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Peaches and cream cupcakes

From "The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook"

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 tbsp butter at room temp
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
14oz canned peaches, or a few fresh peaches or other seasonal fruit. Sliced
Vanilla frosting to garnish

Preheat oven to 325F

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in bowl and mix (either with a paddle attachment or handheld mixer) on low speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Slowly pour in half the milk into the flour mixture, until just incorporated.

Whisk the egg, vanilla, and remaining milk together in a separate bowl (or measuring cup) for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. Scrape down any unmixed ingredients with a rubber spatula, then continue mixing for a couple minutes until the batter is smooth. Do not overmix.

Divide the sliced peaches between the paper liners in the muffin trays so that the base of each cup is covered. Spoon the batter over top, about 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until light golden and the cake bounces back when touched. Double-check by inserting a toothpick. They are done when it comes out clean.
Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.
Finish with frosting.

Like the banana cupcakes, these are nice and light. The fruit is a nice, moist hit of flavour in the simple cupcake.
I used fresh peaches for this the first time, and it was fantastic. I highly recommend using fresh fruit for this.

Banana and chocolate cupcakes

From "The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook"

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter at room temp
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 ripe banana, peeled and mashed
2/3 cup chocolate chips (my own addition because everything is better with chocolate!)
Chocolate frosting to garnish

Preheat oven to 325F

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and butter in bowl and mix (either with a paddle attachment or handheld mixer) on low speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.

Slowly pour the milk into the flour mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed. Add the eggs and beat well, scraping down any unmixed ingredients with a rubber spatula.

Stir in the mashed banana and chocolate chips by hand until evenly dispersed.

Spoon the batter into muffin trays prepared with paper liners, about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden and the cake bounces back when touched.
Let the cupcakes cool slightly in the pan before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.
Finish with chocolate frosting.

These cupcakes are really light, but very tasty. Makes you feel not guilty at all having a few~

Green Onion and Cheese Scones


These are from here, with a few Michelle-Notes


2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour (Michelle note: separated into 2 1/4 and 1/4, see instructions below)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 cup shredded extra-old cheddar cheese (Michelle note: the Imperial cheese in the red tub is really good)
1/4 cup minced green onions
1 egg
1 cup milk


In large bowl, whisk together flour (Michelle note: 2 1/4 cup of flour, you can save the last 1/4 for kneading in later), baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper. Using pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add 3/4 cup (175 mL) of the cheese and green onions; stir to combine. Beat egg with milk; pour over flour mixture and stir with fork (Michelle note: a wooden spoon) to form soft ragged dough. With lightly floured hands, press dough into ball.

Turn out onto lightly floured surface (Michelle note: use the 1/4 cup of flour here); knead gently 10 times. Pat into 3/4-inch (2 cm) thick round (Michelle note: I used a rolling pin, because I'm an engineer and uniformity is fun). Using 2-1/2-inch (6 cm) floured round cutter and pressing scraps together, cut out 12 rounds (Michelle note: I used the medium size biscuit cutter, about 4 cm, and I got about 21 scones). Place on parchment paper-lined or floured rimless baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake in centre of 400°F (200°C) oven until golden, about 15 minutes. (Make-ahead: Let cool. Store in airtight container for up to 24 hours or wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)

Healthy cookie!

Since I found this recipe in Swerve magazine, I've made three batches. I love them!! No
butter, eggs, flour, or sugar!! I've made them with dried blueberries
as well, and have added ground flax for additional goodness. They're
dense and yummy.

3 ripe bananas (or apple sauce)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut
Chocolate chunks/chips/dried blueberries
Ground flax

Mash together bananas, oil, peanut butter. Add vanilla. Add oats,
coconut, cinnamon, salt, baking powder. Mix. Add flax/
chocolate/whatever. Spoon on to baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Let
cool and enjoy!

How to Fail at Merengues.

Fail to Google a good recipe.

Double the recipe you don't have. Vaguely recollect that it had cocoa.

Beat the egg whites long enough to annoy everyone around you.

Add Splenda.

Add hot chocolate. It' s just like cocoa, right?

Beat mixture.

Beat mixture.

Beat it until the people around you want to throttle the life out of  you.

Realize that something's wrong. Add more egg whites.

Beat it until you receive verbal and physical threats.

Realize that the milk protein contained in the hot chocolate likely reacts with egg protein making the light and fluffy whipped texture of a normal merengue impossible to achieve.

Emote about one's failure at a baker to all who will actually listen to you (who aren't completely ignoring you due to the noise of the beaters or quietly plotting their revenge).

Have a brilliant (NO) idea.

Make an Oreo pie crust.

Top with eggy hot chocolatey mixture.

Bake until you forget about it. In fact, go skidooing and leave the baking in the hands of the aforementioned people who aren't talking to you.


Realize the taste is like a hot chocolate omelette on a salty cookie.

Eat the pie crust. Discard the rest.

FML. Will find a recipe next time.

Light and fluffy. Mmm.

Merengues. Yummy, and actually pretty healthy for a cookie. If you replace the icing sugar with Splenda, or reduce its amount, it gets pretty low cal/high protein too!!

3 large egg whites
3/4 cup icing sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 200F. Beat egg whites until frothy, add cream of tartar. Continue beating until peaks form. Add sugar/splenda bit by bit, beating all the while. Add vanilla and beat. Either use a piping bag or a spoon to transfer the mixture on to a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper or tin foil. Bake for 2 hrs, till creamy-looking (recipe said 1.5hrs, but 2 worked for me!). Let sit on counter to dry for ~1hr (the recipe says overnight, but it worked for me at this short time). Enjoy!

I might make a variant on these with: food dye for Christmas, peppermint flavoring. Anyone got any other ideas to spice up a merengue?

Souvlaki Solved!

I love souvlaki. I've been trying to make it properly for a while now to no avail. But I recently figured it out! This works even with less marinading time!!

Chicken/pork, chopped into small pieces
Garlic (I like lots of this!)
Lemon juice
olive oil
Salt/garlic salt
pepper to taste

Mix lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, and garlic in a bowl. For the garlic, use a garlic press (this is key if you want MEGA GARLIC FLAVOR POWER!!). Mix in chicken/pork slices. Mix the bowl around every so often, let sit for at least 1/2 hour (could let it marinade all day too, but I've gotten nice souvlaki with only 1/2 hour). Skewer meat onto a ...skewer, wood or metal (if wood, it's often good to soak them beforehand so they don't incinerate in the bbq). Barbecue the skewers till they're nice and brown on the outside. The trick with bbq'ing skewers is not to forget that they're on the bbq!

Serve with rice/pasta/salad/whatever!

Peanuts and Chocolate OTP (Part Two)

Level-Up Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, soft
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cups chocolate chips (level-up!)
(Optional, shelled peanut halves for bonus points)

Preheat oven to 375F

In a large bowl cream together the peanut butter, butter, and sugars until well blended.
Beat in the egg, milk and vanilla one at a time.
In a seperate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt then stir into the creamed mixture.
Mix in the chocolate chips.
Roll spoonfulls of the dough into balls and place about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet.
Press each one down gently with a fork to make the classic weave pattern. (Garnish with a half of a peanut for bonus points.)

Bake for 8-10min, until the edges are lightly browned. Allow to set on the baking sheet for about 10 min before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

-I'm still on the hunt for the ultimate peanut butter cookie for my tastes, but this one is pretty darn awesome. I tried a very similar recipe that called for only margarine instead of butter and was surprised at the difference it made in the texture of the cookes.
If you like very chewy cookies, try your batch with margarine instead, but I like the texture that butter gave.
The result of the difference in the peanut butter cookies prompted me to change up my snickerdoodle recipe!

From "Tried and True Cookies: top 200 recipes from allrecipes.com"

Don't laugh at the funny name, eh!


Mix together thoroughly:
1 cup soft shortening (or 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup soft butter)
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs

Sift together and stir in:
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Chill dough for about 1 hour
Preheat oven to 400F
Roll dough into balls and coat in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar
Place 2" apart on lightly greased cookie sheet
Bake 8-10 min until slightly light brown.

I got this from my co-worker at Thorn, a classic from her family's cookbook. Yay, recipe exchange!
There are about 1000 different recipes for snickerdoodles out there, and this is about as straight forward as they come. ^.^


Curry Zucchini Soup

every so often, i buy a veggie or fruit for the sake of trying something different - not because i want to eat it in particular or because i have a recipe in mind for it. i like to eat all different kinds of foods because i think it's important to never dull your taste buds, plus all kinds of foods in your diet helps widen the types of nutrients you get.

so my last costco trip, i ended up getting a bag of zucchinis. i'm usually not good with these guys - i don't like them raw and not too fond of them grilled. and i really don't know what else to do with them! then i ran across a recipe for zucchini soup. i love soup, so why not?

i decided to modify the soup to have very little ingredients vegetable-wise but quite a bit spice-wise. so of course i thought of indian-like spices! but i didn't measure exactly how much of everything so the spice measurements are "give or take".

i was REAAAAAALLY impressed with how this came out, actually, this is going to become a staple for me. i LOVE it, which is funny because i'm normally not a fan of "plain" soup (soup without chunks of meat or veggies in it). it's just so flavorful, requires very little ingredients and also VERY little time from start to finish, which is great because as you all know i'm hella busy these days!
(but not busy enough to post this because it's just TOO GOOD NOT TO SHARE)

curry zucchini soup
requires: large saucepan and blender
serves: ~5 cups of soup

- bit of olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped (or a whole onion, i used 1/2 because i added green onions later)
- 2 cloves garlic (optional, i just love garlic)
- 6 zucchinis (zuchinii?), washed, cut lengthwise and chopped
- 4 cups chicken or veggie stock (i used store bought low sodium chicken, don't have time to make my own)
- 1 tsp curry powder (i used mild because i suck)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground tumeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- (optional) sliced green onion for garnish

1. turn stove to medium heat. place large saucepan on stove and add olive oil. wait until hot.
2. add onion and garlic, cook until onion is tender.
3. add zucchini with curry, cumin, tumeric, cinnamon and cloves. cook an additional 5-7 minutes.
4. add stock and bay leaf, bring to a boil. reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.
5. transfer soup pot to a cold bath*, wait until cool. remove bay leaf and cloves.
6. transfer soup to blender and blend until almost smooth.

yay, you're done! when i went to reheat it, i added some sliced green onion so i can "chew" on something while having soup. very delicious and easy!

* cold bath = fill sink with a shallow amount of cold water and place soup pot, uncovered, inside for it to cool off quicker.

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