The Average Girl's "How To" Guide

Advice on how to live a well-balanced lifestyle

Category: Being Hungry

How To: Keep Fit and Have Fun

by Rachel

I cannot rave enough about the fitness app My Fitness Pal by Under Armour. I have never had such an easy experience losing weight, to the point where I have accidentally lost beyond my original goal. To my surprise and delight, I am currently three pounds less than my original goal!
The key aspects I have found most helpful are:
1. It has taught me about the underlying habits in reaching the goals as opposed to just the goal itself.
2. It is much, much easier to get back into a routine with this app after holidays/trips etc that make it so hard to get back in the swing of things.
3. The numbers. Seeing the numbers in front of my face are all I need. Seeing I only have 100 calories left means I only eat 100 more calories for a bedtime snack and then I know I am done.
4. I exercise more because I want to eat more… And that’s good for all parts of the body.

Guys, if you need to, try it. Give it a few days to make it a habit because it does take time to enter your info but is very, very worth it.

How To: Fulfill Your Dreams

by Shannon

Ranging from the time I was a baby, I’ve always wanted to eat cupcakes for breakfast.

And today guys, I did it. I feel great.

I mean, this isn’t the first time I’ve done it, but I believe in achieving your dreams over and over again.

How To: Make Perfect Chocolate Covered Strawberries

by Rachel

Guys… I have made a chocolate covered strawberry or two in my day, but for some reason, tonight I made the PERFECT chocolate covered strawberry.

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What I always disliked about them was the chocolate was too hard and just broke off the strawberry and was really hard to bite into. Today, I took half a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips (about 150g) + 2 spoonfuls of coconut oil and melted it in a bowl in my double boiler. Once melted, dip the strawberries and put them on waxed paper. Let it chill and harden in the fridge for as long as it takes. Then, pour some wine and enjoy. The chocolate is hard enough so its not messy, but soft enough so you can easily bite into it. My culinary prowess astounds me some days.

Chocolate covered strawberry fields forever

How To: Make Healthy Cookies

by Rachel

I have this unbelievably delicious monster cookie recipe… But there is sooo much sugar! I am always trying to figure out a way to lessen sugar content and make things healthier in my baking and I have actually successfully done it… I know this because my husband eats them and doesn’t complain.
The original recipe called for the following:

1/2 C. Butter
1C EACH white and brown sugar
3 eggs
1.5 C. Of peanut butter
4.5 C. Large Flake Oats
2 tsp. Baking soda
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 C. Smarties
1/2 C. Each chocolate chips and peanuts.

Now, substitute:
1/2 C. Coconut oil for butter
2 C. Dates (chopped and soaked in boiling water, then mashed up)
Toss the smarties and just do more semi sweet chocolate chip or try seeds and raisins (but I’m not hard core)
And you could even use almond or another nut butter if you really wanted to up the health factor.

I would recommend baking them in muffin cups because they tend to be crumbly (even the original version). Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes and you get this:

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Delicious AND healthy!

Where you finds cookies you find smiles

How To: Make A Fancy Snack

by Shannon

I used to work in Public Relations, and one of my clients was Loblaws. I loved working for those guys, and one of the best perks was a holiday “gift” they gave us, where we attended a class at their Maple Leaf Gardens locations and learned to make some kick-ass food with Chef Maria.

We made a few dishes, but the one that really stuck with me was easy, delicious, and pretty damn fancy. Here’s the gist:

Ingredients

  • Sliced Baguette
  • Black Label Cherry Shiraz Jam
  • Sliced Granny Smith Apples
  • Old Cheddar Cheese
  • Maple Syrup
  • Oil

First, spread some oil lightly over your slices of baguette, and throw them in the oven until they just start to get crispy. I’m not going to tell you for how long, or at what temperature, it’s not rocket science. (It’s probably around 350 degrees and for 6 minutes, for those of you who freak out and follow recipes to the T. COUGH my husband.)

Take them out, and spread each slice with a bit of the jam. You could probably use any jam for this, but the Black Label really makes a difference. Then, place your thinly sliced apples on top, add some cheese, and very lightly drizzle the maple sizzurp over everything. Put back in the oven until the cheese is melted to your pleasure.

Eat, and enjoy. Perfect for fancy parties, impressing your boyfriend’s parents, or just to you know, treat yo’self.

 

How To: Get Excited For Work

by Shannon

Pack an excellent lunch.

I can hardly sleep the night before!

Ask not what you can do for mankind, but what’s for lunch

How To: Throw a Nation Themed Party – Canada Edition

by Rachel

We had our third nation themed party this weekend, and it never fails to be great! In honour of the Olympics we chose our home and native land, CANADA! We ate, drank, listened, decorated all things Canada.

DRINKS
Canada is known for their beer, rye, whiskey, and Caesars… So that’s what we drank! Courtesy of Shannon we had Moosehead and Cracked Canoe. Moosehead Brewery is Canada’s oldest independent brewery! We had some creative guests who brought strawberry jello shots with whip cream: red and white!

FOOD
So many options here. Anything with bacon and maple syrup is game. 77% of the world’s maple syrup is made in Quebec. Poutine is another great Canadian dish. Ketchup chips are a Canadian thing and of COURSE Timbits. If you are really ambitious, you can make maple bacon cupcakes, don’t skimp on the bacon! They are delicious. And if you have any game meat lying around that’s good too.

ACTIVITIES
Our main Canadian activity was air hockey and Canada Kings, but you’ll have to tune in tomorrow to learn how to play.

DECOR
Oh my goodness, so much fun! Since I have a LOT of time on my hands, moose, beaver, and goose paintings were made, OH Canada bunting flag, all things red and white and wintery. I don’t want to undecorate!

MUSIC
So so so many options. Canada is full of outstanding musicians. To name a few: The Guess Who, Joel Plaskett, Alanis Morrissette, BTO, Neil Young, Our Lady Peace, Arkells… I could keep going for awhile.

COSTUME/DRESS
My favourite part! Canadian tuxedo, hockey jerseys, lumberjack outfits, fur, flannel, plaid, touques, Roots clothing, red, white… It was so fun dressing for this one!
I just want to have theme parties again and again!

With Glowing Hearts, We See Thee Rise, Our True North Strong and Free

How To: Make Perfectly Popped Pop Corn

by Rachel

I used to pop stove top popcorn on the regular, but in the last few years I lost my pop corn popping touch; I burnt it, had too many kernels and often got soggy popcorn. Popcorn changed, I changed… but I have been taught the proper, scientific way of popping stove top popcorn AND have had great success twice in a row. This is a step by step guide, stressing important tidbits.

1. You need about half an inch of oil. Do not skimp on the oil! This causes burning.
2. Heat the oil on high for a couple minutes, and be sure to use an oil with a high smoking temperature like sunflower, safflower or canola.
3. Take the oil off the burner and put a single layer of kernels on the bottom of the pot in the oil. Let the kernels heat up to the oil temperature for a minute before putting it back on the heat.
4. Put a piece of paper towel or newspaper over the top of the pot and put the lid on top of the paper. This prevents steam from dripping onto the popcorn.
5. The tricky part comes next… When to take the popcorn off the heat. I wait until there are few seconds between single pops… I always end up with a few kernels left because I am too paranoid it will burn. Kernels are better than burnt popcorn.
6. Pour lots of salt on and put it into a bowl, allowing it to cool a bit for the best crunch.

Its seriously delicious.

Add on: you can melt toffee in the double boiler. Add a small bit of coconut oil and milk to make the toffee liquid. Pour it on the popcorn and mix it up. And add chocolate chips… If you want.
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Mmmmmmmm.

How To: Make Delicious Beer Bread

by Shannon

There are lots of cool perks to my job in the world of beer marketing, and one of them is finding out kick-ass recipes. Beer recipes.

One of the beer brands I work for, Samuel Adams, is really into food and beer, and all the cool stuff you can do with it. How food can make your beer taste even better, and how beer can (no surprise here) make your food taste better, and they bring out new flavours in each other. It’s pretty cool.

Anyway, a food blogger used Sam Adams to make a recipe the other day, and since it contained my favourite ingredients in the world, I decided to try it last night for Valentine’s Day. What ingredients, you ask? Oh, flour, beer, bacon, and cheese. Just all the most delicious ingredients known to mankind, no biggie.

Anyway, her recipe can be found here, but this is all you need to know:

Ingredients:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup shredded cheese
500mls of beer (I didn’t have Sam Adams, so I used Hop City’s Barking Squirrel)
4 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped (I didn’t have bacon that was thawed, so I didn’t use any, and it was still all drool-worthy)
2 tablespoons butter, melted

Gastrofork has nice pictures and directions, but if you’re in a hurry, this is the gist:

  • Preheat your oven to 350
  • Add all the dry ingredients, mix them around, then add your cheese, beer, and if you have it, bacon
  • Mix it with a spoon
  • Throw it in a pan or whatever
  • Cook for 30 minutes, remove, add some butter across the top
  • Cook for another 30 minutes
  • Remove, cool, eat, eat more

Incredibly simple. Incredibly delicious. To beer!

The best things in life are free. Except beer, which usually costs around $0.0050 per mL.

How To: Get Rid Of Stale Bread

by Shannon

Dude, just make garlic bread with that shit!

Just cut up your delicious loaf of stale baguette, throw some butter on there, cover in cheese and garlic powder, stick it in the oven on broil, and go to town.

You won’t be sorry.

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