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Archive for October, 2012

Chew on this

Food makes me happy 🙂 Exercise makes me happy 🙂 So… That’s what I write about. My chick shared a comment with me that someone made, expressing their disgruntalment (my word. Go with it.) towards people who feel the need to take pictures of their food and share them. Pffft! Whatever. We all have the ability to un-friend at anytime. 😉
Day off yesterday, so as per usual tradition, I kicked my butt and cooked. I also finally dragged my dad to Costco to get the “utensil” my kitchen has been badly lacking for a while now. The challenge now comes in finding a place to put this thing…

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It made it in the front door. Then Horton decided it should be his new favourite nap spot.
Good full-body workout yesterday… squats, lunges, dead lifts till my legs were screaming at me… yet thoroughly enjoyed. Why is it soooo easy to reach the level of “0h F***YEAH!” with upper body, hammys and abs, but takes some serious dedication to get that with quads and glutes? Jeez :-p
So, I’m going to ramble about food for a bit. And post some pics. You were warned. Last week I made a batch of stuffed peppers that was a total fail. When I set them in the crockpot everything looked all good and happy, but when I went to take them out they were almost completely submerged. Apparently using rices cauliflower instead of rice produces a crap load of liquid… The whole batch ended up in the garbage… tear 😦 The only good that came from it was the meatloaf I made with the extra pepper stuffing. It was pretty great, so much so that I made a whole batch yesterday and got 2 larger chicken meat loafs chillin in my fridge. I also pulled out the dehydrator again, but instead of the beet-fail, I sliced some bananas to make my own banana chips 🙂 Nothing added like the “candied” version you can find in the grocery store but wicked tasty.

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One thing I’m really bad about on my days off is making sure to EAT! This little piece of heaven was my afternoon munch yesterday… Grilled a mushroom for a moment, slapped a slider on top, then topped that with a little Dijon, tomato and a few pieces of lettuce. Awesome! And pickup able. One thing I’ve learned thru my Paleo experiences is to accept that most meals will require a fork and knife…

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That’s an embarrassing photo. But I was hungry and didn’t really care to take another… appears I was on a bit of a mushroom kick yesterday cause dinner included portobello mushroom pizzas. Versatile, top any way you like, and way easier than my usual cauliflower crust variety!
Now to find a place for the new freezer so I can come up with new delicious creations to fill it with :-p Could be dangerous… I used to have to stop cooking once the fridge was full…

Is paper Paleo?

Pumpkin pie muffins. Not only that, Paleo pumpkin pie muffins! If that doesn’t get you excited… sucks to be you. At least a little bit… In my squash-obsessed recipe search, I came across a recipe for these little devils. Think I may have cooked them a little too long though, cause the debate I find myself faced with whenever I decide to enjoy one is:

Do I eat a little bit of paper? Or lose a little bit of muffin?

Damn things are tasty, but permanently adhered to the muffin wrappers. Maybe the solution for next time is to stop being so damn lazy and look for my silicone ones… :-p

I came to the conclusion the other day that my days of obsessively dragging myself to the gym daily and kicking my butt for hours to deal with the stresses and concerns of life have been replaced with cooking. :S I need a life outside the gym
/kitchen maybe?

100 push ups app and I have a love-hate relationship. Feels great once it’s over, but makes me wanna cry while doing it… Ever find one of those workouts that you know will only ever exist in the privacy of your own home cause it requires much swearing and self-pep talk to get through it? That’s push-ups for me. The last set it takes every ounce of willpower I have to lift my full body off the floor as a “unit” rather than a worm, without falling directly on my face. But once the workout is done… YA BABY! When do I do it again?

sass-SQUASH!!

So… my “clean up your act” week is going pretty well.  I’m still fighting the dried cranberries and walnuts addiction that I’ve formed over the last few months though… they are my nemesis!  Also the one “cheat” I continue to make excuses for myself as to why I should be allowed to eat them.  “I’m otherwise such a clean eater” is the one that keeps popping into my twisted head…  ah well, pick your battles I guess 😉

I have another addiction at the moment.  This one I’m not at all embarrassed to admit.  I can’t stop buying squash.  ALL kinds of squash!  It’s just so delicious, and there are soooo many different things you can do with it!  Thank you google!!  My top searches as of late have all been squash related…  and it all started when my staff member brought in that ridiculously enormous butternut.  What I’ve loved so far:

Butternut squash – SOUP

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ slices
  • chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup (ish) diced sweet onion
  • curry powder and nutmeg – to taste

In a large pot over medium heat, add a squirt of olive oil, minced garlic and diced onion.  Saute until onion becomes translucent.  Add squash, sweet potato and carrots and continue to saute for another 5ish minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.  Add enough broth to just cover veggies.  Turn up heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 40-45 minutes or until veggies are all soft.  Remove from heat and let cool some…. then use an immersion blender to puree into soup.  Stir in curry powder and nutmeg, to taste.  Mmmm… heaven.  Freezes well too!

Delicata Squash – Chicken Bacon Alfredo    (Also uses Spaghetti Squash!  double awesome!)

More to follow next time.  I just got a nice acorn squash which I have big plans for…  Just for fun, here’s a glimpse at the “emergency” food stash I keep in my work freezer.  I’ve also added a pick of the stash kept by the rest of my staff.  Strangely enough, I have no concerns of anyone eating my food :p

eek!

in case of emergency

Partners in crime

So, this past weekend was the fall expo put on by my work. It’s 4 long days that I look forward to and dread at the same time. Thursday was setup day which entailed 14 grueling hours of hauling boxes an bins of product. Pricing, sorting, making things look good for the weekend ahead. Then comes 3 more days filled with our wonderful customers and staff :p I strapped on my pedometer just for fun and logged 35+ kms over the course of the weekend. That’s probably the most “Paleo” I was all weekend though. Although I brought my lunch every day and didn’t touch anything wheat or grain filled even once, there were more than the allowed servings of nuts and dried fruit for sure :(. Ah well… This week it is my mission to get back on track again 😉 and aside from trying to shake the typical communal cold that seems to come with working the fall expo every year, I survived the insanity.
For years I hated when people (especially older ones) would refer to my girlfriend as my “partner”. I saw it as disrespect and a way of offhandedly showing they did not accept me for me. Don’t know why the change of heart, but lately I’ve decided that it’s a great idea. My partner. The person I can lean on for support during tough times and return the favor when the shoe is on the other foot. This past weekend was a great example. My girl, my partner, was there to help me out when I needed her the most 🙂

they do still exist!

So often people forget the impact a simple “thank you” can have.  Working in retail, I learned looooong ago that people are very quick to send in a call or email if they have something to complain about.  Yet when there is something nice to say, many just can’t seem to find the time…  Yesterday, I overheard a conversation on my sales floor in which an older couple was expressing their thanks to one of my associates for her exceptional service.  I popped my head out of the office to thank them!  This kind of feedback has become such a rarity that it really is something worth acknowledging…  I understand the old saying “the customer is always right”, as there are many examples out there of horrible customer service, but there are also equally as many examples where the “service” the customer provides the human behind the uniform is even worse.  I work in a business where building relationships, and growing the client base is a huge part of what we do.  The interaction with this lovely couple yesterday is a great example of how everyone involved can help make this happen.  And all it took, was a simple “thank you” 🙂

My chick downloaded this “app” for working towards 100 push-ups.  It’s kinda fun…  starts with a test to see where your strength level is, then sets you into a program of scheduled push-up rounds to improve your push-up stamina.  Test day, I just watched and counted.  :p  That was dumb.  Should have done the test myself as well…  The program tossed Ange directly into “week 3” based on her results, and that was when I asked if I could play along.  So last night (totally not my favourite time to workout) we jumped in to this group of sets, each with a 60 second rest in between:  14-18-14-14-20*  The last set is meant to be “max reps” with 20 as a minimum.  I did 20…  next time I will push harder :-S

I think I mentioned yesterday that a co-worker brought me in a big-a** squash…  Check this thing out!!  Crazy!  That’s right.  The bottle pictured beside it is 1.5 litres!  That’s also my messy office.  Don’t judge me.  Haha… soup for a year…  🙂  If you live in Canada, Happy Thanksgiving weekend 🙂

catching up

I’ve been slacking lately… bad.  My random rants have been hugely neglected!  I have some built up garbage to ramble about though 🙂  I’ve been dealing with some old injuries rearing their ugly-ness lately.  My hip problems from a bad-ass fall from a horse way back in 2001 had be barely able to walk for almost a week.  It sucked.  Yesterday things finally started to improve enough that I managed to tough it through a game of hockey last night.  Also squeezed an upper-body workout session in to my busy day.

So with my inability to work out like an animal, what have I been wasting my time with??  My other obsession of course… COOKING!  I’ve been cooking like a fiend :p  First, let’s do a quick follow-up on the beet chips disappointment…  check out how small this little creatures are!  They were tasty, but come on!

The guacamole was pretty awesome too 🙂  Hot-dawg!  I love avocado…

AND squash!  It’s finally squash season again and I’ve been looking for all kinds of ideas for things I can do with it…  While spaghetti squash is a staple in my kitchen pretty much year round, there are so many other varieties out there…  My co-worker went to some farm yesterday and brought me back the largest butternut squash I have ever seen!  I’ll be googling ideas for that beast later 😉 

                                                                                               Yesterday was my day off, and seeing as I couldn’t really go kick my butt at the gym, I spent most of the day in the kitchen 🙂  I found a recipe on paleOMG that I really wanted to try out and I’m pretty sure I’ve found a new favourite dish!  Juli, you are my hero…

Chicken Bacon Alfredo is absolutely incredible!!!  Try it!  You won’t be disappointed… 

Side note, I think I’ve discovered a bacon secret.  Recipes that call for “diced bacon” I have always avoided like the plague…  It’s got to be one of the worst experiences ever…  So my little discovered secret?  Take the pack of fresh bacon, separate it into serving size portions (I did 2-3 strips each), wrap that crap in shrink wrap and throw it in the freezer.  When you need diced bacon… take it out of the freezer and dice away!  It’s soooooo much easier to cut frozen bacon than fresh!  haha!  😀

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