My Quiet Friday

I’ve decided to get back to sharing more of my life on the blog as well as the recipes and reviews.

I think sharing more about my eating, exercises, and life in general helps keep me more accountable. Plus who doesn’t want to see more of this little charmers face?!?

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Today was a quiet day. I cancelled plans with a friend and just embraced the rain and being at home. I got lucky this morning and once again was blessed with a beautiful double yolked farm egg for breakfast.

20150828-215231-78751846.jpg I long to own my own farm with my own chickens!

This evening I took some “Me time” to make a beautiful Fall center piece for our coffee table. I was inspired by the ones I saw yesterday at Homesense.

20150828-215605-78965151.jpg While I liked the above store version I felt I could make one myself! My brother helped me build the Wooden box out of reclaimed wood. I love how it turned it!

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My other productive activities today consisted of cleaning, vacuuming, and baking a Zucchini chocolate chip loaf.

20150828-220238-79358104.jpg I love this time of year. Fall is well in it’s way and I long for cozy blankets, candles, cuddles and tea. I adore the fall decor, seasonal scents and the pumpkins everywhere!!

I look forward to sharing my Fall season with you!

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Argentinian Chimichurri Flank Steak

Kevin and I have decided to seek out one new dinner recipe a week to cook together and share. This week we thought the recipe for Chimichurri flank steak in this weeks Weight watchers weekly looked good!

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20150827-212924-77364755.jpg We made the marinade last night and let the steak marinade a full 24 hours prior to cooking. I really enjoyed the flavors of the marinade but Kevin found the red wine flavor a touch over powering. We both agreed we would double the garlic next time!

As stated above this is not my recipe. It is a Weight Watchers recipe.

Ingredients
1 Small bunch parsley
4 Cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano
1 1/2 Teaspoon salt (I used 1 teaspoon)
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
1/4 Teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 Teaspoons olive oil (divided)

1 Pound lean flank steak
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper pinch

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Method
24 hours in advance prep and marinade the steak.

Combine first 8 ingredients and purée in a food processor until relatively smooth.

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Place 3 tablespoons of Chimichurri into a small bowl and add 1 tsp olive oil.

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Rub mixture over steak and allow to marinade for 24 hours. Refrigerate remaining Chimichurri after adding remaing Olive oil.

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When ready to cook preheat grill to high heat. Wipe off marinade, pat dry and season steak with salt and pepper. Spray grill with cooking spray. Grill steak for 5-7 minutes per side, flipping once. Cook to medium rare. Remove from heat and allow to rest. Drizzle remaining Chimichurri sauce over steak and serve!

I would recommend this recipe to anyone looking for a flavorful healthy steak recipe.

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David’s Tea Peanut Butter Cup Review

I was given a sample of David’s tea new upcoming fall flavor, Peanut butter cup. I was pretty excited about this new flavor given how I feel about Peanut butter. That feeling is smitten incase you were wondering.

This new flavor will be released at the end of August with the rest of the Fall line. It’s definitely worth a try if you like peanut butter!

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This peanut-ty little number is a herbal fruit infusion and is chock full of nutty flavor. Sorry I couldn’t resist! It does have nuts though. Almonds to be specific, along with apples, cococa peel, chocolate chips, safflower and a bit of “flavoring”. It smells amazing before, during, and after steeping.

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I was surprised just how spot on the peanut butter flavor was despite not having peanuts as an ingredient. I tried the tea straight up to experience the full flavor prior to adding my cream. Yes I add cream. I’m one of those!
I would recommend anyone who loves peanut butter to give this tea a try. The chocolate was subtle but I thought that it worked well. I will definitely be adding this tea to my fall favorites list.

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Run Swift As A Rabbit Like You Do…And Don’t Forget To Take In The View! Seawheeze 2015

On Saturday I joined almost ten thousand other runners and took to the streets of Vancouver and the beautiful seawall in iconic Stanley park to run 21.1 km in Lululemon’s annual Seawheeze half marathon!!

This was my first half marathon and when I signed up almost a year ago I was pregnant but after missing out on registration the prior years (the race sells out in under 30 minutes) I figured I’d give it a shot. It was my most casual attempt at registering yet and I was shocked when I got in.

As many of you know my pregnancy was anything but text book! I suffered with Hypermeisis from start to finish. I couldn’t keep down any food, was hospitalized, hydrated and exhausted. After giving birth I hoped things would return to normal but they didn’t. In the weeks following birth I suffered with a retained placenta. Then my malnutrition issues surfaced. Since then I’ve focused on doing the best I can daily in terms of taking care of myself. It was all made harder last month when I suffered an early miscarriage. As Seawheeze crept closer and closer I considered pulling out because I was undertrained and my body was still suffering. Up until late Friday night I was still coming up with excuses about why I couldn’t do the race.

Kevin wasn’t about to let me back out easily. He insisted we take part in the activities that I had waited so long for.

My Seawheeze weekend started with dinner and drinks with some of my Lululemon friends in Mission. All of them multiple 1/2 marathon runners! They were extremely supportive and slightly threatening that I wasn’t backing out!

On Friday we spent the day in Vancouver at the runners expo. I got to meet a bunch of my lulu girls, shop, get temporary Lululemon tattoos, sample products, have an amazing dinner, hit Whole foods and generally soak in the atmosphere. I was pumped! However once I got home the fear and anxiety took over! I forced myself to set my alarm for 4 am! Lay out my race outfit and run swag, take some pictures and put my timing chip on my shoe before bed.

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At 4 am Saturday morning I got up, got dressed, and ate. Before I could change my mind Kevin had me on my way to Vancouver. When we arrived at the convention center none of my friends were there and Kevin had to just drop me off because of Jacob was sleeping. I had a few minutes to soak it all in alone and give myself a little pep talk.

20150819-080717-29237406.jpg I was terrified. Before I knew it I was surrounded with other runners, excitement, and inspiration to do this. I hit the bathrooms one last time, warmed up, linked arms with Garett and headed for the start line.

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The energy at the start line was amazing but I was still terrified! The terrified didn’t go away until I hit the via duct and the spin team was there cheering us on. At that point I started running with a stranger and we quickly became buddies! We stayed together until about km 15! The course was full of entertainment, support, and spectators. I didn’t take many photos for the first 15 Km’s because Tracy and I had a good pace going and were chatting a lot.

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Hitting the halfway point when crossing back over the bridge was an amazing feeling. I started thinking about what I was really doing!!! Running a 1/2 marathon 6 months postpartum after an exhausting pregnancy all while having Lupus and being told “I shouldn’t run”!

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Crossing into the Stanley park portion of the race signified less than 15 km to go!! It was also the most scenic portion of the course and for me proved to be the hardest and most intense!

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Around kilometer 16 I hit the wall. My legs felt about a zillion pounds and I found myself walking when I should of been running. I could feel the two small blisters on my feet and hips were reminding me “Hey lady you have Lupus wtf are we doing?!?”. I tried to focus on my beautiful surrounding but at that point my brain had turned against me. I found the runners spaced out significantly at this point and the course almost felt isolated. Nothing beside me but rocks on one side and water on the other. Between kilometers 16-19 I had a full blown panic attack. I had to force myself to breath. I had to remind myself what I was doing and why I was doing it. I walked the final 6 kilometers. It killed my time but that doesn’t matter. I had no time goal. My only goal was crossing the finish line. Those last 6 kilometers found me constantly repeating to myself “just keep going”… I knew my baby and my husband were waiting for me at the finish line and those two things kept me moving. Kept me fighting through the pain. I’m not going to lie to you those last 6 kilometers felt like forever! In actuality there were a bit over an hour. Longest hour of my life!! I took a selfie around kilometer 17 to send to Kevin incase I died ! Around the same time Kevin sent me a photo of him and Jacob both smiling for me. When you’re that far in it really is the little things that keep you going! <a href="https://100percentcommitted.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/20150819-124331-45811606.jpg"&gt;20150819-124331-45811606.jpg

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Just keep going! It turned into my personal mantra and I’m fairly sure will stick with me the rest of my life. A moment on route that will also stick with me forever was seeing the blind runner and his guide runner.

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In that moment I realized there was no excuse to not do this! To not finish! No excuse to not try everything and anything I want! If this man can get out there and run a half marathon blind I’m not about to let lupus slow me down!
Running across the finish line was indescribable. I vaguely recall someone putting my medal around my neck and handing me a hat, towel, water, Saje stuff. It was overwhelming. I don’t think I was even processing anything at that point. I remember kissing Jacob and Kevin before being surrounded by Michelle, Garett, Krista and Debra. I know there were tears. In true me fashion after a major/traumatic event (Yes running your first half is traumatic) I just wanted to go home. I skipped the runners brunch and headed straight for the truck!

Conquering a half marathon is something I’ve always wanted to do. Before my Lupus got bad I ran a lot more, I loved it. I still love it. It just hurts a lot. This was something I did for myself. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it. I did it by myself, for myself.

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Blackberry Lime Tart

So earlier today I posted my recipe for lime curd, well here’s what I did with it!!! I turned it into mini blackberry lime tarts and served them with a scoop of lime zested vanilla ice cream!!

These tarts are a perfect little treat after dinner! You could make one large 9 inch pie with this recipe or 6 four inch tarts.

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Ingredients
1 1/4 Cups Graham cracker crumbs
3 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
4 Tablespoons melted butter
1/8 Teaspoon cinnamon
Cooking spray
1 recipe Lime curd
1/2 cup Blackberries

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Method
Combine crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter and mix until crumbly.

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Press mixture firmly into sprayed tart pan up the sides and on bottom forming a well. Bake in 325 degree oven for 9 minutes.

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Once baked remove from oven and allow to cool. Fill with lime curd and top with as many blackberries as desired. Refrigerate for 3 hours until firm.

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20150731-230147-82907071.jpg These tarts are just the right size for a shareable treat or indulge and polish it off on your own!

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Homemade Lime Curd

A friend came over yesterday and with him he brought a bunch of blackberries!! So those blackberries are destined for blackberry/lime tarts! This afternoon I whipped up a batch of homemade lime curd to be used in the tarts. I mean doesn’t everyone keep a dozen limes on hand all the time!

This lime curd is extremely easy to make and doesn’t require a double broiler or straining. It has a fantastic lime flavor with just the right amount of sweetness! Use it in tarts, a toast, scones, cookies, or mix it with yogurt! The possibilities are endless!

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Ingredients

3 large eggs
1/2 cup lime juice (5 large limes)
Zest from 2 limes
1/4 cup frozen salted butter
3/4 cup sugar

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Method
Juice and zest limes
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Cube frozen butter
Whisk eggs

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In a medium bowl combine all ingredients and gently whisk together.

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Transfer to medium pan and continuously stir over low heat until mixture begins to thicken and butter starts to melt. 5 minutes in my experience.

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Remove from heat and continue to stir for 2 minutes. Transfer to glass jars to cool. Makes 2 cups.

Note: you can make lemon curd by replacing the lime ingredients with lemons!

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Basil…So Much Basil & Other Yummy Garden Things

So despite the drought conditions her in BC this summer is proving to be spectacular for our garden! We’ve been enjoying carrots, spinach, lettuce, sage, thyme, cucumbers, peppers, potatoes, beets, onions, radishes, peas, eggplant, zucchini, beans, mint, and basil so far!
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I’m pretty excited our corn is well on it’s way to being ready and I’ve got some little pumpkins and a random giant squash looking good! I’m trying not to eat the green tomatoes but I make no promises!

While everything is doing well the basil is unstoppable! I’ve eaten my fair share raw, in salads, pasta, and bruschetta! Tonight I decided to process some into a paste with garlic and olive oil to freeze for use later when we don’t have all this fresh!

Basically it’s the same process as making pesto minus the nuts and cheese!

Wash and dry your fresh basil leaves and pulse through your food processor with olive oil and fresh garlic! I used one tablespoon of olive oil per packed cup of basil leaves, with two garlic cloves! It smells amazing!! After it was processed I scooped into individual portion cups to freeze! Easy and a great way to avoid wasting your beautiful fresh basil.
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You wind up with considerably less then you started with but these little frozen herb pucks will pack big flavor when you decide to use them! They work great in pesto, pasta sauce, on buttered pasta, omelettes, bruschetta, in scrambled eggs and in homemade salad dressing!!