Cadbury Mini Egg Fudge

Claudia's Cookbook - Cadbury Mini Egg Fudge cover

Remember the time I decided to go on a Smoothie Diet? Yeah. Let’s pretend that never happened. I blame drinking smoothies 3 times a day for the lack of posts over the past few weeks. It actually wasn’t all bad. I lost a few pounds and learned that I could drink spinach and not gag. It actually tasted pretty darn good! But boy, did I miss chocolate (and pretty much any food that wasn’t in liquid form). At one point, I was even craving a salad. A SALAD! The world works in mysterious ways, my friends.

Well, I survived and I decided to make my triumphant return to you by featuring the most decadent, rich, chocolaty dessert on the face of the earth. That’s right, screw you smoothies! This recipe is an adaptation from a recipe my future Mother-in-Law gave me over Christmas. It was given to her a few years ago by her friend who sadly is no longer with us. My future Mother-in-Law was nice enough to give us some fudge over the holidays and I quickly fell in love (with the fudge…well, and I guess with her too!). She was kind enough to give me the recipe and I had to adapt it to include one of my favourite candy’s ever – Cadbury Mini Eggs! The original recipe called for chopped nuts, but I figured Mini Eggs were crunchy too – so why the heck not? I cannot begin to describe how unbelievable this fudge is. It’s seriously the best fudge I’ve ever tasted. Like, EVER. And that’s not the 2 week smoothie diet talking. It’s soft, sweet and oh, so rich. A little square goes a long way. Topped with the fact that there are delicious morsels of Mini Eggs inside, well my taste buds simply can’t handle it! I actually went into a mini chocolate coma yesterday. Truth.

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Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies

Claudia's Cookbook - Red Velvet Sandwich Cookies cover

It’s amazing how fast my mind switches from preparing for Christmas to preparing for New Years Eve. I can’t believe 2014 is just around the corner and Christmas is over. It all happened so fast. I mean, I’m still eating leftovers!

We are staying in and hosting a friend for New Years Eve this year. I have already started my mad search on Pinterest for some fun and festive appetizers and treats to ring in 2014. If you haven’t already noticed – I kinda love red velvet. I also really love sandwich cookies. I mean, you really cannot go wrong with slathering cream cheese icing in between two deliciously moist cookies. These are super simple to make and took me no time at all. I thought the sprinkles were also a very cute festive touch as well. I highly recommend you give these a try for your New Years Eve!

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Butter Tarts

Claudia's Cookbook - Butter Tarts cover

I watched my first Christmas movie of the season today. How the Grinch Stole Christmas was on TV this afternoon. Not the original animated one, but the Jim Carrey/Ron Howard reboot. I’ve actually never seen the original. Or A Christmas Story. I may have seen It’s a Wonderful Life once…but I can’t be 100% sure. Please don’t judge me. As a kid, I grew up watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer during summer vacation – that’s how much I loved that movie. There was really nothing else in my holiday movie repertoire. Well, I guess National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but only because my Dad loved that movie. What are your favourite holiday movies? Feel free to tell me in the comments section!

One thing I am absolutely sure of – I love Claudia’s Butter Tarts at Christmas time! They are seriously delicious. She always makes the dough from scratch, and it’s always flaky and buttery. The filling is sweet and syrupy. I didn’t realize how easy they were to make until Claudia came over a couple weeks ago to show me. I am so glad she did.

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Soft Gingersnap Cookies

Gingersnap Cookies 13

I don’t know if it’s the snow on the ground, the cold temperatures or Target having the cutest holiday items in the entire world in their stores right now, but I am super excited for Christmas this year. I’ve been doing my best not to put on the Christmas tunes, put up my Christmas tree, and watch my favourite Christmas movies like Elf and Home Alone. After all, it’s still only November. I’ve always been a firm traditionalist and start these activities no earlier than December 1. I may have to break my rules this year – starting with featuring my first holiday baking item – these delicious Gingersnap Cookies!

Claudia came over this week to teach me how to make more of her holiday baking family favourites. These Gingersnap Cookies were high on her list to share with me. She actually adapted the recipe from her coworker (Linda), as they were a total hit at their workplace not too long ago. When I told Claudia that I wasn’t a huge Gingersnap cookie fan, she reassured me that these cookies would be worthy of my daily caloric intake. I have to admit Claudia was right (but really, when isn’t she?). These, my friends, are the perfect combination of all my Gingersnap Cookie wishes – chewy, soft, and not too heavy on the ginger or molasses flavour. I highly recommend these delicious beauties for your holiday baking line up.

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Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie

Claudia's Cookbook - Pumpkin Pie Protein Smoothie 6

The past few weeks have been super busy over here. As previously mentioned on the blog, I decided after a 10+ year hiatus to go back to playing hockey. It’s been a lot of fun and I’m slowly getting my hockey legs back (i.e. not looking like Bambi on the ice). We play  mostly in the early evenings one to two times a week. It’s great exercise, even though I don’t consider sports exercise. It’s way too fun and enjoyable to be exercise in my opinion.

Since my games are in the early evening, I tend to eat my dinner a couple hours prior to my games and often come home not feeling like eating another full meal, especially at 8:30pm. That’s where this beauty of a smoothie comes in! Protein is very good to consume after exercise to repair muscle, so I figured this smoothie is not only delicious but healthy and full of protein and vitamin A. I also enjoy it as my dessert as well. It is also super simple to make. I made it with chocolate protein powder because that is all I had, but you can make it with vanilla, or none at all if you just want to enjoy it as a delicious treat on its own. I also love the richness of almond milk, but you can use any dairy or non-dairy milk you so desire. The possibilities are endless with this treat. I hope you try it soon!

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Pumpkin Loaf with Maple Cream Icing

Claudia's Cookbook - Pumpkin Loaf with Maple Cream Icing title

My pumpkin obsession continues on the blog. It was still +30 Celsius here in Winnipeg this week and there really isn’t any sign of autumn anywhere. Well, besides all the pumpkin baking I have been doing. I had an abundance of Maple Cream Sauce from our Peach Crisp recipe we posted last week and wanted to do something with it (besides drink it straight from the jar). I figured the pairing of creamy maple and pumpkin would be absolutely delicious. And it is! This loaf is extremely moist and full of rich flavours like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. This loaf is perfect with a mug of Chai Tea, a blanket, and a good book.

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Our Favourite Pumpkin Desserts

  • Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes
    Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes
  • Pumpkin Caramel Dream Cake
    Pumpkin Caramel Dream Cake
  • Pumpkin Creme Pies
    Pumpkin Creme Pies
  • Pumpkin Pie
    Pumpkin Pie
  • Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
    Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream
  • Pumpkin Scones
    Pumpkin Scones
  • Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
    Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

One of the only reasons I get excited for autumn is the abundance of pumpkin everywhere. Pumpkin desserts and pumpkin lattes… I honestly cannot get enough! I also live in Canada so I have to try to focus of something positive when the temperatures start to dip and winter is upon us, right? While I am currently perfecting my next pumpkin recipe for the blog (should be posted within the next few days!) I wanted to take the opportunity to  compile our favourite pumpkin recipes!

Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes

Cheesecake-Filled Pumpkin Cupcakes – These are probably one of the richest cupcakes I’ve ever tasted. And they are absolutely, positively delicious! If you want a substitute for pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake this Thanksgiving, these babies are by far your best bet.

Pumpkin Caramel Dream Cake

Pumpkin Caramel Dream Cake - It’s simple, rich and full of caramel and pumpkin flavor. Perfect for the season and ooey, gooey good!

Pumpkin Creme Pies

Pumpkin Creme Pies - These sandwich cookies are super simple to make and absolutely delicious. The perfect mix of warm spices and sweet cream cheese. They also freeze extremely well, which is good if you can’t manage to finish all 24 cookies this recipe makes! But I’m sure you can give it a good try :)

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie – A classic. No introduction required. This pie is scrumptious, whether you prefer it with whipped cream or ice cream on top.

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream - This ice cream is creamy, rich and decadent! It literally tastes like pumpkin pie. Absolutely delicious and perfect for holding onto the last bits of summer but embracing autumn flavours.

Pumpkin Scones

Pumpkin Scones – Move over Starbucks! These scones are dense and almost exactly like the pumpkin scones you will find at your neighbourhood coffeehouse. The icing is also very flavourful and decadent. I dare you to not lick the spoon!

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles with Vanilla Icing - These beauties are like soft cookie pillows of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg with a sweet pumpkin-vanilla finish. Absolutely perfect for any autumn day.

Happy September everybody!

Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce

Claudia's Cookbook - Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce 17

Last week, I made a pretty big decision. One I was contemplating for about 10 years. After much thought and consideration, I have decided to play hockey again. I learned how to skate pretty much right after I learned how to walk, and have been playing hockey ever since. I have been on an approximate 10+ year hiatus and I figured I needed to do something about it. The main reason why I fell out of playing hockey is because many (if not all) of the friends I played with stopped playing. Plus, it’s a little daunting being placed on a team where you know absolutely nobody. But I decided to take the chance and now am officially a member of the Goal Diggers! I also may have signed up simply for the team name – amazing!

A couple days ago, I broke the news to Claudia that I was playing hockey again. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree. She has been and always will be my biggest hockey fan. I honestly don’t know how she did it – work full time, shuttle me back and forth to practice and games at least 3-4 times a week, cook us all family meals every day, and ensure all my equipment smelt great. Trust me, that that one is a HUGE job! People who play hockey or have kids who do clearly know what I’m talking about. Now that I’m a fully functioning adult, I don’t expect her to chauffeur me to all my games and practices – although that would be simply amazing. However, she has already declared she will be in the stands cheering me on at some games. I didn’t even have to ask!

I figured as a token of my appreciation for her fandom, I would bake her this delicious Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce. Yeah…it’s pretty much the best peach crisp I have ever had. The flavours reminded me of a dessert that could easily be served in a restaurant. The sweet peaches and maple syrup, topped with a crumbly buttery layer. You cannot go wrong with this. I also almost ate the Maple Cream Sauce with a spoon out of the jar the next day. I would like to point out..ALMOST. Okay so I did it….sue me.

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Strawberry Yogurt Cake

Claudia's Cookbook - Strawberry Yogurt Cake 16

T-minus 1 day until I’m officially on vacation! I cannot wait. I am actually doing a stay-cation and spending time in the city and at home. The decision to take a week’s vacation was a last minute one, so I didn’t have time to put together travel plans. I’m also going to be a bridesmaid next weekend for the 5th time, so I figured I should stay put as there are many exciting events leading up to my friend’s big day.

Although my vacation will consist of attending some appointments and getting some much needed beauty sleep, I cannot wait to have more time to cook and bake. If you follow me on Facebook (and if you don’t – you totally should!), you will already know that I purchased Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest cookbook “It’s All Good“. I’m not a huge Gwyneth fan, but I must say, the recipes in this cookbook sound extremely delicious. Some ingredients may be a challenge to find, therefore I’m totally looking forward to having more time to shop around and to visit some local organic grocery stores. I will keep you posted on how the recipes turn out!

Now, onto this latest recipe I am featuring. It’s pretty much one of the best cakes I’ve ever made with fruit in it, hands down. I made it with freshly picked strawberries and I cannot say enough about how delicious it tasted. Claudia loved it as well and encouraged me to make it again. That is always the true test, if your mother approves. The Greek yogurt makes it sinfully moist, and the lemon icing gives it a nice sweetness.

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Blueberry Banana Bread

Claudia's Cookbook - Blueberry Banana Bread

What a long weekend. I’m utterly exhausted. I think the Saskatchewan country air does that to you. It’s either that or Claudia waking me up at 6:00am to go fishing. She convinced me that it was the only time the fish bite. And, she was right. We ended up catching a bunch of fish – large and small. My fiancé even caught a master angler! We threw the master angler back along with the some of the really small fish, but ended up with a haul of about 5 Pickerel fish (or Walleye). Who knew Claudia was such a fish whisperer?

Along with being able to speak to the fish in Canada, Claudia also makes a mean Banana Bread. I love this recipe. She typically doesn’t add berries, but I had an abundance of blueberries so I figured I’d throw them in there. I’m glad I did. This bread is super moist and flavourful. Claudia even approved the blueberry addition I made and deemed it absolutely delicious. I think you will too!

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