Friday, January 28, 2011

7 Random Things and Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

My friend Jolene at Everyday Foodie was kind enough to give me this:

Her blog is awesome and reading it has given me great ideas for trying new and different foods that I never would have had I not read about her interesting eats.

To accept this Stylish Blogger Award, I have to give 7 random facts about myself, then pass the award on to other new bloggers!

7 Random Facts About Me

1. If I could, I would watch tv all day long. For a week. Maybe more.

2. I LOVE syrup. I put it on things like eggs. And grilled cheese sandwiches.

3. My first cassette tape was the Mini Pops. I thought I would grow up to be a part of the group.

4) I think men's feet are disgusting and people with exceptionally large hands scare me.

5) I like reading teen fiction. Sometimes.

6) I love having a clean house, but my room is a complete disaster.

7) When I was little I thought the prostitutes in Pretty Woman were "really good dressers" and I wanted to be like them when I grew up.

I am passing this award on to two blogs that I just discovered. My friend Megan from elementary school owns a fabulous store in Saskatoon called Paisley Party and Gift Boutique. Her blog is fairly new and is very stylish and filled with great products!

The other person I am giving this award to is Chelsi for her wedding blog. It is adorable and her wedding ideas are so unique! She is one of the most stylish people I know.

And now....for food.

For my murder mystery night I was looking to try a new cookie recipe and decided on Josh and Maria's Oreo Cheesecake Cookies. Follow the link to get the recipe.

For this recipe you need the following ingredients:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream the butter and the cream cheese until they are smooth.

Slowly add flour until just incorporated.

Add your mini chocolate chips.

Form the dough into 1 inch balls then roll them in oreo cookie crumbs.

Place on your cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Attempt to microwave white chocolate chips. Burn them twice and stink up the house. Instead use a makeshift double-boiler and melt them on the stove.

Drizzle melted white chocolate onto cooled cookies.

These cookies were so good, although there is nothing healthy about them. Oh wait! I used low-fat cream cheese.

So eat up!

Have a great Friday:)


Thursday, January 27, 2011

M is for Murder


I am fortunate enough to be part of a book club every month. A group of 5-8 women all convene together from our respective cities once a month (or two) for good food, great wine, and (oh yeah) a book discussion! To be completely honest, our book club is typically 30% book discussion, 30% consuming delicious food and beverages, and 40% discussing (gossiping) about topics completely unrelated to the book. It is a true highlight of my entire month. 

The ladies and I take turns hosting, and January was my month.  This meant that not only did I get to play hostess, which I love, but I also got to choose this month's book. We had read a plethora of chick-lit style books in recent months, so I decided to mix things up a bit and choose a murder mystery novel.

The book was very unique as the protagonist was an 11 year old little girl with a love for chemistry, bothering her sisters, and solving mysteries.  For approximately the first 100 pages I had to read with a dictionary beside me because the words were so complicated and obscure.  This came as unexpected to me since I was reading about an 11 year old....and I was unable to comprehend what the heck she was saying at times. Some of the other women felt the same way which was reassuring. We always end book club with a discussion about what we rated the book on a scale of 1-10. I believe the average was about 6.5/10 for this particular book. We agreed that overall it was a good book but that because of the difficult start we couldn't justify any higher than that.

To go along with our murder mystery book, I hosted a murder mystery night.

We played An Evening of Murder: A Feast to Die For.
Each member of our book club was sent an invitation with the murder scene, the synopsis, and the character they were to play. Everyone came in costume and stayed in character while we played the game and discovered who the murderer was among was so much fun!

Of course, no book club would be complete without food, and since it was a Feast to Die For theme, we had a full supper meal together and each of us contributed a dish.

The Menu included:

Angst-filled Appetizers - Deviled Eggs, Surprise Dip, Raw Veggies, and Hummus Dip

A Sinister Salad

Bloody Bread

Lawless (Vegetarian) Lasagne

Deadly Dessert:

NOT PICTURED. The dessert was eaten so fast I didn't end up getting a picture. However, I made these cookies which we ate along with the Oreo Cookie dessert. It was seriously deadly.

Corpse Cookies (Recipe Coming Soon)

It was a devilishly delicious evening of murder.

We are taking a book club break in February as one of our beautiful ladies is getting married next month.

Book Club in March will feature this book:



Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Musings from a Sick Bed

It has hit me. The dreaded flu. I had been hearing of it from others but thought I was immune to it, having been pre-disposed to most germs through my place of work.

I feel like a hockey player who is skating along the ice just trying to get where he is supposed to go when out of nowhere a 250lb guy comes out of nowhere and body slams the hockey player into the boards, leaving the hockey player laying on the ice in fetal position wondering what the hell just happened.  Well, I am that hockey player except instead of a 250lb jock, it is a virus that has body slammed me into fetal position on my bed.

I am trying to stay positive, so here are some reasons that being sick can be a good thing.

1. You can catch up on your (bad) tv. Mine consisted of one part talk shows, one part reruns, and a few parts cartoons (in case you are wondering...Shrek Forever After, Toy Story 3, and Despicable Me are really good movies). Positive.

2. You do not feel bad about missing a few days at the gym. Yesterday, while my BF was doing his crazy and intense P90X workout, I was excited to make it from the couch to the bed. Not only was I excited, I felt pretty good about myself. Positive.

3. You are forced to be on a liquid diet. There are people in this world who pay money to go on liquid diets to lose weight or detox, etc. and I was forced to be on one! Positive.

4. It is not procrastination when you are laying in bed instead of doing homework, cleaning, or working. It is taking care of yourself. Positive.

5. When it is -20 degrees and lower you can stay inside and laugh at the people all bundled up. Positive.

6. Naps during the day are not only acceptable they are encouraged. Positive.

7. You get to cuddle with your spoiled, self centered cats all day. When they feel like it. Positive.

8. Your boyfriend makes you soup, tea, and braves the weather to get you Gatorade. Positive.

9. You get a lot of alone time, because lets face it, no one wants to be around someone who has the flu. Positive (sort of).

10. You can stay in your pajamas all day and no one judges you. In fact, hypothetically you can stay in the same pajamas for two days and no one judges you. Hypothetically. And Positive.

Yes, if you think long and hard there are some positives to being sick. But now I have been sitting upright for far too long. Bed time.

Stay Healthy!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Be My Guest

Life has been busy busy busy, and with the start up of work, two university classes, and attempting to go to the gym my blogging has taken a back seat.

Thankfully, I got a reprieve from all of the above when one of my best girlfriends and her adorable kids came for a visit this weekend. It was a wonderful excuse to try some new recipes, have friends and family over, and play with babies. All things that I love.

Last night, I made Jenna's Chicken Parmesan with a twist.

Start with dipping your chicken in eggs/milk, followed by bread crumbs, then whole wheat flour.

Throw it in a fry pan until the chicken is browned on both sides and cooked through.

Throw these in a casserole dish with some marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni on top.  Sounds weird. Looks like this.

Served on whole grain spaghetti with a salad. We didn't like the pepperoni on it, but it was good chicken parmesan.

This morning, we started our morning with classic Green Monsters.

My friend had never tried a green drink so I blended away.

I gathered the ingredients.

Put them in a blender and blend until good and green.

It looks incredibly shady, but tastes delicious.

Served with whole grain toast and almond butter.

Tonight I had friends and family over and cooked for all of them. It has been forever since I had to opportunity to cook for a bunch of people and I loved it.

Supper was vegetarian lasagne.

Served with salad, veggies and jalapeno cheddar bread.

Dessert was chocolate vegan pudding with fresh fruit.

And hot chocolate and Baileys.

Have I mentioned how much I love to eat?!

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Book Review 2010

As many of you know, I am a lover of the written word. Last year, I started keeping track of the books I read as well as a 'wish list' of books I want to read. I found that people often recommended books but I never remembered them so I recorded them and refer back to the list when I need a new read. I am a very list-oriented person. If it is not written down it is out of my mind.

For fun, I compiled a list of my favourite reads from the 19 books I read over the past year.

Here goes.

Favourite Read of 2010

This goes to The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

The book is very easy to read and addresses historical issues in a way that keeps even non-history buffs wanting to know more about the time period. I fell in love with all of Kathryn's characters and am waiting on pins and needles for her to author another book. Rumour has it that this book is being made into a movie sometime in the next year.
A very close second favourite book of the year was The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill.
This book took me nine months to read. It is historical fiction written in a very different way than the previous book. It is rip-your-heart-out devastating, very graphic and at times disturbing. I would read a bit, then put it away and read something 'lighter', then read a bit more, etc. That being said, this book is change your life good. It affected me the same way as The Kite is a book that stays with you and resonates with you for weeks after you finish the final page.
Favourite Chick Lit/Romance 2010

This goes to the book One Day by David Nicholls.

In this book, two young people meet on July 15th in the 1980s. Nicholls then writes only about July 15th over the next 20 years and the reader is given snapshots of the young couples lives throughout the years. It is such a different way to write a love story. I heart this novel. It is being made into a movie sometime in 2011 and is said to star Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess (of Across the Universe fame). I literally can't wait  and will most likely re-read the book or force my book club to read along with me. 

Best Page Turner 2010

Hands-down The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.

A continuation of the journey of Robert Langdon. Not as good as the previous two, but I still had no semblance of a social life after reading the first few pages.

Favourite Series 2010

With absolutely no hesitation, it is the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

The young adult series is futuristic, graphic, disturbing at times but very readable. I was shocked to find out that its target audience is adolescents as the book is very violent and the premise is essentially a fight-to-the-death of a country's youth. The series has all the ingredients for a delicious page turner and is a movie in the making. 

Favourite Book-to-Movie Adaptation 2010

I am torn between many. I am a sucker for movie adaptations of books. I narrowed my favs down to 3:

Eat, Pray, Love. I know, I cliche. The book and movie are quite different and there are many parts (as in most book-to-movie-adaptations) that are left out. However. Julia Roberts? Good. Javier Bardem? Good. Watching a few hours of great food, beautiful scenery, and living vicariously through Ms. Roberts and her many gorgeous suitors? Worth the price of a movie ticket.

Another fav movie adaptation:

Each movie version of Stephanie Meyer's series keeps getting better and better....and the men keep getting hotter and hotter.

And finally, I loved this movie adaptation.

Again, the movie is different from the book as it eliminated a few parts and essentially re-wrote the ending, but the movie was great and the chemistry between the two characters was perfect (or maybe that was just my boyfriend Channing Tatum).

Most Unexpected Good Read 2010.

This goes to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

The title threw me off and I was incredibly skeptic of this book (for the sole reason of the crazy title). I was happy to discover that it was a very entertaining, very easy, very short read. Perfect for a quick plane ride.

Worst Book of the Year 2010

Sadly, this goes to a book that was picked in my book club. The book is called I Remember You by Harriet Evans.

The writing is not great, I had to keep looking back at characters as they were not well developed, and because they were not well developed....I just didn't care about them. The book club was unanimous on hating the book and a few of the book club members didn't even finish it because of their ambiguity towards to book. Give this one a miss.

Besides the last one, it was a great year for books!

Currently on my Shelf

This is January's Book Club pick and it was my choice this month! My choice was based on my want for an atypical murder mystery. The story is told from the viewpoint of an eleven year old girl; however, I feel like I have to read with a dictionary beside me as the words used are rather large and complex. Ill keep you posted!

What were your favourite books of 2010? Any recommendations?

Happy Reading!


Friday, January 7, 2011

Experimental Foodie

Back to work. Back to getting up early. Back to getting germs from kids and getting sick.


Today I spent the day at home ill, so not a lot of cooking went on. Unless you consider making dry toast cooking.

I got to catch up on a few of my shows which finally returned to new episodes after the hiatus over Christmas break. The Biggest Loser is back for another season and rumour is it's Jillian Michael's final season on the show. All my fav comedies were back: Cougar Town, Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Mike and Molly. Yup...I watch em all. Plus my dramas...Grey's Anatomy....and that's all the tv shows I'm disclosing that I view. I can feel the judgement already.

This week I experimented with a few breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes.

For breakfast, I usually have toast and yogourt/fruit/granola. I keep hearing that oatmeal is filling and delicious but I have always had an aversion to it. I decided to give it another try. I bought triple berry oatmeal because it sounded I made some and added some fresh berries to it in the hopes that it would enhance the taste from pablem-like to sweet-and-delicious.

It tasted like mush with delicious fruit. Not only that, but I was hungry by about 10am.

Another dish I experimented with was a spinach salad as I had an abundance of spinach in the fridge that needed using. I made a Warm Spinach Feta and Whole Grain Rice Salad adapted from

The salad turned out to be delicious but fairly strong-tasting. I had it as a meal, but next time I would eat it as a side instead of the full meal. It was definately better than the alternative meal served at my house that night.

My arteries hurt just looking at all the deep fried goodness.

The last dish I made this week was Balsamic Turkey Stir Fry with whole grain brown rice. I adapted the recipe from Jessica Seinfeld's Double Delicious cookbook. Her recipe was for Balsamic Chicken Ciabatta, but I didn't have any chicken or ciabattas. So I improvised.

First, heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and 3 cloves of minced garlic.

Cut your chicken or turkey into cubes and salt and pepper them.

Place wax paper on the counter and sprinkle one cup of whole wheat flour onto it. Take your turkey cubes and toss them in the flour until all of the pieces are coated.

Throw them into the oil and garlic and let them cook until they are browned on the outside.

Add 6 tablespoons of brownsugar, 1/2cups balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 cup low-fat reduced-sodium chicken broth.

Bring everything to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.

At this point, the recipe calls for broccoli puree; however, because I decided to make a stir fry instead of a sandwhich I cut up broccoli and carrots and added them to the skillet.

Add the end result to a bed of whole grain rice.

This was the best dish I made in a while. I liked it so much I made it into a bagel sandwich the next day.

After all my foodie experimenting I had to treat myself.

After all the good (and mediocre) food I had this week, it all culminated into getting the flu today.

I am trying not to equate my new road to health with getting the flu...perhaps I need more deep fried wings in my diet.