Honey Lemon Gin Sour

Delicious gin cocktail sweetened with honey with a secret ingredient…

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Today I’m sharing a fun classic cocktail with a secret ingredient.

Gin is my favourite hard alcohol to create cocktails with. So I’m always trying to experiment with different ways to use it. Citrus goes so well with gin. Lemon is my favourite. This cocktail is perfect for spring. Honey and lemon scream springtime to me!

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This cocktail contains four simple ingredients; gin, lemon juice, honey and aquafaba.

Ok so aquafaba might not sound so simple…. Traditionally sour cocktails contain egg whites. The egg whites create a light airy foam on top of the cocktail. Personally I don’t like using egg whites in cocktails. There is something so weird about drinking egg whites. Plus they smell funky. Just my opinion. If it’s your jam you can sub egg whites for aquafaba one to one.

So what the heck is aquafaba? Aquafaba is the liquid found in a can of chickpeas. So essentially bean liquid. Sounds so weird right? But it’s a really common vegan substitute for egg whites. It’s used in recipes that call for whipped egg whites like meringues.

I swear as weird as it sounds you won’t taste it. If you’re not ready to try it yet then just omit it. The flavours of the cocktail will be the same but the texture won’t be as good. It won’t have the same body and foaminess.

Ok now are you going to try this sour with or without the aquafaba?

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Honey Lemon Gin Sour

Yields: 1 cocktail

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces Gin
  • 1 ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 3/4 ounce Honey
  • 3/4 ounce Aquafaba (strained chickpea liquid)
  • Ice

Directions:

Add aquafaba to a cocktail shaker. Dry shake until frothy about 30 seconds. Fill shaker with ice. Add gin, lemon juice and honey. Shake again until well mixed and the shaker becomes very cold. At least 30 seconds.

Strain cocktail into preferred glass. I like using a coupe or martini glass. Enjoy!

Adapted from Liquor.com

 


Sun-dried Tomato Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche

Flavourful springtime quiche

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Is your family more of an Easter brunch or Easter dinner family? We’re both lol! I love quiche for brunch. I’m a fan of a savoury brunch over sweet. I picture servings this quiche with a simple salad, or my lemon parmesan green beans. Add some homemade cinnamon buns, fresh fruit and yogurt with granola to really round out the buffet.

And if you need a dessert for Easter how about carrot cake cupcakes?

Now lets get into this delicious quiche recipe!

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This quiche starts with my grandma’s classic pie dough recipe. You’ve seen it before for my chicken pot pie and my grandma’s famous berry pie! Today we’re using half of her recipe as the base of our crust.

The base of this quiche is so simple; just eggs and milk!

To flavour the quiche we are adding garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and crumbled goat cheese. Such a yummy combination.

After blind baking the pie shell pour the filling into the shell and bake,

Once baked this quiche is great cold or warm. Super delicious! And entertaining worthy!

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Sun-dried Tomato Spinach and Goat Cheese Quiche

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients:

Pie Dough:

  • 1 1/3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Shortening, cold
  • 1/4 cup Unsalted Butter, cold
  • 4 to 8 tbsp Ice Water

Filling:

  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/3 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 4 ounces Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter cut butter and shortening into flour until combined and mixture resembles peas and sand. Slowly add ice water one tablespoon at a time until a ball forms. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Roll pastry into a 9 inch disk. Line your pie dish. Crimp the edges of the crust. Prick the crust with a fork. Place a piece of parchment paper over the crust. Fill with dry beans or pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

In a fry pan over low heat add butter, spinach and garlic. Sauté until it spinach begins to wilt. Place in a small bowl to cool.

In a large bowl whisk together eggs and milk. Add sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, goat cheese, salt and pepper to the egg mixture. Fold together. Pour filling into pie shell.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until the crust starts to brown and the centre of the quiche is set. Allow to cool slightly before serving, 5-10 minutes.

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction and Danielle at Home.


Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

The BEST carrot cake cupcakes with tangy cream cheese frosting!

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Ok everyone today were taking carrot cake! Any carrot cake fans out there? I’m such a big fan. One of my wedding cake flavours was ever carrot cake. It was insanely delicious!

I make carrot cake every year for Easter which means my Uncle gets a chance to make the same joke every year. “Danielle did you grate the carrots?” Yep the joke is getting old but the cake is not.

I’ve experimented extensively with carrot cake over the years, nuts, no nuts, pineapple, yogurt, coconut etc etc etc. But the recipe I’m sharing today is a classic carrot cake. I like serving it as cupcakes because we tend to do dessert buffets at Easter and I think cupcakes are better for that. Also layered cakes are a ton of work so I tend to save them for birthdays.

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For my carrot cake I got nut free in the base. The cupcakes pictured are topped with nuts but you could skip that if you want. There are nut allergies in my husbands family and mine so we tend to keep our gatherings nut free. Hence why you wont find a tone of desserts containing nuts on my site.

All carrot cake recipes require some sort of moistening ingredient. I’ve used greek yogurt, apple sauce and crushed pineapple. My favourite is sour cream. For a super moist classic carrot cake this is a must.

As for the frosting I always make cream cheese frosting. I follow a 2:1 ratio of cream cheese to butter ratio. From there I add confectioner sugar and vanilla until the flavour and consistency is just right.

Now no more stalling lets get to this recipe! I know you’ll want it on your table at Easter!

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Carrot Cake Cupcakes and Cream Cheese Frosting

Yields: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

Carrot Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/3 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Medium Carrots, grated

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Butter, softened
  • 3 cups Confectioner Sugar (more if needed for texture)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 count muffin tin with liners.

In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside. In the bowl of your stand mixer beat vegetable oil and brown sugar until combined. Add eggs and mix on high until combined. Add sour cream and vanilla, continue to mix until combined.

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix on low until just combined. Add grated carrots and fold into batter. Fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Beat cream cheese and butter on high until fluffy. Add confectioners sugar and vanilla, beat on low until combined and fluffy. Once cupcakes are cool, frost and enjoy!

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction.


Scalloped Potatoes

The perfect Easter side dish.

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Ok this recipe is a real winner. Scalloped potatoes are so yummy. I didn’t grown up eating scalloped potatoes with Easter dinner. My Grandma hates cheese (crazy right?!) so a potato dish covered in cheese just wasn’t on our table. But in my house we love cheese and potatoes and my hubby loves anything smothered in a creamy sauce. That means this recipe is a serious winner!

Layers of potatoes smothered in a creamy sauce , sautéed onions and more cheese than your diet would ever allow. This is comfort food people. It’s for special occasions not everyday.

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I’ve got a few tips for making this recipe and then we can get into making (and eating) this deliciousness!

Ok first things first cut those potatoes thin! As thin as you can. Personally I use a mandolin. They are really great at this job. This is the one I have. I love it because its small but effective. I use setting number two!

Secondly the type of potato. You can use russets but I like using a yellow potato. They hold their shape better after a long cook time and overall I prefer their flavour.

Slow cook your onions. This is a must! I’m super impatient but for this dish you can rush cooking your onions. You want them soft, translucent and not even a little brown. If they brown they will discolour your cream sauce.

Layering. Add sauce and cheese in between each layer of potatoes. Now depending how thin you cut your potatoes you will have approximately 4-6 layers of potatoes. Spoon a small about of sauce over each layer and sprinkle a small amount of cheese over each layer.

Now lets get into this delicious recipe!

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Scalloped Potatoes

Yields: 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp Butter
  • Yellow Onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Vegetable Broth (you can use chicken)
  • 2 cups Milk (I use 2%)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tsp Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 4 pounds Yellow Potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 2 cups Old Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Parmesan Cheese, grated

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a large sauté pan melt butter over medium low heat. Add onions sauté until soft and translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add flour to the pan. Cook flour and onions for about a minute. Slowly add vegetable stock, stir constantly until a thick but smooth sauce forms. Slowly add milk to sauce, stir until smooth. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to thicken slightly. Set aside.

Line a 13×9 inch baking dish with a layer of potatoes. Top with 1/3 cup sauce (approx.) and onions. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over sauce. Continue to layer potatoes until complete. Pour the remaining sauce over the top layer of potatoes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minute. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes until the top is brown and the potatoes are cooked though.

Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Top with additional thyme and cheese if desired.

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven.

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Perfect Easter Dresses – 2019

Breaking down my picks for Easter dresses…

Easter Dresses

Ok guys Easter is coming up so I’m breaking down my favourite dresses for Easter. Whether you’re heading to church, brunch, dinner or chasing after kiddos at an easter egg hunt there’s something here for everyone.

Classic Green Floral Wrap – Green is one of my favourite colours to wear in spring and summer. It’s so bright and beautiful. This wrap dress is a classic look for Easter. And it’s just a great dress to have in your closet. Perfect for wedding season!

Feminine Pink Ruffles – This dress is seriously sweet and perfect if you live somewhere warm since it’s short sleeved. This dress is so sweet, trimmed with ruffles and pretty pink florals.

Sleeveless Green Wrap – Again a perfect dress if you live somewhere warm! This dress is stunning and perfect for brunch. I seriously want to drink a mimosa and sit in the sun on this press. Plus that wrap style hides the food baby after eating a few too many waffles!

Blue Wrap Dress – Seriously perfect Easter dress. For me this it the perfect church dress. It’s sweet and spring appropriate. I especially love the pleating in the dress. It adds such a great visual interest. It’s also perfect for a Pacific North West Easter since chances are there could be a bit of rain!

Classic Lace Dress – I love Eliza J lace dresses. I wore one to my bridal shower last year and can’t wait to add more to my collection. They are such high quality beautiful dresses. I think this pink one would be great for Easter brunch or dinner.

Sweet Sundress – Ok this dress screams Easter egg hunt to me! I think this dress would be especially perfect if you’re chasing after littles and helping the pick up eggs. It’s a great length for bending over and the high neck prevents any possible wardrobe malfunctions!

Ok guys now get shopping!