Making Dessert with Apple Pie Bagels

This Post is Sponsored By Dempster’s.You can make these Caramel Apple Dessert Bagels with Dempster's Apple Pie Bagels.

I’m getting excited for Halloween!

Although, I haven’t gotten a lot done this week. I’ve been meaning to paint my pumpkins, and I haven’t actually put up any decorations, but I’m getting there. I made some cute Marshmallow Bats a few days ago, and I’ve almost eaten all of them. That counts as Halloween preparation, right?

Oh! I also bought an adorable shirt to wear while handing out candy. Be sure to look at my Instagram feed on Friday if you’d like to see it.

In keeping with my Halloween theme, I decided to make Caramel Apple Dessert Bagels using Dempster’s new Apple Pie Bagels.

Dempster's Apple Pie Bagels are available for a limited time only.

These fall-themed bagels are “limited edition” (but not collectible, that won’t go well), so they will only be around for a limited time. I like that Dempster’s has bene coming up with fun seasonal flavours like this. I was a fan of their garden vegetable bagel that they had for the summer months too. [Read more...]

Marshmallow Bats and Being Bad in the Kitchen

These marshmallow bats aren't perfect, but they were fun to make.

“We are allowed to be bad in the kitchen.”

That’s what Ricardo Larrivée said to the audience at the Taste Canada food writing awards this week. That’s an odd statement from someone who has built a career out of being awesome in the kitchen. It was even stranger considering that he said it to a room full of cookbook writers, editors and culinary professionals.

What he meant, he explained, was that we shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves to be great in the kitchen. He gave the example of a single dad, who refused to bake birthday cakes for his son for fear of failing. That’s a bit sad, isn’t it?

I’m sharing this story because it resonated with me. As a food blogger, sometimes I feel like I can’t share a recipe or show you a certain photo unless it’s good. I worry that someone will look at my work and think, “what the heck is that?” or “that girl doesn’t know what she’s doing.”

This post fall into that worrisome category. The photos aren’t the best. The recipe didn’t turn out the way I had expected. It was destined to be buried in my unpublished files. But, if Ricardo says I can be bad in the kitchen, then I guess it’s ok… it was his recipe that I was messing around with anyway ;)

Dusting your marshmallows in a mixture of cornstarch and icing sugar prevents them from sticking together.

My mom makes wonderful marshmallows. Delicate little fluffy squares that are ever-so-slightly flavoured. These are not them.

I love to have cute and crafty Halloween decorations at my house, and I thought marshmallow bats would be a fitting treat to feature on my blog. Not that I’ve ever made anything like this before… but I figured, how hard could it be?

First of all, these marshmallows are a bit too soft and too sticky. I really wanted to put these on sticks, because I thought that would look cute, but it really doesn’t work. The marshmallows were so soft that the sticks started poking through the bats heads, resulting in a whole different kind of Halloween look. Sticking them in the freezer helps a bit, but you have to eat them really quickly or they will slide off the stick.

These marshmallow bats are both terrifying and terrified...

The second issue with these marshmallows it that they kind of taste like blueberry – but not really. I used blueberries and blueberry juice to colour the marshmallows because, in my mind, all Halloween bats are purple. The only way I could think of to get purple marshmallows without using food colouring was to use blueberries. The resulting colour wasn’t bad, but the flavour of the blueberries was lost in all that sugar. [Read more...]

How to Reduce Food Waste at Home

This post is sponsored by Glad. All opinions are my own.

Here are 10 easy ways to reduce food waste in your home.

Did you know that the average Canadian wastes over $175 per year on produce spoilage?

If you follow my blog, then you already know that I hate throw out food. For example, I recently wrote about how to use up bits of puff pastry that were leftover from a recipe I made. I also have a recipe on how to make a smoothie with leftover grilled peaches. I would much rather eat leftover food rather than throw it out! 

So when GLAD asked me to participate in the #GLADFreshFoodChallenge, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. The goal was to cut back on food waste for at least two weeks, and GLAD sent me some of their products to help me accomplish this goal.

I have to say, I think I did pretty well. We don’t throw out a lot of food at my house to begin with, but, some weeks are better than others. Taking this challenge helped me identify some ways to reduce food waste, and I want to share my best tips with you.

10 Ways To Reduce Food Waste:

1.  Only buy what you need. 
This seems obvious, but it’s so easy to make impulse purchases when you’re at the grocery. Your best bet is to use a meal planner to help you figure out what you need to buy. Then make a shopping list, and stick to it! Don’t go to the grocery when you’re hungry either – you’ll want to buy everything that looks tasty.

2. Use what you have at home before you buy more.
Take a quick inventory of your fridge and cupboard before you go the store. This will help prevent you from buying similar or duplicate items.

3. Check the expiry dates on discounted grocery items.
It’s a common practice for groceries to reduce items that are about to expire. If you know that you will use up the product before it spoils, then you can buy it. Otherwise, it’s better to purchase an item that will last as long as you need it.  [Read more...]

Pumpkin Spice Cookie Bars

Pumpkin Spice Magic Cookie Bars | In Search Of Yummy-ness.com

The last time I went to Second Cup (a Canadian coffee shop) I tried something called a Magic Cookie Bar. Have you heard of these? Apparently, they are a popular treat made with graham, condensed milk, chocolate chips, nuts and coconut. The treat was created by Eagle Brand in the 1960’s, and was formerly known as the “Hello Dolly”.

I think I must be the last person in North America to discover these cookie bars. There are entire boards on Pinterest dedicated to variations of this recipe! I can see why they are so popular though. These sinfully sweet bars are incredibly easy to make. I know that sometimes I say, “this recipe is easy”, and people look at it and think… yeah, sure. But trust me, this recipe is as straight-forward as they get.

These Pumpkin Spice Cookie Bars are sweet, sticky and have just a hint of fall flavour.

My dad needed to take some treats into work for a bake sale this week, so we made cookie bars. But not just any cookie bars – these are Pumpkin Spice Cookie Bars! [Read more...]

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter and Pecans | In Search Of Yummy-ness

Let it be known that Brussels sprouts are extremely difficult to photograph!! I was losing my mind trying to snap these images today. Thankfully, no one was waiting for me to finish my shoot so they could eat these. They went straight into the fridge when I was done, and they will be part of our Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow.

Tomorrow!

Wow, the fall season really snuck up on me. How is it Thanksgiving already??? I think I’ve been living under a rock since I started working from home. Time just sort of gets away from you when you’re working 6-7 days a week. Hopefully, I can take a mental break before Christmas shows up and kicks in me the… well, nevermind.

How do you feel about Brussels sprouts? I didn’t really like them as a kid, but that’s pretty common. Alton Brown once explained (in an episode of Good Eats) that some people, especially kids, don’t like vegetables because they contain bitter compounds. Bitter is just not a flavour that kids like. Adults, however, seem to have a much better appreciation for bitter flavours. I love Brussels sprouts so much now, that sometimes I’ll eat an entire bowlful for lunch.

If you hate this vegetable, maybe you just haven’t had them prepared in a way that you enjoy yet. Boiling them seems to be a fairly common practice, which boggles my mind. The only things you get from boiled Brussels are a smelly house and limp veggies. Bleh.

These Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter are so much better. The sprouts take on a deep nutty flavour when you roast them, almost like popcorn but with less crunch. The brown butter adds a salty touch, with even more nutty flavour. And of course, toasted nuts are great in this dish. I usually use pecans or walnuts, but I’ve heard that hazelnuts are nice too.

 

These roasted spouts have a deep nutty flavour. I love how the outer leaves get crispy, those are the best parts!

These are best eaten fresh, straight out of the oven, but they are ok the next day too. Just keep in mind that they won’t have any crispness after you put them in the fridge. The brown butter can easily be made ahead of time though, and stored in the fridge until needed. [Read more...]

Downey Potato Farms #LoveONTFood

I-Love-Local-Fall

It’s Ontario Agriculture Week here in Ontario, Canada, and to celebrate I thought I’d share my experience at Downey Potato Farms.

I visited Downey Farms for the first time last week, along with fellow food-blogger Lisa Le. This was my first time seeing commercial farming first hand, and it was actually very educational.

Spudnik-at-Downey-Farms

When I buy a bag of potatoes from the grocery, I never think about where they came from. It turns out that it takes a lot of time, equipment and manpower to grow enough food to meet our needs. One man who is working particularly hard to get delicious potatoes on our table is Trevor Downey.

Trevor is a fourth generation potato farmer from Ontario, and a hard-working father of three. He is also the President of Downey Farms, Ontario’s premiere local potato growing, packing and distribution company. Trevor took time out of his busy day to show Lisa and I the journey that potatoes take from the field to your fork.

Trevor-Downey

Photo Credit: Lisa Le

[Read more...]