My Honey Sweet Summer Dairy Free SkinnyPop Popcorn Recipe

Hi everyone,

It is officially summer now and I’m ready for beach days, more food festivals, summer day trips and of course summer foods or for me, summer desserts or snacks. What are you looking forward to this summer?? Is there a summer food you enjoy most at this time of year? Love to hear what you guys enjoy for the summer so please feel free to leave a comment below.

As some of you know, I enjoy dairy free products because of my food sensitivities as I still learn and discover new foods that are dairy free as I always love to share them with my readers. I thought that I always share new vegan bakeries or restaurants that I also share with you new food products.

Now that summer is finally here, I thought what better light fluffy summer food to enjoy than popcorn, right? I recently discovered a dairy free popcorn that is perfect for me that I didn’t know before until now called: SkinnyPop Popcorn. SkinnyPop Popcorn is a premium popcorn kernel that has no GMOs (genetically modified organism), no artificial ingredients, gluten free, dairy free, peanut free, no artificial flavours, zero trans fat, and preservative free. Their motto is using simple ingredients such as whole grain popcorn, natural sunflower oil and perfect amount of salt combine together to give you a “delicious snack that you can feel great about eating everyday” – SkinnyPop Popcorn website.

SkinnyPop Popcorn comes in Popped Popcorn (already popped), Popcorn cakes and mini cakes and their new product is their microwave popcorn. SkinnyPop Popcorn also comes in different flavours from Sea Salt & Pepper to Naturally Sweet to Jalapeño to White Cheddar (Dairy Free).

I recently picked up their Popped Popcorn in the original flavour and I thought it be great to add a healthy and summer twist to it the popcorn. After searching for ideas as I’m not much of a cook or baker, I thought of a simple and easy recipe that I would love to share with you. It’s an easy recipe for the summer and perfect for the upcoming Canada’s Day celebration to share with your family and friends.

My new simple & easy recipe is called: Dairy Free Sweet Honey Popcorn with Dried Fruits. When you think of summer, you think of light and sweet so I thought with a healthy twist to put in dry fruits and with this recipe using dried strawberries and apples as strawberries are known for summer fruits. A great combination with strawberries are apples, but you can also substitute it with other dried fruits that you prefer or have just the dried strawberries on it’s own, which still works out perfectly.

The ingredients for this recipe includes: SkinnyPop Popcorn, dried strawberries & apples, brown sugar, honey, and coconut oil. I’m using coconut oil in this recipe instead of butter as it’s the dairy free alternative to butter. An interesting tip is that I found out that coconut oil is tasteless so if you were worried about making the popcorn tasting like coconut, don’t be as it doesn’t from making this recipe myself.

Instructions:

Once you have all your ingredients, have a large mixing bowl to put the popcorn, dried strawberries and apples ready to mix it with the honey sauce (mixture). To make the honey sauce (mixture), in a medium pot or saucepan – add the brown sugar, coconut oil and honey. Cook it on medium high heat until the mixture is bubbling and well combined. Once it is done, pour the honey mixture over the popcorn & dried fruits in the large mixing bowl that you had prepared. You can pour as little or as much as you want in the bowl. Then mix until the popcorn and dried fruits are covered with the honey sauce (mixture).  You can see below the photos of each step.

So now you are ready to taste and enjoy this sweet and healthy vegan dairy free popcorn treat with a summer twist to it. Yum!! It’s the perfect sweet summer treat to share with your family and friends or a sweet bowl for yourself.

Hope you give my new sweet, summer and healthy SkinnyPop Popcorn recipe a try and let me know what you think of it. Feel free to leave me your comments below as I would love to hear what you think of my recipe.

Don’t forget to stay connected with me on the latest updates on my next blog post or my foodie adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

As summer has just started, I’m excited for what the rest of the summer will bring for me including going to more food festivals and my mini summer getaway later in late July!! So I leave you for now with this sweet yet healthy dairy free popcorn treat and continue my search on my next sweet vegan bakery or restaurant hunt. Cheers to a yummy and sweet summer! 🍦 🍧 🍓 🍹 🌞

-Sweet B.

For more information on SkinnyPop Popcorn, please see below:

SkinnyPop Popcorn – website -> click here

You can follow SkinnyPop Popcorn on Facebook @SkinnyPopPopcorn, Twitter @theskinnypop and Instagram @theskinnypop.

My Printable Recipe

Dairy Free Sweet Honey Popcorn with Dried Fruits

  • Servings: 3-4 people
  • Time: 10 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A sweet honey popcorn with summer dried fruits perfect for the summer.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cups SkinnyPop Popcorn
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Coconut Oil (you may put less if preferred)
  • ¼ Honey
  • ½ cup Dried Strawberries
  • ½ cup Dried Apples

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, pour in the SkinnyPop popcorn, put in the dried strawberries and apples. In my case, I sliced the dried apples in smaller pieces as they were in rings to make it easier to eat. If you have other dried fruits, you can prepare them now.
  2. For the honey mixture – in a medium pot or saucepan, add the brown sugar, coconut oil and honey. Cook over medium high heat until mixture is bubbling and well combined by mixing it.
  3. Then pour honey mixture over the popcorn mixing bowl that you prepared before, you can pour in the amount desired or until all popcorn and dried fruits have been covered. In between pouring the honey mixture, use a wooden spoon or spoon to mix in between as it will get sticky to get an even coat of honey mixture with the popcorn.
  4. You can wait 5 – 10 mins before enjoying as letting the honey mixture soak in the popcorn before enjoy the sweetness.

My Highlights of Niagara Vegfest 2017

Hi everyone,

It’s officially the month of June and with the start of the official summer this week, the weather has gone from cold to very humid and hot fast here in Toronto!! Thou I am not enjoying the humidity too much, but loving the warmer and sunnier weather now to enjoy esp the outdoors. Maybe less humid lol!!

With sunny and hot days upon us, this means one thing that festival season is officially here and what a great way to cool down and enjoy delicious foods outdoors. I am excited and love attending food festivals especially during the summer days sampling and discovering new foods to share with you all my readers. I already have a few food festivals planned that I would like to attend from June – September so I’m looking forward to it. If you have any suggestions for a food festival you think I should try out, please don’t hesitate to let me know as I always love attending new food festivals that I haven’t been to. I’m looking out for new food festivals for the Fall too. Feel free to comment below or you can reach me by e-mail at blooi24@hotmail.com

RECAP:

quick recap since my last blog entry, since leaving my previous work, been busy with a few projects and prepping for the summer months for my blog of course. Enjoyed my mini getaway to London, Ontario where enjoyed lots and lots of delicious foods including some vegan desserts and looking forward to sharing with you all in another blog post next month. If you were following me on Twitter and Instagram, then you would have seen my foodie London getaway..:)  I’m still learning how to use Instagram stories so please bare with me lol…😉

My 1st food festival for this pre-summer season that I attended was 2 weeks ago during the first weekend of June was to Niagara Vegfest. It was my 1st time attending the Niagara Vegfest as I always love visiting Niagara Falls so I thought it would be great to also attend this food festival to see, discover and sample the Niagara Region culinary vegan foods. I had the most amazing and fun foodie day as someone of you may already seen from my Instagram and Twitter posts. I’m happy that the weather ended up being sunny and warm as it was supposed to rain and I got lucky and it only rained in the morning. I arrived in St.Catherines by bus that day with a beautiful sunny day and enjoyed every minute of Niagara Vegfest.

If you haven’t been to Niagara Vegfest before, here are some quick information about it:

  • Niagara Vegfest is a 2 day multi-venue event – Day 1 (June 3, 2017) is the Niagara Vegfest in the Vineyard and Day 2 (June 4, 2017) is the Vegan Festival Main Event
  • 6th Annual Niagara Vegfest
  • Location: Market Square, downtown St. Catherines (91 King Street)
  • Admission: Free / donation of $2 or canned foods
  • It includes 80+ vendors and exhibitors, guest speakers, kids zone and TD Niagara Jazz Festival Music Stage
  • “A celebration the many benefits of a healthy, compassionate, plant-based lifestyle, and showcases exhibitors, vendors, and speakers from the Niagara region and beyond” -Niagara Vegfest

Overall, I had an amazing and very foodie day at Niagara Vegfest. I loved the atmosphere at the Market Square in St.Catherines as this festival was some vendors indoors and some outdoors, which to me is good because I liked the flow of the traffic it gives for attendees when they attended this event. It also gives options for weather if it rained or if it was sunny to have the indoors and outdoors available. I loved that they had the TD Niagara Jazz Festival Music Stage outside where I was able to enjoy the beautiful jazz music whether I was inside or outside. It brought a different element to the festival by adding music and creating a fun atmosphere to the Niagara Vegfest. Though I have to admit I was a bit overwhelmed with so many vendors to check out, but at the same time it was great to have a variety of vendors and exhibitors to offer to people. I spent half the day at the Niagara Vegfest as there were so many delicious and yummy foods to sample along with checked out a few non-food vendors.

My Top 4 Fave Foods at Niagara Vegfest are:

1) Pizza Rolls by Rise Above Restaurant

  • Best pizza sausage roll I ever had, yum, it was crispy the pastry part and the most tastiest sausage inside, loved it!! As someone who is now dairy free, it’s hard to find places with vegan pizzas so happy to have stopped and had the most yummiest is that a word lol…pizza rolls by Rise Above Restaurant.
  • Quick information about Rise Above Restaurantis the Niagara’s 1st 100% vegan restaurant and bakery. They are located downtown in St. Catherines. They specialize in comfort foods, healthy choices, and fresh baked desserts. Only wish they would open another location in Toronto, I look forward to stopping by the actual restaurant one day.

2) Peach Fritter doughnut by Beechwood Doughnuts

  • I was so full from all the delicious vegan foods that I had to still get a doughnut from Beechwood Doughnuts as I heard they had the best vegan doughnuts. So I bought one to bring home to eat and chose the Peach Fritter (peaches are one of my fave fruits) and so glad I did lol…Beechwood Doughnuts hands down the best vegan doughnut I ever had!! Wow, I don’t usually eat doughnuts too often, but I would if it is for the sweetest and soft doughnuts that Beechwood Doughnuts make. The Peach Fritter the best lol!! If you haven’t tried, Beechwood Doughnuts, you are definitely missing out!! I would definitely travel for these doughnuts!!
  • Quick information about Beechwood DoughnutsNiagara’s first and only 100% vegan doughnut shop. Located in the heart of Downtown St. Catharines. They opened in January 2015 and become popular and have a reputation for quality in the Niagara Region and beyond. They also won 3 awards in 2015 at the Toronto Vegetarian Association Veg Awards – best vegan bakery, best vegan doughnut and best vegan dessert.

3) Strawberry Lemonade Cupcake by Dolled Up Desserts

  • One of my fave regulars is definitely Dolled Up Desserts who I always enjoy visiting at any vegan food festivals and always love seeing what Katarina (Dolled Up Dessert owner) new delicious desserts she has for that day. She comes up with the most delicious vegan and creative desserts, I love it!! She also has the most beautiful display for her booth I love how creative she is! This time I tried her delicious & sweet Strawberry Lemonade mini cupcake. Loved it!!
  • Quick information about Dolled Up Desserts – Her main shop is based in Hamilton, Ontario. Dolled Up Desserts creates and share high quality desserts that are gluten free and vegan, and are made with 25-50% less sugar, ingredients that are organic, locally sourced.

4) Banana Split Cupcake by Fairly Frosted Bakery

  • I love cupcakes so it was hard to resist when I saw the delicious vegan cupcakes display at Fairly Frosted Bakery. One of my friends also recommended them so was excited to try them and they had an assortment of different baked goods to choose from. It was hard to choose besides the cupcakes. I ended up choosing their Banana Split Cupcake and it was delicious minus the chocolate topping as some of you might know I don’t eat chocolate I know it’s a shock lol!! The frosting wasn’t too sweet either so it was perfect.
  • Quick information about Fairly Frosted Bakery  – A bakery from Guelph, Ontario founded in 2011. Fairly Frosted Bakery serves vegan, gluten free and nut free baked goods.

One of my fave vegan ice cream is food truckSweet Teeth, which is not mentioned above, but they always been my fave regulars at any vegan festivals. So it goes without saying that I always visit their food truck of ice cream and waffles, yum and this time is no difference. I got their OG waffle, which consists of fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and of course the ice cream. If you haven’t tried Sweet Teeth food truck, I highly recommend it!! This year they also added shakes to their menu and love their new flavours added to the menu. They always come up with new flavours, which is great to see.

One of my fave vegan jeweler is Jewels by SJB, I discovered Sue’s beautiful jewelry last year at one of the vegan food festivals and instantly loved her unique and beautiful handmade jewelry. Sue is from Toronto, ON and has a collection of hand forged, cruelty free jewels and creating beautiful detailed pieces. She uses genuine gemstones that includes .925 sterling silver and 14K gold fill metal. She is also a vegan who shares her message through her jewelry.

I was excited to visit Jewels by SJB booth and see what new pieces she had this time. I always love seeing what new pieces that she brings to each festival as she makes the most beautiful unique pieces. I ended up purchasing a beautiful purple amethyst gemstone to go with my Vegan necklace as well bought a new rose/light pink bracelet with the letter “v” on it. The new bracelet matches my other bracelet (purple amethyst one) I bought from her last year to make a stacking bracelet. I am happy with my new jewelry!! It is always great to see Sue again, she is always so kind and amazing to me especially if I needed any customizing to her jewelry. I love how she can custom to each customer needs. I look forward to seeing what new pieces she has in the next festival!!

My collection of bracelets and pendant necklace from Jewels by SJB

What an amazing 1st visit to Niagara Vegfest filled with delicious vegan foods, desserts, shopping local & unique items, and enjoying amazing jazz music!! If you didn’t have a chance to check out Niagara Vegfest, I highly recommend to see what delicious vegan foods & to experience this festival yourself at Niagara Vegfest next year. Look out for details on their website (information below)! I look forward to joining them again next year after this fun foodie day!! I can’t wait to see what next year they have planned out!

If you managed to read most of this blog post as I know it was a bit long, thank you!! I appreciate you taking your time to read my foodie adventure!! Summer is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to my next foodie summer festival as some of you might already know (from my Twitter and Instagram posts) I have attended my 2nd one just this past weekend! With the busy summer months ahead, I look forward to not just food summer festivals, but also to my mini getaway in July. Don’t worry I still be posting shortly after I’m back. But this summer along the way, I am still searching for my next sweet vegan dessert place!! Stay tuned!!

As always, for the latest updates or to keep up with me on my foodie adventures, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 or Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

Until next time, let’s get ready for summer filled with hot weather for foodie summer festivals, cool desserts, travelling and beaches & more!!

-Sweet B.

For more information on Niagara Vegfest and any of the vendors I mentioned, please see below:

Niagara Vegfest – Website -> click here

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

Rise Above Restaurant – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @RiseAboveRestaurant, Twitter @RiseAboveFoods and Instagram @RiseAboveRestaurant.

Beechwood Doughnuts – Website -> click here

You can follow them on Facebook @BeechwoodDoughnuts, Twitter @BeechwoodInfo and Instagram @BeechwoodDoughnuts.

Dolled Up Desserts – Website -> click here

You can follow her on Facebook @DolledUpDessertsBaking, Twitter @DolledUpBaking and Instagram @DolledUpDessertsBaking.

Fairly Frosted Bakery – Website -> click here

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

Sweet Teeth Food Truck – Website -> click here

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

Jewels by SJB – Website -> click here

You can follow her on Facebook @JewelsbySJB and Instagram @JewelsbySJB.

 

 

 

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

Hi everyone,

Can you believe it’s almost summer in just a few weeks while our Spring in Toronto has been pretty mild and lots of rain (maybe a bit too much rain as it been causing floods in some parts of Toronto, yikes, not a fan of rain) with a few hotter sunny days. As May is coming to an end, I always get excited around this time just before summer starts because summer for me means food festivals, beaches, watching live baseball or tennis and summer getaways. What does summer mean for you? What food are you excited to eat during summer??

I’m looking forward to this exciting summer as already lots to enjoy starting with a few food festivals in June and more to come this summer. I can’t wait to share them with you my sweet readers!! I’m ready for a fun and yummy summer! Are you??

RECAP:

As a quick update – there are some new changes in my life, I have decided to leave my Admin work and start fresh, needed a new beginning and looking forward to new opportunities as well as re-focus my energy and passion with my blog where I enjoy working and writing, capturing photos and more. It was a difficult decision, but I believe I made the right one to be in an environment where I am more happier and less stressed. I took a few weeks off in May to relax and unwind as some of you may have seen on my Instagram acct that I enjoyed a day trip to Niagara Falls and time for myself.

I’m still adjusting and hoping this will lead more blog posts for my readers to enjoy. My next city and food getaway is to London, Ontario (not London, England..lol…one day) next week and I’m excited to share this adventure with you all in another blog post in my Travel Review.

When you think of summer, what refreshing and sweet treat do you usually think of?? For me, I love cool and sweet treats like ice cream!!!! Now that I am having dairy free products, I am looking for alternatives such as dairy free ice creams and sorbets to enjoy in the summer.

I’m excited to share with you – Eva’s Original Chimney Cones treat which also offers vegan (dairy free) treats and I discovered Eva’s Original last year at one of the food festivals I attended. Ever since then, I’m always excited to have an Eva’s Original Chimney Cone at any festival.

Me having Eva’s Original Chimney Cone last summer

Eva’s Original Chimneys was first a food truck and within a couple of years grew into a successful business that early this year 2017, Eva opened her flagship store location on Bloor Street West in the Annex area of Toronto.

What is a Chimney Cone you might ask?? Well the owner, Eva was born and raised in Budapest, Hungary. Her creation and idea came from Hungary and they are unique, bread-like freshly baked Hungarian pastries, named after their hollow, cylindrical shape. They have a satisfying crunch on the outside and a delicious, light and fluffy dough on the inside. Their Chimney Cones are all sweet and they also make Chimney cakes that are sweet or savoury flavours.

Eva uses the best ingredients including organic and local wherever possible as they believe in serving simple and wholesome food. Their base dough is suitable for vegans and they also offer toppings that are suitable for vegans as well. The Chimney cakes and cones are baked fresh daily and right before your eyes in the store in their custom-made open rotisserie grill, they are baked dough and not fried.

My first visit to Eva’s Original flagship store was a few weeks ago, I was excited to enjoy a sweet Chimney Cone before the summer started and now that she had a store, I didn’t have to wait for a festival. Eva’s Original store is a cozy, friendly, welcoming and European style decorated bakeshop. You can smell the freshly baked cones being made in the store as you walked in. With the space they had, they utilized it pretty well and there are space at the back to enjoy your sweet treats as well. I enjoyed watching the bakers make the actual cones on site as well.

It was hard to choose which Chimney Cone I wanted as they had a variety of choices, which is great to make it suitable for different people. From savoury to sweet toppings and different cone choices as well. For those who want the vegan soft serve, it is only served at the flagship store. But during the festivals, they offered the vegan version as with no ice cream, but with the whipped cream instead (hoping that they still will continue this as last summer they did).

I ended up choosing the Thai Mango Sticky Rice with the golden glazed cone instead with a crispy coconut wafer on top though I think I was supposed to get the mango sliced instead. But I loved the chopped mango pieces inside, as some of you know I love any mango desserts so that is probably the reason why I picked that flavour. The only disappointing factor was I think the staff who served me forgot the mango drizzle, I was sad to miss that and only noticed it after I started eating it…☹  Otherwise, it was simply still delicious, loved the cone and this tropical dessert feels like it is summer time and at the beach!! Hoping next time I get that mango drizzle to enjoy!

If you stop by for an Eva’s Original Chimney Cone, come hungry as they are very filling, which is great!! Or they also offer a mini Chimney Cone if you aren’t up to the full size one. I love that there are 2 sizes!!

Whether you are a vegan (dairy free) or non-vegan, Eva’s Original Chimney Cone has a bit of every sweet dessert flavours and taste for everyone.

Why don’t you come stop by Eva’s Original Chimney Cone flagship store or find her food truck this summer during any of the food festivals her truck is at (on her website, see below) and see for yourself why I love Eva’s Chimney Cones sooooo much. You definitely won’t be disappointed!! I’m looking forward to getting my next Eva’s Original Chimney Cone again soon in the summer!

Cheers to a Sweet Chimney Cone Goodness delicious summer!! 🍦🍦🌞

I leave you here with the sweet Chimney Cone yummy dessert as I continue my search for the next delicious and vegan dessert hunt and looking forward to my 1st summer food festival coming up in June, looking forward to sharing my experience with my readers! So come on back next month and see what I been up to.

Don’t forget for all updates on my next blog post along with my foodie & travel adventures, follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24 (will be trying out Instagram stories too), why not follow along my London, Ontario trip this coming week to see what yummy food I discover in a new city. 🍰 Until then….

-Sweet B.

For more information on Eva’s Original, please see below:

Eva’s Original: website – click here

Location: 454 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario

(Please remember her flagship location – it is cashless)

For her Food Truck schedule – please find it on her website – here

You can also follow Eva’s Original on Facebook @originalchimneys, Twitter @ogchimneys, and Instagram @ogchimneys.

 

Happy 3 Year Blog Anniversary!!!

Hi everyone!!

On this day, February 23 back in 2014, is when I first started this food blog site! I can’t believe it’s been 3 years now since I started this blog and taking a look back on how much I have grown from 3 years ago to now is something I didn’t expect.

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 how much my blog has grown within 3 years and how much I have grown in learning about food itself and my own food sensitivity with non-dairy products. I am still learning about the new “vegan” foods & desserts and discovering what my body can take. I still love my sweets & now share delicious yet healthy dessert places with my readers.

I am also happy and excited to share on my blog with my readers my passion for events and travel through attending Toronto foodie events & my travel experiences.

I have to thank Food Bloggers of Canada (website -> click here) for providing me a place to share and network with other Canadian bloggers as well as providing food blogging resources to assist me in the world of blogging. 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 each one of my amazing readers for letting me share my love for desserts, sweets, events, and travel with you!! I look forward to bringing you more sweetness and foodie adventures for many years to come!!!

On my 3rd Year Anniversary, I celebrated at one of my newly discovered fave vegan bakeshop, Tori’s Bakeshop. Tori’s Bakeshop is located in the Beaches area on Queen Street East. This bakeshop is an all-natural organic bakery that offers dairy-free, egg-free, and refined sugar-free treats and even carry a selection of gluten free products. Their bakery items range from breads, cakes, mini loaves, cookies, cupcakes, macarons, muffins and even croutons. Along with baked goods, Tori’s Bakeshop also has light healthy sandwiches for brunch/lunch. They also offer beverages such as tea & coffee as well.

I thought that this was the perfect spot to celebrate delicious sweets for my newly diet as a semi vegan now where I still enjoy yummy desserts, but with non-dairy products now.

I discovered Tori’s Bakeshop during the summer at one of the Vegan festivals and absolutely loved her delicious sweet treats. My sister and I sampled her delicious donuts.

I stopped by Tori’s Bakeshop on a warm & sunny winter weekend, it felt more like Spring weather as there were many people on the Queen street enjoying this beautiful weather. Tori’s Bakeshop is a cozy and welcoming bakeshop filled with a selection of delicious baked goods!! I couldn’t choose which sweet treat I wanted as each item looked so delicious! I ended up choosing a Strawberry Vanilla cupcake as cupcakes are one of my fave desserts and it was simply perfect, soft, moist and I loved the raspberry & strawberry filling inside, which tops the cupcake as one of the best I had. I also picked up a few shortbread cookies to go.

I will definitely be coming back to Tori’s Bakeshop for more delicious and sweet desserts as there are still lots that I haven’t even sample yet. If you haven’t been to Tori’s Bakeshop, I highly recommend you try this vegan and all natural, organic bakery. You don’t know what you are missing out on and will not be disappointed!!

I’m looking forward to continuing to share my food, events and travel adventures with you all!! I hope that you all will continue to join me in discovering new bakeries and restaurants along with sightseeing to new cities and countries for my travel foodie adventures!!

Cheers to many more sweet adventures & the years to come!!! 🍹🍰🎉

-Sweet B.

For more information on Tori’s Bakeshop:

Website – Tori’s Bakeshop -> click here

Address – 2188 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON., M4E 1E6

Phone – 647-350-6500

For Hours of Operations, please check the website.

You can find Tori’s Bakeshop on the following Social Media:

My 2016 Year In Review

Hi everyone,

Welcome to a brand New Year of 2017 🎉, though I started my 2017, a bit rough with a horrible cold, but I am finally recovering from this cold and ready to take on a brand new Sweet & Healthy 2017 Year!! 😀🍎🍰 There’s a saying that “it is not how you start, but how you finish” so in my case how tackle the challenges for this year and how I will finish it strong & on a positive note!! I’m excited for this Year 2017 with many exciting things happening with travel and new food adventures (especially with my Las Vegas trip already booked in March 2017 to name one of the many fun things happening)!

Typically you would find most Year In Reviews blog posts at the end of the year, but I am continuing my tradition here being the 2nd time doing this that I like to reflect on the Year before to start off this New Year 2017.

Thank You’s

I like to start off by thanking each one of my “sweet readers” and as well as any new readers who have checked out and decided to follow along on my sweet adventures!! I always love to welcome and invite new readers to my blog. I really appreciate each and every one of you who comes to visit my blog truly mean it as a still beginner blogger I love seeing and getting to know my readers whether you are from Toronto or from overseas in UK or Europe. So on that note, I would love to hear from you with any comments or a suggestion for my blog. Please don’t hesitate to share them with me.

My Stats from 2015 to 2016

It will be 3 years next month that I have started this blog and I feel that I have grown from where I started yet I am still learning new and exciting things in the blogging world everyday. I believe that there is still more room to grow with my blog and I should say thanks to an amazing & friendly community called: Food Bloggers of Canada (click here for their website -> here) who I have mentioned in other posts how joining this community expanded my networks and provided me with learning resources and tools to help me in this blogging world. They will continue to be part of my blog in this growing experience providing me with guidance and networking.

With my blog still growing, in 2016 I can’t believe it was viewed in 53 countries, which doubled since 2015! Wow!! Most readers are from Canada & USA and then expanding to new readers in UK, Europe, Denmark and Asia countries to New Zealand, which is great to know that I have people on the other side of the world interested in reading about my love for food, travel and events.

According to the stats on WordPress, my Blog was viewed 906 times in 2016, which doubled the views from the year before in 2015! In 2016, my stats showed that I had 715 visitors to my blog, which also doubled since the year before in 2015! That’s pretty impressive as I’m still a beginner blogger and my blog is still growing so thank you again to all my readers for the continuing support and coming back to read my blog!

My Sweet & Healthy Year In Review For 2016

2016 was a year of change and discovering my food sensitivity (intolerance) to dairy products. It has been a slow adjustment to non-dairy products as now I’m part Vegan and learning & discovering that I can still enjoy what I love like sweet, desserts, etc in non-dairy products. It is still a learning experience becoming part Vegan and also helped me eating more healthier, but it doesn’t stop what I love most, which are my love for desserts. I’m able to still balance being healthy and still enjoy my sweets but vegan style now…:)

Besides my big adjustment in my diet, in 2016, I still attended several delicious food events in Toronto including my 1st Vegan Food & Drink Festival, Vegfood Fest, Taste of Toronto 2016, and more. Also, in 2016, I attended my 2nd Food Bloggers of Canada Conference held in my own city this time in Toronto for their 5th Anniversary. I enjoyed this year theme “Do the Work”. It showcased a lineup of bloggers/speakers who have done the work whether they have found success on their terms by doing what they love and by putting hours into it. I enjoyed learning, networking and of course the delicious foods.

At the VegFood Fest in September 2016, sampling Nanashake Nanapops, mango flavour!

In 2016, some of my travel adventures continued and started a new feature for the blog on Travel, in the Fall of 2016 went to Kingston, Ontario for my 1st time and discovered this charming and historic city where I discovered lots of delicious bakeries and restaurants for a foodie like me to enjoy. Want to check out this historic city & don’t miss out on this adventure, read my blog post here -> link.

As well, summer of 2016 went on a magical adventure with my family to Orlando, Florida where we went to Disney World as it is my niece 1st time going and enjoyed the delicious and variety of restaurants at Universal Studios & Disney Springs. I’m looking forward to 2017 to new & exciting travel destinations and rediscovering places I visited to share with you my readers.

In May 2016, at Magic Kingdom in front of the Disney Castle

What would you like to see more of on my Sweet B., the Exploring Foodie blog? Is there a specific dessert place or restaurant you would like for me to try? All suggestions are most welcome!

Check out below my Top Review Posts for 2016

My Most Views for Dessert Review Posts

1 – My Sweet Adventure on Macaron Day 2016

It is no surprise that the most views and likes are from my sweet Macaron Day adventure. Macarons are one of my fave desserts and to have a dedicated day for it, is even sweeter..:) I love my macarons!! Check out my review post on which macaron places that I visited that day to enjoy my sweet, little and elegant treats!

Read here -> link.

2 – My New Fave Healthy & 100% Yummy Dessert Place: Nanashake

One of my fave new frozen dessert place is Nanashake and I’m happy that my readers also liked it as much as I did being the 2nd most viewed dessert review post. Nanashake is a friendly, healthy plant-based and delicious frozen dessert place. If you haven’t heard of it before and is looking for a healthy and non-dairy frozen dessert, definitely check out Nanashake, it’s my go to dessert place, I love it!

Check out my review post on why I love Nanashake so much -> link.

My Most Views for an Event Review Posts

1 – Food Bloggers of Canada Conference 2016 in Toronto

My most views from the many events/conference I went to in 2016 was not surprised, but my Food Bloggers of Canada 2016 Conference I attended in Toronto. It was a great networking and learning experience along with feeling inspired after a fun one day conference with so many talented and inspiring bloggers. As well, you can’t forget about the most delicious & healthy food served at this conference.

I have already purchased my ticket for this year 2017 Food Bloggers of Canada Conference being held in Ottawa this year, how exciting to celebrate Canada’s 150 Birthday there. It will be my 1st time attending the full 3 day session, can’t wait!! It is already sold out this year wow so fast, happy to have got mines early!! This is how exciting this conference is so be sure to always check early!

For more information about FBC Conference in 2016, please read my blog review here -> click here.

2 – My 1st Toronto Vegan Food & Drink Festival

My 2nd most views of attending my food events is the Toronto Vegan Food & Drink Festival that I attended with my sister. With my new dietary having non-dairy products, it was my 1st vegan festival that I attended and I’m happy that my readers enjoyed reading about my 1st experience at a vegan festival. Despite the rainy day, it was a great experience sampling and learning what vegan products are there and particular for me desserts.

To read more about my 1st Vegan festival experience, check it out here -> click here

My Dessert Review Post That Was Missed

1 – Best Homemade Pies in Toronto: Wanda’s Pie In the Sky Bakery Cafe

I am highlighting my review post on one of the best pies in Toronto in my Review as I believe that Wanda’s Pie In the Sky, has one of the best pies in Toronto, if you haven’t been to her cozy and warm bakery shop located in the Kensington Market then you are missing out. Wanda’s Pie In the Sky has daily freshly baked desserts such as pies, tarts, cakes to take home or stay with plenty of space to sit with large windows or their patio on warmer days. Wanda’s pies are known for reminding you of home, a freshly cut pie from home. She also offers freshly homemade vegetarian lunches and brunches on the weekends.

Why not stop by this cozy and warm bakery perfect especially for the winter time to warm up with a warm delicious pie, read more why I love Wanda’s Pie In the Sky here -> click here.

Stay Connected

I am excited for this exciting 2017 Year to discover new, healthy and sweet food adventures, travel and events!! I look forward to sharing them with all of you. 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, please follow me on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

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

Here’s to a sweet & healthy 2017 to all my sweet readers!!! 🎉🎊🍰🍭🍩🍹🍜🍎🍓🌽🍆🌴✈😀

Your sweet vegan foodie,

-Sweet B.

 

 

 

 

My Highlights of Veg Food Fest 2016

Hi everyone,

Can you believe that summer is already over? It’s been a busy summer with my full time job as an Admin, but it’s been filled with delicious foodie events, watching the Rogers Cup tennis and going to one baseball game at least! I hope that everyone enjoyed their summer and this very humid summer weather in T.O.

It is officially Fall now and I’m excited for the cooler weather, the beautiful colourful leaves and if you didn’t know, Fall is one of my fave season and with Fall comes sweet delicious apple desserts, warm yummy desserts and Thanksgiving of course!

Before we get into this blog post, a quick update is I am working on a special project that will be revealed soon, I’m excited about it, but it’s been taking a lot of my time so that is why there hasn’t been another sweet blog post until now and a lot of exciting events & trips such as the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference that I will be attending in October are happening the next few months so please be patient with me. So stay tuned this Fall for some exciting sweet warm posts & my special project!!

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To end the summer, what better way than attending an outdoor foodie event, the weekend of September 10-11, 2016, I attended my 2nd Vegan festival, but my 1st time attending this particular one – Veg Food Fest 2016, which was held at the Harbourfront Centre. I was so excited to go after my 1st vegan one despite the rainy day (you can read it my review on Vegan Food & Drink Festival 2016 -> here), I enjoyed it so much that I thought that I go to another one to see what this one has to offer. This festival was run over the weekend of 3 days from September 9-11, 2016.

I went on the Sunday on a beautiful warm sunny day and what a perfect day to be by the waterfront. I was very impressed with the Veg Food Fest 2016 run by Toronto Vegetarian Association – a non-profit from Toronto – in partnership with Harbourfront Centre. I really enjoyed this event with the beautiful waterfront views, variety of vendors, workshops, samples from vendors, demonstrations, live music, and the atmosphere itself. I also enjoyed interacting with vendors and learning more about the vegan lifestyle as I’m still new to it as some of you might know (on a diary-free diet with a mild tolerance for milk as I still do eat meat). I attended this event with of course my sis who also loves attending these events, my 2nd foodie partner besides my mom…:)

Beautiful view of the waterfront at Harbourfront for the event

As this is my 1st time attending the Veg Food Fest 2016, I didn’t get a chance to do everything at the event such as watching cooking demos or attending the workshops or speakers seminars as there were a lot to see and sample. So I’m hoping next year I will try to attend one of them as I was excited to find out MasterChef Canada: Mary Berg was there this year and missed it.

Here are some more detailed information about Veg Food Fest 2016:

  • When: September 9-11, 2016
  • Location: Harbourfront Centre
  • Host: Toronto Vegetarian Association
  • How long has this festival been running for: This is their 32nd Veg Food Fest
  • What’s New This Year: Expanded their location to East side of Harbourfront Centre, 1st ever Veg Out relaxing zone, World Café will feature King’s Café, Green Zebra, Boon Burter and more.
  • Activities: workshops, lectures, fitness classes, music, panel discussions, cooking demos
  • Mission: “Inspiring people to choose a healthier, greener, more compassionate lifestyle through plant-based eating.” –Veg Food Fest Official Website

My Top Fave Desserts at Veg Food Fest 2016:

  • Nanashake – their delicious Nanapops of course, tried their delicious healthy yet yummy Mango & Strawberry mixed flavour one and loved it!! Who wouldn’t? I love anything mango!! As for those who don’t know, I always visit Nanashake shop before so it is no doubt that I love their yummy frozen desserts and always love seeing what new products that they come up with. If you haven’t been to their shop before, I highly recommend it, it’s definitely worth a trip to enjoy a delicious and healthy treat with a warm friendly welcome from their amazing staff.
  • Sweet Teeth Vegan Food Truck – 1st time finally trying Sweet Teeth Vegan as I been waiting to try it from the other festival but didn’t have a chance. Unfortunately this time there was no vegan ice cream left, but I still tried it anyways and got the OG, which was their Belgian waffle with fresh strawberries, strawberry sauce and instead of ice cream got whipped cream instead. Despite no ice cream, it was delicious the waffle, loved it was freshly made and soft and the strawberries was the best part to top it off!! Definitely coming back next time with the ice cream..:)
  • Sweets From the Earth – Tried their delicious vegan mini Strawberry Cupcake, which was absolutely delicious with the cake part of the cupcake was moist and soft and loved the frosting as it wasn’t too sweet! I also bought some Oatmeal Raisin cookies to bring home and enjoyed it while I was at home. Loved the cookies, you can’t even tell it was a vegan cookie, simply delicious. This is my 1st time discovering Sweets From the Earth and would love to try their other vegan products. They are a family-owned business and maintains two production facilities. Both are egg-free, dairy-free, and kosher. One is dedicated peanut- and nut-free and the other is dedicated wheat and gluten free. Products are available in stores across Canada, with new retailers being added all the time. (Info from their website). That’s a quick information about Sweets From the Earth if you are interested. You can check out their website link below after my blog entry.

I also got to visit Tori’s Bakeshop booth, but unfortunately they were out of my Vanilla cupcakes sadly I don’t eat chocolate (another fact if you didn’t know about me, shocker I know who doesn’t love chocolate and desserts go as a pair, that’s me a bit strange one here lol!). They had beautiful cupcakes display that I had to admit look delicious, check out my photo below. I’m hoping to stop by their bakeshop one day. Can’t wait to!

There were some booths that were giving out some free samples and who doesn’t love samples? I got a sample of Veggemo: 1st non-dairy beverage to originate from veggies. I got the original flavour as there were two other ones giving out as well as unsweetened and vanilla. I never tried Veggemo non-dairy beverage before so I thought it would be great to try it out and see if I like it so I can use it as part of my food dietary. Veggemo uses pea protein, tapioca, and potato to create this delicious non-dairy beverage. I’m looking forward to trying it!! You can find out where you can buy one yourself or more information on Veggemo at their website here -> Veggemo.

It was a fun foodie day filled with yummy & delicious sweet treats and desserts and who could have guess it was dairy-free, healthy and plant-based yet it tastes so delicious still. As I’m still learning my new dietary living dairy-free, part vegan that I’m enjoying and happy to see there are other options for people who can’t eat dairy or choose to be vegan, that I can still enjoy my love for desserts still without having dairy in it. I love attending these events who open my mind and see what products are out there that I didn’t know before. So if you didn’t attend, Veg Food Fest 2016 this year, I highly recommend coming to check out this event, come & sample some delicious foods and maybe you might discover some new products that you didn’t know before? Always a plus is the event is free.

I look forward to attending next year Veg Food Fest 2017!!!

Me & my sis, Cindy at the Veg Food Fest 2016

I hope that you enjoyed my yummy review on Veg Food Fest 2016!! If you have been following along on my Twitter and Instagram, I had an amazing foodie & relaxing Fall getaway to Kingston, Ontario last weekend. Don’t forget to come back later in October to check out about my trip and see what places you should eat & see. There are more exciting Fall blog posts coming up.

For the latest updates, please follow my foodie adventures on Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 and on Instagram @SweetBFoodie24.

For now, I leave you with sweet & yummy vegan desserts to crave for while I’m in search of my next scrumptious foodie adventure!

Until next time…

Xoxo,

-Sweet B.

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For more information on Veg Food Fest and the other vendors, please use the links below:

Veg Food FestOfficial Website

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

Toronto Vegetarian AssociationWebsite

Other Vendors/Bakery/Dessert Places

NanaShakeWebsite

Address: 4750 Yonge Street, Unit 134 (Yonge/Sheppard area)

You can follow them on Facebook @nanashake, Twitter @thenanashake and Instagram @thenanashake.

Sweet Teeth Food TruckWebsite

You can follow them on Facebook @SweetTeethVegan, Twitter @sweetteethvegan and Instagram @sweetteethvegan.

Sweets From the EarthWebsite

You can follow them on Facebook @SweetsFromTheEarth, Twitter @SFTEBakery and Instagram @SFTEBakery.

Tori’s BakeshopWebsite

You can follow them on Facebook @TorisBakeshop, Twitter @torisbakeshop and Instagram @torisbakeshop.

Veggemo

You can follow them on Facebook @veggemo, Twitter @Go_Veggemo and Instagram @Go_Veggemo.

 

 

 

Highlights of My 1st Vegan Food & Drink Festival

Hi everyone!

It’s been a very humid and scorching summer in Toronto this year! How is everyone handling this humidity? Loving it or not liking it?? 😉 LOL!! Well, I was not prepared for this high humidity, trying to find ways to keep cool and still enjoy the hot days while we can as Fall is around the corner and what I love about summer days in Toronto are of course as some of you know, love attending food festivals.

With my 1st summer foodie festival finished & done at the Taste of Toronto, been to a few smaller food festivals this summer after Taste of Toronto. Been going to food festivals that I haven’t been to before this summer experiencing them with my sis who also loves food as much as I do.

This past weekend, I went to my 1st Vegan Food & Drink Festival with my sister who enjoys vegan food and she suggested that I come with her to check it out myself as “vegan” also includes no dairy, which is part of my new diet now as I have mentioned before that I started recently having certain products with no dairy as I have a mild lactose intolerance. I am still new and learning about the concept of “vegan” food & lifestyle as I do still eat meat but just no dairy products or limited diary products.

I thought that it was a great idea for me to go to the Vegan Food & Drink Festival to explore and learn more about vegan foods & lifestyle.

If you haven’t been to the Vegan Food & Drink Festival before, here are some basic info about it:

  • This is the 2nd Annual Vegan Food & Drink Festival
  • Date: Saturday, August 13, 2016 (One Day Festival)
  • Time: 11am – 7pm
  • Location: Fort York Garrison Commons (double their capacity & space from last year)
  • What Does the Festival Offer: vegan comfort food, cold drinks, and live entertainment
  • Cost: $10 (Early Bird Price) & $15 (At the Door) & $20 (VIP Ticket)
  • Vendors: From local & visiting vendors
  • They also have Vegan Food & Drink Festival in Chicago as well

Despite the rainy, wet and humid weather, my sister and I still enjoyed the Vegan Food & Drink Festival exploring and discovering new vegan desserts & foods as it was interesting to see what vegan food is about and how it tastes. I really enjoyed the few samples of vegan foods that we were able to have with the rain downpour on and off. It is good to know my vegan options and that I can still enjoy vegan food despite being a meat eater still. I liked seeing there were many vendors offering different types of vegan food to explore.

In my opinion, I like how they had a larger space at Fort York Common Grounds and that they were able to have more vendors with the larger space along with seating and entertainment, but I thought it was a bit confusing where certain vendors were. They needed better signage due to the large space (no direction). But I did love their cute quote signs throughout the event. Check out a few of the signage photos I took there below. There were pros and cons at this event.

My Fave foods from the Vegan Food & Drink Festival are:

Fave DessertDefinitely has to be Dolled Up Desserts as they had the most delicious and amazing desserts selections hands down. I wish I had more lol!! Dolled Up Desserts is a vegan & gluten-free treats offering mini cupcakes, cake-pops minis, cookies (shortbread), magic bars & more at the festival. It was so hard to choose, I wanted them all lol! I ended up enjoying the perfect mini cupcake – Strawberry Shortcake and I love Earl Grey so it was naturally I tried the Earl Grey shortbread cookie, there was a strong flavour of Earl Grey throughout the cookie, which I loved! Next time would love to try the mini cake-pops, can’t wait to try more desserts by Dolled Up Desserts.

  • Fave Drink/Refreshment – Refreshing Fruit Tea with apple, rosehip, lemon pieces, & hibiscus petals by The Cold Pressery (located in Mississauga). As a tea drinker & lover, was very impressed with their Fruit Tea with the right amount of sweetness and light flavour with the fruits.The Cold Pressery - 2
  • Fave Sandwich – Portobello Sandwich by Parka Foods – Refined Comfort Food, love how a simple healthy comfort food such as a mushroom sandwich was made flavourful and filling, my sister and I had the Portobello mushroom sandwich with tomato, onion rings, arugula, guacamole with no chipotle aioli on my mines as I don’t eat spicy foods..:) Sorry I didn’t take a photo of my sandwich as it was pouring rain by the time we got to eat it!

(The Sample Sandwiches)

There were so many vegan & gluten-free desserts options, it was very hard to choose which one to go to! If you can believe it, shocker, but I couldn’t sample them all lots of sweetness happening all at once lol. Thou I was very excited to see that there is a large option for vegan/dairy-free desserts being not able to eat too much dairy products now. I also tried another dessert place called, Bunner’s: a vegan and gluten-free bake shop, which I tried their birthday cinnamon bun, loved the sweet taste of it, but thought with the humidity the cake itself was a bit thick for me to enjoy. I would love to try their other desserts next time.

Bunner Desserts - 2

Overall, I enjoyed tasting & sampling vegan foods and seeing what vegan types of food & desserts of course has to offer at the Vegan Food & Drink Festival 2016. It showed me a different side of vegan foods has to share & offer that I didn’t see before.

If you haven’t been to the Vegan Food & Drink Festival before, I definitely recommend that you come out next year to see what’s it all about it as it’s great to sample & enjoy the vegan food options along with great atmosphere outdoors esp. during the summer time.

I been enjoying my foodie festivals this summer so far – discovering new vegan desserts & new foods, can’t believe summer will be over soon! There are a few more food festivals to go to and my mini trip to Kingston this September that I will be of course sharing with everyone. So don’t forget to come back to my blog to check out what my next food festivals I will be attending if you haven’t already checked out my Twitter @SweetBFoodie24 & Instagram @sweetbfoodie24 for previews before my actual blog.

For now I leave you with these sweet summer vegan desserts to satisfy your sweet cravings or maybe give you some ideas for your next vegan dessert idea…:)

-Sweet B.

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For more information on Vegan Food & Drink Festival & the other vendors mentioned above, please see below:

Vegan Food & Drink Festival – website: click here

You can follow them on Facebook @vegandrinkfest, Twitter @vegan_fest and Instagram @vegan_festival.

Dolled Up Desserts – website – click here

You can follow them on Facebook @dolledupdessertsbaking and Instagram @dolledupdessertsbaking.

The Cold Pressery – website – click here

Location:

4310 Sherwoodtowne Blvd #5

Mississauga, ON

You can follow them on Facebook @thecoldpressery, Twitter @TheColdPressery and Instagram @thecoldpressery.

Parka Food Co – website – click here

You can follow them on Facebook @ParkFoodco and Instagram @parkafoodco.

Bunner’s Bakeshop – website – click here

Locations:

Kensington Market: 244 Augusta Ave.

In the Junction: 3054 Dundas St. West

You can follow them on Facebook @BunnersBakeShop, Twitter @BunnersBakeShop and Instagram @bunner.