A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Posts tagged ‘Food’

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies – StumbleUpon


I may not make this clear enough. I am a serious Nutella addict. Chocolate is my ish. That hazelnut… MMM! I also quite like cheesecake. Muchly. And now I can have ’em both?! IN A BROWNIE! Whoa, whoa, whoa… I need proof. You do too, right? Okay, let’s see…

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons water
  • ¾ cup applesauce
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons Nutella


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheti.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, applesauce, and oil; mix until well blended. Spread evenly in a greased 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Microwave on high for 10-15 seconds or until soft and easy to pour. Pour evenly over the brownie batter, drop Nutella by the spoonfuls on top, and make swirls in the batter with a knife.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

Yield: 12 brownies

Yeah. It’s possible. I’m doing it. *goes to the kitchen*

Nutella Cheesecake Brownies & The Teenage Taste – StumbleUpon.

I Gotta Snack!

The work day is LONG. I have iron-deficiency anaemia. Those are two good reasons for me to eat frequently. If I don’t have snacks, the day does not go well. I get super cranky. I feel ill. I feel tired. I want to kill people. You know… So I make sure I have food. Not just my lunch. Snackage. I toss at least one pre-packaged snack in my bag, and at least one fresh snack. I prefer when a fruit or vegetable is included. I have breakfast before leaving home, have 2 snacks before lunch, have lunch, and rush home to dinner. Yeah… I gotta have my food.

My faves are:

  • Banana slices with nutella
  • Apple slices with nutella
  • Kirkland’s Best Fruit & Nut mix – Amazing mix of dried cranberries, dried cherries, almonds, walnuts, and dry-roasted pistachios. YUM!
  • Welch’s Fruit Snacks (Blue package)
  • Cheddar cheese slices and cream crackers
  • Fritos (Terrible, I know. This is for lazy mornings.)
  • Cheese Puffs (Yeah… Like the one just above.)
  • Carrot sticks
  • Cucumber + Tomato (either with a little Italian dressing, or sour cream and a little salt and black pepper)
  • Blueberries + Kiwi (LOVE this combo!)
  • Almonds
  • Smoothies (I haven’t made one in ages. *sighs*)
  • Navel Oranges (cut up)
On my list to try: Kind Bars (They look like YUM!)
How many times do you eat every day? What do you like to snack on? What’s your favourite snack to have at your desk? Any suggestions for quick things to toss in my bag for snacks?

Weekend in Review

What a weekend! Feels like it was a WEEK! Let me see how quickly and entertainingly I can catch you up…


  • Babe got two free tickets for us to go to an old school event called “Boogie Nights.” My sister is into oldies and the “mature crowd” so we told her about it. It worked out perfectly. We all got to hang out together, and my sister was our ride. Babe’s friend showed up with her hubby too. We had a great time electric sliding, cha cha cha-ing, and twisting the night away.
  • My sister was ready to go before Babe and I were. She left the car with us. We stayed for another 30 minutes or so, then decided to beat the crowd out the door. We both slept really well. Nothing like going to bed on a little tequila. (Don’t worry. We just had one drink each. But maaannn, my drink was STRONG!)


  • I woke up in time to get ready for work. And iron clothes for the interview and stuff them in my bag without crushing them. But NOT in enough time to pack a good lunch. Just a package of Fruit & Nut.
  • Interview for super awesome job! Oh, man. The DRAMA. I arranged from Wednesday for a ride with my mother. She said she would be working Saturday night, so she could do it. Well, she called me on Friday in a panic. She was about to sleep for work at 3:30pm when she decided to call Scheduling to see if she was a 7pm or 8pm. She was a 6pm. Now, if you work shifts, you know how it goes. Basically, she was in a mad rush to get ready, and realized that being a 6pm, it was possible that she’d be working Saturday MORNING, not night. (See, if she was an 8pm, there’s no way they could give her a shift for the next morning.) She said she’d just find a ride to work on Saturday is she WAS going to be a morning shift, so she’d drop the car to me at work. I’d drive to the interview, and BAM. Done.
  • WELL. She was feeling sick and took TheraFlu and ended up oversleeping on Saturday. She slept until 10am. Had to be to work at 11am. She called my uncle to get her from my work, but he took too long, so she left. She told me to call the same uncle or her friend Staci for a ride. I called my sister (who drove me to work and said she’d be my backup) first. No answer. I later found out that I hung up right as she picked up. Dang it! Staci was in the middle of moving. No go. My uncle, I finally reached at 12:30. My interview was 1:40pm. On the other end of the island.
  • He got here at 1pm. I got to the place and was hopping out of the car RIGHT as the woman came outside to get me. [insert biggest sad EVER here] I couldn’t believe it. Just my luck. “Are you Alicia?” I tried to look cheerful and said, “Yes, I am!” “You’re just getting here?” BURRRNNN! I was supposed to have been sitting on the porch waiting, with a form filled out. She took me straight in and said I could fill it out later. I shook myself out of it and appeared as relaxed and in-control as I could.
  • The interview itself went pretty well. There were smiles. There was laughter and head nodding. They were very interested in a few of my experiences. It felt very comfortable and casual. I feel good about it. I just don’t know what my lateness did for me. She also asked if I have a car. Nooo, ma’am. BUT. A question on the form was, “Would you be willing to work from home?” HECK, YEZZZ!
  • I’m trying to think positively, but not invest myself too much. I don’t like setting myself up for disappointment, but I don’t want to send negative energy into the universe either, ya know? Please cross your fingers AND toes for me. Send positive energy, hope and pray. For me. Please. I REALLY want this job. REALLY.


  • My brother picked me up, as usual, for FamJam. We were super early because he picked up the ICE CREAM CAKE (can you tell that I was excited?!) for Ryan’s birthday. Had to get it in the freezer quickly.
  • Ryan (4 y.o.) met us at the door. The fun began right away. Ryan is HILARIOUS. I love having children around on Sundays. They spice it up. Ryan lives on another island with his mother, so having him around is a real treat.
  • I got the stuff. Mhmm. You know the stuff. That list I gave my dad? Yeaaaaah! Soap, toothpaste, shampoo, daily facial wipes. All very exciting things. Even some things I didn’t ask for like deodorant (but I don’t think he’s trying to tell me that I smell), NUTELLA (I LOVE YOU, DADDY!), and Fruit & Nut. But the big thing… The HUGE thing… DRUM ROLL PLEASE…

My Vibram FiveFingers!

I’m SO happy. And exciting! This is the Bikila model, and OF COURSE, I’d pick the ones with green in them. If/When I get another pair of this model, they’ll be the orange/magenta ones because they’re so BRIGHT and AWESOME-looking! These babies feel GREAT on my feet. I was worried about the fit, but they’re perfect. I’ll take ’em out for a run tomorrow. (Babe and I have a little dinner date this evening, so it can’t be today.) You can find out about these awesome shoes here.

Also, please note that my dad is GREAT. He never complains when I ask for things when he goes away. He’s quite happy to run around, getting whatever I need (or want). It helps that he likes shopping, I guess. Me? Not so much.


  • Relaxing. Babe got up early to do some cleaning. I got up soon after to work on breakfast. We finished at about the same time, and got back into bed to eat. I made fresh toast (syrup for her, nutella for me), scrambled eggs, and turkey bacon. YUM! Babe made tea for us both when we were done eating.
  • Then we had reading time. It was great. Babe’s reading To Kill A Mockingbird. For the FIRST TIME. Can you believe that?! I’m reading The Little Women (NOT for the first time). We read and slept and read.
  • Babe made lunch. We had Ramen (Hey, we’re on a SERIOUS budget right now) and a salad. The salad was GREAT. Which is not surprising. Babe makes the BEST salads. I’ve never watched her make one, so I can’t really tell you what make them so awesome. I kind of don’t want to learn so she can keep doing it. MUAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAAAAAA. Anyway, they have a certain sour saltiness that mixes with some sort of sweetness that makes an amazing party in the mouth. WOW.
  • We read more. I fell asleep. Babe got up and did things. And came back to read. We decided to go for a little bike ride in the evening.
  • At about 6pm, we figured it was a good time. Not too much traffic, and not too much sun. It was nice. We rode on the sidewalk of a highway close by. It wasn’t a long one. Not for me, anyway. I’m used to walking and riding for a good bit. Babe? Not so much. I could tell she was tired, so we rolled up to the corner store to get a few essentials, then back home.
  • Dinner. Homemade spaghetti. Babe made it. The meat sauce had a certain sweetness to it that I really appreciated. It was nice. I just wished we had a little parmesan cheese. We ran out at some point, and either don’t remember or don’t have the cash to get more. I also wished I thought of making garlic bread. I believe there’s more, so when we get into that, I’ll do some garlic bread.


  • Made breaky this morning! Oatmeal. Babe and I ate it downtown since I have 20ish minute wait between buses to get to work. That was nice. Also packed apples + nutella and a pack of Fruit & Nut for snack. I love food. And having enough of it.
  • At work, and feeling GREAT! The weekend was beautiful. I feel like it was the perfect combination of R&R and fun. It was a lot of things that I really enjoy – a little cousin, good food, family time, reading time, quiet time, extra sleep, bike ride, Babe… Yep. Was good!
  • I’m trying not to think too much about the job. I already mentioned why. I’m just SO excited and hopeful. I sent them a letter. It’s sort of a Thank You (for the interview) + (in case you missed it) I’m awesooommme (and here’s a little reminder of HOW awesome I am! That’s the end of it, I think. I can’t do any more. I can’t make contact any more. I want them to know that I’m interested, but I’d like to NOT look like a crazy/desperate person. *takes deep breath* Yeah. I’m done.
  • My cousin is in town. A pretty awesome cousin. Jessica. She lives on another island. I think we’ve met twice in person, both in the last 6 months or so. Babe and I are going to meet up with her and her friend at Arawak Cay (a strip with lots of native food stalls/restaurants). Another cousin of mine (Jessica’s aunt, Justina) is going to drop by too. I’m excited because I’ve met her daughter, but not her. We’re Facebook friends though. 🙂 Oh, hey! Jess and her friend have a blog. Check it out.
Wishing you smiles and laughs today!
What was the highlight of your weekend? How did you spend your last day off?

Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets | Ginas Skinny Recipes

Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes 
Servings: 4 • Serving Size: 1/4th of nuggets • Old Points: 4 pts • Points+: 4 pts
Calories: 164.9 • Fat: 4.6 g • Protein: 22.1 g • Carb: 7.7 g • Fiber: 0.9 g  Sugar: 0.1 g

  • 16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even bit sized pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp panko
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • olive oil spray (I used my Misto)

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.

Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and mix well so the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken.

Put a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then bake 8 – 10 minutes. Turnover then cook another 4 – 5 minutes or until cooked though.


Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets | Ginas Skinny Recipes – StumbleUpon.

Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese – StumbleUpon

I wish I had time to figure out how to copy and paste the recipe, and add a picture. I don’t. If you like mac and cheese, and you like buffalo chicken, you probably NEED this in your life. So clicky the linky!

rainy day gal & buffalo chicken mac and cheese – StumbleUpon.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread (via NerdyBaker)

It’s bread. With rosemary. Ummm… YUMMMMM! 🙂

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread I haven't shared yet one of the best things I love about baking.  I LOVE baking bread. I love the smell of the yeast proofing, watching the dough rise, my mouth watering the entire time it is baking.  I have had a few bread fails but nothing so major as to turn me off to it completely.  The only problem I ever have with it is having the time to make it.  Even the first time I attempted a yeast dough, I didn't think to read ahead in the directions … Read More

via NerdyBaker

It’s All About Me

YAY! I got tagged in the 10 random facts about me thingy! Thank you, thank you, Vix! As if you don’t know enough already. I love coming up with new things to divulge about myself.

  1. I’m afraid of pretty much every animal. Baby lizards set me off into fits of screaming, jumping, and climbing. Seriously. I make myself look like a crazy person. Before AND after people around me realize what my problem is. That being said, it’s probably no shock that I don’t like animals. At all. The only ones I have any sort of interest in or kinda like are elephants and turtles. And of course, the wild, crazy ones like tigers. COOLNESS! But I’d only like the wild stuff to pet and take pictures with. That’s it. And I think peacocks are kinda cool. I like fish in aquariums. Those are the only pets I’d ever care to have. Because they’re pretty and add a little something to the ambiance. The water and everything. And they don’t leave fur or poop all over the place.
  2. I never drink from cans or bottles. No, wait. VitaMalt is always better from the bottle. It’s not the same once it has been poured out of the bottle, or sipped through a straw. Actually, VitaMalt in the can is awful. Nothing like the same greatness bottled. Other than that, I need a cup or a straw. Oh, water is an exception too. Water tastes AWFUL when sipped through a straw, doesn’t it?
  3. Of all the things in the world, I would most like to be a SAHM (stay-at-home mom) and housewife. It would suit me perfectly. I love a clean house. Cleaning the house is kind of like a religious experience for me. At times, I play a little music, and get in the zone, and BAM! I’m done. Then I revel in the total cleanliness and fresh scent of my home. At other times, I move through the house in silence, and clear my head. And the kitchen. Dear, sweet, holy goodness. Cooking and baking?! YES, PLEASE! I love a well-stocked kitchen. All the better for preparing favourite meals, and experimenting with new ingredients and/or untested combinations of ingredients. I LOVE IT. That should really be my life. Honestly. Of course, I’d spend a good bit of time blogging, and maybe even run a little home business. *shrugs* Busy bee is what I like to be. Actually, I’d even like to home-school my children for a little while. I think doing it all their lives would be an injustice to them.
  4. I really really really love food. Like, REALLY really. I am a foodie. I love grocery shopping, planning menus in my head, coming up with new ways to season things and put twists on otherwise ordinary dishes, cooking, baking, eating, sharing, getting and sharing reviews, eating out, finding cool new restaurants, figuring out what restaurants’ best menu items and strong points are… The entire process. Food, food, food. LOVES it!
  5. I like music. A lot. Lots of genres are okay with me. I can rock out, I can belt out (or lip sync) ballads, I can sway to R&B, I can sing-along to stupid, catchy pop songs, I can “buss a wine” to reggae tunes… I like pretty much any type of music. One of my favourite things to do is discover new music. I love finding out about (almost) unknown bands and singers (you know – the YouTube people who don’t get featured on Fox News), LOVING their music, getting it any way that I can, and waiting for them to be great. And of course,  proving my awesomeness to myself when I refrain from saying, “Yeah, well I knew about them 2 years before they have a video on MTV” when everyone starts talking about the new artist/band they suddenly LOVE. I’m now following a few people on WP who share their music finds, and OMgoshness! Love and appreciate it. New tunes for my iPod! WOO!
  6. I thrive on challenging myself. I’m constantly setting goals, and annihilating them. I do big things. Then I have a lull where I’m just normal. Ya know… Like you. (Kidding. Or not.) Then, I get all Oh-my-goshness!-I-should-totally-do-this-amazing-thing-just-because-I-KNOW-I-can-KILL-it. And then I think about it. THEN I research it to DEATH. Yes. To death. I find out everything I can. I go to about.com and read blogs and YouTube it and all this stuff. Then I get caught up in things that are remotely related to it. By that point, I’m completed obsessed with the whole brilliant idea, and want to blow my own mind, so I get AMPED-the-heck-UP. And I do it. E.g. Running. I read a blog post about SHOES. Running shoes. It made me think about running. I did a little reading on running. I wondered if I really hate running. No. I never really ran to know. Hmmm… I should run. I could probably do it. Hell. What am I saying?! I can SO run. ESPECIALLY if I get those super cool shoes non-shoes. Yeah. I’m gonna run. Wait. What’s the challenge gonna be? What do runners do? Hmmm… MARATHONS. Yeah. I’m gonna marathon up in this mother! YES. Wait. That’s a lot… Blah, blah, blah. Then I decided to train for a 5k. And I (window) shopped online for gear. Everything running-related. Shoes, non-shoes, hydration belts, cool, funky shorts (because I will NOT be running in boring pants. No, ma’am!)… You see what I mean here? Challenges. And obsessions. I like ’em. Stay posted.
  7. I struggle with water drinkage. Majorly. It’s a work in progress. I have to be very conscious and conscientious about it. I keep my 32oz. water bottle on my desk at work. Sometimes, I play little games with myself. E.g. Every time the phone rings, I drink two mouthfuls of water. Every time I heard a word used or pronounced incorrectly, I drink two mouthfuls of water. Weird? Funny? Whatever. Gotta do what ya gotta do! I’m getting there. Today, I’m not winning. I’ve had about 4oz. I know, I know. But listen… Two days ago, I only had 2oz. left in my bottle when I got home, and I finished it off when I got there. And yes, I know 32oz. is only half of what I should be drinking. Let me tell you this: Previously, I would go two weeks without having water AT ALL. See that there? Progress.
  8. I often lament about not having any talents. Particularly of the artistic sort. I wish I could draw. I wish I could paint. I wish I could sing. I wish I could dance. I wish I could sculpt random things and call them “art.” I wish ANYthing that ever leaves my hands (after being worked on or transformed in some way) could be called “art.” *sighs* It’s just not in me. I complain about this to Babe (who is a singer/songwriter), but of course, I get that indulgent, “there, there, pussycat” stuff. “You are talented. You’re a great writer…” Right. That’s why you’ve never asked me to co-write a song with you. 😦 Oh, well. You like me, don’t you? Or my blog… Is that art?
  9. I secretly want to own and run a bakery. Brownies, cookies, cupcakes, cakes, muffins… Fun stuff. I want to take a cake decorating class. I want to learn to properly and prettily ice/frost cakes, work with fondant, etc. When will I be able to do this? I don’t know. It really may not be in this lifetime. But I really, really hope that it is. I love baking. And I’m pretty good at it. I want to share it with the world. But it has to look BETTER than good. I can decently frost a cake, but by bakery standards? Remember what I said about my artsiness? The fact that I lack it? Yeah. That.
  10. I make up words. And then I use them like they’re real. E.g. Artsiness, drinkage, foodage, goshness… I feel fine about adding “ness” and “age” to pretty much any words I need to use or make into a different part of speech. I see that as my right. I am a lyricist. A WRITER, dang it. If only by that definition where a person who does something is a somethinger. E.g. A cook is a cooker. Well, no. That didn’t work. A person who plumbs (does plumbing) is a plumber. Which reminds me, it cracks me up (and sometimes annoys me) that every Nancy and Bob with a camera calls her/himself a photographer. Seriously, you’re a hobbyist. Or whatever. Get off it. LOL.
Annnd, those are 10 random facts about me. I keep proving to you that I may be slightly insane, don’t I? You’re welcome. I know you appreciate my upfrontness (<—One of my originals). Hearts and butterflies, y’all! 🙂
Oh, WAIT! I have to tag 4 people to do this funness (<—Another. And I’m SO not doing this on purpose)!

Bananarama – A Frozen Treat

The-Bananarama.jpg – StumbleUpon.

Another great picture-recipe with funny little notes. This time, it’s for frozen banana-peanut butter goodness. You can thank me later.

68 Days of Gourmet: Banana Bread

68 Days of Gourmet: Banana Bread « bakin’ and eggs.

Because baking is cool. Banana bread is awesome. You need something else to slather Nutella on. And YUM!

Banana Bread
(Recipe source Gourmet, August 2003)


3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups coarsely mashed very ripe bananas (6 large)
1/4 cup crème fraîche, sour cream or plain yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/3 cups walnuts (4 ounces), toasted and chopped


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour 2 (9 x 5) loaf pans.

Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together eggs and sugar at medium-high speed until the mixture is thick and pale and forms a ribbon when paddle is lifted, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream. Then mix in bananas, creme fraiche (or sour cream or yogurt) and vanilla. Mix in flour mixture and walnuts until just combined.

Divide batter between loaf pans, spreading evenly. Bake until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center  comes out clean, about 60-75 minutes.

Cool loaves in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack to cool completely.

Yield: 2 loaves

How To Make Chilli imgur.com – StumbleUpon

3xSgR.jpg from imgur.com – StumbleUpon.

It’s worth the extra click. It really is. Directions and pictures in one. And it’s pretty funny. 🙂