Posts Tagged With: holidays

Nutella Half-Moons

In case you forgot, there is like 10 days until Christmas.

Nutella Half moons

Which means it’s the perfect time to make cookies! Yay!

Especially ones that are wonderfully filled with Nutella that are absolutely the best for dunking in hot cocoa, and that look festive with their snowy dusting of powdered sugar. Perfect for snowy days in. When you have holiday music blaring, Christmas lights on, and a fire going ( or at the very least a candle).

This is a cookie I fiddled with after Mr Ginge saw it on Pinterest and has basically begged me to make them for him. For weeks.

nutella half moon cookies

A few notes before you start.

While super delish and worth the work, these are a bit fiddly and time consuming. Because I wanted a super soft cookie, the dough is very soft and you’ll want to be generous with the flour when you  go to roll them out. Also, I used a dumpling maker to fold these over. If you don’t have one of those, then I recommend going the full moon route and just stuffing Nutella between two rounds. These also freeze wonderfully, so if you have any leftovers after the holidays, these will last in the freezer.
nutella filled cookies

Nutella Half Moons

inspired by these cookies by kokocooks 

makes about 5 dozen cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • about 1 cup of nutella
  • icing sugar for dusting


  1. 1. In a large bowl, beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, or until well combined.  Add in the sour cream and the vanilla.
  2. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and soda. Gradually add it to the butter mixture or until  well combined. The dough will be very soft, a bit thicker than cake batter. Cover it in plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for several hours, or if you want to speed things up a bit, in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour.
  3. Once the dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350°F . Line your cookie pans with parchment paper.
  4. Working in batches so that your chilled dough stays firm, roll it out to about 4mm/ 1/8 in thick. Cut with a round cutter about 3in/ 8 cm in diameter. I used a dumpling maker, so I cut it with the base. If doing half moons, place 1 tsp nutella in the centre of the round then fold over, pressing lightly to seal. If making full moons place about 2 tsp nutella in the centre of a round, top with another, then seal with a fork. Carefully transfer the cookies to your prepared sheets. Repeat with the rest of the dough
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes. While still warm, dust lightly with icing sugar, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Happy baking!


Categories: Cookies | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope your day is filled with lots of friends and family and some lovely fall weather!


Mel, Mr. Ginge and Chewy

Categories: Misc. | Tags: | Leave a 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

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

8 Thanksgiving Recipes

You know those weeks where everything gets away from you.

The kind where you accidentally hit the snooze button one too many times, and that include frazzled brains, stressed out hubbies, two rounds of retail therapy, one round of iced capp therapy, and then the sudden realization that it’s the Friday before Thanksgiving long weekend and you have no idea how it happened.

Yea….I’ll be lucky if I get some cranberry sauce on the table!

Fortunately for you, I gathered some Thanksgiving-y recipes all together in one place! Yay!

Cranberry Sauce

Apple Blueberry Turnovers

Apple Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Thanksgiving Turkey Cookies

Mini Apple Crisp Cookies

Tomato Soup Cake

Zucchini Cake Bars

Mini Mushroom Turnnovers

Yay for food related long weekends!


Categories: Misc. | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Mini Muffins

Saturday, Mr Ginge bought me shoes.

But here’s the thing. He didn’t just buy me shoes. He outdid me at buying shoes. How does that even happen?

Here I am, minding my own business, contemplating a pair of pink ruffly pumps, when he ever so casually brings me over another box.

How bout these he says, and hands me over a pair of pink satin peep-toes, with the cutest little bows at the heel. In my size. My exact favorite  colour of pink. And dammit if they didn’t look better on.

How. Does. This. Even. Happen.

I mean, he is not a man afraid to shop, and I am the first to admit that he can outshop me when it comes to may things, but SHOES???????

This is a crime against humanity.

Pink shoes. PINK shoes. PINK HIGH HEELED SHOES!!!!!

Oh well.

I did beat him shooting once.

Anyways, muffins. Mini ones to be exact. The chocolate kind, studded with chocolate chips and strawberries.  Perfect for making for your Valentine.  Or if you are sans-Valentine, for yourself. Plus they are the perfect size so you can eat 6 guilt free!!!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Mini Muffins

makes 48 mini muffins, or 12 regular muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen and thawed, finely chopped.
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease  (2) mini muffin pans, and line them if desired.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.  Stir in the sugar.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, oil and eggs. Make a well in the dry ingredient, add the wet, the mix together until just combined. The batter should still be lumpy. Stir in the chips and the berries.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, about 2/3 full, and bake for 10 minutes ( 20 if you are making regular muffins), or until  a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Let cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

They rock.



I linked this recipe up to The Weekend Potluck and Strut Your Stuff Saturdays! Click the link to check out more great recipes!

Categories: Breads | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Homemade Almond Joy Hearts


I made you a heart. Can you feel the love?

Since I discovered the little almond joy pieces last year, I have been obsessed. I want to make everything almond-joy flavored. I made cookies in the summer, but seeing as  Mr. Ginge doesn’t like anything with nuts in it, I have been hesitant to make anything else. But I’ve wanted to.

Valentines seemed like the perfect excuse.  And much to my surprise, my no-nuts-allowed-in-my-treats man eats them. No arm twisting needed. I swear! The explanation I get : Well they are just like Almond Joys.

Like him liking almond laced treats was common knowledge.

Homemade Almond Joy Hearts

Make 12 hearts

  • 1/4 c butter, melted
  • 1 c unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 to 1 1/2 c icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp milk or cream
  • 24 whole natural almonds
  • 1 pkg milk chocolate chips
  1. In a bowl, mix together the first 5 ingredients. If the mixture is still a bit soft or runny, add more sugar. It should hold together and not be sticky.
  2. Line a sheet or plate with parchment. Shape a couple tablespoons of  the coconut mixture into a heart shape. I freehanded it, but you could always use a small cookie cutter as a mold. Press two hold almonds, with the tips together so that they also make a heart shape, into the coconut. Top with some more of the coconut to cover the almonds. Stick them in the fridge for several hours to firm up, or in the freezer for at least half an hour.
  3. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips in a large bowl. When firm, dip each of the hearts in chocolate so that they are completely covered, and set on a parchment lined sheet. Set back in the fridge to allow the chocolate to firm up. One the chocolate is set, drizzle any remaining over top of the hearts, if desired. Store in the refrigerator.

Try not to eat them all in one sitting!


Categories: Candies | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Cheddar Ranch Bubble Bread

Happy New Year!

Hoping that you are all recovering well from last nights festivities!

One of my goals for last year was to learn how to use yeast ( I choose goals since I very rarely keep any resolution I make). I have always held a sort of fear when it comes to yeast. I have many memories of making bread in the bread machine only to end up with heavy doorstop worthy bread, or loves that would rise so high that they would press up against the lid and not cook properly.  Not to mention all of the horror stories I’ve read about bread that won’t rise. I can’t say that I am no longer fearless when comes to yeast, however, after testing the water a bit, I am more comfortable using it now.

This was one of the successes of my bread making. I have made it three times in the past week. It’s that good.  I came across this idea on How Sweet Eats who came across the idea from Foodie with Family.

Cheddar Ranch Bubble Bread

comfortably serves 4-6

* Note: I made my own bread for this, however this recipe would work just as well with fresh or frozen ( and thawed!) dough.

  •  1 1/2 c warm water ( about 40°C/ 100°F)
  • 2 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 1/2- 4 c flour
  • 1 pkg ranch dressing mix
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped.
  1. Dissolve the yeast and the sugar in the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine 2 c flour and the salt, making a well in the middle. Add the yeast and stir with a wooden spoon, adding flour if necessary.
  3. Once you have a soft dough, turn it out and, knead it, slowly working in the remaining flour until you have a soft dough.
  4. Set it in a bowl to rise in a warm dry place, until it has doubled in size, about an hour.
  5. Punch it down knead it a few times, then let it rise it again, about 1/2 an hour.
  6. In a 10 in pan, generously brush the bottom and side with butter. ( I used an 8 in pan and ended up having to split it up)
  7. In another bowl, combine the rest of the  butter, the ranch dressing mix, onions, and 2/3 of the cheese.  Divide the dough in about 30 pieces, then coat in the butter mixture and arrange in the prepared pan. I found it easiest to coat each dough ball one by one. They didn’t gob together so much. Pour the remaining butter over the top and top with the remaining cheese.
  8. Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F for about 30 mins.
  9. Let cool for a few minutes, and enjoy warm.

adapted from How Sweet Eats who got it from Foodie With Family

It may not be the healthiest way to start the new year, but hey, your resolution can wait one more day can’t it?

– Mel

Categories: Appetizers, Breads | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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