Good Enough??

I work in the food and beverage industry, were the sad fact is the better looking you are, the more money you make.  Dean once told me “I only hire pretty girls that make me money” and in a burst of confidence I asked him if he would hire me, and he paused and said “yes, because you could make me money” and to this day i’m not sure how to take that.

As I’ve said before, I’m a plus sized woman, and being one in this industry makes it a little harder for me. So what I lack in “Babe-ness” i try to make up for in my personality, i can talk sports with the best of them, i’m a pop-culture genius and i make people laugh with my self deprecating humour. And you know what, i do pretty well.

Customers always laugh and like me but what they don’t know is that I self deprecate so people don’t laugh at me first, my unsung motto is “if i make fun of myself first it wont sting as much when other people do it” and it helps, it still stings when people are mean but less then it did before.

I constantly think that I’m not good enough. I know that I have the love of my family and friends and at the end of it all thats what matters. And people do tell me that I am good enough. But confidence is something thats an internal thing, i have to believe in myself and then I’ll start to believe people, but I still walk around everyday thinking that i’m not good enough.

Not good enough at my job, not good enough to have a man love me the way i think i deserve, not good enough for the people I love to come visit me from other parts of the world.

And quite frankly, that sucks.

I am working on being more confident, and being happy. And I’m doing better.

I dont know if I’ll ever have a super high confidence level but at least writing this is a step to being more honest with myself and start getting to a place where I do feel good enough.

until next time

– be a river with me



Sweet Potato Pie…BARWM Style

sweet pie

One of my favourite foods of all times is my Mom’s Sweet Potato Pie.

Growing up she would make this for Christmas and Thanksgiving and all the big holidays and it was a staple for taking to guests houses for dinner parties. Then as I grew up she would make it for me when I was having a rough week. And I loved it because my brothers and dad hated it so my mom and i would have it all to ourselves.

Her recipe is full of butter and brown sugar and maple syrup (the good stuff from the family farm, not the store-bought Aunt Jemima stuff) and it was AMAZING!  So I decided to make my own version, its not as good as my Mom’s, but nothing of hers I make is ever as good. So I made a different version, a BARWM/Weight Watchers one.

This recipe is: Gluten Free (if you use a gluten free bread) Lactose Free (because of the vegan margarine), Vegetarian, Low Calorie, Weight Watchers safe and most of all DELIGHTFUL!!  The whole pie is only 7 Weight Watchers Points!!


1 large sweet potato (or 1 can of drained and rinsed)

1 medium sized bag of baby carrots

1/2 cup Spinach

1/2 cup Kale

2 tsp maragarine (I prefer the Vegan Becel) SEPARATED

2 slices Gluten Free bread (i didnt have any so I used Weight Watchers Brown)

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees

Cook the carrots and sweet potatoes (In separate pots, the carrots will take longer to cook) until soft *if using canned potatoes, check the label, most of them don’t need to be cooked 

Add them together in the bigger of the 2 pots and mash. Take 2 tbsp out of the mix and set aside

Once all mashed, add the spinach, kale and cinnamon and mix well 

Pour into a LIGHTLY greased pan ( use a glass pie plate for best results) with 1 of the tsp of margarine and smooth out 

Toast the bread slices and crumble 

Mash the bread crumbs with the carrot and potato mash you set aside and the margarine, 

Sprinkle the bread crumb mash on top of the pie

When your ready to serve it, jus toss in the oven until the top is golden brown and serve it up!

This keeps for 2 days in the fridge, or a week in a freezer. It re-heats really well and is a great make a head meal. Just heat it up in the oven when your ready to serve it

This is a great recipe for people with dietary restrictions and its easy as all get out to make.

until next time

– be a river with me

Summer of Wine.

The Summer of Wine has begun

The Summer of Wine has begun

Summer 2013 is going to be my summer of wine.

I made a resolution in January that I was going to try a new red wine every month, and so far I’m actually keeping it up. Actually I’m on track with all but one of my resolutions, which is for me a feat.

So the wine….

Today was a great day for wine, so I threw on some flip flops and headed to the store, where my instincts were screaming “VODKA!!! GET VODKA!!” but I needed a May wine. So instead of being classy and getting a wine based on the vintage and the winery, I chose the one with the coolest label.

So, now until October (cause here in Alberta thats when summer ends) I will blog about my wine adventures.

Up first:

The Inaugural bottle in Summer of Wine 2013

The Inaugural bottle in Summer of Wine 2013

Wine Men of Gotham 2011 Shiraz

As I said, I totally picked this because of the label. But I was not disappointed.

It was full bodied, it was sweet but not overly sweet. The fruit tones in it (blackberry mainly) was subtle but welcome. The first glass went down easy, and the second was a lovely sipper glass. Would pair excellently with a steak.

This is a wine I would happily keep around the house, its a good bottle and on the cheaper side of Australian wines (between 10 and 15 a bottle depending on where you are).

Gotham wines has a pretty cool story to, if you have a chance heres the link:

Check it out.

so thats my short but sweet review of Wine Men of Gotham 2011 Shiraz.


until next time

– be a river with me

Recipe- Beggars Purse ‘BARWM’ style

yes, BARWM is Be A River With Me, shortened.

when i first moved out West  I worked at a resort and they had this vegetarian entree called a baggers purse. It was this heavenly pocket of deliciousness…..

I have tried so hard to remember what was in it, but cant seem to remember all of the ingredients. I know it had sauteed onions and goat cheese in a golden brown Phylo Pastry. Other than that I just cant remember.

So…I made my own tonight, heres what you need for 2 grown up sized “purses”

Beggars Purses BARWM Style 

1 roll of pre-made crescent dough

1/2 cup mushrooms

1/4 cup spinach

1/2 cup cheese (your call on this one, I like Brie or Cheddar, make sure its something that melts nicely)

2 tbsp of cream cheese (I didn’t have any plain, so I used Philly Onion Chip Dip)

and a tea spoon of margarine or butter.

pre heat your oven to 35o and grease your pan

Take 2 triangles of the dough and make a square (pinch them together) then load on the stuff. I like going mushrooms, spinach, cheese and cream cheese. Than take 2 more pieces of the dough and top the base, pinch the sides, and make a “pocket”, rub a little margarine on top, peirce the top so some steam can get out, then repeat on the next one.

toss them in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

then your all set!

Ways To Jack’em Up:  Add ANY veggie you like! Satuee them if your feeling crazy, add a differnt kind of cheese or several different types of cheese, sub ranch dressing for cream cheese, add some meat (pre-cooked)

Like all the recipes i post here, have FUN with it. Add what you like! Cooking should be an adventure, not a chore. Try new things, new flavours, new methods, you never know when you’ll find that dish of that becomes your signature dish.

until next time

– be a river with me

Recipe- Gluten Free Garden Biscuits

this is a new one:


3 cups Gluten Free Baking Mix

1 bag of pre-made Salad (I like American)

2 cups cold water

1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes

1 tsp Pumpkin Seed Butter

1 tsp Becel Vegan Margarine

2 tbsp salt

1 tbsp Lawry Seasoning Salt

1 tsp Baking Soda


Take the pre-made salad, and blend with the water, add to the baking mix, mix until smooth and  the consistency of a tea biscuit dough. Then add pumpkin seed butter and margarine and mix well. Stir in the cherry tomatoes and baking soda. Drop by spoonful on a prepared baking sheet (i use gluten free pan spray) and then sprinkle salt and Lawrys on top. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean.

Serving Idea– Warm a bowl of  soup (I used Cream of Celery) add some fresh tomatoes to the hot soup (semi poaching them) then top with a Garden Biscut and a dollop of margarine or organic sour cream. And BAMO! You have a fancy looking meal.

Ways to Jack It Up:  Toss some cheese in the mix, I like a shredded marble. Toss in some jalapenos and chipotle peppers for a e-spicy biscuit. Bake it in a brownie pan for a base for a delightful quiche.

until next time

– be a river with me

Recipe- Gluten Free Magic Sauce……

so that change i was talking about.

its not world rocking but it is to me. so here it is.

about a week ago i started cutting back eating meat and gluten, and i feel fantastic.

Its tough being surrounded by delicious pub food that has meat and gluten all over it. But the little victories in everyday make it worth it.  I had yesterday off and had time to make some g-free food from scratch, and couldn’t have been happier with the results.  Heres one of the recipes I invented yesterday:

Magic Sauce. 

1 can Sweetened Condensed Milk 

1 large Granny Smith Apple, cut into small chunks (about the size of a dime) skins on 

1 can E.D Smith Strawberry Pie filling 

1 tbsp Becel Vegan Margarine 

In a frying pan on medium heat, put 1/2 the can of milk, the apple, and the margarine. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Then add half the pie filling and the remaining milk. Let simmer for 5 minutes again, then add remaining pie filling. Turn to low and let it all hang out for 10 minutes. Then your  sauce is ready.

The sauce will be thick, almost like a pudding, but heating it will thin it out. And if you have a thing about chunks in your sauce, you can easily strain it in a colander or if your so inclined, a cheesecloth.

I put this on top of a low fat cottage cheese as a treat last night and it was awesome! Not gonna lie I also ate a bowl of just sauce.  Its a perfect topper for your favourite dessert, try it on cheesecake, ice cream,  or use it as a pie filling.

If apple/strawberry isn’t your favourite flavour combo, heres some suggestions:  Apple/Rhubarb, Pear/Cherry, Mango/Strawberry ….. no combo is wrong. But do be careful when you use a softer fruit (Mangos, Fresh Strawberries, Blueberries) in place of the apple, they will cook quicker.

Make it your own. Have some fun!! And DONT USE CIRTIS as the fresh fruit…bad things will happen to good people.

-until next time

be a river with me

An Attempt To Tip The Scales

Diet is a dirty word,

but much like other dirty words, the older we get the more we tend to use it.

My body type is often described as the following: Plus Size, Curvy, Voluptuous, Soft, Real, Horizontally challenged and my personal favourite : “Just more for a Man to love”. So if you haven’t guesses yet, Im a size 16-18. (5’6″ and a nice sized “upper deck”). And most of the time I am ok with that.

I’ve cared about my weight since I can remember, I remember sitting with my cousins on their dock when I would have been 13 or 14 eating Sun Chips and looking at the label thinking “Maybe if I only eat a few, I can look like them”. That didn’t work. I was still the one with a one piece suit while they wore cute little bikinis that when I look back were borderline in appropriate. Anywhoozle.

I started my first real diet when I was a Junior in high school, it was a modified Atkins diet (Low carb essentially) and I felt great. My guy friends started telling me I look good. Then I got a job as a sports camp councillor and I was being paid to be active for 8 hours a day for 5 days a week. I started my senior year looking as good as I ever would in high school. I was tanned, blonde and in the neighbourhood of “in shape”

I kept it pretty much under control all through senior year, then came university. The freshman 15 turned into the freshman 30 pretty quickly for me, I didn’t diet again until mid-way through my Junior year of university. (seems like I have a thing for losing weight in the 3rd year of things)

That diet started by accident, I got super sick for a week (I’m sure it was Strep Throat) and couldn’t eat for a week. I survived mainly on Honey Lemon Tea, coffee and Chicken Broth. At the end of the week, one of my good friends at the time looked at me and we had this conversation:

Merhan: Keir you look great, what have you been doing?

Me: I’ve been sick and not eating

Merhan: Its working for you

Me: I havent ate something solid in a week

Merhan: Thats awesome! 

So I kept it up, and steadily lost weight for the rest of the school year (I was also hella poor and couldn’t afford to eat out or drink) Then I went home for the summer and my parents and I went on Weight Watchers together. I lost almost 45 pounds, my mom (small to begin with) lost 20 and my father lost almost 65. Again I started my senior year feeling great.

Since then I dieted off and on, nothing more serious then a month. Sometimes giving myself “challenges” to try to push myself to be healthier but they never seem to work after the challenge ends. I’ve gained and lost weight, never really keeping a constant weight. But sometimes thats how she goes.

When I came back East to see Springsteen this summer I decided to change some things, so when I went back I tried to be healthier, and was loosing a bit, my friend Salma commented a few times that I looked thinner. Since I’ve been back with my parents I’ve been trying to eat better, and I am happy to report that my pants are a bit looser and so are a few of my tops since I got here.

I think what I want is to just feel good again, to feel good in the clothes I have and not get depressed when I buy new ones. I want to feel pretty, I want guys to buy me a drink at the bar and make me feel pretty, I want to be able to borrow clothes from CJ and Salma, and I want to be more confident, and its on my shoulders to do that. No one else will stop me from eating the entire bag of chips, or adding gravy to my fries at work but myself.

When I go back, I’m going to make some changes to my eating habits and my life in general. But I’m not 100% sure what they are yet.

‘An Attempt to Tip the Scales’ is a season 3 episode of One Tree Hill and its a song by Bright Eyes. And its what I want to do, tip the scales in a good way, not a bad way.

so stay tuned

until next time

– be a river with me