What do you do when you have virtually zero groceries in the fridge and something needs to be packed for lunches? Egg salad sandwiches of course! Mine are basically comprised of just eggs and bread… I wasn’t kidding when I said the fridge was empty. Guess what else I packed in our lunches yesterday? Carrot sticks. The type that I washed, peeled, and sliced. The kind I haven’t had since about the fourth grade. Ah well, desperate times call for desperate measures. Especially come noon and I’ve already been hungry for the last hour. However, egg salad sandwiches and carrot sticks certainly did the trick in a time of need/desperation. I might even indulge in the combination again soon. Lunch was pretty darn tasty.
Egg Salad Sandwiches
4 hard boiled eggs
squirt of mayo (I didn’t use a lot in an effort to be health conscious)
1 tsp of fresh chives (From my own garden!)
1/4 tsp of curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
I’m almost finished the 3rd week of my half marathon training (its 16 weeks in total, not sure if I mentioned that yet!) but it’s going pretty well. Of the 4 runs per week plus 1 day of sprints, I have only missed 1 run of 14. I thought I was being smart by trying to do all 5 runs on consecutive days to avoid doing them on the weekend. I was mistaken. Whoever created the program probably had good reason to space the rest days the way they did because otherwise you set yourself up for exhaustion. I found this out the hard way. However, lesson learned. So now I’m going to follow the plan as is, or as much as possible anyways.
Because I’ve done so well the first few weeks, I decided to reward myself with something delicious. Chocolate Cheesecake Bars delicious. Now some of you may think that it’s counter productive given all the hard work I’ve put into my training. But I think it’s just the opposite. It’s nice to treat yourself every once in a while, and then the motivation kicks in to get back to the pavement and work it off! It also helps that I now have coworkers to share my baking with so its not at home staring me in the face. Enjoy!
Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Adapted from Taste of Home
3/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of butter
2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
2 cups of flour
1 1/2 cups of packed brown sugar
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 cup of yogurt (I used vanilla)
Cream Cheese Mixture:
1 package of cream cheese (8oz), softened
1/3 cup of sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp of vanilla
1 cup of chocolate chip (I went wild and used a few white chocolate chips too)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish.
In a sauce pan over low heat combine the water, butter, and chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth and then set aside to cool. In a large bowl combine the flour through salt. Add the eggs and yogurt and mix well. Stir in the chocolate mixture until smooth. In a separate bowl beat the cream cheese through vanilla. Spread the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Drop the cream cheese mixture by large spoonfuls into the chocolate batter. Use a knife to swirl. Sprinkle the top with the chocolate chips. Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool and then cut into squares.
Hope everyone had a great Canada Day… I know I did! We had a little sleep-in, and then enjoyed these delicious muffins in bed with some fruit and coffee. In the afternoon Greg and I went downtown to check out all the festivities at the inner harbor in Victoria. Once we got tired of walking we went to a matinee movie which I hadn’t done since about middle school! It was a nice way to break up the day and get out of the sun for a little while. We finally capped off the night watching the fireworks from the comfort of our home. Couldn’t get a great view, but decided it was much better than battling the enormous crowds downtown.
Now for those of you who know we open the Passion Sports store on Thursday, your probably thinking it might seem a little silly to open on Thursday and then be closed the following day for a holiday. But let me tell you, it couldn’t have come at a better time. After all the long days and hard work that went into it the past 2 months, I think we were all in need of one day to recuperate. But we are open once again today and I encourage everyone to come check it out!
I decided to make these carrot muffins because earlier in the week Greg asked why I never make carrot cake. I didn’t have a good answer for him because I LOVE carrot cake and muffins but just never think to make them. So when I found this recipe I knew I had to make them asap. That is when I realized why they are not a recurring item in our house… Do you know how long it takes to grate carrots?! Not to mention you need SO many of them. It took me so long to grate them I began to question why anyone makes carrot anything. Ever. It’s only once you taste them fresh from the oven that you fully understand that all the effort is so worth it. So I’ll stop complaining now and just enjoy the deliciousness.
Healthy Carrot Muffins
Adapted from Redsie05
2 cups of all-purpose flour
3/4 cup of sugar
2 tsp of baking soda
2 tsp of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of salt
2 cups of carrots, shredded
3/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut (I used sweetened because it’s all I had)
1 apple, peeled and grated
1 cup of vegetable oil
2 tsp of vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
In a large bowl mix together the flour through salt. Add the carrot, raisins, coconut, and apple, mix well. In a separate bowl stir together the eggs through vanilla. Add the wet mixture to the dry and stir until just moistened. Do not over stir. Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake for about 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes and enjoy! Store the leftover in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You could also wrap individually and store in the freezer (ours didn’t even last that long though!).
I decided to make oatmeal of the baked variety on Sunday (which I have never done before) because my Mom was driving down island to visit for the day and I have owed her bunch for quite a while now. I thought about making something crazy and over the top but after the previous week, including a full day of work on Saturday, that simply seemed unnecessary and way out of the question. I wanted to take full advantage of my morning to sleep in (and by that I mean 7:30 at best) and enjoy the newspaper and coffee in bed. It only took about 10 minutes to prepare then went into the oven so I could go back to enjoying my relaxy morning. I didn’t have high hopes for it, but it turned out so good with all the fruit and spices mixed in. Surprisingly there was even enough left for breakfast this morning!
So whoever said oatmeal was a Fall/Winter breakfast item was a little bit out of their mind. I think oatmeal is a great breakfast throughout the year, especially when blueberries are involved. And it’s a nice change from the typical cold cereal that I usually have. What’s also great about oatmeal is that it’s so hearty and filling that it keeps you full for a long time. Including long time spent condo shopping! Which is what we spend Sunday afternoon doing. It’s amazing first off, how expensive a small box high in the air costs, and also how condos can range from something straight out of the 80’s to something so modern and beautiful. Then you find something so amazing and perfect and realize it’s worth twice your budget because you failed to write down prices when you were busy checking dates and addresses instead. Ah well, dream home you will be mine one day.
Blueberry and Banana Baked Oatmeal
Adapted from 7 Spoons
2 cups of rolled oats
1/4 cup of slivered almond, lightly toasted
1/3 cup of brown sugar
2 tsp of flax seeds
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp of ground cloves
1/8 tsp of ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp of salt
2 cups of milk
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of maple syrup
2 medium bananas, sliced
1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
Sprinkle of sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 8 x 8 inch pan with butter. In a medium bowl mix together the oats through salt and set aside. In another bowl mix together the milk through maple syrup, reserving about 1 tsp of the melted butter and set aside. In the greased baking dish, spread the sliced banana evening over the bottom then spread the blueberries over top. Add the oat mixture over top the fruit evenly. Carefully pour the wet ingredients over the oats . Drizzle the remaining butter on the top and sprinkle with a little bit of sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes until the oats are puffed up and browned on top. Once dished into bowls add a little milk if desired. Enjoy!
I am a sorry excuse of a blogger. Seriously. I made this recipe last week some time. So long ago now that I can’t even remember exactly what day it was. But regardless, it was made and long since disappeared. But I promise to do better from here on out! And I think I can say that truthfully now because we are just days away from opening our new store! A long time in the making it seems (and hopefully I won’t be exhausted at the end of every day).
So now I am officially vowing to never pick up another paint brush again. I have done more painting than any ordinary person should do in a life time. And let me tell you, I seriously question the sanity of those who choose to do it as a profession…But I will leave it in their capable hands the next time something needs a fresh coat. On the bright side, I did start my half marathon training this morning and I’m pretty excited about it. 6 km this morning didn’t even hurt as much as a thought it would. One day down, only 111 left to go. Maybe I won’t start a countdown yet… A little too intimidating. Oh yeah! Check out our website www.PassionSports.ca if you can’t make it down to the store.
Strawberry Banana Loaf
Adapted from Joy the Baker
3/4 cup of butter
2 cups of flour
3/4 cup of brown sugar
1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
3/4 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of vanilla
1/2 cup of plain yogurt
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup of strawberries, diced plus 2 strawberries thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan, set aside.
Melt butter on the stove over medium heat. Once melted, stir until browned and has a nutty smell to it. Be careful not to burn it. Remove from heat and transfer butter to another bowl to cool. In a large bowl mix together the flour through cinnamon. In another bowl whisk together the eggs through yogurt. Add the bananas and stir well. Once cooled, add the butter to this mixture as well. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry and fold gently to combine. Mix in the diced strawberries. Spoon batter into loaf pan and top with thinly sliced strawberries. Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let sit for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Let me first start off by apologizing for my lack of recipe posts in the last little while. Greg and I have both uprooted our home computers to take up residence in our new office space. FINALLY! However, we no longer have a computer at home for the next undetermined amount of time. How uncivilized, I know. So now when I want to share my recipes with you, I have to leave the comfort of my home, walk to the office, and use my computer there (I probably shouldn’t tell you that it’s only about a 4 minute walk from where we live). But when I’m at home and already settled in for the evening, that’s the last thing I feel like doing. And heaven forbid I do it Company time! Which is not what I am doing right now…
So for the time being, I will do as best I can. The recipe is a short one, but definitely worth making. It makes you feel like summer is finally here! I also topped the salad with slices of baked chicken and it was a perfect meal.
Peach Salad with Almonds
Adapted from Kitchenist
4 tsp of olive oil
2 tsp of balsamic vinegar
Squeeze of honey
Pinch of salt and pepper
4 large handfuls of mixed greens, washed and dried
1/2 cup of cheddar, grated
1/4 cup of slivered almonds
2 ripe peaches, sliced into wedges with skin peeled
In a small bowl mix together the oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, set aside. Place in the mixed greens in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the greens and toss well to coat. Serve the greens onto 2 plates. Divide the cheddar and almonds into 2 and top over each pile of greens. Place peach slices around each plate.
After returning home from a few days away visiting family (including my beautiful cousin’s amazing new baby boy!), I was exhausted. Although the nights were not late and the mornings not even too early, minus my Mom’s wake up call one morning with the LOUD whisper “ARE YOU AWAKE?”, getting out of your regular routine definitely takes its toll. And okay maybe it wasn’t quite that loud, but it sure felt like at 6:08 in the morning! And for the record, no, I wasn’t awake, but that didn’t last long. Ah well, it feels pretty good to have a lot of hours on a Saturday to have at your disposal.
But because I was away for a few days, and my boyfriend was left to his own devices (the horror!), there was not too much to choose from for dinner. And the last thing I left like doing is eating out again, which tends to happen a lot when your away from home. So homemade chicken tenders seemed like the perfect thing to whip up. Mind you, based on what was in the pantry, they were the only thing available to whip up. But Greg raved about them, and they are so much better than those frozen ones you can find with all those chemicals and nasty preservatives. And so I share with you my own version of chicken tenders, that sometimes, are just what one needs. Especially with a little bit of plum sauce.
Crispy Chicken Tenders
2 medium sized skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/4 cup of flour
1 cup of Panko
2 tbsp of Parmesan, grated
salt and pepper to taste
Cut chicken into even sized strips, I had about 10 strips in total. Place flour into a small bowl. Place eggs into another bowl and whisk. In a third bowl add the Panko, Parmesan, salt, and pepper, mix well. Place a large pan over medium heat and coat with a non-stick spray. Dredge each strip in the flour, then the egg, and finally the Panko mixture. Add half the strips to the pan and cook a few minutes on each side until cooked through. Place the cooked tenders on a plate lined with a paper towel until the 2 batch have cooked. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Taste just like when you were a kid!