Cupcakes Always Win


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Vietnamese Baguette (Bánh my)

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When travelling in Vietnam it’s not uncommon to see baskets upon baskets of Vietnamese style baguettes. Bikes loaded up with the crispy loaves wheeling their way around each city block. It’s extremely difficult to resist purchasing one of these delicious snacks. It was also easy to find sandwich stalls on street corners which would usually serve a pork on bread style sandwich with loads of toppings. It was possible to get vegetarian options as well but that depended largely communicating correctly with the vendor. Thankfully I had a non-vegetarian friend who would gratefully accept extra pork on his sandwich.

Now that I am back in Canada, I was given a Vietnamese cookbook for Christmas Real Vietnamese Cooking by: Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl, and I have been studying it as though every time I enter the kitchen there will be an exam as to whether or not the food is exactly how I remember it. The first recipe I attempted is the Vietnamese baguette, which was not an original food to be found in Vietnam. It was introduced by the French during the colonial period. The main difference between the French and Vietnamese baguette is the addition of rice flour in the Vietnamese version.

I made this recipe several times to test it out and get it just the way I wanted. I settled on making three baguettes vs. six which is what the recipe suggests. This way I have larger baguettes and can make beautiful sandwiches to share. The baguettes do require a little longer baking time though, but it’s totally worth it!
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I’ve also included a few snaps from our adventures in Vietnam. We spent a month there and had an amazing time hiking, walking, biking, meeting new people, and of course eating! Every city/village/town has a dish specialty, and it was always exciting to see what that dish would be upon arrival.
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In Vietnam we didn’t always arrive at our destination with an arrangement for a place to stay. This was usually ok, but there were a few times when we were walking in small towns and really didn’t know where we were and couldn’t find any sort of lodging options. The locals were always so helpful in showing us the way to a safe place to stay! We were even invited for dinner one night with the friendliest family, it was such an amazing evening. It’s super inspiring that strangers are so accommodating, I hope to help other strangers whenever I can, and maybe even feed them a few cookies and tea!
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Back to the bread! An opportune moment for butter is fresh bread from the oven. Now you can devour this loaf instantly with the butter melting on a warm(HOT) slice. Or you can wait a few minutes until is cools enough to make a sandwich! I made vegetarian sandwiches like I would have ordered in Vietnam with scrambled egg, veggies, cilantro, and a spicy chili sauce.
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Hope you enjoy this recipe, and thanks for stopping by! See you again soon,
Anna
xoxoxo
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Vegan Shortbread

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Yes, 100% totally vegan shortbread is happening! I am currently eating the last few pieces as I type this. Shortbread is delicious without butter, it might even be better without butter. It might be difficult to compute that last sentence but I swear it’s true.

How to replace the butter? Grind cashews to form a butter and combine with coconut oil! Easy!

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As you are aware, this edge of the internet is filled with mostly sweet things, that are usually vegan, and a place I share glances into my kitchen. Each glance is so different! Sometimes I am inspired by a close friend or family member, while other times it takes flipping through a beautiful recipe book. This post was inspired by my mom, a shortbread connoisseur. I wanted to make her the best shortbread and provide her with the recipe to make her own. Initially it wasn’t vegan but I took the challenge and the results were delicious.

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I didn’t pierce or dock the shortbread. I tried in one of my earlier attempts and it didn’t look as pretty. Before baking this shortbread it’s more delicate and a crumbly mess was created when I did dock it.

To switch it up, you could dip in vegan friendly chocolate or add a little lemon zest. I love a simple shortbread because it is easy and if you want to add a flavour or to you can totally twist it up in a snap!

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Hope you enjoyed this recipe! Thanks for poppin’ by and look forward to sharing more kitchen snippets.
Much love,
Anna xoxox

P.S> If you really love butter you can replace the coconut oil and cashew butter with 1 cup butter. But seriously, it’s worth trying it vegan at least once!

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Brown Butter Pecan Cookies

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Butter pecan, pralines and cream, rum and raisin; three of my grandpa’s favourite ice creams. As a kid I remember my grandpa having a deep freeze full of gallons and gallons of these ice cream flavours. Those types of ice cream never seemed as enticing as cotton candy, tiger tail, bubble gum, or gold medal ribbon… until now. I love simple flavours, one or two additions/flavours is enough for the most perfect recipe. These cookies make simple ingredients look like a fancy bowtie.
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Due to popularity I have been baking these cookies to a point where I likely need a giant freezer to store all the dough, but thank goodness for hungry friends!

These cookies are a make ahead recipe, which is good in the future, not so good if you want cookies right this second. But trust me, this dough really needs to sit in the freezer for at least 24 hours before it is ready to be baked. Whenever I know I want to whip up a batch of these I do the hard work the night before, and bake em’ 30 minutes before guests start arriving. Warm cookies are obviously well-loved because they are 100% absolutely delicious.
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I know these are cookies and the holiday’s are over, but with an extra walk, or run you can afford to eat one of these as a treat!

Thanks for dropping in and catch you soon 🙂
Anna
xoxoxo
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Espresso Almonds + Toronto Picnickers III

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It has been a quite a wonderful time full of adventures, and friends. This summer has gone by in a snap! With the evenings beginning to be a bit chilly, tea and good books start to trend. Each season has it’s very own unique adventures. With all the hiking, and outdoor adventures a snack with a kick comes in handy. Especially something like these quick and easy Espresso Almonds.

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This is also post III of the Toronto Picnickers! It has been a wonderful journey through the parks of Toronto over the summer months. Loads of great food, and wonderful people all with one passion, to eating the best foods. With the colder months approaching we hope to take our picnics indoors. Any suggestions of places in Toronto that might be a nice spot for an indoor picnic?

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For the full story on the picnic, you’ll have to check out Swallow. For more recipes from the picnic you will have to check out Liz at Noms for the Poor, which is an awesome website if you haven’t checked it out yet.

The recipe for the almonds is listed below. Have a wonderful week filled with pumpkins and apples! Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again soon,

Anna xoxoxo

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Vegan Chocolate Cookie Cake

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This is a post I have been meaning to write for a while, it is dedicated to my sister who returned from Mexico about a month and a half ago. I made her the cake that has everything she loves in it: chocolate, cake, cookies, and frosting. She was eyeing my blog on her trip and couldn’t wait to return to get the chance to sample some of my goodies.

I mean why not put cake and cookies together! This cake is the end result, and it was delicious.

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The woven fabric that I used for the pictures is a gift that she brought back for me. It was super lovely and beautiful and I will totally use it in photos since it just makes the food pop!

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I am so happy my sister had an amazing trip and I look forward to hearing more and more about her adventures, there are way too many for just one evening.

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The next challenge is resisting a slice of chocolate cake filled with cookie dough balls, and a layer of cookie crumbs coated in chocolate ganache. It is a challenge I think I would always loose, as long as it is a slim slice everything will be alright!

I definitely recommend making this cake for any celebration, it is not too heavy but it is totally delicious! Thanks for stopping by and see you soon!

Anna xoxo

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Vegan Peanut Lime Mini Cupcakes

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A peanut lime cupcake is a unique flavour combination.  A moist citrus cake paired with a simple and sweet peanut butter frosting is delightful. I got inspired while eating a salad. How does something super healthy (like a salad) inspire a unique cupcake? Well first off, I eat a lot of salads, so the likelihood of me being inspired while eating a salad is pretty darn high.

Now normally I don’t like salad dressing on my salads, but at this particular restaurant I was at they had a peanut lime salad dressing. It perked my interest as a different sort of flavour. Which than made me think it was a challenge to make this savoury sauce a super sweet and delicious dessert! After a couple of times trying it out I think I was successful. My friends will have to be the ones that let you know their thoughts (if you want a balanced opinion).

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Now when it comes to curds I am a strong believer in using eggs and butter. I am still working on developing a vegan curd but my logic says it may not be possible. There are recipes out there that use interesting ingredients to replace the eggs and butter but ultimately I really think it is difficult to recreate a curd without animal products. BUT, feel free to prove me wrong, if you have a recipe for a curd that was super, share it with me! I would love to see!

In saying all that I actually did make a tasty vegan curd using parsnips and coconut oil along with lots of limes! It tasted good but there was a slight parsnip flavour. Which I enjoyed, but you may not. If you have any leftover curd you can refrigerate  and use it as a nice spread on a cracker.

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There you have it! Peanut lime cupcakes are a thing!

Thanks again for stopping by and yay for spring! See you on the sunny side 🙂

Much Love,

Anna xoxoxox

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Boiled and Baked Bagels

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Along with creating our very own peanut butter chocolate muffin Liz from Noms for the Poor came over to make delicious butters to accompany my bagels. Liz is a great master baker/chef/blogger/photographer and more recently videographer! She made a cute video of me making bagels! So be sure to not only check out her blog but also the video she made!

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Now let us dive right into serious bagel talk. I have very fond memories of bagels. Especially the ones that come directly from a wood burning oven. When living in Ottawa, I would take any form of transit to the nearest Kettleman’s bagels.

Is it a surprise that I don’t have a wood burning oven handy? I thought so too! But who needs one when you can make equally as delicious bagels!

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They are super easy to make and not nearly as dense as the bagels you would get at the store.  And with Liz’s super tasty roasted garlic butter and cinnamon honey butter you are pretty prepared to take on the morning, night or entire day!

By the way if you didn’t check out her blog at the beginning of this post, you still have a chance to now!  For the lovely butter recipes, check out Liz’s blogpost here! And if you missed it, here was our first blogpost together: my link, and Noms link.

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I had much fun working with Liz and  I hope to have her over again soon for some more kitchen madness.. aka. food geek out time!

As always Thanks for stopping by and feel free to stop by again!
Much Love,
Anna xoxox

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