Gluten-Free Blondies

10 Jul

Hello hello! I am in the best of moods lately, as Vancouver has decided to let the sun shine! Days at the beach are becoming routine, and I’m loving it. BBQ’s with friends, cold beers in the sand, and my long-awaited tan. I also went and saw Toots and the Maytals last night and they blew me away. I grew up listening to them, thanks to Papa Kendall, so seeing them live was incredible. I definitely think that reggae concerts are my favourite because everyone is there for the music, there are a ton of good vibes, and everyone is super relaxed stoned.

I also have felt like baking lately! Yay! These blondies are the lightened up, good for you kind, so that you can eat a million and not hurt that bikini bod. Or whatever.

But really, these are very tasty, and they are gluten free. The base consists of dates, banana, ground flax seed, and peanut butter. After that, you can throw whatever you want into them, like shredded coconut flakes or chocolate chips. And they are healthy enough to eat (a few) as a quick breakfast. You are welcome.

Gluten-Free Blondies

  • 14 pitted dried dates
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup chocolate soy milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup  + 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • (Optional) 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 15×12 baking pan.

In a food processor, process dates for a few minutes until a paste forms. Add banana and pulse, then add peanut butter and flax and pulse. Add remaining ingredients and keep processing, while scraping down sides periodically, until a smooth, creamy batter forms. Stir in coconut or chocolate or whatever you want for mixins and pour batter into baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tooth pick comes out clean and top is golden.

Remove bars from oven and cool for ten minutes. Either slice into bars and eat warm and gooey, or refrigerate for a couple hours before eating.

Happy baking! xxxx

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

27 Jun

There is nothing more fantastic than waking up to the warm aroma of freshly baked goodies. Whether it be banana bread, muffins, or (my fave) cinnamon buns, the sweet smell of dough paired with a hot cup of coffee is hard to beat. Today I present to you the best combination of morning goodies, donuts and muffins (!). These muffins are super light and airy, reminiscent of those timbits from Tim Hortons that you used to eat way too many of. Except these are better, and don’t leave you feeling like your arteries are going to explode. Each donut/muffin is coated in a cinnamon-sugar topping, just like the real deal.

Get up early tomorrow morning to make these for everyone in your house. They will love you, trust me. I adapted the recipe from Sweet Pea.

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Muffins

Muffin

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 3/4 cup milk

Topping

  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. (I like to sift them to make sure there are no chunks). In a small bowl, whisk the wet ingredients. Slowly beat in the wet ingredients to the dry. Pour batter into muffin tin, filling up 10-12 of the cups, depending on how small you want your muffins.

Bake for 22-24 minutes, until tops are slightly brown and a tooth pick comes out clean. Mix together the sugars and cinnamon in a small bowl, and put melted butter in another small bowl. With each muffin, gently dip the top first into the butter, and then into the cinnamon sugar mixture. Now grab the newspaper and your cup of coffee and enjoy your delicious morning!

Happy Baking! xxx

Cake Batter Milkshakes

19 Jun

I know for a fact that whenever I’m baking, most of what I eat is the batter and not so much the final cookie/cake/brownie. WHo doesn’t love cookie dough? Get me a straw and I’ll slurp up that banana bread batter. I’m sure most of you feel the same!

Thus the inspiration for this shake. A healthy, non-scary-salmonella-raw-eggs-in-my-drank smoothie that tastes every bit as delicious as the real deal! The variations that can be had with this recipe are mind boggling! Carrot cake shake? Apple pie shake? !!!????!!!??

 

Cake Batter Milkshake

Serves 2

  • 1 frozen banana, cut into pieces (or 1 scoop ice cream)
  • 1 cup milk (or use cream for a more decadent dessert)
  • 1 tbsp nut butter or coconut butter (don’t skip! It provides the buttery taste!)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash salt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips (or cocoa powder, depending on wether you want chocolate chip cookie or chocolate cake flavour)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp sprinkles + 1 tsp to garnish

Directions:

Throw all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. If you want a thicker shake, use less milk. If you want a runnier “batter” like shake, add more milk. Top shakes with sprinkles and enjoy!


xxxxxx

Fishies, Cupcakes, and Shoes, Oh My!

7 Jun

Hello! What terrible weather we’ve been having. Rain, rain, and more rain, with a chance of rain. C’mon summer, where you at? With such crap weather, I have trying to keep myself busy with fun trips around Vancouver (that sadly don’t involve the beach!). This means a trip to the aquarium to see the cute monkeys and otters, and a tour of the Art Gallery’s Matisse exhibit.

It means online shopping for cheap knock-offs of the most beautiful shoes.

It means buying boxed-cake mixes for a DOLLLAR each at no-frills and turning then into cinnamon buttercream covered cupcakes.

Oh yes, Duncan-Hines does the trick!

 

German Peanut-Butter-Stuffed Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream Icing

Cupcakes

  • 1 box of German Chocolate cake mix
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

Icing

  • 3/4 cup softened butter
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a cupcake pan.

In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, oil, water, and eggs until a smooth batter forms. Beat in the peanut butter. Fill the cupcake tins with batter, and cook for 20 minutes. Recipe makes 24 cupcakes, or 12 huge cupcakes and a small cake if you have an 8×8 cake pan to use as well.

When cupcakes are cool, beat softened butter until fluffy in a medium bowl. Add 1 cup of sugar, beat, then add the milk. Add the rest of the sugar, then add the vanilla and cinnamon. Beat until a thick yet workable frosting is produced. Put frosting in a piping bag and decorate cooled cupcakes.

Tess is too cute! Topping her cake with strawberries.

Happy Rainy Day Adventures!!

 

xxx

Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

4 Jun

Anyone fancy some hot tea and buttery scones? Would you like some jam with that?

For rainy Vancouver, afternoon tea sounds perfect right about now. And it is perfectly suitable considering this past weekend celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, or for my fellow Canadians, marked her Majesty’s 60 years of reign. I hope everyone across the pond had a wonderful time celebrating!

These scones are above and beyond cute. They are fluffy, tiny, and bursting with lemon. The poppy seeds add a nice crunch and the drizzle of honey provides just enough sweetness. I Adapted the recipe from Once Upon a Cutting Board.

Mini Lemon Poppy Seed Scones

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar (or granulated if you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut sap (or brown or granulated sugar)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 3 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cold butter
  • 1 egg
  • juice of 2 large lemons
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • honey to drizzle after

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a couple of cookie sheets.

In a food processor, mix flour, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, poppy seeds, and powder sugar. Cut cold butter into small cubes and pulse a couple times into flour mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk together lemon, egg, milk, and coconut sap. Pour wet mix into food processor and pulse until a rough dough forms. Be sure to scrape down the sides if necessary.

Pour dough onto a floured surface and work into a flat disc, about an inch or two thick. Cut disc into 4 or 5 rows, then 4 or 5 columns. Cut each square diagonally. Depending on how small you want your scones, you’ll end up with 18-30 little guys! Place on baking sheets and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until tops are just slightly golden. Let cool for 5 minutes, then drizzle honey on each scone.

Happy afternoon tea! xxx

 

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

30 May

These muffins were incredible. I don’t know what happened, but they turned out super moist, fluffy, and just plain tasty. The blueberries were sweet, rich, and full of flavour. The tart lemon complemented the rich, sweet flavours well. All I gotta say is this recipe is a keeper.

Not gonna lie, I totally got melted-blueberry stains all down my shirt when I ate one of these. That stuff does not come out! Such a grubby pup! Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

  • 6 tbsp softened, unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup liquid honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • juice of one lemon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 heaping cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups blueberries

Directions:

Grease a standard muffin tin and pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Beat softened butter until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by brown sugar, honey, and vanilla. Stir in lemon juice and milk. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add wet ingredients to dry, and mix vigorously. The batter will be too thick to beat, so this must be hand mixed, old-fashioned like!

When batter is smooth and fully incorporated, mix in blueberries, careful not to squish them and bleed your muffins blue. Scoop 1/3 cup amounts of batter into each muffin tin compartment. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until tops are slightly golden and a toothpick comes out clean.

Happy Baking! xx

Quick Twix Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls

28 May

Good afternoon, ladies and gents! What fantastic weather we have been having! I have honestly been spending every evening at the Jericho docks drinking beers, soaking in the sun, and crab fishing. That’s right, I have bought a crab fishing license. They are so cheep if you are Canadian! You can go online to the Canada Gov’t Fishing website, download the “license”, pay 20 bucks with your credit card, and print it off. You can only catch 4 crabs a day, and each crab has to be 6.5 inches are larger, so as to help keep the crab populations up.

Fresh caught crabs!

We go to the butcher and buy the bait, which is usually left over scraps of meet like duck necks or even a chicken breast here and there. It only costs a couple bucks, and then we are off on our way to the docks with our traps and backpacks full of sweaters, water, snacks, books, and beer. We tie in the bait, attach the traps to the dock, and throw them in to the ocean. We wait for about 15 minutes after each toss, before reeling in the traps to see if we have caught anything. It is always exciting to see if we have caught any big ones! Once we have caught a big one, we wrap him up in newspaper, and keep him in the shade. You don’t want to keep the females, for reproduction purposes.

Dan, ready to throw in a trap

So it is safe to say that summer 2012 will be the official summer of crab fishing. I can’t believe I get to eat such a delicious dinner mot nights of the week, for free! Crabs usually cost a lot at the market and are ridiculously expensive at restaurants. We have to be careful not to eat too much, just because seafood contains so many toxins nowadays.

Best sunsets I’ve ever seen

But don’t worry about this blog turning into a fishing blog, I have some yummy baked goodies for you today! Behold, the quickest, yummiest cinnamon rolls ever!

Layers of the good stuff

Usually cinnamon buns take a good couple of hours in order to let them rise the right amount and to create the fluffiest buns ever. But these guys are still super good, and require minimal waiting time. Plus they are full of chopped up pieces of candy bars. And smothered in cream cheese icing. Ya, I know.

The recipe was adapted from Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy.

Quick Twix Stuffed Cinnamon Rolls

Dough

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 1-2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 6-7 fun-sized twix bars (or any favourite candy bar)

Icing

  • 3 oz room temperature cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Mix together the milk, water, sugar, oil, and yeast and let rise for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together salt and flour in a medium sized bowl. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and let heat for 5 minutes then turn off.

When yeast mixture is ready, mix into flour mixture, and beat in the egg. Mix the ingredients together with your hand until a soft, thoroughly mixed doughball forms. Place dough ball in a small bowl, cover loosely with saran wrap, and place in the oven to let rise for 15 minutes.

While dough rises in the warmed oven, chopped up candy bars. Flour a cleaned table surface, and grease a 9×11 baking tin. When doughball has risen, remove from oven and punch it down a couple times. If the oven is cool, reheat at 225 degrees for 5 more minutes while you work with the dough. Roll out dough ball on floured surface into an even rectangle. Spread melted butter evenly over dough, then layer cinnamon and brown sugar over. Sprinkle candy bar chunks over sugar. Roll up the dough length-wise, and cut in 8 even pieces (or less or more pieces depending on how big you want your rolls). Place rolls in dish. It is ok if they aren’t all touching, as they will expand in size once in the oven. Place in the once again warmed oven, and let rise for 15 minutes.

While you wait, make icing. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until fluffy. Beat in sugar, vanilla, and then milk. If icing is too thick for your icing, slowly beat in more and more milk. Set icing aside.

Heat oven to 400 degrees, while buns are still inside, and cook for 15-20 minutes, depending on how gooey you want your rolls. When done, remove golden buns from oven and let cool for a couple minutes. Cover buns with icing.

Dish out rolls and eat with a fork cuz these things are messy!

Happy Baking! xxx

 

 

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