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Chicken 1:Human 0

8 Jun

I feel before I tell this story I should point out the Instant Pot is not to blame. It did nothing wrong. This is purely user error…and a prime example of why I shouldn’t cook!

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I wanted an easy chicken slow cooker dish to be able to eat throughout the week so Tuesday night I put four chicken breasts in my Instant Pot, a mix of cream of chicken soup, gravy packages, ground black pepper, and water, and turned on the slow cooker setting. I leave it to cook for 8 hours over night and when it is done it automatically changes to a keep warm setting.

It is freakishly easy and is something I have done numerous times. Not with the gravy mixture I mean, that was new, but with other sauces and toppings. Basically I search for easy slow cooker recipes, find one that sounds ok and give it a go.

When I opened the lid the next day I should have realized something wasn’t right. Usually the chicken is super easy to shred, but this wasn’t. I didn’t think too much about why it wasn’t easy to shred, I just resigned myself to larger pieces of chicken, no biggy. I portioned out my lunch and went to meet my peeps.

Not too long after I finished eating I started to feel not well. My stomach was not happy. I wasn’t in danger of throwing up or anything, I just didn’t feel well. I shrugged it off and continued on with my day, which involved cleaning, and a long walk on some trails with a friend, then dinner. Through it all I wasn’t feeling awesome and none of the things I tried seemed to help.

Next day I was still feeling off but not as much which made me think I might be fighting off a bug and Wednesday was just an especially hard day for my immune system.

Well! Ha! I’m such a dummy! I should have checked the chicken. Soooo should have checked the chicken *rolls eyes*

I took some of the left overs out of the fridge Thursday to heat up and started cutting one of the chicken breasts in to smaller pieces so it would warm up faster and wow was the inside of that bird pink-red. It was a deep enough pink to notice through the gravy! I thought my lighting must be messing with me so I picked up the plate and moved it every which way and whadda know, the pink-almost-red colour didn’t go away. Shocking I know!

Still not trusting what I was seeing I pulled out another piece of cooked chicken, cut it, and saw red…well, more of a deep pink lol but you get my drift.

How did my chicken not cook? Not like I haven’t used the slow cooker function on my Instant Pot before. Could this be why lunch left me feeling sick? Is this chicken now ruined?

So many questions.

In a flash of insight I realized I made a stupid mistake. When using the slow cooker function on the Instant Pot I have always put the setting to “high” and cooked for 8 hours. This time I forgot to change the setting so it cooked for 8 hours, but only at “medium”, which apparently makes a big difference. Ya know, the difference between cooked chicken and deep pink chicken. The difference between chicken that shreds and chicken that doesn’t shred. The difference between chicken that gives you some lovely protein instead of a stomach ache and feeling of being sick.

It is four days away from compost pick-up day so I put the pink chicken back in the fridge so it doesn’t smell up the bin and will throw it out on the appropriate day. I don’t know if I put it in a pan and heat it up, and continue to heat until the pink is cooked away, if that will make it safe to eat, and frankly, it isn’t something I am willing to test. So my stupid mistake has cost me three chicken breasts, which is a pisser cause groceries ain’t cheap!

But there you have it, in the battle of chicken breasts vs human who sucks at cooking, the chicken won. Thank goodness for take-out! πŸ˜‰

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They are coming for me!

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The May Vacation

5 Jun

A cat in a booster seat.

A playboy bunny image made out of snow.

A lot of Tim Hortons.

A carnival in transport.

A couple stops at Peter’s Drive In.

A best friend’s wedding.

And of course…food. Lots and lots of yummy food.

Those are but a glimpse of what made up my little May vacation.

I drove one province over to attend, and take part in!, my best friend’s wedding. I say “I” but it was really “we” since I go nowhere without the cat. He spent his 13 hours in a booster seat designed for dogs (don’t tell him that!) because there is a serious lack of travel items designed for cats.

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Silent protest – something he is very very good at!

Sidenote: if anybody has start up money and wants to invest, I have some great ideas for a range of products to make travelling with your cat easier, lol.

Back to the trip!

On the way there we saw pieces of a carnival being transported who knows where, a muffin disaster at a Tim Hortons in Golden BC, a Playboy Bunny logo made out of snow on a mountain, oh, and there were a couple escape attempts by the cat when silent protest was deemed too calm of a way to show his displeasure.

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I have been trying oh so hard for six months or so to not screw up so I would be able to fit in my bridesmaids dress and yay me, I fit! I did however get so caught up in the day I forgot to get a full length picture of me in the dress, sigh. So the best you’re gonna get is this selfie…

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Gratuitous selfie.

I’m not going to share pics of the wedding, because well, that would be a lot of people to track down to ask if they are ok with their pics going on this blog and ain’t nobody got time for that! πŸ˜‰ Rest assured, it was beautiful. It was an outdoor ceremony at a mansion, pictures were done on location and also in an area with a great city view as the background. The reception was in a hall that I and others helped decorate the day prior. I gotta say, my friend is quite the savvy shopper. She got the place looking exactly how she wanted without breaking the bank.

Instead of a wedding cake there were doughnuts from some fancy bakery. Brilliant idea if you ask me!

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I didn’t actually get to eat my doughnut, *pout*, as a drunk groomsman took it out of my hand as I was about to take a bite and ate it. Ate my doughnut. The doughnut that belonged to a lady who’d be dieting for 6 months. I’m impressed I didn’t jump him like a crazed animal.

Instead I ate a slice of pizza, that was second dinner, and oh my god was it goooood! Handmade crust by the caterer that was hired, seriously best crust I’ve ever had. I ended up eating a couple bites from three different slices, which makes me sound like a jerk but it is actually that the servers were just too darn efficient.

See, I had a slice, took one bite, someone was all “you’ve got to come dance!”, so I put the pizza down (on a plate I mean), went and danced, and when I came back it was gone. So like any normal person I used this as an opportunity to try a different kind of pizza, grabbed a new slice, took a bite, and basically the same thing happened, except I think it was me that was all “I love this song, I must dance!”, and yeah, when I got back the rest of my slice was gone. Not to be thwarted I grabbed a third slice, ate the crust first (the crust is the best part and I’d not managed to eat any of it yet lol), had a couple bites of the part of the slice that had toppings, and then threw it out so I could go dance.

Have you figured out yet that I like to dance? πŸ˜‰

I decided in total that equals to me eating one full slice, right?

I spent the day after the wedding wanting to die lol Hung over and sun stroked, my poor body was having none of it and I basically slept the day away on my parent’s couch. Aren’t I such a stellar example of being a grown-up! lol

Once I was feeling better things were pretty normal for one of my trips there. Visited with friends. Did some shopping. Chilled with the parents.

Granted, there was the day where a slice of cheesecake was both my breakfast and lunch which was pretty awesome…

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From the Spinelli Italian Centre Shop. Go there. It’s worth it!

But ya know, other than cheesecake overload things were pretty normal.

The return trip was fairly uneventful. The cat and I finished our audio book, he didn’t seem at all surprised by the ending. πŸ˜‰ We got a milkshake at Peter’s Drive In, which if you are ever in the vicinity of Calgary AB you must must must go to Peter’s.

Best. Milkshakes. Ever.

And no, I didn’t get a picture, I was too busy driving and drinking the milkshake to take one. πŸ˜›

We got home super late, I took care of essentials – like putting the milk and wine in the fridge and having a shower, then we crawled in to bed where we both slept the way only travel weary people and cats can. I woke up briefly around 10 am (we went to bed at 4am so no judging!), looked at the time, said “nope”, rolled back over and went back to sleep. The cat didn’t even bother to wake up, he just stayed asleep until I got up at 3pm. Neither of us care for the whole waking up part of our day, we are well matched like that lol πŸ˜›

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We wake up under protest, daily.

There ya have it! Our little road trip sadly is over, but we have memories and pictures, and a little more body fat, to remind us of all the fun we had. We are both back to routine, me with my two jobs and dragon boat practices, he with all his cat chores. The only big thing that is a constant reminder of the trip is the suitcase I still haven’t put away but I’m determined to do that tomorrow!…says the woman who has been putting it off for 6 days…ah well, it’ll get done eventually! πŸ™‚

Cherry Chocolate Trifle

13 May

I experimented on some friends a week or so ago and made them Cherry Chocolate Trifle. It was a spur of the moment thing, mostly I came up with it because I needed to do something with a bunch of left over chocolate cake.

The cake was also a bit of an experiment…what can I say, I was in an experimenting kind of mood, shrug.

So the trifle!

I’ve never made a trifle without alcohol in it but the only alcohol I have ever used in a chocolate trifle is either Baileys or Kaluha and since I don’t like either of those, nor have them on hand, these trifles ended up being non-alcoholic.

I ripped the left over chocolate cake in to small-ish pieces then mixed in cherry pie filling. This is normally where the alcohol would be added, instead I just used all the cherry pie filling, which full disclosure, I was lazy and bought a can of pie filling instead of making some. Hey, don’t judge! We’ve probably all been there at some point!

Once the pie filling and cake are well and truly mixed I put equal amounts in to these clear plastic cups I had on hand. I bought them from the dollar store for a different layered dessert I was going to try and commandeered them for this instead. You could put the entire cake & pie combo in to a large serving dish, preferably one with clear sides so the layers can be viewed, but I wanted these to be easy for my friends to take home, hence the individual cups.

The next layer is chocolate pudding – fairly self-explanatory.

The final layer is whipped cream, which yes I whipped myself, I didn’t buy the stuff in the can or use cool whip. Not that I am dissing cool whip, I love the stuff! I know that not everybody does though so I went with whipping cream instead, seemed easier, even though I swear eons pass while you are beating the stupid stuff and turning it in to, ya know, whipped cream.

I was going to finely chop some chocolate and sprinkle it on top of the whipped cream, more for the visual than taste, but I was running late (thanks to how long it takes to whip the cream!) so it didn’t get done. Ah well, not everything can be perfect every time!

I forgot to take any pictures of the final product so my amazing friend kindly sent me a couple that she took. It is hard to see the different layers, but trust me, they are there! The feedback from all who ate it was two thumbs up, so I’m labeling it a keeper!

I would say don’t make your A-Level chocolate cake when doing this trifle, after all, the cake gets mixed with so many other things it stops being the main part of the dessert and becomes one of many parts. One of many yummy parts. Mmm! πŸ˜‰

Oh, and in case it didn’t work out I made my A-Level chocolate cake for the same night…and not to be all braggy or anything but it turned out amazing, as it always does. For such a delish cake it sure has an easy recipe…which is probably one of the reasons I love it so much lol I however didn’t have anything summery to decorate it with so the red and green sprinkles got pulled out and well, made it look a bit Christmas-y. Ah well, who says you can’t channel some Christmas vibes in May? Not me! After all, there are only 226 days until Christmas (as of May 13th)…not that I’m counting or anything. πŸ˜‰

A Little Recap

26 Apr

Now you may be thinking because I haven’t posted in a little bit I have fallen off the wagon in regards to the fitness challenge I am in, you my friends would be wrong!

It’s so nice to be able to write that cause let’s be honest, it is so easy to say yes to a challenge and after a week kinda slack off. I think in part I am sticking with it because (1) I made up the challenge, and (2) there is an end goal of looking good in that bridesmaid’s dress…vanity can be a great motivator! πŸ˜‰

Since I last wrote my team (I compete in dragon boating) won bronze in Division A at a regatta. πŸ™‚Β  It was this particular regattas first year and it went really well. I don’t mean it went well because we won a medal *rolls eyes* but that the regatta was run well. It went smoothly, no real glitches to be had…that I know of anyways lol They were rushing the races to get as many of them done before the afternoon as possible because afternoon water conditions were less than ideal due to lower tide levels than normal for this time of year. Our last race of the day was in choppier water but I kinda liked it, made it more fun! And yes, I know I’m a bit of an odd ball lol

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The Twisted Hips, 2018 Roster

The medals are definitely original. Normally they are made of metal but this regatta, in honour of the races being held on Earth Day, hand crafted the medals out of three types of wood. So one person made all the medals, by hand, in his basement…we know this because he was reminding everyone all day lol

Then it was back to normal life for a couple days before a little overnight trip to Whistler. Yay for it being late enough in the season it is no longer law to need snow tires to drive up there! πŸ™‚

I went with a bunch of friends, we all went up at different times based on our schedules. So I got there about a half hour before two people had to leave, which kinda sucked, but the majority of the group was still there so it all worked out in the end.

My FitBit was very happy on Wednesday, with all the walking to the Village and around the Village (twice!) and my quick gym session, I got a hella lot of steps. And we all know FitBit owners live to make their FitBit’s happy lol Proof that even when in Whistler you can keep to a fitness challenge!

It was a pretty chill trip, one of our group is moving away (lame!) so we did this trip to give us all a chance to hang out before she leaves. It was mostly spent playing board games, lounging by the pool (that part didn’t include me since I’d burn in a stupid short amount of time, sigh), going to the Village to shop and eat dinner, and I dunno, just being in each other’s company.

Both the bear and the scenic picture were taken on the walk to the Village. The sign the bear is holding basically says please don’t feed me, or my cubs, and keep your dog on a leash..just ya know, in a cuter way lol It was so sunny and summery and lovely, I took a picture of the river? Creek? The water, I’ll just call it water, but my picture doesn’t do it justice. There are chairs set up on both sides so you can just sit and enjoy being there…which I actually didn’t do because well, we were on our way to the Village so we were going somewhere and also, I don’t voluntarily sit out in the sun, that would be the equivalent of me putting a target on my back and daring the UV rays to come get me. πŸ˜›

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The sheep are too cute!

This is purely a picture of cuteness…especially the sheep on the right side. They are bombs, which I don’t actually know what that is, some sort of chocolate something or other, I just wanted to share the cute. πŸ™‚

And lastly, a picture of me touching snow, who’d of thought you’d see the day! πŸ˜‰

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In case you’re thinking it mush be sort of chilly because I am wearing a long sleeve top, no-no, I am wearing long sleeves as sun protection…hence the hat! It is easier to wear long sleeves than reapply sunscreen every hour and a half, and less messy, so I spend a lot of the sunny months in long sleeves. But forget the clothes, look at the snow! It was so odd, the snow ends right at the cement, it is on the hills for the snowboarders and skiers but nowhere else. Kind of a random thing to see…I’m used to seeing snow covering everything – when I do see it that is.

Besides my fun random days I’ve been going to dragon boat practice, hitting up the gym, taking walks, all sorts of things to keep up with the 44 Day Fitness Challenge. There are only 30 days left!…not that I’m panicking about that or anything… πŸ˜‰

Riverdance

16 Apr

Sunday evening a friend and I went to see Riverdance, which basically means we sat and watched amazing dancing to beautiful Celtic music for around 2 hours.

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I mean seriously, how do they get their legs to move like that? And their feet, how feet move so fast is beyond me. Its mesmerizing.

If you haven’t seen Riverdance, or Lord of the Dance, or any Irish dancing you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about, and oh boy are you missing out! So before you do anything further, watch the video below to bring you up to speed on what I’m jabbering on about…

Click here for the video…

See? Didn’t I tell you it is amazing? If you didn’t watch the whole thing at least go to the 4:25 mark and watch that bit, it’s the best bit!

My friend brought a, I guess it is a Polaroid camera, but the new version. It is baby blue and weird and cute all at once. So we of course took selfies that we now have to take pictures of with our phones all so we can share the pictures with social media…sooooo the new tech is making us have to use our pre-existing tech to share the images the new tech took…am I the only who thinks this is odd? lol Either way, it took some cute pictures, they print on this small paper and it was interesting to watch the pictures develop, well, interesting to me but maybe I have a low threshold for what is interesting lol

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On a 44 Day Fitness Challenge note I got a walk in after work and before Riverdance so even though I worked all day and had plans in the evening I still managed to fit in a workout. I want to be all smug and say something snotty about how it is proof there is always time for fitness but I am very much aware I will most likely have a day where the most I can fit in are some squats and push-ups and I’ll swear there wasn’t time for more so I’m just gonna keep my not-at-all smug mouth shut. πŸ˜‰

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Intermission – a non Polaroid selfie lol

 

Yoga Fail

14 Apr

The plan.

There’s always a plan right?

The plan was to get up and go to morning yoga at my gym.

The reality was the alarm made noise, I didn’t even pretend to hit snooze, just turned it off, rolled over and went back to sleep.

Oops? πŸ˜‰

That meant to get my workout in for the day I’d have to fit it in after work, which is fine, it is when I prefer to workout. Only catch is I work until 9pm Saturdays and I start at 7am Sundays, so usually after work on a Saturday I really live it up by coming back to my place, showering, and watching YouTube or Netflix for a bit until I go to bed.

Not tonight though, no way was I missing a workout on the third day of this challenge!

Situations like this though are exactly why I decided to not be super strict about my definition of a workout, because instead of going to the gym I did a body weight (and ok I used a couple actual weights) workout in my living room.

The cat, in case you were wondering, was not impressed.

I could have done a workout dvd, and probably will at some point, but I wanted to see what I could come up with on my own. It isn’t exciting, but hopefully it was enough to count…I did get sweaty, not been at the gym killing it sweaty, but a light ladylike glow, so I’m going to pretend that means I accomplished something lol

My little circuit consisted of:

  • jumping jacks
  • squats
  • mountain climbers
  • russian twists (with my medicine ball)
  • push-ups
  • bicycle crunches
  • plank
  • overhead press (with dumbbells)
  • flys (with dumbbells)
  • and this thing I don’t know the name of, I lay on the ground, holding a dumbbell or kettle bell, arms straight above me (think right over my face), then I lower my arms while keeping them straight till the weight hits the floor above my head, stretching my arms as far as they will go. I don’t know what is it called but I love that one, you can really feel muscles engaging.

So yeah, that was my circuit, nothing fancy. I did a minute of each with no rest in between then a minute rest after the circuit was done. I did it three times, probably should have done a fourth but ya live an learn. I’ll know to do a fourth next time.

After that was done I cleaned the apartment, seriously, can my Saturday nights get anymore exciting? πŸ˜‰

I have a friend stopping by tomorrow and I wanted the place to be tidy for her. She is one of those people whose place is always gorgeous so the least I can do is make my little basement suite clean. It’ll never be gorgeous, but clean counts for something, in my books anyways lol

I may not have made the yoga class and stuck to plan that way but I still managed something resembling a workout, meaning Day 3 (or Day 42) is in the bag! πŸ˜€

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Of the two of us, the cat is the only one getting some yoga in lol

Day 43 – Protein Smoothie Bowl

13 Apr

Before you ask, yes I will be posting updates randomly about my 44 Day Fitness Challenge here. Why? Well, I have to be held accountable somewhere, because if you think I can hold myself accountable and not cheat you obviously don’t know me very well lol πŸ˜‰

Day 2 in the bag! Or day 43…whichever way you want to count it. Down. Up. It is all the same to me!

Today was a gym session after work, leg day! I always forget other people go out and have social lives on Friday nights. When I get to my gym there are always a decent number of vehicles parked there and I internally start to bitch about how many people are going to be in the gym at 10pm but then I walk inside and there are maaaaybe 6 people? And that is a generously high number. Which is when I realize that the parking area is also used by people going to nearby pubs. Oops?

I mean c’mon, who wants to go to a pub when you can go to the gym? On a Friday night. Almost like you have no social life or something. Ok never mind, this is gonna go dark fast if I don’t start blabbing about something else lol

Protein Smoothie Bowl!

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Granted, not the prettiest looking food item I’ve ever posted on here. But I’m sure it isn’t the ugliest…maybe…

It is a scoop of protein powder, 1 cup frozen mixed berries, 1 small banana, and a tablespoon or so of plain almond milk. Blend until it hits a consistency you like, I prefer thicker so I’m eating it with a spoon rather than making it a drink. This way I can pretend I’m eating ice cream, only ya know, not as tasty.Β  Aww man, now I want ice cream! But even I, with my special quirky ways of interpreting things, can’t find a way to make ice cream an acceptable post workout meal. Too bad though, cause that would be an awesome post workout meal…don’t mind me while I daydream about ice cream for a minute…

Ok, done! For now at least lol

So yeah, two days sorted, only 42 more to go! πŸ™‚

 

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