Posts tagged ‘Recipes’

September 1st, 2010

Goal Setting – Tell Us About Them!

You’ll have to excuse me if anything crazy happens with posts over then next little while, I’m trying out new blogging software and am terrified it’ll delete all of my posts! I just got off of a 21 day trial with Blogo and although it was easy enough to use and looked nice and sleek, it didn’t provide any bells and whistles. I could resize my photos but I couldn’t do anything else with them and there were no options for font size, colour or font choice so now I’m onto Ecto! I’ve heard that’s it’s the best for Macs but I’ve also heard there are major drawbacks (such as post deletions!!!) but I figure I’d give it a shot regardless.

Also! If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my new header! Alan’s brother, Mark, made it for me! He’s a pretty talented photographer and once he gets off his but and creates his photography blog I’ll share it all with ya’s!

Today I woke up feeling really, well, lacking in and all energy. Yesterday my nose started to get stuffed up and then this morning it developed into a stuffy nose, sore throat and headache plus a complete lack of energy. I skipped out on my run (again) and called in sick.

I don’t normally get sick, maybe once a year I’ll get a cold but that’s about it. I used to be one of those people who never EVER called in sick to work but that’s changed slightly over the last couple of years. Sure it’s commendable to keep trucking at work when you’re sick, but I’ve learned that nothing is more important than my health and that sometimes taking a day off work when you’re first starting to feel the beginning of sickness can help to lessen its effects. So here I am, sitting on my front porch, on my new/old bistro set, blogging to you.

DSCN4678.JPG  

Like the set (and my dirty foot)? Alan’s father gave it to us and all it needs is a paint job and a good glass scrubbing. There’s some rust on the top of the table so we’re going to sand it down and use some outdoor, rustproof spray paint (possibly brown) and then find a way to get the rust off of the glass. I think it just needs some elbow grease! And yes, that was my breakfast! I had two slices of toast with coconut butter and dark chocolate dreams peanut butter (Quick! Someone get an intervention in place!), a banana and half a glass of soy milk.

So! During my vacation I made a dish that I have since fallen in love with and will probably make several more times when I’m need of some comfort food. A while ago my best friend shared with me her invention of lasagne made with tortillas instead of lasagne noodles and I must have had that in mind when I made this!

Triple-Layer Deep Dish Pizza

DSCN4632.JPG

This is, quite honestly, one of the easiest dishes to make and you know? It’s actually not that bad for you if you make some adjustments. You could always leave out the cheese entirely or just add a sprinkle of cheese and the tortillas can be as healthy or not as you’d like. You can buy whichever ones you prefer!

All you’ll need is:

  • 3 large (or small – your choice) tortillas
  • approx. 3/4c of cheese of your choice
  • tomato sauce of your choice (I used a marinara as we were out of pizza sauce)
  • veggies of your choice (I used onions, tomato slices, sundried tomatoes and spinach

In a sprayed round baking pan add your first tortilla and your first layer of toppings starting with sauce.

DSCN4611.JPG

Then just do it all again for the second and third layers. If you pack in too much stuff you may find that you might not have room for a third layer and that’s fine. I, however, was fearless and added a third layer even though I was afraid of it toppling over!

DSCN4622.JPG

I decided to put it on top of a baking sheet just in case it overflowed!

I stuck it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and it came out amazing!


DSCN4630.JPG

Sadly, the photos I took after it was cooked leave something to be desired but trust me and the two other people who had it that this is an amazing treat! Like any other pizza you can customize it however you want and make it as healthy or unhealthy as you want! Enjoy!

September Goals

I cannot believe it’s September already! As much as I admit that we had a pretty good summer I am excited for Autumn! It’s my very favourite season! The crispness in the morning air, long sleeve shirts, colourful trees, Thanksgiving, Halloween, perfect running weather and new drinks at the coffee shops! And what is it about September that makes me want to sit down and set some goals for the rest of the year? Over the next few posts I’m going to share some goal-setting tips. I think we all love to make goals but we cease to make them properly and many times that is what causes us to get frustrated with them and then stop trying to achieve them altogether.

With school starting in two weeks I need to make sure things are in place for a successful last year. Specifically, I want to set up my environment to allow for as little stress as I possibly can so I can focus on my school work as it’ll be a pretty dense year. So what are my goals?

  • After my half marathon there will be no more races until I finish school. This one is going to be difficult for me but I really want to keep this mind. Even small races cause me to put a bit of pressure on myself (in a good way) and I don’t need more pressure on me while I’m working on my final thesis project. All I have is my half marathon at the end of the month and two 5k walks and that’s all I want to put on my plate until May.
  • When it comes to school I am going to sit down with the syllabus for both classes and map out deadlines for when things need to be done. Especially for my research class. I did really well last term in that class and most of it was because I managed to stay on top of things and not have to scramble the day before it’s due. Besides, with this class I will actually be conducting an experiment and simply cannot afford to procrastinate. So I will make deadlines for myself and stick to them above all else. I only have 8 months left, I can keep my nose down for that time!
  • Short but intense exercise sessions! I have let “losing weight” slide off of my goals list for the last year due to school and my half marathon but I am not at my happy weight yet and would like to get there within the next year or two. Studies have shown (here , here and even here ) that this is one of the keys to losing weight, NOT long exercise sessions. Long exercise sessions ( 60+ minutes) are great for maintaining weight but short and intense are perfect for raising your metabolism and therefore burning more calories which helps with weight loss. So I plan to cut back long runs with the exception of between 10-15km on the weekend to keep up my mileage base) and stick to shorter and intense cardio during the week. I’ve decided to do the ChaLean Extreme program in October and in January I’m going to do the entire 30 Day Shred program. Not only are these going to help me gain a bit of muscle (which I’m desperately needing) they’re also short and extremely intense. I do plan to add 2-3 days of running in as well but my weekday runs will be short (between 4-5km) and I will add a day of speedwork in there as well.
  • As for nutrition goals, as I do want to jumpstart my weight loss again I‘m going to focus more on portion sizes and saying no to seconds! That’s it!

Why do I share these with you? Because one of the keys to successful goal making is to share them! The simple act of sharing your intentions will make you accountable to seeing them through. I understand that, for some goals, it’s really scary to tell someone. I know when I first decided to run a 5k I was terrified of telling other people because what if I couldn’t do it? I’d look like a fool! But that’s the point! If you tell someone, you do indeed risk public failure but that’s what keeps us motivated! You’ll end up trying your hardest to achieve it so you DON’T look like a fool! And as long as you try your best, even if something should happen that makes you unable to achieve it, you can at least say you did everything you possibly could and can try again later.

Another great thing about telling other people about your goals is that some of them will have the resources available in which to help you. They may have contacts that can help you or ideas of their own to get you moving along. Most people want to help you and even if you have only ONE champion in your corner, that’s one more than you would have had if you didn’t tell anyone and sometimes that one person makes a world of difference.

Not telling people about your goals gives you an excuse to stop trying to achieve them at any time and that’s non-negotiable from now on! Do you hear me?! If you make a goal, I want to see you work hard to achieve it! And if you tell no one else, tell me right here and now!

What are your goals for the fall season?

August 30th, 2010

Chocolate Chip Lavender Brownies

So. Uh. Tomorrow’s the last day of August.

What’s up with that?!

Seriously! Where on EARTH did August go?! Well I’ll tell you! Here are a few posts from the month that, if you haven’t read them, I suggest you check out!

You Are So Much More Than You Think You Are

Crazy For Quinoa

Like The Loveboat, It’s Both Exciting AND New

Canada’s Wonderland & Feel The Fear Friday

A Midsummer Night’s Run 15k Race Report

I also have only 2.5 weeks left until school resumes. *gulp* I need to make the best of the time I have off! I am anticipating a very stressful school year. Both of the courses I have signed up for are fourth year courses that will last both my fall and winter terms, my one course is my advanced research course which is, quite technically speaking, my thesis. I am finding this intriguing AND terrifying because I know how stressed out I was last year trying to fit work and school in now I’m going to have to carry out a research experiment this year! So that means full time work, school AND a research paper. Ack!

But I’m nothing if not prepared so I’m going to create a game plan starting in September to make sure everything that needs to get done, gets done, without losing my sanity and I’ll definitely be bringing you all along for the ride! Hopefully you’ll all learn a little something about positivity, organization, stress reduction and time management, whether it be through what I do right or through what I do totally wrong! :)

And seeing as stress and chocolate go so well together, I simply must share with you what Alan and I baked together last night when our sugar craving blew through the roof. I was trying to figure out what to make when one thing popped into my mind: brownies. Wonderful little chocolate cakes!

So, of course, we made:

Chocolate Chip Lavender Brownies

  • 1/2c melted butter
  • 1c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/3c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2c cake & pastry flour
  • 1/2c chocolate chips
  • 1/2tbsp lavender
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp baking powder

  1. Turn oven to 350*F and grease a 9×9 pan.
  2. Combine butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Beat in cocoa powder, flour, chocolate chips, lavender, salt and baking powder.
  3. Mix until smooth.
  4. Pour into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out smooth).

The lavender was a last minute addition that made the brownie! All it adds is a subtle hint of flower flavour! These were off the hook! The cake and pastry flour made them really light and fluffy and the brown sugar added a caramel type sugar flavouring. Not to mention the pockets of melted chocolate thanks to the chocolate chips!

Make these and thank me later!

Guilt-Free Baking

I’ve always been more of a baker than a cook. I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Learning to (and loving to) bake can be disastrous when you have a sweet tooth. Who doesn’t want to devour ten cookies straight out of the oven?!

My biggest weapon to baking and NOT eating it all is to pack up 3/4 of what I bake and give them to Alan to take to his staff. Last night we had 18 brownies, we polished off six within twenty minutes of them coming out of the oven (Hey! I ran 18k yesterday!). This morning, I packed ONE for work snack and then put the rest in a container and left Alan a note telling him to take them to work.

Presto, when I came home this even, there wasn’t a trace of them in sight. I fed my sugar craving and literally sent the rest packing.

In other words, when you bake, either make just enough portions for who will be having them or figure out who you’re going to give the majority of them to. I also don’t bring them into MY work because then I’M tempted to eat them, I give them to Alan so he can have more if he wants and I won’t EVER see them again (until I bake them again later).

I try to limit my baking for irresistable cravings or special events. It gets me excited to try new recipes or make old recipes even better and I look forward to special occasions because then I know that the food is going to be extra special! When you bake all the time, it ceases to be special.


Tags: