Taiwan Taiwan

Hello! It has been an awfully long time since I last posted something. It was difficult to finally get a somewhat stable internet access, but I don’t want to jinx it.  The past week was crazy busy. A brief recap before I go on to Taiwan.  With a few friends on Friday the 10th, I went to Taste of the Danforth. It is an annual festival in Toronto’s Greek town. I was told spanakopita or spinach phyllo pie was a signature that I could not  miss out on. Continue reading

Double Chocolate Cookie

I was craving something sweet and chocolatey. It has been a while since I had made a batch of cookies and this time I wanted to aim for an even healthier treat. But rest assured, even though it is healthy it is so good.The cookies came out perfectly and the inside is nice and dense. You won’t even miss the sugar and fat laden cookies!

I found the recipe of a triple chocolate chip recipe from Elana’s Pantry and took the spin from there. To her recipe, I made some changes to suit the ingredients I had on hand. She uses 3 different chocolate chips, so if you are looking for something even sweeter you should definitely take a look at her recipe.

Double Chocolate Cookie
Yield: 14 cookies

  • 2   and 1/2 cups oat flour (processed oats into powder)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • dark chocolate chips
  • handful of dried cranberries
  1. Combine together oat flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, dark chocolate chips and cranberries.
  2. Cream together coconut oil and honey. Stir into the dry ingredients
  3. Scoop dough with a spoon and flatten before baking.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees C for about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Allow them to cool completely before serving.

Let’s talk chocolate! It is one of the most incredible things on Earth. When I first learned about the benefits of cocoa, I started to teach myself to love the bitter dark chocolate over milk chocolate. It’s not bitter today, and I can actually enjoy it now!  According to the “National Geographic Desk Reference to Nature’s Medicine” book…. Did you know, that cacao seeds contain more than 300 different chemical compounds? It contains stimulant caffeine (aka theobromine) that has a calming effect to the brain but energizes the nervous system. And studies show that the antioxidant action of cocoa are higher than tea and red wine. There are much more facts, but how awesome is chocolate (dark chocolate, not milk chocolate)!

Some new ones I tried out this summer include the ZaZubean (organic and fair trade), Endangered Species Chocolate (also organic and fair trade) and Chocosol. The first two were picked up at Mountain Equipment Co-op when I went with a friend who needed to do some shopping for her trip. It sells things for outdoor physical activities; at the check-out aisle I was able to browse many different snack bars and different types of chocolates. I chose these two because I wanted to try something new and for the ethics they portray. One of the things I love about chocolate is seeing how it is presented. I liked Zazubean’s taste more than the Endangered Species’. I also tried Chocosol’s dark chocolate.  At a night market in Toronto with friends, I found a small booth very different from others and it stood out to me. I was intrigued to hear they are based in Toronto. It was also nice for the vendors to tell me about their products and their values for the quality of their chocolate + ethical treatment of their farmers. Out of the 3, this one was my favourite one.Treat yourself to some chocolate today 😀

Paw-Paw Fact

This morning I needed a fix for my early waking by Meatball. I was trampled in my sleep by a furry four-legged friend until I finally gave in and followed a very happy dog downstairs. Breakfast was a OneBun sandwich filled with peanut butter, jam and half an avocado. Cucumbers on the side as well. After breakfast we went out for a walk and enjoyed some fresh air.  Before lunch I had a green fruit smoothie. Since breakfast I have been flipping through the glorious pages of enticing combinations from a smoothie book I borrowed at the library this week. I didn’t exactly follow a recipe but it was enough to get me started. An interesting fact I learned is that “paw paw” is the word for papaya in Australia, how adorable! Continue reading

Chocolate Coconut Raspberry Vegan Cheesecake

I haven’t posted since the end of July because I sort of fell into a slump. Besides being lazy and using the computer much less, we have a special guest staying with us. He requires a lot of attention and energy, and he does motivate me to walk and run more than I am currently.Meatball is with us once again for a month while his owners are on vacation. It’s no surprise to hear him charging into my room in the morning. It’s funny that I can now somehow hear him running while even before I wake up, then I bolt up and wave my arms around to block him from jumping on me.

I will be heading to Taiwan in exactly a week and I had a lot of hustling to do with my housing search for the coming fall.  Scheduling was very crammed and last minute but I also met with a real estate agent for a viewing of a unit minutes (walking) away from school. The view was magnificent, however the space and the price was sadly a thumbs down. Although I haven’t been posting, I’m still cooking and trying out some recipes. And I have a bunch of things lining up.  I want to share the latest bit of the raw vegan cheesecake. It was requested from a colleague at work and I was excited to have others try it.  I was nervous for their likings because it definitely tastes different from regular rich cheesecakes, but it received many approvals 🙂This is time around it is Chocolate Coconut Raspberry. I wanted to post a week ago but I thought the photos had been accidentally deleted. Little did I know that it was in another folder. It is a spin-off of the Chocolate Berry Swirl  flavour  made last time. The special ingredient for this one is coconut shreds.If you would like to see the recipe,  you can take a look at vegan cheesecake #1 or #2 . Some changes to the basic recipe include:

  • layered the plain filling first, and crumbled on top some frozen raspberries
  • used about 3-4 tbsp cocoa powder for the chocolate layer
  • added about 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut to the chocolate layer (but sweetened coconut would work too)
  • layered the chocolate filling second and sprinkled on more coconut before freezing.

Goodnight, I will continue tomorrow!