Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving dinner is not a super hard event at which to eat paleo. Don't make it complicated.
You probably already know what you are going to be having in front of you for your choices, right?
Here's my hypothetical Thanksgiving meal.

Turkey or ham? Check.
Potatoes? Check. (Don't overdo it.)
Something green? Check. (If there won't be, offer to bring it: green beans or salad or brussels sprouts.)
Cranberries? (I love tart cranberries, but if you don't, even the sugary ones are usually grain-free.)
Make your own gravy with the drippings and a paleo starchy powder if you must.

Most of the meals at our house consists of 2-3 main items, so 5 seems indulgent. Ha.

Skip the stuffing/dressing. Or make a paleo version, perhaps?
Skip the rolls.
Skip the marshmallows.
Skip the mystery dishes.
Skip the corn. (Sometimes I don't.)

Save room for dessert!
I've had enough pumpkin by this time of year that I would actually take the time to make something apple-y… served with real ice cream or whipped cream on top.

In case you think my list is too boring, here's a menu to make your mouth water. Just goes to show that eating in a way that is good for you can hardly be called deprivation… quite the opposite. (Just don't go cross-eyed looking at my blurry photo.)

credit to coach Dan for this one

Now, I'm not cooking this year. My parents will be making their ah-mazing homemade stuffing. Yes, my family actually stuffs the turkey. It is hard to pass up and is truly only made once a year. So, I may have some. And suffer the puffy-ness. We shall see. I just can't eat it 5 days in a row :)

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Weekly Menu

Here's what I bought at Sprouts over the weekend. The only thing not on sale was the cream.
I love that Sprouts has the full-fat version of the plain yogurt that Costco carries. I don't love that chicken, but it helps the budget when it is $1.88/lb. I also shopped at Aldi.

We just got a new batch of farm fresh eggs. Yay.
Eggs, avocado, coffee? I love you, breakfast.
My kids? Not so much. Since we have less days of get-up-and-run this week with the Thanksgiving holiday and all, I'll probably make them some more of the pancakes I mentioned. I don't love banana everyday with breakfast (too much sweetness does not start my day well) but I feel OK giving it to the kids. And they don't realize I'm sneaking 2 eggs and some nut butter into them at the same time.
also: sausage and sweet potato hash

leftovers for the adults
salad with dressing
nut butter and jam corn tortilla roll-ups
or gf mac and cheese
yogurt (sweetened with apple juice concentrate)

orange chicken and green beans
chicken fajita bowl with onions, bell peppers, blender salsa, guacamole, and sour cream
burgers, salad and dressing, baked potatoes
homemade primal pizza
korean beef and broccoli
Thanksgiving with family

pumpkin chocolate pudding
apple tart (from Primal Cravings)

Thanksgiving dinner ideas coming soon!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Paleo Cookbooks for Gifting

Most of the paleo/paleo recipes I make on a regular basis can be found online.

However, there are 2 cookbooks that I checked out from the public library once upon a time (or two!), and made sure to keep the details of several of the recipes for myself after I turned the books back into the library. If you have been following here for any amount of time, you can probably guess what they are...


(affiliate links)

Since I've been working on streamlining my life (and therefore my belongings), I've donated a lot of kitchen items. Basically, if I didn't miss it being packed away for the last 6 months while we lived with a small kitchen, I'm passing it along to someone who will use it. For example, do I need to keep a cake pan that I use once a year or less? The answer is no.

And I don't have a ton of gadgets. The small kitchen appliances I do have include (in descending order of importance): coffee maker, mixer, crockpot, blender (not fancy), waffle iron (because paleo waffles), and…. oh, and a coffee grinder that I don't use but keep just in case I'm feeling fancy one day because the one in our coffee maker is broken. That all still feels like way too much to me.

What I am getting at is that I don't want to tell you that you need more stuff. You probably don't. I've become a fan of lightening the load. Get rid of stuff. You'll feel better.

But if you want to purchase cookbooks for someone or yourself, those are my picks. I hope you enjoy them!


How are you doing? I'm just procrastinating on doing homework.

I like the holiday season. I tell myself I do. Because I used to. But sometimes the holiday season on top of real crazy life is just asking a little too much. It's enough to make anyone a scrooge. As much as I try to tune out the madness and nonsense, you just can't escape it, which is a horrible feeling. So there's nothing to do but muddle through, daily handing my heart to Jesus and doing my best to love the people I've been given to love. Remembering the ugliness of this world is why he came. God loves us even when we are in the mess. The mess is a reminder that we need him and he loves us enough to enter into it with us. Emmanuel.

Now let's be hypocrites and talk about stuff.
I'm not a scarf person (I get claustrophobic or something - what's the word for fear of choking?) But I still want to make these.
What is on your wish list?
I'm getting new windows. No joke. And walls. And trim. So being able to decorate for Christmas before Christmas will be present enough for me.

This is a good reminder for me to pay attention to how I speak to my kids (and everyone.)

Such a summertime food, but I would really love someone to make this blt chopped salad for me.

I'm not cooking for Thanksgiving this year, but I'll share with you some of my ideas (if I were cooking) early this week.

We made giant pancakes this morning… each person got one made of 1 banana, 2 eggs, 1 T. peanut butter, and a splash of vanilla. Cooked in Kerrygold butter. Topped with cinnamon sugar. They were decadent. Reminded me of the banana stuffed french toast I had as a kid at Disney World. Yum.

Beef stew is in the crockpot for supper. I didn't have any chicken stock, so I threw some red wine in. I think I'll serve it over roasted acorn squash.

That's all. Just emptying my brain a little.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Weekly Menu

I bought a new pair of gym shoes that are identical to a pair I own. I was all set to get something new and flashy on sale for about $60, but then found these ones I already know I love on sale for $30 (instead of $100 full price)… so I went with the safe bet and kept the $30 difference in my pocket. Sometimes being practical is not very exciting.

I changed up all the bedroom textiles this weekend because it was feeling just a little too tropical for me for wintertime. Ha. It is much cozier now.

I'm trying not to freak out about Christmas shopping. I try to simplify it a little more every year, it seems. I do want to take my kids shopping to buy either for each other, or for the opposite parent, I haven't decided yet. My husband and I both come from families of good gift givers and we've kind of dropped the ball on passing that along to our kids. I want to teach them how to be good gift givers. And that doesn't mean joining the discontent consumerist culture.


Notes from last week's menu:
I made Jo-Lynne's dill fingerling potatoes (because those potatoes were on sale at Sprouts) and they were a hit. I steamed them first to make sure they'd be cooked.

Breakfast of champions (aka breakfast of leftovers):

I shopped at Sprouts and Aldi for this week, spending $130.

leftover hash
coffee, heavy whipping cream
lemon raspberry swirl muffins (from The Paleo Kitchen)

sunbutter and jam corn tortilla roll-ups
carrots, homemade ranch
dinner leftovers

Preschooler's snack: dried apricots (his choice)
After school snack: yogurt and blueberries

Sunday - sausage & sweet potato hash, salad, dressing
Monday - (I'm cooking for my small group) BBQ crockpot pulled pork, salad, dressing, potatoes, crustless no-bake cheesecake in ramekins with fresh blackberries.
Tuesday - chicken fajita bowl (chicken, peppers, onions, avocado, tomato, sour cream)
Wednesday - baked salmon, roasted green beans, sweet potatoes
Thursday - parmesan chicken sausages, marinara sauce, spaghetti squash
Friday - beef stew
Saturday - chicken tikki masala

Have a good week!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Weekly Menu

Good morning!

Ah, it is nice to sit down in my little blogging alcove and put some words down while it is just me and my coffee :)

Wanna know a bad habit we started a couple weeks ago in the middle of our move? Take-and-bake pizza once a weekend. Thin crust, loaded. Not gluten-free. Even though they have it, I'm not a fan of the brand they use.

So I didn't cook yesterday. We ate pizza. There ya go. My confession. I'm OK with that.

The kids and I shopped at Sprouts and Aldi yesterday, spending $120. I'm pretty happy with what we got for that amount. And I'm happy I survived shopping with the children. I used to do it all the time, but I've gotten a little out of practice.

Here's what we bought:

Yogurt and kombucha were on sale at Sprouts. I thought they might be a good thing to have around since I've got one child finishing a round of antibiotics...

I want to bake these cookies today. For the kids, of course ;)

Allright, down to business. The plan:

eggs, turkey sausage, bell peppers, spinach or kale
chipotle tobasco sauce
oven roasted potatoes
heavy whipping cream
other choice for kids - mug cake or banana muffins

adults - leftovers
kids - rice cakes with nut butter and jam
or gf mac and cheese
carrots and dip
apples or clementines

Preschooler's school snack: dried mango
After school snack: banana chocolate shake or yogurt & blueberries

Sunday - easy crockpot pulled porkBBQ sauce,  cabbage slaw
Monday - crockpot chicken curry (new recipe to try), broccoli, rice option
Tuesday - carne asada bowl (beef, onions, peppers, salsa, avocado)
Wednesday - brats, potatoes, salad with dressing
Thursday - burgers, green beans
Friday - beef stew

I'm putting the crockpot/slowcooker to good use this week.

And I better go because conflict among the natives is escalating…

Have a good Sunday!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Weekly Menu

Yay for an at-home weekend with the family. Boo for having a sick kiddo. It always happens after Halloween, I swear! That sugar, it's bad news I tell you.

I'm buying groceries from Aldi, Price Chopper, and Costco this week.

farm eggs/omelets
turkey sausage
paleo pumpkin pancakes
coffee, heaving whipping cream

Lunch choices:
chicken thighs
gf mac and cheese
rice cakes with peanut butter and jam
carrots and ranch
tortillas chips and guacamole
blackberries (99¢/pkg. at Sprouts)

School snacks:
applesauce, raisins

After school snacks:

Sunday - chocolate chili, sour cream, guac
Monday - pulled pork tacos with cabbage slaw
Tuesday - meatloaf, roasted broccoli
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday - hamburgers (bun-less as always), oven fries, roasted green beans
Friday - TBD

Now I'm off to make some homemade primal pizza then catch-up on a bit of everything, hopefully. Have a great week!

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