Well, the time has come for me to move on. This blog was a good starting place, but I feel I’ve grown out of it. So I’m taking a leap, and starting a new blog. Come find me at bakingontheside.com
This weekend I baked a cake.
There wasn’t really a reason, no birthday, no special occasion, nothing extra special to celebrate.
I just felt like baking a cake. Mixing together some dry ingredients, whipping up some frosting. This cake has been on my to-do list of baking for a very long time.
But I didn’t get to it because in my mind I thought, “there is no special occasion for this cake. Nothing to celebrate, no person who would want it for their birthday.” So I put it off. I left it for a long long time. And obviously you can’t make a cake without a good reason.
But then I woke up on a cold frosty day with a baking itch that I knew had to be scratched soon. So I really scratched that itch, not with muffins, or banana bread, or some everyday fare.
I baked a cake and it was delicious.
Somewhere in the past I’d made a rule that cake was only for a special day. Well maybe making a cake is just what makes that day special.
Or maybe, sometimes, we have to throw out our “food rules”.
PS the cake is a Vegan Red Velvet cake from The Vegan Table written by this lovely lady.
I can’t wait…
For it to Be Friday.
I can’t wait…
To finish up my homework (it’s never ending…).
Nope I just can’t wait
For shopping, seeing friends I’ve missed, in Vancouver this weekend.
I definitely, absolutely, just cannot wait
For these Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars to be finished so I stop eating them! Based loosely on the ones found here.
Last week one of my favourite bloggers, Amber, did a Day In the life post. Apparently, they’ve been happening all over the web. How have I missed this? This is one of things that got me in to blogs; back in the day when a lot of bloggers posted 2-3 times a day (usually their meals, a la Kath Eats Real Food, but posted lots of other stuff too).
6 am jump up in surprise; alarm actually woke me from a sound sleep.
6: 01 am brush teeth, do make up, etc, make self presentable.
6:10 try to stuff everything in my bag (over packed for trip as usual) break zipper because pajama pant string is stuck in zipper like so
6:12 attempt to take photo of said zipper. Find out camera has died, did not bring charger. Kick myself. Take phone photo instead:
6:15 am Brew coffee, gather delicious baked good provided by Kathy, owner of Richmond House B&B, where I am staying.
6:20 am Devour this spread (I know 2 whole muffins! I was just super hungry, and they were so good) while reading blogs:
6:45, out the door, only 5 minutes late for once! And only 2 windows need scraping, so I’m not late for work.
7:00 am arrive at work, drop off bag and stuff in office, get ready to make some major Beef Stroganoff. Start by gathering ingredients… 70 KG of beef…
8:00 am beef is “tenderizing” for an hour. 70 kg of beef, some “gravy" and water simmer for an hour. Place 10 loaves of bread on cookie sheets, to be dried out for bread crumbs
8:15 check in with preceptor. Go over yesterday’s work (recipe expansion, costing…), all is well.
9:00 am meat still tenderizing, go and talk to preceptor. Time to enter the freezers.
9:15 am, barely paying attention to ordering we’re doing, it’s so cold in here!
9:30 am meat is ready for onions and mushrooms to be added, and then meat must tenderize further. In go 30 lbs of mushrooms, and 30 lbs of onions. I have splattered myself with lots of beef juice, and smell of cooked meat. ew.
10:00 am help other production cooks with other food that must be made; am helping to stuff Chicken Vegetable Pies, flattening down the inside before crust placed on top.
10:45 am, My wrist actually hurts from pressing down on chicken vegetable filling. Wow, can’t believe people do this 5 days a week, every week. No wonder injuries happen, and proper ergonomics are important.
10:50 am, beef is good to add in Permastarch, a starch to help thicken sauce that will survive high heat, and freezing cold. After adding and stirring, we must allow to cool for 20 minutes before adding sour cream.
11:00 am take a break. Have apple, drink coffee, browse Twitter.
11:20 am come back to find cooks adding in sour cream. Help.
11:50 am begin scooping Beef Stroganoff into pans, 2.5 kg per pan. Apparently will serve 12 portions per pan, who knew?
12:10 pm Beef Stroganoff into freezer, roughly 42 pans made. Told to go on lunch, I think my preceptor has nothing else to tell me.
12:11 pm remove beef stroganoff covered Scrubs shirt. Don’t have an extra pair of pants to change into, so they stay on.
12:35 pm Take temperature. Scribble in my notebook.
1:00 pm Take temperature again.
1:15 pm take temperature one final time. Preceptor says I’m free to go. yay!
1:20 pm start driving back, with a pit stop at Safeway to change into less smelly pants, and pick up some supplies:
(chocolate covered almonds and gum)
3:15 pm arrive home in Kamloops, say hello to Sadie, play on computer, check emails, debate about going swimming, decide to take Sadie for a walk instead.
(I like to think she was grateful)
5:45 take a shower, begin on dinner (quinoa, steamed carrots, stir fried kale and leeks in tahini and soy sauce).
6:30 brother calls, and needs a ride home because he missed a bus by two minutes… next bus not for another hour.
7:00 home and eating.
7:15 watch last nights NCIS, which mom has PVRd.
8:20 watch some cupcake wars, try and make myself get up and write this blog post, but Sadie is on my lap and looks so comfortable!
8:55 finally get up and get writing.
As you can see it wasn’t the most productive of days. I often times am doing 2-3 hours of work after a 6 to 8 hour day of work. Today I slacked off, and will pay for it over the next couple days, since I’m planning on heading to Vancouver this weekend for a much needed trip to see my friends.
Alright, I’m off to do some printing and room cleaning. I was reminded by some of the comments on Morgan’s post on controlling stress how much better I feel if I clean up my room before going to sleep.
I realized it’s been ages since I updated you guys on my fitness thing.
I think the last time I even mentioned my lack of running/what I’d been doing was back in… I don’t even know when. Maybe never.
So let me tell you the story, about a year ago in September I began having a heel pain, that led with a sharp stiff pain into the arch of my foot. It wouldn’t be always there, but it would sort of appear 5 minutes into my run, as I was warming up, or sometimes when I was slowing down. Or the pain would happen a few hours after my run, if I’d been sitting and moved my foot, it would feel painful and stiff.
I knew what it was.
But I didn’t want to admit it.
So I went to a doctor who only confirmed what was wrong with my foot: plantar fasciitis. It’s a pretty common running injury, and having seen my mom go through it, I knew that’s what was going on.
According to the doctor it was related to weak hip strength, so my physiotherapy related to that. I did physio for a few months, and then it was “up to me”.
In the winter, spring, and summer, I did a run here or there, but nothing steady.
Then I got home from Kenya, and a friend of mine made me go running with her. It was a simple suggestion she made, “hey we should go running sometime.” One of those suggestions you don’t really think are going to go anywhere. But within a week we were running together. And so I was running 2 x a week.
Still more recently my friend Amber has got me out running on the trails, which has made me want to keep at running.
So now I’m trying to run 3 x a week. Nothing long yet, barely 5km (3miles) but still, steady running. It feels great.
But it’s not just the running, fitness wise, that’s making me feel great.
I’m also doing Hot Yoga, at least 3 times a week. I started in September, and knew I’d like it, but now how much I’d love it. Kamloops Hot Yoga is a great studio, and I love the variety of classes I take.
I’m also doing swimming 2x a week, and I’m up to 3000m when I go, and I spend most of it trying to catch up to my mom. ;)
Finally a year later I’m starting to feel fit again.
PS sorry for lack of pictures, not my normal style, I know.
On Sunday it was my 24th birthday. A part of me says, Holy Crap! You are definitely in your mid-twenties now, no more early twenties. Another part of me says, meh, another day. After all, except for the beautiful day, delicious Chocolate Almond cake (a la Julia Child’s cookbook), and “Birthday Wishes” from friends and family , it was a day like most others.
But in honour of 24 years on this place called earth, here are some reflections on this past year.
I feel like I’ve experienced a lot of growing pains this past year. When I look back I can’t say this has been “the best year of my life” but neither has it been my worst. I’ve mostly just learned a lot, about myself, about what I believe, and what my boundaries are.
I wanted to write this post mainly so I can look back in a year and remember what I was thinking about. I can say I’m honestly more excited for the future than I have been in a long time. I’m scared too; this time next year I won’t be a student at all, but will nearly be (hopefully) a Registered Dietitian here in Canada.
(I just tried looking back at my previous posts and apparently I didn’t write anything last year on or near my birthday)
Where am I going with this post? (^^^ haha, this was an accident actually) I don’t really know, I just felt like 24 years deserved a reflection.
Sorry for the wordy post! I promise I’ll be back soon with food! 😉
This week is Fat Talk Free Week (October 16 to 22). I’m not sure when it first began, but I remember hearing about it a couple years ago:
Earlier this week was also National Love Your Body Day.
This personally hits home for me. In the past I have struggled with my weight, and with my body image, and self image.
But to be honest, what it really reminds me of, is the struggle I watch some of my friends go through. Some of whom are currently going through these struggles, and not for the first time.
I see friends of mine struggle with their relationship with food, because of their relationship with their body. I have some friends who diet on and off frequently, and the only question I ever want to ask is: if it wasn’t about the weight, what would you want your diet to look like?
The other thing I want to tell them? You are awesome as you are.
This post could go on and on, but I think for today, and for Fat Free Talk Week, that might be all I can let myself say.
Frost greeted me this morning.
But so did the Sun, and he stayed around all day. Maybe that was why I was in such a good mood today. Or maybe it had to do with this girl.
Meet Sadie, cutest, sweetest girl alive. But don’t we all say that about our dogs? She’ll be 5 months this Sunday, and she’s still scared of the camera. This was about as still as she would get.
Or maybe I was in a good mood because I got an early afternoon to work on some project work. And I might have made some half decent granola bars.
There is a granola bar sold at the hospital in their cafe that is TO DIE FOR. It’s sweet, gooey and chewy, with chocolate and raisins, and peanut butter I think. But it’s also huge, oily, and full of SUGAR. I think it might be worse than a cookie. So I needed to replicate it. This version is a good start, but they’re not perfect.
I’m not sure what to change, I’d like them to be gooier, maybe some more peanut butter? No egg? I’ll write the recipe, and if you have any advice, let me know!
Peanut Butter Granola Bars
2 tbsp margarine
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter (natural pb, none of that kraft krap)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup currants (I couldn’t find any raisins!)
3/4 cup nuts (I used walnut pieces, but I think sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds would be wonderful too)
1. Preheat oven to 325*. Grease a regular sized cookie sheet.
2. Beat together the margarine, brown sugar, peanut butter, egg, and vanilla extract until a smooth mixture occurs.
3. Mix in the oats, chocolate chips, currants, and nuts until it becomes a cohesive mixture.
4. Pour mixture onto the greased cookie sheet. Use your hands or a spatula to press the mixture flat, equal in height to edges of the pan (I couldn’t get it to quite cover the pan, there was an inch or two without any.)
5. Bake for 20minutes, allow to cool, then cut into however big of pieces you want. I made about 18 smallish ones.
So blog readers, writers, what changes do you think might be made? What would leaving the egg out do to the texture?
It’s Saturday night and I’m writing a blog post, why? What are you up to?
To clear up any confusion, I’m recovering from a crazy week of internship. This past Thursday was my Cafeteria Lunch Special: All Around The World. We had to create a menu around a theme of our choosing, and I wanted one I could find lots of recipes from. Mine looked like this:
English breakfast scone,
African Yam and Peanut Stew (<—Amazing by the way)
Thai Tofu Coconut Curry
Maple Sugar Pie
I really wanted to have some pictures of my menu items, but would you believe my camera decided to not work?! I know! It was tragic.
But overall it went well, a few glitches were to be had but mostly it was a success. The cook may have mixed up the curry pastes, so I had an emergency Save-On run in the morning and the tofu for the Thai curry (a green curry) was dyed pink, but c’est la vie!
It was an interesting experience, but now it’s past, my paper on it is mostly written (first draft anyway) and I’m on to the next project.
I’ve still been finding time for cooking. I made some roasted garlic hummus last weekend:
Delicious! I mean, I could tell it was made from avocado, but honestly everyone else said if I hadn’t said “it’s vegan and has avocados” they wouldn’t have known. My one friend did, apparently because “her mom tried sneaking vegetables into desserts all the time.”
Now that I’m not so consumed by this project I hope to get back to a more regular blogging experience. So fingers crossed it will happen.
Today was a long day. It started with my phone’s alarm going off at 5:40am, and that was not an accident. My intern partner and I had to be at Royal Inland Hospital by 6:30am so we could hit the road with our preceptor to head to Kelowna. In Kelowna we would be attending a group ordering session with our preceptor, and many other foodservice managers from across the Interior Health Authority.
It was a long day, both interesting and dull. Seeing how a health authority goes about ordering their food through one source for multiple different health service areas (IHA stretches across a large part of BC) is interesting. A meeting that lasts all day and talks about stuff you don’t know all the details about? Not interesting.
It was a day that needed an evening worth getting to. In my head while sitting in the meeting and trying not to nod off, I pictured a bag of fresh carrots I knew we had in our fridge. I knew what I wanted for supper.
Is there anything like ginger? Yum.
I chopped up some onions, garlic, ginger and carrots.
Threw them all in the pot and let them boil away.
My brother was helpful and made a salad to go along with the soup.
Looks like a delicious meal, no? It was, oh it was.
I’ve also spent a great deal of time in the kitchen at the hospital testing out the recipes for my cafeteria special. Man is it intimidating cooking in a facility like that! Very scary. But sort of exciting too.
How has your week been going?