Monday, February 21, 2011

Counting sheep.


How many hours of sleep a night do you like to get each night? 5? 6? 7? Ideally I would like to get 8 hours every night - and I try my best to get that. I try not to go to bed past 10 so that I can get up '@' 6 (I used '@' loosely'). I usually have the alarm set for 6:10 and then lay there prep talking myself to get my butt out of bed.

For the past couple of nights I have been waking up anywhere between 12 and 4 and have had the hardest time getting back to sleep. Usually I lay there for 2 hours just tossing and turning and praying to whoever is listening to help my get back to sleep. Apparently no one is listening as the wee hours of the night just take forever to go by when you are wide awake. I am not sure what is happening - but I am not happy about it. Friends have suggested taking some form of sleeping pill, having a nice cup of tea or trying to stay up later. I think that for the rest of this week, I will just try good old fashioned counting sheep and work hard at getting back to a routine.

Monday! I sometimes can't believe that the weekend goes by so fast. So fast! If you blink too much you will miss it all together.

I had a pretty good Monday though. We only had a half day of work - so that our department could go to the movie. Movie Day! We were able to pick which ever one we wanted to see. I decided to go with friends to see 'The Kings Speech'. It was so well done. I really enjoyed it. I loved the main characters. Helena Bonham Carter was so great - she always is.

And now as I am making a dish of Chicken Adobo, quinoa (I will use the sauce from the chicken to give it some flavour, and a salad. While the chicken was on the stove, I did one of Jillian Michaels' workout DVDs. It was pretty good. I did it in the living room, had the blinds down so the neighbours couldn't see and had to more than once push the dogs off from crawling on me. I am going to try and do it twice a week. The DVDs are only $10 so they are worth the workout.

On Saturday night I made a new meatloaf recipe (which I will share shortly) and a couple of sides - one being mashed yams. They are so easy to do - and so flavourful. I picked up a few more at the Rootcellar to do again this week as they were a big hit.

Mashed Yams Sims Style

2 medium to large yams
2 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup of light cream cheese
Kosher salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 375. With a fork puncture the yams with a couple of fork pokes. I would lay a small sheet of aluminum foil under neath as juices will bake out. Roast the yams for about 45 minutes.

If you like roasted garlic too - you can roast the garlic for about 20 minutes.

Remove them from the oven and let them cool off slightly. You can put them in the fridge to speed up the process. When they are cool enough to handle - cut them in half and scoop out the good stuff. With a potato masher, mash up the yams. Add the garlic, kosher salt and pepper and the cream cheese. Mix it all together and serve.

The cream texture of the yams and the roasted flavour are divine.

Alright - time to go and make a salad.

I hope that your Monday was full of joy. The weekend is just around the corner. :)



Saturday, February 19, 2011

Number 1

Macaroon hearts for my sweetheart for Valentines - from Fol Epi

It's been ages. I am setting a pattern. I don't write forever, then I write, and then I wait forever to write again.

I haven't really been well. I don't want to get into details. I know that I will be ok, but I need to do something that I haven't done in a very long time - and that is taking care of me - making my health and well-being my number one priority. I struggle with that. I struggle with that A LOT.

I have 2 legs that will take me anywhere. I have two arms that will let me lift whatever I need to lift. I have a heart that loves. With this I need to be confident in the body that I have been given - make it better and treat it the way that it should be treated.


To start the new way of life - I have started to visit a trainer. I have been to her twice. Her name is Tanya, and she has a great little studio - Force of Nature - that I will be going to twice a week. The first day we just met for the first time and had a consultation. She asked me a bunch of questions - took my measurements and weighed me - I did not want to know those numbers. Maybe in a couple of months I will. Then we met one other time for our first workout. It was hard. Very hard. And as a result 2 days later I can still not walk properly. I can't really sit properly or bend over. I thought that my butt and legs were broken, but Chris reassured me 100 times that it's impossible and that it will just feel better soon. I hope he's right.

Alright enough about me - I do have a recipe to share. Finally.

Jules gave Chris a deep fryer for Christmas. We hadn't used it until this past Saturday when Steph came over for dins and a Canuck game. She basically took over the cooking of the deep frying - which was a huge help.

On the menu that night was fries, onion rings, bison and turkey burgers. Ok, as you are reading this you are probably wondering why I ate onion rings and fries when I am saying that I need to get healthy. STOP WONDERING!! :) Actually it was just a treat - and I definitely did not overindulge.

Onion Rings

1 medium sized onion
1 cup of beer
1 cup of flour
Kosher salt and pepper

This is an easy recipe to prep - the time is in the frying.

Mix together the beer and flour, kosher salt and pepper and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
Slice the onion into thin slices.
Prepare the oil as per your deep fryer instructions.

Dip a couple of rings in the beer and flour mixture, and then gently place them in the oil and fry for 2 minutes. After the 2 minutes, remove the onion rings from the deep fryer and place them on a paper towel lined baking sheet, to help drain some of the oil, and then sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.

Serve and eat!!!

I made another version of onion rings that were baked. They too were delicious. You can check out the Baked Onion Rings HERE.

It's a gorgeous Saturday afternoon here in Victoria. We started out the day with a beautiful dog walk at MacCauley Point - so lovely. We have a guitar lesson this afternoon - and then I am coming home to try a new recipe of meatloaf, steamed brocolli and roasted yams.

I hope that you are all enjoying the weekend.



Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fill me up on Pasta anytime

Don't be too shocked but I cooked tonight. Something different than the old favourites. I actually made turkey burgers last night with a salad - which was a nice treat.

Tonight's dinner was Pasta Carbonara. Oh my. Oh how we enjoyed it. Oh, this just in Chris said that he is only rating it a 3. Oh. Well, I would have given it a high 4. I will also make it differently the next time - but I will explain that later.

Oh my husband. I had one of those thoughts today - I couldn't believe that I was married. I was getting water, and I looked down at my ring - and just had that special moment, a moment of pure happiness, pure content.

I don't think that the water cooler was the reason why I thought this - although I do enjoy water - it was just a glimpse of my ring that I love - and it reminded me that I love and that I am loved.

Alright, enough gush.

I was watching Diners, Drive-ins and Dives last night while falling asleep and they were in this tiny little diner in California - where the owner, years ago, packed up everything - moved to Italy and learned how to cook authentic Italian food. Can you imagine? Packing everything up and following a dream like that? Pure bliss. Anyways, he made Pasta Carbonara - I paid attention and made it tonight. I tried to make it as low fat as possible.

Pasta Carbonara

150 grams of pancetta - chopped into very small cubes
Linguini - I used whole wheat pasta - half a box
1/2 cup of white wine
1 can of evaporated skim milk (large can)
4 cloves of garlic - minced
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cup of frozen peas - Safeway has a great organic brand that are really good
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese

Boil the pasta until al dente.

In a large saucepan, add a tbsp of olive oil, heat over medium heat and add the chopped pancetta. Saute until crispy. Add the garlic.

When the pancetta is crisp add the white wine and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the milk and continue to let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the egg whites and stir continuously. Then add the peas, the cheese and mix well. Then add the al dente pasta right from the boiling water. Stir to ensure that the pasta is well coated. Remove the pan from the heat and add in the egg yolks and stir to ensure that they mix into the sauce.

And with all of that - it is read to serve.

For next time - I think that I would try using something different than pancetta. Perhaps some bacon. I didn't like the texture of the pancetta - and I think that is what Chris didn't love about it either. Nonetheless, I will definitely be making this one again.

Next time I will make it vegetarian - and it will be just as delicious I think.

Luvva luvva.