Brie & Apple Panini

I love my panini maker. Anything that can turn a ho-hum sandwich into an impressive meal has a golden spot on my kitchen counter.

The melted cheese, buttered bread and crispy edges created by the panini press make for a delicious treat.

I slathered both sides of my whole grain bread with tzatziki sauce and mango chutney and placed thick slices of brie cheese and thin slices of a tart granny smith apple in the centre.

I was in panini heaven.

It's a good place to be.

Note: If you don't have a panini maker you can create the same effect with a grill pan, press, skillet, etc. Spread a very thin layer of butter on one side of each slice of bread. Place the butter side down on the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until golden brown, flip over and when the cheese begins to melt take it off the pan and enjoy.


Snickerdoodle Blondies

Dysfunctional Dieter's Dictionary Definition of Snickerdoodle Bars:

Dreamy, cinnamon-sugar topped, warm, melt in your mouth, gooey, cake-like bars.

Slightly cracked surface with the perfect amount of cinnamon to make your home smell like the heavens descended and landed right in the middle of your kitchen.

A great one will manage to be both crisp at the edges and soft, nearly to the point of cakiness, in the middle.

You're going to want to make these. Soon. Like, tonight.

You can thank me later. Enjoy!

Snickerdoodle Blondies
Adapted from: Arctic Garden Studio


2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks / 1 cup) unsalted butter, softened to cool  room temp
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup (lightly packed) brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon-Sugar Topping
2 tablespoons granulate white sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9x13x2 inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper and butter paper.

Mix together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.

Add the flour mixture and mix until the flour is just incorporated. The batter will be thick like cookie dough.

Scrape batter into your prepared pan and spread evenly. I used an offset spatula to make the batter even and smooth.

Make the topping by combining the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar topping evenly over the top of the batter.It will look like a lot, but trust me it is perfect.

Bake 20-25 minutes or a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool slightly before cutting (or as long as you can stand).


Spice-Rubbed Turkey

The huz and I cooked our first turkey this weekend! We figured we had to bite the bullet at some point and I wouldn't be lying if I said we needed the extra freezer space.

I was so impressed with how it turned out! We stuffed our turkey with onions and apples and both ingredients kept the turkey moist and left a subtle apple flavor. We've been enjoying the leftovers and feel that we may be ready to actually invite people over to enjoy the next one with us.

Spice-Rubbed Turkey
Adapted from: Butterball


2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons ground sage
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon paprika
1 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 (12 pounds) Butterball® Frozen Whole Turkey , thawed if frozen
4 tablespoons olive oil


Preheat oven to 325°F.

Combine mustard, sage, garlic powder, marjoram, thyme, paprika, 1 teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the pepper and nutmeg; set aside.

Remove neck and giblets from body and neck cavities of turkey. Refrigerate for other use or discard. Drain juices from turkey. Pat dry with paper towels. Turn wings back to hold neck skin against back of turkey. Place turkey, breast up, on flat roasting rack in shallow roasting pan. Brush turkey with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; sprinkle with seasoning mixture.

Bake 3 hours, or until meat thermometer reaches 180°F when inserted in deepest part of thigh. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.


Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I hope you have a beautiful weekend and are able to enjoy something sweet! Here are a few of my favs...


My in-laws live in California so when we visit we also visit Pinkberry. Daily. Oh, how I love thee. I'm beyond excited that a store is opening in Vancouver this summer!

My Dad's Art

My dad is incredibly creative and extremely gifted when it comes to putting his ideas on canvas. When you walk into his home there is art everywhere. It's fantastic. Check out some of his work here!

Tina Fey - Bossypants
Tina is HI-larious. I've thoroughly enjoyed reading her book on my commute to and from work (with a few embarrassing belly laughs in between).

Cake-Sicle Pan

This the coolest idea. Ever. Not that I need another reason to bake cookies but lucky for me, now I have one.

Bon Appetit - Rhubarb & Raspberry Crostata

I will leave you with this. Because this looks silly delicious and thinking of topping this with a scoop of ice-cream puts a smile on my face... and I can only assume that we smile about the same things :)


In Your Face Banana Bread

This bread calls for five! bananas. This is a recipe that is full of banana flavour so you really don't want to skimp on 'em bananas.

And for good measure, of course, I added some mini peanut butter cups. One never wants too much potassium without peanut butter. 

If you're looking for a delicious, moist, full of flavour banana bread, make this (and share)!

In Your Face Banana Bread
Adapted from: Recipe Girl


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter, softened
¾ cup (packed) brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed over-ripe bananas (about 5 bananas)
1 cup of mini milk chocolate peanut butter cups (from Trader Joe's)


Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease 9×5-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, soda and salt; set aside.

In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture and mini peanut butter cups into flour mixture; stir just to moisten.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake 60- 65 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Allow bread to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Raspberry & Lemon Curd Tart

I've told you about my mom before. She's amazing. And she made this delicious wonderfulness.

The sunshine lemon curd and vivid red raspberries paired perfectly with the flaky buttery crust.

We topped our slices with a dollop of whip cream and homemade raspberry sauce.

It was dee-licious. So were the left overs.

I love my mom. I hope you're celebrating your mom extravagantly this Mothers Day weekend!

Raspberry & Lemon Curd Tart
Adapted from: My Mom & Best of Bridge


Lemon Curd

3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice ( 2 to 3 lemons)


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup confection’s (icing) sugar
2 tbsp grated lemon zest
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 cups blueberries or raspberries (optional)


Lemon Curd: In a medium saucepan, whisk eggs and sugar until foamy and light-colored. Add butter, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until the mixture thickens and forms a ribbon on the surface when drizzled from a spoon. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate or at least 1 hour, until chilled, or for up to 3 days.

Crust: In a large bowl combine flour, confectioner’s sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, blend in butter until mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs (you can also do this in a food processor). Gradually add lemon juice, stirring with a fork until dough forms a ball.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

If dough is stiff, let it stand at room temperature for 10 minutes, until it is more pliable.  On a floured work surface, roll out dough to an 11 inch circle.  Lift dough into a 9-inch tart or flan pan with a removable bottom and press to fit the bottom and sides.  (If the pastry tears, gently pat it in the pan; it’ll be fine once it bakes.)  Trim the edges.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 F. Prick bottom and sides of crust to prevent shrinkage. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce over temperature to 350 F and bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Let cool completely.

Remove crust from pan and place on a serving plate. Spread lemon curd inside. If using, sprinkle blueberries/raspberries over top.

Mom's note: The crust is very finicky and is difficult to lift into the tart pan. Just press it together with your fingers in the pan and it will be good to go. I have to admit the crust was kind of tricky to work with.


365 days x 2

To my high school sweetheart, my best friend, my husband,

The boy I met at 16 has morphed into the man of my dreams and here I am, madly in love with you all these years later.

When you surprised me, showed up in a different country and proposed on the solid earth after skydiving out of a plane at 13,000 feet for me, I said yes.

Because somewhere in the six years of loving you, I fell in love. And I knew I couldn't live without you.

Two years ago today, you made me the happiest girl in the world because that was the day I was able to call you mine.

Thank you for making sure I laugh everyday, for picking me up when I fall down and for encouraging me to be the best I can be. 

I love you (x infinity²)...

Happy Anniversary! xo

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