Hi Folks, you guys are probably wondering where I disappeared to. I sincerely apologize for my
laziness absence. Oh gosh! This is probably the longest gap I’ve had! Oh don’t you worry, this one will probably be quite a long and wordy one. lol! Okay, so here’s why I’ve been so terribly busy keeping up with my weekly posts..
10 Reasons for Not Blogging for 1 Month
- I recently moved and am still unpacking slowly but surely
- I’m getting used to my new oven
- My smoke detector goes off all the time for no reason. It’s !@#%$#^%$^%$ annoying 🙂
- I just came back from vacation and have a lot of catching up to do with friends
- Draft on my European trip is taking too damn long to finish
- I’ve been working a lot
- I was missing my laptop charger for a week and couldn’t use my mac
- I got suckered into signing up for a gym pass
- I’ve been going to hot yoga EVERY SINGLE DAY
- I’m on a diet
Okay, I know most of you guys hate that word… The “D-word”. It’s quite excruciatingly painful to hear and I can already see a lot of you rolling your eyes. 😦 “Good lord, not another anorexic person..”
It’s pretty normal to neglect our diet when we’re on vacation, but this time I came back with a flabby tummy and chubby face. Noooooo! As we all know it’s almost summer!! I had to be bikini-body ready. Isn’t it ironic that I’m saying this right after coming back from Hawaii? haha.. Somehow, my motivation to lose weight and tone up peaks during this time of the year. I don’t know if this is some kind of effect the seasons have on my body or if it’s simply my urge to wear prettier clothes, or both!
Honestly, I also found that while I stopped doing hot yoga for 2 months, I wasn’t really doing anything productive during those 2-3 hours I would usually allocate for exercising anyway. So I bought a Groupon for Bikram Hot Yoga and decided to start it again. Well, who knew I’d get so addicted I’m back to doing it every daaaaaay.
It’s probably the only constant thing in my crazy life right now. haa…
While I enjoy my daily yoga, I do realize that my diet can make or break the progress of my weight loss. As much as I would love to, I can’t keep eating out and I can’t keep putting junk into my body. (You have no idea how many croissants I had while in Europe.) As much as I love baking, it’s pretty hard to avoid “testing” my goods when they smell so damn good. True story! When I bake cakes, I shave off cake tops and have them. When I bake macarons, I “clean up” the broken ones. When I make cupcakes, I’ll “try” 3 or 4 of them just to make sure the interior is baked. Do you feel guilty wasting food? I haaaate wasting food. I hate throwing away cake crumbs and broken macarons. But in some cases it’s better to just dump it in the bin than dump it in your belly… I learned that the hard way.
I know that as food bloggers we have an insatiable love for food and the “D-word” isn’t even in our dictionary. Why diet? You only live once! The way I see it is that we only live once and so we do need to watch what we eat too! You MAY start to see healthier recipes, maybe even more savoury ones, maybe there won’t be a change, maybe I’ll start to bake smaller portions, or maybe this phase will disappear.. Who knows? One thing for sure is that I’ll still bake, and trust me, there are tons of opportunities. So not to worry, Sweet Samsations will still continue! I just like to apologize for neglecting you guys for a month!
A friend of mine, Toffer, said, “You know what? I love to eat just as much as everyone else does, I really do! But I’ve discovered a greater pleasure in withholding satisfaction to the sense of taste. Most days than not, I’m eating like a poor man. And for those days I’m not, I’m enjoying every bite of it, eating like a king. Things never tasted better on my cheat days. We no longer eat to survive. That mentality is long gone… When over-consumption becomes an instinct it becomes gluttony. An exchange must occur, gluttony for punishment… Cheat big on your diet then punish your body and work out even harder!”
My favourite line was “Things never tasted better on my cheat days”. In a way, when we restrict ourselves, we learn to appreciate our food even more. I know that many times the “D-word” has many negative connotations attached to it. But in a way, I feel that it has taught me a lot since I’ve started on it. I learned about nutrition, health, self-control, discipline, focus and so much more…
So I asked Toffer if I could place his picture here and he graciously agreed to let me. Yes, I’m sure you will be as amazed as I was when I first saw this. This is all from 10 months of hard work, dedication and discipline! Very inspiring right? And you can see that he has the same tattoo as well, so it’s 100% real!!
Isn’t that amazing?!?! So my point is… ABS ABS ABS!!!! Okay, no, my point is, I’d like to be healthier and toner. I want to see my potential and push myself to my limit. 😀
I’ll admit that I’m no food connoisseur, but I still consider myself a huge foodie. I don’t think that part of me will ever change. Don’t worry, I won’t totally cut myself off any food, but I will definitely watch my diet!
Alright, so I guess this is what most of you have been waiting for… There are special days where I allow myself to indulge in some delicious food. Let’s take a look at a meal I made on a very special day….
Bacon Wrapped Halibut
with Roasted Vegetables and Beurre Blanc
Original Recipe by Hosea Rosenberg How to Cook Like a Top Chef
- 4 pieces Alaskan halibut (about 6 ounces each)
- 4 slices thin-cut bacon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tbsp Canola oil for frying
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
- Wrap the bacon tightly around the halibut. Season with salt and pepper.
- In a large ovenproof saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Sear the halibut until brown.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the fish is just cooked through, about 2 minutes.
- 6 small Yukon gold potatoes / yellow potatoes, sliced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 small red beets, sliced julienne style
- 1 yellow / orange pepper
- About 4 cups green beans
- 2 shallots, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- Leaves from 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Raise the oven temperature to 425F degrees.
- Slice the potatoes into rounds. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, then roast until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- Slice the beets into matchstick-sized pieces. Slice the green beans into halves.
- In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and sauté shallots and garlic in butter until soft, but not brown, about 1 minute.
- Add beets, yellow / orange pepper and beans to pan with a little salt and pepper, raise the heat to high and sauté, for about 2 minutes.
- Add greens to pan and take off heat. Continue stirring mixture until greens have just wilted, about 2 more minutes. Finish with chopped parsley.
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 10 peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 2 tbsp whole-grain mustard
- In medium pot, reduce wine, lemon juice, shallot, peppercorns and bay leaves till syrupy.
- Add cream and reduce till thick.
- Slowly whisk in butter till completely emulsified. Remove from heat. Add mustard and stir.
To serve: Arrange slices of potatoes in ring. Fill ring with vegetables. Top with fish. Spoon sauce around.
There you have it!! Enjoy!! And yes, I’ll be more regular with my posts, even if it means I have to compromise a little bit of sleep!
I miss you….
52 Comments Add yours
I get where you are coming from! We travel a lot, and eating is part of that. So, we walk and walk and walk where ever possible to make sure we are not too worse the wear for it when we get home. Have fun, that is what counts 🙂
You have been much missed my friend and obviously very busy!
I like your new style to food – I too follow the cheat day philosophy – eg today I finished my exams and literally eating everything in my path no regrets! But tomorrow back to schedule and exercise!
Can’t wait to see your journey 🙂
Hey Sammi, thanks for sharing your journey with us, both in the kitchen & out! Good luck on your journey and glad to hear you’re still enjoying life too 🙂
I know what you mean! Food definitely does taste better the less you eat of it and savour it! 😀
Tasty looking food! And kudos on your daily hot yoga routine.
Glad you are back! And even if you are on a diet, sharing a little more healthful food is a good thing… I can say this because I think I’m heading that way, too. Hot yoga actually sounds kind of fun. 🙂 And I love halibut, so thanks for the recipe!
Welcome back Sammie 🙂 The halibut wrapped with bacon looks delicious paired with the veggies and potatoes…and yummie Sauce 🙂
My philosophy in regards to diet…moderation is the key 🙂
Hope you are enjoying your week and hope to see some pictures from your long vacation!
Glad to see you back, Sammie! + Your halibut looks just wonderful. While I do post the occasional decadent dish on my blog, I try to eat healthy + stay healthy, so if you decide to start posting lighter recipes, I’ll definitely still be reading. And even though this dish has some decadent notes, the veggies + the omega-3s in the fish still make it healthy in my mind. =)
I had been doing the diet thing too and also had seriously slowed down because I will eat everthing I cook.However, I am losing my motivation! This dish looks terrific! Glad you are back!
haha.. yeah! Last year when I did a trip to Asia I actually lost weight by the end of it because of all the crazy walking! The weather was so warm and humid that I didn’t have a huge appetite either. haha.. But in Europe and Hawaii I probably chose to eat the most unhealthy and delicious food everrr.. lol.. Thanks Tandy!
Thanks for your encouragement Uru! Yeah, you definitely deserve it! Hope your exams went very well my dear! 🙂
Thanks Alice! I was actually debating on whether to reveal that I’ll be on a diet. I know most people hate hearing it, especially us foodies! lol. But oh wells, health comes before gluttony for me I guess! 😀
Exactly! That way we also don’t stuff ourselves all the time! hehe.. Thanks Lorraine for your encouragement!
Thank you!!! hahaa.. I hope I won’t I won’t be breaking the streak anytime soon! 😀
Glad you’re back! You’ve been busy! But you came back in delicious style, that halibut looks amazing!
Thanks Court for your kind words! Yeah, I’ve definitely been neglecting my health and diet so it feels really great to get back into taking care of my body! Oh yes and you haaave to try hot yoga!! It’s so amazing! I can’t go a day without it! hehe..
Thanks Juliana!!! Oh the sauce was sooooo good! But I was getting a little worried about the butter I had to put in it though! haha. Yes you’re right! Moderation is the key! 🙂 I’m going over to your blog right now! hehe
I’ve noticed Amy!! You do have quite a bit of “low fat” and “skinny” recipes!! I’ll start paying attention to those more now!! hehe.. Yeah, I felt quite guilty having the bacon with my fish! lol. But it really brought out the flavour though! 😀
Thank you Donna Dearie! Nice to be visiting everyone’s blogs too! I missed all you guys! haha.. And yeah, we always love to test our own food especially when it smells so good right? I’m usually full by the time I finish cooking / baking! lol!
Thanks Carol!! I hardly put up savoury recipes, but this was fun! hehe..
Anything wrapped in bacon would be my meal.
Absolutely gorgeous!! I love wrapping things in bacon. Proscuitto is a great option if you wanna go there on a non-cheat day 🙂 This is beeeauuuuteeeful. You’ve been missed for sure! I’m a taste-tester, too. You are not alone there. I taste while I’m making dinner and am never hungry when we get to the actual meal!
It is not what you eat, it is how you eat. Portion control is the key. If one cannot enjoy life then what is the purpose?
Oh, boy, I think I now have the recipe to get my hubby to eat halibut…wrapped in bacon! Genius! And hot yoga is a godsend…I only go 3 times a week, but I feel so much better when I do. Welcome home!!!
Those are all fine reasons not to blog for awhile. Hey, we all need a break once in awhile. Glad you’re back. 😉
wow that’s a HUGE change and by the way the halibut looks delicious!
Look really delicious!
Sam, when I have ‘cheat days’, I go for broke, and then I can’t breathe because I develop a food baby that presses against my diaphragm, and I think I’m dying. lol BUT, like you said – everything DOES taste better on cheat days, and I want to make your gorgeous halibut and wrap it in even more bacon! It looks SO freakin’ good!
Oh, extra beurre blanc too 😉
Hot yoga every single day?! Wow. Impressive. And a move on top of it? I’m tired just reading about it 🙂 This halibut looks absolutely out of this world!
Let’s say… eat this BACON wrapped halibut first before starting dieting? =D I actually got inspired by a friend today and I’m going to lose weight! Serious one! I hope….already feeling a bit nervous that I might fail again… it’s so hard to be a food blogger (and keep testing recipes) while I am supposed to lose weight. Sigh! Have a great weekend!
hehe!! Not gonna lie, I’m a super huge fan of bacon too! Although I know it’s probably not the best for me! 😛
Oh awesome! Thanks for the tip Heather! I guess I’ll be getting more proscuitto now! mmm.. I bet they’ll go great on a carbonara! Aww thanks Heather! I miss blog hopping too!
Yep! Portion control and self- restraint! 🙂
I feel like I’m constantly trying to lose weight and while blogging definitely doesn’t make it easier, it definitely helps me think of new ways to prepare food in a healthy way!
Yay! LOOOOVE Hot Yoga! I’m doing Bikram’s! Not sure if you guys have that there too! hehe. I’m glad to hear that you enjoy hot yoga too! And yes! Anything wrapped in bacon will instantly taste better! 😀 Thanks Liz!
Thanks Carolyn!! Yeah! Blogging is always more work than it looks like! haha.. And it can definitely take up a lot of time! Glad to be hopping over to your blog more now!
haha yeah! It’s about time I start to pay attention to my body! hehe.. And the halibut was really delicious but the entire dish was just a little time consuming.. hehe.. 🙂
Thanks Sonia!! 🙂
haha!! I totally get what you mean!! I had my cheat day yesterday and it feels so good but so bad! Oh and you have to try the beurre blanc if you have the ingredients. It was really delicious but as I added more butter in I could totally feel my thighs expanding!! 😀 Thanks Lis!!
Funnily enough it was just last week that I checked your blog and wondered why you were 🙂 You know me, I love healthy recipes, I think your halibut looks simply awesome.
Wow, this halibut dish looks fantastic and am going to definitely try it. It’s great to eat healthy and tasty food. Been trying to lose some weight but find it so difficult since I love food so much.
Impressed to know that you are regular with yoga.
Welcome Back Sammie, missed you! thanks goodness I do live here in Asia and boy do I walk and walk and thank goodness as I love to eat. so I guess that is a win win situation. Bacon makes everything taste better and very low carb dish as well. Looks very yummy.
Diet or no diet, this whole meal looks delicious! Good food, sweets to die for and a consistent workout schedule, what a balancing act. I’m constantly working on it too 🙂 That is some serious dedication your friend has. Good gawd those are amazing abs of steel!!
Thanks Sandra! I know! It’s ironic that my 2 biggest passions are baking and hot yoga. Can’t live without the other! I guess in a way it’s good that they help balance each other out. But yeah, I’m continually impressed by his dedication. Those abs are just a testimonial to hard work and perserverance!
lol. Thanks Katherine! Yeah moving was hard!! But I’m glad I got it done in more or less a couple days. I’ve been putting off organizing my stuff though! Can get quite overwhelming! haha..
haha.. EXACTLY!!! I was soooo dedicated for 2 – 3 weeks until I started blogging again. LOL and now I have to make yummy and slightly less healthy food. But oh well.. Can’t really give up my love for food too!! 🙂
I agree with the fact that with control comes appreciation of the cheat day treats.
Someone told me once that eating healthy increases the sensitivity of the taste buds and hence you enjoy things more
We did this dish about a month ago for the first time. WOW! Totally worth the calories. We used Prosciutto instead of bacon.
Yeah! I totally agree with that! 🙂
Ahhh! That’s a smart idea!! Yeah prosciutto would have been a healthier substitute! 🙂 Thanks Eva!