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Archive for August, 2011

Wednesday is quickly becoming my favourite day of the week.

Why you ask?

Simply be(cause)…it’s What I Ate Wednesday hosted by the lovely Jenn at Peas & Crayons.

First up, breakfast. After my long run on Sunday I enjoyed some french toast. I had extra egg mixture leftover so I decided to repeat that delicious breakfast Monday morning with fresh black berries and pure maple syrup. And no breakfast is compete without a cup or ten of coffee (in my new favourite mug no less!) No Monday blues in this house.

Too bad the Doozer ate half of my breakfast (minus the coffee).

Snack was less than stellar: cucumber slices and fresh pea pods. I actually only ate half of this because it just didn’t taste right.

Thankfully one of the Village Councilors brought over some fresh cucumbers from his garden so my tummy wasn’t rumbling all morning.

For lunch I decided to have a smoothie because I wanted to put some money in the jar I was craving green stuff and this is the perfect way to pack a lot of it in. My ‘green’ smoothies never look green but trust me, it tasted better than it looked. This one included frozen banana, frozen blueberries, frozen kale, almond milk, peanut butter, chia seeds, Amazing Grass greens powder and coconut flakes.

I tried my second Kombucha drink this week too. I liked the Synergy brand way better. It didn’t seem as fermented as the other one and I really liked the grape flavour. I will definitely be buying this one again. It scores bonus points for coming in a resealable bottle.

Chocolate + mint = heaven

BBQ Bratwurst on a WW bun with ketchup, mustard and diced onion. Broccoli and WW penne with homemade cheesy sweet potato sauce on the side.

As I have mentioned before it has been very hot here lately. This means I do not get to bake whenever I like because I don’t want to heat up the house anymore than it already is (no AC for us). But last night I NEEDED to bake so I decided to try my luck with some no-bake granola bars. I completely winged it and think I am on to something good here. Some tweaking is required but I was pretty darn happy with the first batch of No-bake Apricot Almond Coconut Granola Bars with Dark Chocolate.

Since I started blogging about food and recipes I’ve really noticed all the wood in our house – wood floors, wood tables (kitchen & coffee), wood counter tops, wood shelves, etc.

I think it’s time I invested in some fabric to use as backdrops.

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If I had to eat one food for the rest of my life it would be Pez, cherry flavoured Pez, no question about it. pizza.

I love pizza.

Correction.

I LOVE pizza.

A friend once asked me what my favourite food was and without hesitation I said pizza.

It might seem boring but the flavour combos for pizza are endless.

I used to be all about the thick crust but now, the thinner the better.

Our pizza-making skills have been improving one dough-ball at a time and on the weekend we discovered the best way to achieve the perfect, crispy, thin crust pizza.

I credit Martha Stewart for the dough recipe. Her recipe, from her Baking Handbook, is so versatile that I often swap in different flours (spelt, whole wheat, etc.) depending on my mood. The results are always perfect and we can get three pizzas from one single recipe.

It has been unbelievably hot here lately but when a girl wants pizza, a girl needs pizza.

Enter the BBQ.

It’s our new secret weapon.

That and a hot pizza stone.

All I can say is WOW!

I pre-heated the stone on the Q and as soon as the dough hit the hot stone it instantly started bubbling and cooking. I added the toppings once the dough was on the stone to avoid any pizza mishaps.

We made a Tomato Basil Roasted Garlic Pizza.

A Veggie Pizza with artichoke hearts, green olives, red pepper, onion and mushrooms.

And a Man Pizza with salami, hot peppers, Onion, mushroom and green olives.

We also took advantage of the hot BBQ and fire roasted some jalapeno and yellow Hungarian peppers for a later use.

Each pizza was topped with marble cheese.

Just like thin crust is better than thick crust, I have slowly learned that less is more when it comes to cheese.

We only have one pizza stone so we had to cook one pizza at a time. Although it may seem tedious it really just means that by the time the last pizza is cooked the first two are at perfect eating temperature.

We also don’t have a pizza cutter so we use a giant cleaver instead.

The crust was super crispy and didn’t succumb to the weight of the toppings we piled on top. A key requirement for perfect pizza.

And the best part about a thin crust pizza is you get to eat more toppings and less crust.

Pizza crust, after all, is really just a means to eat the toppings.

And now, 50 bonus points to the person who can name the movie I referenced at the top.

Hint: It’s one of my all-time favourites.

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Yesterday was my long-run day and I ran the farthest I have ever run in my life!

7 miles = 11K

Yee Haw!

Unfortunately the GPS on my phone decided to lose the signal half-way through my run. Starting at 35 minutes into my run I repeatedly heard this from the coach:

Time: 35 mins :: Distance: 3.64 miles

Time: 40 mins :: Distance: 3.64 miles

Time: 45 mins :: Distance: 3.64 miles

Time: 50 mins :: Distance: 3.64 miles

It kept going until I stopped running after 1 hour 39 minutes.

Come to think of it, I probably ran more than 7 miles.

I may be slow but I’m not that slow.

Either way, I felt good on my run and aside from some normal aches and soreness today I feel great.

After my run, and some delicious french toast, we headed to Oliver to attend a baby shower. Oliver and Osoyoos are littered with fruit stands, so on the way home we stopped at one to buy some pickling cucumbers (ours did not grow at all in the garden – boo!).

Unfortunately, the stand we stopped at was all out of cucumbers.

Fortunately, the owner was super nice and sent us to his house to buy some.The only catch was we would have to pick them ourselves.

I have heard of u-pick apples, blueberries, etc. but I have never seen a u-pick cucumber sign. I admit, I laughed when I heard we had to pick them ourselves.

When we arrived at the house we were greeted by one of his teenage sons. We followed him and his dog on his golf cart to the cucumbers.

My husband gave him some money, we grabbed an empty box from the back of the truck, and proceeded to fill it with cucumbers of all shapes and sizes.

I was reluctant to help at first because the prickles on cucumbers, and the leaves, really bother me. I get itchy immediately and it is not fun. However, my desire to get home out-weighed my dislike of cucumber prickles and I was a cucumber-picking queen.

See that? That is the US border just a hop, skip and a jump from where we were picking cucumbers.

Cucumber of all shapes and sizes came home with us.

They will soon be placed in jars with a special vinegar mixture and eventually become pickles.

My husband is the canning king in our house and has already canned beans and two types of hot peppers.

We are anxiously waiting for the tomatoes to ripen so we can get started on the salsa!

 

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You know how the saying goes: “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”

Well, that saying describes our day perfectly.

You see, we have to bring our garbage to the landfill ourselves (there is garbage pick-up but at $3 per bag it’s not worth the cost) and this particular landfill has a ‘free’ section. It’s a section of the landfill where you can drop off items that someone else might want. A section to drop off stuff when you are too lazy to make a second trip to the thrift store, or a section for those items that might not be deemed worthy enough for the thrift store.

And today, my husband discovered some treasures.

First up, a super old school Minolta Super-8 video camera in the original box.

We aren’t sure if it works but all the pieces are there and it is in immaculate shape.

Next, an old school Tonka Logging Truck. It needs a little TLC but nothing beats the metal trucks of our childhood. He also scored a toy dune buggy.

And finally, the best find of the day were these two coffee mugs.

I am in LOVE with the blue and white mug in the foreground.

The trees.

The birds.

The colour.

Everything about it makes me happy.

This will definitely become one of my most favourite mugs in the cupboard. I can’t wait to use it for my morning coffee – don’t worry, I washed it throughly!

In exchange for the above items, we dropped off one box and 3 large garbage bags full of clothes, books and toys to the thrift store.

And since we live in a small area, it shouldn’t be long until I see someone wearing one of my old shirts around town.

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The last two evenings have been unexpectedly busy visiting with friends and neighbours, which means I missed my Wednesday run and did not get to make up for it last night. As a result, what is supposed to be a rest day in the training plan will now include a 4 mile run after work.

I am so looking forward to it! Even if it is blazing hot (which it’s supposed to be) and I will probably melt in the heat (definitely going to happen) I will still strap on the shoes and hit the trail.

My fingers are crossed that there is a strong breeze off the river tonight.

I figured this running Friday required a new recipe. I mentioned my Roasted Beet & Lentil Salad in my first WIAW post a couple of weeks ago. I know you have all been patiently waiting for the recipe (hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge) so I’m going to finally share it with you.

Our garden is exploding with produce this year and I am always trying to come up with new ways to eat all the veggies. I love beets, and we have plenty of them, but a girl can only pickle so many beets. I came up with this recipe at the same time I had leftover rice and lentils in the fridge and a bunch of beets on my counter.

It’s light and refreshing.

Perfect as a side dish yet substantial enough to serve on it’s own for lunch or a light dinner.

Roasted Beet & Lentil Salad

Salad ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 3 cups beets, cubed and roasted
  • 1 cup beet greens, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil (for roasting beets)

Dressing ingredients

  • 6 tbsp avocado oil
  • 6 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 roasted garlic cloves (roast with beets)
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill seed
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1/4 cup fresh chives
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Cube beets. Toss beets and 3 garlic cloves with 1 tsp olive oil. Spread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment (for easy clean-up) and roast in oven for 20-30 minutes until beets are soft and garlic is golden. Remove from oven and let cool.
  3. Combine dressing ingredients in a small food processor or blender and process until it reaches a semi-smooth consistency (this will depend on the power of your blender or food processor so don’t worry if there are still pieces of chives or dill seed.) Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, toss together the lentils, rice, beets greens and beets.
  5. Add in the dressing and mix until thoroughly incorporated.
  6. Adjust salt and pepper as required.
  7. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour do the flavours can blend together. Serve and enjoy!

This salad is great the next day, and the day after that, and the day after that. The raw beet greens hold up well and don’t become soggy like other greens are prone to do. The dill seed gives this salad a one-two punch of dill flavour that we love.

If you are vegan/nonvegan like we are (vegan food with a side of meat) then serve this with some roasted chicken or fish – delish!

If you are looking for a yummy sweet recipe please go check out the Chocolate Chunk Toffee Bars over at Oh She Glows. This is our new go-to granola bar recipe! I substituted the brown rice syrup with agave, peanuts instead of walnuts, and added in 1/3 cup coconut flour and they turned out perfect. The Doozer stole one from the plate I was trying to photograph so this picture of him eating one will have to do 🙂

Happy Friday everyone!

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Confession time.

I don’t particularly enjoy running on pavement. It always seems so hot and pavement-y. I do run on some pavement when my runs are longer, and I know I’m going to have to get over it since I’ll be running 13 miles of pavement in October but for now, at least on my shorter runs, I will enjoy the solitude of my current running route: The RiverWalk trail.

Just as the name implies, the RiverWalk meanders along the Kettle River. It is a 5K loop from my house, down the trail, and back. Depending on my mood I will either start from home or simply re-run part of the trail until I hit my distance.

I spend a lot of time on the RiverWalk. It’s not only great for running but it’s the perfect spot for a 2-year-old to burn off some energy.

This is why we don’t run together. I get stuck pushing an empty stroller and he goes about his exploration duties.

Veering off track to check something out. Again.

No cars, hardly any other foot traffic and a soft surface to run on – what could be better?

Perhaps the best thing about the RiverWalk is its proximity to the Kettle River. The breeze it offers up is amazing on those days when the sun is burning just a little too hot for my liking. It also makes it easier for the dog to join me on my runs because fresh water is always at his disposal. Plus, I can stash his leash at the start of the trail and enjoy a run with nothing in my hands.

I’m always interested to find out where people run and how they determine their routes. My brother is also a runner and was training for a marathon when we were home in April. He never planned to run an actual race, he just wanted to be able to run the 26 miles. I remember asking him where he ran and if he had some pre-measured loops for his longer runs.

The answer?

Nope.

He simply drives to a long stretch of road, runs until his iPod tells him he has gone half-way, then turns around and runs back to his car.

Brilliant.

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It’s Wednesday which means it’s time for another installment of What I Ate Wednesday.

A big WIAW Shout-out to Jenn over at Peas & Crayons for hosting this fantabulous blogging event!

This week’s installment took place on the weekend when we were camping. More than once during the day my husband could be heard asking “Are you taking another picture of your food?” or “Do you ever eat anymore without taking a picture first?”

The answer to those two questions is yes and yes.

Unless I am documenting something for the blog then I am definitely taking a picture (often more than one two a dozen) of my food before I eat.

We spent the weekend at Thone Lake in the Christian Valley approximately an hour from our house. The weather was great and there was a lot of relaxing and exploring to be had.

After rolling out of the trailer way too early I cut up some strawberries and peaches for a pre-breakfast snack.

Even though we have a stove in the trailer we still like to cook over the open fire. For breakfast we had scrambled eggs with red pepper and tomatoes and toasted cranberry, walnut, blue rye bread.

And coffee of course. I’m not a huge fan of coffee made in a stove-top percolator but it’s better than nothing. A girl has to have her caffeine even if it is kind of murky.

We munched on popcorn and tortilla chips throughout the day. I pre-pop the corn and bring it with us in a baggy. The Doozer thought it needed more salt.

He also thought the whole bowl was for him but he was willing to share.

I sipped on an Asian Pear & Ginger Kombucha Wonder Drink. This is only the second time I have had Kombucha and I’m still on the fence with whether I like it or not. I am having a tough time getting past the fact that it kind of reminds me of drinking warm OJ that has been left out all night. Must be the fermentation. The ginger in this one was nice and mellow and I’m willing to keep trying it out. Afterall, I made myself like wine by drinking it until it started to taste good 🙂

Lunch was a roasted turkey and dill Havarti sandwich on a seed bun with tomato and cucumber.

Thone Lake was jumping with Rainbow Trout and even though we didn’t have fishing rods with us some other campers were nice enough to give us a couple of fresh trout that they had caught. We promptly fried them up in the cast iron pan with some onion and butter. It was honestly the BEST fish I have ever eaten. So rich and buttery tasting. The three of us gobbled it up before the rest of dinner was even cooked.

Corn, potatoes, and fresh peas in the pod.

And I may, or may not, have had a couple (OK, four) of these over the span of the weekend. With lots of ice. Lots and lots of ice.

Luckily most of this could be eaten with our hands because someone (*cough* me) forgot to pack cutlery; however, my husband, being the crafty guy that he is, did turn two plastic spoons into a couple of forks for us – too bad I forgot to take a picture because they are worth seeing. I admit I doubted they would work but I was proven wrong.

Camping is so relaxing and exhausting at the same time. We always come home unmotivated to do even the simplest of tasks, like cooking dinner.

I guess it’s good that I decided to document Saturday’s eats because there are no pictures to document Sunday’s eats – lifting the camera would have been too much work.

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