snow, pj’s and an awesome hot cocoa recipe

Christmas PJ'SWell we got our first beautiful snow storm today, so I guess I can start with my holiday posts!

There’s nothing better than watching snow falling, listening to Christmas music, in your pj’s, close to a fire with awesome hot cocoa!

You already know I have a thing for matching pajamas, and this time, as a bonus, I even found the most awesome hats to go with them! I have to control myself, if not they’d be wearing them  everyday until Christmas!  Festive pj’s are a SERIOUS addiction of mine!

christmas pj's

I’ve got an amazing hot chocolate recipe for tonight, tomorrow or anytime during this great season that is upon us!  I even got the cutest little snowman marshmallow from Chapters!  This hot cocoa recipe is a rich, thick and delicious one. You may add some whipped cream and crushed candy cane for added deliciousness!

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What you need:

6 oz. of Chocolats Favoris milk chocolate (or Lindt or you favorite chocolate)

1 1\2 cups of 2% milk

2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

2 tablespoons of sugar

2 tablespoons of corn starch

How to:

Melt chocolate with 3 tbs of milk on medium heat.

Once melted, add the rest of the milk, cocoa powder, sugar and warm up without boiling.

Mix the corn starch with 2 tbs of the milk in a small bowl until all the lumps have disappeared.  If you don’t like thick hot chocolate, skip this step.  It will still taste amazing!

Add the corn starch mix to the melted milk/chocolate concoction on the stove and keep on simmering until thick.

Once its coating a wooden spoon, it is ready!

Pour in your favorite Christmas cups, garnish and enjoy with the people you love most in your pj’s!

Christmas PJ'S

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Hot cocoa

Christmas pj's

Christmas PJ'S

 

 

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our spicy chili

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I didn’t eat chili growing up, as it’s never been part of our family food rotation.  And honestly, I can’t say that I was keen to even try it.  But I first had it on a cold winter day at my mom’s place about 3 years ago.  Frank, my step-dad, had made a batch and it smelled too good to resist.  I tried it, and God it was good!!!

So, yeah, obviously, I stole his recipe (well he sent it to me), and then I started making it at home.

It’s good, and easy to make, so I’m sharing it with you!  I always make a double batch, easy to freeze and heat up anytime we need a bowl.  This recipe is a huge hit for any get-togethers or family gathering, especially on cold days, and also now a tradition for Brian’s hockey pool draft night!  We especially need a double batch and double spiciness for that one!

Special thanks to Brian’s colleague Josée for the distinctive spiciness of our chili as she gave us a unique homemade hot sauce her husband prepared from the 2000 ghost peppers that grew in their back yard… that thing could kill ya, literally.  Brian has some sort of true story about a squirrel or a skunk collapsing and dying in front of her colleague right after she fed the him that sauce in her rock garden!  So, I have to be careful, but I know now that if I put one tea spoon per batch it’s going to be perfect!

Spiciness and garnishes are our favorites: sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives and BACON!

What you need:

1 lbs of ground beef

1 tbs of olive oil

1 medium diced onion

1/2 cup of chopped celery

2 crushed garlic cloves

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can of regular Clarks beans

1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed

1 can of mixed beans, drained and rinsed

1 pouch of Chili mix

Salt and pepper

Chili peppers and hot sauce to taste

How to:

In a large pot, on med-high, heat oil.  Add ground beef and season with salt and pepper.

Once the meat is almost browned, add the onions, celery and garlic.  Cook until well browned.

Add chili mix and chili peppers.

Add all the beans and tomatoes and simmer for 2.5-3 hours.

(Then we add the hot sauce to the mix).

Dress it up with the fixings, serve with fresh bread and enjoy!  So, do you like it spicy or extra spicy?

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oh my dumplings

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My new obsession is Dumplings!  Oh how I love this delicious delicate dough filled little pockets.  It started with the cutest food truck, Dumpling Park, behind Brian’s favorite coffee house and sandwich place, Morning Owl.  They make fresh dumplings from Monday to Friday during the summer, and it’s just the best lunch ever!  I went a few times last summer and I just fell in love with that place.

So, since the cutest place for dumplings is now closed for the winter, I decided to try making them for myself, and it worked!  They were DELICIOUS!  A bit tedious to make but so rewarding.  I’m sharing my recipe with you and I hope you’ll try them!  I whipped up a  huge batch last night, made more than 75!

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These are only pork dumplings but you can also add shrimps.  This recipe should give you between 25-30 dumplings.

What you need:

1/2 lbs of ground pork

2 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup cilantro

2 tsps. toasted sesame oil

1 tsp olive oil

1 pinch chili flakes

zest of 1 lime

1 tsp of lime juice

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 pkg of egg roll wrappers (not wong-ton) cut in circles

chives thinly sliced

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How to:

In a food processor mix pork, garlic, cilantro, oils, chili, lime zest and juice, salt and pepper.  Process for a minutes, it will create a paste.

Using the egg roll wrapper, wet half the circle with water and scoop a teaspoon of the pork mix in the middle of the wrapper.  Fold and press, making sure all air is out.  Place completed dumplings on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap while you make the rest.

Using a steamer or a bain-marie,  steam a few dumpling (do not crowed them) for 10 minutes.

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet, on medium heat and fry them on both sides until brown.

Serve those beauties on a bed of rice, with a bit of sesame oil, soya sauce and Sriracha.

Garnish with chives and enjoy.

Bon appétit!

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pumpkin spice loaf- another pumpkin recipe

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Sometimes I think my 5 year old is 70.  He love slippers, hot magic bag, pies and nuts.  All things that I associate with my grandma!  One thing he love is loafs.  Lemon loaf, banana loaf and this amazing pumpkin loaf.  He ate one slice every day for the last 10 days.  He can’t seem to get enough and you won’t either.

I’ve changed the recipe to double it.  Why make something so good and not have lots.  It makes 3 loafs or 2 loafs and 4 mini ones, like I did.  Great with cream cheese frosting or butter, mmm butter!  I slice them and freeze them individually, and then pop them in our lunch bag. SOOO GOOOD!

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What you need:

1 1/2 cups of pumpkin puree

4 eggs

1 cup of vegetable oil

1 cup of buttermilk (I used regular milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice, rest for 2 minutes)

1 cup of sugar

2 cups of brown sugar

3 1/2 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon of ginger

1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

You may add pecans (We have a peanuts free school, so I don’t)

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How to:

Heat oven at 350.  Grease your loaf pans.

Mix together pumpkin puree, eggs, oil, buttermilk, sugar and brown sugar, until well blended.

In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, ginger and nutmeg.

Add the flour mixture into the pumpkin one, until blended.  If you want to add some nuts, now would be the time.

Bake for about 50 minutes (less for minis)  Let cool a bit and devour!

 

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*recipe from Katie Jacobs from stylingmyeveryday.com

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pull apart pumpkin loaf

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You need that pumpkin taste, like right now?  Boy, do I have an awesome recipe for you!  Easy, quick and so flavorful, you’ll make it again and again.

What you need:

3/4 cup of pumpkin puree

1/2 cup of sugar

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

1 egg

1 roll of Pillsbury Flaky Rolls

2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/4 cup of icing sugar

3 tablespoons of milk

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How to:

Heat over at 350.

Mix puree, 1/4 cup of sugar, pumpkin spice, egg and vanilla.  Set aside.

Open the Pillsbury package, split each pieces in two.

In another bowl, mix 1/4 cup of sugar with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.  Dip each dough pieces in the sugar mixture.

Once all dipped, add the pumpkin mix between the dough and stack them up.

Place in a grease bread pan and bake for about 25 minutes.

Let cool.

Mix the icing sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and milk.

Drizzle on top of the warm loaf.

Enjoy!

Beware: you might eat it all by yourself…it may or may not have happened to me!

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fall chocolats favoris apple slices

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What’s better than a candy apple?  A Chocolats Favoris sliced candy apple!  What does it mean?  More candy or in this case, more CHOCOLATE!

Easy to make with the kids in the afternoon.  An edible craft!  They can choose their own toppings and help you with all the preps.  It gets a bit messy, but it’s a mess you can eat, so it’s all good!  It’s a perfect snack to make for the apples you will pick in the next few weeks!

Here’s what we used:

One can of Caramel Fleur de Sel from Chocolats Favoris

Melted colored chocolate

Crushed peanuts

Reese Pieces candy

Sprinkles

Granny Smith apples (or your favorite apples)

How to:

Prep all the toppings in cute bowls.  Heat the Chocolats Favoris can, let cool a few minutes before you open it.  Slice a few apples, about half an inch and insert a stick.  When the chocolate has cooled down, dip the sliced apples one by one.  Lay the dipped apple slices on parchment paper and let the fun time begin!  Choose your favorite toppings, eat, take a few pictures and enjoy!

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sugar knots donuts

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THEY WERE DELICIOUS!

Last week I needed to bake.  Went through my cupboard and found last year’s Ricardo’ summer magazine.  DO NOT WAIT THAT LONG TO TRY THIS!

A bit long to make but easy.  Better than any donuts you’ve ever tried!

Don’t wait, tomorrow would be a great day to try this!

Like I said before, this is a Ricardo recipe:

What you need:

2 tablespoons of room temperature water

2 teaspoons of instant yeast

4 and half cups of flour

half a cup of sugar

1 cup of heavy cream

1 teaspoon of salt

6 eggs

Canola oil

Sugar

How to:

In a bowl, mix the yeast and water, leave it for 5 minutes

In your mixer with a hook, mix flour, sugar, cream, salt, eggs and the yeast mixture.  Mix until the dough starts to form a ball around the hook.  At that point, I removed it from the mixer and worked the dough on the counter with a bit of flour.  Once the dough is soft, place in a big clean bowl that’s been oiled.  Cover with a damp towel and leave for 2 hours.

Put lots of flour on the counter and roll out the dough, make a rectangle of about 6x 30in.  Cut the dough in slices of 6×2.  Knot the dough, place on a cookie sheet and let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oil at 180.  Place 2 or 3 donuts at a time.  Cook until golden and place on another cookie sheet with paper towels.  Toss the knots in the sugar and EAT!

Will make around 24 knots.

These are best eaten on the same day, so invite family and friends and ENJOY!

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beau’s lug tread french onion soup

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We’ve been getting lots of rain lately, an nothing’s better than soup: Beau’s Lug Tread French Onion Soup!

My favorite soup by far, that rich broth and all that gooey cheese!  This soup is a meal in itself.

So run over at Beau’s Brewery and get yourself a few beers and you’ll still have time to make it before dinner!

What you need:

3 tablespoon of butter

6 cups of thinly sliced yellow onions

1 tablespoon of sugar

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 tablespoon of flour

2 cups of Beau’s Lug Tread

5 cups of chicken stock

thyme, to taste

salt a pepper

slice bread

cheese, lots of cheese (I used Swiss and Mozzarella)

How to:

Melt the butter and add the onions on high.

Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add sugar, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper.  Then add the flour, mix well, for 2-3 minutes.

Add the Lung Tread and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the broth and let simmer for 30 minutes.

Prepare bowls, bread and cheese.

Fill up the bowls, add the toasted bread and cheese.

Broil for a few minutes.

ENJOY!

 

I used 3 Fois Par Jour recipe and changed it up a bit.  It’s an amazing recipe, but I needed to make a few changes for the beer that I used!

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homemade pop-tarts

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I just love to make theses!  Easy, delicious and fresh!

I’ve been making theses for a while now and they never get old!  My favorite; chocolate raspberries!

I used my Mimi’s pie crust recipe but you can also use store bought.

How to:

Cut 4×6 rectangles, place them on a parchment paper on a cookie sheet

Add you filling of choice (I used fresh raspberries)

Add about a teaspoon of sugar and flower on top of the berries

Put the other rectangle on top and squeeze the side shut, then press on the sides with a fork

Cut little holes and add a bit of sugar on top

Bake in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes or until the top is brown

Cool down and choose you toppings

Sit down, take a cute picture of your homemade pop-tarts and post it on Instagram #mylemondroplife and ENJOY!

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to die for guacamole

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Confession: I did not love avocados until this summer.  I would eat very little guacamole with tacos or nachos, but it wasn’t love.

Not sure if I would now call it love or obsession!  I might have had guacamole everyday this summer!  And I’m not even ashamed of it!

So I’m sharing my favorite recipe with you! Summer is still here and I’m planning on eating more of this green stuff!

What you need:

5 ripened avocados

10 cherry tomatoes

1 half of a small red onion

1\4 cup of lime juice

1 teaspoon of sea salt

Cilantro to taste (I use about half a cup)

How to make it:

Its fairly easy, I mash half of the avocados in a bowl and cut in cubes the rest.

Chop the onions and place in another bowl with hot water, leave it for 5 minutes, drain the water.  Add the onions to the avocados

Chop the cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl.

Add the lime juice, sea salt and the chopped cilantro.

Mix and eat it NOW!  Or refrigerate and eat later, I dare you!

 

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