Hot Polka Dot
30Jun/12

Vegetarian For A Day.

There have always been picky eaters. Cavemen families had trouble getting their little shaggy-haired fur-clad Ugg to eat his mammoth steak. Cleopatra had to wrestle with her son, Cesarian just to get him to finish his figs. Marie Antionette and Louis XVI found their daughter Marie-Thérèse conveniently preferred cake over broccoli.

Nothing has changed. Children are still notoriously picky eaters. Thankfully I am blessed with a step daughter that loves vegetables especially broccoli. Myself, I have had a colourful past with vegetables. I tried all the old standby tricks: sneaking them into my napkin, covering them with my mashed potatoes, hiding them in my mouth and flushing them later, even tucking them in the leaf of the kitchen table and forgetting about them.

I was approached by Hidden Valley to participate in a challenge with fourteen other Canadian food bloggers. The fifteen of us are tasked with creating a recipe with ranch dressing that makes eating vegetables fun for the whole family.

When I think of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing I think of good old fashioned veggie dipping. Cherry tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, celery, broccoli, red and green peppers and more, something I missed out on as a kid. But when it comes to picky eaters sometimes you have to hide the vegetables and dipping them isn't quite clever enough. I've become a huge fan of using ranch dressing on pizza instead of marinara sauce and I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to show you just how versatile this product can be!

So I took all my favourite dipping veggies and put them on a pizza instead. As a kid I always turned my nose up at vegetarian pizza, but I can attest that this Hidden Valley Cheese Ranch really brings out the best in vegetables. And, young or old, who can say no to pizza?

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15Jun/12

The Cleanse.

One slice of tart never made anyone fat. One day of exercise never made anyone fit. The magic happens somewhere in between.

I am a firm believer in eating the foods that you love in moderation while balancing it with exercise. No cutting out carbs, no avoiding pizza like the plague, no cabbage soup, no meal replacements, no swearing off cookies, no pills. Just good old fashioned eat your dang food groups! And make sure to indulge every once in a while!

Eating is easy, exercise isn't. We only ever have time to work, cook and clean anyway so why not work exercise in there somewhere?

Forget Jillian Michaels, forget Ab-Doer, forget Bow-flex! Just clean!

Jiggly arm fat? Try some bathtub scrub pushups and dish brush bicep curls.

Mummy tummy? Bust out the Pledge and do some floor wax planks and silver polishing sit ups.

Thunder thighs? Do some laundry lunges and Windex squats.

Throw in some vacuum cardio for good measure and finish it all off with duster stretches.

You'll look fabulous and so will your house! Your thighs will thank you and so will your floors!

While you bask in the glittery glow of your immaculate house and soak your tired feet, why not indulge a little? Slice yourself off a piece of this Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Pretzel Tart. A crumbly salty pretzel cookie crust with a rich chocolate ganache filling swirled with smooth peanut butter.

Come on. You deserve it.

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6Jun/12

Raise A Glass!

I've never been the sort of person who surrounds herself with hundreds of friends. But the few close friends that I do have, that stood the test of time and trials of distance, I will treasure always.

If you're lucky in life, you have that one person who really gets you. That one person who can make a five hour marathon video chat seem like minutes. That one person who makes sure you're up to date on all the prettiest songs. That one person you know you can call when you need to gush about Downton Abbey. That one person who curiously and unknowingly buys exactly the same sweater as you from over three thousand kilometres away. That one person who not only isn't afraid to make the funniest faces with you, but also doesn't object to posting the photos on facebook. That one person who would never criticize you for eating an entire bag of Nibs. That one person who knows when to laugh with you and when to cry. That one person who never judges you.

And if, like me, you're truly blessed, you might have more than one person like that in your life, but it's important to have at least one.

Today's recipe is inspired by my person, my best friend, Cornelia. When she introduced me to this smoothie my head exploded. It has the cool sweetness of frozen banana, the bitterness of cocoa, the floral notes of honey, all grounded by the smooth bite of peanut butter.

And get this...

...It's actually good for you!

I think this might be a Hot Polka Dot first. So let's raise a glass! Preferably a glass filled with chocolate peanut butter banana goodness.

Clink!

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By: ifood.tv


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