Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Cups

Hello Lovely,

With Breakfast being the most important meal of the day, you really have to choose what you eat wisely. I'm the kind of person that can't eat the same thing more than twice per week. I like to mix it up and try new things. Even if it's pancakes, I'll mix it up. Chocolare Hazelnut pancakes one day, Banana pancakes the next. And don't get me started on waffles!

They say the size of your breakfast will determine your appetite for the rest of the day. My routine is usually a small breakfast, light snack on the slow work days, heavy lunch, and then a light dinner (since dinner time always fluctuate).

This recipe that I'm sharing today is actually adapted from one of the Weight Watchers cookbooks that I got from the Greek Festival on my birthday. This is so easy to make, and so tasty! I was genuinely full from one cup. I used a disposable foil  4 oz. cup, but your muffin/cupcake pan will also work for this recipe. And for anyone on Weight Watchers, this recipe is worth 3 points (maybe 2 because of the smaller sized dish that I used).

NOTE: Fresh fruit slices make a delicious and attractive accompaniment to the eggs.

Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Cups

Ingredients

  • 4 slices Canadian bacon, turkey bacon, or turkey salami
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes (feel free to use cherry or grape tomatoes if you have it)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free croutons, crumbled (these make a great seasoning)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
  • 1 sprig parsley or chervil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Place 1 slice bacon or salami in each of four custard cups. (I used a 4 oz. but feel free to use an 8 or 10 ounce cup). Pour eggs evenly into cups. Top evenly with tomatoes, croutons and Cheddar.
  3. Place cups on baking sheet and bake until eggs are just set, about 20 minutes (it seems excessive, but trust me it takes 20 minutes). Garnish with parsley, serve and enjoy!

Nutrition facts:

Per Serving (1 dish): 140 g, 129 Cal, 7 g Total Fat, 2 g Sat Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 229 mg Chol, 460 mg Sod, 3 g Total Carb, 0 g Total Sugar, 0 g Fibre, 13 g Protein, 40 mg Calcium.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Boat

Hello Lovely,

Brunch began trending quite a bit since mid-2016 and restaurants have responded with delicious, layered dishes like stuffed French toast, quiche and hashes; with mimosas by the dozens! Although planning brunch outings with friends is always fun (#squadgoals), there’s nothing like having a comforting brunch meal while you’re in your PJs.  This recipe combines the clean eating of Paleo ingredients and the heartiness of a good meal.  Follow this recipe and wow your house guests on their next visit.

Sweet Potato Breakfast Boat

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato

  • ½ tsp. olive oil

  • 2 eggs

  • A few sprigs of parsley, freshly chopped for garnish

  • Sea salt & Ground black pepper

  • 9” baking dish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, be sure not to go over 15 minutes.

  2. Wash the sweet potato under running water and dry thoroughly. Place potato in a baking dish, rub with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt.  Be sure to poke holes in the potato using a fork which will assist in a faster baking process.

  3. Place pan on the center rack (if possible) of the preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until tender. Time will vary depending on the size of your sweet potato.

  4. Once tender, remove the potato from the oven, and halve lengthwise. Using a tablespoon or small curved knife, carefully carve out the center of each half.  Ensure that the hole is as big as the estimated size of your eggs.

  5. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and pour into the hole, OR, scoop the egg yoke and some of the egg white into the potato using a tablespoon.  I used the latter method and found it to be easier and less messy. Season with salt and pepper.

  6. Place the potato halves back into the baking dish and into the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the eggs are cooked to your liking.

  7. Remove from the oven and serve. Top with butter, hollandaise or a sriracha sauce for added flavor and garnish with fresh parsley.

This recipe is even more fun when you make multiple servings and mix n’ match toppings! A poached egg effect allows the egg yolk to provide a smooth thick natural sauce to the sweet potato with no topping necessary!

What is your favourite brunch item?  Do you like poached eggs? Share your last brunch experience with us!

XoX,

Lemon Bars

Hello lovely,

I've never had lemon bars before because up until my recent adult years, I've steered clear of everything lemon flavoured. I'm not sure why, I just didn't care for it. So over the holiday last week, I decided to give the recipe a try. I figured, what could it hurt, I made  Blueberry Buttermilk Scones with Lemons in it and that turned out great! Boy was I wrong!

I won't include the original recipe or where I got it from because I feel that it was just so horrible. I ended up with a crust so incredibly thick that I had to periodically bat the batter down with a spatula while it baked like a bad child. Also, because the recipe called for pre-baking the crust, it ended up burning a little because you have to put it back for the lemon layer. So I changed the baking time for the crust. The batter was runny like Niagara Falls, and way too tart (yes I know it's Lemon Bars, but my goodness, there was no balance of flavours). I ended up adding 1/2 cup of flour to thicken it because I knew if I put it in the oven that way, it would've spilled over and made a mess, and taken forever to bake. The original recipe offered two layers for the lemon, full-sized or thinner. My pan could only handle the thinner so that's what I'm giving you. I also added almond and vanilla extract to really marry the flavours, and it was the best decision I ever made! 

LEMON BARS

For the crust: 
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

For the lemon layer: 

4 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (3 to 4 lemons)
2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1  1/8 cup flour

1/2  teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet.

For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into the greased baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.

For the lemon layer, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into rectangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.

Now that I've made the changes, I absolutely love these! Even my dad, mum and step-dad loved them! It's the perfect dessert to munch on in small doses and share with friends!

Whip up a batch of these for the weekend! What's your favourite bite-size dessert to snack on? Tell me about it in the comment section below!

XoX,

STRAWBERRY BUTTERMILK CAKE

Hello Lovely,

I hope you all had a great weekend! I was so happy to rest, although I can't say I spent the whole weekend doing nothing. If you follow me on Instagram, you may already know how I spent my weekend. If not, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out! This week is going to be a little crazy for me as I'm "treating" myself to a new computer. It's not much of a treat, because although I'll be getting a new work station, it's only because my current laptop fails me so much, it's become unreliable and slightly embarrassing at times. But this unreliable and slightly embarrassing at times machine has done some wonderful things for me, so I'll keep it as a back up (last resort).

As a way to escape this nightmare, I decided to make use of the strawberry, buttermilk and self rising flour I seem to have in abundance. But of course, because of my sinus infection, I have no sense of smell at the moment. So when I put the cake back in for a little more time, I didn't smell the bottom of it burning. And when it was done, the strawberries were no longer visible from the surface. My family didn't care though, we just scraped the bottom off and kept eating! And it actually makes it look like a cheesecake with an Oreo crust, so it's great for photos! I hope you guys like this new recipe and don't make the same mistakes I did. By the way, you can totally swap out the self rising flour with regular flour and baking flour and soda.

STRAWBERRY BUTTERMILK CAKE

The vanilla bean and sugary sweetness compliment the tangy hint of the strawberries perfectly, creating a great balance!

The vanilla bean and sugary sweetness compliment the tangy hint of the strawberries perfectly, creating a great balance!

Ingredients:

2 cups self rising flour

½ tsp salt

1 cup applesauce

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

3/8 cup buttermilk

1 punnet strawberries, hulled and halved for topping

Method:

Preheat oven to 356 F. Grease a 9” cake tin.

Sift flour and salt together.

In another bowl cream applesauce and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, add vanilla bean and buttermilk. Mix well.

Gradually add flour to butter mixture until well combined.

Transfer mixture into greased tin. Arrange strawberries on top (feel free to use as many or as little as you'd like), sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cake is well risen, light golden colour and firm to touch. Allow to cool in tin. Once cool turn cake out, cut and serve as is or with a dollop of fresh cream!

See....totally kinda looks like cheesecake :)

See....totally kinda looks like cheesecake :)

Skinny Key Lime Pie

Key Lime Pie lightens up! Adapted from Cooking Light, my version keeps the tang and graham goodness of the traditional dessert but with a lot less calories and fat.

Ingredients

  • Crust:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ounce premium white chocolate, grated
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh Key lime juice or fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lime rind
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
  • whipped topping for garnish

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare crust, combine crumbs, sugar, salt, and chocolate in a bowl, stirring well to combine. Add butter and oil; toss with a fork until moist. Press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until beginning to brown; cool completely on a wire rack.

3. To prepare filling, place yogurt and next 4 ingredients (through milk) in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour mixture into prepared crust. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until set. Cool pie completely on a wire rack. Cover loosely, and chill at least 2 hours, but overnight may be best. Serve with whipped topping.

Nutritional Information

·          Amount per serving

·          Calories 280 ·          Fat 8.9 g ·          Satfat 3.6 g ·          Monofat 3.4 g ·          Polyfat 1.3 g ·          Protein 6.6 g

·          Carbohydrate 43.2 g ·          Fiber 0.4 g ·          Cholesterol 84 mg ·          Iron 0.6 mg ·          Sodium 147 mg

·          Calcium 144 mg

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

It's officially office Christmas party season! Last night, my tech group friends from church held our Christmas dinner social at Denise's house and it was so much fun! There were bottles of wine and egg nog to go around! Dinner was great and my team won in Partini again! (I am now a 3-time winner, thank you very much! Never lost a game!) The best part? My cheesecake was a huge hit!

I made a cranberry swirl cheesecake and I was so worried! I forgot to take the cranberries out before swirling the sauce and the top of the cheesecake cracked so I was freaking out! Everyone told me that I had outdone myself and the cheesecake did not last very long! I was so relieved everyone loved it. So below is the recipe for my holiday cheesecake with some adjustments that you can use to brighten up your holiday meal!

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Sorry it's not a high-tech photo. I snapped this while it was being sliced!

Sorry it's not a high-tech photo. I snapped this while it was being sliced!

Make room for dessert! I've got a cranberry swirl cheesecake that's easy to prepare and looks fabulous. It adds a pretty festive colour to a holiday dessert table.

Ingredients

Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup sugar 
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Filling

  •  2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

Sauce

  1. Combine sugar and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat for one minute.
  2. Stir in berries; cover and reduce heat. Cook until most of the berries have popped. Add lemon juice.
  3. Press mixture through a sieve and set aside.

Filling

  1. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese with the sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating just until blended. Add lemon juice. Pour into crust.

Topping off & baking

  1. Spoon cranberry sauce over filling; cut through filling with a knife to swirl.
  2. Put a pan on the bottom rack of the oven and fill with water.
  3. Bake cheesecake on middle rack at 350° for 45 minutes. Turn oven off; let cheesecake stand in oven for 1 hour (with oven door open).
  4. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Carefully run a knife around sides of pan to loosen and remove side of pan. Refrigerate overnight.

How to Make Your Own Brown Sugar

Oh no!!! Did you run out of brown sugar in the middle of a recipe? Don't have enough for your tea or coffee? Well you only need two ingredients. Whod'a thunk? 

Combine 1 cup white sugar with 1 tablespoon molasses (syrup is a much cheaper alternative). Use more or less for darker or lighter brown sugar.