Caramelized Cranberry-Apple Dutch Baby

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Happy New year lovelies! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and an awesome New Year celebration!

As excited as I am to welcome in 2016 – I do have to admit that I am a little sad to be saying goodbye to 2015. I have never really experienced this kind of sentimental feeling for a year in time before, but this particular year was filled with so many special moments for me and my family, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little sad to see it come to an end.

Have you ever experienced this kind of nostalgia for a year passed by before? This is a new feeling for me, so it is a little strange but kind of awesome at the same time. I think I can safely say that 2015 has been my favourite year so far. Not only because it was full of the usual shenanigans with Cole, exciting changes, mistakes and lessons learned… but also because there were so many special experiences and moments throughout the year.

This year I thought it might be fun for me to start a new tradition for myself. So I decided that I will from now on start every new year off by compiling a list of all of the special moments and all of the things that I am most thankful for. I hope that  keeping these lists in my journal will help me to not only keep as many memories as possible for later in life, but that it will also help me to appreciate and really savour every year as it passes, in the hopes that time won’t pass me by too quickly.

So here is my little list of cherished memories of 2015 so far…

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Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Soda Bread

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I can’t believe we are just two days away from the official first day of fall! Even though it seems like summer only just began, I can’t help but feel giddy about the change in seasons, so even though it is not technically fall yet, I have completely gone into fall mode.  I have put away all of my summer shorts and t-shirts and welcomed dark wash jeans and chunky sweaters back into my daily wardrobe; Cole and I busted out all of our Fall decor and began decorating the house with rich earthy oranges, reds and yellows to welcome the season; and of course, lest I forget to tell you that I have been baking up all kinds of fall inspired goodies that embody all of the warm spices and seasonal flavours that I love so much about fall.

I just love fall inspired baking and I think most of us can agree that when we think about fall baking, some of the first things that come to mind are baked goodies that  pair together fragrant spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger with seasonal fruits and vegetables like apples, pears and pumpkin. There is just something about the fall season that screams for these flavours, and I am soooo happy to oblige.

Any baked goodies that are laced with cinnamon are probably my favourite things to not only bake but more importantly to gobble up. Yup – anything that is chock full of this incredible spice is pretty much guaranteed to be delicious in my books, so I have wasted no time getting into the fall baking spirit by using cinnamon with reckless abandon this year. I have already had to make a couple emergency trips to the grocery store to replenish my stock of cinnamon at home – no joke – that’s how much I have been baking with it. Feel free to call me the crazy cinnamon lady… I don’t mind.

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Saturday Mornings with Whole Wheat Maple Bacon & Apple Biscuits

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Morning friends – I hope you all had lovely weekends <3

This weekend was a bit of a lazy one for Cole and I, but I’m not ashamed to admit it. Sometimes, I just love a good lazy Saturday – don’t you? You know, the kind of Saturday where you spend most of your day either at home, or putting around town with no agenda, and generally accomplishing nothing in particular? These are my kind of Saturdays. There is just something so satisfying about waking up naturally – {as opposed to the sound of a beeping alarm} – even if you are like me and still manage to wake up before 7am on Saturdays without fail, despite the fact that you know you are allowed to sleep in. {Yes, I actually do this every Saturday – what can I say? I’m a morning person}.

Even though I love these lazy Saturdays now, the idea of it is actually something of a new concept for me. Up until about a year ago  I would always schedule my Saturdays kind of like how I schedule my work days – completely structured down to the last detail. Is this strange? I am a planner, so it was always just natural for me to create a to-do list for my Saturdays. I would fill it up with the kind of errands that “need to get done”, but you don’t ever have time to do during the week. So inevitably, I would always find myself stressing out on Saturdays unnecessarily over the tasks that I just had to get done. I think you can guess where this is going… because my lists were always unrealistically long, I was usually unable to actually get everything done. – So I would stress all day about having a failure of a day off just because I couldn’t check off all the things on my list. Do you ever do this? It sounds so silly I know, but for the longest time I just couldn’t help myself.

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Fresh Peach Cupcakes

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Morning lovelies!

First things first, I must apologize for the delay in between posts – gah! I have no real excuse except to say that it has been a crazy busy few weeks – but really, who isn’t busy right? I told you – I have no good excuses…. I fell behind – it was stupid… please forgive me 🙂

So last weekend I bought some local peaches from the Haney Farmers Market and they have got to be the best peaches I have ever had in my life. They were all so, so juicy, and just ripe with peachy deliciousness. When I cut into the first one and had a taste,  just to make sure they were good ;p} It was so dang delish I just wanted to eat the entire box.

Unfortunately I had plans for these peaches and I couldn’t just up and eat them until I was sure I had enough for leftover snacking. Sadly- I had no such luck and I ended up using all of the peaches I bought to fulfill a cupcake order. So basically the number one plan for this Saturday is to make a B-line for the farmers market fruit booth so that I can buy up as much as possible, chop em’ up and freeze them to use throughout the year when we are devoid of fresh peaches.

So I have a sweet and simple post for you all today with these Peach Cupcakes that I made for a custom order on the weekend that I really wanted to share with you before peach season bids us adieu – speaking of which, can you believe it’s almost the end of summer…. ? It’s crazy, I can’t believe we are almost in September!

So with no more explanation as to why these cupcakes happened, {because really, who needs reason when you have cupcakes} here is the recipe – I hope you enjoy.

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Sour Cherry Pie Bars

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Remember how I was telling you about how it has become something of a tradition for me to bring baked goods into work on Friday mornings for the office staff to enjoy? Well recently there has been some hot debate among my colleagues over which treat has been the best out of everything that I have brought in so far. Based on the opinions I have heard, the top two vote getters’ so far have probably been my Blueberry Oatmeal Crumb Bars and the White Chocolate Raspberry Sweet Rolls.

My boss is of the opinion that the Blueberry Oatmeal Crumb Bars were the absolute best and over the past couple of weeks he has been not so subtly hinting that he would like me to make another batch. Last week he came up to me and said “You know what was good? Those blueberry bars you made a few weeks ago… we should bring some of those back into the office. “ Super subtle right? (Not.) Never the less, I aim to please and decided that the next thing I bring in for Friday treat day would be a nod to his favourite Blueberry Oatmeal Crumb Bars.Read More

Tropical Carrot Cupcakes & Cream Cheese Frosting

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Hey peeps!

Alright so here’s the scoop – It’s the first Wednesday that I’m back to work after a week long vacation with Cole touring around the beautiful state of Oregon. It was such an amazing vacation and let’s say that I am feeling a little less than enthused about the return to work. I need a little mid-week pick me up to get me through this week, so here’s my thought; I think we should just have a little discussion about cream cheese today.

I feel like this is a topic that we can all relate to; because A. cream cheese has a serious comfort factor when you are feeling a little bit blue; and B. I mean really – who out there doesn’t love cream cheese? Do you like cream cheese? I’m guessing so, since you have continued to read this post past the first paragraph – so let’s discuss this more…

I love cream cheese; and when I say I love cream cheese,  I mean I really, really love cream cheese –  as in basically I will eat just about anything that has a healthy amount of that creamy goodness slathered on top. That’s right… I said anyyyything… See? I told you I love the stuff. I think cream cheese is pretty much good on/with everything – do you agree? I feel like you can never go wrong by adding a little cream cheese to your life – it can do no wrong.

Are we still in agreement on this subject? I hoped so – I’m happy we share this cream cheese loving bond.  I was starting to think I was the only person in the world with such a fondness for cream cheese, what with all the sideways glances I have gotten in the past from people when they catch a glimpse of me enjoying some of my unique, (albeit slightly strange,) cream cheese pairings.

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Cinnamon Snails

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Whenever my mum and I get together for a little mother-daughter baking sesh’, we can’t help but reminisce on all of our past baking expeditions. It’s so much fun for us to remember all of the Lazy Saturdays, Sunday afternoons, Christmas mornings, and after-school evenings we spent cramped together in our tiny –albeit very dysfunctional – kitchen, baking up a storm and laughing the time away.

We shared so many special moments in that kitchen, so nowadays whenever we get to spend precious time together in her kitchen, it’s hard for all of them to not come rushing back to us. Like the time our broken oven door collapsed on my moms arm just as she was pulling a bubbling homemade blueberry pie out of the oven, which subsequently let her to drop the pie flat on the floor? (okay – so this is funny to think about now, but at the time it was just plain devastating) Or how about the time we tried to make a model of Neptune for my science project out of homemade blue Rice Krispie squares and ended up absolutely covering the kitchen. (and ourselves) in blue, sticky, marshmallowy mess? By the end of this Neptune, Rice Krispie debacle we were laughing so hard at ourselves we could barely stand.

As our time together in her kitchen grows less and less frequent due to our diverging schedules, we always make sure to basque in the memories whenever we do get the chance to bake together these days. However, I think these next few months are going to be particularly full of baking nostalgia because my parents recently sold my childhood home, and come January 2016, they will be officially moved out and we will no longer be baking in her old little kitchen. I know it seems silly to have such an emotional attachment to something like a dysfunctional kitchen, but that cramped little kitchen is home to some of the memories that I cherish the most about my childhood. I would be totally lying if I said I wasn’t completely heartbroken that we will now have to say goodbye to our little kitchen – it’s not going to be an easy goodbye for my mum and I.

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Cinnamon Pecan Twists

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So I have gotten a little bit obsessed with creating baked goodies that include yeast lately… I don’t really know why. There is just something about mixing up a dough, and after letting it rise coming back to find a puffed up ball of dough that is twice the size of what you started with that just gets me downright giddy. Do you get this? That feeling of pure joy over a ball of yeast dough…?? I’m sure I can’t be the only one who leaps for joy over rising dough… okay may I am- moving on.

Basically I have been going through the yeast in my pantry like it’s going out of style and I have had to make numerous trips to the grocery store to re-stock. So anticipate some more bread and yeast dough themed recipes to be coming soon to a theater near you – because once again, I have a new baking obsession. I know – what else is new right?

My obsession with yeast began a few weeks ago, when I made a batch of Peach Cinnamon Buns for the Haney Farmers Market society to taste test as a possible new addition to our Farmers Market line up. The ladies informed me that they loved them, so I was free to sell whatever cinnamon buns of my choosing at any upcoming markets. So sell them I did…

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Blueberry Biscuit Cobbler

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Because its summer time and I have just been completely overwhelmed by all of the gorgeous local berries that are lurking behind every corner, I have been going  a little overboard with the fruit pie making situation. Can you blame me? I mean come on, is making a lot of fruit pies realllly a bad thing? Personally I think there are much worse problems that a person could have besides having an overabundance of fresh fruit pies in the house… Am I right?

I whole heatedly agree with the above statement, and I think that Cole does too; however I am a girl who likes to change things up when it comes to creating in the kitchen. So this week when I couldn’t help but buy a very large case of blueberries from the farmers market – because really…. who can resist a case of fresh local blueberries – I vowed that instead of making a pie I would do something completely different with these blueberries.

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White Chocolate Blackberry Scones

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This will probably come as no surprise to you, but I am a fool for summer berries – almost to a fault. My summer trips to the farmers market can be seriously classified as dangerous because when I see a pint of fresh, local berries – doesn’t matter what kind, be it strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries – there is no stopping me.  I must buy up as much of that berry goodness as my little wallet will allow. (Which is usually a lotttt more than just one little pint.)

If you were to see the loot I come home with after the average Saturday trip to the farmers market, you might think that I have gone a little mad. It’s okay – I understand the judgement because at first glance, it really looks like I buy way too many berries for a household that consists of two people to ever consume before they go bad. But let me assure you, there is no wasting of fresh berries in my house and I say when it comes to berries, the more the berry’er… get it…. the more the berry’er? Hehe, clearly my devilish wit knows no bounds (not!) ;p

Since I have never met a farmers market berry that I didn’t like, whenever I am stocking up at the market, I make sure that I buy at lease 2 pints worth of each given berry at a time. Why do I do this? Well, because one pint will be used for a baking adventure of  some sort, (what else?) While the other remaining pint will be used as a snack to feast on during the process of said baking adventure. Yes – I can consume an entire pint of berries to myself in one sitting…. what of it?

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