This Valentine’s Day popcorn is a sweet treat everyone will enjoy snacking on. It’s a fun snack to send to school for a Valentine’s party or to put in treat bags to give with Valentines cards (like these cute candy hearts ones!). It just takes a few minutes to whip up a batch (perfect for that ‘oops I forgot’ moment the night before 😉 : all you have to do is melt some white chocolate and choose your favourite sweets to mix in. I’ve even got some cute printable tags you can download and attach to treat bags for handing out on February 14! Who’s going to be organized for that class party? YOU ARE. Nice work mama, now let’s get to the good stuff…
5 cups popcorn (Tip: pop it a little ahead of time so it has time to cool)
1 cup white chocolate for melting
Valentine’s candies of choice (For mine I went with Smarties and candy hearts, but for kids who are gluten free I picked up some jelly beans to mix in in place of the Smarties).
1. Melt the white chocolate and stir to remove chunks. (I tried melting the chocolate two ways: on the stove top in a double boiler and in the microwave. For some reason I had better luck in the microwave).
2.When melted, drizzle the white chocolate over the popcorn.
3.Cover with the sprinkles and allow to cool. Tip: To speed this step up pop in the freezer for 10 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened.
4.Break up the popcorn mix into bight-sized pieces and pour into a large mixing bowl. Toss in the smarties and candy hearts and blend until evenly distributed throughout the popcorn. If eating right away, pop into some bowls and enjoy. If making treat bags check out step 5.
5.If you want to send the popcorn to school with Valentines, pour into your bag or container of choice and attach one of these cute Valentines tags!
You know when you’re running out the door or packing lunches and wish you had a healthy snack to grab? These little muffin bites are perfect for that aaaaaaand for using up all those ripes bananas you’ve got hanging out in your freezer (it’s embarrassing how many I have in mine!!! I just don’t like the idea of throwing them out so I end up with half my freezer loaded with bananas waiting for me to get in the baking mood). These little bites pack a nutritional punch and are perfect for an on-the-go snack or as a healthy addition to packed lunches. View Post
Who else is whipping up lots of hot chocolate right now? Ari’s two favourite things right now are tea parties and hot chocolate (with lots of marshmallows), and she got me thinking about the idea of a hot chocolate station. They’re a fun addition to holiday parties or to have set up with everything you need for your favourite warm bevvies when you come in out of the cold (you can also add tea, coffee, maybe some Irish cream or Kahlua…;) ). I love the idea of setting up a station, but if you’re limited for space you can go vertical (use a tiered stand!) or stock a basket or container with your favourite essentials and tuck onto a shelf or into a cupboard and pull it out when you have guests coming over- or when you’re craving a hot sweet drink! 😉
Another twist on this idea is to put together a gift basket that includes everything you need for a deluxe hot chocolate- think a yummy mix, marshmallows (the gourmet mallows from Marsh&Mallow are the best), sprinkles, and some pretty cups – or add essentials to a cute togo cup like this one). I just realized I didn’t include a seasonal essential- candy canes!!!- but hopefully this post gives you some ideas. Side note: how cute with this be to have set up on Christmas for when you’re opening gifts? Add a few snacks and you’ve got a cute buffet!
I’ve included a few ideas from some of my favourite local shops in this post (see # 1, 2, 5, 6, and 9) + some easy to shop online ideas.Have you ever set up a hot chocolate or beverage station? What did you include?
If you love eggnog, this mocktail is for you! I’ve been playing around with my milk frother for hot and cold drinks (it’s great for topping coffee) and I’ve been wanting to create a yummy drink that’s perfect for holiday parties. I didn’t add alcohol to mine, but you definitely could for a spiked version. These ombre eggnog mocktails get their colour from a natural food colouring, and the layers on top come from frothed milk (when frothed it will sit on top of the eggnog rather than mixing in) and whipped cream. Top with some cute sprinkles or crushed candy canes and add a pretty swizzle stick or party straw for a fun drink for your holiday parties. Cheers friends!
Ingredients (per drink)
1 cup eggnog (for a spiked version swap in Irish cream or add some rum to the eggnog) 😉
1/2 cup milk
Natural food colouring (I love this one by b’Lure)*
*Read more about this natural food colouring following the recipe
1.(If you prefer a chilled drink skip this step). Pour the eggnog into the milk frother and press the heat/ froth button. Once ready, pour into serving glass and repeat to make the desired amount of drinks (tip: this would also make a cute shot- style drink). Add a few drops of food colouring and blend until desired colour is reached (I used about 5- 6 drops of the b’Lure flower extract per drink).
2.Rinse out the frother and remove any eggnog residue and repeat the frothing step with the milk. Pour the frothed milk on top of each drink.
3.Top your mocktail with your favourite toppings and add a party straw + candy cane or swizzle stick for a fun finishing touch.
About the natural food colouring I used for this recipe:
A friend recommended the b’Lure food colouring while we were shopping in a health food store about a month ago and I was excited to try it out (note: this post is not sponsored and I wasn’t provided this product in exchange for having it be included; it’s a genuine recommendation I’m sharing with readers in hopes it will be something they’re interested in trying themselves). I’m always looking to try natural options and have been having fun experimenting with this flower extract for the past month. I’ve been adding it to cocktails and drinks so far, and will be testing it out in holiday baking this year as well. If you’re looking for a natural blue/ green food colouring, this is a great option. When you see all the pretty photos on Instagram and Pinterest with a green/ blue colour, this is likely what has been used. Here’s some info about it:
-made with 100% natural flower extract from the Butterfly Pea Flower to give a bright blue colour
-has a light sweet flavour, but won’t overpower the flavours you want to taste
– more acidity in the drink/ recipe = a more purple colour
-great for cocktails, frosting/ icing, baking, desserts, and other cooking/ baking
Have you ever tried brisket? This cut of beef is amazing for a variety of meals and ideal for slow cooking. If you want a ‘set it and forget it’ kind of dinner, this is about as easy and delicious as it gets (this was my first time and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out). While I made this meal with Fall comfort food in mind, it really would be delicious year- round. I’ve teamed up again with Heritage Meats (see why I’ve shopped with them for years and check out delicious bison burgers in this post) to share a recipe idea that’s crowd- pleasing and pretty much fool- proof. This Langley store is my go- to for quality, organic meats and other specialty and gourmet foods (you an also read more about them below) and this brisket is proof of why they’re a popular spot for locals looking for quality options for everything from meats and deli items to gluten free and other specialty foods.
This smoky brisket is juicy and tender (I’m hoping to try pulled beef sandwiches next) and makes for a satisfying meal. You can enjoy it day- of, or serve it the next day (see my tip on why to give the 2- day option a try near the end of the recipe instructions). I served mine with rosemary mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies, but the combinations are endless. I’m looking forward to trying more recipes with this cut of beef and hope you’ll love adding this recipe to your Fall menu!
3- 3 1/2 lb cut of brisket
1 tsp each:
6- 8 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp liquid smoke
Start by creating a foil liner for your slow cooker (I just folded two large pieces together) and mixing the dry rub together.
2. Coat the entire surface area of the meat with the dry rub, working it in with your fingers.
Here’s how it looks after the dry rub has been applied. Those streaks of fat in the meat help make for a juicy and flavourful finished product! More on that juice below.
3. Crush the garlic and pour half of the liquid smoke and crushed garlic in the bottom of the foil liner (this will help flavour the bottom side of the meat as it cooks). Pour the other half of the liquid smoke and crushed garlic on the top side of the meat and rub it in.
4. Place the brisket in the foil liner and wrap up the top to seal in the heat. Slow cook on low for 6- 8 hours or high for 3- 4 hours (I opted for high since I started this recipe mid day and was it was as juicy and tender as ever).
5. When cooked you can either serve immediately or allow to cool in the crock pot insert and refrigerate overnight. Tip: by allowing the brisket to cool in the insert overnight you can skim off the fat from the liquid that seeped out during the cooking process (none of the liquid in the photos was added, that’s all from the brisket- yum!). Leave the remaining liquid that’s full of flavour in the slow cooker to keep the brisket juicy while you re- heat it and use it to make a delicious gravy. This is purely preference and not a necessary step, but I recommend giving it a try when you have the time.
I served mine with rosemary mashed potatoes and fresh carrots and beans from our garden. I glazed them with a simple seasoning of olive oil, salt and pepperand put them under the broiler to cook.For the gravy I simply added 1 tsp of organic corn starch to some warm water and mixed it in with the juices left over from the cooking process.
Don’t have a slow cooker or wanting to upgrade? Here are 4 options to check out:
Located in Langley, BC, Heritage Meats specializes in gourmet, high- quality, and specialty foods including gluten- free, organic, and premium quality meats. Since opening in 2003, it’s become a destination, offering a selection of everything from deli items, pantry staples, and meat to gourmet and specialty items (including exotic meats!) hard to find in most stores. All of the meat and poultry carried in the store is non- medicated- no hormones, antibiotics, or animal by- products- and the friendly staff can help you with any questions you may have.
In addition to the exotic meats mentioned in this post, they also carry a selection of other quality meat and deli items:
– Beef (non medicated Alberta beef, dry aged for flavour and tenderness)
– Chicken (local, non medicated, air chilled)
– Pork (local, non medicated, free run)
– Sausages (made in house, no fillers, gluten free)
– Entrees (made in house by the shop’s chef, with a large selection of gluten free options)
To learn more about the store and it’s product offerings, visit the Heritage Meats website and find them on social media: