Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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I created this blog post as a paid ambassador for Pepto Bismol. All opinions and advice are my own and I only work with companies I genuinely love and have used prior to being contacted.

It’s no secret we love all things pink here at RAOP headquarters, but how far do we take it? Is there such thing as TOO MUCH pink? This post is next level on the pink scale, even for us, thanks to PEPTO…

We’re officially on a colour diet, and we’ve cut out everything but PINK FOOD!

When Jo suggested around Valentine’s day that we should do an all pink dinner party, my first response was “how would that even work?” As per usual, her crafty prowess far exceeded my own and over the next couple months we searched for recipe inspiration and sourced as much pink tableware as we possibly could. We spray painted a thrifted vase to be the perfect shade of peach and enlisted the help of a talented local florist to make a pink ombre arrangement as the centrepiece. We wanted to dye our tablecloth with avocado pits (the results are so pretty) but we didn’t have enough time to compile the massive number of pits necessary, so Jo took over with classic fabric dye and bleach, giving the finished product a light marbling effect. Baby pink tableware from put the finishing touches on the entire set up and suddenly we were ready to get cooking.

“Pink food?” you may be thinking, like I once did, “what does that even mean?” In this case it means a decadent, gorgeous four course meal inspired by our very favourite colour (and by no coincidence, the colour of Pepto Bismol). The main ingredient to make almost anything pink is beet juice, and not much is needed to “dye” a whole lot of eats. We started with a pink veggie platter complete with beet hummus, then a spiralized citrus salad with rose dressing. Our main was a true masterpiece – pink gnocci with pink tinted vegan alfredo sauce! We finished the menu off with a dreamy pink coconut cream pie by our talented baker friend Plum Lucky Pie!

Needless to say, it was quite the feast, and the four of us were extremely full when we set down our forks. My hostess tip – don’t forget to pass the Pepto! There’s nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable after over-indulging at a fun night with friends, and covering your bases just in case never hurts. Whether you’re worried about acid from all those veggies, or heartburn from hearty pasta dishes, Pepto will always be the dinner party wing man that you want by your side.

You can find all 3 recipes here!

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Florals by Wild North Flowers
Photos by Johanna Martin

Disclaimer: Pepto Bismol provides five-symptom relief of heartburn, indigestion, nausea, upset stomach and diarrhea. To ensure this product is right for you, always read and follow the label.

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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If you loved our All Pink Dinner Party decor I’m pretty sure you’re going to love our 3 course pink menu even more! With such epic contributions from so many amazing makers, like a pink ombre floral arrangement by Wild North and a pink coconut cream pie for dessert by Plum Lucky Pie Pi, we really wanted to step it up in the cooking department.

Other than the tiny fork swirl lines on each gnocci (which Italian Nona videos on youtube make look soooo easy) I think we totally killed it with this menu. Can’t wait to see you guys’ colourful creations!

Scroll down for Pink Spiralized Salad, Beet Gnocci and Pink Alfredo Sauce!

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PINK SPIRALIZED SALAD //

Candy cane beets
Watermelon radishes
Pink lady apple
Pear
Red beet
Rainbow carrots
Grapefruit

for the dressing:
1/4 cup Rose wine
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of himalayan pink salt
1-2 tablespoons grapefruit juice

Use a spiralizer for all fruits and veggies except carrot and grapefruit. Peel the outer skin from the carrots and discard, using the vegetable peeler create long ribbons and add to the salad, toss well. Supreme the grapefruit, and cut segments from half the fruit, garnish the salad with them. Squeeze the other half into a bowl removing all seeds and pulp. Mix in with the rest of the dressing ingredients and serve immediately.

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BEET GNOCCHI //

1 cup beets, peeled and boiled
1 cup white potatoes, peeled and boiled
1 egg (or egg replacer)
2 cups of flour + extra for dusting
a pinch of kosher salt

Peel and boil both the beets and potatoes separately, potatoes should take 20-30 mins depending on size while beets will take approx. 50 mins.

Drain and place in separate bowls. Poke the boiled beets with a fork and allow extra juice to drain into the bottom of the bowl, save this juice for the alfredo sauce*. Allow to cool to lukewarm temperature. In a large bowl add the flour, making a small well in the middle. With an electric mixer, mash in the beets and then the potatoes. Add egg and salt and pulse until the dough is smooth and free from lumps. Use the extra flour to dust your surface and hand, knead the dough 5-10 times. Remove a small handful of dough and roll it out into a long cylinder, using a floured knife cut 1/2 inch lengths, pinching the middles with your fingers as you go. Lay each gnocchi out on a lightly floured surface until ready to boil.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. It’s important to not overcrowd the pot with gnocchi, so add about 10 at a time. When fully cook the gnocchi will rise to the top of the water, use a slotted spoon to remove. Serve immediately with the following Pink Vegan Alfredo.

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PINK VEGAN ALFREDO SAUCE //

1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
3/4 cup water
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 teaspoons himalayan pink salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 tablespoons beet juice*
Fresh basil for garnish

After the cashews have soaked overnight in cold water, drain and rinse well. Add all ingredients except beet juice to a high power blender and blend until completely smooth.
Using the excess beet juice from boiling the beets for gnocchi, slowly add to the blender and mix until you’ve reached your desired pink hue.

Heat on the stovetop on low heat before serving.

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Dinnerware / Ikea
Flowers / Wild North
Kitchen faucets / Delta Canada
Kitchen / Home Depot Canada
Pink coconut cream pie / Plum Lucky Pie Pi

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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Confession: I LOVE Cinnamon Toast Crunch. This is not a sponsored post people, I just may be a child inside. I can eat CTC any time of day, with or without milk and if I see a food item that’s cinnamon toast flavour, like a donut or milkshake, you better bet I’m all over it.

When I visited Miami’s famous bakery The Salty Donut and saw a Cinnamon Toast Latte on their menu I was desperate to give it a try, and my GOODNESS it was so delicious! I came home determined to make my own caffeine free and milk-free version, so Jo and I got to experimenting with infusing almond milk and trying different tea options in place of espresso.

The end result of our labour of love was this magical pink cinnamon-loaded concoction. It’s caffeine free and dairy free, but sadly NOT vegan because the cereal itself contains vitamin D3. If you’re strict vegan you can try the Cascadian Farms or Sally’s versions instead!

What you’ll need //

1 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch
2-3 cups milk of your choice
3 tablespoons Toasty Almond herbal tea
2 teaspoons sugar
Ice

For the rim //
thick liquid honey
crushed cereal

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Recipe //

Spread the Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal over a cookie sheet evenly and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 mins or until you start to smell it toasting. Remove from oven and combine with cold milk in a bowl – mix well, place in the fridge and allow to ‘steep’ for an hour or more.

Now, prepare your tea concentrate. Steep 3 tablespoons Toasty Almond tea in 4-6oz boiling water for 5-6 mins, stir in 2 teaspoons sugar while hot and set aside to cool down.

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Once the mylk reaches your desired level of cereal flavour, strain out the Cinnamon Toast Crunch from the mylk, pressing it into the strainer.

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Place a couple tablespoons of liquid honey in a small saucer, crush cereal and add to another saucer. Rim each glass, first in honey then cereal.

Fill each glass halfway with ice, pour in your cinnamon toast crunch milk until the glass is 3/4 full. Using a 1oz shot glass, add 2 shots of tea concentrate, stir well and watch the magic happen!

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Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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After a super busy year of takeout and re-heating leftovers, I’ve only just started to get back into cooking and baking for myself at home again this month.

Making food, especially this time of year, is one of those magical activities that has a way of bringing people together. Whether it’s you and a partner squabbling over a recipe book, your mom teaching you how to make her famous shortbread, or table full of friends eagerly awaiting your creations, food has a way of creating family in all sorts of shapes and forms.

The meaning of “family” shifted for me this year – as friends started growing their families by getting married or having children of their own, my chosen family grew bigger and stronger than ever before. Sophie and Bobby from Kitten and the Bear are some of my very favourite people, and getting to be an honorary aunt to their little boy Forrest was seriously one of the highlights of my 2017. I’m always impressed by their baking and jam-making prowess, so when Soph offered to come over to bake these Chocolate Cherry Jam Cruffins before I headed home to Vancouver for the holidays I couldn’t resist the time spent together (or the CRUFFINS!)

Scroll down for the full recipe by Kitten and the Bear!

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What you’ll need //

1 jar of Kitten and the Bear jam (we used Dark Cherry, Plum & Cocoa and Winter Cranberry)
1 box of Tenderflake classic puff pastry or rolled puff pastry sheets
2 tbsp soft butter
2 tbsp icing sugar (for dusting)
1 tbsp flour

Recipe //

1. Thaw pastry according to the directions on the package (either in the fridge overnight, or 2 hours at room temperature.)
2. Preheat your oven to 375 F
3. If you are using classic Tenderflake pastry, roll each brick out on a floured surface to about 12”x12” (give or take…it doesn’t have to be exact). If you are using the rolled sheets, use as-is!
4. Brush soft butter evenly across the pastry, then apply the jam in a thin, even layer.
5. Slice the sheet down the center to create two long rectangles, then roll each rectangle up into a cigar shape.
6. Cut each cigar in half lengthwise using a floured knife to expose the layers of pastry and jam.
7. With the cut side facing outwards, twist each piece into a loose rosette shape and place into a non-stick muffin tin.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until puffed and golden brown, checking midway and rotating the tray if necessary.
9. Run a small knife around each cruffin to dislodge the pastry from the tin. It’s much easier to do this when the jam is still hot.
10. Allow to cool slightly, dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

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KATB + RAOP wish you and yours all the best this holiday season – may your days be buttery and bright!

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

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Nanaimo bars are one of my all-time favourite treats – when i lived in BC growing up they were just about everywhere we went, and I could never get enough. After moving to Toronto I realized they were much harder to come by out of province. Did you know Nanaimo Bars are named for their birthplace, a small city on Vancouver Island in BC? I grew up at bike races (yes, I was super sporty!) in and around that area, so it’s no wonder these sweet triple-layer treats make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Traditional Nanaimo bars are certainly not healthy or even close to vegan, but as per usual Amanda of Blueberry Moon came through and made our vegan dessert dreams come true! Instead of custard for the centre filling she created a pink peppermint coconut-based cream, and oats, dates and almonds were used alongside coconut to boost health points in the base layer.

Scroll down for the recipe

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What you’ll need //

Crust:
1 cup almonds
1/2 c packed dates
1/2 c oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c cocoa powder
1/2 c shredded coconut
2 tbsp coconut oil

Cream center:
1 cup coconut butter
3/4 chilled full fat coconut milk
1 cup icing sugar
2 tsp mint extract
2 tsp peppermint extract
2 tsp beet juice (may need to adjust slightly based on colour preference)

Topping:
1.5 cups melted chocolate chips

Optional: Crushed candy cane, sprinkles

Recipe //

Prepare your base layer by adding all crust ingredients listed into your food processor.
Once it reaches a crust like consistency, press firmly into a greased square pan. You could also cut out some parchment paper tabs to line the bottom for easy removal.

Next, begin to prepare the middle layer by adding all ingredients into your high speed blender. We used our Vitamix. Once this layer is thick, creamy and smooth, pour it over the crust and spread as evenly as possible. You may want to carefully slam the tray (it not glass) a couple times against your counter to remove air bubble and really pack down.

Move to freezer to set faster.

Once the middle layer feels firm enough you can begin to melt your chocolate.

To do this, boil a couple inches of water in a pot and use a heat safe bowl to place on top of the pot (making sure its big enough to not fall through!) Add your chocolate chips into the bowl and keep stiring with a spatula until the chocolate has melted.

Pour over the middle layer and add your crushed candy canes.

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Shopping links!

Pink Food Processor

Beetroot Powder (Natural Food Colour)

4pc Gold Cutlery Set

Lorann Oils Natural Peppermint

Pink Christmas Tree