Tomatillo Casserole

This Mexican inspired layered casserole is perfect in any season, tangy and fresh in the summer and hearty in the winter. This is one of the most delicious casseroles, it is easy to make, extremely flavourful, and a definite crowd pleaser. You can make this as spicy as you want and customize it to your palate!
I love to serve this with a simple coleslaw and devour the whole plate without any guilt!

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My Ingredients:

1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
16 Corn Tortillas
8-10 Tomatillos (Husked, Rinsed, and Chopped into bite sized pieces)
1/2 cup Cilantro
1-2 Jalapeños or Serrano Peppers
2 Garlic Cloves
1.5 cups Low Fat Shredded Cheese (Tex Mex if you can find it)
3/4 cups Low Fat Sour Cream
2 Limes (Zest and Juice)
Garlic Powder, Cumin, Chili Powder
Salt and Pepper

My Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray, cut chicken into manageable pieces, sprinkle with spices, salt and pepper, zest and juice of one lime and bake until cooked through. When cooked through chop into bite sized pieces.
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Blend together half of your tomatillos, lime juice and zest, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeños, salt and pepper.
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Starting with the blended tomatillo mixture, spread some into a sprayed casserole dish.IMG_2283       IMG_2284

Layer in four tortillas, spread with sour cream, sprinkle with cheese, tomatillos, and green onions.IMG_2285
Continue this method until you have four layers. Smear the last of the sour cream and sprinkle with cheese. IMG_2286
Cover and bake for approximately 20 minutes, uncover and cook for another 10 until cheese is brown and bubbly.IMG_2287

Tipsy:

  • Buy chicken tenders. Since you are cutting it up, it often saves you money.
  • Use good quality corn tortillas, they make a lot of difference in the flavour.
  • A tex mex blend of cheese saves you some time and can be used in tons of recipes for added goodness!

Details:
Serves 6
350 Degrees
Bakes for 30 minutes
SP-8

 

Corny Tortillas

There is honestly very few things in the world better than simple homemade food. Once you have learned how to make corn tortillas (which is soooo easy) you wont ever want to buy the prepackaged tortillas from a store. Although it is much easier to use a tortilla press, you can also use a rolling pin or a bottle of wine, anything where you are able to roll it out thinly.

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1 3/4 Cup Masa Harina (Golden Corn Flour if you can find it)
1 1/8 Cups Warm Water
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
Pinch of Chili Powder

My Method:

Mix all dry ingredients together. If you want traditional tortillas you can just use the masa and a pinch of salt, or take the opportunity to add some bonus flavour to your tortillas.

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Add the water in slowly just until all ingredients are incorporated.

If your tortillas are a bit dry add a smidge of water, if it’s a little wet add a bit more masa.

Cover and let rest for about a half an hour.

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Divide mixture into about 16 balls and using your press, rolling pin etc. magically turn them into tortillas.

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Heat a pan (preferably cast iron) to medium high. Each tortilla needs about 30 sec. on each side until perfectly golden brown.

Tipsy:

Use wax paper or saran wrap as it helps tortillas to not stick

If you have rips in the tortilla, you can form it back into a ball and try again!

Details:
Makes approx. 16 tortillas
SP-1 per tortilla!

Skinny Spanakopita

I pretty much love anything with cheese, so these spanakopitas not only fulfill my love of cheese but also a satisfying crunch of baked phyllo dough. Because of the familiar flavours and cheesy goodness, these are also a great way to get kids to eat a few more vegetables. These are so quick to make and easy to freeze for an in a pinch meal!

I love to serve this with a quick vegetable salad on the side!

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My Ingredients:

10 Sheet of Phyllo Dough
1.5 cups of Low-Fat Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup of Low-Fat Feta, crumbled (Dont buy the pre-crumbled, use your fingers, so much better)
1 Package of Frozen Spinach (Thawed, Drained, and Squeezed)
1 Medium Onion
2-3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Lemon (Zest and Juice)
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Fresh Dill (1 tsp dried) and a few sprigs of mint if you have it around
Nutmeg
S and P

My Method:

Take your phyllo dough out of freezer early and make sure it is fully defrosted!!

Finley chop onions, garlic, and herbs.

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Mix together your cheeses, prepared spinach, and egg.

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Add in your onions and garlic, lemon juice and zest, chopped herbs, grated nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Mix just until mixture comes together.

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Lay out one sheet of phyllo dough and spoon out mixture. Roll up into a tight little package and put on sprayed baking sheet.

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Repeat until all 10 are made! Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until deep golden brown.

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Tipsy:

-Take out your phyllo and spinach early! These are both easier to use when fully defrosted. You need to be able to drain your spinach, so in a pinch, microwave on medium heat!

Details:

SP-3 each (WHAT!)
350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Killer Key Lime Pie

So when I say that this is a Killer Key Lime Pie. I. Am. Not. Joking.
I put together a few recipes to make this one, and oh my lordy, you will not be able to leave a piece in your fridge. SO make sure you have enough friends and family over so that you can eat all of it at once. I am firmly planted in the notion that it is fairly impossible to make a ‘healthy’ pie, so therefor I am happy with the fact that this one isn’t gonna stick to your butt like a fat kid on cake, more like stuck to you like a sad girl and a glass of wine. If you followed that, you probably understand that that meant it was soooo delicious but you dont have to feel so guilty about eating one piece.
I really hope you love this as much as my family and I did, if you did not, you are strange and I probably cant help you.

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My Ingredients:

Crust:

48 Nilla Wafers

¼ cup Water

1 tbsp Vanilla

2 tbsp Margarine or Butter, melted

¼ cup Shredded Coconut

Deliciously Velvety Pie Insides:

3 Egg Yolks

1 300ml can of Low-Fat Condensed Milk

½ cup Light Sour Cream

½ cup Light Cool Whip

1 lb Key Limes, 8 zested, all juiced. (Reserve zest and juice of one/two limes for topping.)

1 tsp Vanilla

10 servings-8 points

Topping:

2 cups Light Cool Whip

Reserved Lime Juice and Zest

1 tsp Vanilla

1/4 cup Toasted Coconut

My Method:

Grind up the nilla wafers until they are crumb consistency. Mix this with the other crust ingredients. Pack into your pie plate and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350.

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Beat your egg yolks for a minute or so until velvety. Add in your sour cream, cool whip and condensed milk. Mix in your vanilla, lime juice and lime zest.

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Bake pie for 13-15 minutes at 350. It is cooked when it no longer jiggles and a toothpick comes out clean.

Put on wire rack and cool completely. 2 hours-overnight.

Mix together your topping ingredients and spread on pie.

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Toast coconut on medium heat and sprinkle onto pie. (You can also sprinkle with some lime zest).

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DO YOU LOVE PIE THIS MUCH? (Courtesy of my beautiful and hungry niece)

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Tipsy:

-You can make this into a lemon pie as well. But make sure you dont use regular limes, you will get a very bitter and sour pie. If you can get your hands on meyer lemons or key limes you are good to go!

- Change out the nilla wafers for graham crackers, chocolate cookies, oreos, or a coconut cookie!

Details:

350, bake crust 8-10 min, pie 13-15 minutes.

SP-8 :)

Better Banana Muffins

I love eating Banana Bread and so does my sister Caitlin. When she requested a recipe for healthier Banana Bread, I had to deliver! Banana Bread is always something I seem to have the ingredients to whip up a quick batch and I bet you do too! When your bananas are starting to turn brown, throw them in your freezer and you will have them ready to go next time you want a banana bread fix. I dont love how much extra fat and not so good things are in banana bread that really aren’t needed. Since bananas are a natural binder, you dont need a lot of extra fat. I think peanut butter and bananas are pretty much a food marriage from the Gods, but if you aren’t nuts for peanuts, feel free to use another type of nut butter! I make this recipe into muffins because I find that it is so much more satisfying to eat a whole muffin rather than a thin slice of bread. It is also much easier to just eat one this way, and it’s very portable, but feel free to make this into a loaf it will take about an hour to bake, just wait until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy this skinnier banana bread, it is soooo good!

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My Ingredients:

½ cup Brown Sugar

½ cup Peanut Butter

1 cup Quick Cooking Oats

1 cup All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

¼ tsp Salt

3 Bananas, over ripe and mashed

1 medium Zucchini, shredded

1 Whole Egg

2 egg whites

1 tsp Vanilla

¼ cup Almond Milk

1/4 cup Peanut Butter or Chocolate Chips, I like a mix of the two.

My Method:

Mix your Oats, Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt in a bowl and set aside.

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In a mixer, cream the Brown Sugar with the Peanut Butter until well incorporated.

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Mix in your Bananas and mix until the whole mixture is creamy and satiny.

Add in your Eggs and Vanilla.

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Slowly add in your dry ingredients just until mixed together.

Slowly add in your 1/4 cup of Almond Milk just until the mix is fully incorporated and liquid.

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Mix in your shredded Zucchini and Chocolate or Peanut Butter Chips.

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Tipsy:

- Add in  shredded carrot for added nutrition and flavour!

-If you microwave your Bananas for a a minute or so to defrost, they come out perfectly for baking. Use a potato masher to mush them up to perfect consistency!

-Use an ice cream scoop to measure out your muffins, they end up all come out the same size and it’s easier to get in the tin!

The Details:

Bake at 350 Degrees for 20-22 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until golden brown and your toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 18-20 muffins.

SP- 3 each!!!

Lemony Cous Cous Salad

This is one of my absolute favourite, go to, quick and delicious and healthy dinners that I came up with in University as a mix of two of my favourite fast food salads. My salad recipe is also one of the most requested that I get, so I figured I had to share. This is scrumptious as is, or add in your favourite vegetables, or some lean meat. If I want to make this more protein packed, I cook up some cubed chicken and mix it in when I serve. It is also great to bring to a party or BBQ.
To make it a bit more chique, serve in small cups or endive leaves for a crowd pleasing treat.
I pretty much could eat this whole bowl, so I’m sure you will love it too!

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My Ingredients:

One Box Cous Cous (I use the roasted garlic and olive oil. Check out my Tipsy’s for how to make fresh cous cous)

2 tsp Lemon and Herb Seasoning, adjust to your liking!

Vegetables:
1/2 package of Cherry Tomatoes (Halved)

1/2 Cucumber

1-2 Bell Peppers

1/2 bunch of Green Onions

1 small head of Kale or other green. (If you are going to serve in small cups or endive leaves, omit or chop very small)

1 large can of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 Lemons

1 container Light Feta

My Method:

Cook the cous cous according to the package directions.

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Let the Cous Cous cool, you dont have to let it be cold, but the warmer it is, the salad gets a little gummy.

Chop all of your vegetables into bite size pieces.

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Mix your vegetables, chick peas, lemon herb seasoning, lemon juice, and lemon zest into the cous cous.

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Serve with feta crumbled on top!

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Tipsy:

- I use boxed cous cous because it is easy, and already has seasoning with it. If you want to make fresh cous cous with your own seasoning here is the recipe:
1 cup Cous Cous
1 cup Water
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Seasoning, I would just use some of the Lemon Herb seasoning that you would use for this recipe.
Bring cous cous, water, and olive oil to a boil and remove from heat, keeping covered for 5 minutes. Mix in seasoning.

-Use a fork to fluff up your cous cous. The fork breaks up the cous cous and adds air.

-If you know you are going to eat over a few days you can keep all of the parts separate and then mix together so that there is no sogginess!

Details:

Serves 6

SP- 8

 

Winning Wonton Soup

I love wonton soup and once you have made it, you realize how easy it is to make yourself. Since I can’t eat shrimp and other shellfish, I often can’t eat wonton soup when I go out to restaurants. For this recipe, I have made it completely pork, but by all means you could sub some of the pork for shrimp! This is an easy soup to make lots for a large group of people or to have leftovers for a week. It’s easy to customize this to your own tastes, but I dare you to try to only eat one bowl!

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My Ingredients:

Filling:

2 tbs Low-Sodium Soy Sauce

2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar

¼ tsp Sesame Oil

2 tsp Brown Sugar

1 package pork (About 1/2 lb)

1 large nub Ginger, roughly chopped

3 cloves Garlic

½ bunch Green Onions

½ can Water Chestnuts

2 tbsp Cilantro

Broth:

5 Carrots

5-6 baby Bok Choi

1 bunch Green Onions

1/2 can Water Chestnuts

1 crown Broccoli

2 L  Low-Sodium Chicken Stock

4 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce

1 teaspoon Sesame Oil

My Method:

Mix together Soy Sauce, Rice Wine Vinegar, Sesame Oil, and Brown Sugar in a small bowl.

In a food processor, add in the Ginger, Garlic, Water Chestnuts, Green Onions, Cilantro, and pulse until finely ground.

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Add in the pork and Soy Sauce mixture into the food processor and pulse just until mixed.

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Make your wonton station with your pork mixture, stack of wonton wrappers and a small bowl of warm water.

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Add a small teaspoon of pork mixture into the corner of the wrapper, wet two sides, and seal together. If you have the larger wonton wrappers you can make the traditional shape, where you ball the wrapper around the filling, like a jellyfish!

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Bring your two litres of Chicken Stock and one litre of Water, Soy Sauce, and Sesame Oil to a boil.

Add in your Brocoli, Carrots and Wontons and simmer for about 5-7 minutes.

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Add in your Bok Choi, Water Chestnuts and Green Onions, simmering just until cooked.

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Serve in large bowls, devour, and enjoy!

Tipsy:

-This recipe will make more wontons that needed for one soup pot. My suggestion is to freeze them on a cookie sheet and then store in freezer. Keep for next time you make wonton soup or pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees and you have a fabulous snack, appetizer, or dinner!

- If the soup isn’t going to be eaten all at once, use half of the broth and cook your vegetables and wontons the next night. Wontons and vegetables will get soggy and are much better with a bit of a bite to it.

-Take the time to make sure your wontons are sealed and without air bubbles. They will explode in the soup and no one wants that.

Details:

SP- 1 per wonton, so however many wontons you eat in your soup, THAT’S IT!

(6-8 wontons is usually what I eat, depending on how hungry you are)

 

Peanut Noodle Salad

Coming up on the summer, I love having yummy, healthy variations on salad, that very rarely include lettuce. This is an asian inspired peanut noodle salad packed with vegetables and a rocking sauce that can also double as a marinade. You can double this recipe easily to take with you to a BBQ or party, and it is a definite crowd pleaser. I served it with a simple marinade and grilled chicken breast, but it would also be great with some meat skewers.
Devour this saucy peanuty goodness on a warm summer day without any guilt and make sure to enjoy!

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My Ingredients:

1/2 package of Whole-Wheat or Gluten-Free Linguine (I used rice pasta)

1-1/2 cups Edamame Beans (I just used one of the smaller frozen bags)

3 tbsp Low-Sodium Soy Sauce

3 tbsp Natural Peanut Butter

2 tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar

1 tbsp Honey

1  large nub Ginger, grated

1 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil

2 cloves Garlic, minced or grated

Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes (Flavour to your hotness liking)

3-4 Scallions, chopped

1-2 Carrots, Shredded

1 pepper, finely sliced (I recommend not using green)

1/2 Cucumber, finely sliced

My Method:

Cook pasta according to the package instructions, adding in the frozen edamame beans in the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

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Drain and rinse thoroughly, and set aside.

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Whisk together the soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar, honey, ginger, sesame oil, garlic, and pepper flakes, until smooth and blended.

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Pour over pasta and edamame, tossing to coat.

Add in vegetables, toss, and enjoy!

Tipsy:
- Make sure you rinse your pasta thoroughly, it helps get off the extra starch off of your pasta. I made this recipe once without doing it and it was a gloopy mess.

-Feel free to add in any extra vegetables or herbs like cilantro and basil to add extra nutrition and flavour.

-Any form of gluten free pasta would work well in this, I actually find it adds more flavour!

-Although these seem like a lot of ingredients, all of the sauce ingredients will last you forever and are great pantry basics!

Details:

6 Servings

SP-6

 

Snazzy Samosas

I personally love anything made with wonton wrappers, because they are so darn delicious. Sometimes, I like to just eat baked wrappers plain, because I can. These are mini samosas that are pretty easy to make and more than tasty! These are great if you are looking for a party snack, but equally scrumptious to serve as the main course for your dinner with some beautiful Indian rice and vegetables.  These are sure to be a hit, and wont stay on the plate for long. Switch up your seasoning and lean meats to change up the flavours in your samosas, just as easy to make Asian or BBQ flavours!

I dare you to only eat one!

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My Ingredients:

2 tbsp Canola Oil

1 medium Onion

1 Jalapeno

1 lb Lean Ground Turkey or Chicken (I use one grocery store package)

3 cloves Garlic, chopped

1 nub Ginger, grated

1 tsp Garam Masala

1 tsp Curry Poweder

½ tsp Turmeric

2 Limes (Juice and Zest)

1 handful Cilantro

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 pack Wonton Wrappers

Warm Water for sealing the wontons

Cooking Spray

My Method:

In a sauté pan, heat the oil and cook onions and jalapeno until tender.

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Add in turkey, garlic, and grated ginger.

When cooking this mixture, stir thoroughly so that the meat breaks up into smaller pieces.

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Mix in your spices, salt and pepper, lime juice, lime zest, and cilantro.

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Put your turkey mixture into the fridge to cool.

Set up your station for assembling your Samosas with your cooled mixture, your wonton wrappers, and a small dish with warm water.

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Scoop out a small amount of meat mixture (about a teaspoon) onto the wonton wrapper.

With your finger, lightly wet two sides of the wonton

Seal together.

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Prepare baking sheet with cooking spray, as well as top of wontons, and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes, flipping half way through.

Tipsy:

  • If your mixture is a little bit wet, let it drain for a few minutes before you put it into the wonton wrappers.
  • If your mixture is a bit chunkier, making it harder to seal wontons, take a potato masher and break them up!
  • For an easy way to handle wonton wrappers. Take the stack that comes out of the package. With one hand on the bottom, place the knuckles of your other hand on top and twist, which separates all of the wrappers, and makes life much easier!
  • If you have parchment paper or stone wear, use this to bake as they can stick to the pan!
  • These are great with a dip! I love making a quick dip with sour cream, dill, garlic powder, cayenne, S and P, and grated cucumber. Adds an extra layer of tasty!
  • Freeze on a tray and then put in Ziploc bag, they can be popped in the oven from frozen!

Details:

Bake at 400, for 10-12 minutes

SP- 3 for 2 wontons!!!

Choco-Minty Scones

I really love scones, but I don’t love what they do to your waistline. Chocolate and mint is one of those combinations you cant go wrong with and it’s a great treat with a mug of tea in the afternoon.  These scones are more of the dense variety than light and fluffy, I think they are totally delicious and I hope you love them too!

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Ingredients:

3.5 cups Flour

½ cup Sugar

2 tsp BP

1/2 tsp BS

¼ tsp Salt

½ cup Dutch Cocoa

2 Eggs

4 tbsp Butter

4 tbsp Light Cream Cheese

1/3 cup Light Sour Cream

1 tsp Vanilla

1.5 tsp Peppermint Extract

50 g Dark Chocolate (half of one large bar)

1 tbs Milk (or Almond Milk)

Sugar for sprinkling!

 

My Method:

Mix together all of your dry ingredients in a bowl.

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Chop your chocolate into small pieces.

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Cream together your butter and cream cheese.

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Add in the sour cream, eggs, and extracts.

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Slowly add the dry ingredients into your mixer until combined. Add the chocolate pieces just until mixed in.

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Mix in the milk just to loosen up the mixture and to pull in any extra dry ingredients.

Pat mixture onto a lightly floured surface and cut into even sized pieces.

Roll into balls and pat into whatever scone shape you would like. Sprinkle with sugar and pop these beauties into the oven!

Tipsy:

-You can change the extracts in this recipe for a different flavour. Try almond or orange extract!

-Using a good quality Dutch Cocoa in your recipes makes a big difference. It has a pure, intense chocolate flavour and is much better quality!

-Make sure you dont use spreadable cream cheese. It’s just not the same.

-Using cut up chocolate pieces rather than chocolate chips gives it a better texture in my opinion and allows for more chocolate throughout the scone rather than larger pieces.

Details:

16 scones

Bake at 400 degrees

15-17 minutes

SP-5