Salted Date Oven Caramel Popcorn

Caramel Popcorn

Another week has started, and we have been having some gorgeous weather these last few days! This makes me SO happy! Unfortunately, I haven’t been outside to enjoy the weather as much as I would have liked. This is my first year singing in the Faith and Life Choir, and the last two days we spent many hours rehearsing and performing for our spring concert. It was a really great experience, and I plan to continue singing in this choir when it starts up again in the fall. The only downfall was that we spent a lot of time indoors while the lovely weather was calling us to be outside!

I did make sure to enjoy the warm weather at least for a little while today. Luna sure didn’t complain about us taking her for a walk! But now, I’m excited to share this Salted Date Oven Caramel Popcorn recipe with you!

Salted Date Oven Caramel Popcorn

This household really enjoys caramel popcorn! Over a month ago I decided to try to come up with a healthier version for this delicacy. Now, by healthy I don’t mean that it is something incredibly nutritious that you should eat every day. However, I did manage to make it refined sugar free, which is something that I have been trying to consume less of. The first time I tried to make this recipe, there was too much moisture in the caramel, causing the popcorn to shrivel significantly. It was still delicious after baking it, but I knew the recipe required some adjustments.

Today I tried making it again, tweaking the recipe a little, and it turned out much better! It has a rich caramel-like colour and flavour, and baking it causes it to acquire the perfect amount of crispness. It is incredibly delicious, and makes the perfect snack for a movie or game night! However, you might not be able to stop eating once you start. You have been warned!

Salted Date Oven Caramel Popcorn

I hope you give this recipe a try! If you do, I’d love your feedback! May this week be joyful, productive, positive, and rewarding! Thank you for stopping by!

Salted Date Oven Caramel Popcorn
This is a healthier version of caramel popcorn, and it is to die for!
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  2. 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  3. 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  4. 3/4 cup packed pitted dates
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
Instructions
  1. Add the pitted dates to a glass bowl and cover with boiling water. Let it sit for half an hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 F°.
  3. While the dates are soaking, add the popcorn kernels and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to a stovestop popcorn maker. Heat on medium-high until most of the kernels have popped, stirring consistently. When the popping slows down to several seconds between pops, empty the popcorn into a large bowl immediately.
  4. Drain the dates. Using a food processor, purée the dates, pure maple syrup, and the remaining coconut oil, until a smooth and thick mixture forms.
  5. Using a non-stick pan, bring the date mixture to a boil on medium-high heat. Continue boiling on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mixture has a rich and brown caramelized colour.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and salt.
  7. Add the date mixture to the popcorn and fold in gently until evenly combined.
  8. Spread out the popcorn on a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Let cool completely and enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you don't have a food processor you may also use a blender, or a hand held immersion blender.
  2. Don't heat the coconut oil on high, as it might cause your throat to feel scratchy.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

A Twist on Fresas con Crema

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Hola amigos! Less than a week from today, on the 16th of September, Mexico will be celebrating its 206th year of independence! Here I am, watching videos on youtube of the celebration of the Grito de Independencia. Tears are flowing, and my heart is hurting with a deep love for my home country, remembering faded but unforgettable memories. 

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I am realizing that my heart will probably always be torn, while also being completed by two countries. Being, and having grown up Mennonite I never felt like I could fully identify as Mexican. This was because being a Mennonite wasn’t only a matter of faith, but also a different culture altogether. However, because I was a more progressive Mennonite and didn’t dress traditionally, many Mexican people wouldn’t believe that I was Mennonite. When I moved to Canada, I perhaps took on more of a Mexican identity, because that’s what many of my friends saw me as. In Canada, however, I’ve had to convince individuals so many times that I’m Mexican, because I don’t look Mexican. It’s kinda funny. Having grown up Mennonite in Mexico, and then moving to Canada, I have often felt like I don’t completely belong or fit in anywhere. Each place transforms and shapes who you are. However, my life has been enriched by people and experiences in both of my homes, and ultimately I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

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The Mexican Independence Day was always particularly special to me, since it happened the day after my birthday. Not only did it mean that I never had to go to school the following day (which was PERFECT for sleepovers!), but late at night on my birthday a great amount of people would gather up in Cuauhtémoc city for the Grito de Independencia. Sharing a birthday with this special event, had the effect of making me feel special, while also feeling so proud to be Mexican. I clearly remember my friend and I looking out of the bedroom window into the dark night, trying to catch sight of the fireworks far in the distance. You could always see the city lights flickering, as Cuauhtémoc is built around and partly on a mountain. When I was old enough, I got to go to the Grito de Independencia myself. The Grito, in short, is an event on the night leading up to Mexico’s Independence Day (on which there usually is a parade). It symbolizes the way Miguel Hidalgo gathered his people by ringing the church bells, declaring the beginning of the War of Independence against the Spanish colonial government. People gather to honour heroes, and to celebrate Mexico’s independence, with fireworks, music, and lots of cheering, of course. I used to always joke that the fireworks were meant for me though!

Here is an example of one of the many Mexican Gritos de Independencia:

I have to admit, I haven’t really celebrated this Mexican holiday all that much in Canada, especially not in the later years. I’ve always thought it would be cool to do something, maybe even have fireworks. Perhaps one year I’ll make it into something special and form a tradition, before I forget what it’s like! Speaking of forgetting, I have noticed my Spanish getting a little rustier, so this weekend, believe it or not, I decided to have a Spanish conversation out loud, while driving home. Clearly it ended up being a one-sided conversation! Haha! I thought to myself, hey, I should do this more often, so that my tongue remembers how to speak Spanish. 

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Can you tell I’m feeling incredibly nostalgic!? Lets move on to a new recipe! Recently, I shared a corn on the cob recipe, somewhat, but not quite similar to the Mexican street-food version. Another amazing Mexican street-food is “Fresas con Crema” (strawberries swimming in sweet cream). It is to die for!

So, continuing with the Mexican celebration vibes, today I’m sharing my own version of Fresas con Crema. This recipe was originally inspired by a recipe that I found on Pinterest, but ultimately, it reminded me of a Mexican street-food favorite. No, it doesn’t really taste the same at all, but it’s still really delicious! Find the recipe below:

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Thank you for taking the time to read my long story!

A Twist on Fresas con Crema
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 8 strawberries, hulled and sliced
  2. 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream (35%)
  3. 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  4. Salt to taste
  5. 2 Tbsp. icing sugar
  6. 1/8 tsp. almond extract
  7. 1/8 tsp. cardamom
  8. 1/4 tsp. orange zest
  9. 4 Tbsp. cream cheese
  10. 3 Tbsp. shaved, toasted almonds
Instructions
  1. Add the cream, vanilla extract, and salt to a bowl. Whip mixture until stiff peaks form.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients (except almonds) and mix until a smooth mixture forms.
  3. Toast the almonds in a frying pan, stirring gently, but consistently.
  4. Using two small bowls, layer the dessert alternating between the cream mixture and the sliced strawberries, starting and ending with the cream. Top with roasted shaved almonds. Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator until later.
Notes
  1. You may choose to leave out the following ingredients for a simple vanilla taste: almond extract, cardamom, orange zest.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

Life Update & Mango, Pineapple and Coconut Yogurt Popsicles

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Hello my lovely readers! I’ve been having a little too much fun trying different popsicle combos. I quickly wanted to share a flavor combination that I really enjoyed. I won’t even make a recipe card, because it’s really that easy, and doesn’t require much explaining. Using a popsicle tray, fill each slot a quarter of the way with mango juice, and two quarters with coconut flavored yogurt (I used Activia brand). Then, simply pop in a piece of freshly cut pineapple, and place it in the freezer until frozen. 

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Hmmmm… my human is holding something strange… wait a minute, perhaps I recognize what that is… could it be? No… I doubt it… oh my goodness… I think it is… it DEFINITELY is! Popsicles!!! 

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As I was trying to take pictures of the popsicles, Luna must’ve seen what I was holding (she usually get’s part of my popsicle), because she got really excited and was desperate to have some! She started jumping, trying to reach for the popsicles, photobombing my pictures in the most adorable way! No worries, she definitely got some in the end! 😉

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Also, as I mentioned in a previous post, all of Luna’s hair got chopped off! She looks so different with short hair! Needless to say, we were pretty amused by her look right after her hair cut. Especially since we were only used to her cute teddy bear look. It’s definitely nice and fresh for the summer though!

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I also wanted to update you a little on what’s going on at the Kampens these days. Kevin started tearing down our old deck on Saturday. It is in pretty poor shape, and needs replacing. The reason why we’re tearing it down now, is because my parents are coming for a visit (so exciting!), and my dad wanted to help us build a new one!

My last update, which might make some of you a little sad, is that I will be taking a break from blogging (this will be my last post for a while) for two reasons. First, I want to be fully available when my parents are visiting, as I don’t get to see them that often. Second, Kevin and I are travelling to Thailand!!! What!? Yes, it’s happening! We’re really looking forward to it, and I can’t wait to show/tell you all about it!

Now you know, and don’t have to wonder why I suddenly vanished from the face of the earth! I will miss sharing posts with you, but it is also important to disconnect sometimes. Plus, this only means I will have a lot of new content to share with you. 

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I want to thank each one of you for following me, encouraging me, and reading along. It means a lot to me! May this summer make you as happy as the popsicles make Luna happy. Here’s to summer! Cheers!!!!! -Erika

Self-Serve Strawberry “Cheesecake” Ice Cream

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Howdy! I hope you woke up bright and chirpy! Actually, I feel like I should still be sleeping, like my husband and my dog, Luna. I know I’m tired, and my body still needs more sleep, but for some reason my brain thought I should be done sleeping, thinking instead of possible bear attack stories, because Kevin and I have planned a short camping/canoeing trip. Haha, really brain!? Instead, I thought I would get up and start blogging. I don’t mind it though. It’s dark inside because it’s cloudy, and it’s pouring on and off. Along with some thunder, it feels like a good set-up for writing. 

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Who else is LOVING spring so far? It basically feels like summer, even though it’s technically still Spring. We have had some pretty warm weather already, and I’m loving it! When it gets almost too hot, I always try to remind myself that I’m not allowed to complain about it, since I know how long and cold the winter will be here, and that I would give anything to feel the heat of the sun on some of those days.

Anyways, I’ll stop rambling now. I have a delicious and almost embarrassingly easy recipe to share with you. Our friends encouraged me to post this a long time ago, because they really enjoyed it when we served it to them. So here you go friends, I’m finally posting it for other people to enjoy as well! You can be proud of me now. 😉  

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I love serving this Strawberry “Cheesecake” Ice Cream as a dessert, especially when you didn’t have time to make anything in advance. It requires very little preparation, and since it is a self-serve dessert, it really is a breeze. You can totally get the toppings ready while you’re chatting with your friends. Well, except if you’re using a slap chop to crush the graham crackers, like I did. Things can get a little loud in the kitchen then. You might want to assure your guests that you’re not angry!

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I would recommend serving this dessert after a heavier meal. I find that ice cream usually makes for a lighter and refreshing dessert, especially when served with fruit. 

All that is required for prep work is to cut up some fresh strawberries, and crush some graham crackers. Place both ingredients in separate bowls, then set them out as toppings, along with some cinnamon, and of course the vanilla ice cream.

I didn’t include any quantities for the ingredients, since you really can’t go wrong here. If you didn’t make enough, you can simply go and make some more. If you have left over crushed graham crackers, simply store them in the freezer in an air-tight container, or in a zip-loc bag, ready to be used for either a cheesecake, or for the next time you decide to serve this ice cream. And of course, I wouldn’t categorize having left-over strawberries as a problem. They will be gone before you know it. But, if you really need ideas on how to get rid of them, throw them in with your next cereal bowl, add them to a smoothie, OR feed them to your dog. My pup loves strawberries, and it really helps improve her breath. Sorry Luna, you never have bad breath! 😉

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I really hope you give this recipe a try, and that you will enjoy it! Feel free to like and share my posts, as it helps increase my traffic. 🙂

Enjoy your weekend peeps! -Erika 

Self-Serve Strawberry "Cheesecake" Ice Cream
The simplest and yet very delicious way to quickly enhance a good traditional vanilla ice cream!
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Ingredients
  1. Fresh strawberries
  2. Crushed graham crackers
  3. Ground cinnamon
  4. Vanilla ice cream
Instructions
  1. Wash, trim, and dice preferred amount of strawberries.
  2. Crush graham crackers in either a blender, food processor, ziploc bag with a rolling pin, or with a slap chop.
  3. Set these ingredients out in separate bowls as ice cream toppings along with some ground cinnamon. Allow guests to prepare and layer their own ice cream bowls.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

Blueberry Ambrosia Sauce

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I’m SO excited about today’s recipe! This little household in Peg City really enjoys blueberry sauce. I decided to create my own and healthier version of it, and I ended up loving it so much that I was eating it with a spoon! It’s the coconut oil and vanilla extract that never fail me. They give this sauce such a soft and heavenly flavor, and then the lemon zest waltzes in and spices things up just enough to bring the senses back down to earth. Can you tell I’m a little obsessed with this recipe?

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I have been making my new favorite oatmeal-pancakes recipe by Tastes Better Made from Scratch. These pancakes are so delicious, healthy, and packed with proteins. They are quite filling, and make an excellent choice for breakfast. I love how little effort it takes to make these pancakes. They are also easy to rewarm (I just pop them in the microwave), allowing you to make some extra in advance for a quick breakfast on a busy morning. If you want to make these pancakes exceptionally good, top them with some fresh banana slices, and my warm blueberry ambrosia sauce. Trust me, both of these recipes are to die for!

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I’m sure this blueberry sauce would also taste great on other desserts like waffles, crepes, and cheesecake. Did I hear someone say CHEESECAKE!? It has got to be my all time favorite dessert. Oh and lets not forget ice cream! This recipe would make an excellent vanilla ice cream topping. Can I hear a YES!? 

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Warning! Change of topic. Erika’s spaghetti noodle brain is at work. I just wanted to say how much I love spring blossoms. They are definitely a huge highlight for me when spring rolls around. What probably makes them even more special, is the fact that they don’t hang around for very long.

Now how did I get my hands on these gorgeous babies? Well, if you must know, I snagged them on our way to our car after our friends’ wedding. There it was, standing on the golf club yard, this gorgeous pink tree, calling out my name. I knew I had to have one branch for a food photo-shoot. I broke it off, thanking the tree (that was a lie), took it home and nurtured it with some fresh water, and went to bed.

After several hours of sleep they still looked beautiful, so in the morning I got busy making the blueberry sauce and setting up for a photo-shoot. Yes we eventually ate the pancakes. Of course when you shoot pictures of food, the food has often cooled off by the time you eat it and you have to re-warm it, or just eat it cold.

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This blueberry sauce brings me back to the summer of 2001. My family and I made a road trip all the way from Chihuahua, Mexico to British Columbia. Now for some background information, blueberries are not something that I grew up buying in Mexico. First of all, I don’t remember them being sold in many places, and if they were sold somewhere they would have cost a fortune (with a little exaggeration)! So when we visited BC that summer, we stayed with my uncle and aunt and their children. Behind their house was a chicken barn, and behind the barn was a blueberry field with rows of blueberry plants. I remember joining my aunt and together filling a whole ice cream bucket with small blueberries. They were SO very delicious! It’s amazing how much flavor and deliciousness are packed into our little blue friends! 

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I hope you try this recipe and love it as much as I do. Wishing everyone some down time this weekend. Try to do at least one thing that will make your heart feel full. Sometimes it’s the little things that re-energize and inspire us anew. Maybe it’s a short walk in nature, a coffee date with a friend, reading a chapter in the book that has been neglected for a few weeks, baking your favorite cookies, watching an inspirational movie, or anything else that fills your cup.

This week I had one day where I just felt so peopled-out after some frustrating incidents at work. We had planned to go to the gym in the evening, but we waited until it was kind of too late and not worth going anymore. I knew my body and mind were screaming for some down time. We decided to just stay in. I filled my bathtub with warm foaming water, asked Kevin to take the puppy and close the bathroom door, and watched a movie. I wanted to be completely by myself. If I leave the bathroom door open, I get frequent visits from my pup. It’s actually super cute, because she always stands up and peaks over the bathtub, waiting for me to come out. But this time, I needed it to be just me, to re-energize my body and mind. 

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HAPPY FRIDAY TO MY LOVELY READERS!

Cheers! -Erika

Blueberry Ambrosia Sauce
Serves 4
This delectable sauce is where blueberries, lemons, and coconuts meet to create a heavenly flavour. Pour it over dessert-like foods, such as pancakes, cheesecake, ice cream, crepes, and waffles.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups frozen blueberries
  2. 1/3 cup water
  3. 1 tsp lemon zest
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
  5. pinch of salt
  6. 2 tsp cornstarch mixed with some water
  7. 1 tbsp coconut oil
  8. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Add the first three ingredients to a small pot. Bring to a boil on medium high heat.
  2. Turn down to medium heat. Add the pure maple syrup, salt, and the cornstarch (mixed with a little bit of cold water). Stir until the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in the coconut oil, vanilla extract, and the freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  4. Serve over your favourite dessert-like dish.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

Two-Ingredient Peach Yogurt Popsicles

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Good morning my friends! After some rain this week, we’re having a cloudy and refreshing kind of morning here in Winnipeg. Everything is looking so green now! This fills my soul with so much joy. As much as I love sunny days, I love days like these where I can just open the window and have that fresh breeze come in, while hearing the birds chirping their hearts out with joyful morning songs.

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Now realistically speaking, the recipe I am sharing with you today is meant for one of those darn hot days where you would do anything to cool off just a little. So I’m just going to leave this recipe here and you can tuck it away for those warm days that are coming our way soon! But then again, who knows, perhaps you’re reading this from a place where it is hot today! If that is the case you may as well make these popsicles right now! Trust me, it’ll be worth it for three reasons: these are SO easy to make, they are mostly healthy, and so refreshing and delicious!   

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Any popsicle tray will work for this recipe. It might just change the amount of yogurt that you are going to need. The good thing is no yogurt will go to waste, because you’ll just eat whatever yogurt doesn’t get used. That is, if you love yogurt as much as I do! For those of you that need a good popsicle tray, I got my tray from here. I have used mine only once so far, but I really liked it. I’m sure I’ll use it many more times. 

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I will also share a quick tip that might be obvious to everyone else, which I totally didn’t think about. Don’t push the wooden sticks down all the way. We weren’t left with much to hold on to! Oops! There’s always next time!

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I hope you try this recipe out some time soon! Thank you for reading along and being my support buddies. Wishing you all a wonderful day! And finally, some wise words by spongebob: “Let go of what kills you and hold on to what keeps you breathing.” 😉

Two-Ingredient Peach Yogurt Popsicles
Yields 10
A breeze to make and so refreshing! That's all.
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Ingredients
  1. 1L peach yogurt
  2. 20 slices of fresh or frozen peaches
Instructions
  1. Add two peach slices to each popsicle mold, then fill the rest of the way with peach yogurt, tapping the tray occasionally to avoid air pockets.
  2. Cover the tray with its lid, and pop it in freezer until the popsicles are frozen.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

Energy Bites

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Hello friends! Look who decided to resurface! I’m finally attempting to get back into this blogging thing. I’m realizing how much I’ve missed it. I’m just going to be honest. Things got really crazy for a while there. You know when everything decides to happen around the same time and you just get overwhelmed and can’t do everything? Well, that’s what happened. We said goodbye to some special people in our lives, said hello to some wonderful newborns, participated in a church play, and did some washroom renos (can’t wait to show you the upgrade!). So I decided I was going to take a break from blogging. Before I continue with this snack post though, I just feel the need to say how thankful I am for God’s love that is beyond understanding, for his presence in difficult times, and for the countless amazing and thoughtful friends that Kevin and I have.

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Now on to some delicious things! I made these soft, chewy, delicious energy bites yesterday. I had made them a while ago and didn’t measure out or write down the amount for each ingredient. I played around with this recipe again yesterday, and I think they turned out even better than the previous time. I made sure to write down the ingredients this time because I made them specifically so that I could share them with you!  

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This recipe is very forgiving. As long as you add enough quick oats to thicken the paste enough to form balls, you can really add any ingredients that you love. You could add in shredded coconut, flax seeds, cranberries, other dried fruit… the list goes on.  

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These energy bites make for a really great post-workout snack combined with some cold milk. Eating carbs and proteins within 15 to 20 minutes after a workout, helps restore glucose levels in the muscles and immediately starts repairing muscle tissue. One of the perks of having a phys-ed teacher for a husband, is kind of having my own personal instructor. 😉 Speaking of the gym, along with everything else, my body has been feeling a little neglected for the last month. Does everyone else find it so difficult to go to the gym on a regular basis? If not, please do share your secrets! I find it very difficult to go back to the gym after an extended break. Once I’m on track it usually become easier though. Anyways, I WILL go to the gym today, I promise. 

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I hope you enjoyed this post! If you make this recipe, let me know what you thought about it. Feel free to share the link! Happy weekend to you all!

Cheers! -Erika 

Energy Bites
Yields 34
These chewy and delicious energy bites make a great post-workout snack along with some cold milk!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups pitted dates, soaked
  2. 1/2 rounded cup of peanut butter
  3. 2 tbsp coconut oil
  4. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  5. 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  6. 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  7. 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  8. 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  9. 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  10. 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  11. 1 tsp cinnamon
  12. 1/3 cup raisins or chocolate chips
  13. 1/2 cup white melting chocolate
  14. 1/2 cup milk or dark melting chocolate
  15. 1 tsp coconut oil, divided
  16. Cocoa powder
  17. Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Add the pitted dates to a glass bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak for about an hour or until they have softened. Drain off most of the water, setting aside about a 1/4 cup.
  2. Add the first four ingredients to a food processor (or blender), along with the 1/4 cup of water. Process or blend until a thick and smooth paste begins to form. Empty the paste into a medium sized bowl.
  3. Add the pecans, sesame, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds to a small non-stick frying pan, and roast them on medium-high until golden brown, stirring constantly. Add them to the date paste.
  4. Stir in the seeds with a wooden spoon, along with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Cover a cookie sheet with wax paper. Take about one tablespoon of the mixture at a time and roll into a ball. Repeat this with the rest of the mixture. Place balls on the wax paper as you go.
  6. Add the white and dark melting chocolate to two separate glass bowls. Add 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil to each bowl. Melt both chocolates in the microwave, stirring every fifteen seconds or so.
  7. With a spoon dip and roll the balls in the chocolate until fully coated. Place back on the wax paper.
  8. Add a few grains of sea salt to the dark chocolate balls, and sprinkle the white chocolate balls with some cocoa powder. Leave some of them uncovered. Place cookie sheet in the freezer until chocolate hardens.
  9. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/

Spiced Vanillla Ice Cream Extravaganza

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Looking for a way to bring your plain vanilla ice cream to the next level? Well, I’ve got a super easy and really quick idea for you! I tried these toppings the other day and really enjoyed them. If you like eating salty fries with your ice cream then you will love this recipe (and yes eating salty fries with your ice cream is totally a thing!). The salty pretzels bring a good balance to the sweetness of the ice cream, and the apples just add the perfect amount of crunchiness and tartness. The cinnamon and the all-spice, well… they are basically an apple’s best friends. Now, we really don’t want to separate best friends, do we?

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Here’s how you do it (not that it really needs explaining): Scoop the desired amount of vanilla ice cream scoops into a bowl, and sprinkle with cinnamon and all-spice to taste. Pop in a few pretzels, and some thinly cut apple slices. Garnish with star anise and a cinnamon stick (optional). Now, as you can see, I also added a little bit of caramel sauce. I had thought that perhaps it would taste good to drizzle on some home-made warm caramel sauce. Well, I tried to come up with a new caramel sauce and it was a complete failure, which resulted in my house smelling like burned sugar. Now, this isn’t really the worse kind of smell, but it was definitely still lingering when I came home after having been gone for many hours. I ended up using store-bought caramel sauce instead. Ultimately I think this recipe doesn’t need any caramel sauce, unless if you love your desserts really sweet.  

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I scream that each one of you has a great weekend (get it?)! I leave you with this quote by who know’s who: Life is like an ice cream, enjoy it before it melts. xo- Erika

Pumpkin Orange Tiramisu

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The week is coming to an end! It’s been a busy, but good week of teaching piano lessons, working (I started a new job at Siloam Mission a few weeks ago), blogging, going to my pottery class, living in a very messy house, cleaning up said mess, doing laundry, and getting sick… 🙁 AND I’ve been seeing snow flurries on and off today! I think our beautiful fall is starting to say goodbye. The air is cool, and most leaves have fallen. But before we officially say goodbye to fall, I have a Fall Tiramisu recipe to share with you lovely people! 

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In good ol’ Wikipedia’s words: “Tiramisu (meaning “pick me up” or “lift me up”) is a popular coffee-flavored Italian dessert. It is made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavoured with cocoa.”

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Before we continue though, there’s a little bit of a problem. My puppy chewed up my recipe. This is what’s left of my recipe after I went downstairs for a while to do some laundry: Maybe the next time a student tells me that their dog ate their homework, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. 

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Anyways… I’ll do my best to remember the ingredients and the amounts of all the changes I made to the original recipe. Luckily I have the main recipe on my phone. I originally got this recipe from a lady in Austria many years ago. I do not remember her name, but I remember loving the Tiramisu dessert that she had made. This was actually the very first time that I ever tried Tiramisu. When I got home from Europe it took me a while to figure out and understand her writing and what the ingredients were. Back then I had no idea what mascarpone cheese was, which is what you actually want to use when you make Tiramisu, but I have always made it with cream cheese, which is really tasty as well. I decided to put a twist on this recipe, and turn it into a fall dessert.

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It takes a little while to make this recipe, but it’s really quite easy! Tiramisu tastes better after it has chilled for many hours, and can be made up to two days before serving. It’s also a great recipe for all you coffee lovers out there! 

stitched instructions

To assemble the dessert, you will need an 8×10 deep dish, ladyfingers (for those of you that live in Mexico populares-gamesa cookies work really well also), coffee, and the pumpkin cream cheese mixture. You will begin by dipping the ladyfingers in the coffee mixture. Ladyfingers soak up liquids very quickly, so give them a quick dip only. I over-dipped some of mine, and realized that in this case, less is more. Place each dipped ladyfinger side by side, until the whole bottom of the dish is covered. You may have to cut some ladyfingers to fill any gaps. Next, you will spread half of the pumpkin-cream-cheese mixture over the soaked lady fingers. Repeat the previous two steps one more time, except this time you want to lay the ladyfingers in the opposite direction. You can choose to sprinkle the cocoa powder and orange zest on before chilling, or you may want to add it just before serving, for better presentation. 

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You can get really creative with presentation here. You can top the Tiramisu dessert with cocoa, chocolate shavings, and orange zest. You can also add any shape, using a stencil, before dusting it with cocoa powder. I made my own stencil by simply taking a piece of paper, drawing a leaf on it, cutting it out, and gently placing it on top of the dessert, and voila! You’ve got yourself a cocoa leaf!

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Hope you enjoyed this recipe! Feel free to share it! HAPPY WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!

Pumpkin Orange Tiramisu
The perfect fall twist on this traditional light Italian dessert!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 cups boiling water
  2. 8 Tbsp. fresh ground coffee
  3. 6 Tbsp. Baileys Original liqueur
  4. 1 package ladyfingers (400 g.)
  5. 3 egg yolks
  6. 1 cup sugar
  7. 1 Tbsp. milk
  8. 2 packages cream cheese (250 g. each)
  9. 1 can pumpkin puree (14 oz.)
  10. 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  11. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  12. 1/8 tsp. all spice
  13. 1/8 tsp. ginger
  14. 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  15. Pinch of salt
  16. Cocoa powder
  17. Chocolate shavings
  18. Orange zest
Instructions
  1. Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add fresh ground coffee beans. After steeping the coffee beans for a few minutes, pour the mixture through a fine sieve, catching all the coffee grains. When the mixture has cooled off, stir in the Baileys liqueur.
  2. Bring 1-2 inches of water to a boil in a small pot. Once the water is boiling turn it down to medium heat, making sure it continues boiling.
  3. Add the egg yolks, sugar, and milk to a glass bowl. Whisk them, then place the bowl over the pot (the idea of a double boiler). Keep whisking the mixture for a couple of minutes. This will cook the egg yolks without scrambling them.
  4. To the same bowl, add the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, vanilla, cinnamon, all spice, ginger, nutmeg, and the salt. Using a mixer, beat ingredients until they reach a silky smooth texture.
  5. To assemble the dessert, you will need an 8×10 deep dish. You will begin by giving the ladyfingers a quick dip in the coffee mixture. Place each dipped ladyfinger side by side, until the whole bottom of the dish is covered. You may have to cut some ladyfingers to fill any gaps. Next, you will spread half of the pumpkin-cream-cheese mixture over the soaked lady fingers. Repeat the previous two steps one more time, except this time you want to lay the ladyfingers in the opposite direction. Dust the top with cocoa powder, and sprinkle with orange zest. Cover and chill the dessert overnight.
Notes
  1. This recipe has a better taste if chilled for many hours. It can be made 1-2 days before serving.
  2. You can choose to sprinkle the cocoa powder and orange zest on before chilling, or you may want to add it just before serving, for better presentation.
Sweet Blooming Roots http://www.sweetbloomingroots.com/