Chocolate Chip Waffles

So I have been a little behind on some recipes that I’ve wanted to post as I have been going to job interviews like CRAZY! In the past two months I have been to many, many interviews, been offered MANY positions, and finally went to a second interview and signed a contract with a Real Estate company this morning. So now I am an Administrative Assistant on the weekends (providing over 30 hours) and am free to pick up a part time job to fill in the blanks during the weekdays Mon-Thurs. I am very excited! I have been looking for an opportunity like this ever since I moved to Mississauga and I have finally secured it. The only issue is that I now have to terminate my employment at the other Real Estate Office I work at due to a conflict of interest 😦 This is upsetting for me because I am very fond of the girls in that office and it was my first real connection to the Real Estate world. But, c’est la vie…when opportunities arise they must be seized. I’m not one to accept change readily but am doing my best to go with the flow these days! πŸ˜€ I feel GREAT.Β  Who wants to be stuck in the same position FOREVER and NOT learn new skills anyways? NOT ME! Chris also interviewed for and snagged a really great job on Friday too! Things have been so great recently.

I have really come to embrace the “less-is-more” attitude lately. I don’t want to dye my hair or change who I am anymore. I am happy with what I have and vow to live simply from now on. Life is about more than acquiring material possessions, life is about living. That is also why this blog will always come second to anything else I am doing in my life. Maybe third or fourth sometimes. My internet identity is only a very small fraction of who and what I am. There is more to life than being behind the computer although I cherish having a place to share the delicious foods that I enjoy in my life from day to day.

*SIGH* Well, now that I have that off my mind I have a sinfully delicious chocolate chip waffles recipe that is nowhere near healthy! I made these when Chris’s brother and girlfriend were down for the week (last week?) and they LOVED them, and were filled for hours! I had to pull out and dust off the waffle iron for this batch of waffles as it hasn’t been used in probably 6 or 7 months (for some reason..) and it was so worth it!

Yummy Chocolate Chip waffles

Yummy Chocolate Chip waffles

  • 2 cup unbleached flour
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cup skim milk
  • Dash of pure vanilla extract
  • Ground cinnamon and fresh nutmeg to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • Milk chocolate chips to taste
  1. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In separate bowl mix together egg whites, milk. oil and extract.
  2. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture, batter should remain slightly lumpy and bumpy. Fold in chocolate chips.
  3. Heat and lightly grease waffle BOTH SIDES of iron and spoon 1/4 cup of mixture onto each area in waffle iron (or however much you need for waffle iron).
  4. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until when top side of waffle iron lifted separates from waffles.
  5. Enjoy with a great big glass of skim milk.
Yummy Chocolate Chip waffles

Yummy Chocolate Chip waffles

Homemade hamburgers

Why go out to McDonalds or Wendys [ick] when you can make even better burgers in your own home?!?!

Be the ‘talk of the grill” this summer with your own homemade onion, cheese and bacon stuffed burgers, or cook then in your kitchen now and perfect your skills before the summer season hits!

Homemade onion, cheese and bacon stuffed burgers

  • 1 pound LEAN ground sirloin, beef, chicken or turkey.
  • Around half an onion finely chopped.
  • Shredded cheese
  • Crumbled bacon.
  • Coriander, paprika and salt&pepper to taste.
  • A dash of Worcestershire sauce.
  • 1 egg lightly beaten.
  1. Mix all ingredients in bowl and using your hands shape mixture into four balls and squish down into patties.
  2. Cook patties over med-high heat on preheated skillet.

OR

  1. Mix together all ingredients except for onion, bacon and cheese.
  2. Using hands shape mixture into four balls, and then separate each of those balls into two.
  3. You will now have 8 smaller patties. Working with two at a time, place first patty down and fill with cheese, bacon and onion mixture making sure not to overload. Place other patty on top and seal all edges so that insides don’t leak. I would freeze these patties for at least an hour to ensure they don’t separate while cooking.
  4. Cook patties over med-high heat on preheated skillet.

Homemade burger and oven baked sweet potato fries

Homemade burger and oven baked sweet potato fries

Cut up fresh lettuce, tomatoes and pickles and serve with some homemade, oven baked fries!

Homemade butter tarts

I’ve always loved butter tarts but have often found that the mass-produced, store bought kind never seemed to stack up to the ones I’d get from farmers markets or bakeries.

I make these when friends or family come over because they are so incredibly easy to whip up (if you have your dough prepared) and if not you can always cheat and use the prepared mini-baking cups you get from your grocery store in the frozen section! I’ve also included the recipe that I use for dough! It is super easy to make and can b stored in the fridge until you are ready to use. You can also prepare the mini baking cups in advance and store them in the freezer. Just take out 10-15 mins prior to use!

I also always split the recipe in two as I find it is quite dangerous to have any more than 12 butter tarts in the house at one time…they just DISAPPEAR! Really not a huge fan of using corn syrup either BUT it’s the only thing I EVER use it for!

Yummy butter tarts

Yummy butter tarts

Homemade Butter tarts

  • 1⁄2 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  1. Preheat the oven to 350Β°F.
  2. In a bowl, beat together the corn syrup, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Divide the raisins and walnuts among the prepared pastry tart shells. Fill almost to the top with the syrup mixture.
  3. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the tart shells are golden brown. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Allow to cool before removing from the muffin pan.

Tart Shells DOUGH

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  1. In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Roll dough out to around a 1/4 inch and using a pastry cutter the same size as your tinfoil cups begin cutting dough. I am without pastry cutting instruments so I used different sized cups to get the perfect size for my tinfoil cups! Once you have cut as many circles as you can from the dough, roll dough into a ball again and repeat process until all cups are filled.

Pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin

It’s been way too long since I’ve had time to write in my beloved blog…

BUT I’M BACKΒ Β  πŸ˜‰

And I have three lovely recipes that are perfectly suited for the season πŸ™‚ And, you can make ALL THREE RECIPES from one can of pumpkin puree, or one small baking pumpkin πŸ™‚

Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins, like Starbucks makes & Pumpkin Bread topped with glazed walnuts/almonds πŸ™‚

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Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Glazed Almond/Walnut Pumpkin Bread

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese muffins

Since I must give credit where credit is due [and credit is CERTAINLY due] I have provided here where I originally found the recipe for the Pumpkin Spice Lattes. They were absolutely fantastic! Chris and I had Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks and these were certainly comparable, without that icky, orange staining, pumpkin flavoring they use!

Pumpkin Spice Lattes Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Makes 2 servings

  • 1 level tablespoon pumpkin puree I used two for extra flavour
  • 1 cup milk (whole if you dare!)
  • 1/2 tablespoon light brown sugar (packed and leveled)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (+ a pinch for dusting later) I used fresh nutmeg because that’s all I had and it was quite good!
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves I omitted the cloves as I had none
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract I bumped this up to a whole tsp.
  • I also added a tsp. of Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 cups strong coffee (brewed using 2 tbs per 1 cup of water)
    You can also use a shot or two of espresso instead of coffee, I wouldn’t recommend using instant coffee…ICK!
  • 4 tablespoons creamer
  • 4 to 8 teaspoons of granulated sugar I used maybe four, tops
  • Whipped cream
  1. Begin brewing coffee.

  2. In a blender puree the milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, brown sugar and vanilla.

  3. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the milk is warm and begins to froth slightly. (About 4-5 minutes.) Remove from heat.

  4. For each serving: Pour 1/2 cup of the pumpkin mixture into your coffee mug. Add 2 generous tablespoons of creamer. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, then add 1 cup of brewed coffee. Add 2 to 4 teaspoons of sugar (depending on how sweet you like your drink, I added 3 tsps.) Top off with a touch more β€˜pumpkin milk’ then cover with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg. Serve immediately.

Pumpkin Bread & Cream Cheese Pumpkin Muffins

Makes 1 Loaf and 6 Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups Pumpkin Puree or Fresh Pumpkin
  • 3/4 veg. oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs, or 4 egg whites
  • 2 cups + 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie Spice
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350. Grease and flour a glass loaf pan and prepare six muffin cups.

  2. In a large bowl mix pumpkin, oil, sugars and eggs. Also combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture until blended.

  3. Fill loaf pan half full and use remaining mixture for the prepared muffin cups. Top loaf with a a mixture of chopped almonds and walnuts, push down slightly so that some nuts are in the batter. For muffins use around a 1/4 cup of cream cheese. Divide into six portions and either roll into balls or shape into whatever design you prefer and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Push cream cheese far into muffins as it rises while baking!

  4. Bake loaf for approximately 45 minutes to an hour or until top of loaf springs back when lightly pressed. Mix together a small amount of granulated sugar and water to form a glaze and pour over bread. Let cool, slice, and enjoy.

  5. Bake Muffins until toothpick inserted INTO MUFFIN comes out clean. Let cream cheese cool before eating as it becomes quite warm and could cause burning and would ruin the whole experience of these delicious muffins πŸ™‚

Fruit and Veggie Salad

We love Salad around here but sometimes get sick of the same ol’ thing.

After the lovely strawberry spinach salad we had a few weeks ago I was totally inspired to try another salad that involved fruits.

I looked round for a bit online to gather some ideas and then turned to my fridge to see what I had…I don’t typically like to go out and buy specific ingredients for recipes that I want to try, and I was very happy to find that I had everything that I needed already!

Be creative and use the fruits and veggies that you like best! This is no rhyme or reason to what I chose other than having those ingredients on hand!

I also whipped up a really yummy vinaigrette for this salad that was super easy and versatile! Try it out πŸ™‚

Fruit and Veggie Salad

Fruit and Veggie Salad

Fruit and Veggie Salad

Romaine, Arugula, Spinach or whatever leafy greens you have on hand [I used Romaine]

Apples sliced into thin discs [I picked Granny Smith and Red Delicious, but pick whatever you like]

Grapes sliced in half [Red or green, I picked Red]

Blueberries

Cucumber cut into thin discs

Broccoli

Red Onion cut into thin discs, Separated

  1. Wash and dry leafy greens in a salad spinner and put into salad bowl.
  2. Wash and cut other ingredients and arrange on top of salad.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

1/4 Cup Olive oil

3 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar

1 Tsp. Brown Sugar

Salt and Pepper to Tatse

And the secret ingredient: A big scoop of strawberry jam! Or Raspberry, or Marmalade. Try something new πŸ™‚ IT WORKED LIKE A CHARM!!

  1. Throw all ingredients into a jar with a tight seal and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE ❀
  2. Pour over salad and ENJOY!

Strawberry Danish Crescent Rolls

These rolls were absolutely delicious and very easy to make.

For the LIFE of me I couldn’t figure out how they explained to roll up the Grands Crescents, so I made it up as I went along and everything turned out WONDERFULLY!

As long as you seal the edges so your cream cheese doesn’t leak out, YOU’RE GOLDEN…Much like the Rolls when they are done πŸ˜‰

Mum’s old hand mixer <3Ingredients together for easy Prep.

Strawberry Danish Crescent Rolls

Not exactly how I imagined them turning...but REEEAAALLLLY close

Not exactly how I imagined them turning...but REEEAAALLLLY close

Danish

4 oz. or 1/2 Cup Softened Cream Cheese

1/4 Cup Sugar

1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Juice

1 Can Grands Crescent Rolls [4 per package]

Jam – To Taste, I used my homemade Strawberry ❀

Glaze

1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar

1/4 – 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

1 – 2 Teaspoons Milk [Add milk until desired consistency is reached]

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix together Cream Cheese, Sugar and Lemon Juice on Low speed until fully incorporated, wiping down sides of bowl as needed.
  3. Separate dough into 4 sections and spread 1/4 of cream cheese mixture on middle of dough.
  4. Roll up crescents starting with the long side, reaching towards the point. This is where you need to be a little creative. On ungreased cookie sheet stretch out the dough in your hands so it spans about 10 inches and slowly coil, tucking end underneath and sealing up any openings.
  5. Wash hands and poke deep hole down the center of the Danish and scoop in desired amount of Jam.
  6. Insert into oven and cook for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven time. Danishes will be a deep golden brown and hold shape when finished.
  7. While Danishes are cooking mix together in a small bowl Powdered Sugar, Vanilla and Milk until your desired consistency is reached.
  8. Let cool slightly and drizzle finished danishes with Glaze.  ENJOY ❀

I adapted the recipe slightly but here is where the inspiration came from. Original Danish Crescent Recipe

Chef’s Tip: Since it’s just Chris and I here I like to use only two crescents at a time and I wrap the other two up in tinfoil for later use…although I wouldn’t recommend leaving them more than a day in the fridge with the broken seal as they tend to lose some of their ability to rise after 24 hours.

Caramel-Walnut, Strawberry and Blueberry Cheesecake MINIS!

I have been wanting to try this recipe for quite some time since we’ve had a giant tub of cream cheese lingering in the back of the fridge, nearing expiration, but have always been a little stand offish when it comes to cheesecake recipes from past ‘not so great’ experiences.

I went ahead and tried a cream cheese related recipe – CRESCENT CREAM CHEESE DANISH ROLLS. They rolls were AMAZING
and it gave me the confidence needed to whip up these cheesecake minis!

I used the Strawberry Jam that Momma and I made the other day, Caramel Ice Cream topping and Walnuts, and a Blueberry glaze that I whipped up from some fresh berries πŸ™‚

After Chris stopped making giddy lil’ kiddie noises, he gave me a big smile and thumbs up on all the flavours. [Although I made him pick his favourites for future reference…he said Blueberry and Strawberry, while I really liked the Caramel Walnut!]

The recipe DOES NOT call for a “minis” springform pan, just a paper and tin baking cup!

Caramel Walnut, Strawberry and Blueberry Cheesecake MINIS!

It is really important for this recipe that you take the cream cheese and egg out of the fridge a few hours prior to the commencement of baking. Cheesecake works best when cream cheese and egg are at room temperature. Another thing to remember is not to overbeat your batter. Batter is done when a smooth and creamy texture is reached [on LOW SPEED]. If a few lumps still remain, let batter sit at room temperature for 10-15 more minutes and then beat again.

For a full list of cheesecake tips and techniques I found this great website! Check it out before you begin! Cheesecake 101

Caramel, Blueberry and Strawberry Cheesecake Minis!

Caramel, Blueberry and Strawberry Cheesecake Minis!

For Approximately 24 Cheesecake Minis:

Crust:

1 Cup Graham Cracker Crumbs

1/4 Cup Butter, Room Temperature

1/4 Sugar

  1. Mix all ingredients until all crumbs are incorporated. Should look darker and damp.

Crust in the making

Filling:

1 1/4 Cup Cream Cheese

1/2 Cup Sugar

1 Egg

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla

I also added a big spoonful of sour cream for some extra kick!

1. In a mixing bowl, beat room temperature Cream Cheese and Sugar on low until smooth.

2. Add egg and Vanilla and beat again on low until smooth.

3. Scrape down edges of bowl periodically so that all batter hits blades.

Smooth Creamy Batter
Smooth Creamy Batter
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line tin cups with paper cups.

  2. Place a bit of Graham Cracker into each cup and press firmly into bottom. [Probably around a Tbsp. or so. If Crumbs are not pressed firmly, crust will fall apart]. Make sure to save a bit of Graham Cracker crumbs to sprinkle on top of finished minis.

  3. Once all crumbs are pressed down spoon batter into cups almost to the top.

  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven time and keep a close eye on cheesecake in the last 10 minutes of baking. [While baking cheesecake will look shiny, when it’s finished it will look dull].

Enjoy!!! πŸ˜‰

Cool for a few hours or even overnight and top with preferred topping.

Another way to tell if cheesecake is done: if you tap cups and batter jiggles they are not done, or if the center of cheesecake falls when cooled. Cheesecake is DONE BEFORE IT CRACKS! It also continues to cook for a few minutes [much like meat] when you first take them out of the oven because of the residual heat…if cheesecake looks “done” in pan, it will overdone on your plate.

I decided to whip up a BLUEBERRY GLAZE for some of my minis and here is THAT recipe! [You can use this for Strawberries as well].

1 Cup Berries

1/2-3/4 Cup Sugar

1 Cup Water

3 Tbsp. Cornstarch

Blueberry Glaze thick and bubbly
Blueberry Glaze thick and bubbly
  1. Crush berries and cook [med-high heat] in water for two minutes.

  2. Add Sugar and Cornstarch and stir until thick and bubbly [increase heat as needed

For strawberries add a few drops red food colouring.

More Cups before they hit the oven and my reserved crumbs for sprinkling.
More Cups before they hit the oven and my reserved crumbs for sprinkling.
Cooking cups look SHINY
Cooking cups look SHINY
Finished cups look DULL
Finished cups look DULL
Pretty Carmel-Walnut, Strawberry and Blueberry Glaze Mini Cheesecakes
Pretty Carmel-Walnut, Strawberry and Blueberry Glaze Mini Cheesecakes

This recipe is a definite keeper <3
This recipe is a definite keeper ❀

BE CREATIVE and pick whichever flavours you like best! Crush up some Oreoes, or Nilla Wafers to use for Crust instead of Graham Crackers. And be sure to let me know how it works out for you πŸ™‚

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