Absences and Pumpkin Pie


So, here is an apology pie for disappearing for two months. The fact of the matter is it turns out planning a wedding, starting several new teaching contracts and still having time to audition, eat, sleep and do other basic human necessities took up every waking hour of my life. When people asked me in the year leading up to my wedding if I found planning a wedding stressful I would say no. I would tell them that I have bartended many weddings and so I knew what was needed for the wedding to happen. Then the month before the wedding suddenly all the stress hit me across the head like a 2×4. It was go time and there was no time to delay. The good news is the wedding was beautiful and amazing and better than I could have hoped (OMG I’m married!!!) the other good news is, now that it’s over I have time to have a life again. I promise to share pictures once I get the official photographs.


I did bake all the desserts for the wedding with the help of my mum. We baked 96 cupcakes, 3 apple pies, 3 apple crisps, 2 spice cakes and I baked my wedding cake (a double layer chocolate and vanilla oreo cake with vanilla buttercream frosting) We had a bbq buffet for dinner, using HD Events Catering who were absolutely incredible, seriously book them for your next event! My friends bartended, another friend was our photographer, another drove the bus, a friend’s boyfriend dj’d it was a true labour of love. I still smile hugely and feel giddy when I think about it.


But now we’re back in the real world (honeymoon happening in January!) and so it’s time for real world things like Thanksgiving and pumpkin pie. My mum always bakes a killer vegan pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner, but seeing as we had gotten married the weekend before Thanksgiving my parents decided to forgo our annual friends and family Thanksgiving dinner. This left me pumpkin pie-less. Which meant I had to make one on my own. I used the filling recipe from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts, it’s really good but I think the one my Mum uses is just a shade better (no offense to Chloe). I used my Mum’s pie crust because it is by far the best pie crust out there and whipped up a batch of homemade coconut whipped cream to really seal the deal.


So whip up a pumpkin pie because it is really fall now, the leaves are falling, the temperature is dropping and pumpkins are popping up everywhere. If you’re American you have plenty of time to test this recipe out before bringing it to your own Thanksgiving at the end of November!

Pie Crust

  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbl shortening
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbl cold water


Cut the shortening into the flour until it is well combined, add the salt, add the water a tablespoon at a time and kneed with your hands until the desired consistency is reached.

Roll the dough out and carefully place it in a greased pie tin.


  • 1 15oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/4 cups canned coconut milk (mixed well)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tbl cornstarch
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves


Preheat oven to 350.

In a blender or the bowl of your standmixer combine all the ingredients together.

Pour the filling into the pie crust.

Bake for 60min.

Allow to cool and the refrigerate for at least four hours.

Friday Finds


Since the first official day of fall is September 22 I am of the opinion that we still have more than a month of summer left! No need to panic friends, there’s still time to hang out on beaches, drink margaritas on patios, swim in lakes and go on road trips. The fact that I’m getting married in less than two months is admittedly freaking me out a little bit. So much to do! But so excited for the day to arrive! So this week we achieved aquafaba meringue, which means that we’re basically superheros. There’s nothing we can’t do! Let’s look around at this world of ours and see what the weekend has in store.

We live in such a beautiful country and we should all enjoy it as much as possible by seeing as much of it as we can. These Top 12 Road Trips in Canada fill me with wanderlust and ideas for future trips. Probably won’t make it out of Ontario by the end of summer but Prince Edward County could happen!

There’s unused cement space on the side of my house and I’ve long been pondering putting a pallet garden there. This step by step tutorial makes it seem like a real thing I could do. Plant a fall garden to enjoy until the first frost comes along.

Which leads me to Planting a Fall and Winter Garden. More plants! All the vegetables for as long as we can keep them. I’m going to start harvesting and drying my herbs soon. Saving my dill seeds etc. I mean we still have a month of summer left, but I like to plan ahead.

This is a really succinct way of fighting “just joking”. It is often used as an excuse to say horrible things. I really cannot wait for the American election to be over, I am so tired of hearing about the newest hate filled, frightening thing being said by a man running for president.

I love Joy the Baker. I mean, we all love Joy the Baker. Her blog is a bright spot in the world. Her tutorial on How to Frost a Cake is life changing! I am terrible at frosting cakes. I think that has been well documented on this blog. I never thought of washing the cake decorating knife to stop the frosting on the knife from sticking to the frosting on the cake! Game changing. I am going to need to bake a cake just to try this frosting idea. Also using a pastry bag! Genius. We can all look like master bakers now!

I hope that your weekend is less humid then mine is bound to be!


Lemon Meringue Pie and a Triumphant Return


I’m finally back and baking. Despite the fact that it has been over 40 celsius the past couple of days with the humidity (that’s about 104 fahrenheit for the Americans) I finally had a day to do nothing and so I committed to making this pie. I am so, so happy that I did. I am in absolute awe of the power of chickpea brine! I’m not going to lie to you guys, I really did not believe that this would work. I thought it was too good to be true! How could it be possible that the liquid from a can of chickpeas could make a fluffy, sticky, sweet merengue? I am here to tell you it is 100% real and 100% delicious.


Above is an action shot of my standmixer going to town on some chickpea merengue. I did a lot of research before attempting it myself. The two blogs that I found the most helpful on the subject were It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken and The Pancake Princess. They had really good tips on what you need to do to create the fluffy meringue of your dreams. First? You need to buy chickpeas with no added salt. Check those labels! Most brands add salt I ended up buying blue label at Loblaws because it was the only ones I could find without salt added. Sam at It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken explains that the brine with added salt retains a bit of the chickpea flavour. Second most important thing? You need to reduce the brine. Reducing it just means you need to bring it a boil, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 15min. This will intensify it. Third? You need to be patient and put it in the fridge to cool down before use. If you’re making it to top a lemon meringue pie then it’s no hardship, you let it cool while you assemble your pie.


We know how to make pie of course. I used the lemon curd filling from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts and a basic pie crust recipe. The real thing we’re focusing on is the magical meringue here. So what you’re going to do is take your chickpea brine which is nice and chilled from the fridge and put it in the bowl of your stand mixer. You’re going to add a 1/2 tsp of vanilla and a 1/4 tsp of cream of tartar and you are going to put that stand mixer on high and watch it go. I kept waiting for it to start forming peaks before adding the sugar, it won’t form peaks until you add the sugar. However letting it whip for a while until it is nice and foamy is a good idea. Once it is super foamy start to add your 1/2 cup of sugar a little bit at a time. Very slowly. You will see the creaminess starting and the peaks starting! Once you have emptied that half cup of sugar into your meringue be patient lower the speed a little bit and let it keep on whipping. You need to keep whipping until you achieve stiff peaks. You cannot get impatient with this, not if you want a proper merengue. If you look at the picture above you will see that when I take the beater away the peak stands up straight. That’s what I mean by stiff peaks. Periodically stop the stand mixer, lower the bowl and pull out the beater, if the peak flops over it is still too soft.


To get that lovely delightful golden cast I used the broiler as suggested by the Pancake Princess. I baked my crust, then baked the pie with the lemon curd in it, then I pre-heated the broiler to 575 I carefully placed the pie inside and left the door open so that I could see it. I rotated the pie around every few seconds. It was probably in there for not even a full minute. It will burn SO FAST. You really cannot let your mind or eye wander for even a second.


Then when all of that is done you need to let it chill in the fridge for about three hours before you eat it. This pie is not for busy days. This pie is for slow living summer days, the kind of days where you just want to sit in the shade and sip on iced tea and eat cold pie. The kind of day where you have all the time in the world to obsess over the perfect golden cast on your meringue.


Once it’s chilled you can sit back and relax and feel like you’ve accomplished something that day. You made a completely vegan lemon meringue pie! You took something as innocuous as bean water and made it into something decadent and delicious! You are a magician! I’ve got lots of thoughts on what else I can do with this magical creation so stay tuned!

Aquafaba (bean water) Meringue

  • 1 15oz can of chickpea brine
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Pie Crust

  • 1/3 cup and 1 tbl shortening
  • 1 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbl cold water

Lemon Curd Filling

  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 6 tbl cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tbl lemon zest


Bring the chickpea brine to a boil and then lower the heat to medium and allow to simmer for 15min. Allow to cool and then place in the fridge to chill.

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a pie plate.

In a bowl cut the shortening into the flour until it is in pea size balls, add the salt and cold water and mix with a fork. On a well floured surface roll out the dough, place the crust in the prepared pie plate and trim any excess. Bake the crust for 10min.

While the crust is baking combine 1/2 the soy milk with the cornstarch and flour in a bowl and set aside.

In a saucepan bring the other 1/2 of the soy milk to a boil and add the sugar and lemon juice. When the sugar has dissolved slowly pour in the cornstarch mixture. Whisk continuously (you really can’t stop whisking unless you want a lumpy curd) until a thick pudding like consistency is created. This will take awhile. Stir in the lemon zest.

Pour the curd into the baked crust and bake for an additional 15min.

While the pie is baking take your chilled chickpea brine from the fridge and pour into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the vanilla and cream of tartar beat until extremely foamy. Slowly add 1/2 cup of sugar and beat until stiff peaks are achieved.

Preheat the broiler to 575 and spoon the meringue onto the prepared pie. Place the pie in the broiler with the door open, using oven mitts rotate the pie every few seconds until the desired golden crispiness is achieved. Be VERY careful or it will burn!

Chill in the fridge for four hours to overnight.


Friday Finds


I’ve had to take a step away these last few weeks. I’ve had some family things to deal with that have taken over all my time and energy. Everyone is doing well and all is now moving towards good things but I simply didn’t have any time to bake or blog or write anything at all. Pictured above are the fresh tomatoes from my garden which is what has kept me grounded and sane recently. So now I am back, I will be gone all long weekend but back to regular posting next week. So what’s happened in the world since I’ve stepped away from my keyboard?

Most importantly. We have a Gilmore Girls Trailer and release date! I am so beyond excited it’s crazy. If you need me on November 25 I will be holed up with my sister watching all the episodes in a row and not looking at the internet or my phone until I have had time to watch them all and process all my feelings. Just hearing the familiar la la’s actually made me misty eyed. No word of a lie.

And while we’re going into serious nostalgia for the early to mid 2000’s The Hills is having a 10 Year Anniversary Special. Gilmore Girls was legitimately great television, the Hills was legitimately not but my sister and I watched it together religiously for years so I know what we’ll be doing on August 7.

Of course there is all the controversy over Melania Trump plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech. But when you watch Michelle Obama’s speech from the DNC this year it makes you forget Mrs. Trump even made a speech. What an incredibly articulate and intelligent woman. What an inspiration. As a Canadian I am going to sorely miss having the Obama’s as the first family of our neighbours to the south.

And to depress you just a little bit read History tells us what may happen next with Brexit and Trump. It’s not good guys, it’s really not good and it’s global.

And for something to lift you up, I love the way Beth writes and her photography over at Local Milk and I will have to try her cardamom rose iced latee. Witch coconut milk of course. What a delicious, decadent treat!

I hope that your long weekend is filled with sunshine and swimming and fresh air and laughter.



Friday Finds Late On A Friday



I was gone for the long weekend. Packed up the dog and went to the cottage. A belated Happy Canada Day to you all! I’ve been keeping it pretty quiet these past couple of weeks, I am going to go ahead and say there will more than likely be no new content this coming week due to some family stuff. This week has been kind of insane in the world. I don’t feel that I have anything meaningful, insightful or important to say on any of it. So instead I’ve rounded up some of the articles that I think articulate it all much better than I could. Giving voice to the people who know and understand their experiences in a way I never can and never will.

Where to start? This article showing the peaceful protestors and the police posing together before the shots rang out breaks my heart.

President Obama speaking on the deaths of Philano Castile and Alton Sterling is incredibly eloquent, poised and thoughtful.

The horrifying bombing in Iraq with well over 250 victims is yet another point of cruelty in the world this past week.

And here is a piece on gun violence in America, because it feels as though not a day has gone by in 2016 without a mass shooting.

To take a step away from the constant violence, heartache and horror this week has heaped upon us all let’s look at this  Underwritten Female Characters: The Movie, as an actor let me tell you how painfully true I find this.

And as a palate cleanser this kid was sneaking into his neighbour’s garage to hug their dog which is straight up adorable.

Let’s make this coming week better ok? Collectively let’s put aside the hatred and the vitriol and accept that we don’t know everything, we don’t understand everything. That sometimes we just need to sit down and listen.

Strawberry Shortbread Crumble Bars


Do you ever have an ingredient and you know what you want to do with it, you look through your cookbooks and scour pinterest, and you can’t find the recipe you want anywhere? No? Just me. Well that’s what happened with these babies. To be fair I found lot’s of recipes for strawberry bars, but all of those recipes involved eggs and I was out of egg replacer. However, I’m glad because I’m fairly certain these turned out wayyyy better than trying to adapt an egg heavy recipe.


I had a whole lot of strawberries sitting in my fridge waiting to be eaten, strawberries that were getting a little mushy and close to the end of their life. Strawberries you don’t particularly want to eat on their own, but are perfect to be baked into something! I find fruit that’s a little too mushy, a little too old the best for baking. So, I got into my head I was going to make some kind of bars with them. I scoured the internet and couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. All the non-vegan recipes were filled with eggs and all the vegan recipes were healthy strawberry bars. I was not in the mood for healthy. I was in the mood for flaky, buttery, salty and sweet. So these were born!


This is the most ridiculously easy recipe. It took no time at all to throw together. I tossed them together and baked them in less than an hour. Not bad to get sweet, flaky goodness in that amount of time. I cut them into big bars and brought them to coworkers who ate them up in no time. I can’t believe it’s vegan is a compliment I often get and something I always take as the highest praise!


I wish I could say that I made this with strawberries from my garden . . . but that wouldn’t be the truth. My little planter is only producing a couple of strawberries at a time. Definitely not enough for a dessert. However, my favourite farmer’s market is happening today and I plan on going and buying a whole bunch of fresh berries!


Make yourself some delicious bars in no time at all! Great to bring to any long weekend barbecues you might be attending!

Shortbread Crust

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup vegan margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt


Pre-heat oven to 350, lay parchment paper down in a 9×9 pan

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender

Place half the shortbread in the prepared pan and spread it out in an even layer

Strawberry Filling

2 cups chopped and washed strawberries

1/3 cup sugar

2 tsp cornstarch


In a bowl mix together the strawberries, sugar and cornstarch.

Pour over the prepared crust

Crumble the remaining shortbread on top

Bake for 30-35min or until the topping is golden

Friday Finds


I know, I owe you guys so many recipes! I’ve been baking, but all things I’ve already posted. Banana bread (you can see that super old blog post here) and waffles (last summer’s discovery here). I have yet to attempt aquafaba but it is certainly in the plans. I am spending every waking moment outside, enjoying the sunshine and my garden. I can’t seem to walk into a garden center without dropping some cash and buying new planters, new plants . . . new bird seed! I’ve never been one to have many indoor plants but I think that needs to change, I hated having nothing living around in the winter. So the world is speeding along and I often feel like we are just caught up in the spin. Things happen in the blink of an eye, let’s see what happened this week.

Obviously the Brexit is foremost on most people’s minds today. I have family in England and am curious to hear their take on all this. It seems incredibly short sighted, but all the way over here in Canada I suppose I’m not one to say. I did see an interesting graph which showed the vote divided by age. It would appear that those who will be living with this decision the longest voted to stay in the EU, which is a sobering and frightening thought.

I have read a lot of recipes about jackfruit and these vegan jackfruit tacos look like the perfect place to try it out!

I discovered a new place for breakfast that I absolutely love. It’s called Cardinal Rule and it’s delicious. The perfect place to go for all day breakfast with your omnivore friends, there’s loads of options for you and for them. The scrambled tofu was some of the best I’ve ever had. Highly, highly recommend! I would devote a blog post to them, except I was too hungry and ate all my food before I could sneak in a picture!

This is a fascinating watch, What Happened Before History.

And speaking of history I’ve recently gotten in to this podcast, Stuff You Missed in History Class. I love history (I often wish I could go back and do another BA majoring in history, just so I learn more!) and the detail they go into is fascinating. They cover such a wide array of topics and time periods, there’s an episode for everyone no matter what you’re interested in.

And for those of us who care, an interview with Brian Fuller about the new star trek tv series. Keeping up Star Trek’s history of progressive casting and story lines seems to be a high priority which is refreshing.