Monster Cupcakes

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Look at him!! Isn’t he the cutest little cupcake you’ve ever seen?????

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When I posted the picture to instagram, it had the caption of “Spooky Cupcakes…wait no CUTE CUPCAKES!” Which is exactly what they are! There are derpy ones, scared ones, and totally adorable ones!

I had help from my awesome friend Jenna, who watched me not screw them up. They are super duper easy to make, but I’m still not really confident with piping, so her moral support was appreciated. I found the eyes, sprinkles, and coloured sanding sugar at bulk barn. I do have to say that they look a little bit like muppets, but they are definitely fun to eat.

Monster Cupcakes
 
Ingredients
  • Cupcakes that have been baked and cooled (I used Devil's Foodcake)
  • Vanilla Icing
  • Different food colouring
  • Sprinkles and Sanding Sugar
  • Googly Eyed Candy or Mini Marshmallows
Instructions
  1. Using a star tip, take a piping bag and coloured icing of your choice, and dab the icing onto the cupcake and pull up quickly while applying pressure.
  2. Continue until you've covered the whole cupcake and the icing looks like fur that's messy.
  3. Using sprinkles or sanding sugar or your choice, add copious amounts onto the top of the cupcakes to give them a even fuzzier effects.
  4. Then add two googly eyed candies, or 2 small marshmallows with a dot drawn on them with a edible pen.
  5. Try to eat them, but can't because they're so cute!

 

uplookThey look so scared. I can’t even…. too much cute.

 

Happenings

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving everyone!

We’ve had a good week of poor eating. And by poor, I mean not healthy, except for the turkey that was roasted with a bacon weave and like 2 lbs of butter. mmmmm….. bacon and butter. So I roasted my first turkey. I named him Simon. Since I was the only one up while stuffing him, and I was putting my hands up him, I figured I should know more about him. So Simon, my turkey, used to be a turkey accountant. Which means he was a very conservative turkey. Either way, I still stuffed him, all while imagining Bird Brent from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. So I gave him a nice stereotypical persona, so he wouldn’t animate himself.

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Simon was sooooooo tasty! And stuffed with “Turkey Tyme” Bread via Brownberry breads, which is absolutely impossible to find in my area. I had the bread frozen for a few months, when I picked it up in Northern Ontario.

Also, we started a hockey pool at work. I know…. some hockey. Not enough to make better educated guesses on who is going to be the best goal scorer of the year. So it was a bit of remembering names and who is ranked closer to the top. I have a feeling that I will never really know as much hockey as I want to know. Anyways after the starting week, I am in last place, :(. However, it is still the first week, so I might be saved in weeks to come. Wish me luck!

Revenge of the pumpkin spice

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Thats right… Its coming… its here… there’s pumpkin puree in my fridge, ready for another go. It was bound to happen soon. It finally came to Starbucks in Canada. It also has been spotted here and there among the blogs I follow religiously.

Also if you read last week’s things post, you saw that I freaked out about rose water. I’m definitely not making that from scratch. There are so many different ways to make rose water. Enough that there were conflicting ideas as to the best way to make the rose water. So instead I walked to the natural food store and exchanged my pennies. Small problem solved.

I’ve been starting to think about Christmas lists (mostly because my mother gave me hers). And was thinking that for some folks that the funny t-shirts over at lookhuman.com would be good.

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Ok, this one might be for me, but still, they’re pretty cheeky.

Been doing bootcamp as of late. It’s been pretty good. Not the traditional yelling at people and super defeated working out, just a more constructive environment. So thats why the muffins are healthy in the last post.

Otherwise, yay October!

Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins

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This week has been busy… Like super duper busy… So I’m trying to stuff my face with healthy muffins so I don’t make any silly eating mistakes.

And since in my THINGS post from last week, I said that I wanted to make muffins, on a weekend, I did it! I’ll be completely honest though, it was a Tuesday night, but better late than never!

This recipe was adapted from Minimalist Baker. I follow her blog religiously, since I have to do without milk. Her recipes are super tasty, and she even has blogger resources out there for those looking to start (i.e. me).

This recipe does make you house smell amazing. A “I don’t care how hot those apples might be, they need to be in my mouth!” A direct quote from my boyfriend. So by all means, drive all the neighbors crazy.

Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unbleached four
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ⅓ cup quick oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (and some more for apples)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter (or vegan margarine)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 empire apples, peeled, cored, and diced.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and line muffin tin with paper liners. Spray liners quickly with Pam or other non-stick spray
  2. Saute apples in a skillet with butter and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook until soft.
  3. In a large bowl add pumpkin puree, almond milk, brown sugar, oil, egg, and vanilla extract. Sir until combined.
  4. Sift together in a bowl, both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir flour mixture into wet ingredients until just combined.
  5. Add apples and oats and stir lightly again until just combined.
  6. Spoon into muffin tins to the top. Sprinkle some oats on top if you'd like.
  7. Bake for 18-22 minutes of until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely and store somewhere cool for freshness.

And may the pumpkin spice fairy land on you soon as well…

Things…

Alright so things that are going on as of late:

Rose Water. Never seen or have made or have ever needed it. But apparently, I can add it to icing to make goods even tastier. I want to try it, so I think I’m going to go all in and buy a few roses and see what I can make of it. Wish me luck!

Construction. They recently diverted traffic on the bridge over the major highway to one lane on both sides, and it is the absolute worst. If I decide to sleep-in in the morning, then I still have to leave for work an hour and a half early to make it there in time. If I leave 20 minutes later I’m just destined to be late.

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Muffins. I really want to make muffins. Healthy ones. Pumpkin Apple Cinnamon muffins. I want to make them on a weekend, you know. for the week. But I don’t think that something that simple was ever done. I don’t just mean muffins in general. I mean the task of getting-something-done-on-a-weekend-for-the-week is just never done in my apartment. I’ve been trying to return empties to the beer store now for 3 weeks (exhibit of me tripping over bottles that I have tripped over day after day because I put them near the door, to further help the escape of our apartment). Point and case.

Sailor Moon. I’ve finished watching the specific Sailor Moon episodes and it was wonderful, but I pouted at the end like a four year old. **Spoiler Alert** (So we’re just going to go back to the very beginning…so you can go ahead and watch it all over again). Grumble grumble. Oh well, at least there are many more episodes of Sailor Moon R, and Sailor Moon S, etc, etc. in the meantime to keep me occupied, and continually obsessed.

Nerdy Nummies. Speaking of sailor moon… Just when I was into it, she made Transformation brooch cookies! Definitely have watched this youtuber since I discovered it a year ago. You can watch this episode here.

Gym, bootcampy goodness. Apparently I like torture. Enough to keep up with my “bootcamp homework assignments”. Hello 7 am dumbbells. Also, we get this cute little booklet to write everything down in, and these are pretty much my thoughts on the whole thing.

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Thanksgiving. Also going to be known as how to keep a second year student busy for a week. My boyfriend’s sister is spending Thanksgiving with us, and is spending the subsequent reading week with us as well. Which firstly means that we need to clean up Nick’s Computer Room (oh yeah! said with waaaaay too much sarcasm). Secondly means that I also get to take a day off of work, and play hookey with her (that actual yay with no sarcasm…promise). Also turkey, and picky stuffing eaters. Like it HAS to be a certain way NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS. It is the end of the world if this stuffing is not cooked to perfection (also no raisins, which is against my french canadian religion). Did I mention that we’re in a 2 bedroom apartment? With no kitchen table and a make believe sofa (fouton)? So turkey in front of the tv watching netflix it is!

Decorations. Not Halloween ones. No, I found Christmas lights, and Snowmen..

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

An oldie buy a goodie!

This week it got really cold here, and it was all of a sudden: Fall. Boots, Scarves, light jackets and pumpkin spice lattes. So instead of making soup or chili or anything with pumpkin (which I haven’t  been hit in the face with yet, thank goodness), I decided on traditional chewy gooey cookies. But as much as regular chocolate chip cookies are great, if you don’t add anything to the dough that is relatively healthy (read: yes instant oats are healthy…totally) then they are a little guilty. So in goes the oatmeal to help me with the my food conscious ;)

Anyways, the milk you see there is almond, unsweetened, and was really good with this cookie. I highly recommend the pairing! Also this is super easy, and by easy, I mean easy to make and easy to consume.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 vegan margarine (or butter)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp
  • 1½ cup instant oats
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. In bowl beat together butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until fluffy; beat in egg and vanilla. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt; stir into butter mixture. Stir in oats. Stir in chocolate chips,
  2. Measure cooking dough to be about 1 tbsp, and roll into ball. Place on cookie sheet (parchement paper lined or baking matt suggested), and flatten with your hand, into little disks. Place about 2 inches apart for spreading.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees until edges are golden brown, about 8 mins (give or take 2). Let cool on baking sheet for at least 5 mins, and transfer to cooling rack.

 

Actual quote from nick after stealing a cookie:”I should have asked…but all I thought was cookie! and nom nom nom nom.”

Monday Madness

So I wanted to add some flavor to this space, besides just food. Not that food isn’t amazing, (I love it soooo much), but there are other sides to me than that of food and baking.

I wanted to show you what I do on my time off, and when I’m not dreaming up Oscar the Oven Mitt drawings and cleaning my kitchen, this is what you can typically find me doing.

I volunteer with a sports organization which takes up a lot of my spare time in the winter. Yay sports!

Also I am happy to say that I am a nerd/geek/science fiction enthusiast (whichever way you want to mention it.) For example you will find an entire bookshelf decked out with Star Wars/Mario and other franchise gear. Also I have a small obsession with tiny robots. I think they’re cute! Which is why, if you check out my Pinterest boards, you will find an entire board dedicated to cute little robots.

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See what I’m talking about? It’s so cute!

Also in light of the new Sailor Moon Crystal coming out, I have watched that, as well as gone back and watched the anime version from the beginning. Which at first always seems a little ridiculous, because you’re watching Sailor Moon, but I’m on episode 33 at the moment and it’s really drawing me in. Damn you Tuxedo Mask and your suaveness!

If you’re interested you can find episodes from the very beginning here.

But I love how it is classically animated (tear drops and cartoon animation alike). So find cute little Luna and Artemis earrings here.

 

Currant Sugar Cookies

So I know its been a while. But there are a few things going on from behind the scenes that I am happy to report about.

I will have a mascot soon! I am so excited :D He is going to be the most adorable little thing on the planet and he’s already made my week. That being said, I am hoping that with a little time I can have a better web design and also the little guy to show you. Props to my friend Toni and her awesome drawing skills.

In the meantime, I’m doing my best to make sure you guys get more content and more tasty things to make. I made some cookies. And these cookies were unexpectedly good. Like I made them because I had the things in my pantry, but I wasn’t thinking that these were going to be the most amazing things in the world.

These cookies surprised me big time. The little currants in the sugar cookie add a special little sweetness to them, that they are just a powerhouse of tasty flavor.

IMG_0329Sorry for the potato of a photo, but these were going in a container to be brought to work. And they were GONE!

Current Sugar Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup butter or vegan margarine
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • pich salt
  • ¼ dried currants
Instructions
  1. In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy, beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; stir into butter mixture in 3 additions.
  3. Stir in currants,
  4. Divide dough in half; shape into discs. Wrap each in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or 24 hours make-ahead).
  5. Let stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out (about 15 mins).
  6. Between waxed paper, roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness. With a medium cookie cutter of choice (I chose a scone cutter because it was cute and round.) Place about 1 inch apart on cookie sheet.
  7. Bake one sheet at a time at 375 degrees until the bottoms are a pale golden (about 8 mins).
  8. Let cool on baking sheet for 1 min, then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.

 

If you’re feeling like the sweetness of the cookies themselves isn’t enough, they could also work nicely with some brown butter frosting. Be albeit me to tell you what to do with your cookies. ;)

Walnut Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Hey Strangers!

I realize that it’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve had to clean out my kitchen due to a small pest problem (Joys of living in a place not of your own ownership), and have slowly been putting it back together. Good news is, I made cookies!

These cookies were a favor to a co-worker who helped me with some heavy boxes. They were actually a nice marriage of flavors of chocolate and walnuts. Typically nuts can just go away from all of my baking, but this time I didn’t mind it. I don’t think I am completely convinced that nuts will wander back into my life of baking though. I think we have some more ground to cover there, more trust needs to be made.

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When you read the recipe, please don’t shun me. I added a majority of the dry and wet ingredients together (I know, how could I?). But it totally worked for these cookies, and when you get home from the gym and eat supper and it’s 8:30 and you realize that you still have to make cookies before going to bed, it’s pretty easy just to whip them up.

Walnut Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 6 tbsp vegan margarine (or regular butter) melted
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ⅔ cups non-bleached flour (or all-purpose)
  • ¾ cup baking soda
  • 1½ cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • one bag of semi-sweet chocolate chunks
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. But vegan margarine in a bowl and throw in the microwave to melt for 30 seconds. Mix in brown sugar, and combine until smooth. In same bowl add flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt, egg and almond extract. Mix until completely combined and consistent. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chunks until you're happy with it. Drop by tablespoon, giving room in between for spreading. Bake for 10 mins, until top of cookies look dry.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 92

Recipe adapted from Health.com.

Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies

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Hey! You childish people! Thats Nutella! And it’s tasty!

Yes the above cookies do look like a little elf dropped a stylish bowel movement on them, however once they have been refrigerated, and the nutella gets cold, they enter into an amazing taste haven. The cookie itself aren’t all that sweet, they have a distinct coffee taste to them, to the close to bitter end. But once you add the nutella center, they are perfectly balanced.

Sadly they did not make my list for Christmas Cookies because of the messiness of the nutella. But they are super duper tasty.

Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter (or vegan margarine)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup finely ground skilled toasted hazelnuts
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 cup Nutella
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy, stir in vanilla
  2. Whisk together flour, hazelnuts, coffee and salt. Stir into butter mixture in 2 additions. Form into ball; knead 1 or 2 times until smooth.
  3. Roll by heaping 1 tsp into balls.
  4. Place 1 inch apart on cookie sheet, and using your pinky finger, smash each ball in the middle to create a deep well in each cookie.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees until pale golden, 15-18 mins.
  6. Once cooled, put nutella in piping bag, and pipe into wells in the cookies.
  7. For best taste, refrigerate after piping, and consume once cookies are cold.

 

So the sad part about this recipe, is that for those who cannot eat milk, Nutella has milk ingredients in it, so this is not a milk-free recipe. Speaking of which, still looking for a milk-free alternate… Anyways still tasty tiny cookies.