Monthly Archives: December 2012

Happy New Year Drink

Soo… what’s everyone’s plans for  New Year’s Eve?


Mr. Ginge and I are spending a quiet evening at home, snuggled up, munching on some of our favourite snack foods and maybe challenging each other to some competitive video gaming.

Chances are, we’ll both be passed out by 10:30! Haha.

Since neither one of us will have to drive, Mr. Ginge has a little cocktail planned for us to help  celebrate the new year.

It’s a little twist on a Kir Royale, using Chambord instead of black currant liqueur, but it’s yummy and tasty, and a wonderfully festive colour!


Happy New Year Drink

serves 1, easily multiplied

  • 1 oz Chambord, or black raspberry liqueur
  • 4 oz sparkling white wine, chilled.
  1. In a champagne flute, pour in Chambord. Top with sparkling wine. Stir gently.


– Mel

Categories: Beverages | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Top 10 Recipes for 2012

2012 has flown by.

I can’t believe that there is only a few mere hours left in the year, but at the same time I am ready for a fresh new start in 2013. I don’t have any resolutions per say ( mostly because I don’t keep them!), other than to plough through my 25 while 25 list!

In terms of my little corner of the web, this year has been amazing and it’s all thanks to you guys! I’ve been extremely blessed to have some of my recipes featured around other corners of the web!

Based on my traffic stats, these were the most popular posts of this year:

1. Cheesy Garlic Bubble Bread

Cheesy Garlic Bubble Bread

This recipe was the most popular by a landslide. Apparently I’m not the only one crazy about garlic bread!

2. Nanaimo Bars

nb bite - GB

3. Banana Upside Down Cupcakes

Banana upside down - GB

4. Tomato Soup Cake

Tom soup slice - GB

5. Mini Apple Crisp Cookies

mini apple crisp cookies 2- GB

(These cookies were on the list last year too!)

6. Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

Vanilla cupcakes - GB

7. Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Dip

Peanut Butter Cookie dip-GB

8. Gran’s Cabbage Rolls

cabbage rolls 3 - GB

9. Greek Pasta Salad

Greek Pasta Salad

10.  Chocolate Stuffed Peanut Butter CookiesChocSPB -GB

Thanks again to everyone who has made this an exceptional year!


Categories: Misc. | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to your family from ours!


Wishing you a day full of happiness and joy!

-Mel, Mr Ginge and the Keels –

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Mr. Ginge’s Christmas in a Cup

Normally, I’m a purist when it comes to a cup of hot chocolate.  If I feel like imbibing, then my normal move is to add a splash of Irish cream in to my cup.


Not one to let me get into a food rut, Mr. Ginge urged me to try his favourite holiday time drink when I told him I had never tried it. While the “recipe” itself seems like a no-brainer, it was his description that sold me: ” You’ll like it. It’s like Christmas in a cup.” And I one sip, I knew exactly what he meant. It’s the perfect drink to snuggle up to on the couch, in a room lit only by the tree, while big, puffy Christmas snow falls outside.


Mr. Ginge’s Christmas in a Cup

makes 1 cup

  • 1 cup of your favourite hot chocolate ( I won’t lie, I use instant mix, but this would work just as well with homemade, or straight from the coffee shop)
  • 1 oz peppermint schnapps
  1. In to your cup of hot chocolate, stir in the peppermint schnapps. Snuggle in and enjoy. 

Happy Holidays!

– Mel

Categories: Beverages | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Guest Post from The Cook’s Sister: Banana Bread

Guys! I have a special treat for you today! The lovely Amber from The Cook’s Sister is guest posting today and she’s brought you an amazing treat: Banana Bread!

Baked and Photographedd by The Cook's Sister(

Baked and Photographedd by The Cook’s Sister

She makes amazing and approachable recipes all on a students budget. I am in awe of her ambition to be able to be pursusing her Ph.D and also be able to manage her blog and cook up delicious meals. I’m pretty sure I lived on instant ramen noodles and waffle fries while I was in college! 

Here are a few that most definitely had me salivating!

Don’t forget to head on over and check out some more of her amazing recipes!


Baked and photographed by The Cook's Sister (

Baked and photographed by The Cook’s Sister

Hello! I’m Amber from The Cook’s Sister and I’m very excited to be guest blogging today! The Cook’s Sister  is a food blog centered around cooking on a student’s modest food budget. Most of my recipes are day-to-day things that one can cook in a hurry. However, I also, on occasion, feature recipes for special occasions. Each recipe on my blog comes with an estimated cost break-down by ingredient and the total expected affordability of the dish.

Mel and I are both participants in the monthly Improv Challenge hosted by Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker, which is how we met. We both visit each other’s blogs regularly now. And we both own some very cute kitties (I have one, Loki) that like to check out the tasty treats that we share on our blogs.

Baked and photographed by The Cook's Sister(

Baked and photographed by The Cook’s Sister

Recently, I had the pleasure of having Mel guest post on my blog, where she shared her delicious Chocolate Drizzled Mocha Cookies (Bryan has been asking me to make these cookies ever since)! I’m very excited that Mel invited me to post on her blog as well! I’m always amazed by Mel’s gorgeous creations! I’m amazed by the things she can bake and her ability to make it beautiful.

While I enjoy baked goods as much as anyone else, it’s generally not my strong point. Yet, to go along with Mel’s blog theme and my own, I wanted to share with you a tasty baked treat that is also affordable. So, I set out to make banana bread.

My first attempt at this banana bread didn’t work out so well. It might have had something to do with the fact that my baking powder was three years old (I bought it when I moved to my current apartment). Or maybe I didn’t bake it long enough. Or maybe I overworked the batter. Whatever it was, the bread was terrible on first try. So, I replaced my baking supplies and tried again. Today, I’m sharing my banana bread recipe (take two)!

Banana Bread


Baked and photographed by The Cook’s Sister


Wet ingredients

  • 3 eggs  – approximate cost $0.75
  • 1 cup cane sugar  – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 cup brown sugar  – approximate cost $0.50
  • 1 cup lard, melted  – approximate cost $0.75
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla  – approximate cost $0.45
  • 2 ½ cups very ripe bananas (about 4-5), mashed  – approximate cost $0.60

Dry ingredients

  • 3 cups flour  – approximate cost $1.50
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder  – approximate cost $0.10
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda  – approximate cost $0.15
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg  – approximate cost $0.20
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt  – approximate cost $0.10
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon  – approximate cost $0.30
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves  – approximate cost $0.10
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)  – approximate cost $0.50


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Combine the wet ingredients (eggs, cane sugar, brown sugar, lard, vanilla, and bananas) in a mixing bowl.
  3. Mix until well combined and set aside.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, sea salt, cinnamon, ground cloves, and walnuts) in a separate large mixing bowl.
  5. Mix until well combined.
  6. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, mixing constantly with a spatula until well combined.
  7. Pour the bread mixture into two loaf pans.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean).
  9. Allow to cool until you can safely handle the loaf pans.
  10. Turn the pans upside-down to remove the bread.
  11. Set on a wire rack and allow bread to cool completely.
  12. Serve warmed or cold and enjoy!

Makes 2 loaves, about 16 slices (approximate cost: $3.25 per loaf or $0.41 per slice).


(P.S. – I absolutely love that her banana bread recipe uses lard! -Mel)

Categories: Breads | Tags: , | 5 Comments

Peanut Butter Balls

How did it become December 21st?

pb balls - GB

Everything has been such a whirlwind this week and it just seems like I’ve blinked and I am already facing the start of the last weekend before Christmas! Geesh.

Fortunately I do have all my shopping done ( and I’m pretty sure that if I don’t it’s not going to get done, because I am not facing those crowds!), however this week I have been helping some of my other family members get their shopping done.  I don’t mind lending a helping hand, however, now that I am done my shopping, I keep seeing amazing things in the store for the people on my list or (worse) myself.

peanut butter ball - GB

I think it’s a secret ploy by stores. Let’s put out all of the “ok” stuff or ” they’d appreciate that” stuff for all the early bird shoppers. Then in the last couple of weeks before the holidays, let’s put out all of the “OMG” or ” THIS IS TOTALLY PERFECT” stuff. That way when the shoppers are out with family members, or just doing their normal “I-just-ran-out-of-toilet-paper” shopping, they see all of this amazing stuff and are absolutely forced to buy it.

Like honestly, my shopping budget is not blown by my normal gift shopping. It’s blown by all these little amazing things that I find in the last days before Christmas.  Oh well. The only one that suffers really is my bank account.

Anyways, my shopping is beyond done, but I’m still trying to get some of my holiday baking done. These I whipped up a bit earlier in the  week when I had a spare bit of time. They come together quickly and are super delicious.  I’ve adapted them from my Grandma’s recipe (her original recipe had dates in them. Barf), and they are one of both my brothers and my dad’s favourites. If you are a big peanut butter fan, then you may want to double the recipe, because they will go quickly!

pb bite - GB

Peanut Butter Balls 

makes about 20 balls

  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar, divided
  • 3-6 tbsp of milk (or water)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  1. In a bowl, combine the peanut butter and 3/4 cup of the icing sugar. You should end up with a soft ‘dough’. 
  2. With damp hands, roll the dough into 1 inch/ 2.5 cm ball, setting them on a tray lined with wax paper. If you are finding that the dough is too soft or is sticking to your fingers, set them in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Once it is all rolled out, chill them for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make a thin icing with the remaining icing sugar and 3 Tbsp of milk.  If your icing is still thick, add the remaining milk, one tablespoon at a time.
  4. Lightly coat each of the chilled balls in the thin icing, then immediately roll in the shredded coconut. Set back on the wax paper lined tray and chill to set. Once they have set, you can move them too a container. Store in the fridge.

My last minute shopping trip bought our cat a festive new sweater!

christmas keels - GB

– Mel


I linked this recipe up to:

Categories: Candies | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

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