Naturally Dyed Red Velvet Cookie Clouds | Sevengrams

We haven't spent a Valentine's Day weekend at home since we started dating. Instead February 14th has always included some sort of baked treat and outdoor activity. This year, we're changing things up. Our weekend will be filled with copious amounts of basketball, hanging with friends visiting from out of town and these cookies -- currently stashed at the back of our freezer for safe keeping.

Red Velvet is no stranger to this blog, or my kitchen, and seemed fitting for this time of year. I was determined to make a naturally dyed version, and with a little help from Food52 and Joy the Baker, I unlocked the secrets behind naturally dyed red velvet. As for the clouds, well, who really needs a heart shaped treat when they can have a red cloud instead?! Happy love day friends!

PS. If you haven't already, please do hop over to my new Etsy page for a quick look -- more listings to come in the next few months.



Sevengrams Shop

January has come and gone, and if I'm being totally honest, I'm not entirely sure how that happened. We got back from our big trip mid-January, missed the opportunity to wish people a happy new year (apparently thats a social no-no after January 15th), and suddenly its February 1st. Trip photos are forthcoming, I promise, but until then -- an update.

These past few weeks have given me the rare opportunity to take some time away from this space, from the kitchen and the blogger-world. In exchange, I've been able to really think about my site and what it means to me. The blog started as my creative outlet, somewhere to share photos and stories while simultaneously creating an online recipe resource for myself. Nothing overly fancy, just honest, simple and delicious. Over this past year, I think I may have veered off track a bit, and got caught up in the 'pressures' to be what the internet wanted me to be.

In an attempt to stay true to myself, and this space, I'm going to be pulling back a bit. Recipes will be posted when they feel right and when the timing and my schedule allow for it. This creates more time to hang with the people I love, more time to spend outdoors, and more time to launch new and exciting projects >>> like the Sevengrams Shop! There may only be one item for sale right now, but I've got big plans and tons of ideas brewing. I'm hoping to have a variety of towels and posters, all intended to jazz up your kitchen, while still being totally practical. Stay tuned, and be sure to check back over the next couple of months.



Christmas Cookies (A Recap) | Sevengrams

I don't think I've ever been as overwhelmed (or tantalized) by cookies as these past few weeks. As someone who's grown up celebrating Chanukah, christmas cookies was never really a thing in our house. Think latkes and chanukah gelt -- not gingerbread, shortbread or sugar cookies.

That being said, come December 1st, I whole-heartedly embrace all holiday related traditions -- cue Mariah's holiday album, our new christmas cat decals (see below), and my new found love for holiday baking.

Because December is crazzzzy, and a full post just wasn't in the cards, this post is all about sharing the recipes I've found online, baked and loved. Basically just my way of starting my own little holiday cookie tradition. 'Tis the season, right?!

This will be the last post of 2015 -- so wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season, and a fabulous new year! See you in 2016 xx



Harissa Chocolate Bark with Mixed Nuts | Sevengrams

I have my father's side of the family to thank for my chocolate addiction. My grandma keeps May West in the freezer and Whippets in her bed side table, while my dad stashes mini dark chocolate bars throughout the house. I'd like to think one can never be too prepared for when a chocolate craving hits.

Flavoured chocolate, however, has never really been my thing. I'll take plain (preferably dark) chocolate over the salted or orange zested kind any day. That is, until I came across the chili chocolate combo -- the perfect balance of flavours with a very subtle kick. I may have Pinterest to blame, but when a box of Harissa arrived in the mail from the kind folks at Mina, I couldn't stop thinking about some sort of edible holiday gift.

This bark is easy to make, holds a delicate heat from the harissa, an added crunch from the nuts, and is perfect to serve for an impromptu holiday gathering, or to wrap up as gifts. Happy December!



Mulled Apple Cider | Sevengrams

We were recently in Vermont, and as per the recommendation of a friend, we stopped at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill for breakfast dessert and indulged in their famous apple cider donuts. While there, we spotted a giant jug of fresh apple cider and couldn't resist.

The past week has been filled with home-made baked donuts, mugs of warm cider while binging on our new favourite show, brainstorming about how to recreate the epic apple cider sorbet we had in Waterbury, and (naturally) trying to come up with a boozy way to finish off the jug. Mulled wine just felt right, after waking up yesterday to our first snow fall of the season -- filled with all the warmth, aromatics and alcohol one craves this time of year.



Burlington + Waterbury, VT | Sevengrams

This weekend's escape was just what we needed -- a quick trip out of town to focus on us, combined with good food, fantastic beer and fresh country air. I was last in Burlington about 15 years ago, at an age when shopping at Old Navy and Abercrombie - in America - was revolutionary (oh how times have changed). This trip was a little different. After hearing about Vermont's incredible craft beer scene, we headed down primarily for the beer. We were wow-ed by the beer, equally impressed with the food, and fell madly in love with Vermont's charm.



Carrot Cake | Sevengrams

I knew that studying for my licensing exams would be difficult, but the past 3 months were way more intense then I could have ever imagined. I've always been the kind of person who felt she could do it all -- including balancing a full time job, full time studying and my sanity. These past few weeks were a shocking reminder that this isn't always the case. That sometimes, leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight or eating the same thing 5 nights in a row, is not only okay, but is totally acceptable.

Last Monday and Tuesday came and went, and when I woke up the next morning and realized I didn't have to be hidden away studying anymore, I felt like I could finally breathe again. I could once again think about lazy weekend morningssetting up our new apartment, spending time with friends and family, and finally, finally, baking the carrot cake that I had been craving for weeks.

I get that its totally not carrot cake 'season' right now, but a craving is a craving, and after feeling pretty good about accomplishing a mega milestone in my life/career, I had no choice but to succumb to the craving, no questions asked.