Friday, December 23, 2011

Brownies in a Jar

Are you unorganized and last minute gifter like I am? Usually we are a little bit more ahead then this, but not this year. Being crippled this year has made things a little bit harder then usual, and now that DH is home from Halifax (military stuff) things have been a little easier to get done! If you have jars kicking around like we do from spaghetti sauce or canning, you can use them for projects! We use mason jars from sauces as glasses. Having two boys in and out and bouncing about, our dishes take a beating!

This project is easy to make, looks lovely when it's done, and tastes so good. If of course you love chocolate.. The lids took the longest, you can decorate however you like. I used some canvas glued on, and then wrapped wired ribbon after the glue had dried and fabric trimmed. We don't have a printer yet, which we are going to look at today for labels and instructions. I hand wrote them out on some cut out heavy paper from a duotang holder. I'm sure there is nice paper around here somewhere, but once again, no idea with kids around! They have many projects !! Attached to the label I had some "Made for you" charms which I tied on with twine (I make jewelry and other things so have charms from that.)

Ingredients you will need to make the layers. You can also write this on the card that will attach to the jar:

1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (can substitute any nuts you like, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts etc)
1/2 cup chocolate chips, chunks, or even white chocolate if you like

They will need 3 eggs lightly beaten and 1 cup of soft butter.

1. Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Line or lightly grease and flour a 7x11 baking tin. (Can use a 9x9 also)
2. Empty out jar contents into a bowl and mix together thoroughly
3. Mix in 3 lightly beaten eggs and 1cup softened butter
4. Spread onto baking tin and bake for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Layer the ingredients in the jars. Remember if they are going to bounce around a lot, the thin ingredients may slip through the bigger ones and sink. I put all the brown sugar on the top but it would have looked nice to separate the flour and the brown sugar and make two more layers. I'm too impatient though when there are too many jobs going on. Lots of Christmas baking today!

You can make your labels however you like. On a printer, or handwritten are both nice. We like giving handmade gifts instead of store bought items. It just feels like more this way.

Hope you get some free time to get to some crafts! Merry Christmas everyone!


What goes better with Chipolte or any kind natchos then Guacamole? Homemade guacamole!!

2-3 ripe avocados
garlic (or garlic powder)
red pepper
jalepeno or other spicy pepper
lemon juice

Mash up avocado in a bowl until smooth, add diced garlic, diced peppers, 2-3 tablespoons of salsa (to taste) and lemon juice (stops it from turning brown) Let sit, covered in fridge for 2-3 hours so the flavours set. Can make up to a day ahead of time. Everything is to taste in this recipe. If you like spicy, then add more spicy peppers or spicy salsa. The red pepper is for colour and a little bit of zip, and the garlic is really what sets it to perfection.

You can use this as a dip for crackers, natchos, celery sticks or anything crunchy really, or add to sandwiches and bagels. Use your imagination :) It could also be added to sauces for pasta!

Chipolte Chicken

Chicken Chipolte for natchos (this is what the colour actually came out as. Spicy and delicious! The chipolte is a smoky pepper with enough spice to get your eyes to water but not too much to make you cry about it ;)
We put it on heavy corn taco chips as this was the first time we made it at home and weren't sure how it would turn out. There were a few minor adjustments we could do, but overall think it turned out really good. I can see how in restaurants it would be a little different (dh said it's usually pinker and runnier) I liked it like this though!

2-3 cups Chicken (you can use chicken breasts. We used roasted because it was already cooked, and you get about 2-3 cups of chicken off one roaster)
1/2 cup chopped onion (we used green onion)
1 tbls olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp dry oregano
1-2 cans chipolte peppers (we found them finally! In the Mexican aisle top shelf. we used one can, just the two of us)
2 tbls tomato paste (don't see why you couldn't use spaghetti sauce if that's what you have on hand)
1 tbls white wine vinegar (we only had red, worked fine! could use rice vinegar in place as well)
tortilla chips
shredded cheese (jack, cheddar, mozza, whatever you like on yours! we shred our own. much cheaper!)

In a large skillet over medium high heat cook the onion with the olive oil until browned, around 5 minutes. Add in cumin and oregano, stirring until the spices become fragrant (smelly:) takes about 30 seconds to a minute.

Add the chilies (we had to slice ours up into little pieces, they came can whole) tomato paste, vinegar, and half cup water. (we forgot the water last night, but they turned out fine! Could see how the water would definitely thin it out, but we were worried it would be too runny) blend all the sauce together on a low boil, stirring often. Add chicken and stir until it is coated, hot and seasoned with sauce.
Arrange your tortilla chips on a baking pan (cookie sheets work great. Use parchment paper if you don't want any mess on it!) This is where you decide what you like best! You can either put cheese on your chips first and then the chicken or chicken and then cheese. We go with ingredients first, then top with cheese so it all bakes up and locks all the goodness onto the chips. If you want extra ingredients on your chips ie olives, tomatoes, peppers, this would be the time to add them. Bake at 400 until the cheese is melted and bubbles.

This meal or snack costs under 20$. It is great for parties, or like us, just wanted to try something different and awesome. It is pretty spicy but it wasn't a burn that lasted long like some peppers do. I hear all about "chipolte" in the USA and after having this, I'm a huge fan. They will be peppers that we use more often for sure. Maybe even look into growing some this spring if we can find the seeds!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Organic Salad with Raspberry dressing

Organic Hearty Salad with avocado, feta, and raspberry dressing

You can do just about anything you want for a salad. This one was huge, and so good! We stick to oil and vinegar dressings made with olive oil to keep the bad fats down, they are so good! There are so many different flavours to choose from. Can't wait until spring so we can start making our own dressings again!

Organic baby greens
avocado sliced
diced carrots
sliced cucumber
Tomato chopped or diced
feta or cheddar
sunflower seeds
bacon bits (real bacon. We usually cook the bacon up in the morning and hope it makes it through the day. The kids like to munch on it before we get a chance to use it a lot of the time ;)

Add all the ingredients together and toss. Add your dressing and mm mm good!
You can add chicken, ham or beef, any kinds of cheese you like. Havarti is one of our favorites.
We add avocado, cheese and seeds for energy, and you can get the protein from the chicken.
You can also add egg if you have some hard boiled, it makes that "boring' salad yummy!

Salad doesn't have to be boring! Spice it up, live a little, or live a lot! The ideas are endless!
Happy Crunching

Hearty Chicken stock (we use for brown rice)

We eat a lot of stir fry these days. They are healthy, filling, and delicious! I've made several batches of chicken stock and have it frozen and use that instead of plain water when making the rice. Brown rice is kind of boring, and needs a little boost! It has lessened our need for other fattening flavours like butter!! I use a simple recipe for the stock but it always turns out fabulous. It is a good way to do something with the chicken bones from roasted chickens!

One batch of chicken bones (we use roasted chicken that has been picked) you can use any chicken bones you have though.
8 cups of water
6 stalks of celery chopped into large bite sizes
4 large carrots
1 onion chopped into chunks
optional veggies any time, we use peppers sometimes, or zucchini, mushrooms, whatever you feel like!
salt optional (we don't add any extra salt to anything, but the hubby has to add it to french fries! Sea salt is much better)
Organic salt free seasoning (we get a lovely kind from costco, it's good on just about everything!)

I freeze the stock in 1 and 2 cup servings in the freezer, you can wait until it's cooled down and put them into ziploc freezer bags if that works for you. They can be frozen flat which makes for easy storage, or any other container you like to use! If I am going to use it for dinner, I will put it in the fridge the night before, or in the morning.


This is a recipe we used in our once a month cooking. They are delicious! No complaints from the kids at all! ;) 
1lb extra lean ground beef
2 eggs
1/3 cup all bran
1/3 cup wild rice
3 tbls mustard (secret ingredient to yummy burgers!)
Worcestershire sauce, about a tsp
spices to taste (I used the organic no salt flavour from Costco)

Roll meat into balls about 2 inches. Brown balls on medium heat until brown all around. Bake in oven at 350 for about an hour, or until cooked all the way through. I like it with tomato soup flavour so I had a can of that with water, and simmer in the oven. Serve with extra rice and any side veggies you like mmm mmm

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

Mmmm Chocolate and coconut all together as one - yum yum!

Melt chocolate..1 large bag of chocolate chips, I add 2 or 3 squares of bakers chocolate.
2 Tablespoons of butter
3 - 4 Tablespoons cream, more as needed
2 tablesppons of sugar more if your chocolate is bitter

In frying pan on high heat toast about 1 bag coconut, shredded or long, add to melted chocolate and stir. Should be thick.

Spoon onto sheet pans lined saran or wax paper, refrigerate 2 - 3 hours...and walla!



This recipe is an easy one to make, does not take much time and is inexpensive to do. Depending on your grocer and area, this recipe should be under 10$

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Peanut Butter cups (SO GOOD!)

These are easy to make and taste so so so good! Almost like Reese's peanut butter cups. I used mini cupcake papers, but you can make them bigger, use muffin tins, add to a cake pan and then cut up into pieces, or use the candy liners.

What you need
8 oz or 1 cup of chocolate, or chocolate chips
12 oz or 1 1/2 cups of Peanut butter

In saucepan melt half of the peanut butter and half of the chocolate together (3/4 cup or 6 oz peanut butter, and half cup chocolate or 4 oz) until it is melted and blended together, stirring often.
Carefully pour or scoop into your muffin papers, about 1/3 full. Let set (in the fridge is fairly quick, I waited over night and it was set quite hard)
Melt remaining peanut butter in saucepan, stirring constantly. Pour into tins. Let set.
Melt remaining chocolate in saucepan, stirring constantly. Pour into tins. Let set
This amount made 48 mini cupcake papers. It would probably make about 24 larger ones, or one 8x8 cake pan size.

That's all there is too it! These were one of the fastest treats I have ever made. It can be a tedious job though, so having small children helping might not be a good idea. It can be quite hot, so be careful not to get burned or burn your ingredients. You can use the water bath method to melt, you boil water in a larger pot, and then place your ingredients into a smaller pot and set that into the hot bath. You won't burn your ingredients this way as the water only gets to a certain temperature and there isn't the direct heat on your chocolate!

You can make these for dinner parties, or gifts. They taste really great! I will make these over again for sure!
Peanut butter - 5$
Chocolate chips - 3$
Paper cups - 1.25 for 200
Total: $9.25

The new blog spot

Hello all! I hope everyone is having happy holidays so far! Dear Husband gets home in less then 48 hours so we are busy around here getting the house in order! It's very exciting as he has been gone for 2 months! Hope everyone has a safe and Merry Christmas to all!

The new Blog site is quite different then the previous format so if you are looking through, the easiest view, I think, is the Sidebar. You can view the photo of the post and then choose that blog post.

I will have a new section on here called Kristi's Corner, she has some wonderful recipes and a few craft ideas that are great! She makes really good food too ;)

I have just started up an Etsy account, so will post the link to that soon. Some of the items I make will be available for purchase in the New Year. It's been so hectic around here that I haven't had much time to do much posting but now that DH is home I should have a lot more!

Cheers and Happy Holidays!
From staff at Fancy That