Tag Archives: travel

long weekends & lenses

Who doesn’t love a long weekend?

Sometimes… you just want to get away for a long weekend, but maybe you took too long to decide what you wanted to do and now all the b&b’s are booked up and all the campgrounds are overflowing with children because the long weekend also coincides with school holidays. Yeah, so ‘getting away’ will be more stressful then it is relaxing.

So what do you do in that instance? You just drive someplace nice and the sleep in your car. obviously.

It didn’t take too much convincing… Sean and I decided that the only way to have a hassle free weekend away would be to stuff a bunch of pillows in the back of the car, open up that sunroof and crack a bottle or wine.

Or drink exactly one half glass before it starts pouring down rain at which point you shut all the doors and sunroofs, tip out your wine and just go to sleep.

So that’s what we did.

DSC_7807Hey, hot damn! We are two cray-zay kids.

We went car camping! Up to Port Stephens to check out the sand dunes that I have visited once before…

DSC_7823Check out those endless blue skies!

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We may have tried to glide down the dunes on a body board. It mostly did not work. But we DID find this cool Goana track in the sand.

And then look what happened this past weekend! I bought a new lens!
DSC_8122Here is how ridiculously wide this lens is…

DSC_8132It’s a professional selfie yo. And this bad boy with make your arms look SUPER long and slightly anorexic. AWESOME! (kidding)

DSC_8143YAY FOR WIDE LENSES!

this post was essentially useless… but I just wanted to share some pics and good times!

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Travel

hello, it’s nice to meet you

Hot damn. I think I just saw a tumbleweed…

Sorry. In case you didn’t get the memo… I was off traveling the world and I totally just abandoned this site. That was… not my intention. But hell, who knew that backpacking for four months while keeping a travel blog would hinder my abilities to also keep up a vegan baking blog?

Me – I knew that. I should have warned myself. But instead I just pretended that I could keep this up with some mediocre post about eating vegan in different countries that would be few and far between. Hmmm. Well, that just didn’t pan out, did it?

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I did do some really good Vegan eating though, it a lot of really unexpected places. Maybe I will continue to post some of those experiences in the near future. Maybe I won’t. No more promises. ‘Cause I think I am really bad at keeping those when living gets in the way. Living is like a full time job and it’s really hard. Really fun – but oh my god, so time consuming.

But there is more. I didn’t JUST get back from travels. I got back over a month ago. A MONTH. and here I sit now, 25 days into 2014, and I haven’t posted a god damn thing.

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Let’s remedy that, shall we?

With pictures of… SEAGULLS!

I have some baking for you too… but I really like seagulls.

I have a new found obsession with them. Actually, I think I have been harbouring an obsession for some time. But put a camera in my hand when I’m near the beach and kablammy – let’s take some pictures of Seagulls.

They are just so… Gully. I dunno.

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I feel changes rolling in.

Just sayin’

x

*if you don’t hate me and are interested in seeing what i got up to on my travels visit sporkvsfoon.wordpress.com – i was traveling with my main man, Sean. He’s pretty ok. 😉

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Filed under Adventures in Australia

noosa

Another weekend vacation! I can’t get enough of these. If I could take a long weekend once a month and travel to a beautiful place by the sea where turkeys run a muck like squirrels, well I would live a very happy life. So far, I’m doing ok!

So, here is a photo bomb for you… of my adventures to Noosa with my jazzy lady friend – Sam. We were able to get awesome flight deals and scored a Romantic Escape deal for our hotel. We had cocktails, dinners with a piano man, we napped on the beach, we walked for ages to nowhere (actually a mistake), we watched the sunset, we took a bad ass bus to Fraser Island, we saw a dingo, it ate my baybay, we had more cocktails, we looked at the stars, we drank coffee and then we ate an amazing breakfast. Best breakfast of my life! Please see evidence of all happenings below.

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xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Travel

two-year cheesecake

Two years!

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It is the anniversary of two things! April 30th marks two years since my first post on …but can she bake. Granted, there were a couple half hearted posts before it. However they were few and far between. I started posting regularly two years ago because that is when I moved to Australia to live with my most incredible boy(man)friend. And so, this is also the anniversary of my move to Sydney!

I began writing to document my days/weeks/life in Australia and so that my biggest fans (my mom, dad and grandparents) could track my every move. I love baking and I love taking pictures, so this little ditty was born.

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Now, here I am, 730 days later posting a recipe that I have been eyeing for at least… well longer than that. I have been coveting these cheesecake recipes since I became a vegan. Why I never made one, I am not sure. Skeptical? Yes. I was. That and I didn’t own a proper blender (vitamix) and even though I still don’t… I thought I’d give it a whirl. For the sake of two years. Ya know what I mean?

Man ALIVE! I am glad I did. This vegan cheesecake is delicious! It’s cashew filled, but you wouldn’t really guess it. I would even go so far as to say that if I had a higher tech blender, this version would be just as silky and smooth as a regular cheesecake. So basically, Dad: if you are still thinking about buying a vita mix, please do and we can make this when I come home. 🙂 (Along with about a billion other vegan recipes that require a vitamix.)

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The lemon is what makes it sour like a cream cheese based cake and the vanilla, honey and raspberries make it delightfully sweet.

Try this bad boy on for size. It’s a keeper. Even my man-friend thinks so.

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The process isn’t even that labour intensive, you just need to soak some cashews the night before. It’s even no-bake! In fact, it’s RAW TOO! Amazing.

You can tell from my pictures that my mixture wasn’t really even close to silky smooth, but I swear it was still so delicious. Just try it out.
Vegan Cheesecake
adapted from here and here

crust
1/2 c. Medjool dates
1/2 c. walnuts
pinch of  salt

filling
2 c. cashews (soaked overnight)
juice of 2 medium lemons
1 vanilla bean
1 c. raspberries/strawberries/blueberries or whatever berry you are feeling
1/3 c. maple syrup (use honey to make it raw)
1/3 c. coconut oil

Soak the cashews overnight. (at least 5 hours)

Throw all the crust ingredients in the food processor and blend/chop until the bind together on their own. You can test this until you are satisfied. Press the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Use one 6 inch pan or two 3 inch pans. (mini cheesecakes are awesome!)

Next warm up the coconut oil however you choose (microwave, stove) and mix with the maple syrup. Put the cashews, lemon juice and vanilla into the food processor with the honey/oil mixture and blend until as smooth as possible. This may take many minutes of blending. I used about half of this mixture to pour into the two pans and then saved the other half to add the raspberries to. After evening out the mixture in the pan(s) I put them in the freezer to lightly set for about 30 minutes. You can omit this step, but I thought it would help separate the layers.

Next add the raspberries to the cashew mixture and blend until fully combined. Pour this mixture on the top of the plain cashew mixture and even it out. Place the cake(s) back in the freezer until solid.
Remove about 10-15 minutes before you want to slice it, orrrrr just hack into it with a knife and fork… like me.
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xxx

pssst! check out what I posted one-year ago.

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Filed under Adventures in Australia, Cake, Pies

From an apple pie to one Big Apple

DSC_9279Confession time up in here. I lied. I lieeeeeeeeeeed to the world. I posted a blog about apple pie. I said that I was missing vegetable shortening and insinuated that I may not be back to Toronto for a while. That was the lie. Because as I pressed that little post button and unleashed my apple pie on the world, I was actually sitting in my humble little (rented) Manhattan apartment. And about 24 hours after THAT, I was back in the T dot.

ho hO HO!

Merry Christmas Grandma & Grandpa! You guys are suckers for a good surprise. bahahaha.

Anyway, I’m back in Toronto for the Christmas season. Let’s eat clementines! Let’s watch claym-ation Christmas movies! Let’s cut down a Christmas tree and drink mulled cider! Amazing! I’m all over it.

Prior to flying into Toronto, Sean and I stopped by New York City via Vancouver. He had never been to NYC, and I was itching to get back. On the way, we spent 6 hours in Vancouver and took a little field trip to Granville Island. Here are a couple shots from Vancouver & the Big Apple. We jumped around, we ate some amazing food, drank some verrry strong cocktails and met some Guatemalan men.

Are chu kidding me?

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When stuck in cities for only 6 hours, you should get coffee, find interesting walls and jump around. Obvi.

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The Rockefeller Christmas Tree! I think that’s Jack Donaghy to the right!

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Little Italy…

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Best Mexican food!

DSC_9283Union Square market…

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Until next time old friend…

xo

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Orange you pissed off about the price of Bananas?

So it’s been almost a week now. Well, a week since I left…

I sit here, in our cozy studio apartment patiently awaiting the Season Premiere of… wait for it… MASTER CHEF AUSTRALIA. Pretty much the greatest reality cooking show ever created. Not to be mistaken for Master Chef America… cause that version sucked.

Things are going swimmingly. The boy had the last six days off work so we were able to settle in, shop at Ikea, bake scones and drink coffee. It was lovely. However, our trip to Ikea was slightly annoying and only about 30% successful. Two of the main pieces of furniture that we wanted were out of stock… for another MONTH. Which means that I will have to continue to complete all of my chopping, mixing, heating and cleaning over our 2 element stove top. It’s a challenge to say the least, but I suppose it forces me to clean as I cook.

Anyway, I shall start looking for a job this week, when the boy returns to work and I’m all alone for 12 hours a day. I have no idea where to begin or what I want to do… its all very overwhelming, but I’m sure that’ll pass. In the mean time… I will continue to bake and eat and drink coffee…

In other news, it seems that the recent natural disasters that have stuck this hemisphere have had some devastating effects on my abilty to consume potassium. Meaning, of course, that Bananas, my beloved morning, noon and nighttime snack, have skyrocketed in price. It’s insanity. INSANITY, I SAY!

For instance, take Exhibit a:

the bananas

Two bananas. Very small bananas at that.

*note that these bad boys have already been frozen for optimal banana conservation methods. which is also why they are slightly brown already.

This lovely pair retails at $2.20 AUD. That’s $1.10 PER banana… and a whopping $13.00 a kilo! We saw some at $9.00 a kilo yesterday and jumped at the deal… only to pay $4.50 for the two we picked up because they were so heavy. I reckon that’s mostly peel. So I feel even more ripped off. Furthermore, becuase one got trapped under a can of chickpeas in the shopping bag and was smushed and oozing when I unpacked it. Luckily… we only use them for smoothies… so it wasn’t a huge loss. I can still use it.

BUT Damn. That shit is bananas.

B-A-N-A-N-A-S.

xxx

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Yayyy ME!

It was a tearful goodbye, not quite as tearful as I expected… but tearful.

We all managed to keep our shit together until I was actually entering security, which I think was a good thing. But then of course my parents had to wait and watch and wave until I finally disappeared down an escalator. All the time witnessing, and most likely worrying, as I was stopped and searched at security.

Finally past security and searching the terminal for my usual haunts I remembered the small gift bag that my dad had handed me before I left. I went in search of some comfort food and a place to sit.

Vegans in airports don’t often find a full meal and this day in this airport was no exception. I had already shared my snack size pack of Mike n Ike’s with my parentals, bad move. I had no food.

Now people who know me will know that this next turn of events was not a likely Caitlin move. However, I had tears dried on my cheeks and a small book titled ‘Yay You’ to read. Things were going to get worse before they got better. I could tell.

I knooowww. An unlikely pairing. But it eased the shame of sobbing in public. Also, let’s be serious, I only finished another couple of gulps. The man who I gave the bottle back to was highly disgusted. I think that if I hadn’t have been there watching him pour out the dregs, he would have drank them himself. Just sayin’.

After wandering further, I finally found a granola bar that was midly satisfying and then it was time to board.

The flight was long, my brain shut off and I watched four shameful movies. Except that I enjoyed two of them thoroughly.

aaahahaha. I’m a sucker for romantic comedys about long distance relationships… go figure. But honestly… New York to San Fransisco? Give me a break.

xxx

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Filed under Adventures in Australia