Monday, December 31, 2012

Caramel Pear Cheesecake Trifle

What better way than to start the new year with this Delicious dessert?!!  It is pretty simple, and if whipped long enough the Cream Cheese filling could be very light and fluffy!

Enjoy! and Happy New Years :-D

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 large slightly underripe Bartlett pears—peeled, cored and diced
1 cup Caramel Sauce
1 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups cold heavy cream
8 ounces gingersnap cookies, plus crushed cookies for garnish                                                                       


  1. In a large skillet, melt the butter. Add the diced pears. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 8 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the caramel sauce, cover and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the pears are tender, 5 minutes. Scrape the pears onto a plate and refrigerate until cool.
  2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Microwave at high power for 5 seconds, just until the gelatin is melted. Transfer the gelatin mixture to a bowl and add the cream cheese and the remaining 1/2 cup of caramel sauce. Using an electric mixer, beat at medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  3. In another bowl, whip 1 1/2 cups of the cream until firm peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
  4. Spoon one-fourth of the mousse into a medium trifle bowl. Top with one-fourth of the gingersnaps and one-fourth of the pears. Repeat the layering, ending with a layer of pears. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  5. In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cream until soft peaks form. Dollop the cream over the trifle and garnish with crushed gingersnaps.   

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Strawberry Santa's

Merry Christmas readers!  Sorry for the delay and blog posts this month.  Most of you know that recently, my husband and I experienced another terrible loss in our family which resulted in yours truly to undergo a life changing surgery.  So, I have been recovering for the last few weeks with not much of an appetite for food let alone baking.  Today my husband had his family’s Christmas social and what better time to introduce the Santa Strawberries.  Originally, my bestie from out westie showed me this idea that she had found. After some much needed pinterest time I found this sweet little recipe and wanted to share!

What you need:

1 lb of strawberries
1 package of cream cheese
1-3 table spoons of icing sugar (to taste)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Poppy seeds, or chocolate chips

1.       Beat cream cheese in bowl on high until whipped. Add 1 tsp vanilla and icing sugar to taste.  Place filling into a piping bag with small point.

2.       Wash strawberries and drain

3.       Slice the tops of the strawberries (enough for a hat) and slice stem section off flat
4.       Pipe filling on cut strawberry and place  end of strawberry on top for hat.  Add filling to the tip as well you could add some down the main strawberry for buttons.

5.       Place poppy seeds for eyes

Friday, November 16, 2012

Bourbon & Maple Bars

Let the Christmas baking begin!!

Are you a maple syrup lover?  If so then you will love these!!  They have a hint of bourbon and slightly chewy.  They keep well, that is if you hide them somewhere!!

*note* be sure to use pur maple syrup and not the maple flavoured pancake syrup variety.


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup maple syruup
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons bourbon


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.   Lightly butter a 1 x 9 inch baking pan.

2.  To make the batter: 
Sift together the flour and baking powder; set aside.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until light.  Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla until blended.  Combine the maple syrup and bourbonl add in a slow, steady stream, beating gently until blended.

3.  Stir in the flour mixture until blended.  Add the pecans or walnuts; stir to blend.

4.  Spread the batter in the prepared pan.  Bake for 35 minutes, or until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.  Cool on a wire rack, and glae the bars while still warm.

5.  To make the glaze:
Sift the confectioner's sugar into a small bowl.  In a separate bowl, stir together the maple syrup and bourbon.  Add the liquids to the confectioner's sugar, stirring until smooth.  Drizzle the glaze over the warm bar cookies, spreading it into a thin, even layer.  Cool thoroughly before cutting into the bars.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Red Pepper, Four Cheese Spinach Dip

Today's Little Rant About Shopping Local:

I love to support our local markets as best as I can.  Today proved a point as to why I love shopping at Turners Farm Market off of hwy #2.  Not only are their veggies fresh you can guarantee they aren't bad and as I found out today....crawling with earthworms.   That is right readers, today I made a quick stop at Ingersoll's Independent Store to pick up the cheese ingredients  (Parmesan and Romano) and while I was there decided to grab a bunch of green onion. HUGE HUGE HUGE MISTAKE!  Why you may ask?  I got home only to find  my bunch of onions were infested with big slimy gross earthworms! Immediately I went back to the store to return them. The Customer Service Rep didn't even seem concerned as she threw them in the trash bin and handed me my .79.  DISGUSTING!   I made the trip out to Turners, yes just to get onions....and vowed I will never ever get my vegetables at Independent EVER AGAIN!

 So now to the good stuff:

Halloween is approaching quickly, and my husband and I were invited to a Scary - Movie - thon!  I am defiantly a little Suzy Homemaker when it comes to get together's!  I love trying new finger food appetizers and mini desserts!  Today, I desperately had a craving for Kelsey's Spinach dip and I found this super awesome recipe on Google! And trust me, it tastes exactly like the real thing!

8 ounces cream cheese
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon freshly grated Romano cheese
1 tablespoon very finely chopped red bell pepper
1 green onion (scallion) white and green finely chopped
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup grated medium Cheddar cheese
1 pinch cayenne pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix first 4 ingredients with hand or stand mixer on medium until softened and well mixed.

Add next two ingredients and mix on med-low until just incorporated.

Add spinach and mix on low until just incorporated.

Transfer mixture to a small ovenproof dish and sprinkling cayenne on top to taste. Top with cheddar. Bake for 15 - 18 minutes or until bubbling around the edges.

Remove from oven and allow to set for 5 - 7 minutes before serving. Serve with fried or baked pita wedges and tortilla chips (nachos).

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chicken Breast, Sausage Fennel Casserole

 Today felt like a pasta sort of day!  While Hurricane Sandy blows into Ontario, my kitchen was smelling delicious of fresh chopped peppers, garlic and cooked chicken and sausage!  This pasta is best served with a side salad and fresh bagette.  Oh, and don't forget the red wine! Yum!

8 sausage links cut into bite size pieces
3 boneless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
1 bag of pasta penne
1 fennel head
1 tablespoon of fennel seed
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
1 medium onion chopped
1 green, yellow, and red pepper shopped
2 large can spaghetti sauce
Olive oil
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 
Cut Chicken and Sausage into bite size pieces, and cook.
While cooking, boil penne until cooked. Set aside one cup pasta water.
Trim fennel head, and slice bulb length wise into strips
Stir fry garlic onions, fennel, fennel seeds  for two min in olive oil
Put all ingredients together and add spagetti sauce and mix thoroughly.
Place in casserole dish and top with shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake in oven for one hour or until cheese is melted.

 * Did you like this recipe?  Feel free to leave a comment! *

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Country Harvest Beef Stew

Welcome to Crock Pot Tuesday!

Today, I had my dad over for lunch.  We enjoyed this very flavourful stew  that was super easy to make!  Served with fresh warm biscuits and a cup of warm apple cider, this dish is sure to warm everyone's heart on a dreary day!  Enjoy!

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 1/2 pounds beef for stew
1 quart (32 ounces) canned or stewed tomatoes undrained
6 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 medium potatoes, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 stalks of celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup all purpose flour (optional)
1/2 cup warm water (optional)

1.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium - low heat.  Brown stew meat on all sides. Drain excess fat

2. Place browned meat and remaining ingredients except flour and water in crock-pot slow cooker.  Mix well. Cover; cook on HIGH 6 to 7 hours

3. Before serving, thicken gravy if desired.  Combine flour and warm water in small bowl. Stirring well until all lumps are gone.  Add mixture to liquid in Crock Pot.  Cook 10-20 minutes or until sauce thickens.  Remove and discard bay leaves before serving.

**Did you like this recipe?  why not leave us a comment?!**

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Apple Crumble Loaf

Fall is here!! And what wonderful way to start off this season with a whole APPLE series!!

Last week I started my apple-thon!!  5 pies, 5 crisps, and 60 jars of pie filling later I was left with a dozen apples from the bushel I purchased at our local market (Turners Farm Market).  What on earth was I going to do with 12 apples that I hadn't done already?  At this time, I was out of jars, flour and energy!!

I searched through some old dusty worn out cookbooks and found this awesome crumble loaf cake!!


  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch peices
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2tsp granulated sugar 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking poder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup milk


  1. Heat oven to 350F. coat a 9 x 5 x 3 in loaf pan with non stick spray
  2. Make the crumble:  Put all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir with a fork until crumbly
  3. Toss the apples with 1/2 cinnamon and tsp granulated sugar
  4. Make the cake: combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir together
  5. Add eggs in a medium bowl and whisk together.  Whisk in butter and milk. Add to flour mixture and fold just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Spoon half into prepared pan. Spread to cover bottom.
  6.  Sprinkle with half of the apples then top with half of the crumble.  Add remaining batter on top of the crumble, spread to cover.  Sprinkle remaining apples and then the remaining crumble.
  7. Bake for one hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Run a knife around the sides; invert cake onto rack to turn cake out and then revert right side up.  Let cool completely.  Store tightly covered up to 1 day at room temperature or 4 days in the fridge.