I’ve found a new TV show addiction. The Doctors. I’m obsessed – Thanks to PVR I can record it and watch every episode. I love the daily health tips, medical information and my fav, TMI Tuesdays.
Despite having a baking blog I eat 80% healthy most of the time. A lot of people wonder how I stay in shape and still maintain a baking blog. I usually say that I have very happy friends and family who get to eat all of the things seen on here, that way I’m not stuck at home with 2 dozen cupcakes or a cake. I also work out regularly at the gym, at home, and keep an active lifestyle such as going on daily walks with my dog and Adam too. I also currently play on a women’s rep fast pitch team with 2-3 games per week. I joke that I’m a crazy fast walker, and even at 5’5 I can out walk Adam, who is 6’3. Let’s just say I love to walk, and could walk forever.
My diet also consists of allergy-friendly foods. After finding out what I was really allergic to last year, I changed my diet in a big way. Therefore I can easily eliminate the foods I can’t eat, which also open up healthier options for me. I have a wheat/corn/dairy/egg allergy. So, I eliminated a lot of breads and starchy carbs, along with corn and fillers found in lots of processed foods. We eat things like zucchini pasta and burgers without a bun, and eliminated dairy all together (no cheese except goat cheese occasionally, and almond/coconut milk). Lately I’ve been subbing coconut flour, almond meal, homemade wheat-free oat flour, and rice flour in all of my baking. I’ve also included coconut oil for healthy fats. You can find recipes like wheat-free Banana Brownies here, Wheat-Free Dairy-Free and Gluten Free chocolate chip cookies here, almost-vegan cowboy cookies, paleo pumpkin pie, 5-ingredient date bars, protein pods and dairy-free Banana Ice Cream here. I also eat out at a restaurant less than 5 times a month probably, which limits my processed, and high-fats intake which restaurants use.
For breakfast I usually have a green smoothie, or oatmeal with banana cinnamon and almond butter. On the weekends I wait until I’m hungry to eat breakfast, which is sometimes lunch. I’m not a big breakfast person. I’ll have fresh fruit like cantaloupe or a banana sometimes and that’s it. I’ve made some two-ingredient banana pancakes before, you can get the recipe here if you love big breakfasts! When I’m feeling in the mood on a Sunday for a brunch feel, I sometimes make a big frittata for Adam and I as well, you can get the recipe for that here.
For lunch pretty much every. single. day, I eat some sort of salad or veggies. I’m not a big condiment person (aside from mustard and ketchup on burgers), so I don’t overload my salads with heavy dressings, and I never buy veggie dip – just eat those bad boys on their own! I also have a dairy allergy so it keeps a lot of those saturated fats away such as mayo and heavy cream based dips/dressings.
Most nights during the winter we would eat soup (pumpkin turkey chili, kale and bean soup etc) which are chalk full of vegetables. In the spring and summer we switch gears and it becomes salad & BBQ weather. Which is great because Adam isn’t much of a cook, but he mans the BBQ during the summer which frees me up.
This salad is inspired by one of my favourite Vegan and healthy living blogs, Healthy Happy Life by Kathy Patalsky. I have been silently stalking her website for months but hadn’t tried any of the recipes yet – and now I’ve made two in the last few days. This salad is Ah-mazing. I LOVE a good salad, and love kale. I usually toss kale into smoothies, but Adam wasn’t a fan of it in regular salads because of it’s harder texture, but you just have to ‘massage’ it or marinate it for a while to soften it up, while at the same time being crisp and fresh. Kale is also a POWERHOUSE of nutrients packed into a single cup serving.
Image via HHL
We bought a new BBQ last week and we had to ‘christen’ it. Adam and I are both super stoked on the new BBQ. We had both our parents over for dinner and made chicken legs (marinated in Trader Joe’s Soyaki sauce marinade) along with potatoes and this salad.
This salad is so, so good. Definitely a great summer salad to keep on file for pot-lucks and summer get togethers. The best thing is that it gets better as it sits, so you can actually make a salad the night before and it’ll be good to go for dinner. I made it in the morning before dinner. Another favourite summer salad of mine is Marinated Quinoa Veggie Salad.
Power Kale Salad
dressing based off this recipe here and here
Ingredients for Salad:
- 1-2 bunches of Kale, washed and chopped with stems discarded
- 1 zucchini, julienned/shredded
- 2-3 carrots, julienned/shredded
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- shredded brussels sprouts
- sunflower seeds
- pumpkin seeds
In large bowl, combine the zucchini and carrot. If you don’t own a mandolin, you can chop the zucchini and carrot as well or grate them.
Top with onion, chopped kale and brussels sprouts. Set aside.
*Note: I add the raisins and seeds just before I’m going to serve the salad to keep them crunchy*
Ingredients for Salad Dressing:
Tangy Tahini Dressing
- 2 1/2 Tbsp creamy tahini
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2-3 Tsp agave syrup
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. Olive oil
In measuring cup combine all dressing ingredients, and whisk with fork to combine. You can add more/less of anything if you want it thicker, or if you like your salad heavily dressed. Drizzle on top of prepared salad and mix together completely.
Place prepared salad in the fridge covered, for at least an hour or more, or overnight. When you are going to serve it, toss in the seeds and cranberries. Feel free to mix in other nuts/add ins as well.
This weekend is Mother’s Day, and I thought I would share some things that my mom has taught me. I’ve seen other bloggers post about what they’ve learned from their mother over the years and I started thinking about all of the things she has said to me, taught me, and continues to teach me in life.
My mom and I are close – really, really close. People confuse us for each other on the phone (we sound a lot alike). We are often mistaken for sisters (I’m sure she’ll love hearing that, again), and we have become even closer as I grow older, when the big stuff happens and real life begins. Many people comment to her asking ‘how’d you get so lucky to have two good kids?’ – well, I think I’m a little better than my brother, Nick ;) but, I think she is a pretty lucky mom to have us too. We’re incredibly lucky to have such a loving, crazy, funny, caring, and strong mom.
After losing my dad when we were younger she had to become two parents in one, and I want to thank her for being there for us through the hard times, and the really hard times, and never ceasing to love and support us in all our of endeavours.
She is the first person I tell important news to, and the not so great news to, the first person I look to for advice, even if I don’t always want to hear it (ahem, the couch
), the first person to know when I’m sad, upset or something is bothering me just by the tone in my voice over the phone, the person who encourages me that everything will be alright, not to stress and the first person to forgive me when we have a fight (i’m pretty stubborn).
Things my mom has taught me
- There’s no excuse for rudeness
- Manners matter, always say thank you
- Don’t hold a grudge, life is too short
- It’s better to be overdressed, than underdressed
- Saying sorry is one of the hardest things to do, and admit your wrong
- Always be the bigger person
- How to be a good friend
- Any education is a good education
- Never leave the house without making the bed (this one is still a work in progress..)
- How to host a family dinner
- Advil and Zantac cure all
- How to properly fold sheets
- How to cook a roast
- How to make a roux
- How to make a good chili, and simple tomato sauce
- If you don’t want to have a drink, just order a coke with lime
- Don’t stress, everything will work out
- Always be kind to animals
- Do what makes you happy
- Trust your instincts
- How to be strong
People ask me where I got my love for cooking and baking. While my dad was my biggest influence, my mom always made really great cookies, without a recipe – and really good cinnamon buns.
I made these brownies last week when I wanted to use up some ripe bananas on the counter. I wanted to make something other than Banana bread. I decided to make 1-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream, recipe here
- but then I had more bananas to use up. So, I thought about what I could make with them, or what recipe I could add them to. I decided to make brownies, with the addition of Bananas. Some people don’t like certain combinations of chocolate and fruit, but Bananas and Chocolate are one of my favourites. The bananas make the brownie super dense and rich, like fudge. The banana flavour is certainly there, but it’s not as strong as say banana bread. The chocolate takes over, which makes it deep and rich.
And then I went a step further, and topped the Banana Brownies with Banana Ice cream.
Let’s just say I couldn’t eat it fast enough. Plus, there’s no guilt in adding the ice cream because it’s just Banana.
These are also gluten free, I made them with Rice Flour. You can sub regular flour as well. I recommend refrigerating them for a couple hours, or even overnight. I always refrigerate my brownies because it allows them to become more dense and fudge-like.
Fudgey Banana Brownies
recipe by Bakeaholic
6 tbs. Butter
3/4 Cup Chopped Dark Chocolate (can use chocolate chips)
2 medium Ripe Bananas
1 Tsp. Vanilla extract
½ Cup Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/4 Cup Cocoa
1 cup Rice Flour
1/2 cup walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking spray.Heat butter and chocolate in a small saucepan, stir until everything is melted. Set aside to cool.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Set aside.
In stand mixer with whisk attachment, or medium bowl and blender, mash the bananas, vanilla extract, and sugar. Add the egg and blend again.
Add in the melted butter-chocolate mixture and mix well.
Stir in the flour mixture and blend just until combined. Stir in all of the walnuts, you can save a few and sprinkle on top too.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. You want it to be slightly gooey when you check it, not completely dry. If it needs another couple minutes increase baking time.
** These brownies are best after they are refrigerated! **
I always refrigerate my brownies – it makes them extra dense and fudgey. I recommend letting them come to room temperature on the counter, and then cover and transfer pan to fridge for a couple hours, or even better, overnight. Of course, if you can’t wait feel free to eat them immediately =)
Store leftover brownies in the fridge for up to a week, or, freeze.
You can sub AP flour for rice flour also.
Even Better Topped with Banana Ice Cream!
Today is Lainey’s Birthday. She is 9 in human years, and still very much a puppy in dog years.
Last year I wrote about the reason we have Lainey. You can read all about that here in my ‘Ode to Lainey.’
The decision to get a dog came after the very shocking and tragic loss of my Dad. It was a quick decision that my mom wasn’t sure she should do at the time, but desperately wanted her daughter to be happy again. She didn’t know if she was crazy, out of her mind, or making the best decision under the circumstances.
Lainey was one of our neighbours dogs offspring, the last one they had. She was almost given to another family but our very close neighbours and good friends said they would much rather give her to us. And so she joined our slightly smaller, somewhat broken, family. She filled a very large place in our hearts that was badly damaged and needed mending. We cared for her, loved her, and couldn’t imagine our lives without her.
Lainey has brought both my mom and I more love than any little dog could ever know. She still says it was the best decision she has ever made.
And I agree.
What do you do for a dogs birthday? Visit the pet store of course. This morning Lainey and I went up to the pet store to buy a few treats and food for the birthday girl. Lainey had lots of fun trying to play with all of the critters in their cages, including three little kittens and these Guinea pigs.
Instead of writing more about the sad story that brought Lainey to us, I thought I’d share some facts, both ridiculous and funny, about my baby – er – fur baby.
Fact the first:
Lainey is named after Elaine, from Seinfeld. I love the show, and while I was trying to come up with a name the summer we got her my mom and I were watching an episode where Jerry calls Elaine, ‘Lainey.’
Lainey is smart. She understands what walk, treat, food, water, bath, ‘mother,’ ‘mommy’, ‘sprinkles (her birth mom dog) and ‘up and at ‘em,’ mean. She does not, however, understand ‘sit’ ‘stay’ or ‘come here.’ We’re still working on those.
Lainey will not, I repeat, will not eat food out of a dish. Rather, she would like her food placed on top of a bed, blanket, carpet, couch or other soft surface with or without a piece of paper towel underneath. I take full responsibility for this ridiculous habit. Sorry.
Lainey prefers drinking water out of a glass, or shallow bowl. She will share your water glass once you are finished if you tilt it for her. She will drink water if you bring it to her in a small bowl/dish. She will also lick if off of your finger if she is feeling particularly spoiled.
Lainey likes routines. Example: when she is staying at our house (she shares her time between mine and my mom’s house) she likes to go to bed the same way every night. Adam and I will be getting ready for bed, so Lainey waits on top of the bed. Her dry food is ‘placed’ on a paper towel at the end of the bed for her before-bed dinner/snack. She will wait until Adam is in the room before she takes her first bite. Sometimes it’s me, but most times she waits for Adam. We both usually have to be in the room before she will eat. She will then eat some food when we get in bed, but will then stop and look to the edge of the bed, meaning she would like some water. Adam usually gives her the water dish, she takes some sips and then continues eating. Once finished, she’ll come up to me and dig herself into the sheets, turn around and pop back up from under the sheets and cuddle.
Note – she will also always, without fail, want more food the second you put it away. At this time the lights are usually out, and then you have to give her a little more food that she will eat one or two kibbles of, and then go back to bed. Adam thinks she’s just messing with him, because she never actually eats anymore of it, she just makes him do it. Touché.
Lainey cannot walk more than 2 feet before stopping to smell something during a walk. It takes about 10 minutes to go 6 feet.
Lainey will not eat a treat if someone gives it to her, but when we get home she will eat it. We have many stale treats around the house that she refuses to eat.
Lainey will almost always only eat a bone if you hold it for her. My uncle said if he is ever reincarnated, he would want to come back as one of my mom’s pets – they are incredible spoiled.
Lainey always smells her food before eating it, as if I’m going to poison her. Even treats.
Lainey will always lower her head, drop her tail and roll over whenever you say “Ok, I have to go to work now” or “school” because she knows you are leaving.
Lainey always runs away when you try to put on her leash. You have to call her back, and even then she only moves one stop at a time.
Lainey likes long walks, but not too long otherwise you will have to carry her all the way back.
Lainey has never slept in a crate. Ever. She lasted 2 hours the first night we had her, and then my mom and I couldn’t take her whimpering any longer. She has slept in a bed with us ever since.
Lainey enjoys car rides, even long ones.
Lainey likes playing with big dogs – and isn’t intimidated by them.
Lainey is not a yappy dog. She does not sit and bark at the window, she does not bark at every passer by. She is quite possibly the best little dog ever. She is quiet, calm, gentle and content at all times. Except when the doorbell rings, then she is the security system.
Lainey loves little kids. She always sits down and lets any little kid pet her and hug her when we walk.
Lainey also loves bunnies, and desperately tries to catch them at my Mom’s house. Here, she is fascinated by the cows who we have in the neighbouring field.
Lainey will leave an entire plate of food alone even if she is sitting right next to it, until you give her a little taste. She has never stolen food off of my plate when I get up.
Lainey will not eat vegetables, but she does like cooked carrots and yam.
Lainey has huge, huge eyes. My mom calls them cow eyes.
Lainey likes to be carried like a baby, and enjoys being cradled.
Lainey has a mother (my mom), mommy (me), brother (my brother nick), uncle (adam), step-mommy (Alysha), Aunt (jody), Poppa (nash) and many other cousins and aunts who love her and take care of her when needed. Like me and my mom, she does not have a dad (well, she has a dog dad somewhere) but no ‘human’ dad haha.
Lainey would much rather walk on a side walk, than on the grass.
Lainey walks quite daintily, and dislikes water/mud. She would like to be carried over those areas.
Lainey has several nick names. The most endearing, and most used is Poohface. Long story short, she used to try and eat her poop when she was a puppy and my brother’s friend had a less-lovely sounding name that we turned into ‘Poohface.’
Lainey also goes by other names, including but not limited to:
Poop a loops
Littlest poops in the whole wide world
Scruffy (when it’s time for her haircut)
Little Elaine (after the haircut)
Little deer (after haircut, she looks like a deer)
Baby Lou (my nickname is lou, and she’s my baby so nash called her baby lou)
and she answers to all of them.
Lainey is the most ridiculous dog, and I love her.
Happy Birthday poops, here’s to many, many, more healthy happy years.