eat me:. chocolate beet cake.

Last week I got together with two of my lovely friends to bake a chocolate beet cake.  It may sound a little weird, but after watching this video we were convinced we needed to try it.  And it was delicious, or at least we thought so, I did get an odd look from aunt when I told her about it.  Still, it was a yummy way to use some of the beets I had gotten at this summer's farmer's market!
One of my lovely friends is a super talented photographer, you can find her blog here, she took the loveliest photos while we were baking, and these are some of my favourites!  Make sure you take a peek at her blog, it's full of beautiful images!
chocolate beet cake.  adapted from Tiger in a jar video.

2 C. flour.
2 tsp. baking soda.
1 1/2 C. brown sugar.
1 C. butter.
1/2 C. cocoa powder. or 4 oz. semi sweet baking chocolate.
1 tsp. vanilla.
2 C. beets.  roasted, peeled and mashed.
3 eggs.
1/2 C. milk.

beat sugar and butter on high speed unitl fluffy, five minutes or so.  add eggs and vanilla. sift together flour, baking soda nd cocoa powder.  alternating between milk and dry ingredients, mix everything together.  you may need to add a bit more milk, you want the batter to be thick but still liquidy and pourable.  stir in beets.  pour into two prepared nine inch baking pans and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

cream cheese frosting.  because we decided cake is not complete without frosting. a family recipe.

1/4 C. cream cheese.
1/4 C. butter.
3 C. icing sugar.
1/2 C. flour.
2 tsp. vanilla.

cream butter and cream cheese in a mixer until fluffy.  add flour and icing sugar and mix. add vanilla. add milk slowly until desired consistency is reached, thick, but spreadable.  frost your lovely cake with an offset spatula.
I hope you all have the most wonderful week! xo, T.

d.i.y. glitter jars.

I hope your are all having a lovely beginning to our last week of July!  This weekend was wonderful, super warm, a little thunderstorm and best of all, a day spent with my lovely cousin Sarah!  It's been a while since we've had a hang out day together, so, after lunch at the Pancake House we spent the afternoon doing crafts.  These glitter jars we're super simple and fun to make.  And also rather messy, we were both super sparkly by the end...but we do tend to make enormous messes whenever we make you may not end up quite as glittery!  The idea was taken from this post on A Beautiful Mess.
These jars are a super fun and easy craft, especially to do with kids! I think they turned out super sweet.  Sarah chose to fill hers with nailpolish and I filled mine with pens and markers!
Things you need:
_mason jars.
_white glue.
_paint brushes.
_glitter.  we used martha stewart.  we are martha stewart girls.
1_paint your design in glue onto the inside of your jar using a paintbrush.  if you plan on doing multiple colours like we did apply the glue for each colour individually so that the colours don't mix.
2_pour a little bit of glitter into the jar and swirl around until the glue is coated.  tap excess out onto a piece of paper.  use a dry, clean paintbrush to remove excess glitter on the rest of the jar.
3_let dry a little bit and then repeat the process for each colour or pattern! sarah chose stripes and dots and I chose messy polka dots. I think they turned out super cute!
I hope you have the sweetest week! xo, T.

eat me: mango coconut upside down cake.

I've been missing Brazil lately.  A lot.  When I went in December it was the first time I had been to South America and it was an amazing experience, occasionally overwhelming, but so good!  I loved the beaches, the sand, the waves, the buildings, the tiling everywhere, the fruit, the shoes...I adored the shoes!! The fruit especially was amazing, I have never eaten a mango or a pineapple that has tasted nearly as good as the ones I had there!  I had a mango for breakfast almost everyday, along with coconut cake.  Yep, cake is a breakfast food in Brazil.  Until then I hated coconut, or at the least the super sweet north American version, but between the cake, popsicles, coconut water, and candies Brazil converted me.  I LOVE coconut.

So after six months of being home and wishing I was on the beach at Copacabana, it was time to bake something Brazilian.  This cake turned out super well and combines both of my favourite Brazil flavours, mango and coconut.  The cake is super moist from the coconut milk and the coconut flavour isn't sweet, it's just...nice, it's kind of a soft taste.  I was a little hesitant about cooking mango but it turned out lovely and sweet on top of the cake!

mango coconut upside down cake.  very loosely adapted from flavors of Brazil. a little blog that has a whole bunch of other Brazilian-inspired recipes!

mango topping
1/8 C. brown sugar
2 tbsp. butter.
1 1/2 medium-sized, ripe but firm mangoes.

1/4 C.  butter.
1/2 C.  white sugar.
1 egg.
1 1/2 C. flour.
2 tsp baking powder.
1 1/2 C. coconut milk.
1/2 C. shredded, unsweetened coconut.
1/2 mango, cut into cubes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  while oven is heating place butter in 9" round cake pan and place in oven to melt.  once butter is melted mix in brown sugar and smooth evenly across baking pan surface and sides until evenly coated.  slice mango into thin slices, about 1/8" and place in cake pan, covering as much of the surface as possible.  set aside.

In a mixer whip butter and sugar for 5-8 minutes until fluffy.  add egg and mix.  sift flour and baking soda together and add to butter mixture, alternating with the coconut milk until all the flour is added. fold in shredded coconut and mango.  spread evenly into prepared baking pan and bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a knife comes out clean.  let pan sit on a cooling rack for 20 minutes before turning out onto a cake plate.

Writing out this recipe has reminded me that I haven't really shared any of my Brazil photos with you yet, I need to do that!  In the mean time here are my two favourite songs from Brazil:

They played these songs ALL the time while I was in Rio and Sao Paolo.  I have no idea what they're singing about, but I love them.  So bake your cake, listen to Don Omar and pretend you're in Brazil! xo, T.

d.i.y. beach glass necklaces.

One of my favourite parts of going to the beach during the summer is wandering up and down the water's edge looking for beach glass.  I've been collecting it with my mom since I was little and our collection has grown pretty large, I love all the different shapes and sizes and patterns that you can find.  From the more common whites and greens, to the soft white blues, lilacs, royal blues and soft yellows.  I love how the waves and sand wear down broken, discarded pieces of glass bottles and plates into something so beautiful!

Generally our beach glass sits in an old mason jar on our coffee table in our living room, but I finally decided that it was time to make something out of it!  I've wanted to make necklaces out of it for a while, but wanted to keep them simple without a ton of metal or wire wrapping.  Finally I found the right glue  - that's the benefit of four years of model building, you get a chance to try out a lot of different glues - and they turned out super pretty!
This glue works with pretty much any material so you could even make necklaces out of rocks, bits of pottery, or whatever else you've happened to find!
Things you need:
_beach glass
_weldbond glue (or any glue that will bond fabric to glass,  I liked this the best though!)
_twine, this one is cotton.
_beads, bits of fabric, or anything else you want to use to embellish your necklaces.
1_choose your pieces of glass! I picked different sizes, colours and textures, and a few rocks and pottery pieces as well.
2_decide which side of your glass will be the back and apply a line of glue horizontally close to the top.  following the manufacturer's instructions, let glue sit for 2-3 minutes until tacky.
3_cut a piece of twine large enough to slip over your head, plus some extra for knot tying and wrapping. place the centre of the twine along the length of glue, wrapping the loose ends around once or twice so that they both meet in the middle of the back.  place another dot of glue at the top and secure the twine so that it will hang straight down.  Gently press the twine into the glue and let dry for 24 hours according to manufacturer's instructions.  The glue dries clear so don't worry if your gluing isn't perfect.
4_experiment with different ways of wrapping your twine around!  try and keep your gluing to just the back side.
5_after drying for 24 hours your necklaces are cured and ready to go! embellish with beads or bits of fabric tied around the twine.  secure the loose ends with a double knot and your necklaces are ready to go!
This was a super fun, quick, simple little weekend evening project and I loved how they turned out! I made six necklaces or varying lengths and I'm excited for the chance to wear them in different combinations! have a happy week! xo, T.

paper love:. letterpress delicacies.

above: deer portrait in brown and vintage blue. image from here.
below: tandem letterpress card in yellow. image from here.
Happy friday ya'll! Today's paper love comes from Letterpress Delicacies, a little letterpress company based out of Austin Texas and run by Thomas Hollifield.  Each of the cards and prints are made using a mid-century Vandercook press and printed on 100% cotton paper,  read: no trees!

I love their sweet, vintage-inspired illustrations.  Bikes and anything French gets me every time! Their work ranges from a variety of cards for all kinds of thank yous and I love yous and sweet little prints, like the chocolate brown deer pictured above!

The illustration style - I love how things are shaded - and the gorgeous colour choices make these cards as sweet as can be!  To see more of their work you can visit their shop here:
above: Austin live music cow card. image from here.
below: vintage mushroom card in sea green. image from here.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! xo, T.

peanut butter oatmeal chocolate squares.

So Winnipeg is hot.  Like really, really, really hot.  Like I contemplated standing in the flower cooler the other day when the air conditioning wouldn't kick in.  So hot, in fact that even I didn't want to turn on the oven, and I'm always cold.  And always up for baking.   But I still really wanted some kind of treat.  How are you supposed to make it through the week without something sweet and delicious?!  Luckily, I discovered this no-bake recipe.

When I worked at Second Cup a few summers ago we had these peanut butter oat squares with chocolate on top.  They were awesome.  And when I went searching for a similar recipe not only did I find a lovely tasting one, but also one that only involves a stove element.  Way less hot than an oven.  And cooking is not baking.  Even if you are cooking sugar.  So there.  No bake.

I love peanut butter and chocolate together, and adding the oats cuts the richness and sweetness and adds a nice texture.  And allows me to pretend they are kind of healthy.
Peanut butter oatmeal chocolate squares. adapted from gingerbread bagels.
3/4 C. butter.
1/3 C. brown sugar.
3C. quick rolled oats.
1 C. semi sweet chocolate chips.
2/3 C. smooth peanut butter.

in a small saucepan over medium heat melt the sugar and butter together.  add rolled oats and cook on medium-low for four minutes.  while oats are cooking melt chocolate chips and peanut butter together in another small saucepan over medium low heat, stirring constantly until smooth.
grease a 9" square baking pan and press in 3/4 of the oat mixture.  pour in chocolate mixture, spreading evenly with a spatula.  lastly, crumble remaining oats over the chocolate and refrigerate for three hours.  cut into 16 squares, they're pretty small but trust me, these are rich!

Have a happy week! xo, T.

lake life.

Going to the lake is one of my favourite summer things.  My family has been going to Clear Lake for most of my life and I love it, we've made tons of family friends who have also been going every year for the past 13 or so years and it's neat to see them again every summer!

We stay in this a little cottage suite in this tiny old motel with wood paneling, that is super tacky.  One of the units has a woven panda rug on the wall and the tables are faux wood.  It's so bad it's endearing. I love it.  My aunt and little cousins come now which is super fun and gives me an excuse to do crafts and go to the park all day!

The little town that we stay in is called Wasagaming and it has a lovely log cabin theatre and so many cute shops, all right on the lake!  Here are some of my favourite shots from our trip in early July, the fireworks are from Canada Day!
on the way there we stopped to visit my grandma in portage, and then I made my dad stop so I could run through a canola field.
scrases is an old general store that has now been converted to an awesome cafe, a clothing store, candy shop and sweet little jewelery store!
Yep, that's my family, group tie dye and all.  We are the coolest.  This would only happen at the lake.

Have a lovely week! xo, T.

paper love:. kate & Birdie.

a thousand thanks card: image here. valentine please be mine card: image here.
world's best mom card: image here.  magnolia notebook: image here.
Happy Friday everyone!  This week has actually flown by pretty quickly, which is nice! Today's paper love comes from Kate & Birdie Paper Company.  Based out of a lovely little studio in the exchange district here in Winnipeg they are another local gem.  Started in 2004 by Gloria Wall she was joined a few years later by her husband Steve.
All of the paper good feature Gloria's whimsical, sweet, vintage inspired illustrations printed with vegetable inks on recycled paper.  Their work is sold all over the world, in over 800 shops and consists of notecards, card sets, flat cards, notebooks and wrapping paper!  I have a weakness for wrapping paper, I'm not really sure why but I just love it, it's just so pretty and makes a present so much sweeter!

I love her drawing style and the colour palette that she uses, the hot air balloon valentine card picture above is one of my favourites.  Normally I'm not so much into Valentine's Day but I would be rather excited to get that card, I love hot air balloons!  To see more of their work you can visit their website and online store here:
tangerine dahlia wrapping paper: image here.
Have a happy weekend! xo, T.

eat me: saskatoon tarts.

It's summer time now in the prairies and you know what that means? Saskatoons! hurray!  Saskatoons are one of my favourite summer berries, and I just happen to be lucky enough to have a saskatoon tree in my backyard.  I think the previous owners dug it out of a ditch and replanted it.  Good for them.

You might remember these tarts from last august, when I made a rhubarb version and was super excited because for once my oven didn't burn the crust.  This tart crust is pure magic I tell you.  Therefore it was clearly the only option for my precious saskatoons.  This time around I added a little bit of lemon and swapped the milk for almond milk, just to see.  I love lemon and cornmeal together and the almond milk didn't change anything, the dough was still perfectly cooked and flakey!
Saskatoon tarts - adapted from recipe posted here last August.

cornmeal tart dough

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup fine cornmeal
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup cold butter, cut into small pieces (if using unsalted butter add 1 teaspoon of salt to dry ingredients.)
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond milk (or any kind of milk)
2 egg yolks
1/2 a lemon, zested and juiced.
1 batch Saskatoon Compote (recipe below)
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender or a fork until the consistency of bread crumbs. Stir the eggs, lemon juice, zest and milk into the mixture and mix gently. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a single ball.

Divide dough into 10 even balls and flatten each piece of dough into a five inch circle or so, so its about 1/8 inch thick, using the heel of your hand and gently pressing out the edges with your fingertips.

Place three spoonfuls of saskatoon compote into the centre of each piece of dough and fold us the edges, pinching and folding as you go around the circle.

Carefully transfer the tarts to a baking sheet using a spatula. Either line the baking sheet with parchment or lightly grease it with butter to keep the tarts from sticking. Place in the freezer and freeze until firm, at least one hour or up to two weeks, tightly wrapped.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake from frozen for approximately 30 minutes, or until the tops are lightly golden and the bottoms are golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. They can be stored up to two days in an airtight container or can be kept in the freezer until needed and baked on a whim! Makes 10.

Saskatoon compote
3 1/2 cups of saskatoons
1 cup minus one tablespoon white sugar

Place three cups of saskatoons in a medium saucepan with the sugar. Heat on medium low, covered, for 20 minutes. It will thicken and the berries will soften.
Uncover and turn up the heat to medium. Cook for another 15 minutes or so, or until the saskatoons are bubbling and soft. Add in the remaining saskatoons, pour in a bowl (or multiple bowls to cool faster) and place in the fridge to chill.

The compote lasts for up to one week in the fridge and is also delicious on yogurt!
Enjoy! xo, T.

d.i.y. lace printed top.

I hope you guys have had the most wonderful week!  I spent friday at Folkfest and it was the absolute best, nothing beats being able to sit outside all day and listen to awesome music while eating super delicious vegetarian food and wearing flower crowns!

Last week I shared this d.i.y for lace printed fabric, and this week I decided to make it into a sweet little top.  If you haven't already noticed I have issues with shirts, mostly stemming from the fact that I don't like pants.  All of my shirts are either stamped/printed/sewn/painted in order to make up for the fact that I'm not wearing a dress. 

I'm really happy with how this little top turned out, its super comfy and really easy, I whipped it up in an afternoon.  It's also pretty simple and a good beginner project.  You could also turn it into a dress by extending the width and length a bit!

1_I took the measurements for this project from a dress I made a few years ago when those super simple sheath dresses were popular.
2_using a rotary cutter and ruler cut out: 4 strips 2 1/2" x 10", 4 strips 2 1/2" x 13", 2 rectangles 23"x 25".  *Note: you can modify these measurements depending on your dress size, I usually wear a small or medium.
3_with right sides together (if it's unpatterned cotton then it doesn't matter) sew the long sides of each pair of the shorter fabric strips together, these are your straps. this project is sewn with a 1/4" seam allowance, on a regular stitch length unless otherwise noted.  remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of each seam!
4_turn inside out and press. you now have two double-sided straps.
5_taking the two pairs of longer strips sew only the short ends of both pairs.  do not turn inside out.
6_take one of  the straps and place between the two layers of one of the pairs of longer strips.  line up against the short seam, so that it is as far to the outside as possible and the short edge of strap is flush with the open edge of the long strap.  repeat with other strap on the opposite edge of long strip. pin and sew along the edge that the end of the straps is on, in the image it is the top edge. 
7_turn inside out and press.
8_repeat with the other pair of long strips, attaching to the opposite end of the straps, turning inside out and pressing at the end so that you now have a kind of square.
9_with wrong sides together line up the two large rectangles, this is the part of my shirt that has the actual lace printing on it. fold in half lengthwise, making sure all edges are even.
10_using a tanktop or dress as a guideline cut out the arm holes.
12_take one of the bodice pieces (rectangles) and with your sewing machine set on the longest stitch (usually 5 or 6) sew along the top of each piece separately. Gently pull on one of the threads on either end to gather each piece so that the width of the top matches the length of the neckline (the longer strips in the square of straps you just sewed.) for the back I distributed the gathers evenly to make it less poufy, for the front I placed most of the gathers in the centre.
13_with right sides together, pin one of the bodice pieces to the front neckline (they're both the same so you can just pick one!). sew on a normal length stitch.
14_unfold and press seam. repeat with back bodice piece and back neckline.
15_with right sides together line up edges of bodice pieces and sew up each side.  This is a good time to try on your shirt and figure out if the length is correct, I ended up cutting mine a bit shorter to make it less of a dress. press seams open.
16_hem the bottom of your shirt. with it turned inside out turn up the edge 1/4" or so, pressing (ironing) as you go. once you've made it all the way around fold up edge again 1/4" so that it is doubled and the raw edge is tucked in, press and pin as you go. sew as close to the upper folded edge as you can.
17_finish the arm holes by folding, pressing and pinning the same way you did the hem.  This part is a little more difficult because of the curve, so if it's not as even that's alright!
and you're finished! if you can see any of the basting (the super loose stitches from step 12) you can pick them out!
voila! You have a lovely new summer shirt!  As you can see the lace pattern is super subtle, from a distance you can't really tell what it is, but up close you can see it, especially when it's a bit more shady!  It's a nice little extra detail that makes me love this top!  If you decide to try out this project let me know if you have any questions, or if any steps are unclear!  I would love to see your finished projects too!

Also, doing photo shoots near sprinkles is dangerous.  As you can see.  Have a lovely July week! xo, T.

paper love:. rachel ink.

above: left: ferris wheel birthday card. image here. right: Typewrite thank you card. image here.
below: keys stationary. image here.
Happy friday friends!  Today I am super excited to introduce you to our first July paper love - Rachel Ink from Philadelphia.  I have absolutely fallen in love with all of her cards and stationery, they are super sweet, whimsical and absolutely wonderful.  If you know me even the slightest bit then you know that "whimsical" and "fantastical" are common words in my everyday vocabulary.  Her hand-drawn illustrations capture everything delightful that I love - from old dormer windows and keys, to antlers holding cupcakes!

Besides have a Etsy shop full of pretty cards, Rachel is also a part time architect!  A fact which made me really excited, it's nice to know that I have not in fact been the only architecture student who loves whimsical little black ink illustrations and sketches!

All of her cards feature her own drawings that are then scanned and digitally coloured before being printed on a variety of lovey papers.  The quality of her drawings is just wonderful!  You can look at more of her work here and to add to the sweetness Rachel is offering 10% everything in her store for thet month of July, just use the code DELIGHTFUL10.  Thanks so much Rachel!
above: antlers birthday card. image here.
below: left: dormer stationary. image here.  right: bird and balloon hello card. image here.
Have the happiest weekend! xo, T.

eat me: grapefruit yogurt cake.

Happy Wednesday!  So, you know that's kind of exciting.  Want to know what else is exciting?



I don't really know where it came from, but all of a sudden one afternoon it struck me that grapefruit is like, always left out of desserts.  Orange is in everything.  Lemon has a square.  Lime has a pie.  And grapefruit has nothing.  At least nothing I've tasted.  How incredibly unfair.  I decided this needed to be fixed immediately and the result is a delicious one.
This cake is super simple- one of the only things I bake that can be thrown together in one bowl - and super summery.  It's light, and moist, not super sweet and the citrusy taste is nice and refreshing.  And it has yogurt in it.  So it's healthy!! Sort of.
grapefruit yogurt cake. modified from Martha Stewart

1 C. flour.
1/2 C. sugar.
1/2 tsp. baking powder.
1/8 tsp. baking soda.
1/2 C. plain yogurt.
1/4 C. vegetable or canola oil.
zest of one grapefruit.
juice of half a grapefruit.
1 egg.
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.
1 grapefruit, segmented and zested for garnish.

sift together dry ingredients.  add yogurt, oil, zest, juice, egg and vanilla, beating after each addition.  pour into a prepared 9-10 inch baking pan, baking at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean.

dust with powdered sugar and garnish with grapefruit segments.

Enjoy! xo, T.

d.i.y. lace printed fabric.

I have been loving this lace-printed coffee table here for the last couple of months, but since I am currently not in very great need for a coffee table I have trying to think up new ways to use this technique.  I have been wanting to experiment with more fabric printing lately so I decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to try out something new!  I really love how the fabric turned out, the lace pattern transferred surprisingly well, the lace pattern is the clearest when the light filters through it [image above]  and it is a bit more muted when viewed in the shade [last image.]

I'm excited to use my newly printed fabric in a new little sewing project, so check back next monday to see a new d.i.y. to make something sweet with your lace-printed fabric too!
things you need:
_lace fabric or doilies.
_solid coloured cotton fabric.
_a spray bottle.
_contrasting coloured fabric paint.  I used the multi-purpose martha stewart craft paint in lake fog, satin finish.
1_cover your work surface, I used an unfolded garbage bag to cover my kitchen table and protect it from being covered in fabric paint! Place your ironed, unfolded cotton on top, taping down the corners with duct tape to keep it from moving around.  Place the lace on top, again taping the corners while pulling the lace taunt.  I used a metre of cotton and a metre of lace.
2_ fill your spray bottle with the entire bottle of fabric paint and add enough water to make the paint liquidy.  Do a few test sprays, you don't want it to be so watery that barely any paint is being misted, but you also want enough water to keep the paint from spraying heavy and splotchy.
3_start spraying your fabric.  Try and spray directly downwards, about 10 cm away from the surface, to keep the paint from spraying at an angle and bleeding under the lace.
4_continue spraying until the desired fabric surface is covered.  I ended up spraying about half a metre of fabric.  You could also experiment with spraying the lace in pieces, printing just a few random bunches of flowers instead of spraying in a solid line!  This is a fun time to experiment with all the different patterns you can get!  Let the paint dry for about an hour before using.  Your lace can be saved and re-used for more stencil projects!
I really like how the lace print turned out, I didn't really know what to expect and I really like how subtle and soft it is under normal light and how the pattern comes out really strongly when light filters through.  I can't wait to make it into another sweet little project, so don't forget to check back next monday!

p.s. - today is my 50th blog post! It feels rather nice to have made it past 10!  xo. T.