Plum Deluxe Teas


One of my favourite things about having this blog is being able to support and tell you all about small, independent food and beverage companies here in Portland.

About a month ago I was contacted by Andy Hayes, founder and owner of Plum Deluxe.


Plum Deluxe is a Portland-based tea company. They hand-blend small batches of a variety of loose-leaf teas with the idea that people should take some time to slow down and enjoy the little things in life over a cup of tea.


Every tea blend is organic, non-GMO, vegan, free of chemicals and sulfites, with ingredients sourced from right here in the Pacific Northwest. I was sent samples of the Oregon Breakfast Black Tea and the Portland Rose City Chai and they were delicious! I’m a tea girl, and I can be pretty picky about the teas I drink; I thoroughly enjoyed both of these (although I think the Chai blend was my favourite ;))


Through their website you can order any of their current blends — they’ve got some good ones! Or, if you’re like me and tea is your thing, you can sign up to join their “tea of the month” club. For $10/month, you will receive 1 oz. of a custom tea (enough for about 20 cups) made especially for club members as well as a 2nd tea sample from their current selection of tea blends (teas are usually $7/oz). You will also get tea-inspired recipes, discounts and special offers, as well as a couple of surprise gifts and treats throughout the year.


You can purchase membership to the tea of the month club in 3, 6 or 12 month increments.

A friend of mine and I have had countless incredible conversations over cups of tea, so I can attest to the power of tea and conversation.


I’m working on developing a recipe or two using these blends, so stay tuned for those. In the meantime, happy tea-drinking!


Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies with Maple Frosting


Autumn is here!!

Autumn, fall, whatever you want to call it. It’s absolutely without a doubt my favourite season. And October is my favourite month. The crisp chill in the air, leaves changing colour, falling to ground so you can walk through them and hear the crunch (as long as it hasn’t been raining).

Nothing beats a season full of pretty colours, scarves, boots and baked goods filled with all of my favourite spices.


Oregon is particularly pretty during the autumn months and I’m so excited to spend my days off doing fun autumnal things.

These pumpkin spice sugar cookies are perfect for bringing in this new season and month. They’ll fill your kitchen with such a delicious smell and the hint of each of the five spices in my pumpkin spice mix are guaranteed to put a smile on your face.


For an extra dose of autumnal flavour, I whipped up some maple frosting and swirled them onto the cookies.

IMG_9380So good, you guys.


Each autumn there’s a lot of talk about pumpkin spice, especially the Pumpkin Spice Lattes (PSLs) from Starbucks. I’ve never had one, so I can’t tell you whether it’s good or not, but I can tell you that this spice mix is a perfect blend of 5 delicious spices. It’s especially good for all of your autumn baking needs :)


Pumpkin spice can be bought at just about any grocery store, but it’s really easy to make at home and chances are you have the spices sitting in your cupboard.

I just combined:

  • 3 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Mix it all together and store it in an airtight container, ready for use in these cookies, pumpkin pies, cupcakes, etc.


If I could give these cookies to everyone I know to celebrate autumn, I would. I hope you like them!


Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies with Maple Frosting: 



  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin spice (store-bought or using recipe above)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup


  1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder and salt. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out dough onto a floured surface 1/4-1/2″ thick. Cut into circles with cookie cutter.
  3. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Let cool completely, then spoon and spread maple frosting on top.
  4. Frosting: In a stand mixer with either whisk or paddle attachment, whip butter for about 30 seconds.
  5. Add one cup powdered sugar and whip to combine. Scrape down sides of bowl, add remaining powdered sugar and whip again. Scrape down, add maple syrup, then whip on med/high speed for about 5 minutes.
  6. Frost cookies, then store in fridge in an airtight container.





It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted a new recipe here. I’ve been really busy with a catering event that I did last Friday and didn’t have time to think about anything other than Greek food and macarons. I spent a ridiculous number of hours in the kitchen and at various grocery stores getting everything I needed.


Good filo pastry is no joke!

If you remember last summer I did a couple of catering events for one of my high school teachers and his family including his retirement party and the wedding rehearsal dinner for his son.


I did those events with my dear friend, Taylor. Right now, she is currently having the time of her life in Europe so I did this by myself (with frequent encouraging texts from her because she’s the greatest ;))


This was an event for about 100 people and it was no joke. Originally I was doing all of the food, then a week before it was changed so I was just making the desserts (macarons, baklava, karidopita) and the spanakopita. My macarons were specially requested as an addition to all of the Greek food which I loved because macarons are one of my favourite things to make.


I used more sugar, filo pastry, spinach, almond flour and just about any other ingredient you can think of than I’ve ever used over a four day period. By the time I was done I was exhausted. And my gimpy knee was not happy with me. The smiles on people’s faces made it so worth it though.


The recipes I have for the Greek food I’ve done for the last few events are authentic Greek recipes given to me by my high school teacher’s wife. And oh my goodness are they good.


My house smelled how I imagine every Greek kitchen to smell. Amazing.


I’m sharing the baklava recipe for you because it’s always a hit and it’s so, so easy to make.






  • 1 lb. filo
  • 1 lb. walnuts (crushed or finely chopped)
  • 1 lb. butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/16 tsp. ground cloves


  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 tsp. honey
  • 4-6 whole cloves


  1. Combine walnuts, sugar and spices in a large mixing bowl. Melt butter and brush bottom of a baking dish with melted butter; place on a baking sheet.
  2. Place a filo sheet in baking dish and brush with melted butter, repeating this process until 6-7 sheets line the bottom of the pan. Add two handfuls of walnut mixture and spread evenly. Add two more filo sheets, brushing each with butter. Add nut mixture, repeating this process until all the ingredients are used, ending with 6-7 layers of filo on top.
  3. Brush top sheet with butter and cut baklava into diamond shapes. Bake at 350° for 45min-1hr, until golden brown.
  4. Mix ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan. Boil for 30-45 minutes and pour hot syrup over cool baklava.