Sunday, May 31, 2009

the starbucks bribe...

perhaps not to you... but, to me it seems like forever since i've written. then again, there really isn't anything spectacular going on to share. just... well... the usual.

on the 25th of may, i went for my monthly weigh-in at curves. i really didn't want to!! eek!! but, i walked over to the scale... and when i saw that it had only went down 1.5 pounds, i felt ridiciously discouraged. i went on with the measure. at the end, the trainer and i counted up the inches i had lost... in one month... 9 inches!! woooohoooo!!! that's almost 20 inches altogether. but, only about 7 pounds. ugh. the best measure was my waist... back in january, my first measure was 35 inches... and now, i'm down to 29. i can handle that. the weighing and measuring always make me a wee bit nervous... but, when it's finished... i always feel motivated to keep working!

this afternoon, my mom and i went to lococo's. it's a vegetable warehouse! i didn't feel like going... but, my mom convinced me that it was a good day to get out... and she bribed me with a starbucks. so, off we went. we walked around... filled up the cart with all the vegetables imaginable! and then.... i saw... rhubarb. big beautiful stalks. i love how it smells. and tastes. (if i had icewine to pour all over it, i would have been in complete bliss.) i picked out 6 deep red, yet crisp stalks. then drove home as fast as possible! as soon as i could, i started gathering ingredients for... strawberry-rhubarb-apple crisp! of course. i will now provide you with a recipe. there is a warning though... there is sugar. real sugar. because, i haven't had it in forever. and because i didn't want to ruin the rhubarb. it deserves only the best.

strawberry-apple-rhubarb crisp

1 pint strawberries (small, half. large, quarter)
6 stalks rhubarb (cut into same size pieces as the strawberries)
10 medium apples (cored, and sliced. leave the skin on. it's good for you.)

cut up all your fruit, put in into a large bowl.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 quinoa flour (ok, or regular)
1/4 cup of butter (cubed)

this will go into the bowl with the fruit... give it a good toss. the pour the fruit into a large baking dish. i always use the clear glass dishes... then i can see what's going on in there. the dish will be fairly full, but that is ok... the fruit will cook down considerable.

preheat your oven... 350F.

into the now empty bowl...

1 cup butter (cubed)
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup oats
1/2 cup quinoa flour (or again, regular)

with this... go to town!! smash, mix, knead and rub all these ingredients together. make it into a delicious crumble. go by feel. and taste.

next goes on the crumble. crumble it around evenly. into the hot oven goes your creation. i baked mine for 45 minutes. but really... all ovens are different. try 30 minutes first. look at the bottom the the dish... can you see all the tasty juices bubbling yet? is your crumble getting nicely browned? if yes... to both... take it out. if not, keep it in for the rest of the time. when it is done, let it rest for about 15 minutes. if you can. this will let juices thicken a bit more. and it's good for your patience. a little bit of waiting now and then is good for you. when we finally dug into the crumble it was soooo good!! i'm glad that i used sugar. it was worth it.

snack of the month!! i could not wait any longer to tell you about this one!! these little guys are incredible! pamela's products simplebits... seriously. i can't believe how tasty these little guys are. especially the ginger snaps. i haven't been able to find them in a grocery store. only in health food stores, or over in buffalo. if you see them though... just pick up a bag. and then one day... or night... try one. without a doubt, you will eat a few more! they aren't sugar-free. they are gluten-free. and dairy-free. they are now in my cheat day list... when i want to eat a good ol' cookie. mmmm!

the count down?

67 days... aderito and i will be together!

69 days... we fly off at night... to wake up in the morning ... 4 hours ahead... and on the wee island of sao miguel. that's going to be a rough night. please, don't let me forget to bring gravol!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

all i can say is...


preferably tonight, for your dinner. however, if you don't have the ingredients... i understand. make it tomorrow night then. once you take a bite... you will have wished that you didn't wait an extra day. seriously. it's ridiculous.

portobello mushroom stroganoff.

gather these ingredients. now. hurry!

2 tbsps butter (or olive oil... but, seriously... use the butter)
6 large portobello mushrooms
2 shallots, sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1 tub fat free cream cheese
1 cup fat free sour cream
2 tsps thyme
2 tsps black pepper
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

oh, and noodles. whatever kind you want. they make really good whole wheat egg noodles. or gluten-free egg noodles. or i suppose, just regular ol' egg noodles! whatever you choose... make sure they are cooked... and ready for this sauce!!

now what? well...

start with the portobello mushrooms. turn them so the stem is up, gently pull it off. toss it. next, the brown skin on the top of the mushroom... can be gently peeled off. please do this too.
cut up the mushroom... aim for mouth-sized pieces. put these to the side. have your shallots ready. put a sauce pan on the stove... medium-high heat. warm the butter up... till it's foamy. add shallots, cook till tender. add the mushrooms. cook... you will notice that the mushrooms soak up all the tasty butter. this is when you need to add that wine!!! and then stand nice and close and breath in one of my favourite smells. mmm. ok. now, you can add the thyme and black pepper. cook this down till the pan is almost dry. push the mushrooms to the sides of the pan... making a little well. into well put the cream cheese and sour cream. stir it up, getting it nice and warm... once soft and melty... stir in the mushrooms. cook this... make it all hot and bubbly. however, don't boil it. never a good idea. ok... so, hopefully by now you've tasted it. and decided whether or not it needs more salt. and once it's adjusted accordingly... toss it on some of that pasta you've cooked... and EAT EAT EAT!!! and then i really expect you to tell me how good this is. more good news, it reheats very well.

jim came home after work... and ate it, and then ate some more. and then ran into my room to tell me how good it was. he didn't even ask where the beef is. which is what i expected when i made a dish that traditionally involves beef... and not mushrooms.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

the pansouffle.

the past week has been filled with unnecessary drama. i was going to get into it... and rant.. and rave... and unload. but, i think that it's one of those situations where i should just close the chapter. and really carry on. it's drama that has nothing to do with me, at all. however, one part that does effect me... is that i won't be hanging out with alex anymore. i'll miss his craziness... i won't miss the drama.

today was lovely. i went and worked out. i did laundry. jim and i went and looked at dishwashers. we've promised our mom a new one... hopefully friday we will.

oh, and i made ricotta and quinoa pancakes. mmm. i'm eating more carbs. but, virtually no gluten. so, the quinoa flour has replaced flour in all my recipes. i really like it. recently, i read elizabeth hasselbeck's new book... the g-free diet. i'm a huge fan of 'the view'. when i watch the show, i'm not usually a big fan of elizabeth. she did a fantastic job with this book though!! i've learned most gluten-free food also has a lower glycemic index. which is what i want. foods that are lower in the glycemic index are digested slower, produce a slower rise in blood sugar, usually control your appetite and delay hunger. i've found in the past that when i eat certain carbs, sugar, usually anything that has a higher glycemic index... it makes me... irritable. like, i can never satisfy my cravings or hunger. so, i've cut out a lot of sugary stuff... and have allowed myself to have gluten-free carbs. i've felt a lot better.

right... ricotta/quinoa pancakes. these bad boys tasted so good that once i thought about taking a photo to share... it was too late. the recipe however? here it is...

ricotta and quinoa pancakes

4 eggs, separated
1 1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup quinoa flour
2 tbsps agave nectar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp vanilla

in a bowl, put... yolks, cheese, flour, agave nectar, lemon and vanilla. mix, till flour is incorporated. in another bowl, or your mixer... whip whites till almost stiff. take about 1/4 of the white and whisk it into the ricotta mixture. fold in the rest of the whites. now... the cooking part. i found that these pancakes liked lower heat. medium heat or lower. mmm... slow-cooked pancakes.

and, well.... i feel like they should be called pansouffles. they are cooked in a pan... but, they aren't really cakey. they are light... definitely like a wee souffle. i made a mixed berry sauce to go along. oh yum!

snack of the month. i'm kind of disappointed that no one has asked what it is. i highly suggest that everyone go to the bulk barn as soon as possible. walk directly to the dried fruit section. find the natural dried mango. open up one of those baggies... grab the tongs... and fill up that bag. hopefully you are getting up off your chair... scanning the room for your keys, and walking out the door.

seriously enjoy the mango. you can thank me later.

Monday, May 11, 2009

muito encantador, de fato


that pretty much sums up how i've been feeling. since thursday i've been on the constant cusp of The Sickness. i worked out, and tried to eat loads of healthiness. however yesterday, i succumbed to it. waking up this morning feeling quite dreadful... i tried to go along like everything was peachy. but... felt drained. so, instead of working out and keeping busy. i ended up sitting in my bed, and ate muffins. hopefully tomorrow when i wake up, my energy will have returned. and i can bike ride, go to curves, do my strength training.

oh yes. i went and bought weights. and i found a few work out online that i've followed. i kinda like it. the one video is called, "tank top arms". huh, that's what i would like. please.

i'm getting more and more excited about going away in august. and more and more nervous.

everyday i go to a website that has a live weather camera of ponta delgada. the largest city on sao miguel. it's about 22 km from aderito's hometown... ribiera seca. it's so cute. like a postcard. the weather there in the spring, summer and fall is similar to what is like here. their winters however, are never as cold. it might get down to about 8C... but, that's it. never freezing. sheesh... must me nice. anyways, this is what ponta delgada looked like tonight...

it's enchanting. isn't it?

Monday, May 4, 2009

yet another muffin recipe...

usually, i take my time posting a new recipe. but, this one is soooo incredibly good. i can't wait!!

last week, i made squash muffins. it was a pretty easy way to eat an extra serving of vegetables. the flour that i used was soy and some salba. so... didn't feel too bad about eating them! it also inspired me to think about other veggies i could put into a muffin... carrots, zucchini... umm... i think that's it. when i put together my grocery list, i made sure i wrote down zucchini so i could try out as soon as possible.

i found a decent regular zucchini cornmeal muffin recipe... and i followed it, substituting my healthier ingredients for the typical ingredients used in baking. i'll give you the recipe i used, and in brackets the regular alternative. i've been using gluten-free products and sweetening with agave nectar in pretty much everything i bake. the past few baking experiment i've used soy flour. this time around, i thought i would try quinoa flour. it's lighter. i like it.

zucchini cornmeal muffins
(preheat oven 300F)

1 1/2 cups quinoa flour (or, all purpose flour)
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

put all these ingredients into a large bowl.

and, into a small separate bowl... these ingredients:

1/3 cup agave nectar (or, honey)
2 eggs, beaten
4 tbsps becel oil
3/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

give the ingredients in the wet bowl, a little pre-mix. then, make a little hole in the center of your dry ingredients, pour in wet ingredients. stir slowly, mixing together... but, don't over mix!! into greased muffin tins, fill each cup 3/4. bake, for 30 minutes. mmm... enjoy!! they are sooo good nice and warm!

i've ate 2 already. siobhan, ate 1/2... she said they weren't sweet enough. jim, ate 2... and siobhan's uneaten 1/2. i think that if i was going to bake these for small children, and wanted to disguise the vegetably goodness... i would use yellow zucchini, and puree it (raw). as for the sweetness. add extra, if you like. oh goodness... i'm having to use some serious self-control. all i want is to run to the kitchen and eat another 2 more!

my curves, biking, eating healthy is going well. i didn't go to get weighed and measured in march. so, i knew that i had to go in april. i was dreading it!!! ugh. so, last monday i went. the weighing made me sad. i had only lost 3 pounds since february. however, when i was measured... i was down a total of 10 inches! it boggled my mind. so, i am toning... the fat is leaving, and the muscle is growing. i suppose that's ok. i had to go and do a bit of online research to completely understand what happened. on one site they explained that 1 pound of fat... is like a 1 pound bag of popcorn. while, 1 pound of muscle is like a pound bag of rocks. the popcorn is going to take up a whole lot more room. and the rocks are going to weigh the same, just take up less space. ok. i'm ok with that. i just would like the scale to go down. please. on saturday... i was happy to have a few minutes to talk to my favourite athletic therapist... kelly. i asked what else i could do to make the fat GO AWAY. she suggest lifting weights. just 5 pound weights. it's not going to make me huge or muscly. just more toning. i'm good with that. i also bought a skipping rope. i just need to figure out a good place to use it.

94 more days till aderito is here.

96 till we go to ribiera seca... the wee little village he grew up in.