Thanksgiving Cupcakes and Cookies For All Ages

I can’t believe Canadian Thanksgiving is this coming Monday.  Where has the year gone? I love this time of year.

I love fall

I love making cupcakes and when there is a major holiday involved even better.  I had fun getting ideas on Pinterest. I love owls and turkeys are part of the holiday. I went out and bought my ingredients and all the extras.

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I had fun shopping for all the ingredients.

Talk about a sugar high!!  I should add that all this baking is for 20 people for Thanksgiving dinner. 🙂

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The owls are so cool and easy to make!!
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Gobble Gobble!! Get the little ones to help you decorate the cookies.
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Your frosting will look professional just by mixing your frosting colours together in the piping bag.

Thanksgiving Cupcakes

What you will need:

  1. Cupcakes, any flavour
  2. Butter cream frosting, any colours. Darker colours work best for the owls .
  3.  Betty Crocker chocolate frosting
  4. Oreos. I found pumpkin flavoured but regular Oreos will work too.
  5. Halloween Chips Ahoy, any chocolate chip cookie is fine
  6. Halloween Smarties
  7. Candy corn
  8. Sprinkles
  9. Candy eyes
  10. Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses
  11. Food colouring
  12. Piping bag and Wilton 1M tip
  13. Cake Mate orange icing tube
  • Owl Cupcakes: Betty Crocker chocolate frosting, Oreos, and Smarties. Frost the cupcakes and take apart two oreos for the eyes, add Smarties to each oreo cookie. Use a orange Smartie for the nose and 2 brown ones for the ears.
  • Chocolate Orange Cupcake: Food colouring to make orange for the butter cream frosting and Betty Crocker chocolate frosting, Wilton 1M frosting tip, and piping bag. Start with the orange and add the chocolate frosting to the bag. Pipe the frosting swirling around to the tip.
  • Turkey Cookies:  Halloween Chips Ahoy cookies, Betty Crocker chocolate frosting, candy corn, candy eye balls, Cake Mate orange frosting tube. Frost the cookies and add the candy corn to the tops of the cookie (about 6 in a row). Place 2 candy eyeballs just below the candy corn to make the eyes. Pipe orange frosting to make the beak and turkey legs.
  • Witches Hat Cookies: Oreos, Betty Crocker chocolate frosting, Hershey chocolate kisses, sprinkles. Take a blob of frosting and sprinkle the sprinkles on. Squish the Hershey kiss into the frosting.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Decadent Double Chocolate Chip Zucchini Loaf

My  Zucchini Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins were a success but the recipe only used half of my zucchini.  My family asked for something with more chocolate in it. 🙂 What made my final decision was my  new neighbour Tina. She works at a flower shop down town. Two weeks ago I arrived home from work on a Friday evening and saw some roses at the front door. What a nice surprise that was.  This past Saturday she came to my door with more flowers.  I am feeling like I am the lucky neighbour.

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Time to do some baking for the new neighbour:

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 12/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa powder
  • 2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350f and grease two 8in. x 3 7/8in. x 2 15/32 in. pans. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, apple sauce, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

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2 cups of fresh zucchini.

Stir in the zucchini

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Zucchini in the mix.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet to the dry and mixing until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter evenly into the oiled pans.

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Ready for the oven.

Bake the bread for 60 minutes, take a knife and insert the middle and if it comes clean it is done. (melted chocolate chips might be on the knife, that is okay).

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Remove the bread from the oven, let cool for 10 to 15 minutes on a rack.

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*Variations to this recipe: 1 cup of apple sauce or 1 cup of oil  to replace the 1/2 cup of oil and 1/2 cup apples sauce.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Oat Muffins

I took hiatus in the Summer but I’m back baking and looking at my crock pot again. I don’t know if it is the crisp fall air or the changing of the leaves that gets me in the mood for some baking. 🙂

My husband’s cousin was gracious enough to give us a fresh Zuccinni out of their garden. All you have to do is grate 1 cup of Zuccinni and the rest is science.

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Fresh Grated Zuccinni

Ingredients

Brown Sugar Oat Topping

  • 2/3 cups of quick oats
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

Muffins

  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup of packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of apple sauce
  • 1 cup of grated zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 cup of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and apply a cooking spray to a non-stick baking muffin pan. I made my muffins big and sprayed 10 out of the 12 muffin cups. Set aside

To make the topping mix together the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. I used my hands mixing the topping until it crumbles. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together the beaten egg, brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, apple sauce, zuccinni and vanilla.

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Zuccinni right out of the garden.

In a large bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and chocolate chips together. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients a mix with a fork until combined.

Fill 10 muffin cups to the top. Press the topping onto each muffin, make sure there is chocolate chips included.  Bake for 5 minutes at 425 and turn down the oven and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes. Check them with a toothpick after 15 minutes and if the middle doesn’t come out clean put them back for another 5 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and transport to a rack and let cool until ready to eat.

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Mmmmmmm… The kids won’t even know the muffins have veggies hidden inside. 🙂
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*Variations to this recipe are: Add nuts (we are a nut free home) Instead of 1/4 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of apple sauce you can add all oil or all apple sauce.

Laundry Room Makeover

Our laundry room has been a disaster waiting to happen with baskets of clean laundry, towels and sheets everywhere. I even had a basket full of one sock wonders. One good thing about all that is I could close the bifold closet doors and forget about it until I did laundry again. Well…. that all changed when my washer finally stopped working. We went out bought a new pair ( I switched to the new Top Load washers without the agitator). After the delivery and the set up guys had departed, we realized that the doors would not close anymore. I see a DIY project coming.

Before and after

The laundry room was looking pretty bare and washed out but a little paint and whimsical pieces adds flare to the laundry room.

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Who wants to see this every time you go upstairs? Not me….

Went out and bought some paint for the walls and for the cupboards.

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The painting has begun. Looking better already.
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Touch up here… touch up there.

We decided to go with a black shelf to give it a different perspective. I found some cool old fashion water valve knobs at a speciality store.

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With the knobs on the cupboards, pictures on the wall and the shelf up it was looking pretty. I was thinking of putting a little chandelier but we couldn’t find one we liked until….

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Fun and whimsical.

I must say I wasn’t sure how it was going to look but was pleasantly surprised with the finished touch. I love it!!

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The Laundry room at its best.

Five-Spice Chicken Wings on the BBQ (Gluten Free)

The other morning I was watching the local News and the chef they had on that morning in the Blue Flame Kitchen was making Five Spice Chicken Wings. It looked so easy and delish I had to make it.

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Five-Spice Chicken

Ingredients

  • 2 lb (1 kg) chicken wing and drumettes
  • 2/3 cup (150 mL)  gluten free soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup (50 mL) sugar
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) dry sherry
  • 4 slices fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) Chinese five-spice powder

Combine the soy sauce, sugar, dry sherry, minced garlic and chinese five spice powder.

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Place chicken in a large plastic bag. I put the large plastic bag in a bowl for easier preparation. Who doesn’t like easy? Pour over chicken; toss carefully.

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Refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

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Put the BBQ on at 425 F and make sure your meat doesn’t stick. My trick is taking an onion and cutting it in half, and rub the cut side on the grill grate. Try it!

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The sauce on the chicken looks so good.
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Mmmmmm.. Finger lickin good!

*If the weather isn’t cooperating and you have to cook inside – Bake at 425ºF (220ºC) on a rack in shallow pan for 30 – 40 minutes or until well browned and glazed. May be frozen for up to 6 weeks. Makes about 2 dozen pieces.

Mini Chicken Frittatas and Paris Contest Giveaway

My youngest son loves going to Dennys. He plays hockey and decided in his last year of high school to give Rugby a try. He has a big appetite and his favorite breakfast is the Grand Slam.  I get indigestion just looking at it in the menu. I will have the usual… again – Slim Fit with scrambled egg whites, tomato and spinach. Well, when I saw this recipe in First For Women magazine I knew I had to make it. I am always looking for quick healthy meals for breakfast or lunch. You can use whatever leftover cooked meats and veggies you have on hand into these Frittatas.

Mini chicken fittatas

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 tbs leeks or scallions
  • 2 tbs minced fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup chopped spinach
  • 3/4 cup diced cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup chopped grape or cherry tomatoes

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I used my muffin-top pan to make these delicious gluten-free and dairy-free Mini Chicken Frittatas.

Heat the oven to 350 f. The best way to keep food from sticking (and you want to skip the spray) is to coat the 6 wells with olive oil using a  pastry brush. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, leeks, and basil.

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Divide the egg mixture evenly among the wells of the muffin-top pan. Add the spinach, chicken and tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Bake 12 minutes or until done.

 

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You can serve it with fresh fruit.

*My boys like to make their own breakfast sandwiches with the Frittatas. Happy Easy Cooking! 

 

Don’t forget about my giveaway. Love to hear from you… Only 4 days left.  https://everythingbutthecrockpot.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/paris-contest-giveaway/