Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On Hold

Sad news...I'm going to have to put the food challenge on hold until after we move. In this last crazy week I'm going to be packing and cleaning (specifically, cleaning out the fridge of all the remaining food in it, which doesn't include endives right now).

I'm sure you all know how is it...I think I was trying to achieve too much; more than I can right now!

So until then, I'll blog about not-so-fun things, like packing! haha

If ever there was a worse procrastinator than me...please step forward, or forever hold your peace. I may possibly be the worst.

In the time we knew we would be moving (aka: for the past 3 months), I have literally packed 2 bags of clothing and 3 medium-sized boxes. Medium-sized boxes! Not even legit big boxes!

And here I was this morning catching up on Oprah, doing chemistry and working out. Does one of those activities even involve packing?!? I don't think so. So it only seemed necessary to do a blog post after working out. Then after this post, of course I have to shower. Then after showering comes choosing what to wear and maybe even doing my hair and make-up (because we all know that has to get done eventually).

By then, who knows, maybe the hubby will be done at work. So once I pick him up, I can't just neglect him by packing...

So then it gets put off for another day. And low and behold, it will be Saturday before I know it!

Welcome to the mind of a procrastinator. A good true procrastinator that keeps typing to prevent from packing.

Ok, Ok, I'll get going...

What things do you do to get out of boooooring tasks?

How do you stay/get motivated to do these tasks?!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

To Gluten Or Not To Gluten

That is the question.

I've been seriously considering this for the past few days, because within those past few days...ok, ok it's more like the past few weeks, my stomach has been hurting.

Am I just combining food badly?

A few days ago, when my stomach was reeeeally aching, I asked my hubby if his stomach was sore and he said "no." So now I knew, it must be me!

I'm not sure if blaming gluten is the right place to start, but I figured it's probably the most likely answer and have tried to cut back (minus, making and eating better banana bread).

This cut included first and foremost with bread; I switched to a vegan bread for when I do decide to eat the stuff. And last night we made pizza using a spelt flour pizza crust that I got from the Farmer's Market yesterday...which was soooo good!

I think the more I monitor, the better chance I have of reducing the stomach soreness.

Sore stomach = not-so-happy Char.

I'm seriously considering starting a food journal as well, so if my stomach does start to hurt, I can look back and see what I ate earlier. And make the change!

The joys of having a fussy stomach!

Are there any foods that upset your stomach?
For others who have problems with gluten, are there any resources on the internet that you look to? Or have any suggestions? =)

Now, it's off to do some chem (goal #7) and also, today's the day to introduce the new food challenge item. It's...


I'll hopefully have a (successful) post here by Saturday. And, if anyone has tips for working with endive, I'd greatly appreciate that as well. I'll try and do my homework better this week, than I did last week with molasses (which totally stared me down in the grocery store yesterday!)

Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Better Banana Bread

In good news...the hubby found the camera!

So you're probably wondering where it was misplaced...I'll give you a hint: somewhere on the golf course lol.

Not in a golf cart.

Not on the driving range where he was teaching a lesson.

Not in the pro shop where someone turned it in.

Luckily, not with the university students, either!

Where was it?

Hidden in the rough grass beside the driving range. How it got there, I'll never know. But, the good thing is, it's home!

Like I said earlier, I will post a picture from the concert! Only one, I promise!

This is while he's singing one of my fav songs! And there you have it, that's it, I swear

Now onto the important part of this post (next to finding the camera, of course). I did some searching, and decided to make a delicious banana bread. I had plenty of rotting bananas and with a move coming up...everything's gotta go!

Better Banana Bread

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp almond milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup liquid egg whites (equivalent to 2 large egg whites)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
3 medium rotten bananas, mashed

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. In large bowl, combine the wet ingredients
3. In medium bowl, combine dry ingredients
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix together with a spatula
5. Pour mixture into a pre-greased loaf pan
5. Bake for 50-55 minutes


Cut a nice warm slice and add some butter, if you like.

Do you like to add anything to your banana bread?

And now it's time to enjoy some time with the hubby now that he's home! Good night!

So The Story Goes...

Well, I'm back. My blog break was nice for numerous reasons. First and foremost, I got to enjoy the two days off that my husband gets. Second, we left the city!! I mean, Kelowna's nice and all...but sometimes you just need to escape.

I need to pause for a second and say, this post would probably be a lot better had the husband not misplaced our camera yesterday...since that camera contains pictures from the last few day's events. It's kind of a mystery, are you ready?

The mystery: It took place on the golf course, where he was teaching a lesson (he videotapes their swings to playback to them). And so the story goes that he thought he put it back in the backpack after, but unfortunately not, or else there would be no need to pause!

Here, are the possible options:

  1. He set it down where his student was hitting balls and in a hurry left it there when he was packing his bag up after
  2. It fell out of the golf cart when he was driving back to the golf shop
  3. It was placed in the student's golf cart, shoved in the cart for no one to see
  4. The backpack monster ate it
What I would say if that was all there was to it is, your guess is as good as mine. Unfortunately, there's part 2 of the mystery...

Some other students (from the university here) who are on the golf team walk over to hit balls at my husband's golf course. Now, apparently they were there at that exact same driving range when the camera went missing. The husband went back to the golf shop to get more golf balls for his next lesson and when he went back to the driving range, this is when he noticed the camera missing...and mysteriously the students had also left.

Dun, dun, duuuunnnnnnn.

But the odd thing is, the camera was never turned in. So who should we be suspicious of?

The backpack monster...I knew it all along!


Yes, I was a little sad/mad when I heard our beloved camera was missing. But, there's nothing I can do about it now. Except cry over the lost pictures and video's from the trip to Vancouver.

What was I doing in Vancouver?

Well, I must admit I have a secret interest in someone.

He's talented.

Can dance.

Can sing.

And, he's Canadian...specifically from Ontario, like I am.

His name is...

Justin Bieber.

There, I said it! Judge me if you must!

But anyways, I had pictures and videos of him on the camera, that I'll sadly miss (and eventually accept) if they're gone.

The following night we returned to Kelowna and the hubby had a surprise! Since our anniversary was just on Saturday (for some reason, we kept extending it, and it basically turned into a anniversary week!), he wanted to do something special, so we got a room at one of the prettiest hotels in Kelowna...the Hotel Eldorado.

Super nice, super fun and super relaxing! Complete with chocolate covered (delicious) strawberries and everything!

He's a good guy...I'm thinking about keeping him around for a while ;)

Well, if the camera ever turns up, I will post pictures of my experience with Justin Bieber and hopefully you'll enjoy the fact that I'm a 15 year old girl trapped in a married 24 year old body!

P.S. - Be aware of those backpack monsters. Do I see future idea for a horror movie??

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not So Chilly, Chili: Part 2

Ok, so ever since I made my homemade chili (which wasn't 100% to my liking), I knew I had to make it again. Enter, tonight! And let me tell you, tonight's was fabulous!

Last chili was spicy, but this one was spiiiiicy! And we loved every second of it! I guess adding cayenne pepper, jalapeno peppers, hot chili powder and hot garlic (yes, you heard me correctly) will do that!

Here's a glimpse at some spicy garlic...I had to buy it when I saw it!

Not that different, but has a purple-y colour to it! So here's my new and improved chili recipe (the old one's tasty, too!)

And here are the essentials for the chili:

Some spices.

Some beans.

And tons of veggies.

Not So Chilly, Chili: Part 2
(Revenge of the chili)

5-7 roasted tomatoes, diced + any additional diced canned tomatoes (I needed the canned!)
1/2 tsp oregano
1 medium sweet potato, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
4-5 medium mushrooms, diced
3/4 cup corn (frozen or fresh)
1 medium green pepper, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic
4-6 jalapeno peppers, diced
1 can of red kidney beans, pinto beans and black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp cumin
1tsp curry powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp hot chili powder
1-1½ cups of vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

Mock sour cream (greek yogurt + lime juice)
Shredded cheese
Freshly chopped cilantro

And here's how you make it!

First, I started by roasting the tomatoes (drizzled with olive oil, put into the oven at 425 for 30 minutes)

Skins should just peel off the tomatoes...it's super easy. Dice those up!

Then, in a large pot over medium heat add those tomaters and oregano and cook for a few minutes (until juices run from tomatoes).

Then, add sweet potato, onion, jalapeno peppers, garlic, carrots and celery to zee pot!

To look like this:

Let them cook and mix for about 10 minutes (still, over medium heat).

Next, add the remaining veggies: green peppers, zucchini, corn, mushroom to the mix.

Plus, the spices and you have a nice medley.

There's a lot going on in the pot, so this is when you might need a little vegetable broth. Let these veggies cook for another 10 minutes, then, spill the beans...into the pot, I mean! =D

Mix up until it's all heated (another few minutes) and this is what you'll have:

Move to a serving bowl and garnish!

And enjoy...with a glass of wine!

Off to Vancouver tomorrow, but will have an interesting post when I'm back again!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New Food Challenge

I know in my goals I posted that I would introduce one new food into my meal(s) each week and I haven't really been keeping on top of this one. So, in light of not appearing to follow through...this my attempt to follow through! I'm going to create a tab, called my 'New Food Challenge.' Each week I'll attempt to eat something new; here's the general ruling for it:

a) by new food, I mean something that I'm not familiar with, or let's say, something I haven't eaten within the past 5 years OR something I think I may not like/haven't liked in the past
b) this is no longer limited to just fruits and veggies; it can be anything
c) this is by no means to create stress, but to have fun with food and get creative!

There you have it. Should be simple and fun!

This week's challenge: molasses.

I'm currently using it in a glaze for my salmon as we speak!

Next plan: make oatmeal pumpkin bars using said food challenge ingredient!

I've never worked with molasses before so any pointers on what works well with it would be greatly appreciated!

Are there any new foods that you would like to try?
What are some new foods that you've just heard of?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hearty Meal

Here I go neglecting my blog again...I am horrible, but it's only because I need to get done chemistry. Since starting it, I've been challenging myself to finish sooner and sooner. So, all in all, I've been doing at least 4 hours a day and almost 2/5th's through the course. Hey! Better than nothing!

So, I was meaning to post this a few days ago when I actually ate it, but of course I wasn't on time. But here it is.

Hubby and I had a delicious dinner of baked chicken with roasted veggies and garlic mashed potatoes. I had been meaning to make this chicken for a while, and finally did it!

It was a perfect night for this hearty meal, since it was on the cool side and we had done a nice run earlier that afternoon!

First, I started by putting the chicken in brine for an hour:

Mmm, raw chicken!

So, while the chicken was 'brining' in the fridge, I proceeded to cut up the veggies. I would make this whole meal again just to have a veggies taste as good as they did...makes my mouth water thinking about it!

I cut up butternut squash, sweet onion, carrots and brussel sprouts in there!

Next step was to grind up some spices to rub on the chicken - coriander seeds, fennel seeds and bay leaves.

After the grind, I took the chicken out of the brine and dried it off. It should be completely dry! And place it on top of the veggies!

Next, rub that chicken with those spices!

I put the chicken and veggies in the oven for an hour and 40 mins at 375. 

Alongside, were some garlic mashed potatoes; I steamed the potater's, roasted the garlic in the oven, then mashed them together with a little butter, buttermilk and fresh organic chives!

Since we were so excited to eat dinner, all I remembered to take a pic of was the potatoes pre-steamed!

But, trust me, they were really good post-steaming!

And finally the chicken is ready! I only managed to take one quick pic while the hubby was cutting it up. My mind really wasn't there thinking about the delicious meal that was only minutes away!

Just look at how good the veggies look! I would make this exact same thing again, just to have the veggies nice and roasted under the chicken!

Following that night, my life has been chemistry (woot, woot!) and going crazy!! I think I'll work out now for a bit so I don't go entirely crazy!

In good news: tomorrow is my very first wedding anniversary. I can't believe that this time last year, was my actual wedding day. It feels like yesterday.

It truly is amazing when you get to marry the most perfect person for you. How we came into each other's lives just amazes me. I don't know where I'd be without him. He really is my everything.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. I know I will =)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Sitting, Thanking, Wishing

Soooo, it's Canadian Thanksgiving (I'm sure everyone knows this by now - even Kelly acknowledged it on Regis and Kelly this morning) and I'm so excited for turkey. I think this is one of the reasons why I wouldn't/couldn't fully give up meat. I think I'm more excited for turkey than I've ever been because we missed Thanksgiving last year...all in good reason, though. At this time last year, we were just arriving in Florida to get ready for my wedding! So I was ok will missing it!

Even though last year's Thanksgiving was different, this one is mighty different. See, most of my family lives in Ontario *tear*, but my husband and I now live in B.C...so even though we're technically home this year...we're really not. I have my dad here, so we're going to his house for dinner tonight, at least.

I decided that I was going to bake a pumpkin cheesecake. I made it two Thanksgiving's ago and it was delish!

Here's how it went!

Please be advised that by no means is this a healthy version of cheesecake. It's go big or go home for this special dinner/feast (and dessert)!

I started by making the Oreo crumb bottom layer:

Now, if you're anything like me...you don't exactly open the bag carefully to make it easy to pour and end up having your kitchen look like this:

Notice the little dirt-like mounds...woops!

Next, mix all the mostly wet ingredients togethaaaaa:
(Some brown sugar, eggs, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg and of course, pumpkin!)

In another bowl, goes the cream cheese, cornstarch and sugar. Now I haven't had cream cheese in SO long and it smelt so good! So glad I decided to make cheesecake.

Nothing beats Philly cream cheese! Now for a little creaming.

Add, the pumpkin mixture to the cream cheese mixture and mix to your heart's content!

Here's what mixing does to it!

Which only makes sense that it would be lighter in colour...orange + white = lighter orange!

Add to your pan! Unfortunately, I don't have a springform pan (yet), so I had to make do with another baking pan.

Then it was time to place this bad boy in a 350 degree oven for 55 mins!

While it was baking, I did some packing...for mid-day, I think I did pretty good!

Fast forward 55 minutes and cheesecake is done...and looks mighty tasty (this is all without even seeing the oreo cookie bottom)

Thank-you Philly for the awesome recipe and I can't wait to eat you after dinner tonight!

Onto more packing, but first I needed the necessary things to get more packing done (thick tape, plastic bags for clothes and bins), so it was off to the store I went. But not without this delicious honeycrisp apple first!

So, I was a little bad after getting everything I need to pack...I stopped at Tim Hortons and got a latte. I've been on a latte kick lately and I'm not really helping the situation by getting another one today. For all of you Americans that don't know what Tim Hortons is...it's only the best coffee/donut place in Canada. It's super cheap and always busy...and I'm not kidding about the busy part. Be warned! It's a must go-to when you come to Canada! I definitely missed it when I was in Australia, and funny enough, my Aussie friend here can't get enough of it here!

Multi-tasking was definitely used today! Along with packing, I decided to get some much needed laundry done. Sometimes I'll send away for samples and never end up using them. So with this new Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheet, I thought I must you use it today...or else, I probably never will (with moving and all...)

Let's hope it does a good job!

You know when you have one of those productive days and things go good (ie: today), well when the washing machine was washing a load (a previous one), I saw a toonie (aka: $2) getting all cleaned up in there, too! I decided I would leave it until the wash was done, but at the end of the wash...I couldn't find it anymore (which made me sad). Until, I discovered a lining that you could stick your fingers down into and voila! not only did I find the toonie, but a loonie (aka: $1 coin) as well.

Finding money is fun, even if it's only three odd dollars!!

So I'm up $3, picking the hubby up from work soon and off to eat turkey. I. Am. Excited!!

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, October 8, 2010


I have been a terrible blogger lately. I'd like to pretend like I had some excuses, but I really don't. I have been trying to get some more chemistry out of the way (my goal is to have it done by February, but in all honesty, at the rate I'm going, the new date has moved up to next month)!! Also, we're moving next month, so I'm constantly thinking about what absolutely needs to go and what to pack (I managed to accomplish all this while not packing - it's bittersweet).

I haven't had much luck with finding a job I really liked this past summer (yes, I realize it's fall now), so instead of settling, luckily my husband was making good enough money that he let me stay home (yay!) opposed to going to a job that made me cry everyday. On that note, I at the very least signed up with a temp agency, so for every odd job (which happen to not be a lot) they'll call me to work. My next odd job (which is actually only my second lol) is tomorrow; I'm helping out with a jewelry auction at a hotel downtown...whatever...it's work! And since we're moving, it's too late now to find something stable.

This brings me back to getting my butt moving on finishing my chemistry course. When I think chemistry, I think getting accepted into the Applied Human Nutrition program, then I think becoming a Registered Dietitian and finally having a job that I'm passionate about!

I have a few recipes to post, but I'm just too tired to do that right now. I at least wanted to post something on here...and maybe not be so terrible.

How about tomorrow I make it up to you, blog? I hope you can forgive me!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pumpkin Loaf With A Chocolate Twist

It's that season...

[Image source]

For changing leaves and hearty things...

[Image source]

At the top of the season,

Pumpkin! (Without doubt or reason)...

[Image source]

So creating a pumpkin loaf was only natural...

Pumpkin Loaf With a Chocolate Twist

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 50-55 minutes

For the bread:
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

For the chocolate:
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350!

(Sorry for the dirty display!)

And, lightly grease a loaf pan (or use parchment paper)

Next, combine dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, salt, baking powder and soda) in a medium sized bowl.

In a large bowl, combine all the wet ingredients (eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, applesauce and buttermilk).

Once all combined, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine ingredients for the chocolate (watch for flying cocoa powder)!

Next, add half the pumpkin mixture to the loaf pan.

Now, add some chocolate =)

Repeat the steps (one more layer of pumpkin and top with chocolate).

Place in oven, and bake for 50+ minutes. The best part about baking, is once it's in the oven you have the time to transform your kitchen from this...

To this!

The bread is done once a toothpick comes out clean from the centre...inserted by you, hehe.

Let it cool, then cut right into it!

Top with butter, and if you're lucky...you might catch a smile.


Things to change for next time: Add a bit more chocolate (who doesn't need more chocolate!) by doubling the chocolate mixture ingredients and increase the oven temp to cook quicker!!!

Other than that...pure blissful pumpkin-y goodness!