Sunday, September 30, 2012

When it Comes to Eggs, I'm a Tough One to Crack

I don't like eggs.  I don't like the way they smell when they're cooking or how they taste, or their texture - especially scrambled.  Yuck. There, I said it. Think I'm nuts?  I am, a little, I know.  I also don't like hot dogs and have never eaten one. I vividly remember being at birthday parties as a child and feeling ashamed of not wanting to eat the hot dog placed before me but being too shy or scared to speak up.  I ate a lot of peanut butter sandwiches at those parties back in the day.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, EGGS.  

I know that eggs are good for you, in moderation, and pack a lot of protein; something I feel I need more of, especially in the morning.  So, in an effort to start my day with more protein and less carbs (after all, my 90 day weight loss challenge is underway) I made some egg "muffins" today.  

In order for said muffins to be edible the "other stuff" to egg ratio must be very high.  So, I chopped up some purple onion, Black Forest ham, celery, mushrooms and red pepper and sauteed it all.  Now that looks good. 

 Meanwhile, I whisked together 6 eggs, some milk and some grated sharp cheddar in a bowl.

I added the sauteed veggies and ham to the egg mixture, then using a ladle, filled 6 muffin cups (sprayed with non-stick cooking spray first). 

I baked them at 325F for about 20 minutes.  You may need to adjust the cooking time. I took them out when they looked ready.  

Much to my delight, they are actually pretty good!  They don't have a strong egg taste at all - nothing that a bit of ketchup won't mask anyway ;) 

If you have any tips on cooking eggs so that they don't taste like eggs, I'd love to hear them! 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Happy National Guacamole Day!

It's no secret that I like to enter contests online.  I figure the few minutes of typing in a form are worth it if I happen to win something and lately it seems I've had a bit of a horseshoe up my you-know-what.  I've won four contests in the last few weeks, the first one being some free guacamole, a Diary of a Wimpy Kid DVD and some guac swag from Wholly Guacamole.  You may have seen their products in grocery stores lately - guacamole, salsa and avocado chopped and ready to use.  Yum! 

After winning this awesome prize I joined Wholly Guacamole's blogger group, the Guac Squad (see the I Heart Guac button over there <---- and down a bit?), and was so excited when I learned that September 16th was National Guacamole Day!  In case you haven't heard, I have a serious love of avocados and could eat guacamole every day!  

Although I have those awesome coupons for free guac, in honour of this day I am going to make my own.  I don`t follow a recipe, really, but the key is fresh ingredients.  Here`s what my guacamole is made of:

2 ripe (but not too ripe) Hass Avocados
Lime juice (a tablespoon, maybe two)
1 tomato, seeds removed and diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
A handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (leaves only)
Sea salt

I advise to err on the side of caution with the lime juice, garlic and salt.  You can always add more to taste.  
The Guac and chips I made today! Chips are simply corn tortillas brushed with olive oil,
salted and baked on a cookie sheet for about 10 minutes.

If you aren`t up to making your own guacamole, Wholly Guacamole has a coupon for you (there's a link below the scissors for Canadians!).  Just click HERE

Happy National Guacamole Day!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

My 90-Day Weight Loss Challenge with Green Coffee Bean Extract

I never paid the Dr. Oz show much mind, but while on maternity leave, I found myself watching it on occasion simply out of curiosity and sometimes as a simple mindless distraction.  It really amazed me how almost every day he was touting the benefits of this supplement or the other, this food or that one and more often than not his show is about weight loss.  It is dizzying trying to keep up with everything he says you should or should not eat, take, or do!

The day that Dr. Oz talked about Green Coffee Bean Extract was no different than any other day.  I watched, didn’t pay much attention and forgot about it.  But then I started hearing more about this purported miracle weight loss extract.  I came across Creative BioScience’s website through other bloggers and decided to check their site out and see what they had to offer.  Turns out they have a lot to offer and are willing to sponsor bloggers to try their products, including Green Coffee Bean Extract.  You can apply to the program too by contacting them here

There isn’t a lot of information out there about Green Coffee Bean Extract but there was one clinical study done and the results were quite remarkable.  Significant reductions were observed in body weight, body mass index and body fat.  There was also a small decrease in heart rate.  The best part for this foodie was that the test subjects made no significant changes to their diet over the course of the study.

The “magic” ingredient found only in raw coffee beans is called chlorogenic acid.  Studies have shown that it stops blood sugar spikes, inhibits fat absorption and also stimulates fat metabolism in the liver.  Sounds good to me, so I think I’ll give it a try.

I am anxiously awaiting my 90-day supply of Green Coffee Bean Extract from Creative Bioscience and can’t wait to get started on this journey.  I’ll be sure to keep you updated on my progress.  Wish me luck! 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Patience is a Virtue and I'm not very Virtuous...

This is going to be short but probably not sweet!  I'm typing with only my left hand while my right is in a cast. Long story short - had a small ganglion cyst on right wrist that was causing me grief surgically removed last week, put in cast for a week as cyst was on joint and important it is immobilized while healing.  Casts are NO FUN!  I can't imagine having one for 6 weeks or longer.  I have new found sympathy for cast wearers and I can't wait to get this thing off.  I feel utterly useless and helpless.  My brain moves much faster than my left hand can type which I find super frustrating!  I can't wait till Wednesday!!

So with the surgery, recovery and an incredibly busy time at work, my poor blog is being neglected.  I do have some posts planned in the pipeline and more guest posts slotted for the upcoming weeks like a book review (can't WAIT to start reading it), a review of an exciting new treat available at DQ as well as becoming a contributor to the DQ Blog (my first post will be in early October).

I'm heading to Orlando, Florida next week for the annual Children's Miracle Network Celebration and I can hardly wait.  Last time I went I met and had my photo taken with one of CMN's founders, BO DUKE, um, I mean, John Schneider. He'll be there again this year along with his co-founder, Marie Osmond.  Cool! 

Me and John Schneider in 2010 (yes, he's freakishly tall and yes, I'm freakishly short!)

I'm also getting super excited to attend the She's Connected Conference in October. There is so much to learn and so many great people to meet, I am overwhelmed, in a good way, thinking about it! It's not too late to register if you haven't already.

On the home front, B seems to be off to a good start in Grade 11 (OMG) and will be part of the Crew for the school's musical production of Little Shop of Horrors. Can't wait to see it!  O starts a FREE Suzuki Music program in October that I am very excited about.  The children are going to be studied by a group of McMaster University researchers as well.  It should be fun, O loves music and loves to dance!

OK, that's enough of typing with one hand!  Over and out!

Monday, September 03, 2012

Avocado Fries. Yes.

In my constant search for new things to do with avocados I found this recipe for avocado fries.  Avocado – good.  Fries – good.  Together – sounds heavenly!  I rarely, actually never, deep fry anything, but these sounded too good not to try.   And besides, all of the wonderful nutritious health benefits of avocados must outweigh the fat and calories of deep frying, right?  RIGHT?  ;)

The avocados I used were perfect; soft enough to easily cut open and scoop out wedges but firm enough that they didn’t fall apart.  I’m getting good at this avocado selection thing.  Lucky for me I posted the recipe on Facebook saying I was going to make these fries and a friend commented that she had just made them but had added parmesan cheese to the bread crumbs.  Not one to turn my nose up at adding cheese to anything, I followed her advice and added the parm.  GREAT addition to the coating – thanks Alison! 

I just couldn’t bring myself to put three to four inches of oil in a pan (fear of grease fire, fear of arteries closing up, fear of using a whole bottle of canola oil!), so I poured maybe half an inch in the pan and heated it up.  The fries cooked up nicely and once they were golden on one side I flipped them over.  Letting them drain on paper towels on a plate is essential to avoid said arterial closures (and soggy fries).  

A cilantro lemon dipping sauce recipe was also included with the avocado fries, but we don’t regularly stock mayo in our fridge, so I had to improvise with something else.  I thought a spicy dip would be a nice accompaniment so I simply mixed sour cream with Sriracha sauce (you know, rooster sauce).  Perfect.  The slightly tangy and hot sauce complimented the creamy avocado and crispy coating.  

Although they were delicious, I am not sure I’ll make these again because of the frying in oil element.  However, I have also found a recipe for baked avocado fries so I think I’ll try those next.  I’ll be sure to let you know how they turned out. 

Do you have any avocado recipes you can share with me?