Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Welcome Autumn...

     I cannot believe that yesterday was the first day of autumn. There are so many things I love about the fall. It is my favourite season; the colours, the flavours, crisp air and cool nights.  The other day I baked up a batch of these pumpkin nutella  muffins from a recipe I found online.  They were wonderful and I highly recommend that you try them.  The recipe is very straightforward and the results are spectacular.  These are guaranteed to bring the taste and smell of fall into your kitchen. Happy baking!

You will need:
  • 3 1/3 cups all- purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • Nutella


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl and whisk together.
3.  Add all of the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined and then fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
4. Drop a  teaspoon of Nutella into each muffin tin over the pumpkin batter and use a toothpick to swirl it in.
5. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out with no pumpkin batter on it (there may be some hot Nutella that sticks to the toothpick but that is fine!) 

Thanks to YourCupofCake for inspiring this recipe!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

No bake? Piece of cake!

     Back to school means back to routine.  Back to making lunches, after school snacks and  portable, homework enticing treats. Peanut butter, especially when paired with chocolate, is a hands down winner here at my house.  Since peanut butter is contraband at school this fudge can't be packed in lunches, but the recipe is quick and easy; perfect for an after school reward.  It calls for only 3 (yes you read that right... 3!) ingredients.  Oh, and did I mention that it doesn't require an oven?  This is a no bake treat.  Even if you don't consider yourself a baker I am confident that you can pull this one off. Seriously, give it a try. You won't be sorry!

PS- You don't have to tell anyone how easy this delicious treat was to make. Feel free to pretend you were slaving away over a hot stove for hours. It'll be our secret...

Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Bars

You will need:

  • 26 individual, regular sized Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped (20 for the bottom and 6 chopped and sprinkled on top)
  • 3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14 ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk


  • Line a 9x9” pan with foil and spray with cooking spray
  • Place the peanut butter cups in an even layer on the bottom of the pan. (You should use 20 on the bottom)

  • Place chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir until chips and milk are melted together.
  • Once everything is melted together, spread evenly over peanut butter cups in prepared pan. 
  • Immediately sprinkle with the crumbled Reese's, pressing them lightly into the fudge. 
  • Cool on the counter until it’s room temperature, then cover with plastic and place in the refrigerator to harden completely.
  • When completely firm, cut into squares and enjoy!
  • Leftover pieces, if you have them, can be stored in an air tight container.
Recipe adapted from Six Sisters' Stuff

Friday, September 12, 2014

Are You Ready For Some Cookies?

"Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
fluttering from the autumn tree."
~Emily Bronte

     I love the fall. For as long as I can remember it has been my most favourite season. Crisp air, sun burnt leaves, cozy sweaters, flannel pjs, crisp apples and pumpkins. It's a time for getting back into routines, slowing down and giving thanks. This is the season when nature bursts with its last beauty as if it had been saving up all year long for a grand finale.

     Surprisingly, another thing I love about the fall is the start of football season.  By no means am I an avid fan. I simply love the fact that it draws my family together, in one room, lounging in front of the t.v. sharing snacks. Everyone knows that the best part of watching football is the food that goes so well with the game; a loaded plate of nachos, a steamy bowl of chili, and perhaps a batch of fresh baked cookies.  Being in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon with a football game on in the background, knowing that my family is home and gathered together is bliss for me. 

     I don't know about you, but I am ready for some football. I'm thankful it's the season to slow down and get cozy. Bring it on Autumn, I am ready for the kick off.

     I found this recipe on Pinterest and baked up a batch the other day. They are so moist and delicious! This recipe is a dancing in the end zone touchdown.  

You Will Need:

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 box instant vanilla pudding
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheets with parchment paper
  • In a large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together, set aside
  • Using a mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and pudding mix for 2-3 minutes
  • Scrape down bowl as needed
  • On slow, add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl in between additions
  • Add vanilla extract
  • Slowly add flour mixture and mix until combined
  • Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts
  • Roll  dough into the size of golf balls and place on cookie sheets
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown
  • Cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks for additional cooling

Thanks to Your Cup of Cake 
for the inspiration for this recipe!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Circle of Life...

       It's been just over a month since I started my new (old) job and I am thrilled to say that I am enjoying it tremendously! While some things have changed in the 10 years since I left, much has also remained the same. Imagine my surprise when I found my old mug still in the cupboard! I was delighted to learn that even the tea pot that I used so often was still there too.

     There are many familiar faces, both on staff and in the stacks. I am enjoying reconnecting with patrons and co-workers and being surrounded by books once again.  It is wonderful to feel that I have once again found my place in the working world.  The added bonus is that I now have a new venue for my baked goods!  I baked up a batch of these muffins and brought them in to work the other day. They are moist and delicious and pair perfectly with a nice hot cuppa!

Blueberry Banana Muffins

You Will Need:

1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed, ripe bananas, (2-3 bananas)
1/4 cup applesauce
1 2/3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 handfuls of blueberries (fresh or frozen)

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Mix in eggs, bananas and applesauce
  • In a small bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and whisk to combine
  • Add the dry mixture to the banana mixture and stir until just combined, do not over mix
  • Stir in blueberries dusted in flour (so that they won't sink to the bottom!)

 To make a loaf of banana bread, pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes until centre is firm. Let cool before slicing.

To make 12 muffins, scoop batter into lined muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

* I sprinkled mine with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar just before baking to give them crunchy sweet topping