No-Bake Energy Balls Monday, Jul 15 2013 

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I am preparing for the arrival of our third baby soon, and wanted to make some no-bake energy balls in the freezer for the labour, or post-partum. My husband and boys LOVE these as well, so hopefully there will be a few left for the midwives and I by the time the baby arrives!!

There are easy to make, and don’t heat up the house on these hot summer days. They are wonderful to bring on a car ride, picnic, play date at the beach or park, or anywhere else you go.

The recipe is a slight adaptation from here.

No-Bake Energy Balls

1 cup oatmeal (I use large flakes so they take longer to digest, keeping one feeling full longer)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed/chia seeds/psyllium husks/hemp hearts
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or use cranberries, etc!)
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients together, and put the mixture in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (to make it easier to handle). Shape into balls, and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a container or ziploc bag and either store in fridge or freezer – if they last that long!

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles Wednesday, May 8 2013 

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I have made our own popsicles for the past 2yrs or so. I love making my own as I know exactly what is in it, and its not loaded with food colouring and sugar. 🙂  There are many cute popsicle moulds out there too, such as the one my son is holding in a start shape. The main one I’ve been making is Smoothie Popsicles, but we also really like the Coffee Popsicles! While I searched my blog for the links to those two popsicles, I came across one I totally forgot about, Peanut Butter Popsicles!

This week, I tried a new one: Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles. It is DELICIOUS! It’ll definitely become a regular part of our popsicle selection this summer. 🙂

Strawberry Yogurt Popsicles

1 cup strawberries, mashed
1 cup plain yogurt
Honey, to taste (or other sweetener of choice)

I put my strawberries through the blender, leaving some small chunks for texture. I quickly blended in the yogurt, and sweetened to taste with a bit of honey. Freeze in popsicle moulds, or in small cups with a spoon or popsicle sticks in it. Enjoy! 🙂

Granola Bars Thursday, May 2 2013 

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A friend gave me this recipe a few years ago, and I remember really liking them. I finally got around to making it again, and yes, still just as delicious! These are pretty sweet, more like a dessert to me, but hold together really well.

 

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Granola Bars

3 cups oatmeal
2/3 cup slivered almonds
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp maple extract
1/4 cup maple syrup

Mix thoroughly, by hand. Press it on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes, or until it bubbles in the middle and is just a bit brown. Cut when warm, and leave in the pan until completely cooled.

Brown Rice Pudding Tuesday, Apr 30 2013 

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We had company last night, and I made rice. Lots of rice. Loads of rice! I had a lot of leftovers, and decided to try a brown rice pudding recipe. I googled, and got a few ideas. This morning I made the rice pudding, and while it looks like oatmeal, it’s much yummier!!

The recipe is an adaptation from Versagrain’s.

Brown Rice Pudding

1 1/2 cup brown rice (I used brown basmati)
2 cups milk, divided
2 Tbsp sugar*
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
1/4 cup coconut (optional)
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 tsp vanilla

In a medium size pot, combine rice, 1 1/2 cups milk, sugar, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until pudding is thick and creamy – approximately 10-15 minutes.

Stir in remaining 1/2 cup milk, beaten egg, coconut and raisins. Cook 2 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove pudding from heat, stir in butter and vanilla. Enjoy warm!

* I reduced the sugar a lot compared the original recipe, and still found it too sweet because of the added raisins, sweeten to your taste!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies Monday, Mar 11 2013 

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There’s a recipe that I’ve seen going around Pinterest for a while, Lemon Crinkle Cookies, and while they look so good, they are so full of sugar that I could never bring myself to make them!! I decided to try a healthier version of them, and it worked! We all love them, and it’s such a nice variety to the typical oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies that are popular around here. 🙂

So, I reduced the sugar significantly, and used whole grain spelt flour (wheat would work too), and my husband still thought they were really sweet. 🙂  We all loved them for sure.

 

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

½ cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
½ tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup wheat/spelt flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar

In a bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and juice. Scrape sides and mix again. Stir in all dry ingredients, except powdered sugar, slowly until just combined. Scrape sides of bowl and mix again briefly.

Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. I then shook each ball briefly in my fingers to shake off extra powdered sugar. Place on greased baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until bottoms begin to barely brown. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Squash Bars Friday, Mar 1 2013 

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I had 1/2 a spaghetti squash leftover the other day, and didn’t know what to do with it. I found this recipe in the cookbook “Simply in Season” and decided to give it a try. It turned out delicious! My husband and boys couldn’t stop eating it. I’ll definitely be repeating this easy and yummy recipe.

Squash Bars

2 cups winter squash or pumpkin (cooked and puréed)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

Beat together squash, sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla and salt. Mix in dry ingredients. Pour into greased 11×17″ pan. Bake at 350F for 25-30 minutes.

Snake Birthday Cake Wednesday, Jan 16 2013 

We made this cake for my son’s birthday. We baked the cake (Chocolate Spelt Cake) in two bundt pans, then cut them in half and placed them into a snake shape. My husband decorated it with icing and candies. It was a bit hit! 🙂

Puffed Wheat Cake Monday, Jan 7 2013 

I was introduced to this dessert in college (in Saskatchewan). It’s the same type of dessert as rice krispies squares, just that easy, but, in my opinion, so much better! 🙂

When I was engaged, my “SK mom” made me a recipe book. It’s a book I treasure, and use often! One of those recipes is Puffed Wheat Cake.

Another fun little story behind this is regarding the puffed wheat itself. My Mom grew up on a farm, and they used to feed their ducks puffed wheat. So she grew up calling puffed wheat “céréal de canard (duck food)”. I also grew up calling them “céréal de canard”, and didn’t actually know it wasn’t their real name until my teens. 😉  While I call them puffed wheat now, in my heart, it’s still “céréal de canard”. 😉 So, here is the recipe for Duck Food Puffed Wheat Cake!

Puffed Wheat Cake

1/2 cup butter/margarine
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 cup brown sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa
9 cups puffed wheat
250g marshmallows (8oz, or, 30 large marshmallows)

Place butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and cocoa in large pot. Melt on medium heat until just bubble. Turn off heat, add in marshmallows and stir until melted. Add in puffed wheat, mix. Pour into 9″x12″ casserole dish, press down with buttered spatula (or marshmallow sticks all over your spatula). Let cool, and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Cookies Friday, Dec 7 2012 

 

My Aussie friend gave me this recipe. They are melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter cookies. 🙂  They tend to crumble easily (esp after the first day), but they taste so good so I keep making them! 🙂

Peanut Butter Cookies

1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour (I’ve used wheat/spelt)
1 tsp baking soda

Cream butter, vanilla, sugars, peanut butter, and egg. Add in flour and baking soda, and mix. Roll into small balls, place on greased cookie sheet, and press cookies down slightly with a fork, first crosswise and then lengthwise for a crinkled effect. Bake 15 minutes at 350F.

Christmas Baking Monday, Dec 3 2012 

It’s that time of the year! Time to start your Christmas baking. 🙂  With lots of festivities, and get-togethers, it saves a lot of time and money to make a variety of baking ahead of time and put them in the freezer. This way, when invited somewhere or having people over, it’s quick and easy to make a beautiful platter of Christmas baking in a jiffy!

Another good way of getting a variety of Christmas baking is hosting a baking swap! Invite 4-6 friends, each bring 1-2 items, and swap. Easy way to get a good variety, and a fun night too. 🙂

Here are a few of my favourite Christmas desserts to bake (most pictured in the tray above):

Christmas Thumbprint Cookies

World’s Easiest Christmas Candy

Raspberry Bars

Peppernuts

Lemon Squares

Puppy Chow

Buckeye Candy

Peanut Butter Mocha Checkerboards

Chocolate Mint Things (Shortbread)

Midnight Mint Bars

Nanaimo Bars

Homemade marshmallows

Date Squares

White Cream Fudge

Crispy Peanut Squares

Gingerbread Cookies

Coconut Chocolate Bars

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