Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mopey Me.

So it's Saturday night and I'm sitting at home with the dog (who just decided to go to bed - it's 8pm, past his bedtime I guess), while my husband has gone to the birthday party we were both meant to attend. I've come down with a cold which is making me miserable in all kinds of ways.

And totally feeling sorry for myself too, which is so unproductive, but once in a while I guess we all just need to wallow in it a bit.

I feel lonely. I feel sick. I feel sad. I don't want to wish my life away - it goes so fast anyhow - but...

I can't wait until this part is over.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Game Day! A yummy contest for Canadians

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of henderson bas. All opinions are 100% mine.

This one's for my Canadian readers! You know I'm into contests, right? (There may have been a few clues to that effect in the past ;) ). I wanted to share this contest with you because it's got some fantastic prizes!

I'm sure you've heard of Stouffer's Bistro Crustini by now. They are sandwiches that you just pop in the microwave for a quick meal. I personally haven't tried them because, yeah, I'm vegetarian and they all have meat in them.

However, my husband has tried them and he likes them! They come out of the microwave crispy in just a couple minutes, so they're great for him to take to work for lunches or for a quick snack at home. The sandwiches come in eleven different flavours like Philly Steak & Cheese, and Meatballs & Mozzarella (now if only they'd come up with a vegetarian version for me!). You can pick them up in the freezer section.

Now, save those UPC's from your Bistro Crustini packages - because that contest I mentioned requires them. Use the UPC codes to enter to win the "Game Day" contest! The grand prize is a VIP Trip for two to Las Vegas to watch the Big Game, including:
- Airfare tickets for two
- Five days, four nights at a deluxe hotel
- Chauffeured limousine service
- Two tickets to a show
- $1,500 CDN spending money

I've been to Vegas and it's super fun! Five days is about a perfect length of time to experience it.

There are also secondary prizes of Home Theatre Systems (three to be won!) and a weekly prize of a digital camera.

Best of all you find out if you win right away, it's a fun little spin to win setup with instant results.

Good luck guys! You have until the end of this month to enter! Go win something, I've got my fingers crossed for you (and let me know if you do)!

Visit my sponsor:


I've been pretty quiet lately, huh? No reason, no news - just a bit of the blues.

Thank you for your too kind comments on the new 'do! I like it better today although it does that thing where it flips in on my right and flips out on my left... like I'm in constant rightwards motion! (sigh)

I do have one more review and giveaway to post next week, if my husband cooperates. Yes, that's a little hint on what it is! (It is a completely family-friendly thing! More of a guy thing though!)

Meanwhile, you can always enter the two fabulous giveaways that are already running - links are up and to your left!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The chop.

I think I'm giving my hair the chop. Not all off, just to shoulder length. Eek, stressful. I have an hour to decide...
Okay... I did it... now I'm not sure (eeeks). I think she should have taken another inch off. But it will look different when I style it myself... She used a flat iron and it's pretty FLAT! Thoughts???

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Rice Bowl of Deliciousness

So, I'm not a food blogger, really. I was contemplating what this blog is "about", and I guess it is just about my life and things I like. I would consider myself a 'foodie'. I spend a lot of time thinking about and making food, probably more than I should. Hence the food posts :)

If you're getting bored reading about food, don't worry... There's more to life and I will get back around to the rest of it. And if you're really here for giveaways (my own or the ones I share), there is more of that to come, too (one is coming up quite soon) - and you can always go enter my giveaway, or my FertilAid for Women giveaway! They're still open and both super nice prizes.

Meanwhile, I absolutely have to share this recipe with you.

I've been going to a certain restaurant on Queen West in Toronto for oh, I'm guessing 10 years now - whenever we're downtown we make a point of eating there. It's called Fresh and I know I've talked about it before. It's really, really good. Among other things, they make these rice bowls that are to die for. And I have their cookbooks, but I don't usually have the right things on hand to make a proper Fresh rice bowl. So last night, craving Fresh, I decided to make my own version of delicious rice bowl goodness.

You'll have to excuse the half-eaten rice bowl photo. I was so excited to eat it that I just dug in.
And it was.... amazing. So good. Don't be put off by the long-ish ingredients list - it's pretty quick. Try it!

Rice Bowl of Deliciousness
  • 3/4 cup brown rice
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped,
  • 1" ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Chinese chili paste (or to taste - this isn't very spicy with only 1 tsp)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter (I prefer all-natural; you could use any nut butter, really)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 small carrot, coarsely grated
  • sprouts (I used alfalfa but any sprout would be good)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • Lime wedges
Prepare rice as per package directions (I use my rice cooker, to which I add 1 3/4 cups water and a teaspoon of butter).
While the rice is cooking, chop the onion, ginger, and red pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat, add the onions and ginger and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until they start to soften. Add red pepper and cook another minute.
Stir in chili paste and cumin, cook for another minute, then add soy sauce, brown sugar and nut butter. Stir to mix. Add in the broth slowly, stirring, to make a smooth sauce. Turn the heat down to low.
Now chop up your toppings and then go relax and wait for the rice to finish cooking. Stir the sauce occasionally.

When the rice is done, divide in two and add to your rice bowls. Pour 1/3 of the sauce over the rice in each bowl. Layer the vegetable toppings on top, divide the remainder of the sauce and pour that on, then sprinkle with the chopped peanuts and pepitas. Add a lime wedge on the side for squeezing over top.

Serves two hungry people (or one hungry man and dinner + lunch for his wife). If you want to increase servings, just bump up the rice - there is enough sauce to go around.

The toppings are really open - you could really add whatever you want to the top. Here are some ideas:
  • chopped, marinated tofu
  • cooked chicken, if you eat meat
  • grilled vegetables (eggplant, peppers, baby bok choi, broccoli...)
  • chopped apple
  • tomato wedges
  • pea/sunflower/broccoli/bean sprouts
  • snow peas or regular green peas
You know... whatever you've got. You could also substitute noodles for the rice; I'm just a sucker for the chewy, nutty flavour of brown rice.

I'd love to hear if you make this!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Eggless Chocolate Bundt Cake

I bake a LOT, but the only cake I've made before (aside from cheesecakes, that's a whole other thing) was such an unqualified disaster that I'd been afraid to get back in there and try again.

Weird, right? Afraid of cake? This was nearly six years ago - the episode had a big impact. Granted, the recipe I used that time had an error in it - there was no rising agent! So it tasted alright, but the texture was like... well, the sole of a rubber flip flop. Compounding my fear of cakebakery was my recent decision to stop eating eggs - I thought I'd never find a recipe that worked.

But I've been craving chocolate cake lately, and having weekend guests was the perfect excuse to be brave and wander back into the wild world of cake. Recipezaar to the rescue! This recipe for Chocolate Bundt Cake is eggless, easy, and so delicious! Originally posted by swirlycinnacakes, I've made a few small modifications. It is a dense cake, but rich and moist.

The photo's mine - you can see how quickly we are demolishing this yummy cake. It was a perfect, pretty ring on Saturday afternoon. Excuse the finger swipes through the icing on the plate! I blame my husband (and he'll blame me ;) we may both be right).

Eggless Chocolate Bundt Cake
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
Preheat oven to 350°F Grease a 9-inch bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder.
In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients together.
Combine wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, then pour over dry. Mix just to combine (overmixing can result in a tough product).
Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 45 minutes at 350°F, until a tester comes out clean and the cake springs back when gently pressed.
Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cake as cooled, top with this glaze:

Chocolate Glaze
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 3 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 3 Tbsp hot water
Mix together until smooth. Add a little extra water if you need to, to get a pourable consistency. Pour over cake. Lick spoon. Lick bowl. Resist poking finger into glaze on cake.

Next time - and there will be a next time - I'm going to add 3/4 cup of chopped maraschino cherries to the batter, just for fun.

Have I mentioned the best way ever to grease pans? I haaate getting my fingers greasy and this is a good solution. When you're finished your block of butter, save the foil paper it's wrapped in. Just fold it up and tuck it in the fridge. When you need to grease a pan, just unfold and wipe the paper across the pan.

After a disappointing cabbage casserole (and subsequent pizza delivery), this was a really good way to finish a meal. It also was yummy for breakfast the next day. And a little slice at lunch seemed to fit the bill. Of course, it was good for dessert last night, too.

Don't you love being a grown-up and eating cake whenever you want?!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

February Blowout at Beyond the Rack

If you haven't joined Beyond the Rack yet, and love getting good deals on clothes and accessories... well, what are you waiting for? Today would be a great day to join as they are having their February Blowout sale.

Beyond the Rack is an online outlet for designer clothes at up to 70% off. Different designer 'events' change every few days, so there is always a new deal to check out. Quantities are limited, and the events only last a couple days. I've seen everything from lingerie, handbags, women's and men's clothing, watches and other accessories, shoes... all big name designers and super cheap.

You can click here to join (it's by invitation only) or you can always click the button on the right sidebar there.


In other news, the cabbage casserole with ricotta, leeks and pine nuts that I made yesterday for our guests was a total BOMB! Usually recipes from Vegetarian Times are great, so I felt good about preparing an untested recipe from the latest issue, but man... It was not a success. It had a lot of steps (luckily I decided to prepare it ahead of time, because it took about 1.5 hours) and in the end tasted alright, but kind of bland. We could tell right away by the look on our guests' faces that it wasn't going over well. And we ended up ordering pizza! Trust Domino's to save the night. Anyway... a big disappointment.

Luckily, the chocolate cake was a winner and the cinnamon rolls were also awesome for breakfast this morning. I'll share the recipe for the cake with you tomorrow!