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The Weekend That Wasn’t

December 13, 2010
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Why is it that every time you have a lot of things planned on your ‘to-do’ list for the weekend it just doesn’t turn out?

(wow that was a winded sentence)

My #1 goal for this past weekend was to bake my little heart out and get 90% of my Christmas gift baking done and out of the way.


I got 3 recipes baked and one was even a mega fail because the oven temp/time listed on the recipe was wrong and one side of my banana chocolate chip biscotti got a little burnt.  😦 So sad.

By the time we finished with our grocery shopping and visiting with both sets of parents, I just didn’t have anything left in me to bake up a storm.

At least I managed to get out for what might be my last outdoor run of 2010 Saturday.  It was about 3-5 degrees C outside with no wind, rain or snow. I couldn’t not go for a run.

How’s this for an outfit? 😉

I was sporting some pretty snazzy turquoise mittens as well. Believe it or not, after running 3.12KM in 19 minutes, I was pretty hot!

Now my mission for the week = bake, bake, and bake some more!

A Comforting Meal + Wedding Flowers!

December 10, 2010

I don’t know who pissed off Mother Nature this week but boy has she been in a mood! 

Thankfully we didn’t see the snow here like they did around London, ON (I believe they got about a meter and a half this week!) but we definitely got the cold.  On my way home from the farm last night, the thermometer on my car showed -15!!!!! (that’s 5 deg F)

Speaking of the farm, I’ve had some troubles with Chelsea over the past week starting with me falling off last Thursday. She gets a mega attitude when the weather turns cold and we seem to go through the same thing every year.  I just exercised her from the ground Saturday and then again Monday night. Tuesday I found my little butt back in that cold saddle for a long 45 minute non-stop ride.  It was about -10 outside yet I was soaked after that ride! Last night I had plans to ride again, but when I arrived to the -15 temps up at the farm, there was no way I was going to try. The cold was BITTER! When it’s bitter like that, I find it hard to breathe when riding and figure that can only mean it probably isn’t super easy on Chelsea anyway. So it was a ‘let’s make up’ grooming session which ended in my giving Chelsea her blanket to help stay warm. I hadn’t given her a blanket yet as her punishment for being mean to me and tossing me (and trust me, that’s definitely a punishment for her). She was really nice and cuddly with me last night though so I couldn’t help but forgive her and make her all warm and snuggly. Here’s hoping she remembers how good she feels now with a blanket and behaves when I go do ride tomorrow! 😉

Even though I was only in the barn for about 20 minutes last night, by the time I got home, my entire body was frozen! I needed something warm and comforting for supper to help warm me up so I thought why not some sort of casserole?

This baby ended up being enough for supper last night, for C’s lunch today, and for supper tonight. Score!

What’s inside?

The Sauce

  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 a white onion
  • 1 C sliced mushrooms
  • 1 can of crushed tomatoes
  • a few sprinkles of basil

The Rest

  • small pasta shells
  • 1 can of white kidney beans
  • 1 can of tuna
  • big handful of baby spinach
  • 1/3 C shredded old cheddar

I mixed everything together and then topped with a little more of the old cheddar and some bread crumbs. Baked at 400 Degrees for 20 minutes.


I love it when I throw a bunch of things together randomly and it turns out to be awesome! 🙂

It was exactly what I needed – a warm and comforting meal.

Now for something completely different….

Wedding Flowers!!!

Despite the fact that I do get a bouquet and boutenniere included in my free wedding package in Negril, I have decided that I’m non really keen on the flower choices.  I didn’t want to order a different bouquet on the island because I knew that it would run us $100+. That is when I made the decision to make my own bouquet with a mixture of silk and real touch flowers.  I have read about many destination brides using silk bouquets and have also seen pictures – you wouldn’t know that they aren’t real! Knowing the colours I wanted, I decided that DYI’ing my own bouquet would be the way to go for me. 🙂

Two Sundays ago, my parents came over for the afternoon.  While my dad and C played some video games upstairs, my mom and I snuggled on the couch eating some fresh-baked goods (courtesy of moi) while scouring to pick out my potential wedding flowers.  Yes, the wedding is still 4 months away, but we figured we might as well order early just incase I didn’t like how they looked in person.

Well, my flowers came yesterday and I DEFINITELY like how they look in person!

In the mix is turquoise gerbera daisies (my favourite flower), white amaryllis and green cymbidium orchids. It’s crazy how the petals feel so real!

So you wanna see???

Obviously they don’t look as good in these photos as they do in person – due to it being pitch black outside and having poor lighting in my house – but I assure you, they look INCREDIBLE in the sunshine!

I’ll be heading to Michael’s over the weekend and hopefully on Sunday my mom and I will get my bouquet made!

So exciting! 🙂

p.s. these flowers cost us $35 😉

Gingerbread Muffins

December 7, 2010

One afternoon a few weeks ago, I suddenly found myself craving the warm and comforting smell and flavour of gingerbread. Gingerbread or molasses cookies was definitely on my list of things to make, but I also wanted to try a little something different. Something in the form of a muffin perhaps?

The following weekend, we picked up a fresh container of molasses at the grocery store and I immediately started creating in the kitchen.  My first attempt at a gingerbread muffin was ok, but something was missing.  I’ve been trying to make my new baking recipes as healthy as possible and as a result, the first batch was just a bit too dense.  Thankfully I knew exactly what needed to be done, so this past Sunday I made another attempt.


Gingerbread Muffins

What you need:

1 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 C brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/3 C molasses
1 egg
3/4 C skim milk (or whatever milk you have)
1 apple – peeled, cooked and mashed into a sauce (peel & dice then microwave 1 min 30 sec – mash with fork)

What to do:

In a large bowl mix together flours, baking powder, salt and spices – set aside

– In a medium bowl mix together sugar, molasses, egg, apple and milk

– Pour your wet mixture into the large bowl with the dry and stir until combined – don’t over stir

– Line a muffin tin with papers (to save from having to grease your pan) and spoon in the mixture until the cups are about 2/3 full

– Bake at 400 degrees F for approximately 15-18 minutes

This recipe yielded me 16 muffins. They go great with coffee or tea, but even better on oatmeal. Seriously, I am addicted to having one of these on my morning oats along with almond butter, banana and black berries. Mmmmmmm.. 🙂