Category Archives: Uncategorized

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Very productive vegetable stock

I’ve been procrastinating this week as you can tell. I haven’t posted anything for a while and I feel like no matter how much I clean my house it always feels messy. Why do we procrastinate? It just feels good I guess, knowing that you can put off whatever it is until tomorrow. Eventually though, you realize this isn’t going anywhere and it comes to the point where you take a good look at yourself and say, “Really? You’ve been on Youtube watching useless crap for the last 3 hours, you don’t have anything more important to do?”The worst part is, you’ve probably waited so long that it’s now crunch time and you can’t help but hate yourself for not doing it right away.

 

That’s why I made vegetable stock today. No matter how lethargic or crummy I’m feeling, cooking my own stock somehow makes me feel so productive. Not to mention, it makes the whole house smell so good….. It’s really quite satisfying when you make basic things like stock, in your own kitchen. It’s almost like slowing down and going back to a time when we had to make things from scratch, because you couldn’t just go and buy it from the store. Sometimes I wish we could slow down other parts of our lives….

 

Just throw in any vegetables you have: carrots, celery, onion, leeks, mushrooms, bell peppers etc.

 

You can also add some other seasonings: parsley, cilantro, bay leaves, rosemary, garlic cloves…etc.

Boil the vegetables in water for a few hours, then strain the broth. I poured mine into several containers and popped them into the freezer for future use.

 

Versatile Blogger Award for the Unsweetie!

With Christmas behind us I have finally found some time to post this. Two weeks ago I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by ‘TheWaiting.’ It was such a surprise because when I started blogging I never thought that anyone would read my posts or care to comment, but WordPress is such a wonderful community of bloggers that you never feel like you are alone in the world! I want to Thank ‘TheWaiting’ for thinking of me when making her nominations and thank you to all my followers as well, for your encouraging feedback and support! 

TheWaiting has an excellent blog of her own that  you need to check out. Her posts are inspiring, witty, fun to read and I find that often when I’m reading her posts I am smiling like an idiot the whole time.

If you are ever given this award here are the steps that you need to follow:

  1. Thank the award-giver and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share 7 things about yourself.
  3. Pass this award along to 15 blogs you enjoy reading.
  4. Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

So without further to do here are 7 things about me:

1. I am of Mixed Race – My father is Chinese and my mother is Austrian and yet I don’t speak either language (although one day  I hope to at least speak a little bit of both). Growing up most people assume that as a halfie you get the best of both worlds, but I always felt more that I never really belonged anywhere. Now that I am older, I enjoy the fact that I am different, and learning about different cultures, traditions. and religions has become a growing passion of mine.

2. I love Banana flavour yogurt. Bananas don’t last in my house, we buy boxes of bananas every week and we still seem to run out before the week has even ended. This is why my new favourite thing is Banana yogurt, specifically the Trader Joe’s brand Banana & Cream Yogurt. It does have quite a bit of sugar in it compared to most yogurt but I eat it as a treat when I’ve run out of bananas. The Trader Joe’s version is really yummy because it’s sooooo creamy and doesn’t have that particularly artificial banana flavour. 

3. I hate phones – I absolutely hate talking on the phone, I would much rather speak to someone in person than listen to them blab away while my ear goes numb.  The funny thing is, I work in a call centre as a rez agent for an airline, cheers to jobs that pay the bills right?

4. My favourite movie is Moonstruck. This is the only movie that I like Nicholas Cage in, and along with Cherone might think again before popping this one in to watch, but it was nominated for 6 Oscars so it can’t be that bad. This clip makes me laugh and cringe at the same time because it’s really cheesy but I still love this movie nonetheless. 

Moonstruck Clip

5. I don’t use my reusable grocery bags. I have them, I just always forget to bring them. Even if they are in my car,  I will forget to take them in with me. I don’t know why, I have so many reusable bags! It must be years and years of habit not using them that has brought me to this dilemma. I also have a compulsive disorder when it comes to bagging my grocery items. I have a certain way in which I pack, so it is extremely difficult for me to watch the cashier put my parsley at the bottom of the bag only to get smooshed by my bananas.

6. I’m a huge fan of Boney M. If you haven’t heard of Boney M. you need to youtube them right now or watch this video. Their songs are full of life and I am addicted to them!

7. My bedroom is always a mess. I keep the main areas of my house very clean, like my kitchen, bathroom and living room, but my bedroom is always a disaster. For some reason it’s my least favourite place to clean.

So now you know a little bit more about me, in no particular order, here are a few blogs that I have passed on the Versatile Blogger Award to:

Mile High Healthy – Awesome smoothie/shake recipes and a whole lot of information on staying fit, healthy and motivated.

just a smidgenFantastic blog of culinary creations, mixed with beautiful photography and poetic postings.

pretty.gritty.nycAn entertaining blog about life in New York City!

Savory SimpleAwesome recipes and beautiful photography, this lady knows how to make your mouth water!

The Jen West QuestAn incredibly inspiring weight-loss story.

Eye WateringThis site has a great layout which makes recipes and ingredient info easy to follow.

Cook.Bake.Eat.LoveAbsolutely delicious recipes!

Pasto – I swear I fall in love with just about every post on this blog about Portuguese food!

me<<make{and}take – Recipes that will soothe your soul alongside some impressive photography.

…musings of Tonya LaTorreAn inspiring blog following a family that went to Uganda to adopt a child and ended up adopting the orphanage as well!

IamSimplyTiaThis blog has some great food, but I mainly read it because of the Martini recipes!

curiouscatontherunThis woman is my hero. She came back from vacation to her office job in Australia and decided suddenly that she wasn’t gonna spend her young life toiling away at a desk job, she was going to spend it travelling without any plan at all!

Newest ObsessionA blog after my own heart, healthy recipes and adventures in life. What more could you ask for in a blog? Make sure to read the About page, she has quite a story about her health and how she came to where she is today.

thepigandthefigRecipes using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients, I find myself reading her posts over and over again because I can’t get enough!

Indulge – Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences – Lesley Carter probably has the most exciting life of any person I have encountered. Her blog speaks for itself, please visit you won’t be disappointed.

So there you have it folks!

P.S. This is the longest post I have every written!

Something unexpected on the Unsweetie….

I know this is not something you would expect to see on the UNsweetie, but I slaved away for 6 hours straight making these treats for a work event and I wanted to share the product of my hard work. Besides, I couldn’t resist torchering all of you for a little bit with this sugar high. Maybe, you can think of this posting as a ‘What not to eat’ on the Unsweetie….I will admit, I had to eat a few to make sure they tasted good so I took one for the team.

Here it is …..this is what 60 cupcakes look like.

These ones were my favourite, Coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and toasted coconut flakes on top.

Decadent Chocolate cupcakes with peanut butter frosting, topped with mini Reese’s Pieces.

The most elegant of all, Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, topped with fresh strawberries.

 

Beautiful Vitamin C

I’ve had this feeling like I’m about to get sick for about a week now, you know, the scratch at the back of your throat, that aching feeling in your bones, the fact that your freezing even standing infront of the heater, and I geuss it doesn’t help that I work in an office which is a breeding ground for germs. I read an article recently that said, ‘the average keyboard is FIVE TIMES dirtier than a toilet seat!’ Lovely……but please don’t loose sleep over this, just make sure to give your work station a good wipe-down once in a while.

So, that being said, I decided it was time to try an load up on as much Vitamin C as possible. Upon slicing up some of that Vitamin C, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful the skins of my citrus fruits are. No wonder they’re good for you! The pale white parts against the gleaming ruby red flesh, it’s absolutely breathtaking. Now, these pictures don’t do these skins justice but I just had to share them with you.

Next time your cutting up some fruits, take a moment to admire their natural beauty, the way God or Mother Nature (or whomever you believe created fruits) intended them. I geuss they did that so that we would want to eat them, I mean, how could you resist?

If you’re brave enough, you can take a look at the article I read here.

The Endive Waltz….

Is there any vegetable more elegant than endive…..?

The end.

Homemade Protein Bars

Why homemade protein bars? Well you can put your favourite ingredients in one convenient snack along with the protein powder you are already using. I make a batch almost every week and store them in my fridge, then I just grab them and go. I wake up at 4:30 AM for work everyday and I don’t always have time to  make something to eat before I go so I just take one of these and eat it with my coffee. Now, I’m sure that’s not the most beneficial way to eat them but I figure a protein packed breakfast can’t be all bad for giving you a jumpstart on the day.

Ingredients shown above: Quick oats, Max Essentials-chocolate flavoured protein powder, unsweetened shredded coconut, dark chocolate chips, pitted honey dates, Agave syrup, No-stir organic peanut butter, no-sugar-added applesauce, vanilla extract, and unsweetened chocolate almond breeze.

Mix your dry ingredients together in a large bowl: 1 cup of quick oats, 1 cup of protein powder, 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut(or you can simply out 2 cups of quick oats if you don’t like coconut), 1/2 cup chopped roasted almonds

Note: If you want to add any dried fruit like raisins, cranberries, apricot etc. mix them in with your dry ingredients as well.

Now for your wet ingredients, mix together in a small microwaveable-safe bowl: 1/4 cup Agave Syrup (or you can us honey), 1/4 cup Apple Sauce, 1/4 cup Almond milk(you can pretty much use any type of milk;Soya milk, rice milk, cows milk etc.), 1/4 cup chopped dates(optional), 1/2 Tsp of Vanilla extract, 1/4 cup of Peanut Butter (Again, you can substitute with any kind of nut butter), and 1/2 cup of dark chocolate.

Microwave for about 45 seconds….

Stir until the mixture is relatively smooth and the chocolate has melted.

Then add your mixture to your dry ingredients and mix. Make sure there are no chunks of dry ingredients left, the mixture should sticky and clumpy.

Prepare a 9″ x 9″ baking pan by lining it with some parchment paper or aluminum foil. This will make it easier for you to remove the bars once they have cooled.

Wet your hands with some warm water and press your mixture into the pan in an even layer. The water helps keep the mix from sticking to your fingers. (please excuse my chipped nail polish….lol)

Place the pan in your fridge and allow the bars to set for about 25 minutes…

After 25 minutes….take your pan out from the fridge. Grab onto the parchment paper and lift from the pan. Then you can simply slice up your bars and eat!

I wrapped mine in some parchment paper so that they’re easy to throw in my purse or lunch bag for snacking later!

For the printable recipe click here!

Coconut Winter

Omega Nutrition - Virgin Coconut Oil - Full Flavour

I have to admit, Winter is my least favourite season. It’s cold, wet, dark and none of my favourite fruits are in season and from all the wind and indoor heating my skin seems to reject my face and flake away.

Not to worry though, this Winter I have Coconut Oil. What is it about coconuts that remind me of summer? Is it the fact that they come from tropical lands or is it because it smells like suntan lotion? Whatever it is I plan on keeping an ample supply to hold me up until spring.

Coconut oil is so versatile and the health benefits are endless but mostly it helps keep my skin nourished and moisturized .Many people cook with it and some people like to put it in their smoothies, but for now, I simply rub it on my skin like a lotion after I get out of the shower. I bought the full flavour version because I find that as it does leave my skin silky smooth and glistening the experience is just not the same without that wonderfully sweet coconutty aroma.

The full flavour version is just as tasty as it smells so I’m going to be experimenting with it to see what kind of recipes I can come up with.

So if you suffer from dry skin in the winter time go get some coconut oil and butter up!