Archive for October, 2011

Okay – rant time!

I love cooking shows. I’m not a big fan of sitting around watching television (unless I’m in bed at night). But when I do watch TV during the day, it’s a cooking show. Our television is practically permanently tuned to The Food Network. Today, however, I have a huge beef.

I was watching one particular show where the host was preparing food for children. And she kept stressing the fact that the recipes she was using had “no added sugar”. But she was sweetening her recipes using honey and maple syrup. ARGH.

Sugar is sugar is sugar.

Sure, honey and maple syrup aren’t refined like white table sugar. But they’re processed the same way in your body. If you were to read the nutrition facts table on three identical recipes – one sweetened with white sugar, one with maple syrup, and one with honey – you’d find that there’s sugar in all of them. Just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s better. If you were a diabetic, you would learn that eating maple syrup or honey is the same as eating white sugar. Why? Because SUGAR IS SUGAR. Your body recognizes it all as being the same thing.

“Nutritive sweeteners provide calories or energy to the diet at about four calories per gram, just like carbohydrate or protein. Common examples of nutritive sweeteners include white and brown table sugars and molasses, honey, and syrups such as maple and corn. These are all sweet tasting because of the presence of glucose and fructose, alone or together as sucrose.”


So beware of recipes that claim to have “no added sugar” but have these other natural sweeteners in them. They all cause a rise in blood sugar, and they all have the same number of calories per gram.

End rant.


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I lost my mom three years ago.

She was diagnosed with stomach cancer during my final year of university, while I was away in another province. She did chemotherapy, but it only prolonged the inevitable. She got to see me graduate from university – the first in my family to accomplish such a feat – which was something she really wanted. But it meant that I spent five of her last eight months away from her. I don’t regret it – she was so proud of me, and I was able to give her something that was incredibly important to her. But I sometimes wish I could have spent more time with her when she was sick.

Especially on nights like tonight – when I’m missing her so much I ache.

I’ve been watching One Tree Hill lately, and tonight I came across the episode where Peyton’s birth mother dies of cancer. It just brings back so many emotions and makes me miss my mom.

So, anyway, I’m just laying here alone – missing my mom. So much it hurts.

I wonder how she’d feel if she knew we were trying to get pregnant. Not that anyone really knows. But I still wonder how she’d feel. And how she’d react when we finally do get pregnant and announce it. She was absolutely amazing with kids. She’s where I got my adoration for them. And she would have made such a perfect grandmother. As much as it kills me that she wasn’t around for my wedding, it’s even worse knowing that she won’t be around to see my child(ren) – that she won’t get to put her hand on my belly and feel her grandbaby kicking or give me advice through pregnancy or be there with me when I have to go through labor or get to hold that precious little newborn. And that she won’t be there to help me through the first few months – to give me advice and come visit.

It tears me up inside.

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YESsi? or gNOcchi?

First of all, aren’t I clever? 😛


Tonight, I tried making gnocchi using chef Michael Smith’s recipe. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I wasn’t overly impressed. But, then again, I’ve never had gnocchi before. So I have no idea what the problem was.

Maybe I made them perfectly and just don’t really like gnocchi?

Maybe I would like properly made gnocchi, but I did something wrong?

I’m not sure which is the case.


In other news, I have a couple of job interviews tomorrow – not for dietitian jobs, but for retail jobs in the mall. I can’t sit around forever waiting my dream job. So cross your fingers that I at least get something out of this.

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Japanese chicken wings

Another adventure supervising the husband in the kitchen. 🙂

We had some Jumbo Crispy Wings from M&M Meats sitting in the freezer with no real plan what to do with them. So hubby decided we should find a good wing sauce recipe and spice them up. After browsing a few dozen buffalo recipes, we came across this recipe for Japanese Chicken Wings. Since we already had battered wings, we just made the sauce.

Japanese Wing Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
We cooked the wings according to the packaging, transferred the cooked wings to a casserole dish, poured the sauce over them, and popped them back in the oven for another 15 minutes basting frequently.
The only thing I think I might do differently next time is add a little cornstarch to the sauce so that it thickens slightly when cooked. Hmmmm… maybe?

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Pain Perdue (French Toast)

Today is the Thanksgiving holiday here in Canada. So I woke up this morning thinking I’d like to make a big holiday breakfast for myself and my husband. The only problem with that plan was that yesterday was supposed to be grocery day. But I spent the afternoon running around doing other things, and thought to myself “I’ll get groceries tomorrow”, not thinking that today was a holiday and there would be no stores open. So my idea for a big holiday breakfast slowly dissipated.

Bacon, eggs and toast? No bacon.

Chocolate chip pancakes? No flour.

In the end, I decided to make french toast – because that was the only breakfast I could think of that I knew I had all the ingredients for. But I had tried to make french toast once before and wasn’t at all impressed. The outside was burnt and the inside was still gooey and soggy. Ewww. After searching the web for some french toast recipes, I decided to combine the best parts from each of the recipes I liked best and make my own.

Yummy French Toast

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 slices bread

Preheat 1-2 tbsp. olive oil in a pan on medium heat.

Whisk together all ingredients except bread.

Dunk each slice of bread into mixture for 10 seconds on each side.

Fry in oil until crispy and golden brown on both sides.

When the french toast was done, I laid each slice on a baking sheet in a 200 F degree oven for 10 minutes to make sure it wasn’t soggy inside. Then drizzled with syrup and enjoyed! Finally – delicious crispy french toast!


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Craptastic! :(

Gah. Today sucks.

I woke up suddenly this morning with the realization that I forgot to get my engagement and weddings rings inspected for their six-month inspections last month. They’re supposed to be inspected every six months or the lifetime warranty is void.

Then I tried to get hockey tickets for my husband’s birthday. They went on sale at noon. I was on the page refreshing it from 11:55 until it finally loaded that tickets could be purchased. They were still sold out by the time my page reloaded. 😦

Then I went to get my leftover pizza for lunch to discover that my husband had accidentally taken my spicy jalapeno pizza to work for his lunch and left me with his icky mushroom-covered pizza. I happen to hate mushroom so much that I can’t even pick them off and eat the pizza.

Normally, those little things wouldn’t bother me so much. But today they do. And the fact that they do (coupled with the fact that I’ve been having cramps all morning) is making me believe that Aunt Flo is right around the corner. AF = not pregnant.

Okay, vent over.

Feels good just to get it out there.


ETA: AF has arrived. No baby for us this month. 😦

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Homemade pizza! :)

A couple of months ago, I went looking for a homemade pizza dough recipe. My criteria were simple – it had to look easy to make, and it had to include instructions for how to make it in a Kitchenaid mixer because I wanted to try out my dough hook. I found this recipe and immediately fell in love! I didn’t really care for the sound of the pizza itself, so I just use the dough recipe and whatever toppings I want!


Homemade Pizza Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (105°F-115°F)
  • 1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast (check the expiration date on the package)
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour (can use all-purpose but bread flour will give you a crisper crust)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

1 In the large bowl of a heavy duty electric mixer (such as a Kitchen Aid), add the warm water. Sprinkle on the yeast and let sit for 5 minutes until the yeast is dissolved. Stir to dissolve completely if needed at the end of 5 minutes.


2 Attach a mixing paddle to the mixer. Mix in the olive oil, flour, salt and sugar on low speed for about a minute. Remove the mixing paddle and replace with a dough hook. Knead using the mixer and dough hook, on low to medium speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. If you don’t have a mixer, you can mix and knead by hand. If the dough seems a little too wet, sprinkle on a bit more flour.
3 Place ball of dough in a bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn the dough around in the bowl so that it gets coated with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let sit in a warm place (75-85°F) until it doubles in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.


Here is what the dough looks like after it has risen for an hour and a half:


The first time I made it, I was really surprised at how easy the dough is to work with! I don’t even own a rolling pin (a fact that shocks most people who know me, because I love to cook/bake), and I have no trouble forming the dough into two 12-inch pizzas within just a couple of minutes. Taa-daa!


A little trick I use to get the dough the right size and shape is to use parchment paper. I cut a piece of parchment just bigger than my pan. Then I lay it on the pan and trace the shape of the pan into the paper using the handle of a spoon or my fingernail. When I’ve made a good imprint of the pan in the paper, I remove it and shape the dough on the parchment using the tracing as my guide. That way I get dough that’s the perfect size and shape every time! Now it’s time for toppings!


Bake according to the recipe, and you’ve got delicious pizza!


Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm! 🙂

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