Perfect Chex Mix

Paper & Birch - Perfect Chex Mix Recipe www.paperandbirch.com

 

Is it Friday yet??

Yep, that’s how tired I am. I’m pretty sure that I’m sleep-typing this. Hmmm…I wonder if that’s actually possible? Ha. That could be interesting!

This week has been the week of all weeks. You know when you bite off more than you can chew? Oh, did I ever! The husband’s birthday is coming up this week. And it’s a big one. Usually my husband doesn’t want a big deal made out of his birthday. But I mean come on, how many times do you have milestone birthdays? Not very often. So we are celebratin’!

I also thought I’d make it a surprise, which when you live together, is a lot harder than I thought! Like tonight for instance. I had asked him for help finding a Photoshop plugin and had closed a couple of windows that had some top secret info on it. Then he tells me, he closed my notes app because he saw “Friday” (which is his birthday) and thought he probably shouldn’t see what else was written. Trying to keep other people quiet is hard enough, but I almost blew my own cover!

Even though this Friday is his birthday, usually Friday’s are poker night. He and a few of his buddies have been playing poker together every Friday for 10 years. I like games, but that’s some serious dedication. Just how serious you ask? Ok, you didn’t but trust me, you’ll love this. One of the guys moved to Edmonton a couple of years ago. So, instead of just seeing him when he’s in town. They Skype him in and then use a cellphone under a cup-hole in the table so only he can see his cards. It’s hilarious…..And kinda genius.

Because I bake so much, and we’d be on the next episode of “My 600lb life” if we ate it all, I send a lot of it with him to poker for the guys to eat. On the rare chance I don’t have anything to give them, my fallback is Chex Mix. I made a batch of it on a whim one day, and we’ve been addicted ever since. But be careful, once you start eating it, it may be hard to stop!

 

Perfect Chex Mix

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Corn Chex cereal
  • 2 cups Honey Chex cereal
  • 2 cups Cheerios cereal
  • 2 cups Shreddies cereal
  • 2 cups mini pretzels
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp seasoned salt
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (or 1 tsp, if you want it a bit spicier)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. In a large roasting pan, mix together the cereal, pretzels, peanuts and cashews.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, seasoned salt, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Drizzle evenly over the cereal mixture and, using clean hands, toss to combine, making sure that the mixture is evenly covered.
  4. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Once cool, store in an airtight container at room temperature for upto 2 weeks.
http://www.paperandbirch.com/2015/01/15/perfect-chex-mix/

 

Paper & Birch www.paperandbirch.com

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What’s In Season: Winter

Paper & Birch - What's In Season for Winter - www.paperandbirch.com

Happy New Year Everyone!!

I took a couple weeks from the blog for the holidays. I definitely missed it, but it’s nice to be able to focus on time with family and friends. There’s never enough time for it.

The hubby and I spent a weekend in Whistler last month. It was so good to have that quality time together with our lives being as busy as they are. Since we were up there, I decided to take my first skiing lesson. EEEK! I’m not the most coordinated person, so I’ve always kinda avoided sports like that. I’ve never broken a bone so far **knock on wood** and I’d like to keep it that way.

The ski lesson was with 4 other newbies so it was great we were all in the same boat. I however fell as soon as I put both skis on. I fell so much, I believe I was there to teach the others what not to do. Because of that though, the instructor did spend a lot more time with me, so in the end I did manage to go down a couple of runs without falling or crashing into anyone. SUCCESS! Future olympian right here.

I know that being the new year a lot of people make resolutions. Myself, I’m not big on resolutions, more so just making small changes. Instead of saying “I’m going to de-clutter my whole house”, which can be overwhelming, I’d like to say “clean out 1 cupboard or drawer every week or every other week. It seems more manageable to me.

Since I do all the cooking here and we try and eat healthy, less processed food it can be both time consuming and costly. This year, I’m going to try and be more conscious of making things based on what’s in season instead of just looking at a recipe and, boom that’s what we’re having for dinner! Wow, that was the longest sentence ev-AH!

Typically what’s in season in the winter are things like Brussel Sprouts, Collard Greens, Grapefruit, Kale, Leeks, Mandarin Oranges, Pear, Pomegranate, Sweet Potatoes & Turnips. Brussel Sprouts definitely are my favourite which is crazy because as a kid that was what was most fed to our dog – shhhhh, that’s our secret.

These are some great recipes to try this season!
 
 
Paper & Birch - What's In Season for Winter - www.paperandbirch.com
Brussels Sprouts with Toasted Breadcrumbs, Parmesan & Lemons – Food52

 

 

 

Paper & Birch - What's In Season for Winter - www.paperandbirch.com
Sautéed Greens with Pine Nuts and Raisins – Simply Recipes

 

 

 

Paper & Birch - What's In Season for Winter - www.paperandbirch.com
Salmon with Avocado & Grapefruit – BBC Good Food 

 

 

 

Paper & Birch - What's In Season for Winter - www.paperandbirch.com
Sesame Citrus Sautéed Kale – She Knows

 

 

 

Paper & Birch - What's In Season for Winter - www.paperandbirch.com
Leek Potato Soup – Food Network

 

 

 

Paper & Birch - What's In Season for Winter - www.paperandbirch.com
Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad with Dried Cranberries – The Gracious Pantry

 

 

 

Paper & Birch - What's In Season for Winter - www.paperandbirch.com
Roasted Pear Crumble – Bon Appétit

 

 

 

Paper & Birch - What's In Season for Winter - www.paperandbirch.com
Fesenjoon – Pomegranate, Walnut & Chicken Stew – Tumeric & Saffron

 

 

 

Paper & Birch - What's In Season for Winter - www.paperandbirch.com
The Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes – Serious Eats

 

 

 

Paper & Birch - What's In Season for Winter - www.paperandbirch.com
Turnip Gratin – Chris Kresser

 

Have a great weekend!

Paper & Birch www.paperandbirch.com

Don’t forget to leave a comment below – I love hearing from ya! :)

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Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies!

Paper & Birch - Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies www.paperandbirch.com

 

Can you believe that it’s Christmas NEXT WEEK? I think I’m about to have a panic attack! I’ve bought most of the gifts except for a few things, but I feel like I’m forgetting so much! I still have some baking to do and last minute additional decorating. Damn you Pinterest.

What about you guys? Let me guess, you’re all stellar holiday shoppers and probably have been finished since August right? That will never be me.

One of my favourite things about this season is the Christmas lights. There’s something romantic about Christmas lights to me. Last year on a date night, the hubby and I went to VanDusen Botanical Gardens Festival Of Lights. It was incredible. There were SOOOO many lights. No really, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many lights before. It was redonkulous! Yep, I said it.

We live in an apartment (aka. The Shoebox) so lights are indoor only. There’s only so many lights you can put up in this teeny tiny little place. Have you seen some of the youtube videos lately on some of the synchronized Christmas lights??? When we get a house we’re going to have a freakin’ awesome light show. Not that I’ve ever put up lights outdoors, nor know the first thing about how to synchronize them. But it’s going to be EPIC.

Like this one.

I mean, come on. This guy is my hero.

But back to the topic on hand here! Wow, I’m easily distracted by anything Christmas.

I bake almost everyday and lately it’s been all about Christmas treats. Sugar cookies, fudge – you name it, I’ve made it. Well, I thought we could use some non-christmas treats (GASP!). I know, it’s hard to believe. But sometimes a girl just wants a good old-fashioned, chewy peanut butter cookie. It is my all-time favourite, could eat an entire batch to myself, cookie. The first day I made them, I ate 2 *ahem* ok, maybe 3. And they weren’t small one’s either.

I’ve tried so many recipes trying to find one that not only started chewy, but stayed chewy once it cooled. You know what? It’s harder to find than ya’d think! But these. Oh these. These cookies are peanut buttery, chewy morsels of lovely goodness. Damn it, now I want another one. RESIST WOMAN. Get some will-power would ya! Ok, sorry you had to see that.

But seriously though, you’ve got to try these chewy peanut butter cookies. You’ll never see life the same way again.

 

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies!

approx. 20 cookies.

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • sugar bowl for rolling

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or a non-stick baking mat.
  2. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the peanut butter, butter and both the brown and granulated sugar, until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the egg and vanilla.
  5. With the mixer on low, gradually add in the flour mixture. Mix until dough forms.
  6. Using a medium sized cookie scoop (about 1 heaping tablespoon of dough), scoop out cookie dough, rolling them into a ball shape. Roll the dough into the bowl of sugar, coating it all around.
  7. Drop balls of sugared dough onto prepared cookie sheet. Leaving space for spreading.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are slightly browned.
  9. Let cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets before transferring cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Store in an airtight container for upto 7 days.
http://www.paperandbirch.com/2014/12/19/chewy-peanut-butter-cookies/

Recipe ever so slightly adapted from Jessica @ The Novice Chef.

Happy Holidays!

 

Paper & Birch www.paperandbirch.com

Don’t forget to leave a comment below – I love hearing from ya! :)

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Favourite Christmas Movies!

It’s no secret that I am a Christmas freak. Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love it. There’s something about the season just makes me happy. There’s something about the prettiness of snow that I just love. However, we don’t get a lot of it here in Vancouver, so driving in it scares the bejeezus outta me.

One winter the husband and I were coming back from Osoyoos which, is usually about a 4 hour drive. At the time the husband was driving a sports car. Not so great in the snow. For several hours, he was driving about 15-20km/hr trying not to slide off of the highway. It took us 9 and a half hours to get home!

Now the music. I know, you’re going to think I’m nuts, but I’ve been listening to Christmas music since the day after Remembrance Day. And trust me, that took restraint! Do any of you have SiriusXM?? I’ve been addicted to listening to “Holly”, Channel 17 in the car.  My favorite christmas album released this year has to be from Pentatonix. Sooo good! You need it. Any of you have any favourite Christmas albums to share?

Ok, now onto the movies. There are so many holiday movies nowadays. But I definitely have my yearly staples that I always watch. So far, I’ve already watched 4 of my favourite Christmas movies and the season has barely begun. If you need a little Christmas spirit, here’s my list of favourite christmas movies for ya.

 


The Holiday
 
 
 


Elf
 
 
 


Love Actually
 
 
 


A Christmas Story
 
 
 


A Charlie Brown Christmas
 
 
 


Serendipity
 
 
 


Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
 
 
 


While You Were Sleeping
 
 
 


Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas
 
 
 


National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
 
 
 

Now, go pop some corn and get your Christmas cheer on. And let me know what your favourites are!
 
 
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Skor Bar Dessert Pizza!

Paper & Birch - Skor Bar Dessert Pizza

I can’t believe that it’s November already!? Crazy isn’t it? I am super excited though because now I can shamelessly listen to all the Christmas music I want. And no one can judge me. Well, not totally anyhow. I am determined that this year, I’m gonna get my stuff together early this year! I know, famous words. And words I say almost every year, and every year, I’m down to the wire, running around headless chicken mode.

But, this year’s going to be different. I’m soooo ahead of the game you have NO idea! You know what I’ve done?? Wanna hear my list??

I’ve written my Christmas Card list.

Yep, I’m on it.

I’m kinda dessert crazy these days. And since Halloween just happened, why not include candy in a dessert? I know, genius. You’re welcome.

You maybe a dessert aficionado, but I had never heard of a “Dessert Pizza” before. You smartypants people, probably have. But I apparently, have been living under a rock.

Mind. Blown.

Now this Skor Brownie Dessert Pizza is a chocolate lover’s dream. I mean, it’s got a brownie base covered with buttercream, which is then covered with chocolate ganache – yep, you read that right. And then if that ain’t enough that’s then covered with toffee pieces and Skor bars. It doesn’t get much better people.

Alright, so get your sweet tooth out because this Skor Brownie Dessert Pizza is comin’ atcha.

Ok, so first you’re gonna want to make your brownie base. I used this brownie recipe from  I Am Baker. If you don’t follow her already, you’ve got to, she’s insanely talented. For this brownie recipe you’re gonna wanna use an 8″ round pan. Chill the brownie before frosting.

Next you’re going to want to make a basic Vanilla Buttercream.

Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter - room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. 1. Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer, cream the butter for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides when needed.
  2. 2. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Once all the powdered sugar is incorporated, scrape down the sides & add in the vanilla.
  3. 3. Cream at medium speed for approximately 2 minutes, until light and fluffy.
http://www.paperandbirch.com/2014/11/06/skor-bar-dessert-pizza/

Recipe ever so slightly adapted from I Am Baker.
 

Spread the butter cream over the brownie right to the edge.

Now it’s time to make the chocolate ganache. This is the chocolate ganache recipe I used, it’s easiest ganache recipe I’ve found so far. Spread the ganache over the buttercream, leaving a 1/4″ buttercream border.

Sprinkle the toffee bits all over the chocolate ganache. Then slice 3 Skor Bars in half by length, then chop them into 1/4″ pieces. Sprinkle the Skor pieces over the toffee bits and ganache.

Now, you’re going to wanna eat this all yourself, but you’re friends may just like ya more if you give them a little taste. But you could just give them REALLY small pieces ;)
 
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3 Responses to “Skor Bar Dessert Pizza!”

  1. bebs@foxyfolksy.com' Bebs says:

    Wow! This looks just yummy!

  2. letsdishrecipes@gmail.com' Danelle says:

    I love this idea! I might have to try it with several kinds of candy bars! :)

  3. oh my gosh…absolutely DROOLING! so gorgeous

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