Jam Filled Buns/Cookies

This week instead of testing out new recipes and making them my own I wanted to be nostalgic and take recipes from my childhood and try to change them up a bit and put my imprint onto classic recipes my mother would make for me when I was a little girl.

This recipe was my favorite as a young child and teenager. We would call them Jam cookies due to the tiny size and hint of sweetness from the jam, but the original recipe my mother went from years ago they were referred to as “Jam Filled Buns.” they have a flaky biscuit look and taste to them, and are perfect for a picnic, summer party or just a quick breakfast surprise. IMG_3063

  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold butter (cut into cubes)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cold milk
  • Jam (any flavor you wish)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large bowl combine the sifted flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in the butter until the mixture is crumbly. Make well in center.
  3. Whisk together the milk and egg, then pour into the well of the flour mixture and stir well to form a soft dough. (use more milk if needed)
  4. On a floured surface knead the dough 8-10 times, pat or roll out the dough until it is about 2 cm thick.
  5. Using a round cookie cutter, cut out circles and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  6. Make deep hollow in top center of each biscuit. Drop small spoonfuls of desired jam into each hollow
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on your oven. IMG_3065

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

Cookies have always been difficult for me to bake, they would would end up flat and burnt and crispy near the edges so it has been my mission for the last few months to finally and consecutively make perfectly formed and baked cookies and I’m proud to say I have figured it out. 

Part of the reason my cookies where coming out as flat is because most of the ingredients were warm and melted after mixing, to make the perfect for of a cookie refrigerate your cookie dough for at least half an hour and all the ingredients will come together, the flavor will intensify and you will get a perfectly formed and delicious cookie

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies 

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon milk 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar 
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips 
  1. In a large bowl mix butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until the mixture is fine and creamy 
  2. Add in the egg, milk and vanilla extract and continue mixing
  3. Then add the powdered sugar and mix until it is fluffy. 
  4. Then add the flour, cornstarch and baking powder, mix again.
  5. Finally add the chocolate chips and stir well. Leave in the fridge for one hour. 
  6. Preheat oven to 375 F 
  7. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper,  take dough out of fridge and former balls (or use a cookie scoop) *the dough will be quite sticky* 
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes depending on your oven 

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberries are not normally eaten in our house fresh, I enjoy the taste of blueberry but whenever we buy a package they tend to be pushed to the back of the fridge and forgotten. We’ve decided to start buying frozen blueberries and we keep throwing them into our smoothies, and bake with them…my favorite fruits to bake with. I love the sweet taste that comes out of the berries when cooked and I love that the flavour spreads perfectly and pairs well with many other flavours.

With the decision to try and not buy many (if any) pre packaged foods, I decided to try and test out some muffins this week that can be used as a quick snack. after looking through other recipes so that I could get the basics down, I decided to make a few changes, using only brown sugar, and my favorite healthy swap of using yogurt instead of buttermilk and I was very happy of how the muffins turned out and Lily (who does not really enjoy blueberries) gobbled them up!IMG_2975

Blueberry Muffins 

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup yogurt*
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Grease, or line a muffin baking pan (12)
  2. In a large bowl, sift the flour, add the brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl, with a whisk or fork mix the egg, yogurt, melted butter and vanilla.
  4. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until combined (the mixture will be lumpy) add the blueberries and mix well.
  5. Spoon the batter into muffin tin 2/3 full
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.

*For added flavour, use a flavoured yogurt, vanilla or blueberry or mix it up and use strawberry or even peach.

*Don’t forget to go like my facebook page @ahappinesshomemade 

Strawberry Cake Loaf

When asked as a young girl what my favorite food was I would never have said brownies, no chips were the best flavour, no Mcdonalds chicken nugget invoked true happiness for me to be my favorite food, the food I loved to eat by itself, with a tiny sprinkle of sugar, cut up into pancakes or with a dollop of whip cream for dessert like my grandmother would give us, it was the perfectly red strawberry.

To this day I will tell you I love my strawberries, I don’t often eat them by themselves sadly but I love when they are in something, cut up into yogurt, in a smoothie, cooked into pancakes or waffles and of course baked into delicious treats like this amazing strawberry cake loaf, its baked into a bread pan and is a moist and delicious cake reminiscent of a pound cake. IMG_2921

Strawberry Cake Loaf 

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup strawberry yogurt *
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped strawberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Line a 9×5 loaf pan with parchment paper
  3. Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar, and salt in large bowl until fluffy (about 2 minutes)
  4.  Beat in eggs and vanilla extract until combined
  5.  Add flour, baking powder and baking soda to the mixture
  6. Add strawberries and stir until just combined
  7. Pour batter in prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes. If top browing to quickly tent aluminum foil over bread.
  8. Cool in pan for 10 minutes remove and cool completely on wire wrack, serve with whip cream. Perfect for dessert or to eat alone for breakfast.

* Try to find a strawberry yogurt that is flavoured with real strawberry pieces rather then an artificial flavouring or the taste will be a little off in the end.

Add A Little Sprinkle To Your Life 

When you kid asks for chocolate chip cookies for three days straight you make her chocolate chip cookies.

I love baking with my daughter and I had gone two days without baking which feels like an eternity to me so I needed to bake and decided to treat my daughter with a little sprinkle to her day.

I’ve been spending the past few months trying to find the perfect cookie recipe, something that is still gooey on the inside but not undercooked, something that does not go rock hard in a day and a cookie that tastes delicious even when there is no chocolate chip (or sprinkle) in that tiny bite and I think I have finally made a cookie that fits all those criteria…finally.

These cookies are packed full so most bites will have you chewing on at least one chocolate chip and sprinkle. The mini chocolate chips make sure its not to much chocolate overtaking your taste buds (but if you can not find or have on hand mini chocolate chips then add either the same amount of regular chocolate chips or go a little extra and add a full 1 cup) IMG_2826

Sprinkle Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles
  1. In medium bowl whisk flour, baking soda,  cream of tartar and salt. Set aside.
  2. In large mixing bowl cream together the butter, brown sugar,  granulated sugar.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix again.
  3. Slowly add in flour mixture into sugar mixture until combined. Add in chocolate cops and sprinkles.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Using cookie scoop, scoop dough onto sheet and cook 10-14 minutes (depending on ovem)
  7. Perfect is lightly browned and soft and doughy. IMG_2803IMG_2819

Lily in The Kitchen

When Lily was around 9 months old I borrowed this one book from the local library titled “The Homemade Pantry” and it’s exactly what the title suggests, an entire cookbook packed full of recipes that show you how to make all the pantry staples at your home instead of buying everything pre-made and processed with ingredients you might not even be able to pronounce. 

That idea of the book stuck with me all these years.

I want my daughter to grow up understanding how to make her own bread, that mayonnaise doesn’t just have to come from a Hellmans container but can be whipped up in our kitchen, I need her to know early on that pizza doesn’t come prepared and frozen in the freezer section of the grocery store, heck I want it to go so far that she understands she can even make her own crackers and cheese!

This is why Lily has grown up in the kitchen and will continue to do so. As a little girl, I would place her in her high chair, roll it into our tiny kitchen and give her a wooden spoon while I baked zucchini bread, graham crackers and even when I wilted spinach in a pan with Garlic to make her a personal toddler person that became a staple in her diet as a toddler.

As she’s grown older she grown from just sitting in the kitchen to her helping us gather our ingredients throughout our kitchen, to her even grating chicken and help dice carrots with a safe knife and learning to scoop the sides of a bowl while stirring and hold to lightly fold chocolate chips into a batter. 

I’m a Baker and I hope to one day own my own bakery and I hope for a little while that Lily will be along to help with odd jobs in the kitchen while I work…I even have this dream that I would have a tiny table for her to sit at off to side where she can do her homework. 

We have a bit to go for my dream of a fully homemade pantry but my daughter is along for the ride and I couldn’t pick a better kitchen helper. 

Zucchini Muffins and A Thank You

I have my daughter to thank for opening my world to baking,  before her I had given up baking years before because I just always messed up, burnt edges, little pockets of flour that was never mixed in and that legendary mishap of a burnt on the outside angel food cake and get completely raw dough in the middle. But when Lily started eating solids shequickly disliked most food put in front of her and with a new moms anxiety I started to stress about the nutrients she was lacking because she really only ate the same things every single day.

I needed to get her to try different foods,  and I finally accepted I might need to start by hiding veggies in her food. Zucchini Muffins was my first thing I tried, I hadn’t baked in close to five years at that point and I was a little nervous if it would even come out edible but I  was a determined mother, my kid needed veggies and I would find a way to get them into her.

Luckily they came out perfect and I began to bake even more, pumpkin bread, other veggie breads, even began making our own graham crackers. If Lily had never had been a little picky as a toddler I would have never found my passion for baking.

So thank you little one for helping your mother discover her biggest passion,  something that brings me joy and something we can happily  do together…bake.

IMG_2800

Zucchini Muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  1. Measure flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in large bowl and stir thoroughly. Make well in the middle of the ingredients and set bowl aside
  2. In a smaller bowl beat eggs until they are frothy. mix butter, sugar together with the eggs. Add the zucchini and milk and mix together.
  3. pour the smaller bowl contents into the flour mixture and then add the chocolate chips. The batter will be lumpy.
  4. Bake at a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

IMG_2793

Grow Your Own Food

I want my daughter to learn where food comes from.

I want her to know chicken doesn’t just naturally come in nugget form, that seeds that you find in your fruit actually can grow an entire new plant, I want her to know that milk comes from a cow, I even want her to learn what she can forage from a field or forest and what is edible and what is not (which I will be learning along with her) 18193096_1367245056704513_8455789411148102898_o

The past few days I have been reading The 100 Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon and it has opened my eyes to plenty of new information, shocking statistics and how much I really should be doing to make not only my life a healthier life for me but for my daughter and the planet that my daughter will grow up on.

This week I have decided to make some changes in my life and my daughters, we will be starting to compost so that we have healthy compost to sprinkle over our new garden we will be planting shortly that will be full of vegetables and berries. I will be planning on growing green beans and tomatoes and Lily wishes that we could plant carrots which I will be looking into. Yesterday I spent quite some time picking the tiny seeds off of strawberries so that I could rinse them off, then dry them and plant them in a tiny area so they can begin regrowing inside our home. IMG_2773.JPG

I’m hoping in the next few months that Lily and I will be able to travel to a few different farms around us and pick some fruit and learn some new things about farm animals and we will be going to try some different farmers markets now that the warmer weather markets begin this weekend in our city.

Through all of this I hope my daughter learns to try new foods because shes comfortable that they are safe, because she feels proud to eat them because shes helped grow them with her own hands. This is going to be a change for us, but one I believe is needed to teach my daughter to be grateful for the food that she eats, to be grateful for our earth and that we are still able to grow our own food.

 

A 3rd Birthday and Birthday Cake Pancakes

On the fifteenth of September was my special little girls third birthday! I can not believe that it has been three whole years since my beautiful, and strong daughter was born, it seems like just yesterday I was changing her diaper for the first time, rocking her to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, feeding her, her first spoonful of purred sweet potato and teaching her how to take her first steps. Lily has grown into a fast, daredevil of a child, that enjoys dinosaurs, fixing things with her play tools, helping me in the kitchen with cooking, coloring, and reading her stories. img_2072

I wanted to do something special for her birthday breakfast, and also something special so that she could blow out a candle on her birthday, without having to make two cakes seeing as her birthday party was to be the following saturday, so I thought hard, and searched through my Pinterest feed and found a great idea, funfetti birthday cake pancakes…because every little girl deserves sprinkles in her pancakes for her birthday breakfast! perfect for stacking up a few pancakes and putting a candle on top so that she can have her chance to make a wish on her special day!

Birthday Cake Pancakes img_2076

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup funfetti cake mix
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp sprinkles
  1. Heat a griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the flour, cake mix, sugar, baking powder, soda and salt; set aside.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a whisk. Add the milks, butter and vanilla and whisk to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until fully mixed. Fold in the sprinkles.
  3. Scoop portions of  1/3 cup batter onto the griddle, leaving room for the batter to spread into larger rounds. When the pancakes begin to bubble, flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel to keep warm until serving. Serve with syrup or eat by themselves (which also tastes delicious!)

*Makes approximately 12 pancakes

* If there are to many and you wish to freeze them cool the pancakes completely, then transfer to a freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Reheat in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until hot.29253939973_d864982f34_k

May Grocery Haul

I look forward to the beginning of a new month like a little kid looks forward to Christmas morning, the start of a month holds a special event that for most people are on the list of mundane tasks but are filled with excitement for me…grocery shopping. Ask me my favorite place to shop and I will tell you the name of a grocery store, not a clothing store (a close second would be a bookstore.) I wrote before how I prefer to do a big grocery haul at the beginning of the month for the basics I will need through out the month (ex. meat, tofu, grains, sauces, cereals and Lily’s snacks) I also use this time to find new products in store and this month I decided to try a different grocery store then I normally go to seeing as it had great sales going on and I found some amazing new products (some new, and some just new to me) that I can not wait to try.

My first goal was to find a non-dairy milk to add to my breakfast smoothies, I was going to get my regular almond milk or try to find some quinoa milk I recently saw some other bloggers finding but then I came across a new milk I never even knew they made, flax milk! I plan on doing more research on flax but from what I’ve read so far it’s going to be a great nutrition boost for my smoothies. While I was looking for non-dairy milk I gazed over all of the box containers and came across a coconut water and mango juice and puree blend that looked refreshing. I love coconut milk and have actually not tried coconut water yet but I’m sure I will love it just as much. Mangoes are some of my favorite fruits (along with strawberries and peaches) so it can not be a better combo for me to try. 2015 spring

With all of the appointments I’ve had the past few weeks I sadly have been ignoring proper eating habits. Most days I am out of the house from eleven in the morning to about four in the afternoon and I don’t remember to eat lunch. I still have appointments this month so I want to make sure I have atleast something to snack on while I’m out. I decided to get some health bars. I have had some flavors of Clif Bars before (I actually got a few in my Christmas stocking instead of chocolate I love them that much!) but I’ve never been able to find the white chocolate macadamia nut flavor before…guess what I found though!? I’m so excited to try it. I also picked up a KIND  nuts and spices bar that looks like it has plenty of nuts to give me energy when I get to eat it. 2015 spring 108

I’m planning on trying to craft a recipe for vegetarian stuffed peppers this month so I was trying to decide between barley as my grain or quinoa and I cam across a 5 grain blend, it has spelt, barley, wheat berries and oats which will give the stuffed peppers massive nutrition content. 2015 spring 111

As much as I love to make a home cooked meal, I am a busy mom so there will be a need sometime this month for a quick dinner. I found an appetizing frozen pizza filled to the brim with vegtables and an added bonus of goats cheese, and spinach; I will bet on Lily loving this pizza. I also picked up some soups I have yet to try, and would like to taste and then re-create at home.2015 spring 139 I picked up some new foods to try for Lily, rice cakes in pumpkin and blueberry beat flavors, Gerber cereal twists that are banana and peach flavored, fruit leather snacks and her favorite dehydrated pears. I also finished with some POM juice (do you now I have never had pomegranate before?) and I found a small block of Havarti cheese that has dill throughout the cheese. 2015 spring 1402015 spring 138

“When you go shopping treat your cart like its your stomach. You only want to fill it with the best.”