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Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Keep the trampoline fun going all winter long!

Disclosure:  I am working with Springfree Trampoline as a brand ambassador, and I am excited to share my experiences with you!  As part of this partnership, I have been compensated, but as always, all pictures, views and opinions are my own.  We reaaaaally LOVE our new trampoline!  I even jump on it…shhhh don’t tell anyone.  😉 

Ever since we got our new Springfree trampoline, our kids have been outside more than ever.  And now just because winter is here, this doesn’t mean that the outdoor trampoline fun has to stop!  In fact, my kids use the trampoline just as much in winter as they do in summer.

Keep the trampoline fun going all winter long!

Winter is a great time for trampoline fun…and the best kind of fun.  Don’t think you have to put away your trampoline once the white stuff arrives…Springfree trampolines are built for year round fun, so you don’t have to pack them away.  They have fibreglass rods, instead of springs, so no rusty springs to contend with all winter.  Now you have the perfect reason embrace winter and send the kids outside to jump away!

Keep the trampoline fun going all winter long!

There’s something so fun about jumping on a trampoline covered in snow…and even more fun when it’s snowing. As soon as the kids see the fresh snow on the trampoline, it’s a race to get out there and be the first to make a snow angel.  So. Much. Fun.

Keep the trampoline fun going all winter long!

So if you needed more reasons to keep your trampoline out all year long, here are 7 ways to enjoy your trampoline in winter!

7 ways to keep the trampoline fun going all winter long!

  • Dress for the weather.  Bundle up!  If you dress for the cold weather, there’s no reason not to enjoy your trampoline in the winter.    Get those coats, snowpants, boots, toques, and mittens on!
  • Play games!  The snow doesn’t have to stop a game of basketball or dodgeball!  In fact, the snow can make it a lot more fun.  Snowball fight anyone?!  (Just remember not to use your tgoma game system when it’s wet or below -10 degrees C.)
  • Build a snowman or snow fort. The trampoline is a great place to build with snow!  Kid entertainment for hours!
  • Make snow angels!  After a snowfall, the untouched snow on the trampoline is the best place to make snow angels!
  • Keep your exercise routine going.  The snow and cold doesn’t have to stop you from exercising! Get your warm clothes on and get out there and jump!
  • End play time with warm winter treats.  And what better way to end a fun time outside in the snow than by heading inside for a cup of homemade hot chocolate!  Rosy cheeks and mugs of hot cocoa are what winter is all about!

Springfree Black Friday Deal Not To Miss!

And now it the best time to buy a Springfree trampoline!  Springfree is offering an amazing Black Friday deal! From November 17 to 27, you can save up to $967, plus $99 delivery and installation! Plus pick 3 accessories for free. You can choose from Tgoma, flexrHoop, flexrStep, ground anchors or shifting wheels.  Read more on this amazing deal here!

Have an inspired day!

Creamy Gouda Cheese Cauliflower Bake

This Creamy Gouda Cheese Cauliflower Bake is a delicious and easy side dish for any time of year!

It’s Cheese of the Month time again!  I’m really enjoying sharing delicious Canadian cheeses and creating new dishes each month, and I hope you are too!  Since I began my partnership with the Dairy Farmers of Canada, I’ve had the chance to feature a wide variety of delicious, award winning Canadian cheeses, and have created desserts, lunches, side dishes, snacks and appetizers with all different types of cheese. So much yum.

Creamy Gouda Cheese Cauliflower Bake

This month I wanted to create a comforting and cheesy side dish recipe that you can serve at holiday dinners, or any time of year too!  And because I think cauliflower and cheese were made to go together, I created this Creamy Gouda Cheese Cauliflower Bake with Sylvan Star Cheese’s Grizzly Gouda, an extra-aged Canadian Gouda.

Creamy Gouda Cheese Cauliflower Bake

I thought that the sharp bite of the Grizzly Gouda would taste amazing in a cream based sauce so I stirred in a generous cup of the grated cheese.  It’s a perfect compliment to the subtle flavour of the cauliflower.

Creamy Gouda Cheese Cauliflower Bake

Then put it in the oven and let the magic happen…the end result is a creamy, delicious side dish that pairs perfectly with prime rib, roasted turkey or baked ham.

Creamy Gouda Cheese Cauliflower Bake

You can double the recipe if you are feeding crowd. You can even make it a day ahead, then reheat it when you’re ready to serve!

Creamy Gouda Cheese Cauliflower Bake

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Creamy Gouda Cheese Cauliflower Bake

Course Appetizer
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6 people
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 3/4 cup whole milk
  • salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 cup grated Grizzly Gouda cheese
  • 1/4 cup extra grated Grizzly Gouda cheese for the top
  • chopped green onion for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. First cook the cauliflower. In a pot of boiling water, boil the cauliflower pieces for about 3 minutes...you don't want them to cook fully, just until slightly tender. Drain, and set aside.
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter then stir in the flour. Cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Slowly whisk in the whole milk, and stir until thickened.  This should take about 4-5 minutes.

  5. Season with salt, pepper and the dry mustard. Mix well.
  6. Stir in the grated cheese until melted.

  7. Add the cooked cauliflower pieces to a baking dish, then pour on the cheese sauce.
  8. Sprinkle the extra cheese over the top.
  9. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes.
  10. When done baking you may find the dish a bit watery, but just give it a good stir before serving and it will be nice and creamy.
  11. Sprinkle on some chopped green onion, and serve.

  12. Enjoy!

Creamy Gouda Cheese Cauliflower Bake

About Sylvan Star Cheese’s Grizzly Gouda:

  • Type: An extra-aged Canadian Gouda.
  • Tasting Notes: Smooth and creamy texture, with rich, nutty flavours. This cheese has a waxed rind.
  • Location: Produced in Red Deer, Alberta.  Made with milk from the Schalkwyk family’s own Holstein dairy cows that live on the same property where the cheese is created.
  • Pairing:  Pairs well with fortified cider, white beers, fruity red wines, and even green tea.
  • Fun Fact!  This cheese is named ‘Grizzly’ because of its bite and power!

More Delicious Canadian Cheese Recipes:

More Ways to Enjoy Cheese:

Visit Dairy Farmers of Canada for delicious recipes using cheese!

Have a delicious day!

Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada.  I will be working with Dairy Farmers of Canada over the next year to bring you some delicious recipe ideas that I have created!  This recipe, all pictures and words are my own.  I love cheese. 😉

Kid Friendly Snack and Cheese Plate

Put together a Kid Friendly Snack and Cheese Plate that all ages will enjoy! Load it up with apple chips, fruit, veggies, cheese and delicious finger foods.  I’ve partnered up with Martin’s Apple Chips to bring you this delicious way to serve up this healthy and tasty snack!

With the holiday season upon us, it’s never too early to start planning for holiday parties!  We do a lot of entertaining throughout the holiday season, and most of the time kids are part of our gatherings.  And of course they should be!  More often than not though, the snacks and food choices are geared towards adults, and kids don’t have a lot of choices that they love…especially when it comes to the snack and cheese platter. We usually fill ours with stinky cheeses and meats that the kids don’t really like, so what ends up happening is that the kids dive into the dessert table!  This year though, I am planning to create a snack and cheese plate that appeals to everyone, including, and especially for, the kids.

Kid Friendly Snack and Cheese Plate

To create the perfect snack platter, start with a board large enough to hold a wide selection of finger foods.  I like to use food-safe wooden boards.

Kid Friendly Snack and Cheese Plate

I started my snack board by layering groupings of the 4 different Martin’s Apple Chip flavours:  Original, Cinnamon, Caramel Dream and Chocolaty Drizzle. Apple chips are a really nice option for parties and snack plates, as well as everyday snacking, because they’re healthy and really convenient.  I like adding these healthy chips to snack platters because kids loved dried fruit and I know they’ll enjoy them!

Kid Friendly Snack and Cheese Plate

After the apple chips are added, gather together a selection of your favourite berries, fruits, and vegetables.  Choose mild flavoured cheeses like cheddar, bocconcini, havarti and monterey jack.  Kids also tend to love simple meats like honey ham, pepperoni and mild salamis. Don’t forget nuts and dill pickles!

Kid Friendly Snack and Cheese Plate

Once you have everything you need, place each snack in groupings around the platter.  Make 3 groupings of each element, and fill up that board!  The more there is, the more appetizing it looks!

Kid Friendly Snack and Cheese Plate

This is a really simple selection of finger foods, but I have learned that with kids especially, simple is best.  So delicious.

Watch how I put it all together in 20 seconds!

Want to know more about Martin’s Apple Chips?

  • Fun Fact!  Martin’s Apple Chips are made by a Canadian (Ontario) farm family who grow the apples!
  • Martin’s Apple Chips are available across the country at Costco, Starbucks, Sobeys, Winners, Bulk Barn, Farm Boy and many other retailers.

Have a delicious day!

Disclosure:  This post was sponsored by Martin’s Apple Chips through partnership with Food Bloggers of Canada. I received compensation in exchange for my participation in this campaign. This recipe, all pictures opinions and words are my own.

German Chocolate Bundt Cake

Make this German Chocolate Bundt Cake! With a gooey coconut, pecan and caramel frosting that complements this subtle chocolate flavoured cake.

Thank you for stopping by today, I’m really excited to have you here!  I’ve partnered up with Nordic Ware to share a delicious Bundt cake recipe baked in one of their amazing Bundt pans.

I have been a BIG fan of Nordic Ware since I had a kitchen of my own.  They’re the pans I choose over any other when I’m in the market for something new.  I actually can’t resist their Bundt pans, and have amassed quite a collection over the years…but seriously, there are so many beautiful pans…you can see some of the Bundt cakes I’ve made with them here. I also really love the Nordic Ware baking sheets for cookies and Sheetpan Suppers.

So when I was asked to participate in a holiday program with Nordic Ware, I couldn’t say no. Nordic Ware is a Minnesota made, family owned company, that was founded in 1946 by the husband and wife team, Dotty and Dave.  Nordic Ware has been a major part of the heritage and history of Minnesota since that time, and this holiday season they have partnered with the Minnesota Historical Society and Mill City Museum, to celebrate their Scandinavian roots and values in kitchenware.  And what better way to do that than to share delicious recipes made in their kitchenware and Bundt pans!

German Chocolate Bundt Cake, Bundt Cake Bliss

For the holiday season I made a German Chocolate Bundt using the Nordic Ware Copper Cast Bundt.  The recipe I made is from the recipe book, Bundt Cake Bliss: Delicious Desserts from Midwest Kitchens  by Susanna Short, which was published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press.  A book full of Bundt cake recipes?!  Yes. Please.

German Chocolate Bundt Cake, Bundt Cake Bliss

This book is loaded with recipes to try…from vintage favourites like Quick Orange Kiss and Tunnel of Fudge to fanciful finds like Green Chili Cornbread and Mexican Hot Chocolate Mini Bundts.  This recipe book features just about every delectable Bundt baked by the Midwest’s own since the handy pan burst into the baking scene in the 1960s!  So good.

German Chocolate Bundt Cake, Bundt Cake Bliss

As I was flipping through the pages of this book, I came upon this German Chocolate Bundt, and I knew right away this was the cake I was going to make.  I have such a fondness for German Chocolate cake.  I remember my Mom making it sometimes for my birthday when I was little.  I loved it then, and I love it now.

German Chocolate Bundt Cake, Bundt Cake Bliss

What I love most about German Chocolate Cake is the gooey coconut, pecan and caramel frosting.  I could eat it by the spoonful.

German Chocolate Bundt Cake, Bundt Cake Bliss

Then smother that frosting all over a homemade chocolate cake, you have dessert heaven.

German Chocolate Bundt Cake, Bundt Cake Bliss

This German Chocolate Bundt cake would be a perfect cake for the holiday season!

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German Chocolate Bundt

Author Susanna Short, Bundt Cake Bliss

Ingredients

Chocolate Cake:

  • 4 ounces Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Coconut Pecan Frosting:

  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 egg yolks slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Chocolate Cake:

  1. Prepare a 12-cup Bundt pan using butter and flour, or a flour spray. Set aside.
  2. Melt the chocolate in the boiling water. Do this in a double boiler or in a small stainless steel bowl set over a pan of simmering water.

  3. Stir the chocolate thoroughly into the water and set aside to cool.

  4. Combine the flour with the salt and baking soda and set aside.
  5. Cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy.
  6. Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition.

  7. Blend in vanilla and chocolate.
  8. Add the flour alternatively with the buttermilk to the sugar mixture.
  9. Beat after each addition until smooth.
  10. In another bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry.
  11. Carefully fold them into the batter until the white streaks disappear.
  12. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  13. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cake clean.
  14. Do not be alarmed if the top has fallen slightly.
  15. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes then invert onto a wire rack or serving plate.

Coconut Pecan Frosting:

  1. To prepare the frosting, mix the evaporated milk, sugar, egg yolks, butter and vanilla in a saucepan and stir over medium heat until thickened. This should take between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on heat and humidity.
  2. Stir in the coconut and nuts.
  3. Cool until the frosting is thick enough to spread.

Putting the cake together:

  1. When the cake is cool, slice it horizontally with a serrated knife. Aim a little higher than half way up.
  2. Flip the top half onto a plate.
  3. Spread 1/3 of the frosting on the bottom half and place the top half back on the frosted cake.
  4. Spread the remaining 2/3 of the frosting on top.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Have a delicious day!

Disclosure:  Thank you to Nordic Ware for providing the Nordic Ware Copper Cast Bundt and a copy of Bundt Cake Bliss!  All opinions, thoughts and pictures are my own.

What’s For Dinner? Oven Roasted Pork and Vegetables Menu

This comforting dinner menu includes One Pot Oven Roasted Bone In Pork Rib Roast with Vegetables, and Pumpkin Bread Pudding for dessert!

Welcome back to What’s For Dinner!  This week it’s all about one pot meals.  I love any meal that can be made in one pot…think quick assembly and quick clean up.  Yes.  Load up a baking dish with seasonal vegetables and a pork rib roast, and in a few hours you’ve got dinner.  And for dessert, something simple and delicious…a bread pudding with a fall flavour twist.

Oven Roasted Pork and Vegetables Menu

  • Main Dish and Side Dish:  One Pot Oven Roasted Bone In Pork Rib Roast with Vegetables
  • Dessert:  Pumpkin Bread Pudding with Vanilla Ice Cream

One Pot Oven Roasted Bone In Pork Rib Roast with Vegetables

This One Pot Oven Roasted Bone In Pork Rib Roast with Vegetables is a delicious and healthy meal idea.  Make a complete meal in one dish!  Make it even easier, and use any vegetables you have around home already…carrots, onions, parsnips, beets, squash, potatoes…your choice

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

And for dessert, this Pumpkin Bread Pudding!  This dessert melts in your mouth and tastes just like pumpkin pie!  Serve it warm with ice cream, and oh my word you have dessert heaven.  You’ll go back for seconds…or thirds.  It’s that good.

I hope you enjoy this dinner menu!

More What’s For Dinner Menu Ideas:

Want more menu ideas?

Sign up for my weekly e-mail and you will have some delicious meal menus delivered to your inbox…complete with a main course, salads or side dishes, and a dessert!  Sign up here!

Have a delicious day!

 

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

These Pumpkin Sugar Cookies are soft, sweet and full of delicious fall pumpkin flavour!

I made these cookies for Halloween a couple of weeks ago, and they were so good I made another batch! And I thought it would be a good idea to share them with you once again so that you could see how they look without being all decked out for Halloween!

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

If you’re looking for the perfect cookie to satisfy your fall pumpkin cravings, these Pumpkin Sugar Cookies are it.  They’re soft, sweet and full of pumpkin spice.

They’re made extra delicious by being rolled in sugar…and for an extra treat, sprinkle on some extra once they come out of the oven.  The kids love this. Big kids too. 😉

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

 Yum.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

This recipe makes a big batch (36 cookies), so they’re perfect for sharing and for potlucks and bake sales.  Yum.

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Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Servings 36 Cookies
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, not filling
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 cup white sugar for rolling

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until smooth.
  5. In another bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.
  6. Add the flour mix to the butter mixture, mixing until well blended.
  7. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Shape the cookie dough into 1 inch balls. ** If the dough is too sticky to roll, put it in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden it up before rolling. **
  9. Roll the balls in the sugar, then place them on a cookie sheet. Do not press them down!

  10. Bake for 10 - 12 minutes, or until edges of the cookies are lightly browned.
  11. Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool for 2 - 3 minutes.

More Delicious Pumpkin Dessert Recipes:

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Delight Dessert

Pumpkin Delight Dessert

Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Pie

Have a delicious day!

Easy Pumpkin Soup

This Easy Pumpkin Soup is great served as a light meal, or as an appetizer!  Enjoy with a green salad and fresh bread.

This time of year I always seem to have pumpkin puree in my fridge, an ingredient leftover from making cookies, pie or bread, and I hate to let it go to waste.  So this past weekend after I made my Halloween pumpkin pie, I had some pumpkin puree left, and decided to make a pot of soup with it.

Easy Pumpkin Soup

Perfect for a chilly fall night.

Easy Pumpkin Soup

Soups made from squash are so creamy and flavourful, and I just love them.  In fact, whenever I can I will add squash or pumpkin puree to many things, including pasta sauce.

Easy Pumpkin Soup

This soup is SO easy to make.  If you want you can even make it in the slow cooker on low, for about 2 – 3 hours.  I like this option when I’m at home because I don’t have to babysit it on the stove.  But if you wish, you can easily just make it on the stove in half the time.

Easy Pumpkin Soup

When the soup is done cooking, I like to puree it with a hand blender so it’s nice and creamy.  Then serve it up with a green salad and fresh bread.  A delicious and comforting meal!

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Easy Pumpkin Soup

This soup is great served as a light meal in itself, or as an appetizer.

Servings 4
Author Jo-Anna@APrettyLife

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • dash cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup broth chicken or vegetable
  • 1 cup cream half and half is best!

Instructions

  1. 2 cups pumpkin puree
  2. 1 cup broth (chicken or vegetable)
  3. 1 cup cream (half and half is best!)
  4. In a saucepan saute the onion, garlic and fresh ginger until soft.
  5. Stir in the cumin, dash of cinnamon, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
  6. Stir in the pumpkin puree and broth and simmer for about 20 minutes or more, over low-medium heat.
  7. After this time, stir in the cream and cook for about 5-10 minutes more.
  8. Once the soup is done cooking, I like to puree it using a hand blender.  It makes the soup nice and creamy!

  9. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • If the soup seems too thick, feel free to add more cream.
  • If you want you can make this soup in the slow cooker on low, for about 2 - 3 hours.  I like this option when I'm at home because I don't have to babysit it on the stove.  But if you wish, you can easily just make it on the stove in half the time.

Easy Pumpkin Soup

Have a delicious day!