Chocolate Bliss: Easy Aero-Bar Brownie Recipe


Chocolate Bliss: Easy Aero-Bar Brownie Recipe


Here it is, the end of November, and we still have tons of Halloween candy in the house. The bad news is that I only have so much willpower, and that candy is calling my name. The good news is that it's time to start holiday baking, and that giant bag of Halloween candy is a fabulous chocolaty resource.

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These brownies are a delicious way to use up fun-sized Aero bars, but you could also use other chopped-up chocolate bars such as Hershey's, Crispy Crunch, Coffee Crisp, or Kit Kat. Needless to say, Smarties, M&M's, or Reece's Pieces could also be incorporated nicely into this recipe. The possibilities are endless! No Halloween candy? No problem! Substitute 2 cups of chocolate chips for the chopped up Aero bars.

How To Chop Chocolate Without Making A Mess


3/4 cup butter
5 ounces (5 squares) of unsweetened baking chocolate
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 full-size Aero bars or 20 mini "fun-sized" Aero bars, chopped


  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or spray a 9x13 baking pan.

  In a large saucepan, melt butter and chocolate together, stirring frequently.

  Remove from heat; stir in sugar, flour, eggs, salt, and vanilla extract. Gently fold in approximately 3/4 of the chopped Aero bars.

  Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining chopped Aero bars.

  Wait five minutes, then, using a butter knife, spread the melting Aero bars gently over the surface of the brownies to form a coating.

  Allow to cool completely before cutting.

Want more chocolaty ideas? Try my Pot-of-Gold Chocolate Cupcakes, my Dairy-Free Coconut Cream Puffs, or my Five-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse Pie.


Easiest Elegant Side Salad Recipe


Easiest Elegant Side Salad Recipe


There's nothing like a good, simple side salad to complement a dinner party or a big family supper. To me, the best salads are a perfect combination of crunchy, salty, sweet, and zesty - and if they can be thrown together in mere minutes, then all the better!

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This salad is elegant enough to serve at a dinner party, but easy enough to whip up for a light lunch. The sweet taste from the dried berries goes perfectly with the creamy saltiness of the cheese and the crunch of the pine nuts paired with crisp, fresh greens makes for a wonderful texture. No need for bottled dressing; you are two ingredients and half a minute away from a perfectly zesty drizzle of flavour.   


1-142 gram package of mixed baby greens
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup dried blueberries or dried cranberries
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese or cashew cheese
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

  Wash and pat dry baby greens.

  Top with pine nuts, dried berries, and cheese.

  Whisk together balsamic vinegar and olive oil; drizzle over top the salad.



Want more salad recipes? Try my Kick-Ass Kale Salad, my Sensational Caesar Salad or my Ode To Joy Greek Salad.

See for yourself how easy it is! Watch me whip up this elegant salad in two minutes flat!



How to Freeze Fruit and Vegetables


How to Freeze Fruit and Vegetables


I have a confession to make: up until about nine months ago, I had lived my entire adult life without a deep freezer. Oh sure, I had a freezer compartment on my fridge, and there was a tiny, beer fridge-sized freezer in my basement, but no full-size deep freezer. That meant that with the amount of baking and cooking I do, just putting away groceries was like playing Tetris, but with colder hands and more frustration.

I can tell you this: getting a deep freezer has changed my life. I am now able to buy seasonal fruits and vegetables in bulk and freeze them for future use. What a concept!

I've learned a few things along the way, so here is a guide to my favourite freezable fruits and vegetables:


Peel, core, and slice apples, and brush with diluted lemon juice to prevent browning. Freeze on a baking sheet before packing into a freezer bag or airtight container. Use in pies, crumbles, and crisps.

Best if used within 4 months. 

Helpful Hint: this is my favourite apple peeler, and it works to core and slice as well. It's great if you are freezing large amounts of apples.


The elusive "ripe stage" of the avocado can be captured! Avocados are notorious for being perfectly ripe for only about a day before becoming brown and unappetizingly mushy. When the avocado is perfectly ripe, scoop out the flesh, then discard the pit and skin. Puree in a food processor (or mash smoothly with a fork) along with one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice. Freeze in a freezer bag or an airtight container. Use for guacamole, smoothies, or pasta sauce.

Best if used within 5-6 months. 

Helpful Hint: label the container, indicating whether you used lemon or lime juice, so you can plan your recipe accordingly.


Peel bananas and freeze them in freezer bags or airtight containers. The riper the banana, the better it will be for baked goods and smoothies. When the banana thaws, it will be very mushy and liquidy - perfect for recipes that call for mashed banana! Use in muffins, loaves, and even for ice cream!

Best if used within 8 months. 

Helpful Hint: freeze bananas in groups, depending on what your favourite and most used recipes call for. I save my bananas in groups of two or three. Don't forget to label as such!


When your favourite berries are in season, stock up! Freeze blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries on baking sheets, then transfer to freezer bags or airtight containers. Use in smoothies, pies, and muffins.

Best if used within 6 months. 

Helpful Hint: buying berries when they are very ripe and are on clearance at the grocery store is very economical.


This is my mother-in-law's trick: plunge corn on the cob into boiling water for 3-5 minutes, then place immediately in cold water until cool enough to handle. Slice off the kernels with a sharp knife, and freeze on baking sheets before transferring to a freezer bag or airtight container.

Use corn in soups, chili, stew, or just by itself. Best if used within 8 months. 

Helpful Hint: for a smoky hit of flavour, grill corn on the cob, allow to cool, and then slice off the kernels before freezing. 

Leafy Greens

Blanch leafy greens such as kale, spinach, or Swiss chard before use. Plunge into boiling water for one minute, then immediately place leafy greens into ice cold water. Squeeze out all the liquid prior to freezing. Use these greens for soups, stews, or smoothies.

Best if used within 8 months. 

Helpful Hint: place blanched leafy greens in the centre of a tea towel, wrap it up and squeeze. Repeat this several times with dry tea towels in order to get all the liquid out for best freezing results. 


Core, seed, and remove the membranes from bell peppers. Slice into bite-sized pieces and freeze on a baking sheet before transferring to a freezer bag or airtight container. Use for soups, stews, and stir-fries. 

Best if used within 6 months. 

Helpful Hint: frozen red peppers can be oven-roasted to make your own roasted red pepper, for recipes like this and this!


Using a sharp knife, cut off the top and bottom of the pineapple. Standing the pineapple upright, cut away the skin. Quarter the pineapple and then slice off the woody inner core, then chop the pineapple into one-inch cubes. Freeze on a cookie sheet before transferring to a freezer bag or airtight container. Use for smoothies or homemade Dole Whip.

Best if used within 6-8 months. 

Helpful Hint: when cutting pineapple, wear gloves to protect your hands from the pineapple's acidity.


Grate zucchini and place in small freezer bags or airtight containers. Use grated zucchini in loaves, cakes, or for dips and sauces.

Best if used within 8 months. 

Helpful Hint: freeze zucchini in amounts appropriate for your favourite or most-used recipes. 

Don't forget to label your containers with the date that you have frozen them, and also the contents if you are using opaque airtight containers. Happy freezing!