Monthly Archives

January 2016

In EATS on
January 27, 2016

guilt free brownies

Chocolately / Chewy Sweet Potato Brownies

healthy sweet potato brownies

healthy sweet potato brownies

From my previous post you have already learned that I have a mega addiction to chocolate. I like to blame this on my mother.  I swear the only thing she ate while pregnant was chocolate. Anyway, I’m always trying to think of healthier alternatives for my sweet tooth because I know there isn’t anyway possible to just stop having sweets. Im excited to share a delicious solution with you today.

The recipe is an oldie but goodie that goes way back to the days when I worked in a health food cafe, back in my home town. It takes the traditional brownie that is packed full of heavy fats and sugars and transforms them into this chocolatey and chewy brownie filled with things that are good for you!

Sweet Potato brownies…. I questioned the idea myself when I was introduced to them for the first time but I promise you- they are SO yum and a MUCH healthier alternative to the regular brownie. If I gave you this brownie blind folded you would never even know I secretly snuck in some added antioxidants. I welcome you all to try it out and share with me your experience!

Here’s what you’ll  need:

  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla
  • 1 cup of cooked and mashed sweet potato
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

Pre-heat over to 350 degrees and line a rectangular baking pan. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together brown sugar and egg until the sugar has evenly mixed and dissolved. Add in your yogurt and vanilla. At this time you can add in your cooked sweet potato if it has cooled down enough that it wont cook your eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together your flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.  When all the dry ingredients are mixed together, mixed them into your wet mixture.

Use a spatula and place all your yummy brownie mixture into your lined baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. (Depending on your oven, baking time may vary). Remove from oven and let cool before you cut out a piece to enjoy 🙂

Bon Appetite !

xx Bella

In TRAVEL on
January 26, 2016

peaceful holiday getaway

I know we are well on our way into January, and far past New Years but I wanted to share with you the most recent “getaway” I’ve taken. It took place over the holidays, where we celebrated New Years with friends.

Since moving to Montreal, I have taken many trips to Quebec City and  have explored most of Montreal. I have only been past Quebec City one other time in my life, which was on a family road trip through the east coast of Canada. Over the holidays I got to explore a part of Quebec I’ve never been too, let alone even heard of!

I had a pretty busy holiday season, traveling from Ontario to Quebec, seeing family, with multiple celebrations. By the time the majority of my holiday celebrations came to and end, there still was New Years. At this point, I’d seen so many people, had eaten way too much food, and sat in a car for too many hours– I was kinda wishing to just crawl into bed for a week.

Instead, I jumped in the car again and was off to explore a small town in Quebec called Cabano, located just on the border of Quebec and New Brunswick. It took quite a few hours of travel due-to not the nicest weather conditions, but once we arrived, I was welcomed by beautiful scenery and white fluffy snow all around me.

Coming from Ontario, where we had a green Christmas, this was a bit of a culture shock. The first thing that came out of my mouth was “are we in the north pole”? which was responded with laughter. In this moment, I was happy to be there and knew it was going to be a great weekend getaway- with some of the peace and quiet I needed.

Where I stayed had a beautiful view of the lake and mountains… it was breathtaking. The majority of the colourful houses along the lakefront are homes for the summer vacationers. Although there is not much to do activity wise in Cabano, it is the perfect getaway if you like to explore the outdoors and need some quiet time like I did. Many people travel there in the summer to enjoy the water, and in winter, those who can take the cold, explore the many snowy trails in the forest.

My weekend consisted of great celebrations with friends, a little more face stuffing, and winter walks in the forest. Although my small getaway wasn’t anything spectacular, it still was something. I got to experience somewhere new, I was surrounded by beautiful views all around me, not only while there but during my travels, and spent quality time with good people.  I encourage you all to take a trip somewhere you haven’t been, even if its only an hour away, you still get to experience some adventure and I truly believe thats just darn good for the soul.

Travel often, explore always…

xx Bella

In EATS on
January 26, 2016

afternoon delight

Sweet & Spicy Moroccan Hot Chocolate moroccan hot chocolate

Let me start off by admitting two of my major addictions. 1. I love coffee and I’m addicted 2. I love chocolate and I’m addicted. Lately I’ve been trying to cut down my coffee consumption by drinking more herbal tea, and… feeding my other addiction, chocolate.

Making your own hot chocolate can be a “healthier” alternative and can spice things up from the normal hot chocolate. This recipe will sure do so! I’ve created the yummiest combination of sweet and spicy with this Moroccan hot chocolate where you wont have to worry too much about the calories.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of almond milk
  • 4 tbsp of agave nectar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper
  • 1 square semi-sweet bakers chocolate (if desired)
  • cinnamon sticks (if desired)
  • whipped cream (if desired)
  • orange zest (if desired)

Directions:

Bring milk to a simmer.  Add agave, and stir through.  Slowly, while stirring add cocoa powder, cinnamon, cardamom, and chili powder. Turn down to a low heat, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes until the ingredients blend together. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla.  Serve; garnish with cinnamon sticks, whipped cream, semi-sweet chocolate shavings and zest of orange peel, if desired.

Bon Apetite!

xx Bella

In FASHION on
January 25, 2016

keeping warm

Moving to a new city brought many changes in my life. New culture, a new language and a new climate. January is well on its way and the new year is off to a great start. The biggest change this month has been the climate- keeping warm has been uber important and dressing the part is key. The cool thing about the city is the habitants showcase their style and tastes through warm winter trends.

Check out how I kept warm this past weekend with my furry look. I love to style something a bit more dramatic with more simple pieces. My fav black denim yoga jeans by second clothing along with a basic maison simons white turtle neck and my newest warm necessity, my princess boot by pajar canada, definitely fit the part.

xx bella