Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Cinnamon Sugar Muffins Recipe

New: Cinnamon Sugar Muffins Recipe
What's up: Savoury Cheese Scones recipe, Triple Chocolate Brownies, Chocolate Stout Cookies

Imagine a bag of those delicious little cinnamon-sugar slathered doughnuts you get for $5 at the PNE. Now imagine that fabulous, sugary buttery flavour in the form of a muffin—that’s exactly what these doughnuts taste like. Cinnamon sugar doughnuts; not only are they ridiculously easy to make, but they’re quick, impressive and don’t require any deep frying. 

Cinnamon Sugar Muffins

These cinnamon sugar muffins have a wonderfully soft but solid texture. This super simple topping is what truly makes this muffin something special.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Savoury Cheese Scones Recipe and the difference between scone recipes

New: Savoury Cheese Scones Recipe and the difference between scone recipes
Whenever I’m craving a little something savoury, a little flakey, and am too lazy to whip up anything too fancy, scones are always my go to. They’re extremely easy to make and you always have the ingredients on hand. Scones are also very versatile. Some of my favourite scone flavours include parmesan and black pepper, old bay seasoning, dried dill or rosemary, fresh grated cheddar and minced garlic. 

Delicious cheddar scones

There are a billion different recipes out there for making scones, so what are the main differences?

Butter versus Shortening

Shortening usually leads to a more flakey texture in your scones, but I find if you are able to maintain your chunks of butter in the mixture, your scones are just as flakey. The butter also adds richer flavour that shortening just can’t compete with. However, if you’re out of butter and shortening’s all you got, then go for it.

Cream of tartar versus baking powder

Using a mixture of baking powder and baking soda tends to leave a very slight bitter aftertaste. With all the add ins however, I don’t often notice it, so if you’re short on the cream of tartar, go ahead with the substitute. However, cream of tartar is preferred.

Cream versus milk

The cream lends to a slightly richer flavour, but I don’t find it necessary. If you use butter, I find it allows for an adequately rich flavour. However, for a fluffier scone, you could substitute buttermilk.

Eggs or no eggs?

Eggs supposedly act as a leavener in the scone, creating a lighter scone. So if that’s what you’re aiming for, rather than the more traditionally dense scone, eggs are the answer. It is also said that it helps to extend the shelf life of the scones, although I’m not sure exactly how accurate that fact is.

This is one of my favourite base recipes for making scones. It creates a flakey, but solid scone that is great plain or with delicious add ins. I got this from Singapore Shiok

Make sweet or savoury scones with this super versatile scone recipe. 

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Triple Chocolate Brownies Recipe and Easter Dessert Ideas

New: Triple Chocolate Brownies and Easter Dessert Ideas
What's up: Chocolate Stout Cookies, Annexe Resto review, Double Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe

Holidays are always a great excuse to pull out a favourite tried and true recipe, or if you’re feeling adventurous, to test out a new one. Every baker must have a solid brownie recipe in their repertoire that they can easily fall back on. If you’re looking for a good, no-fail, back-pocket brownie recipe, this one is a must-try. These triple chocolate brownies are drizzled with semi-sweet chocolate and stuffed with dark and white chocolate chips. They are super easy to make, look amazing and they’re sure to hit the spot this Easter weekend. The tops are slightly crunchy with a moist, rich, and chewy inside. What more could you want from a brownie? 

Rich, chocolatey brownies for Easter

Headed to a celebration the holiday weekend? These will be perfect for any party. If you’re looking for more Easter dessert ideas, here a few tasty ideas to impress the guests.

Easter Dessert Ideas

1. Classic Tiramisu (egg-free!)

2. Chocolate-covered pound cake bites (finger-friendly food sure to please any palate)

3. Cupcakes (customize them with chocolate eggs and marshmallow bunnies)

4. Strawberry Sponge Cake (welcome Spring back with a pop of colour in your dessert) 

If you've run completely out of ideas and options and none of the above work for you, just pop  a bag of Cadbury eggs into your favourite perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe and voila, Easter chocolate chip cookies. 

Easter chocolate chip cookies

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Chocolate Stout Cookies recipe for St. Patrick's Day

New: Chocolate Stout Cookies for St. Patrick's Day in Newfoundland
What's up: Annexe Resto Review, Double Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe, Homemade Bacon and Egg McMuffin

Can’t live in Newfoundland without partaking in a bit of that Irish culture. St. Patrick’s Day is a much bigger deal here than in Vancouver so I couldn’t let it pass by without whipping up a little St. Patrick’s Day dessert. And what better to bake than something with a nice bottle of chocolate stout—chocolate beer cookies! These cookies won’t exactly give you a buzz but they will hit you with a nice rush of sugar and satisfy that sweet tooth. 

M&Ms and Chocolate Beer make these cookies perfect for St. Patrick's Day

Although the beer itself had a nice, strong taste with hints of chocolate, very little of that unique flavour came through in the cookie. Overall it’s a good basic double chocolate cookie recipe, no complaints there, but if you’re looking for something special, perhaps using a strong beer, or adding a few extra ounces of beer might do the trick.

Chocolate Stout Cookies for St. Patrick's Day

I got this recipe from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures and made a few of my own alterations.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Restaurant Review - Annexe Resto

New: Restaurant Review - Annexe Resto
What's up: Double Chocolate Chip Muffins, Lemon bars, Fluffy Pancakes

In terms of Groupon dining, I’ve always been relatively fortunate. I find if you do your research and read the fine print, you can’t go too wrong with a half off meal. My very first “fine” dining experience in St. John’s was at Annexe Resto on George Street using a Groupon for $40 worth of food for $20. Annexe Resto is a cross between a somewhat nicer restaurant and a bar/lounge. It serves what I’d consider “West Coast” food with a small selection of pastas, steaks, and salads. It also has a special bar menu with things like poutine, nachos, and onion rings.

The interior of the restaurant was nice, quaint, dark. As we went on the weekend after February 14th, it was still set up for Valentine’s Day with what appeared to be Christmas trimming and shiny red hearts hanging around. My favourite part of the decor was probably the tables. We sat at the front and they had these charming, rustic, round stone tables. 

Annexe Resto on George Street

At 6PM on a Saturday night, we were literally the only customers there for about 15-20 minutes and throughout the entire night, only about four tables were filled, so we enjoyed a very quiet night.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Breakfast Series: Double Chocolate Chip Muffins and Where to get muffins in Vancouver

New: The Breakfast Series: Double Chocolate Chip Muffins recipe and where to get muffins in Vancouver
Whats up: Homemade Bacon and Egg McMuffin, Lemon Bars and Fluffy Pancakes

Breakfast, lunch, dessert, snack, muffins are great any time! So far, I’ve tasted two main types of muffins, the traditional moist, fluffy muffin, and the cakier muffin that could also pass for a cupcake if it had frosting on top. Both are delicious but today’s recipe for Double Chocolate Chip Muffins produces some fanastically chocolately and moist traditional muffins. 

Decadent double chocolate chip muffins

This recipe uses a lot of baking powder, but it’s done in such a way so you don’t taste it at all and produces the biggest, muffins with an excellent muffin top to bottom ratio. The muffins are moist, not cakey, and deliciously chocolatey. Next time I may want to try throwing in some fresh brewed coffee to enhance that chocolate flavour, just a thought! 

Moist and soft Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

Read on to find out where to get vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free muffins in Vancouver. 

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Valentine's Day & Tangy Delicious Lemon Bars

New: Valentine's Day & Tangy Delicious Lemon Bars
What's up: Homemade Bacon and Egg McMuffin, Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

Growing up, Valentine’s Day was always one of my favourite holidays. The best part was always checking my Valentine’s basket at the end of the day to see how many Valentine’s cards I’d received from my classmates, and even better, how many candies I’d collected over the week. Cinnamon hearts, Conversation hearts, Hershey’s Kisses, Cherry JuJubes, chocolate hearts, strawberry marshmallows, every pink red and white candy available. Only twice a year did I receive this much candy, and boy did I love it. Despite all the candy however, nothing ever beat that awesome mom who brought in Valentine’s cupcakes or heart-shaped cookies. Not the overly frosted, solid, store-bought ones, but the nice, fluffy cupcakes with the smooth, creamy strawberry frosting and the colourful sprinkles smattered on top. Delicious. 

Perfect lemons for the perfect lemon bars

Lemon bars are the perfect treat for any occasion.

However, this year, we are aiming to please a slightly more mature crowd, so this Valentine’s day, we have some spectacularly sweet and sour lemon bars. With that deliciously buttery crust and tart but satisfying tang, nothing beats a good old fashion lemon bar. 

Tangy and sweet old fashioned lemon bars
This lemon bar recipe has a good balance of sweet and sour with a nice solid, buttery crust. A little extra sweetness, sprinkle a generous dusting of icing sugar. 

I got this recipe from Loveveggiesandyoga.