HONEY O CEREAL BARS

These amazing no bake cereal bars are literally the best! They are just so simple & easy to make and of course require no effort. The nice cherry on top is that they are completely nut, peanut and coconut free; making them lunch friendly when your children take them to school 🙂

Growing up with a nut allergy was extremely hard when I was little. Not only did my parents have to read all the ingredients on every little thing I had, they also had to monitor everything I ate. Unfortunately dinner parties were the worst! We would arrive to our family friends homes and I would immediately be drawn to the nicely displayed food. I remember how the first thing my mother would do was ask the hostess if there were any nuts in any of the foods. And of course before they could answer, I’d have gobbled down anything in front of me. Within seconds I would start having a reaction and go into an anaphylactic shock.

One of the reasons why I started making these bars was because I grew tired of trying to find bars that were completely nut free. I had been to so many grocery stores and all I could find were ones that were peanut free. The downside with the peanut free bars was that they still would contain coconuts or other nuts. Overall, I was able to find completely nut free bars but unfortunately they ended up having way too much sugar

To make these bars, I start off by melting some butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. I then add some brown sugar, cinnamon and of course HONEY! Western Sage Glacier Creamed Honey is where it’s at! It’s just so rich in flavour and I’m able to put it on just about everything. I then combine that liquid mixture with some cereal (any of your favourite will do) and I add some raisins as well.

The neat thing about this recipe is you can put just about anything you like into it! I’ve shared this recipe with some friends and they decided to put in some dried fruit and nuts instead of raisins and it worked completely well with them 🙂

 

HONEY O CEREAL BARS

  • Servings: 16 Bars
  • Time: 15 Minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS


 3 Tbsp. of butter
– 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
– 1/4 cup of honey
– 1 tbsp. of cinnamon
– 4 cups of cereal (I used Multi Grain Cheerios)
– 1/2 cup of raisins

 DIRECTIONS


  1. Line a 9×9 square baking pan with parchment paper
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, honey and cinnamon
  3. Bring to a boil and continue stirring for 2 minutes and remove from heat
  4. In a large bowl, combine the cereal, raisins and butter mixture.
  5. Pour the cereal mixture into the parchment lined pan and let the bars cool completely and then cut into squares

Photo 2016-02-01, 6 59 03 PM

MINI REINDEER CUPCAKES

Who doesn’t love cute little mini reindeers? I wanted to make these cute little guys for Christmas last year but as always, Christmas came and left in a blink of an eye.

Late one night, I was scrolling through Pinterest and an imagine captured my eye! I saw these cute mini reindeers that I just knew I had to make! I found them on Bakerella and I just love all of her ideas! Many of the things I bake are ideas that I’ve gotten from her site.

They may look hard and complicated to make but overall they are actually quite easy. All you really need are mini cupcakes (I used vanilla), chocolate, black and white icing and black jellybeans. Of course make sure you have one red one for Rudolph 😀

Steps on how to make these cupcakes are located here.

Happy Baking! 🙂

IMG_3156

CHRISTMAS TREE SUGAR COOKIES

The countdown to Christmas is on! I’ve been wanting to make these Christmas Tree Sugar Cookies since summer! They were super easy to make and you can ice them with any sort of candy/ chocolate that you can find 🙂 For these cookies I used my favourite sugar cookie recipe. Just make sure the dough has been chilled to avoid your shapes from spreading…I had an absolute fail a couple years ago. I was using a very detailed cookie cutter and spent sooo much time perfectly cutting out the cookies. After a couple of minutes in the oven, the perfect snowman shape turned into a big round blob.

After your cookies have cooled, ice them however you prefer and top with your candy/chocolate. My boyfriend and I were in Langley on the weekend and if we’re in Langley, I absolutely NEED to stop at Scoop and Save. They have everything you can possibly imagine! I got some white sanding sugar, tri-coloured candy pearls and some white chocolate pearls. The only downside is that once you’ve made them they’re so hard to not eat. Trust me, I’ve had 4 already 😉

Christmas Tree Sugar Cookie

SKELETON GINGERBREAD COOKIES

Gingerbread and fall just go so nicely hand in hand:) And of course when hearing the word fall…HALLOWEEN comes to mind! I thought of this cute gingerbread spin off while grocery shopping at Costco a couple of weeks ago. I’m still tweaking the gingerbread recipe but hopefully it’ll be good to go by Christmas time 😀

These cookies are so easy to make that even your kids will want to help make them! Simply prepare your favourite gingerbread recipe and use cookie cutters to cut out your shapes. For these cookies, I used my gingerbread man cookie cutter that I found on Amazon. I love the cute little grips on the Wilton cutters. They definitely come in handy when you make over 100 cookies 🙂 Throughout the years, I’ve realized that after you cut our your cookies, refrigerate them for at least 30 minutes before putting them into the oven. This ALWAYS ensures the cookie shape is still intact. I learned this the hard way when I made Christmas tree cookies and ended up with a full sheet of just one melted cookie.

The fun part begins once the cookies are done baking in the oven 🙂 Usually, I would use Royal Icing but I didn’t have the time to prepare some. Well, actually I was just plain lazy 😉 Instead I sifted up some icing sugar and added some boiling hot water. Super easy and simple! Just ensure the icing sugar is sifted and the ratio used was 1 cup icing sugar with 1 tsp of hot water.

I ran out of piping bags at home so I just used a Ziploc bag and piped the design on 🙂 I then coloured some of the icing black and made some eyes! Again so simple and easy to make!

skeletons

HOT DOG MUMMIES

These hot dog mummies are the perfect snack to have on Halloween! And trust me, they are super super easy to make 🙂

To make these cute mummies, you will need a can of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls and 8 hot dogs. I used chicken hot dogs as I do not eat pork or beef but any type of hot dog will do! Cut each hot dog lengthwise halfway up to form legs. Then make two more cuts for the arms. Repeat this for all of the hot dogs. Next, open up a can of the crescent rolls and cut each rectangle into 8-10 long strips. Start wrapping the dough around the hot dogs and make it look like bandages. Once all of the hot dogs are wrapped, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Once the mummies have finished baking, you can use ketchup or mustard to give them the eyes!

Not only do these mummies look really cool, but they are seriously tasty. The dough gets super crispy around the edges and the hot dog stays nice and juicy on the inside 🙂

Hot Dog Mummies

CINNAMON SUGAR BAKED MINI DONUTS

If there’s one thing you HAVE to eat this weekend, it’ll be these warm, delicious BAKED mini cinnamon sugar donuts! And of course you won’t be able to stop with just one 😉 Donuts have always been my guilty pleasure. I remember going grocery shopping with my grandparents when I was younger and as a treat, they’d always let me have a donut. It was always be either a old fashioned glazed or a sugar donut and trust me, I was in heaven during that whole grocery trip!

There are many different variations of donuts all around the world. During our trip to the Dominican last year, I noticed our resort made these fresh Dominican donuts. And of course, I always had to go back for seconds 🙂 The donut looked much different than the ones sold here but surprisingly it tasted the same!

I’ve stayed away from making homemade donuts just because I hated the fact that I would be deep frying them. A couple of years ago, I noticed donut pans hitting the shelves. My first thought was ‘Do I really need yet another baking pan that I’m never going to use?’. I wanted to get the pan but I really wanted a MINI Donut pan! I went online and found whole bunch but I really wanted to see the pan in person to look at the material and durability of it. My boyfriend and I were at Winners one day and magically found a mini one that I just had to get!

Donut Pan

Wolfgang Puck’s 12 Count Mini Donut Pan

This recipe is super easy to make! I pretty much took a cookie recipe and turned it into a donut recipe. It consists of butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, salt, flour and of course I added milk 🙂 I mixed these ingredients up in my stand mixer and then added them to a piping bag. I found the piping bag helps a lot with filing the pan evenly without creating a huge mess!

Donut Pan Filling

Mini Donut Pan Ready For The Batter!

You can choose to butter your pan before adding in the batter. Once the donuts are done baking in the oven, remove them and let them chill on a wire rack. To top the donuts, I simply dipped them in melted butter and then then dipped them in a cinnamon sugar mixture!

CINNAMON SUGAR BAKED MINI DONUTS

  • Servings: 12 Mini Donuts
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:


BATTER:
– ½ cup of unsalted butter (room temperature)
– ½ cup of sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 tbsp of vanilla
– ½ cup of whole milk
– 1½ cups of all purpose flour (sifted)
– 2 tsp of baking powder
– ¼ tsp of salt

TOPPING:
– ¼ cup butter (melted)
– ¼ cup sugar
– 1 tbsp of cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:


  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. To prepare the batter, In a stand mixer cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the vanilla, egg and milk. Mix until combined.
  4. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt until just combined. Ensure the batter is not over mixed.
  5. Add the batter to a piping bag and fill each cavity halfway.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the baked donuts and allow to cool.
  7. To prepare the topping, melt the butter in a small bowl. In another bowl, combine the cinnamon and sugar.
  8. Dip each donut lightly in the butter and then dip into the sugar mixture

Donuts

HOMEMADE APPLE PIE

Who doesn’t love a slice of warm delicious apple pie? Apple pie has been one of my biggest weaknesses since I’ve been a child 🙂 When I was younger I remember eagerly waiting impatiently while my aunt and grandma whipped up their version of a classic Apple pie.  I loved how rich and flavourful it was! Sure enough, when I turned 14 I started making apple pie on my own. The ingredients back then mostly consisted of basic pie dough, CRISCO (so good yet so bad!), apples and sugar. As I grew, I discovered new ingredients to use and found which ingredients to toss. Of course (like everyone), I had my ups and downs. I once used dull apples that weren’t at all crisp and the pie was literally filled with liquid as everyone went to take a slice. I’ve also accidentally used too much shortening and the pie literally tasted like lard! But all in all, we learn from our mistakes.

Growing up, I watched numerous cooking/baking shows. In middle and high school, even though school didn’t start until 9am, I was up at around 6:15am. I would quickly eat, get ready and make my lunch. By 6:45am, I was already watching TV. I would always catch the last minutes of ‘Licence to Grill’. Of course, this was where I’d daydream that I wanted a guy to barbecue for me just like Rob Rainford..and thankfully my prayers have been answered 😉

I would then watch 2 episodes of Anna Olsen’s Sugar from 7am to 8am. This was where I learned all about different baking techniques and steps on how to corporate ingredients together. By 8am, Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals would be on and I’d be excited as ever! I was always amazed at how many items she could pick up before she got to the counter to cook! My mom and I have always been huge fans of her. When Target was closing down, we literally picked up each item from her cookware, bakeware and dinnerware collection for me when I move out 🙂 But anyways enough about that and let’s get talking about this amazing recipe!

I made the pie crust at home and it was super easy! The only thing I would be careful about is the amount of water to add to your dough There have been times where I’ve added too much water and the dough didn’t come out flaky at all 😦
Always use crisp apples for the filling. I once used up some not so crisp ones and they made the filling so watery and not flavourful.

Apple Pie Filling

Apple Pie Filling!

APPLE PIE

  • Servings: 8
  • Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:


DOUGH:
– 2 ½ cups of all purpose flour
– 1 tsp of sugar
– 1 tsp of salt
– 1 cup of unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
– ¼-½ of cold water

FILLING:
– 4 crisp apples, either Gala or Granny Smith (peeled, cored and sliced)
– ½ cup of sugar
– ¼ cup of packed brown sugar
– 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
– ½ tsp of salt
– ¼ cup of all purpose flour (plus more for rolling dough)
– 1 tbsp of lemon juice
– 2 tbsp of unsalted butter (cut into small pieces)
– sanding sugar

DIRECTIONS:


DOUGH:
1) In a food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar and combine. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is pea sizes.
2) Sprinkle with 1 tsp of cold water and pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together. Add more water as needed.
3) Transfer dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and refrigerate until filling is complete.

FILLING:
1) In a large bowl, combine apples, sugars, cinnamon, salt, flour and lemon juice.
2) Preheat oven to 350°F with the rack set in the middle position
3) Lightly flour a large surface and place half of the dough in the center. Roll from the center outward to form a 12 inch circle. Transfer dough onto a 9 inch pie plate. Repeat with the second half of the dough but do not transfer onto the pie plate at this time.
4) Fill the pie plate with the filling. Remember to pack the apples slightly higher in the center. Add the cubed butter to the top of the filling.
5) Place the remaining pie dough disk on top of the apples pressing along the rim to seal. Trim any overhang
6) With floured fingers, pinch the trim with your thumb and forefinger to form an even crust
7) Sprinkle with sanding sugar
8) With a paring knife, cut 6 slits on the top of the pie
9) Bake for 1 hour or until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling
10) Cool completely before enjoying! 🙂

Apple Pie Final

The Final Product!

CRISPY BUTTERMILK CHICKEN STRIPS

FullSizeRender[2]

My boyfriend and I were walking through the frozen foods section at our local Costco and we saw some chicken strips on sale. I immediately went in and reached for a bag! As I looked more closely to the labels on the bag and noticed the word ‘18% meat protein’. My first thought was…’Shouldn’t this be 100%’? I then turned it around and started looking at the ingredients. To my surprise, I found a whole bunch of ingredients that I could not pronounce let alone even understand. I literally threw the bag back into its rightful spot and started looking around at other products that contained this certain ‘meat protein’. And sure enough, there were more! Of course after seeing this, my boyfriend started going off on a tangent about conspiracy theories. 😉

The whole drive home I kept thinking about the ingredients I saw listed. I then knew that I would never be buying these products ever again! It was time for some homemade chicken strips 😀

FullSizeRender (41)

The ingredients needed are pretty basic and can be found most households. Chicken (breast or thighs), buttermilk, sweet paprika, salt, pepper, sugar, Italian seasoning, basil, garlic powder and of course Corn Flakes to get the best crunch without having to deep fry the strip 🙂

FullSizeRender[3]

CRISPY BUTTERMILK CHICKEN STRIPS

  • Servings: 25 Strips
  • Time: 45 Minutes (Plus MarinatingTime)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

INGREDIENTS:


Buttermilk Mixture:
– 4 chicken breasts (or 5 boneless chicken thighs) cut into ½ inch strips
– 1 cup of buttermilk
– 2 tbsp of sweet paprika
– 2 tbsp of sugar
– 1 tbsp of salt
– 2 tsp of pepper

Corn Flake Mixture:
– 4 cups of Corn Flakes (crushed to your desire)
– 1 tbsp of garlic powder
– 2 tbsp of Italian seasoning
– 2 tbsp of basil
– 1 tsp of salt
– ½ tsp of pepper

DIRECTIONS:


1) Place the chicken strips into a freezer bag. Add the buttermilk, sweet paprika, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix until well coated. Allow to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or ideally overnight for the best flavour.
2) Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
3) Place the Corn Flake mixture in a dish. Remove the chicken strips from the buttermilk mixture and coat evenly in the Corn Flake mixture.
4) Arrange the strips on the baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.
5) Bake strips for 8 to 9 minutes then flip the strips. Continue baking the strips for another 8 minutes.
6) Serve with your favourite dipping sauce and ENJOY! 😀
FullSizeRender[4]

MINI PANDA CUPCAKES

FullSizeRender (40)
These adorable little pandas were super easy to make and turned out fabulous! I took my favourite chocolate cupcake recipe and decorating these was a piece of cake! To decorate these all you will need is white frosting, chocolate chips, white sanding sugar, some chocolate jimmies (or chocolate sprinkles) and about a spoonful of black frosting. I started out by piping some white frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and then dipping them into the white sanding sugar. Once you have done this, you’ll want to smooth out the edges to make it look like actual fur. Then place a chocolate chip onto the center for the nose, two for the eyes and another two for the ears. Pipe some white and black frosting to make the eyes. To finish off the final product, place one or two chocolate jimmies on to form a mouth 🙂 The cool thing about these cupcakes is that you can make pretty much any expression you want to!

EARTH DAY COOKIES

With today being earth day, I decided to make these super cute cookies! They were crazy simple to make and even more delicious to devour!! I originally came across this idea on Pinterest over a year ago but just never found the time to make them. I finally sat myself down and told myself that these amazing cookies shall be made 🙂

FullSizeRender

Earth Day Cookies!

I used my sugar cookie recipe which is so simple to make and comes out perfect each and every time! I started off my preparing the dough. The dough was then divided in half to be coloured either blue or green. My dad anxiously watched as he thought I was making Cookie Monster cookies 🙂 Once the dough was coloured I refrigerated it for at least 20 minutes. I then started shaping the cookies to look like the earth. In my opinion, this part was the most fun to do! Of course I freestyled it so obviously it wasn’t perfect but my boyfriend did think that the North and South America cookie came out great! 🙂