Sometimes you wake up on a Saturday morning craving pancakes. . .
But instead you wind up eating French toast with peach jam. . .
. . .because your pancake dreams made you forget about the cinnamon raisin bread that you baked the night before for the BBA Challenge.
Sometimes you wake up on a Saturday morning and want to take off and start the day.
But then you end up crawling back to your room for a cozy breakfast in bed. . .
. . . and conserve your energy for 4 hours of rooftop yoga an pilates with your sister.
Sometimes you intend to spend a Sunday afternoon cleaning the house.
But then you end up at the beach enjoying the last of summer with your one and only. . .
. . . sharing even more homemade BBA Challenge bread (Potato Rosemary buns)
Sometimes you intend to just have an okay weekend.
But then it turns out to be fantastic.
I got so many comments from you guys on my willpower over the weekend. I guess it’s easy when you’re in a room full of people to hold you accountable. If I were alone with a tray of lasagna and breaded chicken, I think I’d be telling a different story.
I’ve been known to binge eat when I’m by myself. It’s a terrible cycle of: binge on sugar, feel euphoric, crash, feel like shit, get pissed at myself, repeat. I haven’t done this since I first started on my Bikini Birthday quest and I’m really pleased with myself. That, to me, is willpower.
I was, I must admit, having terrible cravings for something sweet last night so I whipped up some chocolate pudding. Don’t worry, the mix of ingredients is entirely acceptable for my green smoothie weekends.
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 2 tbsp dutch cocoa powder
- hemp seeds
Blend the banana, avocado, almond milk, and cocoa in a blender until creamy. Sprinkle with hemp seeds. Drizzle with honey if desired. It tastes better than instant pudding and it’s faster, I swear!
Usually I make this recipe with a banana that’s not frozen and it’s easier to blend.
Warning! If you do use a frozen banana, be sure to keep the lid on the blender. If you don’t want to keep the lid on the blender, then at the very least don’t put your face over the blender while it’s on. The blender contents may explode in your face!
I had just taken a shower (hence my wet hair) and wasn’t keen on washing it again to get the chocolate out. Naturally I was still picking out chunks of chocolate from my hair today at work!
I promised to mention my baking adventures on the weekend. This weekend I made English Muffins for the very first time! It was another recipe from the BBA Challenge. They weren’t as flat as store bought ones, but everyone said they were delicious. I had a bite of Matt’s (for quality control purposes, of course) and thought they were great! Get ready for the photos (I take pictures of my bread like it’s my first-born child)
Tonight Matt and I had cabbage soup for dinner. I love cabbage, but I hate how big it is! We made a huge pot of soup and only used about 1/4 cabbage. I have a feeling I’ll be eating cabbage all. week. long. (Lord help the people around me!). Luckily Wednesday is St. Patty’s so it’s a good excuse to have extra cabbage lying around. I’m thinking about making colcannon. Are you making anything special for St. Patrick’s Day?19 Comments
I must admit that yesterday I didn’t feel so great. I didn’t get around to working out, but I was tired for much of the day that I don’t think I would have made it through a workout anyway. Luckily today I’m feeling much better. I even breezed through an intense power yoga class this morning, no problems.
For breakfast I had my prescribed breakfast smoothie with banana, beet greens, and grapes. I’ll be making variations of this for breakfast the next three weeks of my cleansing diet. I just know I’m going to be missing my usual oatmeal and eggs.
3 c. beet greens
1/2 c. walnut halves
1/4 c. raisins
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
Verdict: Besides looking like ditch water this smoothie actually tasted really good! At first taste I wasn’t impressed, but I ended up chugging it pretty fast because it was so tasty. I got the ginger/nutmeg idea from Laura.
Today Matt and I hosted a party to watch the Gold Medal hockey game. It was a potluck so everyone had to bring a dish themed around a country competing in the Olympic games.
Since I love bread, the Olympics are Greek, and the whole day was a celebration, my dish was “Greek Celebration Bread“. It was a hit! I got the recipe out of the Bread Baker’s Apprentice book that I’ve been baking through for the BBA Challenge. The bread is an enriched bread with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice along with cranberries, raisins, and walnuts. (Hence, the raisins, nutmeg, and walnuts in my lunch smoothie).
We had quite the spread at our little shindig. Among other things we had Belgian waffles, Italian salami and cheese, French Onion soup, Chinese spring rolls, and Tim Horton’s doughnuts and Timbits. Of course, because of Lent, I wasn’t able to eat anything : ( This is by far the hardest Lenten fast I’ve ever done.
In all the business, I never ended up getting around to making my dinner smoothie. Ah well, to late now.
What an fantastic hockey game, eh?!
One thing left to say before bed: GO CANADA!!!No Comments
Sunday means brunch at my in-laws. Brunch means solid food. I was very excited to have brunch today: an english muffin with pb, cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon, and couple of home-fries. Mmmmm.
I also brought my homemade cinnamon buns to share with the in-laws at brunch today. I got this recipe from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice baking book as I’m trying to bake my way through the whole book for the BBA Challenge put on my Pinch My Salt‘s blog. I didn’t frost them because I forgot to buy powdered sugar, but Matt’s mom prefers them un-frosted anyway.
On to the green smoothies:
- 4 c. red swiss chard
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 cucumber
- 3 Medjool dates
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/2 tbsp greens powder
- 2 c. water
Verdict: The dates add a great sweetness to this smoothie. The cucumber gives a cool, refreshing taste but it’s a bit overpowering. I think I would use less cucumber and maybe add more chard or a more neutral tasting green vegetable, like celery.
- 4 c. spinach
- 1 carrot
- 1 banana
- 1 handful cilantro
- 1 clementine, juiced
- 1″ piece of fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs
- 1 tsp psyllium hulls
- 1 tsp greens powder
- 2 c. water
Verdict: Too watery. I always add 2 cups of water but for some reason this “smoothie” was more like a juice. The taste was predominantly ginger and cilantro, so if you don’t like cilantro (which, apparently, many people don’t) then you might want to substitute something else. A few sprigs of mint, perhaps?
Lent weekend 1: complete. I think I did really well with my green smoothie drinking this weekend. I didn’t ever feel full but I never felt like I was starving either. I definitely had cravings, though. I hated how the liquid meals affected my bladder that I was almost wishing for a catheter. Honestly, I’m holding it right now, just so I can finish writing this blog post!
I’m already looking forward to breakfast tomorrow morning! Eggs, or oatmeal? I can’t quite decide. That’s okay, I have all night to dream about it! (Yes, I do dream about food, as a matter of fact.)
That’s enough blogging for tonight. Back to the hockey game. Come On, Canada!No Comments
Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Paczki Day. It’s a big day today. BIG. FAT. DAY.
I didn’t actually buy paczkis this year so I won’t be having any tonight, but Matt and I are going to be making pancakes and sausage with maple syrup. … so excited for dinner tonight! :d
I’m planning on making pancakes from scratch (normally I use Aunt Jemima — not gonna lie). Does anyone have any good pancake recipes they care to share? I’ll pick one and post pictures of it later today.
Yesterday was Family Day so besides pumping some iron so I spent most of the day doing nothing around the house. It was a perfect day for bread baking! I made Anadama Bread from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice book. I’ve never heard of it before, let alone tasted it. Apparently it’s a traditional New England bread. It’s a sandwich bread that’s enriched with cornmeal, molasses, and a bit of butter and it is sooo good! I was really happy with how this turned out. I’ll have to file the recipe under A for “Awesome”.
Lunch today is two slices of this baby with avocado slices and some tuna mixed with salsa. Yum Yum!
I had a great run today!! I did intervals for 32 minutes (1 min @ 6.7 mph / 30 sec @ 9.5 mph) which got me about 4 miles. Then I jogged to round out my 40 minute cardio session. I felt great afterwards! I was really pumped because I’ve been dragging my feet lately in my runs. I could attribute my success it to my training, but instead I’m going to attribute it to my lunch: a homemade lox with ricotta cheese, avocado, arugula, and sundried tomatoes sandwiched between two slices of this beauty:
That’s Homemade Ciabatta, Baby!
(Okay, so my run probably had little to do with my bread… I just wanted to show it off)
I bought a brand new baking book and I was so excited to use it! I absolutely love baking bread. I find it can be really challenging to get the bread to come out just the way you want it. But on the plus side, everyone loves homemade bread, even when it doesn’t turn out 100% perfect.
I was inspired by the Bread Baker’s Apprentice (BBA) Challenge at Pinch My Salt which is, quite simply, to bake every bread recipe in Peter Reinhart’s book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. I know that I’m supposed to be cutting back on my refined carbs (and this book is full of refined carb recipes) but I just can’t resist baking. I need to knead! Haha!
I decided to start from the beginning with the first bread that I had all the ingredients for: Ciabatta. Flour? check. Salt? check. Water? check. Yeast? check. I was ready.
Yesterday was a perfect day for breadmaking. I worked from home because of all the snowfall last night so I was stuck around the house all day anyway. I was so excited when I took these “slipper” loaves out of the oven. The looked perfect! When I cut into one, it wasn’t exactly as I had hoped. There were supposed to be BIG air pockets. There weren’t. The bread still tasted good, and the crust was perfect but I was a bit disappointed by the crumb.
Here are some pictures of the process:
The dough was created with a poolish that I made the night before. The poolish is a wet pre-ferment dough made of yeast, flour, and water.
Here is the dough after it had been stretched out, prior to the first rise:
And here is the final product. Notice how the air pockets in the bread are few and far between? That’s NOT what I was going for. Oh well, I’ll just have to try again:
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- Lose 6cm from my waistline
Start (Aug 15): 83cm/ 91cm/ 166.8lb
Aug 31: 82cm /89cm/ 166.8lb
Sep 10: 83cm/ 89cm/ 166.2lb
Sep 20: 83cm/ 89cm/ 166.2lb
Oct 1: 83cm/ 88cm/ 165.6lb
Oct 10: 82cm/ 89cm/ 166.6lb
Oct 31: 81cm/ 88cm/ 166.6lb
Nov 15: 81cm/ 87cm/ 169.4lb
Dec 1: 82cm/ 88cm/ 170.2lb
Jan1: 82cm/ 88cm/ 169.4lb
Feb 1: 84cm/89cm/171.8lb
Mar 15: 83cm/ 88cm/ 170.0lb
Apr 15: 82cm/ 88cm/ 170.0lb