Monday, December 31, 2012

Hi Friends,

I'm sure by now you've noticed that I've taken a little bit of a break from the blog. Life went a little topsy turvy mid-December, so I made the decision to go offline to spend some much-needed time with my family and friends over the holiday season.

I missed you!!!!

The good news is that I'm home, I'm re-charged and I have some serious(ly fun) plans for 2013.

So, for now, I want to wish you the happiest of New Year's.  Party safe, have fun and savour the memories made with your loved ones.

See you in 2013!!!!



Monday, December 10, 2012

Make-Ahead Breakfast Strata

Hi! Sorry things have been quiet around these parts. The closer Christmas gets, the busier I seem to be.....I'm sure you can all relate, right?!

One of the things I've been busy at is menu planning. We're hosting our annual Christmas party on Saturday and our theme is the '80s, so I've been trying to come up with some '80s-themed food to serve. I'm thinking fondues, black forest cake, cake rolls and whatever other fun things I come up with this week!

Are you hosting any meals this holiday season? For me, it's all about planning ahead. I write my menu out, re-write and amend it as the date gets closer and then work away dish by dish when the big day finally arrives. Things that can be made ahead are always favourites because it helps to alleviate all the things that must be done at the last minute.

This breakfast strata is something that I often make when we're hosting a breakfast or brunch. My mom used to make something similar to this for Christmas morning, so I have a sentimental attachment to this dish, plus it's easy to throw together, can be customized with any veggies/meats that you like and can be made the night before ---- {WIN!}

Now you don't need a special occasion to make this; I made it this past weekend and now we have leftovers for breakfasts and/or lunches for the first part of this week.....and who's kidding who, Derek will be lucky to get even a bite. :-D

Make-Ahead Breakfast Strata
Serves 6

8 slices whole wheat bread, cubed
1 1/2 c baby spinach
1 c sliced mushrooms
1/2 large tomato, thinly sliced
2 c cheese
7 eggs
1 1/3 c milk
salt & pepper to taste

Choose a medium-sized casserole dish and spray with non-stick spray.

Layer your ingredients starting with half of the bread cubes, followed by all of the spinach, the mushrooms, tomato, 3/4 c of the shredded cheese and the remaining bread.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt & pepper. Pour your egg mixture over the entire casserole making sure to soak all of the bread. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the entire casserole. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

About an hour and half before you are planning to eat, pre-heat your oven to 375. Bake the casserole, uncovered, for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes prior to serving.

The assembly looks something like this:

Make sure you let the casserole 'rest' before serving.

I usually give it 5 - 10 minutes before diving in.

I'm sure that you can cut it into lovely little wedges when you're serving it to guests, but we don't get too fancy and just scoop out big ol' portions at our house.


Will you help me with my '80s menu? If you have any great dishes that were popular in that decade, give me some inspiration!!!

What's your favourite dish to serve for brunch?

Have a great day,


Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Powerful Kale Salad that Eats Like a Meal

Good morning! Have you been wondering where I've been?! I've missed you lots and it's because I've been in 'CrazyTown' since Friday. Think Christmas shopping, forcing a crazy dog to rest her sore leg, working, watching Christmas movies I've never heard of that seem to be playing every single night, training new employees, more shopping, doing piles and piles of dishes (seriously where do all the dirty dishes come from?!), trying to squeeze in after-work workouts, planning our annual Christmas party.....

Whew! I'm stressed and exhausted just typing all of that; luckily most of it's fun stuff --- I just seem to have overloaded myself all at once!

One thing that is seriously lacking in that busy list above is meal planning and eating. I have had zero energy and desire for recipe creation, so I've been relying on some old faves to fuel us during the crazy that is our life presently. One new fave that you absolutely must try: the Fitnessista's Cranberry Quinoa Stuffing. Oh. My. Goodness. SOOOOOO GOOOOODDDDDD! I've made it twice now and it makes big batches that I'm able to use in a few different meals.

Not only has it been tricky to keep on track with my clean eating goal at home, but the holiday sweets have started circulating around the office this week too. Not being the type of person to turn down a shortbread cookie stuffed with chunks of Skor Bar, I'm having to offset my indulgences with some veggie-packed healthy meals like this amazing kale salad I've been eating for lunch day after day after day.

This salad creation just kinda happened. I had a ginormous amount of kale to use up and I needed something healthy to pack for lunch, so I just started throwing in whatever I could find that I thought would work together. After making the salad  4 days in a row, I decided that was definitely one of those "must share" recipes. The best thing about this salad, besides the amazing flavour and the fact that it is packed full of all things healthy, is that it eats like a meal. It is so filling and doesn't need any companions to satisfy your belly! Everyday that I brought it to work for lunch, I also included some fruit or a soup and I never had room for them once my salad was inhaled enjoyed.

Power Packed Kale Salad for One
Serves 1

3 c kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2 c chickpeas
1 c chopped veggies
1/4 avocado, chopped
2 tbsp dried cranberries
2 tbsp pepitas (or your fave seeds/nuts)
2 tbsp crumbled feta cheese

For the dressing:
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt & pepper, to taste

To make your dressing, add all of the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk together.

Place the torn kale into a separate bowl and add the dressing. Massage the dressing into the kale. Top with the rest of the ingredients. Refrigerate until you are ready to eat.

*Note: I make the salad up in the morning and then take it with me to work for lunch. It is best to let the kale marinate in the salad dressing for at least a few hours before eating.*

So Freakin' Delicious!!!!!

Do you brown bag it to work/school or buy something when it's time to eat?

Enjoy your Thursday,