Ice Cream Bucket List


It was my friend Pascale's birthday a little while ago and for her special day I gave her a little card with a sweet surprise on the inside. It's no secret that we both love ice cream so I dreamed up a map of the ultimate Ottawa ice cream bucket list! I figured I could turn her birthday into a lifestyle for all of summer 17 and treat her to 10 of the city's best ice cream spots.

I thought I would share the list if you would like to have a peak...

1. Pascale's Ice CreamStroll through Lansdowne Farmer's Market on a sunshiny day and enjoy some of Pascale's homemade ice cream. She has a stall set up with the loveliest flavours like Honey Ginger Rhubarb, Malted Milk Chocolate, and my favourite, Lavender.

2. Carp Custom CreameryTake a mini road trip to the nearby town of Carp to this classic ice cream counter. They have huge cones at a good price and tons of flavours. Plus they have a cute patio with picnic tables (also, did I mention the ICE CREAM TACOS!?!).

3. Merry DairyTweet the ice truck for a totally 21st century frozen custard experience, if you're lucky they'll come right to your door in the summertime! I also just found out they're opening a permanent location in Hintonburg.

4. McDonald'sPascale and I can attest that the best combo for a summer night is dancing at Babylon's 90s night and then post clubbing ice cream at McDonald's... for this one I'll have to put all my #shoplocal values aside! (side note: the new skor mcflurry is everything)

5. La CigaleTake a summer hike in Gatineau Park or go for an afternoon swim in Wakefield. On the way back to the Capital be sure to pop by La Cigale in Chelsea for mouthwatering homemade ice cream and waffle cones.

6. Strawberry BlondeGot a vegan in your life? Love animals? You're in luck! Strawberry Blonde has the smoothest vegan soft serve ice cream and all the baked goods you could ever dream of.

7. MooshuStop by this super sweet shop for a taste of Asian inspired ice cream with flavours like Hong Kong Milk Tea and Black Sesame. Mooshu has been named one of the trendiest/hipest/most instagrammable little eateries in town with its cute logo and ice cream wallpaper. They're homemade cones are also vegan + gluten free.

8. Piccolo GrandeOttawa has countless gelato places but Piccolo Grande has a special place in my heart because we used to walk here from my high school on warm early summer/late fall days. They also load on the gelato unlike most places which means it's likely the best bang for your buck.

9. Holland Cake & ShakeAfter picking up some fresh fruit and veg from the Parkdale Market, or strolling through Hintonburg, get some of Chef Holland's famous from-scratch soft serve. Devour it in a cone, sundae, shake, or paired with their beautiful cakes.

10. Beach ShackI love me a good picnic on the beach! Head to Mooney's Bay Beach and soak in some rays while snacking on some of Beach Shack's mouthwatering ice cream cones. With toppings like caramel corn and oreo you really can't go wrong.

Pascale and I re:how much we love ice cream  ↴



Although I listed 10 fun ice cream adventures above, I'd also like to give a special shoutout to Oat & Mill vegan ice cream that can be found in some local Metros, The Beachoners microcreamery near Britannia Beach, and the new Stella Luna location in Hintonburg. You can be sure to find me at these sweet spots on this summer's hot summer nights.

I'm Moving...


Guess what? I'm moving! I'm packing up my bags and making the big 4 kilometre move to an apartment downtown. The place is perfect with high ceilings, wood floors and big windows. Did I mention my bedroom looks out onto a castle?! Well kind of. It's also a 15 minute walk from my office and a 30 second walk away from my friends Matt and Sarah, and Isabelle. Yoga studios, parks, cute cafes, bike paths, oh my. I'm really excited to move in.

I'm even more pumped that I'm going to be living with my longtime best friend Maggie. We've survived living together abroad and suffered through many awkward high school phases together so I'm pretty sure we've passed the ultimate tests of friendship.

As I take on this classic #adulting milestone and move into my first apartment in Ottawa, I'm excited to share with you my many discoveries and musings.


// picture from Pinterest... not my apartment sadly.

My Favourite Non-Fiction Books



Today I am talking a little bit more about the business side of Breakfast & Business! Get ready guys, I'm trading in dinner parties and photos of pie for some #realtalk on one of my true passions: researching/reading about the soft side of business.

The other day I caught myself recommending the same four books yet again. Although I have enjoyed hundreds of cheesy beach reads that require absolutely no intellect, my favourite books have somehow ended up being the few non-fiction gems that I have come across. I have fallen in love with these books and I'm realizing that the ideas within their pages have often transformed into many of my fundamental beliefs about how I fit into the business world.

I would like to share my top fave reads:

1. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking
by Susan Cain

I first learned about Quiet when Susan Cain came to speak at my school during my first year of university. As she spoke about what it means to be an introvert in a world where being outgoing is encouraged, my fresh and receptive first year mind was blown. I finally felt understood. Like whaaatttt, I'm not the only one who can only truly recharge and feel grounded after some alone time locked in my room with a book??

In Quiet, Cain goes on to explain what it means to be an introvert as well as what we bring to the table as wise and empathetic individuals.

Here's the deal: I read this book five years ago and still think about it in my day to day life... woah #bookgoals.

If you are looking for a quick version of the book, Cain has also given a fantastic TED talk (I'm talking 15 million views) and her twitter page is bursting with thought provoking articles.

Pets > small talk 4ever&ever




2. Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (and World Peace)
by Chade-Meng Tan

I was introduced to this amazing book in my favourite class of my undergrad. As part of my Interpersonal Skills class our goal for the semester was to better understand ourselves (#selfawareness) which then lead to a better understanding of how we work with others. Our main reference for the class was Chade-Meng Tan's Search Inside Yourself. 

Tan is a Google engineer that launched a program that revolutionized how people find happiness at work. The book is a page turner with relatable, easy to read breakdowns of mindfulness and emotional intelligence, two really big words in today's world of collaboration at work.

3. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance
by Angela Duckworth

I often catch myself telling people that I'm not that smart, I'm just insanely hard working. Although it's not the most self confident statement, what I'm usually getting at is that you don't need an insane IQ level to be the top of your class or to get your dream job. Angela Duckworth's Grit delves into this topic with years of gripping research on how grit - made up of passion and perseverance - is really the main characteristic that will enable you to achieve amazing things.

The ideas in Grit are easily digestible with interviews from Will Smith and Woody Allen but at the same time are backed up with pages and pages of scientific evidence. If anything Grit is empowering!! It challenges conventional beliefs about the path to success and ultimately drives home the point that anything is possible if you work your ass off and remain passionate about your goals.

Duckworth also has a TED talk and brilliant twitter page if you want a quick snapshot of the essence of the book.

4. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead
by Sheryl Sandberg

During my first ever job that exposed me to the world of human resources, I had the greatest mentor. Among all the incredible advice and guidance she gave me, she told me to read this book.

Lean In is written by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook and overall badass business woman. Some of her insight about being a woman in the business world is so spot. I felt like she was sitting right there with me, coaching and empowering me to own my career. As I became aware of how I blamed external factors for my success (e.g. good teachers, easy test, luck...), over apologized in emails, or avoided conflict to ensure I was still well liked, I was shocked at the little things she pointed out that I could easily change to reach personal fulfillment at work.

In my senior year at university I somehow landed an interview at one of the top consulting firms in the world. As I dried my clammy palms and tried not to throw up from nervousness, all I could do was channel Sandberg's voice compelling me to lean in to my career. Even though I didn't get the job, I made it through the interview with mega confidence.

Launch Party


Two months ago I had the most wonderful summer dinner party to launch the start of this little blog of mine. As we are in the thick of the hustle and bustle that comes with back to school and back to work, I wanted to take this post to look back on this memorable evening with my girlfriends. 

I decided to keep things easy and have a backyard party with a long candlelit table and fill it with food and friends. I have a few pictures below if you would like to take a peak:


One of the most exciting parts of the night was that we had tons of [La Cigale] ice cream to celebrate the big night. La Cigale is located just outside of Ottawa in Chelsea, Quebec. They have the BEST flavours and their in house waffle cones get me every time. La Cigale was kind enough to gift us with a bunch of tubs of ice cream with flavours such as gingersnap and chai, raspberry white chocolate, and butterscotch toffee. I was IN HEAVEN and so excited to introduce my guests with this gem of a local business.



In terms of decorations and activities, wellllllll I made a doughnut piñata. Yes it happened. I used [this tutorial] and made the whole thing while watching Captain Phillips. Note to self: Don't watch a fast pace thrilling movie with sharp scissors in your hand.


I kept things easy and made a whole bunch of veggie pizzas that were all laid out on the table throughout dinner for people to grab a slice. I used my [good old recipe] that I posted a couple weeks back and then added fun toppings like brussels sprouts and blackberries. Two tips when making crazy amounts of pizza
1) Pre bake the dough for about 6 minutes at 500ºF and then just when the guests are about to arrive throw on some toppings and bake for another 6-8 minutes. 
2) Don't be stingy. I repeat don't be stingy, especially with the toppings you should be going into this with a more is more mentality. 

Halloween Costume Ideas


I'm not going to lie, I love Halloween. My inner soccer-mom-with-a-crafting-room comes to life as soon as mid October rolls around. If you're not convinced, just flashback to last year when I was drowning in midterms, essays, assignments, and planning a conference, I managed to hand sew on gold ribbons and buttons for my royal couple costume. #dedication

Below I've rounded up my top five costumes in case you need a little costume inspo this Halloween season.

1. Frat Boys

Arguably the easiest Halloween costume to throw together and excellent in groups, the frat boy ensemble made it acceptable to chug beer and call myself [Mack] for the night. You better believe there was a lot of dabbing on the dance floor.

What you need:
Shorts, button down shirt, baseball cap, red solo cup in hand, loud voice for yelling out fraternity cheers. Optional: large cardboard greek letters for holding and small printed out greek letters for sticking on your shirt.


2. Whoopee Cushion

(the letters aren't backwards IRL, this was a self timer....... no comment)
Definitely not your sexy kitten seeing as I first wore this in grade 7, this costume is pretty awesome. In all honesty, I'm still bitter that I came second to the kid dressed up as a clown in the costume contest. A clown? How original! The whoopee cushion costume is so comfortable and warm if you're going to be outside. Probably not the best if you're going to be inside in a packed house party.

What you need:
Large quantities of pink felt, a black sharpie, and a mother with sick sewing skills. Yes, my wonderful mother just threw this costume together sans pattern. 


3. Royal Couple

A note to all DIY costume makers: it's seven million times easier to make your costume look realistic if you have a picture to base it off of. My friend Elizabeth and I had a blast in these costumes (not pictured are our friends dressed up as lady Di, Prince Philip, Queen E, Pippa Middleton, and even baby Charlotte). Did I say I was committed to Halloween or did I say it??

What you need:
A picture of the royal family, a trip to dollarama to buy ALL the ribbons and gold buttons, a mini sewing kit, and some random clothing that looks somewhat suit ish/something a royal would wear.

4. Tooth Fairy and Toothpaste

I can't even count the amount of times my friend Maggie and I have gone out wearing couples costumes. Who said you need a significant other to pull off great paired costumes??

What you need:
For the fairy - white tutu and a toothbrush and/or wand. Optional wings and crown.
For the toothpaste - a large white sheet sewn in a tube shape and a steady hand for painting on the logo.

5. Martha Stewart
My girl Martha has been an inspiration of mine for years and what better way to pay tribute to your idols than to dress up as them for Halloween! This was kind of a low key costume but it gave me the opportunity to walk around all day in khakis with a plate of brownies.

What you need:
Preferably a blonde bob, khakis, a pastel button down, an apron, and handcuffs (too soon, Martha?). Optional: Baked goods to hand out.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN KIDS!!!!!!! 

Pizza Dough (+NEWS)


You know when you want something so badly but it's so insanely unlikely to happen that you kind of let your dreams fade away? Well that was me and the dream of owning my own wood-fired pizza oven. See what I mean by unrealistic?? I'd say I'm pretty ambitious with goals and dreams but there was no situation in the near future that involved moving a three thousand dollar monstrosity into my backyard.

But then something beautiful happened. Some could even call it a Thanksgiving miracle. I found out that there is a wood-fired pizza oven at [Bayshore Park] in Ottawa that is open to the community every few Saturdays a month!! *dances around the room with pizza* You bring your own dough, or pie, or whatever baked good you've made and then you can cook it to wood-fired perfection. I'm super excited to try it out and lucky for you and me they're open tomorrow, October 8th from 1-2:30.

To celebrate I'm sharing my favourite pizza dough recipe that I make ALL THE TIME.

Ingredients

1 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt

Preparation

  1. In a bowl add the yeast and sugar, and then the warm water. Give it a little mix to make sure all the yeast is wet and then let it sit for five minutes until the mixture foams on top.
  2. Mix in the flour and salt with a wooden spoon. 
  3. Add the flour to the yeast mixture and then knead on a floured surface for a few minutes.
  4. Next, pour a little olive oil in a clean bowl and then place the dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap.
  5. Let the dough rise for at least an hour in a warm area (like the oven with the light on, but no heat). I like to let mine sit for a couple of hours so it gets nice and light and fluffy.
  6. Roll out the dough, add your sauce and toppings, and then bake at 500ºF for 10-15 minutes.
  7. This dough also freezes super well!
For more details about the wood-fired oven you can check out their [Facebook page] or subscribe to their [newsletter].

// recipe from Ricardo Cuisine
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Apple Pie



One of my favourite holidays is coming up this weekend. You guessed it, Canadian Thanksgiving!! When I was studying at Bishop's, Thanksgiving was the best thing ever. I can remember being in first year and being stupid enough to bring a WHOLE DUFFLE BAG of books home to study lol. I actually had to recruit a random passerby to grab a side and help me carry it to the bus stop. And to think I was going to get any studying done during my favourite time of year in the capital. I always made sure my Thanksgiving weekends were filled with hiking in beautiful scenery, and tons and tons of pie! Speaking of pie, here is an amazing apple pie recipe to share with your loved ones this weekend. And do me a favour, tell them you love them and how thankful you are for them.

Okay, now let's get down to the real talk. That fancy pie crust was wayyyyyy easier than it looks. And trust me when I say that you shouldn't let all the myths that pastry is finicky get in the way of wowing your guests with the apple pie of their dreams. I turned to Pinterest and Instagram to get some ideas and then I was off! All it takes is determination and a heck of a lot of butter to nail this recipe.


Ingredients

Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 to 1 cup ice cold water

Pie Filling
8-9 small/medium apples (I used cortland apples, but granny smith work well too)
1/2 cup butter
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup water
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla

Preparation

Pie Crust
  1. I have used this pie crust recipe since I baked my very first pie. It requires a gazillion steps but it's reliable AF. Here we go! Fill a cup measuring cup with water and some ice to get it supppppper cold. 
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt.  
  3. Grate a cup of cold butter into the flour mixture. This is the easiest way to get all your ingredients integrated. 
  4. Use a fork, or your hands to mix everything together. 
  5. Drizzle half a cup of cold water into the mixture. Mix together and then add in more water a tablespoon at a time till the dough holds together.
  6. Knead the dough and then divide it in half. One half will fill the pie plate and the other will be used to make your fancy pie top.
  7. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and then chill in the fridge for at least an hour. If you're in a pinch you can pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  8. After chilling, roll out the dough into a thin layer and then fit into a 9 inch pie shell. Tuck the excess that hangs over the edge under to create an even and pretty edge.
  9. Cover with plastic wrap and then pop it in the fridge again for about 30 minutes this time.
  10. Roll out the other half of the dough. At this point you can stop and watch netflix and call it a day. OR you can get your pinterest on and measure a rectangle that is 10 inches in length. Cut out strips for your lattice top. They can all be the same width or you can use my example and create all different widths and even braid some.
  11. Pop these guys into the freezer on a flat plate or baking sheet for about 15 minutes. This way they keep their shape.
Pie Filling
  1. At some point during the pie crust process (like when your dough is chilling in the fridge), you can make the filling for your apple pie. In a medium pot, melt the butter and then mix in the flour to create a paste. 
  2. Add in the rest of the filling ingredients (sugars, spices and vanilla). Let this mixture boil for a minute or two until it thickens slightly.
  3. Peel and slice the apples and then toss with the sauce you made.
  4. Pour the apples into the prepared pie shell and then top with your lattice crust. I made tiny leaves out of pastry to go around the edge of the pie shell. I get that that's a bit excessive haha and you can totally skip this step.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes at 425ºF. 
  6. After that, reduce heat to 375ºF and bake for 40 minutes. Take the aluminum foil off for the last 10 minutes to let the crust get all golden.


//Pie crust recipe via America's Test Kitchen & filling adapted from Audrey's Apron.

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