What I Ate Wednesday Sorta

Have you WIAW lately?

Someone in my RSS feed posted their What I Ate Wednesday a while back and I thought the idea was so cool I had to participate at least once. This fun innovative idea comes from Peas and Crayons. It was a personal weekly project that caught on.

All you have to do is photograph a day of meals any day of the week and create a What I Ate Wednesday post. Of course it does not have to be Wednesday food only, nor does it have to be the food you ate in only one day. I have posted a breakfast, a lunch and a dinner (plus drinks and snacks) from different days but together they make a day of meals. Kinda cool to look back at how you eat…and even better how others eat!


So what I ate on this virtual day:

For breakfast I had a bowl of granola with a few slices of cantaloupe and my personal Ayurveda herbal tea. I have not blogged about Ayurveda herbal healing mixes but I could…any interest?

At work 2 coffees in the morning, always. We have a Nespresso machine. After that it is water, water, water.

For lunch I went out with my colleagues to a Japanese restaurant. I was tempted by the Chicken Bento box. Lots of salad, tempura veggies and sushi. It was huge.

For an afternoon snack I had a couple of clementines and a bit of dark chocolate.

A very lazy dinner. The breast of a store bought BBQ chicken served with Asian frozen veggies with a Chow Main sauce over rice.

After you have posted you can go link up to the Peas and Crayons WIAW of that week and add your url to the inlinkz.

Blueberry Lizzy Coffee Cake

I came up with the Blueberry Lizzy Coffee Cake in honor of Lizzy over at That Skinny Chick Can Bake, but this cake actually could have been named Blueberry shoulda-been-scones Coffee Cake.  She posted a lovely Raspberry Cream Scones recipe and I had an urge to make them right away using the frozen blueberries I had in my freezer. I proceeded to make the recipe and then oops, I put in two cups of cream instead of the one indicated in the recipe. What could I do?

But before I get to the recipe I have a favor to ask. PLEASE PLEASE go vote for my recipe on facebook for the Backpacker Recipe Guide, I am the PESTO & MUSHROOM PIZZA, look for the pic below! Thank you!

So back to my baking faux pas. My scones were beyond liquefied with a double amount of liquid. I attempted to make a cake out of it by adding flour, eggs and a few other things. I emailed Liz telling her what happened and she might get a cake named after her. But things got worse: my oven would not go to 350 F…it would only do 200F or 400F. Then I had to leave my place for an emergency errand so I closed the oven, came back, and tried to bake it again. The result was less then spectacular as you can see below. Looks like a blue cracked dry earth desert scenery. Don’t even asked how it tasted. I think asking for a new stove for Christmas might be a little big expensive. I would probably get one of the wayfair play kitchen sets for kids instead to fit the gift budget. Are they not cute? Brings back memories of the toy kitchen I had as a kid!

My ego however would not let this go…I had to come up with a cake recipe using basically the ingredients in the scones. After some research I created this cake and this time we had a big success. This cake almost has a biscuit quality to it but is fluffy like a cake. It is a wonderfully simple cake to enjoy in the afternoon with a cup of tea or coffee. Actually it would be great for breakfast too!

Ξ Blueberry Lizzy Coffee Cake Ξ

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/4 cup light cream
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup wild blueberries, frozen or fresh

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2. In a large bowl mix with a beater butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well. Stir in light cream and lemon.

3. In another bowl mix all the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix well. The dough will be dense.

4. Spoon and spread evenly half the cake mixture into a buttered 9″ round cake pan. Sprinkle blueberries on top and gently spoon and spread evenly the other half the cake mixture, covering all the blueberries.

5. Bake at 350 F for 45 min or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Is Your Coffee Cup Half Full or Half Empty?

I am not one to usually just publish all the press releases I get but when I feel there is truly a good message then I am happy to share good worthy info. This is the case with the latest PR from Maxwell House Coffee….

Is Your Coffee Cup Half Full or Half Empty?

Maxwell House Pours a Cup of Optimism for Canadians and Encourages Everyone to Brew Some Good

Help Brew a Nation Without Bitterness

Maxwell House is opening up a bottomless can of optimism for Canadians,” says Rena Nickerson, Senior Brand Manager, Maxwell House.  “It’s been a tough winter, but now that Spring’s here, we’re on a mission to boost the mood of the nation and we want all Canadians to join the movement.  Take a well-deserved ‘Optimism Break’ on our website and then share that great feeling with someone else.  After all, optimism is contagious!” Whether your cup is half empty or half full, Maxwell House is providing many ways that Canadians can take an “Optimism Break” and brew some positive energy:

  • Visit the Maxwell House Optimism Café in Montreal at 3523 St. Laurent.  Throughout the month of April, there will be free Maxwell House coffee for everyone, along with a schedule of fun, in-café events.
  • Escape from the daily grind at www.BrewSomeGood.ca and check out the “daily dose of optimism” – real life stories to give spirits a lift.
  • Join the Facebook page – www.facebook.com/brewsomegood – for positive messaging and details on “Optimism Breaks” events.
  • Watch for the Maxwell House Optimism Walls on downtown streets in Toronto and Montreal.  The Walls project positive quotations, results from the Optimism Meter, and tweets from Canadians fed by the Maxwell House Twitterstream @brewsomegood.

Is your cup of coffee half full or half empty?  Do you feel good about life and share your positive attitude with others?  Are you an optimist?  Maxwell House coffee – Canada’s favourite at-home coffee – believes that the world would be a better place if more people saw their cup as half full, rather than half empty. To gauge just how optimistic Canadians are, the brand commissioned the Maxwell House Survey on Optimism, Coffee and Canadians*, conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion.  Survey results show that Canadians are revelling in a positive state of mind and believe their positive spirit can make a difference:

  • 85 percent of Canadians consider themselves to be optimistic

–   Alberta is the most optimistic province at 90 percent, while 86 per cent of Quebecers consider themselves to be optimistic

–   Canadians become more optimistic as they age:  81 percent of 18-to-34 year olds are optimistic vs. 87 percent of those 55 plus

  • 86 percent of us believe optimism is contagious

–   Gender makes a difference on this one:  89 percent of women believe it’s contagious vs. 82 percent of men

  • 66 percent of Canadians feel they are a “cup-half-full” kind of person who sees the positive side of things, while 28 percent see themselves as a “cup-half-empty” person who is more cautious

–   That number drops in Quebec, with 57% of respondents feeling they are a “cup-half-full” kind of person

  • 79 percent of us admit to trying to turn pessimists into optimists

–   Women tend to encourage pessimists to be optimistic much more than men:  86 percent vs. 72 percent

–   Quebec is above the national average with 83%

  • 41 percent of coffee drinkers say that a great cup of coffee influences their level of optimism

–   In Quebec, that number jumps to 51%!

Tips for Brewing Your Own Optimism

To garner ideas and advice on how we can all brew up our own optimistic outlook, Maxwell House is working with two eternal optimists:  Christopher Hall, a comedian famous for his Optimistic outlook on life, and Albert Nerenberg, a Laughologist, Filmmaker and Journalist.  Mr. Hall, who has worked with Mr. Nerenberg in the past, supports his top five tips for culturing positivity:

1) Smile: Smile even when you don’t feel like it.  Simply smiling will cause the hormonal changes that produce positive emotion.

2) Enjoy Rituals: Practicing rituals – something as simple as brewing and enjoying your morning cup of coffee – can help increase optimism as it gives your psyche something to look forward to.

3) Laugh Big.  Laugh Often: They say laughter is the best medicine but most of us don’t laugh well.  Don’t hold back to enjoy the stress-relieving benefits. 

4) Get Face-to-Face with Friends: We enjoy each other’s company and this interaction is believed to boost both our immunity levels and our mood.

5) Look Up: So far, there is no science to explain this, but simply looking up seems to improve your mood. Look towards the ceiling and you will notice a positive lift.

“Optimism has been linked with everything from good health and less stress to a long life and personal success,” concludes Ms. Nickerson.  “Whether your cup is half full or half empty, every new morning is a chance to brew some good.  Do yourself a favour and join the Maxwell House movement!”

* About the SurveyThe Angus Reid Public Opinion Poll was conducted over two sessions:

From February 23 to February 25, 2011, and from March 2 to March 3, 2011, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,005 and 1,018 (respectively) randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is+/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

 

Café Latte Weekends

For years now I have my little weekend tradition: I must have my latte in the morning on Saturday and Sunday. Many moons ago I had bought a cheap expresso machine for my dad when the cheap ones were new to the market. It was not a success. Ever since that try I kept my expresso making to the stove top with one of those traditional Italian expresso makers. Until recently that is.

I was given an opportunity to try out any item of my choice (to a certain extent) at CNS Stores and review it. One of the items I chose was a budget priced expresso machine. Would this one be better then the one I knew from the past?

The answer: YES! I chose the Delonghi Two Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Maker as it had the best reviews for an expresso machine of that price range – which is what most of us can afford. Of course if I had a 1000$ to blow I would get the ultra fancy ones, but I don’t so a budget model it is.

This machine was designed and engineered in Italy. It is made of a plastic shell…hopefully durable in the long run. Its overall dimensions are 11″ H x 11″ W x 8.25″ D. The 8.5 ounce heat-resistant glass carafe is perfect for making 2 or 4 shots of expresso. It even comes with a 2-cup adapter that allows you to make two espressos simultaneously(not in pictures, did not use it). One detail I love is the lid of the carafe. The way it is made forces you to align it with the expresso holder part so there is no way it will drip anywhere else then in the carafe.

The plastic measuring spoon that comes with it measures perfectly the needed coffee grounds that I required. 2 spoons matched the notched edge perfectly. After a few tries I found that it was better to fill the carafe with water up to the third line, not the second, to get the needed pressure for frothing my milk. The swivel jet frother arm is too short in general. It does work well with the shape of my preferred cup but this is my number one and only complaint about the machine.

I had no problem getting froth from my milk which I never accomplished years ago with the other gift machine. And I get better at it each time. I read online to not bob up and down but to just barely immerse the nozzle below the milk level. Works great!

The taste test: I found the quality of the expresso better then the one I always made on my stove top and I love how the milk nicely froths up. I am very happy with my now upgraded weekend lattes.  Look at my beautiful result!

If you are in the market for a budget expresso/cappucino machine do not hesitate to get the Delonghi Two Cup Espresso/Cappuccino Maker. I am sure I will get years of use out of this machine, or unitl I have a spare 1000$ lying around lol.

Ironing your Coffee?

So its a lazy Sunday morning and I am doing some totally random net surfing. I fell on a site I thought would be food related called Cafe Press but it turns out it was a custom tshirts website, not what I expected at all. Or was it?

Well it certainly made me laugh in the end so I thought I would share. The actually have a food tshirt section with some pretty funny tshirts I think any foodie would appreciate. There actually a lot of sub categories. And its not just tshirts, there are also cooking aprons (could be a great gift idea), magnets and mugs. Check some of them out.

Aren’t those cute? You can even make your own tshirt. Maybe I should start selling Cheap Ethnic Eatz t-shirts and mugs he he. If things go well with that I can learn How to Make Your Own T-Shirts and have a side business…..yes another one as if 3 side business’ is not enough already. Not enough hours in a day I tell you.