Perfectly Permanent Birthday

IMG_5477Another year has come and gone, and I am once again incredibly blessed in all aspects of my life.

For my 26th birthday today, I booked the day off, and spent it EXACTLY how I wanted.

I slept in until about 8:30 when the sun was just starting to rise and my Dad called. [He is always the first person to tell me happy birthday-he always beats G because he calls first thing in the morning, I love it.] I had a nice hot shower while I listening to my new Adele CD (a birthday gift from G along with a beautiful rose gold band and my favourite perfume), and put on some simple but pretty makeup and blow-dried and straightened my hair. I got into my favourite cute-comfy clothes.

 

G and I hoped over to the mall where I had a nail appointment for a pedicure. I was pampered and Graeme had his own hair cut and then got us both a starbucks.[BTW. It ALWAYS snows on my birthday..and of course in december-fashion it was snowing a bit when I came out with my sandals on :)]

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Next we went and purchased a variety of gluten free cupcakes from my favourite Cupcake Conspiracy downtown before returning home.

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We had about an hour before our next event which was perfect time for G to shower/shave [clean face just for me!] + put on some cologne [also a big deal, he hates cologne and I love it]. While home I got my Indigo delivery from black friday! Whoooo! Total surprise to receive a package on the weekend (Im assuming long hours for christmas)- but it contained some stocking things for G…as well as 3 candles I got for amazing deals. They all smell amazing! Happy Birthday to me! I also got to chat with my mom on the phone for a bit.(Mom + Dad contributed to our refugee sponsorship for my birthday which I appreciate wayyyyy more than a gift!:))

After we were done at home, we headed over to pick up my brother and then went to Famoso-my favourite pizza place for a casual lunch with a bunch of my friends! [some had to work and what not][the BEST gluten free pizza…and  I have NEVER been contaminated accidentally which is a huge feat at such a restaurant!]

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We had about another hour and a half before we had to head to a very special appointment so we came home. I had a cupcake and tea while cuddling with G watching my favourite show of the week: Last Man Standing on netflix. I was also able to finish up my goal list for the year! Fun things coming up!

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Finally, we went for the most anticipated part of the day. MY TATTOO!!!! Shannon at Alchemy Tattoo was AMAZING,  warm, kind…and didn’t seemed bothered at all by my type-A nature. She stencilled out my design twice, the first one was a bit small, the second perfect, and then she put the stencil on my arm around FIVE times while I hummed and hawed about exactly where I wanted it (I wanted it to be relatively straight even when moving…which is tough on the area I chose). Finally once I had decided, she reassured my fears of the pain, and started. Within 5 minutes, and essentially no pain [I have had paper cuts and running chafe that hurt more], it was done!!:) I absolutely adore it! My only regret is not going sooner. (Keep in mind the photo is five seconds after it was done, so all the blue is just from the stencils, all that will remain in a couple days is the black ENOUGH..and hopefully a  lot less redness. I’ll post a good pic when it is healed up.)

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After the tattoo we came home to do exactly what I wanted- to hang out at home! We are now relaxing on the couch, watching youtube videos, reading, sipping tea.

The only plans left are to watch my favourite movie, Marley & Me, maybe wrapping my final stocking gifts for G for xmas, and bed early for work tomorrow! [I planned a lunch out for this purpose…I’m a morning person!]

I am so incredibly thankful for this beautiful life I have, with so many wonderful people. Thanks for coming along for the ride. 🙂 Here’s to 26!

 

 

Dairy/Gluten Free Eggs Bene

Cooking is a funny thing for me. It’s in my soul. Some people say they were born to nurse, or born to run, or born to paint; I think I was born to cook. I don’t remeber an age that I wasn’t in the kitchen helping my Dad whip up big dishes full of love and palate tingling excitement. On my deepest, darkest days cooking brings a sense of calm that makes me feel whole. Memories of a beautiful simplistic childhood. One dish can have so much thought, hardwork, love. As the clinche says, it’s the blood, sweat and tears.

For the first time in months, I have a recipe to share. As I woke at 3:32am (not abnormal the day after working nights) and the rain drizzled down I felt that urning inside of me to be challenged; to be with my family; to eat. Poached eggs and hollandaise sauce have intimidated me from the beginning of time. Dramatic? Maybe a little. Any history I had with the two produced memories of too-lemony-greasy sauce and undercooked, falling apart eggs from amature attempts or terrible diners. While neither of these were things I grew up eating, I grew up cooking. I take pride in conquering the seemingly impossible [Oh that mind game…] in the kitchen. Thus, today was the day. My husband was (obviously) still in bed, so it was just me, Julia Child, numerous food blogs and 3 dozen eggs.

Fortunately, it ended up being much simplar than I ever anticipated, and much more decadent than I could have ever imagined. I didn’t waste even one egg. I attempted to do some quality photography along the way but lighting on the dreary early morning, and lack of a camera stand kabunked that idea.

Dairy and Gluten Free Eggs Bene

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Serves Two

8 Stems of Asparagus

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

4 egg yolks

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup dairy-free solid fat (I used 1/2 vegan margarine and 1/2 coconut oil)

4 whole eggs

First, get your asparagus rolling. Chop off the ends, rinse and place on a foil-lined pan. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and pop in a 375 degree oven until tender.

Wisk egg yolks and lemon juice until fluffy and doubled in size. Next, over low heat, wisk mixture continuously-being careful not to boil or overheat- until starting to foam around the edges. At this point, begin drizzling in melted fat SLOWLY until incorperated. You may need to remove the mixture from the heat for the last half as to not scramble your eggs- I knew to do this as my egg mixture had thickened to my desired custard consistency. Once the fat has been incorperated, add a pinch of cayenne pepper and a pinch of salt. Taste and season accordingly. Cover with a dish cloth and set aside.

Bring 3 inches water to a boil, and then turn down to less than a simmer-you should only have a few bubbles but a lot of steam. Crack eggs into spice bowls. Lower the bowl to the edge of the water and slowly slip in the egg. Cook for 3 minutes for soft, 3 1/2 minutes for medium soft, and 4 1/4 minutes for hard. Pull out of water and submerge in an icebath to stop cooking process.

Top asparagus with two eggs, and desired amount hollondaise sauce and enjoy the best breakfast of your life. I served mine with bacon and cantalope. If you have leftover sauce (you should)- just add a dash of hot water and wisk to bring back to life to use at a later time.

GF Pumpkin Spice Crepes

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G and I were hungry for some delicious food, and with a bulk package of bacon in the freezer from costco, and a container of homemade pumpkin puree I made in the freezer…I was just itching to make some pumpkin infused breakfast food!

I perused pinterest and found this recipe: http://www.thebakingbeauties.com/2011/10/gluten-free-pumpkin-crepes.html

I adapted it to what I had in the house and what I can actually eat…so here is how I made it…

Makes aprox. 12 crepes

1 1/2 cups Bob Red’s Mill All Purpose Flour

1/2 tsp xanthan Gum

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 tsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/3 cup home made pumpkin puree (if using canned, Id probably use 3/4 cup as mine is runnier)

1 1/2 cup almond milk + 2 tbsp (again, if using canned pumpking you may need a little more)

2 large eggs

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

Mix all of the ingredients in a stand mixer. Heat non-stick skillet to medium high. Pour 1/3 cup of batter at a time onto skillet, using measuring cup to spread out batter while still liquid. Turn over once bubbles have formed. Fill with coconut-whip and strawberries. I imagine pumpkin pie filling would be AMAZING!

 

Gluten/Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Well… after aprox. 8 months living gluten-free, I have finally done what I thought was impossible. I made chocolate chip cookies with utterly PERFECT crispy edges and chewy centers. You’d never know they were gluten free! I think this means I can finally say I have mastered learned to bake on this GF diet! Bad for my waist line….good for my gluten-free soul. =)

I used a combination of a few different recipes I found on pinterest, and compliled this lovely recipe.

These cookies spread out A LOT, I warn you. Don’t bake more than 6 per cookie sheet. Each and every one is about the size of my hand….but that’s the way they should be. Right? =)

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WIth my cookies by my side…and the brutally cold temps outside, I have had a terrible time running. Only 1 run in two weeks. Eep! Back at her on the treadmill tonight; and we all know I will be slower than turtles tromping through peanut butter with my belly FULL of cookies. No self control. =)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Made 22 hand-sized cookies

Based on this recipe: http://recreatinghappiness.com/dessert-recipes/classic-gluten-free-chocolate-chip-cookies-recipe/

2 cups Bob Red Mill’s Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour

1 tsp xanthan gum

1 tsp corn starch

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup vegan margarine

3/4 cup cane sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp almond extract

2 large eggs

1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chunks (or any chocolate chips you like)

Dump everything in a mixer (except chocolate chips) and blend until fluffy. Add in chocolate chips.

On a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet, drop by tbsp full onto baking sheet.

Bake at 375 for 13 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

Cool for 10 minutes on pan before moving to cooling rack.

Devour.

A Day In My Life: Off Day Eats

One of the questions I am most frequently asked is: What/where do you eat being allergic to so many things?! (Gluten, Dairy, Air-born Peanuts, Shellfish, Raw Peaches, Raw Cherries, Raw Apples, Walnuts)

Well…here you have it folks! A day off- Saturday- which tend to be much less structered than a work day (I will do another on this later). On a ‘good day’, I tend to eat small meals every 3-5 hours rather than 3 large meals, I drink about 3-4 litres of water per day, and I aim to get around 68 grams of protein (0.8g x weight in kg = g of protein to eat per day). Saturdays tend to be a bit more relaxed and I don’t always eat the healthiest….

Wake Up 10am (I slept for 11 hours! I was exhausted!): Juice 2 small grapefruits + 2 carrots + 1 small beet. Out of ginger today. I also take my supplements: B6, multivitamin, rhodiola, a probiotic, and inositol(mixed in my water). Set out some pork chops to defrost for supper.

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Putz around the house tidying up, checking email, etc.

Hubbie finally wakes up 11:45am: We head to Broadway Cafe, a nearby eatery, for brunch. Love this place. It has a 50’s Diner feel- checkered floors, Elvis everything, classic diner food, etc. Portions are HUGE. While it is risky buisness eating here due to possible cross-contamination and open peanut butter at times, I am comfortable taking the risk. I have never had a problem. I bring my epipen, and keep an eye out for peanut butter near me. My husband and I are always prepared to have our food switched to take out if necessary to avoid peanuts! I ordered a vegetarian omlette with no cheese; which comes with hashbrowns, and they cook in oil instead of butter for me, and a side of bacon with orange juice. I ate half and packed up the other half. 27 g protein for half of this.photo-258

On the way home 12:30pm: We walk down the street from the resturant to pick up a Tall soy vanilla latte at Starbucks. Forgot a picture. I don’t like coffee without milk and the retaurant didn’t have a non-dairy option. It is a bitter -26,C -38C with the windchill, enough to make me decide to do my speed work on the treadmill tonight (-20C is my ‘must go outside’ cutoff).  7g Protein.

Spent the afternoon watching Call The Midwife, chatting with my Mom (who’s in hospital recovering from surgery), ordering some Ugg boots, and generally relaxing. So nice to have a day home with my hubbie after the busy holiday season.

4:30pm: Typically would have another snack or meal by now, but I still feel stuffed from all the protein I ate with breakfast.

5:30pm Run time…husband is quicker than me and hops on….I calculate some training paces. Then it is my turn. Speed work day. 10 minute warm up + 1km at race pace + 2 min jog + 1km at race pace + 10 minute cool down….37 minutes total. Shower and dinner prep after.

7:40pm: Ate about 10 grapes while waiting for the pork chops to bake.

8 pm supper: Starving by this point. So starving I forget a picture of the food. Dinner is a baked pork chop (seasoned with epicure cajun seasoning and salt) + homemade apple sauce from the freezer from the winter (sugar free) + salad + french green beans. I end it with a cup of tea and a few Enjoy Life chocolate chips. (dairy and peanut free) 17 g protein.photo-259

Time to watch Ocean’s 11 with the hubster, then probably a little reading and bed!

Protein total for the day: 52 grams…a little low, but didn’t effect my hunger levels.