Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Stand Tall.
Stand by me.
Stand by your man.
Stand strong.
Stand up for what you believe in.
Stand in the place that you are.
Stand alone.

When I first started my workout journey, I remember Tanya always telling me to standup tall. She said that in no time that I would be standing tall and not even really knowing it. At the time she was saying this, I was probably trying to breathe and not fall over - rather than standing tall. At the time I didn't think that it would relate to me.

I was thinking about how I carry myself the other day, and I think that much more conscience of it. I still find myself hunched over but when I catch myself I try to correct it right away.

When I was running at the gym last, I was struggling to meet my 25 minute goal, and I just kept telling myself to stand strong, stand tall and the weird thing, is that it worked. It actually gave me a strength that I didn't really know I had. It was a great feeling to take in a deep breath, relax my shoulders, focus on my core and be tall.

I am not really sure where this blog post is coming from, but I think that anyone who stands up, stands strong, stands tall will have confidence that will only give confidence.

I don't have a recipe tonight, per se, but I made a salad that I am excited to share.

I did a combo of roasted vegetables, raw vegetables, cheese and meat. It took no time to prepare, it was super satisfying and I hope that I can stop picking at it before Chris gets home so it's not all eaten.

I used:

2 chicken breasts - boneless/skinless - grilled with kosher salt and pepper
1 red, yellow and orange pepper - sliced in half and grilled on the barbeque skin side down
8 petit pan squash - sliced in half and grilled cut side down
1 cup of shelled edamame - in hot water for a couple of minutes
Cherry tomatoes - sliced in half
1/3 cup of goat cheese - crumbled

Dressing: a very small drizzle of olive oil, white wine vinegar and creamy balsamic vinegar. I like to very lightly dress my salads b/c I think that it helps keep the flavours of the vegetables and doesn't drown them.

I mixed it all together - sliced the chicken breasts and added on top - and voila. Delicious salad.
Oh those little edamame - I heart them.
Alright friends - I am going to sneak a few more edamame before the husband is home.

Have a great night.

Stand strong. Stand tall.



Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Sunny Sunday

Good morning.

I am up a wee bit early this morning. Before 7. There were a few factors that woke me up - people outside on the street talking, the sun coming in through the slat in the blinds and that it's the weekend and it's nice out and I don't want to waste the day. Although, I haven't done anything yet except watch a cooking show.

It's been a nice weekend so far. I love it that we finally have sunshine. Rumours say that it may not last - but I am not going to listen.

Yesterday I decided that I couldn't handle the deck without a little bit of colour so I went out and got a few plants for the pots. I have done a garden/pots for as long as I can remember. Before I had my own place, I used to do the gardens at my parents house. This year was different. I think that it had to do with the fact that I couldn't really see in June, making it hard to want to spend time outside. And, the weather has been so lousy as well, I haven't had much desire to spend time outside either. I love spending time out on the deck in the summer - and I love having the patio furniture out making it like another room - but without some sort of vegetation it just didn't do it for me. I didn't get too ambitious, but I planted a couple of tomato plants, a few herbs and then a few bright annuals.

I decided that I would probably never be able to work in a nursery b/c I would end up bringing all the plants home with me. I felt so badly for them - they were all growing to their maximum in the little tiny pots they were in. I would pick one up to look at it - and couldn't put it back. I definitely got more than I needed - but hopefully they will all flourish in a new pot.

Yesterday I felt a little spoiled - I had a mini mani/pedi at OM. I bought a Groupon months ago - 50% off. I finally went and did it. I had a lady named Laura and she was great! She made my finger nails look lovely and talked me into getting a brighter colour on my toes - and I love it. I will go there again I think for sure.

Since it's finally BBQ season, I am excited to start to try a few new recipes. My newest chicken, is done with mango. You could absolutely use fresh mango, but I found that the frozen organic brand that Safeway has is really quite delicious. I used chicken legs, but it would be good with any type.

Barbecued Mango Chicken

8-10 chicken legs
Kosher salt and pepper
1 1/2 cup of mango
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar - I used the creme, so it's a little thicker
2 cloves of garlic

Season the chicken legs with kosher salt and pepper, and place on the grill. Barbeque them until all sides are crispy.

Meanwhile in a blender, blend the mango, balsamic vinegar and garlic until it is smooth and creamy.

With the mango sauce, baste the chicken for the last couple of minutes. The sauce will crisp up slightly and coat the chicken and give it a huge burst of flavour.

And that's it. The chicken should be moist and have a sweet and tangy coating.

Note: If you don't have a BBQ - no problem. You can cook the chicken in the oven and when it is crispy - you can start to baste the legs with the sauce. Still as delicious.

Alrighty it's time to GO!!! Dog walk. A trip to the Root Cellar. A trip to Dulce's to get my doo done and then home for some R&R on the deck.

I hope you have a great Sunday!!!



Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Down in the boondocks. Down in the boondocks. People put me down 'cause that's the side of town I was born on.

I wasn't born in the boondocks. I was born in Kitimat. That is a song that a friend of mine sang in our Grade 8 Science class. She sang it over and over again during the class. I thought it was absolutely hilarious that someone would just sing randomly. I also thought that it was hilarious that she tried to teach me the song. After all these years I still remember that part of the song. I didn't end up doing so well in Science 8, I blame it on the boondocks.

That friend of mine was Lori. We weren't close friends in school, but we had a common bond b/c our brothers played hockey together and my dad coached them. Years later, through my good friend Jocelyn, we reacquainted and she is still as funny as I remember her back in grade 8.
Isn't she so pretty!
Lori is the type of good friend that you may not see for years, but when you get together with her you can talk for ages. She mentioned that she reads my blog - so I wanted to give her a 'hoorah' and let her know that I heart her and that I had a great visit with her when I was back home.

Hi Lori!!!

For dinner tonight - it was a bit of a treat, b/c Chris was off so he did the pork on the grill. I love it when that happens. I felt like I didn't have to do too much for dinner when I got home. I didn't make anything new - but both of these dishes are worth whipping up. Super easy, super tasty.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Salsa Verde - I used basil and cilantro for my fresh herbs
Greek Orzo Salad - basically greek salad and orzo mixed together

I made these little treats on the weekend. I can't remember where I saw them, but when I did I knew that I had to give them a try. I love zucchini. I love it roasted, sauteed, in spaghetti sauce, grilled, you name it. So when I saw these, I couldn't believe there was another way to enjoy it.

Zucchini Fries

2 medium sized zucchini - sliced into thin strips
3 tbsp of flour (I only had whole wheat and it worked out just fine)
2 eggs - well beaten
1/2 cup of bread crumbs (I used panko)
1/4 cup of parmesan

Pre-heat the oven to 425. LIne a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using 3 different bowls, add the flour to one, the beaten eggs to another and the bread crumbs and parmesan in another. Season the zucchini strips with kosher salt.

Dip the zucchini strip into the flour, then the eggs and then the bread crumbs and then place on the baking sheet. I would recommend doing this one at a time - or it can get messy quickly. If you haven't used this process before, use one hand for the flour and the bread crumbs and another for the eggs.

Bake in the 425 oven for 20 minutes. They will be nice and crispy and golden and you will want to dig in right away.

I served these with the most simplest dip in the world.
Sour cream and fresh chopped dill. Deelish.

Alrighty friends - hump day is almost over - and then the weekend is right around the corner. Right around!!!



Monday, July 18, 2011


I am craving chocolate right now. I am not really sure why, but I am trying to distract myself from running to the store to pretend that I need toilet paper or something - so that I can accidentally can throw in a Coffee Crisp or KitKat or something. Then I distract myself by remembering I stocked up on toilet paper this week already for AirMiles. Ugh. Life is so hard. Just kidding - it's not hard at all, it's good.

I find that I am struggling a bit this week - trying not to eat what I shouldn't. Like chocolate. I bought some fresh raspberries and blackberries - they are so good - and have been helping with my cravings. I just open the fridge and grab handfuls - ooh lala - they are so delicious.

On Saturday when I was trying to cook up a storm, I tried a new recipe that I have been wanting to try for a long time. Pea puree. I think that it needs a new name - something a little more flashy and appetizing. I used frozen, organic peas and shelled edamame. I loved the texture that the edamame gave. Chris really liked this, but said that he would have liked for it to be maybe a bit more creamier - I agreed - so next time I will try to figure this out.

I tried to keep this low fat without adding a lot of oil or other things. I really liked this and will make it again - and loved the natural colours that the peas gave - just gorgeous.

Pea Puree Sims Style

1 1/2 cups of frozen peas
1/2 cup shelled edamame
2 cloves of garlic - minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Kosher salt and pepper

Boil the frozen peas and edamame for 5 minutes. Drain and place in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and puree until creamy. The edamame will still be a bit coarse, but it gives the dish a nice texture. If you are wanting it to be a bit more creamy, I would recommend adding a bit more olive oil.

Slice the baguette into 1 inch slices and place on a baking sheet and heat in a 350 oven for about 15-20 minutes.

I served the puree on the bread, but you could also place the puree in a bowl and put the bread slices along side.

Alrighty that's it for me for tonight. I am having a cold glass of iced tea - and oh how it is blocking my chocolate craving.



Sunday, July 17, 2011

I heart tomatoes

After an early start to the day yesterday - a dog walk, errands, groceries, hanging out with my husband - I got my cook on. I haven't planned on cooking a few different dishes at the same time, in a long time. I think that with all the fresh fruit and local vegetables that it is getting me in the mood.

Although it's not quite peak tomato season, I made a light tomato salad yesterday that was delicious and simple. When I say simple, I mean so simple, but it's so beautiful no one will ever need to know. It's similar to this tomato salad that I make often during the summer, just a bit of a different presentation (and cheese).

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Stacked Salad

2 tomatoes
8-10 basil leaves
4-6 slices of soft mozzarella
Balsamic vinegar and olive oil for drizzling

Slice each tomato into 1 inch slices. Then slice the soft mozzarella about the same width. Once that is done - you are almost ready to enjoy it. Stack the tomatoes, basil and mozzarella so that each stack has 3-4 slices of tomato, 4-5 basil leaves and 3 slices of cheese. Then drizzle lightly with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. I made two of these for us, and I only put the balsamic on mine, and it was delicious.

Once tomato season is in it's peak, there will definitely be more of these salads being made.

I hope you all have had a great weekend - it's almost done :(



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Accidents happen

I don't have a recipe for tonight. The reason for that is b/c we had La Taquisa for dinner. Yumma in my tumma. They just opened a place in the shopping mall across from work and I have had it at work. And it kind of seems to be turning into our Thursday night choice for dinner. Kind of like a Thursday night dinner club, but we're the only ones in the club, so it's probably not really a club. If you want to join us, let me know, b/c I think that starting a club is cool. I always have the chicken burrito and Chris has the El Gordo - I think mostly b/c he likes saying 'El Gordo'. The El Gordo is a burrito with double meat. If you have an opportunity to try it out, I would highly recommend it. Oh, and also try their chicken tacos.

Prior to my wannabe Thursday night dinner club, I had my Thursday ass kicking - aka my Thursday workout with my trainer, El Diablo. Sorry, I mean Tanya. No, I mean El Diablo. I call her El Diablo, the devil, she thinks it's funny. I'm pretty sure that she thinks it's funny b/c she enjoys being the devil during my workout.

Tonight's workout was hard. The first 20 minutes there was burning, broken bones, crying, swearing, yelping and a bunch of other stuff. And then just when I thinking that we may lie on our backs to do some ab stuff - she smiles and tells me that the exercise that we are going to do next is the worse thing that we have done, worse than the ab workout we did on Tuesday night and that I am going to hate it. Uh, who says that while smiling??? What occurred next was hard. The kind of hard that you want to weep but you can't b/c you're so sore that weeping will only make it worse. The 'exercise' was to jump up, then go down on to my hands and jump back at the same time, then go down as if to do a push up, then when down, rollover onto my back and then do a sit up where your top sits up and you bring your knees up at the same time, and then you rollover on your front, go up on your hands, jump your legs forward and then jump up - and do it all over again. 20 times.

I find it funny that when I get home that I am still panting. Attractive I know - but whoa - workout from El Diablo will do that to you.

So after the bootcamp portion of the workout we laid on our backs to do some ab stuff. We laughed about how I wouldn't be able to walk the next day, and that when I am at work I may not be able to get up and use the loo so I would have an accident in my pants. I know some of you may not find that funny, but I was delirious and found it hilarious. I am not sure if Tanya was laughing at that or that I looked like an idiot when I was trying to the El Diablo exercise.

That reminded me of a time when I was 6, and I actually did have an accident in my pants. I was 6 and we lived on a small little street in Kitimat called Plover. It was a cute little street, all bungalows, except the Forward's they had a 2 story, where the kids could do whatever, stay out on the street until late, there was no traffic and everyone looked out for one another.

We had just finished dinner. My mom was still at the table with my sister and brother, and my dad had already left for work for the night. I ran out and was going to call on my friend Tyrian Miskel (sp?). I decided to ride my bike. Her house was about 8 houses down the street. As I jumped off my bike and made my way to the front door I realized that I had to go to the 'bathroom'. I thought to myself, well I will just go in and use hers before we start playing. I knocked and Mrs. Miskel came to the door. I asked if Tyrian was there and if she could play. And then it happened. Mrs. Miskel told me that Tyrian was at our friend Janice's. I couldn't hold it and my pants were filled. I said thank you and turned.

I couldn't ride my bike home for obvious reasons, so I walked it. As I passed Alec's house who came riding out on his bike he yelled 'Cheryl, did you pooh your pants?' and I said 'No!!!!'. I am sure that he could see that my pants were fitting differently. I got home very quickly. I opened the door and yelled 'I poohed my pants'. My poor sister, brother and mom.

So this is an embarrassing story - but I thought it was good to tell. Mostly b/c I am going to ask Tanya to read this, so that she goes easy on me so that my legs aren't broken so that I am always able to be mobile and 'get places' on time.

And just so you know - I heart Tanya, aka El Diablo, so much. If it weren't for her I woudn't be taking care of myself.

Oh friends - it's almost Friday - and I am thrilled.

I hope that you all have a fantastic weekend. I will get my Cook on this weekend and share.



Wednesday, July 13, 2011

20 mins.

Oh my. What a day. A good day.

I am kind of excited what I am about to share. Before I get with sharing, let me go back in time. I have done two running clinics. Each time I went for the 13 weeks, did the Times Colonist 10K and then pretty much stopped running. I am not really sure why I stopped - I think that it has something to do with reaching my goal, and then my mind just realizes that the goal has been reached, so no more runny. Yipes. This realization is a whole other blog post.

Anyways, when I started to work out this year, I was set to pretty much work out with my trainer a couple of times a week, and then I would work out a couple of times on my own*. Then Hit to Fit came to the gym below us at work, so I started to work out there a couple of times a week. And then I realized that I should do some cardio at least once a week, so I started running on the treadmill, just once a week.
*In my mind that is what I thought I would do - but oh how I struggle.

When I first started I would do 30 minutes and run for 2-3 mins, sometimes 4, and then walk for 1. It worked out well - it was a good work out. Sorry that this is a doozy of a story.

This is my first week back to the gym, and today was my running day. I started walking for 3 mins and thought about what my intervals would be. I thought 4 mins running and 1 min walking. At the 3 minute mark I started to run. At the 6 minute mark, I decided to keep running. Then I thought, try to run for 10 minutes. Then when I hit the 10 minuter mark, I said that I would try 12, then 15 - and then I made it to 20 minutes. I ran for 20 minutes straight!!
The first time ever for me to run past 10 minutes.

I know that was a bit of an explanation - but I was so excited. What I realized later on in the day when I was 'reflecting' was that I didn't talk myself out of it. I always do. Typically I would start and at the 2 minute mark I would start thinking about how tired I was; how my shoulders hurt; how my breathing was bad. It was like the first time that I didn't try to give up, I didn't talk myself out of it, and it was like I knew that I could do it.

I think that on my path - it was one of those moments that I know that I can do things. I don't always think that I can and then something like today happens. I'm proud.

For tonight's dinner it was ll things that I have made before.
I made Chicken Adobo - but used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead.
I stir fried red, yellow and orange peppers with edamame beans.
And served all on top of quinoa.

It was a nice light dinner.

During the playoffs, 2nd last game to be exact, we had a house full. It was one of those kind of nights when you start out inviting a couple of people over and the next thing you know you have 15 in your basement watching the Canucks lose. I had originally planned to make a couple of pizzas and a salad. Sheer panic when the numbers grew. It all worked out, thankfully. A friend brought chicken wings - they always save the day.

Anyways, the pizzas that I put together were quick and pretty tasty if I do say so myself. I cheated and used whole wheat pre-made pizza crusts. They're easy - and quick.

Pear, Chicken, Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Pizza

That's pretty much what it is.

1 pizza crust
Pizza sauce - to lightly cover
1 anjou pear - cut into very thin slices
1 cooked chicken breast - cut into small pieces
1 red pepper - cut into thin slices
Goat cheese - maybe 1/2 cup - crumbled on top

Top the pizza sauce with the chicken, red peppers, pears and then goat cheese.

Bake as per the instructions. And voila it's ready to dig into.

The goat cheese and pears go so well together.

You can do these on naan bread or pitas as well - a great alternative - and are so nice done on the bbq.

Alright friends - I hope that Hump Day was good for you.



Monday, July 11, 2011

I'm back...

I have been here, there and everywhere.

My last blog post was May 22nd. May 22nd!!! That was quite some time ago.

I know that I don't really need to apologize for not writing - b/c I am sure that most people didn't really know that I was gone - but for those that do check in from time to time - sorry that I have been away. My here, there and everywhere isn't really all that exciting - but I will fill you in.

Here: Shortly after the 22nd, I had some weird eye develop. Over the weekend my vision wasn't great. When I got to work on Monday I wasn't able to read my monitor at all. It was a bit freaky. I went to the doc and then the Eye Doc the next day who sent me to a Specialist. It turns out my eyeballs were in flamed - both the front and back. Because they were inflamed it caused the wall (or whatever it's called) behind the pupil sticky so the pupils couldn't dilate. It was neat. During this time I had to watch the Canucks lose :( - well not really watch - but figure out what end of the rink each team was on and then listen to the crowd cheer when the Canucks scored. After the eyes cleared up - the Bells Palsy came back. What the hell??? That only lasted for a couple of days, thankfully.
So after missing 3 weeks, I feel fantastic. I feel fully recovered. I feel that for whatever reason, I was given all this stuff to have to deal with - and I did. I wish that maybe someone could figure out what caused it - but in the end - I won. I will just keep getting stronger, keep working hard at taking care of myself.

There: We had our annual family reunion the last weekend of June over at Point Roberts. It was an awesome weekend. There were 8 kids, 12 adults, 3 dogs, 1 pirate scavenger hunt, 1 horseshoe tournament and so much fun. We do this every year and this was our 4th year. We all pitch in for dinners. This year was super relaxing, the weather was great and I loved every minute of hanging with my family.
After the crew left, Chris and I spent an couple of extra days there and napped. Seriously, I had like 3 naps a day. I couldn't stop. There was something wrong with me I think - but then Chris reminded me that it's good to relax as we all need it. Point Roberts is a little bit of heaven - we are so lucky to have it in our lives.

Everywhere: That's right, everywhere. Well, not really everywhere. But almost. I went up to Kitimat for Jocelyn's birthday. She shares her birthday with Canada Day. Her husband, Manny, set up a big surprise for her, and we myself and her friends Nina and Andrea, came up for the weekend to celebrate with her. I haven't been up to Kitimat since Jocelyn and Manny were married, 6 years ago this August. It was a nice visit - it was good to see some old friends. It makes me sad too a bit. That was my hometown. It was a great place to be raised. The town is different, it's smaller. It reminds me though so much of good friends, being safe and home.

So, being here, there and everywhere - has been a bit of a lame and then a great start to the summer.

During the 'eye issue' I didn't cook. We ate a lot of salad, sandwiches and whatever was in the freezer. It took me awhile to actually feel like cooking. It's been odd. I just have had no desire to come up with new recipes, try new things and make something with different ingredients. Over the past couple of weeks, that's changed a bit. I think that it's because it's BBQ season which means new and exciting flavours and sitting out on the deck while dinner is cooking.

I cooked a few new things this weekend, but I didn't take pictures - I am out of routine - so I am going to make them again, take pics, and post to share.

Anyways, that's it for me for now. I will be more regular (with my blog) and keep in touch with my friends.

I hope that you are all well, healthy and are enjoying summer.