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Vegan bucatini with soy curls, fresh tomatoes, and basil

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  A couple months ago I moved from Vancouver to Ottawa. I will save the story for another post. After staying in a hotel for over a month I am finally in my own apartment. I am still getting settled but I was ready to cook a meal.  The area I moved to has everything in walking distance. The neighbourhood has so many good restaurants, shops, and cafes. The area also has a farmers market where I purchased the amazing looking basil and tomato’s. The olive oil is from a specialty oil store. The bottle I bought was from a brand new batch that was delivered today. The vegan cashew cheese was from a vegan festival that was held a few days ago. I bought these ingredients because I wanted to make pasta. I used to use my always pan often when I was in Vancouver I gave it to my aunt before moving. I bought a new set of the always pot and pan. When I only had the pan I always wished I had the pot for cooking pasta. My mom had given me some bucatini that she hadn’t used and I had some soy curls in

I tried the new Starbucks Pineapple Refresher

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  I had stars that were going to expire so I decided to try the new refresher. I have seen some reviews of people that love it and others of people that hate it. It’s often sold out but I was in a location where they had it.  I am not really a fan of pineapple flavours. I like other refreshers from Starbucks and I love passion fruit so thought it might be good. There are options to add coconut milk or lemonade. I always get coconut milk in my coffee but I don’t like it in refreshers and I always like lemonade. The drink at first seemed okay but it had a strange bitter aftertaste after each sip. I am not sure the addition of the lemonade made it like that but my mom and I both didn’t like it. It was drinkable but not something I would order again. I will stick to the the Mango Dragon Fruit refresher as my go to refresher from Starbucks.  Let me know if you have tried it in the comments or on Instagram @livingottawalocal.

What I got for free because I had a birthday and subscribed to marketing campaigns

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I am subscribed to many marketing campaigns where I get free items for my birthday. Normally I would get more items this year I am moving to another province soon so I only collected things that I will use before I move. I was also super busy on my birthday helping my mom move so all items except for Starbucks did not have to be collected on my actual birthday.  The first item was $1 cashback on Checkout51 for buying sweets. My rules are your birthday you bring the cake. My boss made me a great vegan cake that was free for me. I also got a vegan tiramisu which I got the cash back on. Checkout51 is a a great app to upload your receipts and get cashback.  Jugo Juice will give you a free birthday drink if you sign up for their digital rewards program. You also get a free drink when you register but you only have three days to get it so plan when you register. It is a great program. It is an easy registration process and you get free things as soon as you register. The body shop gives a $1

Neverland Vegan High Tea

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 I won a gift card for Neverland Tea Salon and Foodie Buddy suggested we go there because they have vegan high tea. Regular price of the tea is $50 per person which for Vancouver is a reasonable price. We were a little late to arrive as we commuted by transit. The place was very crowded but we were seated and given the menu. The server explained that we could have as many teas as we wanted but you could only one at a time. I ordered an apple black tea for the first one they also have a variety of plant milk choices I requested almond milk.  I ordered the Vegan high tea and Foodiebuddy ordered the traditional. Our platter came with all the vegan items close to me and the other items on the other side. The server explained what everything was but I still had to look up the menu online.  I started by trying the scone. The vegan ‘cream’ tasted like the coconut whipping cream you get at the grocery store. We were only given one container of jam to share but foodie buddy let me have it. The

Another vegan chocolate tasting

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 When I was at the mall recently I noticed a lot of new vegan chocolate options. Of course I had to buy a few.  There was a moo free section on the easter chocolate display. I bought the smallest Easter bunny for $2.99 but there is a big Easter egg I really want to try. It was out of my budget for the day but let me know if you want me to do an Easter vegan chocolate review in the future.  The bunny was very cute. The chocolate is made with rice milk which I really like in chocolate. It tasted just like a regular solid Easter bunny.     I found the dwarf stars pumpkin seed butter cups in the sale section of London drugs. I was excited to see vegan white chocolate at my local pharmacy/store. It was on sale for $3.99. These were very good. There is a nice subtle taste in the chocolate the only explanation I can find in the ingredients is rosemary extract. It doesn’t taste like rosemary but the flavour mixed with the ingredients tastes really good. This chocolate is also free from many al

I tried to make Ashley’s 2 ingredient instantpot cheesecake vegan

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On my heartbeets.com there is a 2 ingredient instantpot cheesecake recipe which uses sweetened condensed milk and yogurt. The website states that she does not have a good vegan alternative. I have tried to veganize this recipe before. I used biscoff cookies, oat yogurt, and sweetened condensed milk. I thought it was good but I don't like oat yogurt and the recipe could be improved. This time I have better ingredients. Activia now makes a plant based yogurt which is delicious. I also have accidently vegan cookies. They have a really fluffy nice filling. I thought I would use the cookies as the crust and mix the filling with the yogurt and condensed milk. I don't have a cheesecake pan so i just used a cake pan that fits in the instantpot. I greased the pan with vegan butter and grinded the cookies in the magic bullet. I was having a hard time mixing the cookie filling into the yogurt mixture so I also mixed it in the magic bullet. Then I poured the mixture into t