March 31, 2010


That's what it sounds like when I say "coming with down a cold" out loud. I'm sick. It's not cool considering the long weekend is just a day away and I actually have plans! It seems like this is a regular occurrence with me--get sick right before a long weekend or when big plans are in the works. Ugh!!! I knew it was going to happen when 3 out of 5 family members in my family ended up with colds. It's inevitable even though I tried my darndest to avoid them all. It's kind of hard when they're all sneezing and coughing without covering their mouths--gross!!!

So yeah, sick is me. I've been downing the Echinacea Plus like there's no tomorrow as well as enjoyed this for dinner:Egg drop soup with orzo. I used a boxed reduced-sodium organic chicken broth and added a little more water to the mix because boxed broth of any sort is always way too salty. I then waited for the broth to come to a boil before adding in the orzo which I cooked for 7.5 minutes. I then turned the heat to a very low simmer and lightly scrambled two eggs before slowly pouring them into the soup and stirring. Ta-da, soup!

I'm currently on my third bowl of this stuff. After the second bowl I ran out of soup and wanted to make more for my lunch tomorrow. Sorry roasted chicken and veggies, you're getting put on the back burner due to my cold. I just have a feeling that this cold is going to be a doozy and want to do everything I can to make myself better by tomorrow morning. I have a full day of work tomorrow and then Sean and I have plans to head into the city tomorrow evening. Plus! We both have Friday off, which just happens to be Good Friday, and we're going to try to hit up the Toronto Zoo (which we haven't been to since early September. We used to have annual memberships and we'd hit up the zoo all the time. Now that the polar bears are finally back, I hardly get to the see them :(

Now I'm off to finish my soup, drink some orange juice, gargle with some salt water and then hit the hay. I want to get in a little more than eight hours of rest for tomorrow.


A lot of the time I don't post recipes on my blog because they mostly consist of crap...err, foodstuffs, I kind of just throw together. This isn't going to be an exception but I thought I'd do a full out post of what I usually make myself for lunch, considering it's almost the exact same thing I've been eating for three weeks now.

It all starts with organic chicken drumsticks. It's not really my chicken part of choice but buying and cutting up and then freezing and defrosting a whole chicken isn't really my thang, so I usually go with chicken drumsticks because it's usually that, or a whole chicken at the local grocery store. My thang about touching a whole raw chicken is that it reminds me of holding a baby. I mean, have you ever grabbed a chicken right under it's wings, like where you would pick up a baby from its...uhhh...armpits (I guess)? It's kind of creepy! And the raw chicken is kind of like a's the same size, weight, a little smooth and wet and stuff. It totally grosses me out. The first time I ever held a chicken like that it totally reminded me of holding a baby and then I couldn't deal with the chicken any longer.

Anyhoo, for today's menu (which ended up being lunch for three consecutive days), I made roast drumsticks and veggies. My choice of veggies are usually the same with some mix-ins, depending on what's in the fridge or what I have a craving for, if I can get a hold of my dad before he's been to the grocery store. This time I had butternut squash, zucchini, mushrooms and broccoli. Normally I have sweet potatoes in place of the butternut squash but I had asked my parents to pick up the squash for me and not remembering the original reason I wanted it, I figured roasting it would be a good idea. So into the oven it went...

Dom's Usual Roast Chicken & Veggies
- Mix of this case I used one medium butternut squash, one head of broccoli, 10 or so medium mushrooms and two small zucchinis
- 3 organic chicken drumsticks
- extra virgin olive oil
- Mrs. Dash garlic and herb seasoning
- salt and pepper

  1. Prep veggies. I peeled the butternut squash and trimmed the broccoli. Cut the squashes into medium chunks...I'd say around 1.5" square-ish. I left the mushrooms whole and cut the broccoli into large florets since they roast faster. Once prepped, dump into a large bowl.
  2. Coat veggies and chicken in olive oil. Coat well. You want everything to kind of glisten with oil--especially the broccoli so it doesn't burn and get all black and crusty.
  3. Season with Mrs. Dash, salt and pepper. My Mrs. Dash doesn't contain salt so it would be wise to add your own. Season well. Plain roasted chicken tastes bland and boring. No one wants boring chicken. Boring chicken, boring life--just ask the Slap Chop guy.
  4. Dump everything into an oven-proof baking pan lined with foil. Lining things with foil makes for easy clean-up and doesn't ruin your baking pan. I like it.
  5. This is what everything should look like before you stick it into the oven:
  6. Roast at 350F for 35 minutes, then broil for 4.5 minutes so that the chicken skin gets brown and crispy. I love crispy chicken skin and because it's organic and kind of a luxury, I eat it up when I get the chance. You can discard it if you want.
So when you're done, everything should look similar to this:Note that this photo was taken the next morning so my chicken doesn't look as appetizing as it would if it were taken straight out of the oven. I usually portion out my meals with the chicken first (one drumstick per meal, usually lunch) and then divvy up the veggies.

For about 15 minutes of prep and 35 minutes of roasting time (in which you don't have to really do anything), you have enough food for three meals (or more if you're a light-eater, which clearly I am not when it comes to work lunches).

It's also a really great way to get in a bunch of veggies and who doesn't love roasted veggies--don't answer that! The butternut squash was a really nice change this time around. It was super sweet. Next time I think I'll make mashed butternut squash instead of potatoes when the craving hits me.

March 29, 2010


I ate too much food today. I had the best of intentions when I woke up this morning, but then breakfast manifested itself into this:Olympic organic green tea and vanilla yogurt, 6 water crackers with 1 slice of prosciutto, half a whole wheat English muffin with PB and coconut butter and 3 strawberries, plus a small glass of OJ, unpictured. Breakfast overload! But it was all rather small-portioned stuff and totally worth it!

I wasn't going to eat my usual second breakfast oatmeal but I knew that skipping out on food for a full five hours was not going to be fun. I struggled with the idea of eating oatmeal with chia seeds and ground flax yet again (I actually really hate oatmeal despite eating it so I decided to add two squares of Lindt's Sea Salt dark chocolate to my oatmeal this morning. I added it just after adding the boiling water and it melted into a wonderful brown gunk. It smelled yummy! Then I added strawberries and grapes:Tastebuds satisfied? Check. Stomach satisfied for four hours? Double-check!

Lunch was equally delicious:A salad of mixed greens, beans (my dad says they're kidney beans but I don't think they are because they're really light in colour), strawberries and 1/4 salmon filet). I made the mistake of packing this all together instead of packing the beans and salmon separately. I knew I was going to heat the salmon and beans in the microwave before consuming at lunch time so of course, the strawberries and greens were a little mushy upon consumption. It was okay...still delicious, tastebuds rocked!

Snacks included the rest of my grapes and strawberries:And perhaps 2/3 of the following brownies:
Despite hating walnuts in their natural form, I adore walnuts in brownies. Yum!

Came home from work and immediately decided to enjoy leftover orzo with light red kidney beans:Maybe times two--oops! Quite some time after that I had a small bowl of broccoli and mushrooms and then a pickle. It was too much food. Belly is currently not happy with me--double oops!

March 28, 2010


I made another trip down the natural/organic section of a chain grocery store today and thank goodness it did not cost me $75. This time the store of choice was Loblaws and the cash out of my pocket was a measly $33, thanks to a $30 cash bonus from my dad. Thanks dad!

Today's buys were not as plentiful...I think partially due to the fact that the natural section of Loblaws is in one section and not spread out like Sobey's and it was far busier than the last time I had been in there. It was actually very surprising! I could not believe the amount of people looking at natural/organic and alternative dairy. One guy was looking at at a soy cheese product, another guy was buying organic frozen meat for him and his daughter for dinner that night. Another woman was checking out rice milks and cereals. Overall it was very refreshing.

The variety of stuff available at Loblaws has also greatly increased as I was able to get my hands on Earth Balance! Yeah, that's right bloggies...I'll now be able to partake in the vegan butter goodness! I can't wait to try it out. I think I'll wait for some bananas to ripen and then hope that my mom's cold has gone away by then so that she can make some of her famous banana bread. Nothing in my mind is better than spreading butter on some freshly baked banana bread. And no one does it finer than my mother.

Other things that made it into today's shopping cart were three boxes of Carr's water crack(ers), a pack of prosciutto (sans sodium nitrate--woot!), Nature's Path Rice Puffs (for some granola bars I'll be making later), Garden of Eatin' Crunchitos (another form of my crack), Wonder+ whole wheat English muffins, organic 2% milk, Olympic organic probiotic yogurt in Green Tea and Vanilla flavour (I can't wait to try this out!) and random stuff my dad bought (a couple salmon fillets on sale, Kashi cereal, Kashi PB granola bars and basmati rice).

After today's super duper lunch with Sean and his folks, I figured a little health and wellness would do me some good. Nice segue way huh? Sean and his parents picked me up and we headed into the city to grab some grub at, you guessed it...Caplansky's! Or maybe not since Sean and I had eaten there just a week ago, hahaha. Funny thing is that once again, I managed to not take a single photo the entire time we were there! I had remembered to charge my batteries and clear up my memory card and pack the camera before I left the house, but for some reason, once we were seated, I just plum forgot...oops!

It was still a good lunch. Sean's parents both had the smoked meat sandwiches while Sean had the Leo (lox, eggs, onions) and I had the smoked meat hash. I was smarter this time around and only consumed half of my all-day-breakfast menu item and packed the rest to-go. I also snagged a bite of Sean's sour cherry pie (I think it was better this time compared to the first) and a piece of Mama Sean's dark chocolate bread pudding (yuuummmm!!!!). The pickles were also extra crunchy and sour this visit and a second plate just had to be ordered. The food definitely made up for the lengthy wait. It took an extraordinarily long time for our food to arrive. Actually, scratch took an extraordinary long time for Papa Sean's soup to arrive. So long in fact, that I had completely forgotten that he had even ordered the cabbage borscht. It looked really good though and both he and Sean seemed to enjoy it. I didn't bother with a taste just in case it was made with chicken stock.

The rest of the day was spent vacuuming my room and cleaning my drum set. It was the first time I had cleaned my drum set since I got them over 11 years ago. Pretty pathetic right? I mean, I've cleaned them rather quickly, like a quick wipe down with a cloth here-and-there, but this time I wanted to do a really thorough cleaning. I ended up Googling how to properly clean my cymbals and the drums and while I didn't have any furniture polish or Windex around, I did have some safe and nonabrasive metal polish for my cymbals so I got to work. I put a LOT of effort into and man, my wrist was killing afterwards. Sadly, I wasn't even done! I wasn't even halfway done when I realized that I was going to finish off my dad's bottle of metal polish so I opted to stop and pick up my own bottle in the city in a couple of days. I know that a trip to one of the city's musical instrument stores will result in a lecture about keeping my drum set in tip-top shape (which I know I should have been doing), but I'm hoping it also results in a giant bottle of drum set cleaner. I have to get my drum set ready for the summer--details later!!


Saturday eats...I did manage to get something into my stomach:Buckwheat cereal and Optimum Slim with unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze. It was my first time tasting the unsweetened vanilla version. It's going to take some getting used to, hahaha.

I did some intense weight-lifting Saturday night and decided to replenish with this:

A purchase I made at Sobey's a while back...Metromint Lemonmint water. And that was it for Saturday's eats.


For Sunday, this is all I've got...I have photos of my leftovers, which I decided to eat as an appetizer to dinner earlier tonight...Leftover smoked meat hash (smoked meat, potato matchsticks), one egg, half a slice of rye with butter) along with two garlic dill pickles and a small but very full glass of OJ (unpictured).

Proper dinner was eaten not too much later than that because my dad was in the midst of baking the salmon filet you see below but I was too hungry and needed something to nosh on anyway:Second dinner (oops) was 1/4 of a salmon fillet on top of beans, with a side of sauteed romaine lettuce (don't knock it 'til you try it) and orzo cooked in organic chicken broth. Tasty but too much food. Now I feel a little bit ill.

March 27, 2010


It's 20 after 7 and the sun is just about the set. I've got no shoes to run outside in, so instead I thought I'd post a bunch of stuff I've been meaning to get to. Let's start with a no-bake baking session Jessie and I had a while back...

We had two things on the menu, Cherry Almond Chocolate Clusters (for my dad) and Coconut-Chocolate Patties (for Jessie's dad). Well, the latter was for the benefit of everyone since Jessie, Jessie's dad and I all love coconut. And the recipe contains toasted coconut. Nothing, absolutely nothing is better than toasted coconut--woot! Side note: sometimes at work we get samples of toasted coconut and when the sample request form comes in, it smells so strongly of toasted coconut. I try to snag the form to log in the samples just so that I can smell the toasted coconut. I also cross my fingers that it's not contaminated. Blech!

The best thing about both recipes were the minimal ingredients. For the clusters we needed 6oz. dark chocolate, 1/2 cup of dried cherries and 1 cup of toasted almonds. Jessie and I started with the cherry almond clusters. We began by chopping up the almonds and dried cherries and what better way to chop them by using the Slap Chop:I couldn't stop laughing when I found out that Jessie had a Slap Chop! We had to bust it out and give it a shot. Here we are prepping it...
And after Jessie gave it a go:
Clearly it left something to be desired. But who cares...I had to give it a shot...
The almonds got stuck in the blades so here I am picking them out:
If you're wondering why I look so top-heavy it's because I have one of those "Magic Bags" under my Canada 2010 hoodie. I had a migraine all throughout the day but didn't want to cancel our no-bake baking plans with Jessie that night so took some pills (boo) and used the Magic Bag on my shoulders all night long. It did the trick and no-bake baking was a blast!

Check out Jessie and her new haircut. Doesn't she make a great Vanna White?If you want the recipe, you can check it out here but basically you melt the chocolate and then just mix it with the two ingredients. Then you spoon onto a non-stick baking sheet and voila, the finished product:And a closer-up...
Next up were the Coconut-Chocolate Patties. Ingredients included 1.5 cups of sweetened shredded coconut, 3 drops of pure almond extract and 3 and 3/4oz of semi-sweet chocolate, melted. I had forgotten to bring the almond extract over to Jessie's house so instead we rolled with vanilla extract. If you want proper instructions, you can go here--or just follow my directions below:

First thing's first...toast the coconut! This makes your house smell super yummy and afterwards you can gather your coconut into a rectangle like Jessie did:Then you put your coconut into a bowl and add the almond (or vanilla) extract and mix. Then you add the melted chocolate and mix again:Then you spoon onto a non-stick baking sheet and smush down a little to form patties, like so:You then stick the pan into the fridge to harden. Or, if you're like me and you want to enjoy your "toasted coconut chocolate mounds of heaven" faster, I'd suggest sticking them in the freezer! Afterwards they look like this:And they are so ridiculously good and addictive!

Here's a lovely haystack:They really are addictive. I normally share all my treats made at Jessie's with the rest of my family but these stayed in my mini fridge and were consumed all by myself. I don't even remember if I shared them with Sean. I may not have *gasp* I don't even have any's toasted coconut--covered in chocolate!!! Anyway, they're ridiculously easy to make and take hardly any time at all. Thanks Martha!

Side note: Is it weird that I'm smelling fresh-baked brownies even though I'm not baking right now? We-ird!


Rundown of food. Not feeling talkative. Explanation below. Friday first and then today.

Breakfast...blurry whole wheat English muffin with PB and cocoa powder:Lunch: pan-fried salmon with pasta salad (veggie shells, spinach, mushrooms, cucumber)...Snacks: strawberries and grapes...
and brownies:
Dinner that evening was Chinese take-out from a restaurant Sean and I frequent, Power King. We ordered the usual rice noodles with beef and scrambled egg sauce and deep fried squid tentacles with chilis. We opted to take it to go so we could watch Ponyo at Sean's place. Awesome movie.


Today's eats have been rather off. First meal was at 2pm: instant oatmeal with ground flax, chia seeds, coconut butter and grapes. I ate this in the car, halfway to the mall when my plans were f'd up (family stress). I only finished half of it.

Second meal was two hours later: leftover pasta salad:with four chicken wings:Not organic. My stomach's already starting to rumble, but it was worth it. Washed it down with the remaining cranberry apple ginger juice from Wilde:And that's all. Ho hum.


I've been having a rough times of things lately. My family life is really unstable at the moment. I hate being at home. I like the comfort of my bedroom and I miss my cats like crazy but being at home makes me miserable. There's just one brother I do NOT get along with and I've gone so far as to completely denounce him from my life that when he's around, I'd rather not be. I've just had it with him. I won't go too into detail but he's two years older than me and I spent much of my childhood taking care of him when my parents should have been taking care of me. There is a lot of anger and resentment towards the whole thing but what really gets me now is that 27 years later, he thinks nothing of it. He's done some pretty rotten things to me in the past 18 months and has completely forgotten about all the years I spent taking care of him. It's one of the main reasons I will not have children. Sad, I know, but it's the truth.

So yeah, the more and more I live at home, the more and more I want to move out. This year, that's the deadline I have given myself...the year Sean and I have given each other to move out. This of course, was before I had quit my job and was unemployed for three weeks but I think things will still go according to plan if not a few months late. I just feel miserable sometimes. Like now. I wish I knew how to drive so I could just disappear.

March 25, 2010


CONTEST ALERT: My very first favourite blogger, Diana, from Soap & Chocolate*, is giving away some Celestial Seasonings tea. I don't even care if this is not available to us Canadians...I thought I'd give her a shout-out anyway. Check it out here. Despite CS's penchant for ugly packaging, I'm a fan of their teas, in theory only as I've never had the chance to taste their teas. For some reason the ugly packaging has always steered me away from tasting it but I could probably really go for the Echinacea Complete Care and Tummy Mint that are included in the giveaway prizes. Anyway, check out the contest...who doesn't want the chance to win free stuff?! You'd be crazy not to.


I'm currently angry and releasing that anger by carb-loading. I'm a little frustrated at work right now and someone touched a nerve with me last night and I pretty much hit my boiling point. As a result I lifted some weights (going outside to scream wasn't an option) and then spent the rest of the evening in a grumpy mood. I woke up this morning even more grumpy but then this kind of cheered me up:Whole wheat English muffin with PB and then topped with some coconut butter. This was actually a bit of an accident because I ended up spreading the whole thing with PB when I was like "OMG, the coconut butter!" So then I had to get another knife to scrape some coconut butter onto my English muffin, but it melted into a yummy mess. Swirly goodness is not so good for eating in the car though. I thought I was going to spill it all over my work clothes and hadn't been smart enough to bring along a napkin.

Second breakfast was standard fare with no photo. Instant oatmeal with grapes and strawberries and this time one whole square of Lindt's Sea Salt dark chocolate. Plus the usual chia and flax so it filled me up pretty well until lunch time.

Lunch was also pretty awesome:A simple salad with blueberry St. John's Worth dressing but the star of the lunch was...A three-egg scramble with mushrooms and grape tomatoes. Okay I lied...the real star of today's lunch were these:Organic brownies with chopped walnuts and dried cherries. Freakin' delicious! Oh and I finished off the remaining grapes and strawberries from my morning oatmeal too:
So yeah, I consumed way too much food at lunch time. Thirty minutes just really isn't enough time for someone like me to eat lunch but I don't have any other choice. I also didn't eat both those round brownies but I did eat one of them. I couldn't help myself. Between the chocolate-enhanced oatmeal, dark chocolated covered almonds and brownies, I've been craving chocolate like something fierce--even though I'm not normally a fan. Hormones. I'm going to blame it on the anger hormones.

I came home from work and the carb-loading began! Behold what happens when you are a fan of water crackers and you start grabbing them from the box...Extreme sadness! That's more water crackers! I couldn't believe I ran out. I thought I had at least one left that I could take a photo of, but alas, it wasn't meant to be so all you get are crumbs. Actually, that's all I get :(

Then I had a hankering for spaghetti but we didn't have any ground beef. What's a woman to do? Make her own! Actually, I kind of wanted someone else to do it for me but no such luck. My dad helped me find some beef in the freezer so after defrosted it, grinding it in the food processor, cooking it and then adding it to a sauce and cooking it down, I had my spaghetti:Catelli Smart spaghetti with meat sauce. The sauce is Roasted Garlic and something pasta sauce, from 365 Organic--the Whole Foods brand. It's the equivalent to the No Name brand from No Frills or President's Choice from Loblaw's or Great Value from Walmart. Whew, enough commercialism for ya?

So for dinner I had two bowls of spaghetti plus half a raisin bun. No photo of the bun because seriously, how many times do we need to see the raisin bun? Actually, to be honest, I ate the bun before I had a chance to photograph it. Stomach said eat so I obliged.

Now I'm munching on some more dark chocolate covered almonds and enjoying a mug of tea. But let's step back a day shall we...


First breakfast was a whole wheat English muffin with coconut butter and PB and sprinkled with cocoa powder:Winning combination. Second breakfast was instant oatmeal with half a square of Lindt's Sea Salt dark chocolate. I had it lying around my lunch bag and just wanted to use it up. I broke it up and stirred it into my warm oatmeal until it melted. Chocolatey goodness:
Then I topped it with grapes and strawberries:

Lunch was more of the same from the previous day:Organic drumstick baked with seasoned breadcrumbs (parmesan, garlic powder and dill), leftover orzo salad, roasted broccoli with same breadcrumbs, sweet potato fries (seasoned with olive oil, ground flax seed and cinnamon) and some Smiles. That Smile looks like a snowman. I have no clue what his "carrot nose" actually is though.

Grapes and strawberries were also consumed:
After work snacks (pre-dinner snacks) included two macarons (blackberry chocolate and mojito) along with my leftover grapes.
And while I was trying to figure out what to eat for dinner, I decided to have a little bit of some Greek salad:It was like...four days old so it wasn't all that awesome. I finished it anyway. Then I ate dinner and forgot to take a pic. It was just some rice with bittermelon and beef in a red rice sauce along with some mushrooms and broccoli. Nothing spectacular so I kept my portion small.

That's because I had to save room for these:
Organic brownies baking in the new convection oven, huzzah!! You might be wondering who the heck bakes brownies in a muffin tin...well, I do...because sometimes when you get a new oven, you can't find things like your old brownie pan and so your options are either a baking pan that is too large that would result in really thin brownies or using a muffin tin for appropriately-sized brownie portions. Obviously the latter won out but I don't know anything when it comes to portions because look at what happened:Even before taking a photo I had to snag a brownie to taste. To be honest, I've been waiting to make these brownies for weeks. I had a box of organic brownie mix in my house for weeks and FINALLY, last night I gave in. I added some walnuts and dried cherries (that I chopped up) to the batter and then baked these for 25 minutes at 325F.

So good!So good in fact that I had eaten four in less than 24 hours!! The only other time I've done something like that is when I first made those chocolate cupcakes with rosewater buttercream. I ate four of those in less than 24 hours as well.

Carbs and chocolate...what can I say...they're a great combo!


* I say that Diana is my very first favourite blogger because back when I first started reading blogs, Diana was my inspiration for cooking and getting into a healthier lifestyle--not that my lifestyle wasn't healthy to begin with but I really enjoyed reading her posts and her adventures in eating. Plus, I always felt like Diana and I had a few things in common, which is what made me like her even more...our age, our hair (both short), our love of puns (okay so Sean loves puns too but he's not a girl and he doesn't have a blog), we both have this list is getting kind of lame. Anyhoo, I guess in the way that Caitlin has inspired me to run (which I will do in the summer/fall, Diana inspired me to start a blog.