Author Archives: Marie-Josee Barrette

Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins


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
  • 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.
  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…


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.


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.


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..



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.


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 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
  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.


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 😀 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
  • 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
  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.


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
  • 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
  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

Hazelnut Thumbprint Cookies



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
  • 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
  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.

Spiced Snickerdoodles



Maybe these are the cookies to leave for santa? I mean that guy must be getting sick of royal icing and M&M’s.



I’m on the amazing cookie quest to see which cookies will be present during the holidays, and will be present during co-worker food eatin’ time. So far I have my favorites, however I am looking for a few new entries to spice some things up. The most puzzling spot to fill is the biscotti position. I want something that isn’t too nutty and that isn’t just fruit, which seems to be a majority of the biscotti population. So…. I’m working on it.

About these cookies, I was super amazed that there are no eggs in this recipe! And that it also seems a little healthier with the maple syrup and almond milk. So yay official no dairy recipe!

Spiced Snickerdoodles
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • pinch cloves
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
  2. Mix first four ingredients together as sugar coating on a dinner plate.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, use fork to vigorously mix oil, sugar, syrup & milk. Mix for at least a minute to resemble applesauce. Then mix in vanilla
  4. Sift in remaining ingredients, stirring as you add them. Mix until pliable
  5. Roll into walnut sized balls, flatten into sugar mixure.
  6. Transfer sugar side up to cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 mins. Should be slightly brown on bottom.


I did absolutely no alterations to the recipe above because it was already awesome all around. Seriously tasty cookies!

Pumpkin Loaf



And we’re back to pumpkins. I think it’s still appropriate to post things with pumpkins in it. I find that once February rolls around, pumpkin is tiring and I’m kinda tired of seeing it. I mean, pumpkin is awesome because you only get to have it one certain time of year. So when I see recipes in February that say “Most Awesome Pumpkin recipe ever!” I turn my head because at that point I’m done. Right now though, I’m all about the squash.

They need a better way to peel the butternut squash though. At least I do. Lets work on this people.

Anyways, I brought this recipe into work and it was a hit. I’m still asked if it will ever return to the office again. Which it might, but that will be after I open my next can of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Loaf
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • ½ cup nuts (optional) (not included in the above picture)
  • 1⅔ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  1. Mix first six ingredients well
  2. Mix together and add remaining ingredients and bake in regular loaf pan for 1¼ hours at 325 degrees.

Adapted from Bethany’s Best Church Cookbook.

Lemon Scented Rosemary Walnut Shortbread



I don’t know about all of you, but I’m starting to think about Christmas baking. Its making me a little sad, but excited at the same time. On one hand, I have to make a whole crap ton of cookies, which means lots of oven time and dirty bowls. But I’m excited that I get to make them, and get to share them with you!

Speaking about the holidays, we didn’t hand out candy this year, because we live in an apartment building. So I went Christmas shopping and wrapped gifts. That’s right. I wrapped Christmas gifts on Halloween. I told some friends and I was ridiculed and was looked at with a little disgust. I don’t really blame them.

But back to baking! I’m trying out some cookie recipes to see if I want to change up the roster that I already have. These have not made the cut, however they were pretty tasty and different. The one thing I did find is that with the vegan margarine they didn’t act as they would have with butter. It was a little more difficult to get them to stay firm, instead of crumbly. However in the end worth all of the trouble.

Lemon Scented Rosemary Walnut Shortbread
Recipe type: Cookies
  • ½ cup vegan margarine
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1¼ cups whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup walnuts ground
  • 2 tsp finely chopped rosemary
  • ¼ tsp salt
  1. In bowl, beat together butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and lemon zest until fluffy; beat in vanilla. Stir in flour, walnuts, rosemary and salt until combined. Knead 5 times to make smooth dough. Divide in half and shape into discs; wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill until firm but not hard, about 45 mins.
  2. Between waxed or parchment paper, roll out dough to ¼ inch thickness. Using 2 inch cookie cutters, cut out shapes. Place, about 1½ inch apart. on parchment paper-line baking sheets; refrigerate for 30 mins.
  3. Bake, 1 sheet at a time, in 325 degree oven until golden, 10-12 mins. Let cool on pans on rack for 5 mins; transfer to racks and let cool completely.

If you are planning to make these ahead, they will store in the fridge for up to one week, and in the freezer for a month.

Adapted from Canadian Living Holiday.