tasty treats: rich chocolate cake (for one)

May 17, 2012 § 26 Comments

Once in a while, I get the sudden urge for chocolate cake. If you’re anything like me, you know that when this urge strikes, it isn’t easily satisfiable. There isn’t much that can compare to a big slice of warm chocolatey goodness, and don’t try to tell me that a cookie or a chocolate bar will do the trick. I assure you, it will not.

Not wanting to commit to baking an entire cake for these dire moments of need (because if I have an entire cake I will eat an entire cake), I knew that there had to be a solution. It turns out, I wasn’t alone in this thought and have since found a multitude of recipes that result in just enough batter to make one decent portion of ooey gooey deliciousness. A single, personal sized chocolate cake, if you will. After testing out a few versions I came up with what I believe to be the perfect recipe (see below). The combination of ingredients results in a cake that’s not too sweet, not too dense, and just chocolatey enough to fulfil any and all cravings.

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tasty treats: banana crunch muffins

May 3, 2012 § 19 Comments

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m constantly on the lookout for quick breakfast solutions that I can grab and eat en route to work (me? morning person? ha!) While this recipe may not be as healthy as the breakfast loaf I’ve been known to make, it does make for a wonderful alternative. The addition of oats and walnuts not only give it a satisfying texture, but they add that little bit of something that keeps you fuller longer than your every day muffin might. Whip em’ up on a Sunday and you’ll have enough to last you (and your roommate/coworker/significant other – yes, muffins DO make friends) all week-long.

Adjustments: the amount of sugar this particular recipe calls for seemed excessive to me turning this so-called muffin into what I would describe as a cupcake. Instead, I used half the amount of white sugar, unsweetened coconut in lieu of the sweetened kind, steel-cut oats instead of granola and added a small handful of chocolate chips (because, obviously). 

tasty treats: tiramisu cupcakes

April 26, 2012 § 14 Comments

What with all of the food blogs, Pinterest boards and links I’ve hoarded throughout my internet travels, I don’t often recreate the same recipe more than once or twice. I love experimenting with food and have found that testing a new recipe is a great way to hone in on my skills all the while keeping things fresh and interesting in the kitchen. Of course, like anyone, I have a number of go-to favourites that I always fall back on (like this, this and this), but when it comes to desserts, there are very few that I’ve deemed worthy of multiple attempts. This recipe for tiramisu cupcakes is one of the few exceptions and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to share it with all of you. The process is definitely more time-consuming than many and it must be followed exactly for best results, but I promise you it is entirely worth all of the additional effort. I’ve made them on more than my fair share of occasions and they never fail to please the crowd.

tasty treats: grilled zucchini ribbon salad

April 19, 2012 § 17 Comments

In an effort to add more greens to my diet, I’ve been attempting to create big, tasty salads to pair with dinner. Inspired by this recipe for grilled zucchini ribbon salad,  I made my own variation to suit my preferred taste. I switched out the arugula for baby spinach, the hazelnuts for pine nuts (since I had them on hand), and the parmesan for feta. The combination of the zucchini paired with the toasted pine nuts, and fresh feta made this dish anything but boring and I would gladly add it to my meal rotation. The results are as pretty as they are tasty (which is always a bonus in my eyes), and it definitely looks like a lot of effort was executed when in reality it only took a few minutes.

tasty treats: mini strawberry éclairs

April 5, 2012 § 23 Comments

Is it just me, or do miniature things taste better than those of the full-sized variety? I recently stumbled upon this recipe for mini strawberry éclairs and couldn’t wait for an excuse to whip them up (that excuse being “it’s Sunday and it’s spring!” Totally legit). Apart from the fact that you have to focus on three separate steps (the pastry, the macerated berries and the cream filling), they were shockingly easy to make and I really enjoyed the process. The results were light, fresh, not overly sweet and would make the perfect dessert atop your Easter table (or any table, if I’m being honest). Plus, their miniature size means you can enjoy two or three without feeling guilty – logic at it’s best.

tasty treats: sea salt & honey butter popcorn

March 29, 2012 § 27 Comments

Just after moving in to my first place, my hand-me down microwave bit the dust. Being wary of using it to begin with, I wasn’t all that sad to see it go as I realized that most things could be heated up just as quickly in my toaster oven, and I no longer needed to worry about any crazy box manipulating the molecules in my food. (Admittedly, I have no idea how microwaves actually work, but the idea of being able to cook something in under two minutes hurts my brain parts. But I digress.) The one and only thing I missed once my microwave was gingerly placed in the back-alley dumpster was my ability to make popcorn in a flash. I grew up in a household where you either made it in an old-fashioned popcorn machine, or you plunked the bagged stuff in the microwave and waited impatiently for two and a half minutes.

It was only recently (like, really, really recently) that I discovered that you could, in fact, make popcorn with none other than a few tablespoons of hot oil, and a pot with a lid. In the same amount of time no less! Mind. Blown. Since then, popcorn has been made en-mass and I’ve been playing around with different flavour combinations. This one in particular is by far my favourite and I dare you not to devour the entire bowl all by your lonesome (do it, I won’t judge).

ps. it pairs perfectly with a really cheesy movie

tasty treats: pink milkshakes.

March 15, 2012 § 8 Comments


Since day one, milkshakes have always brought about happy, carefree occasions for me. They remind me of my brother, my dad (who don’t have my sweet tooth, but would never turn down a milkshake) and warm summer days – three things that cannot be topped, really. Up until now, my home-made milkshakes have consisted of a scoop of vanilla ice cream (chocolate chip, when I’m feeling fancy), a splash of milk and a squirt of chocolate sauce. While there’s no need to mess with a classic combination (one my dad has been making for me for years and years now), I think it’s time I try kicking them up a notch just for fun – an adult milkshake, if you will.  When I found this recipe on Joy’s blog not long ago, I knew it would be the perfect contender. The combination of rhubarb purée and a real vanilla bean transforms this childhood dessert into a special treat and I can’t wait to make them on the regular come the warmer months.

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