Raspberry & Cherry Popsicles

Continuation of raspberry madness here.  It is finally summer  in the Lower Mainland, and there have been some fairly hot sunny days sprinkled in here and there. So, popsicles (or poc’les as my favourite little lady Memphis likes to call them) were in order.

As mentioned in the previous post, I have an abundance of raspberries from the backyard on hand and decided to add in some BC cherries while they were still readily available.  I have made a few versions of popsicles so far this summer, but these ones have been my favourite so far as I like a nice tart pop in flavour.  These were also Ryker approved as he finished his own and part of mine as well.

Raspberry & Cherry Popsicles

1 cup cherries, pitted

1½ cups raspberries

1/3 cup raw cane sugar

1/3 cup water

1.  Blend til smooth (I used my monster Blendtec for this task)

2.  Strain seeds out.  Pour into popsicle containers.

3.  Freeze and enjoy! Easy 🙂

Raspberry Coconut Macaroons

Ok folks, you are about to get bombarded with some raspberry concoctions, as our raspberry bushes received an abundance of rain during the spring and are quite plentiful.

First up are Raspberry Coconut Macaroons.  These little cookies are quite fun as they come out a bright magenta colour.  You can create a more marbled effect if you like by not blending the raspberries in all the way.  I used our blendtec blender which made the process move along super fast, but if you don’t have a ridiculously expensive and loud blendtec blender, a food processor will work just fine 😉

There are a few versions of these out there (I believe Smitten Kitten being the originator), and after tasting mine I’m pretty sure all versions are probably quite delicious.  Ideally, you want the outsides to have a slight crisp to them and a lovely chewy middle.

Raspberry Coconut Macaroons

2½ cups unsweetened coconut

½ cup raw cane sugar

2 egg whites

½ tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

¾ cups raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 325º

2.  Food process coconut until it is crumbly.  Add egg, vanilla, sugar & salt.  Then pulse in the raspberries (if you desire a marble effect, leave raspberries in chunks).

3. Place 1 tbsp scoops onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake about 25 mins.  Remove from oven and let them sit for about 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack.  Store in a cool place.

Makes about 2 dozen

Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

Alright folks, it has been quite sometime since I have done a post on this page! But, I recently made some super delicious bars that inspired me to get back in the swing of things here.  I have also been busy on my other page The Mane Squeeze, which is focused more on hair, fashion, beauty and all of that good stuff.

Anyways, the Rhubarb in my backyard was almost on the brink of going past its prime but I caught it in time with a reminder from Richard.  I’ve never actually cooked or baked with Rhubarb before, but my mom always did as we had some in my backyard growing up as well.  I decided to mix it up with some strawberries (not from the backyard, but still local :)) and try out some crumb bars topped with a cinnamon and nutmeg glaze.  All I can say is yum! I had to send the majority with Richard to work out of fear of eating them all.

Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

Filling:

1½ cups unsweetened rhubarb, chopped

1½ cups strawberries, sliced

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ cup white sugar

2 tbsp cornstarch

Crust:

1½ all purpose flour

1½ quick cook oats

1 tbsp flax seeds

1 cup packed brown sugar

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

¾ cup butter, softened

1 egg

Glaze:

¾ cup powdered sugar

2 tbsp milk

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.  In a saucepan combine rhubarb, strawberries and lemon juice.  Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally.

2.  Combine the white sugar and cornstarch, and stir into fruit mixture.  Cook until mixture comes to a boil and mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and set aside.

3.  Combine all of the crust ingredients in a bowl, except for the egg.  Beat at a low speed until mixture becomes crumbly.  Reserve 1½ cups of crust mixture, set aside.  Beat in 1 egg into the remainder of the crumb mixture.

4.  Line bottom of a 9×13 greased pan with the egg crumb mixture.  Then spread the filling evenly across the crust.  Then sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture.

5.  Bake for 30-35 mins or until golden brown.  Let the bars cool completely.

6.  Combine all of the glaze ingredients in a bowl and drizzle over the bars.  Enjoy!

A Seussical Birthday

Today, my little man turned 1 year old! I just can’t believe that a whole year has gone by, it all happens so very fast.
Ryker is my everything, so I wanted to make his first birthday very special. We love Dr.Seuss, so that is the theme that I decided to run with. I made sure that all the food was Dr.Seuss themed, and I pulled different types of food from his books and made my interpretation of them.  To add some nice little details I made label cards and copied pages from the books of where the inspiration for the food came from.
Anyways, enough with the chatting. I’m just going to post all the pics below of how everything turned out. I’m not putting any recipes up on this post as it would make it insanely long, but if you have any questions at all about recipes, how I made things etc., please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments or leave me your e-mail and the requested recipe and I would be more than happy to share anything with you.

Treat Bags

Party fun stuff

Barbaloot Truffula Fruit (The Lorax) – Assorted fruit

Thing One and Thing Two (The Cat in the Hat) – Vanilla Cupcakes & Chocolate Cupcakes

Who Roast Beast (How the Grinch Stole Christmas) – Roast Beef Rollups

Three Cheese Tree (Fox in Sox) – Cheddar, Havarti & Swiss

Schlopp with a Cherry on Top (Oh the Thinks You Can Think) – White Chocolate Mousse topped with a cherry

Pink Ink Drink for Yink (One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish) – Berry Lemonade

Green Eggs & Ham (Green Eggs & Ham) – Green Deviled Eggs and Prosciutto Wrapped Honey Dew with Mint

Ryker’s Cat in the Hat Cake! It was my first attempt at decorating something properly ever.

Happy Birthday little man! I love you with all of my heart!

Cherry Swirl Cheesecake

Ok, so this Cherry Swirl Cheesecake recipe isn’t completely from scratch, but it is enough from scratch that it is still homemade.  I was making a huge meal and was in search of a dessert that I could make the day before and that was easy to execute due to time constraints.  So to cut down on some time, I used a Keebler Ready Made graham pie crust and I used a canned cherry pie filling.  It turned out great and you can substitute in any flavour of pie filling that you please.

  

Cherry Swirl Cheesecake

1 pkg cream cheese, softened (8oz.)

½ cup sugar

¼ tsp vanilla

2 eggs

1 graham pie crust (I used Keebler)

1 can cherry pie filling, divided

1.  Preheat oven to 325º.  Using an electric hand mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until it is fluffy.  Beat in sugar and vanilla.  Beat the eggs 1 at a time  until just combined.

2.  Spread cream cheese mixture in crust.  Using 2/3’s of the cherry pie filling, spoon it in dollops on top and use a knife to swirl pie filling into the cream cheese.

3. Bake for 30-45 mins or until center is almost set (give the side a tap and it should move together in one solid movement).

4.  Cool on wire rack for 1 hour and then in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

5.  Top with the remaining pie filling and serve.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Alright….I’m back.  Have been fairly busy lately and quite frankly by the end of my day, I haven’t found the energy to sit down and get some posts done.  Kudos to those of you that manage to keep this up! Lately, by the end of the day, the only thing I find myself doing is watching some really bad tv.  I will stop that nonsense, and get on top of this as I have many recipes ready to be posted.

So today, we have White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies!  While in the process of making these, I realized that my oven  was not heating up.  This was of course not only happening when I was in the middle of making cookie dough but also prepping a lasagna for dinner, yeesh.  So what I did was rolled them up into balls and popped them into a ziploc freezer bag (as pictured below) for a couple of days while we figured out what happened.   They stored great and I just plopped the frozen suckers down on the cookie sheet and put them in the once again working oven with an extra couple minutes tacked on.  Enjoy!

 

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

1 cup butter, softened

1½ cups brown sugar, packed

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 cups a.p. flour

¼ cup cornstarch

¾ tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups white chocolate chips

1 cup chopped macadamia nuts

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Cream butter and brown sugar together.  Beat in the eggs 1 at a time and add vanilla.

2.  Mix flour, cornstarch, salt and baking soda together and add to the wet mixture.  Stir in the white chocolate chips and macadamia nuts.

3.  Drop spoonfuls onto  a greased cookie sheet.  Bake for 10-12 mins,

Makes about 5 dozen

Carrot Cake

I have a few loves in life, my son, my boyfriend, my dogs and carrot cake.  Seriously though, Carrot Cake would be at the top of the list as a part of my last meal…along with waffles, lasagna, poutine and a variety of other things that would put me into a food coma.  Although I have tried carrot cake from pretty much anywhere I could get my hands on it, I had never attempted to make it before….until now :).

Although I appreciate when carrot cake gets all “fancy”, I prefer a nice simple one with a good cream cheese icing which is what the recipe below gives.  I have also decreased the amount of sugar that usually resides in the cream cheese icing, because I feel it takes away from the richness that cream cheese has to offer.  Enjoy!

Carrot Cake

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup canola or vegetable oil

3 eggs

½ tsp vanilla

1 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1½ tsp baking soda

1½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp nutmeg

1½ cinnamon

2 cups grated carrots

¾ cups walnut pieces

Cream Cheese Icing:

½ cup cream cheese (half a package)

¼ cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

1½ cups icing sugar

¼ cup walnut pieces

 

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  In mixing bowl combine sugar and oil.  Beat in eggs one at a time and and vanilla.

2.  In another bowl mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

3.  Combine wet and dry ingredients.  Stir in grated carrot and ¾ cups walnut pieces.  Be careful not to overmix, just stir till everything is coated.  Pour mixture in a 9×13 pan and bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool cake on a wire rack.

4.  For icing: Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla together using an electric hand mixer.  Gradually beat in icing sugar and beat till fluffy.  Spread onto a cooled cake and sprinkle ¼ cup walnut pieces over top.

 

 

 

Blueberry & Lemon Oat Bars

The blueberries in my backyard are still in full force, but there has been a recent battle with the crows on who gets to consume them.  So while the creepy crows were away, I snuck in to pick some.  Side note: Did you know crows  possess a human facial recognition ability?…creepy.

I decided I wanted to go the route of a blueberry oat bar, because I figured you can’t really go wrong with that combo.  I also wanted a little zing to these so I added in some lemon for a pop.

Watch out for this blueberry mixture….it stains…I really have to start wearing my apron. 

And Voila! These taste great just as they are, but I also really liked them after they had sat in the fridge for a little while 

Blueberry & Lemon Oat Bars

1½ cups all purpose flour

1¾ cups rolled oats

¾ cups packed brown sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

¾ butter – cold and sliced

filling:

3 cups blueberries

1 lemon

2 tbsp cornstarch

½ cup granulated sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 375º.  In a bowl mix flour, oats, brown sugar, salt and baking soda.  Cut in butter and mix till crumbly.  Set aside 2 cups of mixture for topping.  Take remainder and press into a greased 9×13 pan.

2.  In a saucepan, stir in blueberries, juice of the lemon, cornstarch, and granulated sugar.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.  Spread blueberry mixture over the crust in pan.  Then sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over top and lightly press into blueberry layer.

3.  Bake 25-30 mins or until golden brown.  Let them cool in pan before cutting into.

Makes about 24

Per Serving

Calories 130      Fat 6g      Carbs 18g      Protein 1.5g

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

These Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies are thin little chewy treats.  To get these right, keep a close eye on them as they bake, as there is a fine line where they cross over from chewy to crispy and either way they taste good, but chewy is just better.  The peanut butter in them will still be really soft when you remove them from the oven and make you think they are not done, but they will set as they cool.  I found 12 mins to be just enough in my oven.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies 

½ cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 large egg

½ tsp vanilla extract

½ cup smooth peanut butter

2 cups rolled oats

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

1.  Preheat oven to  375°.  Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in the egg.  Stir in vanilla extract and peanut butter.

2.  Mix together dry ingredients and stir into wet ingredients.

3.  Shape into small balls and place onto an ungreased cookie sheet, they will expand quite a bit so leave room.  Bake for 12-15 mins.

Makes about 3 dozen

Strawberry Cupcakes

I was invited to a potluck style party and my first initial thought of what to bring was my go-to potluck dish, a Caprese Salad.  But I have been trying to challenge myself lately and didn’t want to just rely on my go-to, and since I had been on a roll with baking lately I decided to give cupcakes a go.  I wanted a fresh flavour since the party was falling on a hot summer day, so I chose strawberries as the star.  I have never made cupcakes before, but they turned out pretty good and I got to use an electric hand mixer, so it was winning all around.

Fresh out of the oven!

The best part, licking the beaters :).  For these cupcakes, I made a buttercream icing and then last minute decided to toss in some diced strawberries, yum.

The finished product! I don’t own any fancy icing stuff, so these just have icing slapped on top with a spatula, but I’m not picky.

Strawberry Cupcakes

½ cup unsalted butter – softened

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (or whichever flavour you fancy)

1½ cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

½ cup strawberries – diced

Strawberry Buttercream Icing

½ cup unsalted butter – softened

2 cups of icing sugar

2 egg yolks – beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

2 tbsp milk

1/8 cup strawberries – diced

1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Line muffin tin with liners.

2.  With an electric hand mixer, beat  butter and sugar until it is fluffy.  Beat in egg, yogurt and vanilla until mixture is smooth.

3. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then blend them into the wet mixture until smooth.  Fold diced strawberries in.

4.  Fill liners with mixture, it should fill each one up about halfway.  Bake for about 20-25 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Move to a cooling rack.

5.  For the icing, cream butter till soft with an electric hand mixer.  Gradually add half of the icing sugar, beating till fluffy and smooth.  Add egg yolks, vanilla and salt, blend well.  Add the rest of the sugar and milk, beat till smooth.  Add strawberries, blend in till mixture is a nice light pink and strawberries are distributed throughout.  Place in fridge for about 15 minutes.

6.  Once icing has set, and cupcakes have cooled, ice them as you please and enjoy

Makes 12 cupcakes