Friday, June 24, 2011

My First Great Canadian Blog Bash 2011

Dini The Foodie. Artist: Krysta Johnson
Wooo! The Great Canadian Blog Bash Is Here!  

Celebrating Canada and all the awesome Canadian blogs/bloggers. 

This great event is organized by Mom vs. the Boys, Whispered Inspirations, Pampered Patty, Kat’s Confessions and Good Girl Gone Green! Lets thank them for all their hard work

Join us!

I am super excited to be a part of this for the very first time. It sounds like a lot of fun and I loved to see more talented blogs. It is time for me to see more interesting blog topics and discover new friends. I have learned so much and seen such unique talent.I am excited for the new adventure.

For my adventure to really begin I thought I share a little bit about myself  to my new viewers.I'll try to keep it short and sweet ,don't you worry. I don't want to bore you to quickly, right? :P
Lenny The Art Of Baking Mascot! Artist:Krysta Johnson
How to begin ummm? Maybe a view on what I do here and share some of my favorite foodie photos!

Don't those look scrumptious. Sorry If I just made you hungry. Everyone says that to me lol.

For a more indepth info about me. Keep reading...

I have been blogging since January 2010. But that's not that exciting, I don't think? lol. 

I do come from wonderful British Columbia living in a small town on beautiful Vancouver Island!. Trust me I'm not bragging about it, but it is warm here :). 

I am 20 years old and I can go by Berendina my full name or Dini. I love baking and I have a wonderful boyfriend for about 3 years now.My good friends are very supportive and the blogging world as been so good to me.

My blog mostly focuses on my passion for baking and pastry arts;however recently I have been doing some of my own freebie product reviews and coupon sharing. Its been a lot of fun to do something new away from the regular.
Dave And Me. Artist Krysta Johnson
Well here's the good stuff to why I got into this blogging mess lol. 

I guess it was other bloggers and websites that really got me thinking about joining this world.  I thought I could do that and share my passion in my own way. I said to myself I can write alright and I know how to bake. So lets mesh those two together and see how that takes flight. It must of worked because I am still here. 

It wasn't all me though because I do have to give a big thank you to my boyfriend Dave and my good friend Krysta for being the two people that really pushed me to do it and supported the idea.  Krysta is actually the person thats the creator of all my cartoon doodles featured on  here and she has a blog of her own with all her drawings.I am happy I listened to their advice and went for it. 

Now I have a place to express my creativity easily and I can keep a record of my growth in writing,photography and baking.I can now call myself a foodie blogger, which I would of had no idea what that title really meant back in 2009. I have learn a lot of new things from blogging and from bloggers.This event is about seeing and learning about talented canadian blogs, but it is also about inspiring others.

I want this blog to inspire someone to try something new and challenge themselves. You dont have to be a professional by any means to do what your passionate about. I am not a professional in the topics I talk about. I just learn from my experiences and fix my mistakes in the future. 

So my fellow Canadian bloggers I guess this went longer then I thought lol. Well become a part of the blog hop and If your interested check out my most recent posts :). Lets get this party started from June 24th-July 1st. Make it the best! 

This is such an awesome event and I am proud to be a part of it.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Brownie Pops To The Rescue!

Here are some yummy delectable treats. This simple Rich And Fudgy Brownie recipe was transformed into two bite brownie pops. I halved the recipe for less ingredient and the batter came out wonderfully.It was really fun to dress up a delicious treat by making them lollipops. I just used a few Popsicle sticks, a mini muffin tin,chocolate glaze and few sprinkles to bring these babies together. Easy peasy creation and well worth the time and effort put into it. I think I'll even make these again farther into summer and perfected the creation for myself.Maybe a different glaze or sprinkle, or use some lollipop sticks ummm? Got my brain going now with creative ideas.

The other thing I'm really happy about with this treat is I got to reuse the flower pot and Styrofoam for display. Only sad part of it, is this is probably the last time the piece of Styrofoam can be used.Oh well it had a good run :)

For some creative ideas on these brownies. You use any kind of  holder like a lollipop stick, Popsicle sticks or anything you can really think of that would work.You can also make larger brownie pops with a slightly bigger muffin tin and a glaze can be whatever you like it to be along with sprinkles. The possibilities are endless with creativity.

For the chocolate glaze I made I basically winged it. I took some icing sugar, cocoa powder,water and mix in a small bowl to the consistency I liked. Then dipped  the completely cooled brownie pops into the glaze and spun
them to get excess chocolate off. Then proceeded to dip the tops in sprinkles and then placed all of them upside down on a cookie sheet.Cooled them in the fridge for a few hours and done. Poof! Brownie pops appear. You can also dip them in icing sugar for a different flavor and look. This was a lot of fun and work to create these. They go fast too so if you take the challenge make sure you make a lot and have enough holders :)

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fun Free Chocolate Cherrio Review!

How And Where I Got It:

I ordered this free coupon on web I am pretty sure I saw a blog post from someone talking about the offer. I receive it in the mail and use it on June 21.

I found this new cereal at the Canadian Superstore and I was actually lucky to get it because there were none to be seen on the shelves.But lucky for us we asked and the lady found one last box of 12 in the back.

A funny thing about it is someone else was in the cereal ale looking for the exact item for her free cereal when the lady put it on the shelf. Everyone out and about getting their cereal :).

I was even lucky to order and receive this coupon so early because many people that sent for it recently are  being affected by Canada post strike. I feel sorry for the ones that didn't receive theirs since this coupon is only redeemable for one day which has passed, June 21st. Also the strange matter of it, is the expiry date says July.

Well for the ones that miss out on their chocolate cheerios. Don't fret their is a free coupon for shreddies cereal on their Face book page and it isn't a one day redeem. Shreddie Facebook Page ( hurry up! 20,000 samples are going fast!)


This cereal was actually pretty good. It wasn't overly surgery or strong like a lot of other chocolate flavored cereals. It had a good balance without being over barren on the taste buds. It's good with or without milk and I really liked it as a crunchy dry snack.I can imagine using it to make some delicious cereal bars. Yum!

It also has some healthier aspects too it. Its made with whole grain corn and oats, plus flavored with real cocoa. It's is low fat, has fiber and includes 6 vitamins. About 110 calories for 3/4 cup so almost 1 cup for 110.I can imagine many other cereal have a higher calorie count and don't taste as good. So I definitely recommend this product if your a cheerio and chocolate lover.

I would say the only downside to this product is the price is a little high for the amount sold. So If anyone is curious in trying out this product I would recommend finding it on sale or getting a coupon for money off.  Also if this new chocolate flavor sales well, they may bring out a bigger box!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Peanut Butter And Jam Bars

Who doesn't love the combination of peanut butter and jam, its so yummy!, plus putting your favorite flavors and  textures together, so many choices? :)

This time I finally got to make a recipe I've wanted to do for a while. Peanut butter and jam bars. Smooth peanut butter with strawberry jam, plus actual fruit chunks. Elegant summer treat that is so simple to whip up and really easy to add your own ideas to.

For this bar I half the recipe to conserve ingredient and I still filled out a 9x13 inch glass pan.That is a lot of cookie bars,so I made sure to shared them out.They are slightly thinner then the original bar,but if you can use less you go for it. 

These bars would of had some great crunchy texture if I had any salted chopped peanuts, yummy. The recipe called for it, but oh well it was delicious without it as well.I can imagine these cookie bars would be really good with different kinds of jams like blueberry,blackberry etc.

Peanut Butter And Strawberry Jam Bars 
(Adapted from Martha Stewart's Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars)

1/2 cup hard margarine
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 large eggs
1 1/4 cups smooth peanut butter
3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup strawberry jam

1. Grease and flour 9x13inch pan.
(sprinkle flour in greased pan and rotate the pan over the sink till all edges are cover)

2.Cut margarine into smaller pieces. Cream margarine and sugar in a large bowl. Add egg and peanut butter, cream till combined.

3. Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl with a whisk. Add the dry to wet, beating on low speed. Then add the vanilla.
4. Turn oven on at 350F

5. Add half of the dough to glass pan and spread evenly. Add strawberry jam and spread evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the dough on top.Bake until the top dough is golden brown, 45 minutes. Cool completely, before cutting.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Super Mario Cookie Plant!

I made these cute little treats for my nephew's super hero birthday party that was last Saturday. He loves Super Mario so I thought I do a themed lollipop cookie and spruce it up with an idea of being a plant.

I have seen so many really creative cookies and stands all over the internet. So I really wanted to try it out for myself  for the first time and surprisingly it was really easy to make.

To set up the stand I took a planter that was around outside and fixed it up. I found a piece of Styrofoam in a flower stand and placed it in the middle of the planter, which was the best thing for the lollipops to stick into to stay up. I also used some plastic goodie bags, cut them in half and used them as wrappers along with some ribbon to tie. I then added in some green and purple raffia to cover up the Styrofoam, which can be done after or before putting the lollipop cookies in.Pretty simple right? plus you can add your own special ideas.

For a closer look you can see I put a special little note on the planter for the party :). If only these cookies really gave you the powers in super Mario. Well maybe the star power, hence the sugar rush going straight to your head making you jumpy. :). I cant promise aerobatic moves though lol.Now I really want to make those little bomb guys, too cute

Now on to the fun edible part of this creation.

I made the ideal sugar cookie from Martha Stewart and they were perfect. They are the basic cookie everyone loves,plus stable and strong for lollipop cookies.I also used a easy royal icing with the exception of lemon. It was great for decorating.Super fun to make and so easy :).

Now I guess your wondering how I got my shapes for these special cookies. My sister made two templates out of her template making material. So now I have a homemade reusable star and mushroom. Second best thing from cookie cutters. :).

  To use them I place them on rolled out dough and took a sharp knife to cut out the shapes, pretty easy :). 

For assembling I  proceeded to place the cookies on a nonstick pan and pressed the lollipop sticks in lightly. I baked them till golden brown and then completely cooled them. I then decorated the cookies with colored royal icing( white,red, yellow, light blue, and light green) A reusable piping bag was also used  to make the white circles on the mushrooms and chocolate straight sprinkles were used for the eyes.
   It was a lot of fun to create and challenge my decorating skills.They came out better then I thought they would. So now I feel like I can start pipping and decorating more.I also want to make more thing with lollipop sticks. Chocolates, cakes,brownies etc....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What Is New! Freebies, Giveaway Wins, Future Recipes!

A lot sure has happened since my last blog update :)  I won some awesome giveaways that I will be revealing and sharing about once I receive them . I tested out quite a few free food samples, which I plan to share about now, since it was a lot of fun last time I did it.  I also did a couple recipes that I will blog about in a upcoming post.

Anyways I have a long list of food freebies so I thought I do a small opinion paragraph for each.  I have had some pretty positive feedback about writing this way and its a really simple, fast and fun way to share information. Here we go.....

Funtastic Food Sample Testing

Nesquik Beverage!

How I Got It?

A freebie coupon on the Nesquik website (Coupon still running) There is a limited amount each day, so it's timing to get it. It is for one either chocolate milk or strawberry banana beverage. I chose as you can see the chocolate milk. I received the coupon in the mail and found the product at superstore.


 I found this product sold in the juice ale so it needs to be chilled for a couple hours before drinking.Ha! I tried a little bit warm, bad move on my part lol yuck!

Now this chocolate milk is pretty strong and rich for only 1 % milk. A little bit to strong for my taste, but that all depends on what you like. For me after a taste test I diluted all the chocolate milk with 1 % milk till I reached a balance in flavor and a bonus I got way more chocolate milk. This product isn't much different from their syrup or powder, its just in a convenient container. Whats new about it though  is its made with 25% less sugar, 130 calories for each cup and made with fresh 1 % milk, plus in a convenient container

I would say the biggest draw back to this product is its purchase price and how much you get,  especially compared to a large powder container. So I recommend this product for people that drink nesquik once in while but not to ones that frequently do. 

 Pure Protein Bar

How I Got It?

My mom found a freebie coupon in our local newspaper and thought to try it out. We found this at superstore as well and was priced at over 2 bucks. Three of us tried a piece. We all had our opinions.


I don't have much positive to say about this product and I didn't expect a protein bar to be good anyways, but I thought it at least be alright. I was wrong.

From each persons opinion, its overall taste was very bland and the texture was very dry,chewy and grindy. No one recommended this for someone to eat.   We all agreed we preferred eating a unhealthy chocolate bar with the same calorie count or make eat a homemade granola bar.I say the only close positive comment about this product is their way of representing their product on their wrapper as looking like a delicious gooey chocolate bar. Even then thats kind of miss representing. but I cant be all mean, have to say something nice lol. Right? Maybe

Triscuit Thin Crisp ( Parmesan Garlic)

How I Got It?

There was a freebie coupon on Triscuit Face book page ( no longer there). I Click "like" and filled out my information to receive a coupon in the mail. After a wait I received that little card leaning against the thin crisp with one coupon for one box of any flavor of truscuits from crackers to thin crisp. There was also a few recipes for some of the cracker flavors. I got this at wal-mart and it was actually on sale. So I technically got it free for less lol.


 This is so far my favorite free product I have tried. I love truscuit products and It was awesome I got to choose one box of any flavor I wanted for free.   I chose to try their thin crisps and Parmesan garlic is now added to my favorite list from them. These are really flavorful and crunchy.You will however get some strong garlic breath after just eating one, but they are so yummy it doesn't matter.

So I give two thumbs up for this product and I recommend trying them with some really yummy dip or have it with some creamy soup.  The only drawback I can think of  for this product is their is never enough in the bags and I wish their were bigger boxes. Because crackers and crisps go so fast especially Truscuits because they are so good. The price for this product is also not to bad, but if you can find it on sale or have a coupon then that's a win :).If your lucky you can get it free once in a while lol.

 Skinny Cow Single Serving (Caramel Swirl)

How I Got It?

A freebie single serving coupon on Nestle Skinny Cow Facebook Page( Its still there!). Clicked "Like" and clicked the coupon tab. Receive a printable coupon for one single serving cup, choice of three different flavors ( fudge chocolate brownie, caramel swirl and cookies and cream). Found this at wal-mart in the freezer ice cream section.


I tired the caramel swirl and I thought this dessert was really sweet. Not a bad sweet, but others may think its overpowering. Its creamy and has a slightly different texture since its made with evaporated skim milk. It has a really nice caramel flavor, but I would of liked more caramel in it. This single serving cup is 150 calories but is 98% fat free. I would say this is a good freebie because I would not paid $1.66 plus tax for one cup for this amount of dessert.However its good for a once and while treat, but better off finding a larger batch container if their is one.

Ummm it looks like I ran out of freebies to talk about :( .Plus now that Canada post is on strike all through Canada I wont be testing out as much. Lets just hope there are more freebies that are printable! But we still have recipes to share!

Friday, June 03, 2011

A Brand New Banner And A Sample Test!

Krysta hugging her drawing pen :P

My good friend Krysta from The Random Adventures Of The Rambling Artist just made me a brand new 2011 banner that's really cute. I love the detail and how funny/quirky the scenes are.

I also can see such a big difference in her drawing process since the last banner she made me. Her drawing tablet has done a big improvement for her talent :). Check out her previous banner! She has come so far :)

 Thank you so much Krysta! I'm excited  to see more and more future drawings from you. I highly recommend for everyone to check out her blog. Her drawings are great and you will always find some humor in her art. It always makes me giggle lol :)

Also I just tried the last crystal light sample. lemon-lime. I actually really liked it. Its got two very strong flavors that work well together.Very tart from the lime and a nice lemon flavor to balance it out. If you love lemon and lime you will find this really refreshing. I recommend this for a hot summer day :). Plus I really like the bright colors to these drinks :D.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

More Gifts In The Mail :D

 I received two of my giveaway wins today!. The necklace is a beautiful and unique navy blue zipper heart necklace made by the wonderful and creative artist, dala from her Olive And Pearls etsy shop. The creative shabby chic ring that reminds me of summer and picnics is also made by her. I love her jewelry and its pretty awesome to win two items, plus I am very excited to pair these items with some summer outfits :). So I like to say thank you very much Dala for these lovely items and also thank you to Prairie Hen for launching your giveaway. :D. 

Testing Free Samples!

I just tried out the second flavor of crystal light, which is strawberry orange banana. This one I actually liked better then raspberry ice. It reminded me a lot of oasis strawberry kiwi flavored juice. It was really good and was particularly refreshing with ice. It was also quite fulling or that may of been me drinking it to fast :)

However for me I wasn't really able to detect a banana or orange flavor to easily. I tasted basically strawberry flavor and their may of been a slight orange to it that I missed, but the main flavor was the strongest. This wasn't a big deal to me though because I like strong strawberry flavor and overall I recommend this drink. Anyone that wants a lower calorie juice once in while and love strawberry drinks I would choose this. Also if anyone see free samples from crystal light in the future you shouldn't definitely order. You may like it you may not, but their  will be at least someone around that will love it :D. So try it out yourself!

In other news in Canada I found out Thursday morning is the last day to receive parcels or letters in the mail.Not including important mail like bills,government cheaques etc.Reason being is Canada post employees are planning to strike, Thursday midnight.So I'm crossing my fingers that I'll  receive a few more things in the morning to hold me over and
hopefully everything gets worked out without this going for too long.

Next I will test out my last flavor lemon-lime..... Stay tune

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Samples And Giveaway Win! Getting Mail Has Become Exciting!

 Today has started out to be really great and I hope it continues. I just received a couple great things in the mail including one of my giveaway wins :D. Its made checking out the mail really fun and surprising :). So since I've been telling all of you what has been happening recently its fair to say I should show you what I got right? Well I made sure to take a few pictures for your enjoyment.

First I received a free sample I order a while back. So I am super excited that it finally came...

Hooray! As you can see I got 3 samples of crystal light and I actually tried out one right away. I made the raspberry ice flavored drink and it surprised me with how strong in flavor it was. Its quite sweet to me though, but it still taste good. I would agree its a great replacement to those higher calorie juices and if you love raspberry flavor you will love this. I haven't tried the other flavors yet, but  I know I'm not a lemon-lime lover lol.