Sips, Sweets & Snacks

We took a bit of a break over, well, the holiday break, in part because we needed it, but also because we had a lot to figure out re: me taking off to La La land! With half the team (aka me) keeping toasty down here and the rest of us freezing their tails off back in Toronto, content has become a bit challenging.

Nothing wrong with a little challenge though, right?

The way I see it, our distance only means we can inspire each other in new, unexpected ways. One of my favourite things about the city of angels is the incredible food – so much fresh produce and so many amazing vegan options! Inspired by the dreamy menus I’ve seen here, and a potential upcoming trip to Hawaii (fingers crossed) I thought up this tropical veggie burger with the team, and they made it happen back home in the studio!

Taking a cue from some of the burgers I saw served to tables on trips to Hawaii as a kid, we topped our veggie patties with grilled pineapple rings, avocado and sweet bbq sauce. For a pop of pink, simply add a handful of pink pickled onions or turnips!

Scroll down for the recipe

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Ingredients //

Veggie burger patties (we used St.Yves because they’re vegan!)
Burger buns
Lettuce
BBQ sauce
Pineapple slices
Avocado
Pink pickled turnips or onions
Umbrellas for decoration (optional)

Steps //

We started by grilling our toppings! Lightly oil your grill and allow it to heat up fully. For the pineapple, make sure you press as much water as you can out of it first with paper towels. Then place on the grill and wait for those dark brown grill marks to appear, flip and grill the other side as well.

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To grill the avocado, lighting oil your grill again, cut the avocado in half length-wise and carefully peel away the skin from each half. Place the halves flat side down on the heated grill until you see the desired grill marks.

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Now grill your veggie burger patties and assemble! Start with the BBQ sauce, burger patty, lettuce, turnips, pineapple and finally avocado. Top your burger off with a fun umbrella and fries and you’re ready to eat like the islanders do!

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Plates from the Cheeky Home + Brit & Co collaboration!

Dear DiaryI'll Follow You Anywhere

When I made the decision to book a one-way ticket to LA with no sense of when I’d stop adventuring and come back, it was so spontaneous and unexpected I didn’t really think all of the details through. When a friend asked me about a going away party a few days after I made the announcement, I was totally blindsided – I needed to say farewell to all of my dearest friends!

With less than a week left I scrambled to put something together, and luckily Planta came to my rescue. A new upscale vegan restaurant in Yorkville, this place is literally to DIE for, and I knew it would be the perfect location to feast with friends. Their incredible team booked us our own massive table tucked away at the back for Sunday brunch, and no lie, it ended up being one of the best meals of my entire life.

Cauliflower tater tots, banana pancakes, nachos, crab cake benedict… the list of wondrous creations sent from the kitchen went on and on. Every single thing, from the tea to the blood orange mimosas was absolutely divine, and by the end of the meal we were confident our server was the nicest man alive. We ate like queens, chatted incessantly, and in the end shed a few tears over goodbye hugs and Christmas gifts.

It was the kind of sendoff that almost convinces you to stay, and ensures you’ll be back.

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A special thanks to Planta for hosting my special day!

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

In our world, no one is ever too old to believe in Santa Claus, and why would he visit without a tasty treat to tempt him?

We wanted to whip something extra special up for old Saint Nick this year, so we decided to do a new spin on our cereal milk recipe: cookie milk! This concoction is perfect for the King of Christmas when he’s on the run and doesn’t have time for a proper snack, and oh my, is it ever so delicious. We highly recommend making a big enough batch to share with your friends and family – it’s sure to get you on the nice list.

Making this sweet holiday treat was made even more fun thanks to adorable rainbow shopping lists and letters to Santa. With the help of Papermate Inkjoy Gel Pens we were able to turn our notes into rainbow works of art (also, because they’re so fast drying they’re great for the lefty on your list!)

Scroll down for full recipe!

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Ingredients //

Mini Rainbow Chips Ahoy cookies
2.5 cups of soy milk (or alternative of your choice)
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
6oz boiling water
Cheesecloth
Maple Syrup and sprinkles (optional for rimming)

Recipe //

(Makes 2 cups)
You’ll need about 45 mins for this step.

1. Crush the Mini Cookies inside the bag until they are small to medium size crumbs.

2. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the cookie crumbs onto a cookie sheet. Toast in the oven at 350 degrees for about 5 mins until you can start to smell the cookies and they start to brown.

4. In a medium size bowl add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, boil a small amount of water to dissolve the mixture.

5. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of milk alternative (we used soy) and add it to the bowl.

6. Add your toasted cookies, stir and allow to steep in the fridge for 30 mins.

7. After the 30 mins transfer into another bowl using a sifter with cheesecloth to collect the cookie dust. You may need to strain multiple times to collect all of it.

Now rim your glass and you’re ready for Santa!

Get Creative

The holiday season can get kind of hectic, and DIY projects are a great way to put aside time to simply slow down and take a deep breath. We’ll be sharing all sorts of fun recipes and projects leading up to Christmas, but we decided to kick off this busy time with something extra calming. We all need a bit more calm in this wild world, right?

For this week’s installment of the #pastelcraftclub we teamed up with Julie from Province Apothecary. I had the pleasure of attending an outdoor essential oil blending workshop with Julie this past summer, and I was so enchanted by the magic of her knowledge that I immediately know we needed to share some of it here. Paige quickly agreed, a long-time fan of Province Apothecary as well, and here we are.

Part natural medicine, part olfactory, and in my opinion a little bit like witchcraft, the power of blending pure essential oils is pretty amazing, and we’re thrilled to have Julie here today sharing one of her secret formulas – Keep Calm!

Scroll down for Julie’s DIY

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As an aromatherapist I love reaching for essential oils to help calm my body and mind during times of stress. My favourite way to apply them is in a therapeutic roll on.

By using essential oils in your daily life you can help diminish stress, relieve depression, ease physical pain, promote alternateness, heal skin issues like acne and much more. The properties of essential oils, when used properly, can promote general well-being and self-connection. Essential oils are so easy to use and can be incorporated into your daily routine: they can be used in a bath, during a massage, or in your daily skincare regime. The beautiful thing about essential oils is that they work on a subtle level- sometimes one drop is enough.

Terms to know:
Essential oils are natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants.

Aromatherapy: The therapeutic use of plant-derived, aromatic essential oils to promote physical and psychological well-being. Your skin is the largest organ of the body and absorbs essential oils easily.

| ESSENTIAL OILS FOR calming the body + mind |

BERGAMOT naturally relaxes and uplifts. It’s invigorating scent invites joy and laughter in one’s space, working as a natural antidepressant. It relieves tension to unfold a natural harmony.

CEDAR WOOD naturally strengthens + clarifies. Its light, woodsy scent has a calming and soothing effect on the mind and is of great help in conditions associated with anxiety. It also acts a general tonic, easing conditions of a respiratory nature.
CLARY SAGE naturally calming to the nervous system. An effective sleep aid. Great for reducing anxiety/asthma, reduces muscle tension, PMS. Aphrodisiac.

FRANKINCENSE naturally settles and composes. Its scent eases worry and rejuvenates the mind. Antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, calming/relaxing, anti-fungal/antibacterial/antiseptic, decongests open airway. Relieves tension (in all systems), stress, anxiety. Has been used for meditation..

ROMAN CHAMOMILE naturally calms. It’s a powerfully peaceful oil, bring inner harmony and reducing irritability, anxiety and worry.


LAVENDER calms nervousness and relieves depression. Its antispasmodic, antibacterial, antiseptic properties make it nature’s #1 First Aid oil. Use lavender oil to naturally relieve dryness, cracked skin, eczema, and wounds. It stimulates the growth of healthy new cells, making it effective in healing the skin and reducing scars.

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| EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED |
•1 ml vials or beakers to blend your scent
• Essential oils of choice
• Coffee beans to help with olfactory fatigue
• Roll on container (10 ml roll on), 10 ml base oil + beaker
• Labels for blending and for finished product

| BLENDING YOUR SCENT |
BLEND DILUTIONS 10 ml : 1% – 2 drops, 3%- 6 drops, 5% – 10 drops, 10% – 20 drops

1. Choose the essential oils and % of blend you would like to make, 1-5 oils is best for therapeutic roll ons

2.. Add one drop of each oil to the 1 ml vial or beaker and smell your blend after each drop, record the # of drops and slowly add more of the oils you would like more of.

3. Shake or stir your blend. Smell your blend and add more oils or keep as it is. Count out the number of drops your have used. This will be your final recipe.

4.. Once you have discussed your final blend with Julie, slowly count out the final number of drops into your 10 ml vial. Add your carrier oil of choice to the eos, put the cap on and shake.

ALWAYS: Document every single drop. Add drops one at a time and check scent. When formulating is complete, add EO blend to carrier base. Store your blend in a bottle out of the light. Label your formula clearly with the date.

DIRECTIONS: Apply oil to your wrists, temples, and back of neck (into your hairline) and let the essential oils absorb into the skin. For immediate results, place scent directly under your nose and breath deeply. Can be used as many times as needed throughout the day.

Sips, Sweets & Snacks

As summer draws to an end and September gets into full swing I can’t help but feel a bit sad that I missed out on one of my favourite seasonal treats… Strawberry Shortcake!

Growing up in Vancouver there was a cake place that made the most massive cakes you’ve ever seen – I’m talking twice the height of a regular cake, maybe more! Each year when the weather got warm they’d roll out their seasonal strawberry shortcake, and I’d gobble up as many huge slices as my stomach would allow until the cake was removed from the menu to make way for Fall.

Since moving away I’ve had a hard time finding a suitable contender for those gigantic slices, and my options dropped drastically when I started trying to cut out animal products as much as possible. With strawberry season running out here in Ontario I decided to get creative, and the results were Zevia Strawberry Shortcake Sodas!

Scroll down for the recipe

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Ingredients //

1 small lemon
1/2 small beet
1 pint of strawberries
Zevia cream soda
Coconut whip cream (optional)

Recipe //

1. Juice lemon, beet, and strawberries in a juicer to make a pink concentrate
2. Pour Zevia Cream Soda over ice in glasses
3. Add a shot of “pink” and stir
4. Serve! We recommend garnishing with a fresh strawberry, coconut whip, or pink drink umbrellas!

*to make this recipe a cocktail add a splash of Galliano Liqueur!

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