The Lazy Not-so-much-a-baker’s Key Lime Cake

Hello, welcome back and all that lovely stuff! I know we’ve been on a bit of hiatus again… as in it’s been months – remember us? In our defence: 4th year, volunteering, working and grad school applications can eat up just a teensy bit of our time! We will try to do better though!

 

Today’s recipe is delicious but as the name implies – simple and easy.

 

Ingredients:

–          Mini angel food cakes (store-bought or homemade)

–          Light Lemon Pudding mix

–          Lime Juice

–          Light cool whip

–          Lime candy to garnish

 

In an effort to make up for being a lousy daughter and missing my Mom’s birthday, I recently (several months ago…ahem…blogging hiatus again), made her an altered version of her very favourite kind of cake – Key Lime Cake. Even though it has been several months, it was yummy enough that I’m still excited to share the recipe! That must be one good cake, right? I can’t take much credit considering how easy it is to make, but I will share it nonetheless. This key-lime cake is not super healthy per se but I would say it is a healthier take on traditional key-lime cake! So sit back and find out just how easy it was…

 

Having heard that angel food cake is super hard to make, I chickened out of making my own and bought the store version; hence the title “the Lazy Bakers Key-Lime Pie”. Although, the reason I chickened out was not so much sheer laziness but fear of ruining the cake with my less-than-superb baking skills. Anyways, the mini cakes from the store work best, because you will be using them as a bowl for the filling.

 

To make the filling, mix cool whip with 1 tsp lime juice, and half of a packet of lemon pudding mix. I used a whisk but if you’re fancy-pants go ahead and use your electric mixer. You will need to really stir the mixture, as the pudding mix will crystallize and you want the filling to be smooth!

 

Once you’ve mixed the filling, fill the cake ‘cup’ and garnish with a lime candy. If the mini cakes you have don’t already have a bowl-like shape (again, lazy me, mine did), use a bread knife to shape the middle into your bowl.

 

That is all. Finito. Done.

 

SUPER easy, right?

 

Ciao for now!

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Pumpkin, Pumpkin and More Pumpkin!

Well here we are, back to September again. I’m not entirely sure where the summer went; between working and enjoying the hot weather it seemed to disappear in a millisecond! In any case, I am ready for fall. Fall is my absolute favourite season – beautiful crisp mornings, the colours of the changing trees….and pumpkin of course!

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From Google Images

Now I know we aren’t into fall yet, but something about coming back to school makes me feel like we’re almost there. As soon as I got back to my apartment after summer break I started craving fall meals – more specifically, pumpkin! With fall just around the corner, I couldn’t help but jump in and start making all things pumpkin!

Today I will spill the beans (or make that pumpkin seeds 😉 ) on two of the new recipes I’ve tried.

For all of you who, like me, are waiting for fall to begin – enjoy!

 Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal:

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet maple instant oatmeal
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • ½ scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 2 tbsp pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • Pumpkin pie spice to taste

Directions: In a bowl mix almond milk and oatmeal and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix in chia seeds, pumpkin, protein powder and spice. Microwave on high for 45 seconds.

Garnish with Nature Valley Pumpkin Raisin cereal.

Note: this oatmeal was creamy and not very thick – just the way I like it – but if you like your oatmeal to be thick use less milk.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie:

-1/3 cup pumpkin puree

-1/2 frozen banana, chopped

-1.5 cups of milk (I used almond milk)

-Pumpkin pie spice to taste

-1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

-Splenda to taste

Mix all ingredients in a blender and serve!

Hopefully these pumpkin pie inspired dishes will keep your pumpkin cravings perfectly satisfied – if not stay tuned as I continue my quest for more pumpkin recipes!

For those of you who are tired of all of the pumpkin talk, tune in next time for a brand new dessert recipe that I promise has nothing to do with pumpkins!

-Sam

Be Bright. Be Bold. Be You.

Fall

From Google Images

Daniel Tosh & The Rape Joke That Wasn’t

Daniel Tosh is a stand-up comedian who hosts Tosh 0 on Comedy Central. Recently, he was embroiled in controversy regarding a woman who went to one of his shows, was exposed to a number of rape jokes, didn’t find them funny, called him out on them, was labelled a heckler by Tosh, who proceeded to ask the audience “Wouldn’t it be funny if that girl got raped by like, 5 guys right now? Like right now? What if a bunch of guys just raped her…” and resulted in her and her friend leaving the room.

Do read this post by the woman in question for a first-hand narrative: http://breakfastcookie.tumblr.com/post/26879625651/so-a-girl-walks-into-a-comedy-club

And now I shall be adding my angry 2 cents.              

To those justifying Tosh’s behaviour saying “that’s just what he does” – well, murdering people is just what a psychopath does. Normalizing it doesn’t make it right.

To those justifying him saying that he used his freedom of speech – well, I’m using my freedom of speech to denounce his disgusting act.

And to those justifying him saying that she should have looked him & his humour up before going to one of his shows – was she also supposed to have known that she would be used as bait to instigate a gang-rape? Oh waiiit. It was supposed to be funny! Oh right… a person being intentionally and vehemently sexually, psychologically, emotionally, physically, and often socially demolished… Of course that’s funny! The crude factor attributes to its hilarity! I must be a complete moronic spoil-sport if I don’t find that funny! OF COURSE she should have known!

This was Tosh’s formal ‘apology’ to the ensuing uproar:

“The point i was making before i was heckled is there are awful things in the world but you can still make jokes about them. #deadbabies

Firstly, she did not ‘heckle’ you. She called you out on a joke that she thought wasn’t funny, and of all the ways you could’ve chosen to handle it, you chose to disrespect, humiliate and victimize her. That too, by asserting your (arguably) chauvinist power over her. And yes, although rape victims aren’t exclusively female, females are the large majority of victims, and rape is a crime of power.

Secondly, calling her a heckler is kinda sorta washing any remorse or irresponsibility off your own hands; so if that statement was meant to be any kind of apology, it didn’t leave a mark.

Thirdly, yes there are awful things in the world, and they can be funny, yes including rape, and I don’t mind Tosh or any comedian using black comedy in the least bit. It’s fine if a comedian jokes about something serious to make light of the situation for humour, but to blatantly tell someone it would be funny if they got raped is disgusting. Additionally, using rape as a shock tactic to garner laughs is just abysmal. He wasn’t ‘joking’, he was using humour to diminish her voice, to remind her of his power over her and to shut her up using her vulnerability as a cheap tool.

Finally, & funnily, I don’t actually see the word ‘sorry’ or ‘apologise’ once in this heartfelt apology. I guess I must be too old fashioned and out of the loop.

I’m all for making light of serious situations. When life and circumstances leave you stuck in a pit, sometimes all you can do is laugh at it, at yourself, at others. But sometimes, it isn’t external circumstances that put you in that pit, it’s people like Tosh, who can’t seem to distinguish the line between inappropriate/dark humour and personally victimizing someone and causing them distress.

I’m also all for dark humour. Many social issues are made light of; many ethnic, ableist and ageist stereotypes are laced with humour, and I really believe that making light of these stereotypes is a method of devaluing them in meaning, making them less valid and true, which is beneficial. And I’m not appalled when my friends say “Dude that test raped me”, but making light of issues like rape the way Tosh did takes it a step ahead by normalizing a serious, atrocious crime through the excuse of humour, far more than mocking mere stereotypes. Lastly, Tosh didn’t just attempt to normalize rape by making it ‘funny’, he essentially contributed to perpetuating a pseudo gang-rape by making it ‘funny’.

Tell me cracking jokes about the hilarity of the Twin Towers crumbling in front of a kid who lost his father to 9/11 is okay.

Tell me cracking jokes about gassing Jews in front of a Holocaust survivor is okay.

Apparently cracking jokes about rape in front of (possible) rape victims is okay.

This is a country where a woman spills coffee on herself and successfully sues McDonalds for it. Yet we see a famous comedian getting away with normalizing and encouraging a vindictive crime that leaves someone (and an entire half of the human race) reeling in discomfort, shame and humiliation.

Stay Bold,

Mallika

– – –

Summer Salad on a Not-so-Productive Day

Being sick is a bummer.

The worst part for me…feeling unproductive! I can almost handle the headache, fever and dying-cat-like voice, but feeling lethargic and unproductive is not okay in my books.

Thankfully for you, my being sick has made me restless enough to create a new recipe. This one is simple ladies and gents, because let’s be serious, I have the flu and this took all the enthusiasm I could muster 😉

I had the privilege of chowing down this entire dish on my own since no one wants my icky flu germs but it’s yummy enough that if you make it, you may not be so lucky…

Crab Salad!

You will need:
• Salad greens (the colourful kind…no iceberg lettuce here folks)
• Avocado
• Crab meat
• Cucumber
• Tomatoes
• Black pepper
• Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Cut up all your veggies and mix with your salad greens, add your crab meat on top and add your dressing and pepper to taste.

This is my new favourite summer salad, but I have a feeling that will be short-lived because I seem to be on a salad kick (hint hint, there may be another recipe coming your way soon…)

Enjoy the gorgeous summer weather and please, please remember your Purell , so you don’t end up with the dying-cat-like voice too 🙂

-Sam xo

Be You.

How to Save the World (when you don’t know how to/aren’t good at it)

Ask any Tom, Dick or Harry down the street if he’s a kind person, chances are, he’ll nod frantically or forlornly. A lot of us would like to save the world, help people, spark that shine in someone, inspire someone, the clichés are never-ending… but alas, we lack the philanthropic chops to do so. Or we lack the bee-stung lips, bodacious bum and booming bank balance to do so (Yeah I’m looking at you, Ange).

Some of us aren’t born naturally caring and sympathetic and empathetic – so we usually cope in 2 ways. We either stomp about proudly showing this shell (shield?) off, or we marry people who imbibe those qualities.

The stealthy churner of iffy maturity and subsequent realisation of moral relativism has embedded in me a vital ideology: If one can’t make something better, don’t make it worse. It goes without saying that there are obviously times I falter and falter hard. Like the time I got into a screaming match with my sister and attempted to rip her eyelashes out & roast them in order to protect my ever-so-important ego. Or like the time I tried to bake muffins. Point is though, 78.574% of philanthropy is committed not by making the angels come out and work their magic, but by making the Satans stay home and preventing them from breeding.

Here are some strategies (I feel like such a Dr. Phil) for the halo-in-heart-but-horns-on-head specimens of us:

Tip ‘em all: The Conservatives reading this probably want to pull my eyelashes out now but hey, Robin Hood was awesome! Take from the rich, give to the poor. Work the trickle-down effect. Also, it gets rid of loose change, makes the wallet lighter, makes one feel better (cause of the lighter wallet jeez), thus putting a spring in one’s step (also cause of the lighter wallet), and GET THIS: you don’t even have to talk! OR smile!! It’s a win-win situation really.

3 Magic Words: If you don’t mind taking the next step i.e. talking, this step will do wonders. I learnt these 3 Magic Words in school – Please, Sorry, Thank You – and they’ve still stuck for the most part. Living up to the stereotype of my fellow Canadians, thank you.

Leave the car at home: Go for a walk, use public transportation, fly! Walking clears the mind and makes one see things s/he might not have otherwise. Who knows? One might even have a change of heart horns. Also, think of all that you’ll be reducing: smog, road rage, depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, your expenses, accidents. Sometimes, I like to put my music in and walk down the street pretending to be Simba/Scar, depending upon my PMS cycle.

Stay at home: If you feel like you got off the wrong side of the bed and just cannot seem to shift to the rightish side because of that one sordid, sore, sullen bone then just stay in bed. It’ll save you grumpiness and the rest, their peace of mind.

Put a sock in it: if you can’t say something nice – and who can? – don’t say anything at all. If people of a non-messianic disposition would simply zip it and stop making snide comments about Al Gore and Sting and Bono, bona fide do-gooders could just get on with their peace-keeping mission to save the world and we’d all be living in Paradise. That’s right: No more sarcastic, snide comments from this quarter. Enough. Shush. Word.

This post was inspired by this absolutely endearing movie I saw recently – Amelie. This gem of a movie downed me in a whirlwind of quirky plots and subplots; the minute I started to fathom the ride, the next abrupt turn would come along. A lot of movies have this trait of connecting tiny dots to make a simple but poignant picture – but the additional topping with Amelie is that the picture isn’t only poignant, it has sprinkles of glitter on it, and the frame is neon orange and not brown or grey. And it sings to you when you aren’t looking.

P.S. This is my new fav smiley – ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ it has such a Hakuna Matataey feel to it I love it! 
I shall be using this aplenty, you have been warned.

Stay Sparkling!


Mallika ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
(told you so teehee)

Seeing the Big Picture…and Tea Reviews

Before I get into the topic of the day (ahem…week, month? Yes, it’s been a while again), here comes my little tidbit about tea! David’s Tea has their new summer flavours out – WOOHOO! As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, I am powering my way through the new flavours like it’s my job and so far, they’re all a hit! I don’t think I would like any of them hot but I’m guessing it’s primarily meant to be iced (duh right?).

The first flavour I tried was Strawberry Shortcake and it was tasty, but my least favourite of the three I tried. The strawberry flavour was nice and sweet and there was a hint of hazelnut that complimented it really nicely. The second flavour I tried was Luscious Watermelon which was so refreshing; part of what I loved so much about it was that I could taste other types of melon and fruit. Even my boyfriend who doesn’t like watermelon loved this tea, which I found very impressive. The last tea I tried (and my personal favourite from this collection) was the Tropicalia. This tea was absolutely delicious and reminded me of a pina colada. Picture yourself on a beautiful beach with a gentle breeze and the sun is shining – yep, that is where this tea will take you.

Now into the main topic of the post – seeing the big picture. The ‘big picture’ is so important, because there are so many interrelated parts of our life and seeing the ‘big picture’ will allow you to live your life to the fullest. I find when it comes to exercising and healthy eating this can be a big problem for me, and I know other people have trouble with this as well. It can be really difficult to remember to look at the big picture when you’re goals include eating healthy and working on fitness because for most of us, our goals are pretty specific. There are some key things that I think are important to work on in order to see the big picture.

Firstly, always remember that being healthy and fit is not a black and white scenario. A lot of us tend to think in terms of our specific goals and whether or not we have reached them, which can be limiting. It is equally as important to acknowledge the journey as it is to acknowledge the destination; perhaps even more so. While you may have specific goals in mind, whether it be related to weight, fitness level, distances etc. there will always be things you can improve on but also, things you are doing well. This is not to say that you shouldn’t set goals for yourself because I believe that goals are super important; I’m just saying it is even better to have goals AND acknowledge smaller triumphs regardless of the fact that they may not be the ultimate achievement you’re working towards. For this reason I think it’s very important to acknowledge that everything is not black and white – you are not unfit or fit, healthy or unhealthy, ‘perfect’ weight or ‘non-perfect’ weight. There are many ‘in-betweens’ that are also important to celebrate.

Secondly, allow yourself to indulge from time to time. Remember not to be too hard on yourself. As a person who is interested in nutrition and fitness and therefore likely knows a lot about it, it can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that it isn’t acceptable to allow yourself to indulge. In terms of food, treats every once in a while are okay. There is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to go ahead and have that cookie or cake or whatever it may be that floats your boat in that moment. Am I saying to do this every single day or push yourself into an all out binge? No, of course not, but, having a treat every once in a while will not hinder your performance or stop you from reaching your goals. Heck, it may even get you there faster by allowing you to feel satisfied and avoid those all out binges.

The same goes for fitness, but with a twist. For this I’d say listen to your body. Having a set routine and planned workouts are great, and trust me, I know that they can help you stay on track, but, if you’re finding that for whatever reason, one day you’re in the workout and it just isn’t feeling right then change it up. If your plan was to run but it’s not feeling right maybe hit the pool or the elliptical that day. If you’re truly exhausted and the weights are just killing you, maybe take it down a notch for that day. Your body will tell you everything you need to know. I’m definitely not saying that every time you feel a little tired or a little sore to throw in the towel and call it a day, but just keep in mind what feels normal and what feels off.

Thirdly, remember to put your nutrition and fitness goals into context with the rest of your life. Your health goals need to fit with the rest of your life, and you need to see that they are only a part of the picture. You also need to realise that day to day slip-ups and pitfalls are not going to hurt you in the long run. This one for me is the hardest, and that is why I put it last. It can be really difficult to hit a snag in training, or nutrition, and realise that in the end, it will still be okay. That particular day maybe you aren’t going to reach your goal, or maybe it will take you slightly longer to reach your goal, but that minor snag must never define your self image, because honestly, down the line you may not even remember it.

By putting your nutrition and fitness goals into context of the rest of your life you can start to use the pitfalls and slip-ups as motivators. When you hit one of those pitfalls ask yourself “in ten years will my life be altered by this?”, if the answer is “no” then just move on, if the answer if “yes” then find a way to get yourself back on track; it may not be exactly what you wanted but it will still be rewarding.

As you can probably imagine, these steps are interrelated. Improving in any one of these areas will help you with the others and will help you see the big picture.

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That’s all for now lovelies!

-Sam

Be Bright. Be Bold. Be You

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Tell us:

Do you ever have trouble seeing the big picture?

What strategies do you use to put your nutrition and fitness goals into context?

Have you tried David’s Tea Summer Collection yet? If you have, which is your favourite summer tea?

Happiest Girls are the Prettiest!

What is happiness? – The quintessential philosophical question that evades the best, wisest and oldest of us.  In today’s world, a million opportunities surround us. Especially for us women, the world is an exciting oyster, and we are here to devour it. Sometimes though, it takes a while for us to swallow the oysters, and sometimes a while more for it to digest. These little obstacles in life tend to slow down, impede and tarnish the entire big, beautiful picture of life.

As women in this exciting 21st century world, we are inundated with opportunities and choices around us. As per Barry Schwartz, PhD, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less, “The more options you have, the higher your expectations, and when your expectations are sky-high, you’re destined for disappointment…no matter how good things get.”

So, if lavishness doesn’t get us all giddy, then what does? In today’s consumerist society, we tend to feel like the latest gadget or article of clothing will bring us that everlasting bliss. But those goods leave a fleeting speckle of joy. So, what is the key to that bliss? Let’s try and get a li’l beneath the surface in our quest.

 1. Getting a close-knit, solid group of friends

From Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City, to Emma and Liv in Bride Wars, and the epitome of Sitcom friendship – Ross, Rachel, Monica, Phoebe, Joey and Chandler in Friends, we all need our posse. Those special few that brighten the rainiest day, our silver linings in the grey clouds – the list of clichés goes on. But the foundation doesn’t – we need our friends; someone we can be ourselves around and share our tiny joys and sorrows with.

2. Wake up early


A seemingly small cog in the machine of happiness, albeit a crucial one. Think back to the last time you showered in 5 minutes straight, printed your notes off in 3, grabbed a coffee in 2 more, and just made it to class in time; only to realise that your conditioner is still stuck in your strands, you printed last week’s notes, your coffee has no sugar, and you just made it to class in time. Waking up 15 minutes early would have prevented an array of tiny, stressful moments that may slightly mess your day up.


3. Have Adventures

Adventures needn’t mean being ‘wild’ in the stereotypical way – going to a party or a club, getting sloshed out of your mind, and not remembering it the next day. It could also be skydiving, or writing a book, or baking a new type of cookie, or taking a different path to hike from what you take usually.

Being adventurous comes down to 3 very powerful yet less used words – Follow your heart.


4. Send something to someone you care about anonymously

They say that happiness is like a perfume – one cannot have it without spreading it on others.

Knowing that you’ve brightened someone’s day can be the highlight of your day as well – simple as that.

5. Don’t sweat the small stuff

Okay, so you ruined your nail polish for the club tonight. Will that matter in a week?

Okay, so the hairdresser ruined your hair cut. Will that matter in a few months?

Okay, so your relationship didn’t work out. Will that matter in a couple of years?

No it won’t. You might not believe it now, but as clichéd as this may sound, it will. The nail polish will chip off, the hair will grow out, and the memories will be replaced by new, happier ones. And to aid the processes, there’s always acetone, a wig and lots of chocolate with reruns of Grey’s Anatomy, Pretty Woman and Psycho (depending on how twisty you are).

6. Loving yourself is non-debatable

You are awesome. And beautiful.  And intelligent.  And sexy.  And funny.  And kind.  And confident.

On certain days, you might lack a few aforementioned qualities. But always remember that those form the very core of you. Never compromise your values and beliefs for anyone; live your life the way you want to, without intentionally hurting anybody, and you’re en-route to blissful contentment.

The first stage to loving yourself is discovering yourself. Keep a journal, take those silly Cosmo quizzes, anything to find yourself, and once you find yourself, celebrate yourself.

Stay Bright and Bold Ladies!

– Mallika