2.05.2014

THE PERFECT MORNING MUFFINS


Most days I am in such a rush in the morning that I usually only have time to scoff down a bowl of bran flakes and pick up a coffee at school. I was looking for something that I could make that I can just grab-and-go and came across this great Morning Glory Muffin recipe on Carrots & Cake. I made a few changes after doubling the batch, so here is my take on their recipe below to make 12. 

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour 
1 cup mashed sweet potato (which is about two sweet potatoes) 
3/4 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup honey
3 eggs
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350°F, mix all ingredients in one bowl, pour batter into greased muffin tins, and cook for 30 minutes!




These muffins are awesome and, if you didn't notice, have no oil, butter, and sugar!
This recipe can easily be made gluten free with almond flour too. Enjoy!

1.18.2014

JANUARY & GOOD READS

Happy 2014 everyone! Sorry for my lack of activity lately, but I promise it wasn't on purpose. Since I'm graduating from university this spring, the first two weeks of January were spent preparing and finalizing my applications to three postgraduate programs in journalism! On top of that, my course load for this semester is crazy and I have never been this swamped with school work so early into the term. However, I hope to continue writing and posting new content over the next few busy months! 

On a different note, over the holiday break I read two incredible books: John Green's young adult novel 'The Fault in Our Stars,' and Gillian Flynn's thriller 'Gone Girl'. The protagonists in 'The Fault in Our Stars' are so loveable, and this book made me laugh and cry on countless occasions. I didn't love the characters in 'Gone Girl' but since it has an addictive storyline, I couldn't put it down until I knew what happened next. 


I know I'm pretty late recommending these books considering they were published in early 2012, but even if one of you hasn't read them, then I did alright. Also, they are both being made into movies that are being released this year! Now, should you read these before seeing the movie?



12.27.2013

DIY PEANUT BRITTLE


I really should have gotten my act together and posted this before Christmas, but if anyone is in need for a last minute DIY Christmas gift, I might have your solution - homemade peanut brittle. 

I followed this recipe, which gave me almost taffy like 'candy' instead of the super crunchy brittle I was expecting. With that being said, it was also my first time making this treat, and even though it ended up being more chewy than I had imagined, it was still tasty. I made two batches, the first with just peanuts and the second with both peanuts and cashews. 


Now, to make this into a lovely host gift, wrap this treat in some clear wrapping paper tied with a festive bow or place the pieces into a cute Christmas themed box.

Happy baking and happy holidays!

12.24.2013

DIY WHITE CHOCOLATE BARK



Merry Christmas Eve! I have been extremely wrapped up in Christmas festivities and shopping, but am happy to finally share this treat with you.  

Last week, I made chocolate bark for the first time.  Trust me when I say that it is not only one of the easiest things to make, but it is also a great DIY Christmas gift. All that is required is to melt chocolate of your choosing and throw in what ever else you desire. I went with white chocolate, red coloured chocolate, whole almonds, and dried cranberries. 


Most recipes will tell you to use a 'double boiler' by placing the bowl filled with chocolate pieces over a pot of boiling water and stirring the chocolate until it melts. However, I decided to go the most easy route and use the microwave! After both bowls of chocolate were completely melted, I stirred in the almonds and cranberries, poured the mixture on a tin foiled lined baking sheet, and drizzled the red chocolate overtop before putting the pan in the fridge to chill for an hour. All that is left to break the giant chocolate piece into smaller bits, and there you have it!


12.18.2013

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: LAST MINUTE IDEAS

Some of my favourite and most memorable Christmas gifts could fit inside my stocking. So why not put together a mini stocking full of goodies for a friend or family member as a gift? Whether you buy a main present and fill the rest with chocolate, or buy a bunch of equally priced items, below are some ideas of what you could include.



ONE. 'House of Cards' Season One ($50) TWO. 'Mini Hottie' hot water bottle ($10) 
THREE. Speciality Tea ($15) FOUR. Cards Against Humanity ($25) FIVE. Scratch Map ($25)
SIX. EOS Lip balm in 'Sweet Mint' ($5) SEVEN. Ceramic Red Cup Shot Glasses ($20) 

Happy holidays & happy shopping!

12.16.2013

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: FOR THE GUYS

I originally was just going to create a gift guide for your boyfriend, but when I was putting this post together I realized that any of these gifts would also be perfect for a brother, dad, or guy friend. I tend to be slightly last minute with Christmas gifts, thinking about ideas for a while but waiting a while to pick them up, so hopefully some of you who are stuck will find this helpful!



ONE. Ralph Lauren Hat ($50) TWO. Portable Phone Charger ($20)
THREE. iPod Shuffle ($50) FOUR. L.L. Bean Fleece Lined Plaid Shirt ($69) 
FIVE. Swiss Army Knife ($50)  SIX. Fossil Watch ($120) SEVEN. L.L. Bean Slippers ($40)  

Happy holidays & happy shopping!