Sometimes when hosting guests for dinner or a girls night, I find myself wracking my brain trying to come up with some yummy treats to snack on. That yummy goodness is Chocolate Barl. This is also a great little gift for family, friends or school teachers and something easy you can make with your kids too!
You're going to need a pot, a heat safe glass bowl that you can sit ontop of the pot, the chocolate and the toppings of your choice. For my bark, I'm keeping it simple and chose sliced almonds and sweetened shredded coconut. I got all of my ingredients in the bulk bins at Superstore.
To start, you'll have to fill up the pot with water placing the glass bowl on top, ensuring the bottom of the glass doesn't come into contact with the water. If it does, you'll have to pour some out. Make sure the bowl doesn't leave open gaps anywhere.
I didn't follow a specific recipe, but pour your milk chocolate chips into the bowl and continue to stir until it's fully melted. You will then pour the chocolate onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or some form of nonstick wrap. Spread out the chocolate, making it as thin or as thick as you desire.
Then it's as easy as sprinkling on a layer of almonds and then the shredded coconut ontop.
I placed the cookie sheet in the fridge for a couple hours to allow it to harden back up, making it easier to break or cut into pieces. All that's left to do is put it out on your table for people to take or wrap it up all pretty for a gift!
There are so many combinations of chocolate you can do and I'm going to list a few :
Peanut butter, crushed peanuts
Mix of milk and white chocolate, crushed oreo
Dried fruits and seeds
This can take you as little as 10 minutes to set it all out on the cookie sheet, a couple hours in the fridge. Even if you have no one coming over, it's still a yummy treat for your Friday night movie at home! What are some of the combo's of ingredients have you done with your chocolate bark? Let me know in the comments below!
Time to get into the spirit of the holiday season. For the first time since I moved out of my parents place, I get to have some of my family fly out to Saskatoon to spend the Christmas holiday with us.
With my boyfriend being Ukrainian, Christmas Day dinner includes perogies. So when my mother came to visit in early November we thought we would get a head start on the dinner and hand make our perogies from scratch and then stick them in the freezer till we need them. This cuts down many more hours in the kitchen on the day, we just need to stick them in a pot!
We got this recipe off of Allrecipes.com, my mum has used this same recipe for years.
- 6 cups of all purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- A pinch of salt
- 5 pounds of peeled potatoes
- 1 pound of cheese (we used cheddar, medium)
- onion salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- One egg mixed with water to act as an adhesive.
1. To start you will fill a large pot with water and a pinch of salt and bring to boil. Add the potatoes (cut into small cubes) and cook until tender.
2. Mix the Flour, Eggs and Salt together. Create a well in the middle and add a little bit of water to the middle of the mixture. Continue to mix the ingredients until it becomes stiff.
3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and set aside to allow for it to rise.
4. In the meantime, drain your potatoes, return them to large pot and add the cheese, salt, pepper and onion salt. Continue to mix until the cheese has melted with the potatoes.
5. Roll out the dough on the counter top sprinkled with flour.
6. Taking either a circle cookie cutter or the open side of a drinking glass, begin making cuts.
7. Take the cut outs and place onto a large, flat cookie sheet and fill with the potato stuffing.
8. Take the egg and water mixture and go around the edge of the perogie and fold it in half, pinching closed all the edges.
9. Put the cookie sheet with the perogies into the freezer for a couple hours and once fully solid, transfer to a large ziploc.
10. When ready to cook, take them out and place in a pot of boiling water till tender, fry after if desired. Dress them with bacon bits, fried onions and sour cream.
Allow yourself a good 2 - 3 hours making these, depending on if you're making them alone or have some help! This recipe made around 60 perogies with the dough and enough of the filling to make double.
I'm looking forward to being able to finally eat these with everyone at Christmas! I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season!
With how fast technology is advancing, you think you're doing all you can to protect yourself from identity theft,online hackers and viruses, but you aren't. Have you ever gone into the settings on your iPhone and seen buttons that you're not sure what they even do?
I'm normally not very tech savvy and am not much of a writer when it comes to these types of topics but I figured I would share a way to protect your phone that I learnt today so you can feel safer about being online and who can see your stuff.
For me, I hate knowing that personal information is being collected and sent out to businesses to track my and even your every move online. What they are doing is gathering information, everything down to birthday's, gender, age, location, address, app downloads and internet browser history to send spam mail or advertise their companies on our phone. I feel this is such an invasion of privacy, if it's easy for all these companies to do this, it's no wonder people have viruses that are able to take hold of your phone or computer and steal things like credit card number and banking information.
I was downloading a protection program for my Macbook today when another app popped up and I learnt how to protect my phone from all these data collectors. I'm going to show you the two ways I quickly did so :
1) Disable iPhone Ad Tracking :
- Click "Settings"
- Scroll down and click on "Privacy"
- Scroll all the way down and click "Advertising"
- Click and turn on the "Limit Ad Tracking" feature (this is what will prevent your data from being shared).
- Under that will be a "Reset Advertising Identifier" (to erase all stored data).
2) Disable Location Services :
- Click "Settings"
- Scroll down and click on "Privacy"
- Click "Location Services"
- Turn location services on and where your apps are, Click on them and change them to "Never" (this will stop apps like twitter or instagram from being able to collect data, if you have it selected to "While Using", any time that app is open they are able to collect your information for ads and other purposes).
- Scroll all the way down and click "System Services"
- Look for "Location-Based iAds" and "Frequent Locations" and turn both off.
- Scroll to the bottom and click "Diagnostics & Usage" and turn that off as well.
Now take into consideration, apps like google maps, it will need your location to give you directions, so keep that set to "While Using" but there are many apps on your phone that to do not need locations to function.
There's an app you can download for free (I did on my MAC) as well as for your phone called BLUR (used to be known as "Do Not Track Me" and this is where I learnt how to do all this). The below picture will show you what it looks like on your internet browser and how it lets you know it's detected a tracker that's been successfully blocked.
If you click the button where the RED notification is it will pop up with information that looks like this :
A tip : When setting it up on your computer, make sure you enter in your email, this will help prevent your email being used for companies to advertise in your junk folder. I hope this was helpful to everyone and easy to understand, to me it's a safety thing and I am glad I discovered this! Technology is great for keeping in touch with people and being able to do some online shopping or banking but we need to inform ourselves how to be safe!
Have you heard of these tips already, what other tips can you share for everyone to better protect ourselves? Please share them all in the comment section below!
People who know me, know that I got into cooking fresh, homemade food for my dogs a year and a half ago. It takes a lot of dedication to get into the routine but the payoff is so worth it.
When we got Leo, our pug as a puppy, he would get chronic ear mites and infection due to missing one ear (yes he is missing the outer part of his ear, I will attach a picture). The vet said what contributed was the kibble, there were so many forms of protein in one bag, preservatives and in general made him so dehydrated. He was drinking 6 bowls of water a day and was weighing 28 pounds (If you didn't know, pugs are suppose to be around 18 pounds full grown. So you can see how kibble can pack on pounds, even if you feed him what the box says and limit treats.)
With our other dog Zoey, she had a sensitive stomach to kibble and when that was all she was eating it would start to make her sick and she also got lots of infections. So I am going to share with you what I cook for my dogs on a regular basis. Take note that I have discussed this diet with my vet and with regular check ups, have been given the OK as they are the healthiest they've ever been. So if you choose to go down this road, please call your veterinarian first!
Their usual mix of food :
1/2 cup of food
1/3 cup of protein (hard boiled egg, fish, chicken or beef unseasoned)
1/4 cup of vegetables (carrots, green beans, celery, peas etc)
For an extra every now and then I'll add a teaspoon of olive oil (either morning or evening)
For treats we like to feed them all natural treats, organic or just fresh fruits or vegetables. Some of the fruit and veggies we give them as a treat are :
Blueberries (only for Leo as Zoey's stomach can't handle them)
This diet has been working great for them and every vet appt they are in a healthy range for weight, have been infection free for a year and there's nothing like having children who love vegetables! :)
Do you feed your dogs homemade meals? What are your go to meals, let me know in the comments!
Nowadays there are so many factors that are contributing to environmental damage and personal health. We all talk about the basic ways to reduce Climate Change, whether it's recycling more, turning off the lights when you leave a room and even going vegetarian / vegan to reduce our carbon footprint. Here in Canada, some people are outraged about the pipeline that is going to be built from BC to Alberta and one of the reasons I've heard the most of why they are against it is they don't want the animals in the surrounding areas to be affected, that they are losing their habitat. I completely understand that but what you don't realize is while you are busy focusing on that, you are also contributing to deforestation and animals losing their habitat on the other side of the world.
How you ask? Palm Oil.
What is Palm Oil? It is a vegetable oil that is found in a palm fruit on the African Oil Palm Tree. It is currently being grown in many places in the world including Africa, South America, North America and Asia.
Why is it so heavily used? There are a couple main reasons as to why palm oil is most commonly used in products, because when grown it's a very high yield, it's extremely versatile in how it can be used in different items and it's a fairly cheap ingredient.
What is Palm Oil in? It is shocking at how many products palm oil is in, some include : Cosmetics (holds colour), Laundry Detergent, Chocolate (prevents it from melting), Instant Noodles (used to precook the noodles), Store bought Bread and Soap, the list goes on! Go look at your own pantry or toiletries, it's everywhere.
How is it really affecting the environment? Up to the size of 300 football fields of forest is being cleared every hour to accompany space for Plantations which releases a lot of carbon dioxide into the air as well as displace animals. Due to the deforestation, the Sumatran Orang Utans are on the critically endangered list, dwindling down to only 6,300 of them left in the wild. Not to mention tigers and rhino's are also critically endangered. These are all amazing creatures that shouldn't become extinct from our own selfish gain.
How do I know if Palm Oil is in a product? It's all about label reading. Nowadays the industries are deceiving, they claim that something is healthy, no extra sugars, vegan etc but sometimes that's not the case, you have read the ingredients to be 100% sure. There are so many derivatives that Palm Oil Falls under and some of those names include : Vegetable Oil, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Glyceryl, Stearic Acid, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palmitate, Palmate, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3.
How do I go about shopping? The best way is to label read, there are some items which are easy to convert to something that is more eco friendly but it's unrealistic to avoid absolutely everything with Palm Oil. The great news is there are sustainable palm oil options, look for a RSPO label on the product (this is supporting growers harvesting it sustainably), if you can't find that look for the Green Palm Label (which helps fund growers transition to harvesting sustainable oil).
It's never too late to step into action, better late than never right? If you want to learn a little more about palm oil there are many great links out there and I will attach a couple for your convenience!
You always hear how breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I couldn't agree more. I never used to put much thought into breakfast and if I did eat, it was cereal or left over dinner from the night before.
I am more focused on what goes into my body, healthier not processed. I am going to show you what I've been eating in the mornings, It's very easy but most importantly it's healthy and it gives me a good start to the day!
Fresh Fruit, Granola and Yoghurt.
I have been cutting out as much dairy from my diet as possible so I found a soy yoghurt that I have been enjoying lately. I usually put 1/2 - 3/4 a cup into a bowl.
I sprinkle 2 tablespoons of Everyday Superfood's Berry Bliss yoghurt topping over it. I love this because in 2 tablespoons you're getting 5g of protein, it's vegan, all natural, source of iron, magnesium, calcium and omega 3 fatty acids. They have different types you can pick but this one has cranberries, blueberries and bananas in it mixed with chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp hearts.
Ontop of that I found my new favourite granola, from Nature's Path, it is their Summer Berries Granola. Hands down the best I've come across so far. It is not vegan as it does contain a little bit of milk but nonetheless it's delicious. I put 1/2 a cup of this into my mixture, sometimes more because it's so yummy!
To top it off I sometimes add another tablespoon of organic chia seeds, slice up some banana and sprinkle a few fresh blueberries. I'm normally not a fan of eating a lot of yoghurt on it's own, so to add the crunch and textures of everything else makes it a lot more enjoyable.
What's your favourite thing to eat for breakfast? I am always looking for simple, healthy foods!
To my future children,
There are so many things I hope to be for you, a wonderful mother, a shoulder to cry on and someone you aren't afraid to admit mistakes to and I will teach you how to learn from them. I know I will do what it takes to try and keep you safe but as you grow up and start to experience the world, I won't be there by your side every second to protect you. What I can do is give you advice, some being from my own experiences of the world going from a teenager to a young adult in my 20's, something I hope you will take with you as you go through life.
To start, school is probably going to feel like it's never ending, you are going to be counting the days till summer. All I can tell you is to enjoy it, join all the sports teams, the academic after school activities. Have fun being a kid while you can because once you graduate high school and college, the real world kicks in and it's a lot harder than you realize.
As new generations come into the world, everyone feels they're entitled to more than they deserve. Whether it's more money at work, higher ranked position or more materialistic items at home. Pay your dues, we all started from somewhere before we get to where we want to be and money doesn't buy happiness, you will learn that family and memories you can create is all you need.
When you start to date, have respect for yourself, don't force yourself into anything. If you feel uncomfortable about something, walk away. You dating the popular girl or sleeping with the captain of the hockey team to look cool isn't. You deserve someone who will treat you with respect and the right person will know how to do that, whether you find that person in high school or in your 20's or 30's. Don't be discouraged or give up, you don't always find the one you want to spend the rest of your life with right away.
Be yourself. Don't be afraid to be different. I have always believed that the world would be boring if we were all the same so embrace your individuality. You won't get along with everybody, you aren't going to please them nor is it your duty to worry about what they think. If you are tall or short, a little bigger or a little thinner, love yourself.
Models on magazine covers don't usually look like that in real life. Everyone has imperfections on their body but with some good lighting and photoshop it can change someone completely. So don't get down on the fact that you have a few pimples or you have a little cellulite on your legs, because I can guarantee that you're not the only one. As a kid, I had trouble with depression, I usually bottled it up and never expressed my feelings to anyone because of the stigma around mental illness. I don't want you to go through that, if you're feeling a certain way, know that there is always someone you can count on to be there for you, even if it is your mother.
I don't know what social media or the internet will develop into when you start to use it, Will Instagram still be a thing? Will Facebook continue to be a place to share with friends and family? All I can tell you is that they're all one big highlight reel of someone's life, nobody's perfect like they make themselves out to be on the internet. Don't let it consume you, it doesn't matter how many followers you have or how many likes a selfie you took got. The internet has turned into a place where people feel the need for acceptance from complete strangers.
So go out and explore. Technology is holding people back from looking around and appreciating the beautiful planet we live on. Go hiking up a mountain, swimming in the lake, see the northern lights and stars, travel the world. Unplug yourself, even if it's only for a little while. You'll be amazed at what's out there.
Most importantly treat everyone with love and kindness. There is a lot of hate in this world, a lot of evil, I can only dream of a day where we will wake up and not have to hear of another terrorist attack. If you believe in a god or not, are light skinned or dark skinned, we are all human, we all deserve love, happiness and acceptance. The same saying has been around forever, treat others how you wish to be treated and growing up you will learn this.
I hope when you're old enough to read this you can take these words with you, maybe even pass it on to your own children someday. Spread positivity and know that as I write this, I do not know you just yet, but you are going to be so loved and adored.
With all my love, Mum XO
Growing up in Hong Kong, I got to experience a lot of different foods. One of my favourites, was Singapore Noodles. I am going to share with you guys the recipe my mum uses when she makes this dish!
What You Will Need :
2 Red Peppers
1 Can of baby corn
2 cloves of garlic (or substitute for equal amount of minced)
2 cups of shrimp
2 tsp tomato paste
4 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp white pepper (or what you have)
240 grams of rice vermicelli noodles
salt and chilli to taste
To start, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Turn off heat and put vermicelli in. Stirring occasionally to loosen.
Heat a non stick frying pan on medium-high heat then add peppers and corn and stir until softened.
Add green onions, stir and then add the garlic.
Add the tomato paste and all the spices, continuing to stir for another minute till well mixed.
Then add the shrimp, cooking for another 2 minutes till shrimp softens.
Drain the noodles and return back to the pot. Pour the veggie stir fry into the pot and stir through until everything is well mixed.
Serve Hot and Enjoy!
As a young person who enjoys going out, I know that sometimes it's overwhelming when you take into consideration how much everything costs. The great thing about most people who date (and I assume many others will feel the same) is that we don't need to spend hundreds of dollars at a fancy restaurant or on material items to have a great date, as long as you're with the person you love that's all that matters! Right?
I decided to share with you some fun and cheap / free date ideas if you're on a budget in the Saskatoon area and even if you aren't, these are still a fun way to switch things up !
Go for a picnic. This is one of my favourite things to do, I have a vintage style basket so I love filling it up with snacks, grabbing a blanket and going down to the
river. Whether you bring your kids and make it a family outing or just you and your loved one, you're bound to have a great time.
Go for a hike/trail walk. This is just an overall great idea for fun and to stay active. They don't have to be strenuous or extreme, but if the sun is out, you should be too! This is always more fun for me to bring my two dogs as they get to enjoy themselves as well.
Night at the movies...at home. Sometimes there are just no good movies out in the theatre and the price can go upwards of $50 if you like to have something to munch on. To save some money, rent a movie on iTunes for $5 you've never seen before, make some popcorn and buy some candy from the store and curl up with a blanket.
Cook dinner together. In most relationships, there's always one person who doesn't do the cooking, give yourself a challenge, close your eyes and open the cookbook to a random page, whatever the recipe is, is what you and your partner can make together. It's a great way to learn new skills but also appreciate having your special someone help out.
Go get some ice cream and then go for a car ride. Whether you park in a field and enjoy the evening sky or drive around the town discovering new roads, this is always a fun way to be together, play your music and judge people's yards along the way! Just kidding...but am I really?
Play mini golf at Market Mall, it's an 18 hole course and it's a lot of fun! Open 7 days a week for only $7 a person, it's perfect for a little friendly competition.
Hit up The Berry Barn. A great day activity during the summer, you can enjoy the U-pick, eat their desserts from their cafe or take a walk through their craft shop! Visit their website : http://www.berrybarn.ca
With the weather we experience in the prairies, you have to make the most of the summer months, these are all perfect to do that! I hope you go out and enjoy what Saskatoon has to offer!