Sunday, July 13, 2014

Weekly Menu

green bean arrangement compliments of my children

I'm so done with chicken right now.
Just going to keep it simple and make dinners with ground beef this week.
Side salads with garden fresh tomatoes and homemade salad dressing.
We made elana's lemon poppyseed muffins this morning.

eggs, greens
not-oatmeal with blueberries & cream for the kids
(this also works with applesauce instead of banana)
coffee, heavy cream

peaches, mangoes, cherries

hamburgers, parmesan zucchini rounds
BLT lettuce wraps, sweet potato oven fries
chili (in the crockpot because it is easy)
dinner with friends
crispy crust pizza from Primal Cravings (affiliate link) topped with beef and peppers
slow cooker beef stew with riced or mashed cauliflower

chocolate mousse on the weekend??

Have a good Sunday :)

Friday, July 11, 2014


It has been a full week. A good, productive week. Not one where I felt like I did everything well. No, something always seems to suffer. Why? I hate disappointing.

I'll keep moving, shifting, building.
Life is a work of art, still in progress. Right?

I got to go thrifting. I like the idea of thrifting, but I don't actually do it very often. Maybe once or twice a year, at the most. It's too time consuming. This past week, it was annual rummage sale time at my work… we all go around and buy each other's junk :) Just kidding. Sort of. It is a massive sale that is open to the public. But employees get to scout out the donations first. I scored a jean jacket and soccer cleats for my daughter (50¢ each) and a hand sewn quilt in excellent condition ($15) among other things. I like to think it is vintage, but who knows. It will be good for cozy fall nights.

I also spent some gift cards and received some packages in the mail. Woo-hoo! I'm not a big spender and try to only buy things I love. I'm a fan of simple. So when I get new things, I get really excited about them :) Does anyone else stalk their orders daily via tracking numbers? Oh, and I got a haircut. I would go for the experience of getting a haircut every week if I could. But that would kind of ruin it.

We have a table covered in fresh veggies from our friends/old neighbors. Yum for summer.

I have this one friend who by the surface, you'd think she'd be anything but vulnerable. She looks immaculate and on top of that, she is one of those people who seems to do everything well: I could list just about anything here. But she is hilariously, brutally honest about her struggles, wiping away jealousy. Don't you love people like that?

Fall will bring new grades and new routines, which is nothing new for most families, ours included. But this year it will also bring new schools for us, and I'm a little anxious about all that. I'm not used to us scattering in 4 different directions each day. Can it stay summer forever? Gotta psych myself up.

I might want to live in a house with wood floors forever. Just FYI.

Want an easy salmon non-recipe? I make my family eat wild-caught salmon filets a couple times a month even though they don't love it. Top 'em with chopped mango (fresh or frozen) + salsa (here's one :)) Bake at 425º F for 15 minutes or until flakes with a fork.

Excess is not the same as success.

Have a good weekend!

Homemade Blender Salsa

My sister-in-law brought some tasty salsa to the lake last month. I'd never attempted making homemade salsa before, I'm not sure why not. I got the recipe from her so I could try it out myself. I've been making it weekly ever since!

Original recipe:
2 cans (large, 29 oz. each) whole tomatoes, mostly drained
3-5 jalapeños, fresh - put in water and microwave 4 minutes until soft
1 and 1/2 Tablespoons garlic salt
1 Tablespoon cumin
fresh cilantro to taste
fresh onion to taste

Blend until desired consistency. Store sealed in the refrigerator. Makes about 1 quart.

I can't follow any recipe exactly. And since I wasn't sure how mine would turn out, I went for making just half the amount the first time. I was very happy with the results! My husband would like it hotter, but it is perfect for me, and the kids will eat it, too.

My recipe:
1 standard can diced tomatoes and green chilis (this way I don't have to mess with the jalapeños)
1 standard can diced tomatoes
minced garlic
fresh cilantro
fresh onion
lime juice

I pretty much eyeball the seasonings, adding the amount of my desired taste. Dump everything in the blender, pouring the cans in last, juice and all. Pulse until desired consistency. Store sealed in the refrigerator. Yum.

I'll add a better photo when I get one. Missing the natural light and brightness of my old kitchen!


(sharing at the real food roundup here)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy 4th

Hello, July!

How was your holiday? We had a lovely weekend: swimming, festivities, family, zoo for the first time with the kiddos, out to breakfast, etc. I love the 4th of July.

Now the countdown to school subconsciously begins. Not ready for that, ugh. Putting it out of mind.

I had a really great shopping trip to Costco yesterday, and I wanted to show you a picture, but of course, I forgot to take one :( The worst thing I bought was organic corn tortilla chips. Everything else was meat, veggies, fruits, and fats - very colorful. The guy at check out recommended I try the ground bison and make burgers. Gotta remember that.

With the holiday weekend, I haven’t written a menu plan, yet. We’ve got broccoli, greens, ground beef, pork loin, bacon, strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and lot of butter and coconut oil. I’ll probably need to go to Aldi or Price Chopper to get whatever else we need.

What should I make this week?

I’m thinking taco salad, korean beef & broccoli, shawarma, bacon burgers

Perhaps I should get some shrimp or salmon.

I think Whole Foods has Applegate Farms hot dogs and Alexia fries on sale, so maybe I’ll stop for some of those for just a few of the kids lunches.

I bought some frozen cherries at Costco which might work to make these?

I’m a little late for the 4th, but this looks good for a light summery desert.

Who wants to make these for me???

Also: watermelon pico de gallo = thumbs up.

Is anyone else as weird as my husband and I that a trip to the zoo (and the observations there - of animals and of humans) leads to a discussion of healthcare on the way home?

What is your least favorite type of clothing for which to shop? Me? Shorts. I have an easier time finding jeans to fit than shorts! So when it is hot (because I get really hot), I often end up wearings skirts or dresses (I love sundresses. But I only have, like, one.) Especially after I saw part of an Oprah episode several years back where some stylist said after a certain age you should only wear shorts to the beach. In all other situation where it is too hot to wear pants, wear a skirt. But sometimes any type of skirt still feels too matronly. So what do I do? Cut off my jeans. Because cut-offs are so much more appropriate than a skirt, right? Yeah...

Have a good week!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Weekly Menu

Have I said that I love summer? I do. Sigh.

July is going to be a little crazy, it always is. Lot's of special events: holidays, birthdays, etc.

I'm cooking everything for a meal with friends on Tuesday this week. My goal for that is to remain wheat free, but we are doing mexican and will have some beans and corn.

Taking a break from eggs for the kids this week.

Last week I made pumpkin waffles for our special breakfast on our stay-home-day. I had a partial can of pumpkin to use up. They were pretty good, I'll probably make them again sometime.

This weekend I shopped at Aldi, Trader Joe's, and Price Chopper. Putting off Costco until end of the week, although I know I'll regret that!

sausage & sweet potato hash*
coffee, cream

nitrate-free mini hotdogs*
sunbutter and jam in corn tortillas (kids' camp days)*
BLT lettuce wraps (I love)
bell peppers & ranch*
nectarines or peaches*

Monday - balsamic-glazed chicken thighs, sweet potatoes, salad w/ dressing
Tuesday - baked beef chimichangas in corn tortillas, homemade salsa, guac, sour cream, & Texas caviar, fruit pizza for dessert
Wednesday - carmelized onion and hamburger salad
Thursday - crispy carnitas, salsa, guac, sour cream
Friday - BBQ ribs, pickles, oven fries, watermelon
Saturday - grain-free pizza w/ beef and peppers*, salad w/ dressing

*I let my daughter pick out some of the food this week because it is her birthday. Other special requests that I'll add in somewhere include paleo waffles for breakfast one day and tortilla chips and homemade salsa with lunch. Oh, and of course we'll make grain-free cupcakes. Chocolate with real buttercream frosting and rainbow sprinkles ;)

We still haven't replaced our grill. Summer sacrilege. So we do ribs in the slow cooker to get them tender and then stick them under the broiler to get them a little bit crispy and the sauce good and sticky :) This is not paleo (hello, sugar) but I'm liking Annie's sweet & spicy bbq sauce I bought at Whole Foods.

Avocados are 29¢ each right now at Aldi. I buy 'em green and let them ripen. Might have to head back before the sale ends!

Have a good week!

Aaaaaaaand since I had no photo to share, I decided to be a nerd and take a photo of the contents of our fridge (the fridge that is probably as old as me- it is still kickin'!) Absolutely no adjusting or organizing or straightening took place.

I literally opened the door and snapped a pic. Literally. Did you think I meant that figuratively? I did not. I meant it literally. Ha. Do you notice when people misuse or overuse "literally"? I notice. In case you couldn't tell. But if you do it, I still love you. I won't point it out to you. Unless you are related to me, then I can pick on you :) And you can pick on me for this icky photo.

Left to right, starting at the top: sour cream, limes, garlic jar, avocados, sour cream, red onion, bell peppers, eggs, blueberries, strawberries, ground turkey, leftovers, cream, cabbage, cilantro bag, tomatoes, pickles. And other stuff in the drawers, door, and freezer that you cannot see. 

I know tomatoes are best at room temp and a bunch of other stuff you could probably write me a ticket for storing improperly. In this warm weather, I just feel better if produce is in the fridge.

Ok, better go. Goodnight!

(sharing here)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Groceries + Weekly Menu

Hello! In case you missed it, I actually blogged this week, here and here :)

Today, I shopped, making the usual round of Aldi, Costco, and Price Chopper. Total: $137.

I picked up a few extra baking things (pudding, tapioca flour, coconut) because we have birthdays coming up next month. I rarely buy juice, but it was on sale and is an easy way to make some popsicles :)

My family consumes some dairy products, mostly in the form of cream, but I've listed some alternatives on the menu in case you do not.

eggs, kale, homemade salsa
better than oatmeal (my daughter requested this again)
coffee, cream (dairy-free alternative)

deli roll-ups
grilled sausages
vegetables, homemade sour cream ranch (dairy-free alternative)

Kid's snacks:
homemade orange creamsicles
cashew clusters

Monday - BBQ meatballs*, pineapple, salad, dressing
Tuesday - shrimp taco salad (summertime favorite)
Wednesday - 2 ingredient roast beef*, roasted green beans
Thursday - honey mustard chicken, roasted broccoli
Friday - chocolate chili*, avocado

primal fudge made with sun butter

*cooked in the slow cooker/crock pot

Have a great week!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fruit Pizza (Fruit Tart)

I grew up loving fruit pizza made with Pillsbury sugar cookie dough crust, a sweetened cream cheese layer, and loads or fresh fruit on top. I wanted to re-create this summertime treat in a paleo-friendly way. I'm sharing with you what I did. I'm also giving you my advice for what to change when you make this yourself.

1 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
6 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg
2 Tablespoons apple juice concentrate

Preheat oven to 350º F.
Mix ingredients together.
Spread on a greased cookie sheet or baking stone.
Bake for 25 minutes or until browned.

Middle layer aka white "pizza sauce" to hold the fruit toppings in place:
I used 1 8 oz. block of cream cheese, whipped in the mixer, with some vanilla added. I spread it over the crust when it had cooled. (cream cheese ≠ paleo)

But, I will do this differently next time. I'm used to the sour cream cheese flavor balanced out by a super sweet sugar cookie dough crust. But this crust recipe above is not very sweet. So then this middle layer could stand some altering. Doing it again, I think I'd whip up some lightly sweetened coconut cream (coconut cream + honey or maple syrup or sweetener of your choice + vanilla like this) and use that in place of the cream cheese. And hey, that would even make this layer dairy-free for you. Or else just sweeten up the cream cheese.

Your choice! I used strawberries and blueberries this time. You want to use something pretty that is naturally sweet and won't turn brown before you serve it. In the past, I've used fresh sliced peaches (spritzed with lemon juice) and kiwi circles along with the berries.

Don't be deceived by looks, this fruit pizza is anything but the original. The berries are the star (as they should be). I asked my husband what he thought when he had his share and... he said he liked it, but that it was because he was hungry at the time he ate it, which means he probably would have liked anything. Ha! Well, fan or no, it is too pretty to not share, so here ya go!

(sharing this recipe here)

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