Monday, October 31, 2011


Today is a very special day for me.

Today is my very first Blog-aversary!

Ok, Ok it's HALLOWEEN too.... but it's also the day that one year ago I decided to procrastinate on a paper and write my first blog post.I LOVE blogging and though I wish I had time to blog more, it's always cathartic and fun to sit down and write a post. So thanks to those of you who have been reading my blog for the past means the world to me!

Ok, now on to HALLOWEEN.

Due to being in grad school and having a midterm tonight, I missed the trick'or'treaters. However, I tried taking in Halloween as much as I could beforehand.

One of my friends had a Halloween party last weekend which I happily dressed up and attended to make up for my lack of Halloween participation today.

Inspired by SkinnyTaste, I made festive low fat chocolate cupcakes to take with me.

Here's what to do:

Buy festive cupcake liners and line your cupcake pan.

Pour a can of pumpkin into a big mixing bowl.

Add a packet of sugar-free chocolate pudding.

And a package of chocolate cake mix. Blend away.

Pour the batter into your festive cupcake liners until they are approximately 2/3 full.

Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Decorate accordingly. I made mine into cute Mummys with M & M eyes.

They turned out really good!

My friend went all out with decorations, games, and food for us.

Another friend of mine introduced me to a new trend going around some of the family-laden neighbourhoods in our city.

She received a bucket on her front step saying she had been "BOO-ed".

The pics suck because they were taking on my phone. But you get the idea.

The bucket was filled with Halloween treats.

The bucket also had a Mason jar filled with the dry ingredients for Monster Cookies and the recipe attached.

The idea is that my friend has to post the We've Been Boo-ed sign on her door, and make two baskets of her own to anonymously leave on two neighbour's doorsteps.
 I absolutely LOVE this idea and may do it in my own neighbourhood. You could easily do this for other holidays. A bucket of Christmas goodies could have a sign with "We've Been Snow-ed", or a Valentine's Bucket could be "We've Been Kissed". Use your imagination!

I hope you all had a safe and wonderful HALLOWEEN and thanks for reading my blog!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Simple Suppers for a Busy Weekend

This weekend was a blur.

A blur of textbooks, my laptop screen, and copious amounts of coffee.

 I like eating healthy most days, but I find that when I am in the middle of a school project my meals typically consist of crackers, cereal and the occasional poptart. My body always regrets it after and I end up feeling guilty for eating so terribly.

This weekend I promised myself I would not let my school work get in the way of eating healthy.

During one of my study breaks, I stumbled upon this wonderful blog. The author's name is Kelly and I love the way she writes, and her healthy recipes that include nutritional information are fabulous.

For suppers this weekend I chose two of Kelly's recipes to experiment with.

The first recipe is Lemon-Rosemary Chicken.

This recipe was so easy to make.

To start, gather your ingredients:

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
3/4 pound small red-skinned potatoes, halved
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus 1 Tbsp leaves
1 clove garlic, smashed
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Juice of 2 lemons (squeezed halves reserved)
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. salt
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees (my oven is super hot so I set it at 400 and cooked it slightly longer). Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Salt the water.

Boil the potatoes over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Pile the rosemary leaves, garlic, 2 tsp. salt and the red pepper flakes on a cutting board, then mince and mash into a paste using a large knife. 

Transfer the paste to a bowl and stir in the juice of 1 lemon and the olive oil. Add the chicken and turn to coat.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, cover and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. 

Turn the chicken; add potatoes to the skillet and drizzle with the juice of the remaining lemon. Add the rosemary sprigs and the squeezed lemon halves to the skillet; transfer to the oven and roast, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.

This was such a yummy supper. The BF liked it too which was a miracle in itself. So consider this meal boyfriend friendly!

You can find the original link for this meal here.

After the chicken recipe, I needed to use up the Rosemary I bought, so I made Kelly's Walnut and Rosemary Oven Fried Chicked (substituted with Turkey because I ran out of chicken:)

This recipe proved to be equally as easy and soooo delicious.

Here's what your need:

4 (6 oz) chicken cutlets
1/4 cup fat-free milk
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3/4 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
Cooking spray
Rosemary leaves (optional)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Combine milk and mustard in a shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Add chicken to mixture, turning to coat. 
Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add panko to pan; cook 3 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently. Do not get distracted and burn the first batch of bread crumbs. It does not smell good.
Combine panko, nuts, cheese, rosemary, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Remove chicken from milk mixture and dredge in panko mixture.

Arrange a wire rack on a large baking sheet; coat rack with cooking spray. Arrange chicken on rack; coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake at 425 degrees F for 13 minutes or until chicken is done.

I served the turkey with Lemon and Spinach cous cous and a spinach salad.
So delicious, and much more tasty and healthy than a poptart!
If you have time go check out Kelly's blog to scope out some easy, healthy, and yummy recipes!
I hope you had a great weekend!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Great Pumpkin Patch

Thanksgiving long weekend is one of my favourite times of year. Fall is in full swing, and the holiday season is about to commence. I feel that Thanksgiving is the kick-off to the holidays. Thanksgiving-Halloween-Christmas. Once Thanksgiving comes, it's go-time.

This Thanksgiving, I had two family gatherings on Saturday, then headed to the lake with my folks for some rest and relaxation.

With some free time on our hands, we decided to adventure out to Lincoln Gardens, which is a greenhouse outside of Lumsden.

Each year, they harvest an astronomical amount of pumpkins and people from far and wide come to buy up the pumpkins and use the pumpkin patch as a family photo opportunity.

I have never seen anything like it. Pumpkins for as far as the eye could see. It was a very cool sight.

They have areas set up as photo opportunities, or you can just plunk down amidst the pumpkins and pose away.

Mom and I couldn't resist the photo op.

The inside of the greenhouse was decked out in harvest and Halloween decorations.

Also indoors was a Haunted House which I didn't go in. I'm a giant chicken.

The Lincoln Gardens greenhouse sells fresh fruits and veggies well into the fall season and today they were flying off the shelves along with the pumpkins. We bought some cool looking carrots and pickled beets. My favourite.

They were also selling these little beauties.

Fresh caramel apples with sprinkles and white chocolate chips.

I had never tried a caramel apple before and neither had mom so we had to split one.

Oh my gosh. Where have these been my whole my life?! I'm a convert and I can't wait until I can find another excuse to chow down on one of these again.

Next time I'm not sharing.

And so, if you find yourself with free time and you are close to Lumsden, pick up a coffee and then take a road trip to Lincoln Gardens. Bring your camera!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving long weekend!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

World Vegetarian Day

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

Vegetariansim and veganism have taken the world by storm. Actors, singers, writers, even political figures have axed the meat from their diets and joined the meatless revolution.  Some celebrity vegetarians/vegans you may have heard of: Carrie Underwood, Ellen Degeneres, Portia DeRossi, Kristin Bell, Anthony Kedis, Olivia Wilde, and Russel Brand (who was awarded 2011s sexiest vegetarian award). The famous politial figure now-turned-vegan? Bill Clinton switched to a vegan diet after two heart surgeries!

In honour of World Vegetarian Day, I decided to share some of my favourite vegetarian recipes. I don't claim to be a vegetarian, but I don't eat a lot of red meat and I have been known to go on a vegetarian or vegan kick for an extended amount of time. Whenever I change my eating habits and eat less meat I always feel more energized, and my digestive system always thanks me.

So here are my favs veggie dishes:

Greek Couscous Salad. You can find the recipe here.

This is one of my fav salads. You don't have to use the veggies in this recipe. You can use any leftover veggies you have around the house. Add black beans or chick peas or a kick of protein.

Black Bean Chile Cheese Enchiladas. You can find the recipe here.

This recipe is slightly labour-intensive but worth the effort. The inside is stuffed with a black bean and feta cheese mixture that leaves you feeling just as full as if you ate an enchilada stuffed with ground beef, and the spicy sauce is a perfect compliment.

Soooo good.

Roasted Vegetable Tortilla Pizza. Find the recipe here.

I"m sure I have blogged about these at least twice. So I'll just leave it at that.

Vegan Grilled Cheese Sandwich. Recipe here.

Delicious and so easy to make.

Vegan Chocolate Pudding. Recipe here.

One of my favourite desserts. Easy to make, use any seasonal fruit you prefer to garnish.

Here are some of my favourite vegetarian/vegan websites if you ever have a free few minutes to cruise around the web.

Even if you aren't vegetarian/vegan, there are great recipes on these blogs so check them out if you need some meal creativity.

I think there are a lot of happy cows and chickens today.

Have a great weekend!