Monday, August 26, 2013


Happy Name Day to Me!

In Poland we celebrate Name Day's...and today, the 26th of August, it's my Name Day! I am not going to get into it...but a lot of people have forgotten it's my Name Day and that is all I am going to say on the matter! Lol. 
Anyways...other than the month of May {because it's my month of birth...duh} I think my favorite month is September...or maybe it's I'm not so sure.
But anyways! 
September is almost like, the New Year. I know that January IS THEE New Year but September is where all the magic happens. All the "Fall Fashion Fatties" come out, the new books are released, artists release their new albums around this time, designers come out with their craziest collections ~ things just *happen* in September. 
So it shouldn't come as a surprise that there is a *boatload* of cookbooks that are going to be released within the next few months...not all of them are going to be released in September but many of them will be along with announcements of their release dates. 
This is quite an exciting time! Not only cookbooks but novels that I have been waiting over a year to be released! GAH. 
Anyways...I now you guys are going to go crazy over these things too, but here are a few things that will be released over the next 2-3 months. 

Giada's Feel Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets - $21.95

Release Date: November 5, 2013. 
I love Giada....I really used to not like her, which may come as a shock to some people. Lol. She used to drive me bonkers when I watched her on TV but now I have a serious obsession. Probably because she shows me that you can love food, be crazy successful, a celebrity chef and totally fit!

{Excerpt Taken From Amazon}
Food Network’s most beautiful star reveals her secrets for staying fit and feeling great in this gorgeous, practical book with healthy recipes including nutritional information, and personal lifestyle and beauty tips.
Finally answering the question her fans ask most often, “How do you stay so trim?,” Giada De Laurentiis shares the delicious easy recipes and tips she uses to maximize energy and remain fit. Here are 120 recipes for breakfasts, juices, lunches, snacks, dinners, and desserts that can be combined into 30 days of delicious feel-good meals. So that everyone can enjoy these dishes, many are gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and/or vegan, with helpful icons to call them out—and, for the very first time, each recipe includes a calorie count and nutritional analysis. Special sections delve into Giada's everyday life, including her beauty and exercise routines, how she satisfies sugar fixes, what’s always in her bag, and her ordering tips for eating in restaurants. With 100 color photographs, Giada’s Feel Good Food is a beautiful guide to staying on track while still eating everything and enjoying life to its fullest.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


In The Kitchen...

Something a little abnormal is happening in the fact that I am not too predisposed in trying new recipes this week. Don't ask me why, I am not quite entirely sure of it myself. 
Maybe it's just one of those weeks? Which is why I am grateful that I decided on making a large pot of chili the other night and I don't really have to put much thought into dinner this week. Although I must admit that I do have quite a hankering for crostini's and not your traditional run-of-the-mill Italian types that you must be thinking of. 
My Dad used to make the best types on baguettes when my Sister and I were growing up at home. They were on the freshest of breads, with just a tiny bit of butter, some mushrooms and mozzarella thrown on top and thrown into a toaster oven. Heaven! Of course I would massacre it and drench it in ketchup - but what else is new when you grow up in North America? 
Anyways...I think I might make that this weekend. 
As much as the boyfriend despises shrimp right now I am going to share this recipe with you *anyway* even though I might not make this anytime soon. 
Still, sounds ludicrously delicious. 
A little play on what my Dad used to make for us at home.

Bon Appetit!

Paprika Shrimp & Havarti Crostini
Prep: 10 min// Cook Time: 10 min // Yield: 24 Canapes

1 baguette
2 cups {500 mL} northern shrimps, cooked
1 tbsp {15 mL} orange zest
1/4 tsp {1 mL} ground paprika
1/4 cup {60 mL} fresh parsley, chopped
10 oz {300 g} Canada Havarti, sliced

Preheat grill to medium heat. Cut baguette in half lengthwise. Mix shrimp, zest, paprika and parsley. 

Divide mixture onto baguette halves. Cover with Havarti and place directly on grill. Cook 5-7 minutes till bread is crusty and cheese has melted. Slice and serve hot. 

Tips - Cheese alternatives: Canadian Swiss cheese, Cheddar, Mozzarella. 

See how simple!?!
And come on, anything that has cheese on it is simply delicious!!!
Crostini's are absolutely amazing and you can add anything to them. 
I might just make an array of different crostini's this weekend and try a bunch of new things and share with you guys what I think. For sure though the mushroom one is at the TOP of my list. :) 


Thursday, August 15, 2013


This is my photo of the day...
I get really excited for, realllly into it...but before I become quite infatuated with that holiday I get slightly fanatical about Hallowe'en. I am a Fall girl after all. I think it's the combination of it all. Autumn, the colours, the scents, the food, the whole before I start going Fall-kerrrrazy...which I am going to start doing even though it's mid-August I am going to take a moment and share a Winter-esque photo of the day. 

Now you may be wondering *WHY* in "SEVEN HELLS" {hahah, like what I did there Game of Thrones nerds?} am I doing this in the ass-end of Summer? 
Well...because last year nothing felt like anything...Hallowe'en didn't feel like Hallowe'en...Christmas came and was really disappointing for me. I couldn't get into the spirit of anything and it really made me...forlorn. Especially Christmas...even though I decorated a bit earlier then usual I just didn't get drawn into the spirit of the season and this year I really want to do that. I want to bake, I want to share in the enthusiasm, I want to go to the parades, I want to dress up for Hallowe'en, I want to go to Fall fairs...I just want to participate in all of it as much as I can... 
I am not going to go ballistic in day to day life right *now*, whip out the Fall decorations just yet, but I will begin sharing some Autumnal recipes and pepper the blog with some Halloween'y things and Sugar-jar is in for some seasonal craziness for sure. ;) 
And Christmas won't start November 1st...but maybe the 10th... ;) 

Now, I am not by any means a "Winter" girl...meaning my body doesn't do well in cold temperatures. I am not sure what my parents were thinking when I was in my Mom's belly, they should have picked up on my telekinetic powers telling them to either stay put in Italy or move to the Caribbean, but anyways...
I think I might need to invest in a temperature controlled bubble this year ~ but I must admit that a wintery wonderland does tug at my heart strings every Winter season and I really do hope that Mother Nature doesn't do what she did last year, which was +11C all throughout December...
I want some snow on Christmas Eve/Day.
Nothing beats waking up to a blanket of snow and just how quiet and peaceful the world can be on a crisp Winter's morning that lie's dormant. 

This is only the beginning...

Just another day...and it'll be Friday soon.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013


In The Kitchen...

I wrote the other day that I began writing a post and than quickly deleted it...much of it was about feeling uninspired...and honestly, I can't seem to get out of my rut with regards to writing. It's like I have some sort of writer's block and all my writing is just a bunch of bullshit and I feel like cursing. 
It's all a bunch of monotonous garbage and even my vocabulary is hampered and insipid. 
Last night I tried to write a blog post as I sat next to our fireplace. We turned it on for the first time...who wouldn't feel inspirited? Cozied up under the blanket with my puppy, Travis watching a bit of TV, fireplace going, cool and crisp out there, knowing that Autumn is on its way...I mean? Why am I always drawing blanks?!!
Anyways, there is no sense in beating myself up now...I am even deliberating on deleting this blurb right here. I can't even effing type properly right now!!!

So I have been on the search for some Fall-isk recipes since it has been quite cool ~ this morning it's only +11C out there! 
But now I hear that this weekend we are supposed to get a bit of a heat wave...what is with you Mother Nature?!? 
Regardless, I am still going to share a recipe that I found. I was thinking of making it tonight but honestly, I can't be bothered going into the grocery store, yet again tonight...I am notorious for going into Zehr's {our grocery store here in Southern Ontario} on a nightly basis grabbing random ingredients and that really has to stop because I tend to just grab arbitrary things here and there also. I have been doing pretty good lately just going once a week but I also tend to get into these moods where I do plan my meals on a weekly basis and then I change my mind abruptly because I peruse sites and suddenly change my mind on what tonight's dinner meal will be. 

Who know's...I might do that tonight...either way...this is the recipe I'd like to share with you, sounds delicious, although my boyfriend isn't too fond of "too much" lemon, I think I will give this a try soon enough...I am not a fond of celery, but I will give this a crack either way. ;) 

Bon Appetit!

Lemony Chicken & Orzo Soup
Serves: 4 // Prep: 15 min // Total: 45 min

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium leek, white and pale-green parts only, halved length-wise, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
1 celery stalk, sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
12-ounces skinless, boneless chicken thighs
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup orzo
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Lemon halves {for servings}

Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add leek and celery and cook, stirring often, until vegetables are soft, 5-8 minutes. Add chicken and broth; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Let cook, then shred chicken into bite-size pieces. 

Meanwhile, return broth to a boil. Add orzo and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. 

Remove pot from heat. Stir in chicken and dill. Serve with lemon halves for squeezing over. 


Actually that didn't seem so bad. I thought that the recipe called for lemon within the cooking and not for an actual garnishing. So my boyfriend might not mind too much. 
This sounds like a delightful dinner for a cold night, like what it's supposed to be like tonight! Maybe I can convince Travis to make a stop at Zehr's. :P 
Instead of celery I might just add carrots instead since I prefer that, and we are both fans of leeks, so I am sure neither of us would mind that and instead of thighs I might throw in boneless, skinless breasts. Orzo sounds like a nice alternative to egg noodles too. 
And it's all in one pot, which makes for easy cleanup. 
Definitely something I am going to have to give a try soon. 


Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I wrote this post yesterday as a means of motivation to myself...I was having a bit of a rough day and just been a bit down on myself as of late...I just need to move along a bit. Anyways, I wasn't really going to share, but I might as well. Who might help someone else get their big asses up off that couch and do something with their lives too. :P 
Then I will share some books that have interested me as I perused Chapters and's dangerous for me to go into that store or onto that site, seriously. 

Friday, August 09, 2013


In The Kitchen...

Many people are beginning to think that Summer has already come to it's end here in Ontario, which would mean that we have had a very short hot season. Or maybe it just flew by and I hadn't realized it. I hadn't really been able to enjoy it to be quite honest. 
Between packing, moving, unpacking and a slew of other things, money being tight amongst other things, we haven't really been able to relax on the beach, go camping, enjoy campfires, sit outside, watch storms or any of the many things that we used to do. 
It's rather unfortunate, because I do enjoy Summer. 
That's not to say that I am not eager and quite excited for my favourite season; Autumn. 
I love everything about it. I love how the leaves begin to change brilliant colours, the crisp cool air, the smells, how the chunky knit sweaters come out and the fabulous boots and scarves do as well. How the greatest candles and scents are released from Bath & Bodyworks. Thanksgiving and Hallowe'en are around the corner and all the seasonal delicious vegetables are out. I just love it all! 
So Fall is in the air here...who knows, maybe we might get another heat wave...but September is slowly approaching and that is inevitable, and I am quite thrilled about that. 

So with that being said...when it comes to cooler, crisp weather...I love to start bringing out my soups and heartier dish recipes out and am on the lookout to try something new as well this Autumn season. 
I found this recipe on the Martha Stewart site {surprise surprise!} and according to reviews, this is a huuuge hit. 
So will definitely be trying this recipe either this weekend or when it's around +18C, Practical Magic on in the background, leaves scattered around on the balcony and I need to take my chunky wool sweater out. :) 

Bon Appetit!

Slow-Cooked Tex-Mex Chicken & Beans
For this memorable fix-and-forget chicken stew, use a high-quality salsa to save time without skimping on flavour; choose a jar with a short ingredient list. 
Everyday Food; November Winter 2007
Prep: 15 min // Total Time: 8 hours 15 mins // Servings: 4

1 cup dried pinto beans, rinsed
1 jar {11 ounces} mild or medium salsa {1-1/2 cups}
2 tablespoons chopped or canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs {about 8}
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper {ribs and seeds removed}, chopped
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream, for serving
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

STEP 1 - In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, stir together beans, salsa, chiles, flour, and 1 cup water. Season chicken with salt and pepper; arrange on top of bean mixture. Scatter onion and bell pepper on top of chicken. 

STEP 2 - Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours. {Do not open lid or stir.}

STEP 3 - Remove chicken from stew; shred into large pieces and return to stew. Serve topped with sour cream and cilantro. 

Love slow cooker recipes because they are so damn simple and you throw everything into one pot and you're done!!
Now I did read some of the reviews and this is what I have come up with.
First, a lot of people used canned beans because they dried ones took a lot longer to cook then the recommended 8 hours in the I think I am going to use the canned stuff as well as add a little bit more then one can to make it slightly heartier. 
Also some people added a bit more veggies to the mix. 
Another tip was that if you don't like it too spicy then lay back on the chipotle peppers a tad. 
And I also wonder if you can use an 8-quart slow cooker, which I have...I hope so...maybe I can up the amount of ingredients to make up for it? But I am sure at the end of the day it should be fine. 
OH! And lots of people serve this with rice or on tortilla's! :) 
A yummy and healthy dish!


Tuesday, August 06, 2013


In The Kitchen...

Sometimes I am totally lost as to what to make for dinner's...I know dinner's shouldn't be the biggest meal of the day but I make 'em that. Probably because I LOVE to cook. But you already knew that. 
I have the most random things in my pantry that don't go together which is tough when you are living on a budget and are trying to make healthful yet delicious meals. 
I need to figure out what to make for tonight. 
I know my boyfriend wants chicken and I have a couple chicken breasts in the freezer. I have yellow wax beans but they're waiting for a rotisserie chicken to go with for my lunches at work so I'm not touching them. I have some broccoli....rice...quinoa...lettuce...tomatoes...shrimps, boyfriend definitely doesn't want anything to do with shrimps lately...oh boy...
Doesn't help that I am completely scatterbrained today too and that I am not feeling all that well and that the day seems to be d.r.a.g.g.i.n.g.
Anyways, let's just share a random recipe. I then may feel inspired. 

Bon Appetit!

Peanut-Crusted Chicken Breasts
Everyday Food, June 2006
Prep: 35 mins // Total: 40 mins // Servings: 4

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for baking sheet
3/4 cup unsalted peanuts
3 slices white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 large eggs
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, (6 to 8 ounces each)
1-1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest

STEP 1 - Preheat over to 475* degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; lightly oil, and set aside. In a food processor, pulse peanuts and bread until coarsely ground. Transfer to a wide rimmed medium bowl; whisk in oil, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. 

STEP 2 - In a large bowl, beat eggs; season generously with salt and pepper. Add chicken, and turn to coat. One piece at a time, dredge in peanut breading, gently pressing onto chicken; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake until lightly browned and just cooked through, about 15 minutes. 

STEP 3 - While chicken is baking, cook asparagus in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until tender, 3 to 4 minutes, depending on thickness. Drain and transfer to a bowl along with butter and lemon zest; season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Serve chicken with asparagus.

This would require me to go and pick up peanuts and eggs so it's back to the drawing board for me. Lol. But this definitely is something I am going to try very soon! Sounds delicious!!



Can't get over hot gorgeous Kate Bosworth looks in these images. 



Some style hits...


Where did the weekend go? 
It seriously flew by. But don't they always?
Sometimes they are a disappointment, but I won't delve into that. This weekend was a rather quiet one but a few things did get done around the apartment which was nice. This coming weekend should be a lot busier, which will make it go by even faster! 
Anyways, I did want to say that the recipe that's in the previous post is - quite frankly - delicious. I did try it and it was YUMMY. I didn't use the orrechiette, as for some reason the Zehr's in my area didn't carry it - what?? Well, it did, but for a small box they wanted $5. Seriously. So I used fusili. Just as good. 
It was just so flavourful, I definitely recommend you guys give the recipe a try. 

So, even though it's technically not Monday, it is...
Well, the feeling...
Blah day! 
Is it time to go home yet? 

Tova Wahlin by Carl Bengtsson for Fashion Gone Rogue.

Friday, August 02, 2013


In The Kitchen...
For some reason my blog is beginning to get slightly mundane for me. I am not sure if it's the font or the layout...maybe not the layout, but the background? Or maybe I am just in a mood today, lol. 
The long weekend is right around the corner, literally, a few hours away and I am trying to think of ways to fill our time as money is tight right now and we don't have the money to go away or do much of anything. 
I do plan on spending at least one day devoted to studying and finishing my exam so I can have that sent off for marking by Tuesday. 
I would also love to go to the beach or at least spend an afternoon walking around and seeing something new. 
I also need to start taking more pictures - document my adventures. ;) 

So...I tried that quinoa recipe the other night and it was deeeeelicious! I definitely recommend it 110% ~ it's something I will definitely be making again. Quinoa is scrumptious! 
On another note - and I don't want to get ahead of myself here, but the past week, I have dropped 6.4lbs. It is quite possible that a lot of it has been water weight and I might climb back up a bit when I weigh in again tomorrow but I have been doing *extremely* well with eating healthy this week and portion control so I am very optimistic and motivated to continue this healthy eating lifestyle. ;) I do need to work on a few things here and there, but other then that, doin' good!

I was going back through my blog recently and I saw a post where I wrote out things I was grateful for and I think I am going to start doing more of that on a day to day basis as well. 
But before I go on with that, I wanted to share a new recipe that I really would love to try out tonight. It's from Martha Stewart's site {surprise surprise!} and it looks and sounds delicious! 
But first...a little more on the star in this recipe. 
The bell pepper.
Growing up I wasn't a huge fan of the bell pepper...if I didn't have to eat it, then I wouldn't. I didn't want it in salads, on my burgers or nothing...I didn't care for it on the side or grilled either, but recently I have been getting into it more and more. I especially am digging it in my salads, and I do enjoy it especially grilled on the bbq. So when I saw this recipe I was intrigued. Some oven broiled grilled-like peppers, with pasta?? Hmm...sounds kinda interesting, why not? 
Bell peppers are low in calories at about 45 calories for one full cup - that's quite a bonus when you are trying to watch your figure! They are loaded with plenty of vitamin C which powers up your immune system and keeps your skin looking youthful - and who doesn't want that? 
Red bell peppers in particular contain several phytochemicals and carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene, which packs a punch with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. 
They are also good sources of vitamin A, E and B6 - which is essential for the nervous system and helps renew cells. 
That's just SOME of the benefits to eating bell peppers...there is so much more it can quite frankly boggle the mind! ;) So this meal definitely has it's benefits! So let's get on with the recipe, shall we?? 

Bon Appetit!

Orecchiette with Sausage & Roasted Peppers
Freshly roasted peppers give this heart pasta a smoky taste. If you like, you can use jarred peppers, thinly sliced, instead of making your own, and skip step 1. To skin the peppers, char them and then cover tightly with plastic wrap. This will produce steam and make the skins come off easily. 
Prep: 20 min // Total: 40 min // Servings: 6

2 medium red bell peppers, four flat sides sliced off core, ribs and seeds discarded
2 medium yellow bell peppers, four flat sides sliced off core, ribs and seeds discarded
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound orecchiette or other short pasta
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cooks Notes: When cooking pasta, save a little of the cooking water before draining -- drizzling a little of it into the finished dish will improve the consistency of your sauce. 

STEP 1 - Heat broiler. Place peppers, skin side up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 4 inches from heat until charred, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; steam 2 to 3 minutes. Using a paper towel, rub off pepper skins, reserving any juices in bowl. Thinly slice peppers crosswise into 1/4-inch strips; return to bowl. Set aside. 

STEP 2 - In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. 

STEP 3 - Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Add roasted peppers; cook until heated through. 

STEP 4 - Transfer sausage mixture to bowl; add pasta, butter, reserved pasta water, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. 

Doesn't that sound simply delicious!? 
Wow! Definitely trying this one tonight!