Baking a Difference for Our SPCA and Humane Societies

Easy, Kid-Friendly, Dog-Themed Cupcakes for National Cupcake Day

Baking a Difference for Our SPCA and Humane Societies

national cupcake day

There's an old family joke involving my dad that basically says if there is such thing as reincarnation we would all be lucky to come back as one of his adopted pets. You see, my dad has something about him that basically attracts stray, abandoned, and abused cats and dogs and he always takes it upon himself to care for these animals, find new homes for them or take in the most needy whether they need heath care, love or re-training of the most abused and therefore scared animals. Needless to say, the luckiest of animals end up in my dad's care.

It's no surprise then that neither my brother nor I are allowed within a 20km radius of an SPCA or Humane Society unless we're 100% ready to come out with another pet. It's also no surprise to anyone who knows me that when my husband came across a 10-week-old English Mastiff puppy that was in need of a new home, I ended up with Yukon, my now 1-year old puppy and over-sized companion who sleeps the soundest at my feet especially in the highest traffic area of my kitchen.
But not all animals are as lucky as Yukon or my dad and brother's cats and dogs which is why more than 86 SPCA (Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and Humane Societies across Canada are working together to celebrate National Cupcake Day to support the variety of work they do to save animals' lives across our country.
From January 6th through to the official National Cupcake Day on February 24th, we are all invited to bake a difference by planning a cupcake party and collecting funds to support abused and abandoned animals and those that are in need of the help these organizations provide.
Simply register online at www.nationalcupcakeday.ca and get your kids and friends involved by planning a cupcake party and start fundraising.
BUT WAIT!!! I know many of you are busy moms like me and for some of us this sounds like A LOT of work so I'm here to help make this as easy as possible with a cute cupcake idea made from mix that is easy enough for the kids to do all the hard decorating work and a few party ideas that do not involve you cleaning your house from top to bottom.
Bake and ice your cupcakes. Like I said, we used mix and store bought icing, but if you're interested in baking from scratch check out these great recipes.
Then use your favourite candy and cookies to make cute little doggie faces!
We used mini Oreo cookies for the ears, chocolate chips for the eyes, Smarties for the nose and fruit roll up cut with child-friendly scissors to make the mouth.
My kids insisted on making tongues too because Yukon loves to lick them!
We also sprinkled some with coconut to look like "fur".
All in all, after baking and cooling, the decorating took all of 30 minutes with my children's help then they made signs while I cleaned up.
Now for some party ideas. If you're not up for a big gathering at your house, here are a couple of easy peasy ideas to celebrate National Cupcake Day:

National Cupcake Day Work Party

Bring the cupcakes into work with a homemade sign asking people to drop a donation into a jar or on your personal National Cupcake Day page in exchange for a yummy cupcake.

National Cupcake Day After-School Snack Party

Bring your individually wrapped cupcakes to after-school pick up or the bus stop and hand them out to parents (or kids with parental permission of course!) with a tag letting everyone know how they can make a donation on your personal National Cupcake Day page.

Random Acts of National Cupcake Day Baking

Package up your decorated cupcakes with a note all about National Cupcake Day and how to make a donation on your page and deliver to neighbours, friends, and relatives.

National Cupcake Day Baking a Difference Booth

Set-up and decorate a small table in your garage (where it's a bit warmer than outside at this time of year!) and invite your friends to swing by for a super cute cupcake, or set-up your table at your children's hockey rink, dance studio, martial arts centre or anywhere else you spend your "free" time. Be sure to bring a jar for donations and print-outs with instructions on how to make a donation online.

National Cupcake Day Dog Park Drop-Off

Do you have a regular group of dog park friends? Why not bring them an individually wrapped cupcake with a tag telling them all about National Cupcake Day and how to support your fundraising efforts.
Don't have time to make homemade signs and tags? Well the people at National Cupcake Day have a download for that.
So what are you waiting for? Register at www.nationalcupcakeday.ca to get started, then get baking to make a difference in the lives of neglected, rescued and abused animals. Because in the words printed on the mug we bought my brother for Christmas, when it comes to rescued animals finding their forever home you never quite know "Who Rescued Who."
Happy National Cupcake Day!
PS: Don't have time to bake but want to support National Cupcake Day? You can donate on my personal National Cupcake Day fundraising page. How easy is that?

One-Pot, Lazy Cabbage Rolls

A Comfort Food Favourite Made Over For Busy Weeknights

One-Pot, Lazy Cabbage Rolls

One Pot Lazy Cabbage Rolls

I've always loved cabbage rolls, but I've never actually made them. Why? Because spending my time wrapping each individual cabbage roll seems like a heck of a lot of work, especially for something that is readily available at my local market. The funny thing is, my kids don't actually like their cabbage rolls in nice neat bundles, and when I heat theirs up, I put them in bowls and cut them up making the perfect rolls into a sloppy mess. So, when I found myself staring at a bunch of ground beef and a nice little cabbage in my fridge, I decided what the heck, we can all eat our cabbage rolls in a nice sloppy mess.

You Can Also Eat Your Cabbage Rolls In This Easy-To-Make Soup

Simply cook your beef.

Add your tomatoes, sauce, and cabbage.




1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped or sliced into strips, so they are large enough for picky people to pick out
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28oz. can diced tomatoes (do not drain!)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 small cabbage, chopped and sliced into small-sized strips
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
Coarse salt and pepper to taste


  In large pot heat oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef, onion, and garlic, and saute until ground beef is cooked (no longer pink inside).

  Toss in the can of tomatoes (remember do not drain), tomato sauce, cabbage, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper.

  Bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes until cabbage is tender.

  Serve with crusty bread or over quinoa or rice.

NOTE: You really only need to check on this once or twice while it's simmering, and give it a quick stir. This is your time to supervise the kids' homework, clean up the breakfast dishes (oh please, I'm not the only one who leaves them in the sink as I'm dashing out to work), or find the one missing ballet shoe your daughter needs before you run out the door again tonight. 

PS: Looking for some of my other favourite meals that I make with ground beef? Try my Easiest Healthy Lasagna, my Super Fast Teriyaki Beef, my Big Batch Meatballs, my Easiest Meatloaf Ever, and my husband's favourite, Baked Pasta.