This recipe was one of the last ones I tested for Baked Occasions about three years ago! I can’t believe it was that long ago, and I also can’t believe how many recipes we’ve made out of the book! I’ll be so sad when we’re done; this is truly one of my favourite things.


I remember my friend Janelle describing these brownies as “confusing”. She said she just didn’t understand chocolate and pumpkin together. I couldn’t remember my thoughts on them, so I made them again, and I loved them. (It’s not surprisingly though, since these cheesecake brownies are one of my favourite treats of all time.) I love the pumpkin cheesecake swirl, I love the Baked boys’ amazingly fudgey brownies, and I love the hint of fall spices (cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg).


My current co-workers were all over these, and I also shared some with my yoga class. Namaste.


You can find the recipe here!

More Baked Sunday Mornings here!

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September on Planet Byn {2016}

by byn on September 30, 2016

in Monthly Recaps


My social policy this summer was to say YES to everything, which meant I had lots of fun, but then basically didn’t feel leaving the house in September. I laid low and cooked almost exclusively out of the new Oh She Glows Everyday (which I’m blogging about over here). There wasn’t much else going on except:

  • Lydia came over to watch the season finale of our favourite show: Bachelor in Paradise. It was only fitting that we had a tropical dinner of these Pineapple Chicken Fajitas, which I fully endorse.
  • Nicole and Francis came over to watch the Emmys, and everything I made was out of OSG Everyday: Lemon-Garlic Hummus, Sweet Potato, Chickpea, Spinach and Coconut Curry and Flourless Brownies (with Coconut Ice Cream).
  • Krishna and I planned out the 2016 WEEDY BIRTHDAY MARG + TACO TOUR, which was pretty much the most fun I think I’ve ever had on a Tuesday. We started at Wilber Mexicana for margs, guac, queso and chips (pictured above), moved on to La Carnita for tacos, and finished at El Caballito for more tacos and a CHURRO ICE CREAM SANDWICH. Weedy said to me as we were eating it, “This is the only time you’ve stopped talking all night”. It’s that good.
  • I went to Kristine’s brother’s wedding and had the best time ever! EJ & Ashley’s take home treat was a box of two Krispy Kreme doughnuts: the best snack ever to eat at 3am in your Uber home.

Other non-foodie things I was obsessed with this month:

  • I picked up Season 2 of Fargo from the library and binged it in one weekend. It was SO good! Less creepy than Season 1 (no Billy Bob), but just as quirky and dark and crazy.
  • I tried a few new Fall shows, and my faves are This Is Us and Pitch. Zack Morris is HOT you guys! Obviously I’m watching The Bachelorette Canada. Kevin W. is inexplicably my fave.
  • Truly, Madly, Guilty finally came off the hold list for me, and while I liked it, I wouldn’t say it was better than Liane Moriarty’s other books that I was obsessed with (The Husband’s Secret & Big Little Lies). I also read Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event and HATED it (so boring).




I have to be totally honest this week; I wasn’t feeling these brownies. I don’t even really feel like we can call these brownies, because they were more on the cakey side of things. In my opinion, brownies must be fudgey and super chocolatey, and these were neither. Obviously this did not stop my co-workers from eating them all in a meeting, but still.

My other major complaint with these can best be expressed in the following photo:


Seriously, it shouldn’t take this many bowls to make a simple brownie mixture. My favourite mini-brownies are posted in this recipe. They’re made in one pot with six ingredients and they’re super rich and fudgey.


You can find the recipe here!

More Baked Sunday Mornings here!


Kale Caesar Pizza

by byn on September 16, 2016

in Dinner


Alright, this isn’t so much a ‘summer dinner’ as a ‘dinner I made in the summer’, but it’s so incredibly good I have to share it. A good caesar salad is one of my joys in life, and if you’d like to read approximately 5,000 words on why, you can click here. I wrote that back in 2012 before kale had really come to take over our lives, and now I often make the same salad with shredded kale instead of romaine.

I was curious when I came across this post for a kale caesar salad pizza on How Sweet Eats, because the dressing is made with plain greek yogurt instead of mayo, and I wanted to try it out. The fact that the salad is served on what is basically a gigantic piece of garlic bread also provided a lot of motivation for me to make this.

So here’s what’s happening: pizza dough stretched out and topped with olive oil and baked until golden brown, then brushed with homemade garlic butter and sprinkled with fresh parmesan. You mix shredded kale with a super creamy and garlicky dressing, more parmesan (why not?) and crunchy croutons (what the hell). There might be kale in this, but it’s really just an explosion of carbs, garlic and cheese, and I’m here for it.

I loved the dressing here made with greek yogurt; it’s definitely more creamy that my usual go-to version. I don’t think it will replace it, but it’s nice to have another option in my back pocket. This would also be outstanding with some bacon crumbled in, just saying.

Kale Caesar Pizza

Source: How Sweet Eats



1 bunch kale

4 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane

3 tbsp plain greek yogurt

2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp dijon mustard

2 tsp red wine vinegar

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

salt to taste

+ croutons if you’re feeling extra carby


1 batch of homemade (or store bought) pizza dough or even flatbread in a pinch

1/2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter, melted

2 cloves garlic, grated with a microplane

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan


  1. For salad, first prepare the kale by removing the tough ribs, the slicing the kale into thin ribbons and washing and drying in a salad spinner.
  2. For the dressing, whisk together the garlic, yogurt, lemon juice, dijon, vinegar and pepper in a small bowl, then slowly whisk in the olive oil. Taste and if it needs a bit of salt, add it. Let sit while you bake the pizza crust.
  3. For pizza, preheat the oven to 475° with a pizza stone inside if you have it, or the back of a cookie sheet if not. Spread out a big piece of parchment paper on the counter, and dust it with cornmeal. Press or roll out the dough on the parchment paper, using a little flour on your hands or rolling pin to keep the dough from sticking. Brush with olive oil. Slide the pizza onto a cutting board and place onto the pizza stone or cookie sheet in the hot oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
  4. While pizza is baking, stir the melted butter and minced garlic together. When pizza is out of the oven, brush the garlic butter over the hot pizza crust and sprinkle with the fresh parm.
  5. Scoop the salad onto the pizza crust and slice into pieces. It’s a total mess to eat this, but it’s soooo delicious.


Peach, Goat Cheese & Arugula Summer Salad

by byn on September 14, 2016

in Salads


This salad was stalking me all summer. First up, my Mom and I split a delicious salad (at Boston Pizza of all places), that had arugula, pesto, peaches, beets, goat cheese and candied pecans. Yes please! This started the obsession. Then, Annie posted something very similar on her site with many of the same ingredients. Finally, Jan posted the prettiest salad on Instagram that also had peaches and maple pecans, and switched up a few things too, like adding chicken and blue cheese.

I was loving all of these ideas so much, but I couldn’t keep track of which salad had what, so I literally made a chart in my little notebook:


I was on an arugula kick the week I made this, so that was my base. Fresh, juicy Ontario peaches obviously went in, and were the star of the show. Goat Cheese was in on it too. I used Annie’s recipe for brown sugar and butter pecans, only because I couldn’t find spicy maple pecans on Jan’s blog! I stopped there because I’m lazy, but would have roasted some beets to add in, like the Boston Pizza salad. Finally I used my favourite balsamic vinaigrette from Kiwi & Bean.

I’m drooling just thinking about this. Of course it can be made year round, but the peaches really send it over the top, so maybe this will be something special to save for the end of summer. (I also didn’t get around to baking anything with peaches this summer, so this is my peach entry for 2016)

Peach, Goat Cheese & Arugula Summer Salad

Source: a few, as listed above


– arugula

– sliced peaches (fresh only!)

– crumbled goat cheese

– brown sugar and butter pecans (recipe below)

– balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below)

+ other add-ins: roasted beets, roasted red peppers, sliced red onion


  1. Add the arugula to a big bowl or platter, and arrange the peach slices on top. Crumble goat cheese over the whole thing.
  2. To make the pecans, melt 1/2 tbsp butter in a skillet, with 1/2 tbsp brown sugar. When sugar has melted, add the pecans and stir until lightly toasted, 3 minutes or so. Let cool then add to salad.
  3. For dressing, combine the following in a mason jar and shake to combine: 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 garlic clove grated with a microplane, 1 tbsp dijon mustard, 1/2 tbsp honey


Burst Tomato & Corn Galette

by byn on September 12, 2016

in Quiche & Savory Tarts


Once again another summer has gone by on my blog without a savoury recipe post. It’s been all boozy cocktails and birthday cakes up in here. It’s true, my will to cook is zapped by 40° days, and there are a lot of snack dinners going on, but I did make a couple great things which I wanted to write about before Fall truly arrives (#putdownthepumpkin).

I’ve made so many savoury galettes since I started Planet Byn, but they’ve all been the kind of thing you want to eat when it’s cold outside (Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion is my favourite). Same idea in this case, but with a fresh, summery filling of burst cherry tomatoes, fresh corn sliced off the cob and scallions. It’s supposed to have zucchini too, and I left it out (I sometimes convince myself I hate zucchini), but would add it in next time for sure.

This was a perfect late summer dish, and it didn’t even take too long to pull together either. I ate it with a simple arugula salad on the side, and packed up slices for lunch in the week too.

Burst Tomato Galette with Corn & Zucchini

Source: Smitten Kitchen



1 1/4 cups flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold, and cut into cubes

1/4 cup sour cream

2 tsp lemon juice

1/4 ice water (to start, you might need a little more)


1 tbsp olive oil

3 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, different colours if you can find them

pinch salt

pinch red pepper flakes

1 small zucchini, diced

kernals sliced off 1 ear of corn

3 green onions, thinly sliced

1/2 cup finely grated parmesan

+ egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water)


  1. For pastry, combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter, and cut into the flour using a fork or a pastry cutter, until it’s the size of peas.  In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, lemon juice and water.  Pour over the dry ingredients and mix together with a spoon, then use your hands to gently knead the dough together into a ball (you might need more water to bring it together).  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  2. For filling, place a saute pan with a lid over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, tomatoes, salt and red pepper flakes. Shake the pan over the heat until the tomatoes start to burst and release some juice. Turn down the heat to medium and add the zucchini and cook for two minutes, then the corn and cook for one minute. Remove from heat and stir in the green onions. Let cool until room temperature.
  3. When filling is cool, preheat the oven to 400° and pull the dough out of the fridge. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface, to a 12″ round (little bigger than a dinner plate). Transfer to a baking sheet (rimmed if possible, and lined with parchment paper or tin foil, in case of any leaks). Add the filling to the centre of the dough and spread out leaving a 2″ border. Sprinkle the parm over top of the filling. Fold the dough over the filling, leaving the centre open. Brush egg wash over the dough.
  4. Bake for 30-40 minutes until pastry is golden brown.


August on Planet Byn {2016}

by byn on August 31, 2016

in Monthly Recaps


August was long, hot and sad over here on Planet Byn. I won’t get into the details, and instead do what I do best, which is talk about the food:

  • My friend Jenn had me over for a pool day at her new house and I brought this S’mores Pie with me. I haven’t made this in about three years and I HAVE NO IDEA WHY I waited so long because that thing is heaven on earth!
  • I went to hang out with my new 1 week old friend Francis, and I brought his parents a care package of this Summer Squash Pasta Bake, Cheddar Chive Biscuits (to make into breakfast sandwiches!), and Maple Walnut Granola.
  • It was too freaking hot to cook for most of this month, so Kristine introduced me to Maro’s. I just ordered exactly what she was having, which was essentially a delicious burrito bowl with chicken shawarma on top. I swear I could eat shawarma every.single.day and not get sick of it.
  • Tasty G was reviewing Angelo’s Coal Fired Pizza, and I got to tag along. Everything we ate (pictured above) was absolutely amazing: arancini, caprese salad, veal ragu, and pizza with figs, honey, gorgonzola and duck confit. Their pizza has a super thin crust, but it stays crisp as you eat it, which I endorse. We also had a salted caramel and pear gelato and a chocolate budino that were pretty hard to stop eating, even though we were so full.
  • I went to a Jays Game with my friend Kirk who’s a season ticket holder, and this is a Public Service Announcement from him to you: you are allowed to take whatever food you want INTO Rogers Centre. He legit walked in there with a large pizza from Pizza Nova for us to eat. I find this so strange, but so good to know.
  • I got to tag along AGAIN with Tasty G as she reviewed the Me.N.U food truck. We got to try a chicken roti taco, duck poutine and fried rice balls stuff with beef – like an asian arancini.
  • Kristine got a special treat for her birthday: Pretzel M&M Cookies with Pretzel M&Ms that I smuggled back from Chicago (can’t find them anywhere here).
  • My month ended the exact same way it started: in someone else’s pool. The Brunette Baker had us over for a BBQ and pool day and her epic S’Mores Buffet around her fire pit. It’s legendary.

Other non-foodie things I was obsessed with this month:

  • I feel like Harry Potter & The Cursed Child came and went without even a blip on the pop culture radar. I read it in like two days, and quickly forgot about it as well. I know a lot of die hard HP fans aren’t even reading it.
  • I’m not even ashamed to say my only other pop culture obsession this month was Bachelor in Paradise.



Cinnamon Sugar Hush Puppies

This week for Baked Sunday Mornings, the gang is frying up these Chocolate Chip Hush Puppies. I tested this recipe for Baked Occasions about three years ago, and it was the first (and probably last) time I’ve deep fried anything.

Hush Puppies are basically doughnuts or fritters, with some cornmeal added for texture and crunch. You fry them up until crispy, roll them in cinnamon sugar, and serve them with a side of maple syrup for dipping. I fried up a few for taste testing, then actually baked the rest in mini muffin tins (a suggestion that actually made it into the book!).  The fried version is of course better, because you eat them warm and crispy, but the baked version was decent too, although to be honest I don’t think I would make these again.

You can find the recipe here!

More Baked Sunday Mornings here!


Caramel Banana Cake

by byn on August 17, 2016

in Cakes, Cupcakes & Icing


I feel like a broken record talking about how old my nieces and nephews are getting, but that doesn’t make it any less true! This year my niece Charlotte turned 9, and she chose a Caramel Banana Cake for birthday, which was just an an excellent decision. This is three layers of a hydrated banana cake with caramel sauce swirled right in, plus caramel buttercream. It was pretty sweet, but served in small slices with a scoop of homemade double chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, it was pretty perfect and there were no leftovers! (For future reference, it served about 20 people)

Caramel Banana Slice

I copied the naked cake look from the original recipe on The Kitchen, but I piped on little starbursts that I thought would look super cute (in my opinion, I was right!). I picked up the candles from Papyrus and they were the perfect finishing touch.


I’m posting the recipe for the cake below. The icing was one batch of My Favourite Buttercream with My Favourite Salted Caramel subbed in for the whipping cream.

Caramel Banana Cake

Source: The Kitchn


3 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups milk or buttermilk

2 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (4-5 medium bananas)

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

3 eggs

+ double batch My Favourite Salted Caramel (you’ll have enough to swirl into the cake layers, plus make one batch of My Favourite Buttercream)


  1. Preheat oven to 325°, line three 9″ cake pans with parchment paper and spray with non-stick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another medium bowl, whisk together the milk, vanilla and mashed bananas.
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs and mix until combined. Add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the banana mixture, until smooth.
  5. Divide the batter equally into the three pans (I weigh them to make sure they’re even), then drizzle 1/2 cup caramel into each pan, swirling into the cake batter with a knife.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool pans on a baking rack for 30 minutes, then flip out to cool completely before icing.
  7. For icing, I used a small star tip and piped little bursts onto each layer.

Charlotte’s Previous Birthday Cakes:

8th (Minecraft Cake)

7th (Balloon Bouquet Cupcakes)

6th (Castle Cake)

5th (Rainbow Cake)

4th (Blue’s Clues)

3rd (Big Greeny-Blue Cake)

2nd (Elmo)


Strawberry Slice

While I may not have figured out my signature summer cocktail just yet, here’s my Summer Sixteen signature dessert. I made this two weeks in a row, and considering I hardly every make the same thing twice, it automatically qualifies.

This is what’s happening in this four layer party in a pie plate:

  1. Graham cracker crust – Classic.
  2. Frozen cheesecake – I’m obsessed with this layer. It’s just cream cheese mixed with sweetened condensed milk and a bit of vanilla. It stays a bit gooey even after freezing, and I’m into it.
  3. Whipped cream – You can add this right before serving so it’s light and fluffy, but both times I made it I froze it too, which I loved.
  4. Fresh strawberry topping – So good. Fresh strawberries cooked down every so slightly with a bit of sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice into a delicious sauce.

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake Pie

I made this in both a pie plate and a tart pan, and liked the tart pan better. You can pop the tart right out and use a big sharp knife to easily cut clean slices, then spoon the sauce over the top. This was a hit both times I made it, and you could easily switch up the fruit sauces (blueberry! peach!), and I’ve even been thinking of a chocolate version with an Oreo cookie crust and hot fudge drizzled over the top.

Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake Pie

Source: Smitten Kitchen


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tbsp sugar

big pinch salt

Cheesecake Layer

1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, room temperature

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1 tsp vanilla

Whipped Cream Layer

1 cup whipping cream

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp vanilla

Strawberry Topping

1 lb strawberries, hulled and diced

2 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp cornstarch

juice of half a lemon


  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter, then stir in the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt until well combined. Press into a pie plate or tart pan, and bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely.
  2. For cheesecake layer, mix together cream cheese, condensed milk and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and well combined. Pour into cooled crust, and freeze for 6-8 hours or overnight.
  3. For whipped cream layer, whip cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form, then spread out over top of the frozen cheesecake layer.
  4. For strawberry sauce, add the strawberries, sugar, water, cornstarch and lemon juice to a small saucepan, and heat over medium-low until it starts to bubble. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and cool completely.
  5. To serve, pop the tart out of the pan, slice, and spoon strawberry sauce over each slice.