chocolate peanut butter rice krispie treats

Chocolate Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats – a little fancier than the Rice Krispie Treats we're all used to. Sure to be a new favourite!

Who here hasn’t had Rice Krispie treats? We’ve all had them, right? And they’re pretty sweet, right? With all the marshmallow? Well the addition of dark chocolate cuts that sweetness down considerably, resulting in a slightly more grown-up treat (only slightly, because face it, they’re still Rice Krispie treats!). Trying chocolate Rice Krispie treats for the first time was a revelation for me. Personally, I’ll never make the plain ones again.  (more…)

mexican vegetable stew

Mexican Vegetable Stew – loaded with beautiful fresh vegetables, this slightly spicy stew is hearty and filling, but not too heavy. It's one of my absolute favourites that I make again and again.

This is going to sound weird to those of you already familiar with this blog. You know I love to bake, and when I bake, I don’t generally take shortcuts or make “healthy” substitutions. If it’s a sugary treat? It’s going to be loaded with sugar and butter. That’s what it’s all about. However, when it comes to “real food”? I try to eat as healthy as I can. I eat mostly vegetarian food, and cook everything from scratch. Yes, there’s occasionally lasagna or baked ziti (omg, so good), but mostly a lot of vegetable stews and lentils and ridiculously good-for-you type foods.  (more…)

peach bourbon popsicles

Peach Bourbon Popsicles – the flavours of the southern states in a grown-up treat.

Something about the combination of peaches and bourbon just sounds so right. I think it’s because it’s evocative of the southern states. Kentucky bourbon & Georgia peaches. Well I’m nowhere near there, so while I am using Kentucky bourbon (YUM), these are home-grown BC peaches. I don’t know how we compare to Georgia, but BC, especially the Okanagan, is well known for its fruit (and wineries!). If you ever want to take a road trip in the summer, you’ll find fruit stands everywhere (and wine tastings!). And if you time it just right, you can even buy fresh buttered corn on the cob at the side of the road. Now that’s my kind of road trip.  (more…)

peach jalapeño popsicles

Peach Jalapeño Popsicles – a sweet treat with a bit of heat is a beautiful thing.

A bit of heat in an otherwise sweet treat is a beautiful thing, like jalapeño jelly, and chocolate cookies with fresh grated ginger. Even mango salsa, although technically I guess that’s a hot dish with a bit of sweetness. I remember my old English teacher telling me about her time living in Mexico, and one of her favourite things was oranges with hot sauce injected into them. So of course I had to try one – trust me, it’s a treat! I’ve even been known to dip pieces of chocolate in salsa – don’t mock, it’s good! So when I saw this recipe for peach jalapeño popsicles, I was ready for something amazing. We’re right in the middle of peach season here, so the timing couldn’t be better.  (more…)

blueberry cardamom popsicles

Blueberry Cardamom Popsicles combine fresh summer berries with aromatic cardamom for a complex and sophisticated flavour.

I’ve discovered a real love for cardamom. For one thing, chai (delicious!). And it also makes me think of these spiced cardamom cookies I made last year which were amazing. I ate way too many of those cookies, let me tell you. But they were sooooo goooooood. So when I was flipping through my new book the other week (yes, I got another one!), this recipe caught my eye. I wasn’t sure how blueberry & cardamom would work together, but the other popsicle I made from this book was fantastic, so I had faith that they know what they’re talking about. And they really do.  (more…)

chow mein noodle cookies

Chow Mein Noodle Cookies – sweet and crunchy and slightly salty.

This is it – my favourite of my mom’s no-bake cookie recipes from when I was a kid! She never gave us any advance warning when she was going to make these, and I never actually saw her make them (spooky!). But occasionally I’d come home from school, look in the fridge, and there’d be a container of these cookies. Yay! And every time, I’d try to stealthily sneak some and re-arrange the remaining cookies to hide my theft. Heh. Pretty sure I wasn’t fooling anyone.  (more…)

strawberry mint popsicles

Strawberry Mint Popsicles – sweet, light and refreshing. A perfect summer treat.

I made two batches of the strawberry and bitters popsicles (so good!) and still had some strawberries left over. I also have a lot of mint on-hand for the cucumber lime mint popsicles that I’ve promised my coworkers to continue making (I’ve started just calling them mojito popsicles, because that’s totally what they taste like). Is there such a thing as a strawberry mojito? Doesn’t strawberry and mint sound good? One way to find out, right?  (more…)

strawberry and bitters popsicles

Strawberry and Bitters Popsicles – a bright, fresh, slightly grown-up flavour.

Have you ever tasted Angostura bitters? It’s that ubiquitous bottle of bitters that seems to be in every grocery store, gathering dust on its over-sized label. I’ve always thought it was pretty unpleasant on its own. I have it on-hand to add to cocktails (along with waaaaaaay too many other types of bitters), but I couldn’t imagine it as a major component of anything enjoyable. And then one day I was given a cocktail to drink – a very delicious cocktail, I might add – and told to guess what was in it. Yup. A full ounce of Angostura bitters. Whaaaat?? Almost a full third of that cocktail was Angostura bitters! So when I saw this recipe that pairs strawberries and bitters? I thought it just might work. Spoiler alert – it totally does!  (more…)

blueberry lemon yogurt popsicles

Blueberry Lemon Yogurt Popsicles – sweet and tart, creamy and refreshing – flavours that were meant to be together.

Blueberries and lemon are a perfect combination. Who hasn’t had a blueberry lemon muffin? Or blueberry lemon bars? Or blueberry lemon tart? You get the idea. These two flavours were made for each other. Well blueberries are in season right now, and I always have lemon on-hand (have I mentioned that I love lemon?), so it seems the stars have aligned and the fates have decided that I need to make some blueberry lemon popsicles. Right? Right. (was that overly dramatic?)  (more…)

chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Cookies – two kinds of chips, plus grated chocolate, chopped nuts, and ground oats. Delicious!

Okay, I know I keep saying that I’m switching to no-bake cookies for the summer, but this time I really mean it. After this one. We had a rainy and slightly cooler weekend, which meant that I could turn my oven on without completely over-heating my entire apartment. So I took advantage of that to get in one last hurrah – my last baked cookie for awhile (really, I mean it!).  (more…)

key lime pie popsicles

Key Lime Pie Popsicles – rich and creamy and full of tart lime flavour.

Again with the lime. I did finally use up all the limes I had the other week, but then I was enjoying them so much that I bought some more. And good thing, too, because it gave me the opportunity to try this recipe. I’ve got several popsicle recipes pinned that I want to try, but when I saw this one on Smitten Kitchen, I knew I had to have it. Now. For one thing? Lime. For another? Smitten Kitchen. ‘Nuff said.  (more…)

milk chocolate caramel cookies

Milk Chocolate Caramel Cookies – chocolate chips, caramel chunks, and oatmeal combine to make a delicious, sweet, chewy cookie.

After a couple weeks of unseasonably hot weather (which I whined about incessantly), this weekend ended up being cloudy and a bit rainy. And most importantly, cooler. Now it was by no means cold – I still spent the entire weekend wearing shorts and tank tops with my windows all wide open. But cool enough that I could turn my oven on without completely melting. Yay! And I was caught a bit unprepared to bake anything. I knew there was a possibility that I could be baking this weekend, but I didn’t pick out any recipes. So I took a look at which books I haven’t baked from for awhile and focussed on picking out something from one of them.  (more…)

orange espresso caramels

Orange Espresso Caramels – the flavours of sweet caramel, bitter espresso, and bright, fresh orange complement each other perfectly. You'll want to eat them all!

I’ve been really into making caramels lately and continuing that theme this week. Also, it’s apparently summer now, so I’m not really wanting to do any baking at the moment. My kitchen is south-facing, and it was 27°C in here today (about 81°F). Summer? Yay! Heat? Not so much. I know that’s not that hot. But definitely too hot to be turning an oven on. I may just continue making candies and no-bake cookies until things cool off again.  (more…)

candied orange peel

Candied Orange Peel – deceptively simple to make and loaded with flavour! It can be eaten as-is (delicious!) or used in other recipes.

Okay, I made this orange peel specifically for a caramel recipe that I wanted to try – orange espresso caramels. Heavenly! I mentioned it a couple weeks ago, and the lack of orange peel was the only thing holding me back.  (more…)

cucumber lime mint popsicles

Lime Cucumber Mint Popsicles – some of the summer's freshest flavours combine for a perfectly refreshing treat.

A couple weeks ago I was trying to find ways to use up an overabundance of limes. I made some lime meltaways, several lime cocktails, and still had a few left over. Yeah, I had a lot. So since we found ourselves in a bit of a heatwave (ugh), I decided some lime popsicles were called for. This recipe combines a few of the freshest summer flavours – lime, mint & cucumber – for a light refreshing treat with the flavour of a mojito.  (more…)