Here’s a little tidbit that you may not know about me…I’m a big Star Wars fan. I was a kid when all of the original Star Wars movies came out and I remember watching them over and over again, including the Ewok movies! But I have to admit I didn’t really care for the newer movies, episodes 1 – 3. So when I saw that Star Wars: The Force Awakens was coming out and all of the characters that I loved so much, like Chewbacca and Hans Solo, were returning I couldn’t wait to see it! As soon as it was in theatres I went with my family and we loved it…it was better than I could have imagined and it left me wanting to see it again, and hoping for more sequels!
Now this leads me into some very exciting news from Netflix Canada! The Star Wars universe has expanded so viewers in Canada are now able to stream Star Wars: The Force Awakens! My family was so excited to learn that this movie was available to watch right at home (and I was happy because we didn’t have to buy the DVD! Score!). So this weekend, on a very rainy Sunday afternoon we flopped on the couch to watch it again. It’s such a good movie.
And to help celebrate, Netflix is sharing a super fun recipe idea with you…Wookiee Cookies! Seriously, how cute is this cookie?! All you need is your favourite roll-out sugar cookie dough, a gingerbread man cut out and some shredded coconut! Get the kids together and you’ve got a super fun summer baking project!
And if that’s not enough of a Star Wars fix for you, you can also catch up on the last days of the Galactic Republic with the entire Clone Wars series and feature film that are streaming right now on Netflix Canada!
May the force be with you.
Disclosure: I am part of the Netflix StreamTeam, but as always all thoughts and opinions here are my own…I LOVE Netflix…it’s an addiction…but a good one!
This Lavender Honey Cake is a perfect summer dessert. The vanilla cake base is tender, with the subtle and delicious flavours of lavender and honey.
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On our recent trip to Tofino, BC, based on a recommendation from my friend Julie, we visited a chocolate and ice cream shop called Chocolate Tofino. Honestly, I have never had a better ice cream cone in all of my life…I tried their Double Chocolate cone and a Sweet Cream and Dark Chocolate Chunk cone and I still can’t stop thinking about them. I also taste tested one of their unique flavours called Lavender & Honey, which I thought was so delicious and interesting and it immediately made me think of cake. Because I’m always always thinking of cake. But seriously, think about how scrumptious a Lavender and Honey Cake would be…warm vanilla cake with soft flavours of lavender and honey…not too much, just enough to lightly taste them.
To get the beautiful lavender flavour into the ice cream, the shop steeps fresh lavender flowers in cold cream, so that is what I tried when making this cake. Luckily I have a beautiful pot of lavender growing in my garden so I was able to clip some fresh flowers for my cake. I really love lavender and grow it every year, but admittedly I never harvest the flowers, which I have vowed to do from now on. In fact I hope to grow many many more lavender plants and eventually dry the flowers to use in recipes, teas and other things…but for now I make cake! So I clipped a fresh bunch and got them ready to be turned into cake…lavender is delicious in sweets.
At first I just put the stems upside down right into the cream, but then I decided to remove the lavender flowers from the stems and chop them up into small pieces to release the lavender flavour. I also wanted small pieces of lavender scattered throughout my baked cake. Then I placed the jar into the fridge to rest overnight.
The result was a delicious and light lavender flavoured cream, ready to be turned into cake! I bet this cream would be delicious in tea too…oh well for another day I guess!
For the cake base I used my go-to vanilla Bundt cake recipe that I use for almost all of my flavoured cakes, like Strawberry Rhubarb, Earl Grey, and Peach, it’s such a great base. The cake is tender, but the best part is that I get to use my Bundt pans…I LOVE my Bundt pans and will bake with them any chance I get. This particular pan is the Nordic Ware Heritage Formed Bundt Pan and it’s one of my favourites because the soft edging always releases the cakes so nicely.
I really love how this cake turned out. Not only does it look beautiful, but it’s sweet, tender and perfectly lightly lavender flavoured…it is a delicious summer dessert.
And I love all the little lavender flower flecks scattered throughout the cake…I wasn’t sure how I would like that, but they’re perfect. Here’s the recipe for you, I hope you enjoy it!
1 small bunch of fresh lavender flowers (about 15-20), remove the flowers from the stems
icing sugar for garnish
Steeping the lavender flowers:
Remove the lavender flowers from the stems and chop them up into small pieces. Put the chopped flowers into 1/4 cup of cream, then place in the fridge to rest overnight.
Making the cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare your Bundt pan by spraying the inside of the pan with a baking spray containing flour (you can find this spray in the baking aisle at your grocery store). This step is so important if you want your cake to slide out of the pan. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter, honey and sugar.
Add the eggs, one at a time.
Then add vanilla, and mix well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, and baking powder.
Remove the lavender flowers from the cream, then mix the cream with the yogurt.
Chop up the purple flowers to add to the batter (not the stems!).
To the butter mix, add 1/3 of the flour mix, then 1/2 of the cream/yogurt mix. Repeat until all combined.
Stir in the chopped lavender flowers.
Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Once the cake has baked, let it cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then turn the cake out onto a plate, and sprinkle with icing sugar.
The classic Shirley Temple is a delicious non-alcoholic drink that the whole family can enjoy!
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Shirley Temples are ingrained into my memory as special treat from my childhood. I remember when my family, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents would all get together at the lake in the summer my Grandma and Grandpa would make Shirley Temples for all of us kids. In my mind I can still see them standing at the counter mixing drink after drink as all of the cousins lined up to get theirs. I remember feeling so grown up to be enjoying this colourful and yummy drink…these were special. I’ll never forget those amazing and fleeting times, because they were some of my best.
Now I make them for my kids and they enjoy them just as much as I did. When you’re a kid there is something so ‘fancy’ and fantastic about a Shirley Temple.
Shirley Temples really should be assembled one glass at a time, because you can get the layering of the grenadine, orange juice and soda in the glass done properly. If you try to make a large jug of it, you won’t get the flavouring quite right. And really, they’re not hard to make so it’s no trouble.
You can make these in ‘fancy’ glasses, or in Mason jars which I really like…everything looks better in a Mason jar right?! 😉
This Strawberry Beet Salad is a fresh and delicious summer salad! Roasted beets and fresh strawberries are a match made in heaven!
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Oooooh do I have something scrumptious for you today…strawberries, strawberries and more strawberries! It’s that time of year when the markets are full of sweet and flavourful strawberries, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I buy pints of them and we eat them au naturel as often as we can, but there are so many other ways to enjoy these delectable little summer berries! They make tarts, cupcakes, sweet buns, salads and cheesecakes mega delicious. But honestly, the best way to enjoy a strawberry is picking them right from the field, all warm from the sun…we have a couple months until we will be able to do that. I can’t wait to take the kids out to pick! For now, I will enjoy our market berries!
And now you’re in luck because I’ve teamed up with a great group of bloggers to bring you 15 scrumptious strawberry recipes, just in time for summer! Trust me, you won’t be able to leave here without wanting to make at least one of these strawberry recipes!
I wanted to make something a little unexpected with strawberries, so I made a Strawberry Beet Salad. Beets and strawberries are amazing when paired together, especially when the beets are oven roasted. By roasting the beets, their natural sweetness and amazing flavour are enhanced, making them perfect with fresh strawberries.
The beets and strawberries are then tossed in a sweet and tangy balsamic vinaigrette, and topped off with crumbled goat cheese. So basically this salad is amazing. Ah. Mazing. Fresh, healthy and loaded with summertime flavour.
This salad is delicious with BBQ chicken and fresh bread. A healthy and complete meal you need to try!
First roast the beets. To do this, I trim off the tops and bottoms of the beets, then cut them in half and place them in the centre of a sheet of tin foil, drizzle them with oil and wrap them up in the foil.
Bake at 375 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.
Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients, and set aside.
Putting it all together:
Once the beets have been roasted, remove the beet skins then cut the beets in to small cubes.
Then add the beets, strawberries and onions to a pretty serving bowl.
Toss with the vinaigrette.
Sprinkle with the crumbled goat cheese and extra fresh ground pepper.
This Strawberry Rhubarb Cake is amazing. Theres’s no other way to describe it…it’s tender and full of delicious strawberry and rhubarb flavour!
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I finally got my hands on some rhubarb!! Last spring my rhubarb was amazing and I had more than I needed, but this spring we accidentally removed it when we took apart our garden! Sad face. So when spring rolled around here with my rhubarb craving in full force I went on a grocery store hunt for it and came up empty handed…until I finally spied some this weekend, so I bought almost every stalk. I had to though, I needed to make a rhubarb cake, this rhubarb Bundt cake in fact!
Do you love rhubarb? I am realizing that a lot of people don’t even know what rhubarb is or how to use it which I find kind of shocking. I think I must just take rhubarb for granted because I’ve had it all my life…coming from a family of farmers and gardeners, rhubarb was always around, big giant plants that never got used up because of the sheer volume. Oh how I would love that…
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to make a Bundt cake with rhubarb for ages, and this weekend I finally got around to making one, and I’m thrilled at how it turned out! For all of my vanilla Bundt cake recipes, I use basically the same base recipe and just tweak it for which ever flavour I am making at the time. For this particular cake I wanted to use strawberries, rhubarb and yogurt (ever since I made my Chocolate Bundt Cake with yogurt I won’t make them any other way. The yogurt makes it so tender.) This Strawberry Rhubarb Bundt Cake is on my spring must-make list from now on!
3/4 yogurt (a thick yogurt with the consistency of sour cream: Greek yogurt, Balkan yogurt)
1/4 cup milk
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Prep your Bundt pan by spraying the inside of the pan with a baking spray containing flour (you can find this spray in the baking aisle at your grocery store). This step is so important if you want your cake to slide out of the pan. Set aside.
In a bowl combine the chopped strawberries and rhubarb with the cinnamon and sugar. Set aside.
In another bowl, using a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
Add the eggs, one at a time.
Then add the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
In another bowl, mix together the milk and yogurt.
To the butter mix, add 1/3 of the flour mix, then 1/2 the yogurt/milk mix. Repeat until all combined.
Put clumps of the cake batter around the bottom of the pan, followed with the strawberry rhubarb mixture, and repeat until finished.
Bake for 45 minutes.
Let cool for about 10 minutes in the pan, then turn the cake out onto a plate.
This Raspberry Galette is a simple and delicious dessert idea! Use a pre-made puff pastry crust to save time! So good.
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I love raspberries so much. Growing up I remember picking fresh raspberries from giant bushes at my grandparents farm, then taking them back in the house to dip in the sugar drawer, then eating them doused in cream. Seriously one of my lifes best childhood memories…farmhouse drawers full of sugar and fresh berries…dreamy. Now I find it hard to eat raspberries any way other than fresh…can you blame me though?
But lately I’ve been craving raspberries baked into a pie…like craving in a bad way (my mind works in mysterious ways). So I decided to bake a raspberry galette, because galettes are the fastest and easiest way to a delicious homemade pie. I really love galettes because they are way less pressure to make than a traditional pie…there is no fuss making a crust and the crust doesn’t have to look perfect. In fact, it’s the rustic look of galettes that I love the best. That and the fact that you can buy the crust.
Yes, buy the crust. I will never, ever, in the history of ever, make a puff pastry crust. I just can’t bring myself to do that when I can buy a perfectly delicious pre-made crust. I don’t think I could even make one that tastes any better anyway. So I always try to keep a couple of pre-made puff pastry crusts in my freezer at all times. Then I can bust one out and make a pie at any moment…Saskatoon Galette, Strawberry Rhubarb Galette, Strawberry Pie, Nutella Pie Pockets…endless endless deliciousness.
But I have to say of all the galettes I have made, this raspberry one knocks my socks off. Puff pastry crust + fresh raspberries is pie perfection. Enjoy it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream…so so good.