Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tis the Season…

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Happy December 1st Everyone!

~ Katie :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower

So I sent this to publish this morning but for some reason it didn’t so here it is (just a little late).

I figured since I’m off teaching middle school this morning I’d leaving you with a post I promised a few days ago.

On Wednesday night I made Tina’s Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower.

Since I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand I adapted it a little. You can check out her recipe here.

  • 1 box of whole wheat macaroni
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 3 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups of cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups of ricotta
  • 1/2 cup of skim milk
  • Salt and pepper

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Heat oven to 400.

Cook pasta according to directions and add chopped cauliflower for the last few mins.

Mix together bread crumbs, 2 tbsp of olive oil, parsley (and salt and pepper)

After pasta is drained mix together pasta, cauliflower, ricotta, cheddar and milk. Pour into casserole dish and top with bread crumb mixture.

Cook in oven for 15 mins (or until golden brown).

I served it with a slice of whole wheat bread with earth balance.

Tina says it made 6 servings for her but I got at least 7 or 8 out of mine.  It was huge and I ate it all week (and on the weekend for lunch).

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**A few notes:

  • Next time I would like to try it with the sour cream – I didn’t have any on hand so I just used the ricotta I had in my fridge
  • Also next time I would take Tina’s suggestion and use extra sharp cheddar. I just used regular cheddar cheese and it really wasn’t as cheesy as I would have liked.
  • I’m not a big onion fan so I just skipped on those I don’t really think it made a difference.
  • Loved the addition of cauliflower. It was awesome to know your getting some veggies even in this delicious comfort food.
  • Finally, I used really finely cut up bread crumbs that I had. I would next time either follow the recipe and cut up bread in the food processor or use a little thicker ones next time. It was very bready and a little messy. Bread crumbs everywhere isn’t all that fun.

I’ll be back later today with the rest of my baking from the weekend and a recap of my day.

~ Katie :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Baking Queen

So this is my second post on a weekend. Pretty good, right?

When I left you yesterday I was heading to do some baking and as the post’s title might indicate I became a baking queen.

Here’s my baking so far:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls

(adapted from

This is my husbands favourite treats. I always end up baking a few batches of this throughout the holidays. They are definitely high in calories but because they are so dense you really only need one to enjoy.

This is also a super simple recipe that is bake-free.

  • 2 cups of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 cups of icing sugar
  • 2 cups of Rice Krispies Cereal
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a bowl mix together icing sugar and rice krispies.

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Then melt together peanut butter and butter and a sauce pan.

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Pour the peanut butter mixture over the icing sugar mixture and combine.

Once combined roll into balls about 1 inch in size and place on baking sheet.

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Put baking sheet in fridge for a few hours (or if your like me and trying to please the husband as quickly as possible – freezer for about an hour).

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Once firm melt chocolate and and dip balls in chocolate. Place back in fridge (or freezer) and another couple of hours and serve.

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This delicious little beasts are always a hit around the holidays. I took them to a Christmas party last year and everyone raved about them. They are super easy and they last forever. Just make sure to store them in the fridge (or you can freeze them) as they melt very quickly.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I took this recipe from Kelly at

I followed the recipe exactly but I’m just going to repost it here for convenience.

  • 3/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 organic sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 375.

In a small bowl mix dry ingredients minus the chocolate chips (flour, baking soda and salt).

Mix together butter, brown sugar, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy.

Then add eggs and beat.

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ones then add in chocolate chips.

Add cookies in baking sheet and bake for 8-14 mins depending on size of cookies. My smaller ones took about 8-10 where my larger cookies took about 12-14 mins.

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This recipe made so many cookies. I think in total it made about 20 large cookies and 20 smaller cookies.

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They seemed to go on forever. I’ve already put most of them in the freezer for the holidays but not first without a taste test. They turned out perfect.

I’m now in the process of making a loaf of Chocolate Banana Gingerbread and then a batch of pumpkin granola bars.

I’ll give you a preview picture…

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~ Katie :)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Finding a Routine

Hey bloggies!

I know I’ve been absent the past few days but for a good reason. I finally started working again. Just subbing but it’s a start. Remember when I posted a few days ago that my first day was on Friday – grade 5. Well just after that I got a job working Thursday as well so I’m two for two in the (can work:did work ratio).

But getting back into a routine as not been quite so easy. Before working I was cooking every night – new and exciting new recipes. Since working those two days I haven’t cooked either night.

Thursday – we had leftovers. Wednesday I made Tina’s recipe for mac and cheese with cauliflower – with a few minor changes (recipe to come soon so check back) so we had that with leftovers.  I also had it for lunch Thursday as well.

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Friday – we ordered pizza. I gave into the husband and let him order a meat pizza. This is the first time I’ve eaten meat in about 3 /12 weeks. Honestly, I really don’t miss it and the pizza last night wasn’t really that great. Definitely going to stick to veggies from now on.

This morning I woke up and had one of the best days I’ve had in a while.

It started with a little cleaning and laundry. Once that was done I enjoyed breakfast with the hubby (scrambled eggs) and then spend the rest of the morning relaxing with a cup of tea, listening to Christmas music, catching up on my favourite blogs and enjoying the sunshine.

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After lunch (more leftover mac and cheese) I headed to the grocery store to pick up a few things to do some baking later on (will share tomorrow).

Then came home and when for my first run in months.

I ran only about 2km but it really felt great. I miss exercising and am really looking forward to getting back into it. I feel that now that I’m working again it time to really create a routine for myself which will include exercising, eating right, blogging, having some me time and of course hanging out with the hubby.

Post run I was starving so I toasted 1/2 a whole wheat English muffin with pb and a few chocolate chips (the sugar is good for after a run – right? hehe).

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Well I’m now off to do some baking (I’m getting a head start for the holidays – I plan on freezing most of it) and then cook some dinner. The husband wanted steak tonight so I’m making black bean and sweet potato burgers. I’ll let you know how they turned out.

~ Katie :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And My First Day of Work Is…


I finally got all my paper work done and I can officially start subbing

So excited. Teaching grade 5.

That is all.

~ Katie :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween, November and More

Happy November Everyone!

I first thought I’d start this post off with a few of my favourite things about November

  • It’s definitely sweater weather (sometimes October can be warm)
  • I can start listening to Christmas Music
  • The last few weeks in the month the husband and I start some of my favourite Christmas traditions (will share more on that later when it gets closer)
  • It’s time to bring out the hats, scarves and mitts (my favourites right now are my Vancouver 2010 mitts I got from Jaime last winter)
  • Finally, although this isn’t every November I finally get to start working again this month. I go in tomorrow to start some paperwork and I’ll be working again in the next few weeks. YAY!

So yesterday was Halloween. If you follow me on twitter you might know that I’m not the biggest fan of Halloween. I really enjoy seeing all the little kids dressed up but I’ve never been a fan of dressing up myself since becoming an adult. I’m just never very good figuring out fun and exciting costumes. The last time I dressed up was probably about 9 years ago and I dressed up as a baby – boring right?

Anyways, since the husband knows I’m not a big fan of dressing up but I love holiday movies (Christmas but I love holiday movies of all types) we spent the day having a Halloween inspired movie marathon.

We watched:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Saturday Night)



Beetlejuice (Sunday)



Gremlins (Sunday)



Bram Stoker’s Dracula (Sunday)



We also make a quick trip up the see the niece and nephew all dress up. They were so cute. My niece (age 6) dressed up as a witch and my nephew (age 4) dressed up as a monkey. We had considered going out trick-or-treating with them but we figured 5 adults and 2 children we’re a bit much. Maybe next year :)

Finally I wanted to give you a quick update on how the vegetarian vs. non-vegetarian eating was going.

This weekend was great. We did some easy healthy meals that were friendly for both the husband and I. Friday night we did homemade pizzas on naan, Saturday we did fajitas (vegetarian for me, beef for the hubby) and Sunday we did quesadillas. Tonight I’m going to make some spaghetti squash with pasta sauce. I’ll probably add some veggies and edamame to mine and I’m making meatballs for the hubby. Overall, things have been going really well.

Well I haven’t been feeling all that well today (I hate having a sore throat) so I’m going to spend the rest of the afternoon curled up on the couch listening to some Christmas music and catching up on some of my favourite blogs.

Question(s) of the Day: What is your favourite thing about November? and How did you celebrate Halloween?

~ Katie :)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Skipping Breakfast

Yesterday I woke up and did the cardinal sin of all healthy living bloggers…I skipped breakfast. I know! I just wasn’t hungry and even though I know breakfast is the most important meal of the day I skipped it and headed out to run my errands.

So if you remember from my last blog post I mentioned I was going to make a Rachael Ray meal for dinner on Wednesday night. Well I did and it turned out pretty great. It was a spinach and egg noodle casserole.

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I was even able to accommodate both the husband and I. I followed the recipe exactly for myself and for the husbands I added chicken to his.

I’m not going to post the recipe here but if your interested you should definitely pick up her November issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray.

This issue has lots of Thanksgiving recipes but it also has some great veggie side dishes that can also double as a main dish. Some of the recipes that I’m really looking forward to trying are:

  • Zucchini Caponata
  • Roast Mushrooms and Kale over Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • Root Vegetable Mac ‘n’ Cheese
  • Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apple and Pecans
  • Cauliflower-Leek Puree
  • Green Alien Ravioli (made with edamame)
  • Mushroom Stuffing

I’d definitely recommend picking up the magazine if you get a chance.

Last night I also made a great recipe. Emily’s recipe that she made for her fall feast. Butternut Squash and Black Bean Chili served in a Pumpkin Bowl.

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I also served it with a whole wheat roll.

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I followed her recipe exactly except I halved it since I was just making it for the husband and I. We both loved it  The pumpkin bowls were definitely a great idea. I loved getting pumpkin with every scoop. It made tons and and we had two servings of leftovers.

The rest of the weekend isn’t going to be too exciting. It’s going to include:

  • Spending the afternoon curled up on the couch watching a movie
  • A little grocery shopping
  • Pizza on naan for dinner tonight
  • Getting the car fixed tomorrow afternoon
  • Having a Halloween night tomorrow with the husband which includes: Rocky Horror, Scared Shrekless, Charlie Brown’s Pumpkin and more
  • Going to visit the the niece and nephew on Halloween to see them all dressed up

Well I’m off to make some lunch and then curl up on the couch.

~ Katie :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Big News

So I have some new to share with everyone. Maybe the title of the post is a little misleading but for me it’s big news!

I found out I made it on the sub list!

I’m sure some of you out there are scratching your head going, ‘big new? I don’t understand’. Well the school board that I got on (there’s a few different board around here) they only hire 150 subs for all the schools so that means I’m more likely to get work.

This is definitely good news! Now I just need to sub and work but butt off and hopefully I can get a full-time job in the near future. It’s still going to be a few weeks before I can start working (paperwork and such) but I’m really looking forward to getting back to work.

In other news it’s starting to get very chilly here in Calgary. It was –4 this morning. With all the cold weather around here I bet you can guess what I was craving for breakfast when I woke up: Oatmeal.

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In today’s pot: 1/3 cup of steel cut oats, 2/3 cup of skim milk, 1 tsp of chia seeds, 1 tsp vanilla extract (unfortunately I had no banana to add to it).

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Toppings included: pumpkin butter, peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, chocolate chips and a splash of milk.

I love hot oatmeal on a cool fall morning.

After breakfast I headed to the grocery store. I had no idea what was for supper. After yesterday’s post I’m still having some difficulty pleasing both the husband and myself. While at the grocery store I picked up the new Rachael Ray magazine and came up with a perfect idea for dinner. I can’t wait to share it with you all tomorrow.

I spent some time this morning doing some blog reading and lunch became inspired by Jaime’s post and made some grilled cheese.

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Cheddar and seven grain bread. Nom!

I actually followed Jaime exactly and had the grilled cheese with a side of carrots.

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Don’t we all just love comfort food?

Well I’ll be back tomorrow and I’ll let you know how tonight’s dinner turned out.

~ Katie :)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Men Vs. Women – Food Choices

So this is not the blog post I was planning on writing but after a conversation with the husband last night I decided that this topic is what needs to be discussed.

First, I won’t forget to tell you all about my first teacher experience here in Calgary. I subbed at a private school today and it was great.

When I woke up this morning I wasn’t feeling the teaching vibe. Maybe it was the fact that I’ve been able to sleep in for the past 4 months or maybe it was that I’m use to doing things on my own schedule but I just didn’t want to get out of bed.

But after an hour or so in the classroom I got my groove back and was loving it. It was so nice to be back out there interacting with children, other teachers and staff. Anyways, I only had that one day booked but I can’t wait to get another teacher call soon.

Ok, back to the topic of discussion today: Men Vs. Women – Food Choices.



This probably isn’t completely fair because I know this isn’t really an men/women issue but unfortunately in my household it is.

Although I haven’t come out to say it on the blog yet I’ve been eating a lot of vegetarian meals lately. I haven’t completely gone veg but I’d say 90% of my meals have been and it has been a conscious decision on my part. Unfortunately it is causing some disagreements with the husband.



These are the two main issues we’ve been discussing:

  1. The husband doesn’t necessarily feel that vegetarians are healthier then meat-eaters. I agree (being a vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthier then a meat-eater – one is not better then the other – I feel that since I started eating more veg meals I’ve been eating better and feel just feel better overall) with him on this point I think that he feels that I am not getting enough protein and other vitamins that meat provides. I know he is just worried about me but I’m just not sure how to convince him that I’m watching what I eat and definitely getting enough of all the vitamins and protein that I need.
  2. We are having issues with two different meals. They are actually not two different meals but I usually will add chicken to his meal (although sometimes he will eat some of the vegetarian meals that I cook but he likes to eat meat at least 4-5 times a week for dinner). I guess the problem is that it’s getting more and more difficult to find meals that will please both of us. In his words yesterday, “you can’t just add chicken to meal and make it ok. It doesn’t necessarily taste good”. 

So here is where I’m asking for your help. How do you and your significant other deal with different eating habits? Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

~ Katie :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

First Snowfall

I woke up this morning to this…

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And this…

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Although the road wasn’t covered the ground, cars and rooftops were. Our first snowfall of the year. Even though I love the look of snow I was not impressed – it’s only October.

I had to get up this morning and drive my dad to the airport so after a long expedition (I won’t go into details but a 45 min trip ended up being about 2 hours) so on the way home I stopped at starbucks and splurged on this…

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Grande Non-Fat, No Whip Pumpkin Spice Latte and this…

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Pumpkin Scone.

And now I’m sitting on the couch doing this…

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Icing my poor knee. I’m not sure what I did to it but I’ve been having throbbing pain in it for a little over 12 hours now. I’ve been putting the ice on for about 30 mins then giving myself a break from the freezing cold. I’m going to continue to do this for the next for hours and hopefully it will start to feel better.

So the reason I’ve been absent from the blog world for almost a week or so is the arrival of family. My dad and step-mom came into town on Wednesday evening and we’ve been busy ever since. Here’s a quick rundown of my weekend.


  • Spend most of the morning cleaning and grocery shopping for the arrival of my dad and stepmom. They came to the our apartment for dinner that night. I made a macaroni casserole for dinner and it turned out great. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and it was really great to see family from home.


  • Friday was a little more chilled. Matt took the day off work and we hung out with the niece and nephew for most of the afternoon. That night the boys (my dad, Matt, and my two stepbrothers) went to a football game that evening so the girls (myself, my stepmom and my stepsister-in-law) hung out with the little kids, ordered chinese and had a girls night.


  • Matt and I spend the morning/early afternoon in Banff with my dad and stepmom and then in the late afternoon it was the niece and nephew’s birthday party. The party was super fun and the kids were awesome.


  • We celebrated a late Thanksgiving. It included lots of family and some great food. A wonderful way to spend the end of the weekend.

Well that’s it for me today. I should be back to regular scheduled blogging tomorrow. I’m subbing tomorrow (yay my first subbing day of the year) at a private school so my blog post might be a little later then usual but I’ll definitely be blogging.

I’ll leave you with a pic of my lunch. I decided to do breakfast for lunch since I enjoyed my pumpkin scone for breakfast.

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Lunch was a two egg scramble with spinach and feta and a blueberry waffle. I topped the waffle with a little maple syrup.

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Overall, delicious!

~ Katie :)