Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Garlic and Herb Chicken Hot Pot Chowder

A quick and easy hot pot chowder to prepare on a busy night that also happens to be  Gluten and Dairy-Free!  Bonus!



  • 2 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 sprigs of fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 small fresh oregano leaves, chopped
  • 1 small sprig of thyme, chopped
  • 1 can of corn kernels
  • 8oz can of chopped tomatoes
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
  • 3 Tbsp. sorghum flour
  • 5 cups organic free-range sodium reduced chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of GF noodles, should be small, such as the kinds you may find in chicken noodle soup


  1. In a large pot heat avocado oil and add chicken pieces.  Cook until golden brown, then add onions, garlic and fresh herbs, cooking until onions are translucent in color.
  2. Deglaze pan by adding the red wine, making sure you scrape all of the good bits off the bottom of the pan. 
  3. Add the flour and stir vigorously to mix well.  Almost immediately add the chicken stock a little at a time, making sure to continue stirring so that you don’t get any clumps of flour in your chowder. 
  4. Add the corn, tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.  Let come to a boil.
  5. Add your noodles of choice.  I used small round thin GF noodles as well as some GF orzo I had.
  6. Cook until the noodles are al dente and enjoy.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Road Trip


Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. In this part of the world, it really have been beautiful these past couple of days.  I had to go on a road trip down island Friday/Saturday for my Graduate Studies program and remembered to take my camera along.  And I’m glad I did as I was able to get some decent shots.

As for food, no new dishes this weekend since I did not have time to experiment.  I expect to have something in the next couple of days.  In the meantime, enjoy the picture post and see just why I love it here so much. 

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Some home brewed Kombucha for the road.  In case you missed my post about this awesome beverage, here is the link.

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A really cool market called “Coombs Country Market”.  I can’t even begin to describe it…it’s filled with pastries, breads, cheeses, meats and pastas and other products you’d find such as olive oils and vinegars, etc.  They also have a restaurant and sell toys and other knick knacks..you never know what you’ll find.

  They are also really well known for their “Goats on the Roof”.  You can buy tshirts, hats and even bumper stickers with their famous logo.














On my way back home, I took the scenic drive.  I am so glad I did  because I wasn’t in any hurry and I was able to stop along the way to take these shots.  I made some new friends too…he he. 

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1-SFU weekend scenery

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Bea Smile


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Melt in your mouth Ribs


I’ve been living on my own for almost 9 years now and this week was the first time I attempted to make Ribs.  Not just any ribs… scrumptious, tender, fall-of-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth ribs.  How’s that for a vivid description.

I made this masterpiece using Moose Meat and the Slow cooker. 


Ingredients for the Sauce

  • 2 cups organic ketchup
  • 1 cup organic tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup organic sucanat (or brown sugar)
  • 4 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 fresh oregano leaves – finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. chilli powder'
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Trim the meat on your ribs if necessary.  I had a lot of white thick fat on mine that I did not want ruining my meal and I had to remove, as well as the silver skin.
  • Add a tsp. of Avocado Oil and heat a non-stick frying pan to high heat. 
  • Sear the ribs on both sides until golden brown.  Then add to your slow cooker. 
  • Add all ingredients for the sauce.
  • Set slow cooker to low and cook for 6 to 8 hours or until meat is tender. 

The house will soon begin to smell of simmering rib goodness.  Allow your senses to become paralysed and prepare your taste buds for a extreme experience.  Smile



Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kombucha 101


Kombucha….what in the world is that, you ask?  It’s a little bit of heaven that I discovered earlier this year and have began to actively make at home for the last few months. 

Let’s start off with a definition (wikipedia):  

Kombucha is an effervescent tea-based beverage that is often consumed for its anecdotal health benefits or medicinal purposes. Kombucha is available commercially and can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the Kombucha culture, often referred to as 酵母.

I was at our local Health Food store and came across this wonderful drink. I took one look at the price and with a price tag of $4.00/bottle, I thought to myself that I could never afford it on a daily basis. Our store carries a couple of brands, but I decided to try GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha that was refrigerated.  I bought the Citrus flavour first.

KombuchaI have to admit, I was a little sceptical because when I read up about this drink, people have either loved it or hated it.  They say it tastes somewhat between vinegar and apple cider.  I love apple cider, so what did I have to lose?

When I got home, I strained the contents of the bottle into a glass as there was lots of sediment at the bottom.  This sediment is actually healthy yeast bacteria, but still, I didn’t want to swallow something slimy. 

Upon my first sip of the Kombucha, I was in love.  I proceeded to drink the rest of the glass.  It was bubbly and refreshing.  It actually curbed by appetite as my stomach was a little grumbly and asking for food.  I saved the rest of the bottle for later. 

So what’s the deal with this drink?  People have claimed for centuries that drinking KB regularly will have amazing benefits to your health.  Some examples are:  increased metabolism, improved digestion, probiotics, detoxification of the liver, boost energy and lower glucose levels.  I’m not sure if all of this is true, but I can tell you that from personal experience, I have increased energy and improved digestion ever since I’ve been drinking it regularly. 

So then I started contemplating and trying to figure out how in the world I could supplement my KB drinking habit.  The light bulb went off and I jumped onto the internet to research home brewing.  It seemed simple enough… brew some tea, add sugar and a SCOBY.  What the heck is that?   It’s an acronym standing for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.  If you’ve ever made your own sourdough, you know what I’m talking about.  

So back on the internet I went to figure out where to get a SCOBY.  I had 3 options:  I could have ordered one from a company out East or in the States, find someone who already brews KB at home and get a baby SCOBY from them OR try to grow my own mother.  All I needed was a bottle of GT’s Organic Raw Kombucha (unflavoured).  Perfect! 

The next day I pulled my Sun tea jar out of the cupboard, brewed about 2 cups of sweet tea and added the bottle of GT’s Kombucha.  I covered it with a tea towel and stuck the entire jar into my closet with the hot water tank.  Your brewing vessel needs to be in a warm environment where there is enough air to circulate and where it can remain untouched for 7 to 10 days.   

In the meantime, I ordered my 2 gallon porcelain Kombucha vessel and heating strip from Hannah at a company called Kombucha Kamp.  (I also got valuable information from her site to help prepare my own brewing). 

I checked on my brew 10 days later and couldn’t believe my eyes…I have a new (and nice an thick) SCOBY growing on top of the tea.  Woohooo!  I was stoked.  Now I had something to start with. 

I brewed 1 1/2 gallons of sweet tea, added my Kombucha starter and the SCOBY to the 2 gallon vessel and stuck it on my countertop in the kitchen. 

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2 gallon brewing vessel with a heating strip as I don’t keep my place very warm.

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The SCOBY working hard to ferment my sweet tea into Kombucha.

What you are left with after about a week is what you see in my glass.  I like to drink it straight from the brewer with a couple of ice cubes to cool it down. 

I also enjoy bottling it with flavours such as citrus, ginger or cranberry.  Now I can drink all the Kombucha I want and it’s cheap.

Does anybody else brew their own Kombucha?  What is your favourite flavours?

Until we meet again,


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yogurt Rhubarb Muffins

OK people…do I have a recipe for you.  These muffins are quite frankly to die for.  I am having a tough time not eating one after the other.  I posted pictures on my own Facebook page and within 15 minutes had about 4 people ask me for the recipe.  I’ve actually made this recipe as a cake too.  I’ll give you the baking directions for both below.  So without further ado…..

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In a medium bowl, combine:

  • 1 cup organic spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup organic sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1 1/2  tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
    Set the flour mixture aside.

In a small bowl, combine:

  • 8oz vanilla Greek yogurt ( I used Danone Oikos)
  • 3 tbsp. milk.
    Set the yogurt mixture aside.

In a large bowl, combine:

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine.


  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1/4 cup flour, 1 tsp. cinnamon


In a large bowl (or even better, in your Stand mixer) beat together brown sugar and butter. Then add 2 eggs and 1 tbsp. vanilla and beat until fluffy.

To this mixture, alternately add the flour mixture and the yogurt mixture, beating until well blended.  Make sure you are on low speed to prevent a dust cloud of flour everywhere.

Fold in rhubarb. I used 5 stalks, chopped .

For muffins: grease and flour tins. It should make 16 large muffins. sprinkle with topping. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

For cake: grease and flour a 9x13inch baking dish or pan. Sprinkle topping over batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes, or until done.

Serve warm or cool and enjoy Smile

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Monday, May 21, 2012

<a href="http://www.hypersmash.com">Hyper Smash</a>

My life through the lens

What better way to update you all on the last 6 months than with a picture post. I figure it’s the best way as I know most of us do not have the time to read a million posts.  After all, pictures are worth a thousand words, right? (the pics are in no particular order)


We witnessed Mother Nature unleash her furry as she pounded the West Coast this winter.

march storm

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march storm3


march storm4

march storm2

Powerful Hurricane Force winds – some homes had no power for 5 days and schools were closed for up to 3 days.  The worst storm that people can remember here in the last 30 years.


Baby pheasants hatched in my classroom this spring.


In October my family and I flew to Germany to celebrate my grandpa’s Centennial birthday. 


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Buster running snow









Of course I made some time to play in the snow and even tried my hand at Cross Country Skiing this winter. 

Buster snow

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me and Buster


cross country



      I competed in a couple of adventures races. And I just signed up for another

      one in August… anyone ever heard of the Warrior Dash?




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I planted my first vegetable garden in 5 years Smile


birthday bonfire

Spent my birthday weekend in a cabin waking up to this beautiful view and ending the evening with a lovely beachside bonfire, watching the cruise ships sail to Alaska.




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Relaxing in the sun Smile


Kitchen renovations – new backsplash and pot rack Smile 



I joined a new gym where this cool stuff happens… Suspended or Aerial Yoga. (pictures taken from Google)

And of course how could I not mention….. the newest member to my family….

hedgie and misty

buster and hedgie

Hedgie…..the African Pigmy Hedgehog.


Hope you are all enjoying the start of a new week.