Fall Favourites 2018

It is mid-November.

I am mid-way through the first semester of my last year of my undergrad. 
Can anyone in the same place– or who’s been there– vouch for the insanity? 
Yeah. Breaks in order to carry out passions are necessary, I have found. 

That is why I keep up the blog. Many of these posts, have proven to be helpful for some, and many of them just fun reads, and many of them sparking conversations that have changed my life… or, I’m told, someone else’s… 

So, I keep blogging. I pray God continues to use it. 

Today, Wednesday, has the blessing of being a break in my week, consisting of zero lectures, and time to study, reset, hit the gym, hang out with friends, etc. This morning I was blessed by a meeting with my pastors, where these amazing friends of mine blessed me with their time and wisdom. I am so incredibly grateful to go to a church in which the leadership sees community and mentorship as a vital part of church.

After which, I got to head home and clean with my beautiful roommate, bride-to-be, and friend, Mary. This girl is one of my greatest blessings, and we have most definitely become like sisters. Investing in relationships and people in her life so beautifully, Mary has taught me so much about self-awareness and awareness of others. Maddie and Mary are both such incredible blessings to me that I cannot imagine my life without. 

And now, I’m enjoying a break in studying to blog, and felt inspired to do one of my old favourites post:
Essentially sharing the top ten miscellaneous “things” I’m loving this season, that I think you might appreciate, too.

Music. 

PVRIS. Thanks to a co-worker and friend, I have discovered my love for girl alternative music, particularly this band.

Food. 

I used to think I hated pumpkin… but I have this new fancy for it. Versatile for both sweet and savoury recipes, so healthy, and so flavourful, I especially love it in this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. It’s also super affordable! 

Menu.

The restaurant I work at just launched its new menu! And it is incredible. If you are in the Kitchener/Waterloo area, be sure to check out one of our two locations!

Serving something for literally every kind of eater, catering to all allergies and dietary preferences, plain ol picky eaters, and meat and potato lovers. Real people, real food– and that’s what makes me passionate about this place.

Podcast.


I am so grateful for the podcasts broadcasted by my pastor, Mike Rutledge. For leaders of any kind, these podcasts are sure to glean something true for you! While those are not public as of now, his sermons are– and they are phenomenal. Check them out here .

Class.

I am loving my Christian Studies Seminar class so much. Learning such tangible things about program development, research, and integrating different practices, I feel I am finally honing in on some of my passions and callings. 
To brief the project that is coming out of this class, head here.

Worship.

Sitting still with Jesus and singing this song to Him is powerful.

Hobby.

I would say that my number one “hobby” is tap dancing. It is one of my favourite things to do, most definitely my favourite form of exercise, and a practice that gives me so much joy. My school showcase is coming up on December 2nd!

Make-Up.

This eyebrow pencil gave me so much more eyebrow confidence! (When I choose to use it, haha).

Blogger.

Currently catching up on all the posts by my girl Mackenzie. 

Fierce, strong, and beautiful, she is a must-read blogger.

New Friendship.

Blooming so quickly, I have a new friend at church named Kayla, who is one of the fastest friendships I’ve ever formed. She is someone I feel I’ve known forever, and who I’ve been able to open up with instantly. Do you know those friendships? So special and such blessings. People will trump places, work, and experiences for me, always. 

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Cookbook Features: Recipes for Every Craving

My first ever cookbook came out yesterday, in ebook and print format.

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If you haven’t already ordered your copy, be sure to do so! I am so excited to challenge y’all to share photos of your creations with me :).

As a sneak preview, here are some of the recipes you’ll find in the book.

Double Chocolate Chunk Muffins (yes, for breakfast).

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Oatmeal Three Ways. Because oatmeal is my favourite food, but I would NEVER eat plain porridge.

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Bagel Breakfast Sandwiches. Learn how to make the bagels from scratch with a simple and concise how-to.

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Protein-Packed Pancakes. Still fluffy and amazing, with unique topping ideas, but total respect for the classic butter and syrup.

Classic Eggs and Bacon Breakfast. With simple how-tos to make BETTER eggs, and how to pair with seasonings.

Thin and Thick Smoothies. And some that literally taste like ice cream, but for breakfast.

Egg and Hash Skillet. Colourful, inviting, and filling.

And SO MUCH MORE!

  • $8.99 ebook
  • $16.87 full colour print book (shipping not included)
  • 20+ recipes and anecdotes
  • better breakfast, guaranteed

Can’t wait to see your cookery!

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TASTEFUL THURSDAY: Cinnamon Peanut Butter Toasties

It is not a surprise that my attempt to make a dairy-free, therefore Cassie-friendly “cream cheese” this morning to have on a bagel with fried eggs, an old favourite, turned into a peanut butter spread creation when i couldn’t think of any ingredients besides cashews for “cheese” (which we were out of) and realized we didn’t have eggs. Ha.

This is a little recipe that doesn’t make the cut for my final lineup for my cookbook (which I finalized today!), but is definitely yummy enough to share. It’s sweet and salty, my fav, and cinnamony, too!

Cinnamon Peanut Butter Toasties

Ingredients

1/3 c unsweetened vanilla coconut milk (or any milk)

1 T oats

1 T peanut butter

1/4 tsp lemon juice

pinch salt

1/4 tsp corn starch

1/4 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp maple syrup

Bread of choice

Toppings of choice

Method

  1. In blender, place coconut milk and oats and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Place mixture in microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave approx. 90 seconds; whisk well. Microwave another two minutes or until thick and smooth– the mixture will bubble and thicken quite a bit. Whisk again until smooth. 
  3. Toast your bread; spread with peanut butter mixture. I topped one slice with sliced banana, crushed corn flakes, and maple syrup, and another with melted mixed berries and it was delicious!

TASTEFUL THURSDAY: Chocolate “Brownie” Cupcakes (That Happen to be Vegan) PLUS AN ANNOUNCEMENT

Hey Friends!

This recipe is a little delayed getting to you for a few reasons.

a) I’ve spent a lot of time tweaking, testing, and sampling it.

b) It’s coming atcha with an exciting announcement,

c) the recipe was a guinea pig of sorts for my friend Laura’s birthday party, which was tonight.

But I am happy with this final product that I hope you will enjoy. This is my own version of a dairy-free by default, moist, chocolatey cupcake. Easy, made in one bowl, and delicious.

The announcement, you ask?

I have been working for a month or so under the radar on my first ebook and cookbook, which will both be available for purchase on September 1st, 2017. I am sooo excited to be offering a cookbook that will include:

-from-scratch, easy-to-follow, wholesome-ingredient recipes created by me

-stories, blurbs, and anecdotes

-full-colour photographs

-breakfasts and bowls, savoury and sweet

I cannot wait to share this book with you, which will have you hooked on all my variations of oatmeal breakfasts, toting a fancy homemade layer cake to your next get-together, and out of your dinner rut for good.

It’s been a lot of fun just cookin’ in my free time, seeing what kind of creativity just comes. I hope you’ll enjoy the recipes as much as I’m enjoying this process!

For now, enjoy today’s chocolatey goodness, which are the answer to any sweet or chocolate craving.

Chocolate “Brownie” Cupcakes

makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

3 cups dairy-free milk, unsweetened vanilla (I used almond milk)

1 T vinegar

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup grape seed oil

3 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups cacao powder

1 T baking soda

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

Frosting

5 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

food colouring, if desired

Topping

Dark chocolate chunks, melted and cooled

Pretzel sticks

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 12-muffin muffin trays with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine milk with vinegar and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Stir in melted coconut oil and grape seed oil. Gradually add the flour and stir to combine. Add sugar, cacao, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and stir until no lumps remain. The batter should be thick, but pourable.
  4. Pour into prepared pans, filling each liner about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
  5. To prepare frosting, beat powdered sugar with coconut oil; it will look clumpy. Add just enough milk to made frosting smooth and spreadable. Add food colouring of choice, if desired.
  6. Frost completely cooled cupcakes. If desired, dip all or some of the cupcakes in the melted chocolate, or make designs with the chocolate, and top with chopped pretzel sticks for a sweet-and-salty version.

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TOP TEN TUESDAY: Here and Now

Music. Halsey and the Weekend. I’m also nonstop listening to Jason Aldean oldies. A random other one is Stand By You by Rachel Platten. These are basically my jams for late night study sessions.
Class. At the moment, my favourite class is the one with the same title as my program, called Christianity and Global Citizenship. I’m so engrossed in the material, and have a few incredible friends in the class. The prof is wonderful, too.
Friends. Speaking of those friends, they are two girls I met this year who have already changed my life– Bethany and Maddie. We spent a weekend together at a worship retreat that was unreal.
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Wedding. I’m still reminiscing about this past weekend at my beautiful cousins marriage to her high school sweetheart. Kristyn had two moms and two dads, and has always talked about having felt the strong separations of those families. Her speech was about how important all four families are to her, and how this wedding was the first time she didn’t feel as if everyone was separate. Needless to say I was emotional. I am lucky to be really close with all my cousins on both my mom and dad’s side.

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Mantra. Ah. I went to a new church last night called the Embassy, and I can’t explain how incredible it was. It was just for youth and is held in a night club, and over a hundred people were in attendance. Modern Christian music was the case of the worship, and the pastor, age 23 and dressed like Sam Hunt does, preached about how every Single square moment of life is to be lived for God. I was in tears singing along and felt 200% unashamed of my faith. I allowed the Lord to move and touch me, and there are no words to explain how he did just that. And, I thought again, when I doubt and when I hate and when I sin, that loving presence that moved me to tears never leaves.
Jewelry. I’m obsessed with rings lately! Maybe because I just got length on my nails for the first time, haha 😉 but I just love them.
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Books. I’m reading a few right now! One is the classic Jane Eyre which I’m reading for my fiction class, and I’m still working on the third book in the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, which is amazing! I’m also reading a book called Belonging for my Christian studies class, which is beautiful.
Food. I don’t think in all the time I’ve done top ten Tuesdays this has ever changed but basically I sat oatmeal in abundance with various toppings. It’s becoming way too much of a safe food and I recognize that but I also really enjoy it but it’s contributing to me not consuming nearly enough in a day so…yeah, I have to work on a lot in therapy.
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TV Show. I went through and watched every Masterchef I could find on YouTube! Well I guess that’s not true, not every one, but one per morning for four days. Ok so four episodes. That’s a lot for a uni student!
Sleep. Ah I have found I need more sleep than ever and that I get LESS sleep than ever. Funny how that works! I fell literally asleep in theology today.
Speaking of sleep, I get to go do that now. And sleep in as long as I want.
Life is good. Even when it’s not,remember that life is good.