Tag Archives: life style challenge

Raspberry + white chocolate muffins

When I came home from the Triangle MQG retreat,  I needed a quick recipe as I was off to a  the Triangle MQG pot luck in 3 hours.

What could I do??? How about Mini Raspberry + White Chocolate muffins. This recipe took me ~10 minutes to make + ~ 10 minutes to bake. They turned out great and were so delicious!! Perfect for this time of year.

IMG_8831

Ingredients

3 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup brown sugar
125 g butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
8 oz Raspberries (fresh, 1 pummet)
1 cup white chocolate drops
icing sugar (powder sugar)

Pre-heat oven to 415 degrees F (215 degrees C). Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the brown sugar. In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs, add the milk and butter. Add the liquids to the flour mix and mix until just combined. Stir in lightly, the raspberries + white chocolate.

Spoon the batter into 2-3 greased mini muffin tins/forms. Bake for 12 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Place muffins onto a tray to cool. Serve with a coat of icing sugar.

IMG_8835

For the rest of the week, I am trying to concentrate getting my meals back on schedule and to a plan. Here is our week’s menu.

DAY BREAKFAST DINNER
Sunday Homemade French Toast  Raclette (Potatoes + Vegetables)
Monday Oatmeal + Banana + Soy Milk  Lasagne (GF pasta)
Tuesday Oatmeal + Rhubarb Apple Compote
+ Soy Milk
 Green Vegetable Frittata
Wednesday Oatmeal + Banana + Almond Butter
+ Soy Milk
 Vegetable Chili + Brown Rice
Thursday Rhubarb + Apple Crumble  Lentil Soup (Slow Cooker)
Friday Toast + Banana + Almond Butter  Ratatouille + GF Pasta
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Drama + Meal Plan {20.04.2013}

Our week ended with a little drama. I got a call on Friday around 2pm from my husband’s doctor. He informed me my husband, who played soccer in a recreational league at work over lunch, was in so much pain he could not be examined….I must come at once to pick him up and take him to the emergency room. After x-rays, he has broken his right humorous bone right at the top under the shoulder socket.

So the question I have to ask (yes probably rhetorical)…why do 40 year old males continue playing contact sports even though they know it takes at least twice as long to heal when they get hurt?? I ask this only since, it has been less than a month since my husband had recovered from a shoulder injury.

So Sean (my son) and I, are more or less left to our own devices this week, with the hubby incapacitated. I plan to keep our meal plan simple this week, here’s the plan.

DAY BREAKFAST DINNER EXERCISE
Saturday Split pea and ham soup
Sunday Canadian bacon + poached egg Vegetable pasta bake (GF) 20 mins HIT
Monday Bircher Muesli Fish + chips (homemade)
Tuesday Granola + Fruit + Soy Yoghurt Stir fry + Brown rice
Wednesday Bircher Muesli Zpizza (Pizza with whole wheat crust and organic ingredients) 20 mins. HIT
Thursday Granola + Fruit + Soy Yoghurt Meatball pasta bake (GF)
Friday Berry + Banana + Spirulina Smoothie Spinach salad 20 mins. HIT

We are usually spending ~$70 a week for our meals. Here is this weeks shopping list:

GROCERY LIST (NEW STOCK) IN THE CUPBOARD/FRIDGE
  • Corn tortilla (TT)
  • Gluten Free Pasta (TT)
  • Pasta sauce (TT)
  • Baked beans (TT)
  • Dates (TT)
  • Prunes (TT)
  • Bananas (TJ)
  • Soy Milk (TJ)
  • Juice (TJ, TT)
  • Brown Rice (TJ)
  • Vegetable Stock (TT)
  • Onions (TJ)
  • Spinach (from the garden)
  • Broccoli (from the garden)
  • Bell Peppers(TJ)
  • Garlic (TT)
  • Apples (TJ)
  • Butter (TJ)
  • Flour/ WW and GF (TT)
  • Granola (TT or BJ)
  • Oats (BJ)
  • Frozen Peas + Corn (TJ)
  • Sultanas (TT)
  • Stir Fry Sauce (TT)

NOTE: We shop majority at Trader Joe’s (TJ), Target (TT) with an occasional visit to Whole foods (WF), BJ’s , Harris Teeters (HT), Lowes Food (LF) and Fresh Market (FM).
NOTE: We do not typically use coupons mainly due to time.
NOTE: Items indicated by * are specials for the week we took advantage of.

Week Recap and Meal Plan {31.03.2013}

This week, for me, was mostly about work. I had a day trip on Tuesday to Washington DC….there is nothing like leaving at 5:30 am and getting home at 8:00pm ;-). I was very thankful there is a Starbucks, right as you get past security at the airport, for a much needed morning coffee. The other thing is, my team is growing at work, to be ~10 people, so I spent most of the end of the week trying to put a plan together to help our group be successful.

While embarking on this exercise, I realized I needed a little more structure and realistic expectations in my life, as a whole. I need to gain more balance. How else can I (as a working mum) remain engaged with family, work, look after myself, an etsy store and have some fun ;-).

To start, I came up with a rough schedule for my blog. I say rough, as I might not have anything to share or I might be running a little behind:

DAY Blog Activity
Saturday Weekly Recap + Meal Plan
Monday Weekend of Small Finishes + Fabric Stash
linking up with Plum and June for “Lets get Acquainted”
Tuesday Recipe of the week
Wednesday WiP (Work in Progress) Wednesday
linking up with Lee @ “Freshly Pieced” 
Friday Finish it up Friday
linking up with Amanda Jean @ “Crazy Mom Quilts

Now, on to the other planning piece the family uses,  our meal plan. We have decided that the important thing here is to make it sustainable. We are going with 4 vegetarian appropriate meals a week to see if we can stick with the plain a little better. This is our plan for week 12:

DAY BREAKFAST DINNER EXERCISE
Sunday Egg + Fruit + Soy Latte Creamy Vegetable Shepherds Pie (Hopefully 4th time the charm) 20 mins. HIT
Monday Granola + Fruit + Soy Yoghurt Split Pea and Ham Soup
Tuesday Berry + Banana + Spirulina Smoothie Gluten Free Pasta Bake 3-4 Mile Walk
Wednesday Oatmeal + Banana and Almond butter Zpizza (Pizza with whole wheat crust and organic ingredients) 20 mins. HIT
Thursday Granola + Fruit + Soy Yoghurt Meatloaf + Potatoes + Steamed Vegetables
(Meatloaf is made with zucchini and carrots)
Friday Berry + Banana + Spirulina Smoothie Vegetable Biryani (adding broccoli and left over vegetables from Sunday) 20 mins. HIT

As mentioned last week, I thought I could share how we are spending $70 a week only, for our meals, by providing a shopping list. So, here was this weeks grocery list:

Grocery list (New Stock) In the cupboard/fridge
  • Pineapple (TT)
  • Watermelon (LF)*
  • Strawberries (TT)
  • Bananas (TT)
  • Broccoli (TJ)
  • Cauliflower (TJ)
  • Green Beans (TJ)
  • Mushrooms (TJ)
  • Carrots (TJ)
  • Zucchini (TJ)
  • Soy Milk (TJ)
  • Soy Yoghurt (WF)
  • Ground Beef 96/4 (TJ)
  • Ham hocks (TT)
  • Juice (TJ, TT)
  • Split Peas (TT)
  • Brown Rice (TJ)
  • Gluten Free Pasta (TT)
  • Vegetable Stock (TT)
  • Onions (TJ)
  • Potatoes (TJ)
  • Butter (TJ)
  • Flour/ WW and GF (TT)
  • Granola (TT or BJ)
  • Oats (BJ)
  • Marinara Sauce (BJ or TT)
  • Eggs (TJ)
  • Frozen Peas + Corn (TJ)

NOTE: We shop majority at Trader Joe’s (TJ), Target (TT) with an occasional visit to Whole foods (WF), BJ’s , Harris Teeters (HT), Lowes Food (LF) and Fresh Market (FM).
NOTE: We do not typically use coupons mainly due to time.
NOTE: Items indicated by * are specials for the week we took advantage of.

Well – that is it for this long post today. Thanks for going through my thoughts with me. Hope everyone has a good week. I would love to see what you are doing for meal planning or trying to balance your life – leave a link to your post in the comments below 🙂

New recipes for inspiration this week – week 10

I have been so inspired for this week’s menu – look at this site for “Meat Free Week (March 18-25)” recipes. I was reading them out to my husband last night with my mouth watering. So, I am going to choose from this list all week (except Saturday). I will let you know my favorite and any changes I make to the recipes.

You may say a recipe every day … yes, I work full-time but….
My husband can not drive at the moment, due to a shoulder injury from playing soccer and thinking he was still a teenager ;-), and I will have to pick him and my son up by 3:30 pm every day. This will give me more time in the evening to cook 🙂 before I catch-up on work in the evening.

My major task over the weekend:
I do have to plant my indoor seeds this weekend for my summer garden – I am putting in  tomatoes, romaine lettuce, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers (planting a little later this year) and maybe some spinach. I am excited about my winter garden which now seems to be coming along (yes in Spring)….my photo’s the week are of, my first head of broccoli and cabbage which appeared this week.

Head of broccoli Head of Cabbage

So here are the meals we are trying this week:

DAY BREAKFAST DINNER EXERCISE
Saturday Granola + Soy Yoghurt + Berries Creamy Vegetable Shepherds Pie
Sunday Oatmeal + Banana + Almond Butter + Soy Milk Chargrilled Bell Pepper Tagliatelle (Gluten Free) or Fresh Tomato and Herb Pasta (Gluten Free) 3-4 Mile Walk
Monday Mini Breakfast Frittata* Eggplant, herb and feta patties + Salad
Tuesday Berry + Banana + Spirulina Smoothie Stir Fried Curry Brown Rice + Cashews * 3-4 Mile Walk
Wednesday Oatmeal + Banana and Almond butter Tomato, Onion + Goat Cheese Tart (Gluten free crust) + Salad (replacing zPizza this week)
Thursday Mini Breakfast Frittata* Gluten-free Spaghetti + Broccoli, herbs + hazelnuts crumbs  3-4 Mile Walk
Friday Berry + Banana + Spirulina Smoothie Vegetable Biryani *

* Some ingredients will be pre-made/pre-cooked, for example a batch of brown rice

Weekly Meal Plan – week 9

Let me start by saying, I hate daylight savings when you loose an hour, especially when you only realize it is happening a couple of hours before bed. Woke up this morning, had breakfast and now finishing my breakfast latte while writing this blog and it is midday already – I have not done a whole lot yet. Anyway, into the recap from the week and this week’s plan…..

This week was a much better week. I actually cooked a couple of meals in preparation for the week, and there was less stress at work which made it easier to come home and get things done. I got some brownie points as I was proactive and organized 2 days of walking at lunch with a friend starting this week.

We have switched to gluten-free pasta now for about 6 weeks and I will say everyone in the house (my husband, 5-year-old and myself), have found two great brands that we all love. In fact, we like Quinoa Gluten-free Pasta – Spaghetti Style and the Archer farms Gluten-free Fusilli Pastas better than the old stuff we were using. The price ($2.50-$4.00 range at our local Super Target), taste and overall cooked result are our main reasons for liking these two products. My son, who is a little fussy (not too bad, he’s jus not a vegetable person), asks for seconds and devours the spaghetti by the bowlful.

Gluten-free Pasta

Here is our meal plan for the week:

DAY BREAKFAST DINNER EXERCISE
Saturday ^Strawberry-Banana Whole Wheat Crepes Cabbage Soup (Slow-Cooked which differs from the recipe)*
Sunday ^Strawberry-Banana Whole Wheat Crepes Vegetable Frittata 3-4 Mile Walk
Monday Egg + Berry/Banana Fruit Salad with Flaxseed Vegetable Pasta Bake*
Tuesday Whole Grain Cereal+Soy Fish and Vegetable Pockets 3-4 Mile Walk
Wednesday Oatmeal + Banana and Almond butter ^Pizza @ zPizza (love the options at this place)
Thursday Berry + Banana + Spirulina Smoothie Hungarian Casserole + Quinoa*  3-4 Mile Walk
Friday Berry + Banana + Spirulina Smoothie Vegetable Chilli + Brown Rice + Corn Tortilla’s*

^ indicates my splurge for the week
* Pre-made and can be kept refrigerated or Frozen

My Winter – Spring Garden and Meal Plan – Week 8

The winter has been a little longer and colder which means my vegetable garden has been producing very slowly. This is my first winter garden and it seems to be going ok. Lessons I have learned:

  1. My swiss chard did not survive as something ate that – not sure what. So, next time I may have to place little wire cages around them
  2. Next year, I will invest in some recycled windows to create a cover so I have a mini hot house

Two surprising things happened with this crop:

  1.  My plants survived the snow and ice. I will definitely get a crop of  broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and cabbage (respectively in photo’s below)….and a little bit of spinach.
  2. And my parsley which had died out came back to life and is flourishing.

Broccoli Cauliflower Carrots
Cabbages Parsley

In the meantime, waiting for this crop to grow, we are buying our veggies (still within the $70 budget). Here is our meal plan for this week – it will be similar to last week (its better not to even talk about it :-)). I have decided to cook most of the meals in the weekend to see if that it is easier to stick with the plan.

DAY BREAKFAST DINNER EXERCISE
Saturday ^Breakfast Sandwich Creamy Vegetable Shepherd’s Pie (thanks to Kristel’s list and links)
Sunday Bircher Muesli (with soy) Chicken and Vegetable Cacciatore + Quinoa or Wheat berries 3-4 Mile Walk
Monday Bircher Muesli (with soy) Vegetable Frittata
Tuesday Whole Grain Cereal+Soy Vegetable Soup (Slow Cooked) 3-4 Mile Walk
Wednesday Oatmeal with Banana and Almond butter ^Pizza @ zPizza (love the options at this place)
Thursday Whole Grain Cereal + Soy Slow-Cooked Indian Dal
Friday Smoothie Vegetable Pasta Bake + Quinoa Pasta 3-4 Mile Walk

^ indicates my splurge for the week

February goal wrap-up and March goals

This was the first month, I linked up with A lovely year of finishes  and The Girl who Quilts. I made the realization that with normal life getting in the way that I need to reassess what I am committing to in March :-).

Here are my March goals (which includes a lot of the unfinished goals for February).

  1. Bottom, Baste and Quilt, the “Four Seasons in one day” (named after a crowded house song).
  2. Finish 2 sets of chair bags.
  3. Finish 1 set of pot holders (custom order)
  4. Finish a E-reader case
  5. Sew + Finish the Triple zip pouch
  6. Kiwi Paper Piecing Cushion Cover
  7. Make 1-2 Blocks for our Madrona Road Challenge

Continue with my more general goals

  1. Continue with Life Style Challenge with a focus on:
    – No Sugar or Processed Food
    – Exercise 3 times a week
  2. Post 3 times a week min.
  3. Post a new recipe each week

A Lovely Year of Finishes The Girl Who Quilts

Anyway, this is how far I got in February….

  1. As mentioned on Friday 1st, complete top and back of my “Four Seasons in one day” (named after a crowded house song)
    I have now completed the top and started the back. You can see my first quilt top finish here.FourSeasonsInOneDay_1
  2. Finish 4 sets of chair bags.
    I have cut out 2 sets of chair bags but have not started sewing yet. I did not get any further.
  3. Finish 4 sets of pot holders.
    I have 3 sets of pot holders completed.IMG_0865 IMG_6892
  4. Cut out fabric for my son’s quilt.
    Not started yet – I have landed up ordering two new fabrics.
  5. Triple zip pouch.
    Fabric and other materials selected but did not get any further.
  6. Try out a paper piecing block.
    I tried out the techniques but I want to make this kiwi pattern from Tartankiwi and make it into a cushion. 

More general goals

  1. Continue with Life Style Challenge.
    I am continuing on even though February saw some up and downs.
  2. Post 3 times a week min.
    Check – doing well.
  3. Post a new recipe each week.
    Check – doing well