Saturday Sun 02.17.2024

Created by Laura Wright
A head-on shot shows a bunch of shamrock plants in bloom.

Welcome to the weekend. It’s a long one here in Ontario with the Family Day holiday on Monday. I’ll be working on a loaf cake recipe, a fiber-filed chocolate smoothie recipe, and also just basking in the piles of snow we’re supposed to get. Sensing a couple of board game nights by the fire in my future! The picture at the top is hundreds of cutie shamrock plants at a local greenhouse that I went to recently with my mum. It was so nice to pop in and get a little break from the winter chill.

It’s been such a quiet season for us and I’m really relishing it. I feel like the most boring person ever when I talk about my weekend plans here, but it suits me just fine in my real offline life. Spring and summer can be nonstop with family things, and then Fall is the busiest time for my work. Being in deep hibernation mode feels good right now.

I’m about to go make pizza night salad to go with some takeout pizza. Be well and take care of yourself! As always, if you have questions for future editions, don’t hesitate to email me.

5 Things I’m reading:

  1. What Sourdough Taught Me, in the Pandemic and Beyond
  2. What the 5 love languages get right, and what they get very wrong
  3. Why Do Dogs Wag Their Tail?
  4. When Meal Planning Gets Tedious, Treat Cooking Like a Game
  5. Toward a Revolution of Love

5 Things I’m Enjoying:

  1. Yoga nidra before bed is improving my sleep (YouTube and the Insight Timer app have great guided sessions)
  2. The way @birdhousebakeshop captures their treats is just so beautiful
  3. Really having a quick pickled cabbage moment. Riffing off of this recipe.
  4. Been making my nut milk recipe, but replacing the macadamias with walnuts lately for maple walnut-ish lattes in the morning. Sublime!
  5. This cat laying on a little pillow knocked me out 🥹

5 Questions:

  1. Any tips on blending potatoes without the texture turning gluey? For example, in a potato soup. 
    When making a potato soup, I always opt for Yukon golds or a similarly waxy potato. Russett or other baking potatoes seem much more starchy and tend to get more gluey in blends/mashes. A mix of the two has also worked for me in the past! I recommend blending potato based soups for only for 10-15 seconds. Over-agitating is what causes that gluey texture. Of course, the soup won’t be completely silky smooth after a 10 second blend, but the slightly chunky texture is quite nice in my opinion. If you’re really committed to a super smooth, non-gluey potato soup, you can run each cooked potato piece through a ricer or food mill back into the soup pot and then give the whole thing the quickest whizz in the blender–but honestly this feels a little fussy for home cooking.
  2. Why don’t you include nutrition information with your recipes?
    I personally cook and eat for pleasure and to feel good, and I like to have those ideas at the forefront of my brand. Seeing calorie amounts and fat/carbs kinda sucks the joy out of it for me most days. Also, for folks who have struggled with eating disorders and are working on improving their relationship with food, seeing those numbers can turn them off of a recipe site completely. But I also understand that some people have health conditions that require a bit of nutrition information before proceeding with a recipe! If nutrition information is important to you, I recommend using a free app/calculator like My Fitness Pal where you can copy and paste one of my recipes in to get a rough estimate of the nutrients.
  3. Tips for improving the texture of smoothies with protein powders? They can taste chalky.
    A lot of the vegan protein powders can be chalky! I’ve found that the best way to combat this is to have a good mix of fresh and frozen fruit in the smoothie (all frozen fruit enhances chalkiness in my opinion) and to have enough acidic components in the smoothie. Acidic components can be: a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, 1/4 cup orange juice, or fresh and tart berries like blackberries, raspberries or strawberries. I also think a pinch of salt goes a long way in enhancing the overall flavour of a smoothie. We season all of our food well, so why not do that with our smoothies too? My last tip is to blend really thoroughly, like a full minute to get everything completely liquified and properly mingled. The vegan protein powder that I use (and have used for years) is not overly chalky in my smoothies. It’s Epic Protein by Sprout Living and you can get 20% with my affiliate code: thefirstmess.
  4. What’s your stance on reheating rice/noodles with regards to the dangers of bacillus cereus?
    This topic has been popping up a lot on my social feeds lately! When I’ve taken food safety training courses in the past, proper rice cooling has always come up. The Food Science Babe did an excellent video about it that you can find here. I highly recommend following her account as she dispels a lot of the food fear mongering that happens on social media. One of the easiest things you can do from a prep standpoint is to properly cool your leftover rice! I recommend spreading it out on a baking sheet to get it out of the temperature danger zone as quickly as possible and then letting it cool. Then, pack it up and store it in your fridge (double check that your fridge temp is at 40 Fahrenheit or lower). I always reheat rice/noodles to 165 Fahrenheit!
  5. How do I make vegan buttercream?
    I am not much of a desserts baker, but I trust Britt from The Banana Diaries with my life if I need an impressive vegan dessert. Her vegan buttercream recipe (with Miyoko’s vegan butter) is incredible and the post itself is highly informative.


  • Susan

    Lovely flowers! And your doggers as always :) Birdhouse bake shop really caught my eye!!
    article on Sourdough was a nice reprint esp for people who are unaware of it’s powerful place in our lives. thank you again for a great news read. Hugs, me

  • Samantha

    Really important and exceptional bell hooks article, thanks for sharing!

  • Kim Fisher

    Thanks again for so many interesting topics and guidance . I’m always intrigued by how often followers ask questions that center around what a post or story doesn’t do as opposed to what it does do – as in why don’t you include nutritional information . Your recipes are by far some of the very best that I’ve found in my vegan/vegetarian journey and i so appreciate you ! Thank you!

  • Beth

    Thank you for your “Saturday Sun”. I always enjoy reading it in bed on Saturdays.