29 January 2013

Stuffed Zucchini

I have a love of Zucchini. It is probably one of my favourite vegetables. Which is saying A LOT since I hate most veggies. I think I am one of the only people I know who HATES raw carrots. I am also not a huge fan of lettuce. So for me to willing make a dish that stars a vegetable is saying a lot. These stuffed Zucchini are filled with italian sausage, red peppers and lots and lots of cheese. They were seriously amazing!  

You will need: 
3 medium zucchinis 
3 italian sausages or ground beef
1 red pepper 
1 onion 
a few table spoons of olive oil
a clove of garlic 
a small jar of tomato sauce
shredded mozzarella cheese 
Step 1: Heat up a large skillet with a few table spoons of olive oil on medium heat. Once oil is hot add your ground beef or sausages (out of the case).  Brown meat and set aside. 
Step 2: Dice onion, red pepper and garlic. Fry onion and garlic in a table spoon of olive oil on medium heat until onions are translucent. Then add in red pepper. 
Step 3: Boil a large pot of water. Once boiling add zucchini's whole. Boil for 2-3 minutes. Then remove. 
Step 4: Cut zucchini's in half length wise. Use a sharp spoon to hollow out zucchini. (pictured below)

Step 5: Add zucchini flesh to onion and red pepper mixture. Add half of  tomato sauce and bring to a boil. 
Step 6: Add browned meat to sauce mixture. 
Step 7: Add a thin layer of sauce to bottom of oven safe pan. Add zucchini shells onto. 
Fill shells with sausage, onion and red pepper mixture. Top with remaining sauce and cover with shredded cheese.
Step 8: Bake in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and zucchini is cooked through.  

Slightly Adapted from Skinny Taste


23 January 2013

Beating the cold

It has been super cold these past few days. If I didn't have to go to class I probably wouldn't. It is FREEZING! I have been bundled up in my warmest sweaters, boots and scarves when I leave the house. Here is how I have been beating the cold:

1. Moisturizer 

The first thing I do when I get home is take off al my make up and apply a thick layer of moisturizer to  my face. The cold and wind are super drying so it is important to keep your face nice and moisturized. I  usually also apply lip chap and drink lots of water through out the day.

2. Cozy Sweaters and Leggings - I love putting on my big oversized sweaters and leggings as soon as I get home. Nothing like comfort and warmth in the winter. 

3. Cozy Socks 
 My friend made me these socks and they are the warmest things ever. I have an obsession with socks and slippers but nothing beats homemade :)

4. Movies and a blanket - snuggling up under a blanket to a movie is the perfect way to spend any cold afternoon. 

5. Hot Chocolate or Tea
Nothing is better then a warm drink after being out in the cold all day. I love tea lattes or rich and creamy hot chocolate.

What is your favourite way to beat the cold?


20 January 2013

A quick hello

Where has the time gone. I have been back at school for 3 weeks now and it feels as though it is taking over my life. These have been the some of the busiest weeks so far and they feel like they are only going to get crazier. It has been SO cold and windy out. I barely want to leave my house in the mornings when it is dark and cold. I have been having some writers block about what to post on the blog lately and I always seem to forget to bring my camera with me ( I really need to get better about that).  I am trying to get all my photos together and attempting to finish some of the half written blog posts that I have floating around in my drafts folder. I will hopefully have time to finish everything today and tomorrow and will be able to post regularly again! 
Here's to everyone beating the winter blues! 

15 January 2013

Flourless Chocolate Walnut Cookies

I decided to make something different this year for the holidays and went with these Flourless Chocolate Walnut cookies (centre of photo). They were fairly easy to make. The only thing I was scared of was over beating the egg whites. The recipe called for 4 egg whites but my batter only needed 3 and others have said they have only used 2. My advice would be too add the egg whites one at a time mixing after each one. The batter is quite thick and resembles a brownie batter. Overall I was happy with the way they turned out and they tasted wonderful. The recipe is available here.

Toast 2 3/4 cups of walnuts at 350 F for 9 mins 

Mix together 3 cups of Powered Sugar with 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons of coco powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir in walnuts once they have cooled slightly. Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Then add 2-4 egg whites (add egg whites one at a time and mix between each addition. Continue adding whites until dry ingredients are just incorporated. Be careful not to over mix).

Drop tablespoons of batter onto parchment lined baking sheets.  
Bake for 14-16 minutes at 320F until tops are glossy and slightly cracked. 

These were a huge hit this year and I got many requests for the recipe. There were a quick cookie to add to my cookie lineup and they provided something different then what I normally make around the holidays. Plus they are perfect for any time of the year. 

12 January 2013

New Beauty Buys

It has been forever since I bought makeup (other then foundation and mascara).  I have been using MAC eye shadow and I have been using it for years and I love it but I wanted something different. I have been hearing great things about Urban Decay and their Naked Pallets. I decided to get the original Naked pallet (mostly because Naked 2 was sold out). They are fairly similar and since I don't have any Urban Decay eyeshadow I wasn't too picky.

I have been really liking the naked pallet so far. The colours are beautiful and they go on nice and smooth even without the primer that it comes with. I think the best part of the whole pallet though is the brush. It is my new favourite. It is very densely packed so you get a ton of coverage with it. The best make up brush I have ever received with a pallet by far.

I also finally caved and purchased MAC's Fluid-line. It is their gel eyeliner and all the reviews that I have read have said that it is the best one. It is pretty reasonably priced at $18 but if you have to buy the brush as well it can really add up. I have been using it on a daily basis since I got it and I love how easy it is to use. Nice and forgiving. You can easily fix any mistakes you have made and it is fairly easy to wipe off before it dries. I love that it stays on my bottom lashline all day and that I can wear as much or as little as a like. 

What are your new favourite beauty buys? 

9 January 2013

Chocolate Greek Yogurt Cheesecake

I was going to make this cheesecake over the holidays for our family dinner.  However when I opened the fridge I realized that I didn't have enough cream cheese. I was one package short, so I started thinking what can I sub for cream cheese in a cheese cake. I mean it is basically the star ingredient. I went with greek yogurt and it turned out great. I wasn't sure if it would effect the baking time at all but it seemed to be about the same as a normal cheesecake it just had a lighter texture which I was okay with.
1 1/2 cups of crushed oreos
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 pkg. (250 g each) Philadelphia Brick Cream Cheese,
1 cup of greek yogurt
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 pkg. (8 squares) Baker's Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted, cooled slightly

Pre-heat oven to 325F. Melt butter in microwave and mix with cookie crumbs. Press mixture into bottom of 10inch pan to create the chocolate crust for the cheesecake. 

Mix together cream cheese, yogurt, sugar and vanilla until smooth. 

Melt chocolate and let it cool slightly. 

Pour chocolate into cream cheese mixture and blend until smooth
Add eggs one at at time, mixing well between each addition. 
 Pour batter over crust and bake for 45-50 minutes or until centre of cheese cake looks set. Allow cake to cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

This cheese cake was super light and fluffy. It had almost a mousse like texture. I liked that it wasn't as rich or as dense as other cheese cakes. I think I may add greek yogurt to my cheesecakes from now on!

What is your favourite baking substitute?

5 January 2013

Manicure: bordeaux

I went to the grocery store the other day and just happened to walk by the pharmacy isle. I saw the rack of essie nail polishes and I just couldn't help myself. Plus it doesn't really count if I bought it at the grocery store...right. 

I think that this is going to become my new favourite winter colour. Once I finish this post I am going to go paint my toe nails with it. Such a beautiful deep red colour. Perfect! 

What is your favourite winter nail polish?

2 January 2013

13 Things for 2013

I thought rather then doing a typical New Year's Resolutions (which I never actually keep up with anyways) I would do a list of 13 things I would like to do or do more of in 2013.

1. Run a race (either 5K or 10K)
2. Bake more cake pops

3. Make a meal only from things bought at the farmers market.
4. Get a summer job in my field
5. Read a Jane Austin novel
6. Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity one Saturday

7. Take a cooking class
8. Make a recipe book with family favourites
9. Go on a trip/vacation
10. Make my own tea blend

11. Blog at least 1x per week
12. Have a board game night
13. Give hot yoga another try

Whats on your list for 2013? 

1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful time ringing in the New Year! Cannot wait to see what 2013 brings!