Boss Lady Energy

Intimidating Women

Do people call you scary? Intimidating? Loud?

Then we have something in common. 

I see myself as a sweet lady but other people seem to see me as some tough biker lady who doesn’t spend her days baking and day dreaming of adopting dogs. Externally I understand that I wear mostly black and I stopped smiling at strangers when I moved to a big city because it was inviting the wrong kind of attention (I grew up in a town where a smile and a good morning was normal, but when I moved to Edmonton I found out that smiling at most people will lead to them asking inappropriate questions). From a distance maybe I even look mean.

I didn’t realize how intimidating I am until people started telling me that I am. My old roommate, friends, ladies at the bank and even neighbours.

I realize though that I am a loud person. I speak freely and my opinions are not something I hide but rather enjoy talking about. I speak with my shoulders back and I am physically larger than most women. I have cold blue eyes and I understand that some people still see tattoos as a bad thing. Combine all that together and you get the kind of person who scares people even though I’m not trying to. 

Not long ago my friend made an outdated joke while I was in the kitchen and I realized the amount of power I hold due to being intimidating woman because all it took was me to lift an eyebrow for that man to sit right down and apologize for the inappropriate jest. There is a balance to this though. I do not find joy in intimidating others, actually when people make that commentary it hurts. I don’t want to be known that way, I want to be known as someone who is kind and loving. At the same time though, I like that being intimidating makes my conversations easier and more direct. People don’t waver in conversation with me and my questions are answered promptly and respectfully. 

While there is power in intimidation, I don’t think it is wise to actively try to intimidate people nor do I think anyone is always scary. When I am frosting cupcakes I don’t think anyone would be intimidated, but when I’m swinging an axe, I can see why people might want to keep their distance. 

We now hear about girl boss moves, female empowerment and using our voices to make the world better and I want to see that become the norm. Be loud, take up space, call out bullshit and support the people around you in a healthy and sustainable way that is built on respect and empathy. Use your loud voice to help other people, to speak with and listen to those around you. Shine bright. Know your worth and understand the choices you make are your own. No one else can make them for you, so 

If you want to be a kick ass working mom, then do it! We see women at the top more and more and we are slowly changing to understand that a woman with kids isn’t worth less than a man with kids. 

Photo by Alina Vilchenko on Pexels.com

You want to start a company? Do it! Employ others, build communities, provide worth and profit from your drive. 

You would rather travel the world freely than have kids? Good! Go find yourself and explore the world, engage in culture and find joy in your travels. 

Be proud of being loud. Be proud of who you are and you are becoming. Be kind and embrace life. 

Reviewing My Hot Sauce Collection

Hey guys, today we are looking into all of the hot sauces I own. I did this based on flavour, not heat measures. I believe that hot sauces are only good if they taste good, and I tried to recommend foods that these sauces can be paired with. Please enjoy and let me know which is your favourite sauce or recommend new sauces to me, because I love sauces and will likely buy them off your recommendations.

I can not tell you how long it took to write this, as I re-tried every sauce to be accurate and it did give me a very strong stomach ache after ingesting 20 sauces in a row. I strongly recommend never doing that. It’s okay though, because I love hot sauces, so below are somewhere around 40 sauces that I have and have taste tested for your reading pleasure.

Paddy O’s Potion is a very mild sauce with a watery consistency that makes a wonderful vinaigrette for salads. Its prime flavour is carrot, though the grapefruit can be found in the medley of flavours and there is a sharpness with the vinegar.


Crystal Hot Sauce is a true Louisiana sauce with a sharp vinegar flavour that is followed with mild heat. It makes for a wonderful wing sauce and bakes well on chicken breasts. If you like franks, this tastes very much like it with the addition of a tomato flavour. If you wanted a spicy gumbo, this is the perfect sauce for it.


Dirty Dicks has a vulgar name but a sweet flavour. It has a lot of fruit flavours as it has mangoes, bananas and pineapple in its recipe, but it is evened out with garlic and tomato, which makes it a wonderfully balanced sauce. It’s sticky, sweet and moderately spicy that can be put on just about anything. Hot dogs, pork, vegetables and cheeses all pair wonderfully with this sauce.


Once again with the vulgar name but a sweet taste. This Caribbean Dream sauce embraces smokey flavours mixed with the richness of a thick mustard. It’s sweetness comes from the pears, peaches, apple and pineapple in the recipe that are counterbalanced with smokey habanero, mustard and apple cider vinegar. This sauce sticks me as good for sandwiches, meats and roasted vegetables.


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El Yucateco produces a lot of hot sauces, but their Chile Habanero is a smokey masterpiece perfect for ground beef, grilled fish and roasted potatoes. It has a strong smokey flavour that veils most of the vinegar flavour in the sauce. The flavour is simple as it tastes almost entirely of habanero and garlic which makes it versatile, as garlic and habanero compliment most flavours.


Marie Sharp’s Belizean Heat is another Louisiana style hot sauce without the strong vinegar flavour that has a good tomato flavour backing it up. The lime comes through subtly as do the carrots, making it an upgraded version of Franks.


Rogue is a sweet and fruity sauce with heat to back it up. The pears in the sauce come through quickly and the heat follows up in seconds. It mixes well with mayonnaise to make a quick and simple dip for vegetables and chips.


Bigfat’s is a company that leans into smokey flavour and this one follows suit. With a strong chipotle flavour mixed with smoke makes for a fantastic addition to meats.


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Black Garlic and Carolina Reaper has strong heat, deep pepper flavour and is very versatile. This sauce goes well with just about anything. With the flavour being nearly entirely that of peppers, it can be added to most dishes, as it won’t muddle the flavour while adding heat. There is a slight black garlic flavour with it’s caramelized umami, but it is by no means overwhelming.


Ako Miso is perfect for anything that needs umami and soy flavours. It is great in ramen, on fish and in rice dishes with fish in them. Not versatile outside of this realm, but if you like this flavour palette, it’s worth purchasing.


This sauce doesn’t actually seem to be a hot sauce as there is little to no heat in it. It is milder than Sriracha and Franks. It does have a pleasant tomato flavour that is perfect for adding to a boring or chunky salsa.


Truff brings the earthy flavour of truffles into your sauce. While the flavour could be compared to a sweeter and spicier bean flavour, there is a complexity to the sauce that makes it incredibly delicious. The consistency is thicker than most, making it an excellent sauce addition to pasta as it sticks well. This sauce is often unfairly judged on its first tasting due to the unfamiliar flavour of truffle, but you will quickly change your mind and learn to love it.


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Shaquandas has a sweet pickle flavour that is complemented with the carrot, tomato and lemon that sneak along with it. While it is a sweeter sauce, I have enjoyed it coated on baked chicken, on pork and as a dip for chips.


The first thing you taste when you try Kat’s Eye is the smokey lime flavour. It’s a simple sauce that uses cilantro as a driving flavour force. If you enjoy smokey flavour and herbaceous notes, this sauce is for you.


The driving flavour is this sauce is tomato, but it doesn’t outshine the turmeric, mustard and carrots that make up the rest of the flavour. A mild and versatile sauce that is rightly held in high opinion.


As you might have guessed, the more potent flavour is the ginger. It pairs well with the scotch bonnet to make this mild sauce that pairs well with jellies, cheeses, cured meats, chips and mangoes.


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Joy Ride is a simple and mild sauce that tastes mostly of bell peppers and oregano. It’s simplicity makes it incredibly versatile as it is a good addition to every meal I have added it to. It is also thin enough and flavourful enough to make for a lovely salad vinaigrette.


A very strong tomato flavoured sauce that has a little heat. It marinates chicken well.


This sauce stays true to its chipotle flavour, adding a little smoke and sweetness that balances the whole flavour well. It is a little spicy but makes a great addition to chicken burgers, fries, sandwiches and cheeses.


The first time I tried this sauce it nearly killed me with heat. To this day I think it is a very hot sauce that bites without any sweetness to even it out. If you like a sauce that is harsh and very peppery, this one is for you.


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Dawsons is the one sauce I have where I can taste an oil. The first thing I taste is olive oil, quickly followed by sugar and habanero. It has a sharp vinegar heat that we find in Louisiana style sauces.


A sweet pickle flavour that’s mixed in a chipotle flavour that mixes beautifully with mayonnaise to make chip dips and it marinates well on chicken.


This is a truly unique sauce that brings a lovely minty flavour forward on a herbaceous base. This pairs so well with pork, especially cured pork. The spicy level is perfect for nearly everyone.


This is an incredibly hot sauce that should not be used unless you are very used to very spicy food and shouldn’t be used undiluted. It has a simple earthy pepper flavour that lends well to mayo based sauces and mustard bases.


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The primary flavour that comes through on this sauce is the cherry flavour. It isn’t overly sweet and it has a lovely minty-ness. It pairs well with hard cheeses and the odd dessert item.


This sauce is the perfect blend of sweet sauce, smokey flavour and almost chipotle. It comes together to taste like a fantastic hot rib sauce.


This is my absolute favourite Louisiana sauce. It has a strong smack of tomato, followed with sweetness from the sugar, a little kick of tamarind, a bite from the vinegar and a great smokey garlic flavour.


This sauce is not good. It actually tastes like battery acid.


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Very simple sauce with a earthy pepper flavour. It is very hot and should not be used by those who can’t tolerate spicy food.


A very fresh habanero and pineapple favour that hit hard with heat, the sweetness sneaks in and it ends in a smokey finish.


This sauce has the indentical flavour to the 708 7 Pot. Its a sweet chipotle flavour that is marginally hotter than the original 708.


A simple sauce that includes oranges, carrots and tomatoes to combat the heat of the ghost peppers in this recipe.


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A strong sauce with a simple blend of ginger, cayenne, habanero and guava. This sauce uses an extract so expect a strong burn.


This is an interesting sauce that combines avocado and ginger to little success. I find it to have a dirt flavour mixed with a vinegar bite that just isn’t pleasant.


This sauce has a sweet blueberry flavour that is matched by a wall of heat. I haven’t found a lot of good pairings for this sauce outside of making dips for plain chips.


A smokey sauce that has a creeping sweetness. Don’t be fooled though, the heat builds slowly but steadily. It has a bit of an artificial flavour that makes it hard to pair.


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A neutral sauce that has sweetness equal to heat and savoury taste. With mustard, sesame, onion, garlic and honey, this sauce makes for an excellent wing sauce.


A sauce with a very natural medley of pepper flavours that doesn’t compromise heat. With lime and garlic it is a very versatile sauce that adds a healthy amount of heat.


A well balanced sauce that has strong heat, a natural fruit sweetness and a raw pepper that makes for a great sauce.


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A sauce that immediately hits with some spicy but follows up with a mild honey and pineapple flavour. Its simple and yummy.


Book Review : Let That Sh*t Go – Nina P and Kate P.

Initial Reaction

I have just finished the first thirty pages, so I am going to write this before continuing. The structure and tone of the writing is playful, a little vulgar but honest. There is no feeling of “this is a scam” or “this couldn’t possibly work” when they talk about taking control of your observational mind (a recurring message in the book) because I recognize that that is something I do and I know the difference between my “chatty brain” and “observational brain” from living in my own head. I can see the value in building up the mental force and skills to become a stronger observer of my minds needs and reactions rather than being emotionally driven into being actively chatty to myself. I look forward to continuing to read, which I am going to do right now even though it is incredibly late and I should really be in bed.

If happiness existed in objects or experiences, then the same objects and experiences would make everyone equally happy.

Nina Purewal & Kate Petriw ; Let That Sh*t Go, (Page 8)
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Score : 7/10

While I think the book has a good overall message, there is a finicky part to it. Nina Purewal minored in Psychology but majored in Business. This is a little questionable to me as she didn’t specialize in psychology or even major in it, so her book immediately becomes more of a “personal recommendation” rather than a “professional opinion” to me.

Kate Petriw is also a business lady with Bachlor of Commerce, Marketing and Sustainability from McGill University as well as Environmental Communication Planning from Duke University. Neither of these are psychology courses, though the communication planning does focus on changing human behaviour through study and evaluation. Again this does not leave me with the impression that I am reading a professional book meant to aid individuals as much as a passion project between two Toronto women who touched on the subject from different angles and related the material through anecdotes.

Now while I have said this seems like less of a professional book, I still think it holds water and can help people through their anxieties and interpersonal issues, hence why I rated it so high.

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Notable Moments

“Menial tasks will become calming ones”

Nina Purewal & Kate Petriw ; Let That Sh*t Go, (Page 23)

This stood out to me. They were commenting on how mentally speaking yourself through your tasks helps keep you in the moment and I realized that I did this when I was driving to keep my mind from wandering when I was in a bad mood. The idea of tasks becoming calming also rings true to me as I think of how much I hate washing my hair, but when I turn it into a treat to give myself a good scalp massage it feels very soothing.

This is just my mind getting stressed. I notice it, and I understand why I might be stressed, but really, there’s no reason to go down this spiral for the tenth time.

Nina Purewal & Kate Petriw ; Let That Sh*t Go, (Page 31)

This quote required the context of the “observational mind” which is the internal voice we have that comments. I like the idea of being self aware enough to recognize when you are leading yourself down a dark spiral in your mind and actively working to stop that spiral from taking hold. I think there is a lot of merit in working against your anxieties and depression internally, no matter how frustrating and exhausting it can be.

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Replacing your negative thoughts for a day, a week, or a month is just the beginning. It takes content effort and awareness to change these thought patterns and create new ones.

Nina Purewal & Kate Petriw ; Let That Sh*t Go, (Page 83)

I also agree with this sentiment. It is as irritating as it is true. Mental fortitude and health are not short battles easily won, but rather wars that last lifetimes that must be conquered slowly and mindfully.

Closing Thoughts

While I enjoyed this book I do not think it is one I would re-read any time soon. The sometimes crude natural of the writing is a little jarring as it is not written for a young enough audience for that language to catch hold and seem mature. As the intended audience is adult, the crude language seems immature for the audience but perhaps the editors for the book thought it would help the book stand apart. While one could argue that with a title that includes “sh*t” in it, I should have been prepared for cursing I do not agree. Since the asterix was included I thought the loud design of the cover was simply to attract the eye of a reader who is tired of titles like “The Secret” that coddle the reader into a fairly comfortable mentality while reading.

Aside from language, the constant recollections and commentary being mixed together was a good choice that I felt helped the narrative of the message to be more easily understood by the audience. All in all, I think you should read the book. I know I am going to lend it out to a few people, which I only do if I think the book is good.

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I would love to hear your thoughts on the book in the comments below!

The Cardigan, the Shirt and the Splendid Jeans

Hello guys! If you know me you know that I love fashion, but I don’t live by labels or trendy items. As a plus sized woman I don’t often have a lot of selection when purchasing in person and most trendy, lower cost stores don’t carry my size. This makes keeping my wardrobe up to date a rather expensive endeavour. Honestly though, even if I could afford to fill my closet with every new piece, I don’t find a lot of this years fashion suits my body type or size. I am not one for showing off my stomach and this year has been another year of crop tops and side split dresses. When I do find sales on clothing that suits my body I buy because I don’t know the next time I will find something again.

This week we had a little time to wander around so Ryan and I visited the mall. By sheer luck this coincided with the first time I wore this adorable floral skirt. I bought it last year and after a day of wear I will never put it on again. The skirt may be cute but paired with the shape of my hips and the shape wear I chose, the skirt was jumping six inches higher than I wanted it to as I walked, showing off my black shape wear and my butt if I didn’t keep a hand on my skirt.

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Shopping.

I quickly grabbed a sheer black sleeveless dress shirt from Ardenes for $6.14 (who does now carry a small selection of plus sized pieces in their Basics Collection). In the spirit of wearing more colour though I asked Ryan to pick out a sweater for me in Urban Planet that wasn’t black and came back to find him debating between a peach and maroon cardigan. Not a sweater but he insisted that I would look “super cute” in it and to be honest, I think he was right. It was $12.00 which I think is a pretty good price for a gilet length knitted cover, though I do wish there was a little more volume to the bottom to give it a nice a line effect. I do think a triangular white lace insert in the bottom centred could give that shape while also making the piece unique.

Eva Blakeman – Cardigan

I also wanted to get a cute pair of boots while we were there but due to “no try on” policy combined with their “final sale” shoe policy I just couldn’t justify throwing money at a pair of shoes that I couldn’t even try on.

The splendid jeans though, man am I happy I found these bad boys. It feels like it’s impossible to find jeans and I know I am not the only lady who has cried in the fitting room trying to pull any self esteem together while trying to button the pants. In this case I was very lucky as I couldn’t try on the jeans in store but they fit beautifully. I did the old trick where you pull the top of the jeans around your hips to see if they will fit and it worked. I love stretchy jeans in the warm months and these have really good diagonal and vertical stretch. I can pop down into a squat without any strain in the fabric. Did I mention these jeans were $20.00? It is so hard to get fun jeans under $60.00 a pair and these bad boys (in a size 16) are awesome!

Books.

Today wasn’t just a couple of clothing items as I got my hands on three books! The first being “The Fork, The Witch and the Worm” which is a series of short stories that take place after the events of the Inheritance Cycle written by Christopher Paolini. For those who didn’t read the series, they are also known as the Eragon Series. The first book had a large blue dragon on it and if you are under 30 I would wager you saw it in your junior high and high school libraries. I have read and re-read the books many times as I love the universe and when I found out there was a little more story I had to get a copy. I have read 50 pages so far and it is almost exactly what I wanted to read without being the story I expected. A good middle group between fan service and genuinely adding to the story.

The second book is very much not a fictional story but it is a useful tool. I think most adults I’ve ever met could get something out of reading “Let That Sh*t Go” but Nina Purewal and Kate Petriw. From a quick peruse while standing in the book store trying to stay away from other patrons, I gathered that the book concentrates on mindfulness and mastery of your own consciousness, which I can say is something I dearly need. If I love the book I’ll make sure to write about it in the future. This style of book, the self-help, had always seemed to dull to me until I read “Tools of Titans” by Tim Ferris. That book changed my view on the non-fiction narrative that these books often follow in a fractured state. I also think the shift from books that were ornate and called something like “Self Care for the Modern Women” to things like “Get Your Sh*t Together” has made an impact on sales within in my generation. Being a “millennial” *shudder* means bold statements and ruthlessness catches our attention more than kindness on the cover. Uh millennial. I don’t know why the news still portrays millennial as 18 year olds who can’t figure out their taxes… if you aren’t of my generation, we are not children but rather adults in our mid twenties to our late thirties. Yes we react more positively to this kind of marketing, but I believe a lot of that has to due with our perception of modern imagery. We have returned to the “pop art” era where bold colour choices in simple designs paired with bold black text embodies the late 2010’s and early 2020’s. Anyways..

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It was a fun and unexpected trip that was very fruitful for me, but not so much for Ryan, who got a coffee but none of the books he wanted due to them not being in stock in stores in our city.

If you want to chit chat about this post or about anything else, please feel free to comment below and I will get back to you as quickly as I can.

Salt Scalp Massages

Oh I wish I had known about these way sooner! I don’t think my scalp has ever felt so clean and fresh before. When I get my hair cut professionally they get somewhat close to this feeling. This post is a story about the adventure my scalp and I went on today.


Okay so today I was feeling just like garbage and I realized my mood wasn’t going to get better. I had a hard time deciding to do anything, so I spent a lot of the day laying on my bed doing nothing. It was just going to be a slow Sunday. About halfway through the afternoon I decided I was just going to invest some time in my mental health instead of laying around like a sea slug, so I ran a bubble bath.

Now since I hadn’t given myself a lot of self love for a while, I did not hold back on the quality of my bubble bath experience. I lit about 20 tea light candles and put them all around the bathroom and the side of the tub. I poured eucalyptus bubble bath into the water and I even supplemented it all with a little coconut oil in the bath as well. This was going to be a good bath that would satisfy me though ambiance, scent and feeling. I slid into the warm water and for a while I just read. I have been reading “Let That Sh*t Go” by Nina Purewal and Kate Petriw, a wonderful book for adults who just can’t seem to win against their anxious brain.

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After a while of reading and practicing some mindfulness techniques I thought to myself “I want a facial massage, and I deserve to have one” so I looked up a very nice massage video (linked here) and followed step by step how to do a Chi massage. I don’t necessarily understand Chi, but the massage was soothing and it helped me release the very tight muscles in my jaw that I think are contributing to a near constant head ache I have going on now.

I may not understand Chi, but I do understand the immediate relief I felt upon doing to massage. My neck hurt less, my jaw released and even my shoulders let go a little. I think that massage therapy would do a better job than a self massage, but for today, I am very happy with what I got.

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com
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Anyways, once all that was done I thought about my poor scalp and how I have neglected it lately so I looked up common scalp cleanses and saw about 50 videos on salt scrubs. I snuck through the house to the kitchen and poured myself a nice bowl of both Himalayan and iodized table salt, then snuck back to the bath, only leaving many wet footprints as evidence. Thankfully no one got hurt due to them, but I did step into my own wet footprint in my socks later which seemed apt.

I split my hair down the middle and started scrubbing in the salt. I think it took around 30 minutes for me to scrub every inch of the scalp, but it was so worth it. I used the tips of my fingers and slowly worked the salt into my roots with a medium pressure. The skin felt so alive, it almost felt like it was thrumming as the blood felt so close to my skin. If you were wondering what scrubbing salt into your head feels like, it feels like the best head scratched you’ve had. At this point though I recognized that I had a bowl of salt in my hair, so I laid back into the water and let the salt dissolve in my roots as I drifted slowly in the warmth of the bath.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Now was the time for shampoo, so I loaded up my hands and took my sweet time cleaning all the oils, left over salt and debris that the salt has scrubbed off my scalp. I massaged for about 10 minutes, and I noticed just how much hair was coming off my head. I didn’t panic, I know that in the last couple days I just haven’t taken care of myself. I kept making plans but like was ignoring my scheduling, so simple things like taking a shower had to take a back seat this week. So once all the gunk and hair had been scrubbed I ran water over my scalp until there was no way anything was left in my hair and I applied a little but of mouse before roughly towel drying and brushing out my hair to let it air dry.

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At this moment, as I type this, my hair is still drying but my scalp feels lighter and my hair seems to have more volume, so I would guess that my hair was being held down by product residue and dirt near my scalp and I just got used to it being that way.

I think I will implement salt scrubs into my hair care, though I imagine only once or twice a month. I would 10/10 recommend trying it out for yourself! I would also always recommend sinking into a warm bath with a book when you’re having a bad day, as it always seems to help me out.

Thank you so much for reading, I really appreciate your time. Please feel free to comment and share your experiences in the comments.

Chicken Burgers and Brioche Buns

Hey guys!

Today is an exciting day as we are covering Brioche buns, Burger Slaw, Chicken Breast and the vegetables and sauces that go with them.

Ryan and I have been trying to be healthier people, which is hard because we love fast food burgers. This will hopefully be a healthier version of one of our favourite cheat meals. That being said, I don’t think any non-fried chicken can replace fried chicken, but maybe we’ll love this anyways.

This makes 4 burgers.

Brioche Buns

Eva Blakeman – Brioche Buns

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup milk (warm)
  • 1/4 cup water (warm)
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 egg

Wash

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp whipping cream
Eva Blakeman – Toasted Brioche Buns

Directions

  1. Add milk, water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar together, mix quickly and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Mix flour, salt, 2 tsp sugar, egg and butter together in a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer. (If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook. If mixing by hand, wooden spoon is best).
  3. Add yeast mixture slowly into flour mixture while stirring (stand mixer on 1 or low).
  4. Knead by hand in the bowl or by mixer for 9 minutes.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  6. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and pull dough into taunt balls, placing on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper with the seams down.
  7. Preheat oven to 400F.
  8. Place baking sheet on top of oven . Cover baking sheet with plastic and rest 1 hour or until noticeable rise has occurred.
  9. Beat the egg yolk and cream together and brush over dough balls liberally.
  10. Bake dough for 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature on rack before storing.

Burger Slaw

Ingredients

  • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce
  • 1 1/2 carrots
  • 2 tbsp mayonaise
  • 1 tbsp ground mustard seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground peppercorn
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mustard

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients except for the lettuce and carrots together in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together until light and creamy.
  3. Chop lettuce into thin pieces (1/4 inch or thinner). Grate carrots to be thin. Chop pieces to be shorter than 2 inches.
  4. Mix all ingredients together and serve either on the side or in a chicken burger.

Chicken Breast

Eva Blakeman – Chicken Burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 cups of water
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp chipotle hot sauce (or 2 tbsp olive oil if you don’t want spice)
  • 4 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp crushed red pepper
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Directions

  1. Brine your chicken breast in 2 cups of room temperature water with 3 tbsp of salt in it. Let this sit at least 15 min, up to an hour.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 425F.
  3. Pat your chicken breasts dry and cut them in half.
  4. Mix all dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
  5. Coat your chicken in either hot sauce or oil.
  6. Rub your dry spice mix onto the breasts then place onto a baking sheet covered in aluminium foil that is lightly greased with olive oil.
  7. Bake 20 min, turning over halfway.
  8. Let the chicken rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

I supplemented my burger with slaw and onion where Ryan chose to use a chipotle burger sauce and tomato, eating his slaw on the side. I love this kind of food even though I can’t eat it often. I hope you liked this and if you try any part of the recipe I would love to know what you thought of it.

Now for those who aren’t just here for the recipe!

Ryan’s very eloquent and long winded rating of this dinner was, “it was good”. This does not sound like high praise, but from him it is. He never seems shocked when I make something new because according to him he has “absolute faith” in me. Which is nice to hear but when I realized he actually meant it I realized he would likely never gush over my cooking, because to him that’s normal quality from me. It’s nice, but also, I would like to hear him get excited over new foods and skills I work on.

Ryan and I have both been trying really hard to better ourselves this year, both mentally and physically. We aren’t perfect and sometimes we break down and eat Dairy Queen on the floor of our living room like animals. But in general we try to make our own food and eat with the intent of feeding ourselves, not treating ourselves.

I make bread a couple times a week because Ryan eats bread for breakfast. This is great because I get to bake and he gets a homemade breakfast. His job required him to be on his feet walking all day, so he can afford those early morning calories. I on the other hand, cannot afford bread calories on the daily, so I generally have a lot of broths early in the day to get something in my stomach without the calories.

Mindfully Quitting Nicotine

Hey guys! If you guys remember, over a year ago I went from smoking cigarettes to vaping. While yes there is a lot of debate over the health problems caused by both methods, we are talking about quitting today, not which is worse.

Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

Why did I quit?

You might be thinking, “For your health of course!” and you would be wrong. Not that I don’t care about my health, but it is lower on the priority scale than money. With the pandemic funds have gotten tighter and I can’t justify such an expensive habit anymore. The average cost of me vaping per month was around $200, which isn’t something to sneeze at. Thats more than my phone and internet bill added together.

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Was it hard?

Yes. I don’t think anyone wants to mislead quitters into believing quitting will be a stroll in the park. It sucked really bad for the first four or five days, though the third is just as bad as everyone has told you it is. I wept, I screamed, I apologized, I hid, I sat on the floor and I drank a bottle on wine on the third day. Thankfully my fiancé was very understanding of the chemical insanity that was happening in my brain, which made it a lot easier. There is a headache that seems to be ever present, your limbs feel weird, your heart might even seem different. I found I was sweating like crazy from the increased circulation in my body. I did suffer insomnia during the first 4 days, which did not help my mood.

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Now, a week later, I feel more stable but there is still definitely something left over in my brain that is making me feel a bit off. I am still having some troubles with sleep, but from what I can figure that’s quite normal for nicotine quitters.

How did you quit?

I used our modern way of quitting. I bought a vape and reduced the amount of nicotine from 60mg down to 0 mg over a period time. This means that right now I have my vape with me, but there is no nicotine in it. This has made it easier for me to quit nicotine, as I am only breaking the chemical addiction while leaving the habitual side alone for the moment. This is a slower way to quit, but it’s the only one I’ve managed to make work.

I tried to quit smoking cold turkey and failed many times, then earlier this year I tried to quit vaping overnight and failed once again. For me, this has been the only method where I have made it to day 4 without nicotine. As of right now I am on day 8, so things are going well.

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Why is this called Mindfully Quitting Nicotine?

That is a great question. The answer lies in how I decided to approach quitting this time. I accepted that I was going to be a little unstable and set up my personal life to accommodate that for a little bit. I informed most people of my decision and requested they leave me alone unless there was an emergency so that I wouldn’t snap at them during a bad moment or have them inadvertently stressing me out.

That worked pretty well and I don’t believe anyone took offence to being cutout for a week to help me quit a habit that could very likely cause cancer in my lungs.

At home I decided it was better to have the support of my man on the worst days even though they would be difficult for us as a couple to make it through. This was a good decision as my fiancé had been there when I failed and knew better this time how to console and distract me. He also knew when to walk away and let me stew in anger over how much my head hurt.

Where is the mindful part? I’m getting there!

I decided that after the first 5 days I was going to be stronger than my angry brain. I wasn’t going to let other people or the calls of addiction bring me down. I decided that daily walks, comedy routines and reading would be part of my daily routine in order to help me stay positive and motivated. I also decided to practice more self control over my emotions, which to be very honest with you, is not something I have worked on since I was a teen. That has been difficult, but ultimately it needed to be done whether I quit nicotine or not. Being stale, not improving, not working on bettering myself, it’s just not good for me. Not to mention how annoying it is to be an emotional individual in our current world. I get so rilled up by all that is happening that I can’t focus on issues that are right in-front of me that demand my attention.

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I don’t think this is a great way for everyone to quit, but for me, dog pilling mental health, physical health and addiction all on top of each other to be dealt with simultaneously has been working. I hope I have the strength to maintain it until the month is up and my brain stops acting like a chemically highjacked fool.

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I tried to keep this fairly light hearted, but in all seriousness, quitting any addiction is really hard and if it is something you are suffering though right now, I hope you know how much stronger you are than your addiction. You can do it and I sincerely hope you achieve your quitting goals.

If you want to leave advice or commentary on quitting nicotine in the comments I would be very happy to read them!

Excellent Youtube Food Channels

Hey guys!

Like most people, I have mentors I have chosen to help lead me in my food journey and today I thought I would share them with you! While I did grow up cooking and learned a lot through the years through reading old cookbooks and a lot of trial and error, these people have taught me skills I wouldn’t have found on my own. More than that, they have made eduction entertaining and they inspire me to expand my own skills and culinary knowledge.

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I should also say, I am a huge believer in the power of food. I think a home cooked meal shows love and affection like nothing else and I find making meals from scratch has the ability to make me feel empowered and satisfied with myself. I hope those are things you also experience while cooking, but if they aren’t let me know how cooking makes you feel in the comments!

Ann Reardon – How To Cook That

Ann Reardon – howtocookthat.net

Ann Reardon runs How To Cook That, a YouTube channel as well as a food blog. If you want to learn how to make intricate cakes, chocolates, candies and extra large versions of your favourite snacks, she is an excellent teacher. I think her strongest skill lies in chocolate work, but she is an accomplished chef and baker all around. If I am correct, she is also a food scientist, so her advice can be trusted. I would always recommend watching her breaking down fake food videos as it is illuminating to the issues in the food content industry but also shows us how dangerous some of these “hacks” can be.

My Most Recommended Video by Ann Reardon :

Chocolate Secrets
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Andrew Rea – Binging with Babish / Basics with Babish

Andrew Rea – basicswithbabish.co

Andrew Rea, better known as Babish, may have started as a home cook who was trying to recreate film foods, but today he has accomplished his goal to help educate others in cooking with his Basics with Babish series and website. New content is still being released but so far he has covered essentials like sauces, breads, pastas, pizzas, pies and many more. Mr. Rea has also been known to contribute to charitable foundations and do what he can to aid those in need. Personally I think that as he put himself in a position to be a teacher, it is admirable that he also tries to be a role model.

My Most Recommended Video by Andrew Rea :

Pizza
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Joshua Weissman – Slim Palate

Joshua Wiessman – Slim Palate

Joshua Weissman has often been called “the bread guy”, a title he may dislike but one he has earned. Everyone I’ve spoken to about him knew him as the man on YouTube who taught them to make bread. While he makes other series, most notably the “But Better” one, he will forever be the man who taught so many the basics of food. He has a wonderful sense of humour and instructs in a playful and lively manner. He runs a blog and company called Slim Palate where you can read up on recipes, order a copy of his cookbook or look into getting tickets to see him on tour.

My Most Recommended Video by Joshua Wiessman :

How To Make Traditional French Baguettes At Home
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Matty Matheson

Matty Matheson Serving 900 in support of Women’s Place

Matty is not a cleaned and polished cook, but rather a very down to earth cook who may be a celebrity, but hasn’t lost his sense of community. He is a little vulgar, but hilarious, as he measures his comedy well. As for his videos, he taught me how to make a Roux as well as how to be more adventurous in the kitchen. Outside of his career he is often found aiding others build their skills both in and out of the kitchen. He has a website at mattymatheson.store.

My Most Recommended Matty Video (sorry he doesn’t allow embeds).

https://mattymatheson.store/pages/episodes

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TASTY IS NOT A GOOD CHANNEL.

I am sure you have seen Tasty, 5 Minute Crafts and others like them boasting cooking hacks and skills. Please please do not use their hacks or share them with people who will. They usually don’t work but more importantly, some of their recommended hacks are dangerous. Please consider watching real cooks and chefs teach you the right way to cook rather than following these content farms viral videos that don’t provide good information. If you aren’t interested in watching you tubers teach you how to cook, there are cooking shows, master classes and even chefs like Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver who have come onto the Youtube platform to help educate and encourage home cooking.

10 Products To Help You Sleep

We all desperately crave sleep, that rejuvenating thing that eludes us as adults. But there are ways to help you sleep better than ever and you will thank yourself for looking into them.

1. Saje Sleep Well Restful Sleep Mist

$20.00 – This mist relies on lavender, valerian and marjoram to relax your body and mind, aiding in falling asleep.

Available on saje.com

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2. MoonBerry Silk Pillow Cases

$41.24 – These 100% silk cases breathe well and stop your hair from frizzing up, not to mention they won’t drag on your face and they are very comfortable.

Available on etsy.com

3. Sharper Image Calming Comfort Weighted Blanket

$49.99 – These weighted blankets have been shown to aid people in sleeping and the reviews are simply filled with compliments on how much quality of sleep improved with usage.

Available at showcase.com

4. Amazon Tower Fan

$35.97 – We know that people sleep better in slightly cooler rooms but the noises from loud fans make it difficult to fall asleep. Try using a nearly noiseless tower fan to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep without overheating.

Available at amazon.com

5. Amara Velvet Sleep Mask

$27.00 – If you need it dark to sleep but your partner watches TV in the bedroom, these will conform comfortably to your skin without dragging or making your skin uncomfortable.

Available at Amara.com

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6. Fieldcrest Luxury Microgel Pillow

$49.00 – This 100% cotton sateen pillow cover adds softness and durability to this non-allergenic, orderless and dust free pillow. It is also designed for side sleepers!

Available at sleepcountry.ca

7. Celestial Seasonings – Sleepytime Tea

$6.59 (Box of 40 bags) – Sleepytime tea works wonders with its mix of chamomile, spearmint, lemongrass, blackberry leaves and more. These caffeine free teas have certainly helped me fall asleep over the years.

Available at herb.com

8. Jamieson Melatonin

$14.99 (60 Tablets) – Melatonin is naturally produced in our bodies to aid us get to sleep. Thankfully when you aren’t making enough on your own, there are time-release tablets to help you out.

Available at well.ca

9. ObusForme Full Length Body Pillow

$49.90 – A four foot long pillow to wrap yourself around or to wrap around your body to get into the most comfortable sleeping positions.

Available at halo healthcare.com

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10. Dr. Jessamy Hibberd & Jo Usmar “This Book Will Make You Sleep”

$22.65 – Dr Hibberd and Mr. Usmar guide you verbally through proven techniques to get your sleep patterns back on track. This is done through cognitive behavioural therapy.

Available at audible.ca

Fall Guys – Game Review

Fall Guys Ultimate Knockout

This game was released on August 4th, 2020 and within 24 hours of being released 1.5 million people were playing. At this point we know at least 2,000,000 copies of the game have been downloaded on Steam. So far it is averaging a critic review score of 8/10 which isn’t hard to believe as the game has a nearly addictive quality to it.

To be fair in this review I will point out that I have been playing on PS4 not on PC or other consoles.

If you have been with me for a while, you know I tend to stick to TCG and Turn Based RPG’S. I do pop over to massive games like Spyro and Jack for the nostalgic feelings and experience. So when it comes to immediate reaction games, I am by no means a pro. I don’t think this is a disadvantage with this game though, as it will show how well a relative novice does with the game and how enjoyable it can be to just about any age group and experience level.

Minigames

This game is a compilation of minigames that you compete in against other players online to reach the final rounds and if you are both lucky and skillful, win the episodes to get your chance to take the crown!

Races

The races are generally a track with moving elements designed to knock players off the course through use of spinning bars, swinging balls, falling balls, spinning paths and tilting floors. The goal is to reach the finish line before most other people as only two thirds of the competitors can qualify for the next round. I found them to be very fun but often one small mistake can lose you the episode.

Team Matches

Team matches can have two to four teams and generally centre around stealing items or passing misfortune to other teams. Some require coordination with others on your team like “Hoarders” and “Rock N’ Roll”, while others don’t require cooperation such as “Team Tail Tag”. These suffer a little as your contribution and effort helps your odds, but should your team lose, you suffer for it. In my case, I won or lost due to my team with no real difference coming from my efforts.

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Survival

Don’t be eliminated! These are possibly the most fun and stressful of all the mini games because people will do anything they can to win! Pushing you in front of moving platforms or off the ledge into the instant death goo is fair play in these episodes but it just adds to the excitement.

Is The Game Fun?

Yes the game is incredibly fun and easy to get into. Within a few minutes you figure out the timing for jumps, buttons for jumping and grabbing and you are on your way to having a blast. In a way this game reminds me of Rocket League due to its online competitive nature. Both games have skin unlocks, lobby systems, invite systems and work on ranking systems. While the gameplay is entirely different, the short matches and replay-ablility strikes a familiar cord.

Will The Game Last?

I don’t think it will. The game is very fun, bright and engaging, but it has a feeling of repetition that I believe will kill the game fairly quickly. Unlike games like Rocket League, Hearthstone and COD, there isn’t a lot of variety in the games which I believe will be it’s downfall. This game requires an ever present online presence in order to function, and I don’t think it will retain the millions it got nearly overnight. I played for two days before slowing down and my fiancé, who is an avid gamer, also played about two days before putting down the controller. I think it has potential as a local game, as it would be a fun party game if they added another 10 mini games, so perhaps they will lean that way to keep it alive once the online presence dies down.

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Should You Buy It?

If 10 hours or so of gameplay is worth it’s cost to you, then yes! Maybe you’ll be lucky and love the game much more than us and get more out of it, maybe not. If it is still available for free download on the Playstation Store, then absolutely you should get it while it is free!