In Memory…

Today is a very sad day.  We lost an amazing soul today.

Our dear friend John was a neighbour to some, a dear friend to many and family to all.

Many years ago John had a close encounter with death.  Lucky for all of us he was given a second chance at life.  The doctors gave him three years.  Thirteen years later I sit here writing this post.  I think John did such a good job fulfilling his purpose of his second chance, that whatever force you believe is acting on this earth (I believe it is God) decided to let him stay longer.  Help more people.  Make a bigger difference.

To give you an idea of the John I knew, when doctors told him to eat healthy and avoid alcohol you could find John at the pub eating the food he loved with the friends he loved having a pint of beer.  When the doctors told him to slow down, take it easy, you could find John on the roof of the house doing what (?!? does anybody know?) or lifting heavy furniture or other odd things that you wouldn’t question because of course, it was John.  Then there were his insightful words, which I could never repeat to you because I couldn’t understand a word he said through his thick Irish accent.  If it weren’t for his three lovely daughters to translate, I would have no idea how much he adored me and my family.  And there is his lovely wife, who was always so patient when John invited 50 people over for Sunday dinner.  Every beat John’s heart took was a meaningful one.

There were talks that John’s memorial would have to take place in a hockey arena.  Where else could you place the over 1000 people attending?  There are thousands of people mourning his death right now.  How many of us would be able to say that about ourselves?

I still feel in shock.  Knowing this day would come does not prepare you for when it happens.  If everyone just spent one moment trying to emulate the man John was, the world would be a better place.

Cheers, John.

Red

In Memory

John emceeing my mom’s wedding two years ago next week.

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Happy Birthday w/ A Giveaway!

Happy Birthday!

One year.

365 days of publicly spilling my insides.

365 days of full stomachs, well fed friends and a floored family.

I have come a long way.

Happy Birthday!

One year ago today I went public with Little Red Delicious.  I was a nervous wreck.  Seriously, everyone was going to see what I was throwing out there and there was no turning back.  I made a promise to myself to not abandon this blog like I do with so many other things… like chia seeds for example.  I tried to make those work in my food like twice… now a have a 1 lb bag of chia seeds left on my shelf. I think I shook in my pseudo-sleep all night that night (not when I ate chia seeds, I mean when my blog went public).

Happy Birthday!

One year ago today I made cookies.  Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip cookies.  It is a recipe that will forever remind me of baking in my student house with my beautiful housemates.  These cookies got us through the hardest parts of university: midterms, hangovers and break-ups.  I remember how excited they were for me a year ago today :).

Happy Birthday!

In honour of the Vanilla Pudding Chocolate chip cookies I wrote about a year ago, I am now bringing you my favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Even though there are enough “Best Chocolate Chip Cookie” recipes out there they are all liars and you really need this one.  No, that’s not true.  Cookies are like little kids. Diverse, innocent, and all with their special place in the world.  We all have our own criteria for what makes a good cookie and I guess this is the recipe I grew up eating, so on top of the soft (almost undercooked),  brown sugar-y flavour with the perfect chocolate chip to cookie ratio, these cookies taste like home to me.

Happy Birthday!

Don’t freak out but, this recipe has always been right under the tip of your nose.  It isn’t ground-breaking, but there is a reason it is printed on the back of the Hershey’s Chipits package… and that’s because they taste amazing.

Happy Birthday!

And you don’t even have to take my word for it, because it is a birthday.  And what to you give on birthdays, well gifts of course. And how do bloggers give gifts? You’re right, in the form of giveaways.  I don’t have a new Kitchenaid Stand Mixer to give away, and I am not sponsored by any camera companies but I do have a handmixer from what I can only assume is from the 70’s (rocking a mustard yellow tinge to it) that is still alive and kicking!  Word of warning though, if you try to mix anything with a viscosity greater than water she’ll be a smokin’!  But actually I can’t give that away, it’s a fire hazard. All I have is a passion for baking and a love for sharing so my giveaway today is a simple one: a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Happy Birthday!

This giveaway is open to anybody living in Canada–I will express ship!  All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me which post over the past year you liked the most and why!  You have until Sunday, February 10th at noon to leave your comment before I randomly select a winner.  {Teri don’t enter. I will be home later today with cookies.  Plus as my mom you know you could never win, people would think it was fixed and complain… heck I would complain.}

Happy Birthday!

And for all but one of you who don’t win, I have included the recipe below for when you get your next cookie craving.  Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you!  And while you are in the process of leaving your email you can sign up to receive an email every time I post something new by following me ——–>(scroll up a bit)!

Thanks for the year of love and support and taste testing. If it weren’t for you I would just be an almost certifiably insane person talking to no one.  Which is pretty much how it is every day, in my own head, with no one listening but me (obviously), on a daily basis. Shrug it off.

Best,

Red

Red’s Childhood Chocolate Chip Cookies

Courtesy of Hershy’s

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated (white) sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Hershey’s)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

In a separate mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt.  Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing well.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Drop 1 tbsp balls of dough onto an ungreased baking sheet leaving about 1 inch between cookies {they will spread!}.  Bake for 6-8 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cookies sit on baking sheet for 1 more minute.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Wait at least 30 second and then go ape shoot.

Happy Birthday!

I Think We All Need A Pep Talk…

You know what I’m talking about.  By the end of the day this video will be playing on everyone’s computer…and so it should! He references Space Jam… the kid knows what he’s saying.

“The world needs to stop being boring”

Birthday Cake

“I’m on your team…be on my team.”

Birthday Cake

“Keep goin’, keep goin’ and keep goin’.”

Birthday Cake

“We got work to do.  We can cry about it or we can dance about it”

Happy Birthday

“What will be your Space Jam?”

Have a fantastic Tuesday!

Best,

Red

{Happy Birthday, Lauren!}

Golden Gluten-Free Globes

The one year I actually want to watch the Golden Globes I have no cable TV and no roommates.  While Jess came to the rescue with the live stream link, it feels weird worshiping Tina Fey and Amy Poehler by myself.

Quinoa Pizza Bites

After my first week back at work and school, I am finally getting back into the swing of things.  Unfortunately my only class takes place from 5:30-6:20 three nights a week, so after working my regular 9-5 I spend 3 very tired nights hungry and unmotivated to cook.  It is these nights where I battle my voracious cravings for pizza. Hot and saucy pizza.  Be a doll and throw in some creamy garlic dipping sauce.

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Last weekend I made these Gluten Free Pizza Bites.  Tired and hungry, these got me through two more filling and tasty meals last week. The quinoa acting as the dough, these pizza bites lend themselves well to any of your favourite pizza toppings.  Plus, the taste of fresh basil reminded me of a fresh summer salad and made me feel like spring was on the horizon.  Oh wait, maybe that was the 9 degree C weather we are having in January. In Ontario… Canada. Can’t tell.

I think I have found the perfect recipe.  25 minutes start to finish, still delicious two days later, GF, protein packed and shaped like a muffin.

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Oh yeah, and if all the plunging necklines and side boobs of awards season have you “emotional eating”, don’t even think twice about scarfing down 1 or 10 of these healthy pizza bites.

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Special shout-outs to Kristen Bell and her best dressed baby belly, Kristen Wiig and her best non-dressed belly, and Isla Fisher for being the best dressed red.  None for Lucy Liu, Sienna Miller and Taylor Swift.

Best,

Red

Gluten-Free Quinoa Pizza Bites

Adapted from: So Very Blessed

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 large eggs
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried)
1/2 cup roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pizza sauce for dipping, I used this recipe for homemade tomato sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the quinoa and two cups of water in a covered pot. Bring to boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender.  Mix together all ingredients, except pizza sauce, in a medium mixing bowl. Distribute mixture into a greased muffin tin, filling each cup to the top and press down gently to compact.  Bake for 15-20 minutes.  Broil on low for two more minutes

Veggi-Good Resolution

New Year, New Red.

Whoever just heard Amanda Bynes’ voice in their head saying “New school, new babe pool”, we are so sympatico you can have my left kidney. It’s a She’s The Man reference friends.

New dutch oven too… which happens to be red!

"Veggi"strone

So as you can see some things haven’t changed since last year, yet so much has.

After listing all of the foods I tried in 2012 I am starting this year with some 2013 new food resolutions.  For example, I would love to love eggs.  Omelets, frittatas, quiches, (I had to spell check all three of those words..) I want to love them all.  I will boycott hard boiled though, and I am take-it-or-leave-it with soft boiled.  We will be increasing the protein and decreasing the carbs.  I will never give up my honey nut cheerios in the morning though.  I should state, some things, that thing, will never change.

To all of you with your own food resolutions I wish you good luck!

I want to set an example for how serious I am about goals and about this blog so I am kicking the year off with Eating Well’s “Veggi”strone.  To most of you this looks like a healthy soup recipe, but to me it is so much more.  This recipe includes not one but two types of beans.  Beans! I don’t eat beans! I am grabbing the bull by its horns.

"Veggi"strone

The beans are just 2 of 11 vegetables that are packed into this soup.  This soup is high in protein and fiber and low in calories and fat.  As suggested by the recipe, it lends well as a base for adding a variety of lean meats or even pasta if you aren’t satisfied with the heartiness that this soup already offers.  Heck, you can try every option you can think of because this soup could feed a family of 20.  That’s at least how many minutes it took me to find room in my freezer for all of it.

"Veggi"strone

If you are planning on making this recipe, I suggest you add a bit of salt, pepper and if you like a little kick maybe even some red pepper flakes.  The broth was a bit neutral so add whatever satiates you!

"Veggi"strone

If you are wondering how a 20-some year old working-student on her own could front such a hefty produce bill, I buy all of my veggies from Fiddes Wholesale Produce (F.W.P.s) located in the West end of Hamilton, ON.  The people working there are truly amazing and most of the produce you see on my blog comes from there.  It is my Saturday morning meditation and my Sunday night dinner.

"Veggi"strone

All the best in 2013 babes and bros!

Best,

Red

Veggi-strone

Recipe by: Eating Well Magazine

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 cups chopped onions (2 medium)

2 cups chopped celery (4 medium stalks)

1 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 medium)

4 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups chopped cabbage

3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 medium)

2 cups chopped carrots (4 medium)

2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces, or frozen, thawed

8 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or chicken broth

2 cups water

1 15-ounce can tomato sauce

1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 15-ounce can kidney or pinto beans, rinsed

1 bay leaf

4 cups chopped fresh spinach or one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

10 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large soup pot or Dutch oven (8-quart or larger) over medium heat. Add onions, celery, bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 13 to 15 minutes. Add cabbage, cauliflower, carrots and green beans; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 10 minutes more.

Add broth, water, tomato sauce, tomatoes, beans and bay leaf; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in spinach and simmer for 10 minutes more.

Discard the bay leaf. Stir in basil. Top each portion with 1 tablespoon cheese.

Refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

For nutritional information, click here.