Monday, March 30, 2009

Tomato-a-holic


I think that I may be one. Is there such a thing? I think after the past summers, Chris and I have started to become Tomato snobs - is there such a thing? For the past 4 summers I have planted a bunch of tomato plants in my side garden - and each year they turn out better than the summer before (except 2 summers ago, I grew Heirloom tomatoes - HELLO - the best) and they are always in abundance. This past summer I bought a hanging cherry tomato basket from my local 'tomato dealer' who cures my weekly 'fix' - and that basket was the best! It was always a treat to walk out to the deck and just pick off a tomato and have the sweet, natural goodness burst into my mouth. 

Now that we have had the pure goodness of tomatoes fresh from the earth, it's hard to buy them in the store. But lately, I can't help it. I am somewhat addicted to putting them in almost everything that I cook. I love them bursting open in my mouth and tasting all the delicious flavours. 

Tonight's dinner was dedicated to tomatoes. I did two different recipes - spaghetti squash with tomatoes and green onions. And a baked tomato and bocconcini pie. I visited the Root Cellar - MacKenzie and Blenkeinsop (sp?) for the first time yesterday. That place is fabulous. So much of the produce is locally grown, organic and so fresh. I picked up so many treats - squashes, tomatoes, baby bok choy, peppers and a lot more. 

I loved how red the tomatoes looked when they were cooking - couldn't resist
Spaghetti squash Sims Style
I actually had this dish, years ago at Jocelyn's for dinner. It was really one of the best dishes. I make it often throughout 'squash season'. I often mix it up a bit - tonight I added ground chicken - but normally I don't.

1 large spaghetti squash - cut lengthwise and scoop out the seeds
2 large tomatoes chopped - or 2 cups of grape tomatoes
3-4 green onions - chopped
2 cloves of garlic
Parmesan cheese to taste

Cook the spaghetti squash (cut side down) in a 400 oven for about 30 minutes - or until tender. When squash is almost cooked, saute green onions, tomatoes and garlic in a large pan - with olive oil. When the squash is cooked, use a fork to take out the squash - it will come out just like spaghetti. Add it to the tomatoes and green onion, and mix it all up. Just before serving, grate some fresh parmesan over top and voila. 

Tomato and Bocconcini Pie with fresh basil
1 square of puff pastry - it comes in a box of two - the other square was used last night for the Chicken Pot Pie
20 cherry tomatoes
Bocconcini cheese - the 'appetizer' size - sliced in half - probably about 10 
1/4 cup fresh basil - chopped
Drizzle of olive oil

Roll out your puff pastry on a floured surface. Place the pastry into a pie plate. Then place the tomatoes and bocconcini in the pie plate, add the basil, drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Fold the edges in of the pie crust, so that there are four folds, leaving an opening in the middle. Gently beat an egg and brush on top of the crust. Place in 400 oven for about 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. 
This is seriously the easiest dish. It would be a great appetizer. It's also very delicious if you add sauteed zucchini. A lovely summer treat. 

This weekend I hooked my iPod up when I was cooking so that I could blast the tunes and sing along. I listened to my fav Bruce Springsteen and one of the songs that I love is "Terry's song" (you can find it on YouTube - seriously, take a listen). The first time I heard it, I bawled and listened to it over and over. The song is about one of his best friends, who has passed away. The song describes his friend as being one of a kind, and when 'they' built him they broke the mold. The song reminds me of my dad so much. How this amazing man, who I was so blessed to have had 26 years with - not long enough - but he was such an incredible man, dad, husband, friend, grandad, who touched so many people's lives - and is missed so much to this day. I love it when a song, helps you remember something. I also listened to Snow Patrol's 'Chocolate' and it reminded me of dear friend Courtenay - I miss her so. 

My love is home - Chris - haha, just in case you were wondering. We are going to hang out - enjoy our evening. He has mentioned that he hasn't been mentioned on the blog lately - so we will have a day dedicated to him soon. 

Remember tomato love. It's worth it.

Enjoy!  

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend in the kitchen - that's what it felt like.

Wow, just getting to write, and realized that I was going through a little withdraw from missing a couple of days of writing. Lots to say - lots of cooking happened this weekend. 

The weekend started off really good - we had Dana and Maegan over on Friday night. Maegan wanted to come over and so we could cook together - we had a great time. I got Megs an apron for an early birthday prezzie, so she got lots of use that night. 
On the menu:
Bruschetta
Baked brie with a Cranberry Port Compote
Caesar Salad
Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken wrapped in Prosciutto served with White wine sauce

My Bruschetta recipe is probably one of the easiest appetizers ever - and always is a huge hit at any dinner. I got this recipe from a lady that Chris and I used to work with. Chris loved it so much he brought the recipe home with him so that I could make it for him. He's spoiled.

Bruschetta
8 roma tomatoes - cut lengthwise, remove the inside flesh and then chop into tiny pieces
6 sundried tomatoes - chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions
2-3 cloves of garlic - minced
1/4 chopped basil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and pepper 


Once you have all the ingredients prepared, add them all to a large bowl, mix well, and it's all ready. I like to try and make it so that it has a couple of hours for it to sit and have all the flavours mesh together. Serve with sliced baguette - and for added flavour, serve also with softened cream cheese.  So deelish. It's a 5 every time!

Maegan made the Caesar Salad - and it was awesome!!! I need to get her recipe. 

Pesto and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken wrapped in Prosciutto served with White wine sauce
This picture doesn't make it look too good - I need a course on how to take pics of food. Sigh.
For the chicken - so easy. I cut a small pocket into the thickest side of the boneless/skinless breast - added 1 tbsp of pesto and then 1 tbsp of softened goat cheese. Then wrapped each breast in the very, very thin slice of prosciutto (ensuring the pocket was covered). Then browned in a hot pan - both sides. Once both sides were browned (I did 2 breasts at a time), I placed them on a pan covered with parchment paper and baked in a 400 oven for about 20 minutes.

While the chicken was cooking, in the same pan that the chicken was browned, I heated the pan and added about 1/4 cup white wine - trying to deglaze the pan. I then added a bit of chicken stock, a little bit of flour to thicken and some kosh and dried herbs. It turned out really well. 

I served the chicken on a platter and the sauce in a separate side bowl. I find that when I hear 'stuffed chicken breasts' that it seems too hard - but this was really easy! Seriously. A little messy, but easy.  

Maegan showing off the brie with her 'West side' gang sign.

Saturday morning was lazy. No, I mean LAAAAYYYYYZZZZEEEEEE. The kind of lazy where you don't get out of bed until almost 11. What??? Whatever. When was the last time that happened?? There were a couple of factors that allowed a late start to the day: 1. Chris took Magnum out; 2. It was dark and rainy outside; 3. I had 2 caesars and 2 beers on Friday night - that is far too much for me. I wasn't hunga, but a little tired. Oh and also I have felt like I have been fighting something for a couple of days now. Anyways, it was a nice treat. I got my butt out of bed, ran to Rona to get new knobs for our dresser in the spare room, picked up a few groceries and then home to clean the kitchen from the night before and start preparing dinns for night 2.

Saturday night, David aka Jozie and Magnum's new nanny while we're away - he doesn't know that I am calling him that - not sure if he'd mind. He loves the pups - and they heart him. He came with his new gf, Jenny, she's lovely. They spoiled us with lovely flowers, homemade cookies and more. It was really neat, because as they got there, Chris was 'spazzing' b/c something was happening with his new pc, and as I was taking their coats and goodies, I noticed that Magnum had pooped in the living room. What? Oh man, not happy. When Chris was done spazzing (I was so not impressed), he noticed that there was another one. Whatever Magnum. It's been MONTHS since he has done that. Anyways, when that crisis was over, we had a nice visit. 

On the menu:
Edamame 
Baked Camembert with Cranberry Port Compote
Toasted Walnut, Goat Cheese, Asparagus and Tomato Salad
Stuffed Cannelloni with fresh Spinach, Chicken and Ricotta Cheese
Angel Food Cake with Blueberry Sauce

Baked Brie
Yes, I made the same appetizer two nights in a row. It's easy! My Auntie Joanne gave Chris and I a jar of the Cranberry Port Compote for Christmas - and this stuff is amazing. It's kind of like jam - but not. Anyways, I literally just topped the top of the cheese with the compote, and baked in a dish that I could also serve the appetizer in, and baked it in a 350 oven for 20 mins. Served it with sliced baguette. So deelish. 

Toasted Walnut, Goat Cheese, Asparagus and Tomato Salad
I love making salads, I rarely make them the same way twice. I like to throw in different things that you may not typically have in a salad. 
1 cup of chopped walnuts - I toasted them in my cast iron pan on med heat for about 5 mins
1/2 cup softened goat cheese - crumbled
Asparagus - 10 stalks
10-12 cherry tomatoes
Romaine lettuce

I blanched the asparagus. Boiled it for about 5 minutes then took them out of the water and placed them in an ice bath and just let them sit for about another 5 minutes. Added all the ingredients together in a nice large salad bowl and topped it with a refreshing dressing. 

Dressing:
I don't have measurements - I will try to remember for next time. In a jar, I add olive oil and balsamic vinegar - probably 3:1. Then added raspberry vinegar, fresh lemon juice, kosher salt and pepper and that's it. Homemade vinaigrettes are the best. 

Cannelloni recipe will be posted soon

I am running out of precious time right now, so I will post the rest of the recipes this week - I promise. I also have to add what we had for dinner tonight - Chris' all time fave - Chicken Pot Pie - low fat version. 

I hope that you all had a fantastic weekend. Thanks to cuz Margo for letting me know how she takes care of herself - so good - I won't post though. 

Ok, I have two sleeping pups beside me - and I need to get some zee's soon too. 

Monday - is here. Poor Monday gets a bad wrap - Friday doesn't, we all like 'him'.

Loves to all.

Enjoy!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Taking care of you!

Hello friends. I missed writing last night - I had big plans to write up a good post - and do some organizing - but I got 'gassing' on the phone as my grandma used to say and by the time I was off the phone - it was almost time for bed. I kind of had this feeling like I had forgotten to do my homework - I missed it. What I was so EXCITED to see this morning is comments left by some lovely ladies! Jenny so happy you received the gift - and so excited for you that Scott is your new running partner - it will be such an exciting experience for the two of you. Margo  - I was so happy to see your post - you did it! I am going to be coming to see you soon - and we will have lots of laughs. And Beth - love the recipes you've been posting! Can't wait to try them all.

I just wanted to ask the question - what do you do to take care of yourself? It's so important that we take care of ourselves - so share if you want - so we can all get great ideas for our pledge of taking care of ourselves. There are many areas of my life that I need to work on - but on this journey I know that there are certain things that I need to do. I know that I need at least 7 hours of sleep a night to be at my best. I know that I need at least one walk a day - the fresh air always makes me feel better. I know that I need to drink lots of water every day - I also know that I should be drinking more. I know that there is a lot more that I should mention, but those are some that are important to me. So... share. What do you do?

Last night's dinner was boring but healthy - sauteed onion, red pepper, fresh mushrooms, spinach, cherry tomatoes, chicken, all sauteed in the same pan, with feta cheese at the end, served over brown rice. I added a bit of chicken stock to the veggies. Chris rated it a 4.

Tonight's dinner was delicious. My girlfriend Lynn got it from a friend, she tried it and loved it - she gave it to me - and I loved it. This is a super easy dish - and I think that it will be one to add to the book.

Lynn's baked chicken and potatoes - Italian Style           

8 -10 small red potatoes - thinly sliced 
1 small onion - thinly sliced
4 chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 jar of tomato sauce - I used Healthy Choice - no fat - healthy ingredients
1 cup of shredded mozzarella

On a long piece of aluminum foil place your potatoes then onions. Top your potatoes with the chicken. Then pour your tomato sauce on top and cover with the cheese. Then place another piece of aluminum foil over top - and create a packet - fastening all the edges together. Bake in a 425 oven for 1 hour. And that's it!!! Seriously so easy. Next time I will add things to it - like sliced mushrooms, spinach and instead of potatoes I will used yams or sweet potatoes. AND, I am going to try making it in the slow cooker. This will be a great dish that you can plan in advance - packing it all up the night before and having it ready for when you are home from your day.

Chris rated this a 4.

The weekend is near. I can hear it calling. I have an action packed weekend planned - and it is going to be grand. Tomorrow night is dinner with Maegan and Dana - it's Maegan's birthday on the 5th, so we are going to have dinns together, early, to celebrate. Maegan wants to cook together, so that is exactly what we are going to do. It is going to be a fun night. Saturday, will be a run day, a little shopping  then dinner in the evening with our friend David (and his new gf) who is watching our wee house and wee pups while we are gone. Not too sure what dinner will be - but I've got time to think of it. Sunday - let's hope that it is filled with a good dog walk, some rest and down time - down time taking care of me.

Have a great Friday friends. TFIF!!!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Running for my life - part 7.

RUN

Can you believe it - part 7! I know that I have done more than 7 weeks, but the real process started 7 weeks ago. We ran for 49 minutes tonight! 49 minutes! I'm amazed by that. 7 intervals of 7 minutes each with 1 minute in between. As usual the first two were tough - my body hurt, my shoulders were aching, but my breathing was ok. And then somewhere on the run - it was just happening. That feeling again - it's a common feeling now - that I am just running - hanging out on the trail, concentrating on doing what I have to do - just running. At one point, my thoughts were not of 'oh god, please let that damn whistle blow' but more of 'hm, I am almost a little bored right now'. I love it! I start to love the struggle and I love that I am finally just saying to myself - 'you can do this, you will do this, you ARE doing this'. It's a treat to accomplish another successful week. 

I also love the group of ladies that I am running with. We are a small group and we are all so encouraging of one another. It is so amazing to not only feel myself improving from week to week, but to see everyone else as well. They are all so fun - we laugh together, we encourage one another, we bitch and moan together and are always full of high-fives at the end of the run. Mena had such an amazing idea to put this group of women together. She brought us all together, we're here for a reason - those who want to be, and we are all reaping the benefits. 

I also noticed tonight that I am running with less emotions. Before, I would be teary eyed numerous times throughout the run, but lately I haven't been. I think that it comes down to what I figured out where the emotions were coming from before; I am running and everything is out there - nothing can be hidden. And now that I am improving, I don' t have to worry about being exposed. 

I am not going to lie, I would have loved to have got out of running tonight - but I am so glad that I didn't. I have BLISS right now. Promise yourself, that if you are going to do something, and you want to talk yourself out of it, DON'T. It will be hard, but in the end it will feel so much better. I am promising myself to do my runs this week. I will struggle, but in the end I will love it. 

Ok, dinner was pretty much non-existent. Tomorrow's will be better. I have a bunch of spinach, fresh mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and red peppers calling out to create a masterpiece with. If you have any ideas - please send me a suggestion.

Friends - anything is possible. Believe in yourself. Only you can make a difference in your life - and you will. Remember life is grand - breathe it all in.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Celebrations all around.


I celebrated a 'work free' Monday today. It was grand. Lots done - lots of doing nothing. 

Yesterday was a celebration for Haraya, my newest niece. It was a fantastic day. Up early, home late - but lots of lovely stuff in between. I got to spend some time with me nephews which is always so much fun. They are growing up so fast - Connor is getting so tall. We had a short, but sweet visit with my Uncle Ern and Aunt Marcia - it was good to see them. They have been doing a lot of renos on their place, and it is looking great. Marcia donated a great gift for Jack's Silent Auction - thanks Marcia!!

Then it was off to the Baptism - I have been calling it a Christening. I'm not sure if there is a difference really. It was a nice service. I got to see cousin Marsha - we behaved during the service, there was not too much laughing. Babs was there too - always so great to see her. And the rest of the family. And I finally got to meet and have a little cuddle with Haraya. She is a little angel. So beautiful. I think that she looks a lot like her dad and a lot like her big brother.
 

Then it was off to Sharon's mom's house where we had a great visit and lots of incredible food. Sharon's aunts always do a grand Philippine feast. I got to meet new baby Kate and see Claire, Sam and Mitch - it's always such a treat to catch up. 

Then home. Easy ferry ride. Home at a decent time. Home to a grumpy Chris. Sorry, let me re-phrase that - home to a tired Chris. Whatever. When Chris is tired, he's grumpy. We hung for about 5 minutes and he was off to bed. 

Monday: hello sleep in - well except for the 5:30 AM wake up call and then the 7:00 AM wake up call by the one and only Mr. Magnum. Ok, well I slept in until 8 - when he woke me again. I am pretty much convinced that he 'does' mornings. Most people don't like to 'do' mornings, he does. Jozie, in bed 'til noon, when we woke her to go for a walk. I tackled the downstairs bathroom and set it all up - new towels, new shower curtain - who is going to come and stay with us? We need for someone to come so that they can have a stay in our suite. 

Dinner tonight - was made in between the season finale of 'Jon and Kate Plus 8' - I LOVE that show. I don't watch it religiously - honestly - but it was on during the day - and they kept saying 'season finale' - so I needed to watch it. I am just amazed at a couple that can have 8 kids - 6 all at the same time. Normally I get all emotional when watching all of the kids - I'm an emotional person - I can't help it. Not tonight - it was just all cute. 

So back to dinner - it was supposed to start off as gumbo - but I realized that I didn't have an onion, so I needed to switch it up a bit. Well, maybe it is still Chicken Gumbo sans the gumbo - not that you need an onion in gumbo - but it makes for a good rue. Hello fancy cooking word.  

Chicken Gumbo without the Gumbo
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 cup of chicken stock
2 red peppers - diced
1 large zucchini - diced
4 stalks of celery - sliced
1 can of navy beans - rinsed
2 cloves of garlic - minced
5 italian sausages - I broil them for about 5 minutes each side - then cut in thick slices
8 boneless skinless chicken thighs - cut into 4 pieces for each piece
2/3 cup orzo
Smoked Paprika
Kosher and pepper

In large pot, heat oil and add flour. Stir to make your rue - add some kosher salt and cracked pepper - add tomatoes. Stir to mix everything together - add stock. Then add all of your vegetables, garlic and chicken. Season with paprika and anything else you like to add. I didn't have any chili flakes - but I would have liked to have added those for heat. Simmer at a low heat for about 30 minutes.

When the chicken is almost cooked through, add the orzo, and keep the heat on low, and stir continuously to ensure orzo doesn't stick to the bottom of your pan. Cook for about another 10 minutes. And that's it! Serve hot in a nice big bowl. 

Chris rated this a 5! There is a lot left over - lunches are made - and hopefully even dinner for tomorrow. 

Tomorrow is running day. Oh my. What have I done this week. NOTHING. No running. I am going to be grounded for not doing my homework. I need to make better choices - plan my week better - do what I say and I want to do. I need to stick to my schedule - more than just the one night a week run. I was doing really well - and now, well, I am doing what needs to be done. I will do better this week. 

So, that's that for tonight. I am prepping myself for back to work tomorrow - back to normal. 16 more days and we will be in paradise, and there will be NO normal around there. 

Night friends.

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Welcome, Spring.

Happy 1st day of spring, happy Saturday. I have to be honest, spring has never been my most favourite season. I think that it's because growing up we had 5-6 months of winter (which I love) and when spring came it was always really wet from all the snow melting, always dirty, and there was that limbo stage where you couldn't wear winter clothes but you also couldn't wear spring-summer clothes b/c it was still somewhat cold. I still sometimes struggle with that transition. Anyways, I love fall. I love the crispness of the air, the changing colours of the leaves, the chance to buy new fall clothes. I am, however, learning to love spring. The longer days, the chance to be outside and enjoy the warm sun, knowing summer is just around the corner and seeing all the new life of flowers that have been hibernating all winter. 

TGIF went well. It was a good end to the week. We had a great night at the Beagle - Chris and I like to call it the Reagle Beagle. There were 10 of us. We got to meet our friend, David's, new gf. She is very sweet - they seem like a cute couple. David is our resident house sitter. He is house-sitting for us when we go to Mexico in 16 days!!!!! He hasn't taken care of the pups before - and he is VERY excited! I am so relieved to leave them in good hands. And it is refreshing to know that he is looking forward to it. He has already taken the Friday off - so that he will be home with them for 3 days. He is planning lots of dog walks down at Dallas Road. They will be in good hands. 

Today was a nice day. Magnum woke me at the crack of dawn - 7:03 AM - he was happy to go back to bed after his outing, and after he finished playing 'Billy Goat' all over Chris and I, we were able to go back to sleep. Hello 9:23 AM - wahooo! Chris did a SB's run for a Vanilla Tea Misto for me and a coffee for him and then made poached eggs - breakfast of champions. I made it to the mall to get a few Easter treats for my niece and nephew, got a nice pair of new shoes, and after way too many pairs of pants tried on, I finally found a pair. FRIG. Ok, not sure if you can relate, but I have been feeling really great lately. In fact, yesterday the pair of jeans that I was wearing, were able to be pulled down without the zipper and button being undone. So today, I am feeling good, and then dressing room number one gave me a beating. How can the size that I am trying on be too tight, when the same size I had on yesterday be falling off of me. So I went and tried on other pants, same thing. 3rd store, I found a pair that I really like, thankfully. I came to the conclusion that the 'pant companies' are making pants smaller. What else could it be? The only possible answer! Right? Whatever. I have always had a hard time with dress pants, I am a jeans girl, so always struggle to find a pair that I like.

Chris and I hung the drapes - hemming will be done next weekend. Everything is tidy and put away downstairs, and it is looking like a really great space. I am really proud of us. We finally took care of bidnid (business) - finished a project. Here is a pic of the computer room. I will show a pic of the desk when it is fully completed. We still have a bit of a 'wire' issue. Chris has assured me that it will be tidied up.

Please don't look at the mark on the rug - that will be my next cleaning project.

We just finished a great dinner. Jules was supposed to come, but she wasn't feeling up to it. We had pork tenderloin with sauteed apples in peach and apricot wine served with roasted vegetables. 

Pork tenderloin Sims Style

2 pork tenderloins - small 
2 tbsp of dry pork rub

Heat up your skillet, add olive oil. Rub both sides of the pork with the rub. I used a rub that I bought in the grocery store, and it's really good. Place both tenderloins in the hot pan and heat both sides for about 3-4 minutes per side. 
Transfer the tenderloins to a pan lined with aluminum foil and cook for about 30 minutes at 425. 
In the same skillet, add 1/4 cup of white wine. Keep heat quite low, add 2 cut up apples that have been cored and peeled and cut into small chunks. Add 1/4 of peach jam or if you have homemade peach and apricot wine, add that. My brother and his wife gave me some homemade wine that they made this summer from the peaches and apricots from their place. So good. Anyways, simmer with a lid on the pan.
When the pork is done, remove from the oven and cover them with tin foil and let sit for at least 10 minutes. This will force all of the juices to stay in leaving the pork so tender. 
And that's it. Slice against the grain in thin strips, top with the apples. 

I roasted the veggies - butternut squash, red pepper, zucchini and cherry tomatoes - drizzled with olive oil, kosher and pepper - placed on a cookie sheet for about 35-40 mins in a 425 oven. When they are done, remove them from the oven, turn it off, and grate fresh parmesan over top and place the pan back in the oven for 5 minutes. 

Chris rated this a 5!

Tomorrow we are off to Vancouver for the day for my niece, Haraya's, Christening. My sister and nephews are coming with my mom and I - so it should be an interesting trip. It will be a long day - so I am treating myself to having Monday off. I am looking forward to meeting Haraya - and seeing my brother and family. It will be a grand day.

I hope you are all enjoying the weekend and the first day of spring.

Enjoy! 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Can you hear that?

That's Friday telling us that it is near. I picture Friday being a boy - maybe wearing a little pair of short overalls, short boots with socks, something from the 40's, carrying something like a blowhorn, old-fashioned style, yelling contently for us to follow because the weekend freedom is here. 

Hmm. Never really put a Friday into words before.

Anyways, just home from a work dinner. It went really well. We went to Sauce - it was my first time there. It was pretty good - I didn't LOVE my dinner - but it was pretty good. I had pork tenderloin with an apple and peach jam, served with what were supposed to be asiago crusted potatoes and then veggies. The tenderloin was a little 'rough' for my liking - and the potatoes were kind of mashed, I guess more like smashed. I like the tenderloin to be 'tender'. We had a bunch of appy's to share and dessert to end the dinner. Chocolate pecan pie. Pecan Pie. My fav! So deelish. 

So, just home after a long day. Tomorrow should be short and sweet, just the way I likes. We are going out to the pub tomorrow night with a bunch of friends - so that should be a lot of fun. 

I have an action packed weekend - a run on Saturday, followed by some shopping, followed by hemming curtains, followed by hanging with my love. Sunday is a christening in Van for my niece Haraya. I am so excited to meet her.

Ok friends. Get in there, tackle your Friday. Bring it on. BRING - IT - ON!

Loves.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Take care of yourself!

That's my motto for today. I have been thinking about this most of the day. I had a few things come up today and over the past couple of days, and without including the details - I have just realized that it is so important for us to take care of ourselves. I think that when you take care of yourself first, that you can then take care of everything else and everyone (who you need to) next. 

I can't preach about this, because only in the very recent years, have I started to realize this. This has been a very difficult journey for me - a work in progress - and something that I need to be conscience about every day. My struggle with realizing this, was that I felt that taking care of everything else in my life - made me feel good and so I must be ok. But really, I realize now that it was so the opposite. I was more worried about having a clean kitchen and bathroom, making sure that dinner was on the table and the dogs were always walked at the same time. Ok, I still like to make sure the pups are walked - but I am a little more flexible. I also make sure that we have a healthy dinner and that the house is 'somewhat' cleaned*, but I don't let those be a priority. 

*My cleaning lady has quit. She has a full time job. My one clean was the best. It was good while it lasted.  I need to do the bathroom - she's not coming back. Sigh.

I knew that in order for me to be healthy, that I needed to make myself number one. I didn't really realize that this would be so difficult. When I started on my journey I thought that I would just be. Just be strong, capable, willing and it would all be really easy. It wasn't.  I had to recognize  what was causing me stress, what I could do differently, what would still be there for me if it wasn't attended to right away. 

I am still struggling on the journey. But it's a different challenge. I had stress in my life before, and it actually made me sick - now, when I am feeling stress - I make myself realize what it is, and do something about it as soon as possible.

I know that we are all different - that's what makes the world go around. But, I think that taking care of ourselves is something that should be the same. I guess the way in which we do it, is different. I think that we need to and should be asking for help from those around us. But it's important to remember that we can't solely rely on them. I also think that it's really important that we surround ourselves with other people that can help us on our journeys - and people that you can help along. We are all on a journey - and we can all use help in getting there.

Over and out.

Wait - a few more things.
I mailed giftys!!!! Jenny and Shannon, your packages should be arriving in 3 days. I hope you like them. 
Dinner tonight was an old comfort food standby. Meat pie - and roasted veggies.  I had a craving for something comforting tonight. I had a crap food day today at work - I didn't eat breakfast - didn't have a chance - had a donut - really healthy Mitchell. Then ate lunch way to late - a veggie sandwich on whole wheat - I guess that wasn't too bad - but I just didn't feel great about those choices. See journey above. HA!
The pups and I had a great walk - there was a lot of stopping and sniffing - we haven't had a walk in the hood in ages b/c we've been doing park walks - so they had a lot of catching up to do. 
Alright - I need to make lunches, do some dishes, and get ready for a healthy night of some good sleeps.

Be good to yourself. Nobody else will. (ironically sung by Journey)

Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Running for my life - part 6.


These got me through the night tonight. They did - they were my pals, they were my hope for finishing and they were my heart and soul. 

I went to running tonight with something that doesn't help - sorry, I went to running tonight WITHOUT something - energy. I'll admit I'm having a little PMS - so my body is revolting a bit, and I am feeling a little emotional.

We started the night with a great speech from a 'stand-in Mena' - oh Mena, how I miss you (although the sister did a great job). One of our topics was 'Adversity'. Mena sent a note to be read and talked about the adversity that she is going through right now with her son Jack. Then we watched a video on Rick and Dick Hoyt - the father/son team that has finished a triathlon. It was a very emotional video for me. I always am emotional when I see how people can accomplish these amazing feats. Then I am sitting there and thinking, how can I feel frustrated that I have to go for a run tonight, and am so tired - when Mena is going through the most difficult time of her life, this father/son team are doing a triathlon together and the dad is doing this for his son - and his son is his inspiration. I just felt so bad - I have a blessed life and I should be thankful that I am out and able to make the choice to run. 

The run started out rough. Then got easier. We did hills, we did last 30 second sprints - and I sprinted! We encouraged one another, had a lot of fun and in the end enjoyed it. Enjoyed it immensely. I have figured out why the first couple of intervals are always the hardest for me. My body is not warmed up. I find that by the 3rd interval, that it is easier. My breathing starts to calm, I feel light on my feet and I am doing it. I need to remember this for each week. I am proud of myself for getting out there, for not skipping out like I SOOOO wanted to - and for accomplishing another week's goal. It was an exciting thought tonight to think that we ran for 42 minutes tonight - and a couple of weeks ago, 42 minutes was our work out time - including the walking and running. I have so much more to do, but it's getting easier. 

One run at a time. 

Dinner tonight was:
Pizza. Don't judge me. I just felt like not making dinner tonight - and didn't feel like having to come home and put something together. The pizza was good. It was a treat. Whatever. 

My evening has ended with (except with the damn pizza) me wanting to feel the 'high' from my run - feel that when I take care of myself. Spread the health. I want the lifestyle of being active and having no obstacles. I'm pumped - I am embracing this feeling and plan on spreading the word.

Enough for now.

Loves.
Enjoy!

Monday, March 16, 2009

What up Monday?

Wow - hard to believe that Monday came so quickly. First day of the week went by fast. I was all geared up to take the pups for a walk when I got home - and as I walked in the door - it started raining sheets. Literally. Huge down pour. I opened the door, Jozie came to investigate and turned around so quickly and went and sat about 5 feet away. It was pretty funny. Our fair weather girl. Magnum - die hard, wondering why we were just watching it - and was in and out several times, loving the wet. I decided to get on dinner quickly - and within minutes of the rain dying down, it started snowing! Snowing - in Victoria - in March. Weird weather I have to say.

I am feeling really good about helping plan for the fundraiser for Jack. I have some great gifts to be contributed so far. Thanks friends! I have to talk tomorrow at run club. Oh god - I hope that I don't get super nervous and talk way too fast and my hands start to shake. I really wish that I didn't get nervous when I spoke publicly. If I'm in a group of people that I am comfortable with - not shy one bit. Put me in a group of people that I don't know, and I am all of a sudden so quiet. Part of me seriously likes to be quiet and just absorb it all and drink all the conversation in. The other part - not really sure. I have often been told that people have asked if I am ''snobby'' - nope - just a little shy.

When I was in college and Uni, I would purposely transfer out of classes if I knew the first day that there was going to be an oral report. I remember oral presentations in elementary school. I remember once doing an (haha - I was just proofing this and I had 'anal oral' - oopsy) oral report on Holland. I was super nervous - thought I did pretty good - my bf Shannon asked me what language they spoke in Holland and I answered with 'Hollandish' - ahahhaa! Obviously not prepared. And that same day, a school friend, Chantelle, did her report on Morocco and she was so nervous. Poor thing, her leg started to shake out of control, and she started hitting it over and over. Oh my - it's funny when I look back on it now. Not sure whatever happened to Chantelle - maybe she's a news anchor woman somewhere.

I am full - I made a great dinner - courtesy of cousin Marsh! I have used Veggie Ground Round before - and didn't love it. But tonight, I seriously could have eaten the entire pan before mixing it in with it to make the Shepard's pie. I would totally recommend this dish - give it a try - don't let the Veggie Ground Round intimidate you if you haven't tried it before.

the best shepards pie ever!!!!
ground round(for meat lovers)
lentils
spices and herbs
onion and garlic
corn
carrots 
cauliflower
potatoes
1) steam the carrots, califlower and potatoes (i leave the potats out, less fattening)
2) oil, onions, garlic in a pan till clear...add spices and  ground round(for meat lovers) and cook. then add lentils...if not meat lover just put the lentils in with the spices
3)mash the steam veggies
layer..meat and lentils, then corn, than top with the veggies, put in oven with a little bur on top if u want....heat and serve..so easy but yet so good. 


I made it slightly different - I used yams for my topper. I didn't have a cauliflower and forgot carrots. I mashed them up  with a little bit of minced garlic. So good. Hey, question - what do you consider a yam? I think that yams are the orange ones and sweet potatoes are the yellowy ones. But when I see them being used on cooking shows on tv, and they are using sweet potatoes which are supposed to be so good for you - they are using the orange ones that I consider yams. What do you think? 

I finally have all the gifts packed up and ready to send off. Sorry they're late - I am the WORST person for mailing things. I'm serious. Note to self - focus on mailing things when I am supposed to. I have Christmas Cards, birthday  cards, my niece's baby things, my niece and nephew's Valentine's gifts. Ok, I am starting to stress - thinking about my mailing issues, I have anxiety. Note to self - don't be anxious when thinking of my mailing challenges. I expect them to be mailed and delivered very soon. I so hope that you enjoy them all. I wish that I could give treats to you all - but trust me - I have some fun things that I am wanting to do - stay tuned. 

Ok, Chris will be home soon. I had a dream last night that I visited him at work and he wanted to break up with me. So I walked off, and was like, uh - what the heck. Don't worry it was only a dream - we're in love. 

Tuesday is just around the corner - it will be a good one - I can feel it. Run day, running for Jack and Mena, is always good for the soul. 

Loves. 

Enjoy!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Super Sunday - welcome William Alan

Cousin Margo and husband Reido and big sister Maryn welcomed William Alan into the world today. A new baby boy for this fantastic family! I love my cousin Margo and am so excited for her and excited to meet this little bundle. Congratulations!!!

I'm super excited all around today. It's been a very productive Sunday - I feel really good about everything that we've accomplished. Today I woke early by our Mr. Magnum - I thought it was 7:53 when I woke up, but after coming in from our 'outing' - I realized that it was only 7:03 when he woke me, so I went back to bed and slept until 8. Wahooo! Even though every time the wreath on the door banged b/c of the wind storm outside, Magnum barked and woke me, the extra sleep was worth it. 

I headed out to Home Depot to purchase curtains for the downstairs. They have a really great selection if you're on the look out. The blinds that are down their now, are vertical (not my fave - they came with the house) and navy blue - these ones are a light shade of mocha, maybe taupe (what's taupe?) with thin threads with different colours. They aren't glittery or anything - really quite nice. Then to Safeway for some groceries, a break with Chris and then home again. I just started cleaning the basement and it is almost fully completed. It looks great!!!! I will share pics when it's all done - and then hopefully some sort of party to 'christen' the new digs. 

Dinner tonight - quick and easy. Sauteed onion, ground turkey, cream of mushroom soup, leftover rice - topped over a whole wheat bun, and served with broccoli and swiss chard. Kind of a sloppy joe - but no tomato sauce. I know, this is in no way gourmet - but I was a busy girl today and dinner was not my priority. 

I am just home from my meeting for 'Blue Jeans Bash for Jack'. This is going to be a great event, and any one reading this, who is close by, I would LOVE it if you would come. I will have more info shortly - but the gist now is that it is May 23rd, starting at 7, there will be a great bar, lots and lots of Silent Auction items and a dance. I have 50 tickets to sell, which I don't think that I will have any problem doing.  Tickets are $20 and if you are interested, let me know.

What I am hoping, that some of you may be able to help with, or know of people who can help, is items for the Silent Auction. All the proceeds are going to Jack and his family. I read Mena's update today - and she was so excited to learn that Jack may be able to be discharged soon, but he can't leave the Vancouver area. She is stumped - not sure what they will do - and as Mena is, she is automatically thinking about what all the families do in these situations. The thousands each year. It's so sad, and just one thing that you don't want to have to think of at a time like this. I hope that the fundraising that is done, will give her peace of mind for things like this. 

Ok friends - I need to wind down and mentally prepare myself for the week :) - ha, just really need to wind down and hang with Christoff.

Be good this week - treat yourself to something - remember that spring is just around the corner. 

Loves.

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Farewell memory lane - we've purged you.

Just sitting down from a hardcore afternoon of purging. It still looks like a bomb hit the downstairs, but I see the light. Light = organization, clean, tidy, everything has a place. 

I am embarrassed to say, but we found about 5 boxes of 'stuff' that were just put in place when we moved 4.5 years ago. I guess the first part is admitting it. It felt good to get rid of all that junk - organize the stuff we needed to keep.  I found some very funny things within the clutter, and some things that definitely took me down memory lane. Pictures - oh so many pictures. Pictures of my nephews when they were so young, pictures of Brenna, pictures of my sister and I hooping it up, pictures of me when I was skinny-ish, pictures of Chris' son - Bon, my dad. 

Oh my dad. I found his biking box with all of his tools for fixing his bike, his helmet, his riding gloves and glasses. My dad was an awesome cyclist - and he LOVED it. The year before he passed he rode his bike to Prince Rupert from Kitimat, ferried over to the Queen Charlottes and the ferried back home again. I am still so proud of him. I still remember, like it was yesterday, when we bought him his first mountain bike. It was June 1st, a nice warm summer night, and he got on his bike, said to us all "I am going to climb mountains with this bike" then rode over the garden hose and fell off. It was so funny. We had many good rides together - he was always so encouraging and positive. He was an amazing athlete. Oh to have one more ride with him.  Sigh.

I also found a diary that I kept in 1992 when living at home in Kitimat. I didn't have a chance to read any of it, but skimmed a few pages, and it is good. Too funny. I also found love letters that an old bf sent, Robert (Jocelyn, remember him????!!!!). I have to give those a read. They will be funny too. 

You know, I really think that having crap or clutter or junk, whatever you call it, is there for people who need to remember. Now, please don't think that I am condoning being a pack rat, but it's fun to look through things that remind you of your past. It's also important to be able to purge what you can and enjoy your newly organized house. Chris and I did really well - there were no disputes - phew. 

My mom, sister and nephew - Callum - headed over the Vancouver today for Callum's Spring Break Hockey Tournament. I hope that he plays great, I know he will. I bought him a new pair of runners and dropped them off at my mom's last night for her to bring them with her. He called on his way to the ferry this morning to thank me for them. He said that they will probably make him run faster. So cute.

I am not sure what we'll do for dinner tonight. We had a late lunch. I 'gourmet upped' a can of mushroom soup - by sauteing sliced mushrooms and dried oregano. Added them to the soup and topped with freshly grated parmesan. Nothing fancy, but it was a fast.

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend. Don't forget to watch Hockey Night in Canada, first intermission - they should be chatting about Jack. Can't wait to hear it.

Until tomorrow.

Enjoy!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Fafafa-riday!!!

Oh yes, it's here. This week seemed to fly by - right by - like the wind. Wait, does wind really fly? I guess I could say - it flew by - right by - like a seagull or an eagle or a heron. Anyways - you get my drift. I'm not complaining, trust me. 

We had our last mortgage meeting tonight - so it's pretty much all done. That's exciting! We're saving a bundle - it's a good time to be buying or re-mortgaging right now. After we left or meeting, we picked up Jules, and went to the Four Mile Pub for dinner. It's just around the corner (well almost) from her house. Decent dinner - my mom and I both had a spinach linguine with roasted garlic, roasted chicken, feta and mushrooms. The dish had literally about 25 garlic cloves, quick frozen chicken, some mushrooms and no sauce. Hmm? Oh well, the company was the main thing - and that was lovely. The table beside us had 4 men - that used the EFF word every second word. I understand that using the EFF word is inevitable at times - but when you're in that sort of environment - I know we were in a pub - but it's a nice pub - so try and be respectful. Anyways - I just wish that sometimes I had the courage to lean over and say 'hey, simmer down. we're trying to enjoy ourselves and all we can hear is you saying the EFF word'. It's not a hard thing to do. What will they do - tell me to EFF off? I guess they could. Or would they laugh and apologize? I really don't know - but my fear of confrontation - comes out in situations like that. Note to self: work on that.

So exciting news to go with news about Jack. My friend Maegan, somehow (I am not sure how) has NHL'er Kelly Hrudey's phone number - so last Saturday she called him up, told him about Jack and asked if he could put out a shout on Hockey Night in Canada. He couldn't do it last week, but he has promised to do it for tomorrow's. Isn't that so great? So, tune in at the first intermission of the second game tomorrow night. He said that if it wasn't announced that he would do a special DVD up to send him. I can just imagine little Jack's face hearing his name announced by Kelly Hrudey on Hockey Night in Canada. Maegan, you've out done yourself!!! That is just the way Maegan is. It's how she roles.

I have had two donations given to me already for the Silent Auction for Jack. A Robert Bateman print and a gift box with note pads, photo album, pens, gift cards and matching envelopes. I am going to put together something from HiddenDistance - maybe a hoodie and some other fun things - kung fu related. I will have more information after Sunday - so I'll keep you posted.

If you want to check out Mena's update on Jack's journey, check out it out HERE and then click on 'Run for Jack' - Mena is updating it often. It's sad - but at the same time - with the way that Mena writes, you can't help but have the most hope.

I missed my run last night - I played hookie from Run Clinic homework. I am feeling a little guilty - but I will make up for it this weekend and do what I need to do. Have a good strong run, breathe easy, be light on my feet. Oh man, I hope that I make it happen. 

My aunt has been sending me fabulous recipes that I am going to try and test them out this weekend. She has been doing a lot of cooking with tofu lately, which is something that I don't do very often. So, this weekend, I think that I'll give it a try. 

I also have some plans to do a little shopping tomorrow. I need to pick up Shannon's soap, and since it's downtown I am planning on heading to MEC and see if I can pick up an over the shoulder backpack for our trip - then, I have a GAP coupon for 30% off which is awesome, so I'll see what I can find - then, I am thinking of looking for a new pair of jeans. That should keep me busy. Chris and I have also committed to organizing/purging/cleaning/tidying our basement this weekend. Now that I have written this - we can't back out now.

Well friends - that is it for this evening. Finish watching the Canucks game, and then heading to bed. I have been having crazy dreams lately, so hopefully tonight will be uneventful.

Enjoy your weekends wherever you are. I hope that the winter sun finds you and that you get in some sweet fresh air.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Do you ever have one of those days?

Do you? What is it that makes you have one of "those" days? I have to admit that I try not to have many of "those" days but sometimes they can't be helped. I hate to complain when they are little things that shouldn't get to me. Things could be worse. They could be SO worse. I'm blessed - I don't have too much that I should complain about - but we're human. It's inevitable. Sigh.
SIGH.
Today - was one of those days - certain noises got to me. I was irritated. The sound of popcorn crunching and the thumping of playing air drums on a desk, got to me. Fortunately, I am able to get up from my desk when needed - so a meeting in the local coffee shop was just what I needed. The chai latte and a chocolate cookie - brought me back to normal and the few moments of fresh air, did wonders. 

I really try hard not to let things get to me - Chris would probably tell you differently - but by law, I am pretty sure that having your spouse see you at your worst and have to endure whatever, is the way it's 'supposed' to be. I love you Chris! Ok, don't worry, I'm not a giant spaz and expect Chris to just sit there; however, he often does call me a 'giant spaz'. Whatever. I'm not. I am a little anal sometimes, I'm not going to lie. Forgive me if I want dishes put back where they belong, or that I want the garbage to be taken out without asking. Really, ok, I am venting and it's dumb. Things could be worse - I have dishes to eat off of, a house that covers us and a love to share it all with.

Tonight I had planned to make Ruth's Sticky chicken thighs - but my mom asked me to come for dinner - and I am so glad she invited me. She made a delicious dinner. Stuffed turkey breasts, sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower. It was so nice to be treated to a great dinner. 

Mom's Stuffed Turkey Breast - in Mom's words
I took 4 slices of brown bread and madeit in to stuffing. Cut 1/2 onion into pieces and saute in 1/8 c. of margarine, along with 2 stalks of celery, saute till soft.Meanwhile, take a handful of dried cranberries and soak in hot water. I then  put it altogether with the bread, added poultry seasoning, parsley flakes, salt, pepper and mixed it altogether (drain cranberries first)

Take your thigh, and flatten it out as much as possible.  Put the stuffing ontop of the thigh and roll up, tie with string in three places. So that the stuffing didn't fall out at the ends I took pieces of the 1/2 onion I had left and with toothpicks attached pieces to both ends.
I baked it at 350deg. for 1 1/2 hours in a sprayed dish with a lid., remove and let sit for 5 mins, then cut.

So delicious!!!! I will have to try this some time.

I am just waiting for Chris to come home - it should be any minute now. It's hard not seeing him for more than 30 minutes in 48 hours - seriously - sleeping with doesn't count. 

We are nearing the weekend - and it's a much needed one. Until tomorrow... happy sleeps.

Enjoy! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Running for my life - part 5. AND Guest Chef Jenny!!!!

I'm home - I went, I conquered, I made it, I am complete for the day. Ok, now for what really happened: I went, I struggled, I was last the entire run (except when they did the loop and scoop), I ran, I walked part way up a very steep hill, I cried, I made it and I am complete for the day. It was a rough night, but as much as I am finding it rough, the more I am finding it easier. It was a great night for a run - it was nice being able to run in the light for a change.

The highlights of the night - a speech from Mena that one of the leaders read out. I cried. She is going through probably the hardest thing of her life, but she is able to pull whatever she can to help us all be inspired and want to keep going. I am truly blessed that I have met her. There are many different groups putting together fundraising campaigns for Mena and her family: there are options to donate funds or to donate items for a Silent Auction. If anyone would like to donate something to this cause, to help out the Westhaver family while they take care of their little Jack, please let me know.

We also had a guest speaker, Gordie Tupper. Check him out HERE. He is a local news guy that has been in the community for years. He has lost 150 pounds. ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY POUNDS!!!! He did it the healthy way, following the zone diet, doing water aerobics twice a week and then gradually boosting his cardio activities. So amazing. He is definitely an inspiration. Even though he wears a ring on each of his pointer fingers, he is still a good person to come and motivate people. PS - can't do the pointer finger rings or the middle finger ring on guys. I know - it's dumb. Whatever.

I did struggle with the run tonight - but it's definitely a different struggle than it used to be. I know that my endurance is getting longer - I now am waiting for the interval whistle to blow after about 4 1/2 minutes as opposed to 1 minute. We ran 5 and 1 tonight, 7 times. We're getting up there. Soon we will probably be doing 10 and 1 - can I do it? Who knows, but I better give 'er all I gots!

C. Mitchell Presents - Guest Chef Series: JENNY

Now for something exciting. Jenny was our #1 winner in the Giveaway. I have known Jenny since we were 13. We both grew up in Kitimat. We did a couple of years in Victoria together at Camosun - and we had a lot of fun together. Jenny is a great person - so loving, so kind, so funny, so inspirational and I am glad that we have connected after so many years.

I asked Jenny the following - so that we can get to know our very first Guest Chef.

1. What is your favourite meal to eat? To cook? My favourite meal is butter chicken...yumminess. I could live off of the stuff. Generally when I make it I make enough to do butter chicken wraps for the next day.
2. If you could have dinner with anyone - anyone at all - who would it be? I'd love to have dinner with my dad...(does that count)...Just one more dinner with him, where he could make me laugh, I could roll my eyes at him making a mess all over his shirt and just to enjoy his company. I'd make him a dish that included my mashed potatoes just to hear him say to my mom"Danna, you really should put somethiing different in your patatas!" and she'd throw him a dirty look!!
3. What is your most memorable meal? When Scott, Shaun(his twin bro) and I were backpacking through Agrigento, Sicily we befriended a Siciian. He promised to take us to a restaurant that wasn't known to tourists. It was the most amazing meal ever. We dined on seafood, pasta, and salad in the most unique little Sicilian restaurant. He ordered everything for us and it was mouth watering. The ambience was perfect, and it will always be a fond memory.
4. Lemons or limes? Lemons...yummy
5. Favourite kitchen utensil or appliance?
My favourite appliance is my electric skillet. I use for everything...sauces, ground meat, pancakes....I'd be lost without it.

Jenny supplied three recipes - and they all look fabulous. Give them a try and let us know how you liked them.

Mini Meatloaf Muffins:(I've (Jenny) altered)
Ingredients:
~1 pkg lean ground meat(I use half ground pork and lean ground beef, but tried it with turkey and it was delish)
~1 box of Stove Topped Stuffing Chicken flavour
~garlic to taste
~1 can of pizza sauce
~shredded mozza
~1 cup of water

Spray your muffin tins with a vegetable spray. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a bowl mix the meat, water and stovetop stuffing together. Add the mixture into each muffin tin. Top with pizza sauce.
Bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and add grated cheese over the top. Cook for another 5-10 minutes.
Enjoy.

Can serve with Mashed Cauliflower.
Simply boil the crap out of the cauliflower (about a head) for about 10-15 minutes. Add 1 cup of milk and some butter to the mixture as well as pepper, garlic...kosher salt...
and voila...delish delight!!

Or with a vegetable medley...
cut up zucchinis, eggplant, mushroom, onion and peppers. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes(keep checking it's not overcooking). Remove from oven and add grated parmesan or mozza cheese....bake for another 5 minutes or until melted....
Yumminess!!


I am excited about all the recipes that we can all try. I just had a thought - we are all chefs in our own ways, we are all runners in our own way - regardless of how we cook, or how we run. We all have our own ways of getting things done and it is so important for us all to share our secrets, to share our strategies to share our thoughts and to share what we can of ourselves.

I hope that you all had an excellent day and that your dreams are about how exciting Hump Day will be. Oh ya, half way there friends.

Enjoy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Is it really March?

We had a bit of a winter blizzard today. I'm from the north, so it was like a good old fashioned Kitimat snow fall. Most of the morning I couldn't see out of my office window - the snow was coming down sideways - it was all white. I loved it. I love winter, so the snow for me was welcomed - however, when walking the pups tonight and having them all full of muddy toes and bellies, I was missing the sunny, dry weather we've been having.

Ok, it's Monday. Bring it on, second week of March.  I think that it's going to be another busy week - full of lots of stuff to do, LOTS. I plan on tidying, posting all of the recipes of those who entered, running, cooking, cleaning, mailing prezzies, and I'm sure so much more will come up. Oh and not in that order. Cutest thing just happened - Magnum saw a dog on tv eating a biscuit and he started growling and then barking at the dog. So cute.

This picture was forwarded to me from one of the Sole Sisters, Margot. You know when you think you look really good and then you see a picture of yourself and you realize that you didn't look as good? That's kind of how I was feeling when I saw this picture. But then, I saw passed the photo, and was like 'Hey, that's me, RUNNING!' Hopefully the next time you see me, it will be so fast that the camera won't be able to catch me. Ok, realistically, I will be looking more fit. The woman on the left is Victoria. She ran with me the entire way, and I was so lucky to have had her there. 

For tonight's dinner, I planned on making Jenny's - #1 winner - recipe of mini meatloaves. I did end up making them, but not following Jenny's recipe to a T - only b/c I didn't have the ingredients - not sure what I was thinking when shopping yesterday. Along with her mini meatloaf recipe, Jenny also posted two vegetable dishes that I am so excited to try.  Before I post the recipes, I decided that I want to try and do one other fun thing. I will try and have them for you within the next couple of days.

I made orzo tonight and the mini meatloaves. Orzo is one of Chris and mine's favourite dishes. My aunt Barb made orzo for my mom, YEARS ago. She called me to tell me what she had and how she thought it was made. So, I tried making it, it turned out, and I now make every so often. I am not sure what Aunt Babs' orzo tastes, I'm sure that is incredible, but this is my recipe. This is my 'winter' recipe and I have a 'summer' recipe that I will share with you once summer heads our way.

Orzo with mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach
I actually add so many different ingredients to this. Mushrooms and tomatoes are my favourite. It's a versatile dish, that is easy to adjust.

1 cup orzo - boiled
2 cups of sliced mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic - minced
1 bag of spinach
12 cherry tomatoes 
2 cups of chicken stock
1/2 cup shredded parmesan
Kosh and pepper 

Once your pasta is almost fully cooked, start to saute your mushrooms in 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add your garlic and saute until your mushrooms are cooking, drain and rinse your orzo and add it to your skillet, stir in the orzo to be coated in the olive oil and mushrooms. Then add your chicken stock and simmer over medium-low heat. After about 5 minutes, add your tomatoes and spinach and continue to simmer. Eventually the orzo will start to absorb the stock. Once the dish is ready - it will be so creamy - you can then add the parmesan.  This dish is so hearty and flavourful. 
Chris has rated this a 5. 

I treated myself to a new pair of runners today - a friend hooked me up. Can't wait to give them a try. I have this weird thing about keeping my runners nice and clean - so if it is still snowy tomorrow - they may not get used. 

Ok friends, I hope that you all had a good weekend and are ready to tackle a new week. 

Stay tuned for the delicious recipes.

Enjoy!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Giving.


C. Mitchell Presents – Is Giving to:

Jenny, Beth and Shannon. 

Enjoy! 

Congratulations ladies! I am very excited for you to receive these treats. I will be in contact with you for an address and let you know what you have won.  I will be posting the recipes this wzeek, stay tuned. I have a few 'honourable mention" gifts - check your mailboxes. They will be a surprise!

This afternoon was lazy. When I say 'lazy', I mean, LAAAAAZZZZZZEEEEEE! After a cup of hot chocolate and toast, I planned to go to one of my nephew's hockey games, and I decided to watch 'Pearl Harbour' that was on tv instead. I never do that. But it felt really good. There was so much that I could have done instead, but sitting on my Royal Canadian (my grandma's term) was what I needed.

I did head out and spent too much on groceries - I should be stocked up for a couple of weeks - and just need to refuel on veggies and fruit. 

I am pretty excited to share tonight's dinner with you all. It seems like it's been awhile since I really cooked up a storm in the kitchen. Cooking tonight was what I really needed. The sun was out - shining in our kitchen window. I made up a dish that I am not sure if we can call it a stew or a chowder, but I think that we'll call it a stew. 

Seafood Stew Sims Style

2 lbs Salmon Fillets - chopped into chunks - I'm not really sure on the amounts, but we had 2 large fillets

40 prawns - shelled 

1 large onion

2 large yams - peeled and chopped into small pieces

2 cloves of garlic - minced

4 celery stalks - chopped

1 cup of corn

1 can diced tomatoes

1/3 cup flour

2 cups chicken stock - or fish stock 

Dried oregano

Smoked paprika

Kosher salt and pepper

Saute onion in 2 tbsp of olive oil. Saute for about 8 minutes and add the yams. Saute for another 15 minutes - or until the yams start to soften. Add garlic, saute for another minute. Add flour to coat the yams and onions. Add pinches of kosher salt and pepper. Then add half of the chicken stock and stir to ensure that the flour is fully incorporated. This will make a thick sauce almost like a gravy. Add the tomatoes, celery and corn and stir and finish adding the remaining stock and dry spices. Let this simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir often.  Then add the salmon chunks and prawns and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes. And that's it! This was a fabulously flavourful dinner and Chris loved it. I served whole wheat biscuits - that you will love once you try them.

 

Whole Wheat Biscuits

This recipe is actually from a scone recipe and I have just altered it over the years. I love making it with the whole wheat flour - so they are not only healthy, but delicious.  

2 cups whole wheat flour - you can definitely use all purpose if you prefer

4 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

1 cup of cheese - I like to cut the cheese into tiny small chunks 

Dried herbs - or fresh - whatever you like to use. I love using dried basil

1/4 cup butter or margarine

1 egg

2/3 cup milk 

Mix all dry ingredients together, cut in the butter - add cheese. Measure milk into a measuring cup and then add the egg and mix together. Mix all ingredients together, get in there with your hands and knead it all together. No need to roll out the dough, you can just pull pieces of the dough apart and place them on a cooking sheet. Makes about 12-13 biscuits. Bake in a 425 oven for about 17 minutes.  This is such a great recipe and I think that you will really enjoy them. You can alter this recipe and add fruit instead of cheese. If you do add fruit, add 1/4 cup of sugar. 

Chris rated this a 5+.

I talked to Chris tonight about the next C. Mitchell Presents - Giving. It's going to be a good one. 

We are on the eve of another week and I really want to remember how fortunate I am everyday. I will miss Mena this week at our running clinic and will think of her and her son Jack when I am out on that running course. 

Here's to another great week, full of whatever we want it to be. We are doing it, we will do it and we are doing it. Just what I need to get me through.

PS - HAPPY BIRTHDAY MICKI!!!!!

Enjoy!

PS - something happened when typing this out - and all of the spaces is hooped - I hope it doesn't look too bad.