Thursday, 4 August 2016

Knob Creek Bourbon Night at The Mule: A Hamilton Food Review?! Featuring a DRINK RECIPE!



OK, SO.


UHM.  



Life has swallowed me whole and spit out a few curls.



Before it totally digests me, though. I am blogging an event I attend last month live from the belly of the beast. Honestly, it's pretty decent wifi from in here, tbh. Password is: FML2016. Very modern.


When Nathalie from Praxis PR e-mailed me about attending a Bourbon Night presented by Knob Creek at The Mule downtown Hamilton I squealed a bit.


A lot. OKAY I SQUEALED A LOT WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME CAN YOU NOT TELL I AM STRUGGLING, HERE?!


Chef Matt (I do believe) at the Mule created a Southern inspired menu JUST for us! And @whisky_chef (follow him, guys!) Matt Jones took us through an amazing history of Jim Beam, Basil Hayden's, Knob Creek and bourbon in general. I honestly had no idea about 99.9% of what he was talking about so I felt like my head was exploding with knowledge afterwards.


Or it was the bourbon. OOPS?!


I got this cool name tag which made me feel super legit even though I think I was the only person who had no idea what was happening D:







The night began with cocktails, made with bourbon, NATCH.


The honey ginger cocktail below was absolutely unreal. Each cocktail was crafted with such passion and the heat of the bourbon paired surprisingly well with the already spicy ginger. The honey sort of coated your throat after. Simply lovely!

I really ought to pay more attention to drinks -- it's a whole other world out there!
That peach and watermelon salad? UNBELIEVABLE!


To be fair, though. The Mule is simply amazing even beyond this event. If you have been downtown Hamilton lately it really has transformed in terms of the food scene. The Mule is on King William so it's fairly central -- the decor inside is the enchantingly rustic, vibrant yet elegant mismatched decor that makes you feel like you're in a movie. Yes I am lame, shushhh!


Beyond King William there are soooo many lovely places to eat at James Street North, Locke Street, Augusta Street and beyond. I am so proud of the entrepreneurs that have built up downtown to be a really trendy area, again. It's encouraged a lot of business that I think had otherwise decided that downtown Hamilton was less exciting than Toronto. NO WAY T DOT YOU JUST STEP OFF, OK? OK DRAKE? YOU HEAR ME!?



I will admit I felt a bit far removed from the other amazing food bloggers there that had such a vast experience with the goods the local scene has to offer. I am starting to branch off a bit more from my pretty restrictive/not so adventurous food intake. BY THE WAY -- they were all so lovely. I met so many lovely ladies at my table and it became my beautiful little safety bubble for the night! haha 


I am trying to be less rigid and explore more -- oh and just having a free evening to do that is kind of impossible so I am hoping to make time for that, too!




Wait until you see the beauty. 


Monday, 30 May 2016

Salted Caramel Brownie No-Churn Vegan Ice Cream





Visions of large marble slabs and tiny compartments of different candies, chocolates, sprinkles, breakfast cereals and syrups were dancing around my brain before this photo shoot.


As much as I am the type of person that values whole foods, nutrient density and a paleo-esque way of eating -- I still think there is something so magical about those ice cream experiences waiting in line at a beach front for a giant cartoon-like swirl of your favourite soft-serve -- or waiting impatiently at a Cold Stone Creamery to add in your favourite mix-ins.



I am getting old ( late 20s you are the WORST) and as a result I find myself getting overly nostalgic but still overly concerned over the state of my body and how to improve it while that's still somewhat manageable (OK I KNOW I AM BEING DRAMATIC).



Cue: Allergen friendly ice cream. Made with coconut milk, dates, fleur de sel and almond milk but it tastes absolutely decadent and creamy.










I was pouring through the internet trying to find the best way to sweeten it when I came across recipes using date paste - thank you internet!


I have used date paste in my healthy Twix Bars and Protein Crunchy Caramel Bars. OH and my Healthy Snickers Bars, too! So I was beyond happy to pull out my bag of dates again.







The weather the past few weeks has been wonderfully warm. Maybe too warm, at times. But I am not complaining -- laying out on my deck getting some pretty weird tanlines has always been my favourite summer-time activity ;)


BUT with the heat comes craving some cold treats. Iced coffees (dolla dolla drinks, y'allll!) and ice cream and popsicles and anything else to keep cool, really.


I LOVE Oreo McFlurry's. Honestly if I could eat them everyday without consequence, I would. I have no shame.



But sadly outside of the sugar content the dairy causes me intense stomach pain. Kind of like I am being stabbed. Whaddup lactose intolerance!


My Aunt introduced me to some paleo-friendly ice cream from the supermarket but honestly....this stuff just blows it out of the water. I wish it didn't. I wish I could go pick up a tiny overpriced tub of what tasted like vaguely flavoured coconut water BUT ALAS I CANNOT BECAUSE IT SUCKS IN COMPARISON TO THIS STUFF.









I can't wait to turn this into an ice cream cake because DQs ice cream cakes are my jam and they similarly torture my soul with their siren's song.








WELL SCREW YOU POPULAR ICE CREAM ESTABLISHMENTS! I HAVE THE SOLUTION!



And don't worry. Now that I know how easy it is to make no-churn ice cream at home without an ice cream maker I will be coming up with lotsssss of fun variations for you ;)









I chose Salted Caramel Brownie to start because the date paste is already caramel-y. I added some caramel flavouring but you don't have to! And brownie because those protein bars are SO delicious and even better to have a healthy brownie mixed in, right?!



Saturday, 14 May 2016

Cookies, Cakes & Catch-Ups: Chocolate Gold and All Pink Everything!






Alright, stop.


Collaborate and listen.


New cakes and cookies on Feeding my ADDICTION!


Did that work? ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED? Fun Fact...I don't know how to spell collaborate, apparently. Thanks spellcheck!


In terms of catching up -- following me on social media is probably easier than bogging you down with my life story in this post. BUT as per tradition, I like to show you what I have been up to every so often.


ALSO PLEASE MAKE MY NEW DONUT RECIPE! They are seriously too good to pass up. I promise.


Orders at www.theperfectbitebakeshoppe.com have been bumpin' lately! I need to hire someone to re-do both sites but.. WHO HAS THE TIME!


You can tell that I have been having a HUGE love affair with chocolate and gold.







And maybe peanut butter, too? Just an FYI my peanut butter cakes are also full of Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Reese's Cups ;)













I have also been obsessed with MINI cakes. Only 4 inches in diameter but still enough cake for 5-6 people. They're the cutest stinkin' little cute things EVER!








Oh. Let's look at... more chocolate and gold? OH, ALRIGHT!



Monday, 25 April 2016

Gluten Free Lemon Coconut Donuts



Hellooooo.


It's me.


I've been wondering when I'd have time to type up something..



If you didn't already know based on my lunatic-like ramblings on social media than earlier this year I decided to 'open' The Perfect Bite Bake Shoppe which has taken time away from my poor little blog. On top of working full time it's just been a weensy teensy tiny bit stressful.


And I am still weightlifting/crossfitting and most of the time my arms feel like they're going to fall off then I have to go pipe frosting on cakes and cookies. I feel a lot like Alice falling down the rabbit hole. 







Yes that seems about right. This week involved my first ticket, crying on the highway, dropping my phone in BCAAS. My work laptop breaking. Dropping an entire bottle of acetone in my room. Having a test for asthma which triggered an attack...OH and almost getting run over.


Honestly I am having a great time.









Rabbit hole... donut hole...


AH YES!


The reason I am here, today, typing to you. Would be donuts, obvously.


If you didn't know this and I have shocked you than I apologize my friend. I am sorry and I know you do-nut want me to do this ever again.








The kind folks at Mary Macleod's  sent me some goodies to try and I kept racking my brain trying to figure out how I was going to use them.






First of all, the tiny shortbread cookies are INSANELY DELICIOUS! It's the most perfect shortbread I have ever had. And they are so tiny -- so...how could you possibly feel bad about delicate tiny cookies with chocolate chunks in them? I often get questions about my pricing and get defensive because I put a lot of time and effort into what I make. You can taste when something is made with love, I swear! These cookies are some QUALITY cookies. And I'm not much of a dessert person lately (shocking, I know!) because I am around it all the time. But I wanted to eat all of these :(


I think they would look adorable on top of cupcakes -- but to be honest I don't think they will last long around here now that they've been opened. Sigh.


I used to butterscotch shortbread crumbs on the donuts -- and if you do the cream cheese variation of the glaze you're basically having a coconut lemon cheesecake donut. And ...it's bomb.









The crumbs are finely crushed but occasionally you get a little chunk and...well let's just say I live for those moments.


You can also use these as a base for a cheesecake or as a crumble topping OR YOU CAN EAT THEM WITH A SPOON BECAUSE OMG THEY ARE AMAZING. So buttery and sweet and...ugh. I just can't talk about it right now. I am too fragile. 







Now understandably because they aren't gluten free, if you have celiac or a severe intolerance you should buy gluten free cookies and use those instead! Crumbling them in the food processor is super easy and you can keep the remainders in an airtight container for cheesecake crusts or dessert toppings, too!





But if you AREN'T and are just a quasi gluten-consumer like me then....oh boy. These are unreal. I feel so thankful that I was allowed to try these and I will definitely keep my eyes open for more of their products because my family loved the cookies so much!


Alas. Enough with the jibber jabber and onto the recipe!

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Healthy Chocolate Macaroons




I am fairly certain bunnies don't lay eggs.


Chickens do. So do snakes, and I think turtles and platypuses. So I guess the Easter bunny is a super niche-market thief and this somehow became associated with Easter as a religious holiday.

To be frank the foggy details of the Easter bunny have never bothered me because on this earth, for this very holiday, God created...mini eggs.


As a child all sorts of Easter chocolate was appealing (and I know, I didn't celebrate the holiday so shhhh). White chocolate rabbits with crunchy candy eyes? I'll have 3. Chocolate eggs of unknown brand wrapped in various shades of blue/pink/yellow/green foil? 1 yellow netted sack full, please. Marshmallow bunny rabbits? UH DUH. Marshmallow chickadees covered in SPRINKLES? Peeps, please. 



But the most wonderful. The most magical, the most AMAZING. Are Cadbury's Easter chocolates. This creates two camps of people, quite frankly. Or maybe 3 for the indecisive amongst us. Cadbury Mini Egg lovers versus Cadbury CREME Egg aficionados.








If you read the title of the post then you probably figured out that I belong to the correct team. Team Mini Egg.


While Cadbury Creme Eggs are equally as nostalgic the overly sweet fondant centre makes my teeth sting. That McDonald's chose to make their McFlurry for Easter a CREME EGG MCFLURRY and not the correct MINI EGG version was, to say the least, abhorrent and devastating behaviour. 








Anyways I eventually got over it because I remembered I can just go to Shopper's or Wal-Mart and buy a giant bag of them and twirl around my room in a magical romantic stupor popping the creamy sweet chocolate candy-coated-chocolates into my mouth.



This is is why I gotta workout people. Mini eggs. OH GOD THEY'RE SO WONDERFUL. WHY.









Well here is a trick. If you use the mini eggs in recipes like this one and share with your friends and family -- 40 cookies is not a single serving, trust me, I tried -- then you can't eat the whole bag! Look at that. So smahtttt. DJ Khaled would approve.








The cookies fresh are kind of crisp on the outside and cakey on the inside. They aren't a chewy macaroon so they are kind of a macaroon/cakey cookie hybrid.






And you don't have to use mini eggs. You can choose some other INFERIOR item such as other kinds of chocolate eggs. BUT COME ON FOLKS.







Easter as an adult is not as fun because we only get Good Friday off.  LIKE ITS CALLED EASTER MONDAY WHY DON'T WE GET THAT OFF TOO. Adulthood is seriously so disappointing sometimes I don't know how I manage.


Between that and the frustration of tax season I can honestly say these have been very trying times.



Like trying chocolate times, trying pizza times...trying McFlurry times. JUST A  LOT OF TRYING.







For myself and basic b's everywhere. I'm soooo over it. But I am not over these. These are...amazing.