25 February 2012

Vegan Gluten-Free Tempura Veggies

Today, I had been super lazy and haven't done much of anything today. Then, I got a sudden craving of tempura veggies. Mainly because I had a ton of veggies starting to go bad. :(

I love tempura veggies because they are so simple to make. Today, I used Cauliflower, Sweet Potato, Zucchini, Broccoli and Mushrooms, but you can use just about anything. You need to make a simple batter to thinly coat your choice of vegetable, meat or seafood.

My kids love vegetables, even more so when I lightly fry them up. Although, Logan still prefers raw vegetables. :)

Vegan Gluten-Free Tempura Batter

1 cup corn flour
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups very cold soda water (or gluten-free beer), more if needed
1 tsp salt

  1. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Add more water if needed, batter should be the same consistency as pancake batter. 
* I deep fried all my veggies in canola oil, over medium high heat until golden brown. :)

Try this super easy recipe and tell me what you think. :)

Happy Cooking!! :)

24 February 2012

Gluten-Free Ontario Dinner - Feb '12

On Wednesday, I attended the first Gluten-Free dinner hosted by Jax (@JaxGFOntario) from Gluten-Free Ontario. She is the most adorable person you will ever meet. :)

Villa Restaurant

Dinner was at Villa Restaurant in Bloor West Village (between Jane and Runnymede on Bloor Street West.) It was a nice restaurant which has many gluten-free options. On Wednesday, we had a $30 prix fixe menu. Not bad for an appetizer and entree, especially for a gluten-free meal. The restaurant made custom menus with the Gluten-Free Ontario logo, placed at each place setting. I thought this was very cute! :)

$30 Prix Fixe Menu w/ Jax's new biz cards

I am not gluten-intolerant or Celiac, but my husband is gluten-intolerant. I don't actually know how I came across Gluten-Free Ontario, but after chatting with Jax on numerous occasions. I had to come down to support her first dinner. (I feel like we have been friends forever. Again, so adorable!)

I ordered the Mixed Greens and Wild Mushroom Pizza. The salad was awesome. It was dressed just enough and not dripping with sauce. The Lemon Thyme dressing was great. The pizza on the other hand was way to greasy. Personally, there was not enough brie and too much basil oil. The crust was super crispy but the middle was super soggy. Flavour was there, texture was not. :(

Mixed Greens
Wild Mushroom Pizza

My husband ordered the Mushroom and Leek Puree Soup with Fusilli Alfredo with Grilled Chicken. He really enjoyed the soup, but wish they had offered some Parmesan for the soup. The pasta was good, but was a tad on the under cooked side. I think it's because Brown Rice pasta is so easily overcooked. I would rather my pasta a little under cooked, then mushy any day!!

Mushroom and Leek Puree
Fusilli Alfredo with Grilled Chicken

My husband also tried his first Gluten-Free beer. It was La Messagere Gluten Free beer. The colour of the beer was very light. The flavour was also very light. It reminded me of a Corona Light. It would be refreshing on a hot summer day, but I still prefer my Stella or Brahma. :)

To end an awesome evening of meeting new amazing people and having some great gluten-free meals, Jax gave out some PatsyPie treats. I was lucky to get a bag of Gluten-Free peanut butter cookies (my husband's favourite type of cookie) and a couple of pie crusts. I have to say, PatsyPie's peanut butter cookies are pretty darn good. Almost as good as regular peanut butter cookies. The only reason why I say almost, is because there are no peanut butter chips in them. (There are actual peanuts instead. Still awesome!) I haven't use the pie crusts yet. I have bribed my husband with a Banana Cream Pie with a Peanut Butter Caramel Crumble topping, just so he won't eat the pie crusts as a snack. LOL! Wish me luck! :)

Thanks Jax for the invite! 

Here are a few links for more information on Celiac Disease and Gluten-Intolerance:
     Gluten-Free Ontario - http://www.glutenfreeontario.ca/
     Celiac Disease Foundation - http://www.celiac.org/
     Toronto Celiac - http://www.torontoceliac.org/

22 February 2012

Crochet Adventures

I have been crocheting a lot lately, a lot more then blogging for sure! (Sorry!)

I am always trying to think of new things to make. I can't really say I'm running out of ideas, I guess it more like running out of skills. I know it takes practice, but I feel like I should be better. It doesn't help that prior to this, it had been almost 20 years since I had picked up a crochet hook and about 15 years since I picked up a knitting needle. Although, I haven't started knitting again, some designs I see online make me want to run out to pick up some needles, but I have so many bookmarks for crocheted items and recipes, I think I'll try to tackle them before moving on to yet another new hobby. LOL!

It's funny, I started this blog to try to figure out new hobbies and now I have more then I can handle. :)

Well, here are some recent project I have completed.


Tell me what you think? Good enough to open an Etsy shop? LOL! (It's under consideration, he he!)

Happy Crafting!! :)

13 February 2012

4th Annual Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off

Last Saturday, I volunteered at the 4th Annual Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off  hosted by the Toronto Vegetarian Association. It's part of my New Years Resolution to volunteer my time this year. This was my first event I signed up to volunteer for. What can I say? It was super easy for me to decide to sign-up - FREE DESSERTS!!

When I arrived, there were no signs outside of the venue to advertise there was a Vegan Bake-off inside. I was a tad worried there wouldn't be many people to come out for the event. Well, wasn't I wrong?! It was a huge turn out. I'm not exactly sure how many competitors there were, but there were 8 categories: Vegan Cookies, Vegan Bars, Raw Vegan Desserts, Vegan Cupcakes and Pastries, Gluten-Free Chocolates, Gluten-Free Sweets, and two Professional categories.

It was an awesome vibe - very easy going and fun. Unfortunately, I didn't stay to the end, so I missed 2 things. 1) George Stroumboulopoulos (@strombo) and 2) all the winners. :(

I tried 2 categories: Vegan Cupcakes and Pastries and Vegan Professional 1. The clear winners for me were Super Banana Split Cupcake for the Vegan Cupcakes and Pastries and Kindfood's Mile High Browine for the Vegan Professional 1. My father-in-law loved Katie Brock's Pecan Cinnamon Rolls. He couldn't get over that it was 100% VEGAN!! LOL!

My biggest disappointment was Brunner's The Lumberjack. I know what they were going for, but failed. I was so excited to try their creation, but it didn't taste as good as it looked. My daughter spit it out and she doesn't do that. Really, she doesn't, she is as much as a foodie as I am. Oh, well you win some you lose some, right? Next week, I plan on making a trip to Brunner's Bake Shop and trying a few different treats. I have been told by Brunner's The Lumberjack is not on their regular menu. Whew! So, I am SUPER excited to try their other delicious creations because they all look amazing! :)

Where you at the Vegan Bake-off? What was your favourite? Do you have an awesome Vegan dessert recipe you want to share?

Happy Baking!!  :)







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