November 13, 2015

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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I had an idea. I wanted to make carrot cake. Then I had another idea. I wanted to make waffles. Then….the ideas melded together and this happened.

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Carrot Cake Waffles.

Oh and I had a third idea. I needed a cool glaze. So why not do a brown butter vanilla cinnamon one? WHY NOT!

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Do you want to know something? All of these were not such bad ideas UNTIL….I ended up standing guard next to the waffle maker for what seemed like an eternity. The bottom line? When you make a full recipe batter for a carrot cake the result is a sh—tload of waffles. YA. WAAAAAAAAY TOO MANY WAFFLES!

But really? Just look at them. Are they not the cutest thing ever? I made them kinda bite size and then dipped them in that yummolicious glaze. Totally irresistible.

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My husband walked into the kitchen to find me standing beside the Great Wall of Waffles I made and then asked me if there are 100 people coming for breakfast. Such a wise guy.

To be honest, he was right….what was I going to do with all these waffles besides take pictures of them?

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Plan A. Take them to the office.

Great plan until I forgot to take them to work with me the next day.

Plan B. Remember to take them to work with me.

How to remember to take them to work? Stick your keys on top of the bag and then forget where you put your keys.

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And what about these leaves? Here’s the truth. You know what I’m like when there are flowers and leaves in abundance in my neighbourhood.

I looked outside BEFORE I made a 100 waffles and saw this↓

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Then I went a little closer and saw this↓

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Now. Keep in mind that these are located in the yard behind ours. So technically they DON’T belong to ME. So really, I had to steal them. Uh…borrow them. Okay steal them. I started pulling them off quickly and held them tightly in my hands. But….there wasn’t enough. Greedy eh? I ran inside, found a small box and filled it with as many leaves as I could. Then I had a thought. I was actually doing my neighbour a huge favour. Why? Well. Now he doesn’t have to rake them when they hit the ground in a week. G-d I’m so helpful.

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I can’t decide whether this looks fallish or Canadianesque. Either way, I can never LEAF anything alone.

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For the Carrot Cake Waffles

1¼ cup all purpose or whole wheat flour
2½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups finely shredded carrots
2 tablespoons maple syrup, honey or agave
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1⅓ cups low-fat plain greek yogurt
For the Brown Butter Cinnamon Yogurt Glaze

6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 of 1 stick)
1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons greek yogurt (I used plain)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat your waffle iron.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt.
In a separate large bowl, stir together carrots, maple syrup, butter, vanilla and eggs until well combined. Slowly stir in yogurt. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
Spray waffle iron generously with nonstick cooking spray then about 1 cup of the batter in to the iron and spread out a bit to the sides. Cook waffles for 3 to 4 minutes or how ever long your waffle maker instructions direct.
While the waffles are cooking make your glaze.
Add butter to a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until butter has melted and begins to brown and brown specks appear; the process usually takes 3 to 5 minutes. Keep swirling the pan and swirling and swirling The key to brown butter is to keep it BROWN and not let the specks turn black. This means you have burnt the butter and that’s not ideal.
After butter is browned nicely, transfer to a heat safe dish.
Whisk in the icing sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and yogurt until smooth. Add additional icing sugar if the mixture is too thin. I added another 2 – 3 tablespoons until it looked JUST right.
Either dip one half of the waffles in the glaze or just simply pour over them. Serve warm.

See ya next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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  1. sam-c

    I was going to pin this and then I realized there wasn’t a recipe! LOL. they look tasty and pretty though. Have a good weekend!

  2. Seri

    WOOPS! GREAT catch!! We have added the recipe…..hope you enjoy!

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October 30, 2015

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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I think you already know how I feel about Halloween. I LOVE IT but it makes me kinda sad. Why? Well, it’s like this, and I’m sorry for getting all sappy but…..

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My kids are all grown up now and there are no costumes to make, pillow cases to fill with candy and pumpkins to carve. BOO HOO!

Fear not. I still ensure that Halloween enters my life every year. My office gals and I love to participate in our annual Halloween fundraisers for the United Way. This year we are hosting a table and selling baked goods and silent auction items. Truth be told, I work with some amazing ladies and a few of them are Cannoli Queens. We kill it with those babies every year and raise a ton of money selling them.  Come on…homemade cannoli?  Who can resist?

AND…..I volunteered to make this very special spooky treat – BOO BARK – to add a little Halloween spirit into our fundraising effort.

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How adorable is this? AND LOOK!  I had another reason to use up those candy eyes that I ran around town looking for the other day. In fact, I went back to the store to clear them out just in case I didn’t have enough for the bark.

I’m now considered an EYEBALL hoarder.

Someone please help me. I know there’s a person out there who would see “eye to eye” with me. Ha Ha

As far as I can SEE, these little treats are a hit. You can mix and match your toppings and melting chocolate colours and flavours. It’s super easy to make and LOOK …..when you break it apart your chocolate can look you straight in the eye while you are eating it.

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Brilliant right?

Here’s looking at you kid.

Boo Bark:

4 cups of Melting Chocolates, any flavours (I used dark and milk for the base and orange for the marble effect)
1 tsp vegetable oil
Assorted Candy Toppings (I used Skor Bits, Smarties, Candy Corn and Sprinkles)

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Melt chocolate and oil in microwavable bowl in 30 second increments.
If using a marble effect colored wafer, place in separate bowl with a drop of oil. Melt for 30 second increments in microwave and set aside.
Keep stirring the bowls until the chocolate is fully melted.
Spread onto parchment lined baking sheet.
Dot with marbling color if desired. Use a chopstick or toothpick to design the marbling effect.

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Top with candy and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes to one hour.

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Remove from parchment and break into pieces. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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Happy Halloween!

See ya next week!
debi @simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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October 23, 2015

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Let’s start by discussing the cuteness of these cupcakes? Those bats? I mean really. Getting down to Halloween biz is probably my favorite thing to do. The colours, spookiness, cobwebs and let’s not forget the CANDY….oh come on people!

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These little cupcakes have been driving me “batty” all year long on Pinterest. I have seen a ton of them on there and really wanted to incorporate them onto my favorite dark chocolate cupcake recipe that is most likely as ancient as I am.

And those candy eyes? I ran around on Friday night to 4 stores to find them. The local bulk food store was sold out. The supermarkets were sold out. Clearly there is a shortage of eyeballs in the city and something needs to be done about this.

It was a long week and I’m running around the city looking for EYEBALLS? Now I know that I have completely lost it.

Lo and behold, I found them at the market that was CLOSEST to my house. I have no idea why I didn’t go there in the first place. Sheesh.

So I gathered all my ingredients, baked up these deliciously dark, rich and espresso spiked cupcakes and then it was time to decorate them.

and then…..

I had an idea….which wasn’t such a good one.

First I called in the troops to help. Okay, maybe not the troops. Just one of the troopers. My husband Steve. Who is very very good with a knife and lately MY camera. Now that’s scary.

So here was my idea. I thought hmmmmm, wouldn’t it be cool to make spider webs from melted marshmallows? Well? Wouldn’t it? Uh no.

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Epic Epic and super deduper Epic Fail. I tried to string it all over the cupcakes and this was the result. Those are my hands by the way. I had him shoot this overhead for an “instructional effect”, which as you can see wasn’t really instructional except for the fact that the real spiderwebs looks better than the marshmallow ones, so we moved on to the bats.

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He carefully cut those bat wings, broke a few, ate a few, dropped a few, but in the end I had 24 beautiful wingies to put on these cupcakes. Then it was time to “glue” on the eyes, but first I needed to open the package. Quick question. Why do they make packages IMPOSSIBLE TO OPEN? WHY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I tried to be calm but ended up wielding a pair of scissors in my hand and had to cut around the edge of the packaging to break it open. This, of course, resulted in flying eyeballs everywhere. Did I need this? No.

Now I had to set the mood. Out came all my Halloween decorations, including my spiderwebs which became a wonderful attraction for the cat. Those webs ended up sticking to everything in sight including her. Not my idea of a fun time.


It was worth it and these cupcakes? Well, my mom said they are the best she’s ever eaten and she knows her stuff.

Oh, and I didn’t stop with these cupcakes. I made another easy Halloween treat that can’t be beat because I had leftover eyeballs that I needed to use in something. Going to share it with you next week. Stay tuned.

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The cupcakes

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup hot milk or boiling water (the milk will give this a really rich texture)
⅓ cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
½ teaspoon instant espresso powder or regular instant is fine too
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into small cubes
2/3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 x-large eggs

The Dark Chocolate Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, 2 sticks (softened)
⅔ cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa
2½ cups icing sugar
1 tbls pure vanilla extract
¼ cup + 2 tbls milk, almond, soy or water (room temperature)

12 Oreo cookies – and a bunch more because you are going to break some like we did!
1 tube of white icing for the “glue” – you can make your own but this was way easier to pipe on.
Store bought candy eyes

How to:

For the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 12 cup muffin tin or spray a non-stick one very well. (or a 24 mini muffin tin will work too)
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder together in a bowl. Set aside.
In another bowl whisk hot milk or boiling water, cocoa powder and espresso powder together until dissolved. Set aside.
Beat butter and sugar until well combined.
Add vanilla and egg to the butter/sugar mix and continue to beat until well combined and slightly creamy.

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Add the flour mix to the butter mix and beat until well combined (Here’s trick for this treat, quickly mix in the flour mixture with a wooden spoon or spatula first, then continue to beat with the stand mixer. That way you don’t have the entire mixture explode all over your counter AND your head like I have done MANY TIMES!
Add the chocolate/water mix and continue to beat until well combined.
Distribute the batter among muffin tins. I used an ice cream scoop and it was really the best thing ever. (The batter will make 12 regular size cupcakes or 24 minis).

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Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
For the Buttercream Icing
In a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
While the butter is mixing, sift together the powder sugar and cocoa powder.
Once the butter is light and fluffy, add the sifted cocoa and sugar with vanilla extract, then with 2-3 tbls of milk at a time.
Check for consistency and if needed add in the additional 2 tbls of milk. You want a nice spreadable icing, not too stiff or loose.
Place in piping bag if desired and decorate cooled cupcakes.

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To assemble:
Twist open cookies and scrape out the white filling
Cut or break each cookie in half, these are your two wings (each cookie will give you 4 wings
Stick two wings onto each cupcake.
Dot a bit of icing onto the back of the candy eyes, stick them on and you’re done!

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See ya next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating


xx, Debi
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October 22, 2015



SO…I love to cook.  I said cook. Not bake. You know why? Because you have to really pay attention when you bake…and I have the attention span of a flea.


Back when I first moved to NYC I hired a chef as a gift for friends who just got married. I found this fabulous chef, Melanie Underwood, through the Institute of Culinary Education. Mel was such a wonderful cook and the gift was such a hit, my husband later hired her for me as a gift! Teach your wife to cook…CLEVER!


Mel came into my kitchen and taught me to make chimmichurri skirt steak, the best spinach dip ever, roast chicken and tons of other dishes that I consistently make time and time again.

A few months ago Mel told me she was coming out with a cheesecake cook book: Making Artisan Cheesecake. I was not surprised at all…and couldn’t have been happier to hear this!


I immediately got myself a copy and dove in there.

But remember….I don’t bake.

So you’re seeing the pretty pictures that Abby took for me along my first cheesecake journey here (and when I say first I’m referring to cheesecake from scratch…because I am a pro at the recipe you can follow off a Philadelphia cream cheese package).

I tried the mini cheesecakes from Mel’s cookbook and boy did they ever BOMB!  Why did they bomb you ask?  Well because I thought I could take the measurements into my own hands and not fully pay attention to the recipe Melanie so clearly wrote in her book…WRONG SERI! WRONG! You need to follow EXACTLY! I used too much peanut butter and too many peanuts (because I loveeeee peanuts) and guess what? The cheesecakes were too salty! And dense. Didn’t work.  BOMB!


I don’t give up though. I see where I went wrong and I am going to try this again. But this time…I’m inviting you to a cheesecake challenge.

We will be giving away a prize pack with an Anolon non-stick spring form pan and a copy of Melanie’s cheesecake cookbook to one lucky winner!

Here’s how to play:

Tell us about your baking fail or your best baking success! OR show us! We would love to see what you have made.  Please submit photos to our Facebook page or Instagram by using the hashtag #LMPCheesecake.

Melanie will be the judge and will select her favorite story or photo as the winner which we will announce this Monday along with a photo of my 2nd attempt at making cheesecake….

cheesecake challenge

The bake off has officially begun….


xx, Seri
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Party conversation
  1. Sandy Chiang

    entered in Instagram! Love that mini cheese cake idea. Will have to give that a try

  2. Robin Chesser

    I entered my baking success…my first apple pie this Fall on instagram …raechef.

  3. Gail Magnani

    I won a cake-baking contest a few years ago – so exciting!

  4. Gail Magnani

    I won a cake baking contest a few years ago – exciting!

  5. Jennifer Essad

    thank you for this chance, I love to bake from scratch, the last cheesecake I made was in August I made Key Lime, my all time favorite cheesecake! I posted a picture of 2 of my recent successes

  6. Ellen

    I won 2 best of show awards for cake and pie this year at the CA state fair, but I think this checkerboard cake with Italian buttercream has been my greatest baking success so far. Thanks for letting us share and for this lovely giveaway!

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October 16, 2015

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

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Guess what month it is? Not only is it October but it’s also 💕Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Do you know someone that has been touched by this disease? Unfortunately, I know too many people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Luckily, those that I know have been treated and are survivors which I’m so grateful for. YAY!!

When Woolwich Dairy contacted me last week to see if I would help spread the word on their fundraising campaign for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation I immediately said YES.

They have even manufactured a special Chevrai Raspberry Goat Cheese that is PINK!

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I love PINK💕!!

I dreamt about what I could put that beautiful #pinkgoatcheese in and I was stumped. I didn’t want to make the standard goat cheese appetizers and quiches so I went with a sweet favourite of mine – CHEESECAKE!

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I developed this standard cheesecake recipe and incorporated the goat cheese along with cream cheese to make this yummy decadent dessert.

And as usual I have a story about the making of this cheesecake.

I had a hair appointment booked for 1 p.m. because tonight I’m celebrating a very special lady’s birthday who just happens to be a 💕survivor. At 11 a.m. I was standing my kitchen with all the ingredients laid out before me. What I didn’t realize was this. Although the cake was ready to go into the oven at 11:49 a.m. it needed  to bake for 70+ minutes. Cheesecakes are normally in for a long time at a low temperature to bake. I also wanted to do a water bath technique for this cake so that it wouldn’t crack. Don’t you hate when cakes crack? This method is pretty much the way to avoid that. Soooooo …..I put the cake in …..completely didn’t do my math and when I looked at the clock it was now 12:40 p.m. and I needed to leave for the hairdresser!

One problem. There was 20 minutes left of baking time on this baby. Here’s what I did. My husband walked in (just in time) and was supposed to only stay for 5 minutes. I made him babysit the cake until the timer went off then instructed him to close the heat for the oven and LEAVE THE CAKE inside.

Then I called my friend Eve to confirm that this would be something that wouldn’t wreck the cake. She confirmed and said that it would most likely be an ideal scenario to leave it in the warm oven.


You want the truth? SHE WAS RIGHT!

I came home to find a cheesecake that was done to perfection.

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Honestly? I’m thinking this could be the way I make cheesecake from here on in. Book a haircut in between the process and you’re all set. On another note, you may notice that the cake is notsopink so I decided to add in a punch of colour to the topping. You wanna know how? I put my crazy hat on and grabbed two jars of mixed coloured sprinkles and non pareils, sat down at my kitchen table with my husband and picked out ALL THE PINK ones from the mix. Nuts right? Well, you gotta do what you gotta do when it comes to making things “Pretty in Pink”. When I finally separated the pink ones, I threw them into my mini coffee bean grinder (which my husband said WOULD NOT WORK BUT I LOVE PROVING HIM WRONG) and gave it a good whirly whirl. The result was this awesome pink powder which I used to sprinkle over the cheesecake. STUN..NING!

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💕This post and recipe  is dedicated to my awesome friend Francine.


Pink Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Golden Oreo Cookie Crust

For the Crust
24 Golden Oreo cookies – finely crushed
¼ cup unsalted butter – melted
For the Filling
1 cup 35% whipping cream, divided
1 pkg (8 oz/250 g) cream cheese, softened
4 pkgs (4 oz/113 g each) Woolwich Dairy Chevrai Raspberry Goat Cheese
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tbls cornstarch
4 eggs
3 tsps good quality vanilla extract
1 tbls fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup of pink candy sprinkles or non pareils – ground to powder
Fresh raspberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease a 9-inch springform pan, wrap outside of pan with heavy aluminum foil and set aside.
Finely crush the cookies in a food processor, add melted butter and blend until it’s all moistened.

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Press crumb mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes.

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Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool while making the filling.
For the Filling:
In the bowl of your standmixer or a large bowl using an electric mixer, whip 1/2 cup of the whipping cream to stiff peaks; set aside.
In a separate large bowl, beat cream cheese and goat cheese until fluffy.
Beat in sugar and cornstarch until smooth.
Beat in eggs, one at a time, until blended. Beat in remaining unwhipped cream, vanilla and lemon juice. Fold in whipped cream.

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Pour over baked crust.
Reduce temperature to 300°F (150°C). Boil water in a kettle. Prepare a large baking dish for your water bath.
Place cake pan in dish and fill 1 inch up the side of pan with hot water.
Bake for about 70 min or until centre is almost set. (I let it set in the oven for almost 2 hours to set without the heat on and it came out PERFECT!)
Remove from oven and run a knife around edge of pan.
Let cool in pan on a rack. Refrigerate until chilled, for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Garnish with pink sugar topping and fresh berries if desired.

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See ya next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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  1. Cathy sassard

    I want to follow this blog

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