Monthly Archives: October 2009

African Praise Celebration

Today at my parent’s church was a big celebration because a Bishop from Nigeria was visiting. It definitely wasn’t your average church service – there was lots of singing, praying and of course, dancing.

My brother busted out some moves with the pastor:

The women of the church did their own dance:


I love what they’re wearing – their hats? Amazing. I seriously want a similar outfit.


Even Mama Bean danced along:


The men drummed for a while and then they all got up to dance:


Even Mr. Bean went and joined them!


Doesn’t brother Bean look spiffy?


With all the dancing and singing, I can understand how church in Nigeria can easily be 5 hours long!

What’s the most interesting church service you’ve been to?


Filed under Life

Rest in Peace Grandpa Jones


Last Monday, Mr. Bean’s last grandpa passed away at the ripe old age of 92. He was a very gentle soul who was happy to just be – of the three times I met him, he was content to watch Mr. Bean and I play crib, to paint, to watch the happy afro painting guy on TV and to just be around the excitement on our wedding day.  He will  be missed.

Mr. Bean went up to Saskatchewan with his family yesterday for the funeral – I am sad that I couldn’t go. Any and all prayers for Mr. Bean and his family would be appreciated. Thank you.


Filed under Life

Pumpkin Delights Part 2

Last Monday Mr. Bean and I shared a Thanksgiving dinner with my family. I wanted to make pumpkin pie – given that it is a traditional thanksgiving food – but it had to be my family friendly. So what does that mean?

  • No Gluten
  • No Eggs
  • No Dairy
  • No Soy
  • No Cinnamon

But that’s basically what traditional pumpkin pie is made of right? Well, I guess my pie was a bit unconventional and I have to say that I couldn’t love vegans more for their my family friendly food.

Gluten, Egg, Dairy, Soy and Cinnamon Free Pumpkin Pie

Pie Crust inspired by this recipe from Whole Foods

Filling inspired by this recipe from

For Crust:

1/3 cup potato starch, plus extra for dusting
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup millet flour
1/3 cup almond meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold lard, cut into small pieces (Note: To make this vegan, use coconut oil)
1 egg replacer
1 tsp. xathan gum

  1. Put potato starch, tapioca flour, millet flour, almond meal, salt and xathan gum into a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Add lard and pulse again until mixture resembles a coarse meal. I used my magic bullet and it turned it into a batter because it’s too small. So use an actual food processor or a pastry blender.
  3. Add egg replacer and pulse until completely combined to make a slightly sticky dough.
  4. Turn dough out onto a large sheet of waxed paper dusted with potato starch.
  5. Sprinkle potato starch over dough and knead gently, working in enough potato starch until dough holds together without being sticky but is still pliable. (Since my dough was so sticky, I probably used at least 1/4 c.)
  6. Using your fingertips, press dough into a 10-inch circle.
  7. Invert a 9-inch pie pan on top of the dough then quickly flip over both the pan and the dough so that the dough now rests in the pan.
  8. Gently peel away and discard wax paper and press dough into pie plate, patching it together, if needed.
  9. Set aside. The recipe recommends that you cook it for 15 minutes, but I didn’t.

Pumpkin Filling

1-15 ounce can pumpkin
1 c. coconut milk – don’t shake can and use the thicker milk at the top
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. potato starch
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. ground cloves – I added too many cloves, so this amount should be good
3/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. ginger

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Add all ingredients together and mix at medium speed for 3 – 4 minutes.
  3. Pour into previously prepared pie crust and bake for 15 minutes.
  4. Turn over down to 350F and bake for another 45 – 50 minutes.
  5. Let pie cool.
  6. Once pie is cool, refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before eating.


Who makes your favourite pumpkin pie?


Filed under Baking

Late Saturday Night Thoughts

I’ve been doing a pretty good job of being absent here – kind of a reoccurring theme unfortunately – but now that I my brain is ready for bed, I thought that I would share a few random things I’ve been thinking about lately:

  • I really have no idea what I want to do once I graduate. I do know that I don’t want a repeat of my internship – God willing – but I shouldn’t because hopefully I won’t be so preoccupied with personal issues. But still, there are lots of choices: try to get a job at an engineering firm or as a process engineer, go into architecture, become a pastry chef or have babies are my top 5 choices.
  • I’m really glad that Mr. Bean and I decided not to renovate our kitchen. I’m having difficulty keeping our house clean let alone a renovation. We might still replace the floor though as the cheap lino should be replaced.
  • I’d really like to lose a bit of weight. Because I’m no longer biking (read: less exercise) and I’m fairly anxious (read: more food is consumed) I’ve been filling out a bit. It’s too bad that one of my relaxing activities is baking, which only augments my waist. What are your best weight losing tips?
  • Isn’t this a ridiculously cute picture?

  • I feel that I had a mature moment: I really didn’t want to do our midterm presentation for our design project but I realized that since I am the self proclaimed project manager, I better step up to the plate and do it. I’m not really looking forward to it, but it can’t be worse than my terrible internship final presentation. *knock on wood*
  • Anyone want to know about propylene production from a propane feedstock? If you do, I can babble about it for a really long time. That being said, I hope that I am able to finish my initial simulation of one of our plants tomorrow. I’m not a huge fan of the whole guessing/making up specs thing.
  • The last few minutes of Young Frankenstein are hilarious – bah-dum-ba-dum-RAWR was a classic move at my bridal shower last summer. Haha.
  • If you get a chance to read a book called “The Good and Beautiful God” of the apprentice series, I would highly recommend it. Mr. Bean and I are reading it through a book study at church and it is a practical guideline on how to build up your relationship with God.
  • I was reminded of the electron liberation front the other day. I’ll have to tell that story someday, complete with pictures. Anyone interested?
  • My brother would be really proud of me for putting not one, but two monkey photos in this post.

What’s been on your mind lately?


Filed under Thoughts

Pumpkin Delights Part 1

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving, or at least a good Monday. My lab proposal is in, my latest quiz is done (Anyone remember non-homogenous ODEs – even though I think that I did that part wrong – whoops!) and I’m learning how to simulate petrochemical processes for our propylene plant, so life’s okay.

Anyways, Mr. Bean was out in Saskatchewan visiting his ailing grandpa over the weekend, so I thought that I would visit my parent’s church after watching this guy get baptized* on Sunday. It just so happened that they were having a potluck lunch to celebrate thanksgiving, so I thought that I would take the opportunity to pawn off a bit of baking – I’m really quite keen to give my baking to other people as 24 cupcakes/muffins/etc. isn’t very attractive on my waistline. I’m sure you’ll agree.

I wanted to try something a bit different from the usual cupcake but would be slightly classier than a muffin. I chose to make Pumpkin Streusel Muffins based on this recipe. Apparently, they didn’t disappoint because they disappeared pretty quickly.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

3/4 c. margarine, melted and slightly cooled
1 1/8 c.  canned solid-pack pumpkin
3/4 c. sour cream
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. brown rice flours
1/2 c. each potato and tapioca starch
1 1/2 tsp. xathan gum
3 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3/4 tsp. ground ginger
heaping 1/4 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. white sugar 

Streusel Topping (Note: This made WAY too much streusel – 1/2 or 1/3 of this would work just as well.)
1/4 c. margarine, softened
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. flour
pinch salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven to 400F and line 18+ muffins cups with liners.
  2. Combine all streusel ingredients in medium bowl and rub the margarine in until the mixture is somewhat crumbly. Set aside.
  3. In larger bowl, combine melted margarine, pumpkin, sour cream, eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  4. Sift together flours, xathan gum, baking powder, spices and salt into a large bowl.
  5. Stir sugars into flour mixture.
  6. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  7. Spoon into muffin tins and sprinkle streusel on top.
  8. Bake muffins for about 16 minutes or until a tester inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean.
  9. Let muffins cool in pan for 5 minutes to set topping, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
  10. Enjoy!


What is your favourite pumpkin delight?

*Holy man am I smitten by Malachi. I’ve been on somewhat of a baby obsess lately as there are so many cute babies everywhere! Rest assured that I am not pregnant, despite how much old ladies at church say how good babies look on me.


Filed under Baking