Monday, 28 July 2014

Cream Cheese Chocolate Bread

I  have posted a lot about Banana Bread on this blog but have I posted about Chocolate bread yet? I think I might actually have one post about chocolate bread but this Cream Cheese Chocolate Bread takes the cake!

I came across this recipe on Pinterest and was instantly interested in giving it a try. I actually found the recipe for the chocolate bread itself to be absolutely delicious and I would make again and just add some chocolate chips. However, you add a whole other element when you add the swirl of cream cheese to this bread.



I made this last weekend and this bread was loved by all. I was a little surprised that it didn't rise for me as well as I thought it should have but it still tasted amazing! I definitely recommend giving this bread a try next time you need a little treat and you won't be disappointed!

I got this recipe from http://omgchocolatedesserts.com/cream-cheese-chocolate-bread/

Ingredients
For Cream Cheese Swirl:
  • 3 oz cream cheese-softened
  • 1 Tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
For Chocolate Batter:
  • 1¼ cups flour
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter- softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoon mini chocolate chips

Instructions
 
Preheat oven to 350° , spray 8 x 4-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
 
In a food processor combine cream cheese, 1 Tablespoon sour cream, 1 Tablespoon sugar and vanilla, until smooth, set aside.
 
In a medium bowl whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
 
In a small bowl combine buttermilk and sour cream.
 
Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, than add in egg and vanilla and beat until combined.
 
Reduce speed to low and add half of flour mixture and beat to combine.
 
Add sour cream and buttermilk mixture, beat to combine and then add remaining flour mixture.
 
First pour just half the batter into pan, than dollop with cream cheese mixture and swirl with a knife , top with remaining chocolate batter and smooth using spatula.
 
 
 
Sprinkle with chocolate chips and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
 
 
 
Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove from a pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Raspberry Peach Iced Tea

Iced Tea is so refreshing and one of my go to drinks when I go out to eat! When I finally came across an easy recipe to make my own I decided it was time to give it a try.

This recipe for Raspberry Peach Iced Tea was very easy to make but I was fully satisfied with it. Even though I strained it like the recipe stated I still found the drink to be a bit lumpier then I would have preferred. I did really like the flavour of it and I thought it was pretty good, but it wasn't perfect by any stretch to me.



I got my recipe from http://damndelicious.net/2013/04/12/raspberry-peach-iced-tea-and-a-giveaway/

Ingredients
  • 2 tea bags
  • 1 cup raspberries, plus more for garnish
  • 2 peaches, sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar, or more to taste
  • Mint leaves, for garnish
Instructions
  • Steep tea bags in 4 cups boiling water according to package instructions; discard tea bags and let cool. 

  • Combine peaches, raspberries and agave nectar in blender until smooth; strain through cheesecloth or fine sieve.
  • In a large pitcher, whisk together raspberry peach mixture and brewed tea. Place in refrigerator until chilled. 

  • Serve over ice, raspberries, peach slices and mint leaves, if desired.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Upside Down Banana Bread

I love banana bread and I am always looking for unique ways to make it and this Upside Down Banana Bread is unique! The whole idea of upside down is having the crust and banana topping on the bottom of the pan and the batter is on the top. When you turn the bread out the bottom on the bread is now your top.

I wasn't the hugest fan of this recipe as it ended up looking like the bread was not fully cooked because of the bananas however it was fully cooked and tasted amazing I would make this bread again but I would eliminate the banana slices for the top of the bread and just mix them into the actual batter.



I got this recipe from http://amazingstuffzzz.blogspot.ca/2014/05/the-best-ever-upside-down-banana-bread.html

Ingredients

  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
  • About 2 bananas, sliced in ¼ inch rounds
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
  • 1½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup mashed overripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9X5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Spread the brown sugar on the bottom of the loaf pan. If using nuts, sprinkle them evenly over the sugar. Dot with the butter. Put it in the oven for about 8 minutes. Stir the mixture until dissolved and spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Place a single layer of the banana slices on top of the sugar mixture along the entire bottom of the pan.

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add all the remaining wet ingredients and beat just until combined. Do not over-beat.
  2. Pour the batter over the sliced bananas in the pan.

  1. In an oven preheated to 325 degrees F, bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean but moist.

  1. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before inverting it on a cake platter.
  2. To prepare the Caramel Glaze, place the butter, brown sugar and heavy cream in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit for a minute. Pour the glaze evenly over the cake

Friday, 18 July 2014

Avocado Salsa

TGIF! It's Friday and even better I am on holidays next week!! Yay! I have been looking forward to some time off for a while. I don't have much planned but to relax, check out some of the city sites and festivals and of course cook!

In honour of the weekend I thought I would post this very tasty snack that is a great appetizer, snack or even side for any meal or BBQ you might have planned this weekend! This Avocado Salsa was so delicious that 4 of us devoured that bowl in a matter of minutes! LOL And on the plus side it's relatively healthy for you! We served this with multigrain scoop taco chips and it was amazing!

As with any salsa the hardest part about this recipe is chopping up all the veggies! Once you have that done you toss them all together with a bit of lime juice, pepper and garlic salt and voila, a delicious snack!



I definitely recommend giving this a try over regular salsa as a change, the avocado just has such a great taste!

I got this recipe from http://www.chef-in-training.com/2012/08/avocado-salsa/

Ingredients
  • 3 avocados, diced chunky
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes, diced
  • ⅛ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  • ¼ tsp. garlic salt
  • ⅛ tsp. pepper
Instructions
After you have diced and chopped the avocados, red onion, Roma tomatoes and cilantro, combine in a medium bowl. Add lime juice, pepper and garlic salt.
 
 
 
Toss and lightly stir to combine flavors.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Smashed Baked Potatoes

Potatoes are my favourite side dish and if you are a regular reader you probably have seen posts before about my love for potatoes! I like to try and find new ideas and new fun ways to create delicious and exciting potatoes! When I came across these Smashed Baked Potatoes on Pinterest, I was definitely intrigued!

You start by scrubbing and cleaning the potatoes and then you boil them skin on for about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes. Once they are soft, you lay them out on a baking sheet to cool. Once cool enough to the touch you take either a potatoe smasher, or use your hand with a paper towel and press down on them smashing them. Once smashed you add some olive oil, garlic, cheese, chives, salt and pepper and baked until cheese is melted and potatoes are warmed up again. Serve immediately with sour cream and or salsa!



These are a great addition to any BBQ or dinner and I highly recommend giving them a try for something different!

I got this recipe from http://inspiredreamer.com/crushed-new-potatoes/

Ingredients
  • 4 new potatoes
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 TBS chives
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 TBS grated cheese
  • 1 TBS Parmesan
 
Instructions
 
Preheat Broiler
 
Wash potatoes well and place in salted water.
 
Bring to boil and cook till fork tender (15-20 minutes).
 
 
 
Mix oil with crushed garlic clove. Set aside.
 
 
 
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the potatoes on the parchment.
 
Using a potato crusher, crush the potatoes carefully. You may also use a paper towel and press the potatoes with your palm.
 
Pour some garlic oil over each potato.
 
Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Add some Parmesan/Pepper Jack cheese and chives.
 
 
 
Broil for 7-10 minutes or until nice and crispy.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Fresh Vegetable Salad

I can't believe that tomorrow is the middle of July already! Wow does time ever fly! We didn't have the nicest weekend this past weekend but we aren't letting that stop us from posting the best fresh summer recipes! This Fresh Vegetable Salad I made last weekend and it was amazing! So easy to make and whip together and so delicious!

If you have been reading my blog for any period of time you may know that I am not a huge vegetable fan however, this salad might convert me a little! Instead of using corn on the cob, I simply boiled some frozen corn kernels and cooled them off before adding to the salad.



Once you chop everything up and mix it together, all you need to do is mix up the sauce and toss it all so that it's all coated and voila. I wouldn't suggest tossing in the sauce much before you serve as I would worry about it possible making it soggy.

I got this recipe from http://www.whitelightsonwednesday.com/2013/06/fresh-vegetable-salad/

Ingredients
  • 4 ears yellow corn, cooked, cooled, and cut off the cob
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 6 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, chopped
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Shamrock Farms Zesty Jalapeno sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
Instructions
 
In a large bowl, mix all vegetables together.
 
 
 
In a medium bowl, whisk together sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, celery seed, and pepper until smooth.
 
 
 
Pour dressing over vegetables and fold until well combined. Serve immediately.

Friday, 11 July 2014

Coffee & Kahlua Chocolate Cake

Happy Friday everyone! Nothing better then Friday's in summer! In preparation for the weekend and the beautiful weather I think we are going to get I have decided to post this amazing Coffee & Kahlua Chocolate Cake. This cake is made without butter, eggs and milk...I know right, I was skeptical too but I decided to give it a try and it was a really delicious cake. It was very moist and the only thing I would say is that the cake was a little bit denser and not as light and fluffy but otherwise delicious!

I made this last weekend for my family Sunday dinner and it was a hit with everyone. Also because I doubled the recipe and made a bigger cake I shared a few pieces with some good people from my work and they all loved it!



I definitely recommend giving this cake a try, it's neat to make it, as it's different but it's not difficult to make at all. I followed the recipe but I did all my mixing in a bowl, because I found it difficult to get it fully mixed in the pan.

I got this recipe from http://www.sweetlittlebluebird.com/2013/06/tried-true-tuesday-coffee-kahlua-crazy.html

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 Cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 3 Tbsp. cocoa (unsweetened)
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp.  salt
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1 tsp.  pure vanilla extract
  • 5 Tbsp. vegetable oil 
  • 3/4 Cup brewed coffee (cold or room temperature)
  • 1/4 Cup KahlĂșa
Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a greased 8" square baking pan.  Make 3 depressions in dry ingredients - two small, one larger.
 
 
 
Pour vinegar in one depression, vanilla in the other and the vegetable oil in third larger depression.  Pour coffee and KahlĂșa over all.  Mix well until smooth.
 
 

Bake on middle rack of oven for 35 minutes.  Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean.  Cool.  Top with your favorite chocolate frosting or sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Enjoy!