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Pumpkin Peanut Butter

Have you had enough of pumpkin yet?

We certainly hope not, because we have one last recipe to add to the onslaught of pumpkin-themed-everything that you have probably been being hit with for the past month-and-a-half.  If you are tired of it though, perhaps we could change your mind… with a cookie?

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Oh sorry, that’s just the dough- you were expecting the baked stuff, weren’t you?

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*Disclaimer: there may or may not have been a certain amount of dough that did not quite make it into cookies…

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But isn’t it kind of a rule that you always have to taste-test the batter before you bake the cookie?  It is in our house, anyways 😉

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In all seriousness though- these cookies are fantastic.  Who knew that peanut butter and pumpkin could be such a winning combination?  Of course, the chocolate chips just add that extra bit of decadence 🙂

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It’s difficult to describe the texture of these cookies.  They’re soft but dense, sort of cake-like but not quite as light as cake- you know what? Maybe you guys should just try them and decide for yourselves what the texture is instead of letting us ramble on forever, sound like a plan?

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And after all that we completely forgot to mention that these are gluten free!  How silly of us!  We used our trusty‘ol new gluten-free flour blend, of course :).

If you think the peanut butter-pumkin combo is strange, we urge you to give it a shot- we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  We know we were!

And after you’ve made these cookies, we give you full permission to start into all things ginger bread, peppermint, cranberry, chocolate and Christmas-filled wonderfulness!

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 15-20 minutes
Makes: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

2 c. Gluten-Free flour blend
1
/4 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. liquid honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c. – 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F

Combine the flour, xantham gum, baking powder salt and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl.
In a separate smaller bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just to combine.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Cover a baking sheet with parchement paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Drop the dough onto the sheet, about 2 tbsp for each cookie.
Using a floured fork, press the cookie so that it’s flat, shaping them to make them round.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they are firm enough to be picked up and the bottoms are slightly brown.

~twosaucysisters

What was your favourite pumpkin recipe from this Fall?  Are you looking forward to Christmas baking?  What are you planning to make?

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The Last of the Cranberries

So we know Christmas is over now, and most of you have probably had your fill of turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes.

If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably eaten your fair share of cranberry sauce and other cranberry-themed dishes as well.

But we’re really hoping you have room in your hearts (and stomachs!) for one more cranberry recipe.

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Because we made this super-yummy slow-cooked cranberry pork that we really want you to try! 🙂

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We’re banking on the hope that you might still have some leftover cranberries kicking around in your freezer for this one 😉

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Normally neither of us are huge fans of pork, but take a nice lean cut and toss it in the slow-cooker and what you get is a tender, flavourful piece of meat that even the most adamant pork dislikers will approve of!

And the cranberry sauce coats the meat and is so good.  It’s quite tangy, but you can add more honey to suit your tastes.

We promise you, this recipe is worth digging out those leftover cranberries for!  And since it’s a slow-cooker recipe, it doesn’t require a lot of work on your part, so you can get started with all those new-years resolutions you’ve made for yourself 😉

Slow-Cooker Cranberry Pork

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Prep: 10 min
Cook: 6-8 hours
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

4 small pork chops (or 2 large ones) with the fat trimmed
2 tsp corn starch
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c. diced white onion
1 c. frozen cranberries
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp honey

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix together the corn starch, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Toss the pork chops in this mixture and place in the slow cooker.

Mix the cranberries, onion, apple cider vinegar, and honey together, pour it into the crock pot and stir.

Turn the slow-cooker on low and cook for 6-8 hours.  When the pork is cooked, remove it from the slow cooker.  Pour the sauce into a pot and place it over medium heat.  Bring to a boil, and then simmer on low until the sauce thickens, about 4-5 minutes.

Place the pork on a bed of greens (such as wilted kale) and pour the sauce over top.

~twosaucysisters

Holiday Recap

Over the Christmas holidays, we pretty much dropped the ball with the whole blogging thing. Originally, we thought we’d have plenty of time once exams were over to give you guys some quality recipes, but we couldn’t have been more wrong! Our holidays were jam-packed from start to finish! We didn’t even have time to do too much baking or cooking let alone blog about it. At first, we were a little worried about it, we didn’t want to let down our readers or be forgotten in the blog world. We quickly realized, however, that there was no point in worrying about it. The holidays are a time to relax, rejuvenate and spend time with family and friends – and spend that we did! We will start at the beginning:

After our last exam, our Mom came to London, where we order pizza from Panago. They make seriously good pizza! Their multigrain crust is delicious, no too thin and not too thick. They have 6 categories to choose from: Frugal Favourites, Vegetariano, Carne, Pollo, Oceano, and Create your own. They have 5 crust options (including gluten-free), really cool sauce ideas (hello sweet+smoky tropical, chipotle cilantro, coconut curry and BBQ!), plenty of cheese options and tons of toppings! Needless to say, it was delicious!

After coming home for a couple of days, we actually headed back to London because a couple friends who have been in British Colombia and England were going to be in town, so we went to see them. It’s always fun seeing friends you haven’t seen in a long time! 🙂

Once we got back from London for the second time, we had a lot of work to do – last-minute Christmas shopping and holiday bread baking type work! We are always in charge of baking the rolls for our Dad’s family’s Christmas lunch/dinner.

DSCN4345Multigrain and white! (Gotta please everybody.)

Christmas day in our house always starts with a light breakfast of homemade bread, fruit salad and yogurt. We like to save room for all the food that’s coming! Once we open gifts with just our parents and brothers, we head over to my Aunt’s house for Christmas lunch.

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Hot Apple Cider, Egg Nog, punch and grapes before lunch, followed by a HUGE lunch – turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, squash, brussel sprouts, bean salad, corn and peas, rolls, orange-glazed sweet potatoes (definitely remaking this gem!), cranberry sauce, pickles, turnip (not a fan), cole slaw…. it goes on and on! Unfortunately, this is when our camera died, so the rest of the day went un-pictured. But don’t worry – there were LOTS of desserts! 🙂 Mince pie, cheesecake, chocolate pudding cake, key lime pie, candy cane ice cream, some sort of chocolate square and more. We always like to go for a walk with our Dad after (get those digestive juices going!) and then later on we had a “dinner” of cheese and crackers, leftover turkey, fruit and cookies. Lots and lots of cookies! Our Aunt is kind of a master baker – nothing she ever makes is short of amazing!

Boxing day is our Christmas dinner with our Mom’s side of the family. This year it was particularly special, because for the first time in probably 18 years, all three of our mom’s brothers were here at the same time. We have an uncle in New York, one on Victoria Island, B.C., and another in Golden B.C. It was so special to have all of them here, including two of our cousins from B.C., and of course my mom’s sister and her family who still leave here in Ontario.

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Grandma and all of her children! :)

Grandma and all of her children! 🙂

And of course, we ate lots of food, too! We had regular and bacon mashed-potatoes, candied yams, biscuits and rolls, two kinds of cranberry sauce, our cheesy brussel sprouts, turkey, stuffing, our Christmas Salad… food food food!

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And wine. 🙂

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Fielding Estates Fireside White – a blend of several of their best whites, it is so good! And also Angles Gate Cab-Merlot. Huge fans of Angles Gate, also!
To finish it off, dessert!

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Kawartha Dairy ice cream – I don’t know where my Aunt got it, but it’s seriously some of the best ice cream ever! We always get it at training camp every year, we didn’t know it was available in Southern Ontario! No Christmas dinner would be complete without our traditional eggnog trifle, and these pink squares are a requirement every year. We don’t actually know what they are called, we just know that they are pink and they are delicious! We made our own peppermint chocolate version of these brownies (unreal!), lots of cookies and Misty Mints. Because who doesn’t love misty mints?

The rest of our holiday was family family family… and running. We went shopping, ran, watched movies, ran, went to cousin’s hockey games, ran, ate dinners, ran… you get the picture! On one of our cousin’s last night, we went to John and Son’s Oyster House in Toronto where we tried oysters and Lobster for the first time! The Oysters were good, however we think we’ll have to have them a few more times before we’re used to the texture. The lobster, however, was divine! We were a little squeemish about the little claws sticking out, but the actual meat was so tasty! We are fans of the lobster.

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Before we knew it, it was New Years Eve! Us, our brothers and cousin decided this year to join a few friends of ours down in London to celebrate. We had a potluck to which we brought turkey chili, gluten free corn bread, hummus and veggies, and gluten free sugar cookies. We promise we will re-make the sugar cookies and take pictures for you, because they were awesome! 🙂

After New Years, things were pretty low-key, still lots of running and hanging with the family that was still in Ontario. On our cousin Geoff’s last night, a group of us headed to Pepperwood Bistro in Burlington for a farewell dinner. We are 100% going back to this restaurant. It. Was. Unreal! It was so good, in fact, that we are not going to say much about it in this post, because it deserves it’s own! Another restaurant review is coming right up!

We came back to London on Sunday evening, and second semester started the next day. The first dinner back is always a little sad, because we’re missing our dad and brothers dinner conversation and our special girls-night dinners with our mom. One of our teammates had a brilliant idea, however, that saved us from this heartache! She suggested a team dinner at our favourite restaurant – The Works! This time we ordered the Stockyard burger and the Olive Oyl, both elk patties and on whole wheat buns. The Olive Oyl had warm spinach, fresh tomato, garlic, feta and black olives. It was very tasty and we’d recommend it to any olive lover! The Stockyard, however, was on an entirely different level. Crusted with peppercorns, with a dijon-haze sauce and melted swiss cheese, it was heaven in a burger! It was so peppery – almost spicy! It was definitely right up there with the Sweet Ride and Hunka Hunka Burnin Love.

So that’s the long and, well, long of our Christmas holidays! While we miss our family, we do love it here in London and are really excited about out classes this term, as well as the Track season ahead. We have our first track meet this weekend, wish us luck! 🙂

~twosaucysisters

Holiday Entertaining

Hi everybody!

We’re here to tell you today that we have not fallen off the face of the planet- we’ve just been extra busy over the past week and have had no time for blogging!  In fact, we have barely even been on our computers, which is pretty outrageous for us because ordinarily we spend quite a bit of time on them!

We have been enjoying our Christmas holidays so much over the past week spending as much time as we can with our family who have come to visit from out west and New York that we have hardly even been in the kitchen! (gasp!)

And since today’s their last full day here, we are only stopping in briefly so you don’t think we’ve abandoned you forever.

So we’d like to ask you, what do you make when you have family coming and going constantly, have no time to cook (or plan) elaborate meals, and you just need quick easy snacks/munchies that everyone c will enjoy?

Hummus!

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Obviously.

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You should all know by now that we are basically obsessed with hummus, and are constantly coming up with more ideas for new versions and flavours.  Today’s is the sun-dried tomato addition, but you can check out our recipe page for a million a few other recipes for some different variations on our favourite dip 🙂

Sun-dried Tomato Hummus

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Time: 10 min
Makes: ~2 cups

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked chickpeas
1/3 c. sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) blotted dry
1/4 c. oil (from the sun-dried tomato jar)
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. tahini
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4-1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. water
pepper, to taste

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a high-powered blender or food processor and serve with veggies, pitas, crackers, etc.

~twosaucysisters

What have you been doing over your holidays?  What are your go-to foods when you’re busy and entertaining guests?

It’s back…

Just when you thought you had seen the last pumpkin recipe until next fall, here we are again with yet another pumpkin baked good! This one has just been “Christmas-a-fied”.

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After making so many pumpkin recipes back in the fall, we took a bit of a pumpkin break, as well. And by break we mean instead of going through two cans each week, we were eating a little under one. 🙂

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Maybe that’s why our palms are so much more… “sunkissed” looking than our friends and family?

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Pumpkin Blondies! Infused with cinnamon and nutmeg and bursting with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips – it’s like Christmas in the form of a tasty treat. A healthy tasty treat, I might add.

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As usual, these are made with whole-wheat flour, no butter and no refined sugar. And you know what? They are dense, chewy, delicately spiced and delicious! Really, the only un-healthy thing about these blondies are the white chocolate chips, but it is the holidays, right? 😉

We think it’s safe to say that pumpkin has no season- and these little bars are proof!

Pumpkin Blondies

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Prep time: 15min
Bake time: 20-30min
Makes: 10 bars

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 c. pumpkin
1/2 c. date paste
1/4 c. apple sauce
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp butter extract (optional)
1 egg

1/2 c. white chocolate chips
3/4 c. dried cranberries

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Combine wet and dry ingredients in two separate bowls. Add wet to dry and then stir in the white chocolate chips and the dried cranberries. Once well combined, pour batter into a greased 9X9 inch baking pan.
Bake for 20-30 min, until they are browned on the top and are firm to the touch.

-twosaucysisters

Do you still enjoy having pumpkin this time of year?

On the lighter side…

Lets look at the components of a Christmas dinner:

Turkey
Stuffing
Gravy
Creamy, decadent mashed potatoes
Cheese-covered brussel sprouts
Buttery rolls
Dessert-like sweet potato casserole
Dessert
Dessert
Dessert

Do you sense a theme here?

Christmas dinner specializes in all things rich and decadent, which are delicious, but can also get quite heavy. So why not lighten things up a bit?

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We’ve come up with this Christmas-themed salad which is a great addition to your holiday spread, but not to your waist-line!

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What makes this a seasonal salad? The roasted chestnuts, dried cranberries and juicy clementine segments, that’s what! We had never had roasted chestnuts until now – we feel as though we can finally fully appreciate the Christmas Song.

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Of course, one of the key parts of a salad that really takes it to another level, brings all of the components of a salad together but still lets each topping shine, is the dressing!

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Cranberry Vinaigrette!

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With only five ingredients (6 if you include water) this is extremely easy to make, and it’s the perfect Christmas dressing!  It’s tart but with a slight sweetness, and just look at that bright red colour!  As we always say, food tastes better when it’s pretty 🙂

Cranberry Vinaigrette

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Time: 10 minutes
Makes: ~1 cup

Ingredients:

1 c. frozen cranberries
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar + 2 tbsp water
1/4 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. water
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place cranberries in a small pot and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until they begin to split.
Allow the cranberries to cool slightly, then place them in a blender along with the apple cider/water mixture, maple syrup and water. blend until the cranberries are all chopped up and everything is fully incorporated.  With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil.  Add salt and pepper, blend, and then taste it and adjust to your liking.

When this dressing is poured over a bed of greens, roasted chestnuts, clementines and dried cranberries, Christmas magic happens.  And all you have to do is assemble the ingredients…

…pour on the dressing…

and you’re ready to go!  Easy, healthy, delicious.

Christmas Salad

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Time: 10 min (not including roasting time)
Serves: 4+

Ingredients:

1 bag of greens (we used a spinach/arugula mix)
1/2 large white onion
5-6 white button mushrooms
3-4 clementines
10-15 chestnuts, roasted*
1/2 c. dried cranberries

Directions:

Put the greens in a large bowl.  Slice your onion into very thin shavings.  Thinly slice the mushrooms, peel the clementines and separate into segments and roughly chop the chestnuts.  Place all ingredients on top of the greens and serve with the dressing on the side.

~twosaucysisters

What kinds of foods do you often eat at your Christmas dinner?

Fuel for the Season

Hi everybody!  Long-time no-see! 🙂

Between finishing the last of our exams and making the trek home for the holidays, we have been super busy and have neglected to write anything for a few days.  Yes, we’re going to be cliche here and blame Christmas for our laziness.  We’re pretty sure that’s some kind of right of passage this time of year anyways, so we’ll take advantage of it while we can 😉

But the great thing is, now that we have exams behind us (yay!) we can throw ourselves into full Christmas mode with no reservation!  This also means that we have less than five days to do all of our Christmas shopping.  This is going to be an interesting 5 days…

So we had to prepare.  What does 4 days of fighting through packed mall crowds require?  Fuel.  And what better way to give yourself a much-needed energy boost than with a muffin?

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A Christmas-themed muffin, of course! 🙂

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There’s a bit of a story behind these muffins.  An extremely long time ago, we went into a little coffee shop somewhere in London (it was so long ago that neither of us can remember which one it was) and saw in their display case these big green muffins.  We didn’t actually buy one so we don’t know what they tasted like, but they had pistachios in them.  We love pistachios, and we both thought that they looked really cool because they were so green!  We decided right there that we were going to make our own green muffins, and now, almost a year later, we’re finally getting around to it!

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But given that this is the Christmas season, just making a green muffin didn’t seem like enough.  So we threw in some dried cranberries to make them green and red!  (a few chocolate chips may have fallen into the batter as well… 🙂 )

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And what is the secret to the bright green colour?  2 things: pistachios, and spinach!  Yes, spinach.  The leafy green vegetable has this amazing ability to blend right into whatever it is you’re baking, making it bright green, but leaving no spinach-y taste at all!  We’ve had success in the past with putting spinach into baked goods, so we were pretty confident that it would work for these, too 🙂

We’re also pretty confident that the muffins in that coffee shop were not made green by the addition of spinach, but just adding food colouring is way too boring, not mention significantly less healthy!

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Topped with a little bit of almond butter, these muffins are the perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up.  They’re also a good size for tossing into your purse to take with you into the war zone mall during those last-minute shopping trips 🙂

Green Cranberry Pistachio Muffins

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Prep time: 10min
Bake time: 15-20min
Makes: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c. pistachios

1 c. mlk
1 c. spinach
1/2 c. Apple sauce
1/4 c. date paste
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract (optional)

1/2 c. pistachios
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.
Grind the first half-cup of pistachios into a fine powder, then combine all the dry ingredients in one big bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in a separate bowl, then pour the wet into the dry. Add the other 1/2 cup of pistachios, dried cranberries and chocolate chips, and stir until just combined.
Spoon evenly into 12 greased muffin cups, and bake for 15-20min, or until slightly browned on the top and firm to the touch.

-twosaucysisters

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?