Happy Hump Day 2011/08/31

August 31, 2011

Happy Hump Day everyone! Smile While I am not exactly happy that today marks the last day of August, and less than one week until school commences, I still have a lot to smile about lately (well, let’s be honest, we can always find SOMETHING to smile about, if we look hard enough, right?). So without further ado, here’s some of what’s brought a Smile to my face of late:

IMG_0012Smile # 1: Glads at the market and the instagram app for iPhone. You already know how much I am loving farmers’ markets these days (and always). But check out the beautiful gladiolas I saw there! And that’s just a small sampling of what Betty had – there were SO many colours. They were so gorgeous, I couldn’t resist snapping a photo on my iPhone. And they look even better when given the instagram treatment. If you’ve got an iPhone, you need this app. So fun to scroll through the effects and apply to your photos, and share with family and friends.

Smile # 2: This page full of Greek Yogurt ideas. I subscribe to about a bajillion (okay, maybe a slight exaggeration) recipe/cooking emails. One of which is Serious Eats (a website whose virtues I’ve extolled before. If you haven’t visited yet – get on it!). In Monday’s weekly round-up, I came across this page. I mean, who doesn’t love Greek yogurt (lactose-intolerant people, I guess)? It may not be oatmeal or almond butter, but I feel like it’s one of the darlings of the healthy living blog world and foodies alike. There are recipes listed here for appetizers, mains, and desserts. Most intriguing? Greek yogurt gelato. If you try any of these – let me know! They all look delightful.IMG_2938

Smile # 3: The Return of Better ‘n Peanut Butter to my life. It had been a while. A long while (or so it seemed). So when my eyes came across these jars (it took me a moment to realize just what it was, since the label had changed) in the aisles of Trader Joe’s Philly, there was no question that I had to buy some. The question was only, how many jars? I limited myself to two, since we did have to walk about a mile back to the hotel.

Like all good healthy living bloggers, I love me some PB. But I will say what many will not admit: while it may be full of protein and good fats, this stuff is HIGH IN CALORIES (gasp!). That’s why I love this stuff. Admittedly, it tastes different than regular PB (natural or non), but it IS lower in fact and calories, so I can indulge without going over the top. My favourite way to enjoy it? Spread on a slice of HG banana bread (I only had one slice in the freezer, guess I need to make more) for a late-night snack. Gooey PB, sweet, moist, banana bread….sigh of contentment…Smile. Sorry, I need a moment.IMG_2988IMG_2993

Smile # 4: Blogger Dates. Saturday night, I met up with Donna at the Bulk Barn (we are such food blog nerds – that was our “hot date”). I wanted to search out some whole grain flours to use in recipes from my new cookbook (I will share recipes soon, I promise). But of course, I also found some treats, like chocolate, caramels (my fall favourite) and maple sugar flakes. After the bulk barn, we headed to Baskin Robbins, where we both had some tasty fro yo. I had “Raspberry Cheese Louise,” a favourite which I had not had in a LONG time – SO good. Hmmm…bulk food and fro yo – aren’t we just the perfect little bloggers? Winking smile

IMG_3016IMG_3026Smile # 5: Avocado on pizzas. I made different variations on this as part of Sunday’s supper and Monday’s lunch, partly because it was so good, but more because we had a couple of avocado’s leftover from last week’s burger birthday bonanza.

Sunday night pizza: Pita pocket base (but crisped it like usual crust). Sauce: mix of salsa and Trader Joe’s red pepper and artichoke tapenade (Red heart). Toppings: 1 Velveeta cheese slice, the last of the pickled red onions (and the jalapeno pepper in there with them), 1/4 of an avocado, sliced,  and some nutritional yeast (I finally jumped on the blogger bandwagon on that one).

Monday lunch pizza: flatout wrap crust. Sauce: TJ’s red pepper/artichoke tapenade (no salsa this time). Toppings: 1/3 cup shredded light Tex-Mex cheese, 1 small poblano pepper from my garden, broiled until blistered then chopped; yellow cherry tomatoes from my garden, chopped; 2 chopped green onions; a couple chopped hot pepper rings, 1/4 of an avocado, chopped, garlic salt and cumin.

Both pizzas = yumtastic! I think avocado works so well with spicy things because the fatty richness cuts through the heat. And the TJ’s tapenade? Don’t even get me started! It is so good it deserves a Smile of its own. If and when I frequent TJ’s again, I will be stocking up (hopefully I won’t be walking next time, because between the tapenade and PB jars, those bags will be heavy!).

IMG_3018Smile # 6: Granola Sundaes. I feel like granola is in much the same situation as peanut butter in the healthy living blog community. It’s made of whole foods, everyone loves it and talks about how great it is, but no one mentions that it’s pretty calorie-dense. Don’t get me wrong, I do love it, but I see it as more of a treat. And since I have somewhat of a granola surplus right now thanks to my Healthy Living Summit swag bag, and lots of fresh fruit on my hands thanks to Ontario’s late-summer bounty, granola sundaes are the obvious answer. You saw last week’s warrior crunch sundae. This week, Uncle Sam was at the party. Over a nice scoop of light ice cream, I put some blackberries, blueberries and leftover birthday cake cherry filling and 1/4 cup of Uncle Sam Strawberry cereal (thanks HLS!). How can a dessert that has fibre, flaxseeds, and all those antioxidants from the berries be bad? That’s right, it can’t! Winking smile Seriously though, the creamy vanilla ice cream, tart berries and cherries and crunchy cereal combine to make a perfectly satisfying dessert experience. Since I still have most of the box of Uncle Sam, this will be happening again. Just think how good it’ll be in the fall with warm cinnamon apples and pears!

Okay, I’m stopping myself there. Share with me people – what has made you Smile lately?

I hope to have a whole grain recipe to share with you tomorrow – stay tuned!

7 Comments

  • I didn’t even see you take a photo of your frozen yogurt, i must have been to busy inhaling mine, i’ve been wanting to go back for some about 5 seconds after i finished mine :)
    Seriously perfect blogger date, love how you talked about the high calorie things we discussed, too bad you had to listen to my recipe rant first, lol :) :) :)

    • Hilary says:

      I guess that just means we have to go again soon! Come September when I’m teaching again and depressed with my life, fro yo will be the perfect antidote to those naughty children! I say we have a race to see who can use the maple flakes first on their blog! :)

  • Errign says:

    Avocado on pizza? YUM!

  • My thoughts on the high calorie thing, I think it totally depends on how heavily you weigh the importance of calories…

    PB(natural) and granola (homemade) are totally high calorie but to me, I’m not bothered about it at all…A lot of times the full fat whole version of the food is far better for you nutritionally than the no fat fake version…you know?

    I was wondering when you were going back to school!!

    What’s made me smile lately? The fact that fall is in the air, my produce loot, blogging buddy care package, bm bullet muffins and my green tea in the morning and chamomile tea in the afternoon!

  • I loooove me some PB. Love love love it.
    And I finally downloaded instagram, and I’m so excited to start using it!

    Hooray for granola sundaes! With Greek yogurt!

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