Thursday, September 17, 2015

A Slice of Nelson

I love to leave, because I love to come back. I love the experience of missing people, places and comforts, and returning to them with a new appreciation.

Going home this summer was my first chance to really miss Nelson, and all the aspects of my life here—a fun job, amazing food, a comfortable home, and friends!!

One of those friends is Darby Jack. She's a local entrepreneur, single handedly filling the void left by Live Food Bar with her amazing raw sweets. Sweet Summer Raw Confections can be found at the Kootenay Co-op (where we both work!).

Last week, she came over and made a mess of my kitchen. I got to take pictures and eat cake, with great appreciation


Darby Jack, owner and operator of Sweet Summer Raw Confections in Nelson, B.C.

I live underneath Elephant Mountain, on the shores of Kootenay Lake, in a two-bedroom mountain refuge with my partner Will and our canine progeny: a dainty princess-like Maltese named Muppet and a crotchety 7-pound Yorkie named Buster.

Raw cooking has always fascinated me, and I am a lifelong advocate for animals and cruelty-free eating. I particularly love the way whole ingredients magically come together to create healthful, flavour-rich desserts.

After studying under renowned raw chef Mark Reinfeld in Portland and working as a raw cook at Cafe Bliss in Victoria, I’ve decided to create my own line of decadent desserts. Nelson has been an amazingly supportive community in this endeavour, and has great resources for young business owners. I’m really excited for things to continue to blossom.


An Earl Grey and lemon cheesecake topped with young coconut whipped cream. I threw in some sweet, ripe strawberries too for a colourful surprise when the cake is cut.

This cake should be served on it’s own or with a few dried lemon slices and perhaps a drizzle of honey. Enjoy it in your favourite nook, blanket in lap, with a slumbering canine curled at your feet. Obviously a cup of hot tea is necessary.


I’ve been making cakes using beautiful, fresh berries and fruit all summer so I’ve been looking forward to exploring fall flavours. I’m really feeling pumpkin, plums, cranberries, and warm spices right now.

I’m in love with hot, lemony tea inside on a cool drizzly day so earl grey seemed perfect for an autumn cheezecake. I added some little strawberries to pay homage to the last fruits of summer and to cut through the Earl Grey colour like autumn leaves against a grey sky.

The young coconut whip cream’s pillowy-soft, creamy peaks pair perfectly with this cozy time of year.




  • 2 cups fresh young coconut meat 
  • 2 cups soaked cashews 
  • 1/2 cup honey- or to taste 
  • 1/3 cup cacao butter- melted 
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil 
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter 
  • 1 cup coconut milk, almond milk or coconut water 
  • 1 tsp. powdered vanilla 
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 


1. Blend everything in a high speed blender.
2. Allow cream to sit in the fridge for 2-3 hours, until set.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Keep Jumbo Wild

Some friends and I hiked Jumbo last week, and it was spectacular—wild flowers everywhere!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Green Hemp Milk

I would have thought I'd have my opinion on milk figured out by now, but I don't.

And because I cannot decide if my image of the good life involves domesticated mammals, I am trying to limit my dependence on their products. Just in case.

I've dabbled in other nut milks, but hazelnuts and almonds seem to be in a lot of trouble these days, so I've been shying away from them.

Hemp milk has been a pleasant alternative. The process is quick and easy, and the milk has a nice, mild flavour. I also feel better about the sustainability of hemp products.

I add vanilla and salt for flavour, and spirulina or chlorella for fun and colour...and health, I guess. Mostly, I use hemp milk in tea and hot chocolate, but I have used it for making pancakes and some baked goods, without incident. It's good for cold drinks too, like chocolate milk!

I'm going home to Ontario in a few weeks, to kiss my dogs, my family and the warm lake water! 

Happy Summer!!!!!!

Green Hemp Milk
(makes 1 ½ -2 cups)

  • 50 grams hemp hearts
  • 1 ½ -2 cups water
  • 1 tsp spirulina or chlorella powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • honey to taste (optional)

1. Blend all ingredients together.
2. Strain through a fine sieve.
3. Store in a sealed container in refrigerator—it will keep for a few days.

  • Straining is optional, especially if you have a good blender. I don't have a good blender, and I find it separates less in my tea when I strain it.
  • I give the hemp pulp to my dog as a treat. She loves it, and, according to a quick Google search, all of the ingredients are quite good for her.
  • I only add honey if I intend to drink it on its own (vs in a sweetened tea).
  • I haven't had my milk go bad yet, but I also haven't kept it for more than 3, maybe 4 days.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Bliss Balls

Remember when I used to keep a blog?

Because to write an explanation for the absence would be too difficult and sad, I'll instead write out this recipe for an easy, sweet snack.

There are a millions versions of bliss balls, but this one is inspired by those sold here in Nelson, BC (where I still live!), because they are the greatest. They are rich and sweet, and the best part is the crunch from the nuts and seeds.

I'm sure it won't be another year until my next appearance, but summer is here, the outdoors are calling, and for the first time in years and years, I live in a house with a yard in which to lay, and a garden in which to work. Yippee!

Until next time!

Bliss Balls
(makes about 12 balls at 35 grams each)


  • 150 grams raw almond butter
  • 65 grams tahini
  • 60 grams honey
  • 60 grams shredded coconut
  • 60 grams raw sunflower seeds
  • 50 grams raisins
  • 25 grams sliced almonds
  • 1 tsp spirulina (or more)
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1. In a medium sized bowl, combine almond butter, tahini, honey, spirulina and salt.
2. Mix in remaining ingredients.
3. Portion, roll and store in refrigerator.

  • The dough consistency is soft. If you find it too soft, add more shredded coconut, or even coconut flour. Try a tablespoon at a time until you get a consistency you like.
  • I sometimes substitute some or all of the almond butter for peanut butter, without too much of a flavour difference.
  • Pretty much everything else is also substitutable—pumpkin seeds for sunflower seeds, chlorella for spirulina, chocolate for raisins...

Monday, August 4, 2014

Green Smoothie

Another long absence, woops! But the move to Nelson is complete, more or less, and I don't plan to move cities again for quite a while. All the basic needs have been met (apartment, job, etc) I just need friends and to find time for more fun and activities (like blogging!).

While I was traveling between provinces and homes, I drank a lot of smoothies. I was introduced to the combination of green apple and parsley, and became obsessed. Because A, it is delicious, and B, parsley is has a lot of nutritional good in it.

I make this smoothie daily lately, so I tried to keep it more green and less sweet. Not a dessert smoothie, although there is a lot of fruit in it. Since there's so much in season, I've been making a lot of fruit swaps  lately (blueberries for strawberries, peaches for mango...), but this is less about the exact smoothie recipe, and more about how I think parsley is great in sweet drinks.

Green Smoothie
(makes 1 large or 2 modest servings)

  • 140 grams frozen mango (or peaches)
  • 90 grams/1 small green apple (I've been wanting to try juiced green apple)
  • 60 grams frozen strawberries or blueberries
  • 30 grams spinach
  • 30 grams parsley
  • 250 grams water, or there abouts
  • 1 tsp ground flax or chia seed (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp chlorella or spirulina powder (optional)


1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pineapple Fennel Juice

So much seems to happen between updates these days! 

-I'll start with the most exciting—I'm an aunt! We welcomed Briar (my name suggestion!) and Rayah into our family at the end of March, and I finally got to meet them this passed week.

-I ended my contract with the ski hill bakery once the season was complete. Running the bakery was a great experience, and one I'd unlikely have been given in any other circumstance, but the ski hill lifestyle was just not for me.

-I'm between jobs, so I'm back in Ontario for a few weeks to visit friend & family.

-The next step is Nelson, BC, and I'm super excited.

Now onto the sweet, sweet juice...

If this juice wasn't so delicious, I would never make it. Pineapple is the most annoying fruit to juice—it clogs up my juicer, and needs to be strained a second time to remove all the pulp. But the just so good. So I alternate between hard and soft fruit, pump the plunger, and it's always worth it.

This recipe makes a substantial amount of juice, because I like to juice the entire pineapple in one session. Also, this is my favourite juice, so I can drink a lot of it.


Pineapple Fennel Juice
(makes over 1L of juice; inspired by Live Food Bar)

  • 1 pineapple, medium sized, peeled
  • 1 green apple
  • 4-5 stalks celery
  • 2 small lemons 
  • 1/4 bulb fennel 
  • water (see note)

1. Process ingredients through juicer, alternating hard and soft fruit. 
2. Strain and refrigerate in a sealed container.

Note: This juice is very sweet, so I sometimes water down my portions to suit my tastes.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Green Juice

How can you blog about juice without talking about green juice? Of all the juices, this is the one I feel best about drinking. This recipe is a rough guideline, as I tend to throw in whatever I have on hand.

I usually make my green juice in a quantity that will last me 2 or 3 days. I knoooooow juice is best consumer immediately, but my juicer claims I have 72 hours, and I'm really too lazy to juice this one every day...though happy to drink it every day.

Sometimes this juice is my lunch, and sometimes its just an accompaniment or snack. I guess I'm just saying it has the potential to be meal worthy. 

I usually water down my portions of juice, both to stretch is out a bit longer, and because it's a very concentrated concoction, so sneaking in some water to dilute it doesn't hurt.

Green Juice

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 green apples
  • 2 kiwis
  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 2-3 handfuls of spinach
  • a small bunch of kale or swiss chard, or any green really
  • 2-3 leaves of romaine lettuce
  • 1 lemon
  • a nub of ginger, peeled (suit your tastes)
  • water to dilute (optional)


1. Pass everything through your juicer, alternative between soft (kiwi) and hard (leafy greens) produce.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Good Morning, Grapefruit

I'm pretty tempted to just overlook my online absence...I'll at least be brief. 

As I previously mentioned, I drove from Ontario to British Columbia this Fall. I now live in a ski resort town where I run a bakery with another baker I met this summer. Needless to say, running a bakery is quite a step up from my previous role as a simple baker, and that's where all my time has gone. Thankfully, a bit of a routine is developing and some free time has finally presented itself.

Whether or not the bakery becomes a success remains to be seen, but it is what it is...a good and challenging experience.

Since every aspect of my working life revolves around baking, recipes, and trying new ideas, it might not surprise you that I pretty much never bake at home. I originally intended to post about vanilla hazelnut shortbread, but it seemed like a lie, and was just a re-hashing of my pecan shortbread from last Christmas anyways. Instead, I decided to be honest about what I've been eating (or drinking) lately...and I also ate most of the cookie dough raw.

Since purchasing my machine this Fall, I have become a regular juicer. I may be accused of falling victim to a trend, but who cares...I just love juice. I do more time consuming juices in larger batches, to last a few days, but I make this grapefruit concoction fresh every morning.

This juice, along with most of my juicing experiments so far, is inspired by one from my beloved Live Food Bar. Someone send me the Seoul Bowl...or tell me how to make pulled burdock.

Without the cayenne or chlorella powder, this is actually a sweet juice...but I heard somewhere that cayenne helps get your digestion going in the morning, and I need some vessel for my chlorella powder, so in they go.  It may not be the most beautiful or delicious juice, but I really like starting my day with it. 

Good Morning Grapefruit Juice
(inspired by Live Food Bar)

  • 1 grapefruit, peeled
  • 1/2 lemon, with peel
  • 1/4 cup water (give or take)
  • dash of cayenne pepper (or as much as you can handle)
  • dash of chlorella powder

1. Pass grapefruit, lemon and water through juicer.
2. Transfer to a container with a tight fitting lid. Add cayenne and chlorella and shake vigorously until combined.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


I realize it's been a while, but I'm finally ready to spill the beans. Long story short, I completed my contract in Muskoka, and have since moved to British Columbia for another baking job. The past few months have been filled with moving out, packing, driving, and moving in...but I made it. I'm hoping once I've settled into my new job and life, I'll start baking for myself again, but until then, here are some pictures from the last few months, including one of my new home.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Unlimited Juice Party

I always like experimenting with my diet and seeing how it effects me. I was in Toronto for a few days last week and I thought it would be a fun try my first juice cleanse. I've always been curious about them, though a bit skeptical.

As I am both juicer-less and lazy, I decided to splurge on a prepared juice cleanse from my favourite raw restaurant in Toronto—Live Food Bar. I was already familiar with their juices and love them, so I kind of thought the cleanse would feel like a off-the-hook, unlimited juice party.

I committed to three days of nothing but juice, drinking 6 juices a day (delicious) in addition to a morning elixir (gross). I cheated once and bought an extra juice...I also drank my fair share of coconut water, but aside from that, I stuck it out.

Physically, I really didn't feel...much. Actually, I was surprised because I was rarely hungry. I never felt full, but there weren't any "my stomach is eating itself" hunger pains. I felt light and fairly normal, though a bit tired. I was also fairly emotional during the cleanse, but some of these symptoms could easily be attributed to external events. Oh, and I also had to pee all the time.

The mental component of the cleanse was most difficult...knowing I couldn't eat anything made me obsessed with wanting to eat something. I don't think the urge would have been so prominent if I had not been visiting Toronto, where I have a kitchen and access to my favourite restaurants. Had I done the cleanse back in Muskoka, I think I would have been ok, as I don't cook or eat out much. Juice would have been a welcome change to salad.

Post-cleanse, I feel good. Really good, actually. Kind of like I'm re-set. Nothing major, just a general good feeling. I'd do it again...during a calmer time in my life, and perhaps for a longer period of time. I'd like to see if anything becomes more marked as time goes on, though I don't know if I could make it a full week. I love food.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Summer is ending and so is the busy season here. A bunch of my co-workers left this week, so I made them baking related cards to say goodbye. I thought I'd share them...they're food related and I haven't had any recipes in a while.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Please excuse the ridiculously irregular blogging! I'm still in Muskoka, and trying my best to enjoy the rest of my summer. I'll be living here until October—a bit longer than I originally thought—and some big changes are planned for the fall, so I'm not quite sure when I'll be blogging regularly again. Hopefully soon! Until then, here are a few snapshots from my summer...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Simple Granola

I really enjoy living in Muskoka. It's liberating to have a job that satisfies my urge to bake, leaving my spare time open for other favourite activities, like running, reading and practicing painting.

I miss working on recipes and having my own kitchen space, but because I sometimes stress myself out over creating new recipes, I am finding a summer away relaxing. For now, I leave my recipe workbook in a drawer, and, instead, spend my time refining my practical baking skills. The only thing I miss about baking for myself is eating it.

I had been making this granola during my last few weeks in Toronto, but with the activities of the pending move, never found time to share. This week, I paid a visit to my parents' cottage and took advantage of their new oven to refill my stock. I made the recipe below 6 times, hoping it'll last me until I next find myself with a kitchen.

There is nothing complicated about this granola recipe. Everything can be mixed in one bowl, and the only reason I add the hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds after baking is because I don't like their toasted flavour. My favourite way to eat it is with yogurt and berries—original, I know. 

(makes enough to fit nicely on a cookie tray)

  • 94 grams coconut oil, room temperature (solid)
  • 125 grams maple syrup
  • 250 grams rolled oats
  • 26 grams coconut flour
  • 25 grams flaked coconut
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 50 grams raw hazelnuts, chopped
  • 25 grams raw pumpkin seeds


1. In a medium sized bowl, combine oats, coconut flour, flaked coconut, lemon zest, cinnamon and salt.
2. Add coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix until combined—small clumps of coconut oil are fine, though this is not a clumpy granola.
3. Bake at 320F for 18-20 minutes, until oats and coconut flakes begin to golden. Stir as necessary for even baking.
4. Once granola is baked, add hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds.

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