Hot Polka Dot
14Dec/12

Pure Vanilla.

When I found out my friend, Shauna of Piece of Cake was releasing yet another amazing cookbook, I was so happy for her! Then I found out it was all about one of my favourite things ever and I was thrilled. Then I found out I could get myself a review copy plus a giveaway copy for you and my head exploded.

Pure Vanilla is aptly named. The rustic photos, heartfelt descriptions and homey recipes all lend to the organic, unrefined and untouched beauty that is the vanilla bean. Vanilla has become synonymous with words like safe, predictable and ordinary. Shauna shows us how to look at vanilla in a different light, a soft natural light. Vanilla is unassuming, but not bland. Vanilla is familiar, but not boring. Vanilla is nostalgic, but not antiquated. Vanilla is sexy, beautiful and adventurous.

Pure Vanilla's recipe index ranges from the tried and true to the exciting and new. Name your favourite vanilla recipe and this book has it! Everything from luscious Vanilla Buttercream to Vanilla Cream Pie, Vanilla Bean Marshmallows to Vanilla Ice Cream. Then there's a few recipes I bet you've never tried like Twinkie Bundt Cake, Candied Vanilla Popcorn and Vanilla Martinis.

When I saw Shauna's recipe for Heirloom Vanilla Sugar Cookies, I knew it was the perfect recipe to share with you at this festive time of year. These cookies were bursting with vanilla flavour and were melt-in-your-mouth soft. They're cookies best served on a plate to Santa or to loved ones accompanied with a tall glass of milk.

So you want to win a copy of Pure Vanilla? Of course you do!

Just use the simple Rafflecopter widget below for several different ways to enter! The terms and conditions are listed at the bottom. Just leave a comment below letting me know what your favourite vanilla treat is. This mandatory entry opens up three more enxta entries so make sure to make good use of them! The giveaway is open until Friday December 22nd at midnight.

Good luck!

Share
26Oct/12

May The Cupcakes Be With You.

Halloween has always been one of my favourite holidays. As a kid I think I enjoyed the creativity and imagination behind each costume just as much as I enjoyed the candy. Sure Kit Kat bars and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are great, but getting to dress up and pretend to be someone or something totally different for a night is the real spirit of Halloween.

I've been a unicorn, a princess, a vampire, a witch, a gypsy, a hippie, a pirate, Cleopatra, Princess Leia and a Jedi to name a few. I think my favourite costume would have to be one of my last, the Jedi. My mom, being an excellent seamstress, made my authentic cloak and tunic from scratch. My dad fashioned my belt out of real leather and crafted a lightsaber complete with a blue LED light. My dad is also pretty keen on Photoshop so he was able to digitally make my lightsaber a reality. Please enjoy the below photo of thirteen-year-old me complete with unkempt eyebrows and surly teenager frown.

When I became too old and too cool to trick or treat I focused on the decorations. I remember one year I fashioned creepy stick figures like those found in the Blair Witch Project while vetoing all my mom's cutesy skeletons and friendly jack-o-lanterns. I wanted an authentically scary experience, the kind that would make you jump and keep you up at night, not cartoon witches and googly-eyed skulls.

Today I'm proud to say our house has the coolest decorations in the neighbourhood, complete with fog machine, strobe light with thunder sounds, leaf graves, cauldrons, candles, spooky sounds, cobwebs, bats, bones, zombie fingers and a skeleton hung with a real noose. I also love helping Sable with her Halloween costumes and, with any luck, she'll look something like this on Wednesday.

What are some of your favourite Halloween costumes from childhood?

Share
24Oct/12

Pink.

October is a month that's all about welcoming Fall. Baking pies and roasting turkeys for Thanksgiving. Raking leaves into neat piles, jumping in them and raking them all over again. Stringing up cobwebs, carving jack-o-lanterns and donning your creepiest costume for Halloween.

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month and and that's a fact we shouldn't easily forget. In support of this wonderful cause Tic Tac Canada has donated $25,000 to The Breast Cancer Society of Canada and released a yummy new Tic Tac flavour called Strawberry Fusion.

Guess what my new favourite flavour of Tic Tac is? You guessed it! They're tart, sweet and bursting with two levels of strawberry goodness.

I was so happy with my sample of Tic Tacs that I was inspired to make something strawberry and pink in support of this most auspicious month. I sandwiched light and airy strawberry mousse between layers of vanilla bean cake and fresh strawberries then topped it all off with vanilla bean whipped cream. It's tasty, it's luscious, it's pretty, it's pink!

So I suppose there's one more colour to add to the vibrant list of Fall colours and it certainly is a sweet one.

Share
2Oct/12

Better Late Than Never.

     I know, it's kind of late for peaches. Consider it my last ditch attempt to hold onto one of my favourite fruits and seasons. Summer is so fleeting and peache season is short-lived. This year we were lucky enough to have an early Summer but it's fading too quickly. The leaves are turning and the days are growing darker and colder. Thanksgiving is approaching and I'm already thinking about Christmas.

Time is funny that way.

They say that with every year that passes your perception of time seems to speed up.

I remember when a six hour school day would move at a snails pace and it was far too much time taken out of my busy light bright and etch-a-sketch schedule. I remember when the wait for Christmas began at the first snowflake and dragged on for what felt like forever. I remember anxiously peering into the hot oven and watching the pie crust bubble on that night's dessert, all the while being tormented by the scent of spiced apples and buttery pastry.

Now there's never enough time in the day, to-do lists get longer instead of shorter, entire months pass in the blink of an eye and I surprise myself when I realize how many years I've known some friends.

Sometimes I wish that I could just hit the pause button, slow-mo, and definitely rewind.

What better way to slow down than with a warm batch of Peach Oatmeal Cookies? There's something about oatmeal that screams Winter and Peaches are exclusively a Summer treat. Why not combine them to smooth the transition this Fall?

Share
16Sep/12

Berry Good.

Meet Berrie. He's spunky, inquisitive, adventurous, incredibly smart, a little grumpy, a bit spoiled and definitely adorable.

He enjoys mirrors, seed balls, messy baths, nomming on computer keys, hanging out on noggins and chirping at cats. He's a cute little lovebird we recently had the pleasure of bird-sitting.

Berrie was named after the colourful fruit that his feathers resemble. His soft face looks like it was dunked in a bowl of white raspberries or pineberries. His tail feathers are splashed with blueberry and his wingtips with blackberry.

I just want to eat him up!

But that would be weird and wrong...

...So I made these Berry Baby Bundts instead inspired by his yummy name.

Share

Subscribe Via Email


By: ifood.tv


ezebee_banner
Beutiful-160x160-ad



 For more info see sponsor page

Search