21st birthday and what’s comin’ up in August!

Heading back to school in less than one month (eeek! but so exciting at the same time – I miss my beautiful roomies and friends and school like you wouldn’t believe!), I realized I have lots to do, people to see and places to go in this last glorious month of summer.

August always seems to be the busiest and best month of the year. 3 big birthdays (mine, bff’s and roomie’s); and this year, being our 21st birthdays, I am looking forward to some good times!

August so far:

1 – civic holiday; went hiking with the fam

2 – SYTYCD and sushi dinner

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4 – coffee with a friend after work and bought these beautiful shoes! happy early birthday to me!

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5 – my early birthday/end of summer celebrations with work friends  + lost my phone Sad smile

 

6 – recovering and missed the backstreet boys concert Thumbs down

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Recovery food – whole wheat KD (yup, even hung over, I choose whole wheat) with broccoli and tuna

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7 – still recovering Sick smile

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but doing better – cravings for pb and oats are back!

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Coming up this month!

8 – dinner/drinks here with last year’s work friends – can’t wait to see you girls!!

9 – Billy Elliot the musical! + dinner downtown

12 – drinks/going out for Bff’s birthday

13 – drinks/going out for roomie’s birthday

14 – 5 k run with bff!

15 – driver’s test – eeeek!

20 – 21 – camping for my actual birthday!

26 – last day of internship =(

26 – 29 – sister and phil visiting; wonderland and CNE

30 – haircut and then moving back to school!

31 – 4 – job training

7 – school starts!

Of course in between all of this, I will be going to zumba classes on tuesdays/thursdays and hot yoga classes on wednesdays as often as I can.  When life gets busy like this, it’s hard to squeeze in exercise so I just do the best I can, taking the stairs instead of elevators, taking a walk at lunch, squat while brushing my teeth (really!).  It all balances out and really, living life and celebrating, going out and seeing friends is way more important to me than sticking to a strict exercise schedule or diet.

So as you can see, it’s going to be a busy, busy month but it’s all exciting stuff! You can bet I’ll be blogging and taking pictures as much as I can; I want to remember every last minute of this summer.

 

Question: How was your 21st birthday? What did you do to celebrate?

I am lucky enough to celebrate a few times with different groups of friends! 

This weekend, as I said, I went out with work friends and had SO much fun even though I am still feelin’ it now and the thought of anything other than carbs still makes me nauseous. And I lost my phone. But silver lining – may get an iphone now!

Then, on my real birthday weekend, I’m going camping with friends from school!

And probably a few dinners here and there with other friends and family Smile 

 

Hope you all had a good weekend!

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WIAT(uesday) and SYTYCDC (anada) live taping!

A little acronym heavy I know, but I figured it would make a better title than “What I Ate Tuesday and So You Think You Can Dance Canada live taping”.

Anyways, let’s get right to it!  Going back to work/life after a beautiful long weekend is not always easy.  However, this time, I had no trouble at all going through my day because I had packed a lunch bag full of good and healthy meals/snacks and I had tickets to see the live results show for So You Think You Can Dance Canada right after work!  But more about that later on!

 

WIAT (uesday)

I started my morning like I do every work day: grabbing from the fridge my pre-packed (the night before) tupperware containers of the snacks and meals for the day at the office.  Stuffing it all into my little plaid lunch bag (that somehow expands to fit absolutely everything!), I grabbed my tumbler full of green tea and headed out the door with my dad.

Waiting for train with my tumbler and lunch bag in tow.  Yes, this is what I wear to work, minus the flip flops; it’s an awesome environment, you can dress pretty comfortably and casually.

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This is my trusty lunch bag;

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And a look at what went inside;

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Breakfast on the train to work was pumpkin overnight oats with a big scoop of pb and bran flakes added in the morning.

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I always pack breakfast to eat on the train because I get a little more time in the morning and I get lots of time to enjoy breakfast instead of shovelling it down at 6:30 am. 

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Then it was snack time – I had the pear and a big handful of unpictured walnuts. They are currently my favourite nut and good thing too, because I keep reading how they are just jam packed with nutrients. Eating just 1 oz or 14 shelled halves meets the RDA of omega 3 fatty acids!

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For lunch, I had packed leftovers from last night’s dinner – steamed cauliflower and bok choy, and baked chicken and tofu with a side of organic baby carrots and roasted buttercup squash.  Dessert was an absolutely perfect nectarine as seen in the picture above.  This meal definitely helped me fill my veggie quota for the day!

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For my afternoon snack, I wanted something warm and sweet.  Our office is absolutely freezing and a warm drink to sip on as I worked was just what I needed.  I grabbed my friend and went down to Starbucks to pick up a venti skinny caramel macchiato that looked something like this:

Back at my desk, I sipped away and snacked on my homemade pumpkin puffs but in whoopie pie form! I just took 2 of the puffs and sandwiched light cream cheese in between. This was the perfect 3pm pick-me-up and it was a lot healthier and lighter than what I could have easily ordered at Starbucks: a regular caramel macchiato with extra caramel and pumpkin loaf. Little swaps like this go a long way!

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A couple more hours of work and then it was time to head over to Showline Studios to watch the live taping of SYTYCDC!

I absolutely love this show and find it so motivating to watch when I’m doing yoga/weights in front of the tv!  So when my friend scored some (free!) tickets to watch the live results show, I was ecstatic.  They have some fantastic dancers this season and each one of them is so incredibly talented and makes me wish I could dance! 

Unfortunately, no cameras, cell phones or recording devices were allowed inside the studio but I did manage to snap one photo outside in the holding area.

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Ahh the show was so good!  It was amazing to watch them dance live and you could just see and feel their passion for dance in their movements and faces.  All of their routines were just beautiful and reminded me of my gymnastics days!

After the show, we ended up taking an hour and a half stroll back to the heart of downtown Toronto and sat down for dinner at a little sushi place.

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Starting with miso soup and green salad, I moved onto assorted sushi and california rolls.  This is a standard order for me, of all my favourites, but you really can’t go wrong with Japanese food, especially in the summer – it’s fresh and light, filled with healthy fats like avocado and fish oils, super tasty and filling.

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Oh and I wanted to show you how I always cut my sushi.  They have to be in halves or thirds like this, otherwise I get grossed out by the sliminess of the raw fish. Weird I know.

After dinner, I headed to the bus station and finally made my way home.  It was a great day but a very long day for sure!

So that wraps up my first WIAW post.  I don’t think I could photograph every single thing I ate every single day but this was fun!  Thanks to Peas and Crayons for starting this!

Talk soon!

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Pumpkin. Recipes.

It all started when I saw 2 huge cans of Libby’s pure pumpkin on sale while shopping in the states.

Now I know pumpkin is traditionally a “fall food” but when you see cans of pumpkin on sale, especially with limited Libby’s access in Canada, you should grab all you can off the shelves and start bakin’ like I did!

First on my list were pumpkin rolls with cream cheese filling.  I have always wanted to try making these because they make such a pretty dessert and it happened we were having guests over for dinner that night!

Using this recipe from Allrecipes.com (my go – to site, I just love the reviews!), subbing whole wheat flour for the suggested all purpose flour and omitting the pecans, I gathered my ingredients and got goin’!

1. First you make the cake portion by beating the wet ingredients (+sugar) together

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
2. And combining the dry ingredients in another bowl
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
3. Then gently combine the wet and dry and spread onto your parchment paper lined jelly roll pan (I used a normal baking sheet and it worked just fine) and bake at 350 degrees for 12 -15 minutes.
4. Pull the cake (still on the parchment) off the baking sheet and it lay on a dry dish towel.  Roll up the cake slowly and carefully while still hot (it makes it easier to roll up later up and minimizes cracking).  Let cool for 20 minutes while you whip up the filling.
5. For the filling, combine
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
until smooth, creamy and spreadable.
6. Then comes the hardest part. Unroll your cake slowly and remove the parchment paper even more slowly to make sure your cake stays in one piece! (I was a little overeager and lost some bits!)
7. Now, the fun part!  Dust icing sugar all over the dishtowel (this adds a little sweetness and keeps the towel from sticking to the cake) and carefully flip your cake onto the towel.  And start spreading your filling!

Spread the filling evenly over the cake, sprinkling chopped walnuts if you like.

Also, remember to leave a outer rim of cake unfrosted so that filling doesn’t squish out!

It should look something like this once you’re finished:

5. Now roll it back up again!

All rolled up, it should look something like this:

Now to make it easier to cut into clean swirly slices, wrap the roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to serve!

I loved this recipe! It was a little more challenging and time consuming than say cookies or muffins, but it was 100% worth it!

The cake was actually very light and spongy and the filling was creamy and almost mousse-like.

Served straight from the fridge, it was cool and refreshing and our guests loved it and even asked to take the rest of it home!  Who says that pumpkin is only for fall?

With half a can of pumpkin and leftover filling still begging to be used and wanting to make something heartier and healthier, something more “snack appropriate”, I moved onto some amazingly moist whole wheat pumpkin muffins!

Again, I looked to allrecipes.com for a highly rated recipe and honest reviews.  I made some changes to this recipe (read: healthified) and came out with these irresistible clouds of pumpkin, cream cheese, walnuts and raisins. Seriously good and you would NEVER know they are made with 100% whole wheat and NO butter/oil.

All you have to do is:

1. Combine

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup applesauce (subs for oil!)
  • dash vanilla
2. In another bowl, stir together
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp each: cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, salt
  • dash of pepper (I always add pepper to spiced cookies/breads/muffins – it brings out the spices like you wouldn’t believe!)
3. Gently combine the wet and dry ingredients together and add in a couple handfuls of chopped walnuts and golden raisins, stirring just until combined (this is key!!)
4. Fill your muffin tins 3/4 way full, (I had some cream cheese filling left over so I filled mine halfway with batter, dolloped some filling and topped with more batter) sprinkle with some sunflower seeds if you like, and you’re ready to bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
They’ll come out smelling spicy and wonderful and lookin’ something like this:
Let cool and then enjoy!
These were honestly the best healthy muffins I’ve ever made.  They’re hearty and filling enough to grab for breakfast, portable and nutrition packed for a great snack and still taste indulgent enough to pass as dessert.
The texture is different..but a good different.  It’s dense but still springy and moist like a muffin should be.
AND it’s really important to note, it holds up to a nice smear of extra cream cheese!
These disappeared so quickly that I made another batch a couple days later without the additions of raisins or nuts and but made them into muffin puffs!  (I would call them muffin tops but I’m not going to lie, they aren’t your bakery style, crunchy muffin tops)
So instead of filling muffin tins, I just dropped the batter in spoonfuls onto parchment paper, topped with a walnut and baked for 13 minutes.
They baked up into beautiful muffin puffs and the walnut just makes it look special.
So now you have a couple new pumpkin recipes to test out and perfect because fall is only a couple months away (yay! I’m getting tired of this crazy hot and humid weather)! I hope you love them as much as I do!
Questions:
1. What are your favourite pumpkin recipes?? I know you bloggers got ‘em!
2. Have you tried pumpkin in your oats? Do you like it?  I have to admit that I am really reluctant to mess around with my perfect overnight oats!

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I’m really back…with bake sale ideas!

Now I know its been a while (where did the last 5 months go?!) but I swear I am back for good this time!

Life has been so good and I have so much to share that I know I need to slow down, take pictures, and start bloggin’ again!

So since I last posted, I

- finished my first year of HBA

section girls =)

- got a marketing internship with a great company  in Toronto

interns. love them!

- have been living at home again and loving the full kitchen, fridge and dishwasher! and family dinners of course.

dad, mom, sister and brother in law (so weird to call him that!)

all my favorites - roasted caul and potatoes, oven baked salmon, korean noodles, salad, and ketchup haha!

- bought lots of work clothes ( I now have a closet of work clothes and a closet of regular “summer” clothes and have no idea how I am fit all of this into my one tiny closet at school where I have my comfy school clothes)

- went to the beach – I <3 summer!

besties

- organized a bake sale at work and contributed these dipped beauties:

 pretzels. chocolate. sprinkles. yum.

dark chocolate dipped

Chocolate covered pretzels are so good and easy to make!

And so perfect for bake sales because they are:

- cheap (you’ll have most of these ingredients in your cupboard already)

- quick (no baking time required)

- easy to transport (pretzels weigh next to nothing and take up hardly any space at all)

- beeeeautiful (you’ll get to be the bake sale champ whose goodies sell out first!)

and you can make tons of them in one go.

All you need is:

- a microwave for melting your chocolate

- pretzels – I used larger rods here but you can also use the skinny pretzels, regular twisted pretzels, protein pretzels, anything goes!

- chocolate (dark, semi sweet, milk, white) for dipping and drizzling

- SPRINKLES! (we all love sprinkles)

- crushed peanuts, almonds, walnuts, pecans

- skor bits (amazing! especially with crushed peanuts)

- crushed candies, m&m’s, smarties, etc.

- baking sheet and wax paper to let the dipped pretzels dry on

- refrigerator to harden the chocolate

Now, for the assembly:

1. Get your pretzels ready – pick out the broken pieces – and lay out on a baking sheet that is covered with wax paper

2. Get your toppings ready and put them into shallow bowls or plates (large enough to roll your pretzel in)

3. In a small bowl, melt your chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between

4. Dip your pretzel in the chocolate, using a spoon to help coat the rest

5. Roll the chocolate coated pretzel in toppings

6. Lay coated pretzel flat on the wax paper

7. Repeat!

8. Refrigerate the rods until chocolate hardens (I put mine in for an hour, but 20 minutes should be fine)

9. “Test” a few to make sure your topping combinations actually taste as good as they sound – they should.

10. Package them in clear baggies and tie with a pretty ribbon and you’re all set!

For some other bake sale ideas…

a classic: chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles!

dream bars...and me practicing my hand modeling!

caramel popcorn. tamira made this and was so delish!

chocolate mint cookies - tasted just like girl guide cookies but chewy! so good!

candied bacon...believe it or not, people loved this!

mocha cupcakes with coconut sprinkles!

All of us interns happen to be huge foodies and spend a fair bit of time talking about food (its normal for us to be discussing lunch options all morning, dinner plans during lunch..you get the idea) so when someone suggested holding a bake sale for one of sears’ charities, we all jumped on the idea and ended up raising about $25o for the boys and girls club!  Amazing.

And if you couldn’t tell already, it was a pretty legit bake sale…

all hands on deck

And it made monday morning fly by!

So if you have ever thought about having a bake sale at work, please do it!  Raise money for a good cause, show off your baking skills and take a half day “off” work – win, win, win situation and you already have a great recipe waiting!

This post took forever to write but I am so happy to be back!  I’ve been experimenting a lot with PUMPKIN (an obsession in the blog world) so look forward to a very orange next post =)

coming up next: pumpkin swiss roll!

Now tell me  - how have the last 5 months of YOUR life been??

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BAKING extravaganza SNEAK PEAK!

I am currently in the middle of a 48 hour report so I gotta make this quick!

this is "it" - THE granola bar!!

I have been baking lots lately! In addition to keeping my taste testing skills sharp, I like to bake because

- I find whipping eggs, creaming butter and mixing dough to be the best way to relieve stress

 

granola bar mix-ins

 

- the house is warm and cozy and smells fantastic - like a giant (almost vegan) cookie!

oh-my-goodness-fantastic rocky road (optionally) vegan cookies

- cookies always make great “thank-you-for-giving-me-rides” or “feel better soon” presents

wrapped up and ready to go!

- you don’t need to brave the cold to get bread to make your turkey sandwich (yes, I finally baked bread!)

deeelicious homemade of BREAD!

- you get lots of extra house-mate points when your stressed-out roomies find brownies and granola bars waiting on the counter

chewy, hearty, filled-with-goodness granola bars

- you get to experiement with recipes and sneak as much healthy stuff as you can into a not-so-healthy recipe – I like challenges, what can I say?

dark chocolate raspberry muffins

Be back soon!! 40 hours more and I’m homeeee for Reading Week!! aka Canadian university students’ “spring break”.  I’ll be sharing these recipes and a baking photo shoot soon!

I want to know,

What are you looking forward to doing on your Reading Week/Spring Break?

Or for those of you in the working world, what are your most memorable spring break stories??

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more firsts!

This is part 2 of my “firsts” post.  Read the “first” part here!

Right after my first seadooing experience, I also went snorkeling for the first time on my christmas cruise!

ready to snorkel!

While snorkeling, I found my first sand dollar, which I learned is a type of sea urchin (thanks wiki!). I carefully brought it back to shore and showed my dad, who promptly crushed it to pieces haha.

Also for the first time, I held a starfish, a live conch and saw a few baby jellyfish!  I got stung a couple of times but interestingly, this was not a first for me. I got stung for the first time at a beach in Miami on our last cruise!

That’s not me and the jellyfish were a lot tinier but you get the picture!

I also tried real mexican fish tacos on the beach in costa maya, mexico!

fried but SO light and fresh!

It was delish!!! and in Canada, there really isn’t a lot of mexican so this was such a treat!

tacos on the beach

I also got my first cowboy hat from a local vendor – for $15!! Now I’ll have something legit to wear for these western themed parties and country bars!

save a horse, ride a cowboyyy

 I realized also on the cruise, I went to my first toga party!

And then on Friday night, I had my friends over and hosted my first dinner party!  Trust me, I already know I act wayy too old and look wayyy too young to be 20 years old.

The weather has been awful lately with LOTS of snow and frigid temperatures so naturally, I made soup!

mmmm...soup!

This was divine! It was a sweet potato, chickpea and peanut butter soup, based loosely off of allrecipes.com African Soup and Mama Pea’s Spicy African Peanut Soup.

I used all ingredients I had on hand:

- 1/4 cup Smucker’s natural crunchy pb

- 2 chopped sweet potatoes and carrots

- 2 chopped onions and garlic cloves

- can of diced tomatoes

- can of chickpeas, rinsed

- about a can and a half of water (used tomato can)

- 3 tsp curry powder

- 1/2 tsp salt, pepper, paprika, cloves, cinnamon

I sauteed the onions, garlic and spices in some EVOO until onions were soft and the spices were fragrant.  Then I put the rest of the ingredients in, brought it to a boil and then simmered for a couple of hours.  I blended half of the pot in a blender to get the soup nice and thick and then left the rest chunky because I personally like having things to chew; it slows me down!

This soup was awesome – lots of deep flavors and it was SO healthy and hearty too! Filled with protein and fiber from the chickpeas, vegetables and pb, I had one bowl and was stuffed.  But that’s probably because I served garlic toast on the side!

cheesy and garlic-y

 I followed IGE’s directions for garlic toast and it came out perfect! I had lots of rye bread in my freezer and they crisped up wonderfully in the oven, straight from frozen.

I just took the frozen slices, spread some margarine on, sprinkled with garlic powder and parm cheese and then popped them right into the oven at 425 for about 10 minutes (or until it smelled nice and garlic-y in the kitchen!)

garlic toasts

 It was so easy and soooo much healthier than the store bought kinds and I was able to use up my embarassingly large bread stash in the freezer.  My roommates were happy too ;)

While the garlic toasts were a-toasting, I had cauliflower and broccoli roasting too!

Putting up with me for talking about how good roasted broc and cauliflower are all. the. time., I had to make some for them and let them try it for themselves.  And they loved it! but is that a surprise at all??

roasted broc and caul

My friends loved everything and said it was the healthiest meal they had ever had at school! We started talking about how it is hard sometimes to eat healtly and when they asked me if I ever craved chips or fried foods, I could honestly tell them no.  I really don’t like chips or fried food, never really have and it makes my stomach super queasy every time I have anything fried. 

Is it easy for you to “eat healthy”? 

Sometimes I wonder this, because I have become so used to “my” food that when I eat out, my stomach gets upset and can sometimes feels bloated for days. I’d love to hear your feedback!

But about eating healthy while away at school, I think it really can be quite easy! If you truly want to make a change and commit to it, it becomes a part of your lifestyle. Grocery shopping takes normal people about an hour each week (I stay a little longer…but because I just love it!) and making a healthy breakfast or lunch can take literally less than 5 minutes.

Take this morning’s breakfast for example, I made a pumped up pb&j using half cup of egg whites, 2 slices of country harvest ancient grains bread and kraft natural pb and raspberry jam.

I popped the bread in the toaster while I microwaved my egg whites and grabbed my pb, jam and a knife.  Then when the toast was ready, I spread pb on one side, jam on the other and sandwiched the egg white puff in the middle. And breakfast was served! 

toasted country harvest ancient grains bread is fantastic!

It probably took about 3 minutes to make the whole thing and it was superb! Simple, so tasty and kept me full for about 3 hours!

pumped up pb + j (with egg whites)

Lunch was also quick and easy and totally college student friendly!

I made a tuna salad wrap using half a can of tuna, handful of canned corn, pepper, scoop of plain yogurt, big squirt honey mustard and half a chopped apple.  Mixing all of this together, I spread it on a LaTortilla sundried tomato wrap and called it lunch!

quick, easy n' healthy tuna salad wrap

birds eye

Money shot:

delish!!

I made the same wrap for lunch tomorrow and that whole process took maybe 4 minutes!

How do you balance being a college student/full time job with healthy eating?

And do you think that our stomachs get used to eating mostly “clean” foods and get upset with different (greasy) foods? And is this a bad thing that we can’t tolerate it?

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My first organic conference + homemade cake!

Try new things. One of my resolutions this year because really, there is SO much to life and there are SO many things that I want to try!

On vacation over Christmas break, I tried sea-dooing for the first time and it was AWESOME!

excited and kinda nervous

and I'm off!

I didn't want to get off!

And then last weekend, I went to my first organic conference! I’ve been so jealous of all you bloggers going to BlogHer conferences, and all the expos so when I found out about the annual Guelph Organic Conference, I knew I had to go! I offered to volunteer there and got a free day pass so it worked out great.  My mom also went to the trade show that was free for everyone and thoroughly enjoyed her time talking to the exhibitors and getting free samples!

estatic to be at the conference

I also got lots of amazing swag! Check it out:

I love free things!

Nature’s Path had a booth set up there so I obviously went over and struck up a conversation with their reps and they were just as nice as I thought they would be! I also grabbed a ton of bars and cereal samples that I hadn’t tried before!

pumpkin? spice? I'm all in!

 

tried this right away and it was delish!!

Y’all know my favourite Nature’s Path product, but what’s yours??

Also, snagged an organic apple picked locally from a farm right in Guelph!  It was so juicy and fresh and noticeably tastier than regular grocery store apples. Makes me wish I had farm!

farm fresh

Now onto the reallyyyy good stuff – homemade chocolate cake! Doesn’t get much better than that does it??

Now to make this cake, I consulted my go-to baking and cooking site, and found this beautiful dark chocolate cake recipe. With 939 reviews and 4.5 stars, I was excited to try it and it definitely didn’t disappoint! 

Dark Chocolate Cake from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 3 – 9 inch round cake pans. In medium bowl, pour boiling water over cocoa, and whisk until smooth. Let mixture cool. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at time, then stir in vanilla. Add the flour mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture. Spread batter evenly between the 3 prepared pans.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Allow to cool.

All the ingredients I had on hand and it was really simple and quick to make! My friend and I mixed it up and popped it in the oven while we worked on some homework and 25 minutes later, we had cakeee!  Somehow, we had a little too much batter so we made ourselves each a cupcake and got to try the moist, chocolately goodness right out of the oven.

stacked

 

And boy, was it was gooood. But, it got better. We made creamy chocolate frosting, also from allrecipes.

Creamy Chocolate Frosting from allrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 5 tablespoons evaporated milk ( I used regular cow’s milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, sift together the confectioners’ sugar and cocoa, and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.

We whipped this up by hand

none of it went to waste - trust me ;)

 

And then we got frosting.

"women of new york: frost yourselves!" - how to lose a guy in 10 days anyone??

And decorating.

smarties and more icing!

We finally finished,

happy birthday luce!!

And then we ate!

birthday girl

It was such a fun night and she loved her cake so this will be the first of many, many homemade cakes! Who needs betty?

i love chocolate cake

Have you baked a real, honest to goodness, made-from-scratch chocolate cake? I know I always chose cake mix for its convenience and the fact that it just tastes so darn good every time! But this was better so I’ll be stickin’ to this recipe from now on!

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