Monday, January 26, 2015

Breakfast Bake

Getting up at 5 am, I am never ready to eat. But then it's time to walk out the door at 8 am and I  realize...I haven't eaten! Craig and I were both looking for a quick and easy breakfast that didn't take up a lot of time to cook in the morning! In the past, we did Spiralized Sweet Potatoe Patties but they were more of an accompaniment to other breakfast foods...we needed an "all in one" option that we could eat at home or take to work. So, working with the original idea, here is what we came up with...
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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Paleo Margarita

I know that a margarita is typically a summer drink, but when you are Paleo and the festive season hits, this is refreshing, easy and can bring you memories of warm summer days...makes the winter go by just that much quicker LOL! When everyone is filling up on eggnog & rum, beer and all those rich filling drinks, you can get your party on, stay hydrated and not feel like you ate Christmas!
There are several recipes on the internet that you can follow, but I found this was the most delicious combination of ingredients and quenched the thirst even non-tequila drinkers!
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Port Balls...My Take on Rum Balls

I LOVE this time of year! I drive my family crazy with enthusiasm. Our tree is up at the end of November. We are hosting parties and the energy level increases to a whole new level!  Elf is my favourite Christmas movie, so that should tell you how much I love Christmas! The one thing our family has been really good about is giving up the baking and learned to adapt to the few G-Free items I do create. However, an old stand-by that is always a crowd pleaser is Rum Balls. Full of gluten and grain alcohol, I wanted to put together a recipe that would satisfy the sweet tooth but stick as close to Paleo as possible.

Trying to keep the sugar down - as much as you can in baking - I chose to use a moderately sweet Port. I also chose Port to keep away from grain based spirits. Of course a recipe like this isn't going to be perfect, but if you feel the need to indulge, this is it! To try and simplify things, I have used my Cocoa Date Ball recipe as the base. They are equally delicious and not quite as messy. However, this new recipe takes it all to the next level :)

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Let Me Catch You Up...

WOW! All I can say about 2014 is WOOOOWWWWW!
It was an incredibly busy year with a lot of change for me. I feel like I owe it to my followers to let you in on what has happened to make me M.I.A. While reading this post, you will discover something about me...I'M HUMAN! Things happen in our lives that force us to re-set, re-evaluate and appreciate life. This year tested me mentally and physically but I am here to say, I am happy...super happy! For my family and myself, that is the most important thing. It allows me to focus on me and ensure that I am taking care of my health goals. So, here is 2014...

Starting with a health choice to take care of my Hypothyroidism naturally, to a commitment to get fit enough to compete for a week at The Pro Disc Golf World Championships, I had my challenges! Some easy and some not so much, but I'm a happier, healthier person for it.

A huge discovery about my diet  happened when I took on juicing with my family this summer. I thought it would be a good supplement to Paleo. After about 2 weeks of going crazy on spinach, kale and cabbage along with all the other yumminess of juicing, I felt AWFUL! I was eating Paleo lunches and dinners but I had BAAAD brain fog! I was sooooo tired, had headaches, couldn't put a thought together...WHAT WAS WRONG!? My re-boot was booting me square in the ass! Here it is...if you have Hypothyroidism, you should avoid raw greens, especially spinach, kale and cabbage! They block the absorption of Iodine...the exact thing I am taking for my thyroid. So, after adjusting my diet,  I am back on track. Just in time for the holidays and all the goodness that is FOOOOOD!
My thought on this...
One day at a time and consciously making decisions every time I put something in my mouth is the way to make it thru. Having lived Paleo/G-Free for 3 years, the choices are easy. Its making them at a time of year like this that takes the willpower and being present in the moment. Being mindful of what our goals are for health and well being :)

While working on my health (always a work in progress) and fitness, I realized that my current job of general managing restaurants was no longer for me! This was the biggest issue for me in 2014. When you are not happy with your job, life seems to spiral with it. I wanted quality of life, not to work for the sake of a pay cheque. I wanted to follow my dream of working in the wine industry. Now, if you are familiar with my blog, you know that I have made a half-assed attempt to write about my favourite wines, but I hardly had time to post recipes, so this part of my blog has sat stagnant for a long time! However, my passion to learn about wine never waned. In 2012, I took my love of wine to the next level and started studying for my WSET - Wine Spirit Eduction and Trust. The Universe must have sensed I needed a change. The same week I decided to give my notice at the restaurants and focus on my wine studies, a job posting opened at Haper's Trail Estate Winery, a local winery only 20 minutes from home. I couldn't ignore this opportunity. I had to trust it was the right thing to do. So, I sent my resume and had an interview the same week. I was barely home when the phone rang...I GOT THE JOB! On July I started pouring wine in the tasting room and joined an industry I feel I was made for. The team there is amazing and I am so lucky to have found my perfect job in my home town!

Through all of this, there was family holidays, birthday extravaganzas, LOTS of learning and of course all the regular things like housework, laundry, grocery know, the usuals that don't take care of themselves. When I received the notice in October that I needed to pay for another year for this blog, I considered giving it up and focusing on wine. But there is all kinds of food coming out of my kitchen daily that doesn't need a huge blog entry. I could easily add something a few times a month - maybe more, but lets just start there. Its been 11 months since my last entry. Baby steps....LOL! The sheer amount of daily views of this page also spoke volumes to me! It was being used. The Facebook page was getting more likes. There was a need for what I had created. How do you shut down when you know people like what you are doing?

So, one more try with a promise to myself and to you to post more regularly, share some thoughts on the wine side of this blog and see where things go. I can't really ask for more or, at this time, promise more! Studying starts in January for the next level of WSET that I write in April. Planning for our 20th Wedding Anniversary trip in June. Pulling off a family holiday in March...lots to do. Having January and February off will buy me some time tho :)

Until then...Cheers~

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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Quinoa Chocolate Brownies

Well, here I am after a VERY long hiatus. Even though this is where I want to be, my schedule has had me going in waaay too many directions. Unfortunately its my schedule that makes the money, not this...(sigh)

So, while going in those directions, my family's eating has also gone a bit off the map. It's always a slippery slope when you think "What's one beer going hurt? It's record breaking heat, we're on the pub's patio with good friends, on holidays..." Famous last words! We didn't get completely sucked back into the world of gluten (beer being the only treat) but we did let rice in with the odd oatmeal breakfast (G-Free oats of course!)

Having been Paleo for almost 2 years, I didn't realize exactly how great I felt Grain - Free. I am now back on track with Craig, working towards a more consitent Paleo diet. However, our daughter is still going Gluten Free. I want her to be aware of the good and bad way to do this. Corn starch is not a good thing to be eating in place of wheat and that is exactly what you find in a lot of the products out there. 

So, I have introduced her a few other options but with Quinoa, she is on the fence. However, in these brownies she loves it! They are moist, a bit spongey rather than dense like a cake but absolutely delicious. They are not overly sweet, but fill the spot in her lunch that cookies or granola bars would have been!

I did try them to ensure that they were worth blogging. I would hate to put something on here that was a waste of ingredients or time! I found them to go perfect with a glass of Cab-Sauv! Cheers~

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