Linzer Speculaas Carrot Cake Bunny Squares

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YYYYAAAABBBAAAA DAAABBAAA DOOOO LONG WEEKEND!!!

Are the Flintstones still on T.V? Do you youngin’s know who the Flintstones are … Justin Timberlake said he was old at the Radio Music Awards … What the heck is happening to the world around me … 0o0o0o bunnies!!

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Needless to say I’m PUMPED about the long weekend. To be honest, I don’t have much planned – just lots of family time and food. The usual long weekend shenanigans … oh yes, and of course an Easter egg hunt.

My brother, husband and I are all adults … I get it – there really are no kids nearby … but that’s why our Easter egg hunts are AMAZING!!

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Some years we switch things up a bit, and we hide Easter chocolates for our parents to find … SO FREAKING HILARIOUS … not so fun, is finding week old chocolates in random places ( maybe a surprise in disguise to be honest). I thought since you’ll probably get your chocolate fix through Cadbury mini eggs … SERIOUSLY HOW ARE THESE SO ADDICTIVE … I’ve eaten the weight of a small child, in eggs in the last …. 24 hours – I’d say sorry … my tummy ache is making me say sorry … but it was sooooo good.

And still, easter isn’t the same without a little carrot cake .. and what’s dinner without dessert.

It’s a Carrot cake and cheese cake mish-mosh … and it’s so cute!!


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This was supposed to be a jelly-roll sort of cake … buuuttt … I wanted cute bunnies. I’m also super scared of rolling a cake .. what if it cracks … what if the cake isn’t all the same thickness… seriously, too much stress for a dessert.

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 I’m so happy with the way these squares came out – they’re delicious, pretty and technically 2 desserts in one – WINNING!!

 Linzer Speculaas Carrot Cake Bunny Squares

 Speculaas Carrot Cake Layer

  •  3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon powder
  • 3/4 cup flour + 1 tsp for sprinkling
  • 1/4 cup crushed Biscoff or Speculaas cookies ( approx 3 cookies)
  • 2 cups shredded carrots

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Cheesecake layer

  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 14-ounce can (1 1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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 Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll pan with foil, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with 1 tsp of flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together eggs, sugars, oil, vanilla extract and coconut extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together salt, baking powder, ginger, all spice, cinnamon, cardamom, 3/4 cup flour and crushed Speculaas cookies.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients until blended — stir in carrots.
  5. Spread in prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely — approximately 30 min. This is  the best time to make the cheesecake layer.

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  1. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, condensed milk, lemon juice and vanilla extract.
  2. Once your cake layer has cooled, taking your favourite cookie cutter ( I used a bunny) make cut outs, leaving 1 inch of cake between each.
  3. Remove the center of each of your cutouts ( helllloooo snack time!!)
  4. Layer your cheesecake batter over entire pan – filling in our bunny cutouts.
  5. Refrigerate for at least an hour / overnight.
  6. Once set, turn over onto a clean surface and slice.

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I hope everyone has a delicious, safe Easter Long Weekend!!

1000 Sand Moroccan Stew

Have you ever been sitting at the beach on a warm summers day – drink in hand – you’re in your cute two piece bikini ( this is a dream … just let me run with it) and then suddenly there’s a bit of wind and *gulp* you eat a mouthful of sand.

Dis.gust.ting.

I’m not to sure why I wanted to open this recipe with such a picture but let’s be honest … I needed to break the tension. I received e-mails from some of you who were worried, that I was missing in action. And for all of you, I love you.

For that same set you sent their love … I want to warm your heart with a blanket of this stew.

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Which is de.lic.ious. and actually tastes nothing like real sand. But has tiny little grains of couscous and tons of middle eastern flare … it’s sand stew … of the yummiest variety.

This is the type of meal, you let simmer all Sunday long … you let the flavours and smells permeate every corner of your home and leave your tummy talking until it’s ready. And in true stew nature, the longer it sits … the more delicious. 

1000 Sand Moroccan Stew

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Lamb

  • 3 Lbs Lean Lamb ~ Cubed
  • 1/2 Tsp Curry Powder
  • 1 Tbsp (each) Salt, Black Pepper, Ginger Powder, Onion Powder, Cinnamon, Cumin Powder, Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Directions

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In a medium-sized bowl, combine lamb and all of the above ingredients. Allow to marinade as you prepare the other ingredients ( the lamb can also sit over night… but it doesn’t have to:) )

Soup

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 Cup Red Onion ~ Chopped
  • 2 Small Tomatoes ~ Chopped
  • 5 Cups of Water
  • 1 Large Carrot ~ Chopped
  • 2 Dried Bay Leaves 
  • 1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro ~ Chopped
  • 2 Cups Canned Lentils
  • 3 Cups Canned Chickpeas
  • 1 Cup CousCous

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Directions:

In a large soup pot, add olive oil and allow to heat for 2 minutes. Add garlic, onions and tomatoes. Allow to cook until the tomatoes begin to sweat ( approximately 4 minutes)

Add your marinade meat to the pot. Allow to brown.

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Next, add your water and boil for 20 minuets until the lamb becomes tender.

Toss in your chopped carrots, and all of your spices. Continue to boil for an other 3 minutes

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Next, in goes the lentils and chick peas. Last, add in your couscous. Allow to boil for another 2 minuets.

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Grab your favorite bowl and dive into a little winter warmth.

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Enjoy my loves, I guarantee this will defrost you from this silly silly SILLY winter weather we’ve been having.

xoxox

Fall Oatmeal Harvest Cookies

Surprise – – Surprise I have cookies for you to celebrate the 1st of October!!

It’s love.

My love for you … and cookies that is. 

Let’s rewind for a second though, OCTOBER 1st?! How is it that the year is just zipping by?

Next weekend, is Thanksgiving – and then Halloween –  and then American Thanksgiving (yes, I celebrate both :$ …with lots of food of course) – then Christmas parties – holiday dinners – Kris Kringle – Christmas Eve – Christmas Day and before we know it it’s New Years Eve😦 . Throw in a couple birthdays, anniversaries, LTSL events and …..

*yawn* I’m tired just thinking about all of it.

The truth is, I say it exhausts me (and it does) but I love it. I love it all. Especially Christmas. LOVE LOVE LOVE  LOVE CHRISTMAS. It’s a big deal in the LTSL home, and not just for the cookies, although they do help to sweeten things up.

Speaking of cookies – – Lookie, lookie what I have for you.

These little puppies were highly highly highly inspired by this week’s Sunday’s With Joy. See, I sat down to read over this weeks recipe for Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies. I started making a couple of adjustments … tweaking here – – tinkering there and before I knew it — I pretty much had a brand spanking new cookie

But these cookies do have sweet potatoes in them. And they also have carrots … and oatmeal… and nuts … can we call this a breakfast cookie, since there’s all this yummy-healthy stuff in it? AND THERE’S NO BUTTER … and not much sugar. Don’t worry … I’m not turning health monster on you … but remember life is about moderation and if a cookie can be counted on the healthy side of moderation

WE HAVE A WINNER!!

Fall Harvest Oatmeal Cookies

* inspired by Joy’s Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies*

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped carrots

1 cup cubed sweet potato ~ seasoned with 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/2 Tsp Sea Salt, 1 Tbsp Honey.

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar

2 Large Eggs

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract

1 1/2 Cups Flour

3/4 Cup Rolled Oats

1 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder

1 Tsp Baking Soda

1 Tbsp Cinnamon

1 Tsp Ground Nutmeg

1 Tsp Ground Ginger Spice

1 Tsp Sea Salt

1 Cup Trail Mix

1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

1/4 Cup Flax Seeds.

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 oc. Prepare baking tray for your vegetables.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together seasoned sweet potatoes and carrots. Arrange on baking tray and roast for 25 minutes.

 

Remove from tray and mash. Your sweet potato, carrot combination should resemble thick mashed potatoes.

Lower the oven temperature to 350 oc.

In a large bowl, combine sugars, eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract and mashed vegetables. Set aside.

  

In a medium sized bowl, mix together flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger and sea salt.

Combine your wet and dry ingredients, and mix well.

 

Add trail mix, cranberries and flax seeds.  Mix. Scoop onto prepared cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.


Happy October Sweet Hearts, enjoy everything this cozy month has to offer

xox

Dark Chocolate Coconut Crumb Carrot Coffee Cake

Why is coffee cake, called coffee cake if there’s no coffee in it?

Is there supposed to be coffee in it?

Is it because the rich buttery topping compliments a dark slightly bitter piping hot cup of coffee oh so well?

Or is it to legitimize the idea of having a buttery, dense cake for breakfast?

Yeessiiirrr!

– to be frank, any of the above works for me. Especially the last one 😀

If it were up to me, there would be 5 essential food groups that ought be part of every meal :

Fruits & Veggies

Meat and Protein

Milk & Dairy

Grains & Fiber

CAKE.

(I just said ought — you know I mean official business when …) 

I should seriously rule the world one today … things would be so much happier if everyone was always eating cake. We would probably have to employ more doctors, and gym trainers but mehh … I’d be helping the economy.

Win/win – – ohhhyeeaaahh.

SO LET THE CAKE REVOLUTION BEGIN

Dark Chocolate Coconut Crumb Carrot Coffee Cake

Cake

2 ½ cups Flour

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

¾ Tsp. Baking Powder

½ Tsp. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Ginger

1 Tsp. Fresh Nutmeg

½ Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon

¾ Cups Butter (at room temperature)

1 Cup Sugar

2 Large Eggs

1 1/3 Cups Sour Cream

1 Tsp. Vanilla

1 ½ cups Shredded carrots (approximately 2 medium-sized carrots)

1 Cup Dark Chocolate Chunks

Coconut Crumb

1 Cup Brown Sugar

½ Cup Granulated Sugar

1 ½ Tbsp. Ground Cinnamon

½ Tsp. Sea Salt

1 Cup Melted Butter

2 Cups Coconut Granola

½ Cup Flour

Directions:

First prepare your favourite cake pan & preheat the oven to 350 oc.

Cake:

Sift together; flour, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, ground ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large-sized bowl, cream together you butter and sugar. Once combined, add your eggs one at a time until well combined.

Next, add the sour cream and then the vanilla.

Incorporate a third of your dry mixture into the wet. Mix well. Continue by adding another third of the dry ingredients – again mix well. And then the last bit.

Now for the fun part. Add your grated carrots and the dark chocolate.

Fill your prepared baking pan and allow to chillax while you prepare the buttery crumble topping.

Crumble

In a medium bowl add together the sugar, cinnamon, salt, granola and flour.

Add the melted butter.

Toss with a fork to create large clumps.

Lightly crumble your coconut crumble over your cake (say that 5 times fast😀 ).

Bake for 1 hour, or until your cake passes the toothpick test.

Technically, you should be eating this cake for breakfast with all the nutrients people say the ingredients have;

Dark Chocolate: can lower your blood pressure, lower cholesterol, aphrodisiac  – – health food

Coconut: increases energy, strengthens your hair, speeds up your metabolism, good source of magnesium — health food

Carrots: Strengthens your vision ( Mama LTSL use to tell me this when I was little) — beta-carotene – – health food

Granola: oats, honey – – good fibres … – – health food

… Just making the world better with one sweet treat at a time😀

Stay cute, my loves

xox

Sunshine Soup

Please be aware, I’m about to sing….

– – wait – – first, have you entered my brand spankin’ very first giveaway? – – dooo ittt! I want to give you cookies, and this cook book and .. did I mention cookies?!?!

And now ………

*ahem ahem*

You Are My Sunshine
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You’ll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don’t take my sunshine away

Lately I find the sun’s been playing hide and seek. On Monday, it was out in all its bright and shiny glory and then yesterday – – it was as though someone told it to run away forever!! Mr. Sun, I’m ready for you to come out and play …:)

 When it’s cold, dark and cloudy, add a little sunshine to your day with a piping hot bowl of sunshine soup.

A bowl of sunshine is bound to brighten your day.

It’s thick and velvety, bursting with brightness teasing you like a warm blanket in the middle of the arctic

( … whoever said I was dramatic, totally doesn’t know me😀 lol)

Sunshine Soup

1 Large Sweet Potato – cubed

1 Large Kabocha Squash – halved

2 Large Carrots – peeled and cut into large pieces

3 Tbsp fresh Thyme

4 Cloves Garlic

¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4 Tbsp Salt

4 Tbsp Black Pepper

4 Tbsp Onion Powder

4 Tsp Fresh Nutmeg

6 Cups Vegetable Stock

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 oc

In a large bowl, mix together all of the above vegetables.

Add the Olive Oil, as well as all of the above seasonings and spices.

Mix together until everything is well coated.

Roast for 40 minuets until all of the vegetables have become tender.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Working in small batches, add the roasted vegetables to a blender, with 1 cup of stock – blend until smooth.

Empty into large pot and repeat with the remainder for vegetables and stock.

Reheat once ready to consume.

This soup will leave you, walking on sunshine:)

Enjoy my dears, stay sweet

Xoxox

Mandarin Sesame Nutty Noodles

I swore I would never sing in front of a large group of people ( can you say, off-key much😦 ?!?), but since this blog is where I go to just be me …….

*ahem – ahem*

….

“Noodle, use your noodle

Noodle, do the noodle dance  

Solve a problem, it’s no strain

Use your noodle, that’s your brain

Noodle, use your noodle

Noodle, do the noodle dance 

There’s an answer you can find

Use your noodle, that’s your mind

In a bind, just use your mind

Use your noodle!!”

p.s – thanks PB & J Otter – – your crazy otters are pretty snazzy!!

This is a double-whammy post, I’ve got dinner/lunch covered and I also just serenaded you😉

I like you – – I really really like you ( you can also tell I really like you, because I didn’t tape myself actually singing this song)

And because I like you, I’m continuing the peanut butter pandemonium !!

These noodles are creamy, with a little zing of spice, they’re quick and easy – –

In a bind – just use your mind – – make these nutty noodles😉

Mandarin Sesame Nutty Noodles

Nutty Noodle Sauce

1/2 Cup Peanut butter

1/2 Cup Kraft Mandarin Orange Salad Dressing

1 Tbsp Marmalade

1/8 Cup Light Soy Sauce

Nutty Noodles:

3 Lbs Flank Beef thinly sliced

1 Tbsp Salt

1 Tbsp Black Pepper

1 Tbsp Onion Powder

1 Tbsp Ground Ginger

1 Tbsp Sriracha

110 Grams Spaghetti

1 Tbsp Sesame Oil

1 Cup chopped Brocoli

1 Cup sliced Celery

1 Cup sliced Green Pepper

1 Cup sliced Carrots

1/2 Cup sliced Onion

3 Tbsp Green Onions (for Garnish)

2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds (for Garnish)

Directions:

In a small bowl, add all of the Nutty Noodle Sauce ingredients and mix until well combined.

Set aside until, you are ready to add to your noodles.

In a separate bowl, mix together beef, salt, black pepper, onion, ground ginger and sriracha sauce. Allow to marinade, while you prepare all of the other ingredients.

Next, chop all of your vegetables. Feel free to add more – or even less … it’s your noodles, make them as nutty as you’d like them to be!

 

Next, boil your spaghetti as directed on the package – normally boiling for 6-8 minuets. When finished, drain all of the excess water.

Then, over medium-high heat, add your sesame oil to a large wok ( a frying pan, will work just as well :)). Add your marinated beef. Cook for 3 minutes, until the beef begins loosing it’s pink-tone. Then, add your vegetables.

Cook for 3 more minutes

– – you really just want the vegetables to be heated, by cooking them for such a short time, you are ensuring they still have their yummy crunch.

Add your nutty noodle sauce.

And now, your noodles.

Mix it – dish it – dress it -eat it!

Happy Noodling Around my loves:)

Stay sweet

xox

Spicy Beef Udooly-Noodley Soup

Yahoooo!! It’s SoupaPalooza time:)

Just in the nick of time too. As the weather is still pretty cold, there’s snow on the ground and all you want to do is swim in a bubbly hot tub of your favourite soup (what? – what do you mean you don’t do that … errmmm – – yea, me too – I totally don’t dream of doing that) the brilliant women of Tidy Mom & Dine and Dash bring you SoupaPalooza 2012.

Here you will find rich delicious soups, hot velvety stews, chilli’s that are to die for and all that warm yummy-goodness known to take away the chill during cold winter months.

And sweethearts, to add to this party of amazing-ness – – I’ve got a doozey for you!

Spicy Beef Udooly-Noodley Soup.

What makes this soup so amazing?

– The rich flavours used.

– The fact that it simmers all day, to bring you an out of this world broth

and most importantly …

It’s slurp-ability!!

Yep, you heard me !!

Remember when you were growing up and mom made chicken noodle soup ( even if it was from a can). I know I would sit there – – ever so silently attempting to slurp every noodle … one.by.one.

I was convinced, I was a ninja — cunning and swift in my soup eating skills.  That was until … I would hear from behind me

“ HEY!! STOP THAT?!?”

… you got’ta love moms. It’s their job to raise humans and make sure we don’t turn out like monkeys (for the most part)… hence, the seldom yelling is sometimes necessary.

Secretly though, I know mom’s find the slurping hilarious (just don’t tell my mom I said that:) !!).

Let’s not tell any mom’s this .. but I’m encouraging you to get messy – – and slurp away!!

When this particular pot comes out in my kitchen – – the entire family knows what’s going down. They expect aromas of deliciousness to dance from room to room, throughout the day. They know, tonight  – well tonight’s going to be a great night, ending with us all have a warm soup tummy.

Get in on the slurpy-delicious-cozy soup tummy feeling tonight!

Spicy Beef Udooly-Noodley Soup.

The stock that will keep you going back for more

4 Sticks of Lemon Grass

1 inch Piece of Ginger

5 Cloves of Garlic

1/4 Cups Fresh Thyme

1 Tbsp Cinnamon Spice

3Tbsp Sriracha Sauce

1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce

2 Tbsp Onion Powder

2 Tbsp Ground Ginger Powder

2 Tbsp Salt

2 Tbsp Black Pepper

Directions

Add all of the above ingredients into a large soup pot.

Cover with 3 litres of water. Bring to a boil for 25 minutes.

Lower heat to a simmer and allow all of the flavours to make sweet sweet love – – for at least 45 minutes. To be honest, I normally allow this to boil all day. The longer it simmers, the more flavourful the stock.

After all of the flavours have meshed, remove all the large pieces from your stock.

The Meat of the matter

3 Lbs thinly sliced lean chuck beef

2 Tbsp Worchestire Sauce

2 Tbsp Salt

2 Tsp Black Pepper

Directions

In a medium sized bowl, add all of the ingredients above. Allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes  – or even better, over night.

Once marinated, add to boiling stock. Allow to cook for 10 minutes, do not over cook – as you don’t want your beef to become tough.

Let’s Veggie-size

(feel free to use any vegetables you may have on hand – – get creative with your soup … after all you’re the boss of it😉 )

1 Cup Bean Sprouts

2 Cups Cabbage, finely shredded

2 Large Carrots shaved using a vegetable-peeler (GENIUS!!)

2 Cups Green Beans

2 Cups Broccoli

Directions

Prepare all of the vegetables as indicated above.

Keep in separate bowls so each individual can customize their soup to their liking.

The Udooly-Noodles

2 packs Udon Noodles

5 Cups Boiling water

Directions:

In a large colander, place udon noodles.

When ready to eat – cover noodles with boiling water and allow to steam for 5 minutes.

Drain and begin to build your soup!!

Bring on the soup tummy feeling!!

Now that everything is prepared – – let’s get hot and throw this noodley-delight together!!

Build your soup in the following fashion:

In your favourite soup bowl, add a cabbage base layer
Next, layer your shaved carrots – a couple green beans and enough broccoli to make your heart happy
Then, noodle up!!
Last and most importantly – – get beefy .. .and add that simmering stock to bring this home:)

slurp-slurp-slurpitty-slurp.

Enjoy, cupcakes😉

If you want more of this warm and cozy soup action – – or even better, if you have a bowl that you want to share – – Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset.

Happy slurping children of the playground.

Stay sweet

xoxo