Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Wednesday and my favorite part about the day is that I can start planning my weekend! Well, this weekend I am having a Chilean feast! September 18th is the Independence day for Chile and I am having an authentic supper.

We will start off with Pebre, which is Chile's version of their salsa. It is made lots and lots of cilantro, diced up tomatoes & minced green onions. I will be serving Pebre with sopapillias, which is a fried pumpkin bread and believe me it is the most delicious thing you could ever have....sorry but not low fat. :-( For the main course I am making Pastel de Choclo. This is Chile's version of our famous Shepard's Pie except no potato and they add chicken, slice hard boiled egg, raisins and black olives...why I can't wait. The key to this dish is presentation. Thus, I serve it on clay dishes that are actually from Chile. No Chilean feast would be complete without their famous mote con huesillo, which translated means dried peaches and barley served with a peach syrup. Yummy!

I will try and post some pictures after the weekend so you guys can get a peek at how good it all looks.

You want a good tip on how to cook to loose weight...dress up your table. That's right I feel when I take the time to set the table properly with nice plates, table cloth, elegant centerpiece get the picture. Anyway, this helps me to sit down and enjoy my meal. I tend to eat slower, kinda like going to a restaurant. This way I get filled up faster without the unnecessary calories.

Hope this helps...Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The smell of Fall...shoudl I take out my decorations or wait?

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I know I shouldn't rush it but here in Montreal it is alot like Spring. It comes and before you know it, it's gone and we are covered in snow! I get so excited about Fall, I guess it is because you could start using the oven again without pouring a sweat. I was so excited this weekend that I decided to make butternut squash soup and chicken vegetable soup. Both were delicious and my kids were thrilled. Now I am debating...should I take out my fall decorations or wait. What do you think??

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Painting sure works up an appetite.

Went out last night so I only started painting my room after brunch. My son had a party last night and thought it would be nice to have a few of his buddies sleep over...Do you even know how much 16 year olds eat for breakfast? I was up first and starting by making banana chocolate chip waffles. Yummy! Then, I cut up some freesh strawberries with english cream. Yummy. Then last but not least I made bacon but it was chicken bacon witch is my tip of the day.

Chicken bacon is delicious and in miy opinion alot better tasting than regular bacon. It has half the calories and half the fat of bacon. It is even better than turkey bacon! It holds it shape better so it is easier to work with for sandwiches...

Which is what we are having for supper tonight. I am currently boiling some chicken breasts, thought I would make a broth at the same time, and I will grill some vergetables, spread some goat cheese on a chibatta roll and assemble. Along with a ceasar salad I think we have the perfect meal.

Tomorrow I will make vegetable chicken noodle soup. The weatherman says it will be raining all day so it will warm us up a little.

Gotta go...gotta finish my painting. I need a place to sleep tonight.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Not only is it Friday... I am officially on vacation as of 4pm!

TGIF....I will be off work for 10 days....Yippee!!!! Usually, I go away but this time I am staying at home, and catching up on a million things that I have put off. First, I plan on going to visit my twin brother. I haven't seen him in a while and kind off miss him. :-) Since we just got a new king size bed we are re-decorating our master bedroom this week. We are also painting my son's room. He is going to be seventeen and the last time we did his room was when he was nine, so those skateboards on the wall gotta go. We plan on going horse backing riding, something that we have been saying allll summer we would do and never got around to it, but it is on the list now. The best for last, we will be going to my favorite place, New York City. I love New York. I love the people. I love that it is sooo alive. I wouldn't be able to live there though. Also, what I love about going to New York is going to Chile's. They don't have the restaurant here in Canada. :-( I love their broccoli cheese soup so much that I actually tried to duplicate the recipe. Let me know if you like it:

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Heat up 1/4 cup of butter in a large pot. Add 1 large diced onion and 2 minced garlic cloves. Add 8 cups of chopped broccoli florets and stems. Add 8 cups of vegetable or chicken broth. Simmer until broccoli is tender. In a separate bowl mix 2 cups of milk with 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, to safe calories and fat you could use 2 cup of low fat yogurt at this time instead of the milk and flour mixture. Which ever one you use add it to the broccoli. Finally add 1 - 2 pounds of cheddar cheese, don't use the process is way to salty. Season to taste and enjoy.

Of course I have tried to trim of some of the calories by using milk or yogurt. The original recipe would of had cream instead. But really there is not much difference.

Tip of the day....

What could you possible do with a left over piece of chicken or steak? What I like to do is put it along with any of your favorite fresh vegetables in a blender. Once all mixed I add a bit of mayo with mustard or hot sauce and I spread the mix on a flour tortilla. It make a delicious very inexpensive lunch. Usually you have enough for six tortillas. This is a great low calorie and low fat meal that will live you pretty full.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What a day...but the cats are fine.

Think about it, what would you do if you lost everything? I know we have home insurance and all but I mean to loose all your memories. Well, that's what happened to my next door neighbor yesterday afternoon. Her house burnt down to nothing. I started to think, what if that were my house???? I love my house. My children love their house. They always talk about having their children be part of it. We have had so much laughter and love in our home that I cannot imagine loosing it or replacing it. Wow, do we take that for granted. Memories that is....things that make us stop and smile. Things that make us want to laugh. Things that just make us feel safe and warm.

Today, I want to share a recipe that is a comfort recipe to my family. It is a South American cookie called Alfajores. This is one of those cookies that just makes it to every dessert table. The reviews I get on this cookie are outstanding so I do hope you go ahead and try it. I am sure you won't regret it.
Of course my version is low calorie and low fat.... ;-)


1 can of low fat condensed milk
1 cup of shredded coconut
54 water crackers

Place the unopened can in a pot of water. Make sure that the can is always covered with water. Bring pot of water to a boil and then reduce heat to medium/low and cover pot. Let boil covered for approximately 3 hours. Let cool for minimum 8 hours or overnight. Do not put in the fridge while the can is hot. Once cooled, this will keep in the fridge for up to 6 months. Any unused portion can be covered with plastic wrap and kept in the fridge for up to 3 months.
**tip... I usually boil 4 to 5 cans at a time, then use when needed.

Once cooled to room temperature, open can and begin the process of assembling the cookie. Spread a generous layer between 3 water crackers and sandwich together. Then spread a thing layer around the outer edge of the cracker and roll the cracker in coconut to cover rim. Repeat process until all the crackers are done.

It take a while but it is really worth it.

Now for today's tip...

Making life easier...You know how you have those days were you bake until your hearts content but then end up throwing away half the cakes or cookies because there were just too many and they became stale. Well, what I like to do is buy the snack size bags and fill them up. For cookies I usually put 2 per bag and seal. For cakes I usually cut out a reasonable portion and seal. Once all my bags are done and believe me there are alot. I just put them in the fridge or freezer and as I need I take out. This is great for families that have to make school lunches. Instead of buying foods with alot of sugar and preservatives, you can just grab what you need in the morning and add it to the lunches just like you would a granola bar. I usually make enough for about 2 week and it really saves on buys snacks.

Hope this tip is useful...have a great day and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009 favorite day of the week!

Why you ask...Wednesday is my favorite day of the week because it is the perfect time to forget about last weekend and start planning the upcoming weekend. My Wednesday's usually start with our new grocery flyers. I have my ritual....after supper I sit with my flyers, a pen and note pad and off I go....writing as many inventive recipes and ideas as I can. Of course not all off them are executed. What I do is carefully combine ingredients until I get a recipe or two that could be interesting. For example, yesterday I was driving home after work and started to think about bananas ...I love bananas, anyway I started to think .... sliced bananas drenched in peanut butter or melted chocolate, then dipped in some kind of batter and then fried or maybe even baked. Not sure of all the details yet but I will let you know after the weekend. The thought behind this to make some kind of breakfast to go that is nutritious and kid friendly.

Tip of the day... we all know that we could freeze just about anything, meat, poultry, cheese, fruits and so on and yet what we don't realize is that we spend so much $$$ on buying frozen foods loaded with additives and preservatives. I don't know about you but I usually have left overs after supper, not much but enough to usually make another serving. Why throw that away??? Freeze it all together in a small container and on the days that you are alone or haven't had time to make a lunch for work, just take it out of the freezer and stick it in the microwave. Easy enough, don't you think?

This great for those of you that are on a budget or want to control your portions. You will be amazed at how much money you actually save at the end of the year. Cooking to lose weight is about learning to cook with what you have, learning to think about choices, and learning to organize your meals.....even when you think you don't have time.

Well hope you enjoyed reading.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Better late than never!

Okay, so I am a little late in writing but I think I have a pretty good reason. You see, I walked 60K this weekend in order to raise funds for Breast Cancer. This is my second year doing this and I plan on doing it again next year.

It started two years ago, when I went to meet my good friend at the finish line. I was so inspired not only by all the people that did the walk but the energy in the room. I decided to stay and listened to the closing ceremonies. There was a man with a son on either side who spoke. He spoke about doing the walk the previous year with his wife. He spoke about how he and his wife walked for hope. Unfortunately, the wife lost the battle early that year. He spoke how that day his two sons and him were walking again but this time they were walking for all women. This was all it took. I made the decision at that moment to walk and do my part. And I did. Last year I walked for the first time and it was the most empowering time of my life.

This year I walked with my sister and my husband and we have decided that we will do it again next year. The cure is not far and when you take the steps towards it .... you could actually almost see it. I walk for my daughter's future. I walk for all women.

Well, since I am 3 days late on tips...I thought I would give you 3 days worth of tips:

Saturday's Tip of the day:

One of my pet peeves is when a recipe, especially a low cal or low fat one, calls for 1 tbsp of oil and before you know it the meat or food is sticking to the pan. What I do in a case like this is I add a little water at a time when I notice that the food is starting to stick. Not only does it help the food from sticking but it also adds flavor. Try this you will be pleasantly surprised.

Sunday's Tip of the day:

I like to keep an empty container, large coffee can works well, with a small bag on it on my counter while I am doing my prep work. As I peel or cut I discard all my garbage in to this container then off goes the bag into the garbage can when I am all done. It makes clean up soooo much easier. I can bet you once you start using this set up you won't be able to not.

Monday's Tip of the day:

Want to cut calories fast.... here is a great tip. Instead of using flour tortillas, use corn tortillas. They are half the calories and fat. If you want to reduce calories even more try using rice paper. They have virtually no calories and are very yummy. Enjoy!

Tuesday's Tip of the day:

Do you know that walking is one of the best and easiest exercises you can do??? Alot of people however shy away from it because their thighs or other body parts rub and irritate the skin causing burns. Great tip to avoid this is put non perfumed deodorant on these body parts. You will be amazed how well this works. I just waked 60K and trust me I would have died without this stick.

Well I hope these tips help you out... and remember:

Information is is what you do with it that reflects the price!

Have a good day.