Nomination for VBA (Versatile Blogger Award)

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Less than two months ago I decided to start a blog. I must admit it isn’t easy. Finding the time and material is harder than you think. But I have been enjoying seeing the readers comment and like my post.
Recently Adventures of a Part Time Vegetarian nominated me for a VBA – Versatile Blogger Award.
Thank you so very much for the nomination. I am so flattered as I just started blogging less than two months ago and it’s nice to know people are reading and enjoying my blog.

My nominees are:
1. http://adventuresparttimevegetarian.wordpress.com
2. http://fearlessfoodandfitness.wordpress.com/
3. http://ibellhop.com/
4. http://healthyhohme.wordpress.com/
5. http://theoddspot.net/
6. http://bunnykitchen.com/
7. http://deliciouslyelegant.wordpress.com/
8. http://fashionfoodandflirts.wordpress.com/
9. http://teresalamaltesa.wordpress.com/
10. http://lacenruffles.com/
11. http://forestmtnhike.wordpress.com/
12. http://willdothedishes.com/
13. http://alotonyourplate.wordpress.com/
14. http://teaandscandal.com/
15. http://andieduncan.wordpress.com/

Seven Things about me:
1. I have two froston dogs (half Frenchie, half Boston terrier)
2. I dislike the taste of watermelon
3. My favorite colour is purple
4. I love lavender
5. I have never lived in another province or country
6. I love going to restaurants
7. Herbal tea is my favorite type of tea

The rules are to:
1) Display the award certificate on your blog
2) Link back to the person who nominated you
3) Present 15 awards to 15 deserving bloggers
4) Inform your nominees that you have nominated them
5) Write 7 random facts about yourself

Tea Time

TGIF!!
Super excited my teas from Davids Tea arrived!!! I love my teas! Can you tell?

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You have to check out the holiday gift sets David’s Tea currently has to offer.
I was reviewing the Winter Tea Menu and noticed that you can make cakes, cookies, and cocktails using their tea. Have any of you tried using tea in recipes? If so, how did it turn out? I’m interested in knowing what you created. Please share.

Wednesday Wish List (Cookbook Edition)

I know, I know, I’m terrible, yet again another late Wednesday Wish List post. I’m sorry readers!
I said it before, and I will say it again…better late then never right?!
I decided to share some creative cookbooks which I really enjoy and I think you will too. These are great gifts for the hostesses you know! They will really be impressed when you hand them one of these cookbooks.

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Sprinkles Bakes is a great baking blog. All of her creations are stunning and her recipes always turn out when I try them.

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Smitten Kitchen came out with this cookbook last year. So perhaps you already have it, and if you do you know exactly what I mean when I say this cookbook has great recipes. Plus 85 of the 105 recipes are vegetarian!

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I really, really heart this cookbook. Sprouted Kitchen is another food blogger that created a cookbook. Her recipes never disappoint. She takes whole, real foods and creates amazing, unique dishes.

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I’m super disappointed I couldn’t get a reservation at French Laundry or Ad Hoc while in California this summer. So what’s the best next thing? The cookbook! Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc cookbookoffers great comfort food recipes you can make at home!
Looking through all these cookbooks are making me super hungry!

Immune Boosting Juice

Brrrrrrr….So today was a bit cold in Toronto – right? Some places within Ontario got quite a bit of snow.
What’s unfortunate about the colder months is the colds and flus come out. I was feeling a bit low in energy when I got back from work, and so I decided to make a juice crammed packed with vitamins to help boost my immune system.

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Ingredients:
-cup of water
-juice of one lemon
-2 carrots peeled and chopped
-1 apple cored and chopped
-2 cloves of garlic
-piece of ginger peeled
-8 leafs of kale

Directions:
-place all of the above-noted ingredients in your vitamix blender, in the order noted above.
-Mix on high.
-drink it!!

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Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

While in Santa Cruz we stopped to grab a bite to eat at The Picnic Basket where we enjoyed some delicious sandwiches. After devouring the sandwiches we had to try the ice cream they had which was from The Penny Ice Creamery. They make small batches of ice cream from scratch using local and in season ingredients only. I tried their fresh mint dark chocolate ice cream. It was the best ice cream I had ever had. Everyday thereafter I wanted more of it. So when I finally came home I had to somehow replicate the recipe.
Finally, after searching the net, I found a recipe that provided me with a similar taste. I apologize for the out of focused photo, but it was had to put the spoon down.

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I adapted this recipe from David Lebovitz blog
Has anyone else tried ice cream made by The Penny Ice Creamery? If so, which was you’re favourite flavour?

Wednesday Wish List

Like it or not the holiday madness has begun. The shops have decorated their windows with festive decorations and the Christmas carols are being played. So I think my Wednesday Wish Lists may contain some helpful gift ideas now till December 25th. Which may make it easier for all the Secret Santa’s out there.
And I know I am not alone when I say this, but there is nothing more I enjoy than comfy p-jays and warm tea after a long day, and most importantly a good night’s sleep. The following wish list items will be sure to make you feel rested and energized in the morning.

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These cute long Jane p-jays can be picked up at Victoria’s Secret

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I’m loving this luxury loose leaf tea from Sloane Tea Company

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Anthropoglie

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Do you have a busy mind and tension in your neck and shoulder? Then you need to pick up Mind Mist from Clementine Fields

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I love everything in this shop, especially anything Lavender L’Occitane

20131106-214828.jpg Add a few drops to your wrists and temples for a good night’s sleep. Aromatic Bed Time

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My final wish list item is something I will be dreaming about for a while. I found a luxury resort in Bali called Escape Haven. This women’s retreat focuses on clean eating, yoga, fitness and surfing all while being in paradise.

Homemade Dog Treats

So at times, I can be your equivalent to a crazy cat lady, but instead of cats, I got two dogs.
It was Edna’s birthday over the weekend, and of course, I needed to do something to celebrate her bday! So I made her some dog treats. I know, I know… It sounds a little cray, cray, but look how cute they are, how could I resist!

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My other dog Luna has an allergy to pretty much everything, so I need to be very careful what I give her and this treat sounded tolerable for her. Sure enough it was. Luna felt fine after consuming 5 or 6 of these wheat-free treats.

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I slightly adapted this recipe from Life with Lulu’s blog

Ingredients:
One boiled and mashed sweet potato
2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
1 egg
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup of rice flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl mix the flax seeds, cinnamon, parsley, sweet potato and egg and mix well. Then add your rice flour and mix well with your hands, add another two tablespoons if you find the dough a little too sticky.

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Then on a floured, clean surface use a rolling pin and roll out until 1/4 inch thick.

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I had some bone shaped cookie cutters or you can use a pizza cutter to cut even squares.
Place all the cut outs on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Remember to let these cool completely prior to giving them to Fido.
I’m sure your dog is going to love these.

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Flourless Orange Chocolate Cake

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Oh ya chocolate cake!! I found this cake to be a hybrid of brownie and cake.
You guys are really going to enjoy this recipe. While on my travels to Carmel, California, I found this great olive oil store, Trio Carmel. They have an extensive list of fine olive oils and balsamic vinegars. The shop even recommends pairings of the olive oils with the vinegars.
A must is their blood orange olive oil. The citrus notes add a subtle taste of orange, without being overpowering.
Trio Carmel offered this chocolate cake recipe at their shop.

Ingredients:
5 oz quality bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup TRIO CARMEL blood orange olive oil
1/2 cup of sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of cocoa powder
Pinch of sea salt

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 F
Grease a 8 inch round pan and line with parchment paper.
In a double boiler melt the bittersweet chocolate and olive oil. Remove from heat and whisk in salt and sugar. Add one egg at a time whisking well after each addition. Sift in cocoa powder and whisk until well combined.
Pour batter into pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes.
Let cool for 5 minutes.
Drizzle some more olive oil on top and serve.