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throwing a bridal shower

March 28, 2017

Many of my closest girlfriends are married and we’ve become pretty good at throwing Bridal Showers. We just hosted one for one of our best friends. It had a  slight Parisian flair and these are some of our tips for making your event go smoothly and less stressful!

-Planning-

1. Decide on a theme. If you decide to go without a theme (which is totally fine!) then decide on a general colour palette. Our shower had a underlaying Paris theme. We kept it vintage-y and subtle with blush pinks, beiges/creams, little black accents and lots of white. Having a dominate colour will help with decor decisions and keep everything consistent and unified.  Continue Reading

Food Motherhood

toddler friendly, vegan cookies

March 17, 2017

I’m a huge skeptic of vegan baked goods. Being a cake designer by trade, it’s hard for me to fathom NOT using butter, eggs, and milk in my baked goods. But alas, I’m also very open to finding alternative ways to satisfy my childrens’ sweet tooth without resorting to sugar all the time. My kids are incredibly active, very hyper on a normal day, just imagine them ingesting an unnecessary about of sugar kind of scares me. They’ll probably run through walls afterwards. Hulk style.

I found this vegan recipe on a model’s instagram story and my first thought was: this girl looks like that, no way are her cookies are good. Yes, I judged her. Terrible I know but if you saw this gorgeous girl in her bikini you would also think there is no way she eats cookies. Anyways, I digress.

So I tried them, the recipe and method is very easy. Anyone can make these! The ingredients are easy to find and not complicated. Because there is no refined white sugar, flour, butter or eggs–it’s a rather heathly cookie alternative.

An aforementioned disclaimer, this cookie’s texture is not your ooey-gooey buttery sugary concoction, if you are looking for that, go get a double chocolate chip cookie at your local bakery. It’s a cross between a peanut butter and oatmeal cookie. Because of the oats and oat flour, this cookie is slightly drier and has a more crumbly texture. However, I find them very good (for vegan cookie standards) and I love feeding them as a treat to the boys! Give it a go!

 

Recipe found and adapted from @alyssalynch’s instagram.

1 Cup Almond Flour
1 Cup Rolled Oats (I used what I had, quick rise oats)
1/2 Cup Oat Flour (I took my quick rise oats, pulsed in a blender, ta da! Flour!)
1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
‘lil Baking Soda (about 1/2 teaspoon-ish)
‘lil Vanilla (about 1/2-1 teaspoon)
1/2 Cup Nut Butter (I used peanut butter)

Mix all ingredients together to make a paste.
Scoop out about a teaspoon sized balls and round out with hands. Place on parchment paper or greased cookie sheet. Make an indentation for the filling (if using).
Bake for 10-13 minutes at 350F degrees.

I prefer these cookies plain but feel free to top them off with some jam and a squiggle of peanut butter. This recipe is very easy going, as you can tell by the “lil” measurements. Don’t stress too much. I hope your kids enjoy them!

 

xx, CiCi

 

 

Food Lifestyle

how we charcuterie!

February 13, 2017

I love cheese. And cured meat. And them together. Some nights, I’ll throw whatever cured meat I have in the fridge, a couple slices of bread, a wedge of cheese and call it dinner, it’s neither  fancy or frivolous. However, it’s nice to assemble a full board when you have guests over and hosting. There are many guides to making a “proper” charcuterie board but when it comes to food, the best advice is to follow your heart. And taste buds! Put together what you like to eat and not pick a fancy cheese just because it has fancy name. If you like cheddar (I do!), put cheddar on the board. If you like Blue Cheese (I don’t!), then throw blue on that board! Continue Reading

Food Lifestyle Motherhood

Baking: Holiday Tins

January 3, 2017

French Madeleines, Spicy and Sweet Candied Pecans, Christmas Cake Cookies and Chocolate Turtles were featured in my holiday tins this year. Here are the links to the recipes I used. These little treats, keep well, taste fantastic and are a wonderful Christmas gift. And throughout the year it would make a wonderful “anytime” gift, a hostess gift, or a thank you for that someone special.

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Food

some of my favourite sweet recipes

November 8, 2016

I’ve been making cakes for years and I’ve found some recipe gems online. These recipes are great for a novice baker. For your next gathering, make a cake instead of buying it! You don’t have to decorate it all fancy with chocolate sails and such, like how I do it for clients. Keep it simple and rustic. Cake and icing…nothing wrong with that! There’s such a charm to home baked cakes that I just love, hopefully you’ll find a recipe you and your family can enjoy! Continue Reading

Food

squish it between bread

October 19, 2016

Usually after large parties there are quite a bit of leftovers. Thanksgiving turkey, Christmas hams, rotisserie chickens. They sit in your fridge waiting to be eaten. But after stuffing your face at said dinner party, do you really want to eat that ham or turkey the way it is for a second or third or possibly fourth time? I have to change it up, I’m picky with my food and easily bored with the same. That’s why me and chicken breast just don’t get along very well. Sorry chicken breast, its not you, its me. Or maybe you, because you’re so boring.

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Food Motherhood

life is pretty sweet, sharing our favourite banana bread recipe

October 3, 2016

I hope as they get older, they’ll enjoy being in the kitchen as much as I do. When they play outside with friends and remember its dinner time–everything gets dropped as they rush home because I’m cooking. That’s the dream anyways. Like Monica on Friends, she aspires to be the mom who makes the best chocolate chip cookies, I want to be that. To have your kids move away and miss the home they grew up in, the smell of vanilla from the oven, or the comfort their mom’s cooking brings them. Its a simple dream, but kind of the best.

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This is the first time they’ve helped me bake something. Sure it’s more mess than help. Flour everywhere, some of the vanilla missed the bowl, I’m sure there are random egg shells mixed in. But it was all smiles and laughter. Because of these two little helping hands our banana bread came out all the more sweeter. Every mom has moments with their children they cherish and will stay with them. This is one of mine.

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Food Lifestyle Motherhood

happy birthday! party ideas and tips

August 9, 2016

The boys’ birthday this year was relatively smaller. The guest count was limited to close friends with children and immediate family. Thought I’d share some photos of the day and some party planning tips! We did a pirate themed party, hopefully this will give some you ideas if you would like to have a similar theme.

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Food Series

cravings :: seared duck, mexican corn, oh my!

June 17, 2016

Cravings is a series where I share what I’ve been eating as of late. Kind of like a food diary but with better photos and without calorie counting. 😉 Being a “drop cook” with a very haphazard, unsystematic borderline chaotic way of assembling food, I am not very good at creating specific recipes. I link to recipes for you to check out and get inspired. And to get hungry! Enjoy!

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I’ve been eating simple food but with lots of flavour lately. Who are we kidding, I always gravitate towards strong flavors. No boiled vegetables for this one!

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Food Series

cravings

May 25, 2016

I am going to start a series of where I post things I’ve made and eaten. I have a fierce love of food, especially foods that usually should be kept away in lieu of diets. But I eat them anyways. Join me on my food adventures! Continue Reading