Prom Princess Meals

Prom was yesterday! I had such a great time with my friends last night – AfterGrad ended at 4:00 AM and I was exhausted. The whole day was incredible, though most of it was spent in the hot sun and in an uncomfortable dress. But the lovely photos were worth it! Started the day with pancakes at 7:00 AM before dashing off to a friend’s house for hair and makeup.

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These pancakes were made using my all-time favourite pancake recipe. After mixing the wet ingredients, I separated the batter into two bowls and mixed cocoa powder into one bowl. That’s why two pancakes are chocolate and the other are plain. 🙂 It’s a great way to add more flavour, colour, and texture into your meal.

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One chocolate and one plain where topped with coconut chips – honestly, I put them on everything now – and another chocolate and another plain were smeared with peanut butter and sprinkled with hemp hearts.

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Yogurt is back! Mom bought a large container of honey Greek yogurt from Costco, which was on discount. I love mixing it with a bit of flax and cinnamon before dolloping it onto my pancakes. They add a bit of coolness, creaminess and tang. If you haven’t tried adding yogurt to pancakes, do it! It’s like the icing on your cake. 🙂

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After hair and makeup, we headed to another friend’s house for snacks and conversation. Before the limo arrived, we enjoyed veggies and dip, chocolate brownies (they reminded me of my black bean brownies!), and…

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sandwiches and wraps from Superstore. I had a spinach wrap with turkey – you’ll see in a bit. 🙂

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There was also a massive platter of sliced meat, cheese, and crackers. I found the gouda and mild cheddar a bit plain and bland, but the aged cheddar (orange one) was super flavourful. The crackers had a nice crispiness and taste as well. I didn’t have any meat, but Dad said they were quite tasty.

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There were also chips! The table was so beautiful with all the food and flowers.

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Another friend, Sally, brought a T&T black forest cake. Unfortunately, we didn’t open it. Looked really yummy, though. Here’s my spinach wrap, stuffed with sliced deli turkey, lots of bell peppers, and a bit of lettuce. I devoured this quick lunch and spent some time with everyone in the beautifully-decorated garden for lots of photos. Then, the limo came at around 3:00 and we piled in!

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My first time in a limousine was SO memorable. We drove off to Queen Elizabeth Park, and later Stanley Park (near the water), where we took about 23480923 more photos.

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This is Natasha, one of my close friends, who looked absolutely gorgeous in her mermaid-inspired white prom dress and vintage Hollywood waves. And isn’t Queen Elizabeth park amazing?

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Dinner was enjoyed at about 7:15 at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. More photos were taken, and by then I had already switched my heels into Fast Flats. :mrgreen:

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The menu featured numerous cold salads and several hot meat and vegetable dishes. This was buffet-style, so I was so worried that I would overeat. Dessert was a buffet as well, which is D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S for me.

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While we waited for our table of ten to be called up, I snapped some photos of our table and the entire dining room.

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There were blue and silver GRAD balloons at every table, as well as neatly-arranged menus and cutlery. All of my friends and classmates looked so elegant in their dresses and suits.

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Sadly, we were one of the last tables to be called up. I was pretty hungry by then, and got a little bit of everything on my plate. Some of my favourite dishes here include the penne pasta with breadcrumbs, the mango and coconut rice salad, and balsamic asparagus with parmesan. The cooked (I just wrote cookied!) zucchini and BBQ salmon were great, too. I thought the chicken breast was very tender. 🙂

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This definitely gave me some “party food inspiration” for our next family get-together. I want to try baking maple BBQ salmon and making coconut rice salad. Yum! I was stuffed after this plate.

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But as I always tell my friends – I have another stomach for dessert! At the dessert table, I snabbed a white chocolate cheesecake square, a fruit tart, and a strawberry shortcake coupe, which I learned is simply a glass container for serving dessert – usually featuring cream and fruit.

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I also stole a bite of chocolate mousse. 🙂 The white chocolate cheesecake was my favourite dessert here – loved the crumbly graham bottom and chocolate coating. YUM. I’m still thinking about this cheesecake right now! 😛 Hopefully I’ll get a chance to recreate this cute little guy before leaving for Paris in the summer. Maybe for a family party or gathering?

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That’s it for now guys! I’m actually typing this on a couch in our beautiful lodge in Sechelt, BC. It’s Day 2 of our vacation and I am super excited to share all of our Sunshine Coast meals and adventures with you guys when I get back! They’ll be up in about two weeks, but I’ll still be posting. 🙂 I hope you all have an incredible week like we are here in the Sunshine Coast!

Vanilla Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all having a tasty week so far.

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I have a great recipe to share with you guys – disclaimer: it probably shouldn’t be on this healthy-eating website. 😉 Brace yourselves, guys, it contains 1.5 cups of butter, a package of cream cheese, and three cups of sugar. Yup, it’s definitely a once-in-a-while treat. 🙂

But with a crumbly and melt-in-your-mouth texture, great cheesecake flavour infused with a hint of vanilla, and delicious crust, this dessert is so worth it. Try the recipe out and let me know how it goes – I’ll show you some step by step instructions and give you the recipe below.

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You’ll need flour, a package of cream cheese, vanilla extract, sugar (we used light brown sugar), eggs, butter, and salt. The recipe is written below, with all the measurements. 🙂 Try to get the cream cheese, butter, and eggs at room temperature BEFORE you begin. Not melted, not solid, not fresh form the fridge. Just softened to room temperature, meaning the butter/cream cheese have a bit of an indent when you push down on it with a finger. Eggs can be brought to room temperature quickly if needed – simply place them in a bowl of warm water (not too hot, or you’ll make hard-boiled eggs 🙂 ). Be patient – you don’t want anything to curdle!

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Another important thing to note – please weigh your solid ingredients! Eggs, salt, and vanilla do not need to be weighed (just use a teaspoon measuring set). However, ccooping and packing your flour into a measuring cup will often always inevitably end up in too much flour, which leads to a heavy and dense loaf. Instead, we use a digital scale to ensure that we have just the right amount of flour. As for the sugar, light brown sugar can be packed very, VERY tightly. You don’t want to overpack OR underpack, changing the amount of sweetness. A scale is really helpful when it comes to making very accurate measurements in baking – kind of like chemistry! :mrgreen:

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Throw the cream cheese and butter into a big bowl, and cream them by hand or using a stand mixer. Our KitchenAid saves the day here again!

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Beat the butter and cream cheese until they are light and fluffy and totally combined. This is why you’ll need them both to be softened – not melted nor solid.

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While this is mixing, you can grease and flour your Bundt pan. This 10-inch Bundt pan worked perfectly. Shhh, don’t tell – this one was for a couple dollars at Value Village! The foil butter wrapper works perfectly for this. Smear the pan generously around all the edges and the centre.

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Add a bit of all-purpose flour and tap it around to distribute evenly. The more butter you use, the better the flour will stick, the more easily your cake will slide out. We learned that the hard way! Make sure the entire pan, even the inside “walls”, are coated evenly with a layer of butter and a dusting of flour.

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The next step is to add some light brown sugar. Keep beating it!

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Next up – eggs. Add them one at a time, and make sure the mixture is fully combined before adding the next. You might need to scrape down the sides a couple times.

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Two teaspoons of vanilla extract go into the mixture for some amazing flavour. Once that is all whisked together, we changed our stirring attachment to the big paddle, because it’s time to add flour!

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Flour and salt get dumped in. You can do this in two or three additions. The whisk wouldn’t work here because the mixture becomes too thick with the addition of flour.

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Stop when it is just combined, then use a spatula to scrape the sides in. Again, be careful not to overmix – this would cause the gluten to develop stretchiness – and you don’t want a dry, dense, and tough pound cake.

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When that’s done, carefully pour the batter into your prepared Bundt cake pan. Be careful! I am always scared to do this step because, okay, the stand mixer container is heavy and I don’t want to waste any precious batter. 😛

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We succeeded this time! A spatula works perfectly for scraping the last bits of batter into the pan.

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It fits perfectly! Pop this little guy into the oven for about an hour and a half. You’ll want to check on it to make sure that the top isn’t becoming too brown. This depends on your oven. Improvise! 🙂

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Before and after!

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Let this guy cool for about 15 minutes before flipping it out of the pan.

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I love the cracks! Looks so much more rustic. Make sure you keep your eyes on the cake during the last 5-10 minutes of baking to make sure the top doesn’t burn. If it does, for some reason, look a bit too dark, cover it with some aluminum foil to prevent it from browning further. After the oven beeped, we simply inverted it onto parchment paper. You can see that some parts did stick to the pan, but with adequate butter and flour, it’s not a problem at all!

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We let it cool for a little while longer before slicing it up. It’s truly a divine pound cake. You’ll love it! Let me know if you give this recipe a try.

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Classic Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Makes one 10-inch Bundt pan

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened to room temperature(340g)
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar (603g)
  • 6 large eggs *ROOM TEMPERATURE
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (384g)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until combined.
  2. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating at low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan.
  3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan, and let cool completely on wire rack.
  4. Cut into 16 pieces. Serve with whipped cream and fruit, or just plain!

This recipe is so simple, yet so delicious. We gave most of it away, which is good, because I would’ve eaten half the pan!

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There are really no words to describe how tasty this pound cake is. It is so rich and has such a lovely flavour. You will honestly love this recipe SO much!

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Here are some of the plans we’ve made for the Sunshine Coast next week:
EARLS COVE
  • 14 mins: Green Rosette Bake Shop // Skookumchuck (#2 Bakery) ✶✶✶
PAINTED BOAT (2 nights)
  • 17 mins: Laverne’s Grill (ice cream)
  • 30 mins: Ty’s Fine Foods and Bistro (#10 in SC)
  • 29 mins: Old Boot Eatery
    • near THE BAKERY (must-go b/c #3 bakery) ✶✶✶
    • (*Rock Grill, Sushi Bar 5517 (very good reviews), Golden City Restaurant, Pearl’s Bakery, Basted Baker)
  • Sita’s Spag and Suds
Dinner 1: Sushi Bar 5517 – then THE BAKERY
Dinner 2: Hotel
LANSDALE FERRY TERMINAL
  • 13 minutes: Chasters Restaurant (#3 in SC) ✶✶✶
  • 6 minutes: Absolutely Thai
  • 6 minutes: Nagomi Sushi Bar
  • 7 minutes: Leo’s Tapas and Grill Greek Cuisine (okay reviews)
  • 6 minutes: Sweetwater Bistro ***DESSERT (must-go, great reviews)
  • 19 minutes: Gumboot Garden Cafe
Lunch: Gumboot Garden Cafe
Dinner: Absolutely Thai // Chasters Restaurant  – then Sweetwater Bistro
BEACH CLUB RESORT: 2 free lunches at Pacific Prime Steak and Chop Restaurant (2 nights)
BEACH GARDENS RESORT (Powell River) – 1 night
  • 41 mins: Laughing Oyster (#2 IN SC) ✶✶✶
  • 13 mins: Edie Rae’s Cafe (#9 in SC, have breakfast)
  • 38 mins: Nancy’s Bakery (#1 Bakery – famous cinnamon buns) ✶✶✶
  • Marine Avenue
    • Little Hut Curry (#1 in SC) ✶✶✶
    • Tree Frog Bistro – food just OK
    • Costa del Sol Latin Cuisine (#5 in SC)
    • Alchemist Restaurant (great reviews – amazing menu)
    • Coastal Cookery Restaurant (#6 in SC – amazing family menu)
    • (*Ayu Sushi to Go, Strikers, Rene’s Pasta, Jail House Cafe, Khmer Angkor Restaurant, Carter’s Cafe, Thaiday Zone, Rocky Mountain Pizza and Bakery)
  • Joyce Street
    • River City Coffee ***DESSERT
    • (*Sky Dragon, McDonalds, Vietnam Cuisine – not good reviews, Haylstonz Pizza and Bakery, A and W, Garden Court)
      • Breakfast: Edie Rae’s Cafe
      • Snack: Cinnamon buns at Nancy’s Bakery
      • Lunch and dinner: Hotel // Little Hut Curry // Alchemist Restaurant // Coastal Cookery Restaurant
      • Dessert: River City Coffee

I guess that’s it for now! We just finished dinner and I ate WAY too many roasted vegetables. They are SO addictive! Then, after overeating at dinner, I had two helpings of zucchini bread for dessert. 😦 Bad idea, especially because I was planning an early bedtime for tonight. Oops!

Have a great night everyone – we’re off to the Sunshine Coast tomorrow!

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From Dim Sum to Dill Salmon {Fisherman’s Terrace Seafood Restaurant}

Good morning everyone! I’ve got a restaurant review to share with you today 🙂 Have you ever been to Fisherman’s Terrace in Richmond? It’s located in Aberdeen Centre, and we visited at 11:00 on Sunday to meet up with Grandpa’s old friends. I brought some healthy vegan pumpkin muffins for my grandparents as well as some report cards to work on for my kids at skating lessons. These muffins were made with butter avocado and sugar banana!

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Looks like a classic dim sum restaurant with the large spinning glass centrepiece in the middle of the table. Aunt Mimi ordered our dishes for the day from their menu. I took a peek at the menu – they sell a “cold marinated chicken feet plate”, “pig stomach”, “cow intestine soup”, and “apple sautéed snails”. Those were just some things my sister and I noticed and discussed. 😛 We actually ended up getting the first three items, though. No snails for us this time, but I can’t wait to try escargot in Paris with Seline this summer!

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This was lobster congee with ginger. I liked the flavour of the slow-cooked rice stew, and so did Seline. The lobster was a bit hard to eat because it was still on the shell. On the right is a piece of charred eggplant topped with a shrimp ball. I loved taste of the blackened eggplant – it was smoky and really tasty.

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Steamed BBQ pork buns were so delicious! Big, fluffy white-flour buns that were softer and squishier than a cloud wrapped around sweet and tangy pork in the most delicious sauce! I really loved this bun. On the right is a fried shrimp and chive cake, which was also very tasty and loaded with chives. I want to recreate this at home!

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More shrimp, this time wrapped in a sticky rice wrapper bun. I also had a piece of pan-fried taro, which I enjoyed as well. That shrimp-chive cake though… yummers.

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This steamed rice wrap was filled with chicken. The rice was really tasty but I found the chicken inside a bit dense and fibrous. Either way, these rice wraps were a hit at the table. Seline loved them, too! Seline’s favourite dish of the day, however, was the fried squid on the right. We ordered two plates and Seline ate most of it, claiming that the Asian calamari was “really, really good”.

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For dessert, we ordered two things: lychee pudding and durian tarts. I was a little reluctant to try durian for the first time, especially after Dad made a deal about how gross it is. Still, I really enjoyed this dessert. The durian taste was prominent, but it wasn’t bad at all. I’m also in love with anything enrobed in flaky puff pastry. 🙂 Cute baby on the right was also sitting with us – he ate his berries while we dined on dim sum.

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Here’s the superb dinner that I really wanted to share with you all – delicious dill salmon! We served it with sautéed corn and leeks with quinoa and steamed vegetables with a scoop of coconut curry hummus from the farmer’s market.

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This recipe is super easy – you’ll need to mix some ingredients, including garlic, dill, salt, pepper, and lemon. Then you’ll add some olive oil, pour it over four salmon filets, and then top them each with half a tablespoon (little cube) of butter for richness and contrast. Here’s the recipe below!

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Baked Dill Salmon

Makes 4 salmon filets

Ingredients

  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter, cut into four squares
  • 4 salmon filets

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix garlic, dill, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
  3. Whisk quickly as you add olive oil to emulsify.
  4. Pour mixture over four filets of salmon.
  5. Top with butter squares.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of your filets.

You will love this recipe! It was definitely the star of this dinner. I liked it so much more than the carrots and hummus. 😛 Another great thing about the recipe is that the WHOLE recipe has just a teaspoon of salt. That means each serving has just over a pinch of salt on the fish. Again, cooking with fresh herbs is such a great way to impart huge flavour without adding too much sodium. Here are some other tips to decrease salt in your cooking. 🙂

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Thanks for reading, guys – have a great week and I’m off to hot yoga!

Burn 150 Calories in 1 Minute!

If you want to know how to burn nearly 200 calories in less than a minute, keep reading!

Step 1: chop a sweet potato.

Step 2: season and toss with coconut oil, brown sugar, a touch of maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt.

Step 3: bake for half an hour, forget about it, then BROIL it on high. Then forget about it again.

Done – 150 cals, BURNED.

Literally. 🙂

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Don’t worry, I still ate these guys 🙂 The burned black parts were actually really good after I scraped off what I could. The cluster of sweet potatoes on the bottom right of the photo on the left was what I thought I could salvage. But the black parts were so tasty anyways! Here it is with the dinner that we enjoyed, also featuring tilapia, tofu, and sautéed corn. Dad’s bowl is on the right – he doesn’t like fish, or sweet potatoes, or basically anything that’s not from his childhood. He basically had just rice, corn, and tofu.

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Some oatmeal – plain banana oatmeal topped with granola, shredded coconut, almond butter, berries, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Not the best bowl of oats, but this was from a while ago (hence the almond butter – it’s so addictive we can’t have it in the house anymore!).

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I think you all know by now how much I adore naan bread! This is super easy to make, too. I apologize in advance for the dark photos! Just cook an omelet as you normally would and plop it in a piece of naan, then fold it in half. I like it when the cheese is all melty. Spinach is a great veggie filler here.

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One afternoon, Mom and I made marbled chocolate pound cake. The recipe was nothing incredible, so I’m not sharing it on the blog. I do, however, have a great recipe for marbled chocolate banana bread, which you can find here, if you’re interested. 🙂

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This dinner was nothing short of spectacular, though. We had brown rice with stir-fried mixed vegetables. The real star of the show was the chicken and taro stew, which was braised in a savoury and flavourful mixture of soy sauce, garlic, and scallions. It was a bit spicy with the crushed red pepper, and the mellow taro flavour was great with the chicken. I loved the taro so much that I only had a couple bites of chicken!

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Dinner the next day featured roasted vegetables and more sweet potatoes (not burned, this time!), cabbage, and bok choy fried rice. There was also a “lion’s head meatball”, made by Grandma. It was the most tender meatball I’ve ever eaten, and filled with ginger and scallions. Really enjoyed it with the simple rice. I definitely had seconds with this dinner – every dish was perfect!

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Simple lunch another day included a pesto omelet with leftover roasted vegetables (chopped finely). Plus a small piece of whole wheat toast, Villagio brand, which I’m not crazy about. 😦 With crumbled blue cheese and black pepper, this omelet was pretty yummy. Speaking of blue cheese, strong cheese adds mind-blowing flavour to simple, mellow-tasting foods like eggs and vegetables. If you’re adding flavourful cheese, a little bit goes a long way. I’ll be sharing a list of ways to decrease sodium consumption below – and using sharp cheese is one of my favourite tips. Keep reading!

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This dinner was another fantastic meal. Plain quinoa with sautéed broccoli (sprinkled with crushed peanuts for textural contrast – see #14 in our list below!), and braised chicken with tofu and carrots. Stewed carrots in soy sauce are super yummy with quinoa, in my opinion. Try it out! Oh – and everything looks better with chopped scallions sprinkled on top 🙂

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Here are some tips that my mom and I use as often as we can in our home kitchen to decrease the amount of sodium we consume. What do you think? What are some ways you eat less salt?


15 Ways to Cut Sodium While Boosting Flavour

  1. Use high-quality, sharp cheese. Though cheese is naturally salty, the stronger cheeses impart so much flavour that you’ll only need a little. Try goat cheese, blue cheese, or extra-sharp aged cheddar/gouda.
  2. Roast your veggies! The natural sugars will caramelize and add tons of flavour.
  3. Add sautéed mushrooms or caramelized onions.
  4. Cook with large-grain sea salt and add pinches wisely. Taste as you go so you don’t accidentally sprinkle too much. I always season with my fingers rather than a salt shaker!
  5. Use spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, or spicy ones like paprika and curry powder for extra zing.
  6. Add some chili in the form of cayenne powder or spicy peppers. A bit of hot sauce will work, too!
  7. Add some herbs, like basil, thyme, or rosemary. Dill is my personal favourite! You can also try dried herbs – Italian herbs can be found anywhere.
  8. Cook with onions, garlic, scallions, leeks, and ginger. These add lots of flavour to the oil.
  9. Cook with dried krill or dried mushrooms.
  10. Add some vinegar.
  11. Dress up food with a drizzle of lemon juice.
  12. Add just a bit of soy sauce, miso, or fish sauce instead of salt. A little drizzle is enough! Be careful with these salty sauces.
  13. Sprinkle vegetable dishes with sesame seeds for extra pop and another layer of flavour.
  14. Top vegetables with special textures, like crunchy nuts and seeds.
  15. When a recipe calls for anything less than 1/2 tsp of salt, just add a big pinch (1/8 tsp).

Thanks for reading today’s post, everyone. I hope the tips above were helpful! If you have any that I missed, comment below to share. 🙂 See you all next time!

Nuts for Coconut {Customizable Pancakes for One}

I have a problem. I love coconuts too much! Toasted coconut chips, to be exact. These came in HUGE bags from Costco (for cheap, which is why we bought them 😉 ) and are incredible. Subtly sweet, super crispy, and with a lovely coconut flavour. I am eating these every single day now! Here, I used them as a delicious oatmeal topping. The base of the oatmeal is made with mashed banana, and I also added hemp hearts, pitted cherries, and some chocolate-espresso muffin that Mimi brought from Whole Foods.

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This awesome bowl also featured a banana in the base, and was topped with homemade spelt-blueberry muffin, fresh blueberries, coconut chips, and hemp hearts. Do you like this shell bowl? 😀

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Pear pancakes were devoured another day – with spelt flour, cinnamon, and half a grated pear, these pancakes had awesome flavour and a hint of vanilla.

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Pear pancakes are so IN right now – I think they’ve temporarily won my heart over banana pancakes. I just love them! This was topped with hemp hearts, maple syrup (didn’t actually need syrup, to be honest) and coconut chips.

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These super yummy pancakes were made with mashed banana and cocoa powder. They look so perfect! I topped it with coconut chips, fresh raspberries, and coconut chips.

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The mashed banana imparted such a sweet, fruity flavour that maple syrup was completely unnecessary! These pancakes were super soft. Aren’t fresh raspberries the best? They are definitely my favourite summer berry. Here’s the recipe for these incredible pancakes.


Everyday Pancakes for One

Makes 3 or 4 pancakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 mashed banana // 1/2 grated pear or apple // big scoop yogurt or pumpkin puree
  • Splash of almond milk (about 1-2 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tsp flax // 1 tsp chia seeds // 1 tsp hemp hearts
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (can increase to 1/2 tsp if you’re a cinnamon lover like me!)
  • OPTIONAL: sprinkle of nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons spelt flour (can increase to 4 tbsp, which is 1/4 cup if batter is too runny)
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tbsp cocoa powder for chocolate pancakes (decrease to 2 tbsp spelt flour)
  • OPTIONAL: berries, chocolate chips, raisins, shredded coconut to mix in
  • Coconut oil for cooking
  • Pancake toppings!
DIRECTIONS
  1. Mash banana, grate pear/apple, or plop yogurt/pumpkin into a bowl.
  2. Whisk in an egg.
  3. Add almond milk and all of the ingredients up to spelt flour.
  4. Add spelt flour and stir carefully just to combine. Be careful not to overmix! Fold in desired mix-ins.
  5. Heat a nonstick skillet to medium-high. Add a smidgen of coconut oil.
  6. Cook the pancakes for a couple minutes over medium heat. When bubbles appear, and the base is golden brown, flip and cook for another minute or so.
  7. Remove from skillet and serve with maple syrup and whatever toppings you like! 🙂

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And cherries are my favourite fruit by far! I could eat cherries every day. These cherries were from the farmer’s market and are so sweet and juicy.

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This base also had a spoonful of cocoa powder stirred in. It tasted like a black forest cake with the chocolate and cherries. Loved it!

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This bowl was also very chocolatey. I surrounded a big pile of coconut chips with fresh raspberries and hemp hearts.

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More pancakes! I used the cocoa powder addition that I mentioned in the recipe above. This batch had chocolate chips and chopped cherries stirred inside to make a ‘black forest’-themed batch of pancakes.

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I can’t say it enough – these pancakes are so incredibly tender and moist (I know, it’s not a very “pretty” food word!) and have great texture, thanks to the spelt flour. With chocolate chips, toasted coconut, and sweet fresh berries, this plate didn’t need a drop of syrup.

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Yes, you guessed it – more pancakes! This batch of pear pancakes was topped with the last of our raspberries and some more coconut chips. I really, really hope you give my pancake recipe a try – it’s definitely my best yet and I’ve had it at least ten times since discovering it! 🙂 You can find some of my other pancake recipes here. I really encourage you to give this one a try, though!

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Like I promised in a previous post, I have super exciting news to share with you guys! TWO bits of exciting news, actually.


1. My family is travelling to the Sunshine Coast next week! We are leaving on Sunday for the Powell River, and several other tourist destinations, like Earl’s Cove. Here’s a brief summary of what we have planned. We booked it with BC Ferries, by the way 🙂

2 nights: Painted Boat Resort Spa and Marina (Madeira Park)

  • Restaurant dinner 5-9
  • Spa Wed. to Sun. from 10-6

1 night: Beach Gardens Resort and Marina (Powell River)

2 nights: Beach Club Resort (Parksville)
*includes two free lunches at Pacific Prime Steak and Chop Restaurant
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These are the beautiful hotels that we’ll be staying at – the Beach Club Resort and the Painted Boat Resort, respectively. 🙂
Horseshoe Bay —> Lansdale
Earls Cove —> Saltery Bay (Jervis Inlet)
Powell River // Westview —> Comox // Little River
Nanaimo // Departure Bay —> Horseshoe Bay

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I’m so excited about this trip! I’ve already made a page dedicated to our seven days in Coastal BC. You can follow my adventures on my blog (I’ll be blogging afterwards) and reading the special page. Especially after checking out all the menus. I don’t think it’s possible to get fresher seafood anywhere in the world! Here are some of the other restaurants in the Sunshine Coast that I’m dying to visit:

  • King Ludwig’s German Restaurant
  • Daisy’s Place
  • Harry’s on Buderim
  • Little Hut Curry
  • Royal Zayka
  • Laughing Oyster
  • Chasters Restaurant
  • Costa del Sol Latin
  • Coastal Cookery
  • Smoke on the Water BBQ Shack
  • Blue Heron Inn
  • Edie Rae’s Cafe
  • Ty’s Fine Foods and Bistro
  • Alchemist
  • SweetWater Bistro (DESSERT)
  • River City Coffee (DESSERT)
  • The Green Rosette Bakery
  • Nancy’s Bakery
  • Laverne’s Grill (ice cream)
  • Nagomi’s Sushi Bar
  • Absolutely Thai
  • The Old Boot Eatery
  • Sita’s Spag Shack
  • Leo’s Tapas and Greek Cuisine
  • Beach Bouy Waterfront Restaurant
  • Gumboot Caf

The second bit of news is even better! I’m actually smiling as I write this right now:

My sister and I will be living in Paris, France, for 3.5 weeks in August!

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You might know my sister, who is fifteen years old (two years younger than me!). She travelled to Ottawa, Ontario a couple months ago, and I did a couple blog posts about her adventures in Canada’s capital. You can read the “Ottawa Girl Eats” post here!

Here are some of the details:

  • I’ve been babysitting and reading to the three children of a very kind family friend for about three years now. Her sister, the sweet Aunt Maggie, is married to a man who lives in Paris. They live five minutes from Disneyland, Paris, and invited me to live with her during the summer while caring for her 3.5 year old son, Alexandre.
  • I will take care of little Alexandre for 1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours in the evening. Meanwhile, Seline will help with housework.
  • We will have the middle of every day to ourselves – I want to fully immerse myself in the incredible French culture and visit museums, famous streets, historical monuments, and of course, eat French specialties!
  • Fortunately, I know a bit of French from the six weeks I spent in Quebec last summer. 🙂
  • When we get back, I will have less than 48 hours to rewind at home before my mom and I fly off to Waterloo, Ontario for university!

Escargots in a Paris restaurant ???????

A couple days ago, I composed a list of must-see places in Paris!

  • Disneyland Paris
  • Versailles Castle (Chateau de Versailles) and gardens, shopping
  • Eiffel Tower // Trocadero Square
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Champs Elysees (shopping)
  • Musee du Louvre
  • Quartier des Halles: Pompidou Centre, City Hall
  • Musee d’Orsay
  • Musee National d’Art Moderne
  • St. Martin Canal
  • Notre-Dame Cathedral
  • Sainte-Chapelle
  • St. Michel district (Sorbonne and Luxembourg gardens)
  • Montmartre district
  • Sacre-Couer Basilica on Montmartre
  • Tuileries Garden
  • Concorde Square
  • Rivoli Street (famous for shopping and fashion)
  • Cruise on the Seine (bateaux mouches)
  • Marais district (Bastille Opera, Vosges Square, Victor Hugo House)
  • Les Catacombes
  • Pantheon
  • FARMERS MARKETS!

MUST-VISIT BISTROS

  1. Le Bistrot Paul Bert
  2. Frenchie
  3. Chez Georges
  4. Josephine Chez Dumonet
  5. Le Regalade
  6. Le Pantruche – Bistrot Gourmand
  7. Le Comptoir du Relais
    • Chez Michel
    • Chez l’Ami Jean
    • A La Biche au Bois
    • Le Baratin
    • Breizh Cafe
    • La Point du Groin
    • Allard
    • Quincy
MUST-VISIT CROISSANTS
  1. Du Pain et des Idees
  2. Pierre Herme
  3. Ble Sucree
  4. Le Grenier a Pain
  5. La Patisserie Cyril Lignac
    • Maison Kayser
    • Sebastien Gaudard Patisserie des Martyrs (almond croissant)
    • Gerard Mulot (almond)
    • Poilane
    • Bread and Roses
    • Landemaine
    • Au Levain du Marais (almond croissant)

Italicized cafes and restaurants are maybes – the first 5 to 7 are must-see places!


I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited – or scared (first time in another country without parents!) – in my life! Will definitely keep you all posted on everything. I’ve even made a page for my adventures in France – you can check it out here. 🙂
Thanks for reading this super long post… have a delicious week!

Cactus Club Dinner

Hi everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend – mine was filled with lots of sunshine, sleep, and smiles. The best kind of weekend! Especially since it involved lots of oatmeal and pancakes. I can’t wait to share this post with you guys today…

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On Wednesday, my mom and I attended the Coquitlam Foundation Awards Banquet. Located in the Evergreen Cultural Centre and hosted by prominent members of the Coquitlam Foundation, this banquet was very informative and rewarding. There were some snacks provided by Thrifty Foods, but I already had dinner and was wearing my retainer. :mrgreen: Too bad!

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The day after that, Thursday, my friends from the Eagle Ridge Hospital joined me on the patio of Cactus Club for a lovely year-end dinner. Lesson learned today – if you think 12 people are going to show up, but you aren’t sure, book a reservation for 14! We had to move tables around and squish together to make it work out, but luckily it did 🙂

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My sister, Seline, came as well. She enjoyed three mini bacon cheeseburgers and claimed they were “pretty good and very filling”. I ordered the Raincoast Greens salad after a long internal debate – I also wanted the pesto chicken quesadillas (which, by the way, my good friend Denna enjoyed).

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I’m so glad I ordered this salad! I swapped the chicken breast for a piece of grilled salmon. This salad was a true meal, topped with a beautifully-sliced avocado, hard-boiled egg, spicy pecans, chopped tomatoes and peppers, and big chunks of feta cheese. The lemon-thyme dressing was delicious, too.

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My salad was almost too yummy for words! The salmon was perfectly-cooked, as usual. I found the pecans a little too spicy for my palate, but they contrasted well with the rich and salty feta.

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I wish I could grill salmon like this at home! I finished all the goodie goodie toppings and left just a couple leaves on my plate. This was such a filling salad! :/

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Okay, okay, I had to have dessert. The curse of a sweet tooth! Seline and I decided to order a molten chocolate lava cake with raspberry coulis and Tahitian vanilla ice cream. I wish we had a bit more ice cream, because the warm and chocolatey cake was extremely rich and required some more cool creaminess.

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Initially, I was debating between the white chocolate raspberry cheesecake and this one, but we’re so glad we ordered it – even though the cheesecake was created by Mr. Rob Feenie and looked scrumptious. But how can I say something bad about chocolate? 🙂

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If you want to see some more photos of my beloved friends at the Eagle Ridge Hospital, please click this link here to see photos of our banquet. 🙂 You can also see the two other times I’ve been to Cactus Club HERE and HERE.

Thanks for reading this post today – I’ve got a little bit of research to do and some SUPER EXCITING NEWS that I’ll be sharing in my next post (hint: it’s about summer plans!). Will update you all soon! Have a lovely week. 🙂