Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Brown Butter Frosting

These little sweet treats are to die for. They are so incredibly moist and flavourful and when topped with such a divine frosting such as browned butter, it makes them pretty much irresistible to stop at just one.....or two.....or, say, three.....

And have I mentioned just how easy they are to make? Oh goodness, you can whip up a batch of these bad boys in no time. I'm sure many of you have seen this super easy recipe floating around Pinterest and maybe wondered how well they actually turn out. Well, trust me when I say they taste absolutely amazing!

This batch I made last year with no frosting, but instead just brown sugar and cinnamon


1 package any flavour cake mix (I used Butter Pecan)
1 398mL (about 14oz) can Pure Pumpkin

That's all. I swear.

Mix the 2 ingredients together with a mixer. Fill cupcake holders about 3/4 full of batter for larger cupcakes or 1/2 full for slightly smaller ones. Bake at 350F for about 25 minutes. Makes approximately 12 larger cupcakes or 18 slightly smaller ones.

Brown Butter Frosting
I found the recipe from this blog (I only used the frosting recipe, not the cupcake one) and decided to give it a whirl from all the positive reviews. I did change it a bit by adding some cinnamon and brown sugar though, which gave it a really nice extra flavour. It was soooooo yummy, it took a LOT of will power to not just stick a spoon in and eat it entirely straight up!

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp cinnamon

*note, all measurements are approximate. You can add more or less powdered sugar or milk to get the frosting to the consistency of your liking.

Melt butter on low to medium heat, eyeing it closely so it doesn't burn. Once melted and starting to turn a nice golden brown (again, do not over cook that it starts to burn), remove from heat and slowly add powdered sugar, mixing constantly to make it a smooth consistency. Add brown sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and continue mixing until all ingredients are blended together smoothly. Slowly add milk to thin it out a bit and keep adding it until you've reached the frosting consistency that you desire.

Take a spoonful of frosting and drizzle as much or little as you'd like over each cupcake. Frosting will harden to a really nice soft consistency, that even a couple days after making them and biting into them, the frosting will still have that melt-in-your-mouth taste.

Enjoy!! Pin It

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vegetable Tortellini Soup

This soup is such an incredibly simple recipe that requires very little prep work with the end result being so tasty and flavourful. It's also a wonderful way to sneak in lots of veggies for those little (and big) picky eaters!

Listed below are the ingredients I used to make the soup due to what I had on hand and modifying it to my liking, but you can find the original recipe here.

1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 small white onion, diced
3 - 4 cloves garlic
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 zucchini, diced
4 mushrooms, diced
4 1/2 cups chicken broth or chicken stock
1 large can diced tomatoes with liquid (I used 'no salt added')
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups cheese filled tortellini
grated cheddar cheese

1. In a large saucepan, melt the butter (or margarine) over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, carrots, celery, zucchini, and mushrooms and saute until just about to turn a golden brown, about 5 minutes.

2. Turning heat up slightly, add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes, oregano, basil, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Bring to boil.

3. Turn heat down to medium and add the tortellini. Let simmer for about 10 minutes until tortellini is nice and tender (do not overcook or they will really expand).

4. Serve into bowls and top with grated cheddar cheese.

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Autumn Wreath

Fall is in the air! Such a beautiful season with the falling leaves and all the gorgeous colours! As much as I love a hot, sunny summer, I was so excited to welcome the cooler weather (could be partially due to being 29 weeks pregnant though). And with fall comes all the lovely smells and so many divine sweet pumpkin and cinnamon treats and the trips to the pumpkin patch and the scarves and the boots. Ahhhhhh! Oh the joy!!

I knew I had to bring in autumn by doing a fun craft - and no craft beats making a gorgeous seasonal wreath to hang on the front door. So my daughter and I took a little shopping trip to Michael's to pick up all our materials for this year's fall wreath and then we went to the park in search of our own pine cones (no way was I about to spend $10 on a small bag of pine cones at Michaels).

I really love how this wreath turned out. It adds so much colour and gives off such a welcoming feeling to the house!

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Crockpot Lasagna

It really works!

I've seen recipes for making lasagna in the crockpot and will admit I was a bit skeptical at first. It just didn't seem feasible for some reason, but I was intrigued at the same time at how it would turn out. I just used my own favourite lasagna recipe that I've come up with over the years and crossed my fingers for the best. I must say, I am extremely pleased with how well it turned out. It was so well kept together and not at all runny. The hubby enjoyed it so much and the two year old had THREE servings and kept saying "mmmmm" every time she took a bite! I will definitely be making lasagna again in the crockpot!

12 lasagna noodles (I used oven-ready, so no cooking prep before hand)
1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained of grease
6 mushrooms, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 package frozen spinach, heated in microwave and drained
1 jar tomato sauce
1 - 500mL container cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
1 cup grated cheese of your choice (I usually use cheddar because that's what we normally have in the fridge)

1. Cook meat with garlic until fully browned. Drain any excess grease. Add onions, celery, mushrooms, and whatever other vegetables you want to add into it.

2. Heat spinach in microwave, according to directions on package (normally about 4 minutes) and then drain any excess liquid. Mix in with the meat mixture. Add tomato sauce and let simmer a few minutes until vegetables are softened to your liking.

3. Line the bottom of the crockpot with 3 lasagna noodles (depending on the size and shape of your crockpot, you'll probably have to snap off some of the noodle so it will fit - but you can just place those broken pieces in the gaps).

4. Evenly place meat mixture over top noodles and then do the same with the cottage cheese on top of the meat. Repeat until you have 3 layers of noodles and no more meat mixture or cottage cheese. Place grated cheese on top.

5. Cover and cook on high for about 3 hours or until noodles are softened to your liking.

May not look as neat as oven-baked lasagna, but definitely tastes just as delicious!

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Monday, April 30, 2012

Banana Blueberry Muffins

I always make sure to buy extra bananas when I'm at the grocery store, knowing full well a few will over-ripen and get mushy, leaving me no other choice than to make banana bread! It is such a hit in this house and how can I say no to my little girl asking for her "ana bed".

There are a gazillion banana bread recipes out there. I've made many over the years that have turned out so flavourful and tasty but I've also come across those not so good ones that are so dry with no flavour and nobody in the house wants to finish it. I discovered this recipe only about 3 months ago on All Recipes, but I foresee it being my go-to recipe from now on. I just like how easy it is and the end result is so moist with lots of flavour and not overly sweet. 

I have bags upon bags of blueberries in the freezer from last summer when we went blueberry picking, that I really need to use up, so I decided to add some to the recipe - even though I was going against the husband's wishes. He doesn't like people messing with his banana bread. He likes it straight up and pure, but he admitted he was wrong and was amazed at how much more flavour the blueberries added. 

I usually make my banana bread as a loaf but I'm taking some for my friend this week who just had a baby and figured it would be much easier taking muffins instead of trying to cut nice slices of the loaf but instead completely destroying it as I usually do. 

Recipe courtesy of with slight modifications
Makes 1 loaf or approximately 24 muffins


  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup sour milk (I just use whole milk) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 - 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries 


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.
  2. Combine sugar, butter, bananas, eggs, flour, baking soda, milk, salt and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl; beat well. [Add blueberries and mix gently]. Pour batter into prepared pan [or muffin tins].
  3. Bake in a preheated oven for 60 minutes (or approximately 22-25 minutes for muffins), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. 

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Crockpot Onion Mushroom Chicken

This is a really simple, super delicious chicken recipe. My mom used to make this (in the oven) when I was a kid and I would get so excited anxiously awaiting for it to be ready. I've made a few of my own modifications throughout the years and have recently started making it in the crockpot instead of the oven to let the flavours even more so infuse. The aroma throughout the house is absolutely amazing, it'll be a long 3 hours waiting for dinner! 

6 - 8 chicken thighs, with or without skin
1 can mushroom soup
3/4 cup light sourcream
1/2 package dried onion soup mix
2 tsp lemon juice
6 mushrooms, chopped
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Cornstarch to thicken sauce

Lightly cook chicken in frying pan until nicely browned on the outside. 

In crockpot, mix together mushroom soup, sourcream, onion soup mix, lemon juice, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and salt and pepper.

Add chicken to the mixture and coat with sauce.

Cook on High for about 3 hours, or until chicken is fully cooked. In a separate small bowl, combine cornstarch with cold water and mix into sauce until thickened to your likening. Serve over rice alongside vegetables of your choice. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I love making my own cards for special occasions, but the problem is is that I don't have all the fun tools like the Cricut to make fancy schmancy ones, so I have to keep it simple and be creative with what I have. I usually stock up on pretty paper and cute little embellishments every time I go to Michael's and get creative from there.

I've made so many cards over the years but never even thought to take pictures of them until recently. It was probably when I joined Pinterest a number of months ago that I realized that I, too, could be sharing some of my work. So here's just a select few of my cards, but I'll be sure to post more in the future....that is, if I remember to bring out the camera before I give the card away.

Oooh presents ~ super simple birthday card
Thanks to this site for my inspiration

Both of the above cards inspired by links I found on Pinterest

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Curried Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup

It was such a gloomy day today so I was craving a comforting, warm bowl of soup. I had some sweet potatoes and cauliflower that I needed to use so figured it was worth a shot to mix them together into a nice soup. The end result was so fantastically flavourful and such a hit with the little one and husband, so I will share with you this delightful, healthy recipe that I will definitely be making again and again in the future.

1 tbsp butter or margarine
1 small chopped onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 398mL can chicken broth
2 cups water
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 cups cauliflower, chopped
Sour cream or plain yogurt to garnish
Chopped cilantro or parsley to garnish

Melt butter or margarine in large pot. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute until nicely browned.

Add curry, cumin, and cinnamon. Raise heat and add chicken broth and water and let it come to a boil. Lower heat and add sweet potatoes and cauliflower and simmer until tender, about 25-30 minutes. Using a hand blender, puree all ingredients until nice and smooth. 

Serve in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream (or yogurt) and chopped cilantro to garnish. 

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Butter Tarts

The hubby needed a food to represent Canada for Multicultural week at work, so rather than him trying to take the easy (and disgusting) road of cooking up a few boxes of Kraft Dinner, I told him I would make Butter Tarts - a "highly regarded" and "quintessential" dessert in Canada. I have never made butter tarts before but figured they can't be all that difficult and with what they're made of, there was very low chance of them not tasting great. I came across this recipe (ironically American) on All Recipes and whipped up a couple dozen.

Recipe courtesy of
Makes 2 dozen


1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup butter (softened)
2 cups raisins
2 tablespoons heavy cream or coffee cream
1 cup chopped walnuts
30 (2 inch) unbaked tart shells (I used 3 inch tart shells)


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C).
2. Cream the butter, sugar and eggs well. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
3. Pour batter into tart shells, no more than half full. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Watch carefully!!--they'll burn quickly. Filling will keep in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or so. Liquid coffee creamer can be used for cream. Use any good pie pastry for shells. 

They taste absolutely amazing!!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cilantro Thai Chicken Balls

Let me start off by saying just how much I LOVE cilantro. I think it might be a bit ridiculous just how much I love it. My husband thinks I'm crazy how I'm constantly searching for recipes containing it and then tripling the amount of cilantro that the recipe asks for. I'm not sure if I could have married him if he didn't like it (he's not nearly as big a fan, but at least he doesn't hate it like many people do). Or maybe, just maybe, he actually really hates it but he's in too deep now and is just too scared to tell me the truth. Hmmm....

Anyway....I had some ground chicken defrosting for dinner tonight and had this recipe saved in my favourites on All Recipes. I had made my own slightly modified version of them a few months ago and they were so moist and tasted so amazing. And....they have a nice amount of cilantro in them, so obviously I knew what I would be making tonight with my ground chicken.

Cilantro Thai Chicken Balls

1lb extra lean ground chicken
1 egg
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1 cup (or more) chopped cilantro
2 tbsp lemon juice


Chop up cilantro and combine in bowl with above ingredients. Mix together until ingredients are evenly distributed. Roll into balls; I prefer bigger balls (yea, I said it), but you can make them smaller if you want to make them as appetizers with some sweet chili sauce for dipping.

Pour some bread crumbs into a bowl and roll the chicken balls in the bread crumbs to coat them.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a skillet and place chicken balls in until just browned on the outside. Remove from skillet and place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until fully cooked.

Serve with some rice and a nice feta spinach salad to make for a lovely meal.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Minnie and Mickey birthday fun!

I wanted to do something special for my little girl's 2nd birthday party, so I thought what better way than to make it Minnie (and Mickey) themed - her favorite two characters (although it is debatable that she might like Elmo a tad bit more).

There's nothing like planning a 2 year old's birthday party (and Pinterest) to get my creative juices flowing. I had so much fun with this party planning and am so happy with how everything turned out. Rachel had an amazing day spent with family and friends and seeing the joy on all the kid's faces made this party that much more special!

Here are a few pictures from her party

Minnie and Mickey Cupcakes

Love how this turned out!
Minnie and Mickey goody bags

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Marmalade Meatloaf

If you're looking for an extremely flavourful, incredibly moist meatloaf, look no further than here!!

I'm really not a huge fan of meatloaf because I always find it's very dry, so I usually avoid making it altogether. I had ground beef defrosting in the fridge one day many months ago and for some reason really wanted to make meatloaf. I looked up recipes online but they all looked the same and nothing stood out as being different. Then I remembered how once when I was a kid, my mom had made either meatballs or meatloaf and somebody had told her to put marmalade into it. I just love marmalade so I remember it tasting so great.

Of course, being a huge fan of marmalade, I always have some on hand in the fridge, so I figured I'd whip up my own recipe for marmalade meatloaf. I was really impressed with how flavourful it turned out and how incredibly moist it was. Both Rachel and my husband devoured it and kept wanting more, so I now make it at least once or twice a month in this house and the husband has even requested it a number of times (coming from a meatloaf hater, himself).


- 1 lb lean ground beef (you can also use ground pork, ground chicken, or ground turkey for a healthier option)
- 1/2 pack french onion soup mix
- 1/2 cup marmalade (I like to use more (about 1 cup) because I looove the flavour)
- 1 egg
- 2-3 tbsp milk
- garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- few handfuls of breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- frozen peas (optional)

With your hands, mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Place in loaf pan and bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour and 20 minutes or until fully cooked through.


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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Brought to you by the Letter R

Oh how I love this!! I got this idea a few months ago from, yea you guessed it, Pinterest (you'll notice a trend with that) and knew I had to make it for my daughter, Rachel. I actually bought a frame for this project back in November but ended up using it for a picture (imagine that!) and I kind of forgot about this idea altogether with the chaos of Christmas.

I was at Michael's today and happened to be walking down the button aisle and a little bag of green and pink buttons caught my eye. The two colours looked so pretty in that little bag and then I remembered my button project I had been meaning to do. My supposed quick trip to Michael's ended up lasting an hour and a half as Rachel and I went up and down the picture frame aisles trying to find the perfect one (if you knew me, you'd understand). Good thing Michael's has toys that kept her occupied as she sat and played so politely in her stroller waiting for me to decide.

I love how it all came together and I must say, I'm quite pleased with the final result!

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Monday, February 6, 2012

7 Layer Bars

Thanks for stopping by! This is an exciting day - I've finally decided to start my first ever blog! Now I can more easily post and share for all to see and of course, on to Pinterest, all the delicious eats and treats and fun crafts that my two year old daughter and I have fun making. 

Of course I have to make my first post interesting....but more importantly, yummy! So I'm going to start off with 7-layer bars. This dessert SERIOUSLY is to die for. If you're watching your calories, you may want to stop reading right now or run away fast because once you see how all the ingredients come together, you will HAVE to make this. 

My Mom used to make this for us once in a blue moon when I was growing up from a recipe book that my elementary school put together way back in the day and I have never forgotten the recipe nor have I forgotten just how delectable it tastes. 

One of my best friend's was having a pot luck for her birthday the other night and I knew she would  appreciate just how amazing these taste, so of course I had to make a batch to bring with us. I can honestly say they were quite the hit with everyone and I think she was more upset I had never shared this recipe with her prior to that night! 

7 Layer Bars

1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 cup graham crumbs
1 cup (or to your liking) butterscotch chips
1 cup (or to your liking) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup coconut
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup chopped walnuts


Melt butter or margarine and spread to cover bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. In order above, layer each ingredient one at a time and spread evenly on top of each other (do not mix or stir). Bake for about 25 minutes at 350 F. Let them cool and cut in squares. Enjoy!

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