29 September 2011

caramelized onion crostini


{crostini}

m’s not going to be happy with me when he gets home from work today.  don’t worry i didn’t do anything terribly  wrong.  i didn’t shrink his favourite sweater, or make a dozen cupcakes and give them all away {he gets so jealous when i do that!}, or heaven forbid, eat the last of the marmite.

but i did caramelize onions.  a whole lot of onions.  and therefore our entire house smells like onions.  even his favourite sweater.  and pillow.  sorry honey!  xo

i got a craving for an appetizer my parents started making a few years back which is very simple, but the flavours are amazing!  crunchy and chewy baguette… smooth, creamy cheese… tangy dijon …. and sweet and salty caramelized onions.  i’ve adjusted this from my parents version only slightly as they use cow's cheese, so i used a little smear of vegan cream cheese.  i’m sure a creamy, nut cheese would also be nice here.

{caramelized onion crostini}

caramelized onion crostini
makes 10-12 pieces
½ whole grain baguette
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
vegan cream cheese
dijon mustard {either whole grain or smooth}
4 medium cooking onions
sea salt

peel the onions and cut them in half.  then placing the cut side down, slice the onions into little rainbow arcs.  {feel free to insert a double rainbow joke here.  but between watching the double rainbow clip and the onions, try not to let your mascara run.}

once all of the onions are sliced up, heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a big {wide and shallow} skillet or frying pan.  add the onions and a good couple pinches of sea salt and stir them as they sizzle and begin to soften over medium-high heat.  once the onions are all coated with oil and softened {about 5-10 minutes}, turn the heat down to low.  allow the onions to cook slowly and brown, stirring every few minutes.  the longer they cook, the more their sugars will release and the more they’ll caramelize.  mmmm… caramel..  the whole process will take about an hour. 

and this is why my house now smells of onion!

{almost there}

make sure you sample the onions as you go – you’ll know when they’re good and ready.  but try not to eat them all though before they make it out of the pan.  {i’m not proud of it, but i’ve done this before and then had to start all over.}  as the onions brown and start to stick to the bottom of the pan, you can add a tablespoon or two of water to deglaze the pan.  also, some folks swear by adding sugar or honey or maple to their caramelized onions - i find they're sweet enough on their own, but go for it if you like it!

{caramelized goodness}

slice the baguette into slices about an inch thick.  if you'd like them toasted, brush them lightly with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet.  place in the oven under the broiler to toast – watch these carefully, or not only will your house smell of onions, but also of burnt toast!

to assemble, top each piece of bread with a smear of cream cheese, followed by a small dab of mustard and top with the onions.  if you really like that dijon tang, you can always add another dollop on top too.

{crostini trio}

this is great appetizer for when you're having guests - unless of course it turns out that your guests don't like onions.  what's that m?  you hate caramelized onions?  oh, i must have forgotten... - oh well, i guess i'll have to eat them all by myself.  
 
{don't mind if i do}

on another note:  
thank you to everyone who shared their feedback on the blog, via twitter & email as to what my vegan mofo them should be!  it was a close race, but it seems that a few more votes went to a cupcake and kale themed month!  for everyone who was rooting for finger-foods, this crostini today goes out to you.

so hurray, let's go vegan mofo!  i'm looking forward to the month and to following along with all of the other bloggers! 

xo
jess

27 September 2011

plum galette

oh martha, you had me at galette.

{you had me at galette}

i picked up a basket of some gorgeous plums at the market on sunday morning, and aside from eating a bunch of them while wandering the market, i wasn't exactly sure what i wanted to make with them.  so i did what we all do every now and then.  i looked to martha.

and do you know what she told me?  that i was good enough, smart enough and able enough to make a galette.  which is nothing more than a fancy name for a rustic {read: easy!} pie.  i've always found these rustic, open-faced pies to be so gorgeous but i'd never made one.  yet.

i made my dough yesterday and refrigerated it so that it would be ready to go for a quick assembly this morning.  what a breakfast treat!  m was very please with me.  i was also very please with me.

{warm from the oven}

i made a few adjustments to martha's recipe.  verdict?  delightful.  the crust was just a little sweet with a lovely crumb and the almond meal gave the filling a nice sturdy base to sit on whithout soaking the bottom.  but the plums stole the show - they were so sweet and juicy and i loved the little hint of nutmeg i added.

rustic plum galette, based on this recipe from martha stewart
serves 8
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
1/2 cup buckwheat flour + 2 tbsp
1 cup cold earth balance margarine, cut into pieces
4 tbsp + 1 tsp organic cane sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
nutmeg for dusting
1/2 cup ice water
1/4 cup raw almonds
5 or 6 fresh, local plums
1 tbsp almond milk


{sweet plums}

{dough, rolled}

{plums, arranged}

{edged, folded}

to make the pastry, combine the flours, earth balance, salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar.  pulse to combine until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.  sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the ice water and pulse again.  add more ice water as need be a tablespoon at a time until the dough is crumbly but will hold together if you squeeze it between two fingers.  {i found i only needed 1 tablespoon of ice water after the 1/4 cup.}  remove the dough and shape it into a disk, being careful not to handle it too much, then wrap it in plastic and place it in the fridge to chill at least 1 hour.

clean out the food processor and add the almonds, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 tsp cardamom, and 2 tablespoons of flour and pulse until it's a coarse meal.  set aside.  wash, pit and slice up your plums.

once the dough has chilled, roll it out on a floured surface to be about a 1/4 inch thick.  transfer it to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  spread the almond mixture onto the dough, then pile on the plums leaving about a 2 inch boarder.  {you can be fancy with the fruit placement, or throw them on haphazardly - really, either way it's going to look and taste amazing.}  now for my favourite part, fold up the dough over the fruit towards the middle.  sprinkle with nutmeg.  place this in the oven to chill, and preheat the oven to 350f.  brush the edges of the crust with almond milk and sprinkle the galette with 1 tablespoon of sugar.  bake it until the crust is golden and the underside is cooked through, about 70 minutes.


{fresh plums + a flaky crust}

{yes please}

eat this for dessert, eat this with tea, or do as we did and eat it for breakfast.  this really was such a simple recipe but one to impress for sure.  thanks martha for that little boost of self confidence i needed this morning.

"anyone can master this recipe." was all i needed to hear.

26 September 2011

weekend wrap up & your help

oh, hello!  i hope you had a fun-filled weekend like it did.  here's some of the fun i got up to in the past few days.

i baked a bazillion vegan cupcakes for a 10-year anniversary and also for a wedding. 

{a fraction of the bazillion}

i attended some films screening at cinefest, and saw my good friends win an award for 'best in shorts' for their film the standoff.  the film was made by friends, staring friends and with the help of friends.  and it was all shot locally.  here's the trailer {look for the cameo our record shop makes!}

we went to a late-night party that's part of cinefest known as the 'pit party'.  we were bussed out to an outdoor party that literally takes place along an open mine.  lots of slag dancing ensued. 

{slag dancefloor}

i enjoyed some yummy smoothies and wondered why i haven't always included a nub of fresh ginger in my morning drinks.  so good!

{lemon, ginger, parsley, banana & mango}

and also cooked up some yummy eats including this galette.  but more to come on that later....

{plum galette}


now that you're all caught up on me, i need your help!  i'd really like to participate in vegan mofo this year but i'm at a loss for a theme.  you don't actually need a theme to participate, but it seems that everyone else has one so i want one too! 

SO i was thinking of going with one of the following options and i want you to help me decide!

{option 1} cupcakes or kale ~ for a blog called cupcakes and kale i don't have nearly enough recipes of those two things, so for the month, every post would be either cupcake related or kale related.

{option 2} finger foods ~ i love appies and hors d'oevres and i love eating with my hands so it'd be a month of all things that can be eaten without cutlery.  or chopsticks.

{option 3} ...well, if you have any ideas that you'd like to see from me, i'm open to that as well!!

the deadline to register for mofo is the 28th so it'd be great to hear from you soon!  so if you're reading this {yes you!} and haven't commented before, now's your chance - what would you like to see from me and cupcakes and kale???

xo
jess

23 September 2011

spaghetti squash rainbow salad

this week i cooked up a massive spaghetti squash from my csa - actually that's a lie, it was so big that i only cooked half of it!  the rest is waiting patiently in the fridge to be enjoyed over the weekend.  with the first bit we had a yummy spaghetti squash bolognese but we only got through half of what i cooked because each quarter of the squash yielded 4 cups of cooked 'noodles'!

the leftover 4 cups came in handy today when i wanted to make a quick lunch for myself and m.  he's busy working in the record store today and i'm baking cupcakes all day for a friend's wedding tomorrow.  {and my fingers are crossed that they get a bit of sun for their outdoor ceremony!}


{spaghetti squash rainbow salad}

this salad came together really quickly because i already had cooked spaghetti squash on hand, but with an hour's prep you can make it too - and that hour is pretty much yours to enjoy since once the squash is in the oven baking it doesn't need any attention.


{rainbow for two}

spaghetti squash rainbow salad
serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side
4 cups cooked spaghetti squash
1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
1/4 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup green kale, shredded
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
4 tbsp capers
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp caper brine {optional}
sea salt & pepper

to cook the spaghetti squash, slice it in half lengthwise from end to end.  place each half cut side down on a baking sheet lined with tin foil and bake in a preheated oven at 375f for 45 minutes to 1 hour.  remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the squash to cool a bit before handling it.  then, flip it over and scoop out the seeds {these should come away quite easily}.  i put my seeds aside to wash and toast later.  then gently with a fork, scrape away the flesh from the squash and watch in amazement as strands of spaghetti-like threads appear!  {next time i'll have to take photos of this too because it really is a sight to behold if you've never cooked a spaghetti squash before!}

the salad can be quickly assembled by combining all the ingredients in a large bowl and tossing to coat evenly with the oil, lemon and brine {if using}.  season to taste with sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  if you're using fresh-baked squash and enjoying this dish warm, then assemble things right before serving.  if you'll be using squash that's fully cooled, the salad can be prepared an hour or two in advance and kept in the fridge.

{bring on the squash}

i loved the different colours and textures this dish offers.  there's a nice crunch from the cabbage & bell pepper, a slight chew from the kale and little bursts of briney goodness from the capers.  all that against a sweet, tender background of spaghetti squash.  yum.

i hear that some folks aren't keen on capers?  if you count yourself as one of them, some chopped sundried tomatoes would be nice in this dish too.


have yourselves a lovely few days & happy weekend!
xo
jess

{shared at ricki's wellness weekend}

22 September 2011

apple cider doughnuts

oh me, oh my, i made doughnuts again!

"again?!",  you say?  "but there's never been mention of doughnuts on cupcakes and kale before!"  

{doughnuts!}

well dear friends, this is only because when i make them they don't last long enough to photograph.  actually, it has more to do with the fact that sometimes when baking something i don't leave myself enough time to take pictures before i run out the door with them. {vegan doughnuts i've learned are very well received at potlucks!}

i got my beloved doughnut pan back in july and have whipped up probably 4 batches using this recipe.  from all of the reviews it seems to be the ''go-to'' base recipe.  i've been wanting to get creative with some more elaborate flavours {and still hope to do so!} but when i spied apple cider doughnuts this week on peas and thank you, i knew that there was one more recipe that needed trying before i make up some wacky kale doughnuts.  {scared yet?  just checking to see if you were still reading!}
 

{cider doughnuts, stacked}
 
if you follow the link to the recipe you'll see that my doughnuts turned out a little darker than the originals because i spotted some local buckwheat flour at the co-op again.  yippee!

you can find the recipe here.  my only deviation from the original is that i used 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour in place of the whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 cup of a gluten-free flour blend + 1/4 tsp of xanthan gum place of the all purpose.  that means these little cuties are gluten-free!

these were just as i thought they would be - soft and chewy with warm, homey fall flavours thanks to the cinnamon, nutmeg and of course, apple cider.  they were a wee bit more dense than other baked doughnuts i've made but i sort of loved that about them!  oooh, and that rich molasses... blackstrap has so much flavour and iron & calcium too by the way!

{one of these things is not like the other}

{yum}

you should definitely try these out for size.  and if you don't have a doughnut pan yourself you can make them as muffins!

now if you'll excuse me, i have doughnuts to eat photograph.

20 September 2011

melon salad with maple & lime

i have a confession.  i've been hoarding melons.

i've been slacking on sharing my weekly csa deliveries with you {sorry about that}, but for the past 3 or 4 weeks we've been getting melons in our shares!  the first melon of the season i got was a gorgeous little watermelon.  that one didn't last long, but i've been squirling away my melons since then.

it's always blown my mind a bit that up here in northern ontario we're actually able to grow melons!  {and for the record, by "we" i mean my farmers - i've tried planting watermelons a few times and to no avail}

{melon trifecta}

this morning i sliced up three gorgeous melons for breakfast: a honeydew, a cantaloupe and an ananas.  this is the first year that our csa farm have grown ananas melons.  they are an heirloom variety that produces a light netted rind like a cantaloupe but with a light, ivory flesh that is firm and smells just like a fresh pineapple, hence its name, which is french for pineapple.  they're also amazing!  i love the pineapple essence!


{melons, clockwise from top left: honeydew, ananas, cantaloupe}

you may notice that my honeydew melon looks a bit like a pale cantaloupe - that i can't explain, but the rind looked just like a honeydew {smooth and pale green} and the flavour was accurate too!

these sweet melons really didn't need anything additional, but i couldn't resist adding a squeeze of fresh lime, a drizzle of local maple syrup & some fresh cilantro.  what a refreshing way to start the day!

melon salad with maple & lime
1/2 cantaloupe melon
1/2 honeydew melon
1/2 ananas melon
1/2 lime
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped

seed and chop the melons and place them in a bowl along with the cilantro.  whisk together the maple syrup and the juice of half a lime and pour over the melon.  toss to coat and serve. 


{melons, dressed}

{a sweet morning start}

light, sweet, tangy and delicious.


have you ever tried an ananas melon or any other heirloom varieties?

16 September 2011

borscht

ahhh, good old borsht.  beet soup.  it's russian, it's polish, it's ukranian, it's jewish, it's yummy.  it can be cooling in the summer or warming on a cool autumn day.  and really?  what's not to love about a bowl of pink soup?

it's another cool one today and there's risk of a frost again overnight {really mother nature, why you gotta be like that?} so i'm gonna let it warm me today. 

i think it's hard to go wrong with a gorgeous vegetable soup such as this, so if you don't have enough of one of the vegetables, go ahead anyway - it's bound to be delicious and healthy!  also, most borscht recipes call for a couple potatoes, but i didn't want my soup to be too heavy so i left them out - but if you're a fan, go ahead and add those too, the more the merrier!


{borscht}

borscht inspired by the amazing beets in my csa this week, this recipe & ralph
makes 6 servings
1 small yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
3 or 4 beets
2 big or 4 small carrots {not baby carrots silly, the real deal}
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 head of cabbage
4-5 cups of liquid {vegetable stock or water or a combination of both}
the juice of 1 lemon
3-4 tbsp bragg's liquid aminos
sea salt
coarsely ground black pepper
cubed avocado, vegan sour cream or thick cashew cream for serving

i used my beloved kitchen aid food processor to shred all of the vegetables, but if you don't have one you can still proceed, just slice everything by hand into thin julienne strips.

peel the onion and cut it in half.  place it in the food processor fitted with the s-blade along with the garlic and pulse it until they're diced up.  heat the oil in your soup pot and saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes.  switch to the grating blade and grate the carrots, beets and cabbage.  {there's no need to do this in a particular order to avoid the beets staining the other vegetables, since they're all going into the same pot}.  add these to the pot and stir to soften them.  once they have been sauteing about 5 minutes, slowly add in the liquid.

simmer, covered for about 20 minutes.  at this point i pureed half of the soup in my blender {or if you have an immersion blender go ahead and use that} but you can skip this step if you want to maintain a chunky texture.   i scooped out about half of the soup in batches and blended in my blender before returning to the big pot.  stir in the lemon juice and bragg's.  taste, and then season to your liking with sea salt & pepper {if you use a packaged broth you'll likely not need much salt, if any}.  serve with a dollop of vegan sour cream, thick cashew cream or some cubed avocado. 


{toasty warm}
  
mmmm, i feel warmer already...

and ralph, if you happen to be reading this, i've got 3 jars of borscht in the freezer for you!  

happy weekend!
xo
jess

15 September 2011

mexican hot chocolate & irish moss

is it too early for hot cocoa season?  either way, i had a chill today so i made some.  it was warm, and creamy and full of sea veggies.  ..... WHAT?!?  

whoa mama!  that's right - i said sea veggies.  this little cup of chocolate love comes to you thanks to a dose of irish sea moss!

{mexican hot chocolate with a secret ingredient}

i've actually noticed irish moss mentioned in a couple recipe listings recently {mostly here}, but i frankly had no idea what it was.  when i showed up for meghan telpner's cooking demo last saturday at the toronto vegetarian food festival and found out that she'd be focusing on irish moss i was so excited! meghan showed us how once prepared, this sea veggie can create thick, rich, and creamy soups & beverages.

here's a little bit about irish moss {source}:
~ it's loaded with minerals and vitamins including sulphur compounds, protein, iodine, bromine, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, pectin, b-vitamins vitamin c
~ soothing to mucous membranes
~ it can ease gastritis, nausea, heartburn, indigestion, etc
~ antibacterial, antiviral, and anticoagulant properties
~ topically it can soothe eczema,  sunburn and chapped skin
~ long recognized for its ability to cure and abate the symptoms of colds and flu
~ contains several natural antimicrobial and anti viral agents
~ can improve thyroid functioning
~ and it makes soups, milks & desserts rich and creamy

sounds pretty awesome, right?  i thoughts so too so i bought myself some from meghan herself.  this stuff is crazy beans!  

{irish moss}

{don't get your nose too close!}

today i cracked the bag.  it smelled seriously of seaside and felt gritty with sand between my fingers. 

{dried irish sea moss}

i followed the preparation directions, and after a few rinses and a little cold water soak, it was gritty no more.  i could have followed the raw soaking directions but that would have meant 24 hours of waiting and i was not feeling that patient, so instead i prepared the moss using the cooked method, simmering it in water for 15 minutes.  the results were a swollen, water-logged, gelatinous mess.  it was seriously not pretty looking.  i drained it and placed it aside to cool.  a warning for anyone squimish about textures - beware of this one and use a fork to handle it.  it kinda grossed me out.

i got over myself though and made a yummy mug of mexican hot chocolate with it! 

{secret's out}

mexican hot chocolate adapted from meghan telpner's demo recipe for chocolate milk
makes one big mug
1 cup almond milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp maca root powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
agave or maple syrup to sweeten {i used about 2 tsp of agave}
1/2 - 1 tbsp prepared irish moss {find both the raw & cooked preparation methods here}

blend all of the ingredients together in a blender on high for a few minutes, until the chocolate milk is completely smooth.  add the contents to a small saucepan and heat gently and serve.

{marshmallow love}

mmmm...  it was smooth and silky and i loved the added warmth from the spices.  i had mine topped with mini sweet & sara marshmallows.  hurray for vegan marshmallows!

{scooping out marshmallows is the best part}

i got distracted half-way through my mug and when i came back to it i noticed that it had started to thicken as it cooled, but i just popped it in the microwave to reheat it and it returned to it's original consistency.  irish moss you are a tricky gal...
 

what about you?  have you tried irish moss before?  if so, do you prefer to use it in savoury dishes or sweet treats?


{ shared at ricki's wellness weekend }

13 September 2011

raw cashew alfredo

yesterday i gushed about my first trip to the toronto vegetarian food festival and some of the eats & treats i took in over the weekend.  sadly i couldn't taste everything i would have liked to - i think  i would have needed at least 3 more days to have eaten from all of the vendors that tempted me with wafting smells of vegan deliciousness!  one of the vendors i missed was nzyme, a raw food resto that is relatively new to downtown oakville.  among their offerings was a zucchini spaghetti alfredo.  yum.  i love zucchini noodles with pesto and since zucchini keep coming my way by way of garden, gifts & csa, i decided to make my own version of a raw alfredo!

i've actually never tried made alfredo before because back in my dairy days i wasn't a fan of white sauces, but i love cashews and figured with a thick cashew cream base, i would love this.  i'm calling this raw because i didn't heat any of the ingredients, but being that i'm not an experienced raw foodie, i don't know if this would actually fit the strict "raw" mold due to the addition of miso & nutrional yeast.  (can anyone out there answer this for me?)  

{raw cashew alfredo}

this was such a yummy lunch.  the alfredo sauce was rich and creamy and had a nice salty tang from the miso.  i used dehydrated garlic granules because fresh raw garlic upsets my stomach, but if you're fine with it, i would suggest using a fresh local clove of garlic instead.

raw zucchini pappardelle alfredo
alfredo sauce
makes aproximately 3/4 cup sauce
1/3 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp miso paste {i used white miso}
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oli
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dried garlic granules
fresh cracked black pepper, about 20 turns of a pepper mill

rinse and drain the cashews and place them in a blender or food processor along with 1/4 cup of the water. {i used my food processor because my blender is not high-powered and is not a happy camper when blending thick sauces.}  process until the cashews reach a thick, smooth consistency, stopping to scrape down the sides along the way and adding a bit more of the water if needed a teaspoon at a time.

add in the remaining ingredients, except for the water and blend.  adjust the sauce to a consistency you like adding the remaining water a bit at a time.  you should end up with a fairly thick sauce.  if you'd like to thin it out more, continue to add water a bit at a time until you're happy with the creamy cashew goodness.

zucchini papparedelle
2-3 large zucchini, or enough to feed the alfredo loving masses

wash the zucchini and then using a vegetable peeler, peel off one noodle at a time, turning the zucchini as you go.  continue peeling the zucchini noodles until you reach the seeds.  if you have a spiralizer, then this process will be much easier and you'll end up instead with zucchini spaghetti.

toss the noodles with the alfredo sauce and serve!

{raw zucchini alfredo}
 
{rich & creamy}

{dressed with sage and pepper}

raw or not, it was delicious and both m & i gave it two thumbs up.  i think this will be really good heated as well over a warm bowl of pasta...mmmm, doesn't that sound cozy?

12 September 2011

weekend wrap up

i am back in the north today after an amazing, whirlwind weekend at the 27th annual toronto vegetarian food festival.  i'm a little tired, still a little full, likely 2 pounds heavier, but i my spirit and mind feel so nourished after having taken in 2 days surrounded by hundreds, if not thousands of fellow vegetarians and vegans.  

to sum up, my weekend included: two 4 1/2 hour car rides to get there & and back {made much shorter with the company of of two lovely ladies}, $35 in parking, copious amounts of product samples,  many cupcakes, a headache-healing hostess {who also makes a mean superfood smoothie}, some wonderful speakers, a world film premier {go see vegucated if you have the chance!}, new friends, cooking demos {including the cutest mini raw mint oreo cookies ever!}, lots of happy vegan kids and families & a whole lot of sunshine.

here are a few shots of the weekend -- and i mean "few", as i hardly took my camera out.  mostly because my hands were full of cupcakes for the better part of the weekend.  i kid you not.

{sunshine and happy vegans}

{vegan dim sum}

{a lovely peach from front door organics}

{curry combo courtesy govinda's}

{best answer ever.}

{dear bloomer's bakery: yum}

{stuffing my face with a bloomer's butter pecan cupcake}

{bunner's cinnamon toast love}

{raw vegan blizzard trio at nicole & lisa's demo}

{mint oreo blizzard}

not recorded on photograph, but one of my highlights for sure were the in-the-flesh hellos i got to share with some incredible ladies.  lisa, nicole, danielle & ricki - - it was SO wonderful to meet you, even if ever so briefly!

and can i just take another minute here for cupcake love?  not only did i get to oogle gorgeous cupcakes from a plethora of vegan bakeries, and i sampled as many as my waistband would allow, but i also got to meet the one and only terry hope romano, co-author of vegan cupcakes take over the world after she rocked out some roaring metal vitamix spins!  and then sampled some delicious cheesecake she baked for the demo as the teaser to her new book, vegan pie in the sky.  sigh.  amazing. 

thanks toronto,
see you soon.