Friday, December 31, 2010

Eggnog-Cranberry Bran Muffins


I'm still full from Christmas dinner, how about you?

This recipe may help you use up two of your Christmas dinner leftovers...cranberry sauce and eggnog! And in an effort to put a healthy twist on it, I wrapped it all up in a bran muffin :)

Based on a classic recipe, I replaced the original buttermilk with light eggnog and added a small spoonful of sauce in the middle of each muffin.

Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 cups bran
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 3/4 cup light eggnog
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce

What to do
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line 12 muffin cups with liners.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. Stir in bran.
  5. In another nowl, cream shortening for 2 minutes.
  6. Add sugar and beat till light and fluffy.
  7. Add egg and beat to combine.
  8. Add molasses and beat to combine.
  9. Add dry ingredients to wet altenately with eggnog.
  10. Stir until just combined after each addition.
  11. Fill muffin cups 1/2 way with batter.
  12. Add 1 teaspoon of cranberry sauce to centre of each of muffin.
  13. Cover with additional bran mixture.
  14. Cups will be at least 3/4 full.
  15. Bake for 15-18 minutes.
  16. Makes 12 muffins.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Smokin' Turkey Chili

Those of us with left over turkey, please raise your hand!!!

We roasted a 19lb gobbler and I was worried it might not be enough for our table of 12. In the end, there was no need to worry as there was enough for  2nds and a few 3rds. There was also more than enough for leftovers.

To make sure none of the turkey went to waste, I decided to make turkey chili and freeze it for lunches in the New Year. And although gluttony is a definite Christmas tradition, the New Year will bring renewed thoughts of a healthy eating so little added fat and lots of added fibre make this a delicious and healthy left over dish!

This recipe also reminds me of the thanksgiving back in university that I made a big pot of turkey chili for a group of friends....it wasn't until we were almost done eating that I realized I forgot to put turkey in it!!!! Lol.

Ingredients:
  • 2-3 cups of diced, cooked turkey
  • 2 large cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 oz) white beans, rinsed
  • 1-2 cans (14oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 1 jalepeno, diced (keep seeds in if you like it on the hot side)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I like chipotle sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1 large red sweet pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 teaspoon liquid hickory smoke

What to do:
  1. Until transparent, saute over medium heat onions, red pepper, and jalepeno in pan lightly coated with cooking spray. (about 5 minutes).
  2. In large pot, add all ingredients including sauteed vegetables.
  3. Simmer over medium heat until heated through and bubbling.
  4. Serve or place into smaller containers and freeze for future use.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Double Chocolate Candy Cane Bark


Need an easy, delicious sweet treat for dessert or a hostess gift? Try this! Any bag of chocolate chips will do and in any flavour. A few crushed candy canes and maybe a few extra sprinkles and you're done!

Ingredients
  • 3 bags of milk chocolate chips
  • 3 bags of white chocolate chips
  • 1 bag skor bits
  • 5 candy canes, crushed
  • various sprinkles or other candies (smarties) or crushed cookies



What to do
  1. Melt chips in separate bowls or sauce pans (careful not to burn them).
  2. Spread melted white chocolate on a cookie sheet that has been lined with a silpat.
  3. Sprinkle 1/2 of skor bits over white choclate.
  4. Spread melted milk chocolate over white and spread with a light hand.
  5. Sprinkle with more skor bits, candy sprinkles and crushed candy canes.
  6. Place in fridge until set.
  7. Break or cut into pieces.
  8. Enjoy!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Tree Cake Pops


Cake Pops have certainly been one of 2010's trendy sweets! And why not! They are sweet, delicious, super easy to make and most of all fun to look at and make! Check out Bakerella's site for great ideas and different versions of cake pops.

As part of my 6 year old's school Christmas Market,  I made Christmas Tree Cake Pops. I made about 40 of them and I'm pretty sure they were gone in 60 seconds once the Market opened.

I think Tree Pops are the best cake pops to start with because you don't have to get a smooth coating of candy on the tree - the bumpier it is the more it looks like a real tree!

Ingredients:
  • 1 cake mix
  • 1 tub of frosting
  • lots of sprinkles
  • 1 package of green candy melts
  • 40 lollipop sticks - 6 inch

What to do:
  1. Bake and cool a 9 x 13 cake mix - any flavour.
  2. Break up in food processor and pulse until only small crumbs remain.
  3. Pour into large bowl.
  4. Add one regular size container of cream cheese frosting (less sweet than other flavours).
  5. Using fork, wooden spoon etc, mix with crumbs until well combined.
  6. Using your hands (gloves are good option for this), mould into cone shapes approximately 2 inches tall and 1 or 1-1/2 inch wide at base.
  7. Freeze for 15 minutes.
  8. Melt a package of green candy melties as per package directions.
  9. Pour sprinkles into another small bowl.
  10. Using lollipop sticks, dip one end into candy and insert into base of cake pop.
  11. Dip cake into melted candy. I found it easier to use a small offset spatula to help evenly coat the trees.
  12. Quickly dip into sprinkles (candy dries quite qucikly and then sprinkles wont stick!).
  13. Place completed cake pop into styrofoam or florist base.
  14. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mom's Christmas Shortbread!

I think there are as many recipes for shortbread as there are Moms. This is my Mom's recipe. Christmas is not Christmas without these cookies. My Mom sent them 4,000 miles each year while I was in university. Many would end up in crumbs, but trust me, they tasted just as good that way as they did whole! They are amazing, simple and forever THE Christmas cookie in my house.

Ingredients
3 cups flour
2 cups butter
1 cup icing sugar
1 cup corn starch


What to do
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar and corn starch.
  3. Beat butter until fluffy.
  4. In three additions, add flour mixture to butter and mix after each addition.
  5. Using small cookie scoop, drop cookies on to cookie sheet and press lightly with a fork.
  6. If desired, dust with sanding sugar or other sprinkles.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly golden at edges.
  8. Cool for 5 minutes and remove to cooling rack.









  • These cookies can be frozen and, in fact, taste great straight from the freezer.
  • Crumbs also taste great sprinkled over ice cream!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

3D Decorated Christmas House Cake


I made this cake for my daughter's cake walk at her school. A cake walk, in case you are not familiar, is a musical chairs type game. There are numbers written on paper that are placed on the floor, then the same number of kids as numbers walk around the paper as music plays. When the music stops the kids step on a number. All the numbers are then put in a hat and one is pulled out. The child that stood on that number wins the cake. There were over 30 great cakes this year and the kids had a great time.


This cake is a double layer 13x9 double layer cake on the bottom and the house (looks like a smurf house, doesn't it?!) is made from a giant cupcake pan with the bottom of the cupcake inverted.


The decorations including the door, window, and fence are made from candy moulds and the 2 trees are stickless cake pops.


It was such fun to make, hopefully the boy who won it thought it was just as much fun to eat it!







Wednesday, December 1, 2010

2010 Canadian Weblogs Awards - A good week!


2010 Canadian Weblog Awards
This week has been pretty dang good! I had a good hair day on Monday, Tuesday I found out "Within the Kitchen" has been been named the one of the top five finalists in the 2010 Canadian Weblogs Awards (Food & Drink),  and Wednesday I spent making fabulous cake pops for my daughter's school bake sale (pics later this week... of the cake pops, not the good hair).


Oh wait, did I mention I was named a TOP 5 FINALIST in the 2010 Canadian Weblogs Awards!!!!!!!!!!! Woohoo!


"The Canadian Weblog Awards are intended to promote good weblogs of all genres from across Canada year round through regular interviews, articles, and the nomination, judging, and award process that culminates with the announcement of the top three weblogs in each category on January 1st...1st, 2nd, and 3rd places in each category will be determined by a (fabulous) jury.


I am honoured to be in such good company! I started this blog just over a year ago to share my recipes and love of life in my kitchen but it has turned into much more. I have come to know so many great bloggers and food lovers, received positive feedback on my efforts and have absolutely loved every minute of this blogging journey.


This nomination is simply icing on the cake.... a 10-layer, double fudge chocolate cake with decadent, dreamy cream cheese icing!