I met some friends in Midland last week for some late afternoon beverages and treats. We went to Ciboulette Et Cie, which has a wide choice of in-house baked goods to try. This was only my second visit to Ciboulette (I posted about my first visit here), and I have to say I love their food. Plus I always wanted to try a homemade marshmallow (see below) and they had a few on display to choose from.

My friend Jen ordered a chai latte and a single-serving Baileys cheesecake. She commented that the latte was the best one she'd ever had.


Up close Baileys cheesecake. (The Baileys is an Irish cream flavour).


My friend Bobby got a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie. It was as big as a small plate, so you know it was good.


I ordered a mint tea (with local mint, apparently), and a homemade mint marshmallow that was dipped in dark chocolate.


The marshmallow was awkward to eat (it was really big!), but don't worry, I managed. I might even try making them at home sometime. Especially love the chocolate dip. Nice touch.


Posted by Jen B On Friday, March 27, 2015 No comments
Gary has a strong love of sweets. She loves caramel corn, banana bread, muffins, and pancakes, to name just a few. I don't let her have these treats because (a) they're mine, and (b) she doesn't brush her teeth. I have never known a cat to like so many baked goods, and I have a theory that she is actually after the butter contained in them. This week she was very interested in buttercream frosting.

As I frosted my Mint Chocolate Swirl Cupcakes, Gary was sitting close by, eyeing any potential for the buttercream to become hers.


She does this adorable thing where she puts one paw on the table, a clear indicator of her intention, but also a sign of self control, as she holds herself back from getting entirely on the table (she knows she is not allowed on the table). But just her paw? Just a paw is fine, right?


Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, March 25, 2015 4 comments

I was craving mint and chocolate so I made some chocolate cupcakes and swirled chocolate and peppermint buttercream for the decoration. I'd heard about the technique a few years ago, but never tried it because it requires three piping bags, and I don't usually have that many on hand. I got an 8-pack of them for Christmas, so now was a great time to give them a go.

I did a Youtube search and found a quick video that shows the basics of how to swirl the icing.


I made a small batch of butter cream frosting and divided it into two bowls, so I could make one half chocolate and the other mint. For the chocolate I added cocoa powder and vanilla, and for the mint I added green food colouring and peppermint extract. I ended up with about a cup of each flavour. The best part about making two kinds of icing is that there are twice as many beaters/bowls/and spoons to lick. I highly recommend swirl cupcakes for this bonus alone.

I put each colour in a piping bag and tied an elastic around the top.


Then I cut off the tips of the piping bags, and placed them side by side in a third piping bag, with a coupler and a 1M tip.


Then I just decorated like normal and got a very fun result.


The mint and the chocolate were amazing in swirl form. One bite was minty chocolate, another bite was chocolatey mint. Really fantastic. I would definitely try the swirl method again and am already thinking about fun flavour/colour combos for next time.

Posted by Jen B On Monday, March 23, 2015 4 comments
I have quite a few contenders for my favourite candy, though I don't think I could ever pick just one, as there are so many candies I enjoy. Red licorice, cherry nibs, sweet tarts, caramels, and suckers (to name a few) are all in my top ten. Chocolate bars are in a different category, as when I think of candy, I think of "penny candy", or what I knew as "nickle candy." Candies you could purchase individually at the corner store and come home with a dollar's worth of goodies in a cute little paper bag. The best.

Edging pretty close to my number one fave (these are in my top three for sure), is sour gummy worms. I love gummy. I love sour. And putting them together brings me a whole lot of joy. There are several varieties of sour gummy worms, of various sizes and colours, but I tend to enjoy them all equally. As long as the gummy isn't too hard to chew, I am in treat paradise.


Posted by Jen B On Friday, March 20, 2015 3 comments
I had leftover chunky yarn from making slippers and wanted something quick and easy to knit. Though a Ravelry search I found the perfect pattern for a quick knit hat. The pattern used chunky yarn (which is thick yarn) and size 15mm needles (which are big needles), so the whole project took less than two hours to make. It is a light winter hat, so perfect for these mild winter days, as we head towards spring.


I used a pom pom maker that my grandma gave me to make the pom pom. It turned out great!

Posted by Jen B On Wednesday, March 18, 2015 6 comments
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