Thanksgiving and Halloween-esque weekend fun

This past long weekend was intimate and fun-filled. My sister (Auntie Mel Mel) came to visit us for Thanksgiving, and especially to see her dear nephew. It had been a while and Keaton missed his auntie. He seemed to instinctively know right away when we asked him a few days prior who was visiting.

Being almost eight months pregnant and preparing all the food was tiring, to be sure, as I’d spent the whole day in the kitchen. But my husband was helpful in taking our son to the park to give me the space needed to get things done. I don’t think I sat down that day with all the cooking and cleaning, which later prompted a short syncope episode.

It was a lovely meal. I did pretty good, which I’m proud of. It made me joyous to see my family — mom, dad, my sister, my husband, my son — all gathered at the table and enjoying food and time together. I was particularly happy to see my sister eating a few hearty plates, especially because she’d been on a strict diet for many years due to debilitating health reasons. To see her indulge after successfully improving her health was heartwarming.

I’d baked a pumpkin cream cheese bundt cake for dessert, which I think was one of the best of its kind I’ve baked so far. Though, aesthetically, this time around it didn’t turn out so cute. I also tried piping some decorative black icing on top to give the cake a Halloween touch, but I made it even worse. I had to cover up the black tracks somehow, so I sprinkled an unforgiving amount of orange sprinkles on top, whilst using red icing blobs as the glue. Not the cutest cake, but very scrumptious nonetheless.

I’ve also been craving pie from Rockaberry in Montreal, so my sister kindly ordered one and brought it with her on her trip here. Their infamous blueberry crumb cheese pie is my favourite, but this time I opted for their pumpkin pie to honour the season. It was also an emotional decision because it reminded me of my husband and I’s marriage weekend, where we’d ordered pumpkin pie to celebrate. I’ve been missing Montreal a lot these days, more so Verdun where my husband and I shared our first milestones. We’d often order cakes from Rockaberry, and seeing their cake again on our table served as a sweet reminder.

My sister was here for the long weekend, so of course, a farm visit had been arranged. We went back to Saunders Farm, which we’d visited this past summer with Nana, my mother-in-law. This was the first visit for my sister and parents. My husband and I knew we wanted to go back; after all, they’re wildly known for their spooky Halloween activities.

Since it was a daytime visit, the activities were family-friendly. I could tell my sister enjoyed the visit, especially sharing the experience with her nephew. My parents, too, had fun. It’s not often that they get to spend time with their daughters and grandkids, doing activities, all at once. Keaton also got to enjoy the Halloween festivities, without them being too much of a scary experience for him. He especially enjoyed the usual play structures and jumbo jumpers.

We went into one of the haunted houses, which, my husband being the Halloween fanatic that he is, ushered us to try. The staging and the decorative and musical elements were impressive. I was especially proud of Keaton and my elderly parents for making it through. Though, Keaton did hold on tight to his auntie the whole time, and my mom also led my dad by the hand the whole way — to keep him alive, that is, because he was so distracted taking videos that he might not have seen where he was going. I’m surprised I didn’t pee myself, either. As a pregnant woman with serious urinary incontinence, I really should’ve worn adult diapers. Elderly people, a toddler, a pregnant woman… I’m sure we looked like a funny bunch.

After that haunted house, my husband and I went to the witch’s coven on our own, as everyone else had had enough scares for the day. Despite all the witchcraft and satanic ritual imageries, I must say that the walk-through was rather romantic. I loved the autumn feels and sceneries. The haunted hayride was also so much fun. The line-up was long and it was especially brutal in the sharp cold, but it was worth it. We all got a good scare on the wagon. Keaton just cuddled next to daddy whilst holding his big lollipop. I’m even convinced that because of the speed and bumps of the hayride, my baby probably really did do a u-turn inside my belly (she was breech). Who would’ve known!

Happy Fall & Thanksgiving

This year’s pumpkin cream cheese bundt cake, which has been Keaton approved.

Happy Thanksgiving! Here in Canada, it’s Thanksgiving weekend. Yesterday, we celebrated with Kong-Ma, and it was a big success. While it wasn’t my first time clumsily patting down and cooking a big bird, it was my first time celebrating Thanksgiving and hosting it myself. (My first exposure to turkey, and naturally, to panic itself, was a few years ago, when we hosted a traditional turkey supper for the meeting of my parents and in-laws on New Year’s Eve.) I’m quite proud of myself. I spent a whopping day in the kitchen — thank you to my husband who took Keaton outside so that I could cook — and even spared some time to clean the floors before Kong-Ma’s arrival. Everything was cooked and prepared on time — and just as Keaton-ai was starting to get hungry for supper after having played and laughed so much with his grandparents.

And there they were on our rustic wooden table, reminiscent of past celebrations: a juicy turkey fresh out of the oven, buttery mashed potatoes and carrots, broccoli, some gravy and cranberry sauce, and soulful red wine. Plus my all-time favourite autumn bake: pumpkin cream cheese bundt cake. (Between you and me, I completely skipped out on all the traditional pumpkin spices both out of pragmatism and laziness, and instead just used a generous heap of cinnamon and extra pumpkin puree.) It turned out so heavenly and delicious! The texture, the moisture, the shape, the taste. I think it was my best bake so far. It looked like autumn, and felt even more like one of my husband and I’s early dates. “Did you forget the flour?” my husband joked. Keaton had some of the pumpkin cake earlier that afternoon, and he loved it. When he arrived home from his walk with daddy, he kept pointing at it and asking for some. (He has an eye for the good things in life.) I broke off a chunk from the back of the cake for him, and next thing I knew, my little guy was getting first dibs on Thanksgiving dessert. (Shhh, no one knew that that part of the cake was broken or could see the back, anyway.)

Kong-Ma had a good time. Mama especially enjoyed her red wine and rum and coke, as well as all her turkey bones and innards. When you come from a family like ours, you’re aware that if it’s part of an animal, it’s fair game. All is edible and delectable. We know Mama had a good time when her eyelids were beginning to retire down yonder, her cheeks were becoming rosy, and she was laughing more than usual. (I’m laughing as I write this, because we all know how serious and militant my mom is.) Keaton also enjoyed his Thanksgiving meal and had a good time. It’s as if he was aware that it was a special meal and occasion that we were celebrating. I also appreciate that Thanksgiving supper always means leftovers to share with loved ones, and to enjoy ourselves the following day. Today, hearing my husband express just how scrumptious the meal is, brought me all the joy in the world.

While Thanksgiving was already plentiful and joyous, the cherry on top of the day was a surprise visit from my brother and his family. After one and a half years, I finally had the chance to see my nieces again. It felt surreal. The last time I hugged them was the night that we brought Keaton home from the hospital. So much time was lost. I didn’t get to watch them grow — kids, and especially pre-teens, grow and change a lot in a year — and they didn’t get to witness or hold their baby cousin, Keaton, either. I felt grateful and elated to see them, even if it was a short visit of a few minutes. It was also heartbreaking that Keaton cried — both for him and for them. Of course he cried. It had been over a year since he was born, and he didn’t recognize them, who, to him, were masked strangers. It was an unfamiliar sight. Yet there was peace in having my son and my beloved nieces finally meet. And for me, I felt like a proud aunt. I could see that my nieces were growing to be intelligent, mindful, and loving ladies.

Thanksgiving was one of the most heartwarming days I’ve had in a long time. There’s a boiling volcano within me, to be sure, and life is filled with challenges for us — and more so than ever — but we have each other and we’re surrounded by love, support, and abundance. I’ve always appreciated the little fleeting moments in life, and it’s still true for me today as a grown woman with a family of my own. This is why moments like these — eating food for which I’m grateful, spending time with my family and in nature, and loving and being loved — are enough to sustain me. I’d even argue that these, as well as purpose, really are the only pillars that we need as a human species to survive and thrive.

Serene foggy morning, and an eye candy at that.

These days, I feel my soul longing to reconnect with nature. In a way, I’m glad we’ve been experiencing constant mind-numbing construction noise and explosives next to us, even if they’ve made life for us unbearable, especially with a toddler. Our mental health has also taken a deep dive. Life is bizarre these days, to say the least. It’s as if we have a home and don’t at the same time. Yet there’s beauty in adversity. While it feels as though we’re escaping our home every day — and there’s pain in that, because it’s supposed to be our safe haven — it’s also, in essence, a blessing. We get to go out and breathe in the morning fresh air and feel the crisp autumn breeze against our cheeks, all before the streets are filled with the scurry of morning traffic. We were lucky one morning. When we exited our abode, we were greeted by fog — the most beautiful I’d ever seen, and it was even more sightly by the lake. Just the sight of it was enough to make me feel some calm and healing in my heavy heart. It felt good to be alive, healthy, and able.

The fog continued along our morning walk, or, shall I say, we accompanied the fog on its morning delight.

Have autumn leaves been tickling your feet where you are? Where we live, it’s taken quite some time for the leaves to transform into their majestic reds, oranges, and yellows. I’m unsure if it’s just me, or if this year autumn really is taking its time. It’s only recently, right at Thanksgiving, that we’ve really begun to see the true spirit of autumn. And what a sight. I can’t wait for more, and to splash around with leaves like a kid all over again. The first time I had this much fun with leaves under a tree — almost like an excited teacup puppy, if you will — was on my husband and I’s first wedding anniversary, which was a few days before Thanksgiving. My son studied me curiously and then joined in on the fun, and in his spirit of support, dropped a leaf in my hair. In retrospect, rather than celebrate our special day, we simply acknowledged and honoured it. With a demanding toddler and fits of tantrums, our only goal that day was to survive. Funnily, life for us has become so raw and unedited, that, what’s become romance to us, is equipping ourselves with shields and armours against our son, our most beloved arch-nemesis, and resuscitating each other back to life in the battlefield. (That’s about as much lip action as we’ll get. That’s also love, commitment, and unity.) We’ve learned that we’re not entitled to special days — life doesn’t work that way — but it’s up to us to choose the road of least resistance, which, in essence, is presence itself and gratitude.

Our Halloween gingerbread house! Featuring Keaton-ai’s stickers. Always gotta have stickers with me.

Now, we’re looking forward to Halloween. We already have our stash of chocolates and candies ready for the 31st, and have even begun our nightly marathons of horror films that my husband chose for us. I can’t wait for us to all dress up as the “Bat Family” in honour of Batman. Keaton will be “Baby Bat,” of course. He looks so stinkin’ cute in his costume — all those baby muscles! Hopefully, my husband and I will also have some downtime to ourselves. If our wedding anniversary wasn’t on our side, hopefully Halloween will be. It’s us, after all.

The “Bruno’s birthday”

My husband turned a handsome and much loved 39 last week. When I asked him what scones he wanted for his birthday breakfast, he didn’t hesitate: he wanted matcha chocolate chip scones, and only matcha chocolate chip scones.

I had no idea when I baked matcha scones for the first time that they’d turn out to be his all-time favourite flavour. After all, he’s never been much of a matcha ninja like me — at least not self-confessed. But was I ever pleasantly surprised and happy that my BFF was just as excited as I was.

Since I bake matcha scones regularly, for my husband’s birthday I added sprinkles to the scones to give them a joyful touch. I even named them the “Bruno’s birthday” scone — a signature look and flavour in honour of my love’s birthday. They turned out so delicious and super cute and fun. He ate three in one go right after they popped out of the oven!

Scones weren’t the only nom noms that my husband had requested for his birthday. He’d also requested a red velvet cheesecake. I’ve baked cheesecakes before, but never have I baked anything red velvet, so I felt quite intimidated.

“Gods of gluttony, please guide my poor soul!” I prayed.

Clueless as I was about how to deliver this cake — I’m very well-versed in eating it, though — since my love requested it, I knew I had to deliver his birthday wish and put a smile on his face.

The sprinkles bled a little when I put the cake in the fridge overnight, but the swirls they created reminded me of the galaxy.

There were so many variations of red velvet cheesecake scattering the internet that I didn’t know which one to choose. I ended up going with a recipe that was tailored for mini cheesecakes, and had many burning questions tickling my tired brain in the midst of baking.

“Do I bake it in the oven for twice as long since I’m baking a whole cake? Is the red velvet portion supposed to be soft and cake-y, or dense and fudgy?” I had no idea; I was just going to wing it.

In the end, the cake turned out a wee over-baked but successful overall. I’d never baked with cocoa or used food colouring, or even thought about attempting anything red velvet, so I was quite happy.

Here’s the recipe I used for the red velvet cheesecake:

Note to my husband: I’m sorry, my love, the day turned out less than ideal. But for what it’s worth, I hope you enjoyed the sweet treats, our son’s delighted joy, and know that you are so loved and appreciated. Happy birthday many times over.

Fruit x plosion choco chip scones

Last night was mama’s night. Little One fell asleep early — go figure, he hadn’t napped much at all throughout the day — and I had the chance to relax to my heart’s content. It was a warm and summery starry night and I had wine on the balcony, kissed by fairy lights all around me. Then came my test of commitment when my eyelids began to tremble at 10PM — to bake scones or not to bake! And bake I did, while watching Paul Hollywood’s “City Bakes.”

The scones were one big fruit explosion. They were a heavenly mix of strawberries, raspberries, cherries, and pomegranate — and chocolate chips! The only caveat was that I added too much fruit. Because the fruits were frozen and I added plenty, a lot of moisture escaped into the dough, thereby deforming the shape of the scones and making them more soft than usual.

Taste wise, I don’t know what it was this time around, but the dough tasted better than ever. I also appreciated taking mouthfuls of fruit at every bite. It was light and summery, and tangy and sweet at the same time, especially with the chocolate chips to balance the flavour. Scrumptious.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (I added less salt because I used salted butter)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (I only had salted on hand, and a few chunks were missing)*
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Too much frozen fruit
  • All the chocolate chips in the world

*A little rabbit had stolen some butter for toast one morning. She’ll be forever unnamed.

Please see the original ingredients and recipe here:

PB choco chip scones

Baking scones is my new drug and all-time high. I’ve been on a baking spree ever since I baked them for the first time just last week. These PB chocolate chip scones are my 5th bake! Baking scones is such a joyous experience for me that it would be madness not to bake them, especially now that Keaton is one and I’m beginning to have some snippets of time in the night.

This special request was by my husband. He’d specifically sniffed out PB and milk chocolate chips on our trip to Bulk Barn, to concoct his signature scone — and he’s proud of it, too. We both are. These scones are scrumptious — calling all PB lovers! While it was tempting to keep devouring them, we had to put a break on our bellies. Tomorrow and the following mornings are young; we’re in good company for breakfast.

My energy was zapped tonight, and I had a choice between relaxing on the couch and watching a movie with my husband — and, as always, praying to the Little Lord that he gives us a break for the night — or baking. While the former felt like the more fitting choice for my mood and energy level, I decided to bake scones instead; and in doing so is where I happily found my energy and zest. Hubs hasn’t seen me this excited in a long while, and neither have I. And it feels darn good.

I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment in doing something as simple as baking recently. Finding something to do and creating time to accomplish it — be it baking, writing, or reading — in the midst of motherhood and a pandemic is crucial for me, as it gives me a sense of achievement and purpose. I’m starting to feel more in alignment again with who I am, and that’s when I know I’m headed in the right direction. I’m doing right by myself, aren’t I? I’m happy with that.

Matcha scones

I love, love matcha desserts. Matcha and scones — it’s a seductive combination that’s almost unearthly. This sexy culture that’s glorified in today’s society — forget it, nothing tempts me. I’m only foaming at the mouth if I see matcha scones. They just do this thing, argh. How does one even write about it? Help, I’m clogged for words.

I’ve only had a few matcha scones in my life thus far, but I do have my reserved all-time favourite. Funnily, while I’m not vegan, my favourite matcha scones are actually from Little Jo Berry’s in Ottawa, an all-vegan bakery that’s very much loved by locals. When I lived there, I’d often order half a dozen scones for my parents and I. All her scones are witty and clever, but it was the matcha that tickled my taste buds into pure bliss.

When I moved to Montreal in 2017, I stopped at a matcha teahouse on the first day. I’d scoured the internet for the best matcha scones in the city and braved the cold March weather to find solace for my tired soul. But when I saw their matcha scones in the display case, they looked sad — like they’d had a bad day. And I knew. After the first bite, I felt disappointed, but more so, saddened. Their matcha scone was sadly stale and lacking in flavour, which was unfortunate, because reviews were raving.

Today, and years later, I baked matcha scones myself. It was my first time baking them, and if it’s not too much to say, they were the best matcha scones I’ve ever eaten. They were actually the best scones I’ve had the pleasure of devouring. I’m partial because I’m weak in the knees for matcha; nevertheless, how these scones turned out on all levels was pure heaven.

I wasn’t shy when it came to adding matcha powder. I wanted my scones to be green, green; I wanted to smell the matcha and to taste it at first bite. Heck, I wanted to eat matcha! There was no other way. I added spoonfuls of matcha like my life depended on it.

I needn’t say more. I’m just in a coma of disbelief. I cracked the code. I baked my ideal scone. I’ve accomplished my life’s purpose. I’m at peace.

Maple cinnamon scones

As soon as my petit chou fell asleep, off to the kitchen I went for some much needed ‘me-time’ and moment of creativity. Cheers, mamas, to late night bakings when our little ones are nestled in a slumber.

I’ve been on a scone-baking kick lately, and last night I baked maple cinnamon scone goodies! I love, love maple scones; they’re absolutely magical. Yet even if they were definitely on my list of upcoming flavours to bake, I did feel a bit skeptical and worried about how they’d turn out. I knew that baking with maple is tricky and that there was a possibility of the scones tasting rather maple-less and more cinnamon-y.

I was proven wrong by these scones. To my surprise, they turned out divine. I could taste and feel the ethereal yet grounded relationship between the maple and cinnamon — their relationship was believable and heartfelt. And tasty! The maple was light and unassuming, yet passionate and mighty in its presence; meanwhile, the cinnamon played the role of the wise old sage.

Texture wise, on the inside it looked and felt more like a quick bread than a scone itself. Since it was my third time baking scones — I don’t have much experience and am a newbie at this — I’d attribute its quick bread-like identity to the eggs.


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (I used almost double that amount!)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs

For the glaze, I used icing sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and maple syrup.

I tweaked the original recipe a wee bit. To see the original recipe and instructions, please refer to the following website:

‘Nana chocolate chip scones

A little mouse started picking at a certain scone… we shall not name who.

My husband adored my first batch of scones so much — I myself wasn’t that big of a fan — that he requested an ingredient for the next batch: chocolate chips. For him, it wasn’t just the excitement of delicious scones baked with his chosen ingredient, but it was more so the excitement that I was baking them for him. Thus he scurried to the grocery store and grabbed his pack of chocolate chips without further ado; and when he arrived home, my heart melted. It just warmed my heart how he never ceases to find joy in the little details.

Every time I opened the pantry, I’d lock eyes with his pack of chocolate chips that were sweetly awaiting me, so I knew: I couldn’t wait long. Just a few days later, I ended up baking banana chocolate chip scones. They were so, so scrumptious. I must say I’m quite proud of myself, especially since I wasn’t too crazy about my lemon blueberry ones — the first scones I’d ever baked. I was surprised because I thought the chocolate chips would make for too sweet of a scone, but they were pretty subtle — they actually added a bit of a salty touch, too. The royal affair between the delicate but sweet banana notes and the sweet yet salty chocolate chips was pure heaven.

Since bananas are wet and runny, I was also a bit worried about them defeating the inherent shape of the scones — the bananas did amend the shape a little — but overall, the scones held quite well after being baked. Something simple I could’ve done while moulding the dough, though, was add some flour to subdue the stickiness. Yet after all is said and done, it was a lovely success.

There are two scones left for tomorrow morning’s breakfast, and writing about them is making my mouth water already. Oh, I can’t wait for morning to arrive. Scones with a wee bit of butter and a hot cuppa coffee in the morning — and hopefully a cooperative 1-year-old — that’s living life on the sexy lane.


  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (I accidentally put 1 tsp and slyly scooped some out, oopsie)
  • 1/2 cup butter (I used unsalted)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 medium ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (or the whole bag!)

The recipe and instructions are from the following website:

Please refer to that website for detailed instructions.

If I can remember with vivid detail, the only tweak I made was that after grating the refrigerated butter, I popped it in the freezer for 15 minutes before mixing it in. After adding the butter, I also chilled the mixture while I worked on the wet ingredients. Lastly, there’s something else that I did differently: I didn’t let the scones cool down. The mouse was me. I popped right in and stole a hot scone and nibbled away!

Lemon blueberry scones

Scones are my favourite breakfast-brunch-tea-time treats. A spring morning with a divine scone in hand and some clotted cream or Devonshire cream and jam on the side, and a nice cuppa coffee — that’s my happy place.

When I think of scones, I think of my youth — I think of Ottawa and my university days, and my best friends and the fond memories we shared. And it makes me both happy and sad. Happy, because I smile thinking back on when my friends and I would meet for scones on weekends, or sometimes between lectures, at our favourite local shops, and just chat about nothings and everythings. Those were the promising days of youth and sweet liberties. Equally, I feel just as sad thinking back on those moments because I really miss my youth and my friends from the past.

I may be partial, but now that I live in Montreal — and am a cranky window meerkat as a result — my soul lives in deprivation, because frankly, scones here are meh. “I don’t know what people are raving about,” I tell my husband. “It’s nothing like The Scone Witch in Ottawa.” Yet even if my husband would often reassure me that we’ll be going to Ottawa soon, and that scones are on the next horizon, I give him full reign to give me his quirky eye roll, because I’ve hammered it in way too often, and I’m sure he’s going deaf by the minute.

Nevertheless, I found my interim solace in a neighbourhood cheese shop that also sells pastries and scones. It’s a cute-as-a-button shop and a neighbourhood gem, and their scones tend to sell out fast. But shhh, we shan’t say more of it — we shall keep it secret. Even if their scones are unlike the ones I grew up with in Ottawa, they still fill my heart with joy because they’re quite scrumptious. Moreover, in a quarantine where visiting family and friends is prohibited — when life is depressing and hard enough — there’s something uplifting about the simple act of grabbing a treat at a local shop.

I must admit, what was at first a treat, became a real addiction. There was a time in the past when my husband would walk to the shop to grab us some scones as soon as it opened at 9 AM, or times when we’d pass by and drop in to see if they had any left for the day. Those days were long gone. Now, it’s become religion for us to call ahead of time so that they can put some aside for us. How’s life in quarantine and lockdown, you might ask? Just scones. My body, mind, and soul is one big scone.

Since I started making scones part of my almost-daily sexy breakfast regime, and it was getting increasingly costly to buy them, I decided to try baking them myself. I’d intended to bake them ages ago since I was a little shrimp, yet somehow, the occasion kept escaping me; or, rather, I kept making excuses as to why they’d be complicated, when in reality, they’re ever so simple to bake. Now that I finally baked them, I can proudly say that I’ve had my closure in life.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries, plus some!


Pre-heat oven to 400 F.

Put flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest in a large bowl and whisk. Grate the cold butter and put it in the flour mixture, and mix with your fingers until the mixture becomes a bread crumb texture. Put it in the fridge while you prepare the wet mixture.

In a small bowl, whisk the cream, egg, and vanilla extract. Pour the mix into the dry mix. Add the blueberries. Knead the dough into a ball and then spread it over the counter into a flat circle. Cut into 8 pieces. Place them on a lined baking sheet and in the fridge for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, put the scones in the oven for about 22-25 minutes, until the edges are a golden brown.

This was the recipe I used:

I’m so happy I finally baked scones after all the years I intended to try baking them myself. It’s even more of a success story since aesthetically they turned out pretty cute, especially for a first-timer. The texture was also agreeable, like the ones we’d buy in store. Yet while my husband thought they tasted fine — the lemon zest giving them some sass — for me there was a slight floral note that I wasn’t a big fan of. From the frozen blueberries? The lemon zest itself? Or the intermingling of the baking powder? It was all unclear to me.

Nevertheless, I was quite fond of the colour — the soft rippling hues of blue coming from the blueberries. I actually learned after the fact that I could’ve coated the frozen blueberries with some flour, to lessen the bleeding. While it was neat to learn, I found them pleasing just as they were. As for the shapes, I promise, it’s not what it seems: I’m not that clumsy at cutting equal pieces. I swear, I was just in a rush between baking the scones, cooking salmon for my family, and vacuuming the sofa — all in one shot!

There’s much for me to learn and practice when it comes to baking scones. They might look and be simple to bake, but there’s much precision and passion involved in birthing their very essence. This is only the beginning, and I’m already excited to learn the map to their soul. There’s something satisfying about being your own boss baker, and baking scones at your heart’s whims rather than buying them in store. It’s quite romantic. I look forward to baking more, and to trying different flavours and combinations. My husband and I’m sure my 1-year-old son, will be some happy taste-testers.

Happy Belated Halloween 2020!

It was a beautiful sunny Halloween day here in Montreal. We started our morning watching “Beetlejuice” (1988) and going for a lovely autumn walk with our son, which was followed by baking a pumpkin cream cheese bundt cake together later in the afternoon and then having sushi. The night ended with us watching our movie tradition: “The Nightmare Before Christmas” (1993).

Our pumpkin cream cheese bundt cake

When my husband and I started dating, baking a pumpkin cream cheese bundt cake was one of the first activities we did together. I even popped the mixture in the oven without the flour! “How embarrassing,” I thought to myself. Three years later, this cake would pay homage to one of our earliest memories, and cakes, together. It was very scrumptious, although I wish I’d added more sugar to the cream cheese layer. As always, though, it was even better the next day.

Here’s the recipe we used:

It wasn’t so much a spooky Halloween as much as a heartwarming one. Spending time together as a family — it was Keaton’s first Halloween, too — was the cherry on top of it all. We even tried dressing our little one in his first Halloween costume: a cookie monster spin-off that his auntie had bought him. But it lasted only a few minutes while we took a few comical photos, because he hated it. “Why am I all furry and poofy? Why the suffering?” He must’ve thought.

It was also endearing to see little kiddos on our street dressed up in costumes and trick-or-treating, and to see households concocting innovative ideas to give out candies to kids while still respecting the social distancing protocol. Candy tube slides? Wow! We were amazed at how creative and motivated our neighbourhood was. Pandemic aside, a sense of community prevailed.

My husband and I were bummed to not have participated. But with a baby on board in our home, it was important to us that we remained as safe and vigilant as possible. Hopefully next year we’ll give out candies — even have Keaton dressed up in a costume and going trick-or-treating!

The ‘mommy and daddy secret candy stash’

Our son was so good, he even let us enjoy our Halloween day in sweet tranquility. He allowed us to relax, cuddle, and watch movies and binge on candies and chocolates while he happily entertained himself with his toys. It must’ve been one of the first official ‘couple times’ for us in, what, 8 months? We live in fear. We live to serve the Little Lord.