Beet and Walnut Sliders

Beet and walnut sliders

Beets are beautiful. Their vibrant pink and yellow hues are not only beautiful on your plate, they are also extremely rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It has also been known to play a role in reducing chronic inflammation, preventing certain types of cancer, detoxifying the body and improving mental health. Plus they are delicious!    

Beet and walnut sliders

The love I have for beets is quite special. I love the sweetness and I love bright pink colour. Usually when I think about making a dish with beets, I roast those suckers up and toss them in a green salad. But this time, I wanted to try something new, something different. And the results were amazing! Even my beau (who is not about the veggie burger) loved them. Hardy with a delicious crunch from the walnuts, topped with herbed cream cheese and peppery arugula. YUM!

Beet and walnut sliders

Beet and walnut sliders
Makes 8 sliders

1 cup, cooked whole-grain brown rice (I used basmati brown rice)
3/4 cup grated roasted beets (about 4 small)
1/2 cup panko
6 tbsp walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp shallots, chopped
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 large egg
2 tbsp olive oil
Garlic and herb Boursin cheese, for topping
1 cup arugula, for topping
4 slices of Ezekiel bread

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1. Cut each piece of bread into rounds, brush with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Lightly toast under the broiler for about 2 minutes each side. Set aside to cool.

2. Reduce the oven temperature to 400° and place a baking sheet in the oven to warm.

3. In a large bowl, combine the rice, beets, panko, walnuts, parsley, shallots, sea salt and black pepper.

4. In a small bowl, combine the Dijon mustard and the egg. Mix well. Add the egg mixture to the rice mixture and blend well.

5. Spoon 1/3 cup of the rice mixture to form 8 small patties.

6. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once heated, add 1 tbsp of the olive oil to the pan and swirl pan to evenly coat. Add 4  patties to the pan and let sit untouched for about 2 minutes. Transfer patties to the warmed baking sheet, browned side up. Add the remaining tbsp of olive oil to the pan and brown the other 4 patties.

7. Place the baking sheet with the patties in the oven and bake for about 9-10 minutes.

8. Assemble these bad boys! Top one piece of bread with a patty, spread with Boursin cheese, add arugula and top with another piece of bread. Or, you can always serve the patties alone with a great salad for a delicious meal.

Bon appétit!

[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]

Sweet escapes with Baroness Chocolates

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Blogging can be a pretty sweet thing. Take, for example, the day that I was given the opportunity to try the delicious creations of the newest chocolatier on the market, Baroness Chocolates. Before we get to the sweet stuff, let me tell you a little about this wonderful company.

Baroness Chocolates is very recent addition to the chocolate game, having opened its doors in February 2014. They are based in Ottawa, where they create and package each and every bar. They also pride themselves on being ethical and sustainable, and all of their chocolate ingredients are sourced from Rainforest Alliance certified farmers. This basically means that the farmers take steps to maintain or increase the tree cover, conserve soil quality and prevent erosion, reduce chemicals use, protect wildlife, and ensure the well being of workers and their families by facilitating access to education and health care. Pretty sweet! 

Another wonderful aspect of the company is that their chocolates are certified kosher, gluten free and contain no GMO’s, and 5 of their bars are certified organic and fairtrade. Plus, how could you not love a company that has the motto “Act with sincerity & live with joy”.

Now, on the sweet stuff! I was given four of their creations to try and let me just say that they did not disappoint!

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Subversive Squirrel combined the deep, rich flavours of dark chocolate with salted peanuts and peanut brittle. Just take a look at that peanut brittle…

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Tummy Rub stays simple with deep milk chocolate hugging a (gluten-free) chocolate cookie. And for all you gluten-free skeptics out there, you would have never known it had I not told you.

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Dob Dobs takes creamy caramel and wraps it in semi-sweet chocolate, layered with chopped pecans. Seriously, is there anything better than caramel (the answer to that is no!).

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Finally, Mocha Krunhjay is the ultimate triple threat with dark, semi-sweet and milk chocolate, almonds,coffee and toffee. Although I fell in love with all of them, I have to say that this flavour got me with its hint of coffee and it’s crunchy toffee.

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What’s I love most about these chocolates is the genuine cocoa flavour you experience with each bite. It’s not overly sweet and really balances out the richness of the caramel and toffee. With this delicious preview, I look forward to trying the other flavours very soon! I invite you all to check out their website and discover their other decadent flavors, including the 24K chocolate bar (yes, there is a gold bar!).

Baroness Chocolates are available to order online. If you live in the Ottawa or Montreal area, you can find a retailer near you through their Store Locator.

*Note: Although these chocolates were given to me for a review, all opinions expressed are my own. 

[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]

Lemony Apple Fennel Salad

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Apple season may be right around the corner, but I’m not quite ready to fire up the oven just yet. Summer is my favourite season and I’m going to do everything I can to hold on to it for as long as possible. This summer salad is the perfect way to savour summer’s fresh flavours. I especially love the combination of the fennel with the tart sweetness of the apples and the delicate taste of the cilantro, which brings an interesting level of flavour to an otherwise basic salad.

Apple fennel salad

Apple fennel salad

 

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Apple Fennel Cilantro Salad
Serves 4

2 large apples, julienned (I choose to mix one Granny Smith and one Gala)
1 medium head fennel, cored and thinly sliced
3 large ribs of celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, plus 2 tbsp
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt (I used pink Himalayan)
Freshly ground black pepper

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1. Once your apples are julienned, toss them in the 1/4 cup lemon juice to prevent them from browning.

2. Next, place the sliced fennel, sliced celery, apples and cilantro in a bowl and toss to combine.

3. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil with the remaining 2 tbps of lemon juice.

4. Pour over the mixed salad, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and toss well.

Feel free to add delicious toppings like sunflower seeds, caramelized pecans, walnuts or almonds. The extra crunch makes this salad even more satisfying.

Bon appétit!

[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]

Vans for J. Crew

Vans for J. Crew classic slip-ons

This summer I’ve been obsessed with getting my hands on a clean pairs of classic slip-on Vans. Although they were hard to find (I snagged the last pair at the store), once I got my hands on them I was hooked. Since then, I’ve been on the lookout for other fun patterns of the same shoe and was super excited when I found the Vans for J. Crew classic slip-ons in this cute green heart pattern.

Vans for J. Crew classic slip-ons

I love this pattern so much that I didn’t even notice that I bought a swimsuit this summer with the exact same pattern.

I’m so excited to wear these with denim cut-offs and tank, or maybe white shorts for a casual clean look.

[All images are my own and not to be used without permission]

Crunchy Kale Salad

Crunchy Kale Salad

One of the things I love to do most in the kitchen, is re-create dishes that I’ve had while eating out, and adding my own twist to it. This crunchy kale salad is the perfect example. The original recipe didn’t have as many fruits in it, but when it comes to building a monster salad, the more the merrier. This salad gives you a healthy dose of vitamins, sweetness, healthy fats and protein that is perfect for lunch or as a side to a summer dish.

Crunchy kale salad

Crunchy Kale Salad
Serves 4

1 bunch of kale, chopped
1/2 cabbage (red cabbage also gives a beautiful contrast to the green kale), thinly sliced
1 Gala apple, chopped
2-3 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 cup blueberries
1 avocado, cubed
1/4 cup almonds, lightly toasted and chopped
Juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

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In a large bowl, start by massaging the kale for a few minutes to soften it up. I usually love the crunchiness of kale, but for this salad, I prefer to leave the crunchy to the other ingredients.

Next, combine the kale with the cabbage, apple, celery, blueberries and avocado. Toss to combine.

Top with chopped, toasted almonds. Set aside to make the dressing.

In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, honey and salt and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and combine well.

Let the salad sit for about 30 minutes to allow the flavours to marinate.

Bon appétit!

Note: If you prefer olive oil dressings, feel free to add a tablespoon or two of EVOO to the dressing.

[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]

Stylish Spaces – Office Edition

It’s no secret that I love a clean and well-organized space. There’s just something about it that makes me feel like energy is flowing in a positive direction. When it comes to office spaces, it also makes me that much more productive. Chic furniture and stylish accessories is all it takes to create a functional space that mixes business with pleasure. And now for some visual inspiration.

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A simple colour palette creates a clean, open space.

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Gold accessories and cheeky notepads add a touch of sophistication without being too serious.

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A fur throw for a cozy touch.

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Fresh flowers and fashionable art define your style and add life (and a fresh fragrance) to your space.

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An inspiration board is always a good idea to keep creativity flowing.

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Whether it’s from a chandelier or large windows, lots of light is a must.

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Don’t be afraid to add a bold print to your walls. You can always add balance to the pattern with a simple photograph.

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Chanel is always a stylish touch.

[Photo credit via Pinterest]

Caramelized onion brie quiche

Caramelized onion brie quicheOne of the many wonderful things about summer is the many wonderful dishes that find their way to the table. Farm fresh ingredients combined to create effortless dishes that easily satisfy, like this caramelized onion brie quiche.

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This dish is a creative update on the classic quiche. The sweetness of caramelized onion blend with the creaminess of melted brie, punctuated by the pepperiness of the arugula to deliver pure deliciousness. Add a green salad with a light dressing for the perfect satisfying lunch or chic brunch.

Caramelized onion brie quiche

 Caramelized Onion Brie Quiche

Serves 6 to 8

1 frozen pie crust (or feel free to make your own)
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups arugula
1 cup cubed brie cheese
1 cup 18% cream
3 large eggs
Freshly ground pepper

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Preheat oven to 400°. If using a frozen pie crust, set it on a baking sheet and prepare it according to package directions. Once baked, remove from oven and lower the oven to 350°.

In a cast iron pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of sea salt. Stir frequently and cook until onions are golden brown and tender. Add arugula and combine until wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in brie.

In a bowl, whisk eggs and cream with salt and pepper. Add onion mixture to pie crust and distribute evenly. Next, slowly add the egg and cream mixture evenly over the onion mixture. Pop in the oven for 30-35 minutes,until mixture is set.

Cut into slices and serve with a light green salad!

Bon appétit!

[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]

 

Ladylike for Fall with Clarins

We are smack dab in the middle of summer but all around me hints of fall are slowly popping up. While in some cases it’s a sad reminder that summer will soon be over (boooo!), in others it means the new makeup collection are coming! Introducing my picks from the Clarins Autumn 2014 Makeup Collection.

Clarins Ladylike 2014 Fall Makeup Col

The collection is chic, natural, feminine… ladylike. There is no shimmer or sparkle. This fall, it’s all about sophisticated matte shades of nude, beige, taupe and auburn. While the entire collection is gorgeous, I chose to focus on two eyeshadow shades, a unique eyeliner and a eyeshadow primer (’cause you can never have enough eye shadow primer). Just take a look at these velvety shades!

Clarins Ladylike 2014 Fall Makeup Col

Clarins Ladylike 2014 Fall Makeup Col

Ombre Matte are a unique cream-powder texture that look like they have a slight shimmer in the packaging, but are completely matte once applied. The formula is super soft and glides on to lids evenly like a cream. Once applied, it leaves a matte wash of colour that holds all day without creasing. They also blend effortlessly to create a beautiful, natural look that looks polished and sophisticated.

Clarins Ladylike 2014 Fall Makeup Col

The secret  of the formula is bamboo powder, which keeps the formula matte and lasts all day. On a regular day, my eyeshadow would crease mid-day, but this shadow stayed perfectly matte and in place all day, even without using an eye shadow primer. Ombre Matte comes in 5 beautiful shadesPictured above is Ombre Matte in Taupe, and below is Ombre Matte in Nude.

Clarins Ladylike 2014 Fall Makeup Col

Clarins Ladylike 2014 Fall Makeup Col

The limited edition 3-dot liner is one of my favourite items from the collection. First introduced in black, the popular liner is now available in brown. This unique liner features Clarins’s Be Long Lash Complex to encourage lash growth. If you love the use the tightlining technique to line your eyes, this eye liner is for you. The tip is shaped into 3 tiny spikes to easily slip between your lashes and accentuate your lash line to create that lush lash look. Bonus: it doesn’t smudge!

Clarins Ladylike 2014 Fall Makeup Col

Clarins Ladylike 2014 Fall Makeup Col

Instant Light Eye Perfecting Base is one of the best eye shadow primers I’ve ever used. Not only is it great at keeping my eye shadow in place ALL DAY, but it’s a product that works double duty. Used alone, it will illuminate and smooth lids for a bright, fresh look. Used under eye shadow, it will create the perfect canvas for your shadow and make it stay in place all day.

Clarins Ladylike 2014 Fall Makeup Col

Clarins Ladylike 2014 Fall Makeup Col

 The Clarins Ladylike Fall 2014 Makeup Collection is available in stores and on Clarins.ca August 1st. I strongly recommend you take a moment to check out the entire collection. It’s absolutely beautiful!

Although these products were provided for a review, all opinions expressed in this post are my own and completely honest.

[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]

Dainty and Delicate

Gold jewlerySometimes all you need are a few pieces of simple jewelry to add your personality to your style. These are a few of my recent additions/acquisitions that I am currently so in love with. Delicate and dainty, they add the perfect touch to my style.

From left to right: Michael Kors Matchstick Line Bracelet in Rose Gold, Jennifer Zeuner Horizontal Bar Necklace with Diamond (silver version here), Elizabeth and James Windrose Ring.

[All photos are my own and not to be use without permission]

 

Strawberry Jam

Is there anything more delicious than jam? Ok, probably. But still, jam is so delicious! I have a particular preference for strawberry jam, but the amount of sugar found in most store-bought brands is such a turnoff. I’ve been searching for a sugar-free version for what feels like forever. With no such luck, I decided to experiment and create my own. The results are delectable!

Raw strawberry jam

It’s strawberry season right now, the perfect time to pick up fresh, sweet strawberries and make this super simple recipes. Although you could use frozen strawberries that have been thawed, I strongly recommend to use fresh strawberries. There’s nothing like fresh ingredients to bring out the best flavours. The great thing is that this recipes requires only a few ingredients (most of which you probably already have on hand), and no more than 5 minutes to prepare.

Raw strawberry jam

Raw strawberry jam

Raw Strawberry Jam
Makes 1 cup

1 cup of fresh strawberries
1 tbsp water
1 tbsp chia seeds
Squeeze of half a lemon
Maple syrup to taste (or agave syrup if you prefer)

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Wash strawberries and throw them in a small food processor or blender. Give them a whirl until you reach the desired consistency.

Next, add the water, chia seeds, lemon juice and maple syrup to taste. My strawberries were so sweet that I only had to add about a teaspoon or two.

Transfer to a jar, seal it up and set in the fridge for a few hours to give the chia seed time to set.

Enjoy on toast or on top of your Greek yogurt.

Bon appétit!

[All photos are my own and not to be used without permission]