22 May 2011

Gimme S'more

This long weekend was the official kick-off for camping season in Canada and well....

I. Don't. Camp.

There... I've said it....its just not my thing. I've tried many a time to enjoy it really but things never seem to work out in my favour.

My Camping Escapades

1.  Two girlfriends and I decided to go camping one weekend on a whim. The only campsite available had electricity...so we brought a blender to make daiquiris of course!! Problem was that we didn't bring enough sleeping bags or blankets and froze all night huddled in the tent! That same trip also taught us to bring something other than alcohol-based body spray to try and light a fire.... it doesn't work anyway but your campsite will smell pretty!

2. Cooking while camping has never turned out well! Once brought potatoes to bake but the fire demolished the potato leaving only ash in its place. Another time we brought bacon and somehow we dropped it only to have it be covered in sand...crispy bacon YES....sandy bacon NO!

3. The Bugs.... OH... the Bugs! Nothing is worse than waking up in the morning after the roughest sleep to see their shadows all over your tent. I once spent half the day in the tent for fear of spider attack.

4. Bathrooms and the lack thereof! Go where? Behind what? I'll just hold it thankyouverymuch!

Don't get me wrong though... I love the outdoors. Hiking is one of my favourite summer activities but living in the outdoors for extended periods of time is just not my idea of fun. 

The one thing I do truly LOVE about the idea of camping is the campfire. I can definitely replicate this in my backyard but there is just something special about being in the middle of the woods with friends roasting marshmallows. Which reminds me of the BEST camping trip I ever had.... one where we visited friends at their campsite, roasted our marshmallows, visited and then drove home to our warm bed! Now THAT is my kind of camping!

In honour of those out there camping this weekend.... I made these amazing S'mores from Lovintheoven. 
Straight from the oven....amazing 
SO GOOD!!!!!
Chewy, warm, delicious and enjoyed in the comfort of my living room!

15 May 2011

Bascot a la Chocolat

You know when you crave something but you just don't quite know what? That was the feeling I had last night until I remembered these frozen cocoa tea biscuit cookies my mom used to make. The search for what these were actually called was quite interesting.

I must have done numerous searches online until I finally hit the jackpot....Chocolate Salami..... but in reading the recipes, it just didn't seem right. Most, if not all, had eggs or condensed milk...neither of which, I was certain, my mother used in hers when we were growing up. In my search, I also discovered that the origin of these cookies is so diverse. I still am not certain whether they are Brazilian, Italian, Portuguese, Turkish or French but since they were made in our home growing up, I'll add Lebanese to the mix!

So I set-out to make them from memory and proceeded to omit the eggs & condensed milk. They turned out almost perfect and I say almost because I decided to wrap them in tin foil as opposed to plastic wrap...note to self...plastic wrap next time!

Bascot a la Chocolat
4 tbs (heaping) of Fry's Cocoa 
3 tbs of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
Sweet tea biscuits - Maria or Leibnez
2 tbs of butter
Plastic wrap

Break the biscuits into fourths and set aside. The amount will depend on whether you want more biscuit in your cake or more chocolate. I tend to like more biscuit. Boil the butter with the milk and then slowly add the sugar and the cocoa. Once its at a smooth consistency, add the broken bits of biscuits into the mixture and toss until thick. You don't want to over-mix as the biscuits will become mushy!
Transfer thick combination onto the plastic wrap and proceed to roll up. When rolled, place in the freezer for 2-3 hours.

Once complete, take it out and slice with a warm knife. In my search, I saw some rolled in icing sugar for that extra salami look... but for me... I like it without. 

These are amazing straight out of the freezer, almost like an ice cream cake...but be warned they are addictive!

14 May 2011


Hmm... so lets see... two weeks in a row and I'm late in posting my "Friday Favourites"...not the best start! I should have realized that when Friday evening comes around I'm pretty much zonked out from the work week. I suppose I could begin the blog throughout the week but then again who am I kidding... I don't have that much leisurely time! I'll take it week by week!
This week my favourites were inspired by our summer-like weather! I'm getting more and more excited and re-energised as the weather warms up and so here are my favourites this week:

Zara's Spring Collection
Ohh Zara... how I adore thee! I went in today because I was drawn by the bright and bold colours of their new collection. Nothing says Spring/Summer like neon.... or maybe they are actually saying "Hey child of the nineties... this collection is for YOU!" Either way, I fell in love and walked out with these:
Bright blue and everything I could ask for!
So light and flowy!

I also really loved these but of course all the tiny feet sizes were gone so I will remain on the lookout!
Navy Stripes...enough said!
Tim Horton's Iced Cappucino
I was never one for those complicated coffees. I'm the regular cream and sugar type and the only exception I make is for an Iced Cap from Tim Hortons. I do realise though, that even these don't really classify as complicated or fancy in the least, but to me they are the absolute best on a warm spring/summer-like day... like today!
Dance Beats
So what else does a girl need when driving into the city with the sunroof open and the sunshine all-around? An awesome upbeat song! This is the one I am currently obsessed with:
Give Me Everything Tonight - Pitbull, Neyo, Afrojack & Nayer

07 May 2011

Friday Favourites

Ok...so I'm a bit late in posting this week but in all fairness its been quite the long week! I'm feeling more alive today though and in need of some comfort. The weather outside is dark, gloomy and rainy which just contributes to my need for comfort foods and activities.
Banana Bread
The smell of warm cinnamon and bananas is enough to make me jump with happiness. Its also one of the best flavour combinations I can think of when I'm in need of comfort foods. I opened the freezer to find my stash of frozen, ripe bananas which I keep just for days like this, and so I decided to whip up a batch of:

4-5 ripe bananas, smashed (I like it to be very banana-y)
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup of sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

BUT I was craving a little something extra so I tossed in a handful of dark chocolate chips, replaced the 3/4 cup of white sugar with 1/3 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of fresh local honey and added a few tsps of cinnamon, oats and toasted ground flax. It turned out perfectly:
Honey Cinnamon Chocolate Banana Bread
Good Book
Although my life is almost always go, go, go, I can never not be reading something. The local library is full of endless possibilities and it always felt like home to me. I can borrow any book I like and be transported to anyplace in the world for free. This week, comedian Tina Fey's autobiography Bossy Pants arrived and with all of the good reviews I have been hearing, I can't wait to read it tonight! 
Bossy Pants
Warm Blanket and a Cup of Coffee
Comfort to me means warmth and safety and nothing eludes to that better than being wrapped in a blanket with a hot cup of coffee. This blanket though is extra special as it was handmade for me by one of my closest friends and I absolutely love it! Coffee on the other hand will forever be my best friend in good and bad times. Its also the perfect combination with a gloomy night like this, warm banana bread and my new read!
Caramel Vanilla Nut Coffee
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