Blog Archives

New ‘Do + New-To-Me Recipes

Peek-a-boo!

IMG_2264

I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!! Mine has been pretty low-key. Exactly what I needed after a couple hectic weeks.

Instead of hitting the streets of Toronto Friday night, I opted to lay in bed and read in my flannels. I’m currently hooked on this:

Between reading blogs and fitness/nutrition literature, I’ve reintroduced myself to adult fiction (there were a few years of only young adult fiction :P ). I’ve gone through about six books since June. At this rate, I’ll blow through The Lovely Bones in just a couple more days. Highly recommended!

The plan was to go for a run as soon as I woke up Saturday morning. But my body did that “awww hell nah” thing. So I opted to wake up slowly with a big ole’ bowl of oats.

IMG_2213

Mmmm… It’s not often I have hot oatmeal anymore!

IMG_2216

Topped with Lori’s pear cranberry jam + peanut butter. I let it digest for a couple hours and then hit the road running. I still wasn’t feeling very motivated, but seeing as I was out of coffee, I told myself I could stop for some on my way home.

IMG_2223

Having a Starbucks at the end of my running route could be dangerous! I’m trying to get into the habit of running on the weekends. Saturday I covered 4.5 miles in 45 minutes (I’m a solid 10-min pacer no matter what) along the lakefront trail. Unfortunately I was troubled with all kinds of pains. Knee pain during the run, hip pain lasting all day after the run. I need new running shoes!!! But I’m holding out until I get my new employee discount at the running store ;)

I came home and put a bag of frozen corn on my hip, then incorporated it into lunch.

IMG_2228

Corn & Cheddar Omelette. Mixed up a couple whole eggs with egg whites, milk and corn kernels. Then added old cheddar and Frank’s hot sauce for the filling. Awesome combo!

Saturday’s main event was a brand new haircut!!

IMG_2255

I feel so narcissistic for posting this :P I’d been tweeting about it though so I wanted to show the results! Nothing major in terms of length or style. But my last haircut cost me $12 and was so bad I didn’t like wearing my hair down. This new one was done by a legit big-city stylist thanks to my big sis <3 He kept calling my bangs a “fringe” and even showed me how to style it wavy without blow-drying. Most hairdressers insist I wear it straight!

On the way home I passed this scene:

IMG_2231
I try to act all blasé about seeing TV and movie sets in Toronto. I mean, I probably come across one once every few weeks now. But the curious person in me absolutely loves it. It looked like they were filming a winter scene. Some dude was shovelling snow on the street and all extras were in winter coats. Of course, the Toronto International Film Festival has also been going on!

Seeing as Sunday promised to be a busy day, I opted to do my weekly food preparations Saturday night. First up: Janetha’s Spinach Turkey Muffins.

IMG_2234

  • 20 oz lean ground turkey breast
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 package knorr vegetable soup mix
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • cumin, thyme, salt & pepper to taste (eyeballed it all)

Mix it all up and scoop into a muffin pan. I used a pound of turkey and adjusted the measurements a little. Also, I omitted the flax and added a pinch of dried garlic flakes.

IMG_2237
Baked at 350F for 45 minutes. They came out perfectly!

IMG_2248
Not pictured is all the ketchup that accompanied these babies. Ketchup is a must. 

IMG_2250

The veggie soup mix really gave these meat muffins a little extra sumthin’. Thanks for the awesome recipe JG!

Next up is Irish Brown Soda Bread. I found this recipe through Madeline who loves quick breads as much as I do ;)
 IMG_2240

From My Recipes

Yield: 1 loaf (about 1 3/4 lb.)

Ingredients

  • 1  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 2  tablespoons  sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1  teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons  cold butter or margarine
  • 2  cups  whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4  cup  regular or quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 1/2  cups  plain nonfat yogurt
  • Milk

Preparation

1. In a bowl, mix all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture forms fine crumbs. Stir in whole-wheat flour and oats.

2. Add yogurt; stir gently. If mixture is too dry to hold together, stir in milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, just until dough holds together; it should not be sticky.

3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board and knead gently 5 times to make a ball. Set on a lightly greased baking sheet. Pat into a 7-inch circle. With a floured knife, cut a large X on top of loaf.

4. Bake in a 375° oven until well browned, about 40 minutes. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or cool.

IMG_2245
As far as I can tell, the only difference between brown soda bread and the regular variety is that it’s partially whole wheat with a little sugar and oatmeal added.

IMG_2253

Uh-mazing. Because it’s a soda bread, it has a taste reminiscent of biscuits or scones. The crusty exterior is the best part though. Ohmy.

IMG_2273

I had a piece immediately out of the oven slathered in butter. It’s the one rule to making your own bread at home.

I was stoked to have more of the bread for breakfast this morning. But I couldn’t decide what to top my toast with…

IMG_2279

On one side of the ring we have more of Lori’s cranberry pear jam.

IMG_2275 

On the other side was butter + vegemite.

IMG_2277

The bread was even more amazing toasted because it’s so crumbly. Both toppings were winners!

IMG_2282
Of course, what’s a Sunday morning without a little bacon and eggs ;)

From breakfast I went on to a free Vinyasa Yoga class at Lululemon which was amazing per usual. Then it was off to my first shift at my new job! I’m still personal training full-time, but now I’m working in a specialty running store 2-3 shifts a week as well. A little extra money, a way to meet people, and something to keep me out of trouble. I already learned so much about running gaits and how running shoes are constructed. Expect a post on it once I finish my training!

And with that, I am off to prepare my meals for my 15 hour work day tomorrow. Yes. You read that right. I’m looney tunes.

 

!!Don’t forget Project Food Blog voting opens on Monday! Click here if you would like to vote for me. You can check out my contestant profile here. Or read my first challenge entry: Ready, Set, Blog! I’ll be annoying you about this daily – thank you for any and all support!

 

Question of the Day: What’s your favourite thing to eat on toast? Mine is soft poached eggs. Although I supposed it’s something I dip my toast into ;)

Bread Maker

I’ve been baking again.

IMG_7844

It can’t be helped. I keep getting all these ideas, and I must put them to the test in my mother’s kitchen.

IMG_7830

It’s another rainy day here in New Brunswick. I’m much too sore from my full-body lifting workout to exercise. This kind of weather calls for movie watching, laundry, and now apparently baking.

IMG_7845

I gathered up my cast of characters.

IMG_7828

The key ingredient here is baking soda.

IMG_7833

While having our afternoon scones yesterday (which both Ellie and my Nana have informed me are pronounced “sk-onn” and not “sk-own”), my mother started talking about the soda bread of her childhood.

IMG_7837

Apparently soda bread is an incredibly simple loaf to make, something our ancestors lived off of in the barren northern climates.

IMG_7840

My mom says Nana used to make soda bread and serve it with cheddar cheese and molasses as an after-school snack. Don’t even get me started on how intrigued I am by the thought of a cheddar cheese and molasses sandwich.

IMG_7846

Once again, the seed was planted. I got the idea of baking in my head and I couldn’t shake it. I scoured the internets for the best recipe I could find. I ended up going back to basics. The same simple bread our ancestors made, with the addition of a little whole wheat for good measure.

From The Food Network

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups buttermilk

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle with a little flour.

Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in buttermilk. Using one hand, stir in full circles (starting in the center of the bowl working toward the outside of the bowl) until all the flour is incorporated. The dough should be soft but not too wet and sticky. When it all comes together, in a matter of seconds, turn it out onto a well-floured surface. Clean dough off your hand.

Pat and roll the dough gently with floury hands, just enough to tidy it up and give it a round shape. Flip over and flatten slightly to about 2 inches. Transfer the loaf to the prepared baking sheet. Mark with a deep cross using a serrated knife and prick each of the four quadrants.

Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 400° and continue to bake until the loaf is brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped, 30 to 35 minutes more. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.

IMG_7850

Renee wrote a post a while back about how baking makes her happy. It got me thinking about how I myself have fallen in love with baking.

IMG_7851

Baking used to intimidate me. At least with cooking, you are always in control. A tweak here, a pinch of something there. It’s fun to throw ingredients together and see what you can create.

IMG_7864

But with baking, all you can do is assemble the ingredients the best you can – and then you wait. Praying, wishing, hoping that the preparation you put into it will deem a delicious result.

IMG_7865

There is something SO satisfying when you pull your creation out of the oven, smelling, looking and even better, tasting perfect. The happiness that comes from baking a perfect product goes a lot deeper!

IMG_7877

And lets be honest with ourselves here. There are few things greater in life than putting a smear of butter on a slice of bread warm out of the oven.

IMG_7876

Bliss.

 

I haven’t just been baking bread today!

IMG_7804

Pancakes were had to celebrate Pancake Sunday. Dairy-Free (ish) Protein Pancakes to be exact. 

IMG_7797

With the addition of sliced almonds, coconut and almond extract to make Almond Coconut Protein Pancakes.

IMG_7817

So fluffy. So good.

I also polished off the Meatloaf Pizza for lunch.

IMG_7820

Avec une salade.

 IMG_7825

Dressing was laughing cow cheese whisked with buttermilk. Nothing short of amazing.

But I don’t know how this got on my camera.

IMG_7827

I don’t eat chocolate. Especially not Belgian dusted truffles. Disgusting. Who’s teeth-marks are those? :P

This afternoon, I made my own version of strawberry shortcake using Homemade Wholegrain Maple Oatmeal Scones.

IMG_7853 IMG_7854

Except, we didn’t have any strawberries, so I used raspberries.

IMG_7856

And I’m not the world’s biggest fan of whipped cream, but I do love yogurt. Stellar snack!

Soon the smell of freshly baked bread was replaced with that of bbq chicken

IMG_7880

Once again, my mom pulled together a fabulous meal.

IMG_7879

A chicken thigh in a sauce of bbq sauce, ketchup, soy sauce and top-secret spices. Paired with roasted parsnip, carrots, sweet potato and potato. This meal was to die for. I think I may just bring my mom to Toronto with me instead of bothering to come back here :P

 

Some links!!

Apparently a lot of reverse photoshopping is done to too-thin models to make them look healthier. You hear so much about editors tucking in little pudges and rolls, that I never considered that some women need to have their bony bodies hidden. This deeply saddens me. Read about it here. One editor blames shrinking designer sample sizes, so magazines have no choice but to hire too-thin models to wear them.

A recent study says that you can burn more fat by skipping breakfast before your morning workout. They claim that without stored carbohydrates to pull on, your body will look for fat to fuel activity. I only have basic training on how these energy systems work, but I do know that the fatty acids in your muscles aren’t the same as the fat that sits around your tummy. Why would you want to risk being in a catabolic state and breaking down your muscles? A better idea is to have at least 100 calories worth of simple carbs (fruit juice, a banana, yogurt, etc) before your morning workout. It will give you tons more energy, and I betcha you’ll burn a lot more calories when you aren’t dragging through your workout hungry and dizzy.

Finally, this is the most awkward exercise I’ve ever seen. Please don’t ever do this. Thank you.

 

Question of the Day: Now that I know all about your favourite kinds of pizza – what’s your favourite kind of bread?? Brown bread over here please :) Or, if flatbreads are included (why not, it’s my question after all!) I luuuurve naan.

Good Sweat, Good Eats

Happy weekend!!

This is what I look like right now as I type this post, listening to a Lou Reed concert on TV.

IMG_7796

Mom grabbed the camera from me as I started writing up this post. See that? That right there?? That’s my blogging game face y’all. Just keepin’ it real.

I’m glad you all enjoyed my most embarrassing post ever. And thank you for sharing your most ludicrous hair styles as well. Made me feel much better about my own style faux-pas :)

Breakfast this morning was a no-brainer. I had homemade Whole Grain Maple Oatmeal Scones to eat!

IMG_7745

Toasted with a little buttah for good measure. For my fat/protein I boiled a couple eggs.

IMG_7747

Who needs orange juice when you can have a juicy orange?? ;)

IMG_7749

This was a spectacular breakfast. Another combination I used to have all the time when I was younger. I need more biscuits and scones in my life!!

IMG_7743

However, my mother and I both agree there is a smidge too much baking soda in the scones, and next time I will decrease it to 1/2 tsp from 3/4 tsp.

IMG_7752

Only thing that could have made this breakfast better? Freshly ground Haitian coffee with the Saturday paper. *Insert giant “aahhhh” here*

Hit up the co-ed gym today for a weightlifting session because they have better equipment there (don’t get me started on the dinky stuff they carry at women’s-only gyms). I specifically planned to do this on a Saturday so I wouldn’t have to pay for parking. Like I said before, there’s a method to my madness! Muhaha.

Started off with 15 minutes on the adaptive motion trainer. Got my stride a little better on it today and ended up with a tough and sweaty warm-up! Unfortunately, the real work had barely started ;) Did the usual full-body workout alternating between upper-body and lower-body so I could blast through it without having to rest too much. Plus, well, it’s more fun this way!

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
Front squat push press  3 10 30 lbs Quads, Glutes, Shoulders

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
Barbell bench press  3 10 45 lbs Chest, Front Shoulder
Sumo squat  3 10 65 lbs Quadriceps, Glutes

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
One-arm dumbbell row 3 10 25 lbs Whole back
Good morning  3 10 55 lbs Hamstrings, Glutes

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
Dumbbell one arm lateral raise 3 10 8 lbs Top/Front Shoulder, Top of back
Bulgarian split squat  3 10 15 lbs Quadriceps, Glutes

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
Kickback  3 10 10 lbs Triceps
Cable hip adduction 3 10 15 lbs Inner thigh

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
Incline curl  3 10 10 lbs Biceps
Seated calf raise 3 10 50 lbs Calves

 

Exercise Sets Reps Load Muscle Group
Cable horizontal woodchop  3 10 25 lbs Obliques
Captain’s chair 3 10 bw Abs

 

Phew! Whole thing took me 1 hour and 20 minutes. It was a stellar workout though, and every muscle in my body was worked! You can cut the warm-up in half, or cut out some of the isolation moves at the end to make it shorter (triceps, biceps, adductor, calf and abs). Of course, I’m unemployed, so I have nothing better to do than waste my morning at the gym ;)

IMG_7753

I tend to crave melty cheese on pita bread after weight lifting. Today’s melty pita featured swiss, pepperoni and mustard, with red pepper, onion and romaine.

IMG_7759

Late morning workouts are the greatest, because I get to come home and refuel with a wonderful lunch :)

And, erm, a wonderful dessert.

IMG_7760

I only had three, but it took me almost five minutes to eat while I let the chocolate melt in my mouth. Mmmmm…

I took over dinner prep tonight. We all agreed we wanted hamburger of some sort, and after throwing around a few ideas, the thought of Meatloaf Pizza popped into my head. Perfection!!

Started with:

  • 3 tbsp pizza sauce (I use the Eden Organic pizza/pasta stuff)
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp basil
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • a pinch each of salt and pepper

IMG_7767

Then comes the fun part, add one pound of lean ground meat and mix it up with your hands.

IMG_7768

Tonight I used buffalo meat, but last time I used turkey and both tasted just as well!

IMG_7771

Flatten onto a sprayed pizza pan and cover with more pizza sauce.

IMG_7774

Add any toppings you like!

IMG_7775

We kept it classic tonight with bell peppers, onions and mushrooms. The original recipe calls for one cup of shredded cheese, I used about 3/4 cup and it was still lots. Mozzarella of course!

IMG_7779

Then bake in a 400F oven for 15-20 minutes on the bottom rack.

IMG_7781

It was ready after about 19 minutes in my mom’s oven. Just as the veggies were getting tender in the steamer!

IMG_7784

Why have crust when you can just have more meat and vegetables?

IMG_7780

IMG_7789

My plate!!

IMG_7791

Mark gave it another one of his famous “gold stars.” However, I was informed the best rating is in fact a “platinum star” and that is reserved for chocolate goods only.

IMG_7794

I overheard my mom and Mark planning on ways to get me to skip over Toronto and come back here to be their live-in homemaker. I cut a deal with my mom that I’d go hone my culinary skills in Toronto, then come back and accept the position ;)

The poodle however, is still coming with me.

IMG_7765

How am I going to leave this face!? Even more, how does he sleep like that??

Remember this photo?

Silly poodle.

 

Okee dokie, I am outta here. Time to take this blogging game face and go stick it in a book. I’ll be back tomorrow to talk about what the experts are saying about pre-workout nutrition. See ya then!

 

Question of the Day: What is your favourite kind of pizza? Since it’s my own question I’m going to cheat and say cheesy garlic fingers dipped in donair sauce ;)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 487 other followers