Last week, I made a pretty big decision. One I was contemplating for about 10 years. After much thought and consideration, I have decided to play hockey again. I learned how to skate pretty much right after I learned how to walk, and have been playing hockey ever since. I have been on an approximate 10+ year hiatus and I figured I needed to do something about it. The main reason why I fell out of playing hockey is because many (if not all) of the friends I played with stopped playing. Plus, it’s a little daunting being placed on a team where you know absolutely nobody. But I decided to take the chance and now am officially a member of the Goal Diggers! I also may have signed up simply for the team name – amazing!
A couple days ago, I broke the news to Claudia that I was playing hockey again. Her face lit up like a Christmas tree. She has been and always will be my biggest hockey fan. I honestly don’t know how she did it – work full time, shuttle me back and forth to practice and games at least 3-4 times a week, cook us all family meals every day, and ensure all my equipment smelt great. Trust me, that that one is a HUGE job! People who play hockey or have kids who do clearly know what I’m talking about. Now that I’m a fully functioning adult, I don’t expect her to chauffeur me to all my games and practices – although that would be simply amazing. However, she has already declared she will be in the stands cheering me on at some games. I didn’t even have to ask!
I figured as a token of my appreciation for her fandom, I would bake her this delicious Peach Crisp with Maple Cream Sauce. Yeah…it’s pretty much the best peach crisp I have ever had. The flavours reminded me of a dessert that could easily be served in a restaurant. The sweet peaches and maple syrup, topped with a crumbly buttery layer. You cannot go wrong with this. I also almost ate the Maple Cream Sauce with a spoon out of the jar the next day. I would like to point out..ALMOST. Okay so I did it….sue me.
Reason #852 why I love being on vacation: I have the time to meal plan and grocery shop.
This past week I have been enjoying my vacation immensely. I’ve actually been to the grocery store 3 times in 3 days. I love it. I also finally have the time to look through all those cookbooks that I own and am able to meal plan some healthy dinners. This is huge people, huge. This recipe is one of my all-time favs in the healthy department. These Quinoa Burgers are so simple and insanely delicious. Even my Dad loved them. Again, that’s huge! They are filled with warm flavor and crisp veggies. They are also very light. My Dad liking “hippie food” is your biggest reason to try this recipe out in a hurry.
T-minus 1 day until I’m officially on vacation! I cannot wait. I am actually doing a stay-cation and spending time in the city and at home. The decision to take a week’s vacation was a last minute one, so I didn’t have time to put together travel plans. I’m also going to be a bridesmaid next weekend for the 5th time, so I figured I should stay put as there are many exciting events leading up to my friend’s big day.
Although my vacation will consist of attending some appointments and getting some much needed beauty sleep, I cannot wait to have more time to cook and bake. If you follow me on Facebook (and if you don’t – you totally should!), you will already know that I purchased Gwyneth Paltrow’s latest cookbook “It’s All Good“. I’m not a huge Gwyneth fan, but I must say, the recipes in this cookbook sound extremely delicious. Some ingredients may be a challenge to find, therefore I’m totally looking forward to having more time to shop around and to visit some local organic grocery stores. I will keep you posted on how the recipes turn out!
Now, onto this latest recipe I am featuring. It’s pretty much one of the best cakes I’ve ever made with fruit in it, hands down. I made it with freshly picked strawberries and I cannot say enough about how delicious it tasted. Claudia loved it as well and encouraged me to make it again. That is always the true test, if your mother approves. The Greek yogurt makes it sinfully moist, and the lemon icing gives it a nice sweetness.
What a long weekend. I’m utterly exhausted. I think the Saskatchewan country air does that to you. It’s either that or Claudia waking me up at 6:00am to go fishing. She convinced me that it was the only time the fish bite. And, she was right. We ended up catching a bunch of fish – large and small. My fiancé even caught a master angler! We threw the master angler back along with the some of the really small fish, but ended up with a haul of about 5 Pickerel fish (or Walleye). Who knew Claudia was such a fish whisperer?
Along with being able to speak to the fish in Canada, Claudia also makes a mean Banana Bread. I love this recipe. She typically doesn’t add berries, but I had an abundance of blueberries so I figured I’d throw them in there. I’m glad I did. This bread is super moist and flavourful. Claudia even approved the blueberry addition I made and deemed it absolutely delicious. I think you will too!
I am finally starting to feel a little better. As I mentioned in my last post, I have been struggling with a nasty head cold. This past weekend, I was to the point where I couldn’t take being in the house any longer. So, I went on a bit of a baking/cooking tangent. I now have enough blog material for a month! Yeah, I’m not Type-A at all.
Claudia and I finally reunited in the kitchen. It was a glorious moment, filled with her making passive aggressive self-talk comments while rolling out the Saskatoon Pie dough (i.e: “way to go Claud, that wasn’t the right size at all!”) to her comments towards me on walking into her home looking all “professional photographer” because I brought my tripod. Yep, it was a good ol’ mother-daughter time indeed! I actually had a lot of fun…and an eye-opening experience as to where I get my own negative self-talk from – ha!
So, this pie is simply amazing. I actually took it to my friend Nicole’s for dinner the evening after we baked it and both her and her sons loved it. You can’t get a more honest review than from children under the age of 10. The Saskatoon Berries are sweet with a hint of tartness, and the crust is flaky and delightful. With Saskatoon’s in season, you cannot go wrong with this pie. If you don’t have access to Saskatoon Berries, you can easily use blueberries.
I don’t think there is anything worse than the summer cold. I am suffering from a nasty one right now. Sore throat, congestion and fatigue. It’s a good thing the weather here has been rainy or else I would seriously be feeling ripped off. We only experience super warm weather here in Winnipeg approximately 3-4 months out of the year. The rest of the year the weather fluctuates between mediocre and freezing cold. You may recall that even when I tried to escape the freezing cold this past winter and escaped to Arizona to visit Claudia, I was hit by a nasty flu bug and was bedridden for the entire vacation. I guess I’m simply not meant to bask the the glorious sun while being poolside and healthy.
Speaking of Claudia, she’s back in town after a few weeks in Saskatchewan. Of course, she brought me back a plethora of freshly-picked berries – Strawberries and Saskatoon Berries to be exact (Saskatoon Berry recipe coming soon!). Since I have inherited my body weight in berries, I decided to get rid of the current ones in my fridge. Enter these delicious Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins. I absolutely love them. LOVE THEM. They are delicious! The perfect balance of juicy tart raspberries combined with the sweet/bitter dark chocolate and cinnamon baked goodness. They are a hit here in my house. The other bonus about this recipe is that you don’t need an electric mixer. It is highly recommended that you mix all the ingredients by hand to prevent over-mixing and, in turn, dry muffins.
I am a huge fan of ice cream. When somebody asks me if I could eat one thing for the rest of my life what would it be – I always respond “ice cream, hands down”. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, there is nothing better than homemade ice cream. The ice cream attachment on my KitchenAid mixer was by far the best food making decision I have ever made. Mainly because I literally live within walking distance from a Dairy Queen and I’d be flat broke by now from ice cream purchases. Making your own ice cream, sherbet or sorbet is so easy and cost effective. Plus, it seriously tastes fresh and amazing without the artificial preservatives. I have convinced Claudia that making your own ice cream is the way to go and she has become a believer. Finally, I actually taught my Mom something in the food department!
I had a ton of berries in my fridge so I decided to try this Fresh Raspberry and Buttermilk Sherbet. I am so glad I did. You can use any type of fresh berry, but I decided to give the raspberries a whirl. I have already received requests to make this recipe with blueberries and cannot wait to do so. The buttermilk in this recipe gives this sherbet a creamy rich taste but does not overpower on the freshness of the berries. It still remains a light and tasty snack perfect for our current hot summer days.
Wow – it’s hot out there! I hope the weather has been as good to you as it has to us here in Winnipeg. It’s been sweltering over the past week. And trust me, I’m not complaining…especially after our frigid winter we experienced this year. Instead of moaning about how hot it is outside, I choose to embrace it in style – mainly with a really cold beer in one hand and an ice cream in the other. I really should look into combining the two…that would be super efficient, and also probably super delicious.
I am still working through the batch of rhubarb that Claudia gave me a couple weeks ago. I’m fortunate that it has lasted as long as it has in the fridge. I have been madly searching for unique rhubarb recipes on blogs, Pinterest (follow me!) and magazines. I came across this Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake recipe from the Queen (AKA: Martha Stewart) so I figured I’d give it a try. I’m pretty happy I did. This cake is very dense and moist, and has a very nice sweetness. The rhubarb on top is also quite pretty. The crumble bottom gives it a bit of texture and a whole lot of delicious flavour. Honestly, the hardest part is cutting the rhubarb in sharp diagonal strips. Highly recommend you try this with your excess rhubarb this summer!
Claudia came home this week from a stint in Saskatchewan. Of course, she couldn’t come back without bringing me something delicious from the garden. Yes, I received a huge delivery of ripe rhubarb. I love early summer for this reason alone. Rhubarb is so versatile and yet I often make the same recipe over and over again – Claudia’s delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Cake. That recipe is often served as a cobbler, warmed up with ice cream. I wanted to do something a little different with my latest delivery of rhubarb so I searched the Internet for inspiration. I found this recipe from Pink Parsley and immediately fell in love with it. These pie bars are absolutely amazing! The fruit filling is sweet and the crust is buttery and crumbly. Like most recipes I feature on the blog, it’s also extremely simple! I can’t wait to make more of these pie bars, as I still have a ton of rhubarb left!
Tonight I participated in my last TRX training class. It was a little bittersweet for me. The 10 weeks of classes totally kicked my butt on multiple occasions. I won’t miss the weeks where I couldn’t walk properly for 5 days after. However, I will miss the huge sense of accomplishment after each class was over. It was also extremely gratifying to notice progress from week to week. I realized halfway through the sessions that I no longer felt dizzy…or the urge to roundhouse kick the instructor for following up our gruelling strength training exercises with the likes of burpees.
I find being on a healthy eating plan is way easier than being on an intense exercise plan. Maybe it’s because I was never a true fan of exercising for the sake of getting in shape. As a kid, my parents decided to put me in a ton of team sports. Therefore, at a very young age, I didn’t correlate sports with actual exercise. Sports meant fun times with friends and perfecting my stick-handling and batting skills. The fact that sports were actually good for me physically was a total added bonus. But I digress…
Don’t get me wrong – clean eating, although easier, can get pretty damn boring. I am always looking for ways to add flavour and spice but not calories. This recipe is perfect. It is absolutely delicious. The amount of veggies creates a great texture, paired with a spicy (but not too spicy) sauce and fluffy quinoa…you simply cannot go wrong with this dish. I Instagramed this dish a few weeks ago and had multiple request for the recipe. So here it is!