Saturday Sun 09.16.2023

Created by Laura Wright
A head-on shot shows a small dog curled up on a fuzzy blanket on the sofa.

The last weekend of summer is here! We are heading over the US border (Buffalo area) for a little day trip and to grab a few fun groceries that we can’t get here. I’m hoping to get started on some Fall cleanup garden projects too. But truly I mostly just want to relax a bit! We haven’t had a totally open weekend since the start of summer (and it was a really busy summer in general), so I’m going to relish these free days.

Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks and the US holiday planning follows about a month later, so I am in that mode right now. We’re doing a whole ✨Sides-Giving✨ thing this year with some classics that are surprisingly missing from here (stuffing! mashed potatoes!) as well as lots of unusual salads and veggie options. I had the best peach of the season earlier this week, so it’s all a bit of seasonal whiplash if I can be honest haha. No doubt there will be pumpkin everything in the stores soon!

Hope you’re keeping well, cooking delicious food, and taking care of yourself this weekend!

5 Things I’m Reading:

  1. Pistachios Are Quiet Luxury
  2. The Miyawaki Method: A Better Way to Build Forests?
  3. Why Are You So Tired? Your Sleep Schedule Needs a Reset
  4. Why you can’t decide what to eat for dinner
  5. The Tissue That Connects Our Muscles May Be a Key to Better Health

5 Things I’m Enjoying:

  1. I received a copy of Lyndsay Sung’s Plantcakes and it is so inspiring! Gorgeous and delectable vegan cakes for every occasion with Lyndsay’s perfect guidance. I’m not much of a baker, but she makes it seem so easy and fun.
  2. I’m really into ambience channels on YouTube, always playing one in the background when I’m working. Here’s two of my faves lately: Ambient ASMR and Autumn Blaze.
  3. Dill Pickle Sourdough seems like the world’s most perfect food.
  4. We’ve been enjoying the board game Patchwork recently. It’s a 2 player, low-level competitive game and it’s kind of calming in a way? Perfect for winding down in the evening.
  5. I have a limited time Earlywood Designs 15% discount code for you all! Earlywood makes my favourite flat sauté sticks (the best gift for the cooks in your life) and lots of the other well-made wood cooking tools that you see in my photos here. The code is LAURA15 and it’s valid until September 21st, 2023.

5 Questions:

  1. How do you use Marmite in your cooking?
    Every Thursday on Instagram, I share a cooking tip and this past week I talked about plant-based ingredients that enhance umami in recipes. Marmite/Vegemite is a new one to me but I really love it. It’s super savoury, salty, a bit nutty, so good! It works nicely as an enhancement to mushroom dishes like stew, pasta, mushroom gravy, even a basic sauté–just whisk a small spoon of marmite with some of the warm liquid of the dish and add it back in.
  2. Do you have a go-to daily smoothie?
    Most of the time I’m doing a version of this peanut butter vanilla green shake! Lately I also add broccoli sprouts, a handful of wild blueberries, a scoop of wheat bran, sprinkle of psyllium husk, chia and flax seeds, and always Sprout Living vanilla protein powder. When berries are in season, I do a mixed berry kinda smoothie with almond butter and a bit of frozen banana.
  3. What are some of your favourite things to use your Vitamix for? I just got one!
    Aside from smoothies, I make pretty much all of my salad dressings in the Vitamix, the best homemade nut milk, silky smooth puréed soups, savoury cashew cream for adding richness to recipes (let me know if I should post that as a “basics” kinda recipe on here!), frothy and fun blended coffees, hot chocolate, homemade nut butter, my pickled jalapeño ranch, and vegan sour cream.
  4. When do you use Tamari vs soy sauce vs shoyu?
    This was also part of the umami-rich ingredients discussion for this past Tip Thursday! As far as I know, Tamari is wheat-free and originated as a byproduct of making miso (always check the label if you have a gluten allergy or are cooking for someone with a gluten allergy). Shoyu is the name for Japanese-style soy sauce which is often derived from soy and wheat, giving it a hint of sweetness. Soy sauce is a fermented soy bean product, but it can also contain wheat. The differences are admittedly subtle! Soy sauce and shoyu can be a bit saltier than Tamari. Tamari has more depth and umami. I generally call for Tamari in my recipes because gluten-free dishes are a huge category here and I want to include ingredients that are friendly to that.
  5. How do you keep finding inspiration for Tip Thursday?
    I’ve been cooking for a long time in both professional and home settings. Sometimes I don’t even immediately clue in to the idea that a technique/thing that I do in the kitchen is actually a shortcut or something that could be helpful to another cook. So lately, I try to take notice with all the little things that I do all the time in my cooking life, and I just make a note of them in my Notion. And sometimes I’m just trying a hack that I saw on YouTube and sharing it because it worked! I have Tip Thursday planned out well into 2024 at this point haha.
An overhead shot shows the cover of the cookbook "Plantcakes" by Lyndsay Sung.


  • Penelope

    Hi Laura! I have been admiring your Earlywood sauté sticks for a while now! I see they have three sizes on their site – which one do you prefer? Thanks!

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Penelope! My most-used sauté stick is the Medium. Apologies for the late response.

  • Lyndsay Sung

    Duh I meant to add reach out anytime if you have any questions when baking with my book!! I’m seriously thrilled you’re excited by it and can’t wait to see what you make!! Xo

  • Lyndsay Sung

    Thank you so much Laura for sharing my book Plantcakes!! Honoured! The book has never looked so gorgeous captured in your dappled sunlight/shadows photography style, I love!! I’m so into the Sidesgiving concept! The sides are the best part, mine are drenched in gravy and cranberry, lol! Xo

  • Chelsea

    I love looking forward to your weekend blogs! I find that we have very similar taste in our interests. It’s always stimulating, yet peaceful. Thanks for the 5 things I’m enjoying and 5 things I’m reading. I’ve only been following these weekend blog posts for several weeks and I have learned so much!! THANK YOU so much for showing us gems of information and tranquility among the chaos of the Internet. You are the best!! :)
    Sincerely, one of your biggest fans!!

  • Kim H

    Happy Saturday, Laura! I just want to show my gratitude for everything that you share with us. My family and I immensely enjoy your recipes, but I also love the other content that you share. It’s all so calming in an otherwise frantic world. I’ve come to really value your opinion. I hope that you consider a fee based platform (like other bloggers who have gone to substack). You should be well-paid for this valuable work that you do.

    So many thanks! And I am so excited for Sides-Giving!

    • Susan J

      Hi Laura and Kim!
      Kim, I agree with you – 100%. You’ve perfectly expressed how I feel too. Laura, your generous, creative and intelligent content is always so appreciated – thanks and Happy Saturday to you both!

      Laura, I was in Buffalo to do some fun grocery shopping last week and – arghh! – I forgot a few fave things (coconut aminos!) from Trader Joe’s in all of my excitement. Would love to hear about anything you find and love… have fun!