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Ok – so I might be dating myself but who remembers this commercial?

While I was cleaning out/re-organizing our treat stash/stockpile cupboard, I stumbled upon these lil babies and immediately started singing the song from the commercial.  (Yes, I said ‘treat stockpile’ people. Judge me if it makes you feel better lol  I like to buy and keep a few treats/snacks etc on hand for when the mood strikes or last minute guests drop by but don’t always want to eat them ASAP.  Plus if the hubster see’s them, he’ll go for them ASAP.  This method totally works for us. And yes, I know that he knows where the stash is. However, out of sight, out of mind right? 😉 )

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I must say that I do enjoy these individually wrapped (aka portion controlled) treats. I find them to be just the right size/portion to go with a cup of tea or coffee.

So tell me, when was the last time you took a broke off a piece of that Kit Kat bar? 😉

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The other night I was craving something sweet but not overly indulgent. As I rifled through the cupboards, I stumbled upon a box of After Eight hot chocolate mix and decided to give it a whirl. I added whipped cream to make it that much more indulgent (and to prevent me from wanting a ‘do-over’ the following day shelling out $5)

Totally did the trick. :). What’s your fave way to enjoy hot chocolate?

I made these super easy and simply delicious Cake Mix Cookie Bars for dessert on Valentine’s Day 2014 using and substituting what I had on hand in the pantry. Talk about being frugal 😉 It barely took me 10 minutes from gathering the ingredients to getting them into the oven.

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Ingredients

  • 1 boxed cake mix – I used double chocolate mix
  • 1/2c vegetable oil  – I used canola
  • 1/2c sugar – I used coconut sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1c chocolate chips, M&M’s or other candy toppings – I used a mix of pumpkin spice & coconut M&M’s

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix ingredients together and spread into a 9×13″ pre-greased pan. (note: this will make a stiff dough)
  3. Bake for 25-30 Minutes. (I baked for 20 mins and yielded perfectly soft centred cookie bars)
  4. Cut into bars. (I let cool for 10 mins in pan before flipping onto a cooling rack and allowed to cool another 10 mins before cutting)
  5. Store in an airtight container. Should last a week stored on the counter but I wouldn’t know. Ours were devoured within 3 days and that was torture trying to make them last that long 😀

You can find the original recipe here.

The hubster and I aren’t the type that believe in Hallmark holidays (well, putting money into someone else’s pockets for no good reason). Don’t get us wrong but why would we choose to celebrate our love for one another on one specific day, as dictated by someone else?  What about the other 364 days of the year? Since we aren’t celebrating on those days, does that mean we don’t love one another?  Its a bizarre concept to me. Maybe I am (we are) the only odd ball(s) that thinks that way. But at least we’re on the same page about it 🙂  Not trying to belittle this holiday either as it may move mountains for some while others want to bury their heads in the sand or jump off a bridge – its all about marketing IMO.

So to observe this holiday (rather then celebrate) – we do it in our own lil way. (I guess we do that with all the holidays)
I decided to make a nice dinner for us to enjoy. (dad too!)   It’s something I don’t make often so it truly is a treat for us.

Pulled pork. 🙂

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Served up traditional style – on buns (hubby’s fave way to eat it)

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Served on a bed of rice (dad’s fave way to eat this) with garden salad

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Dessert: cake mix cookie bars – HOLY. YUMMERS!
(this was like crack to the hubster and I, we couldn’t stop after eating just one.)

Le moo.

Suffice to say, I showed love to everyone’s stomach this year. Mission accomplished!

How did you celebrate/observe Valentine’s Day?

At dad’s request – we made an effort to gather the entire family for Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner.  Dad’s request was made very last minute despite all his children checking in earlier within the month to see if we were going to gather for the annual tradition.

This year that happened to take place on the eve of Thursday January 30th, 2014.

Below are pics from our feast 🙂

1623622_590569227700368_1087430720_nFish Maw & Seafood Thick Soup

1779345_590569257700365_165776747_nBBQ Combination Platter (with Cold Jellyfish Salad)

1724482_590569214367036_701007771_nFried Pork loin with Chef’s Sauce

1653680_590569111033713_1709149972_nDouble Lobsters With Ginger & Green Onion Sauce

1606876_590569191033705_754757715_nShrimp, Octopus, Candied Walnuts On Broccoli

1798655_590569171033707_733070158_nDried Oysters (reconstituted) With Mushrooms On Bed Of Lettuce

1016241_590569151033709_1174394751_nFried Pickerel In Soya Sauce

1660588_590569131033711_1185997445_nFried Pickerel In Soya Sauce

fried rice
House Fried Rice
(source)

e fu noodles
E-Fu Noodles w/Mushrooms
(source)

Red Bean SoupSweet Red Bean Soup
(source)

8204_590569241033700_1874672076_nDessert
(Almond Cookies & Red Bean Cookies)

Everyone left with full bellies, QT with dad and the rest of the family and leftovers (*lol*) to ring in the new year.

2014 – The Year Of The Horse!
horse(source)

I feel our summer was a bit ‘off’ this year with a few stretches of hot, hazy and humid days and hot sunny days.  One day it was hot and the next you needed fall clothes. What gives Mother Nature?  Feeling nostalgic for a good old traditional summer, I decided to make these popsicles.   They sounded non typical, refreshing and summery tasty 😀

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What I threw into the blender:
* 1 can coconut milk (not coconut water)
* 1/2c – 1c water
* juice of one lime
* 4 large’ish basil leaves
* healthy squirt of agave syrup

Blend until everything is well incorporated and smooth. Adjust ingredients to suit your taste preferences. I opted for less water so it’d be richer and creamier and put in as much lime zest I could grate off and added a bit more basil because I like bold flavours. I opted for a tiny squirt of agave b/c I didn’t want it to be too sickly sweet.  Pour into popsicle makers and let set/freeze overnight.

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And there you have it, the beautifully tasty outcome.  These were very quick and easy to make with ingredients I already had on hand. Yum!

A friend shared her vegan carrot cake recipe and it sounded so simple yet tasty enough that I really wanted to try my hand at it. Like, literally after reading her recipe.  However, I used what I had on hand therefore making it not vegan.  What I ended up with was something that was super moist and tasty! The hubster has been asking if I had made it again since that one time…I think that’s a clue? 😉

20130422-120702.jpgSee this deliciousness?

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When its all mixed together, it looks like this.

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And once baked it looks like this.

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And once cooled, looks like this 🙂

I bought the hubster and I some sherbert treats to try the other day. I had never seen this brand before (Gooble) and figured they’d be fun to try especially since they were on sale – 2/$3!

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Interesting packaging no? Very eye catching if you ask me.

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Check it out…its a scoop of pineapple sherbert, served in a hallowed out mini pineapple. It even comes with a tiny plastic spoon so it literally is an all in one packaged product.

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See! How cute is that!?

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I’ll admit, it was mighty tasty. Too tasty in fact – hence the empty bowl. 😉  I found the portion to be just right size as well and both the hubster and I prefered the pineapple flavour over the orange, which I had chosen for him.  Of course it came in a hallowed out orange!

Anyone else every try sherbert like this?

There’s something to be said about finding a bargain on banana’s. I know in the US, the store Trader Joe’s sells 5/$1 or a pound for a buck. Here the prices range anywhere from $0.49/lb right up to $0.89/lb and even higher for organic.  Much to my delight, I spotted the clerk filling up the discount, dent & ding rack so I scooted on over to see what she was putting out.

This mammoth bag of banana’s.  I weighed the bag when I got home and counted over 20 banana’s …. for $1.69. That’s right – the entire bag was only $1.69!  BTW – The bag weighed 12lb’s. The best part, 90% of them were still firm, green and just starting to go yellow.  I’m guessing a new shipment of banana’s came in and there were only so little left from the old that they decided to put it out for clearance?   I have no problems with that if that means I can snag such a deal!

After a week, they started turning as we can only eat so many banana’s in a day.  I mashed the remaining and froze some and used the rest to make up some wonderful muffins!  These baby freeze great as well.

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That’s right. I got 30 muffins out of a few banana’s

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Walnut, coconut, choc chip banana muffins.

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Plain old raisin & banana muffins.

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Snack time! Nothing like a freshly baked muffin still warm from the oven paired with a nice cold glass of milk.  Hey…don’t judge! Someone had to be sacrificial lamb and do a taste test. May as well enjoy myself! 😉  Don’tchas just love great bargains?

For Christmas this year (er 2012 – sorry for the late post!) I decided to NOT partake in gift exchanges and instead, meet up with friends for some QT. Much more along the lines of what Christmas means to me.   I decided to bake cookies to gift as well – something small (and tasty) but nothing significant enough to make the other person(s) feel they need to return a gift.

I’m not sure if my plan backfired.  After sharing my ‘no gift exchange’ theme this year, no invites came to meet up for some QT.  Ironic??  What do you think this tells me about my friends? Coincidentally, this was the one year I went on a huge baking spree.

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Peppermint Sugar Cookies

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Brownie Crackle Cookies

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Pineapple Delights

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Ginger Snaps (the beginning of)

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Oatmeal Cranberry Chocolate Chip Cookies

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And lastly – the finished Ginger Snap.
Isn’t it beautiful?!

I’ll admit, we had well over 150 cookies & treats as I also made coconut rice krispie treats as well (not pictured – sorry!). Figuring that I’d be serving these cookies up whenever someone stopped by to visit or be gifting some to them when meeting up, I made the cookies smaller then usual to gain a larger yield.  We still have a food storage container full as I’m slowly doling them out to the hubster and I after dinner. No need to gorge on them in one night and go to bed with a tummy ache LOL.

What treats did you make for Christmas?

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