Do all things with love

September 16th, 2012 · Lisa · Fun with Friends, gluten-free, Recipes, Sweet, Uncategorized · Comments

 Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

Last weekend, I had a day when everything felt absolutely abundant.

Some of you know, money has not always been easy to come by for my family. We’ve had tough days and some difficult years. But regardless of our financial situation our relationships have always been rich. We are very savvy at investing in time together.

On Sunday, our family grew with the welcome addition of another woman (I already have 3 brothers and 3 nephews). So, while many of you were busy wandering the Toronto Vegetarian Food Festival, I was standing beside my fantastic brother and his beautiful fiancee as they committed to a lifetime of love, laughter and kale (I may have made up that last part).

If you’ve ever been in a wedding you know the logistics of the day make it difficult to fit in the usual necessities (eating & peeing especially). Since the bride was vegan I wanted to be sure she had plenty to eat before the ceremony.

The rest of the bridal party was not vegan, so I decided to turn to
Dreena Burton for an array of recipes that could delight a diverse crowd.


To round out the picnic basket I added Tahini-Dill Kale Chips, Roasted Chickpeas and lots of fruit. (oh and tiny jars of  Cocoon Apothecary‘s Rosy Cheeks Cream)

I carried this big beautiful basket to the salon, the bride’s father’s home and to the golf course. We  snacked all day – which worked perfectly because we forgot to actually try and eat any meals. Love was definitely in the air,  I got a few proposals after sharing those spiced nuts around 🙂

Once at the golf course it was time to let go of the stress that comes with planning any big event. In the wedding party room, we took a cue from the “ring boys” put up our feet, told jokes and had fun – until it was time to walk down the aisle.
We all maintained our composure (despite a few tears) during the ceremony. 
I loved seeing all my brothers (and nephews) looking so fine. 

The bridesmaids were beautiful but also, absolutely hilarious. They filled every moment of the day with joy. We laughed with curlers in our hair, giggled as we stuck flowers and streamers onto cars, and photo-bombed the happy couple with great enthusiasm (that’s me in the background).

My favourite part of any wedding is the speeches. I love hearing about childhood adventures and touching stories that forge great friendships. The wedding party all took turns on Sunday, celebrating Dan and Ali for being the incredible individuals they are. I wrote a speech inspired by Dr. Seuss (finding wedding-acceptable words to rhyme was fantastic fun). I managed to keep from crying while talking about how amazing my brother is in rhyming couplets.

Then it was time to dance…

We danced, and danced, and danced. My 2 year old nephew just couldn’t stop. The rhythm took over his body and he couldn’t stand still. Which meant neither could I. He was the best dance partner I’ve partyed with in years.

I hope my Mom left the hall feeling so proud of the family she created – the sensitive, kind, and fun-loving men she’s raised and the community of friends she built that have always rallied around us during times of tragedy and times of joy.

One of my favourite ways to express love is to feed people. I believe that giving people delicious food that is nourishing and health promoting is an amazing way to demonstrate how much you care. For my brother’s wedding I made 200 chocolate bon bons using raw cacao paste and cacao butter from Giddy YoYo – half with a maple walnut mesquite filling (from Matthew Kenney’s Raw Chocolate) and the other half with a peanut butter filling requested by Dan.

Peanut Butter Bon Bons


  • 2 cups non-dairy chocolate (you can use chocolate chips, wafers or go from scratch with cacao butter and cacao paste - which is what I did for the wedding favours)
  • 2 cups natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
  • Silicon mold of your choice


  1. In a dehydrator (at 115 degrees) or in a bowl over a pot simmering water melt the chocolate, stirring often until a smooth, shiny consistency is achieved. Pour into a liquid measuring cup.
  2. Place a clean, dry silicon mold in the freezer.
  3. In a food processor combine all of the filling ingredients and blend until smooth.
  4. Remove the mold from the freezer. Fill the mold with the melted chocolate. Wait 30 seconds and pour out the excess chocolate from the mold (back into the large bowl). If the mold was chilled enough the chocolate will adhere to the sides, creating a nice thin shell. Place the mold back into the freezer for 7-10 minutes.
  5. Remove the mold and fill each compartment with the peanut butter filling. Pour the melted chocolate on top and scrap off any excess with an off-set spatula.
  6. Return the filled mold to the freezer and allow to set for 60 minutes. Carefully remove each bon bon from the mold. Store in the freezer in an air-tight container.
  7. Makes approximately 24 bon bons depending on size.

I wish you all riches in rewarding relationships, precious moments and delicious meals. xo


  1. mom
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Well, that brought tears to my eyes! What a wonderful wedding that was. And yes, your snacks were so delicious – everyone raved about them. Those chocolates, too. So good!

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:07 am

      Thank you mom. This post is a little biased towards the snacks and less toward the details of the day but hopefully it still captured some of what made it so special.

  2. Posted September 16, 2012 at 8:15 am

    So much joy and love! Thank you for sharing. xoxo

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:07 am

      Thank you Nancy! I still remember looking through the lovely photos our your wedding in Newfoundland. It feel like just yesterday.

  3. Posted September 16, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Oh, there is so much love in this post! It looks like it was a beautiful day, and you brought so much of your heart to it. “Some people are so poor, all they have is money.” Very, very true!

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:08 am

      It was such a special day for my family. Thank you for sharing in our joy.

  4. Posted September 16, 2012 at 9:09 am

    I am holding back tears just looking at that photo of you and your mom. What a tribute to her, what you’ve written in this post, and how she has watched her family grow and bloom into such beautiful, caring, happy people. I don’t think you could ask for anything more as a mother.

    And, my goodness Lisa you are stunning. It’s everything about you, your glow, the joy in your eyes and face, your beaming smile – you are simply breathtaking.

    What an honor to have my recipes be part of that memorable day. I am flattered that you chose so many of my goodies… and I think you brother made a wise decision with the chocolate chips. 😉

    Thank you for sharing the highlights of this beautiful day, and as always your heart and joy.

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:10 am

      Dreena…we should hang out a lot more often. The adoration we have for each other will certainly keep our confidence in check 🙂 Everyone loved the treats. Because of you my entire extended family equates veganism with delicious, health promoting fare, and nothing less. xo

  5. Posted September 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Congrats to the bride and groom! What a wonderful celebration. They were so lucky to have your lovely treats there, I am sure it made the celebration extra special.

    I do have a question about the coconut lime cookies. Did you make them with GF flour or wheat? I tried to make them GF once and it didn’t work. I am not sure how sensitive to gluten you are, I know you avoid it but not sure if you can cook with it. Anyhow, if you did make them GF let me know how. Thanks!

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:11 am

      Thank you Bitt! I wasn’t planning to eat the cookies myself and was making them in my mom’s kitchen so I used the flours she had (which were not GF). They held together perfectly so it sounds like the issue may have been with the GF flours and recipe ratios.

      Sending you a great big hug. xo

  6. moonsword
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    yippee…congratulations to the newlyweds! Your treat-filled basket and bon bons were spectacular and surely appreciated, but it’s the love and generosity of heart that you and everyone there showed that will last forever. It’s so inspiring and uplifting! Many thanks for sharing and all the best possible wishes to all of you!

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:12 am

      Thank you so much for sharing in our joy. It was such a wonderful celebration – made personal by the contributions of each person in attendance.

  7. amey
    Posted September 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    so sweet! What a lovely post. Your basket full of healthy and yummy goodies is such a loving and smart idea! I made tons of Dreena Burton cookies for our wedding too! 🙂 It sounds like it was a beautiful celebration – much love to you and your family!

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:13 am

      oh my amey! I’ve been excitedly reading about your wedding celebrations. Much love to you and the Mr. I have no doubt it was a sensational celebration of love. xo

  8. Posted September 16, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    It was such a beautiful day, full of Love, Laughter and Vegan goodies!
    The bridal party loved dreena’s delights, and the whole wedding was swooning over the chocolates they got in their wedding favours.
    Thank you soo much Lisa, it was a great day. Ali and I felt very loved.

    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:14 am

      Thank you Dan – we all felt blessed to have the opportunity to share in your special day. You have a an amazing, supportive community around you. There is no better way to start a marriage. xo

  9. Posted September 16, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    My beautiful, my darling! This post fills my soul with joy for you, for your family, for Amber and Matt whose wedding I was lucky enough to celebrate this same weekend, and for my family back home, whom I love as you love yours and miss truly. Thank you for sharing your happiness, your deliciousness (peanut butter-filled is almost the only way I’m drawn to truffles instead of chocolate bars!), and your glowing, gorgeous face (which I’m sure played a part in the proposals too).


    • Posted September 17, 2012 at 6:15 am

      My love, I was thinking of you Amber and Matt while we were celebrating here. I have no doubt their nuptials were just as special. I promise to make you whatever kind of bon bons you like before your arrival – hopefully they will result in some kind of a proposal too.

      • Posted September 17, 2012 at 11:14 am

        As I was of you 🙂 Magic sparkledust bon bons! I propose to you every day in my heart, but if we’re talking proposals to me, then yes. Help wanted. 😉

  10. Lauren (PB&G)
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Looks like you had a fabulous time! Those truffles look fantastic, too!!

    • Posted September 19, 2012 at 9:15 pm

      Thank you Lauren 🙂

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