Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Recipe: Cinnamon Chip Scones

Our daughter loves scones so I ripped this recipe out of Simple and Delicious magazine (Nov/Dec 2007 issue pg. 12) to try. I'm not a fan of scones because I always thought they were dry and thick - these were moist, flakey and soooo good! (um... if I do say so myself!).

They were so easy to make that I made 2 batches and sent some hot out of the oven to all my neighbours. It snowed 3" last night so it seemed like a perfect day to send such a treat!

Be patient when you knead these as you'll initially think "these will never come together". After about 10 kneads the dough starts to turn into a nice ball and is easy to work with. I used my kitchen table as I needed lots of room to knead this huge batch of dough.

You can find this delicious Cinnamon Chip Scones recipe here.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Recipe: Sausage-Sauerkrat Soup (Slow Cooker)

This soup has a sweet and sour flavour which comes from the saurkraut and vinegar. It's delicious and tastes even better reheated. I cooked this up in the slow cooker when my mother-in-law arrived for the holidays from Maryland.

From "Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes Volune 2" page 194


Longtime old-country favorites - sausage, potatoes, and sauerkraut - are stars in this soup.

4 cups chicken broth

1 14- to 16-oz can sauerkraut, rinsed and drained

12 ounces cooked Polish sausage, chopped

1 10-3/4 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup

8 oz fresh mushrooms, slices

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 medium stalks celery, chopped

1 medium potato, cut into small cubes

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tablespoon vinegar

2 teaspoons dried dill

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

2 slices bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled (optional)

1. In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker stir together broth, sauerkraut, Polish sausage, cream of mushroom soup, mushrooms, carrots, celery, potato, onion, vinegar, dill, and pepper.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat-setting for 10 to 12 hours or on high-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours.

3. If necessary, skim off fat before serving. If desired, sprinkle individual servings with bacon.

Enjoy! Submitted to Finer Things Friday over at Amy's Finer Things.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Recipe: Chocolate Cookie Bark

How can I describe how good this bark is? Like most holiday treats is terrible for you but oh so good! It has a bit of a crunch from the Oreo cookies and is wonderfully sweet and tastey with white and dark chocolate and peanut butter.. need I say more :)

My husband said 5 people approached him at work this week asking him when he'd be bringing some in. I was very flattered and laughed as the recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prepare with no oven or anything! I've made this a number of times and it's great for bake sales as it sells fast.

The original recipe is from the Kraft Canada Foods website here which even includes a downloadable gift tag. There's even a YouTube video from Kraft Canada to show you exactly how to do it here!

Below is my slightly modified version. In lieu of the Oreo's you could really use any type of cookies or nuts. I've made it with sliced almonds and it worked well.


1 bag of dark chocolate chips
1 box of white chocolate
10 crumbled Oreo cookies
2 Tbsp. peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

~ Break up Oreo cookies into a bowl and set aside.

~ Place dark chocolate chips into a bowl and microwave 45 seconds, stir, microwave for another 45 seconds and carefully remove hot bowl from microwave. Stir. Mix in half of the crumbled Oreo cookies.

~ Place white chocolate squares into a bowl and microwave 45 steconds, stir, microwave for another 45 seconds and carefully remove hot bowl from microwave. Stir. Add to melted chocolate 2 Tbsp. of peanut butter and stir. Mix in the last half of the crumbled Oreo cookies.

~ Drop each bowl of chocolate by spoonfuls onto parchment (not wax) paper covered cookie sheet. Take knife and glide it through the chocolate to create the marble effect and spread out the chocolate a bit.

~ Put into fridge for at least and hour then break into bite sized pieces and place in wax lined, air-tight container.

That's it! Happily submitted to Ultimate Recipe Swap over at Life As Mom - check out with other Mom's have submitted to this great swap of Holiday Desserts!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dr. Bonner's Soap - What is it?

I haven't been blogging much lately as it seems I've been fighting a sinus infection since before Thanksgiving. I went through my first round of antibiotics and am dreading taking more so I've resorted to taking probiotics twice a day instead. I'm holding the infection back some but it's a long recovery :(

Okay, enough about me! I found this "wonder product" at Target yesterday. I've read about Dr. Bonner's on different blogs and websites and was curious about it. According to their website this all-vegetable based castile soap can be used for many things including body wash, all purpose cleaner, laundry soap, even tooth-brushing!
I searched a couple of my favourite blogs to see how others use Dr. Bonner's Castile Soap and what they've found it's good for.
I found a number of tried and true uses over at Keeper of the Home (such a wonderful blog). Here's Amanda's links for shampoo, cloth diapers, eczema, cleaning and more - wow!
I'll try this soap over the holidays and will report back how it worked out. I have to admit, it's a little intimidating as the instructions on the bottle (I mean look at how much writing is all over it!) are not clear and I'm sure it'll take some trial and error.

Here's a link to the Dr. Bonner's website FAQ's.

My goal, as with many things this year, is to go more natural and chemical-free in the products my family uses - without spending a fortune! This bottle was around $8.00. It's not easy figuring out "natural living" and making it work for me as there's so much information out there and so many conflicting reports.
Has anyone out there ever tried this product?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Friends of Martha Blog Network

I am now a new memeber of the Friends of Martha Blog Network! I adore all things Martha and can only hope to be a teensy bit as accomplished as her.

I remember watching her Living show back in the 90's and being facinated by her. I also remember watching her new show Martha! after work and cooking supper when it was on - how inspiring! When I became a stay-at-home mom watching Martha! during our son's naptime. Hey, if you're going to watch something on TV you might as well learn something right?

I've subscribed to Martha Stewart Living magazine for many years and can't bear to give them away or clean them out. I even have them sorted by the seasons (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.), because I'll look thru them again and again.

I've also had a subscription for Everyday Food magazine for years and have these sorted by the season as well. This way when I'm looking for something new to try with seasonal ingredients there's always a great recipe in there to try. Some of my copies have so many Post-it flags for favourite recipes hanging off the side of the magazine that it won't sit properly on my shelf!

I love her books and have them proudly displayed in my kitchen. I can't say I use them much as I'm actually afraid of getting them dirty. Martha would gasp at the thought of this as she loves her books to be used. I'll keep trying but I hate to even crack open the spine of these fine books.

Our 8 year old daughter loves Martha as much as I do. She watches the recorded shows we have on our DVR, loves to look through the Living magazines, and even dressed up as Medusa for Halloween after watching Martha's Halloween special last year where she was dressed as Medusa.

So, I came across a great blog the other day Martha and Me and saw on her sidebar the Friends of Martha Blog Network. My mind started to swim - even I could be a friend of Martha's! Go have a look at all the bloggers who also love to write about everything Martha. I'm not paid or anything to be on this network. It's just a great place to share our interest in all things Martha Stewart.
Below is a little decorating trick I picked up from Martha, to place all like dishes together for a pretty display! For more inspiration on cooking, homemaking, decorating, crafting and so much more go visit the Friends of Martha Blog Network - enjoy!

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