food

Chewy Chocolate Coconut Cookies

What is it about coconut that makes every food that much better? I swear you could put coconut on something gross like, say cilantro, and it would somehow become enjoyable. But when you put coconut on something that’s already delicious, like cookies, then it’s next level. Chewy chocolate cookies are a classic that we all love and the coconut kick just makes it that much better.

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collaborations, food

A Spice Affair

When we think of ginger cookies we usually think about Christmas and cute little gingerbread (wo)men standing next to candy-coated houses. But on one sunny August day, I decided to make thick, chewy, spicy ginger cookies and share them with friends. After that day, I had people who had never used an oven (literally) asking me for the recipe. The next time I made them for a different group of friends the same thing happened – I then realized that these cookies were good, better than the regular and at first I had no idea why. What made these cookies better than a buttery chocolate chip cookie or classic oatmeal raisin? It had to be the richness in flavor that came from quality spices.  After that I gained a new respect for taste and understanding of people’s appreciation for food having a deep flavor and not just a sweet flavor. Adding spices to my baking and cooking, when appropriate, elevated the meal and took it from bland and so-so to “omg, this is so good”. I’ve been experimenting ever since with spicing up my baking and I’ve been loving the results! When I first starting talking with A Spice Affair I […]

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food, guest post

Dark Chocolate & Marzipan Rooibos: Tea and Chocolate Pairings

I just googled what the literal definition of sommelier is and it’s a “wine steward”. I’m not sure if there is an official name for a tea steward, but if there is that title belongs to Sam from Tearrific. She’s the #bossbabe behind the YYC Tea Wagon (the wagon itself is for sale BTW!) and the entire Tearrific brand. Not only does she hand blend the teas individually, she also manages the shipping, logistics, marketing and every other job required to keep her small business running. I invited Sam to the blog to share her extensive tea steward knowledge with us and talk about food pairings with tea. She invited Jolene, the chocolate mastermind behind Old Coal, to join her in their tea/chocolate exploration. I’m confident that there was no better place in Calgary to be than with them during their afternoon of chocolate/tea tasting! BFF: Tea and Chocolate Pairings Jolene from Old Coal and I got together recently to do a tea and chocolate tasting. There are not too many things in life I love as much as tea, but chocolate is one of those things. Sam kindly invited me to write about our experiment for her blog, so I’m excited […]

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collaborations, food

Almond Butter Squares

One of the first local food bloggers that I ever came across when I started in this crazy/wonderful blogging world is Jess from Cooking in my Genes. I was always amazed at her stunning photos, well written blog entries and seemingly endless inspiration. We finally met at a blogger meet up a few months ago and instantly hit it off. Naturally we decided that the next step in our friendship would be a baking date! Jess and I met up early in April armed with inspiration and our cameras. I was so fortunate to get to go to her house and meet her amazing husband (aka our recipe tester) and her pup Doug (aka my new BFF) and see her envy-worthy closet of flatlay and photo props. But above all else the best part of hanging with Jess is Jess herself. She is as sweet and nice as she seems on her blog and laugh-out-loud funny with a zest for creating amazing recipes and producing quality content for her followers. We could all use a Jess in our lives! Before we could get down to baking business, I had to first cuddle her dog (obviously) then we headed to the grocery […]

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collaborations, fashion

27 Boutique

I found a new favourite store last Friday and it’s called 27 Boutique. Founded in 2002, 27 Boutique is nestled at the west end of the commercial district of 17th Avenue. They also have a huge online presence  selling shoes, clothes and accessories. While I had visited the online shop many times, Friday was the first time that I had been in the store…which truthfully was probably a good thing since I have zero self control and a sizeable mortgage! Within my first few steps in the store I knew 27 Boutique and I would be very good friends. The store is newly renovated and has a modern and chic feel, the staff are incredibly friendly not to mention dressed immaculately. The first thing I noticed was a retro looking bomber by Only neatly folded at the front table. Naturally I ended up leaving with it. Truthfully I love fashion but am not always the best at pairing fashionable outfits together. I love that 27 Boutique has personal shoppers that will help pull from your fashion sense and comfort level to create outfits that flatter your body and still feel like (a trendy version) of you. I’ve worked with personal shoppers in other […]

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collaborations, fashion

Fortunista

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ll know that for the last few weeks I have been sharing information about this amazing company called  Fortunista and the incredible work that they do for children with learning disabilities. I first got involved with Fortunista a few months ago at one of their markets in SW Calgary. I met the owner, Jen, and instantly felt her passion for helping and growing a business that makes a difference while offering a product that people will genuinely love. Jen was full of ideas and inspiration and never lost sight of her mission to raise money for the G.R.I.T. Calgary Society. A large portion of the proceeds from the sale of the necklaces goes towards G.R.I.T. Each necklace is hand stamped with an encouraging word or phrase like mine which says purpose. These necklaces are stamped by children who are assisted by G.R.I.T. using a hand over hand method. Not only does this encourage creativity and provide a sense of accomplishment it also assists with developing motor skills. The necklaces are adjustable which I love! The full length is 22 inches but it can be adjusted to your preferred length and layered. In the photo below, I’m […]

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guest post, lifestyle

Buy that House

Before buying my house earlier this year, I was feeling painfully overwhelmed by the process to a point where I considered renting forever to avoid it. Between the lawyers, the home inspections, offers and contracts, the whole thing seemed to be incredibly scary and figuring out what came next was truly overwhelming. I know I’m not the only one who feels/felt this way and truthfully maybe if we had spent even a day learning about this in High School, instead of a full month on the quadratic equation, then more of us would be inclined to buy homes. I went through two other Realtors (and a brief stint where we tried to DIY real estate) before finding, Realtor extraordinaire, Nathan Chen. Our first Realtor didn’t seem to have our best interest in mind and he even got mad at us for adding the criteria that our new home can’t be beside any former grow-ops (ask me and I’ll tell you the full story). Our second Realtor was nice but didn’t quite understand our stage of life of being in a relationship but not married and not buying a home in the suburbs just to build a family. Nathan was different because he understood right away what […]

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food, lifestyle

Drink Well Downtown

I work for a large company in downtown Calgary with offices in three buildings that are separated by intersections. During my busiest moments at work, my lunch consists of grabbing food from whatever place along my route from one building to the next has something pre-prepared, or grabbing a salad which I would awkwardly eat in a meeting (lots of responding to questions with the one finger “wait until I finish chewing” action). When I walked into Bow Valley Square a few months ago and saw that a Well would be opening up, I was nothing but excited. Finally a place I can stop to get something healthy, quick and not-awkward to consume. You can find Well all over Canada…literally from Moncton, New Brunswick all the way up to Whitehorse, Yukon and in over 200 locations in between. It isn’t uncommon to see Well downtown already, but you don’t typically see more than one or two flavours which isn’t much considering they have 12 different flavours plus bundled cleanse options. Nut milk (mylk) is my favourite thing. Since I can’t drink regular milk, satisfying cravings for creamy beverages is tough to do. Well’s Mylk is smooth, creamy, sweet and without any dairy. Plus […]

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guest post, lifestyle

Guest Post: Making it all work by Sam from XX balm

I often get asked how I balance a full time blog and a full time job. The truth is, I make work my priority and try to fit in blogging, meetings and photos in my off time. Trying to carve out time can be challenging and requires patience and dedication or nothing will ever get posted. But the best part about blogging is that I’m only accountable to myself. If I don’t want to post for a month, or two months, or a whole year (like I did last year…ooops) then I don’t have to. If work gets crazy busy and I’m exhausted after hours, I can lay on my couch and eat brownies out of the pan while watching Big Brother instead of responding to emails.   Who really amazes me are the people who run small businesses and balance full time jobs. It doesn’t matter how tired they are, it doesn’t matter how busy they are, if there’s a market coming up they have to get to work and if there are customer orders or inquiries, they can’t go unhandled. One person I’m particularly amazed by is Sam from XX Balm. This girl hustles all day, then hustles all […]

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lifestyle

sugar and sam

A little over two years ago I started Sugar and Sam as a way to share my love of baking and making recipes with people in my circles. My Instagram was private and personal at the time, but on a whim I changed it from samceratops to sugarandsam.yyc and just sugarandsam came later. Over the months that followed, life got busy, I got a puppy, changed groups at work, bought a house and eventually baking was something I just didn’t have as much time for. I began to share posts on Instagram about other people’s food, lifestyle, my dog, fashion and a million things in between. While my Instagram grew and changed, my blog stayed the same and soon I knew it was time for little upgrade. For my first ‘official’ post after my relaunch, I thought I’d formally introduce myself for the first time. Here’s some more info about the girl behind the sugar (and the sam?): I was born in Calgary but moved just outside of Toronto when I was 5 and lived there for several years. I came back to Calgary as a teenager right in the middle of Jr. High School and have lived here ever […]

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food, lifestyle

A Downton Abbey evening at Azuridge

Since we moved into our new home things have been busy. We’ve spent our days at work, our evenings building furniture and patching walls, and our weekends trying to find a couch within our budget with the right style. While we have been spending time together, there hasn’t really been much ‘us’ time. When we heard about Azuridge’s Downton Abbey event, we jumped at the chance to go. We had never been to Azuridge before but we had heard nothing but amazing reviews and thought it would be the perfect date night. All we really knew going into the event was that it was Downton Abbey themed, that there would be white gloved butlers, and that we would get to indulge in a five course chefs table dinner. So we got all dressed up, and headed out to Priddis for the us time that we were so overdue for. Azuridge is truly a private venue and while this makes the location perfect for a close-but-not-too-close getaway,getting there can be a struggle for those of us who are navigationally challenged. After a few mistaken turns (I would def recommend budgeting a few extra minutes your first time out there) we found the entrance and drove […]

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food

Easy Cinnamon Peach Jam

Making jam can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. This recipe is great for those last minute moments when you want some jam but you don’t want to dedicate a day to it. It will last for about two weeks in a sealed container in the refrigerator and tastes great warm too.

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food

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone should have at least one go to recipe when you need something in a pinch. For example, if you tell me you’re coming over for dinner last minute, you’re probably going to end up eating Mac + Cheese, with an appetizer of deviled eggs and a side of cucumber salad (clearly I’m more of a baker than a cook!). But if you tell me you want a fast and easy batch of cookies then I’m going to make you these little (little in this case means fat and chewy) ones. I used to volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters and my Little and I would make Chocolate Chip Cookies all the time. She was new to baking and the two of us would whip these up then indulge all within an hour. We’d leave minimal mess and have lots of opportunities for chocolate chip snacking while we were (in)patiently waiting for them to bake. The bottom line is, these cookies are simple, fast, mess free and require only basic baking skills to master.    Ingredients 2 cups all purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 3/4 cup unsalted butter melted 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar […]

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food

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

These Gluten Free Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies are the perfect example of simple, chewy and delicious gluten free cookies that compete with their glutinous cookie cousins for top spot. Plus they have peanut butter and chocolate…so what could be more perfect than that?

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food

Gluten Free Sweet Vanilla Donuts 

Soft, flavorful and sweet these donuts are small and mighty. They stand alone as a delicious treat and are enhanced with icing because really, what isn’t? They’re gluten free but I guarantee no one will ever know (or believe you when you tell them you used almond milk!).

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