Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cold Remedy Drink and Smileys

I made minestrone soup today! The soup was full of fresh vegetables, white beans, kidney bean, pasta, and aromatic oregano....yummo. After making enough delicious, hearty minestrone to feed 100 plus people I was feeling pretty tired. It's not the first time I made soup to feed a small army so that wasn't the issue that made me tried but the fact that I'm still battling this cold that just won't go away! 

I got sick last week, just at the time that my sister and nephew were coming to visit....Blah! Such bad timing but hey that's life! Actually it turned out that my poor nephew was sick too!! But I must say we definitely didn't let our colds stop us from going ice fishing and staying up till the wee hours of the morning visiting :) One thing that did help our coughing and sore throats was my mom's cold remedy drink. Next time your battling a cold try this cold drink remedy, it's all natural, and it's safe for your kids to drink. This drink works wonders, try it, you'll see!!

So today after coming home from a long soup making day, I was feeling tired and my throat was a bit scratchy and sore. I made myself a big mug full of this delicious cold remedy drink and it was the perfect boost I needed to help me get some very cute cookies decorated. This drink is not only good when your feeling sick but anytime you need a warming drink. If you have a nasty cough keeping you up, get up make a cup of this drink and you'll be ready to get some sleep shortly. Today I'm going to share the drink recipe with you. 

~ Cold Remedy Drink ~

Boiling hot water
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Black strap Molasses

Squeezed the juice from half the lemon. Bring the water in the kettle to a boil. Get out your favorite mug. For each cup of boiling water measure 2 teaspoons honey, 2 teaspoons molasses and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Stir ingredients to combine, add a slice on lemon. Sit back, put up your feet and enjoy your cold remedy drink.  


                 Lemon juice 
                 Black strap molasses

 Add 2 teaspoons of honey

Add 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Add 2 teaspoons black strap molasses.

Fill mug with boiling hot water.

         Enjoy while still hot! 


                                                   Cold Remedy Drink

After I finished my drink I was ready to get back to my cookie decorating. I found a picture of Smiley face decorated cookies on Pinterest a while back and I thought they were so adorable. I really like Smiley faces, as you've probably noticed from prior posts, so I couldn't wait to make them. I'm so glad I did make them because they are so cute....almost too cute to eat :)

I was so STRESSED out about this linger cold that just didn't want to go away.....

It makes me very ANGRY when....


Sometimes I could just CRY....

But thanks to my Cold Remedy Drink !

I'm a HAPPY girl again!

See aren't they so cute. Who wouldn't love these cookies!


Happy or Sad !

The sad face unfortunately ended up with a bit of a bent on the left side. Royal Icing 101 don't touch cookies until completely dry, at least it kind of matches the mood. Maybe that's why he's sad because he got crunched. 

I also made some pretty flower cookies too! 

Smiles and Flowers go together to me so......


Remember next time your feeling sickstressed or angry and you don't have much to smile about, Make a cup of  Cold Remedy Drink and before longing you'll be feeling great ;)

Thanks for stopping by,

Have a Smiley Day!

Love Katya

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Birthday Cake Pops

It's my friend's birthday today. Happy Birthday Leona!! Well I didn't have time to make a cake but I did have time to make something even better. Birthday Cake Pops! 

I love cake pops because in my opinion they make the perfect bite size treat and they're definitely time friendly too... And beside it's all the same ingredients that goes into a cake except you're not stuck with a huge cake eyeing you every time you open the fridge me!! 

Cake pops are small, and freeze well so have one or two, then pop the rest into the freezer for a time when your craving something sweet!

I posted a blog about making cake pops earlier click here if you want to try making them.

 I used two small round cutters, one slightly larger then the other to make the stacked birthday cake pop. Place approxiately half of the crumbled cake/frosting mixture on a large piece of waxed paper, press together lightly with your hands to make one mass, cover with another piece of waxed paper. Flatten the crumbled cake/ frosting mixture with a rolling pin applying light pressure ( you just want to flatten cake mixture more so than roll out) about 1/2 inch thickness. Then place in fridge to chill for 10 minutes.   Remove from fridge and cut out even amount of both size rounds. Do the same for the other half of the cake mixture. Chill again while preparing melted chocolate.

Prepare chocolate to dip cake pops. (see recipe) With a small spatula spread a little amount of melted chocolate on smaller cake round and attach to bigger cake round. Attach the lollipop stick into bottom layer with melted chocolate. Finish doing this with all the cake rounds and chill again to allow stick to harden and attach well. Dip the whole mini birthday cake stack cake pop in melted chocolate. Gently tap of any excess amount. I use a floral sponge to stick the cake pop sticks in to keep them upright to harden.

Birthday Cake Cakepops and Cupcake Cakepops!

To make the cupcake cake pops, follow the same steps for making the stacked cake rounds but you only cut out the smaller cake rounds for the cupcake bottoms. For the cupcake tops roll a 1 inch cake pop ball, then cut it in half. Let the cupcake topper and bottoms chill! Then attachment all the cupcake bottoms to the lollipop sticks using melted chocolate. Chill, then dip the entire bottom in melted chocolate, tap off any excess chocolate. Attach the cupcake topper immediately then chill. Melt your choice of coloured chocolate melts for cupcake tops. Dip the cupcake tops very careful not to submerge the whole cupcake pop. You want to just cover the top rounded part with coloured melted chocolate. Add sprinkles of your choice right away.

Happy Birthday!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Love Katya

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Birdseed Squares

3 more days till springs!! Yay! Not only is spring right around the corner so are many birthdays, baby showers, weddings and more birthdays. It seems like everyone was either born in April or being born in April, all of a sudden I'm jam packed with making cookie favours, cakes, sugar flowers and party decorations. Eeeks!!...good thing I work better under pressure because it's gonna be BUSY:) The great thing about all these different celebrations is that I will be able to share my new projects will you all. There is one occasion in particular that I'm really excited about partly because it's for someone very special and partly because the colour scheme for the party is so COOL, I can't really elaborate more on this yet but it's gonna be GOOD!! You'll see!! :)

The snow is slowly melting and soon enough we'll able to start spending more time in the great outdoors although I must say I will definitely miss ice fishing. But the great thing about living in Canada is that with each season there is new and different activities to enjoy.  Ice fishing is going, going.... gone but hello fly fishing and hiking.

 So as winter turns to spring outside, the baking continue inside my kitchen. I thought I'd share a great recipe for homemade granola bars which I call Birdseed Squares. These bars are packed with healthy nuts, seeds, grains and honey, hence the name for Birdseed Squares, any birdie would be lucky to eat them ;) All natural no preservatives, these bars are great to take hiking, fishing or on any outing your planning. That's why I thought what better time to introduce this delicious, nutrition bar recipe to you than now. With spring around the corner you'll be needing a great recipe for all your on-the-go outdoor activities that's easy, delicious and healthy too :) 

~Birdseed Squares~  

2 cups sunflower seeds 
2 cups sesame seeds
2 cups shredded coconut
2 cups oats
 2 cups peanuts
2 cups granola
1 cup honey
2 cups sugar
2 slices of  lemon

Toast the sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, oats, and peanut in a wide non-stick frying pan. Heat the seeds, oats or peanuts on medium-high. shaking the pan occasionally. Remove the seeds (other ingredients) when they are toasted brown in colour and fragrant. It takes 3-5 minutes to toast each ingredients on the stove top. 
Pour the toasted sunflower seeds, toasted sesame seeds, toasted oats into a large mixing bowl. Toast the peanuts till golden brown, then coarsely chop peanut and add to dry ingredients. Add coconut and granola. Mix till all ingredients are well combined. Set aside.

In a pot combine, honey, sugar and lemon slices. Cook ingredients on medium-high for 10 minutes till sugar dissolves . Don't let the mixture come to a boil! Remove from heat and remove lemon slices, then pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir till the dry ingredients are well coated with the warm honey/sugar mixture.

Dump the granola mixture into a well greased 9x13 pan. Using a  buttered spatula or wet hands with water. then evenly press the mixture into  the prepared 9x13 pan. Score the granola bars while still warm, then cool completely. Cut into bars.

 Serve immediately or store in an air tight container. Store no more than three days at room temperature in airtight container. To freeze, place in layers separated by wax paper in airtight container. Freeze for up to 6 weeks. Let stand  at room temperature for 1/2 hour before serving.  


Step by Step Instructions : How to Make Birdseed Squares

 Toast the oats in a wide non-stick frying pan on medium high. Toast till brown in colour and fragrant about 3-5 minutes.  
Pour into a large mixing bowl.

Oats are well known as being heart-healthy. Help to lower "bad" cholesterol, cutting the risk of heart disease.

Toast sunflower seeds till golden and fragrant. Add to mixing bowl with toasted oats. 

Sunflower seeds are packed with vitamins, including vitamin B1 and B5, vitamin E and folate. The fats in sunflower seeds are heart healthy fats. 

Toast sesame seeds till golden, add to mixing bowl with other dry ingredients.
Sesame seeds are rich in vitamins and minerals. The seeds are also a very good source of dietary proteins with fine quality amino acids that are essential for growth, especially in kids.

Toast peanut till golden brown, coarsely chop on cutting board with a sharp knife and then add to mixing bowl containing other dry ingredients.

Peanuts are rich in energy. They rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids that help lower "bad cholesterol" The nuts are a rich source of minerals like copper, zinc, calcium and many more.

Add shredded coconut to dry ingredients.

Coconut boost energy and endurance. It creates a nutritional boost of energy that lasts.Coconut increases the metabolic rate of the body, helping burn excess body weigh.

Add 2 cups of your favorite granola mix to the dry ingredients bowl.

Granola is a healthy combinaiton of oats, grains,nut, dried fruit and sometimes honey. It's a good source of fiber and vitamins.

Stir to combine all the dry ingredients. Set aside while you make the honey/sugar mixture.  

               Kinda looks like Birdseed right?  

In a  saucepan combine sugar, honey and lemon slices. 

Honey give an immediate energy boost. it has antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties. Honey has many amazing benefits!

Lemon -two biggest health benefits are immune boosting powers from vitamin C and their use as weight lose aid

Cook the honey/sugar mixture on medium-high for 10 minutes until sugar dissolves. Don't let the mixture boil, it kills all the health benefits in the honey and it will boil over and make a huge mess in your burner.
It's times like these that I'm thankful that my dad is a beekeeper and I have a stash of delicious unpasteurized honey at my disposal anytime I need it :)

Remove the lemon slices and pour the honey mixture over the dry ingredients.

Use a wooden spoon or spatula  and stir till the dry ingredients are well coated with the warm honey/sugar mixture. Don't use your hands to mix the ingredients, you'll burn them.

Dump the granola mixture into a well greased 9x13 pan. Preferably one you don't mind cutting squares in. 

You can evenly press the mixture  down with a buttered spatula or slightly wet  hands.

Score the bars while still warm, then allow to cool completely, cut into bars and serve immediately or store in air tight containers

The best energy bars ever! Birdseed Squares.....

Great for hikes, long road trips and fishing. Keep fairly long in freezer unless you eat them all ;) These are so easy to make and have so many healthy nutritious ingredients, store bought granola bars sound healthy but at times are no better than a chocolate bar. The best part is that these bars have no preservatives, none will be needed because these bars are so good they never last long.


Apricot Krispie Birdseed Squares: Reduce oats to 1 cup. Add 2 cup rice Krispies and  1 cup chopped dried apricots. 

This is just one of many variation that are possible. You can substitute sunflower seeds for pumpkin seeds and add dried cranberries, blueberries or cherries.. Try substituting the peanuts for almonds, pecans or any favorite nut. You can even substitute the sugar for raw sugar if desired, I have never tried Stevia sugar substitute but it might be a good natural sweetener for sugar in this recipe.  

Thanks for stopping by,

Happy Baking!

Love Katya
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