I've been quiet and still lately. About a month ago, my little guy's soul wanted to move onwards. Bear was a blessing in my life. He was, and still is, the greatest gift. Through this little cat's wisdom and unconditional love, I have learned so many invaluable lessons. He also touched the lives of everyone who was lucky enough to know him. I feel tremendous gratitude for being able to love and be loved by such a beautiful soul. I love you, Bear.
After a walk outside on a gorgeous fall day, I was craving a hot cup of coffee and a pumpkin muffin. Here's the recipe.
1 3/4 cups organic whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup organic raw sugar
1/2 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup milk
1 cup organic pumpkin puree
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
unsalted roasted pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line and lightly spray 12 muffin cups.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and spices.
3. In a separate bowl, mix the pumpkin, sugars, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently mix together.
5. Use an icecream scoop to measure out 12 perfect portions of batter for the muffin cups. Sprinkle each one with a few pumpkin seeds.
6. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.
A recipe for a perfect weekend: Beautiful weather and a tour of 4 Niagara-On-The-Lake wineries which included behind the scenes experiences and private tastings. Add to that a walk through the neighbourhood and good coffee. Yum!
I was craving something tropical and sweet made with my favourite fruit (pineapple) and this moist and flavorful creation totally hit the spot. It's a perfect summer morning breakfast with coffee, or served warm with vanilla bean ice cream and fresh sliced pineapple.
Ingredients (I used mostly organic)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup mashed bananas (3 small)
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1.5 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple
Sweetened dessicated coconut to sprinkle on top (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Butter two 8 or 9 inch loaf pans (I split the batter into two, instead of making one tall loaf)
3. In a large bowl, beat eggs, sugar and butter, then stir in almond and vanilla extracts.
4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baing powder and baking soda, then stir in unsweetened coconut.
5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in diced pineapple.
6. Pour batter into loaf pans, sprinkle tops with sweetened coconut if desired, and bake for 40-45 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean).
7. Serve, share and enjoy!
Here are a few pictures from our trip to Virginia Beach where I was maid of honor for my gorgeous BFF's wedding. There is nothing more rejuvenating than the ocean and a beautiful sunset.
Beach wedding bliss.
The beautiful bride designed and created our stunning foot jewellery. Beach weddings render footwear completely unnecessary.
The view along the main boardwalk in Virginia Beach.
Private hotel beach.
View of the ocean from the balcony.
Evening bevy of choice for the trip. I swear someone channelled my essence when they named this wine.
Morning bevy and chill spot of choice. We learned an important lesson my friends; put on sunscreen even if it is only 8am and you don't think you need it. It is never too early for coffee and never too early for sunscreen.
It doesn't get any better than this, my friends!!! Inspired by the tart and sinful key lime cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, this recipe is truly phenominal in a can't-put-the-fork-down kind of way.
1 3/4 cup graham crumbs
5 tbsp melted butter
1 cup plus 1 tbsp organic sugar
3 pkgs cream cheese (250g each)
1 tsp pure vanilla
Juice from 14 small key limes (approx 1/2 cup juice)
1/4 tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine graham crumbs, melted butter and 1 tbsp sugar in a bowl until moist and crumbly.
3. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and slightly up the sides of an 8" springform pan.
4. Bake the crust for 5-6 minutes and set aside.
5. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, 3 eggs, lime juice and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
6. Pour the filling onto the crust.
7. Place a baking dish filled with an inch of water on the lower rack of the oven.
8. Bake for 60-70 minutes until the top becomes slightly golden.
9. Allow to cool completely before serving.
...this gorgeous country estate in Napa, California featured in Dream Homes Magazine.
I am in love with the 100-year-old wood ceiling beams that sit atop incredibly spacious rooms, flooded with sunlight. With a wood paneled library, pool and swim-up-bar, outdoor kitchen and fireplace, wine cellar and 5 acres of Chardonnay vines, (I die!) it might make up for not being on the water. $5,890,000.00 to purchase this wine lover's/entertainer's dream.