Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Hey Guys!

C'mon over to this new blog for the continuing journey.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pesach sameach!

Hiya Starlings,

Pesach Sameach!

And of course, a Happy Easter to my friends!

Next Post will be Mon April 5th. Things to talk about...



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Ever See that Show Starting Over?

Hello Birdkids!

I've rallied up all my gumption to get back into this game! I really took an unhealthy turn since I finally gave up the sticks! It started with giving myself license to indulge whilst quitting smoking... but I'm on day 54 and feeling pretty good about having kicked this habit, so time to get other things back in check! I need to check myself into the Starting Over House!

I'll say for the record- nothing feels better about not smoking! Breathing is not easier (in fact- am on steroids now, both nasal inhaler and puffer), tasting is not 'brighter' and 'keener' as reported, skin is not glowier... I could continue to kvetch. I AM glad that I've quit, but if you haven't and are looking to... don't expect immediate results.

Whoa... just scared myself with my accidental wisdom. I guess this is the moral of that story AND the blog story: nothing worth having comes quickly.

So, tonight I start my voyage anew... I think I've left this port before.

Pics and update tomorrow.... some news to share! Please come back to me guys! I've relied on your support!



Saturday, February 27, 2010

Can I Get a Wheat Wheat?

Hiya Fireants!

So... you HAD to know there was going to be more bread! I made two loaves today, out of one recipe. Yup... just like Jesus.

After fairly successfully baking one loaf from the NYT recipe yesterday, I guess I fancied myself a bit of a masterbaker... ahem: master. baker.

Last recipe was 100% white flour, as called for by Bittman, and which I enjoyed greatly... but let's face it: what self respecting Prevention reader can live on white bread? None of us, that's who! Definitely needed to cut down/out the white flour and turn Paris (last loaf's name) into more of a Tyra (equally flaky... but darker, denser and low GI rating {Tyra's low GI number is based on my "Good Interview" scale... the bread, obviously, is not}).

So being the proven Master Baker (don't worry, even I'm stifling my snicker) that I am, I decided to make my own recipe... wing it, go rogue, bake out on a limb!

Basically, Tyra and twin are the same as Paris... but the recipe is doubled and the flour is half whole wheat and half white all purpose. This is the gorgeous result:

Ain't she grand? She's ready for her close up...
If you look closely, you can see the bottom portion looks like it's still a wee bit moist and the bubbles get weighed down and the bread is denser. I'm not sure why that is... but I can't complain considering I abandoned the original recipe.
I was really happy with the results, especially knowing I was just being an arrogant little wench thinking I could alter the recipe and have it turn out! I know that baking is a much more precious endeavour than cooking, but I think my bread knows I love her and she pulls through for me!
Also, even though I doubled the recipe and swapped out half of the flour... I would consider these alterations fairly forgiving in the chemical formula scheme of things.
I'd like to find a multi-grain or whole grain or gluten free recipe next... I really like the process of baking the bread, but I am quite sure I can't keep eating my little prizes if they aren't as nutritionally dense as I can make them! I want to get my loaves darker, more wholesome and really substantial! The flow chart looks like this:
So, again- that was the bulk of my day... That and watching knitting videos on YouTube, trying to avoid paying for lessons. My basic stitch is almost ninja-quick... pearl stitch is OK too... everything else I'm having problems with and I can't read or follow a pattern to save my life!
My cable is out and will be until TUESDAY apparently! I'm trying to view this as a positive opportunity to do some severely procrastinated jobs... but I'll be honest: I'm scared. I've already gone through all of my PVR recordings and finished my library books.
TvShack, here I come.
This was another boring dinner of leftovers at work...
Last of the cabbage strata w/ spag squash a la diavolo.
Have you or do you make bread regularly? Do you switch up your recipes to add herbs or veggies or extra nutrients? Any tips?
Long run tomorrow night as my "Monday"... perhaps Suz sabotaged my cable to force my hand?
Or is my television situation the universe giving me a message?
To Whomever is in Charge of the Universe: I would have preferred a video installment for this lesson.

p.s. I am STILL having spacing issues with this f*&king wordpress... sorry if it's leading you to believe I don't take a breath between thoughts or that I have a barbituate habit.
I space... they suck .

Introducing Baby Paris...

Hiya Monkfish!

I have given birth to a Bread Baby... And her name is Paris. Beautiful and delightfully airy!

After watching this video last night, I decided I'd like to make some bread!

I just can't wait anymore.. I have to show her off!

This is the first time I made bread- and it is the most rewarding experience! I'd like to think I have TWO post Apocalypse skills now...

Here's the dough during the rising...

Here she is after the first rising and after being dusted with wheat bran:

Here is the beautiful bouncing girl out of the oven and ready for some hot knife action...

Honest to goodness, I got NO sleep today because I kept waking up to check on her to see if she was rising. A strange attachment, I'll admit.
I don't think she was as poofed as was experienced by Jim Lahey, but I rushed things very much along as I couldn't contain myself to wait for the process. Mandated time to allow to rise in bowl: 12-18 hours... I waited for 9. Mandated time to allow to rise after forming into ball and dusted: 2 hours... I waited 45 mins. I was SO fracking antsy for this golden goddess.
It WAS delicious- so tasty in fact, that I tossed some butter and some chives into the food processor and made myself some Keg-style whipped butter. As can only be expected, I ate half the loaf in this fashion.

A bit of a denouement.... here's dinner, same as yesterday.
Which I barely got to eat... work was CRAZY busy, and we were down a few bodies. As a result of this... I must fly pumpkins.

Will be making more bread today, I think we have yet another fleeting hobby!

Watch the video and try it yourself! Super easy... and if bread isn't up your Kirstie Alley, then maybe another one of Bittman's recipes will catch your eye. He's an awesome cook and a fabulous author (I also think he may be Gwyneth Paltrow's Apple's Daddy... another story).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Well... Food is on track at least...

Hiya Rosebuds!

It's been a little while possums, and I don't even have too much to say for myself other than after taking a hiatus to facilitate the DTs from the fags, I am ACTUALLY glad to be eating well again!

This is not the first time I've tried Champix (the smoking cessation aid), but it is, by far, the LEAST effective trial. The doctor assured me the drug DOES NOT lose it's efficacy with repeated use, but ALAS... tears were shed and things were thrown. I was pretty sure I might hurt someone... even Schmeicel stayed out of the way. I can only imagine he felt like Christina Crawford... without the budget.

Anyway- today is my official 21 day mark (you know that habit forming/breaking benchmark everyone talks about)- so no more excuses... before I go making sloth and gluttony two UNWANTED habits; let's hold on to the good changes and slough the transitional allowances made!

To back track a wee bit... a thank you to send out.

This was my lovely Valentine's Day gift! Woke up to these lovelies, with a thoughtful card on my kitchen table!

MWAH! Thank you!
A few days after that I had Kiki and Puddin' over for their anniversary dinner after meeting with my Auntie Rachel for lunch (finally got to gift the Tal Ronnen book, can't wait for some recipe tips!)... Inspired by my new FAVE show Come Dine With Me, I made: Tartiflette of caramelized onion, goat cheese and pear topped with a balsamic glaze AND Asparagus/ Summer Pea Risotto. This was accompanied by a steak for my Da and some Ice Cream with Goldshlager that was never to be. I had a great time! I loved cooking for them (I know they'll eat anything with a smile) and finally had a chance to use some of my new dishes (thanks Loulou) and glassware.

So that's pretty much the highlight reel of things that happened between sulking and sleeping. I finally realize why people sleep so much on Celebrity Rehab... it's easier than being a grumpy mare!
There's more to fill in I'm sure... will get to it as it comes up.
On to today! After such shyte for a couple of weeks... it was time for a FIBRE FIX!
Tried to make a Cabbage Strata.
Oven preheated to 350 degrees- square Pyrex or baking dish greased up for some love!
First, blanch 10-12 savoy cabbage leaves for 5-7 mins then drain and dry.

Toast 3 tbsp of pine nuts- reserve until assembly
You will need approx 1 1/4 c of drained ricotta. Cheesecloth (most aptly named) is great for straining or draining ricotta, yogurt or cottage cheese- as is a clean J-Cloth. Because I like to keep my strata a little ghetto... I just put the cheese into a coffee filter with a can of corn on top and let it sit in a colander while preparing the rest of the recipe!
Next, saute 3 small leeks with some garlic and olive oil and add about 3/4 cup of veggie stock- let that simmer for approx 25 mins

When that's done, reserve the leeks and add 3/4 can of crushed or diced tomatoes to the same pan. I added more garlic at this point, but it wasn't called for. The tomatoes will need to reduce for about 15 mins, so this is a good time to get the ricotta out of it's draining medium and ready to assemble.

Just like a lasagna- layer your baking vessel's bottom with 2 or 3 leaves of cabbage (whatever completely covers the area), then about 1/3 of the tomato reduction- then some leeks (about 1/3 of the reserved amount). Next dollop about a third of the pressed out ricotta and top with approx 1 tbsp of pine nuts.

Bingo Bango Bongo- three repeats of this (or whatever- I ran out of filling, but had leftover cabbage- so cut it up and topped the casserole) and you should be out of ingredients and oven rarin' to go. You'll want to make sure you save some saucy bits showing (oh no she didn't) so they can crisp up and the liquids will evaporate a bit.

Uncovered, this goes in on the middle rack for about 25 mins (I ended up leaving mine in for 40 mins- because I only have one kitchen timer and I set it for spaghetti squash... oops)

The time bandit...

Here's one last close up before it went in...

And the finished Cabbage Strata!

All in all... it was pretty good. It's not knocking my socks off... but was relatively filling and other than the ricotta- pretty clean. You COULD use a cashew cheese in here, but I think you'd need to heavily salt this if that was your dairy replacement.
So after tonight's shift (and pretty icky weather), I have vowed that I will go home- get 7 hours of sleep (shouldn't be a problem at all), get up and GO TO THE GYM! It's been a bit... and I know that the horse and I never have any problems, I just assume he's mad when I fling myself from him! (Makes sense in my head...)
I'm also going to give no-knead bread a try if I can find a recipe for which I have all ingredients!
Til tomorrow...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And She's Back!

Sorry Dolls....

Needed some time off to be a total homicidal maniac whilst finally kicking the cigs!

They are all out of my system.... but gosh darn it if I haven't let EVERYTHING else in! I gave myself a bit of a let, as the crying jags and tantrums needed SOME sort of reward... but alas, these days must done.

Heading to the gym tonight... and out for dins. Will take pics and be back to regular, tar- free, happy MOI!

Thanks for being SO patient!

A HUGE WELCOME to wee Gavin Atherley! I'll be glad to visit you soon as your downward dog Mum has been incredibly loyal and patient these past weeks..... Congrats to Miss Emma, her surgery is finally scheduled for March 10th!

Talk to you tomorrow pets! Love you all!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Camel Just Passed Through the Eye of a Needle

Hiya Birdkids...

Just wanted to share a quickie with you before I hit the sack... (that's what she said).

My Auntie Rachel (smile) often sends me motivational and inspiring messages and little pearls of wisdom she gets along the way. One will be discussed at greater length in another post, but here's a quickie for the start of what promises to be an awesome month!

Steve Jobs' Three Rules of Life ...

1. Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life.

2. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.

3. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition - they somehow already know what you truly want to become.

It might seem a wee bit hokey... but I was thinking about how silly I felt about taking pics of the treadmill at the gym- and this totally validated what I forced myself to think! It's all about me (or you- to you). But really- I think if we do what comes naturally to us, without worrying about judgement, we might all be a little happier.

That is, unless you are Lex Luther. Lex, please disregard this post.

G'night dolls... Thanks Loulou.



Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back on Track!

Hiya Tamales!

So my first "Sunday Start" was a success! After work, I slept for most of the day... but as soon as I got up- I went to the gym for my run.

Granted, that's all I did... my run, but I did do the 2 miles I set out to do in my weekly plan! It was at an easy pace (as outlined in Planet Running's schedule) - 5 miles an hour. Warm up was .25 miles at 3.5 miles an hour. As promised, here's the pic... as proof!

So I felt like a bit of a dweeb taking this pic, but let's be honest- IT'S A GYM- everyone is there to work on THEMSELVES, so that's what they're focused on... not me.

My knee started hurting around the 1.25 mile mark, but I'm not sure it's from Stairgate or just regular old age related dilapidation! I was tempted to stop and look for someones treadmill to photograph... but damn it! I kept on. I know, I know... it seems ridiculous (it's only 2 miles for God's Sake!), but I am, I think, by nature a quitter. Anyway- on the Even More Ridiculous front- I am looking forward to tomorrow's run because it's the short one of the week! I know... pretty sad.

Anyway- dinner will be the same as a few nights earlier (sans Indian feast)... the roasted cauliflower steak with some broccoli florets in balsamic...

Again, not the most interesting dinner in the world, but as I am heading to the gym in the morning, right after work- I think it's best to keep it light. Although, it just occurred to me that both of these cruciferae are PRETTY gaseous... not so ideal for the whole jumping up and down business involved in running... Screw it.

Green Monster today was brought to you by the following ingredients:

I thought you might like to know the caloric value of one of these anytime shakes!
2 cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (Blue Diamond Almond Breeze): 80 cals
2 cups Baby Spinach: 10 cals
2 tbsp (1 serving) Ground Flaxseed: 90 cals
2.5 tbsp (1 serving) Organic Black Chia Seeds: 77 cals
1 tsp (1 serving) Spirulina Powder: 0 cals
1 cup Mixed Fruit (Caribbean Medley): 60 cals
1 tbsp Bee Pollen: 15 cals
Total Value: 323 cals- This is easily 2 servings! You can, of course, switch this up in a million ways!

Lunch- was one cup and a half of vegetable soup (seen a few blogs ago) with some Sriracha, a whole wheat bagel and a pear. I added WAY too much hot sauce to the soup, and ended up tearing up the bagel and soaking it like chewy croutons... now if only there was a pound of Gruyere on top! Lol..

Wanted to tell you guys about Nuval- it's a new nutritional system that ranks food on a system of 1-100 points. I first heard about it on the Carrot's n' Cake blog, Tina (the author) has started a new blog called Trading Up Downtown. According to their website: "Nuval Scores summarize comprehensive nutritional information in one simple number between 1 and 100. Each Nuval Score takes into account more than just the nutrition fact panel. It considers 30-plus nutrients and nutrition factors – the good (protein, calcium, vitamins) and the not-so-good (sugar, sodium, cholesterol). And then it boils it down into a simple, easy-to-use number; a number you can trust to make better decisions about nutrition in just a few seconds."

Food and nutrition trends change so often, wonder nutrients hit the shelves all the time- I wonder if this system will be able to keep up? Or does it make it redundant, and allow us to ignore fads and stick to the basics of food rather than let us get mislead and carried away by added ingredients/promoted features? After all of the reading I've been doing on the politics of food, I wonder if the assorted lobbying powers in the US will even allow this to develop to it's full potential? I mean, if you were buying a food based just on it's Nuval score- would you be inclined to disregard the ***Added Fibre*** or ***Now! With Omega 3s!*** splashes that we see so often on labelling? Would you even pay attention to the Nuval score if you were seeking out an ingredient or property of a food source? Are the consumers who are concerned about nutrition able to let someone else decide FOR THEM the value of a food? Can people (and lets be honest- I mean women, the one's who read lables and do most household shopping) get over calorie counting? Most importantly.... What will the Nuval score be for champies?
I guess time will tell, and maybe only the border hopping Canadians will ever have to consider the option!
It seems like an interesting idea to me... but so far is only available in the states. Price Chopper is one of the chains carrying the system, so maybe that's a good sign for us Canucks!
I'm on the waiting list for Micheal Pollan's new book Food Rules, and am really looking forward to another read by this author! He's a really excellent writer, with a pretty simple outlook on food: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants. Seems basic, right? Well, his previous books have detailed his principles on this topic- primarily the first part: Eat food. Pollan argues that many of the foods we consume now are 'food-like substances' (or something like that). That through the processing and manufacturing of food sources and the industrialization of the late 20th century- we have thwarted natures design and morphed perfectly fit foods into polymer laced tummy fillers. One of the authors key points (which was mentioned in In Defense of Food, 2008) was: If your grandmother wouldn't recognize it as food, don't eat it. I imagine Food Rules will add to that tenet other simple, easy to live by axioms. Pollan was on Oprah a few days ago (should have had the whole show as far as I'm concerned) promoting the book and he was as eloquent and articulate as ever.
I could go on and on about him, Eric Schlosser and most of the NY Times food writers, but I'll pace myself... this blogging thing could last a while!
Here's an intro article to Food Rules, as seen in Pollan's home publication, the NY Times.
Have you read any of Pollan's books? Do you have any books you'd recommend on food and it's associated issues? For that matter- any great recipe (vegetarian only pls) books that I should check out?
Are food politics something you're interested in generally?
(Incidentally- wordpress seems to be screwing with my spacing in the latter half of MOST of my posts. Not sure why this is, and obviously, I have yet to fix this... please don't think I've had a stroke or just given up on the 'enter' key. It's just a weird error I'm trying to correct- I know it makes it tough to read!)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

She's a Chia!

Hiya Punkies!

I had a little "talking to" from my friend Suz.. and I must admit I have been slacking. She knows it and I know it. Even some of the days I go to the gym, I just flake out. I know for me, it's an internal mechanism that sets me off on the motivation train... but not doing anything externally to trigger that is not only foolish, it's lazy. I do know, at least, that the last month has been MUCH cleaner than the previous 3 and that I have definitely set some ground work, upon which February will be built!

So, on this last day of the month, I'm going to change my usual pattern and start the plan on Sunday! No point in waiting!

First thing I'm tweaking is my workout and run plan. While I was "going by" the Planet Running schedule, I confess I hardly glanced at it after setting my goals, at the beginning of the month. This obviously lead to being aimless at the gym and running just enough to validate my time there. That is not what this is about and THAT sort of attitude and output is not going to help me reach my goals. THIS has to change!

In an effort to get more organized, I've taken Suz's cue and gone back to our old system of treating the gym time like any other appointment! I organized my Google calendar tonight and synced it with my Blackberry. Aside from existing social plans and my work schedule of course; I've entered a time block and mileage goal for each day I've planned for the gym this week.

In following with Running Planet's schedule (starting again at wk 1- I have enough time before 5k race);

Sunday: 2 miles
Monday: Rest ( Will do my Tues 1 mile due to work on Wed)
Tuesday: 1 mile ( Will do Wed 2 mile)
Wednesday: 2 miles (Rest day)
Thursday: Rest/ Xtrain (Hoping to do 2 mile outdoor run, no time to get to gym)
Friday: 2 miles
Saturday: 2 miles (Will rest if Thursday run is complete)
Sunday: 2 miles

At this point I'm doing an 11 min mile... working on endurance rather than speed. As the week progresses, I'll let you know if that improves. I think I might even be dopey enough to take pics of the treadmill display, so I can't fudge to you guys- or myself! I figure if the cast of Brampton Shore at my gym can load up weight benches with Blackberries and laptops and hair gel- no one will notice my wee camera in the water bottle slot on the treadmill!

Speaking of the Brampton Shore... I just KNOW how pleased you must be to see that Jersey Shore has been renewed! Warms my heart... although I'm still holding out for Snookin' for Love.

I've got a new addition for the Green Monster!

Finally I can include these little bullets into my morning shake! They don't add to the taste at all... just add even more goodness!

Chia seeds have become pretty popular lately, with more and more publicity every day. While I'd hate to say I fall for fads... I do, but this one seems to be substantiated by more than
QVC and a before and after layout of an airbrushed bombshell!

Apparently, the Chia grain was so valued by the Aztecs, it was used as currency!

According to the CTV article HERE, 3.5 ounces contains:
  • the same amount of omega-3's as 28 ounces of salmon
  • as much calcium as 3 cups of milk
  • as much iron as five cups of raw spinach

Chia seeds typically contain 20% protein, 34% oil, 25% dietary fiber (mostly soluble with high molecular weight), and significant levels of antioxidants (chlorogenic and caffeic acids, myricetin, quercetin, and kaempferol flavonols). The oil from chia seeds contains a very high concentration of omega-3 fatty acid — approximately 64%.[4] Chia seeds contain no gluten and trace levels of sodium.[5] (Wikipedia)

Other than getting a little stuck in your teeth, chia seeds are little gems and dissolve quickly in any shake or yogurt or liquid.

On to solid food, as I sometimes like to do... I finally made 'cauliflower steaks' yesterday. Disappointing. I saw this recipe on It's Just Food, and thought it sounded pretty good (although I did not see the final results).

Cutting a cauliflower from the centre of the head, vertically, you slice 2 or 3 'chops'. Marinate these slabs in milk (I used soy) and some seasoning salt, garlic and hot sauce ( I used Sriracha). Let those veggie clouds soak for a few hours. Next step called for these to be pan fried (which I think MAY be an essential part of this recipe), but I baked them because I was at work. At 400 degrees for 30 mins- at around 25 mins, I topped the slices with about a teaspoon of parmesan cheese each.

It absolutely tasted good... I think I was just expecting the milk marinade to turn this into a vegetable I really like. Or a steak I could eat in good conscience. Ever take a picture of a star to the hairdressers and ask for that haircut and secretly think/hope you'll look like said celebrity when the cut is complete? Same effect

What goes better with a fractal... than a fractal? Topping off the plate was some roasted broccoli.

Next on the red carpet was some excellent Indian from Shan-E-Dabar. I ordered the Mattar Paneer and Malai Kofta with steamed rice and a plain naan.

It was delicious and it was the first time I'd ordered both the Kofta and Mattar Paneer. The mattar sauce was much more creamier than I expected, which was very tasty, but not so
healthy. It came with a spicy tikka-like sauce with peas. The Malai Koftas- as I read in the menu, sounded like little falafels, but as I perused some recipes during dinner- I see now they're made with potato and nuts and mixed veg. Again, very good, but not what I was expecting. Good thing I can roll with pretty much ANY good food!
Not sure what's on the menu tomorrow... because I have an APPOINTMENT at the gym, so less time to cook. Either way, it'll involve a green monster and something. Probably just some soup... maybe something incredibly exciting!
Do you find making appointments, or formalizing obligations to yourself helps to stick with the program?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I Ain't Bothered....

Hiya Poontangs... this one is short...

I planned for a lovely cauliflower steak dinner... but this is what I had. Then I thought upon it and realized this was my only food for the day! I started cleaning and had some vino w/ Maman... and appetite was gone!

But I did buy some Chia Seeds today... so maybe that will give me some sustenance. They are a COMPLETE protein!

Ever had someone in your life that mucks everything up? Well, I had an interlude with that one today... I wish them away. Sorta... Turns my stomach, so that's good?
Anyways pumpkins, did 1.5 miles today- so that's .01 more than Monday's workout. Tomorrow will be 2 miles.... still sorta slow: 11.13 mile. Not pleased.
I think tomorrow I will visualize that certain someone and me planting some beautiful Williamsburg Heels into his... eh hem....
More Tomorrow Dollies.... And more on SCABGATE! I know you're DYING to see!!!!!!! LOL.

I would like to know a GEEK.....

Hiya Pookapunanies!

So this is the NEW media room.... (ok- total work in progress). This used to be Bellasineads room... but he's dead, so haste makes waste... Shelves still need to go in as well as a million other tech things, but I need help on that issue, so it will wait for suitable fill-in. My 2 staples in life are present... Ipod and wine.

I had a hairy day....
Still with my Lisa Loupner glasses, I went to the gym (not that I EVER wear the glasses working out... all the boys look much hotter without the specs), then took the bus back with these hotties on. Honestly, if I ever wanted to drive my car- today was the day. I'm sorta proud that my pride didn't do me in... Obviously.. otherwse no pics.

This is me confronting my weird pointy nose AND taped specs... I think I'm sort of a trailblazer!
A rogue.... A MAVERICK!
Back with Dins later...

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Wounded Knee Massacre

Hiya Minxes!

In my ever graceful sashay through life... today I decided to take a little tumble down some stairs! I thought to myself: Self, what could I do that would be unexpected, a little kooky and all the while stay active? My immediate (and obvious) answer was of course: Throw myself down 9 concrete steps.

Broken Glasses: $300. Cracked Tupperware: $1.99. First Aid by Kim: 2 glasses of wine (to be awarded). Trying to explain why a grown woman has scrapes all over both her knees: Priceless.

So after a little damaged pride (not too much left in the bank at this point), a few WSIB forms and a bang up spectacle repair (in the form of Todd- who decided I should look like Lisa Loupner) I was perfectly looked after and put directly to work. These babies STING!

I've just called my Suz to let her know: I WILL be at the gym... I just don't know if I'll be able to bend and straighten my legs in any succession.

In order to heal these gashes... I voted for the omega 3 fatty acids found in tuna to keep my blood thin and my skin supple! I also found this handy as I had broken the tupperware that housed aforementioned meal and needed to consume or dispose before making my lunch bag smell like SeaWorld.

Just a can of white tuna (washed) with 2 tbsp of dijonaise and a couple of chives, stalk of celery and scallions- all served on washed Boston Lettuce. I really like the hydroponic lettuce- less grit and sand than some of the earth bound varieties- and the stalks are fairly flexible, making them good for wrapping and stuffing!

Breakfast was (wait for it....) a green monster. This time I made it with some frozen blackberries, so it turned into more of a Purple Monster. Lunch was a cheese string and some baby carrots on the bus- while watching my beloved Little Dorrit! I'm finally on the last episode and I already know that I'm going to miss these characters! I'm not one to READ Dickens, but honestly, ANYTHING Andrew Davies touches turns into pure gold. He's set to do a Middlemarch remake- which I LOVED the first time! It starred Colin Firth's brother and a Gor-Geous Rufus Sewell.

Speaking of Dickens- Today is Family Literacy Day! I try to take great advantage of my local library, and love seeing families and children there (well- as much I like seeing them anywhere really). My Mum and Da took great time and care to read to me and to make sure that it was a priority... I think it's a fabulous value to instill in children. Do you have memories of a favourite book from your childhood- or a special moment reading with your parents or children?

According to the photographic history of my very sophisticated family- I've always had a fondness for reading on the loo... Thanks goes to Kiki and Puddin' for documenting a 5 year old making her mark on the world.

So now... my peeps... I turn to you! I really need some help in the menu planning department. Trying to plan what to have and then cook most of the components is turning out to be a little more daunting than I esteemed. I AM trying to cook at least 2 new recipes a week- and am having a hard time incorporating that agenda with just getting my act together for regular meals (most of which are transported to work). I'm also finding it a pain to try these recipes while cooking for one. I'd love any suggestions you guys might have for planning/sticking to and brown bagging your meal plans.

So, because I've been a little lazy this week- I'll have to catch you up on the rest of the week.

Sunday- I found myself in quite possibly the biggest conundrum I'd been in in some time. After working a midnight into Sunday- I decided it was going to be a quiet night at home. Fireplace on and wine poured with some spinach pizza (deep dish... oops) baked for a lovely evening... I came to a fork in the road. Test the Nation-with the world's most adorable Liberal (don't find THAT very often huh?) Justin Trudeau OR Celebrity Rehab III with the INDOMITABLE Dennis Rodman. I eventually chose Dr. Drew and gang because... well, because I love a train wreck. Honestly, this guy is a disaster of galactic proportions! He tried to tell the group that he was above all the 12-step stuff and that he was smarter than them and he has reached a 'Zen state! Sure- say hi to Gary Busey in Nirvana! or Tarzana... whichever you get to first!

Monday- Robbie Burns day! 251st birthday of Scotland's Favourite Son... wee Rabbie! I celebrated by having some lunch with my Da at Boston Pizza (I have no substantiated proof that the Scots ever colonized Massachusetts, but there's no Nova Scotia Pizza in my hood).

Nah- just kidding... I had this healthy bugger!

Wasn't great... I really like Jim Treliving- but the guy needs to work on vegetarian healthy options at Boston Pizza!

Then, in true Scottish form- we carried on to my FAVOURITE PUB- Up Yer Kilt! A couple of ciders later we carried on for another couple of places til we ended up at my Da's local. There, I honoured Mr. Burns by doing my best "Ode to the French Onion Soup". Again- no real segue, but soup was all I could really muster off that menu that was vegetarian and wasn't deep fried.

Tuesday- Quiet day- 1 packet of no-name vegetable soup with one sleeve of high fructose corn syrup saltine crackers. SEVERAL glasses of water.

So that's a wrap mein liebchen... back tomorrow and let you know how the crusty kneecaps are doing! I hope I can run! Maybe I'll do a day to day photo spread so you can all see how quickly I heal. Wait for the keloids kids... that's my new talent (I'll cover my X-Men regenerating skin talent in another post- it's sorta freaky... I'm an overhealer*)


* This has not been verified by a doctor. It's been downright dismissed in fact, I was told "That's not even a thing". But like Susan Sarandon in Lorenzo's Oil, I won't let the establishment break me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lacklustre week...

Hiya Doves!

This has been a stupid week. Not too much going on, and no good reason not to blog... but I haven't really had anything exciting (unlike previous posts... I'm sure) to say!

So here's a quick recap- At the gym Tues, Wed and Thursday... all pointless workouts. Ran/ walked/ cycled... all half hearted. So that's enough of the gym talk.

I think it's because I was missing my energy addiction... the MONSTER.

Working midnights can sometimes mess with you a little bit, and while I was making these faithfully, I was feeling pretty good! But a failure to plan, cook ahead and pack up lunches and snacks turns me into a slave to the take- out... I do not make wise decisions under these circumstances!

So that's enough of that talk too!

Onto healthy things... sorta.

Because I ate out so much of the week, I had some seriously abandoned vegetables in the crisper come Thursday. These veggies showed their dissent by wilting, drying up and all around spoiling. Much like what's been happening in other parts of the world this week, I pulled a few survivors from under the detritus and found myself with a mix mosh of things and no inclination to be very creative. Result: Soup. While not my favourite food, by a long shot, it IS an easy and nutritious way to use a motley crew of vegetables, which is what I had.

So.. green, red, yellow and orange peppers went in with a mirepoix (carrots, onions, celery- Thank you Julia Child for "la nom posh" ), a head of Swiss chard, a can of low sodium tomatoes and some vegetable broth.

Cooked for a few hours, then throw it in the blender- and a soup is born! It's pretty tasty- and AS USUAL, I have way more than I need... so it goes in the freezer, right beside the frozen rats. Yum.

Went out for dins with Maman on Thursday - to what was purported to be "Dinner and a Makeover". Held in a trattoria in Brampton, one which Kiki and Puddin' patronize often, it turned out to be a Mary Kay presentation before dinner. So, not thrilled about that, but happy to be out with my Mumsy and her good friend Ellen and daughter Holly, we stuck it out. Dinner options were decidedly unvegetarian, so like any decent person- I decided to have the least ethical choice of them all... Veal Parmigiana

The veal WAS pretty good... and I didn't suffer any pangs of guilt until later on that evening, when I realized I had declined to buy any Mary Kay because they weren't approved by PETA. Um... should thought that one out a little more.

One of the perks (read bribes) of attending this demo were door prizes! I love pressies!

I won this hot mama just for asking a question! ( I think it may have even been the self incriminating PETA one too... groan.)

I almost gave it away when I won it because it it came in a chocolate box... not into choccies.

Tomorrow after a midnight shift, I'll be doing some cooking for the week. I'll be on afternoons... so that'll help life for a week.

Just wanted to let you guys know about something my Auntie Rachel pointed out to me. If you have or are planning to but some bee pollen for your green monsters.. or other concoctions: bee sure it's pollen gathered from bees that have fed from non-gm crops. According to her information from a beekeeper, those little black and yellow munchkins are killing their bee kids (smile) when they bring back pollen from gm crops... this is one of the reasons for the disappearing bee population. Thanks to Auntie Rachel for that info!

Do you guys ever have trouble getting motivated? Even when you've had some successes... AND you know how much better you feel when you're on the healthy train? VERY FRUSTRATING.

Better week ahead..


Monday, January 18, 2010

Caulifower Curry makes me purr..... ee.

Hiya Possums!

It's been a little while and I apologise... I know at least ONE person has been checking daily to see if I've posted! (Mwah).

It was a staycation week... and I did very little if I'm honest. I organized my spare room and FINALLY got rid of Bellasinead's mortuary. It was a hassle to move, but Joey and the Igor at Goodwill were more than helpful! That same day- Thursday I think, I went with my auntie for lunch at a new Japanese restaurant.

I have said before that 168 Sushi is the best in Brampton... well, the competition is here. More on that later!

A friend of mine mentioned to me that Bee Pollen was really helping her Mom's energy levels. Ever the slave to fad and fandangled ideas, I picked some up the other day and decided to give it a shot in my green monster.
The taste IS distinct.. nutty sort of... hard to really describe. They are crunchy little nuggets of gold that are sweet to start of with, and really lend themselves well to a shake. In with the ground flax, you'd never know they were there... save for a slight aftertaste.

As for the energy contribution... I'm sorry to say I have no definitive results. I find the shakes pretty invigorating on their own, so the added boost of pollen was lost on me if there was one. I will persevere though, increasing the amounts... Keep you posted if I leap any tall buildings!

In one SERIOUS bout of cooking, I hauled out the Vegenomicon and decided to make some Cauliflower and Lentil Curry...

Following the recipe in any book is pretty tough for me. I tend to stray after the third or fourth ingredient, so my results can not be found to be conclusive.

To prep: Vegetable stock, Red Lentils, One inch of ginger, Coriander, One head of cauliflower, Assorted bell peppers (my own addition- they were in the fridge), Onion, Garlic, Chilies, Assorted Curry Spices (cumin, cinnamon, cardamon- I added a pre mixed veggie masala spice mix)
I accompanied my curry with these sexy paratha(s) {I think an 's' is required to pluralize?}

Fry up peppers, onion, garlic and chilies in some grapeseed oil. When onions are translucent, and before garlic burns... add spices and toast them for 30 seconds or so. Next- add vegetable stock (enough to cover, plus an extra inch or so) and lentils.
So now I veer TOTALLY of the recipe's track... It calls for you to add the cauliflower after the lentils have cooked for 12-13 mins and let simmer for a while. I don't like cauliflower unless it's all broken down, so I steamed the hella out of mine and then mashed it whilst the curry was cooking the lentils.
While I was producing A LOT of dishes... I was trying to keep up with the clean up at the same time. Mrs. Garrett is off this week...
When the lentils were tender and mushy (like cauliflower- the only way I like them), I added the cauliflower mash and a can of coconut milk. This is a high calorie and fat ingredient, but it's a healthy fat and the rest of the meal is relatively low cal. The fat content definitely adds to the satiety of the meal.
There she is... with some chopped cilantro and a serious dose of lime juice!
While this was a good recipe (had I actually followed it), it needed some serious KICK and I squeezed a couple of rounds of Sriracha on top. All in all, not bad for my first curry without packages... but not great. Also, while I tried to lessen the quantities in the recipe, I had TONNES when it was complete... so Mum and Joey got some, seems nobody else I know is into curry. Cowardly Bastards!

Friday night I went to the illustrious Tonawanda. Saw one of the WORST- MOVIES- EVER: Amelia. Good golly. If I was ever a Hillary Swank fan, and I haven't been, this would have reversed such affinations in short order. Her accent kept changing from Katherine Hepburn to Eunice Kennedy. Richard Gere is is beginning to look startlingly like Renee Zellweger. Someone give these people a pocket dispenser of stevia... squinty lemon sucking eyes!

I did run into a chocolate fountain, but that's not really my thing... so I had a mini marshmallow and decided to stick a chunk of marble cheese under the wafting waves of milk chocolate. Never again.

So, now that I got my choc/cheese and Indian on... I was like the RAF and back to the Japanese! The lunch I had with my Auntie was SO good, that I decided my food loving girls needed to check this place out too! On Saturday night, we headed back to Tokyo Maki for the weekend night dinner!

This place operates similarly to 168 and Prince and has a fill-out menu that the waiters (who were very attentive- if not a little lacking in communication skills) pick up every few minutes. Food streams out very quickly from the kitchen, and these little worker bees earn every cent as they dart to and fro. Almost like Bridget Jones' mother: "A very industrious people".

A warning though: While the restaurant offers beer and wine, they do NOT offer liquor. This was an especially unfortunate notification as I was dining with this years winner of the "Girl Who Most Deserves a Drink" award and there was not a shot of rye to be found.

Among the various rolls and tempuras, we also had some Agedashi (fried soft tofu- my new favourite), tuna and salmon sashimi, edamame, teriyaki and this beautiful bouncing boy... an avocado pizza...I've had sushi pizza before, but it's not been great. This was AWESOME! The rice cake base was so crispy and warm compared to the creamy cold top, just an excellent combination of flavours and textures! Considering they eat essentially no dairy, I have no idea how the Japanese got on the mayo train- but I want to shovel coal all day and conduct that mayo train into my mouth station because I approve people... I approve!

This is my mayonnaise delight look. This is also a reminder that while green eyeshadow might look good in the powder room ladies... this does not always translate to the dining room.

More MAYJAH mayo, but on a healthier incarnation, on these adorable little cucumber rolls.
A ribbon of cucumber wrapped around shrimp and avocado with heavenly spicy mayo and sesame seeds. So basic, so delightful. I will be making these at home soon... think I will use surimi instead of shrimp. These are so light you could easily pop 5-10 in a sitting.

I did nothing at ALL at the gym last week- but I did go for a tan... if you don't lose the fat, you might as well make it less chalky.

I am currently addicted to the series Little Dorrit (it's Dickens- but Andrew Davies produced it... he did the mini series' Pride and Prejudice as well as He Knew He Was Right) and found myself perfectly incapacitated while imagining myself being rescued from impoverished obscurity by Matthew MacFayden. Also, Jamie's Ministry of Food is back on the Food Network- really educational about working class people and cooking/eating habits. I watched it on it's first go around and found it fascinating and a little sad.
New favourite show is definitely Come Dine with Me! 30 mins episodes each night have 5 strangers hosting dinner parties for each other and at the end of the week one of them wins 1000$ (it's actually pounds- but I can't find that symbol) based on the scoring of their dinnermates. I know 30 mins a day can be a bit consuming... but it's such light viewing, it's great for background noise. The commentator is HILARIOUS.

I've written off the Bachelor and Jersey Shore is coming to a premature (in my opinion) ending. I guess this means I'll have to turn off the fireplace and go outside and interact with real people. Sigh...
So it's Monday now- and I walked/ran outside for 4k, as the weather was pretty decent. I'm off to the gym in the morning, with a pretty pathetic stirfry for dinner tonight. No pics required folks... take my word for it, sad.
On a side note... I've texted twice to Rogers to donate to Haiti... has anyone else tried this? I know it's only ten dollars all told, but I thought it better than sending down my curry.