Posts by Michelle:
‘Tis the season for copious amounts of Christmas baking and treats. I don’t know how anyone can hate Christmas time. This is the only time of year when its acceptable to eat treats for a month straight without having huge guilt. I love it! I may have gone a tad bit crazy with my Christmas baking this year, but I wanted to make sure Kris and I had a ton of treats.
I spent last night making batches upon batches of Fleur de Sel Maple Butter Chocolate Truffles for everyone at work. I showed them all pictures and raved about how amazing they were so I had to bring them in! Oh the pressure….. eek!
I was craving chocolate chip cookies the other night and wanted to make it a little more Christmas-y. I decided nothing says Christmas like mint chocolate. Am I right? Mint and chocolate is my all time favourite combination. I created these heavenly Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares. I’d also like to tell you they are gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free – HELLO!
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookie Squares
2 1/4 Cup Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Grapeseed Oil
1 Cup Maple Syrup
1/3 Cup Maple Butter (optional)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Cup Chocolate Chips (Enjoy Life Brand)
1 Endangered Species Mint Chocolate Bar (or 1/2 cup chocolate chips with 1/8 tsp Peppermint Extract)
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well. Lay the cookie dough on the baking sheet (yes.. pour it on and smear it evenly all around to make one giant cookie). Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Once the cookie has cooled drizzle with the hot mint chocolate. Cut the cookie into portions and serve.
These are great for kids or just the big kid at the table who loves a good ol’ fashioned chocolate chip cookie!
What’s your favourite combination? Mint Chocolate? Peanut Butter Chocolate?
Hi Everyone! Happy Treat Friday!
How are you all doing? It’s been months since I’ve posted. Life has been insanely crazy… in a good way Currently, I don’t have any days of the week off, which is not a bad thing. I’ve started interning at a great local boutique in Vancouver to get into the peanut sized fashion scene. I’m very excited about this great opportunity but also sad that I don’t have time to post on IHW. I hope in the new year, I will be able to write more often! It’s going to be my new years resolution!
Kris asked me to post this Treat Friday cause I spent my Monday evening baking up a storm. It’s time for holiday baking! I made Kris’s Peppermint Brownies and drizzled them with mint chocolate which was pure heaven! Have you tried them yet? – You must! Those will definitely be present on our Christmas dessert platter along with these Fleur de Sel Maple Butter Truffles. At work, we carry Galerie au Chocolat fair trade chocolate bars. If you’ve ever had Galerie au Chocolat you know its pure bliss! They make the most amazing Fleur de Sel Dark Chocolate. After taking a bar home with me, I went to bed dreaming of salty chocolate… to wake up to a truffle idea. Like any true Canadian, we love our Maple Syrup! I had gone to The Bay downtown that weekend and saw Maple Butter which is just heated maple syrup whipped into a solid form – 100% Pure Maple Syrup. I decided to melt down Endangered Species 72% Dark Chocolate and make these Fleur de Sel Maple Butter Truffles. Since the chocolate isn’t overly sweet the little dollop of Maple Butter adds the perfect balance of sweetness and the fleur de sel just adds a hint of salt. I really don’t think a truffle gets any better…. you tell me?
Fleur de Sel Maple Butter Truffles
1 1/2 Endangered Species Chocolate Bar (72% Dark Chocolate) or 3/4 cup Chocolate Chips
Fleur de Sel
Melt the chocolate bar/chocolate chips either on stove top of in the microwave. Pour a thin layer on the bottom of your mini muffin tins. Put tin in freezer for 5 minutes to harden. Remove the tin and place a small dollop of maple butter in the center of each chocolate disc. Pour the remaining chocolate over top of each dollop. Then tap (bang..) the mini muffin tin against the counter to flatten the chocolate truffles. Put in freezer for 4 minutes. Make sure you don’t over harden… and then sprinkle Fleur de Sel on top when the chocolate is still a little soft. Put back in the freezer until ready to serve. These are best left in the freezer.
This is a super easy and completely satisfying holiday treat. It tastes like something Purdy’s would have made. SO GOOD! I’ll be making my famous Peppermint Patties and these Fleur de Sel Maple Butter Truffles this Christmas.
What holiday treat are you famous for making?
I hope you all enjoy!
Happy Treat Friday Everyone!
How are you all doing? It’s been a great week. I’ve been very productive. I even started weeding through all my clothes and copious amounts of shoes to figure out what I can donate. There will be some pretty spiffy people wearing my old Juicy Couture suits. Do you remember the velour fad? OH LORDIE! I can’t believe I wore a powder blue velour suit. I was a walking smurf. Don’t we all have fashion trends that we follow and look back on saying “why on gods green earth did I wear that?”
This whole packing and moving business is new for me. I’ve never moved a day in my life, so its interesting… I found so many little trinkets, photos and jewelery I didn’t know I still had. It’s a quick walk down memory lane when you find a photo of your elementary school bff wearing a candy necklace and eating poprocks. After finding pictures of my youth, I was walking down the street in Vancouver and bumped into one of my highschool friends that I haven’t seen in almost 5 years. We both stared at each other for what felt like 10 minutes before going “omg ____ , I thought that was you!”. We were so close in highschool, now he’s living downtown and works just a few blocks down from me. Isn’t life strange?
Thank you all for your wonderful comments about the Autumn Muffin/Cookies! I seriously think they are one of the best muffin-cookies I’ve ever made! I love them… I definitely put too many raisins in my batch (for my liking) but I highly recommend giving them a whirl. The best is to warm them up for about 10 seconds in the microwave and serve with a little Earth Balance.
Since it’s Treat Friday, I wanted something to go with the fall weather we’ve been having but I tried to stay away from the pumpkin.. it was so tempting to give another great pumpkin dessert recipe, but I will save that for another day! Today, I wanted to share my new favourite vegan cookie recipe. Who doesn’t love Gingersnaps? They are the right amount of sweet and spicy. It’s proven that in Sweden (where gingersnaps originated) the royals used to eat gingersnap cookies to calm any stomach issues. Nowadays, we steep the ginger root in tea to get its benefits but why not eat an entire cookie and still reep the benefits? I love it when the doctor prescribes a cookie for your ailments
Vegan Gluten Free Gingersnap
2 cups Gluten Free Flour
1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Blackstrap Molasses
1 tbsp Hot Water
2 tsp Ground Ginger
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Sea Salt
Combine all dry ingredients together. Then Add the grapeseed oil, maple syrup, molasses and hot water. Mix well. Place on cookie sheet. Bake at 350F for 10-13 minutes. I put crystalized ginger ontop of the cookies.
I hope you guys have a wonderful Friday night! Anyone doing anything exciting?
What Halloween treat do you want to make healthy?
WOW! Last night I went to my Bar Method class and am walking with a limp (not like an old school pimp ). I can’t even sit comfortably! Let me tell you it was hard work! My poor little muscles haven’t worked so hard in months. This is what happens… Learn from my mistakes and keep up with the workout regime or you will be sorry!
I spent the weekend house hunting which was good and bad. There are a lot of dreadful places out there. The outside always looks promising then you step inside and the carpet is stained, appliances suck (I need a good oven…) and the rooms are the size of what a closet should be. I’m still extremely optomistic that we will find an amazing home very very soon! It will be perfect!
Did anyone else watch Dirty Dancing and Brigit Jones Diary on TV on Sunday? I LOVE watching great “classic” movies while baking. This weekend, I was craving muffins and cookies! and of course, since you all know that I need to attend a PA Meeting, I decided to throw some pumpkin into the mix. I found this GREAT recipe on Fragrant Vanilla Cake and had to give it my own personal twist sans nuts. I couldn’t decide whether or not I wanted to make them cookies or muffins so I made half a batch of cookies and the other mini muffins.
Vegan Autumn Muffins/Cookies
2 1/2 Cup Gluten Free All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Sea Salt
2 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 Cup Pumpkin Puree
1/3 Cup Grapeseed Oil
2/3 Cup Maple Syrup
1/2 Cup Vegan Chocolate Chips (I use Enjoy Life)
1/2 Cup Raisins (and/or dried cranberries)
1/2 Cup Crystalized Ginger (chopped) (I used Reed’s Crystalized Ginger)
In a bowl combine all wet ingredients. Then add in the dry ingredients. Once both wet & dry ingredients are well mixed, fold in the chocolate chips, ginger, and raisins. Let bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes.
I know I should be putting down the baked goods while on my Bar Method challenge, but these are vegan, and full of vitamin A! I’m still allowed to devour these right?
What Fall recipe do you wish you could make healthy?
Buy us a Green Tea Latte!
Don’t you just love fall weekends? It’s been surprisingly beautiful in Vancouver lately (I hope I don’t jinx it!). It’s been extremely sunny but with nice cold crisp air. My favourite kind of days!
Last night, I was going to go for a drink with a few friends at Chambar, but decided last minute that we were all exhausted – lame.. I know!. It had been quite a week… I headed home and feasted on some brown rice pasta with herb olive oil sauce and steamed spinach. It’s definitely not the same as the Soup de celeri-rave at Chambar, but it did the trick
Ok, ok.. “Hi I’m Michelle and I have a pumpkin addiction” .. I feel like I need to join a PA Meeting ( Pumpkin Anonyomous). I follow this great tumblr called Finding Vegan. They post a ton of picures of great tasting vegan recipes! I know some of the blogs I read on a daily are featured on there . I stumbled upon this recipe and had to try it!
I feel slightly ashamed that I had two meals last night… I ate my pasta when I came home at like 6 and then was ravished by like 8, so I decided to make this vegan pumpkin french toast. I only made a couple of slices and they were divine! Seriously AMAZING! I want to bow down to whomever came up with this recipe cause I could have ate the entire bag of Udi’s Gluten Free Bread with this pumpkin goodness toasted on there.
If your like me and use Sunday as your “treat day” then you need to treat yourself to this Vegan Pumpkin French Toast! I cannot take credit for this recipe. I just made 2 adjustments for my preference, but the recipe is from Post Punk Kitchen.
Vegan Pumpkin French Toast
8 pieces of bread (I used Udi’s Gluten Free)
1 1/2 cup Vanilla Rice Milk
1 cup Pumpkin Puree
2 tbsp Arrowroot Powder
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tbsp Maple Syrup
Earth Balance – Soy Free
Mix together all ingredients. Dip the bread slices into the pumpkin mix. Let the bread soak in the batter for 5 minutes (Udi’s bread doesn’t take long). Preheat pan and smear Earth Balance on the pan, so the french toast doesn’t stick! Place 3 pieces onto the pan and let brown. Serve with powered Stevia or Maple Syrup!
What’s your favourite weekend breakfast?
I hope you guys have a great rest of your weekend!
What a week it has been…
I haven’t talked to you all since Thanksgiving weekend, so I hope you all had a wonderful weekend full of pumpkin pie an other yummy treats! My mom taught me her to die for pumpkin pie recipe that I unfortunately have been sworn not to divulge . While Thanksgiving was also a great excuse to get the whole family together it was also our last family dinner in the house we currently live in and have lived in since I was born. Isn’t that crazy?! My dad built our house and after 30 years he redid the entire place. My dad is the most talented person I know! He can turn a toothpick into a bird house Our house was under renovations for the last year and it all paid off. The house sold quickly! Both Kris and I are extremely sad to see the house go to new owners. There are so many great memories in this house .. I used to pretend I was in a jungle while walking through the cluster of trees in the back yard, or Kris pushing me down the stairs in a laundry basket – this all happened last week haha!
It’s a bitter sweet situation we are all in right now. The family is in full agreeance that change is good but definitely feeling heartbroken to see it go.
On Tuesday, I got some really exciting news! The Bar Method in Vancouver is starting their 3 month challenge and I will be taking part! Last night, I went down to their Beatty Street studio (which is luckily 3 blocks away from my work!) to get measured, photographed (before picture – check!) and talk about our goals. I assured them I would keep all you awesome readers updated with my progress and any new tid-bits I learn! I wrote a post about the Bar Method Vancouver a few weeks ago and I meant every word. This is seriously the hardest workout I’ve ever done. Harder then running track, gymnastics training, cheerleading conditioning (no laughs please! It was hard!) or bootcamp. It’s not harder in the sense of being winded and gasping for air. It’s the kind of workout where you don’t really sweat but you work every single muscle including the wee ones we don’t even know existed. I’m really excited to reach my goals, improve my posture, and get my flexibility back so stay tuned…
The end date is January 9th and I have to attend at least 3 classes a week. I guess the chocolate chip cookies are going to have to be set aside for awhile…. I gotta look fierce for NYE!
I wanted to bring up root ginger! I know kind of random right?! but I’ve been drinking a ton of ginger tea lately and after yesterday’s Bar Method orientation, they mentioned Ginger as being a great superfood. Ginger is full of potassium, magnesium and manganese which helps balance your electrolytes. I use ginger a lot for any stomach issues. It works like a gem! I either chew on crystalized ginger or I drink the pure ginger tea. I used to dispise ginger unless it was covered and chocolate and even then, I would eat the chocolate around the ginger and leave the ginger.mmm.. I love chocolate!
Did you know that ginger helps fight cancer? It also, helps with heartburn, morning sickness, motion sickness, mirgraine relief, flu & cold prevention/treatment and any stomach discomfort. This spicy root helps your body in many ways. If drinking a pure ginger tea doesn’t interest you, try either a lemon ginger tea, or if still you aren’t into it, try adding a tsp of honey to your tea. The honey will take away the extreme spiciness of the ginger.
What’s your favourite tea? Do you drink ginger?
Have a great day!
Buy us a Green Tea Latte!
I hope you’ve all been having a great week! For those Canadian readers, it’s almost Thanksgiving which not only means cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes but it’s also a long weekend! WOO HOO!
Kris’s post yesterday was so inspiring! I’m a proud sista’. She’s the rock to my republic, the Sunny to my Cher, the Eiffel tower to my Paris.. lol you get my drift. Without that lovely lady I would be lost. She’s the most inspirational, wise, upbeat, happy, funny person I know and what she went through last year only made her stronger. The quote rings true “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” .. wise words. Was that Kanye West? (just kidding!)
What do I love more than chocolate during Autumn? That would be the beloved pumpkin. And no, I’m not talking about my car . As you are probably tired of hearing my serious infactuation with pumpkin. I literally eat it for breakfast in my pumpkin pie oatmeal, for a mid-day snack (I sweeten with maple syrup and pumpkin spices) and now for dinner. This is not your typical pumpkin dish. Have you ever considered adding it to your chili?
Since Autumn is full of hearty soups and stews why not incorporate the oh so lovely squash family into the mix? Last night we created the new family fav Pumpkin Chili!
1 tbsp EVO
1 Onion (chopped)
1 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 pound pre cooked chicken breast (optional)
1 can Kidney Beans
2 cups Organic Pumpkin Puree
1/2 tbsp Cumin
3/4 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
2 Zucchini (chopped)
1 can Organic Diced Tomatoes
1 Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
2 Large Carrots (chopped)
a sprinkle of cayenne pepper to taste.
Heat oil in large pot, then saute onions, red bell peppers, zucchini, garlic and carrots until tender. Add chicken (optional), beans, tomatoes, and pumpkin to pot. Season with cumin, sea salt, pepper, chili powder, and a touch of cayenne pepper. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20-30 minutes. Once chili is thick and ready to eat serve with fresh arugula/spinach on top or some Daiya Cheese.
This Pumpkin Chili is a great for families that have picky eaters. The chili isn’t overpowered by pumpkin but it gives a nice autumn taste. All the vitamin A you get from pumpkin just makes me smile. 80% Vitamin A in 100g of pumpkin! That’s huge! Keep eating the pumpkin my peeps!
Have you ever made pumpkin chili? What’s your favourite hearty soup, stew or chili to make in the fall?
I hope you enjoy! Check back tomorrow for a great Treat Friday post
How was everyone’s Friday night? I’m so glad you guys loved the Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies! The first batch I made went like hotcakes so last night before dinner I baked a second batch. The second batch I was running low on grapeseed oil, so I opted for more Earth Balance and they turned out even more buttery then the first batch. I love them! My hips may not.. but I sure do.
Last night we had a great creole dinner that my mom created. It’s one of her signature dishes that the entire family loves! All you do is add a little guacamole and hot sauce and its golden. It’s a super simple dinner that satsifies the comfort food craving without the guilt. It’s a great dish for the fall and winter. There are a lot of options for the vegan/vegetarian readers… swap chicken and sausage for mushrooms, tofu, beans or just add more veggies! There are so many different ways to make a creole suit your dietary preferences.
Chicken & Sausage Creole
1 1/2 lb Chicken
1 tbsp EVO
2 Onions (chopped)
3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1 Sweet Red Pepper (chopped)
1 Green Pepper (chopped)
1 Can Organic Tomatoes (drained)
4 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Oregano
1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Chili Powder
2 Cups Brown Basmati Rice
1 lb Mild Italian Sausage (gluten free)
3 Celery Sticks (chopped)
2 Zucchini (chopped)
Cook sausage fully in pan. Remove from heat and keep warm. Dice chicken and cook in pan then add the sausage, onions and garlic. Let cook for 5-10 minutes on medium heat. Place all ingredients except basmaiti rice into a pot and let cook. When the stock begins to boil, add the 2 cups of basmati rice. Cover pot and let cook on low for 50-60minutes. When the stock has reduced and the rice is fully cooked, the creole is complete!
Serve with fresh guacamole and hot sauce! Last night we added some warm A Bread Affair Spelt bread with a little Earth Balance. It was HEAVEN!
I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!
I had a week full of ups and downs. My little pumpkin (my car) had some issues (of course.. what you think about you bring about) so he’s been out of commission all week which leaves me mingling with the public in the wee hours of the morning. I must say there are some characters that take the train in the sky (as Kris calls is.. or as normal people call it the skytrain). I’ve witnessed two fights, one arrest and a lot of unhappy people. The perk of the skytrain is I get to read on my way to work! woot!
After the crazy week, I was craving freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and I couldn’t bring myself to buy a store bought chocolate chip cookie. Last weekend I went a little gung-ho with all the Feta & Spinach scones and 4 cheese pizza so I had to simmer down on the dairy and wheat intake. I find a lot of gluten free cookies in store all have soy products or dairy, so I decided to take it upon myself and spend an evening at home rocking out to Kings of Leon (I was getting prepared for the best concert ever!) while baking vegan gluten free chocolate chip cookies.
I swear for me there is nothing better than baking on a cold fall day. It’s my yoga. I’m the type of person who has the kitchen a complete mess. Flour everywhere, maple syrup on the counter top, empty measuring spoons lying in the sink and a billion tasting spoons… That’s the perks of baking vegan. You can sample the batter before baking. I’m also extremely generous with the chocolate chips. The recipe says for a 1/2 cup but I tend to eye ball chocolate chips. There is enough when I say there is enough.
I created these Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip cookies from 3 recipes I love! I mixed and matched the 3 recipes and created these…
Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/2 cup Brown Rice Flour
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Xantham Gum
1/2 cup Grapeseed Oil
1/4 cup Earth Balance Soy-Free Vegan Butter (melted)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1/2 cup vegan Chocolate Chips (more like 1 cup)
Mix all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. In separate bowl, mix all wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix well. If the dough is too crumbly add a bit more melted EB. Fold in chocolate chips. Bake cookies for 11-13 minutes at 350F.
I recommend microwaving the cookie for 10 seconds and serving with a glass of chilled vanilla rice milk (or milk of choice). It’s heavenly! Or try warming the cookie and placing a scoop of Luna and Larry’s Vanilla Coconut Bliss. Does life get any better? – I think not.
I hope you all have a great Friday night! Don’t party too hard
What’s your favourite cookie?
As you read in Kris’s post we definitely had a party night on Saturday. I would also like to say that I was not tipsy in the picture she posted… I know you were all thinking it I blame the photographer! (*cough* Kris *cough*)
I made a point this weekend to do as little as possible. I wanted to keep a low profile and spend time doing thing I want to do. I also got to spend a lot of time with my mom which was much needed! Caffe Divano in Port Moody was our hang out spot. We ordered Canadiano’s and ate to die for, Spinach & Feta scones (no they were not gluten/dairy free .. but it was my treat weekend!) while updating each other on what is new and exciting. Can you think of a better way to spend a blustery weekend?!
Side note: I have to let you know of a beauty product that I came across and LOVE! This is definitely a side note but I’m obsessed with Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation. Have you tried it? It leaves your skin looking like it was photo shopped ! It’s a little pricey but its the price you pay for flawless/poreless looking skin. Also, if you do wear foundation you know that it can get a little greasy throughout the day but this stuff stays matte all day long! I’m in love… when you find a great foundation you just want to scream it from the roof top, so this blog post is my roof top! Hear me roar!!
Another thing I’ve become obsessed with …. is the Bar Method. I first heard of it when I was in Starbucks and on their bulletin board was a flyer for Vancouver’s very first Bar Method Studio. I had been toying with the idea to try it but finally got the courage to take a class. Let’s just say …. I’ve never been so sore in my life. You barely sweat but you shake off all your extra poundage. The point is to engage your muscles (including the little ones) and hold positions until your body starts to shake. The shake is what you strive for. It burns like when you’ve made it half way up the Grouse Grind. It’s an hour of unique positions that leave your body feeling well worked and sculpted. There is no cardio involved but it definitely leaves you grasping for your water bottle.
I wont kid you this ballet/yoga/pilates workout is by far the best all around workout I’ve ever done. It’s interesting, entertaining and just pure genius. I must say Burr Leonard, the founder of the Bar Method, is brilliant. She’s created a workout anyone can do and it is guaranteed to lift your tookus, sculpt your arms, tone your legs and shave inches off your hips and waist.
If you have a Bar Method in your area, I highly recommend giving it a try. You may regret it slightly when you get up the next day and can’t walk down the stairs or sit in a chair, but keep it up cause you will be a tight tottie in no time!
Have you tried the Bar Method? What new workout are you dying to try?
Have a great day!
Buy us a Green Tea Latte!