Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Best Veggie Burger

There are some really good veggie burgers out there: Blue Plate Diner, Cactus Club, & Red Robin's are some of my favourites but the very best burger is the one we make at home. Flavourful & healthy but still super easy, they freeze really well so you can pull a couple out for a quick meal anytime! The recipe yields 12 burgers but we often cut it in half so the pictures shown are smaller portions than what you would have if you made a full batch.


1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp cumin
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1 540mL can black beans, drained & pureed
1 tsp oregano
1/4 c parsley, chopped
2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 c almonds, roasted & chopped
1 c sunflower seeds, roasted & chopped
3 c fine bread crumbs
1/2 c soy sauce
5 eggs
2 c carrots, grated
2 c oats

Saute onions & garlic in oil. Let cool then place in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mix well.

Shape into patties. BBQ or grill on each side until warmed through. Alternative: lightly dredge in flour & brown in an oiled skillet.

Dress your burger to your taste. I like to add grilled onion, tomato, jalapeno jack cheese, lettuce, & sprouts.

We've impressed many a meat-eating dinner guest with these beauties so don't be afraid to give them a shot, even if you've been put-off of other vegetarian burgers. They're delicious!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Favourite Five: Beauty Products

Believe it or not, there was a time when I couldn't leave the house without doing my hair & make-up. I know, it's vain, but I had a lot more time on my hands and looking decent when you're going to Home Depot was important to me. Fast forward to 2012 and you may have seen me at the grocery store with wet hair, no make-up, & (if it's a really bad day) no bra either. Honestly, I don't blame you for not coming up to say "hello"...
That being said, I've managed to find a balance where I can spruce up a bit with the help of my go-to beauty products without spending 45 minutes in front of the mirror. Note: I am not claiming to be some sort of beauty expert! Oh no no no, quite the contrary. These are just MY five favourite products to help make me look human with little effort.

Let's go through them clock-wise:
1. Bumble & Bumble Hair Powder in Brown
    I love dry shampoo. I could not live without it. I only wash my hair every 2-3 days (longer if I have hair extensions) but I don't dig the oily, flat, slept-on look that us girls with thinner hair get. The added bonus is that this dry shampoo is also tinted so it lightly covers up any regrowth that may be showing. Consider this a warning though: if you aren't careful with how you apply it, it will colour your forehead, tshirt, or any other innocent bystander so please practice applying it in the nude. It's also a little pricey (about $50) but I can make mine last up to six months so it's not too bad.
2. Aveeno Positively Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Fair-Light
    I first bought this as a moisturizer for our trip to Hawaii last year because it has an SPF of 30. I quickly learned that you do not need a moisturizer in Hawaii, the humidity takes care of that for you, but after the first day I stopped wearing make-up altogether & only wore this in place of cover-up/foundation. It's light, so it doesn't provide a lot of coverage but it does a great job of evening skin tone. Plus it's cheap, like $10ish at Shoppers.
3. Almay Get Up & Grow Mascara in Brown-Black
    I had been desperate to find a mascara that I liked. I must have bought 6 different brands before reading a review of this one on another blog. It doesn't smudge or flake & even the non-waterproof one lasts all day. For me, applying mascara is the difference between looking like I was up all night and hiding the fact that I was up all night. It's the quick-fix for anyone with light or sparse eyelashes. Also a cheap buy, costing about $8 at Shoppers.
4. Blistex Medicated Mint Balm
    I have about 80 different lipsticks, glosses, & tints but I still only use good ol' fashioned lip balm everyday. I always choose one with an SPF as well (this one is 15), because sunburned lips are THE WORST. $3, Shoppers.
5. MAC Cosmetics Pressed Blot Powder, Light
    This stuff is great to apply again & again throughout the day whenever your skin starts to get a little shiny. If I'm only wearing tinted moisturizer & no powder, I brush a little over my nose & forehead to matte it down a bit. Confession: I don't always wash off my make up at night. THE HORROR! But if you too are this lazy, throw a layer of blot powder over last night's make-up & you're good to go for at least another couple of hours. Approx. $30.

There you have it! A lazy busy girl's stash of necessary products to get ready in less than five minutes!

Mason Jar Mojitos: UPDATE

So has anyone tried out my recipe for mojitos? I'll bet you're all just loaded from drinking rum & mushy mint-lime salad! Haha! The post has been up for a week now & I only just realized I left out the step of adding soda water to our boozy drink - oops! You can see it in the ingredients photo so I'll assume everyone was smarter than I when they mixed up these puppies. If not, {shrug} you can blame your piercing hangover on my computer illiteracy. It's all fixed up now, just waiting for another hot, sunny day so we can assemble another batch!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mason Jar Mojitos

A recent Girls Night outing inspired me to get creative in the kitchen and mix up one of my favourite cocktails - the refreshing & exotic mojito! I'm not sure why I was so intimidated by making my own, they were super easy and not at all expensive (especially compared to the $8 version at any restaurant or lounge). I searched through a few online recipes then tweaked them to suit my taste, easy-peasy!


Slice half a lime into 4 quarters

Muddle 1 lime slice with 8-10 mint leaves

Add 2 more lime slices & 3 tbsp of sugar then muddle 'em up!

Fill your glass with ice & 1 or 1 1/2oz of white rum

Top off with soda, stir & garnish with another slice of lime

Make another for a friend et voila!
Instant summertime happiness. I'm excited to get creative and mix in some other ingredients like cucumber or raspberries. This will most certainly be a staple at our house this summer, especially when the days are hot, hot, hot! What are your favourite mojito variations?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Kelowna Or Bust

This may seem obvious to everyone else but traveling with a 3 month old & a 100lb dog is challenging. I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting from our recent holiday: I knew it was going to be different from vacations-past (no partying or fancy restaurants) but I still believed we could fit in some beach & boat time between W's naps. Hahaha! So naive...

Last week we headed to the coast to visit Kevin's good friend in Kelowna. Landon was super generous to let us stay at his gorgeous house with central air conditioning & a view of Lake Okanagan. I highly recommend having a friend who can offer you both these things. We had three goals in mind for this trip: see Daniel Wesley play at Keloha, get Shiva in the lake, & introduce Wesley to my Grammy. We packed my mom's minivan to the brim with our gear & off we went!

So far, so good!

We drove all the way to Kelowna the first day - our first mistake. We made it to Revelstoke with lots of naps, playing, & pit-stops. Then came the meltdown. Totally our fault, who would expect a little nugget of 3 1/2 months to sit quietly in a carseat for 10+ hours while a big, black dog roasts in the back? Ummm The Peters would. Lesson learned, my friends!

KTown was beautiful & our host made us very comfortable. We spent our first full day of vacation relaxing & cooling off then it was off to Keloha, a music festival in Waterfront Park. 

Daniel Wesley

We did a little research & discovered that the nude beach in Kelowna had been converted in to a dog beach. What better opportunity to get our Lab/Dane swimming? She's waded belly-deep in the North Saskatchewan but refuses to actually paddle. Well, we'll fix that! She was scared of the tide so Daddy had to carry her in to the water.

Our dog is not a swimmer.

Our next stop was Langley to visit my grandma on my mother's side. We made supper at her house & had a really nice visit with my cousin & her kids. Most importantly, Wesley got to meet his Great-Grammy. While we were there, we got to experience spending the night in a hotel room with a now over-tired baby & over-heated, wired-up dog.

W & GG.

We had better luck getting the baby wet.

Deciding to break up the long drive home, we spent another night in Kelowna (thanks LV!) & a night in Golden. We only drove in the mornings while it was still cool-ish & planned lots of rest stops.

Picnic in Hope, BC.

So we never made it to the beach or on the boat but we managed to keep our infant son on his schedule & got to experience some of the most beautiful country through new eyes. We learned a lot about our family & our priorities. Oh, and we crossed all the items off our "to-do" list. A pretty successful adventure, I would say.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Canada Day

Last year I had to work a night shift on Canada Day and it was a TOTAL NIGHTMARE. Trying to navigate through the crowds to get to the hospital was enough to make me choose getting July 1st off over any other holiday. Thankfully, I had a baby and didn't have to work this year.

Wesley's 1st Canada Day

So we decided to go to my sister's house and indulge in a few of our favourite long weekend treats, like:

Wine - Red, White, & Red. Very Patriotic.

Food - Our Mom's veggie lasagna.      

Sweets - Cake made for our American visitors (courtesy of the talented Andrea).

We decided not to stay downtown for the fireworks, instead choosing to be home in time to put Mommy & W to bed so that Dad & Shiva could go to the neighbours' house party. "Did you know your dog can do back-flips?" Haha! Maybe we'll be braver next year. 

Happy 145th Birthday, Canada! Love, The Peters