• Coconut Macaroon Nutella Nests Coconut Macaroon Nutella Nests

    Coconut Macaroon Nutella Nests

Coconut Macaroon Nutella Nests

Maybe for the first time in years, I am blogging about something mere minutes after I finished making it. After all, Easter weekend is fast approaching and if I want to be of any inspiration, I should hit “publish” on this post before the grocery stores are closed. Am I right? So, here we are. I figured this would be something I could make with the kids as an Easter activity. My 5-and-a-half year old helped me mix the ingredients for the coconut macaroons and then both he and my 2-year-old helped me decorate the nests with the candy eggs. Even if you don’t make it to the grocery store in time, there’s a good chance you have these ingredients on hand if you are an amateur baker. Here’s the recipe, it’s a good one. As I started writing this blog post, I was reminded that I had made something […]

  • Skinnytaste’s Coconut Panna Cotta Skinnytaste’s Coconut Panna Cotta

    Skinnytaste’s Coconut Panna Cotta

Skinnytaste’s Coconut Panna Cotta

I spend a lot of time looking for Weight Watchers-friendly recipes, but I often draw the line at desserts. After all, that’s why I’m a believer in Weight Watchers, I have whatever I want, but smaller portions. After all, what is a dessert without butter and sugar? Fruit for dessert? Blasphemy! Sorbet? Blyach. Still, the recipe for Skinnytaste’s panna cotta caught my eye the other day and I was compelled to immediately buy the ingredients to try my hand at making it. The recipe I’ve linked to is the vanilla panna cotta version whereas I made Skinnytaste’s coconut version instead. But it’s not so different. Substitutions: Instead of the milk, I used 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk beverage. Instead of the cream, I used 2 cups canned light coconut milk. Also, 1/4 cup honey in place of the sugar. I skipped the lime zest suggestion entirely and topped my panna […]

  • Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies (or, palmiers) Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies (or, palmiers)

    Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies (or, palmiers)

Raspberry Sweetheart Cookies (or, palmiers)

I made these in February, which, admittedly was weeks ago. But this isn’t the first time I’ve made palmiers, nor will it be the last. If you have a box of puff pastry in your freezer, and sugar, and I always do, palmiers are very easy to whip up. I was inspired to make these heart-shaped cookies from this Today’s Parent recipe. But you should know, any time you use puff pastry, that the directions will need to be modified based on your oven. Read on to find out more. Substitutions: If possible, I like to think of the the first batch as a test one, when it comes to any recipe using puff pastry. It gives me the opportunity to figure out whether I need to adjust the time in the oven and the thickness of the palmiers. In this case, for the second round, I cut my palmiers […]

  • Martha Stewart’s Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Frosting Martha Stewart’s Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Frosting

    Martha Stewart’s Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Martha Stewart’s Buttermilk Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Dearest friends, family and blog readers (Are there any of you left? ‘Cause I’m hearing an echo in here), let it be known that for me, baking, 0ffers a brief escape. If I bake you something, it’s because I am inspired to use my hands, or perhaps it’s because I need a break from the hard news that comprises my day-to-day life as a journalist, or because it’s simply because I love you. No, I don’t have more time than you. In fact, I probably have less time than you. And that will be the case until my two boys are a bit older. So for me to fit in a cake or cookies, or cupcakes, I had to give up some much-needed sleep or some precious TV time. So just say thank you, and bask in the fact that I have special feelings for you. With that said, I bring to […]

  • Chocolate Raspberry Forest Cake Chocolate Raspberry Forest Cake

    Chocolate Raspberry Forest Cake

Chocolate Raspberry Forest Cake

This ain’t no Black Forest Cake recipe. Just saying, before you freak out… ‘Cause anytime I tell someone I Black Forest Cake I’m met with horror and disgust. Am I really the only thirty-something in North America who will admit to loving Black Forest Cake? Hands up if you’re with me… *Crickets* Anywho, let’s move on. But before we do I need to warn you: this is one heckuva multi-layered, multi-step cake. Give yourself some time. I decided to make this for the holidays and it’s a good thing I started a few days early because there is no way I would have completed this in one day, or even two days. I wanted to try this for Christmas as it would be a refreshing alternative to those typical flavours we encounter over the holidays: pumpkin, spice, peppermint, peppermint. And to be brutally honest, I just wanted to make those […]

  • Christmas Magic Cookie Bar Christmas Magic Cookie Bar

    Christmas Magic Cookie Bar

Christmas Magic Cookie Bar

“How do you say… De-groovy? How do you say… De-gorgeous? Oh la la, la la la la la la……..” Yes, this magic cookie bar recipe evokes, for me, the psychedelic, over-the-top music video for Dee-Lite’s Groove is in the Heart. (Which is also coincidentally the first album I ever purchased back when cassettes were still a thing.) If you still jam to this song like I do, or want to relive the music video for yourself, scroll down to the very end. Anywho, this dessert reminds me of this video because there is nothing quiet about it. Nothing subdued. It is pure, in-your-face, sugary sugar. So if colours and processed sugars offend you, I’ll look for you in the boring aisle. I made this for our annual Christmas Eve party. I usually like to try something new and this is one of three things I will be taking, alongside Paula […]

  • Candy cane heart cupcake toppers Candy cane heart cupcake toppers

    Candy cane heart cupcake toppers

Candy cane heart cupcake toppers

You know those teeny candy canes that you never seem to know what to do with? I always seem to have hundreds lying around. If you don’t trim your tree with them, or eat a few every day for the month of December, they just end up in the trash. I decided to put them to good use one year, and I am only getting around to posting a blog about it now. If you’re like me and want to contribute to the holiday-time potlucks but feel pressed for time, this is a neat trick. Here’s how you do it: Preheat the oven to 300F. Line waxed paper or parchment paper on a couple of cookie sheets. Arrange the mini candy canes in the shape of hearts. Place the hearts in the oven for 3 minutes. Depending on your oven you may need to do a couple minutes more or less. It’s […]

  • Candy cane cream cheese cherry coffee cake Candy cane cream cheese cherry coffee cake

    Candy cane cream cheese cherry coffee cake

Candy cane cream cheese cherry coffee cake

I’m no Sandra Lee, otherwise known as Food Network’s Semi-Homemade host, who Anthony Bourdain once famously characterized as low-hanging fruit. But I do enjoy taking a shortcut every now and then. And if anyone wants to question me on that: I haven’t slept in 6 years, I’ve got two rambunctious kids, a career, and a house to keep somewhat-clean. So don’t judge me. Because when the holiday season rolls around and it’s my turn to bring something, I never get asked to bring the fruit plate or the veggies and dip. It’s always for me to bake something. And that’s ok, because I love to bake and feed my family and friends. It’s my way of showing love. But when I can’t make everything from scratch, Pinterest is really my go-to reference. And I must admit that whenever the cream cheese, cherry pie filling and crescent rolls trifecta makes an […]

  • Spiced chocolate cupcakes with eggnog buttercream Spiced chocolate cupcakes with eggnog buttercream

    Spiced chocolate cupcakes with eggnog buttercream

Spiced chocolate cupcakes with eggnog buttercream

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love eggnog and those who don’t. If you don’t love eggnog, you might love this spiced chocolate cupcake with eggnog buttercream anyway. It’s chocolatey without being cloying and has just the right amount of spice to remind you it’s Christmas but you’re not being hit in the face with it. For me, there was no question. I love eggnog and so this recipe was a no-brainer. I have a confession to make, though. I made this for last year’s Christmas Eve get-together, which was a big fuzzy blur, because it was soon after the ice storm that had us camped out at my brother-in-law’s home and it’s a wonder I was able to make anything at all. But I knew I’d be really disappointed if I didn’t bake anything, and fortunately I was able to make it happen – […]

  • Dare to dream: My Christmas wish list Dare to dream: My Christmas wish list

    Dare to dream: My Christmas wish list

Dare to dream: My Christmas wish list

Indeed, I’ve kept up this tradition of posting my Christmas wish list every year since I started this blog. But as I’ve grown older, wiser, and busier, I try to drop any unnecessary tasks from my life that seem like a chore. So when writing this blog entry began to feel like a chore in my mind, I decided to keep it simple and present it to you in Pinterest form. So here it is: My dare-to-dream Christmas wish list for 2014. My husband asked what was on my wish list this year, and for the first time, I didn’t really have anything on my mind. So I dug a little deep and let my imagination run away with me …. In the hopes that you will be inspired to dream a little, perhaps make your own wish list, or to cross a few items off your list for those […]