Sunday, March 1, 2015

2-ingredient nutella brownies

Hello March! You came by too quickly but we are very happy to see you! March is birthday month (yay?) but also Blogiversary month! It's been 5 years since the creation of Food Mamma. We will be celebrating all month long with giveaways from some awesome folks - more on that to come!

When I saw the post about brownies with only 2 ingredients, I was intrigued. When I learned that one of the ingredients was Nutella, well, I just had to try it for myself.  The recipe called for 4 eggs, I had 3 and I still needed to make breakfast. I used one egg for french toast and the other 2 to make a small batch of these brownies.

With two ingredients, the batter came together quite quickly. The waiting for the brownies to be baked and cooled, well, that seemed like it took forever. Q came into the kitchen every five minutes, is it done yet?

To make it look pretty, I did add powdered sugar, but you don't have to. The brownies were dense and fudgy and oh so good. I kind of wish they weren't so easy - it's a dangerous recipe to have!

2-Ingredient Nutella Brownies
Recipe from Diethood

4 large eggs
1 cup Nutella
Preheat oven to 350.
Line an 8x8 brownie pan with parchment paper; set aside.
Place the eggs in your mixer's bowl and beat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the eggs have tripled in size.
Heat the Nutella in the microwave for 60 seconds. Remove and stir.
Slowly pour a stream of the warm Nutella over the eggs, beating until mixture is thoroughly combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with very few crumbs.
Remove and let completely cool before cutting.
Dust with powdered sugar.
Cut into bars and serve.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

afternoon tea at the banff springs hotel

We are so lucky to have the mountains so close to us. With Banff just an hour away, I always feel like we should go more often. One of Banff's gems is the Banff Springs Hotel. Like a castle among the rockies, this historic hotel is one which we love to visit.

While at a conference there a couple of weeks ago, I had my afternoons free to do what I pleased. I decided afternoon tea for one was in order. Afternoon tea was on the second level of the Rundle Lounge. The view was absolutely stunning!

There was a whole list of teas to choose from, ranging from the classics like Orange Pekoe to some fun ones like Bubble Gum. They had a tea cart holding all the choices and they happily obliged when I wanted to smell them all. I decided to be safe and enjoyed the Earl Grey.

Before the tea even arrived, my lovely server brought a bowl of fruit to start, a palate cleanser.

This was followed by a couple of warm scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Scones and clotted cream - yum!

Next came the three tiered tray filled with sandwiches and dessert. The sandwiches were so tasty and included egg salad, smoked salmon, heirloom tomato, grilled vegetable and waldorf  chicken. These were so good and were more than enough to fill me up. My favourite was the smoked salmon and the grilled vegetable.

Tea service ended on a sweet note with a variety of desserts. Coffee macarons, french Madeleines, cake on a stick and little tarts were part of the finale. By the time I was done, I was stuffed and satisfied.

 It was a great afternoon with a great view. Definitely an experience I'd like to have again with hubby or with some girlfriends.

Monday, February 23, 2015

lentil cookie bars

Any chance that I can add a secret ingredient to up the nutrition factor in an otherwise non-nutritious recipe, I'll happily take it. I loved the idea of adding lentils to one of our favourite cookie bars. These cookie bars have a cup of lentils added to the crust but you would never know! The addition of fibre via the lentils make me feel a little less guilty in indulging.

These bars were so good, they didn't last long! They were perfect with a glass of cold milk.
Lentil Cookie Bars

20 Maria Biscuits
1 cup cooked lentils
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup condensed milk
1 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup pecan halves

In a food processor, pulse together the biscuits, the lentils and the butter until well combined. Press the mixture into a parchment lined 8" x 8" pan. Cover the bottom layer with condensed milk and top with coconut and chocolate chips. Add the pecan halves. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool before digging in.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

lemon ricotta crostini with crispy lentils

It's Oscar Sunday! Although I haven't seen a lot of the nominated movies, it's a great excuse to have a party. If you're looking for an appetizer, here's a tasty one!

Toasted baguette rubbed with garlic topped with a refreshing ricotta spread that's brightened with lemon and basil - yum!. This crostini is complete with a topping of crispy lentils. The ricotta makes it nice and light while the lentils add some crunchy substance.  It was hard not to eat them all myself!

I became a fan of crispy lentils after trying it on a pasta dish at the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference. They are so easy to make, just tossing some cooked lentils in the oven with a little bit of olive oil. It took about 25 minutes and a couple shakes throughout the process. The crisped up lentils are great on their own but perfect as a topping.

What are you serving at your Oscar party?

Lemon Ricotta Crostini with Crispy Lentils

1 baguette
300 grams ricotta cheese
1/2 large lemon, juice and zest
2 TB chopped basil
1 cup cooked lentils
olive oil

Spread the lentils on a baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. Bake at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta, zest of half a lemon, juice of half a lemon and the basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Cut the baguette into slices, drizzle with olive oil and toast.

Add a spoonful of the mixture on the toasted bread and top with the crunchy lentils. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

win tickets to the calgary home + garden show!

Mark your calendars! The Calgary Home + Garden Show is taking place at the BMO Centre from February 26 - March 1.

This is always a great event with so many ideas for your home. Our new place will be ready soon so I am looking forward to checking out ideas on decorating. With Canada’s favourite home, horticulture and landscaping specialists, including HGTV’s Carson Arthur and design duo Janette Ewen + Jef Hancock, plus more than 650 exhibitors and features, there is something for everyone!

I love that they have Family Day with lots for the little ones to keep them entertained. This year, Family Day is on Sunday, March 1st.

There will be food! Once again, there will be Food Truck Alley with some of Calgary's delicious trucks to keep us fed while we browse the displays and get some inspiration. There is also a Beer Garden and Portside Lounge.

Want to win tickets to the show? Enter below by spreading some love. Winner will be chosen the morning of February 20th. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 12, 2015

valentine's day round up

The best treats are the home made ones. Here are some ideas for the special people in your life for Valentine's Day!

Chocolate Truffles
It's crazy how easy these are to make!

Marshmallow Pops
These are super cute and perfect in getting the kids in the kitchen.

Oreo Pops
Another favourite treat on a stick! Oreos are a hit with everyone!

Almond Joy
Coconut, almonds and chocolate. Definitely a match made in heaven.

Homemade Ferrero Chocolate
Even better than the real thing, these can be a little dangerous!

Sugar Cookie Glaze
The perfect glaze to top your sugar cookies and take them to the next level.

Almond Crescent Cookies
Hard to believe that Q and I made these cookies the first time four years ago!

Pecan Roca
A crunchy treat with caramel, chocolate and pecans.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

pecan roca for my love

It's become tradition that I make hubby a sweet treat for Valentine's Day every year. I just think it's a fun holiday, nothing to spend too much money on. Just some thought and effort and of course some love.

Hubby discovered his treat early so I guess I can share it with you just in time for Valentine's Day. This year, I decided on Pecan Roca. I made them in mini muffin tins, thinking it was probably better for portion control (for me, not him)! This recipe made 24 chocolates.

The resulting chocolates were heavenly. They had the candy crunch but were topped with chocolate, so it appeals to both candy lovers as well as chocolate lovers. So good!

Pecan Roca

1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 cup chocolate chips

Spray a mini muffin tin with oil and keep aside. In a pan, combine sugar and butter and let it cook over medium heat. Using a candy thermometer, cook the mixture until it get to about 280 degrees F. Remove from the heat and add 3/4 of the pecans, stirring until incorporated. Quickly spoon the mixture into the muffin tins. Top each candy with chocolate chips. After about a minute, take a spoon and smooth the melted chocolate. Sprinkle the remaining nuts on the chocolate. It's hard but it's best if you let these cool.

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