Pumpkin Spice Latte Popsicles

Fall recipe: the pumpkin spice latte popsicle!

I’m not exactly sure what it’s like where you hail, but over here in Toronto the weather has been pernickety at best. One moment it’s crisp, cool, and perfectly fall-esque. And the next, we’re forced to strip off all of our carefully selected layers in an effort to breathe (hello heat!). But not to fear! I’ve found the perfect solution to this temperamental state: the pumpkin spice latte popsicle. It’s everything you could ever want out of your quintessential fall recipe, yet can still be THOROUGHLY enjoyed when that indian summer comes out to play. 

5 minute pumpkin spice latte popsicles Fall in popsicle format: the pumpkin spice latte popsicle! Pumpkin spice latte popsicles

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PS: All of my popsicle recipes in one place. 

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Cookies and Cream Brownies

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So these cookies and cream brownies are ooey and goey and sticky and messy and totally un-photogenic. They nearly gave me a heart attack while trying to capture them but that’s a story for another day (death by brownies – there could be worse things, yes?) I’m here to confirm, however, that what they lack in model-esque capabilities, they make up for ten times over in taste. I mean, cookies and cream brownies? It doesn’t get more decadently delicious than that! 

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PS: if you like this you’ll love these simple cookies & cream popsicles

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World’s Best Spinach Dip (with bacon!)

A recipe for the world's best bacon & spinach dip  

As far as I’m concerned, everyone needs to master three things in the kitchen: perfect, fluffy scrambled eggs, grandma’s chocolate chip cookies, and a really amazing spinach dip. It pretty much covers all the necessary basics, no matter your skill set. When it comes down to it, I don’t think that there’s anyone in the world who doesn’t love a solid dip pre-dinner. Fig and goat cheese crostinis are all well and good, but unfortunately not everyone is a fan (I know, I judge as well). Spinach dip makes for the perfect solution when you’re looking to whip up an appetizer that will please an entire crowd. My friend recently introduced me to her go-to version, and it’s omg amazing. Like lick-the-bowl-clean type good. The secret: crispy bacon! (I feel like this is the secret to a lot of dishes. Side note.)  

The secret to an incredible spinach dip...Wicked bacon & spinach dip recipe!

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Peaches & Cream Popsicles

Peaches and cream popsicles | Lark & Linen

Clearly I’m not QUITE done with summer yet. And why should I be when the weather has finally started to oblige (where were you all summer, warmth? I ask you this!) Fresh peaches are still abundant for a few more weeks, and if you make anything this September, these peaches and cream popsicles should be it. They’re so delicious I almost didn’t even want to tell Justin I made them. It’s alright though. He learnt years ago that sharing food is not my strong suit.

Recipe for peaches and cream popsicles | Lark & Linen Peaches and cream popsicle recipe | Lark & Linen Delicious peaches and cream popsicle recipe | Lark & Linen 

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Late Summer Salad

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I’ve been making this ridiculously delicious fig and mozzarella salad for a while now, and have been meaning to share it forever. So last week, I went out and picked up all the ingredients. And then life happened. And by the time I got around to actually making it my figs had gotten so sticky and icky that they were completely unusable. Out of sheer luck (thank you blogger gods!), the basket of fresh Ontario peaches I had purchased that same day were at the most perfectly edible consistency. Ripe and sweet and juicy and perfect. So I tossed them in, in lieu of the figs. And honestly? It was just as good, if not better, than the original recipe. It’s healthy, flavourful, versatile (apparently!) and makes for the perfect late summer salad. Plus, look how pretty!

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Lemon Artichoke Pasta

Lemon artichoke pasta - a 20 minute meal

If it’s any evidence from my plethora of popsicle and cocktail recipes as of late, I’ve been spending very little time in the kitchen. The way I see it, summer is only here for such a short time, and I always want to make it my mission to absorb it to the full effect. That said, I’m a foodie at heart, and can only go so long without a homemade meal. I’ve experimented with a few easy breezy dishes the last little while, but this lemon artichoke pasta (with asparagus!) is an absolute slam dunk. Taking just 20 minutes from start to finish, it’s an easy meal that’s flavourful, delicious, and leaves you with tons of time to hang out with your loved ones (hopefully popsicle or cocktail in hand!) 

Lemon artichoke pasta - a 20 minute meal

Lemon artichoke pasta - a 20 minute meal Lemon artichoke pasta - a 20 minute meal 

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Watermelon Mojitos, aka Summer in a Glass

A recipe for watermelon mojitos

I would never intentionally will the summer months away, but come mid-August I’m typically ready for fall to begin. It’s my favourite season after all, what with its cozy sweaters, glorious hues and crisp evenings. But this year? This year is different. Perhaps it’s the fact that the weather has been unseasonably cool up until recently, but I really don’t feel as if I’ve had my fair share of the season. So for the next few weeks, I’m making it my mission to tackle everything left on my summer bucket list. And up first on that list: suck back a whole buttload of Henry Happened‘s watermelon mojitos! They’re like summer in a glass and you really can’t go wrong. 

A recipe for watermelon mojitos A recipe for watermelon mojitos 

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Blueberry Vanilla Breakfast Popsicles

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Breakfast and I? Well, we’re not exactly friends. I’m like Garfield only instead of hating Mondays I truly loathe mornings.  I rarely want to do much of anything before noon, so cooking an elaborate breakfast mid-week isn’t an option. Most days, I’m lucky if I get a piece of toast in my belly before lunch. As I age, I’m noticing more and more how important it is for me to put something in my body to fuel me come morning. And I’ve recently found that perfect something: the blueberry vanilla breakfast popsicle! Not only are they easy to make, they’re effortless to grab in the morning and, let’s face it, eating a popsicle for breakfast is kind of the best (bonus: I think kids would go nutty for these!)

PS - Other fun breakfast alternatives I’ve made over the years: cranberry breakfast cookies | blueberry breakfast loaf | homemade granola bars | and when I’m feeling especially sinful – nutella banana bread

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Watermelon Feta Salad & Blueberry Balsamic

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The watermelon feta salad has been documented a million and one times before, and for good reason. It’s a fabulously unexpected combination of flavours that simply can’t be beat. Like a party in your mouth, for real! Toss in an unexpected hit of a blueberry balsamic reduction (per my best friend and fabulous chef’s recommendation) and you’ll have a very happy group of diners on your hands. Guaranteed.

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Peach Gin Fizz

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Last week I posted this recipe on my friend Leah’s blog while she was off sunning herself in Mexico. If you’re a Freutcake reader, I apologize for the double post, but it was just tooooo delicious not to share. In fact, it may have been our bevvy of choice during the entirety of our farm weekend! It’s summer in a glass and it needs to be yours. Immediately. 

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Strawberry Basil Bellinis

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I’m sharing one of my new favourite cocktails over on my friend Corina’s blog today! The strawberry basil bellini. It’s sweet and bubbly and all sorts of delicious. Go. Go. Go

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Earl Grey Shortbread

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My brother’s girlfriend introduced me to the magic of earl grey shortbread some time ago, and it may have changed my life. The poor girl probably thinks I’m a crazy person as I pretty much ask her to make them for us at any and every family gathering. I’ve since recreated them myself, and though I’ve yet to master them like Sara does, I have to say this version is pretty darn good. Buttery, and crumbly, with a hint of floral notes - they make for a sophisticated addition to afternoon tea. 

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Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

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It’s no secret that I have a bit of a sweet tooth (one peek at my recipe archives and I’m certain you’ll agree). Come three o’clock most afternoons, I usually find myself craving something chocolatey. And now that I’m getting older, I find it more difficult to justify a daily sugary-treat – both for my waistline and my health’s sake. More often than not, this afternoon snack proves to tide me over. But for those days that I need a little something more, this healthy chocolate peanut butter smoothie is JUST the ticket! Seriously – it’s freaking good. 

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Avocado & Chickpea Salad

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Working from home means that I’m constantly within arms reach of anything and everything to be found in my fridge, and not a soul in sight to judge me. More often than not, this is a very good thing. But it also means I have to be extra careful and keep my finger on any bad habbits (read: toasty, melty grilled cheese for lunch each and every day). With summer here in full force, and all those delicious fruits and veggies just ripe for the picking, I find whipping up simple summer salads in abundance is key. And when Crazy Style Love introduced me to this fresh avocado chickpea salad (via Instagram no less!) I could have just kissed her square on the mouth. It’s incredibly easy to whip together, chock full of vitamins and nutrients, keeps me full well until dinner, and tastes delicious to boot. 

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Snickerdoodle Ice Cream Sandwiches

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On a particularly uninspiring Tuesday evening not long ago, a girlfriend and I decided to make our way to the west end of Toronto to test out Bakerbots ice cream sandwiches (as evident here). The verdict: ridiculous, in the very best of ways. You get to pick your own cookie flavour AS WELL as ice cream innards leaving you with infinite possibilities of deliciousness. Over the weekend, I found myself craving them something fierce. And not willing to make the journey to the opposite end of the city, I did what any sane person does on a lazy Sunday: I made my own. Cinnamon meets vanilla bean and the results are magic. 

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Milkshake

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Though my dad doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth, if there were ever a dessert he’d be hard pressed to turn down it’d be a milkshake. And during my formative years, he made sure he did his due diligence by teaching me the art of his ways: chocolate chip ice cream, a splash of milk and a bit of elbow grease to mix em’ all together. This simple treat has never failed to satisfy a craving, or turn around an otherwise mediocre day. And in honour of Father’s Day, I whipped up my own version (slightly more fancified and a whole lot more indulgent) just for him! 

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The Ultimate Donut Roundup: 6 Awesome Recipes

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Carrot Cake Donuts :: The Recipe ::

Every year, national donut day seems to pass me by without my knowledge. And if you know me at all by now, you’ll know that this is not even slightly acceptable. I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for an excuse to indulge in some fabulous baked goods, and I can’t think of anything better than a holiday surrounded said treat. So this year, I came prepared. Not only did I come prepared, I’ve decided to make up for some serious lost time and round up six of my all time favourite homemade versions. Word of the wise: the peanut butter filled needs to be yours. Like, now. Enjoy!

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Strawberry Shortcake Donuts ::The Recipe::

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Triple Chocolate Donuts :: The Recipe ::

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Peanut Butter Cream Filled :: The Recipe :: 

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Classic Frosted :: The Recipe ::

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Apple Cider Donuts :: The Recipe ::

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In case you missed them: Strawberry Donut Cakes & Blueberry Fritters

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Cheddar Cheese Biscuits + Rosemary Butter

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As far as I’m concerned, Chef Lynn Crawford can do absolutely no wrong. Her popular Toronto eatery, Ruby Watch Co., is consistently delicious, so I was particularly excited to test out her recipe for cheddar cheese biscuits. The results? Delicious! I whipped them up for my sisters’ bridal shower last weekend (in heart shape, but of course!) and they were definitely a massive hit. Light and airy, while still feeling heavy in that perfectly-biscuity-fashion (you know the one!) I paired it with some simple rosemary butter and we all had a bit of a field day. 

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Cookies and Cream Popsicles

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A couple Saturdays ago, Justin and I met up with a few friends at a Mexican joint downtown. After stuffing ourselves silly, the waiter presented us with the dessert menu. Though everyone at the table declined, I struggle to say no to such offers and ended up ordering the (totally authentic!) cookies and cream popsicle. You guys? It was insane. And I found it curious that a table full of people who truly didn’t want dessert had no problem going to town on my popsicle… But I digress. I’ve since made it my mission to recreate the goodness, and recreate I did. It’s kind of embarassingly simple, but you seriously (seriously!!) need to try one for yourself.

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Boozy Fruit Punch (with Striped Ice Cubes)

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Though I’m no stranger to a fancy cocktail here and there, my drink of choice is usually quite simple: vodka soda with a splash of cranberry. It’s light and refreshing, while remaining low(ish) in calories. But then I discovered fruity striped ice cubes – and just like that my Friday night bevvy just got significantly more fun! In addition, these guys are an awesome way to spice up a glass of water (sparkling, if you’re feeling fancy) and, from experience, seriously impress guests.

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Coconut + Chocolate Tartlets

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I’ve eyed Erin’s coconut chocolate tarts for a while now, but it wasn’t until last weekend that I finally gave them ago. I randomly had all of the ingredients on hand, was faced with a few free hours, and knew that both Mother’s Day and a handful of birthdays were on the horizon. You guys? It was the best decision I’ve made in a very, very, long time. Not only are they surprisingly easy, they are RIDICULOUSLY delicious. Like the type of dessert you swear you’re just going to take a single bite of and before you know it the whole thing is gone. GONE! They’re decadent and rich, without being too over-the-top sweet, and someone needs to stop me before I ingest every last one. Though I had every intention on handing them out for various occasions this week, it will be a miracle if any of them make it out of my grasp. 

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Homemade Ketchup

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I recently had the extreme pleasure of guest posting over on one of my all-time favourite blogs: Cup of Jo. I participated in her Dips & Sauces series in which I, almost reluctantly*, shared my recipe for ridiculously easy homemade ketchup. You all know that I take my food very seriously, and after being a dedicated Heinz girl for the entirety of my life, I will admit I was skeptical at the thought of a homemade version. But I assure you the stuff is ridiculous. And there’s a solid chance I’ll never go back to the bottled stuff again. It’s as simple as tossing a bunch of things in a pot, cooking it down and blending it all together. The best part is you know exactly what’s going in it, and can customize as you see fit (curry ketchup? jalapeno ketchup? the world is your ketchup-y oyster! mmm ketchup…)

*I say reluctantly because this recipe could very well go down in the super secret family recipe category, despite the fact that it’s not a family recipe at all. But it COULD be is what I’m saying. It’s one of the good ones and I couldn’t bear to keep it from the world!

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World’s Best Guacamole

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Though the food at our resort in Mexico was subpar, there were two things that the staff had done right again and again: guacamole and pico de gallo (thank god). I basically sustained myself off of these two staples for the entirety of our trip. And you’d think I would have gotten my fix after gorging on the stuff for an entire week. But no, not even close. When I arrived home, I made it my new mission to recreate the goodness, and recreate I did. Though I’ve tried many a version in my time my boss, Abby Larson, has basically mastered the stuff. And her recipe needs to make it’s rounds…

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Cheddar Chive Popovers from Clara Persis

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Hey guys! Clara here while Jacquelyn is off in Mexico! I’m a big believer in the fact that popovers do not get enough credit. Light air filled puffs of warm pillow-y dough? Yep, I went there. They are all of those things, and then some, which makes them utterly perfect for elevating a spring brunch. I’d make fresh herbs the theme here, lacing some soft scrambled eggs, a salad of mixed greens, and the popovers, of course, with fresh chives and whatever other herbs you have on hand (dill would be divine!). Then pull it all together with a bit of bubbly and fresh grapefruit juice for something slightly different, and I’d say you have the recipe for a perfect spring Sunday brunch! The popovers are best served warm right out of the oven, but if you’re tight on time, bake them the night before and defrost for a few minutes at 350° until soft and warm.

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Strawberry Donut Cakes from Jennifer Chong

Hi friends of Lark & Linen! Jennifer here – excited to be here while Jacquelyn is off enjoying the sun and some tasty chips and salsa. While we are all dreaming of trading places with her I’m here to share a little cake donut recipe with you.

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I love my share of sweet treats just like everyone else but my problem is I have zero self control. I’ll go into a place with good intentions *only one donut please* but only to realize I’ve inhaled one and ordered two more for “later” (which really end up being one for later because I couldn’t wait). So I figured it was time I came up with a healthier alternative. While I admit these don’t taste like you’re good ol regular donut, it’s gluten free and sugar free and makes my heart happy. And well I can have three in one sitting and not feel so guilty.

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Easter Bunny Tails (aka Coconut Donut Holes)

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Can you even handle the cute? I mean seriously though. I’m well aware that I’m currently void of children, but that never has (and never will!) stop me from making adorably themed desserts. These Easter bunny tails (which are essentially just donut holes covered in chocolate and shredded coconut) make for the most perfect Easter treat. They’re cute, ridiculously simple and beyond delicious! 

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Healthy Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

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I’m a firm believer that a healthy breakfast is the best way to start one’s day. And that says a lot as I’m no stranger to skipping breakfast altogether. With that in mind, I can fully attest to the fact that the days I start on the right foot are the ones in which I continue to make good life decisions. I snack less, I workout more and am significantly more productive at work (I swear). The thing with breakfast is that if it’s not easy, chances are I’m not going to do it. I’ve posted a few breakfast alternatives in the past (most notably here, here and here), but this quinoa yogurt breakfast bowl is currently on heavy rotation. The best part about it is you literally just throw things together, can customize it completely depending on your mood, and it keeps you full well until lunch! 

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Rootbeer Float Popsicles

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Today marks the first official day of spring! And though there’s still bits of snow on the ground, I truly couldn’t be more excited. This winter has been a long one and though it doesn’t feel over quite yet, the days are getting longer, the weather warmer and for that, I’m excited. To celebrate? Rootbeer float popsicles, of course! I whipped these babies up during a particularly warm day last week and have since decided that they’re the perfect way to embrace the upcoming season. I have a feeling my popsicle moulds will be getting quite the workout in the coming months.

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Boozy Shamrock Shake

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Gone are the days where St. Patrick’s day means all-day drink fests. This lady is gettin’ old and simply can’t handle that kind of action any longer! That said, if you know me at all, you’ll know that I’m always down for ANY reason to celebrate: St. Patrick’s day included. So while I may no longer ingest 8 green beers and hate myself for days, I WILL indulge in a single booze-infused shamrock shake. And this recipe? It’s pretty much the best mini St. Patty’s day celebration that exists. 

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Toasty Almond Hot Chocolate

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We are in the midst of yet another cold snap and I, for one, am totally over it. While my heart tells me I should be sippin’ on strawberry watermelon mojitos and munching on roasted coconut popsicles by now, my frozen toes tell me otherwise. Though I know we’re all probably sick of hot cocoa by now, I recently discovered a new variation that’s beyond delicious and may make the frigid temperatures bearable, at least for a few minutes. 
 
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Homemade Strawberry Poptarts

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My cousin and her husband recently bought a new house, and when they invited my entire family over for a housewarming slumber party last weekend I couldn’t pack my bags quick enough. Knowing full well that the majority of us would be bringing over appetizers, cocktails and things of that nature, I decided it made sense to bring something for us to enjoy Sunday morning. Enter: the homemade poptart. Significantly simpler to make than you’d imagine, lightyears ahead of the store bought variety, and almost too cute to eat. Almost.

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Toasted Coconut + Banana Smoothie

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Though I may not always succeed, I really do try to not sit here and complain about the weather. I’m usually the type to try to find the silver lining in anything and everything I’m handed. It’s cold out? Let’s build a blanket nest and watch movies! Rainy? A cup of tea is just the ticket. But this year, winter has been brutal. Brutal! And there’s only so many blanket nests one can build! So this week I’m attempting another tactic: summer in a glass via this toasted coconut smoothie. If we can’t soak up the sun, perhaps maybe we can drink it? Note to winter: take a hint!

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Pink Popcorn

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Does anyone else remember those boxes of Lucky Elephant Popcorn that contained the most beautiful, most delicious collection of bright pink popcorn? When I was little, my grandmother would buy a single box for my 7 cousins and I and we’d be force to share. For those counting, and I know I did, that works out to about 9 pieces of popcorn per person. In other words, not cool grandma. So many mixed emotions! I used to live for the stuff. And of course, mom would never buy it for us, only grandma, which meant that it was extra special. Fast forward 20 some odd years, and I recently discovered that you can make it at home! Any time you want! I don’t know why this never occurred to me before. And this recipe? Well, it tastes just like childhood – only you don’t have to share. 

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World’s Best Chocolate Layer Cake

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Though my boyfriend Justin claims that he isn’t a sweets kind of guy, his favourite dessert in the entire world just so happens to be double chocolate cake. The logic behind this is something I will never understand, but the sentiment is one I’m totally on board with. I’ve tested out a lot of recipes in my time, and though many of them deserve at least a mention, this one in particular is worthy of an entire anthem. I whipped it up for his birthday last weekend and, though it’s a bold statement, I can confidently say that it is THE world’s best chocolate cake. 

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Chocolate-Chestnut Mousse Cake

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So this may go down in lark & linen history as the most belated tasty treats post I’ve ever pulled together, but this recipe for a chocolate-chestnut mousse cake is so damn good that I thought it was well worth a share. I actually whipped it up for my family for Christmas eve and after licking the bowl clean (as in getting my face RIGHT in there), I was secretly hoping there would be leftovers for me to go to town on. There wasn’t. Not even a crumb. Insert sad face. The best part? There is zero cooking involved. None. Nada. Zilch. Hailing straight from Martha Stewarts new book (all about cakes!) I have happily added this bad boy to my official keep pile. 

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Peppermint Stuffed Cookies from Waiting on Martha

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Improving upon the classic goodness of a chocolate chip cookie is impossible.  Or rather I thought it was impossible.  Then I decided to stuff a Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe Joe in the middle creating a sandwich of gooey, chocolatey, peppermint chip goodness.  First let me tell you if you aren’t familiar with a Joe Joe you are missing out.  These bad boys only come out during the holiday season and they always sell out.  So my suggestion, shop early and stock pile.  Second plan to at least double your batch as these are guaranteed to impress.  Oh, and if you’re not a fan of the whole peppermint and chocolate combo ( well you’re crazy…just kidding…kind of) feel free to substitute the Joe Joe for your classic Oreo.  Happy Monday Loves!  Truly, MKR of Waiting On Martha

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Roasted Acorn Squash with Mascarpone from Freutcake

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The New Year always means a fresh start in my house. I try to tidy up rooms that were left in a haphazard holiday mess, re-acquaint myself with the idea of going to the gym, and of course sub the plates of Christmas cookies for healthier options. But before you groan at the thought of a diet post, may I remind you that this recipe calls for a healthy dose of Mascarpone cheese and is guaranteed to leave you feeling happy, satisfied, and far from deprived. Roasted Acorn Squash with Mascarpone & Balsamic is my kind of “healthy” meal. The heartiness of roasted squash becomes light and almost decadent when nestled on top of a bed of sweet, creamy mascarpone and drizzled in a balsamic reduction.  Of course I do top it with a generous portion of baby greens salad…just to show that I’m putting in a healthy effort. Enjoy! - Leah

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Roasted Acorn Squash with Mascarpone and Balsamic
Serves 2
Get back on track with this healthy dish!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
187 calories
14 g
34 g
12 g
8 g
6 g
236 g
351 g
6 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
236g
Servings
2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 187
Calories from Fat 104
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
18%
Saturated Fat 6g
31%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 34mg
11%
Sodium 351mg
15%
Total Carbohydrates 14g
5%
Dietary Fiber 4g
16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 8g
Vitamin A
327%
Vitamin C
80%
Calcium
23%
Iron
28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1-Acorn Squash
  2. 4 Tbs Mascarpone Cheese
  3. Grated Parmesan
  4. 2- Tbs Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)- toasted
  5. ¼ cup Balsamic Vinegar, plus more for the salad
  6. Baby Greens
  7. Olive Oil
  8. Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. 2. Wash acorn squash and slice in half, scooping out and discarding seeds. (Leaving the skin on)
  3. 3. Using a serrated knife, carefully slice squash into 1” thick slices and arrange on baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 30-40 minutes or until fork tender.
  4. 4. While the squash cooks reduce ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. 5. In a small bowl toss baby greens with olive oil and a drizzle of balsamic.
  6. 6. To Plate: Spread 2-Tbs Mascarpone cheese on each serving plate. Top with a slice of squash, a drizzle of the balsamic reduction, baby greens salad, toasted pepitas and shredded Parmesan. Serve warm.
beta
calories
187
fat
12g
protein
8g
carbs
14g
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lark&linen http://www.jacquelynclark.com/
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Olive Oil Cake from A Thousand Threads

Hi there! I’m Laicie from the blog A Thousand Threads, and I’m so so honored and excited to be guest posting while Jacquelyn is away. It’s hard to pick just one thing this talented lady does that I love, but since I’m a sucker for anything edible, I have to admit that one of my favorite things on Lark & Linen is the amazing recipes (I’ve made this crazy-simple pasta recipe about a thousand times…). So today I thought I’d share something tasty from my own kitchen. I don’t know if I can uphold the high standard Jacquelyn has set, but I’ll certainly try!

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So it’s the New Year and I know I’m supposed to focus on being healthy — you’re all eating salads, right? No? Okay good – because there’s all of this amazing winter citrus out there right now that’s just begging to be candied. And this particular recipe puts it right up front.

This olive-oil cake is just the kind of dessert recipe I love. Sweet, but not over the top – which I think has to be said because when I saw the instruction to pour all of that sugary syrup over the top my teeth started to hurt. But then I took a bite — and I promise you, the cardamom and citrus balance out the honey and sugar to make this one of the tastiest winter cakes I’ve ever had. And I haven’t even gotten to the heavenly smell. You’re going to find out for yourself on that one – there’s just no way to describe.

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Pecan Shortbread from Fleur de Sel

Hi lovelies! Lindsay here from Fleur de Sel. So happy and honored that the lovely Jacquelyn asked me to guest post for her today while she is off in South Africa. After being absolutely blown away by Jacquelyn’s drop dead gorgeous photographs of the Amalfi Coast, I seriously cannot wait to see the photographic evidence of her South African adventures. So excited to live vicariously through her sure-to-be-stunning images!

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In the meantime, with the dipping temperatures outside here in San Francisco, I crave nothing more than to stay in, decked out in comfy sweatpants and slippers, baking the day away. When I first started dating my fiance, who is English, I made him shortbread cookies for our first Christmas together, thinking they were appropriately British. I have since carried on this tradition each winter, whipping up batches of shortbread cookies. This year, I added toasted pecans to the dough, painted on a thin swoosh of melted dark chocolate and sprinkled a bit of fleur de sel on top for a contrast of flavor and texture. Perfect with a cup of hot tea on a cold winter afternoon.

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The Blood Orange Sparkler from Yours Truly

Happy New Years Eve Lark & Linen readers! Melissa here from Yours Truly and I couldn’t be more excited that Jacquelyn asked me to do a guest post on this most sparkly, festive day while she’s on her South African getaway. I’m just a tad bit jealous but I know she’ll be coming back with plenty of gorgeous photos for us all to drool over. In the meantime, I’m totally stalking her instagram!

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So, the countdown to confetti and kisses is mere hours away (eee! I love NYE) If you’re hosting a fab little get-together, I’ve got the perfect last minute cocktail to kick your hostess status up a notch. Meet the Blood Orange Sparkler. A little bit of citrus and a whole lotta class, it’s SUPER easy to whip up, leaving you plenty of time for mingling. You really can’t go wrong with bubbly. Wishing you all a happy 2014! Cheers!

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Chewy Mandarin Cookies from Cocorrina

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Hello you wonderful Lark & Linen readers! This Corina from Cocorrina, and today I’m filling in for Jacquelyn while she’s having a wonderful time on her vacation.

I hardly ever share recipes because, well, I’m not good at them most of the time! But I do have one that’s super easy and even I have mastered it. When I look for recipes I always pick the ones with minimal prep time, and easy ingredients (the kinds I won’t need to search or head out to find.

About a year ago, I discovered these chewy lemon cookies. Let’s talk a second about how awesome they are! So simple to make 8 minutes to bake, and they just taste divine! Once I found this one, I really stuck to it and have been making them quite regularly, but always with a twist. I’ve tried them with lemon, orange, blood orange, and my favourite, mandarin!

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It’s very easy to follow the instructions and trust me, you’ll be done before you know it, a perfect recipe for when having unexpected guests for coffee.

ingredients

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a small bowl, blend together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. In a larger bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until it’s very fluffy. Beat in the egg, vanilla, zest and juice.

4. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

5. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into balls and roll in sugar. Place them on the cookie sheet, with a distance of 2 inches apart.

6. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

And that’s all! Super easy and super yummy. Enjoy!

 

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Ginger Pear Cocktail

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While doing some research for a festive holiday drink, I noticed a few things: most of them contain champagne, or some form of cinnamon or spice. Wanting to nod to the holidays, while straying from the expected, I took this recipe for a spin and knew upon first sip that I had stumbled upon a real gem.  As it turns out, rosemary, pear + ginger is a match made in festive heaven!

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Almond Sugar Cookies

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I’ve been looking forward to today for a number of reasons. First of all, my dear Victoria of Vmac and Cheese has organized a massive virtual Christmas cookie swap (and an abundance of Christmas cookies is NEVER a bad thing). And second, these cookies are RIDICULOUS. I seriously should have them under lock and key for I constantly fear I’ll devour them all in one sitting. A friend of mine gifted me the new Kinfolk cookbook as an early Christmas gift so I grabbed the recipe from there. If you do anything this weekend, making these bad boys should be it. 

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And make sure you check out the rest of the cookies in our blogger cookie swap! They are as follows: 
Vmac and Cheese: Gingerbread Sandwiches
Lemon Stripes: Peppermint Bark Cookies
The Average Girl’s Guide: Molasses Crinkle Cookies
Savor Home: Red Velvet Cookies
Clara Persis: Brown Butter Snickerdoodles
House of Earnest: Chocolate Dipped Lemon Shortbread
Cupcakes for Breakfast: Dark Chocolate Orange Almond Biscotti
Julip Made: Chocolate Espresso Cookies w. Spiced Whipped Mascarpone
Fleur de Sel: Brown Butter Thumbprint Cookies

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Homemade Turkey Soup

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While it’s not exactly Thanksgiving up here in Canada, I thought it’d be nice to at least support my southern counterparts. I mean, it’s the least I can do. And though you won’t find mashed potatoes and gravy gracing my tabletop this evening (sigh), I’ve whipped up the next best thing. This turkey soup is comfort food embodied. It’s so wholesome, so delicious, and it simply tastes like home. Bonus: it works perfectly with those leftovers you may have on hand in the coming days (unless you want to mail me some. That’s cool too.) Happy Thanksgiving my dears!

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Glazed Donut Muffins

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Will you guys judge me if I tell you I don’t like donuts? Before you do, you should know that my best friend doesn’t like cheesecake (I know. I questioned our friendship for a while there). But really, they’re just not my thing. Transfer that cinnamon-y, nutmeg-y batter into a muffin tin, on the other hand, and you’ve got me sold! And though these guys could technically be considered cupcakes, what with all the sugar involved, if you call them muffins you get to eat them for breakfast (win). These babies are all sorts of delicious and I call this one a slam dunk. 

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Butternut Squash & Pear Soup with Rosemary Croutons

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Okay so the soup I mentioned last week? This is it. And you need to stop what you’re doing and make it right now (it’s an order). My cousin and I found the recipe and whipped it up on a whim last Saturday. At the time I had no intentions on sharing it with you guys; that is, until we took our first bite. I immediately scooped some into a container so that I could style it and photograph it the next day for you guys (I know. The life of a blogger. I judge me too). But seriously – it’s SO damn good. And I’m willing to be weird for the sake of a really awesome post.

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Frozen Chocolate Cheesecake

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This cake right here? It’s my kryptonite. Ask anyone. You cannot leave me alone in a room with it as I will devour the ENTIRE thing. This is the cake that my mom whips up for me every year for my birthday, without fail. If I’m being totally honest, she actually makes two. One to share with whomever is at the table when the candles are blown out, and one for me to take home and hoard for myself (I’m not even the slightest bit ashamed, and I very rarely share the second). Up until recently, I never asked her for the recipe for two reasons. Number one: for the sake of my health, I should not be in possession of this knowledge. And number two, saving it for my birthday, and my birthday only, ensures that it remains special. That said, I’ve wanted to share it with you guys for a while now because it’s that. damn. good. And now that I know how easy it is, things are about to get interesting.

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Homemade Snickers Bars

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Seeing as it’s Halloween at all, I felt it only made sense to re-create one of my very favourite chocolate bars. Snickers is one of those bad boys that totally flies under the radar, and definitely doesn’t get enough credit. The real deal is good, don’t get me wrong, but when you have the option to make it at home? Well, all bets go out the window. Seriously. Ooey, gooey, delicious perfection can be yours in moments, and tastes (dare I say) better than the real thing. These things are ridiculous, and from here on out will be the only way to successfully celebrate Halloween.

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Simple Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables

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For the first time in my life I was asked to bring something to contribute to our Thanksgiving dinner. I suppose that makes me a real adult, eh? I was wondering when I’d start feeling legit and it turns out participating in Thanksgiving is it! I whipped up these simple roasted root veggies and they were so good, and so easy that I thought it was worth a share. They will undoubtedly become a staple in our home during the cooler months! 

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A Maple Spiced Cocktail

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I’m heading up to the cottage this weekend to celebrate my birthday with a few girlfriends (I’m really good at dragging out this birthday thing, let me tell you!) And, if you ask me, no weekend with the girls is complete without a signature cocktail. After testing out a few versions, I’ve definitely found a winner. This maple spice concoction is a little sweet, a little sour, and dangerously tasty.

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Heart Shaped Apple Hand Pies

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I’m fairly certain that I don’t need to tell you that apple pie should be a staple come October. It’s simply falls into the “good life decision” category. And when it comes in the form of heart-shaped, personal sized pieces? Welp, you can pretty much assume that a good day is to be had. While these heart shaped apple hand pies are a little more work than your average fall staple, their adorable single-servedness (totally a word) is WELL worth the effort. Plus, much like the maple cinnamon almonds I posted last week, your entire house will just smell like love while they’re in the works. Perfection.

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Maple Cinnamon Almonds

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Funny story: this recipe for maple cinnamon almonds is probably the easiest recipe I’ve ever made, yet I still managed to mess it up more times than I care to admit. Note to self: focus is key when baking! I didn’t have quite enough almonds, I forgot to add the salt to the mix (so I sprinkled some on halfway through the baking process), and accidentally added the maple syrup to the sugar mixture instead of the egg. How awkward. The best part? Despite all my could-have-been-major hiccups and the fact that they aren’t as pretty as I would have liked, they still tasted beyond. Like everyone who goes in for a sample looses complete control over themselves and forces me to take them away type of beyond. All this to say that you need to make them. They’re clearly foolproof! And your whole home will smell like warm cinnamon, which should be a law come autumn. 

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Nutella & Salted Caramel Stuffed Double Chocolate Cookies

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I’ve been impatiently holding on to this recipe for what feels like months now, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to bust it out. You see, the problem with double chocolate chip cookies stuffed with nutella and salted caramel is that if I made double chocolate chip cookies stuffed with nutella and salted caramel I would eat them. All. So I sat on it until the perfect moment. And that moment? It happened last weekend. With an impending bridal shower on the horizon, we were each asked to bring a dozen cookies. So, knowing full well that I would (reluctantly) have to share, I whipped em’ up. And I must admit, it was one of my better life decisions to date. I file these bad boys under: Must. Make. and Holy. Crap.

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A Guide to Fancy Pie Crusts

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I’m sure you’ve heard it from a million and one other bloggers already this week (we’re so informative, aren’t we?), but fall is officially here! And, I’m happy to admit, I’m finally ready to welcome it with open arms. It turns out that all it took was a few cool days and lots of warm tea to get me in the spirit.

I’ve been holding on to this amazing shoot we did last year with SMP Living for what feels like forever. I’ve been sitting on pins and needles waiting for the perfect time to share it and I’m thinking that today’s the day. Because, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no better way to ring in my favourite season than with a day filled with baking. And who needs traditional pie crusts when you can get creative? Not me. Not when we have THESE guys to chose from! I am now, more than ever, ready to get my bake on. 

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Herringbone Plaid Ruffled
For details & step by step guide, click here. 

line Design & Styling: SMP Living | Photography: White Loft Studio

 

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Homemade Dill Pickles, Three Ways

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 There’s no question that my tastebuds have changed over the course of the last couple of years. Not long ago the idea of pickles completely repulsed me, and now I can’t seem to get enough! So when Justin came home recently with a big brown bag filled to the brim with cucumbers from his uncles garden, I knew exactly what we needed to do with them. Inspired by my dear Leah of Freutcake, I transformed a hefty number of them into three types of dill pickles (classic, garlic and super duper spicy!) and our fridge has been happy ever since.

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Bacon Cashew Caramel Corn

Caramel-Corn

I know. I’m a walking contradiction. One minute I’m preaching about the benefits of healthy smoothies and the next I’m making popcorn as fattening as physically possible. But as far as I’m concerned life is all about moderation. So if you’re ingesting healthy things on the regular, it’s totally cool to add caramel, bacon and cashews to your popcorn once in a while. In fact, it’s encouraged!

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Rustic Peach Galette

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As far as I’m concerned, galettes are totally underrated. They’re basically impossible to mess up, they’re pretty to look at, and they taste unbelievable. It’s kind of like a faux-pie, really! So when the last of this years peach bounty became too much for me to ingest, I decided to throw em’ into one of these bad boys. I used Chef Chloe‘s recipe and couldn’t have been more pleased with the results (the fact that it lasted barely one evening is a testament to the deliciousness that ensued).

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Healthy Blueberry Banana Muffins

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One of my favourite people in the entire world recently moved into the building down the street from me and I couldn’t be more excited. In celebration, I obviously made her some welcome muffins (because that’s just what twenty somethings in this day and age do… right? …) It just so happened that I had recently been introduced to this fabulous Martha Stewart recipe and had been itching to give them a test run. I whipped em’ up pretty quickly over my lunch break not long ago and was seriously surprised at how delicious they were. Truthfully, it almost pained me to give them away (do I get bonus friend points for that?) I’d gladly add these babies to my ever growing list of recipes to hoard, and kind of love that you truly can’t tell that they’re a healthy alternative to your standard baked good.

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My Grandmother’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Grandma's chocolate chip cookie recipe

It’s no secret around here that I like to bake. I can thank my grandma for not only passing down her baking gene, but also physically teaching me her ways as early as two years of age. I have vivid recollections of us baking together at the cottage, me standing on a chair in order to really dig into that batter. The one thing we always made together each year, without fail, was chocolate chip cookies. Her recipe is no secret (in fact, it’s written on the side of the Hershey’s chipits bag if I’m being honest!) but no matter how many different versions I try hers is the one that I go back to time and time again. So when I headed up to visit her last week, it only made sense to whip up a batch for her to enjoy. And when I handed them to her, she proudly proclaimed that she should have just married a cookie. And I completely and wholeheartedly agree (especially if it’s this particular cookie).

homemade chocolate chip cookies Best ever chocolate chip cookiesGrandma's recipe for chocolate chip cookies

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Easy Homemade Drumsticks

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I’m not sure that these homemade drumsticks legally fall under the recipe category as there’s little to no real cooking or baking involved. That being said, I am sharing how to make Magic Shell from scratch (thanks Joanna!) so that’s got to count for something, right? Plus, it’s a well known fact that homemade anything tastes infinitely better than the store bought variety, even if said store bought variety is your childhood embodied. And now that I know how ridiculously easy it is to make these bad boys, I solemnly swear to never go back to the original version again (unless I’m out and desperate – then all bets are off, for the sake of drumstick emergencies only of course).
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Spaghetti with Roasted Tomatoes

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Truth: I can count on one hand the amount of legitimate meals I’ve cooked in the last month. When the summer season rears it’s beautiful, beautiful face, the last place I want to be is in front of a hot stove. I’ve since resorted to quick fixes: a poached egg on toast with greens, summer salads, and maybe, just maybe I had a bowl of chocolate frozen yogurt on Monday evening and decided to call it a night (what?!) All that aside, sometimes my lazy-”cooking” pays off. I recently threw together this ridiculously easy summer-time pasta that can be made in minutes, and tastes just like a real, live dinner. Plus, those ripe tomatoes are just so darn good these days that I’ll think of any excuse to eat them in abundance.  Now, I won’t lie, this dish isn’t revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s really simple and really delicious so I thought I’d share it all the same.

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Double Berry Banana Smoothie

double-berry_480Though I absolutely adore working from the comfort of my own home, there are certain things that have become slightly problematic. With nobody here to pass judgement, I’ve acquired a few bad eating habits that I’m finding difficult to break. Things like this cookie-recipe-for-one (the number of times it has been used will not be discussed) or boxed mac and cheese for lunch. Feeling lothargic and sluggish lately as a result, I knew that things needed to change.

I’ve since resorted to not keeping chocolate chips or mac and cheese in the house, and instead stocking the fridge full of fruits and veggies. And whenever a sweet craving hits, I bust out the blender and whip up a smoothie. It’s not EXACTLY a fresh chocolate chip cookie, but I’m definitely noticing a huge difference when it comes to both my waistline and my state of mind.

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Roasted Strawberry & Toasted Coconut Popsicles

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After three years of humming and hawing, I finally decided to pull the trigger and get myself a popsicle mold. I know. Big things are happening here folks. Though the thought of spending $20 plus on a bunch of plastic and metal was hard to wrap my mind around, I figured, for the love of popsicles, it was high time to suck it up. And so I did. And I think you should too. Because there really isn’t much that beats a homemade popsicle in the heat of the summer (no, not even you rocket pop!)

I started out with Joy the Baker’s recipe for roasted strawberry and toasted coconut popsicles, and while they were good, I feel like they could be a little bit better (Joy, I will still love you forever and ever). As far as I’m concerned, the roasted strawberry portion stole the show. The coconut? Well it was delicious in its own right, but it palled in comparisson to the frozen roasted strawberries. SO, if you’re still reading my blabbering on over here, I insist that you make these, but double up on the strawberry portion*. And then thank me later.

*My recipe, below, reflects this alteration.

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Raspberry Basil Champagne Cocktail

DSC_0030Okay so I’m being a total cheater today because this cocktail was already featured on Style Me Pretty Living. But I just really, really wanted it up on my own pages. Because, honestly, it’s my favourite recipe to date. I made it mid-morning some time ago specifically to shoot it, and had to literally stop myself from guzzling the whole thing before noon (willpower, commence!) The combination of muddled basil, raspberry, limoncello and champagne is just beyond – it can’t be beat.

PS – Happy Independence Day to my American friends <3 !

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Strawberry Shortcake Cake

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We are officially in the thick of strawberry season which is pretty much my favourite season of all time. As you probably know, an in-season strawberry is unlike no other. If given the option, I’d happily choose a bowl full of them over chocolate any day (and if you know me at all, this is a very bold statement. I don’t mess around when it comes to chocolate). So when this small window of sweet deliciousness is open, you better believe I capitalize to the full extent. I pretty much put them on anything and everything, but my favourite treat to date? This strawberry shortcake cake. It’s sweet, it’s light as air, and it’s happy to let those beautiful strawberries be the center of the show. Plus? Look how pretty!

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Grab the recipe right here:
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A Fiesta in Recipe Format!

tequila-chickenWe recently posted this recipe for tequila chicken with tomato-corn relish on Style Me Pretty Living and it has been on my mind, more or less, ever since. Not only is it incredibly flavourful, it’s basically foolproof and sure to impress even the pickiest of dinner guests. We’ve now made it a handful of times in the last month and I’m thinking it’s here to stay. Paired with mexican rice and an ice cold fresh lime margarita and I do believe we’ve got ourselves our very own party. Enjoy!

rice margaritasall images original to lark & linen
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Chocolate Chunk Blondies

lark-linen_chocolate-chunk-blondies_texI wasn’t sure there was anything that could rival a brownie, but as it turns out their lighter toned counterparts are all kids of awesome. I feel as if all you really need to know about this recipe is that I whipped them up to bring up to the cottage a few weekends ago and there were only a few survivors upon our arrival. In our defense, there were 6 of us in the car at the time, and the drive WAS practically three hours long. And in all honesty, I’m sincerely proud of us for making them last as long as they did! They’re truly just. that. good.

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Recipe found via Savor Home | Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa
All images original to lark & linen

 

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Guest Post: Charred Tomato Pasta Salad from Girlcrush

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Hey guys! Sarah here from Girlcrush. While Jacquelyn is having the time of her life on the Amalfi Coast (I’m not jealous at all, are you?) I thought I would share a little taste of Italy for all of us stuck at home!

I found this recipe in the June issue of House and Home, one of my favourite places for recipes, and immediately needed to try it. Enjoyed warm or cold (I prefer the pasta warm although it is meant to be served cold) this dish is a must try.

Need
For the Dressing:
Olive oil for brushing
1 lb plum tomatoes halved lengthwise
1 clove of garlic, minced (I used 2)
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

For the Salad (Pasta):
1 lb dried pasta, such as penne or farfalle
5 oz of washed baby kale
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella
1/4 lb thinly sliced prosciutto

 

DO
1. Line a heavy-dute baking tray with foil.

2. Brush both the foil and tomatoes with olive oil.

3. Place tomatoes on tray skin-side-up.

4. Broil for 6″ from heat until lightly charred, approximately 5 minutes on skin side and 10 on cut side. Remove and cool.

5. Place tomatoes, garlic and vinegars in a blender. Puree. Slowly add oil. Transfer to a bowl.

6. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drains and rinse with cold water until cool, or enjoy the pasta warm.

7. Place pasta, kale and chopped basil in a large mixing bowl.

8. Add some dressing and season. Mix.

9. Arrange on a large serving platter or plates.

10. Tear mozzarella into chunks and distribute on top.

11. Tear prosciutto into ribbons and distribute on top.

12. Drizzle with oil and enjoy!
lineYou can rest assured that this will be the FIRST thing I make upon my return.  A big thank you to Sarah, recipe maker extra-ordinaire.

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Tasty Treats: Lavender Lemonade

lavender-lemonade-1So this is kind of awkward, but I actually picked up these pretty purple glasses over two years ago thinking “these will be PERFECT for a lavender lemonade post”. And though they’ve been well used and loved ever since, there they sat unfulfilling their rightful duty. Until now! Because I finally tried this recipe that I’ve been eyeing forever, and I’m so glad that I did. It basically tastes like summer in liquid format, and that excites me to no end.

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Tasty Treats: Blueberry Blintzes

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I’m hosting a Mother’s day brunch this Sunday and while planning my menu I stumbled upon Martha Stewarts recipe for blueberry blintzes. Being impatient by nature, I felt as if it was my duty to give them a test run. You know, just  to be safe. So I made my girlfriend come over a few days ago to be the official tester. And can I just tell you that they were revolutionary? Seriously. Sweet, but not too sweet. Filling, but not roll me home filling. And, as an added bonus, they just looked so gosh darn pretty atop my robins egg blue dishes (this is important you know). From here on out, Sunday brunch will never be the same. (Tip: pair them with a mimosa. You’ll thank me later.)

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Tasty Treats: Flourless Fudge Cookies

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I recently stumbled upon this recipe for flourless fudge cookies and I simply couldn’t resist sharing the goods. With just a handful of ingredients, it’s virtually foolproof (and can be made in a quick minute – which is relatively dangerous if you’ve met sweet tooth and I at any point during our existence). The results are ridiculously chocolate-y with a satisfying balance between crispy, chewy and soft (aka magic). Pair it with a tall glass of cold milk and you’ve got yourself a party.

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Tasty Treats: Lemon Thyme Loaf

lemon thyme loafI’ve mentioned my best friend Jessica a few times on these pages before (in fact, my trip to Ireland was specifically for a Jess visit). But I’m not sure that I’ve ever shared that she’s an amazing chef. Because she is. The best even (and though I may be biased, it is 100%, unequivocally, undeniably true). So when she sends me links recipes, I just KNOW they’re going to be good. Like this one. This Nigel Slater lemon and thyme loaf might very well blow your mind. It’s moist, it’s spongey, it’s pretty much foolproof and it may just be the best thing you’ve ever eaten. Ever! Bonus: there’s lemon in it which totally makes it acceptable to eat for breakfast (at least that’s how I’ve justified it).

lemon-thyme-loaf_zestlemon-thyme-loaf_bakedlemon thyme loaf_finishedlemon-thyme-loaf_sliceTea Towel c/o Celina Mancurti

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Tasty Treats: Nutella Banana Swirl Muffins

nutella-banana-swirlHonestly, I’m pretty confident that this post need not any introduction. Nutella banana swirl muffins pretty much sums it up. All you need is this recipe, and about half an hour of spare time. I kid you not, these rank amongst my top five favourite things I’ve ever made. And if I have to be honest, I ate three. THREE. Right out of the oven. I couldn’t stop! The nutella becomes kind of crispy crunchy in the most satisfying way and… I’ve said too much. Go. Bake. Now! You won’t regret it.

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Coconut Curried Chickpeas

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The thought of roasting a chicken of barbecuing a steak still intimidates me to no end. But Thai food? That I can tackle. I know – logic at its best. This particular recipe for coconut curried chickpeas is one I stumbled upon years ago and have been making consistently ever since. It’s one of those guys I’ve been meaning to share with you forever. Well shame on me for taking so long! It’s a good one, I assure you. We make it bi-weekly around here and usually throw together enough to last us a few days (we’re lazy like that ;). It’s quite healthy, ridiculously flavourful and so easy you could essentially do it with your eyes closed.

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Cranberry Breakfast Cookies

cranberry-breakfast-cookiesFirst of all, a big, warm thank you to everyone who left comments, tweets & emails regarding yesterdays post. You guys warmed my heart and I so loved learning more about you. The best readers in the world? Quite possibly. You’ve inspired me to be real more often.

And now on to the goods: these breakfast cookies. Because they are DAMN good. And healthy! I really didn’t even know that the combination was possible. I originally found the recipe here, but couldn’t track down dried blueberries (my local bulkbarn shut down and I’ve since wandered around like a lost puppy when looking for unconventional ingredients). I have to say though that the cranberries were a nice touch though. I recommend it. I do! Not only are these guys flavourful, but they’re chock full of nutrients and definitely keep me full until lunch. Plus, they make for the perfect thing to grab when I stumble into the kitchen with my eyes half closed first thing in the morning (morning person, I am not).  Check out my take on it below.
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tasty treats: greek baked eggs

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I’ve had this recipe for Greek baked eggs pinned for longer than I can even remember. Every once in a while, it’d cross my mind and I would make a mental note to try it already. When my friend and I arranged a study/brunch date last weekend, I figured it was a great excuse to bust this guy out. My only regret is that it took so long to finally get to it. It was ridiculously easy, chock full of flavour, and provided the perfect fuel for us to get our study on. Let me just finish by saying that I know what YOU should be doing this weekend.

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tasty treats: gin & tarragon cocktail

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When Rachel linked to this recipe* last week, my interest was immediately piqued. Having only recently discovered my adoration for gin cocktails, I’ve been on the hunt to add to my teeny, tiny arsenal of concoctions. The results were beyond what I could have ever imagined. If you only ever make one of “my”** recipes, please, please let this one be it. It received a virtually unheard of four thumbs up in our household and it’s more than safe to say that they’ll be on heavy rotation in the coming months. Do I smell a party anyone?!

*The sweet tooth within me rimmed our glasses with brown sugar. One of the better decisions I’ve made in my lifetime.

**I use the term “my” loosely. Clearly I’m simply a recipe thief!

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tasty treats: heart-shaped red velvet pancakes

 

red velvet pancakes
I feel as if it’s no coincidence that Pancake Tuesday and Valentine’s day happened to fall within the same week. And if that’s not reason to celebrate with some delectable goods, well I simply don’t know what is. This recipe for heart-shaped red-velvet pancakes just so happens to kill two celebratory birds with one stone. They’re light, they’re fluffy and gosh-darnit they’re adorable! Happy Valentine’s Day my loves! Make yourself some festive pancakes why dontcha.

Ps: I picked up my teeny heart-shaped frying pan at the dollar store. Best $2 I think I’ve ever spent. Also? I didn’t use the sweet cream cheese butter mentioned in the recipe. I probably should have because doesn’t that sound amazing? But I had a hankering for some real maple syrup. Also, also? There is NOTHING wrong with making yourself some heart-shaped red velvet pancakes. I did it. And I’ll do it again.

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tasty treats: spinach, tomato & barley soup

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Though it may seem like all I ingest is food of the sugary variety, I can assure you that it isn’t the case. I fully subscribe to the notion of everything in moderation and do my best to apply it to every day life. The way I see it, you should eat that dang cookie and don’t you dare feel guilty about it, but perhaps just stop at one. So far in this lifetime, this notion has worked well for me.

On a typical day, I try my best to reach for healthier meals. No, you probably won’t see me choking down a spirulina and kale smoothie, but I am conscious about what I put in my body. One of my go-to winter dinners (especially after a long day at work) is soup. It’s one of those meals that consists of a bunch of ingredients thrown into a pot, is typically relatively healthy, and simply requires a little wait time as the stove works its magic. It’s my kind of recipe – that’s for sure. This spinach, tomato & barley soup is a combination of ingredients that Justin and I have “perfected” by grabbing inspiration from a multitude of soup recipes that we’ve tried and loved in the past. It has quickly become one of our very favourites, and we always ensure to have a batch or two frozen for those last-minute meals. (See below for our recipe!)
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tasty treats: chocolate chip cookies, for one

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Though they’re incredibly dangerous, I’m a huge fan of recipes that make just enough goodies for a single (albeit large) serving. When I first stumbled upon the recipe for single serve chocolate cake that I blogged about some time ago, I thought I had hit the jackpot. It had never occurred to me that a similar version could be found for chocolate chip cookies. Though this recipe is INSANELY good (like, maybe the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever made type good), I almost wish I didn’t know it existed. Since its discovery two weeks ago, I feel like I have to confess that I’ve made it three separate times. And had I not of recently run out of chocolate chips, I’m sure that number would have continued to climb. So here you have it: a dangerously delicious recipe that makes chocolate chip cookies for one (or two, if you’re feeling share-y. Though if you don’t feel like sharing I totally won’t tell).

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tasty treats: blueberry breakfast fritters

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Though I don’t eat breakfast on a daily basis (I know, I know, it’s terrible), I still stand by the fact that it’s my very favourite meal. Not only does it involve eggs, bacon and mimosas (never forget mimosas!), but it’s also considered perfectly acceptable to eat something sugary before 9 am. And let’s face it, any excuse to indulge in delicious treats will always be aces in my book. Last week I woke up with a hankering for something sweet. I began perusing through some of my favourite food blogs and stumbled upon this recipe for blueberry breakfast fritters. As luck would have it, I just so happened to have all of the ingredients on hand. I quickly whipped them up and was extremely satisfied with the results. The only issue? I may have overdone it just a touch when it came to devouring the bounty. I officially file this one under crazy delicious, but reserved for special occasions (and don’t leave me alone with them. Please.)

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tasty treats: pear & cinnamon frangipane tartlets

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Late last week, my family came over in celebration on my moms birthday. It was my very first time planning a legitimate, grown-up, sit down dinner party for a decent number of people and I’m happy to say that it went off without a hitch. Though the main course is naturally important, if you ask me, dessert is always the star of the show, and with that the pressure was on. I wanted to present something classic and sophisticated, preferably individually portioned for quick and easy delivery and (even quicker clean up). In came this recipe for pear and cinnamon frangipane tartlets. The results were as delicious as they are beautiful, and it’s safe to say that my mom was one very happy lady.

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tasty treats: wine soaked cherry eton mess

DSC_0075For the past few years, I’ve been put in charge of our Christmas Eve dessert. It’s a task that I’ve completely and wholeheartedly embraced in the past, and this year was no exception. While brainstorming ideas that I felt would please the masses, I came across this recipe for wine-soaked cherry eton mess. Intrigued by the meringue snowflake topper and individually portioned jars, I felt like it’d be a fun addition to our Christmas Eve meal. It turns out I was right – an instant hit ensued! Though it was slightly more labour intensive than your typical treat, I would still gladly recommend it for any and all future events you may come across.

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tasty treats: cardamom sugar cookies

DSC_0154While browsing the interwebs for Christmas baking inspiration, I somehow stumbled upon on a few recipes for cardamom sugar cookies. Though I typically abide by the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” rule of thumb (in other words: classic sugar cookies remain classic for a reason), my gut told me to take the plunge and give it a try (am I living on the edge or what?) I ended up using this recipe and the results were absolutely glorious (glorious!) The hint of spice further elevated the otherwise simple treat and, dare I say it, I truly believe that they’re even more seasonally appropriate than the classic variety. Forget tradition, I’m totally sold.

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PS: Today’s the last day to enter the Illume giveaway (a $100 value!) It closes at midnight tonight!

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tasty treats:

popcorn

Do not let the sound of white chocolate peppermint popcorn deter you, for I’m confident that it might just be the best thing you’ll ingest all season. It legitimately looks and tastes like Christmas in the very best way and would make the perfect little gift to hand out this to loved ones in the coming days.

I originally enjoyed a handful (give or take) of a grocery-store version at a holiday party a few weeks ago and haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since. At the time, I made sure to indulge in more than my fair share (for research purposes of course) knowing full well my plans to recreate the dish at home.

Just before embarking on our Christmas baking last weekend, I whipped up a batch (using the recipe below) for the girls to enjoy throughout the day. I won’t even begin to tell you how quickly it disappeared, which is generally a pretty good sign. As it turns out, I’m  not the only one enamored with this delectable combination. It’s a hit, I promise you that.

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Recipe below

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tasty treats: thai coconut curry soup


Much to my dismay, my winter jacket emerged from the closet for the first time yesterday morning. The weather has quickly turned from somewhat bearable to completely frigid and I’m not quite mentally prepared. While I’m never entirely happy when the winter months begin to show their true colours, there’s something to be said about hunkering down indoors with a piping hot bowl of soup as the wind howls outside. On a particularly frosty day recently, Justin and I took this recipe out for a spin. The flavours are rich and intense in the best possible way and I was surprised at how simple it was to throw together on a whim*. Chef Michael Smith is always a hit in our household and I can pretty much guarantee that this soup will be on heavy rotation in the coming months.

*I realize that lemongrass, coconut milk and lime leaves aren’t staples in most people’s homes, but we are big Thai food fans over here. In fact, I’ve never in my life roasted a chicken, cooked a steak or baked a pork chop – but Thai? Thai I can do with my eyes closed.

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tasty treats: beet ravioli in a brown butter shallot sauce


I’m thrilled to have been a contributor in this months Xquisit Magazine sharing one of my favourite fall recipes: goat cheese stuffed beet ravioli in a brown butter shallot sauce. Definitely not low-cal – but really delicious, and bright pink! It doesn’t get much better than that. You can find the recipe on page 68 here.



ps a sweet interview, an ombre inspired guest post and some notes to myself. It’s been an active month over here!

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tasty treats: pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting


For reasons I’m unable to explain, I had been finding it difficult to say goodbye to summer. By late-August  most years I’m more than ready for cooler temperatures, cosy knits and knee-high boots but not this time. While it feels unseasonably warm mid-day, there’s an undeniable crispness in the air during my morning bike rides to work which was leaving me less than impressed. Instead of fighting the inevitable, I’ve made an effort to embrace what’s to come. On Sunday morning I woke up early with the urge to bake. I promptly put on some music, flung open the windows and got to it, donning flannel pjs and all. Using this recipe, our condo quickly transformed into a fall-like haven: crisp gold cupcake foils, and wafting scents of pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg filled our home, and those familiar autumn urges came rushing in. It was just what I needed to get me into the fall spirit once more. And further proof that cupcakes make all of the things right in the world.

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tasty treats: s’more squares

While this has been a wonderful summer thus far, there’s no denying that it’s been a busy one. With some sort of unavoidable commitment each weekend, it’s been challenging to get away for any length of time. I’ve had to forgo our yearly family camping trip and have only made it up to the cottage once (in which there was a fire ban due to a dry spell in the County). With this in mind, there is one thing that has been omitted from my seasonal to-do list: a campfire. And more importantly: s’mores – a necessary summer staple. Instead of dwelling on my misfortunes (I know, it’s a rough life) I decided to take matters into my own hands. Enter: the s’mores square. Made up of essentially the same ingredients as your standard s’more, these things could almost pass as the real deal. Though I’m unable to trick myself into believing that they were made over an open flame while wearing an oversized sweatshirt, they are undeniably delicious and make for a great alternative to your usual marshmallowy treat.




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tasty treats:


This isn’t the first time I’ve admitted to becoming lazy during the warmer months. With the sun shining bright outside, the last thing I want to do is be cooped up in the kitchen trying to come up with some sort of feast. While scones and muffins are the perfect quick & easy breakfast alternative during fall and winter, come summer I am undeniably on the hunt for cold meals that can be thrown together in a pinch. When I was introduced to this breakfast concoction, I knew it would be the perfect recipe to help get me through the early humid mornings. The mild and creamy cheese paired with the homemade granola and sweet blueberries is surprisingly satisfying, and definitely keeps me full well until lunch.


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tasty treats:

It could be the type-A (ahem, control freak) that lives within me, but I love the idea of making anything and everything from scratch. It’s always nice to know exactly where your food is coming from and I can’t help but enjoy being in charge of the items I fuel my body with on any given day. Up until somewhat recently, I would purchase bags full of sugar-laden granola to add to my morning yogurt, ingesting unnecessary calories and questionable ingredients to boot. Upon discovering how simple (and delicious!) it is to make my own, I vow to never go back to the grocery-store variety, and I’m convinced you’ll make the switch yourself if you give it a shot. The results are crunchy, in that satisfying kind of way, and make for the perfect snack at any time of the day*. Plus, if you’re feeling fancy, you’re free to add and take away ingredients as you see fit (walnuts? chia seeds? dried apricots? the choices are abound!)

*I love unintentional rhymes

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tasty treats: coffee ice cream

Much like my discovery with popcorn and bread, I’ve recently discovered that you don’t require a specific machine (I’m looking at you ice cream maker) to make one of my favourite frozen treats. I’m telling you, minds are being blown in my kitchen on the daily. It turns out, all you need are a few key ingredients, a freezer, and a little bit of patience (waiting is truly the hardest part). I found this particular recipe in one of my newest cookbooks, and I can confidently say that it’s AMAZING. I would even go so far as to announce that the results taste almost entirely like Haagen Daz coffee ice cream. I know. Right?  If you haven’t already run out to the store to buy a litre of heavy cream, I’m not sure we can continue this friendship. That’s how serious I am about this recipe.


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strawberry cheesecake smoothie

Don’t be surprised if you see an abundance of strawberry recipes on the blog over the next few weeks as I can’t seem to stop craving them in all forms. Now that strawberry season is upon us, they have become my go-to snack, and have even replaced dessert on several occasions. Though I’ve been making strawberry smoothies since I can remember, I thought it’d be fun to kick it up a notch with just a touch of cream cheese – transforming my go-to smoothie into a cheesecake one. The additional ingredient gives this recipe just a little bite, and pairs perfectly with your back porch after a long day at work.

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tasty treats: pea pesto crostini

While there’s no denying my love for all things food related, the last thing I want to do come summer is spend my time indoors in front of a hot stove. With backyard barbeques, potlucks and picnics galore, I constantly find myself on the hunt for quick and easy snacks that I can throw together in a pinch. Giada’s pea pesto crostini recipe fulfils all of my requirements and then some and I have no doubt that it will become my go-to recipe during the warm summer months. Not only do they taste absurdly delicious, but they’re pretty to look at (which, to me, is equally as important), barely require any stove action (apart from a light toasting of the baguette) and are a healthier alternative than your standard barbecue fare.

 

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tasty treats: peanut butter cookies


I’ve never had the privilege of visiting Miette Bakery in San Fransisco, but based on their incredibly pretty cookbook and this insanely delicious recipe I feel confident when I say it’s a place I’m sure I’d enjoy. I’ve had their cookbook sitting on my shelves for some time now, but this is the first recipe I’ve attempted and I can promise you that it will not be the last. If you’re looking for a soft and chewy cookie, this recipe is not the one. It produces a confection that somehow bridges the gap between dense and crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth. Imagine shortbread and peanut butter colliding (a nice thought, isn’t it?) It results in a divine classic and is by far my favourite peanut butter cookie recipe to date.


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tasty treats: cheaters gnocchi


I’m constantly on the hunt for recipes I can create entirely from scratch. Theres something about taking a few simple ingredients and having them transform into a hearty meal with your own two hands. The idea of making gnocchi from scratch had always intrigued me, but I’ve always assumed the process to be daunting and time consuming. When I found this recipe for a cheater version, I just had to give it a shot. The combination of ricotta, mint and spinach was one I had never considered, and I was pleasantly surprised by how the flavours enhanced one another. The process was relatively quick (basically: mix, roll and boil) and resulted in light as a cloud little dumplings that taste (almost) like the real thing, without all the hassle.

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tasty treats:


While you’d never guess based on my list of recipes I’ve conjured up on this here blog thus far, I do try my best to reach for healthier alternatives on a regular basis. Admittedly, it’s not always easy when cheese filled pastas and thick juicy steaks are there for the taking, but recipes like this one definitely help. The combination of pearl barley, peas and shrimp with just a hint of lemon will have you convinced from the first bite. Pair this dish with a glass of riesling on your back porch (or condo balcony if you’re anything like us) and you’ve got yourself a superb summer meal.

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tasty treats:

There’s just something about long weekends that beg for long, leisurely breakfasts (that generally begin just after noon). On Monday morning, Justin and I awoke with absolutely zero plans. We putted around the house in our pyjamas before whipping up these bad boys to fill our bellies. While scones are not typically the first thing I gravitate to (something about their dry crumbliness isn’t generally my schtick), this recipe is definitely one I’d use again and again. The results are dense (yet surprisingly moist), quite easy  to prepare, and made for the ultimate breakfast treat.

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tasty treats: rich chocolate cake (for one)

Once in a while, I get the sudden urge for chocolate cake. If you’re anything like me, you know that when this urge strikes, it isn’t easily satisfiable. There isn’t much that can compare to a big slice of warm chocolatey goodness, and don’t try to tell me that a cookie or a chocolate bar will do the trick. I assure you, it will not.

Not wanting to commit to baking an entire cake for these dire moments of need (because if I have an entire cake I will eat an entire cake), I knew that there had to be a solution. It turns out, I wasn’t alone in this thought and have since found a multitude of recipes that result in just enough batter to make one decent portion of ooey gooey deliciousness. A single, personal sized chocolate cake, if you will. After testing out a few versions I came up with what I believe to be the perfect recipe (see below). The combination of ingredients results in a cake that’s not too sweet, not too dense, and just chocolatey enough to fulfil any and all cravings.

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tasty treats: banana crunch muffins

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m constantly on the lookout for quick breakfast solutions that I can grab and eat en route to work (me? morning person? ha!) While this recipe may not be as healthy as the breakfast loaf I’ve been known to make, it does make for a wonderful alternative. The addition of oats and walnuts not only give it a satisfying texture, but they add that little bit of something that keeps you fuller longer than your every day muffin might. Whip em’ up on a Sunday and you’ll have enough to last you (and your roommate/coworker/significant other – yes, muffins DO make friends) all week-long.

Adjustments: the amount of sugar this particular recipe calls for seemed excessive to me turning this so-called muffin into what I would describe as a cupcake. Instead, I used half the amount of white sugar, unsweetened coconut in lieu of the sweetened kind, steel-cut oats instead of granola and added a small handful of chocolate chips (because, obviously). 

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tasty treats: tiramisu cupcakes


What with all of the food blogs, Pinterest boards and links I’ve hoarded throughout my internet travels, I don’t often recreate the same recipe more than once or twice. I love experimenting with food and have found that testing a new recipe is a great way to hone in on my skills all the while keeping things fresh and interesting in the kitchen. Of course, like anyone, I have a number of go-to favourites that I always fall back on (like this, this and this), but when it comes to desserts, there are very few that I’ve deemed worthy of multiple attempts. This recipe for tiramisu cupcakes is one of the few exceptions and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share it with all of you. The process is definitely more time-consuming than many and it must be followed exactly for best results, but I promise you it is entirely worth all of the additional effort. I’ve made them on more than my fair share of occasions and they never fail to please the crowd.

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tasty treats: grilled zucchini ribbon salad

In an effort to add more greens to my diet, I’ve been attempting to create big, tasty salads to pair with dinner. Inspired by this recipe for grilled zucchini ribbon salad,  I made my own variation to suit my preferred taste. I switched out the arugula for baby spinach, the hazelnuts for pine nuts (since I had them on hand), and the parmesan for feta. The combination of the zucchini paired with the toasted pine nuts, and fresh feta made this dish anything but boring and I would gladly add it to my meal rotation. The results are as pretty as they are tasty (which is always a bonus in my eyes), and it definitely looks like a lot of effort was executed when in reality it only took a few minutes.

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tasty treats: mini strawberry éclairs

Is it just me, or do miniature things taste better than those of the full-sized variety? I recently stumbled upon this recipe for mini strawberry éclairs and couldn’t wait for an excuse to whip them up (that excuse being “it’s Sunday and it’s spring!” Totally legit). Apart from the fact that you have to focus on three separate steps (the pastry, the macerated berries and the cream filling), they were shockingly easy to make and I really enjoyed the process. The results were light, fresh, not overly sweet and would make the perfect dessert atop your Easter table (or any table, if I’m being honest). Plus, their miniature size means you can enjoy two or three without feeling guilty – logic at it’s best.

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Sea Salt & Honey Butter Popcorn

Just after moving in to my first place, my hand-me down microwave bit the dust. Being wary of using it to begin with, I wasn’t all that sad to see it go as I realized that most things could be heated up just as quickly in my toaster oven, and I no longer needed to worry about any crazy box manipulating the molecules in my food. (Admittedly, I have no idea how microwaves actually work, but the idea of being able to cook something in under two minutes hurts my brain parts. But I digress.) The one and only thing I missed once my microwave was gingerly placed in the back-alley dumpster was my ability to make popcorn in a flash. I grew up in a household where you either made it in an old-fashioned popcorn machine, or you plunked the bagged stuff in the microwave and waited impatiently for two and a half minutes.

It was only recently (like, really, really recently) that I discovered that you could, in fact, make popcorn with none other than a few tablespoons of hot oil, and a pot with a lid. In the same amount of time no less! Mind. Blown. Since then, popcorn has been made en-mass and I’ve been playing around with different flavour combinations. This sea salt & honey butter version in particular is by far my favourite and I dare you not to devour the entire bowl all by your lonesome (do it, I won’t judge).

ps. it pairs perfectly with a really cheesy movie

 

Sea Salt & Honey Butter Popcorn
Serves 4
A delicious treat that combines both sweet and salty deliciousness.
Write a review
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
83 calories
9 g
15 g
6 g
0 g
4 g
18 g
40 g
9 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
18g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 83
Calories from Fat 51
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
9%
Saturated Fat 4g
18%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 15mg
5%
Sodium 40mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 9g
3%
Dietary Fiber 0g
0%
Sugars 9g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A
4%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
0%
Iron
0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  2. 2 Tbsp. honey
  3. Sea salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat. Add in honey and stir until combined.
  2. In the meantime, pop popcorn.
  3. Pour honey butter overtop and season generously with sea salt.
Adapted from The Faux Martha
beta
calories
83
fat
6g
protein
0g
carbs
9g
more
Adapted from The Faux Martha
lark&linen http://www.jacquelynclark.com/
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tasty treats: pink milkshakes.

source

Since day one, milkshakes have always brought about happy, carefree occasions for me. They remind me of my brother, my dad (who don’t have my sweet tooth, but would never turn down a milkshake) and warm summer days – three things that cannot be topped, really. Up until now, my home-made milkshakes have consisted of a scoop of vanilla ice cream (chocolate chip, when I’m feeling fancy), a splash of milk and a squirt of chocolate sauce. While there’s no need to mess with a classic combination (one my dad has been making for me for years and years now), I think it’s time I try kicking them up a notch just for fun – an adult milkshake, if you will.  When I found this recipe on Joy’s blog not long ago, I knew it would be the perfect contender. The combination of rhubarb purée and a real vanilla bean transforms this childhood dessert into a special treat and I can’t wait to make them on the regular come the warmer months.

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tasty treats: blueberry breakfast loaf.


I have a confession: I am terrible when it comes to eating breakfast. I’m well aware that it’s detrimental to my health to go unfed until noon most days, but mornings are just not my thing. More often than not they consist of multiple snooze button pushes resulting in a mad dash out the door when I eventually force myself up. In an effort to hone in on my health and wellbeing, I’ve been making a conscious effort towards a few lifestyle changes. Knowing very well that the likelihood of finding additional time in the morning to fuel my body is quite slim, I’ve been on the hunt for breakfast alternatives that I can quickly grab on the go (generally munching on en route to work). When a friend introduced me to this blueberry breakfast loaf (recipe below) I knew it would work well with my current habbits. The loaf itself is moist and dense, void of any overpowering flavour and pairs perfectly with a small pad of butter and a heaping spoonful of jam as I run out the door. The fact that the recipe is customizable to suit your tastes is quite appealing as I’m one to tire of the same meal too often. I generally throw the ingredients together on a Sunday evening, and the results are enough to last me throughout the work week ahead.(Recipe Below)
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tasty treats: vegan coconut cake.


Can I be honest? Up until recently, I’ve had negative connotations towards desserts that claim to be vegan (or gluten free). I know it’s narrow-minded but it was difficult to wrap my mind around a cake void of eggs (or cream cheese frosting! Blasphemy!) Having a few good friends who’ve recently switched to veganism for various reasons has opened my eyes to a whole new world.

I originally tried a piece of this cake* in Montreal and had nobody told me it was vegan I would have been none the wiser. The results were moist and flavourful and it took virtually all of my willpower to not devour it entirely in one sitting. In celebration of a friend’s birthday this past weekend, I quickly relished in the opportunity to recreate it. It was a huge hit and, much to my dismay, we were left with one measly piece for me to enjoy the next day. (Click read more at the bottom of the post for the recipe)

*cute story: my friends boyfriend made her this cake as a surprise on Valentines day. The original recipe called for cocoa in both the batter and the glaze. He sweetly mistook cocoa for coconut and made the switch without realizing. The results were so delicious that I decided to officially alter the recipe and it will hereby be referred to as a coconut cake. I love happy accidents.
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tasty treats: winter salads.

.blood orange over radish, micro greens with shallots,
white pine salt and meyer lemon walnut oil dressing.

.rainbow carrot, ginger salad with cilantro and a maple, lime dressing..asian pear and persimmon salad with celery leaf and blood orange dressing..sautéed hen of the woods with fermented black garlic over
chopped parsley, with a bergamot, lemon and olive oil dressing.

source 

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been on a serious sugar binge as of late (examples here, here & here). Each afternoon, I find myself craving something sweet and I almost always give in without a second thought. It’s high time I get my act together, if only for my health. While I generally lead a decently well-balanced lifestyle, I will admit that I do not eat (nearly) as many vegetables as I should. I often find salads to be lack-lustre, and almost always leave the table unsatisfied as a result. When I stumbled upon these winter salad ideas, my interest piqued immediately. I love the inventive flavour combinations, and can’t wait to introduce some greens back into my life (without leaving my taste buds in want).

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tasty treats: banana cream pie.


Justin and I have been together for just under six years and this is the very first time I’ve ever attempted to make his favourite dessert: banana cream pie. While I’m generally pretty confident in the kitchen, the idea of making my own custard filling always seemed intimidating. It turns out, it’s actually quite easy provided you follow the steps closely. The use of a real vanilla bean* in the custard and mashed bananas in the graham cracker base elevate the recipe to the next level. Justin even uttered the words “this is the best thing you’ve ever made”. It’s possible he’s biased considering it was made solely for him, but I nodded my head in agreement. It’s true. I may even reassess my commitment to any and all things chocolate (I can’t believe I just said that).

*I buy my vanilla beans online here. They’re shockingly less expensive than any place I’ve found in Toronto

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tasty treats: whipped cream hearts.


With Valentines day on the approach, there’s no denying that many of us love on the brain. This past weekend I stumbled upon a really cute engagement photoshoot that incorporated whipped cream hearts and hot chocolate (hello you glorious combination).  By spreading said whipped cream out on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, freezing it and using heart-shaped cookie cutters to cut out little frozen hearts, I quickly made my hot chocolate just that much more seasonally appropriate. And in case you’re wondering, whipped cream hearts do make your hot chocolate taste better (as if you needed to ask).

ps. here’s a great hot chocolate recipe
and this is my favourite store-bought variety (pricy, but worthwhile)

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tasty treats: broccoli soup.

Up until this past weekend, the weather in Toronto had resembled anything but winter*. Gradually shifting from spring-like temperatures to just slightly below, it’s been unseasonably warm and, admittedly, quite pleasant. Over the weekend, however, the weather took a serious turn for the worst. Cold, strong winds, piles of snow and frigid temperatures made many of us crave hibernation within the confines of our homes. Any spring fevers I had been previously experiencing were immediately squashed and instead I reverted back to my winter-like habits.

Being forced to brave the cold on both Friday and Saturday for events I was unwilling to miss, I was pleased when I found myself with virtually no plans on Sunday. Admittedly, still feeling chilled to the bone from said outdoor excursions in less-than-ideal conditions, I found myself craving something piping hot to warm me from the inside out. In came this recipe for broccoli soup. A simple, limited list of ingredients is always appealing and I thought I’d give it a shot. The results were just what I had been craving and it became the perfect solution to help conquer the chilly weekend.

*it should be noted that the temperature has since returned to its strange spring-like state. What’s up global warming?

ps. there’s still time to enter the Seakpeeq giveaway!

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tasty treats: no-knead rustic bread.

One of my fondest memories as a child is waking up on weekend mornings to the scent of warm, homemade bread (is there any better smell?) I’ve since longed to resurrect this tradition, but without a breadmaker (or any additional cupboard or counter space to house one) I didn’t think it was possible without a significant amount of effort.


Not long ago, I was pleased to find this video in my inbox* with directions on making your very own rustic bread sans breadmaker and not a single iota of kneading required. With the combination of flour, water, yeast and salt, the video states that a four year old could do it and I completely and wholeheartedly agree. In light of full disclosure (to prove to you that this really is the. easiest. thing. ever), I will confess that I threw this together post-bar, four drinks in, quite late last Friday night not really thinking all that much of it. When Justin and I awoke the next morning, we were pleased to find that the dough had risen and all that was left to do was to bake it and wait (impatiently) before digging in for breakfast.

Bread! That I made! I feel so grown up.

(editors note: it also made for an excellent grilled cheese sandwich the next day)
*thanks uncle Mark!

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tasty treats: french meringues.


Truth be told, my primary reasoning behind testing out this recipe was that I wanted to put my new mixer to good use and didn’t feel like exerting a lot of additional effort. As mentioned, I was left with a ton of free time last weekend (hallelujah) and found myself craving something sweet to munch on while watching more than my fair share of silly movies. These french meringues proved to be just the ticket. With the use of two simple ingredients, the results were sweet and crunchy yet still managed to melt in your mouth the way meringue is intended. They quickly satisfied my mid-afternoon craving without a ton of fuss, or major calories.

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tasty treats: bourbon beef noodle soup.


One of my favourite things to do after a long day at work is curl up on the couch with a big bowl of hearty soup, a chunk of crusty french baguette and a really silly show (The Bachelor, anyone?) This recipe (see below) for bourbon beef noodle soup is rich, hearty and full of flavour all the while remaining ridiculously easy to throw together in an instant. It really does make those cold and dark winter nights all that more bearable.

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tasty treats: raspberry pistachio cake.

On Christmas eve, my mother put me in charge of dessert. When I found this recipe for raspberry pistachio cake (with mascarpone icing) I knew it was the one. Not only was it red, white and green (appropriately festive), the results had just the right amount of sweetness and lightness to make it the perfect addition to an otherwise heavy meal. My family collectively agreed that it was a sophisticated dessert, necessary for those days when you just want to feel a little bit fancier.

Note: I used Chambord, a raspberry liquor, where the recipe called for raspberry extract.

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tasty treats: cinnamon rolls.

On Sunday, I attempted to bake cinnamon rolls from scratch for the very first time. I diligently followed this recipe and, while time consuming (you have to wait it out on multiple occasions), I was surprised at how simple they were to make. By the end, our entire condo smelt like warm cinnamon – which is something that I could totally get used to. I’m convinced that these would make the perfect addition to Christmas brunch.

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tasty treats: swedish dainties.

Every year, without fail, my mom, my little sister and a couple of girlfriends and I get together for a day of Christmas baking. While we generally attempt to make 12 to 15 different varieties of baked goods to hand out as gifts to friends, coworkers and the like, we decided to save our sanity this year and just focus on a handful of really great ones.

This recipe in particular is one that has been in the rotation since the very beginning of this tradition. The fact that it only has four ingredients deems it one of the quickest to put together and the hardest to ruin. The results are always delicious all the while remaining pretty and festive looking. It just isn’t Christmas until I pop one of these guys into my mouth.

What you need:
::1/2 cup butter
::1/4 cup sugar
::1 cup flour
::1 egg (separate yolk and whites)
::crushed pecans
::your favourite jam (I used my grandmothers homemade raspberry jam)

what you’ll do:
::Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
::Cream together the butter and sugar.
::Add flour and egg yolk. Mix well.
::Make small round balls out of the dough (around 1″ each)
::Dip the cookie dough balls in egg white and then roll them in the crushed pecans
::Place them on a parchment lined baking sheet spaced evenly apart, and bake them for 4 minutes.
::Remove the tray from the oven and, using a clean thimble, gently press a small hole in the middle of each cookie, careful not to press all the way through.
::Put the tray back in oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
::Once cool, add a dollop of jam to the centre.

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tasty treats: florentines.

With december in full swing (it is the 2nd, after all)  and Christmas right around the corner, its high time to start that Christmas baking. Feeling festive, I recently whipped up a batch of Florentines which were quickly devoured by my boyfriend (who claims he doesn’t have a sweet tooth). With the combination of brittle almond and bittersweet chocolate, these lacy cookies are as pretty as they are tasty. Head on over to the Style at Home cookie swap where I’ve submitted this recipe for a chance to win a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer (and there’s still time for you to do the same)!

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tasty treats: easy chicken pot pie.

For whatever reason the thought of cooking chicken pot pie was a daunting task. I imagined it to be fussy, time consuming and I had never really considered attempting it myself as a result. When I found this recipe I established that it was potentially something that I could handle. I was shocked at how quick, easy (and delicious!) it was, and it made the the perfect comfort meal after a particularly stressful day.

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tasty treats: butternut squash & orzo.

After spending the last few months ingesting summer salads and light, easy dinners, I’ve found myself craving heartier meals these past few days. On sunday night, Justin and I made butternut squash and orzo using this recipe. It was reminiscent of risotto, with a little less guilt (apart from the bacon bits, which were the most important part). It was the perfect fall meal and it kept us warm and full long into the night.

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tasty treats: vanilla almond cupcakes w. maple cream cheese icing.

 It may be considered strange that I make myself cupcakes for my birthday party, but I feel like ones birthday is not complete without them. Just the other weekend, we had a number of friends over to celebrate said day. While waiting for them to arrive, my girlfriend and I whipped up these vanilla almond cupcakes with maple cream cheese icing using this recipe. It may be a bold statement, but I think it’s safe to say that they’re one of my favourite cupcakes to date (and judging by how quickly they disappeared I don’t think I’m alone here). I love the classic simplicity of a vanilla cupcake, yet the almond and maple flavours gives it a little something unexpected. I have gladly added this recipe to my official keep pile.  

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tasty treats: pumpkin seeds two ways.

Undeniably, one of my favourite parts of Halloween are the pumpkin seeds that just so happen to come along with it (the miniature chocolates don’t hurt either, if I’m being honest). While it’s hard to go wrong with roasted, salted pumpkin seeds, this year I opted to kick them up a notch just for fun by splitting them into two batches: salty and sweet. I used this classic recipe for the first batch, but added a tablespoon of good balsamic to mimic the idea of salt & vinegar chips (yum!). This recipe was used for the second batch which called for sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and the like. While roasted, salted pumpkin seeds remain classic and don’t necessarily require any tampering, both of these alternatives were given immediate thumbs up and were devoured almost instantly.

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tasty treats: chicken noodle soup with lemongrass.


This soup quickly made it into my winter meal rotation upon its discovery last fall (trust me when I say it’s really, really good). I’ve found myself craving it all summer but couldn’t bring myself to consume soup while wearing shorts and a tank top (it just felt wrong). I’m not going to lie though, the minute the weather showed the slightest hint of a cool breeze it was go-time. The flavours are bold (but not overwhelming) and the ingredients are hearty. It leaves you feeling full, satisfied and toasty from the inside out.

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tasty treats: apple cranberry sage bites.

Last week, while perusing the interwebs for interesting appetizers for our housewarming party, I stumbled upon this recipe* for apple, cranberry, sage bites. Seeing as they were quite different from what you typically expect in the form of an appetizer (read: prosciutto wrapped asparagus or pigs in a blanket), I immediately decided that these guys needed to be present. Since apples are at their tastiest at this moment, I had no doubt that the results would be delicious (and somewhat festive!) The combination of the sweeter ingredients set against the tartness of the goat cheese was absolutely divine. I was not the only one who thought so as they were the first to be devoured. As an added bonus, they were pleasing to the eye and looked great atop our table (yes, this makes me happy, don’t judge).

*I used goat cheese spread on the cracker instead of parmesan as the recipe recommends. It was a great combination! Also, I topped them with a hint of sea salt and cracked black pepper. Yum.

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tasty treats: homemade granola bars.

I don’t know about you, but by 3:00 most days I’m in need of a bit of a pick-me-up (and if I’m being honest, it’s usually in the form of a sugary treat). As hard as I try to avoid it, I often find myself reaching for a cookie or, recently, a mug of hot chocolate. Deciding that I need to make some positive changes in my life (beginning with my health), I begun researching healthy recipes I could make en-masse that would satisfy my mid-afternoon cravings. Last weekend, I made homemade granola bars and they have quickly become my go-to snack. The combination of salty and sweet satisfies my cravings, while the nuts and seeds keep me full until dinner, without leaving any lingering guilt. The only problem now is forcing myself to wait until 3:00 to enjoy this delicious little snack. (see below for the recipe!)

What you’ll need:
::1 c. peanut butter
::1/2 c. coconut oil
::2/3 c. honey
::2 c. combination pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, coconut flakes (or whatever you see fit)
::2 c. oats
::a handful of good quality chocolate chips

What you’ll do:
::melt peanut butter, coconut oil and honey in a saucepan over medium heat
::once melted, remove from heat and add the nuts, seeds, coconut flakes and oats and stir well
::press mixture into a 2″ deep pan and sprinkle chocolate chips on top
::refrigerate for 2 hours
::cut into bars and enjoy!

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tasty treats: baked blueberry cream cheese french toast.

Not long ago, I headed to the cottage for labour day weekend with my family (thirteen of us in total). I knew that my grandmother wouldn’t let me contribute in a large way (she loves taking care of everybody), but I didn’t want to leave without doing my part. Since breakfast generally consists of standard bacon and eggs, or, if you’re not up in time, a bowl full of cereal, I knew that it was one meal I could take over just for a day. I wanted to find something that didn’t entail a whole lot of work and fed a large number of people in a flash. In came this recipe for blueberry cream cheese baked french toast. The fact that I was instructed to prepare it the night before was immediately appealing as I’m not exactly what you would call a morning person, and I loved that we generally have all of the ingredients on hand (sometimes I’m lazy, even when I have good intentions). The results were beyond my expectations and it quickly pleased all thirteen of us. I would gladly incorporate this recipe into my personal keep pile.

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tasty treats: banana tatin verinnes.

One evening, some time ago, I was hit with a fierce craving for something sweet. I began perusing my usual food blogs in hopes of finding a recipe that would satisfy my craving and not force me to head out to the grocery store in the middle of the night to pick up additional items. When I stumbled upon this recipe for banana tatin I knew it was the one. Not only did it promise to satisfy my cravings, I also happened to have each ingredient on hand. The creaminess of the crème fraîche paired with the sweetness of the caramelized bananas is a combination that cannot be beat. And it was quickly declared the perfectly indulgent midnight snack. Although, for my hips’ sake, we will only be repeating this late-night process on rare occasions.

Have a lovely labour day weekend sunshines!

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World’s Best Snickerdoodles

snickerdoodles

Today I introduce to you one of my all-time favourite cookies: the snickerdoodle. I began making these cinnamon-y treats in the 8th grade, primarily because I thoroughly enjoyed their name. They quickly became my go-to cookie for birthday gifts, bake sales or any ol’ celebration and my friends were not complaining. After being hit with a fierce craving for them just last night, I knew that I had to whip up a batch (and I do mean whip. They’re probably the easiest cookie you’ll ever put together). The results were moist, chewy and as perfectly cinnamon-y as I remember. It had been years since I made them, but after last night, I won’t make that mistake again. 

snickerdoodles_2

Click below for the recipe…

line

World's Best Snickerdoodles
Serves 36
The easiest cookie you'll ever make
Write a review
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
121 calories
17 g
24 g
5 g
1 g
3 g
29 g
56 g
9 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
29g
Servings
36
Amount Per Serving
Calories 121
Calories from Fat 48
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 3g
17%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 24mg
8%
Sodium 56mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 17g
6%
Dietary Fiber 0g
1%
Sugars 9g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
1%
Iron
1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup butter, room temperature
  2. 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 2 3/4 cups flour
  5. 2 tsp. cream of tartar
  6. 1 tsp. baking soda
  7. 1/4 tsp. salt
  8. 3 Tbsp. sugar
  9. 3 tsp. cinnamon
Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. 2. Mix butter, sugar and eggs until well combined.
  3. 3. Add flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.
  4. 4. In small bowl, mix sugar and cinnamon.
  5. 4. Grab 1 Tbsp. mixture and roll in hand until a ball forms. Roll ball in cinnamon sugar mixture and place on ungreased baking sheet.
  6. 5. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from pan immediately and place on rack to cool completely.
Adapted from Food.com
beta
calories
121
fat
5g
protein
1g
carbs
17g
more
Adapted from Food.com
lark&linen http://www.jacquelynclark.com/
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tasty treats: prosciutto, pear & gorgonzola pizza

As a child, pizza nights were one of my favourites. My mom would set out all sorts of ingredients and my brother, sister and I could build our own pizza as we saw fit. This naturally meant that my pizza ended up with far too much pepperoni, and nary a veggie in sight. To date, pizza nights still hold a special place in my heart. I love how it doesn’t take a ton of prep work, and you can really get creative with the toppings. Earlier this week, Justin and I threw together this prosciutto, pear & gorgonzola pizza and it is now one of my very favourite combinations. Check out what to do below.

what you’ll need:
::pizza dough (homemade, or purchased for $1.95 at your local pizza shop or bakery)
::a drizzle of olive oil
::1 c. good quality mozzarella
::8-10 slices of prosciutto (ask the butcher to slice it very thin)
::1/2 a pear, thinly sliced
::a handful of crumbled gorgonzola (to your liking)
::a handful of walnuts
::a drizzle of honey

what you’ll do:
::spread your pizza dough out on your flour lined pan (or pizza stone if you have one! I highly recommend you get one of these)
::drizzle the dough with olive oil
::add the toppings: mozzarella, prosciutto, pear, gorgonzola, walnuts
::drizzle with honey
::top with sea salt and some cracked black pepper (to cut the sweetness)
::bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
::enjoy!

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tasty treats: Pico de Gallo

This recipe holds particularly fond memories for me as I learnt it while vacationing with two of my best friends last year. One of them had been residing in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, for the winter and we had gone to visit her. What began as our first snack at a sweet beach-side restaurant the moment our plane landed, quickly turned into a requirement before every meal. Seeing as both of my friends work in the food industry, they took it upon themselves to dissect what was in this refreshingly simple, flavourful dish. Shortly thereafter we began ingesting it on the regular, making it each morning before heading to the beach, and sustaining ourselves on it until we’d return to get ready for supper, wet, sandy, sun-kissed and content. It’s one of my favourites as it only requires a handful of ingredients, many of which you may already have, and only minutes of your time. Take a look below for the recipe!

what you’ll need:
:: 3-4 tomatoes, chopped
:: 1 medium sized white onion, diced
:: 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
:: the juices of 1 lime
:: 1 jalapeño, chopped (I like spice so I kept the seeds, but if you are more of the mild type remove the seeds as they do pack a punch)
:: 1 garlic clove, minced
:: a pinch of sea salt

what you’ll do:
mix all of the ingredients together in one bowl and try to let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so. I only say this because it will give all of the ingredients the opportunity to marinate a little. When I put this together for a lazy sunday afternoon last weekend, Justin and I just couldn’t wait and found ourselves with half of the bowl left not long after it was made. All to say is I’m not judging if you skip the marinating step.

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tasty treats: caprese pasta.

When the warm ridiculously hot summer months are upon us, the last place I want to be is in the kitchen. I would much prefer to spend my time on a patio, with a cold glass of white wine in hand. That said, I’m all about creating experiences and, naturally, these experiences tend to revolve around good food, great friends and pretty spaces. As a result, lately I’ve gravitated towards meals that can be pulled together in just a few minutes and only require a handful of ingredients. This caprese pasta recipe is quick, it’s easy, and I would gladly recommend it to anyone who’s just starting to get their feet wet in the kitchen. With the use of some really good quality mozzarella (if you’re in Toronto, try the boccocini from here), fresh basil from our mini herb garden, and balsamic brought to us as a gift from Italy, I’ve found myself craving it daily since.

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tasty treats: strawberry watermelon mojito.


Last Saturday the girls and I declared a pool day and spent the entirety of it by my cousins pool. To complement our idea, we whipped up some strawberry watermelon mojitos using this recipe and enjoyed them in the sun. Despite being slightly more labour intensive than I would usually tackle on a lazy Saturday, it was well worth the additional work. The drink was refreshingly dangerous as the subtle sweetness and fruity mixture completely masked any hint of vodka. They were quickly declared the perfect poolside accessory.

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tasty treats: pancake muffins.


As mentioned earlier, last weekend we headed north to go white water rafting. With eighteen of us in total, many of whom were staying in one three bedroom cottage, I knew that access to food needed to be quick and easy unless we wanted to be spending the majority of our time in the kitchen (as opposed to floating on the lake) trying to feed so many mouths. Enter: the pancake muffin. Using this recipe, I whipped these up the day before we headed out. They were an immediate crowd pleaser and they quickly became the perfect little snack to grab throughout the trip. They were moist, maple-syrupy and their name ultimately meant that you could grab one (or two) for breakfast without feeling like it’s wrong to ingest chocolate before 9 am.

Tip: to get all of your muffins equal in size (which not only looks prettier but also ensures that they cook evenly), I recently discovered that if you use an ice cream scoop, you get the perfect amount of batter into each muffin cup. Fancy!

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tasty treats: penne frittata.


This recipe has been on heavy rotation in our household ever since its discovery. It’s the perfect meal to quickly and easily throw together after a long day at work, and the fresh basil and egg combination always seems to be a crowd pleaser. Paired with a healthy portion of roasted asparagus, it leaves you feeling full but not overly weighed down.

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tasty treats: roasted shrimp and orzo.

When I came across this recipe on Cupcakes & Cashmere not long ago, I knew it was one that I had to test out. I may or may not have a girl crush on both Emily and Ina Garten and I was sure that neither of them would disappoint. The result was incredible! The combinations comparable to love, really. It will, without a doubt, be my go-to meal for any upcoming potluck or summer barbecue in the coming months. You barely need to turn the stove on, it’s quick, easy and inexpensive to throw together, and makes enough to feed a small army (or myself for 3-4 days straight).

full disclosure: I generally opt to switch out the red onion for a yellow one as I’m not the biggest red onion fan. Next, I chop up said onion and brown the bits in a cast iron pan with a dab of olive oil. Also, I use zucchini instead of english cucumber (which I haven’t been able to find; either way the zucchini blends incredibly with the rest of the flavours). Before tossing the zucchini into the mix, I threw it in the skillet with the onion to soften it up just a tad.

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tasty treats: peanut butter chocolate cake.

Seeing as my brother is an avid chocolate and peanut butter fan (really though, do we know anyone who isn’t?), I scoured the internet high and low to find the most delicious chocolate peanut butter cake recipe I could get my hands on in light of his 23rd birthday. My prerequisites were to find one that didn’t seem overly sweet, had a heckuva lot of peanut butter and a handful of rave reviews. I found this recipe and it was definitely the one. The result was moist, the icing was incredible (really, I contemplated the idea of serving the icing on it’s own) and it was an instant crowd pleaser.

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tasty treats: s’more cupcakes.

One of my fondest memories as a child is sitting around a campfire while camping or cottaging, diligently putting together the perfect s’more. While most desserts were generally limited to me (I was usually only allowed one slice of cake. I know, right? I think I had negligent parents) when we sat around said fire I was more or less allowed to stuff myself with as many marshmallowy treats as I saw fit. So when I stumbled upon this recipe for s’more cupcakes it immediately brought back many fond, albeit sugar-induced, memories. And (as seen with this nutella banana bread combo) I’m always down to test out a recipe that combines two of my all time favourite treats. I took one for the team with this one you guys, and you’re welcome. They were delicious!

ps. tomorrow is the last day for the pi’lo giveaway! click here.

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Nutella Banana Bread

  nutella-banana-bread

While you can never go wrong with standard issue banana bread (it’s like love in bread form. amiright?), when I stumbled upon this recipe for nutella banana bread my heart skipped a beat. Those are like, three of the best things that ever existed (nutella + banana + bread = one happy me (and a happy Justin too)).

One evening, right before bed, I decided I just had to whip this thing together. It was non-negotiable. The recipe was incredibly easy to follow, and apart from the fact that it took an hour and a half to bake (rather than the hour it had called for), it was well worth the wait and made for the perfect midnight snack.

nutella-banana-bread_2nutella-banana-bread_3

Click for the recipe…

(more…)

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tasty treats: baked mac and cheese.

When the going gets tough, I crave good ol’ comfort food. During a particularly stressful day sometime last week, I came home with the urge to cuddle and stuff my face with some macaroni and cheese (at the same time). While there’s something to be said about drowning your sorrows in a box of good old-fashioned kraft dinner, it just doesn’t compare to making the dish from scratch. Using this recipe, we quickly got to work when we arrived home that evening. Despite the fact that it was unarguably more labour intensive than the boxed stuff, it was well worth the wait (and the calories).

images via lark + linen

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tasty treats: orange almond blueberry muffins.

I’ve mentioned before the process in which we’re going through in order to turn our new condo into a home. On our first full Sunday in the new place, Justin headed out to hockey and I whipped up a batch of these orange almond blueberry muffins (recipe can be found here via this book) so that he could come home to a place that was filled with the smell of freshly baked muffins (aka warmth and love. Also, I just realised that we totally sound like a 50′s couple. We are not. But I do like baking, and he does like sports). It instantly made our place feel more homey, despite the fact that they were baked amongst a pile of discarded boxes and unpacked dishes.

Though these muffins didn’t originally appeal to me (I’m more of a chocolate chip, banana muffin kinda girl), we had yet to go grocery shopping and I had to make do with the ingredients on hand. The results were surprisingly delicious and I would gladly make them again.

images via lark + linen

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Homemade Chai

I’m well aware that it’s still summer, but I can’t help but begin to daydream about the worn leather boots, rich colours, textures and cute scarves that autumn brings. I’m living in the moment and I’m embracing all that summer has to offer, but I’m beginning to get sick of rotating my summer outfits (dang being on a budget). I can’t wait to break out my beloved fall wardrobe, cuddle under a blanket, bake pumpkin pie and cook rich hearty dinners. The thing I’m looking forward to most though? Drinking tea.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my cuppa on a daily basis. But there’s something to be said about holding that warm mug of deliciousness between your chilly fingers. With that in mind, here’s my recipe for a homemade chai tea (it’s so easy guys – you’ll never have to go to Starbucks again. And if I’m going to be frank? It tastes like Christmas!)

Here’s what you’ll need for one pot (but the ingredients can easily be altered to suit a single cup, which I often do):

.2 tablespoon of plain rooibos tea leaves(I get mine from David’s Tea)
.3 medium-sized pieces of candied ginger (or 1 inch of fresh ginger –  sliced)
.6 cloves
.1 cinnamon stick
.5 cardamom pods

And here’s what you do:

.boil your water (tip: use fresh water each time, otherwise your tea may taste stale. Also, only fill your pot with the amount of water you actually plan on using. That way you don’t waste any energy boiling water you’re just going to dump out afterwards)
.put all of your ingredients in a tea infuser and place the infuser in your pot (if you don’t have a tea infuser, simply toss all the ingredients into the pot, and strain the tea with a fine strainer as you’re pouring it into your cup. Sometimes I do it this way anyways  just because the flavours are more pronounced as they’re allowed to circulate  without being confined to the infuser)
.pour the boiling water into your pot
.wait (I generally wrap my pot in a dish towel or tea cozy and let the tea steep for 10 minutes so that it’s nice and strong)
.add honey, milk, and enjoy!

Note: you could just as easily make a chai tea latte by warming some milk in a pot, placing all the ingredients in with it, and stirring it quickly. Again, make sure you strain out all the bits with a fine strainer before enjoying your concoction. (and don’t let the milk boil!)

Additional note: I cannot take full credit for this recipe, for my dear friend Jessica was the one that introduced it to me last summer. I’ve been hooked ever since!

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delicious treats.

With this incredible heat wave that seems to have swept over the city, all I can think about is ways to cool down (beside coming in to work naked, which, I’m thinking, does not conform to our dress code). I stumbled upon these delicious looking treats that I really feel could help us all beat the heat at least a little bit. And if you use natural juices, homemade raspberry purées, and yogurt, you don’t need to feel guilty when you reach for a second… or third (don’t judge me, it’s really hot!) 


all images found via Butterflyfoodie
Click here to visit Butterflyfoodie and get the recipes!

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homemade infusions.

The new Lonny Magazine is up!! I’ve only made my way through half of it so far (I need to give it the attention it deserves), but I’m definitely going to be trying this:

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delicious treats.

Last year, for my brother’s birthday, I put together this concoction of peanut-buttery-chocolatey goodness:

(you can find the recipe here)

Since I knew that this year I probably couldn’t top the taste factor from last year, I went a different route instead:

Tee hee! Cookie monsters!

I whipped up standard issue vanilla cupcakes, dyed my frosting & some sweetened coconut blue, and used half a cookie for the mouth. The eyes were supposed to be white chocolate dollars with melted chocolate for the pupils, but since I was away for the weekend and all of the stores were closed on Victoria Day monday, I had to improvise. Here you will find mentos gum with chocolate chip pupils! Ha. Thank you corner store for saving my butt.

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scenes from my weekend.

I must say, this was quite the successful weekend.

Friday night a group of us gathered to celebrate the success of our good friends new restaurant, Le Papillon on the Park. Honestly, I’m not just saying this because I’m totally biased, it was incredible. Beyond what I expected. Seriously. Go. Talk to Steph (the tall, dark, handsome one with hair you will probably be jealous of) and get the french onion soup. I left the restaurant with my heart all swollen – I’m so proud of Steph - I’ve been blessed with such incredible friends!

Saturday I humoured my boyfriend by watching the big UFC fight with him and a few friends. Never will I ever understand why someone would voluntarily request to be punched in the face on national television; but it was definitely more entertaining than I was anticipating.

And yesterday? My mom, brother and I celebrated mothers day over shiitake & asparagus risotto, followed by cupcakes from The Designer Cookie, and we finally got to see the Babies documentary! Great success.

found via The Designer Cookie & Mama’s gift

If you’ve never made risotto before, click on the link to the recipe above and try it out. I’ve heard that risotto can be pretty finicky. This is the only one I’ve ever attempted, but it’s delicious and it’s never failed me!

As for the cupcakes, they really were terrific, but I probably wouldn’t go back there. I’m a sucker for detail and the package they came in was something you would find at a local grocery store.   I feel that if you’re calling yourself The Designer anything, everything should be top-notch. I want my $3.50 cupcake to come in a pretty, environmentally friendly package with a cute little ribbon. But I’m kind of a nerd like that.

Note: I even had to put them on a plate for my cupcake photoshoot – that’s how bad the packaging was!

And because it isn’t mothers day without your daughter posting pictures of you with big hair for the world to see; here is a picture of my mother when she was around my age. Look how foxy she is!

<3 you mom.

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cinnamon & sugar.

It’s confession time again. I have another guilty pleasure: cinnamon + sugar on toast. I thought that I was alone in this endeavour, making it when no one is around; no prying eyes to judge me. But it turns out, people really do this! Lots of people! So many people that one lovely (and hilarious) lady took the time to write a very detailed analysis on the way in which to PROPERLY make cinnamon + sugar toast. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve been doing it wrong my entire life. I never realised the potential of this delicious treat. Go visit the Pioneer Woman to see how to properly execute this cinnamony goodness. I know what I’ll be doing tonight.
tip: she uses both vanilla AND nutmeg. My gosh I’m excited.

found via The Pioneer Woman

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chocolate & strawberries.

Last night I made chocolate covered strawberries. They were dangerously easy. They weren’t just “oh? this is easy” kind of easy… No. They were “I wish I didn’t know how easy it is to make these” kind of easy.

The steps?
.Get random, unnecessary but undeniable urge slash craving for said chocolate covered strawberries
.Search through cupboards
.Gather all chocolate. If you have the option, opt for the dark chocolate. If you’re desperate? Any chocolate will do
.Bring a pot of water to a boil
.Place a heat proof bowl on top of your boiling water (to create a double boiler)
.Put found chocolate into the bowl
.Stir
.Melt
.Dip
.Refrigerate

You’re welcome.

found via Weheartit

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