Thursday, February 23, 2012

Pixie Surprise

So a few weeks ago I saw a cookie recipe on one of my favourite recipe blogs, Our Best Bites, that I really wanted to try. I printed the recipe, bought the ingredients, and then didn't do anything. I was so busy with birthday planning, and cleaning, and dealing with some weird shoulder pain, that the cookies just got pushed further and further down the priority list. But they were constantly nagging at my brain. So yesterday, with the two bigger ones at school, and the Sous-Chef at work, the littlest critic and I decided to give them a whirl.

Super delicious! They were a great after dinner treat. But let me warn you, these babies are SICKLY sweet. Like burn the back of your throat sweet. So now I had made 2 dozen cookies, gotten my fill of them from just one cookie, and had so many more left. I tried to convince the Sous-Chef to take some with him to his Young Men's activity. He didn't want to bother. Seriously, the amount of sugar contained in these leads me to not wanting to let my kids indulge in too many. What am I going to do with nearly 2 dozen cookies?

And then a beautiful plan was born. It was pixie time. Dad was gone to Young Men's. With the car. So that left us the only choice of pixie-ing someone within walking distance. We had pixied our next door neighbour just last week with Valentine Sugar Cookies, so it was someone else's turn for some treats. There's a family down the street with 2 little kids close to our critics ages, and they ride the bus together. Super nice. Super welcoming. We figured they were the perfect prey.

So everyone got bundled, and headed outside in the cover of night. The plan was for the littlest critic and I to hang back with the stroller, so we wouldn't be seen, and the bigger two would sneak up, leave the cookies, ring the bell and run. The biggest critic said, "But Chef, I'm not quick on stairs!" So a new plan was devised. She would leave the cookies, and hurry down the steps. Once she was down, the middle-critic would ring the bell and we'd all run.

They were so excited and it was fabulous. We ran home and hid in the cover of our garage and played hockey. Then, about 10 minutes later, we went for another walk to make sure the cookies had been snatched up.

It was fun to act all innocent at the bus-stop this morning when we saw them.


1 chocolate cake mix (we prefer Duncan Hines)
1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
2 eggs
12 large marshmallows
1/2 c. melted butter
1/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 c. evaporated milk
1 lb. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 350. Combine cake mix, eggs, and shortening in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer and mix until well combined. Drop dough by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet and bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the cookies appear done but are still soft in the center.

While the cookies are baking, use a pair of kitchen shears to cut each marshmallow in half. When the cookies have baked, remove the pan from the oven and place a marshmallow half on each cookie, cut side down. Return the pan to the oven for about 2 minutes. Remove from oven and very gently push each marshmallow down. Allow to cool completely and repeat with remaining cookie dough.

When the cookies have cooled completely, combine the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Add melted butter, vanilla, and evaporated milk and beat on high until smooth, light, and fluffy. Transfer the frosting to an icing bag fitted with a large tip and swirl onto the cookies. Makes 24 cookies.

Be prepared...sickly sweet, but OH SO GOOD.

Monday, February 6, 2012


I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm not really big into SuperBowl Sunday. It's just another Sunday to me. The Sous-Chef likes football, but he doesn't watch it very often. And I'm always at odds about watching the SuperBowl simply because it's on a Sunday. I mean, we don't PLAY sports on Sunday, so why do we watch other people PLAY sports on Sunday...especially people who are paid to do it. Of course, it's not that big of a dilemma for me, because I don't really care to watch it. Except for the commercials. I usually perk up when those come on, because let's face it, SuperBowl commercials are the best.

Needless to say, I was somewhat aware that SuperBowl was coming up, because I'm not dead, but I hadn't planned anything. Then, I was catching up on some of my favourite blogs, when I noticed a friend of mine had posted some healthy snack choices for a SuperBowl party. Amongst those was a recipe for Guacamole, that she touted as "The Best On The Planet". Although I am not a huge fan of SuperBowl, I AM a huge fan of snacks...and especially Guacamole. So I figured I'd give the recipe a try.

When the Sous-Chef found out that I bought ingredients for Guacamole, he suggested we invite some friends over a make it a SuperBowl party. So somehow, even though I don't like the SuperBowl, a Guacamole recipe launched a SuperBowl party that I wasn't planning on having.

We invited a family over who has kids similar ages to our kids, and who we get a long with GREAT. And a feast ensued!

The evening started with the Guacamole and chips, and let me just say, it did not disappoint. I have had some pretty awesome Guacamole in my day, but I'd say that this is the best "Home-Kitchen recipe on the planet". Well, unless I was at my friend Roberto's house, which is somewhere in Mexico, and that's just not happening any time soon, so this will have to do!

We cooked up a few smokies and sliced them up for a little appetizer action too.

Then, the main event - A Schwack of Chili, and Pizza Buns - because we both have critics who are pretty critical of Chili, and it's a party, so no one should go home hungry, or disappointed.

We finished the night off allowing the little critics to make a big mess of my kitchen decorating cupcakes and eating Ice-cream Sundaes.

It has been YEARS since I had a full-blown ice-cream Sundae, and I LOVED it. Vanilla ice-cream, caramel AND chocolate sauce, strawberries, bananas and honey-roasted peanuts. Oh, that was good!

So, although I didn't watch much football, besides the Madonna half-time show and the commercials, I had a great time hosting my own SuperBowl party!

PS. There is a link to the guacamole recipe, but people seem to be having a hard time finding it, so I'll just post it here. Credit goes to my friend Estelle at

3 avocados
juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-1/2 tbsp Frank's Red Hot Sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp seasoning salt

Mash avocados and mix with other ingredients, or if you like it creamier (like me) the throw it all in the blender or food processor until well combined. Seriously delicious! We ate the leftovers last night while watching garbage tv. It was great.