Saturday, February 27, 2010

Eggs or dancing?

It's a Saturday night - we should probably be out eating in gourmet restaurants, clubbing it up, pubbing it up, dancing, etc. But instead... I am writing on my blog, we're all curled up being couch potatoes, watching the Olympics after just filling our bellies with scrambled eggs. 

From the above - what surprises you more? That I am saying that we should be out being party animals? Or, that we had scrambled eggs for dinner? I hope you said the first one.

I can't remember the last time I went or wanted to go clubbing or dancing, however, I do remember the last time we had scrambled eggs for dinner - Tuesday. To be honest, I am not a fan of having 'breakfast for dinner'. I know that so many people are. I remember as kids we would have bacon and eggs, corn fritters, pancakes - occasionally for dinner - and I was never a fan. I also was never a fan of scrambled eggs - and to this day am still not that much - unless I am making them. For some reason having eggs in a restaurant unless they're sunny side up - I just don't love them. When I look back on having 'breakfast for dinner' - I can completely understand why my mom served that up. It's hard making dinner every night - making something different - on a budget and with lack of time. Mom - I am sorry when I complained. You can make 'breakfast for dinner' for me, anytime. 

I love to make Baked Eggs every so often as well. I love this dish - it is super easy and super hearty - and makes a great leftover breakfast for the next morning.

Eggs are a good source of protein and are good for you. I didn't really think that having free range eggs made a big difference - but trust me, they do. They are delicious. It's very noticeable in baking and especially in scrambled eggs. I make scrambled eggs every so often when it's a late night for dinner and I am needing some quick comfort food. 


I liked both pics - couldn't pick which one to post - so decided on both. Which one is your favourite?

Sims Style Scrambled Eggs

This recipe is enough for 2 hearty helpings of eggs. It seems like a lot of eggs - but don't worry - it's a good source of protein and will be a substantial dinner or breakfast.

6 eggs - try and use free range organic if you can - and see if you can notice a difference
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cream
2 tbsp cream cheese - cut into cubes (6)
2 tbsp of fresh chives - chopped - save a few for garnish
Kosher salt and pepper

In a large, non-stick skillet, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium heat. Crack each of the eggs and add them to the skillet. Add the cream, and a pinch of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. With a whisk, whisk the eggs - you don't have to sit and with them continuously, but often enough - cooking for about 7 minutes. When the eggs have become scrambled, and they are almost cooked through (not runny) add the cream cheese and chives (I like to cut mine with scissors right into the eggs) and continue to whisk. 

When they are completely cooked - about 8 minutes in total - remove from the heat, dish them up and add a few fresh chives for garnish. Serve along side with fresh fruit, tomatoes or some of Art's Bakery California Sour Dough bread. Delicious!

This weekend day has been a good one. I got myself a new watch last night - so headed out early this morning for a run. A Run! A run by myself. I had to share - I was pretty excited that I strapped on the shoes - headed out to the goose - and ran my 4 mins and 1.5 mins walk. I did 8 intervals, didn't stop, and stuck right on schedule. It was a great accomplishment for me.

Then out for a 1.5 hour walk around Thetis Lake with our pups and some good friends. It was lovely out there - mucky - but nice. Chris and I headed to Azuma Sushi for a late lunch. Then I had a quick visit with my friend at her store Sprouts - she was wanting to see my ring. After that, I went to Capital Iron - and was going up the stairs and fell. How embarrassing!!! Right on my shins and gut. And the only thing that I could think of the whole time (it seemed to take forever) was did I break my nail. What the heck???? Hah. I am very grateful that I didn't have to say 'I've fallen, and I can't get up'. 

Alright friends. Tomorrow is the big day. Canada vs. USA. I am so excited - it's going to be a good game. I am going to miss the Olympics - they have been oh, so entertaining. 

I hope you're all having a great weekend!

Loves.

Enjoy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Couch Potatoes

Had to share this.

We are all cozying on the couch. I am on one end, with my laptop, and watching the woman's long program (GO CANADA GO!). Chris is on the other end, lying down so his legs are bent and he has a blanket covering him. Jozie is curled up in back of Chris' legs with her head resting on his legs. Magnum is laying right on top of Jozie. 

I love it.

Chicken Caesar Salad - was on the menu for tonight. It's become an easy and healthy dinner on Thursdays. I was supposed to go running tonight (don't panic (like I was a bit) I have not fallen off the wagon) - I had training today and didn't get out of there until about 5:45 and running started at 6. I have plans to buy a new watch this weekend so that I can set the intervals for myself. I think that this may be a bit weird - but I am really looking forward - a bit nervous - to try running by myself. 

Chris has just ran off to the BM (bank machine) and I requested a chocolate bar. I hope that he delivers. 

Not sure if you are getting the wiff - but the wiff is the weekend, fast approaching. Oh lovely weekend - how I have missed you so.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

White turnips are dee-lish-us. Who knew?

What is one good thing that happened to you today, and one bad thing. My friend, Beth (of the guest chef series) asked me that towards the end of the work day. I thought that it was a great question - something to think about. 

My answers: 
Bad - Chris and I found out today that a very dear friend, a woman that we both love so much, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. The news is devastating. Max has known us for over 12 years. She has been such a great friend to Chris - and Chris loves her so. Chris spoke with her today - her spirits are high and she knows that she has an army on her side. Chris and I are part of that army and we will do whatever we can to help her through this. 

Breast cancer is a terrible disease, and we as woman need to do whatever we can do to try and prevent this disease from finding it's way into our bodies. I can't lecture anyone - I am in no position - but I hope that stories like this can remind us lovely ladies, of the importance of self breast exams and regular mammograms. 

Good - there is a good. When I thought of what could be good when I learned such sad news - I thought of my friends. I have wonderful friends. WONDERFUL. I am blessed to have so many incredible women in my life; Jocelyn, Margo, Nancy, Debbie, Maegan, Tracy, Beth, Steph, Shannon, Micki, Barb, my mom, Auntie Barb (and there are more, many more). All of these women give me so much - I hope that they know that.

So we all have good and bad things that happen throughout every day. I hope that in some way that the good can always help you cope with the bad. I'd love to know what happened to you today - good or bad - or both. Share. 

Alright - I have broke my cooking hiatus. I promise that C. Mitchell is still presenting dinner - we were just on a small MIA from the kitchen. I found the kitchen tonight and made, what I think that I am calling, my new Signature Dish. I was thinking of that earlier this evening - what is a signature dish? I think that it is a dish that I will make over and over again - and switch it up a bit - depending on ingredients, time and my cooking mood.

This is what I made for dinner tonight. I just made it differently. I did the rice in the rice cooker - and in a large pan - I sauteed an onion, added sliced chicken and garlic and then a can of coconut milk. Then added 3 peppers - red, yellow and green, brown button mushrooms, broccoli, and turnip tops (see below). 

For the spice - I added soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, hot sauce and fresh ground pepper. Towards the end, I added 2 1/2 tsp of cornstarch to a small bowl, then added some of the sauce and whisked it together and then added this back to the main dish. Stirred it all together to thicken the sauce slightly. This was an easy dish. Fast food


I bought some lovely, local white turnips at the Root Cellar this week. I hadn't seen them before - I thought that they looked similar to beets. The colour of these little jewels is glorious and their green leaves, oh so lush. I added the tops to the stir fry - and they were delicious. Very similar to spinach. What I did with the white jewels - pure goodness.


Mashed White Turnips

Cut the turnips in half. Place them in a pot of water, and boil until softened. Drain and return to the pot. With a potato masher, mash the turnips. Add 1 tbsp of butter, a pinch of kosher salt and mash to cream them as much as you can. Add freshly grated parmesan cheese (about 2-3 tbsp) and fresh chives. 

And that's it. Trust me - this was delicious. The texture, with the butter and cheese, was creamy and silky, and the flavour of the chives, gave it a flavour boost and made the dish beautiful.

 

The only thing wrong, was that there wasn't enough.

My running career is going strong. Oh my. Last night we did 3 and 2. We got to run with the Olympic torch - each member got to carry it for about 1 minute. I ran with the torch! Very exciting. Tomorrow night's run will be a hard one - I think that we are up to 4 and 1. I know that I can do it - but I will struggle. I will run with my shoulders high - and try and remind myself over and over to relax them. I will struggle with my breathing - and remind myself that I can do it and it will get easier. I will struggle with praying that the whistle will blow so that I can walk. And in the end - I will have ran/walk about 6-7 K - and revel in my glory of one more night of running done.

Alright - I am off to spend the rest of this night - what is left of it - on my Royal Canadian - except for the time I need to switch over the laundry, heat up my Fiance's dinner and prep for tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow is a new day - I will embrace it and welcome what it has to offer.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Olympic Fever!



I've got it. The Olympic Fever - the Canadian Olympic Fever! I love the Olympics - always have - but this year - it's just so exciting that they are so close to home. I am kicking myself that I didn't try and get tickets 2 years ago when you had the opportunity to put your name in the pool to see if  you could get tickets. But... that's ok... watching them at home and seeing everything on tv - and the city of Vancouver - is so awesome.

Our 'current' wall Art.

I am pretty sure that is a shadow on the left side of my upper lip; however, it could be chocolate ice cream. I am hoping it's a shadow and that Nancy didn't let me walk around with a 'stash.

I went over to Vancouver and spent the day with one of my favourite people - Nancy. Nancy is a 'Dubliner' (temporarily) and wanted to come home and be a part of the spirit. And she totally has! We had a great day together! We didn't stand in lines, we didn't do the zip line, we didn't go to any of the country's houses - but we did a lot of walking, we went to Granville Island, we had ice cream and had a fantastic visit. Just being in the crowds and seeing so many patriotic Canadians wearing their reds was well worth the trek. The vibe that you get from everyone you meet, and the way the city is all decked out in Canadian flags and signs of the Olympics was so awesome! I loved every minute of it. 


The flame is behind my shoulder - but the chain link is blocking the view just slightly.

If you were thinking of going over - I would do it! DO IT!!! This is a once and a life time opportunity - there are a ton of things to do. We opted for not standing in lines to visit anything - only b/c it was our only visit and the weather outside was so gorgeous we didn't want to be inside. If you do go over, just be mindful, VERY mindful (if you are needing to get off the island) of your travels. The ferries can be a bit of a nightmare if you're not prepared. I did the PCL - and it was WELL worth it.

I haven't cooked anything. Seriously. I haven't even been in the kitchen. The closest that I have come is buying three cooking magazines. I know. I did, however, do a much needed grocery shop today - and have stocked the fridge with some delicious fruits and vegetables, and lots of different meats - so that I have no excuses but to cook up a bunch of different storms. I have, as always, a bunch of different recipes to try. And I have some time saving recipes - otherwise known as Fast Food - simple but delicious recipes that allow you to make them quickly and enjoy them faster.  Stay tuned. 

I snapped these in my crisper - loved the look of them.
I am trying to start an apple addiction - here we have: organic Braeburns and Ambrosias. And Pink Ladies and Honeycrisps.

Ok - if you are reading this - please sign off - and turn on the Olympics - our Canadian dance pair is about to win gold!

Loves.

Enjoy!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Coming home.

At the end of my work day - I am always so excited to go home. So excited to see my pups, make dinner, enjoy the evening, and just be. My drive home is a nice ride. I, thankfully, do not have a long commute. 7-10 minutes max. I see so many people with their children and dogs walking, lots of people biking and other people in the cars heading to wherever the road is taking them.

On my drive home today - as I was thinking about my run tonight, getting home to my pups, the Canadian Men's hockey game, my beautiful ring, what would Chris make for dinner - I saw the funniest thing. It made my night. On the opposite side of the street there was a small group of about 5 boys - probably 12 year olds - and they had a sign made out of cardboard. As I got closer - one boy was holding the sign watching for people in the cars to read it. The sign read:

"DON'T READ THIS SIGN"

It completely cracked me up! These boys were so proud of themselves. It made my drive home.

Tonight's run was a little rough. The other night's run was 2 mins run and 3 mins walk x 9. Tonight's run (different clinic) was 2.5 mins run and 1.5 mins walk x 10. Yipes. That 1.5 minute recovery was a wee bit short. I did it though. I never walked. I ran up hills - and when things were rough, I thought of my friend Micki - and told myself, "You can do this. You will do this. And You are doing this." 

Inspiration comes in many different forms. For me tonight it was hearing Micki's voice in my head.  

Well - I am sorry to report that there is not a new dinner recipe tonight. Chris is temporarily fired - as he hadn't put a frozen lasagna in the oven that took an hour to cook until I got home. So... I couldn't wait an hour - so we scooted out for a SubWay. Sometimes you just need a sub for dinner.  I have some recipes in my 'bank' - so I will share this one. It's perfect timing - you can whip up a bunch for the Canadian vs. USA Hockey game on Sunday. 

When I have had these in a pub - they always seem to taste as though they have been deep fried. I am not sure if they are - but they taste very crispy. I got the basis of this recipe from my Food Network Magazine - and Callum and I decided which ones to make. In the end, I completely changed my course of the recipe and made them very simple and very tasty.


Potato Skins

Pre-heat oven to 400.

4 large russet potatoes - wash them and then poke them multiple times with a fork
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves of garlic - minced
1/2 pound of bacon
1 cup of shredded cheese

Bake the potatoes for one hour - or until they are soft. An hour should be plenty of time. While the potatoes are cooking - you can take the time to cook your bacon. Once it is cooked - chop into small pieces. 

Let the potatoes cool. Slice them into half - lengthwise - and then in half again - so you have 4 long pieces. Scoop out the potato - leaving a thin layer of potato over the skin. On a parchment lined baking sheet - place the skins on the sheet - skin side up. Melt the butter - and with a brush lightly brush the potato skin with the melted butter. Reduce the heat on the oven to 375 and bake for 15 minutes.

Add the garlic to the remaining butter. Turn the potato skins over - and brush the inside of the skins with the garlic butter. Top with the bacon and then the shredded cheese. Bake in the 375 oven for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is fully melted.

Serve with sour cream and top with fresh chives if you have them on hand. 

These are a delicious treat - very easy to make - and I can guarantee a crowd pleaser.

That's it for me tonight - we're watching the hockey game on our PVR - and it's a bit of a nail biter.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

PS

I wanted to mention that I have added a very handy 'Search' feature to the blog. It's just above - see - very convenient. So you can type in anything that you are looking for - or a recipe that you wanted to try using a key ingredient - and it will bring up a bunch of choices. It has been really helpful for me - and I just started using it!

Loves. 

Engaged - Day 4.

A beautiful bouquet that Tina and Penny brought us - as a Congratulations! 

I feel when I miss a day of writing that I am playing hooky a bit. Life right now is a bit busy - and I am loving all of it. I am really trying to make my running career* a part of my life - trying not make it feel like misery. Misery loves company - so if I am miserable - then it will just consume me. I am trying to fit the running in as I do with needing to walk the pups. I think that it will only get easier. Last night the run was dedicated to hills. HILLS. I curse you. Oh my they are my obstacle. Well, running is my obstacle - but the hills are a struggle. But I know that hills are a necessary part of training - so it's important that I do them. Embrace them. 

*Running career - 2 running clinics a week, with one  practice day - and lots of curse words, emotions, positive and negative thoughts - all with a goal in mind - to get better. 

I am also busy being a Fiance. Ha! I like calling Chris 'Fiance'. I say stuff like 'Hi Fiance!' or 'Fiance can you bring me a drink?' or 'Fiance can I "borrow" $10?' I am loving my ring - I love every thought that I have about the thought that Chris put into picking out such a lovely ring and thinking of the way he wanted to propose. It's all very emotional and very exciting. 

My mom got home last night from a quick visit to Summerland. She got me the best gift - a Bride Book - it's beautiful. It's like a binder with a file folder and leather straps - so it looks like a little bag. It's so awesome! I bought my first Wedding magazine tonight. It was an impulse buy. I was looking for the newest Cooking Light - and I saw a Real Simple Wedding mag - and then I thought 'oh I should get one of those' and then my line started moving in the checkout - and in my aisle there was only a Martha Stewart Weddings - so I panicked a bit and then I just grabbed it. I have concerns that my Cooking magazine 'addiction' will also become a Wedding magazine 'addiction'. I will pace myself.

Ok - let's get onto the goods. Enough about me being a Fiance. I have a delicious recipe to share. My friend Jessica brought in a cup of Cauliflower Curry soup that she picked up at a little coffee shop last week and I have never had this type of soup before - so I had a little taste and knew that I was going to need to try and make it. Coincidentally I had 2 heads of cauliflower in the fridge - so knew that it was meant to be.  This is my interpretation of the recipe - and Chris and I really loved how it turned out. The thing that I loved about this soup as I was making it - is that it could take on any flavours - not just curry. You could do an italian version with roasted garlic and a bunch of fresh herbs. Or you could shrimp with a bunch of fresh dill and chives. I think that I will have to start the Cauliflower Soup Saga. Yumma!


Creamed Cauliflower with Curry Soup

2 heads of cauliflower - chopped into a bunch of small florets
3 1/2 cups of stock - I used chicken stock
2 tbsp of curry powder
1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and pepper
1/2 cup of cream
Sour cream for garnish

In a covered large pot, gently boil (medium heat) the cauliflower and chicken stock. Lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Let the cauliflower simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the curry powder and cayenne pepper and continue to simmer - reduce heat to low - and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. 

With a hand blender or blender, blend the cauliflower so that it becomes creamy. Because you have simmered it for so long, you will be able blend the soup so that it will form a very creamy texture. Continuing to simmer over low heat, add the cream and blend in with the soup. 

Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream. The sour cream is a nice contrast to the spicy soup - and helps cool down the level of heat. And it is a beautiful garnish against the incredible yellow. 

In the picture - the sour cream is topped with fried apple strips. I love apple and curry together, so I tried to think of a way to incorporate them into the soup. I sliced the apple pieces into very thin slices. I added them carefully to a pot with hot oil - and let them heat for about 5 minutes. I removed them from the pot with a slotted spoon, placed them onto a paper towel lined plate and sprinkled them lightly with kosher salt. I think that when I cooked them that I cooked them a little long - so they look similar to bacon. They didn't taste like bacon though - they were delicious.

I hope that you are all enjoying the Olympics. I am not sure if you are tilting your head slightly in confusion when watching the 2 men luge - but I am. But then who cares - it's the Olympics!!! I love them.

I need to say that this blog post was interrupted by a MASSIVE laughing fit with my friend Beth. Stomach hurting, running to the loo needing to change your pj's, sort of laugh. Thanks Beth - that made my night. Love you.

Alright friends - I hope you're all enjoying your week. The weekend is fast approaching.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Can you guess what the news is???

Well. This news that I am about to share is very exciting. I am excited to share this with all of you. I am pretty sure that most of you know already - so this may not be as exciting for you. I am excited to document this - as one day I will look back on this day - and have loving memories.

Are you ready?

I am ENGAGED!!!! I am using caps on Engaged so that you get my excitement. 

It happened on Saturday. Chris and I went for a dog walk - we took a turn that we don't normally take. We stood there - watched Magnum run to chase the ducks - when I looked to my right Chris was not at my side - I turned around and he was on one knee with a box and the most beautiful diamond ring that I have ever seen.

Chris and I have been together for 10 and a half years. And although I didn't think that being engaged would be different - for some reason it feels like it is. I can't explain it. Don't even really want to. But I just am so in love - and love that we can now plan a wedding. I already knew that I would spend my life with him - but this just makes it a bit more official or something. 

I am excited about planning a wedding. I have thought about my wedding for a couple of years - what I would like and what I don't. As a young person, I always dreamed of my dad walking me down the aisle - the bagpipes blaring - and a good ol' Willie Nelson or The Irish Rovers song so that we could dance together. I know that he will be there in spirit - and I know that so much time has passed since he passed - but it still makes me so sad to think that I was cheated, we all have been, of him not being there.

But let's get back to the fun stuff. I AM ENGAGED. I have a Fiance! 

I have a lovely recipe to share - but won't be doing that tonight. I have to spend a few moments on my Royal Canadian and heat up dinner for my fiance. Sorry - I will stop referring to him as that.

But I do want you to see this picture of him. It was taken just after he proposed. I was holding the camera - and on our first try I only got half of my face in - but I cropped the picture - and I love this. This is my fiance. He is oh so handsome - and I am feeling like a very lucky and blessed lady.


Loves.

Enjoy!


Sunday, February 14, 2010

I HEART YOU.

LOVE. LOVE. LOVE.

Happy Valentine's Day. I have lots of exciting stuff to share - but my Valentine's Day evening (when I would normally write) has been dedicated to watching the Olympics. I'm hooked - and an 'oh so' proud Canadian!!

Here is what I made for Chris today - he loved it - I love him. (Don't worry I won't let him eat it all on in lonesome - he'll have to share with his friends).  It's my Tiger Fudge recipe done in a heart shaped cake pan. Yes! I have one of those. If you ever want to borrow it - it's yours.

I hope you all had a great day - filled with lots of love.

Loves!

Enjoy!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don't forget to remember.

I remember this girl all the time - oh she liked the ice cream. 

Remembering...

That is my new goal to set for myself. I don't have a problem with remembering things like - I love chocolate; my favourite whole wheat biscuit recipe; Chris' birthday; the day my dad passed; to unplug my flat iron before work, etc. It's stuff that is just inherent, and that doing these things is just the way that it is. 

What I don't remember is not to be hard on myself. I am struggling friends - but it is going to get easier. I have decided that when I have a negative thought, that I am going to remember to change it and make it positive. We had a great inspirational speaker tonight at running clinic - a guy that 4 years ago started a running clinic - and he has now lost over 100 pounds and is training for the next Boston Marathon. Can you even imagine? I don't want to do the Boston Marathon, I would like to go Boston - but not to do the Marathon - but I do want to run, feel good and not be so hard on myself.

Tonight's run started out hard. I ran 2 minutes with a 2 minute walk. The first two were so hard. I struggled. I had to talk myself out of stopping and walking. It was really hard. I know that I can do it - but I tell myself things like - 'you're tired,  you should just walk. So what if you walk - it will only be 1 less minute of running'. I have to stop that. Once I passed those first 2, I was running without any struggles. Just running. And before I know it we had ran 8 sets with only 1 more to go. And one of those 8 was up a very steep hill.

I have struggled this before - and will continue - I just want to figure out a way to turn it around. Thanks for listening - it's my life - and things will get easier.

Ok - enough about me and my running saga. 

I made these little morsels for Super Bowl Sunday. I saw the recipe online - but the cups were filled with ground meat - and I needed to introduce some veggies to the group.


Roasted Vegetable in Wonton Cups

Pre-heat the oven to 375. Place a single wonton wrapper (you can find these in the produce section of any grocery store - check the expiry date before you buy) in a muffin cup. That's pretty much the recipe - can you imagine. Bake for 10-12 minutes. You can remove them as soon as you bring them out of the oven so that you can let the cool off and make more.

Roasted Vegetables
2 red peppers - chopped into tiny morsels
2 orange peppers - chopped like above
2 yellow peppers - like above
1 onion - chopped into small pieces
1 zucchini - chopped into tiny morsels
2-3 cups of button mushrooms - chopped into quarters
3-4 cloves of garlic - thinly minced
Grape tomatoes - 2 cups
Kosher salt - ground pepper
Small drizzle of olive oil

In a baking dish place all of the vegetables.  Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper and a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Bake in a 400 oven for an hour. The vegetables will caramelize and be so deliciously sweet. Let the vegetables cool slightly and then fill the wonton cups. I think they are so beautiful and very tasty.

I want to try this again - b/c I need to figure out how to give the wonton wrappers a bit more flavour. I think that brushing them with some garlic infused olive oil would be delicious. Any suggestions?

Alright friends - thanks for letting me vent and letting me share my life stories, struggles and love of food with you. You are all AWESOME!!

Loves.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

But...ter chicken.

If you have ever made or tasted Butter Chicken - please don't read this. Ok - you can read this, but be warned that my version should be called Non-butter chicken.

I was very excited to rush home today and try a Butter Chicken recipe from The Pioneer Woman. Well, I made it... but mine turned out more like Tomato Soup Chicken with butter. Seriously. Oh my. Well, it turned out to taste delicious - but I am pretty sure it did not taste like PW's - it definitely did not resemble it. So - I will have to try this one again. 

Check out the recipe HERE - and see what it looks like. Then I will show you what my recipe looks like and what I did differently. I will definitely try this recipe again. I will be sure to purchase the right ingredients and try and get it to turn out like PW's buttery goodness. 

NO LAUGHING!

I said, NO LAUGHING!!

I didn't marinade the chicken. I chopped up the chicken breasts into chunks, added the spices, garlic and lime and then added it to the sauteed onion. I didn't add tomatoes like the recipe called for - and used half and half instead of whipping cream. Because the recipe was then exactly like delicious tomato soup, I added the roasted vegetables to the dish - to try and thicken it up a it. I didn't have cilantro on hand - so I used fresh basil.

All in all, served with basmati brown rice (thanks for the rice cooker Mom) it was delicious - just not like I had planned for it to be. 

Let's talk about something that did turn out. Hello chocolate cake-pops. These were delicious. I found these on a link off of PW's site. Check it out HERE. I loved the picture of the pink ones on the right hand side of the page and think that they would be a great idea for a kid's birthday. I made this for Sunday's Super Bowl party - and also attempted to make little footballs too. I
 followed the recipe - but improvised - and the recipe did turn out.

Chocolate Cake Pops
1 cake mix - bake the cake as per the instructions on the box. Let the cake cool. 
2 8oz packages of cream cheese - let them get to room temperature
3 cups of milk chocolate wafers 
Lollipop sticks - I found a pack of these at Michael's

Once the cake has cooled, in a large bowl crumble the cake completely. Add the cream cheese and with your hands (Warning: It gets messy) mix all of the cake and the cream cheese together. Once it is all combined, roll the the cake/cream cheese into small balls and place them on a parchment lined paper baking sheet. You can make the balls as big or as small as you like. Place them in the fridge and let them cool for a couple of hours. 

Once the balls have cooled and are firm, it is time to prepare the chocolate. In a double boiler - a pot with boiling water and a metal bowl is my double boiler - place the chocolate and let it melt. Once the chocolate is melted (don't eat it - pace yourself) put the stick into the base of the ball and dip the cake ball into the chocolate. Coat the ball and put it back on the parchment paper lined baking sheet and let it set. 


And that's it. It really is a very easy recipe - and they are delicious!!!! So worth it. I think that the next time I try them, I will use white chocolate and then add food colouring to get the colour you are looking for.

I am warning  you - the Olympics are starting - and I will probably be dumb and emotional. I just watched the commercial where the theme song 'I believe' is like a music video - and I was a teary eyed.

We are going to Debs' house on Friday night to watch the Opening Ceremonies - I'm very excited. 

I hope that you are all well - getting prepared for lovely Valentine's Day. 

Loves. 

Enjoy!

Monday, February 8, 2010

When things are rough - drink chocolate milk. No?

Somedays when stuff happens - you just have to make faces like this. 
"What the he77 just happened?"
or 
"Huh??"

Sigh - not sure if that is because the weekend is over and it was a 'weekend like no other' or if it is because it is the start of the week and this next weekend can't come soon enough. 

I am not going to get into details, my family and I are all well - we love and are loved - but there has been a crisis within our small group of friends - one that cannot be fixed and one that has changed our friendships forever. 

Another crisis - my bank account was compromised and someone took $400 out on Saturday night. Thankfully Chris keeps a very close eye on this sort of thing. He likes to think of himself as my very own 'Bank Account Security Team'. I had to go to the bank today after work and get it sorted and there were a ton of people in the lineup - almost everyone there for the same reason. I think that it must have been a huge hit, b/c people at work were affected or knew of people affected. I am dying to know what store(s) had the device that copied my account info. I really need to get into the habit of using cash. But... when I have cash in my pocket it seems to burn a hole. Very fast. 

And one other crisis. I am pretty sure that Magnum 'relieved' himself all over the spare bedroom duvet yesterday. When we asked him if it was him - he did a lot of looking away. Can you believe it? He has also upped his game of chasing bikes passing by - to cars! Tonight - he almost got hit. He was on a leash. And it was scary. Not sure how to break him of this - but something needs to be done.

The main attraction of the weekend was Super Bowl Sunday. (PS I just finished a glass of chocolate milk - way to fast (similar to what happens when I have cash in my pocket) - Chris brought it home yesterday and I tried to stay away from it - good luck with that). Our little party went on. I had a hiccup during the day - so my plans to have a few decorations and goody bags fell through. The moral of that story is 'don't put off today what you can't do tomorrow'. We had a great time. We had the party in our Sweet B. We got to meet Connor's girlfriend - Abby - for the first time. She is lovely. I still can't believe that he has a GF, but I am glad that it is her and not some of these other 14 year old young ladies that I have seen.  I did a pretty big spread of just appy's - and I will show you all of them now - but I don't have the time and energy to post the recipes. Don't worry I will be sharing them - b/c they were delicious!


Spinach and Artichoke Dip with homemade pita chips - Dear Jeannie, it was so good and SO easy.

Pizza dip with breadsticks

Potato skins - they look like a cheesy globby mess - but they were delicious!

Wonton cups with roasted vegetables

Cake-pop - like a lollipop - seriously I'm not lying, these were delicious.

My attempt at footballs - I didn't care what they looked like - there were delicious.

It was a good day. And in the end, a day that reminded me just how lucky and blessed I am to have family around - family that I want to spend time with - and family that I love so much. It reminded me that I am very blessed to have a great partner - and although he drives me a bit crazy - he is the one that I am with - and I love him so. And it reminded me that there is one thing that you should be in life - a good friend. There are times when a friend is going to need you - so letting the friends you love know that you are there for them - is important.

Some of my favourite quotes from the evening:
"Hit Him!!!!!!!" - Jules re: Saints player should be tackling a Colts player
"Chris you're going to make me wet my pants" - Debbie - Chris was probably doing something inappropriate that was making my sister laugh
"I am saving room for the chicken wings" - Callum - he wouldn't eat anything but the Doritos that were put out first b/c he wanted to only eat chicken wings - and he did
"AaAa - you should totally become a chef at Moxie's" - Connor - as he was leaving b/c he always likes a dinner at my house - see!!!! So cute.
"Is there anything that I can help you with" - Abby - nice!!!! She asked if she could help with anything - what 14 year old girls do that. :)
"Oh god, Chocolate milk" - me.

Alright I will leave you with that. Valentine's Day is coming up. Any suggestions on what I should be getting my sweetheart? 

Loves.

Enjoy!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Wee Weekend you didn't come soon enough.

TGIF! It's been a great week. It's been a long week. And I am very happy that this week is over. 

I have ended this week (I know that officially it's not over until Sunday, but I like to think of Friday as the last day of the week and the weekend being it's own little entity) with a nice little dinner out with the 'phews. Callum LOVES ribs - so we took a trip to Swiss Chalet (Jocelyn said they were good) and he feasted on some ribs. I'm not going to lie - I've probably been to the Swiss Chalet 5 times before - and I like it. I know that it's not good for  you - but how bad can a piece of chicken and salad be for you - with a bit of fries? C'mon... it's Friday. 

We drove Connor to meet a buddy and Callum came home to spend the night. I am feeling a little verklempt at the moment. I love those boys! They are just so good - and I love hanging out with them. I know that I don't have children of my own, and I know that I don't know the 'love of a mother' - but I am very blessed to have a such a great relationship with them - and I never want them to grow old, but I know as they do they will become amazing men. 

Tomorrow morning - we are going to have Mini Wheats for a special breakfast (I will probably stick to my oatmeal) - please don't tell Debs - she will freak - and then we'll do a dog walk and then it's off to hockey. I have to do a bunch of grocery shopping - coffee/dog walk with Micki - and then hopefully some time for a little R&R.

I have to tell you a funny story. I have been posting a few recipes on www.foodista.com - it's a great food blog - and a friend of mine at work knows the founder of it so recommended it to me. So anyways, I have posted a couple of recipes - my last one was 'Not My Dad's Stew'. It gives other members the option to post a comment or leave feedback. Well I got my first feedback. I was excited - until I read 'your stew looks like dog food. It doesn't look appetizing at all.' !!!! Hahahah!!! OMG - who says that. I love feedback - I appreciate it and can take it - but c'mon, who says that? If he knew food he would have known that it was a good cut of beef that was used - so who would feed that to their dogs! Anyways - I wasn't offended - found it humourous. I guess I should be flattered that he found my recipe and looked at it. 

I am prepping my menu for Super Bowl Sunday. I think that we will stick to an afternoon full of appetizers. I know that I am making Spinach and Artichoke Dip (in the slowcooker), potato skins (Callum's pick), chicken wings, wonton cups with roasted vegatables, mini franks in puff pastry, veggies, and cake pops. I will be sure to take lots of pictures and post the recipes.

OK weekend fans - I hope you have a great one. 

Loves. 

Enjoy!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Non-traditional is good!

When I started my new Running for My Life series - 2010 - I knew that there were going to be some challenges. Challenges in the sense that I have to alter my semi-organized, comfortable, day to day existence, and spice it up. Spice it up with sweat, heavy breathing, curse words (hmmm?), and nights away from the comfort of my own home. But, it's all for a good cause. It's for me. For me that I head out with runners on my feet to 'run for my life'. So far I have successfully completed week 3 of my Thursday night clinic - and week two of Tuesday nights. So far so good.

One of the challenges was being away on Thursday nights. Thursdays are Chris' and mine first night that we can spend more than 1 hour together before I have to hit the hay. I love it - it's like my Friday almost. Chris is very supportive - he loves that I am running and he makes sure to whip home to walk the pups - so that my guilt doesn't eat at me - that they are home alone, as they have been all day and haven't had a good walk. Check. Chris does this great. Another challenge is ensuring that we're eating sensibly and I am not wishing that there was a KFC on the home to pick up the Easter Feaster bucket O chicken. Ok - really I just through that it so that the story had a really good affect. I can't do KFC.  

I planned our dinner last night - and next week will even be more organized. I whipped up a chicken caesar salad - and it turned out to be delicious. I feel that it was a great and healthy and light dinner to have after a run. FYI - the run tonight - slow. Slooooowww. My new friend, Deb, wasn't there so I ran a bit on my own and then ran with some women that I confronted when it was a bit dark and I was solo. I am trying so hard to make this year different from last. We ran 9 sets tonight - 1.5 minutes running and 2.5 minutes walking. It felt great - I struggled a bit, but I am comparing myself to last year - and I know that it is different - so that makes me think that it can only get better.

So back to dinner. I don't make a tradition caesar salad. In fact, I have never made from scratch, caesar salad dressing. I do make my own croutons (most of the time) and I do like to add bacon and fresh parmesan cheese, but I think that there are some great dressings out there that are low in calories and don't take up the time of preparing the dressing.  I am going to make this my Thursday night dinner - and love it every time.


Non-traditional Caesar Salad

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts - cut into thin strips         1 tsp garlic powder
1 romaine lettuce - chopped into bite size pieces
1 medium yellow pepper - cut into thin strips
1 cup of grape tomatoes - sliced in half
Caesar salad dressing - try Renee's Roasted Garlic with yogurt - so delicious
Croutons - I like to make my own - but I love Marcy's Multigrain Croutons
Parmesan cheese - freshly grated if you have it on hand




In a saute pan - add 1tbsp of olive oil. Add the garlic powder, and saute on medium heat for about 15 minutes until the chicken starts to brown.

Wash and dry the romaine leaves. I washed and dried ours before running tonight. I wrapped it in a lightly dampened paper towel and then put it in a ziploc bag.

Cut the yellow pepper into thinly strips.

Slice grape tomatoes into half. These gems were picked up at the Root Cellar this weekend - and they were delicious. Almost as close to my crop :)

Add everything to a large bowl. Top with the salad dressing. Start out with a small amount and add more if needed. I don't like my salad drenched in dressing.

Top the tossed salad with parmesan cheese and croutons and give the salad another toss.

Serve the salad on to a plate or a bowl and top with warm chicken. And you have a meal fit for Royalty.

Alright friends. I am off tomorrow night with the 'phews. We're going out for dinner - for ribs. Callum's favourite. I am so excited that the weekend is near. Oh so near.  Plan something good.

Loves.

Enjoy! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Inspire me... please.

I am needing some inspiration. Big, bad inspiration. Perhaps it's the time of the year, or long work days, or just life - but I am not feeling like cooking these days - and I LOVE to cook. I love trying new recipes, trying new ingredients, to cook for others, to cook for my blog - but lately I have been struggling to come up with anything - and would prefer to hit up M&M's, Subway or a frozen pizza. 

I am excited to cook up a feast for our Super Bowl party on Sunday - but until then I think that we'll just eat caesar salad :). I know that this is just a phase - and life will organize itself out soon - and I will be back on track.  I did make dinner tonight - thank goodness for Campbell's soup and my new rice cooker.

My run last night was lovely. I purchased a new jacket on the weekend. It's a black cycling jacket from MEC. It's a wee bit tight in the belly area - but that's ok - with the running I better lose some of my lady lumps. Actually I would be good with even loosing one lump. I feel a little stylish - like a bit of a 'runner' and not a make-shift raggamuffin. I am not as emotional this time round. I don't choke up after I run up a hill. I haven't choked up after Megan turns back to run with me. And I haven't struggled. I am on the right track. This year, I haven't run at the back of the group - not that there is anything wrong with that. I haven't struggled with my breathing. And I have tackled a hill like it's a walk in the park. I have a positive attitude. I am trying to turn my 'Must run. Hate to run. Must run.' attitude into 'Must run b/c I love it'. I may be a little exaggerative when I say 'love' - but I am enjoying it - I am doing something for me - and I want to do it because I WANT to and not because I HAVE to. 

Alrighty - let's get on to dinner. Now I have to warn you - that this dish doesn't really look appealing - it may look something like they would serve in prison - no offense pris. But in the end - sometimes you have to trade looks for flavour. Sounds like my last date. Ha!!!! Just kidding, Chris. Anyways, it's a good easy dish. It reminds me of when I was first living with my grandma and relied on a good ol' can of Campbell's often. 

I will probably call this dinner:

What to cook for dinner when you don't want to cook

Ingredients: 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 head of cauliflower, 1 bunch of asparagus, 2 cups of sliced mushrooms, 1.5 cans of Cream of Broccoli (low fat) soup, 1/2 cup of sour cream.

Cut the chicken breasts in half. Place them in a casserole dish and season lightly with kosher salt and pepper. 

Check to see if your boy dog is watching you.

And your girl dog. Yes - check.

Chop the cauliflower into small pieces and place on top of the chicken in the dish. Then add the mushrooms, and the asparagus that have been chopped into small pieces. 

In a bowl, mix the soup and sour cream together. I seasoned it this mixture with a pinch of celery salt, fresh ground pepper, and a pinch of chili peppers. 

Spread the mixture over top of the vegetables and chicken. Don't worry - it is thick but it will become creamy during baking. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 400 oven for 1 hour. 

And that's it! Serve on top of brown rice - and you have an easy dinner that didn't take any time to make.

So... if you have a spare minute - send me a vibe - give me some inspiration - tell me to get off of my Royal Canadian and make dinner for the love of god!!!!

Loves.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday - waiting for Friday.

Before I share my recipe for today - I had the weirdest thing happen today. I was at work - working hard - and all of a sudden I realized that I had just thought 'I should give my dad a call'. What is that all about I wonder? It was the strangest feeling. I have never thought that before. He is always on my mind - but this thought today was a really natural feeling - like it was meant to be - like it was my daily call for him. I just think that something is going on - something made me think that. I miss him - I guess I just want to talk to him. 

I was moved 'some' of my cookbooks to our new hutch yesterday. They were in a little nook in our kitchen cupboards - like a little cubby hole - anyways - I went through some of the cookbooks and magazines - and tried to organize them. I have another huge box of cookbooks in our shed - and they need to come inside - I just haven't had a place to put them before. I miss them - I am very excited to go through them. 

I found a recipe for sweet potato fries - so I thought that I would give them a try. Click HERE for the recipe. I didn't use this one exactly - I altered it slightly. I wish that the picture was available - b/c they were picture perfect. I am pretty sure following the recipe to a tee would not make them turn out as wonderful as they do in the magazine. I am pretty sure that they smother them in butter - and they aren't really as healthy as the recipe says they are.

Here is my version - very similar - I just don't have Italian salad dressings on hand.

Sweet Potato Fries

1 large sweet potato - peeled - and cut into wedges just like fries
2 tbsp of olive oil
Kosher Salt and ground pepper
1 tsp of red chili pepper flakes
1/4 cup parmesan cheese



Add the sweet potatoes, oil and spices to a bowl, get in there with your hands and mix everything fully. Place them on a lightly greased, or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake in a 425 oven for 25 minutes - take out turn over - and then bake again for another 25 minutes. 5 minutes before they are done - sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


Let them cool off - and enjoy. 

Ok peeps - I hope that all is well.

Loves,

Enjoy!