strawberry milk with matcha panna cotta

strawberry latte & matcha panna cotta

Last fall my roommate and I spent an hour in line at the new Machi Machi, a Taiwanese tea shop chain, that had opened up in Toronto – the wait an obvious necessity, my roommate pointed out, as after all, Jay Chou is a fan. We also discovered that Machi Machi drinks make for perfect colour-coded fashion accessories and there is a super cute wall to take photos with (note: none of these infants, dogs or fashionistas are me).

Long wait aside, we both agreed that the fresh strawberry latte with panna cotta (also a fashion necessity) was our favourite – strawberries pureed with milk, poured over a soft and jiggly panna cotta, and the whole thing drank with a straw. Eating panna cotta with a straw is pure brilliance.

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yuzu kosho pissaladière danishes (& on body-worn cameras for the police)

yuzu kosho pissaladiere danishes
yuzu kosho pissaladiere danishes

Certainly advocates are not a monolith, but some of the key advocacy organizations leading the current movement such as Black Lives Matter TO, have not recommended body cameras as a measure to reduce police violence. On the other hand, body cameras seem to be a popular proposal by governments, and a frequent recommendation in police service use of force reviews I’ve read. As I’ve explained before, I think it is best to follow the lead of advocates.

A recent discussion I had about body cameras has prompted me to write up my impressions on the debate in order to formalize my thoughts for any future discussions. In sum, I would characterize body cameras 1) a reform with a small potential benefit likely outweighed by a large cost, and 2) furthermore a measure that maintains/increases the scope of policing, which is the opposite of what the defund movement is pushing for.

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strawberry, rose & mint roll cake


I have lamented before that roll cakes really ought to have some colour contrast between the cake and the filling – because otherwise, what’s the point of going through the trouble of rolling them up together?

This cake is about as contrasting as you can get – shades of complementary colours juxtaposed against each other (also a muted version of the colour palette of Coraline’s room – in the book). The cake is tinted an earthy green from plenty of pureed mint, and filled with a pink strawberry mousse.

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rhubarb, coconut & rooibos mousse cakes (& tentimestea turns 6)

rhubarb, coconut, rooibos mousse cake
rooibos, coconut & rhubarb mousse cakes

It didn’t feel all that long ago that the blog had hit the five year mark. Now apparently it’s six!

Last year I effusively pledged my undying love for baking. Previous years, in awe that my blog was somehow still around, I expounded on all that I had learned (blog-wise, that is) and constructed ambitious plans for the future (blog-wise as well, that is). But having crossed the five year mark last year, I think I’ve reached the age at which individual years no longer feel as significant. It’s a rather comfortable state to be in, actually.

At this point, blogging has taken on a routine and easy familiarity. While I may not always have time in my life for the recipe testing/photographing/editing/writing that goes into it, by now I’ve learned (after a number of nearly year-long casual hiatuses) that that’s fine. While sometimes not much may change here, it’s hardly going anywhere. (And I still have 70+ drafts lolling about in various stages of completion so there’s usually some content I can dredge up even when I don’t have time for baking).

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rhubarb cardamom skolebrod

rhubarb skolebrod
rhubarb skolebrod
rhubarb skolebrod

It’s already been well over a week since the Jun 29th Toronto city council meeting where they debated the possibility of defunding the police and other reforms. I caught the last three hours of the livestream. A few things: I doubt I’ll watch another city council meeting for a while given I’m not typically interested in most items on the agenda. But when there is an issue you’re interested in, it can definitely be worth it as the coverage you read in news articles can only cover so much of what happened (though now I get the value of Twitter such as in Jennifer Pagliaro’s thread on the meeting!). It’s also a rather good way of getting a sense of the councillors’ leanings after hearing all of them speak, debate, and then hearing their names called a dozen times in the rounds of recorded voting.

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blueberry layer cake (& we must defund the police)


Currently in Toronto there is motion that has been put forth by Councillor Josh Matlow and seconded by Kristyn Wong-Tam to reduce the police budget by at least 10% and invest in community resources. Mayor John Tory then submitted his own motion (which as mayor, appears directly on the agenda) in order to bypass defunding of the police, taking the sympathy of councillors that may have otherwise supported the motion to defund. Unfortunately, this is not an acceptable compromise and one that will likely lead to an increase in police budgets if body cameras are implemented. Read Anthony Swan’s breakdown of Tory’s motion here and act now by referring to his page here. 

Again and again advocates have been hitting a wall of reluctance to defund the police by those in political power. Why do people have such differing opinions on defunding the police? I found one answer articulated by Sandy Hudson’s (co-founder of BLM Toronto) article in the Huffington Post –  much of it has to do with different communities have fundamentally different experiences and relationships with police, first of all in the quantity of interactions, and secondly in the nature of those interactions.

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mango cardamom lemongrass ice cream

mango cardamom lemongrass ice creammango cardamom lemongrass ice cream

Growing up, mango was my favourite ice cream flavour, especially as it was an occasional treat at some restaurants. At home I would acquiesce to strawberry.

This mango ice cream is rather different from the one I used to love, infusing the base with cardamom and lemongrass. It’s not an intensely mango ice cream to avoid overwhelming the other flavours – rather it comes across creamy and fragrant, with a gentle layering of fruit for brightness.

Certainly different… though this ice cream does have the similarity of being my current favourite ice cream!

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salted dark chocolate and almond bars


Homemade granola bars and I have had a long sordid and crumbly history. Recipes that I came across often relied on honey as an important binder which meant that it was used in quantities that semi-obviated why I wanted to make my own granola bars in the first place – I wanted to make something much less sweet! When I tried to reduce the sweetness, the recipes I made trembled at the sight of a knife, crumbling into pieces once I tried to cut them into bars.

A couple of years ago I thought that I had finally come across a granola bar that didn’t crumble and wasn’t too sweet, as it used more nut butter as a binder. But when I tried to make them a second time, full of confidence, huzzah for hubris! as they too crumbled on me.

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