Sunday, April 12, 2015

Gardening + Arugula Pesto

 I've been having a lot of fun planting stuff in our apartment lately. In the picture above there're radishes on the far left, which I haven't really picked yet since I'm not sure if they're ready. To the right there's arugula, and then I'm also growing mint, basil, cinnamon basil, and romaine which I didn't take pictures of. 

Since my Arugula was so abundant I tried making pesto! I ended up adding about a tablespoon or two of store bought pesto to the mix since mine was a little strong and not very spreadable( the food processor broke so I was crushing it all together by hand)

Arugula Pesto:
makes about 2/3 cup
recipe adapted from:

1/2 c. nuts
1/4 c. grated parmesan
1-2  garlic cloves, finely grated
2 c. firmly packed arugula
1/2 c. olive oil
1-2 tsp. lemon juice
a pinch of salt

In a frying pan, cook the nuts over medium heat until toasted.
With a food processor combine the nuts until chopped into very small pieces and add the garlic and the parmesan. Add the arugula, lemon juice, salt, and slowly add the oil until it's as thin as desired.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Bird's nest charm

Yesterday I went to Sham Shui Po and found an amazing street filled with craft stores. They mostly sold beads, jewellery clasps, ribbons, wire, and chord and everything was so cheap. I made this cute little charm in about 10 minutes by following this tutorial.

- 3 beads of your choice
- flexible wire ( I used 6mm)

1) Put 3 beads on your wire and tuck the end into the first bead so you have a little triangle.

2) Continue to wrap the wire around your bunch of beads until the nest is as thick as you like it. You can go in and around the beads as well to secure them. Then make a little loop with the wire at the top and make a few circles around the top until it's secure.
3) To make this into a necklace you could just attach a jump ring to the loop and put it on a chain.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Soft, Thick, and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

It's been a long time since I've blogged but today I'm posting an unoriginal yet classic recipe ( which I actually tried for the first time today). These cookies are phenomenal and stay gooey in the center ( provided you don't cook them for too long!)


Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe from: Allrecipes
yield: about 2 dozen

3/4 c. butter, melted and cooled
1 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Chocolate chips

Melt the butter and allow it to cool to room temperature. Mix together the butter and both sugars until smooth. Beat in the egg and egg yolk until creamy. Beat in the salt, baking soda, and flour until just combined and don't over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips and refrigerate the dough until firm. Roll the dough into balls and bake for 15 minutes** or until slightly browned at the edges. They should still be pretty soft and a bit undercooked when you take them out because they will firm up when they cool. This will keep them from drying out and make them soft and chewy. When you take them out, if they haven't spread out, just press the tops down with a spoon to flatten them.

** I don't know this from experience, this is just the time written on the original recipe. My oven is wonky so any time I give you probably won't work for you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Rainbow swirl cake

My mum and I made this for my sister's birthday and used neon food coloring which looked fantastic.
 Rainbow cake:
- any white cake recipe or use a box mix
- food coloring
Prepare your cake batter accordingly, depending on what you're using. Divide the batter into separate bowls and add food coloring to create the colors you'd like. Grease you cake pan(s) and line them with baking paper. Drop large spoonfuls of batter into the pans, alternating colors. (There's a good image here of what it should look like.) Don't stir. Bake for however long the recipe calls for and let the cake(s) cool before icing.

Recipe from: Six Sister's Stuff
- 1 c. icing sugar
- 1/2 c. milk
- 6-7 cups icing sugar

Beat the ingredients together. If it's too thin to spread, add more icing sugar and if it's too thick, add more milk. Assemble and ice your cake.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

 These are quite possibly the best cookies I've ever had. They're chewy, gooey, and not the slightest bit cakey.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies:
recipe from: Yammie's Noshery

1/2 c. softened butter
1 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
5 tbsp canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. cloves
1 1/2c. flour
1 c. chocolate chips

Beat together the butter and sugars. Add in the pumpkin. In a separate bowl whisk together the baking soda, spices, salt, and flour. Combine the wet and the dry until just combined and stir in the chocolate chips. Bake rounded balls of dough on a pan lined with baking paper and bake at 350 degrees for 12-17 minutes until they puff up a little and crack.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Chocolate peanut butter cup cake ( new & updated)

This is my favorite cake recipe and I keep changing it until I get it perfect so rather then continually changing the original post over and over again I thought I'd just post an updated one.

Chocolate cake:
Recipe from: Hershey's 

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Mix together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat in the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Stir in the boiling water and pour into 2 prepared 9 inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-35 minutes.

Peanut butter filling:
recipe from: Allrecipes 

- 1/2 c. butter, softened
- 1 c. peanut butter
- 1 1/2- 2 c. icing sugar
- 3 tbsp. milk

Beat all the ingredients together and use it to ice in between the 2 chocolate cakes. 

Chocolate Ganache:
recipe from: Allrecipes 

- 12 oz. chopped chocolate( that's 1 of those Hershey's chocolate chip bags)
- 1 2/3c. heavy cream

Place the chocolate in a bowl. In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream until it's brought just to a boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until thick and then use it to ice the outside of the layer cake.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Lentil salad

I've sort of gone from cookie to salad recipes and 'The Girl With The Spatula' is kind of becoming 'The Girl With The Fork.' When I told my mom I was planning on making a lentil salad, she told me to only make enough for myself because I'd be the only one in the family that would be interested in it, but in the end she approved and liked it! This salad has a great blend of spices in the dressing which gives it sort of a middle eastern taste and the sweetness of the raisins compliment it really well.

Lentil Salad
recipe adapted from: My New Roots

- 2 1/2 c. cooked lentils
- 1/2 large red pepper- chopped
- 1 cup of raisins or craisins
- 1/4 c. chopped basil ( or cilantro or any other herb would work)
- 1/2 c. sunflower seeds

- 1/3c. olive oil
- 1/4c. apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp of maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper ( or more)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ( optional)
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Toss together all the salad ingredients. In a separate bowl whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette and mix with the salad. I only ended up using half the dressing so just adjust it to your tastes.


Black bean guacamole

This is the best guacamole I've ever had!

Black Bean Guacamole
recipe from: Oh She Glows

- The flesh from 2 avocados
- 1/2 c. diced red onion
-  1 small seeded and diced tomato
- 1 ( 15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/4 c. chopped cilantro ( optional)
-  2 tbsp lime juice
- salt & pepper, to taste

Mash the avocados and add the lime juice, salt, and pepper. Fold in the onion, tomato, black beans, and cilantro. Eat with a spoon! ( just kidding)


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rainbow Pad Thai Salad

After 24 hours of travelling, we're home! I miss BC but it's great to be in my own house and sleeping in my own bed.This morning my mom and I went to the Wan Chai market where we bought a bunch of vegetables and then for dinner I made this beautiful and colorful salad.

Rainbow Pad Thai Salad
recipe slightly adapted from: Oh She Glows
yield: 2 large servings and about 2/3 cup of dressing

- 1 medium zucchini,  julienned
- 2 carrots,  julienned
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 c. thinly sliced red cabbage
- 3/4 c. cooked edamame
-  3 green onions, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp. sesame seeds

- 1 garlic clove, finely grated
- 1/4 c. peanut butter
- 2 tbsp. lemon or lime juice
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. water
- maple syrup or other liquid sweetener**
- 1/2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. finely grated ginger

** the original recipe says 2 1/2 tsp but I found that way too bitter and ended up using approximately 6 1/2 tsp so just taste it and use whatever amount tastes best to you.

Prepare the vegetables and mix together the zucchini, carrots, red pepper, and cabbage in a large bowl using your hands. Make the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients. Top the salad with the edamame, green onions, sesame seeds, and the dressing.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Berry coffee cake

I made this coffee cake for my aunts 50th birthday picnic in the park and topped it with some leftover icing from last nights carrot cake.

We were in the park so I wasn't able to get any good photo's of just the cake so this is a picture of my aunt and I and the cake.

Berry Coffee Cake:
recipe from:

Crumb topping:
3 tbsp butter
1/6 c. granulated sugar
1/6 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Combine all the ingredients together until crumbly.

 1 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp sour cream or yogurt
1/3 c. milk
2 c. berries ( I used blueberries and blackberries)

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, sour cream, and milk and then gradually add the flour mixture Pour half the mixture into a prepared 9 inch cake pan. Put the berries on top and then pour the remaining batter on top of the berries. Sprinkle the crumb topping on and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Carrot Cake

This is one of my favorite tried and true cake recipes. It's so delicious and the icing is really rich and creamy.  I wish I had gotten more/better photo's but I was taking this to someones house for dinner so I couldn't just cut into it and show up with a partially eaten cake. Anyways, this time ( the time that I took the photos) I made it as a layer cake but I would HIGHLY recommended making it as a bundt cake because that's what I've done in the past and it's so much better that way because it holds together nicely and it's way denser.  Also note that this is the kind of icing that doesn't thicken or firm up so it's best if you just pour it on top right before serving ( as you can see in the photo's, I tried to make a layer cake and ice it with this recipe and it didn't look the prettiest ) The next time I make this I will do a long photo shoot and hopefully update these pics!

Carrot cake:
recipe source: " The Best of Bridge Cookbook"
note: This is enough cake batter and enough icing for a bundt cake ( even though the picture is of a layer cake)

2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. oil
6 eggs
3 c. flour
4 c. finely grated carrots
1 tsp salt
2 2/3 tsp. baking soda
 1 tbsp. cinnamon

Beat together the oil and the sugar and then beat in the eggs one at a time. Combine the dry ingredients and then add them to the egg mixture, beating until blended. Mix in the grated carrots, careful not to over mix, and then pour the batter into a greased bundt pan. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour (or until a toothpick comes out clean) at 300 degrees Fahrenheit

8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/4 c. softened butter
2 1/2 c. icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla.

Beat well and pour over the cooled cake right before serving.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Lemon berry layer cake

 The cake is flavorful and has a great texture!!! I don't know what else to say other than that it's really good...

Lemon Cake: 
recipe from: Averie Cooks
2 eggs
2 c. sugar
1 1/3 c. buttermilk
1 c. oil
1/2 c. lemon juice
1/4c. lemon zest
1/4 c. Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 3/4c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2- 2 c. raspberries.

Beat together the eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, lemon juice, zest, yogurt, and vanilla. In a separate bowl mix together the flour and baking soda and then add the dry to the wet and mix until just combined. Toss the raspberries in a bit of flour to keep them from turning the batter pink and then carefully stir them in. Pour into 2 prepared cake pans and bake for 25- 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before icing.

Blueberry Buttercream:
recipe from: The Kitchen Paper

2 c. blueberries or any other berry
2 tbsp. sugar
2 c. butter at room temperature
4-6 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the berries and the sugar and break the berries apart with a spoon. Allow to cool. Beat together the butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla and then add the blueberries.


 *The icing is a little bit runnier then your average icing because of the blueberry juice so it won't ice perfectly but it will thicken up when you refrigerate the cake.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

White chocolate fudge

I was originally going to call this cookies n' cream fudge but I accidentally bought white chocolate that had almonds in it so I was like " okay I can't truly call this cookies and cream fudge" so I threw some other random things we had lying around. ( vanilla cupcake flavored goldfish crackers and pretzels)

White Chocolate Fudge:
Yield: a loaf pan

-2/3 can sweetened condensed milk
-2 c. white chocolate
-1 1/2 c. cut up oreos
-3/4 c. broken up pretzels
-3/4 c. crushed vanilla cupcake goldfish crackers
-whatever else you want to throw in

Melt the white chocolate and mix in the condensed milk. Stir in whatever other add ins you like and pour it into a pan lined with baking paper. Freeze until firm. Keep it in the freezer until serving.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Cake batter blondies

 These blondies are fudgy and taste like half cooked cake batter. I guess they might not be considered a " recipe" because you just add a few things to cake mix but they're really easy to make and you only need one bowl. Mine weren't very photogenic because the only sprinkles I had were the type that are like blue colored sugar therefore mine are blue. I found some of those vanilla cupcake flavor goldfish in our cupboard so I added those for some extra crunch and they were great.
 Cake batter blondies:
makes: an 8 by 8 inch pan
recipe from: Girl Meets life

1 box white or yellow cake mix ( I used Betty Crocker)
1/4 c. oil
1 egg
1/4 c. + 2 tbsp milk
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
1/2 c. broken up vanilla goldfish cookies

Whisk together the oil and the egg and stir in the cake mix. Add the milk and mix in the chocolate chips, sprinkles, and cookies.  Pour into a prepared 8 by 8 inch pan and bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees. You want the edges to be golden brown but the center will still be gooey. Don't over cook or else the center will not be gooey and cake batter ish. Let it cool completely before cutting.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Chocolate chunk muffins with DIY peanut butter chips

These muffins   rise really nicely and you can very easily make homemade peanut butter chips to go inside them. My mom said she liked that they tasted like those big coffee shop muffins but they aren't as greasy.

Chocolate chunk muffins:
yield: 12 muffins
recipe from: TopWithCinnamon

1 2/3 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 c. sugar
2 tbsp + 1 tsp melted butter
6 prunes*  pureed with a tiny bit of hot water until smooth
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c. yogurt or milk
peanut butter chips ***

Put the first 7 ingredients in a blender until combined. Then add the prunes, eggs, vanilla, and yogurt and blend until smooth. If it isn't blending, just pour the batter into a bowl and use a mixer. Stir in the peanut butter chips. Grease a muffin tin and fill each muffin slot to the top. Bake at 425 F for about 4 minutes and then lower the temperature to 350 and bake for another 15 ish minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

* dates or anything else that's the same consistency would probably work as well.

** Mix 1/2 c. peanut butter and 1/2 c. icing sugar. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet and freeze until firm( about an hour). Then cut it into chunks.