Cupcakes Always Win


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Vegan Ginger Spiced Hot Chocolate

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My family and I always visit a local tree farm to cut the perfect evergreen for the holidays. We’ve been doing it since we were young. It has always involved a labyrinth walk through a field filled with hundreds of Christmas trees to choose from. We always have trouble finding the one that is perfectly fitting for the occasion.

Some years there is snow, other years there is rain, but no matter what the weather we always strap on suitable outdoor gear and find the perfect tree! We always finish our tradition with some hot chocolate, or apple cider. Which is where this recipe comes in super handy. Having returned from adventures around the world, I wanted to make a more interesting hot chocolate that is loaded with spices! I loaded it with WAY too many marshmallows… just because it looked cool.

I also have been baking so many things because there is always a party, and everyone loves home baking. I had some leftover gingerbread and decided to make some gingerbread sticks that could be used to dip in the spiced chocolatey goodness. It was probably the best decision I made that day.

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The other nice thing about being home for the holidays is having extra helping hands. My sister was super amazing and helped me by being the prop in my little photo shoot. These photos wouldn’t have been complete without her :)

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Now the hot chocolate itself is vegan, but I added marshmallows, which are not very vegan at all. If you want to make it vegan, just omit the marshmallows or find some vegan ones in the shops around Kensington Market in Toronto.

Do you have any family traditions over the holidays? What is your go to hot drink when it is chilly? Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year! Thanks for following me, and I hope to give you some more tasty treats worth making in the new year!

Anna xoxoxoxox

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Refreshing Cucumber Salad

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Most veggies taste amazing on their own, but sometimes adding a little salt, pepper, and fresh lemon juice takes them to the next level. This is a common salad I found throughout India. When I was to going to order some sort of fresh food, it was usually the cucumber salad.

It’s simplicity made it easy to re-create while on the road in New Zealand, especially with lemon trees on every block.

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There are so many types of lemons available in New Zealand. I don’t know the variety that was most common but it was a lot sweeter than lemons I buy in Canada. For this salad, I decided to add sliced lemons along with the fresh lemon juice because of the awesome flavour profile of the lemons. But if that is a little too tart for your liking, then don’t bother with the lemon slices!

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If you want a quick snack for a hike chop large pieces of cucumbers and spritz with lemon juice before putting them in a container. You’ll be super thankful for this hydrating veggie once you are mid-hike!

I also included a few snaps I captured while in New Zealand! Hope you enjoy! xox

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Japan: Volunteering in Nirasaki at Koma Farm

Since my last post, we’ve been travelling Japan, and it has been amazing! It’s rainy season here so there has been some cloudy days. We spent a week near Nirasaki at a beautiful vegetable farm in the mountains volunteering in exchange for a place to stay and food to eat. Our hosts Ryo and Chiharu from Koma Farm were amazing! We felt like family! We still dream about the amazing vegetables we were able to eat, and the fun times we had working together. Here are a few shots that I took while we were at the farm. Hope you enjoy!

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We got to experience so many new flavours, I am totally inspired to make some recipes either while travelling or once I return home! One very interesting thing was naturally occurring sparking water near where the farm was. It was the most interesting taste, a little fizzy, and a little salty. If you are ever in the area it may be hard to find but it is a pretty unique experience.

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Thanks to all who are following my travels! I will try to keep the updates coming, but it’s sometimes tough with no internet! Much love,

Anna xoxoxoxo


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Vegan Ice Cream – No Ice Cream Maker Needed!

VeganBananaCoconutIceCream-11 Coconut milk is my best friend when it comes to making vegan recipes. It is high in fat and provides a richness and flavour that is perfect when not using butter, whipping cream, yogurt, or milk. It’s especially important in this ice cream recipe, a delicious treat to enjoy after a long day of outdoor adventures.

Speaking of adventures, it’s time I share that I am adventuring around the world again for several months! I brought my running shoes, journal, and laptop to keep friends, family, and avid recipe makers posted on my travels. This time around the world I will be with my adventure partner Alex. He’s awesome and plays a yukelele, which is what every adventurer needs!!!

Today this post has some photos from hiking in and around the Capilano River Park in Vancouver. It was very easy hiking, but convenient to get to by bus. The weather was stunning, and I can’t wait to do some more hiking in the Vancouver area. VeganBananaCoconutIceCream-13 VeganBananaCoconutIceCream-20 VeganBananaCoconutIceCream-16 VeganBananaCoconutIceCream-22

While walking through the forest I couldn’t help but feel as though I was in a rainforest, with ferns everywhere you look it reminded me of hiking in Tanah Rata, Malaysia. Stunning to know that you can find that same beauty in Canada!
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Back to the kitchen adventure! You might find it odd to see vodka in the list of ingredients but don’t fret! Since vodka doesn’t freeze it helps the ice cream from not crystallizing when not using an ice-cream maker, and it also makes it easier to scoop when serving.
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When making this ice cream get creative! Feel free to add any sort of nut, chocolate or candy that you can’t live without. You don’t have to use a banana either, I just used it for added sweetness. Share your favourite ice cream recipes below! Do you use an ice cream maker? Or churn it by hand?

Hope you enjoy this recipe, and stay tuned for more recipes, and world adventures! Our next stop is Japan!

Anna xoxoxoxox

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Gluten-Free Cornbread

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When hosting a party, it’s clearly obvious food is the main reason why humans have gathered together. If someone is vegan, gluten or lactose intolerant they don’t deserve to miss out on being a part of the gobblers. This in between sponge cake/biscuit is the perfect way to keep gluten intolerant friends happy, especially if you make the wise decision of stuffing it full of whipped cream and strawberries.

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Speaking of friends and food, I am so wonderfully lucky to have the amazing friends that I do. They all know me so well, if they bring me an ingredient I will always make recipes with it…usually something delicious for the gift giver….

That is exactly what the above image is, a maple sugar cube! A gift received that has been sitting in my cupboard waiting for the absolutely perfect recipe to rejoice in. It’s called Ninutik “Cube 57″ and is simply a crafted cube of maple sugar that can be grated, cut, or melted to become a part of any recipe. I used it in the actual cornbread and grated some on top of the plated dessert. If you don’t have a maple cube you can use brown sugar instead!

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Thanks to everyone that’s a part of my life large or small, you mean the world to me and I look forward to baking something for you very soon!

Much Love,

Anna oxoxoxo

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Vegan Medjool Date Syrup with Pancakes

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Breakfast + 454g of medjool dates + awesome friend = breakfast date

This was not just any breakfast, this was a breakfast filled with a special ingredient, natural delights medjool dates. These dates are so fresh and are the perfect way to start the day with a boost of potassium! Now this date wouldn’t be complete without my friend Liz, who created a delicious recipe for savoury and sweet scrambled eggs tossed with medjools. Be sure to pop by her site to see what’s cooking.

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To accompany the delicious egg scramble I made a vegan medjool date syrup to top yummy vegan pancakes filled with medjools. The pancakes are super moist and need to cook a little longer on each side, but it is totally worth the wait.

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I made my date syrup quite thick because I love the flavour of dates, so it was more like a spread. If you want your syrup to be more liquid just add more water.

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The secret to a perfect pancake is a non-stick frying pan, and having the pan heated to a perfect temperature to flip some flapjacks. Once I had placed the batter into the pan I gently put 3 -4 slices of bananas on top. Since the pancakes have to cook longer, the bananas actually caramelized a little to add even more flavour to an already flavourful pancake.

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Taking photos for this recipe post was so much fun, especially since I was with Liz, who gives great feedback and positive reinforcement that I am not crazy for moving the spoon 1 mm to the left for the absolutely perfect shot of food. These are a few snaps I took of her in action.

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Now what are you waiting for, grab a friend and set a date to cook with delicious medjools!

Thanks so much for stopping by, until next recipe so long!
Anna

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