Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Waffle Wednesday - Gluten Free Chocolate Quinoa Cupcake Waffles

Chocolate quinoa cupcake waffles? It's a bit of a tongue-twister, I know, but pretty delicious. Wednesdays are turning into my favourite food day.

The idea was born from Corbin's birthday cupcakes."Can we turn cupcakes into waffles?"

Yes lovie, I think we can.

We topped them with berries and bananas, but they'd be extra super delicious with cherries too. Or ice cream. But I think most things are made even better with ice cream! These guys are also full of quinoa which means they're packed with protein and don't require any fancy flours or ingredients, which is nice! We also threw everything into the Vitamix to mix things together which made for an easy peasy clean up. So many wins!

gluten free waffles #loverevolution


Gluten Free Chocolate Quinoa Cupcake Waffles
Gluten, dairy and soy free
Makes 4-5 waffles

2 cups cooked quinoa
1/3 c. almond milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. organic sugar
1/2 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 banana

Heat up your waffle iron

Add all ingredients to a high powered blender or food processor and mix until well combined

Once everything is combined, let the mixture rest for 10-15 minutes. It helps to thicken the waffle batter.

Lightly coat the waffle iron with coconut oil

Pour waffle batter onto the waffle iron so that it is about 3/4 full. This waffle doesn't rise or spread as much (and is a bit more of a denser waffle) so you don't have to worry as much about it going over the sides

Cook waffles to desired crispiness. We cooked ours for about 14 minutes. These waffles won't be crispy right away like other waffles, but will crisp up more if you let them rest after you remove them from the waffle iron.

Remove waffle and top as desired! I topped mine with sauteed bananas and melted peanut butter

while Corbin chose to top his with berries mixed with a bit of agave.


Both were delicious!!

More waffles are around the corner. Next up: savory waffles!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Waffle Wednesday - Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon Waffles

Years ago my younger brother and I happened upon an episode of Bear in the Big Blue House. The bear looked right into the camera, sniffed the camera and said "You smell warm, like a waffle". We laughed and laughed and still reference that moment to this day. I have no idea why it's so funny to us, but it's great.

While I'm not sure that I could identify the smell of the warmth of a waffle, I do know that I really enjoy waffles, but since going gluten free (5 years ago!) I don't eat them very often. 

Corbin and I do a lot of cooking together and for one another. He's pretty much a professional at breakfast and has told me about brunch parties he's hosted where the waffle maker has come out. Feeling envious of the waffle fun, I decided that we needed to create a delicious gluten free waffle, thereby creating "Waffle Wednesday". 

This is the first of our gluten free waffle creations and I have to say, we were both pretty stoked with the result. These waffles are crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside and the caramelized apple topping makes them taste like a healthier version of Apples Jacks (that weird green-hued apple-cinnamon flavored breakfast cereal from your childhood).

waffle Wednesday, gluten free waffles

Apple Cinnamon Waffles (aka Apple Jack Waffles)
Gluten, dairy and soy free
Makes 4 large waffles

Waffles
1 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. sorghum flour
1/4 c. tapioca flour
1/4 c. arrowroot
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 c. almond milk
1/2 c. coconut oil (plus a bit more for the waffle iron
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla

Apple Topping
1-2 granny smith apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon 

Directions

Heat up your waffle iron

Mix together all dry ingredients for the waffles

In a separate bowl mix together wet ingredients and then add them to the dry

Once well combined, let the mixture rest for 10-15 minutes. Don't skip this step! It helps the batter to thicken which will make a better waffle - we promise

While batter is resting, heat coconut oil in a pan for the apple topping. Add apples, maple syrup and cinnamon and saute until the apples are softened and are caramelized

Lightly coat the waffle iron with coconut oil. Ensure surface of iron is covered, but you don't need to use a tonne

Pour waffle batter onto greased waffle iron so that it is 2/3 - 3/4 full. Err on the side of less so that waffle batter doesn't flow over the sides

#wafflewednesday gluten free

Close waffle iron and let the waffles cook to your desired crispiness. Don't be impatient and open the waffle iron too early because you will rip apart your waffle and that will be tragic. Ours took about 7 minutes to get crispy.

Remove waffle and top with apples and additional maple syrup

If you want to save some waffles for another day, undercook them a little bit (so they are less crispy on the outside), put them into a container and freeze them. When you want to eat them, just pop a waffle into the toaster or toaster oven to heat. An easy peasy way to have waffles any day you'd like them!

These waffles are so tasty!! The apples and cinnamon make them extra delicious. Waffle Wednesday #1 was a success!



Next week: Choco-Quinoa Cupcake Waffles. Stay tuned, because Waffle Wednesday is now a thing!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Everything is Awesome - Corbin's Birthday

One of the joys of relationships is the way two people's personalities complement one another. In my relationship with Corbin he is the grounded, rational, level-headed, even-keeled one whereas I am the excitable, emotional, energetic and bubbly personality. It's a really good system: he keeps me grounded and I energize him. 

Corbin will be the first person to tell you that I was more excited about his birthday than he was. 

I was actually walking around in the two weeks leading up to his special day going "Eeeeeee your birthday is in __ more sleeps!!!!" I also answered various questions about his top secret gifts and our plan-a-roos for the day. 


It turned into a pretty stellar day which started with cinnamon buns. 

gluten free, dairy free cinnamon buns
 Pumpkin cinnamon buns to be exact, which happened to be gluten and dairy free. I had made the same recipe for Corbin and his familia on Christmas day and they were a big hit. I prepped the dough first thing in the morning and we enjoyed warm cinnamon buns fresh from the oven as soon Corbin had opened his presents (I fully made him open them in bed - he loved them!!) 

In the afternoon we headed to see The Lego Movie - what a treat!! It's so fun and charming; We've been singing the 'Everything is Awesome' song non-stop since his birthday. My favourite was Princess Unikitty, perhaps because she is half unicorn, half kitten and comes from a land of rainbows. Totally my kinda gal. 

Lego Movie Everything is Awesome
Photo: www.lego.com


Did I mention that we wore party hats to the movie?!


After a super fun day of hanging out together (hoorary for flexible schedules!) we headed to my house for dinner where I made these Spicy BBQ Chickpea and Crispy Polenta Bowls with Roasted Asparagus and Ranch Hummus that I had recently discovered on Pinterest


Everything about these bowls was incredible with the ranch hummus and crispy polenta being the stars of the dish. While they have a lot of components, they're 100% worth it and fairly easy to throw together. Do not be afraid of the long list of ingredients because your tummy will thank you! Also, how cute is Tieghan and the fact that her blog says that it's made with love?! Huge fan. We've already made the ranch hummus again because it was just that good!! 

No birthday is complete without cake, so I sneakily found out Corbin's favourite cake flavor and created black forest cupcakes inspired by Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World and Lindsay's bridal shower cupcakes

gluten free dairy free cupcakes

They were a huge hit with the birthday boy and his hockey team, because clearly cupcakes are made for sharing. But I don't think that you can go wrong with chocolate cake, frosting with cherry goodness tucked away inside, candles and birthday wishes being made. 


I had a fantastic day with my love where we had a ton of fun together and ate so much delicious food. Corbin proclaimed that it was one of his favourite birthdays in recent memory. Maybe even ever. That's a pretty spectacular measure of success if you ask me!! 

cupcakes, candles, wishes, love

As an added bonus, my enthusiasm for birthdays has rubbed off it seems; I think he's talked about my upcoming birthday more than I have. Can't wait to see what's in store for me!! But any day with this guy is a pretty special one. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Power of Being Happy

Two weeks ago I got together with some of my classmates from theatre school. We realized that it's been more than 10 years since we started theatre school, fresh faced and many of us directly from high school with hopes and dreams of being "triple threats". Theatre school was an intense journey of self discovery, growth, perseverance, bravery, resilience and of course acting, singing and dancing. Our original class of 52 dwindled down to 31 by the time we graduated in 2005.

In the 9 years since graduation my classmates have taken many different paths. Some have continued performing, finding their niche onstage or in film and television. Others acted for awhile immediately following school, but then decided to go back to school or found other things they were passionate about. People who once spent 12 hours a day living-breathing-sleeping musical theatre found new loves in yoga, political science, nursing and teaching.

The catalyst for our mini reunion was the news of the death of one of our former classmates, making our night together bittersweet. But together we celebrated her life, reconnected and reflected on all that has happened since our graduation many moons ago. Even with the time that has passed, everyone looked nearly the same and it was wonderful to hear about all that was happening in their lives whether it be stories of their relationships and families, exciting news of their debut EP, tales of working towards being a professional wrestler, travel stories and general life catch up.

I walked away from our night out feeling positive and recharged in spite of the initial sad reason for our gathering It was so nice to see these people I had once known so closely doing well on their various paths and I was struck by one common denominator: happiness.

Everyone's lives were bustling with things that they were excited about and the positive feelings among us were palpable. If you had asked all of us as brand new musical theatre school graduates where we thought we'd be nine years later, I don't think that any of us would have put us exactly where we are today, but that's perfectly okay. In living our lives since 2005 we've experienced a lot on individual paths bringing us to where we stand in 2014, doing things that make us happy. And that's pretty awesome.

There really is something to be said for the power of happiness and finding it in (perhaps unexpected) places.



Monday, March 3, 2014

Life is Sweet - Let's Keep Talking

Wow - another great month of the Life is Sweet series. Thank you to everyone who contributed posts, read, commented, shared and attended the show this month. It was truly amazing to see the conversation that ensued and the candor and bravery of my guest bloggers who opened up to share their stories and perspectives.

While a month of dialogue is really great, I think it's just as important that we keep the conversation going 365 days a year. Mental illness is something that many of us are faced with everyday but unfortunately the negative stigma and lack of understanding is not going away. By continuing to talk and share and gain understanding from one another, we can work towards establishing a new dynamic in our society with a greater emphasis on listening, empathy and patience.

Here are some neat things from the internet that I found / were sent to me whilst curating Life is Sweet that are doing a great job at continuing the conversation:

Everything But the Cat


Adrianna's (not-so) one woman show, Everything but the Cat, about suicide and bereavement is getting ready for its 2014 tour. The show is an incredible way to open up the dialogue to teens and openly address bereavement and suicide with a younger audience. Adrianna is doing really great things with this show and I think it's inspiring that she has been able to express her feelings about her brother's death and help others gain understanding through this show.

The Crazy Project

Corbin sent me the tumblr for The Crazy Project last week. It describes itself as "a photo project dedicated to reducing stigma about mental health". I love that they're sharing stories from a wide range of perspectives and that their mandate aims to reduce the negative stigma.

Hyperbole and a Half


I've read this post "Depression Part Two" multiple times, but it doesn't lose impact. It really provides a poignant and concise view of what depression feels like.

Other helpful links

Hope Inside Live - We are More is a one day live stream event beginning at 9am on March 22 dedicated to changing the conversation around mental health and sexual assault

Fact Sheets about mental illness - in more than 10 languages

I haven't decided just yet what is in store for the Life is Sweet Project and series. I'm thinking about hosting guest posts once or twice a month to continue the conversation and will obviously write about my own experiences from time to time. I'm proud to host two years of amazing content. You can read all the posts here:

2013
2014

Michael Landsberg posted a great tweet yesterday that said "Sharing sometimes is like a surprise party. You turn on the lights and you find out there's a room full of people who care #sicknotweak". As I said on Let's Talk Day - let's talk and talk and never be quiet. For my mom. For my bloggers. For everyone reading and experiencing something similar.We are not alone in this and there are so many people who care. Keep the conversation going.