Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies - JanessaMann.Com

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies Inspired by Canadian Living

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies - JanessaMann.Com

These phenomenal brownies are based off of Canadian Living’s rhubarb cream cheese brownies. We weren’t able to find any rhubarb at any store we went to when we planned on baking these, so I substituted it with raspberries and thickened them to a compote. SO GOOD.

Ingredients:

Cream cheese swirl:

  • Half package (250 g) softened cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

Brownies:

  • 170 g/ 6 oz milk chocolate (either cut up the blocks or use chocolate chips)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • pinch salt

Raspberry swirl:

  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies - JanessaMann.Com

Instructions:

  1. Prep a parchment-lined 9-inch square pan. I didn’t have one, so I used an 11×5 inch pan, and that was a good amount in it.
  2. In saucepan, cook the raspberries and sugar over medium heat. It’ll take about 15 minutes for most of the liquid to be cooked out. You’ll want it to be solid enough to swirl into the brownies.
    1. Set aside to cool, about another 15 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, beat cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Beat in egg yolk and cornstarch.
  4. In a saucepan, melt chocolate and butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. You can also do this in the microwave. Let cool for 10 minutes
  5. With the chocolate and butter mixture, whisk in sugar and vanilla, then eggs, 1 at a time. Mix in the flour and salt.
  6. Alternate between spooning the fruit mixture and cream cheese mixture on top. Use a knife to swirl it.
  7. Bake at 350*F for about 40-45 minutes.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies - JanessaMann.Com

Yup, they’re phenomenal. SOOOOOO good. We brought them to Nic’s aunt and uncle’s for dinner, and they loved them so much they wanted us to leave some for them to eat the next day. Score.

Summer Berry Popsicles - JanessaMann.Com

Summer Berry Popsicles

Summer Berry Popsicles - JanessaMann.Com

In summer, sometimes you want a popsicle. A delicious, homemade popsicle. Enter the summer berry popsicle, which has three ingredients: frozen (or fresh) berries, Greek yogurt, and agave syrup to sweeten. I’m excited to try other variations of these once this container is done!

Summer Berry Popsicles - JanessaMann.Com

You can pick up popsicle trays from lots of stores. Some of them are pretty bad, others are great. My first set was from Loblaws, but even with running it under hot water, you couldn’t get the popsicle out on the stick. The current set is from IKEA, and I like it a lot more.

Summer Berry Popsicles - JanessaMann.Com
Step 1: Blend the berries

I blended up 1 cup of frozen berries in my Magic Bullet.

Summer Berry Popsicles - JanessaMann.Com
Step 2: Mix in Greek yogurt and agave

Mix in 1/2-1 cup Greek yogurt, and 1 tbsp agave syrup (or honey) to sweeten if desired.

Summer Berry Popsicles - JanessaMann.Com
Step 3: Fill popsicle tray and freeze

If you’re making thicker popsicles like these, it’s helpful to bang the tray down so the air bubbles leave. Freeze, and enjoy! Yummmmmmmm

Food Friday: Butternut Squash Crockpot Soup & Easy, Homemade Bread

Butternut Squash Crockpot Soup & Easy, Homemade Bread - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Last week there was a very rainy, cold day, so I knew I had to make something warm. Nic had brought home a butternut squash, and I found a super easy crockpot recipe, so that was an easy decision-crockpots make things very convenient. I also hadn’t baked any bread since moving to Toronto, so I figured that was the day! The recipe I used makes one loaf pan, perfect for the two of us. 
Butternut Squash Crockpot Soup & Easy, Homemade Bread - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Ingredients for the bread:
3/4 cup warm water (you don’t want to kill the yeast if it’s too hot)
1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1/2 cup milk
About 3 cups flour
Step 1:
In a bowl of warm water, dissolve the yeast. If it starts to get gloopy, it’s working!
Butternut Squash Crockpot Soup & Easy, Homemade Bread - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Step 2:
In a large bowl, combine salt, sugar, shortening, and milk.
Butternut Squash Crockpot Soup & Easy, Homemade Bread - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Step 3:
Slowly combine 2 cups of flour into the bowl of dried goods.

Butternut Squash Crockpot Soup & Easy, Homemade Bread - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Step 4:
On a floured surface (or in your stand mixer) knead the dough until it is soft, not sticky.
Getting the right texture for the dough can be challenging. For years I baked bread and kneaded it by hand, so I now can tell just by looking at it if it’ll turn out right.
You want the dough to be sticky to the touch, but easily pull off the sides of your bowl.

Step 5:
Butter a large bowl, and put the dough inside to rise for an hour.
If you have a sunny windowsill, cover the dough and place it there so the warmth will help activate the yeast. Another option is to put it in the oven with the light on.

Step 6:
Punch down the dough, and transfer to your buttered loaf pan. Let it rise for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven at 375*F.
“Score” with 3 cuts across the top, and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes.
This time that I baked it, it was almost done around 30 minutes, so I tented it with foil to make sure the outside stayed the same, but the inside baked more.

Butternut Squash Crockpot Soup & Easy, Homemade Bread - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Time to start the soup! Check out the original post on Gimme Some Oven.

Soup ingredients:
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced
1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
The original recipe also uses 1 diced white onion (I hadn’t realized we had run out!), fresh sage, and coconut milk

Step 1:
Peel, de-seed, and dice the butternut squash. Prep the rest of the fruits and vegetables.

Butternut Squash Crockpot Soup & Easy, Homemade Bread - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

Step 2:
Add everything into the crockpot and stir. Cook the soup on low for 6-8 hours, or 3-4 hours on high.

Step 3:
Once the soup is cooked and the ingredients are softened, blend them up. If you’re using an immersion blender, make sure the sides of the container are much taller than the height of the soup! We’re lucky enough to own a Blendtec, which can blend up the hot soup all in one go.

Butternut Squash Crockpot Soup & Easy, Homemade Bread - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca
Fresh bread and delicious soup is always a good decision on a cold day! You can add coconut milk, regular milk, or sour cream to the soup when eating it to get a little more creaminess. 
Butternut Squash Crockpot Soup & Easy, Homemade Bread - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.Ca

I already miss that bread!

Food Friday: Easy & Fast Brandy Pear Tart

Easy & Fast Brandy Pear Tart - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca
A year ago I bought myself Martha Stewart’s Pies & Tarts book, and have loved baking everything possible. I’ve kind of fallen off baking quite as much, because Nic and I have no willpower when it comes to baked goods. If it’s there, we’ll eat it all. Right away. Oops. 
A lot of people get initimidated making pastry, and it does take practice, but this pear tart is incredibly easy: you’re not even making traditional pastry, so it’s a lot less finicky.
Ingredients:
2 ounces cream cheese (about 1/2 cup)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (about 1/4 cup, if you only have salted butter, don’t add the salt later)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, and any necessary for dusting
1/2 cup white sugar, and any for dusting
1/8 teaspoon salt (unless you used salted butter)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons brandy (Martha suggests pear brandy, I used regular, and I’ve also used amaretto in the past which was delicious)
1 ripe, firm pear
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Easy & Fast Brandy Pear Tart - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

1. Preheat the oven to 400*F.
2. Combine cream cheese and butter in a food processor, stand mixer, or in a bowl to use with a hand mixer.
3. Add the flour, 1/4 cup the sugar, salt, and process until combined. Dough will stay sticky, so don’t be worried.
4. Line a rimmed baking sheet, pie, or tart plate with parchment paper. Put some flour on your fingers and pat the dough in, it will be pretty sticky and messy.

Easy & Fast Brandy Pear Tart - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

5. Halve pear lengthwise, core, and cut into thin slices. Keep the skin on.
6. In a bowl, mix 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, and brandy.
7. Soak the pear slices in the mixture. When you’re plating it, shake the excess liquid off.

Easy & Fast Brandy Pear Tart - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca
8. Arrange the pear slices around the outer edge in whichever pattern you like, and then add another layer until you’ve placed all pear slices.
9. Sprinkle tart with 1 tablespoon white sugar and the cinnamon. 
10. Bake until golden, 25-30 minutes, making sure you rotate it halfway through to get an even bake.
Easy & Fast Brandy Pear Tart - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca
Yes, this pear tart is as delicious as it looks. We did finish it in one go. Oops. 
You can enjoy it warm or at room temperature. 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread Loaf

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread Loaf - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca
One of my favourite recipes is this pumpkin banana bread loaf. I’m not sure where I found the original version, but since then I’ve played around with it and love baking it for people.  
Ingredients (makes 2 9×5 loaves):
  •  3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 bananas
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Nuts (optional)
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread Loaf - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca
1) Mix all the dry ingredients together: flour, baking soda, salt, and spices, in a medium-sized bowl. 
Pre-heat the oven to 350*F.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread Loaf - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread Loaf - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca
Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl- I used my KitchenAid for this part. 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread Loaf - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

2) Mash the bananas with a spoon, for, or mixer.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread Loaf - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

3) Beat in the softened butter, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, and vanilla.
4) Slowly add in the dry ingredients, followed by the chocolate chips and/or nuts. 

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread Loaf - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca
 5) Pour the mixture into two 9×5 loaf pans. I used parchment paper because I was bringing one of the loaves to my friend’s house that night. Make sure it’s all smoothed out.
6) Bake at 350*F for about an hour, rotating the pans throughout. Check the loaves with a clean knife since it’ll stay pretty moist for a while.
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Banana Bread Loaf - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.ca

Oooohmygoodness, I love this loaf. Every time people try it, they fall in love. For good reason.

My Typical Breakfast: Protein Pancakes and Grapefruit

I have two usual breakfasts, oatmeal or protein pancakes.
I discovered these banana egg pancakes through Blogilates back in 2nd or 3rd year university, and have loved making them ever since. Somehow with one banana to one egg, it tastes like pancake and not scrambled eggs.

Recipe:
1 banana
1 egg
Optional: chia seeds, cinnamon, anything else delicious

Mash the banana and egg together. I like to use my Magic Bullet for minimal effort.
Heat margarine or butter in the pan at medium heat.
Pour the pancake(s) onto the pan and cook until browned and solid, then flip.

I top mine with peanut butter or jam.

DIY Matcha Green Tea Lattes

DIY Matcha Green Tea Lattes - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.com
For Christmas I asked for matcha green tea. I’ve always wanted to get some, but it’s more expensive than usual tea, so it wasn’t in the budget. Nic’s parents bought me Grand Cru Matcha from DavidsTea, They also got me a bamboo spoon, whisk, and a bowl from Teavana to prepare it in. 
DIY Matcha Green Tea Lattes - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.com
Grand Cru Matcha, bamboo scoop, whisk, and bowl

In my year before university, I worked full-time at Starbucks. I got very frustrated cleaning the container for the matcha powder, so I decided I needed to test out my nemesis (it poofs powder everywhere if you’re not careful). It turned out to be delicious!

Matcha is essentially the espresso of green tea: it’s super highly concentrated, so with just hot water it can be pretty overwhelming if you’re not a plain green tea drinker. Some people sweeten it with agave or honey, but I like it the way it is.

There are lots of health benefits to matcha, so check them out!

DIY Matcha Green Tea Lattes - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.com

To make the green tea latte, start with a couple scoops of matcha, and mix it with a tablespoon or so of hot water.

DIY Matcha Green Tea Lattes - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.com

Whisk the matcha and hot water well, to remove any chunks, and get that beaaaautiful froth going. You can use a regular whisk, of course, but since I got this adorable bamboo one, I had to use it.

DIY Matcha Green Tea Lattes - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.com

I heat up the amount of milk that I want on the stove or in the microwave, and gently pour it into the frothed tea.

DIY Matcha Green Tea Lattes - TheCraftyMann.Blogspot.com

YUM!
Obviously you can pour it into a real mug and drink it from there, but I love how beautiful this bowl is, so I just drink it straight from there.
Let me know if you’ve tried them before or make them at home!