mini tiramisu with baileys

Oh hi there!  Yes, I realize that it happens to be Valentine's Day.  Also, yes, I realize that perhaps tiramisu is a romantic dessert.  Ha!  That is pure coincidence, and not clever planning on my part....although maybe I should have just pretended that I was incredibly on top of things.

Anywho.....I love making desserts mini.  Mostly due to the fact that I get to eat the entire thing, and not feel as guilty (or as sick) as when I do this with an entire dessert.  (Pull-apart bread I'm looking at you....*side-eye).  They get bonus points for being so darn cute too!

Ironically, I accidentally bought GIANT lady fingers for this post.  Instead of normal sized lady fingers.  Or even mini lady fingers (not sure if this even exists?).  So ya, maybe a little bit of a fail on that part....but they were hilarious to work with!

Fact of the matter is: it doesn't matter what kind of lady fingers you buy.  More importantly, there is baileys in here....huzzah!  My sister Jordyn helped me put these together, and photographed the shots I'm in.  Yay for a human tripod!  It's a lot easier to nail that focus when you're not using a self-timer.

Moving on.  Make these for your Valentine.  Make these for your family.  Make these for yourself.  


mini tiramisu with baileys

recipe adapted from: Olive Magazine
yields: 6-8 servings (depending on the size of your mini serving dishes) - alternatively, make one large tiramisu using a 20cm serving dish

ingredients:

2 cups whipping cream

250 grams mascarpone

1 tsp vanilla 

3 tablespoons sugar

3 1/2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream (optional)

1 cup very strong coffee or espresso

1/2 tsp almond extract (or 2 tablespoons of amaretto)

175 grams lady fingers (also called sponge fingers)

2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder for dusting on top

directions:

In a large bowl, whip together whipping cream, mascarpone, vanilla, baileys, and sugar until soft peaks form.  Careful not to overmix this, as the cheese may separate a bit.  Carefully spoon into a large piping bag, and use a round nozzle, or simply cut the tip of the bag off to pipe.  (*It's always to start small when cutting the bag, and adjust if necessary)

Mix together coffee and almond extract (or amaretto) in a small bowl.

Dip each lady finger into the coffee mixture and quickly remove.  You don't want them to start falling apart, so don't linger in the coffee too long.  Line your serving dish with lady fingers, then pipe whipped cream mixture on top, and repeat.

For the top layer, pipe small circles.  Chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.  Use a small sieve to dust with cocoa powder just before serving. 


Final note: can someone teach me to say mascarpone?  99% sure that I'm putting the R in the wrong spot.  Ha!

Happy tiramisu-ing!

-Kelsey

butter chicken

Oh hey there!  Two recipes in one week!  Heck yeah!

Today is all about butter chicken.  Such a delicious, warm and cozy dinner idea, made even better when served with naan!  When we're feeling super hardcore (and have the time!) we'll even make our own from scratch.  

This is such an easy dish to whip up, and is easily doubled if you're making it for a crowd of people!  Cook up some rice, and you've got yourself a meal.

I love that this dish can all be made in one pan as well! (Not including the rice of course!)  I used this gorgeous cast aluminum pan from American KitchenAmerican Kitchen Cookware, and it cooked beautifully. I love that they handcraft their cookware in small batches in Wisconsin, and they obviously care about creating quality cookware. I'm hooked!

Now this recipe comes from my mom, who has slowly melded several different recipes into one recipe to rule them all!  There's a ton of flavour in the sauce, so if you don't have one of the more obscure spices, don't sweat it! 

You might also notice that there's no butter in this recipe!  Ha!  We're using greek yogurt and coconut milk instead, which is a bit healthier, and makes the sauce so dreamy.


butter chicken

recipe: Cheryl Siemens (my momma!)

ingredients:

2 tbsp butter, 1 for cooking chicken, 1 for sauteeing onion

4 chicken breasts

1 medium white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons cury powder

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp ginger

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp corrinader

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 tablespoon cumin

salt and pepper to taste

680ml can of tomato sauce

1 tin of tomato paste

1 cup greek yogurt

1 can coconut milk

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

directions:

First, cut your chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes, and cook in a saute pan with butter for about 5 minutes.  It's fine if they're not quite all cooked through, as they'll be cooked in the sauce as well.  Set chicken aside.

Add a butter to your saute pan, and slowly saute your onions on a low temperature until tender and light brown.  Try not to rush this step!

Add in your minced garlic, and all other spices.  Stir together and cook for 2 minutes.

Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, greek yogurt, and coconut milk.  Add chicken pack in, and bring sauce to a gentle simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with rice and naan.

Top with a bit of fresh cilantro if you like!

 


This post was created in partnership with American Kitchen Cookware All opinions are my own, as always. Thanks so much for supporting brands that help keep me cooking <3

Happy butter chicken making!

-Kelsey

4 cakes + 2 girls = a friendiversary

One year ago, I got in my car to go visit a stranger in Vancouver.  We baked.  We ate crepes.  We became friends.  (In case you missed any of our collabs: Earl grey lavender cake & macarons // Carnival cake // Orchard adventures

I'm talking about Amy of Constellation Inspiration of course. 

It's hard to believe that we've only known each other for a year, as Amy has become such a dear friend to me!  We now get together more often to just eat crepes and catch up instead of baking together, and that's just fine with me.  A spring shoot is being planned already, and I can't wait!

Also, we were so so sad that Victor wasn't able to meet us for this shoot!  We missed his artistic eye so much...and I'm pretty sure that Amy and I took 3x as long to shoot it ourselves without him there.  Ha!

SO.  LET'S TALK CAKE.

We went a little crazy....and made 4 cakes.  I brought an angel food cake with 7-minute icing (recipe here), as well as my classic chocolate cake (recipe here).  Pop over to Amy's blog for her cake recipes!  She made a four-layer chamomile cake with bumbleberry jam and vanilla swiss meringue buttercream, and a three-layer coconut cake with coconut white miso buttercream. #dead

So, I baked and decorated my cakes and macarons (WHY?  they make me so nervous still!!) the night before, and then drove everything into Vancouver.  Talk about STRESS.  I'm shocked that the cakes arrived (mostly) intact.  Pretty sure that drive took a couple years off my life.  Ha!  I arrived at Amy's house, we started setting things up, and basically wept when Victor broke the news that he wouldn't be able to come over to shoot!

After a million hours of styling and shooting, Amy and I went out for tacos at a new taco place (where we analyzed each tacos like the food critics we like to pretend to be), and then stuffed our faces with cake for dessert back at her place.  Pretty much a perfect day in my opinion!

Also, this dark chocolate swiss meringue buttercream is my new favourite icing recipe, hands down.  It's so incredibly velvety, not too sweet, and packed with dark chocolatey goodness.  I used this to decorate my chocolate cake, as well as to pipe between the macarons!


Dark Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

ingredients:

3 egg whites

1 cup white sugar

pinch of salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

3.25 oz of dark chocolate, melted

4 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 cup butter, cubed

 

 

directions:

Place the egg whites and sugar into a double boiler (this could be a metal bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water), and whisk together continuously.  Keep mixing until the sugar is totally dissolved, and the temperature hits 140F for a few minutes.

Remove from heat, and mix in the salt, vanilla, melted chocolate, and cocoa powder.

Slowly add cubes of butter, and mix well after each addition.  If your icing starts to look soupy or like it's curdling, just place it in the fridge for 10 minutes and try mixing again.  Repeat if necessary.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge if you're not using it right away!  Let it sit on the counter to soften up before icing a cake with it.  Enjoy


Hope you enjoyed this epic spread!

pistachio ice cream

Helloooooo ice cream!  It's been far too long!!  My sister and I went on a bit of an ice cream rampage when she first bought her new ice cream maker last Spring....and we decided to chill out a bit.

But, we're back!  And this time we're talking about pistachio ice cream.  So fluffy, so delicious.  Best served with a chocolate dipped, pistachio encrusted cone.  Duh.

So for this recipe, my sister, Jordyn, used pistachio pudding for this ice cream recipe.  (I know a few of you pistachio purists are groaning right now...but there are other ice cream recipes out there that I'm sure you'll love. ) Anyhow...using pudding is easier, way cheaper, and resulted in a beautifully fluffy ice cream.  Heck to the yes.


Pistachio Ice Cream

recipe by: Jordyn Siemens

ingredients:

2 cups milk (any kind, we used 1%)

2 cups cream

4 egg

1 package (100g) of pistachio pudding

 

directions:

In a medium saucepan, place milk, cream and egg yolks.

Slowly bring to a simmer over medium heat until the mixtures thickens slightly, and the temperature reaches 160 degrees F (so that your yolk is tempered).

Remove from heat, and allow to cool slightly.  Sift the pistachio pudding mixture to get any lumps out (you don't want to clog your ice cream maker).  Stir pudding mixture into the milk mixture, and allow to cool to at least room temperature before adding to your ice cream maker.

Follow the directions for your ice cream maker.  Stir in a few chopped pistachios, and then place in an airtight container and freeze for several hours before serving.  


Happy ice cream making!

-Kelsey

peppermint mocha bundt cake (in tree form!)

Blogging friends are wonderful.  They encourage you to buy ridiculous, you-can-only-use-me-once-a-year loaf pans/cake pans/food styling props.....and they also share their own with you so that you don't have to buy them yourself.  Ha!  So a big thanks to Amy for letting me use this fun, tree bundt pan!

It's so fun for the holidays (which YES...I do realize they're over already!), but it's also perfect to use throughout Winter.  And with all of the snow sticking around our place these past few weeks...it seems very appropriate!

I used my favourite mocha cake, with a peppermint twist, and dusted the top with icing sugar and ground up candy canes.


peppermint mocha bundt cake

yields: 1 bundt cake (and a few cupcakes depending on the size of your bundt pan)

ingredients:

 

3 cups flour

1 cup cocoa

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs

3 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp peppermint extract

2/3 cup of espresso (or very strong brewed coffee)

1 1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cup hot water

directions:

1) In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients.

2) Add in eggs, vanilla, peppermint extract, coffee and oil, and mix until batter is smooth.

3) Slowly add in hot water, until well mixed.

4) Fill a greased bundt pan 3/4 full, and if there is any leftover batter, divide into a cupcake tin.

5)  Bake the cake for 50-60 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Bake cupcakes for 20-25 minutes.

6)  Remove your bundt cake from the oven when done, and cool for 10 minutes.  Then very gently invert the pan over a cooling rack, shaking sides to remove from pan.  Allow to cool completely.

7)  Dust with icing sugar right before serving (don't do this too much beforehand or the cake will soak it up).  I ground up a few candy canes as well.  Alternatively, you could serve with a glaze or ice cream.  Enjoy!


roasted butternut squash with cranberries and feta

Some of you may remember that I bought my first place way back in July, and have been slowly making it my own.  (If you follow along on Instagram, you might see sneak peeks of the process!)

In August I decided to get a roommate to help with my mortgage, and proceeded to post an ad online for one.  (Yeah I was pretty nervous about that!!)  Well, the first girl who responded came over to see the place and to chat about things, and we hit it off right away (as in...we visited for an hour and a half)!  She moved in 2 weeks later, and voila....I now had a roommate.

She's been so wonderful, and I can hardly believe that we didn't know each other before she moved in. Haha!  We try and do supper together at least once a week (and also usually watch some sort of British show...currently finishing off The Crown!), and we alternate who cooks.  It's been fabulous, and looooong story short: this recipe was her discovery!

Roasted butternut squash, tart and delicious cranberries, and feta cheese all come together for one of the most intriguing, delicious side dishes I've ever had.  Now I'm obsessed with cranberries, and want to eat them all the time.  Ha!  But seriously, such good winter-y flavours!


roasted butternut squash with cranberries & feta

recipe slightly adapted from: Peas and Crayons

ingredients:

1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled and cubed into bite-sized pieces

oil of your choice for drizzling

garlic powder, salt and pepper - to taste

2 cups fresh cranberries

*optional: honey - for added sweetness

 

 

directions:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Drizzle a baking sheet with oil.  Add squash, and add a drizzle of oil over top.  Season with garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.  Roast for about 20 minutes, flipping squash at least once while cooking.

Add the cranberries to the pan, and cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until the cranberries have started to burst, and the squash is soft.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with feta, and serve!  

*Add a drizzle of honey over top if you find the cranberries a bit too tart for your taste! 


Happy Squash Roasting!

-Kelsey

Christmas baking round-up: cookies & bark

Well hello there!  Who else is baking up a storm and simultaneously stuffing their faces with baking all day every day?  I thought so.

Now here's a round-up of my family's tried and true recipes that make up our Christmas baking plates that we gift to friends and family during this time of year.  Usually we'll try one or two new recipes each year, but these classics have stuck around for awhile now. 

This is my first Christmas living on my own, and I definitely didn't do as much baking as other years.  Now, I don't live far from my family (and I WORK on the farm), so I often stumbled upon my mom or sister baking one of these recipes, and it made me feel so nostalgic. Ha!   There's a lot of memories behind each of these recipes, and I hope you enjoy them if you give them a go!

ALSO: Feel free to LAUGH REALLY HARD at some of the photos from several years ago.  Seriously....YIKES!  *I'm looking at you toffee pretzel bark. Ha!!!

Merry baking!

-Kelsey

eggnog cinnamon buns (in under 90 minutes!)

Oh hey there!  Today we're drooling over cinnamon buns.  Eggnog cinnamon buns to be exact!  The best part about them?  They take less than 90 minutes!  Heck yeah!

I don't bake a ton of bread, mostly because I lack the patience it takes.  I'm hoping that this is something I get better at, since my mom makes buns every Saturday, and it is basically heaven.  So, the fact that these cinnamon buns don't take a million years makes me a very happy girl!

Of course, since it's nearly Christmas, I used eggnog in the place of milk in both the dough as well as the glaze.  I'm not even the biggest fan of eggnog, but it's pretty darn delicious when it's baked into bread!


Eggnog Cinnamon Buns

recipe: adapted from GoofyDebbie
yields: 12 cinnamon buns

ingredients:

1/4 cup water

2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 

1/4 cup white sugar (1 tablespoon for yeast mixture, 3 tablespoons in the rest of the dough)

3/4 cup milk

1/4 cup butter

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

filling:

1 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup butter, softened

 

directions:

In a small bowl, add water, a tablespoon of white sugar, and yeast.  Stir together and set aside to rise.

In a small saucepan, melt together milk and butter on a medium heat, stirring constantly.  Allow to cool slightly.

In a large mixing bowl, add 2 1/4 cups of flour and salt.  Stir in yeast and egg, and mix well.  Add in milk and butter mixture.  Add in remaining cup of flour, 1/2 cup at a time.  Stir well until dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 5 minutes until smooth (it's better if you're dough's a little sticky here, rather than adding too much flour).

Cover with a clean, damp cloth, and let rest for 10 minutes.

Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and soft butter.

Roll dough out into a 9x12 rectangle (*hint: the pan you'll be placing them in is a 9x13 in case you need an idea of measurements).

Spread butter-sugar mixture evenly across the dough.  Then, roll up the long side of the dough as tight as you can.  Pinch the seam where it ends, so that it doesn't come apart.  Use either a serrated knife to cut the roll into 12 even pieces, or you can use a piece of plain floss (slide it under the dough, bring it up, cross over each other, and cut).  

*Hint: I often trim the ends of the roll off and bake it in a mini pan to help the buns stay more even!

Arrange the twelve buns into a greased 9x13 pan.  Cover with a clean dish towel, and allow to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 18-20 minutes.  


Eggnog Glaze

recipe: from Moirianne
yields: 1 1/2 cups

ingredients:

2 cups icing sugar

2 tablespoons butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla 

3 tablespoons eggnog

directions:

In a medium bowl, mix together softened butter, icing sugar, vanilla, and eggnog.  Add eggnog or icing sugar as needed until the desired consistency is reached.

Spread on slightly warm cinnamon buns and serve!