200th Post {Recipe+ Cookbook Giveaway}

Hello lovely readers!

Welcome to The Vegetarian Ginger’s official 200th post. Along with it is coming a brand new recipe and my first ever cookbook giveaway! I know the past few months have been a little slower than usual, but I haven’t forgotten about you. I have a ton of recipe ideas, some product reviews, and lots more content coming soon. In the meantime, I’m hoping one lucky person can enjoy this awesome cookbook and keep on sending me recipes of your own!

I originally published this recipe on the CBC website, but thought it would be appropriate with sugar-loaded Halloween time fast approaching. Homemade soda is easy, healthy and fun to make. If you’re expecting it to taste like a can of orange pop, you’re going to be in for a shock. This syrup doesn’t have corn bi-products and buckets of sugar (plus the colour is maybe less neon), so the flavour does change.

Homemade Orange Soda

Homemade Orange Soda


  • 4 large oranges, to zest and juice
  • 1 large lime, to zest
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 1 bottle of sparkling water
  • 4 citrus wedges, for garnish


Zest the oranges and lime thoroughly. Put the contents in a large pot. Pour the sugar and honey over the zest and stir.

Proceed to juice the oranges, either using a juicer or your hands, until you have about two cups of liquid. If you’re short of two cups use water to fill in the remaining amount. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes until your mixture has noticeably lessened. Remove from heat and allow the mix to cool for roughly five minutes, stirring occasionally to help the process. Strain out all of the zest by using a fine sieve, adding the remaining syrup to a Mason jar with a tight lid. Discard the strained zest.

Cool the mixture in the fridge for two hours.

Once your syrup has chilled, it’s ready to be mixed with sparkling water. Use a general ratio of a quarter cup syrup for every cup of sparkling water. Serve this up in a pitcher full of ice and citrus slices, or serve in individual glasses at parties or for kids.

Homemade Orange Soda

Click here to enter GIVEAWAY

Flex Appeal Front Cover

Big thank you to Natasha Tsakiris at Fitzhenry & Whiteside for providing the cookbook for this giveaway. Flex Appeal is perfectly suited for my readers (you!) because it features recipes for vegetarians living amongst meat eaters. I decided to host my giveaway through a 3rd party site to make everything fair & unbiased. It’s easy:

  • Comment on this post for one entry
  • Follow @RonnieSheppard on Twitter for an extra optional entry
  • Visit The Vegetarian Ginger on Facebook for an extra optional entry


Thanks to everyone who has followed my cooking adventures so far, and I am suuuuper excited for the next 200.

Happy eating,


Habanero Lentils

Lentils are ugly, but delicious.

Since I’ve moved houses, my cooking situation has changed significantly. . You really don’t realize how many staples you need in a kitchen to make the basic things until you don’t have them.

My mom always makes stewed lentils and I’ve never been able to replicate them the exact same way. This time was pretty close, but I added in some habanero salsa to give it a nice kick. I agree that it’s cheap to call something “habanero” flavoured then only use a bi-product of that (like salsa *cough*) but I’ve got slim pickins right now so…that’s happening.

Habanero Lentils


Serves 4

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 tbsp. habanero salsa
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup eggplant, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. pickle juice


Heat oil in a medium-sized pot and add salsa. Stir until semi-evaporated, then add onion and green pepper. Cook until slightly softened then add garlic, carrots, eggplant and lentils. Cook 5-7 minutes until lentils are coated and vegetables are all softened.

Add water, then bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer then add tomatoes, salt, pepper and pickle juice. Cook for 25 minutes until lentils are cooked but still firm. Add more water if necessary until ready. Serve with whatever garnish you like—sour cream, chives, hot peppers, fresh pepper.

Habanero Lentils

Zucchini Quinoa Burgers

Hey there readers, long time no see.

I’m still alive, I promise! The past month has been crazy for me, hence my one post in the past 4 weeks. I got a new job, moved out, and have essentially been out of town or running around like a crazy person ever since. But I am getting settled into both the new house and new job, and I can get back into my schedule for cooking and posting and actually talking to you.

This recipe was supposed to be posted in August, but since I didn’t end up having time I’m going to pretend like people are still on the hunt for good burger recipes in September. I’m hoping to get lots of content out there in the next couple of weeks annnnnd do a giveaway (first ever) so get ready.

Zucchini Quinoa Burger


Makes 6 burgers

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium-sized zucchini, grated
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
  • 1 (540mL) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tbsp. old-fashioned mustard
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 6 burger buns + your favourite toppings


Heat 1 tbsp. of the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet. Saute onion and garlic until softened. Add grated zucchini, and continue to cook mixture until well combined and some liquids have been evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then set aside.

Grind hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, salt and pepper in a food processor. Add quinoa, chickpeas, mustard, lemon, dill, thyme, turmeric and paprika. Pulse to combine, leaving some chunks for texture.

Transfer the processed mixture to a bowl. Add the zucchini mixture and mix with hands until everything is really well mixed together. Season one final time with salt and pepper to taste. Shape mixture into 6 patties and place in the fridge for 30 minutes, separated by wax paper to ensure nothing sticks.

Heat remaining oil on medium heat on a skillet. Add patties one or two at a time, cooking with a lid over the skillet. Cook 5-7 minutes on heat side until golden brown and firm. Place directly on bun, throw on your favourite condiments, and dig in.

Zucchini Quinoa Burger

One-Pot Brown Rice Paella

Before doing this recipe, I was looking up substitutions for saffron because of the high cost. Some people recommended turmeric and paprika for colour, but nobody had a solid solution for a replicate flavour. I sucked it up and bought saffron, and while it isn’t the highlighted taste in this dish, it definitely adds a unique element of its own. If you’re looking to go the frugal route, feel free to sub out the saffron, though traditional paella does have it.

I’ve been reaping the benefits of my garden closer to the end of the summer, and finally got a nice small harvest the other day (photo below). I managed to use the tomatoes in the paella, I’m throwing the swiss chard into a recipe for next week, and I’m undecided about the eggplant and zucchini. I’ve got an abundance of those so suggestions are very welcome!

Vegetable Garden August 2015

I used my new Circulon Jumbo Cooker and it was perfect for paella. Deep dish, non-stick and easy to load in a ton of veg without worrying about overflow. As a plus, it’s dishwasher safe so the one-pot dish becomes even easier.

I lightly adapted this recipe from The Kitchn. This recipe appealed to me because of the brown rice and my new found love for it. I just changed the cooking instructions a bit when making it so that it could all fit into one pot.

Brown Rice Paella


Serves 4 as a main course

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small Romanian pepper, sliced (any other bell pepper will do)
  • 3/4 cups fresh cherry tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. hot paprika
  • Large pinch of saffron
  • 3/4 cup sliced artichoke hearts
  • 1 cup fresh green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas (I used canned)
  • 1 1/3 cups parboiled short-grain brown rice
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup peas (I used frozen, fresh is even better)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley sprigs, broken apart


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet with plenty of room, and sauté the onions until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic slices and peppers. Cook until soft on medium-low heat, 5-7 minutes. Turn up the heat a notch and mix in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, hot paprika, saffron threads, and season generously with salt and black pepper. Let it cook for a few minutes until everything has has a change to lightly simmer and mingle.

Fold in the green beans, artichoke slices, and chickpeas. Next, stir in the rice and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and allow to heavily simmer for 35 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has just evaporated. Give it a stir every 10 minutes or so to ensure to rice burns along the bottom. A few minutes before the rice is fully cooked, mix in the peas. Sprinkle parsley evenly on top just before serving, and your paella is ready for the dinner table!

Keep any leftovers stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Full disclosure: Circulon offered me their Jumbo Cooker in exchange for a unique recipe post using their product.

Brown Rice Paella

Brown Rice Paella

Gluten-Free Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’m done with all-purpose gluten-free flour. But…didn’t you just use it in this recipe? YES, fine. I did. And you know what? Even with fresh zucchini I grew myself, loads of cinnamon, sugar and chocolate chips, that grainy, unfortunately familiar texture was still there. That doesn’t mean all gluten-free baked goods taste this way, it’s just that the all-purpose store bought stuff has let me down.

Let’s be clear on something: I bake gluten-free items because my mom is intolerant. Not because I think it’s trendy, healthy, or anything like that, because it’s really not any healthier than a balanced glutenous diet. If you don’t have a reason to avoid gluten, I’d recommend using whole wheat flour for this recipe, or a mix of whole wheat and all-purpose. I know, Wheat Belly scared you, but you’ll be OK if you have a sandwich here and there.

That being said, if you do need to bake gluten-free, I’d say start making your own mixes. Brown rice flour seems to be consistent in flavour and texture. Same with oat flour—you can literally grind up oats to make your own and it works in all sorts of recipes. I like chickpea flour, but it has a tendency to dry out, so make sure you use that in recipes that are rich in moisture-boosting ingredients: bananas, yogurt, etc.

If you have a food processor with a grating attachment, you know the amazingness that is tossing in mass quantities of food and having it shred in seconds. If you don’t, get one (seriously) because grating food by hand is for chumps. Of all the kitchen tasks, grating is probably my least favourite. That, and putting away dishes.

I adapted this recipe from Gluten Free on a Shoestring.

Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins

Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins


Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour or a homemade blend of GF flours (see above)
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp. fine grain salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups fresh zucchini, grated
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin tray, or place individual paper liners in each cup, and set aside.

In a large bowl, gently mix the flour, xanthan gum, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon. Place the chocolate chips in a small bowl, add about 1 teaspoon of the dry ingredients to the chips and toss to combine. Set the chips aside.

To the flour mixture, add the granulated sugar and brown sugar, and whisk to combine. Add 1 1/4 cups of the grated zucchini to the dry ingredients, and mix gently to combine. Set aside the dry ingredients.

Place the remaining zucchini, the eggs, oil, yogurt and vanilla in a blender, and pulse until well-blended and smooth. Create a well in the center of the bowl of dry ingredients, and add the wet ingredients to the mixture. The batter will be very wet. Add about 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and reserved dry ingredients to the batter and mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the batter. Scoop batter evenly into muffin tins, sprinkling the remaining chocolate chips on top.

Place the muffin tin in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. Muffins are fully cooked with a toothpick can be inserted and removed without any visible batter on the end. Place on a metal wire rack to cool completely before storing.

Gluten Free Zucchini Muffins

Try not to let the chips burn like I did!

Try not to let the chips burn like I did!

Ice Cream Sandwiches

This Sunday is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day (why does this exist). In honour of this ridiculous holiday, I’ve decided to try out two things I’ve always wanted to do: making my own ice cream, and then sandwiching it between two home-baked cookies. Technically I think the “national” part is referring to the States, but us Canadians can borrow it.

I got my boyfriend this little ice cream maker as a birthday present last year and ever since I’ve been thinking up ideas for flavours. I won’t bore you with all of them, but I thought peanut butter, root beer and pistachio would all do nicely. I was so excited to put it to the test, but come cooking time I was missing a piece so ended up using store-bought ice cream that I melted down into a baking sheet and cut into shapes once frozen. I know, not as exciting, I’m also disappointed. But I’m still planning on making ice cream soon and you can use whatever recipe/flavour you want for this.

Since I was going to be sandwiching (apparently this is my new favourite verb) the ice cream, I decided to go the simple route and avoid any overly creative flavours. Plain vanilla worked fine, and it gives you the option to use candy, sprinkles and chocolate chips as coating. I was hoping to show a bit more of the coating I had planned like shredded coconut, skor bits, etc. but the photos turned out to be a pain with the heat wave going on in Toronto (note the melted ice cream).

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches


Makes roughly 8 sandwiches

  • 4 cups of any homemade or store-bought ice cream of your choice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4+ tbsp. water

For the cookies:


IF MAKING YOUR OWN: Follow the instructions on the ice cream maker. Each one will vary, but it will most likely say that you have to put the bowl of the machine in the freezer for a minimum of 12 hours. Your recipe won’t work otherwise so don’t try to shorten the time to 2 hours and cry when you have a sweet puddly mess.

Get ice cream to a room-temperature level. Pour into a clean, non-stick baking sheet, and stick in the freezer. If you want taller sandwiches, pick a container with high sides such as Tupperware or casserole dishes.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together shortening and sugar with electric beaters for 2 minutes until well mixed. Add baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, instant coffee, and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Mix in 1 cup of the flour, using your hands if necessary, followed by 2 tablespoons of water, and then add the remaining 1 cup flour and another 2 tablespoons of water, mixing well until no dry ingredients remain. Make sure the flour is mixed in each time before adding the water; I made this mistake, and had to pick out white bits of doughy flour that had become gummy. Once mixed, the dough should be soft and consistent—add one or two more tablespoons of water if needed.

On a lightly floured surface, turn out half the dough and roll it to an even 1/4-inch thickness. Using a ruler and a rotary cutter, cut dough into 3-inch squares. Feel free to use cookie cutters for fun shapes as well.

Kitchen Counter

Transfer cookies to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Using a thin skewer, poke an even pattern of holes on each cookie’s surface. After a few trial-and-error ones, I worked out that 16 was my magic number. You’ll figure yours out. Repeat with remaining dough, re-rolling scraps as you work. Place sheets of cookies in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking.

Bake 7 to 8 minutes, or until tops are matte and cookies are just set. Try not to overbake, or you won’t achieve that chewiness in classic ice cream sandwich cookies.

Remove from oven and let cookies cool 2 to 3 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer to cooling racks to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze cookies until ready to use.

To assemble sandwiches, remove ice cream from freezer and cut into 3-inch squares or the shape of whatever cutter you used. Place each ice cream piece between two chilled cookies, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and place in freezer until ready to eat. You can get creative and roll each one in coatings just as candy, sprinkles, coconut, mini chocolate chips, etc.

Homemade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Three Year Blogiversary!

3 year blog

To all my hungry readers,

It’s officially been three years since my first post to The Vegetarian Ginger. It really doesn’t feel like that much time has passed, but when I look at some of my first posts I can see how long I’ve come (and how long I have to go).

There have been a couple of big moments in the past year. I think one of my favourites was just recently when the Koopa Shell Cake Pops made the front page of reddit. I got lots of people telling me they loved me, and one person who said that my boyfriend and I were “complete trash” for liking something so childish. Oh, the Internet. Always a thrill.

reddit koopa

Another big moment for me was that I got some original recipes published by the CBC. I’ve been hoping to take my blogging and cooking into more career-focused areas and getting those published was a really great feeling.

There’s definitely still a lot I want to improve on. Frequency of posts, more informative nutritional charts, doing some giveaways…the next year has a lot in store. I also seem to be the only food blogger left on the face of the earth that doesn’t have Instagram, but at this point I really can’t be bothered. I know it would probably connect me with a ton more food bloggers and I could ultimately reach a wider audience, buuuut I’m also not feeling having one more platform to update.

I really appreciate everybody who takes the time to read my posts. I know a lot of them end up rambling on about something non-food related and by the time I’m done I have no idea what I’m putting up (sound familiar?) but it really does make me happy to know people are reading my weird little posts, cooking up some of my recipes and sharing their experiences with me.

Happy cooking, eating and falling asleep in assorted places around the house from food comas,

Veronica Sheppard

Classic Falafel

If your hands aren’t dirty in the process of making falafels, you’re doing it wrong.

I’m coming up to my three year blogiversary this weekend which is unbelievable. I started this blog to showcase a bit of my cooking and use it as a portfolio piece for work, but it has ended up being so much more than that. It makes me plan meals in advance, it’s helped me become a part of an online community I would have missed out on otherwise, and it’s taught me a lot in terms of writing and photography.

I lightly adapted this recipe from Canadian Living’s The Vegetarian Collection which is by far my favourite veg-focused cookbook to date. Every recipe is a knockout, the photos are awesome, and it’s under $25.

I was out of lemon juice so I used the liquid from pickled jalapenos instead for a bit of a kick in flavour and spice. The photos themselves are a bit less-than-par because I ran out of time. The original photo was supposed to have all the fresh herbs, sliced radish, yada yada…it didn’t happen. But I promise you the final result is amazing and you can reheat them for days afterwards!

Vegetarian Falafel


Makes roughly 24 pieces

  • 2 (19oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup white onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsely, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. juice from pickled jalapenos OR freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Grapeseed oil for frying
  • Pitas of your choice
  • Recommended garnish: fresh parsley, sliced radish, tahini, hot sauce, arugula


In the bowl of a food processor, chop chickpeas, onion, parsley and garlic for about 30 seconds. Add flour, cumin, baking powder, jalapeno juice and salt; pulse until blended for 10 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.

Shape by taking 1 tablespoon and rolling into even balls, placing them on the wax-lined tray. Once completed, let refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours to let the flavours develop and for the texture to firm up for frying.

Pour enough oil into a deep frying pan to cover 2 inches and heat to 350 degrees F. If you don’t have a frying thermometer, drop a small amount of the falafel batter in to see if it begins sizzling quickly. If it doesn’t the oil isn’t ready. Fry in batches, letting each one reach a golden brown; about 2-3 minutes on each side. Drain on a paper towel-lined tray and serve stuffed into pitas, sandwiches, and your face.

Vegetarian Falafel

Vegetarian Falafel

Koopa Shell Cake Pops

If you’re a fan of Mario Kart, get excited.

Koopa shell cake pops are not the easiest dessert I’ve ever made, but damn do they look (and taste) good. In previous years I’ve made various baked goods for my boyfriend’s birthday (like this Hobbit Hole Cake, last year’s Hamburger Cupcakes, or my stint with fondant for Sushi Cupcakes), but I wanted to one-up myself.

I strongly recommend making the cake balls the night before and doing the decorating the next day—doing both in the same day would take a lot more time and patience than the average person possesses. Also, for the love of god, do not try to blast the candy melts on high heat. Learn from my mistakes. I ended up with a giant clumpy brown mess of burnt chocolate that needed to go in the garbage.

I bought cake mix and all of my icing because it’s a pretty tricky recipe as is and I didn’t want to risk any complications. It also saved me some time. Candy melts, icing, Wilton tips, lollipop sticks, foam blocks and couplers can all be found at Bulk Barn or specialty baking stores. You’ll have to excuse the lack of step-by-step photos, I was coated in chocolate, icing and needed to get them done. I did however do my best to give crystal clear instructions and if there’s anything that seems confusing, shoot me an e-mail or comment on the post and I’ll answer your questions!

I’m coming up on my three year blogiversary in a few weeks! I’ve got a bunch of new recipes coming and some news, stories and giveaways, so make sure to check back to catch all that sweet foodie goodness.

I got this amazing idea from Rosanna Pansino of Nerdy Nummies. I altered a few things like subbing out fondant, but kept things pretty much the same and I’m really happy with the result. I wish I had learned a better technique for piping the hexagons earlier on in the pop- making process so they looked a bit cleaner, but I can’t complain.

Koopa Shell Cake Pops


Koopa Shell Cake Pops


Makes 40 cake pops

  • 1 (432g) box cake mix of your choice (I used Betty Crocker Devil’s Food one but you can use any brand or flavour), baked as directed and cooled completely
  • 3 tbsp. instant coffee
  • 1 (450g) container of chocolate frosting (same goes for this—any brand or flavour will do)
  • 50 tall lollipop sticks
  • 3 cups white candy melts
  • 1 cup red candy melts
  • 1 cup green candy melts
  • 1 cup blue candy melts
  • 2 (120g) tubes of white decorating frosting
  • 1 (120g) tube of red decorative frosting
  • 1 (120g) tube of green decorative frosting
  • 1 (120g) tube of blue decorative frosting
  • A Wilton #2 piping tip + coupler
  • A Wilton #230 piping tip + coupler
  • 1/2 cup mini white chocolate chips
  • Foam/styrofoam blocks for drying


The first thing you need to do is bake your cake mix as directed with the addition of 3 tablespoons of instant coffee mixed in, and allow the cake the cool completely. Crumb the cake by cutting it into four and rubbing the pieces together until the entire cake is fine crumbs; you may have to cut the edges off if they got a little crispy in the oven. With a large spoon, spatula or (my favourite tool) your hands, mix in 3/4 of the icing container into the cake crumbs. Mix until well combined and a rich, thick dough is formed.

Roll out dough into roughly 1 1/2 inch balls, then place on a wax or parchment lined baking sheet. Pop these in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours  or overnight to make sure they’re well chilled. Don’t skip this step!

Heat candy melts in a microwave-safe measuring cup or mug on a very low power setting, stirring every 20 seconds. if the melted chocolates are too thick, add in a few drops of vegetable oil at a time until smooth.

That rule applies for the rest of the instructions whenever I refer to melting the candy melts. Don’t try to be a hero and microwave them on high heat, they will burn and you will cry tears of rage. Moving forward!

Once your balls are well chilled, heat a small portion of the white candy melts (about 1/4 cup) until they are smoothly melted and no clumps remain. Using one of the lollipop sticks, make holes in the cake balls that go about half way down the centre on top. Dip the tip of the stick in the melted chocolate and insert it into the hole. Repeat until all cake balls have dipped sticks in them.

Melt your remaining white candy melts as instructed above. Holding the cake pop by the stick, dip the cake ball in the melts until completely covered—drip the excess back into the mug by tapping the stick on the edge of your cup/mug. Place the stick in a foam block to hold it in place and allow it to dry. Repeat with remaining pops and allow to dry for 10 minutes.

Divide your white dipped cake pops into thirds (you’ll have one extra…the chef always needs a taste test right?). Heat red candy melts as instructed above. Holding the cake pop by the stick, dip the cake ball into the melt halfway, leaving the top half red and the bottom half white. Drip off the excess, place back into the foam block, and repeat. Do the same for the green and blue melts.

Don't mind the horrible phone camera quality for a smartphone in 2015.

Don’t mind the horrible phone camera quality for a smartphone in 2015.

Now you are ready to decorate! Using a tube of the white decorative icing and a Wilton tip #230, grab a cake pop of your liking. Ice around the dividing line between the colour and the white melt halfway around the cake pop, making to arcs on opposite sides (see photos for clarification). Do this with each one. Using a Wilton tip #2, pipe hexagon patterns to mimic a Koopa shell on the tops of each cake pop in their respective colours—red for red, blue for blue…you get the point. Rinse out the tip between each colour change to avoid colour mix-ups.

Using the #2 tip, use a tube of black decorative icing to fill in the “arcs” you iced earlier; this is supposed to be where the turtle’s head would poke out. Using the same #2 tip (remember to rinse it out before the colour switch), using the white decorative icing to pipe 4-5 white horizontal lines across the “belly” of the turtle.

This last step is only for the blue shelled pops: take your mini white chocolate chips, pipe a tiny amount of white icing to the bottom and place 5-6 chips on each Koopa shell evenly.

Koopa Shell Cake Pops

You’re all done! Go massage your hands, take a shower, nap, have a drink and relax.

Koopa Shell Cake Pops

Super Seedy Granola

Making your own granola is surprisingly easy, fast and a huge money-saver. This recipe is very flexible to your personal tastes and takes minimal effort—just pop it in the oven  and shift it around once in a while. I’ve made other granolas with pumpkin and walnuts and one with mango, but this time around I wanted something lightly sweetened that I could eat for a protein boost any time of day.

I am going to be posting some amazing desserts next week, but since they’re for my boyfriend’s birthday I need to keep it a secret until then. Trust me, you’re going to want to make them.  I’ve posted some of my experiments for his birthday in the past, and every time I do I always get great responses.

For any of my more regular readers, I apologize for my lack of posts lately and everything is back on track now. Can’t wait to show you all what I’ve been working on and to see your creations as well!

Super Seedy Granola


  • 3 cups large flake oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup unsalted roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp. fine grain salt


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut and seeds. In a separate bowl, whisk together maple syrup, oil and salt. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix well.

Spread the mixture on two ungreased baking sheets and bake for an hour and a half, stirring every 20 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking for even colour. Once finished, allow to cool then store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 weeks.

Super Seedy Granola