December 31, 2011

Happy New Years...Eve

Happy New Year's...Eve
sorry in advance for all of the formatting issues...for some reason the spacing looks perfect when I write it but when I post it, it is all over the place!

First of all...Happy New Year! Hope you all have a fun and safe night celebrating with all those you love! Just a few quick recipes I'd like to share with all you wonderful people before I head back to Victoria!


Makes about 50 cutout cookies - or in my case about 20 medium sized gingerbread men

If you like a mild, yet spicy cookie with a hint of cocoa, these are for you! I highly suggest putting an icing over top of them such as icing sugar and water...even though I didn't get the chance to do this I'm sure it would taste lovely!
  • 100 grams honey
  • 30 grams butter
  • 50 grams brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 250 grams all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  1. In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt the honey, butter, brown sugar, and salt, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. When the mixture is completely melted and homogeneous, remove from the heat to cool until it is lukewarm.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cooled honey-butter mixture with the egg until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and sift them into the mixer bowl. Beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl to incorporate every last bit of flour.
  4. Transfer the dough to a very lightly-floured worksurface, and knead it for a minute to make sure that all the ingredients are well combined.
  5. Divide the dough in two, forming each half into a disk. Wrap each disk with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour until the dough has firmed up.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  7. Take one disk of dough from the fridge, and roll it out on a floured surface to 1/4-inch. Using lightly floured cookie cutters, cut out festive shapes  and transfer them to a silpat/lined baking sheet
  8. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes.
  9. Cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack.
  10. Continue with the rest of the dough. The dough scraps can be rerolled a few times to make more cookies.
  11. Store the baked cookies in a airtight plastic container to keep them chewy. 
**My Oma was over while I went on my baking frenzy and she tasted the dough! She said it tasted just like the traditional lebkuchen she remembers from home, which is exactly what I wanted! I searched high and low for a recipe like this and it is a sure keeper!**
**I cut mine quite thin so they were quite crunchy, but just as delicious as I wanted them to be**

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures while I was making these and these are the only two that are left.... Still though, they are quite cute!

"Hi, I'm cute!"

Curry Chickpea "salad"

This is from Kriss Carr's website,! (I just got her inspiring book Crazy Sexy Diet from my sister for Christmas and it is amazing)! She calls this recipe a salad, however, I would say it is more like a stew! Serve over quinoa, whole grain rice, brown rice pasta or your grain or choice! Garnish with unsweetened shredded coconut!

-1 tablespoon coconut oil (we used olive oil but coconut oil would be fantastic as well)
-1 tablespoon curry powder
-1 medium onion, chopped
-1 bay leaf
-1 sprig thyme
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-chickpeas, fresh, soaked and boiled, or canned, drained and rinsed
-1 carrot, sliced or shredded
-¼-½ cup cabbage, shredded (we used cauliflower)
-½ cup water
-½ cup coconut milk
-hot pepper, to taste (we used tobasco)
-Himalayan salt or sea salt, to taste

Heat coconut oil and add curry powder, onion, bay leaf, thyme and garlic. 

Heat coconut oil and add curry powder, onion, bay leaf, thyme and garlic. Add chickpeas, carrot, and cabbage and stir.

Add water and coconut milk. Increase heat to a slight boil and simmer for 10 minutes. 

Add hot pepper and salt. If too thick, add water. If too runny, add mashed chick peas. Garnish with a beautiful piece of thyme or unsweetened shredded coconut, or even better, grate fresh coconut on top!

Have a wonderful day/night everyone! All the best in 2012!


December 28, 2011

Love the Holidays

Happy Holidays Everyone!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New year

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and that you were surrounded by those who mean the most to you.  I know I did! Although I had a wonderful time...I can't help but feel sad.  Sad that Christmas is over.  Now, for those of you who know know that I am a HUGE Christmas lover.  It is my favourite thing of all time.  But it isn't really the day of Christmas that I love...but everything leading up to it.  Baking, cooking, getting a tree, decorating, watching Christmas movies, visiting, being cozy by the fire, visiting with friends and family...and the list goes on and on.  All of that seems to come to an end after Christmas day...which is very sad :( Oh well...I know that it will be here again before I know it so I'm not that upset ;) I'll get over it!

So enough of this sad talk...let's get down to business! From the time I got home to Christmas night I was busy busy busy.  Shopping, organizing, cooking, baking, name it I was doing it! I'm not complaining though because it was SO MUCH FUN!

I baked a few dozen shortbread cookies and dipped them in chocolate and covered them in sprinkles!

please note my fab Christmas attire I rocked for about 3 days straight...cute, I know!
the boys stepped in and decided to help...

I stepped back and watched the magic happen.

Dad was getting the hang of it...

As pretty as they looked with the chocolate...I definitely prefer them plain.

I also made something I never ever thought about making and they turned out fantastic!


4 packages of unflavoured powdered gelatin 
1 1/4 cups water
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp light corn syrup
pinch salt
2 large egg whites
1 tsp peppermint extract (I added another half tsp, which I definitely recommend)
red or green food colouring (optional but highly recommended by ME)

1) Line 9 by 13 pan with plastic wrap and coat with cooking spray.  In a bowl, sprinkle gelatin over 3/4 cup water. Set aside, allowing gelatin to bloom
2) In medium saucepan stir together remaining 1/2 cup water, sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.  Raise heat to medium-high and allow syrup to boil, without stirring, until it registers 240 F on candy thermometer.  Meanwhile, beat egg white in bowl of electric mixer fitted with whisk attachment until stiff peaks form.
3) Working quickly, whisk gelatin and peppermint into hot syrup.  With mixer running on medium speed, slowing add hot mixture to egg white in a thin stream.  Whisk on high until mixture is very thick and almost cool, about 10 minutes.  Pour mixture (marshmallow) into prepared pan.  To create a marbled effect, drop dots of food colouring over the surface and swirl colouring into marshmallow using a toothpick.  Leave to set uncovered at room temperature for 4 hours overnight.  Oil a knife and cut into squares.  Serve in hot chocolate or as desired (my mom really loves it in coffee).

**Make sure to pour the marshmallow into the pan after the 10 minutes are up.  Do not wait.  I waited for about 1 minute contemplating a few things and it started to set by the time I poured it in.  By doing this I wasn't able to create the marbled effect that I really wanted**

**Read all of the instructions before you start :)**

you can see how it looks quite clumpy on the left side...

looks pretty gross actually...but once you put them into little squares and put them in your warm or your guests won't even notice!  

Especially once they melt and let all of their minty goodness swirl into your drink!

super melty and gooey...

in coffee...

putting it in the sprayed plastic wrap makes it easy to get out and cut into pieces!

Christmas Eve was busy getting last minute things together...but we managed to fit a little bit of fun in there! Francis and I went on a beautiful run in the trails and then we got bundled up and went ice skating with my parents! They had Christmas music playing and it was very festive! When we got home we got ready and headed over to my Oma's for dinner and presents (traditional for Europeans).  They used to put their Christmas tree up Christmas Eve in the evening and decorate it and put the presents out and nobody was allowed to see the tree or the presents until that night! We don't really go by that anymore...but we do still have dinner and open gifts!

It was a little different this year because my sister was working, so it was really weird for me and I missed her a lot! BUTTTTT this was the first year Francis spent Christmas with my family so I was beyond excited about was the rest of my family!

Me getting things ready to bring to my Oma's.  Isn't this the most beautiful kitchen? I want it... I'm taking full advantage of it and cooking in it as much as possible while I'm here!

Dinner at my Oma's! She made mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, mushroom caps (SO GOOD), roast beef and red cabbage (my favourite thing she makes!).  I had everything but the beef and it was sooo delicious! Homemade cherry wine my Opa made on the side!  Our group isn't as big as it used to be but I still enjoy going over to my Oma's and spending as much time with her as I can!


I was definitely excited to give presents this year and see everyone's faces when they opened them!  Francis was super stoked on those socks...

my dad is excited to smell good are we are we...

My Oma's face in this picture is just so cute!

I love her face and my mom's face in this one! so happy!
She got a bird feeder from Francis! My Oma loves feeding her birds...

Francis got some shin pads, which he really needed! AND they fit! All ready for hockey to start up again!

I don't think they fit me...

Beautiful tree on Christmas Eve!

...and the stockings were hung by the chimney with care? Well...not really.  They were so heavy that the mantle tipped over and we broke an ornament. not good. we had to put one of the stockings on the ground. they look kinda funny, but cute!

Christmas morning!

I made my dad and Francis some special hot chocolates on Christmas morning!  Hot chocolate, baileys, topped with whipped cream and sprinkles! I love making pretty drinks...


They were gone in about 5 minutes...I think they liked them...

okay okay...I guess I did change my Christmas outfit a little bit...the t-shirt...probably because there was flour all over it and my headband...because I'm cool like that ;)
Getting breaky ready.... on the menu this year? Eggs benedict with lox and capers!

They were so delicious! After breaky we went into the living room and started to open up our stockings!

Don't worry Francis...nobody's going to steal your stocking!


Mom opening one of her gifts from my Dad....notice the Frasier Fir candle my mom bought to burn during the holidays! Our entire family loves the scent! I have three of these candles at my apartment in Vic! Two smaller ones and one this size! I burn them all the time around the holidays, because it makes everything smell like Christmas! My sister put some of their soap in my stocking :) If anyone in the Victoria area is interested in buying some of these products, Emporia Boutique sells them! Be sure to stock up for next season :)

back to Christmas....SNOWSHOES!! My mom was hoping she would get these :) We are going snowshoeing up at Mt. Washington tomorrow to try them out! I can't wait...I LOVE snowshoeing...and the mountain.  

After the presents were opened the boys went and had a hot tub with hot chocolate and whipped cream...again!


So cozy! Fireplace on the tv...funny considering we had a fire going at the same time this was on! Oh well...the more the merrier :)

wearing a new sweater my mom got me for Christmas!
Christmas dinner....with my sister and Jeff's dogs, Sadie and Leelu

brussel sprouts, peas, sweet potato, potatoes and a veggie casserole!

I had cranberry sauce and a jalapeƱo mustard on the side...

A few action shots...


After dinner we all relaxed and visited...

Dad enjoying a Christmas drink...

This is what happens when you leave the camera sitting on the table...

who knows...

Christmas night we hung out and watched Christmas movies! Perfect way to spend the the end of the night we were exhausted!


Now for a few things that aren't at all related to Christmas!

Yesterday my mom made this delicious coconut curry dish with brown rice noodles! She used fresh thyme from her garden!

It was SO delicious...I don't know what was in it though! If you are interested let me know and I will find out for you!

I had to take a few pictures because my dad's camera is amazing and I want to take full advantage of it! PLUS the lighting in their kitchen is perfect for photography!

My family and I also played some fun games with my sister and Jeff a few nights ago...

Cranium fun!

Mom doing the humdinger...whistling a song! We had to try and guess it. It's so hard to do this without laughing hysterically! Last night I decided to put my new ice cream/frozen yogurt maker to the test...I made mango gelato!  Quite complicated actually...but I will post the recipe soon!

It was quite delicious! We put it in the freezer overnight and are going to actually have it for dessert tonight!  I am excited to try making ice cream with coconut milk and all natural sweetener, such as agave or stevia!

This morning I decided to make Bircher Museli from the Rebar cookbook I got from my sister for Christmas!


serves 2

1 cup large flake rolled oats
2 apples
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup plain yogurt
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp sliced almonds
1 cup fresh berries

1) In the evening before serving bircher meusli place oats in a bowl and cover the water by 1 inch.  Covery and leave it to rest on the kitchen counter overnight (i put mine in the fridge)
2) In the morning, briefly toast the nuts and seeds in a heated skillet (you can do this the night before).  Peel the applies and grate them into the bowl with the soaked oats.  Add the lemon juice and the remaining ingredients.  Stir thoroughly, divide among 2 bowls and serve!

**I made my berries into a pulp before adding them**

Very refreshing and filling! Super tasty as well :)  If anyone has been to Harrison Hot Springs and has eaten at their amazing breakfast buffet, this will remind you of the muesli (meusli? - my cookbook spells it this way) they serve! SO SO GOOD and super healthy!

Well...I think that's enough for you to have a look at! Have a great day everyone!