Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dirt and Worm Cake

I made this childhood classic for a play date we were having. I didn't have a flower pot, sand pail, dump truck or wagon handy, so I simply served it in a bowl. It was definitely a hit.


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 packages instant vanilla pudding mix
3 1/2 cups milk
1 12 oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 package of chocolate sandwich cookies with creme filling

  1. Chop cookies very fine in food processor. The white cream will disappear.
  2. Mix butter, cream cheese, and sugar in bowl.
  3. In a large bowl mix milk, pudding and whipped topping together.
  4. Combine pudding mixture and cream mixture together.
  5. Layer in flower pot, starting with cookies then cream mixture. Repeat layers.
  6. Chill until ready to serve.
  7. Add artificial flower and trowel. Enjoy!

Granny's Frikadellars

These meatballs are a hit with my husband and my preschooler. My husband loved them and raved about them. I don't dare tell him it's apple sauce, wine and ketchup making them taste like that. And they are the easiest meatballs I've ever made because they brown in the oven by themselves. I plan to brown all my meatballs this way from now on.


1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup apple sauce
1/2 tsp salt
dash of pepper
4 tbsp minced onion
2 eggs
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 pound ground beef
6 tbsp white wine or water

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Combine the bread crumbs with egg, 4 tbsp apple sauce, 1 tbsp ketchup and seasonings. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Add meat and onion, blend.
  4. Form into 1-inch balls and arrange in a shallow baking pan.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.
  6. Combine remaining applesauce, ketchup and wine. Spoon over meatballs and bake 10 minutes longer.
Inspiration: Granny gave me this recipe in a recipe book she made for my wedding shower.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ghostly Brownies

I'm so proud of myself for actually trying this recipe only days after discovering it, rather than stashing it away and forgetting about it. I first saw it at my sister-in-law's house in a Robinhood Flour recipe booklet. Then I was happy to find my own copy of the booklet at the grocery store.

This recipe was definitely a challenge to my culinary skills, or lack thereof. The brownie part was easy; I did it with my toddler. The meringue was harder, perhaps because I tried doing it with my toddler. I thought we could separate eggs using our egg separator gadget. I would crack the eggs while she held and tapped the separator. Then she would watch the meringues fluff up in the mixer.

Instead, she got confused and dumped the egg yolk into the mixer instead of the compost. Another time she bumped me while I was cracking the egg and the yolk broke into the whites. Then I didn't read the recipe carefully and I added the sugar before beating the egg whites to soft peaks. A big mistake. I got out Play Doh for my kid and started over by myself.

Piping the meringue ghosts was difficult too, or rather messy. I should have filled my piping bag completely and then piped. I filled as I went and every part of my hands ended up covered in meringue. I got the job done, but it was a mess. Definitely something I couldn't do with a toddler.

This is definitely a dessert to please any toddler. It's something that would be great to take along to any Halloween party or event.


1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
3/4 cup butter
3 eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup chocolate chips

4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp corn starch
16-20 chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9-inch spring form pan.
  2. Melt chocolate chips with butter. Reserve.
  3. Whisk eggs with sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in chocolate and butter mixture. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  4. Pour mixture into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven 45-50 minutes. Remove from oven.
  5. Once brownies are made, beat egg whites using mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Slowly beat in sugar, continuing to beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in corn starch. Spoon 1 cup meringue over baked brownies. Place remaining meringue into piping bag with a ½” plain tip, or place in heavy plastic bag and cut a ½” hole in one corner. Pipe about 8-10 ghostly shapes over the prepared brownies. Add chocolate chips to the meringue peaks for eyes.
  6. Bake again in preheated oven 10-12 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned.

Inspiration: Robinhood Flour recipe booklet

Monday, October 19, 2009

Grandma's Chocolate Frosting

I was so impressed when I tried this icing on a cupcake at a Halloween party, I had to ask for the recipe right away. I made the icing the very next day for cupcakes for a Halloween play date. It was so rich and smooth and yummy. I think the instant coffee gives it a richer flavour. I will make this recipe again and again.


1 stick (4 oz) butter or margarine
3 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp instant coffee
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Heat milk for about 30 seconds in microwave until hot. Stir in vanilla and instant coffee until dissolved.
  2. Cream together margarine, sugar, and cocoa powder. Add warm milk and mix on high speed until fluffy.
Inspiration: Megan and How to eat a Cupcake

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Elaine's Pumpkin Bread

We had this pumpkin bread at my cousin Elaine's house for Thanksgiving. Everyone there agreed it tasted better than the pumpkin pie from Costco. It had all the flavours of pumpkin pie but in a cake format. The recipe here calls for one less cup of sugar than the one elaine gave me. I can't handle the idea of three cups of sugar. I think it tastes just as good with less.


3 1/3 flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin puree
Raisins and nuts optional

  1. Preheat over to 350 F.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients.
  3. Make a well, pour in the wet ingredients.
  4. Mix until smooth.
  5. Pour into three greased and floured loaf pans.

Inspiration: Elaine's aunts recipe

Friday, October 16, 2009

Teriyaki Beef Burgers

This is the best twist on a burger ever. The original recipe called for half beef, half ground chicken, but the idea of mixing those two meats didn't appeal to me. Also, instead of adding three tablespoons of the sauce, I made two batches of the sauce: one for in the meat mixture and one for basting. We loved the extra flavour. I also added a splash of whiskey to the basting sauce, to make it like TGIF's Jack Daniels teriyaki grilling sauce. These didn't last long at our house at all. Definitely impressive.


2 lbs ground beef
1/3 cup dry plain bread crumbs
1/3 cup green onions, minced
1 egg
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tbsp soy suace
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ginger root, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp sesame oil
6 hamburger buns
Lettuce, tomatoes and other burger toppings


  1. In mixer, combine beef, bread crumbs, onions, and egg. Mix well.
  2. in small bowl combine ketchup, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger root, garlic and sesame oil.
  3. Add 3 tbsp of the sauce to the meat and mix well. Reserve the rest of the sauce to brush onto burgers while grilling.
  4. Shape meat into 8 patties. BBQ until cooked through, while basting with the sauce.
  5. Serve with your favourite toppings.

Inspiration: Burger She Wrote, pg 163, Crazy Plates.