Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cinnamon-Sugar Coffee Cake

Yum is all I can say about this one! It is hands-down the moistest white cake I've ever made! This is thanks to the addition of sour cream to the batter. The cake is also super flavourful because of the cinnamon-sugar layer running through the middle and the layer on top. You should make this today!

Cake Ingredients:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 and 1/2 cups (12 oz.) of sour cream - I use reduced-fat sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Topping Ingredients:

1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in centre of oven. Grease a 9"x13" baking pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

 In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer.  Add the eggs to the mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the sour cream. Mix until combined.

Pour and evenly spread half of the batter into the prepared baking pan, then sprinkle with half of the topping.  Add the remainder of the batter on top, and sprinkle with the remaining topping. The batter will be pretty sticky, so I recommend adding your second layer in small spoonfuls all over the pan, rather than just adding the remaining batter in one big blob. This will make it easier to spread out over the cinnamon-sugar layer. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm. Enjoy with your afternoon coffee or tea.
You can store this cake for 3-4 days in the fridge or for 2 weeks in the freezer. Just warm in the microwave before serving.

*Recipe from Gimme Some Oven

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

This banana bread will have your house smelling amazing!


1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract

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


Preheat oven to 350 F and place rack in centre of oven. Grease a loaf pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray. In a small bowl combine the sugar and cinnamon for the cinnamon swirl. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt until combined. In a separate bowl mix together the bananas, melted butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.

Gently stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until they are just combined. Be careful not to over-mix the batter or you will get a tough, rubbery loaf!

Add 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the loaf comes out clean with a few small crumbs attached. Keep the banana bread in the loaf pan and let cool on a wire rack for approx. 10 minutes, then run a butter knife along the edges of the pan to release the loaf. Slice and serve!

*Recipe from Lovin' From the Oven

Monday, September 20, 2010

Baked Lemon Pasta


1 lb. (454 g) spaghetti or spaghettini
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole lemon, juiced and zested, plus extra juice
2 cups sour cream
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt, or more to taste
Plenty of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh parsley, finely chopped


Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until it is al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water from the pasta before draining. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over low heat. When the butter is melted, add the minced garlic. Cut the lemon in half, remove any seeds, and squeeze the lemon juice from both halves into the pan. Turn off the heat.

Add the sour cream to the skillet and stir mixture together. Add lemon zest and salt. Taste, then add more salt if necessary. Pour mixture over drained spaghetti and stir together, then pour the spaghetti into an oven safe dish. (Note: If the sour cream mixture is looking too thick and clumpy then gradually add in a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking water until it reaches a creamy consistency.)

Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for 15 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes. Don't bake too long or the pasta will dry out.

When you remove it from the oven, squeeze a little more lemon juice over the top. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese, then the chopped parsley. Enjoy!

*Recipe from The Pioneer Woman

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oven Roasted Onion Potatoes

These are my family's favourite potatoes! You'll never go back to boring mashed potatoes once you try these.


1 pouch Lipton dry onion soup mix
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. pepper
7-8 medium red potatoes, unpeeled and cubed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash but do not peel the potatoes. Cut them into bite sized cubes. In a shallow baking dish, mix the soup mix, oil, and spices. Add the potatoes and stir to coat. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.


*Recipe from Karen McMillan

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Healthy Blueberry Muffins


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup nondairy milk or regular milk
1/4 cup canola oil or melted coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

2 Tbsp. brown or turbinado sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with paper muffin cups.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until well combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, honey, yogurt, vanilla, and egg until thoroughly combined. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined - you want the batter to be lumpy and not smooth! Gently fold in the blueberries until they are evenly distributed throughout the batter.

Evenly divide the batter in the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle the topping mixture over the muffins. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remove immediately from the muffin tin and cool on a wire rack.

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Stuffed Bell Peppers

These stuffed peppers are quick and easy to prepare, and they pack a ton of flavour! They make a colourful vegetarian main dish or side dish, and are perfect for spring and summer BBQs. The rice and vegetable stuffing mixture could also be served on its own as either a hot or cold side dish without the peppers.


4 medium bell peppers, tops cut off and emptied of seeds
2 cups cooked brown rice - For extra flavour, cook the rice in vegetable broth instead of water. You could also use couscous or quinoa instead of rice.
2 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup mushrooms, finely diced
1/2 cup fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1/2 small tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded (omit or use vegan parmesan for a vegan dish)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. parsley
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Salt and pepper to taste
¾ cup water


Prepare rice according to package instructions. While the rice is cooking, wash and cut the vegetables. Prepare the bell peppers for stuffing by cutting off the tops, scraping out the seeds inside, and levelling off the bottoms so that they will stand upright.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in centre of oven. Place the bell peppers in a 9”x”9 glass baking dish, standing upright. Fill the bottom of the dish with ¾ cup water. This will steam the peppers while they are baking and ensure that they don’t dry out.

In a medium bowl, combine the green onions, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, cucumber, and celery with the parmesan, lemon juice, parsley, olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Add in the cooked rice and stir to combine all the ingredients. 

Spoon the rice mixture into the peppers until they are full to the top. Drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the tops of the filled peppers so that they stay moist during baking. Bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and enjoy!

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan

Monday, September 6, 2010

Chili-Lime Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas taste delicious and flavourful! They are a great alternative to potato chips and popcorn when you're craving a salty, crunchy snack!


2 15 oz. cans chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), drained, rinsed, and blotted dry
3-4 tsp. chili powder
2  Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. lime juice
3/4 tsp. sea salt or coarse salt
1-2 tsp. cumin
Pinch of dried herbs of your choice (I used a little rosemary and thyme) OR chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray. Spread the chickpeas out in a single layer over the foil. Once oven is preheated, bake chickpeas for 45-50 minutes, stirring and flipping them every 15 minutes or so.

The cooking times can vary, so test the chickpeas for doneness by taking a few out of the oven, letting them cool for a minute, and then biting into them. Take them out when they’re really crunchy.

Near the end of the chickpeas’ cooking time, combine the olive oil, chili powder, lime juice, sea salt, and cumin in a medium bowl. Whisk to mix. When chickpeas are done, let them cool for just a minute before pouring them into the oil mixture. Stir to coat all the chickpeas well. Eat immediately, or store in an airtight container.

Happy guilt-free snacking!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Graham Crumb Chocolate Chip Cookies

These chocolate chip cookies are so so good.. they are definitely my favourite recipe! They remind me of Subway cookies because they are sooo chewy, almost to the point of being raw in the center. This might even be a recipe where the cookie dough is even better to eat than the actual baked cookie!


1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1- 1.5 cups chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line two sheets with parchment paper or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

With an electric or hand mixer, combine the butter and sugars until fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla until combined. In a separate bowl whisk together the the flour, graham crackers, salt, and baking soda.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the chocolate chips. Cover and place the dough in the freezer for about 20 minutes. This will keep the cookies from spreading too much while baking.

Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes, and remove from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy with a big glass of milk!

*Recipe by Brooke McMillan