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Blueberry Cashew Creamwiches

This recipe is based on Roost Blog’s Lemon & Vanilla Cream Sandwiches. Definitely check out their recipe and photos because mine is like monster version. I couldn’t find smaller ramekins at the time, okay?

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First off, props to the Roost for this vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free cookie recipe alone. I don’t have any dietary restrictions but it’s perfect for when I’m hosting for someone who does. I left the baking time at 10 min to keep it soft with a touch of golden brown.

A few extra minutes would make these really nice and crunchy. I’m picturing it with tea, or an avocado-chocolate spread, topped with whipped cream and cherries. For another blog entry..

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You guys, I love cashew cream. The texture is so smooth and reminiscent of all things I should stay away from. But cashews are an excellent source of copper (for antioxidants, energy production, bones and blood vessels) and a good source of manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc. I’ve also used it in this Strawberry Brownie Cake and Banana Cream Pie.

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I made the following changes to the original recipe: maple syrup instead of honey, 2/3 cup of coconut milk instead of coconut oil and lemon juice, and about 1 cup of blueberries (some blended in cashew cream, some smashed for center filling).

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And that’s all I could actually eat.

Just FYI, it’s a heavy dessert being almost completely nut-based (cut and serve in halves, or look for those tiny ramekins!). I also recommend making these on your day off as it is a bit time-consuming. Keep a stash in your freezer for those moments you get whispers of “ice cream” in your ear.

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DIY Cat Enclosure Under $100

If you hate cats, proceed no further.

I fantasized about Maude and Phyllis’s first experience outdoors for some time, as normal people do. These two are strictly indoor cats because: 1) we’re anxious parents and, 2) they’ve demonstrated their lack of street smarts. Phyllis has been known to roll on her back mid-yawn in response to a particularly malicious stray who likes to hiss and punch at our sliding glass doors.

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We entertained the idea of leashes and harnesses but figured these two athletes would constantly get tangled. I came across the concept of cat enclosures through Habitat Haven and my mind was blown.

The only downside was cost. It would have been $700+ for the size I ended up making for under $100.

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Here’s what you need:

  • Wire storage kits
  • Plastic multi-purpose ties
  • Work/garden gloves
  • Wire cutter pliers
  • Plastic drop sheet or tarp for rainy days
  • Accessories and outdoor rug if desired

I got everything from Dollarama (I think the wire storage kits were $3 ea for 5 squares):

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Instructions:

  • Choose a well-shaded area, or plan to integrate an awning for sun protection.
  • Measure your space and calculate the number of squares needed. It may help to roughly sketch the design of your structure based on your estimates. My squares were 12×12 inches.
  • Purchase your supplies. I used 16 packages for 80 squares (5 squares/package) and 6-7 bags of plastic ties (50 ties/bag). You’ll be surprised by the number of plastic ties required! Mistakes are inevitable.
  • Put together each side of your enclosure separately, securing each connection with a plastic tie. I also secured the midpoint of all the adjacent sides (see arrows). Use gloves to prevent blisters. 

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  • Clip the secured ties with your wire cutter as you go. Make sure your ties face outward as the clipped ends can be sharp.
  • Assemble and connect all the sides. Ask someone to help hold.

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  • Lay down outdoor material/carpet if preferred. You could build levels using the same squares within the enclosure if you’re ambitious, or sneak in a low cat tree or side table. A self-sustained cat hammock would also be spectacular. I set down rocks where the carpet material overlapped to discourage the cats from clawing at it.
  • Release your cats and enjoy! I recommend close supervision (you never know).
  • Cover with plastic sheet for rainy days.

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The whole thing cost me $70, excluding what I already had (side table, rocks and carpet material).

By the way, I connected the enclosure to the inside so the cats could independently enter/exit. This was a little tricky to design around a sliding door and isn’t the most practical as I have to set up/take down with each use. My favourite use of downtime however, has been reading outside in the hammock alongside these guys.

Depending on your space, you could also create a full enclosure and integrate a 2×2 door. Cat and Caboodle shows you how to make a door and includes examples of other really neat set-ups.

Have a purr-fect day!