Pancakes, a new family member, decorating, a new book and more!

There are three things in this world that I really truly can never stop thinking about: reading, cats and food!

February is shaping up to be a pretty good month for all of those.

Let’s start with food: It’s taken me awhile but I’ve finally found the perfect vegan pancake recipe. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Bree recipe if I didn’t take a few liberties with it myself. I find a lot of vegan pancake recipes needlessly complex when really, pancakes are supposed to be simple. Just through Googling I found this pretty good recipe.

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Delicious, protein-rich vegan pancakes with fruit and chocolate… and a vegan mocha!

Here’s what I do differently: Instead of a whole TBSP of flax seed, I use half a TBSP of flax and a half of chia seeds (both are good egg subs). I sub stevia powder for sugar. I remove about 1.5-2 tbsp of the flour and replace it with an equal amount of quinoa (rinsed, but uncooked) so I can get some protein in.

Then I add the fun stuff — chocolate chips and pomegranate seeds! Mmmmm. Pomegranate seeds get nice and soft when you grill them in pancakes, so they taste totally great. I bought a big bag of vegan chocolate chips at The Big Carrot and, well, it’s been love ever since.

I also found two new loves I would love to share: these Noble Teacups from David’s Tea and my new stovetop espresso maker. I had no interest in getting a stovetop espresso maker until I realize just how frustrating my roommate’s Starbucks espresso maker is to deal with. And wow, espresso machines cost a lot — but this baby was $20 on Amazon. Love it. I’ve never been a black coffee girl to begin with but I’ve decided to start trying occasionally. The other day I sat down and had a wee cup of espresso. Throughout all the bitterness I did end up enjoying the taste, so there’s some progress! But even though I’m mostly a tea lady, I do love the occasional espresso-based drink. I don’t have a milk frother either, but I find it just as easy to whisk some almond milk on the stove. There’s something really fun about using a whisk to me. Anyway, I used this recipe from Sincerely Kinsey for a peppermint mocha and also topped it with (unseen) RiceWhip — I didn’t even know rice-based whipped “cream” was a thing!!

A bit of advice with these Noble teacups — grab with caution. They don’t have handles. They’re hot as heck!

I have mentioned my cat, Benny, before. One other cat in my life is my Mom’s cat, Maggie. They got Maggie when I was away at school. She was a rescue cat and adapted to our family (and dog, Tessie) right away. Well, Maggie has some kitty company now. A few weeks ago, a beautiful skinny grey tiger cat was sauntering around my Mom’s driveway, seemingly lost.After a few hours she lured him into the garage and then the house. While she gave him some food, she checked and saw he was declawed (ugh!) and neutered, so this was clearly someone’s pet. She called the humane society and we both put up ads online and throughout the community and no one responded. After a trip to the vet (not microchipped, but a case of worms, a broken tail and an infected tongue to nurse) my Mom found herself attached to this loving, sweet, even-tempered cat. So they’ve kept him for now and named him Max. Maggie is still adjusting to him, but Tessie loves him. He’s currently healing up and is getting used to the house. I’ve met him a few times and he’s a super cat. Very sweet. Welcome, Max!


Crazy Town
Now here’s something awesome about my job: I sometimes get free stuff. By “sometimes” I mean “almost never.” But my co-editors get free stuff almost once a week. See, I’m a news editor, so no one has a reason to send me food, alcohol, beauty products, clothes, etc. But sometimes my co-workers feel generous and they give me some of their haul. My editor-in-chief happened to be sent a copy of “Crazy Town” by Robyn Doolittle and for some odd reason, had no desire to actually read it, so when he saw my face light up upon seeing it, he gave it to me. I’m not even halfway through it yet (slow reader here) but I’m so sucked in to it! Rob Ford and his family are fascinating people. I’ve never been a fan of him as a politician or as a person, but this book has me sucked in. Despite what some Toronto Star haters might think (and I’m no fan of the Star’s take on politics either), it presents a fair and almost sympathetic image of Ford at times. He’s more complex than people realize. I really love this book.

My almost-complete corner!

My almost-complete corner!

And of course, everyone needs a place to read, a place to relax. I’m happy to say that significant progress has been made on my corner in my room. It’s not 100% done yet. I still have three tasks: 1) To find a framed photo hang, 2) To figure out a way to hang a record, 3) To find a way to hang a non-framed, thin canvas photo of me climbing (it’s balancing on my shelf right now). In addition to my homemade shelf and a few of the photos, I’ve added some plants (EcoCube from Chapters) and some peel-and-stick chalkboards (see my terrible drawing of Benny)? The corner is lookin’ mighty fine and feels nice and cozy. Maybe in my next place I’ll put in an end table to put my mochas on, but for now there’s not enough room.

Anyway, that’s what’s new and interesting in my life right now. A lot, I know. I’ll grab some snaps of my dancers tonight so you can see the progress they’ve made!

“Where ya been, Flynn?” — February 3

“Where ya been, Flynn?” — February 3

That’s the kinda thing my Mom would say — she’s big on unnecessary rhyming. Where HAVE I been? What’s with the sudden disappearance and then sudden reappearance? Well, I wish there were some sort of exciting reason, like I got … Continue reading

Photo of the day and fashion story, January 21

Photo of the day and fashion story, January 21

Well, this is the week where everything counts: production. Every four (sometimes five) weeks, work goes into production mode. We start proofing and editing the magazines before we send them to the printer on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It’s a … Continue reading

Photo of the day, January 20

Photo of the day, January 20

So I forgot to flip this photo — such a dunce! But hopefully you can read my scrawl. I’m aware that this creation looks a little juvenile. And hey, some people (ding ding! me!) just aren’t visually-inclined. I love art, … Continue reading

Photo of the day, January 19

Here’s a photo of my newly enhanced reading nook featuring two creatures from my university days: Ox, the Uglydoll, and my sea monster! I want to talk a little bit about something that I don’t chat a lot about online: … Continue reading

Weekend recipe remix: Power Hungry’s homemade Clif bars

Weekend recipe remix: Power Hungry’s homemade Clif bars

I LOVE Clif Bars. I mean, most climbers do, right? I normally HATE protein bars (for one thing, most aren’t vegan, and honestly, most just taste terrible). But Clif bars are just tasty!

But there’s always three advantages to making something at home: 1) You seriously save money, 2) You can make it vegan, 3) It’s approximately 10x more satisfying to eat something you made!

I used this recipe for Clif bars. Here are a few alterations or personal decisions I made:

  1. I wanted to make a sweet and salty Clif bar, so I used roasted/salted mixed nuts and chopped those up.
  2. I used cashew/peanut butter.
  3. I used a mix of vanilla agave, maple agave and maple syrup (I can’t commit to just one!)
  4. I chopped up some vegan chocolate and made chocolate Clif bars — but not before sprinkling some sea salt onto them!

The result? Super tasty, nice and chewy, and not too dense. Ryan loved them too!