I <3 Asparagus

I like to consider myself a dedicated food lover, meaning from time to time I get on a kick with one or three different

foods and I pretty much spend the next few weeks/months feasting on the widest variety of tasty recipes also dedicated to my foods of choice.

I am currently on such a kick…….an Asparagus kick at the moment. So in honour of this amazing vegetable, and all the beautiful things that you can do with it, I have created a Pinterest board dedicated to my love of asparagus.

So hop on over to my Pinterest I ❤ Asparagus Board and check out all the great Asparagus recipes like:

Crispy Parmesan Asparagus Sticks 

or

Roasted Asparagus Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

And if you are not totally turned off of my passionate love for this beautiful green veggie,  pop back on tomorrow to find out my other favourite food of the moment and I’ll let you know the amazing recipe I’m trying tonight to combine two seemingly unrelated foods…….Bon appétit

The other day, one of the guys I worked with, asked if I knew of a good bakery. My answer was, of course, “The bakery of Karen!” So I pulled out my favorite chocolate cake recipe and went to work, hoping he would opt for my home made delight.

When we moved into my GodParents house last October, one of the things I inherited was a massive pile of cool books. I tend to gravitate to church or school cook books, because they are filled with amazing ‘tried and tested’ recipes.

Imagine my surprise when my godmother picked up the cook book only to exclaim, “that’s my mom’s recipe!” since then I’ve kept this recipe close to my heart as I’ve never come close to a chocolate cake quite as good as this.

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While dinner was cooking, I threw the batter together and made not only this individual sized master piece, but also copious amounts of mini cupcakes………another house hold favorite.
I got up at the crack of dawn to try my hand at decorating, only to realize a few baking truths:
1) Unless you have a very stiff plastic bag, it’s best to have actual cake decorating tools. My first few attempts proves just how much I needed the metal decorating tips. In the end I opted for a more simplistic approach, which turned out to be very pretty.
2) When the icing recipe said use a paste food coloring……and they knew what they were talking about. My icing ended up a little more runny than I has hoped for, making decorating that much more difficult.
3) My pink icing picked up a few of the crumbs from where I cut the cake to level it out, although its less than perfect, it gave the icing a strawberry look which I like quite a bit.
I ended up with a cake I seriously want to keep….and eat! Maybe if I’m lucky he’ll opt for a bakery cake!

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Time to start anew

Ok, so after starting a new job, falling in love with my Blackberry only to have two break in the first year, I have upgraded to an IPhone 4 and, yes I am in love.

So the question remains, can I blog more frequently now that I have this amazing tool?

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Saturday Morning

This morning, after rising early enough to make a healthy breakfast for my boyfriend before he jetted off to work, I sat down with my coffee and built my shopping list and clipped coupons. In my world clipping coupons really means planning far enough ahead I can use sites such as Websaver.ca, Gocoupons.ca and Save.ca to pre order my coupons before I go grocery shopping. While Save.ca is usually good about sending out coupons the next business day, they often don’t arrive for 2-4 days, the other sites are recent discoveries, and I have high hopes for how fast these with come.

I’m also trying to plan far enough ahead so that I can participate in what I hope will be a helpful event for both my girl friend and I. With my oven on the fritz, I’ve been limited in what I prepare for dinner each night, not to mention unable to bake our goodies; while my friends specialized diet, requires time and planning she doesn’t necessarily have the energy for each day. So, when I suggested we get together for a day of precooking and stocking up, it was a chance for us to motivate each other and hang out together.

I’m a big fan of this, especially for people who find meal planning and cooking intimidating or time consuming. Grab some friends and have some fun. You are able to keep each other motivated and prevent a lot of midweek stress. For those on specialty diets due to health or diet constraints, cooking your own frozen dinners will help you to keep on track without getting discouraged by the time your meals take.

Hopefully we’ll have some pictures up of our cook out later this week.

Over the course of the past few months, my boyfriend and I have been weeding out foods that aren’t working for us. We both seem to have food allergies, and without going and getting tested for the whole kit and caboodle, we’ve simply kept track of what we eat and how we feel afterwards.

We’ve narrowed out the following foods, much to my chagrin:

  • Beef
  • Processed ham, possibly all pork
  • Cheese
  • Pea’s (Ask my mother, I’ve been “claiming” to be allergic to pea’s since I visited my grandmother at 6 years old)

While this may not seem to be a lot, it was still a bit of a lifestyle change as beef and pork are two of the cheaper meats, and the ones I grew up with as a child. Almost every year, my family would purchase a quarter of a cow, and we would receive a large package of a variety of cuts of meat. This was common for our area, as in the heart of farm country; butchers featured fantastic prices on beef due to its abundance.

So, as much as I love the Better Homes and Garden’s Budget Cook Book, I was running out of recipes for Chicken and Fish, and decided to branch out. I picked up the Cheap. Fast. Good! Cook book by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross.

This book has a ton of great tips and recipes, my next meal plan features all of their recipes and although we haven’t had many yet, what I have tried is quite tasty.

Using the Cheap. Fast. Good! Cook Book, I’ve put together my meal plan for the next two weeks. You can find the Meal plan and ingredient list here.

 

Check back in the coming days to find out how these new recipies have worked for us.

Nothing is more chaotic than real life, take mine for instance. Starting a small business is crazy, so much of your time is eaten up by one aspect of the business or another; while I’m not complaining (having work is better than no work), I’ve had to rework my life once more.

The key for me is flexibility, yes some days I want to get creative and build beautiful, tasty meals from one of my cook books, however the reality is that sometimes I don’t have the time to think that far ahead. In times such as this, I fall back on the no-recipe recipies, to make fast, affordable meals that don’t stress me out.

Last night while battling the computer gods, I decided on grilled chicken ceasar sandwiches. By grilling the SuperStore no-name Chicken breasts on my new grill, and adding cesar dressing, parmesan and grilled onions with a side of asparagus cooked in olive oil and sprinkled with parmesan, I was able to eat a tasty, some what healthy meal in under 30 minutes.

If anything, not having a recipe inspires me to be creative. So the next time you’re strapped for time and don’t know what to cook, open up your pantry and experiment with what you have inside. It doesn’t have to be fancy, expensive or time consuming, you just have to use your imagination.