Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Chill in the Air

Although the weekend did end up being quite sunny, hot and lovely the evenings lately have been reminding us that Autumn is definitely on it’s way.  It’s darker earlier, it’s cooler earlier, and more than once I’ve pulled out my fleecy blanket for curling up on the sofa in the evening.


I’m not very interested in letting go of Summer just yet, but the thought of a few Autumn eats is quite appealing.  With that first evening chill came the realization that it’s pretty much chili season. 


As always, I dug through my recipe box to find my Mom’s Basic Chili recipe.  Also as always, I gave it my own twist.  Typical.  Can’t possibly just make something according to plan!

It became Turkey and Black Bean Chili



  • 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can Campbell’s tomato soup (plus 1/2 can water)
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup corn niblets, drained
  • 3-4 tsp chili powder (could also use Mexican seasoning)
  • 1 tsp cayenne or red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • optional: 1 tsp cumin


  1. Sautee onion and garlic in a non-stick skillet (use a smidge of oil to get them going).  When about half cooked, add turkey and continue to cook until meat is no longer pink.  Break up larger pieces with wooden spoon or spatula so you have nice turkey crumbles.
  2. Add soup, water, beans, vinegar and spices.  Stir well, and simmer over low-medium heat for about 4 minutes.  Stir occasionally. 
  3. Add tomatoes and corn.  Stir and simmer 2 more minutes.
  4. Serve it up!

Makes about 6-8 servings, depending on serving size.


Day 1: dollop of sour cream, avocado wedges, and side of tortilla chips.


Day 2: shredded cheddar and avocado scoop.


Day 3: over a salad of spinach, carrots, yellow peppers, and cherry tomatoes…topped with finely shredded cheddar.


Stash the rest of the leftovers in airtight zipper bags in the freezer.  You never know when another craving for homemade comfort food may strike.  Summer can’t last forever.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Waffle Weekend

Wanna know how to maintain your extra weight? 

Eat savoury waffles twice in one weekend!

On Saturday I met up with friends Mikey and Charmaine to wander around the Lower Johnson Street Festival.  It was a gorgeous, hot day and there were tons of people out and about checking out all of the sidewalk sales, fundraising events, and street food.


I had intended on finally trying out a meal from the Puerto Vallarta Taco Truck but when the time came I really wanted a sit-down meal so asked if my companions would mind checking out Lady Marmalade instead.


This funky little cafe has been on my "must visit" brunch list since I got back to Victoria so I was glad for the impromptu stop.  They had some tables out on the sidewalk for the festival but I didn't want to sit and sunburn while we ate so instead we chose a table inside.  We sat near the window and a fan because it was crazy toasty in there!

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I had a little trouble deciding on my eats because everything on the menu looked super delicious.  Since I hadn't really had breakfast I opted for a heartier brunch choice...

aged white cheddar & spinach waffles w/ smokey tomato-orange cream,
scallions, bacon, roasted tomatoes & a salad.


I have no words.

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Nom. Nom. Effing. Nom.

Crispy, cheesy, deliciousness drenched in a rich, tomato cream sauce.  Um, yes please!  Top it with perfectly cooked, meaty bacon.  Holy yum!  This here was heaven on a plate.  I would be hard pressed to try anything else on their menu because I will be dreaming of this decadent mess for weeks to come.

Oddly enough I ended up having savoury waffles for Sunday brunch as well!  My friend Ingmarie has been away in Germany for a few weeks and we needed to catch up!  So off to Lucy’s in the Square we went.


So many fabulous little restaurants and cafes have opened since I moved away…it’s so fun to visit them all now that I’m home.  Smile 

Lucy’s has a much smaller, but very impressive menu.  A casual little bistro atmosphere.  I knew before we arrived that I wouldn’t be able to pass up their waffles.  Waffles on the brain I suppose!


crispy bacon waffles topped with brie and served with apple/pecan salad and warm maple syrup.

Seems to me that my pecans were on my waffle and their was no apple in that salad, but I didn’t notice until I just re-read the menu.  Smile  All good.


These waffles were lighter and chewier (in the best possible way!) than the waffles I enjoyed on Saturday.  The slightly melty brie mixed with the drizzles of maple syrup I added as I ate my way through the plate was truly fabulous.  I did my best to make sure each of those little waffle pockets contained some cheese, some syrup and a piece of pecan.  Smile 

A creamy cafe au lait to go with my meal…


And the cutest homemade blueberry corn muffins were brought in a little paper bag to the table while we waited for our meals. 


I would go back and eat these waffles over and over again!  When did Victoria become a waffle capitol?   Ingmarie’s Smoked Tuna Benny was pretty phenomenal too though, so I might need to get my own next time.  Decisions!!

Probably a good thing I gave my waffle maker away before I moved, or we might have a slight addiction on our hands over here!!

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Friday, August 27, 2010

Smoothie & a Winner

Happy Friday everyone!  I don't know about you all but I'm kinda stoked for the weekend.  Feeling like I need a recharge over here!

Yesterday was rushed and a bit random, but it did involve a deeeeelish snackie plate lunch...

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And awesome pre-workout smoothie....


This involved this...


And a take on this.  Modified to fit what I had on hand. Yes...avocado, banana and coconut do make a delicious protein filled treat.


Group Training involved some more of Tia's favourite hill torture and as I suspected mucho lunges and squats.  Although I should not complain because all of that tushie training does seem to be helping my piriformis pain!

Dinner was a fly-by affair.  I literally ate leftover chicken salad standing over the sink in the kitchen.  I had long lost friends to visit!

In honour of my HoneyBar giveaway, I had to snack on this yummy Nutty Crunch bar too.  I'm totally in love with the bars full of nuts!!


Oh, so I suppose you would like to know who the winner of said giveaway might be???  Hmmmmmmm???  :)

Well fine.  Without further ado… the winner is…

image [source]

#15 = Amanda from Get to Goal

She wrote: “I would like to try them all but to name the top ones...Trail Mix, Cranberry Delight, Nutty Apricot...So good sounding!"

Congrats Amanda! Send me your delivery information and I’ll pass it along to the lovely people over at HoneyBar.


TGIFriday y'all.  I see a cardio session and a cocktail in my future.  How bout you? Pin It

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Honey of a Deal

Wow.  Feel free to groan at that title.  Obviously it's been a while since I had to come up with an imaginative title for a giveaway.

WaitWhat was that?  Yes!  The return of the giveaway!! 

After a few busy months and no fun treats to thank you for stopping by I have a great one for you! HoneyBars!


The lovely people at this all natural Canadian snack bar company were kind enough to send me a sample pack of their tasty bars.  I've been enjoying them for about a week and now it's time to share some of the love with you guys!!


They are offering up a variety pack of one dozen assorted bars (and maybe a few coupons!!).


HoneyBars are great tasting snack bars that just "happen" to be healthy. They combine some of Mother Nature's tastiest ingredients, held together with ONLY honey.

Seriously deeeeelish.  I haven't met a bar I haven't liked yet!

Try some of the original HoneyBars..and maybe some of their Everyone's Organics Bars...or how about a Nutty Crunch Bar. IMG_9026 IMG_8975 IMG_8974  As always, it's super easy to enter. 

In order to enter to win this great prize you can:

  • Visit the HoneyBar website and then leave a comment on THIS post telling me which flavour you think you would like.
  • Tweet this: “A Honey of a giveaway! Win a @Honeybar prize pack from @balanceblog: http://bit.ly/cA7779”, then come back and leave another comment here telling me you tweeted.
  • (Follow @Honeybar while you are at it!)
  • Post a link to this contest on your blog, then come back and leave another comment here telling me about it.  (Make sure you include a link to your post.)
  • Do all three things for multiple chances to win!

Contest is open to Canadian and US residents.  One entry per method per person please.  I will use a random number generator to chose the winner on Friday, August 27th, 2010 at 12pm Pacific Standard Time.

Good luck everyone!  Tell all your friends! Pin It

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Get Poached

This morning I awoke to my internet connection battling me for my sanity.  While I sat and rebooted my modem and router a gajillion times I sipped my coffee.  When it finally stayed online I made breakfast...


This is becoming a habit.  Organic non-fat vanilla yogurt with blueberries and Kashi Go Lean. 


I am actually hoping for farm fresh strawberries at the market this weekend. I passed them up last time and have been kicking myself for it.

Hoping to get to the grocery store before lunch I tried to hold myself over with a small snack...1/2 Royal Gala apple.


Not surprisingly this didn't cut it, so I ended up swapping my lunch and dinner plans and made a chicken salad sammich.


Diced chicken breast, raisins, pumpkin seeds, dill, and olive oil mayo.


A few fresh Thai basil leaves for sammich pizzazz!


Smooooshed between a toasted sammich thin and served with garlic stuffed olives and more deeeeeeelish cherry tomatoes.

After another hour of work I made time for a trip to the grocery store, complete with iced coffee.  I went armed with a meal plan, a shopping list, and a budget.  My fridge is very happy right now. 

While I finished work for the day I snacked on marble cheeeeese & RainCoast Crisp crackers...


Knowing I was heading to a 7pm movie I had really thought ahead about how to avoid the mezmorizing pull to the popcorn counter.  My plan:  BIGASS SALAD!

I figured if dinner was fresh and full in my belly then I wouldn't want to snack my way through the movie.  It worked.  The popcorn smelled fan-freaking-tastic but we walked on by!!

The salad that saved the day...

IMG_9350In the big silver bowl:  baby spinach, cucumber, carrots, radishes, yellow peppers and cherry tomatoes

Tossed with olive oil and coarse salt...and topped with a poached egg.


Even though you've read this on a thousand other blogs...here it is anyway.

How to Poach an Egg

  • Fill a shallow saucepan about 1/3 full of water.  Set it to boil.


  • When boiling, add a drizzle of vinegar.  White is best so it won't discolour your egg.  I had White Wine Vinegar on hand.


  • Crack your egg into a side dish (to ensure it's good, but also for ease of poaching).


  • Reduce water heat to med-high so the water is still boiling but not rumbling.  Lightly swirl the water with a spoon, and carefully pour the egg into the center of the whirlpool.


  • That's it.  Let cook approx 3 minutes for soft, 4 minutes for medium, or longer for well done.
  • Scoop your cooked egg out with a slotted spoon.  Let rest on a paper towel to absorb excess water.


  • Serve!


  • Devour.  Nom nom nom.

I may be the last adult female on the planet to finally see Eclipse.  Well no, because Tiffaney was with me...so there are two of us.  Jacob stole the show yet again!  The one liners are so bad they are classic. 

Back at home and proud of the "no popcorn" event I rewarded myself with dessert.  Counterproductive?  No way.  Normally I would have had both!!


Besides, now this tub of ice cream is empty and no longer hanging around taunting me from the freezer.  :)

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