23 August 2011

Experiment #1-1: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Cupcake

I have been meaning to find a traditional sugar alternative for a while. My sister-in-law is diabetic, so is my mom. I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant with Alyssa. My doctor warned me because I had gestational diabetes and there is history of diabetes in my family, I should be aware of the fact I am a candidate for diabetes later on in life. GREAT!! So, I have been pretty cautious of what I eat, well I TRY to be cautious. As everyone knows, I like to bake cupcakes and a lot of them. I think I should really find an alternative.

At first, I was looking into Agave Nectar (pronounced ah-GAH-vay). Agave Nectar is sap  is extracted from the plant from which tequila is made, filtered, and heated at a low temperature, which breaks down the carbohydrates into sugars. It is very sweet and has no after taste like Stevia has. However, with all my research, I have found that although it maybe better then sugar and has a low GI level, it contains the highest fructose content of any other sugar alternatives. I do use Agave Nectar to sweeten my tea, but only is small amounts. I do not cook or bake with it.

My Birthday Weekend - Sunday

Well, today is actually my birthday. As much as I dread getting older, I love celebrating my birthday. Not every year is great, but today I was adamant about keeping it low key and just enjoying the day.

I didn't do much, but I did ask my kids to do a huge mural for me. Yes, that was fun. I traced the kids bodies and they were to colour themselves in.

22 August 2011

My Birthday Weekend - Food Truck Eats

Well, this past weekend was my birthday. That's right I turned 29...again! This year was probably the best birthday's I have had in a long time. It was eventful and fun! I love my family for making it so special! :)

Saturday was the Food Truck Eats in the Distillery District, Downtown Toronto. It was so much fun. I wish I had taken more pictures, but I was to busy drooling over all the food and stuffing my face. Food Truck Eats is a movement in Ontario to allow more food trucks and street food stalls to roam our streets. Right now, you can only find "street meat" vendors, at almost every corner of the Downtown core. Don't get me wrong, they really hit the spot at 3AM after you've been kicked out of a club, definitely not gourmet no matter how you dress it up. Which is why I think this event is so great!! Hopefully, Toronto and some other cities realize Food Truck are great!

18 August 2011

Review: Taste of Nature Bars

Never heard of them, huh? Well, me either. That is, until I made a trip to Whole Foods and they were giving away samples. Who can resist a free sample, right? Well, I can't! :)

Oh my goodness, it was AWESOME! I couldn't believe they were 100% Organic, sugar free, gluten free, low sodium and vegan!

17 August 2011

Recipe - My Vegan Weekend

Well, this past weekend I decided to make as many meals as possible which included Daiya's Vegan Cheese.

On the Friday, I made Grilled Cheese, Scrabbled Eggs topped with Cheese, and crescents filled with Cheese. All were so fantastic.

Grilled Cheese
Scrabbled Eggs topped with Cheese

Cresents filled with Cheese
On Saturday, I made Vegan Pizza. All of the topping ingredients were from my local farmer's market. Another huge success!

Farmer's Market Veggies and Vegan Cheese on top of a Homemade Crust

Dinner :)

This was one of my dinners from last week, after visiting Whole Foods in Mississauga.

Clockwise starting at the top: Horseradish Cheddar, Multigrain Crackers, Pate, Daiya Vegan Cheese -  Cheddar,  Green Stuffed Olives, Pickles, Prosciutto - Dry and Ham, Spicy Black Olive Tapenade, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

My Korean Food Adventure

Today, I woke up and felt kind of blah. You know one of those days that you don't really know what you want to do or accomplish.

As the day went on, I started to get hungry. Hmm...what to have for lunch and dinner tonight? Then it hit me in the stomach! I was craving Korean food. A little while ago I found this wonderful site that had lots of authentic Korean recipes and even videos on how to cook it. Awesome, I know!! :) It is http://www.maangchi.com/. She is delightful to watch and is so adorable.

13 August 2011

Recipe - Homemade Vegan Pizza

Today is Saturday, and we had a garage sale to get rid of some of our junk collecting dust in our basement and garage. Which means I didn't get to venture to my Farmer's Market, oh well. I do still have some awesome produce in my fridge from last week. I guess this is why buying local is so beneficial. All the produce is picked that morning of or the night before the market, when fruits and veggies are at their best and they last longer. Instead of a week before, so produce continues to ripen on the truck or boat its shipped in. Not to mention the smaller carbon footprint, and of course, supporting our local farmers.

As I mention in my previous post, I picked up some incredible vegan "cheese". So I decided to make homemade pizza for dinner. Yes, even the crust is made from scratch! :) (Recipe is below.) I topped the pizza with lots of vegetables, fresh basil from my herb garden, tomato sauce and TONS of "cheese"!

Pizza Toppings: Tomato Sauce, Red Peppers, Portabella and Button Mushrooms, Spinach,
Ishtar Zucchini, Basil Leaves and Mozzarella and Cheddar "Cheese" 

11 August 2011

Review: DAIYA deliciously dairy free®

OMG! I am not a vegan by any means. Especially, because my favourite meal is Prime Rib Roast with all the fixings! However, I have found something amazing.

First, why I even bothered to go looking for something like this? Well, I am having dinner at my house with my girlfriends. It seems life is always so crazy, we only see each other once or twice a year. So, I like to pull out all the stops and make the most incredible meal I can for them.

07 August 2011

Eating Habits

As you can see, I love to cook. Anything and everything! Whatever I crave, I go hunting for a recipe and do tons of research on ingredients, prep, directions and time to complete the meal. That's why I love Allrecipes.com. They not only have recipes, but they also have lots of helpful reviews from people who have tried the recipe.

Despite cooking lots of wonderful food at home using amazingly fresh ingredients from my farmers market recently, I have noticed that I have been putting on weight. I know it's because of my poor eating habits, skipping meals, snacking at the wrong times, and not really worrying about what is in what I am putting in my mouth. I watch my kids like a hawk, making sure they are eating when they should, and making sure they eat healthy and nutritious food.

02 August 2011

Blueberry Scones

Well, after our trip from our favourite coffee shop, my husband and I were commenting on the lack scones and biscottis to dip into our favourite coffee drinks. Of course, it got me thinking and craving....well, more craving then thinking! I have some lovely blueberries I picked up from the Farmer's Market. I also picked up a wonderful bar of barrel churned - made from fresh cream - butter. So why not make some fresh blueberry scones?

OH MY GOD!! They were so good! Just toasty enough outside, but so moist and fluffy inside. I originally planned to make them to enjoy with my tea, but my husband and kids were eating them once they were cool enough to touch.

Cake! - Katerina's Birthday Cake

Well, I would like to say this is my first cake I have ever made, but that's not true. I did make a huge Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting a few months ago. Which turn out to be wonderful.

This time I am making a themed cake. Harry Potter to be exact. My eldest is now a teenager and I wanted to surprise her with a themed cake. I have been really into all things cupcakes, then Cake Pops! and now this is my first themed cake. I have done TONS and TONS of research into making a Harry Potter Cake. I have searched  Google for hundreds of examples. I have seen some amazing cakes and some not so amazing cakes.

Restaurant Review - Green Cup Roastery

My husband and I have this wonderful little coffee shop, we go to at least 3-4 times a week. It's called Green Cup Roastery. We love the atmosphere.They have awesome coffee, the beans are all Fair Trade and Organically grown. They also roast their beans in-house, which make their coffee so much better.

My husband loves their Medium/Dark roasts, and I love their Soy Latte. You also have the option of Almond milk too. Yummy! Alyssa and Logan love their orange juice machine. When we go, they are allowed to make their own juice, which is awesome! It means, they actually drink all their juice, because they made it themselves. Green Cup also has a variety of yummy loose leaf teas, for those who don't drink coffee.

Lots of comfy seating and beautiful artwork.
If you see a piece of art you fancy, you can always buy it. :)

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