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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

{New Series Announcement!} Prepping for My First Craft Fair

If you follow my Instagram, you probably noticed that I'm currently super-stoked to be taking part in my first craft fair! On September 26 I will be at Market Square selling my weaves at the Etsy Made in Canada Market!
Since finding out last week that I'd made it in, my minds been racing with everything from booth ideas to product plans and everything else that (I think) goes into getting ready for a craft fair. I mean, not that I wasn't thinking about these things before, but I didn't want to get my hopes too high, in case I wasn't accepted.

Seeing as I can't contain my excitement, I thought it would be awesome, and helpful to create a weekly(bi-weekly?) series all about prepping for my first craft fair!
I've been doing tons of research online; looking for tips and helpful information about attending markets as a vendor. And although there is plenty of good advice out there, I've so far found a lot of it to be very generic, or outdated, especially when it comes to stuff like booth displays.

Every Friday (starting this Fri!) I'll be recapping where I'm at in my craft fair preparation. Everything will be covered: my booth design, creating and pricing inventory, articles I find useful, inspiration, the mistakes I'll surely make, and whatever else comes my way these next 13 weeks!
September 26 may seem very far away, but I'm a terrible procrastinator, and I'm never able to turn my mind off when it comes to stuff like this. I think this series will help keep me on track, and hopefully help some people prep for their own craft fairs!

Make sure you're subscribed to my blog, twitter, or instagram so you don't miss any parts in this series. Let me know if you're also taking part in Etsy's made in Canada market! I think it's fantastic that cities all over Canada will be bustlings with craft fairs on the same day at the end of september!


Friday, June 26, 2015

Thai Quinoa salad with Zesty Lime Dressing

I've got a thing for salads with lots of substance. 
I'm talking about German potato salad full of fresh parsley, dill, and cracked pepper; tortellini salad mounding with chives, grated Parmesan and sunflower seeds; or purple cabbage slaw spotted with bright cilantro and carrots. The more colour the better in my salads! Mitch calls these hearty salads "cold salads", which is a particularly broad title considering all salads are served cold. 

This quinoa salad is right up my alley! There's lots of fresh herbs, a super light dressing full of flavour, and it's packed with veggies I love! It's bright tasting, refreshing and perfect for dinner during the summer - the less I have to turn on the oven in my stuffy apartment for anything other than chocolate chip cookies, the better! And it's pretty easy on the eyes too, hey? Bright salads are so pretty.

This awesome recipe is an adaptation of this one from foodiecrsh.com
I changed the dressing a bit, and adjusted a couple of the ingredients to suit my pantry. Give it a try!

RECIPE & INGREDIENTS
serves 6-10 as a side
  • 1 Cup of dry quinoa
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 small cucumber, seeds removed, chopped
  • 3/4 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil

  • 6 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 Tsp light soy sauce
  • 2 Tsp rice vinegar
Cook the Quinoa, and allow it to cool (a great method for cooking quinoa can be found on the kitchn).
While the quinoa is cooking and cooling, prep all your veggies.
Mix all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl.
Toss veggies and quinoa, and stir in the dressing. Toss until everything is nicely coated.
Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.


Monday, June 15, 2015

Homemade Ice Cream Cake

I am not a big fan of the average Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake. The eerily sweet neon blue icing, gel food colouring in the shape of some creepy cat, or a soccer ball, and that love it or hate it (hate) fudgy bit in the middle. No thanks. 
I remember as a kid, at friend's birthday parties, eating soo much ice cream cake. We'd joke, making crazy faces as we ate the "rabbit turds" in the middle of the vanilla and chocolate slabs. Sorry for the mental image. Every kid did that, right? I guess that memory still plagues my mind. 

My sister's both love DQ cakes. And they're birthdays are only about a week apart. One yesterday. One last week. I've been having cake for what seems like forever! I think that's why I'm getting so up in arms. Tough times, I know. 

But what is this colourful Birthday monstrosity!
When someone has a favourite food you have to deliver on their birthday... Cotton candy ice cream is a favourite for a friend of ours and what better way to present it than as the whole birthday cake! SURPRISE!
This is an ice cream cake I could get used to! Heck, I'm way into it!

Super-sweet cotton candy ice cream, creamy vanilla, and a whole layer of Oreos (!!!). Top it off with a mountain of whipped cream (or cool whip in a Pinch, shhhh). It's nothing but layers of frozen deliciousness; flavours curated by you!

This whole cake comes together 10x faster than a baked cake.  Just freeze and forget about it! Go for a run, watch a movie, buy a birthday present, then it's finished!
Not to mention you can customize this cake to your little ice-creamy-heart's content!
RECIPE & INGREDIENTS 
  • 1 pint of cotton candy (or other) ice cream**
  • 1 pint of vanilla (or other) ice cream
  • 12-18 Oreo (or other) cookies
  • 2 cups of prepared whipped cream or whipped topping
Line the bottom and sides of a tall, round 8" cake pan with a layer of saran wrap.
Begin with your first layer of ice cream, smooth it out along the bottom of the pan, Leaving no gaps.
Then add another layer of a different ice cream.
Lay the Oreo cookies down flat as the next layer.
Cover the cookies with another layer of ice cream.
You may continue layering until you reach the top of your cake pan.
Cover top with saran wrap.
Freeze for at least 8 hours.
When ready to de-pan your cake: remove top layer of saran, place a cake plate over top of it and quickly flip! Inverting your cake. Refreeze for an hour or so just to be sure before icing.
Top with whipping cream and sprinkles.
Freeze until ready to serve!


** Ice Creams with lower sugar and dye contents (chocolate, chocolate chip mint, vanilla, coffee, etc) tend to freeze and harden better. If you're worried about this cake firming up properly stick to lower-sugar flavours (just check the NFT), or at least use a stiffer flavour for the base of your cake. You can see my Cotton Candy pooling after only a minute or two.


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

Long time, no see!
There have been so many factors pulling my attention away from blogging recently; don't worry, all of them positives! 
My Weaving Shop has been taking off more than I could have anticipated! If you follow my instagram, you've seen the mountains of wool I've been working through this Spring! 
My next excuse is that my food choices have shifted quite a bit over the last little while as well (read: less cake, more working out). I'm really working on finding the balance between keeping a healthy house and stocking the kitchen with homemade doughnuts... 
But I'm here with open arms, open arms filled with Peanut Butter Cookies!

These cookies are so, so easy, and they pack a huge protein punch! Over 10 grams per a cookie! Any food with extra protein lately is a big plus in my books!
They do use protein powder in place of a flour, meaning they're also Gluten Free, providing you use GF protein.

The protein I used in this recipe is a particular vegan brand I picked up without tasting first, and honestly... it tastes so gross. Like inedible bad. I've been finding ways recently to sneak it into foods or mask it with bold flavours - just to use it up. These cookies hide the flavour so well! You can't even tell this sweet treat has any kind of protein in it whatsoever, let alone a bad tasting one! So just imagine how good these would be with a yummy one... The lesson here is, don't buy protein based on the price tag, and if you have some protein you're none too pleased with, make some cookies!

Anyway, I've wasted enough time blabbing on about protein, weaves, and tardiness, Let's get right into it!

RECIPE & INGREDIENTS
makes 11-12 cookies
  • 1 cup peanut butter - smooth, natural
  • 1/2 cup (80g) vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl beat the egg whites until frothy. 
In another bowl combine the peanut butter, sugar, protein powder, and baking powder. Mix until completely combined.
Add egg whites and mix until you have a  stiff dough.
Roll into gold ball size balls (30g), and place on a lined baking sheet. 
Using a fork flatten cookies into plump discs. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired. (Always desired.)
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until cookies are browning and dry around the edges.
Allow to cool completely before eating.



Monday, April 27, 2015

No Bake Energy Bites

I'm trying to eat healthier at work. Stress, trying. I've actually been doing pretty well considering I'm surrounded by chocolate. I find what works best for me is to have something else I can snack on when a chocolate craving hits.

These no-bake energy bites have been doing the trick for the last week or so. They're delicious (basically taste like peanut butter cookie dough, ugh, so good!),  and contain all that satisfying fat just like chocolate has, but these bites are packed with protein as well, making them a great alternative to pigging out on empty treats. One will do you as they're pretty dense. If you eat 4 or 5 in one sitting, you've pretty much eaten lunch.

Aside from trying to curb ridiculous chocolate cravings, these bites would make a great classroom snack, or dessert to have with lunch. Camping, or hiking they would make great energy boosting snacks, running out the door as a substitute breakfast (we all have those days). Basically anywhere a granola bar makes sense, these little bites are perfect!
The best thing about these treats is how customizable they are! use any nut butter you want, try different sweeteners, add chocolate chips (if you're not me), dried fruit, different nuts, add protein powder to really rack up the energy points!

RECIPE & INGREDIENTS adopted from Gimme Some Oven
makes approx. 20-22 pieces
98 cals/piece
5.3g fat
10.7g carbs
2.7g protein
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup honey 
  • 1/3 cup chopped roasted almonds
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and form a dough. let this mixture set in the fridge for about 20 minutes. With your hands, form the dough into small balls. You should get around 20 little balls. Leave protein bites covered in the fridge. They will keep for around 2 weeks.



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