Saturday 18 July 2015

Saturday Stuff

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Seriously though, it was the best. I think I loved every second. Ok, maybe not the seconds we were dealing with lost luggage, but literally (figuratively) every other second was the best! I'm still processing the trip and combing through the 1000 or so photos (most photogenic countries!) so it's going to be a little while before my full report. But just know that it was awesome. Also, Danish pastry = mind blown. Boom.

In the meantime it's the weekend, which is the best time of the week, and is especially great when that week was spent getting over jet lag and trying not to go to bed at 8:00pm 5 days in a row. I tried. I failed.

This weekend we're heading off (again!) to some family time up north and I'm looking forward to swimming and eating and general relaxation. What are your plans? Just in case you have a lazy morning/afternoon/evening in the works feel free to peruse these lovely reads. Some will make you hungry, some will make you feel the need to clean you're whole house. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Rolls. Crème Brûlée. I love it when people come up with ways that I don't have to choose.

Continue the indulgence with the summer's caffeinated gift - the affogato. Part espresso. Part ice cream. All good.

Can you imagine the cocktails that would be coming out of here if I built up the courage (read: motivation) to make my own tonic water? This is why David Lebovitz is boss.

I use vinegar a lot (hello Apple Cider Vinegar as hair conditioner!) and coconut oil even more. Get into it!

Never. Stop. Travelling.

Thursday 25 June 2015

Strawberry Doughnuts with Lemon Glaze

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Like all Canadians I tend to revel in the warming weather and all that it brings along with it - particularly the abundant growing season. There isn't a whole lot that's more exciting than finding spring's fresh greens that you know will lead to summer's bounty.

And the first berries of the season? Watch out. Food tastes like food again and nothing is sweeter than a bright red, freshly picked, local strawberry. In fact I'm hoping to go strawberry picking this weekend so I can really stock up on this summer staple.

In my mind, the first crop of the season was always going to be just one thing - these strawberry doughnuts, and the lemon glaze was a no brainer to keep it all in balance. And I'm super happy I did! These were nice and cake-y and the strawberries added an awesome burst of flavour in every bite. The glaze was a nice tart/sweet finish.

In the photos you'll notice that the doughnuts look barely glazed, but in fact they were twice submerged with hardening time in between. Next time I make these (and there will definitely be a next time!) I'm going to make a thicker glaze, partly because I like how it looks, and partly because I like the ever so slight crunch on the outside before getting to the cake-like inside.  The flavour is all there, but the visual isn't quite on point for me (I'm picky). Glaze recipe below adjusted accordingly.

Well we should probably just get to what we all came here for, the recipe!

Keep reading for more!

Saturday 13 June 2015

Saturday Stuff

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Just in case you weren't bombarded with "TGIF" messages yesterday, today is Saturday! And just in case you had never guessed, I like Saturdays, a lot. Though I had a pretty great week that ended with three days up north for some work training (no complaints from me!) Saturday is still a wonderful, glorious day. I'll be enjoying brunch with a lovely friend and hopefully some sun after a few days of rain. 

I hope you'll also be enjoying brunch with a lovely friend and some sun, oh and here's a few links for you to enjoy as well.

Until next time!

These ridonkulous brownies should probably on "to make" list this weekend. Just saying. 

If you're not meeting a lovely friend for brunch, perhaps you could try these strawberry cornmeal griddlecakes instead. It's a win-win. 

Wise words from wise women are always a must read!

What!? Hanging lamp and hanging planter in one!? uh yes please!

Please, someone I know make one of these mini neighbourhood libraries, put it in your front yard, and delight your neighbours. 

Did you see this salad? Because it's pretty great. If I do say so myself!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday 10 June 2015

Watermelon Feta Salad with Fresh Mint

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When you think of salad, what do you imagine? Leafy greens? A smattering of crunchy veg mixed with plump tomatoes, perhaps? What about fresh crispy watermelon tossed with salty feta, sweet grape tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and finished with cool mint? Because that's what we're serving up today and it's de-freakin-licious!

Pretty sure this is my new summer favourite. So good. So simple. So yes, please!

I kept it light on the dressing with a little bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, just to give it a little more punch, and while I totally recommend this, you could also choose to go without all together and still have a tasty combo on your hands (or in your mouth, whatever).

This salad would be great in so many scenarios and can take you from a quick lunch at the office to a picnic in the park or backyard barbecue all the way up to a lovely dinner party. In all scenarios you end up with a light and refreshing salad that can stand on its own or be a playful companion.

Do you have any summer favourites? Share below!

Keep reading for the recipe!

Saturday 30 May 2015

Saturday Stuff

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It's Saturrrdaaaayyyyyy!!! Happy weekend to you all and may it be fun, spontaneous, friends-filled, family-filled, food-filled, and delicious.

Our weeks and weekends have been busy recently with the official start of wedding season, the unofficial start of summer which has led to the official start of patio season, and planning for our upcoming Norwegian adventure (I'M SO EXCITED!!). Over the last little while I've shared many great meals with friends, and prepared a few myself (I'll be sharing more soon, promise!), and have really been taking advantage of this weather with leisurely evening walks. It's been pretty great. I hope you've been pretty great too.

This weekend we'll be visiting friends and family in the home town while also visiting Other Half's very elderly and sadly ailing family dogs. We don't think they are going to make it much longer so we're really going to try and squeeze in as many puppy snuggles as possible.

However, that doesn't mean I won't be starting my weekend with my customary lie in bed sipping a coffee and catching up on my reading. I hope you'll join me. Except in your own bed. With your own coffee. Let's not get weird about it.

So here's to the weekend, enjoy!

I'm sorry, but this is a salted butterscotch popcorn cheesecake semifreddo and I must have it.

It's peanut butter jelly time! In muffin form. For when you need something a little less fancy, but no less delicious than that semifreddo up there.

These popsicles (or poptails) look so perfect for your next backyard bash. You should make them and then invite me over. 

OR I'll make them and invite you over, just as soon as I have a backyard that looks like this. Or a backyard in general. 

Who runs the world? Girls!

Look at these DIY boardgames! I want them all! I better get busy...

Until next time!

Thursday 21 May 2015

Roast Beet, Feta and Arugula Pizza

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Remember a few weeks ago when I shared this perfect pizza dough recipe? Well at the same time I also made this perfect pizza featuring roast beets, feta cheese, and arugula.

I have to admit, when we made pizza at home too often it turns into a basic cheese with some random vegetables tossed on. And while that's mighty tasty, taking a step back and realizing all the delightful combinations we can create is pretty great too.

Roasting the beets first brings out their sweetness and when you pair it the peppery arugula and salty feta then the flavour combination is basically one big party in your mouth. Yep, I said it. Party in your mouth. You're welcome.

We're keeping it short today so that you can get to this delicious pizza - I highly recommend that you do!

Roasted Beet, Feta, and Arugula Pizza

makes 2 pizzas

1 recipe pizza dough
2 medium beets, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup pizza sauce (this one works great)
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 bunch of arugula


  1. Heat oven to 400 F and roast beets until tender
  2. Divide remaining ingredients in half
  3. Roll out 1/2 recipe of pizza dough onto pizza stone, approximately 15 inches round
  4. Spread out pizza sauce and top with beets, feta, and arugula
  5. Bake at 400 - 425 F for 15-17 minutes (all ovens are different, I bake for about 17 minutes)
  6. Repeat with the second pizza
  7. Slice and enjoy!

Saturday 16 May 2015

Saturday Stuff

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Happy long weekend! It's Canada's unofficial start to summer! (photo credit)

Not only is it the weekend, but in Canada it's the looooong weekend! Nothing feels better than 5:00 on Friday afternoon of a long weekend, amiright!?

Last weekend Other Half and I experienced the jet-set lifestyle and flew over to the UK for my cousins wedding. We both took Friday off work and were back in our desks on Monday morning. It was a bit of a whirlwind but so 100% worth it. It was so nice to see family and celebrate such a happy occasion. Plus Dorset county is so beautiful this time of year! We swooned everywhere we looked.

This weekend will be decidedly more low key with almost no plans at all. That means lots of sleeping, sipping tea, and catching up on reading. Perfect.

What are your plans for the long weekend? Are you taking a mini-holiday? Or stay-cationing it up? Headed to the cottage? The park? The couch? I'd love to know!

Whatever you do, enjoy! And here's some reading to help you kick it all off...

This thai cashew coconut ginger peanut sauce dish has all of the flavours and looks amazing to boot! I'll be trying this one for sure!

I'm a kale fan. Some are, some aren't. I don't understand those who aren't. It's just such a lovely hearty green! Pretty sure this salad would go down a treat.

Obviously after all of that goodness you need to follow it up with something sweet. Allow me to introduce you to Smitten Kitchen's roasted marshmallow milkshake (!!!!!!!!!!!)

Home brewing your own beer is really having a moment these days. If you're a hipster, or just curious, check out this great guide from The Kitchn which will be guiding you through the process throughout the month.

The instant I get a house of my own you better believe I'll be renting some chickens. Please oh please some one I know do this so I can come over and delight in their presence and their presents! (get it? the eggs? they're like presents from the chickens? .... I know, I'm too witty for my own good)

On a more serious note (though I will seriously be renting chickens!) these images paint a pretty accurate picture of today's smartphone use in society. I'm all for smartphones and technological advancements in general (obviously, mine is also strapped to my side) but the art of conversation is definitely less pronounced in our younger generations (mine included).

Thursday 7 May 2015

Notes On Turning 30

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Hello World, it's my Birthday. And not just any birthday, but a big one. THE big one (until 40). The big 3-0. 30. Thirty. I'm thirty today. Today, I am 30. I'm just going to keep repeating that because I'm not quite sure I believe it. I don't feel thirty. I'm certain I rarely act thirty. I probably look thirty, but let's not go there. So what's a girl to do when she's faced with entering a new decade? 

Ride the emotional rollercoaster, of course! Over the last two weeks leading up to this day I have been at times excited, angry, confused, indifferent, and blasé. 

I've worked to figure out why, when I know logically it's just a number, I'm reacting this way. Let's break these down for real.

Excited - It's a whole new decade! I don't relate to those hard-partying 20 somethings, so now it's time to find my people. Huzzah! Also, look at everything I've done and I'm only 30! I've traveled near and far. I've lived on 3 continents. I've met the greatest man and gotten married (he even baked 2 dozen chocolate glazed doughnuts for a party on Saturday). I've finished a Master's degree. I've got a career. I've got the greatest friends. All in all I'm thrilled with where life has taken me and I cannot wait for the adventure to continue.

Angry - This often comes with the dangerous exercise of comparison. Don't ever do this. It's stupid. I did it and I felt crappy after. All those great things I've accomplished that I just mentioned? Well, they get lost in the void and the focus gets switch to the things I haven't done compared to friends/family/complete strangers. 

Confused - Am I supposed to feel different? Because I do and don't all at the same time, which is confusing in and of itself. 

Indifferent - Whatever, it's just another day. Except I'm going to get a free drink at Starbuck's - so that's a plus. 

Blasé - Harrumph. Meh. Ugh. However you word it, that's me.

At this moment, I'm a little bit of all of these things, and I feel like I'm feeling all of the feels, but come tomorrow they're all going to be a thing of the past - and I'm pretty happy about that. It'll be back to normal and in reality no different than any other day. 

There you have it world, that's me at thirty. It's time to go and eat some cake!

Until next time!

Saturday 2 May 2015

Saturday Stuff

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It's Saturday! Oh lovely, glorious, Saturday! And it's a beautiful day! It's sunny! It's warm! The sky is blue! The grass is green! And I'm having a birthday party at a bar that has wood fired pizza and arcade games! I won't mention how old I'm turning because there's only about 5 people who read this blog and you already know and there's no need for me to utter that terrifying number. Ugh, this is going downhill ...

... let's get back to Saturday. It's the best day of the week, one made for fresh goals and long boozy brunches. I can't wait for today!

Here's a few things I found while simultaneously watching friends and playing Two Dots on my phone. Enjoy them and enjoy this day!

Sometimes cooking and baking can be overwhelming. I'm a gadget gal, but there are times when I really appreciate just taking it back to basics and understanding how simple staples work for all cookery jobs - this helps. A lot.

This rainbow power salad is so colourful and so flavourful looking that I'm practically wiping the drool off my keyboard.

You know I love me a good cocktail, especially when they start to get creative!

When we were in Cuba over New Year's there was a night at the buffet that featured bananas foster. Our pal Steve went bonkers for them, something tells me he's going to appreciate this french toast as well.

But have you seen the pocket shark!?

When I'm about to explore a new city I'm always on the look for a good city guide, and I often turn to these from Design*Sponge first.

Have you heard? Denmark and Copenhagen are hella expensive places to visit. Undoubtedly worth it, but we're going to have to watch the budget pretty tightly on this one I think. Luckily smorrebrod exists and I'll be eating them all.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Perfect Pizza Dough

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I know I've shared a pizza dough recipe with you before, and it's still a good one, but it turns out there's a trick to getting Perfect Pizza Dough, and I've found it. This is a pizza dough that is perfectly textured so that you can roll it and throw it in the air just like in the restaurants without having to worry about holes or lumps.

Seriously, this recipe is so easy, and creates such a delightful crust that we've been making pizza on the regular. So much so that I can't even convince Other Half to go out for pizza anymore because he prefers the homemade stuff.

Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, with this trick I'm never looking back.

So, what's the trick? Bread flour.

I always knew there were different flours for a reason, but I don't think I ever believed they truly made a difference in the long run. Well, foot meet mouth because oh... em... gee... bread flour.

I'm a convert. Try it out and you will be too, I'm sure of it.

For the simplest and best results it's best to use a stand mixer with dough hook attachment and a pizza stone. These two combined means you have about 3 minutes of active time with your dough before it's ready to be used (plus more for rising) and a great even temperature cooking surface.

Keep reading for the recipe!

Saturday 18 April 2015

Saturday Stuff

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Spring has sprung in the city and no one, and I mean NO ONE, was more ready for this turn in weather than me. Every time I step outside in the morning I'm still amazed at how wonderful the air feels when it's not trying to give me frostbite just for putting one toe out the door. And the sun! Oh, the sun! Bringer of light and heat! I bow down to you.

Seriously guys, I needed spring and it's finally arrived.

The seasonal change feels so new that I'm still afraid it's going to just disappear it to blizzard of snow and cold, so I've been going for lots of walks to really soak it all in ... just in case.

All this new found fresh air (I'm really coming off like a winter hermit, aren't I?) has the added benefit of sound sleep and now that it's Saturday, a well deserved lie in to catch up on all the delights the internet has to offer. I've marked just a few for you today as I've been to busy taking in all of the spring, but I hope you enjoy them none-the-less!

Spring means summer is just around the corner which means it's the perfect time to start planning all of the ice-cream treats I'm going to consume, and I think these Blueberry Earl Grey Ice-cream Sandwiches are a great start! And they're vegan!

Spring air also means spring vegetables such as fiddleheads and asparagus (and so many other exciting things!) and these Baked Asparagus Fries are bound to show up on my dinner plate pretty soon.

What's a day-dream without a little travel? These 19 British Bookshops all look very worthy of a visit and a wander.

Just so that you all know now, I'm definitely the type of person that will looking to your living room while I'm walking by on the street. I'm nosy. Which is why I just love Jacquelyn's House Envy series.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday 9 April 2015

Blueberry Mint Lime Fizz

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I'm one of those people that really likes to chuck all kinds of different ingredients into a bowl and call it salad - or into a pot and call it soup, or curry, or what have you. My general rule of thumb is The More The Merrier, and if it clears those veggies-that-really-need-to-get-used-but-I-just-haven't- found-a-place-for-elsewhere, then all the better! For the most part this turns into a delicious experimentation, occasionally it goes awry, but I'll keep those disasters far from this blog, never fear.

One area I don't really experiment with very much is the beverage category. Yes, I've made some delicious cocktails and mocktails in the past, but on a day to day basis I drink water and that's about it (and truth be told not nearly enough of it). It can get a little boring after awhile especially since I don't appreciate super sugary sodas like I used to. I'm certain there was a time in my teenage years where I was sustained on that junk almost entirely, but I just can't handle them too much any more. And so, what's a gal to do when her water's a bit boring and her soda is making her feel sick? Chuck a bunch of ingredients into a glass and sip away, naturally.

Inspired by this iced tea I made last summer (which is delicious and wonderful and you should totally go make some), I decided to play with the mint and lime flavours again. By the way, mint and lime is always a recommended combination! 

Wanting an alternative to water that wasn't soda but was still fizzy so that it seemed more exciting, I started with a base of soda water. Because I could just throw in the lime and mint and leave at that, I decided to jazz it up a bit more with some fresh blueberries. The result was a fizzy, slightly sweet (thanks to the amazing blueberries), and super refreshing - exactly what I needed. 

What do you do when you need to mix up your hydration habit? I'd love some tips and ideas, please share!

Keep reading for the recipe!

Thursday 2 April 2015

Fish Tacos

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If there is one thing you should know about me, it's this - if there are fish tacos on the menu, I will order them. Without a doubt, fish tacos are one of my favourite dishes, the more layers and textures the better. Do you guys have a food like that? That you just have to order when you see it?

The best I ever tasted was from a food truck in Vancouver, Tacofino - it was perfectly cooked fish topped with a crunchy slaw (something I usually hate) and slightly spicy crema. It was perfect and I live exactly 4,382 Kms away. Wah wah. If you're ever in the area, check it out!

While this isn't exactly the same, it was definitely delicious. For starters I made my own tortillas (!!!!!), which was way easier then expected and then layered on all the goodness. The fish features a simple spice rub, and then it's topped with avocado, broccoli slaw, and a healthy portion of cilantro. The only thing missing (and I would definitely make sure I had next time) was some sort of crema - however a nice squeeze of fresh lime and sprinkle of sea salt really brought this taco into its own.

Keep reading for the recipe!

Saturday 28 March 2015

Saturday Stuff

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Saturday. Glorious, glorious, Saturday. I live for Friday nights just because I love the anticipation of Saturday so much. I really like to take it easy first thing in the morning, in fact it usually takes me at least an hour to get out of bed... first waking up on a Saturday morning is the most peaceful time of the week and is when I really start to feel the relaxation settle in. You can usually find me there with the cat on my legs and my iPad in hand scrolling through Pinterest or Instagram or some photo-heavy site like that, just absorbing all the things I skimmed over too quickly throughout the week.

If you're anything like me, than this post is for you. I purposefully post "Saturday Stuff" very early in the morning so that all these delightful links are ready and waiting for you to peruse while you lounge in the comfort of your bed. Or couch. Or patio. These links are meant to allow some time to just chill and look at pretty/interesting/quirky/delicious things. I hope you enjoy!

Anyone who knows me, knows I like hummus. No wait, I LOVE hummus. I could eat it daily. Sometimes I do. In fact, I'm eating it right now (no joke). While I tend to make the traditional stuff, bloggers are great for inspiring me to try new combinations. Just check out this, this AND this!

If you've read more than one "Saturday Stuff" you've probably noticed I like house renovations. Kitchens are a particular favourite of mine and this collection of the best kitchen renos from Apartment Therapy last year are pretty much the greatest thing ever.

Then there's this lamp. Essential.

So just to recap - I like hummus, kitchen renovations, and travel. Check, check, and check.

Did I tell you we've confirmed our trip to Europe this summer? We'll be flying into Oslo and out of Copenhagen and doing lots of hiking and eating in between. This should get us started.

This video is pretty great, and honest.

Well, that's all for now. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Blueberry Avocado Quinoa Salad

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And we're back! As you may or may not remember, on Saturday I shared that I'd be heading to the genius bar to get my computer diagnosed because it decided last week that it just didn't want to turn on. Not even a little bit.

Well, I did that, and long story short I'm now writing to you from my brand new laptop! It's so light, and fast, and quiet - it's instant love over here ladies and gentlemen. AND because Other Half is a teacher, and we're married, I got a discount! Education for the win!

But let's get back to the reason we're all really here. I'd like to introduce you all to my new favourite salad. I like a little bit of everything in my salads, and this one does not disappoint for that, but the main flavours are sweet blueberries, creamy avocado, nutty quinoa, a hint of salty feta, and a citrus-y dressing. Sounds good, right? That's because it is. Trust me. I went back for seconds and would have gone for thirds but my "tomorrow self" had already put dibs on those for lunch, and it was worth the wait because then I got to enjoy it all over again! And once I restock my lettuce supply, I'll be making this again and I already can't wait.

For the dressing I made a super-duper basic vinaigrette using calamansi balsamic vinegar, olive oil, a tiny bit of maple syrup and a pinch of salt and pepper. The calamansi is what gives it the citrusy flavour and is a hybrid between citrus and kumquat. If you don't have this, you can substitute in some regular balsamic vinegar and orange juice (because the orange juice will be sweeter you could also cut the maple syrup, but that's up to you!)

The nuts and seeds portion of this salad features hemp hearts and pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds), but it would delicious with sesame, chia, chopped almonds, or just about anything your genius brains can dream up.

This salad has really helped me focus on the weather warming up and all the delightful things that spring has to offer, including a whole fresh crop of spring veggies like fiddleheads and asparagus, woohoo!

Have you been doing anything lately that has you psyched for the changing season? I'd love to hear about!

Keep reading for the recipe!

Saturday 14 March 2015

Saturday Stuff

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I have a really delightful and fresh salad recipe to share with you all, but my computer decided it quit on me this week, so until I can meet a genius at a bar who claims to be able to fix it, that's going to have to remain a secret.

So, you've got a glimpse into what I'll be doing this weekend - waiting in line hoping against hope that I won't have to invest in a whole new computer. That, balanced out with some sushi and squash and I am one happy camper. 

And to you I say "happy Saturday!" Whether you're sipping coffee, day dreaming with a mimosa, or kicking it old school with a chocolate milkshake, I hope you have at least a few moments to relax with a good book, magazine, comic book or what have you. And if you're fresh out of reading, I've gathered up a few links that you may find interesting. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Not only does this look delicious, it's also called a dream-wich, so I mean... that's already a win, right?

And let's take a look at this tuna tartare on nori chips. Not only is it beautiful, but I recently read that nori is the next superfood, so that's two reasons to try this deliciousness. 

Ever wished you were a cartoon? These bags won't actaually make you animated, but they are pretty bright start.

This is my friend Betty. She's hella smart and makes science writing hella accessible. 

Ever since I saw the amazing floors in La Cubana, a local Cuban restaurant in our neighbourhood, I've been obsessed with graphic tiles. Now I might actually be able to afford them one day. 

Ever an excuse to travel, no? These green museums are just so intriguing. 

This guy!

Fingers crossed my computer is fixed soon, because I just KNOW you're going to love this salad!

Saturday 7 March 2015

Saturday Stuff

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via The Artful Desperado

Another Saturday! Huzzah! It felt like a bit of a doozy of a week with a weird stomach virus hitting me part way through which made me feel kinda wonky the rest of the week. Luckily it's over now and I have a weekend full of fun things ready to go. That, and the weather is on its way up... finally! So whether you're having a netflix marathon, running an actual marathon, or participating in a shopping marathon, make sure you take 5 minutes to sit back, sip something tasty, and partake in a little light reading.

It's the freakin' weekend, gonna have me some fun. And by that I mean watch House of Cards and sip on this boozy cocktail.

I've dreaming of doughnuts ever since I made these beauties, but these Cheddar Jalapeño Green Onion Doughnuts just take everything to the next level.

Remember the dress from last week? Well someone actually decided to do something good with all the viral.

This is the front lawn of my dreams

Still dreaming of my future home over here. Hoping I remember this when that day comes.

I found out about this cool maker-space in Toronto recently and promptly signed up for a wooden spoon carving workshop. I'm so excited!

Oh you know, just continuing to think about our upcoming adventure.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Caroline's Favourite Granola Bars (Vegan)

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Vegan Granola Bars with Sesame and Coconut

Have I told you guys about my pal Caroline? She's the best. I made her this cake. We met in China and only lived in the same city for about 6 months before she moved on to a dream job in Paris, but in that time we managed to chat for hours upon hours upon hours. We had the ability to talk about anything and everything, from work, to exercise (she got me solidly through my first straight 5k by yelling about zoo animals), travel, food, and every possible thing in between (literally).

In all of that, food was definitely our most common topic for daily discussion. I can wax poetic about food for an unnaturally long time, I mean it's the greatest, right? Luckily, Caroline can do this too. During one of our conversations she mentioned a granola bar recipe that she loves, but hadn't been able to make them due to lack of available ingredients. Somehow that conversation planted itself in the back of my brain and resurfaced recently. And now here we are.

This recipe is exactly what I was looking for. These are dense, chewy, and really help fight those 4:00 hunger pangs. I can see why they were a favourite in her household, because they've quickly become a favourite in ours!

And, just like all my favourite recipes, this one is super flexible, as long as you keep it at a 2:1 ratio for oats to nuts/seeds you're good to go!

Vegan Granola Bars with Sesame and Coconut Bars

Caroline's Favourite Granola Bars (vegan)

6 cup oats (I used old fashioned, but whatever you have will work)
1 cup sesame seeds
1 cup unsweetened dried shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped almonds/pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds (I used pumpkin seeds only, but play around with your favourite flavours!)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup nut butter (I used 1/2 cup sweet peanut butter, 1/2 unsweetened almond butter)
1 cup brown rice syrup
2 Tbsp coconut oil
chocolate chips (optional - you can go as high as 2 cups, I used 1 cup, and they can be left out all together if you prefer)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. In a frying pan on the stovetop, toast the sesame seeds, coconut, and other nuts/seeds until they are fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  3. In a bowl, combine the nut butter, brown rice syrup, and coconut oil. 
  4. Stir in the oats, flaxseed, and toasted seeds mixture. 
  5. Lastly, add the chocolate chips
  6. Press firmly into a 9 X 13 pan and bake at 350F for around 15 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. (Note from Caroline: I've had them range from 14-18 min (ish) depending on the oven. The centre will still look soft, but as long as the edges are slightly brown they are ready to take out.)
  7. Allow to cool completely before slicing. This allows everything to firm up and stick together. This is a very important step... don't rush the process, it's totally worth the wait!
  8. Slice and enjoy!

Saturday 28 February 2015

Saturday Stuff

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via The Kitchn

Welcome to another Saturday! I hope you're able to enjoy your weekend amongst the company of friends, family and good food. I'll be doing all of those things while also checking out a new to me brunch spot, sipping coffee, and lounging around in my PJ's as much as possible. I can't wait!

If you need to pass some time, here are some nifty things I found while looking around. Enjoy!

This is basically an ice creamy dessert version of this delightful drink. Yes, please!

I'm a big smoothie fan, and this Almond Joy version looks totally bonkers delicious.

I don't care what Wired says, I'm pretty sure everyone is just lying. #teamwhiteandgold

The definitive guide to butter and toast. So there you go.

This kitchen makeover though...

Wanderlust and Lipstick is a great resource, so ladies listen up and read this if you're thinking of heading on the road solo.

And if you need a reminder of some travel essentials, this should keep you covered.

Have a great weekend everybody! Catch you on the flip!

Tuesday 24 February 2015

Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili

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It is so cold here. I can feel my patience chipping away every second this deep freeze that Toronto seems to have sunk itself into lasts. It's gotten to the point where my mood instantly plummets in the morning if I check the weather and see that it is yet another extreme cold weather alert, or the windchill is taking the already cold -15 to an absolutely frigid -28. Seriously friends, I can't stand it any more. I need spring. Better yet, let's just rock right through to summer.

I know coming home from China was a choice, and I even know it was the right one, but living with the knowledge that our old city of Shenzhen is sitting around +20 degrees and our old school is on a two week break for Chinese New Year which is usually our best travelling opportunity - well it's really just adding to the crankiness around these parts. Bah humbug, as they say.

So, when I'm cold, and cranky, you can usually find me in one place - on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, eating a big bowl of something warm and comforting. This week it's this Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili that features black beans and a hint of chipotle that really sends it over the edge in terms of yumminess. I made a huge big batch in anticipation of many more chilly nights to come (pun not intended, but kept it because I really appreciate my brain sometimes).

As with most things that come from my kitchen, this is really flexible depending on what you have in your fridge or pantry, and I encourage you to play around to find your own favourite combinations.

How do you cope with constant cold? For real, please tell me, I need some new strategies!

Enjoy and keep reading for the recipe!

Saturday 21 February 2015

Link Love-In: Saturday Stuff

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via DesignSponge

Welcome to the weekend! Whether you're working for the weekend, working on the weekend, or busy transforming yourself into a weekend warrior (whatever that means...) I thought I'd share some light reading with you - because no matter where you are, you deserve to kick back with a good cuppa and peruse the inter-webs for a bit. I hope you enjoy this little bit of distraction/relaxation!

I looooooove kale. The texture, the flavour, the versatility. I'm definitely not a "kale is for salads" only type of person, but I can get into a rut with it at times, which is why articles like this one are so helpful. (via Food 52)

I've already highlighted my love for Jacqulyn's blog, lark & linen, and this brownie cake with salted caramel peanut sauce dessert is only adding to that love. I mean really, you should see this thing. Drool town. (via lark&linen)

Other Half and I happen to have one of the smallest bedrooms in the city. It didn't bother me at first, but lately I'm feeling it. Some of these tips may just be making their way to our bedroom very soon. (via Apartment Therapy)

Having decided to move back to Canada and really give this whole "settling down" thing a try, we've also been throwing around the idea of attempting to buy something of our own. While I don't know if that's going to happen anytime soon or not, it's never too early to dream about what my space might look like and these images from Brittany Ambridge of Domino magazine definitely getting me into my dream state! (via Decor8)

Did you know it's Chinese New Year? Happy year of the Goat! The official New Year's day was on Thursday, but their celebrations actually last for two weeks. If you don't know much about the holiday, this article does a pretty good job. (via

Having had to skip out on a longer honeymoon last year to allow Other Half to start a new job on time, we're planning for something a little longer this year (though still limited thanks to Canada's criminally low vacation minimums). We're hoping it will involve Europe and The New York Times does a stellar series called 36 Hours and I think this stop in Copenhagen is perfect. Feel free to get lost in the many (many back articles of this series!) (via The New York Times).

Having the opportunity to visit almost all of South East Asia over the last two years was such a gift, but it also made we want to discover and explore my own country a lot too. I know a trip out East is in our near future, and this guide to Halifax is going to come in very handy! (via DesignSponge)

Enjoy your weekend my friends!

Monday 16 February 2015

Wide Angle: Vol. 17

Pin It Time is one of the most fascinating concepts on the planet. There are moments when it drips by at a pace so slow that if it were a visible construct you wouldn't be able to detect movement with the naked eye. And then there are times when it moves so quickly you can scarcely remember it at all.  The last couple weeks I have experienced both ends of this spectrum and I can't say either is better or worse, it just is.

Work has kept me increasingly busy, which makes the days disintegrate before my eyes. While a bad cold/flu type thing has kept me laid up on the couch for the entire long weekend making it feel never-ending. Time, it seems, is a fickle little beast. All this to say I don't understand how two weeks have gone by without a post, but it has. oops!

Anyway, here I am with a quick little post to take a long overdue wide angle look at the goings on in my life. On, on...

1. This is how I spent my transition to the new year. The colours in this country (Cuba) were so vivid and dreamy.

2. This is what my world looks like now. Frozen and grey. With record breaking cold temperatures in Toronto lately, I would give a lot to be back on the perfectly warm beaches of Cuba... 6 weeks feels so long ago.

3. & 4. If you follow my instagram, this is not the first time you've seen my cat. It won't be the last time either.

5. Starting back in the world of work mid-winter is an interesting and slightly depressing time. Beside the fact that you now need to leave your cozy home at an unseemly hour of the morning, you also happen to feel like the world is always in a dusk/dawn state. On rare occasions you get to see some beautiful pinks and oranges, but mostly you feel like you always live in semi-darkness.

6. Did you hear? I made doughnuts.

7. This is how I spent Friday night and it was amazing. A giant salad and glass of scotch. Perfect.

8. There is a lot of seafood on that two tiered platter. I (and Other Half) ate it all. It was amazing.

Until next time!

Tuesday 3 February 2015

Brown Butter Buttermilk Doughnuts

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I mean... doughnuts!

I just don't know any other way to introduce the most exciting of all food groups. In fact, I'm just not even sure what to say about these in general. It's like the nuttiness of the browned butter has taken over my brain and left me with the inability to think anything other than "mmm" and "delicious" and "drool" ... basically I'm having a Homer Simpson moment all over this blog.

I mean... doughnuts!

It shouldn't come as a surprise that I've already started stock piling recipe ideas in my mind to cover each season. I'm already counting down the days until I can make a lemon doughnut with a sweet strawberry glaze, or the inevitable pumpkin spice doughnut with salted caramel drizzle, or winter's ginger and apple spiced doughnut with cinnamon sugar. Seriously. I can't stop.

I mean... doughnuts! Seriously!

I don't think I need to tell you that this is most exciting thing I've made in a long time. Or maybe ever. I was given a doughnut pan for Christmas and it was a supremely exciting moment. Except now I've realized just how accessible I've made doughnuts to my life, and I can already foresee the wardrobe issues I'm going to be having in the near future becauseI already want all of the doughnuts, all of the time.

For this inaugural foray into the ridiculously world of doughnuts I've worked with a recipe from my standby baker extraordinaire, Joy the Baker. There doesn't seem to be much this woman can't do, except maybe eat more doughnuts than me - that has yet to be seen, and her basic brown butter doughnut recipe was a perfect place to start. I altered it only slightly to accommodate my pantry.

I never would have thought that I would consider a doughnut pan a kitchen staple, but there is no way I'm ever turning back now!

I mean... doughnuts!

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Chickpea Salad Sandwich

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What do people eat for lunch? I feel like now that I'm back in the daily grind I just don't know what to eat for my mid day meal. I prefer to pack my own for several reasons, the main two being cost and health, but unless I've got a good amount of leftovers from the previous night's dinner, I just don't know what to do. Sandwiches are an easy option but when you don't eat meat, cheese and veg can get a bit boring. It's time like this that make me miss certain foods now that I've cut land animals from my diet. Chicken salad sandwiches are just one of those things.

While skimming through the delightful and infamous Angela of Oh She Glows' cookbook I found a chickpea salad sandwich that took me back in time like no other. In reality, the base of this recipe is just your favourite chicken salad with chickpeas in place of the chicken, which is genius in it's simplicity. This is the kind of lunch I can get into. I used celery, bell pepper, pickle, and shallot to pad this out, but next time I think I'm also going to add shredded carrot, because why not?

To make this vegan, use veganaise in place of regular mayo and away you go.

Keep reading for the recipe!

Thursday 15 January 2015

Vegan African Peanut Stew

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Breaking news internet world: Target is withdrawing from Canada. Here are 3 reasons why this is good, 3 reasons why this is bad, and 1 reason why I'm even mentioning it.

The good:

  • Support local businesses! Shopping local diversifies our products (so we don't all have the same everything like those creepy GAP commercials from the '90s) and helps humans support themselves who actually live in our communities.
  • Serves 'em right! 133 new stores in less than 18 months. Are you cah-razy!?!? No one should expand into a new market that quickly. It was cocky and now you've lost a billion dollars. 
  • I'm just not a fan of the big box world. So there.
The bad:
  • Where the crap am I going to get a half decent sports bra and a cute bathing suit for less than $20!?
  • This whole debacle just made me mention my bra... I'm sorry. It was probably weird.
  • So long cheap peanut butter
  • *note there are also approximately 17,000 jobs disappearing, this also bad. Right up there with the sports bra and peanut butter.
Why I'm even mentioning it:
  • The peanut butter. It gets consumed quickly in this household, and is a key ingredient in my new favourite meal - African Peanut Stew. And now I have to buy it at a regular priced store!?

I have been wanting to make this recipe for years. About 5 years, in fact. It was first and only other time I've eaten it, a friend shared some she had made and I thought it was the most delicious stew I'd ever tasted. Mostly because it doesn't really taste like stew. I don't have anything against stew, but it doesn't feature sweet potatoes and collard greens and peanut butter like this one does, so it obviously wins hands down.

I always had the notion that it would be difficult to make with lots of ingredients that I probably didn't have in my already fairly well stocked pantry. So every few months I would see some peanuts and think, hmmm I should make that stew. And then I wouldn't because I'd be concerned about the effort and the ingredients.

I'm laughing at my old self now because oh-boy-oh-boy is this a snap! It uses totally normal ingredients and it's really simple. It is also hearty and fresh and a touch sweet and savoury and just so, soooooo good.

Go stock up on peanut butter before all the Targets close and then make this!

Keep reading for the recipe!

Monday 5 January 2015

Another Year Gone By

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Image source 
Happiest of New Years to you all!

So I didn't quite get to posting in between my two trips like I had hoped, but that's only because I was too busy rolling around in holiday spirit and enjoying time with loved ones, just as it should be.

As it's time for another (another!?) new year, I can't help but think about the amazing one that just passed. 2014 was a big year. I got married (woop!), watched friends get married, moved back to Canada, travelled to Burma, Nepal, around China, Chicago, France, Bahrain and Cuba, had an existential crisis when I thought I'd never find work, found work, made friends, and learned to make my own lip gloss. It was big guys. And almost all of it was amazing. I'm a very lucky human.

There have been times in my life where I have managed to recognize the feeling of pure and simple happiness. Times when I think "this is it". I often race through experiences without taking the time to pay attention to how I feel and just assume that if I don't feel bad/sad/mad, I must feel good or happy. And I probably am most of the time. I'm a very optimistic person. However sometimes, I know that "this" is happiness, and I love those times because they make me smile without realizing and they often sneak up when you're not even paying attention.

In the past year I have felt that feeling:
  • On my wedding day - this is a time when I was paying attention. This may seem like an obvious one, but I was very conscious of the time speeding by and so I tried as hard as possible to reflect on the feeling as it was happening
  • Sitting on a catamaran in the sun in Cuba - the whole trip was a blast, but right then it was simple and awesome
  • Sitting on a noisy, dusty, bumpy, sweaty, colourful, and crowded bus in Nepal listening to my students totally let go and belt out every imaginable, safe-for-work, top 40 song in existence. 
  • Waking up to find my cat curled up on my belly snoring away
  • Drinking mimosas with my family
  • Lounging in a friend's backyard after recently returning from China
Perhaps there were more, but these are the ones I can remember most from the last year, and I feel pretty darn lucky for it.

Over the last year you dear readers have really been into this hiking trip to Hong Kong and this guide to packing light, this classic Mac & Cheese, two ginger drinks in the form of this Elderflower Lime Refresher and this Ginger Beer Cocktail, and these Pumpkin and Carrot Muffins.  I thank you for your interest in these things and I hope you continue to find items of interest on this space - my goal is to offer things of delight, but I'll settle for mild curiosity if I must. I'm hoping that over the next year, with the start of this new job and continued settling in to Toronto that things will only go up for this little blog, but who really knows. As long as I've got adventures, I'm good - and I hope you are too.

So until next time, have a happy new year!


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