Cookbook Review

My day was pretty normal, so I’ll talk about my Monthly cookbook instead.

Teaching:

We got through a journal, finished a measurement mini-book and learned about the Northwest Territories. That’s it.

Exercise:

Only my walk to and from school and for jog-a-long. I also got 100 squats, 100 crunches, 50 pushups and 50 dips done. I want to run but am thinking maybe it was my long runs that did me in again. I’ll try to refrain until I feel better, but I do dislike that I didn’t make my 100km this month:(

Eating:

I figure you guys are good for keeping me on the straight and narrow so I’ll admit what I ate. A piece of crustless quiche, an apple and granola, a fruit,yogurt and granola parfait, a charcuterie board of one carrot, one celery stalk, 4 mushrooms, hummus, 2 slices of cranberry “cheese” rolled in 2 slices of turkey and a quarter cup of homemade granola.

Wow as I write this, I realize I’ve eaten a lot of granola today! It wasn’t planned, but I’ll try to do better tomorrow! You guys might be good for me😜

Cookbook:

So for the past month and a half I have been cooking out of “The Best of Clean Eating 2”. The book has 207 recipes divided into 9 chapters. The chapters are: Breakfast and Brunch, Sandwiches, Salads and Sides, Soups,Stews and Chilis, Snacks and Starters, Dips and Spreads, Main Courses, Holiday Meals, Clean Desserts, Beverages

To recap the 12 recipes I tried:

Easy Make Ahead Breakfast Quiche

Very easy and customizable, but quite bland:(. Onion and garlic would improve it!

Pear Cheese Quesadillas

Yummy and super easy. Quite sweet so definitely a breakfast food- could use some sort of spice.

Tex Mex Morning Pizzas

Good, must toast the English muffins first!

Mushroom Melts

Uses red onion and soy mozzarella. Mom says delicious. Maybe cut the broccoli slightly smaller and toast bread first so it has a crunch. Glad it has some spices in it though!

Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

Made it with water instead of veggie broth. Very good and easy but definitely needs salt, pepper and the yogurt on top!

Beef Stir Fry

Bland

Spaghetti and Meatball Casserole

Lots of steps! The pesto is good, but the meatballs don’t hold together well and the meatballs and sauce are bland.

Baked Manicotti Bundles

Mixture was very runny! Didn’t stay in noodles well. Very bland and only made 9. Had to spread mix over all of the noodle.

Mediterranean Vegetable, White Bean and Feta Penne

Tasty! Would be good for a summer dinner or potluck contribution. Used chili flakes instead of red pepper flakes.

Turkey Pasta Casserole

Very yummy! Needs salt and pepper! I didn’t put the almonds on top and used Daiya cheese.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Didn’t get crispy:(

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Needed two extra minutes to bake. Easy to put together but extremely thin batter. Cupcakes have subtle lemon flavour and though they browned nicely the tops still fell:( think they would benefit from the addition of lemon curd in the centre of the muffin!

I found most of the recipes lacked spice and were quite bland. I also felt like they added unnecessary ingredients just to make recipes “healthier”, aka have more superfoods, etc in them.

I won’t get rid of the book yet, but it is definitely at the bottom of my pile right now!

I already know which cookbook I’m going to start using next week:)

Reading:

I started reading Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan. So far I am enjoying it a lot. I have found the Libby app really good for knocking books off my TBR!

I’m off to read more:)

Have fun!

AJ

Bookends

It was a quiet day with bookend outings.

Exercise:

I was laying in bed when I heard from Sarah my running buddy. She won this week (not surprising after the staff meeting fiasco) and chose to run the inlet. It was rainy and windy so it’s a good thing I had company or I probably wouldn’t have been out there! We did 35 hilly minutes and called it done.

I went out again midday to finish off my Squad Runner mission. Somehow I seem to always have good runs when I only have to run to the park and back. I wonder if it’s the lack of worry about “making it”.

I also got 100 squats, 100 crunches and 100 arm exercises done. I cut the squats back to 100 and added 50 pushups and 50 dips to the routine. During Friday’s workout with Lyndsay I realized I have little upper body strength so decided it would be good to add upper body to my usual quick routine.

Reading:

I am still reading Definitely Not Mr. Darcy. In some ways the book has me hooked, but in other ways I just find it too unrealistic.

Knitting:

I got another 15 rows done on the April Tank, but I really need to devote a few hours and make some real progress! I love the looks of fingering weight knitting g, but it sure seems to be taking forever!

Baking:

I made another recipe from The Best of Clean Eating 2 Cookbook today- lemon meringue cupcakes.

The muffin batter was very runny and even though they browned nicely the tops still collapsed. The muffin is lightly flavored lemon, and is very quick and easy to make. The meringue makes way too much! Overall, the recipe was good but I think it could be improved by putting a spoonful of lemon curd in the muffin for a stronger lemon flavour.

Socializing:

I had a great time at a dinner with friends tonight. Anna and Simon hosted Caroline, Emily and I for dinner. We have been friends for over twenty years and still have a great time. We used to be a group of five, but one girl has decided to quit talking to Emily and I. I am doing my best to not let it bother me, but it still does. Even with this, tonight was a great time rehashing old memories and catching up:)

Well my run will be here before I know it.

Have fun!

AJ

Indecision

I drove a lot today, but don’t feel like I got much done.

Exercise:

I was doing a little better than the past couple of days so I got 4.5km in, but they were again quite slow. I am done my 100km for this month, but now want to catch up on the 20km I missed in previous months. I know I could leave them for summer, but what if I miss more? Better to get caught up now!

Shopping:

I started the day by heading to Van Gogh furniture in Langley. It is a gigantic warehouse of furniture, and I didn’t fall in love with any couch:( I thought for sure this would be the place to find one!

From there I was heading to 88 stitches, but took a small detour to check out Maria’s Gelato in Fort Langley. My RMT has told me that it had good vegan, gluten free items. My mom and I split a grilled cheese sandwich and a Blue Moon nut milk. They were both really good! It is definitely not the place to go if you are on a budget though!

Sorry for the picture- I think we were both very hungry by the time we got there!

Finally it was back to yarn shopping. At 88 Stitches I found some Cascade Heritage Prints. I love the colouring of the yarn, but am worried that striping would look odd (the circumference of a short being so much bigger than that of a sock) and take away from the lace of the tank I’ll be making with it. I also found the Tin Can Knits Pattern for Boardwalk here so I was super happy! Sale yarn and a good pattern!

I carried onto Valley Yarn as maybe they had the perfect yarn. They didn’t and I spent way too much time hemming and hawing. They have beautiful yarn, but just not the right one for this project:(

From here it was a quick stop at Costco where I considered a Soda Stream, but ended up with only cucumbers. Then home for a cup of tea!

Cooking:

I spent some time with my dad since my parents are leaving in the morning, but I had to get home as I wanted to knit. First though I needed to make my newest recipe from The Best of Clean Eating 2 called Mediterranean Vegetable, White Bean and Feta Penne. This went together quite quickly and used up the white beans I had in the cupboard (and that I had soaking). The only changes I made were to use shell pasta and chili flakes rather than penne and red pepper flakes as I had these items. My dish is definitely more beans, less pasta than what was called for. I was impressed that this dish had more flavoring included through garlic, rosemary, basil, chili flakes, etc and in the end it was tasty. I think it would make an awesome summer dinner or potluck contribution.

Knitting:

With dinner made and eaten, I finally got to sit down to knit and I finished my sweater. It is blocking right now to try and get the yoke to not pucker, but I am super happy with the sweater and will share a picture tomorrow.

A pretty good day as I got see Maria’s Gelato in Fort Langley off my bucket list and I have definitely spent time with my mom and dad✅✅

Have fun!

AJ

A Busy Vacation Day

It seemed quite busy but that may have been just because I was dead tired all day. This cold isn’t doing much other than making me tired and sneezy; it can go away any time now!

Exercise:

The first thing I did was to get out for my run this morning. I did the 6km I needed to for the Squad Runner mission, but it was definitely slow as I had to stop for sniffles.

I also got my 200 squats and 100 crunches done this evening. I needed something after dinner since tomorrow’s weigh in decides if I get to pick the run route or not!

Shopping:

I was heading to a furniture consignment store with my mom this morning when I realized I needed gas, so it was a change of direction out to Costco to get gas.

I stopped on the way back to buy some unmentionables:). I can’t remember when I last bought anything new so it was time to do so!

I spent more time looking at Soda Stream machines. I often enjoy a carbonated water, however, I don’t enjoy dealing with all the cans! My mom mentioned this machine to me the other day so we had a look today. There are four different kinds!! If anyone knows anything about these or can offer an opinion, please do so!

Organization:

The quest for organization continued today and I got my lounge wear sorted and organized and a lot given away and my spare room re-organized. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep all these organized spots this way!

Shopping Again:

I went to drop the lounge wear off at charity immediately before it made its way back into my wardrobe!! So easily done when two of the hoodies had sentimental value for me.

I took three garbage bags into charity and only came out with two items, so I consider that a win! Especially as one item was a new pair of pants for work as pants are my least favourite item to shop for!

Knitting:

I have finally picked up my sleeve again. I’m not loving how the stitches were added and may try a different way on the second sleeve, but I’m just not willing to frog this sleeve. I don’t think anyone but me will ever notice if the two sleeves are slightly different.

I think I was spurred on because I’ve already chosen my next project and can’t wait to start!

Cooking:

Fellow blogger Abbey has been exploring one cookbook a month for a few months now. I have really enjoyed her posts about this and decided to give it a try. If nothing else it will force me to pick up and use each of my cookbooks!

I was having a very difficult time choosing the first cookbook so I chose based on which one had a recipe that used ground beef as I had some that desperately needed to be cooked up!

The Best or Clean Eating 2 has been on my shelf for about 8 years! Today I made the Spaghetti and Meatball Casserole. I had a few of the ingredients, but had to buy some so the recipe cost me $15 to make.

This recipe had a lot of steps to it, which I have to admit is not my favourite for a casserole, though it was neat to make my own pesto! I also had to alter the recipe to gluten free and dairy free. I found the pesto was good, but as it was really the only item with taste, the overall dish was bland and the meatballs didn’t stay together well:(

Looking through the book, I have made other recipes (my notes are the quotes) including:

Turkey Pasta Casserole

Very yummy! Needs salt and pepper. I didn’t put the almonds on top and used Daisy cheese.

Pumpkin and Coconut Soup

Made it with water instead of veggie broth. Very good and easy, but definitely needs salt, pepper and the yogurt in top.

Tex-Mex Morning Pizzas

Good, must toast the English muffins first!

Pear-Cheese Quesadilla

Yummy and super easy, quite sweet so definitely a breakfast food. Could use some sort of spice.

I have a few more recipes picked out to try. I have to admit I’ve chosen them based on what needs to be used in my cupboard🤣 but going by the comments so far and tonight’s meal- the recipes in this book are quite bland:(

Reading:

I’m still reading Playing For Keeps by Jill Shalvis, but am so close to done! I’ll just go alternate reading and knitting and see how much I get accomplished:)

Have fun!

AJ