LisaListed

The best things in life aren't things at all


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Bikini Butt Friendly Noodle Vegetable Chow Mein

If I could eat Chinese food every day for the rest of my life, I’d die fat and happy.
Sadly, Chinese food isn’t exactly considered healthy… but it sure makes my taste buds dance!

I’m on a vegetable kick lately as we are going to Miami in a couple of months and the very thought of being on a beach with Miami girls makes me feel insecure. So, here is a healthy version of noodle-y, veggie, chow mein goodness that is bikini butt friendly!

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BIKINI BUTT FRIENDLY NOODLE VEGETABLE CHOW MEIN

       Ingredients:

  • 1 large daikon radish spiraled into noodles (can also use a veggie peeler, a knife, or a mandolin, but I use my veggie spiral slicer which I LOVE)
  • 1 carton of shiitake mushrooms thinly sliced (stems removed)
  • 2 baby bok choys chopped up
  • 1 bell pepper sliced
  • 1 sweet onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup of grated carrot
  • 1 heaping cup of snap peas
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 garlic glove smashed and chopped (or grated)
  • 1 tbsp of grated fresh ginger
  • 4 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp of sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp of honey
  • 1 tsp of EVOO
  • 1 splash of red wine vinegar
  • Directions:
  • To make the sauce, combine ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, EVOO & red wine vinegar in a bowl and stir well.
  • In a wok, sauté EVOO with the onion and garlic until starts to become tender
  • Add mushrooms to the wok and sauté until mushrooms begin to become tender
  • Add the bell pepper, bok choy and snap peas to the wok until the peas become bright green
  • Add in the carrots and spinach
  • Once spinach starts to wilt, add in the sauce and combine everything evenly
  • Lastly toss in those daikon noodles to the party, sauté everything for about 5 minutes until the noodles start to become slightly cooked
  • Serve with sesame seeds and chopped green onions on topTwirl those noodles round and round, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how hearty, filling and delicious this dish truly is!

    Could easily add baby corn and/or brocolli to the dish as well.
    Or chicken, shrimp, ribs… whatever floats your boat.

    Would love to hear what you lovelies think of this butt friendly dish! This one was also husband approved… as long as the noodles are twirly, I have a happy hubby!

    Bon Appetit!

    Enjoy,
    L

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Zucchini Pasta A La Lisa

There is something so comforting to me about a big bowl of fresh, warm pasta covered in delicious sauce in the winter months. Comfort food at it’s finest! Unfortunately for me, my hips find pasta a little bit TOO comforting.

So, how to get a bowl of fresh, warm pasta still covered in delicious sauce that is jean approved? Use vegetables as your noodles!

I’m sure you’ve seen this latest “trend” spiraling (pun defs necessary) out of control and you’ve probably thought that the concept seems interesting but there is NO WAY that you will replace your delicious, carby pasta noodles with VEGETABLES!? Stick with me, my fellow Carb Lovers!

Think zucchini is only delicious in loaf form with chocolate? Well you are wrong, my lovely!

First, let me share some health benefits of that silly, little green squash we call the zucchini:

  •  There’s ONLY 21 calories per cup.. HELLOOOO!!
  •  A POWER house of Vitamin C… move over oranges!
  •  Lutein & Zeaxanthin which promotes healthy eyesight… I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW THE RAIN IS GONE!
  •  Manganese… no this is not a “manly” Japanese dish, but a very essential mineral that promotes healthy bone tissue development and helps your body produce collagen. Asta la vista crow lines!
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Have you SEEN more beautiful noodles?!

Now let’s get to it, shall well?

Zucchini Pasta A La Lisa Recipe:

 Ingredients:

4 medium sized zucchini
Splash of olive oil
1 garlic glove diced
1 jar of tomato sauce
1 can of tomato paste
Approximately a cup of diced onions, mushrooms, garlic and bell peppers
Seasoning (I used Italian seasoning, and the classic duo of S&P)

Directions:

> I used my Paderno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Spiral Vegetable Slicer to turn my zuch’s into long and luscious zuch noodles, but you could also use a mandolin slicer, a veggie peeler or simply a knife. I kept the peels on for extra nutrients. And it’s prettier.

> Sautee diced garlic in the EVOO for a minute or two, add the raw zuch noodles to the pan.

> Sautee, toss and coat the noodles in the oil & garlic until evenly coated. Only sautee for a minute or two… the noodles will JUST start to change color. TAKE THEM OUT! You’ll probably be tempted to keep cooking them because they still kind of look raw, but NOBODY likes mushy noodles.

> Remove noodles from the pan, put them in a side bowl.

> In same pan, sautée the diced veggies in a bit of EVOO. After they get a little bit tender, add in the tomato sauce and tomato paste.

> Stir around until heated throughout. Season to your taste.

> Once heated and seasoned accordingly, toss back in the noodles into the sauce bath.

> Toss to coat the noodles evenly and serve immediately. Dig in and be amazed!

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Be prepared to be surprised how full you are off from a beautiful bowl of vegetables that is jean friendly! All comments, tips and questions are welcomed!

Also, this was “Husband Approved” – that’s a winner in my books! Voila!

Enjoy!
Lisa

*** Can also easily be made with added meat or beans!


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Our Adventures Five Years In

Five years ago I met the man of my dreams. In fact, as time has passed, I realized that he has surpassed the man of my dreams on so many levels. Is it possible to feel as if we just met yesterday yet also feel like I’ve known this person my whole life?

When John and I met, we both felt all sorts of strong emotions that neither of us had ever felt before. After all this time, those strong emotions have gone away… but only to become fiercer, more intense and stronger than ever before!

When we first met, we were young. I was finishing up university and John was three weeks into his career. We happened to work for sister companies in the same building downtown and only three flours separated us. Since I was still finishing up school, I only worked part time but the days that I did work we would each leave our houses at the perfect time so that we could meet before work at our special spot and walk the few blocks together hand in hand. We would meet for lunch at least once a week and our coworkers would both make comments to us about how cute we were when they saw us together. We still meet each other for lunch once a week, even if that meant that a 12 block walk or a train ride just to see each other for twenty minutes and for that midday smooch. Since day one, we’ve never been able to get enough of each other and I’m so happy to say that we still can’t.

We have gone through so many life changes together and I can’t imagine what our life will look like when we get to a decade. Over the past five years, between the two of us there have been five moves, five jobs, three vehicles, two countries and a puppy! There have been ups and downs, positives and negatives but the one thing that has never wavered has been the love and respect for one another.

Although our looks and hair have changed a bit over the past five years, the way we feel about each other surely has not. We are celebrating this weekend by doing five things that we have never done before… today we kickstarted the “events” by going some place new for lunch.

Sticking with the “five” theme, here are five photos for each year that we’ve been together to highlight some of our favourite memories together:

2010:

Our First Road Trip

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Our First Calgary Stampede Together

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A fancy dinner and evening at the Calgary Tower celebrating our 6th month anniversary

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On “our bench” we discovered our on our first trip to the mountains together. This is where John eventually proposed. EEE!
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At Heritage Park in the fall time. Being our silly, sassy selves.

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2011:

Pre St. Patty’s Day Green Beer Chugging

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A helicopter ride in the mountains to celebrate one year together

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Christmas at my parents new home

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My University Graduation

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BBQ’inq and drinking beer in our backyard

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2012:

We had a stay-cation in Calgary and went to Calway park for the day (amusement park for kids)

 

IMG_0465He put a ring on it!
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We “I do’d”

 

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We mini-honeymooned in the Mountains. This is canoeing on Lake Louise

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An autumn stroll in a park close to our home

 

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2013:

Watching the sunset together in Whitefish, Montana

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Enjoying our honeymoon in Punta Cana!

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Just hiking n’ stuff in the mountains

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ERNIE!!!

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A trip to Edmonton

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We ran stairs here ohhhh too many times to count. The view was always worth it at the top.

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Just a typical Saturday…

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Walking in the provincial park right next to what was supposed to be our Forever Home

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Celebrating Christmas in said Forever Home

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2014:

Hiking in Palm Springs and keeping an extra cautious eye out for snakes

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Leaving our Calgary life behind for our Chicago life

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Drinking beer at our favourite place

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One of many “selfies” of us on my favourite bridges in Chicago

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Deeeeeeeeeeep Dishhhhh

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We’ve been to 2 Cubs games and 2 Sox games… we liked the hot dogs equally

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What our summer Saturdays typically look like now

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2015  has already been an amazing start and we are SO excited to see what else we can get up to in the next five years! And fifteen years! And fifty years!

Thank you, Lovely, for taking the time to read and celebrate with us! Cheers to you!

I love you, Honey, and I wouldn’t want to go on this adventure with anyone but YOU!

Enjoy,
L


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Homemade Friggin’ Graham Crackers!!! S’MORE ME!

I’m in a baking mooooooood today!!!! My pup, Ernie, is sick today so being the overprotective PupMama that I am, I am sticking around the house today to keep an eye on the poor guy. That’s the only excuse that I need to put on my baking pants!

With the four brown bananas in our fruit bowl, I already whipped up some banana muffins. My Mom was famous for her muffins and I try to replicate hers the best that I can. She was known as the Muffin Lady by a few of my friends growing up… every Saturday morning she would whip up muffins and the banana ones were always my favourite (her blueberry ones are a very close second…) The muffins are so moist, soft and delicious…. every bite you get a mouthful of banana muffin, chocolate chips, coconut and raisins! Does it get better than that!?

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I’m also slow cooking a teriyaki, pineapple chicken dish that I am winging and plan to serve it with steamed broccoli, rice and a salad to start. On a Wednesday night! We rarely ate like this mid-week in Canada! John offered to BBQ some big, fat juicy pork chops that are currently marinating, but I have an inkling he’ll get home late tonight and the last thing he’ll want to do is go up to the rooftop to BBQ.

Now… to the good stuff! Last time I was at the grocery store, I checked the ingredients in graham crackers and was disgusted. I don’t remember why I picked up the box in the first place, but that’s beside the point. Why does there need to be so much garbage in crackers!? These are the ingredients in the store bought ones:

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Is it really necessary to have hydrogenated cottonseed oil, soybean oil, calcium phosphate, artificial flavour, and soy lecithin in simple crackers? I didn’t think so… so I made my own. With real ingredients that you have in your cupboards! I googled a few recipes and this is the recipe that I blended together:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar (Trader Joe’s brown sugar is my absolute fave)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (mine was quite “heaping”)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup water
  • A pour of molasses… I probably used 1/3 cup but I like the taste of molasses
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Mix together flours, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Add butter chunks and mix until the mixture has turned to coarse crumbs… a couple minutes or so. Should be pretty crumbly at this point
  2. Add in honey, water and as much molasses as your heart desires. Mix until all blended in together and forms easily into a ball of dough.photo 1
  3. Roll dough between two large pieces of parchment until ¼ inch thick. I used a pizza cutter to cut into rectangles but you can use cookie cutters too. Place crackers on a parchment lined baking sheet. Re-roll remaining dough until all of dough is used up.photo 2
  4. Bake at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes, until slightly darkened around edges (they will harden as they cool). Remove crackers to a wire wrack to cool.
  5. Devour as s’mores, spread pb or chocolate on top, or just eat them plain jane!

 

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Hope you enjoy them as much or “s’more” than we are!

Enjoy Lovelies!!!
L





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We Are The MOST ANNOYING New Friends EVER

Okay, so we are happy to report that we are making friends, YAY! I posted about making friends here and although we are making new friends, lately I’ve realized just how annoying we really are!

When it comes to food, I don’t think that we are outrageously picky but there are definitely a few things that I cannot choke down no matter how hard I try. And trust me, I’ve tried! It makes me feel so rude when somebody asks me if I like something that I really truly do not like and I admit my strong dislike to them. It makes me feel so very, very rude.

This seems to be reoccurring a lot lately and I cannot help but feel like we are the most annoying new friends EVER! Our new friends (whom we very much like) invited us to go for sushi with some of their other friends… well, John absolutely detests sushi so we passed. And then not even a week later, they ask us how we feel about Bloody Mary’s… I CANNOT stand tomato juice. I have trust issues with tomato juice. When I was a kid, I poured myself a cup of juice… I gulped it down so fast and then when my tastebuds kicked in I almost threw up all over the kitchen floor. I thought I was pouring myself fruit punch, when in fact it was actually tomato juice… since then, I have never been able to drink the stuff ever again.

I’m worried that we are coming across as the picky and snooty kids who push food around on their plate… and I don’t want to be those annoying friends! But what are the chances that the same people ask you two times if you like something and BOTH those times you don’t!? WE ARE SO ANNOYING…

I didn’t know what to do, so I sent her a list of foods that we don’t like because I was terrified if she asked us a third time she would stop being friends with us annoying people. So I apologized and sent her this list:

– Fish (John thinks it tastes the way it smells… my goal in life is to change this guy’s mind and to enjoy the deliciousness of the fishy world)
– Tomato Juice (see above story)
– Horseradish
– Blue cheese
– I cannot stand mayo or mustard
– (I forgot to mention that I also cannot stand fake cheese… Cheeze Whiz, Space Cheese, etc)

I would be mortified if they ever had us over for lunch one day and made us fish sandwiches that were marinated in horseradish, topped with blue cheese, and soaked with mayo and mustard. Oh my gosh, can you imagine?!

Other than those few items, we will eat and or drink anything! We aren’t jumping on the “gluten free” and “dairy free” trends (yeah, I called them trends… you bandwagon hoppers! Have a bagel with cream cheese already… (except you, Jeff, I know you are the real deal) (how many rules am I breaking by having brackets within brackets… it’s like math class all over again!)) We aren’t vegetarians or vegans or any of those… we just don’t like a few things, that’s all! Isn’t that normal? Or when you’re an adult are you supposed to like absolutely everything? I missed that part of adulthood if that’s the case…

Whenever somebody asks me what I like to drink, my response is “everything” because it’s true… or so I thought. I like vodka. I like beer. I like wine. I like red, white, rose, bubbly. I like rum. I like rye. I like drinks that put hair on your chest, as well as drinks that taste like rainbows and butterflies. But now because of this experience I now know to say “everything, except tomato juice (and Clam in Canada… gross)”.

I wasn’t sure of the proper etiquette to enlighten our new friends of our “list”… so I panicked and blurted out a list in good ol’ text fashion. What’s the proper way to handle this situation? Are you supposed to lie and just become bulimic all of a sudden? Is there even a proper way? Enlighten me, lovelies, please enlighten me…

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We are seriously so annoying… but we are FUN! Not to mention that we wear matching T-Shirts!

Do you have a list of foods that you cannot stomach for the life of you? If so, how do you tell new friends said list?

Enjoy Life, my lovely, and please hold that tomato juice!
L


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My Love Letter to Magnolia Bakery

Dear Magnolia Bakery,

The very first time I met you, I knew.

I knew that you forever had me wrapped around your delicious, little finger.

I knew that my life would be forever changed.

I remember how you reeled me in… the moment I saw your baby blue sign. I tried to keep my distance, but the heart wants what the heart wants. You drew me in and as I walked through your front door for the very first time, I knew then that my life would never, ever be the same again…

I remember feeling like I was stepping right into a dream. A dream of perfectly iced cupcakes, and soft, chewy cookies with a small, old school bakery feel. And then, Mags, you dare devil… you asked me if I wanted to sample your banana bread pudding. Now, I have never been much of a pudding fan before, so I was hesitant at first… but my heart told me that you were different. That you weren’t like the rest of them. That there was something special about you…

As I tried your banana bread pudding for the first time, the creamy, rich and delicious flavors danced around in my mouth. You made me knees buckle. You made my heart skip a beat. You made my palms sweaty. I had to have more…

Ever since our very first time, my love for you continues to grow stronger and stronger. Thicker. Fiercer. You always leave me longing and craving for more… Just one more bite…

How can you deny such a love? Mags, you and I are destined for a life long love affair.

See you soon, my love, see you soon xo

mags
My lovely, are you having a love affair with a certain, delicious something?

Enjoy Life,
L

 


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15 FUN FACTS ABOOT CANADA

It’s Canada Day, WOO HOO!

 

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So let’s celebrate with some fun facts about our home and native land, shall we!?

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Here we go, eh!

 

1. It’s all thanks to a little bear from Canada that inspired Winnie The Pooh

 

2. Canada officially got its own national flag on February 15, 1965 — almost 100 years after it became a country (in 1867).

 

3. No cows in Canada are given artificial hormones for milk production. Which means no dairy products, like milk, cheese, or yogurt, produced in Canada contain hormones either!

 

4. Kraft Dinner (“KD”) is the top-selling grocery item in the country. Canadians consume 55% more than Americans do. But Americans don’t call it “KD”, they call it “mac n cheese”

 

5. Canadians say sorry so much because of this: We have an “Apology Act.” It allows an apology in court to be a sign of compassion and empathy, not guilt.

 

6. Canada’s post office receives millions of letters addressed to “Santa Claus, North Pole” each year. They respond to each one as Mrs. Claus. They’ve claimed the address “Santa Claus, North Pole, H0H 0H0.”

 

7. An Ontario man invented Hawaiian pizza.

 

8. Alberta is the only region in the entire world free of Norwegian rats.

 

9. Studies find Canadians to be the second-happiest people in the world. And they’re only getting happier!

 

10. Peanut Butter. Probably one of the most important food innovations of all time. First patented by Canadian Marcellus Gilmore Edson in 1884.

 

11. We Have the World’s Safest Highways (for Animals). There are million-dollar highway overpasses in Banff National Park which have been used by grizzly and black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars, moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, wolverine and lynx.

 

12. Ketchup Chips. Coffee Crisp. Harvest Crunch. No further explanation is necessary.

 

13. We invented the Ceasar. The drink, not the salad.

 

14. Cheddar is the most popular cheese in Canada. On average Canadians consume 23.4 pounds per person annually. Cheese keeps us warm.

 

15. There are more doughnut shops in Canada per capita than any other country. Go Tim Hortons Go!

 

HAPPY CANADA DAY, MY LOVELIES! Don’t stumble over too many beavers today, get too many cavities from drinking syrup, forget to tie up your Moose, choke on your poutine, BUT do celebrate with a beer or four!!

Enjoy Life,
L

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