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Hello Everyone!

Wow, first of all, HUUUUUUGE Thank You to those who liked my last post “My Month As A Vegan”. As promised here is a recipe that I am IN LOVE with. I only have one picture 😦 I’m sorry, I totally forgot to do a step by step, but lucky for youuuu I’ve broken it down so it’s fool proof and you don’t need the pictures to guide you! PS: For future recipes I will include pictures, they’re always fun.

HERE WE GOO:1003296_10200893464812335_1004860051_n

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 Fresh corn on the cobs (or 1 can of corn)
1 Bell pepper (your choice for colour, I chose red)
1-1.5 Cups of frozen, shelled, edamame beans (I normally just eye ball it)
Cooked brown rice
Lemon juice
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil (optional)
Big bowl and spoon

Step 1:
Pull everything out and start shoving it all into a big bowl! Personally, I like to put all the ingredients into a bowl then put a plate on top so I don’t have to waste plastic wrap, that way as you’re adding the ingredients all you have to do to cover it is put the plate on! At this point, pull our your frozen edamame so it can defrost a bit.

Step 2:Rinse and cook your brown rice. Rinsing will help remove all the unwanted starch. Make as much or as little as you want! I always make like a cup, then put it in the fridge and use it during the week. Make sure to follow the ingredients!

Quick tip: putting your brown rice into the fridge (uncooked) will help it stay better longer!

Another quick tip: the easiest way to cook rice:
A) use a regular coffee mug to measure out the rice (1 full mug)
B) rinse or soak rice
C) boil some water in a kettle
D) put drained rice into pot, then put 2 mug fulls of boiled water into pot over rice, bring to boil, then lower heat and simmer until all the water is gone.
Rule of thumb: always use a 2:1 method for rice. 2 cups water (or liquid, veggie broth is nice too) to 1 cup of rice.

Step 3:
A)Put edamame in your bowl (still a bit frozen is okay).
B)Add your corn: for fresh just cut down the sides of the corn so you have the pieces, or for canned simply drain and add.
C)Cut up your bell pepper (bite sized pieces is perfect)

Step 4:
Now this step is completely up to you and your taste buds. BUT here’s what I do:
A) Squeeze in some lemon juice (not too much to the point where its watery)
B) Season with salt and pepper
C)Optional: Add a small amount of olive oil
D) Toss everything together

If you have some fresh cilantro or parsley that would be great in here too!

Step 5:
Once rice is finished cooking, spoon on some salad on top and you’re ready to eat!

SEE Now wasn’t that just the simplest!? Make sure to keep your rice and left over salad separate when storing it in the fridge! That way if you want to use the rice for something else you can! It’s perfect for lunches or dinners the next day!

Super easy. Super tasty. Vegan.

Hope you try this out! Let me know how it goes.xoxox

Caitlin

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Hello Beauties!! Hope everyone is enjoying their summer and having lots of fun in the sun!!

It’s been a long while, but I always enjoy writing health and diet related posts, so this one was a no brainer!

ENTER: My Month As A Vegan!

Now as a quick disclaimer: I’d been an ovo-lacto vegetarian since 11th grade (meaning I eat eggs and dairy but no meat), Shannon since she was in her first year of university; fast track to 2013- that’s 6 years! It’s not for everyone, I totally understand that and believe you me, I did and still do heavy research about being vegetarian ALL the time. I have books on books and I’ve read countless articles. I am kind of a fact junkie on this specific topic. I’m not a dietician andΒ  I don’t recommend it for everyone, it’s not a trend it’s a lifestyle. πŸ™‚ Do your own research and make your own choices.

How it started:

Well it all started with one of the best/worst sources for vegetarian information ever… PETA. I do not like the PETA website, I think they’re overly pushy about what they stand for, in my opinion. I’m still a strong believer and share a lot of the same values against animal cruelty, however, it’s just too in your face for me. None the less, it’s how it all started. I don’t really want to go into details as it could be really boring for those of you who are reading this post, but just know that it was a strong enough influence to change my mind about eating meat.

What I did:

Remembering back, I think I was in 9th grade or so when I first was shown the PETA website. I immediately wanted to be vegetarian right away, but being that I was so young and still living in my parent’s house it just wasn’t an option at the time (or so my mom says). It wasn’t until Shannon was in her first year of university that my mom said it would be okay (I was in 11th grade). I did TONS of research and cooked a lot of my own proteins (My mom made the side dishes like veggies and carbs). It was crucial at that point in time to make sure that I was providing my body with all of the necessary nutrients it needed. I still to this day do lots of reading and research.

CUE: My Month As A Vegan!!!

Now I’ve always been very sensitive to dairy products. I wouldn’t say that I’m entirely classified as “lactose intolerant” but my body definitely doesn’t process it very well. I can still handle it, I just suffer through the bloating and gassy mess afterwards; therefore I always just bought soy or almond milk instead when I started living on my own! Cheese is definitely a danger zone for me, I get ADDICTED! So I just simply never brought it into the house unless it was for a special occasion. In regards to eggs: I’m not a huge egg eater and lately my ‘want’ for eggs has been even lower to the point where I stopped buying them entirely. That’s when I thought that I would start a one month, self tested body experiment where I cut out dairy and eggs entirely to see if I feel any different!

The Transition To Vegan-ism:

I started by asking my already vegan friend if I could borrow a couple of her books. My main inspiration came from The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone; something I’d always wanted to read, but never got around to. It’s a great read for any of you who are doing research, or like to read up on health related subjects! It was very informative, has a lot of tasty recipes and even has different levels of transitioning into not eating meat, dairy, or eggs! Super user friendly.

I have to say all in all, the transition was very easy! I didn’t find cooking for myself challenging at all! You just simply don’t use dairy or eggs when cooking. And for those times that you do, you simply substitute for a dairy, egg free option! Like Earth Balance is a vegan friendly butter, almond and soy milks are easily used in place of milk! They even have vegan cheese and meat alternatives now! The world is becoming more and more vegetarian and vegan friendly! More than I think we know!

How I’m Feeling Now?

I feel AMAHAAZING! Lighter, healthier, and just overall better. Mind you I’m sure I’m feeling lighter because I’m not consistently bombarding my body dairy products which it hates causing me to bloat and feel super uncomfortable. I feel like I have more energy and that I enjoy eating and cooking more. It’s simpler too and fun to try combinations I never thought of.

One thing that The Kind Diet puts emphasis on for those of you who are looking to go vegan is the idea of incorporating whole grains into your diet. I’m not talking copious amounts of whole wheat bread and pasta, I’m talking the pure, unrefined whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, oats and so much more! Beans also take the spotlight. Now, don’t fret! You can have beans and not be gassy by soaking them first! My advice is to buy dried beans, soak them on your own for an entire day (changing the water a couple times) and then boiling them until they’re tender. By soaking them, you let out all of the gassy properties. Fun fact hey?! As a rule of thumb, make sure you’re getting 1/4 plate whole grains, 1/4 plate protein and 1/2 plate veggies/fruits! By doing that you don’t have to worry about missing out on protein levels; one of the major concerns for those who are considering vegetarianism or veganism. To be honest, a lot of people right now get MORE protein than their body can handle processing at one time. There’s actually a lot of protein in food that you never thought, like vegetables, legumes, and leafy greens!! If you’re super concerned, try adding protein powder to your diet.

Where To Now?

It’s been almost a month since I started eating vegan and I honestly don’t see myself stopping any time soon. Therefore, I think it would be great to start a blog series of yummy, easy to make recipes! Within the last month I started making my own hummus (I’ll never buy store bought again), I’ve perfected the most amazing avocado Alfredo, and have a delicious corn and edamame bean salad under my belt!! Make sure to keep an eye out for that πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading everyone!

See you soon

xoxo

Caitlin

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Hello All!

It’s been a super long time since I’ve done a blog post. I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while and I am very excited to share it with you. This cake is so delicious! Surprisingly delicious actually. I wish I could properly express to you how much I enjoy this cake! I can’t say enough good things about it so definitely give it a try. This cake is loaded full of apples, nuts and all those fall and wintery spices that are so comforting and make it instantly feel like a recipe that has been in your family forever. There is also a luscious caramel sauce that accompanies the cake and it is the best caramel sauce I literally have ever had, let alone made! This caramel sauce is so good and easy to make that it has now become my go to caramel sauce for ice cream… eating directly out of the container… whatever. I first had this at my friend’s house and had to steal the recipe for myself! Since then I haveΒ  made it for my family during Thanksgiving and everyone absolutely loved it. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

You can see all the delicious pieces of apple and pecans inside the cake! And it un-molds from the Bundt pan beautifully if you oil and flour the pan properly. I have described how to do so in the photos below.

INGREDIENTS:

Apple cake –

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tsp vanilla or almond extract
  • 4 cups apples, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup pecans (toasted almonds are also a very good substitute if you do not have pecans on hand. If you have a nut allergy feel free to leave the nuts out completely. I think adding raisins or another dried fruit such as cranberries would also make a great addition to or instead of the nuts)

Caramel Sauce –

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream

DIRECTIONS:

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugars (white and brown), cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, oil, eggs, and extract (we used vanilla). Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in apples and pecans. The batter will look very dense, but trust me it turns out very moist and delicious! Spoon the batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan and bake in a 325 degree F oven for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for approximately 15 minutes, un-mold and cool on rack.

To make the caramel sauce, melt butter and sugar over medium heat stirring for about 5 minutes until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cream, stirring as you bring it to a boil. Simmer until the mixture is slightly reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes. Slice the cake and serve with warm caramel sauce and a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you have it!

Some more photos to help guide you through the process!

Here is the oiled and floured Bundt pan. Simply spray with non stick cooking spray or apply vegetable or olive oil to cover the entire inside of the pan. Then use a sifter or spoon to sprinkle the flour all over the oiled surface. Make sure it is entirely coated with the flour then turn it upside down and shake out any excess.

Dry ingredients

Wet ingredients with melted butter

Diced apples. We used gala apples as well as some apples that came from my friend's tree in her backyard

Sorry I forgot to take a picture of the finished cake with the caramel sauce! We got a little excited and ate it before I remembered the camera… yes it is that good!

Give it a try and let us know what you think in the comments πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading!

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Hello Everyone!

Hope you all had a wonderful Wednesday! I sure did.. .kinda haha

Anyway, check out the video below to see part of mine and Shannons Davids Tea stash!
This is only a bit of it, we still have a lot of tins in cupboard but I thought that it would be kinda nice to show you what we have, and some of my personal favourites!

Thanks for watching πŸ™‚ Tomorrow I should have a hair tutorial up for you all!

xoxo
Caitlin

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I guess we’re on a roll with mini birthday foods ! Hahah Me and my older sister, Nicole, were expert bakers for a day and decided to make Caitlin cute mini angel food cakes for her 21st birthday! We wanted to do home made angel food cake because it’s low fat, and Caitlin is very health conscious, even on her birthday. But home made angel food cake wasn’t enough! We needed to make them individually sized – mini! With a fresh strawberry and whipped cream filling, topped with dark chocolate ganache and delicate edible pearls. Happy Birthday to you. You’re Welcome. That is all.

Now these took about 2 hours to make. Not because it's difficult to do, but because there are quite a few components to make. I assure you they're well worth the time and effort πŸ™‚

(Angel Food recipe modified from: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Angel-Food-Cake-III/Detail.aspx)

Ingredients for Angel Food:

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 12 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Β Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Be sure that your 10 inch tube pan is clean and dry. Any amount of oil or residue could deflate the egg whites. Sift together the flour, and 3/4 cup of the sugar, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the egg whites along with the vanilla, cream of tartar and salt, to medium stiff peaks. Gradually add the remaining sugar while continuing to whip to stiff peaks. When the egg white mixture has reached its maximum volume, fold in the sifted ingredients gradually, one third at a time. Do not overmix. Carefully spoon batter into an ungreased cupcake baking tray. We filled the cupcake tray quite full as we needed space to cut out the middle and fill with whipped cream and strawberry mixture.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cakes springs back when touched. Balance the tube pan upside down on the top of a bottle, to prevent decompression while cooling. When cool, run a knife around the edge of each cake and invert onto a plate.

Just out of the oven.

Inverted pan while the mini angel food cakes set up.

Ingredients for Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Approx. 10 Fresh strawberries- washed, completely dried and chopped
  1. Place cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl. Using a stand or hand mixer, mix until the whipped cream is light and airy and volume has doubled with soft peaks.
  2. Add fresh, dried strawberries into the whipped cream and stir gently to combine.

Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Ganache:

  • 6 oz. dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  1. Place cream in sauce pan on low heat. Heat the cream just until little bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Do not let the cream boil! Once the cream has reached a simmer, take it off the heat and pour it into the chopped chocolate bits in a separate bowl. Let the chocolate sit in the cream for about 5 minutes – no touchy! After 5 minutes, the chocolate should be melted and simply stir the cream and chocolate together until completely blended and smooth. Set aside to cool.

Chopping 6oz. of dark chocolate.

Pouring the heated cream onto the chocolate.

Now to put all the components together!

Using a knife, carefully cut holes in the tops of the cakes and remove some of the middle of the cake to make room for the filling. You don't have to throw the excess cake away! rip it into little pieces and add it to the whipped cream/ strawberry filling for a nice texture, or just eat the extras πŸ™‚

Fill the centre of each cake with the filling.

Replace the tops of the cakes and spoon over the cooled chocolate ganache.

We decorated ours with little edible pearls that were purchased at Micheal's Craft Store.

Birthday Girl!

Yum!

Hope you give this a try!

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

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Hello Everyone,

This past weekend Shannon and I made a trip to our local mall and headed straight for the Davids Tea shop! Probably hands down one of my favourite stores in the entire mall!

If you are unfamiliar of what Davids Tea is, it is a loose leaf tea shop where they offer a whole bunch of teas! All loose leaf, so you can buy as much, or as little as you want! The sales associates are always so pleasant, you can literally stand there for half an hour smelling any tea that you want. The best part? Each season they come out with new limited edition teas, they are always adding new teas to their lineup. Autumn is my favourite time of year, and especially at Davids Tea. Thats when they start to come out with the warm, tasty teas! Now don’t let the name of the store fool you, they sell other things too… Like the most amazing travel mugs (I have three myself), tea sweeteners, tea pots, tea steepers, anything that you can think of that has to do with tea, they have it!

I filmed a video for you all on what we purchased! I am accompanying this post with another, part 2, which is where I show you some of the tea stash that Shannon and I have going on in our cupboards! Keep an eye out for that πŸ™‚

xoxox
Caitlin

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Hello Everyone!

Caitlin here. Today I would like to dedicate my blog post to my dear friend Arielle. She is going to be going for surgery tomorrow! The surgery itself is very basic, however her healing time is a little bit longer. So! In the spirit of having no time, and needing an excuse to make a cake, Shannon and I decided to make her a “Get Better Soon” cake that she can eat while she is taking some time off to heal and get better!!

Here we goo!

I took my inspiration for this cake from this blog post I found, just in case you would like to see!: http://www.bakedecoratecelebrate.com/projects/brimmingwithroses.cfm?cat=1

Shannon and I used the same simple marshmallow fondant recipe for the roses and to cover the cake πŸ™‚

To make simple fondant roses I used this youtube video as reference: http://youtu.be/Uzp3XfhUpQ4

I hope you enjoyed this post! And love the cake as much as we did!

Thanks for reading πŸ™‚

xoxo

Caitlin

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