gets a little bit older, she's becoming super eager to help me out in the kitchen.

Her 'help' seems to involve dumping flour on the floor, eating chocolate chips by the handful, making cakes that are 1 part wood blocks to 2 parts fridge magnets and of course sampling anything I'm making by the fistful. 

Don't be fooled by those little fists.
A one year old can get a lot of cookie batter in there.

This breakfast bar (anything with oatmeal can be eaten for breakfast, right?) was a good little baking project for her and I.
The batter has no eggs (hello, it's vegan!) so I really didn't mind if she sampled. 
And then sampled again. And again.
And then just took a spoon and shoveled it in, all the while screaming ''MINE!!! MINE!!! MINE!!!!!".

I'd like to say I'm kidding but that is pretty much how it played out.

This is super easy to make and a tasty grab and go.
You can switch up the cranberries for different dried fruits and the chocolate chips for nuts. 

If you're feeling brave and like you want to spend some extra time cleaning the kitchen.... let little hands get involved by squishing the banana, adding in the dry ingredients and mixing.
(But don't say I didn't warn you.)

Vegan Banana Breakfast Bars
Makes: about 9 bars
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run

1 very ripe banana
1/3 cup canola oil
2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup dark (pure) chocolate chips
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups quick cooking oats (or old fashioned oats pulsed in a food processor for a few moments)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mash the banana with a fork and then add the canola oil and brown sugar. Mix well until there are no sugar lumps left.
In another (smaller) bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and oats. Mix into wet ingredients and add cranberries and chocolate chips.
Pat batter down into a greased square 8-inch pan. Bake for 25 minutes, or until edges are golden. Let cool before cutting into squares.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Do I really need to discuss the merit of joining german chocolate cake and cookies into one glorious baked treat?

Does not the name say it all?

German. Chocolate. Cake. Cookies.
Is this something you think you can handle?
I barely could.

Pecans, brown sugar and coconut on top of a chocolate cookie.
I'm not sure that it gets better than this.

Bake a batch of these and share them with a friend.... just don't skimp on the frosting or you might lose that friend.

German Chocolate Cake Cookies
Source: Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke

Cookie Dough:
1 cup butter
1 cup milk chocolate chips
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour

½ cup packed brown sugar
¾ cup packed shredded coconut
½ cup chopped pecans
¼ cup chilled butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 egg yolks

1. Use a doubler boiler or your microwave to melt together the chocolate chips and butter.
2. In a seperate bowl, beat together the white sugar and eggs until well mixed and smooth. Slowly add the cooled chocolate mixture and continue to beat. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla and flour. Mix well. Cover the dough and set aside.
3. In a food processor, chop up the brown sugar and coconut until the coconut is very fine. Add the pecans a butter. Process until the butter is in small bits. Add the egg yolks and continue to process until completely incorporated. Transfer to a small bowl and refrigerate the frosting.
4. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Once the oven is heated, pat the cookie dough into 1'' balls. Place the balls on a greased cookie sheet (leave lots of room for spreading). Press down in the center of each ball to make a deep indentation.
5. Pat the chilled frosting into ½" balls and place in the indentations. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and allow them to completely cool before enjoying.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sour Cream Twists

Where did summer go?
I feel like I went inside my house to escape the heat and when I left the next morning the leaves were changing colors and the temperature had dropped 10 degrees.
All of sudden I'm digging for down filled jackets and wholly boots.

I'm not complaining though.
Definitely not!
I love the fall. 
I love being able to cook roasts and bake breads and pies. 
To me, there's not much better than coming out of the cold and being hit with the smell of fresh baked bread laced with roasted meat and cinnamon sugar.
YUM and YUM.

That's why I made these sour cream twists.
Pretty much just for the smell.

If I could bake these and bottle the scent, I'd be a billionaire.
No joke. Probably even a gillionaire.

Not only do they smell a-mazing, they also taste dee-licious.
The dough is really tangy and soft while the cinnamon sugar filling is the perfect blend of crunch and sweetness.

I won't be waiting too long to make these again.

Bake these! Your house will smell fantastic.

Sour Cream Twists
Makes: 24 twists
Source: Della's Favorites

1 cup sour cream
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
2 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
3 cups all purpose flour

2 tbsp butter, melted
⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tsp cinnamon 

1. Heat sour cream to lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in sour cream, butter, sugar, salt, egg and one cup flour. Beat until smooth.
2. Mix in remaining flour until dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. Knead on a floured board until smooth. Let rise in a greased bowl until doubled in size.
3. Roll into a rectangle, 24'' x 6''. Brush with the remaining 2 tbsp of butter. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over a lengthwise half of the rectangle. Fold the other half over the sugar half. Cut into one inch strips, holding the strips at each end. Twist in opposite directions.
4. Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet, pressing the ends on the sheet. Cover and let rise until double in size.
5. Heat oven to 375°F. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden. If you want, drizzle with a glaze.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Garlic Bread Sticks

Yes..... well..... ahem...... these look a bit rude, don't they?
They were really just supposed to look like a bread stick; the phallic resemblance was completely unintentional.

I'm even a bit embarrassed looking at that top photo. Let's just move on to photos of dough. 
Yes, innocent looking dough..... much better!

Anyways...... these breadsticks were inspired by a Glee eposide via the Food Network.
Apparently somewhere in the show the winners of a duet competition get a dinner at a fictional place called BreadstiX where, ironically (not), the breadsticks, much like these ones, are bottomless.

I can't say that I care very much about Glee, but I do care about bread.
I care deeply about bread.

Especially bread that is soft, chewy, garlicky and accidentally inappropriately shaped.

These were really great fresh out of the oven but didn't keep well. By the next day they were getting a bit dry. In the future, I might try freezing them in dough sticks then taking them out to rise just before I bake them.
Don't worry, if you don't know anything about Glee (like me) you can still enjoy these yummy breadsticks.

Garlic Bread Sticks
Source: Food Network
Makes: 12

  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and/or oregano), for sprinkling


Put 3/4 cup warm water in a food processor. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and 1 teaspoon salt and pulse until dissolved. Add the flour, olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter and pulse until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. Continue to process with the motor running until smooth, about 2 more minutes.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; brush with olive oil. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Divide into 12 pieces, then roll each piece into a 12-to-16-inch rope. Arrange the ropes 1 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets, rolling them to coat with the oil. Cover each baking sheet with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place until the breadsticks double in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and the garlic in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, about 1 minute. Brush the breadsticks with the garlic butter; sprinkle with herbs and salt. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kitchen Sink Cookies

These cookies have a little bit of everything in them.
Dried cranberries, toasted pecans, oats and chocolate chips.

Normally, I'm just a straight-up, no frills chocolate chip cookie kind of girl but occasionally, very occasionally, I get a hankering for something a little bit more interesting.

Given that yesterday the skies decided to open up and release an ocean of rain on Revelstoke, it seemed like a good day to turn on the oven to restock my cookie supply. 
Yes, I am amply supplied with cookies at all times. 

I had seen a recipe for John's Kitchen Sink Cookies from Martha Stewart that piqued my interest but when I checked it out it had corn syrup in it. I don't know why but it doesn't seem right to put corn syrup in cookies so instead, I settled on this recipe from the Food Network magazine and made a few changes (as always).

Make these with whatever's in your cupboard, raisins, toffee chips, butterscotch chips, coconut, you name it! Sandwich them between vanilla ice cream for a quick and delicious summer dessert.

Kitchen Sink Cookies
Makes about 20
Adapted from the Food Network

¾ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup white sugar
½ tsp baking soda
pinch of salt 
½ cup butter
1 egg
1 ½ cup rolled oats
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup toasted, chopped pecans
½ cup chocolate chips

1Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and light brown, dark brown and granulated sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg and mix on low speed until incorporated. Slowly add the flour mixture, oats, dried cranberries, pecans and chocolate chips and mix until combined.
3. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. With wet hands, make 20 balls from the dough and put on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart. Press down on the dough balls with the palm of your hand to make flat circles.
4. Bake the cookies until golden and still a bit tender in the center, 15 to 17 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit on the baking sheets for 1 minute, then transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Quinoa Salad

It seems that I have a crush on quinoa.
Breakfast Quinoa.
Crunchy Quinoa.
Mango Chicken Curry Quinoa Salad.

It's just fun to say: keen-wah, keen-wah, keen-wah, keen-wah, keen-wah...........keen-wah.

Actually, I like that it's so versatile.
You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner and even dessert.

Unlike a lot of other foods, I find the leftovers really easy to use up. You can throw leftover quinoa in soup, smoothies (yes, blended up!), chocolate cake (you heard me) and of course salad like, conveniently, the one I have right here.

This salad is a mixture of chicken, raw veggies, quinoa and feta in a lemony vinaigrette. The recipe for the dressing is a bit rough so if you make it you'll have to adjust the ingredients to your liking.

Try it out and bring it to your next picnic.
Hope you like it.

Summer Quinoa Salad
Jesse's Kitchen Creation
Makes about 4 cups

For the salad:
2 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
½ head broccoli, diced
1 sweet red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup crumbled feta

For the dressing:
1 shallot, minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp maple syrup 
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp minced parsley.
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large bowl combine together all the salad ingredients. In a small bowl whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss to combine. Serve chilled. (Doesn't keep well).

Friday, July 8, 2011

Raw Lemon Chews

Wow! It's like a trillion degrees here. No joke.
I just think about going outside and I get a sunburn.

Yesterday, I posted on Facebook that I couldn't wait for winter and I was bombarded with hate mail.
Can you believe that? I even got a buh humbug.
Who cares that we only get 2 months of summer here compared to 8 months of heavy snow; the summer heat is oppressive!

I consider myself too much of a lady to sweat like this.

Since I can't turn my oven on for fear that my house will burst into flames with the temperature rise, I made these cool, somewhat refreshing lemony treats. 

They're not hot, freshly baked chocolate chip cookies but they do fill a certain void for sweetness in my life. 

The date, almond, lemon mixture is so sweet that I'm pretty sure my one year old thinks they're candy. She steals them from the fridge and hides in the corner in fear that I'm going to take them away.

Of course, I think it's great that she likes them and even considers them a treat.

So if you're feeling the need for a sweet baked good without the baking, try out these babies. I know you'll love them.

Raw Lemon Chews
Makes an 8'' x 8'' pan
Bar: Jesse's Kitchen original recipe
Icing: Recipe based on the Rawtarian

For the bar:
1 cup whole, raw almonds
¾ cup dried dates
1 lemon (preferably organic)

For the icing (optional):
½ cup dried dates
¼ + ⅛ cups water
¼ cup coconut butter
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1. Use your food processor to grind up the almonds into a coarse meal. Set almonds aside and grind dates as fine as you can. Add the zest and juice of one whole lemon and continue to process. Add the almonds and process for a few minutes until the mixture sticks together. Press the mixture into an 8'' x 8'' pan.
2. To make the icing, soak the dates in the water for about 15 minutes. Blend all of the icing ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth (mine didn't really get that smooth). Start on a low speed and gradually work your way up.
3. Spread the icing over the bar and refrigerate until firm. Cut into square or use a biscuit cutter to make pretty little rounds.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tomato Ricotta Tart

Sometimes when I cook I pretend I'm working in a restaurant being featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

I show Guy Fieri how I make my signature dish from scratch.
Of course, I always make a point of telling him that I only use fresh, local ingredients and organic whenever possible. (Liar!!)

During the cooking process, he's constantly stealing bits of cheese and herbs to 'taste test'.

When the finished product comes out of the oven he raves about the complexity of flavors in my dish and then gives me a fist bump and a good work to end the show.

Like the show, my dishes are always delicious and unlike anything else he's ever tried at the one million other restaurants he's been to. (HA!)

Although that last statement is dripping with skepticism (or at least it was when I said it in my head), I do think this tart would meet that criteria.

It kind of reminds me of a quiche but without the eggy texture. It's really perfect for brunch or lunch and is packed with flavor which is a bit surprising given how few ingredients it uses. 

This tart will probably never make it's debut on Triple D.....
But it'll always be a star in my kitchen.

Tomato Ricotta Tart
Makes 1 x 9'' tart
Slightly Adapted from: Martha Stewart (who else?)

2 cups fresh bread crumbs
¼ cup olive oil plus more for brushing
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (basil, rosemary etc.)
¼ cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper
1 large tomato


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a 9-inch springform pan, toss breadcrumbs with olive oil; press evenly into bottom.
  2. In a bowl, whisk ricotta with Parmesan, eggs, and herbs; season generously with salt and pepper. Spread over crust; arrange tomatoes on top. Brush with olive oil.
  3. Bake until tomatoes are almost dry, 35 to 45 minutes; let cool. Unmold. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Black Forest Cookies

My jeans have been mysteriously shrinking in the wash.

I refuse to believe it has anything to do with these cookies.
Or the 40 peanut butter cups I ate last week.
You think I'm joking or exaggerating but I'm not.

I have a chocolate and peanut butter addiction.
 It can not be cured.
 I just accept it and try to live my life the best I can.

I made these cookies to try to get myself off 'the cups'.
It worked for about 5 minutes. 
Then I ran out of cookies.

Next time I'll be sure to make a double batch.

Black Forest Cookies
Makes: about 36

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 package (about 12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cherries


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder; and salt; set aside.
  2. Place chopped chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat; whisk in sugars, then eggs, until smooth.
  3. Whisk in dry ingredients just until combined (do not overmix). Fold in chocolate chunks and dried cherries; press plastic wrap directly onto surface of dough, and refrigerate until firm, 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Drop mounds of dough (equal to 2 level tablespoons) about 2 inches apart onto prepared sheets. Bake just until edges are firm (but not darkening), 11 to 13 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cherry Almond Granola

Chunky nuts and tart cherries make this my favorite granola. 
That's saying a lot if you've ever tried the peanut butter and chocolate granola on this site.

I can't really describe to you why this is so great, it just is. 
Something about the toasted nuts and warm cinnamon make this granola both nutritional and decadent.

All I can say is:

Make it.
Eat it.
Love it.

Cherry Almond Granola
Makes: about 6 cups
Slightly adapted from Martha Stewart
4 cups old fashioned rolled oats
½ cup coarsely chopped almonds
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
½ cup dried cherries
½ cup sweetened dried coconut flakes
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
⅓ cup coconut oil
¼ cup honey
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together oats, almonds, pecans, cherries, coconut, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine oil, honey, and sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Drizzle syrup over oat mixture; toss with a wooden spoon. Pour granola onto sheet pan and spread evenly. Bake, stirring occasionally, until golden (about 25 minutes). Let granola cool completely on a wire rack. Break it into chunks and store in an airtight container.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Chinese Chicken Salad

Occasionally I emerge from my sugar coma and I'm forced to make something other than cookies for dinner. It usually happens around the time that I'm looking in the fridge and realize I have a bunch of vegetables that are going to be compost if I don't eat them, and soon!

This event occurred yesterday. (Mark it on your calender.)

Sometime between my 12th Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and 27th maple glazed almond I spotted this recipe.

The shock that I had all the ingredients on hand to make this wonderful looking salad propelled me into motion. (Not to mention my secret love affair with chicken salad sans mayo.)

The results were spectacular and well worth setting aside the junk food for.
This salad is bursting with flavor and has lots of great texture and color.

Try it out for you next lunch, supper or picnic! 

Chinese Chicken Salad
Serves 6
Adapted from: A Farm Girl's Dabbles but originally from Barefoot Contessa Parties!

For the salad:
3 large chicken breasts
2 tbsp melted butter
salt and pepper

½ lb sugar snap peas, cut into 1'' pieces
2 sweet bell peppers (red, orange or green), cored and seeded and sliced into 1'' pieces
1 cup coarsely grated carrot
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
½ cup raw chow mein noodles

For the dressing:
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
⅛ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp honey
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
¼ cup creamy natural peanut butter
½ tsp salt
½ tsp fresh ground pepper

1. First, prepare chicken. Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush melted butter all over the chicken and season liberally with salt and pepper. Place on a foil lined sheet pan and roast for 35 - 40 minutes, until chicken is just cooked. Once chicken is completely cooled, use to forks to shred the chicken in bite sized pieces.
2. Combine the shredded chicken, snap peas, bell peppers, carrots and chow mein noodles in a large bowl.
3. Whisk together all the dressing ingredients and pour over the chicken and vegetables. Gently combine. Sprinkle the 2 tbsp of sesame seeds over the salad and season to taste. Serve cold or at room temperature.
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