Tag Archives: camping

End of Summer, New School Year

The party is over at our house.  Today is the last day of freedom and tomorrow a new school year begins (for me too!).  No more lazy mornings on the deck with coffee, staying up super late reading a good book or keeping pj’s on allll day long if you feel like it.  I really love summer and my only wish was that it was just a little longer (say… 10 months longer….)

My kids are away today, all doing something fun for their last day of holidays.  I left them a little surprise for their return….

Just a little thank you for being great kids and hanging out with me this summer.  For putting my bait on the hook for me, for going for bike rides with me, for walking the dog with me, for playing endless games of Scrabble and SkipBo with me and for staying up late around a camp fire sharing funny stories and things about your life with me.

It’s a new school year and things will soon become hectic and busy.  Instead of saying “come sit by the pool with me” I’ll be screaming “for the last time get out of bed or we’ll be late!!”

Nothing says summer like ice cream and this is a fun and whimsical dessert.  Would be perfect for a birthday too!  I used my favourite Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream (here) and a new Vanilla Cake recipe (below).  Just colour icing to suit and have fun!  I used a piece of 29″ x 12″ yellow foam board with ribbons glued to the bottom.  This idea is from My Cake School Blog, which is full of fabulous resources.

Pure Vanilla Cupcakes

  • adapted from Form V Artisan
    Makes 18 cupcakes
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup full fat sour cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilkPreheat oven to 350°F. Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper
    liners.1.  In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, sift together flour,
    baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add sugar and mix on low-speed until well
    blended. Add softened butter and beat on medium-low speed until butter is coated
    with flour and mixture resembles dry crumbs, about 3 minutes. Increase speed to
    medium and beat 30 seconds longer.2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract until smooth. Add to the flour mixture and
    mix on medium-low speed until moistened and the batter begins to form webs along
    the sides of the bowl and the beater, about 45 seconds. With mixer on low speed,
    gradually add milk and beat until batter is smooth, about 20 seconds. Scrape
    down the sides of the bowl and mix until batter is light, airy and creamy
    looking, another 15-20 seconds on medium to medium-low speed. Do not over

    3.  Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling them about
    two-thirds full. Bake until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the
    center of the cakes comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Transfer cakes to wire
    racks to cool completely.


Filed under Cup Cakes

Ooey Gooey Goodness

I love to camp.   I do not like the clean-up as much.   So I’m avoiding it and instead am going to share my great new discovery with you.   There’s nothing better than a messy, sticky, gooey s’more and it’s even better when the marshmallows are homemade!  I found a few recipes and couldn’t believe how simple they were to make.  Really, 30 minutes and you’re done.  And, once people were done with the “you made your own marshmallows?!?” comments, the vote was in and these were awesome.  In between some yummy chocolate or melted in krispie squares, these rock.  Just in time for summer.  Enjoy!


*Adapted from The Golden Iris

1 cup cold water, divided

3 1/4 oz envelopes unflavoured gelatin

2 cups white sugar

2/3 cup pure glucose (corn syrup will work too)

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup icing sugar

1.  Line a 13x 9″ pan with tin foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer pour 1/2 cup of the cold water.  Sprinkle the gelatin on top and let it sit for 15 minutes.

3.  In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, glucose, salt and remaining water.  Stir over low heat until sugar dissolves, then increase to med-high heat and let mixture boil for 8 minutes, without stirring.  At this point, syrup will form a soft ball when dropped into a glass of ice cold water.

4.  Using whisk attachment on stand mixer, begin beating the gelatin mixture while slowly pouring the boiling syrup down the side of the bowl (not directly on whisk attachment as it can splatter).  Syrup is boiling hot, so pour slowly and carefully!  Beat mixture for 15 minutes at high speed.  Add vanilla and beat for one minute more.

5.   Scrape into pan and smooth top- marshmallows are sticky, so a buttered spatula works well at this point!  Let mixture stand at room temperature until firm- approximately 4 hours.

6.  Stir together cornstarch and icing sugar.  Sift a generous amount onto work surface and unmold marshmallow on top.  Sift more powder onto the top of the slab.  Lightly spray a large knife with cooking spray and cut marshmallows to desired size. Sift all sides of your marshmallows with powder to avoid sticking!  Transfer to a rack and shake off excess powder.  Place in an airtight container.

*Add food colouring at the same time as the vanilla for some coloured fun!

1 Comment

Filed under Breakfast, Extra Special, Scones and Breads