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New ‘Do + New-To-Me Recipes

Peek-a-boo!

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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:

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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.

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  • 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.

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

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

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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 ;)
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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

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On the other side was butter + vegemite.

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

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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 ;)

Kombucha vs. Beer

Some great suggestions on how to save moulah at the grocery store in my last post! Ironic, because I definitely spent a lot of money on food today. But let’s start at the beginning…

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Ever have those mornings when you just can’t decide what to put on your toast?

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One piece was smothered with Peanut Butter & Co Dark Chocolate Dreams + Marshmallow Fluff.

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The other piece had a slice of bacon and a fried egg.

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Sweet + savoury, gotta love it!

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Plus some fresh figs for good measure. These are definitely ripe, but still bland. I’m thinking they’re just sub-par figs? Anyone in Italy wanna send me some? :P

Kept the theme of fresh fruit going for my mid-morning snackage.

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Cottage cheese, almond butter, cinnamon, maple syrup, blueberries. Amazing combo.

No workout today, I like to give my body a break every 3-4 days. I still went to the gym though – but for work!! How weird is that? I love it. I’m training my first client on Monday and I’m pumped. Also, I got a call today for a second interview at Starbucks! Pretty excited for that too, as I genuinely love hawking lattes for people. If all goes well, work shouldn’t feel like too much work ;)

I’d gotten a few recommendations to check out the restaurant Kale, so I decided to hit it up for lunch while I was in the ‘hood.

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Kale is a vegan & organic buffet where you pay by the weight of your plate.

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When I first walked in, I was a little disappointed by the lack of choice. Usually these types of places have sooooo much to choose from.

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I tried to go small with my servings, but my plate still came to $12!

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Let’s see… there was a cabbage salad, dill and avocado salad (didn’t realize the avocado until I sat down, risked it and didn’t die… yay!)

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sweet potato stew… 

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shephard’s pie made with lentils…

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…soba noodle salad and curried tofu. I’d say my favourite thing on the plate was the above pasta salad. I really liked the parsley in it. I was disappointed with the shephard’s pie, which is too bad because it had so much potential! I probably won’t be going back based on the price for what you get, luckily there are tons of other great places nearby :)

Including a store dedicated solely to organization.

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I couldn’t help but walk in. It’s full of plastic bins and shelving, little trinkets and gadgets, it was fascinating. I walked out with a closet organizer I convinced myself I needed. Remind me never to go back in this store :P

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By the time I made it home, I was hot, sweaty, and in need of refreshment. I pulled out the kombucha I had chilling in the fridge. For those of you that don’t know, kombucha is fermented tea. That means it’s regular tea that has sat fermenting with a hunk of of yeast and bacteria in it. Averie has been making it at home and the whole process fascinates me.

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I’m all for a little healthy bacteria in my life, but this stuff scares me. I thought the peach flavour would mask any grossness (a proper word according to my Windows Live Writer), but it kind of tasted like vinegar. Expensive peach-flavoured vinegar. I think I will stick to my yogurt and fermented soy :)

By this time, my vegan lunch three hours prior had left me hungry again, and the kombucha left me still thirsty. There are only two remedies in circumstances such as these.

Beer + Burgers.

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Let it be known that I only ordered a 12oz draught of PBR, but ended up drinking two. My friends each ordered their own pitcher and the waitress said she couldn’t serve one table that much liquor at once!! Baahahaha. This is what happens when you get a group of Maritime journalists together.

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Chris + Nick on the left are visiting from Fredericton. That’s my roommie Billy on the right, aka “Marshal” ;)

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Me and Meg! She’s my other roommie/soon-to-be biking partner.

Don’t worry about all this beer you are seeing though, I balanced it out by going bun-less ;)

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Beef burger on bib lettuce with beets, chipotle ketchup, French’s mustard and pickles. W Burger Bar is one of those restaurants where you choose your patty, bun, and then toppings for no additional cost. Thumbs up!!!

The Maritime journalists continued on, while I hopped on the streetcar home. I had tofu to attend to.

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The main ingredient for the dish I’m bringing to a blogger potluck picnic tomorrow. You’ll have to wait and see what it is!

Now, if you don’t mind, I have to go pick the tofu out of my hair :P

My Favourite Restaurant + An Early Flashback

Tough day.

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Watching cars drive by all day.

Barking at the occasional dog passing by.

I only joined him for part of it ;)

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I dunno you guys, but I’ve been waking up every morning dreaming of runny eggs on toast.

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I tend to go through phases with breakfasts, where I’ll eat the same thing everyday for a couple weeks.

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Except for that period in high school – when I got up and made myself french toast every day for a couple of years. Seriously. I think it lasted over 700 days.

I met up with my dad today for a noon hour spin class! My dad is what I call an “h-core cyclist.” He’s been road and mountain biking for as long as I can remember, and bikes to work everyday only to change into a suit after.

His office building has a gym in the basement with a spin set-up. It was kinda cool – the instructor set one of those light-up disco balls on the floor and shut off the lights. At first it was off-putting, but ended up being fun because no one could see me dying on the spin bike! 40-minute class, and got my heart pumping. Lots of low hovers over the seat which kills my glutes.

Afterward, my dad and I hit up my fave restaurant in town, Calactus. It’s vegetarian/vegan, which works out well now that I’m off the dairy!

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I opted for the special, which started with a squash and lentil soup.

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The main dish was a hummus and olive flute with a side of their amazing tabbouleh. The “flute” is essentially a wrap in their homemade (and to die for) lavash bread.

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Dad got their burrito which I ordered here.

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And his favourite chocolate banana soy smoothie. I had a sip. It’s dang good.

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Me and the old man! I think he may have kicked my butt at spin today ;)

Came home to a message from a gym in Toronto who want to set up an interview for a personal training job when I get there! Yayyy! Even if nothing happens from it, it’s at least nice to finally get a callback from all those resumes I sent out :D

Took the puppers for a walk in my new hiking shoes, and my feet were happy campers. So weird that my feet are fine running, but I get shooting pain after long walks. No picture of that walk though – my hands were full with the two leashes ;)

Supper was a smattering of leftovers.

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Leftover egg noodes, eggplant chicken tomato soup, and spicy buffalo buffalo meatballs. 

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Had to make up for that vegan lunch somehow!!

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Lots of carrot snacking on the side. Will be orange by 2011.

My mother keeps (and has always kept) healthy food in the house. 

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Except, I keep finding boxes of specialty chocolate in the back of her fridge. Dangerous for a person like me!

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I always say that I like dark chocolate, but sometimes a melt-in-your-mouth milk chocolate can’t be beat.

After dinner, I went up to my old middle school to see my step-brother in a school play. Walking in, I realized it’s been ten years since I last walked through those doors. I was only there for Grade 8, but it will always stand out in my memory as a fun and formative year.

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Mind the blurry cell phone photo. I tracked down my class on the wall and had to snap a pic. We don’t own these school photos, so it was fun to see my 14-year-old self immortalized on the wall :)

 

That’s all for this fine Thursday – I have to go get some guest posts ready! I’m going to Halifax this weekend to visit my Best Friend Forever (BFF). This weekend will be the start of a Blogger Interview Series that I’ll be posting during all the moving and travel madness over the next month. Y’all are in for some great stuff – so many fun bloggies to feature!

See ya with a trip recap and goal check-in on Sunday!

 

Question of the Day: What was you favourite age/school grade growing up? Grade 8 was definitely fun for me because I made some new and great friends. Grade 6 will always stand out too – my friends and I used to take off on our bikes for hours, and then always end up at the local ice cream shop :)

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