comment 0

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?


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..





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.


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).





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.

comment 0

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.


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.



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):




  • 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. 



  • 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.

cat_enclosure_DIY6Turn the bottom connectors upward for a stable base.


  • 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.


cat_enclosure_DIY9Illustration by Alan Baker

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!