My wine list

I can never remember which wines I like, love, or detest; I can always only remember which ones I bought, but not what they tasted like.
Hence this post, where I will post pictures of wine bottles, and my humble opinion of their contents. For future reference.
#1: Red Bicyclette, Merlot, France: tasty (3.5 / 5)
#2: Folonari, Verona, Italy: undecided... (2 / 5)
Banrock Station, Shiraz, Australia: Not for me! (1 / 5)
Penfolds Rawson's Retreat, Shiraz Cabernet, Australia: Not Bad! (3 / 5)
^^ I tried this wine when I had a pretty bad cold and was very congested; I thought it was disgusting. Now that my sinuses have cleared up, I like it!

Trivento Reserve, Syrah, Argentina: up for review (? / 5)

Another party?

I will try my eggplant cracker recipe again, but I want to bring something else to eat... How about salsa and chips?

6 roma tomatoes
2 bell peppers
3 jalapenos (more or less for hotness)
1/2 onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lime, juiced
cayenne pepper sauce to taste
Chop veggies into medium to large chunks, coat with olive oil and roast in oven at 400 degrees until lightly roasted. Add spices. Lightly pulse in food processor until chopped.

OR: Chop veggies into small pieces by hand, mince garlic, place in a bowl and mix in olive oil, lime juice and cayenne pepper sauce.

Zucchini chips
Thinly sliced zucchini, roasted at a low heat for a long time.


First big girl rip!

I doesn't look like much anymore because I cut off the flap of skin, but I got my first CrossFit tear yesterday. Aptly enough it was in my first CrossFit Games event.
I've been "fluxing" for almost two years and have had many calluses and bruises, but never thought I would tear my hand because they are usually caused when doing kipping pull-ups, and... I am no where near close to getting one of those.
All that to say that in the first event (AMRAP 10 mins; 30 D.U., 15 Power Snatches) I ripped my hand in my third round of snatches.
The Games are in an "Open" format this year. Meaning that anyone, anywhere, can participate in the Regional selection round.
We have to submit our official scores for the WOD of the week every Sunday afternoon. This was the first week and it was way busier than the organizers anticipated. The website was flooded and they had to extend the first deadline to next week. Which means that we have time to try the first workout again!

First big girl rip! by ariane.desrosiers

Pecan pie part II

It was so good I forgot to take a picture before eating it!

I brought the pretty one to the potluck and kept the second for myself. Yum!

Pecan Pie (after a "snack"))
The "ugly one" after a midnight snack.


Paleo Potluck treat

I've been out sick this week; not eating much, not blogging much.
But I'm going to a flux CrossFit Paleo Potluck tonight and I'm going to try this recipe out:

Paleo Pecan Pie
6 dates
3 eggs
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp almond flour
2 tbsp olive oil
1.25 cups pecans

Pie Crust
1.5 cups almond flour
1/4 cup olive oil, melted

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together crust ingredients in small bowl. Press into pie dish to form crust. Bake for 5 minutes.
Prepare filling by putting dates into a food processor. Run until dates have formed a paste (make sure to remove the pits first). Add egg, syrup, vanilla, flour, and oil. Blend in food processor into smooth and well mixed. Gently fold in pecans to the mixture. Pour filling into the pie crust. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the pie is set.


the roast beast got the best of me

I think I trusted my meat thermometer too much... My pork loin roast is overcooked!
The spices and vegetables turned out perfectly; delicious flavour, perfectly roasted. But the roast is dry!

I am so incredibly disappointed by this... I put it in the oven before going to the gym and checked it after 1.25 hours; the thermometer wasn't even reading a temp yet!
So I put it in for longer, and longer, and longer. And I took it out 5-10 degrees short of 165F so that it could sit and settle and reach it's ideal temperature...

But alas! The trusty meat thermometer has fooled me.

I don't know if experience will get me to the point of knowing when meat is done, but I find it so frustrating to wait and wait, only to find an overcooked piece of meat in the oven.
And it looked perfect!

How does one know?
Perfect pork temp
Fooled by a thermometer...
The roast beast
So juicy looking - not!


Mmmm, raw meat never looked so good!
Sticking it in the oven right now; be back in an hour.
Pork loin roast - ready to cook!
Pork loin roast - ready to cook!

The points.

I guess I've started to accumulate... so I have to track my points.
I will add all my cheats to this post from now on.

February 18: Wine with supper (+1)
February 18: Drinks, drinks, drinks (+5)
February 19: Two perogie meals (+5)
February 23: 1/2 Coco Patisserie lemon tart (+2)
February 23: Sweetest cheesecake ever (+5)
February 26: Gin & water (+2)
February 28: Glass of wine (+1) all these birthday parties are killing me!
March 5: Wine & Beer (!) and.... Cheesies (+10) an epic fail on my part to only eat paleo snacks...
March 13: Crepes (+5) Sunday brunch with Grandma, how could I say no?

Running total: +36

3.71 lbs

Is how much my supper weighs.
I will cook a pork loin roast for the first time tonight. As per my calculations, it will be roasting for 1hr 06mins at 350F.

Spices recommended by eHow.com:
- Basil
- Rosemary
- Thyme
- Garlic
- Salt
- Pepper
- Parmesan cheese (not too sure about this one...)

The beast has been sitting in my fridge since Saturday night and it's just about thawed out. You definitely can't just whip up a roast at the last minute!
I'm excited!

Gluten headache

Maybe I'm a wee bit of a hypochondriac when it comes to my cheats, but I swear, gluten is giving me headaches! Or maybe it's the lack of protein associated with most non-paleo meals?
Either way, I made crepes with my Grandma on Sunday, and I got a horrible headache soon after having eaten. Quite unpleasant!
And now I have to go add my cheating points...


Worst morning ever.

I am out of coffee.
My cat peed on my bed. I found out at midnight.
I had to sleep on a sheet with a beach blanket.
Starting my day with laundry....
My feather bed ripped in the washer. Feather bed is now in the garbage.
I'm late for work because I'm waiting for my comforter.
My cat won't eat his food. He grabbed a piece of meat from his bowl and dumped it on my carpet.
He hid another piece in my laundry. THAT HE PEED ON.

It's not a good day.
My neighbours probably hate me because I'm using up all the hot water when they are trying to get ready for work.



My cracker/ chip/ party food experiment was a great success!

I made the sesame seed crackers for the birthday party, with a simple olivada to slather on top (all the crackers disappeared, and about a spoonful of spread was leftover), and some apple chips.

It took me pretty much all afternoon to make the two recipes, but that's because my oven isn't very hot (nor is it convection), so it took way longer than the prescribed cooking times to dry out/ crisp up the chips.

I also bought the ingredients for the eggplant chips, but the recipe requires them to dry for 8 hours, so I made them on Sunday instead. I brought some to work today and everyone loved them!

Both salty chips contain a lot of cheese, and everyone agreed that the parmesan is the dominant flavour, and what makes them so tasty. I will try to modify the recipes a bit to make them more paleo (less dairy) next time.

A few tips:
Squish the eggplant after blending to remove most of the water before stirring in the eggs. The water seeped onto the pan while cooking and made them softer/ took longer to cook.
I squeezed the second batch as I made lumps to put on the pan and they were much easier to flip.

Crispy crackers.
Eggplant wedges.


Lunch at work.

One of the key factors in being successful with this challenge (for me) is bringing my lunches to work. I eat out a lot when I'm downtown: A. Because I'm lazy. B. Umm... because I'm, lazy?
It's not that much more work to cook a bit too much food the night before and pack myself a lunch for the next day, it just takes a bit more planning.
Thursdays are my crazy day. I wake up around 6AM to eat breakfast before coaching the first workout at 7AM. I take the bus from flux CrossFit and go to my "real" job. After work I take the bus or walk (if it's not -35C) back to the gym to coach the evening classes, from 5:30 to 8:30.
It only ever feels tedious if I don't pack food and end up fasting (unwillingly) from lunch to late supper. I normally don't mind eating supper late, and it doesn't affect my mood or energy levels, but Thursday is the only day that I eat breakfast that early.
The moral of this story is that I have to pack lunch and supper on Thursdays, which means I have to get up extra early to get organized and make a breakfast.
Early on this week I made my "go-to" cabbage salad. I usually only make this recipe if I'm going to a potluck or having people over because it makes so much. But it also last a very long time in the fridge if I make the dressing for every meal instead of dumping it all in the bowl.

Cabbage salad for lunch, supper & snack.
Cabbage salad
1 purple cabbage
thinly sliced vegetables (as much or as little variety as wanted)
snow peas
bean sprouts
alfalfa sprouts

sesame seed oil
soy sauce or bragg liquid aminos
lime juice
fresh cilantro
sesame seeds (optional)
olive oil (optional)
tuna (optional)

Heat sesame seed oil in a large pan. Slice cabbage into thin piece and cook until soft, and brighter purple/ blue in colour. Slice other vegetables while the cabbage cooks. Toss in sliced veggies for the last minute to soften them up (carrots take a bit longer, so put them in before the sprouts).
To make the salad a main course (with protein) add tuna to the dressing (1/2 can per portion).
To taste, combine liquid ingredients, mostly oil and lime juice, dash of soy sauce/ bragg's, teaspoon of honey, teaspoon of cilantro. Toss everything together.
It's a colourful, sweet & tangy, crunchy salad.

Playing catch up

I'm working really hard on the idea of intermittent fasting. Eat when you're hungry, don't eat when you're not. Makes sense right? But if you tell someone that you're eating healthy & you skipped lunch, they'll gasp in shock and horror (okay, maybe not). It seems "bad" to skip a meal, but if you word it like the above statement, it makes so much sense to not eat at prescribed times.

When I get caught up in my work, I lose track of time. That's why I often eat "lunch" around 3:30. It actually works out pretty well because then I'm still satiated from my late lunch to take me through a 5:30 or 6:30 workout. When I get home I eat a quick snack (slice of pear with nut butter) to keep me going while I cook up a slab of meat. Perfect!

All that to say that I worked from home yesterday so I only ate one meal. Breakfast for supper! Bacon and eggs at 4:30, then I worked out at 6:30. It was perfect!
I also indulged in fruit (probably too much).

Wednesday: breakfast for supper.
Monday & Tuesday: NY strip loin, fried onions and root vegetables.

I've been a bad blogger...

I take pictures of most of the meals I make, but then I forget to post them on this blog. Oh well!

There's a flux birthday party this weekend, and I've decided to bring some kind of snack. Munchies are probably the biggest obstacle to my success on the Paleo/ Primal diet. I love eating my meals of meat and veggies, but I have to plan those ahead; take the meat out of the freezer the day before, stop at Safeway on the way home from work for "fresh" veggies, etc. And then, once in a while, I get hungry when I'm not ready for it! A piece of fruit with some nut butter on top works pretty well most of the time, but I also just want to munch on something sometimes!

I'm hoping to find a simple/ always have the ingredients on hand/ snacky/ tasty/ (and most of all) Paleo treat to make for the party that I will then know how to whip up for my midnight cravings.

So the search starts. Mark's Daily Apple is wonderful resource for recipes, so it's my first stop:

Mark's Apple "chips"
Sweet Chips 

2 cups unsweetened apple juice (if possible, juice your own).

1 cinnamon stick

2 large apples
In a large pot, combine apple juice and cinnamon stick and bring to a low boil. Meanwhile, remove top and bottom of apple and slice crosswise to make 1/8 thick “chips.” With a slotted spatula, place apples into boiling juice and cook 4-5 minutes or until apples become near translucent. Use the spatula to remove apple slices from juice and place on a clean kitchen towel and pat dry. Arrange slices on a cake cooling rack placed on a cookie sheet (to catch drips!) and place racks on middle shelf in 250 degree oven. Bake 30-40 minutes until apple slices turn golden brown and are almost dry to the touch. Let cool and serve either as is, or with a light dusting of cinnamon.

Salty Chips 
1 large, ripe eggplant
2 eggs
2 cups cheese

Cut ends from eggplant and shred in a food processor. Mix shredded eggplant with egg and cheese. Lump mixture onto a pre-greased cookie shape and smooth out to make 6 8″ circles. Bake at 450 degrees F in a pre-heated oven for 12 minutes. Loosen and flip the circles. Bake on other side for a further five minutes. Once cooked, remove from oven and cut rounds into triangles with a pizza cutter. Let cool on a rack for 6-8 hours. Once dried, sprinkle with popcorn seasoning, Old Bay, garlic salt or any other seasoning of your choice. Eat immediately or store for up to one week in an airtight Ziploc bag.

My friend Google helped me find another source (Primal Matriarch) for tasty looking crackers.

Primal Sesame Seed Crackers 
1 1/2 c. sesame seeds
2 1/2 c. blanched almond flour (or 1/2 flour and 1/2 meal)
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp grapeseed (or olive) oil
2 eggs
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350. One one bowl combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine wet. Slowly add the wet to the dry until combined. Consistency will be thick. Divide dough in half (I actually froze the other half but you can bake them both if you want.) Form into ball and place between two pieces of parchment paper and then roll out until 1/16th of an inch. Take a pizza cutter and slice off the edges. I used this excess and just made round flat crackers on the side - no sense in wasting! Use the pizza cutter of a knife to cut the dough into squares but leave on sheet! This will just help them break off into nice little crackers once cooked. Bake 12-15 minutes until lightly golden. Cool for at least 30 minutes (if you can wait that long).

I will have to raid the Bulk Barn before Saturday night for my ingredients, but if I manage to make these three recipes, I will be a very happy and satiated Primal snacker!