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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Found and Tested Hot Buttered Rum Batter

While scouring the internet for Christmas recipes the other day, I came across this recipe for hot buttered rum batter: You’ll need to scroll down to the bottom of the steps for the hot buttered rum recipe to see it.

It’s a mix that you can store in your freezer so you can whip up a hot toddy in the time it takes the kettle to boil. Use a generous tablespoon of the mix when you’re making your drinks.

I only made up a third of the batter recipe to try it, which worked well, so if you’re not planning on using it to host a party, you can do the same. I have to admit it was the best hot buttered rum I’ve ever tasted, so this one’s going in my recipe file.

If you’d prefer something that’s alcohol-free, you can still have a delicious hot drink by substituting hot black tea for the rum and hot water when making up your drink. The batter itself has no alcohol in it.

Thursday, November 4, 2021

Lemon Ginger Noodles

I used to always keep ramen noodles in the pantry as their quick cooking time meant I could get dinner on the table in a hurry. I now use Haiku Asian Style Noodles instead. They have the same quick and easy cooking method but a much better taste and texture. They don’t come with their own seasoning, however, so I usually cook them in chicken stock. But if you’re looking for something to go under a stir fry, try this lemony, spicy trick. 1 Haiku Asian Style Noodles nest for each person (or 1 package ramen noodles if you’re on a student budget) water 1 Twinings Lemon and Ginger Herbal Tea bag Put enough water in a pot that the noodle nests will be submerged when they’re added. Bring to a boil. Add noodle nests and tea bag. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit 5 minutes. Remove tea bag, drain and serve.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Microwave Tea Cakes

Because you can’t make scones in the microwave. I’ve tried different recipes but they come out like rocks instead of flaky. While these small cakes don’t have the texture of scones, they are equally good for spreading with clotted cream and jam, and don’t require you to heat up the kitchen on a hot day.


1 cup margarine

¾ cup sugar

½ teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

2 cups flour

3 ounces milk


Cream margarine and sugar. Add in vanilla and egg. Stir in flour and milk alternately. Drop by rounded tablespoons into bottom of regular-sized silicon muffin pan. Microwave on high for 2 ½ minutes, longer for a lower-powered microwave.


Makes 12 to 15

Monday, July 26, 2021

Found and Tested: Chex™ Muddy Buddies™ Bars

I found this recipe on the inside of a box of Chex™ cereal. I don’t normally print recipes that aren’t mine as I don’t want to take someone’s income away from them. In this case that seems unlikely – they want you to buy their cereal -so I’m reproducing it here. At the moment, it can also be found online.

This recipe has several things going for it. The ingredients are easy to find, it tastes of chocolate, it contains whole grain cereal so is a source of fibre, it doesn’t require use of an oven, and it’s gluten free (but check ingredient labels to make sure).

8 cups Rice Chex™ cereal
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
1 250 g bag miniature marshmallows (about 5 cups)

In large bowl, place cereal; set aside.

Spray 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray. In very large microwavable bowl, microwave butter, chocolate chips and peanut butter uncovered on High 1 minute. Stir; microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth.

Add marshmallows; toss until coated. Microwave uncovered on High 1 minute 15 seconds to 1 minute 45 seconds, stirring until mixture is well blended.

Immediately gently stir in cereal until evenly coated. Press cereal mixture evenly into pan using spatula sprayed with cooking spray. Sprinkle lightly with icing sugar. If desired, refrigerate about 20 minutes, or cool completely at room temperature until bars are set. Cut into 8 rows by 4 rows. Makes 32 bars.

Tips: For easy removal of bars, line pan with foil; grease or spray with nonstick cooking spray. When bars are set, use a spatula to lift entire recipe from pan. Cut into bars.

Store bars in refrigerator tightly covered if room temperature is warm and bars are too sticky. © General Mills

My Comments:

I followed the recipe as closely as I could given what I had on hand. There were a few differences.

I don’t keep cooking spray on hand so I greased the pan generously with margarine, using a paper towel.

I don’t own a “very large microwavable bowl” so I melted the margarine, chocolate chips, peanut butter and marshmallows in a large glass measuring cup, then added the contents to the large plastic bowl the cereal was in, rather than the other way around.

I only had regular marshmallows on hand so I quartered them with scissors and measured out 250 g with my kitchen scale.

I didn’t bother sprinkling the icing sugar on top.

The recipe was easy to make and came out fine and I would definitely make it again.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Found and Tested: Microwave Baked Cookies

The other day I wanted to bake cookies but I hate using the oven when I’ve got the air conditioner going full-blast. It just seems counterproductive. So I asked Google if it was possible to bake cookies in the microwave. Most of the sites it turned up were about baking single cookies in a mug, which is not a good option in my cookie-loving household. But there was one that dealt with half-a-dozen at a time. Check it out: here.

It’s not so much a microwave cookie recipe as a technique for making your favourite cookie recipe in the microwave. I just wanted to avoid heating up the kitchen, but this opens so many possibilities. Fresh, warm, home-baked cookies whenever you want. Well, maybe not the middle of the night. Pretty sure husband and cat would not appreciate the microwave beeping them out of a sound sleep.

I’ve tried it with both my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe and my favourite oatmeal cookie recipe. The chocolate chip ones came out perfect, if a bit pale, though I had to cook them much longer than the website suggests if I didn’t want to eat them off the pan with a spoon. Microwaves do vary, so you’ll need to experiment. The oatmeal cookies came out much thinner and chewier than usual but that could be more due to the fact that I accidentally used graham flour instead of whole wheat. They were still quite edible.

I was baking six at a time spaced around the edges of a round silicone cake pan placed on top of a microwave plate. It worked well and the cookies were easy to remove from the pan. For a shapelier cookie (important if you’re sticking two together with icing between them) you can place your cookie dough in scalloped silicone patty pans.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Oven-Baked French Toast

 4 slices white bread*

¼ cup butter

2/3 cup brown sugar, not pressed down

2 eggs

½ cup milk

4 slices cooked bacon

Pull out your bread slices and leave them to dry out about half-an-hour ahead of preparation. While it’s not necessary, it does help the bread absorb the egg mixture better.

Place the butter in the bottom of an 8-inch square glass pan+ and microwave until melted. Stir in the brown sugar. Place bread slices in the bottom of the pan over top of the butter/sugar mixture.

Beat eggs and milk together and pour over bread. Push down with a fork if necessary to make sure it all gets wet.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Place pan in oven and bake for 20 minutes. Flip bread slices over and cover with bacon slices. Bake for another 20 minutes.


Serves two.


*Villaggio’s brioche style works really well. You can use whole wheat, but the texture won’t be right.

+ You can use metal but you’ll have to find an alternative way to melt the butter and you’ll need to increase the oven temperature 25 degrees.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Found and Tested: Soft Ice Cream with Add-Ins

You know those delicious, served in a cup but eaten with a spoon ice-cream treats available at your favourite fast-food franchise? The ones with bits of candy or cookies stirred in? Turns out they’re super easy to make at home. Here’s where you can find the recipe:


All you need is milk, vanilla ice cream, and your favourite add-in. Actually, it’s good even without the add-in if you’ve just got a craving for soft ice cream. It makes two servings but can easily be multiplied.

It works best if you freeze your bowl and your mugs (the frosty variety with a layer of coolant in them work great) a couple of hours ahead. The mixture does need to be eaten immediately, as it starts to melt quickly.

My current favourite add-in is Reese Peanut Butter Oh Henry! which comes in chunks in a 180 gram bag. They’re fairly easy to chop small with a knife.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Chocolate Hay Bales

You’ve probably made those cookies that involve stirring cocoa, sugar and oatmeal on the stove and then dropping by spoonfuls onto waxed paper, whether you know them as chocolate macaroons (the name I grew up with), unbaked cookies (the name my husband grew up with) or chocolate haystacks. I think I got my recipe off a tin of Fry’s cocoa but there are lots of versions on the internet. I’ve always loved them, but found the process of forming them a sticky mess which usually ended up with several broken cookies. So I asked myself, what if I made them as squares? It works, and you save a lot of time as well, though of course there are fewer broken cookie bits to be, er, cleaned up by the cook.


3 cups sugar

9 tablespoons cocoa

¾ cup margarine

¾ cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 ½ cups shredded coconut (if you don’t have any on hand, just add more oatmeal)

4 ½ cups INSTANT rolled oats.


Line the bottom and ends of a 9 x 13 cake pan with waxed paper, cutting or folding as needed, leaving a few inches overhanging at each end. No need to line the sides.

Combine sugar and cocoa together in a large measuring cup. Measure out coconut and oatmeal in another one. Melt margarine in a large saucepan. Stir in sugar/cocoa mixture. Stir in milk. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, coconut and rolled oats. Spoon into cake pan and spread evenly with spoon. Let cool.

Once set, you can use the ends of the waxed paper to remove the entire mass. Place on a large cutting board and cut into squares with a pizza cutter. Or you can leave them in the pan and cut with a knife, but the first method is easier.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Coffee Liqueur Gelatin Dessert

This is just my own personal variation on “white gelatin.” You can find lots of other recipes online if you’re looking for a different flavour. 

1 300 ml tin sweetened condensed milk (the store brand will work)

2 tablespoons powdered gelatin

½ cup cold water

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

1 cup boiling water

½ cup your favourite liqueur for coffee (optional)

Dissolve gelatin in cold water. Dissolve coffee in boiling water. Combine all ingredients in bowl, stir and refrigerate. May be served with whipped cream. 

Makes four servings

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Chocolate Collagen Breakfast Bars

I’ve added collagen powder to my diet these last several weeks, hoping for help with joint stiffness. I do think it’s working, though I know arthritis comes and goes, as my foot has been much less stiff and the other aches and pains, mostly brought on by too much sitting at the computer, seem better as well. As a bonus, the half-dose I take before bedtime in the form of hot chocolate seems to help me sleep better (though that could be the warm milk I stir it into). However, the half scoop in my morning coffee doesn’t really appeal to me so I came up with this recipe as another way of getting it into my diet. 

2 cups quick-cooking oats

2 ½ cups boiling water (you can substitute milk for some of this if you like)

1 cup margarine

2 cups chocolate collagen powder*

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 cups flour


Place oats in mid-sized bowl and pour boiling water over top. Let sit at least 15 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square pan.

In a large bowl, cream margarine and oatmeal together. Mix together collagen powder and baking powder and stir into the margarine/oatmeal mixture. Stir in flour. Bake 40 minutes. Bars will be moist.


*While I haven’t tried it, I assume you could substitute bulk hot chocolate mix if you’re interested in a breakfast bar but not in collagen.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Protein Powder Tea Loaf

I’m continuing to experiment with protein powder in my baking because I have vast quantities on hand and can’t justify ordering more in different flavours until I use up what I have. I find mixing it into breads and quick breads gives them a sturdier texture, allowing me to cut thinner slices without the loaf crumbling to pieces.


2 cups flour

1 cup sweetened protein powder*

½ cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 tablespoons vegetable oil or melted margarine

1 ¼ cups milk

1 egg


Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine all dry ingredients (flour, powder, sugar, baking powder) in a large bowl. Stir together the wet ingredients (if you use a two-cup measuring cup for the milk, you can do it in that). Mix into the dry ingredients. Spoon into a greased loaf pan and bake 55 minutes.


*So far I’ve tried Revolution Nutrition’s Churros Whey Dessert and their Mocha Marzipan Whey Dessert with good results.



Thursday, January 28, 2021

Hint o’ Mint with Protein Cookies

 More experimenting with my vast quantities of protein powder (which are also delicious as shakes). These cookies have enough mint to taste, but not enough to be off-putting. I'll be trying the recipe with the other flavours I have on hand as well.

1 cup margarine

½ cup icing sugar

¼ cup corn starch

1 cup flour

2/3 cup Revolution Chocolate Mint Ice Cream Protein Dessert powder


Preheat oven to 325°F. Cream icing sugar into margarine. Stir in corn starch. Combine flour and protein powder and stir in. Form cookies into one-inch balls and flatten with a fork. Bake for 10 minutes.


Makes 3-4 dozen.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Mocha Almond Protein Squares

Having ordered a much bigger container of whey protein than I’d realized, I’ve started looking for ways to incorporate it into other things than shakes. This modification of an easy square recipe came out beautifully, and with protein powder substituted for the flour and some of the sugar should have fewer calories (or at least carbs) as well. 

1 cup margarine

1 ¼ cups sugar

2 eggs

1 ½ cups flour

1 ½ cups Revolution Nutrition Mocha Marzipan Whey Dessert

1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Melt margarine. Stir in sugar and let cool down for a few minutes before adding eggs (you don’t want them cooking). Combine flour, protein powder and baking soda and stir into margarine/sugar/egg mixture. Spoon into a 9 x 13 cake pan. It will be thin, but don’t worry, it rises.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until set. Cut immediately. Once cool, transfer to an air-tight container so the squares don’t get dried out.

Number of servings depends on the size you cut your squares. The recipe is supposed to make 48 but I never get that many.