Happylifeblogspot

Happylifeblogspot

Welcome to Happylifeblogspot! A food blog with drool worthy recipes

Recent Posts

Best Ever Zuppa Toscana

Best Ever Zuppa Toscana

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you today because Zuppa Toscana is my all. time. favorite. soup!! It’s like the BEST!!! I try to mix up our meals to give us lots of variety, but somehow I end up making this recipe like 5 […]

Snowman Pancakes

Snowman Pancakes

I’m a firm believer that we all should play with our food. Food should be fun! If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. I first made these adorable snowman pancakes for my niece and nephew last year (I still can’t get over how […]

Light and Fluffy Pancakes

Light and Fluffy Pancakes

Nothing screams Saturday morning louder than a big ole stack of pancakes! These light and fluffy pancakes are a weekend staple in our house. The ingredients consist of a few classic pantry items so I ALWAYS have them on hand, which means I can whip them up at a moment’s notice. Now I know there are plenty of you out there who are box mix addicts (and that’s ok, I’m not judging). I’m telling you this recipe is so foolproof and comes together so quickly, it’ll have you ditching the pre made batter. Or at the very least it will become your go to recipe in a pinch! Everyone needs a good pancake recipe in their arsenal. These pancakes are highly adaptable too. Stir in blueberries or chocolate chips, add cinnamon or nutmeg, switch out the vanilla for almond or rum extract. Go ahead! Get crazy!! Whatever you do, don’t forget the syrup. I mean, c’mon, that’s what pancakes were really intended to be…..the perfect little vessel to mop up loads of sugary sweet syrup, right?!?

Here’s all you”l need: flour, sugar, baking powder, kosher salt, milk, egg, butter and vanilla extract.

In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, so that’s your flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Warm the milk in the microwave for one minute. Add the warm milk, melted butter, egg, and vanilla extract to a smaller separate bowl.

Whisk until well combined. Pro tip: The warm milk and the melted butter will help the ingredients to combine more easily and you won’t have clumps of butter throughout. You can even go one step further and say it out loud to the closest person around. Say it with confidence and they will totally think you know what you’re talking about! Professional pancake maker right here!! I think I’m going to make that my official title.

Form a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Pour the milk mixture into the well of the flour mixture.

Using a fork, stir until just combined. Little clumps are ok, but you don’t want to see any big clumps of flour. I like to use a fork as opposed to a whisk because it helps to not over-mix the batter. Told you….pan….cake…….pro!!! Pretty soon you will be too!

Lightly brush a large skillet with butter and heat over medium heat. I feel like this picture is SO incriminating!! Metal utensils are a big NO for these pans and I would drop the hammer on my hubby if I caught him doing this. Brainstorming my list of excuses right now for when he reads this blog post!

Pour pancake batter into the pan 1/4 cup at a time. Cook over medium heat. Once the edges are firm and the tops start to form bubbles that pop, it’s time to flip! Typically this will take eh, about two minutes per side. Catch ya on the flip side!

Flip it and cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side. You want the middle to be cooked and the pancakes to be lightly browned. Be sure to add more butter to the pan as needed (in between pancakes). Serve warm with butter and syrup and your favorite pancake toppings. I love strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream!!

Four out of five nieces and nephew’s agree this is the BEST (and most requested) breakfast at Aunt Lisa’s House. And the fifth one isn’t old enough to eat pancakes yet! Don’t worry Peyton you’ll get to try them soon enough!!

Light and Fluffy Pancakes

January 13, 2018
: 8 pancakes
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions
  • Step 1 In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  • Step 2 Warm the milk in the microwave for one minute. In a smaller bowl, warm milk, melted butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk until well combined.
  • Step 3 Form a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Pour the milk mixture into the well of the flour mixture. Mix with a fork until just combined.
  • Step 4 Lightly brush a large skillet with butter and heat over medium heat. Pour pancake batter into the pan 1/4 cup at a time. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.
  • Step 5 Once edges are firm and bubbles start to appear and pop on the top, flip. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Add more butter to the skillet as needed.

We’d love to hear from you! Leave us your comments and love down below!

Polar Bear Marshmallows

Polar Bear Marshmallows

Looking for a boredom buster right about now that doesn’t involve snow or going outside??? Well I’ve got the cutest lil food craft for you….and your kids…don’t forget about them! These Polar Bear Marshmallows are sure to cure even the meanest case of the “I’m […]

Good Old Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie

Good Old Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie

There’s no better way to brave the cold Buffalo weather than with a little comfort food. I mean we’re talking negative temps people!! And don’t even get me started on that windchill. I’d love to stay tucked in bed under my flannel sheets and hibernate […]

Niagara-on-the-Lake Part 2

Niagara-on-the-Lake Part 2

If you’re planning a visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake, you really won’t find any finer accommodations than the Prince of Wales Hotel. They truly pamper their guests to ensure that you have a romantic and luxurious stay. The hotel is absolutely stunning both inside and out, from the luxury mattress that was truly the most comfortable bed that I’ve ever slept in, to onsite valet parking, to the free high-speed wifi. They anticipate your every need before you’ve even thought of it. Be sure to take advantage of the towel warmers in the bathroom…..You can thank me later!

Our Travelzoo package came with complimentary breakfast in the stunning Noble Restaurant. And by complimentary breakfast I don’t mean a breakfast buffet or continental breakfast. I mean you can pick anything you want from the breakfast menu, one main, one side, and of course coffee and orange juice!

I went with the Prince of Wales Eggs Benedict, two soft poached eggs, perched atop a bed of peameal bacon, and rosemary focaccia bread, and smothered with Hollandaise sauce. It was absolute perfection and came with fried potatoes and fresh fruit. SOOO good!! My hubby went with the Traditional Two Egg Breakfast which included two country fresh eggs, farmers sausage, smoked bacon, fried potatoes and toast.

We selected bacon and cinnamon rolls as our two sides. Honestly we didn’t even need the sides because we already had so much food, but I’m so glad that we got them! The cinnamon rolls were delicious!! They were like part cinnamon roll, part croissant, perfectly flaky and light, with a drizzle of glaze. Thank goodness they brought two! After breakfast we headed to the saltwater pool for a little relaxation time before checking out.

Just a short 3 minute drive off the main drag you’ll find Niagara-on-the-Lake’s best kept secret, Willow Cakes & Pastries. Willow Cakes showcases the talent of culinary star Catherine O’Donnell. Her passion for baking and love for her community can be seen through the abundance of breads, chocolates, cakes, & tarts that fill the many display cases around the store. As someone who shows their greatest affection for friends and family through homemade goodies, this place really spoke to me! The cafe was so warm and inviting and the perfect place to grab a sweet treat.

After much debating…and drooling….we decided to try one of their mini Toblerone Cakes. This breathtaking cake was filled with a peanut buttery mousse, rolled in shaved chocolate and topped with two of the classic candies. You guys!! All I can say is YES!!! Be sure to try one of their specialty coffees or a Lindt hot chocolate, and you absolutely MUST take something to go. It’s safe to say I will be visiting Willow Cakes on ALL of my Niagara-on-the-Lake trips in the future!!

A quick two minute drive led us to Peller Estates Winery & Restaurant. Peller Estates is nothing short of grand! It’s easy to forget that it all started with humble beginnings, when Andrew Peller immigrated here from Hungary in 1927 with a vision to bring premium quality wines to Canada. In the Spring of 1969, Peller Estates was born. This massive estate now boasts an onsite award winning restaurant serving up lunch and dinner, as well and wine and food pairings, chocolate pairings, winery tours, and an exclusive ice lounge that’s not to be missed!

10 Below Ice Lounge is the coolest place in Niagara-on-the-Lake, literally!! Named for the chilly threshold for harvesting Icewine grapes, -10 degrees Celsius, the temperature inside is also kept at a constantly, chilling -10.

At 10 Below, you’ll find yourself surrounded by marvelous ice walls, ice furniture, sculptures and even an ice bar! It only takes a split second to realize that this place is unlike any other in Niagara-on-the-Lake. You have  to see it to believe it! Of course we couldn’t leave without purchasing a bottle of their Vidal Ice Wine, my favorite, as well as a 2015 Vintage Meritage.

Turn right onto John Street East when leaving Peller Estates and then another right onto Niagara River Parkway, and about two minutes down the road you’ll find the Living Water Wayside Chapel, aka the worlds smallest church. The inside is closed in the winter, but is outfitted with 6 small single seated pews, 3 on each side. In the summer months, it’s not uncommon to find a line at the door with people waiting to get inside of this fabulous little gem.

Inniskillin Wines was our next stop, just 2 minutes away. Inniskillin, an industry pioneer, is dubbed as Canada’s first estate winery. With many awards for their table wines, their ice wine is where they truly shine. In my opinion, they have the best ice wine in all of Niagara. I know it’s a big statement to make, but one sip and you’ll be hooked. Can’t decide which one to get, they also have the cutest little gift sets with mini bottles, so you don’t have to choose! If Inniskillin hasn’t been on your radar, it needs to be. Trust.

Our next stop took us to Kitchen 76, Two Sisters Vineyards full service restaurant. Reservations are encouraged, but we were lucky enough to sneak in without one! I think the snowy weather had something to do with that.

Kitchen 76 showcases the talents of chef Justin Lesso, offering a delicious Italian based menu that showcases local produce as well seasonal produce from their own property. Sooo….first let me talk about that arancini!!! OMG!!! Literally the BEST!!! For those of you that aren’t familiar with this Italian delight, they are Silician rice balls, stuffed with smoked mozzarella and served with tomato sauce and fresh basil. Maybe it was the smoked mozzarella, maybe it was the sauce, maybe it was both, but this dish was everything you could ever want in a rice ball. Get an order….or two!! Really!!

There were SO many pizzas that I wanted to try on the menu, the Dolce e Salato, the Salsicce, the Funghi, but I could only get my hubby to be as adventurous as the Margherita! But no worries!! This Italian classic did not disappoint. All of their pizzas start with their housemade dough and are wood fired to perfection. You can never go wrong with a little fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, olive oil, and fresh basil. There is something about a wood fired pizza that gets me every time! After lunch we tried a few wine samples in the tasting room. Their Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are on point. I plan on grabbing a few bottles on my next trip, but I was trying to pace myself….as if that’s even possible!!

We couldn’t pass up an opportunity to see Niagara Falls before heading back across the border. We snapped this quick picture from the Canadian side before dark, and then headed back to Buffalo. I am so excited to go back in February and explore more of this area!! There really are so many fabulous things to do AND it’s all right in our backyard!

To see more of Niagara-on-the-Lake click here!

We’d love to hear from you! Leave us your comments and love down below!

Niagara-on-the-Lake Part 1

Niagara-on-the-Lake Part 1

We spent last weekend across the border, exploring Niagara-on-the-Lake before all of the Christmas madness set in. Niagara-on-the-Lake is situated in Ontario, Canada right where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario, and directly across the river from Youngstown, NY. This historic town is home to […]

Last Minute Eggnog Dip

Last Minute Eggnog Dip

Alright! This one is for all you last minute, late to the party, Christmas procrastinators. You know who you are! You still have presents to wrap or maybe even a couple left to buy. Hey, it happens! I get it. No judgement. I’m here for […]

Easy Eggnog Fudge

Easy Eggnog Fudge

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…..my hubby is an eggnog freak!!! No he doesn’t do weird things with eggnog……but he IS pretty eggnog obsessed!! He absolutely loves it and cannot get enough. Unfortunately for him, it’s only available for a short time around the holidays, so I try to sneak in a few eggnog inspired treats so he can get his fill. I found this eggnog fudge recipe a few years back, included it in some homemade Christmas gift baskets and it was an instant hit with our family!! This year I’ve added it to my Christmas cookie trays because after putting in a 12 hour cookie baking marathon over the weekend, I am loving me a good no bake recipe right about now!!! I know you can relate. This fudge is super simple, only 6 ingredients, and perfect for a last minute Christmas gift…..just make sure you keep a few squares for yourself!! You can thank me later.

Here’s all you’ll need: eggnog, sugar, white chocolate chips, butter, marshmallow fluff, and a little nutmeg.

Start by lining a 13X9 pan with aluminum foil, then spray with cooking spray.

Combine sugar and eggnog in a Dutch oven. Heat over medium heat stirring occasionally.

Bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to stir occasionally as it’s coming to a boil. Once it starts to boil, stir constantly (and continue to do so) and heat for 10 minutes. Stir with caution. No splashing! No reckless abandon!  This mixture is very hot and sticky. If you are a klutz in the kitchen just shut it down right now!

Remove the mixture from the heat. Stir in the white chocolate chips, butter and marshmallow fluff. Getting the fluff out of the jar is probably the hardest or at least the stickiest part of this recipe! Does anyone know an easy way to do this??? I’m all ears!!! Stir until the white chocolate chips are melted and the butter and fluff are completely incorporated. The mixture should be nice and smooth!! Also you can skip your arm workout today after all that stirring.

Pour the fudge mixture into the foil lined pan. Spread evenly until nice and smooth!

And last but not least, sprinkle with a little bit of nutmeg. This is my favorite part of the whole recipe!! This little nutmeg dusting is clutch. You want to do this right away before the fudge has a chance to start setting up. Allow the fudge to cool completely to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour until it’s nice and firm. Once you’re sure that it’s completely solid all the way through, lift the foil out of the pan. Cut the fudge into 1 inch squares.

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Or if you’re up North like us Buffalo folks, you can store in the mudroom or on the back porch! (yep! That’s a thing!) You know it’s not going above 30 degrees anytime soon!! Santa called and said he wants some eggnog fudge on his cookie plate this year!

Easy Eggnog Fudge

December 19, 2017
: 24
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1½ cups eggnog
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 (12 ounce) packages white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 (7 ounce) container marshmallow cream
  • nutmeg for dusting
Directions
  • Step 1 Line a 13X9″ pan with aluminum foil. Spray with cooking spray.
  • Step 2 Combine sugar and eggnog in a Dutch oven. Heat over medium heat stirring occasionally.
  • Step 3 Bring the mixture to a boil. Continue to stir for 10 minutes as it boils.
  • Step 4 Remove the mixture from the heat. Stir in the white chocolate chips, butter and marshmallow fluff. Stir until the chips are melted and everything is fully incorporated.
  • Step 5 Pour the fudge mixture into the foil lined pan. Spread evenly until smooth. Sprinkle with nutmeg.
  • Step 6 Allow the fudge to cool completely to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for about an hour until firm. Once it’s completely solid, lift out of container, and cut into 1 inch squares. Stir in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

We’d love to hear from you! Leave us your comments and love down below!

Maple Glazed Mini Pancake Bites

Maple Glazed Mini Pancake Bites

It happens to us EVERY holiday! We’re busy people. We usually have to be somewhere, or have people coming over, or have to cook. I wake up and start working in the kitchen and I get so busy that I forget to make us breakfast. […]


All Time Favorites

Best Ever Zuppa Toscana

Best Ever Zuppa Toscana

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you today because Zuppa Toscana is my all. time. favorite. soup!! It’s like the BEST!!! I try to mix up our meals to give us lots of variety, but somehow I end up making this recipe like 5 […]

Light and Fluffy Pancakes

Light and Fluffy Pancakes

Nothing screams Saturday morning louder than a big ole stack of pancakes! These light and fluffy pancakes are a weekend staple in our house. The ingredients consist of a few classic pantry items so I ALWAYS have them on hand, which means I can whip […]

Good Old Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie

Good Old Fashioned Chicken Pot Pie

There’s no better way to brave the cold Buffalo weather than with a little comfort food. I mean we’re talking negative temps people!! And don’t even get me started on that windchill. I’d love to stay tucked in bed under my flannel sheets and hibernate […]

Easy Eggnog Fudge

Easy Eggnog Fudge

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…..my hubby is an eggnog freak!!! No he doesn’t do weird things with eggnog……but he IS pretty eggnog obsessed!! He absolutely loves it and cannot get enough. Unfortunately for him, it’s only available for a short […]

Chocolate Overload Cake

Chocolate Overload Cake

So let me talk about this cake for a minute! I baked this up for the blog and dropped a few slices off with family and friends. My brother, Danny and sister in law, Sarah, were two of the lucky recipients. After I dropped off […]