I started this blog so my daughters could find all of our family favourite recipes in one place. It has actually grown into more than just the family favourites but also other recipes we've tried out in our kitchen. I don't like to fill up the post with alot of chatter. Sometimes there's a little story to tell, but usually I like to get right to the point. So this is for them, but hope you find some recipes that you like as well. I'll be sharing a lot of recipes, and along the way you'll find some crafty things and maybe some helpful hints too!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Chocolate Butter Sauce for Cupcakes

This recipe was in my husband's family for years.  Momma, his grandma, made it alot.  It's one of his favourite things. That's why he got cupcakes and chocolate sauce for his 60th birthday instead of a traditional birthday cake.

For the sauce you'll need:

1/2 cup sugar
1  1/2 oz unsweetened (or semi) chocolate squares
2  1/2 cups boiling water
3 tbsps. butter
4 tbsps flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

Boil the water in a pot, then add sugar and chocolate and heat over medium heat until chocolate melts.  Set aside.

In another pot melt butter and add the flour and salt using a whisk to blend.  (like making bechamel sauce).  

Slowly pour in the chocolate mixture, whisking as you do so as not to make a lumpy sauce.

Cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and add the syrup and the vanilla.

Pour over white cupcakes. Any cupcakes will do, but this is a good one to try.


In fact, this sauce would be good over chocolate cake too, or even on ice cream. 
And here's the birthday boy.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chicken and Rice Casserole

I don't usually buy instant rice, but this one pot recipe caught my eye and I had to try it.

Start by browning the chicken thighs in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, 2 minutes on each side and remove to a plate.


In the same pan brown the minced garlic, then add the rice.  Mix the chicken broth, hoisin and sriracha together, then stir into rice.  

Bring to a boil, scraping brown bits off the bottom of the pan, add the mushrooms and top with the chicken. Add lemon pepper and ginger to taste. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for 12 minutes.

I know....it doesn't look like much right now.  Add the green pepper, cover and cook another 6-8 minutes.

Sprinkle with grilled sesame seeds to serve.


6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
lemon pepper and ginger to taste
1  1/2 cups instant rice
3 cups chicken broth
2 tbsps. hoisin sauce
1 tsp sriracha hot chili sauce
2 cups quartered mushrooms
1/2 - 1 green pepper, sliced
1 tsp grilled sesame seeds

It's a good middle of the week meal.

Grad Diploma Candy

Here's a little something to add to your graduation celebration table.

Print out your good wishes for the Grad and cut out.  I used school colours.
Dab a glue stick on the Rockets to hold the little strip of paper in place while you tie with ribbon. You'll need about 10 inches of ribbon per diploma.  I didn't think it would take that much and ran out : ( 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Wine Corks in the Garden

Just finished cleaning up the garden.  Adding cedar mulch helps keep moisture in the ground and it looks good too.

Throw your wine corks around a plant for added interest. We need a few more corks around this plant.

You know what that means !

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake

Ok, so after making




I had a layer of both chocolate and vanilla cake to work with.  What to do ???
!! Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake !!

Take 1  1b. of strawberries, sliced and stir in 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp sugar. Mix well or gently shake in a plastic container.
You'll need a large tub of Cool Whip.  Place first layer of cake on plate and spread with Cool Whip. 
 Then top with half the strawberries.
Repeat with the next layer.
Melt a couple of tbsps chocolate chips with a bit of table cream.  Microwave 10 seconds at a time, stirring until smooth.  Then quickly drizzle over top of cake.
Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.
Hope you like it !
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Boston Cream Pie

I always wondered why Boston Cream Pie is called pie and not cake.  This is what Google had to say about it.

Boston Cream Pie History:

Cooks in New England and Pennsylvania Dutch regions were known for their cakes and pies and the dividing line between them was very thin. This cake was probably called a pie because in the mid-nineteenth century, pie tins were more common than cake pans. The first versions might have been baked in pie tins. Boston Cream Pie is a remake of the early American"Pudding-cake pie."

1856 - The Parker House Hotel (now the Omni Parker House Hotel), claims to have served Boston cream pies since their opening in 1856. French chef Sanzian, who was hired for the opening of the hotel, is credited with creating Boston cream pie. This cake was originally served at the hotel with the names Chocolate Cream Pie or Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie. This was the first hotel in Boston to have hot-and-cold running water, and the first to have an elevator.

1996 - The Boston Cream Pie was proclaimed the official Massachusetts State Dessert on December 12, 1996. A civics class from Norton High School sponsored the bill. The pie beat out other candidates, including the toll house cookie and Indian pudding.

Usually made with sponge cake, but I like this method.

Once your cake is baked and cooled, make the filling.

I used Dr. Oetker pudding mix (43 g/1.5 oz size), but any pudding mix will do. Just replace the milk it calls for with 10% cream. Cool in fridge.

Place the bottom layer on a plate or cake board and top with the pudding.
I kept about 1/2 cup of the pudding for another use (to eat !) because it looked like that would be too much between layers.
Now gently place the next layer on top and refrigerate while you make the chocolate glaze.

Take 225 g (about 1/2 tub) prepared chocolate frosting.  Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Microwave for about 30 seconds, stirring after every 10 seconds.
Now take the cake out of the fridge and work quickly as the glaze will start to set.
Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

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Rich Chocolate Layer Cake

Bake a chocolate cake using this method:


Vanilla icing:

1 tbsp butter or marg
1 tbsp butter flavoured Crisco
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp 10 % cream
1 cup icing sugar

Whisk all together and spread on top of bottom layer.  

Now for the chocolate frosting whisk together:

1/2 cup honey Greek yogurt
3 tbsps cream cheese
1  1/2 cups chocolate chips  (melted and cooled 20 mins)

Frost your cake and garnish with grated chocolate and raspberries.

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Monday, June 16, 2014

Bakery Style Cake from a Box

I've seen this method all over the place and finally decided to try it.  It's pretty good!  Start with any boxed cake mix you like. No name or name brand....it doesn't matter. 

Add an extra egg than what they call for on the box, replace the oil with melted butter, replace the water with half & half (10 %) cream and add 2 tsp vanilla.

It seems to give you a little more batter.  I made 2  - 8 inch rounds and 6 cupcakes out of each mix.  In the picture below you can see that  2  of the 8 inch rounds are a bit deeper and 2 more shallow, but that was just for a recipe I was trying.

(I'll freeze the cupcakes for later when I'll be posting a cupcakes and chocolate sauce recipe. Stay tuned.)

Oh and here's a little trick you might not have known about for cutting a cake for layering.  Take a length of string, wrap it around the cooled cake where you want it sliced, cross it over and gently pull.
It'll go right through the cake, I find alot easier than a knife,
and you're ready to make your layer cake!

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And here's that cupcakes with chocolate sauce recipe