Monday, July 30, 2012

What We've Been Up To Lately

Where the heck has July gone?? I can't believe it will be August this week. I'm guessing that all the stuff we have been up to this month has made it fly by even faster. Speaking of time flying, we celebrated Mac's fifth birthday this month! We started out our day early early where he immediately went to my room and asked if we could watch an episode or two of Income Property...strangely his favourite show! We then went downstairs, opened presents and feasted on some Cinnamon Roll French Toast from Vegan Junk Food which is Mac's (and everyone else in house's) favourite breakfast. For his party this year we landed on a luau and he described the cake to me as an island with a volcano (that has a cave), with a 5 candle on it and he wanted it to taste like pineapple. No sweat right?! I made one big sheet cake and four small rounds using the plain vanilla cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World adding in coconut extract to up the tropical flavours. I used the recipe (minus the booze) for Pina Colada icing from Sticky Fingers' Sweets and oh my need to have this icing! It is amazing and with one taste, I understand why she won in Cupcake Wars. I also made some pineapple jam from fresh pineapple to fill in between the layers of the volcano as lava and it was delicious if I do say so myself! To make it brown and sandy all over I went with coconut sugar figuring it would add a nice flavour to the cake (which it did) and it was easier than baking up a bunch of graham crackers just to blend them up to make crumbs (so much easier). Mac was super happy with how it looked and how it tasted saying "this is the best cake ever" many times as he chomped down on it. 

Cinnamon Roll French Toast for breakfast!
Eating up his Bean Burger and Oven Fries
Ryan enjoying the luau and veggie burgers too
Happy with his cake!

We also decided this month it was finally time to paint this house the colours we wanted it since it was still the neutral colours the previous owners had painted it in order to sell it. The plan was to do it as soon as we moved in but we all know how that works. You get all your stuff in and then you don't want to move it around and then you live with it for four years...just me? Ah well! We let Mac choose whatever colour he wanted for his bedroom and sure enough he picked his favourite colour...PURPLE. We chose to use Mythic Paint for our makeover which you can't actually buy here in Ottawa but you can order it through The Healthiest Home Store. Just make sure you plan ahead because it can take up to a week to get it after you order it. We started painting this weekend and I quickly remembered why I didn't want to paint when we moved in. It's an incredible pain in the butt to prep it all...the painting isn't too bad but the cutting and taping and all! Any ways, we got a good start at it and let Mac paint with us and quickly realized that we didn't have enough to get two full coats on the walls. I swear they were drinking it! So we thought about it and decided on a whim we would hit Montreal (where you can buy the paint on the spot) at City Paints and restock. When I looked up where the paint store was, I had to find out how close or far it was from my favourite vegan shop in Montreal, Viva Vegan Store. Lucky for's only a few blocks away. It was destiny right!? So we all hopped in the car and went on a whirlwind trip to Montreal.

We picked up our paint after narrowly missing their closing time (actually we did miss it but they were kind enough to let us come in after they closed) thanks to construction on the highway completely closing the exit where Google maps told us to get off. After we headed to Viva Vegan! Mac had decided on the way there that he was going to get some marshmallows when we got there and thank goodness, they had one pack of Toasted Coconut Sweet & Sara marshmallows there for him. We also picked up a giant hoarder sized box of Butler Soy Curls since we are kind of addicted to them especially when they are Smoky Soy Curls from Vegan Diner. The store is super cute and quaint. It was smaller than I had imagined from all they carry online but it had what we needed! They have a little table so you can sit and enjoy a cupcake (recommended!!) and they also have a few flavours of vegan ice cream on hand too.

Just down the street is Aux Vivres which we were encouraged to make a stop at by Amanda over at Vegan Sweet Tart via Twitter and she was super right! It was definitely worth the stop! We went to the take out side of the restaurant as we were in a hurry to get back on the road to get home for bedtime. It is super quick to get your food this way for sure. Ryan ordered a Gyro Sandwich since that was Amanda's recommendation and he was so happy he listened. He said it was one of the best sandwiches he's had. I had basically the same thing but as a platter and in place of the pita bread I got roasted potato wedges and brown rice with salad on the side. The gyro seitan was tasty but the real stand out for me was the wedges and the tzatziki. I'm serious when I saw it has kept me up thinking about what they made it with that made it so rich and thick and creamy and tangy...soooo good! Mac is not such an adventurous eater so he decided he just wanted the roasted potato wedges with house made ketchup. I figured it would be the case so I made sure to pack lots of other things before we left to fill him up. He was seriously happy with these wedges and ketchup (and so was Ryan when he got the leftovers Mac couldn't finish!). My mom was taken with the name of their cheesecake, Gateau Fauxmage and decided that was going to be her healthy supper! Hah! She got in the car and took about two bites and quickly went back in to buy a few more slices and a brownie. We all had a taste and agree, it's amazing cheesecake. It too has me thinking about what the heck they made it out of it get it so rich and creamy. Mac was really excited to visit an all-vegan restaurant and crazy enough, it was our first time in one. We have an amazing one here in Ottawa (Zen Kitchen) but we don't eat out very often. Now that he knows there is one in Ottawa, he says we have to go there and he also immediately made plans to go back to Aux Vivres in September to try out their waffles for brunch. Kid can definitely read a menu! Next time we are going to make sure to leave nice and early though so we can spend the day and not be so rushed. If anyone has suggestions of fun things to do while you are in Montreal, please leave a comment and let us know the best places for kids!

Potato wedges (all cut up) with house made ketchup for Mac

Happy camper with his potato wedges

Ryan is showing his sandwich who's boss

Assiette Kosmos - Souvlaki Style Seitan, tzatziki, salad,
potato wedges and brown rice

Giant box of Soy Curls

Mac said "I can't lift it, it's bigger than me!"

The Vegan Catch of the Day


  1. I need to get me a big o bag of soy curls. :) That should take awhile to go through. I wish we had an all vegan restaurant where I live. The food all looks and sounds delicious. Mac is so cute with his cake. I haven't picked up Sticky Fingers cookbook yet, but it's on my list. Now it just moved to the top of the list. :)

  2. Wow! Looks like you've been busy! Great post!

  3. Sweet jesus, that’s the biggest bag of soy curls I’ve ever seen! I expect to see many many soy curl recipes in the upcoming months.
    I’d love to be able to hop in the car and go to Montreal, Quebec is the only Canadian province I’ve never been to. For some reason I always thought that Viva Vegan was only a online store, I’m totally hitting up that place if I ever make it to Montreal.
    Nice job on the cake, looks like Mac had a pretty fantastic birthday :)