Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Peanut Butter Heath Bar Cookies

Hello my friends! Long time, no see! Life has been crazy busy, but lots of fun. I have had so many adventures in the past few months, but unfortunately not a ton of time to chronicle our fun.

I'm back today with another fun recipe for you all. For the eighth straight year, I am hosting a (very strict) cookie exchange. I invite a few of my nearest and dearest and we all bake up 6 dozen cookies. As much as possible, I try to limit the cookie recipe types so we don't end up with five kinds of shortbread (that happened one year!) so we have a big range of cookies. This year the list is shaping up quite nicely. I'll be sure to report in with all the goodies after the party.

Anyhoo, back to today's recipe. I tried a test batch of the recipe today to make sure that these cookies were as amazing as the recipe made them out to be. They are de-lish!

Peanut Butter Heath Bar Cookies

Adapted from a recipe in this book


2/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup Heath bar bits (or Skor bits)
3/4 cup + 1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp shortening


Preheat oven to 375F. In the bowl of your standing mixer, combine peanut butter, butter, white and brown sugars and mix until creamy and smooth. Beat in egg until combined. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add dry mixture to peanut butter mixture and mix until well incorporated. Add the Heath bar bits and 3/4 cup chocolate chips.

Using a medium cookie scoop, drop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges of the cookie just begin to brown. Remove from the oven and squish just a little bit with the back of a fork.  Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes.

At this point, it would make your life much much easier if you shifted all of the cookies onto one cookie sheet, with little to no gap between the cookies. In a small glass bowl, combine remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and 1 tsp shortening. Microwave in 20 second increments, stirring between each heating. When the mixture is stirred completely smooth, head back to your cookies. Using a fork, lightly drizzle the melted chocolate over the cookies.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! They were certainly popular in my house today - half of the batch is gone already!!!

I will hopefully be linking this recipe up to A Bowl Full of Lemons, Delightful Order, Doodles and Stitches and Joyful Homemaking.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Menu Plan Monday - Oct 28, 2013

Woo hoo - lookee here - two blog posts two days in a row! I hope I can keep up the pace, but it's another busy week, so my hopes aren't too high!

At the beginning of October I mapped out a menu plan for the month. Even though I didn't post about it along the way, I did manage to stick pretty closely to it and we actually ate some healthy meals along the way.

With Halloween this week, my baby niece's baptism this weekend, we will be heading out a couple of times, but hopefully the rest of the week we'll be able to stick to our menu plan.

On the Menu This Week:

Monday: Baked ziti and shake and bake chicken breasts
Tuesday: Maui ribs, mashed potatoes and veggies
Wednesday: Lasagne Wednesday!
Thursday: Halloween! Turkey burgers and fries

Friday: Tortellini with prawns in Boursin cream sauce
SaturdayCurry Coconut Chicken, rice and stir fry veggies
Sunday: Dinner out!

I’ll be linking my menu plan up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday – check it out!!

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Oatmeal Streusel Muffins

Hello my lovelies! After what seems like ages I have finally found time to a) bake, b) photograph said baking and c) conjure up a blog post to share with you all. I've told you before how my older daughter refuses to eat many foods, and making lunches for school is getting increasingly difficult. I know that she like banana bread and muffins, so today I tried a new recipe combining two things I know she'll eat - oatmeal and muffins!

Normally when I bake I add copious amounts of chocolate chips to my recipes for added flavor and love. This time, I left them out to allow the muffins to shine for themselves. I'm not gonna lie, I'll likely add 3/4 cup of semi-sweet chips to the recipe next time, but you could just as easily add blueberries, small chunks of apple or any other fruits.

This recipe took a little longer than I originally anticipated it would. It involved actually cooking the oats on the stovetop for a few minutes and then after they cooked grinding them down to nearly a flour-like consistency. I have to say, I'm so glad I took the time for these steps because I think they made all the difference. These muffins were light and absolutely delicious.

Oatmeal Streusel Muffins
Many thanks to FirstLookThenCook for this recipe, it turned out great!!

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Muffin Base:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/3 cups packed light brown sugar
1 3/4 cups milk
2 large eggs, beaten


In a medium bowl, combine oats, flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Drizzle melted butter over mixture and stir to combine; set aside.

Preheat oven to 375F. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat. Toss the oats into the melted butter and cook, stirring frequently, until oats turn golden brown and smell of cooking popcorn, 6 to 8 minutes.

At this point I was supposed to pulse the oats in a food processor, but since I don't have one, I just used my regular old blender. It did a great job! Mix the remaining flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda to oats and pulse until combined.

In the bowl of your standing mixer with the whisk attachment, combine sugar and 6 tbsp. of melted butter until smooth. Add the milk and eggs and whisk until smooth. Fold half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix the other half of the dry ingredients. At this stage, the mixture was still very liquidy.

The instructions said to set the batter aside for 20 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken and I'm so glad I did, because it filled out nicely in that time.

Scoop batter equally among prepared muffin cups, about 3/4 full. Sprinkle the reserved streusel topping over muffins. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20-23 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking.

Let muffins cool in muffin tin on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from muffin tin and serve or let cool completely before serving.

I was so happy that I found this recipe on Pinterest today! Miss A loved them and she wants them in her lunchbox tomorrow! Win!

Linking to Joyful Homemaking, Not Just a Housewife and A Bowl Full of Lemons.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Hello my friends! As promised, I am back with a recipe for a sweet treat, perfect for cozy days curled up under a blanket with a cuppa tea. It was also perfect for a fundraising bake sale I participated in last week. 

Knowing that fall is just around the corner, and with it the promise of all things pumpkin and spice, I scoured Pinterest to find just the right pumpkin recipe. I found this recipe from jamonkey.com, and it perfectly fit the bill.

These cookies turned out soft and chewy and once the icing was drizzled on top, they were perfect cookies for sitting with a cuppa tea. You could make these with canned pumpkin, but I had some frozen pumpkin that I used for these cookies and they turned out great! They certainly didn't last long on the bake sale table!

Iced Pumpkin Cookies
adapted from Jamonkey.com


4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
3/4 cup butter
2 1/4 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cup pumpkin
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

3 cups icing sugar
5 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Using a medium cookie scoop, drop on cookie sheet and flatten with a fork.

Bake for 17-20 minutes, until the cookies are golden delicious on top. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze on top of the cookies. For this step, it's easiest if you push the cookies close together on a cookie sheet, or on a piece of parchment paper. This way, when you drizzle the glaze on the cookies, it makes much less sticky mess.

For the glaze: In a medium bowl, combine icing sugar, milk, melted butter teaspoon vanilla. Whisk together until you reach a smooth consistency. If the mixture is still too thick, add milk as needed. You want to be able to drizzle over the cookies. Transfer the glaze into a medium Ziploc bag, cut a tiny piece of the corner and use it to drizzle the glaze evenly over the cookies.

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe - let me know if you try it out!

Linking to Joyful Homemaking, Not Just a Housewife and A Bowl Full of Lemons.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Menu Plan Monday - Sept 23, 2013

Hello my friends! I hope you all had an amazing weekend. We were so blessed to celebrate my cousin Kristin’s wedding. The rain held out for the day, we saw a beautiful church wedding, an amazing Chinese tea ceremony, a sumptuous Chinese feast for dinner and glorious cupcakes made from my cousins Amanda and Sara.

Here is a photo from the wedding this weekend (photo credit to my cousin Sinead) of all of the Wynne family that live in Canada. As you can see there are a ton of us! This shot includes almost all of us. A few of the kids stayed home, so you could add another ten to this pic to include absolutely all of us!

I hope to be back during the week this week to share the recipe from one of the cookies I baked for last week’s fundraising bake sale. My friends raised $1069.00 toward their goal! Amazing!!

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you all have a fantastic week!

On the Menu This Week:
Monday: Pan-seared halibut, rice and veggies
Tuesday: Bruschetta Chicken (trying out a new recipe!)
Wednesday: Lasagne Wednesday!
Thursday: Thai coconut curry
Friday: Chicken tortellini carbonara
Saturday: Pizza and salad
Sunday: Homemade shake and bake chicken, roast potatoes & veggies

I’ll be linking my menu plan up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday – check it out!!

Monday, 16 September 2013

Menu Plan Monday - Sept 16, 2013

Good morning my friends! I hope you are having a great Monday – ours is a little soggy! It’s almost time to break out jackets and cozy sweaters.

This week some girlfriends of mine are having a fundraiser, and I’m pitching in to help. If they raise $5,000.00 for cancer research, the four ladies have committed to dye their hair PINK for the month of October! If you’d like to donate, please visit their page. They are also having a bake sale this week, and that’s where I come in.

All day on Wednesday while the littles are in school I’ll be baking up some of my favorites. Banana Oat Bread, Sweet Marie Bars, and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, all packaged up in an easy to transport fashion.

In between all of this baking, we need to eat! So, onto the menu plan for this week.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you all have a fantastic week!

On the menu this week:

Monday: Breakfast for dinner! Bacon and eggs quiche

Tuesday: Shake and bake chicken, stir fried veggies and rice

Wednesday: Lasagne Wednesday!

Thursday: Turkey meat loaf (I’m making a HUGE batch to help fill the freezer!!)

Friday: Dinner out for mama! The hubs will be fending for themselves.

Saturday: Going to a wedding!

Sunday: Maui Ribs, baked potatoes and veggies. 
I’ll be linking my menu plan up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday – check it out!!

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Fun, Practical Bridal Shower Gift

Hello my friends! I hope you all are enjoying the same sunshiney day we are having! I am here to share with you a fun gift I put together for my lovely cousin Kristin for her bridal shower this weekend. I love to give (and receive - hint, hint!!) practical gifts. This little gem definitely fits into that category.

After perusing my favorite idea site (Pinterest, of course) I found a cute way to package up household necessities and tie them all together with a poem. After following the pins to Mummydeals.org, I used the poem she had on the site and modified it a little bit to allow for Canadian products.

Here are all of the supplies I used to put together the present:
  • Dawn dishsoap
  • Joy dishsoap
  • Brawny paper towel (couldn't actually find this in Canada)
  • Mr Clean
  • Shout stain remover
  • SOS scrubbing pads
  • Easy off oven cleaner
  • Tide laundry soap
  • Dial soap
  • Bounce dryer sheets
  • Fantastik cleaner
  • Zest soap
  • Pledge furniture polish
  • Snuggle dryer sheets
  • A Squeegee

I picked up a few little odds and ends to fill the basket, like air fresheners and sponges and tied it up pretty with clear cello wrap, ribbons and bows.

The poem goes as follows (thanks Mummydeals.org for the great idea!!):

As we gather with you to celebrate the DAWN of a new era.  Marriage is a journey.
Some days will be filled with pure JOY, but let’s take a moment to talk about the others.
There may come a time when you realize your big BRAWNY guy isn’t necessarily

When this and other little glitches occur, don’t SHOUT or send up an SOS.
Go EASY on him.

Hopefully the TIDE will change quickly, just DIAL back the anger and things will BOUNCE back to normal.
 We think you and _______ are a FANTASTIK couple with a ZEST for life and a sincere appreciation for each other.
We fully support you as you and ________PLEDGE to spend your lives as one.
We wish you all the best including love, happiness, lots of SQUEEGEES and time to SNUGGLE.

Here is a photo of me with my beautiful cousin, Kristin! She's going to make a lovely bride in a few weeks! Thanks for stopping by today, I really appreciate it!

Linking to Joyful Homemaking, Not Just a Housewife and A Bowl Full of Lemons.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Menu Plan Monday - Sept 9, 2013

Hello my friends! I hope you had a fantastic weekend. My weekend was full to the brim with excitement and adventure. We started out the weekend by heading down to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. It was absolutely amazing! 
Miss E  LOVES her penguins!
We left the house before dawn and got home well after dark, but it was well worth the drive.

This week we are finally back to our regular life schedule. Miss A should finally find out who her teacher is and Irish dancing starts this week - Miss E starts dance for the first time! I can’t wait to watch her prance around the house doing 1,2,3’s in a circle just like her big sister.
Recipe for this cheesy concoction!
I am hoping to spend my afternoon tomorrow getting a batch of freezer cooking going. With our crazy schedules, having meals pre-made and ready to go makes our lives just that much easier. I’m going to put together a few batches of our favorites: Baked Ziti, Chicken Pot Pie and Tex Mex Lasagne and Spicy Taco Filling on the side.

On the menu this week:

Monday: Salmon with rice and veggies

Tuesday: Freezer cooking day! Baked Chicken Ziti
Wednesday: Lasagne Wednesday!
Thursday: BBQ chicken, potatoes and grilled veggies
Friday: Pizza night!
Saturday: Dinner out with friends
Sunday: Spicy thai chicken, stir fry noodles and veggies

I’ll be linking my menu plan up to OrgJunkie’s Menu Plan Monday – check it out!!

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Back to School!!

Back. To. School. I can't believe summer vacation is over and we are back to school, dance, swimming lessons and everything else that comes with September.


Another thing I can't believe? That my firstborn ginger baby, Miss A, is all grown up and starting grade two! She has grown so much this summer and I couldn't be prouder of my seven year old! Here she is all dressed up and ready for her first day of school. School only lasted an hour today (? no idea why!!) but we got all dolled up for the first day nonetheless!

Miss E starts preschool tomorrow! One more year and my baby girl will be in kindergarten. This year she gets to spend learning and playing and making a million memories with the most amazing preschool teacher, Miss Leona. She was Miss A's preschool teacher and Miss E can't wait for school to start tomorrow. 

I thought I would have a whole bunch of organizing posts and how to be ready for back to school posts, but instead we played and partied right to the very very end of summer vacation. I think we'll have to work on some fall projects to share with you all.

Hope you all had a great first day of school!! More later this week,

Monday, 2 September 2013

Menu Plan Monday - Sept 2, 2013

Hello my friends! I hope you all have enjoyed your summer vacation, I know we certainly have enjoyed ours! School starts tomorrow, and with school comes the back-to-reality grind of life. One thing we do in our house to make life a little easier is menu planning. The hubs and I sit down together at the beginning of the month and make a menu plan for the month ahead.

We have been menu planning for about a year and it's been amazing. Not only do we always know what the plan is for dinner, but having a plan keeps our food budget in check and means that we aren't constantly running around after school trying to find something to eat.
Another menu planning tip that we find really helpful in our house is to have a stockpile of ready-made freezer meals all ready to go. We have a pretty jam-packed schedule during the week so having some meals that just need to be popped in the oven makes life so much easier.

On The Menu This Week:

Monday : Pasta Alfredo with Chicken

Tuesday: BBQ chicken breasts, baked potatoes and grilled summer veggies

Wednesday: Lasagne Wednesday (it's back!!)

Thursday : Perogies and sausage

Friday: Brinner! Breakfast for dinner!

Saturday: Dinner out! The girls and I are heading to Seattle for the day!

Sunday: Turkey burgers and fries

Thanks so much for stopping by today! If you would like to check out some amazing recipes and menu plans, check out Org Junkie's Menu Plan Monday!


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