December 25, 2009


I wanted to re-create the exact same cupcakes I made last year but since I a) ran out of candy canes and b) did not have time to scour the town looking for more candy canes, I made a few adjustments on last year's candy cane cupcakes.

Vanilla peppermint mini cupcakes just out of the oven:
Chocolate ganache laced with peppermint extract and a shot of chocolate liquor:
Cupcakes filled with chocolate ganache:
Frosted with peppermint frosting and topped with bittersweet chocolate shavings:
Close up:
Four standard-size cupcakes ready to be given away:
Cross section:
I just ate half of the last regular-sized cupcake left and wow, totally awesome! But you most definitely must be a lover of mint in order to love these cupcakes. There's peppermint extract in all layer of these cupcakes: the cupcake itself, the chocolate ganache and the icing


Tuesday night meant a cookie fiasco. It came about mainly because I was in a grumpy mood. Even though I usually bake to get myself out of a funk, baking and an unhappy Dom do not mix. Oh yeah, that and Bejewelled Blitz. Now, now, don't laugh!! It's just too addicting to stop playing. So yeah, my original dark chocolate candy cane crackle cookies ended up burning because I spent too much time playing Bejewelled Blitz. Sigh.

After the BB baking debaucle, I didn't want the entire baking night to go to waste so I quickly whipped up a batch of these, which I knew would be a hit:They're basically butter cookies rolled in sugar and then baked in the oven. I added a little bit of red food colouring this time so they took on a bit of a pink hue along with the white granulated and pink sanding sugar. These cookies turn out soft...just the way I like them. They're incredibly buttery though so I kept these really small this time. In the past I've made these using instant coffee granuales instead of the sanding sugar. I also baked a batch and topped them with Hersey's Hugs (the Kisses that are white chocolate with milk chocolate stripes) and gave them to my co-workers with their Christmas cards, but I kept this batch for my mom who doensn't like chocolate. These are all that remained once it was photography time.

Lastly, I made a batch of raspberry oat bars for who else, Sean's parents. I kind of miffed the measurements and made the crumble bit way out of proportion this time. I was also lacking in free time (baking on Christmas Eve is NOT a good idea) and rushed the toasted coconut process so these were a little crispier than I would have liked. I'm really going to have to go back and follow the original recipe to a tee one day to find out what they're really supposed to be like. It's been years since I followed the original one. Sean's parents were presented with a bounty of my Christmas baking. They received the four peppermint cupcakes, along with the raspberry oat bars, individually-wrapped fudge and random Hershey's Kisses (mint truffle version). I can't believe I forgot to take a pic of their holiday treats tin! Oh well!

It was a good holiday baking time but unfortunately no time was left for cherry almond biscotti---boo! As for the rest of my baking list:
- dark chocolate candy cane crackles (done but burned)
- toffee crackle cookies (store had no Skor bars, no time to run to Bulk Barn)
- vanilla peppermint cupcakes with chocolate ganache and peppermint frosting (done and a success)
- raspberry oat bars (done!)
- apricot poppyseed thumbprint cookies (no time left)
- snickerdoodles/honeydoodles (no time left)


MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! (or the two of you that follow this blog)

Chewy wishes you all a Merry Christmas too. This is how he spent the afternoon:
So the holiday baking didn't go exactly as planned but that's usually how things go around the holidays--especially when it involves me, baking and work. First up...Fudge!
Measuring out the candy canes: (This was actually for another recipe but the cookies burned for reasons left-unsaid but I don't want the first few photos to go to waste).Now unwrap all the candy canes and put them into a ziploc bag.
Get out your trusty hammer and get smashing!When you're all done, it should look like this:One-half of the mise-en-place:Second-half of the mise-en-place:
When everything is cooked and your fudge topped with the remaining crushed canes, it looks like this:
Now the pan gets to set in the fridge overnight:And after they're cut and wrapped, this is what they look like:
The second box is what I gave to my co-workers along with the cupcakes which I will feature later on.


It's been ages since a proper food recap and this isn't going to be one of them. Here I've got a collection of two days' worth of posts.

Breakfast over the past few weeks has consisted of the following:One egg plus some egg white in between two slices of multigrain bread. It keeps me satiated until I break down usually around 4pm while at work. My 4pm break isn't usually my choice; it's usually when the other person comes in for our one-hour overlap so I quickly apologize and tell her that I have to go and eat something since it's been over seven hours since I last ate.

This is a bento of snacks for later that was supposed to be eaten later that day:
A couple clementines, cherries and strawberries. Yes, cherries! And they're not bad for December. In fact, they're actually decent and probably better than some of the cherries I consumed during the summer. I'm not going to question where they came from though. This is one of those rare times when I'm probably better off turning a blind eye on that one.

And dinner the next day...
Roasted free-range chicken with roast potatoes, onions and carrots with more onions. Delicious! But I consumed WAY too much food, despite what looks like a portion from Swiss Chalet, and was sick the rest of the evening. Clearly my stomach was all "no, no, no" but my tastebuds were all "more, more, more!" Tastebuds, you win this time but never again; it simply wasn't really worth it.

December 20, 2009


Day two of day six.

I am not a happy camper. Despite work not being ridiculously crazy today--except for the tail end but I got someone else to close for me--I still didn't have enough time to finish all my paperwork and now have to rush to finish it tomorrow. It should be okay since I have coverage between 1-5pm but am not a happy camper because I'll be working a 12-hour shift on a Monday. Not cool. Double not cool because it occurs on the Monday before Christmas. I can only imagine how many idiots are going to show up demanding their parcels arrive before Christmas without spending an exorbitant amount of money. You should have sent your packages out earlier, you cheap-asses!

Anyway, I've sort of narrowed down my list of holiday cookies to bake. So far I've got...
- dark chocolate candy cane crackles
- toffee crackle cookies
- cherry almond biscotti
- vanilla peppermint cupcakes with chocolate ganache and peppermint frosting
- raspberry oat bars
- apricot poppyseed thumbprint cookies
- snickerdoodles/honeydoodles

Some kind of fudge and lime cookie will probably still make it into the list--mainly because I love lime-flavoured things, but I should probably also remind myself that I can't eat all the cookies I bake.

I should be baking right now but apparently it is too early to start baking for a Thursday night serving-time and also because I have no space in my freezer to store the cookies. It sucks because the kitchen is completely free and with my parents out at a Sunday-night Christmas party, it's pretty quite in the house tonight. Oh well. Time to get back to Glee!

December 18, 2009


Despite work being complete and utter chaos this time of year, I actually had two days off this week (Tuesday and Thursday) during which I attended a doctor's appointment and the Olympic Torch Relay (more on that later). Now I have to work six days in a row until my next day off, which is actually okay because it'll be Dec. 24-27 off, which makes for 4 days off in a row but most of it will be spent doing Christmas-related things.

Which brings me to today's baking!

I've narrowed down my holiday baking list and now have the following to choose from:
- raspberry oat bars*
- cherry almond biscotti*
- chocolate candy cane crackles
- lime coconut cookies
- lime zingers
- blackberry sage thumbprints
- snickerdoodles/honeydoodles
- toffee crackle cookies
- some kind of fudge
- vanilla candy cane cupcakes*
- Peppermint Patty-topped butter cookie*

So everything with a star needs to be made while everything else can be chosen from, depending on how I feel. Obviously I'll either make the lime zingers or lime coconut cookies because both would be lime overkill. As much as I like lime, there are only so many cookies I can eat this time of year--especially considering that I don't have much of a sweet tooth in the first place. Nor am I a big fan of le chocolat.

And to kick the holiday baking off, one of my co-workers presented me with a box of holiday cookies. It's awesome considering that I'm usually the one doing the baking.

Here's the unveiling...
The first layer contained sugar cookies with I think little bits of cranberries and sugar sprinkles on top. I sampled one before continuing on.Next up was a layer of some kind of complete and utter yummy! It contained cranberries, coconut (aka Dom's Crack!) and other goodies. The rest doesn't really matter considering it contained coconut. I think I had three. Or maybe four. I know for sure I had three but I might of have another one and forgot about it. These were really yummy. I had to stop myself from eating more.The last layer contained chocolate chip cookies. Chocolates and a candy cane filled in the empty spaces and gosh darn it, I'm just pleased as punch about my box 'o goodies. I've never gotten a box of homemade cookies before! I feel kind of special. I guess this is what my recepients feel is; it feels nice. I feel all warm and cuddly inside.Except that I overdid on my cookie quota for today. So now I have to go and make a whole bunch of cookies and hand them out to other people...just to balance everything out ;) Adios!

December 12, 2009


Okay so I've been MIA lately because yesterday was my 11th day of work in a row and I've spent my Saturday running errands before I'm back at work tomorrow for two days and then I have a day off for a doctor's appointment and then I'm back at work again and then I have a day off to follow the Olympic Torch around town and then I'm back at work again for 6 days in a row before Christmas. Whew, what crappy grammar that was. Anyway, I'm spending my Saturday night catching up on Ugly Betty and I must say, these past few episodes that I've missed have been full of laughs and so have the Old Navy commercials as of late. I can't help it; I find those modelquins--or whatever they're called--really funny. I've also been catching up on sleep, twice falling sleep reeeeeeeeeally early, at 6:30, 7:30 or 8pm...last Saturday night. Kind of sad when you're only 26 but then again, I'm just pooped! I was telling Sean last night (before falling asleep on the phone with him), that I didn't even feel this tired when I was working two jobs and going to school full-time for 22 days in a row.

But back to food-related news. There have been some really good eats since the last post but because of my hectic schedule, not a lot of photos were taken. Meals included a lot of take-out...palak paneer and lamb biryani and naan from my favourite Indian restaurant. Thai green curry with beef brisket on rice (twice) from the Thai restaurant in the same plaza as my workplace. I used the leftovers with some thin rice noodles and mmm, so tasty! There were a lot of cans of HK-style Milk Tea, a couple bottles of Pepsi, an entire bag of milk chocolate-covered almonds, several slices of pizza and more! Seriously! That's a lot of food in less than a week.

Just to make sure I wasn't eating completely unhealthy, here's a very quick and short food recap...

Very late-night snack several days back:

A couple slices of cinnamon raisin bread and a cup of blueberry white tea.

And dinner the night after that:

A plate of mixed greens topped with some broccoli, clementine slices and leftover organic chicken breast. This is actually the over half of a leftover chicken breast from the night before that my dad had cooked for me. The entire breast was too much to eat for dinner so I saved the rest specifically for a salad the night before. I'm always jealous of people and their chicken salads so this was my version. I used a tiny bit of Kraft's Aged Balsamic Vinaigrette and it was THE perfect salad.

And now I'm enjoying this sugary treat:
A Dufflet pecan butter tart which I picked up from a Second Cup, nearby the nail salon I went to, to get my nails done. This butter tart is actually pretty big so I'm going to eat half and save the rest for later.



We interrupt your regularly scheduled food blogging to present you with this:

Isn't he so adorable! Someone left a cardboard box with handles at work the other day and because I was carrying a ton of stuff home, I decided to take my stuff home in this box. It totally looked like I had quit and/or was fired while walking out of work though and I completely fooled one of my co-workers.

Ogre had a grand ol' time rubbing his face along the edges of the cardboard and then he became sleepy as evidenced below:

Ah, so much cat cuteness!!


December 7, 2009


Can you believe I've never eaten the food at Ikea previous to this weekend? IKEA is one of my favourite places in the world to visit--except I try not to visit very often because I am always tempted by everything! All the photo frames and bedspreads and pillows and glasses and ways to organize. It's like a dream come true. I could seriously go crazy in Ikea.

Anyway, this past weekend, Sean had the brilliant idea of eating at Ikea while shopping for shelving units! Sadly this was not for our first living space together but just to appease his parents who were tired of seeing all his books/CDs/DVDs all piled about his room.

So we headed over to Ikea (I almost got us lost), and made a detour straight for the food market. was 3pm and I hadn't eaten all day. This body needs food--no matter how small it looks! After a quick perusal of the menu (organic pasta and meat sauce!!), I settled on the stuffed salmon with vegetable medallions (subbed with mashed potatoes) and veggies.
I have no clue what my salmon was stuffed with but it was good and I'm quite picky with my salmon. It wasn't dry although I think the mystery yellow sauce provided a good flavour boost. The mashed potatoes were also really good and the veggies were pretty decent.

Sean had the 15 Sweddish meatballs with ligonberry sauce, mashed potatoes and gravy.
Sean's meatballs were tasty, as was his ligonberry sauce but his gravy was was star of the show--kind of. I kept scooping some up with my fork (which was quite a feat) and adding it to my own mashed potatoes.

At $7 and $6 for each of our meals (respectively), this was seriously some good grub! I knew all about Ikea's restaurant but had no clue what glorious food awaited me. And how smart are they to offer an entire restaurant for families to dine in while shopping for furniture and other such things? I mean, really, what else do you want after spending hours and hours perusing housewares but something warm and comforting to eat? And if that isn't your style, there's all kinds of other options like pastries, coffee and tea. Or perhaps a hot dog and vanilla soft-serve?

It was an afternoon of the best of both worlds...Sean got his shelves and my belly was full of all sorts of yum.


Sadly I'm not even talking about Thanksgiving...but I am talking about the following:

With a day off work, I decided to sleep in and have a before lunch, a whole wheat scone with blueberry white tea:

Followed up a couple of hours later with some spaghetti carbonara, to which I added some mushrooms, because my dad scoffed at me for eating pancetta. The rest of the day was spent hanging out with my best buddy...sadly not a Chow Chow nor an Old English was just Sean.

A couple days later I was lucky enough to enjoy the following, lamb chops roast potatoes and stir-fried broccoli. Who eats lamb chops twice in one week? I do...but it's ridiculous!!

And then for dessert that night I decided to follow up my indulgent dinner with a bowl full of raspberries, fresh whipped cream and a crumbled whole wheat scone. Fan-freakin'-delicious!

And I thought this dessert was so delicious that a couple days later I had almost the exact same thing:

Fresh whipped cream with raspberries and leftover ginger cookies from a party my mom and dad attended.

December 1, 2009


In response to my post on November 22, regarding my disdain for the Kindle, I've realized that hey, perhaps an electronic book isn't such a bad thing.

Upon further investigation (aka non-stop talk from Sean about the pros of owning a Kindle), I realized that a Kindle is a good thing. (Yay for the Martha reference.)

Kindle pros:
- saves trees (yay!)
- saves money (downloads are approx. $10 a book)
- high-res screen looks and reads like real paper (uhhh, I might have to see to believe)
- ultra-portable (no cables, no syncing, no computer--downloads are wireless)
- newspapers are available (you can read papers from around the world--cool!)
- lightweight (only 10.3oz! That's still double my weight when I was born but lighter than most laptops. Lighter than my laptop anyway.)
- easy-to-read (not harsh on your eyes like a PDA or computer screen)
- font size is adjustable (six different sizes available--good for the oldies)
- Kindle Dictionary will look up words you don't know (cool!)
- Martha Stewart is a fan (who doesn't love MS?)

Kindle cons:
- you is $259!!!
- no touchscreen (c'mon's 2009!)

Researching facts on the Kindle almost makes me want one, although I wish it came in black. Actually, I wish I read on a more active basis because then I'd actually have a valid reason for wanting one but right now it's just because it looks snazzy and I like that I get to save the trees. Sean will most likely be getting one for Christmas so I will report back on the screen and how harsh it really is on your eyes--that's the one thing I'm most interested in--and with all the books he reads, he'll definitely be saving lots and lots of trees--yay!

No photos because I don't own a Kindle. Maybe I'll update with a photo of Sean's when he gets one.

November 24, 2009


Yesterday's eats...
No breakfast, which ended up being a bad idea because somewhere around 11:30 in the morning, a very unhealthy steamed spicy pork bun was consumed which probably contained copious amounts of crap.

Lunch was then had about five hours later when my relief finally showed up and I grazed on the following:Organic chicken strips (MIA because they were in the oven at the time), leftover roast veggies (beets, broccoli, orange bell pepper), oat and orange scone, grapes.

I hardly touched the veggies and instead decided to find some hot dogs (bad, I know!) and had three of those with some more ketchup. Oi. It was one of those days.

Then while my mom and I waited for my dad to pick us up from work, I decided to grab one of these:a Tall white chocolate mocha. With whip. Yes, it was REALLY one of those days. But I quickly followed that up with a mug of 1/2 orange juice and 1/2 pineapple/banana/orange juice and wouldn't y'know it, that's exactly what a person needs to empty their bowels! Good times were had!

So after that I was feeling pretty empty but crappy so I had an apple, a Braeburn...which was super crunchy and slightly tart. A pretty good sub for a Red Delicious. It was then nearing 9:30 and while I didn't feel super hungry, I knew I wouldn't last very far into the morning without food if I didn't eat something that evening. I ended up making this for dinner, which looks like a face:A couple of eggs (sunnyside up) on a whole wheat English muffin along with the rest of my apple.

Today's eats (for later today at work)...
*sigh* Stupid vertical photos. Anyway, we've got Catelli Smart spaghetti with leftover roast veggies (contains BBB), mushrooms and pancetta (mmm, pancetta) along with a snack container of mini carrots, dates, grapes and golden raspberries with more grapes hiding underneath.

Breakfast is going to depend on how early I wake up in the morning. If I wake up early it's going to be a whole wheat English muffin with an egg. If I don't wake up early enough it's going to be instant organic