Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Quest Christmas

With Christmas just behind us, I want to express my appreciation to Quest.

I spent only $40 at regular stores and the rest came from Quest. I have a family of 8people to buy for so I need to stretch my dollars as much as possible.

Christmas is always held at my sisters house, which until recently was my home too. Once the children are all tucked in, we spend the Christmas Eve wrapping presents and stuffing stockings. Sacks and baskets of presents come out of hiding and are placed under our tree with care, each one labeled for a different family member.

I have a brother in law who loves loose tea, which we have a lot of in stock. He was very pleased with the lovely selection of teas I got at Quest! For my niece, I was able to find a very chic blazer in the Hastings location that only cost me one dollar! She loved it. My sister has recently discovered that she is gluten intolerant, and luckily Quest gets a lot of snack foods and cooking ingredients that are gluten free. She loves to bake and now can make treats just for her. For my mum and dad, I created a basket of treats and hot drink mixes, including mocha coffee and flavoured drink syrups.

I was also able to contribute to the Christmas meal: a turkey, stuffing ingredients, cranberry sauce, pickles, and chocolates, all from Quest, were thrown in with the rest of the meal. I felt a great sense of pride being able to contribute to the holiday feast, even on my limited fixed income.

Happy holidays to all.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Oat Bran Porridge

(Serves 2 generously) Describing this delicious porridge recipe as, "tasting like a melted muffin," tells you something special. Could something as ho–hum as oat bran be transformed into morning decadence? Oh yes - indeed!

1 cup oat bran (oat bran is preferred, but you can also use a 7 or 10-grain cereal)
2 cups water
1 generous cup berries (fresh or frozen) or sliced, very ripe, bananas
pinch of salt
1 to 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

• nuts (sliced almonds with the berries and toasted pecans or walnuts with the bananas)
• heavy cream (I know this ruins the healthiness of this but who cares—it is important!)
• Flax seeds (I think these are vital, and add a nice deep earthiness, but you can omit)
• brown sugar (I like a sprinkle of this, but you could also add some additional honey or maple syrup)
• fresh fruit (again, optional but I like it)
• sea salt (a sprinkle on top really pushes this over the edge!)

In a medium pot over medium-high heat bring water, pinch of salt, and half of fruit to a boil. Add the oat bran and honey and stir regularly until cereal is cooked, about 2-3 minutes for oat bran- longer for 10-grain. Serve hot, topped with suggested toppings.

Created for Quest by Chris at: