Friday, June 21, 2013

Beginning of Summer Watermelon Cupcakes

Hi everyone!

I had meant to post this earlier in the week but I've been tortured by the "stomach flu" since early Tuesday evening. This is the first time I've made it out of bed for more than 15 minutes since then (and it is Friday! Gross).

Anyway, I made these for my daughter's last day of school. They were a big hit and I wanted share with you. They were super easy to make.




So, first I just mixed up a boxed white cake mix:


I then added Rose gel food colouring by Wilton until I reached my desired colour:

The colour I was looking for was more of a coral-pink colour so I did add a few drops of red colouring. This was my final colour:


Stir in about 3-4 tablespoons of watermelon jello powder for flavouring:


Add about 1/4-1/2 cup of chocolate chips for "seeds":


Pour into cute cupcake papers. I found these at Bulk Barn.

I mixed together a buttercream icing recipe that I found at Savory Sweet Life and added green gel colouring:


I frosted the cupcakes and added a little gummy watermelon slice for cuteness!


Let me know what you think!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Mamma Mia - David's Tea Review


I bought Mamma Mia from David's Tea as a little Mother's Day treat for myself. I haven't been able to do a review on it so far, so here it is!

I bought 50g of this particular tea for about seven dollars.

This tea has a whopping fifteen ingredients in it, all of which are caffeine free. It includes Hibiscus, apples, raisins, rooibos, candied pineapple, candied papaya, orange peel, coconut, rosehip, elderberries, mallow blossoms, peaches, almond, and cinnamon (ingredients list taken from the website).

The only way I can properly describe this tea is that it tastes like cinnamon hearts in a cup. It has a very candy-like taste to it. There is definitely no need for any type of sweetener in this drink - it is sweet enough as it is (almost too sweet), yet spicy at the same time.

Also, did I mention that it steeps pink? Really pink.


Any tea that steeps that colour is alright in my books! I'm interested in trying this as an iced tea.

Verdict: I do like the taste of this tea, but it doesn't have a lot of staying power in my favourites. I see it as a novelty tea and something tasty to drink in place of eating something sweet. I felt the need to drink it really fast because although the taste is fine (good, even) the sweet smell from it sitting next to me was making me feel a little sick. I don't think I'd buy another packet of it as I think the 50g will last me for quite a while.

Have you tried Mamma Mia? How did you feel about it?







A beginner garden


Hi everyone!

My blog has gone to the wayside in the past while. I've gone through purchasing two computers from Best Buy and having to send both back. My own computer is on its last leg and doesn't like to work all of the time. I'm still looking to buy a new one.

One thing I have been working on is starting a vegetable garden with my daughter. I attempted this last year but quickly came to the realization that our land is not good for growing vegetables (or anything for that matter), so it got put over until this year. We have grown several indoor plants but we are definitely looking to expand.

I think gardening with children is probably one of the best things you can do for several reasons:

1) It is fun
2) It teaches responsibility. They are responsible for helping to water and weed their vegetables.
3) They have a sense of ownership.
4) They have a sense of accomplishment. There is nothing more satisfying for kids than being able to harvest vegetables that they have put energy into and being able to use it in meals.
5) It teaches sustainability from a young age.

Anyway, I went to a greenhouse and bought the proper fertilizers, soil, etc that I needed to make this happen. Our plants are doing really well so far so I do have hope that this experiment won't be a huge flop.

We have already planted two strawberry plants, celery, brussels sprouts, lettuce and carrot. Tomorrow I will put in potatoes and kale. I am waiting until after June 15th to plant pumpkin, cantaloupe, cucumber and tomato plants. I live in an area where frost likes to sneak up on us in the night, even when day temperatures seem really warm. This really sucks for planting.

I have never planted pumpkin before but I'm really looking forward to growing it. The plants are already growing really well and they are really long already. I was thinking I had plenty of room for them but I'm starting to question that. I'm also really excited to plant Butternut Squash. I have this obsession with autumn and I associate squash (squash soup, yum!) and pumpkin (pumpkin bread and chili! Yum!) with that. I eat a lot of it and I'm pretty excited to be able to have my own little harvest of it.

If anyone has any suggestions or planting tips for me, please feel free to comment!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Kale, Bacon and Cheese Omelette

To expand on my previous post, here is an omelette we made this weekend. My boyfriend and I both really enjoy kale and we like to throw it in random dishes and see how it goes. This worked out exceptionally well and my compliments to the chef because this was his idea and we both decided it will probably become a staple dish for us.

Ingredients:

1 cup of kale
1/4 cup of chopped "slab" bacon
Pepper
Chili Powder
Eggs
Milk
Cheese


Tear kale into bite sized pieces. Season bacon with pepper and chili powder to taste. We used slab bacon because it tastes way better and you have more control of it. I'm sure regular bacon would be fine. Fry bacon until cooked and add kale for just a few minutes, until soft.


Beat eggs with milk (about 2 tbsp per egg)and season to preference. Pour over kale and bacon.

Cook omelette on medium low until set. Add cheese to preference.

Flip omelette in half, let cheese melt. Serve.

We had this with homemade toast and partridge berry jam, compliments of his 79 year old mom :) She makes great jam.

How to make an omelette - Rookie Cook

Okay, so I know this seems like the simplest post ever and you're wondering why I'm posting this. One of the things that I have struggled the most with cooking is an omelette. I could never figure out how to flip it properly and I always ended up with scrambled eggs or a messed up omelette. I'm definitely still a rookie in the kitchen.

Anyway, I finally figured out a few tricks that have helped me make a somewhat normal looking omelette.

My biggest mistakes were:
-The pan I was using
-The oil/lack of oil I was using
-The amount of milk I was using

So here we go:

Beat together 2 eggs and about 3-4 tablespoons of milk. This is important. If you use too much milk you will not be able to flip it properly and you will be cursing over your pan and disappointed in yourself because you can't figure out how to make an omelette (lots of experience with this one). Season with pepper to taste.


Pick and prepare your ingredients. I used diced tomato, one slice of deli ham and some cheese.



Heat your NON-STICK pan(This is important. If you must use oil make sure it is spray oil rather than regular oil. This makes it more like a fried egg) to medium low - any higher than this and it will brown up too much. I find that if I use egg yolks the omelette will turn a little brown anyway, I don't notice this too much with egg whites. Pour eggs into pan.


As you can see, I probably should have used three eggs for this pan but it worked out anyway. From here you layer your veggie and meat on one half of the omelette once it starts to "catch" on the bottom.


Cook on medium low until it is almost completely set. I usually shake the pan and if the eggs are still jiggling, I wait a little longer.

Add your cheese on the opposite side of the omelette.

Flip the omelette in half, starting with the side with the cheese.


See, it is a little brown and there was an air pocket. Oh well, I said I was still a rookie at this and at least it wasn't a total flop.

Keep cooking until you figure your cheese is melted.

Serve:


Enjoy!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Salmon Quesadillas w/ Avocado & Cream Cheese


Hi everyone! Sorry it has been so long but I've had a lot going on the past few days!

Here is a quick recipe for salmon quesadillas with avocado and cream cheese. I ate this as my dinner but you could also cut these into triangles and use them as an appetizer. I really enjoyed it and these are so easy to make!

Ingredients:
1 medium whole wheat tortilla
2oz salmon (I used left over fresh salmon from last night's dinner)
1/2 avocado
1 wedge of light laughing cow cheese
Black pepper
Lemon juice

Spread tortilla with cream cheese. I used Laughing Cow. This is my favourite!


Layer salmon, sprinkle with pepper to taste and about 1/2tsp of lemon juice (or more to taste!)


I added a few slices of avocado, placed it in a non-stick skillet:


Fold over and cook on medium low for 3-5 minutes:

Serve with salsa or other topping of your choice!

Let me know if you try it! Don't forget to subscribe!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Stormy Night - David's Tea Review

*Disclaimer: I am just a big fan of David's Tea and not endorsed to do these reviews*


When I first saw Stormy Night on the menu from David's Tea, I had very high expectations. The name alone gave me the image of being cozied up with a blanket and a book. Oh boy, did this tea ever deliver. The name portrays comfort and with ingredients like chocolate, cinnamon, coconut and vanilla, it is just that- comfort in a tea cup.


This organic black tea is a tasty treat. The cinnamon gives enough spice to warm you up and is perfectly balanced with vanilla and chunks of real chocolate. Flakes of coconut manage to tie all the flavours together perfectly. At first sip I thought "ahh, that was exactly what I needed".


Stormy Night is a great introduction for someone starting out or trying their first loose tea. It looks beautiful and tastes much more like a chocolate beverage than your typical tea. There is a coffee shop around here that makes something called Mayan Hot Chocolate - it is very similar in taste. I added a little organic agave and a bit of almond milk. This tea is great on its own but the sweetener and milk fill it out to make it a little richer.

This is perfect for drinking by the fire and will be warming up many chilly evenings for me in the future. I feel this is very much a sweater and warm boots kind of tea. I am so glad that I discovered Stormy Night as I am very confident in placing it in my top 3 teas from David's Tea(and I have tried a lot, trust me)!

If you are new to loose teas there are some things you will need to get started. First, you will need some sort of infuser. You can find one here for $3.50. Second, you may need a sweetener. You can of course use sugar or stevia, however I find that a liquid sweetener such as organic agave or organic honey gives a much better flavour. A cute tea cup also helps!


I purchase these items at David's Tea because it is my closest tea shop and I am just such a huge, huge fan of the company. I never want this store to close in my town so I am more than happy to spend my money there. You can most likely find these tea accessories locally. Normally I purchase $5 worth of tea to sample. If you are ordering online and don't have a local store, you may want to buy a little more. Believe me- you'll need it. I went back for a second cup as I was writing this review.