The Best Blueberry Muffins


These muffins are the best blueberry muffins I’ve ever had. I know this is a serious statement, but I’m not one to say it lightly.

This recipe is originally from Smitten Kitchen, however I swapped a few ingredients to make the recipe non-dairy and doubled it (to make 12 XL muffins). You might think it’s insane to add a teaspoon of sugar to the top of each muffin, but I swear its worth it. Don’t worry about the dough being too thick, it is supposed to be (similar to cookie dough) and feel free to use frozen blueberries.

I used bakery style (fluted) muffin liners which allowed me to overfill these muffins.


1 stick and 2 tbsp (10 tbsp) margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 and 1/2 cup tofutti sour cream
2 eggs
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups blueberries (I used frozen)
12 tsp turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)


Heat oven to 375˚F and line a muffin tin with 12 liners.


Put melted margarine, sugar, zest, tofutti sour cream and eggs in a bowl and mix well.


Add baking powder, baking soda, salt and flour, mix well.


Fold in blueberries.


Divide batter between muffin cups (let it be a lot) and add 1 tsp turbinado sugar to the top of each muffin.


Bake for 30-35 minutes until the tops are perfect, crunchy and golden brown.


These freeze very well and are a great go to muffin recipe. Serve to a crowd or throw them in your lunch to brighten up your day.


Science Fact of the Week:

Tofutti sour cream is made with a mixture of different types of soy including tofu and don’t any contain dairy. However, it still contains a very similar texture to dairy sour cream because of its products such as carrageenan gum, inulin and rice starch.

Green Tea Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


Time for another cupcake! This time green tea with cream cheese frosting. The pairing is unique


For the cupcake

1.5 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp matcha powder (I use vanilla matcha from David’s Tea)
1 tsp kosher salt
1 stick butter, room temperature, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

For the icing

8 oz brick of cream cheese, room temp
1 stick butter, left out for 30 minutes
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract


For the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.


For the Cupcake:

Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Mix first 5 dry ingredients in a mixmaster.


Add in butter, one cube at a time, until combined and mixture looks like coarse sand.


Add eggs, one at a time at low speed.


Add milk and vanilla slowly and beat for 2 minutes.


Fill liners.


Bake for 15-20 minutes.


For the Icing:

With a paddle attachment, cream butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.

Add the tsp of vanilla and mix slowly. If it is too thick at 1/2 tsp of milk at a time until you have the right consistency.

Science Fact of the Week:

I often asked what makes cake flour so special? Why do we use it? Now I’ve found the answer! It actually relates to protein! Cake flour has less protein in it, giving it a softer texture.

Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting


I have made this recipe a few times, originally from Ina Garten. There are a lot of steps, but you end up with a delicious soft red velvet cupcake thats worth it.


For the Cupcakes

1 stick butter, softened
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp gel food colouring (+1 tsp water) or 2 tbsp liquid food colouring
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup buttermilk
2 1/4 cup cake and pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp white vinegar

For the icing

8 oz brick of cream cheese, room temp
1 stick butter, left out for 30 minutes
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract


For the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy


In a small bowl, mix gel food colouring with 1 tbsp of water and cocoa powder. Mix with a fork until it becomes a paste.


Add cocoa food colouring mixture to the butter mixture and beat until combined.


Add eggs and mix well after each addition.


Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl.


Add vanilla to buttermilk. I didn’t have any buttermilk on hand so I made a substitute at home. I put 1 tbsp lemon juice in a 1 cup measuring cup and filled to the top with 1% milk.


Add dry and wet ingredients, alternating between the two until well incorporated.


In a separate bowl mix baking soda and vinegar. The two will bubble (similar to your grade 7 science experiment). Mix until it stops bubbling and add to the batter. Mix well.


Transfer to muffin liners.


Bake for 15-20 minutes.


For the Icing:

With a paddle attachment, cream butter and cream cheese. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.

Add the tsp of vanilla and mix slowly. If it is too thick at 1/2 tsp of milk at a time until you have the right consistency.

Science Fact of the Week:

As you can probably guess, seeing as this recipe relates to a classic middle school science experiment, it seemed important to explain the science of mixing baking soda and vinegar. The mixing the reaction generates carbon dioxide gas. This is an example of an acid base reaction. It helps the red velvet rise well to make a light and airy cupcake.

Cookies and Cream Mini Cheesecakes


These little cheesecakes are a favourite for any event. Easy to eat without a plate or cutlery, these cheesecakes leave behind very little mess.

Making these, I intended to add a fudge swirl to modify the recipe from Martha Stewart’s Original. Upon realizing I forgot muffin liners (AFTER already forgetting Oreos) I rushed out to the grocery store with my friend to pick some up. I came home to find my house filled with smoke because I left the fudge melting on the stove. Luckily there was no fire and I baked some challah to cover the smell of smoke. Thanks DN for the support and help throughout this adventure.

Taking this as a sign that I shouldn’t change the recipe, the only changes I made were using light cream cheese and sour cream.


18 Oreos (any type, try a fun flavour to change it up)
2 8-ounce packages light cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup light sour cream
a pinch of salt


Preheat the oven to 275˚F and line a muffin tin with liners (that you purchased in advance). Place 1 whole Oreo in the bottom of each liner.

In an electric mixer beat the cream cheese.


Add sugar and beat again.

IMG_0863.jpgCrack two eggs into a separate bowl and beat together.


Add vanilla and the egg mixture slowly.


Place remaining 6 Oreos in a ziplock back and break apart (using a rolling pin). Stir in oreos.

Divide batter into muffin liners and bake for 25 minutes. Refrigerate for 4 hours.


These can be stored in the fridge (in an airtight container) for 3 days or the freezer for 1 month.

Science Fact of the Week:

Sour cream is a dairy product that results from fermenting cream with lactic acid bacteria. Sour cream is high in healthy fats which may be protective against disease. It is also rich in nutrients such as vitamin A, riboflavin and phosphorous. These nutrients are essential for eyesight, immune health, bone health and energy.

Cranberry Orange Scones


These were again created off the same favourite base scone flavour. They truly work with any combination of flavour and are a great snack to keep on hand.

Make ahead and freeze the dough for a quick and fresh treat.

Thanks AH for the flavour suggestion and the help making these.


For the scone

2 cups (240 g) all-purpose flour (plus extra for counters)
6 tbsp. (75g) granulated sugar
2 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
zest of one orange
1/2 cup (115 g) unsalted butter, frozen (I throw it in the freezer ice drawer about 20 mins before I start making the scones, and take it out only when I’m ready to use it)
scant 1/2 cup heavy cream (I use 35% Cooking Cream)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg

For the glaze

1 cup (120 g) confectioners’ sugar
2-3 tbsp fresh orange juice


Mix the the first 5 ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and orange zest) in a large bowl.


Grate frozen butter (simplest to use food processor). Add butter to flour mixture and combine with pastry blender or fork. Mix until flour is combined and no larger than pea sized amounts remain.


Create a well in the centre and add cream, vanilla and an egg.


Mix wet ingredients in the well with a fork. Combine dry and wet ingredients with a spatula.

Shape and slice the dough exactly as done in Earl Grey Scones with Vanilla Glaze.



Bake for 12-17 minutes (15 minutes works perfectly for me).


Science Fact of The Week

A single orange can contain 75% of the recommended dose of vitamin C. Maintaining regular doses of vitamin C can be preventative of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Last year I wrote a literature review of vitamin C and cancer, looking at its use even as a cancer treatment. To get some extra vitamin C, you can eat the extra orange left after juicing! Contrary to popular belief, vitamin C is actually higher in other natural food such as red and green peppers!


Soft Pretzels


I was once stuck in the LaGuardia airport for 8 hours, and since the Air Canada terminal barely had anything aside from an Auntie Anne’s Pretzels I was limited in my dinner options. I would probably say this was the beginning of my soft pretzel addiction. I later made them for the first time on National Pretzel Day (April 26 for reference) and have since used this recipe to make pretzels for any random occasion.

When making my last batch I actually made an error. I placed the dough in the mixmaster bowl and covered it with a damp cloth to rise, and put it in the oven (off) so it was in a warm dark place. I later turned the oven on to preheat (for something else) and forgot the dough was in there. 30 minutes later I realized the rising dough in the bowl was beginning to bake. I have since learned to check if anything is in the oven before preheating it.

Anyways, I’m sure I’m boring you with my stories about pretzels, let’s get to the recipe. Try this with half multigrain flour for a bit of a more nutritious option.

The base recipe comes from Baker By Nature (adapted).


For the Dough:

1 1/2 cups very warm water
1 Package Rapid Rise Yeast
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
4 and a 1/2 cups bread flour (optional to make 2 and 1/2 cups of it with multigrain bread flour)
6 tbsp margarine, softened

For the Cooking Liquid:

8 cups water
1/2 cup baking soda

Egg Wash

1 large egg, beaten
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt


Flaked Sea Salt


Combine water, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Sprinkle with yeast and let stand for 10 minutes (until foamy).


In a stand mixer with hook/dough attachment add flours, margarine and yeast mixture. Mix until combined and dough is kneaded (10-12 minutes).


Transfer the dough to and oiled bowl and let rise for one hour (doubled).


Preheat oven to 450˚F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large wide pot bring water and baking soda to a boil.

Divide dough into 8 pieces, then divide each in half to create a total of 16 pieces. Roll each ball of dough into a strand (approximately 3/4-1 inch thick).


Shape the dough into a “U”.


Fold the right edge towards the left 1/3 of the strand.


Fold the left edge towards the right 1/3 of the strand.


Fold the end of each dough under the pretzel.



Place the shaped pretzels in the boiling water for 20-25 seconds.


Brush the pretzels with egg wash and sprinkled with flaked sea salt.

Bake for 10-13 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool and store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.


The dough freezes well once shaped and can be used at a later date. Allow to defrost and continue from boiling baking soda mixture.

Science Fact of the Week:

Although I’ve always used yeast in baking, it wasn’t until grade 12 that I understood how it works. Yeast are small single cell organism that make the dough rise by metabolizing simple sugars. Carbon dioxide and alcohol (not in alcoholic levels) are released into the dough to make it rise. This is used to help bake breads, cinnamon rolls, pretzels and even pizza dough.

Gingerbread People


Tis the season for gingerbread men and women, so we thought we would share our favourite recipe. This has been tweaked from the original (added espresso powder and vanilla extract) and works perfectly. Decorated with royal icing, people will be asking you where you bought them.


1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter, softened
1 large egg
2/3 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp espresso powder (optional)

For the Royal Icing

2 tbsp meringue powder
1 lb icing sugar
6 tbsp water


For the Cookies:

Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Cream the margarine (or butter) and sugar in an electric mixer.

Add egg, molasses and vanilla. Beat well.


Add in the dry ingredients (remaining ingredients) and mix slowly at first.


Once incorporated, increase the speed of the mixer until a dough is formed. Scrape down the edges and mix again. It should be sticky.


Shape the dough into two discs and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for minimum 2 hours, and up to 3 days.


Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Use a gingerbread cutter to shape. Use a spatula transfer the gingerbread to a lined baking sheet.



Place baking sheet with gingerbread men in the refrigerator for 30 mins. This allows the dough to maintain its shape when baking.


Bake for 8-14 minutes (depending on the size of your gingerbread cutter). I used a small one, and my cookies baked for 9 minutes. They are done when they are just beginning to brown and are firm.


For the Icing:

Sift the sugar and meringue powder into bowl of electric mixer with a paddle attachment. Add water and beat until it has soft peaks.

I like to ice the gingerbread men using ziplock bags and multiple colours. I transfer spatula-fuls of icing to a ziplock, add food colouring, and then seal. I mix it around in the ziplock and then slice a tiny piece of the edge to create a make-shift piping bag.

I use white icing to draw all the faces first. Feel free to get creative and draw emoji faces (Thanks RT for that idea). I’ll then use different colours to add gum-drop buttons, ties, bowties, draw outlines and any other designs. Be creative!


Domestic Goddess lovingly refers to these as Menchies (little people). They are great.

Science Fact of the Week:

Like me as a kid, you may be asking – what on earth is molasses? Molasses is a byproduct of refining cane sugar. It comes from crushed sugar cane. It comes in multiple forms: light, dark, molasses, blackstrap, sulphured and unsulphured. We use unsulphured molasses, meaning it has no sulphur dioxide added to it. Molasses is very high in sugar, but it is unlike refined sugar in that it contains some vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, and selenium.

Multigrain Challah


Now it’s my turn to have my hand at the Challah game. This one is adapted from Norene’s Prize Winning Challah. I started making this challah in my second year of university, and it has been a hit! It is super forgiving and doesn’t require any fancy machinery.

As for the flour, this can be done with regular best for bread flour however I prefer multi-grain to give it some extra nutrients. I originally found this multi-grain flour (Best for Bread Multigrain by Robin Hood) at Walmart. However, my local Walmart did not have it in stock. After getting a tooth implant the day prior, I spent 2.5 hours hunting around grocery stores and eventually (after calling) found it at Real Canadian Superstore.

I reset my phone after making this recipe and lost some of the progress pictures. I apologize for the trouble! Now, for the recipe!


1 tsp sugar
1 tsp honey
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115°F)
1 package quick rise yeast (1 Tbsp)
1/2 cup canola/vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 cups of multigrain best for bread flour
2.5 cups of white best for bread flour

For the egg wash:

1 egg yolk, beaten
1 tsp water
1 tsp honey

For the Topping:

Option A: Sugar Crumb Coating:
4 tbsp. margarine, semi-melted
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar

Option B: Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats

Option C: Sesame Seeds


Dissolve sugar and honey in warm water in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast on top and leave for 10 minutes before mixing.IMG_5557.jpg

Add oil, warm water, sugar, salt, eggs, and the multi-grain flour. Beat well. Gradually add the remaining flour. The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch.

Knead the dough for 10 minutes (or mix all ingredients in the electric mixer with a dough hook) until smooth and elastic. I find I have to add quite a bit of flour to prevent the dough from sticking.

Grease a large bowl with canola oil and turn over the dough so all sides are lightly greased. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm dark place for 1.5-2 hours (I like to use an oven that has been off for at least a couple hours).


(Dough may also rise in the fridge; and will last 3 days before shaping and baking).

Punch down and let rise again until doubled (45 minutes)IMG_5531.jpg

The dough can be divided in half to make two challahs (3-piece braid), or one large challah (6-piece braid)

To shape (6 piece bread): Divide dough in half, then divide each half into thirds. IMG_5533.jpg


Roll out each dough ball into a long strand.


Join all strands together at the top and weave the far right strand over the next two strands, under the third and over the last two.




Once shaped it can be placed in the fridge overnight. If you chose to do this, take the dough out of the fridge and let rise for 3 hours before baking. Or if you are baking the same day:

Preheat oven to 400˚F

Transfer to parchment paper and cover with a towel. Allow to rise for 1 hour.


Prepare topping (for streusel mix all ingredients in a bowl). Brush challah with egg wash and then sprinkle with topping.IMG_5546.jpg

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Cover with foil for the last 5-10 minutes if it is browning too quickly. (If two smaller challahs, 25 minutes.) Dough will sound hollow when tapped with your fingers


This recipe is easily doubled and and is great for a shabbat dinner or regular Wednesday night (as I had made this challah for).

Science Fact of the Week:

Multigrain bread is made from more than one grain. This flour contains whole grains which is important to consider for their added health benefits. Whole grains are a source of dietary fibre. This extra fibre (compared to white bread) can help lower blood sugars and aid digestion. Whole grains also contain many added minerals and nutrients.

Cake Pops


For any family event my go to dessert is a cake pop. I make 3-4 different kinds, and have mastered the technique over the last 5 years. This recipe is a lot of work and requires patience, but the pay off is worth it. Make these and the number one question you get will be “where did you buy them?”

Buckle down and get ready for the ride, this post is a long one. Clear some freezer space and head to Michael’s with a shopping list in hand.


Cake pop sticks
Cake pop treat bags with twist ties
Candy melts, any colour
Foam blocks
An opaque bucket – such as this one, but any canister you want to place the cake pops in for decoration
Optional: ribbon for decoration of canister and/or cake pops

This recipe is going to follow an untraditional format from previous ones. Instead of including the ingredients/directions for the cake, I’ll be providing the assembly instructions. These cake pops can be made with any cake and any frosting. The choices are endless and it is up to you! I’ve made red velvet with cream cheese frosting, green tea cake with cream cheese frosting, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, chocolate cake with espresso frosting, vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, vanilla cake with vanilla frosting and even cookie dough.

This recipe is comprised of pictures of many different samples, however the classic favourite in our house is chocolate with espresso frosting. Please note: if you are making cookie dough, try this recipe and don’t include any frosting. Skip straight to rolling out the balls once you’ve prepared the raw dough. A shout out to SA for helping prep these. She helped make these cake pops right after designing our incredible logo.


1 recipe chocolate cake
1/2 recipe espresso frosting


1) Prepare cake in a 9×13 pan and allow to cool.


2) Carefully trim top and sides of cake to remove any “crunchy” exterior


3) Prepare a 1/2 recipe of frosting

4) Place cake in a large bowl and add 1-2 cups of frosting and mix with your hands (varies depending on moisture level of cake). You want the cake pop to be able to stick together when rolled into a ball. Ensure that you add enough frosting so they don’t crack and crumble.


5) Scoop a heaping tablespoon of cake from the bowl and roll into an even ball. Repeat until all dough is finished. This picture is from the vanilla cake pops, however the chocolate would look very similar.


6) Place balls on parchment on a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes.

7) Take balls out of fridge and melt a bowl of candy melts in a bowl (any colour)

8) Dip a lollipop stick into the melted chocolate, and then put it into the cake ball. Place the stick into the foam block to support it.



9) Put the cake pops (with foam blocks) in the freezer for 1-2 hours


10) Melt more of the candy melts (a full bowl) – can be done on the stove or in the microwave (any colour)

11) Dip the frozen cake pop into the melted chocolate and twist it so it is completely covered. Since the cake is frozen, it will harden quickly. Optional: cover the outside in sprinkles


12) Place the stick back in the foam block and allow it to harden completely in the freezer.



13) Optional: You can decorate the cake pops by melting a different colour candy melt. Place a small amount of the candy melt in a ziplock back. Seal it and place it in a large bowl of hot water. Once melted, cut a small tip off the corner and drizzle onto the cake pops.


14) Once the cake pops are prepared, slide them into the treat bag and close with a twist tie. Optional: Add a ribbon for decoration.

15) Place a foam block in the container (cut to size). Arrange the cake pops into a bouquet in the container. Optional: Add a ribbon to the outside for decoration.


Congrats! You made it to the end! This recipe is intensive, but a unique one. Give it a shot and it will be worth it.

Science Fact of the Week:

Our science fact of the week has to do with gravity and temperature. These cake pops are very temperamental. If you make them too large, they will be heavy and will fall off the stick. As the saying goes, what goes up must come down. Let’s just hope it comes down into our stomachs. As well, ensure that you are allowing the cake pops to cool between steps so that the balls and chocolate harden. This will ensure their stability on the sticks.


Non-Dairy Snickerdoodle Cookies


With the official switch from Pumpkin Spice Lattes to Peppermint Mochas we thought we should jump on the band wagon. These cookies are simple to make, non-dairy and sure to be a holiday favourite.


1/2 stick margarine, softened
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon


1) Preheat oven to 350˚F

2) Cream margarine and sugars

3) Add egg and vanilla, beat well


4) Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt


5) Mix sugar and cinnamon in a bowl


6) Roll dough into balls (1-2 tbsp)and roll in cinnamon mixture



7) Bake for 10-15 minutes (until cookies crackle, but are still soft)

These cookies are a new holiday favourite! As well, this was my first chance to use my new electric mixer (Thanks Domestic Goddess!)

Science Fact of The Week:

Cinnamon has been used for many years for medicinal purposes. It contains cinnamaldehyde, cinnamic acid and cinnamate which have been shown to contain numerous health benefits. It has many antioxidants which protect the body from oxidative damage. As well, it is anti-inflammatory and may reduce the risk of heart disease. It may help treat type 2 diabetes by increasing the sensitivity of insulin.