Saturday, March 31, 2012

Who needs TV when you have food blogs!?

As you have probably guessed by my title - I don't do the TV thing very often. I have made 4 phone calls to Telus and it took 4 calls before I was firm on my choice to give up the TV! Every time I called they would offer me deals, movie channels, faster internet, etc. etc. and I would cave - keep my TV and then again, never watch it. And seriously, who needs TV when you can get on the internet and surf all of the food blogs your little heart (or stomach) desires! There's a whole world of them out there... You start on one and it leads you to the next, then the next, and so on and so forth and next thing you know it - you've bookmarked 5 new sites, have 10 internet windows opened, 16 new recipes chosen to make and 2 hours has flown by like nothing! 

And now...for (one of) today's creation!

Slow Cooker Applesauce - sans sugar! sans sweetening!
12 granny smith apples, cored and sliced
2 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg 
1 tsp cloves
2 tsp lemon juice
Slow Cooker circa 1990s

Get out your slow cooker. I greased mine with a bit of coconut oil.

Core your apples and slice them up however you like. Throw them into your slow cooker, then add your spices, and lemon juice.

Turn on your slow cooker - mine was on high for about 2 hours.

Once your apples are cooked and mushy and fragrant from the spices - blend either in a processor or with a hand blender if you want it nice and smooth.

Let it cool and sprinkle it with some walnuts, sliced almonds or maybe just eat it plain! Love it because it's good for you and because it tastes good (or so I thought)!

You could get fancy and can it if you want!


Friday, March 30, 2012

Food Penpal Reveal

OMG. OMG. OMG. This is so awesome! How lucky to have found such a cool thing to be a participant in!? Go here and get a penpal yourself! DO IT.


I came home from a week of working in Fort McMurray to find a delivery notice! I didn't even take my shoes off before jumping in my car to head to the post office to pick it up! I even opened it in my car.


My foodie penal - Amy from New Brunswick is wicked! She was so thoughtful and considerate in what she chose for me. She read my blog and found out I was working on a half marathon so sent me things that were friendly in fueling me towards my goal! Check it out! 



  • A Recipe adapted from http://ohsheglows.com/ for Overnight Oats.
  • Maple Syrup
  • Bob's Red Mill Organic Oats
  • Chia Seeds and some cool facts about them!
  • Honey Stinger Energy Chews
Penpal present = Made my day!

I'll post when I make the recipe!

I got an email this week from my foodie penpal match in Ontario! Go to her site http://www.jocelyneatsfresh.com/ and find out what I gave her!

This was so fun, I can't wait for my next penpal! :) If you want in too, here's the details:



-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
- Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!
***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!
*****EMAIL by April 4th to participate for April!***** Don't miss out! It's going to be awesome!


Monday, March 26, 2012

***Happy Birthday Dear Nana!***

A while back, I asked for requests to give me some baking/cooking inspiration. I got but one (Well, now I have 2 - Faye... your peppermint patties are coming, I bought all the stuff for them)! My nana a.k.a Grandma requested Maple Walnut Muffins. So, this past weekend, I made the woman some Maple Walnut Muffins to fulfill her request and recognize her March birthday, albeit belated!


Maple Walnut Muffins as found here:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup real maple syrup (not Aunt Jemima)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
3/4 cup milk (I only had almond milk, it worked just fine!)
1/2 walnuts (please use more! there weren't enough!)


1.In one bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt together. Set aside.
2. In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Beat in the eggs and stir in the delicious maple syrup.
3. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture. Stir. It will seem really runny. Fold in your walnuts.
4. Pour batter into lined muffin tins.
5. Bake for approx 20 minutes at 375F. 
6. Let cool
7. Give them to your Nana! :)


Nana said that they were good! Hope you think so too! :)


PS. I am totally posting about my penpal this week. And I totally signed up for April again. O.M.G I am excited!

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Post of Few Words

Another week in the great north of Alberta! I spent the week in camp and therefore, there has been very little action in my kitchen. I just finished baking muffins but won't post those tonight. Here is a bit of photo blogging, (if you will) from my week...


If you're in Calgary, and you want some good cheese - go to Janice Beaton. I don't actually know who Janice is, but whoever she is - amazing! The cheese here is good. And so much choice. I could probably spend a whole pay cheque buying cheese and fixings. This what I bought on Sunday for my beet salad. DELISH.

I made these on Sunday. A little dijon, lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic. They looked better pre-cooked than cooked because I overdid the asparagus. I think had they been thicker, they wouldn't have burnt, but alas... The sauce was good! 

Monday night at camp! Salmon. YAY!

Tuesday night at camp! Meatballs and PEI vegetables (that's the green and yellow beans). 

Friday night dinner date with my friend, Michelle (remember her? I dedicated sugar cookies to her). We went to Ox and Angela. It was great! We had paella, kale, zuchinni, chicken, churros, and brulee! That was good eatin'! I needed my eating pants for this one. 



It's been a decent week for eating. My pants are getting too tight despite the running, so probably time to eat some more veggies and less chocolate. Happy Friday everyone! 


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Run Day/Sunday Fun Day!

What a great weekend! My work buddy came to visit from the Northern reaches of Alberta to visit the city life of Calgary. I got the privilege of showing her around Calgary - Kyla style! We went to Over Easy for breakfast! I love that place... Then, we went to the Farmer's Market where I bought beets, blackberries, almond butter and chorizo sausages. Then, to conclude our tour, I made a stop at Lazy Loaf - they have the best Ginger Cream cookies. I somehow managed to practice self control and didn't buy one, but geezus did I ever want to! Yes, all food.... and really, it shouldn't come as a surprise! Then, I got to have a fantastic visit with my BFF. We went to The Coup for dinner and some delicious coconut chai! So good. Then, today - I got to see her again! It's so handy that she lives down the street.  

After all of my socializing - I had to do my long run (blah). It was really hard today and I am sure I looked miserable today. I ate too close to run time and my stomach was not happy. Around about 45 minutes, it let up a bit. Side note: When you're running on the paths around the river/downtown Calgary - you see weird things including women's underwear, men's underwear, a purple latex glove, among other things. Those were the notables for today. After my run, I went to yoga so that I could walk tomorrow. I feel pretty ok right now, even if a bit tired. I'm off to Fort McMurray for the week again.... Don't be too jealous. I'll try and get some pictures of my camp meals this week!

OK - so the creation for the weekend - inspired by the beet salad I've been eating from Community Natural Foods.

Beet & Blood Orange Salad
Red beets (I think I had about 8 - 9 small ones)
2 blood oranges (regular old navel oranges or mandarin oranges would work)
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
salt & pepper
1/4 cup walnut pieces
Salad greens such as spring mix
soft goat cheese
**these are all estimates. I didn't really measure.

Peels your beets, so that your hands look like this:


Once they are peeled, cube them up, drizzle then with olive oil and throw them in the oven. Cook them for about 1 hour at 375-400F until they are soft. 

While your beets are cooking, peel your oranges and make sure you get ride of the white bits.

Once your beets are done cooking, let them cool to room temperature. Put them in a bowl, add your oranges, walnuts.

In a separate bowl - whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard and salt and pepper. Pour over your beets and oranges and stir. (I think this would have been a touch better if I had some orange juice or squeezed some orange juice over it). Let the salad sit so it tastes more delicious. 

Put some greens on a plate. Spoon your beet salad on top and then crumble your goat cheese over it. Eat it and be really happy!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

To Kendra!

Helllllo! What a week! Work has been insane and I love it. Seriously... no kidding, no bullpoop and no sarcasm. It's great - right now anyway! 


To Kendra = Happy Birthday to my beauty of a friend! I've know this girl since 2007 where we met playing rugby for the Calgary Rams Rugby Club. Fun times!! In honor of her birthday, I wanted to make her a treat. So - I made chocolate covered strawberries... A couple things crossed my mind when I thought of this.... My Aunt and S.E.X. (Ok, did I just lose all my readers because I said Aunt and S.E.X in the same sentence!?). Let me explain... My Aunt makes these all the time when she's making a quick dessert.... And well, doesn't every Valentine's Day Thing or sexy thing include eating chocolate dipped fruit? Maybe not for me because I don't exactly exemplify sexy but anyway...I don't know... - awkward now. Good.  


These weren't my best. I botched the chocolate a bit because I overheated it and it didn't get to a good dipping consistency.... But, here are my pictures from my efforts!

PS. Totally got my food penpal package today! I can't wait to share it on March 30th. :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

B is for Buns!

I'm pretty certain that when I get going in my small little kitchen, I start to look something like a mad scientist -hair goes everywhere, cheeks start getting flushed from a combination of excitement and heat being generated in the small space of my condo, I get focused and won't stop until I get just the perfect combination to make the perfect creation!


Tonight's concoction - Turkey Chili & Cinnamon Buns! 


***Warning - A lot of sugar and butter is about to be consumed!***


Cinnamon Buns - adapted from here:  
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter or margarine
3 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
8 gram package of self - rising yeast
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 egg
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp cinnamon 
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 cup pecans


Glaze/Sauce
3/4 butter or margarine
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed


1. Heat milk in a pot until it bubbles, remove it from the heat and mix in 1/4 cup butter until melted. Set aside and let cool to lukewarm.
2. In a large bowl, combine 2 1/4 cup flour, yeast, white sugar, salt. Add the egg, water, milk mixture and beat well. Add the remaining 1 cup of flour, 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls together.
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit for 10 minutes.
4. Roll out the dough to a 12 X 12 rectangle.
5. In a small bowl, mix 1 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Spread this mixture onto the rolled out dough.
6. Roll up the dough and cut into 12 rolls.
7. Grease a 9 X 13 pan.
8. Melt 3/4 cup butter and add 3/4 cup brown sugar. Pour half of this mixture onto the bottom of your greased pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 of your pecans.
9. Place your rolls on top of this. Pour the remaining mixture on the top of your rolls and sprinkle with the remaining pecans. 


Bake at 375F for 20 minutes.


Eat warm or cold, but most importantly ENJOY!! xo





Thursday, March 8, 2012

Keep On Keeping On...

Happy End of the Week! Ok, so maybe not for you and actually, not for me this week either.... but generally - Thursday is the new Friday for me! I am a very lucky individual who gets to work 4 - 10 hour work days which means, I get one extra day per weekend. I will never ever want to go back to 5 day weeks, even if it means an extra hour of sleep. 


I didn't do a lot of exciting creations this week, but I thought, since I have taken this project on - I must commit to it and "Keep On Keeping On" as my title cleverly indicates! 


3 good (food) things I've been obsessed with this week:
1. Cauliflower Mash/Rice - Ridiculously good.
2. Sauteed spinach. Popeye had it right.
3. Grated Zuchinni


3 not so good (food) things I've been obsessed with this week:
1. Mixed nuts (bulk servings make them not good)
2. Golden Bridge Mix (sold at Planet Organic and Community Natural Foods - also in bulk servings)
3. Peanut butter eaten with a spoon


So, for every good thing I put in - I "x'' it out with a bulk portion from the later food list. This is how my math works - 60 box jumps = 60 chocolates. That makes sense right!? 


Anyway, here are some of the really delicious things I ate this week... The pictures do no justice.


1. Exhibit #1 - Coconut Crusted Salmon, Cauliflower Mash and Sauteed Spinach. Winner!

2. Exhibit #2 - Cajun Chicken, Asparagus and Maple Roasted Squash from Sunterra.
I rarely buy lunch unless I'm going on a lunch date with a girlfriend on my Friday off (Yes, lucky). I packed my lunch or so I thought. When I went to heat it up - I realized I brought a container of homemade pasta sauce - FAIL. $10 later - WIN!

3. Exhibit #3 - Grated Zuchinni & Homemade Pasta Sauce (had to utilize my mistake). YUM! Seriously.


Maybe next time, I'll show you pictures from the items I've been mowing through in bulk!


Wish me luck - running a 6km race in Lethbridge on Saturday with a crew of phenomenal ladies! They rock. This race rocks. It's in the dark and it's not too long! Can't wait! I'll try and be back Sunday in time for another bulk cooking session! My freezer needs some pasta sauce, and maybe some good old chili!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Yay Monday (no really... YAY)!

Monday didn't have my most favorite start today, but it improved as the day progressed! I've often referred to Monday as a recurring hangover without the drinking, and it really is at times! 

Kyla, you just said Monday was a recurring hangover.... Why yay!?
1. Because work is busy and I do really like being busy at work.
2. (This is really why) I GOT MY FOOD PENPAL TODAY!!! Yippee!! I'm all shopped up and ready to send! AMAZING. You should join - really... for real - join! Go here. Who doesn't like food and who doesn't like surprises in the mail!? 
3. I went to yoga because I could hardly sit, walk or stand without my hips screaming at me from my run yesterday and it made me feel better. 
4. I made a delicious dinner of Coconut Crusted Salmon, Sauteed Spinach and Cauliflower Mash. DELICIOUS! 

Last night, I went a little nuts. I even made my BFF come over and pick up food because it was out of control. I sent her home with Black Bean Brownies, Butternut Squash Soup, Mexican Pulled Pork, Gordon's Cookies, and had already brought her Pumpkin Oat Muffins the evening before. YES, you can all be my friends. Ask my work buddy (you know who you are) I brought her so much food last week. The more food I bring you, the more I love you (please bare in mind, you can't be fussy and you have to like spice as a general rule - if you meet those criteria, you'll probably be in the mix of beneficiaries). But even if you don't meet this criteria, I'll still give you food (and still love you) and you can feed it to your dog, husband, boyfriend, roommate, homeless man, etc and I wouldn't know any better. Food = Love. 

So, not only did I make Turkey Muffins and Black Bean Brownies - I also made some spiced nuts. See below....

Spiced Nuts! inspired by this recipe
What a nice spoon! Thanks Ian!
2/3 cup pecans
2/3 cup walnuts
2/3 cup almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil



Place your nuts in a heated frying pan. I am sure cast-iron works better, but this worked fine too. Toast your nuts - you can tell when they are browned and if you taste - they are a bit crunchy and more delicious! While these babies are toasting, prepare your spice mixture. Coat the nuts with olive oil and the spices.

ENJOY!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Turkey Muffins

I am really big on meal planning. Sundays are my mass cooking days. I often make a lot and freeze it for the week(s) ahead. I also made some Turkey Muffins for breakfast this evening. Not as exciting as brownies  but good regardless! These are the measurements I used, but adjust to your needs!

Before
Turkey Muffins
0.36kg ground turkey (not a magic number, just happens to be what I bought)
3 tbsp egg whites
1/4 cup flax meal
2 green onions
3 garlic cloves
a handful of spinach
oregano, thyme, basil, salt and pepper to taste

Throw your turkey into a bowl. Using a garlic press (if you have one) add your garlic, chop up the green onion and throw it into the bowl. Add your egg whites, flax meal and handful of spinach. Sprinkle in your spices. 

Line your muffin tins with paper lines. Add approximately 1/4 cup mixture to each liner. Bake at 350F for approximately 25 - 30 minutes. 

After

VOILA. Breakfast for the week. These will freeze well too! :)

Black Bean Brownies.... At Last!

Sundays are always so bittersweet - a day for relaxation but also signals the last day of the weekend for us 9-5ers. Today, my only need to do was to run 13km. I haven't mentioned this yet, but I signed up for a half marathon. I know half of you (the 4 people that probably actually check this) are wondering why the heck I'd do that and the other half have probably already ran one! This 21.1km trek is something that I have mulled over for a number of years and I decided that 2012 is the year it is going to happen. Up until this point, I've run a few 10k races but have never ran more than 10k. Every time I ever ran a 10km race, it seemed that I took a couple months off before hand, showed up and then as I ran, remembered how terrible it was to run without training. I've made a pledge to myself to approach this one slightly different - ie. actually train. So far, so good! I ran through January to set up a decent base and started a training schedule a few weeks ago. The training is 3 days of running per week and I usually try to supplement it with 2 - 3 days of cross-training/strength training. So anyway - it was a beautiful day out today! I smiled through moments of my run up until I hit 10km. After 10km, it was a grind! Thankfully, I had a few happy thoughts... 1) Sexy Sax Man, 2) Mega Party, 3) great tunes pumping and 4) the fact that I only had 3 more kilometers to run. I thought of this in exactly this order. I wish I could take credit for finding the Sexy Sax Man and Mega Party, but I can't! A fantastic person showed me this and I am just happy to be able to pay it forward. If I'm having a bad day, I know those will brighten it for me! :)
Black Bean Brownies!!

Anyway - I guess since I ran 13km, I also felt entitled to eat a lot of chocolate and then create something delicious with chocolate. Here goes... I used the recipe I found here. I've been wanting to try Black Bean Brownies for while. The desire to use my new food processor was a good excuse!

Black Bean Brownies (Gluten-Free)
19 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt 
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup agave nectar
3 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Grease an 8 X 8 pan and turn your oven on to 350F.
2. Place all of your ingredients except your eggs and chocolate chips in the food processor and process until smooth.
3. Pour in your eggs, process some more.
4. Stir in your chocolate chips.
5. Pour into your greased pan. 
6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes.
7. EAT. SMILE. LOVE.

I ate some chocolate chips and then went against my own norms and actually had a sample of the finished product! So soft and so good!! I'll definitely make these again!!

Hope you like them too!


Saturday, March 3, 2012

Mission Accomplished!

What a fantastic Saturday! A coffee, an ice walk (basically a hike on ice) with one of my besties - Stacy, some good eating in Canmore at Mountain Mercato, great conversation, good music, tidying, a nap and FINALLY supper! OK, Kyla - so what's with the title? Remember in my last post where I stayed up too late researching kitchen tools, yes.... I did it! I bought myself a food processor last night. I am proud that I exercised enough self control to leave it until today. 

The creations today are inspired by one of the blogs I've been following lately. I enjoy her humor, and I enjoy her food. Yes, it is Paleo - I am not paleo but I do like to try things out once in a while! Today, or more specifically I prepped my slow cooker to adapt her Crockpot Pork Green Chilie recipe. 

Mexican Pulled Pork, adapted from this:
2 pound (approximately) pork roast
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 -3 garlic cloves
2-3 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chopped (*couldn't find green chilies)
2 -3 jalapeno peppers (I used 2 green jalapenos and 1 yellow banana pepper), seeds removed & chopped
2 cups vegetable broth (or whatever you like)
1 can diced tomatoes (I used a big can but you're probably ok to use a smaller one)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

I greased my slow cooker a bit. Place your roast in your slow cooker. Add the onions, garlic, jalapenos, chipotle peppers, spices, broth and diced tomatoes. Set on high for 6 - 8 hours. Mine was on for 8 hours and it was amazingly tender! When you figure it's done, get a fork and knife and pull it apart in the slow cooker. This does have some bite, so if you don't like spice - scale back. I like spice, so this is to my taste.

To accompany it, I made cauliflower "rice". I wanted to make something that I would need my food processor for. :) See the instructions below:
Chop a head of cauliflower up into florets. Throw those in the food processor until they look like rice granules. Don't process too long or else it will be mush. Press a couple cloves or garlic into if you like. Throw it into the microwave for 7 - 8 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Eat! So easy.

Mexican Pulled Pork & Cauliflower "Rice"

ENJOY!!