October 24, 2010


One of my closest friend's dog died a little less than a month ago and Sean and I decided to go over and cheer her up. Not wanting to go over empty-handed, Sean and I opted to make her cookies but since she's on the Weight Watchers diet (and doing a mighty good job), I had to find a recipe that would suit the WW points scale but also be delicious.

Enter Pumpkin Chia Spelt Scuffins by Angela from Oh She Glows. What the heck is a scuffin? Well, I kind of wondered the same thing but then continued reading and found out that it's a mix between a scone and a muffin. I followed Angela's recipe with my substitutions in italics below:
  • 2 1/2 cups whole grain spelt flour (I used whole wheat as I didn't have any spelt on-hand)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (I used white granulated since I didn't have any cane sugar)
  • 1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
  • 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax + 3 T warm water, mixed)
  • 1 t vanilla
Directions: (straight from Angela's website)
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk flax egg in a small bowl and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients (spelt, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves). Set aside. In a different bowl mix the butter, sugar and agave until smooth. I melted my butter a bit in the microwave for 15 seconds first as I find the Earth Balance is easier to work with when melted slightly. Now add pumpkin, flax egg, and vanilla. Beat well. Carefully mix in dry ingredients being sure not to overmix. Spelt is broken down very quickly when mixed and you can end up with a tough batter if you overmix it. But relax it will turn out regardless! ;) The batter will be very moist and sticky, but don’t worry. Drop the batter onto the baking sheet. I wet my fingers to slightly shape the scuffins. Pop a stick in the end if preferred to have your scuffin on a stick! I got my sticks at Bulk Barn. Sprinkle with chia seeds for a spooky, yet nutritious, effect for Halloween! You can also have fun decorating little pumpkin faces on them (great for kids!). Bake for 17 minutes or until the scuffins slightly bounce back when touched. Handle the scuffins on a stick very carefully because they are delicate. I found that I improved this by making smaller scuffins on a stick- then they weren’t as heavy!
Believe it or not, these cookies are only 1 point on the WW point scale. My friend was not only really happy to have some company to cheer her up and not only happy to receive cookies (Sean made a cookie containing coconut and white chocolate), but really happy to find out that these cookies were only 1 WW point. Score!

I've made these once again since that first time and made the following substitutions according to what I had on-hand:

  • 2 1/2 cups whole grain spelt flour (I used whole wheat as I didn't have any spelt on-hand)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground cloves
  • 1/2 t fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan buttery spread (I used butter as I was out of EB and the calorie count actually turns out to be very similar)
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 cup canned or fresh pumpkin
  • 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax + 3 T warm water, mixed)
  • 1 t vanilla
The second round of baking these cookies turned out to be better than the first. I don't know if it was the use of cane sugar or butter but the cookies were less dense than the first batch. They were addictive, crazy addictive.

October 11, 2010


I think I'll spend October recapping most of September. Why the heck not? I don't have any upcoming cupcake orders so it seems like my October will be free to post as I wish.

My trip to Montreal with Sean was more than a month ago but the memories are still there. The food memories, of course. What else would I be talking about? Our first food stop was none other than Smoke Meat Pete's, which Sean and I both consider to be better than Schwartz's Deli in terms of food, service and environment.For the first time ever, Sean and I checked out the menu though I somehow neglected to take a photo of it. Though there were a plethora of things to munch on, Sean and I stuck to the Pete's Special which included a smoked meat sandwich with fries, coleslaw, a pickle and a drink. Here's what that looks like in photo form:And here's the sandwich up close:Yum!! Unfortunately I couldn't finish the entire thing. As much as my tastebuds wanted me too, I decided to play it safe and let Sean finish off the last bit of my sandwich and fries. It was hard to do so but I knew that my stomach would thank me later. Plus, being in a city I wasn't too familiar with, I didn't want to have to do any last-minute washroom hunts.

This is the Dairy Queen across the street from SMP: It's a small jaunt to the DQ and had I not been so full of smoked meat and Montreal French fry goodness, I totally would have jumped at the chance to venture into this terribly old DQ and order up something cold and creamy. I love this DQ. It's just so ghetto-fabulous! (This is actually the view from the road. You can see SMP in the background...with the green awning.)

Then we hit the road for our hotel--Novotel Downtown Montreal, here we come!

October 10, 2010


You have to make Angela's nuts. You'll fall in love with Angela's nuts. It's actually a recipe adapted from Union Square Cafe. You can find the original recipe here but you can find Angela's version.Here's a recap of Angela's version:


- 2 1/4 cups mixed unsalted nuts (I used 1/2 cup peanuts, 1/2 cup cashews, 1/2 cup walnuts, and 3/4 cup almonds) (I used this ratio of nuts)
- 2 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves (I used dried since that's all I had on-hand)
- small pinch cayenne pepper
- 1-2 Tbsp Sucanat (or brown sugar) (I used 2 Tbsp brown sugar)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup, to taste (optional) (I totally used maple syrup...I love it)
- 1.5 tsp sea salt (I used pink Himalayan salt since it was nearby)
- 2 Tbsp Earth Balance butter

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread nuts onto the baking sheet and toast for about 10-12 minutes. Remove nuts and let cool for about 5 mins. or so. While cooling, mix the sauce ingredients (rosemary, cayenne, Sucanat, maple syrup, sea salt, 1 tbsp of Earth Balance butter). Now, dump nuts into a large bowl and stir in 1 tbsp of melted Earth Balance butter. Add sauce and mix well. Pour nuts back onto baking sheet and bake for another 10-12 minutes until golden. Cool for about 20 minutes and serve warm. Makes 2 1/4- 2 1/2 cups.


This IS a highly addictive snack. In fact, I didn't even bother waiting for the nuts to cool and did a little quality control on some hot-out-of-the-oven almonds. Yum, yum! It was some really good stuff and then I proceeded to sit on my hands for the remaining 19 minutes until the nuts had cooled down.
Then I proceeded to eat almost every single nut in the little glass above. It was a little bit of insanity but I managed to stop myself and then had to transfer the nuts into a Bernadin 500mL mason jar with the remaining placed into a tightly shut container. I'm sure how long they'll in their containers but I don't think it'll really matter. They're great snacking items.


So I kind of fell off the bandwagon with my whole "will post every other day" thing. This week was really manic, beginning with Monday. And I'm not even talking about the infamous Marie Claire article about the "Big Six." I do think the article is a bunch of hooey considering that I've been reading Caitlin's blog for close to two years now. (Honestly, I can't even remember when I first started reading her blog but it would take me a heckuva long time to figure it out.) I won't bother commenting too much over the whole thing (it has been a week since the debate exploded) but my initial reaction when I read the Big Six was, "who the hell calls them that?!" And that was pretty much my reaction throughout the entire article.

But enough of that. How was the rest of my week? Well Tuesday involved Glee, a hockey draft with Jessie, Sean and Jessie's BF, Adam. I opted out because I don't really care for hockey. We were supposed to make cookies after Glee but ended up watching more TV and then totally forgot. We're hoping to make pumpkin cookies this week though.

Wednesday was supposed to be jam-packed (picking up alterations, a trip to Bulk Barn, cutting Sean's hair and etc) but Sean and I just got the middle thing done. We picked up some major Halloween necessities at Bulk Barn including a Halloween-themed cookie pan (which I will be using for Halloween-themed Madeleine cookies and cupcake liners and fall-themed mini cookie cutters. I also had a Quarter Pounder meal for dinner from McDonalds and let's just say it wasn't the greatest idea I've ever had. My stomach was kind of in knots the entire evening. I had indigestion and my stomach was making noises so loud that Sean and I both wondered if an alien was going to burst out of my stomach at any moment. It was kind of crazy. Suffice it to say, it's probably going to be a VERY long time before I have McDonalds again.

Thursday was a relaxing night at home involving Baking Life and FarmVille. It was good to get caught up and just chill at home for a bit. To be honest, I hadn't been home in a few days and the cats knew it. I also spent Thursday freaking out about a dress I had altered specifically for a wedding last night. The straps were too long but the altered dress made the dress too uncomfortable under my armpits and all the other dresses I had were either too long, needed to be dry cleaned or were too big. Even a dress my mom had only bought me about a month and a half ago was too big. I've only lost about 2lbs (maybe) since then but still, could it really have made that much of a difference? Well apparently so! I wasn't totally chuffed since the dress only cost $10 and getting it altered will probably cost around $20-25 so the dress (including alterations) will still be a steal.

As a result Friday after work was spent scouring the mall for a new dress and low and behold, the best dress was found at Le Chateau. It's the ultimate little black dress though totally not my usual style. First of all, it was tight and fitted. Sean said I looked like a model (and I kind of agreed). Unfortunately I totally forgot to take any photos of Sean and I at the wedding and when I mentioned this to him, as we were sitting in a Chinese restaurant in clothes that we had brought to change into, he said it was okay because we could just re-create the whole look and take pictures then. *snort* Who the heck is he kidding?! I had to get a last-minute hair cut, dye my hair (a last-minute trip to Coupe Bizzaare wasn't in the cards so I didn't have time to re-dye my pink hair), do a mani/pedi on myself, plus shower, get dressed and get my make up done. I mean, maybe, just maybe for the sake of photo preservation we'll do it. We did look smokin' hot last night.

There's been other drama going on in my life but the one constant has been Sean. Good times all around on that front. And a good man he is. This is Thanksgiving weekend and I guess you could say I'm really thankful for Sean. And our relationship and I guess it's taken me a full 9 years to truly and utterly appreciate it. I mean, I know I appreciated it before and I always told Sean that, but never has our relationship meant more to me and been more meaningful than it is now. And I think he knows that too.

There's another post coming today...I promise!

October 2, 2010


Yep, I finally jumped onto the pumpkin oats bandwagon! I mean really, who wouldn't want to partake in a delicious meal of this:
I know I would want too, and now you can too! Here's my recipe for success:

- 1/4 cup of rolled oats
- 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup of 2% organic milk (or any liquid)
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 2 heaping tablespoons of canned pumpkin (next time I would probably increase this quantity to 3)- 1 ripe banana sliced and halvedToppings:
- sprinkling of roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of pure maple sugar
- drizzle of clover honey, about one teaspoon's worth
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the oats and 1/2 cup of milk over high heat. Once the mixture starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-high and add the chia seeds and 1/4 cup of milk. Stir well.
  2. Once the chia seeds have begun to congeal, add the pumpkin and stir well. The mixture will turn a lovely shade of orange. Turn off the heat and add the banana. Mix well.
  3. Now add your toppings, mix well and enjoy!
The toppings were the best part. I used 1/2 teaspoon of maple sugar and a couple drizzles of clover honey and overall. I'm normally used to instant oats (which contains sugar) and dark Lindt chocolate in my oatmeal so this concoction wasn't very sweet at all. Currently enjoying this at half past 5 so we'll see when I feel like digging into dinner. Even though it was only a 1/4 cup of rolled oats, I have a feeling this is going to keep me satiated for a while.
PS: Might I also add that I realize that September was the worst for blog posts. There was a LOT of stuff going on...trips to Montreal and a record amount of cupcake-making and baking in general. That means lots of good material for future posts. I'm hoping to bang out a post every other day. We'll see how it goes.