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Smoothie

Grab and Go

September 24, 2012

{Green goodness}

Fall is here!! Saturday marked the first day of Autumn, and it definitely looked like it in Vancouver. It was a pretty relaxed weekend, Adam and I didn’t do a whole lot, which is sometimes nice. With school starting again I’m in full time school Monday-Friday and have a few projects I’ve been working on so I took some time to do that.

We actually went to an art show on Saturday, at one of Adam’s old teachers house. He displays his artwork in his beautiful backyard and has an open house concept, or drop in. I forgot my phone at home (my life source), so I didn’t get to snap any photos. It was gorgeous though, he has apple trees, plum trees, massive blackberry bushes and beautiful gardens where he displayed his work. It was a great day for it, a little cooler but perfect weather for the outdoor event. It happened to coincide with the first day of Fall, and it was nice to be outdoors for a while in the afternoon – we even picked some apples from his tree to bring home. Definitely a Fall activity. I told him if I was able to come back and pick more apples I’d bake him a pie, and he said he’d make dinner. Apparently one of his other talents is cooking, so Adam and I might have to take him up on the offer. Adam’s mom did buy two of the paintings as well!

Last week I shared an easy breakfast grab-and-go muffin recipe, that you can easily tailor to your own tastes. This week I thought I’d share another morning recipe idea, my Favourite Green Smoothie.

I feel like back to school means back to “quick” meals – Quick Breakfasts, and Quick Dinners. Everyone is rushing in the morning, and needs something quick to eat before running out the door. At night, everyone wants a quick dinner because we’re all getting home from work/school and don’t want to spend a lot of time preparing dinner. Smoothies are a GREAT quick breakfast, or for any meal really, because you can take almost anything you have on hand and make it into a smoothie (Berries, banana, almond butter, yogurt, fruit, juice etc). You can throw it all in the blender, whirl it around and throw it into a to-go cup to bring with you on your commute or to the office.

A smoothie is no real secret, there’s no actual recipe. Just throw in a few ingredients from the fridge, add ice and blend. But, I’ve actually seen some people who seem to mess up smoothies. Really?? haha – sorry but that’s really not possible! This is a no-fail recipe for a green smoothie. I started drinking them about a year or so ago, and got Adam liking them. Now that we’re temporarily living at his parents while our new house is being built, I’m trying to convert his mom ;)

{Lainey, just because}

My Favourite is a blend of spinach, kale, banana, avocado, ice and almond milk. I threw in a tsp or two of ground flax seed as well. I’ve never really added avocado before, But, it makes it SOOOO smooth. It’s thick, and smooth and gives it a texture like a milkshake – only HEALTHIER!!!! And who doesn’t want to be healthy (On twitter today #Christmas was trending.. I guess because its Exactly three months away today.. Let’s just get through Halloween, and Thanksgiving first people…)

Green SmoothieHere’s How You Do It

Add to blender in this order:

*Top of Blender*

Splash of Almond Milk (Or other milk-alternative) (Last)

5-6 Ice Cubes

2 tsp. Ground Flaxseed (or Protein Powder etc)

1/4 of an Avocado

Handful of Kale

2 Handfulls of Spinach

Banana (Put in First)

*Bottom Of Blender*

Blend according to your blenders instructions – I have a KitchenAid and it’s amazing for chopping through the ice.

- Pour into a tall glass, It’ll fill it right to the brim, and maybe have a splash left over. Serve with a straw (my favourite way to drink one) and ENJOY – Also great for pre or post workout fuel

Amazing Green Colour!! Green = Good for you

{Note the two dogs at my feet – Lainey (Mine) and Chubby (the Daschund, Adam’s parents dog)}

{Green Deliciousness – Nice and Frothy!!}

 {I’ve also completely fallen in love with their deck, it’s perfectly worn and distressed which makes it perfect for backgrounds!}

Do you like Smoothies?? Do you make them regularly? What’s your Favourite Combo??? Please Share!

Ice Cream

Honey Ice Cream

May 16, 2012

If you live in the Vancouver area, you can’t help but notice the gorgeous summer weather we have been experiencing this week. The rainy spring weather had had the past month has lifted, and the sun is shining. I actually got a sunburn on mother’s day, as we were enjoying our brunch on the backyard patio. I blame my mother, as she is a red head with light freckled skin, which I unfortunately inherited. You wouldn’t guess I was also European, as my skin doesn’t quite soak up the sun in the same way my Nonna and brother can turn a deep olive brown in the summer.

Speaking of Europe, I am very excited to have booked my trip. I have been planning this trip for as long as I can remember. I even had a conversation saved in my Facebook messages planning this trip with a friend in 2008. I think four years later, I should probably make it happen. I complained for a while that I was the only one in our family who had not been to Europe, or more precisely, Italy. The reason being is that my father’s family is from Italy, and it was where he was born. As you know from previous posts, my father is no longer with us, but I still desperately wanted to make the trip to Europe and visit out heritage, along with stops to the gorgeous hospital, that looks like a cathedral, that my father was born in, the town he was raised in, the tiny, I mean TINY, town my Nonna grew up in, with likely <100 people living there I’m sure, and of course the other historical monuments in Italy. My brother was lucky enough to go twice, although he was 18 months old the first time. He went again when he was 15, for 6 weeks, my Nonna took him with her. I’m doing a tour for 16 days around Europe, and then my Nonna is actually going to fly and meet me in Rome and then show me the ‘true’ Italy, the small tiny towns and areas off the beaten path from the tourist attractions. My Nonna has lived in Canada now for longer than she has lived in Italy, and lives only minutes from our house, but still visits Italy every year. She actually told me she wasn’t going back this year, but after I informed her of my travel plans, she decided she would fly and meet me so she can show me where our family is from. It’s been a trip I’ve wanted to take for a long time, and this year after Graduation I planned to go, as a Grad present from my mom, and now I am just counting down the days. My Nonna keeps informing me how crazy I am to want to go in July, as it is so hot. She usually likes to go in August/September.

Speaking of heat, when the temperature rises the best way to cool down is usually with a cool treat. I saw this unique ice cream recipe online, from a new-to-me food blog, Girl Cooks World, which I’ve been perusing daily.

It is my new favourite, instead of vanilla. It is so subtly sweet, and the taste is just heavenly. I added a half cup of cream instead of the 1/2 cup of milk, cause I had one cup of milk left, and I think it made it even better. It is so good, it is like whipped ice cream. A definite favourite for cooling down in the hot weather. It keeps well in the freezer, and still comes out like soft serve once frozen. It’s really delicious and light tasting. Adam ate most of it, as I try and stay away from dairy with my allergy, but I didn’t want to try and substitute Almond milk this time, so I went with the original version.

It tastes even better with frozen raspberries.

Honey Ice Cream, From Girl Cooks World, Adapted from The Soul of a New Cuisine
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 & 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1 cup milk
* 4 large egg yolks, slightly beaten
* 1/3 cup honey

Combine the sugar, heavy cream and milk in a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

When the mixture is smooth and the sugar is dissolved, temper the eggs yolks by whisking in about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the eggs.  Pour the tempered yolks into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon.

Remove from heat and place the entire saucepan into a shallow ice bath, and mix in the honey.  Stir frequently until the custard has cooled. Pour the custard mixture into a container, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Are you planning on going anywhere this summer?

What do you do to cool down in the heat?

Breakfast

Cinnamon Bun Oatmeal

March 21, 2011

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I’ve finally conquered baking with yeast. I had stayed away from making things that used it such as breads, sweet dough and other risen products. I had always feared it would not work. I even thought I couldn’t make baking soda biscuits. But, Adam’s mom assured me that no one could screw it up. We usually go to his parents house every tuesday night for dinner, and a favorite of ours is the biscuits she makes. Right out of the oven, with jam. Sooooooooooo gooooood. I think I eat about 10 each time. Maybe it was a good idea I didn’t know how to make them myself. I could see it being an issue.

But, I actually did try them one night and they rose and everything! I was super excited. And Adam and I ate them gladly.

So, I thought it was time to try my hand at dough. I started in the summer with pizza dough. It worked out ok, but I actually think it wasn’t that great. The dough didn’t rise all that much, but still tasted great. I tried it again recently for cinnamon buns and they turned out deeeeeelicious! But its dangerous for a whole batch to be in the little apartment with Adam and I.

For Adam’s birthday I made dough again, and it rose perfectly! All puffed up, and I had to punch it down. I made him birthday night pizza, and using the leftover dough made cinnamon buns again. I love cinnamon buns.

Is it cinnamon buns? Or cinnamon rolls? I think ‘rolls’ are more popular in the states, and ‘buns’ is a popular saying here in Canada.

Either way, its good. So one morning after Adam ate the last cinnamon bun, I was in withdrawls. I did however have some leftover cream cheese icing in the fridge. I thought hey, I can’t let this go to waste. My usual oatmeal consists of either A. Peanut butter and honey with banana, or B. plain cinnamon sprinked on top. I decided to have the latter, and add a small teaspoon of brown sugar to it. And hey, why not top it with some cream  cheese icing and make it into cinnamon bun oatmeal?

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Best. decision. ever.

It was just like eating a cinnamon bun, except slightly healthier. I hope. I definitely suggest trying it as a special weekend breakfast. I might have OD’d a litle on the icing this weekend, Adam thought it was pretty sweet. But, I do have a major sweettooth. Either way, try it! It’s a great semi-healthy-sweet breakfast option for the weekend.

Cinnamon Bun Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of oatmeal (this is how much I eat, Adam has a whole cup, so however much you like)

few dashs of cinnamon

1 tsp. Brown sugar

–for the cream cheese icing–

1/4 cup low fat cream cheese

3-4 tbs. confectioners sugar

splash of lemon juice

To Prepare:

Make your bowl of oatmeal as you would. I like mine to have just enough water to absorb it, as a more dry oatmeal, whereas Adam has mushier oatmeal

Stir in the cinnamon and brown sugar.

In another bowl, cream together icing ingredients until full incorporated to the consitency you like. I use a pastry bag to pipe it over the top, just for show, but you can just spoon a dollop onto of your oatmeal. Then give it a good stirring to mix it all together. And dig in!

It’s just like a cinnamon bun. roll? Either one.