Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hot Sprung

Hola peeps!

So last night I called my mom and the first thing she said was "Hmph! I have to learn you almost died from your blog?!?!" Oops!! Apparently it's bad form to tell the world before you tell your parentals. But I didn't think there would be any use in calling her at midnight Toronto time to say I almost died.

Anywho - sorry mom!

And now that we've dealt with that let's move on to happier things. Last we left off we were travelling through the beautiful Canadian Rockies.

Cue more awesome scenery.

By this point it was almost lunch and we were starved. There wasn't much open (lots of places only open on weekends when tourists are around) but we managed to find a place.

I wasn't expecting much but I was pleasently surprised. For appetizer I had a cup of their homemade clam chowder. It was a little low on clams but totally delish!

For my main course I chose a Greek salad. Massive heaps of veggies!!! Yum!!!

I think my eyes were bigger than my belly since I only ate half and gave the rest to the Fiance. Mostly I was trying to avoid feeling too full since our next stop was the Hot Springs in Kootenay National Park.

Trust me when I say it's kind of awesome to sit in steamy mineral pools while enjoying mountain scenery!

These natural hot springs were first used by the Natives in the area but were eventually developed into the tourist attractions you see today. They've been popular for over a century and I can see why! There's nothing like the after glow of a hot springs dip!!

After the hot springs we started to make our way home but made sure to stop at my favourite scenic viewpoint. It did not dissapoint!

Le sigh.

Although I had a blast on my trip I was thrilled to be home. Especially since I was eager to cook up a Japanese soba noodle soup (with shrimp, tofu, mushrooms and spinach) using ingredients purchased on my trip.

The finished product was completely delicious. Even if I only ate half! lol That's a bit of a trend with me lately!


Right now we are heading on another adventure to Idaho and Washington for some shopping. I know it can seem like I never stay put but I wouldn't have it any other way!!!!

See you soon!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Near Death in the Rockies

Hey peeps!!

I've been on a work trip for the last day which means I'm blogging from my iPhone again.

Now I have to confess I really love going to court in more faraway places. It takes me to places I otherwise would never see! In fact it's the primary way in which I've been able to explore the Canadian Rockies!

On this particular trip I had company! Yaaay!!! The Fiance had some time off so we all packed into the car and were off!

Ahahaha - I think you could say Daisy is quite used to car trips. They knock her right out!

Our trip north was pleasant and largely uneventful. Except for the part where we almost died.

We were traveling at night on a two lame mountain highway. Although the roads were bare we were being careful (driving at the speed limit) in case wildlife wandered onto the road. At one point we encountered another car and dropped our high beams. Since we couldn't really see what was ahead we also dropped speed. Once the car had passed we started to accelerate. And that's when it happened.

Some genius had abandoned their car right in the middle of the highway. Not off to the side. Right on the road!!!! And right in our lane!!!

The Fiance slammed the breaks and took evasive action. Of course he also had to worry about the car speeding behind us. I clutched Daisy and braced for an impact that never came. Thank God!

The Fiance managed to avoid the car in front. And the one behind us managed to swing just wide of us. In slightly different circumstances (that was the only non foggy patch all evening long) the evening would have had a tragic end.

So in honour of American Thanksgiving - I'm grateful to be alive!

Onto the eats!

All fairly yummy except for that major fail of a veggie burger. What can I say? The nostalgia lured me into the place. Then the deep fried burger pushed me away. If you look at the after picture you'll realize I ate 1/4 and then creatively pushed the rest of the food around! lol

Now we are on the road again and headed for the hot springs before heading home. Woohoo!!!

Catch you later peeps!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Is it Friday Yet!?!?

Hola Bloggies!

Time to check in with "Operation Eat to the Back of the Pantry." By way of recap, this week I'm challeging myself to eat from what I already have in my home rather than jumping in the car and stocking up at the grocery store.

Before I share my thoughts thus far let's catch up with the eats!

I started my Monday off with a Fitnessista breakfast cookie. Of course these things are all the rage in the blog world but it wasn't until I ate one that I understood why! They're super easy to make (you mix the ingredients the night before). There's no cooking involved. And due to the addition of nut butter and protein powder they keep you full all morning long. Go figure!

I teamed my cookie with a tangerine and some diluted POM juice.

Lunch on Monday looked a little like this:

I looked high and low in my freezer and discovered a tray of roasted veggie lasagna. I had a piece of it and teamed it up with another tangerine and two pieces of laughing cow cheese. BTW is it obvious I don't have many fruits in the joint!? lol

By dinner I was starting to feel an urge to run to the grocery store. Instead I fought it and turned to an old and reliable friend:

I have to confess I eat this ALL the time!!! I cook myself up some hot & sour broth and add some noodles (usually brown rice noodles), shrimp, often tofu, and loads of veggies. It's seriously YUM!!!

Now this morning I woke up and didn't feel like eating. Yup - just wasn't into it. At all. I had to basically force feed myself my one egg and two egg whites, and home made protein bar.

I know I took a picture of another tangerine but I didn't end up eating it at all. What can I say? There was only so much food I could take this morning. Kind of surprising given that I never have appettite problems. Still, I thought I better eat up or I'd regret it later.

For lunch I looked in my pantry and decided to get a little creative:

I took a WW pita (it looks bigger in the pic than it really is), added some pizza sauce, garlic, oregano, spinach, olives, cheese, and reduced fat cheese. I threw my "pizza" in the oven to get all happy and then I indulged. Also seriously YUM!!!

Problem is I was low in protein. Which meant I was starving by the time I got home in the afternoon. I may or may not have had a couple of home made granola bars. MAJOR FAIL. I know - what was I thinking!?!? Really, I was just so hungry I ate whatever I could get my grubby little hands on. At least I know my snacking was healthy. :o(

For dinner I ended up having the same pizza. It was really yummy - lack of protein notwithstading!

Reflections on Eat to the Back of the Pantry

Thus far I have to say I'm finding this to be a challenge. Mostly because it would be easy to eat pure carbs out of the pantry but I don't want to do that.

I also find myself seriously missing my fruits and veggies. I don't have much of either left. And right now I'm craving a huge fruit salad like whoah! lol

Thankfully I won't have to carry this on until the weekend. Nope - I'm not trying to cheat! It's just that it turns out I'm heading on a business trip from Thursday morning to Friday late at night. Which means I basically have 1 1/2 days left in the challenge. Eeek! Wish me luck peeps!!!

REMEMBER: Keep the comments coming - for the next two weeks I will donate a can of food for every comment you make! Yaaay Cans 4 Comments! :o)

Monday, November 23, 2009

'Tis the Season - Cans 4 Comments!!!

With American Thanksgiving this week and Christmas season just around the corner it's definitely the season for giving!!!

Enter Cans 4 Comments!

I first heard about Cans 4 Comments through my Rockstar wedding photographers Chris+Lynn. They've been running this deal for several years and last year alone they donated 221 cans based on a week's worth of comments!!!!

This year I decided to join in the game and play along. So here are the rules:

1) Comments on any of my blog posts between now and the 7th of December (that's two full weeks) will all count for Cans 4 Comments

2) For each comment made I will donate one can of food to my local food bank

Sounds simple right!? That's 'cause it is!!! :o) I know I have so much to be thankful for and this is my way of giving back!

Looking for more blogs that are participating in Cans 4 Comments? You can find them at Twitter by searching #cans4comments .

Fellow Bloggies - won't you consider participating!? What more awesome way for a food blogger to give back this Christmas season!?

So now you know the deal - now go comment!!!!!!

EDIT: If you want to participate please don't feel you have to do it for the same two-week period. That's just the time frame I chose for myself! Truth is every bit helps!!! Two weeks, one, or even one post! It's all good!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Operation Eating to the Back of the Pantry


I don't know about you but I feel like I'm always going grocery shopping and spending a ton of money! To look at my hauls you'd think I have nothing in my pantry or fridge. So. Not. True.

And yet there I am - it's almost like I'm hoarding food. I think part of the issue comes from the fact that I'm always coming up with new things I want to cook and heading out to buy the necessary ingredients. Either that or while walking around the grocery store something strikes my fancy!

Loads of money later my pantry and fridge are bursting at the seams!!!

So I've come up with a challenge for myself this week - I call it "Operation Eating to the Back of the Pantry!"

It's fairly self-explanatory - instead of loading up on groceries I'm going to attempt to cook all my meals using ingredients I already have in my home (don't worry that grocery picture is months old - I'm not cheating here).

By the end of the week I hope to have:

1) Learnt that I don't always need to go out and buy more groceries
2) Saved money
3) Challenged myself to cook "new" meals

Are you like me - do you buy groceries even when you have a full kitchen cupboard?

Won't you join me in the challenge!?! :o)

Look for pictures documenting my progress - coming soon to a blog near you!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Doing it up - POSH style!

Hola bloggies!

Recently, I had the opportunity to try a whole new restaurant in Victoria. It happened after a particularly grueling workout session. I was majorly in need of food as fuel and the Fiance was just plain hungry. On my trainer's recommendation we decided to head to a restaurant that opened up just next door to my gym.

The whole schtick of the restaurant was that you cooked your own food in what is normally referred to as a shabu shabu or hotpot style. The upside of this is that you have total control over your food and you cook it in a very low fat way. Which is probably why my trainer recommended I give it a try!

This place bills itself as North America's first exclusive Japanese Sukiyaki restaurant. I'm not so sure that's accurate but the experience at POSH was overwhelmingly positive nonetheless.

For our meal, we decided to try what essentially amounted to the restaurant's sampler plate. Once we made our choice the waitress brought over a large shallow pot and placed it on top of a burner built in to the table. In the pot she placed a mixture of water, sukiyaki sauce, and cabbage. The idea with the cabbage is that it will cook down releasing more water.

The egg is very traditional. The Japanese think that the texture and flavour of your cooked food will be further enhanced if just before eating it you run it through pasturized raw eggs. I tried it and I can see what they're talking about. Still I wouldn't recommend noshing on raw eggs unless you really trust the restaurant where you are eating.

The meat for the dish comes in the form of several trays of finely sliced beef and pork belly. I left the meat to the Fiance and ate the veggies and tofu instead.

This is the sukiyaki pot doing its thing. At this point we had a couple of pieces of meat in there.

And this is the veggie selection. It was seriously impressive!!!! In that bowl there is more cabbage, bean sprouts, greens, melon, zuchinni, mushrooms of multiple varieties, ditto for tofu, some noodles, and also a very starchy root - I believe the waitress said it was taro.

In one word? YUM!!!

I chose to supplement my meal with a small bowl of delicate rice. The Fiance, as always, chose noodles instead.

Once we had all our ingredients (it took a while to gather everything) we got to the cooking process. To be honest it was pretty fun and I could totally see how this would be a great place to visit with friends. It really is fantastic for a social outing. Having said that I really do think you need a long time to enjoy the meal. Particularly if you're someone with a big appettite! We spent over an hour there and when we left the Fiance was still hungry!

In spite of the slow cooking process I still loved the experience. Plus the quality of the ingredients were superb!!! I would totally hit this place up again on a future visit. :o)

Have you ever tried a Hot Pot or Shabu Shabu type restaurant? Did you like it?

Have you ever tried taro root? I have to say it was the revelation of the meal for me!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

A Feast Called Birthday!

Hola Bloggies!

My Birthday has now come and go but I still feel the love. :o)

It turned out to be a wonderful low-key kind of day. Rather than go out for dinner (and risk getting dirty looks when I cough) we decided to have my Birthday dinner in this year. In honour of my recent pescatarianess we decided to make it a lobster kind of night! YUM!

To start with we had some appetizers consisting of a platter of imported Spanish cheeses (they were fantastic), lavash honey and flaxseed crackers, and grapes:

I loved the cheeses so much I'm going to definitely have to pick them up in the future. Even the Fiance was impressed. Honestly, it's hard to beat an aged European cheese. As the French would say " . . . like the feet of angels!"

Once the lobsters were ready we sat down to enjoy our feast! We made sure to purchase lobsters that were around 1lb each. Many people make the mistake of going for large lobsters but the truth is the smaller lobsters (around 1lb) tend to be sweeter and more flaky. Younger I guess.

We made sure to cover the veggie component with an amazing tossed salad! :o)

And of course the Fiance made sure not to forget my cake - or in this case tart! :o) I have a deep unabiding love for fruit tarts and I seldom get to have them. For my birthday I requested a small fruit tart. This little baby did not disappoint!!!

All in all I have to say I had a great birthday. It was low-key, very chill, and full of love. I felt very blessed and I have no doubt that this upcoming year will be amazing - by this time next year I'll be newlywed and on my honeymoon. Le sigh.

Life is good peeps - and I am very thankful to God for all he has given me! :o)