All posts tagged: baking

vegan raspberry rhubarb buckle cake

raspberry rhubarb buckle

Normally this is the time of year when I’m so ready to bust out of my winter cocoon and flip on the extroverted switch. Usually I’m feeling so prepared to go out and socialize after months of hibernating, to host a BBQ, and plan some fun summery adventures. But I haven’t hit that mode yet. For the past while I’ve been more focused on looking inward rather than outward, trying to figure out how to feel healthier and happier. Part of that has materialized in a lot of cleaning and organizing around the house (I guess that’s why they call it spring cleaning?). I can’t feel relaxed if our house seems cluttered or messy, which maybe is a reflection of how my brain feels most of the time; it makes sense that there would be a connection between our physical surroundings and mental/emotional state. So before I can address my cluttered/busy brain, I address what’s in front of me, because making a to-do list of chores is infinitely easier than resolving the stresses in one’s …

spring-y filo quiche

Well, it seems that spring is finally upon us. The days are slowly getting warmer and longer, and more people are spending time outside. Downtown has been filled with people the past couple weekends, and I’ve noticed a number of people in my neighbourhood outside getting their yards and gardens ready to plant once more. People are so eager to reacquaint themselves with the outdoors, buzzing with the sight of flowers at the market, the promise of BBQ season on the horizon, and to see friends they may have seen infrequently due to extreme hibernation (that would be me). As we start to spend more time outdoors, it generally means wanting to spend a wee bit less time indoors standing over the stove. This quiche is perfect if you’re feeling too lazy to fuss around with pastry (or forgot to make it the day before). It comes together quickly and makes an attractive centrepiece for a brunch with family and friends. Even though it’s still early and there isn’t much in the way of fresh local produce …

vegan pistachio olive oil loaf

pistachio date olive oil loaf

We have recently been getting into a good stride with meal planning. It’s something we’ve tried off and on for a while but it never really picked up momentum until now. It’s such a game changer, seriously. Even if we don’t follow the plan to a T (cause you know, life happens), it’s still made our lives a heck of a lot easier. I’ve started batch cooking a grain and a pulse/legume/bean/whatever at the beginning of the week, as well as making granola, yogurt, and date energy bites on an as-needed basis. This planning has also streamlined our grocery list and helped to trim our grocery bills and food waste –> double happy dance. It also means my cooking is slowly but steadily improving, and that we are covering a lot of territory in our cookbook collection. Often times we will each grab a couple cookbooks, sit down at the kitchen table, and bookmark a few things we each want that week. This totally prevents a cooking rut: a wide array of spices and a couple different …

vegan chocolate coffee cardamom scones

chocolate scones with coffee + cardamom

Here is my little tip on how to survive the winter: bake. All the time. Everything. Savour that rush of heat leaving the oven when you pull out a tray of cookies. Revel in the aroma of freshly baked bread filling your kitchen. Not only will you be rewarded with the heat generated by your baking venture, but also the warm (hehe) gratitude of your friends/family/coworkers when you start showing up with a buffet of baked goods. Another method for tackling the trials of winter is the pursuit of hygge (pronounced hoo-guh), of which the entire internet seems to be obsessed. Simply put, it’s the Danish lifestyle notion of coziness or well-being. And no wonder there’s such a frenzy: who isn’t looking for the silver lining in the bitter cold days of February? Danish winters are known for being especially dark and long, so if anybody knows how to endure this time of year, it’s the Danes (also pretty sure they’re ranked the happiest nation in the world, so…). So what’s the secret to capturing the elusive hygge? …

whole wheat no knead bread with chestnut jam

no knead whole wheat bread + vanilla chestnut jam

This has been my go to bread while I have been without a sourdough starter (somehow mine ended up in the cupboard instead of the fridge, RIP). It’s almost entirely whole wheat, but it tastes surprisingly sweet due to a recent addition to my pantry: white whole wheat flour. White whole wheat flour IS 100% whole wheat, so don’t let the name fool you. The whole wheat you’re probably used to seeing in the grocery store is made from red wheat, which has a darker colour and stronger flavour. White whole wheat flour is made from white wheat, which is lighter and much milder. I tried chestnut jam for the first time when I was in France WWOOFing on an organic farm last month. Since they grew their own chestnuts, their confiture de marron was homemade and a staple on the breakfast table each day. I slathered it onto my bread and stirred it into my porridge, so taken by the earthiness and subtle sweetness of this spread. I knew I needed to make it when I got home. …

no bake goat cheese cheesecake

no bake goat cheesecake

I am real excited about this cheesecake. I can’t remember the last time I had ‘real’ cheesecake, though I DO remember eating a lot of the frozen cheesecake bites at Dairy Queen in the time that I worked there. I had a terrible stomachache pretty much every night that I worked, but I never really put it together that I might be lactose intolerant.. Until I stopped eating dairy a few years after I stopped working there, and the daily excruciating stomach aches finally went away. I associated eating dairy with a whole world of pain, so I really didn’t miss it when I cut it out of my diet. But within the past year or so I missed the extra dimensions that cheese can add to a meal, and the vegan cheese replacements weren’t always cutting it. I did a little research and discovered some anecdotal stories of people with lactose intolerance having an easier time digesting sheep and goat’s milk products. After some digging, I found out that this is because the fat and …

vegan sourdough crumb cake

sourdough rhubarb crumb cake

My interest in bread baking continues to grow, which means I always have a hungry starter sitting on our kitchen counter. Most often I throw out the excess, but lately I’ve been daydreaming of other ways to use it: cinnamon buns, pancakes, muffins, banana bread, etc. A quickbread/cake seemed like an easy place to start, so when I saw this simple recipe for coffee cake it seemed like the perfect opportunity to expand my sourdough baking horizons beyond bread! I initially had a REAL hard time playing around with this recipe. Even though the original is a great starting off point, I kept making changes because I am slowly trying to gravitate towards baking in a more wholesome way. Don’t get me wrong, I could never give up doughnuts or pies or the amazing focaccia at Pasta G; but since I like to have treats fairly often, I want them to be slightly better for me so I can have them more often. What that means for me is less sugar, trying to use more natural sweeteners, …

honey buttermilk pie

honey buttermilk pie

I have been on a pie rampage lately when it comes to library books. In fact, I have 5 pie/baking related books out right now, and they are all open and scattered throughout the house. I have been looking for inspiration for new flavours, especially in this time of year when there isn’t a whole lot available for pies besides citrus. A custard pie seems appropriate considering there are no fresh berries available for a while still, and the light floral notes of honey seem spring-y to me! I got the idea from the Four and Twenty Blackbirds salty honey pie, which seems to be super popular with their customers. I opted for buttermilk since I thought the acidity would cut through some of the sweetness, and followed their suggestion to sprinkle some Maldon on top once it came out of the oven for the same reason. The women behind this pie shop have some amazing skills, and I definitely recommend their book for technique, flavours and great pictures. I think we are quite lucky around Kingston …

vegan gluten free gingerbread granola

gingerbread granola

It’s beginning to look smell a lot like Christmas. Even though it hasn’t snowed and we haven’t picked up a tree yet, I’m slowly getting into the holiday spirit. I whipped up a batch of this granola the other day while watching The Muppet Christmas Carol, and it began to feel a little bit more like the holidays (even if it’s not a winter wonderland outside). If you’re into homemade gifts, this would make a pretty good stocking stuffer 🙂 You can pull together a batch of this granola in five minutes, then get cozy on the couch and start marathoning Christmas movies as the smell of gingerbread fills your house. gingerbread granola (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free) makes about 4 1/2 cups 1/4 cup neutral oil (I used grapeseed) 1/4 cup maple syrup 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon pinch nutmeg pinch cloves 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped 3 cups oats (gluten free if …

fat goose craft fair

My pal Jessica and I have been meeting periodically for the past month or so to develop a menu for the Fat Goose Craft Fair. This was the collective’s 7th year running the craft show, and the displays were as incredible as ever. The collective aims to provide a space for local crafters to sell their work, while fostering a community for artists and creating access to high quality, locally made goods. Jessica and I both love to feed people as a gesture of love (I’m terribly untalented on every other artistic front, so this is about all I can do). We are excited about the ways that food can build community through CSAs (community supported agriculture), farmers markets, community gardens, and engaging with other bakers/cooks/gardeners/friends. As both of us face some food intolerance, we understand the feeling of going somewhere and knowing we can’t eat anything. Our approach for Fat Goose was to be accessible by providing options for people with various dietary restrictions or choices, so our menu was primarily vegan and gluten free, with a …