speculoos (cookie butter) soft bake cookie recipe

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I grew up eating dutch treats and foods of all kinds. One of the most popular among us first generation Canadians, were speculaas cookies. They are sooo darn good; I will forever have an addiction to those tasty treats. I was recently introduced to Speculoos cookie spread and what do you know.. there is a plethora of recipes that use it out there. Not only can you spread it on a piece of toast, but you can use it in a variety of desserts too!

The cookies above are super delish, soft and chewy. I followed the recipe from Averie Cooks – you can find it here.

storage love

For some reason I just love organizing my home. When I find a new way to keep my spices in the kitchen organized, a great new basket to hold my hair appliances in the bathroom, or a beautiful vintage glass canning jar to house my nail polish collection… I get excited. It may be weird. But it’s a good weird, right?

I found this beauty at the Village Antique Mall in Fort Langley. A gem where I’ve come across some of my favourite things. It sits perfectly atop my turquoise RÅSKOG cart from IKEA in our bedroom.

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a new member of the family

MEET HARLIE

Our darling Harlie has quickly become our baby girl since we picked her up in November. This new responsibility/playmate has eaten up a lot of our time lately, thus the lack of recent posts. Not that I mind though. I’ve wanted a dog of my own for years, and now that our wedding is over, and our lives have calmed down a bit, it seemed like the perfect time. No one can imagine the incredible love that emanates from that of a pet. It’s the best feeling in the world and everyone should have the chance to own a dog at least once in their life. I have been lucky enough to have three, so far.

cranberry sauce sour cream muffins

I had a lot of delicious cranberry sauce left over after Thanksgiving dinner that my mom made from scratch. I’ve used it in muffins before, but decided to try a new recipe this time. This recipe from Minnesota Monthly has the cranberry sauce as the middle layer with brown sugar and cinnamon on top. Quite yummy, despite the mess. You can find the recipe here. Continue reading

pie-making: take one

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I’ve always wanted to try making a traditional apple pie from scratch, crust and all, and when I recently purchased an apple peeler/corer/cutter I knew I was ready. The machine is awesome. I swear all I want to do is eat apples, and trust me, that’s a big deal. You’ve got to have the right kind though. The bag of Gala’s I bought for the pie are definitely not the kind you want to use with this machine if you want to eat them afterwards. Most of the Gala’s were too soft so they broke apart rather than were sliced apart, but they were still perfect for pie filling.

My all-time favourite kind of apples are BC’s own Ambrosia variety. They are seriously delicious! Anyways, I got up this morning determined to fulfil my desire to bake a pie. I made the crust, mixed up the filling, and as I was about to make more crust because I didn’t think I had quite enough for the top layer, I realized I didn’t have enough shortening, My amazing husband threw on this shoes and raincoat and ran to pick me up some more. The fact that the pie turned out is actually less surprising than my husband jumping up at the mere mention of my ingredient miscalculation to rectify the problem. He saved the pie – and my sanity. Continue reading

autumn adoration

b2d3ab36c133b059d1c3de8e06f6a979I don’t know if it’s the cooler air we’re experiencing on the West Coast, the fact that a friend informed me that Starbucks is bringing back the Pumpkin Spice Latte very soon, or just the need to have a distraction from our wedding preparations, but whichever the reason, I felt the need to immerse myself in the impending spectacle that is Autumn.  Don’t get me wrong I love Summer just as much as everyone else – the sun, the heat, the beaches, the water, the bikinis.. it’s great.  Winter is a magical time for me too. I can’t get enough of fresh fallen snow, and Christmas is definitely my favourite holiday.  Spring… I’ve never enjoyed Spring all that much.  I think this is because I grew up in a place which had very long winters, and all Spring meant was a dirty city.  Melting, gravel filled snowbanks are not pretty.

So by far, Autumn is the most glorious season in my books.  There are so many things that I love about the season, I thought I would share some of them to keep me satisfied until September 22 (when I’m actually allowed to celebrate it).  First off, there’s the clothing – cute jackets, chunky scarves & mitts and leather boots make up my ideal outfit.  The layering of dark, neutral, earthy tones is what I long for.  Besides the clothing, Autumn comes with amazingly beautiful landscapes.  Multicoloured deciduous trees which blanket the area make for gorgeous scenes.  The cool, crisp air, spooky Halloween festivities, harvest foods, apple cider, piles of leaves, and the anticipation of the Christmas season all contribute to a very happy time of year.

insta-gardens

Okay so this post isn’t about quick garden construction, but a brief highlight of gardening photos I took (and Instagramed) while weeding and planting tulip bulbs in my Mom’s front garden last weekend.  There were a few hours of warm sun between a downpour of a morning, and a strike of hail in the late afternoon.  (I do hope those little bulbs survived…)

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an ombre easter

I have been waiting weeks to make Easter eggs!  The day I received the newest (egg covered) copy of Edible Vancouver turned out to be my decorating day as well!  There’s something so simply enjoyable about decorating eggs.  It’s just too bad I don’t like hard boiled eggs, or I would have made more.  Since I’ve moved away from my aunt, I haven’t had the chance to make any Pysanka eggs in awhile and those are by far my favourite.  I love making different designs and creations with the wax resist method and bold bright colours.  I will have to go home for Easter one year and get her to teach me all over again.  For now I’ll stick with the tried and true dip-dyeing method.  This year I tried to be a bit creative and create an ombre design.  After a couple trial and errors I finally figured out how best to tilt the jar to keep the egg in place while adding additional water to fade the secondary layers.  The red egg turned out great, and the yellow would have too if it wasn’t so light of a colour.  I recommend trying this method, especially if you have extra eggs to practice with… trust me you’ll need them.  Despite producing only one true ombre egg (the blue one is kinda funny lookin) I think they will look quite pretty on the table on Easter morning.  My first try, the green one, produced a kind of watercolour look that I actually kind of like. (I must remember not to use my favourite colour for my initial tester next time).IMG_0030 Continue reading

herb harvesting

My herbs and carrots have been coming along nicely, until I noticed flowers blooming on my thyme. Obviously I didn’t cut them soon enough. I decided to cut off the flowers and try to dry the thyme and oregano so that I can use them at a later date and they don’t go to waste.

Collecting Thyme

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