Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hump Day Inspiration

Howdy ho! ho! ho! (A little Christmas spirit for y'all) So, I've been thinking a lot lately about my current focus. I'm 6 months into going to Crossfit really consistently....and am starting to feel a bit unmotivated. I've taken another break this week because I'm on the brink of getting a full blown, awful cold....and yes, just got over strep so I really don't need to do this again. I'm a little burnt out - it's time for a mental and physical break. Then, work isn't going exactly as I had expected. That being said - I still have NO (none, zip, nada) regrets about leaving my last job. I'm not quite getting the experience that I really wanted and have been shoved back into the world of recruiting and marketing. It's been good in some respects because I've gotten to do more than I have done in my previous role and am essentially the boss of the recruitment function for the company and am now leading my US counterparts into the possibility of a huge recruitment/marketing/branding project. It's a fantastic opportunity, but not the one I expected here. I was so focused to get my HR Certificate done, get my professional designation, get my generalist experience and then start really taking off in my career. BUT, as it seems - I need more patience. 

PATIENCE. This seems to be something that keeps coming back up in my life. PATIENCE. There is this big part of my that just wants to grow up SO fast (in my career anyway) and just get on with life....The thing that is becoming more and more apparent is just how immature I am. I'm immature in my career and immature in my knowledge of the way the world works. I want everything NOW. I WANT.IT.NOW.NOW.NOW. I still have so much to learn and it's actually a pretty exciting thought. It's pretty exciting considering I was lamenting over the prospect of turning 30 thanks to my regularly appearing gray hairs, my terrible hangovers, my easier weight gain, and the fear that I haven't done enough....Anyway...I'm rambling. 

So, where all of this came from was that I was listening to some mixes I found on 8tracks. I will admit that I was listening to some cheesy inspirational mixes, one in particular called, "Powerful Beyond Measure" which is basically a bunch of speeches. Among these voices are: Muhammad Ali, Arnold, Rocky, etc. Yes....I know. I know...Cheese. That said, I've gotten some very good advice and would like to share a few points Arnold shared:

6 Secrets To Success By Arnold Schwarzenegger:

1. Trust yourself
Trust yourself, dig deep down and ask yourself: ‘who do you want to be?’. Not what, but who. Not what your parents or teachers wants you to be, but you! Figure out for yourself, what makes you happy, no matter how crazy it may sound to the people.
2. Break the rules
We have so many rules in life about everything, break the rules! It is impossible to be a true original if you to well behaved and not break the rules, you have to think outside the box. What is the point of being on this world if all you want is to be liked by everyone. The only way that I ever got any place was by breaking some of the rules
3. Don’t be afraid to fail
Anything that I’ve ever attempted I was always willing to fail. You can’t always win, but don’t be afraid of making decisions. You can’t be paralyzed by fear of failure or you will never push yourself. You keep pushing because you believe in yourself and in your vision and you know that it is the right thing to do, success will come.
4. Don’t listen to the naysayer
How many times have you heard: you can’t do this, you can’t do that. It has never been done before. I love it when someone says that no one has ever done that before, because that means that if I do it, that means that I am the first one that has done it. Pay no attention to people that say that it can’t be done.
5. Work your butt off!
Leaving no stone unturned. Muhammed Ali, one of my greatest hero’s had a great line when he was asked: ‘how many sit ups do you do?’. He said: ‘I don’t count my sit-ups, I only start counting when it starts hurting, that is when I start counting, because then it really counts, that’s what makes you a champion’. That’s the way it is with everyting, no pain, no gain!
Someone out there at the same time is working hard, someone is getting smarter, remember that! I’ve always figured out that there is 24 hours a day, you sleep 6 hours. That means you have 18 hours left. I know that some of you out there answers: ‘wait a minute I sleep 8 or 9 hours’. Well, than sleep faster I recommend.
6. Giving back
Whatever path that you take in your life, you must always find time to give something back. Give something back to your community, give something back to your state or your country. Reaching out and helping people will bring you more satisfaction than everything else you’ve ever done!

Yes, he made some bad movies, he made some good movies, he has some big muscles... but gotta say - maybe he got it right!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Feelin' Festive

HEY YOU GUYS! I'm feeling much better thanks for asking! The hives have finally cleared. It's quite an improvement. I'm going to chalk it up to Liquid Gold aka LG. What the eff is LG, right??? Well, Saturday night after 3 delightful margaritas and some delicious beef tacos from Anejo, Andi dragged Jackie and I into a natural health store called Medicine Buddha. I was so desperate for some reprieve from the itching that I asked the store owners for anything that would help cure the itch of my hives. A wise and healthy looking man suggested that I take some LG. It came in a 1 litre and 2 litre bottle and he let us all have a sample. It doesn't taste good. It doesn't look pretty. BUT, all 3 of us bought a bottle at $24.95 and felt a whole lot healthier for it. To be fair, looking at it makes me want to vomit but once you get it in you, it's not nearly as bad you would anticipate. GO Liquid Gold! I am now on Day #4 of the "program" and am anticipating some positive reports from my counterparts. We agreed to have a weekly check-in on Saturday. I EXPECT they've been downing 1 ounce of that sh*t too. 

Ok, so onto cooler things..... On Sunday I hosted a (drum roll please) COOKIE EXCHANGE!! It was A-MAZING. So, you know how I've been hosting brunches, this sort of took it's place. The girls once again outdid themselves! I baked a few things and then had 12 (or 13) fabulous ladies come on over with their baked goods. I didn't really think about execution but it was pretty casual. The rule was - take as many as you bring and sampling was encouraged. While the girls took, I still some how ended up with an a$$ load of cookies. I'll try my best to remember all the wondrous creations:
Cookie Exchange!

  • Santa Thumbprint Cookies
  • Rocky Road Bars
  • Graham Wafer Chocolate Bars 
  • Nutella and Sea Salt Cookies
  • "Grinch" Cookies (Mine. They were just chocolate chip cookies colored green)
  • Truffles (Yes, AGAIN. Had to cater to my allergic peeps...but I rolled them in colored sugar and coconut for a more festive feel)
  • Mini Apple Pies (OMGSOGOOD, pastry to die for)
  • Lemon Drop Cookies
  • Cookie Dough Balls
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Oatmeal Cookies
  • Ginger Crinkles
  • Vegan Pumpkin Spice Muffins
  • Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • A few store bought cookies
  • Oreo Cheesecake Peppermint Truffles (Don't know the real name but a FAN FAV!!)
  • Sugar Cookies (mine again, you can find the recipe here - it's tried and true)
  • Sugar Cookies - Sri even painted pants on the little men! Pants! SO CUTE
This was a fantastic success - THANK YOU LADIES!! Again, you all are so awesome. I feel very blessed! Next brunch will probably be Valentine's, and I believe it will be the 1 year anniversary of the get-togethers! It's so amazing that this is becoming a growing tradition. It started with less than 10 of us and is growing. Even all the new mommies showed up with their babies! What cute kids! I love being an Auntie! :)

Oh and one other very cool thing - ADOPT-A-FAMILY. All of the girls donated money towards this cause. We raised quite a few bucks. It'll be fantastic to be able to give someone a very Merry Christmas! I LOVE THIS.

This Christmas season is shaping up to be a very happy one! To top this off - my lovely co-worker who I super love brought me a bag of shortbread. She makes 2 different kinds and WOWEE....That's good stuff! One is light and fluffy and almost melts in your mouth, the other is a little harder and slightly crunchy and is also so, so, so good! I'm pleased I know so many people that know how to cook and share it! 

Anyhows, off to bed I go! Crossfit kicked my a$$ the last 2 nights after a week off. LOVE TO YOU ALL. Oh, and a little shout out to Rebekah tonight! She read the blog, got inspired and made some badass Pumpkin Chili. While I can't take credit for creating it, I CAN take credit for spreading it. TTFN (ta, ta for now). xoxoxoxox
Pretty Sights Like This Make Me Like Winter

Friday, November 30, 2012

November Foodie Penpal!

Reminder of what a dickie is
Another day, another dollar! Or something like that, what? Ok.. I don't even know what that means. For the record, I'm not making any dollars today (well,  I am because I'm a salaried employee) because I'm sitting at home covered in hives. Head. To. Toe. Hives. It starts at my ears and I actually have some on my feet, no joke. I've taken Reactine, spread hydro-cortisone cream all over my body (it reminds me of diaper cream), taken an oatmeal bath, itched, whined, etc. etc. and nothing has stopped it. I suppose you're wondering how I found myself in this wondrous position. Well, on Tuesday I started to get a terrible sore throat which could only be strep throat....and the hives slowly started on my neck. When I woke up on Wednesday, my neck looked like I was wearing a dickie of hives. Remember dickies? Those fake turtle neck things...yeah, it was like that but it was hives. Anyway, the clinic gave me penicillin. I took it. Turns out I'm allergic. When it was prescribed to me a small voice mentioned that mom had said something about being having a childhood allergy. Guess what?! It's an adult allergy as well. So, I'm a hive monster. My plans for the weekend are pretty much cancelled. BUT, on the upside, the sore throat is dissipating quickly! Eating my first solid food meal since Wednesday afternoon as we speak. VICTORY!

Ok enough of that BS. It's Foodie Penpal time! Remember that Foodie Penpal program that I rant and rave about!? Yes, it's another month of it. It was, once again - fantastical! I did, however find a glitch. I got it delivered to work and then proceeded to eat all of the delicious things Alissa sent me without taking a picture. OOPS. I will however give you a quick recap and post the measly little picture I did take of what I didn't inhale. 

Alissa was super generous, she gave me the following:
3 handwritten recipes I can't wait to try
A foodie magazine
Eggnog flavored coffee
Maple flavored coffee
Ginger chewy candies - SO GOOD.
Dark chocolate covered blueberries - Eaten instantly.
Roasted Soy Nuts

I sent my package to Mojgan out in Toronto! You can see what I sent when you visit her blog here.

Happy Friday People! I need to get back to tending my hives! ha.

Friday, November 23, 2012

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things!

Hello Again Everyone! Today is Friday. And today is over a week since I've written for this! Shame, shame, shame.... But at least it's still coming along! I'm afraid to report that baking hasn't been a first priority lately. I've been doing a lot of cooking but it's been boring old repeats. I made that delicious Pumpkin Chili again and then I fed Stacy with it after spin class on Wednesday. I added extra pumpkin and honestly, I think it was better the second time I made it. The other thing I made over the weekend that is not picture worthy but delicious was a Cilantro-Lime-Coconut Shredded Chicken in the slow cooker. There was no real recipe but I imagine if there was, it was something like this:
3-4 chicken breasts
1 bunch of cilantro

sliced peppers, I used red and yellow
sliced yellow onion

1 can of coconut milk
1/4 cup (ish) lime juice

Put it all in a slow cooker and cook it real slow! Once it's done, get in there and shred up the chicken. Eat it! YAY.

Ok so now that, that's out of the way - it's time to share a few of my favorite things. I'll relate them all to food and cooking. 

Favorite Blogs (in no particular order):
PaleOMG - I've made so many things off this blog I should be paying her for her ideas. Most everything has turned out perfectly and has been so delicious! She's really a food genius.

Dinner With Julie - I really like looking at her recipes and pictures, plus she's local so that's a bonus. I haven't made a ton off here, but again - what I have made was SO good! re: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake complete with chocolate ganache and cream cheese peanut butter icing. FLIP that was good!
Health-Bent - they've got a lot of creative recipes! It's awesome. They were the ones who created the Pumpkin Chili with Avocado Cream. SO. GOOD.
Epicurious - They basically take every delicious recipe in every magazine ever created and put it on a website. I've taken a lot of ideas off here and I don't seem to be the only one! YUMMY!
SmittenKitchen - Just go here. She has lots of really good recipes and her pictures are pretty! I made some really delicious things off here - all baked goods of course!

Favorite Ingredients:
Spinach - I swear I put it in everything I can
Coconut Oil

Favorite Kitchen Items:
Garlic press
Good knife
Cookie sheet

Silicone Mini Loaf Pans
Frying Pan

Favorite Things to Eat Right Now (this will change):
Eggs - pretty much everyday
Chocolate Covered Almonds - duh

Coffee - but that's not really eating but it's sort of a food
Spinach - yeah, I actually like it and as mentioned above, it's in everything I make

Pumpkin - pancakes, chili, smoothies, soup, etc.
Peppermint Tea 
Coconut Milk
Mini Loafs - turkey, pork, beef, who cares! It's mini and it's cute.

Ok folks, that was pretty boring but at least I wrote something! There are going to be some events worth documenting coming up here shortly - Cookie Exchange with the girls! In lieu of brunch - we all bring cookies or some sort of Christmas Treat and a container and fill your container with different treats than you made yourself! I can't wait! YAY!

Side Note: Faye sent me this picture at work one day. I printed it and put it on my bulletin board. Isn't it awesome!? 
Happy Weekend Everyone! xo

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Next Chapter(s)

I should forewarn you - there isn't much about food here tonight and this post will be a rather short post, but I am trying my best to stay committed to this little endeavor of mine. Can you believe 7 people looked at my blog yesterday!? And no, I haven't even looked at it since last weekend! That's a success. I think I can thank the wonderous Foodie Penpal for this!

So, I want to talk about how friggin' cool life is getting. Many of the special people in my life (and of course myself too) are moving into the next new and exciting phases of their lives. I've talked about all the pregger ladies that are in my life and well, their babies are arriving!! On Monday, I got a happy little text from Michelle telling me that her water had broke and baby was on the way! Sure enough, later that day little Baby Cole arrived! Welcome Cole! I have yet to meet him but pictures indicate he has a head of beautiful dark brown hair. I can't wait to snuggle him. Then, I got a text from Faye on Wednesday saying that her water broke. Sure enough, later that day little Reagan Marie arrived! Welcome Reagan! I have got to meet her and hold her and she is so so so beautiful. She's going to be a looker I suspect - she does afterall, have a very beautiful mom!! THEN, Stacy (soon to be Dr. Radics) tells me she's performed her first neuter this week! SO PROUD. THEN, Rebekah and Bethan ran a half marathon yesterday. I should mention that Rebekah has a 3 year old running around, a full-time job, plays rugby (and got MVP 2012 nobigdeal), organizes rugby and still found the time to train for this. Bethan just had a baby girl like 6 months ago and looks hawthawthawt and has been training her buns off for this. HOLYEFF. You ladies rock!!! They are both running a marathon in 2013. Yeah, a marathon....they are nuts. Yes, I know... babies, a neuter, a half marathon - all so different, right?? But this is just exactly what is so cool about this..... Everyone is achieving their goals and moving forward in their lives. It's not the same for everyone, nor should it be! I'm so proud of each of them for doing these things and moving ahead in the way they have wanted to! YAY LIFE. You guys inspire me so much! Thankyouthankyouthankyou!!

Ok - on a food related note. I made these Chocolate Truffles this weekend. I've made them twice now. I gave them away the first time and then ate a few that I made yesterday. They tasted like brownies but weren't. Make them! They are good! The first time I subbed the pepitas for almonds and yesterday, I didn't have chocolate to dip them in - for the better! Both times, they were delicious and they are super easy to make. I love my food processor. Sometimes my food processor and I have more fun on Saturday nights than anyone else in this city - I'm sure of it. I used it like 3 times this weekend - I made soup, truffles and cauliflower/spinach mash. 

In other news... I've declared my winter uniform to be leggings. I hate jeans right now, like a lot. And also, the size of my shirt is directly proportionate to the number of pull ups I can do. Lots of pull ups = bigger shirt size. No pull ups = smaller shirt size. UGH. But good! I mean, I am getting stronger and faster and my energy levels are great and I really, really, really like the workouts (sometimes not while I'm doing them).... but the trade off is my big legs and big arms. I guess maybe I should consider returning to rugby again!? I could make use of these puppies! :)

Stuff I bought at the Christmas Market this weekend! YAY!
Anyways, that's the random post for tonight. Happy Monday! xoxo

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Happiness Is....

That title is deep, hey? It's been a good weekend - just to give you the boring play by play - here's how it happened:
1) Friday - work with nothing special to report. Did I mention that I am terribly satisfied in my new gig? LOVE the work. There is no doubt that I've chosen the right profession. I went to spin class after work where the spin teacher kicked our a$$es. She's awesome. She runs the joint and she has this ability to make you feel so special and like she's known you forever and that you're actually friends, when in actuality, she's not your friend and she's running a business. But really, those are the sorts of people I want to give business to. She knows what she's doing - I'll keep buying! After spin class, I headed to Jackie's where she made me delicious fish tacos. That recipe is A-MAZING. Jackie, you do good stuff! And make me laugh really hard. You're AWESOME.

2) Saturday - woke up nice and early. I made myself some Pumpkin Pancakes (I got a free pumpkin from Safeway and have SO.MUCH.PUMPKIN). They were delicious. I put some coconut spread on them and drank a coffee while reading a cookbook. This was all done before 730am since I had Part 2 of the most boring class ever as well. After class, I came home and made a turkey meatloaf that tastes like stuffing. I LOVE IT. I didn't take pictures and can't even write the recipe because it was a mash up but this is what was in it: ground turkey, cranberries, pumpkin, egg, sage, salt, pepper, onions, garlic.... Then, met up with a great group of ladies to check out a concert. The band was called Plants and Animals. They were good!! I love, love, love live music! :) The song "Lightshow" is my fav at the moment. Listen to it NOW. 
3) Sunday - productive day!! And my favorite day of this weekend. I am currently writing this with the warmest fussy feeling ever. I'm going to start backwards.... I just had my little sista who I just adore, her boyfriend and my 2 cousins over for dinner. I for one, love hosting dinner!! I made them roast beef, garlic mashed potatoes, carrots, asparagus, gravy and yorkshire pudding and they had oatmeal butterscotch cookies for dessert. We played "Shoot, Shag or Marry" for about an hour of their 3 hours here. I suppose you're wondering what that is - choose 3 celebrities and then say which you'd shoot, shag or marry. Seems easy right? It's pretty funny depending on the combos of people you choose. Anyway - it was so great to have them over. I'm feeling unbelievably thankful for them. And super motivated to host another dinner. Happiness is: hosting dinner for ones you love! (at least for today anyway)
Ok - so to start - ran 6km this AM with some hawt mamas who are running a half marathon next weekend. There was no way I wanted to long run with them so when I heard they were tapering and doing 6km with coffee after, I couldn't say no! Then,I came home and made these. I also did prep for dinner, made some muffins which were a total fail...why? Texture was off, I put in too much nutmeg and there wasn't enough pumpkin taste to them and they were supposed to be pumpkin muffins. NO DEAL. Then, I met Jessie and her little guy Cohen for a quick coffee. He was a bit fussy, but super good to see her! I'm so proud of her. He's so cute and he has these little dimples to die for. I can't wait to see them again! He's changed so much since the last time I saw him! It's insane how quickly those babes grow! 

Time for a recipe! Here you go... the original is listed but this is one with modifications made to it. ENJOY. They were good!

Chicken Pumpkin Curry Mini Burgers, original here
Approx 1 pound ground chicken
1/2 cup almond flour

1 egg
1 cup spinach, chopped
1/2 white onion, diced
approx 2 tablespoons curry powder

1 - 2 tsp of ginger, minced
1/4 cup pumpkin

Saute your spinach and onion. In a bowl - put in your chicken, pumpkin, egg, flour, spices and ginger. Add your sauteed spinach and onion. Mix it up really good. Make it into patties. Fry them up in some cooking oil until done all the way through. EAT THEM. 
Review: mostly delicious. I would have added more pumpkin and would have added more ginger. YOUR CALL THOUGH! I don't know your taste buds. 

I need better pictures
Have a super happy Monday my peeps! I love that we had an extra hour today. Check ya later!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October Foodie Penpal!

AMAZING! What a super great, fantastic program! I missed it when I wasn't doing it. I got paired up with wonderful lady named Ceecee who lives in Vancouver. So, of course, being in Vancouver, she had all sorts of access to delicious finds! You can read up on her and her kitchen adventures here!

So, here we are:
  • Homemade Pumpkin Chia Granola - I ate half the bag upon opening it. OMGSOGOOD.
  • Chocolate covered dried banana - Also eaten as soon as I opened the package
  • Sea Salt Fusion Veggie Garnish
  • Vancouver's Hottest Salt and a tiny cute spoon to go with it
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Espresso Bean Chocolate Bar

This was great! Thank you so, so much Ceecee!

I'm on Day #5 of the Whole30 (which I'll update on later) so I'll have to wait until after to enjoy the chocolate bar and the other half bag of granola! It'll be such a treat after.

I was paired up with Theresa in Delta, BC. I made the package a spicy theme - Black Bean Chips, Spicy Jalapeno Salsa and Chili Chocolate Bar. Hopefully she enjoyed it! :) 

I can't wait until November when I get another match! So, want to get in on it!? This is all you need to do:

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at to get involved!
So, now that you know the instructions - just go to Lindsay's website and get in on it NOW!!!! Seriously, who doesn't love mail and who doesn't love presents! 
Till next month... xo

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Holy Hell!

Happy Weekend! Weekends are never long enough! NEVER. I like to sometimes think about what I'd do if I didn't have a job to go to and endless amounts of money. I think I'd travel and cook and workout and volunteer for something that I am passionate about. A girl can dream. I'd also sleep in a lot, and have a really awesome kitchen and all the accessories - like a donut pan and a bundt cake pan and silcone muffin tins. I want all but am too cheap to buy them right now. PS. Can you believe that I have to go spend money on a vacuum!? F*CK. Anyway, It was a great weekend minus the boring class I took on Saturday. Part 2 of boring class is next Saturday. I'll be glad when this little educational stretch is over! I'll be starting another one come January - the fun never ends! ha.

My current goal is to try somewhere new every time I go out to eat. It isn't hard these days in Calgary with all sorts of new places popping up everywhere and well, I live conveniently close to feed this goal. It's awesome! This weekend I was able to try 2 new places!

New places this weekend included:

80th & Ivy - Michelle and I went on Friday night. We sat in the dining room area which was quite nice. The kitchen is really open. The service was fantastic and the food was really good. We had Prawn Rolls, Mussell and Flat Bread to share. The server was probably one of the best servers I've had in a long time! He was there enough to give great service but not enough to interrupt us. I'd go back. Next time though - I'm having wine! And next time, Michelle will have a baby boy! SO COOL.
Monki Breakfast Club & Bistro - Faye and I went this morning. It was ok.... I am totally bias to breakfast because I already have a couple favorites. I had a Sausage and Brisket Hash. It wasn't too bad but doesn't compare to the hash I had at the Blue Star Diner. Faye had a Breakfast Sundae with granola. They told her it was gluten-free... It wasn't! She was sick after - no good! I'm medium about this place. I won't be in a rush to go back! Next time Faye and I have a date, she'll probably have her little girl in tow. (I told both her and Michelle to wait on their deliveries so we could have our dates! I'm selfish, what can I say!? ha)

In other news - I made some awesome things to eat this weekend! I wish I could take credit for all of them, but I can't!
1) Pumpkin Chili with Avocado Cream - HOLY HELL. This is was GOOD. The avocado cream was like candy. Seriously, so good! I halved the recipe. But really, make it for yourself. I didn't post it here because for once, I actually followed a recipe. 
2) Chicken Thai Pizza - This was a combination of inspiration from various places. I made a gluten free crust. Then, made this really awesome Sunshine Sauce. This sauce was TOO good. I made it again today for my lunches this week. The only modification I made on the sauce was using Coconut Spread instead of Coconut Aminos. The first batch, I used carton coconut milk but it turned out better today using full fat canned coconut milk. MAKE THIS. So, now to toppings - chicken breast, grated carrots, bean sprouts, green onions and cilantro. Andi helped me eat this and gave it rave reviews! YAY SUCCESS.
3) Asian Pork Meatballs - sadly again... I didn't measure things  or take pictures because they didn't look delicious (but I'm sure they will be) If you want to make them.... Here you go:
Ground Pork
A little bit of coconut flour (almond probably is better or use all purpose)
Green Onions

Sesame Oil

Make them into balls, then bake them in the oven at 350 until done. I hope they are good! The beauty of cooking for 1 is that if it doesn't turn out, you still eat it and no one complains. As if I'd complain about my own cooking.
4) Butterscotch Oatmeal Cookies - this is the base of my go to Oatmeal Cookie Recipe. The base can stay the same and you can add whatever you like. The original asks for cherries, sliced almonds and chocolate chips. Today, I decided butterscotch was the way to go! I don't even know where the heck I got this original recipe but I've used it for a few years now.
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1/2 - 1 tsp cinnamon (depending on your preference)
Beat together, with an electric mixer:
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp butter (or margarine is fine)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg

1/2 tsp almond extract (didn't use it today because didn't think it'd go with butterscotch)
1/2 tsp vanilla (ran out, so didn't use it)
Stir in the sifted ingredients to the beaten ones, then stir in:
1 cup oatmeal
1 - 11/2 cup butterscotch chips

Then, bake them at 325 for about 12 - 15 minutes. I didn't try one, they looked good though! I'll see how the work peeps like them tomorrow. 

Have a Happy Monday Everyone!!! 

Who doesn't like cookies!? 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rockin' The Apron(s)!

It's no secret that I like the time in my kitchen. My friends are total dears and help promote this by buying me cute aprons to wear while doing my time! They are all incredibly awesome and quite stylish I must say!

Friday night I found myself wearing my apron, sweeping my floor and prepping a meal for Sri to come over and eat. I felt pretty damn good about the whole thing! She brought over a couple things she made to share - Curried Turkey Mini Burgers and some Veggie Muffin things for appies. I made a Brussel Sprout, Apple and Bacon sautee which turned out well, some pork chops and a Carrot "Pudding" inspired once again by my girl crush. Both Sri and I are in the midst of a detox thing so everything had to be dairy-free, sugar-free, grain-free and legume-free. All of it was and all of it was delish!

I got into some other super (in my opinion) fantastico creations! I made some Yogurt Berry Muffins on Saturday which I didn't try but the reviews came back approved. On Sunday, I had the beautiful Stacy (soon to be Dr.Radics) over for a Pork Breakfast Hash inspired by PaleOMG once again. That girl is a friggin' genius!! I was once again wearing an apron while whipping Stacy and I up our breakfast. Stace brought over Almond Lattes from Cafe Beano. They are my guilty pleasure at this moment! That, and Americanos. Lame, I know... but they seem like a treat when doing a Whole30 challenge!

Brussel Sprout, Apple, Bacon Saute inspired by Martha (sorry, no measuring)
Olive oil for the pan
Brussel Sprouts, cut up
Apple, diced

Bacon, cooked then diced
Onion, diced
Balsamic Vinegar (approx 1 tbsp)
Salt and pepper

Cook up your bacon. I cooked mine in the oven because I was multi-tasking. Cut up all your vegetables and your apple. Heat up your pan, put in the oil (make sure it's not too hot or the oil will burn - yuck). Then throw in your onion and cook till translucent. Then add your brussel sprouts, apple and bacon. The apple doesn't take too long so wait on it or else it might become mush. Stir it around, make sure the brussel sprouts are soft. Then eat it! YAY.

Now, for Sunday...

Pork Breakfast Hash inspired by PaleOMG (all measurements are approximate!)
Approx 1/2 pound ground pork
1 sweet potato, chopped

1/2 onion, diced
garlic, minced
1 can diced tomatoes
6 eggs

Chili Powder
Chili Peppers

Salt and Pepper

Heat up a pan and add a little bit of oil for cooking. I had some bacon fat, so I used that. Cook your pork through. Add your onions and garlic, and cook until the onions are translucent. Then, add the sweet potato and cook some more until it's on the softer side. Then, add your canned tomatoes and all of your spices. You'll have to experiment a bit and test it to your taste. I followed the original recipe amounts and found it wasn't enough for me, so just added a bit here and there. Once your potatoes are soft and you've spiced it to your liking, put your mixture into a greased baking dish. Then, make little dips to put in your eggs. Break the eggs into each special spot you made for them. Put it in the oven and bake it until the eggs are done. BUT, don't do what I did and bake it too long and make your eggs gummy! My guest was so nice that she didn't complain. It was pretty damn good! This made about 4 pretty decent sized breakfasts! :) ENJOY!
Who doesn't love Sunday brunch!?
Sorry this post was so boring. I'll do better next time! It's almost foodie penpal time! :)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Happy Belated Thanksgiving My Peeps!

Hello! HEY. Hi! Holy. Way to drop the ball Kyla. October 1st and promising I wouldn't drop the ball and here it is, 10 days later. Well, better late than never I suppose!!

A unicorn t-shirt! A last Weds surprise from one of my lovely friends!!
Thanksgiving was a wondrous occasion!! I started to eat like a mad woman on Saturday and didn't stop until Monday evening. My eating included: my own baking (gasp* - a rarity when I eat my own creations), Peanut Butter Pie (holy sh*t - Peanut butter, dream whip, chocolate, cream cheese, oreo cookie crust.... heaven), Turkey of course, and all the fixings! I got some good friend and family time in. On Friday, I committed to a run, watching numerous occasions of Breaking Bad and then staying up until 2am baking with the mutant zucchini that was donated to me from Michelle's garden. I made a few different kinds of loaves with it, both turned out well, I think... Well, I know one did anyway! Saturday, I did some Crossfit and then visited with Ceara where we drank a lot of wine, and planted some bulbs. Her husband cooked us dinner and it so was SO GOOD. How lucky is she!? Her husband cooks and cleans and he's a handy man. I think that's the new definition of Triple Threat! Sunday, met with the Aunt, Uncle and cousins where I golfed the hardest course I've ever been on and did a terrible job of it - it was fun nevertheless and great to enjoy the beauty of a late fall! After golf, we played some Monopoly where sh*t got serious. I think families have actually split apart after a game like that, but it was super fun. Monday - TURKEY DAY. We ate and ate and ate and ate. Aunt Robin showed Kirby and I the ins and outs of making homemade buns and how to make a turkey. I know, shocking - I've cooked and baked so many other things and yet, no turkey! I got to cuddle a baby which was AWESOME. She's so friggin' cute. She was born early so she had some catching up to do and she has! She went from this tiny little 5 pound baby to this chubby beautiful 10 pound baby - they change so quickly! :)

Monopoly!!! Yes, the NHL version.

Ok, so that was my weekend in a nutshell. Before I get to the cooking/baking portion of this, I would like to share with you the list of things that I felt very thankful for this Thanksgiving. They start as follows: my stretchy pants - those things seriously have saved me,  and my new career opportunity - learning so so much. I am thankful for my family who is growing bigger and bigger with the addition of Baby Shela, Baby Petey (nickname of Kirby's baby boy in her cute belly) and of course, my new cousin (through marriage) Andy - after the loss we've all experienced in the last number of years, it's so wonderful to watch it grow. The cycle of life is a beautiful thing. I am so thankful for my friends who overwhelm me at times with the love they show me. I am thankful for my good physical health - I am getting stronger and better at Crossfit and making those gains is so incredibly satisfying. Then, of course, there are all the little things to be thankful for - Foodie Penpals, Peanut Butter, Nutella, Sunshine, the changing leaf colors in the fall, and good food. Really, this list could get out of hand, so I'll stop!

And for the creations...........

Coconut, Zucchini Chocolate Loaf, adapted from here
I tried to make it a bit healthier, so you can fatten it up if you like by following the original!

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
6 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup greek yogurt
3 c. grated zucchini
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup shredded coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease your pans.
Combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
Beat eggs, applesauce, nectar, sugar, and vanilla for about 30 seconds. Add the yogurt and beat to combine. Mix in zucchini and coconut.
Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined. 

I made mini loaves out of it because mini loaves are way cuter than  big loaves. I also own silicone loaf pans which are AMAZING. Buy some. I tried to take pictures but they look like sh*t so just imagine how great these loaves are. This made about 4 - 5 loaves depending on how full you make them. You can make muffins too if you'd prefer.

Bake for about 35 minutes and then let cool and eat them up!!! YUM!
Stuffed Peppers - this one i came up with from different things I've eaten before
2 bell peppers, any color works - cut in half and take out the seeds or core then and set them up right
1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup of quinoa (I think), cooked
1/2 cup onion
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, diced
1/2 medium sized zucchini, diced
a couple handfuls of spinach, chopped up
a whole bunch of baby tomatos, cut in halves
1/4 cup feta cheese
1 - 2 tsp oregano
1 - 2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper
Cook the quinoa as per your directions - you can use couscous or rice if you'd prefer. While that's cooking, cut up your vegetables. Heat a frying pan, and add some cooking oil like olive oil. Throw in your onion and garlic and cook a bit, then throw in the zucchini and cook it until soft. When your quinoa is done, put it into the pan as well and make sure to keep stirring so it doesn't burn. Then add the spinach, tomatos, cheese, and spices. While this is cooking, put your peppers into the oven for about 10 minutes to roast slightly. Take them out, stuff them. Bake for another 10 minutes or so. Then take them out and scarf them down! DELISH. I would also recommend trying portabella mushrooms with this filling. They were really good too! 
I cooked these for Jackie after spin class last night and she gave them a thumbs up. Just make them already!! The pictures never do justice. Speaking of which - Foodgawker app for iPhones - addicting! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

And the worst blogger award goes to.....

Geezus! If I don't keep this up, no one is going to ever look at my blog. It's been a busy month, and I've been preoccupied with all of the birthday love, and big job changes that have happened in the last several weeks. I would, first of all like to say, "WOW. WOW. WOW." Talk about birthday love overload. My birthday started before my birthday and the love continued until well after... I was spoiled rotten. So much love in the form of food, in the form of notes, gifts, hugs, etc. It was insane. THANK YOU EVERYONE! 

Birthday Weekend Duathlon! YAY EVERYTHING FRIEND! xo
Sadly, today, I am home sick. I have been fighting it since Friday. I took cold meds, slept, stayed home and here it is...Monday! And sick. Cold, hot, cold, hot, and the chills, I had a 3 hour nap and the old Lipton Chicken Noodle soup remedy and for about an hour felt good enough that I might head to Crossfit but I'm afraid - No. Such. Luck. The smart part of me is going to stay home and try to shake this off. It's not overly surprising that I am sick! There's been a lot going on. I haven't slowed down for much. Job changes are always overwhelming and stressful! The new job is good, but I've definitely been overwhelmed! I got exactly what I wanted - a lot of opportunity to learn and there is a lot of opportunity to create here! I can't wait. I am going to be working with a lady that I'm very excited to learn a lot from! She's really smart and has some really great experience. I've also ran a couple races this month! I did my very first duathlon - hard work but so fun! Trail run 7km, bike 18km and Trail run 3km - I finished it in under 2 hours. I found the biking the hardest part because I wasn't familiar with road biking and got my gears stuck on the hard part going up hill! Then, Jackie and I also ran Melissa's Road Race. We did the 10KM portion of it. It was definitely a chore for me! I was not a happy runner but happy with my time since I haven't ran 10KM since June. We had to run up Tunnel Mountain - if you're familiar with Banff, it's a long hill.... I think my days of road racing are coming to an end. The trail races are much more fun for me!
Banff in September, BEAUTY!

The kitchen has been active! Don't worry there! I unfortunately haven't done a lot of picture taking with my creations, but I have been creating away! Yesterday, the lovely Michelle and I spent 5 hours getting her freezer full of meals for when her little baby boy arrives! We made Chili complete with bacon and chipolte, Shrimp curry and rice, Cheddar/Bacon Meatloaves, Lasagna and Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins. I think she's pretty ready for him to come along! 4 more weeks!

I promise I'll start taking pictures again and getting back to sharing with all of you lovelies! My cousin and I have told my Aunt we are going to be taking on the task of Thanksgiving dinner this coming weekend! I've picked out a recipe for pumpkin squares and plan on somehow incorporating nutella into it. They will be delicious, I am confident. I've also signed up for the Foodie Penpal program again to motivate me back to this blogging bit! Don't give up on me yet!! I'll get to writing more again, PROMISE!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom

Saw this on this week and liked it! It was posted here.

Courage – It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you aren’t really living at all – you’re merely existing.  You cannot always wait for the perfect time; sometimes you must dare to jump.  Sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage – just literally twenty seconds of uncomfortable bravery – and I promise you, something great will come of it.

I can honestly say, no big change I've made hasn't worked out and I can also say that no big change I've made has been comfortable! 
That's me jumping! YAY COURAGE...and JUMPING!


Monday, September 10, 2012

Feel Good = Do Good = Look Good!

Hola Everyone! Happy Monday! Today, was the last Monday at my current job! Next Monday, I'll be starting both a new job AND turning 29!! (And I reiterate, I take presents...I'm heavily food motivated as well..**HINT, HINT).

So, I came across this post today and I laughed my a$$ off. I really think you should read it. Hopefully, you have the same sense of humor as I do and then you can appreciate it more! haha. I sent it to Jackie and told her it reminded me of some of her pep talks she's given me! And it also reminds me that we all shouldn't fret so much! If you're being good to yourself and taking good care of yourself, then who the hell cares!? Yes, admittedly the guy might come across as a bit of, in my friend Kendra's words, "Delta Bravo" but the point is there!
Anyway, I suppose I went on this random post reading because well 1) work was slow and 2) because I'm currently struggling with some body image issues. Most of my friends know this about me - I definitely struggle with my big bum and my "thunder thighs" (I remember the first time I was called this was in Grade 6 gym class by a guy who I'm still friends with haha). Both have served me very well in playing rugby and now in my crossfitting but shit, sometimes... buying jeans and trying on bathing suits is a rather demoralizing task. UGH. I know I'm not the only person holding this sentiment. So, what I've been trying to do lately is, not give a f&^$ about it. I mean, take care of myself and continue being active but don't be so hard on myself. I am painfully hard on myself - I know that, and it's definitely not fair to me! I want to be able to do pull ups, lift heavy things and run my ass off. I want to be able to get on a rugby field (someday again maybe?) and be strong enough and fit enough to play. I want to be able to keep pushing myself and getting stronger and get faster and just enjoy it! I like the way I'm more energetic. I like the way my body feels... So WTF is the problem! Feel good = look good! Everyone knows happy people look better! I mean I've heard "Look good = feel good = do good" but really I think it's "Feel good = do good = look good". That's my 2 cents people!!!

Oh and one MASSIVE piece of news - my wife aka roommate for several years aka Jessie had her baby boy! WELCOME Cohen! He arrived about 10 days early just as his mommy had hoped. He's healthy and beautiful! Can't wait to meet him! xo

In other news - had a brunch on Sunday. Totally dropped the ball and failed to document it with a picture essay. But, the girls as always did AWESOME. We ate the following:
  • Spaghetti Squash Breakfast Bake - I added bacon, and yes, it's her blog again. I love her recipes, like A LOT
  • Land of Nod Cinnamon Buns (Brittany, welcome to brunch!)
  • Bacon - a ton of it because 2 people brought it! :)
  • Sweet Potato Muffins
  • Gluten Free Raspberry & Cinnamon Scones
  • Scones from Cobbs Bakery
  • Fruit Salad

Recipe updates to come soon! See a picture of something I ate below.... Shrimp Salad with sundried tomatos, kalamata olives, articoke hearts, sauteed mushrooms and onions - weird, maybe? I don't care. It tasted good.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'll tell you why September rocks!

Happy September Everyone! September is an awesome month. I'll tell you why... It's my birthday month (I take presents). I'm celerbrating my last birthday of my 20's (GASP!). It's fall, my most favorite season ever. I am starting a new job. Big things are happening! So, in preparation for this big month, I celebrated by eating out a million times this weekend with various friends, and made a million creations in my kitchen that I have been neglecting for the last few months. I also joined a new gym and got my a$$ completely handed to me on both Saturday and on Monday. UGH - but let's not kid ourselves, I do LOVE it. OH, and the other thing that happened - I got Netflix, watched a million episodes of Breaking Bad and have decided that between cooking/baking in my kitchen while watching Netflix, I may never have to leave the house again. Perfect timing since the shittiest season ever is going to be settling in before case you're confused - I'm referring to winter. But to be fair - I plan on leaving my condo more this winter and getting my ski on!

Before I talk about my food creations this weekend, I want to talk about this new job thing. Ok, first off - HOLY SH*T...I got a NEW JOB. I am leaving the company I've been at after almost 3 years. It's been a great experience! I've met many fantastic people who I hope to keep around for the next many years of my life. It was exactly the job I dreamed of getting at one point in my career. I wanted to work for a big, corporate company and work in downtown Calgary and well, downtown Calgary generally means Oil and yup, got my oil and gas, downtown, corporate Calgary jobola! YAY ME. I got some sweet work experience, got to even travel a bit for it which was sort of cool for a while, and even tried out the camp life in Northern Alberta which was also a good experience. I've learned a sh*t ton about myself while I've been here - both personally and professionally. In terms of personal and professional development - I'd say this is where I've had one of my first (of many more to come) serious growth spurts. I'll always value this experience and who knows, maybe I'll be back! The manager did say, "I didn't say good riddance." So, maybe I'll be crawling back if the new experience doesn't pan out!? Now, the new job - so far, leaving me with a fantastic first impression! It's a smaller company and I'll be taking on more diverse responsibilities which is exactly what I need to develop my career in Human Resources. I've gotten a "Welcome" email from all of my teammates (ok, whatever so what it's a tiny team) which makes me feel extra welcome and I am starting on my 29th Birthday. Good sign, right!? Am I nervous? Hell yes. But really, I am more excited for what is ahead. It's a new chapter of my so far, very lucky life! Work seems to be one of those areas where it always, always works out as it should. Even when sh*t hits the fan, it always works out. This too will work out! :)

So, on the list of creations this weekend:
Banana Chocolate Chip Date Bread
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yam, Butternut Squash & Lentil Soup
Sundried tomato, Spinach & Mushroom Mini Pork Loaves
Chili (minus the legumes)
Cilantro & Sunflower Seed & Chili Pesto

I'll share the soup recipe because I can remember it. I got it out of a Community Cookbook that I bought last year. Well actually, it was inspired by 2 recipes that I sort of mashed together.

Yam, Butternut Squash & Lentil Curried Soup
1 small yam, peeled and cubed
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 cup red lentils
1 yellow onion, diced
approximately 3 cloves garlic, minced (I always buy pre minced...which just reminds me that's stupid because I have a kick a$$ garlic press)
2 stalks celery, diced

2 carrots, diced
2 - 3 tbsp curry powder (or more, you decide what you like, or maybe you hate it..then don't add it)
2 - 4 cups of vegetable stock/water (I didn't measure, sorry... just eyeballed it)

Heat a pan or pot, throw in your onion, celery & garlic. Cook down until the onion is clear. Then add in your squash, carrots, and yam. Add the stock, & curry powder. Then add your red lentils, salt and pepper. Bring it all to a boil and then let it simmer until all of the vegetables are nice and soft. Leave it chunky if you like or throw it into your food processor (which holy hell I LOVE) and blend it into a nice smooth conncotion.

So, I found that the squash really took over the flavors so there was probably good reason why one recipe didn't use the squash...and one did. Depends what you like! I added lentils for protein and because they were laying around in my cupboard. And because well, I was actually asked to make some meals for the Mom - To - Be (OMGSOON) Jessie! She will be busy with baby boy so little time for eating and creating delicious food! Can you believe she didn't want presents, this is what she wanted!? Crazy girl. I loved it. Feeding people makes me so incredibly happy. FOR SERIOUS. Now, I think I'll do this for all the new moms in my life! :)

Quarterly brunch this weekend - stay tuned. I am sure the girls will blow us all away AGAIN, as always! I'm also going golfing this weekend! Coach aka Grandpa will be pleased to hear it! I owe him a status report. :) Oh and I have to pick up my new cookbook, I can't wait for my after work reading! It'll be a nice treat after my workout that will probably rape me again. (Did I mention my jeans aren't fitting my legs as comfortably lately!? :S DAMN strength training. But I also won't quit, just have to wear stretchy pants and dresses.)

I'll leave you all with a link to some fun facts about September!