Thanksgiving Yam Casserole

If there’s one time that you’ll see me cooking, and actually enjoying it, it’s at Thanksgiving. Some might say that I’m not an Iron Chef (ahem, my boyfriend) but when it comes to this casserole it’s quick, easy, and yummy no matter what I do!

This dish has been passed on for generations in my family and last year I finally obtained the recipe from my Grandmother in hopes that it would become my contribution to our annual Thanksgiving family dinner.

Are you ready for mouth-watering, creamy, and sweet yam goodness? Let’s dive into this recipe together!

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If you’re confused as to which yams I’m talking about, these are the ones! Orange on the inside 馃檪

Ingredients

2 cups mashed yams (some may call it a sweet potato, it’s the orange one)

2 tablespoons Butter

Salt to taste

2 tablespoons Cream

Top of Casserole

1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar

1/2 cup butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325潞 F.
  2. Boil a pot of water big enough to fit 2 cups of cut yams.
  3. Cut a yam into cubes and toss into boiling water until soft enough to mash.
  4. Drain the water and mash the yams in the pot.
  5. Mix in the cream, butter and salt.
  6. Transfer the mashed yam mix into a glass casserole dish.
  7. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a bowl and mix.
  8. Spread the butter and sugar mix on top of the casserole and garnish with pecans.
  9. Bake for 25 minutes until the top of the casserole is bubbling.
  10. Serve hot!

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Happy Thanksgiving all of you lovely people! May your long weekends be full of love, laughs and delicious food!

xoxo,

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Review: L’otus Cake Boutique, Richmond BC

I recently visited one of the newest and greatest little additions to the Richmond area, L’otus Cake Boutique! I had heard about it from a co-worker as the place with “crepe cakes” so obviously I had to check it out right away! I actually visited this little cafe twice within a week, so clearly I think it’s pretty amazing.

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This new spot is extremely popular (aka busy) and they are only open from Tuesday to Sunday from 12-6pm, so there’s a chance that they will run out of product early. When they do run out they post the announcement on their quickly growing Instagram page @lotuscakeboutique

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Mango Mille Crepe (top) and Blue Earl Grey Mille Crepe (bottom).

Menu

Their menu isn’t very large but all of the items are decadent and delicious. The biggest seller right now is the Mille Crepe, pretty much a slice of cake consisting of 16-20 crepes layered between a cream filling. Their flavours include creme br没l茅e, blue earl grey, fresh strawberry, hojicha (a Japanese green tea), and occasionally聽a fruit聽mix聽with bananas, kiwi, and strawberries. They do sometimes have other desserts available such as green tea cheesecake, strawberry shortcake, and mousse cakes!

They have a cafe menu including lattes (unsweetened), traditional green tea latte, and a few other drinks. Their green tea latte is served traditionally in a bowl and is unsweetened so keep that in mind if you’re used to a sweetened one!

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Earl Grey Tea (top) and London Fog (bottom).

What聽We Ordered

The first time I visited, my friend and I went straight for the Mille Crepes, I got the Creme Br没l茅e and she got the Blue Earl Grey. I also ordered the regular latte, but was disappointed because they had no flavour syrups available (and I don’t like strong coffee so a bitter latte wasn’t exactly what I was looking for). My friend ordered the green tea latte, and like I mentioned before it was unsweetened, so also not the greatest.

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Creme Br没l茅e Mille Crepe.

The very first Mille Crepe that I tried, Creme Br没l茅e, was heavenly. The creme was fluffy and the crepes were cooked perfectly. Even the sugar torched on the top was crunchy!

The Blue Earl Grey was also apparently very creamy and had a true earl grey flavour.

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Blue Earl Grey (top) Creme Br没l茅e (bottom)

The second time I visited I ordered the Blue Earl Grey Mille Crepe and my other friend got the Fresh Mango Mille Crepe. This time I decided to order a London Fog, and oddly enough they served it to me in a tea pot with a tiny pouring cup of sweetening syrup! My friend opted for a regular pot of Earl Grey tea. Neither of us were disappointed! The Blue Earl Grey was as good as my friend mentioned to me the first time and when I tasted the Mango Mille Crepe it melted in my mouth.

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Blue Earl Grey Mille Crepe and London Fog latte.

Interior Decor

This boutique is perfect for a clean Instagram photo because the entire place is decked out in white and white marble! Definitely a good photo-opp.

Service (2 visits)

The service was not the very best when I visited this boutique the first time, but it was extremely busy with people lined up to the door. The waiting area consists of only three chairs and there’s also a door that workers come and go through right behind the area so we were constantly moving aside for them. I was confused when I first walked in as there were separate lines for takeout and seating, but no one was coming by to ask how many we were for a table. I ended up going to ask one of the workers, but we waited a good 15-20 minutes to be seated.

We had a lovely time enjoying our mille crepes and lattes but once again when we wanted to pay and leave no one was coming by to check up on us. We probably could have walked out without paying and they wouldn’t notice, but I went up to the counter and asked someone to come over. At this time the place was getting extremely busy and we knew we had to get out quick so someone else could be seated, but the process of paying took a while and the server wasn’t very fast at getting our change.

The second time that I went to L’otus Cake Boutique my friend and I arrived a few minutes before their opening time, 12pm, and we were seated right away. The service in this case was better than the first, but it did get busy pretty quickly. It was more enjoyable for me this time because we weren’t crowded by tons of people!

If you’re planning on going here, try to go right at opening time because even half and hour after it’s busy and the service isn’t the best.

Rating: 8/10 – AMAZING food – beautiful decor – OK service


I will be back, but hopefully at a time when it isn’t too busy! The Mille Crepes are definitely worth trying if you live in the area or are visiting!

xoxo,

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Restaurant Review: Figo Toronto

During my business trip in Toronto, I had the pleasure of dining at the lovely Italian inspired restaurant, Figo.聽My experience was so wonderful that I just had to create an individual review for it! From wood-fired pizzas to made-from-scratch pastas, Figo has got it all.

Design & Decor

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The restaurant itself was stunning and as a lover of flowers (especially roses) the rose ceiling decor made the experience 100x better.

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I love white and Figo was decked out to the nines in white, ivory, and cream coloured furniture and decor. You can only imagine how in love I was when I first walked in. The windows had gigantic rose decor as well and it just added to the elegance of the restaurant.

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Figo had an open kitchen concept and the detail-oriented arch was beautiful. You could smell the different spices, sauces, and plates that they were making, which only made me hungrier!

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The bar shared this arch design and although I was there in the evening when it was dark outside, the bar was lit up quite nicely. The warm lighting throughout really contributed to the overall charm of the restaurant.

Service

If the service isn’t there, then I’m not going back but our waiter was extremely polite and consistent in making sure that we had enough water, that our table was clean, and that plates were cleared immediately upon finishing a dish. 10/10 service in my opinion. You could say that I will be going back the next time I’m in TO! Probably to try out their brunch though 馃槈

Food

Now on to the serious stuff, the FOOD! First of all, who doesn’t love Italian food, even Italian-inspired cuisine? At the time we were dining, Figo was offering a “Love Winter” set menu for $55, and for cuisine like this I thought it was a pretty good deal! My Dad went for the set menu, but I opted for the traditional menu items. I went for the Zucchini Fritti appetizer and the Tortelli pasta as my entree.

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Zucchini Fritti

The Zucchini Fritti was a heavenly combination of thinly sliced and deep-fried zucchini drizzled with a lemon cream and honey. It melted in my mouth, and it was quite a large serving too! I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an appy to share at Figo.

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Tortelli

The Tortelli pasta was equally聽delicious, if not more. It seems that I always choose a menu item with butternut squash in it! This tasty dish was a bowl of freshly made butternut squash and ricotta ravioli drenched in melted butter and topped with sage. Out of all the butternut squash ravioli that I have tried (there are quite a few different ones) I loved this one best and it was probably because it was made from scratch in the restaurant and聽had that fresh, quality taste to it.

Finally, dessert. As you could probably assume, I was quite full by the time dessert rolled around, but I still went for it! That’s something I get from my Dad, never skip out on dessert, duh. I chose the lesser route and got two scoops of gelato and a cookie. Yup, that was the lesser route unfortunately. I got the chocolate and maple gelato and a chocolate dipped chocolate raisin cookie! Honestly, I only ate the chocolate gelato, but I have to say it was rich and mouth-watering good.

So overall, my experience at Figo was very memorable and delectable! This place is definitely Instagram worthy, but better for photos during the day because of the windows surrounding it.聽If you’re out in Toronto, head over for brunch on the weekend or lunch/dinner any day of the week!

xoxo,

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