Party Chip Dip

Best Cream Cheese Chip Dip Recipe

How to make a cream cheese dip recipe for your next party.
Prep Time 30 mins
Course Appetizer
Servings 12 people

Equipment

  • Large serving platter
  • hand mixer/stand mixer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pkg cream cheese softened
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • 3-4 green onions thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
  • 1 bag tortilla chips

Instructions
 

  • Beat together cream cheese and mayonnaise until fully combined.
  • Spread cream cheese mixture with the back of a spoon onto large serving plated until ~ 1/3 – 1/2 cm thick.
  • Pour salsa onto cream cheese mixture and spread with the back of a spoon until it fully covers the edges.
  • Sprinkle green onions and tomatoes all over the salsa.
  • Cover the whole dip in cheddar cheese.
  • Serve immediately with tortilla chips or store covered in fridge until ready to serve.
Keyword appetizer, chip dip, dip

The Best Cutting Board with Containers

My husband loves to prep his meals before he begins cooking anything. He makes a point of taking out all the bowls and using every single one of them for vegetables, sauces, etc. to make cooking not as overwhelming. 

I tried to get him to be a one pan kind of cook but to no avail… I’m more of a wing-it kind of cook and he’s the organized, methodical chef in the house.

I ended up searching around for a cutting board with containers that he could put all of his prepared vegetables in. I knew that this was one thing he needed to keep cooking as easy as possible. 

I managed to find one particular cutting board with containers that was:

  • Ecofriendly – made of bamboo
  • Odor and water-resistant
  • Easy to clean
  • Soaked with mineral oil – keeps water out of the bamboo making it durable

It also came with 4 trays that are dishwasher safe. The best part of all is the trays come with bamboo lids. So when he’s prepping meals the day before he can put the cut vegetables in the fridge overnight and then be ready to cook after work the next day.

I find that now the cutting board containers save us from using a ton of bowls and running the dishwasher all the time. It also saves us some countertop space so we have more area to work in. 

The cutting board we ended up going one was this large bamboo cutting board with trays.

Since the cutting board has a groove near the edges it catches the juices when we chop up vegetables and fruit, it keeps the counter much cleaner than before. 

When we’re finished with our bamboo cutting board we wipe it down with a cloth, towel dry, and hand wash the containers. This way, we’ll get the most use out of it. 

I couldn’t be happier with our new cutting board. It makes meal prep and cooking much cleaner and with less clutter on the counters. I know we’ll have this cutting board for years to come.

Best Low Cost Ice Cream Maker

homemade affogato

I first thought about getting an ice cream maker when I tasted vanilla lavender ice cream. I tried this particular flavour from a local grocery store and I found out it was created in small batches only. This meant that it only comes out about once a year. 

By the time I got to the store to get a second container it was all sold out. I knew that I was going to have to start researching and finding myself my own ice cream maker if I wanted to have specialty ice cream flavours at home. 

One of my good friends who works as a chef at a luxury vacation lodge creates specialty desserts including homemade ice cream. She told me that the simpler the design of the machine, the longer it’s going to last. She had mentioned to me that they have had a few different machines in the past and it seems like the more simpler you go the less likely it’s going to break in the long run. 

She recommended to me the best homemade ice cream maker she has found is the Cuisine Art Pure Indulgence ice cream maker. 

She has made everything from Ice Cream to frozen yogurt and margaritas

I made the decision to purchase one for myself. We tried out the simple vanilla ice cream for the first batch. It ended up being a lot larger of a batch than I was expecting so we have been eating our way through it. The flavour was delicious, but not quite as rich as the French vanilla. 

For a special treat I baked some mini chocolate chip cookies and put the vanilla ice cream in the centre creating an ice cream sandwich. 

Everyone at work absolutely loved them. I can’t wait to try more flavours. 

When you first get the ice cream maker you have to freeze the bowl it comes with. Wait 24 hours for the bowl to be fully frozen

Make your recipe for your ice cream in a separate bowl.

Place the frozen bowl into the machine, put the paddle into the mixture, and the top on it. 

Turn the machine on and slowly pour your ice cream mixture into the freezer bowl. 

The ice cream mixture will churn the ice cream putting air into the mixture, giving it the right consistency for ice cream. 

Set a timer for 20 to 25 minutes until it’s done mixing. 

Once the ice cream has finished churning put it into an airtight container. 

Freeze for a few hours until it’s fully hardened. 

We usually eat the homemade ice cream the following day when it’s hardened up to our liking. 

vegan espresso ice cream

Wash the freezer bowl and paddle by hand after you’re done for a quick clean-up. 

Cuisine Art pure Indulgence ice cream maker is the best ice cream maker to buy for home use on the market.

  • Simple design
  • Easy to use
  • Ice cream in 20-25 min of churning
  • Able to add extra flavours at the end

Cuisine Art pure Indulgence ice cream maker is the best low cost ice cream maker on the market.

Expenses after purchasing ice cream maker depending on your recipe:

  • Fruit
  • Heavy cream
  • Sugar 
  • Extracts
  • Eggs

Having an ice cream maker gives you more control knowing exactly what it is in your ice cream. You don’t have to guess what each ingredient is when you read it on the side of a carton. You can decide what kind of add on;s to put in your ice cream-nuts, white chocolate shavings, caramel, etc. You have the power to create your own flavor’s of ice cream right at home.

Best Waffle Bowl Maker 2020

One of my family’s favourite desserts is having sundaes. We love topping our homemade vanilla ice cream with sprinkles, caramel sauce, crumbled Oreo cookies, and chocolate chips. Each of us make something special for ourselves to enjoy.

We never quite get the full experience of eating a waffle bowl with our sundae’s until trying out the Presto 03500 Belgian Waffle Maker.

I love eating waffle cones when we go out for ice cream on the beach in the summer. There’s something about having that crispy waffle taste with my favourite flavour of ice cream that just makes me feel so satisfied after eating. I love sitting on the beach enjoying the sunset eating our ice cream cones.

After moving away from the beach we haven’t had as many delicious ice cream cones as we used to. So when we got our new waffle bowl maker I was so excited to try it out!!

The best waffle maker to buy in 2020 is the Presto 03500 Belgian waffle maker. It’s one of the fastest cooking, easiest to clean, and compact appliances on the market.

It only takes 3 min to heat it up until it’s ready to use. 

The recipe book comes with 5 recipes to try out:

  • Waffle Cone Batter
  • Chocolate Waffle Bowl with Raspberry Cream
  • Cornmeal, Cheese, and Chilies Waffle Bowl
  • Flavorful Whole Grain Waffle Batter (Both delicious and healthy)
  • Classic Waffle Batter

A few tasty foods to try out as well with your waffle bowl maker:

  • Tortilla taco bowls
  • Bread bowls
  • Gluten free waffle bowls

How big are the waffle bowls the Presto Waffle Bowl Maker creates?

  • 4” in diameter

How long does it take to make a waffle bowl?

  • 3.5 – 4.5 min per bowl

Cook your bowl a little longer if you want it a bit crispier

Clean up is fast and easy with this machine. It has a non-stick coating, so you can use a fork to get the bowl out with ease. 

Wipe down the waffle bowl maker when it’s cooled to keep it clean for your next waffle bowl.

If you want to try out some homemade ice cream recipes check out our Espresso Ice Cream in your waffle bowl!

I would have never thought about owning my own waffle bowl maker at home. After seeing the joy it brings people when you tell them they get to make their own sundae in a waffle bowl it lights up people’s eyes. I know it’s brought so much joy to our family to be able to have our own special sundae’s at home whenever we want. It’s a novel item that I love having for our family.

Best Espresso Ice Cream Recipe

vegan espresso ice cream in chocolate cup

Best Espresso Ice Cream Recipe

How to make espresso ice cream using an espresso maker and an ice cream maker.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Fridge/Freezer time 9 hrs
Total Time 9 hrs 55 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 10 people

Equipment

  • espresso maker
  • Ice Cream Maker
  • Saucepan
  • mesh sieve

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 shots freshly brewed espresso

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan over low to medium heat add the  heavy cream, whole milk, sugar and salt. Whisk to fully dissolve the sugar ~ 4 to 5 minutes.
  • In a large glass bowl add the egg yolks. Whisk the yolks together.
  • Whisk 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks while whisking the milk mixture until fully combined. 
  • Add the egg yolk mixture to the saucepan. Whisk until it comes to a simmer.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat and mix in the vanilla and espresso. 
  • Pour the mixture through a sieve and place in fridge until chilled (about 6 hours, but leave it overnight in the fridge to make it easy).
  • Add mixture to ice cream maker and churn for 20-25 min.
  • Freeze mixture for another 3 hours until fully chilled for ice cream and not just soft serve.

Notes

espresso brewing
Keyword ice cream

Best Broccoli and Cheese Soup Ever

best broccoli and cheese soup ever

Best Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe Ever

How to make the best broccoli and cheese soup for your family
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Servings 8 servings

Equipment

  • Saucepan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 crown broccoli cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 carrots sliced
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
  • 2 cups milk 2%
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Instructions
 

  • Add butter to medium heat frying pan. Saute carrots and broccoli for 3-4 min. Add onions and saute for 1-2 min. Add flour to pan to make a roux.
  • Pour chicken broth into pan and cook vegetables until fork tender ~5 min.
  • Slowly pour milk into pan and cook until gently simmering. 
  • Add grated cheese and whisk until fully combined.
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately.
  • Store in fridge for up to 3 days.
Keyword broccoli, cheese, soup
best broccoli and cheese soup ever

Best Candy Thermometer 2020

best candy thermometer 2020

I started making caramel for an Almond Roca recipe years ago. But, it never quite came out how I wanted it to. It was delicious, but it was just too soft. The consistency wasn’t quite right. 

This year, I decided I was going to try out using my new candy thermometer for my caramel sauce to make my almond roca recipe. Maybe they would actually turn out!

I asked my husband to purchase the best candy thermometer for caramel for me. He got me the OXO Good Grips Glass Candy Thermometer. When I went to use it, I realized that the bulb didn’t go all the way to the bottom of the pot. But of course, you don’t actually want the bulb to be touching the bottom of the pan. This can cause the bulb to shatter. So the OXO thermometer he got me, sits a few centimetres above the pot using the adjustable clip. 

When I was making my caramel sauce the bulb was above the level of liquid in the sauce pan so I wasn’t sure how it was going to work. I started mixing my ingredients, and then I realized that I could just stir the pot and push the caramel sauce over the bulb so I could get an accurate measurement of the temperature. Therefore, even though it’s large, it’s the best candy thermometer for small batches. 

When I was done making my caramel sauce I watched the Mercury come to an even 300 degrees Farenheight and I poured the caramel sauce into the baking pan. I added the chopped up almonds to it, and then I spread the melted chocolate over the caramel and sprinkled the rest of the chopped almonds to the topping and let it cool. 

Finally, I had made the most incredible Almond Roca. I had no idea that I really needed a candy thermometer to make the Almond Roca that I’ve been dreaming about for years. I always purchased my almond roca at local Christmas markets because it’s my absolute favourite!! Now, I can officially make as much as I want to at home!

I’m an avid baker, and I have tried making macarons, but they never turned out the way I had seen them in pastry shops.

When I took a class making macarons in Vancouver they showed me that when making the sugar sauce for the Italian meringue, it needs to be an even 115 degree Celsius. 

I decided to try out the candy thermometer again. I always had issues making macarons in the past, but I was using the French style recipe. By using the Italian style recipe, the meringue is much more stable so it’s easier to get them to turn out how you like. 

I started making the sugar sauce and I watched the Mercury climb up to an even 115 degrees Celsius. I poured the sugar sauce down the side of the metal mixing bowl with my egg whites. I folded the meringue into the almond mixture and finished off making my macarons, patiently waiting to see how they would turn out. I wondered if this was really going to make the difference between them actually turning out. I put them in the oven and baked them for 12 minutes. 

oxo candy thermometer

I pulled them out of the oven when they were finished, and there it was, my first batch of perfect macarons. I was so proud. I was so grateful to have my new candy thermometer. 

This candy thermometer has been so easy to use, it handles high temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  It has stages on the thermometer of hard-crack, giving you an idea of how hard you want your candy to be. I prefer this candy thermometer over a digital one because there is no battery to change, no risk of the display becoming black at high temperatures, and I find it just as easy to read the temperature.

When we were reading up about candy thermometers I thought for sure a digital thermometer would be the easiest. 

I started reading up on the CDN digital candy thermometer 

You can easily program it to an exact degree. It will alarm at specific points during the key temperature stages when making candy.   

It’s approximately 8 1/4″ tall, much smaller than the OXO Candy Thermometer.

However, most people who have used this thermometer find that it doesn’t last very long. Some people have said that it only lasted them 3-30 uses, and then it just stops working. The screen will go black when it’s used at high temperatures. The clip for the gauge can break off and then you have to hold the thermometer by hand to take the temperature of your candy.

It doesn’t seem like digital thermometers have come very far in terms of longevity, or durability.

The tried and true older style thermometers are a better bet for your candy making needs long term. They are easy to clean, simple to use, and give accurate readings. The best quality candy thermometer in 2020 is the OXO Good Grips Glass Candy Thermometer.

Chocolate Covered Cornflakes

  • 1 cup chocolate melting wafers
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest (~2 oranges)
  • 4 cups corn flakes
  1. Melt chocolate in a large glass bowl in the microwave for 1 min. Stir chocolate, microwave again in 20 second intervals until chocolate is fully melted.
  2. Grate orange zest and add it to the melted chocolate.
  3. Mix orange zest into chocolate until fully combined.
  4. Add corn flakes 1 cup/time until fully covered in chocolate.
  5. Place muffin liners onto a large plate. Fill muffin liners with chocolate covered cornflakes.
  6. Place in fridge for 1 hour until fully hardened. Keep in fridge until ready to serve.

The Best Bread Maker 2020

Best Bread Maker 2020

If you’ve never had a breadmaker before, you might be thinking, do I really need one? What can you actually make with a bread machine?

For those who have owned bread machines before, you know how incredibly versatile they are. But, the problem with most of them, is that they usually only last about 2 years. 

#1 Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker

Zojirushi BB-PAC20 Home Bakery Virtuoso Breadmaker

The Zojirushi Breadmaker is our top choice for the best bread maker. 

It comes with a full array of diverse recipes using a breadmaker. Just a few of the recipes their cookbook includes: 

  • Apple danishes
  • Bagels
  • Baguette
  • Banana bread
  • Challah bread
  • Cheese and onion bread
  • Chocolate cake
  • Coffee cake
  • Criossants
  • Donuts
  • Tea bread
  • Pizza dough
  • Gluten free bread
  • Gluten free donuts
  • Salt-free bread
  • Sugar-free bread
  • Vegan bread
  • Focaccia bread
  • Homemade pasta dough
  • Corn bread
  • Jam
  • Sugar cookie dough
  • Tortillas

They include more recipes on their website (https://www.zojirushi.com/app/recipe/breadmakers?ids=417

If you’re looking for the most durable, long-lasting breadmaker, this is the best bread maker choice for your home kitchen.

Pros:

You can make 6+ loaves/week for years (4-5 years)

Other breadmakers claim that they can make gluten free bread, but it just doesn’t turn out as well and consistent as the Zojirushi Breadmaker . 

The cost of making bread in your new breadmaker will save you money in the long run. 

Once you purchase your bread machine yeast and bread machine flour you’ll be ready to try out your new bread machine!

You can have fresh bread readily available within 2.5-3.5 hours depending on the recipe.

The top of the breadmaker includes a heater in the lid. This brown’s the top of your loaf ever so slightly to give you a perfect loaf of delicious bread.  

The Zojirushi Breadmaker is easy to clean. Hand wash the paddle and loaf pan after each use and let it air dry for a couple hours so you have it all ready for your next fluffy loaf of bread.

Cons:

You may have to replace the paddle after several years of use. You can easily purchase this online when you need it, unlike other brands where it’s difficult to source replacement parts

Mixer is loud. However, most bread machines are loud. They have moving parts and they need to be able to mix their ingredients effectively. This might be something to think about if you’re planning on putting the delay timer on to have fresh bread in the morning. Perhaps keep it downstairs, somewhere that you won’t hear it mixing away when you’re sleeping.

What other recipes can you make with a bread maker?

  • Pita bread
  • Naan bread
  • Pretzels
  • Pumpkin spice bread
  • Calzone dough
  • Cinnamon buns
  • Cheese bread 
  • Multigrain bread
  • Lemon cake
  • English muffins
  • Hamburger buns

What if you want to make gluten free bread?

It comes with several recipes for creating gluten free breads.  

  • Gluten free donuts
  • Gluten free apple walnut cake
  • Gluten free carrot cake
  • Gluten free green tea bread
  • Gluten free raisin bread
  • Gluten free pizza dough

What kind of gluten free flour can you use in your bread maker?

125 Best Gluten-Free Bread Machine Recipes

What if you want dairy free bread?

Substitute the milk for:

  • Almond milk
  • Cashew milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Oat milk

How do you store your freshly made breadmaker bread?

Store your freshly baked, cooled down loaf in an airtight container. Be sure to only slice off what you are using at the time. If you slice all of the bread when it’s cooled, it could stale faster. 

Store it in the fridge to keep it fresher a bit longer. You’ll want to use it up within 3 days of making your loaf, or store it in the freezer. It doesn’t last as long as bread you purchase in your local grocery store because it doesn’t have the same preservatives as your freshly baked bread.

This is actually one of the perks for having a breadmaker. You get to control what you’re putting into your body. You know exactly how much sugar, salt, etc. is going into the recipe, so you can be more informed about how much you’re consuming on a daily basis.

For people with allergies, this can be a life-saver. You can select your flour, salt, sugar/sugar-free, nut-free environment as you need it for your own dietary needs.

How do you slice your bread?

Use a serrated knife to cut your bread to your desired thickness.

How to clean your breadmaker?

Is it dishwasher safe?

No, you need to handwash the loaf pan.

How do you properly measure your ingredients for your breadmaker?

#2

Oster 2-Pound Expressbake Bread Machine with 13-Hour Delay Timer

The Oster Breadmaker is a good starting point for those just getting into having a breadmaker. It has step by step instructions for beginners to help you learn how to make your first loaf. 

Although the cookbook it comes with doesn’t come with many recipes, it gives you a great starting base to begin making bread at home. 

I have tried these recipes in the cookbook:

  • White bread
  • Italian herb bread
  • Pizza dough
  • Bread pretzels
  • Bagels

My favourite recipes by far is the bagel recipe! There’s nothing better than having a fresh bagel out of the oven, and lathering on the cream cheese for breakfast on the weekend.

I received the Oster 2lb Bread Machine for Christmas last year. My husband said he didn’t think we would use it much, but his attitude changed within a few weeks. 

I have used my breadmaker to make several different types of cakes, rolls, dough,  and bread. We’ve only had one for a year and I can’t imagine not having it.

My husband realized he could use it for making pizza dough, he didn’t have a huge mess to clean up after. When he makes pizza dough, it makes enough for 2 large pizzas. I never expected such a small machine to be able to make that much dough at once. 

Sometimes we use ½ the dough for a pizza, and then leave the other ½ in the fridge and use it the following day to make another pizza. 

We use our bread machine at least once a week to make different recipes. It saves us time, it’s less mess, and it saves us money. I love using it make quick dough recipes like pizza pretzels for lunches during the week.

I like to leave my breadmaker on the floor when it’s in use. When it’s actively mixing 1 ball of dough, it can unbalance itself easily. We’ve had ours end up on the floor, so now it just lives on the ground after that.

The lid for this machine just rests on the top, there isn’t a latch or anything for it. 

Pros:

  • Simple operation
  • Expressbake- makes bread in 1 hour
  • Compact
  • Paddle comes off easily after baking

Cons:

  • Pan can wear out over time
  • Loud/rattles around
  • Bread maker cookbook doesn’t have many recipes

Sunbeam 2-Pound Breadmaker, White

Pros:

  • Budget friendly

Cons:

  • Paddle bakes into the loaf, difficult to retrieve
  • Large unit, storing this machine might be difficult if you don’t have a ton of space
  • am

Garlic Breadsticks from Scratch

GARLIC ITALIAN BREADSTICKS
Garlic Breadsticks from Scratch

Garlic Breadsticks from Scratch

How to bake garlic bread sticks from scratch using yeast.
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Rising time 2 hrs 30 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 7 mins
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Servings 12 Breadsticks

Equipment

  • Oven

Ingredients
  

  • 280 mL warm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter melted
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 cups bread flour

Topping

  • 3 tbsp butter melted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan grated

Instructions
 

  • Combine water, yeast, sugar, 3 tbsp butter and salt into a large glass bowl. Slowly add bread flour until fully combined. Knead dough until smooth ~5-7 min.
  • Cover with a towel and let rise for 1 ½ hours.
  • Separate dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each piece to approximately 7’’ long.
  • Let rise for 1 hour on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for 12 min at 400 degrees F.
  • Mix together melted butter, salt, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning in a bowl.
  • Brush mixture onto breadsticks when they come out of the oven and top with Parmesan. Serve immediately. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Keyword bread, breadstick