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Dash of Butter pinch of sass &a gallon of love

I was hacked, but now I’m back.

They say that terrible things happen in three’s. If that is true, then I should be all topped up for a while.

About a month ago, my hosting account was hacked. While it would of been simple if I had only this one website, I actually have several. I am pretty well versed in technology, but dealing with this was way over my head. So, my host provider suspended my account and directed me to a company that could clean it up for me.

Ugh.

After painstakingly going through each domain, I decided which ones I wanted to keep, which ones I had to say goodbye to, and which projects were in just the beginning stages and could be easily done over.

After paying this company to scan and clean up over 5000 malware from the websites I kept, I finally got the clean bill of health from my hosting account and was re-instated. But, the fun didn’t end there. What a mess.

Still have no idea why I was hacked, and what the hackers could of possibly gained from this – but my theory is that the companies that are there to take your money to clean it up after are the ones doing the hacking. It was a headache for sure.

And then? …

The hard drive in my big shiny iMac also died. I knew there was something wrong, and wanted to make sure all 750gb of my files were backed up offsite before I started to really do some investigating. The computer still worked, but at a snails pace. It took 2.5 months to get the majority of my stuff backed up, and then I got impatient and picked up an external hard drive to do the rest (which took less than an hour … why I didn’t start with this, I’m not sure). When I went to update the operating system, my computer informed me that the hard drive was damaged beyond repair – Man, was I thankful I had everything backed up (and really relieved that it didn’t die before or during the backup).

Off to the store to spend $$ on a new hard drive, and Dr. Husband pulled out his reference material (aka, YouTube) to do some surgery. I had to hide when he was pulling 27″ of glass off the front, but he got it done and now I’m rocking a 2TB hard drive, instead of 1TB, and everything is back where it should be.

What’s the third terrible thing?

My dryer died.

Not very exciting, but just icing on the cake.

So. Now I’m back, and you can see all my recipes again :)) I promise I’ll start posting regularly as soon as possible. If you see anything that is missing or out of place, please let me know – I still have a few things to put back where they belong.



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Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bark

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bark

frozen blueberry yogurt bark - dashofbutter.com

My name is Rhiannon, and I am a food hoarder.

Not the creepy kind that will end up on an A&E show or anything. I just love having stocked cupboards and freezers. Rachel came over last week and helped me clean out my fridge, and when she was done, it looked so empty. When I run low on something in my pantry, I get antsy. But I love love love coming across a recipe and having all the ingredients to make it right there.

But, when I come across a good sale, I buy a lot. Right now, I am in possession of 16 lbs of blueberries. The cashier at Safeway asked me what I was going to do with all those blueberries, and I replied “freeze them!”. But, I also have a blueberry obsessed daughter who will likely polish off at least one flat all on her own.

I also sometimes buy things at Costco that I shouldn’t because I think I will use it.

Like yogurt.

Plain greek yogurt.

3 tubs of it.

I don’t like yogurt at all, and my kids don’t like plain yogurt. But I like the versatility of yogurt and will try and find ways to use it. Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not. Plain is great because you can add it to sweet or savoury dishes, and greek yogurt makes for an awesome tzatziki (which I’ll be making today) without the hassle of straining regular yogurt overnight. Yup, been there, done that.

We are also in the middle of a little heat wave right now, and the idea of turning on my stove or oven makes me cringe. I came across the idea of frozen yogurt bark on Pinterest, but didn’t have to click to see the recipe. I just started mixing things together and threw it in the freezer. What came out was a healthy frozen dessert / snack / treat / breakfast that my kids enjoy on these hot days. It’s kind of like the frozen yogurt tubes, but without the portability and weird ingredients. Even now, I’m thinking of all sorts of variations and flavours I could try to mix it up in the future.

But, right now, I’ve got 16lbs of blueberries to do something with.

frozen blueberry yogurt bark - dashofbutter.com frozen blueberry yogurt bark - dashofbutter.com frozen blueberry yogurt bark - dashofbutter.com IMG_2046

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bark

Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bark

Ingredients

  • 2 c. plain greek yogurt
  • 1/3 c. honey
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract (I used vanilla paste)
  • 2 c. blueberries, washed and stray stems removed

  • **If you have other flavoured yogurt on hand, omit the honey and vanilla and just mix the yogurt and blueberries together instead.

Instructions

  1. In medium sized bowl, stir together the yogurt, honey and vanilla.
  2. Gently stir in the blueberries and mix until all combined.
  3. In a parchment lined 9x13 pan, pour in the yogurt mixture and spread out evenly making sure blueberries are evenly distributed.
  4. Freeze overnight and cut into desired serving size
http://www.dashofbutter.com/2014/07/15/frozen-blueberry-yogurt-bark/

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Strawberry-Pomegranate Cheesecake Milkshake

Strawberry-Pomegranate Cheesecake Milkshake

strawberry-pomegranate cheesecake milkshake | dashofbutter.com

We had a less than lazy week, with Madelyn starting her not-so-fun-but-she-loves-it gym camps from Monday to Thursday, a day trip to the lake on Tuesday, and the weather was hot! hot! hot! All of this leads to a a big painful sunburn with ugly tan lines, and a lack of motivation in the kitchen.

I did, however, manage to take advantage of a few good deals in the grocery store this week, and am now the proud new owner of 4 tubs of ice cream. I had a couple of extra kids the other night for a sleepover and a husband and bff looking for a treat, so I decided to make something I usually don’t like for more than a sip or two. Milkshakes.

strawberry-pomegranate cheesecake milkshake | dashofbutter.com

Warning! Some husbands are excellent in the kitchen (mine can definitely be), and some husbands (ahem, again mine) get a little eager when they are excited about the final product. Dave decided he would take my idea and run with it. After the ice cream got added to the blender, he dumped the rest of the jug of milk in (which was a lot), making for a very runny milkshake. The kids all inhaled it, but it wasn’t the thick and creamy milkshake that I would of made. So, when I made it again the next night (I have issues – if something I experiment with making doesn’t work out, I make it again until it does), I didn’t let Dave near the kitchen.

The next batch was sooooooo much better. Thick, fruity, and just the perfect amount of vanilla flavour. To up the strawberry flavour, I added some strawberry jam as well as the fresh fruit. I also added a good amount of homemade pomegranate syrup (super easy to make ahead of time and store in fridge to pour over pancakes, cheesecake, or can even be added to a cocktail or mocktail). Throw in a little bit of cream cheese and sprinkle with graham crumbs to take this dessert over the top.

I don’t really like milkshakes (except when I was pregnant, then I drank so many), but even I found myself stealing sips from everyone else’s.

strawberry-pomegranate cheesecake milkshake | dashofbutter.com strawberry-pomegranate cheesecake milkshake | dashofbutter.com

Logan’s face is priceless. He was so happy I asked him to model for me.

strawberry-pomegranate cheesecake milkshake | dashofbutter.com strawberry-pomegranate cheesecake milkshake | dashofbutter.com

If there is a record for how fast 2 kids can drink a milkshake, I’m sure my kids beat it. Logan actually asked me if I could make this again, instead of taking them for slurpees. I consider that a success!

strawberry-pomegranate cheesecake milkshake | dashofbutter.com

Strawberry-Pomegranate Cheesecake Milkshake

Ingredients

  • 3 c. vanilla ice cream (I used french vanilla)
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. strawberry jam
  • 1/4 c. pomegranate syrup, if desired
  • 2 tbsp softened cream cheese
  • 7 large strawberries, hulled.
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • whipped cream & crushed graham crackers for topping

Instructions

    For the Pomegranate Syrup:
  1. in saucepan, bring 3 cups of pomegranate juice, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 6 tbsp of sugar to a boil.
  2. boil gently until reduced to 1 cup
  3. refrigerate until ready to use

  4. For the milkshake:
  5. Place all ingredients, except whipped cream and graham crumbs in blender. If using a high powered blender like a Vitamix, turn on for just a couple of seconds. If using regular blender, this could take a little longer.
  6. Pour into glasses and top with whipped cream and graham crumbs.
http://www.dashofbutter.com/2014/07/11/strawberry-pomegranate-cheesecake-milkshake/

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Brown Butter Vector Cereal Squares

Brown Butter Vector Cereal Squares

Brown Butter Vector Cereal Bars | dashofbutter.com

Cereal in dessert form has to be in the breakfast rule book somewhere, right?

I hope everyone had a great weekend, and all my American friends had a safe and wonderful Fourth of July! I’m learning that sometimes the best weekends are the ones that happen spontaneously, without a plan. I thought I needed to have a plan because it was the only full weekend that Dave and I had off together for pretty much the rest of the summer. Instead, we made a trip to the mall to get a couple things and dine food court style on Friday, spent Saturday morning being lazy and then took 6 kids to the movies. We decided to divide and conquer and Dave took 4 boys to see the new Transformers movie, and the otha motha and I took the 2 girls to see Earth to Echo (cute movie by the way). Everyone was happy.

Saturday night, the otha motha and I (I guess since I talk about her enough, I can use her real name, Rachel) went out for a night on the town, and stumbled in the door at some hour way past our bedtime. Shockingly, I woke up feeling pretty good. So good, that I decided to keep the party going with a BBQ for my family and Rachels on Sunday night.

Yup, it was a great weekend.

On Friday, Rachel and I also made a fairly impromptu trip to the spray park with 12 kids (she runs a dayhome so we had our 6 kids plus 6 from her dayhome). Here’s a tip. If your kids aren’t the greatest eaters, take them to the spray park. It never fails. Within minutes of getting there, you’ll hear “I’m hungry”, and they won’t stop until you’ve kicked them back out to play, or it’s time to go. This happens to us. Every. Single. Time.

So, I got smart and said we should pack each kid their own snack bag. They could eat it whenever they wanted, but once it was done, that was it. And, it worked so well! Some kids came and started eating right away, some grazed, and some didn’t come looking for food until near the end. We didn’t have to dole out portions or shoo them away for eating too much, it was far less frustrating.

12 snack bags all labelled and packed and just about ready to go!

12 snack bags all labelled and packed and just about ready to go!

Anyways, I wanted to give them some sort of baked good. I didn’t have enough muffins in the freezer, and didn’t have any time or desire to make more (it was after midnight at this point). I didn’t have rice krispies to throw together some rice krispie squares, but I did have Vector. So I made Vector squares instead. And they were a hit!

I read on pinterest somewhere that someone added pudding mix to their rice krispie squares for a different flavour. I only had vanilla pudding mix, so I threw some of that in too. I’m not sure if it added much more than vanilla flavouring, so if you don’t have it, I wouldn’t sweat it. I also used dried blueberries as well. I’m pretty sure that that isn’t a common ingredient in most of your pantries, so if you try something different in its place, let me know!

Make these for your next picnic, or snack needs. Kids and adults will love them!

Brown Butter Vector Cereal Bars | dashofbutter.com Brown Butter Vector Cereal Bars | dashofbutter.com Brown Butter Vector Cereal Bars | dashofbutter.com Brown Butter Vector Cereal Bars | dashofbutter.com

Brown Butter Vector Cereal Squares

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c. browned butter
  • 4 c. mini marshmallows
  • 1/3 c. instant vanilla pudding mix (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • 6 c. Vector cereal
  • 1/2 c. dried blueberries (or other dried fruit)

Instructions

  1. Line a 9x13" pan with tin foil and spray lightly with oil
  2. In large pot over medium heat, heat the browned butter, marshmallows, and pudding mix (or vanilla extract) until melted.
  3. Stir in the Vector cereal and dried blueberries and quickly stir to combine.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and press evenly and compactly
  5. Cover and let cool.
  6. Remove from pan and slice into squares
http://www.dashofbutter.com/2014/07/08/brown-butter-vector-cereal-squares/

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Pineapple Coconut Non-Dairy Ice Cream

Pineapple Coconut Non-Dairy Ice Cream

Pineapple Coconut Non-Dairy Ice Cream | dashofbutter.com

I have an extremely bad habit of buying a lot of fruit when it comes into season. I go a little overboard and then have to find ways to use it up.

I also don’t really like fruit that I have to cut up. Call me lazy … or call me someone who doesn’t actually like getting their hands sticky, but I much rather have fruit on hand that the kids can grab and go. I devour it once I cut it all up, but getting to that point sometimes takes a while.

Enter the Pineapple. I bought it a long time ago, and Dave has been harping on me to use it before it goes bad. Thankfully for me, that takes a while. I finally decided to do something with it, so I cut it up … and then trimmed away the brown bits. I got a little crazy, and tossed the entire pineapple (after it had been cored and trimmed) into my Vitamix with a can of coconut milk that I had opened for something else, but didn’t need, and was sitting in my fridge … Look at me using up all kinds of things! I then added a bit of Maple Syrup and some lemon juice, and turned it on. Once I was sure that it was completely liquified, I poured it into a container, put it in the fridge to chill and went out for the afternoon.

Side note: Yes, I have a fancy pineapple slicer. But, like my apple slicer, it rarely gets used. My good friend, the knife, does it faster, takes up less room in the dishwasher, and works just as well (if not better) than the slicers.

When I got home, I put it through my ice cream maker, and my oh my, it made the most delicious, non-dairy, vegan, pineapple ice cream I may have ever had.

Pineapple Coconut Non-Dairy Ice Cream | dashofbutter.com

Ok, so I don’t think I’ve ever actually had pineapple ice cream before.

But, it is amazing! Creamy like regular ice cream, but bursting with fresh pineapple flavour. If you’re not a coconut fan, don’t you worry – you won’t even taste it in this.

Pineapple Coconut Non-Dairy Ice Cream | dashofbutter.com

I usually like to dress things like this up. See what other flavours I can mix in, but this time, I wanted the pineapple to be the star. And, I wanted to see if I could vegan-ize it and still have Dave and the kids want more.

And they did!

So, if you’re scared to make your own ice cream … because traditional custard style ice cream can be intimidating, and take a long time, I beg you to try this instead. If you like pineapple, then you’ll love this! If you don’t love pineapple, then I bet any other soft fruit would do the job just as well.

Like mangos. mmmmmm mangos.

Or peaches!

Soooo …. if you’re looking for me, I’ll be at the store stocking up on peaches and mangos and coconut milk :)

Pineapple Coconut Non-Dairy Ice Cream | dashofbutter.com

Non-Dairy Pineapple Coconut Ice Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 pineapple, cored and sliced into chunks
  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • water to thin

Instructions

  1. In blender or Vitamix, add all ingredients and process until smooth.
  2. Chill in the fridge for at least an hour, several is best.
  3. In ice cream maker, chill until consistency of soft ice cream.
  4. Place into freezer safe container and freeze completely.
http://www.dashofbutter.com/2014/07/04/pineapple-coconut-non-dairy-ice-cream/

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Buttermilk Pancake Mix

Buttermilk Pancake Mix

Buttermilk Pancake Mix | dashofbutter.com Happy Canada Day!! Does anyone (or did anyone) have any big plans to celebrate? We are going to a BBQ at a friend’s place, which should be awesome! :)

I am not a morning person. I like mornings, and quite happily rise from my bed, but I prefer to get up before the kids and sit quietly with a cup of coffee before they start making demands of me. My day becomes quickly unravelled when I accidentally sleep in and have to move fast, or even worse, skip that morning coffee ritual. Even camping, I take care of cooking all meals for 2 families … after the noon hour. The “otha motha” does breakfast.

So, knowing this about me, then you’ll understand that pancakes are a treat in my house. Usually, it’s toast or cereal. I can buy a bag of pancake mix from Costco, and it will last forevvvvver. I just don’t have the drive to make fancy breakfasts.

Buttermilk Pancake Mix | dashofbutter.com

One thing you may or may not know about me by now, is that I love to try and make things myself. It doesn’t always work out to be cheaper, but I can pronounce every single ingredient, and am a lot happier not potentially feeding my kids a bunch of chemicals.

Pancake mix is one of those things I thought I would try. The recipe calls for powdered buttermilk, so I knew I would have to keep my eye out, since it’s not a regularly stocked item at the grocery store. Turns out, I had to run to Bulk Barn to get some stuff for Logan’s birthday party back in May, so I thought I would check and see if they carried powdered buttermilk, and I was in luck! That store has everything :) I handed over Dave’s paycheque and brought it home to live in my pantry until I got around to finally making this pancake mix.

Ok, ok, it wasn’t thaaaat expensive for the amount of buttermilk that I got, and how much pancake mix I can make out of it. One day, I’ll do the math to see how it compares to the pancake mix from Costco.

But, it does not disappoint!

Buttermilk Pancake Mix | dashofbutter.com

The pancakes cook up light and fluffy and are perfect little sponges for whatever topping you’d like to add. I try and avoid a lot of sugar in the mornings, so I usually add fresh fruit and a little homemade whipped cream instead. But, sometimes, a pack of wild children hold me hostage until I break out the maple syrup and butter.

And, sometimes, when said pack of wild children have had a sleepover the night before and are making unruly demands of me before that golden cup of coffee, I voluntarily hand it over.

I made a big batch of this mix and keep it in the pantry. It’s not as easy as just adding water, but almost. An egg, some oil and water and you’re good to go. I’ve made pancakes twice from this batch and still have a ton of mix left. I want to make a bunch of mini pancake muffins for those mornings they want a really quick breakfast or for a snack to take to the park.

And, if you’re feeling really crazy, throw a drop or two of food colouring into the batter and put an even bigger smile on a kid’s face.

Sometimes, it takes the little things to make them happy.

And sometimes, they want an xBox.

So I distract them with pancakes instead.

Buttermilk Pancake Mix | dashofbutter.com

Buttermilk Pancake Mix | dashofbutter.com  Recipe inspired by www.littlehouseliving.com

Buttermilk Pancake Mix

Ingredients

  • 2 c. powdered buttermilk
  • 8 c. all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 8 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients together well and store in a sealed container.

  2. To prepare batter:
  3. Whisk together 1 1/2 c. of dry pancake mix with 1 egg, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 c. water, making sure not to overmix. A few lumps is ok.
http://www.dashofbutter.com/2014/07/01/buttermilk-pancake-mix/

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