Last month was Rainbow’s 1st birthday. To celebrate, Hubby and I organized a Minion-themed birthday. Aside from the Minion watermelon, cupcakes and party favours, I wanted something else that said “minion”. Of course, I went on Pinterest, and found a recipe for candied popcorn. I tweaked it a little bit with flavours and colours to match the yellow and purple minion theme. Here is the recipe below;
- 12 cups of popped popcorn, divided into 6 cup portions.
- Grape and Lemon jello (not sugar free)
- 1 Cup White Sugar (2-1/2 cup portions)
- 8 tbsp Butter (2-4 tbsp portions)
- 6 tbsp Liquid Clear Corn Syrup (2-3 tbsp portions)
- Food Colouring
- Parchment Paper
- Clear Cello Bags
- Blue & Black Ribbon
- Googly eyes
- Over medium low heat, boil sugar, grape jello, 3 tbsp corn syrup, and 4 tbsp butter. When mixed, add a few drops of purple food colouring and 6 cups of popcorn. I added the popcorn in the pot while the heat is still on as I found the liquid mixture tosses better with the popcorn.
- Transfer the mixture onto a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper and spread into a thin layer. Bake at 250 F for 15 minutes.
- Repeat with the lemon jello.
- Once the popcorn is cooled, break into smaller pieces.
- Glue googly eyes onto empty cello bag, alternating from 1 to 2 eyes, depending on the type of minions you are creating.
- Fill 10 cello bags with the lemon candied popcorn and 10 with the grape.
- Close the bags with the blue ribbon on the lemon popcorn and the black ribbon on the grape.
- Serve and enjoy!
In an attempt to save money on groceries, I have been baking snacks for my daughter’s school lunches. And what better place to find delicious, healthy and equally cool looking snack ideas than Pinterest, the social media site where 12 million visitors spend on average 1 hour and 17 minutes of their life pinning, liking and creating boards of stuff1. Oh Pinterest, you seductive mistress you. By simply seeing the “pin it” button, you gave me the ill-fated notion that I, torontomama, could be a Domestic Goddess. For shame!
I consider myself to be a capable cook. That said I lack the necessary skill when it comes to baking. Only the pull of Pinterest could have brought this idea of baking school snacks to fruition. My first 3 recipes went off without a hitch. With those recipes under my belt, it came time to make Strawberry Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Icing, courtesy of Spendwithpennies.com. Doesn’t the name alone make you salivate? Well if the name doesn’t, the picture will. I wanted to surprise my daughter with these delicious gems after school and have a tea party in her room. What fun.
First came the icing. It needed to be chilled overnight and it turned out perfect. I would make the cupcakes themselves the next day so they would be fresh for the party. The original recipe called for boxed cake mix, but being the Domestic Goddess I thought myself to be, I made the cake from scratch. I purchased cake flour instead of using all-purpose flour like the recipe called for and did no research on its differences. According to Pinterest, this is what they were supposed to look like.
And this is how it turned out. EPIC FAIL.
I pulled my cupcakes out of the oven, dry and sunken in the middle. Upon further research online, I came to find out that my cupcakes were both overcooked and over leavened and nasty as hell. My daughter eats with her eyes and seeing that they were bright pink, in her mind they were just fine and the tea party would have to go on as planned. I told her outright that I had made a mistake and I didn’t think they were that tasty. She was having none of it. We sat down at her Lego table, disguised as a banquet table at a ball and ate my Pinterest Fail cupcakes while sipping hot chocolate. Despite her saying they were ‘ok’; she ate less than half of one.
Hubby came home after work and bluntly asked “What happened?” Pinterest happened. With their pretty pictures and step by step instructions, I was lulled into the assumption that I could be magically transformed into a baking aficionado. They lied. Out of 15 cupcakes, 1 was eaten and I have approximately 8 cups of delicious strawberry icing sitting in my fridge with no cupcakes to ice with it. Cue the spoon and kiss the diet goodbye.
Now that the Canadian Thanksgiving has come and gone and people hopefully have room in their stomachs for some treats, I have an easy Halloween Cookie treat that everyone of all ages will enjoy. You don’t have to make the cookies yourself so I wouldn’t really call this a ‘recipe’ per say. Anyways, they are delicious, fun and super simple.
- Striped fudge shorbread cookies (for this to work, you need cookies that have a chocolate fudge layer on the bottom
- Hershey Kisses
- Food colouring
- Take the food colouring and mix in with the icing to create your favourite Halloween colours. I used orange and green.
- Flip over the cookies so the fudge side is up.
- Unwrap the Hershey Kisses and put only a little icing on the bottom. You only need enough to hold the kiss to the cookie and create a little coloured rim.
Image from modernchristianhomemaker.com
It’s hard to believe that the summer is almost half over. But do not fret, there are still lots of fun and cool things to do in Toronto with the family. Here are just a few happening this weekend.
- Singing Ambassadors. The Toronto Waterfront is always busy in the summer and the Singing Ambassadors will be there this weekend and every weekend until September 3rd offering assistance as well as impromptu summer hit performances from 11 – 6. And in case you were wondering, you will be hearing renditions from the Beach Boys, the Beatles, The Drifters, Martha and the Vandellas and many many more!
- McEwan BBQ. Mark McEwan is a pretty well known chef and this Friday & Saturday, you can taste all the McEwan Fine Foods has to offer. From 11:30 – 4, Toronto’s finest indoor BBQ at the Shops at Don Mills will provide a culinary experience you won’t soon forget.
- All Aboard the Miniature Train. How about after your McEwan BBQ, you let the kids take a ride on the miniature train. Only $3 a ticket, the net proceeds support the Toronto Firefighter’s Toy Drive. Running from 11 – 5, the kids will have fun for a great cause!
- Music in the Square. Shops at Don Mills is definitely keeping the summer spirit going. Friday nights, from 7 – 10, Aion Clarke will be providing live entertainment, covering big hits from the likes of Rihanna, P Diddy and Drake for FREE!
- The Value of Pets at PawsWay. If you love dogs, then this is something you don’t want to miss. PawsWay at 245 Queen’s Quay will be showing all the wonderful things dogs do for us, such as their roles as protectors, helpers and healers this weekend from 11 – 5. The Purina Animal Hall of Fame Service Dog of 2012 will also be making an appearance on the 28th.
In preparation for the arrival of our little Rainbow, I have begun preparing big batches of meals and freezing them so when Hubby and I are beyond exhausted and eating is really the last thing on our minds, sleeping being #1, we can simply warm up these meals and go. I made a huge batch of Broccoli & Cheddar Soup the other day and here is the recipe. Be warned, this batch made 30 cups.
- 12 Cups of Chicken Broth
- 11 Cups Diced Broccoli
- 3 Cups Baby Carrots
- 2 Cups of Water
- 3 Cloves Minced Garlic
- 2 Small Onions, Diced
- 4 Celery Stalks, Diced
- 2 1/2 Cups Grated Old Cheddar Cheese
- 6 Tbsp Butter
- 2/3 Cup Flour
- 5 Cups Half & Half Cream
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
- 1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
- Salt to taste
- In a large pot, add stock, water, broccoli and carrots. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender. Strain vegetables and set liquid aside. In a food processor, puree vegetables. I added some of the liquid to ease with blending.
- Over medium heat, add butter until melted in the pot previously used. Then add onions, garlic and celery until soft. Add flour and stir for 1 – 2 minutes. Add reserved liquid, stirring constantly until brought to a boil. Reduce heat and stir until thickened.
- Add pureed vegetables, cream, spices and lastly the cheese and cook until heated through and creamy.
I got the original recipe from allrecipes.com, but tweaked it to my liking and added a few things here and there. Click here for the original recipe. With my version, I was able to get 5 meals out of this batch and it cost about $1.16 per serving (based on 1 cup serving).
I found this recipe online and I have to say it was absolutely delicious. I have adjusted the original recipe and here is the one that I used.
- 40 raw shrimp, peeled, thawed and deveined
- 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp. of olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 oz spinach
- 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp dried dill
- salt & pepper to taste
- Rinse shrimp and set aside. Cook fettuccine to directions.
- Grate 1 tsp of lemon peel and set aside. Juice whole lemon and put it aside as well.
- Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add shrimp and cook until pink.
- Once pasta is finished, add pasta and spinach to shrimp and toss until spinach wilts.
- Toss in lemon peel, lemon juice and seasonings over low heat until warmed through.