Raising Memories

Friday, April 24, 2015

Mini Puffed Pancakes with Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Sauce (& a #Giveaway!)

We have been trying out Gay Lea's Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Spreadables this month and experimenting with using it in different recipes and with different snack ideas. I would typically use something like this by just spreading it on toast (which tastes amazing) but for my post around this product, I wanted to think of a recipe to use it with.

I have tried it melted & drizzled on popcorn (delicious.. but a bit messy.. I ended up eating it with a spoon), I have tried it on toast (tried & true method and the easiest, quickest way to eat it), and I have thought of other ways to use it like baking apples with the spread on them.  I have also watched some fellow bloggers post about recipes they've added it to (such as frosting or crumble on top of a fruity dessert). These spreadables combine creamery butter with unsaturated canola oil to make them spreadable on any food, right from the fridge, but also fabulous melted or incorporated into baking.

What I finally came up with was to use it as a melted sauce on top of mini puffed pancakes and let me tell you, I know something's a winner when I can't even start to type out the blog post or edit the photos for it without salivating! :)  We LOVED this and I think you'll want to give it a try!

Here's what you'll need:

3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
a pinch of salt
GayLea Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Spreadables
Icing Sugar
Cooking Spray

Mini Muffin Pan


1. Put your mini muffin pan in the oven at 400 degrees F.

2. Blend milk, eggs, flour, and salt.

3.  Remove pan from oven (learn from my mistakes & don't take the oven mitts off!) and spray (generously) with cooking spray.

4. Pour pancake mixture into pan (fill 3/4 full)

5. Bake until puffed and just barely starting to look golden (10ish minutes)

6. Remove from oven and remove pancakes from pan.

7. Melt some of the Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Spreadable (maybe a 1/4 cup or so.. depending on how much you want) in the microwave in a small bowl for a few seconds.

8. Stir your 'sauce' and drizzle on your pancakes.

9. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top, and DIG IN!!

Now, do not walk... RUN to your car and get yourself some of this stuff, then get in your kitchen and start whipping these babies up because you will LOVE them! (I'm going to make them again for lunch because my mouth will not stop watering!)

Before you take off to do that though, you might want to enter this giveaway ;)  To celebrate all of the delicious ways you can infuse Gay Lea’s Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Spreadables into fun recipes, we’re giving away an amazing brunch kit consisting of one Cuisinart Professional Rotary Waffle Maker, one Cuisinart Conical Burr Coffee Grinder and one Staub En France Cast Iron 10” Frypan! (This prize is worth $340!)  There will be one winner (across all of the Gay Lea blogger blogs).

We’ll also be giving away 1 year of free Gay Lea product (12 coupons for free Gay Lea product) to one reader from each Gay Lea ambassador blog, so one of my readers will definitely win that one!

The giveaway is open until April 30th, and you can enter for both by filling out this form:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

[Rules: Readers may enter across many blogs, they may only win on a single blog. Entrants must be a resident of Canada, however those in Quebec are unfortunately unable to enter the giveaway. Winner(s) can expect their prize in approximately 4-6 weeks!]

You can check out the Gay Lea Website for great recipes and more information on their products. They also send out monthly newsletters featuring great tips and coupons!

Disclosure: I am part of the Gay Lea Ambassador Campaign with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own."

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Easter Egg Hunts ( #NikonMOMents Part 5)

I took a bunch of photos this year, for Easter and I'm so happy to have them to look back on. :) We're past Easter now and looking forward to Mother's Day, but I wanted to share these photos before Mother's Day comes!

Saturday morning, the girls woke up to see the Easter baskets that Ken & I set out for them.  I had my Nikon D3300 ready, with my 35mm 1.8 lens on it and managed to catch their reactions (and blurry sprint down the stairs ;).  The next two pics were taken with a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second which was just fine when the girls were fairly still, but when the sprint happened, I could've used a faster shutter speed (to prevent that blur).

Talia was very excited about the Pokemon cards that Ken got for her and Katrina was thrilled with her new rubber boots.  They each got some new dishes that Ken & I picked up while we were at IKEA (our old ones were ready to be replaced!) and then we noticed that the Easter bunny had come as well!

We video taped their hunt as they excitedly dashed around the living room, finding eggs.  I caught a couple of photos as well:

On Sunday, we went to Ken's parents' house for Easter dinner and the traditional cousin egg hunt. I grabbed a couple of photos of my mother-in-law's decorations. I can still remember specific decorations that my grandmothers put out for special occasions and I'm sure these photos will bring back special memories for my girls in the future.

Sadly, the weather did not cooperate so we had to stay indoors for the hunt. It was still just as fun although tricky for me (as far as taking photos went) because I was running back and forth between the upstairs rooms and the basement where half of the eggs and baskets were!

There was a big difference in lighting between the different areas where eggs were hidden, and I did not have time to play around with my camera settings, so I just put my camera on the Auto (Flash Off) mode!

That was a bit of a photography life-saver ;)  The photos turned out great!  Below is my cute nephew with one of those wind-up, hopping chicks- it was so cute to see him discovering it for the first time! To the right of that photo is Katrina, having just pulled her basket out from behind a couch.  At the bottom, left, are the cousins going through their finds :)

Here are: my nephew, showing off the golden egg he found, Katrina showing her stuffed lamb (& fancy nail polish) and Ken with some sporty eggs :)

Next was dinner and my mother-in-law came up with the cute idea to put "tails" on the bunny cups! Our girls had slept over the night before and got to glue the tails on. They also helped to make that Easter bread with the egg in the middle!

We brought the saucepan cookie nests with mini eggs inside for dessert.  The top, right photo is of Talia unwrapping the egg from the Easter bread to see if it cooked properly (it did) and below that is a bowl full of eggs that the girls got to decorate during their sleepover.

It was a lovely Easter (even though the weather seemed to be stuck on Winter!).

Thankfully the following weekend's weather was much nicer, so when we visited my parents, we were able to have an outdoor egg hunt!  The girls brought their rubber boots, and had fun with their small cousin, looking for eggs. Auntie Amber was helping cousin Tori (and it looks like Amber was just as excited as my girls, to be allowed out of the house and start hunting! ;)

I love having these cute photos of the girls hunting in their Easter dresses! Just looking at them brings back memories from that weekend, and of the fun my mom & I had walking around the backyard, finding hiding spots for the eggs. :)

It was fun to watch little Tori (who just turned one year old recently).  She would find an egg and then shake it and shake it before putting it into her basket :)

She had had an egg hunt with her other grandma the previous weekend so I think she knew there was something tasty inside of those plastic eggs ;)

These are the kinds of moments that I will look back on dreamily when my children are grown up. Do you ever catch yourself wishing that you could get to some point in the future faster?  or just get through the day that you're experiencing? Sometimes I catch myself in those moments and remind myself to soak up all of the good in the day and the moment that I'm in. That's a big reason for my love of photography, I think. It's like a magical ability to freeze a moment in time forever.  I love it :)

Here we are inside the house- little girls cracking open plastic eggs, baby girls finding freeze-dried yogurt pieces in their eggs (love the photo with her daddy's hand holding the egg, and her tiny hand reaching inside), and a couple of treats at the grown-ups' table settings so they won't miss out on the Easter treat fun. :)

Looking back on these photos, the only thing I wish is that I would have handed the camera to someone else for a while so that I could've been in some of them!

This is the last official post I'll be sharing as part of the Nikon MOMents team, but I can assure you that over the past year, I have been loving this camera and will continue to use and love it!  I am excited about the nicer weather that's coming, and the opportunity to take more photos outside soon! I will always love photography and I will always be grateful to have had a quality camera on hand to capture these moments and memories from my girls' childhoods!

Previous #NikonMOMents Posts:

Disclosure: I am part of the Mom Central Canada Nikon MOMents team and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.

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Monday, April 20, 2015

The Bellbrook Backpack by Johansen Camera Bags

I am not really a purse person. Let me rephrase that... I'm not big on buying purses. I do love to look at them and think about getting them, but I can't tell you the last time I gave myself permission to buy one. I just tell myself that if my purse is still functioning, I don't need another one.

Then along came purse-style camera bags, and well... I've found a bit of a passion there. I have a few.. and I love to see what new designs are coming out. Johansen Camera Bags (also known as Jo Totes) have come out with some new bags! One of those is backpack-style which is totally new for their line and pretty exciting!

Johansen Camera Bags Belbrook Review by www.RaisingMemories.com

I made a video review of the bag (more of a first impressions review since I haven't actually used it yet) to share with you. Bonus points to anyone who can successfully tally the number of times that I say "kinda" in this video!! haha

More Camera Bag Reviews:

Jo Totes Siena

Jo Totes Gracie

Jo Totes Abby

Jo Totes Missy

Jo Totes Millie

Kelly Moore B-Hobo.

Disclosure: Product was provided for review purposes. As usual, all opinions shared are honest & my own.

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Saturday, April 18, 2015

April 2015 Sharing Time - Week 3

Welcome to April's Sharing Time Linky!

Before we get to the party, here's a quick recap since the last Sharing Time:

I started this week off with a Book Review

Just a quick reminder about the #GettheMostOutofLife giveaways going on all month
on Shoppers Drug Mart's website
(a new winner is chosen every 3 days!)
So, keep on entering!

I also posted about the need for a relaxing, romantic getaway for parents and our experience in Niagara Falls recently.

Now, on to the link party- I can't wait to see what you share! :)

Please join the Raising Memories Sharing Time & add a link to your latest and greatest blog posts
about activities to do with your children or fun projects that you have done!
If you're participating, please share the button on your blog & "hop over" to at least one other blog post that's been linked up- let's support each other!

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