Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yumminess in the First Degree

Hola Bloggies!

I hope life has been treating you wonderfully since we last met. I know race season is in full gear in many areas - kudos to all of you that have already run and all the best to those of you with upcoming races (I can think of both aron and Lo off the top of my head)!

As for me the only racing I've been doing is a lot of running around with the puppy we're dog sitting. Having Stevie here has been a total treat. He's become my buddy and it thrills me to pieces to see how much he seems to love being around here.

The only downside? I have to give him back next Wednesday. Maybe the owners will change their mind and leave me the chuchito (puppy in Spanish). A girl can dream right? :o)

Other than the puppy I've been keeping busy with a big bad jury trial. Criminal trials don't come any more serious than this one. Which also means I've been working crazy hours. Like bring the puppy with me to the office and spend all night working, kind of crazy hours.

But enough about that, how about I share with you some random food pictures. I call this yumminess in the first degree! :oP

Lately I've discovered a whole new variety of grapes - Coronation. I first bought them because they are fairly local but was delighted to find a seriously hard-core variety of grapes.

They're definitely different than your average table grape. In fact the meat of the grape is quite dense and the flavour is seriously reminiscent of a beautiful glass of wine! The only downside is that the skin is somewhat dense. But on the whole I would still fully recommend this variety!

Another new discovery for me has been Annie's Bunnies - kind of like a healthy version of Mac and Cheese. And unlike Mac and Cheese it doesn't upset my stomach. Bonus!

As of late my breakfast parfaits have lost beautiful summer berries and gained crisp fall apples instead.

I don't know what the weather is like where you live but here in the Rocky Mountains you ca definitely tell winter is on it's way. But that just means Holidays, baking, lovely stews, and perfect winter days. It's all good! :o)

And this here is what we call some serious food porn courtesy of my co-worker friend that hosted the Oktoberfest party. This beauty is an Okanagan peach pie with a home-made lattice crust. Like whoa! lol

This is the same co-worker that made the cakes you all seemed to love in the Oktoberfest post. For the curious, that ocassion featured a sour cherry black forest cake and an almond tort iced with an egg liqueur.

Several weeks ago I visited my favourite Mexican restaurant in Northern Idaho. Yes mexicans have made it to the far north of the continental United States. And thank heavens because they served me up a yummy shrimp dish the last time I was there. I know you can't see any shrimp in that picture but you'll just have to trust me that they were actually there! :oP

And this is my favourite of the recent eats. A veritable feast of seafood! This was a small casserole loaded down with shrimp, mussels, calamari, and scallops. Yum!!!!!

And that ladies and gents is all she ate. See you soon! :o)

Friday, September 25, 2009

When You're This Cute They Call You Stevie

Want to meet the little guy who is totally responsible for me feeling extra tired tonight?

His name is Stevie and nope he's not mine. He belongs to the FBIL (future brother in law). Which probably makes Stevie my FDIL - with the D standing for dog! :oP

I've never had a dog or even been exposed to doggies. But since we found ourselves in an emergency dog sitting situation, I had no choice but to step up to the plate.

And so it was that I found my dress wearing high-heeled self taking Stevie for a walk today. Mind you I'm pretty sure to the outside world it looked like I was being walked. I spent most of my lunch hour running after Stevie. In heels. Oy vey! lol

Seriously though, we've only had the little guy with us for a day and I can already see the health benefits I would derive from being a puppy owner. Even in the dead of winter I'd be forced to get out and go on long frigid weather walks.

Stevie is only going to be here a week but hopefully that will be long enough for me to be completely sold on this puppy idea. Now if only my landlord would get on side! :oP

Do you own a dog? Do you find a pet has made you lead a healthier lifestyle?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oktoberfest - or building a home one sausage at a time

This past week I had the pleasure of being invited to a coworker and friend's home for an Oktoberfest feast.

Being a pescatarian there was only one protein filled dish I could eat.

But truth be told, I didn't mind.

This evening represented a shift that has slowly occurred here in the Rockies.

Lately, we have begun to find loads of fun things to do in our spare time.

All of a sudden there are places to go and people with whom we can share laughs.

It's taken a whole year to get to this point. But I'm glad we're finally here.

The Fiance has started doing a ton of hikes on his days off.

He tells me there are beautiful views he wants to show me on our weekends off together.

As for me, this Saturday I'm going to a ball.

A real life ball. Full of ladies in ball gowns and gentlemen in their red surges.

I guess this is how you turn a city into a home.

One sausage at a time.

-- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Twilight Week

I guess this is the part in my entry where I should pretend that I've been highly productive in my spare time - truth is I've been spending some time in the Twilight Zone! :oP

I think I became the last person on Earth to catch on to this latest phenomenon. For a long time I avoided the books thinking they were only for kids. It wasn't until I heard some of my 30+ friends raving about them that I considered giving them a try. With my recent and frequent travels I found the perfect opportunity to start the series.

And what did I think of Twilight?

Book one was pretty good. As an adult reader it probably didn't thrill me the way it would a tween. Still I tore through a rather thick volume and quickly ran out to buy the second one. I guess you could say Edward and Bella managed to capture me - hook, line, and sinker!

Book two saw the character of Jacob assume a more central role. While the majority of the book was pretty decent, I nonetheless began to notice the flaws in the author's writing. Primarily, in book two she did a poor job of tying up lose ends.

I absolutely loved book three!!! In fact I have to confess I found myself nearly ugly crying at the very end of the book. Without giving anything away I think this was by far the best written book out of the four. The plot and character development was just superb!!

After the gutwrenchingly brilliant ending in book three I was super stoked for book four. And what did I think? Those are 750 pages worth of reading I will never get back. It actually makes me upset to think about this last book. It wrecked the series for me. Poor writing. The main characters became but mere shadows of their former selves. And don't even get me started on the little nudger. Vomit. :o(

I have come to the conclusion that I need to leave Twilight alone for a couple of months and then re-visit the fourth book. Maybe then I'll be able to stomach it a little better!

By the picture I'm sure you can tell the Fiance agreed to watch the movie. I'm glad I picked up pizza (whole wheat thin crust, roasted veggies, no mozzarella on my half, and goat's milk feta) since the Fiance thought the movie was some new way to torture him! :oP

I actually enjoyed the movie but do yourself a favour and read the book first. It's the only way the story will make sense! :o)

Have you seen the movie? Read the books? Would you recommend either? What do you think of this whole Twilight Madness?

-- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Great Pescatarian Experiment - the grocery haul

For the last couple of months I have been living life the pescatarian way. At first I doubted how successful this whole experiment would be but it's actually been going ridonculously well! I even survived the temptations of a visit home to Toronto. Yaaay me!

Now one aspect of my life that has been dramatically altered is grocery shopping.

From the offset I assumed that increasing my seafood intake would result in a massive grocery bill. Turns out I was wrong!!

If anything I'd say my grocery bill has actually managed to go down! :oD

Recently I bought a yogurt maker; my breakies now consist mostly of fruit, a bit of yogurt, and 1/4 cup of granola (I try not to overdo the granola as it can be high in fats and calories.

I generally eat seafood once a day but I try to make sure I mix up both lunch and dinner to include non-seafood options. Omelettes have been great in that regard! Dead easy, inexpensive, versitaile, and loaded with proteins!!!

Like most meat eaters I've indulged in some tofu based dishes. For the most part I tend to be selective about the tofu I eat, since it can sometimes be highly processed. Nonetheless there's no denying tofu can make an amazing meat replacement.

Now I'm not going to pretend that there will ever be a substitute for a medium-rare grilled T-bone steak! There will never be a replacement for that but if you choose your recipes carefully you won't notice too much of a difference!

Cook up some tofu in a stirfry and you won't be able to notice too much of a difference. Cook up some paneer in your tikka masala and you'll wonder why you ever needed chicken! :o)

Now there's no doubt that this lifestyle isn't for everyone but there's no harm in having a meatless meal here or there. You may even be pleasently surprised by how much cheaper it can be!!! :o)

PS: this post featured pictures from this week's grocery haul - and the meat belonged to the Fiance

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Return of the Blogger

I'm back bloggies! I had a whirlwind trip in good olde Toronto. It was a blast catching up with my friends and seeing the familia. But truth be told I ended up insanely exhausted. That is not a figure of speech either. During one particular Friday afternoon I came extremely close to passing out at Williams-Sonoma. My ears were ringing, I started to sweat, and I felt weak. I had to sit down in the middle of the prepared foods aisle. FAIL.

I returned back to my Rocky Mountain home this week and quickly found myself submerged by trials. This weekend I traveled again for work purposes. Happily my trip took me to a beautiful city (Nelson, BC) during some spectacular weather.

Although most of my time was spent in meetings, I managed to get away for an afternoon canoe trip with the Fiance (my first since my canoe camping trips in Algonquin Park) and of course some yummy eats!

Before heading to our favourite Nelson sushi restaurant we walked through the city streets taking in the sights of an antique car show.

I don't know what it is about the Rockies but it seems there's always a car show going on. I can't say I mind, the cars are always gorgeous and I love the oldies tunes wafting through the air. Plus they make for interesting sights through the restaurant window!

After some wandering around my hunger got the better of me and we went inside to scope out the menu.

Since becoming pescatarian I have been craving sushi even more than usual. Honestly I don't miss meat and I really don't know why I didn't change my diet sooner.

On this particular day I started off with some miso soup.

We also shared a particularly tangy vegetarian sunomono salad.

Of course the highlight of the meal were the rolls! :o)


I returned home this afternoon and I have to say I'm looking forward to catching up on sone blogging action. I have a bunch of cooking and Toronto posts I want to share with you. Plus I've been working on a Newman's Own Organic review (including a GIVEAWAY!).

It's going to be fun times bloggies! It feels good to be back!!!! :o)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Contenders - the wedding gown edition

Hola bloggies!

I figure since I even show you what I eat (on a fairly regular basis) I might as well invite you into another aspect of my life. Wedding planning! :o)

Some of you may know that I had previously gone wedding dress shopping in Vancouver. It was a traumatic experience to say the least. In fact at one point I had to fight back the tears in the change room. It didn't help that the sample sizes were impossibly small and I couldn't get (a lot of them) past my non-existent butt.

Oh the horror! lol

Given my previous experience I was suitably dreading going wedding dress shopping in Toronto. But I knew it was either here or Vancouver (the two really big cities I frequent). So it might as well be my home-town with my mom in tow.

This morning I headed towards an appointment at Ritche Couture on Avenue Road. I chose this salon specifically for its vast selection of Pronovias dresses. Pronovias is a Spanish fashion house based in Barcelona. Since we are getting married in Mexico and since I am of Spanish descent I wanted a Spanish feel to my gown.

I was fearing the worst but it was an awesome experience!!!! I tried on a ton of dresses and was able to get all but one on. A comforting thought when you're considering dropping some serious cash. There's something wrong about having to imagine what your dress would look like on you - it's too important a purchase.

At the end of the day I didn't buy anything - but that's because I fell in love with FOUR!!!! lol I went from not loving any to loving too many. They all have that exquisite Spanish feel I was going for. And they're all stunning. I couldn't go wrong with any of them.

So in the hopes of sharing my progress and getting some feedback, I present you The Contenders:

This is Rasia by Pronovias. She is stunning!!!! The back has the most exquisite detailing. In fact the layers are really reminiscent of elegant lace handkerchiefs. Plus it moves beautifully! I think this would be my mom's favourite. She couldn't stop staring at the skirt! :o)

The front of Rasia is a little different in that she ends up in a bit of an inverted triangle pattern at the front. This narrows the eye and is supposed to give a the illusion of a narrow body. I wasn't so sure about this detail. You see the Rasia I tried on was several sizes too small - as a result she was really tight around the hips and I felt too much like a mermaid. I suspect the right size wouldn't be nearly as constricting and would flow beautifully like the one above.

Meet Ronda by Pronovias! Like Rasia she is made of stunning layers of lace. But Ronda is extra special because she has two layers of intricately woven lace. It really is exquisite! I have to admit initially I wasn't sold on Ronda but looking back on the pictures we took today, Ronda is seriously flattering. I rocked this dress! lol :oP

This is Ronda from behind! She has the same cut as Rasia in that she's narrow along the hips and then mermaids out. She also has an amazing train that would look glorious standing at the front of the chapel. Le Sigh indeed!!! :o)

This is the gorgeousness known as Hebron by Pronovias. She was the only one of the girls with any sort of beading. My mom didn't like that particular detail but I was in love with her neckline!!! In fact I thought it opened up my face. When you see the pictures of me in this dress you can tell I love it because I have a broad smile like this --> :oD lol

This is the back of Hebron. She's not nearly as elaborate from behind as some of the other girls. Having said that, the simplicity of the train would likely make it easier to walk around than the other girls.

This is the only one of the contenders not designed by Pronovias. This is Diana, designed by Enzoani! Le sigh. Please ignore the hideous black flower! When I tried her on she had no flower. Thankfully asking for a flower-less Diana knocks $350 off the price. Unfortunately, Diana is the only one of the girls that is over my initial budget - about $500 over.

This is the only picture I have that shows a bit of Diana's back. She is amazing!!!! She's made of only one layer of lace which means the detailing is more obvious when seen from a distance. Also, in natural light there is a slight glimmer to the dress. I think I said something to the effect of "Oooo she's blingy!" lol Another aspect I love about Diana is the neck line - so flattering!!!

As you can see bloggies I have quite the dilemma! I LOVE them all! In fact if I could buy more than one I would. lol My current inclination is to return in December to re-visit my beauties and try on some of the 2010 line that should be in by that point. In between now and then I intend to keep on hard-core working out in the hopes that the dresses will be a bit loser and I can get a better idea of their fit.

All in all I have to say I was pleasantly surprised - I was expecting a disaster today but instead I walked away one giant leap closer to saying yes to the dress! :o)

So tell me bloggies - what do you think? Do I have a winner here?

Toronto - Waxing Poetic

If ever I had a doubt before, I have no doubt now.

I kind of love it here.

It is the place where my mom and dad are always waiting.

To welcome me with open arms.

And friends are always waiting to celebrate.

In a myriad of awesome ways.

Did I mention my parents are big foodies?

They really are!!!

And manage to spoil me to no end.

A pescatarian has never been so happy!

Did I mention the scallops were breakfast? :oP

I left Toronto five years ago.

Law school took me a five and a half hour plane ride away.

I met the Fiance in that far away place.

I will never.


Regret going.

But there is something sweet about being here.

There's no place like home.

-- Post From My iPhone