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BRB

February 28, 2013

Took a break from blogging to take photography classes ;)

New post coming soon!

Natasha

Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

December 23, 2012

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I am still in Mexico on Vacation but found some pictures on my computer that I had taken of one of my mom’s cookie recipes before I left and have been dying to post something! I am having so much fun in Mexico and getting inspired by a lot of the food here I can t wait to come home and recreate some of the amazing dishes I have been eating!

These cookies are as good as they look and my little brother loves them. You can also freeze them and save them up for later!

Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

3/4 cup butter,at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
32 mini Reese’s peanut butter cups cut into quarters

1. Cream butter with 2 sugars in a bowl untill well mixed.

2. Add eggs one at a time followed by the peanut butter, vanilla, and mix until combined.

3. With mixer on low add  flour,salt,and baking soda and mix until flour incorporated then fold in chocolate chips.

4. Using Ice cream scoop place six scoops on baking sheets covered with parchment paper or silpat mat and use hands to flatten each ball of dough.

5. Cook 12 minutes at 350. Remove from oven and press pieces of the peanut butter cups (cut in half)into top of warm cookie.

6. Return to oven for 2 more minutes.

7. Cool on cookie sheet for five min then transfer to wire cooling rack.

Spaghetti Squash With Heirloom Tomato Sauce

December 7, 2012

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This is my last post before my birthday (tomorrow) and my trip to Mexico!!! I can’t believe I am already 25 years old…. time flies when you’re having fun ;)

I love to eat spaghetti squash because it’s the perfect trick to convince your body/mind you are having a big bowl of yummy carb filled pasta. There are many ways to make spaghetti squash squash but this time I made this dish with organic heirloom tomatoes and kept it simple and fresh. There are also two different ways to cook spaghetti squash and either way works for me! When making a casserole like this I prefer to roast and use the time to prep the sauce. But when I want a quick fix I will chop off a hunk of squash and microwave it in a bowl with water. Same end result just less time in the microwave!

Spaghetti Squash with Heirloom Tomato Sauce

1 spaghetti Squash
4 Heirloom tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon dried oregano (Or more if you like it)
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese

1. way 1: Set oven to 350 degrees. Cut spaghetti squash in half, de seed, and coat with olive oil, roast in oven for 45 minutes until squash pulls apart with fork into strands

way 2: Cut squash in half, de seed, place in dish with water at bottom and microwave on high for 10-14 minutes until squash pulls apart with fork into strands

2. Set a pot of water to boil and wash and place tomatoes in boiling water for a couple of minutes until you see their skin crack

3. Remove and right away place in a bowl of cool water. When tomatoes are cool enough to touch peel them and chop them roughly.

4. Place saucepan over medium heat, heat oil and sauté garlic (don’t let it brown)

5. Add in tomatoes with salt, pepper and oregano and bring to boil then let simmer for about 20 minutes (you can also adjust seasoning here adding hot sauce, more herbs, some cheese basically whatever you like in a sauce)

6. Toss sauce with squash in baking dish and top with parmesan cheese and bake for about 30 minutes on 400 (if you want cheese to be extra crispy pull dish out of oven 5 minutes before the end and add more)

Banana Monkey Bread Muffins

December 6, 2012

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I first wanted to make a banana bread pudding but I decided to just make these muffins instead. They turned out amazing and the best part about them is that you can pull them apart while eating them. They are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and there is no sugar in the dough so their sugar cinnamon coating is what makes them sweet. Make sure to use ripe bananas that have been sitting around for awhile and are brown because they have the best flavour! Oooo Ooo Ahhh Ahhh ;)

Banana monkey bread muffins

dough

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chilled shortening
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 ripe bananas, mashed

coating

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.

2. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan or use silpat

3. Sir together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda.

4. Cut in shortening until mixture is lumpy

5. Add in mashed bananas and milk and stir together with a fork lightly

6. Knead dough on floured surface adding flour if its sticky

7. Roll into teaspoon sized balls and dunk each ball into melted butter mixture then sugar and cinnamon mixture to coat

8. Place 5-6 balls in each muffin tin

9. Bake for 20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean

Borscht

December 4, 2012

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My family is of Ukrainian heritage and I have always loved waking up to my mom cooking Ukrainian food. We also celebrate Ukrainian Christmas and I dream of perogies, cabbage rolls and my favourite of all time borscht. Her borscht is the best in the world. Every time she makes it it gets even better. This recipe makes a HUGE pot that you can eat for days on end. Its healthy and hearty a beautiful deep red colour, and delicious. I love to have mine with fresh dill and sour cream. Smachnogo!

borscht

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic chopped
2 large onions chopped
2 cups celery chopped
2 cups carrots chopped
2 cups chopped cabbage
6 large beets (size of apples)
4 cups beet water
4 cups of chopped potatoes in fairly large dice
8 cups beef broth
650 ml. jar of your favourite pasta sauce
2 cans of consommé
1 jar of pickled beets with juice, chopped in small pieces
4 cups spinach or beet tops chopped
1 container roasted red pepper dip
salt and pepper
1 cup fresh dill
sour cream

1. To prepare beets scrub beets really well, leaving skins on. Place beets in large pot covering them with cold water and boil until cooked, adding water as needed to keep them covered. This can take an hour or longer (you can do this night before). When cooked strain beet water into bowl and reserve. (4 cups beet water). Run beets under cold water removing skin and grate with box grater.

2. In VERY large soup pot heat olive oil, when hot add garlic and onions and stir for a few minutes until translucent.

3. Add your diced celery, carrots and cabbage and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add potatoes  and continue to sauté, for 10 minutes, if veggies are starting to stick add a small amount of stock.

4. Add beef stock, consommé, pasta sauce, reserved beet juice, and jar of pickled beets (chopped) and juice. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender.

5. Add your grated beets into soup and continue cooking another 10 minutes or so

6. Add roasted red pepper dip and 4 cups of chopped spinach, add more seasonings and finish with a cup of fresh dill

7. Serve with sour cream and more fresh dill as a garnish

Bake Brie and Jalepeno Bites

December 3, 2012

These are perfect to bring to a party or serve with tea. You can also switch up the type of jam or jelly you use. Remember when using puff pastry dough to always flour your workplace first or you will be peeling the dough off the counter! These brie bites are best straight out of the oven but still delicious cool!

Baked Brie and Jalapeno Bites

puff pastry
brie cheese
hot pepper jelly
1 egg beaten
milk

1. Pre heat oven to 375

2. Roll out unthawed puff pastry and cut into rectangular shaped wedges (make sure to use lots of flour so it doesnt stick to board)

3. Combine egg and milk and brush wedges with egg wash

4. op with hot pepper jelly and a slice of brie cheese and place another rectangle on top and press around cheese and jam to crimp with a fork

5. Place on parchment paper or silpat mat and brush again with egg wash

6. Bake for 14 minutes until golden brown

Farmers Breakfast Tart

November 29, 2012

Who needs a rooster when you can wake up to a farmers breakfast tart! Just looking at this tart makes me feel motivated. It’s super easy to make and you can cut it up like a pizza and share it with friends. Breakfast in bed with one of these bad boys and your significant other will love you forever.

I made a smaller tart but you can use the basis of this recipe and make an even bigger one if you wish!

Farmers Breakfast Tart

1/2 package of puff pastry (you can use more if you want to make a bigger tart)
3 pieces cooked bacon
1 potato chopped into 1/4 inch thick, round pieces
olive oil
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sour cream
2-3 eggs ( one cracked for egg wash)
salt and pepper
snipped chives for garnish

1. Thaw puff pastry according to package directions ( I left mine in fridge overnight)

2. Pre heat oven 425 degrees

3. On floured surface (make sure you use lots of flour or dough will stick to board!!!) roll or press out dough into a square

4. Fold over edges to create a border around square and prick the center of the tart with a fork lightly. Brush border with egg wash and refrigerate tart for 10 minutes

5. In a bowl stir together sour cream, 2/3 of the cheese and season with salt and pepper

6. Boil a pot of water and blanche potatoes for 5 minutes until almost cooked through then toss in olive oil

7. Spread cheese mixture over tart, cover in potatoes and garnish with fresh pepper

8. Bake for 15 minutes – then take out and top with bacon strips, more cheddar cheese and crack eggs onto tart sprinkle on chives

9. Finish in the oven until egg whites cooked through 5-7 more minutes

Brussel Sprout Gratin with Dijon Mornay Sauce

November 28, 2012

Today I decided to mix an amazingly healthy vegetable with a ridiculously delicious but not so healthy cheese sauce… WHY NOT!?

I think if I had a last supper it would involve Mornay Sauce. Its basically a cheese sauce with a tang to it that  makes it a million times better. If you don’t believe me, you can try this recipe out for yourself!

Brussel Sprout Gratin with Dijon Mornay Sauce

about 1.5 pounds of Brussels sprouts, halved with stems cut off
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1.5 cups milk
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup aged white cheddar cheese
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
panko breadcrumbs
black pepper to taste

1.Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

2. boil a pot of water and blanche brussel sprouts until they turn bright green for about 2 minutes and set aside

3. Melt butter over medium heat and incorporate flour with a whisk, then whisk in milk and bring to a boil then turn down heat until sauce thickens

4. Stir in cheese, salt cream cheese and dijon until fully mixed

5. Add brussel sprouts to mornay sauce, then entire mixture to baking dish

6. Toss brussel sprouts in panko breadcrumbs in dish to coat them

7. Bake in oven for 40 minutes – you can add more cheese if you want 10 minutes before they are done for extra crust

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