Monthly Archives: August 2010


I’m sick of being sick.

I’ve been flat on my back eating nothing but handfuls of chicken noodle soup and crackers. Before you start to wonder how exactly you go about clutching a fistful of soup let me distract you with these cookies.

Feel better?

Me too. For now. Otherwise I’d still be asleep and not sharing this recipe with you.

Funny how sometimes you feel worse after starting a course of antibiotics than before. I’d almost rather take my chances with my ear infection than take another one of those giant pills. Almost.

It’s the ten day antibiotic crash diet. Emphasis on the word crash.

All the cool kids are doing it. Lose ten pounds in ten days. You’ll be half conscious while shuffling around the house like a zombie in wrinkled pjs and sporting unwashed bed head, but hey you’ll look fabulous.

Ok so this is getting a little random, a smidgen bitter and my head is starting to feel a bit fuzzy so I’ll just shut the heck up and let the cookies speak for themselves.

Raspberry White Chocolate Cookies

Makes 4 dozen cookies.

Source: My imagination.

1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup white chocolate chips/chunks
1/2 cup raspberry jam

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Line your baking sheets with parchment paper and set them aside.

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla then blend it in. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt then blend it into the butter mixture. Last, but not least, mix in the white chocolate.

Scoop a heaping tbsp of dough onto the prepared baking sheet for each cookie then round and smooth them with your fingertips. Spoon about 1/2 – 1 tsp of raspberry jam onto each cookie then, using a small paring knife, marble the jam into the cookie dough. Bake them for 10 – 11 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Transfer them to a cooling rack and enjoy!

Turn That Frown Upside Down.

There are some things in the world that are better when turned upside down. It’s just a fact.

Frowns for example. You saw that one coming right?

Bats too. When they’re upside down they’re sleeping instead of flying around in your hair giving you rabies.

Our cat Misty. She loves to lay on her back and look at you funny with her little paws all pulled up and cute. When she’s right side up she’s kind of a jerk.

A squeeze bottle of honey. Preferably open while upside down over my greedy mouth.

Cake. That’s pretty obvious right?

It’s peach season. Did you know? Peaches are my favourite fruit. Figures I’d choose a fruit with one of the shortest growing seasons in Canada. I’m sure you can tell I like honey.

I’ll stop insulting your intelligence and just get to the point.

It was only a matter of time until I combined two of my very favourite things. Honey and peach. Together at last. And what a lovely cake they made.

Honey Peach Upside Down Cake

Source: Adapted from my family recipe.

1/4 cup honey
2 peaches, sliced
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter a 9 inch round cake pan. Cut a round piece of parchment paper to fit inside the bottom of the pan then place it in the pan. Butter the parchment paper as well and then set it aside.

Spread the 1/4 cup of honey over the bottom of the pan then arrange the peach slices on top.

In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter, sugar and honey then blend in the eggs. Add the dry ingredients and mix it until it’s smooth.

Pour the batter over the peaches and honey then bake it for 30 – 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Much like the Honey Lemon Pound Cake, this cake will appear raw and jiggly in the middle while the rest seems like it’s burning. That’s the honey making mischief. Don’t worry, it will bake eventually. Just keep an eye on if for the last few minutes. Leave the cake in it’s pan and let it cool on a cooling rack for about 10 – 15 minutes.

Once the pan is cool enough to touch carefully flip the cake over onto a serving plate by placing the plate upside down over the cake pan then, while gripping both the plate and pan, quickly turn the whole thing right side up. Lightly jiggle the cake out of it’s pan and marvel at the honey peach beauty. Enjoy!

Heebee Jeebees.

Popsicles. Is there anything better on a hot Summer day? But it’s not all fun and games. There’s evil lurking in your popsicle. Splintery, wooden, spongy evil.

Is it just me or does the thought of biting into a refreshing popsicle down to the wooden stick give you the heebee jeebese? It not only ruins the whole experience it also incites a physical reaction in me that is most unpleasant.

You know that feeling when you drag your fingernails across a chalkboard or when you accidentally touch a bug? It feels like you need to chop your fingers off to get rid of the weirdness. Either that or run your fingertips across an SOS pad until the pain replaces the icks.

I used to chew on popsicle sticks when I was a kid then promptly hide them in the basement couch because I was too lazy to take them upstairs to throw them out. The thought of doing that now makes me cringe for a few reasons.

Sorry to make you think of bugs, amputation and skin abrasions while setting eyes on this rainbow of Fruit Punch Yogurt Popsicles. These have plastic sticks so no worries.

Enough of my neurosis. Let’s get crack-a-lackin of some popsicles.

Fruit Punch Yogurt Popsicles

Makes 48 mini popsicles or 24 large popsicles

Source: My imagination.

2 750g containers plain whole milk yogurt
1 cup, bananas, sliced
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1 cup peaches, skinned and chopped
1 cup blueberries
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

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In a medium bowl combine the sugar and water. Heat it up in the microwave until all the sugar is dissolved.

Using a food processor blend up each cup of fruit separately then scoop them out into four separate medium bowls. Make sure to rinse out the food processor between each cup to make sure not to get bits of fruit in another cup. Evenly divide up the sugar water into each bowl of pureed fruit and do the same with the yogurt. Mix each until the colour and texture is smooth.

Pour each flavour into the prepared molds then pop in the popsicle sticks and freeze them for about two hours until they’re frozen solid. To make layered popsicles pour one flavour halfway up the mold then freeze it for 15 – 20 minutes then pour the next flavour up to the top, insert the stick and freeze it for another couple hours until they’re solid.

To release the popsicles from their molds pour hot faucet water over the end of the mold making sure not to get it into the mold then slightly squeeze each mold until they look like they’re budging. Carefully pull out your popsicles and enjoy!

Honey for My Honey.

Just bear with me here and allow me to put my serious hat on for a few minutes. If you don’t want to read on about a gooey love story and how ridiculously giddy it makes me then I’d suggest you stop now or skip ahead to the cake part. I won’t tell. Promise.

A year ago today I had bangs and actually pulled it off nicely. A year ago today I lived three provinces away in a basement apartment where I hid my cat from my landlords. A year ago today I spent more of my free time on the phone than other people spend breathing or blinking. A year ago today I was a bundle of nerves waiting patiently for the love of my life to walk through my door.

We hadn’t even met in person and I loved him more than life itself. Naive? Of course. True. Certainly.

Today I’ve grown out my hair and it doesn’t even annoy me. Today I’m sure I have more laugh lines and I don’t even care because of how they were gained. Today I woke up next to the man that is my match in every way. Today is our one year anniversary and I couldn’t be happier.

Because he holds the truck door for me every time. Because of how safe I feel in his arms. Because of his amazing daughter. Because of how we finish each others sentences. Because of the way he laughs when we do the fist bump explosion. Because of the way his hand fits into mine. I made this Honey Lemon Pound Cake for my Lee, my honey. I love you.

Honey Lemon Pound Cake

Source: Adapted from my family recipe.

1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Zest of 1 full lemon
Juice of 1 full lemon for glaze
1 tbsp honey for glaze
1/4 cup powdered sugar for glaze

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the bottom with some overhang to grasp then set it aside.

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer blend together the honey, sugar, butter and eggs. Add the milk and lemon zest then mix further. Add the flour mixture and blend it until it’s smooth. Make sure to scrape off any little bits of zest that stick to the beaters and reintroduce them to the mixture.

Pour it into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake it for 30 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean and the top is a golden brown. It will bake much quicker on the top and edges so it will make you think that it’s baked through and even verging on burning, but don’t let it fool you, the center needs to be baked too. A few minutes longer and it will set in the center. The toothpick test is the key.

In a small bowl whisk together the reserved lemon juice, honey and powdered sugar. With a spoon drizzle the glaze over top of the warm cake and let it soak in for 10 – 15 minutes. Using the parchment paper overhang lift the cake out of the pan and let it cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing it. Enjoy!

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice.

The brown sugar is of the dark brown, aka demerara, variety because I’ve decided it’s the best dang sugar on the planet. The spice is cinnamon because, let’s face it, it’s the rock star of all spices. The everything nice part refers to brown butter because a smidgen of brown butter makes everything nicer.

That’s what little girls are supposed to be made of, but instead it’s my cake. Let’s just be clear that this is 100% cake. No little girls were harmed in the baking of this cake.


A little off topic, but did I ever mention how much I hate ribbon roses? Well I do. They’re not nice, unlike brown butter. I spent hours of quality time with my piping bag practicing the technique and I only got these eight measly excuses for ribbon roses. I also spent those hours swearing very unlike a little girl. Ok, so they’re not half bad, but my perfectionist brain disagrees.

They say practice makes perfect, but what if I don’t want to have anything to do with these little monsters anymore? Let’s just settle for mediocre ribbon roses shall we? Ok deal.

Brown Sugar Brown Butter Cake

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup milk

Note: This recipe is for one 9 inch cake layer. I doubled the recipe to make two cakes.

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In a small sauce pan cook the butter on medium heat for about 6 – 8 minutes until the foam subsides, the butter turns brown and you smell that delicious caramel scent. Remove it from the heat then allow it to cool and harden slightly in a bowl in the refrigerator for 15 – 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9 inch round cake pan and set it aside.

In a large bowl cream together the brown butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla then beat them in.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Alternately add the dry ingredients and milk in thirds to the butter mixture, making sure not to over mix the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth out the top. Bake it for 25 – 30 minutes until it’s golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool in the pan at least 10 – 15 minutes before flipping it out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Banana Frosting

Source: My imagination.

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 bananas, mashed
1/4 tsp salt
3 – 5 cup powdered sugar

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter, mashed banana and salt. Gradually add the powdered sugar until you get your desired consistency.

Using a long serrated knife or a cake leveller slice your cake into either two or four layers depending on whether or not you decided to make a second 9 inch cake. Place the bottom layer of cake on a serving patter and evenly spread your Banana frosting on top. Repeat this step for each layer.

Vanilla Buttercream

Source: Adapted from Wilton’s Buttercream Icing.

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 – 4 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp milk

Note: This recipe is perfect for covering four layers of cake, two 9 inch cakes. If you want more icing for decorating you should double it like I did.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the shortening and butter until it’s smooth. Add the almond extract and beat it well. Add the powdered sugar gradually, scraping down the sides of the bowl when needed. When the icing is ready it will appear dry so mix in the milk and beat it until it’s light a fluffy.

Colour your icing as desired and, after frosting the cake, pipe your decorations onto your cake as creatively as you’d like. I used a small star tip for the shell boarder, a small round tip for the dots and medium petal and round tips for the roses. Enjoy!