recipe: valentine’s day jam jam cookies

This recipe is inspired by my Aunt who used to make these all the time when I was a little girl. They have always been one of my favourite cookies, and one that was fun and easy to make with Remy. We will be taking them to her preschool Valentine’s Day party this week!

Jam Jam Cookies

Makes 1 dozen

Ingredients:

¾ cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp artificial vanilla
2 large eggs
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup jam, raspberry or strawberry

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well incorporated.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Then pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Mix well. Batter should be slightly sticky but also firm enough to roll out and cut and still keep its shape.

3. Put cookie batter on a floured surface. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out into a large, smooth surface about 0.5 cm thick. Cut out circles using either a cookie cutter or cup. Then place onto a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and flip over when slightly cooled. Spread jam onto the undersides when still warm, then sandwich two cookies together. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy these simple and sweet cookies!

Happy Valentine’s Day! <3<3

Emory

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acreage renovation: remy & wilder’s new bedroom

I am going to preface this post with a question. Do your children have their own bedroom, or do they share with their siblings?

For most of Remy’s short life, she has had a room to herself. We had hoped that when we moved from our last home that we would be moving into one with multiple bedrooms. While our current house does have four bedrooms, only two are on each level. That means in order to sleep on the same floor as our young children, they have to sleep in the same room.

Remy and Wilder’s bedroom was actually only Remy’s room up until two weeks ago. After spending weeks making it over, we finally transferred Wilder’s crib into her room, thus making it a shared room for a boy and girl. Not an easy design feat! This is how we did it …

We initially began with a blank beige slate. See above. These pictures were ones that I saved from the MLS listing for our home. Once we moved in we only added a few necessities.

With neutral walls, a white bed, white rug, white dresser, and no window treatments (we embarrassingly hung a blanket in her window for months), we had so many options to make their bedroom into whatever theme we wanted to! Because the bedroom is not an overly large one, I knew that I wanted mostly white walls in order for it to appear bigger than it really was. That said, Remy’s last bedroom had four white walls and even though I loved it, I did want a bit of a change. Cue the accent wall!

With a mental image of three white walls, we now had to come up with one colour that would be bold yet gender neutral, yet childlike, and be able to tie the entire room together. The only problem was that Wilder’s crib was blue. That immediately left blue out of the equation. Yellow? Too dated? Grey? Not playful enough. Black? Already in our room. Green? Yes! Now to decide on a shade of green.

After bringing home paint swatches, Geoffrey and I fell in love with a medium-dark green. However, right before going to Home Depot to buy it, I felt like it might be too dark. I chickened out at the last minute and instead purchased a light green shade called Frosted Jade that I felt would still compliment a blue crib. I was wrong.

I came home, put up two coats, and hated it. It was a pretty colour in itself but on their wall looked institutional. Wanting to salvage what I had done, I painted a Harringbone pattern overtop of the green that was highly inspired by a Swedish wallpaper company that I followed on Instagram. I thought that it looked better, but was more suited for a modern condo bedroom and not the rural room that I was going for. Frustrated, I went to bed.

After talking it over with Geoff, the next morning we took one of Wilder’s crib rails into my favourite Home Hardware store with a mission to pick out the darkest green that we could find. He promised to repaint it for me since I had felt like a complete failure. We found the perfect shade that had hints of blue in it called Atlantic Waves. We played in the store for a bit, then bought it, and left. Then we came home, and Geoff started painting. It was done by the end of the day. It looked beautiful.

Now that their wall colour was finally sorted, I had the fun task of buying items to complete their room! I turned to Amazon for most of it. There I purchased white curtains and a gold curtain rod, pony bedding for Remy’s bed, and seagrass baskets for their books (that haven’t yet arrived). Everything was very inexpensive.

I also bought the cutest white floating shelf from JYSK that we hung between their beds. It was on sale for $7.99.

I brought in the antique storage unit that we were using in our laundry room as a boot rack. I believe that it used to be in my mother’s hair salon and was a bright shade of red. I scrubbed it down, painted it white, purchased five wood crates from Michael’s, and put their toys on it. I love the way it looks so much, and it certainly has a lot of memories attached to it.

We were finally able to hang all of the pictures and artwork that I had been storing in the closet for the past year! Remy’s side has her three sonogram photos, a three-month photo, a picture of her as a toddler from my pregnancy reveal, a “be you” sign from a Canadian company, and a ceramic elephant vase that I have had for years.

Wilder’s side has his two sonogram photos, a baptism plaque that was given to him by my in-laws, a deer head that had belonged to my Gedo, and a “wild & free” banner that I had purchased while pregnant with him (and not knowing that he was a boy that we eventually named Wilder).

We decided to reuse the rug, shelving, and mirror that was in Remy’s room prior to this makeover. I also didn’t buy a new light fixture because I can’t decide on whether to hang a modern ceiling fan or a trendy bamboo light. Which one would you choose?

All in all, we spent less than $200 dollars turning this girl’s bedroom into a shared boy and girl room. Everything in their room holds so much sentiment and meaning (including the toddler handprints on the mirror). It certainly was a labour of love, from both Geoff and myself. I honestly love the way it turned out, and I know that Remy and Wilder enjoy sharing it together as well!

Emory

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recipe: vegan chocolate zucchini cake

Enjoy diving into this decadent dessert that is not all that bad for your health! Hello New Year and new healthy body!

Ingredients:

(For the cake)
½ cup canola oil
¾ cup almond (or any dairy-free) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 cup zucchini, shredded
dairy-free butter, to grease

(For the icing)
1 ¼ cup icing sugar
2 tbsp dairy-free butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp almond milk (or more depending on desired consistency)
½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8”x8” (or thereabouts) baking dish and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the oil, milk, vanilla extract, and sugar. Mix well.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold in the wet ingredients, adding the zucchini last. Stir until just combined.

4. Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Add all ingredients to a medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until melted. Stir often and do not burn.

6. Once the cake has cooled thoroughly, top with the dairy-free icing. Yum!

Emory

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recipe: vegetarian stuffed peppers

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 bell peppers, hollowed out
1 tbsp vegetable (or any) oil
½ cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup white rice, cooked
½ can black beans
½ tomato, chopped
½ tsp garlic salt
¼ tsp salt
1 cup (any) cheese, shredded

Steps:

1. Begin cooking the rice in a separate saucepan or rice cooker.

2. Remove the tops of the bell peppers. Then in a large pot of boiling water, cook the peppers until softened (approximately 4 minutes). Drain and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat oil in skillet. Cook the onions and tomatoes over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring only occasionally. Remove from heat. Add the rice, garlic salt, and salt and mix well.

4. Fill the peppers halfway with the rice mixture. Add shredded cheese. Fill the rest with rice and top off with cheese. Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until cheese has melted. Remove, cool slightly, and eat!

Emory

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happy new year

With the New Year being just around the corner, I wanted to wish you all a happy 2020!

I don’t remember being particularly excited about the new year growing up. However, ever since having children, I consider it to be almost a magical time in our lives. It’s a symbol of new beginnings, of promise, and of what is to come. Over the last few years, I also consider it a time to start over and to become a better wife, mother, and person in general.

This year we have made three big resolutions to work on as a family rather than going it alone. With the busyness of our everyday lives, I feel like we sometimes are letting the temporary chaos get to us and we aren’t always putting our best foot forward. I want my children to grow up in the happiest and most loving household that I can give them.

Over this last year I have come to the harsh realization that just because people are part of your family, it doesn’t mean that they will love or even like you. Your parents, former stepparents, or whoever might fight tooth and nail to not be part of your life, and no amount of invites or tears or even showing up on their doorstep will make them be present or even care. Sometimes you will hear firsthand that they hate you, which is what you might need to finally move on. I’ve been told that it is just better to cut those hateful people out of your life- even if it hurts and it is the last thing that you wish to do. But making yourself happy is key to living a happier life, for yourself and your family.

This year we are all about love. We will surround ourselves with those family members who want to be in our lives and embrace them with open arms. This is Geoffrey and I making a conscious effort to become even better parents and better spouses. Our children will never question their worth or our love for them. Never. That’s the best gift that I can think to give them. (I also firmly believe that if we better ourselves then we are bettering the world!)

That said, we also have less emotional and more physical things that we are looking forward to this year. Remy and Wilder are getting a new bedroom in January, we are getting a new kitchen in March/April, and my brother and his family are moving back to BC! That means we can still go and visit them, my dad, and stepmom every summer. I am looking forward to this new tradition.

Do you have any resolutions? Did you accomplish what you wanted to over this last year? What lessons did you learn? I would love to hear your thoughts below.

Have a safe and fun New Years Eve and see you all next year!

Emory

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  • Welcome, friends! My name is Emory. I am a wife and mother to three (two on earth and one in heaven). This is our life on the Canadian prairies.
    email: helloscarlettblog@outlook.com

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