Halloween Weekend

I absolutely love Halloween, the parties, costumes, and of course candy! What’s not to love? The last few years we have attended different Halloween events around town, mainly Bat Dance and Mardi  Gras (George Street shuts down for this event). Both are very fun but this year the idea of going to a crowded bar and trying to get cabs for hours just wasn’t appealing, to us or our friends. So a few weeks ago everyone said they didn’t have plans and just wanted to do a house party so we offered to host! The party was last night and we went all out on the decorations:

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We even had some dry ice on hand for effect. Don’t worry the handler of the dry ice is a legit scientist!

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Bruce and I went as Little Red Riding Hood and the wolf!

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We had so much fun! Of course the most important aspect of any good party is the food. I used to buy lots of premade and frozen appetizers for parties. They’re always good but there’s nothing special about them! I always made my own cookies for parties so I decided this time to try making my own homemade appetizers. What always stopped me from doing it was the time needed to do it on the day of the party. I solved that problem by making some a few days before and freezing them. I made Eat Live Run’s Buffalo Chicken WonTons on Thursday and froze them. They were the biggest hit of the party! I could barely get out of the kitchen with them and they were gone. Everyone has asked for the recipe so if you are looking for a great party app make them! A little time consuming, but they are easy to make and so worth it! I also made candy corn sugar cookies also from Eat Live Run. So cute looking and really delicious as well.

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The other main thing I made with this adorable and yummy pumpkin cheese ball. The look was inspired from several pictures I’ve seen on the internet but the recipe I created myself, well mostly I just mixed things in that I had on hand!

Pumpkin Cheese Ball (serves many!)

  • 2 packages of light cream cheese
  • 2 cups old cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 red pepper chopped finely
  • 3 green onions chopped (save one stalk)
  • 4 tbsp bacon crumble
  • 2 turkey pepperonis quartered

Mix cream cheese, 1.5 cups of the cheddar, red pepper, green onion and bacon well. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Shape into a pumpkin like shape and roll in remaining cheese. Decorate with the green onion as a stalk and pepperoni for eyes, nose, and mouth! Refrigerate until ready to serve. I served mine with wheat thins but any crackers, chips, or veggies work! Everyone loved this one as well, plus it doesn’t have to be a pumpkin if you wanted to use it say at Christmas which I totally will be!

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What did you dress up as for Halloween?

How did you celebrate?

Any fun recipes you’d like to share?

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Pumpkin Bread

Early this week I teased you with a shot of the pumpkin bread I made Saturday. I am very proud of this bread because it is the first thing I have ever baked that comes entirely from my own recipe, all mine! Prior to this all my baking has come from other people’s recipes so this is a big deal from me! Expect lots more. I, like every other blogger out there, am on a pumpkin binge -pumpkin smoothies, oatmeal, and this bread! Expect lots more pumpkin where this came from. This bread is super moist and dense, I can’t get enough of it!

 

Pumpkin Bread (1 loaf)

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup vanilla greek yogurt (or plain)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease loaf pan. Mix all dry ingredients then fold in wet ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture into pan and bake 55 – 60 minutes until you can test loaf with a toothpick and it comes out clean! Slice and serve hot. Smile

 

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Share your favourite pumpkin recipes in the comments!

Cast Iron Skillet Frittata

I have been working hard in the kitchen all week getting back to what I love, cooking. I have made Frittata lots of times but this one was definitely my best attempt yet. I make my eggs without milk (I am lactose intolerant though if you’re wondering how I can eat cheese it’s because I can safely consume 12 grams of lactose a day), though I have used soy in the past I have none on hand. You can really add any veggies you want to this recipe, so make it your own!

 

Cast Iron Skillet Frittata (Serves 2 – 3)

 

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  • 1 small red pepper chopped in rings
  • 2 fresh mushrooms  chopped
  • 1 cup light cheddar cheese
  • 2 tbsp real bacon bits
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • fresh black pepper
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • butter and cooking spray to coat pan

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat on stovetop to melt butter, coat entire pan including sides and then give a quick extra coat of cooking spray. Whisk eggs + egg whites and spices together and pour into pan. Add peppers, mushrooms, tomato, bacon, and top with cheese. Leave on stovetop 5 minutes then transfer to oven to cook for 20 minutes. Slice it up and serve it hot, I had mine with spicy roasted baby potatoes. This entire thing was done in less then 40 minutes, that’s a win in my book!

 

What are your favorite frittata add ins? 

Monday Mantra: Keep Cookin’

This week I said I would cook …. and cook I did, a lot :

Chillimy go to quick weeknight recipe. I have an amazing homemade chilli I only make during weekends and snowstorms because it takes hours, I will share it at some point the winter.

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Cast Iron Frittata – recipe coming Wednesday!

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Cajun Chicken Sandwiches (recipe coming) and Cheesy Broccoli Rice

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Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (recipe coming)

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Soy Glazed fish with broccoli and fries (I was in a rush)

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I also baked a pumpkin loaf that is amazing, Bruce cannot stop raving about it, recipe for that coming up Friday! I have really enjoyed getting back to cooking this week. So I am going to continue this mantra this week. The only thing I struggle with in terms of cooking is coming up with side dishes. I have my dinners planned out for the next 2 weeks (love meal planning), but side dishes are always hard to come up with, I’d like to get more creative ones!

What is your favourite side dish? Share!

Workout Plan Oct 24 – 30

So my results for this week:

Planned              
               
Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Minutes)     15 min 15 min 24 min (OUTSIDE YAY)    
Elliptical / Arc (Min) 40 min 50 min 20 min 20 min   50 min   
Class        Body Pump Body Flow Body Pump Yoga PC 
Swimming             1 hour
Biking               
               
Actual              
               
Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Miles) 4   3.5 3.2 3.5 3.2  
Class     Body Pump        
Swimming (meters)              
Other              
               
Total Miles this week: 17.4            

 

 

So I had to make a few adjustments due to injury pain on Friday I had to change my run for elliptical. Other then that I am really pleased with my mileage. As usual though I had trouble making it to classes. I love them while I am there but getting myself there is the problem! Oh well there is always this week:

 

Planned              
               
Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Minutes)     25 min 15 min 33 min    
Elliptical / Arc (Min) 45 min 60 min   20 min   50 min  
Class  Body Pump   Body Flow Body Pump     Yoga PC
Swimming              
Biking               
               

 

I may try and do one of my workouts this week at lunch and see how that works for me. I have a gym right next to my work as well as some beautiful trails so I may try it out and see how that goes. Changing things up keeps it interesting! : )

 

Do you workout lunchtime, how do you find it?

What is your favourite time of day to workout?

Weekend Lovin’

Things I love about weekends:

 

Sleeping in and late leisurely breakfasts over coffee and good conversation : )

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Long runs (long for me and my IT band these days) – 3.2 in 34 minutes (first split was 8:14 wowzas)

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Wine … and pop chips haha

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Time to bake and cook big extravagant things – like pumpkin bread (recipe coming this week)!

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Mostly time to breath, recharge, catch up, and get ready for the week ahead!

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What have you been up to this weekend?

Where I Am At

A while ago I posted what I learned from being injured. I have another one to add to the list: plans are made to be broken sometimes. I can plan, research, hope, and say mantras over and over again – but if an injury is not ready to heal you can help it all it want but you can’t force it. I learned that lesson last week so this week I am playing things on the safe side. I saw my physiotherapist Wednesday and she said I have had minimal improvement so I have to run low mileage and work my way up. I have done that 2 days in a row now and felt minimal pain, today more then yesterday. So instead of today’s planned run I did elliptical because I know that is the safe and right thing to do, despite my training plan. Slow and steady heals the injury that’s my new motto.  So that’s where I am at today – short run on the plan tomorrow lets see how it goes! I am finding that balance … slowly but surely.

So I mentioned in my mantra this week that I am getting back to cooking! I have a love of cooking so I am in the kitchen this week creating lots of delicious things including slow cooker recipes. I adore my slow cooker, on nights when I go to Body Pump I usually have something in the slow cooker waiting for me when I get home to enjoy and refuel with no fuss! It’s easy peasy and means I am more likely to eat healthy food at home rather then grab take out out of convenience.

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Bacon Ranch Sandwich (makes 4 sandwiches)

  • 3 chicken breasts (boneless skinless)
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 tbsp real bacon bits
  • 4 whole wheat buns
  • tomato, cheese (I used monetary jack) and extra dressing to top.

 

Place chicken breasts in slow cooker and top with dressing and bacon. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours then shred chicken. Place on toasted buns with melted cheese, tomato and extra dressing. When I say easy … I mean easy. Sweet potato fries on the side? Don’t mind if I do!

 

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Got any slow cooker recipes to share? I’d love to check em’ out!

Not Feeling the Good Life

So this week has been crazzzzzy, and continues to get crazy. I have been non-stop and when I headed to the gym tonight I had my whole night planned out after, I left and when I got to the parking lot of Goodlife my tire was flat. In that moment I was not feeling the good life. I was feeling miserable stood in the dark and rain, starving and wanted to go home! So after Bruce arrived to rescue me we got take out and came home and my whole night was thrown off. Story of my life oh poor me. haha

 

So anyways though I didn’t update my Monday Mantra this week it went really well. I have been doing well with doing a few things here and there and the house doesn’t look like a total disorganized disaster area so that’s a success in my opinion. I have been trying my best to get better at time management when it comes to my life, I’m great at it at work but not so much at home. I guess because you can only plan every second of your day so much until you hit the breaking point and need to just lay around and relax. I’m getting better at finding balance everyday!

 

Monday Mantra: Get Cookin’

I have started this one already this week, seeing that it’s Thursday, and it’s going great! I wanted to get back to what first drew me to blogging, my love of cooking. Lately I have been finding myself pulling together the laziest dinners ever, soup and sandwich, omelettes, and whatever I can put my hands on quickest. So this week I am getting back in the kitchen and getting back to what I love! I have a couple recipes to share already including this one for buffalo chicken pizza, I love love love pizza so here is another one of my creations!

 

Buffalo Chicken Pizza (serves 3 or 4)

  • Basic dough recipe
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup frank’s buffalo sauce
  • 1/4 cup ranch dressing
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 tbsp bacon crumble
  • 2 cups light cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup fresh mushrooms 

 

Make dough according to recipe. Mix buffalo sauce and ranch dressing and spread over dough. Toss chicken in remaining sauce to coat. Top with veggies, bacon, and cheese plus any other toppings you desire! Bake 15 – 20 minutes on 375 degrees.

 

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What are your favourite pizza toppings?

Workout Plans Oct 17–23

I was on top of the world on Monday, I ran 4.85 miles which is the longest I have run since my injury. The long distance running high was back and I was so happy. Then about an hour later after the endorphins disappeared I was in pain and told myself I was stiff, even though the little voice inside my head knew better. The next day on the treadmill I was in agony and knew then I had overdone it. When I had physio on Wednesday and told her what had happened as the words came out of my mouth I knew I sounded crazy. I am trying to recover from a very difficult to heal running injury. I started to laugh during my telling her this because I knew I sounded like both a lunatic and an exercise addict. Who runs almost 5 miles on an injured IT band and calls it an easy run …. really!? I am neither a lunatic or an exercise addict … I am a goal orientated type A personality who when she sets her mind on a 10k race in November doesn’t give in very easily.

 

So I explained where I was coming from and the race I wanted to do and she said she understood. However, I had to spend a few days resting after my little 8 miles in 2 days adventure or I was going to make things a whole lot worse. I told her if she wanted me to stop running I would … no questions asked. So I was told I was allowed one easy run (less then 2 miles was specified this time) and after my few days of rest as much elliptical, arc trainer, bike, and swimming as I wanted…yippee! haha So being sensible I took my 3 days rest then added an extra day because I stayed up too late on Friday to be functional on Saturday and here’s where I ended up for the week: 

 

Planned              
               
Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Minutes) 40 min 32 min    20 min tread 29 min  15 min tread  
Elliptical / Arc (Min)     35 min arc  20 min ellip   35 min  ellip  
Class      Body Pump Body Flow   Body Pump  Yoga PC 
Swimming             1 hour 
Biking               
               
Actual              
               
Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Miles) 4.85 3.17         4.5
Class              
Swimming (meters)              
Other              
               
Total Miles this week: 12.52            

 

 

My plan and what happened don’t really add up at all this week and I am learning to be okay with it, as much as I can be given my personality. Smile Sometimes things don’t go as planned, it’s a big lesson to learn when you spend your whole life making plans. But you learn to figure it out, adapt, and move on. I have a lot going on these days between work, running (and non-running activities), various goals and commitments, and life. I am learning very quickly that life post-graduation isn’t as shiny, wonderful, and carefree as I thought it would be.  When you’re in University you keep thinking “I’ve never been so stressed out in my whole life but the light is at the end of the tunnel and when I graduate it will all go away”. That’s not the case at all but all these lessons that I am learning I am grateful for, they make me a better person every day. I try and wake up every morning with a smile on my face and ready to take on whatever challenges come my way. Though this is a challenging time I don’t feel burdened, I feel blessed!

 

So here are my workout challenges for this week, if they happen that’s great and if some of them don’t then that’s okay to!

             
Planned              
               
Type Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday  Sunday
Run (Minutes)     15 min 15 min 24 min (OUTSIDE YAY)    
Elliptical / Arc (Min) 40 min 50 min 20 min 20 min   50 min   
Class        Body Pump Body Flow Body Pump Yoga PC 
Swimming             1 hour
Biking               

 

I am ready to take on this week with everything I have and when some things don’t go my way I will try and remember just how lucky I am. Myself and Bruce went with my dad today to look at a piece of family land we may potentially build a house on in a few years time when it’s ready. I saw this view (below) and fell in love, I’ve never felt so lucky and whether we ever get to build there or end up somewhere else I still realize that I am very fortunate! Have a great week everyone! Smile

 

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What are you grateful for today?

Gear Roundup

Since I have started running and working out more seriously I have collected a few pieces of gear that I absolutely love.  So I figured I’d do a post talking about some of my favourite items!

Run: All Sport Shorts

Just recently when I was in Toronto I picked up my first pair of pair LuLulemon shorts, pictured below:

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I got them on sale at the Lulu outlet in the Von Mills Mall for $38.00 (reg $52.00). They have been great, they don’t ride up or chafe and have 3 secret pockets for gu or keys. The colour is really pretty as well, grey and light pink! Lulu is expensive and I don’t have a ton of it but the things I do have are very useful for a particular reason like these shorts and worth the money. I don’t spend money just because it has lulu written on it, I have to have a specific reason for buying it!

 

Water Resistant Spibelt

I love love love my Spibelt. I always hated running with my iPod and phone in my hand and my key in my shoe. I had heard about the Spibelt from Tina at Carrots ‘n’ Cake. I pondered the purchase for awhile because I felt like I was paying $20 – $25 for a glorified fanny pack but I bought it in July and I have worn it basically on every run since. It keeps my hands free so I can zone out and just enjoy my run and it doesn’t bounce. I find when running anything including shoe laces brushing against each other or my hair bouncing around drives me crazy. So it is important that I can carry things around with no bounce! Plus, it holds a ton: my keys, phone, iPod…whatever I need.

 

I bought the water resistant version because I live in Newfoundland and it rains every other day and from the research I did even sweat can destroy your phone and iPod in the normal one so beware! Some reviewers said they found the water resistant one harder to zip open and close but I’ve had no issues and I’ve opened and closed it during a race!

 

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Endomondo

This is the app I use to GPS track my mileage and speed. I have used it for running, walking, and cycling. I find it fairly accurate though it disconnects from the satellite occasionally it is the best one I have found. It keeps a history, tracks mile splits, and maps my routes. Though I am hoping Santa (Bruce) gives me a Garmin for Christmas! : ) 

 

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Triumph Tote

Another Lulu purchase and worth EVERY penny this bag holds everything from my work laptop and planner to a change of clothes, gym gear, and my lunch. I leave the house every morning with it jam packed with everything I need for the day and I no longer need to carry 3 different bags to hold everything I need. The best parts about this bag are the many compartments (labeled for tunes, passport, phone, chocolate (most important)), the separate compartment for sweaty gym clothes, removable shoe bag, and padded section for my laptop.

 

 

What are your favourite pieces of workout gear? What’s on your wish list?

I want a Garmin Forerunner 305 and Bondi Bands (Will run for wine)!