Pumpkin Challenge 2017: Days 6 – 10

Each year, I endeavor to consume one pumpkin thing per day for the month of October. This is my 7th annual Pumpkin Challenge – welcome!

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Day 6: Pumpkin Chocolate, Lindor

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Arriving late off a flight, I was not sure what my pumpkin item would turn out to be, but I was pleasantly surprised to be presented with pumpkin chocolate spheres upon my arrival! I didn’t find the pumpkin spice flavour to be very prominent in the chocolate, but the mild flavour paired well with it nonetheless.

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Day 7: Mini Crustless Pumpkin Pies, Chocolate-Covered Katie

Continue reading “Pumpkin Challenge 2017: Days 6 – 10”

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Pumpkin Challenge 2017: Day 1 – 5

Each year, I endeavour to consume one pumpkin thing per day for the month of October. This is my 7th annual Pumpkin Challenge – welcome!

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Day 1: Pumpkin Spice PancakesHot For Food

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It only felt right to start the challenge off on a Sunday morning with pancakes!

Continue reading “Pumpkin Challenge 2017: Day 1 – 5”

Pumpkin Challenge 2017: Welcome!

Friends, it is one of the greatest times of the year: The Pumpkin Challenge.

This is my 7th annual challenge where I take on each day of October and consume something containing pumpkin in some way. It could be in the form of the gourd’s seeds, spices in a syrup, or pureed goodness in baking. Whatever its shape, I will consume it if it is a day in the month of October.

You may have noticed that we are almost halfway through the month – fret not, for I have been consuming every day despite my neglected documentation of it on the blog. My Instagram has been covering everything, and my photography page and account will also be updated soon.

What started as a challenge fueled by store-bought goods has turned into a baking adventure and mission to explore local cafes, bakeries, and restaurants – especially if they’re serving up vegan options!

Favourites across time have included pumpkin croquette from the beloved Sun Sushi in Vancouver, Nature’s Path pumpkin spice waffles and granola, and even some pumpkin green smoothies (yes, there is more than one recipe for this online).

Now that I have moved to a new city, this month feels extra-important as it is the first time I’ve done it away from home and gives me a small challenge to overcome every day and some structure to my weeks as I adjust – I either need to bake or create something at home or I need to go discover some new establishment that is serving up pumpkin goodness to match the season. It can be stressful ensuring that I find something every day when I’m busy or sick or just unmotivated, but it has brought some familiarity and comfort, as well as some unfamiliarity that is necessary to make myself feel like I have a place here.

With all of that – let’s begin!

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Brussels

I tiredly landed in Brussels after an amazing last meal in Dublin and 2 hours of sleep. I lugged my luggage across the city, which I found to be a bit… Browner, than others I had landed in (the splashes of colour would come). I found my way to G.M., who was working, so I wandered around and ate a delicious (and inexpensive) sandwich. My short trip to Brussels quickly checked items off the list: Frites, beer, chocolate, waffles.

Brussels was a very food-centric and short trip!

Continue reading “Brussels”

Being Cognizant: Celebrating the 5-Year Veggiversary!

A series about the ways I work towards being cognizant through decisions that make me more mentally engaged with various facets of my day-to-day life.

Cognizance (noun): Awareness, realization, notice, knowledge, perception.

On March 1st, I celebrated five years since I started following a veg*an lifestyle!

I am not perfectly inside one dietary box, in that I do not exclusively eat vegan but I do not eat meat and I try to purchase items that are friendly to animals in addition to not eating meat or consuming many animal by-products. It has been a journey for the mind and body as I try to find balance of protein, exercise, iron, vitamins, and satiation. I haven’t been the best at finding this balance, but I have really enjoyed the journey and the way it has caused me to reflect on what I eat more often (and the food blogs I have discovered for vegan baking along the way).

Each year, I celebrate by going to a beloved vegetarian restaurant. For three years, I did this with my vegetarian partner-in-crime before he returned to the omnivorous side, but he joined me each year to celebrate my personal continued commitment to keep vegging out. This year, a different partner-in-crime joined me for a new celebratory location – C.C. and I went to Meet on Main for a late-night vegan dinner!

We shared a plate of Hot Chiggin’ Things before moving on to a bowl of goodies for C.C. and a BLT Croissantwich for myself, followed by a chocolate raspberry crumble (tears of joy).

Hot Chocolate Festival VII: Stops 21-27, Farewell

When it launched in 2011, The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival was the first city-wide festival of its kind in the world.  This January it returns for its 7th year, bigger and better than ever, with Vancouver’s best chocolatiers, pastry shops, bakeries, cafes, gelato and ice cream makers coming together to make the humble hot chocolate hotter than it has ever been before.

This Festival is a fundraiser for the Downtown Eastside women’s job training
program of the PHS Community Services Society and East Van Roasters.

Hot Chocolate Fest

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Stop #21: Pretty in Pink, Bel Café

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Always a lovely stop to find a seat at one of the daintily decorated tables in Bel!

The flavour for this half of the festival had no non-dairy option if I wanted the full experience, so I braced myself and dove into the rose-infused beverage first thing in the morning.

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Hot Chocolate Festival VII: Stops 11-15

When it launched in 2011, The Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival was the first city-wide festival of its kind in the world.  This January it returns for its 7th year, bigger and better than ever, with Vancouver’s best chocolatiers, pastry shops, bakeries, cafes, gelato and ice cream makers coming together to make the humble hot chocolate hotter than it has ever been before.

This Festival is a fundraiser for the Downtown Eastside women’s job training
program of the PHS Community Services Society and East Van Roasters.

Hot Chocolate Fest

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Stop #11: Home Run (Black Forest in a Cup), Thomas Haas

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Thomas Haas is always one of my favourite stops of the festival – their decor and attention to detail in beverages and delicious flavours have always led to fond memories.

Continue reading “Hot Chocolate Festival VII: Stops 11-15”