My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!



For the latest details be sure to check my book page!  


Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free



New York City

Besides eating my way through New York City at the end of September, I also walked + photographed my way through it.

While I feel comfortable behind the camera photographing food and people, I really have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to other types of photography. Sure, you can apply some of the same basic concepts about composition, but it’s on such a different scale that it’s really not the same thing at all. I explored the city by myself for this trip, so I allowed myself the time to fumble with my camera trying different things. And trust me, there were a few hundred photos that went straight to the recycle bin. These were my favorites during my time in Manhattan. 

Most of the photos were taken at Greenmarket in Union Square and on the High Line. Both were great places to practice where it was a bit easier to meander around, in comparison to the busy sidewalks. Starting at the market made me feel a bit more comfortable. Because, FOOD.

New York City |

New York City |

New York City |

New York City |

New York City |

New York City |

New York City |

New York City |

The shot below took about 12 tries before I got what I wanted.

New York City |

New York City |

New York City |

New York City |

New York City |

And now to the High Line. Do you see the elevated bridge-looking-thing with the trees on top in the photo below? That is the High Line! It’s actually an abandoned railway the weaves through the west side of Manhattan for just under 1.5 miles. It was built in the 1930’s to carry goods through the city and was the first railroad in Manhattan to be built above the street level. It was lifted up off the road to avoid accidents in the city, which were very common with previously built rail lines. The High Line skirts between buildings in a way where you don’t even really notice it.

When trucking goods around the city fully took over by 1980, the High Line was no longer used. Despite people battling to have the High Line demolished, it stayed put but was abandoned for nearly 20 years. During those years THL turned into an overgrown landscape hovering about the city streets, with most people not even realizing it existed. Access to THL was closed for all those years but there is still a beautiful catalog of photographs capturing THL in its natural state.

In 1999 Friends of the High Line formed and started making plans to preserve the line and open it to the public. In 2009 the first section opened to the public and it was finally completed just a few months ago. Now, the High Line acts as an urban landscape and is a truly unique park for its linear path and elevation above the street. It was designed to capture the abandoned state that it was left in after 1980 but with an added sense of community and gathering. It’s a truly amazing example of reuse in the city.

Oh, you weren’t planning on a history lesson today? Sorry for geeking out. The High Line was the site for my architecture thesis design project, so I kind of sort of have a thing for it. This was the first trip where I was able to walk THL since it opened, and I basically couldn’t wait. [sidenote: My thesis was not about the High Line, it was about how industrialization impacted both Food + Architecture in a very similar manner, to put it briefly. I used the High Line as the site/location for my architectural design that depicted my findings, so I had to study THL in great detail.]

Although, there was the time where I snuck up while it was still under construction [by myself!!!] when all of the construction workers were at lunch. I may have talked a worker into leaving an access door open for me, because I needed to take photos and experience THL before it was really open. Did I mention I was by myself? I mean, I HAD to get photos, and a video, and walk the entire thing. My thesis depended on it! Please note, this is the craziest thing I have ever done in my life. I am not a rule breaker, but I was that day. It was kind of rad.


Below the High Line.







Part of the preserved railroad.






And then my memorable + gigantic last breakfast in the city, which you can read about here.




While I truly enjoy sharing recipes with all of you lovely people, sometimes it’s fun to show you a different side of my life. Now I’m just hoping you’re not asleep at your keyboard.


pssst! Don’t forget about the sweet Fair Trade giveaway happening on the blog right now!


Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes + Hot Cocoa {Fair Trade giveaway!}

How about a little Monday morning pick-me-up and a sweet giveaway?

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

Starting with a handful of my very favorite ingredients.

vanilla beans.




Besides being downright delicious, especially when combined together, these ingredients are all very easy to find Fair Trade certified. What is Fair Trade exactly? I’m so glad you asked.

“Fair Trade USA enables sustainable development and community empowerment by cultivating a more equitable global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, consumers, industry and the earth. We achieve our mission by certifying and promoting Fair Trade products.” –

October just so happens to be Fair Trade month and the team at Fair Trade USA asked if I would like to join them in helping spread the word about what they do. I’ve been a Fair Trade follower for years now and have so much belief in their mission and values, so I was more than thrilled to participate.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

Part of their mission this October is talking about specific farmers and communities and how they’re being changed by the Fair Trade organization. I was connected with a coffee and cocoa farmer from Peru who is part of CEPICAFE [Central Piurana de Cafetaleros], which is made up of 90 small-scale cooperatives who farm and sell coffee. After becoming Fair Trade certified in 1996, this association has been able to sell their coffee for fair prices, earning wages they can live and grown on.

From Juan Francisco Calle, age 64: "We are currently doing very well here. It was tough before, but we have come a long way since we became organized. Everyday there are more of us who join the co-op. When a community unites it always moves forward."

It’s pretty amazing at what Fair Trade USA has been able to do for so many communities, farmers, workers, families, and the environment.

Did you know Fair Trade certified foods are also always Non-GMO!?

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

For this recipe I wanted to highlight the two goods that Juan farms: coffee + cocoa

But I also wanted to incorporate as many other Fair Trade ingredients as possible. Some were generously sent to me from Fair Trade USA and some were purchased on my own, like the vanilla beans and sugar.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

It seemed only natural to incorporate these ingredients into a cozy fall drink. I’m not typically one to sweeten my coffee, but the occasional lightly sweetened latte is a nice treat.

I made a simple syrup—which really is so simple to make!—infused with vanilla beans and cinnamon. I toned down the sweetness slightly from the typical 1:1 ratio to a 4:3 ratio of water : sugar. If you want the vanilla to come through more than you may want to leave the cinnamon out. It’s not overpowering but does cover up a bit of the vanilla flavor. And don’t skimp on the beans! You definitely want to use two whole vanilla beans.

And that foam on top? All you need is a whisk and a small pot. No fancy frother needed!

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

Do you see the vanilla bean flecks?? Of course you do.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

And those cookies on the side? They’re Gluten-free Mandel Bread which I’ve been eating breaks of every dang time I walk into the kitchen. Dip them in this latte and…ugh…too good.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

Hello there homemade latte that cost about 25 cents to make at home with no artificial ingredients lingering inside. You are so lovely.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes | #befair #vegan #fall

And for the non-coffee lovers out there, I made you vanilla bean cinnamon infused hot cocoa!

I basically guzzled this entire mug even on our unseasonable 75° day. So dang good.

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Hot Cocoa | #befair #vegan #fall

Print this!

Vanilla Bean Cinnamon Lattes + Hot Cocoa gluten-free, vegan

*denotes Fair Trade ingredients

vanilla bean cinnamon simple syrup: appx. 8oz/1cup simple syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup pure cane sugar*
  • 2 vanilla beans*, scraped of seeds [~1/4tsp] keep pods
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon*

Place water, sugar, scraped vanilla beans, and both vanilla bean pods in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a low boil, stirring frequently with a whisk. Once boiling, immediately lower the heat to a slight simmer while constantly stirring for about 5 minutes. All of the sugar should be dissolved.

Move to a cool burner and let sit for 15 minutes. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and place in a jar. Add the cinnamon and whisk to combine. Place the vanilla beans in the jar and let cool to room temperature before sealing with a lid and placing in the fridge.

Keep in the fridge for about 3 weeks. Use in coffee, hot cocoa, drizzled on plain yogurt, etc.

vanilla bean cinnamon lattes: yields 2 servings

  • 2 cups/16oz strongly brewed coffee*, or 2-3 shots espresso
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, soymilk or whole milk
  • simple syrup to taste

While coffee is brewing, place milk in a small pot over medium heat. Stir frequently until it starts to simmer then reduce heat to med-low, add in desired amount of simple syrup [start with 1 tablespoon], and briskly whisk to create foam. Pour the coffee into mugs, pour in the vanilla sweetened milk, and then spoon the froth on top. Finish with a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.

*Espresso is traditionally used in lattes but it’s something I don’t typically have on hand. I brewed the coffee a bit stronger and used 8oz in each mug. Worked perfectly.

vanilla bean cinnamon hot cocoa: yields 2 servings

  • 3 cups unsweetened almond milk, soymilk or whole milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • simple syrup to taste

Heat milk in a small pot over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder [I used a scant 2 tablespoons] and whisk to combine. Add in desired amount of simple syrup [start with 1 tablespoon] and continue to whisk until hot. Taste and add more cocoa/syrup if desired. Pour into mugs and top with chocolate shavings or cinnamon if desired.

Fair Trade Giveaway | #befair #fairtradeusa

This giveaway is hosted by Fair Trade USA who generously sent me the exact package of goods you see above as a thank-you for helping spread the word about Fair Trade. But really, I feel like I should be the one thanking them for the impact they’ve had across the globe. Truly remarkable.

For the giveaway:

  • 1 winner [open to US only!] will receive a package with all of the goodies you see above. *Teafu + teapot not included. This is a seriously amazing package with some of my favorite products and ingredients ever.

To enter:

  • Leave a comment below telling me your favorite Fair Trade ingredient or product, or why you like supporting Fair Trade. If you’re new to Fair Trade, tell me something you are excited to have learned on their site or in this post.

Giveaway ends:

  • October 10th, 5pm EST

Trust me, you do not want to miss this giveaway!


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