Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lions for the Lions Club Pt. 2

The Lions club asked for cookies for a new club induction night. This time, I decided to add onto the design, and make them a little less red. If you recall, the last batch had a little too much red. So, I went off and bought some Wilton color gel: Brown.
Once, wrapped, here's what they looked like:

Each one has a cute ribbon to seal the cookie in. In this case, the ribbon had adorable paw prints which reminded me of the lion. ADORABLE! I loved the way these ones turned out!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Carrot Cake Anyone?

Carrot Cake is the second best way to get rid of carrots; the other being home-made soup! I love carrot cake, fresh grated carrots, yummie cinnamon, smooth cream-cheese frosting. It is enough to make any mouth water. So, that was my task for this week, post up a beautiful example of carrot cake.

Grating carrots is my least favorite part. I am always afraid that I will grate my fingers; in the past, I have done that indeed! The secret, get a smaller hand-grater, like the one above. 4 cups of carrots later:

Its cake time! It is a moist, delicious carrot cake. I don't like to add any nuts, but you can choose to do so if you wish. I like to add a little coconut instead.

As you can see, moist, delicious cake! Best served cold in my opinion. Maybe one day I will be willing to share this recipe... Maybe.

Next up, the Lions cookies get a second attempt.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Pie makes me happy.

This has been one sour week, luckily, that is because of pie: Deliciously Sour-Sweet Lemon Meringue Pie! It has always bee my favorite type, right next to Key-Lime Pie. Maybe it's the fruity center, which is smooth... Maybe it is the fact that it does not contain chunks of fruit, like other pies. I don't exactly know why, but it's just a pretty pie to look at.

I just love everything about pie. Especially sitting down to eat it. Nothing beats pie!

So, Recipe? Adapted from an old Food Network recipe.

  1. 1/2 cup of shortening (cubed)
  2. 1 1/2 cup of flower
  3. 1 pinch of salt
  4. 1tbsp sugar (mix to crumble)
  5. 1/4-1/2 tbsp ice water (to hold it together)
Mix salt, sugar and flour. Cube shortening into the flour and crumble into pea-sized bits. Slowly add in the ice water (mix until it is a dough that lightly holds together). Cill dough for 1 hour, roll out, fold into quarters, roll out, bake @ 350 degrees for 7-10 min. , the pie is so flaky~ It is a tried and true method!


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • dash salt
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch


To Assemble

  1. Make Crust :) Some like it crumbly, some like it shortbread, some like it a classic pie. You choose.

  2. For filling, whisk sugar, water, and cornstarch in a pot. Whisk in egg yolks and salt and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, whisking constantly. Increase heat to medium and, still whisking, cook filling until it begins to bubble just a touch - when it does, remove. Remove and strain. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice and dissolve in butter . Pour mix into cooled shell, let cool before sticking it into the fridge to set.

  3. Meringue: Whip egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean, dry bowl until foamy (no peaks, but no runny egg. Slowly, while beating, incorporate sugar, and whip on highest speed until stiff peaks form. Whisk in cornstarch and dollop or pipe (using a piping bag) over chilled lemon filling. Bake pie for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees, just until meringue browns lightly. Let pie cool or chill until ready to slice.
For now, enjoy the prospect of pie in the future!

Love the Pie

Friday, January 15, 2010

There's a Zombie on my Lawn!

PopCap games released a wonderful little game called "Plants Vs Zombies." The game is addictive! I think I've been playing it for a couple of months down... over, and over, and over...

The purpose of the game, to defend your home -- using colorful plants -- against waves of plant-eating, brain-chewing zombies. The characters (zombies and plants alike) are so adorable, that I was inspired to make a cookie!

Enter: The Zombie-Cookie!

RAWRRR! Pretty Scarry Huh?

Anyway, these cookies were based off of the games designed, and in the tune of orange (deliciously citrus, to combat the smell of decay, like those little car-trees you hang on rear-view mirrors).

I am totally in love with this cookie! Again, this is a custom, so no cutter, but still, I think they turned out pretty well? What do you think?


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dora the Sugar Cookie

One of my neighbors has this adorable Dora the Explorer painting on her apartment door which inspired me to make a new cookie:

While the cookie itself did not come with a cutter, I found it rather easy to cut out. Add some orange flavored icing, and voila!

Made a new order from the cookie-cutter store, soon I'll have 12 shiny new cookie cutters (strawberry, martini glass, cottage, and many more!) I can hardly wait! I'm so excited. I guess I'll have to hold onto my excitement for a little longer.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Personalized Cookies

I was approached to do a couple of cookies for some boys who love the snow! The trick, the mother wanted to have the names on the cookies, but the names, they were long; traditional Italian families, traditional Italian names. The challenge was fitting the names onto the cookies, as you can see, it worked out nicely!

I ♥ Making Cookies.
I know the boys appreciated them too! Especially since they are under 8 years old.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Going back Down-Under

Our school was fortunate enough to have a family of Aussies do an exchange. It was wonderful having them around. Aussie Mom taught along side of me, while her daughter was privileged enough to be in my class.
Now, their year is up, so the staff is doing a little go-away party for them. On the menu, cookies!

The request was for some kind of baked good, preferably with an Australian or Canadian theme. I choose to do Kangaroo cookies, since they were topical and a favorite among the students.

The cookies themselves are basic sugar cookies, but with maple icing. I realize that most Kangaroos do not have spots, but I could not resist giving them one other tone. Fort Frances will miss you Aussies, but I'm sure you won't miss the cold!

Tunnel in the Snow

It has literally been over 15 years since I've truly had the chance to dig a tunnel in the snow! But this year, the conditions were too perfect to pass up. My husband and I decided this would be the perfect time to build ourselves a snow-cave.

I had a fabulously good time. And it cost nothing! Back to simplicity I guess!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Muskie Cheerleader Cookies!

The Muskie Cheerleaders here in Fort Frances have been working hard for their upcoming competition. As a little reward for all their work, and because a coach needs to keep up moral, I made quickly whipped up a batch of cheerleader sugar-cookies. The girls absolutely loved them.

Next time, I've got to try to make boy cheerleaders!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Lions for the Lions Club

Over the break, the Voyageur Lions Club in Fort Frances had their annual party. So, I designed these lion cookies with them in mind.
Any design is possible, any concept a reality so long as you can get creative. In this case, I did not have a cutter for these cookies, so I made one myself.

These orange-gingerbread Lions were designed with the families' kids in mind. Each one features a colorfully-cute lion with painted cheeks.

If there are any design requests, please feel free to contact me; I would be more than happy to design a cookie with your idea in mind!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snickerdoodles: Classy and Simple

When I'm strapped for time, and I need a go-to cookie, Snickerdoodles are usually my choice. This cookie is not only simple to make, but delicious, especially with coffee. The combination of cinnamon and sugar covering, with a slightly-sweet cookie adds elegance and deliciousness!

I have tried this cookie many ways, but find that it is best to add a little hint of maple to make the flavors pop! In a pinch? Here's my recipe:

- 2 cups Flour
- 1 1/2 Baking Powder
- 1/4 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1/2 cup Margarine
- 1 cup Sugar
- 3 tbsp Maple Syrup (real is best)
- 1 large egg.

(To roll: 1/2 c Sugar, 1/4 cup Cinnamon)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. (set aside).
3. Cream Margarine and Sugar. Beat in eggs and Maple Syrup. Gradually add dry ingredients.
4. Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then roll into the sugar/cinnamon mix. (cookies should be 1 inch apart on the sheet).
5. Bake for 5-8 miutes, or until cracked on top, and slightly brown on bottom. Like so:

Let em' cool, and enjoy! I love how they sparkle! Hopefully you will too!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

So, What is a MACARON Exactly?

I don't suppose many people around North Western Ontario know what a Macaron is. MaCaRon, is a fabulously simple, yet rich pastry. Most people praise their delicate nature, but me, I love the colors!

French Macarons are traditional egg-white, almond and sugar pastry dating back to the 18th Century.

Macarons are smooth, domed topped cookies, with a ruffle of almond around the base (middle for the sandwich). Connoisseurs prize a delicate, egg shell-like crust that yields to a moist and airy interior." What's more, is that they can come in various flavors, depending on the tastes (like Truffle, Maple, Vanilla, Raspberry, etc.).

The truth is simple, I ♥ Macarons!

Friday, January 1, 2010

HAPPY NEW YEAR: Celebrate, Canada Style!

Happy New Year: 2010~!

Well, let's all ring in the new year together! Last year was fantastic, so here is hoping and wishing you all the best for 2010!

As always, I like to ring in the new year with something special. Here in Fort Frances, we like to do a little something special to show how Canadian we truly are. Enter: The Polar Plunge 2010. This is my second time in the 'Plunge, and on record, also the coldest!. This year's chill topped -24 degrees Celsius.

As you can guess, not much open water would be found in most places, but here on Rainy Lake, the water moves quick enough to leave open water on the river... which paints an interesting backdrop for this year. Here's what I saw this morning:

The mist you see shows just how cold it was; the air temperature was warmer than the water, resulting in mist.

I'm not a sissy at all, and neither was the group I was jumping for. I grabbed a hat, scarf, and my outfit, and headed to the ice.

Yay for nerdy 'ol me! It was not until this point that I truly began to feel appreciative towards the weather. Sure, it was 'hella cold, but at least there was no wind chill. On the lake, trust me, that can hurt!

Into the Ice Hut, outa' the cloths, and onto the ice.


You can only imagine how cold it was. I have to say, it was bloody cold! But, that's part of the fun right! To prove I did it:

Okay, So I didn't get any good pictures of me in the water, but I assure you, I am so crazy that I actually did a Hand-Stand, meaning, I voluntarily dunked my head, found the ground, and Did a pretty hand-stand for the crowd. I was proud. But then again, when I went home, I had sand in my ears.

And so ends that experience. But, WAIT! This is a baking blog right? I should not stop with this cold thought when there are warm goodies to be made. Onward!

Warm Apple-Spice Cake.

Nothing beats the smell of warm cinnamon and ginger with the appley goodness of ... apples. Onward to the Warm Apple-Spice Cake.

This is a very simple recipe, making a lovely loaf which is great for the chills of winter.

First, mix 3 tbsp Cinnamon, 5 tbsp sugar, to 4 lg pealed apples. (Set aside).

Next, mix 2 c Flour, 2 tsp Baking Powder, 1/2 tsp cloves, and 1 tsp ginger.

In a separate bowl, mix 1/2 sugar and 1/2 c butter. Blend until Fluffy. Mix in egg. Then Add 1 tsp Vanilla.
Mix flour mix alternately with 3/4 c Milk.

Grease loaf pan (non-stick), then add 1/2 the mix, then apples, then the rest of the mix on top.

Like so. Bake at 350 for 40-50 min.


It is good warm, or up to 4 days. Keep covered. Enjoy! Grab the Ice Cream and dig in. I think today I'll skip the Ice Creme, but your choice!

Happy Holidays. Stay warm!