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Adventures in Cooking and Yoga

April 21, 2008

Yesterday my friend unfortunately canceled on me (we’re going for lunch tomorrow instead), so I made myself some french toast for dinner. It was the first time I’d ever made french toast by myself and I was quite pleased with the result (in the past, my attempts have been rather disastrous and only been rescued by the fact that there was someone around to supervise). I used a modified version of a recipe from Leslie Beck’s book, which is two slices of whole wheat bread dipped in an egg/milk/cinnamon mixture, and a sliced banana placed between them. Voila! A french toast banana sandwich. She suggests putting on peanut butter as well (and then dipping the entire sandwich in the mixture); I didn’t add peanut butter but I think it would taste even better with it so next time I plan on doing that. I also used a non-stick pan so I didn’t even need to make it in any butter. I don’t understand why french toast is viewed as unhealthy, if you use whole wheat bread, cinnamon, a bit of milk and an egg. If you top it with sliced fruit and cinnamon, or even a tsp of syrup, then it’s going to be really delicious and healthy!

Today I finally got around to making some French Vanilla ice cream, using the Bag Lady’s awesome recipe (I also got a great ice cream recipe from Gena so when I get myself an ice cream maker I’m planning on trying it out, too). I made a couple of adjustments, following her advice: I used extra vanilla in place of the lemon flavouring, and 1% milk. The production of it went by with only one incident: while I was whipping the whipped cream, I used too small of a bowl and, as you can imagine, it was a case of the thick cream flying merrily off of those beaters as they whipped around. Cream splattered on the fridge, cupboard, countertop, toaster, kettle, and breadmaker (amazingly, however, it did not splatter on me- even though I was wearing a white shirt! It was a miracle). So I transferred the cream to another, slightly larger bowl, gamely shoved my beaters back into the semi-whipped substance and powered it up again. More cream making a mad dash for the fridge, cupboard, etc. On to another bowl! This was my largest bowl and while a little bit of cream managed to escape from it, too, the majority of it thankfully opted to stay in the bowl.

While my ice cream-making process created a wide array of dishes to clean up, it was all in all quite successful. We had it for dessert tonight and were duly impressed. It was super vanilla-y and “better than Blue Boy!” (to quote my mum). I’m so happy with the result and will definitely be making this again. It was also so much fun to make!

Now that university is over until next September, I have plunged myself into a number of health books that I am devouring very quickly. Too many are appealing to me at present for me to choose to read one before the other, so I’m reading them all at the same time. Because of this, I’ll also be finished them roughly at the same time, so when I am finished this current slew of books I will write up another post dedicated to a short book review of each of them and my recommendations.

On Friday I also finally went out and bought myself a bright green hula hoop and a bright orange jump rope. Naturally, it was rush hour when I went to get them, so I ended up walking down the street in broad daylight down one of the most trafficked streets in the city carrying a neon hula hoop. I considered hula-ing my way down the street, just to attract even more awkward looks, but I decided against it. I don’t think my non-existant hips could’ve lasted for that long!

The other exciting thing that I did this past week was to try out moksha hot yoga! It is really amazing and I wish I would’ve discovered it before. My sister and I went together and it wasn’t near as hard as I expected, but you sure sweat a lot. The next day I went by myself to the hot flow class (which is the same hot yoga but at a faster pace), and that was hard. I was so sore for the next couple days! I’d like to try it out some more, though (now that my muscles have recovered a little!), so I think I might sign up for the 30-day challenge sometime over the next couple months. It’s 30 days of doing hot yoga every day, which would be damn hard but incredibly rewarding.

The only pose that I find myself having a real difficulty with (there’s quite a few that are very hard but I can still manage, if I really focus) is with making my heels connect with the floor for downward dog. Is anyone out there a yoga enthusiast? Can anyone do downward dog the way you’re actually supposed to do it, with the whole foot resting on the ground? If you’ve got any pointers please let me know! I’d love to learn how to do it properly. Maybe I just need to work more on my flexibility, which I’m sure will be improved if/when I do the 30-day challenge.

I was kind of disappointed about not going travelling extensively for the summer, but the prospect of spending it cooking and experimenting and activity-ing (looking forward to the half marathon, belly dancing, hot yoga, boot camp!) and reading is really very appealing. I think as long as I feed my travel bug by going on a couple of shorter trips I will be quite content to stick around here and focus on this sort of thing!

7 comments

  1. YOu go, girl, with your cooking!! When you’re done can you come make me that French toast for breakfast? I’m seriously contemplating that now. Sounds yummy but I’m a horrible cook:)

    Can’t wait for your book review! Seriously – I can’t read enough health books and am always looking for recommendations. No pressure tho;)

    And yes, I can do down dog with my feet flat. My secret? Lots of practice:) Also, if your hams are really lose you can walk your feet in a bit closer to your hands and that makes it easier to push your heels down. You’ll get there! I’m so excited you did hot yoga!! I want to come!


  2. 1. French toast with bananas? Genius!
    2. I’ll be trying the Bag Lady’s ice cream, it sounds great. Whenever I have mixing problems, I wind up with it in my face mostly. You’re lucky!
    3. I’ve been dying to try a hot yoga class, but the places here are way too expensive. I can’t get my heels all the way down in down dog, but I’m slowly getting there. My enormous calves don’t like to let my ankles relax enough to get the heels pushed down.


  3. Charlotte- I’m a pretty awful cook myself (most of my friends visibly wince when I offer them my creations), so I always feel so accomplished when a recipe actually works out! I’m so jealous of your stretching abilities but very much encouraged now that I know that it IS in fact possible to do downward dog with practice.

    Gena- it’s pretty expensive here, too, but for new people there’s a deal: $20 for the first week of unlimited classes. Maybe they’ve got some good deals like that where you live?


  4. So glad to hear the ice cream worked out well for you (thanks for the shout-out!)
    The Bag Lady can do downward dog with her heels on the floor, but she has always been very flexible (all those years of ballet when she was young.)Try bending your knees a tiny bit, put your heels all the way down, then slowly straighten your knees. With practice, you will become more flexible.


  5. The French toast sounds delicious! I may have to try that some time.
    And I haven’t met an ice cream I didn’t like! 🙂

    Downward dog… Hold on, I have to see if I can do it with my feet flat on the floor…

    Yes, I can, but I much prefer to have the heels of my feet off the floor just a teeny bit.


  6. The yoga sounds great And so does the french toast! I think it’s healthy. I’ll have to try the banana sandwich recipe!


  7. Im all about having you read and then TELL ME what to read!

    and the yoga? it took time for me to get there—you will as well.

    I just took my time and only did as much as felt “good hard” each class (not too helpful Im sure..)

    (love the BIKRAM too)

    M.



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