Party Like It’s Prohibition: A Roaring 20’s Gala

Last Saturday night we celebrated Bruce’s 30th Birthday with a theme party, I love a good theme! Smile The theme was a roaring 20’s gala to celebrate the end of his 20’s! We had everyone dress 20’s style, it was a fabulous time and everyone looked amazing. I don’t know how anyone planned anything before Pinterest. haha All my little detail ideas came from there and I am so excited to share them with you all. Smile Lets jump in!

 

The invitation I created myself in Microsoft Publisher, I downloaded the fonts from dafont they are called Upper East Side and Riesling.

 

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I rented out a local bar to give us tons of room. It of course had a rental feeling to it but I did my best to give it a 20’s feel with all black and white decorations with colourful tea lights on each table and the lights off to give the room that dark prohibition feel (lights on still below). Each table also had a deck of cards on it, for a game of black jack of course! Winking smile We played 20’s music throughout the night mixed in with lots of modern tunes as well.

 

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For food I went strictly 2012, with the usual fruit, veggie, cookies, sandwich and cheese trays. Plus hot appetizers including wings, stew and rolls, meatballs, buffalo chicken egg rolls and philly cheesesteak egg rolls. As usual I made sure no one left hungry!

 

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The custom sign was generously made by a friend of Bruce’s who owns a sign shop. He did such a great job!

 

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Of course no party is complete without an amazing cake, this one was no exception! (pictures of the cake table and cake below) The sign with quote from Humphrey Bogart was an idea from Pintrest that I recreated. I also framed the invitation for everyone to sign as a keepsake to remember his 30th birthday, I am going to hang it in our bar (the mat that I used for signing was from Micheal’s)!

 

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The Problem With The World Is That Everyone Is A Few Drinks Behind – Humphrey Bogart

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I accidently left my camera on a panoramic setting as you can tell! Smile Opps!

 

The absolute highlight of the night was the photobooth I set up. Bruce’s sister is a photographer and also made the cake, she was an amazing help to me with this party! I was so excited when she agreed to do a photobooth. Everyone went through so much trouble to get dolled up that I thought it would be great if they had a professional picture to remember the night with – needless to say it was a hit! Smile 

 

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Those are just a few of the 150 + pictures she took! Smile It was such a laugh I bought tons of fun props and the background is actually a black shower curtain believe it or not. haha I didn’t want to risk one of her professional backgrounds getting damaged!

 

This party was a ton of work in all honestly but you only turn 30 once and I wanted to make sure he remembered it! I am so pleased with how it turned out and though it was a lot of work it was also a lot of fun to plan. I love getting into the details of things – I think it really makes a regular party more special!

 

We danced, we ate, we laughed and we ate cake. An amazing night with amazing friends and family! Smile 

 

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How did you celebrate your 30th? Or other milestone birthday?

Ever attend a roaring 20s party?

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WIAW: The Regatta Edition

It has been a LONG time since I participated in WIAW. But I have loved reading everyone else’s posts. I had some interesting new eats today so I thought it would be a good time to bring back my old Wednesday tradition! Smile

 

 

I started my day off with a pretty boring egg-white sandwich, it was tasty but I need new breakfast ideas. I didn’t even bother taking a picture because you’ve seen it a thousand times. After body pump followed by a run I whipped up a smoothie with almond milk, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, chia seeds, spinach and ice! What a yummy post-workout drink!

 

Once I was showered Bruce and I headed down to the Regatta, we got a holiday today for the oldest sporting event in North America. I am a former rower myself so I love to catch the races! Smile It was a beautiful day for it. So we hopped on the bus and hit the lakeside for some sun, races, and Indian food!

 

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I had a samosa, potato curry and basmati rice. It was all amazing and so filling! Plus there is nothing that says summer more to me then sitting lakeside watching the races in the sunshine and eating! Smile 

 

After getting our share of sun we headed home, but after a heavy lunch I couldn’t stomach the thought of a heavy dinner so soup and sandwich sounded amazing. I made this broccoli, chicken and cheddar soup (recipe below) and a turkey sandwich with pickles. The soup was amazing, without the usual cream found in broccoli soup I found it light! Trust me it tasted much better then it looks.

 

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Broccoli, Chicken, and Cheddar Soup Serves 4

  • 1 yellow onion
  • EVOO
  • 1 small chicken breast
  • 2 large heads of broccoli (4 – 5 cups)
  • 3 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup reduced sodium beef broth
  • roasted pepper and garlic seasoning
  • 1/2 cup shredded light cheddar
  • salt and pepper

 

Cook the chicken (seasoned with roasted pepper and garlic seasoning) in the EVOO with onions until cooked thoroughly. Remove the chicken and chop it up into small pieces then set it aside. Add broth and broccoli to onions and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Once broccoli is cooked start adding batches of the soup to the blender and blend until smooth. It took me about 3 batches to get it all done. Add puréed soup back to pan, add chicken pieces in and bring to a boil again. Serve hot topped with cheddar cheese!

 

What’s your favourite breakfast? I need ideas!

Any rowers reading?

What’s your favourite summer soup?

I Put Guac On Everything

We have been having beautiful weather the past 2 days. The kind of weather that makes me crave spring foods! This to me is salad, anything on the bbq, and anything with avocado. That’s why I was so excited to share these turkey burgers with you, these burgers taste like summer.

 

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I can’t even take credit, Bruce made these and they were amazing! So simple to make with just 5 ingredients.I of course just can’t leave well enough alone and had to dress them up by adding tomato, guac, and pepper jack cheese. Those little additions took these burgers to a whole new level! On the side? Balsamic vinegar asparagus and sweet potato wedges (recipe below). A quick weeknight meal, great leftovers, and healthy. I’ll take it!

 

Turkey Burgers  (Makes 4)

  • 1/2 – 3/4 pound ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 slice whole wheat bread crumbs
  • roasted red pepper and garlic seasoning
  • 1 tbsp steak sauce

 

Spray cooking spray on a non-stick pan or grill and heat over medium heat. Mix together all ingredients and form into 4 patties. Once pan or grill is hot add patties and cook 5 – 7 minutes on each side until thoroughly cooked. These can be served immediately or frozen, either way they taste great.

 

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Sweet Potato Fries (Serves 4)

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper

 

Preheat oven to 375. Chop sweet potatoes with skin on in half length wise, then again half way then chop each half into wedges. Toss in olive oil with paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for an hour. Turning them half way. You can speed up the process by microwaving them for 5 minutes first then baking 35 minutes on 400 but I prefer to bake them usually!

 

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Sweet potatoes are full of fibre and anti-oxidants (with the skin on). Plus they are unbelievably delicious.

 

What do you prefer white or sweet potatoes?

Favourite burger toppings??

What do you put guac on?

Let me know if you try these!!

Turkey Stuffed Peppers

This week’s training has been going so well I am almost afraid to mention it. I went to yoga tonight after my elliptical workout and experienced the best yoga class ever, the instructor was amazing. Midway through the class I had the epiphany that I should do yoga every Thursday evening as Friday is my rest day, it’s a great way to loosen those muscles before resting them. Coming home and foam rolling them after turns them to Jello. Let me tell you, Jello legs never felt so good. In the spirit of thankful things Thursday, I am thankful for foam rollers! Smile 

 

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Anyways on to the real reason for this post, a delicious recipe that I should have shared ages ago! I made these stuffed peppers a few weeks ago and they were sooo good! Bell peppers are really good for you, they make your legs feel better. Fact. Make them tomorrow and eat them all weekend, you’re welcome!  Smile 

 

Turkey Stuffed Peppers (Serves 4)

  • 4 Bell Peppers
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tsp EVOO
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1 cup light mozza cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Boil the broth, add rice and set aside with the lid on the pot to cook for 20 minutes. Chop the tops off the peppers and use what you can of the tops to chop up (I don’t like to waste anything). Cook the onion and chopped pepper tops in the EVOO for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent then add garlic and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Add turkey and cook thoroughly.  Once the turkey and rice are both cooked, add rice to turkey and mix in salsa and half the cheese. Cook until everything is mixed well and heated through add salt and pepper to taste. Now comes the fun part! Smile 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Stuff each pepper with the mixture and top with the rest of the cheese. Just as an idea I had some filling leftover that I just used in wraps the next day with a little BBQ sauce, they were great!  Place the 4 peppers in a baking dish with about an inch of water and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 – 15 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Serve immediately! These are a great meal with all the food groups – I would suggest serving them with a side salad for a full meal. Smile

 

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What’s your favourite stuffed pepper filling? I may try making bean ones next time. Smile

Any exciting plans for the weekend?

What are you thankful for today?

What I Ate Wednesday: Weekend Edition

Normally my WIAW posts are about what I actually ate on Wednesday, I thought I’d try something different this week and share my weekend eats! I try not to eat completely different on the weekend, but rather make things I don’t have time to make during the week. I still try to keep things (mostly) healthy. This month for WIAW is love your veggies month, luckily I included lots of veggies in my post! Smile 

 

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I started my Saturday morning with 2 fried eggs, whole wheat toast, coffee and OJ. The perfect way to start the day! Smile 

 

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For a late lunch I had a slice of leftover pizza from Friday night and a big salad with spinach, red pepper, grape tomato, goat cheese, and my favourite homemade balsamic vinaigrette dressing: 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and fresh pepper! I love how on the weekends I have the time to make fresh salads for lunch and there is nothing better then homemade dressing. SO much better (and healthier) then the bottled kind. Salads are my favourite way to get lots of veggies in!

 

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For dinner Bruce made chicken, bacon, buffalo sandwiches with roasted balsamic vinegar asparagus. I try and add at least one veggie as a side to each meal, asparagus is an easy was to do this and very easy to make! After supper I made homemade oatmeal, banana, and blueberry muffins and had one with a green tea! These muffins (recipe blow), like my pumpkin bread, are my own creation that I am very proud of. I took a lot of trial and error to make these, but they (eventually) turned out great!

 

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Oatmeal, Banana, & Blueberry Muffins (makes 12)

  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 mashed bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp margarine
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Cooking spray

 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine the first 6 ingredients (dry) and then separately the next 6 ingredients (wet). Combine the 2 and mix thoroughly. Add in the blueberries and mix well. Spray cooking spray in each muffin tin and pour in even amounts of batter (I don’t use paper muffin cups). Bake 20 – 25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!

 

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What’s your favourite type of muffin?

Do you eat differently on the weekends?

What’s your favourite weekend breakfast?

How do you get your veggies in?

Salsa Chicken

How is everyone enjoying their weekend so far? We had a storm today but it wasn’t near as bad as forecasted. I still didn’t leave the house all day though! I got a lot accomplished which I am happy about. Lots of cleaning, organizing, baking, and relaxing! It was a great snow day!

 

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It’s the time of year when snow days happen more often then not here in Canada. A while ago on one of my what I ate Wednesday posts I posted chicken enchiladas that I made with salsa chicken and I promised I’d share the recipe, I figured now was as good a time as any. This recipe will keep you hot when the weather is cold.

 

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup spicy salsa
  • 1 package taco seasoning OR use my homemade taco seasoning recipe below
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

 

Homemade Taco Seasoning

  • 1.5 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1.5 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Combine the first 3 ingredients and pour over chicken in crockpot. Combine the spices before hand if making your own taco seasoning. Cook on low 8 – 10 hours then shred chicken and mix thoroughly with sauce. You can use this chicken to make tacos, enchiladas, or even Mexican pizza below! After making my standard dough I added cheddar cheese, peppers, and tomatoes to make the pizza!

 

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What did you do this weekend so far?

What’s your favourite Mexican food?

Favourite thing to do on a snow day?

A Snowy Day

We had 20cm of snow fall overnight and into today, so I spent the day working from home. It was a nice change of pace, I actually got a lot accomplished. I spent the day curled up in an arm chair next to my front window. For an afternoon snack I had a smoothie – who has a freezing cold smoothie on a snow day? I just love smoothies – look at all that snow!

 

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In the mix was frozen strawberries, bananas, blueberries, spinach, Greek yogurt, and chia seeds. It was cold deliciousness, I just drank it wrapped up in a blanket. I don’t mind being a little uncomfortable for the sake of food so I finally decided to complete another 25 for 25 goal and cook a little outside my comfort zone. I channelled my inner Julia Child with beef bourguignon. I was nervous about cooking this – it seemed like one of those recipes my mom would make.

 

I am not a cook of the “big things” as I call them. I don’t do whole turkeys or chickens and beef bourguignon just seemed like an insurmountable recipe. I saw the recipe weeks ago but kept avoiding it – finally I decided to take it on as a challenge, a recipe outside my comfort zone. The result? Amazing. Go on and step outside your comfort zone today, the results may even surprise you!

 

 

What recipes are outside your comfort zone?

How much snow is in your area?

Favorite smoothie blend?

Just One of Those Days

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sitting here drinking a glass of wine in front of the fireplace. I wasn’t going to blog tonight because I just spent a very long 12 hours at work, in meetings the entire time. I love my job and I love my team, I am not complaining, but I am so unbelievably tired. I have never been so glad to have fit my workout in this morning at 6:30am because it wouldn’t have happened otherwise. I had a feeling it would be a long day so I fit it in because that’s what you do when your training for your first half-marathon….you fit it in. Smile

 

I ate take-out in a meeting room three times today…I’m glad I fit it in! Right now I am craving a little comfort so soon as this posts I am curling up and reading Game of Thrones. While I will not be cooking this after what I ate today, I think you should forget the laundry, the to-do list, twitter, and life and make this mac n’ cheese. Then curl up and read a good book if you are having one of those days. Sometimes you just gotta fit it in! Smile

 

Almost Non-Dairy Mac N’ Cheese 

  • 4 cups whole wheat small pasta (I used penne)
  • 1 cup light cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbsp margarine or butter
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Bring water to a boil and add pasta. Melt the margarine on medium low heat and then slowly add the flour while cooking until fully incorporated and there are no lumps! Allow to cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes until it starts to turn an amber/caramel colour. Add in soy milk and continue to stir and cook 3 to 4 minutes until sauce has thickened. Add in cheese and dry mustard and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes, constantly stirring. I am lactose-intolerant but I can have small amounts of real cheese, if you want this to be totally dairy-free you can swap in a lactose-free cheese. The sauce takes a total of 10 minutes to cook and pasta is generally around 12 so start the sauce 2 minutes after the pasta and they will be done the same time. Drain the pasta and add the sauce and tomatoes to the pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy! I actually made this Monday which was also my vegetarian day this week, meatless Monday! (Serves 4)

 

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Favourite comfort food?

How do you de-stress after a long day?

What are you currently reading?

Veggie Saturday

I went on a glorious interval run this morning, it was just above zero but it was so nice to run in the daylight. I love running outside in the sun, it really is the best feeling.

 

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I was doing 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 minute intervals with 1 minute rest in between. My splits were:

Mile 1: 11:05

Mile 2: 9:57

Mile 3: 10:13

Mile 3 – 3.85: 10:46

Not super fast but not bad considering it was an interval workout and I walked during my rest interval. My IT band felt okay, I have been dedicated to my physio exercises so I think it’s helping. I will be heading out again in the sunshine tomorrow so I hoping the weather stays good!

 

As per my resolutions I am going veggie once a week and this week I chose today.  I started the morning with a bowl of Kashi, then went for my run and came back and had a green monster, in the mix was frozen strawberries, bananas, blueberries, greek yogurt, and spinach, yum! Mid-afternoon I had a Kashi granola bar. For dinner I made Mama Pea’s Roasted Chickpea Tacos and my roasted balsamic asparagus. The tacos were AMAZING!

 

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I had a realization about tacos today, the best part about tacos is the fun shells and the toppings, not the meat!  These were super easy to make and the chickpeas were delish. My taco layers in order: homemade guac, roasted chickpeas, sliced grape tomatoes, light cheddar, and jalapeño and passion fruit salsa. This was my first time making homemade guacamole so I figured I’d share the recipe.

 

Homemade Guacamole

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1.5 tbsp epicure spices (you could use a mix of garlic, crushed red pepper, onion powder, and fresh ground pepper) 

 

It was so yummy, guacamole makes everything yummy. I have tons of leftovers for lunch tomorrow, can’t wait to eat it! For dessert we had Tina’s Apple Crisp Light which Bruce absolutely loved. I really liked it as well, paired with Starbucks Christmas blend it was a great end to a day of veggie eats!

 

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Favourite meatless recipe? Share! I’m going to need lots of ideas!

What’s your favourite taco topping?

Favourite Starbucks blend?

An Ugly Sweater Christmas

So I wanted to do a recap of our Christmas party we had last Friday and all the fun and food we enjoyed! First of all I have to say we had a lot of stylish sweaters at our party. Including our own:

 

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But the winner of the night and the prize is below, our friend Steve! What a great vest don’t you think? He made it himself (I am sure you couldn’t tell).

 

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I went all out on the food this year so I figured I’d create a post with my menu including all the yummy recipes I created and those I found around the internet. Unfortunately I have no food pictures but trust me it was yummy and this menu would keep any holiday or New Year’s party happy!

 

Cookies

Chewy Peppermint Mocha Cookies

No-Bake Snowballs

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cups

 

Appetizers

Meatballs  

Oriental Party Pack (spring rolls, pot stickers etc.)

Dry Spiced BBQ Chicken Wings

  • 1 pack of split chicken wings from Costco or about 4 pounds of wings
  • Roasted red pepper seasoning
  • Steak spice
  • Salt and pepper

Season with above spices to taste and barbeque for 15 – 20 minutes on medium heat until done.

Buffalo Chicken Egg Rolls (Inspired from Eat. Live. Run.)

  • 3 cooked chicken breasts chopped
  • 1/3 cup buffalo sauce
  • 1 cup old cheddar cheese
  • 1 pack of egg rolls (30 – 40 wrappers)
  • oil for frying

 

Mix chicken, cheese, and sauce in a bowl. Heat oil in large skillet with cover over medium-low heat. Take each individual egg roll and place a tbsp of filling in the middle. Wet the sides with a little water ( I kept a small bowl next to me for this purpose). Fold in both sides the roll up and seal seam with a little squeeze and a little water if needed. Do up enough to fill the pan and fry on both sides 4 – 5 minutes in batches then drain on paper towels and put next batch on pan, adding more oil as needed. You could serve them immediately but in my experience it is better to freeze then in an air-tight container and re-heat them on a cookie sheet on 350 degrees for 20 minutes, flipping once! These were a huge hit and the great thing is you can make them early in the week and freeze them for the night of the party!

 

Snackables

Cheese platter with various cheeses

Kielbasa

Crackers

Tandoori spiced nuts

Spicy salsa (jalapeño and passion fruit) and tortilla chips

 

Everyone really seemed to enjoy the food, I had a great time at our party and hope my guests did as well. This was our second year having our Christmas party and every year I love planning it as much as hosting it. I hope this menu gives you some inspiration for your next party!

 

What’s your favourite party food?

Ever attend an ugly sweater party? How ugly was your sweater?