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Monday, February 16, 2015

Apple Carrot Loaf and a Virtual Baby Shower #babyfamilybites

 It is always fun to celebrate a new baby.   A fellow Canadian blogger Jan from Family Bites is expecting a baby boy in the next couple weeks so we are throwing her a Virtual Baby Shower.

I will take lack of sleep, teething and poopy diapers any day if I can cuddle with, laugh at and kiss my little babes.  My youngest is almost 7 months now and it has been a blast so far.   So I will say I have been blessed with a rather laid back, very chill happy baby.  I have 1000 photos to show you how easy I can make her smile.  I have even had several moms comment when I go to classes for my older one at how she just sits in her car seat and watches and waits.  She barely makes a peep.  She has always been a fairly decent sleeper and rarely fussy, even now with her first tooth coming in.   I may pay for all of this good behavior later but at least when she is older I can somewhat reason with her (hopefully? maybe? probably not?)

There is a lot of new precious moments coming up for Jan in the next few weeks, cuddles, smiles, giggles (something I am getting as I write this) and cries.   Hopefully she will also get lots of help from her older boys as they learn to take care of their new baby brother.  The rule is you can't start tormenting him until he is three.

Good luck Jan and All the best!!

I decided to make an Apple Carrot Loaf for today's shower from one of my favorite new cookbooks.
Check out what everyone else has cooked for up for Today.

Mardi from eat. live. travel. write made blueberry cheesecake macarons
Julie from Dinner with Julie made lemon scones
Heather from The Tasty Gardener made Cream Puffs with Caramel Cream and Chocolate Pretzel Top
Isabelle from Crumb: A Food Blog made Blackberry Meringue Bars
Jennifer from Seasons and Suppers made Baby Blueberry Beignets
Christina from Strawberries For Supper made Chocolate Madeleines
Aimée from Simple Bites made Roasted Turnip Hummus
Jenny from The Brunette Baker made Wild Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins
Liliana from My Cookbook Addiction made mini-cupcakes
Carole from The Yum Yum Factor made Beet and Blue Cheese Canapes
Charmian from The Messy Baker made Piglet Muffins
Amy from Family Feedbag made Marmalade Poke Cake
Brittany from My Daily Randomness made Caramel + Pumpkin Parfait
Meg from Sweet Twist of Blogging made Carrot Apple Loaf
Louisa from Living Lou made Maple Walnut Cookies
Libby from Libby Roach Photography made Butter Baked Good’s Peanut Butter Sandwich cookie
Robyn from Planet Byn made Milk & Cookies Shooters

Apple Carrot Loaf

(adapted from Huckleberry)

  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (185g) a mix of all purpose flour/whole wheat flours.  (I did half and half)
  • 1 1/2 tsp wheat germ
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup grated peeled apple
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp milk

1) Soak the raisins in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes or so.  Drain and set aside. 
2) Preheat the oven to 350F.   Grease or spray a loaf pan (9x5)
3) Place all the ingredients into a bowl and mix together.   Pour into the pan.  
4) Bake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.    Allow to cool in pan.   
5) Make icing : beat cream cheese in a medium bowl, then add icing sugar and vanilla.  Beat in milk to thin glaze out a bit.  
6) Remove loaf from pan and spread glaze over top.   

You don't have to add the glaze and this loaf is still delicious.  I just wanted one. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Peanut Butter Balls and the #GatheringsCookbook

Last Friday was my annual Mother/Daughter baking day with my Mom, Sister and our daughters. We have been doing this for several years now.   It is literally one of my favorite days of the year.   Our main baking agenda is butter tarts, which I oddly don't really eat but we do also try and make a few other things.  These other things are what I look forward to.  Our trick is to come up with a few no bake items to put together while the dozens and dozens of butter tarts are baking.  For some reason I love no bake desserts, especially when they are covered in chocolate.  

I recently was given a copy of the cookbook "Gatherings" .  A beautiful book by Jan Scott and Julie Van Rosendaal.    The book is full of a wide range of different recipes grouped together by occasions, like kids birthday parties, backyard barbecues, pizza parties, date nights, games nights and more. This book has everything appetizers, main courses, desserts, drinks and snacks.   It really encompasses a recipe for any gathering you might have.

Since Mother/Daughter baking day is technically a family gathering I decided it would be great to try a recipe from this book.   They also happen to have a perfect no bake recipe, "Aunt Kathy's Peanut Butter Balls".   I find you can never really go wrong with peanut butter balls (unless you happen to be allergic to peanut butter).   The peanut butter balls in this book are also a bit different, with the addition of dates and walnuts. This gives them a great twist of chewy and crunchy inside.  They were of course, delicious and the hubby complained I made him stop eating them so I could take some photos.   He can now proceed with eating.

This weekend I have plan to make two more recipes, Potatoes Dauphinoise and a Lemony Kale and Brussels Sprouts salad.  There are really just to many wonderful recipes inside to try.  Several of my blogging friends also got a chance to try out the book.  Check out their posts from the week to see more delicious recipes from this book.

Please be sure to check out these fabulous bloggers all week long as we celebrate Jan and Julie:


Isabelle from Crumb Blog
Stephanie from Clockwork Lemon
Valerie from A Canadian Foodie
Christina from Strawberries for Supper
Louisa from Living Lou
Liliana from My Cookbook Addiction
Rhonda from Olive and Ruby
Jenn from Chocolate Shaving

Disclosure: I was given a complimentary copy of Gatherings for review purposes, courtesy of Whitecap Books. As always, any and all opinions and views are completely my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Butterscotch Walnut Bars - Butter Baked Goods Giveaway

Christmas is quickly approaching.  Just less than a month, seems a bit crazy doesn't it?   As usual I am getting pretty excited and I have started to pull out the decorations and I have 1 of 2 trees up. Decorating the house with two little ones has extended the decorating process for me and it now seems to take a week off and on.    I don't really mind, more days of Christmas glee for me.

I am also starting to make my Christmas baking list.   Figuring out how many dinners and parties I have, places I will be going, who I can give treats too.  It becomes a very lengthy list.   Have you made yours yet? Do you make one?  If you haven't started myself and several other bloggers are here to help.   Have you ever heard about "Butter Baked Goods"?   It is a cafe in Vancouver and the owner, Rosie, has also put some of her best recipes into this AWESOME cookbook.    It is page after page of drool worthy recipes that will impress any guest at your table.

My bloggers friends and I have gathered together to show you some of these delicious recipes.
I am a bar and cookie girl so I signed myself up to try the Butterscotch Walnut Bars.  What a great combo.   They have a shortbread base and then a gooey top, loaded with butterscotch chips and walnuts.   Delicious.  If you are a butterscotch chip fan these are the bar for you. Check out this recipe on page 116.  Check out more recipes below from my foodie friends.

We are also giving the chance to win.....

A personally signed Butter Baked Goods cookbook from Rosie as well as a delicious box of goodies from the bakery. Prize is valued at $125.

See below for entry.


* Contest open to Canadian & American mailing addresses only and who have reached the age of majority in the province, state or territory in which they reside.

MANDATORY: Simply leave a comment below and tell me your favourite baked treat!
BE SURE to click the widget options below for both mandatory and optional entries because you can’t be entered to win if the widget doesn’t know you’ve done it!
Giveaway closes Wednesday, December 3, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars & a Virtual Baby Shower

It was only three months ago that I woke up and became a teary mess to my own virtual baby shower from my fabulous group of blogging.  It was such a special sweet moment for me that when the chance came to repeat that for Christina from Strawberries for Supper I couldn't wait to do the same.  Christina is a sweetheart and if you have ever read her posts has a brilliant sense of humor.
friends. We all can't wait for her little bundle to arrive.  My little girl is anxious to meet her new boyfriend.


In the spring the group of us took a trip to Elora, to walk around, have lunch but mainly to buy bread from the Elora Bread Company.   We all pretty much walked out of there with a minimum three loaves.  They were all delicious.   My bread became even better thanks to a jar of honey plum jam from Christina.  YUM! Since I know she has mad skills and likes to make her own jams, I thought what better dessert for the shower than one that involves jam.    What goes good with jam, Peanut butter of course.   Let's consider this the sandwich aspect of the shower.

Happy Virtual Baby Shower!!  Hope you had the same reaction as me.

Check out what her other incredible bloggy friends are bringing to this party:

Planet Byn - Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Caramel Squares
The Brunette Baker - Apple Custard Pie
Living Lou - Baklava
The Tasty Gardener - Apple Bread Pudding
My Daily Randomness - Grilled Peach Pavlova 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

(Adapted from Ina Garten)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups jam of your choosing
  • 1/2 cups peanuts

1.  Preheat your oven to 350F.  Grease or spray with non stick a 10 x 10 pan. Line it with parchment paper or tin foil, then grease or spray and flour the pan.
2 In a large bowl or your mixer bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, a couple minutes.
Add the vanilla, eggs, and peanut butter and mix on low until all ingredients are combined.
3. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture. Mix just until combined.

Spread 2/3 of the dough into the prepared cake pan and spread over the bottom with a knife or offset spatula. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Drop small globs of the remaining dough evenly over the jam. Don't worry if all the jam isn't covered; it will spread in the oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and cut into squares.

If you also happen to miss all the scrumptious posts from my shower as I failed to give them a proper post of shout outs... Please check them out now as well.

Robyn from Whats Cooking on Planet Byn : Strawberry Sprinkle Ice Cream Sandwiches
Christina from Strawberries for Supper: Fudgey Teff Brownies
Heather from The Tasty Gardener: Banana Bundt Cake with Pecan, Banana, Caramel Sauce
Jenny from The Brunette Baker: Bananas Foster Banana Bread
Lou from Living Lou: Easy Banana Cupcakes

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