Tag Archive | cooking

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie “Hack”

Before Christmas there was a “recipe” hack floating around Facebook and Instagram to make these peanut butter cup cookies! So tonight Jacob and I gave them a go!!

These are so easy! You need a Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix, mini resse cups, Pam, veggie oil and water.

Simply follow directions on the cookie package, spray mini muffin tin, divide dough into 12 even balls in the muffin tins, press in peanut butter cup.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes and allow to cool in tin for 5-10 minutes before removing.

Pros-Super easy! My 5 year old could 100% prep these himself.
-Fun for the kids! All three gave them 2 thumbs up!

Cons-If you’re a home baker you’re not going to love the pb cookie mix! I’ll 100% recreate this with my homemade cookie recipe!
-Hard to remove from pan. I sprayed the tin but definitely would suggested a hearty spray!

Another friend says she makes these with the pre made Pillsbury chocolate chip cookie dough! These would be a great rainy day activity with the kids!

Gingerbread Sprinkle Cookie Bites

It’s been a hot minute since I shared a recipe but these cookies are too fun to not share!! They are soft, festive and chewy and everything that a Christmas cookie should be!


• 3/4 cup butter, room temperature

• 3/4 cups brown sugar

• 1 egg

• 1/4 cup milk

• 3/4 cup molasses

• 3 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon baking soda

• 1 tablespoon cinnamon

• 1 teaspoon ground ginger

• 1/4 teaspoon allspice

• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 cup sprinkles

1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar for 2 minutes. Add the egg and milk and beat to combine. Add the molasses and beat until fully combined. Set aside.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt.

3. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until no dry patches remain.

4. Cover with plastic wrap and place dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour but I usually leave mine 24 hours

5. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.

6. Add Christmas sprinkles to a shallow bowl.

7. Use a small cookie scoop to portion the dough into even balls of dough.

8. Roll the dough in the Christmas sprinkles and place on the prepared baking trays, at least 2” apart.

9. Bake in matches for 10 minutes and cool on rack

Epicure Azteca Tortilla Soup

It’s that time of year again! A new Epicure catalogue has launched with lots of new products and meal solutions. I thought it might be fun to review some of the new products and share my thoughts.

If you aren’t familiar with Epicure it is a local to me Canadian company that aims to inspire clean eating through their line of gluten free, sugar/salt/fat conscious line of spices, mixes, and meal solutions.

In the spirit of full disclosure I should mention that I am an independent Epicure consultant! That in no way means I will withhold my honest opinions on these products. This is not a sponsored post in any way and I have purchased these products at my own cost.

So, on to the soup!

I followed the directions on the package using the water option instead of broth. The ingredients and directions are extremely simple. You boil the water and seasoning, add in tomatoes, boil again. Meanwhile rinse the black beans. Add beans and corn and simmer.

To serve top with Greek yogurt, cheese,avocado, lime juice, and tortilla chips if you wish.

Now in all honesty I found the soup incredibly bland after following the directions on the package. Next time I will definitely use broth over water.

After trying it as prepared according to the package directions I went ahead and added in some salt, taco seasoning, red garlic sensel, and a few other things to give it more of the flavour I was expecting/looking for.

I also added two chopped Roma tomatoes because I like chunks or tomatoes in my taco soup.

I don’t mind at all that I had to add salt to this soup. In fact I think that is a good thing given how many packaged mixes and soups are sodium heavy. I’m not one who adds much salt in my cooking but I will when it’s needed. I will admit I wasn’t expecting to have to add so many extra ingredients/spices to this soup to make it more flavourful. On the other hand it’s easier to add ingredients to your liking then to try to cover up a flavour you don’t like in a package mix.

Once the soup was done and topped with the toppings mentioned above and cilantro I very much enjoyed it but again I don’t think I would of enjoyed it very much had I not tweaked it to my liking.

With that being said would I make this again? Absolutely! I would make it using broth and set out knowing what I want to add. I’m also looking forward to trying this with the addition of veggie ground round (or ground beef for the meat eaters). I would also use this mix in other recipes, I’m thinking a taco casserole.

This product is not at all what I was expecting as a quick meal solution/soup mix but it’s a product I will happily use as an ingredient in my own creations.

Magic Cookie Bars

I love this time of year! I feel like I constantly want to have something baking in the oven to share with friends and family! Christmas baking can turn into a full time job!! A tasty, fattening full time job! Luckily this recipe is quick, easy, and tastes amazing! I wouldn’t try to pass these cookies off as healthy but this time of year we all seem to be willing to indulge a little. I’ve seen many variations over the years for these yummy cookie bars but this is my take on the situation!


2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cups coconut
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup chopped nuts of your choice
(I used a mix of peanuts, pecans, and walnuts)


Mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and cinnamon.


Press crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased pan. I used an 11×8 tart pan with a removable bottom.



Once crumbs are pressed in to pan evenly spread sweetened condensed milk over them.


In a separate bowl combine chocolate chips,butterscotch chips, nuts, and coconut. Toss to combine.


Evenly spread mixture on top of condensed milk. I use the back of a spatula to firmly press the mix into the condensed milk.



Place entire tart pan on a cookie sheet and Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes.

Allow to cool on rack for easier cutting.





Buffalo Chicken “Cupcakes

So after three nights of not making dinner, unless you count toast at midnight dinner! I finally felt well enough tonight to spend some time in the kitchen tonight!!

I have spent some time looking at recipes on Pinterest and a version of this dish caught my eye. I decided to go to work inventing my own recipe for Buffalo chicken cupcakes! Of course because the hubby doesn’t do spicy I did half the batch as BBQ chicken cupcakes.

These are super easy to make and I think they would make a great appetizer. I ate a couple for dinner with some veggies because I’m awesome, no it’s cuz I’m awesome!

This recipe makes 12 “cupcakes” using a regular sized muffin tin. I did 6 buffalo and 6 BBQ by simply separating the chicken/veggie mix before adding the sauce.

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup real bacon bits *optional*
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup hot sauce or BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 can of refrigerated pizza dough
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Cooking spray


Chop chicken, onions, pepper into small pieces and pan fry in butter, adding Italian seasoning and garlic halfway through cooking.



Preheat oven to 375

Spray muffin pan liberally with cooking spray.

Cut pizza dough into 12 equal portions and form each into a dough ball with your hands.
Use a roller to roll out each section of dough into a small circle and place into greased pan.





Once chicken/veggie mix is cooked toss with your choice of sauce. Divide mixture evenly between the 12 muffin tins.



Bake uncovered for 15 minutes and the remove from oven, quickly top with cheese and bake for another 5 minutes to melt cheese.

Remove from oven and remove from muffin tin pan by running a butter knife around the edge of each “cupcake” !




Coconut Chicken Strips

So tonight I decided to make myself some chicken strips for dinner. I realized it was a good chance to
try out my new recipe I’ve been thinking about for some time!!

Coconut chicken strips!! This recipe makes enough to cover 2 large chicken breasts. If you want to make 4 breasts worth of strips just double the dry ingredients.
2 large chicken breasts
1 can of coconut milk

1/2 cup crushed corn flakes
1/2 cup sweetened coconut
1/4 cup spelt flour (any type of flour will work
1 tablespoon ground flax
1/4 teaspoon garlic
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground pepper
Pam or spray coconut oil

Mix all dry ingredients in a flat dish.


Slice chicken into strips or coat whole. Dip chicken pieces in coconut milk and toss in dry mixture until coated.


Arrange on sprayed baking pan or on a wire rack on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 for about 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F , flipping once while cooking.

I served these healthy, slightly sweet, very moist chicken strips with spicy mango sauce! Ummm yum!


Lazy Cabbage Rolls

Growing up I use to spend hours watching my Mom cook, I was even allowed to help! It didn’t matter what she was whipping up I was enthusiastically welcomed to help. I think she instilled my love of cooking into me at an early age. The kitchen was the one place my Mom was relaxed and at ease.

My Mom made many different meals but one of my personal favorites was always cabbage rolls. Tonight I had a craving for some cabbage rolls but didn’t have the time to make the labour intensive recipe so I did the next best thing! Lazy cabbage rolls, aka unstuffed cabbage rolls, aka cabbage casserole, aka inside out cabbage rolls! Whatever you wish to call them they are tasty, quick, and cost effective!

1 pound lean ground beef, ground turkey, or veggie ground round
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 cans of tomato soup
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 small cabbage chopped (5/6 cups)
2 cups cooked rice
2 cups water
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add in ground beef and cook until throughly browned.


Once the beef is well browned add in tomatoes, soup, rice, spices and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add in the cabbage and water, stir to combine, cover and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes until cabbage reaches desired consistency.



This dish has a very comfort food feel to me yet is quiet healthy. Mom always serves cabbage rolls with fresh white bread and butter to tone down the health factor 😉



Homemade Strawberry Jam

Every Summer when the strawberries are ready I go out to the farm and pick a few buckets full. Okay fine, I eat my weight in strawberries while picking a few buckets full, don’t judge me!!! The farm berries are fresh, juicy, sweet, and a perfect red color.

Upon bring my bounty home I always make sure to freeze a few bags for making out of season Strawberry jam! Well that out of season jam making adventure occurred yesterday because I had finally run out of the jars I made in the late Summer. The thing about homemade jam is the jars seem to disappear quickly once your friends and family learn of their presence in your pantry!

Making jam isn’t difficult as long as you do your prep work and work quickly once you start the process. There are many jam recipes out there but I always stick to the tried and true recipe that my Mom used growing up.

7 cups of White sugar
3 1/4 cups crushed Strawberries
1 package liquid Pectin
1/4 fresh Lemon juice
1/2 tsp butter


As you can see I like to prep everything before I start and that includes sanitizing my jam jars. This is as simple as boiling a large pot of water and letting the jars “cook” for three to five minutes. I leave them in the hot water bath until I’m ready to use them.


I repeat the hot water bath with the lids and rings, much later after the jam has a chance to set up and I’ve sealed the jars with wax.

On to the fun part!

Combine strawberries, sugar, lemon juice and butter in a large pot and continue to stir over high heat until mixture reaches a hard boil. Once the mixture is boiling hard add your pectin while stirring and continue to let mixture boil hard for 60 to 90 seconds. Be sure to stir the entire time to avoid scorching the jam. Remove from heat



At this point you hopefully don’t have too much foam formed but if you do just skim it off. Once you’re done you can fill your jars. I use a funnel to fill my jars to avoid contaminating the rims of my jars. Fill your jars being sure to leave space for a wax seal.

Allow your jam a few hours to set up and then seal with melted food grade wax and apply lids!
Number of jars will depend On the size you decide to use. I get four medium size jars out of a batch.



Homemade Perogies!!!

Hello Blog world! I’m most definitely still taking up residence on my couch. No work for me again today! Also no adventures in the kitchen either. Bronchitis sucks!

However I do have a recipe to share with you! Last week I made Perogies from scratch and Kevin said they were the best Perogies he’s ever eaten!!! Making perogies isn’t extremely difficult, just time consuming with the folding and the pinching. Don’t let the time investment deter you. These yummy bites of potato deliciousness are worth it!

Filling Ingredients
4-5 Large potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup sour cream
6 strips of bacon cut into pieces
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste

Dough Ingredients
3 cups of flour
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup water
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


Start by peeling and chopping your potatoes and cooking them as though you were making mashed potatoes.


Next start pan frying your bacon pieces and then chop your onion. Once bacon begins to crisp add the onion to the pan and cook for another 3 minutes.


Once your potatoes are done cooking drain and return to large bowl to mash. Mash with butter, sour cream, garlic, and spices. Once mashed mix in cheese, bacon and onion. Set aside to cool.




Dough Prep
In bowl, mix together flour and salt,garlic,Italian and pepper.

In another small bowl beat together egg, water and oil. Stir into flour mixture, adding a touch more water if needed to make dough soft but not sticky.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface; knead until smooth. Rip dough in half and cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rest for 20 minutes.





Now for the fun part! Take one ball of dough and rip it in half. On a lightly floured counter roll out dough very thin, about 1/4 inch thick. Using a round biscuit or cookie cutter cut dough into 10 rounds. Re-rolling as little as possible.


Fill each round with a small amount of filling. Fold perogie in half and gently pinch edges of dough together. If you’re having issues making the edges stick moisten edge with a tiny amount of water.



Place perogies on a flour dusted cookie sheet and cover with a dry, clean tea towel. Repeat process with each portion of dough. You should get 40 – 50 perogies out of this recipe.

You are now ready to cook your perogies or freeze them at this stage. To cook them bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and place some perogies into the water and allow to boil for a few minutes until they pop to the surface. Be sure to do this in batches as to not over crowd the pot.

Once they surface transfer them to a frying pan with some butter and cook until golden and crisp.

I served these with barbecued locally made farmers sausages, sour cream and fried onions. I really think the addition of spices to the dough really gives these perogies something extra.

Weekend Wonders-I’m Aware It’s Wednesday

So my weekend wasnt all cooking and baking! I did a few other things and had a bit of relaxing time! Of course I’m not as intense in the relaxation zone as Muffin is!





Of course she earned these naps! She had to venture out to Bosleys pet store to get food and treats! Riding shot gun I’m the sun is a lot of work!




I keep telling you life is hard! So hard in fact I was forced to have a mud bath.

It may look odd but the mud leaves my skin so soft and it is actually very calming. They sell it by the bottle at Spa Utopia! Try it!

I spent some time gardening and was excited to see some of my seeds have sprouted! Very giddy to see the Brussels sprouts sprouted!!


We got a delivery of lumber for the new stairs. Complete with crane truck!


See I to you I did other stuff!! However I did do more baking, I baked cupcakes for Sandra’s birthday party! Vanilla bean filled with Nutella and frosted with chocolate buttermilk. Very rich and delightful.


While they were baking Maple and I played fetch for almost an hour! She is still full of puppy energy! Love her! Thankfully she didn’t mind my cowgirl chic look of muddy boots and lulemons! I’m sexy!



Saturday night a group of us headed to Sandra’s 31st Birthday party




The party was laid back and full of laughs and good conversation. I guess it’s a sign of changing times and our age. I’m glad I went. I’m glad I got to catch up with friends and cuddle Lincoln, the puppy! I was exhausted by the end of the night and very glad to come home to Kevin for a Saturday night of couch cuddles.

I woke up early Sunday morning and needed to get some fresh air, so Emma and I headed to the Sunday market and bought flowers. We got flowers for Krista and my mom as well as for me.

I just feel better about life when there is fresh flowers in the house. After we got the flowers situated, Krista and I took Emma and the dogs for another walk to our local dog boutique for some treats!



I am very excited that the two new pet-stores have opened in Cloverdale. It is nice to take Muffin for a walk and buy her a treat. No kids what can I say!


This week at work has been quiet and good minus the fact I have a horribly sore throat.

I’ve been alternating between cuddling Muffin, drinking tea, and whining about death being near!