Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fresh Bread and Swimming

I made myself a knock out bowl of almond butter & banana oats this morning. It was so good and creamy and I never wanted it to end! Mind you, I was quite full when it was gone! It certainly didn’t take rocket science to make this bowl!

-1 cup water
-1/3 cup Quaker oats
-1/2 small banana
-1 Tsp of almond butter
-lots of cinnamon

What a great way to start a rainy, cold morning! It took me from a good mood to a fantastic one!

For my snack last night I had a container of Fage with the last of the date & nut spread.

I adore Fage. It is such a treat especially since it isn’t sold anywhere in Canada. (I actually emailed the company to ask and I certainly didn’t get the answer I’d hoped for!!) I am SO jealous of all you lucky people that have it at your finger tips!

As I mentioned last night, my husband made a loaf of bread in the bread maker. By 9:30pm, my house smelled like a bakery! I was so glad that by the time it was done and properly cooled, I was asleep. The smell of that baby was just screaming for some butter and jam slathered over it! I only buy whole wheat bread for the family, but he usually makes white in the machine. I was pleasantly surprise to see this morning that he made whole wheat! Yeah, Hubby!! I ate a small hunk this morning to taste, but here’s a picture of the actual loaf….I thought it more appealing than just a little piece!

I got my lunch run in today. It got me loose and limber like always! We received some good news at work today! The gym is scheduled to open back up in the next few weeks. YEAH! That is very exciting! Every fall/winter we have a yoga instructor come in Wednesday’s to teach a class. I hope they can still offer the class this year.

Lunch was a mish mash of things again. I brought the leftover veggies from last night’s dinner. This was about a cup’s worth and even tastier than last night!

I also brought a Fage with honey, a pumpkin muffin and an apple. No photo’s because I don’t want to be boring anybody with repeats! I also sipped on a Stash pumpkin spice tea.

The kids started their swimming lessons tonight so dinner had to be quick because they’re in the pool at 6pm. I debated holding off their dinner until afterwards, which would have worked for my son because he’s in the water from 6-6:30 and was home before 7pm. My daughter, on the other hand is in the pool for a full hour so dinner for her at 7:15-7:30 is too late. I put a ham in the crock pot over the noon hour so it was ready to go at 4:30 when I got home from work. I made a ham sandwich using 1 slice of homemade bread, mango chutney, lettuce and, of course, ham.

I also tried the cashew cookie Lara Bar.

I enjoyed this flavor, but I still say that Cinnamon Bun is my all time best! YUM!

I’ve decided to buy myself a new camera. The one I’m using is at least 5 years old and doesn’t take good pictures anymore (as anymore reading this blog will know!). I’m looking at the Kodak Easy Share M8931S 8.1MP Digital camera. Does anybody have any experience with this camera? Right now I’m using a Canon Power Shot A75 3.2MP.

I'm off to watch the Biggest Loser now. I'll leave you all with some pictures of my little fish babies!



Bye for now!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Quick Day

So, I’m a little slow but I finally realized that it’s still dark out when I get up in the morning. Isn’t that a sure sign of the seasons changing?! That and I noticed that there are leaves all over the lawn now. Time to rake a big pile to jump into!!

I prepared a nice warm, soothing bowl of oats this morning and served it in my leaf bowl to commemorate autumn!

-1 cup water
-1/2 cup Flax Seed Porridge
-1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
-lots of cinnamon & pumpkin pie spice
-drizzle of agave

Again, this bowl had the perfect consistency. I’m quite certain that the trick to it is not adding any dairy/non-dairy milk and cooking it almost too long (if you know what I mean!)

The morning zipped right on by! I looked up at the clock at one point and was already 11:30am! I like when the work day zooms by, but I wish time would slow down when I get home! I don’t want to be wishing my life away!

I bought these cool Ryvita crackers over the weekend...

Are they ever light and crisp! They also have a nice gentle saltiness to them from the sunflower seeds. And an impressively short ingredient list to boot! Check out the texture on these guys! Mmmmmmmm......

I snacked on one around 11am with a cup of Stash Holiday Chai and the other around 2pm. Here's my Chai. This flavor is great! It reminds me of the scent of cloves.

I made it home at lunch today to dust off my treadmill! Geez, I haven’t been on it in 4 days! It seems like lately the tail end of my week becomes unexpectedly busy. I should be able to get home at lunch everyday this week but Thursday. Anyways, it sure did feel good to run today. I was having a “stretchy” morning. For some reason I kept feeling the need to stretch my back out. My 3 mile jog took care of that! Phew!

I’ll warn you right now…my lunch today was very boring. I was lazy last night and the end result was me scrambling for something to take at the last minute this morning. I ended up with the last 2 pieces of baked tofu and a bunch of grapes, plus the 2 Ryvita crackers.

Even the picture is uninspiring! I also sipped on a Stash Apple Cinnamon tea. Oh, the scents of fall! Unfortunately, a good smell was all this flavor had going for it. To me, it just tasted like sweetened water. Very disappointing. My husband has been drinking it, though, so he must enjoy it.

Although tonight was dance night, the kids had a PD Day and spent the day at the sitter's house. What this boils down to is that I got to cook dinner instead of us fending for ourselves. I must brag for a moment because my dinner creation turned out wicked awesome tonight! I had pulled pork chops out but didn't want to BBQ them so here's what I created....

Apple & Pepper Porkchops

-1/4 cup water (or broth)
-1 onion
-1 each red & green pepper
-3 celery stalks
-1 gala apple
-1 cup marinara sauce
-5 pork chops
-cinnamon, coriander, cumin, basil, salt & pepper

Combine water and veggies in a large sauce pan and cook down for 10 minutes. Stir in all spices and cook for a few more minutes. Spread veggies to either side of the pan and line chops down the centre. Let cook for 3 minutes and then flip over for another 3 minutes. Spread veggies around chops, add marinara sauce and cover. Cook over low heat another 10 minutes and then serve.

The pork chops were butter knife tender and the veggies had a smooth, almost creamy feel to them that hinted at a buttery sauce....with NO butter at all! The kids not only liked it, they asked for seconds! That's a sure sign to me that I made a great dinner! I truly love when a meal comes together so wonderfully. For me, that's what I love most about cooking.

My sweet end was a pumpkin muffin and 2 chocolate chip cookies.

One thing I need to figure out with this blogging business is how to create a link to my recipes so that I can display them in my side bar. Can anymore help me out??

I plan on spending the remainder of the evening with my Chatelaine magazine that came in the mail today and Dancing With The Stars on the tube. My husband decided to make a loaf of bread in the bread maker so I should have a tantalizing scent wafting through the house very soon! I'm glad that by the time it's done it'll be too late to taste test. Warm bread can be a very dangerous thing! Enjoy the evening!

Bye for now!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

50th Year Celebration

I woke up to sunshine today which was a great surprise because they had been calling for rain. Put me in a good mood right off the bat!

I made a nice, satisfying bowl of goodness this morning that was a delight on the palate!

-1 cup water
-1/4 cup Old Wessex 5-Grain cereal
-1/4 cup oat bran
-2 Tbsp Archer Farms Tropical Fruit & Berry trail mix

This bowl did what I needed it to by keeping me full until 1pm and it tasted great! I loved all the chewy tidbits of sweet fruit in there!

The elementary school that I attended (as well as my Mom and my kids) is celebrating its 50th year this year. Today, they had some festivities that my daughter and I attended while my son and hubby were at hockey. It started off with church at 11am. I haven't been to a full Mass in many years and I was surprised at how much has stuck with me! I guess when you do something once a week for your whole childhood, the routine becomes ingrained! The church is right beside the school so afterwards everybody made their way to the gym for a few presentations and a light lunch. Here's my plate...

I left a bit of the salad and my daughter ended up eating the egg salad sandwich because I'd had enough. Everything was good as far as sandwiches and pasta salad go, but it's not the type of food that I have a problem saying no to. They also had cake which I ate a small piece of.

It was really neat to see some of my teachers there! And even neater that they remembered me! (probably because I wasn't exactly the quietest student ever!) My first grade teacher was there as well as my second, third and sixth grade teachers and my old principal. Funny enough...my third grade teacher was also my Mom's third grade teacher! She was one of the first teachers when the school opened it's doors in 1958! They also had memorabilia set up throughout the school so my daughter got a kick out of some of the old picture's that she saw of me and my classmates from the eighties! I'm really glad we went!

We got home around 2pm, changed and made our way to the farm for our weekly visit. While there I munched on a Curves bar, 2 digestive cookies and a few pretzels. I had also eaten a blueberry muffin on the way there. Although I felt full at lunch, I don't think I was really content with what I ate so I ended up grazing for the rest of the afternoon. :(

Supper was just me and the kids as my hubby had a hockey game in the next town over the dinner hour. I made them "pizza pockets" in the sandwich maker which they asked that I photograph for the blog so here they are!

Inside was marinara sauce, marble cheese and ham.

I made a wrap with some 3 bean dip, 1/3 cup egg whites, 1 slice smoked gouda and roasted red pepper strips. Here it is before the roll up.

I served it with some leftover sauteed veggies from the other night. I've made this "wrap" before and really enjoy the blend of flavors. I need to think of a catchy name for it!

I also made a batch of these pumpkin muffins. Here they are before baking...

And piping hot out of the oven....

These muffins are moist and delicious! I made them many times last fall as they are great for a light snack. Give'em a try!

After reading one of Megan's posts yesterday I was reminded of all the wonderful fall flavors Stash tea puts out at this time of year. Looking through my cupboards, I found some Pumpkin Spice and Holiday Chai from last year. I drank one last night and plan on another tonight while watching The Amazing Race premiere.

This stuff is so, so good!

Bye for now!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Whirlwind Saturday

I had planned to go to the market today but I woke up to a very dreary morning so plans changed pretty quick. Instead, I stayed home and got caught up on some housework. I wanted to keep breakfast a little lighter because I had plans to take my daughter out for lunch so I made a bowl of oats without many toppings.

-1 cup water
-1/2 cup Quaker oats
-1/3 cup blueberries
-a splash of unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze

From 10:30am until 3:30pm I was on the go. My son had a birthday party from 11-1 so off I went to drop him off. Once he was settled, my daughter and I stopped at the store for a few things and them we went over to William's Pub for lunch. She ordered the bagel with egg, bacon & cheddar....check this sucker out!

My daughter has a very healthy appetite and didn't blink an eye to finish this. As a general rule, she can eat more in one sitting than me. I just hope that I've instilled enough good habits in her so that when I loose control of what she eats, she can make good choices most of the time. This lunch is certainly not typical of what she would normally dine on. I ordered a chipolte turkey panini that came with provolone, bacon & tomato...

Delish! I also had a wonderful chai tea latte with skim. I still say Williams makes the absolute BEST chai tea latte's ever.

After this very filling lunch we drove over to the Humane Society to drop off some cat food. While there we checked out the cat & dog viewing rooms. My goodness, there are some real cutie pies there! I would love another cat, but my husband refuses. He says I have to wait until one of my beautiful felines "kicks the bucket" (his words, not mine!) so I guess that's that. I have been working on him for a dog in the spring, though. I would love a jogging partner and the kids are old enough to do walks around the block. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! So from here, it was back to get my son and promptly take him to birthday party #2. I know...he's a very busy 6 year old! Got him settled once again and then over to Wal Mart we went to exchange a bathing suit I bought my daughter that was too small. It was bedlam in there because they are having an anniversary sale (which I did not know) and the parking lot was a mess! I can't believe how aggressive some people can be for a parking spot. Holy Cow! Anyways, our mission was accomplished rather swift and our last trip was to get the boy...and then home!

When we arrived my brother was over with his kids for a visit. Oh, how I love when my niece & nephew are here! They're such a pleasure and the kids all play together very well. I usually see them every other weekend when my brother has them for their overnight visit (they live 2 hours away).

I finally got supper started around 6pm. I tried a recipe that I saw on the last Biggest Loser episode. It's called Curried Turkey & Cauliflower Stew. The only substitution I made was broccoli for the cauliflower because that's what I had. Other than that, I followed the recipe word for word.

This turned out very, very good! I served mine with an English muffin for sopping up all the tasty sauce. As I was eating this, I was thinking that it would be great with some beans and corn added in. So I think I'll try that another time. I was too full for dessert, but if the munchies hit later on, I plan on enjoying a blueberry muffin.

I forgot to mention that we were up at 6am because my son was on the ice at 7am. I didn't go today, but it was still an early morning for all of us so I plan to spend the rest of the evening vegging out on the couch and watching TV or a movie. I'm beat, but everything has been done so tomorrow is housework/errand free! Phew!

Bye for now!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Latte Friday!

Getting woken up at 5am yesterday really pooped me out! I was in bed by 9:30 pm last night! That's an hour and a half earlier than what I'm used to! I had a really good sleep, though.

I was starving when I woke up today so I made a dense bowl of oats to fill me up.

-1 cup water
-1/2 cup Flax Seed Porridge
-1/4 cup stewed pears
-1/4 of a banana

YUMMY! Oh, how I love thy oats!

I was mindful to have a small snack last night after my gorge the other night.

Half a cup fat free plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey and a 1/4 cup of Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal.

My oats really did fill me up, but for some strange reason my tummy was talking rather loudly at 10:30am. I decided to listen and ate my blueberry muffin that I had packed.

I was satisfied after that until 2pm. Weird way for my appetite to work for that time frame in my day! Oh, well...sometimes you just have to roll with it!

No lunch run again today. I had to make a trip to my kids school to give my son his puffer. He doesn't have asthma in that he doesn't suffer from "attacks". He will become congested and have fits of coughing which happens usually in the spring and fall. He's been like this since he was 18 months old but the doctor thinks he will out grow it within the next year. Next summer he will undergo allergy testing because his issues seem to be more environmental than anything. This week has been particularly bad for him because he has a cold, too. He normally gets his puffers in the morning and before bed, as well as a Singular tablet, but today I felt that he would be in need of an extra boost by lunch. He was thrilled to see me in his classroom when he came in from recess! Cutie pie! Phew! That was a long winded explanation! I also went to Celebs to drop more clothes off for consignment and then to Planet Bean for a chai latte.

I didn't intend to take leftovers for lunch today, but my husband had divided dinner in to 2 containers so I just grabbed it. PLUS, it contained protein which is something I don't eat enough of. So here we go again....pork tenderloin with a side of broccoli.

It was actually just as good today. I don't think pork tenderloin can ever be "bad". I also ate a few jelly beans from the office candy dish...

Purple because it's my favorite color and green because I love the taste of spearmint.

My afternoon snack was a cup of honeydew melon from the office kitchen and an apple.

I ate these about 4pm and they did a good job holding me over to dinner. I find it hardest in the late afternoon to refrain from snacking. Not sure what it is that makes me feel like eating (hungry or not) between 3-5pm?

I baked off some tofu for my dinner tonight. I kept it simple...salt, pepper and a crust of whole seed mustard, then popped it in a 350* oven for 30 minutes. Here it is fresh out of the oven!

I paired it up with sauted zucchini, green & red peppers.

I really enjoy the texture of the tofu once it's been baked. It reminds me of fresh mozzarella. Actually, if I add it to stir fry's, soup or a salad, I pass it off as cheese and my son totally goes for it (my daughter knows the difference, but she's not a picky eater).

My sweet end was a chocolate chip All Bran bar. I didn't take a picture cuz you've all seen it before. After dinner my daughter and I went to the mall to wander around. They just opened a few new stores so that was fun to check out. I bought myself another latte. This one was a grande skinny pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks.

Mmmm...my seasonal fave! While at the mall I also bought a new bar to try. I was on the hunt for Lara Bars, but the health food store was out (of course) so the sales girl recommended a bar called "Elevate Me". Here's the flavor I chose...

It's no Lara Bar, but not too shabby! The consistency is drier than a Lara Bar and I couldn't really taste the matcha green tea, but the cranberries were definitely there. Also, it comes in bar form but is perforated to form 3 pieces(I ate one section). The stat's are pretty decent...16g of protein, 7g fibre, whole dried fruits, whey protein isolate,gluten free and 230 calories for the whole bar. I took a picture, but it doesn't look very pretty!

Told ya! Haha! It really did taste pretty good. Anyone else try these?

Bye for now!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Smelly Tar

I was rudely awakened this morning by fire truck sirens at 5am. Ugh! This is practically still the middle of the night for me. I found out when I arrived at work that the fire was actually at my office building! Can you imagine? There have been renovations happening all summer and most recently they have been tarring the roof(oh, think stink!). I guess something or other was smoking up there. I don't believe there was much, if any, damage.

I have a snack confession to make. I ate way too much last night. :( I was full after my pizza, but by 9pm I was ravenous! I started off with a muffin (no photo), then a half cup of plain fat free yogurt with a dollop of date & walnut spread and then I ate a cookie (no photo).

I am so embarrassed, but I had to 'fess up. Looking back at what I ate during the day, I realized that I really hadn't had any protein. BIG mistake! Lesson learned!

I made a lip smacking bowl of oats today. They had my perfect consistency to them.

-3/4 cup water
-1/4 cup skim milk (the last of the carton)
-1 cup Old Wessex 5-Grain cereal
-1/4 of a banana (leftover piece from my hubby's smoothie)
-1/3 cup blueberries

My computer at work quit on me today! I'd been having some issues this past week with it shutting down on me unexpectedly and today it just gave up the ghost. Apparently the power source was fried. :( Too bad because I lost some files and a folder with pictures in it. What a pain! This is the second tower to go on me in 2 years. I think I'm a jinx!

No lunch run today. My daughter ran in her second of three cross country meets so I took a bit of a late lunch and went to see her. I didn't think I was going to be able to make it because my van is in the shop getting winterized (yikes!!), but my very generous co-worker let me borrow her car. She ran well again today coming in 2 out of 60 girls in her age group. I am SO proud of her!! She was a wee bit cranky, though, because it's 26* Celsius out there and she does not like to feel too hot. Anyways, here she is about to cross the finish line!!

She didn't want me to post this cuz she says her tongue is sticking out. I managed to convince her that it's her "concentration" face! :)

Before I left I ate a President's Choice Oatmeal bagel with 1 Tbsp of almond butter and when I got back I dug into a blueberry muffin.

I ended up eating the muffin with a fork so I could continue working with crumb free hands!

The smell of tar was so potent throughout the day that I decided to put some nice smelling stuff in my travel mug today instead of plain water. First up in the a.m. was an envelope of apple cider.

This stuff was good, but a little too sweet to have very often. In the p.m. I had this Indian Spice Yogi Tea. My goodness, this stuff put a tingle on my tongue! There's no picture because I accidentally deleted it. Sniffing these temporarily solved the stink problem. Around 3:30 I dug into my stewed pears.

A sweet, healthy snack!!

I pulled a pork tenderloin out of the freezer today for dinner. I simply seasoned it with some steak spice and then grilled it on the BBQ for 15 minutes. Barbecuing the meat gives it such a nice crust. I let it sit for about 5 minutes before I sliced into it so the juices could do their thing. It turned out perfect!

I had a side of steamed broccoli on the side. I think the setting on my camera was different for this picture because it came our a little blurry. Sorry for that!

For dessert I had a small bowl of watermelon and 2 unphotographed chocolate cookies...

Weel, lunches are done, back packs are ready and the kids have been showered. This means I am