Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Peanut Butter Blueberry Cookies

These cookies are boosted with Naked Shake Peanut Butter Blueberry powder and made with peanut flour - lightly sweet and melt in your mouth with a hint of fruit!

I'm a peanut butter fan (as if you couldn't tell!) and my mom and grandma used to make those standard three ingredient, cross-hatched cookies on the regular when I was a kid. They're a classic for a reason - perfectly sweet and the right size for little (or big) hands! Looking at my pantry staples the other day, I wondered if I could use the powdered peanut butter and peanut butter blueberry shake powders I had to recreate my childhood favourites, and I have to say it worked out perfectly!

Because these are powders and not a creamy spread we're dealing with, you do need to add some moisture in the form of oil and a good binder like flaxseed (you can use an egg, however I would toggle the dry mix to account for the extra liquid). Otherwise it is a simple mix, wait, bake technique! The blueberry powder in the Naked Shake lets the baked cookies taste a little bit like a peanut butter and jam sandwich, though I would absolutely up the ante and make these sandwich cookies with jam if I was serving to company (and not transporting - like your normal PB cookies, these are tender and crumbly!). I gave a bag of these to TurkeyBoots who was passing through town on a road trip, and they apparently disappeared before they left the province! 

Friday, August 6, 2021

Bella Luna Spritzer with Adagio Teas' #bellalunablue

It's Friday! Why not kick off the weekend with this Bella Luna Spritzer - a blend of limoncello, lemon lime soda and Adagio Teas Bella Luna Blue loose leaf tea is irresistibly summery and a perfect beverage on the porch or at the cottage.
 

Now that the rules about gatherings are somewhat less stringent around here, people are beginning to gather on patios and each other's backyards. While it's easy to haul out a cooler with canned or bottled beverages when company is over, it's always fun to bring out something a little more fun when it's a close group of friends or a special occasion! When Adagio Teas sent me a pouch of their loose leaf tea sold exclusively on the blue moon - aptly named Bella Luna Blue - I couldn't wait to taste it and experience the colour change (made by the butterfly pea flowers) myself by adding just a hint of acid. Check out the video here.

The tea itself has a lovely mix of blueberry and lemongrass flavours, and the lemon juice accents both perfectly. A squeeze of honey adds a good balance, but it isn't super necessary unless you like sweet tea! I knew I wanted to try making something with this when it was cold, and then the idea for a bubbly cocktail popped into my head. Why not? 

I started by brewing a small measuring cup of the Butterfly Pea Flower Tea following their instructions (1 tsp tea leaves in a tea ball, steeped at 212°F for 10 minutes). Once brewed, I popped it in the fridge along with the bottle of Limoncello and the Sprite and let them chill overnight. The next afternoon it was a simple mix and enjoy. I made a quadruple batch since I had company that day and everyone loved the flavour and hint of sparkle it had!

I highly recommend you get your hands on some Bella Luna Blue when it goes on sale on August 22, 2021. It's only available on that day, so don't wait!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Fruit & Nut Muffins

Fruit & Nut Muffins are packed with trail mix and cranberries while the whole wheat batter gets a protein boost from @nakednutrition Naked Rice. Easy to pack and eat, they're perfect any time of the day!
 

Muffins are a food that has so much memory attached to it for me. When I would take swimming lessons as a child, every so often my dad would spring for a giant (think Costco-sized) muffin as a morning treat. Somehow, they made the endless laps and 7AM start worthwhile! Over the years, muffins were always my go-to snack over things like doughnuts or cookies, because who doesn't like a individual cake in the middle of the day?

These days the muffins I make tend to be more manageable in size, and lean away from the super sweet "cake" ones of my youth. Because they're such a handy snack or breakfast and you can add almost anything to them, I decided to whip up a batch of trail-mix packed, protein infused muffins for my sister's boyfriend. The whole grains and protein keep you full for longer while the yogurt adds a hint of tang that offsets the sweetness of the batter and dried fruit.
 

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Chocolate Strawberry Swirl Bread

This rich, twisted loaf is filled with fresh strawberries and chocolate chunks, making breakfasts just a touch more decadent these days!

I love when we get fresh Ontario fruit here - the peaches, cherries and berries always taste a million times better when it was picked just outside your door, not to mention the costs come way down! Along with simply eating them by the bowlful, I love being able to take the fresh seasonal strawberries and make beautiful and delicious things with them! As luck would have it, I came across a recipe for a fruit studded babka shortly after coming home from the farmer's market and I was instantly intrigued. Chocolate and strawberries are a natural combo (and, truth be told, the only real "fruit and anything" combination I like), so pairing them in an enriched loaf was a new but decadent twist for me. 


Because the bread was enriched with milk, eggs and butter, I knew it would have a higher "done" temperature than lean dough and I didn't want the sugar to burn by overbaking. When the timer rang, I was able to quickly read the internal temperature with my ThermaPen One, sent very graciously to me by ThermoWorks. The ThermPen ONE is touted as the world’s fastest cooking thermometer, and with one second, super-accurate readings i am inclined to agree! Developing the thermometer was the result of five years of research and development, and comes with a NIST-traceable calibration certification verifying its accuracy to national standards. This thermometer also features a patented auto-rotating 360° Display Technology, a super bright Intelligent Backlight and a motion-sensing Sleep/Wake Mode. Since the kitchen can get messy, it is also fully waterproof to IP67 standards! As you can see I also use it to temp the water for more delicate teas to avoid scorching, and I love the backlight because my kitchen has some really dark pockets!

 

For more information and to buy your own ThermaPen One, check out their website here. You can see more videos on their YouTube channel as well!

Monday, July 26, 2021

Sweet Potato Cranberry Spice Cookies

These little Sweet Potato Cranberry Spice Cookies are gluten free and vegan but full of flavour from homemade pumpkin pie spice! The recipe makes a big batch of dough which is perfect for freezing ahead - thaw and bake whenever the craving strikes!
 
 
 
I'm going to start this off by saying... I know. It's not fall, its 30C and sunny outside, people are lounging around eating watermelon and ice cream. Most people are not cranking up their oven for anything.

But I'm not most people! I love the flavours of spice and fall, and baking is something I will do no matter the weather (unless out AC goes out in the middle of summer, which has happened!). So when I was playing around last summer to come up with holiday cookies, I came across some pumpkin cookies that looked like a hit for me and a few of my gluten free friends. However, because it was the middle of summer, canned pumpkin wasn't overly available. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, were - and I actually much prefer the flavour over pumpkin. With the spices, the bit of richness from the brown sugar blend and the dash of maple extract, the dough smelled amazing, and the craisins I tossed in added the tiniest bit of tang and fruity flavour. Being gluten free, nut free and vegan, they were also a hit with the kids I taught and safe for the school environment (they would be great for camp too!).