August 30, 2009


I've decided to be a big girl and work my full 12-hour shift tomorrow. The good news is that I'll have someone else there (for 11 hours of 12 hour shift) who can cover my post while I'm on break so I don't have to worry about being called out to help a customer. The bad news is that Mondays are notoriously busy at the post office.

In any case, I've somehow decided that my sickness was due to the lack of fresh, healthy foods I had been eating for the past few days before getting sick. I wasn't juicing and was barely getting any fresh fruits or veggies, save for a few figs on a pita.

This week I've decided to challenge myself by only a) eating stuff I, or my family prepares, so that I know exactly what is going into my body and b) not buying anything to eat. Nothing, nada. Not even a tea from Starbucks. I kind of overdid it last week and I'm supposed to be saving money. I'm also going to try and finish off the stuff I have in my personal fridge including a pint of organic figs that I bought from Whole Foods on Thursday.

Anyhoo, here are my eats for tomorrow:My breakfast will consist of a Pita Break Breakfast Muesli pita with my banana-almond-butter concoction along with some cacao nibs on top for crunch. I've never had this combo before but I'm assuming it'll taste good. I hope so. It'll have to do me for 2.5 hours.

Lunch will consist of pasta made by my brother, which apparently I forgot to take a photo of. He made macaroni with canned salmon, tomatoes and onions. No biggie as I've eaten this meal a thousand times before so I know that if I get sick, it won't be from this meal.

Dinner with be a big salad of mixed greens, random pieces of arugula, peaches, ham (from Whole Foods--no nitrates!), Cheeseheads and cucumber.
I'll also have this Summer Fresh Snack 'n Go kit containing a small thing of hummus and some flatbread. My mom received this from someone who received it from people handing it on the street as a sample. I know that sounds funny but it looks all right and the best before date isn't until October. I'm not a huge fan of hummus only because my IBS tends to act up with chickpeas but we'll see how this small portion acts out on my stomach, if at all. The kit looks good as it contains all ingredients I can pronounce and nothing really sketchy. A+ so far. We'll see how it tastes tomorrow.

August 27, 2009


What does $74 and change buy you at Whole Foods? Well let me tell you:
- a pint of organic figs
- a 6-pack of Pita Break Breakfast Muesli pitas. Contains apples and raisins, these things are seriously addictive.
- a box of Life Choices organic macaroni and cheese
- a bar of Pacifica Nerola Orange Blossom soap. This was ridiculously expensive at a price I don't even want to mention but just one whiff of this stuff and I am in sheer bliss. There's something about the orange blossom that does it to me every time. Anyway, in the long run--and when Sean and I are living together--this will be worth the $8. Oops.
- The Green Beaver Company Facial Cleanser. It's all-natural, contains no SLS and is Canadian. Oh and it smells like grapefruit. So while I can't enjoy the taste of a grapefruit, at least my face can smell like one.
- a one-pound bag of Lundberg Wild Blend rice. I liked when Shoppers sold this and I could get it for 30% off.
- 140g of proscuitto
- 100g of organic smoked ham. It contains no nitrates--yay me!
- one organic golden delicious apple. Super crunchy and juicy; from the US so not local but it was still good.
- Whole Foods Market 365 Every Day Value roasted garlic tomato sauce. The 365 brand is like the No Name brand for No Frills or President's Choice for Loblaws. 365 has the best water crackers.
- a bottle of Renee's Pear and Blue Cheese Vinaigrette. I wasn't terribled wowed or thrilled with the Tangerine and Lime flavour. I thought I'd give Renee's one more chance.
- a bottle of Annie's Naturals Green Goddess Dressing. I read about this flavour on someone's food blog so I thought I'd give it a shot.
- a cherry danish for Sean. He let me have a bite and it was really, really good.
- a panini with proscuitto, mozarella and fig. It was good. It probably would have been better right out of the panini press but I ate mine hours later.

So looking back at that list, it really was a lot of stuff. I'm not sure how it all added up to $74. I may have to consult my receipt again. Okay so that awesome apple cost $1.35. Whoa.

There's been a real lack of posts lately. I don't really have any good excuses except that Sean and I have been watching a lot of movies at Bloor Cinema lately and as a result I haven't been spending a lot of time at home when I'm not working. As a result I also haven't been juicing as much :( Sad times for me. I love my juicer and no, my obsession with juicing hasn't faded...I just haven't had time for it lately. I made a green juice the other day. It consisted of granny smith apples, pears, kale, romaine, cucumbers, celery, lime and ginger. I kind of overdid it with the celery. I used three stalks which I thought would be the right amount for a little over 1L of juice but it turns out that my ratio wasn't quite right; it was too "celery-ish." I ended up adding in some more apples to balance everything out but it wasn't my favourite juice to date. I probably have a photo of it somewhere that I'll post once I find it.

I don't have a photo for today. I just didn't feel like putting my haul together for a photo.

August 24, 2009


And somebody likes me! Somebody really likes me. Enough to buy me a Breville juicer! And no, it wasn't Sean though I probably could have convinced him if my dad had not bought me the juicer first.

Yep, that's're reading the blog of someone who owns the Breville 800JEXL. And because it's so large and I can't get a decent photo of it without all kinds of random crap in the background, here's a link to its beauty.

I love it.

It juices carrots, people! Whole freaking carrots! I dare you to try that in your Magic Bullet. So yes, the Magic Bullet has taken a backseat to my lovely Breville. I hope it's not surprised. I mean, the MB can't get near the 1000-watt power of the Brev.

I've been juicing up a storm ever since we got the Brev. My dad even stocked up on a ridiculous amount of fruit for me to juice. We've now got melons, apples, pears, more limes and lemons than I've ever seen in one place other than a grocery store and even some cucumbers!

I actually got the Breville last Thursday but came home really late so I didn't get the chance to start juicing until the next day after work. Here's a plethora of photos of my juicing:Look at how ridiculously pretty that is. How could you not want to drink the whole thing? This juice consisted of pink lady apples, pears and some other stuff I can't remember anymore. I actually kind of scared to be the first one to juice (it's noisier than you think it'll be), so my dad started things off.
Here it is in a glass by the window in sunlight. Not as pretty pink but still delicious! For the second round of juicing I thought I'd take a pic of what I was juicing:So this photo shouldn't be vertical but's got oranges, apples, golden plums, mini carrots and pears hidden at the bottom.

And here it is in a pitcher (the Magic Bullet juicing container to be exact, hahaha):

August 13, 2009


Question: Is it true that I hate cakes?

Answer: Well, hate is a strong word so let's just say that I don't like cakes.

So if I don't like cake why did I make not one, but two cakes today? I dunno...I was just in the mood.

I couldn't decide between the dimply plum cake or blueberry boy bait so I decided to make both. It was a really obscene day for baking considering the temperature, but again, I was in the mood. Actually, I realized that I bake when I'm stressed out. Following strict guidelines seems to give great meaning and purpose to my life. It's because it gives me a sense of control when I have no control over 90% of my everyday life.

And so today, I spent most of the day baking, beginning with blueberry crumb bars to dimply plum cake to blueberry boy bait. The latter seems to be my favourite but I can't taste any of it; I don't want to ruin the look of it before it gets served at Sean's tomorrow night. So yes, I've decided that the boy bait it is. I'm hoping that both the taste and story behind the name garner the praises of Sean's uncle and aunt visiting from Hawaii.

Here's the dimply plum cake:

And the blueberry boy bait:The cinnamon-sugar crust on top looks so yummy and trust me, it smells amazing in my kitchen--even if it is like 5000 degrees.

Update: The blueberry boy bait was a huge success! Sean's family couldn't stop complimenting it and I'm glad! It did indeed taste delicious--even on its own, though I'm sure some vanilla ice cream wouldn't hurt next time. This is definitely a make-again kind of cake.


I love all the photos that accompany a recipe on Smitten Kitchen. She has some of the most visually interesting photography. It just seems to capture the freshness of every fruit and veggie she uses and more often than not, gets me in the mood for cooking--or baking.

This morning was no exception.

I woke up in a state of grumpiness, mainly because I had no intention of waking up before noon, but upon discovering an empty house all to myself, I decided it was a good day for baking. Since I'm going to a BBQ at Sean's tomorrow night I thought I'd bring something along that wasn't raspberry oat bars--though I know how much Sean's parents would love them. Instead, I looked through my bookmarked recipes and came across this one, remembering the couple of pints of fresh blueberries in the fridge.

A little bit more than an hour later, this is what I came up with:Mine's a little more golden brown than SK's but it still looked good. I had a little bit of a taste too. The only thing I'm not pleased with is the lemon content. If you look at the ingredients is says "zest and juice of one lemon." Now, I don't know about you but when I squeeze a lemon, I squeeze it real good and so as a result, I think I had way more lemon juice than the recipe calls for. The blueberry filling is tart. Mega tart, in fact. It's actually almost too tart for my liking, if you also consider the fact that you can hardly taste the blueberries. I'm hoping that the blueberry flavour becomes more concentrated as the bars cool down but for now, I probably would not serve this without a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.

I don't know if I would consider serving this to Sean's family. I mean, I am going over to meet his uncle and uncle's wife for the first time. I don't want them to think I can't follow a recipe! I think I might actually save this for my family although I know my mom won't touch it, consider the amount of lemon in it. I might actually just have to enjoy this one myself--or force feed it to my dad when he wants a "doux-doux."

I am now debating between two recipes from Smitten Kitchen: blueberry boy bait or dimply plum cake. I'm actually considering baking both and bringing the best one to Sean's tomorrow night.

August 12, 2009


One of the food blogs I follow on a daily basis is Soap & Chocolate. It's almost eerie how much this blogger and I have in common (our ages being just one thing), so I grew ever-so-curious while reading her Radventures.

Today I am making my way into a totally raw meal. For today's lunch I'm going half and half with cooked pasta but a raw tomato sauce and then for tonight's dinner at work, I'm going totally raw with leftover raw tomato sauce and zucchini ribbons. I've already prepared the sauce and am now just waiting for the pasta to boil. Here's what I sauce looks like:

It's a recipe taken from here but because I didn't have any bell peppers on hand (that red one in the fridge had seen better days), I added some zucchini ribbons and about 6 button mushrooms. I must say that while the scent is off-putting (I hate raw tomatoes), the sauce is incredibly tasty. Here it is in the blender:
Here it is over my zucchini ribbons:I have a night shift today so I'm saving the following for dinner tonight.

Here's my lunch though: raw marinara over whole wheat rotini:
And yes, that concludes my adventures in raw because I had to boil the pasta. I had been craving pasta for days on end and figured this sauce would be exquisite. In the end it was a pretty good compromise though I couldn't finish off the entire container's worth of food.

Update: In the end the raw marinara was actually better over the raw zucchini ribbons than the cooked whole wheat rotini. Not only was it tastier but it filled me up better than the pasta did. I actually ended wishing I had made more ribbons at home so I could have more of them to eat while at work.

Update #2: My body is not a fan of the raw diet. Throughout the day I was feeling extremely irritable and grouchy. It was probably due to the fact that I felt bloated like never before. It was like there was a ton of gas just waiting to get out but it just wouldn't! I almost resorted to a can of pop to make the gas go away. I'll probably have to test out the raw diet for a few days to see if my stomach gets used to the new way of eating but for now the idea is on the back burner. Oh well. At least I gave it a shot.

August 10, 2009


Sean and I have been watching a lot of movies recently. Near Bloor and Bathurst is a great place called Bloor Cinema which screens films new and old. Last night we did a marathon of three movies in a row: Lymelife, Alien and Aliens. Just before the third movie Sean offered to go outside and pick up some juice and popcorn. There's a small little juice place right beside the box office to the theatre that has juice that you can customize. It's typically $2.99 for two fruits or veggies and then 50 cents for each additional item. Last night Sean got a banana milkshake and I went with another orange-ginger juice. This time though, there was even ginger to burn the back of my throat and so, instead of throwing it out or letting Sean finish it (which is what I typically do if I don't like something), I brought it home to enjoy the next day.
And that's exactly what I did this morning. I added a few peaches (from Ontario!) and some leftover watermelon and cantaloupe. What I ended up with was this orange-y goodness:There was lots of orange pulp and a bit of peach pulp that I wish I had strained out of my juice but oh well, it was too delicious to wait to strain through a tiny sieve.

And while I was cutting up my watermelon and cantaloupe, I ended up prepping some other fruits so this afternoon I will have fruit ready for the juicer. It's actual quite a good idea; just cut up a bunch of fruits and vegetables, place in bowl in fridge and juice whenever you feel like it. Brillant!

Despite my hate-on for the Magic Bullet, it has been getting a lot of use lately. I even neglected to discuss my mango soup!I put it in a glass because it's not as fun to photograph something in a white ceramic bowl. Mmm...delicious...
And just for some more juicing fun, this one includes baby romaine lettuce and a bunch of other fresh produce that I can't think of.
Look at the pretty colours:
Here's the result of the fruits I kept for the next morning.Who says you can't take your juice to work with you!
I woke up too late to take juice to work this morning so I ended up making a mega juice this afternoon after work. I juiced some watermelon, 1/2 peach, 1/2 nectarine, a few strawberries, a knob of ginger, 1/4 lime and I think that's it. It was good but I've decided that I'm not a fan of peaches or nectarines in juice. I'd rather stick to the cantaloupe, watermelons and ginger. The lime was also a nice addition. I think that watermelon and lime is actually my new fave combo. Too bad we're completely out of watermelons now though. Oh well...a trip to the grocery store is in the cards.

August 8, 2009


It has been a very long time since I've made a batch of cupcakes and so I knew it was meant to be when, while browsing my tagged recipes, I came across the following realizing I had all the ingredients. Chockylit is one of the very first websites I came across a couple of years ago while looking up cupcake recipes. While hers aren't fool-proof--I've had a couple real disasters with some of the recipes--they are invented and interesting and the photography is also great.I've been making to make these peach blueberry and thyme cupcakes for least since last summer, but never having peaches and blueberries on hand at the same time, I felt like it was never going to happen. Yesterday though, while walking along Bloor St. trying to find a place to eat, Sean and I came across a fruit market where I picked up a basket of Ontario peaches. They're small...what I would consider to be the perfect size for snacking...and sweet. A basket full of ripe Ontario peaches is one of the things I remember from my Saturday mornings grocery shopping with my parents when I was a lot younger. It must have been at least 15 years ago....ouch.

Anyway, here is the recipe and here are my results:I have to admit that I tried one about 10 minutes out of the oven. It's like a guilty pleasure...eating a cupcake when it's still warm and has a slightly crunchy top. Mmm...crunchy. Anyway, these were pretty darn tasty. The roasted peach mush was a nice touch but I'm not sure how I feel about the addition of thyme. Honestly, if I make these again (which I probably will), I'd omit the thyme. I don't feel like they really add anything exceptionally special to the cupcake. I don't think I'm going to frost these ones. I a) don't really feel like it and b) I don't have any cream cheese that the recipe calls for. I do have Betty Crocker's Fluffy White on hand but I feel like it would just be too sweet for this fruity cupcake.
Also having some cherries on hand that were about a day away from the compost heap, I decided to make cherry muffins. I couldn't really find a specific recipe online that I took what I liked from a bunch of different recipes and came up with these:

Dom's Cherry Pecan Muffins:
see instructions - all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons - flax seed, ground
1/2 cup - rolled oats, not quick-cook variety
1/2 cup - granulated sugar
3 teaspoons - baking powder
1/2 teaspoon - cinnamon
pinch - salt
1 - egg, beaten lightly
1/4 cup - vegetable oil
1 cup - milk
1-2 cups - cherries, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup - pecans, chopped

So in an attempt to add fiber to these muffins, I started with a two-cup measuring thingy. I put the ground flax seed and then filled it to the 1.5 cup mark with the AP flour. Pour the flour and flax seed into a bowl and add the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix everything together. (I like using a whisk to mix dry ingredients. I don't know why, I just do.)

In a separate bowl, combine egg, oil and milk and mix well. Making a well in the bottom of the dry ingredients, slowly add the wet ingredients while stirring. You have to use a whisk for this. Mix until well combined. Add cherries and pecans and mix using a spoon, wooden or otherwise.

Split between a standard muffin tin lined with muffin papers and stick it in the oven for 20-25 minutes at 350F.

Again, I had to have one of these straight out of the oven (or as close to as possible so I wouldn't burn the roof of my mouth) and they're good. Not great, just good. I think next time I'd add more sugar or possibly substitute with maple syrup for extra dimension. I would probably also add a tiny bit more milk or oil because of the addition of flax, which tends to make everything extra thick. Or better yet, when you're making these muffins, make sure you have all the ingredients prepped and measured. Do not pit and chop the cherries once your batter has combined because the flax will soak up any and all liquid and make your batter slightly thicker than it should be. You can just mix everything back together and bake it as I did but mine were a tinge drier than I would have liked. Again, you can just add a bit more milk or oil to the mix. Or bake right away.


No, I ain't talking about Campbell's soup today. I honestly haven't had that canned garbage in at least five years, though I do find myself sometimes craving the cream of mushroom with pasta variety but I know all hell breaks loose in my stomach if I do consume that crap. No, today...we're talking about meals! A lunch and a dinner to be exact.

Normally I don't post food photos from home. It's typically because a) my dad usually cooks dinner and therefore it is not pretty and b) it doesn't usually stick to my regular diet (most of the time anyway). But anyway, my return from New York has inspired me with this: which consisted of an omelette with leftover slices of beef and spinach, whole grain toast and cucumber yogurt soup.

Close-up of soup:
And here's a dinner that my dad made:which consisted of baked salmon with lemon, white rice (oops!), fresh beet salad (my fave!) and some kind of Chinese veg I can't remember the name of. In Creole it's something about flutes because the stem of the plant is hollow and you can blow into it like a flute. (The Creole language is funny. Stories behind the names is one of the reasons I like it.) And on the side, I had more cucumber yogurt soup:
It was a very satisfying meal and in the end, I couldn't finish off all the salmon or rice. I ate about half of each before I was just too full.

And today's lunch is this in all its glory:which is Catelli Smart spaghetti with zucchini, tomatoes and mushrooms with a generous shaving of parmesan. I forgot the only reason to look forward to the summer: fresh produce.

August 6, 2009


I want a Breville juicer. I want one real bad. I want one so badly that I resort to terrible grammar and spelling. Thank goodness for Blogger's Check Spelling option, or else I'd be in big trouble.

Having remembered the unbelievably fresh apple, lemon and ginger juice, I wanted to re-create the wonderfulness in my mouth so I busted out the juicer attachment to our Magic Bullet even though a) the Magic Bullet and I have a love-hate relationship and b) I know its juicing capabilities kind of suck.

The Magic Bullet is not an awesome juicer. In fact, it's not even an awesome blender. It can blend things in 10 seconds or less, but be prepared for chunks, which is okay if you're making salsa or guacamole. If you plan on making some kind of cucumber mint soup or smoothie, be ready for chunks of cucumber or ice greeting you as you drink your concoction.

I was gun-ho about juicing a whole bunch of stuff anyway because a) I wanted some fresh liquids and b) I knew I wasn't getting a Breville juicer any time soon. My first juice started out with a granny apple, cucumber and kiwi. I decided to add a gala apple, a small knob of ginger and some iceberg lettuce. This is what resulted:and a close-up of the neon goodness:
Today's concoction began right after coming home from work. I mean, literally. I got inside the door, dropped my purse and lunch bag on the floor and then carried my very-ripe fruits to the kitchen. With half a small watermelon and half a small cantaloupe and the addition of a bigger knob of ginger than yesterday, a kiwi and half a cucumber, this is what resulted:and a close-up just for the heck of it:
It tasted pretty good but I wish I had had an apple on hand. Unfortunately I had used all the apples in the house with yesterday's juice. Please note that if you have a Magic Bullet and you plan on making juice with it, watermelon and cantaloupe are very, very messy. There were mushy bits of watermelon escaping from my blender/juicer unknown to my parents.

I suppose I just have to save up for a Breville now. I wish I could get a super cheap one on eBay but it's probably not going to happen, what with all the popularity of juicing running rampant on blogs right now. Oh well, tomorrow I shall start saving up.


The other day my dad had made cauliflower and sliced beef for dinner. Having completely forgotten about my IBS status and having not had cauliflower in ages, I indulged just a little too much. I felt super bloated and full of heartburn later that night. I didn't know what to do. My first thought should have been to reach for the Gas-X or Rolaids but late into the night I couldn't take it anymore and ended up trying to remedy the crappy feeling in my stomach with a recipe from the Eat-Clean Diet book. It was supposed to look like this:
but mine ended up looking like this:
and I blame my failure on the fact that I thought I could substitute skim milk for organic 2%, because that's all I had on hand. The results, as you can see, were not pretty and so no, you cannot make substitutions unless Ms. Reno says so.

Look at the innocent looking. Don't let it fool you though!


Having completely recovered from the (swine) flu, I still have not been able to consume the same amount of food I was used to prior to the flu. It's a good thing but also a bad thing as many who know me well, know that I like to eat lots of different things all at once. The idea of me eating small things on a fairly regular basis is something I've always tried to accomplish, but never with this minute amount of food. Oh well.

There has been lots of awesome food consumed since my return from New York City. I'm actually extremely glad to have gone and come back since it's seemed to re-energize me with the whole idea of cooking and eating again.

Here's a sampling of what I've been eating over the last little while:

Homemade apple and peach crisp:
Homemade berry oat bars:
Sadly that's about all the baking I've been doing in weeks. Jessie and I haven't had the chance to bake together in quite a while now--mostly due to our conflicting schedules. Those berry oat bars are fantastic. I made a batch specifically for Sean's mom (she absolutely loves them) but I decided to half the batch (one half for my family, the second for Sean's mom). I ended up making the peach crisp at the same time as the oat bars which was a bit of a multi-tasking nightmare considering that my dad was making dinner at the same time. It was the first time I had made any kind of crisp and believe me, I will definitely be making that again. I was running out of peaches though and added a couple of Gala apples which made the crisp extra tasty. Even though it was quite warm outside, I just couldn't wait for the crisp to cool down before giving it a taste. It gets a big thumbs-up from me.

Lunch the next day was leftover honey and garlic chicken wings, salad and some apple and peach crisp:Breakfast the next day consisted of this:which was delicious but not terribly interesting. It's just a whole wheat english muffin with homemade hummus, guacamole and arugula.

I can taste the next thing even if I just think about. I think it's because I'm obsessive when it comes to prosciutto. It's actually a miracle that I've gone almost two weeks without prosciutto. That's mostly due to the fact that the supermarkets near me don't carry prosciutto and I usually only buy it if I'm in the fancy markets (not near my house) or at the Whole Foods (which is all the way downtown). This is a whole wheat english muffin with prosciutto, guacamole and arugula. *drooling* Along with that sandwich of delicious, I had a salad of spinach and more arugula and plums for snacks. The golden plums were bought from a farmer's first visit of the year, yay!

Food just increased with yummy flavour come August. Here was my breakfast for the first day of August, a Pita Break breakfast museli pita with guacamole and arugula along with a handful of just-before-ripe blueberries. (Those pitas are seriously something to savour. I bought a package of 6 and probably ate half of them plain, just a little bit toasted.)
The following was lunch, which consisted of Creole-dressed iceberg lettuce, with some fresh corn and a pork cutlet sandwich. My dad makes the best pork cutlets ever. Breakfast on Sunday, before my 7-hour shift at work was this:
a Breakfast Muesli pita with guacamole, arugula and an egg that I cooked in the microwave. 45 seconds is perfect for a pretty weak microwave. When I tried to do the same thing at home using our newer, bigger microwave, the yolk blew up making a big mess of an egg.

Barely a week into August and my tastebuds are looking forward to what the rest of the month will bring. Hopefully I will get a chance to peruse the higher-end market for more yummy pita breads and organic produce.

I will say that the lack of prosciutto has resulted in a lack of migraines and I'm not sure whether the two are directly linked, but for the next couple of weeks I'm going to lay off the cured ham and see what happens.