My New Fave Homemade Gluten Free & Dairy Free Bakeshop, Almond Butterfly Cafe

Hi everyone,

Welcome back to my sweet blog and hellooo to finally feeling like real Spring weather in Toronto!! I know, It’s been a longggg winter with snow and cold winter weather in April, crazy right?? 😉 I’m just so happy it’s warm again with higher temperatures and the beautiful sunny days are finally here!! I can’t believe it is May already too!! Seems like we are going from winter to summer quickly instead.  Hope everyone been surviving a colder Spring weather and ready for sunny & hot days ahead!

I’m excited to share with you a new gluten free and vegan dairy free bakeshop that I discovered a few weeks ago when the weather was a bit warmer out great for exploring downtown Toronto and found, Almond Butterfly Bakeshop & Café. It is located downtown Toronto’s vibrant Harbord Street Village near Spadina and Harbord close to University of Toronto St. George campus.

Almond Butterfly is a 100% gluten free bakeshop café that offers vegan, dairy free and paleo options. It is homemade and freshly baked goods everyday at the shop from fresh-baked muffins, brownies, bagels, cupcakes, cookies, scones and more!! They also offer toasted breakfast sandwiches and grilled lunch melts until 3pm, which is great to me that they can offer gluten free and vegan lunches for more options. Even though I still have wheat in my diet, it’s good to know and have my options open to try gluten free food as after trying at this bakeshop, I enjoy gluten free food. From their website, they use nut flours and nut oils in their baked goods to give their signature Almond Butterfly taste that their customers have come to know and love now.  They also serve espresso, coffee and tea, which their coffee is roasted locally by Social Coffee & Tea Co. Overall, a great range of selection for a gluten free bakeshop café that offers vegan and paleo options, which is rare to find in certain parts of Toronto and it’s great to see more cafes like these for people like me who is allergic to dairy.

That is why I like to share my discovery of dairy free or vegan bakeshops with you guys, my readers so you can know where to find these allergy friendly bakeshops to eat at and that they are bakeshops that are also good and delicious tasting ones to go to. 

When I arrived at Almond Butterfly for the 1st time there, it was on a busy Saturday late afternoon. The café was quite full already and there was a lineup, which in my opinion a busy bakeshop means the food here is good. The atmosphere was buzzing in a great friendly way with people enjoying their baked goods. Almond Butterfly is a cozy, quaint and down to earth feel type of bakery with their beautiful and simple interior design of the wooden walls, the lighting and splash of colour throughout the bakeshop. It was a smaller size bakeshop, but there was enough space for a few tables for people to sit and eat along with a small patio in the front. I love their variety of baked goods offered as mentioned before so it was a bit of hard decision to pick which desserts I wanted.

I ended up having a late lunch at Almond Butterfly Café and Bakeshop as they offer lunch sandwiches such as grilled melt sandwiches and decided to try one of them. I had the Harbord Melt, which is a deli-style turkey with apple and cheddar melt on a gluten free bagel. I requested the dairy free cheddar for my sandwich. I was so excited to try the grilled melt turkey sandwich and unfortunately it was a bit disappointing mainly I think it was a bit too salty for me, the fresh grilled apples was great addition though to it but I believe the turkey that was too salty. Not what I expected. But maybe next time I will be trying their pizza bagels to see if that one is better. I hope that they improve on their sandwiches!

But I really enjoyed and loved their baked goods more than their savory items. I ended up with 2 different types of cookies – Ginger Snap and Sugar cookies, which I didn’t take any photos as I was so excited to try them. My fave is definitely the Ginger Snap cookies, soft and chewy I loved it!! I had 2 cupcakes – Almond Jam Vanilla and Dairy-free Lemon Vanilla cupcakes (both were Dairy-free cupcakes as they just named one with DF lol). I enjoyed both of the cupcakes as they were moist and the frosting wasn’t too sweet either it was just the right amount of sweetness. I love the sour candies on top of the Dairy-free Lemon cupcake, yum as I love sour candies…😊 I really enjoyed the Almond with Jam cupcake though I was hoping there was jam inside the cupcake not just the top as it would have had more pop of a flavour to it. Overall, amazing vegan and dairy-free cupcakes from Almond Butterfly definitely would recommend them to everyone!!

Almond Butterfly Cafe & Bakeshop Exterior with a patio area too

Quick Update

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I was working for a temporary Administrative work, but that is done now. Still looking for the right balance along side with my blog, but I’m happy to be refocusing on my blog again and looking for new opportunities. Update on my Facebook page, as of right now, it is temporary put on hold until things are less busier. It’s getting closer to summer season and usually I’m busy with day trips and food festivals so Facebook page on hold for now.

I’m really excited for my tropical and beach vacation to Jamaica in less than one week (leaving next week)!!! Ahhhhh!! I can’t believe it’s approaching so soon!! Looking forward to relaxing, refreshing my mind and body and just enjoying the sun, sand and pool days in Jamaica. Yes I will be posting a few vacation photos on my Instagram so don’t forget to follow along there for my photos & stories!

Don’t forget to stay connected with ME,

For the latest updates on my blog through Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and my foodie adventures and vacation photos on Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Why not stop by Almond Butterfly Café & Gluten Free Bakeshop and see for yourself why I love this vegan, dairy free and gluten free delicious and tasty bakeshop offering a variety of baked goods! I highly recommend Almond Butterfly Café and Bakeshop and hope you love it as much as I do because their slogan says it all,

“No gluten. No wheat. No soy. Vegan and Paleo options.
Breakfast. Lunch. Espresso.
Amazing taste. Extra love.
… this is Almond Butterfly in a nutshell! :)”

Until next time, I’m off on my tropical vacation to Jamaica, but I’m always on the search for my next new sweet desserts craving…😊

-Sweet B.

For more information on Almond Butterfly Cafe & Bakeshop, please see below:

Check out their website – Almond Butterfly Cafe & Bakeshop -> click here

You can follow them on social media networks on Facebook @AlmondButterfly and Instagram @AlmondButterflyBakeshop.

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My 2018 Macaron Day Adventure

Hi everyone,

Happy Belated Macaron Day & Happy Spring 2018 everyone!!! 🌞🌈🌷🌹  On March 20, 2018 marks the 1st Day of Spring, which was also Macaron Day celebrating these sweet elegant & delectable bite-sized dessert, macarons. A great way to start a new season, Spring with sweet & bright desserts and at the same time donate to a great cause, SickKids Foundation where each bakery donated 25% of their day’s sales to the SickKids Foundation in support of the SickKids VS campaign.

As we begin a new month already, April, my fave month is obviously March because it’s a special month of the year for me particularly because not only it is my birthday of course lol…but it also marks the 1st Day of Spring, which means finally warmer & sunnier days ahead, lighter jackets despite the fact that this Spring has been very verrryyyyy coldddd & with weirdly enough rain & snow too this year in Toronto so it still feels like winter unfortunately! But more importantly one of my fave type of dessert is celebrated on March 20, 2018, which is Macaron Day.

Who could forget one of my fave French small and delicate yet big flavour dessert macarons? Not me of course, I love that they have a special day to celebrate in Toronto, Paris, New York and Internationally. It’s like they created this special day just for me lol…😊 (Hmmm…wonder if they knew how much I love desserts when I was born lol!!)

History of Macaron Day

  • Macaron Day is celebrated around the world on the same day and coincides with “Jour du Macaron” in Paris.
  • Cities that celebrate Macaron Day include: Paris, New York, Toronto, Vancouver, London, Belgium, and Budapest. (Japan celebrates on March 21)
  • The focus of the day is to celebrate the first day of spring and give to a local charity.

Who else celebrated Macaron Day like me??? Which Macaron shop did you go to?? Would love to hear where some of you went, please leave your comments below! Thanks!!

On Macaron Day, I decided to visit my 2 fave bakeshops that specializes in macarons as it was hard to decide which one to go to so I decided why not go to both right?? It is of course Macaron Day and one can not have too many sweet elegant mini bites of French macarons right??

I made my 1st stop to Nadège Patisserie to their Queen St W location and it was my 1st time actually going to this location as they have 4 other locations in the GTA. I been to the Yorkdale and Scarborough Town Centre locations so far. Their newest location is the Path Richmond-Adelaide Centre one. I was greeted with a busy crowd in this cozy and modern bakery, a decent size with area of tables for you to enjoy your delicious French treats and desserts. It was busy obviously because it was Macaron Day and I loved their Macaron Day decorations.

There was a decent selection of macarons available and Nadège offered that day a limited edition of Macaron Day flavours that includes: Honey & Brie, Bailey’s Chocolate, Red Wine & Chocolate, Strawberry Guimauve, Earl Grey and Pomegranate Chocolate. I ended up choosing 3 flavours – the Red Wine & Chocolate for my sis and mines were – Earl Grey and Strawberry Guimauve. I loved the Strawberry Guimauve one a marshmallow taste and light one though!! I was disappointed with the Earl Grey one as I love everything Earl Grey esp macarons and was sad because the filling inside was chocolate and so you all know, I don’t eat chocolate. And sadly the chocolate overpowered any flavour of the Earl Grey so I didn’t taste any Earl Grey at all. That was the only disappointment! My sis loved her Red Wine & Chocolate though!

If you haven’t heard or stopped by Nadège Patisserie, I recommend you try them as they have some interesting flavours compared to other macaron places. They also offer not just macarons but other French pastries including cakes, mini cakes, donuts, tarts, and more. During special Holidays, they always have special chocolate items and since it was Easter next that they had small and large Easter chocolate eggs. Nadège has a great selection of desserts and treats for any occasion that’s why I always love stopping by them to get sweet treats.

After stopping by Nadège Patisserie, my last and final stop is of course at my annual fave macaron shop, Butter Avenue. It is a tradition that every year for Macaron Day I celebrate this sweet and delicious day with Butter Avenue and this year was no different.

Butter Avenue is my go to and definitely my top fave macaron shop and I stopped by their Queen and Spadina only location now. If you didn’t know, was sad to find out that their Yonge and Lawrence location closed late last year. That’s the location I usually always go to as it is much closer to where I live as it was mid-town compared to their downtown location. I sadly miss that location!! But hoping they open another location closer to where I live soon.

I still made the trip to downtown to their Queen and Spadina location as it is always worth to travel for Butter Avenue or in my case, I travel for any desserts. So this is no difference! If you haven’t heard of Butter Avenue, “offers an evolving selection of desserts and pastries created using classic French confectionary cookery and techniques, we pride ourselves on making our products with natural ingredients without added artificial flavours or preservatives.”Quote from Butter Avenue Official Website. Butter Avenue is unique from other macaron shops as they offer a twist to some of their macaron flavours with a sense of Japanese infusion flavours. I always love that and always can’t wait to see what new flavours they come up with.

They made special macaron flavours for Macaron Day, Butter Avenue made 40 exclusive one day only flavours to celebrate Macaron Day. They took it up a notch this year and introduced 4 categories of flavours“Sweet Table”, “Farmer’s Market”, “Lounge Bar” and “Tea Salon” to choose from. Wow what an amazing selection!!! That’s why I love Butter Avenue, they always surprise me with large variety of flavours and different unique ones to choose from too. I couldn’t wait to see what the flavours were as you don’t know what the exact flavours until you get to their shop!!

With the large variety of unique and delicious flavours to choose from, I ended up with a half dozen + one extra (as I couldn’t decide lol…plus I was sharing my macarons with my sisters, my niece and my mom), I chosen these following flavours – Roasted Green Tea, Osmanthus (Tea Blossom), Irish Coffee, Mimosas, Dark Chocolate, Wild Strawberry, and Terre Et Neige (Green tea & cocoa).

My 2 macaron flavours for me was Wild Strawberry and Tea Blossom macarons. Can I say I fell I love with the Tea Blossom macaron?? As some of you know, I love tea!!! It was a light tea blossom taste with a hint of floral very little with the right amount!!! I wish they make the Tea Blossom one of their new regular flavours!!

Macaron cotton candy

Overall, a very successful “Macaron Day” with my 2 faves bakeshops – Nadège Patisserie and Butter Avenue. You could not have ask for a more sweeter and perfect day for a dessert foodie like me to celebrate my fave elegant bite size dessert, macarons and to share these special desserts with my sisters, niece and my mom.

Don’t forget to stay connected with ME
For the latest updates on my blog through Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and my foodie adventures on Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Sorry for the delay on this blog post as some of you may know through my updates on Twitter that I have taken a temporary Administrative work as I also enjoy working as an Admin but trying to find the right Admin work to balance out to work on my blog as well as this is where my passion is. Please bare with me with slower updates than normal but don’t worry I’m still here and already started working on ideas for my next blog post before my Jamaica trip in May!! Can’t wait it’s coming up & soon will need to do some vacay prep like new swimsuits, and etc…:)

Everyday is macaron day for me so if you missed out on Macaron Day (please mark it down for next year’s in 2019 same day), why not go out and try one of my fave macaron shops, Nadège Patisserie and Butter Avenue to enjoy a sweet & elegant bite of dessert to satisfy your sweet cravings.

Until next time, I’m on my search for my next sweet craving dessert hunt😉💜🍰🍩🍭🍦

-Sweet B.

For more information on Nadège Patisserie, please see below:

Website – Nadège Patisserieclick here

You can follow them through these social media networks – Facebook @nadegepatisserie, Twitter @nadegetoronto and Instagram @nadegetoronto

For more information on Butter Avenue, please see below:

Website – Butter Avenue click here

You can follow them through these social media networks – Facebook @ButterAvenueCo, Twitter @ButterAvenue and Instagram @ButterAvenue.

 

Happy 4 Year Blog Anniversary!!!

Hi everyone,

On this day, February 23 back in 2014, is when I first started my sweet dessert blog! Wow I can’t believe it’s been 4 years now since I started this blog and it has grown so much from where I have started!! With each year that passes, my blog continues to grow and expand sharing my love for dairy free desserts, food events and travel.

I started this blog to share with everyone my love for food and more particularly my love for desserts and sweets. I couldn’t imagine where it would have taken me as I started out blogging while I was working as an Admin to just last year leaving my full time Admin work to pursue and focus on my blog. I believe on pursuing my happiness and what I love doing more is with my blog rather that my full time work that was unfulfilling for my career goals. I’m in a much happier place now and staying focused & motivated through my love for desserts, food events and travel.

For those who don’t know, I am on a dairy free food diet due to my food sensitivities, which I only recently discovered early last year. I have incorporated my dairy free diet along with my blog as I found out that you can still enjoy desserts that are dairy free. I am still learning and discovering new dairy free foods and I love sharing them on my blog with you guys.

Me at last year’s Vegan Food & Drink Festival 2017

I like to thank Food Bloggers of Canada (official website) for assisting me with the blogging community. I joined Food Bloggers of Canada community late in 2014 to share and network with other Canadian bloggers as well as providing food blogging resources to assist me in the world of blogging as I was new to it and it’s a great group to be part of. I continue to learn, network and grow within this friendly and amazing food community.

Of course, I wouldn’t be here without my readers, so I would like to take this time to THANK YOU my sweet and amazing readers for letting me share my love for desserts, sweets, food events, and travel with you!! I look forward to bringing you more sweetness and foodie adventures for many years to come!!!

To celebrate my 4 Years Blog Anniversary, I stopped by a new bakery of course not a surprise right? 😉 I checked out Whisked Gluten-free Bakery located in Scarborough part of Toronto. Whisked Gluten-free Bakery offers a variety of baked goods that are gluten-free, dairy free, egg-free, soy-free options from cupcakes, macarons, bread, cookies, scones, muffins, pies, cakes and more. I love the variety that they offer!! Because I enjoy dairy free bake goods & desserts and they offer dairy free desserts, I was happy to discover this new cozy and friendly bakery in Scarborough, which is closer to home for me. There were so many different options for me to choose and it was like heaven for me to be there as I love sweets!! Great and friendly customer service by the staff there to be patient with me while I decided what yummy desserts and baked goods to choose.

From Whisked Gluten-free Bakery website more details about their products – “To make products that are allergy-friendly focusing specifically on Gluten Allergies and Intolerances. It is our goal to provide high quality Gluten-Free products made from the best ingredients that are great tasting, have a high nutritional content and are priced at a fair market value.”

What desserts did I ended up getting? I finally decided on delicious dairy free cupcakes – Strawberry and Vanilla cupcakes, 3 macarons – Strawberry, Passion Fruit & Cappuccino flavours, and my fave type of cookie – Oatmeal Raisin. My fave is definitely the dairy free Strawberry cupcake as the cake itself was moist and perfect amount of sweetness and surprise there was a fresh Strawberry filling inside the cupcake!! I loved it!! I love their beautiful frosting technique so pretty!! Check out the desserts below.

A closer look at the delicious dairy free macarons & Strawberry cupcake

If you haven’t heard or stopped by Whisked Gluten-free Bakery yet, I highly recommend you do as they offer some of the most delicious and made natural ingredients that are gluten-free, dairy free options desserts and baked goods in Scarborough. For full details more about Whisked Gluten-free Bakery, there will be a full blog post coming soon about this great bakery.

I’m looking forward to continuing to share my love for sweet dairy free desserts, food events, and foodie travel adventures with you all!! I hope that you will continue to join me in this foodie adventure discovering new bakeries, food events and food travelling so why not come along with me on my sweet journey!

Cheers to many more sweet adventures & years to come!! 🎉💕🍰🍩🍦🍜🌱✈

-Sweet B.

For more information about Whisked Gluten-free bakery, please see below:

Whisked Gluten-free bakery – website -> click here

You can follow them on their social media networks through Facebook @Whiskedglutenfree, Twitter @whiskedGF and Instagram @whiskedgf.

 

My 2017 Year In Review

Hi everyone,

Helloooo 2018!! 👋 As we already coming to the end of the 1st month of 2018 in January, I’m back with my 1st official blog post of the year. I hope everyone is enjoying the 1st month of 2018 despite the very freezing temperatures then now warmer days we are getting in Toronto, the ups and downs of the weird weather for winter?? 😜 I took a bit of a break to relax from the busy Holiday Season and to also refocus & recharge again in the first few weeks of January with my winter getaway to Niagara Falls (you can see more photos on my Instagram). It was a beautiful & restful yet short getaway as I always love visiting Niagara Falls and enjoy it’s natural beauty even in the winter with the beautiful Frozen Falls. A great 1st trip to start off 2018!

The beautiful Frozen Niagara Falls View in 2018

As we start this New Year of 2018, I like to reflect on my 2017 Year and recap & share with you as I continue my tradition every January with my Year In Review post.

Reflecting On A Year of Changes In 2017

In 2017, for me, it was a year of making changes and discovering where my career path was heading and I officially left my full-time Administrative Assistant job to pursue and focus my attention to this blog as a food blogger and writer. It was a difficult decision to make, but after being unhappy and stressed in a job for quite some time now, I decided this was the best decision I could make. I’m now at a happier and stress-free place where I enjoy and continue my passion & love for food particularly desserts to share with my readers. I am looking forward to pursuing new opportunities for my blog and focus on new goals in 2018.

I continue with my adjustments with my food sensitivity to dairy products in 2017 and discovering new foods that fit with my new diet plans.

In 2017, I also got to travel to a few beautiful places and exploring some new and returning faves places such as Niagara Falls, Las Vegas, NV, London, ON, Kingston, ON, Belleville and to Ottawa for the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference where it was held this year in honor of Canada’s 150 Birthday. I love travelling and I’m looking forward to exploring new places and searching for new & delicious foodie places to share with you guys. I’m excited for my one big trip this year already booked for May to beautiful Jamaica…😊

Me in downtown Ottawa for FBC2017

Me in downtown Kingston with their Kingston signage

I attended some delicious food festivals in 2017 such as my 1st time to Niagara VegFest and back at my fave food festivals such as Taste of Toronto, Vegan Food & Drink Festival and VegFood Fest. I love attending food festivals and events to discover and learn more about foods! I can’t wait to attend more delicious food festivals in 2018!!

Me at the Vegan Food & Drink Festival in Toronto at Fort York

My Stats From 2016 to 2017

It will be 4 years next month that I have started this blog, can’t believe it!! But as I continue to grow and expand that in 2017 with the shift to writing a few posts about travel as part of my blog now that it affected my traffic and readers. As I take on the challenge of adding also travel along with my love of dairy-free desserts and events as part of my blog that I hope that my readers will continue to support me and enjoy the combination of food (mainly desserts) and travel together that I’m sharing with you.

My 2017 Stats:

Number of Visitors: 585 Visitors

Number of Views: 805 Times

Number of Countries Viewed: 36 Countries

Check out below my Top Review Posts for 2017

My Top 2 Most Views Posts 2017

1 – My Honey Sweet Summer Dairy Free SkinnyPop Popcorn Recipe

I’m excited that my 1st dairyfree recipe is my Most Viewed for 2017 and I’m happy to share this sweet, healthy and summer feeling popcorn recipe with my readers. The healthy dried fruits in this recipe brings out the brightness and sweetness to the popcorn. I love discovering my 1st vegan (dairy-free) popcorn brand – SkinnyPop to share with you guys. I’m happy that you all also share how much you like this recipe by making it the Top Most Viewed post. I can’t wait to share more dairy free recipes with you guys in 2018!!

If you haven’t checked it out yet, see why everyone loves my sweet & fruity SkinnyPop popcorn recipe -> link

2 – My New & Healthy Fave Vietnamese Place – Pho Vistro

My 2nd Most Viewed of 2017 Review Post is sharing my love for pho noodles soup with my readers with this new healthy and vegan version of pho restaurant called: Pho Vistro. They are not like any other pho place, they offer all-natural, organic and old-fashioned Vietnamese cuisine with zero MSG. They consider their pho soup to be a healthy alternative to other soups to help your immune system. I highly recommend this delicious & cozy Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Vistro located downtown Toronto.

Check out my review post & why I love this pho place so much -> link

My Most Views for Dessert Review Posts

1 – My Fave Sweet Summer Treats by Eva’s Original Chimney Cones

One of my fave summer or all season treats are Chimney Cones by Eva’s Original. I’m happy that my readers share my love for Chimney Cones as well being the Most Views for Dessert Review Post. What I love about Eva’s Original is that her Chimney Cones are the base dough is made for vegans. Eva’s Original offer vegan soft serve (dairy-free) and with dairy ice cream as well, which I love that they accommodate for everyone. Eva’s Original is a great option for dairy free vegans to also enjoy sweet desserts too.

Check out my review post & read further why I love Eva’s Original Chimney Cones -> link

2 – My 2017 Macaron Day with Butter Avenue

My fave French small and delicate yet big flavour dessert are macarons and for the 2nd year in a row it’s one of the Most Views Dessert Review Post. I’m happy to share my Macaron Day at my fave macaron bakeshop, Butter Avenue with my readers as you guys seem to love reading about it too.

Check out my Macaron Day at Butter Avenue & read why I love Butter Avenue’s macarons -> link

My Most Views for Events & Travel Review Posts

1 – My Highlights of Niagara VegFest 2017

I love attending food festivals and trying out new ones as well and this was my 1st time attending the Niagara VegFest 2017 in downtown St. Catherines. I’m happy that you guys also enjoy reading this Review Post as it is my Most Views for Events Review. I enjoyed sampling and discovering the Niagara Region culinary vegan foods from pizza rolls to cupcakes to dairy free ice cream waffles. I enjoyed this more intimate size and great variety food festival in St.Catherines!! I’m looking forward to attending it again this year in 2018!

Check out my Review Post on more about this amazing food festival, Niagara VegFest -> link

2 – My Food Travels – Summer Getaway 2017 to Kingston, Ontario

Dairy-free Buckwheat Crepe from Geneva Crepe Cafe in Kingston, ON

I love to travel and enjoy my little getaways despite what season it is!! I’m happy to return back to my new fave travel destination to Kingston, ON last summer and share my foodie adventure with you guys. It is my 2nd Most Views post for Events / Travel Review Post so I’m glad that you guys are enjoying my foodie adventures as well. I enjoyed discovering new dairy-free restaurants in Kingston, ON last summer from dairy-free pizzas at Score Pizza and dairy-free crepes at Geneva Crepe Café. Of course, you can’t forget the beautiful waterfront views downtown that I love to stroll around and sit and enjoy the perfect views!! I’m looking forward to new foodie adventures ahead in 2018!!

If you haven’t been to Kingston, ON before then, you definitely need to check out my post to see why I love Kingston so much & why you should go to Kingston this year -> link

Stay Connected

I’m looking forward to an exciting and new foodie adventures, travels and events in 2018!! Can’t wait to discover more dairy-free desserts and foods to share with you all!! I’m looking forward to sharing with you guys my official Facebook Page soon, it’s taking longer than expected, but it will be released in the next few months. Stay tuned!!

So why don’t you come and follow me on this sweet & healthy travelling foodie adventure!

To stay connected with me and updates for the next blog post & Facebook Launch, please follow me:

Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 &

Instagram @SweetBFoodie24

Thank you again for reading, commenting, liking, sharing, and more importantly sharing my love for dairy-free sweets & desserts!

Cheers to a sweet, healthy and an adventurous foodie 2018 Year to all my sweet readers!! 🎉😋🍹🍰🍦🍜🍩🍓🌱✈🌞

Your sweet dairy-free foodie,

Sweet B.

 

 

 

My Top 3 Best Dessert Places for Christmas Desserts 2017

Season’s Greetings everyone!! 🎄🎅🎁⛄

Happy Holidays to all my sweet readers!! This is my Christmas & Holiday edition blog entry for December as every year I love sharing with you guys my fave and new bakeries to go to for Christmas desserts. What is Christmas dinners, parties, and the Holidays itself without desserts, right?? Usually this is always a busy time of year for most people and if you are looking for desserts, treats or baked goods for either your Holiday parties or Christmas dinners or whatever the event is. That’s why I’m here to share and recommend some of my fave bakeries and places to get Holiday desserts.

I love the Holiday Season and getting festive!! Christmas desserts are the perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit and fulfill your sweet Christmasy cravings! I enjoy my Christmas desserts in the entire month of December lol!! 😋 Isn’t Holidays the perfect time to enjoy more than one desserts? 😊 Who could resist right??

Here are my Top 3 Best Desserts Bakeshops that I highly recommend you should go to:

1. Kelly’s Bake Shoppe

My 1st bakeshop I’m recommending is – Kelly’s Bake Shoppe and they are located in the Burlington area. Kelly’s Bake Shoppe is one of my newly discovered vegan bakeshops that I found this summer and I am in love with this bakeshop as it has the best vegan cupcakes!! Even if you don’t live in the Burlington area like me (I live in Toronto), it is definitely worth the trip to Burlington for Kelly’s cupcakes or baked goods. I have travelled to Kelly’s on a number of times already just to visit and enjoy their sweet cupcakes and other baked goods. That’s how good and delicious the cupcakes are at Kelly’s that it is worth the travel. Though Kelly’s now delivers to Toronto and other cities and please check their website for the exact details.

Me in front of their beautiful mural at the side of their bakeshop

For those who haven’t heard of Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, the bakeshop owners are a mother/daughter team – Kelly and Erinn. Kelly’s Bake Shoppe makes healthy and high quality ingredients baked goods that offers gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, butter-free, vegan and peanut-free baked goods that are delicious as well. They are well known for their cupcakes and cakes as well as they offer cookies, soft serve, muffins, brownies & bars, scones, and donuts. They also now serve coffee, lattes, hot chocolate and tea with their own Kelly’s specialty blend coffee released recently.

I recently visited Kelly’s Bakeshop particularly for their special Christmas menu that is available for the entire month of December. I love their Christmas menu as it has a variety of cupcakes to cookies, donuts and more! I was excited to try their Christmas treats!! This wasn’t my 1st visit to Kelly’s as I first discovered Kelly’s during the summer and I been waiting to share my fave vegan bakeshop with my readers. Why I haven’t til now?? Its been a busy summer and Fall as you know, but I’m happy to share my secret not so secret now fave vegan bakeshop. If you follow my Instagram you would have already seen a few posts about Kelly’s…😉 I wish Kelly’s has a store location in Toronto so it would be closer for me to enjoy more cupcakes more often…😉 I have fallen in love with this quaint city of Burlington that I always love visiting it and their beautiful waterfront. It’s definitely worth the travel for these cupcakes!!

One of the features I love about Kelly’s is that they have a special feature cupcake every month along with their regular cupcakes that they have weekly. I’m always excited to find out what cupcake is it for each month and see if I need to take a trip for a cupcake that month…😉 I like that Kelly’s has a variety of baked goods to offer even though their focus are on cupcakes. I also like Kelly’s contests that they do and interact with their customers.

Kelly’s Christmas Banner (Credit to Kelly’s Bakeshoppe)

With every visit to Kelly’s, I’m always walking in to the aroma of fresh cupcakes and baked goods along with a smile and greeting as I enter in the bakeshop. Their bakeshop is medium size with a long center table and seating on benches on the side making it enough room not too small for a number of guests. I love the atmosphere and the lighting in the bakeshop making it a friendly and welcoming bakeshop to eat and enjoy your treats as I spend a bit of time there with my friend chatting and enjoying our treats.

They have excellent customer service and a very friendly staff who has been very helpful to me if I have any questions about the products. If you are wondering, yes you can pre-order cupcakes or other baked goods for the same day pick-up on the phone with a deposit or order your cupcakes ahead of time. It’s good for me as I travel from Toronto & want to make sure the cupcakes/baked goods I would like is there for me. As they have a different cupcakes on certain days so be sure to check out their menu ahead of time. My fave cupcakes so far are the Unicorn & Lemon Raspberry flavours.

On this visit, I pre-ordered the Gingerbread & Lemon, Christmas Cake and Frosty the Snowman along with 2 Gingerbread cookies made in the shape of reindeers. As some of you know, I love gingerbread cookies or just gingerbread flavour itself especially during the Christmas season!! So there was no doubt I had to try the Gingerbread & Lemon and loved it!! If you haven’t tried one of Kelly’s cupcakes before, they are vegan and you wouldn’t know they were vegan from the look and especially the taste of it. It tastes like a regular cupcake and I love that I can still enjoy my sweets that are dairy free because of Kelly’s they make their cupcakes – dairy-free, plant-based, gluten-free, egg-free and vegan. All their cupcakes that I have tried are moist for the cake part and their frosting aren’t that sweet as most cupcake places, it has the right amount of sweetness in it. Their mint buttercream frosting on the Christmas Cake is the best, I am I love with the mint frosting!! LOL!! Some of Kelly’s cupcakes has filling in them and wow those are the best ones as they make the cupcake pop of flavour in your mouth. They are also offering a special New Year’s cupcake only on Dec 30 & 31.

Our (my friend & my) complimentary cupcakes – Lemon & Christmas Candy Cane flavours

I am absolutely love Kelly’s vegan cupcakes!!! They are the best and my fave vegan go to cupcakes!!

If you are looking for Christmas desserts, treats, or even gifts (they are also selling their cookbooks & tees in the store) – look no further than Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, I highly recommend this delicious & amazing vegan bakeshop. If you don’t live in the Burlington area, it’s definitely worth the travel or special delivery for December. I am looking forward to my next Kelly’s visit unfortunately have to wait til 2018!! Can’t wait to enjoy more vegan cupcakes and to try other baked goods that I haven’t tried yet!!

For more information about Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, please see below:

Kelly’s Bake ShoppeWebsiteclick here

Address – 401 Brant Street, Burlington, ON

Phone # – 905-333-1400

You can follow Kelly’s through their social media networks on Facebook @KellysBakeShoppe, Twitter @KellysBake and Instagram @KellysBake.

2. Mad Batter Bakers

One of my absolutely fave place to get the best and soft gingerbread cookies in Toronto is Mad Batter Bakers. Last year I recommended Mad Batter Bakers too and this year is no difference, for my new readers who haven’t read why I love Mad Batter Bakers gingerbread cookies, let me tell you more and for those who have, let me refresh you with their soft and sweet smell of gingerbread aroma.

Mad Batter Bakers is located in the Liberty Village area in Toronto. I first discovered Mad Batter Bakers at the One of a Kind Christmas Show a few years ago and ever since then I don’t go anywhere else for my soft & delicious Gingerbread cookies for Christmas. This is the 1st year that Mad Batter Bakers wasn’t at the One of the Kind Christmas show to focus on their bakeshop instead. I was excited to visit their newly renovated bakeshop. Their bakeshop is relatively small, but very cozy and the smell of gingerbread cookies makes you feel warm as you are welcomed by their friendly staff and baker. They make the gingerbread cookies right in the shop in the kitchen. I love how they decorated the shop and I always have a hard time choosing which gingerbread cookies I get.

Gingerbread cookies always makes me feel like it’s Christmas and the Holiday season!! Besides how delicious their cookies taste, their cookies look so pretty too, I simply love their not overly sweet icing on their cookies as some places make the icings really sweet. Mad Batter Bakers also offer Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies. They also offer gluten free version of both the gingerbread cookies and sugar cookies. I love that they have options for different types of people to enjoy.

This Christmas season, Mad Batter Bakers has some new beautiful and delicious products, which includes their new Limited Edition Canadiana Christmas House for Canada 150 and little ‘Canadiana’ cookie set along with mini gingerbread house sets. You can also find their gingerbread cookies at Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District.

So if you are looking for the best gingerbread cookies in Toronto, don’t look further than Mad Batter Bakers, come by visit this quaint bakery shop for yourself to see what I’m talking about. It surely will not disappoint you!! It is worth the trip to visit and taste and pick up some of these amazing & soft cookies for desserts and even gifts. Please make sure you check their hours and you can also phone ahead to see if they are open as they have special hours for this last week for Christmas.

For more information about Mad Batter Bakers, please see below:

Mad Batter Bakers – Websiteclick here

Address – 135 Jefferson Avenue, Toronto, ON

You can follow Mad Batter Bakers on their social media network on Facebook @MadBatterBakers, Twitter @MadBatterBakers and Instagram @MadBatterBakers.

3. Tori’s Bakeshop

One of my faves vegan bakeshop in Toronto that I discovered last year – Tori’s Bakeshop is my last recommendation for Christmas desserts. I haven’t been able to share about Tori’s Bakeshop in a blog post until now. If you haven’t heard of Tori’s Bakeshop, they are an eco-friendly, all-natural organic bakery that offers dairy-free, egg-free, and refined sugar-free treats of many types! They also carry a selection of gluten free products as well. They bake their products fresh every morning with the highest quality of ingredients. Tori’s Bakeshop baked good ranges from their delicious cupcakes to donuts (one of my fave donuts is a must have when I’m there) to cookies to thumbprint cookies to cinnamon buns to cruffins to light sandwiches and more. They also make custom cakes. This Christmas they have their Gingerbread house kits as well. I love the variety of baked goods that Tori’s Bakeshop has to offer!! They also have coffee, lattes, teas and juices.

Recently this year, Tori’s Bakeshop opened a new location in the Canary District at the corner of Front and Cooperage. This would be their 2nd location. I recently finally visited their new location at the Canary District and I love the new modern, beautiful, and open space at this location. It also has benches on the side to enjoy your sweet desserts and in the summer or spring they have patio bench & table to eat outside. It’s a quaint medium size bakery with a beautiful modern twist compared to the original location in the Beaches. As I always love visiting the Beaches location as well, it’s great that they have two different atmosphere for the 2 locations.

It was a hard decision to choose which delicious desserts that I wanted to have with my recent visit to their Canary District location. I ended up with their Christmas cupcake – Coconut & Raspberry Pomegranate with raspberry filling inside, it was soooo good!! I love their cupcakes here as the cake itself is moist and freshly made you can tell when you eat it. I also took home some goodies including 2 Raspberry Thumbprint cookies and their Vanilla heart shaped donut with pink frosting on top!! I’m in love with their donuts, I haven’t found a bakeshop in Toronto that makes vegan donuts like they do so far!! It’s soft and the right amount of sweetness to the donuts, they taste like normal donuts and you can’t tell that it’s vegan and I love that!!

So if you are looking for a variety of delicious baked goods for Christmas desserts to share with your family, friends or co-workers, I highly recommend Tori’s Bakeshop in Toronto. Don’t forget to call or check with them their Holiday Hours as this is their last week open before they closed for the Holidays!!! So if you would like to check them out, why not this week for their delicious and warm desserts!!

For more information about Tori’s Bakeshop, please see below:

Tori’s Bakeshop – Website – click here

Address – Canary District location – 430 Front Street East and Beaches location – 2188 Queen Street East

You can follow Tori’s Bakeshop on their social media networks on Facebook @TorisBakeshop, Twitter @TorisBakeshop and Instagram @TorisBakeshop.

If you are looking for Christmas treats, desserts, or bakery items, please check out my 3 fave bakery shops this year for 2017: Kelly’s Bake Shoppe, Mad Batter Bakers and Tori’s Bakeshop as they offer the most delicious desserts & variety of selection of bakery items in Toronto & Burlington.  With my experience with each bakery I would definitely recommend them. If you don’t get a chance this Christmas to check out those bakeries be sure to visit them in 2018.

I hope that they satisfy your sweet cravings as much as they have satisfied mines.

I can’t believe that Christmas is a few days away and that this is my last blog post for 2017!! I can’t believe how fast 2017 has pass by as this year has been a year of change and new opportunities for me. With leaving my full time work to focus & pursue my career goals with blogging to my many new travel & foodie adventures from Las Vegas to Kingston, ON to London, ON. I look forward to 2018 with growing and pursuing new opportunities to further my blog along with new exciting travel & foodie adventures!! 2018 looks like already an exciting year for me and I can’t wait to see what it holds! Thank you to my sweet readers for following along and reading my blog!! I appreciate each and every one of you!!

One BIG exciting news as I been mentioning about it a few posts before, I finally decided to launch a Facebook page…😀 It is still in working progress so look out for my Facebook page in early 2018!! I can’t wait to share it with you guys!!

Don’t forget for all the latest updates on my next blog posts (will be releasing my 2017 Review end of January 2018) or to follow my foodie adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and on Instagram @SweetBFoodie24 (don’t forget to check out my stories).

Happy Sweet New Year’s to all my readers!!! Cheers to a sweet & delightful 2018 New Year!! 🎉

Until next time, I will be searching for my next sweet & healthy dairy-free vegan adventure in 2018…😋🍰🍦🍩🍓

-Sweet B.

My Highlights of 2017 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference – Part 2

Hi everyone,

Welcome to Part 2 of my Highlights of the Food Bloggers of Canada 2017 in Ottawa. Let’s wrap up this amazing conference on a beautiful Fall Sunday and my leisure time to do some sightseeing attractions in Ottawa on Sunday evening and Monday half day.

Day 3 – Sunday, October 22, 2017

On the last day of the FBC2017 conference, we had a hearty and healthy Sunday breakfast consisting of variety of fruits, sausages, grilled vegetables such as tomatoes and mushrooms, Burnbrae Farms provided different types of eggs, and in the vegan section there was red bean & potato hash too. I love that FBC was able to provide different options for different allergies for people. I love the tea station and they even had my soy / almond milk for my tea.

We had the morning session with 2 inspiring speakersPailin Chongchitnant who is the author of the cookbook, Hot Thai Kitchen, host of TV series One World Kitchen on Gusto TV, and creator and host of the YouTube channel PailinsKitchen and Dana McCauley from Food Starter where she helps start up food businesses to grow. Dana also has authored four cookbooks. She discussed the food trends in 2017 and upcoming food trends, which was great to hear about.

My fave treat was during our coffee break with Vegan Glutenfree scones by Strawberry Blonde Bakery. I tried the Apple Cinnamon flavour ones and loved it!!! Yum!! As scones tend to be dried a bit, but this one wasn’t and I love the apple cinnamon flavour, as some of you know I love any apple treats and desserts!! I had my scone with Spiced Cranberry & Iced Apple Wine jam by The Preservatory and it was a great combination the sweet jam with the scones!!

Last, but not least where is FBC2018 headed for next year…..drum roll please…FBC2018 is a Road Trip across Canada for 3 weeks in September 2018 with our hosts, Melissa and Ethan along with special guest: Dennis Prescott. How exciting is this?? They have announced a few set cities/provinces such as Vancouver, Manitoba, Alberta, Halifax, and ending it in my own city, Toronto, but there are no confirmed details at this moment until January 2018 where they will give us more details. I’m excited and hoping I will be able to attend one of the intimate cities conference.

I love to travel to different cities as some of you know, so it would be great to attend one outside my own city maybe the West Coast as I haven’t been to the West Coast in awhile. So we shall see. Waiting patiently for FBC2018 details…😊  Maybe I might see you there too.

Ending the conference with a light and healthy lunch by Dairy Farmers of Canada where I enjoyed a variety of foods including winter squash salad, tofu, fruits and more. We even got a cute small plush cow at the tables. Check out my delicious & healthy lunch below.

After the lunch, there was a brand networking session with sponsors and mingling with our fellow bloggers at the FBC Lounge located at the top level of the hotel. It was a beautiful & stunning view of Ottawa with the beautiful Fall colours. It was great catching up and meeting new Canadian bloggers, so happy to finally meet Deb – The Sugared Teacup where we mostly talk on Instagram.

By the end of Sunday afternoon session, I was tired, but feeling of course inspired, filled with new information and tips for blogging and energized about my new ideas for my blog!!

View from the Top Level of the Hotel

Mary Tang & me on the 1st Night of FBC2017

Me & Debra (The Sugared Teacup) during lunch on the last day of FBC2017

Me with the FBC2017 sign on the last day

Of course, you can’t forget about Food Bloggers of Canada amazing Swag Bag that we get every year. I look forward it to it every year to see what goodies I get to bring home. This year we got cookbooks of course, 2 containers, utensils, cooking tools, and snacks. My fave definitely has to be The Sugared Teacup coaster, it was so cute!!! Check out my photo of my Swag Bag.

FBC2017 Amazing Swag Bag

For more information on the above sponsors, speakers and bloggers, please see below:

Day 3 & 4 – Sunday, October 22 (Evening) & Monday, October 23, 2017

Me with the Ottawa signage on Sparks Street

During and after the FBC2017 conference, I still manage to do a bit of sightseeing and exploring in Ottawa. I was happy to have stayed an extra day after the conference to enjoy the beauty of Ottawa especially during the Fall season as Ottawa has a natural beauty of colourful trees and scenery to enjoy.

Some of the attractions that I visited are: of course no stop in Ottawa without seeing the Parliament building, Byward Market, Sparks Street, shopped at CF Rideau Centre, and Rideau Falls.  I loved shopping at the Byward Market with unique items that you normally don’t find at a shopping mall. I found a great kitchen shop called: Ma Cuisine recommended by Deb (The Sugared Teacup) where I bought a new mug as I love drinking tea and always looking for new mugs or tea accessories. They had lots of variety of mugs and tea accessories so if you love tea I definitely recommend you stop by Ma Cuisine as they also have lots of other kitchen supplies.

Me in front of the Rideau Canal

Me in front of the Parliament Building

When travelling to new cities, I always love to discover new vegan bakeries so of course while I was in Ottawa for the FBC2017 conference, I made time for one new vegan bakery shop that I discovered. Because Strawberry Blonde Bakery made some of the delicious vegan desserts at the conference as well, I had to stop by their bakery shop itself to see what other delicious vegan baked goods that they had.

On my last day in Ottawa, I stopped by Strawberry Blonde Bakery shop, which is a vegan, gluten-free and nut free bakery. Their mission is to “create a place where the growing number of people with food allergies can buy a treat and not have to worry about cross-contamination, while also not having to compromise on taste or aesthetics.” –Strawberry Blonde Bakery website.

Their bakeshop wasn’t far from the downtown area of Ottawa, very accessible by transit as I took the bus there. I feel in love with their cute bakeshop from the outside with their beautiful & colourful exterior. They have a sitting area only outside thou. I love the atmosphere of their cozy and friendly bakeshop inside despite the size of the bakeshop quite small, but filled with delicious and beautiful aroma smell of freshly baked goods.

Strawberry Blonde Bakery has a large variety of baked goods to choose from cupcakes, cookies to pies, scones, squares, Nanaimo bars, brownies, cakes along with a few savory items as well. They also serve vegan soft serve (ice cream)…YAY!!! It was hard for me to choose what to get.

I ended up getting one Strawberry cupcake with Vanilla frosting and it was simply delicious with their moist cake and the frosting wasn’t too sweet either. One of my fave new vegan cupcakes for sure!!

I also bought their packaged Oatmeal Raisins cookies to bring home with me to try on the train ride home. These are the best Vegan Oatmeal Raisins cookies I ever had, I love Oatmeal Raisins cookies and it’s rare to find one soft and tastes exactly like a regular Oatmeal Raisins cookie. I wish I bought another box of them!! I loved them!!!

Me in front of the Strawberry Blonde Bakeshop

If you haven’t tried, Strawberry Blonde Bakery yet at Ottawa downtown area in the Wellington West area, I highly recommend you checking out this cozy and friendly vegan bakeshop. It definitely won’t disappoint you!! Go try it yourself…😊

For more information on Strawberry Blonde Bakery, please see below:

Websiteclick here

Address – 114B Grange Avenue, Ottawa, ON.

You can follow them on Facebook @StrawberryBlondeBakery, Twitter @BlondeBaking and Instagram @BlondeBaking.

Another amazing FBC conference for 2017 is done already!! Wow!! As it was my 3rd time attending this inspiring and great conference, I love seeing the growing Canadian food bloggers attend this amazing conference every year. Every year I attend this event, I enjoy networking, learning, being inspired by others and of course the delicious and variety of foods at the conference.

Thank you Melissa and Ethan for putting on another fantastic conference for all of us!!!! Every year you guys bring something new and fun to the conference. I am excited for next year’s 2018 Road Trip Conference!!! Looking forward to further details in January 2018! As I can’t wait to start planning which destination I would love to travel next to.

For now, thank you to my wonderful readers who managed to read most or if you are still following along on my Part 2 of my Highlights of Food Bloggers of Canada conference. I admit it was a bit long to read, but I hope that you enjoyed it that you are just as inspired and eager to attend 2018 Road Trip FBC conference like me! You can check out Part 1 of my FBC2017 Highlights if you haven’t read it yet here -> click here.

Feeling inspired and getting ready for the Holiday spirit, I am busy prepping for my Holiday post that I am excited to share with you soon!! I am also working on a special project slowly yet progress is happening that I will be sharing with you soon for the New Year 2018. Look out for that announcement soon!!

For the latest updates such as when my next blog post is along with you can follow along on my foodie adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Until next time, I am in search for my next sweet Holiday spirit adventure….

-Sweet B.

For more information on Food Bloggers of Canada, please see below:

Food Bloggers of Canada – Website – click here

You can follow FBC on Facebook @FoodBloggersOfCanada, Twitter @FoodBloggersCA and Instagram @FoodBloggersCA.

My Highlights of 2017 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference – Part 1

Hi everyone,

Welcome back 😁 and saying Hello to a new month, November already! How did this year go by so fast that it is the end of the year now? Wow!! Thou will be a busy end of the year with the upcoming Holidays and I love the Holidays!! Excited to be sharing with you guys soon about Holiday posts😀 But first, I been very busy since being back from my amazing Food Bloggers of Canada conference in Ottawa at the end of October. It was a busy yet a fun & foodie filled 3 days conference with my fellow Canadian bloggers. I left the conference feeling inspired, filled with new knowledge & information and excited about expanding my own blog.

This was my 3rd time attending this amazing conference and it has become an annual tradition for me attending the FBC conference. I love getting together with my fellow Canadian bloggers and catching up with friends or meeting new friends. Every year it is different and I love the experience along with learning new concepts and ideas on blogging.

If you were following me along with my FBC conference adventure through Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 or Instagram @SweetBFoodie24 (and my stories), hope you enjoyed the photos and live updates while I was at the conference if you weren’t able to join us.

Quick Update

Things will be busier for me for the end of the year as I have started a temporary Admin job with my focus and career path still as a blogger. As some of you know, I left my full time Admin job earlier this year to focus on this blog and refocus my health situation. I am still continuing to grow with this blog and still maintain a balance between Admin work and blogging. I am looking for the right Admin job to balance what I love to do more as a blogger. We will see how this temporary Admin job turns out…😜

So finally I’m here and excited to share with you all, my readers my full experience at the Food Bloggers of Canada conference for those who were not able to attend this foodie conference.

This is my full Recap (warning has it might be a LONG post…😊) of the amazing and fun Food Bloggers of Canada 2017 conference taken place to our nation’s capital in Ottawa, Ontario this year to celebrate Canada’s 150 birthday and their 5th conference where 150 bloggers, brands and speakers in an intimate atmosphere to network, providing professional development and of course delicious food. FBC2017 was held at Delta Hotels Ottawa City Centre. The conference was held for 3 days.

Day 1 – Friday, October 20, 2017

I took the afternoon train by VIA Rail train from Toronto to Ottawa. I had a relaxing leisure train ride to Ottawa after a very busy 1st work week at my Admin work and at the same time packing & prepping for the conference. I usually take Business class when I take VIA Rail and this was no difference, love travelling business class as I liked the assigned seating and meals on the train. I enjoyed my dairyfree lunch consisting of delicious rice with chicken and beans, salad, whole wheat bun, and fruits! Some beautiful scenery as I headed to Ottawa. Arrived in Ottawa around 4:50pm there was a slight train delay.

I arrived at the Delta Ottawa City Centre Hotel by bus, which took approximately 20 mins not too far from the VIA Rail station. There was a Lentils Lounge to welcome us attendees and for Conference Registration as well in the Life Lounge of the hotel. I wasn’t able to attend as I arrived after 4:30pm.

I took a few minutes to take in, unpack and relax from my train ride of the beautiful and modern Delta Ottawa City Centre Hotel in my hotel room. I had the King bedroom and with a cityview on a lower floor, not much of a view, but enjoyed my medium size room. I guess I’m more used to more spacious rooms, but still enjoy this room with the modern design and high tech gadgets such as the clock with iPod plugin.

Kickoff Cocktail Reception

Starting FBC2017 with a cocktail reception and I arrived for the cocktail reception near the end and enjoyed a few appetizers along with my fave drink to start off the conference – a refreshing & sweet Fall Sangria with apples and cloves inspired by Ontario Apples

There were lots of yummy appetizers to enjoy. My fave was a Vegan Carrot Chickpeas Patties with Lemon Tahini Dressing by Half Your Plate.

Lentils.org Dinner

For the dinner that evening it was hosted by Lentils, it was a mix and mingle type of dinner with tabletops where we were able to chat with other attendees while enjoying a healthy delicious foods that incorporates lentils in each dish. I thought that was an interesting and great idea. I don’t eat much lentils and it was great to see what dishes that each vendor decided to do. There were several food stations to select from. It was hard to find a tabletop to eat though…😀

Thank you to Lentils for our 2nd Swag Bag that includes “All The Things Sweets” cookbook by Renée Kohlman, cute Go To utensils and lunchbox.

My fave dish of the evening was of course not surprised the dessert table, it was the 1st thing that I saw and loved the 4 different dessert that was offered. Love that these desserts had lentils in it.

  1. Top Fave – Spiced Apple Skillet Cake with Streusel toppings by cookbook author of All The Sweet Things – Renée Kohlman, love any apple desserts so it was not a surprise when I fell in love with this dessert!! It wasn’t too sweet just perfect, love the moist cake too. I secretly had more than 2 pieces I’m so bad lol!!
  2. Sticky Toffee Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chucks, this was pretty good too despite me not a chocolate person at all (yes if you didn’t know I don’t eat chocolate, it’s a surprise to lots lol!!) and I don’t eat chocolate. I tasted more the toffee part.
  3. Fruit Skewers – Loved the fresh fruits too, beautiful display! Always refreshing to have fruits and stay healthy.

Besides the desserts, my 2 fave savoury dishes were:

  1. Lentil Sweet Potato Pierogi with Cider Pickled Cabbage and Crème Fraiche, but I had the Vegan option so no Crème Fraiche by The Wellington Gastropub.
  2. Lentil Sausage by Carben Food & Drink. It was a simple yet delicious sausage and love that it was vegan too. Beautiful plating for this dish!!

Overall, a great and delicious different types of food to start of this amazing and foodie conference. It was great to reconnect with familiar friends & bloggers and meeting new bloggers during the mix and mingle dinner as well.

For more information on the above Sponsors, vendors and authors, please see below:

Day 2– Saturday, October 21, 2017

Breakfast with Ontario Apple Growers

FBC2017 started Day 2 with a healthy & nutritious breakfast by Ontario Apple Growers. Unfortunately due to personal reasons sadly missed this delicious breakfast as I love apples too.

Ontario Apple Growers provided a healthy and delicious breakfast with Apple French Toast, Apple Parfaits, fresh fruits, and etc.

The Keynote Speaker for the morning was Elizabeth Baird, author and editor of multiple cookbooks both on her own and with Canadian Living who she was also a former Canadian Living food editor. She also is a member of the Order of Canada. With her many years of experience in the food industry, it was an honor to listen to Elizabeth Baird and listen to her vast experience working in the food world about the history of food and cooking and tips.

The rest of the morning was divided into workshops that we (attendees) got to sign up before the conference. I attended 3 workshops that morning that included:

  1. How to Snag Media Opportunities and Survive Interviews – Presented by Zannat Reza and Will Lamont
    • Even though I haven’t pitch to any media yet about my blog and brand, it was a great topic for me to learn more and understand. It was interesting to hear about how to handle radio, print and tv interviews if I was ever to approach towards the media section.
  2. Behind the Brands: What PR Teams Need Bloggers To Know – Presented by Heather Travis
    • Great session with Heather Travis with lots of tips and advice for beginner bloggers like me. Getting a better understanding what PR are looking from bloggers such as pitching the right time of season/year, Earned vs Paid means through relationships, define your business, and more. Learned lots in this short session.
  3. Standing Out In a Crowd: Building Your Brand Identity – Presented by: Sam Turnbull
    • Great presentation and lots of advice & tips from Sam Turnbull on learning more about your brand identity. Her main points was to know your niche so your readers know who you are. Another tip was having keywords related to your topic and blog and use those keywords in your blog or when you talk about your blog so the readers know who you are.
    • She was very inspiring speaker and passionate about her niche and who she is.

Saturday Lunch hosted by Half Your Plate

After a full morning session of learning and filled with lots of information to take it, I was ready for a healthy lunch hosted by Half Your Plate. They provided for us a create your own Buddha bowl (I think that’s what you call it), which is a bowl full of vegetables, healthy grains and lean protein for a perfectly balanced, nourishing meal topped with a unique sauce.

It was actually my 1st time having a Buddha bowl and loved the variety that Half Your Plate provided for us with full of fresh ingredients to create it. I love the vegan Soba noodles!! I created my Buddha bowl with Soba noodles, rice, fresh apples & oranges and tofu topped with hoisin sauce. Yum!!!

Of course, I always love my dessert and loved the fresh fruits and the delicious lemon squares.

Boots & Roots with Farm & Food Care

For the 1st time at the conference, hosted by Farm & Food Care – 8 local farmers (egg, mushroom, diary, beef, hog, grain, vegetables and apples) held a great session for us bloggers to answer our questions about food and farming. Each farmer had it’s own table where we were able to go to different farmers and learn more about that particular farmer food specialty. It was great to learn more about local produce.

Afternoon Treats with Cookina Popcorn Bar

I loved the Cookina Popcorn bar station for our afternoon snack session. I loved that there was a diary free option as well as they had kernels available to pop fresh popcorn with no butter. They used Cookina reusable bag to pop the fresh popcorn and love that you can reuse it. They had a variety of flavor toppings to add to the popcorn as well.

Saturday FBC Dinner

FBC hosted a beautiful and appetizing dinner that evening and sat with a variety of people from bloggers to cookbook authors. It was great to interact and engage with others. I had the diary free option dinner that evening so my main course was the delicious, moist, and flavourful roasted chicken with mini potatoes and asparagus. My fave was the palette cleanser, which was a lemon sorbet with frozen fruits on top, it was soooo beautiful! I loved it!!

Winter Squash Salad

Lemon Sorbet with frozen fruits & flower

Roasted Chicken with mini potatoes, carrots and asparagus

That evening, our dinner speakers were food writers & adventurers and authors of their new cookbook, Feast – Lindsay Anderson and Dana VanVeller. It was a pleasure meeting them and hearing their story on their road trip and how they met each other.

Me with Dana and Lindsay during book signing

Of course, the best part of any meal is my fave desserts, FBC had special desserts by Cake & Shake Dessert Bar to make their famous Nanaimo Bar cakes. For the vegan and gluten free option, Strawberry Blonde Bakery made a replica of the Nanaimo Bar cakes in the vegan version.

I decided to go with the Apple Nanaimo cake with the apple donut on top (I couldnn’t resist lol!) as I spoke with the baker and he explained the apple one doesn’t have any diary product in it except the frosting so I didn’t eat the frosting..:) I also tried the gluten free cookies as well!

What a great and scrumptious dinner to end Day 2 of FBC2017. I couldn’t believe how fast the conference was going and that only Sunday half day left of the conference before it finishes. I booked to stay an extra night instead of leaving Sunday evening so I was happy to have majority of Monday to enjoy sightseeing in Ottawa before going home Monday evening.

This concludes Part 1 of my Highlights of FBC2017 conference in Ottawa, stay tuned for Part 2 to find out about Day 3 of FBC2017 and how my last day in Ottawa went and what places I visited and did I visit a vegan bakery? Stay tuned! Check back this weekend to find out!! ☺

-Sweet B.

For more information on the above Sponsors, vendors and authors, please see below:

Food Bloggers of Canada

Website – click here

You can follow FBC on Facebook @FoodBloggersOfCanada, Twitter @FoodBloggersCA and Instagram @FoodBloggersCA