Sweet Potato Salad

You know what I find difficult? Finding new and exciting vegetarian lunches. I’m tired of having the same old-same old lunches. This is why, I recently undertook a mission. A mission to search for the best vegetarian lunches out there and compile a list, not just for my family but also for any other families in the same conundrum as us. 

After finding a bunch of recipes I wanted to try, I headed off to the grocery store, seeing as most of them required ingredients not lying around in our kitchen (like oregano and green onions) - don’t blame me, I’m a baker. Our grocery list included stuff like garlic, Greek yogurt, sweet potatoes, sunflower seeds and more. I’m happy to report, we found everything nice and easy :)

Now, let me just say, I did not know what to expect from this recipe. I have never had sweet potatoes before (now that I think about it, there’s many things I’ve never had...). Frankly, this recipe did not sound appetizing. What really turned it around for me, however, was the pictures that were posted alongside it. I knew I had to give it a try... and I’m so glad I did.

This sweet potato salad might as well be the best salads I’ve ever had. 

The sweetness from the sweet potatoes and honey, contradicts the spices from the chili pepper and onions. However, that’s what makes this recipe work. The contradiction of flavours makes for one heck of a lunch... and the best part is that it’s vegetarian!

Sweet Potato Salad

2 sweet potatoes, chunks
1 tbsp olive oil (for potatoes)
2 tsp olive oil (for dressing)
1 green onion (diced)
3 tbsp vinegar (white or red wine will work)
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 shallot (diced)
Salt and pepper to taste
(optional) ½ tsp of various powdered spices (oregano, paprika, cayenne) 

1. Preheat oven to 390℉ (200℃), line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2. Toss sweet potatoes with olive oil and spices (if using any). Spread on lined baking sheet and bake 25-30 minutes
3. Cool for 10-15 minutes
4. Meanwhile, prepare dressing by combining shallot, green onion, maple syrup, vinegar and olive oil.
5. Enjoy warm or cold :)

  • Refrigerate before serving to allow flavour to seep evenly into potatoes
  • Feel free to substitute honey for maple syrup


🎃 Halloween Cookies

Halloween's just around the corner, and you know what that means. Costumes, candies, celebrations and cookies galore! 

If you're one of those parents (or kids) who either gets invited to a lot of parties, or hosts a lot of parties, these are the easiest Halloween Cookies you can make! No need to make them a few days before... these bake so fast, you can make them 30 minutes before your guests arrive!

(or you can just bake and eat them by yourself... I won't judge 😉)

Halloween Chocolate Sugar Cookies
Cook time: 10-12 minutes
Yield: depends on cookie cutters

170 mL flour 
40 mL cocoa powder
1 mL baking powder
60 mL margarine, softened
100 mL sugar
1/2 of an egg OR 1/4 banana
2 mL vanilla extract
Decorating materials - icing, sugar, sprinkles, frosting etc. (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350℉
2. Line cookie sheet w/ parchment paper
3. In a bowl, whisk flour, cocoa and baking powder
4. In a separate bowl, cream margarine with sugar. Add banana and vanilla extract. Beat well.
5. Gradually add the flour mixture to creamed mixture
6. Knead dough on lightly floured surface. Roll dough into 1cm thick circle, and cut shapes
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until firm around edges
8. Let cookies cool and...
9. Decorate!

  • Want to decorate with frosting? Click here for an easy recipe!
  • You can use an electric mixer to cream the margarine or a whisk
  • Depending on the thickness and size of your cookies, you may need to keep them in the oven for more or less time
Recommended for this recipe:


Eggless (and vegan) Banana Bread

Have you ever had one of those days when NOTHING goes your way? Yep, that was today... WORST DAY EVER (but I say that on every bad day 😛)

Starting off, I lost my most favorite cap ever...literally the best hat I have ever owned!

Then, it turned out I forgot my bus money so I had to *beg* the driver to let me on for free (he did, btw)

I lost my $10 bill and then, when I got home, it turned out I had run out of all-purpose flour... why do I even have a baking blog if all-purpose isn't always in my house??

Anyways, I decided to bake this delicious banana bread because I really needed it. Think of it as a "pick-me-up". 

Banana Bread
Cook time: 45-50 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf


2 bananas (mashed)
3/4 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup any flavorless oil (I used olive oil)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
5 chopped walnuts (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350℉
2. Mash the bananas (you can use a fork or blender)
3. Add the sugar, vanilla and oil
4. In a medium bowl, stir so the sugar dissolves and the oil is thoroughly mixed with the banana purée
5. Sieve the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt (you can add it directly to the purée, or sieve them separately and then add to the wet ingredients)
6. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
7. Add the walnuts and fold again (you can also use raisins or chocolate chips, anything you'd like)
8. Pour the batter into a lined loaf pan (7.5 x 4 x 2.5 inches)
9. Gently shake the pan or tap it on a counter 
10. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean

  • If you don't want to use oil, you can also substitute it with butter
  • If you want a larger loaf, feel free to double the recipe
  • Depending on your oven, the loaf might take more or less time than mentioned above
  • Don't know how to fold ingredients? Click here!
Recommended for this recipe:


Tornado Potatoes

I think this is my first ever savory recipe on my blog, so I hope you guys enjoy 🙂

Three days ago, I went to a Festival held in the area where I live - it was so much fun! Unfortunately, being the vegetarian that I am, when it came to lunch time, almost all of the food trucks had no vegetarian options. But there was one... the Tornado Potato Food Truck.

Now, if you don't know what Tornado Potatoes are, this is the official definition (Wikipedia):

Tornado potatoes, also called twist potatoes or tornado fries, are a popular street food in South Korea, originally developed by Jeong Eun Suk of Agricultural Hoeori Inc.

They're basically twisted potatoes on a skewer.

When I came home, I wanted to find a recipe for these, so I could make them a little bit healthier. 

From 'Tasty'

Tornado Potatoes 
Cook time: 40-45 minutes
Yield: 2 tornado potatoes


2 medium white potatoes
4 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
Parsley, chopped (garnish)


1. Preheat oven to 400℉
2. Insert skewers into potatoes
3. Hold a sharp, thin knife and at an angle, cut in the opposite way you are turning the potato
4. Gently fan out the potato, forming the spiral
5. Brush the melted butter all over the potato
6. In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and salt
7. Place the potato in the bowl and evenly coat it with the seasoning
8. On a lined baking sheet, bake the potatoes for 40-45 minutes (or until lightly browned)
9. Garnish with parsley
10. Let cool for 5 minutes before eating


  • If the skewer refuses to go through, boil the potatoes to soften them up a bit
  • Depending on the size of your potatoes, you may need to bake a little longer than 40 minutes

Recommended for this recipe:

This recipe is adapted from BuzzFeed


Restaurants That Give Free Food on Your Birthday!

A birthday is a special day, filled with love and laughter (and gifts)... but what could possibly make this day any better? 


Check out these restaurants that offer FREE FOOD, just for you, on your special day! :)

1. Auntie Anne's
Grab their mobile app: iOS and Android
What you'll get: Free pretzel

2. Baskin Robbins
Sign up for the Birthday Club
What you'll get: A free 2.5oz ice cream scoop!

3. Chili's
Sign up for My Chili's
What you'll get: Free Brownie Sundae

4. Denny's
Just bring your ID!
What you'll get: Free Grand Slam Breakfast

Sign up for the Pancake Revolution Club
What you'll get: Free meal

6. Jamba Juice
Sign up for Jamba Insider
What you'll get: A free smoothie or juice

7. Krispy Kreme
Grab their mobile app to sign up: iOS 
What you'll get: Free donut and beverage

8. Panera
Join MyPanera 
What you'll get: Free baked item

9. P.F. Chang's
Sign up for PF Chang's Preferred
What you'll get: Free appetizer or dessert

10. Pinkberry
Sign up for their PinkCard 
What you'll get: Free frozen yogurt

11. Pizza Hut
Bring your ID
What you'll get: It's a surprise (most likely a dessert or side)

12. Boston Pizza
Sign up for My BP
What you'll get: Free dessert

13. Red Robin
What you'll get: A free burger and fries

14. Sprinkles Cupcakes
Sign up for Sprinkles Perks
What you'll get: Free cupcake

15. Starbucks
Sign up for Starbucks Rewards 
What you'll get: Free birthday drink

16. Vera's Burger Shack
Bring your ID
What you'll get: $10 gift certificate

17. Waffle House
What you'll get: Free waffle

18. Sonic
Join mySonic
What you'll get: Free regular CreamSlush, tater tots or medium drink (your choice)

19. Olive Garden
Join their e-Club
What you'll get: Free dessert coupon (max $10 off)

20. Melting Pot
Join Club Fondue
What you'll get: Free chocolate fondue for two

21. Dairy Queen
Sign up for Blizzard Fan Club
What you'll get: Free ice cream

22. Jersey Mike's
Join their email club
What you'll get: Free sub + drink

23. Islands
Join Tiki Link
What you'll get: Free Kona Pie

24. Dippin' Dots
Join the Dot Crazy email club
What you'll get: Free dippin' dots

25. Au Bon Pain
Join their e-Club
What you'll get: Free lunch

26. Baja Fresh
Join Club Baja
What you'll get: Free burrito

27. Applebee's
Join their e-Club
What you'll get: Free entree

28. Booster Juice
What you'll get: Free smoothie

29. Cora's
Subscribe to their newsletter 
What you'll get: It's a surprise!

30. Menchie's Frozen Yogurt
Join mySmileage
What you'll get: $5 coupon added to your account

31. Marble Slab Creamery
Sign up for Marble Mail 
What you'll get: Free ice cream

32. Old Spaghetti Factory
Bring your ID!
What you'll get: Free dessert


Chocolate Chip Scones

I've always loved the British accent. Not that I don't love my own American/Canadian one but, you know what they say, the grass is always greener on the other side.

When I was younger, I would hold contests with my cousins to see who could talk in a British accent for the longest time. For some reason, when I had to say a really long sentence, I would resort to my normal accent. The young me found it too difficult to speak "fancy" for that long. 

I think my fascination with the accent comes from watching countless Hollywood movies with English actors. The princesses and fairies tended to have a British accent, making them appear royal and regal and I guess that stuck with me. Probably one of the reasons that I associate British English with sophisticated and classy. 

So naturally, I jumped at the chance to bake scones! Scones are seen as a very British treat, mainly because they originated in the UK. Today, I'm going to share with you my favourite chocolate chip scone recipe. I've already made this a couple times but every time I bake it, it seems to taste a little better. Practice makes perfect! 

Chocolate Chip Scones
Cook time: 10-15 minutes

250mL all-purpose flour
30mL sugar
3mL baking powder
1/2 mL baking soda
pinch of salt
40mL cold margarine
40 mL chocolate chips
30mL sour cream
30mL milk
1/2 egg

1. Preheat oven to 425℉
2. In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3. Cut in margarine (using a pastry blender or two forks) into the dry ingredients until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, milk and egg.
5. Gradually add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, tossing with a fork (mixture should come away from the side of the bowl and stick to the fork in a large ball)
6. Lightly flour the counter top and knead the dough (approx. 6-8 times). Roll the dough into a circle 2 cm thick. Cut into triangles.
7. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Scones should be light brown in colour. 

Recommended for this recipe:

What's your favorite accent? Let me know in the comments below :)


5 Totally Free Blogger Resources

I know, I know. I am no where close to being such a big blogger that I can provide blogging advice and resources for start-up blogs and their owners. 

However, on this short journey in the blogging world (that I hope will last a long time), I have had to do a lot of research. Blogging is definitely not as easy as it seems. A lot of bloggers say this and the only reason I am echoing their words is because it is true. 

For example, before I could begin writing actual posts, I had to design my blog and decide what widgets to implement. I had to go through multiple other successful blogs and see what they recommended. I had to make a list of things I wanted to include on my blog, and then find them (which was probably the hardest part, to be honest). 

Being a student and a new blogger, I don't have the money to invest. The only things I could include had to be totally free. Maybe you're going through the same thing. You're determined to run a blog, you're willing to put in the time, but don't have the money. Or maybe you just don't want to spend on something as unstable as a blog. What if no one reads it? This is why I have compiled a list of my favorite, totally free blogger resources. 

My post is not sponsored at all so all of these sites and apps are ones I truly recommend and use on this blog, not just ones that I am being forced to write about.

1. Email Marketing

MailChimp - Most bloggers want automatic email updates sent out their readers every time they post which is something I'm currently having difficulty with, using MailChimp. The feature's there but I'm not sure if their system is down or if I'm doing something wrong (probably the latter). Sometimes MailChimp can be hard to use but overall, I'd say this is one of the best options out there. Right now, I'm using the free plan but am still open to trying other email marketing programs and sites.

2. Subscribe Bar

GetSiteControl - How do I go about collecting emails to use in MailChimp? Well, I'm glad you asked! I use a subscribe bar, located on the top of every page that encourages users to sign up for email updates. I've had quite a bit of success so far and a few people have even signed up. There are, of course, times when no one signs up at all but I doubt that has anything to do with GetSiteControl. The site is easy to navigate and tells you key information including: 

Impressions: Number of people who have seen the widget

Hits: Number of people who have signed up

CTR (click-through rate): average % of people who have signed up, based on number of people who visit 

Days: Number of days the widget has been active

3. Blogging on-the-go (for Blogger)

EasyBlog App (iTunes) - This is the only app I use to blog on-the-go. I truly LOVE it and would not use anything else. It was a little hard to find an app for Blogger/Blogspot because there isn't as big a market as, for example, WordPress. However, I couldn't have asked for a better app. Former to this, I used to the official Blogger app but recently that's been having some issues so I decided it was time to make a switch. If you use Blogger, I highly recommend this. If you're using WordPress, sorry but you'll have to find something else.

4. Recipe Nutrition Label Maker

VeryWell Recipe Nutrition Analyzer - There are a bunch of these out there but my personal favorite is this one. It's not that the others aren't as good but because I've been using this for the longest and for me, this is good enough. To get your label, you need to enter in all the ingredients of the recipe and their measurements (1 cup, 1 tsp, 2 tbsp etc). And that's it!

5. Image Editing 

PicMonkey - To make my images look a little better, I use PicMonkey. I used to use BeFunky but recently, they started charging for pretty much every feature. In my experience, this is the best free option (even though it does require payment for some features). I only need to use about two features (text and filter) so it doesn't matter how much they charge. If this blog gets bigger however, I might start paying :P

That's all I have for today. So, to summarize, these are my 5 favorite free blogger resources (in no particular order):
1. MailChimp
2. Getsitecontrol
3. Easyblog App
4. Verywell
5. PicMonkey

I am not sponsored or affiliated with any of these websites, so only 100% honest opinions here 🙂

Have a great day!


Smoothie Saturday: Banana Avocado Smoothie

Welcome to my new series: Smoothie Saturday! I'm gonna give this a try for a while and see how I like it 😋 Anyways, today I'm going to introduce you to my all-time favorite smoothie: The Banana Avocado Smoothie! This isn't just my favorite because of how thick and creamy it is (which is a big bonus), but also how quickly I can make it! It's great for breakfast, lunch, brunch... you name it. And honestly, I don't even like avocados, but in this smoothie, I wouldn't use anything else. 

Now, just in case you're skeptical, let's go over some of the health benefits of the main ingredients in this smoothie: avocados.

1. High in essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins C, K, B5, folate and potassium.

Did you know: Avocados contain 35% more potassium than bananas!
2. Helps maintain bone health and reduces risk of osteoporosis.

3. Contains all 9 of the essential amino acids (promote healthy and strong muscle)

4. Low in sodium and fructose (sugar)

5. Helps in weight loss - contains fiber, which makes you feel fuller for longer, so you snack less

6. Highest protein content of any fruit!

And I've barely even scratched the surface! Not only this smoothie great for those of you who are health-conscious (me included), you can drink it on a hot summer day... trust me, this will cool you right down.

Banana Avocado Smoothie2

I garnished my smoothie with a small handful of honey-flavored granola. This makes it feel more like a treat than a breakfast. I mixed all the ingredients in my amazing, new Ninja blender and it was ready in about 10 seconds.

Ninja Blender - Plentiful Pastries

Banana Avocado Smoothie4

Banana Avocado Smoothie

1 medium, ripe avocado
1 ripe banana
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tbsp honey (optional, for sweeter flavor)
granola (optional)

Give all the ingredients a twirl in a blender for about 10 seconds

Recommended for this recipe:

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I will earn a small commission, if you choose to buy anything. This will come at absolutely no cost to you. Thank you for supporting me and my blog :)

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