pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

You know the feeling when you get craving for a certain taste and it just doesn’t go away until you have a bite of it? Well it was early October and I was in the mood for some chocolate chip cookies: gooey, soft and moist. Not the store bought kind, but the warm, directly from the oven kind! I just love baking cookies, and while most of the times the already premade cookie dough will do the thing (this dough is sooo good uncooked right out of the package… someone please tell me you can’t actually dies from eating this raw, right?), well this time, I felt like I wanted to add a little something extra to it… a little pumpkin extra! 

Well, why not!? It’s pumpkin season, I’m obsess with everything pumpkin, so let’s do this!

All you need is to buy a can of pumpkin puree and within minutes you will have amazing cookies.

One of the best October idea ever: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Ice Cream Sandwich! Oh yes, this is a thing, I’ve tried it, and you’re welcome! Splurge into your favorite fancy ice cream and place a scoop of it between two cookies. Pumpkin Heaven!

Make it this weekend and this will become an immediate Fall favorite of yours. And don’t expect any leftovers for Halloween, these will all be gone by Monday morning. I will probably make some more this weekend, I kind of feel another craving coming now that I’m thinking about it!!!

Continue Reading

pumpkin cinnamon rolls, bet you can’t eat just one

 

Even if it’s super-hot outside and still feels like we’re mid-summer, all I seem to be craving for right now is comfort food. Bake pasta dishes, hot spicy chili, pot roast, homemade donuts and these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. So if I could tell you only one thing about this recipe is that –OMG– the smell in the house as they bake is as AMAZING as what they taste!

So I baked one batch and I swear that Liam could have eat it all by himself, easily. But that will never happen because I, for sure, had to have a few as well!

Liam just love Cinnamon Rolls. Every time we go to a shopping mall, he sniffles around to see if he can find a Cinnabons’ store around the corner! And when he does find one, we always take a break, share one, and then continue along with our shopping, full and happy. The soft dough makes these simply the best! So when I told him “Are you up to whip up a batch of cinnamon rolls with me?”… he was all too happy to help… but also a bit impatient during the rising phase! I did let him have the first one, which he did few minutes after they were out of the oven. He was way too excited to wait… I understand you buddy, don’t worry!

So buy all the ingredients you’ll need, and next Saturday or Sunday morning, wear your comfiest pj’s and start baking. Your house will smell like Fall with all the nice scent of the pumpkin spice baking!

Then, all you have to do is grab a book, sit outside in the crisp morning air with a warm blanket and eat your delicious pumpkin rolls! You can also invite me over if there are some left over. Happy baking my friends!

Continue Reading

lavender and honey cheesecake

     I wasn’t planning on sharing this cheesecake recipe at first, but since I received many requests to share it this week after posting a picture on Instagram, I felt like I kinda had no choice but to do so!
Continue Reading

weekend and sticky buns

Another beautiful weekend that went by way too fast once again! All that gorgeous snow this morning really putted us all in a festive mood… while also catching us by surprise, as we didn’t have our winter tires installed yet… but thanks to my brothers-in-laws, it’s now done!

So it was a PD day on Friday and it turned out being my turn to be off work at school; called my Mom Thursday night, made some plans for the Friday morning, dropped off the boys at daycare and left on a little road trip to the States for the day. The drive was awesome and the shopping too! Of course the first stop was Target, and as expected, it was just awesome and I was able to cross off many things from my list. Got to see the new Joanna and Chip line, unfortunately, all I wanted was already gone… oh well, next time! One of my favorite lunch place is Panera’s. I know we have it here now, but it’s just not the same… I don’t know, I just love to go to Panera’s every time I’m in the States! So right after I had paid for my sandwich and soup, on my way to my table, after I had waited in line for a long time, I spotted some delicious looking Pecan Sticky Buns. I was so mad I hadn’t seen them before, and I didn’t wanted to do the line again, so I didn’t get it, but then they were on my mind all afternoon long!

So by Saturday morning, at about 7h30 am, I was on a mission as I had decided that I was finally going to have some Pecan Sticky Buns, once and for all.

I’ve used Chatelaine’s recipe and tweaked it a bit. It turned out to be quite easy to do, and oh my, sooo DELICIOUS. I will be making these on Christmas morning for sure. And you should too! Here it goes:

Pecan Sticky Buns

What you need:

Dough:

3 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 pack quick-rise instant yeast

1 tsp salt

1/3 cup hot water

1/2 cup hot milk

2 tbsp melted butter

1 egg

Sauce:

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup pecans

Filling:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 tsp cinnamon

How to:

In a large bowl, mix1 cup of flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add the milk, hot water, butter and egg. Using a wooden spoon, add 1 3/4 cup of flour to the bowl, all while stirring until the dough comes together. Knead the dough in the bowl for 4 minutes. Preheat your oven at 160 and insert the bowl with a damp cloth over it. Turn off oven and let rise for an hour.

Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup of butter with 1/3 cup brown sugar, honey and vanilla in a saucepan for the sauce. Cook on medium heat until bubbly. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. I only sprinkled half of the dish with the nuts, leaving half for regular buns. But definitely better with!

In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, butter and cinnamon to create a paste. Then leave aside.

Remove dough from oven. Preheat the oven at 350 for baking the buns. Sprinkle flour on a flat surface and place the dough. Using a rolling pin, spread the dough and try roll it into a square shape. It’s note easy because the dough will be stretchy, but try your best! Mine was roughly 12”x12”. Spread the brown sugar paste evenly everywhere on the dough. Then start from the bottom and roll tightly.

Using a sharp knife, cut the roll into 12 pieces of about one inch each and lay the pieces in the baking dish. Lightly brush a bit of vegetable oil on top of the buns.

Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes. Chatelaine recommend to cover with foil if they get golden too fast, but I didn’t have to do it. Remove from oven and let stand for a few minutes. The sauce will be extremely hot. Using a cookie sheet and parchment paper, cover the baking dish and flip the dish over. Be careful, this is very hot! But very good!!!

Honestly, I never had any Pecan Sticky Buns before, so I can’t really compare, but these tasted amazing. The dough was easy to make, and so soft. I will be using this recipe for donuts and bread. If you don’t bake often, this recipe is super easy. One big bowl does the trick, no need for super appliances or gadgets.

The caramel sauce with pecans is kind of addictive. I’m telling you, this recipe should definitely be part of your Holidays’ baking list; as it will not disappoint! Have a great week my friends!

  

Continue Reading

easter, we’re ready for you

I am so ready for the extra-long weekend that Easter brings!  We always have a jam-packed weekend, and this year if no different.  Shopping on Good Friday with Jojo, followed by a no-meat-family-dinner at Lulu’s with fish, omelets and poutine!  On Saturday we’re celebrating Easter at my Mom’s with a nice Prime Rib, and Sunday is our annual Chicken N’ Rib feast at Brian’s mom.

The boys are ready to have a few days off, and so am I.  They’re anxious for the Egg Hunt on Saturday and all the chocolate they’re about to eat this weekend (and so am I!)

So here’s a few pictures of a few dessert options for this weekend.  Easy, fun and delicious!  My boys love to bake with me, and they love all the icing colors and sprinkle; cupcake decorating is one of their favorite things to do in the kitchen!  Must be because they get to eat so much sugar while doing it!

As much as I love chocolate, I try to mix it up when it comes to the Easter Basket; and the boys already get so much chocolate from others at Easter.  I always get them summer stuff, like Crocs or shoes, pj’s, books or movies, and of course one candy.  I also try to make one for my husband, so I guess this year he knows what he’s having: Beau’s beer, t-shirt and chocolate!  Maybe I should post here what I want in my basket?!!

So, what’s your favorite Easter tradition?  And your favorite Easter treat?

Remember to have fun this weekend, to spend time with your family, and to drive safe.  Happy Easter everyone!

Continue Reading

all you need is…ice cream

All you need is love… and a few sweet snacks!

I had a few things planned for this weekend but with yesterday’s blizzard, some of our plans fell through.

On Saturday, we finished our valentine’s day cards and made some Red Velvet Whoopie Pie.  FAIL.  Not everything we do is a success.  They looked sooo good, but the taste was very disappointing.  The texture was actually like baked play-doh, and it tasted as bad as it could have been with a LOT of sugar!

So we tried another new recipe while watching the snow storm yesterday.  Homemade ice cream sandwich… and we’ve got a WINNER!  This one will be hard to beat.  And it was easy to make, quick, and delicious.  I’m a big fan of ice cream sandwich, but these were something else, and homemade, which obviously add to the fun!  Light, moist and delicious cookie with strawberry ice cream… AMAZING!

I can foresee myself doing this recipe many times next summer for everyone to enjoy at our pool parties, and of course for myself as well!  I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter… perfect snack size… and perfect for the occasion!

I used my guru Martha Stewart recipe for the cookie.

what you need:

1/2 cup melted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

how to:

Preheat oven at 350.  Butter a jelly-roll pan and cover with parchment paper.

Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a large bowl.  Add the egg, vanilla and salt and mix.  Add the flour and coco powder and mix well.  Spread the mix on the parchment paper.  The mixture is thick, you will need to spread it out evenly.

Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes.  Once it’s baked, let it cool for 5 minutes, then cut hearts with the cookie cutter.  Take out the ice cream. Let the cookies cool for another 5 minutes.  Then add a dollop of your favorite ice cream and add another cookie on top.  Press gently.  Once they’re all done, place the baking sheet with the sandwiches in the freezer for one hour.

It won’t take an hour to eat, so grab one as fast as you can and ENJOY!

This recipe gave me 12 sandwiches.  I guess you can have more if you don’t use the cookie cutters and do square ones; less waste.  But they are so much more fun to eat when they’re made of your favorite shapes!

Hope you have a great Valentine’s Day.

Continue Reading

14 days of love

Last year, I decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day for 14 days.  Why not… it’s love, and isn’t all about love?

We don’t have family that lives in our city, so date nights are pretty rare.  They used to happen all the time, we would go out one day to the restaurant, then the next day to the movies, then again to the restaurant, and on a good week we’d finish it by going to Royal Thai for dinner on Friday!  But since we’ve had kids, it’s been different!  We sometime sneak in a date when we visit our family on the weekend, as we tell them we’re coming down for the day when we’re actually only passing by to drop the kids… (thanks Mom, thanks Annick, thanks Brian’s mom) but to be honest, it doesn’t happen that often!

So my 14 days of love was for our entire family.  It’s doesn’t have to be an elaborate thing.  Here’s a few things we did last year:

-heart shaped pancakes

-wrote valentine cards for our friends and family

-made some strawberry pop-tarts for my coworkers

-bought myself new red nail polish… it counts!

-had a stay-at-home movie night with v-day popcorn

-went through all the Valentine’s Day cards that we received through the years… (yes, I kept all the cards… since I was a baby… I love these type of souvenirs!)

 This year, I still want to do the 14-day Valentine thing, and here’s a few idea I’ve added on my list:

-go skate on the Rideau canal

-try a new restaurant

-make pink pancakes… this should happen every weekend!

-have the boys answer a little questionnaire about what they love and read it with them one day, like in 10 years…

-make more v-day popcorn… you can never have too much popcorn!

-heart shaped pizza TODAY

-wear fancy rain boots

 So what’s your favorite V-Day tradition?

I hope you’ll try the 14 days of love this year!  Or at least try to treat yourself and your lover a couple times!

Happy Valentine month!

Continue Reading

pink cinnamon buns…of course

Bring me all the pink stuff!!!  Valentine’s Day is around the corner and everywhere I look… pink heart-shaped everything are calling my name!

Of course I’ve already decorated my house for Valentine’s Day.  Well, I like to decorate for every occasion.  So for the next few weeks, my house and my blog will be flooded with pink!

Last weekend I made pink cinnamon buns, and like he always do when he loves something, Logan said ‘dell-licious’ after his first bite.

I’m sharing the recipe from www.sprinklesomesugar.com but you can use your own favorite recipe and just add some pink food coloring!

What you need:

Dough

-1 packet of active dry yeast

-1 cup of warm milk

-2/3 cup of sugar

-1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

-2 eggs lightly beaten

-1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

-4 1/2 cups of flour

Filling

-1/2 cup unsalted butter

-1 1/4 cups brown sugar

-2 tablespoon cinnamon

Frosting

-4oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

-1/4 cup unsalted butter

-1 cup icing sugar

How to:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Add yeast, warm milk and 1 tbs of sugar.  Stir and set aside for 10 minutes.  Add the rest of sugar, melted butter and beaten eggs until combined.  Add 3 cups of flour and then add one tablespoon at a time until you have a workable dough.  The dough should be sticky, do not add to much flour.  Mix for 5 minutes.  Place the dough in a greased bowl in a dry place to rise.  For about one hour.

While the dough is rising, mix the ingredients for the filling.  Once the dough is ready, place it on a floured counter and roll it out to form a rectangle.  Smear the butter mixture on the dough, and then roll the dough.  I made heart shaped buns by rolling both side until they meet in the middle.  Cut and place in a baking pan, creating hearts.  Allow the dough to rise again for 30 minutes.

In a 350 degree oven, bake the cinnamon buns for 25 minutes or until golden brown… or in this case, golden pink!

For the frosting, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth with no lumps.  Add the icing sugar.

Spread the icing onto the warm buns!  Dell-licious!

Enjoy with your loved ones.

Continue Reading

liam turns bb-6

Our weekend shenanigans are over!  2 days, 3 birthday parties and 67 guests later…we are done!  Our  little man turned six on Friday.  How did this happened?  Six???  Maybe 3 or 4 but 6…bye bye baby.  It’s hard to see your first child growing up and it does go by so fast.  He’s changed so much in the last few months, he’s less clingy, talks with lots of new words and ask for our help much less than
before and the worst, he gives less kisses.  My heart is torn.  So I will stop with the drama of having a 6 years old and talk about our weekend festivities!

So I like a good party and my boys too!  A few months before their birthday, we talk about what they like, what they want and who they want to be there.  Star Wars was an easy theme, the boys still haven’t seen the movies but that’s about to change because we received them for his birthday.  Guest list, we have a big close family, we want everybody, so we had our friends come over for pizza on Friday night, a few of his school friends came yesterday morning and our families came over for some roasted hot dogs and cake last night!

Cakes, it’s always about the cakes!  I love making my babies their cakes.   It makes me so happy to create the things they love in sugar!  I made 6 cakes.  Baked  and decorated them all after school this week.  Star Wars decoration were really easy to find, lots from the $store, lots free on Pinterest and I bought the invitations and photo booth accessories from Etsy.  I made my t-shirt, another idea from Pinterest and Brian and the boys attire came from Gap Kids and Old Navy.  Bought some cheap wrapping paper before Christmas for the photo booth wall (new found favorite of Logan, taking photo booth pictures…we have at least 100!)

When we went to Boston in the fall, we visited one of my favorite stores, Pottery Barn Kids.  I love this place!  They have a Star Wars line that is to die for.  I want the Star Wars sleeping bags sooo badly.  I fell in loving with their marquee lit up sign.  I decided I (well I mean Frank) could do this way cheaper, like for less than 25$.  Found some Christmas string lights in clearance, painted a piece of wood, Frank drilled the sign and added the frame.  Put in the light and bingo, I had the most awesome marquee sign EVER.  I will put it up in their playroom, the light bulbs are in plastic, so unbreakable!  Win-win!

Of course we had a few games.  Our favorite, donuts-on-a-string, always a hit!  We decorated Star Wars cookies.  Also played, place the lightsaber on Yoda.  A BB-8 pinata was a must.  And we had the NOT so brilliant idea of buying lightsabers for all kids…do NOT attempt this when you are outnumbered!  I made little Jedi costumes for all the kids and took lots of photo booth pictures.

Food, we had soooo much.  Pizza, fries and poutine, wings, cookies, Princess Leia’s Buns, candy, chips, hot dogs, cupcakes, Edible Ewoks, Liam’s favorite raspberry pie, Yoda’s guacamole and CAKE!  I’m no eating until the next birthday…well maybe not but I do need to recover from this weekend!

So today we took down the decorations, played with toys and looked at all the pictures we took.  We love parties, we love our family and friends and most of all, we love our babies.  Happy Birthday Liam.  You deserve all the time we spent for your parties and more!  You’ve been one amazing little boy since the moment you were born.

Continue Reading

christmas cake…everyday cake

Are you full?  I bet you are… I know I still am!  But there’s always a spot left for my all-time favorite chocolate cake!

We had a really good Christmas this year.  We visited family, had fabulous meals with the ones we love, exchange presents and waited for Santa to come visit us -way past our bedtime- at the Woodbury Christmas Eve réveillon.  I can’t believe it’s already gone, makes me so sad having to take away our tree and decorations; but I think I’ll keep them for another week (or two)!

Since I’m not ready to say goodbye yet, I’m sharing this amazing chocolate cake recipe with you.  You can make it year round and you will not be disappointed, it really is a crowd pleaser!  It was our Christmas Day dessert this year (and probably will for the next 50).  I melted some Wilton White Chocolate Candy Melts in the microwave and spread it on a large parchment paper.  Let it cool at room temperature, melted a few chocolate chipits and then brushed the ‘bark’ with a small paintbrush.  Takes less than 15 minutes….very easy.

For the cake and icing, I’ve adapted a recipe from Marilou 3 fois par jour: Mon gâteau au chocolat préféré.  I took out the chipits from the cake and changed the icing for it to be a little more buttery.  The original is amazing -just like everything else she does-, but I really love the changes I made… suits my liking!

what you need for the cake:

butter to grease the cake pans

2 cups of flour

3\4 cups of cocoa

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1\2 teaspoon of baking powder

pinch of salt

3 eggs

1 3\4 cups of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 cup of mayonnaise (I use Hellman’s Olive Oil)

1 1\3 cups of water

what you need for the icing:

1 lbs of unsalted butter (oh yes, one pound!)

1\2 lbs of salted butter (I guess one pound was not enough; but like I said, it is buttery!!!)

3\4 cup of cocoa

3 cups of icing sugar

how to:

Heat up the oven at 350.  Grease the 2 cake molds (9 in.) with butter.

Mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.  Put aside.

In the mixer (I use my Kitchen Aid mixer, but you may use a hand held mixer) add the eggs, sugar and vanilla.  Mix for about 3 minutes until the mixture is frothy.

In another separate bowl, mix the mayo and water.  Add to the mixer, alternating with the dry ingredients.

Pour into the cake pans, place in oven for about 30 minutes.  Let the cake cool down completely before icing.  I also suggest to freeze the cakes.  It’s easier to frost when it’s frozen, plus you can make your cakes in advance and unfreeze them the day your serving it.

For the icing, using your mixer again, mix the room temperature butter until fluffy.  Add the cocoa and icing sugar.  Mix on low setting until the icing is smooth and delicious!  Place your cakes on a nice cake stand, adding some icing between the layers.  Frost any way you like.  This frosting will be the best one you’ve ever tasted, I swear.  If you don’t like it, call me and I’ll come eat the entire cake!

I added the white chocolate bark all around the cake and placed a few decorations.  Theses were my great-grandma vinyl cake decorations… probably the only thing we have of hers… yet, we use them every year!  This cake needs no decoration at all, but it’s fun to dress it up for the occasion!

This IS simply the best cake EVER!  ENJOY!

 

 

 

Continue Reading