I love Good Food.

I love good food.

I love making good food.  Mostly, just because I love eating it.

That is all.


I made this for the Artist. All his favourite toppings and sauces.


A view from the other side to see more of the layers.


Brushetta topping to toss with a pasta dish.


I didn’t make this, but bought it for $1. So good. Nice and warm, and healthy. Whole grain grain bread, provolone, chicken breast, spinach, loads or green pepper, onion, and black pepper. No condiments or sauce- yuck.

I am not a condiment girl.  I don’t like most of them.  I like sweet chili sauce sometimes on my chicken nugget, or plum sauce.  But mostly I like nothing 🙂  Especially on sandwiches!  The closest I get to a condiment is a smear of pesto or hummus.


Apples are in season 🙂


Love the size!

My ideas for apple-cooking-and-baking so far include: Apple crisp and apple cheese danishes- the Artist’s favourites.  Apple cake with caramel topping- a new recipe I would like to try.  Apple chips- something I have never had before.  Caramel apples- my Halloween day treat.  Applesauce- unsweetened to use as a sugar substitute in baking.  Apple cider- but I don’t have cheesecloth, and the recipes I like so far call for that.

I think I might need more apples haha.  I don’t know if I will get to all of these or not.

Some apple sauce to start:

DSCN0768 DSCN0767 DSCN0769


Home made snack mix. Shredded wheat, almonds, Grape Nuts, peanuts, a spoonful of canola, flax, seasonings and spices. Toasted nicely in the oven.

This turned out pretty good.  Maybe next time I will skip the flax, it didn’t stick to everything as well as I had hoped.  Maybe less seasonings too, I think I over did it a little.  Less is more for this recipe I think.


Homemade Cheddar Bay Biscuits- see my Copycat Recipe blog about these 🙂


The Artist wasn’t feeling well, so I made him a hot breakfast.  He asked for cream of wheat.  It smelled so good when I was making it.  I had to have a bite.  But then, as always, I quickly remember that the smell is deceiving because it tastes like nothing.  Mushy nothing.


I made these next, and tried a new recipe.  Bad idea.  They turned out too cakey.  Not moist enough.  But the Artist had no problem loading them with ice cream and caramel sauce.




Banana-Chocolate-Protein Muffins.



Dark chocolate covered pretzels- not healthified haha.


Roasted pork with carrots and onions, edamamme, and cous cous taboule with fresh mint from our plant 🙂 My FAVOURITE way to have cous cous.


Roasted chickpeas with some herbs and spices for a crunchy, and extremely delicious snack.


Pesto chicken, grilled red pepper and onion, and low fat mozzarella on a toasted bun.  BEST sandwich of life.


Baked chicken and orzo mediterranean inspired flavours.  AMAZING dish.


Homemade granola bars- tried to make them with chocolate protein powder….I didn’t like the texture, and they didn’t turn out too good. Definitely need to play with this one.


Ravioli stuffed with cheeses and tossed in pesto.  These raviolis are from Costco, and are fresh pasta that gets frozen- SO GOOD!



Plantain chips- thick cut with a knife and roasted in the oven with canola oil- the worst way!


Cut with a mandolin and roasted with canola in the oven- they are ok, the taste of the oil comes through.


Cut with the mandolin and used my Chipster- the best way! No oil or anything, just plantains and a pinch of salt. Delicious! Super healthy, crunchy, and tasty.



Substituted banana and applesauce for sugar, and used chickpeas, no flour, and even melted chocolate chips on top in a thin layer, and still only 4g of sugar and low carbs per generous serving 🙂 I call them “banana muffin squares”.


Whole wheat pasta with kale, baked chicken, onions, and asiago sauce (just asiago melted and thinned with milk). I don’t like kale, check out my “done with kale” blog post! I prefer spinach.

I am going to try a healthfied version of homemade butterfingers later 😉



One of my oldest, long time friends Adam posted this on Facebook recently:

“I live in my parents basement. I am a nerd. I play way too many video games, read too many books at the same time, and know way too many movies off by heart. My friends in high school always used to say “you’ll never get laid when all you talk about is games.” I would always say the same thing back: “Why would I want to sleep with a girl who doesn’t like games?” It may sound silly but in essence, I meant that I wouldn’t get serious with a girl I have nothing in common with just to “get laid.” I’m not the guy with a mile long list of ‘kills’ or ‘wins’ and I see that as a good thing.

About a year ago I met a girl who, with her 2 year old daughter, lives in her parents basement, plays too many video games, reads way too many books, and has a movie collection to rival my own. Together we spend as much time together as we can, doing the things we love together, from playing games together or just reading in silence beside one another. They say no matter who you are, there is someone out there for you. I have been lucky enough to meet her.

Best part? I get to be me, in my favourite place in the world; with my two girls.”—

It touched me, because I can relate to this- big time.  Adam, I hope we will reunite one day, like how we ran into each other randomly at Georgian College, when I didn’t even go to that campus.  And we will reminisce about spending so many high school lunch hours talking about movies, and laughing at the funniest parts.

Here is my version of this….

I am a dork.  I love reading, movies, listening to classic rock on vinyl, and laughing.

Boy do I love to laugh.  Lots of people would look at me like I am crazy, being the only one laughing at something funny while watching a movie.  I would be laughing so hard there were tears flowing from eyes, and sometimes we were in a theatre.  But no one noticed the weird facial expression, or subtle line, let alone think it was funny.  If we were at home and I could rewind it, they saw it, and didn’t think it was funny at all, but did however, think I was insane for laughing so hard.

I love reading, and learning, and value the education I have.  I can write an essay at super human speed, and get a near perfect grade on it.  I can write a test and ace it, without having studied as hard as my classmates, having skipped a class, or not even buying the textbook let alone reading it.  I always joke that I am like The Matrix, I can just type a code and boom- I know all the materials.  I love what I have studied, and hope to do it again one day.

I watch movies like crazy, recite lines, and do bad impressions.  I find Nicolas Cage absolutely hilarious.

Why was Rock95 always on in my car- my high school friends wondered.  Because I don’t like country.  Haha, that’s right folks from back home, I don’t like it, and never have really.  I like the Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Elton John, etc. and even have vinyl records of them.

I love my family.  We are super close.  We live far away and I miss them a lot.

I am a very passionate person.  I am sensitive, and loving.

I was always the strange one, or at least I always felt like it.  Getting comments on my “non-matching” outfit, because I loved plaid, weird colours, and vintage styles.  I had old taste in music.  I liked movies no one else liked.  I wasn’t in teenager-avoid-your-parents mode, I thought my parents were cool and enjoyed spending time together with them.  I love grocery shopping with my mom, even still today.

I never had dates or guys who were interested in me- ever.  My first boyfriend and guy who was even interested in me wasn’t until I was 17, and finishing high school.

But about 4 years ago I met the Artist.  He not only loved to laugh at the things most people overlooked, but he loved to make others laugh.  He does hilarious impressions, and finds Nicolas Cage just as funny as I do.  He listens to the same music, and enjoys the sound of vinyl.  He even bought me a record player for our 2nd wedding Anniversary!  He loves movies, and introduced me to even more hilarious titles.  We have the same, weird sense of humour.  He loves to read and learn even more then I do, and is so smart and intelligent, it blows my mind.  He loves weird styles, and vintage, and gets comments on his plaid shorts and striped shirt (which I think looks amazing!).  He loves his family, and now loves mine just as much as I do.  And grocery shopping with my mom- is now a trio, and full of even more laughing and giggling.  He too is a passionate person.  He is very sweet and sensitive.  He was attracted to the qualities of me that normally got commented about or that I felt different and a little insecure for.

So there is definitely someone out there for each person, no matter who you are.  I have found my someone, and am happily married to that someone.  I feel so lucky and fortunate.

My life has been so enriched, in so many ways.

Best part?  I have never been myself to such a high degree.  Being with the Artist has allowed me to be me, to the full extent possible.  And even being aware of this is all thanks to the Artist, because, he was telling me how I allow him to be him, to the full extent possible.  And I was like, hey- I feel the same way.

I love my Artist.

Happiness is contagious.


This photo was taken before the Artist and I were even dating.  It was shortly after we became roommates and instantly best friends.

This photo was taken before the Artist and I were even dating. It was shortly after we became roommates and instantly best friends.



Copycat Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits

I was looking on The Brown Eyes Baker’s blog; http://www.browneyedbaker.com because there are great recipes and ideas, and really awesome photos of the finished product as well, and came across Red Lobster cheddar bay biscuits.  The recipe was a copycat style, making these biscuits from scratch.  I looked up other recipes to see if there was a trend as to what works best, and I read a comment saying that Red Lobster uses Bisquick as their base.  Now, I don’t know if this is true or not, and most recipes I found did include Bisquick, but thought I would give it a go.  Except, I only had Great Value Pancake mix from WalMart.  It must be at least similar to Bisquick, right?  Well, I was about to find out.

The batter was super sticky and hard to handle:


I messily plopped them down on a baking sheet, not forming tight balls or anything- just very roughly plopping handfuls onto the tray.


And when they were done, I brushed on a garlicy-melted-butter topping, and served them right away.


Here is a close up, just to make your mouth water even more.


The verdict: I was in the kitchen, and didn’t tell my husband what I was doing, I was just having some Sunday afternoon kitchen time- cooking up a storm.  Then all of a sudden I emerged with these, and his eyes bulged.  This is the reason we go to Red Lobster- the biscuits are clearly the best part.  I don’t even like lobster, or any fish for that matter, and I LOVE Red Lobster.  So much delicious food, for such a little price (I obviously go with a handful of coupons of course 😉 !!)  In addition to their biscuits, they have great starters, salads, and this creamy pasta dish that is just outstanding.  And it is not like most pasta dishes with loads of noodles and a few pieces of meat- if that.  It was loaded with tons of chicken, that was cooked really well and not charred so it was dry, grizzly, or tasted like charcoal.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it.  And dessert, wow.  So good.

Anyways, as my husband took the first bite, he was amazed.  He was speechless.  Then he found 1 word- “wow”.  Then all of a sudden he couldn’t stop saying “wow”.  After 2 fresh, warm biscuits, he found his words again, and raved about how they were exactly like the ones at Red Lobster.  Success?  I think so!  And to brag a little more, he said the sandwich I concocted the other day was better then Subway 😉

Here is the recipe I used, it is from http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/recipe?id=7271697 and I tweaked it a little, which is in brackets:


– 2 and 1/2 cups Bisquick baking mix (I used Great Value Walmart brand pancake mix)

– 3/4 cup cold whole milk (I used 2%)

– 4 tablespoons cold butter (I used a wee bit extra)

– 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (I didn’t measure, just generously shook it in!)

– 1 cup, heaping, cheddar cheese, grated (I used a VERY heaping cup)

– I also added a sprinkle of baking soda, “just because”…I wasn’t sure if the pancake batter would work the same as Bisquick and I didn’t want them to be too dense, but light and fluffy

For the butter topping:

– 2 tablespoons butter, melted (this lasted for 9 biscuits, the other 3 I had to make a bit more)

– 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes (I didn’t measure, I just poured generously)

– 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (again, didn’t measure, just poured generously, I like lots of flavour)

– pinch of salt (omitted this)

Step 1: I put pancake mix in a bowl, and used a form, and my hands, to cut the cold butter into the pancake mix, there were still little lumps of butter in it when I was finished.

Step 2: I mixed in the garlic powder, cheese, and then the milk.

Step 3: Mixed with my hands.  This was super messy and sticky 🙂  Mixed until combined, but careful not to over mix.

Step 4: Plopped onto ungreased baking tray, I used a stoneware one from Pampered Chef because the bottoms of things on there never seem to get too dark.

Step 5:  Baked in a pre-heated oven at 400, but had something else in there at 350 for the second batch, and it worked just as well. Cooked for about 15 minutes, or until slightly golden.

Step 6: Microwave butter, and add garlic powder and parsley.  Brushed on top generously and served warm and fresh.

I will be making this many, many more times in the future, they are just delicious 😀

Done With Kale

The title pretty much speaks for itself- we are done with kale.  It is really high in nutrients and has a dark, rich green colour, and we have tried it several ways, but all in all- it sucks.  The taste is bad, the smell of bad, the texture is bad, and eating it raw is the worst. Now don’t get me wrong.  I have tried to like it, tried using it in lots of different ways, and was extra open to new tastes because I have been looking to try new recipes, ideas, and incorporate more variety in my cooking.  I gave it so many chances to be good, and it never seemed to please me.  I am a spinach girl- all the way.  And here is why I am done with trying to like kale, done eating it, and why I am not missing out on the nutrients.

*The following is based on the nutrition info on the bags of spinach and kale that I have bought.

In terms of taste: I don’t like the taste of kale.  It is too strong and overpowers any dish I make it with, and I always remove all of the stems.  Spinach has a milder taste, and tastes good raw.  Whereas I don’t like raw kale, the taste just doesn’t jive with me.  It is too strong or something.

In terms of smell: For some reason, I think kale stinks lol.  But I don’t find the same problem for spinach.  When I was reheating some leftover pasta with kale in it, all I could smell was kale.

In terms of texture: Having tried kale cooked, raw, sauteed, etc. and the texture is always the same to me.  Even though cooking it makes it softer, it still is chewy.  I even tried making kale chips.  They were good- for the first few chews.  Then it was like chewing a ball of grass and I couldn’t get it down.  That is how I feel anytime I am chewing kale.  The texture just bothers me.

In terms of price: No cheaper or more expensive then spinach, they are about the same.

In terms of nutrients: Kale is loaded with several hundred percent of your daily intake of vitamins K, C, and A.  It has some mineral content, and isn’t that high in fibre.  Spinach has over 100% of your daily intake of vitamin K, and is still a good, high source of vitamins C and A, but does not exceed 100%.  It has a lower fibre count, similar to the kale, and has some mineral content, similar as well.  So obviously, kale is loaded with much higher concentrations of vitamins then spinach is.

But….here is my opinion.  Do we really need more then the 100% of a daily intake of a nutrient?  Unless you are on specific recommendations by a doctor or something.  But I am not.  So do I really need more?  I feel like after 100% is a waste, and over-doing isn’t always good either.  And as for the less-then-100% of vitamins C and A, I eat a variety of fresh produce, and a variety of foods in general in my day-to-day food intake.  So I am not missing out.  I regularly eat fruit, including apples, oranges and berries, so vitamin C isn’t a problem for me, and I regularly eat carrots and sweet potato which are loaded with vitamin A.

So, all in all, why would I keep torturing myself with kale if I don’t like the way it tastes, smells, I don’t like the texture, and I am not missing out on any nutrients, and I love spinach and there is no price difference?  Exactly.  I am not going to.  I am not missing out on anything, except stinking up my kitchen when reheating last night’s kale.

Here is a photo of the pasta dish I was referring to that had kale in it.  Normally I use spinach for this recipe, but tried kale instead. It is whole wheat penne, baked chicken breast, onion, kale, spice, and asiago cheese sauce (which is  just asiago cheese and milk to thin it out a little).



Writing this makes me wonder, do others feel this way too?  It’s not like I am never going to eat kale again because I refuse to eat it, I just won’t likely buy it again for my own cooking.  If I am out, or having dinner somewhere else and there is kale, I would eat it.  But I do not prefer it.  So, are others feeling the same way, but just eating it anyways and “tolerating” it because it is the “new super food”?  Are they eating it just because it is hip to be doing so?  I, for one, do not care about belonging in the kale-club.  I guess I am not “hip” enough, haha.  Is kale the new fad?

If I am missing something, I would love to know.  Am I missing the key secret as to why everyone is crazed for it?  Or is there a mysterious nutrient I haven’t mentioned?  Anything- I would love to know.

On to nice things the Artist and I have done for each other: The Artist wanted me to come to his studio with him, so I did, to keep him company.  And of course, being in the presence of his passion and talent brought out so many nice things to say about him.  The Artist also drove me where I needed to go bright and early in the morning.  Before I woke him to do this, I prepared his coffee for when he got home.  This weekend we have decided to try and do something fun like go to the zoo, park, or whatever if the weather holds up.  The Artist also told me how nice I looked in my outfit the other day- his eyes lit up when I emerged all dressed, even after 3 years of marriage.

I love my Artist.

Happiness is contagious.

Workout, Arena Fries, and Gratitude

I went to kickboxing for the first time since the spring.  The drop-in group classes I go to don’t run from mid-May until September. They are on the campus of the Artist’s school, so no one is around to make it worth running the classes I guess.  Wow.  It was intense.  But in a good way (not like that other class I posted about, haha).  Normally, if I was doing weights, I would do it right before this class.  I like to do weights with the Artist, it is just a fun thing to do together- and of course I like seeing him flex his muscles 😉  Occasionally, our schedules don’t match exactly, so I just do the weights after.

Big mistake.

I came home from kickboxing expecting to leave immediately for the gym.  The Artist wasn’t home yet, and it was a little over an hour before he came home and we left.  As you can imagine, waiting that long after intense kickboxing, was not a good idea.  I crashed.  If I used the momentum and went right away I would have been ok, but I didn’t, and was just exhausting.  I thought, “I will just take it easy”.  Ha!  Even taking it easy made me feel like I could throw up.  I have never felt so close to throwing up from exercise….ever.  Actually, I very rarely feel even a hint of it.

So we lace up our shoes and head out.  On the way there, I was thinking about parking…during weekdays meters are free after 6pm, and it was 6:30pm.  However, there are limited spaces for that.  Other parking is for permits only.  We do not have a permit.

Me: Maybe all the meter spaces will be full, and we won’t be able to park, and just have to go home.

Artist: I hope that happens.

*We pull into the campus.

Artist: The spaces must be full, look at this, it is like a zoo in here.

Me: I don’t know, maybe they will all be open, with our luck.

Artist: They can’t be, I hope they’re not.

Me: (laughing)

Sure enough, there were 2 spaces open.  We park, and go in.  First stop- bench press.  By the way, the gym is packed, hot, sticky, and loud at this hour.  Ugh.

Me: (after 1 set) Soooo….home?

Artist: (laughing) Why are we here again?

Me: (laughing) I’m only half serious.

Artist: Lets just go home, and hit the drive-thru on the way.

Me: (laughing)

Artist: I will do one more set, but I may not be able to do 12 reps.

Me: Want me to spot you a little so you can do the full 12?

Artist: No, it’s not worth it.  I just want to do this so I can go home and stuff my face.

Me: (laughing embarrassingly hard, people are staring)

We continue, and move through each exercise.  When we get home we have a protein shake, a shower, some dinner, and watch Arrested Development.

I am deliriously exhausted, so Buster is extra funny.

On the way home from the gym, the Artist was talking about how much he wants arena fries.  For all of you from Creemore and the area, you know exactly what I am talking about.  Fries from the Creemore arena are the best arena fries.  Yes, other arenas have the crispy coated ones which are amazing, but all in all, I have always thought Creemore had the best fries.  The Artist refers to arena fries as fries in the little box with the little wooden fork, with lots of ketchup from the big pump dispenser, and vinegar.  I do not like ketchup, so for me, arena fries are with salt and vinegar, and of course the little box and wooden fork….or the skinny plastic red ones.  There is also poutine.  Creemore arena poutine is one of the best poutines.  I love real cheese curds, but mozzarella is good too.  What I am most picky about is that the gravy is “fake beef gravy”.  Which means from a can or a powder, and not chicken gravy either.  And of course, eaten with the little wooden fork.  Now that I think of it, the Creemore arena has the best canteen ever.  The best chicken fingers, fries, poutine, everything, are there.  I always remember my parents working in there on Saturday mornings when I was skating, and making me a grilled cheese sandwich for breakfast- and paying for it 😉  And making it just the way I like it- white loaf of bread, plain butter, and 2 slices of Kraft singles.  This is very specific, because I try to healthify it and choose cheaper items, such as garlic butter, whole wheat bread, “real” cheese or a blend of cheeses, etc.  These options are all yummy, but sometimes, the mood just calls for the original.

So to any of my Creemore readers, if you have photos of “Creemore Arena Food”, I would love to have them to add to this post 🙂

Now onto nice things we have done for eachother……I am making us dinner tonight, and helped the Artist get all of his errands done today (he hates doing paperwork stuff, making calls, etc…..but really, who actually likes it?).  I went with him, helped him, and rubbed his back afterwards.  The Artist told me how much he loves going through our photos because it makes him happy looking back on our lives, and how much fun we have together.  We truly have had a great life together so far.  When I told him I would make dinner for when he gets home, he said he never expects a dinner to be ready, so don’t worry if I don’t get to it, because I have my own things to do.  And how he always appreciates me.  When I am able, I do as much as I can in terms of cooking, cleaning, etc. especially when the Artist is super busy or has late classes. The fact that I never feel expected to do any of this, and always get showered with gratitude and affection afterwards, makes me not mind it all.  And when I am super busy, in school, working or whatever, the Artist does the cooking and stuff.

So men, the secret to women is not to expect them to cook and clean, especially if they are home all day, because when they feel expected to do these things, it is a whole new ball game.  This is how resentment is born.  And it doesn’t matter whether or not you actually expect these things, if a woman feels expected to do certain things, then verbalize and show her that you don’t.  And being appreciative of dinner, clean clothes, etc. and verbalizing this to them, makes all the difference.  When the Artist takes 2 minutes to cuddle me from behind while I am cleaning up or doing dishes after dinner, whispers loving words and thank you’s in my ear, and we have a little 2 minute snuggle, it is so nice.  Even though I know he appreciates it, hearing it, and him showing me his thankfulness, makes a big difference.  I never feel like I am being taken for granted or expected to fulfil a certain role or duties.  And even though he has a long night ahead of him writing a big assignment due in the morning, taking those 2 minutes to hug me from behind while I am cleaning up and tickle me or kiss me or whatever and thank me, makes a huge difference.

So, ladies, what do you think on this?  I would love to hear comments 🙂

The little things in life.

Happiness is contagious ❤

Home Studio and Dining Room Swap

The Artist has been really busy making lots of art.  He is in this creative mood, that sometimes he forgets “normal” things.  But, who is to say what is normal?  For him, this is normal.  It is his normal.  Everyone has their own version.  I took a few photos as I saw some funny events around the house after the Artist left for campus.

Clearly, the best place to paint is the front entryway.


Who needs a tool box when you have the bathroom sink?


Gotta play the harmonica right before leaving the house and grabbing your keys- of course.


The bookshelf serves as a better place for a coffee mug then the coffee table- obviously.


What better place for a cup of water-colour muck?



Our dining room used to be this room:


No wonder he has rock hard quads….


Until the Artist decided the room he had for a “home studio” was too small and got too cold in the winter.  So we talked about switching the rooms.  I thought it was a great idea, because our table and chairs was so small it left the room empty and wasted space.  And the little “home studio” would be a great cozy dining room and we even put up a sheet, like so:



Isn’t that so cozy looking?




Candles and plants are a good touch.  It still needs some work.  I need to fashion something to put our record player on so we can listen to music in there.



It is like a cozy little nook.  I love it.



And even better because now the Artist has more space for art making.  We did this back at the beginning of summer, the Artist was cleaning out his old space and asked me what I thought about making this the dining room now that it was all empty.  I had been thinking about it anyways because I knew the Artist needed more painting space and our dining room looked kind of silly with such a small table in there.  It was a great decision 🙂

And now, the Artist is clearly booming with creativity.



Look at it all.  I love seeing this sight.  And now, it seemed to have encouraged the Artist to be in this zone, his niche, much more frequently.  He never really leaves it, but this brings it out to the forefront.  I love seeing him sit in the middle of this and just explode with passion and talent, it warms my heart so much.  And I love seeing paintings all over the floor, sewing machine supplies and pieces of thread everywhere, coffee in strange places, tools spread all over the house, books everywhere you could possibly imagine, and drawings in every nook and cranny.

I love it.  Just love it.

I wouldn’t have it any other way ❤

I am having a hard time finding the words and the right way to describe why I love this so much, because I think a lot of women would find the scattered items frustrating.  I know my mother would, haha 😉  I would like to note, that he always cleans up after he is done with something, or contains it so I can vacuum or whatever 🙂  Perhaps, it is just him being him, and that’s why I love it?

Happiness is contagious.