h1

Thoughts on Cake Pops!

February 15, 2013

I’ve wanted to make cake pops for a long time. I had all the stuff (thanks Nana) and just needed some inspiration. That came when I went to a good friends wedding. On her dessert table she had the cutest little cake pops (as well as tons of other amazing goodies). I decided that since I am king a cupcake table for my best friends wedding (yes, 70+ cupcakes in August, yikes!) cake pops might be something special for her as well. So, Valentines seemed like the perfect time for a trial run.

To start, I dug the cake pop maker out and figured out how the darn thing works. Then I used google to find a pound cake recipe (that’s what I had in my head that would be good). I thought it would be dense enough to stay on the stick but still delicious. I also looked at quite a few websites for tips. This is the website I found the most helpful… aaand these are some of my suggestions:

  • Give yourself plenty of time. I made the pops one day and then gave myself two more nap times to stick and dip them. I made everything a couple of days before and froze them. I read that they would freeze well but I found the chocolate coatings taste changed a bit, don’t think I’ll freeze them again.
  • Grease your cake pop maker (looks kinda like a waffle iron). I used a light veg oil so it didn’t change the taste. I think I would like to try the hand rolling method sometime, I bet they would be deadly!
  • When dipping them in chocolate I dunked the stick, stuck it in and gave it some time to harden. I found they would turn off the stick if you didn’t give it enough time.
  • Make sure your chocolate mixture is thin (you can do this by adding veg shortening). It makes for a much more even coat.
  • Have something prepared to stand the hardening pops in. The bulk barn sells a stand for $10. I was too cheap to buy it, but will DEFINITELY get it for next time.

All in all I thought they were a fun thing to take to a party and give out as valentines. Would I make them again? Absolutely, they are cute and impressive. I can’t say if I’ll use the cake pop maker again, it took a lot of time (switching every 6 minutes for almost 3 hours). I will definitely try the hand rolling method and might even just pop a timbit on a stick sometime and see how that turns out!

In tissue paper covered styrofoam for a Valentines party.

In tissue paper covered styrofoam for a Valentines party.

Valentines for friends

Valentines for friends

h1

A Little Valentines Something

February 4, 2013

We don’t normally do much for Valentines. The day is pretty “run of the mill”, Brad brings flowers, I cook a nice meal, and THAT’S IT! Back in the day I used to do all kinds of sweet and homemade things, but then I had babies… (blame it on the babies)!

This year I decided to do something different. My little sister Emma has a new boyfriend (who she’s all mushy about) and has decided to celebrate Valentines in 14 days (i.e. 1 valentine each day for 2 weeks)… this is soooo something I would’ve done when I was her age. She found this adorable idea on Pinterest which I’ve taken and made my own.

Six Sisters Stuff is an awesome blog. I’ve used in many times, especially for recipes. My favorite part is that one of the sisters name is Elyse, how awesome is that! I never get to have the same name as someone else!

On the blog it gives you cute little sayings and ideas to go with each. It also has the template for the tags here. Personally, 14 days is a little much for me. So I’ve decided to start the Monday before Valentines (it’s on a Thursday don’t forget) and give these adorable little gifts to both the men in my life whenever I feel like it. There will definitely be one everyday in Brads lunch bag, some hidden around his truck and maybe even in his work clothes. The idea is that they may pop up where he’s least expecting it. Thomas will get one everyday at lunchtime. Here are the bags I made:

image

For Brad

I wouldn’t chews anyone but you = bubble gum (his fav)

you have afishally stolen my heart = swedish fish candy*

you are one hot tamale = hot lips candy

I would be so mixed up without you = chocolate trail mix

I think you’re sodamazing = soda pop candies

I’m nuts about you = pistachios*

Life would be unbearable without you = teddy graham cookies*

For Thomas

Anything with a * above

You are the apple of my eye = dried apple rings

I’m bananas for you = a banana

happy_valentinesMaybe this is something you would like to try?! I hope whatever you do it is full of love!

 

OH, I’m also going to attempt cake pops for a Valentines Party next weekend, I’ll let you know how they go!

h1

Visions Explained

January 22, 2013

Three different people asked me to explain my vision board. So… these are what the pictures mean to me.

Vision Board 2013.11. Playdates, lots and lots of playdates!

2. Continue practicing yoga (at least twice a week).

3. Self explanatory

4. Family time.  Lots of outdoor playing, indoor playing, just plan ol’ spending time together.

5. Continue to extend my education to make me the best teacher I can be (saaaappy)!!

6. Finish de-cluttering and organizing my moms basement (yes mom, you made the list!)

7. Rent a cottage somewhere in NS this summer with the fam. We always did this growing up, I have fond memories!

8. Set aside more time to blog (yes, I realize those are man hands… mine are a little prettier).

9. Continue to go to the pool at least once a week by myself and a couple times a month with the kids. To me swimming is a life skill.

10. Take advantage of local produce and preserve what I can so we can enjoy it off season.

11. Eat fruits and veggies… lots and lots of ’em!!

12. Start seriously looking for new diggs. Something bigger (4 bedrooms, garage, fenced backyard…) lots of requirements, not so many candidates 😦

13. Continue to teach my children about the importance of healthy eating, having them help me prepare meals and always eating together at the table.

14. Self Explanatory.

Hope this clarifies things!! Please share your vision boards if you had the chance to make one!

h1

Visions of 2013

January 18, 2013

Last year I made a vision board. My sisters both make them and convinced me that it was a good idea. I’m really glad they did because I thought about the board often throughout the year. There are different ways and reasons to make a vision board. I did it to help me make goals for a new year. There are lots of different ways you can make a vision board. For example, where you want to be in 5 /10 years, what your ideal day consists of, or your general life aspirations. For more info on vision boards check out my sisters blog.

It is never too late to make a vision board. I just made mine for 2013 last week. I like to do it on a powerpoint slide, print it off and hang it on the inside of my medicine cabinet so I can see it everyday. Others will use Bristol board and magazine cut-outs.

This is last years vision board. These are some of my visions/accomplishments for 2012.

Vision Board 2012

Here is my 2013 board. The pictures on this board may mean something different for you than they do for me, that’s what makes it so special. I have confidence this will keep me focused for a successful 2013.

Vision Board 2013

Have you ever made a vision board? What are your visions for 2013?

h1

Surprise!

January 12, 2013

I bet you never thought you were going to hear from me again. Honestly, I didn’t know if I would ever write another post. Not because I didn’t want to, but because life became busy. I went back to work, I got pregnant, we continued renovating our house and working in the yard, really… life just got Busy with a capital B! At first I didn’t miss writing at all, every now and then I would do something and think, “this would be a good post” but then life would go on and I wouldn’t think much about it again. Until now, I have been missing this, and you!

I can’t guarantee I’ll write often but I can guarantee I won’t abandon you again! My goal is to write something at least once a month. I think that is doable. Like right now, Thomas (my unbelievable smart and handsome) 2.5 year old is beside me playing in the tub while I write, multi tasking, that’s the name of my game!!

I’m so happy to be back, and have so much to tell you. A lot has gone on in 518 days. So, I’ll give you some details:

September 2011 – Thomas turned 1 and started going to the most amazing babysitter. Honestly, it seems like she has a million little rug rats running around (more like 6) and everyone is ALWAYS under control and happy, I don’t know how she does it! I went back to work part-time.

December 2011 – I got pregnant, at first it sucked, then it got better, then it sucked again.

March 2012 – Tiled a B-E-A-utiful backsplash (more on that later )

April 2012 – Went on a family vacay to Newfoundland to visit Brads family, didn’t to anything but eat and visit… pretty much heaven.

May 2012 – REALLY put the hammer down on the basement renos (well Brad did… he’s my hero)!

July 2012 – Finished work, was super pregnant and hot

August 2012 – Thomas turned two, still super pregnant (and even hotter).

September 2012 – Finished (mostly) basement renos. Beautiful baby Julia was born. She is amazing, a real trooper and wonderful lil’ sis!

October 2012 – started missing writing (and you)… really, like, A LOT!!

AND that is it. It doesn’t seem like I’ve accomplished much in the last 518 days but really we have. I have loads of recipes/projects/ideas to tell you about so keep your eyes peeled (but don’t hold your breath) because I’ll be back!!!

I PROMISE!!!!

My babies, aren't they gorgeous!!

My babies, aren’t they gorgeous?!

h1

Good bye fruit fly!

August 11, 2011

Last post I promised a delicious strawberry popsicle recipe… that was three weeks ago and I have since lent the book out to a friend… next post I PROMISE!!! Today, I thought we could talk about fruit flies, I HATE fruit flies. I don’t know about your kitchen but mine has lots. Even taking all the precautions; emptying the compost daily, cleaning up after every meal  and not leaving fruit out I still have those little buggers whizzing past my face. I have come up with a few tips that will help keep them to a minimum and it has really worked this year.

Firstly, do all the things I listed above! Besides that, be sure to splash a couple tablespoons of bleach down your sink drains once a week. Let it sit for 10 minutes and then rise it down. Drains are the perfect spot for fruit fly eggs! Secondly set a trap. I know you’ve all tried the ‘red-wine vinegar in the cup with plastic wrap’ trick and it works, but not as well as the cone!! To learn how to make it click here. I’ve found that the best bait to use is cantaloupe, but anything sweet (banana peel, strawberry top, beer/wine/juice) will do.

Now to get the fruit flies out, I just take the whole jar out to the composter and let them join their little fruit fly friends… but you could always pour some water down the tunnel and drown the suckers!!

Good luck in your fruit fly endeavours!!

P.S. I’ve been a major slacker with my happiness project, I hope to start up again soon, but vacation is fast approaching so it won’t be for a while.

P.P.S. I’m also amending my 1 recipe a week goal to 1 recipe a month, with a baby on the move there isn’t much time to sit around and blog!

h1

Strawberry Shortcakes

July 24, 2011

Finding time to sit down and add some strawberry recipes hasn’t been easy lately. Between the garden, a baby ‘on the move’ and having the flu I haven’t had much ambition but have no fear; I’m on the mend, my house is babyproofed and my husband is a garden/housework superstar!!! I was hoping to have this posted before strawberry season is over and I think I’m just making the cut. Today is my favorite Strawberry Shortcake recipe and later in the week, strawberry popsicles!

Strawberry Shortcakes

This is adapted from another one of Nigella Lawson’s recipes. I LOVE it!!!!! The biscuits are delicious, just the right amount of sweet!

FOR THE SHORTCAKES:

  • 325g plain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, frozen (1 stick + 1tbsp.)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

FOR THE FILLING:

  • 1 quart of strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Few drops balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup prepared whipped cream

 METHOD: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a bowl. Grate the butter into these dry ingredients and use your fingertips to finish crumbling  it  into the flour. Whisk the egg into the cream, and pour into the flour mixture a little at a time, using a fork to mix.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and roll gently to a thickness of about 2cm. Dip the cutter in flour and cut out as many rounds as you can. Work the scraps back into a dough, re-roll and finish cutting out. Brush the tops of the shortcakes with the egg white, and sprinkle them with the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. If it helps with the rest of your cooking, or life in general, you can cover and refrigerate them now for up to 2 hours.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden-brown, and let them cool for a short while on a wire rack. Meanwhile, crush half the strawberries with the spoonful of sugar and the few drops of balsamic vinegar and halve or quarter the remaining strawberries, depending on their size.
  5. The shortcakes should be eaten while still warm, so split each one across the middle and cover with a spoonful of the crushed strawberry mixture, a few halved or quartered strawberries, then dollop some whipped cream on top.

Sorry for not including a photo; they’re just so good they didn’t stick around long enough to snap one!<!–

–>