Way back in November, I got a “surprise” for my birthday – Teddy made me the kawaii pineapple cake from my book! (with help from his dad, of course!) All week he kept saying “MOM do you want me to tell you what I’m giving you for your birthday??” ….It’s HARD for a six year old to keep a secret, especially when it involves my main place of work and all of my work tools, hehe.
The speech bubble says “LOVE YOU MOM” ! I love how the pineapple stem and shades kinda looks like a cyberpunk mohawk with virtual reality glasses or something… !
42 years old in my new sweater, a gift from Rich. NICE ONE, honey!!
Every freaking year is a blessing. We’ve had so many ups and downs trying to grow our family a little bit more but I always must remember how good things are now, how lucky we are, to appreciate what is in the here and now and not wish for things beyond my control. I’m almost halfway into 42 now, woh. Just chugging along and hoping for continued good health! xo Lyndsay
Boy oh boy oh boy. I didn’t realize quite how far behind I was on blogging until I decided to sit down at my computer and hammer some posts out! Back in September, in support of my cake book, I was featured on the CBC program “Our Vancouver” with Gloria Mackarenko! I grew up seeing Gloria on the news. Apparently she had seen my story in The Vancouver Sun and wanted to have me on her show! I didn’t sleep super well the night before because: live TV!! and I made three cakes to bring PLUS a cake to demo, with Gloria helping to pipe some buttercream fur!
Gloria was so kind, and she really put me at ease, and in the end, it wasn’t so bad!! In fact it was kind of fun! There was one camera person, and a sound person, and Gloria – so pretty chill, if you don’t think about the fact that people will be watching this on their home televisions!
Thank you to my husband RT who escorted me to the television station, helped me carry all my cakes and stealthily snapped these pics! You can watch the segment here. Seeing my parents and my son Teddy lose his mind over watching his mom on television was reason enough to do it! Teddy was so darn excited, it was really so cute!! I found it 83.5% mortifying watching myself but I did better than I thought I did, ie – I didn’t sound like a total turd. You can watch the CBC Our Vancouver Coco Cake Land segment here, if you’re so inclined. Thank you CBC Our Vancouver and to Gloria for reaching out! xo Lyndsay
Cooking Books: Julia, Child and Chocolate Almond Cupcakes Recipe
Oh man. What can I say? My Coco Cake Land book launch party was more than I ever dreamed. It felt like my birthday, Christmas and my wedding all rolled into one joyous, colourful and beautiful evening at Little Mountain Shop in Vancouver. All of my dear family and friends, the most amazing decor by Make Merry Shop, hilarious Coco Cake Land special edition merch printed by my friend Steve, my sister Leanne arranged the flower bouquets in all of my favourite Dahlhaus vases, Miko helped me organize and arrange all of the merch, cheese boards and fruit platters provided by my beloved Aunties, sushi platters provided by my sis Shelley, delicous bahn mi (including vegan bahn mi!) and salad rolls from DD Mau, drinks galore and all dem crazy cakes, baked and decorated by me! With everything captured by my most wickedly awesome dear friend Phanie.
It feels so magical to relive the Coco Cake Land book party through these incredible pictures. SO SO SO BLESSED. Thank you dear Phanie for these photos, thank you to everyone who came and celebrated with me, and thank you to my wonderful family for all of their help!! xo Lyndsay
Last year, Teddy wasn’t at school yet, but we went to the carnival to get him all excited about his future school. This year, the school carnival was OUR EVERYTHING, weeks of anticipation, selling raffle tickets, making a “jolly jar” and getting royally PUMPED UP for the big day. The big day arrived, and it poured rain, but the children did not give a sh*t because it was SCHOOL CARNIVAL!! I volunteered during the school day to set up, cutting hot dog buns and putting cans of soda on ice, and of course I made the two cake walk cakes above – a pink candy “EAT ME” cake covered in sprinkles, colourful malt balls and caramel chocolate pieces, and a friendly faced kitty cat cake! The school community is amazing – parents and students made almost two hundred cakes for the cake walk, a killer feat! I also volunteered at the cake walk station (obviously, hehe)… taking tickets. Please see below for the excitement of a kid who finally wins the cake walk.
Please ignore the penile-balloon that is pointing excitedly at these sprinkle-covered brownies that Teddy chose as his cakey prize!
(Again, pardon the giant balloon dong)…. Teddy has absolutely loved his first year at elementary school. I of course am crying on the inside and outside that his first big year of Kindergarten is coming to an end. I’ve enjoyed easing into being a part of this great school and community and it makes me so happy to see how much Teddy has thrived at school. I know this is all going to go by in a blink of an eye, right? Grateful to be around to experience it all with him. xo Lyndsay
Back in June, we had a cake walk tragedy… and it came to pass that we would have a CAKE WALK BIRTHDAY PARTY this year for Teddy’s fifth birthday. Does the world generally know what a cake walk is?? Or is it a Canadian thing, or a carnival game of yesteryear? It’s like a cake-version of musical chairs, where you walk in a circle, jumping from number to number, and when the music stops, a number is drawn from a hat, and if that number is the one you’re standing upon, you win the cake.
I made nine mini cakes for Teddy’s family birthday party – one for each cousin, plus my sister had two Japanese exchange students visiting. Before you think I’m completely crazy, know this: I love that shit, plus, baking nine cakes wasn’t too bad – I used the ol’ sheet pan method, baking two sheets of cake then punching out layers with a four inch round silver cutter! I whipped up a huge ass batch of vanilla buttercream, filled some piping bags and away I went!
Ground control to Major Ted!! Birthday present astronaut suit. Jealous of those silver gloves.
A happy and excited cake walk winner!! (um, everyone won.) No fork, no problem. Teddy’s squeals of excitement and the cheering of when his number was called and seeing him and his cousins BOOGYING to the music… all worth it! xo Lyndsay
On Teddy’s last preschool field trip, the big old yellow bus rumbled along the highway all the way out to Aldergrove, BC to the Greater Vancouver Zoo, a place I had no idea existed. Lions, giraffes, zebras, gorillas??? white timbre wolves… all of these disparate animals from all over the world converging on a piece of land outside of Vancouver Canada – where the temperatures aren’t very hot and snow is a very real possibility every winter – every single day for them must be a giant WTF. I missed the parent sign-up sheet to ride on the bus with the kids so I ended up driving behind the schoolbus like a special police escort. Once in the zoo, the lions confronted their 4-year-old viewers with maybe a disturbing lip-licking intensity, coming right up to the glass with glazed, stalker-ish looks in their eyes. Giraffes hunkered around, chewing things. One singular red panda hid behind a tree in his leafy compound. The whole thing reminded me of this panda Kit Kat commercial from when I was a kid.
Red panda finally made the most fleeting appearance, showing itself ever so briefly before scrambling back into hiding. Although, it was enough of a glimpse that Teddy and I googled “red panda” later on and giggled at their adorableness. Hence, the red panda cake idea was planted.
Turning five is a bigger deal than my heart was prepared for. Turning five means starting Kindergarten, which means full school days away, and little lunchbox eating, and recess-snack-eating, and playing on playgrounds and monkey bars and falling off swings and getting scrapes, bruises or worse, to being subjected to bullies or getting feelings hurt, or any other tiny micro aggression that may shape my son’s character, to making all these sweet little independent decisions and making new friends and learning and laughing and using the toilet to take a dump, all without me there to help or guide or hug to feel better. Turning five came really really fast.
Five is still little but five is big. I love this little man so much and I am proud of all that he has become. Happy 5th Birthday Teddy! Love, Mama.
For The Love Of Mothers: Strawberry Ice Cream Cake!
K. Get ready for an NYC blaster of Cherry Bombe Jubilee madness and goodness. It was the weekend of my life. Surrounded by incredible, inspiring, powerful and bad-to-the-ass-bone women, (also, many gorgeous women – Jubilee style was INSANE) … so many women in food whom I’ve admired and/or adored for years – truly amazing. I also got to reconnect with old pals, connect IN REAL LIFE with internet pals… sheesh, NYC! It was fun. So now I’m about to blast ya with photos. BLAST!
I red-eyed overnight into NYC from Vancouver, so I could get there on Thursday morning. My plan was to keep things chill and not have an insane “list” of hotspots to chase down but to instead FOCUS ON FRIENDSHIP.
Like catching up with this beauty/cutie Emily!! Emily and I met over ten years ago, when I used to play music in bands and tour all over – we would stay at her house, “the Mansion” – an amazing old mansion in Crown Heights with suites on each floor and plenty of room for sprawling bands and into-the-night rangers. We’ve kept in touch all these years and seen each other grow and expand into food life – Emily and her sis Melissa are the bad ass sister duo behind Four and Twenty Blackbirds!
The exterior of their first shop in Gowanus.
Melissa and Emily in their working kitchen in Brooklyn! Emily gave me the full tour of the bustling kitchen, employees making fillings, huge bags of King Arthur flour, buckets brimming with sloshing yolks, smiling staff baking off pies and packaging individual slices, and crimp-master Rica, who was slamming through stacks of pie doughs, crimping a mile-a-minute!
Turmeric tonic custard pie – so delicious, citrusy and creamy – I’d never tasted anything like it and I loved it. They have a whole range of custard flavours like their beloved matcha, but also hojicha (roasted green tea), black sesame and this turmeric beauty. I also love their overall brand design so much.
Ok. It looks like I’m not wearing pants in this. I guess technically I’m not wearing pants, I’m wearing DRESS SHORTS. Cherry Bombe and Amazon Kitchen were hosting a special dinner at Sunday Suppers that evening and I got home pretty late from my Pie Journey of Natty Gann with dear Emily – I was staying with my good friends Amy and Stephen, but Amy wasn’t home yet, so I slammed on this outfit that I had only mentally put together not actually tried on … and asked Stephen to take a picture of me in it so I could see, of course! (YOU’VE DONE IT)… I wanted to try other things on but it was getting late. In the end I kinda felt like I was wearing my dad’s old oversize baggy t-shirt but I had to roll with it and ACCEPT my choice, haha. Pants Free Canada.
I was solo-jamming it to the Sunday Suppers space (incidentally, a 3 minute walk from where I was staying! Yay!) because my pal and main “I don’t know anyone else” support was Molly, but Molly’s flight was delayed yet again… so I was nervous. But of course as soon as I entered the (incidentally, BEE-YOOTIFUL!!) space, anxiety melted away as I met so many amazing (and friendly!) women, including Kerry, Claudia, Allie and Donna of Cherry Bombe!
So so pretty. Loved the mix of vintage flatware and touches of pink in everything.
The kitchen! I admit it got pretty hot in herre Nelly style from the heat of the cooking, the gorgeous hot breath of the babes in the room, and probably my armpits alone but it was pretty much perfect. I got to sit beside Donna who is my Anne of Green Gables kindred spirit because HER DOG’S NAME IS TEDDY. AND MY CHILD’S NAME IS TEDDY. Also, she is funny and sweet and totally put me at ease.
Amazon Kitchen! Carmen and Antonia (and another woman, sorry I’ve forgotten her name) were awesome and friendly. Plus any company who supports Cherry Bombe – me = fan.
Oh just a light rosé cheers with my new friends Deb and Erin! But seriously they were both smart, funny and nice and we got into talking about babies real quick. Deb has this adorable, sort of airy way of speaking then she just crushes life with hilarious witty little zingers. Erin is strikingly pretty and full of jokes too (and pregnant with her third!). I was an immediate fan of these two.
Turmeric followed me around NYC and I am not complaining about that. I think I had some every day in one form or another!? That only just occurred to me. High five, turmeric. The food was so delicious, delicate and artfully presented – I was too busy chatting away to snap proper pics.
So pretty, so artful! Hand by Donna.
K I looooved this impossibly subtle (I just reminded myself of Francine Pascal there, “impossibly blonde”) flavour of roasted beet ice cream with pistachio, sunflower seed crumble and pink sea salt – I couldn’t get a good photo of it without getting too Asian-taking-pictures-of-food so I snapped a few unsatisfactory iPhone blasts and accepted my situation, hehe.
Killer sister style – Donna and Diana (of The Jewels Of New York)! Pretty sure Diana was wearing a lightly crushed velvet emeraldy-green dress – I was really feeling my oversized T-shirt vibe next to these fashion beauties!
Not too sweet, with crucial crunch and perfect amount of salt.
Wow wow I love Kerry Diamond! Cool AF and she has been so supportive of me these past few years. Kerry, you don’t even know, my adulation is strong. (ok I just googled “adulation” to make sure that wasn’t some weird perverted word I didn’t know the exact meaning of…all good.) Also I was pronouncing turmeric wrong all weekend. Crikey!! Blame Canada.
Friday morning I met up with Michelle from Hummingbird High! We went deep-blogger-gossip (all on lockdown, of course) while I enjoyed my very first fried chicken and waffles experience at Pies n Thighs! We didn’t know what the little party ball on top of the waffles was, Michelle thought it might be a sausage – so I volunteered as tribute to try the thing, and it was not a meat product but in fact a BIG OLD BALL A BROWN BUTTAH. Cinnamon maple-y butter? 500 calories later… oops.
After I ate this rather filling breakfast, I was off to meet another pal – my friend Judy, who I had never met, and knew online back in 2007 or something, when she had a teeny cupcake business and I had my teeny cake business. We kinda found each other again on Instagram and I started following her and based on her captions and pics I was like, “ok, this lady and I would definitely be friends in real life.” And I was right!
We met at this adorable nautical themed sandwich shop called Saltie. I was getting a real lady-power vibe from the place which I was obviously a fan of. The sandwich I had was pretty bonkers, chicken liver paté, ham, pickled vegetables and jalapeños and a whole lotta mayonnaise on house-baked focaccia – “EFFING DELICOUS” is what I have to say about that. I also got a Saltie sunrise, which was in fact good old turmeric and hibiscus party combo in a cup. My only complaint was the stools are these tiny uncomfortable squares of wood and the corners jammed into my butt and thighs in a not-so-comfy way – I know that restaurants want you to eat and vacate, but dang those stools were sizeist!
Ok back to JUDY. She was just as cool and nice as I imagined, and we had a blast dinking around for a few hours. She still bakes a little but she is a full time NICU nurse which I RESPECT. Imagine working with and helping all those teeny little babies?
Milk Bar was next door to Saltie and yes, the dream of 2006 is alive in New York because I really wanted to try the cereal milk soft serve that I’d read about for so many years. I ordered it with the salty cornflake crunch and it was $7. It was good, but kinda pricey in my Canadian opinion, and since I’d made it at home before I kinda preferred my homemade cereal milk ice cream, hehe. But fun to finally check out Milk Bar (except the cookies looked very sad in their individual packaging, it had a real 7-11 preservatives feel to it, I thought…) but still, I love Christina Tosi and this wicked empire she’s bricklayed!
Classique vibes!! Soft serve shot!
Do you love a horrifically lit iPhone photo of what looks like unappealing food? Sorry … but the food in the pic was actually DELICIOUS … Warm freshly baked bread and thick smears of tangy cultured butter … omg. And thin, rich salty slices of prosciutto, enjoyed along with many other dishes at The Four Horsemen in Brooklyn. I don’t know shit about wine but my good friend Amy does, and so do the servers – it was cool to listen in on wines being savoury and stuff. My favourite dish might’ve been the dessert, which looked like a bowl of chopped up salmon poke but was actually a delicious ginger sherbet topped with orange granita, the ice cream was spicy and not too sweet and the granita on top made it so refreshing – (I obviously need a restaurant column, amirite? REFRESHING)… it was like the classiest Screamer possible.
Amy, Middle Part Sung, Christy (also from Vancouver but now living in NYC!)
Then Saturday arrived!!! I had a terrible sleep because I was so nervous. Why?? Because I was speaking on a food blogger panel with a superstar group of women who I gotta admit, I felt a bit out of my league. Joy The Baker, Deb from Smitten Kitchen, Molly Yeh and Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes – all these ladies have had a lot of experience now, book tours, TV segments, interviews ‘n stuff … I imagined what my worst case scenario was, which was literally shitting my pants on stage – and I was pretty sure that wouldn’t happen. FINGERS CROSSED! I was riding in a cab to the Highline Hotel that morning, doing some mindful meditation type stuff to calm my nerves – and all of a sudden, JOURNEY came on the radio – not just any Journey song, but one of my 4 year old son Teddy’s favourites – Faithfully! I basked in the glory of that hilariously delightful rock ballad and felt it was a special message from home to tell me to “CALM DOWN, CHINESE PUMPKIN.”
Then a few minutes after I showed up at this beautiful venue, I met up with Michelle, and Molly, after years of being online blog buddies – finally real life buddies!! We also hung out with Yossy, who is like strikingly gorgeous, BTW. If you want to feel like a plump garbage bag, sit next to beautiful and stylish Yossi for a bit!! (She is also so talented and nice!)
Ok. Do you know who this is?? JULIA. Julia Turshen!! I am mild-to-medium in love with Julia and Grace, my FAVOURITE lady POWER COUPLE. What’s not to love?? They’re both so talented and caring, both tireless champions of women, activists in their own right, and so inspiring. So when I saw Julia walking up to the venue, I kinda yelled out “JULIA!!” in a very excited and non-chill way, I tried to reign it in but it was too late. Anyhow, all’s well that ends well, because THIS TWEET.
The awesome crowd at Jubilee! I stayed for every panel and talk but all of my pictures look like this one – so I don’t have good visuals but I was truly moved, either emotionally, or into action, by the women who presented. I loved the ease in which Barbara Lynch and Kristen Kish possessed, their deep kinship so evident by their conversation – loved Barbara’s liberal usage of swear words and her hoarse smokey voice. I’m excited about her new book Out Of Line. So right after the interview, I was in an elevator with Kristen – she definitely radiates celebrity, obviously because she is one, but she’s also supermodel gorgeous – tall, willowy and with a very streamlined killer style – I thought about asking for a picture but she was in what seemed like a very stressed rush to get somewhere and was madly pushing the close door buttons – a flight, I assumed – soooo, anyway I was scared in the way that a beautiful celebrity can make a regular person feel scared, soooo not the best time to ask for a selfie!
Shakirah of Nourish | Resist was on a really great panel – A Recipe For Tomorrow: Food, Social Justice, Action – introduced by Krystal of Karma Pop and Blk // Sugar, pictured in the middle. I loved what Margarette Purvis said about inviting a woman to your table that might not normally have a seat at that table. I was also inspired by Erin of Ovenly, I didn’t know Ovenly was a social enterprise, 40% of their staff are ex-inmates or refugees/recent immigrants. I love this from Ovenly: “We plan to grow nationally, and we will do it progressively.” Proving you can have a successful, aesthetically pleasing, strong female-fronted business while also having giving back to the community and world as part of your business model. I’m also inspired by their strength and ambition and I can’t wait to see what’s next from them!
Christine Muhkle interviewed Elisabeth Prueitt - Christine referred to the room as giving her “lady power vertigo” which I loved. They spoke about some of the sexist bullshit that just floats around like a turd in the food scene, particularly Liz being referred to as “Chad’s wife” in one interview, and the hilarity and astonishment that a column called “Working Mom” can even exist. Elisabeth runs a baking empire at this point and raises her 9 year old daughter, who has significant health challenges – I admire her greatly! Jessica B. Harris in conversation with Julia Turshen was really moving. I am so looking forward to digging in to High On The Hog. Jessica talked about how she never eats with someone she doesn’t like – kind of brilliant advice – and the treasuring of friendships – how so many of her friends are no longer here (including Maya Angelou). I was sitting amongst a gaggle of amazing food bloggers/friends and I gulped and couldn’t help but think of how much I love my friends and that yes, one by one, everyone would be leaving this Earth at some point. Home in Vancouver, I promptly invited some gals over for dinner with Jessica’s words in mind.
Snack break!! I was looking forward to this the whole day, even though my stomach was not being my friend due to nerves – I could barely eat, but I was not going to miss out on Brutus Bakeshop x Jam Stand’s ADORABLE cupcakes – I’m kinda obsessed with the gorgeous and super cool Lani from Brutus Bakeshop now. Her cake style is insane and I loved how she shared her brilliant stencil technique, one I had never seen before! (Plus she’s a mama too!)
DIANA!! Love her creativity and style, and these lil smoothies by Jewels of New York x Anita’s Yogurt (PLEASE BRING YOUR BONKBONKS COCONUT YOGURT TO CANADA!) were the dang cutest.
Was this a mirage? I walked into the green room and Joy was typing away at her laptop and I asked her “Let it be Sunday?” … Jocelyn and I got straight into talking babies (A THEME OF THIS JUBILEE WEEKEND?) and both Joy and Jocelyn were so open, funny and chill (also possibly very tired.) They are popular for a reason, because you feel this urgent need to befriend them!
Then this happened … it was our time to speak at Jubilee! Since I arrived on Thursday I was making sure to take in little moments of this experience. To savour and appreciate all that was happening, and to remember that two years ago at this time I was lying in bed with debauched buttsanity™, nausea and my hair coming out from chemo. And now I’m being group-hugged for a picture with all these wonderful powerhouse famous bloggers and Daphne Oz???
My goal was not to physically soil my pants on stage and I achieved that goal. My sisters and mom and friends and husband just told me to BE YOURSELF when I told them I was so nervous about this panel … and I thought, yeah. It’s really all I can be. And in the end, the panel was REALLY FUN. I surprised myself with thinking it was fun talking in front of hundreds of people! The panel will be broadcast in the future on Radio Cherry Bombe – so stay tuned!
After the panel I met some real nice women! Like these awesome gals from Pineapple DC! Other awesome women I met but didn’t get a snap with: SUSAN SPUNGEN, who I fangirled, but loved her down to earth/friendliness. Also, Yana Gilbuena, Filipina chef extraordinaire who is spreading the deep gospel of Filipino food through her Salo Series pop up dinners across the USA and beyond – loved her energy, bright smile and commitment!
Me and Amy posing in front of the Jubilee neon!
Me and Donna posing in front of a dolly. Behind the scenes, y’all!!
We walked around in the sun after Jubilee was over – and just happened upon Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment … hehe. I went back to Amy’s apartment, we marvelled at all the good stuff in the gift bag, I had an old-fashioned prepared by Stephen … and I conked out into dreamland, ready for the next day at the Jubilee Marketplace!
You totally want a Four and Twenty Blackbirds tote now, don’t you?? It was sooo fun getting to catch up with Amy. We have a long history of friendship, from being in an all-female fantasy new wave band together, to worshipping Siouxsie Sioux, to many art and film projects… and both being bridesmaids in each other’s weddings… I love you Burgertime!
Cutest little polka dot tea towels (I got one of each) at Dimes.
I met a new friend, Leanne, at the Miss Jones Bakes stand! I wasn’t sure if getting a sweatshirt that called myself a babe was lite-conceited. But it was so fluffy and comfy and I love the vintage-collegiate font. I idiotically already got gel food colouring on it when I got home though. Oh well.
Claudia Wu, creative director and awesome person at Cherry Bombe!! Amazing T-shirt! Chinese Pumpkin!! All in one convenient photo.
Beautiful Hawa of Basbaas hot sauces – so good! I brought two jars home in my suitcase, all snuggled up in my socks and underwear, and I’m so excited to dig in to the spicy tangy goodness of these sauces!
Molly! With the side pone to end all side pones, repping some delicious ingredients like Kerrygold butter (NOT AVAIL IN CANADA, SHEESH, Canada dairy laws!) If you want to see me being a creepy fan of my own friend, here ya go!
I red-eyed it home and watched three episodes of Atlanta and it is so hilarious and thoughtful. I fell in love with the entire cast and can’t wait to polish off the whole season! And THIS SWAG that I crammed almost entirely into my suitcase … so spoiled.
And we come FULL CIRCLE back to pie. I hand-carried these pie slices on the plane from NYC to Vancouver and fretted about everyone else’s moves around me, so worried someone was going to swing a stray arm and whack my bag of pie slices by accident … I was on EDGE about these pies. These pies went through the X-ray machine at JFK. But they made it home, as did I, with visions of Cherry Bombe Jubilee dancing along in my head, playing back scenarios to try and figure out if I had acted like a turd or not, but… oh well. Turd or no turd, I just gotta be me. The deepest namaste DEEP gratitude goes out to Cherry Bombe magazine for inviting me out to this year’s Jubilee… it was so immensely special for me and an experience I won’t soon forget. xo Lyndsay