Posts tagged ‘Yogurt Love’
There is something about this kind of weather that makes me just want to loaf around. Of course, having a six-week old and being on maternity leave helps achieve this pursuit, but news stories like these are a welcome reminder that from December to March, you are best off at home with a cup of steaming *insert hot beverage of choice* in your hands.
I also think that loafing around is best achieved with actual loaf!
Pumpkin Loaf half eaten. Or, as an optimist would say, half not-eaten
I pulled myself up by my boot straps yesterday (boot straps = yoga pants) and managed to bake a pumpkin loaf. Sweet breads are really easy to make and I think this took me between 5 and 10 minutes to put together and another 45 minutes to bake. Yesterday was The Day of the Loaf because Lynn brought over some of her insanely delicious lemon poppy seed loaf. I would have taken a picture of it but I think there are only 3 crumbs of it left.
It is a gorgeous day outside, but the Internet has notified me that it’s -10 Celsius out there. Yikes! Since I rarely step outside of my house these days, I am no longer acclimatized to these frigid Canadian temperatures. I am like a member of the Jamaican bobsled team!
Except with much less fashion sense.
I had some cooked brown rice leftover from my Florentine Rice Bake so I decided to have it for breakfast. In the summer, I enjoyed having cooked barley for breakfast, so I figured that rice would be along the same lines. Plus it is very frugal. Ah, the magic word!
Since rice on its own is very – how should I say this? – not very tasty, I spruced it up by topping it with plain yogurt, raspberries, blueberries, honey and cinnamon. I was starving when I ate this, coming off a marathon nursing session with one hungry and growing little boy, so I wolfed it down. I am pretty sure I liked it, though. By the way, how bizarro is it to eat fresh blueberries and raspberries in December? No wonder our world is melting!
GOALS FOR TODAY:
1. Shower. This is more of a challenge than you realize!
2. Go to the library and pick up the 57 books I have on hold. This is a slight exaggeration, maybe.
3. Post on my blog. Done and….almost done!
4. Wrap two Christmas gifts
5. Make Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili for dinner. Perhaps the most far-reaching yet satisfying goal on the list!
I will let you know how I fare in tomorrow’s post. Have a great hump day!
Can you forgive these faces?
We are all so sorry that it has been over 24 hour since I last wrote in this. What kind of thrice-daily food blogger do I take myself for? My excuse is, of course, that I am pregnant and last night I was subjected to one of my favourite hormonal activites, that is, a Pregnant Lady Meltdown (PLM). To make a long story short, I kind of ruined my husband’s birthday surprise dinner and then proceeded to spend an hour crying about it. Hello irrationality! It took a bowl of ice cream and an episode of Big Brother to regain my senses.
I didn’t update today because my place of employment has imploded. I am starting my new job on Tuesday but, really, the extra work has already begun. Did I mention that they haven’t hired a replacement for my current position yet and I will effectively be doing two jobs at the same time all the while growing a fetus and being subjected to PLMs? Yes, fun! I stayed three hours late to work today (usually I get out at 12 on Fridays, today not until after 3!) and am fearful of what the next three months contain. 64 days to go (not that I am counting)!
I am not sure what my posting schedule will be like in the future. I would like to continue with three times a day, but I just don’t know if I have it in me. The job with the pay cheque kind of takes precedent over the job with the fun food pictures, y’know?
But I have a good post for you! Let me be your Friday night entertainment.
First, I tried to make Greek yogurt!
Last night, I took a colander, a bowl, and three coffee filters…
I was excited that this make-shift contraption fit in my fridge!
I added almost a full container of 1% plain yogurt and let it sit over night. This morning, I scooped it out and put it back in the container. It was WAY thicker, WAY tastier, and seemed to decrease in volume by almost half! A lot of yogurty water (yum!) drained out of it.
I am incredibly impressed! Thanks Anne! I am pretty sure you just changed my life.
Secondly, my friend Mike gave me some fresh, local produce today. A good friend is a friend who gives you free vegetables.
Waiting for me in my backyard…
I think Martha Stewart would approve of this arrangement
The zucchini is probably the largest I have ever seen in my entire life. I have dreams of zucchini loaf in my immediate future. And what is it about local tomatoes that makes them about 4,000 times better than any you buy in the grocery store?
I had to make a Greek salad out of this stuff. It was a necessity! My dinner tonight:
Snobby joes on an Arnold Wheat Thin (Thank you, America!) along with a Greek salad made with cucumber, yellow beans, tomato, red wine vinegar, oil, oregano, basil, garlic powder, feta, and black pepper.
Delicious! But the best was yet to come. I finally decided to try Banana Soft Serve. Took me long enough!
First, I took two sliced, frozen bananas and put them in my food processor…
At first, they blended up into tiny granules of banana. I knew that I had to give this a couple of minutes. Occasionally, I stopped it and scraped the sides of the processor.
Eventually, something magical transpired and this is what resulted:
I was pretty excited to say the least.
This did change my life.
Food discoveries like this one just rejuvenate my whole philosophy about healthy eating! I was starting to get back onto the processed food/unhealthful bandwagon (I partly blame the container of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream that continues to taunt me from my freezer!), but eating this for dessert just felt great. It was so simple, easy, and delicious. Aforementioned Mike also told me about http://www.mamaearth.ca, a local home delivery, organic food service. It’s kind of like a CSA but runs year round and they deliver to your home. Imagine getting a box of fresh food delivered to your house in the middle of a cold January day?! Sounds perfect! I am seriously thinking about it. It is not the most frugal move in the Handbook of Frugal Moves, but it greatly appeals to me…
Plus, if I get a juicer like I am convinced I need (thanks Callie ;)), then I could use the extra veggies for that! So many possibilities…
My weekend plans are pretty willy nilly as of now. There will be sleeping, there will be crocheting, there will be Banana Soft Serve. I just want to coddle myself this weekend in preparation for the work week (and remaining three months) ahead of me. I am actually stressed out about getting too stressed out. Is that normal? I just need to repeat the mantra “a day at a time, a day at a time…”. Honestly, I have never been so anxious for fall and winter to get here! For now, though, I try to enjoy the summer and all the fresh tomatoes it may bring.
I think my all-time favourite breakfast is a simple muffin and coffee. It’s so simple and doesn’t contain NEARLY enough protein to keep me full, but I just love the combination. I’m out of the habit of having coffee in the morning due to time constraints (I like to sip coffee at a leisurely pace. Rushed coffee drinking is no fun for anyone involved!), so this morning I had a muffin and a Siggi’s instead.
It was pretty much perfect. This is, by far, my favourite Siggi’s flavour. It is considerably tastier than both the blueberry and vanilla. It actually has flavour and sweetness! Coupled with the muffin, it made a complete breakfast.
Have a delicious day! <– lame.
In case you missed my post yesterday, we are having a boy! I have been hanging on to this piece of information ever since our ultrasound because I wanted to tell my family and friends first before telling the Internet. Now I am happy that everyone who should know, now knows. Phew!
Last night, I tried an experiment involving yogurt. I’ve been told that to create a thicker, Greek-style type of yogurt inexpensively, you can take regular, plain yogurt, and let it thicken by putting it in cheesecloth and letting the excess moisture drain out. I have been meaning to buy cheesecloth for ages, but keep forgetting! On the weekend, I was talking about this with friends and they recommended using a disposable coffee filter. I don’t have these either (I use a reusable filter), so a friend gave me some to try. I love friends who support my frugality by giving me free stuff! 😉
Once I got home, I taped a coffee filter to a mug and put just enough yogurt in that it wouldn’t break the filter (this did happen with my first attempt unfortunately!).
Immediately, the coffee filter became moist. I left this in the fridge for a few hours, and then scooped it out. It was definitely thicker, but this method only makes a couple of tablespoons of yogurt at a time! I tried again by just adding yogurt every couple of hours. Once it will full, I had a good serving and a half of thick yogurt!
It was noticeably thicker, although I’m not sure if the protein content changed. Probably not by much. I will have to do some research about how to make this process more efficient. If I can make my own thick yogurt, I could save a bundle.
I used some of this yogurt on today’s breakfast! I started with Overnight Oats made with 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup 1% milk, and 1 tablespoon of chia seeds left in the fridge overnight.
Then I added the yogurt, a small handful of Kashi Go Lean cereal, 4 sliced strawberries, a handful of blueberries, and a spoonful of peanut butter. It was very tasty.
This weekend, I also had an enlightening conversation with my girlfriends about maternity leave benefits. I think I have been underestimating how much I will receive during my year-off. With this piece of information, I immediately went out on a shopping spree. Uhhh…I wish! Instead, I just clapped my hands and got excited to save even more money. Hello, my name is Robyn, and I am addicted to budgeting.
Because of the new leaf I turned over last week, I didn’t spend too much. You will notice the lack of coffee purchased!
The Monday Rundown
|Milk and yogurt||$8.00|
|Total for week||$53.03|
(That first coffee was purchased before I decided to stop buying coffee 😉 )
I am lucky in that my brunch yesterday was paid for by a friend, and my picnic offerings were budgeted into the grocery bill that my husband paid for. It was a relatively inexpensive weekend.
I am still reading the book The Complete Tightwad Gazette (at over 900 pages, it is taking a while!). I am learning a lot of great ideas and one is “the cost of the wow factor”. The idea is that some splurges are worth it because their cost for the amount of “wow” you receive is a good deal. Take, for example, a trip to Hawaii. On a scale of 1 to 10, the “wow factor” for this trip is probably a 9 and the cost for two people is $3000. Let’s take another trip, this time a four day camping trip a few hours away from home. On a scale of 1 to 10, the wow factor may be 5. The cost of the trip? $400. It has less of a wow factor than Hawaii, but also a much smaller cost.
9 wow factors = $3000.00. Therefore, the cost per wow factor is $333.33
5 wow factors = $400.00. The cost per wow factor is $80.00
By this equation, you get more bang for your buck with the camping trip.
This is an interesting application to use when debating whether a splurge is worth it. You may find that the more expensive choice still has a greater cost-per-wow factor than the less expensive choice.
I am looking at you, Greek yogurt.
Well my journey through the magical land of American Greek yogurt continues, as this morning for breakfast I broke out the Stonyfield Organic “Oikos” Greek yogurt!
I was immediately impressed by the creamy texture, although was suspicious that it didn’t seem thick at all. In fact, its texture was reminiscent of regular, non-Greek yogurt, i.e. inferior yogurt!
Husband was able to drop me off at the subway this morning, meaning I was given an extra 25 minutes for my morning routine. What does one do with an extra 25 minutes? Some sleep in, some watch TV, but I, dear readers, make hot oatmeal!
I decided to cook 1/2 cup rolled oats in 1 cup of water (doubled the recipe to feed husband too) and serve it with the yogurt, half a sliced banana, a few sliced strawberries, and a small handful of this entirely awesome trail mix.
I found the flavour of the Oikos yogurt to be tasty. The sweetness of the honey was a nice touch. But, to be honest, I prefer my Greek yogurt to be thick. I want it almost cheese-like. This yogurt reminded me of any old, basic yogurt (although this contains 12 grams of protein, which is a bonus!). I don’t think I would buy this again because it is pricey, but I would definitely eat it again if offered!
Speaking of price, I have been thinking about my budget again. I only have 73 days left of work until my maternity leave, not that I am counting or anything ;). That means only 8 more paycheques! This means I want to get SERIOUS about my spending. And, yes, this motivation is completely caused by my reading of The Complete Tightwad Gazette. It is really making me look at my already frugal-esque lifestyle and wondering where to make some cuts! This is what I propose:
1. No more coffee shop coffee, unless I am out with friends or husband. With 73 days of work left, I will save between $93.44 and $137.97 by avoiding the coffee shops alone!
2. Our weekly grocery bill has been averaging about $100 a week. I would like to cut this by 20%. This means more lentils! This means less Greek yogurt 😦
3. Raise the temperature in our house. We have been keeping it in the 74-76 F range, so I am going to try to stick to around 78. This is a tough one, though, because husband prefers it cooler. Since I am a human incubator right now, you would think I would prefer it cooler too, but my frugal desires evidently outweigh my basal body temperature.
4. Right now, my miscellaneous spending “allowance” is about $116.50 a week (specific number much?). I am toying with the idea of cutting this by half to $60.00. That may be too much, though. This weekend, I am driving to Niagara ($20 for gas), taking my mom out to lunch for her birthday with relatives ($20-25) and having a picnic on the beach with my girlfriends ($ cost unknown!). That doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room. And if there is one thing I like to do, it is wiggle.
After my shopping splurge this weekend, I feel ready to make some frugal changes. I am ready to really live up to the name of this blog!!!!
(…just one more bite of Siggi’s, please 😉 )
A friend of hubby’s has been reading my blog, writing me emails, and making fun of me (all in good spirit!). Today he sent me the following picture and caption:
“How do you eat this crap?”
My first food blog 🙂
Pretty classic, eh? I LOL’d.
I needed that LOL-ing because work was busy! Check out the background of snack #1: a Chocolate Peppermint Lunabar. The bar was “yum” but the amount of work on my desk was not.
By snack #2 at exactly 3:36 pm, my desk was cleared off a bit. Phew!
Husband is seeing a movie tonight with his brother, so I was on my own for dinner. I decided to take the frugal route and use up something that has been living in my freezer for months now: pierogies! We used to eat these all the time, but husband has recently notified me that he’s not a fan. That leaves the mission of Operation: Get Rid of the Pierogies up to me.
I pan-seared them (sounds better than fried!) in olive oil with onions, red pepper and mushrooms and had them with steamed frozen veggie mix. What would we do without freezers? (Eat fresh food, I am guessing)
I had six pierogies and was going to dip them in sour cream, but only ended up using about a 1/3rd of the sour cream pictured here. These were pretty cheesy pierogies and didn’t really need any help from its fatty, dairy friend 😉
For dessert, I broke out a Siggi’s, but not just any Siggi’s. A Siggi’s that was partially consumed by husband this morning until he realized that he hates Siggi’s. He says they are too bitter and thick for him. SAY IT AIN’T SO. First pierogies, now Siggi’s. It’s like I don’t even know who he is anymore.
But you know what this means — more Siggi’s for me!
I had half of a blueberry-flavoured one.
Such a beautiful colour, but honestly? Not such a fan of the blueberry. I couldn’t really even taste blueberry. I guess with these being all-natural, the flavouring isn’t very strong…or detectable. I am holding out hope for the vanilla. I love vanilla yogurt. Don’t fail me now, my Icelandic friend.
I also had some organic teddy bear cookies! I bought these on sale a couple of weeks ago.
19 cookies for 140 calories. I am a fan of any serving size that lets me eat 19 cookies.
And a cup of coffee with Oprah Winfrey!
I broke out of my usual routine and didn’t buy any coffee while at work today. I KNOW. I am reading The Complete Tightwad Gazette and it is inspiring me to cut down on consumption like that. Of course, I have felt this way before. Give me three days, and I will be back to my old habits. But as of now, no more fancy coffee!
In case you missed it, I wrote about my excursion to America here! You will note that I didn’t buy any clothes, just lots and lots of food. It is what I do.
This morning I slept until the late, late hour of 8 am. As soon as I reached consciousness, I had one thing on my mind: Siggi’s! All I knew about Siggi’s was from what I read on other food blogs, that it was very thick and rich, very tasty, and very expensive. I knew it had to be mine!
I bought six containers of it (one is for hubby who likes to try new things too) so I broke out the “Pomegranate Passion Fruit flavour” this morning. What an awesome flavour combo, eh? I was already impressed. I had it along with a toasted whole wheat bagel with a touch of margarine, and a fruit salad made with 5 sliced strawberries, a handful of blueberries, and a handful of raspberries.
Here are some stats about this yogurt:
- 120 calories per container
- 0 grams of fat, which is utterly mind-blowing once you get a mouthful of this stuff
- 16 grams of protien, which truly makes my heart sing
- Made with milk from grass fed cows
- Ingredients: skim milk, agave nectar, passion fruit, pomegranate, live active cultures, vegetable rennet
- Milk produced without the use of bovine growth hormone
The last point reminded me of a good point to mention! In Canada, our milk production regulations are much more strict than the States, which means that it is illegal to use bovine growth hormone to increase milk production. I forgot that this isn’t the case in the U.S., and it made me sad. But then it made me happy for them that they have access to Siggi’s. It all seems to work out in the end.
My verdict? HOLY (grass fed, non-bovine growth hormone) COW! I think I like this better than even Greek yogurt! Who knew the Icelandeans (sp?) had it in them? This stuff is nuts. First, the texture: Incredibly thick, you feel like you are eating a decadent dessert. Here is a spoonful turned upside down. You will notice no slippage!
It’s like when they turn your Blizzard upside down at Dairy Queen, except about 1.2 million times healthier
Secondly, the flavour. I was disappointed not to be able to detect any of the pomegranate, but the passion fruit provided a subtle and sweet taste. It was very nice.
Honestly, I am a little squicked out that this contains no fat. When you eat it, you feel like you are scooping thick cream into your mouth. I KNOW! But you aren’t. It is fat free. This is a crazy world we live in. I kind of love it.
The kicker is that this stuff is produced in Chenango County, New York, a mere half-day drive from me (not that I mapquested it or anything). I can only hope and pray that this product shows up at Whole Foods Paycheck as soon as possible. Preferably next week when I imagine my 6-container stash will be entirely depleted.
Anyway, today is Sunday which means I have a to-do list! Let me share it with you:
- Eat amazing, life-changing yogurt – Check!
- Start laundry – Check!
- Blog – Check!
- Drink coffee
- Make a bean salad
- Cuddle with kitties
- Go to in-laws for BBQ
- Make lunch for tomorrow
- Go to bed at reasonable hour
Have a great Sunday! And don’t forget: BIG BROTHER IS ON TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!