apple picking at Taves Family Farm

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{heaviest pumpkin of my life…}

It’s October, which makes me want to do all things Autumn…like eat and drink anything with the word pumpkin in it, wear flannel plaid shirts and boots, and partake in fall activities like picking apples.  Continue reading

a loaded baked sweet potato

green onions

veggies

loaded sweet potato

While watching The Biggest Loser and eating a bowl of ice cream the other night, (because naturally that’s what one does when watching a TV show about losing weight) I was introduced to an amazing new dinner recipe: The loaded baked sweet potato.

Since Andrew was out of town last week on business (and he believes a meal isn’t a meal without meat) I thought I would give this veggie dish a try.

It’s not only extremely delicious and satisfying but it’s a much healthier option to the regular loaded baked potato with sour cream, bacon bits and cheese. Plus its easy to make! If I can do it, anyone can.

You’ll need:

– a sweet potato or two depending if you are cooking for more than one!

– plain Greek yogurt

– tsp olive oil

– red bell pepper

– white onion

– green onion/scallion

– black beans

-tsp chili powder

– pinch of cumin, salt, paprika

– salsa

The great thing about this recipe is you could add more veggies, or cheese and or spices depending on your preferences.

Step 1: Poke holes in your potato and heat potato in the microwave. Most microwaves have a baked potato button… press it!

Step 2: In a sauce pan heat the olive oil and add in the white onion and red pepper (might help to dice them first!) Once the onions start to caramelize add in the spices, black beans and green onions until well mixed and heated.

Step 3: Take potato out of the microwave and cut it so that the top is split–whether in half or you just cut out a hole– give yourself enough space to load up your potato!

Step 4: In a separate bowl, mix the greek yogurt with some chili powder.

Step 5: Load up time! This is how I did it: I first spread the salsa on the potato, followed by my sautéed veggies and then topped it off with greek yogurt on top.

And there you have it. A loaded baked sweet potato!

Interested in more healthy recipes like this? I often get inspired by my friends’ foodie blogs like: Gretchen at gsnackingcruz, Chloe at chloe’s countertop and Jacquilyn at jacquilyn in the kitchen.

On the subject of… negotiating

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Our Sunday afternoons usually start like this: Andrew begins the negotiating process by offering to vacuum. When that doesn’t work, he offers to vacuum and clean the kitchen. Still doesn’t work. So he offers to vacuum, clean the kitchen and do the laundry… AND (begrudgingly) clean the bathroom. Finally I give in. Yes, I will do the grocery shopping alone today.

That’s how much Andrew hates going grocery shopping. But at least he doesn’t mind cooking…

It’s beef meatballs for dinner, honey

Andrew’s favorite meal is spaghetti. If he had his way, he would eat it every single night… and when he lived on his own, he did! We eat it about once a week in this household. But the other night I decided to take the regular menu item to the next level and added meatballs to the mix.

Andrew did not marry a domestic goddess. In fact I rarely cook, so you can imagine his surprise when he saw me in the kitchen cooking up a storm.

“Does it feel natural?” he asked, jokingly. “Don’t push it,” I replied.

Here’s the super easy recipe:

1 lb. ground beef

1 egg

2 Tbsp. water

1/2 cup of bread crumbs

1/4 onions

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

1/4 cup cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then combine all ingredients into a large bowl. Mush with your hands so it all sticks together. Next, roll your meatballs. Then bake for 30 minutes. You’re done! Just don’t forget to cook the pasta and create your sauce while the meatballs are baking.

And viola! There might be hope for my cooking skills yet…

Have you had the Green Eggs and Ham… at Jam?

I apologize for the lack of posts lately, but I was sick with strep throat 2 weeks ago, and last week I feel like I was just playing catch up with work, play and life in general. But now I am back and feeling better than ever and can’t wait to share with you the newest breakfast place I discovered while Andrew and I were in Victoria on Vancouver Island earlier this month.

Without further ado, I give you Jam

Pictured above: Jam’s famous Green Eggs and Ham

As I said, Andrew and I visited Victoria (our former hood) earlier this month over the Thanksgiving weekend before heading up Vancouver Island to the Comox Valley to spend the holiday with family.

It’s always great returning a place where you once lived, because there is comfort in finding things so familiar. Catching up with old friends like Sara and Emily (pictured left to right above) and walking the streets I know like the back of my hand is so relaxing. Andrew and I lived in Victoria for 6 years before moving to the big city and every time we return, we smile and wonder would it would be like to move back here one day.

Of course once you leave any place certain things do change… like the new breakfast place Jam that moved in as we moved out. Jam is in an up and coming part of downtown Victoria (at Herald St. and Government St.)and its quiet location off busy streets is serene. Plus as you can see, the interior design is playful and fun… lending itself to that rustic chic cafe look that is very much in line with the casual West Coast lifestyle.

As we looked at the menu, I resisted the urge to go with my usual Sunday brunch choice: an Eggs Benny, and instead decided to try the “Green Eggs & Ham.” And I was not dissapointed. My only regret is I couldn’t finish it, the serving was so huge! I wish you could take eggs in a doggy bag home without being judged by the waitress… but I didn’t take the risk.

This Sandwich, That Beer Throwdown at Portland Craft

My friend Kevin and author of the mouth watering blog: This Sandwich, That Beer hosted a This Sandwich, That Beer Throwdown at Portland Craft on Main Street this past Sunday in Vancouver. The event was a fundraiser (and a competition) for the Five Star Footy Club, an organization in Vancouver that gives kids the chance to play soccer.

Six local restaurants participated- Calabash Bistro, El Camino’s, Portland Craft, Street Meet, Woodland’s Smokehouse and Cartem’s Donuts– each supplying a sandwich that was paired with a beer on tap at Portland Craft.

After the votes were tallied, the ice cream donut sandwich (pictured above) by Cartem’s Donuts paired with the Deschutes Black Butte Porter took home the big prize! But if you ask me my favorite was the Calabash Bistro Jerk Duck Confit Sandwich paired with the Hopworks Rise Up Red Pale Ale.

But of course the best news was that over $1,000 was raised for the Five Star Footy Club.

Andrew and I had  a blast and enjoyed stuffing our faces with the local food and beer so much, that afterwards we went home and took a nap: the winning combination. Beers+sandwich+donut+nap+husband= best Sunday ever…

day 22: Sunday Brunch

Blouse: Jacob, Shorts: JCrew, Purse & Sunglasses & Shoes: ALDO

It’s our new goal to try and find all the great brunch places in Vancouver. So this weekend we started with brioche in Gastown. Unlike other brunch places in Vancouver on a Sunday there was no line to get a table. Which is good, considering the place is so small, I am not sure it could hold more than 15 people at a time!

The atmosphere was pleasant and quirky and quiet off a side street in Vancouver’s historic district. And the food portions were huge! Like 3 eggs instead of 2 in your standard brunch menu items. Definitely more bang for your buck!

The best tasting item: their bacon! It tastes like its been soaking in maple syrup or in honey…. it was delicious!