Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Truth About the "Blog Break"

Recently I went on a blog break. I said it was because my life was getting really busy and that my kiddies needed my attention. While this is all true, the real reason for going on break is because....

I'm pregnant again! Baby is due in June :) I get really sick when I'm pregnant and I have to take medication to keep me from throwing up every 10 minutes. The side effect of taking this medication is that it makes me really drowsy. There have honestly been days where I've done nothing but sleep on the couch while my kids watch Dora (horrible, I know). Finding time to write a blog, let alone a blog about food has been next to impossible.

I will try my best to post something every now and then until life is back to normal. I'll be posting after I have the baby, giving you all updates about my post pregnancy weight loss.

Me Ka Aloha
- Elisabeth

Friday, October 8, 2010

Blog Break...

I'm writing a quick note to let all my followers know that I'll be taking a brief blog break. Life has been pretty hectic around here (not to mention my internet/laptop have been less than cooperative). My kiddies need my attention right now and there's just too many things demanding my time.... so.... I'm taking a little blog break. I will be popping in every now an then with updates and so on, but the regular twice (or more) a week posts won't be back for a few months. Sorry :(

Me Ka Aloha (With Love)
- Elisabeth

Friday, October 1, 2010

Recipe Friday - Scones

Alright, so this isn't one of those magic, packed with vitamins, low fat, veggie lovers recipe. It's actually not that healthy at all... HOWEVER, I've been asked for this recipe by several of my friends. It's quick, easy, and tastes wonderful with any of my soup recipes.

  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour or whole wheat
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup skim milk

    Preheat oven to 355°F.

    Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

    Cut in the margarine or butter till mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs

    Add the milk and mix to make a smooth dough. (add more milk if necessary to ensure mix is not too dry)

    Spoon desired size dough onto baking sheet. Mine are usually slightly larger than a golf ball.

    Baking time approximately 12 minutes

    Wednesday, September 29, 2010

    10 Ways to Eat More Whole Grain

    In our home, white bread was never introduced. I think the only time they've ever had it was at other people's homes. I almost always cook with whole wheat pasta so getting my kids to eat whole grains hasn't been an issue at all. However, I learned recently that getting some kids to eat whole grains is mission impossible. The thing is, whole grains are better sources of fiber and other important nutrients, such as selenium, potassium and magnesium. So whenever you can, choose whole grains over refined grains. Here's 10 ways to get your kids (and you) to eat more whole grains.

    1. Make checkerboard sandwiches.
    2. Popcorn! This is probably the yummiest whole grain out there, but keep an eye on your kids because chocking happens easily with popcorn.
    3. Try making half a cup of white rice with half a cup of brown. You family might not notice they're eating whole grains especially if you top it with something yummy like slow cooker beef.
    4. Next time you make french toast, use whole wheat bread. Your kids won't notice since french toast is darker (toasted) anyway, plus who wouldn't eat something covered with maple syrup?
    5. Always serve pesto on whole grain pasta. Pesto has such a strong garlic flavor that you won't notice the whole grain pasta.
    6. Switch to healthier cereal made with whole grains like Cheerios.
    7. Add oats when you bake. Try breakfast cookies or black bean brownies.
    8. When making meatloaf or meatballs, use whole grain breadcrumbs instead of white.
    9. Next time you make chicken wraps, use whole grain.
    10. This thanksgiving try adding whole grain bread in the stuffing (recipe coming!)

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Salsa Breakfast Burrito

    Today my husband, kids, and I went on a little road trip to New York (state) to see some church sites and then do a little shopping. On the way there we went to *gasp* McDonald's and got some breakfast sandwiches! I know, I know, terrible right! Those darn breakfast sandwiches are so bad for you with the processed cheese and English muffin. So for today's recipe, I'm going to teach you how to make a healthier breakfast sandwich, I mean burrito.


    1 Egg, plus 1 egg white
    1 teaspoon skim milk
    2 tablespoons salsa
    1-2 tablespoons light cheddar cheese, grated
    1 whole wheat tortilla
    pinch garlic powder
    pinch salt and pepper


    -in a bowl whisk together egg, egg white, milk, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and cheese.
    - in a non-stick frying pan, on medium heat cook egg mixture. Stir constantly until no longer runny. Remove from heat. It should resemble scrambled eggs... well that's exactly what it is, scrambled eggs.
    - in a separate non-stick pan, warm tortilla on med heat for about 30 seconds per side (or longer if you want it slightly crispy)
    - spread salsa on tortilla and top with scrabbled eggs
    - roll up, cut in half and enjoy!

    Tuesday, September 21, 2010

    Happy 50th Mom!

    One look at my Mother and you'd never guess that she's 50 years old, a mother of 5, or a grandmother of 4. She looks way younger and has often been mistaken for my sister. My mother has also been very aware of what foods she eats and works out regularly. Even though she thinks she needs to loose weight, there are a lot of women out there that wish they could look as good as she does especially considering she's had 5 (beautiful) kids.

    My Mom has taught me so much in my life and has raised me to care about my health. As kids, she never let us eat white bread, canned pasta, processed cheese, or instant mashed potatoes. She encouraged us to take our vitamins, drink plenty of water, eat salad, and to buy organic as often as possible. My Mom is the reason why I chose to go as natural as possible during my pregnancies and delivery of my children (my mother gave birth at home with midwives... drug free! I used a midwife with both my children and Joseph was born at home.) It was her advice and help that I was able to breast feed my babies, even though I so badly wanted to give up at first. She taught me how to make pesto, a weekly favorite at my house!

    My Mom has also taught me the value of being a stay at home mom and to cherish every single moment with my family. Her creativity and energy made growing up so much fun, and she now uses those same skills to entertain the grandchildren. I know that she sacrificed a lot to raise my siblings and I, putting us first instead of her own interests. I hope that I can follow in her example.

    I love you Mom!! Happy 50th!!

    Me Ka Aloha (with love)
    - Elisabeth

    Mom enjoying life! (last year in Florida)

    Friday, September 17, 2010

    Recipe Friday - Checkerboard Sandwiches

    Sorry for posting this mid-day instead of right at midnight like I usually do. I totally forgot that today is Friday. Here's a super cute recipe that a woman at church showed me. It's a great way to get your kids to eat whole wheat bread, or, if they're like my kids and eat whole wheat all the time, this is just cute and fun.


    - 1 slice of whole wheat bread
    - 1 slice of white bread
    - whatever you want to put in your sandwich, like PB and Jam, Egg Salad, Ham and Cheese, whatever you want!


    - Make your sandwich like usual using brown bread on one side and white bread on the other.
    - Cut you sandwich into 3 sections across
    - The cut into 3 section in the other direction (you should have 9 equal pieces now)
    - Now here's where the MAGIC happens... flip every other piece over so that every other side up is whole wheat. Check out the picture below if you don't understand.

    Cute eh? Enjoy!

    Monday, September 13, 2010

    Laughter is the Best Medicine

    I thought this was pretty darn funny!! Enjoy!

    Friday, September 10, 2010

    Recipe Friday - Watermelon Lemonade

    Ok so summer is basically over, I know (tear) but this beverage is just so delicious any time of year. Oh sheeesh, I'm a poet and I didn't know it :)

    Ingredients (this might have to be adjusted according to preference. Some people like their juice stronger or more watery or whatever)

    - Half of a large watermelon cut into cubes, about 6 cups (or whatever, it's going in the blender any way)
    - juice of 4 lemons
    - 6 cups of water
    - 1/2 tablespoon (or more) of liquid stevia or 3/4 cup sugar

    Working in batches as necessary, purée watermelon and lemon juice in blender until smooth; transfer to a large container. Add water and stevia; stir until dissolved. Pour over ice in tall glasses, garnish with thin slices of watermelon, if desired, and serve.


    Recipe Friday - Salmon Cakes

    I used to work at a restaurant that served these amazing crab cakes. Well I found out later that they were not really made with crab (it was that fake stuff) and they lacked in the healthy department (maybe it was the fatty dip they came with).

    Later I discovered a way to make salmon cakes that are really really yummy, and much healthier.

    Give them a try and tell me what you think.


    - 2 large potatoes
    - 1/2 onion diced
    - 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
    - 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
    - 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
    - 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
    - 1 egg beaten
    - 2 cans of flaked salmon (213 g) drained
    - splash of olive oil
    - lemon wedges
    - salt and pepper

    Peel and cut potatoes in half crosswise. Cover and cook in saucepan of boiling salted water for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Drain.

    In large bowl, mash potatoes until smooth; stir in onions, parsley, mustard, salt, lemon zest, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Blend in egg. Fold in salmon. Let cool for 5 minutes.

    Using hands, shape into eight 3/4-inch (2 cm) thick patties.

    In large nonstick skillet, heat half of the oil over medium heat; cook 4 of the patties for about 5 minutes per side or until golden. Repeat with remaining patties.

    Serve with lemon wedges!

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Hurray! Oil of Oregano Saved the Day!

    As I mentioned earlier, my husband was away for two weeks in Ukraine. I was all by my lonesome with two very young kids. Life was hectic indeed as I attempted to grocery shop, shop for an outfit for a wedding, buy the kids shoes, cook, shower, clean, go to church, paint my daughter's bedroom, make a quilt, clean out our pool, and maintain my sanity all at the same time. Oh and, I had no idea what city my husband was staying in (he was touring the country) and since internet access is limited there, I was constantly checking my email for updates from him (that is until my son disconnected the wireless). Yes life was busy busy busy!!

    During that time I woke up with a runny nose. It was one of those kinds where you need to carry a box of tissues around with you at all times. I thought to myself "no this can't happen. I can't get sick. I need to take care of my kids and be healthy when Dave returns." I opened my medicine cabinet and saw a cold and flu medicine. I almost took some when I noticed my bottle of oil of oregano. I remembered reading the pamphlet that came with the bottle and it claimed to fix pretty much every problem. So I decided I'd take a does of oil of oregano and see what happens. If nothing happened, then I'd go straight for the cold and flu meds.

    WELL.... even though it tasted like crap, IT WORKED! Within minutes I was feeling 100% better and my cold never came back!! Woohoo!!! Later I heard on the John Tesh radio show that the best way to get rid of a cold is to make tea with oregano. Wow, I never knew it would work so well. I'm so happy that I just had to blog about it!

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    P.S. This advice should not be taken over that of a doctor or medical professional.

    Saturday, September 4, 2010

    Sorry x 1000

    I have to apologize a million times for missing recipe Friday this past week. I have a good excuse I swear! Actually, I have a few good excuses and they're all true.

    1. My 1 year old unplugged the wireless router and we therefore had no internet for 3 days. Usually this wouldn't be a problem, but I tried to fix it and made things way worse (clearly I should stick to what I know) I guess I could have gone over to my inlaws to post a recipe, but...
    2. Husband had been away for 2 weeks in Ukraine. He used to live there for 2 years and went back with a friend to visit. My life was pretty hectic while he was gone and let's just say that I never want to be a single mom.
    3. The night before "recipe Friday" Joseph woke up at midnight crying. He cried until 5 am before finally falling asleep. At 8 am he woke up crying again and my drama queen daughter also woke up fussy and demanding breakfast, juice, potty, and to watch Cinderella.
    4. Both my husband and I are sick! What's worse than being sick is being sick with 2 little children, 1 who is cutting 2 molars. We haven't slept much in the past 3 days.

    I promise to post 2 recipes this coming week. Don't hate me for forgetting :(

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    Friday, August 27, 2010

    Recipe Friday -

    Kids will love to help you make this healthy snack since it’s fun to spread the cashew butter and sprinkle the chocolate chips. Slice the apples into rounds first then use a small cookie cutter to remove the core from the center of each slice. We used a heart shaped one once, it was way cute!


    2 small apples, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick rounds, core removed
    1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
    3 tablespoons cashew butter (or all natural peanut butter)
    2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
    3 tablespoons omega granola


    Start by brushing the apples slices with lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

    Spread one side of half of the apple slices with cashew butter then sprinkle with chocolate chips and omega granola. Top with remaining apple slices, pressing down gently to make the sandwiches. Enjoy!

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Celebrating 4 Wonderful Years!!

    It was on this day, back in 2006 that I married my wonderful husband Dave. It's been a great 4 years that's for sure. We had 2 beautiful children, bought 2 cars, bought a house, Dave graduated, we moved to a new city, went to Hawaii, started 2 businesses and more and more. I'm so grateful to be married to the greatest person I know. I love you Dave!! xoxox

    Tuesday, August 24, 2010

    Better Late Than Never

    Remember way back in June, when I ran the Moon in June 5 km race? Well, this week I was sorting through some pictures on my computer and I realized, totally forgot to post pictures from the Moon in June. So, in case you've been dying to see Adam's short shorts haa haa, here are a few pics. Enjoy!

    Here we are waiting for the race to start. Adam was very proud of his short shorts.
    In deep conversation.
    The very front of the line. I'm standing behind the guy in the diabetes shirt. (That's my friend Elliot, he ran a marathon this week in Iceland for team diabetes)

    That dude in all black is my friend Joel. He finished something like 18 minutes wearing that thing! (You can see the side of my head behind the girl in blue)

    The finish line. My favorite part of the race LOL!

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    Recipe Friday - Healthy Banana-Blueberry Muffins

    Last week blueberries were on sale at my grocery store. Four pints for $5!!! I wanted to make blueberry muffins but last time I did, they turned out awful. I think I've honestly tried half a dozen recipes and none of them met my expectations.... until NOW! Thanks to Martha Stewart (she'll never let you down) I made the BEST blueberry-banana muffins ever! Seriously, my kids couldn't get enough of them.


    • 1 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
    • 1/4 cup wheat germ (I used ground flax seeds instead)
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda (I also added a teaspoon of cinnamon)
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 ripe bananas (about 1 pound)
    • 1/3 cup reduced-fat (2 percent) milk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 cup frozen blueberries (I used a pint of fresh blueberries- YUMMY)


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together flours, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt.
    2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, mash bananas with a fork (you should have 3/4 cup); stir in milk and vanilla.
    3. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and banana mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined. Fold in frozen blueberries.
    4. Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Let cool in pan 10 minutes; transfer muffins to a rack to cool 10 minutes more.

    Read more at Healthy Banana-Blueberry Muffins and more delicious recipes, smart cooking tips, and video demonstrations on

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    A Little Experiment

    I've been told by a few people that my "leave a comment" thingy isn't working. I trying to fix it, so to see if it's working, I'm proposing a little experiment. Everyone who sees this post, leave a comment. Even if it's sweet and short. I need to find out if it's working or not. If by Friday I have no comments, I'll know for sure that it's not working. THANKS!

    - Elisabeth

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Recipe Friday - Turkey Meatloaf

    One of my first memories of watching the Simpsons was an episode where Homer is sitting in front of the oven saying "Mmmm Meatloaf" I always thought meatloaf was gross because of this, and unhealthy. Even though meatloaf is a classic American/Canadian meal, my Mother never made it. Then one day, I was watching one of my favorite cooking shows "Chef at Home" with Michael Smith and he showed us how to make a delicious and healthy meatloaf. I've made it and I can tell you that it's so YUMMY! Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!


    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 8 ounces button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
    • 2 pounds of ground turkey
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 cup breadcrumbs
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 can (156 ml) tomato paste
    • A few dashes Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tablespoon dried thyme or oregano
    • Salt and pepper to taste


    1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Preheat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, and then add the oil and onions. Sauté them until they are golden brown. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue sautéing until all the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms have lightly browned.
    3. In a large bowl mix together the turkey, milk, breadcrumbs, egg, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and mushroom mixture. Season well with salt and pepper. Press the mixture into a loaf pan, or 8” by 8” baking dish and bake until lightly browned on top and firm, about 1 hour. An instant read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meatloaf should read 165 degrees.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010

    You Need Muscle

    There are so many diets out there, promising to help the numbers on the scale drop. The thing is, they work! They all work in some way or another. Even the crazy grapefruit diet, where all you eat is grapefruit for 7 days, works. Here's the problem. Besides being next to impossible to stick to, most diets will make you loose water weight and muscle weight. Therefore, you'll just look like a smaller flabbier version of your old self. Sad, but true. Check out this picture of 2 different women. Both are a size 2, but one looks pretty good, where as the other looks AMAZING!What's the difference? Muscle! Instead of worrying about weight, it's a way better idea to worry about you body fat %. The leaner you are, the hotter you'll look, no matter what your weight. Here's a few reasons why having more muscle mass is WAY healthier.

    1. The number 1 reason (haa haa at least for me) is that it looks better. We all know it, muscles (not too much) looks HOT!
    2. Studies have shown that people with more fat around their abdomen are more likely to suffer from Type 2 Diabetes than those with lesser body fat around the waist

    Read more about The Health Benefits From Having Low Body Fat Levels by 24 Hr Fitnessst

    Studies have shown that people with more fat around their abdomens are more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes
    3. Reduced risks of developing certain types of cancer
    4. Sleep better at night
    5. Lower your blood pressure
    6. Toxins are stored in fat cells, so less fat = less toxins
    7. Reduced risk of heart problems that may arise due to clogged arteries and veins
    8. Helps control your blood sugar levels
    9. With added muscle comes some additional power and strength. This will help during normal everyday activities.
    10. More energy throughout the day
    11. The more muscle your body has, the faster your metabolism is. Essentially this means your body burns more calories to do normal functions. Bottom line...a faster metabolism means a better fat burning ability.

    So what I'm trying to say is, dieting is ok if you're trying to kick start your body transformation, but the key to getting in shape is to lower your body fat percentage. I'll leave a post later in how to do this.

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth
    reduced risk of heart problems that may arise due to clogged arteries or veins.

    Read more about The Health Benefits From Having Low Body Fat Levels by 24 Hr Fitness

    reduced risk of heart problems that may arise due to clogged arteries or veins

    Read more about The Health Benefits From Having Low Body Fat Levels by 24 Hr Fitness

    reduced risk of heart problems that may arise due to clogged arteries or veins

    Read more about The Health Benefits From Having Low Body Fat Levels by 24 Hr Fitness

    Friday, August 6, 2010

    Recipe Friday - No Cook Berry Crisp

    With this heat, who wants to be turning on their ovens? This recipe requires no oven at all and perfect for summer, especially with berries in season. It's a great way to load up on anti-oxidants, vitamins, protein, and healthy fats. I'm heading out to my garden to pick some fresh raspberries right now!


    6 cups mixed berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries
    2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
    1 cup raw pecans
    1/2 cup almonds
    1/2 cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


    In a (7- x 11-inch) dish, toss berries with maple syrup. Put pecans, almonds, dates and cinnamon into a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Scatter nut mixture over berries and serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.


    Wednesday, August 4, 2010

    Trying to Get Pregnant?

    Don't get too excited, I'm not announcing anything here haa haa. Rosie and Joseph have been sick this week so I was looking up some stuff online and came across this website. It tells you when your most fertile days are and when the baby would be due if you did conceive. Obviously it's possible to get pregnant anytime during your cycle as many women can prove, but this information tells you when it's the MOST possible.

    I think it's good to know your most fertile days so you can get your body ready and increase your chances of a healthy pregnancy. It's highly recommended to avoid alcohol and caffeine. Experts generally agree that low to moderate caffeine consumption (less than 300 mgs a day or about two 8-ounce mugs of coffee) won't get in the way of getting pregnant. But you might want to cut out caffeine altogether if you're having difficulty conceiving or undergoing in vitro fertilization. You're also going to want to take a pre-natal vitamin with higher iron and folic acid. I was low in iron when I was pregnant with Joseph and my energy was incredibly low and I always felt light headed. Folic acid, sometimes called folate, is a B vitamin (B9) found mostly in leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, orange juice, and enriched grains. Repeated studies have shown that women who get 400 micrograms (0.4 milligrams) daily prior to conception and during early pregnancy reduce the risk that their baby will be born with a serious neural tube defect (a birth defect involving incomplete development of the brain and spinal cord) by up to 70%. Folic acid prevents some birth defects like spina bifida.

    When I decide that it's time for another baby (notice I said "when"), I'll certainly be checking out this website so I can coordinate the best times to "try".

    To all the mommy wannabes out there, don't forget to be healthy and have fun "trying" ;)

    Friday, July 30, 2010

    Recipe Friday - Yummier Protein Shakes

    As much as I hate to admit it, when I'm working out really hard or when I'm trying to loose weight, I drink a protein shake for either breakfast or lunch. I'm not one of those "gym rats" that eat only chicken, egg whites, and shakes instead of real food. Trust me, the rest of the day I'm eating a lot of fruits, veggies, and whole grains (and the occasional treat) I've just learned from my personal trainer friends that extra protein is needed when you're trying to build muscle, and lower carbs (notice I said lower carbs instead of NO carbs) will help people lose weight. So today's recipes are how to make a protein shake actually taste good, instead of like cardboard.

    First of all, the best tasting protein shake is called Whey Gourmet and you can get this at most sports nutrition places. If you want to save money, Exact (found at Fortinos) isn't too bad either.

    Second, you'll need a blender like the Magic Bullet or whatever.

    Third, drink your protein shake cold. There's nothing worse than a warm thick shake. Eeewww, I'm grossed out just thinking about it.

    Here's a few ways I like my shakes

    1. Chocolate Monkey - 2 scoops chocolate powder with half a frozen banana and water. Mix in the blender until smooth.
    2. Strawberry Banana - 2 scoops vanilla powder with half a cup of frozen strawberries, half a banana and water. Mix in the blender until smooth.
    3. Mint Chocolate - 2 scoops chocolate powder, 4-6 ice cubes, half a teaspoon mint extract, and water or skim milk. Mix in a blender until smooth
    4. Orange Creamsicle - 2 scoops vanilla powder, 4-6 ice cubes, half a cup orange juice, and skim milk. Mix in a blender until smooth.
    5. Pina Colada - 2 scoops vanilla powder, 4-6 ice cubes, 1/3 cup frozen pineapple chunks, 1 tablespoon canned sweetened coconut puree, water. Mix in a blender until smooth.

    I've also heard that mixing in some instant coffee crystals makes a fabulous mocha shake, but I don't drink coffee.

    Well, there you have it, 5 wonder ways to actually enjoy a protein shake.

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    Thursday, July 29, 2010

    Teething Pain Solved

    Any parent will agree, when your baby is teething IT'S HELL (or heck, or... is it bad to say hell?) Back in the day... WAY back in the day, parents used to rub - get this - RUM in their babies mouths! WHAT?! Seriously? Alcohol in a babies' mouth? Well no wonder it worked, the babies were too drunk and doped-up to complain about the teething pain. I'm sorry to tell you that today that is just unacceptable for so many reasons. The main reason is that alcohol can put put your baby into convulsions (scary!)

    Thankfully there are other options and they are work wonderfully to relieve the pain. There's the usual, Tylenol or Advil and that's great before bed, but let's be honest, even if it works we just can't give our babies this stuff day in and day out. Then there's Orajel, the stuff that numbs away the teething pain. I HATE that stuff! It works for about 5 minutes tops and it full of toxins. I refuse to use it! My favorite thing to use when my babies are teething is all natural, last for at an hour or longer, and calms my baby down. It's called Highlands Homeopathic Teething Tablets. They cost about $10/bottle. They are toxin free, and side effect free (at least I've never heard of or seen any side effects in my experience) They dissolve instantly in a babies mouth and they taste sweet, so it's easy to get your baby to take them. They also contain chamomile and therefore bring a calming effect to your baby. You can find them at Nutrition House, some Shoppers Drug Marts, and most Health Food Stores. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

    Hmmmm.... I think Joseph needs some now.

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Hawaiian Shout-Out

    According to sitemeter, my blog had it's first visitor from HAWAII!!! I have no idea who it was, or how they came across my blog but it was so exciting to see Hawaii on my list of recent visitors! I love Hawaii (went on my honeymoon there) and I hope to spend my 10 year anniversary there. I have about 6 years to save up, and 6 years to look good in a bikini :)

    Any way, Aloha to my Hawaiian visitors! Your visit made my day!

    Me Ka Aloha (with love)
    - Elisabeth

    Sunday, July 25, 2010

    Teach Your Kids to Dance!

    If you know me, you know that I used to be a competitive dancer. I was obsessed with dance. I danced 6 days a week, 2.5 hours a day (minimum) and I loved every second of if. There's just something about dancing that makes people feel so alive! That's probably why dance is such a part of our culture. Think about it, when we get married we dance, when we graduate high school we dance, when we want to have fun night out we dance, when something exciting happens we dance, heck when my daughter needs to use the potty she does a little dance. It's so much fun and everyone, regardless of skill level, can have a blast dancing.

    July 31st is national dance day (yay!!!) and Tabitha and Napoleon from So You Think You Can Dance have choreographed a fun hip hop routine. Why not get together with your kids and learn this awesome routine? AND if you're brave, video tape it and send your video to the Dizzy Feet Foundation and you might be featured on national television!! It's fun and it's a great way to burn off some extra calories, and it might kick start a new hobby in your kids (or your own) lives :)

    Check out the YouTube video!

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    Friday, July 23, 2010

    Recipe Friday - Chicken and Roast Veg Quiche

    Lately I've been looking for more ways to use up ingredients laying around my fridge. I almost ALWAYS have a bunch of eggs sitting in my fridge, just a few days away from expiring, and since I hardly ever eat eggs for breakfast, I thought I'd make some quiche!

    1/2 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
    1 clove garlic, put through a garlic press
    1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Original
    1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces (or use chopped broccoli)
    1 cup chopped or shredded cooked chicken (I usually use last night's leftovers)
    3 eggs
    2 egg whites
    2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 cup milk
    1 (9-inch) pie crust, in pie pan
    1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

    Preheat the oven to 425°F.

    Toss onions, garlic, bell peppers, extra virgin olive oil, Mrs. Dash, salt and pepper together on a large baking sheet. Roast in oven until just tender, about 10 minutes. Add asparagus, toss well and roast until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 15 to 20 minutes more. Add chicken, toss well and set aside.

    Mix eggs, egg whites, flour, baking powder, milk, salt and pepper together in a medium bowl. Arrange vegetable mixture in pie crust, then pour egg mixture over the top. Scatter cheese over egg mixture and bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 45 minutes. (Tent with foil if top gets too dark before quiche is cooked through). Set aside to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


    Tuesday, July 20, 2010

    At Least I Had a Good Laugh

    I'm sure you were all expecting this.... but Hip Hop Abs did NOT make me lose 3 inches in 6 days... at least I don't think it did. My waist is the same size as before (how utterly disappointing), but I never measure other parts of my body. It occurred to me last night that maybe they meant that you would lose 3 inches, but not necessarily from your waist. I don't feel that much skinnier than when I started, but maybe it's because I'm PMSing, or maybe it's because it just straight up didn't work. As least I had fun and had a good laugh. Those workouts are hilarious to do and to watch. Check out this Hip Hop Abs workout on YouTube and you'll die laughing. Those backup "dancers" seriously crack me up, as does the instructor, Shaw T. Have any of you tried it? What did you think?

    So, back to Jillian Michaels and running for me. Why is it so darn hard to loose those last 10 pounds?!

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    Friday, July 16, 2010

    Recipe Friday - Black Bean and Veggie Soup

    Yesterday was one of those days where I NEEDED to go grocery shopping so bad, but didn't have time to go. Dinner time came and I had no clue what to make. I opened the fridge and noticed a few left over veggies, so I decided to make some soup. I also found a can of black beans and decided to add them to the soup for some added flavor, texture, and fibre. It turned out better than expected and both kids really enjoyed it, especially Joseph. The best part is, it was FAST.

    Ingredients (this is what I had on hand, I'm sure other veggies would be great too)

    1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
    1 zucchini, chopped
    1 very large carrot, peeled and chopped
    1 onion, chopped
    3 cloves of garlic, minced
    1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
    4 cups chicken stock
    1 tablespoon soy sauce
    1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
    1/2 tablespoon cumin
    1 teaspoon parsley
    1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Original Seasoning
    splash Extra Virgin Olive oil


    In a large sauce pan heath olive oil on medium heat. Add all veggies and spices. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. Add chicken stock, black beans and soy sauce. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until veggies are tender, maybe 20 minutes. Puree soup until smooth.


    Tuesday, July 13, 2010

    Happy Birthday To.... ME!!

    Today is my birthday and it's also been 6 days since I started that Hip Hop Abs shenanigans. I've actually had really sore abs and love handles believe it or not.... however..... I didn't take into account a couple things before I started.

    1. The day after I started it was my brother's birthday. Let's just say there was a lot of ice cream cake eaten.
    2. My cousin and very good friend came over for girls night. If you've ever met my cousin you'd understand that girls night = FOOD!
    3. Adam (my running buddy and Italian friend) came over and made us an Italian dinner, with dessert. Who can say no to that?
    4. Today is MY birthday and I was woken up this morning with a HUGE serving of pancakes and strawberries... and brownies.

    I know, I KNOW!!! Sounds like a bunch of lame excuses, but it's true. Ok so, I can tell you that Hip Hop Abs is a GREAT workout if you're looking for something fun and full of cardio. Plus it works areas of your abs that you might normally have problems with. I'm pretty confident that that it would work if you didn't have a million events happening (which include food). I'm going to try it again, and this time I'm duct tapping my mouth shut to avoid the surplus of food that seems to follow me every where I go.

    Meet me back here in 6 more days.... I PROMISE!

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    27 years ago I was a little chubby baby.... now I'm just a little chubby.

    Monday, July 12, 2010

    Tune into Oprah Today if you HATE Dieting!

    Ok I've said it before.... I'm not one of those "I love the gospel of Oprah" kind of person. I seriously watch her show like five times a year tops. But for some reason I get emails from her show everyday. Today I read the subject and immediately set my PVR to record today's show (and I suggest you do the same!)

    For all of us diet haters, here's something that just might shake up the way we look at food forever. Women all over have been losing weight (and keeping it off) thanks to New York Times best-selling author Geneen Roth's latest book, Women, Food and God. This book has had a significant effect on Oprah's life. "[It] blows the doors off of my tumultuous relationship with food," she says. "It's a love/hate thing that so many people have experienced."

    Geneen says the way many women eat doesn't indicate that they necessarily love food. "When you really like something, you pay attention to it and you take time with it. When you like something, you don't eat standing up, you don't eat it in the car, you don't eat sort of shoving the food in your mouth on the way from the stove to the table," she says. "When you like your body, you also pay attention to that, to when it's had enough."

    Sounds interesting to me! I've already set my PVR to record it. I can't wait to see the before and after of many women and to hear more about this amazing book. Hmmm, it's my birthday tomorrow. Maybe I'll add this book to my wish list!

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    Friday, July 9, 2010

    Recipe Friday - Real Italian Meatballs

    Sorry this is late. My internet was having issues. Last night my good friend Adam came over to make us a real Italian dinner (yes, he's Italian). He made us some very yummy meatballs and I ate like 6 of them! They were easier to make than I thought and tasted WAY better than any store bought meatballs.

    Here's the recipe...


    - 1 pound of ground meat. We used the tri-pack of lean ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal which equals 1 pound total. You can buy this at most fancier grocery stores like Fortinos.
    - 1 cup of Italian bread crumbs
    - 3/4 cup fresh Romano cheese
    - 1 egg
    - 2 tablespoons fresh minced parsley
    - 1 large clove of garlic minced
    - 1 tsp salt
    - 1 tsp pepper

    Mix all ingredients with your hands until incorporated. Form into balls of desired size. I like to make them slightly smaller than a golf ball. You can either fry them in oil until cooked, OR simmer them in tomato sauce for 3 hours. Serve with pasta and sauce.

    Tomato Sauce
    - 3 cans of crushed tomatoes (796 ml)
    - 1 small onion
    - 1 can of tomato paste
    - 2 cloves of garlic, minced
    - 3 tablespoons of minced fresh parsley
    - salt and pepper

    Put 1 clove of garlic and onions in a large sauce pan on medium heat for 5 minutes string often. Add 2 tablespoons parsley and remainder of the ingredients and warm on medium heat until sauce starts to bubble. Add 1 clove of garlic and 1 tablespoon parsley. Gently add uncooked meatballs and simmer on minimum for 3 hours.


    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    Tuesday, July 6, 2010

    Lose 3 Inches in 6 Days?!

    One of my best friends and I have decided that we're going to get skinny once and for all! We always complain that we're flabby from having 2 kids each and now we're REALLY going to do something about it. I don't just want to look "ok" I want to look GREAT! I always hear people say "you need to learn to accept your body the way it is." Would you tell your kid who is getting mostly Cs in school to just "accept" those grades? Or would you tell them that they need to work harder and that they CAN achieve the grades they want and deserve? Obviously nobody would accept mediocrity in other aspects of their life, so why do we feel the need to accept it when it comes to our bodies. We CAN change our bodies for the better!! It's happened for a number of people, so why not me?

    I've been running 5 km and doing the Jillian Michael's workout for a few months now and I have seen results (see my before and after pictures), but I want to lose more. The goal, lose 3 inches in 6 day!

    So what's the plan?
    1. Jillian Michael's workout 3 times a week (or more) on level 2.
    2. Hip Hop Abs every night. They claim you can lose 3 inches in 6 days. Let's see if it works.
    3. Eating mostly fruit and veggies (no potatoes or bananas)
    4. Protein shake for lunch
    5. Sensible dinner, with mostly veggies (less than 500 calories)
    6. No eating after 7:30 pm
    7. Drink 8 glasses of water a day

    I'm hoping the hip hop abs claim to "lose 3 inches in 6 days" is true. I'm going to give it a try. I REALLY want to be able to post "after" pictures that I can be proud of. Wish me luck!

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    Sunday, July 4, 2010

    Happy 4th of July!

    Since I was born in the United States I always get excited about the 4th of July. I remember being a church camp and bringing sparklers with me so I could have a mini 4th of July celebration (haa haa I was such a nerd!) Even though I was raised in Canada I still really feel like an American at heart... Canada is GREAT too... and I feel pretty special that I'm the only person in my family that is American. The best part of the United States, in my opinion is HAWAII!!!! I love it there and when Dave isn't looking, I'm going to buy a house there. So to all my American friends HAPPY 4th OF JULY! Good bless the USA!

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    Friday, July 2, 2010

    Recipe Friday - Pesto Pasta Salad

    Tonight I'm going to a friends house for a Canada Day (well day after) party. She called yesterday and ask me if i could bring either a veggie tray, Cesar salad, garden salad, or a pasta salad. I decided on a pasta salad because I have a great recipe up my sleeve. I made this a year ago for another party and someone commented "this is delicious, probably the best thing here!" Here's the recipe for pesto pasta salad...


    - 1 cup of pesto sauce (or if you're in a hurry, 1 jar Presidents Choice pesto sauce)
    - 1 pkg grape tomatoes cut into halves
    - 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, grilled on the George Foreman Grille and cut into bite size pieces
    - 750 g of corkscrew noodles, cooked

    Throw everything into a large bowl. Mix and serve!


    Thursday, July 1, 2010


    Happy Canada Day! I hope you're all enjoying you time off and spending it with your friends and family. Today we're heading to a festival where we'll be watching local dance studios perform, a dog show, local musicians, etc. We went last year and had a great time so we're really looking forward to it this time. We'll also be bringing our friends would missed out last year because they were HAVING A BABY last Canada Day (happy birthday Brandon!)

    I hope to also take a few minutes and think about what a great country Canada is. When I think back to earlier this year, when the Vancouver Winter Olympics were taking place, I remember all the commercials that were about Canada. I remember watching the American stations and they were constantly showing Canada's beauty. I loved watching the interviews with all the Canadian athletes and they'd show their adorable home towns and strong communities. I actually appreciated Canada more after the Vancouver Olympics. Here's some Canada eye candy for you!

    Me Ka Aloha

    Sunday, June 27, 2010

    Better Get Ready!

    By now you probably know about the earthquake that recently hit my city. Well, it hit more than just my city. The area it hit was HUGE! According to CBC News the 5.5 quake was felt in Quebec, Ontario, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York, and few other states. Luckily, the earthquake caused very minor damage, and most people said they didn't even feel it at all. Imagine the catastrophe if the quake had been as severe as the quake in Haiti early this year. Where would everyone go for safety? Where would we get food and water from?

    Later that day, as I watched So You Think You Can Dance (I LOVE that show), tornado warnings scrolled across the bottom of the screen. Areas about 2 1/2 - 3 hours away were told to take proper emergency precautions. They were also calling for severe thunderstorms in my city and surrounding area. As a matter of fact, a few years ago a tornado whipped through the school across the street and cause so much damage, they had to rebuild. What would everyone do if their city was destroyed?

    Then to top it all off, yesterday and today in Toronto, there were major riots protesting the G20 Summit. They were smashing store and bank windows, attacking police officers, smashing cars, and lighting police cruisers on fire. Anyone who lives or works in the Toronto City center had to deal with absolute craziness! Luckily the police are keeping things relatively under control (over 600 people have been arrested) but what would we all do if things continued to get out of control?

    I'm not trying to be a fear monger or anything. What I am trying to say is that we need to be prepared for such emergencies. In my church, the leaders have been emphasizing emergency preparedness and strongly advising us to have a long term supply of food, water, and other provisions. It's challenging to build up such a supply and takes a lot of time and money to do so. I actually went to the store house on Saturday and canned $70 worth pf wheat, beans, sugar, oats, etc for our long term storage, but I'm not going to discuss long term storage right now. What I am going to discuss is a 72-hour emergency pack.

    The government actually had commercials a few years ago urging everyone to get a 72-hour emergency pack ready just in case we were ever told to evacuate suddenly. My mother is a HUGE stickler on 72-hour emergency packs and gave us all one for Christmas one year. It doesn't take long to put one together and you probably have most of the stuff needed in your home already.

    Here's a list of items to pack in your backpack.

    3 days supply of food and water
    1. Granola bars
    2. Trail Mix or Dried fruit
    3. Canned tuna, beans, stew, or pasta
    4. Juice boxes
    5. Other snacks
    6. 1 Gallon of water per person

    Bedding and Clothing
    1. Change of clothing, including long and short sleeved tops, pants and shorts
    2. Jacket
    3. 3 pairs of underwear and socks
    4. Rain coat
    5. Hat, gloves, scarf, boots (only in winter)
    6. Sleeping bag (try to purchase one at a specialty camping store that rolls up to the size of a Nalgene bottle)
    7. Plastic tarp

    Fuel and Light
    1. Battery free flashlight. I got mine for $5 and all I need to do is shake it for a few seconds before turning it on.
    2. Flares
    3. Glow sticks. You'll need these if there's ever a gas leak. It's the only source of light that will not cause a spark
    4. Candles
    5. Waterproof matches

    Other Equipment
    1. Wind up radio
    2. Can opener
    3. Dishes/Utensils
    4. Shovel
    5. Axe
    6. Pen and Paper
    7. Pocket Knife
    8. Rope
    9. Duct tape

    Personal Supplies
    1. First aid kit and supplies
    2. Toilet paper (in a ziploc bag)
    3. Feminine products (in a ziploc bag)
    4. soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer, dish soap
    5. Tooth brush and tooth paste
    6. Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, allergy meds, children's medication etc.
    7. Prescription Medication (for 3 days)
    8. Extra contact lenses and solution
    9. Diapers, wipes, and bum cream (if applicable)
    10. Sun screen (including SPF lip balm), and bug repellent

    Personal Documents and Money (store in a waterproof container)
    1. Legal Documents (Birth/Marriage Certificates, Wills, Passports, Contracts, etc)
    2. Vaccination Papers
    3. Insurance Policies
    4. Cash - strongly recommend rolls of coins for vending machines, toll booth, etc
    5. Credit Cards
    6. Pre-paid phone cards

    1. Update your 72 Hour Kit every six months (put a note in your calendar/planner) to make sure that: all food, water, and medication is fresh and has not expired; clothing fits; personal documents and credit cards are up to date; and batteries are charged.
    2. Small toys/games are important too as they will provide some comfort and entertainment during a stressful time.
    3. Older children can be responsible for their own pack of items/clothes too.
    4. You can include any other items in your 72 Hour Kit that you feel are necessary for your family's survival.
    5. Some items and/or flavors might leak, melt, "flavor" other items, or break open. Dividing groups of items into individual Ziploc bags might help prevent this.

    Tomorrow for family night, we're going to update our 72-hour emergency packs and make one for my son, since he doesn't have one yet. It's important to be prepared because as we saw this week, anything could happen.

    For more important information on being prepared visit

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    Friday, June 25, 2010

    Recipe Friday - Seafood Cucumber Stacks

    Canada Day is next week so why not throw a party and serve yummy appetizers? Here's a fun one that reminds me of sushi, but way easier to make, and without the raw fish. These look like a lot of work, but they're not, so they're perfect to make when you want to "look" like a better chef than you really are :)

    Seafood Cucumber Stacks


    1/2 cup light cream cheese, softened
    1 bunch chives, finely chopped, divided
    Zest and 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
    Salt and ground black pepper to taste
    1 (4-ounce) package Smoked Salmon OR 4 ounces smoked trout OR 8 ounces crab meat OR
    12 medium peeled, deveined and halved cooked shrimp
    1 seedless cucumber, cut into 24 slices


    In a small bowl, combine cream cheese, half of the chives, lemon zest and juice, salt and pepper. If using salmon or trout, cut into 24 bite-sized pieces. Arrange a piece of seafood on each cucumber slice then top with a dollop of sour cream mixture and garnish with remaining chives.


    Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Did You Feel THAT?!

    I'm sure you've all heard by now, but just in case you're living in a bubble, we had an EARTHQUAKE today!! Wow, it wasn't very strong but it scared the dickens out of me! I didn't think we had earthquakes here and after what happened in Haiti, it sure makes me nervous. I didn't really feel the rumble because I was running up the stairs as it was happening, but I sure heard it. I walked into my kitchen and heard low rumbling coming from my sink area. I thought "oh geeez is my plumbing about to explode?" Then as I got closer I could hear the pots and pans shaking, and my microwave was shaking. I suddenly realized what was going on. My husband was downstairs when it happened and he yelled "Elisabeth, did you feel that?" He described it as feeling like someone was shaking the couch. The last time we had an earthquake, I was 19 (and I'm pretty sure that was the first earthquake I've ever experienced in my life) and it felt like someone heavy had fallen down the stairs or something. Any way, they say this earthquake measured 5.5 and it hit twice in Ottawa.

    This reminded me that anything can happen and that we need to be prepared for it. It's important to have supplies and food on hand for emergencies and it's important to establish an emergency plan for your family. I know what we'll be talking about for next weeks family night!

    Did any of YOU feel the quake? What was it like and where were you?

    Stay Safe!
    - Elisabeth

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    Straw-b-b-b-b-berry (like the Strawberry Shortcake Song)

    Last weekend my family and I drove to Muskoka to spend one final weekend at my Uncle's cottage because he just sold it. We've been going to the cottage for 20 years so it was sad to leave, but I'll always have many fond summer memories.

    On the way to the cottage I saw a bunch of roadside fruit stands with huge signs saying "fresh strawberries" and I was craving them like crazy! When we arrived at the cottage, my sister-in-law had a big basket of fresh, locally grown, Ontario strawberries to share for the next day's breakfast, YUM! I just love strawberries and so does everyone else, since strawberries are the most popular berry in the world. Strawberries are in season right now, so now is the time to enjoy and indulge! We might even plan a family outing to our local strawberry picking farm and pick, and eat some fresh yumminess :)

    Here's some healthy reasons to eat strawberries.
    1. Full of anthocyanidin, a powerful flavonoid which protect against cancer and heart disease.
    2. Strawberries are an anti-inflammatory, which can offer pain relief to such things as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, and cancer.
    3. Excellent source of vitamin C
    4. Excellent source of fibre
    5. The ancient Romans believed that strawberries alleviated symptoms of depression, fainting, inflammation, fevers, throat infections, kidney stones, bad breath, gout, and diseases of the blood, liver and spleen.
    6. Folklore holds that if you split a double strawberry in half and share it with the opposite sex, you'll soon fall in love. (who needs lavalife LOL)

    Nutrition facts:

    Serving size: 1 cup fresh strawberries (166 grams)
    Calories 50-55
    Protein 1 gram
    Carbohydrates 11.65 grams
    Dietary Fiber 3.81 grams
    Calcium 23.24 mg
    Iron 0.63 mg
    Magnesium 16.60 mg
    Phosporus 31.54 mg
    Potassium 44.82 mg
    Selenium 1.16 mg
    Vitamin C 94.12 mg
    Folate 29.38 mcg
    Vitamin A 44.82 IU

    Here's a yummy Strawberry Salad recipe from Rachel Ray and


    • 2 teaspoons strawberry jam
    • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 pint strawberries, sliced
    • 4 to 5 cups chopped romaine or mixed greens of any kind


    Place jam in a medium bowl and whisk in vinegar then extra-virgin olive oil. Season the dressing with salt and pepper. Add the strawberries and greens to bowl and toss to coat evenly in dressing.


    Friday, June 18, 2010

    Recipe Friday - (almost) Sugar Free Banana Bread

    I LOVE banana bread a little too much. I've been known to eat half a loaf in just one day, and it takes a lot of restraint to keep myself from devouring the entire thing. The 45 minutes it takes to bake in the oven and the amazing smell that fills the air makes me so hungry that the 3rd degree burns I get from eating it hot are totally worth it (jk, don't try that). I was so happy when I attempted to make banana bread without sugar (aside from the chocolate chips, which are optional) and it turned out GREAT. My husband didn't even notice it was sugar free and my kids loved it too, but who doesn't LOVE banana bread?

    (almost) Sugar Free Banana Bread
    3 Ripe Bananas
    1/3 cup melted butter
    1 cup skim milk powder
    1/2 tablespoon liquid Stevia
    1 beaten egg
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    pinch salt
    1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

    Pre-heat Oven to 350
    1. Mash bananas
    2. Use electric mixer and mix mashed bananas with butter on med speed for 1 minute
    3. Add Stevia, skim milk powder, egg, and vanilla and mix for another minute
    4. Add baking soda and salt. Mix 30 seconds
    5. Mix in flour until dough forms
    6. Stir in chocolate chips (optional)
    7. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes


    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    Thursday, June 17, 2010

    Laughter is the BEST Medicine!

    My good friend Al showed me this comedy group a long time ago and I almost peed my pants laughing when I saw them. I emailed my brother the youtube link, and he learned how to play this song on his guitar. Now every time we get together he busts out his guitar and we all have a good old sing along/laugh. If you've been feeling down lately check this out (even if you've seen it before) It'll totally make your day!

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    I Have a Confession to Make...

    Seriously, I was bad this weekend, I should be sent to my room after what I've done. I had a very busy weekend filled with fun and friends and FOOD! I feel like a total hypocrite having a blog called healthy families after all the food I indulged in this weekend, but it was so delicious!

    On Friday night some friends treated us to dinner in Niagara Falls (who could say no to that?) So, we made the trek to the "Falls" which was totally worth it by the way, and arrived at a restaurant called Copacabana. If you've ever been to Niagara Falls, you've probably seen this restaurant because it's really big and it looks really cool from the outside. Copacabana is a Brazilian "all you can eat" steak house and believe me, I ate everything in sight! Here's how it works. There's a buffet with amazing mashed potatoes, breads, soups, salads, pasta, rice, deviled eggs, etc and you can eat as much as you want, although the waitress warned me not to fill up on the buffet. The waitress gives you a sign to put on your table and one side says "fire it up" and the other says "cool it down". When your sign says "fire it up" you are letting the (hunky) servers know that you want to eat more MEAT. When it says "cool it down" it means you need to take a break. They come around with over 20 different types of meat and they cut a piece off for you to try, and you can request as much as you want. They have prime rib, filet mignon, suckling pig, Parmesan pork, plank steak, Moroccan chicken, cheddar beef, leg of lamb, garlic chicken, you name it, they have it, AND IT'S SO GOOD!!! Seriously, every minute there's some good looking guy standing next to your table offering you a juicy piece of sizzling meat and it just looks and smells delicious so you just have to try some. I used to be a vegetarian and I've never eaten so much meat in my life! I totally pigged out (and feel kind of guilty now). Oh, they also have this amazing roasted pineapple and I swear I ate at least 6 pieces! I'm craving that pineapple right now! I need to learn how to make that because it was delicious! There's also Brazilian dancers with huge feathers on their heads that dance around the tables, shaking their stuff haa haa.

    After the gigantic meal and after more meat in one sitting that I eat in a month, we went out for ice cream. I don't know how I managed to fit and ice cream cone in my stomach after all that, but it did. Seriously, that restaurant was SO GOOD, and everyone needs to experience it at least once, but I do feel bad for eating such an insane amount of meat, especially in the summer time when there is so much fresh fruits and vegetables available. I think I'd feel less guilty if it was winter. I told my husband that we should go back in 10 years because that's how long it'll take me to work it all off LOL. All in all it was a great night with great friends and great food. My goal is to learn how to cook meat like that, because I've never really been good at cooking meat.

    So there you have it... you can slap me on the wrist next time you see me, or just visit Copas yourself and we'll be even :)

    Me Ka Aloha
    - Elisabeth

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Recipe Friday - Potato Topped Chicken Pot Pie

      When I got married I received a lot of cookbooks. I flipped through most of them and decided that there was nothing interesting, and they sit on my shelf being totally useless. I did however get the Canadian Living Cookbook which has a lot of great recipes and the BEST part is, they're family friendly! The recipe that I probably make the most (I made it tonight for the in-laws, and they really enjoyed it) is called Potato Topped Chicken Pot Pies. It's total comfort food!


      lb (454 g) boneless skinless chicken breasts
      2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock
      2 cups (500 mL) button mushrooms, quartered
      1 onion, chopped
      2 carrots, chopped
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      2 bay leaves
      1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
      1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
      1 pinch nutmeg
      1 cup (250 mL) frozen peas
      1 tsp (5 mL) Dijon mustard
      1/2 tsp (2 mL) lemon juice
      1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
      6 Yukon Gold potatoes
      1/2 cup (125 mL) milk
      4 tbsp (50 mL) butter
      1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
      1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper


    Topping: Peel potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch (1cm) chunks. In large saucepan of boiling salted water, cover and cook potatoes until tender, 15 minutes; drain and return to pot. Add milk, cheese, butter, salt and pepper; mash until smooth. Set aside.

    Meanwhile, cut chicken into 1/2-inch (1 cm) chunks. In separate large sauce-pan, bring stock to boil. Add chicken, mushrooms, onion, carrots, garlic, bay leaves, salt, pepper and nutmeg; reduce heat, cover and simmer until chicken is no longer pink inside, about 6 minutes. Stir in peas, mustard and lemon juice.

    In small bowl, whisk flour with 1/3 cup (75 mL) cold water; whisk into stock mixture and bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook, stirring often, until thick enough to coat back of spoon, about 5 minutes.

    Make-Ahead Meal: Ladle into four 2-cup (500 mL) ovenproof or foil dishes. Spoon or pipe potato mixture over top. Let cool for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until cold. Cover with foil and overwrap with heavy-duty foil; freeze for up to 1 month.

    Thaw in refrigerator; remove heavy-duty foil. Bake on rimmed baking sheet in 400°F (200°C) oven or toaster oven until knife inserted in centre for 5 seconds feels hot when touched, 25 minutes. Uncover and broil until golden, about 3 minutes.


    Me Ka Aloha

    - Elisabeth

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