If I see a bag of Meyer lemons I buy them. If I see them when I am pregnant and citrus crazed I buy two. I was then left to decide what to make with them. Lemon loaf has already been covered on my blog. I am not really a pastry person so tarts and pie was out. Scones crossed my mind, but I didn't have all the ingredients. Muffins seemed too boring. I dug a little deeper. Lemon pudding, um yeah. 

Being a child of the 80's I think of pudding coming in cardboard boxes with Bill Cosby on the commercials. Let me tell you that from scratch puts the powder to shame, like I needed to tell you that though. It is also pretty easy. 
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Ingredients:
  • 1/2 granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 tablespoon butter
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Directions:

In a medium saucepan, whisk sugar and cornstarch together. Whisk in milk until well blended.

In a cup or small bowl, whisk egg and yolk until slightly beaten, then whisk into the milk mixture in the saucepan. Put the saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest, juice and butter. Spoon into individual serving bowls. Serves 6.

 

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These were so good, even non-pregnant people thought so. You can garnish with fruit or mint, but I don't think it's needed. Good as is. 
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Oh and I guess I promised that I would tell you the gender of #3. We are having boy number 3! I know I have mentioned this before but I need to bring it up again. When I was 12 weeks pregnant with my oldest (before I knew for sure I was having a boy) I was sitting on my parents' deck. I had this strange moment where I knew I would have all boys, no matter how many kids I had. People thought I was crazy, but I knew. This third boy feels so right to me. 

Here in Campbell River the ultrasound technician doesn't tell you gender. The radiologist needs the read the images write their report and then your health care provider can tell you. This is all torture to me and was told it could be 24 hours to two weeks until I heard. When the tech gave us the baby tour I saw a penis waving at me, I was sure (I have seen a lot of ultrasound penis). Braden was oblivious. Lucky for me my midwife called a mere five hours after my ultrasound confirming my penis sighting. 

Now please don't feel disappointed for us or think we need to keep trying for a girl. These three boys were meant for us, I can feel it in my soul. This little one has been whispering to me since Sawyer was born. Telling me we needed him to join our family. That sounds strange even to me, but it is true. I can't wait to meet this boy, he already seems to have some pretty powerful influence. We are so, so lucky.
 
 
I love Mexican food. It combines many of my favorite things: tomatoes, avocado, lime, cilantro. Combined they smell like sunshine and good times. When ever we are in the United States we always search out the best Mexican restaurant in town. In the States things taste more authentic because chances are the restaurant is owned and operated by Mexicans...perfect.  Of course I loved the food in Mexico once we left our resort, but always a risky undertaking for Canadian tummies.

Even with my deep love of Mexican food the first time I heard of fish tacos I was not at all tempted to try. Sounded pretty gross to me. Of course when I finally gave them a go...loved them. How could I not? They are now a staple on many non-Mexican restaurant menus for good reason. I decided it was time to try these at home, actually my husband did while I helped. Adapted from All Recipes here.

Marinade
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons lime zest
1  teaspoon honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce, or to taste
1 pound white fish fillets, cut into chunks
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Dressing
1/2 cup light sour cream
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper sauce
2 teaspoons lime zest
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

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Directions

  1. To make the marinade, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, honey, garlic, cumin, chili powder, black pepper, and hot sauce in a bowl until blended. Place the fish in a shallow dish, and pour the marinade over the fish. Cover, and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours.
  2. To make the dressing, combine the sour cream and chipotle pepper sauce in a bowl. Stir in the lime juice, lime zest, cumin, chili powder. Add salt, and pepper in desired amounts. Cover, and refrigerate until needed.
  3. Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate.
  4. Remove fish from marinade, drain off any excess and discard marinade. Grill fish pieces until easily flaked with a fork, turning once, about 9 minutes. (I found this easier to do on skewers)
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We loaded a whole wheat tortilla shell with tomatoes, avocado, cabbage, cilantro, the grilled fish then drizzled with the dressing. Oh my...I was in heaven. My stomach is rumbling just writing about these! Serve with some fresh salsa and some low sodium tortilla chips and you've got dinner.

It looks like a whole lot of ingredients, but most are spices you probably already have around. You can buy chipotle pepper sauce at Superstore and other grocery stores. It also makes a great dip for yam fries when mixed with a little low fat mayo and sour cream.We used the last of our ling cod out of the freezer, quite sad to see that gone. This recipe makes a great change from the boring (and fatty) ground beef taco with the salt laden taco seasoning pack. It is also perfect for this amazing weather. Get grilling amigos!
 
 
I am totally into Christmas this year. I have never been a scrooge, but I dread some of the set up, decorating, shopping. Not this year. Our outdoor lights were up by the end of November, the tree up and house decorated by December 1st. I love the lights and the colour, it makes the house feel brighter and cozy. Plus the boys love it all and are mostly old enough to not to be picking at the tree all day. I am sticking to one of my past boycotts though, no Christmas baking. I loathe it. My boys are headed over to their Great-Grandma’s to bake and decorate gingerbread men this weekend. She loves it and they will too.

Then there are the gifts. My boys get spoiled. They are the only grandchildren on both sides. That not only means grandparents going wild with giving, but aunts and uncles too. I am a clutter-phobe. We are staying in our three bedroom rancher when baby arrives. We don’t have a playroom. I fear being over taken by toys. A few weeks ago I cleaned out all the toys that are no longer played with, or were never played with. They all went up on Craigslist. So far I have made $110. I have vowed that that is the only money I am spending on the boys this Christmas. It has really made me think about what they truly need and want. I finished their shopping the other night. I bought everything locally. There is more than enough. Plus there is more to go around in January on our annual Maui vacation. I would rather spend money on doing than things. I feel good, might make this an annual November toy sale. 
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Pressing water out of the tofu.
Now for the most part I am an egg hater (minus that weird pregnancy moment when I ate a breakfast burrito). I love the idea of quiche, so when I saw the recipe for Sundried tomato, mushroom and spinach tofu quiche I wanted to give it a try. It should be said that I am also not a huge tofu or mushroom lover. I made a few changes, subbing in asparagus for the mushrooms. The original was gluten and dairy-free, which I didn’t need, so I changes that a bit too. If you are looking for gluten and dairy-free get the recipe here.  
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Ingredients:

For the crust: 
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 very cold water

For the quiche:
1 block (14-oz) firm tofu
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cups chopped asparagus or broccoli
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1.5 cups baby spinach
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used smoked cheddar)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a round 10-inch tart pan. Alternatively, you can use a 9-inch glass pie dish or a spring form pan.
  2. Wrap rinsed tofu in a few tea towels. Place a few books on top of it to lightly press out the water while you prepare the crust.
  3. For the crust: Mix flour and salt. Beat oil and water with a fork to thicken. Pour into flour and mix with fork. Press into desired pan. Poke a few holes in the crust to let steam escape.
  4. For the filling: Break apart the tofu block into 4 pieces and add into food processor. Process the tofu until smooth and creamy. If it doesn't get creamy, add a splash of milk to help it along.
  5. In a skillet, add oil and sauté onion and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes. Add in the asparagus and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in the herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes until combined. Cook until the spinach is wilted.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the processed tofu until thoroughly combined. Stir in grated cheese. Adjust seasoning to taste if desired. Spoon mixture into baked crust and smooth out with a spoon until even.
  7. Bake quiche, uncovered, at 375F for 30-35 minutes, until the quiche is firm to the touch. For best results, cool the quiche for 15 minutes on a cooling rack before slicing. 
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I had my doubts. I tried a finger full of the pureed tofu and was almost ready to call it quits. We all loved it. It tasted like there was bacon in it, I think the combo of sundried tomatoes and the smoked cheese maybe. It re-heats well. I managed to get it on the table on a weeknight, but it was a bit of a push.
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I hope all your holiday preperations are going smoothly. My goal it to avoid stress, that's why I am wrapping everything tonight. 
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For sure I have been away from the blog. The reason: I am growing a tiny human. Right now I am doing that. It still boggles my mind that my body can just grow a person. On Wednesday my husband and I saw that tiny human (1.8 cm long to be exact) on an ultrasound. Complete with tiny heartbeat. Pure magic. There was also a lot of relief when the tech reassured me that there only appeared to be one baby.

I did not ever think I would have three kids. I thought anyone that had more than two kids was a little wacky. Right after I pushed Sawyer out I was expecting this wave of relief. A “fewf, last time I am going to have to do that” feeling. It didn’t come. When I mentioned number three to my husband he was on board. What?! I thought he would be the voice of reason. There are about 1000 reasons not to have three kids: money, space, time, sanity. But there was one reason to have another. The whisper in my ear that told me our family wasn’t complete. I tried to ignore it, wave it off, bargain. Nothing worked.  This little human has been whispering in my ear for a while and finally got it’s way. It is already killing me that I don’t know the sex. I am fully prepared for boy number three. How cute would that be? Three little blond boys all in a row. The trouble they could get into together. A girl would be a wild, wild surprise.

I have been feeling not so great. Worst yet. I thought baby number three, I am a pro now. Yeah, not so much. I am nauseated, slow moving, tired and blah. I have lost my spark. I know it will return, but at this point I don’t feel a whole lot like me. 
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All I want to eat is ramen noodles with sriracha and anything with gravy on it (mashed potatoes, poutine). Things that in real life I don’t eat a lot of. So between the tiredness and not cooking much the blog has suffered. I hope I am back now, but no promises. I take things day to day. My husband has been amazing: taking the boys to the park, making meals, buying me flowers to cheer me up. I am so grateful to have him. I did want to kill him when he mentioned that having a fourth would be a good idea. He has lost his mind.      

Anyways, I made this a while ago and fell hard: Pineapple and Shrimp Fried Quinoa. Sounds good right?
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Ingredients:
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
1 cup coconut milk (reduced fat coconut works well too)
1 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 pound shrimp (I used ocean wise Pacific shrimp) or chick peas
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup pineapple, cut into small pieces (or you can used canned pineapple tidbits)
1 egg, lightly beaten (not for me)
1 cup peas
1/4 cup peanuts or cashews
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce for vegetarian)
1/2 lime, juiced
1 handful cilantro, chopped
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Directions
  1. Bring the quinoa, coconut milk and stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, reduce the heat and simmer covered until the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a wok or large pan over medium high heat.
  3. Add the shrimp, garlic, ginger, pepper and pineapple and sauté until the shrimp is almost cooked, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the egg and cook, stirring for a minute.
  5. Add the quinoa, peas, peanuts, curry powder and fish sauce and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and mix in the lime juice and cilantro.
Adapted fromhere.

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Huge hit. The pineapple lends a really nice sweetness and goes so well with the coconut flavor. I have also made this with brown rice and replaced the shrimp with chick peas, equally as good. I would suggest cooking the rice ahead of time and letting it cool. The texture is better that way. If I was you I would just double the batch. It re-heats and freezes well (if there is any left). My kids ate it but weren’t thrilled. You can’t trust their taste buds ever. 
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The vegan rice and bean option.
Between eating vast amounts of salt and looking for a minivan (for real) I hope to be back here sooner than later.  
 
 
I am pretty sure it goes without saying: I am so happy our summer weather arrived with July. In my mind summer doesn’t really start until July anyways, so I don’t get too bent out of shape when the weather is less than great in June. Anything that is, a bonus.

Hot weather changes the way we eat. Hot comfort foods are a lot less comforting in the heat. I love oatmeal and had abandoned it in summer. But its back in full force, just in a different form. Meet refrigerator oatmeal. When I first spotted this (on Pintrest maybe?) I thought it sounded kind of gross, maybe because of the chia content. 
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There is no shortage of places or people that will list for you the reasons why chia seeds are amazing. The fiber! The omega threes! Bottom line: I don’t like them. I find the gelatinous texture they produce very unappealing. In this case I just left them out, no problem.

There are a lot of foods out there that are deemed as absolutely necessary to achieve good health. They vary from chia to salmon to kale to blueberries to quinoa to green tea. There is an even longer list of foods that are deemed unhealthy. They are talked about in ways that may lead us to believe that if they ever pass our lips we are doomed to a life of chronic disease and weight issues.
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If you are a regular reader, you know I like to take a balanced approach to healthy eating. I don’t think there are specific foods that must be eaten to be healthy. Lots of foods have vitamins, minerals or other profiles that can make them great, but they can all be found elsewhere. The highly touted foods I tend to stay away from (simply because I don’t like them) are: green tea, kale chips, plain yogurt, ginger and most forms of tofu. On the flip side I eat things that some people express shock over: Fillet-O-Fish sandwiches from McDonalds, Old Dutch Popcorn Twists (odd obsession), hot dogs, tempura anything and Diet Coke. How often do I eat these things? Not often. Could I go without? Probably. Do I want to? Nope.
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Eating is about so much more than just fueling your body. We eat when we celebrate, we gather around the table (hopefully) to eat together as a family; it provides joy and variety to our days. Life is too short to never have the foods we love. On the flip side your life will be shortened if all you eat is crap. All in moderation, a dietitian’s favorite word.

Anyways, I came back to the recipe and gave it a go. I am going to share the flavor combo I tried.
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Ingredients:
1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats (not steel cut)
1/3 cup skim milk 
1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds (optional)
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter

Directions:
In a container that seals well, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and peanut butter. Seal and shake until well combined. Remove lid, add strawberries and stir until mixed throughout. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 2-3 days. Eat chilled.
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Love it. Folks who don’t like oatmeal due to texture might like this. I made mine in mason jars (which I use for everything under the sun). I made a few different flavor combos to eat through the week. My creation was a twist on peanut butter and jam. There are a lot of flavor ideas here and here.

Some things to keep in mind: choose a low fat and sugar content Greek yogurt (or plain) for a protein boost, regular yogurt can be used but tends to be thinner so reduce the milk. Any milk can be used in place of cow’s milk. Be sure to include a healthy fat like nuts, nut butter or seeds to keep you full for longer.

If you start your day off right there might be room for something from the less healthy category here and there too…..
 
 
Have you ever thought of what you would like to pass onto your kids? I'd like to think that I am instilling a love of laughter, not to take anything too seriously as well as a curious and optimistic attitude. I feel like those three tenants have gotten me to where I am and ensure that I love that place. Of course there are many other ideas, stories and values that I hope get passed along the way. I love how each member of the family has something to expose my kids to. This past Sunday Hudson, my oldest son, had an amazing day.

We kicked off the day watching his Dad complete his second triathlon in Comox. Hudson loved that it was a race. He was the best cheerleader and had his Lightning McQueen water bottle all ready for his Daddy at the finish line. Hudson was also super pumped that his Dad had won the whole thing (not quite). On the surface I love that this triathlon exposes our kids to a love to activity. On a deeper level it demonstrates goal setting, perseverance and a continuation of sport through adulthood.  I am always inspired by my husband’s undertaking. A few years ago he could hardly swim two lengths of the pool when he decided he wanted to complete a triathlon. I love that through re-locating, raising two boys and having a body that likes to sink, he did it. Extra bonus for having your son think you are the coolest guy ever.

After that we were all off to The Port Theater in Nanaimo to watch Hudson’s Granny in her choir performance. It was a lively show with a great variety of songs. Hudson was literally dancing in the aisle (along with a somewhat eccentric fellow a few rows down) and was pretty excited to see his Granny up on stage. Given mine and my husband’s limited participation in the arts I was so happy to have the opportunity to give him some arts exposure starring his own Granny. His Granny has shown him that taking a risk to join a choir when you are new to town pays off. You get to sing your heart out and spread some joy.

I feel so, so lucky to have close family around. Our kids get to see and experience so many different passions, views, challenges and successes.  I sometimes find myself staring at my kids wondering what passions are locked in there. What things will come easy, what will require extra time and attention? Our job, I think, is to show them around and follow their lead.

Enough story, onto the food! I have been looking for a good homemade granola bar type recipe. There can be many down falls when making them; they crumble when you cut them, they don’t hold together enough to cut or taste like sawdust. I think the biggest problem is that many claim to have “no added sugar”, but are loaded with honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, etc. This recipe solved all those problems, along with being gluten-free and vegan. Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients:
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of old fashioned or large flake oats
Directions:
1. Preheat  oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl mash the banana. Stir in the remaining ingredients until combined.
3. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper. Then spread the batter in an even layer.
4. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until the edges are golden brown
5. Allow to cool completely before cutting into slices
Of course I doubled the recipe. I used a combo of almonds and walnuts because that is what I had on hand.  The result is a fairly soft bar that holds together and freezes well. They taste great too, kids loved them. There is a lot of room to play around with the recipe, you could change up the nut butter to almond or cashew butter, vary the nuts or use seeds, substitute other dried fruit in place of the coconut. When compared to the store bought variety these bars are lower in calories, sugar and sodium…..yes. Watch the portion though, cut into small bars. They make a great on-the-go throw in your purse kind of snack for yourself or your kids and are easy to grab for part of a fast breakfast (great paired with a piece of fruit and a low fat latte). 

I guess I have also been exposing my kids to cooking, baking and a lot of different foods. They might be on the road to making excellent husbands one day.
 
 
Braden and I are both officially back to work. Braden's paternity leave is over. He was an amazing stay at home Dad. I am pretty sure he was better at it than I was. Maybe not better, but he enjoyed it more. I kept asking about breakdowns, tough days, challenges. All greeted with a blank stare. I was always sure the kids would be well taken care of, but thought the house would be in total disarray. Nope. This guy can cook dinner, fold laundry and coordinate play school drop offs and naps. The kids might of eaten more hotdogs and Kraft Dinner than I would have liked, but all survived. I am so grateful the boys and Braden got to spend this time together and feel so lucky to have such an incredible husband.

Up until now we have needed very little outside child care. My work has become more regular and with Braden back to work we need care three days a week. We have had so many discussions around what is best for the boys and best for us. Tough decisions to make. In the end we have chosen to go with a live out nanny. I like the idea of the boys being in their own space. I love the idea of not rushing them out the door in the morning. It also allows us to keep one vehicle. Braden can continue to ride his bike to work (Mr. Active) and I can take the trusty Versa. 
I sort of forgot that we would be getting home at 5:00 and that we are all used to eating dinner at 5:30. I have been doing more meal planning, making double batches to freeze and making an extra meal in the slow cooker on the weekend to have later in the week. So far, so good. This recipe was a weekend slow cooker. It is kind of a combination of a few recipes. I have been calling it Butternut Squash Red Lentil Quinoa Curried Stew. Kind of long winded.
Ingredients:
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp curry paste or powder (or more to taste) I used this.
4 cups low-sodium chicken or veggie stock
1 cup red lentils
1/2 cup quinoa
1 butternut squash peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
2-3 cups greens of your choice (I used spinach)
Fresh grated ginger, to taste (optional)
Salt & black pepper, to taste 
Directions:
Rinse lentils; set aside. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger; cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. Add squash, stock, lentils, quinoa and curry paste. Cook on high for 4-6 hrs or low for 7-8 hrs. Add greens and stir until wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot. Adapted from here.
This was so good. I loved all the flavours. We had enough for two dinners (one eaten the next day and one in the freezer) as well as a few single serve portions in the freezer for quick lunches. The boys liked it too. Everything sort of melts together so no weird textures.
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Sawyer loved it so much he flung it all over the walls.
I have to mention that it is Sawyer's first birthday today. My sweet, sweet baby is one. Everything with baby number two flies by. He has a tooth, he is sitting up, eating, walking, yelling, dancing, feeding himself, sleeping through the night (that one was hard earned this time around). I sniffed, savoured, photographed, videoed, stared, loved but nothing slowed it down. We have come so far, yet I know we are still so close to the start. Happy Birthday sweet boy....
 
 
So much has happened since I last posted that I can't even begin to write it all out, so I am going to offer the highlights:
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1. Hudson turned three! He was so excited. It was the first year I felt motivated to pick a theme and really go for it. If you need a theme for anything choose a Hawaiian theme! It was really easy to find the decor, music, food ideas and everyone can dress in their summer clothes.

We did the decorating while Hudson was out of the house. All of his "this is for me?", "this is for MY birthday?" and declaring "all I want to do is dance" made the decorating more than worth it (even the oh so tedious for me cupcakes). 

I won't even start on how incredible it is that my first born is three. 

2. I finally bought a bottle of my new favorite hot sauce Chalula. Go out and get some. Best ever. All the flavour without burn your face off heat. 

3. I may have also watched the best documentary I have ever seen: Stories We Tell. Incredibly emotional, I don't think I have stopped thinking about it since I saw it three weeks ago. My mother-in-law got us tickets to see it at the Comox Valley Art Gallery TIFF Film Series. I have no idea where else you can see it? But if you get the chance....watch. Hopefully it will make it's way to iTunes.

4. So I am not the greatest sports star, at all. But I have always had this secret idea that there was a sport out there that I had an incredible amount of natural talent. I just hadn't discovered or tried it yet. I was proven wrong with tennis. I enjoyed my lessons but my instructor wasn't blown away by my talent. I always thought rowing could be for me, but chickened out before signing up back in my UVic days. This weekend I tried cross country skiing. Again I didn't have my instructor wondering how I was so good given it was my first time on cross country skis, but I for sure had more talent than one other person in the lesson (Yes!). Most importantly I really loved it. Can't wait to give it another go.

5. Lastly I discovered the recipe for Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies on the back of a bag of Trader Joe's gluten free oats. I never make cookies, more of a muffin girl, but this caught my eye.
Ingredients: 
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 oz dark chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a large bowl.  Beat until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda: mix well.  Add peanut butter and mix.  Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and nuts. Place dough by heaping teaspoons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet (I used parchment paper), about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until light gold on the edges. Makes approximately 48 cookies.  
Love these. I made them small because they are pretty calorie dens.There are about 100 calories, 3 grams of protein and 6 grams of sugar per cookie. I reduced the amount of sugar that was called for and they were sweet enough. They freeze very well. It is hard to believe that they don't have any flour in them. You can also get creative with what you add into the mix. Instead of chocolate chips and nuts you could do raisins and coconut or cranberries and sunflower seeds. Endless ideas. 
A side note about oats and gluten. Oats themselves are gluten free, but are usually processed in factories that process wheat so there can be cross contamination. Look for uncontaminated or gluten free oats to be sure your oats are gluten free. 

Any new discoveries you want to share?
 
 
I have seen a lot of recipes for mashed cauliflower. People claiming they make a great low carb substitute for mashed potatoes. I was not buying it. Not for one second. I envisioned a lumpy, spongy, beige mess floating in a watery liquid. Blah. 

First off I am not a huge fan of cooked cauliflower. It always seems to generate a bad smell and is very easily over cooked. I like it raw and in certain Indian dishes where the spices are so rich they could cover any bad smell/taste. Second I really like mashed potatoes. Why mess with a good thing? One good reason: because you have a head of cauliflower than needs to be eaten before upcoming vacation. I cannot stand to waste food. I have been burned by this rational before. Kale chips: love chips, love kale, hate kale chips.

I tasked Braden with finding a recipe and getting started while I was on my way home from work. Braden also not a fan of cooked veg in general, was sending disapproving vibes via text message. We powered through. He choose a Mock Garlic Mashed Potato recipe adapted from here.
Ingredients:
  • 1 medium head cauliflower
  • 1 tablespoon light cream cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (we used roasted garlic)
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh or dry chives, for garnish (optional)
Directions:
Set a stockpot of water to boil over high heat.

Wash and cut cauliflower into small pieces. Cook in boiling water for about 6 minutes, or until well done. Drain well; do not let cool and pat cooked cauliflower dry between several layers of paper towels.

In a bowl with an immersion blender, or in a food processor, puree the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, butter or margarine, and pepper until almost smooth.

Garnish with chives, and serve hot.
So yeah. Really, super wrong on this one. I didn't even bother taking real photos because I was so sure this was going to be a flop (sorry only iPhone photos). It was amazing. Great texture, taste, no bad smell, no weird watery puddle. We all (kids included) had seconds. Probably because we only took a small serving initially, because say it with me: we thought we would kind of hate it. Hudson reported they tasted like pizza, not accurate, but OK. I had intended to post a different recipe that I love, but this trumped it. It was very close to the real thing and a little faster too.

Put it on your to try list. A great way to add more veggies into your diet, you are going to want to eat a lot of this. If you are looking to reduce the amount of simple carbohydrates in your diet this is for you. The nutritionals for the above recipe vs the same recipe using potatoes (based on four 225 g servings):
                                       
                                      Mashed Caulifower                                               Mashed Potato
Calories                      140                                                                                267
Fat                                 8.6 g                                                                             8.6 g
Carbohyrdate         11.6 g                                                                            42.3 g
Fiber                            5.3 g                                                                              3.8 g
Protein                       6.8 g                                                                              6.2 g

Looks like we are going to be eating a lot more mashed cauliflower and I am for sure looking forward to it. I was wrong and I can admit it.
 
 
I feel like I have been gone forever. There has been a lot going on since my last post. Of course there has been Christmas and New Years. Happy 2013! Spending Christmas with a 2 and 3/4 year old was magic. Kids bring back so much excitiment and pure joy. Sawyer was more than happy to bask in the choas of wrapping paper and boxes and enjoy the orange in his stocking. 
Picture
I said I would never do matching, I caved.
I have become a resolution person in the last few years. Not typical resolutions or world changing things, more daily life things. My last three years' resolutions have been: 
  • Accessorize more. I already owned the stuff, so I decided to use it
  • Compliment people, out loud. When I noticed something about someone that I liked/loved I was just making little mental notes. Telling people feels a lot better. I am the weird girl telling people they have amazing eyes, the best curls, a generous spirit, a thoughtful gift giver, the longest eyelashes.
  • Accept invitations. My gut reaction is to turn down invites for whatever reason. When we moved back to the Island I decided it was time to get out there and go. So far only one "wish I had of said no".

2013's hasn't come to me yet. I will keep you posted.

The other big change is that I am back at work and Braden is on paternity leave for 8 weeks. Daddy daycare. I feel so lucky that my boys get to spend this time with their Dad. It also gives us a look into each other's worlds. Working full time I miss the little moments of the boys' day. Hugs and kisses before naps, laughing over lunch and impromptu art sessions. Braden, being home full time, is realizing it is amazing to spend time with your children but there are challenges that go with it. When to shower, how to fit in physical activity and why are there so many socks missing after laundry? I think he is doing an amazing job. Hudson looked at me the other day and said "Mommy go to work now, and Daddy stays home. It's fun". I think that is the vote that counts. 

Around this time of year I am pretty done with all the rich food, desserts, chocolates, and drinks. I need a break. I started flipping through my Spilling the Beans cookbook while drooling. My mother-in-law gave me this cookbook last year for Christmas and I love it. It has so many inspired ways to use beans, my favorite high fiber, low cost, high protein food. I eventually decided on Curried Sweet Potato, Carrot and Red Lentil Soup.
Ingredients:
2 Tbps canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp grated ginger (I opted for none)
1/2 cup dry red lentils
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 tsp curry paste or powder
4 cups low sodium chicken or veggie stock
salt to taste
plain low fat Greek yogurt for serving
Directions:
In a large saucepan heat oil over med-high heat. Saute onion, garlic and ginger for about 5 minutes. Add lentils, sweet potato, carrot, curry paste, stock, and salt along with a cup of water. Bring to a boil, turn heat down, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender. 

Use an imersion blender to puree. Serve with a dollup of sour cream or Greek yogurt.  
This is just what I needed. The whole family loved it. I used an orange curry paste that is pretty mild. You may have to adjust the curry powder or paste based on your desired level of spice. I love using lentils because they cook up pretty fast compared to other dried beans, making this an easy weeknight soup.

So holiday food gone as well as all the Christmas decorations. Our house looks a little bare and drab. Maybe 2013 resolution will be adding more colour...to my house and my wardrobe. Grey is always calling to me though. I will keep you posted.