We’re moving to Oregon!

WHOA.

Hi guys.

If you’re not following me on Instagram… well, then I’m not sure how you got here. BUT, if you ARE, you may have noticed that we’re moving!!

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Things have been coming together so quickly after having months of research, preparation and SO. MUCH. STRESS. We’ve finally put down a deposit on a tiny apartment in SE Portland, OR. Not only that, but I’ve have one interview so far and another one on the horizon!

The most common question I’ve heard so far is, “Why Oregon?” Well, I’ll tell you why.

BECAUSE I WANT TO.

Hahah, but seriously, I’ve lived on the east coast for almost 30 years (not to include two years that I lived in Kentucky… but.. that’s a horror story for another time) and I’m ready for a change. When Ryan and I vacationed out there last year, I completely fell in love. The people, the topography, the culture, the art… everything about it has been calling to me ever since we got back. Ryan and I made an agreement that we would plan to get out there by my 30th birthday. So, at the time, that gave us just over a year and a half to get our shit together and get serious about the long…. long… LOOOOOOONG drive ahead of us.

Now here we are, just over a year later and everything is starting to fall into place. This is so exciting and absolutely terrifying all at the same time. I know that the drive and the rest of the preparations are going to be stressful; we’ve already told each other how much we love each other and we’ve come to terms with the fact that we’re probably going to be at each other’s throats before the end of the journey.

But that’s OK. It’ll be worth it in the end.

We have less than a month and a half until we get married and then two weeks later… BAI!

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We figured it’s as good a time as any, seeing how we abhor the woman that lives downstairs from us (again, a horror story for another time) and why not start a new year with a new beginning? New lives, new place, new everything.

I’ll update you more, I’m sure as the weeks go on, but here’s the official announcement. I apologize in advance if the blog goes dead for a month or two until we get settled into our new place, but I promise I’ll at least TRY to get a few recipes up around the holidays to keep you satisfied.

So, question time:

Has anyone made a long-distance move like this? What are some words of wisdom you can give us? Anything you wish you could have done differently?

Let me know in the comment section!

-Kiwi


Quest Pumpkin Spice Latte

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Well, I DO!

Let’s face it, if you’re a basic bitch like me, I’m all about pumpkin anything. Doesn’t even matter what time of year it is. I’ll stock up on ALL of it; anytime, anywhere. It’s like a drug. Spicy, sweet, fragrant and sooooo tasty.

This is a recipe I found from Quest a while back and I thought I’d share it with you in case it may have slipped through the crack…s. HA. Silly, Karen.

Quest finishes the recipe without adding coffee, but I use this recipe as my coffee creamer into a huuuuuge mug, of course and top it with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon.

makes 1
You Will Need:

  • 1/2 of a pumpkin pie Quest bar
  • 2T sugar free maple syrup or real maple syrup if you’re not watching your sugar intake
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 cup coffee
  • dash of cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Take the halved Quest bar and break it into pieces and put it in a microwave safe bowl with maple syrup and almond milk.
  2. Microwave for about 60-90 seconds until warm it helps with the next step.
  3. Place warmed mixture into a blender and blend until large chunks are gone about 60 seconds.
  4. You can pour the warmed milk into a mug, sprinkle with cinnamon and call it a day, OR add it to your coffee for a frothy, pumpkin-y treat.

per serving:
Cal: 148
Fat: 8g
Carbs: 13g
Sugar: ZERO
Protein: 12g

pslcalories

You’re welcome.

 

I try really hard to get you an accurate depiction of nutrition facts but this is using the particular brands/ingredients I prefer; please make sure that any substitutions you may use are taken into consideration when you make these recipes for yourself. MyFitnessPal is a great tool to create different foods and calculate nutritional information… USE IT! (:

 


Pumpkin Pie Overnight Proats

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If there’s two things I love in the fall its pumpkin obvvy and a nice warm bowl of oatmeal. Combine the two and you’re in for an incredible treat.

Remember to experiment with ratio until you find what consistency you like the best. I’m a huge stickler for texture so if it’s not right, I know I won’t like it. This is just what works for me!

makes 2
You Will Need:

  • 1/2 cup old fashion oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 scoop Optimum Nutrition Pumpkin Pie whey protein using vanilla or cinnamon flavoured powder would work just as well!
  • 2T pumpkin puree NOT PUMPKIN PIE MIX
  • cinnamon and nutmeg to taste I absolutely love cinnamon, so I add obscene amounts of it to everything when the recipe calls for it. If you’re not the biggest fan, start with 1t and increase from there.

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and separate into two containers.
  2. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. I prefer my oatmeal hot, so I drizzle it with a little sugar free maple syrup and toss it in the microwave for 30-45 seconds.
  4. ENJOY.

per serving
Cal: 
190
Fat: 2.8g
Carbs: 27.2g
Protein: 14.6g

I try really hard to get you an accurate depiction of nutrition facts but this is using the particular brands/ingredients I prefer; please make sure that any substitutions you may use are taken into consideration when you make these recipes for yourself. MyFitnessPal is a great tool to create different foods and calculate nutritional information… USE IT! (:


Easy Home-Made Red Sauce

Even though I don’t eat pasta on a regular basis anymore, I still love the flavours that spaghetti sauce has to offer.

I like to make a big pot of sauce, freeze most of it and then take out what I need when I need it; it doubles as a perfect pizza sauce, too!

This no-frills red sauce will be an easy and delicious addition to your kitchen’s arsenal. You can add your own spin to it by adding meat which I’ve done with beef, pork and turkey or you can keep it as is for a simple, tasty sauce.

You will need:

  • 2 – 28oz cans crushed tomatoes or peeled plum tomatoes; I personally love using the whole canned tomatoes and using an immersion blender so I can get big chunks of tomato in the sauce. Use what you prefer!
  • ~1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped I love big chunks off onion; so cut them as large or as small as you like.
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4T Italian seasoning
  • `1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt/pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil and cook chopped onion until translucent about 5-7 minutes. Optional: if you’re using meat, brown and drain the meat first, then cook the onions.
  2. Add in the minced garlic and heat until fragrant about 30 seconds
  3. Add in your two cans of tomatoes, Italian seasoning and red wine; stir to combine. If you’re using whole canned tomatoes, let them cook for about 15-20 minutes and then use the back of a wooden spoon to pop them. This ensures that they’re cooked and will make it easier to use your immersion blender.
  4. Let the sauce sit on the lowest simmer possible for 2-3 hours with the lid slightly ajar, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
  5. Add in your parmesan cheese in the last 15 minutes of simmering and salt/pepper to your desired taste. The parmesan cheese is already pretty salty, so go easy on the additional salt.

Be sure to let your sauce rest and cool before putting it in the fridge or freezer. I like to let it sit, covered for at least 30 minutes before I place it in it’s freezer-friendly container. Then once its completely cooled, toss it in the fridge or the freezer and enjoy when you want it!

So not only can you have an easy red sauce to whip out anytime you’re in the mood for pasta or pizza, you can tell all your friends and family that you made it yourself!

Let me know what you think <3

 

I try really hard to get you an accurate depiction of nutrition facts but this is using the particular brands/ingredients I prefer; please make sure that any substitutions you may use are taken into consideration when you make these recipes for yourself. MyFitnessPal is a great tool to create different foods and calculate nutritional information… USE IT! (:


Stout and Beef Stew

Crock Pot Beef and Vegetable Stew

Can I just say…. I am SO sorry for the lack of posting lately. I mean, I really made no promises when I started this thing right? so I guess it’s not totally terrible that I’ve taken some time off… BUT.

I still feel the tiniest bit of guilt. I had such high hopes… and a plan!! I marked out dates and recipes to try and post and all that jazz… and then…

My neighbour happened.

I won’t get into the details because really… they’re not important and I’d rather not spend any more time thinking about the situation than I already do… so. That being said:

HI!! I’ve missed you.

You may or may not have seen any of my Instagram posts about my gas being shut off for reasons beyond my control.

I tried the make the most of it; so I got plenty of use out of my slow cooker in that time!

One of my favourite things about fall is soups and stews and nothing comes close to a big hot bowl of beef stew. The best thing about the crock pot besides everything is how easy everything is to make. Throw in a few ingredients, a little liquid and BOOM.

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You will need:

  • ~1.5-2lbs stew meat
  • 1 large sweet potato (or potato of your choice.. it’s what I had lying around), peeled and chopped into ~1″ pieces
  • 1/2lb baby carrots, cut in half
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped (I bought a tub of pre chopped in the produce section; pricier, yes… but I don’t need a whole package of celery at the moment… sooooo)
  • fresh green beans, washed and cut
  • 1T olive oil (or cooking oil of your choice)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1t minced garlic (I use bottled garlic.. I can’t go through fresh garlic quick enough before it goes bad!)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ~1T flour
  • paprika or other spices to taste
  • salt/pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large storage bag, toss stew meat, flour, paprika and salt/pepper together until the meat is coated (you may need a little more flour, depending on how much meat you’re using)
  2. Heat your oil in a skillet and add garlic, cooking until fragrant – about 30 seconds.
  3. Add your meat, in batches if necessary, and cook on all sides until browned (it will finish cooking in the crock pot, obviously)
  4. While the meat is cooking, chop up the onion (I like big pieces, so I just did a rough chop), baby carrots, celery and sweet potato and green beans; Add them to your crock pot.
  5. Once the meat is brown on all sides, transfer the meat into the crock pot and then pour the beef stock into the pan and let it simmer for a minute or two and scrape up all the tasty brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Pour the beef stock over the rest of your ingredients and add bay leaf.
  7. Cover and cook on low for 6-8hrs or on high for 3-4 hours. Remove the bay leaf before enjoying!

I noticed that the sweet potatoes came out more like moosh.. especially when reheating it, so my suggestion might be to add them in the last hour of cooking, that way they’ll be cooked, but not completely annihilated.

So that’s it, folks; my first post in a while.. and its fall themed!!

I have a few more in the works to try and play catch up, but I’m not too worried. Are you?

Now you get to tell me: What is YOUR favourite fall comfort food?

Sound off in the comments below and share some of your favourites!

 

 

I try really hard to get you an accurate depiction of nutrition facts but this is using the particular brands/ingredients I prefer; please make sure that any substitutions you may use are taken into consideration when you make these recipes for yourself. MyFitnessPal is a great tool to create different foods and calculate nutritional information… USE IT! (:


Green Eggs Breakfast (sorry, no ham this time)

Not everything turns out the way you’d like them to. Due to some rather obnoxious circumstances at my apartment, I was left without gas for a total of two weeks. In that time, I was eager to try and find some alternative methods of cooking; breakfast especially. I tried making an egg with cheese, veggies and the like in the toaster oven and it was…. awful. Just.. inedible. Luckily, for things other than breakfast, I was able to enjoy the usage of my slow cooker. Because really… crock pots are a gift from the heavens when it comes to… just about everything.

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But, alas, this post is not about a crock pot. Though, I have recently upgraded from my mom’s teenie-tiny vintage crock that I remember from my childhood to a magnificent, programmable and timed behemoth that does nothing but produce the most delectable and AMAZING creations.

I digress.

BREAKFAST!!

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I love breakfast. I could eat breakfast foods all day, every day. In the last few years, I’ve become obsessed with eggs. Omelettes, fried, scrambled, over easy, poached… about the only way I refuse to eat them is hard-boiled or deviled… the consistency of them when they are prepared in that way is horrible to me. I’ve tried a lot of different things after surgery in order to branch out and re-try things that I would have otherwise stuck my nose up to.

Oatmeal was one of those things that I HATED.. until after surgery. I started screwing around with the ratio to find my perfect balance for the right texture and now I can’t get enough.

I’m getting side-tracked a lot today… what’s up with that? Get to the point, Karen. Anyway..

I’m also trying to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. I know I’m not eating enough. So, I’ve found that the best way for me to try and up my veggie intake is to add them to things I already eat. Like protein shakes… and eggs! So I made some green eggs no ham for breakfast!

Fry up some onions I like my pieces big, but cut them the way you like them!
Add in any other veggies you might like then set aside.. I sometimes add bell peppers and tomatoes, too!
Then take a handful of spinach or kale; whatever and put it in a blender or food processor with your eggs.
Blend it up and then make your omelette!
Add in your cooked veggies, cheese I used goat cheese here, flip and enjoy!

 

It takes some practice to get a good technique down for making a pretty-looking omelette. The BIGGEST help I’ve found is a reeeeally good non-stick pan. I bought a set of an 8-inch and a 10-inch non-stick pan from Calphalon when it was on sale at JCPenney and let me tell you, it was the best decision I’ve made in the kitchen in a while.

Luckily, when our gas was turned off for a second time, I was able to use my parent’s propane camping stove. It was only a single burner, so it wasn’t the most convenient, obviously, but hey.. at least I could do something.

Everything was turned back on yesterday and I’m hoping to get a few more posts up this weekend. This whole situation at the apartment has set me back by a couple of posts and I’d like to try and make up for it sooner rather than later! Cheesecake, tarts… ALL OF THE THINGS.

I hope you guys enjoy the changing seasons and embrace all that it has to offer!

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Easy, Low-Carb, Two Ingredient Pancakes

That’s right. You’re not imagining things.

Pancakes. With only two (primary) ingredients.

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I’ve tried a couple of different variations on alternative pancakes, but I think this is my all-time favourite. I’ll definitely post some other pancake recipes I’ve tried, too. So stay tuned for those!

By using an immersion blender instead of a fork or whisk, you can get a better mixture of the ingredients to ensure that you are getting actual pancake batter… and not just some egg-y.. cheesey… goop. I’ve encountered this several times before.. Learn from my mistakes. I got mine at the Christmas Tree Shop for about $20. I use it especially for pureeing soups, sauces and dressings, too.

Instructions:

Blend together –

  • 28g softened cream cheese (light, plain, flavoured, whatever you want. I’ve used the whipped cream cheese, too, but they don’t seem to come out quite the same)
  • 1 egg
  • Optional: Flavourings of your choice. I like to add in cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice with vanilla extract the best, but you can omit completely or try different flavour combinations. Cocoa powder, sugar, other extracts like almond, butter, coconut or caramel; nuts, peanut butter, chocolate chips, fruit… the only limit is your imagination!

Heat up an oiled flat top, skillet or griddle and pour on your mixture.

PHOTO to come

The pancake mix is very thin and can be difficult to flip at times, so be patient and experiment with your cooking times! Flip it over once the top is bubbly and the edges start to brown. Cook for another minute or so until the batter is cooked all the way through; I press down on the pancake with my spatula to make sure nothing oozes out to make sure it’s done.

Top it however you want and enjoy! Use powdered peanut butter, chocolate chips, your favourite fruit, coconut… anything!

 


Nutrition pancakes only; depending on the brand/type of cream cheese used (makes 1 serving):
Cal: 130
Carbs: 2g
Protein: 8g
Fat: 10g

 

I try really hard to get you an accurate depiction of nutritional facts but this is using the particular brands/ingredients I prefer; please make sure that any substitutions you may use are taken into consideration when you make these recipes for yourself. MyFitnessPal is a great tool to create different foods and calculate nutritional information… USE IT! (: