Sunday, October 31, 2010

Candy Corn Cupcakes

Happy Halloween!

I love these festive cupcakes! Make your own by using either a chocolate or vanilla cupcake for a base and then piping on a layer of yellow, then orange, then white vanilla icing (click the links to be taken to the recipes). Make them extra special by placing them in a colourful cupcake liner or using other decorations. Thanks to my mom who sent me the cute Wilton Halloween cupcake wrappers and toothpicks for my birthday. You can find similar designs for all occasions at your local craft or party supply store, and also in some Dollar Stores, Canadian Tires, Walmarts, etc.

Hope everyone had a great Halloween weekend! Be sure to vote for your favourite candy on the new poll, and stay tuned for some recipes that will help you get rid of all that extra Halloween candy!

- Brooke xo

Chocolate Spiders

These are the perfect treats to make with small children, and you can have a lot of fun eating them too! These treats can also be called haystacks, but for Halloween they make great spooky spiders.


1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
2-3 cups chow mein noodles (dry)
1/2 cup peanuts (optional)
Smarties, M&M's, or other small candy for the "eyes"


Cover a baking sheet or two with wax paper. Set aside. In a small saucepan or microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips over low heat. Stir the melted chips until smooth.

Stir the melted chocolate with the noodles and nuts until they are well coated. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to do the mixing because the chocolate might still be too hot to touch. Drop by spoonfuls onto the wax paper and put two eyes onto the mounds. You may find it helpful to put a small dab of melted chocolate on the back of the eyes to make them stick on.

Refrigerate the spiders for 15-20 minutes, or until they are firm. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Enjoy eating your tasty spiders! 

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Friday, October 29, 2010


Happy Halloween weekend everyone! 

What are you dressing up as? I am being Ace Ventura: Pet Detective haha. 

Although I've had success getting my costume together, I have been so busy that I haven't had time to do any Halloween-themed baking yet. But in the meantime here are some links to awesome Halloween treats that you can make! Enjoy!

*Note: I do not own any of these photos











Sunday, October 24, 2010

Broccoli with Cheese Sauce

This is a favourite side dish in my family. It's a great way to get kids to eat their veggies! Steamed cauliflower or steamed carrots are also delicious with this sauce.


1 and 1/2 lb. broccoli florets, steamed
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 and 1/4 cup milk
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Dash of paprika
Salt and pepper to taste


Steam the broccoli florets; set aside. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour until smooth. Add the milk and continue to whisk the mixture. Let the sauce thicken up for approx. 5 minutes, stirring consistently. 

After the sauce has thickened, turn off the heat, then add in the shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted completely. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika to your taste. Pour the cheese sauce over the steamed broccoli and serve.

*Recipe from Karen McMillan

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hershey's "Perfectly Chocolate" Chocolate Cupcakes

These are hands down THE best chocolate cupcakes I've ever made. Leave it to Hershey's to have the best chocolate cupcake recipe - they are the experts of all things chocolate! I ending up freezing half of this batch and eating them straight from the freezer a couple weeks later. If you can manage not to eat all of them and freeze some then I would definitely do this because they were heavenly right out of the freezer.

Chocolate Cupcake Ingredients:

2 cups sugar
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa powder - If you don't have Hershey;s cocoa powder that's totally fine. Just use whatever cocoa you have on hand - it won't make a huge difference. This is just a recipe from the Hershey's company so obviously they're going to plug their own product!
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 and 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in centre of the oven. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. There will be enough batter for approx. 24 cupcakes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add in the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for about two minutes. Stir in the boiling water until well combined. The batter will be thin. Evenly fill the prepared muffin cups 3/4 full with the batter. 

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan onto wire racks to cool completely. Make sure the cupcakes have completely cooled before frosting them.

Chocolate Icing Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract


In a saucepan or microwave, melt the butter. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the cocoa and vanilla. Alternately add in the icing sugar and milk, beating with an electric mixer until the icing is a stiff and spreadable consistency. Add small amounts of milk or icing sugar to reach the desired consistency. Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. 

*Recipe from Hershey's

Vegetable Dip

This dip literally takes five minutes to make, but it is so tasty that you'd never think it was this easy! 


2 cups light sour cream
1 package onion soup mix
1-2 tsp. dill


Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl and refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes. Stir and then serve with an assortment of fresh veggies or chips. Store in the refrigerator.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

This pumpkin pie is a staple at my house when Thanksgiving rolls around. My mom makes it every year without fail and it is honestly the best pumpkin pie I've ever had! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving this year and was able to stuff their face with some delicious pumpkin pie of their own.


9” ready made, baked pie shell - That's right, no need to slave away making your own pie crust for this one.. unless of course you want to! But if you're making this for Thanksgiving you've probably got a million and one other things to cook so save yourself a little bit of time and just buy a pre-made crust. This year my mom and I discovered a fun fact about pre-made pie crusts. No Name brand crust actually tastes way better than the namebrand (i.e. Tenderflake) stuff! So don't bother forking over the extra money for the namebrands and just go for the cheap and tasty one instead.
1 envelope unflavoured gelatin
¾ cup white sugar, divided
1 tsp. gound cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
2/3 cup evaporated milk
3 eggs, separated
1 and ¼ cups canned pumpkin
Whipped cream


In a saucepan, combine the gelatin with ½ cup of sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg. Stir in evaporated milk and beaten egg yolks.

Cook over low heat until slightly thick, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and add in the pumpkin. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally until thickened.

Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then add the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Beat until they hold stiff peaks. Fold the egg white mixture into the pumpkin mixture.

Spoon the prepared pie filling into the baked pie shell. Top with whipped cream. Serve chilled, and store in the refrigerator.


*Recipe from Karen McMillan (my momma!)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Teriyaki Sauce


1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup water
1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger - If you don't have any fresh ginger on hand you can just substitute with
1 Tbsp. ground ginger instead
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1/4 cup cold water


In a saucepan, combine 1 cup water, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.

In a bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup cold water and add to the sauce. Stir constantly to allow the sauce to thicken. If the sauce is a little too thick, add in some more water until it reaches the desired consistency.

Use in stir frys, on rice or vegetables, or in chicken, beef, or tofu dishes. 

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Monday, October 4, 2010

Homemade Cinnamon Bread

Nothing beats homemade bread! Although it can seem like a time-consuming process, all that waiting for dough to rise is worth it in the end. This was actually the first time I've made bread completely from scratch and I am so pleased with how it turned out. I was always sort of intimidated by bread making, but I'm really glad that I finally tried it. I definitely see a lot more homemade bread in my future! This recipe is so simple to put together - it's perfect for anyone wanting to try making bread for the first time, or for those who are just looking for another recipe to add to their collection.  I'm hoping to try more bread recipes very soon! 

1 cup milk
6 tbsp. butter (3/4 of one stick of butter), plus extra for greasing the pan
2 and 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
2 whole eggs, at room temperature
1/3 cup white sugar
3 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
Canola oil

For the cinnamon swirl:
1/3 cup white sugar
2 Tbsp. cinnamon

For the egg wash:
1 egg 
Splash of milk

Melt the butter with the milk. Heat until very warm, but don’t boil. Allow to cool until still warm to the touch, but not hot. This is very important because if the mixture is too hot then it will kill your yeast! Sprinkle the yeast over the top, stir gently, and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the flour and salt. In a separate large bowl, mix the sugar and eggs together until combined. Pour in the milk/butter/yeast mixture and stir to combine. Add half the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the other half of the flour and continue to stir.

Knead the dough on with your hands for ten minutes. If dough is overly sticky, add 1/4 cup flour and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and uniform.

Heat a metal or glass mixing bowl so it’s warm, but not hot. Drizzle in a little canola oil, then toss the dough in the oil to coat. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and then cover with a tea towel. Place it in a warm place for at least 2 hours so the dough can rise. It is important that the dough is in a warm environment with no drafts so that the yeast gives a good rise.

After two hours, turn the dough out onto the counter. Roll into a neat rectangle no wider than the loaf pan you’re going to use, and about 18 to 24 inches long. Smear with 2 Tbsp. melted butter. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together, then sprinkle evenly over the butter-smeared dough. Starting at the far end, roll the dough toward you, keeping it tight and contained. Pinch the seam to seal.

Rolling out the dough.. use your loaf pan as your guide for width.

Sprinkled on the cinnamon and sugar, and starting to roll it up

All rolled up!

In the loaf pan and ready for the second rise.

Smear the loaf pan with softened butter. Place dough, seam down, in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for another 2 hours. Do not try to cut down the rising time! All your patience will be worth it in the end, I promise.

Once two hours is up, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap from the loaf pan. Mix a little egg with milk, and brush over the top of the loaf. This will give the top of the loaf a nice brown, shiny finish. Bake for 40 minutes on a middle/lower rack in the oven.

Remove from the pan and allow bread to cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve. This bread makes excellent toast! Yummy!

Fresh out of the oven!

*Recipe from The Pioneer Woman