Friday, October 29, 2010

Women of Wonder: Mission #3


The theme for this week was Rediscover Your Dreams. I was to do this by getting some hands on experience with a local baker. After finding this out, I was on Cloud 9! This is right up my alley, and couldn’t fit me better. I called Stephen and my parents right away to let them know. WonderBra helped me out by getting into contact with a local bakery and arranging for me to go in and help out for a bit.

This is when the doubt set in. It’s no secret that I love to bake, but I’m a very amateur baker. For every success, I have at least 2 failures. There’s so much that I just don’t know. I’d be going in and working with people who do this every day. So yeah, I was a little bit nervous.

Rustic Sourdough {Photo taken from here.}

I showed up to Rustic Sourdough Bakery bright and early (8am) last Saturday, and met the owner, Jos Rehli. He quickly introduced me to an employee that I would be spending a couple of hours with; Natacha. I’d be spending my two and half hours with a pastry girl, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I loved working with Natacha! She was so friendly and willing to answer my questions. Unfortunately, she had done most of her work earlier in the week, so I didn’t have the chance to get to see a whole lot, other than putting together a few cakes. Doesn’t matter though, because I still took a lot away from the experience. I loved hearing her stories from when she worked in other bakeries, and even about the time she baked a friend’s wedding cake. I spent so much time just drinking in my surroundings; the heavy duty KitchenAid on our work table, the bread oven at the end of the aisle, and the Madagascar Vanilla on the shelf off to my side. None of it escaped my sight.

October 24 035 October 24 038
October 24 036 October 24 037

Natacha made me get over my fear of messing up and let me help out with this beauty:

October 24 028 October 24 030
October 24 031 October 24 044
October 24 045

I sampled a little bit of that mousse by the way, and it was delicious! As was the freshly baked cheese bun that I had…

Natacha and Jos didn’t want to be on camera (for fear of causing massive line ups at the bakery when people realize how ridiculously good looking they are), but Natacha did let me make a little video of her decorating a mocha buttercream cake.
(side note: This is my second time ever editing a video, and I haven’t gotten the hang of it yet. So please, bear with me! And forgive me for the song repeating and then stopping part way through. So much stress!)

October 24 033The finished cake! I added the little coffee beans. I’m so proud of my addition!

I did get the chance to ask Jos a few questions through an email though.

How long have you been baking, and what first got you interested?

I started baking in my parents bakery, some 56 years ago back in Switzerland. I guess I had no choice back then...

What made you decide to open up Rustic Sourdough Bakery?

Rustic is a bakery with 40 years of tradition on the same location. It was called Chalet Bakery when it opened in 1970. I bought the business 5 years ago.

What has been the hardest part of owning a bakery?

The very long hours and staffing issues are the biggest challenges.

What has been the most enjoyable part of owning a bakery?

Dealing with people, employees as much as customers. Being able to create new products and seeing happy customers buying them.

Do you have any advice for home bakers like me who have entertained the idea of someday opening a bakery of their own?

Experience is the most important thing. Learn, learn, learn, it never ends. I am still learning every day.

Jos is a Swiss Master Baker and Master Pastry Chef, so I take great comfort in the fact that he is still learning every day! I absolutely loved getting a glimpse into the world of a bakery, and it’s made me realize that I need to take my dreams of baking a lot more seriously. I can’t just passively let those dreams slip by, otherwise I have no hope of ever getting to where Jos is now.

Thank you Jos and Natacha for putting up with me last Saturday, I learned so much from both of you!

To find out more about the Women of Wonder campaign, check out the WonderBra facebook page here.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Banana Crumb Muffins

I love baking banana bread. I feel like it’s the most quickest way to get my apartment smelling good and to make it really feel like a home. Sometimes though, I can bake too much banana bread. At work last week, I was told to feel free to bake something with the mushy bananas, so I took advantage of that. I had just spent the evening before baking banana bread and needed to try something different. After a bit of searching, I came across this recipe for banana crumb muffins, and it turned out to be a winner! The kids loved them and would have eaten the full dozen in one sitting if I had let them.
October 24 010

Banana Crumb Muffins
Adapted from All Recipes

(Printable Recipe)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
Crumb topping:
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter

October 24 002

1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl, beat bananas, sugars, egg and butter. Fold into the flour mixture. Pour into lightly greased muffin tin.
4. For crumb topping: Mix together brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle over top of muffins.
5. Bake 18-20 minutes.
October 24 008

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

30 Days of Me: Day 2

The meaning behind your blog name.

My blog name is fairly obvious; I’m always craving cupcakes. My love of cupcakes started a few years ago when I discovered my favorite cupcake store ever. It’s been somewhat of a tradition for me to get half a dozen cupcakes on my birthday, and we’ll often get some eggnog cupcakes at Christmas time. My favorite combination is Crave and Starbucks. They were made for each other.

I became obsessed with cupcakes before I even realized that it was a fad on the internet. For a gift once, Stephen bought me the giant cupcake pan from Williams Sonoma, along with a set of silicups and a cupcake recipe book. For my birthday one year, I received Hello, Cupcake from a friend and Andi made me a cupcake apron. Clearly my friends and family know me well, and Craving Cupcakes just seemed like a natural fit!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

Ten on Tuesday #51

1. What is your favorite decor item in your house?
I love picture frames, and I can never have enough. I've seen a trend going around the blogosphere where people will hang up empty frames and call that art, and for some reason, it really irks me. Probably because I never have enough picture frames and I have a few prints that need to be framed still.

2. What is your favorite hair product?
I don't use a lot of hair products, although I probably should. My favorite thing lately had been dry shampoo.

3. Are you a good dancer?
Nope. Like I said yesterday, I'm not graceful enough to be a good dancer. I love dancing when no one's watching though.

4. You get some good news, who’s the first person you call?
Stephen. Then my parents and sisters.

5. Would you rather take pictures, or be in pictures?
I'd rather take pictures. I've noticed recently though that there are barely any good pictures of me by myself, so I may need to fix that sometime soon.

6. What is your shoe style?
I spend a lot of time in non-athletic runners, but I also adore ballet flats.

7. How often do you eat out?
Way more often than I'd like to admit. I think that because of our conflicting work schedules combined with the fact that we live less than a 5 minute walk away from a multitude of restaurants has caused us to grow lazy in our dinner cooking.

When we move, it'll most likely be away from downtown and Stephen will hopefully be switching to day shifts, so we'll actually be together for dinner every night. I've already told him that we need to stop eating out so much!

8. If someone has food in their teeth, do you tell them?
Yes, as discreetly as possible, even if it's a stranger. I won't chase someone down to tell them though.

9. Do you fold your underwear?

10. Milk, dark, or white chocolate?
Milk, but I still love all the rest. They all have a time and a place.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Women of Wonder: Mission #2


I’m a bit behind on posting my missions because of how much planning has been involved, so this mission is actually from two weeks ago.

The theme for the week was Rediscover Your Beauty. I was to express my beauty and grace through a ballet class with friends. After searching around for a bit, I was lucky to stumble upon Dance Through Life, an adult dance and fitness studio. I talked with Paula and arranged for two friends and I to take a Wednesday night class. I’m not going to lie, I was nervous. I have never been graceful, and I’ve never taken a dance class in my life. I brought along my sister Jessica and my friend Izel. We walked into the studio, and I was recognized right away by Paula. She warmly welcomed us and made us feel at ease. We met the ballet teacher, Karen, who reassured us that it would be an easy class.
October 24 011 October 24 012

Ballet is a great workout. We tried our hardest to keep up, and a few times, my less than graceful self just couldn’t do it. I didn’t mind though, because Karen encouraged us (her ballerinas!) and always kept a smile on her face, which made it much easier on me. After the class, Jessica, Izel and I went to a coffee shop. Sitting around talking with them about the things that made us feel beautiful made me realize that I’m beautiful because of the people that I surround myself with. The enrich my life and help me feel good about myself when I’m feeling down. I’m truly lucky to have these girls in my life!
October 24 013 October 24 014
October 24 015

We were so busy working out that I didn’t grab a video of the class, but I got this video in the coffee shop afterward. Please forgive the background noise. I get really funny when a camera is put on me, so I feel like I look silly in the video, and I’ve got an awesome post-workout look going on. Just ignore all of that, and enjoy the video. Find out what makes Jessica and Izel beautiful!

Friday, October 22, 2010

7 Quick Takes (Vol 18)

1. On Wednesday evening, I finally got the chance to complete my second Women of Wonder mission; I took a ballet class with friends. I’ll be doing up a post about it on Monday, since I need the weekend to figure out video editing.

2. I’ve found out my third mission: I have to find out what it takes to start my own bakery and get hands on experience with a local baker. I’ll actually be doing this tomorrow morning! Wish me luck, since I’m incredibly nervous. I hope I don’t get stuck in a corner and forgotten about.

3. I’m contemplating teaching Baby C some baby sign language. I’ve always been fascinated by this and I’m up for the challenge.

4. Bet you didn’t know that when I was in elementary school, I was in the sign language club! I’ve never been fluent, but I know the alphabet and a few signs here and there.

5. Yesterday was an interesting day at work, to say the least. I won’t get into specifics here due to TMI, but it was one of my least glamorous days on the job. It rivals only one other day during my 6 year career as a nanny. Some nannies just don’t get paid nearly enough.

6. Stephen gets Halloween off this year. In our 2 1/2 year relationship, Stephen and I have never spent a Halloween together (due to his work). Now the only holiday missing is Valentine’s day. (Celebrating after midnight doesn’t quite count. I’m going for at least one actual day.)

7. The next movie coming to us from is Paranormal Activity. I’m already scared. I’ve also told Stephen that we have to watch it on a night that he can come to sleep with me. I’m a big baby by the way.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Drizzle Popcorn

This isn’t a baked recipe, but it’s one of my favorite ways to eat popcorn. You have to be careful because it’s addictive, and before you know it, you’ll have eaten more than you’re fair share. This recipe requires a little bit of work, but it’s worth it.

October 17 109

Peanut Butter Chocolate Drizzle Popcorn
Adapted from CountryCookinMama on Tasty Kitchen

(Printable Recipe)

3/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup (generous) chunky peanut butter
2 tsp vanilla
10 cups popped popcorn
1/2 cup chocolate chips

October 17 100

1. Pop your popcorn and place into a large bowl. I put it in our largest pot because I don’t have a bowl that’s quite big enough to let me stir without making a mess.

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together the corn syrup, sugar, peanut butter and vanilla. Bring to a boil and cook for one minute. Be sure to stir constantly to prevent burning.

3. Working quickly, pour the peanut butter mixture of the popcorn and stir to coat. Spread out over a cookie sheet.

4. Melt chocolate chips in microwave. Drizzle over the popcorn. Place in fridge for 15 minutes to set. I normally store my popcorn in the fridge.

October 17 102

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blogging Through My School Years: Grade 5

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts! You can find kindergarten through grade 4 here.

Grade 5 was a pretty exciting year for me because I was finally apart of the oldest kids in school. You see, the school I went to at the time in Brampton, Ontario went from kindergarten to grade 5. I was itching to move on to a new and exciting school with my friends, but I had one more year to get through.

I started off in a grade 4/5 split class; I think it had something to do with the fact that there weren’t enough teachers to go around. I started off really liking my teacher, but I always got the impression that she was just never that fond of me. I never quite understood why, but she was always so much more receptive towards my friends than she was towards me. Whether or not teachers realize it, their attitudes can have a huge affect on students, and I still remember it after all these years. Thankfully, I didn’t have to deal with her bad attitude for too long because just before Christmas, we were moved to a full grade 5 class with a new teacher.

Grade 5 was also a great year in French class for me. I’ve always been somewhat of a Francophile, so naturally, French was my favorite class. My favorite memory of the year was our Pizza unit. Yeah, an entire unit devoted to pizza! We learned all about toppings, and there was even a song that we would listen and sing along to repeatedly. At the end of the unit, our class got to make our own pizza, and one for the office. We had to make the pizza on camera, and when the tape didn’t work the first time, we got to make it again. Clearly this is every fifth grader’s dream come true! I was in charge of “la sauce de tomate”.

Grad that year was pretty exciting. We spent a lot of time in the Gym practicing for the big day. I loved being surrounded by my friends and getting to dress up and have special treatment for a night. And not going to lie…I also loved it when they passed out the awards and I got a few for myself!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

30 Days of Me

I’ve seen this meme going around the blogosphere lately and thought that I wanted to give it a try. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll do the full 30 days, and I don’t think that I’ll do it every day, but I really liked some of the prompts and wanted to participate. I’ve found two different versions of the list here on Erin’s blog and here on Ashley’s blog, so I think I’ll combine the two and pick the prompts that I like best. It’s probably cheating a bit, but that’s just how I roll.

Day 1: Recent picture of you and 15 interesting facts about yourself.

Me and Stephen!{My most recent picture, taken just last week}

1. I’m a bit of a Francophile.
2. I only go grocery shopping once a month. (A big grocery shop where we stock up on staples.)
3. I’ve always wanted to be a stay at home Mom.
4. I’ve never participated in organized sports outside of school.
5. I used to play the flute.
6. I once flirted with the idea of becoming a concert flautist.
7. I’ve been blogging for 6 years.
8. When I was younger, if I didn’t get enough sleep, I would get physically sick the next day. It made sleepovers hard for me.
9. I didn’t plan on being a nanny for so long, but I really fell in love with the job.
10. I almost talked myself out of going on a second date with Stephen. I’m so glad I didn’t.
11. For that second date, we went and saw Horton Hears a Who.
12. I’m not really a video game type of person, much to Stephen’s dismay.
13. I’ve never been skiing.
14. I tried snowboarding once, but hurt my knee and haven’t gone since.
15. I didn’t develop a passion for baking until I met Stephen. For some reason, he brought that out in me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Modern Day Nana

When Mel of posted about how she came to realize that she’s a Nana of the 22nd Century, I totally identified with her. Over the past year or so, after finally moving out on my own and becoming more comfortable in my own skin, I slowly started realizing that I’m like an old lady. Let’s outline the ways that I’m older than my years:

Video Game Grandma


-I’m always in nanny mode. I check the weather and warn friends/family to dress appropriately. I always carry around band aids in my wallet and usually have some sort of pain killers handy.

-My idea of a fun afternoon is thrifting and coffee with friends.

-My idea of a fun weekend night is dinner and game night with anyone that I can entice over.

-I’d rather entertain at home than go out. Dinner in a good restaurant is the exception.

-My subscriptions to design/craft/food blogs far outnumber any other type.

- I want to move out of our apartment so that I can have a garden and a craft room (or craft space).

-When I get my own craft space, I’m seriously considering taking up quilting, and knitting or crocheting.

-I plan my days around baking and trying out new recipes.

-I start off my day with a cup of coffee, and consider it a good day when I can end it off with a cup of hot chocolate.

-One of my favorite magazines is Martha Stewart.

Are you a modern day Nana at heart?

Friday, October 15, 2010

7 Quick Takes (Vol 18)

7 quick takes

1. I found out my next Women of Wonder mission: “Express your beauty and grace through dance and take a ballet class with friends.” I’ve been emailing some dance studios, and it looks like I’ve found one that will allow me and some of my friends to come join a class this coming Wednesday. This should be interesting, and you’ll hear all about my thoughts on this after the class next week.

2. Thanks to these Women of Wonder missions, I’ve been telling more people about my blog. I’ve never hidden the fact that I blog, but I generally never brought it up with real life friends and my family. My Mom has been pretty excited for me, so she’s been wanting me to share the link to my blog with more family members. So to any of my family members reading right now; hello!

3. I feel like this week has been dragging on. I’m still adjusting to my work schedule, and I just wish I could get my act together and go to bed at a decent time. 9pm bedtimes may be in my future this winter…

4. At work today, MomBoss told me that last night as she was looking out the window at the sunset with the boys, K said that he wished I was there so he could show me how beautiful the sunset was. He’s going to be a heart breaker some day!

5. I’ve spent a lot of time the past couple of days looking online at places to rent. Our lease is up at the end of November, yet it’s still too early to look at places to move in to! This is blowing my mind because we need to be out of this apartment at the end of next month, yet I can’t even look for a place to live! I’m bookmarking houses that match our criteria, and all I can do is hope that they’ll be there next month.

6. Apparently I haven’t had much to say on Twitter lately. It’s weird because I usually spend my days thinking in 140 characters.

7. I’m addicted to words with friends. Want to play? My user name is Craving Cupcakes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies

Baking With Angela

When the weather starts to cool down, Stephen and I both get excited about the fact that it’s “hot chocolate weather” once again. We stock up on a big box of hot chocolate (that contains individual packets). When I saw this recipe on Tasty Kitchen several weeks ago, I knew that I had to give it a try.
September 21 047

I only had one type of chocolate chips, and since Stephen doesn’t like white chocolate, I didn’t want to go out and buy the other chocolate chips; I decided to work with what I have on hand. We both enjoyed these cookies, but Stephen thinks my regular chocolate chip cookies taste better. I think that if I had made these cookies with all three types of chocolate chips, they would have been that much more delicious. My verdict? Don’t skimp on the chocolate chips, otherwise it’s just not worth it.

Hot Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from elimaxandlela

(Printable Recipe)

1 cup room temp butter
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 1/4 cup flour
4 (1 oz) packets of hot chocolate
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips

September 21 032

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, hot chocolate mix, salt and baking soda.
2. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Fold in flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.
3. Chill dough for about an hour. Preheat oven to 350F.
4. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown.

September 21 051 September 21 056

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thanksgiving Weekend

If you’re not up to speed on things around here, I’ve talked quite a bit before how I don’t get to spend a lot of time with Stephen because of conflicting schedules. Since I’ve started my new jobs, I see even less of him. I’ve been having a hard time balancing work, friends/family and time with Stephen. As luck would have it, Stephen ended up with last Friday, Saturday and Monday off. It was great being able to spend so much time with him, it’s been ages since we’ve had the same days off, so we took full advantage of that.

Group Shot

This year, we were lucky that everyone in our family had Thanksgiving off from work. This means that there was my parents, my sisters and their boyfriends, my great grandma and her boyfriend, Stephen and I, and three dogs all in attendance for Thanksgiving. Since this doesn’t happen often, my Mom decided that it was time to get some family photos taken.

Tracy, Kent, Dogs

We’re lucky that my great grandma’s boyfriend dabbles in photography as a hobby (I’m so jealous of his cameras), so we got him to take some great pictures of us. I don’t have actual copies of the pictures yet, the ones posted are what I could steal from my Mom’s facebook page. There’s some really great ones of the entire family (including boyfriends), but my Mom’s holding those hostage because she wants to send them out with Christmas cards this year.

Jessica, Daniel

Our turkey dinner was great, my pies turned out, and my great grandma has even said that she wants to start reading my blog (hi G.G!) I’d call that a successful Thanksgiving dinner.

Me and Stephen!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How Do You Network?

As bloggers, you’d expect us to be good at social networking, right? Turns out, that’s not always the case. I’ve talked with a few bloggers here and there, and they claim to not be very good at it. I think that in part, it comes down to the fact that we don’t always know how to. Yes, we’ve got Facebook and Twitter (find me here!), but sometimes, bloggers need more than that. Here’s what I’ve found so far that works for me.

20 Something Bloggers
This is the first online community type that I discovered just before I started my blog. I’ve spent hours on the site, joining groups and discovering other bloggers. It’s a great active community that can really rally together in a time of need. Some of my very closest blogging friends have been discovered through 20SB.
You can find my profile here.

The Secret to Success is Support
With daily posts filled tips and tricks pertaining to blogging, and posts promoting various members in the community, SITS is a great place to get noticed. Recently, tribes were introduced as a way for members to really connect with each other and develop a core group of support. I’m part of the Ribbit tribe, and was even asked to become the tribe community lead. I’m looking forward to getting to know the ladies in my tribe and connecting with more bloggers!

The Lady Bloggers Society
Another fantastic community with daily posts on ways to improve your blogging experience. Every Saturday, they host a Lady Blogger Social Tea Party where you can link up your blog. The idea is that you check out other blogs that are linked up, and then come back and leave a comment with what you liked about the blogs. I’ve discovered a few new bloggers this way, and also gained a few followers as well! I love the fact that there’s no pressure, I don’t have to link up if I don’t feel like it.

Now it’s your turn. How do you network? Are you apart of any communities or sites to promote your blog?

Monday, October 11, 2010

I’m Thankful For…


Today is Canadian Thanksgiving. This picture was taken one year ago, at our last Thanksgiving celebration. I’ll be off at my parent’s place this afternoon, stuffing my face with turkey and eating one of the 3 different types of pies that I baked. We’ve also got plans to get some family photos taken. I figured today was the perfect day to make a list and remind myself of the things that I’m thankful for.

I’m Thankful For…

+ My amazingly caring family. We’re always there for each other and full of laughter. There’s no where I’d rather be than surrounded by my family.

+ Stephen. He fits into the family category, but he’s done so much for me that he deserves a spot of his own. He’s everything I could have ever wanted.

+ My friends. These days, my core group of friends is quite small, but I’m perfectly content with that. They’re always there to brighten my day and celebrate my victories with me.

+ My job. I’ve been through a lot of changes on the job front at the end of summer, and it’s taken some time to get used to. I’m thankful that I’m getting the hours I need, and that I’m still happy to go back every day.

+ Having an apartment to call my own. Despite that fact that Stephen and I feel we have outgrown our apartment (yes, we’re looking for a new place to rent), I’m so glad that we have a nice place to call our own, and that it’s filled with everything we need.

+ My blog. People who don’t blog just don’t seem to quite grasp what it is that we bloggers like so much about it. I’m so thankful for the relationships that I’ve developed and the opportunities that have been presented to me.

+ All the little things: My guinea pigs, a hug, a smile, a kiss, a laugh, Starbucks’ white mochas, pumpkin flavored anything, a sunny day, crisp fall weather, a good song, a well written book, a quiet moment, a nap, a happy memory, a good morning text, sleeping in. The list is too big to even comprehend.

Some days I reflect back on my life and I’m so thankful and feel so blessed for what I have, what I’ve done and where I’ve been that I have to pinch myself to see if it’s even real. Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian friends.

What are you thankful for today?

Friday, October 8, 2010

Women of Wonder

My mission this week was to go on a hot air balloon ride with someone special. Stephen and I tried to book our trip, only to find out that the next available flight date is November 2nd, and we had already submitted our payment (which is non-refundable). Luckily, the flight vouchers are good until they are used, which means no matter how many times our flight may get rescheduled, we’ll be ok. Thankfully, November 2nd is still during a time that I will be doing this Women of Wonder project.

Earlier this week, when I announced the hot air balloon ride, I alluded to the fact that it was on my bucket list. I’m a huge list maker. I have no idea where I get this from, or why I take such pleasure in creating lists; I just do. I have a bucket list, but it’s not something that I’ve ever talked about much. I tend to keep quiet about the big things until I’m sure that they’re going to work out. I have never even written my bucket list out. It just seems like such a big deal that I’m a little intimidated.

I’ve always had a quiet fascination with hot air balloons. They just seem so majestic to me! I once knew someone who got engaged on a hot air balloon ride, and ever since then, I knew that I had to go on a hot air balloon ride someday. Only problem is, these rides are expensive. If it weren’t for WonderBra Canada providing me this opportunity, there’s a good chance I never would have talked myself into indulging in a ride for myself!

Do you have a bucket list? What’s on it that may surprise some people?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pumpkin Harvest Cookies

Baking With Angela

Now that we’re well into fall, you’d probably be expecting me to be whipping up pumpkin flavored treats, right? Wrong. Stephen doesn’t like pumpkin flavored things, and there’s no way in heck I’m about to bake something entirely for myself. I don’t have very good self control when it comes to limiting the baked goods. After seeing yet another delicious looking recipe involving pumpkin (thanks to Mel over at for making me jealous of her domestic skills), I decided that I had had enough. I went to Safeway and bought a can of pumpkin pie filling. I had plans to make myself a batch of cookies to freeze, but then my sister invited me over to hang out. Perfect! Now I could keep just a few cookies and send the rest over to my family! These cookies were GOOD. My family gobbled them down in mere minutes. I may have had more than my fair share. But they were worth it.

October 4 040

Notes: I’m a firm believer of using what you’ve got on hand, so I made several changes to this recipe. I’m posting the original recipe with my adjustments because I think it would taste amazing either way. My adjustments are in the brackets.
I have never once seen pumpkin pie spice in stores around here. Maybe I just don’t look hard enough. Regardless, I made my own, using this website as a guide (I used the second recommendation).
Pumpkin Pie Spice
1/4 cup cinnamon
1 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tbsp cloves

Mix all together and store in an airtight container.

Mrs. Field’s Pumpkin Harvest Cookies
Adapted from the recipe posted at

(Printable Recipe)

2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar (I used light brown)
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used pumpkin pie filling)
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
10 oz white chocolate (I used 1 cup chocolate chips)
1 cup toasted pecan pieces (I used untoasted walnuts)

October 4 037

1. Preheat oven to 300F.
2. Whisk together flour, pumpkin pie spice and baking soda.
3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in pumpkin, then beat in the eggs and vanilla.
4. Fold in flour mixture. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips, being careful not to over mix.
5. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 20-22 minutes, or until set.

October 4 041 October 4 043
October 4 042

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Light The Night

2 years after high school, one of my best friends was diagnosed with Leukemia. She fought quite the battle, and even went into remission. Unfortunately, she came out of remission and was hit quite hard. Rondi passed away shortly afterward. Thinking back on it, I’m still in shock that this happened. One day, she was here and we were hanging out on her couch trying to figure out what to do that night. The next minute, I’m surrounded by her friends and family at her “Celebration of Life”. I still have a hard time with this. Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 122

{My Dad named our team “The Bambinos”. Not everyone is pictured in this team photo.}

2 years ago, I saw a commercial on TV for the Light the Night walk. It’s a fundraiser for blood cancers. I rounded up my family and my friend Izel, and we all raised money. It turns out that we all had so much fun doing the walk that we decided to do it twice more. This year’s walk was held the last weekend in September.

Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 119

The weather was beautiful. There was a free pizza and entertainment. Stories of survival and hope. When 7pm rolled around, we all lined up to start the walk. We do a 5km walk around a park here in downtown Calgary. Everyone holds balloons with little lights in them. There are three colors of balloons: Red is for supporters, white for survivors and gold for those walking in memory of a loved one who passed on. I’m happy to say that the red far outnumbered the other colors, but there was still too many gold and white balloons for my liking.
Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 145
I’ve always loved the fact that we carry balloons because at Rondi’s celebration of life, we all wrote messages to her on balloons and released them at the end of the night.
Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 136

So here’s to you Rondi. You’re always in my thoughts, and I hope that I’ll continue to do Light the Night for many more years to come.

Bird Sanctuary&Light the Night 193

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...