Blog Archives

Five Things You Should Probably Know

1. There be a dog in this house. 

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His name is Murphy. Not Murphy Brown. He belongs to my roommate’s sister and we get to doggy-sit while she’s away! I LOVE dogs and can’t wait until I settle down and get one of my own someday. Until then, feel free to drop yours off at my place for a week. I’ll get him/her started on a jogging program stat.

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2. Speaking of roommates, living with fellow foodies is awesome.

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Megan made homemade toasted coconut marshmallows and I get to reap the benefits. She used this recipe and said it was incredibly easy (and cheap!). Don’t let the use of a candy thermometer scare you. Y’all know I have an unreasonable obsession with marshmallows and these turned out amazing!

 

3. Adding fruit to a savoury sandwich is a great way to get a gourmet meal at home.

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I set out to make a grilled ham and cheese sandwich when the idea of adding sliced apple popped into my head. It made what would have otherwise been a boring sandwich a million times better! I also love doing this with pears, dried fruit and preserves.

 

4. I haven’t bought shampoo in over five months.

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Seeing as I work at a gym 5 days a week, I just wait until I workout and shower using the shampoo and conditioner provided there. I stockpile samples to keep in the house in case of emergencies. My hair isn’t that affected whether I’m using a fancy or cheap shampoo. I’ve had to cut costs in all areas of my life since moving to Toronto and taking on wage jobs. This is just one of my sneaky ways of doing it!

 

5. I know I have yammered on about eye masks before, but it’s time to give them the credit they deserve.

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I bought this three dollar travel mask at a drugstore when I moved into my current place. I’ve got skylights in my ceiling and the eye mask was cheaper than curtains.

Simply put it has changed. my. life. I used to sleep horribly back in the day. Up at 6am every day no matter what time I went to bed. I slept lightly, waking several times throughout the night. I would often wake up feeling still tired and frustrated. Turns out, I’m a lot more affected by even the slightest light than I thought I was. My alarm clock, the moonlight, and the sun rising in the morning.

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I sleep like a rock now. A solid eight hours without a twitch throughout the night. I often wear my hair in a ponytail and wrap the headband around it so it doesn’t fall off in the night, but you could also bobby pin it. I don’t care if it makes me look like a princess, at least I’m a well rested princess ;)

Thanks to Janetha for taking this ridiculous picture of me.

 

Question of the Day: What is one thing that’s on your mind you want others to know? As Holly says, sharing is caring!

Beer, Bread, Burgers, Ohmy.

Aahhh… you know what is even worse than a Sunday evening? The Monday after a long weekend. Three days is enough to completely check out of real life. Having to face it again on a Monday night is always a rude awakening!

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Another bummer is the fact that I am out of Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter. Sound the alarms. This is an emergency situation.

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I stuffed the near-empty jar with cottage cheese, peaches, raisins, cinnamon, coconut flakes, raw oats and sugar-free syrup. I ended up putting my finger in there to ensure no seed butter remained. Then shed a single tear *sniff* Trader Joe’s needs to come to Canada.

I ended up spending aaallll morning in bed watching MTV shows on my computer and catching up on a few blogs. It was grand. Even though it’s a holiday, my gym is still open and I had a client who wanted to work out this afternoon. Not quite a holiday for me! Lunch before work:

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Pan-fried ham slices with swiss cheese, sautéed red pepper, spinach, on an english muffin. Then squashed and melted in the hot pan. Not pictured is the plethora of baby carrots and salsa that accompanied this. Yum.

Thank goodness I had that client today though because it got me to the gym! I was definitely bit by the lazy bug today, but I still managed to squeeze out a decent back/biceps workout. I am really enjoying my new lifting split! I feel like my workouts are a lot more efficient. It’s easier to wrap things up in an hour when I only have two muscle groups to focus on.

Even though I am officially on a Buffalo detox, my day did involve a little more Blue Moon beer. (brought back across the border)

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But not straight up. I had some flour and sugar with it.

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Not separately, ohno.

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Mixed all up in my roommate’s Kitchenaid mixer.

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And placed into a bread pan.

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You know where this is going ;)

April’s Beer Bread

3 cups of self-rising flour

1/2 cup of sugar

1 can or bottle of beer

mix ingredients and put in loaf pan

melt 1/2 stick of butter and pour over top

bake at 375 for 45 minutes!!

I used 1 cup all-purpose flour and 2 cups whole wheat, then mixed in 3 tsp baking powder and 1 1/2 tsp salt because I didn’t have self-rising flour. Also, I definitely did not use that much butter – maybe like 2 tbsp ;)

It rose!

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Avec du beurre…

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It turned out very dense and sweet.

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I of course tried a piece right away with a little smear of Lori’s pear cranberry jam.

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Good!! And SO easy!! Baking with yeast admittedly scares me, so the idea of pouring beer in sounded a lot more appealing. You really can’t pick up that much of a beer taste because of the sugar. Next time I want to try Guinness for the beer and molasses for the sweetener. So many possible combos!

I wasn’t just baking beer bread for the hell of it though. Something this good needs to be shared!

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BBQ. Labour Day style.

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This is not my backyard. My backyard is a parking lot. And there is a definite lack of bbq back there.

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What is happening in these photos? I do believe it is a foot high five.

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That girl on the left was in Schindler’s List. True story!

Seeing as I’m on a Buffalo detox, I made a point of keeping my bbq grub somewhat healthy.

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Earlier in the day I threw together a pound of ground chicken with some chopped red pepper, spinach, a couple scoops of salsa and a few shakes of Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. I formed the mix into patties and brought one of them to the bbq with me.

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Spicy spinach chicken burger? Yesplease!! And yes, that is my second english muffin of the day. It made for a killer bun.

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For veggies I put a chopped sweet potato on the ‘cue but I couldn’t finish it all. My chicken burger was too huge!

But there’s always room for dessert ;)

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My roommie Megan brought chocolate crinkle cookies that her mom always makes. They were deeeelicious. Kinda like a cross between a cookie and fudge. Rolled in icing sugar. The perfect little chocolate treat.

And for those of you fretting over the start of your work week or school year, don’t worry…

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As seen outside an Indian restaurant on Queen West in Toronto ;)

As Madeline would say – make it a good one!!

 

Question of the Day: What is your favourite thing to grill? Mine is bread!! We used to go to this restaurant when I was a kid where you could pick flavoured butters, different kinds of bread, then grill it yourself. Amazing.

Late Nights in the Tee Dot

Welcome to the weekend!!

I’ve been a little MIA again, but with good reason :)

After last blogging on Thursday, I went out with my friends, proceeded to drink more than intended, and didn’t get home until 3am.

What should have been a shitty morning on Friday (thanks to my weak minded-ness when it comes to cheap draft beer) was quite the opposite.

I got a job offer!! At a gym :D

I have yet to accept as I still have a couple more interviews. But I’m pretty frickin’ happy that after only a week of being in this city, I potentially have a job :)

I’d had high hopes of making it to a spin class Friday morning. Hopes that were dashed somewhere around 1am Thursday night. Instead I got to celebrate my job offer with a new blogger friend!!

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Morgan, from Life After Bagels is another Toronto-area blogger, but she can’t make it to the big meet-up I planned for this Sunday. A lunch date was clearly in order and she picked out a fabulous place called Utopia.

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Utopia is right next to Little Italy. I hadn’t been to that part of the city yet and it’s such a charming spot!! The restaurant is known for their burritos, so my decision was almost easy.

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They had so many fun burrito combos to choose from! I ended up with a Grilled Tuna Burrito: grilled yellow fin tuna, zucchini, onions, pesto, asiago cheese, lettuce, salsa. 

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Delicious combo. The tuna was well cooked and pesto makes anything taste amazing. I had an awesome time chowing down on this while gabbing with Morgan. We started brainstorming about all the fun blogger meet-ups we can do in the future – I can’t wait!!

The burrito kept me full for a while, so when dinner rolled around, I kept it simple.

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I’d only ever found seasoned tempeh “burgers” in New Brunswick, so I was pretty excited when I noticed all the grocery stores here carry the plain regular stuff!

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I sliced it up and put it between toast with almond butter, bbq sauce and lettuce. I know it sounds like a weird combo, but the bbq and almond flavour pair perfectly with the nutty flavour of tempeh.

And here is why I didn’t have time to blog yesterday – immediately after dinner I went to my first ever major league baseball game!

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Toronto is home to Canada’s only MLB team, the Blue Jays. My now deceased Papa was their biggest fan, so I will always have a soft spot for them.

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It was also my first time in the Rogers Centre (aka Skydome). It was a beautiful night to be sitting in there!! We also had a great view of the CN Tower ;)

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Roommies!

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We ended up leaving after the 7th inning, as the Jays were getting completely embarrassed by the Red Sox.

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*Sigh* at least we’ll always have the ‘92 & ‘93 seasons :P Good news for Kelly though!

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Somewhere around here I learned the term “street meat” and realized that watching baseball really does work up an appetite for hot dogs.

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So many delicious toppings to choose from, so dangerous because they’re going to fall all over the place anyways.

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Let’s see… there was ketchup, mustard, relish, sauerkraut and corn salsa. All on a whole wheat bun of course ;)

I decided early on I wasn’t going to get drunk drink a second night in a row. I had legitimate hopes of going to a morning spin class again.

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Those hopes were once again dashed somewhere around 1am when we went to a fabulous bar called Sin & Redemption with an extensive beer menu. Once I saw the Fruli Strawberry Wheat it was all over.

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Delicious. I had just one and it was worth every sip! I’m a wheat beer gal to begin with, and the sweet strawberry was perfect with it.

I also got to experience the madness of Queen St W at 2am on a Friday night. That in itself is an experience. We met an interesting fellow who gave us 20 bucks for no good reason – these Toronto people are so nice!! :P

And with that, I’m taking my sorry butt to the gym. No spin class today, but maybe some fun on the cardio machines. I will make it to that morning spin class someday. Mark my words.

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