Cheddar Bacon Quick Bread

It’s been so long since I’ve posted last that I actually feel refreshed and energized to get back into the swing of things. Around my neck of the woods the weather has really cooled down and Fall is definitely around the corner. My kids pointed out yesterday the leaves are changing on the trees…..arrgghhh! But, with Fall comes comfort foods like soups, casseroles, turkey dinners and, of course, homemade bread. This Cheddar Bacon Quick Bread takes no time to mix together and bakes up nice and moist!

Cheddar Bacon Quick Bread | A Sweet Baker

For me there’s nothing better than warm bread out of the oven slathered with butter.  I’m the type of person that can’t wait for the bread to cool down.  I have to slice off the end of the bread and eat it right away.  I’m also the type of person who won’t let anyone else do it, though!  Hey, if I made it I get first dibs!

Cheddar Bacon Quick Bread | A Sweet Baker

For this bread I really find that the type of cheese you use makes all the difference.  The original recipe called for Colby cheese but I wanted a cheese that had a strong flavor so that you could really taste it in the bread.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Gay Lea Foods makes their own line of hard cheeses called Ivanhoe Cheese.  I used the Old Sharpe Cheddar because I knew the robust flavour and velvety-smooth texture would pair well with the bacon.

Cheddar Bacon Quick Bread | A Sweet Baker

While this bread was baking it smelled up the whole house and my two boys couldn’t wait for me to take it out of the oven.  I actually held back and waited for this bread to cool down for about an hour before I sliced into it.  I even left the house so there was no temptation to cut into it while it was hot.  If I had to wait so did everyone else!

Cheddar Bacon Quick Bread | A Sweet Baker

Speaking of waiting, I could wait a little bit longer for school to arrive.  Our kids start this coming Tuesday and I feel summer went by way too fast.  There’s still stuff on our do-list that I haven’t checked off.  Either way, this bread would make some pretty awesome sandwiches or a tasty snack for some hungry back-to-school kids.  I promise!

Cheddar Bacon Quick Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 loaf

A moist, delicious bread perfect for those back-to-school sandwiches or an after-school snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt (or omit if your bacon is really salty)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups Ivanhoe Old Shape Cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1/2 lb.)
  • 8-10 slices of cooked bacon, chopped

Instructions

Begin by baking/frying your bacon as you normally would, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, let cool and then chop.
Preheat oven to 350 F and grease a 9"X5" loaf pan with butter and set aside.
In a medium sized mixing bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
In a small bowl whisk together milk, olive oil and egg. Slowly add wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.
Gently fold in the shredded cheese and bacon. Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan, evening out the batter with the back of the spoon.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes, then remove from pan to cool completely.
Enjoy!
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Recipe adapted from Oprah

 

“Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

 

 

Cherry Upside-down Cake + Two Giveaways!

It’s cherry season where I live and that means we’ve been stuffing our faces with fresh cherries!

I’ve never made an upside-down cake before so when I had two bags of cherries in my fridge I set out to make this Cherry Upside-down Cake.  I’m sure glad I did because it was A-MAZ-ING!

Cherry Upside-down Cake | A Sweet Baker

The funny thing about this cake is that I actually forgot to put in the egg whites, which the original recipe called for, but I think this cake turned out perfectly without them.  If you like a more of a dense, moist cake then this is probably the way it should be made.  If you want more of a light, airy cake then you might want to add in the egg whites as per the original recipe.

Cherry Upside-down Cake | A Sweet Baker

The juices from the cherries mixed with the butter and brown sugar mixture seeped down into the cake to make it extra moist and added the perfect amount of sweetness.  Adding Gay Lea’s Real Whipped Cream on top makes this dessert one you’ll have a hard time sharing.  I like a big dollop of whipped cream with each bite….but that’s just me, you can do whatever you like!

Cherry Upside-down Cake | A Sweet BakerCherry Upside-down Cake | A Sweet Baker

If you want some more inspiration for your Gay Lea Whipped Cream, how about making this Strawberry Shortcake or these Mojito Shortbread Trifles.  It really doesn’t matter what dessert you add whipped cream to it will be pretty darn good.  That’s just what whipped cream does to desserts…..it makes them even better!

Now on to those two giveaways!  

The first giveaway is for a Perfect Patio Entertaining Kit valued at $250!  The kit will contain BBQ Utensils, Cornhole Game, 4 Plates, 4 Side Plates, Big Bowl, Tray, Place Mats, and a Picnic Basket!  You must be 18 years of age or older and be a resident of Canada (excluding Quebec).  You can enter through multiple blogs that are participating but only one winner will be chosen. Contest closes July 27th, 2014.  Good luck!
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The second giveaway is for 12 free product coupons from Gay Lea Foods.  The coupons will expire October 2014 so make sure you use them up before then.  You must be 18 years of age or older and be a resident of Canada (excluding Quebec).  You can enter through multiple blogs that are participating but only one winner from each blog (for a total of 12 winners) will be chosen. You can only win once.  Contest closes July 27th, 2014.  Good luck!

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cherry Upside-down Cake
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
Topping:
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¾ brown sugar
  • 25 or so fresh cherries, pitted and halved
Cake:
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter or margarine, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • ½ cup whole milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of a 10" round cake pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar, stirring constantly, until brown sugar is dissolved. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Place halved cherries, face down, over the brown sugar mixtures until it completely covered. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, add sugar and butter and mix until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time until mixed well. Add in vanilla and almond extract.
  5. Mix in the dry ingredients alternating with the milk until everything is smooth.
  6. Spoon batter evenly over cherries and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven a let cake sit on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the edge of the cake pan to loosen the cake. Place platter on top of pan and invert onto platter. Let it sit for about 5 minutes to allow all the juices to seep into the cake.
  8. Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of Gay Lea's Whipped Cream on top!
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.com

 

“Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

 

Honey Teriyaki BBQ Chicken with Broccoli Almond Stir Fry

Can you believe that summer is FINALLY here?  My family has been looking forward to summer ever since…….well, let’s be honest, last September!  There’s no better time to hang out with friends, go on road trips or have a delicious BBQ with family.  One of our favourite dishes to do on the BBQ is this Honey Teriyaki BBQ Chicken with Broccoli Almond Stir Fry!

Honey Teriyaki BBQ Chicken with Broccoli Almond Stir Fry | A Sweet Baker

I’m sure for most people they’re happy that BBQ season is finally here but in our household every day is BBQ season as my husband has the BBQ fired up all year long.  He keeps it on our deck near the patio door and shovels off all the snow in the winter time so he can use every night if we want!

Even though we use our BBQ year round we never seem to get tired of the flavour it gives our food.  In the middle of the winter we look forward to tasting some of my husbands creations since the BBQ quickly reminds us all of the summertime!

Honey Teriyaki BBQ Chicken | A Sweet  BakerBroccoli Almond Stir Fry | A Sweet Baker

The night we had this dinner we invited my parents over for dinner.  It was a cool night so we didn’t get to enjoy eating out on the deck but it didn’t matter because we were all too busy enjoying the delicious flavours of this meal.  It was something my husband whipped up last minute but it will definitely be a keeper in our house!  There wasn’t any food left over!

Two of the main ingredients in these dishes are Blue Dragon’s Honey Teriyaki Stir Fry Sauce and their Broccoli Beef Stir Fry Sauce. Whenever we feel like cooking something Asian in our house we always turn to Blue Dragon products because of the variety and taste of their products.

If you want to try some of their products as well, you can!  Simply visit the Blue Dragon Facebook page to enter the East Made Easy Giveaway they have going on.  There are 5 prize packs available to be won, each loaded with Blue Dragon products!

Honey Teriyaki BBQ Chicken with Broccoli Almond Stir Fry | A Sweet Baker

I hope your BBQ season and summer has started out as good as mine!

Enjoy and good luck with the giveaway!

Honey Teriyaki BBQ Chicken with Broccoli Almond Stir Fry
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
Honey Teriyaki BBQ Chicken:
  • 8 Bone-in Chicken Thighs with skin
  • 1 pkg. Blue Dragon Honey Teriyaki Stir Fry Sauce
  • 4 Tbsp. Blue Dragon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Blue Dragon Hoisin Sauce
Broccoli Beef Stir Fry:
  • 2 Tbsp. Blue Dragon Sesame Oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
  • 1 pkg. Blue Dragon Broccoli Beef Stir Fry Sauce
Instructions
Honey Teriyaki BBQ Chicken:
  1. In a medium sized bowl, mix all ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Cook chicken on the BBQ until centre no longer shows any pink or until a meat thermometer inserted into the biggest part of the thigh reaches at least 165 F.
  3. Once the chicken is cooked, take one thigh at a time and coat with the mixture in the bowl. Cook for about 5 mintues on each side or until the skin turns crispy.
Broccoli Almond Stir Fry:
  1. In a wok, heat up the sesame oil on medium-high heat until hot and slowly add the sliced onion. Cook onions for about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the almonds and toss to coat in the sesame oil and onion mixture. Cook for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the broccoli florets and continue to stir for about 4-5 minutes. You don't want to broccoli to get overcooked!
  4. Add the Broccoli Beef Stir Fry Sauce and stir to coat all ingredients and until the sauce is hot.
  5. Remove wok from heat and enjoy!

 

 

“Disclosure: I am part of the Blue Dragon Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

Sour Cream Dill Pickle Dip #GayLeaFoods

Now that summer’s in full swing it seems like the kids can’t get enough of things to snack on.  I always have fresh veggies and fruit on hand but lately we’ve all been tempted by a not-so-healthy snack – chips!   I’m a flavoured chip kinda girl but on occasion I like to indulge in plain chips with a tasty dip on the side.  This Sour Cream Dill Pickle Dip turned out to be my family’s favourite!

Sour Cream Dill Pickle Dip | A Sweet Baker

A couple months ago my husband brought home Gay Lea’s Gold Premium Sour Cream from the grocery store.  Thinking it was just like any other sour cream I opened it up to stir it but was immediately surprised.  It was so thick and creamy that once I stirred it I had to dip my spoon in to try it.  That’s when I was sold. The taste was unbelievable!

Ever since that first time I tried it I’ve been making more baked potatoes lately, probably as an excuse to eat this sour cream.  This week I decided to make a dip with it and I’m sure glad I did!

Sour Cream Dill Pickle Dip  | A Sweet Baker

You can also serve this dip with carrots, cucumbers, peppers or your favourite vegetable and you’ve got yourself a great snack.  It’s nice and thick so it holds on well to those veggies or chips.  Whatever you choose to eat it with you won’t regret it….it’ll be your new favourite dip too!

For more recipes using Gay Lea’s Gold Premium Sour Cream don’t forget to check out their recipe pages on their website!

Sour Cream Dill Pickle Dip
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 - 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup Gay Lea Gold Premium Sour Cream
  • 1 cup chopped dill pickle
  • ½ cup shredded old cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
  • freshly ground pepper
  • dill pickle juice to taste and to get desired consistency
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, add cream cheese and sour cream and blend untii creamy and combined.
  2. Add the dill pickles, cheese, worcestershire sauce and pepper and mix well.
  3. Slowly add dill pickle juice, while mixer is running, until you get desired consistency.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow it thicken.
  5. Serve with chips or veggies and enjoy!

“Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.”

S’mores Chex Mix (Gluten Free) #SummerWithChex

Yeah!!!  It’s officially S’more Season and I can’t wait to eat my share of S’mores and S’more-inspired treats (like this S’mores Chex Mix) this summer!

S'mores Chex Mix | A Sweet Baker

There’s nothing  better than sitting around a campfire and toasting up marshmallows and squishing them between a piece of chocolate and two cookies!  Who wouldn’t love that?   But, if you can’t have a fire in your backyard then I’ve got the perfect alternative – S’mores Chex Mix!   It’s the perfect snack for summer and the perfect on-the-go snack for summer road trips.  It’s got all the goodness of marshmallows, chocolate and the crunch from the Rice Chex and Honey Nut Chex cereals, both which happen to be gluten-free and are a healthier alternative to other snack food.  It’s quick and easy to put together so you’ll be snacking in no time!

S'mores Chex Mix | A Sweet Baker

I also love this time of year when I can open up the windows and smell the freshly cut grass blow in. This past weekend I cleaned every window in our house, inside and out.  It’s one more thing I can check off my list of things I’d like to get done before I’m off for the summer.  I’d rather be outside enjoying the sunshine with my kiddies than spending my time inside cleaning the house.  My list is getting shorter and if everything doesn’t get done…..oh well!

S'mores Chex Mix | A Sweet Baker

One thing I’ve learned from owning a house for the past 13 years is that there’s always something that can be done.  It doesn’t matter if you own a fixer-upper or a brand-new house, you’ll always find something that can be fixed, touched up, re-done or cleaned up. The key is to know when to stop!  For us, our kids have been a good way of getting us to put things into perspective and walk away.  The mess, renovations, or broken things will always be there tomorrow.

Enjoy summer while you can!

 

S'mores Chex Mix (Gluten Free)
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups Rice Chex Cereal
  • 4 cups Honey Nut Chex Cereal
  • 2 cups chocolate chips, divided
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, add 4 cups Rice Chex cereal and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, add 1 cup chocolate chips and microwave in 30 second intervals until melted, stirring often to avoid overcooking.
  3. Pour chocolate mixture over the Rice Chex cereal and stir well to coat. Pour this mixture into a large resealable plastic bag and pour the ½ cup icing sugar inside. Seal up bag and shake until all the cereal is coated in icing sugar.
  4. Pour this mixture into a large, airtight container and add the Honey Nut Chex cereal, the remaining 1 cup chocolate chips and the mini marshmallows.
  5. Stir to mix all the ingredients.
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

“Disclosure:  I am part of the Summer With Chex Blogger Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.”