Life

Heart And Stroke Foundation Bake Sale

March 27, 2012

Twitter is a wonderful thing. It connects you with people you may have otherwise never met. A month or two ago a young woman followed me on Twitter, after having been a reader of my website and admirer of my baking confections and recipes. We tweeted back and forth a few times before she e-mailed me inquiring about my baking. As I also have a very small cupcake business I began located on my site as well she asked about pricing for cupcakes and other baked goods for an event she was thinking of holding in the coming months. After e-mailing back and forth a couple times I asked what the event was for, and she replied back that she was going to be holding a fundraiser at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, where she also works, for the Heart and Stroke Foundation to raise money for their annual Big Bike Event.

As soon as I read those words, Heart and Stroke Foundation, my heart began to race. You see, this organization is something that is quite close to my own heart (no pun intended). I have had the unfortunate experience to create a connection to this foundation through the loss of someone. My father. Eight years ago, on my 16th birthday, I experienced the sudden and incredibly tragic loss of the most important man in my life. There were no warnings, there were no signs, there was no goodbye. My father passed away after suffering from a major Heart Attack, that we later learned was due to Heart Disease. That day instead of celebrating with friends, I was mourning with my family. It shook our family in ways I never could have imagined. Our family of four became a family of three, and our world would be forever changed. Our extended family would also feel a great loss of a wonderful, generous and family-oriented man.

It will be eight years this June, though some days it feels as if it were only yesterday. The years have eased the immediate pain, though nothing will ever heal the wound that it has left in our hearts. It has been years of ups and downs, of painful events that he would not attend, the father-daughter dance at grad he never danced and the promise he never kept of bringing me to my drivers license test. We have also had celebrations in his absence that remind us that it will keep getting better. Births, milestones, graduations and accomplistments that are all in honour of him. We are constantly moving forward with him closely in our thoughts and forever in our hearts. The loss will never go away, but instead it helps us live each day with the memories of him and a reminder to live life to the fullest.

I have always wanted to make a contribution to the foundation but have not found a way to do it. When I was younger our elementary school would participate in the Jump Rope for Heart, and I remember going to neighbours to collect donations. Little did I know the foundation would have such an impact on my later in life. After being contacted about the fundraiser I knew if nothing else, I could lend my support and volunteer my services for free. Heart Disease and stroke is the leading cause of death in Canada and has become the number one killer of women. It is a serious health concern that affects thousands of people each year. To raise money for the Big Bike Event campaign I have offered to bake 150 Cupcakes and other goodies for their bake sale being held at the Surrey Kwantlen Campus on Thursday April 5th with proceeds going towards the Big Bike Event in support of heart disease and stroke research. I would love to invite you to come visit our booth and be part of our fundraising.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s Mission:

The Heart and Stroke Foundation, a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through:

  • the advancement of research and its application.
  • the promotion of healthy living.
  • advocacy.

WHAT IS BIG BIKE?

The Heart&Stroke Big Bike is a team event geared towards community organizations, companies and groups. Teams made up of 29 enthusiastic riders (and one driver provided by the Foundation) pedal through their community in support of heart disease and stroke research.

WHY FUNDRAISE?

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada is celebrating 50 years of leading the way to better cardiovascular health for Canadians through research, health promotion, and advocacy. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians help us make a difference every year by fundraising, volunteering and donating to our cause. The Foundation, in turn, gives back to Canadians in countless ways. Visit www.heartandstroke.ca to read the latest information on heart disease, stroke, resuscitation, and healthy living!

To Join the Team or DONATE please click here 

Please come and support the Heart and Stroke Foundation on Thursday, April 5th at the Surrey Kwantlen Campus (click for directions) from 11 AM to 4 PM in the Main Atrium. Your donations will go directly in support of heart and stroke research by the foundation.

Raw, Vegan

Frozen Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Sherbet

March 23, 2012

Two weeks.

That’s how long I have left as an Undergrad, before I walk out of my last class of University ever.

Ok, well not ever. If I’m going to be a teacher, I’m going to have to go back after I graduate to complete the Professional Development Program, thus another year of classes. But, I will however have five glorious months off from homework, essay writing and deadlines. Finally.

In these five months I plan on working, hopefully, and travelling to Europe with a friend for a month. I guess once that is all finished I’ll be alright with going back to class. Even though I would like to think this will be my last class ever.

Spring seems to have arrived here in Vancouver, though we were seeing snowfall up until last week. My allergies don’t seem to care if there is snow on the ground or not, regardless of the weather allergy season has definitely made an appearance.

I appreciate the warmer temperatures and sunny afternoons, the sun shining way past its usual curfew of 5:00 pm, and the happier moods that overall nice weather seems to put you in. I really do. Even if I curse the fact that I begin allergy attacks by 9 am each morning. Nasal strips are now my friend if I ever want to be able to sleep through the night. Oh, and breath.

After seeing a recipe from Eat – Drink – Love earlier this week I knew I wanted to make it. It just screams spring is on the way. I’ve never really had Sherbet, though I probably have and just called it ice cream. Due to dairy allergies I rarely if ever eat ice cream or frozen yogurt anymore. Poor Adam ;) After looking at the recipe I thought I could make that dairy free, and still enjoy it. It’s like a smoothie, only creamier with the addition of coconut milk.

It’s Vegan, Raw, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Sugar Free and still totally satisfying. If you’re into those kinds of things. You can eat an entire bowl and not feel guilty. Have it for a snack in the afternoon, or  top it with fresh fruit and you’ve got dessert after dinner.

It’s easy.

Ta-Da.

 

Hope everyone has a sunny weekend! Adam is firing up the grill for our Homemade Turkey Burgers (this recipe is definitely a winner) first BBQ of the season!

Frozen Strawberry-Banana Smoothie Sherbet

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. Strawberries, thoroughly washed & stems removed
  • 1 can Coconut Milk (reduced fat or regular)
  • 1-2 very ripe Bananas

Directions:

  1. Slice strawberries and bananas and place in food processor (I use my KitchenAid 7 cup) or blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Add the can of Coconut milk and puree once again.

Alternatively, if you do not want to have seeds in the finished product, puree the strawberries and push through a mesh sieve, and then add that back to the processor and add banana and coconut milk.

3.  Place smoothie mixture into a bowl and chill in the fridge overnight. I made this the night before and let the flavours   marinate in the fridge. The ripe bananas will sweeten the strawberries naturally and the coconut milk adds a hint of tropical flavour. If you don’t wish to wait overnight, chill at least an hour or two to let flavours release.

4.  After chilling place smoothie mixture into Ice Cream Maker (I use my KitchenAid Ice Cream Attachment) and freeze according to the manufacture’s instructions. About 20 minutes.

You can eat is soft serve once it’s done, or freeze until hardened.

This freezes quite solid, so allow to sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving.

Storing in cute mason jar optional. Looks like a jar of strawberry jam!

WIAW

WIAW: Randomness

March 21, 2012

Allergy season has officially begun. I have tried to stay on my food elimination diet for my food allergies, kinda, however, while on this diet I am not able to take any allergy medication that would mask the allergic reactions I may get from the foods. Thus, I either suffer through the allergies or take the medicine and try to stick to the diet best I can.

Well, even when I take the allergy medicine there is still no relief. After about 20 years of allergies I think my body has built up an immunity to all allergy medicines. They never seem to do anything for me anymore. It’s like taking a placebo, I’ll try and trick my mind into thinking the allergy pill I just took will work immediately and I will begin to feel better, but just a little while later I’ll still be sniffling and sneezing away. I really hope I don’t pass on these allergies to my future children. It sucks. Spring and Summer sucks. I also read on my allergy food information page that because my grass allergies are the highest they can be, and I believe it!, that this time of year is when Alder and Birch are really bad, and this can be affected even more so by other food allergies that counter-react with them. Awesome.

Bottom line, allergies suck and I would like to be able to breath out of both of my nostrils sometime soon.

I really didn’t take very good photos yesterday for WIAW this week.

Breakfast was cereal, as usual right now for the allergy diet that I’m sorta-kinda on still. (recycled photo)

Lunch was leftover chicken and roasted broccoli from the night before. No picture evidence because it was eaten so quickly.

For dinner we had Adam’s mom over as his dad is on a business trip this week, and my mom came by for coffee after dinner too. I decided to make a pork tenderloin I had in the fridge, Italian style with rosemary and basil with olive oil, along with roasted veggies, potato and sweet potato, and baby broccoli. I didn’t take a picture, but had leftovers today so it was basically the same thing. It was good.

Tonight Adam and I took Lainey to the urban nature park near our house. It’s a really large park with trails through the forest and a man made lake in the middle. I always read about the Fitnessista’s walks in their canyons in Phoenix, however here in British Columbia we don’t have many giant canyons full of cacti. We do, however, have vast forests and mountains.

It’s a really nice walk through the trails and Lainey was looking a little cabin-feverish tonight. She’s getting groomed in the morning so I thought it would be nice to take her out for a long walk tonight before the torture tomorrow. She shakes like a leaf whenever I bring her in, and when I pick her up she shakes in excitement screaming “take me home!!” She looks very pretty though all short and sassy. When her hair gets long we start calling her scruffy.

Lainey and I both needed to get out of the house for a little walk. (note Pinterest in the background..) We went for a nice half hour walk.

The urban park has some eerie looking trails that wind through it.

It kind of reminds me of Twilight. Ya, I went there. I wouldn’t mind running into a vampire in these woods if you know what I mean.. ;)

Once you’re out of the forest though the sun was shining through the clouds.

It’s also really pretty when the sun is setting just over the park. The reflections on the lake are gorgeous. Some boys were even fishing for trout.

Now that we’re back home, the allergies have begun again. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Tonight I prepped a recipe I’m trying out tomorrow. Stay tuned to see what I did with this ingredient!

For now we’re going to re-watch inception to try and see if we can figure out what the heck that movie was about. Again.

Have a good night!