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Archive | April, 2015

A Delayed Dinner

29 Apr

You know when you wait too long to eat and you are no longer hungry but you know you have to eat? Yeah, sigh, that was me this evening.

I went for a nice long walk (4.94 miles or 7.95 km) and when I got home I decided instead of showering, doing my hair, picking out a semi-decent outfit and running out to take care of a quick errand I’d just go in my workout clothes, that way I could keep my baseball cap on and since it had been raining while I’d been outside I just looked damp, not sweaty. Well, after the errand I got back to my place, showered, got in to comfy clothes, threw a load of clothes in the wash and realized I had missed my “hungry time” and was no longer wanting any food. I was super tired though, which I was attributing to the lack of food in my system. Crap. I hate eating when I don’t feel hungry, ugh.

I figured if I made something yummy it’d waken up my tummy so I popped some salmon in the oven and got to work building a salad to put the salmon on top of. I figure it’s almost May, break out the summer salads! πŸ™‚

Well yeah, my plan failed, lol, I get the meal ready and am staring at it like it is something disgusting instead of something that’ll taste good. Stupid stomach. Obviously I ate it, I knew my body needed the fuel but there was not as much enjoyment out of the meal as there should have been. Also, by the time I was done eating I felt so overly full, even though it was a normal sized salad, that I sat on my living room chair and actually groaned. Groaned! From too much food, that is so not my style lol πŸ˜›

I found some snap peas in the grocery store the other day that are a “complete kit”, it is already washed snap peas with a little package of peanut sauce and a second little package of sesame seeds. According to the instructions on the bag you can either eat the snap peas hot or cold, well, duh lol. I opted to heat up the snap peas and use some of them as topping on the salad, the rest I put in the fridge and will eat tomorrow.

I bought them cause they were on sale lol

I bought them cause they were on sale lol

Second from the top layer of the salad

Second from the top layer of the salad

Underneath the snap peas there was half an avocado (sliced), yellow pepper (diced), mixed raw veggies (corn, carrot and beans), pumpkin seeds, and mixed greens. Everything except the snap peas and avocado had been mixed with a small amount of light ranch dressing. The snap peas had the peanut sauce and sesame seeds on them and then for the final touch I put the salmon on top.

The final product!

The final product!

I know the salmon looks a little suspect but I promise it tasted good! It is from M&M Meat Shops, you can buy these great salmon steaks individually packaged and they come with a variety of sauces, this one was herb & garlic. The reason the salmon is cut in half is because when I took it out of the oven at the 17 minute mark, when the packaging said it would be done, it was so obviously not cooked that I cut it in half and put it back in the oven. I am always paranoid about not cooking my meat or seafood properly and giving myself food poisoning so I’d rather cut something in half so I can be sure it is cooked and risk my meal not looking pretty if it means I can feel safe putting the food in my mouth lol πŸ˜›

Despite the random combination of flavours (the fish being herb & garlic, the snap peas being coated in peanut sauce and the rest of the salad being tossed in a small amount of ranch dressing) everything gelled quite nicely and tasted good. πŸ™‚ …trust me, I wouldn’t have shown it to you if it didn’t lol

I was shocked at how filling it was, I mean c’mon, it is salad! *rolls eyes* but there ya have it, the salad that made me groan because I was so full after eating it. I didn’t even have room for dessert, and that’s just crazy talk! πŸ˜‰

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Surprise Care Package

28 Apr

When I got home the other day I had a surprise waiting at my front door, a package that came all the way from across the pond – fyi, that means Β England! πŸ™‚

It is from my Uncle and contained an Easter card and some yummy goodies.

Mmm!

Mmm!

The small red package at the front is a Maltesers Bunny which I have to say is one of the best Easter goodies I have seen this year lol It is basically a large Maltesers and since those are one of my fave treats well, let’s just say good choice Uncle P! πŸ™‚

Oh, and I love that the Jelly Babies became Jelly Bunnies, hey, don’t judge, its cute! πŸ˜›

It’s always nice to get something in the mail, to be reminded that someone out there, at some point was thinking about you and put the time and effort in to sending you something to let you know that they care. So many people only send emails or texts nowadays, its depressing. I love getting stuff in the mail, and I love sending stuff, imagining friends or family opening a card or a small package and smiling because who doesn’t automatically smile when opening up something they got in the mail that isn’t a bill?

I could get all moody and ranty and start on about why don’t more people send more things through the mail but instead I’ll enjoy glancing over and seeing the Easter card sitting on display and knowing that each time I eat one of those goodies I am eating something that was sent to me with love. πŸ™‚

A Green Smoothie Challenge

17 Apr

Last week a friend of mine suggested we try a green smoothie challenge she found online. You can sign up for free, every week you get sent an email with 5 new green smoothie recipes and a shopping list. The smoothies aren’t meant to be meal replacements, although you can add things to them to make them more substantial if you want them to be. The smoothies aren’t meant to be part of a cleanse or weight loss gimmick or anything like that. The point of the smoothie is to get more veggies and fruit in to your body in a healthy and tasty way.

I like 30 day challenges, I don’t know why but I do lol πŸ™‚ I especially like 30 day challenges that don’t cost me money so I signed up!

We came in to the challenge late so we won’t get all the recipes which initially I thought was too bad; since I’ve received two weeks of recipes I don’t feel so bad about this anymore.

These smoothie recipes are not all that great. Between the two of us we’ve tried 4 recipes (I think) and none of them have impressed us. For liquid they use a lot of water, or coconut water, which means the smoothie turns out liquidy not thick, plus, some of the ingredient combos result in really bland smoothies. It’s not like I was expecting the most amazing tasting smoothies in the world or anything but I’ve come up with better tasting smoothies on my own which is fairly pathetic when you think about my lack of ability in the kitchen lol πŸ˜›

One thing most of the recipes have in common is the ratio of fruit to veggie to liquid. Most of the recipes favour a 3:2:2 ratio. For example, one of the recipes has:

2 cups fresh spinach

2 cups water

2 cups cherries, pitted

1 banana

Now just swap out the spinach for kale and the cherries for a different fruit and you’ve basically got another of their recipes. In case the ratio thing isn’t clear, there are 3 cups fruit, 2 cups veggie, 2 cups liquid…yes I am counting the banana as a cup because it makes my life easier to do so lol

So yeah, it’s not going great in the enjoyment-of-smoothie part of the challenge but it is going great in the I’ve-had-a-smoothie-every-day-since-we-started part of the challenge.

Both of us have decided to not follow the supplied recipes any longer. We got our second week of recipes on Thursday and ugh, they do not look good. One thing I learned from one of the recipes I tried from the first batch of recipes we received was I very much do not like oranges in my smoothies. I hate pulp. Pulp is oh so gross. The recipe had 2 oranges in it. I didn’t think much of it, figured the blender would smooth out the pulp but nope, it didn’t. With every mouthful of smoothie I was pulling pulp out of my mouth, ugh, how do people stand that stuff?? Blech! The only ok part with that smoothie was it used almond milk so it wasn’t as liquidy as some of the other recipes. Pulp combined with a runny smoothie might have been too much to handle *shakes head*. πŸ˜‰

Something I do like about the recipes are the size. They purposefully make the recipes large enough you are making two servings of smoothie. On the website they say they do that so you can “share the smoothie love”, basically they are trying to get you to convert other people to the way of the smoothie but if you want you can just put one portion in an air tight container and store it in the fridge for the next day, which is exactly what I have been doing. So far I am loving that part most of all! Two smoothies out of one smoothie making session, nothing a lazy person likes better than a two for one lol

Of the recipes I have tried I have yet to see an actual green smoothie. I followed the recipes as they are written and this is the colour of my first green smoothie…

2015-04-13 19.07.46

2015-04-13 19.07.39

In case you can’t tell on your monitor the smoothie is purple. Purple! Not green. It has 2 cups of kale in it which you can’t tell from looking at it. It also has 2 oranges, one cup of blueberries, 2 bananas and 1 cup almond milk. It has a sickeningly sweet taste to it due to the oranges (I think) and lots of pulp. Never again will this smoothie be made by me, nuh-uh.

I am going to stick with the challenge, just tweak it a bit so it isn’t disgusting lol. I will use the same ratio of fruit to veggie to liquid but I will use combinations of fruit and veggie and liquid that I choose, not some random recipe some person I’ve never met says is good.

I’m treating the smoothies like the meals I have been trying to make, following guidelines that have been explained to me so I know what I am making is healthy but experimenting with flavours so I find enjoyment in what I create and eat. Hopefully it works! πŸ™‚

Two Meals One Kitchen Session

16 Apr

Last week I bought some pulled chicken. Now, a chef friend of mine says there is no such thing as “pulled chicken” but like I am going to argue with the packaging? Pfft, don’t think so! The first meal I made with it I kept the chicken chilled and unsauced (yes, I know that isn’t actually a word lol) but I thought I’d try to be a tad creative with it and so my second meal went something like this…

I put some of the chicken in a frying pan with BBQ sauce on a low heat to warm up the chicken, making sure to stir it around a lot so each piece was evenly coated. In a second frying pan I heated up some frozen veggies, the ones I used are from a huge bag I bought at Costco and are “stir fry veggies”, so mostly a combo of broccoli, carrots, snap peas, water chestnuts, baby corn and some other stuff I can’t recall at the moment. While the chicken was warming and the veggies were cooking I threw a couple handfuls of stir fry noodles in to boiling water and let them cook for 2 minutes. Once all three items were properly cooked I loaded them in to a wrap along with mixed greens, chilli sauce, diced cucumbers, diced yellow pepper, sliced mushrooms, a slice of marble cheese that I tore in to small pieces and half a sliced avocado.

The result looked like this…

with the avocado...

with the avocado…

without the avocado...

without the avocado…

I figured I’d show you a picture without the avocado because you get a better view of everything else, once I put the avocado on a lot of the veggies and chicken are hidden.

I then fought valiantly to get the wrap closed and succeeded only because I had toothpicks lol πŸ˜›

took forever to close!

took forever to close!

I purposefully cooked a little extra of everything, mixed it all together, added a little extra chicken and mooshed it in to a tupperware container then threw it in the fridge. Originally I was intending to save it for the next day and make a second wrap but mild inspiration struck and I thought of something else to do with the leftovers.

I took a medium sized tupperware container, filled it with mixed greens, tossed in diced cucumber and diced yellow pepper, Then I grabbed a little container and put in some sunflower seeds, sliced almonds and dried cranberries. When I went to work the next day I took all three containers and when I had my dinner I created this wonderful looking meal…

My salad of leftovers

My salad of leftovers

Okay, granted, it doesn’t look all that great in the picture but I swear in person it looked delish aaaaand it tasted delish, bonus!. πŸ™‚ As you can see, I put some ranch dressing on the salad. Normally if I use dressing I put it on the side and dip every second or third forkful in to the dressing but I opted for putting it on top this time to make my life easier. I don’t really get a break on my evening shift so eating becomes a speed event and taking the time to dip every second or third forkful in to the dressing is just awkward…especially since I’m not only eating super fast but usually standing, shrug.

I was really happy with how the wrap and the salad turned out. Not only did I only have to cook one time to make two meals, both meals tasted good, were different enough I didn’t feel I was eating leftovers and filled me up. Also, I think both meals can be counted as healthy, maybe? I’m never really sure but I think I followed the guidelines set out for me, there is protein, veggies and well, okΒ the one meal didn’t have any whole grains/wheat (the salad), but the wrap did soooo I’m gonna say I did ok. πŸ™‚

Some Food

9 Apr

I’ve been working on putting together actual meals and not relying on spoonfuls of peanut butter for my main source of food, lol, I laugh but I’m not really kidding…

Anyways!

I’ve been cooking, and had a decent amount of success, success in the form of I have not gotten food poisoning and I’ve liked everything I’ve been eating, so yay! πŸ™‚

Tuesday's Breakfast/Lunch

Tuesday’s Breakfast/Lunch

The above was my breakfast/lunch from Tuesday. On my days off I almost always combine those two meals cause ya know, I’m lazy, and I’m usually not up till noon-ish and well, why not? shrug.

So I made a two egg omelette and stuffed that sucker till it was hard to fold lol I put diced yellow pepper, mixed greens, a slice of marble cheese, turkey, and some diced avocado. On the side I had some baked beans in tomato sauce. Oh, and I had some toast as well. All in all a large, slightly too large, but yummy meal. πŸ™‚

The mixed greens I used are these…

my mixed greens

my mixed greens: kale, chard and spinach

First off, no I didn’t buy them because they are organic, I bought them because they were on sale and therefore the cheapest option lol I have no idea how to tell kale and chard apart so when I randomly pull pieces from the container to add to dishes I don’t know what I’m picking, this means I tend to attempt to get an equal number of the various looking green leaves so I get the same amount of everything…being that I’m not completely inept in the kitchen I actually know what spinach looks like, so at least I know when I’m picking that one lol πŸ˜›

On Tuesdays I have dragon boat practice in the evening, after practice I had to stop to pick up some milk and bread and somehow that simple two item grocery trip turned in to a two bag trip, how does that even happen? *rolls eyes* While I was in the store I decided I wanted to make a burger for dinner, now, I already had the burger patty but no buns cause usually I just cook the patty, put some cheese on it, and eat it with a knife and fork. It’s not at satisfying but it is healthier so I suffer the horrors of a naked burger patty, or rather the burger patty suffers that horrible fate. Well, that evening I decided I’d buy a bun and make it a “real burger”. Once I picked the bun I figured I should go all out so I bought a couple other things to slap on to my creation, nothing crazy, just normal yummy burger toppings that I didn’t have.

In the end I had this lovely dinner…

My oh so lovely burger

My oh so lovely burger from Tuesday night

Ok, granted it doesn’t look like much but its whats inside that counts! There is the standard ketchup and mustard, I also added a smoked chilli deli sauce for a little kick, a slice of havarti cheese with jalapenos in it (fyi, I looooove that cheese lol), there was also sauteed mushrooms, the mixed greens again and thinly sliced tomato. On the side, as you can see, was sauteed yellow pepper and asparagus. The asparagus is cut up because I was using a small pan and it fit better that way lol

It was a messy, tasty, hit-the-spot, kind of meal. πŸ™‚

And bonus, I cooked beef and didn’t kill myself! booya! πŸ˜‰

The smoked chilli deli sauce I used is this…

The smoked chilli deli sauce from Weight Watchers, one of my faves!

The smoked chilli deli sauce from Weight Watchers, one of my faves!

It is from Weight Watchers and is da bomb! I put it on so many different things, its delish! πŸ™‚ The only downside is I can’t buy it in Canada, laaaame! But lucky for me I have awesome cousins in England and they send me some when I run out and I beg and pester them. πŸ˜‰

Then Wednesday for my combo breakfast/lunch I made a tortilla wrap. I found something new at Safeway the night prior, pulled chicken, I think its one of their rotisserie chickens that they shredded, least, it was in that area. So in the wrap I put 1 tablespoon of light ranch dressing, cheese, diced yellow pepper, sliced mushrooms, mixed greens, diced avocado, salsa and the chicken. I toyed with the idea of warming up the chicken but decided against it, mostly out of laziness.

2015-04-08 14.19.12

2015-04-08 14.20.50Some helpful tips from me to you:

(1) When I buy a pepper, the first time I pull it out of the fridge to use I dice 1/4 of it and store it in the fridge, the rest I slice in to large pieces, remove the seeds and store that in a separate container in the fridge. That way when I’m putting something together if I think “oh pepper might be nice in this” it is easy to grab and add to whatever I’m making.

(2) I like putting the dressing, in the above case it was ranch, on the wrap first unlike how restaurants like to put it on last, this way I use less and I’m guaranteed to have the flavour in every bite.

Dinner on Wednesday I heated up a delicious soup from Campbell’s called Tomato Basil Bisque, it is part of their “Everyday Gourmet” product line and I love it. πŸ™‚

Mmm Mmm Good!

Mmm Mmm Good!

With it I had two dinner buns, I know, I know! I’m not supposed to be eating white foods but I am a sucker for these dinner buns and they go great with soup and well, I’ll never cut them out completely so there! πŸ˜›

But instead of just slathering the buns with margarine I took one of the dinner buns, put some miracle whip, some mustard (both in super small amounts!), mixed greens (starting to see a trend with those mixed greens? lol), a small amount of cheese and some sliced turkey. Basically, I made a dinner bun sandwich to go with my soup.

Wednesday's Dinner

Wednesday’s Dinner

Ok, yes, there is a second bun on that plate that is not a healthy mini sandwich but is instead meant to be eaten as is but let’s not dwell on that..instead, dwell on the rest of the meal! lol

So there we have it, my food from the past couple of days, all tasty, all made by me, all eaten with no side effects…other than making my tummy full that is lol πŸ˜‰ None of it is hard to make and I tried my best to get a combination of protein, veg or fruit and whole grains in every meal, it doesn’t always happen (like the white bun incident) but for the most part I think I did ok and hey, I’ll keep working at it and I’ll get better, just gimme some time! πŸ™‚

A Little Decomp?

8 Apr

First things first, you need to know the layout of part of where I live. I am in a basement suite within a house, when I leave my suite I am in a hallway, go to the right I end up in the laundry room, go to the left I am at the door to the wooooorld!…well, the backyard, but hey, it’s part of the world! πŸ˜‰ lol

About a week ago when I came home I came through the door from the outside to the hallway and was struck by an unpleasant odour. It was faint but definitely there and I had no idea what it was. I wondered if the landlords (who live upstairs) cooked something that went horribly wrong and the scent made its way downstairs but other than that didn’t give it too much thought. I figured it’d be gone by the next day so no biggie.

Ha!

The next day it was still there, only stronger. The smell didn’t reach in to my suite, thank goodness, and it wasn’t in the laundry room, just the hallway. On the other side of the outer wall is where the garbage can and compost can are kept so I thought maybe its that and somehow the smell is getting inside but when I went outside I was greeted with the smell of fresh air, not the stench from the hallway. Well, what the hell…where is it coming from? I poked around the hallway a bit, moving shoes and random bits and pieces around thinking maybe food spilled and was going bad and if it was me that spilled it I’d better find it before my landlords did! Didn’t find a thing, except for a lot of dust, hey, neat freaks we are not, don’t judge! πŸ˜› lol

Well, the landlords came home yesterday and today I ran in to one of them so we were chatting and the hallway smell came up in conversation. He had the door to the outside open to air the hallway out. Turns out the joke I made yesterday to a friend about something decomposing was the truth, ugh. A mouse got in to the wall, died, and is now in the process of decomposing and the oh-so-lovely smell is that…the smell of death when it isn’t buried.

dead mouse

Note to self: if I ever kill someone, bury them! πŸ˜‰

So you’d think because of the open door for most of the day the smell would have at least faded a teeny tiny bit right? Well, wrong! I got home around 9pm and it was worse…Worse!! How that is even possible I do not know but oh man, it is so much more potent now, aaaaaaand it has spread so the laundry room reeks. *gag* I really hope it doesn’t spread in to my suite…

My landlord said this happened one other time, a mouse crawled in to the heating duct and died right near the vent so he had to take out a huge chunk of the heating duct because apparently the smell doesn’t come out of metal. He started talking about how the juices spread and lemme tell ya, all kinds of visuals popped in to my head, none of them pleasant!

Thing is, I am so sympathetic to all animals, well, not spiders but c’mon, they are creepy! that I feel really bad for this poor dead mouse. I keep thinking of this little mouse, thinking it has found a safe place and then falling down in to the deep dark depths of the wall, maybe it got hurt when it fell, maybe not, but either way it is stuck down there, unable to get back up cause it can’t climb the wall, slowly starving to death, being able to smell the food I’ve been cooking in my suite, thinking about all his mouse buddies who are wondering where he got off to, then being so desperate for food he starts gnawing at the wall only to get wall splinters in his stomach that make him hurt, maybe even slowly hemorrhage, until eventually he dies a horrible lonely scared death. Nobody deserves a death like that, poor little mouse. 😦

So yeah, I’m feeling bad for the mouse, cause that’s how I roll. But at the same time I’m really not enjoying the smell that I encounter every time I go in to the hallway and laundry room and even though its not the little mouse’s fault I really wish he could have not gotten caught in the wall of this particular house and brought this smell in to my life. Which is awfully selfish of me…sigh…

In case you are wondering, the landlord says there is nothing he can do, we have to “wait it out” which I guess is code for “wait till the maggots eat the flesh and juices from the corpse and there is nothing left to create a smell”.

Lovely.

Yesterday

2 Apr

I didn’t write this yesterday because I figured people might think I made it up, April Fools ya know?

I had a perfectly lovely day yesterday, it started with an audition on Granville Island, getting locked in a store and left there for over a half an hour, grabbing a quick bite to eat, running some errands, heating my back, going out for a quick dinner and then to a movie with a friend. See? Lovely day! πŸ™‚

What’s that? Oh, you caught that quick mention about being locked in a store? Yeeeeah, so, that happened. *rolls eyes*

Only to me lol

I was early for my audition and luckily for me someone else was late so they took me in 20 minutes early, I did my thaaaang and thought I’d wander Granville for a bit, hit up the market to buy some fresh produce, maybe poke my nose in to the fun shops. It was a beautiful spring day, sunny and warm with only a bit of wind, I had lots of time left on the parking meter, the day practically begged for a relaxed walk among the shops and who am I to deny that? πŸ˜‰

Well, on my way to the produce market I popped in to a shop called Eklectic Finds (yes, they spelled it like that lol), it features items for your home and garden and since I’m in the process of trying to make my place a little nicer I figured why not check it out?

Store front...

Store front…

So, I walk in there, start looking at items on the shelves, its one of those places that is very small and the shelves are packed so you have to squeeze to get through to the more interesting stuff. Well, I discovered a fatal flaw with that design cause I went in and started looking around and all of a sudden I hear the door close and the sound of a lock being turned,…umm…what the hell? I poke my head around the end of the aisle just in time to see the shop lady turning away and leaving me locked inside the shop. Huh. I started moving around a lot, seeing if I’d set off an alarm even though I didn’t hear her set one but nope, no alarm went off.

I found myself in a bit of a dilemma, I could leave but that would mean the shop door would be unlocked and who knows who might walk in and steal stuff, or I could stay, use the time to finish looking around the store and leave when the shop lady got back. Seemed like an easy choice lol Except the lady took for freakin ever to return! I did what anybody in that situation would do, I posted about it on facebook lol then texted a couple of friends. Just as I was thinking “screw this I’m outta here” and figuring I’d leave a note on the counter she returned and I scared the crap out of her when she walked in and I popped out from the back of the store lol. πŸ˜›

After that I didn’t have nearly as much time left on my parking meter so I grabbed a quick bite to eat, it was a toasted bagel with cream cheese, smoked salmon and capers (I don’t know why I like capers so much, they are weird looking, but alas, I do!) then booked it to my suv, oh I maaaaay have also bought one of the most amazing looking brownies ever! Mmm! It was like a super moist cake with frosting, omg yum. And no, I didn’t take pics cause both the bagel and the brownie were put in to to-go containers and didn’t look all that impressive once I got around to opening the containers. The sun kinda melted the cream cheese and the frosting, oops!

After being super classy and eating in my car I scooted off to do errands before meeting up with my friend later on.

All in all, an entertaining day. πŸ™‚

Where I wanted to go...

Where I wanted to go…

why do I think pictures of produce are so pretty? weird...

why do I think pictures of produce are so pretty? weird…

This was the market I wanted to hit up, these are just a couple pictures of it, imagine produce like that, but on a far grander scale, the market is huge, and filled with such yummy fruit, veg, seafood, meat, basically everything lol Ah well, another time!

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