Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Retail Therapy

Hi everyone, did I mention that I’m on VACATION this week???  I am so glad to not be at work.    Since hubby only has Wednesday off the week is pretty much my own.  I do plan on a day trip or two.  I was thinking Mahone Bay, maybe the valley again, or Victoria Park in Truro. 
Here’s a recap of yesterday.  Nothing earth shattering but a good day all the same.
Started the day off with a smoothie.  Frozen blueberries, frozen bananas, spinach, maca powder, drizzle of agave, scoop of Amazing Grass Chocolate Superfood, UVAB, and some water.
Then I was off to town for some retail therapy.  My first stop was Bath and Body Works.  I discovered Bath and Body Works many years ago on a shopping excursion to the States.  They have so many yummy scents and great products.  One trip to Maine I stopped at a store and filled….. well…. overfilled two of the baskets and still had more on top of that.  The sales girl thought I was nuts.  Apparently I’m not the only Maritimer that has an addiction to this stuff.  The store only opened Sunday so I thought it would be busy, but since it was Monday morning I didn’t think it would be too bad.  Boy was I wrong…the place was a zoo.  You couldn’t move.  I didn’t intend to buy much but $60 later I walked out of the store
IMG_1097Next stop was Rogers to try and decipher our cell phone bills, something I have been putting off for months.  I was there for at least an hour and when I left I really wasn’t much further ahead.  Even the poor guy at the store couldn’t understand how they had set up our plans.
I was off to Pete’s Fruitique after Rogers ordeal.  Picked up lots of goodies.  Fresh mint, parsley, pepper, baby bok choy, ginger, Tortilla Factory Tortillas.  Thai coconut , PB and Co, Maple peanut butter, light coconut milk, red onion,  Portobello shroom, Stonemill Cranberry Pumpkin Seed bread, and the white thing in the front of the picture is daikon.  I have no idea what this tastes like or what I’m going to do with it but I wanted to try it out.  The one thing I was looking for they didn’t have, fresh figs.  I have never had them and really want to try them so if anyone knows where I can get them let me know.
I have only seen these tortillas at Pete’s they are the large  size, taste really good and the nutritional info isn’t bad either, however the ingredient list could be improved on just a tad.
12 g  dietary fiber, 100 calories, 3.5 g fat
My newest addiction is Chai Tea Latte’s.  We only have Tim’s where I live, no Starbucks or Just Us out in the country, so I’ve  been making my own.  Brew up the tea add a drizzle of real maple syrup and some UVAB.  Of course with a latte you need froth so I picked up this cute little guy at Stokes. 
It works like a charm!!
On the way home I made a quick stop at Costco.  Big container of baby Arugula, grape tomatoes, large bottle of pure Vanilla for $6.99 ( I usually pay that for a small bottle), and a cute casual jersey dress for $12.97.
Overall I think a pretty successful day of retail therapy.
I was given a rather large zucchini last week, and what do you do with zucchini…. make muffins and muffin tops.  I used the recipe from Eat, Drink and be Vegan.  Another successful recipe.  Everything I have tried from that book has been very good.  smile_regular  My only modification was to add some dark chocolate chips to some of them.  Everything is better with chocolate smile_wink
Hubby is off tomorrow so I think we’ll spend the day in Halifax, wander the waterfront, go for lunch and maybe a movie.  Hopefully the weather will be good again tomorrow.
Night all
~~~ Jackie

Monday, August 16, 2010

Chicken Burgers and Wine in a Can

Happy Monday everyone.  It’s a happy Monday for me because I am on VACATION this week!!!! 
This weekend was fairly uneventful.  Saturday was filled with household chores, I think I did 50 loads of laundry.  I have no idea how two people can go through so many clothes.  Sunday was the usual trip in town to visit the parents, with a quick trip to Dartmouth Crossing to spend some money (my favorite past time).  Then home to relax on the deck with a book. 
Here’s a look at some of my eats over the weekend.
I wanted a salad for lunch but was feeling the need for some extra protein, and tuna was the protein of choice. I had some black beans and pasta in the fridge, added some red onion, salt, pepper, garlic powder, lemon juice a pinch of cayenne to give it a kick and the secret ingredient Tzatziki.  I tried this once in an attempt to decrease the calories and I like it much better than mayo.  It’s much lighter tasting, not thick and heavy like with mayo.  Served on a bed of mixed greens.  It was very good, if I do say so myself.
I made a quick trip to the grocery store and they had Lean Ground Chicken on sale so I thought I would give chicken burgers another try.  I’ve made chicken/turkey burgers many times but just didn’t find they ever had enough flavor for me.
In the mix
Extra lean ground chicken, salt, Pepper, squirt of lemon juice, garlic powder, a little EVOO, feta cheese and some fresh oregano, and parsley that I have growing on the deck.  Nothing better than fresh herbs.
Ready for the BBQ.           IMG_1087
      Finished product        IMG_1089 I rarely have hamburger buns in the house so I schmeared some Tzatziki on a tortilla added some greens, red onions, and tomato slices.  This attempt had much more flavor than previous attempts but could still use a little tweaking. 
Hubby and I were visiting the NSLC a couple of weeks ago and they had these cans at the check out, and low and behold it was wine.  Yes that’s right wine in a can classy, I know but I had to give it a try.
IMG_0971This was a Merlot but they also had Shiraz.  I was pleasantly surprised, it was much better than I expected.  Sometimes I just want a glass of wine but don’t want to open a bottle, so this would be good for that. Not too mention easy to take to an outdoor party, campfire etc. 
Since this post is turning out to be longer than I planned I’ll cut it off now.  Maybe I’ll do two posts tomorrow.  I am on vacation after all so I should be able to find the time.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

When Hubby Makes Supper……

When hubby makes supper I’m a happy girl, because that means I don’t have to spend HOURS in the kitchen after work.   After spending 2 1/2 hours cooking 2 meals and cleaning up the kitchen last night I was thrilled he said he was cooking tonight.  He doesn’t have time to do it very often but he always does a great job.  He won’t ever tell me what he’s making either, so it’s always a surprise.
Before we had a kitchen he cooked me White Chicken Lasagna on the BBQ.  It was delicious unfortunately too many milk products for me.  There have been quite a few Rachel Ray recipes too.  One day there was a blueberry themed dinner.  Now when you hear blueberries you’re probably thinking dessert, not even close.  Dinner was Blueberry Burgers and a cold pasta dish with chicken and  Blueberries.  The pasta dish did not look appetizing at all but looks can be deceiving because it was really good.
Tonight's meal did not disappoint.  It was quite yummy (not so figure friendly) but tasty all the same.
Ground beef, eggs, parmesan, cheddar, ketchup, Worcestershire, and bacon of course.
Hubby cooked these on the BBQ because the dishes called for different temps.  He forgot our stove has two ovens….OOPS!!
I was shocked this was on the menu.   Hubby has been telling me for years he can’t stand scalloped potatoes.  I found this hard to believe since there is nothing in it that he doesn’t like.  Coincidentally I had planned to make a batch for him this week so he could try them again.  I knew he’d like them, and he did.  He even sliced all the potatoes by hand.  He wanted to use the new KA Food Processor but wasn’t sure how to work it.  Truth be told that was the REAL reason I wanted to make scalloped potatoes.  I wanted to play with my new toy…  It’s soooo fast I lurve it.
He was thinking of me when he made these, he used Original Almond Milk instead of regular milk.  I have to say I was skeptical but they had a really good taste.  I liked the taste much better than with regular milk.    All in all a great supper, and we actually got to eat together, something that is a rare occurrence for us, so that made it even more enjoyable.
After supper the chef carried on with his other job, carpenter and went back to work on our bathroom and bedroom project.
I wish I had a quarter of his talent.  Not only can he do carpentry but he’s a cabinet maker too.  He built our entire kitchen from scratch and did an AMAZING  job. Not to mention the fact he built the whole house himself from the ground up.
While hubby was hard at work I relaxed with a cup of Chai Tea and a cookie, well actually two cookies but I devoured ate one before I  had a chance to take the pic.
I started adding a little real maple syrup to to the Chai Tea to sweeten it up.  It adds a nice flavor.
I guess that’s all I have for you tonight.  I have to go help hang some drywall now.  smile_wink
How often does your spouse cook dinner?  When they do is it a “healthy” meal?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Curry Kind of Day(s)

Good morning everyone, how’s your weekend going so far?
Last weekend on my trip to the Valley, we had lunch at the Union Street Cafe, and it was divine.  The curry chickpea burgers were to die for, so when I got home I sent an email off to them and they sent me back the recipe…. YAY!!  Of course I had to whip up a batch right away along with some mango chutney mayo and had one for lunch.  That night it was so hot I didn’t want to cook and the burgers were in the fridge so I had one for supper too. 
All dolled up with some Tzatziki, and veggies on a whole wheat tortilla.  SOOOOOOO GOOD!!!!
To end off Friday night with some excitement hubby came home with the drywall for our little construction project so we had to carry 19 sheets of it in the house. Do we know how to rock a Friday night or what?…
One of the kitties checking out the drywall.
Saturday started out with some overnight oats, then it was off to town to visit my parents, and do some shopping.  I wasn’t looking for anything special when I stopped into Winners but…. I came out with no less than 8 tops, a pair of yoga pants, a dress and a lot less cash. 
Supper was a continuation of the curry theme Curried Sweet Potatoes and Carrots with Lentils.  I had printed the recipe off of a blog awhile ago and for the life of me I can’t remember whose it came from.   
I swapped out the vegetable broth for chicken broth and added one ingredient of my own.  The much talked about garlic scape. 
The finished product served over some whole wheat egg noodles.  It was supposed to be served over rice but I wasn’t in a rice kind of mood.  I also cooked some boneless skinless chicken thighs on the BBQ for hubby.
Not the prettiest but it was really good.  The best part of all hubby really liked it.  I’m slowly converting him from nothing but meat and potatoes to healthy. 
After supper we headed over to a friends for some drinks and then everyone jumped on the “party boat” and we were off to the dance at the boat club.  The last time I checked the time it was 2am and we were still on the party boat so I’m not sure what time we actually go home.
Looks like we’ll be hanging some drywall today, and then having a couple of people over to watch the fireworks tonight.
Enjoy your Sunday smile_regular

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Construction Zone and Clean Eating Cookies

Evening blog land hope you’re having a good week.  I always find a short week seems to drag on, and on.  How about you?  I’m hoping to make this weekend into a long weekend by taking Monday off but it’s looking like I might have to go into work…. boo hoo smile_sad.
So yesterday I came home to a pleasant , but noisy surprise
Hubby started framing in a bathroom and spare bedroom.  Up to this point the only bathroom in the house is off the master bedroom.  Which is just a tad inconvenient when we have people over.  You see hubby built this house himself from the ground up  so it is a very slow process especially since he has 2 other jobs that take up most of his time.  Hopefully by this time next week there will be drywall up and ready for paint.
Meals around here have been pretty standard.  I am pretty much a creature of habit when it comes to my eats through the day. 
  • Breakfast smoothie
  • Mid morning overnight oats
  • Lunch – Salad and usually leftovers from the previous day
Hubby wanted steak for supper yesterday so I cooked steak and potatoes for him.  It was the least I could do since he was working his butt off.   I had a salad and a sliver of his steak.
Since there were no leftovers there was nothing for me to have for lunch, so we ordered in Swiss Chalet.  We have a pretty good system, one of us gets salad the other fries and we split them so we get the best of both worlds… a little bit of grease and some greens. 
Supper tonight was marinated salmon, with sweet potato fries and rice.  The boy isn’t a fan of sweet potato fries.  I don’t get it myself but to each is own.
I mentioned the other day that I went through my Clean Eating magazines and picked out a bunch of recipes.  One of those was   “French Almond Macaroons”, don’t they look yummy.   
I whipped a batch up the other night.  They tasted really good  but mine didn’t look anything like the picture.  The cookies are basically a meringue, with fruit spread in between.
I’m not exactly sure what happened.  I assumed they would flatten in the oven, but they didn’t and they didn’t get crispy, they were kind of sticky.  I think that may have had something to do with the fact that when I took them out of the oven to cool it was quite humid so they didn’t cool properly.  It may be because of my oven too.  We have a propane stove which is a moist heat so that might have been part of the problem.  I don’t really know.  I did make a special purchase to use for the filling…
“Stuffed with 1 pound of premium organic fruit, our new line of Superfruit Spreads includes four unique fruit combinations, sourced from around the world. Each certified organic spread is sweetened with fair trade sugar and contains one-third less sugar than jam. Experience these different cultural tastes while getting your daily dose of antioxidants.”
I have to say this was very good, kind of pricey, but very good.  Why must all the good stuff cost a fortune.
Time to get some zzzzzz’s

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cooking Slump

It was back to work today after a great long weekend.  I always find it so hard going back to work after a couple of days off.  That’s why I never take anything more than a week off…. it’s way to hard to go back.

I’ve been in somewhat of a slump lately when it comes to cooking.  I don’t know if it was the heat and not wanting to cook that started the downward spiral or what.  I’m not eating bad or ordering out but quite often I just don’t eat supper and that’s not a good thing.  Hubby has been forced to fend for himself.  There have been a lot of  tortilla pizzas with some Hot Genoa Salami for me.  I always cook the salami first then crumble it on the pizza.



I’ve also had quite a few salads


There has been some baking too.


“You Got Peanut Butter in My Chocolate” Cookies from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.  There are some really great recipes in that book.

For the most part though I’ve  just been staring blankly into the fridge wondering what the heck I will cook.

I had an epiphany the other night… I think the reason I am having such a problem cooking is because I have to cook 2 different meals most nights. I was spending HOURS in the kitchen every night, which didn’t leave much time for anything else.   It’s not that hubby is fussy per say, he just doesn’t like meals that don’t have meat and if there are more than a few miniscule veggies he’s not too keen.  He will try pretty much anything I cook but I know it’s not something he is really enjoying and not really satisfying for him.  I know it’s not satisfying because a few hours later he’s in the kitchen making sandwiches, or eating a can of soup.  I talked to him about not enjoying cooking 2 meals and he told me just to cook for myself but I just can’t do that.

The other night I looked through all of my Clean Eating magazines and picked out a bunch of recipes to try.   A lot of them I think will be good for both of us and can easily be made with or without meat. 

IMG_1032 See all the yellow sticky notes…

If anyone has any suggestions to get me out of my cooking slump please pass them along.  I need all the help I can get.

Night All


Monday, August 2, 2010

A Day in the Valley

It was a long weekend for us here in Halifax, and we had gorgeous weather for the whole weekend.  How great is that….
I’m supposed to be in PEI today but due to some work disasters late last week I thought it better to stick around. Since PEI was out of the question I thought it would be the perfect time for a day trip to the Valley.  I absolutely love the Valley.  My family had a cottage there from the time I was 5 yrs old up until about 6 years ago.  It was getting harder and harder for us to find the time to do the upkeep so we sold it.  smile_sad  I have regretted it ever since.  I actually haven’t even been to there in 4 years.  
To start the day off right I did 60 mins of yoga to finish Lynn’s Yoga Challenge.  I’m glad I participated, and now have a love for yoga.  Thanks Lynn!!!!
Breakfast was quick and easy… Egg whites and a slice of cinnamon raison Ezekiel bread.
I picked up my friend Joan, and we were on the road.  The drive to the Valley is much better now than it used to be since they twinned the highway and before we knew it we were at the Grand Pre exit and our first stop was for coffee at  Just Us! Coffee.  The special on the board was “Christmas in July” Chai Late, with Almond and Mint.  Sounded interesting so I gave it a try.  It was so good I stopped for one on the way back.
Then we were off to our next stop The Blomidon Inn.  The gardens and grounds are very well maintained and the food is delicious.  I actually liked it here so much I got married there.  The marriage didn’t last but the Inn is as gorgeous as ever.  We wandered around the property for quite a long time.  Joan is a photographer, so she was taking LOTS of pictures.  Here are a couple of mine.
This little frog was kind enough to pose for a few pics.             IMG_0988
I spotted these cuties in the gift shop…. Little known fact about me, I have a thing for frogs.
I was good though and didn’t buy any.
After a quick tour of the Inn we were off to our next stop, the Wolfville Farmers Market.  Since we spent so long at the Inn we were quite late for the market and had missed most of it.  It’s a great outdoor market with lots of vendors selling local produce, organic meats, baked goods etc.  They also have local musicians playing with an area where you can sit and listen if you like. 
We were a little parched so we stopped into EOS Fine Foods.  What a little treasure this is.  They have a great selection of organic goods and natural health products.  I found some Kombucha in the cooler and thought I would be brave and give it a try.  I have to say I was pretty sure I wouldn’t like the taste but I was pleasantly surprised.  It was quite good, so I went back and bought 3 more cans.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on what the taste reminded me of, Ginger Ale came to mind, but not quite.
Our next stop was my old cottage.  The new owners weren’t home but we took a quick look around and a couple of pictures.
My old row boat “The Jackie M”
I hate having my picture taken but I gave in and let Joan take one.
View of the lake.
We were starving after the little trip down memory lane. I thought of a cute cafe I used to go to in Berwick and was hoping it was still there, and it was. 
The Union Street Cafe opened in 2000 and is a family owned and operated dining establishment. 
We ordered a Greek side salad and  the Mango Tango Veggie Burger
That burger was AMAZING.  It was the best thing I have had to eat in a long time.  Just a hint of curry with the mango chutney mayo… heaven!!  I asked what was in it so I am going to try to recreate it. 
After lunch we wandered over to Bargain Harleys where I scored some 800 thread count sheets for $29.88.
We were going to attempt to visit the Blomidon Winery on the way back but by the time we got back that way it was too late.  smile_sad
After another stop at Just Us to refuel for the drive home we were on our way back to the city. 
It was a great day!!!!        Can’t wait to go back again soon.
~~~ Jackie
Sorry for the long post but I wanted to get as much in as I could.