December 3, 2010

I’ve always tried to mix it up. I try to avoid getting into ruts of eating the same foods everyday, keep myself from getting bored. When it comes to supper, I’m successful. But during the day I usually end up eating the same things.  As long as I’m enjoying it, I’ll give myself a pass. About a month ago I threw together a healthy granola to eat with my morning yogurt. I truly mean ‘threw’ together. I just put whatever granola like products I had in a bowel and baked it. I love this combination! Its oil-free, fiber filled, goodness with minimal sweetness. I’ve been eathing it almost everyday since it’s creation! I made a mental note of how I did it and recreated the recipe this morning. I thought I would share here. A note to granola lovers: This is not very sweet. If you like it sweet add more honey or brown sugar. Because there is no oil it never gets really crunchy. But I think the crisp, soft texture is quite nice over yogurt.

The goods: 3 Cups Oats, 1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds, 1/4 Cup chopped Almonds, 1/4 Cup honey or agave, 4 oz. Unsweetened All Natural Applesauce, 1/4 tsp. Vanilla Extract, 1/4 tsp. Cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. salt plus any other nuts or spices you wish to throw in. This recipe is certainly open to interpretation. I like to buy raw, unsalted seeds and nuts. They are just as good with the added bonus of being healthier. I also suggest adding ground flax seeds after it comes out of the oven. Flax seeds are little health miracles offering a heavy dose of Omega-3 Fatty acids and good fiber!

Mix together and spread evenly on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 mins. at 350. Carefully mix it up, re-spread and bake for another 5 mins. Let it cool completely. Store tightly in fridge. My last batch stayed good for 3 weeks.

Plain Whole Soy is a perfect match in my eyes but I’m sure it would be great with any yogurt and some fruit to top it off. I use 1/2 cup yogurt & a heaping 1/2 cup granola.



Oh yeah…my birthday

December 2, 2010

My birthday was at the beginning of November. I can’t believe it’s already been a month. Does time go faster as you age? I had intended to blog about the special day because it was indeed special but time just got away from me. Plus I was enjoying myself so much that I didn’t end up taking that many photos. My best friends/former band mates drove 4 hours to our apartment and surprised me at 1am on my actual birthday. I was in shock! I felt so honored that they would go to such trouble. We stayed up until early morning talking, laughing, reconnecting. We got up and went to the Institute of Art for hours. Amazing. Upon leaving, we got stuck in freezing rain and wind. So we went home, ordered take out and relaxed. It was the best birthday ever!! They got me two fabulous cookbooks and a vintage recipe box with many of their favorite recipes written out. Beyond thoughtful. These two people are amazing! I love you guys!

One of the cookbooks was Indian cuisine (my favorite). I made a recipe from that book last night: Spicy Cauliflower and Potatoes. Lots of work but totally worth it. Spicy and delicious.

My best advice when cooking things with many ingredients is to have everything chopped, measured, and ready to go. It saves a lot of time and stress.

Indian food has a remarkable depth of flavor because each recipe has thoughtful use of many spices. This can be expensive if buying the bottles of spices at the store. I suggest going somewhere like a Whole Foods or local health food store and get your spices in bulk. This recipe called for 8 spices. I got a couple teaspoons of each at Whole Foods and only spent about $1 total. I cannot stress enough how useful bulk bins can be when you want to eat healthy on a tight budget.

The end result. Seriously my stomach is growling just looking at this photo.

I’m excited about this winter beanie. I have a big head. Its true. It is really difficult for me to find hats that fit properly. In search of gloves for Trent, we stumbled upon these men’s hats for $3. I was so excited because I really needed something warm to cover my ears. It fits my head and its kinda cute. Another tip when living on a tight budget is looking for things in unlikely places.

As I am sitting here looking out the window I see snowflakes falling. Winter has arrived. Stay warm everyone!

I started reading Dewey by Vicki Myron. So far I have cried my way through 3 chapters. I think I will do a proper post on this book when I finish.


December 1, 2010

All I can say is Thanksgiving with the Mr. was absolute perfection.

We set the alarm for 6:30am and hopped the train downtown for the big Thanksgiving Parade. Honestly when the alarm was going off we looked at each other and questioned if we should get out of our warm, cozy bed just to stand in the cold. But we did and it was great! Somehow we ended up in the area where the news was filming. So all the bands stopped to play in front of us. So fun! And the people around us had such a good energy. They danced, clapped, and cheered for everything. My favorites were the big balloon characters and the incredible marching bands.

We got home from the parade, sipped wine, and talked while I finished cooking. I spent the previous day doing tons of prep work so I only had to do a minimal amount of cooking on the big day.

Trent brought these beautiful flowers home after work the night before as a pre-thank you for all my hard work. So sweet. I was mesmerized by them. I LOVE getting flowers!

The table setting was simple and sweet as I had envisioned when planning the meal.

The menu:

Whipped potatoes

Candied Yams

Baked Beans

Broccoli-Cheddar Casserole

Maccaroni & Cheese

Green Bean Casserole


Buttery Corn


I have to pat myself on the back and say that it was SO delicious. And turkey was not missed. We ate, listened to Corinne Bailey Rae’s album The Sea, and talked about all that we are thankful for. We did a lot of smiling.

After we finished eating we cleared the table, put away the leftovers and laid down for a very long nap. It was fabulous.

We woke up and went to see Harry Potter 7 at our favorite movie theater. (They have a Starbucks in the theater that allows me to feed my coffee addiction while watching movies!) The film was very good, maybe my favorite in the series so far. The day was everything that we had hoped for and much more. I think Trent and I are really good at taking pleasure in the simple things and enjoying each other’s company.

The next morning we decorated for Christmas. The apartment is always so much more warm and cozy with the tree up.

Menard’s santa hat on the acoustic. (He hates it but it’s oh so adorable)

I hope everyone has a great holiday season. I want to get sentimental and say that I am so thankful for all of my readers. Your love and support really warms my heart.

Thank you!