Friday, October 14, 2011

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Hello Goodies! Hope you all are recovering nicely from a week and weekend filled with turkey and all the fixings! I know that I have been eating leftovers since my family dinner on Sunday. The weather here in Southern Ontario was just amazing - absolutely perfect for a Thanksgiving weekend.

Thanksgiving is a time when families come together to celebrate the harvest. This year (as well as in years past) I got to celebrate twice (spoiled)! First I celebrated with my in-laws-to-be, up in sunny St. Catharines and second with my family. Dinner at each house was superbly executed and delicious! I cannot wait to have a house of my own and host my first turkey dinner. I very much look forward to the stressful enjoyable experience.

As you all are aware I love to bake, and if you read my interview for the Real Women of Philadelphia, you would know that everything around me is cause for inspiration. For Thanksgiving with Joel's family, I was inspired by the deliciously scented candles that I had purchased for Ashley's bridal shower as favours. They were all the yummy fall-inspired scents from Bath and Body Works - Salted Caramel, Hot Chocolate, Creamy Pumpkin are just some to name a few. Personally, the Apple Crumble is my favourite. I decided a perfect holiday dessert would be a pie! What inspires you?

The first pie that I decided to make was inspired by the new movie "The Help". It was first a bestselling novel (which my mom had read well before it was a bestseller - she does that a lot with books) and then recently made into a motion picture. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend you do! Not only did the story have you laughing and crying with the characters, but I know the movie had me drooling over all the amazing southern food. The climax of the movie was centered all around a pie - a chocolate pie! So that is what I had to make! Like everything in the movie, I made it all from scratch - including the dough! As my added twist (I love to make things my own), I added some pecans, to make it a Chocolate Pecan pie.

I didn't get a chance to try it, but I heard that it was delicious - especially for those who love chocolate!

The second pie I decided to make was a mixed berry pie with some sliced apple. I thoroughly enjoy this pie! It did however leak, on our journey up to St. Catharines and I was not thinking as I grabbed Ashley's nice Ralph Lauren towels for it to sit under in a box. It looked like murder, with all the juice on the towels. Thankfully, the stains came out. As soon as I returned late Saturday night, I prewashed and washed the towels right away.

Stay tuned for a double post! I made some Starbucks-inspired Ginger Molasses cookies for our journey up to St. Catharines and have been asked many before times for the recipe. So it is my pleasure to post to it for all of you to try at home! Check back soon.

Monday, October 3, 2011

To Infinity and Beyond...

Okay, I know I started off with the wrong movie quote but Happy October goodies! October means fall, and fall means the weather changes and so do the leaves as they begin to fall. For me not only the weather is changing, there are also big changes happening in my life. This morning my fiance awoke early to embark on a new journey. He left to start a new chapter in his life (our life, when we get married), by moving out to eastern Canada.

It is a little sad but also exciting to think about moving to a different part of our beautiful nation. I am not looking forward to, however, the longer winters. As a parting gift I made some of Joel's favourite cookies so he would have something to munch on during his 21 hour drive. Joel, the thoughtful and generous guy that he is, shared the majority of his cookies with all his friends at work and family. I am really going to miss him and I look forward to Christmas time when we both will be home. Until then, I will have to ship him cookies and get well acquainted with Skype.

For Joel, I made Starwars and ninja cookies (although Joel didn't know what they were until I told him - he thought they were Pacman!). I don't usually make boy cookies - I tend to gravitate towards the girly cookie cutters, but I couldn't resist adding the Starwars ships to my collection. Joel was quite impressed when I was able to list off the names of the ships (thanks Google)! The robot wafer-paper cookies were made as a birthday gift a few months back.

Thanksgiving is only a week away, which means there is going to be a lot of baking with harvest spices! I am super excited! Aren't you?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tea for Two... and Two for Tea

TeacupThis past weekend, I hosted my first bridal shower... Boy was I not anticipating the amount of work that has to go into planning. There's the venue, the guest list, the menu, games, favours and so much more to think about! Thankfully the shower was for my best friend, Ashley (my baking side-kick and roommate), she is not fussy about things... Me on the other hand, like things just so.

We decided to have a tea-party themed shower, because Ashley loves tea! She and I scoured the local thrift shops for the prettiest, most dainty, English teacups we could find. The teacups - coupled with my mom's teapots and silver serving ware, the shower turned out to be a beautiful sight.

Dessert Table

Food TableThere were about 30 women who came to support Ashley and lots of them were generous, bringing tons and tons of desserts! I am so thankful, because I was not sure if there was going to be enough dessert. *Pictured above are the desserts I made, along with some yummy European pastries from my friend's bake shoppe. I made tea-inspired sugar cookies, coconut macaroons, ginger molasses cookies, Scottish shortbread cookies, coconut cream pie and apple cinnamon cupcakes*. As well we served sandwiches with all kinds of teas and home-roasted flavoured coffees.

All in all, I think the shower was a success! I would like to give a BIG thanks to my mom, for all her hard work, planning, running around and all of the beautiful fresh flower arrangements.

Ashley and Kaila

Friday, September 23, 2011

Real Women of Philadelphia Featured Post

This just in: THE BIG NEWS that was promised to you yesterday! Remember the video I entered into the Real Women of Philadelphia contest? If you don't, you can relive my embarrassment here (I look silly on camera). Well, Elise Copps-Smith, a host at Real Women of Philadelphia has been gracious enough to write a feature post about Goodies 2 Choose on their website and Internet community.

If you haven't heard about this online community - emphasis on the word community, you should check it out. Women are encouraging each other everyday, as they exchange life stories, helpful hints and recipes - all while they bond over a mutual love of cooking/baking and of course Philadelphia cream cheese.

I am so thankful for this opportunity, to share with more people something that I love to do!

If you are interested in reading the article click here or to read the full-length interview click here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Happy Birthday!

To those of you goodies who have a birthday in September - Happy Birthday! It's a great month to have a birthday (mine is the 15th). Last week I made this cake for my best friend's mom's birthday! Mrs. Wolin's favourite colour and mine happen to be the same - purple, so I thought it was a great idea to colour the Italian meringue buttercream so. This chocolate cake was 8" round and super-d-duper tall. But boy, was it de-licious!

Some big new coming up! I am really excited to tell you all, but you will have to wait until tomorrow!!

As well I am hosting a bridal shower this weekend and coming up with some delicious goodies! You'll have to be patient to see what I come up with!