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Author Archives: Truly Simple

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Another rainy day

When Leif was living in California and I was still in Canada, he used to always say that it “never” rains here. He actually said he missed the rain. Well I must have brought it with me when I moved here, because it has been raining so much this winter. I know I can’t complain when I see all the snow my friends up north are getting though. Today is yet another rainy day. It does give me a good excuse to stay inside and get cozy with Frankie though.

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He’s not complaining 😉

I was craving something cool, believe it or not. I’ve been hooked on Banana Soft serve lately. I first read about it at Oh She Glows months ago and keep coming back to this delicious dessert. It’s hard to believe it is a dessert. I don’t have a food processor but my small chopper does the trick. In the mix is a frozen banana (frozen with the peel off, broken into pieces), a bit of almond milk and a drop of vanilla. It seriously tastes better than ice cream.

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I am not a big fan of ice cream to start with. I find it too creamy and thick. I don’t like milk either, so maybe that explains the lack of ice cream love. This is a great substitute and even more delicious.

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Dig in!

What is your favorite go to dessert?

Gift Cards make my day!

 

There’s something special and fun about using a gift card rather than your own money (even if it was from Leif, ie “our” money).

Leif and I both celebrated our birthdays a few weeks ago. Funny thing is that after we met we realized our birthdays were 4 days apart.

Note – I am the older one 🙂 

One of my gifts was from Frankie…

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Awww.. Thanks Frankie!

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I am definitely not a Starbucks “regular” but I do love it as a treat once in a while. Today was one of those days I wanted to treat myself to something sweet. Skinny Vanilla Latte – Yes please!

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It was a cold and dreary day so it warmed me up perfectly – just what I needed. To me it’s a special treat because I don’t pick one up every day.

In the past year or so I’ve fallen in love with chick peas. I have always loved hummus, but now I am making my own (thanks to all the great blogger recipes) and also trying to use them in other meals and recipes. I often bake them in the oven and they are delicious. I just drain a can of chick peas, add in any spices I grab (usually paprika, cumin, pepper) and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Then spread the little chick-0’s on a cookie sheet and bake them at 375 until they look slightly browned, but not overdone (I am bad with exact recipes, it’s usually more turning the dial to whatever temperature it gets turned to and adding in whatever I grab).

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They are seriously so tasty and good! I also chopped up some potatoes and mixed them with a bit of olive oil, cumin and pepper.

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I never thought chick peas could taste SO good!

Tea Please

 

Something else that has also grown in this household is my love for tea. I used to drink tea here and there for years, but recently it has become a daily treat. A big part of this is discovering Davids Tea and learning that there are SO many different flavors and variations. As far as I know, the store only exists in Canada, so whenever I am home visiting family I stock up. I went from having a few flavours…

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I bought a few more when I was home at Christmas and also received some for gifts from my little bro. One of my best friends from home came for a visit last month and also brought me some. My collection is slowly growing… mmmm!

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My favorite has got to be Toasted Walnut and Pumpkin Chai (but this one has been pushed to the back until next fall rolls around).

And a few other non-Davids to add to the mix

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Soooo good. It’s always exciting picking what flavor I want each day since I have a lot of variety. Never a dull day in this kitchen, I tell ya 😉

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The tea goes perfectly with my new tea kettle. I had been eyeing them at Marshall’s for a while now but none were the exact color I was looking for (I love colorful kitchen stuff!). We found this one day and I knew right away this baby was going to find a new home right on my stove top.

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What are your favorite flavor of tea?

Lengthy Siesta

 

A lot has happened in the last few months. We have had tons of family/friends visit from home, we have been on many trips, and we have had a few additions.

Our family of two went from…..

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To three…. 🙂

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Meet Frankie our new furry friends we adopted from the SPCA in November. I have loved every minute that we’ve had him (except for a few shoe and carpet chewing incidents that we don’t need to mention). He is such a fun, spunky little pup that loves to cuddle 90% of the time, and the other 10% he gets energy spurts and runs laps around the apartment.

 

On to other news…..

My jar collection has gone from this:

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To this:

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To this:

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To this:

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They keep appearing out of nowhere (at least that’s what I have been telling Leif). I got the idea from seeing a post from Daily Garnish months ago and I have been slowly accumulating more jars to store all my cooking ingredients and foods. I think they look great displayed and also keeps me on my toes about using what’s in them to cook new things. I’d love to build a shelf on the wall to hold them at some point.

 

Today is a gray, cool day out. Although I love sunny days, there is something special and cozy about these kinds of days when you don’t need to feel guilty curling up in pjs, slippers and a blanket for a few hours.

Microwave Fail and Big Sur Half Marathon

This weekend I participated in the Big Sur Half Marathon in Monterey, California. Let me tell you… this is got to be the most beautiful race out there. It starts by running through the historic city and then hugs the beautiful California coastline for several miles. There were about 7000 runners which is the largest run I have ever been a part of. It was a great time. I was slightly disappointed with my time as it wasn’t as fast as I normally do, but hey, I did it! I am proud of that.

When I started running years ago I always assumed “one day I will do a marathon”. Isn’t that what all runners eventually do? After doing 6 half marathons, I still don’t have a big urge to do a marathon. Once in a while I debate it with myself, but it never goes further than that. Whenever I am finishing running a half marathon the same thought always crosses my mind “There’s NO way I could do double the distance I just did”. I have so much respect for all of you out there who have completed a marathon. A lot of respect. Me on the other hand, I am happy and proud to say I have done 6 halfs. I don’t think I will ever push to do a full marathon, and I am OK with that! I have done more than many people have ever attempted, and I need to be proud of myself for that.

Now that this race is done I am back to doing p90x. Today I had a nice yoga day which was perfect since I am still sore from Sunday.

Leif and I got one of the most useful kitchen tool as a wedding gift. Let me introduce you to the grill basket:

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It is made to use over the BBQ but can also be used in the oven with a cookie sheet underneath to catch anything that falls through.

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We have been cooking some amaaaazing veggies in here. My mouth waters thinking about it.

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I add in whatever fresh or frozen veggies we have. My two favorite ingredients are:

  • mushrooms – I looove cooked mushrooms. On the other hand, I really dislike fresh mushrooms.
  • Pineapple – OK I know it isn’t a veggie, but mixing pineapple in any veggie stir fry, grill or pizza (my fav) is the secret ingredient to pure bliss.

I add a bit of olive oil and whatever spices and peppers I grab before it flies into the oven.

Done and done!

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There was a little microwave mishap in the kitchen the other day. We were warming up leftover chili and it somehow got put in a couple minutes too long. Note to self – watch the microwave like a hawk unless you want a bit cleaning task on your to-do list.

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Leif and I looked at what happened and both just laughed and laughed.

When he went to work I took on the cleaning task. Don’t worry, it was cleaned. I even left him a little note to surprise him (slash remind him of the hard work I did)

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Off to watch some Glee and hit the hay.

Hand Made Knit Christmas Stocking

Don’t you love it when you make a big batch of food and freeze the leftovers? At the time you don’t think much of it, but when you are hungry, hunting through the fridge/freezer and discover what you have, it is a good day!

We had leftover vegetarian chili for lunch. It’s one of my go-to recipes. It’s so easy, quick and always a favorite with others. I just throw in whatever vegetables I have, diced tomatoes, chili sauce and some secret spices. Recipe to come in the near future (although I don’t even use a recipe anymore).

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It’s by far my favorite thing to eat on a chilly day (no pun intended). Yes folks, it does get cold in California. I didn’t believe it either until I moved here.

I am loving our new Ball jars for our food supplies. I can’t wait to buy some more. I have many jars to be filled.

Cranberries..

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One of my favorite things to do is make things. Since it is Leif and I’s first Christmas being married, I wanted to make something special for us to put out every year. I love to knit and we don’t have any stockings to hang on our fireplace, so I put two and two together, and this is what I made..

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Ta da!

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But this one was getting a little lonely by itself

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So I made another to keep it one company…

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Leif insisted I make mine a little smaller than his and that it would look “cute”. I am very type-A and like everything to be even, equal and straight/narrow, but I made it the way he wanted.

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I’m still not sure if I agree, but it will grow on me. If not I can fix it.

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Perhaps he wanted his bigger thinking it would be filled with more gifts? 🙂

Have you ever made anything hand made for the holidays? Do tell as I am looking for more ideas!