Category Archives: Food & Recipes

Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon & Black Tea

Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I started experimenting with hot toddy recipes for the first time when the weather turned cold. They’ve been so nice to come home to after taking the puppy for her evening walk on the weekends. Although less traditional, I like to use bourbon over whiskey, rye or brandy because there’s just something so Christmas-y about bourbon to me. I also use black tea instead of plain, old, hot water for added flavour and fortitude.

Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Ingredients

  • 1½ oz bourbon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • fresh brewed black tea
  • cinnamon stick

For Garnish:

  • lemon slice
  • 3 whole cloves

Method

  1. Add bourbon, honey and lemon juice to an 8 oz mug.
  2. Top up with hot black tea.
  3. Stir well with cinnamon stick. (Serve with or without stick.)
  4. Pierce lemon slice with cloves, slit part way up the middle, and hang over the side of the mug. (I found it easier to pierce before cut and after making a small slit with a paring knife.)

Classic Hot Toddy with Bourbon and Black Tea | Sophster-Toaster Blog

All photos by me.

Harvest Pumpkin & Apple Kong Stuffing Recipe

Harvest Pumpkin & Apple Kong Recipe | Sophster-Toaster Blog

We bought two puppy Kongs for Pepper before we even brought her home. She loved them so much, we knew we would have to upgrade her to standard Kongs when her adult teeth came in. They have been great for teething, crate training, socializing her to the things she didn’t like around the house, or just keeping her busy when we need a break.

She gets a few stuffed Kongs a day as fun snacks to supplement her puppy kibble. I’m allergic to peanut butter, the go-to Kong stuffing staple, so I’ve had to get creative with puppy safe snacks. I usually stuff a couple of Kongs with canned puppy food, banana, yogourt and apples, etc in the morning and pop them in the freezer for later; but some days, she gets a special treat, like this Harvest Pumpkin & Apple Kong.

Harvest Pumpkin & Apple Kong Recipe | Sophster-Toaster Blog Harvest Pumpkin & Apple Kong Recipe | Sophster-Toaster Blog Harvest Pumpkin & Apple Kong Recipe | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Harvest Pumpkin & Apple Kong

Yogurt is stirred into the pumpkin for a creamy seasonal treat. The apple and carrot are cut differently for an interesting texture and more challenging puzzle.

Ingredients

Makes enough filling for one large size Kong Classic.

  • 1 heaped tsp pure canned pumpkin (not seasoned pie filling)
  • 1 heaped tsp plain yogurt (we use 3% m.f.)
  • three thin apple slices, cut into matchsticks
  • three slices of carrot, cubed

Method

  1. mix all ingredients in a small bowl and spoon into Kong
  2. (optional) top with half a Milk-bone treat, for extra pizzazz
  3. (optional) freeze for 1 hour for a longer lasting snack

Harvest Pumpkin & Apple Kong Recipe | Sophster-Toaster Blog

All photos by me.

Boozy Chai Tea & Baileys Ice Cream

Chai Tea & Baileys Ice Cream | Sophster-Toaster Blog

I bought an ice cream maker last week and got experimenting right away! While trying to come up with the perfect fall flavour to bring to Friendsgiving potluck this weekend, one that wasn’t too obvious (looking at you, pumpkin spice), couldn’t be found at the store, and wouldn’t be out of place next to a slice of pie, I eventually landed on chai tea & Baileys. I’m glad I waited for the perfect idea, because this one’s a real winner! It tastes just like the holidays.

Chai Tea & Baileys Ice Cream | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chai Tea & Baileys Ice Cream | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chai Tea & Baileys Ice Cream | Sophster-Toaster Blog

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ½ cup loose leaf chai tea
    • fairly inexpensive at Bulk Barn
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1-2/3 cup heavy cream

Method

  1. Add milk, sugar and salt to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar while bringing to a simmer.
  2. Remove mixture from heat and stir in the tea leaves. Cover and let steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Strain mixture into a clean, medium sized saucepan, making sure to press the tea leaves to get every bit of liquid out.
  4. Bring back to a simmer.
  5. Beat the egg yolks in small bowl and temper with the milk mixture. (Slowly stir about ½ cup of milk mixture into the egg yolks, then add the egg mixture back to the milk to slowly bring the eggs up to temperature and not curdle them. Don’t worry if some curdles, we’ll strain again later.)
  6.  Cook over low heat, stirring almost constantly, until you have a nice custard thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (or until it reaches 175○F). Do not allow custard to come to a boil. Strain into a medium bowl and chill in the fridge until cold.
  7. Stir in the Baileys and heavy cream.
  8. Churn in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. (I got my ice cream maker here.)
  9. You can eat it now but it will be better if you freeze it overnight. Scoop into a suitable container and press cling wrap down onto the surface.
  10. Optional: garnish with cinnamon.

Chai Tea & Baileys Ice Cream | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chai Tea & Baileys Ice Cream | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chai Tea & Baileys Ice Cream | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chai Tea & Baileys Ice Cream | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chai Tea & Baileys Ice Cream | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chai Tea & Baileys Ice Cream | Sophster-Toaster Blog

All photos by me.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Macarons

Chocolate Chip Cookie Macarons | Sophster-Toaster Blog

After years of making macarons, and still needing more practice, I stick with it because I love creating new flavours. Macarons can be tricky and time consuming to make, but they can take almost any flavouring imaginable and still come out lovely and delicious every time. They are one of my favourite foods to endlessly tinker with.

Today I made macarons inspired by my favourite cookie: chocolate chip. Macarons can be made in nearly every flavour, but they don’t take large chucks well – flavouring must be in either liquid or powder form – so I made a standard almond/ vanilla flavour cookie and garnished with cacao nibs. To add more chocolate flavour, I filled the cookies with dark chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Macarons | Sophster-Toaster Blog

The combination turned out unbelievably well! Neither flavour overpowers the other. The garnish is cute and does a good job of letting you know what flavours to expect. They even taste a little bit like chocolate chip cookies while still holding on to that unique macaron sweetness. I made the mistake of having friends over before I had time to assemble the cookies. I had to beg them to “only eat the ugly ones” as they ravenously drizzled the still-warm ganache over the cookie halves and pounded back a dozen of them.

To make these chocolate chip cookie flavoured macarons, use your favourite recipes for plain vanilla macarons and dark chocolate (bitter) ganache. I used the recipes for Basic Macaron Batter and Bitter Ganache Filling from Hisako Ogita’s I Love Macarons. I also added a few pieces of cacao nibs to the top of each cookie before drying and baking.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Macarons | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chocolate Chip Cookie Macarons | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chocolate Chip Cookie Macarons | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chocolate Chip Cookie Macarons | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chocolate Chip Cookie Macarons | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chocolate Chip Cookie Macarons | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chocolate Chip Cookie Macarons | Sophster-Toaster Blog Chocolate Chip Cookie Macarons | Sophster-Toaster Blog

All photos by me.