Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bananas for Saturday

I started the day off with a run/walk through the autumn colours of a local trail with a couple of friends. It was pretty brisk out this morning- officially my first run with layers, but I'm always glad that I went (even when my bed seems particularly inviting and cozy.) As one of my running partners said, it's best to get out there (running) now BEFORE it snows and we just won't want to start. I can make some serious excuses not to run when it's cold out (even though I live in Canada and should be snow-hardy. ;)) We've promised ourselves that we will do an 8K race in January to ensure winter running. We'll *see how that goes. (*refer to previous comment about excuses)

After running today, I tried a new muffin recipe: Banana Spice Muffins from the Cooking Light site, taking a brief break from pumpkin- until tomorrow anyway. I had all the ingredients for these, except for a marginal shortage of ground allspice (which I topped up with cinnamon) and no ricotta cheese. I replaced the ricotta with light cream cheese after reading the recipe's review section. I used a bit less cream cheese than the called for 1/3 cup of ricotta (one of the recipe reviewers used 2 tbsp to replace it). I'd like to try them again with the ricotta to see how they compare.

sidenote: I usually like to stay really close to a recipe's ingredients, especially the first few times making it. (Never was "a pinch of this" and a "pinch of that" kind of baker- though I really admire people who can do that with success.)

Anyway, the muffins were good and they made the house smell good, too, which hopefully masked the general untidiness. ;)

This afternoon- when I wasn't tidying- I finally found a store that had Sigg bottles in stock so we could trade our old ones in. (The store where I bought our old (toxic ;)) ones has been out of stock for weeks.) Our new replacements have such cute designs, but it did make me sad to replace my lovely bottle from Laurie that I shared on here awhile back. *sniffle*

Here's hoping that our new bottles help me to remember to actually take my water with me to work.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkin crazy!

There's definitely a feeling of fall in the air lately! Ok, today it was more like winter. I'm so not ready. Brrrr...

Anyway, autumn makes me want to roast stuff (we had roast chicken, veggies and warmed Naan bread for dinner). We've also been partaking in a number of pumpkin - the classic autumn veg (fruit?)- items lately.

We've done a couple of batches of pumpkin muffins: the Pumpkin Pie Muffin ones (I'll add links after posting as I can't from my Touch) and the Pumpkin Muffin recipe from my Cooking Light Complete binder.

Today we enjoyed a pumpkin pie made with a real pie pumpkin from my organic delivery. A totally new step for me, I messed up on the prep of the pumpkin- following a good site online, I switched over to the recipe Gingersnap Pumpkin Pie (6pts) on the CL site and forgot about the last step in the pumpkin prep: the draining. In my defence, it didn't look overly moist, but I guess that sucker can hold a lot of water! Rushed cooking is not a good idea with a new recipe apparently.

Anyway, the pie was still tasty, in spite of not setting well. The crust was really tasty. I used Dare Simple Pleasures Cookies- Spice Snaps for a relatively low fat option. I bet Pantry cookies would be good with it, too. (side note: when we were kids, following my mother's lead, we used to butter our Pantry gingersnaps. Tasty: yes. Especially low fat: not really. ;) )

Finally in pumpkin news, on the weekend, a couple of girlfriends and I went to Whole Foods and I had the most delicious pumpkin gelato. It was so good, it's got me thinking about getting an icecream machine. You can do gelato in one, right? Course, that might be a little like buying a deep fryer.

-- Post From My iPhone

Monday, October 12, 2009

Does it count that I've been posting in my head?

Yes, I know, my skunk hat still fits. and my camera is apparently not working well.

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadian blogging friends! (and future Thanksgiving wishes to the ones across the border) :)

We had an amazing Thanksgiving dinner at my sister, Laurie's. I made a couple of sides. (Yeah for having Thanksgiving at someone else's house!) Overall the dinner was healthy, other than having double dessert. eep. (We brought pumpkin pie from our local bakery and Laurie's dh made chocolate peanut butter cupcakes for Laurie's birthday. Had to eat one to be polite, right?) Laurie also sent us home with some turkey, so we can have delicious sandwiches and whatnot today! Turkey: the best left over in the entire world. Just saying.

Want some sweet potatoes with your cardamom? One of the sides I brought to Laurie's yesterday was Coconut-Cardamom Sweet Potatoes (2pts) from the new (Nov/Dec 2009) issue of Clean Eating. It sounded really good and I had all the ingredients (other than sweet potatoes) on hand, AND it was easy to prep and bring to put in Laurie's oven after the turkey came out.
I knew there was a problem with the dish though, as soon as I added the 2 tsp of cardamom to the potatoes: cardamom was all I could smell (and later taste). At Laurie's we even added steamed squash and a bit of butter to the dish, but it still was pretty cardamomy. I liked it ok, Laurie said the same (I was too embarrassed to look closely at everyone else's plates), but I'd definitely cut it down to one tsp of the spicy stuff- or less.

Maybe the 2 tsp was a typo? the 1 and "/" was missing from in front of the 2? Possibly!

Anyway the recipe is as follows (in brief). I'm off to boot camp this afternoon to work off the double dessert. Happy Thanksgiving Monday! :)

Coconut-Cardamom Sweet Potatoes

5 med sweet potatoes (I used yams- same thing, right?)
3/4 c light coconut milk
2 tsp ground cardamom (danger! danger! use less!)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/3 c unsalted pecan halves, chopped

Preheat oven 325 F. Boil (chopped up) potatoes for about 10 mins. Drain. With an electric mixer, on medium mix everything except the pecans together until smooth. Put mixture in 9x9 in baking dish. Sprinkle with pecans and bake for 45-50 mins- until edges are slightly browned. Cool for 10 mins before serving.
per 1/2c serving: 100 cals; fat 3.5g; fiber 2g