Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Christmas Treats





I have been doing so much holiday baking this season that I thought I would take a minute to give you some of my favourite holiday recipes!    This is your one stop shop for all kinds of deliciousness, so get on your christmas clothing, crank up those christmas tunes and lets get baking! 




Here are 8 delicious Christmas goodies that you will want to whip up during the holiday season. 

Lets start with a family favourite.  The classic Christmas Sugar Cookie!   I love using this recipe because the dough takes only a few minutes to mix together and then I store it in the fridge, in a ziplock baggie, until I am ready to roll it out and bake the cookies.  

Other reasons why the sugar cookie recipe is amazing is because you can roll them out, cut into Christmas shapes then you have 2 options.  You can 1. sprinkle with coloured sugar and bake or 2.  bake and frost.  It is a win win recipe for people who love to frost cookies and those who would rather NOT. 


Sugar Cookies

1 cup margarine
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

1. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl.

2. Blend together the dry ingredients and mix into first mixture.

3. With hands form dough into 2-3 dough balls and chill in the fridge (15- 30 minutes). This makes the dough easier to roll out.

4. Roll the dough out on a well floured surface ( parchment paper also works well but make sure it is lightly floured). Cut the dough with cookie cutters and place onto a cookie sheet.

5. Bake in Pre-heated oven (350) for 7-8 minutes.

Cookie Icing

2 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1-2 tbsp canned milk
1/2 tsp Coconut extract

Blend together butter and icing sugar. Then slowly add a little bit of canned milk at a time until you have a desired consistency.

Also this frosting taste so yummy when you add coconut extract to it. To make the different colours just put the icing into different bowls and add food colouring.

To top the cookies I love going to the bulk barn and picking up the sliver balls and sprinkles of every colour.


The best part about these cookies is once the icing is on you can chill them in the fridge for a 10-15 minutes then you can store them in the freezer. When you have guest coming over just pull them out over the Christmas holidays, put them onto a plate and there you go...cookies in no time!


Oh and if you want to know how to get your dough to be the same thickness use stir paint sticks on either side of your dough while you are rolling it out.  Consistent thickness helps ensure the prefect bake. 
  

The next family favourite that our kids love taking in their lunch boxes are the Candy Cane Crinkles.  



Oh... these Dipped Ginger cookies are a new family favourite, that look so festive and are amazing with a hot cup of tea.  I found the recipe over at Cooking Classy .  The only different thing I did was I coloured my left over white chocolate green to make the holly leaf but the red dots are red gel frosting that I purchased :) 




The beloved gingerbread is a holiday staple around here.  All those amazing christmas smelling spices are so heavenly when you are baking these up.   I have been using this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction for a few years. 


Can it really be Christmas without the famous peanut butter ball?   These require a little more time to make but the best part is you can make these treats in stages.  It only takes a few minutes to combine all the ingredients and roll them into balls.   Once I have all the balls made, I pop them into the freezer until I have a little more time to focus on the dipping.    Freezing these helps to keep them firm while dipping so you don't have peanut butter mush. 


It is called Christmas Crack for a reason and this recipe (from my amazing sister-in-law) is the best one out there!!  It is a scrumptious combination of salty, crunchy toffee, and chocolate.  It only takes a few ingredients so what are you waiting for....go make some now. 





The Hello Dolly makes the prefect square on your christmas platter of treats.  These squares are very simple to make and are a HUGE crowd pleaser.   I used a family recipe from a friend to create my treats but this recipe is about the same.   The only changes I would make to the recipe is I buy crushed graham cracker crumbs and in my 9x13 pan I pour the melted butter in and then add my crumbs, stir and press firmly right into the pan. 




Now these Candied Pecans are my FAVOURITE!!  Like seriously I could eat these all day every day.   They are great for putting out when you have guest over or they make the prefect salad topper.  




Candied Pecans
1 egg white
1 Tbsp water
2 1/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 225
Combine the egg white and water in a mixing bowl and whisk until fluffy.
Fole in pecans. 
In a separate bowl combine sugar, salt and cinnamon.  Then dust the pecans evenly with the sugar mixture.  Spread the nuts over a prepared pan (a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper).  Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  Cool on pan and store in air tight container.  




Thursday, November 15, 2018

One Hour Cinnamon Buns



These one hour cinnamon buns are a favourite in this house!  I love how they literally take one hour start to finish for the most light and fluffy cinnamon bun. 

1 package instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp) 
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp salt 
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup sugar 
1 egg 

Filling 
1/4 cup soft butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract

Steps
1.  In the bowl of a mixer, combine flour, yeast and salt. 
2.  In a small microwave safe bowl, combine milk, water, butter and sugar.  Heat until mixture is hot and butter is almost melted (about 1 minute).  Gradually add the warm mixture to the flour mix while the mixer is on slow.   Add the egg and mix until a soft and sticky dough forms.  Let mixer run for about 4 minutes.  
3.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
4.  Knead by hand for 1-2 minutes.  Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 5 minutes. 
5. Once the dough has rested, roll it out on a floured surface until it measures a 16x9 rectangle.  Spread the soft butter over the rectangle.  Mix the rest of the filling ingredients (brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and almond extract) together in a medium sized bowl.  Spread the filling over the top of the large rectangle.  Tightly roll the dough, starting at the long edge, and cut into 12 pieces. 
6.  Place rolls into a greased 9x13 baking dish and cover with foil.  Turn OFF your oven and place the covered rolls inside to rise for 25 minutes. 
7. Remove from oven and turn the oven ON 375.  Once heated, remove the foil and bake the rolls for 15-18 minutes or until the centers are lightly golden brown in colour. 
8.  Remove from oven and allow to cool before frosting.  





So most of our family enjoys pecans in their cinnamon buns so this is a little trick I do :)  I put a little pile of pecans on the baking dish and then place the cinnamon roll onto of the pile. 




You can use a Vanilla glaze frosting for these buns or we love a cream cheese frosting!   And be sure to enjoy these warm with a hot cup of coffee...or tea. 




Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Unicorn Party


Are you ready to learn how to throw the best unicorn birthday party ever!!!  Grab a cup of coffee and let me share with you a few things I did this past weekend to throw a very magical unicorn birthday party!



I found this beautiful free unicorn banner over at sixcleversisters!  I downloaded the file to my computer then I sent it, online, to a local print shop to have printed.  They also had really cute party treat bag prints that I got to use as place markers around the table. 








I had the table all decorated when the girls arrived.  We found these cute thin party hats that the girls actually wore as unicorn horns!  I used the backs for the treat bag prints as place settings.  We didn't use just their regular names; we found a cute unicorn name print that uses the first letter of your name and your birthday to give you a special unicorn name.  The girls all thought that was so much fun. 




As they arrived and found out their unicorn name they could choose a colouring page to colour 





The activity for the party?? You guessed it we made unicorn slime.  The recipe was easy to follow and the slime turned out prefect. 




For the cake, my sweet girl loves chocolate cake with boiled icing.   We made it look more magical by tie-dying the frosting.   You can't tell too much in the photo but it looked really cool with the swirls of different colours. 


Other snacks they enjoyed were skittles, sour rainbow strips (or unicorn farts) and unicorn horns.  The horns are pretzel rods dipped in white chocolate and drizzled with coloured chocolate and sprinkles. 


The treat bags are filled with coloured popcorn, which is one of our favourite treats!  And taped onto the bag is a print that I made and had printed at Costco.












Monday, August 27, 2018

Teething Necklaces






I am so excited to share with you all that I am joining the Coastal Chews team for a couple of months to share with you about their awesome products.  This month I am highlighting their stylish mama (and girls) silicone necklaces. 

Coastal Chews makes lots of creative necklaces, but you can also choose to have pieces custom made to fit your style.  I love these necklaces because they are made with food grade silicone so for nursing mamas (like me) these make great teething toys while carrying or nursing your baby.  The strong nylon cord is able to withstand the tugging that comes from babies who just love to pull on things. And the breakaway safety clasp that holds it all together is the best feature for the kids necklaces!  I feel totally comfortable sending my daughter to school with sweet jewelry that isn't going to break easily but will come apart quickly if it needs to.  



I have two different styles I love to pair with my outfits.  One is a beautiful flower necklace.





The second is a basic black that goes with all my outfits. 




My eight year old daughter also loves wearing these to school with her outfits.  And did you know that they can make matching mother and daughter necklaces. 



They even make "cool dude" ones for boys!!! 



The prices are great for these beautiful pieces and they offer free shipping on orders over $30 so head over to Coastal Chews and order yours today. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Mexican Street Corn


A delicious summer recipe that is a must try this season!  

Coat corn with oil and salt.  Grill on BBQ for 15 minutes (turning every 2-3 minutes). 



Sauce 

3 Tbsp Mayo
2 Tbsp Sour Cream
1 tsp Lime juice
1/4 tsp Garlic powder
1/8 tsp Chii powder 

Once the corn has been grilled coat the corn in the sauce and sprinkle the corn with parmesan cheese and chili powder.  Top with chopped cilantro and enjoy :) 

photo from my sweet friend who gave me the recipe


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Coconut Cream Pie



This quick and easy pie makes a prefect addition to any summer feast!  With only 5 ingredients this pie can be whipped up in no time.  

Ingredients

2 packages (4-servings each) of jell-o vanilla Instant pudding
2 cups cold milk
2 cups thawed cool whip whipped topping (divided)
1 cup flaked coconut, divided
1 ready to us graham cracker crumb crust

Steps

1. Beat pudding mixes and milk in a large bowl with whisk for 2 minutes. 
2. Stir in 1 cup of the cool whip and 3/4 cup of coconut; pour into crust. 
3. Refrigerate 4 hours or until firm.  Toast the remaining coconut
4. Top the pie with remaining 1 cup of cool whip (or more if you want ;) and the toasted coconut just before serving! 
5.  Enjoy the deliciousness. 






Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Entry Way for a Big Family


Welcome to our new entry way!   We just built an addition onto our house and we couldn't be MORE in love with this open closet my husband and father-in-law designed and built.  

It may look like a lot of hooks all empty but we are a family of 8, so we have our fair share of jackets, sweaters, book bags, diaper bag, purses, and snow pants (in the winter).  We also love to host so most of the time we don't see to many unused hooks. 


The bench part is wide enough to sit on to get our shoes on, the double layer for the shoes works awesome for putting sneakers and flats and leaving the bottom for our boots.  We purchased three of these IKEA boot trays to try to keep the dirt and snow off the floor as much as possible.   The cubbies along the end are personalized for each of us.  So in the winter everybody was to keep 1 hat and 1 pair of mittens in there.  Now in the summer they have a summer hat and sunglasses.  Giving everyone a cubby saved so much time (and fighting) this winter that we didn't have to go digging in a giant mess of hats and mittens to find a pair for someone.   Across the top we keep ball caps for my hubby and oldest son. 


This new entry way has been a life saver for us and I am so thankful my husband bought what seemed like a million hooks ;) 


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