Eggnog Christmas Cookies

Eggnog Christmas Cookies

So who doesn’t like the sweet eggnog flavour, reminiscent of the holiday spirit? As it turns out, a lot of people really dislike it, for some its the “egg” flavour or it is “too milky” or it does not have “enough spike”. Enter these scrumptious eggnog christmas cookies, one bite and I guarantee you’ll fall in love with them. Not to mention, your entire house will be smelling like christmas!

Eggnog Christmas Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup eggnog
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 cinnamon
  • 2 tsp rum
  • 1 egg yolk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking pan with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. Whisk together all of your dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg), set aside.
  3. Grab a handful of your dry ingredients blend and coat your raisins in it (this will ensure that your raisins don’t sink to the bottom of your cookies).
  4. In a stand mixer, using the whisk attachment, or with a handheld mixer, beat the butter and the brown sugar until it reaches a light color and a fluffy consistency.
  5. Reduce speed and add the wet ingredients, one at a time (egg yolk, eggnog, rum).
  6. Slowly add the flour blend until combined, making sure you don’t overmix.
  7. Slowly, with the use of a spatula, fold in the raisins..
  8. Refrigerate your cookie dough for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  9. Portion your cookie dough with the use of an ice cream scoop. I used 1 1/2 tbs of dough for each cookie.
  10. Bake for approx. 9-12 min, or until the edges are golden.
  11. Transfer to cooling racks and let them cool completely.

Eggnog Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs rum
  • 2tbs eggnog

Directions

  • Mix in all of the ingredients.
  • If the mixture is too runny, add more powdered sugar, one tbs at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Place your glaze in a piping bag and drizzle onto your cooled cookies.
  • Enjoy!

If you try this recipe, drop a comment down below and let me know how they turned out!

Carrot Pineapple Bundt Cake Recipe

Carrot Pineapple Bundt Cake Recipe

Fall couldn’t get here any faster, and, although this is a household favorite year-round recipe, it is particularly perfect for the cooler, fall days ahead. What I love the most about this Carrot Pineapple Bundt Cake recipe is that the cake is spongy with just the right amount of moist, and it is not overly sweet. The carrot and the pineapple really complement each other well in terms of flavour, and the walnuts give it just the right amount of crunch (not to mention that they are a fall staple ingredient). I know I’ve repeated myself a lot, but just picture yourself in a big, cozy sweater, under a fluffy blanket, drinking your first cup of coffee and having this cake for breakfast – really what fall dreams are made of, amiright?

So, without further ado, lets dive into this recipe so you can enjoy a piece of cake as soon as possible!

Ingredients:

Carrot Pineapple batter

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1.5 tsps baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • 1.5 cups of vegetable oil (canola oil should work just as well)
  • 2.5 cups of grated carrots
  • 1 can of crushed pineapple (make sure you strain as much juice out of the pineapples as possible)
  • 2 cups of walnuts – optional (you can use pecans or the nuts of your choice)

Cream Cheese Glaze

  • 4 oz of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350C. While the oven is pre-heating, grease and flour a bundt pan and set aside.
  2. Sift all of the dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, baking powder).
  3. Mix in the brown sugar and add eggs and vegetable oil. Mix until combined.
  4. Add in your grated carrots, walnuts and crushed pineapple. Make sure you remove as much juice from your grated pineapples as possible. You can do this by using a sieve or paper towel to squeeze the juice out.
  5. Pour your batter into the previously greased and floured bundt pan and bake for 45-55min or until a toothpick, when inserted, comes out dry.
  6. To remove, turn the bundt pan upside down onto a cooling rack.

To prepare the frosting:

  1. Beat together the butter, sugar, vanilla and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Place the mixture into a microwave safe container and warm up in the microwave for 30s to a minute (depending on your microwave’s power). The glaze should be fairly liquid.
  3. Pour onto your cooled cake, serve and enjoy!

If you end up trying this recipe, let me know how it turned out! I’d love to hear your experience!

Product Review: The Name Stamp

Product Review: The Name Stamp

If you are anything like me, you are constantly on the lookout for products that will help make your life easier. When I received Hazel’s daycare list and realized I had to label EVERYTHING, I could picture myself with a sharpie, a sleepless night, and a sore wrist. Then, as I scrolled through my Instagram feed, I discovered The Name Stamp and I just had to try it.

I decided to order two stamps, one with Hazel’s full name, and one with just our last name (for items such as wet bags or towels). The order got delivered fairly quickly and the cute little box contained two stamps and two strips of white labeling tape (this is what you would use on dark clothes, you simply iron a little piece of white strip and stamp right on it). According to the website, you can stamp up to 1,000 times before the ink runs dry and each stamp lasts approximately 50 washes.

As soon as I unboxed the stamps, I started stamping. Obviously, I did not read the instructions, because there weren’t any in the box, so when I stamped the first few pieces, the ink did bleed a bit into the fabric. I went on the website and found out that they have posted the instructions and they state that you have to stamp on a blank piece of paper a few times before stamping on your clothes to avoid the ink bleeding into the fabric like it did mine. So if you do purchase these stamps, make sure you stamp on a piece of paper first to avoid my mistake!

Here’s what the stamp looks like on clothing:

Before stamping everything, I stamped a few pieces as a “test” trial. Since then, I have washed them several times and the stamp has not faded away. I highly recommend this stamp if you are looking for clothing labels that are easy to use, last long and won’t break the bank.

The stamps are reasonably priced, but for those of you who are budget friendly, like I am – always looking to score a deal – I managed to snag a promocode for you to use at checkout: SUGARANDSTORYTIME for 10% off any The Name Stamp products. Click here to buy your stamps – there is a big selection of styles and you can also chose cute emoticons to go with your label (like the little fairy I chose for Hazel).

How do you label your kid’s items for daycare/school?

Please note that I get a small commission for purchases made through the links in this post.

Easy Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

Easy Shrimp Ceviche Recipe

If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that I am not a huge fan of cooking. It’s all the prep work, the time it takes, the clean up… I feel that I spend hours making a meal that will be devoured in less than 15 minutes. Not to mention that I am not really creative when it comes to ingredients. I have never really had it in me to “whip something up” with whatever ingredients are in the fridge. The flavour talent simply eludes me.

That being said, I do have my favorite go-to recipes that I know I can nail every single time, and that are just absolutely yummy. One of my personal favorites is my shrimp ceviche recipe. I am one to eat ceviche even in the winter time, but I find that this recipe pairs perfectly with the nice, hot summer weather, and maybe a glass of white or prosecco. Perfect for the beach, or poolside, and the best part is that you can serve it as an appetizer or main meal.

This recipe requires minimal ingredients and it is extremely easy to make. Trust me, if I can make it, so can you!

Shrimp Ceviche

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of raw shrimp (deveined and without a tail)
  • 1-2 red onions
  • 1 1/2 cups of freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Cilantro (about a cup – or more depending on your taste)
  • Olive oil
  • Spices: salt, peper, cumin, cayenne pepper (or tabasco sauce)
  • To serve (optional): avocado, tortilla chips or plantain chips, or saltines or toasted slices of baguette bread

Directions:

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil – make sure you have enough water for the amount of shrimp.
  2. While your water is boiling, finely slice your onions – thin slices about 1-1.5in long.
  3. Cut shrimp into cubes – depending on the size of your shrimp, cut each shrimp into halves or thirds.
  4. Once the water starts boiling, remove the pot from the heat and place your cut, raw shrimp in the pot for about 8-10 seconds – you want your shrimp to achieve a very pale pink color, but not cook your shrimp completely.
  5. Strain shrimp and place in a bowl. Add the lime juice 1 cup at a time, making sure the shrimp is covered completely with lime juice.
  6. Add the sliced onions and cilantro and mix.
  7. Season with cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  8. Remove from the fridge and drizzle with olive oil to taste – this will help cut out some of the acidity of the lime juice.
  9. Serve with your choice of tortilla chips, plantain chips, saltines or baguette and enjoy!

Tips

  • When placing your shrimp in boiling water, keep in mind that the goal is not to cook the shrimp. If you leave it in the water for too long, your shrimp will overcook and it will become chewy.
  • Let your shrimp “cook” in the lime juice, in the fridge, for at least 2 hours. The longer, the better.
  • Add enough olive oil to cut the acidity from the lime juice, but keep in mind that ceviche is supposed to be more on the acid side.
  • Serve cold – whatever you do, do not heat up your ceviche! Ceviche is a cold dish. Serve it as an appetizer or main meal.

If you decide to try this recipe, please do let me know in the comments section below.

Baby Friendly Smash Cake Recipe

Baby Friendly Smash Cake Recipe

In my cake baking days, I received so many “healthy” smash cake requests, and I remember thinking to myself ” A cake is a cake and it’s not meant to be healthy. Nothing will happen to the baby if they try a bit of sugar”. Now fast forward to today, that I am actually a mom, I was scouring the internet looking for healthy recipes because God forbid I give Hazel a bit of sugar… the irony doesn’t elude me, I have to say.

I am extremely picky when it comes to certain ingredients, mainly shredded coconut and coconut milk, I can’t stand the taste. So I was looking for options that didn’t call for coconut. I also wanted something with as few ingredients as possible. I saw quite a few recipes that called for 3 or 4 different types of flour and all sorts of ingredients that are not pantry staples at my house. Everything I found online had either all sorts of uncommon ingredients, or coconut. I was about to just stick to regular cake, but, as luck may have it, a mom friend of mine shared a healthy muffin recipe that was just perfect. It contains no added sugar and uses fruits and dates as natural sweeteners.

I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it my own and here is what I came up with:

Orange & Date Cake (or muffins)

Yields: 24 muffins or three 5 inch cakes

Storage: 3-4 days in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer

Ingredients:

Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups of freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 1/2 of cup of finely chopped dates
  • The zest of one orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbs canola oil
  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups of baby cereal (I used Gerber’s organic oatmeal cereal – use the cereal of your choice
  • 2 tsps baking powder

Frosting

  • 1 cup of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of greek yogurt
  • 3 tbs maple syrup or, if baby is over 12mo, pure honey

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400F
  2. Line a 24 muffin pan with paper liners or grease three 5 inch round pans
  3. In a blender or food processor, blend together the orange juice, water, chopped dates, eggs, oil and orange zest
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together. Slowly add the wet ingredients until the mixture is fully incorporated. You can use a wodden spoon, spatula or hand held mixer to do this.
  5. Pour the batter into the muffin pan, making sure you fill each mold 3/4 up to the line. If you are baking a cake, divide the batter into three equal parts and pour into your cake pans.
    • For muffins: bake from 12- 15 min
    • For 5 inch cake pans: bake approximately 30-35mins
  6. Once baked, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack before frosting.

Frosting

  1. With the use of a hand held mixer or a whisk (whisk attachment on a stand mixer), beat together the greek yogurt, cream cheese and maple syrup.
  2. Frost or pipe as desired.

To decorate the cake, I made a #1 cake topper using pale pink fondant. I added a few little fondant flowers and used Fancy Sprinkles Prism Powder to add a touch of shimmer. I also sprinkled a bit of Fancy Sugar to add a dainty touch of color.

Now tell me, are you team healthy cake or do you prefer a more traditional, sugar full cake for a smash cake? No judgement here, I am strong advocate of “everything in moderation”!

“2 Easy” teacher appreciation treats!

“2 Easy” teacher appreciation treats!

When Fancy Sprinkles announced their next collection, the “Back To School” blends, I knew I wanted to create something that absolutely anyone could make. These treats are so easy to make, that you need no baking experience whatsoever. In fact, you don’t even have to bake a single thing, so clean-up won’t be an issue at all. Hazel is still too young to assist, but I can’t wait to make these with her when she is ready. I think this is also a great and easy activity for a rainy day or snow storm. Honestly, you can even make these to get your little ones excited to go back to school!

Here is what you will need to make these super cute edible pencils:

  • Wafer Cookies – I chose the vanilla ones since they really remind me of the traditional, yellow, #2 pencils we all used in grade school
  • Fancy Sprinkles – Vanilla Flavoured Easy Candy in Calamine Pink & Optic White
  • Pop Quiz” or “Teacher’s PetFancy Sprinkles blend
  • Milk or dark chocolate chips

If you’d like to save 15% off your Fancy Sprinkles order, use promocode HAZEL15 at checkout!

That is it guys! FOUR ingredients! It really can’t get any easier than that!

Step 1.

Cut the tip of your wafer cookies, making sure you shape it into a little triangle, this will be the tip of your “pencil”

Step 2.

Microwave your “Calamine Pink” Easy Candy for 20-30 seconds at low power. Massage and microwave for an additional 20-30 seconds until the candy is melted. Cut the tip, making sure you make a small opening, enough for the candy to flow through, but small enough for you to have full control as you pipe the “eraser” onto your wafer. Something that helped me stay consistent was counting the squares on the wafer cookies to make sure the “eraser” was more or less the same size across all of your pencils.

Step 3.

Repeat the same heating process for your “Optic White” Easy Candy and pipe the “tip” of your pencil, making sure you cover all of the triangular area.

Step 4.

Place a chocolate chip on the tip of your pencil. Make sure you work fast and place it on the tip before the white chocolate hardens. I recommend that you work on 3-4 pencils at a time, this will make sure that your tip doesn’t harden before you place your chocolate chip!

Step 5.

Sort out the # 2’s from your Fancy Sprinkles blend and set them aside.

Step 6.

With the help of a toothpick, place a dollop of Easy Candy just above the eraser, making sure you center it. Take your #2 sprinkle and place it over the dollop of Easy Candy and let it set (it takes only a few seconds with a small dollop).

Voilá! There you have it – the easiest, non bake treat that your kiddos will love to give their favorite teachers! If you want to jazz it up a little, you can use strawberry wafer cookies and your favorite selection of sprinkles to make glittery, shimmery pencils!

Would you gift these to your kiddos teachers? What other sweet treats have you gifted your favorite teachers in the past? Let me know in the comments down below!

How to plan a Peter Rabbit Party

How to plan a Peter Rabbit Party

When Hazel was only a few months old, I already knew that I wanted to do a Peter Rabbit theme for her first birthday. In all honesty, I don’t particularly like cartoons or any cartoon themed party set up. I like things to be a little bit more elegant and classic. Peter Rabbit has just the perfect amount of whimsical and yet, it remains such a classic children’s book. I love that all of the imagery in the book seems to be water coloured, with very muted down tones, and just a touch of realism, as opposed to the super bright and weird looking cartoon characters these days. I know that once Hazel is older, I will have no choice but to host a birthday party with her favorite cartoons, but, since she still doesn’t have an opinion yet, I will continue to chose classic and timeless themes – while I can!

The Set Up

Due to covid restrictions, we did a very small get together with family and just a few friends. I decided to do it in “Hazel’s Garden”, better know as our back yard. This, to me, went perfectly with the Peter Rabbit theme, since the animals live “outdoors”, and it also tied in with the element of Mr. McGregor’s garden. I wanted something really feminine, so I added the floral element and chose gingham fabrics in soft pastel colors. I found the pastel tones went really well with the colors of the imagery of the books.

For the main table, I went with a neutral tablecloth (beige), as I was going to be adding florals and other colored elements. I figured if I used a colored tablecloth, the other elements wouldn’t pop as much. I bought a gingham table runner in pastel blue at Dollarama, it was just $4 and it really helped me set up the stage for the centerpieces. Along with the table runner, I also found really cute bunny figurines and a citronella candle to help repel mosquitoes. It is summer time and mosquitoes are everywhere these days! As for the floral centrepieces, I collaborated with Studio Foliage in Pointe Claire. They created the beautiful vases in what they called “jam jars”, and they chose a selection of florals reminiscent of a secret garden in soft hues of pink, blush, purple and whites.

Since I knew the theme very early on, I was able to get a lot of elements during easter time, when bunnies are all the rage. I scored the beautiful Peter Rabbit paper plates and the bunny shaped bowl at Winners/Homesense. For those of you in the US, these are the equivalent of a T.J. Maxx /Marshalls or Ross. Because the paper plates were square, I was not able to find a charger plate that would work. All the charger plates I own are round or they didn’t really go well with the other colors. So I decided to leave it as is and place the napkins over the plate to create a bit more depth, as opposed to leaving it flat. Finally, I added a few books from “The World of Peter Rabbit” set by Beatrix Potter to tie everything together.

The napkins I chose where a gingham fabric with a mix of pastel colors. They come in a set of 8, and I figured they will become my easter napkins later on. I bought them on Amazon and I have added them to my Amazon Canada Storefront as well as my Amazon US Storefront in case you want to purchase them. They also have a matching tablecloth in different sizes, but I opted not to purchase it, I felt it would be too much gingham and the other elements wouldn’t stand out as much if I did.

I used a beautiful yellow flatware set that has clear handles. I thought it matched really well with the colors of thee books, paper plates and napkins. I used melamine water glasses and rimmed them with some sprinkles from Fancy Sprinkles – if you are interested in purchasing any of their sprinkle blends or molds, you can use the promocode SUGARANDSTORYTIME for 15% off your purchase.

The Sweets Table

I decided to do the sweets table and food table indoors – honestly, I wanted to avoid the heat and the bugs!

I used our tall glass table and set up the Peter Rabbit cake (read more about the cake here), the sugar cookies and the Suspiro Limeños (a Peruvian custard topped off with a sweet meringue). I purchased some cute label templates and I used them as labels for the Suspiro Limeño. To decorate everything, I added the hand made banner and 3D “ONE” made by Creations by Jazzmine Rose, the beautiful florals by Studio Foliage, and added a few Peter Rabbit books and cute ceramic bunny.

Other Small Details that Completed the Set Up

One of the statement pieces that I purchased from Zadabug, was a beautiful, embroidered set that included a banner for Hazel’s high chair and a crisp and delicate bib. Both pieces are made out of linen and are embroidered with Hazel’s name and one of Peter Rabbit’s sisters (they wear a pink coat and Peter Rabbit wears a blue one). Ronda, the shop’s owner, was kind enough to gift us two additional pieces to complete the set, a party hat and a linen towel for the guest bathroom. I intend to save these pieces as heirlooms for Hazel, who knows, maybe her children or grandchildren will be able to use them in the future.

Needless to say, this entire birthday party was a huge labor of love that would not have been possible without the help of my husband, my mom, my family (who drove 6 hours to make be here for Hazel), and, of course, without the help of some pretty amazing suppliers who give their all to make their beautiful creations!

Now tell me, how would you have made this party different? Are there elements that you would have liked to see, or maybe things that you wouldn’t have included?

Peter Rabbit First Birthday Cake

Peter Rabbit First Birthday Cake

Hazel’s Birthday Cake has been by far my absolute favorite cake to make to date.

Initially, I was planning on doing a three tier cake, where the top tier would have a hand painted image of Jemima Puddle-Duck, similar to the hand painted Peter Rabbit from the middle tier.

I wanted Hazel’s birthday to have a touch of femininity and I figured the best way to do it was to include a lot of florals. For that reason, I decided that the bottom tier would be full of tiny, delicate and dainty flowers. It took me just over 8 hours to make and attach each one of the 600 flowers. I used the Wilton Fondant Imprint Mat Floral set (you can find it on my amazon storefront under “Baking Essentials”) to add a little dimension to each flower. I then brushed them with Fancy Sprinkles Champagne Rose Gold Prism Powder to add a subtle shimmer (I’ve linked it at the end of this post).

As it usually happens when you are planning an event, I left the middle tier to the very last minute, so I had to scramble to hand paint (free hand) the Peter Rabbit. I used Wiltons gel food coloring to create a washed out water color effect, added a fondant fence, and topped it off with a couple of floral details.

The cake was looking like it was missing a little something, so I made a fondant cake topper using a #1 cookie cutter. I used a silicone mold to spell out HAZEL using fondant.

The beautiful paper block letters spelling O N E right under the cake were made by the amazingly talented Creations by Jazzmine Rose, she is a local Montreal mompreneur and you can find her on Instagram.

Here are some useful links for you to find the items I used to make this cake:

Amazon Canada

Amazon USA

Fancy Sprinkles – You can use promocode SUGARANDSTORYTIME to get 15% off your entire purchase.

Please note that I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases on Amazon and Fancy Sprinkles.

What is your favorite thing about this cake? What would you have done differently? Tell me in the comments, I’d love to know.

First Birthday Peter Rabbit Invitations

First Birthday Peter Rabbit Invitations

For Hazel’s birthday invite, I decided to purchase a fully customizable template from Etsy. I found the perfect one from Best Celebrations, not only is the template fully customizable, the template includes an invite for a first, second and third birthday. You can send it out to your local print shop, or print it at home.

I had a beautiful, organic looking, thick cardstock so I decided to print everything at home. I decided to personalize the envelope using the “Thank You” template, which I modified to include each guest’s name.

I think it turned out beautifully, don’t you agree?

The Ultimate Peter Rabbit Loot Bags

The Ultimate Peter Rabbit Loot Bags

Due to Covid Constraints, we are not able to have a huge celebration as I would have liked to for Hazel’s first birthday. I made it a point that even if it was just us, Hazel would have a gorgeous party. Here in Quebec, the government has announced that we are able to hold small reunions of up to 10 people in our back yards, so we were not able to invite all of Hazel’s little friends – little friends which she has yet to meet – thanks covid! To me, attention to detail is key, which is why I’ve planned out every single detail, including the loot bags (party favors) that her would be attendees would have received.

We kept only those of the few friends that will be coming over and we dropped the others off at her friends’ homes with a little note saying “Hope we can celebrate my birthday together next year! Love, Hazel!

Here’s what’s in the loot bags:

  • Plastic reusable basket (from Dollarama)
  • Custom hand made carrot (from Decoluz)
  • Carrot shaped hand sanitizer (From Dollarama)
  • Bubbles (from Dollarama)
  • Custom sticker label for bubbles (Etsy: Best Celebrations) – printed at home on Avery Sticker Label paper (I have put it in my amazon store under the “Peter Rabbit” idea board).
  • Yummy goodies inside the bag: applesauce, fruit juice, rice krispies squares, tootsie roll lollipops, peanut free chocolate (kit-kat, smarties, coffee break, aero), rockets.

I have created an idea board on Amazon with my favorite finds to throw the ultimate Peter Rabbit Party. Check it out:

Amazon Canada

Amazon USA

Please note that as an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

What else would you have included in the loot bags? Leave your comment down below, I’d love to hear your ideas!