The Turning of a New Page

image-4It’s official! I am done my fourth year of university which means BRING ON THE SUMMER!

There are 10 days until I leave for Italy. There are 10 days that I get to fully enjoy my summer break before my summer job begins. I consider this a sort of turning of a new page for two reasons, besides the fact that the spring/summer weather is finally here which means I am super happy! The first is that I will be travelling on my own (sans parents or boyfriend) to a completely new country. The even bigger aspect of this is that I have (1) never flown, EVER, (2) and I have NEVER EVER been out of North America. I expect this to be a very life-changing experience and I am beyond scared, but I am also beyond excited! The second reason is that I can fully focus on making money, actually socializing with no stress of homework or readings to be done, and also my practice of yoga. My goal is to focus on practicing yoga and meditation every single day. This is important to me because it is helping me mature spiritually but also focus on the importance of a healthy balance and a healthy body. I will ask you in the near future, to partake in a few different yoga challenges with me, as well as share my journey of yoga practice.

For now however, I am going to enjoy the outdoors because I have spent the last 5 hours unfortunately writing an essay and my brain has turned to absolute mush. I think this calls for a little outdoor yoga practice!

Happy Spring and Happy Belated Easter !

Back on the Blogging Map

6d9ac5a033602a75ee11fc4d49f326feAbout a month ago, maybe more, I found myself almost deleting my blog. I had second thoughts and decided to simply make it private so nobody else in the world could read it. Why you ask? Because I found out people that I actually know had discovered it and had begun reading it. Scary huh?

Over the past month or so, I have began a sort of journey I suppose you could say. I rekindled with my cousin, who happens to be a yoga instructor. I had the urge to start up my yoga practice again that I had lost somewhere along the way, and I found out she was teaching a class at a nearby health studio and there I was, shooting the shit with her for what seemed like hours about getting back into yoga, life and then decided we were going to do one-on-one lessons at her house. And there I was, becoming all bendy and flexible again. But this time, there was more. Kundalini Yoga. I found myself meditating with her and finding myself changing. Now, you can’t exactly describe this change that you go through. When you begin to work out, play a sport, meditate, do yoga, or simply change your lifestyle in some way or another you change, and if you’ve done this you completely understand what I’m talking about.

Anyways, today as I sit here eating my lunch I thought about my blog and how I would love to blog about my yoga journey and my journey through Italy I remembered why I stopped blogging in the first place. I’ve come to the point where I’ve realized that I really don’t care what others think about what I am writing about. If you don’t like what I’m writing and aren’t open to new things, why are you reading it anyways? And who knows, maybe I could inspire some other people with my yoga journey, and my cooking and baking because I will definitely be posting more of than when I can! I love writing and to research and then write about things I am interested in and sharing my knowledge is something I generally use to look back on. I have a recipe box, but mainly I just look back at my blog for the recipes I really love. Weird, huh?

So here’s to a new turning of a page, a new journey and new stories and thoughts I have to share. You either enjoy them, or you don’t. Now, time for me to study.

What’s Baking?: Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan Friendly!)

Despite the insane amounts of baking I have had to do in the last few months with Christmas and all the bake sales I have held, I managed to find some fun in baking the other day. I don’t know if it was because I got to experiment with a few choices or the fact that they were for my little cousins, but I actually enjoyed it for the first time in what seems like forever. I made three different items that day, and today I will share with you my Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies.

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My little cousin has to have dairy-free cookies so I modified these slightly, substituting butter for Earth Balance Traditional Spread. I have also used their buttery flavour, but either work well. And don’t worry, they can be VEGAN FRIENDLY! Please read below on how to do so! Continue reading

Devoured: Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

I have always loved to bake and have grown up baking with my mom and grandma, but never really tried my hand at cooking, besides when I worked at a local golf course and was forced to cook. Don’t get me wrong, I could cook and make food, I just never really got into cooking and tried new things. Just recently however, I have acquired the cooking bug – most likely because I am absolutely sick of baking after doing two bake sales now.

There is nothing more fun than throwing a little bit of this in it, a little bit of that, and trying to substitute ingredients because I don’t like a certain thing, or I just don’t have enough time to run to the local grocery store to pick some up (I do this quite often… so lesson of the day: make sure you always have all the ingredients on hand before cooking, unless you’re really good at winging it).  A large part of the (Vegan) Moroccan Stew that I made, I winged and threw in other spices and ingredients that I love cooking with and thought would taste good!

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My (Vegan) Moroccan Stew

Another one of my favourite recipes are the Southwestern Stuffed Peppers.  Continue reading

Dinner Tonight: Moroccan Stew (Vegan Friendly!)

If you didn’t think winter was here before, I’m sure you can’t deny that it’s finally here! What a winter wonderland out there! Simply insane and a big skating rink, and just when you think it’s over, it decides to dump some more messy, white stuff on us! And from my understanding, it’s not just the Big White North up here that’s getting it, something like 22 states are getting piled on! So I hope everyone is staying warm, safe and cozy! To help warm up, (and stay on track with your healthy eating resolutions) tonight for dinner why not try this delicious Moroccan Stew! This is a recipe from a friend of mine (BeanVegan) and it’s absolutely scrumptious! And I cannot forget to mention that it is vegan friendly too for all you vegans out there! Now, don’t be scared away… you could add meat to it or even have it with a side of something like roast beef!

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Now if you generally eat fairly healthy, you most likely have a variety of these things and there is no need to head out in this mess!

The ingredients consist of:

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
4 celery talks
1 bell pepper, cubed
2-3 cloves garlic minced
3 cups vegetable broth
2 peeled, cubed, sweet potatoes
1 can tomatoes, drained, rinsed
1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp grated ginger root
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup raisins ( I personally left these out because I do not like raisins)
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

I also added kidney beans to the mix for a little more protein and fibre and who doesn’t love the magical fruit that makes you toot! Now if you add kidney beans (drained and rinsed might I add) you may need to add a little bit more brother because it gets quite thick and there’s not much liquid.

While I chopped up the onions, celery, pepper and garlic (I added an extra clove for more flavour!), I allowed them to sauté in the pot with some olive oil for about as long as it took me to chop everything up. Watch out for the onion, I was bawling by the end of that!

*Note: I ALWAYS eyeball measuring things like spices and what not because that’s what makes cooking and a good cook, or so I think! A little extra chilli powder never hurt anybody! And the more flavour the better. I also threw in some garlic plus seasoning we had kicking around. I loooooove garlic!

Next, add all the other ingredients except for the peanut butter, cilantro and raisins (if you decide to add those of course) and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes or so. I had to head out, so I allowed it to simmer and turned it down after 20 minutes and it probably sat for about 2 hours which with stew I find it is the best to let it sit longer!

I then came home, or whenever you’re done allowing it to simmer, and add the last three ingredients and let it simmer for at least 5 more minutes, or longer. Now I just used plain Kraft Smooth PB, but next time I would probably use a natural peanut butter so there is not as much sugar in the stew. But it still tasted delicious! The peanut butter tends to freak people out though, but it’s what makes it all thick like a stew. And really, unless you know it’s in there you cannot taste it!

This was a hit in this household and I know this because it was actually suppose to be for dinner tonight, and after making a HUGE pot of it, there’s about a bowl left. We paired it with a roast on the side, but it can be enjoyed alone or even with the meat in it ! Enjoy! And let me know how your’s turns out !

 

The Most Important Holiday Baking You’ll Do: Boyfriend Cookies

Boyfriend Cookies!!!! I have definitely posted this way back when, but I believe they’re an essential for baking and having around the house this holiday season when guests come over! They’re even perfect to give to your boyfriend or husband as a present! Trust me, the way to a man’s heart is definitely through his stomach!

These cookies are also perfect to substitute any of your favourite holiday flavours! I’ve seen Gingerbread M&M’s out there, mint chocolate chippits! Just play around and let me know what you come up with !

 

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I saw these and absolutely had to make them. They are said to be the best tasting cookies ever.. and well, the reviews are in and they are.

Note* – the recipe when it calls for Reese’s Pieces means the Reese’s Pieces M&M’s!

* As well, make sure your baking soda is fresh – you should be replacing it every 30 days – 6 months in order to ensure freshness and it will help make better cookies.

*Also, I went to make a second batch because the first turned out so well and didn’t have vanilla pudding so I used chocolate… the pudding is just to make the cookies fluffier or else it would just be a huge, messy glob of candy and wouldn’t turn out as well.

Ingredients 
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups chocolate chips (1 cup milk choc & 1 cup semisweet)
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup M&M’s
1/2 cup Reese’s Pieces

Directions
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
2.In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add pudding mix, eggs and vanilla. Combine flour and baking soda; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips and remaining candy.

3.Drop by tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. I usually use a small spring-loaded cookie scoop. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool on wire racks.

You’re Welcome Ladies

If you all didn’t catch it today, Luke Bryan  was on Ellen and they featured his video of him dancing.

Ladies, you all know what I’m talking about, and despite the fact that I don’t get anything out of this dancing besides the pure humour of it (I promise Hughie), I thought you ladies would enjoy this and another video of him at one of his concerts with a few other country boys. So you’re welcome ladies.

(Credit: Youtube Video posted by Monica Sousa)

(Credit: Youtube Video posted by PerfctDevl85)