Kelly's Bake Shoppe - Burlington, Ontario - Review

River enjoying the very decadent dairy free Ice Cream Sundae that the beautiful ladies at Kelly's Bake Shoppe made for him.

River enjoying the very decadent dairy free Ice Cream Sundae that the beautiful ladies at Kelly's Bake Shoppe made for him.

I have spent the majority of my life living in a medium sized lakeside city, called Burlington, which is just outside of the Greater Toronto Area. Burlington has been tagged one of the top 5 cities to live in within the entire country of Canada and I really do feel quite blessed to have been raised in this beautiful, friendly town. I have moved from Burlington, to Toronto, back to Burlington, back to Toronto, and all of that once more since residing here again with my son for the past 2 years. My parents still live here, in the home I spent my teen-aged years in. River is now lucky enough to enjoy the over-sized backyard that they take great pride in caring for. It is full of life in the summer, full of truly fantastic 100 year old trees and covered in a gorgeous canopy of fresh green foliage. They have a thriving vegetable and fruit garden larger than any backyard that I ever had in Toronto, 3 bustling bee hives and a lovely array of Canadian wildlife visitors; all of whom River loves receiving visits from. He and I are so lucky that he has exposure to all of that, consistently, in his young life. Learning to care for plants, learn and recognize herbs and lettuces, fruits and vegetables. Picking his own food and eating it fresh from the earth. He watches the work ethic of the bees, the non existent ego of the community, working away for the greater good; something incredible that we could all learn from. I am so happy from the very depths of me that this experience exists for him just a few blocks away from us in town. 

We are also very lucky to have wonderful schools to choose from here in town. River starts his first day of Jr. Kindergarten (more like pre-school) tomorrow, in a lovely and rich environment that mirrors the sort of kind and creative upbringing that I strive to create for him at home. The Halton Waldorf School is one of the reasons that we can exist here so comfortably. Although there are locations in other cities, this one happens to be just up the street (biking distance as a matter of fact), and full of familiar old faces from the days that I attended a Waldorf School many, many moons ago.

The downtown core of Burlington is one of my favorites of all of the towns that I have seen in my life. It is lakeside, gorgeous, well kept and bursting with personality. Within the last couple of years especially, it has flourished into a busy core of delicious restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, weekend craft and farmers markets as well boutiques of all sorts. Because of our lifestyle, we are often limited by the places that we can snack and eat in. But not here! Burlington has a thriving vegan community. It has been for decades, and continues to grow and grow. We have a few of the most incredibly delicious, award winning vegan restaurants and a bakery right here in our downtown core. Our favorite of all of these places is Kelly's Bake Shoppe, co-owned by a Mother/Daughter duo - Kelly Childs & Erinn Weatherbie. This bright and successful bake shop has been operating for about 2 years now. Fortunately for us, around the same time we moved back to town and just in time for River to be at the age where gets to have some special treats from time to time. This is our go to spot for ice cream in the summer and cupcakes, brownies or rice crispy squares in the winter; all of course, freshly baked, gluten free, nut free, soy free and vegan! This is amazing not just for vegans, but for those with dietary restrictions and allergies. It is an allergen free safe zone. Kids with nut allergies, dairy allergies, egg allergies, wheat allergies - all safely gather here and ENJOY Kelly and Erinn's amazing goodies.

Kelly's Bake Shoppe - Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Kelly's Bake Shoppe - Burlington, Ontario, Canada

Chocolate Mint Cupcake - Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free & Nut Free (Another one of my favorites!)

Chocolate Mint Cupcake - Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free & Nut Free (Another one of my favorites!)

Mexican Chocolate Cupcake - Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free & Nut Free

Mexican Chocolate Cupcake - Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free & Nut Free



Kelly's Bake Shoppe has won Best Bakery, Best Cupcakes and Best Desserts two years standing in all of Burlington. They were also given the title of Best Bakery and Best Dessert from The Toronto Vegetarian Association in 2013. This gorgeous duo is destroying the stereotype that gluten free, dairy free or egg free baked goods are any less delicious than their traditional versions (which happen to be chalk full of all the not so good stuff). I actually prefer most of their baked goods over the old classics, regardless of ingredients, and anyone I have given the taste test challenge to completely agrees.

River's most favorite item on the menu is only available during the summer months; Chocolate & Vanilla Soft Serve Swirl (usually I only let him have a few sprinkles on top, but for his astounding cooperation on photo day, I rewarded him with vegan Jelly Beans and Gummy Bears!). As the last days of summer are upon us, I feel a little bit sad that he won't have anymore ice cream sundaes until next year! I guess we'll just have to settle for cupcakes... rough life.

Dairy Free Ice Cream Sundae with Vegan Jelly Beans and Gummy Bears from Kelly's Bake Shoppe

Dairy Free Ice Cream Sundae with Vegan Jelly Beans and Gummy Bears from Kelly's Bake Shoppe

On an average day at Kelly's, you can choose from around 12 different flavors of cupcakes, an assortment of cookies, brownies (their Mile High Brownie is award winning - a bit too much for me, but I have heard it's delicious!), rice crispy squares, donuts & muffins. They also offer Balzac's Coffee and have a fantastic range of teas by Sloane Fine Tea Merchants. A freshly steeped cup of Heavenly Cream tea and half of a Lemon Cupcake is practically heaven (save the other half for later, or gobble it all up one go if you like!).

Lemon Cupcake - Vegan, Gluten Free ,Soy Free & Nut Free (My personal favorite!)

Lemon Cupcake - Vegan, Gluten Free ,Soy Free & Nut Free (My personal favorite!)

Root Beer Float Cupcake - Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free & Nut Free

Root Beer Float Cupcake - Vegan, Gluten Free, Soy Free & Nut Free

This bake shop is also in the habit of creating holiday and seasonal cupcake flavors. These are usually the most exciting and delicious of all (maybe because they are limited edition and you can only get your hands on them for a short period of time). It was August when I went I photographed these treats, and they had their successful Root Beer Float cupcake available. Truthfully, it was not my cup of tea, but whatever floats your boat! This month, they are welcoming the soon-to-be autumn season with a very cozy and "Canadiana" sounding cupcake flavor called Apple Crumble. It looks and sounds delicious!

River enjoying the last bites of his Soft Serve vegan Ice Cream at Kelly's Bake Shoppe

River enjoying the last bites of his Soft Serve vegan Ice Cream at Kelly's Bake Shoppe

Kelly's Bake Shoppe is located downtown Burlington, Ontario at 401 Brant Street. It is definitely worth a whole bunch of visits!

Hours of Operation:

Monday - Closed
Tuesday & Wednesday -  10 am - 6 pm
Thursday & Friday - 10 am to 9 pm
Saturday - 9 am to 9 pm
Sunday - 11 am to 5 pm

If you aren't already following me on Instagram, please make sure to do so! In celebration of all things cupcakes and especially the incredibly divine creations at Kelly's Bake Shoppe, I am giving away a $50.00 gift card for Kelly's Bake Shoppe as an Instagram Giveaway! Please follow @caitmizzi @flourchildca and @kellysbake for more details!
 

Revolution

Earlier in the summer I had the great pleasure of crossing paths with an adorable model named Christy Battell. We were bunkered down working on a commercial, the type of work that I am likely to complain about doing because the days are so long and I usually miss seeing my son all together. However, situations like this one remind me that I am blessed to work in an industry where I get to meet some incredibly interesting and very influential people. People that end up shaping me in ways that really make a difference to who I am and what path I take. 

Revolution

Revolution

Christy and I immediately got to talking; I liked her vibe. She was calm, sweet, and intelligent and had many interesting stories to share. We somehow landed on the topic of my blog, food and veganism, and quite naturally that brought us down the road of environmentalism. She brought up the film Revolution very casually, figuring I would have already seen it. But to her surprise, and to mine, I hadn’t! I probed her for more details as the title immediately struck a nerve and my imagination over the subject matter started to take flight. She mentioned that Rob Stewart had produced and directed it, the same individual who had made the film Shark Water in 2007. Shark Water is a breath taking documentary exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world's shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island in Costa Rica and in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador. As soon as I knew who was involved in the project, I was certain the film would be beautiful at the very least, because the cinematography in Shark Water was absolutely captivating. Christy then thrust her iPhone at me and the official trailer for Revolution was just beginning as I looked down at the screen. I realized that this was nothing to take lightly. The content rattled me, shook me up and made my heart tight in my chest. It did it's job, and it did it's job well. I needed to see more right away.

 

“In an effort to uncover the truth and find the secret to saving the ecosystems we depend on for survival, Stewart embarks on a life-threatening adventure. From the coral reefs in Papua New Guinea and deforestation in Madagascar to the largest and most destructive environmental project in history in Alberta, Canada, he reveals that all of our actions are interconnected and that environmental degradation, species loss, ocean acidification, pollution and food/water scarcity are reducing the Earth’s ability to house humans. How did this happen, and what will it take to change the course that humanity has set itself on?”
— www.therevolutionmovie.com

That night, we wrapped out of the studio late and I drove my 40 minutes out of the city and back to my quiet little home in the suburbs, where my son had been fast asleep for hours. I tossed my bags on the kitchen floor, put my jammies on and pulled out my lap top. Minutes later, Revolution was downloading through iTunes and I was eagerly awaiting its story.

What I watched that night startled me. I had never been moved quite like that, not by a film.
It brought focus to some excruciating issues that are heavy and hard to handle. It was honest and real. I wasn’t expecting such an emotional ride that evening, but boy did I ever have one. All I could think of was my sweet boy, sleeping in his bed so innocently. About how he has never done a thing to contribute to the state of our sad planet, and yet, he and the others of his generation will be the ones to pay the highest price for all of our poor choices. I wept for him, and for us (humanity).

It is the job of each of us to understand the industries that we support. To appreciate the sources, energy and side effects of all of the foods and products we consume. To be certain that we are reducing our consumption on a whole, and certainly weeding out the things that we do not require to live comfortably and fairly on this planet. We all have a huge job to do to ensure that everything we have built as a society does not crumble into dust. And we owe it to ourselves and to every other species on this beautiful earth to protect what we have, and what we SHARE. Because this is not just about us, it is about every living thing on the globe. We got us into this mess; it’s time we dig ourselves out.

“Startling, beautiful, and provocative, Revolution inspires audiences from across the globe to start a revolution and change the world forever.”

After watching this film, you might be interested in learning the size of your own carbon foot print. Please visit www.climatepath.org to learn more and for plenty of tips on how to offset your lifestyle.

Posted on September 2, 2013 .

It's my party and I will serve vegan food if I want to!

Just over a month ago my little boy, River, turned 2. It felt like only a few blinks since his 1st birthday, I still can't quite believe it. Some days it feels like he has been around for as long as I can remember, and other days it seems like just yesterday that I held him for the very first time. Regardless of the day, I am thankful on every single one of them that he is a part of my life. He is a sweet, bright, quirky, polite and gentle little creature that I could no longer live without. 

Last year I threw an over sized 1st Birthday bash at my parent's home to celebrate his special day. I thought I was being selective with guests and ended up with 40+ people in attendance, which was lots of fun but very expensive and a little stressful for both myself and my Mother. I also decided that I would feed everyone a full dinner, catering to all of my guest's diets; vegans, vegetarians and omnivores alike. It was a little coo-coo.

This year I decided it would have to be kept to a minimum with immediate family and a few very dear friends. I still wanted to provide food, but this time I wasn't going to cater to all diets, it was vegan food for all!

 

The spread at River's 2nd Birthday Party! 

The spread at River's 2nd Birthday Party! 

I decided to host the celebration at a park on the lake, not far from our home. It had a beautiful view of the water, lots of room to run around and to set up food, as well as a fantastic play structure for the kiddies to enjoy. 

Everything that I served was made from scratch (with the exception of the crackers and chips, those would have been from scratch too, believe me, but my attempt at chip making did not pan out, so I had to make a last minute run to the market). Nothing on the table contained any gluten, sugar or animal products of any kind. And guess what? EVERYONE loved the food, including the kiddies.

River enjoying his Birthday lunch!

River enjoying his Birthday lunch!

THE MENU:

Tomato and Basil Salad
Avocado, Edamame, Mango and Mint Quinoa Salad
Sweet Potato, Beet and Walnut Salad with Orange Maple Dressing
Guacamole
Traditional Hummus
Spicy Black Bean Hummus
Fresh Veggie Platter
Pineapple and Blueberries
Watermelon
Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Vanilla Coconut Frosting

 

Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Vanilla Coconut Frosting

Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Vanilla Coconut Frosting

Vanilla Coconut Frosting

1 14 oz. can of coconut milk (solids only)

1 tsp. of vanilla extract

1-2 tbsp. of coconut flour

1/16 tsp. of powdered stevia concentrate (I like New Roots Stevia Powder Concentrate)

 

The Chocolate Avocado Cupcake recipe is available in the Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes with Butterscotch Frosting post.  

 

River loved the cupcakes so much he couldn't even be bothered to hold it himself!

River loved the cupcakes so much he couldn't even be bothered to hold it himself!

Cupcake number 2 for the 2 year old!

Cupcake number 2 for the 2 year old!

It is so easy to prepare a variety of dishes that are all plant based, healthy and delicious all at the same time and for a group of people, small or large. I think it is lots of fun showing people with different lifestyles and diets that you can satisfy their palettes even if they don't usually eat a vegan diet. By doing so, you might actually open their eyes to the possibilities of a cleaner and kinder way of eating. You really never know, that introduction might simply be the catalyst for a total lifestyle turn around!

As for the kids, why not keep it clean? No need to do processed hot dogs, hamburgers and sugary cakes and ice cream that are full of dozens of ingredients that you don't even understand. It might take an hour or two of extra work to bake a cake from scratch, but wouldn't you feel so fantastic presenting that to your child and their guests when you know that all of its ingredients are clean and safe for them? Give it a shot, the feeling you'll have while watching them enjoy your extra work will be well worth the effort you made. 

Happy partying! 

River and I at his 2nd Birthday Party

River and I at his 2nd Birthday Party

Photos by Danielle Matar