Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday

Howdy! Happy Wednesday....and Happy Halloween!!

So here we are at the last day of October. Isn't it crazy how fast the time has flown by?!

....and speaking of crazy, were you affected by Hurricane Sandy? Monday night was cold, rainy and very windy. There was alot of hype about Southern Ontario being hit by Frankenstorm, but all we got was a typical autumn storm. We were very lucky.

*If you were affected by the Hurricane,
please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family*

Here`s a peek at my eats from yesterday:

Oy! I woke up an hour late yesterday, which was not good considering that it's my week to drive in our carpool. I had to be ready to go lickity split, but I did manage to find 5 minutes to whip together a quick breakfast of honey-flavoured Greek yogourt, pumpkin puree and harvest granola. It was good, but didn't keep me as full as I would've liked. I was starving by lunchtime.

Speaking of lunch, I just realized now as I was writing that last sentence that I totally forgot to take a picture! I didn't have time to make lunches for Derek and I this morning, so I ended up with a ginormous slice of veggie pizza. Think mozza cheese, fresh mushrooms, tomatoes, green peppers and red onion. Not as healthy as I would've had if I'd made my lunch, but it was pretty darn tasty!

On Monday night, I made the Fitnessista's pumpkin amazeballs. Holy delicious!! They taste just like pumpkin pie. I packed one in my gym bag as a pre-workout snack. IN LOVE

On the weekend I made Lindsay's Crockpot Lentil Veggie Lasagna. I made a few changes: I baked mine in the oven, used fresh spinach and used cottage cheese instead of ricotta. This is delicious!! As a side, we had roasted honey dijon brussel sprouts. I really love carb-heavy dishes like lasagna and I find that having a big side of healthy veggies discourages me from, these sprouts are the bomb-digity of roasted veggies!!!

Now tonight is going to be a true test to my willpower because all that candy sitting on my kitchen table has been calling my name. So far, I've stayed out of it and tomorrow I'm planning to take any leftovers to work for my co-workers to enjoy. I don't mind having a couple of treats tonight, but I don't want all the little goodies to stick around too long!!

How do you resist the temptation of all that leftover candy and chocolate?

What was the best costume that you wore as a kid?

Have a fun and safe night my friends,


Monday, October 29, 2012

Recipe Link Love from the Weekend

Hi! Happy Monday. Did you survive all of the Halloween shenanigans this weekend? We had parties on Friday and Saturday and by Sunday we were pretty pooped! A great time was had by all, so the after-party fatigue was totally worth it.

A pirate and her pumpkin head - bowchickabowwow.

Hank was pooped too.

Orignally, my plan was to recap my weekend by telling you about our costumes, the very bad (me) and amazing (Derek) karaoke that was sung, our friends' gorgeous new baby girl and Hank's first visit at a new kennel, but I ended up spending alot more time than I expected in the kitchen and I felt compelled to give some link love instead to some amazing recipes that I had the chance to try.

Please, please, please give at least a couple of these recipes a try. They are perfect for the Fall season and taste oh so good. Those cupcakes are one of my new all-time faves and will be making many appearances at potlucks and family dinners as we enter into the holiday season.

Another bonus about these recipes, other than the popcorn squares,
are that they are all full of healthy, real food.


Do you have a costume this Halloween? If you do, what is it?

Where do you search for recipes?
As much as I love creating my own recipes, I definitely use the Internet as my main resource
even though I have an entire cupboard shelf devoted to cookbooks.

Have a great day,


Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Weekend

Hi!  Happy Friday.

I know Halloween isn't technically here until Wednesday, but as a couple without kids, we have really been looking forward to a fun-filled spooktastic pre-Halloween weekend!

I never used to be a big fan of Halloween. As a kid, I had absolutely no imagination when it came to coming up with a costume. As a teen, I was that girl that would show up at the school dance in rabbit ears or devil horns. I don't know why, but I always drew a blank when I needed a costume.

...even when Derek and I first got married, I would avoid Halloween parties at all costs. I remember going to one party years ago as a hockey player - I actually wore Derek's hockey stuff - talk about huge, bulky and about as non-feminine as you can get!!

We have some friends that love Halloween, kinda the way that I love birthdays and Christmas, and they have costume parties every year. I never used to get too excited about attending....

....that was until we went to a Halloween wedding in Las Vegas last year.

Yes, it was as crazy as it looks. It was SO. MUCH. FUN!!!

I searched and searched for customes for Vegas and ended up with 2; a flapper for the bachelorette and a sexy pirate for the big night. Derek was a cowboy for the boys' night out and a flasher for the big night.

*Guys, if you want the women to swoon, dress your pretty little selves up like a cowboy -- I've been told that the ladies LOVE it (Derek claims he was hit on all night!) and on the flipside, if you want the ladies to run for the hills, dress up like an old perverted flasher - your friends will love it, but the ladies not so much hahahaha* 

I really can't describe in words what it's like to celebrate Halloween in Vegas. It is totally and completely wild and it ended up being one of mine & Derek's favourite vacations ever. We had a great time with great friends and probably will never have another vacation quite like it.

Something about last Halloween ignited a total love for the holiday in me & I've been looking forward to this weekend for a few weeks now. I loaned my flapper costume out to a friend and I'm planning to re-use my pirate outfit.

We've done a total 360 and went from normally having no Halloween plans to having 3 to go to this weekend. Tonight, we are heading to Scary-oke (oh yes, there will be *bad* singing involved) and then we have 2 house parties to go to Saturday.

I can't wait to see what everyone else ends up wearing. Many pictures will be taken!!

So, now I've got to get busy picking up some last minute accessories, so I must bid you all adieu.

What costume will you be wearing this Halloween?

Do you like going out to Halloween parties or do you stay in to greet all the little ghouls & goblins with boatloads of candy?

Have a great Friday,


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday

Hi friends! Happy humpity hump day!!

So, my original plan this week was to share all of my fave Hallowe'en treats with you, but I've kinda gotten sidetracked with my love affair for pumpkin. I roasted a sugar pumpkin on Sunday afternoon, made my own puree and pretty much every meal since has contained pumpkin in some shape or form.

I seem to be a wee bit addicted.

So....I will try to share some of my fave Hallowe'en treats before the big day but until then, you are going to be subjected to all things pumpkiny. I sure hope y'all don't mind :)

Hands down, this is the best slow cooker oatmeal recipe that I have ever made. Creamy pumpkiny steel cut oats topped with some crunchy raw walnuts. Absolutely divine!  

If you take anything away from this post, I beg you to try this recipe!!

Honey Greek Yogourt parfait with pumpkin puree and granola. Yummers!

Admittedly, my lunches the past 2 days have been pretty plain jane. I have a ton of tomatoes from the garden to use up, so I've had toasted tomato sammies for lunch. Usually, I spend my lunch at my desk perusing my fave blogs and working on some future posts. Lately, I've had the urge to get up and get away from the computer, so I've been lunching with some co-workers. We laugh and carry on and I totally forgot about snapping a pic. Oh well, sometimes fun trumps blogger duties :-)

I could eat a quesadilla every single day for the rest of my life and I would die a happy woman. My pumpkin & caramelized  veggie quesadilla made its return this week. I forgot how much I loved this!!

Even Dora & Hank got in on the pumpkin action this week. We had a party on Saturday night and the pups got more than their fair share of people food. I've been giving them each a big scoop of pumpkin on top of their food to make sure their tummies are feeling 100%. They LOVE you can see by the Hankster sitting and waiting patiently for his dinner.

What a GOOD boy!

If you're looking for some more meal inspiration or perhaps some spook-tastic treat ideas for your Halloween parties this weekend, head on over to Peas & Crayons to see what other people have been brewing up this week!

What do you love to stuff your quesadillas with?

What treat do your pets love the most??

Have a great day,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Love + an Oatmeal Recipe


I know that we are completely flooded with all things pumpkin this time of year, but I hope you aren't quite sick of it yet!

I bought a sugar pumpkin a few weeks ago with the intention of making my own pumpkin puree and finally got around to doing just that on Sunday afternoon. For a great photo tutorial on how to roast a sugar pumpkin and make your own homemade pumpkin puree, check our Ange's post here. I spent $1 on the pumpkin and it ended up making about 2 1/2 cups of puree....not too shabby considering a can of pumpkin puree can cost up to $3.99 around here!

Not only do I luuuurrvvvee the flavour of pumpkin spice anything, I absolutely adore pumpkin for all of it's health benefits too:

 * 1 cup of pure pumpkin puree has over 200% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A
 * pumpkin is rich in carotenoids, including beta carotene (antioxidant!!)
 * pumpkin in a good source of fibre, packing 7g into each cup
 * pumpkin is packed with potassium (move over bananas)
 * pumpkin aids your pooch if he/she is having some trouble with *ahem* the scoots
 * the seeds are rich in calcium & zinc
 * pumpkin is low in fat and calories
 * every part of the pumpkin can be used in some form, so there is absolutely NO waste

- check out Gina's tips on how to use an entire pumpkin from seeds to skin here

As soon as the pumpkin puree was made, I gave each of my poochies a big ol' scoop with their dinners and got to work making myself a breakfast for Monday morning.

Um....I don't mean to toot my own horn here, but there is seriously no better way to start your morning than with this oatmeal. It takes 5 minutes to make and is absolutely delicious!

Pumpkin Pie Slow Cooked Steel Cut Oats
Serves 2

1/2 c steel cut oats
1 c unsweetened almond milk (or regular milk)
3/4 c water
1/2 c pumpkin puree
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp Earth Balance (or butter)

Place everything into your crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours.

I used my little dipper crockpot again, which is the perfect size for this oatmeal recipe.

I topped my bowl of oatmeal with chopped walnuts.

Hands down the best oatmeal recipe that I have ever made.

If you love pumpkin as much as I do, I'm pretty sure you're going to love these recipes too:

 - Jenna's Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
 - Angela's Vegan Pumpkin Mac N Cheeze
 - Jessica's Roasted Pecan Pumpkin Butter
 - Sommer's Southwest Spicy Pumpkin Soup
 - Sarah's Pumpkin Streusel Swirl Loaf

What's your favourite Fall flavour?

Have a great day!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

we are beautiful

My friend, Judy, shared this video with me yesterday.

I, like most women, can use a reminder that we are unique, we are beautiful and that we have value.

I wanted to share this with you, to remind you that YOU are beautiful too.


Now go look in the mirror and take in all of your fabulousness...

Have a GREAT day,
Andrea ~ XO

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What I Ate (Since My Last Post) Wednesday

I have been an absent little blogger this past week. That pesky cold that I'd been battling came roaring back with a vengeance and I couldn't breathe or taste for days upon days! Then my mom & dad came for a quick weekend visit and I was just too darn busy having fun to get online. Our laptop didn't see the light of day from Thursday of last week until last night ---- that's never happened before! Dare I say it's feeling a wee bit neglected?!

When my parents come to town, they're in high demand and other than a quick coffee at home, we didn't eat in once. We were out with family and friends for every meal, which was great, but I admit that it also feels great to get back into a normal, healthy eating routine.

Here's a peek at yesterday's eats...

Peach-passionfruit Greek yogourt with granola.

Dunkin' Donuts Pumpkin coffee with milk. L<3VE (thank you DAD)!!!!

Leftover roasted veggie thin crust pizza, a Honeycrisp apple and a Sparkling Ice ~ Pink Grapefruit.

Homemade crockpot applesauce. In this batch, I used Honeycrisp and Cortland apples.

I was craving comfort food yesterday. I haven't felt like cooking since I came down with this cold, so most of my meals have been quick and random. Finally, last night I felt like putting together a real meal. We had cheese tortellini with veggies in a rose sauce and Caesar salad. It was so good!

What meal do you crave most once you get your appetite back?
What's your fave pasta sauce?

If you're looking for more meal ideas or some spook-tastic Hallowe'en treat inspiration, check out all the link love over at Peas & Crayons

Have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

What I Ate Wednesday

Good morning! How are you on this lovely Wednesday?!

I'm totally not following Jenn's October theme for this WIAW post, because I swear I'm still stuffed from all the great food I ate over this past weekend. It was the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend and I managed to score dinner invites on Sunday & Monday! Derek was away and I'm lucky enough to have an awesome family that didn't want me to feel left out, so I was included in absolutely everything {I loved it!!!} Great big traditional Thanksgiving dinners were served both nights and I stuffed myself to the max. The company was lively, the wine was flowing and the food was absolutely fantastic!

I was so uncomfortable by the time I got home each night that I could barely sit still. You'd assume I'd learn the first time, but no, not this gal....I had to go and do it again the very next night!!

Needless to say, my body was kinda confused yesterday. I woke up and couldn't decide if my stretched out belly was starving for more food or if I still felt ill from over-eating. 

I decided to play it safe with a really light breakie.  

 mixed fruit, cottage cheese & coffee

Lunch was pretty light and healthy too.

salad plate: cottage cheese (again!), bean salad and some leftover healthy autumn salad

I was planning to only allow myself an apple as a snack, but I caved to some co-worker pressure and had a rice krispie square as well!

Dinner was pretty light too.

roasted veggies with rice

I couldn't find room for even a tea the past couple of nights and I was dying for a chammomile vanilla - I managed to fit one in last night --- I've been loving this tea as a nightcap each night before bed.

If you're looking for more meal inspiration or perhaps some spooktacular snacks in anticipation of Halloween, head on over to Peas & Crayons to see what other bloggers have been cooking up!

How do you avoid over-indulging during the holidays?

Fave thing you ate yesterday?

Have a great day,


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Healthy Autumn Salad

Hi guys! I'm so glad to be back - my nose is no longer stuffy; I can breathe and taste again!!! I started feeling better just in time for our Canadian Thanksgiving holiday {and for that I am thankful!}. This past weekend was full of family, food and fun.

I am still stuffed from two back-to-back days of Thanksgiving dinners  ~ can you say 'hello stretchy pants'???

Heavy meals, holiday parties and lots of comfort food can be pretty dangerous this time of year! I find that the Fall results in a lot more temptation and I tend to crave carb-heavy meals and can easily go a little light on my fruits and veggies.

After a weekend like this past one, it's critical for me to get right back on track with my eats. I created this salad on the weekend and while it's light and healthy, it includes some roasted butternut squash, which totally satisfies my love of comforting Fall fare.

Healthy Autumn Salad
Serves 4 - 6 as an appetizer salad

For the salad:
2.5 - 3 c chopped butternut squash*
1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
6 c mixed greens
1large apple, chopped
1/2 sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1/4 c dried cherries
1/4 c dry roasted unsalted pepitas
2 - 3 oz crumbled goat cheese

*Slice the neck of your butternut squash into 1/2" thick rounds and then cut each round into quarters.

For the dressing:
6 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp dijon mustard
2 - 3 tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch sea salt & fresh ground pepper

Place all of the dressing ingredients into your blender or Magic Bullet and blend well. Refrigerate.

Preheat your oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Place your chopped squash into a bowl and drizzle with the olive oil and sea salt. Spread the chopped squash onto your cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes, making sure to flip about halfway through the roasting time.

Once roasted, remove the squash from the oven and set aside to cool.

To assemble your salad, place your mixed greens into your salad bowl. Add the squash, apple and pepper and toss. Top the salad with the cherries, pepitas and crumbled goat cheese.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I served the dressing in a cute little pitcher on the side, so that each person can drizzle the dressing on themselves.

A good peeler is a huge help when dealing a squash.

I have a Tupperware peeler and it is the absolute best!

I like the look of the uniform wedges, but you can just chunk it up if you prefer.

Store your leftover dressing in a mason jar in the refrigerator.

A gorgeous colourful salad to be proud to serve to guests.

Or as a delicious dinner at home after a weekend packed full of FOOD!

The sweet-savoury flavour combo of each bite will rock your socks off!!!

What is your favourite healthy meal to make after a weekend full of indulgences??

Have a great day y'all!


Sunday, October 7, 2012

Give Thanks

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I know Thanksgiving (in Canada!) is technically tomorrow, but our family, like most that I know, always celebrate on Sunday. So, if you're celebrating today, Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I have a really great life and I am truly blessed.

Today, I give thanks.

What are you thankful for?

Take a moment to appreciate all of the blessings that surround you today.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

What I (Wish I) Ate Wednesday

Hi there! Welcome to the first Wednesday of October.

I've been battling one really stubborn cold over the past week, so most of my eats have looked something like this:

Cream of Leek Soup

Exciting, right?!  :-/  

I've seriously been eating soup, soup & more soup. It's rare for me to not have an appetite, but I can't smell and I really can't taste, so I haven't been too motivated in the kitchen. Heck, I can barely even chew with my mouth closed because I feel like I'm suffocating!

Since my eats have been <ahem> a wee bit boring and this month's What I Ate Wednesday theme is far from that, I thought I'd share some scrumptious treats that I pinned this week instead of causing your eyes to droop with picture after picture of soup.....


Easy Bake Egg White Souffle

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Hearty Harvest Salad

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Roasted Mushroom & White Bean Soup

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 Mini Apple Pies

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If you'd like to see more of the recipes that I've pinned lately, you can check them out here.

Before I go, I just want to say thank you to Jenn from Peas & Crayons for highlighting the fact that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I'm sure that we all know someone who has been affected by this terrible disease. I participated last weekend in the CIBC Run/Walk for a Cure and our community raised over $700,000.00!!! To learn more about this disease, please visit the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation website.

Have a great day,