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Fun Holiday Drinks

winter celebration

Champagne served up with “frozen cranberry” skewers. Fresh cranberries were soaked in sugar water then sprinkled with white sugar to give the frosty look. In this image I was experimenting with bokeh to create a festive holiday spirit.


egg nog

Eggnog served with a touch of brandy. In this photograph I was also experimenting with bokeh to create a festive holiday spirit.


Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate will always be a winter time classic. Jazz up this deliciously rich drink however you wish. In this image I wanted to play around with natural textures to really bring out the feeling of a true northern winter.

Recipe Video: Carrot Cake Pumpkin Patch

Carrot Cake Pumpkin Patch 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Yield: 12 mini pumpkin cupcakes


1 cup (250 mL) flour
1 tsp (5 mL) allspice
1/2 tsp (3 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (3 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) white sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) grated carrot
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/4 cup (60 mL) vegetable oil
1/4 cup (60 mL) walnut pieces

1- 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (60 mL) salted butter, softened
3 cups (750 mL) icing sugar
1/2 tsp (3 mL) vanilla extract
professional grade orange food colouring
12 rosebud chocolates
1/3 cup (80 mL) coarse orange sugar

Cooking directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
  2. Batter: in a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, allspice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together white sugar, brown sugar and eggs. Mix in carrot, pineapple, oil and walnuts.
  4. Stir liquid ingredients into the dry. Scoop the batter into two greased 12 cupped Bundt cupcake pan, 2 tbsp of batter in each cup and bake for 20 minutes. Once baked, allow to cool before icing.
  5. Icing: Using an electric mixer, blend together cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Use orange food colouring to reach your desired shade of orange.
  6. Place one of the Bundt cupcakes upside down on another to form a pumpkin shape, using icing to stick them together. Apply icing to the outside, of the pumpkin. Place a rosebud on top as a “stem” and sprinkle with coarse orange sugar. Continue until all of the mini pumpkin cupcakes have been made.

Recipe Video: Jalapeño Popper Mac N’ Cheese

Jalapeño Popper Mac N’ Cheese

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time:
15 minutes
Yield: Serves 6 sides

3 tbsp (45 mL) butter
2 tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
3-4 jalapeños, seeded and diced
1/4 cup (60 mL) flour
2 cups (500 mL) milk
1/2 tsp (3 mL) ground black pepper
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
2 cups (500 mL) Tex-Mex shredded cheese blend, divided
1/2 cup (125 mL) cream cheese
6 cups (1.5 L) cooked macaroni noodles
1/2 cup (125 mL) panko breadcrumbs

Cooking directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Heat butter and oil in a medium pot over high heat. Add onions and jalapenos and cook for 2 minutes. Add flour and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Lower heat and slowly start adding milk into the flour mixture while continuously whisking. Turn heat back to medium and allow mixture to thicken for 3 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Stir in pepper, salt, nutmeg and  1 ½ cups of the shredded cheese, reserve 1/2 cup for later. Stir in cream cheese. Mix noodles into sauce.
  4. Place Macaroni in an ovenproof cast iron skillet or 2 L casserole dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and remaining cheese over top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the top has been browned.