Peanut Butter Blossoms

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I’d say I’ve developed quite a lot in the kitchen. I’ve graduated from being my Mother’s sidekick and needing her supervision. I’ve started experimenting with more challenging recipes, some working and some being quite the failure. But my wonderful family nods and smiles despite the fact I fully well know that the cookie they are eating tastes like sawdust and has the texture of it too.

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All this new recipe testing and experimenting has made me develop into a better baker, and  somewhat of a better chef.

Tonight I made these Peanut Butter Blossoms for my concert band performance. I looked for an hour trying to find a recipe that I could make in under two hours, wasn’t too fancy, because teens these days don’t have the best taste in food, and wouldn’t just be chocolate chip cookies. I have trouble finding recipes sometimes because I want to look for something impressive, but doesn’t call for a cup of ricotta cheese and flakes of edible gold. Okay fine. I’ve never found a recipe with edible gold in it, but you get my point. I’ve seen so many recipes with ricotta in them lately. Am I the only one? Eventually after abandoning a few recipes after realizing they needed to be chilled or there were no hazelnuts around,  my Mom suggested I just make our families recipe of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. These cookies are delicious, but as previously stated, I wasn’t into making these cookies. My friends know I’m a decent baker and if I showed up with a paper plate filled with a pile of brown spotted dough balls,  lets just say I don’t feel so good about that.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies were one of the first recipes I ever made by myself, because I don’t know if you could get them wrong. Even if you put the chocolate chips in first and the eggs in last, I’m pretty sure they would still taste quite delicious.  I started remembering all the recipes I started out with, and a delightful memory of pushing chocolate chips into hot peanut butter cookies made me drool. After checking that my fridge was stocked up with peanut butter and chocolate chips, I set to work. A few whisks, beatings, stirs and bakings later these cookies were born. Most of that was done by the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, but I’m not ashamed.

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I love testing out new recipes and creating new things, but I also love making the simple staples that first brought me into the kitchen. So here they are in the flesh, peanut butter blossoms with a hint of chocolate. These cookies are best eaten hot with the chocolate all melted and gooey, but are still divine all cooled and pretty dipped in a cup of steaming tea.

 

Peanut Blossoms- Not quite sure where these came from…back of a box maybe?

Beat together: 1/2 cup softened butter, 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter, 1/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

Beat in: 1 egg, 3 tbsp milk and vanilla

Combine 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt and gradually blend into mixture.

Shaped dough into small balls and roll in sugar.

Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bae at 350 degrees Farenheit for 5-7 minutes, or until small cracks start to appear on top of cookies. Remove from oven and immediately press a Hershey kiss or chocolate chips in the middle. I find if you are using chocolate chips like I did, that making a small hole with the end of a wooden spoon in the cookie before pressing chocolate in works the best.

Enjoy!

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Pesto Pizza Florentine

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I’ve been to the movies quite a lot lately. By the movies I mean the television in my parents bedroom downstairs. I’d like to say I’m a movie connoisseur, but that’s just not true! And Professor Umbridge told me I should not tell lies, so I will not!

I’m at the age where I’ve started to appreciate movies that don’t just have romance and super-powered handsome men in them. I’ve started to look past the Hollywood blockbusters that in the end don’t have that much to offer. Since I am being honest today, I love ALL the new superhero movies, because they are just a ton of fun and excitement! But recently, I’ve just felt that I want more out of a movie than just men in costumes saving the world. Thankfully, my brother has seen so many movies and owns even more, that his collection is  free for my viewing pleasure!

Now I’m a fan of exciting police movies, and anything with action. If you throw a secret agent in there, then I’m automatically hooked. Lucky for me again, my brother has plenty of cop and gang movies. I have started making my way through his collection, and so far have watched ‘The Departed’ and ‘Heat’. I definitely recommend these two movies for anyone who loves a good exciting cop movie, and doesn’t mind a bit of coarse language…

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I have two movie trilogies I could watch on repeat for an entire year and not get bored of them. These are ‘The Dark Knight Trilogy’ and ‘The Bourne Trilogy’. Only the original first three Bournes though, because Matt Damon is THE ONLY Bourne! Listening to any song from either of these six amazing movies just makes you feel extra awesome walking down the street. In class I daydream of pulling a gun out of my back pocket and jumping out the window. Is that wrong? This particular piece of music needs to be my ringtone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYaso7QeXqU

Any who, when I watch a movie I like to accompany it with something to either sip or snack on. Usually it’s either popcorn or herbal tea. Pizza comes second after popcorn for popular movie snack foods. This particular pizza is super duper quick, healthy, light and delicious, and will make your movie choice that much more exciting!

P.S You may have noticed I’ve changed the name of my blog! At first I thought this blog was going to be more than food, but I found out I loved food blogging so much, the name was changed.

Pesto Pizza Florentine

  • 1 cup washed, dried and torn spinach. (if using baby spinach, no need to tear)
  • 1 recipe homemade pizza dough
  • 3/4 cup homemade pesto
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese.

Make pesto-recipe below

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Make pizza dough-recipe below

Oil a sixteen inch pizza pan (or whatever you have; the crust will just be thicker if a smaller pan is used) and sprinkle cornmeal over it so the pizza doesn’t stick.

Spread pesto over, top with grated cheese and spinach.

Bake for 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Enjoy!

Pesto Genovese-slightly adapted from Moosewood Cookbook This makes 2 cups, so you can make the whole recipe and freeze some in small batches for another recipe! 

  • 3 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Whirl all the ingredients, except the oil, in a food processor or blender. When everything is well chopped, add the oil in a thin stream to form a smooth paste. If you are using a blender, it is necessary to prechop the herbs and nuts by hand.

Pizza Dough

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup very warm water

Whisk together whole wheat flour, salt and yeast. Mix in water and olive oil until soft dough forms. Add in all purpose flour and turn out onto surface, kneading until a smooth elastic dough forms. About 6 minutes.

Let dough rest covered, for ten minutes. Roll out dough on a floured surface, flipping dough over after a few rolls to ensure the dough doesn’t stick and is rolled out evenly.

Coconut Pancakes with Ginger Maple Syrup

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Waking up at 6 a.m on a Sunday morning on the day you have to work late just ain’t cool! You know I really love mornings, but not that much! My favourite mornings are the ones where I’m woken up by the sun shining through my window and the beautiful birds chirping sweetly. Unfortunately life isn’t like the fairy tales, and I don’t get many of these mornings. Usually I’m woken by crows fighting over the neighbour’s last night’s barbecue and a harsh beam of light at the lovely hour of 5 a.m. Likewise, today was definitely that kind of day! Not sure what the crows were fighting over this morning, but it sounded serious.

First off, can we just appreciate this amazing whisk?! My brother gave it to me for Christmas, and it’s amazing.

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It’s the May long weekend here in British Columbia, so camper vans are as far as the eye can see and the lovely sound of late night parties are heard…paired with police sirens. So no school on Monday means a day of sweatpants and a tasty breakfast for me! At least that was the plan yesterday. Turns out I got called into work and had to be there for 8:00 a.m. Bummer! But life is life, and the thoughts of my own laptop and a university fund were upfront in my mind during today’s shift.

I also whipped cream by hand for these pancakes. I felt very accomplished, and it made the pancakes taste so much better! The first time I attempted whipping cream by hand it took 20 minutes and turned out more like butter. This time around, it was creamy perfection. Yogurt would also complement these perfectly if you don’t have cream kickin’ around or you want a healthy alternative.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

Coconut Pancakes with Ginger Maple Syrup

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp each of baking powder, baking soda and salt
  • 1 tbs of granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbs plus 1/2 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut- absolutely any kind would work

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar in a medium bowl and set aside.

Whisk egg and add 2 tbs coconut oil (melted in a small saucepan) to the egg. Whisk together and add buttermilk.

Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until well blended. Add coconut.

Melt 1/2 tbs coconut oil in a pan set on medium heat and using a 1/4 cup measure, make the pancakes! When bubbles start to form on the pancake and the edges look firm, flip that pancake!

Ginger Maple Syrup

Mix together an 1/8 cup of maple syrup and a small pinch of ground ginger in a small bowl, and pour onto pancakes! Ginger is quite strong, so start with a very small amount and add more depending on how strong you want the syrup.

I put whip cream on top of my pancakes, but yogurt would taste wonderful as well.

Enjoy!

Rhubarb Strawberry Blueberry Smoothie!

I like my smoothies like I like my lizards. Thick skinned. That’s the first and last time lizards will be mentioned in this post. I really just don’t enjoy a watery smoothie. They’re just not my thing.

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There are some things in life that everyone just has to do. Like read a few really great books, learn to play an instrument, raise some money for a good charity and go skydiving. That last one is still to be completed, since you have to be 19 to jump out of plane out of your own will.

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I also think every food blogger needs to throw their smoothie recipe out there. That and a porridge recipe. So get ready for that in the future. This smoothie recipe was concocted from the rest of the berries in the  freezer, then the rhubarb was added in on a whim, and it’s amazing! Rhubarb adds a nice tang to the smoothie, and gives it a really delicious aftertaste!

I know I ‘think’ about a lot of things in my posts, but lets just say I have an opinion on many things! My opinion on this smoothie is that it’s scrumdiddlyumptious.

Rhubarb Strawberry Blueberry Smoothie-makes 2

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped rhubarb
  • Vanilla Yogurt I used about 1/2 a cup
  • Juice of your choice! I used 3/4 cup of peach/mango juice

Blend your frozen fruit and however much juice and yogurt you would like to get the smoothie to the consistency you like! Enjoy!

Last Minute Strawberry Shortcakes

Yesterday I went on a super secret sneaky (oh yes alliteration) mission. It was a mission to get strawberries and whip cream. Before you click away because you’re afraid for my life, I survived, and better yet the mission was accomplished!

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Shortly after my mother left for a run, I sneaked out to grab the goods, and got back before her! Score! I feel bad because I had to work on Mother’s Day, but I got up this morning and made waffles and apple fruit sauce for breakfast with my Dad. So there’s some consolation there. I know it’s just a bit last minute to be putting up a Mother’s Day post, but I know some of you procrastinated…but don’t worry ’cause I won’t tell your Mom.

I think the best way to make your mom happy is to make things for her and cook for her. So my sister and I brought our Mother a café latté in bed.

I know Mother’s Day is now over, but this recipe is a keeper and it’s perfect for the beginning of summer. So I hope you enjoy this as much as my Mother did!

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Strawberry Shortcake- slightly adapted from Canadian Living

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Grated lemon peel of 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter
  • 3/4 cup skim milk

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, mix well. Add cold butter; cut in using a pastry blender or 2 knives. Add milk, mixing lightly with a fork. Use your hands to gently pull dough together into a ball. Do not squeeze or massage the dough. You may need a bit more milk depending on the warmth of your hands and butter. The dough should be soft, with all dry ingredients incorporated. Place the dough on the counter and gently press into a 7″ circle.  Cut the dough into 8 wedges, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on rack.

To serve:

Cut up as many strawberries as you like and whip up as much whipping cream that fits your fancy, and put together your shortcakes.

Enjoy!