Saturday, October 25, 2014

lace cookies (vegan + gluten free)

two years ago when i was told a good friend of mine had allergies to dairy and gluten, i was completely stumped as to what that left (baking wise) for her to enjoy. fast forward to now, and i have yet another friend with a similar sensitivity to both diary and gluten. but at this point, i'm a seasoned pro when it comes to vegan, gluten-free baking. (see whoopie pies here!)

these lace cookies are SO quick and easy to make, gratifying to eat (for even us dairy/ gluten consuming types) and offer a caramely comfort that goes perfectly with an afternoon cup of tea. a real crowd pleaser around these parts and your sensitive friends will be rejoicing at how thoughtful you were in catering to them!

just a little note: some of these ingredients may seem a little odd if you aren't accustomed to gluten-free baking, but most are readily available at natural foods stores, the natural sections of bigger grocery stores, online (check amazon), or even at stores like Winners (they often have a really good natural food selection).

lace cookies
slightly modified from babycakes 

:: ingredients ::
1 3/4 cups bobs red mill all-purpose gluten-free flour (you can find this amazon here)
3/4 cup coconut sugar
3/4 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup arrow root powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 cup oil (melted coconut, organic canola or EVOO will do the trick)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract

:: directions ::
preheat oven to 325 degrees
in a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. add the oil, apple sauce and vanilla, and stir with a spatula until all ingredients are incorporated
line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and place tablespoon sized (for larger cookies) or teaspoon sized (for smaller one-bite cookies) scoops, spacing about an inch apart
bake for 8 minutes, rotate the pans, and bake for another 7-10 minutes, or until cookies are deep golden in colour, and cooked throughout
let cool for 15 minutes (this will let the cookies firm up) and enjoy!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

across the country + back : best buds

finn and theo have been the best of friends since birth. their connection is incredible to witness, and each time they are together, they immediately pick up where they left off.

during out visit in calgary, we had dinner at the deboer's beautiful new home in auburn bay. when we arrived, mike had built the most epic of homemade slip and slides in the park across the street. the boys were quick to jump on, giggle up a storm, and slide down over and over again, loudly protesting when it was inevitably time to come in for dinner.

multiple times on this trip i said to jeff 'this is the first best summer of finn's life' and this was definitely the start of it all.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

across the country + back: popsicles in calgary

finally! the first post from our 2 month cross canada road trip! i have opted to share photos in small batches as there are over 1,700 to weed through, and it seems like the most manageable way to even start to tackle that beast.

so today- popsicles in my parents backyard in calgary.

finn isn't totally keen on sweets, but apparently loves popsicles. we blended raspberries, water, and a touch of honey and used a popsicle mould my mom gave him. the result was super messy (and i was pretty baffled when jeff let finn eat one in a WHITE TSHIRT!!) but finn totally loved them.

Friday, October 10, 2014

this is it

one of my girlfriends recently shared a story about 'this is it' moments. her and her best friend use the term to describe a moment in life that is so perfect and you are so happy, that if it all ended right then and there, your heart would be full to the brim and you would be content. perhaps a tad dark, but this past week, the sentiment has completely resonated with me. i have had not one, but two of these perfect 'this is it' moments.

on wednesday, finn and i vistited the maritime museum. the museum itself was great - we had fun and finn loved exploring, but afterwards, we sat on the grass looking out into english bay. finn crawled up into my lap, held my hands, and we sat in silance watching boats float by. clouds grazed around the bottom of the mountains and the leaves were every perfect shade of fall. i couldnt help but embrace the tears that overflowed from my eyes as i said repeatedly 'i cant believe we live here.' that moment was everything to me.

then today, a grey and gloomy day marking what appears to be the start of a grey and gloomy winter. i was determined to get over to the north shore and hike around with finn. i made him a little scavenger hunt, packed us a lunch and a pair of binoculars, and away we went. in the middle of our trek, we climbed up onto a giant rock, ate peanut butter sandwiches, and talked as we watched leaves float down from a place higher than we could see. finn giggled and pointed out all the beautifulness that being in the middle of a rain forest has to offer and i couldn't help but look at this kid- a kid I MADE- and beam from ear to ear. it was simply perfect.

on our journey across the country, everyone we saw asked how we were liking vancouver. of course our reply was that we liked it, but it definitely took being away for two months and coming home again for me to realize two things- that we absolutely LOVE it, and finally, after almost two whole year, it feels like home.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

sweet + spicy edamame

a few months back when i did the elimination cleanse, i become obsessed with qwyneth paltrows broccoli rabe recipe (actually, obsessed might be a understatement- i crave it all the time and still make it ALL. THE. TIME…) one day i ran out of broccoli (GASP!) and had an idea that i thought might work as an ok substitute. little did i know, it would officially become my second most favourite food obsession.

i call this concoction sweet and spicy edamame- but if we are being honest, i use the base recipe on just about any vegetable we have kicking around (broccoli, cauliflower, kale or spinach, brussel sprouts, or any combination of a few together… whatever you have). i do try to limit our soy intake, but will say, edamame is delicious and packed full of protein, so it fills you up like sometimes other vegetables don't. if edamame is your jive, definitely spring for the organic variety.

sweet + spicy edamame
all ingredient amounts are approximate and can be adjusted up or down to suit your flavour and quantity preference. the below recipe is enough for a medium sized lunch for one, or a smaller side dish for two. 

:: ingredients ::
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
a sprinkling of red chilli flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like things)
1+ cup organic shelled edamame (or other favourite vegetable)
1-2 tbsp organic, gluten free tamari (or soy sauce if you are doing the gluten thing)
a generous drizzle of honey
pepper to taste

:: directions ::
drizzle olive oil in a pan (cast iron is great) over medium-high heat.
add garlic and red chilli flakes and cook until garlic is just starting to turn golden, approximate 2-3 minutes.
add edamame and cook for another couple minutes until edamame is warm
add tamari and generous drizzle of honey and give a quick stir.
let simmer and continue to still occasionally until liquid starts to thicken up and coat the edamame nicely (about 5 or so minutes). Careful not to let it burn.
finish with a little grind of pepper and serve! either on its own, or on a bed of brown rice or quinoa- i promise your tummy and tastebuds will be happy.

Friday, October 3, 2014

home sweet home

we are finally back in vancouver. after exactly 2 months traveling all over this beautiful country of ours, we are now nestled in watching the leaves change and soaking up every last drop of sunshine before the rain takes over for a long, cold winter.

for lack of a better word, our trip was incredible. (and i will share some of the 1700+ photos i took soon...) we were lucky to get to see almost all of our family and dearest friends. we ate delicious food, drank way (way!) too much, visited everywhere we wanted to go, caught up with some of the most wonderful souls, and made some amazing memories.

upon returning home, finn was quick to make two request. the first being to see his buddies that he missed so so much while we were away. the second was to pick pumpkins and get ready for halloween. so of course, we did just that.