Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Treadmill terror

I have been trying to run at the gym on the treadmill. 'Trying' is really the best way to describe it. I am focusing on a bit of interval training - run 5 mins, walk 1 min - some days are not bad. Other days, it's like I have no energy, no spunk, no oomph, no gas in my tank, no spring in my step... You see where I'm going with this. On days that I feel that my feet are made of cement and I have the same energy as a bag of marshmallows - the clock on that damn treadmill makes me want to cry. Sorry treadmill - it's not your fault.

I just get obsessed with watching the clock. I start out strong - 30 seconds goes by so nicely. Then I hit the minute mark and I start to know that I only have 4 minutes left. Then I start to wonder how 2 minutes and 30 seconds can feel like an hour. Then I start to panic and have to use my left hand to force my right hand from hitting the reduce speed button. As I am doing that I start to breathe like it sounds like I am having a bit of a panic attack or drowning - I can't really tell which one it sounds more like. Then the neighbours beside me on their machines - stare, get scared, and take a fake phone call from someone pretending that they have to leave in a hurry so that they can get away.

Then the clock hits 5 minutes - I push the reduce speed button so fast and I start walking. Walking. Just walking. And I catch my breath - and then the minute is over. What the heck? How come that minute goes by so fast? And then it starts all over. Oh god. It's unattractive.
Enough about that. I'm depressed.

I made these a couple of weeks ago. I loved how they turned out. I plan on serving these in the summer for a nice barbeque out in the backyard. I have to remember to do this. Oh - can you remind me? Thanks.

For this recipe - I don't really have measurements - so just add how much of the goodies that you like.

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Spicy Turkey and Quinoa Layered Salad - Sims Style

1 pound of extra lean ground turkey
1 tbsp of garlic powder
1 tbsp of chili powder

Cooked Quinoa
Grape tomatoes
Corn
Avocado

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Dressing
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
1 cup of freshly chopped cilantro
2 tbsp of skim milk
1/2 small jalepeno pepper - finely chopped
Pinch of kosher salt
*Mix all ingredients together.

Saute the ground turkey in a skillet. Add the garlic powder and chili powder seasonings. Saute until the turkey is fully cooked.
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You can use individual bowls, or one large bowl and layer the ingredients. Start with the cooked quinoa, add the meat, the corn, the tomatoes and the avocado. Top with the cilantro dressing.

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That's it. Deelish.


Alright - stay tuned for a sweet treat - gluten, sugar free. Yumma in my tumma.

Loves.

Enjoy!


Monday, March 26, 2012

So pretty.

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I like pretty things. I am not the type of person that has to have everything pretty and perfect. Oh, did you think that I was like that? If you saw a few things - 1. my spare room - it is close to looking like an episode of Hoarders - definitely not pretty. (To clarify it's not dirty, it's just messy). 2. my yard/garden - needs Jules' Christmas present - a makeover - so badly - definitely not perfect.

Anyways - I digress - as usual. I made these a couple of weeks ago for dessert. Super easy and so beautiful.

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Yogurt Berry Parfaits

Fresh or frozen berries - if using frozen - allow them to thaw fully
Plain yogurt
Lemon zest of one lemon
Fresh mint for garnish

Add the zest of one lemon to the plain yogurt. If you like to have your yogurt a bit sweeter - add a touch of cane sugar or any other sweetener - honey, agave syrup...

In a glass or bowl, add a layer of fruit, yogurt, fruit, yogurt... you see where I'm going with this. Top with a mint leaf or two.

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And that's it. So pretty.



I am 'thinking' of doing an Easter Brunch this year instead of dinner - and I think that I will have these on the menu.

Alright short and sweet today. I hope that you all enjoyed your weekend and are ready to tackle yet another week.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

ELLO London.

Happy Sunday.
It's a gorgeous one here this morning. Just lovely. Bright, blue sky. Crisp and cool. My most favourite day.
We were at my friend, Maegan's, birthday last night. The theme - Golf Pro or Tennis Ho - so fun. We weren't in costume - we're boring. It was a good time - very entertaining.
On the menu for today - a dog walk, cleaning the kitchen, shopping with my mom for some clothes for her upcoming cruise, dinner with friends.
I am not sure what is happening - but we cannot keep the kitchen clean. I swear - it's clean one minute - and the next minute it looks like Tornado Sally has whipped through. Who is Sally anyways? It's more like C & C - whipping through. Ugh! Oh well - a clean kitchen is so much better than a dirty one.

After the day is done - I am going to treat myself to one of these. Do you know what it is? Guess!

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'ELLO is that London?'
That's my friend Tracy's English accent. It's so good.

I always order these at Starbucks. This exact way!

Grande - non-fat - sugar free - London Fog - extra hot.

London Fog - is a mix between earl grey tea and steamed milk. I was at a party once and I met the wife of one of Chris' friend who he used to do Kung Fu with. She was a police officer and told me that she didn't eat donuts and hang out in donut shops - but she would frequent Starbucks for London Fogs. The first time I had one, I was hooked. And then I had more, and more.

So this is my take on making them.

London Fog

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1 cup of earl grey tea - any type will do - but if you can get your hands on some David's Tea - Cream of Earl Grey - do it! It's the most amazing tea.
1 cup of low fat milk - you don't have to use low fat
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp of something sweet - I use Agave syrup - but you could use honey, or sugar

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Make your tea. Add in your sweet - and stir so it is all blended together. Easy.
Steam your milk, adding the vanilla. Heat it over low heat - being careful not to scorch it. When the milk is heated - to hot - it's time to froth it. I have one of THESE.

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Pour the tea in to the cup. Top it up with the steamed milk. And then top with the milk foam.

And that's it. It's creamy, deelish.

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Alright - off to start the day.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

History.

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I can't remember if I have ever said that I love chocolate. Hm, I wish that I could remember. Oh whatever, I will just tell you again. I love chocolate. I can't help it. I come by it naturally. My grandma - loved chocolate. My dad - loved chocolate. I have quite a few memories surrounding chocolate. Is that weird? I hope not. If it is - please pass this next part - just read on. If you don't think that it's weird - then enjoy.

1. When we were kids, my dad used to by a jumbo Jersey Milk or Malted Milk chocolate bar and put it in the freezer. On a Sunday night - we would all sit on the couch and watch Disney in our pj's. Well my dad wasn't wearing his pj's. He would get up every so often and go to the freezer and cut us each a little piece. I can still picture it. The anticipation of another piece of chocolate was so exciting.
2. When I was 4, I used to go to Nursery school. It was walking distant from our house. I remember a time when my grandparents were in town visiting and they came to pick me up after school. My grandma promised me that we would stop at Lilo's on the way home and pick up a little treat. We stopped at Lilo's - picked out some type of chocolate - and walked home. I can remember the weather being cold and blistery and my granddad being far behind us walking in the wind.
3. Purdy's chocolates made it into our house every Christmas. My grandparents would send us a jumbo box for us all to share. My sister and I mastered unwrapping the box, picking from the bottom layer, and then wrapping the box back up and putting it under the tree. Oh, we still do this by the way. My sister and I can pretty much be the Purdy's chocolate map. Ask me pretty much any one and I can tell you what kind it is. Seriously. I dare you!
4. Tiger Fudge was our wedding favours. We love it.

Alright, enough about chocolate. I don't have an addiction. I just really like it. I 'could' live without it - but I have chosen not to.

Remember the chocolate ice cubes? They were a hit. These chocolate 'donuts' were also a hit.

Well I wanted to share another chocolate treat. I made these the other night for Stuffy - and the finale of Top Chef Texas (I loved that show). I saw the recipe online - and when I went back to look for it - I couldn't remember where I found it. Thankfully I sort of remembered the recipe. Uh - that is weird. I could read a textbook when I was in school - over and over - and it would sort of just enter the brain - and then exit. Now, when I read a recipe - I am able to read it once and remember it. I would say like 80% of the time. What the what???

Ok - get on with it already. Dear Cheryl, we don't want a history of your life.
Fine!

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No Bake Chocolate Cheesecakes

1 cup of cookie crumbs*
2 tbsp of melted butter
1/2 cup of cream cheese - softened
2/3 cup of nutella
2 cups of whipped topping - thawed
Chocolate for topping

*Cookie crumbs - Christoff doesn't like graham wafer crusts - so I used digestive cookies and just pureed them in the food processor.

Melt the butter and add it into the cookie crumbs. Mix well - and add to the bottom of the dishes that you are going to use (you'll serve them in the same dishes).

With a hand blender - whip the cream cheese and add in the nutella. Mix it all together. Fold in the whipped topping - gently - ensuring that it is all blended. Place this goodness on top of cookie crumbs. Top with whipped topping if you like - and some chocolate shavings.

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Place them in the fridge for at least 30 minutes - and you have a deelish treat. If you don't want to use whipped topping - try whipped cream - and you can even keep it unsweetened.

Makes 6 servings.

Alrighty friends. Love one another. Love chocolate.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

No squeezing. What? Why?

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Oh man this kid. I just heart him. He is my nephew - 'phew. I could squeeze him, but apparently squeezing children is frowned upon. I could pinch those little cheeks, but apparently that is also not something that is favourable.

He is 13. Thirteen! I remember when he was born. I remember it like it was yesterday. It wasn't yesterday of course, because he is 13 - actually almost 13 1/2. When he was born it was around Halloween. His brother was 4. I made a Halloween costume for his brother - he was a cowboy. I made him one of those horse puppet things - with a stick so it could look like he was riding it. One night when my sister and this wee bundle were in the hospital, his older brother and I were sleeping on the hide a bed - and he woke me up because he got sick everywhere. Apparently you shouldn't let 4 year olds eat too much Halloween candy. Who knew?

This little punk and I (he's not really a punk, I just like to call him that) hung out tonight. We did a dog walk, we ate pistachios, then we went to NoodleBox for dinner at Uptown and pigged out.

I dropped him off and decided that I really don't want him to ever grow up. Thinking about him growing up makes my heart hurt. I know that he will grow to be a wonderful young man - like he is now - I just wish that it would be like another 35 years or something.

I think that I might have heartburn.

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I made these last night for dinner. Guess what it is.

Guess!!!!!

What do you think it is? If you guessed cauliflower- you are smart.

Yes, that is what it is. I have made these before - check it out HERE - but this time I altered it slightly.

Mashed Cauliflower with Dill

1 head of cauliflower
1/2 cup of greek yogurt
3 tbsp fresh dill
1/4 cup of fresh parmesan
Kosher salt and pepper

Cut up the cauliflower in to small pieces and place in a large pot full of water. Bring the water to a boil and gently boil for about 20-25 minutes - until they are soft to touch. Drain the water.

Finely chop the dill and add it to the yogurt. I had some great greek yogurt by Astro - that my mom gave me. It is deelish.

With a potato master, mash the cauliflower. Add in the dill yogurt and mix well. Season with kosher salt and pepper and add in the grated parmesan.

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And that's it really. Super easy. Super tasty. And healthy.

Alright - I have to go and squeeze my pups before my husband gets home and tells me that squeezing pups isn't a good idea.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Pomelo.

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pommelo . pomelo. pummelo

Hello lovely.
Hello precious delight from the fruit angels.

Oh, how I love thee. Although we just met, I feel that we are destined to be together and love one another.

Sorry. That was a bit weird.

I saw this beautiful fruit in the grocery store the other day, and I am responsible for the following events that took place:

I saw it from across the produce section and thought I would just check it out.
I picked it up and was surprised at how heavy it was.
I then smelled it.
I then fell in love.
I then smelled it again.
I then smelled it again and sighed. Out loud.
I then put it in my shopping cart.
I took it home with my other groceries.
Smelled it again.
Then thought about cutting into it and trying it.
Then I let it sit for a couple of days b/c I really wanted to enjoy it.
I then put it in the fridge for a day.
I then photographed it.
I then cut into and fell in love.

Weird.

Oh probably.

I love trying new things. Love it! I loved this fruit for a couple of reasons:

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1. The scent. It is incredible to me. Refreshing. If I could bottle that up and smell it every 5 seconds I would.
2. The taste. It is sweet and a little tart all at the same time. Similar to grapefruit - but I don't love grapefruit like I like this.
3. The texture. It's substantial. It's hearty. It's meaty. It's full of fibre.

It was a bit of work getting a good piece to munch on - but well worth it. I just pulled off the peel - which trust me I will be seeing if I can use the zest from that the next time I pick up one of those - and then removed the layer around the good stuff - and voila.

I found this video on YouTube - check it out if you are thinking of picking one up and want to see how to peel it. Check out it HERE.

Alright - try it - and let me know if you like it. Or if you had it before and love it and haven't told me about it - shame on you. Just kidding! Shame on me.

Loves.

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Chocolate and Bailey's - the perfect pair

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Tulips from Tracy - 2 weeks and they are still lovely

Well, I have survived another week. I didn't think that I wouldn't - but it has been a week that I like to call 'challenging'. There has been a little of 'this' and a little of 'that' and I will be happy when 'this' and 'that' have passed - people are well and taken care of and I am 100%. I don't think that is too much to ask for. Is it? Is it too much to ask for health and happiness for yourself and your friends and loved ones? Well I hope not - because I have been asking for it. A lot. I haven't been really asking anyone in particular. I may ask you - so I am just warning you.

I was in Summerland last weekend with my mom - visiting my brother and his family. It was so much fun. We mostly went to see my niece's skating concert. She did so great. It was a great visit - and every time I am there, I wish that we lived closer.

Chris and I bought new runners today. Monday is my day to start my 'running' career again and get this butt into shape. I have done this before - so I will do it again. I will try hard and just try and push myself - in a way that I don't enjoy being pushed.

I am excited to share this recipe. It's not mine - I found it in this month's Food Network magazine. I saw it, and new that I had to give it a try. I altered it a bit - trying to make it not rich. They turned out really well - and tasted like fudgsicles. Yumma.

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Chocolate Ice Cubes

3/4 cups of skim milk
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips - or chocolate wafers

In a saucepan, add the milk, water, cocoa powder and sugar and simmer over medium heat - whisking continuously to dissolve the powder and make it all nice and smooth. Heat for about 3-4 minutes - making sure not to burn the milk.

Remove from heat and whisk in the chocolate, until it is fully melted. Let sit until it cools. Fill an ice cube tray and set it in the freezer. Takes a couple of hours for them to freeze fully.

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Now for the fun part.

I served these in a glass with Bailey's, and Bailey's and milk. My gf's - Beth and Steph - came over to watch Top Chef Texas - drink Bailey's with chocolate ice cubes - and it was a perfect ending to a long day.

Bailey's and chocolate - this could be the perfect ending to a long week, year, month...

Loves.

Enjoy!