BUCKET LIST – Challenge Completed!
I always try to think about how I could make someone feel better when they are having a rough time. This next post is somewhat of a sombre subject as so many people go through it and so many families lose a loved one. I have lost a few. My title “FUN” Friday is not to make light of this serious disease. I have always had a thought in the back of my head to do this one day and it has finally come.
The only time I have ever had long hair was in highschool- Grade 12/13. I have very thick hair and it is curly. It has gotten curlier since I had my girls. I am not the type to do all kinds of “fussin” when it comes to my hair so I have had it mid-length the majority of my life (except those few brave times when I dared to go short). I still always prefer it just below my ears.
I decided to “give it a go” and grow my hair out with encouragement from my hairdresser. It has taken quite awhile to grow it to the length I have it. That’s about as far as I can go. It mostly grows out, not down. It’s almost, if not the same length as in highschool.
I didn’t want my hair to go to waste when someone could benefit from it. I started looking into donating my hair somewhere that makes wigs for people with cancer. I found a few but unfortunately my hair wasn’t long enough and it didn’t meet the requirements they wanted. I kept searching and stumbled upon a company in BC named 360 Hair that will accept hair with a 6″ minimum ponytail (where mine was slightly over) that makes real hair wigs and donates them to people with cancer. They are in partnership with Canada Cancer Society and Pantene Beautiful Lengths.
I lost a neighbour friend when I was really young to Cancer. I lost my Grandpa to Cancer. I lost an Aunt to Cancer and last year I lost my high school friend to Cancer. I wanted to do something apart from monetary donations. I know in the big scheme of things, this is a tiny thing but I hope in some small way my “pony” donation will give someone a little bit of joy on their journey.
Hugs to all xxx
100 % Whole Grain Bread
With my youngest being on a Dairy-Free diet at the moment, I have been making her bread. I tried this one out and it was delicious! Really though, how can you go wrong with any type of homemade bread? It was a hit with her and that is all that matters. If I had more time, I may just consider making homemade bread every week…
1¼ cups very warm water (but not hot or boiling)
2¾ tsp. dry active yeast
¼ cup grapeseed oil
¼ cup maple syrup
3 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten *
1½ tsp. salt
3 cups white-whole wheat flour, plus additional as needed *
¾ cup Dry 10 Grain / 8 Grain or 7 Grain Hot Cereal *
- Pour water in a large bowl. Sprinkle with yeast and let sit for 5 minutes. If it doesn’t become foamy, your yeast may be old and inactive. Consider starting over with fresh yeast.
- Stir the oil, sweetener, gluten, salt, 1 cup flour, and the 8-grain mix into the yeast-water mixture, mixing until well combined (by hand or using a mixer with the dough hook attachment). Add 2 cups wheat flour, and mix again until well combined. Begin kneading with your hands when it becomes too thick to stir.
- If the dough is too sticky to handle, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it is still a little tacky, but doesn’t stick significantly to your hands. The 8-grain mix will soak up some of the moisture as it cooks, so you don’t want the dough to be on the dry side.
- Knead the dough for a few minutes. Place dough back in the bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1 hour.
- Thoroughly grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
- Punch dough down, and briefly knead to get any air bubbles out. Shape dough into a loaf that will fit in your pan, folding under as you shape so that the seam is on the bottom. Plop the loaf shape into your prepared pan. Lightly cover (with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel) and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour, or until it has risen to near a full loaf size, and the crown of the dough is peaking about an inch above the pan.
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Bake the bread in your preheated oven for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the crust is golden and relatively firm to the touch.
- Pop the loaf out and let it cool completely on a wire rack before wrapping in plastic wrap or storing in an airtight container at room temperature. If you are in a humid climate, you may need to refrigerate or freeze the loaf after 2 days to keep it fresh.
- * I used Bob’s Red Mill products
Prep time: 15 min. Cook time: 40 min. Total time: 55 min.
Yields: 12 slices
Monday– Chili / Garlic Breadsticks / Veggie Stix
Tuesday– Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs / Rice / Carrots
Thursday- Balsamic Garlic Pork Tenderloin / Sweet Potato Fries / Mixed Veggies
Friday– Bruschetta Chicken Skillet / Peas / Roasted Potatoes
Saturday– Homemade Pizza /Salad
Sunday– Mac & Cheese (Dairy Free) / Sausages
Quinoa WOWBUTTER Chocolate Chip Muffins
Dairy Free – Nut Free
I made these muffins when I was trying out a new quinoa recipe. I knew I would have leftover quinoa so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to use up the leftovers. They are dairy-free and nut-free as I used WOWBUTTER instead of peanut butter. I was pleasantly surprised how good they were and couldn’t really tell there was quinoa in them. They were really good the first day but didn’t stay fresh too long so I advise to eat them up quickly. They are perfect for snack time!
1/4 cup quinoa
2/3 cup white wheat flour
2/3 cup white flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup wowbutter
1/4 cup unsalted margarine cut into small chunks (dairy free)
1 egg yolk, room temp
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cup dairy-free milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips dairy-free
2 egg whites, room temp
- Fill medium saucepan with water and bring to boil on high heat. Add quinoa, reduce heat, simmer until grains have popped open and appear translucent (about 12 minutes). Drain grains in mesh strainer and rinse with cold water.
- Heat oven to 400. Grease muffin tin.
- In medium bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, and salt.
- In large bowl with mixer on medium speed, beat together brown sugar, wowbutter, and margarine until smooth and creamy (5 minutes). Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla until smooth, then beat in quinoa. Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in milk.
- With rubber spatula, fold flour mixture into wet ingredients. Fold in chocolate chips.
- In a clean, large bowl with mixer set on high speed and dry, clean betwers, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form (1 minutes). Use spatula to gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Spoon each well of the muffin tin three-quarters full with batter.
- Bake the muffins until they’re brown and firm, about 20 minutes. Turn the pan halfway through. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to rack to completely cool.
- Place muffins on cookie sheet to flash freeze
- Store frozen muffins in a freezer bag for up to 4 months
- Defrost over night at room temperature
- Bake again at 300 for 20 minutes or heat in microwave for 60 seconds.
I am only going back two weeks! Is that far enough? It has been a zoo around here and I am now just getting to some of my photos! Two weeks ago- my baby graduated Pre-School. It was a fun morning and I am thankful to my family for showing up and making her feel so important 🙂 She was very excited to have all of us there.
It’s still sinking in that she will not be with me everyday come September. She has been at my side for the past 4 years. I am going to take this hard. She is ready. She is excited. I am not. I can’t stand the thought of not having her by my side. It’s going to be a hard one for me. My eyes are welling up as I write this. As much as you want them to grow up happy, making friends, learning independence, being challenged- how do you let them go? You have to place so much trust in the “new circle” of people that they will be with everyday and you really don’t even know them- the teachers, the bus drivers, even the friends parents. I know every parent has went through this but she is my first. I have not went through this and it scares me. I know we will adjust in time but right now, it’s the great unknown…
Here are a couple of pics from September 2013- her first day of Pre-School 🙂
And here is a collage from two weeks ago as she graduated Pre- School ❤
Having two little kids, sometimes has us missing out on things. It makes you feel bad but as mom’s and dad’s, we know what we have to do and just do it. I had to miss my niece’s highschool graduation, mainly because of the time. The munchkin’s were heading to bed at the start of the ceremony. I wished I could have been there to see her get her diploma as well as receive two awards. Way to go Darion! So proud of you…
However, I did get to support her another way. At the end of the school year, her art class put on an art show and each student picked 5 pieces of their art to display. It was a great evening, seeing how much talent she/they (the other students) possess. I wish her nothing but the best as she follows her dreams and desires. I really look forward to seeing more of her creative pieces as time goes on.
Monday– Teriyaki Chicken Casserole / Corn
Tuesday– Loaded Burritos (Dairy Free) / Veggie Stix / Hummus
Wednesday– Pulled Pork / Coleslaw / Veggie Stix
Friday– Baked Falafel Sandwiches (Dairy Free)/ Salad
Saturday– Mac & Cheese (Dairy Free) / BBQ Sausages
Sunday– Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu / Rice / Broccoli
goes out to my Mom and Dad.
46 Years ago today, they tied the knot.
Wishing you a wonderful day to reflect and celebrate your joys, your lives together, your love and your happiness.
We love you with all our hearts and wish for only the best as you continue your path together.
BBQ Chicken Salad
Summertime always brings back the salads. I thought I would give this one a whirl as it has two of my favourite things, chicken and ranch dressing! How can you possibly go wrong with that combination? It did not disappoint. It was so good that we polished it off and wished there was more. The recipe says 2 servings (which are fairly large). You could probably get 4 side salads if serving with something else. The only thing I didn’t add was the tomato because a) I didn’t have one and b) I don’t really like them 😉 This salad is going in my favourite’s folder!
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 boneless, skinless thin-sliced chicken breasts
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 Roma tomato, diced
3/4 cup canned corn kernels, drained
3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Ranch dressing
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup tortilla strips
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.
- Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, to taste. Add to skillet and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool before dicing into bite-size pieces.
- To assemble the salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with chicken, tomato, corn, beans, onion and cheeses. Pour Ranch dressing and BBQ sauce on top of the salad and gently toss to combine.
- Serve immediately, topped with tortilla strips.
Yields: 2 Servings
Chocolate Razzy Smoothie
It’s always nice to have a refreshing drink. I don’t always make them but it’s more of a nice treat for us. I made this one afternoon while the baby was sleeping for my toddler and I. She loved it- I liked it. The flavour was good but I found the chocolate chips weren’t blended enough for me. I was half chewing- half sipping. Zoë’s only complaint was “she couldn’t sip in her straw” (the choc. chips were getting blocked in it). I think when I try it again, I will blend longer and maybe even try a different blender.
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
4 Tbsp. fat-free vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup fat-free or low-fat milk
3 cubes ice
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth.
Yields: 1 Serving
Source: Rachel Ray- Dr. Ian