Posts Tagged ‘Toronto’

Finally recovered from the crazy that was CupcakeCampTO! If you missed it – details and recaps here, here and here!  For more, including videos and links to tons of photos, check out the official site cupcakecamp.ca.


Michelle, Andre and Monica (above) did an absolutely amazing job in getting this up and running – the first CupcakeCamp in Canada!

I made a few different cupcakes for the event, including meatball cupcakes (not an official entry, maybe next year!).  I think they might have helped a few folks prevent a serious case of carb coma or diabetic shock from all the sweet stuff that was flying about that day.

I think they went over quite well, but not as well as my Vanilla Cheesecake Crunch, a wee bit of tastiness that wasn’t super fancy in the decoration department but managed to nab first place for best dessert-inspired cupcake – thanks so much to the FoodTV folks for taste testing over 40 different cupcakes!

For those interested in trying them out – here’s the recipe. I tweaked it a bit, so tried to note those edits where I made them. Mostly I just wing it as I go… which is somewhat funny since I tweaked this recipe the morning of CupcakeCamp and never actually had a chance to taste the final version of these until after the judging happened! I’m glad they turned out delish. 🙂

Enough chatter – on to the recipe!

Vanilla Cheesecake Crunch (original recipe by Elinor Klivans, from the book cupcakes!)


2 1/2 cups AP flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt get sifted together, then set aside.

Mix 3 large eggs with 2 cups of sugar until thickened and light cream colour. I used a handheld mixer and it took about 2 minutes. Probably quicker with a stand mixer.


Mix in 1 cup canola or corn oil along with 2 tsp vanilla. I tend to add a bit more vanilla. Yum.  Mix those in and then add 1 cup sour cream. Beat that all together on a low/med speed until no streaks and then incorporate the dry ingredients until just mixed.  Batter is thick and a lovely pale yellow.


You are ready for step 2, the filling!


Grab your trusty mixer and get cracking – beat the cream cheese (1 pkg) with 1/4 cup sugar until smooth.  Beat in 1 large egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla. I added more vanilla.  The original recipe called for the addition of 1 tbsp of lemon juice plus 1 tsp zest but I tried that the first time and it was too lemony for my taste. I was interested in vanilla – not lemon – cheesecake! Additionally – I made 2x this amount because I wanted more cheesecake per cupcake!



Easy peasy. Melt yourself 2 tbsp of unsalted butter (okay, I might have used 3…mmm….butter) and then pour it over a mixture of 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup light brown sugar and 1/8 tsp salt that you stirred together in advance. Stir quickly to mix or you’ll end up with a big ol’ lump in the middle.  Break up larger pieces with your fork to ensure a fairly even size for your crumble.

Fire up the oven – apparently you are supposed to cook these babies at 325 for 25 minutes but I think I had them in at 350 for less… and they baked much faster with the convection oven on too – probably about 15 min.

Make the Cupcakes!

Toss liners in the muffin pans, this recipe says it makes 24 regular, 12 extra large or 72 mini.

Fill 1/2 the liner up with batter, fill to just below the top of the liner with filling, or whatever ratio you like. The original recipe called for 3 generous tbsp of batter to 1 1/2 tbsp of filling.  Sprinkle crumb topping over each.  I started pressing it down just ever so slightly so it wouldn’t fall off after baking.

Take a peek (don’t open the oven if you don’t have to though!) often, to make sure they aren’t getting brown. You can test with a toothpick but I think that they are past-done when the toothpick comes out clean.  They need to be a little bit crumby and moist still to ensure the cheesecake is nice and soft.


The only thing left to do at this point is enjoy!! 🙂  If you try these out, do let me know what you think.  I *highly* recommend Elinor’s book cupcakes! as I tried a bunch of recipes from it and they were all superdelishfantastico!

(More CupcakeCampTO pics to follow)


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I was skulking about on the City of Toronto‘s website the other day looking for some information about our house and I came across their scanned image archives that have been made available online.

Queen West, looking East from James St. - Toronto - 1924

Queen West, looking East from James – Toronto – 1924

Now, it’s quite the hassle to view the images – so prepare yourself ahead of time.  Each link must be clicked, each image viewed on its own. It’d be great if these images would be added to Flickr’s The Commons or somehow made more readily available and easy to surf through.

Building the Subway and Streetcar system - Downtown Toronto

Building the TTC – Toronto

However, all that aside, the images (and there are a ton of them) are lovely to explore and I had a few little thrills when I spied some from just down the street that were taken near to the time our house was built. At least you can search by date and keywords.

If you live in Toronto and have an interest in how your neighbourhood looked many years ago, check out the Toronto image archives.

Here are a few I found interesting, all from around the time my house was built (1924).

Slum Lodging House - Toronto - 1924
Slum Lodging House – Toronto – 1924
The Beach - Toronto - 1924
The Beach in Winter, frozen – Toronto – 1924
Ladies at Woodbine Racetrack - Toronto - 1924
Ladies in furs at Woodbine Racetrack – Toronto – 1924
Looking East from the Royal York - Toronto - 1929

Looking East from the Royal York - Toronto - 1929

The Danforth lavatory - Toronto (corner of Broadview/Danforth) - 1924

The Danforth lavatory - Toronto (corner of Broadview/Danforth) - 1924

TTC Bus - Toronto - 1923

TTC Bus - Toronto - 1923

Building the Bloor Viaduct - Toronto - 1916

Building the Bloor viaduct - Toronto - 1916

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My pal Mark Kuznicki is riding in the 10th Annual Friends For Life Bike Rally July 27-August 1st. He’s biking from Toronto to Montreal (600km)! I am in awe of that number, 600km!

Because he is awesome and this is a great cause I think you should donate.

Yep, go on, do it. Right away, the event is almost here! He is soooo close to his goal of $5000.

Get going and Donate!

Want to know more?

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Confession: I never go anywhere. Well, I do leave Toronto now and then, but as far as vacations? Never. Happens. Enter a former business colleague who has decided to get married in Mexico! Huzzah!  It’s a good excuse to finally put aside the ‘too busy’ and ‘too costly’ excuses and just GO.

The wedding is in February ’09, so there’s plenty of time to plan – and do I love to plan! (It’s somewhat of an obsession, no joke…)

PlanetEye logo

Enter PlanetEye. One of Toronto’s most well known tech folks, Mark Evans, is part of the great team behind the site. PlanetEye.com is a one-stop destination for all the travel planning needs I (or you!) might have.

PlanetEye is still in beta but it’s already shaping up to be a fantastically easy-to-use planning tool with geotagged photography, some very cool mapping technology and a growing cache of travel content from a team of in-house writers and professional sources. Snazzy!

PlanetEye has a neat “Travel Pack”  feature that lets you “clip” the interesting photographs, attractions, hotels and restaurants discovered on PlanetEye when planning a trip or simply putting together travel ideas.

Congrats to Mark and the team on the launch of PlanetEye – if all goes well I’ll be off to Mexico in February for my very well planned trip!

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