Friday, 30 August 2013


I had my first ever cup of coffee yesterday. I've been working my way up there with iced cappucinos, iced coffees, and frappucinos. Yesterday morning, I just could not keep my eyes open. I had a very long day ahead of me, with no time to pick something up, so I poured a cup of coffee at work, added a ton of sugar, and tried it.

It was amazing! I have hated every coffee flavoured thing, and even the smell of coffee all my life, but this little cup in front of me was the best tasting thing I'd had all day. Maybe because of the sugar. I gulped it down, nonetheless.

Twenty minutes later, the whole world felt a little brighter. I was a little more chipper, and just felt like I could handle things a little better.

Halfway through the afternoon, when I usually start dragging my feet, I was chipper and happy. At five, I started to feel a little tired, but zipped home for dinner, and then an hour later, went into work. I work 11 hour days three times a week.

Around eight, I started to crash, and was afraid I'd fall asleep standing up. But I got through the last hour of work, managed to get home, and fell asleep.

Oh my gosh, though. I have tried caffeine in half a dozen forms, and if they kick in that fast, they don't last more than a few hours, and the crash is hard. I suddenly understand why people drink coffee everyday.

Hubby says I'm gonna get addicted. I don't care. If this is what an addiction will do to my day, bring it on!

I'll probably take that back in awhile.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


Just so you don't totally freak out, my little blog underwent some changes today.

New URL, new title, new background, new format.

I thought, since I kind of gave up on the whole every day post thing, I'd take out the "365" concept, and just changed it to me. This is all about me and my thoughts anyways.

Adventures in Juicing, Episode 1

Okay, so this juicing fad has been a thing for awhile now. Juicers have been available to buy for years, but it's only in the last year or so that it became a thing to survive on nothing but juice for a little while. I have a friend that juiced for 40 days. I think she's amazing, and intense, and very few people can do that. I've read several accounts of people that juiced for three days or so, and it seems to be almost all positive reviews, with ravings of vitamins, decreased hunger, resetting your cravings, etc.

So when I was diagnosed six months ago, the idea of juicing floated through my mind. I knew that my body was clogged down with all sorts of stuff it couldn't handle, but within a few days, as my body adjusted to actually eating the food, I found I was crazy hungry, all the time. And that really was a good thing. I nommed on fruits and veggies a lot, and lots of gluten-free things, and all the food that I wrote about here, but I knew that I couldn't give up food. Not yet, at least. Food was way too important to my body. I thought, maybe in a couple months, I would try it.

It's been a couple months, so I've been reading some introductions to juicing, some tips on adding juice to your day, and some accounts on juicing, and I'm really considering it. I thought about making it super easy and buying all the juice from somebody like Blue Print Cleanse, but then I looked at the price tag. So I was back to the possibility of juicing. One big problem is that I live in Saskatchewan. Fresh fruit isn't exactly cheap here; it's all shipped from far away.

The other big problem is a juicer. I'm not ready to invest in a good juicer, and our blender isn't quality enough to get rid of all of the chunks.

My brother gave us this appliance that's like a knock-off Bullet. It has a blender feature, but you can also screw cups into the blender and blend straight in a cup. It also has a juicing insert.

I got super excited when I realized I still had this. Now I could go out and buy kale and be like every other kale-drinking blogger! I went to the store, and held and stared a bunch of kale.

Nope. I'm not ready to make that leap.

Last night I got bored and gave in. Sort of. I peeled a couple carrots, and shoved two carrots, a banana and a handful of strawberries in my juicer.

After a lot of work from my blender, I got about a quarter cup of grainy orange juice, a cup of what is essentially baby food, and half a carrot that refused to blend.

So, problems with my juicer?

  1. It doesn't have enough power to efficiently blend hard vegetables.
  2. The juicer mashing stick thing isn't actually long enough to force everything to the bottom.
  3. The mesh isn't thin enough to make it enjoyable juice.
  4. The juicing part sits in the juice, so the pulp I pull out is still wet and full of possible juice, but it doesn't squish and drain like it should.
Essentially, I came to the conclusion that to truly juice, I need to buy a juicer. In the meantime, I will drink strawberry banana smoothies. Close enough.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Shepard's Pie

I made Shepard's pie last night! I worked off of this recipe. This is honestly the first Shepard's pie I've ever made. I've had some at other people's houses a couple times, but my mom never made it, and I've never made it. I was kind of afraid of it turning out terribly, but it was actually really delicious. My one drawback was that it took a full hour to make, and I had to go out after work and buy some things, so I didn't start making it until six, and I don't really like eating dinner at seven.

I scaled this down a little bit, not exactly, just based on what we had on hand, and knowing how much we tend to eat. We still did have leftovers, though.

1 lb of ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups mixed frozen vegetables
1 lb baby potatoes
1 stick of butter, divided
1/2 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Chop the potatoes roughly, and boil until tender (15-20 min). I leave the skins on, because hubby and I like mashed potatoes with skins, and it's easier, and has more nutrients.

While the potatoes are cooking, melt half of the butter (4 tablespoons) in a large saucepan over medium heat. Here's where I kind of messed up. I put the whole stick of butter in, and it started browning before I could get the onions in, but I think that made it way more tasty. I love browned butter. Saute onions in butter, and then add beef. When beef is just cooked, or almost cooked, add in the frozen vegetables. Here is where I realized I added too much butter, and needed 4 tablespoons still. So I strained off about 4 tablespoons of grease and fat.

Add salt, pepper and Worcestershire. Add some beef broth, and simmer on low, uncovered, for ten minutes. Add more beef broth as necessary to keep it moist.

Mash potatoes with remaining butter, or in my case, beef drippings, which made them super tasty too.

Spread beef mixture in dish, and spread potatoes on top. Rough up the potatoes with a fork so they brown well. Cook in oven for 30 minutes or until potatoes brown. You can broil for the last few minutes if necessary.

And bam! Yummy, manly food hot and ready to eat.

(I made this again, a few nights later. The second time, I went from memory. I managed to get the butter in the potatoes, but I forgot about the Worcestershire sauce and beef broth, and I didn't bother to simmer the beef. Turned out yummy and tasty. Honestly not as tasty as the first time, but quicker, and still delicious. Photos are from round two.)

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Oven Tacos

I discovered a fantastic Pinterest idea again.

First of all, you need to know that we eat tacos more than normal people do, and honestly more than I would like to. We buy Old El Paso kits that are super easy, conveinant, and tasty. We'll buy four or five at a time, and sometimes eat them all in a couple weeks, and sometimes not touch them for months. It comes and goes.

We've been on a bit of a taco kick lately, but hubby and I disagree on one factor: Stand 'N' Stuff, or the regular tacos? I like the Stand 'N' Stuff, because they don't fall over on my plate, but hubby likes the regular because the bottoms don't break as often when you're eating them. I think they all break and make a terrible mess all over my plate no matter what I do.

Along comes Pinterest, the magical internet fairy, with this recipe for Oven Tacos! The idea is, you place taco shells in a pan, fill them with meat mixture and cheese, and bake them. It softens up the bottoms of the shells, and means they crack and break less. It also saves stuffing time, and would be super convenient if we were feeding children, because you just have to add your extras - which in our house is tomato, lettuce and sour cream.

My dearest hubby went out on a Saturday morning and bought everything we needed, and made them for me, one of our basement-dwelling friends*, and an out-of-town friend who is staying with us for a week.

It was really nice to eat lunch with four people at the table. I forget sometimes how much my heart misses a large family, a full living room, a crowded table, and sitting on the floor between your sisters' legs to watch a movie. Our house has more bedrooms than my parent's ever had, and yet it is emptier than my childhood home ever was.

* I am of course referring to one of our two dear friends who each rent a bedroom in our basement.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


It's been awhile; I know. I have all sorts of excuses: working a lot, being sick a lot, not sleeping a lot, and just plain laziness. Ultimately, I haven't blogged because I haven't baked anything new. At all. We've been eating tacos and pasta and banana muffins for too long. I need to get back to experimenting, I know.

Anyways, the reason I'm blogging now is because I officially had the worst restaurant experience. I've been pretty appalled before by the lack of knowledge waitresses have, and truly pathetic gluten-aware menus, and even having food delivered to me with obvious sources of gluten right on top, but this, I think, tops the cake.

The other day, I worked an eight hour shift on a Saturday, so lovely hubby had the day off. He met me for my break, like he does sometimes, and we decided to go eat at Smitty's, for it's convenient location in the mall.

I told the waitress right away that I had a gluten allergy, so she brought me the gluten-aware menu. I quickly settled on a spinach and swiss omelette, and ordered. The menu didn't have a plethora of options, but there were a few things that caught my eye.

The omelette came out to me with something creamy and white all over the whole thing. I asked if it was the swiss, and the waitress said, "It should be, but it looks like hollandaise. I'm sure it's fine, but I'll just go check." Starving, and with a limited amount of time to eat, I took two quick bites before the waitress came back and said, "Sorry, I'll have to take that back. It's not gluten-free." Say what? I ordered off the gluten-free menu, and informed you that I had a gluten allergy, yet you still brought me food that contains gluten?

She came back with safe food shortly, and apologized. She said she didn't know that the gluten-aware version doesn't have hollandaise sauce, so the kitchen added it, like they usually would. She also didn't bother to inform them of my allergy. She said, "Some people order off the gluten-free menu out of preference." Yes, but I told you I had an allergy.

So, I ate my safe spinach and swiss omelette, and enjoyed it, and got back to work in time, but felt minorly cruddy all day. Not like stabbing stomach pains, but the brain fog and headache. Not something that I was expecting to endure.

So does this top the cake? Well, my waitress didn't know anything, I had a pathetic gluten-free menu, and I had food delivered with gluten right on top. Yeah, I'd say it does top the cake.