Posts tagged ‘Splurge Alert!’

Sugar Cookies

What’s this?  Two posts in one day?  It’s like it’s June 2010 all over again!

I guess I am just excited to show off the sugar cookies I made today.  I completed these in a series of steps timed with Henry’s naps.  He is still in the nap he started when I iced these babies, so I’ve got to make this quick!

If there is one recipe I bake at Christmas, it is this one.  I think I have officially decided that these are going to be the cookies that I am known for, the cookies that Henry will immediately associate with all the Christmases of his childhood.  The only problem is that it’s not my recipe.  It’s my friend Sarah’s!

Here she is innocently holding Henry, not knowing that his mother is a cookie-recipe-stealer!!!

With her permission, I am sharing the recipe with you.  All together now:  THANK YOU, SARAH!!!

Sarah’s Sugar Cookies

Makes 2 dozen

1/2 cup butter or margarine (I’ve only ever used butter)

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons of milk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1.  In a medium bowl, beat butter, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat until blended.

2.  Divide dough into two equal portions, wrap in saran wrap, and refrigerate until firm (about an hour).

3.  Before baking, allow the dough to stand at room temperature until soft enough to roll out.  Roll the dough out and use your favourite cookie cutters to cut them into shapes!  Place on ungreased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

Trees, stars, and stockings:  It must be Christmas!

Ready to be iced, iced baby

It is not natural to eat food with these colours, and yet it feels so right

I made little “snowballs” using the leftover dough

Sarah has a different recipe for icing.  I found mine online a few years ago and like it because:

1.  It has a subtle almond flavour

2.  It hardens so storing these cookies is a bit easier (icing doesn’t get all over the place)

Here is my recipe for 2 dozen cookies:

2 cups of icing sugar

4 teaspoons of milk

4 teaspoons of corn syrup

1/2 teaspoon of almond extract

Assorted food colouring

1.  In a small bowl, stir together the icing sugar and milk.  Beat in corn syrup and extract until icing is smooth and glossy.  If it’s too thick, add more milk.

2.  Divide into separate bowls and add food colouring.

3.  Decorate as you see fit!  Sprinkles are welcome.


I hope to bring these cookies to Henry’s first Christmas party tomorrow, but I’m not sure they will last that long.  Indeed, they are that good.  Again, thanks Sarah!

December 3, 2010 at 2:57 pm 12 comments

A Vegetarian at Rib Fest: A Hungry Tale

I am so sad.  It is Monday night after a long weekend, which means that work is all too imminent.  I am trying to remain positive and bribe myself with promises of coffee and larabars tomorrow, but still.  Starting a new job is never fun!  Starting a new job when you are still doing your old job is also not fun.  I’m not sure I will be able to write tomorrow morning, but I will try!

As God as my witness, I will try.

But today has been a fun day, even though it meant surrounding myself with abundant amounts of barbecued meat.  The things we do for love!  Really, the things we do to get out of the house for a couple of hours 😉

Before we left, I filled myself with a sliced mango, some cottage cheese, and a slice of zucchini loaf.  I didn’t want to take any chances and rely on a ribfest to feed me lunch.

I’ve attended one ribfest before and this one was exactly like the previous.  A packed park filled with a greater number of tattooed women than you will find in regular society, waiting in long lines to buy expensive meat!

A pulled pork sandwich, a quarter chicken, and a 1/2 rack of ribs…for one person.

Mike ordered something called a “vegetarian’s nightmare” and this is how they labeled the container:

I don’t know who Jacki is, but his meal was definitely not “veggie”

I wasn’t sure what to get since my vegetarian choices were funnel cake, a bloomin’ onion, or french fries.  Luckily husband spotted a sign for a roasted yam!  I knew this would be my salvation.

$4!  I could have made this at home for 75 cents 😉

But it was delicious with a tad of butter and brown sugar.  I was content.

I became even more content once I got an iced cappuccino!

And we shared some of these amazing donuts.  Have you heard of Tiny Tom?

These are freshly fried tiny donuts that are sprinkled in your choice of sugar or cinnamon.  They are served warm, fresh, and absolutely delicious!

I am not sure how many of these I ate.  I can verify that it was a lot.

Because of my sugar and carb rush, I kept things light for dinner and had a monster salad.

You will see this salad tomorrow and Wednesday because I made four at once (one for hubby).  It contains:

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomato
  • Red pepper
  • Avocado
  • Zucchini
  • Chickpeas
  • Cubed cheddar
  • Raisins
  • Walnuts
  • Mediterranean dressing

Now I am trying to keep myself occupied and entertained until bedtime.  We will probably watch more Dexter and go to bed at a decent time while dreaming of winning the lottery (although this fantasy would be helped if I actually bought a ticket!).

See you tomorrow!

August 2, 2010 at 8:26 pm 13 comments


Fage is the weirdest-named brand I have ever heard of.  It’s pronounced “Fa-yeh”.  At least that is what they tell me.  I don’t know where they got the name, but I can attest to you:  It is delicious.

Labeled with my name for work fridge purposes 🙂

When I first gave this yogurt a closer inspection, I wasn’t too impressed.  For a small container, it contains 180 calories and only 10 grams of protein.  Granted, 10 grams of protein is nothing to sneeze at, but I am used to monstrous numbers when it comes to Greek yogurt.  15…18….20!  10 seems like peanuts.

But I was impressed!

I loved the separate section for the honey!  It allowed me to be discriminating with my yogurt:honey ratio.  Sometimes I went heavy on the honey, other times not so much.   The texture and the flavour of the yogurt was great, too.  Sometimes Greek yogurt can have an overpowering “yogurt” tartness, if that makes any sense.   The honey may have masked the tartness, but this was wonderful!

One of the better Greek yogurt brands I have tried for sure.  Two thumbs up!

I also had a granola bar for a snack.  My days of solitary afternoon snacks are long behind me.

This was a Nature Valley “Oats ‘n’ Honey” granola bar.  Also 180 calories.  Yes, I ate 360 calories’ worth of afternoon snacks.  What’s it to ya?!!?

Dinner was on the lighter side, because I didn’t feel like cooking.  I have recently discovered that we have access to all episodes of Jersey Shore “on demand”.  Did I want to spend the night cooking dinner, or spend the night watching Snooki?  I chose Snooki.

So I had a can of soup and an english muffin with this fancy almond butter!

I picked up this packet at Wegman’s in the States.  I have seen it on food blogs before and was anxious to try it.  I probably should have kept it for one of those times I was “on the go”, but let’s face it.  I am rarely on the go.  I am mostly on the stay.  As in, staying put on my couch watching Jersey Shore.

It was OK, but not as good as I hoped.  I didn’t really taste the maple.  Maranatha is far superior.

The entire can of minestrone soup was 180 calories.  What is up with food quantities with exactly 180 calories?

Bootsy says “What, no cottage cheese?”

There is a container of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in my freezer.  Pregnant lady happy.

I DEVOURED this.  It was dead in its tracks.  It had no hope.  Not with me around.

I could tell you that I had seconds of this ice cream, which is neither a frugal or fit move.  But then I’d have to kill you 😉

Tomorrow, I hope to eat a few less processed foods and a few more veggies!  And a bit less ice cream.  Maybe.

July 28, 2010 at 7:38 pm 4 comments

Meet Brutus

I have a fun post for you this evening!  A little bit of this with a little bit of that and a puppy and pregnant woman thrown in for good measure!

Meet Brutus:

I have never met this dog, but a friend is puppy-sitting him and sent me pictures.  Look at that face!  I deemed it “blog-worthy”.

This afternoon, I decided to splurge and buy myself a coffee!  I got half decaf/half bold from Starbs because I wanted the caffeinated boost without giving my little guy too much of a jolt!  See, already I am an excellent, self-less mom 😉

Starbucks is my favourite coffee ever, but its caffeine content is outrageous.  If you read Tina’s blog, you can see what I mean!  I am happy to do the half decaf/half regular combo.

In the elevator on my way back to work, I caught a glimpse of my visage and was shocked to see the gigantic Santa belly staring back at me.  I mean, I know my belly is big.  It’s got a 2 pound baby all up in there.  But today it just seems extra-big.  I had to take a picture for posterity!

I took this photo in my work washroom.  Classy!

I was walking down the hall at work and a coworker who doesn’t usually work in this office made a comment to another coworker and said, “Gosh, Robyn is getting really fat, eh?”.  It made me die laughing.  I had to be resuscitated just to write this entry (?) 😉

The growing belly will never cease to fascinate me.  We spend our whole, adult, female lives trying to make it smaller, flatter, firmer etc., so to have these precious nine months in which I get to proudly stick it out, and flaunt my rotund self is a real breath of fresh air.  As well, when I look at my 6 week pregnancy photo, I stare at my stomach and reminisce about how flat it was.  Ahhhhh, you don’t know how good you’ve got it until it’s gone…or expanded!

Who is this skinny woman?

Anyway, after the delectable cup of coffee, I had a peach (unpictured) and a Dark Mocha Almond granola bar!

Husband and friends spent the day at the zoo (lucky!) and would be arriving home a couple of hours after I did, so I knew dinner would be late (for me, anything after 6:00 pm is late!).   I knew I had to satiate myself the best way I know how:  A Green Monster!

This puppy contains:

  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 sliced banana
  • Spinach
  • The last of the “california” fruit mix, which ended up being predominantly strawberries

It really kept me full as I shucked corn and prepared a make-shift pasta salad.

I really didn’t know how this salad was going to turn out, but I think it turned out pretty good!  I just boiled a cup of macaroni, added a can of drained, rinsed black beans, some cubed mozzarella, and added as many fresh vegetables as I had which included spinach, broccoli, mushrooms, orange pepper, tomato, and zucchini.  For a dressing, I used the recipe I use when I make my Greek Pasta Salad.  Not bad for winging it!

The others had steak, but I stuck to my tried-and-true veggie burger.  Since I was also having corn and the macaroni, I opted out of the bun and just spread some honey barbecue sauce on top.  We ate out in the backyard and it made me think I should really eat every dinner out there (instead of in front of the TV where I may or may not consume most of my meals *ahem*).

And two sweet pickles to complete the meal.

I was pretty excited about what they brought home for dessert:

With chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream!


Perfection much?

Now I am digesting this load of sugar and watching TV.  We are just hanging low tonight and I hope to make it somewhat early to bed.  We shall see!

July 27, 2010 at 8:31 pm 10 comments

The 500 Level

Before I start talking about last night, I must do a round up of yesterday’s food!

For an afternoon snack, I had a “Dulce de leche” lunabar.  It was excellent!  It was pretty much like eating a candy bar, thus, I loved it.

This bar is

I was excited to go out for dinner last night before the game, but not as excited when I found out we were going to a sports bar.  Thankfully, sports bar have come a long way since the “cheeseburgers and chicken wings only” days, and I just about fell over when I saw Mac and Cheese on the menu.  Of course, it also came with bacon, but they could make it without.  Score!

I had a slice of bruschetta as an appetizer:

The Mac and Cheese was made with cheddar and goat cheese and topped with some parmesan.  It was very tasty, although a bit overly “peppered” and I’m not sure it was worth $13.99.  Plus the arugula salad was really a spinach salad!  You know my feelings about spinach, but when I am told arugula, I want arugula!

This meal reminded me that it is fun to eat out, but it is even more fun to make your own food (using less pepper and arugula!)  and do it up right.  AND not spend $13.99.

Our dining companions were very happy with what they ordered.  Check out the size of that fish!

We made our way over to the Roger’s Centre, but first I did a little impromptu photo shoot with husband:

I like his pose.  Very “Shirley Temple”.

And yet another picture of the CN Tower to add to my growing album of shots that look exactly the same:


I don’t have any more pictures from this evening.   Not a single one inside of the stadium!  It was a good game and I am pretty sure the Jays won (although I left before the game was over!).  We sat in the cheap seats on the 500 level ($11!) and, at one point, I could smell cigarette smoke.  I am really sensitive to cigarette smoke because it is DISGUSTING, but even more so now that I am pregnant.  I turned around and some guy was happily puffing away, even though there is no smoking in the stadium.  I am usually a mild, quiet-mannered person, but I went a bit crazy on this person (as did husband), and demanded he butt it out.  He did.  I felt triumphant.  It’s one thing to smoke around me, but another to smoke around my baby!

Now I know what they mean about protective mothers.

I made it home by 10:30 pm, snacked on some almond cake, and was in bed by 11:00 pm.  I woke up groggy, though, and could only concoct a plain bowl of Kashi Go Lean with a sliced banana, some plain non-fat yogurt, and a spoonful of peanut butter.

Now I am going to try to get some work done.  Wish me luck with that one!

July 27, 2010 at 8:30 am 6 comments

Treatzza Pizza

I thought this was a blog about being fit and frugal?  Hmmm.

Look what I ate last night!

This wonder and joy to the world is called a Treatzza Pizza and can be found at a Dairy Queen near you.

Shockingly, I had never heard of these before!  I am very familiar with the regular DQ offerings such as blizzards, parfaits, sundaes etc., but not a treatzza pizza!  The bonus is that it’s fun to say.

I had a slice and a cup of coffee.  Two beautiful worlds, colliding into one!

With Big Brother on television, I was pretty much exploding with happiness.

(Who won the HoH competition?  Wait, don’t tell me!)

It is terribly dreary out this morning, very rainy, and cool.  I am wearing long pants!   It is one of those days best spent in one’s jim-jams on the couch, but that is not to be.  For breakfast, I had a Morning Glory muffin and 1/2 cup cottage cheese with blueberries.

It is my half day at work.  Husband’s hours are flexible, so there has been talk about going out for lunch.  Not just any lunch — BUFFET lunch.  Again, not so much with the frugality and fitness.   Oh well!

July 23, 2010 at 8:28 am 16 comments

Friends with dessert


So my attempt to treat myself right with an afternoon snack was partially foiled by the fact I was busy at work.  There was a broken photocopier and a supervisor who needed this, that, and the other, and before I knew it, it was 3:00 pm.  I had a peach (unphotographed, because I am on strike against photographing peaches!) but knew I needed something sweet.  Luckily I work in midtown Toronto where a 5 minute walk brings you to three grocery stores, five drug stores, and 74 Starbucks (haha.  I wish!).  I am always close to my greatest friend and lover, Lindt chocolate.

Today’s splurge was buying Milk not Dark chocolate!  I mostly prefer dark now, but having some creamy, milky chocolate always ranks high in my list of “Things I really, really like”.  Other items on this list include cats, almond butter, and expandable pants.

I had two squares, even though a third and fourth were calling my name.  I ignored its tempting sound!

Dinner tonight was what I planned for last night:  A Frittata and mashed sweet potatoes.  I was starving so I had an hors d’oeuvres of a Green Monster.

The boring but delicious combo of:

  • 1 sliced frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango
  • 1 cup of 1% milk
  • Large handful of spinach

I am now out of spinach and must figure out a salad-free lunch for tomorrow.  Shocking!

Dinner turned out well, although not as photogenic as I would like.

Like, what IS that?

I promise this tasted about 40 times better than it looks.  I just peeled, chopped, and boiled two sweet potatoes for 15 minutes, drained them, and then mashed them with brown sugar and cinnamon.  I did all of this while texting to a friend.  I am an amazing 21st century superwoman!

Except my frittata-removal skills are lacking.  That first slice always ends up looking a bit, um, messy.  I was aiming for a perfect wedge and ended up with a pile of eggs and veggies.  Oh well!  Presentation isn’t everything.

The friend-who-is-so-often-mentioned-on-this-blog-he-should-have-his-own-nickname is coming over and bringing dessert!  I am going to lure him into the scintillating world of Big Brother.


July 22, 2010 at 7:20 pm 4 comments

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What happens when you love to eat healthy (and some unhealthy!) food, love to live frugally, and love to write? You start a food blog, of course. Of course!

Eating well and living frugally does not always come easy, but Lord help me, I am trying! This blog will detail my endeavor to live the best life possible. This will include pictures of my cats, odes to almond butter, and the general miscellany that makes up my life. Enjoy!

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