Friday, December 31, 2010

My Cupcakes are Famous!

I am a faithful reader (viewer?) of The Lunch Box Project, a very cute food blog dedicated to not making, but painting, food. At the beginning of December, Lisa Orgler, of The Lunch Box Project, requested cupcake submissions for a cupcake poster she was planning on producing. I submitted my sweet little Spring Blossom Babycakes and, low and behold, they got selected!

My cupcakes in their original sweet glory.

My cupcakes are famous! And still looking very sweet.

The final, deliciously delightful, poster: Let Them Eat {Cup}cakes!

The poster is for sale on Etsy, a zero calorie treat for cupcake lovers everywhere.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

May visions of sugarplums be dancing in your head tonight! Happy holidays from me (and Ollie) to you!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Cookies - Outrageous Chocolate

So far, I've made my "must have Christmas cookie" and I've made my "most fun to make Christmas cookie". And now, I have also made my "absolute all-time-favourite cookie" - the Outrageous Chocolate Cookie. This cookie contains more chocolate than any other ingredient and you can taste it! They are chewy, dense treats and are basically brownies masquerading as cookies.

I made one regular batch and added crushed candy canes to a second batch (which are pictured here, but you can hardly tell that they contain candy cane pieces). And, almost impossibly, the Outrageous Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies are even better than the original! Yum!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Food Box Chronicles

I forgot to take pictures of my most recent food box creations. Between the baking and wrapping and cleaning and shopping . . . it's been a whirlwind of a week.

I made:

* African Yam Peanut soup (from the Rebar cookbook)
* Mashed potatoes and turnips
* Balsamic Spinach
* Roasted Squash and Blueberry Muffins
* Lemon Cashew Dip (omit garlic and add lemon zest)
* Blueberry Pancakes

I am now on a food box "break" for a couple of weeks over the Christmas holidays, a very good thing considering the amount of soup I have in my freezer!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Cookies - White Chocolate Candy Cane Drops

A lot of people are surprised when I tell them that I put candy canes in cookies, but cookie + peppermint candy is a delicious combination. Plus, candy cane pounding can be an excellent stress reliever!

I usually make Candy Cane Shortbread, but decided to try something new this year when I found a recipe for White Chocolate Candy Cane Drops in Better Homes and Gardens' 100 Best Cookies issue. Very minty and very festive!

My one caution about the recipe is that it says it makes 50 cookies while my batch only made 22. I did make them larger than the recipe called for, but they were not huge and, even at half the size, 50 would be stretching it.

Stay tuned for my next minty recipe!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Cookies - Classic Sugar, Take Two

After my first attempt at sugar cookies did not quite work out, I decided to go for it one more time.

And, it worked! Yay! No icing troubles here!

I cut my second batch as snowflakes and I must say that I love the white on white. I need to track down a more interesting snowflake cutter, but I think that snowflake sugar cookies will be a tradition from here on out.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Weekend Homemaker

I spent almost all of last weekend in the kitchen, cooking and baking my way through my last food box. I know that some people think that spending a weekend in the kitchen is ridiculous, but making food is very relaxing for me. It helps me to reconnect with myself and I eat so much healthier when I give myself this time. Also, a weekend in the kitchen means almost no cooking during the week! Lunches are a snap to prepare and I can get dinner on the table in under 15 minutes.

In my last food box, I received: pears, asian pears, apples, a lemon, carrots, a squash, a pomegranate, tomatoes, broccoli, potatoes and onions.

An onion, some carrots and some potatoes were used along with leftover thanksgiving turkey, lentils, peas and barley to make a turkey soup.

I roasted the squash . . .

And baked it into these lovely squash and pumpkin seed muffins.

I had a delicious snack of pomegranate and asian pear. I love pomegranates! They are a pain to eat, but worth the trouble.

I roasted tomatos. They will be used next weekend in another soup.

I made broccoli soup with the broccoli, an onion and potatoes. This recipe is so easy and dairy free!

Broccoli Soup

1. caramelize one chopped onion in olive oil
2. add one large thinly sliced potato and fry with onions and oil until soft
3. add 8 cups vegetable stock
4. add broccoli (I would say about 4 cups chopped) and bring to a boil
5. simmer until broccoli is soft and then puree with a hand blender
6. season with salt and pepper as desired

So good and so easy!

Lastly, I made my favourite vanilla roasted pears, using up the pears and the lemon. So good with yogurt or oatmeal!

My food boxes have gotten out of sync due to the upcoming Christmas holiday and another box has already arrived. It will be another weekend in the kitchen!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Cookies - Classic Sugar

Last weekend was sugar cookie weekend! Sugar cookies are my favourite to make; they are practically edible art.

I used my regular Martha Stewart recipe.

I cut out many mittens, bows and trees.

I piped.

I flooded.

And I sprinkled.

Unfortunately, something went wrong with my Royal Icing (likely a speck of grease on a spoon or bowl) and it did not set properly. The cookies still taste good and look pretty (though not as pretty as I had planned), but they are bit too sticky to send to my parents and, as such, will be potluck cookies.

A vinegar bath awaits my baking supplies as I prepare for sugar cookie round two!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Cookies - Shortbread

I can't believe another year has passed! I feel like 2010 has just begun and yet I began my Christmas baking last weekend. I plan to bake at least one cookie recipe per week for the next four weeks. Most of these goodies will go to my parents, but there will be plenty of leftovers for every visitor, work gathering and party over the next month.

I began with Basic Shortbread. While shortbread is not my favourite eating cookie, it is one treat that the Christmas season isn't complete without. Yum!