Fiori di Sicilia Buttercream {orange vanilla butterceam}

Fiori Di Sicilia Buttercream {orange vanilla buttercream}

It takes a very special frosting to ding my chimes. Being more of a pie person than a cake person, I just don't get all excited over frosting. This frosting, though? Hubba. Hubba. Silky smooth, lightly orange and vanilla flavoured buttercream is un-flippin'-believable. I'm not going to lie to you... This is probably one of the more expensive frostings you could make, but mmmmmm is it ever worth it. Why so pricey? Well, it's in the name, folks. The main flavouring in this rich buttercream is Fiori di Sicilia; ringing in at about $30 for 2 ounces, it's not an indulgence that comes cheaply. But when you get that bottle, open it, and take one good sniff of the contents, you'll be sold over and over again. It's terribly difficult to describe it completely accurately, but if you can imagine the flavour of sweet oranges and vanilla combined with the aroma of fresh wild flowers, you're getting pretty close. The name DOES mean flowers of Sicily, after all. This is the 'secret ingredient' that delivers the flavour that makes you go back to your favourite Italian bakery time and time again. I mean HONESTLY, how could you NOT want that? Now, when you add a splash of that heavenly essence to a significant amount of sweet cream butter, confectioner's sugar, and a little whole milk and heavy cream and whip it into fluffy perfection, you are on your way to glory. Of course, that magnificent cloud of Fiori di Sicilia Buttercream can be used to frost a cake. That's only … {Read on...}

Peppermint Patty Milkshakes

Cool, chocolatey, Peppermint Patty Milkshake from

Here's the deal. I'm turning 40 this week. I don't see this as a thing to hide. I think every single day I'm alive is empirical evidence that I'm okay at this being alive thing and is a reason to brag. I'm here! And to celebrate this week, I'm posting some of my favourite foods and have some SERIOUSLY fabulous giveaways. I kicked it off with fried pies yesterday, and today? Well, today, I am giving you another of my favourite foods -a milkshake- that is DIVINE. Today's milkshake is a Peppermint Patty Milkshake full of one of my two favourite candy bars -York Peppermint Patties-, chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup, and a splash of milk only big enough to keep things moving. It's topped with a ridiculous amount of whipped cream, more chocolate syrup, and a frozen peppermint patty. And this amazing milkshake recipe is topped with a GIVEAWAY of epic proportions. Read on, friends... I have a long, sordid history with York Peppermint Patties. I used to take my allotted lunch money and divert it to the purchase of a full-sized Peppermint Patties plus Andy Capp's Hot Fries on Monday and Wednesday, a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup and Hot Fries on Tuesday, and a KitKat and Hot Fries on Fridays. I'm sorry, Mom and Dad. Please don't make me pay restitution on this. I always loved that cool peppermint filling juxtaposed against the bitter-sweet dark chocolate outside. When I discovered that they were even BETTER when stashed in the freezer, though? It was all over but the purchase … {Read on...}

Guava and Cream Cheese Hand Pies

Guava and Cream Cheese Hand Pies from foodiewithfamily #JCPAmbassador #Spon #BlogHer

While attending BlogHer Food in Miami this past May, I attended a workshop taught by my gal, Meseidy of The Noshery, and Carla of The Cuban Brit. The workshop was on cooking traditional Puerto Rican and Cuban foods or putting spins on those cuisines. I walked away from the workshop very full indeed (SAMPLES!!), and inspired to introduce some of these ingredients and recipes in my home kitchen. Most especially, I walked away ready to put guava paste in and on EVERYTHING. Oh my word, friends. Have you TRIED guava paste? It's tangy, sweet, and perfect for adding a burst of fresh, fruity flavour to main dishes, appetizers, and desserts alike. We have taken to slicing guava paste and serving it with our cheese trays when I've been too lazy or busy to get to the store for fresh fruit. It is something I don't want my pantry to be without now. In the workshop, Meseidy and Carla prepared a traditional Cuban dessert of cream cheese and guava paste wrapped in dough and fried. Today, I'm going to share this quick, simple, and impressive sweet with you. I like to fry them up, cool them slightly, then wrap them in foil and tuck them into our picnic basket. I think they'll make an appearance for packed lunches on field trips this coming fall, too. It's a perfect little combination of creamy, sweet, fruity, and tangy in a flaky little hand pie package!   Cook's Notes I love using Goya Discos for this job for the sake of speed, but my friend Meseidy has a fantastic … {Read on...}

Slow-Cooker Five Spice Pork Roast

Slow-Cooker Five Spice Pork Roast with Sweet Potatoes

Slow-cookers have acquired a bum rap for turning out bland, homogenous, texturally lacking food. Why-oh-why do people have this misconception? I want to whisper a little theory because it’s not a very popular one… I think it’s because people thing you can dump any old thing in there along with a can or two of condensed cream of something soup and it’ll magically turn out a delightful meal. There’s a little more to it than that. Not much, mind you, but a lot of folks balk when you say such a thing. The truth is that like most other things in life, you get out of it what you put into it. If you start with frozen chicken breasts and a can of cream of mushroom soup, you’re going to get a nice, shreddy, cafeteria style food. If you start with a fresh pork loin, some chopped sweet potatoes, and a little attention to detail, you’re going to end up with something that is worthy of being served to company. I suppose my life analogy falls apart a bit there, much like boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the slow-cooker. Ba-dum-bum! The point remains. Fresh foods going into the slow-cooker equal fresh tasting foods coming out of it. There’s a little science to it, too… Not all fresh foods make it through the slow-cooking process equally. A good rule of thumb is that if it tastes good in something you’d stew, braise, roast, or otherwise cook for a long period of time in anything else, it’ll probably work well in the slow-cooker. Whether you’re cooking for Sunday dinner, a … {Read on...}

Coconut Cream Lime Pops

Just 5 ingredients and a blender are all you need to make these creamy Coconut Cream Lime Pops from

It's hot out; ninety degrees in the shade hot is what it is with about eighty percent relative humidity. My boys -who aren't usually given to running around shirtless- haven't had a shirt on in days. Well, the sixteen year old has, but that's because it's nearly impossible to throw eight hundred bales of hay sans shirt unless you really like to itch. You can be certain, though, that within mere minutes of reentering the house, his shirt is lying in a hay-riddled heap in the middle of the floor at the base of the stairs. These 5-Ingredient, blender-made Coconut Cream Lime Pops are EXACTLY what the meteorologist ordered. These creamy (no dairy!) and tart quiescently frozen treats are made of two kinds of tropical coconut milk, coconut cream,  tangy and refreshing lime juice, and (appropriately) coconut sugar. You put the lime in the coconut. Ahem. You couldn't REALLY expect me to get through an entire blog post espousing Coconut Cream Lime Pops without breaking that line out at least once, could you? Are you singing it yet? How about now? It is a serious coconut lover's treat that is rich  enough to taste dairy laden without even a smidgen of dairy milk in there. People... I love my full fat dairy ice cream like wow, but I also adore coconut milk. It's so refreshing and SOMETIMES you just have to change things up a bit to keep life interesting, right? Why use two kinds of coconut milk AND coconut cream? That's a good question! The reason is that each of those … {Read on...}