Asiago Artichoke Dip

DSC_0200My gluten-intolerant friend was having a potluck this past winter and I was in a bit of a pickle. A lot of great ideas were already taken (she made a lasagna using rice noodles!) and everything I could think of had meat in it (the guest list was full of vegetarians!). A cheesy gluten-free vegetarian dip seemed like a good solution, so I tweaked the recipes I found online until they fit! Continue reading

Chocolate Thumbprints with Cookies and Cream Hershey’s Kisses

Chocolate thumbprint cookies with cookies 'n' cream Hershey's KissesThumbprint cookies are a childhood favourite. There’s something so satisfying about pressing your thumb into a soft ball of dough! I think the standard flavour is peanut butter which is filled with jam or jelly, so this is a bit different. Still, I have done peanut butter ones with kisses in the centre (actually, chocolate caramel kisses)!

I made these for Christmas (I know, I know, I’ve really fallen behind in posting) but I think they’d be really cute Valentine’s Day treats… they are kisses, after all! Christmas 2010, I managed to find the candy cane kisses (as mentioned ¬†here) but this past Christmas I missed the boat! They were all sold out by the time I went to buy ingredients. Oh well, things like that just force us to be more creative and think about other things that work well! I chose cookies and cream kisses since the white would contrast well against the dark chocolatey cookie, but choose whichever flavour you please! They might even have Valentine’s themed ones… Continue reading

Macaroons

Mmm macaroon!Important note: these are the North American coconut macaroons, not the swanky French meringue- and almond-based macarons. (The extra ‘O’ makes all the difference…)

Macaroons are incredibly easy to make. They’re one of those recipes where you read the ¬†instructions and think to yourself “That’s it?” I really don’t understand why these aren’t sold at every bake sale or in every Christmas cookie tin. The boys in my family are always so excited about them that I’ve taken to making a double batch every time.

Continue reading

Christmas Cookies

I’m a big Christmas baker. If I don’t bake it’s not Christmas. I’m not sure how this came about, but at some point I started making cookies to give away. Every year, I buy a cookie tin for each household in my family and fill it with a variety of cookies. I usually pick 4-6 recipes for the tins but this time of year tends to have lots of get togethers/potlucks/office parties etc., so I usually make cookies for those as well.

I know many people have a tried-and-true recipe that they make year after year, but I like using these tins as an opportunity to try a bunch of new recipes. I tend to pick these out in advance, to make life a little easier for the days leading up to Christmas. By planning it out, I can also make sure that there’s a variety of flavours, not just chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! (Not that all chocolate would be a bad thing… but it wouldn’t be ideal for some non-chocoholic family members.) The actual baking is usually accomplished in the 2 or 3 days leading up to Christmas because I used to bake in advance and freeze, but then I had a couple disasters! Continue reading

Mushroom Phyllo Rolls

Sometimes I feel left out. It seems I’m the only person on earth who doesn’t like mushrooms. I can handle them if they’re finely chopped and spread throughout a dish, so really it’s mostly a texture thing – I actually like the flavour! So I tried to invent an appetizer for my friends’ get together that balanced their love for mushrooms and my intense dislike of the texture. I settled on making a hybrid – the filling taken from my boyfriend’s aunt’s pinwheels, and my own phyllo wrapping that would add a crunch to the mushroom mix. Here’s what I came up with: Continue reading

Pumpkin Bread

I have a bit of a rule in our little one-bedroom apartment: if it’s hot out, you can’t turn the oven on. That’s just life with no AC – lots of cold drinks and cool showers just to make it through those 30+ degree days. But the truth is, I really miss baking and each fall I get into it as soon as the nights become a little chilly. When we needed to wear hoodies on the balcony the other night, I knew it was that time of year again!

We also have a little project going on to clear out our freezer – it’s getting a little overstocked for just 2 people! Time to use up all those odds and ends wherever possible. Continue reading