February 26, 2013

I Won: Keurig Mini Plus

 I hinted in my last post that I had won something. I actually won something from a contest! One day, out of the blue, I decided to head over to the Melitta website. I saw a "contest" link and entered into it without much of a thought. Fast forward a couple weeks later, there's an E-mail congradulating me on my win. Whoo hoo!

Take a look at what arrived!

Here's everything that was in the box: the Keurig MINI Plus single cup brewing system and six packages of Melitta's new coffee cups.



 The machine is red, shiny, chrome and beautiful. Small yet sturdy and just...simply gorgeous.

 As mentioned before, six packages of coffee were included: Dark roast, 100% Colombian, Costa Rican, Guatemalan, Traditional and European Deluxe. Each pack contains 12 coffee cups, which means Melitta was super generous in providing my family and I to 72 cups of java!



A single cup of coffee brewed in minutes! Press the power button, fill with water, add coffee cup, press brew. I love it.

Right now, we're really enjoying the European Deluxe variety.




After the coffee has brewed, the coffee cup is taken out and tossed away but after doing a little research, I've found that you can actually re-use the coffee cup. Just take away the top, dump used grinds, rinse and let dry. When you want to make a cup of coffee, just fill the filter 3/4 of the way up with coffee ground fine and top with a piece of foil. Just make sure you crimp the sides well, then use as you would any other coffee/ K-cup. 

I didn't need to, but I tried this method and it worked marvelously! Not only will it save you from buying special K-cups at ridiculous prices, you'll be able to customize blends and add in flavoured coffee and coffee that isn't even manufactuered into cup-ettes!

These new coffee cups are made with less plastic (it's mostly filter) compared to other K-Cups, making these newly designed ones friendlier to the environment. It's nice to know that by taking an extra 5 seconds, these cups are reusable. Of course, one could always purchase a My K-Cup, but from what I've read it doesn't brew a very rich coffee due to the filter letting water through much too quickly. But the option is there!

Over all, we're really enjoying this machine. Everybody here drinks coffee at different times of the day, so it's nice to be able to brew a personalized cup when we want it! It's a no fuss, 1, 2, 3 kind of brewing system that's user friendly. 

Thank you to Melitta for hosting the contest and providing us with many cups of coffee and thank you to Keurig for the brewing machine!


P.S. It's sitting on my counter top all pretty and bright, right beside my mini Melitta espresso machine. I constantly eye this little espresso machine debating on which one to use. Why you ask? 

Two words. Milk & frother. 
I love steaming milk and making the most luxurious, silky and sweet micro foam. When I use the Keurig Mini Plus, I miss this. So there's always a little debate going on inside my head when it's coffee time. Why add cold milk to my coffee when I can add micro foam and hot milk especially when I can brew coffee (and tea!) in my espresso machine as well?


February 23, 2013

Cupcakes for My Valentine


Classic chocolate and vanilla cupcakes for Valentines day! Chocolate cake with light and fluffy vanilla buttercream for Valentines Day. Now, I know I'm a little behind in posting about these but I've been totally back logged with photos and blogging. I'm trying to play catch up! Plus, these were too good to not post about. 

I normally just do the baking, share the rest and I'll maybe eat one cupcake to myself, but with these I ate like, five. These were just decadent enough, without being overly sweet or heavy. The frosting was divine. 

Did I mention that these are totally vegan?!
You wouldn't even be able to tell. :)

Cute little red and white polka dot mini cupcake papers from Ikea! Aren't they adorable?




So...I accidentally pulled these babies out 3 minutes too early. Apparently the cupcake I poked with a skewer, the biggest one might I add, lied to me. LIED!! It was cooked, but the rest weren't. Boo! That, is why there are holes and sunken middles. 

I quickly stuck them back in the oven and although some were still sunken, they ended up cooked. Let's just think of those sink holes as a extra little space for buttercream!



I decided to dazzle these up with a little bit of edible luster dust/glitter, because who doesn't like shiny and gold?



In addition to luxurious gold dust, I added little miniature heart sprinkles. 'Cause you know, these are for Valentines Day, remember. Plus, I like the little bit of colour they add. Fun!

There were mini cupcakes and regular standard ones. I ate one big one and four minis. Telling you this makes me feel a little less guilty, because I know, I KNOW you were judging me!! Ha! ;)


These cakelets were gifted to my relatives, my family and shared with Richard and his family. Did everyone (celebrating) have a nice Valentines Day? I sure did, I hope you did too! xo

Cake recipe here. This is my go to chocolate cake, vegan or not. I actually got it from Rich's mum's stash of recipes!
Frosting recipe is a secret, for now.

February 22, 2013

Cat in a Box









 Have I mentioned that I won something the other day? I haven't, have I? It's bright red, shiny and came with other goodies too! I'll give you a hint: caffeine. 

Tank didn't care for my little surprise and took to it's delivery box instead. What's what cat's and boxes? Probably reminds her of her childhood, or where she was born...lol Silly little thing.

Happy Friday everybody! Enjoy your weekend!

Family Day at Lick's

 This past Monday was Family day here in Ontario and to bring everyone together, Lick's offered 50¢ burgers! Included were their homeburgers, natureburgers (vegan) and gobblers (turkey).

 I'd normally order their homeburger, but I wanted to try their turkey burger this time around. I had mine with lettuce, hot peppers, onions, guk sauce and barbeque sauce and it was really good!

The patty was juicy and flavourful. Although it was charred a little more than I'd prefer, it was good enough for me to want to order it again.


Chicken Linguini Alfredo

Pretty sure the title says it all, but I should add that this is one of my lazy girl dinners.



 The pasta is from Catelli Smart, sauce is made by Classico (four cheese) and all I did was add some chopped spinach and some cooked chicken breast. Fast and delicious, paired with a side of salad. :)

February 21, 2013

Military Men

This instantly puts a smile on my face. I don't even like this song, but I love this video. Glad to see troops over in Afghanistan having a little fun! 
See the original here.

DIY: Cat Nip Toys

 Remeber this little clown (dog?) I picked up not too long ago? No? I picked him up from Ikea for a mere quarter knowing exactly what I'd be transforming him into. Poor guy had no idea what he was in for! 

Tank goes through toys like no body's business. They get chewed up, torn apart, slobbered on and basically abused to the point where I just have to toss them out. Luckily, making cat nip toys is super easy and cheap! Way cheaper than buying from the pet store. 

Read on!


Things you'll need: 
  • Pet friendly toy (nothing with buttons or things your cat can pull off and choke on!)
  • Cat nip
  • Needle and thread
  • Sissors or seam ripper
  • Small spoon
Start by opening a seam somewhere in the back or side of your toy and taking most of the batting out. Leave a thin layer as "cushioning".

 Take out your fresh cat nip.

 Spoon a bunch into the cavity of the toy, making sure to push it into all parts including the head and limbs etc.

 Really jam it in there! Don't be shy.
 Your cat will thank you.

 Now that it's pretty much compeltely stuffed, take a little of that batting you removed earlier and push it on top of the cat nip to secure everything and to add more plushness.

 Then, sew it up! I used a double thread folded over to make one super thick thread, but you can do whatever you'd like. 

Just make sure it's sewn together! Cleaning up loose cat nip off the floor sucks. I don't have carpet, but cleaning it off that would suck even more. Either way your cat will probably be rolling all over it while you're trying to clean and unless you bust out the vaccum, she's not going anywhere! 

I speak from experience.

 All done! It took just 5 minutes.

Here's little miss doing her thing! <3

February 20, 2013

Pizza Night at Home

 That's Rich's hand, photo bombing. Take note of the used napkin that's in it, hovering over my dinner. Yummy!
We love making pizza at home. I love my Kitchen Aid mixer as it makes pizza dough completely effortless. I think it's safe to say that 85% of the time I use it, I use it to make some kind of dough whether it be for pizza or bread or crackers. It's nice to not have to kneed with my hands for 15 minutes!

When it comes to pizza dough, I tend to make it a few days in advance. I like letting it cold rise in the fridge for about 2 or 3 days to develop flavour and whatever else it does. It always turns out perfect. No crust is ever left behind! The crispier the better, but I also like it with a tiny bit of chew. 


 As much as I'd like to share with you a recipe, I always make pizza dough without one. It involves using basic ingredients like flour, yeast, water, sugar olive oil and salt but the ratios vary depending on the weather and my mood. Sometimes I'll even add a couple cloves of minced garlic or herbs to give it a little OOMPH.

 This time around, I made my pizza with a kale pesto and no tomato sauce. Toppings I added were caramelized onions, pepperoni, cherry tomatoes and a mozzarella/cheddar blend cheese. It was all the cheese I could find and in my world any cheese is good cheese, with the exception of the ones with maggots in it.

I suggest you not read or watch anything about this delicacy if you are about to chow down!
You're welcome. 

Below is the pizza that Rich made! It's got ground chick'n, a tonne of meatless pepperoni, caramelized onions, cherry tomatoes on a base of tomato basil sauce.

 It was packed with protein and he nearly ate the entire thing! I guess it was just that good. :)


He wasn't alone though, I plowed through half of my pie saving the other half for left overs. Have I mentioned that I enjoy reheated pizza more than it's fresh counterpart? Something about double baking that makes it so much yummier! 

I've got to add pizza stone to my wish list. But dammit, there's no space for one!! 

About

Hi, I'm Janetta from Toronto. I cook, bake and make big messes. I photograph nearly everything and those photos will most likely end up being posted here. I've got a little black cat named Tank, who's super cute and a little bit nosy. You'll see a lot of photos of her too!

Contact me at: jubesandtank@gmail.com

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