Welcoming Baby Nate

On Saturday, we had the pleasure of catering Erika’s baby shower at her Mom’s place. Although the weather outside was cloudy, the house was cheery and full of people to celebrate his arrival.

 

We had a few things to inspire the “Garden Patch” theme. Being that it was just Easter, we were able to find the napkins easily. The season of Spring definitely came to play.

IMG_2852 copy

Our menu included:

-Carrot cupcakes with cream cheese icing as well as chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing

-Fresh fruit skewers

-Zesty lemon curd pudding with fresh raspberries

-Vegetable pizza

-Rosemary parmesan and honey sea salt popcorn

-Cheese platter

 

IMG_2853

 

We feel so blessed to have been a part of this very special day for the Block’s.

IMG_2851

 

V Day

Valentine’s Day, also known as Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is reason enough for us to celebrate! We got a couple of girl friends together (Thanks for driving through the snow storm girls!) for some bacon and eggs.

IMG_2842 copy

First on the menu… a mini mimosa bar, and caffeine of course.

IMG_2837

For the main course…. we served heart shaped pancakes with whipped cream and fresh berries, maple pecan bacon roll ups and individual egg bakes with fresh dill.

IMG_2846 copy

IMG_2848

IMG_2847

We hope your holiday was spent with somebody you love!

BR

Holiday Get Together

With Christmas over, and two (ok three!) months left of Winter looming, January can be a pretty dull month. But why not continue on with the Christmas festivities (in way of eating more and consuming massive amounts of sugar) and throw a little get together. We think a hot chocolate bar is a easy and super fun idea, and perfect for these cold winter months. Just warm up some milk and allow your guests to mix their own drinks. We used two flavours of marshmallows with peppermint and white chocolate chips but here are some other great ideas: caramel (or Skor) bits, coconut, whipped cream (chocolate flavoured), sprinkles and caramel sauce.

IMG_2771

IMG_2772

A (our kind of) party would not be complete without some sweets…

IMG_2774

We hope this inspires you to get off your couch (We know Netflix is really addicting this time of year) and throw a winter inspired soiree of your own.

B

 

INSPIRE Tuesdays

a-kate-spade-inspired-new-years-39_Fotor_Collage

* a “healthier” but decadent breakfast option to start the New Year off with

*We had to share with you this wonderful little play space. We are hoping this will give our Mom some inspiration for her own future grandchildren 🙂

*A little detox in form of a smoothie (We are definitely feeling it after the holidays and all the Christmas cookies consumed)

*Whimsical New Year’s inspiration from Ruffled – for a wedding or just next year’s get together with friends.

BR

Snowflake Raspberry Cookies

IMG_2784 copy

Raspberry Jam Snowflake Cutouts 

Total Time: 3 1/4 hours

Makes: About 24 cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

t tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

Icing sugar

-In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in eggs and vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; stir into butter mixture in 3 additions just until combined. Divide dough in half; shape into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

-Let dough stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out; about 15 minutes. Between waxed paper, roll out dough and use 4 cm snowflake-shaped cookie cutter to cut shapes into all the dough until you have even number of stars. Arrange, 1 inch apart, on parchment paper-lined rimless baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes. Bake, 1 sheet at time, in 375F oven until bottoms and edges are light golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool on pan for 1 minute then transfer directly to racks to cool completely.

-Spread 1 tsp jam on every second cookie, and sandwich with every other cookie. Dust with icing sugar if desired.

Adapted from Canadian Living Holiday Baking Winter 2014 “Raspberry Jam Snowflake Cutouts” recipe 

IMG_2782 copy

Last Minute Gift & Give: Homemade Hot Fudge

IMG_2801

This super easy, fun, and delicious gift will take you less then an hour to complete. Gather up some cute ribbon, tags and jars and you are all set:

Step 1- Make the hot fudge:

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter

8 T cocoa powder

1 cup evaporated milk

1 t vanilla

Bring butter and milk to a slow boil and then add in dry ingredients. Cook on low until it coats the back of a spoon (3 or 4 minutes) Add vanilla last.

Step 2- Decorate your jars with ribbon, gift tags, or whatever your hearts desire. 

Step 4- Give away to all your ice cream loving/sweet tooth friends! 

 

This post is inspired by Liz Stanley’s “5 Minute Homemade Hot Fudge”. See it here.

Mint Chocolate Chip Icebox Cookies

IMG_2788

These cookies were a delicious addition to our Christmas baking menu and we will be sure to make them again:

Mint Chocolate Chip Icebox Cookies 

Total Time: 3 1/4 hours

Makes: About 60 Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 tsp peppermint extract

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 salt

Green paste food colouring

1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

30g semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

-In large bowl, beat butter with sugar until fluffy; beat in peppermint extract and vanilla. In separate bowl, whisk flour with salt; stir into butter mixture in 2 additions. Knead gently just until dough comes together.

-Divide dough in half. Using food colouring, tint half of the dough green and knead in chocolate chips. Divide green dough in half; roll each into 10-inch log. Wrap in plastic wrap, twisting ends to seal; refrigerate.

-Knead melted chocolate into remaining dough just until combined. Between 2 sheets of parchment paper, roll out dough to 10- x 8- inch rectangle; remove top sheet. Trim edges of dough to make even rectangle. Halve lengthwise to form 2 rectangles;refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Arrange 1 rectangle on parchment paper with 1 log of the green dough over top of the rectangle, about 2 inches from edge closest to you. Using parchment paper, lift and roll chocolate dough from edge closest to you over green dough to meet opposite long edge; gently pinch seam to seal. Remove parchment paper.

-Wrap in plastic wrap, twisting ends to seal. Repeat with remaining dough. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

-Trim ends of logs; slice dough into 1/2 inch thick rounds, reshaping as needed. Arrange, 2 inches apart, on parchment paper-lined rimless baking sheets. Bake in top and bottom thirds of 350F oen, switching and rotating pans halfway through until firm and no longer shiny, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on pans for 5 minutes, transfer directly to racks to cool completely.

Recipe from Canadian Living Holiday Baking Winter 2014 issue 

 

A Christmas Tradition

Growing up, and still to this day, our Mom and Grandma’s both ask at this time of year “What should I make for you this year?”. Mom had her reese’s pieces squares and cappuccino shortbread, Grandma’s jam jam’s and Oma’s infamous shortbread.

IMG_2777 copy

As we have our own family’s now, there is numerous events at Christmas to contribute baking to. This year we did a mix of some of our childhood favourites with a twist and a new favourite. Over the next two weeks, we will be sharing with you these recipes from a day spent baking together. Hope you enjoy!

IMG_2779

Mocha Shortbread 

Time: 3 Hours

Makes: 32 cookies

Ingredients:

2 tsp instant espresso powder

2 tsp hot water

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

170g semi-sweetened chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

3 tbsp decorating sugar (We skipped this step)

-In small bowl, whisk espresso powder with hot water until dissolved. Set aside.

-In stand mixer with paddle attachment, or in a bowl using  a wooden spoon, beat together butter, icing sugar, vanilla, salt and espresso mixture until fluffy; stir in flour, just until combined. Divide dough in half; shape into squares. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm but not hard, about 45 minutes.

-Between waxed paper, roll out 1 square to 1/2-inch thickness; shape into 6 1/4-x 5 1/2-inch (16 x 14 cm) rectangle; trimming edges. Halve lengthwise; cut crosswise into 8 strips to form 16 cookies. Arrange, 1 inch part, on parchment paper-lined rimless baking sheet. Refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough.

-Bake, 1 sheet at time, in 300F oven until firm and light golden, 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool on pans for 10 minutes; transfer directly to racks to cool completely.

-Scrape melted chocolate into tall heatproof glass or bowl. Tilting chocolate to one side, dip 1 top corner of each cookie into the chocolate and set on wax paper lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with decorating sugar; Refrigerate until set, about 20 minutes.

IMG_2794 copy

Recipe from “Canadian Living Holiday Baking Winter 2014 Issue”