Blackberry Smashed Mojito

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Mmmmmm Mojito’s - I know it’s only Thursday but I can pretend it’s Friday right? So it’s been a long while since I have posted a cocktail recipe and so today I figured all of that should change.

So let's talk Mojitos. I use to think I hated them and that they tasted like toothpaste, but that was before I actually tried one and realized that they don’t taste like toothpaste at all! They are super refreshing and perfect, especially on a hot day. They are always my go-to vacation cocktail, though I do tend to worry about how annoying bartenders think I am when I order one. Maybe it’s because I watch too much Vanderpump Rules and they are either always refusing to make them, or claiming to be out of mint. But so far, I have never actually been refused, so I’ll just keep on ordering and see what happens!

Now, while I classic mojito is great, it also pairs really well with additional flavours - especially blackberries. Plus I love how purple the drink actually becomes, it makes me feel like a kid because I don’t know about you but I rarely drink bright purple beverages any more!

The other great think about this cocktail is that you can make it as sweet or not as sweet as you want. I gave you the option to either use soda water and a little sugar or lemon/lime soda, but you can always mix the two together or, pick up some sparkling limeade and switch it up altogether.

So next time you have a big bundle of mint whip one of these little beauties up and pretend it’s Friday any day of the week!

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prep time 5 minutes

total time 5 minutes

servings 1

Ingredients

4 blackberries

4 mint leaves

1/4 lime

1 tsp sugar (optional)

2 oz white run

soda water or lemon lime soda

Instructions

In a cocktail glass place blackberries, mint leaves and sugar (if using soda water rather than lemon lime soda) - muddle until blackberries are fully broken down. Squeeze in the juice of 1/4 lime then add in white rum, ice, and top with soda water or lemon lime soda. Serve immediately.

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African Peanut Soup

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Creamy curry coconut soup with crunchy peanuts - seriously this soup is epic! I don’t know about you but I think soup is the perfect meal for fall - it’s hearty, warming, and just feels like what you should be eating when the leaves are changing colour.

So this is a recipe that we have been making forever, and I actually should probably give Aaron credit for this recipe because initially, it was his. Since first making this we have made this so many more times and even opted for this over turkey one year at Christmas. That is how much we all love this soup.

The combination of curry powder, crunchy peanut butter and sweet potatoes gives you that perfect savoury/sweet combo all while being super hearty. Plus, it’s full of really good for you ingredients. Sweet potatoes, lean ground turkey and warm earthy spices - I mean seriously I can’t say enough times how good it is!

The other great thing about this soup is it freezes amazingly - I like to make a big batch and pull it out of the freezer for those days when you need something quick and easy.

So next time you’re craving something hearty and delicious whip this up - I promise the flavour combination of the creamy coconut, peanut and curry will meet all your comfort food needs!

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 1 hour

total time 1 hour 20 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

3 tbsp peanut oil

1 tbsp curry powder

1 medium onion

4 garlic cloves

2 large sweet potatoes - cut into 1/2 inch pieces

4 cups chicken stock

1 -28 oz whole tomatoes - quartered

1 lb ground turkey

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

1 can coconut milk

peanuts to garnish

Instructions

In a large stock pot heat 2 tbsp of peanut oil then add in curry powder and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Add in sliced onions and cook stirring occasionally until onions are softened. To the pot add garlic and cook another 1 minute then add in add sweet potatoes, chicken stock and tomatoes. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are very soft

In a frying pan add remaining tablespoon of peanut oil and heat. Add ground turkey and season with salt + pepper - stir occasionally until cooked through.

To the soup add in in the ground turkey, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, peanut butter and coconut milk. Stir to combine then simmer another 20 minutes.

Serve immediately and garnish with peanuts.

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Dirty Chai Sugar Cookies

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Dirty Chai Sugar Cookies - nothing says fall more than that!

I must admit that I have never had a dirty chai - but I have had the cookies and let me tell you, they are sooo delicious!

So if you are like me and have never had a dirty chai, or you are wondering what the heck I’m talking about, it is a chai latte with a shot of espresso. Now, while the coffee is key, there is another important ingredient that helps bring these cookies over the top - pepper! It’s one of those flavours that you can’t necessarily pinpoint, but it brings the overall flavour together.

So cookies are such a delightful little treat that is always the perfect size - just a few bites of deliciousness that hits the spot without being overwhelmingly heavy or sweet. I mean seriously, can you get a much better treat than that? And while a chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies are classic and delicious, sometimes you want something a bit more sophisticated, and that’s where these guys come in. The flavours will delight any adult while not being too out there that kids won’t love them too.

So if fall is in the air and you want something to celebrate that whip these up today - though be warned, you may find yourself highly addicted!

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 12 minutes

total time 32 minutes

servings approx. 30 cookies

Ingredients

1/3 cup coffee

2 3/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 1/2 tsp cinnamon + 1/2 tsp

1 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp all spice

1/4 tsp pepper

1 cup butter softened

1 egg

1/2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup sugar + 1/4 cup

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. In a small saucepan simmer coffee for 5 minutes or until it has reduced by half then set aside and allow to cool. In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup of white sugar and 1/2 tsp on cinnamon and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and pepper.

In the bowl of your stand mixer cream together butter and 1 1/2 cups of sugar then add in egg, vanilla and cooled reduced coffee - beat until fully combined.

To the butter mixture add in the flour 1/3 at a time - stirring until all of the flour is fully mixed into the butter. Scoop out spoonful of dough and roll into a ball then roll into the cinnamon sugar mixture and place on a cookie sheet. Press the tops of the cookies down slightly then bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden brown.

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Extra Creamy Vegan Spicy Cilantro Dip

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It’s Monday and sometimes Mondays call for something extra delicious. This oh-so-creamy Spicy Cilantro Dip has all the flavours you expect in a traditional cheese-filled dip, except it has a surprising ingredient - tofu.

So for the past little while, I have been experimenting with making diary free cheese - and while I have mastered the flavours to make vegan feta, I have certainly not mastered the texture - so while I continue to work on that I have switched to dip!

The great thing about this dip is that it is so easy to make and comes together in under 10 minutes - you are basically throwing everything together in a blender and letting it do all of the work for you. The only thing you need to do is make sure that you stop and scrape down the sides now and then to make sure that it’s all fully incorporated.

So the next time you have a party whip up a batch of this dip and serve it up - I promise vegans and non-vegans will all be in love with it, and you may even have some people fooled about what your sneaky secret ingredient is!

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prep time 5 minutes

blend time 5 minutes

total time 10 minutes

servings approx. 2 cups

Ingredients

15 oz firm tofu

5 oz unrefined coconut oil

1 oz lemon juice

1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 1/2 tsp onion powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 jalapeno

1/2 cup cilantro

Instructions

In a Vitamix or high powered blender combine tofu, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, onion powder and salt. Blend until smooth - scraping down the sides as necessary.

To the blender add in chopped jalapeños and cilantro and blend another 2 minutes or until everything is fully incorporated.

Refrigerate a minimum of 2 hours before serving.

Spiced Pear Scones

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Spiced Pear Scones - nothing says fall more than that if I do say so myself!

So fall is full of pumpkin spice everything - which I love, but sometimes you need to change things up, and I think warm spices and sweet pears are the perfect way to do it.

So, scones are one of my favourite things to make and eat - way better than muffins any day of the week. There is something I find so cozy and delicious about them. It probably all started back in my Starbucks days with their white chocolate blueberry or their infamous pumpkin scone - seriously, there is nothing better than Starbucks pastries.

When I was a kid we were not a scone family but rather more of a biscuit family, and let me say nothing beats a warm tea biscuit right out of the oven with butter and honey - seriously they are soooo good. Now while a plain buttery biscuit is always a winner, sometimes you want something that is packed with flavour, yet still tender and delicious. These spiced pair scones go perfectly with a cup of coffee or tea and can be served for breakfast or a mid-day snack. Any time of the day you want to enjoy these you will be in for a delicious fall treat!

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prep time 50 minutes

cook time 20 minutes

total time 1 hour 10 minutes

servings 8

Ingredients

2 3/4 cups flour

1/3 cup white sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 pear

1/2 cup cold butter

1 tbsp vanilla

1 cup milk + 1 tbsp

Instructions

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.

Slice the pear in 1/2 inch pieces then toss into the flour mixture. Use a cheese grater grate the cold butter into the flour and toss so that it is evenly coated in flour.

To the flour butter mixture pour in the vanilla and cream and stir until combined. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead until the dough just comes together - adding in additional flour as needed.

Take your ball of dough and place it on a parchment lined cooked sheet. Press into a circle about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cut into 8 triangles then gently pull the triangles apart so that they are no longer touching. Place the scones in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400. Remove scones from the freezer then bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool before drizzling with icing.

Icing

3/4 cup icing sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

cream

In a small bowl whisk together icing sugar and cinnamon. Drizzle in a small amount of cream and whisk. Add additional cream until desired consistency is achieved.

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