These chocolate cupcakes with pumpkin frosting were a trip to make, let me tell you. You know those days were it seems like so many little things are going wrong that really they add up to one giant thing? I was having one of those days when I made these cupcakes.
When the first batch came out of the oven looking like hockey pucks (the signature sign of forgetting the baking soda), I was immediately reminded of my first bakery job, where I forgot to put the sugar in a batch of muffins and ruined two massive trays of muffins. If you’ve ever worked in a bakery, you know that’s ALOT of muffins. Oops.
Batch number two followed shortly after. It is, after all, my go-to chocolate cake recipe that I’ve made so many times I could almost do it in my sleep. Almost. Once I made it to the frosting stage, I realized I was out of piping bags. It wasn’t long until I discovered that DIY parchment paper-fashioned piping bags are ridiculous and who ever invented those things, anyways? Continue reading Chocolate Cupcakes with Pumpkin Frosting and Cream Cheese Glaze
Are you obsessed with the new Jessica Jones show? I’ve only made it through two episodes, but I’m hooked. It’s so rare to see such a badass female character in a superhero role, so when I see one, my eyes are glued to the screen. Jones is fierce, strong, and vulnerable at the same time, making her character so complex and well-rounded. If I didn’t have to pay rent I think I would be holed up in my apartment for days watching this show.
I’m so excited by the fact that more mainstream TV shows are adopting feminist themes that it makes me want to jump around the apartment and throw my hands up with joy. It’s no fun to watch shows where you can’t relate to the characters, and I previously counted on Shonda Rhimes for bringing all that feminism to the table, but Netflix is really stepping up their game with OITNB and Jessica Jones!
But enough about TV. There are dessert waffles here, after all. Continue reading Double Chocolate Raspberry Dessert Waffles
Do you remember your first break-up? I certainly do. It was heart-wrenching. At 15 I thought my life was over, and I would never find anyone better. The fact that we had only been dating for two months escaped me. The small problems are the big problems when you’re 15. Taylor Swift said it well in her hit song about the age.
The sadness I felt upon this breakup was definitely warranted, but as I was yet to be diagnosed with depression, it was a sadness that lingered a little longer than it should have. To be honest, I barely knew the guy. Two months and a few movie dates certainly felt like a big deal back then.
I don’t mention the depression for sympathy, it’s just a fact of life, my life, and as I’ve had a hankering to be a little more personal on here, the posts have reflected that urge. I’ve noticed a difference in the past few weeks in the comments section, as readers have been sharing their personal stories too, and that connection is a pretty fantastic, meaningful thing. Continue reading Chocolate Whipped Cream
Winter has officially hit us here in Winnipeg, and significantly later in the year than usual. We fondly call our city “Winter-peg” as this place is known for horrendous temperatures that, once in a while, reach levels colder than Mars.
When I first moved here, I hated everything about the city. It was quite a drastic change from Hawaii, and from the ages of 13-17 I promised myself that I would get out of here as soon as I graduated high school. Fast forward a university degree and a few inter-continental backpacking trips, and I’m still here in good old Winterpeg. What can I say? Winnipeg grows on you. Continue reading Banana Layer Cake with Chocolate Buttercream
If you are over the age of 21 and drink alcohol like a responsible adult (whatever that means), there’s probably a certain type you will never go near, because you had an experience as a teenager/young adult where you drank it like water and learned a lesson about the relationship between upset tummies and alcohol. Or maybe that’s just me. Beer coolers and straight vodka will never again touch my tongue.
Whiskey, on the other hand, I didn’t dare venture near in my early drinking days. Whiskey felt sophisticated, old, and far beyond the reach of my limited knowledge of alcohol. As I begin to study more about different types of alcohol, and become slightly more fluent in wine knowledge (a necessity as a server), I’m beginning to expand my drink repertoire. After all, I couldn’t stand the smell or taste of beer until I travelled to London and began to appreciate the nature of slinging down a cold brew in a toasty pub. Maybe it’s possible that with increased exposure, I’ll become a whiskey fan?
Continue reading Whiskey Hot Chocolate
Woohoo! It’s Friday! You did it, you made it to the end of the week! Or, if you’re in the service industry like me: It’s your busiest night of the week, buckle up!
My head is swimming this week trying to organize all my blog posts, freelance projects, and social engagements. I tend to be kind of a homebody, but for some reason I planned three outings this week. Three! I’m not really sure how I’m going to fit it all in, and I’m thinking it would probably be easier if I actually left my apartment once in awhile and spread out these events, but life doesn’t really work that way, does it?
This will be a quick post today because I want to show you something super easy, super fun, and perfect for a busy week/Friday night/breakfast (what…just me?). It’s no secret I love PB & J, I’ve made peanut butter and jelly cupcakes, brownies, and an ice cream cake! Excuse the old photos…:) Continue reading Easy PB & J Milkshake
If you’re anything like me, you enjoy the solitary productivity of baking alone. I grew up in a house of four other people and a dog, so it wasn’t until I moved out that I discovered the joys of solitary baking. I felt my brain focusing just that much more, zeroing in on the recipe instructions, and really getting a feel for the ingredients. Though usually I like to throw on a podcast before a day in the kitchen, this morning I’m channelling my pre-teen self and listening to Alanis Morrisette (Jagged Little Pill) while I knead dough. If you didn’t know I’m Canadian before, you definitely do now. 😉
I come up with my best dance moves in the kitchen. They might not be transferrable to the club because of the fact that they almost always include a whisk or wooden spoon, but if you and I ever met, I’d probably challenge you to a kitchen dance battle. When you have the blues, it’s a really wonderful way to smile and feel good. We’re having a rare dark, cloudy day here in Winnipeg today, so I’m more than eager to lighten things up in my kitchen.
Continue reading Nutella Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Coconut Frosting
Early this summer I moved into an apartment steps away from a grocery store. I can’t think of anything better for someone that works in food and is the biggest fan of every grocery store that’s ever existed. I mean that — I really, truly love going to the grocery store. Especially when it’s early morning or late at night when the only folks perusing the shelves are quiet and swift and I’m left to my own devices, instead of having to snake through shopping carts and wait in line for 20 minutes.
Grocery stores feel like giant, shiny boxes of possibilities. Endless combinations of ingredients can produce a beautiful dessert or a kitchen flop, depending on the slightest measurements. Strolling through the aisles is meditative, and I can get lost for what seems like hours when I really only need two items. I’m not sure if it has something to do with my proximity to the store or my intense feelings of love, but I walk there almost every day and am beginning to wonder if the cashiers remember me and furrow their brows at my strange purchases.
When I went to buy some M&M’s for this M&M cake, I filled up a giant bag in bulk, completely disregarding how much I would actually need to cover the cake. When the bag rang up at $57, my jaw dropped to the floor and stayed there. How could a bag of M&M’s possibly cost that much?!
Continue reading M&M Cake
I learned a very important lesson yesterday. It all started during the recipe development for a creamy peanut butter treat. Being the frugal human I am, it was very important that I used the last scoop of peanut butter at the bottom of the jar — the one that was hardened because it hadn’t been mixed completely with the oil — even when I had a brand new jar sitting on the counter.
I placed the jar in the microwave, thinking that microwaving the cheap plastic probably wasn’t the best for the environment, but it was only for a few seconds anyways. Seconds after I hit “start” and started walking away, I heard this “pop pop” sound that seemed almost as loud as gunshots.
When I turned back and looked at the microwave, it was flashing bright rainbow colours and shapes, and it took a few seconds of me staring in awe before I screamed and jolted to the microwave to press “stop”. Fortunately it’s still alive and trucking, and our apartment remains fire free. Phew! Turns out there was a TINY piece of foil leftover on the ring of the jar from the seal. All I can say is, this is a pretty typical day in my kitchen. Continue reading Salted Caramel Brownie Cookies
Hey, friends! Are you getting excited for Halloween? The only time in my life I’ve ever really been excited for Halloween was when I was a kid. It wasn’t because I got to dress up and go around to strangers’ houses asking for candy. It wasn’t because the school day was filled with fun and games and cheesy Halloween movies. Nope. I loved Halloween as a kid because, if I was lucky, I would be invited to someone’s Halloween party and their mom would fill the room with delicious homemade Halloween treats.
I have some fond memories of trick-or-treating, too. Every year without fail my dad would wear a bright yellow, curly wig while he took us from house to house. It always cracked me up, and still does, when I think about it. Picture a bunch of kids in silly and scary costumes, and then picture a dad tailing behind them wearing normal clothes, with his only costume being that bright yellow wig. Everyone tells me all my jokes are “dad jokes”, and I tell them I learned from the best. We share a secret: don’t take yourself too seriously. Continue reading Chocolate Cake with Sweet Potato Buttercream
Hopefully fall has been treating you well wherever you live, the leaves are all shades of golden, orange and red, and you’ve been traipsing around and jumping in leafy piles of fun. Here in Winnipeg we get all four seasons, and even though spring, summer, and fall feel equally as long as winter around these parts, I revel in all that fall has to offer.
The temperatures are the most comfortable during the fall, and it’s the best season for my masculine-of-centre fashion choices. Denim jackets, unisex boots, plaid shirts and tuques (also known as beanies and winter hats to every non-Canadian out there) make up the entirety of my wardrobe and it’s tough to pull those off come summertime. There just aren’t that many options for androgynous summer clothes, and I sometimes have to compromise my gender expression for comfort (15 year-old me would have said fashion over comfort any day. My, how things change.)
Fall also means multiple types of apples overflowing grocery store shelves and backyard trees, and there’s nothing better you can make with those apples than an apple crisp. One of the first recipes on my site remains the most popular because it’s a simple, decadent classic. I post a new crisp recipe every year or so, and as it’s been a year since my last, it’s time for an update. Continue reading Caramel Apple Crisp
How do you feel about pumpkin pie? I think it’s often a “love it” or “hate it” kind of dessert. When I was about five years old, I went to a family friend’s place for Thanksgiving. All of us kids were kicking around in the basement, probably making a mess and getting into trouble. After dinner my friend’s mom came downstairs with the dessert we were all supposed to be fawning over: a beautiful homemade pumpkin pie. Everyone was drooling, except for me.
At five years old I did NOT like pumpkin pie, and that didn’t change till I was in my teens. Unfortunately for me my mother instilled good etiquette in us kids for when we went to Someone Else’s House, so I knew I had to eat it, or at least attempt to, in order to be polite. So, I did what any devious child would do, and topped my slice with a generous amount of whipped cream. I smooshed it all together and even though I ate mostly the whipped cream, the plate actually looked somewhat eaten. In the end, I fooled them all. Continue reading Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Cake