Friday, March 19, 2010

Banana-Oat Smoothie


I made this for breakfast this morning and loved it! It is very filling and tasted wonderful!


- 1/2 rolled oats (not instant!)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 cup milk
- 4 Tsp honey
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon


Combine oats, bananas, milk, honey and cinnamon in a blender and puree until smooth.
Serve immediately. Makes 2.


Adapted from Everyday food.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Cherry and chocolate chip cookies.

The name of this recipe (from Kids in the Holiday Kitchen) is actually "Jolly Cookie Jar". My daughter and I made this over the holidays and gave the jars as a Christmas present to her teacher and crossing guard. We layered all the dry ingredients into a jar, decorated it and wrote the recipe on a little tag attached to it. It was very pretty but unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of them. Because they were so good I decided to make them again a couple of weeks ago.


- 3 ounces (3/4 stick) softened butter
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Set oven temperature to 375°F.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.



Beat together the softened butter, vanilla extract and egg in another large mixing bowl.


Add the dry ingredients and stir or mix until well blended.


Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.


Bake until golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Last time I made them they still din't look fully cooked after 10 minutes so I let them cook for another couple of minutes which was a mistake! Don't let them cook more than 10 minutes!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Krusball ~ A Swedish Marshmallow Confection.


I did not make those! They are from Ikea. I just had to share because they are so wonderful! They are coconut flavored, chocolate covered, soft and fluffy marshmallows. We've been back from Ikea for about an hour and I already ate three. At this rate they will be all gone by the end of the day! Oh well, I guess it's a good thing I only go to Ikea about once a year!


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Snack mom of the week!

Every Thursday in my daughter's class, a child must bring a snack for every student (the rest of the week, they bring their own snack). The name of the snack needs to start with the letter of the week. This week, the letter is U. I had the choice between ubi, udon, ugli, ukha, uku and other exotic fruits/foods that I have never heard of before. I could have done upside down cakes but that's a lot of work and I am not sure it would have been very appealing to the kids. So I talked to Maia -she always has great ideas- and she mentioned those little umbrellas that you find in cocktails. And I thought that it was exactly what I needed. I could stick them on anything and there I would have my "U" snack. I decided to go for cream cheese rolls as I thought most kids would be familiar with it and even the picky ones would probably like it.



You should have seen the kids' faces when they came back from recess and found those on their desks. They all looked like little kids discovering what's under the tree on Christmas morning! They ALL ate them and even the 10 extra ones I had made were gone by the end of snack time.
One of the little girls even asked me to give her mom the recipe so she could make it at home. That really made my day!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows.



I have a thing for marshmallows. Actually, let me rephrase that, I have a passion for marshmallows. Ever since I was little, I remember loving them. Nothing could get between me and my "Chamallows" as we say in France. It's a good thing Haribo Chamallows are not sold in the U.S. because if they were I can guarantee I'd be 20 pounds heavier! I have no self-control when it comes to marshmallows. American store-sold marshmallows are very good too, but they really can't compare to their French counterpart :-)

Marshmallows make me happy. They are soft, fluffy and flavorful. I find it hard to stop eating them once I have opened a bag (or made some in my own kitchen :-)
Another thing I am passionate about: coconut. I absolutely adore the way coconut tastes! Maia knows this and when she saw the recipe for toasted coconut marshmallows on a blog she follows, she immediately knew to send me the link. Thank you Maia!



- 2 cups finely shredded unsweetened dried coconut
- 2 (1/4 ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp coconut extract (I could only find imitation coconut extract at the store I went to, I will have to find the real thing before I do this recipe again!)

Preheat the oven at 350° F.
To toast the coconut, put it on a baking sheet in the oven until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir it a few times during the process so that it toasts evenly. Be careful not to burn it, it can happen very fast! Once the coconut is toasted, set aside to cool down.



Lightly oil a 9-inch square baking ban. I used canola oil as it doesn't have any flavor. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with 1/2 cup of the coconut.


In a medium mixing bowl (or the bowl of your stand-mixer, which I highly recommend since this requires to be mixed for quite a while!), sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup of water and set aside.


Combine the sugar, corn syrup, remaining 1/2 cup of water into a heavy sauce pan and heat on medium-low until sugar has dissolved. Set a candy thermometer in the pan.


Bring to a boil over medium heat without stirring, until the temperature reaches 240°F (soft ball stage). Remove from the heat and let stand until the bubbles dissipate.


With the mixer on low speed, pour the hot syrup into the gelatin in a thin and steady stream trying to avoid the beater.


Increase the speed to high and beat for about 15 minutes, until it has become very thick.

Do you see something funny on this picture? Yes, it's me, tip-toeing on my daughter's step-stool to be able to get a picture of the inside of the mixing bowl :-)



Add the vanilla and coconut extracts and beat for another minute.


Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.


Sprinkle the top with anoher 1/2 cup toasted coconut.


Now here's the hardest part: wait at least 2 hours. Let it stand, uncovered at room temperature. Put it in a corner of your kitchen and try to forget about it!
After that time, run a thin spatula between the sides of the pan and the marshmallow mixture.


Invert onto a cutting board and cut into 3/4 inch wide strips and then into squares. I used a pizza cutter and found that it worked great!


Put the rest of the coconut into a bowl and use it to coat the marshmallows on all sides.


You can store the marshmallows in an air-tight container (use parchment or wax paper in between layers) in a cool spot for up to a month. But if you're like me, they won't last more than a day or 2!