From Versailles, With Love: Raspberry Almond Milk Macarons

I left my culinary, pastry heart in Europe – Versailles to be exact.

The spring time always makes me think of the elegant, eccentric gardens and the high class society who graced the hallways in the Palace of Versailles. Every spring, after we’ve been blasted with our last snow fall, I find myself longing for the elegance of spring in Versailles. Since Versailles is a little longer than a road trip away, I embarked on the tedious task of recreating the fragile and decedent treat that encompasses all the magic of Versailles in spring: French Macarons.

Raspberry Almond Milk Macarons


  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 3/4 almond flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup super fine sugar
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • Your favourite food colouring (optional)


  • 3 tbsp raspberry puree
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 4 tbsp shortening
  • 2 cup icing sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp almond milk, vanilla or unsweetened

Assembling the Macarons

  1. Preheat your oven to 375*. Spray a macaron pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a food processor, combine almond flour and icing sugar. Pulse for 5-6 minutes until well combined. Sift twice.
  3. In a stand mixer, whip egg whites until foamy. Add in cream of tartar and sugar. Whip until soft peaks form. Add food colouring, if using, and whip softly until desired colour is achieved.
  4. Gently fold in almond flour mixture. Fill a piping bag with macaron mixture. Pipe mixture onto macaron pan.
  5. Tap macaron pan on counter to release any air pockets or bubbles. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  6. Put macarons in over and drop oven to 325*. Bake for 13 minutes, rotating the pan half way through the baking process. Let cool completely.
  7. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and shortening. Gradually add in icing sugar, alternating with almond milk. Stir in raspberry puree.
  8. Once macarons are cool, pipe filling onto the flat side and sandwich with another macaron shell.
  9. Serve immediately or place in air tight container and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.





Signs of Spring: Mini-Egg Brownie Bottom Cheesecake

The signs of spring have started to blossom all around us.

  • Rain pouring down
  • Tulips for sale
  • Snow melting
  • Buds desperately trying to blossom on the trees
  • Triumphant return of my allergies
  • Making a wish on the first robin you see

While those are all fine and dandy signs of spring, we all know there is really only one TRUE sign spring: Cadbury Mini-Eggs. Deemed the crack of spring, Mini-Eggs envoke sugar rushes and crashes to winter-sick women and men alike; is there anything more reassuring that summer is just around the corner than a purple bag of candy coated chocolates being popped open? No. The answer is no there isn’t.

Need to take the ultimate sign of spring to the next level? I’ve got a recipe for that!

Mini-Egg Brownie Bottom Cheesecake


Brownie Bottom

  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup + 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking powder


  • 3 pkg of Kraft cream cheese, original
  • 3/4 sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Ganache Topping

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 whipping cream
  • 1 4kg package of Cadbury Mini-Eggs

Assembling the Cheesecake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325* and spray a round spring form pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Begin with the brownie. In a medium bowl combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Stir in remaining ingredients until the batter is smooth. Pour brownie batter into the pan and bake for 25 minutes.
  3. In a stand mixer combine cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Add in vanilla. Remove brownie bottom from oven and pour the cheesecake mixture over the brownie and return to the oven for 55 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely (at least 4 hours).
  4. Chop Mini-Eggs in halves and some in quarters, set aside. In a microwave safe bowl, pour whipping cream over chocolate chips. Microwave for 30-40 seconds and stir until chocolate chips have completely melted.
  5. Remove cheesecake from spring form pan and pour chocolate ganache over the cake. Sprinkle Mini-Eggs on top. Let set in fridge for 1 hour.



Sunday Morning Raspberry Coconut Scones 

This weekend I whisked myself away to the snow caps and chalet life with my some of my oldest girlfriends. We all grew up together, literally a few houses down from each other. We’ve watched, analyzed and jumped to conclusions over every season of The Bachelor/Bachelorette. We’ve thrown house parties and got caught. We’ve worked at the same store for years, and dealt with each other’s breakups. We’re those annoying girls who could be apart for months and when we reunite it’s like nothing has changed – except we mean that, literally it is like we are 13 again every time. 
So this weekend we…

  • We went shopping
  • Ate too much guacamole
  • Drank too much wine
  • Laughed until our jaws hurt
  • Danced it out
  • Froze our butts off by the ski hills

As it turns out we had a lot to celebrate: 

  • A new start in Germany for one
  • A new relationship milestone for another
  • A new career goal
  • An absolute fearful excitement about what’s coming next for us all

While our worlds continue to twirl, just for one weekend and one Sunday morning over scones, we were just the girls who grew up together bouncing on a trampoline dreaming about our futures. 
Raspberry Coconut Scones

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour 
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar cane
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, frozen and grated
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup frozen raspberries 


  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 4-5 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla, clear

Assembling the Scones

  1. Preheat the oven to 400* and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flours, sugar and baking powder. Cut in the frozen coconut oil using a pastry cutter or two forks until it resembles a crumble. 
  3. Mix in almond milk and egg until dough forms. Sprinkle flour onto a clean surface and gently kneed the dough. 
  4. Gently fold in raspberries.
  5. Shape the dough into a 1″ thick round and indent the dough into 8 scones with the back of a knife. Place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Remove and let cool slightly.
  7. In a small bowl, combine icing sugar, vanilla and almond milk. Stir until a glaze forms and pour the mixture evenly over the scones. Eat warm right away or let cool completely.



City of Stars: Flourless Quinoa Brownies

Live from Hollywood, it is Oscar Sunday!

Like almost every little girl from a small town, I grew up with big dreams of seeing my name in lights. Oscar Sunday was my Christmas. I would watch the red carpet for hours before the stars arrived and when they did I would study their every move, word and grace. I was in complete awe. I wrote and practiced my acceptance speech. I drew pictures of what my hair, dress and date would look like on Oscar night (hair down with curls and bangs – think Jennifer Love Hewitt in the early 2000s, dress was purple with sparkles obviously, and my date…hello Nick Carter).

And then I grew up.

Although I have (somewhat) come to terms with the fact that I will likely not be gracing the Oscar stage in this lifetime, one of my favourite nominated movies reminded me that just when you think it’s time to give up the magic happens. LaLa Land is hands down the most magical, whimsical movie I have ever seen. That movie is an anthem, a declaration, a credo for every small town girl who dreams of seeing her name in lights. For every girl who wrote her Oscar speech in a diary at age 9 in hopes that bringing her diary on stage in 15 years to read that very speech would up her likability in Hollywood. For every girl who just wanted to be a part of the city of stars.

P.S. These guilt-free brownies are a part of my ‘Sweating for the Wedding’ series and are perfect final touch to your Oscar night party.

Flourless Quinoa Brownies


1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup almond milk
2 flax eggs (or eggs, if not vegan)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

Assembling the Brownies

  1. Cook quinoa in 1 cup of water and let cool completely.
  2. Preheat oven to 350* and line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper.
  3. In a food processor, blend quinoa until a paste forms. Add in melted coconut oil and milk and continue to blend into paste.
  4. Transfer the paste into a bowl. Mix in eggs, syrup, vanilla and palm sugar until smooth. Add in cocoa powder and baking soda until combined. The batter will be much thinner than a normal brownie batter.
  5. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely. Sprinkle with icing sugar and top with berries (or chocolate sauce).


The Super Bowl Sunday Last Supper: Churro Waffle Cookies 

It’s Super Bowl Sunday! Once of the most bittersweet days of the year for football fans. It is the ‘big dance’, but tomorrow we will wake up facing day one of a six month football drought. And thus tonight we devour the sports lovers version of the last supper.

While stars of the Super Bowl Sunday last supper are chili, pizza, nachos and slow cooker pulled pork, the beloved dessert often gets the pass. But this year, I’m putting an end to the skipping of dessert at the expense of a food coma. So here’s the Hail Mary of your Super Bowl Sunday last supper, may the team you dislike least win!

Churros Waffle Cookies 


  • 1 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

Assembling the Churros

  1. Turn on waffle iron to medium heat and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. In a mixer cream together butter and sugars. Gradually add eggs and vanilla.
  3. Mix in flour and baking soda until a soft dough forms.
  4. Roll dough into 1inch balls and 4 balls, 1 in each quarter of the waffle iron. Bake for 5-8 minutes until golden. The waffle cookies will be soft but once removed from the iron will crisp up. Remove from iron and place on wire rack to cool.
  5. Once cooled dip each cookie into butter and cover in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Let dry.



Good Things Happen in Threes: 3-Layered Chocolate Brownie Cookie Dough Truffles

Summer of 2001 I was told good things happen in threes. Mind you, this was a truth told to me after I realized bad things ALSO happen in threes, but that’s another story. Since the summer of 2001, my superstitious self always searches for things in threes, for better or for worse! While walking home from work today, I figured out the big three line-up for February 1st:

One: We made it through the dog days of January (woohoo).

Two: It’s almost Valentine’s Day (my favourite holiday).

Three: It’s my older brother’s birthday (yes, you guessed right – there are three of us kids)

So going with my theme of threes, of course I have to share these truffles that are a combination of three unbelievable layers. Life is good with the big three.

3 Layered Chocolate Brownie Cookie Dough Truffles


Brownie Layer

  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder

Cookie Dough Layer

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Chocolate Layer

  • 3-4 Lindt chocolate bars, 60% cocoa
  • 1-2 tbsp butter

Assembling the Truffles

  1. First bake the brownies. Preheat the oven to 350* and grease a 9X9 pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine all ingredients for brownies and mix until smooth. Pour into pan and bake for 30 minutes. Let brownies cool.
  3. Once brownies have cooled crumble brownies to form a dough-like ball of brownie. Take a spoon full of the dough and form into small ball. Repeat until you’ve created about 20-30 mini brownie balls. Freeze on cookie sheet.
  4. While brownies are freezing, prepare the cookie dough. In a mixer, combine butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Slowly add flour and then chocolate chips.
  5. Once brownies have frozen, wrap a spoonful of cookie dough around the brownie. Freeze on cookie sheet.
  6. In a slow cooker, or over a double boiler if you’re good at melting chocolate, melt chocolate chips and butter. Once chocolate is melted dip frozen cookies dough brownie truffles. Let cool completely. Drizzle with left over chocolate.



#SweatingForTheWedding Part Five- Protein Cocoa Puffs 

With Valentine’s Day (my favourite holiday) quickly approaching I’d like to declare my love for cereal!
I love cereal of all shapes, sizes and nutritional levels. I love how you have to eat Shreddies as quick as possible before they go soggy and how Mini Wheats barely fit on your spoon. I love how puffed wheat tastes like nothing and how Cheerios comes out with a new flavour each season. I could eat cereal every meal of every day.

As we all know cereal does not have the greatest rep for nutritional value… or proper portion control. I went on a mission to create a yummy cereal with protein! I made these and seperated them into 6 servings that is packed with 11 grams protein, 5 grams of fibre and 15 net carbs for 183 calories per serving! The perfect treat when you’re sweating for the wedding and crave cereal!

Protein Cocoa Puffs

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 buckwheat flour
  • 1 scoop BioSteel Chocolate protein powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, soft
  • 1/2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 2-3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp almond butter

Assembling the Cocoa Puffs

  1. Preheat oven to 375*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixer, combine all dry ingredients. Add in wet ingredients and mix until dough forms.
  3. Roll pieces of dough into small balls, the size of a blueberry. There should be around 120 balls.
  4. Bake for 16 minutes. Let cool. Separate into 6 servings. Store in airtight containers or bags.