Prairie Girl Bakery – New Vegan Cupcakes in Toronto

Vegan Cupcake Toronto - Prairie Girl Bakery - Vanilla Coconut

Prairie Girl Bakery opened it’s first location on King and Victoria in 2011, the same year I moved to Toronto… from the Prairies. The owner is originally from Saskatoon, where I lived for several years, and I appreciate that she takes pride in her Prairie roots, because so do I. Since that time, they have added two more locations, one in First Canadian Place, and one in Yorkville. So when Prairie Girl Bakery reached out last week and said they were launching a line of vegan cupcakes, I couldn’t wait to try them. I really couldn’t. They offered me a free sample pack of mini cupcakes to try, (and full disclosure: I’m totally taking advantage of that offer next week) BUT, I also picked up a half dozen cupcakes this morning to share with friends (because I’m nice like that.) I walked over to their First Canadian Place location (lower level), and thankfully got there before the lunch rush. Their counter person was very friendly and helpful, and the whole process probably only took 4-5 minutes. Conveniently, they had 6 different varieties of vegan cupcakes to choose from; so I got one of each and waited patiently to try them. And when I did, my only complaint was that they were too big (…for me to effectively stuff in my mouth.)

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Things I Love Thursday – Being home and the idea of home. #TILT

Time flies when you’re having fun, and this week back in Toronto has completely flown by. I enjoyed my time in Edmonton greatly, but it’s so good to be back home. I’ve been thinking a lot about “Home” and what that means lately, maybe because I was working on writing wedding vows, maybe because at some point I’ve put roots in Toronto, and maybe, it’s because, after a few months of searching, JC and I found a house and fell in love with it. I’ve always felt very transient. Couchsurfing and hostels and vagabonding around the world  seemed like the ideal way to exist, working from “home” or rather “wherever I had my laptop” allowed me to do this for a few years, but then… here I am. With a desktop computer & a netbook. It’s almost symbolic of my inner thoughts, I’ve got something static, and also something for running around with (and for some increased symbolism… I’ve started to use my desktop computer more.) Recently though, maybe since getting a little older, and finding a nice human to spend time with, I’ve been feeling okay with staying put for long stretches of time. Home is where the heart is, and my heart is here. JC and I found a house in a neighbourhood we love, on a quiet street, close to a giant park, and a giant lake.  But now we wait. We wait to sell the place we live now, we wait to move into the new…

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Things I Love Thursday – Mise En Place, Urban Farming, Foster cats, Vine

Things I love Thursday is here again, and there are lots of things and places and ideas I love, but I’m trying to contain myself. Mise En Place I’ve only recently started employing the Mise-en-place style of baking, and I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long. Baking is basically chemistry, and when I’ve been in the lab (for science), we’d organize most of our supplies, reagents, and tools together in advance, so why not do it in the kitchen as well. Mise En Place is a french phrase pronounced “meez on plaS” meaning everything in place. Or in other words – get your stuff together in advance, and make cooking a whole lot more fun and organized. The Stone Soup blog has a nice list of other benefits of employing the Mise En Place idea to make weekly menus (something I haven’t done), plus there are also delicious mouthwatering pictures of butternut squash related foods (and recipes.) Urban Farming. Urban farming/agriculture is something I’ve been vaguely involved with for years. My mom instilled a love of growing in my from and early age, and while I didn’t really consider it “urban agriculture” when I was out in the horticulture fields in university, it still was. Even though I didn’t consider the city I was living in at the time to be “urban.” Now Toronto is about as urban as it gets, so growing food in the city, with our minimal space, seems (at least superficially) impossible. But once…

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Things I Love Thursday – Middle of June edition.

Sometimes without my reminder on twitter that it’s #TILT day, I would forget it was Thursday. This week has gone by quickly, quicker than usual, for better or worse. Earlier this week I met up with an Edmonton friend at the Pearson International Airport while she was on a layover back from Cancun. I hadn’t realized how much I missed her, and also relatedly – how much I miss Edmonton itself. JC and I had been planning on going to Defcon in Las Vegas this August, but I think we may just go visit my hometown. It’s been nearly two years, and there are so many things about the city and around the city that I want to show him (in addition to Calgary and Banff, maybe Jasper). Plus I’m sure there are new and exciting things going on, and I want to find them. Other than the potential travel at the end of next month, I’m looking forward to the Dufferin Grove Farmers Market today (3-7) and sending out my Foodie Penpals Swap and my Vegan Food swap Packages very soon. More stuff I love:  Squatting 240lbs at Totum yesterday. It’s getting kind of amazing to me how powerful running/walking legs can be. I ran a quick mile and a half on the treadmill, and then thought… I should go home… but instead went back up stairs and did a little bit of weight training. Fitocracy is keeping me motivated. Good Dinners. Businesses involved in supporting organizations and individuals that…

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The Lovemuffin Bakery: Vegan delivery in Toronto

I have ordered from the lovemuffin bakery twice so far. I’m going to say something, and know that I’m very serious when I do. I am over cupcakes. If I never see another cupcake again, I would be okay with that. Muffins are the new cupcake. I felt the same joy and excitement when I saw the big white cake box on our deck as my first order. Long days at work make me lazy, general laziness makes me lazy, so I’m glad services like Tiffinday, Green Earth Organics, and the lovemuffin bakery exist. It’s nice to not have to worry about making or going out for lunch, or to just come home to a box of organic produce or a box of freshly baked cookies and muffins (or recently – quinoa puttanesca and vegan chili.) When I arrived, it was on our deck – ready, and waiting to be opened and eaten. The box and paper bag look a little strange because I intentionally and poorly edited out our address. I first discovered this delivery bakeshop via twitter/facebook, but ultimately what won out was they donated cookies to a bake sale at Pet Value raising funds for Homeless Cat Rescue, and we decided to drive out and try it. Totally proving that having an engaging online presence, supporting worthwhile causes, and making an awesome product go hand in hand in hand to build up a brand. Okay, and now I’ll take off my marketing hat.

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My first taste of The Depanneur supper club – a drop-in dinner.

I had vaguely known about the Rusholme Park Supper Club before last week, but I hadn’t checked them out. A friend from Saskatoon, my former Rosebud Burlesque instructor, and former Toronto resident connected me with a local veg foodie – Emily Z, and it seems she is often the vegan food chef extraordinaire at the supper club. The supper club isn’t all vegan all the time, but they do seem to alternate events. JC was especially excited about the BYOB. (okay, I’m a little excited too.) Supper club memberships cost $40 and include the cost of the meal. Memberships are only valid for one day so the way it works is that you “renew” your membership each time you attend the club. Nice huh?  

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Windsor Arms Vegan Food – In Pictures

We’ve gone to the Windsor Arms (18 Saint Thomas Street – Toronto, Ontario) twice so far, once for brunch a month or so ago, and once for dinner. Brunch was much easier to photograph, unfortunately dinner had a bit too much mood lighting to be conducive to pretty pictures. I think it’s worth going to the Windsor Arms at least once (or twice), if not for the food, then the general dining experience, especially since vegan fine dining experiences can be few and far between depending on where you live. The vegan options at the Windsor arms were developed by Doug McNish, (www.dougmcnish.com) Toronto’s vegan chef extraordinaire. He will soon be releasing a vegan, raw food cookbook called Eat Raw, Eat Well at EcoExistance (766 St. Clair Avenue West at Arlington, Toronto) on Saturday March 31st, go here for more info. I’m looking forward to it, since the title makes me reminisce about the first meal I had from Chef Doug, when he was still at Raw Aura (in Mississauga). Raw lasagna. Yes.

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Recipe for Change – FoodShare – A night in pictures.

Yesterday’s Recipe For Change event was amazing, delicious, and a delight to attend. In addition to being a great experience, it was also for a great cause FoodShare, and in support of their fantastic educational programs and other campaigns. It was a great venue for mingling with food wizards and chefs (and asking them if they were able or willing to cater a vegan wedding…) Here is my evening in pictures where I remembered to snap one: Donna Dooher, Mildred’s Temple Kitchen Vegetable Tagine   Jesús Gomez, FoodShare Vegan Sushi in Savoy Cabbage leaves  

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Gastronomic Adventures – Fressen and BarChef

It’s been non-stop exciting eating lately. A combination of long workdays, family visiting from out of town, curiosity about new places, and over all, just general laziness has contributed to our recent culinary adventures. I’m aiming to try and work in some home cooking soon. I miss making meals, but once I get home, I’m just… tired. Excuses excuses. I’m lazy, the end. Anyway, we went to Fressen and BarChef last Friday, and collectively it was just wonderful. amazing. and a string of other various positive adjectives. Yesterday we wandered into Fressen (478 Queen Steet W, Toronto) at 6:30 and from what I could tell, were the last non-reservation to sit down. We sat near the door and watched them turn several people away. Lucky us. Like many people, I’ve sort of been meh-fressen lately (where lately = almost a year), but this visit turned that around (at least a little bit.) Our server was friendly. This isn’t exactly a common experience dining in Toronto, so it’s important. Yes. Friendly. We started with very awesome drinks (this may have aided the rest of the meal), vegan Ceasar. Absolutely delicious. Spicy, salty, with a good rim. JC, having had real ceasars before (unlike me) said that it “was a good ceasar, but it wasn’t great”. I have no point of comparison, so to me it was just a great drink. We ordered the Eggplant Manacotti and Spinach Blini as our appetizers. The eggplant manacotti was an easy favourite. Thinly sliced seared eggplant turned into…

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Superbowl for two

I feel like I’m in the minority of my friends that actively enjoy and watch the Superbowl every year. This year was no different. Amongst dozens of Facebook posts and hundreds of tweets with anti-football sentiment. Well, I’ll just come out and say it – we watched it, and enjoyed it, and possibly even bet on it (and won). What helped make the evening even more fun was the multilayer dip JC and I made together. Re-fried beans, cilantro-y guacamole, a melty pepper-jack cheese sauce made with Daiya, fresh salsa, Tofutti sour cream, olives, tomatoes and chopped up scallions. It was great and lasted for a few days. We also picked up a few packages of Gardien Buffalo and Barbecue wings from Panacea, but didn’t make many on Sunday. We had beer from two local brewery’s – Beau’s Organic and Mill Street. I’ve said I’m not really a fan of beer, but it’s grown on me over the years, especially these two. We tried the Beau’s Organic for the first time at the Conscious Food Festival this summer, and I’ve loved it ever since. After the weekend, Monday disappeared. A busy workday, followed by a strange urge to clean the house. Of course, since then I’ve since started looking for local green cleaning service. I actually really enjoy cleaning, but these days there seem to be fewer and fewer hours in the day as I start participating in classes and volunteering more often. My issue with cleaning companies is that…

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