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Archive | June, 2015

Rio Tinto Alcan 2015

23 Jun

June 20th & 21st were the days of the Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat festival. Technically the festival started June 19th with the dotting of the dragon eyes ceremony but I never go to that so for me the festival started June 20th…that is this past Saturday for those of you not near a calendar lol This festival is the largest Dragon Boat Festival in North America, it is actually the largest outside of China, it is massive. This year there were over 100,000 people there and the competition was fierce!

Let me just say this weekend was beyond awesome! πŸ˜€

Both days were sunny and gorgeous and busy and I loved ohhhh I’d say every minute of it!…well, maybe not the early rising part cause I hate mornings but once I was up definitely every minute.

I was racing with two teams this year. My team, The Twisted Hips which is a mixed team…that means we have both men and women on the boat. The second team was Concord Flying Dragons, they are a ladies team that a friend of mine is close with, they needed a couple extra ladies so I got asked and of course said yes, who wouldn’t want more chances to race?

Both teams won medals, wOOt! wOOt! which means I came away with a Gold and a Bronze! Oh yeeeah! πŸ˜€

My bronze and my gold medals.

My bronze and my gold medals.

Aren’t they such a pretty addition to my collection? Love em! πŸ˜€

The Twisted Hips

The Twisted Hips – we won bronze.

The Flying Dragons

The Flying Dragons – we won gold.

My team!

My team!

This is my team, I’m so proud of each and every one of them! We’ve been training since February, in the cold, the rain, the dark. We come to practice when sick, when we don’t feel like it, when we’re exhausted. We race with injuries, when our lives have a million other demands, in any weather. We fight for our division within the festivals, we earn our medals, we race with determination and heart. πŸ™‚

And I’ll stop with the preachy aren’t-we-awesome stuff now lol πŸ˜›

I don’t have a team picture of Concord…yet! I like keeping team pics from each festival so I’ll be making sure to get one eventually.

I took some random pictures during the weekend which I will now bombard you with! teehee

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Okay so there weren’t as many pictures to bombard you with as I thought, I took a lot but I highly doubt you want to watch a series of pictures showing the end of a race or multiples of shots that are near identical lol I don’t have any video footage of our races, if I did rest assured I’d be providing you a link so you could watch lol

For me the festival is all about the races, obviously, but there are a lot of other things happening to keep those in the crowd entertained. There are a large variety of food trucks, with pretty much nothing healthy lol Some of us from The Twisted Hips shared some Beaver Tails which sounds barbaric until you learn they are pastry, deep fried, with toppings put on top. They are oh so yummy! We went with the classic toppings of cinnamon and sugar but you can get a whole bunch of stuff on them. There are also vendor tents for shopping, yay shopping! You can find all kinds of things, dragon boat gear, clothes, jewellery, food and drink samples (I got a delish blueberry yogurt from one tent and a yucky tofu mango drink at another *shudder*) and random other things. There are also tents set up from companies giving away stuff, or with contests you can enter, you know all they really want is your business or to recruit you to their cause or to teach you something but hey, free stuff is enticing so I’ll listen to someone talk about why I should drink tap water over bottled (which I already do lol) if it’ll get me a free item that I will, oddly enough, never ever use, and end up having to throw out at some point when I am decluttering. It’s weird lol but it’s a festival! πŸ˜›

Oh! I forgot! We sponsored a team from Portland, which really means we bought them some food and were friendly with them lol They also won a medal so we took a team pic with them. πŸ™‚

Rio Tinto June 20-21 2015 J

I don’t know who took this, a camera ninja obviously! But there I am in marshalling (the waiting area where teams get lined up before going to the boats) in all my dragon boat finery lol

Who took this? lol

Who took this? lol

And lastly, this is me with my dinner which came loooong after we won and celebrated, it was the best burger ever! I’ve probably had better but I was so hungry it sure seemed like the best ever lol πŸ˜›

I'm such a lady lol

I’m such a lady lol

So there we have it, it was an awesome weekend I wish didn’t have to end but of course it did, sigh. Filled with friends, and fun, and food and medals! πŸ˜€

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A Vegan Breakfast

19 Jun

Recently, for reasons even I don’t understand, I seem to be watching YouTube videos about being vegan. Now, there is absolutely NO danger of me going vegan but I seem to keep watching the videos about what a vegan eats in a day, or how to eat vegan or how eating vegan helps with weight loss. Topics like that…

There are these two girls, twins, who are vegan and have a channel that just seems to be about them and their vegan-ism. For the most part I don’t agree with what they eat. Not because they are vegan but because they have such a restricted list of food they eat, they basically eat the same things every single day, with very little variation and while they swear they are being healthy I think they can’t possibly be getting all the vitamins and nutrients they need.

I know I shouldn’t judge, and I try not to but when I was chatting with that nutritionist I was speaking with a while back she explained something to me that made perfect sense. She said how you shouldn’t eat the same things daily, even if they are healthy, because there are so many nutrients your body needs that no way it can get everything it needs if you are eating the same foods day in and day out. So, instead of eating an apple everyday, swap that apple out every now and then for a kiwi, or a peach or whatever you can get your hands on. She stressed that she is not saying eat kiwi every day, maybe eat a kiwi once a month, just make sure that you are swapping in to your daily food alternatives so your body is getting supplied with all the various minerals and vitamins and nutrients it needs. Your body will know what it needs and will take it from the foods you eat, as long as you eat them. But if you eat apples everyday for your fruit then you are limiting your bodies ability to get everything it needs. Does that make sense?

So these girls, they eat pretty much the exact same thing daily, and while the foods themselves are healthy, I don’t think following their example is a good one because the food list is so limited.

Ok, enough of me being on my high horse! Something they showed intrigued me and I thought I’d give it a try and it turned out to be…interesting…

You take a banana and some water, put them in a blender and blend until you have a smooth mixture. Pour it in to a bowl, add oatmeal, mix it up, cover it and put it in the fridge overnight. By the next morning the oatmeal has soaked up the liquid so it doesn’t need to be cooked and you have a ready made breakfast. They added maple syrup and hmm…something, I can’t remember what right now, to it for flavour. I planned on adding maple syrup and brown sugar but tasted it first and found it was actually really sweet all on its own so instead I added some vanilla and some cinnamon.

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It looks like oatmeal you’d make with water but it sure doesn’t taste like it. The texture was a bit odd, I didn’t hate the texture but it took some getting used to. I think if I had a working blender and had blended it I’d have found the texture more enjoyable because it would have been smoother. But my blender is dead so I smooshed the banana with a fork and ended up with a slightly lumpier version. πŸ˜›

Like I said it was quite sweet all on its own so I added a small splash of vanilla and some cinnamon. It tasted quite good, and I would make it again. It was nice having breakfast ready for me when I got up, a definite plus if you are short on time in the mornings! And bonus, if you aren’t a fruit person well boom! one fruit serving done for the day and all before you’ve finished waking up. πŸ™‚

Something else they do with bananas is take some frozen bananas and some non frozen bananas (they didn’t give quantities), put them in a blender and blend. It turns in to a smooth, chilled, soft ice cream type of texture and they swear it is just as good, if not better than ice cream. I want to try that one too but have to wait until I can afford to replace my blender, sigh.

Japanese Treats

19 Jun

A friend from my dragon boat team was in Japan recently and brought the team back some treats! πŸ™‚

They were so cute I just had to take pictures lol

Cheesecake KitKat

Cheesecake KitKat

This first one is a mini KitKat that is cheesecake flavoured. When you open it the chocolate around the wafers is white which makes sense when you think about cheesecake lol It was okaaaaay, it didn’t really taste like cheesecake, or KitKat lol

It's fuzzy, and squishy and filled with caramel!

It’s fuzzy, and squishy and filled with caramel!

I don’t remember what this second one is called, it looks sorta like a giraffe though lol The outside was fuzzy, I actually petted it once I opened it πŸ˜› It is also quite squishy and when you bite in to it there is a caramel like filling. I think it was banana caramel flavour…I quite enjoyed the picture of a bow on the packaging that makes it look like the giraffe spotted fuzzy treat is wearing a bow teehee

a banana brownie, I think...

a banana brownie, I think…

I don’t remember the name of this one either, oops! It was a cake texture, a little dry, the bottom half is darker in colour, actually, if you see in the picture how there are darker patches on top, see them? The bottom is the same colour as those patches. It is like a mini banana bread brownie type thing. Again with the bows on the packaging, cuteness!

I don’t know if these are typical treats in Japan or things sold to tourists, ya know, like how people come to Canada and always seem to end up buying mini bottles of over priced maple syrup lol but no matter what they are they are cute and its always nice to try something new. πŸ™‚

My Own Recipe

17 Jun

Normally when I cook I use a recipe, I tend to follow the recipe quite diligently because I suck at cooking and I am not good at winging it, at least not when it comes to cooking.

Well for some reason I decided to create my own dish, mostly because I was sick of googling recipes lol but also because I had some random things in the fridge I wanted to use up.

When I was growing up my mom would make this thing called Mom’s Amazing Mixed Up Mess…basically it was her version of what I did, or I should say what I did was my version of what she perfected. My mom can look at a bunch of random ingredients and somehow make something that tastes good. I look at a bunch of ingredients and see nothing except the individual ingredients, sigh.

The only thing I bought was some ground turkey, which I proceeded to brown in a frying pan along with some garlic and chopped up white onion. I then added a whole lot of mixed frozen veggies, they are from a stir fry blend that I have had in my freezer for over a year, yes, I know that is ridiculous. They were starting to not taste as good as they used to, I’m thinking because of the freezer burn, so I wanted a way to cook a lot of them at one time. I then moved everything in to a large pot, added 1 cup of pasta sauce (it was how much I had left over in the jar), 1/2 cup of salsa (it was how much I had left over in the jar), 1/2 a jalapeno chopped up (because it was how much I had left…detecting a theme yet? lol). Once it was all mixed together and cooked I put it in to a casserole dish, spread it out, sprinkled some shredded cheese on top and tossed it in the oven until the cheese melted.

It was originally meant to be a sort of stew/casserole type of thing but there wasn’t that much liquid in it so I don’t know what I should label it as, not a stew though…

Whatever it is called, I liked it! It was a good ratio of meat to veggie, it was just spicy enough, the veggies cooked up well and bonus points because it is healthy! Woohoo!

When it was still in the pot

When it was still in the pot

Just out of the oven with the cheese melted on top.

Just out of the oven with the cheese melted on top.

My first bowlful.

My first bowlful.

In the land of Weight Watchers Points Plus, if you split the entire dish in to 8 portions each portion is 3 points, if you split it in to 6 portions each portion is 4 points.

Even if I wanted to I don’t think I’d be able to recreate it perfectly since it was basically a dish I created specifically to use up what I had in the fridge and freezer lol Oh! I forgot! I put in a bunch of Mrs. Dash Seasoning as well, I didn’t measure it though, just shook the shaker thing until what came out looked about right…something else I won’t be able to duplicate.

I know it is a ridiculously easy meal to make, not fancy, not all that inspired or impressive, but I am proud of it anyways. It is the first time I cooked without either following a recipe or the instructions on the packaging my food came in. This is, weirdly enough, a big step for me cooking wise. πŸ™‚

Nachos!

16 Jun

I looooove nachos! Haven’t had them in ages though. I generally think of nachos as a great pub food, something you order when you’re out with friends because you can share them. But when you’re actively trying to lose weight eating nachos is not exactly a great idea.

Well, a couple weeks ago I made a dish that used black olives and corn (among other things) and I had left overs of both those items. I immediately thought “oh those would be perfect to put on some nachos” but of course I didn’t have any of the other ingredients needed for nachos, except for salsa because I always have salsa lol

Not wanting to put those leftover items to waste I bought other necessary items to make nachos the following week and voila! Healthy nachos! Well, healthy-ish lol πŸ˜‰

Before they went in to the oven...

Before they went in to the oven…

Fresh from the oven, Mmm! Melted cheese!

Fresh from the oven, Mmm! Melted cheese!

I had some light sour cream and some salsa in little dishes for dipping but I figured you don’t really need to see pictures of that lol

I can claim they are “healthy-ish” only due to the portion size I made lol

There are 16 chips, I used the Compliments brand bite size rounds. For toppings I used Cheddar & Part Skim Mozzarella cheese (1/3 Cup), black olives, jalapeno and corn. You can use whatever measurements of olives, jalapenos and corn you would like. I used less that 1/4 Cup of corn because that is how much I had, I used 18 black olive slices (again because that is how much I had) and the quantity of cheese used was because I was wary of using too much and making the nachos ridiculously high in Weight Watchers points.

All in all the entire thing (including the sour cream) was 8 Weight Watchers Points Plus points. Which is a lot considering the portion size wasn’t large enough to be a stand alone meal. But meh, I made and ate it on a day I had exercised so I had the extra points available to me and I’d been craving nachos for weeks so I feel the points were well worth it. πŸ™‚

Hawaiian Turkey Loaf

15 Jun

No. Just…no. This did not turn out well at all! Partly because I made mistakes, partly because the recipe calls for too much ginger and partly because, well, I dunno, it just isn’t good. πŸ˜›

I like meatloaf, no, scratch that, I love meatloaf, my mom’s meatloaf anyways. Nobody makes it better! I always intend to try duplicating it but haven’t gotten around to trying. Well, in my hunt for healthy recipes that I can make on Thursdays so I have food to last me through my working days (Fridays through Mondays) I came across a Weight Watchers recipe that looked easy and interesting so I thought I would give it a try.

It is called Hawaiian Turkey Loaf but in reality it is a turkey meatloaf with a pineapple chutney for topping. The original recipe can be foundΒ here.

In theory the recipe is an easy one, you make a puree using orange juice, soy sauce, onions, peppers and ginger. You then pour the puree in to a bowl, add ground turkey, bread crumbs and an egg. Once it is all mixed together put it in a loaf pan that you have liberally coated with non-stick spray, toss that sucker in to an oven that has been heated to 350F and about 45 minutes later you have turkey meatloaf. While it is cooking you combine crushed pineapple (and the juice), sugar, vinegar, onions, peppers, ginger and pepper flakes in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 3-5 minutes, add raisins, microwave for a couple more minutes then let stand for a couple minutes. You can use the chutney when it is warm or cold, serving it on the side or on top of your turkey meatloaf.

See how easy all that sounds?

Well…things did not go according to plan when I was cooking that night, sigh.

Thinking how smart I was being I chopped the onion and pepper needed for the puree in advance and left it in the fridge. Well, I didn’t chop the correct amount, somehow I read the 3/4 red pepper as 3 tablespoons red pepper and well yeah, those two quantities are so not the same. Oops!

Then the big screw up! When I was shopping for the ground turkey I was so worried about buying the correct quantity, because once again the recipe is american so it told me I wanted 18 ounces of meat and I was translating that in to kg and trying to find something close. And yeah I know that doesn’t seem too hard but I suck at math and I don’t really care for being surrounded by raw meat so I wanted in and out of the meat section as fast as humanly possible lol Once I’d found the package of ground turkey that was as close to 18 ounces as I could get I tossed it in the cart without double checking the label. Stupid move. It turns out that I bought turkey cutlets, not ground turkey. In my defence it kinda looked the same and it was in the ground turkey section so I just assumed it was what I needed.

So there I am with my puree in a bowl, trying to open a package of raw turkey without touching any turkey liquid or meat and then putting it in to the bowl with the puree only to realize the meat is not ground, it is solid. Aww shit. I tried mixing it up with a spoon, thinking it might break in to pieces. It didn’t. I tried hacking at it with two knives, hoping I could chop it in to small pieces. I couldn’t. So I did the only logical thing I could think of…I poured the entire concoction in to the blender.

FYI, don’t put turkey cutlets in to a blender…

My blender is now dead. 😦

It blended a teeny tiny bit but all of a sudden the blender stopped. Didn’t make any scary warning noises, it just stopped. I think maybe it blew a fuse or something, not an apartment fuse but a fuse inside the blender, if that is possible…is that possible? I now think that is possible…

I was so incredibly mad at this point, mostly at myself since it was my fault but a little bit with the universe cause well, I can only yell at myself so much before I stop listening to myself lol πŸ˜›

I took the meat out of the bowl I had poured it back in to, plopped it on to a cutting board and proceeded to cut it up in to itty bitty pieces…I also took this opportunity to remove some ribbons of fat that were running through the meat cause yuch! Once it was as chopped up as I could manage I put it back in the bowl with the puree, mixed, added the egg and oatmeal (I used oatmeal instead of bread crumbs because 1. it is a healthier option, 2. I already owned it and 3. I checked with my mom and she said it would be ok), threw it in to the oven then proceeded to clean and then bleach everything in the kitchen because I was paranoid due to the raw turkey.

I made the chutney according to the recipe, well, almost according to the recipe lol I didn’t add the raisins because I don’t like raisins, shrug, why add something I know I don’t like? Oh and I couldn’t find crushed red pepper flakes so I bought red jalapenos flakes and used that. The chutney was meh, nothing amazing and I won’t make it again cause it made a huuuuge batch that for the most part ended up in the garbage.

This is what it looked like in the end…

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I’m sure it would have had a better texture if I hadn’t screwed up and bought the cutlets instead of the ground turkey but even if I hadn’t messed that up I still wouldn’t have liked it. There was too much ginger in it and the overall flavour was one that was kind of musky, it was gross.

Despite my not liking it I had to eat it, I can’t afford to throw food out. I tried eating it with light sour cream, ketchup, brown sauce, anything I could think of really. I did discover one thing that made it ok, I put it in a sandwich and disguised the flavour with cheese and pickles and mustard which sounds gross but I really enjoyed lol

So yeah, I wouldn’t recommend this recipe, it didn’t taste good, in my opinion anyways.

If you are following Weight Watchers Points Plus I cut the loaf in to 6 slices, each slice is 4.192 points, so 4 points. At 6 slices per loaf each slice is quite thick so don’t worry that it isn’t filling.

Runaway Cheese

5 Jun

This past Tuesday I was running late when I left my place, usually when that happens I forgo eating opting to grab something when I reach my destination or wait until I am done whatever I am going out to do and eating afterwards. I didn’t have either of those options this time so I made some toast and grabbed two Babybel cheeses to eat in the suv while I drove.

I put the two Babybel cheeses in the side pocket of my backpack and basically ran out the door.

Mmm cheese!

Mmm cheese!

As I was driving (aka speeding) a bird decided to play chicken and landed on the road right in front of me. It didn’t seem to care that a suv was baring down on it, it just stayed there, standing there in the middle of the road, looking death in the face. Stupid bird. sigh.

I can’t hurt an animal. Can’t do it. *shakes head* I’ll swerve and hit a tree before I will hit an animal. So I did the only thing I could do, I slammed on the brakes and begged the universe to give the bird a nudge and get it moving in case I couldn’t stop in time.

Because I slammed on the brakes my backpack and my water bottle went flying off the passenger seat and settled with a loud thud on to the floor space.

I was able to reach the bag and water bottle so I dragged them back up to the seat and got back on my way. I reached over to the small pocket on the side of the bag to get my Babybel cheeses and found only one. Not two. I put two in the pocket but now only had one. My best guess was it went flying out of the pocket and was loose in the passenger foot area of my suv.

I was thinking very uncharitable thoughts towards that bird! lol

When I got to my destination I searched the front of the passenger section and couldn’t find the cheese anywhere. I did however find a pair of sunglasses that somehow ended up under the passenger seat…in surprisingly good condition so yay for that! But still…no cheese…where did it go?

I didn’t have endless time to search for the Babybel cheese so I gave up figuring I’d find it later, if not visually than possibly by smell if it turned out to be a hot day…

It has been days since that happened and I still haven’t found the runaway cheese, nor have I smelled it. So either Babybel cheese doesn’t smell when it is left out of the fridge for extended periods of time or I lost it before I got in the suv but if that happened where did I lose it? And how?

That cheese has run away, to places unknown, I hope it is happy, and not smelling up my suv!

Oh, and just so you know, the bird very casually moved out of my way after I came to a screeching halt, unfazed, confident it won the game of chicken.

Stupid bird. πŸ˜› lol

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