Wednesday, October 29, 2014

{Life-Moving On}

Life Moving On...


Well!  It's been way too long.  I mean, I wrote recipes, and they are in my draft folder.  I wrote to tell you all what's up,  and everything that was going on, and never published it.  I was just stuck.  This Summer was rough. It's now almost November...and I AM FINALLY getting out of my rut.  I felt like every time I wrote something I chocked up.  My youngest Sister called this Summer the Summer of Cirumstance. Very true. 

As some of you already know this past June was the only real Summer of carefree summer for the kids...before things basically swiftly took a twist of fate. 

                             First fish! 


                    ~June was great~ 

We went to my Sister and Brother in Law's for my nieces Graduation.  It was awesome.  Family was there.  We all were fortunate to spend time together before things just changed forever.  
                 ~Coffee with Sisters~

I look back now to the photos of my Husband and children. My Mother.  My Father.  Their faces are happy, and in a place that was safe, some of them had suffered great loss before, but none knowing it was coming so close to them.  This one below of my Husband and son..means more than you know. 


A few days after we went to go see my Mother's younger Brother, Our Uncle, who was suffering from terminal Cancer..wait why does that word get a capital letter?  It sure doesn't deserve it.  It was a bittersweet visit- I am so grateful that I was able to tell him I loved him and see him one more time. 

We packed up and were getting ready to head out.  The drive was 6 hours to home.  My cell phone rang, and it was My Aunt saying that my Uncle had passed.  Her brother. My Father's brother. We all cried, and comforted one another.  He was a wonderful man..a kind man with eyes as blue as the sky, and a crinkle to them when he smiled.  He was 81, and although he had lived many years we had all hope that he had more time. He was young at heart and a wonderful man. 
  
The departure was not easy, and we made the drive home with me in a bit of a stupor, I didn't help my Husband drive at all, and I usually drive half of the trip. My mind kept drifting to both of my Uncles, one now passed away, and my Mother's Brother holding onto life.  I was sad, and angry, and just plain trying to accept it all.  We stopped at Red Robin.  My Sister and her Husband were on the same route and met us there to eat.  We had left our two older sons in Upstate New York, and it was just the little guy with us.  We had lots of fries..and lettuce wrapped burgers, she and I did, anyways.  After a long drive home we got in late in enough time to pick up our dog at a friends place.  We were exhausted, and tucked the little guy in and collapsed. Little did we know that the next time we would open our eyes everything in our world would change.

The phone rang at 5 am.  It was a call saying that My Mother in Law had passed away in her sleep.  We flew out of bed.  We jumped in the car with the little guy and I drove to my Husband's Mother's home.  For me to say that this was the most shocking thing of my life is pretty much on point.  I can not forget moments of that morning that I wish I could.  I can not fathom losing a parent.  I can not take away the pain that my Husband has, or that we still have no autopsy report, or Death Certificate   She passed away July 2nd.  We still do not know what happened.  It's crazy.  My heart breaks for him.

My Brother in Law and Sister brought the boys home to Pa. Thank God.

We had a Memorial for her, a ' Celebration of Life' we cast balloons and we all tried to comfort one another.  

WE are still in shock.  We miss her.  The Family had a similar Memorial for my Uncle who had passed away the day before her at the end of the Month.  At that gathering we received that dreaded call that our NY Uncle had passed.  I'm glad we were with my Mom. 

July. What a month.

Three wonderful loving people passed. 

Loss.  How do you get over it? 

You just do.  I guess it's supposed to get easier. I'm waiting. We all are. 

I guess this is me writing this put it not so much behind me,  just to move on.  The best that I can.  Now for normal posts.  Thanks for listening <3

xo

Monday, October 20, 2014

{Pinnapple Pulled Pork}

This is so good. Oh my. I totally came upon this by accident! I threw it together and had to go back through to write everything down! I am a horrible measure-keep track of ingredients person! Ha! I think it's because I am doing so many things at once and need to focus! (Working on it!) 

Last month on my monthly trip to Costco (I try to only go once a month) I purchased a huge 9.5 pound pork shoulder. Yes, this is conventional and not pasture pork, but things are tight right now and I have to be a frugal as I can! I asked them to separate the meat into 3 parts, he isn't supposed to, but did and then wrapped it up tightly as one again! Yeah! Can't hurt to ask! This is great to freeze and it will stretch over a few months as we do not eat that much pork! 

I cooked this portion down last week-it was huge and we only ate from it one time and I knew that I wanted to do something different with it! (I cooked this pork section overnight and on low- I served it with caramlized onions + salad and roasted sweet potatoes-it was so good!) 

I wanted a different tasting sauce for this leftover portion- and when I read the ingredients on BBQ and other sauces I can't ever seem to find one without crap in it. I decided to make my own. I am so glad that I did! 

Simple Sauce 

2 -8 ounce cans of tomato paste 
1 cup of water 
2 tablespoons of apple cider vingear 
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder 
1/4 cup of honey 
Salt & pepper to taste 
1 tablespoon red boat fish sauce 
1 tablespoon coconut amino 

Whisked this all in a bowl and poured it over the pulled pork and 1/2 cup of fresh or frozen (I love the bag of frozen at Costco) Pinnapple! 

Mix it all and heat on low for 4 hours! 

So easy! Enjoy:) 


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

{Easy Summer Skillet Dinner}


You know when you get so busy that you forget to plan dinner...whoops..

So last week I lost three days of my life that I will never get back again cleaning our two younger boys room...There were many snack breaks, and 'go run around the yard'  breaks for them, but after a while you can't ignore that it's dinner time!  I usually plan, and defrost ahead of time, and today I just didn't.  It hit me around 5:00  that I needed to act quickly.  

This is a easy skillet meal that is sure to satisfy you and your family!  I threw this together in minutes, and it was super filling!  I would also say that you could serve this together for any vegetarian family and friends!  As a Mom, feeding my family something quick and nourishing like this makes me feel so much better than calling in for takeout!  I also cut down on the meat by adding TONS of veggies!  I love meat, but grass fed beef is expensive...I am trying to experiment with meals that use less! 

I used~

1 pound of grass fed beef
1 small head of cabbage, shredded and core removed
1 pound of carrots shredded
2 bell peppers sliced
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger
1 tablespoon of coconut aminos 
1/4 cup of black olives
coconut oil as needed, possibly a few tablespoons, depending on fat in beef

First brown your beef in a big cast iron skillet..OH! Did I mention?  ONE PAN to wash! YEAH!

So, when your beef is browned,  add the veggies, all except the ginger!  You basically are stir frying this, and if you need more fat add coconut oil to it!  I kept sauteing this until the cabbage and carrots were cooked and then I added the garlic and the aminos!  You could stop here, but my kiddos ate this with leftover rice..and I scrambled an egg into mine!  
So simple and yummy! 

xo

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

{Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies}

So today I baked 80 pretty good sized chocolate chip cookies to take to my Niece's Graduation Party!  I had to allow my family to 'sample' one each, well, my Uncle and Dad ate two each:) they deserved it..They really are yummy:)

I am reposting this recipe from last May of 2013. This was one of my most popular recipes...I spent hours trying to get a cookie perfected that was crisp, yet still as close to the real deal as I could. Coconut sugar is the ingredient that adds the crunch! I also incorporated almond flour & coconut flour, after trying tapioca and other flours..after many batches we decided that this combo yielded the best cookie. Believe me, it was hard work to taste test batch after batch, my poor family. ;)

A single batch wasn't enough, so we quadrupled it today! Result = paleo cookies tucked safely away in the freezer, taped shut so no little hands in this house, (or my Husband's)  will find their way in! This recipe is probably my favorite recipe on the blog!  I'm so proud of it & the labor of love that I spent trying to perfect it for my gluten free family. <3  I'm so excited to make the trip to see my Niece Graduate & enjoy these cookies for the base of ice cream sandwiches!  


YOU WILL NEED......


1.5 cups blanched almond flour
2 Tablespoons coconut flour 
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted or 1 stick OR unsalted butter *
1/2 cup of organic coconut sugar 
2 Tablespoons of maple syrup 1 large egg, if your eggs are tiny, like mine were this week from the farm, use 2
2 teaspoons of vanilla
1 cup of dark chocolate chopped, or semi sweet chocolate chips

preheat you oven to 350~
in a medium bowl mix dry ingredients~in a separate bowl with hand mixer-mix egg, butter, syrup, & vanilla well.  Add your wet to the dry, and fold in your chocolate chips.  I then stick mine in the fridge for about 10 minutes, I don't know why, but I like to do that before I bake them.  Maybe because I roll them into balls, and then flatten them on the cookie sheet it makes it easier to handle.

Line your cookie sheets with parchment paper, and place the cookies on the sheet~I can make about 24 medium cookies with this recipe.  I have sometimes made them smaller, then I usually get about 40~

Bake for about 12-14 minutes~

enjoy:) Now excuse me as I go hide the rest of these cookies before they are GONE!
                                            
*today I used a combination of one part butter & one part coconut oil! I think this made an excellent combo of fats! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer!

                        Summer! 

It's here! In full swing, and already 90° today! I made this for my kiddos today to cool them down a bit! This is so simple- and we always have frozen fruit on hand, so you could whip it up in minutes! It's dairy free, and sugar free! Only natural fruit & coconut milk! Super easy and yummy!


Simple easy creamy fruit sorbet~

2 Cups of frozen cherries
1/2 cup frozen pineapple 
2 frozen bananas 
1/4 cup of coconut milk 

Purée all fruit in blender~add coconut milk! That's it! 
We like to switch up the fruits- and sometimes add to a popsicle molds!  

Of course, being the chocolate addict that he is, our one kiddo opened up a bag of dairy free, soy free chocolate chips and topped them with it! ��  Simply use your imagination! You could make so many different flavors! 

XO

Monday, June 16, 2014

{Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Peppers}




Hey everyone! Hope that everyone had a relaxing weekend and Father's Day! I was fortunate to be able to see my own Father yesterday, and for my Hubby to be able to spend time with our kiddos! 

I was happy to see my younger brother and sister (these were the Whole 30 siblings that were on my recent journey with me) I was great to see them! My Sister lives two hours away, and my brother works a lot, seeing them was great. He is staying Paleo, and I think it's awesome how he embraced it all! He feels better, and is happier eating this way, so why not? 

So proud of them both sucessfully completing a Whole 30!

Adam and I are both on a Whole 10, strict until my bday on the 26th! We are both supporting one another on this one as well! 

Okay so here is a great recipe for something a little different and out of the box! It's Paleo and Whole 30 approved! 

I had a ton of leftover chicken and decided to try something new, and boom this is what it ended up as! 

These are yummy, and great with a salad to cool the heat down a bit! You will need...

4 cups of cooked chicken shredded
4 colored peppers, cleaned and tops removed. 
1/2 cup + 1/4 cup- divided homemade mayo 
Chives (about 3 tablespoons chopped) you could save some for a garnish..
1/4 cup of hot sauce
1 Tablespoon onion powder 
1 Tablespoon garlic powder  
Coconut milk, enough to think out a 1/2 cup of mayo- approx 2-3 tablespoons 

Clean the peppers and blanch them in boiling water. Do not overlook them, as they will become mush! In a small bowl mix all of the mayo, chives and the dry spices. You just made ranch by the way...now..

In a medium bowl mix the hot sauce and chicken and 1/2 cup of ranch mixture. Stuff the peppers with the mixture..

Now add the coconut milk to the leftover ranch mixture and thin it out. I like to just reserve some for later when eating these, but also put a dollop on the top and sprinkle with some chives! Bake these in an oven safe dish at 350° for about 20-25 minutes! Happy eating! These are yummy! My picky husband ate all of them! Not in one sitting, but he did consume them all in two days. :) 



Sunday, May 18, 2014

Whole 30 recap on day 18!

Okay~ we are over halfway trough our Whole 30! I'm so proud of my brother & sister and some of his friends for jumping into this! It has been an interesting journey for them so far- of course planning is everything, so making sure you are well stocked with veggies and fruits, with good fats and protien seem to the key! Preparation is everything in this program - without it you can set yourself up for failure! 

Helped my brother with some meal prep- this was our third run of it- he's doing awesome by the way...



So yesterday I had a busy day..two soccer games for our one kiddo in the morning, and a birthday party well over an hour drive away. What was so important for this today was prep. Thank goodness I had roasted and shredded four chickens this week! It helped make lunches for the kids & hubby simple. I used the chicken that was left for my recipe for buffalo chicken peppers, (post following this one) and cooked down bones for stock. 

This chicken came in handy this week- 

I literally threw myself together my lunch super quick in between games and the party- and ate on the way- borrowed my youngest planet box for my food! It was awesome. I want my own! ☺️ 

Really loving the way that we are feeling! Whole 30 is amazing! I can't say enough how much it has transformed my Brother's life already- of course someone else helping with food is A HUGE help to him...but he won't need me to assist him in this forever- he's already 'getting it' and branching out on his own. So proud. Sister Jennifer and hubby John introduced us to the Cave Life-we owe them so much-lol- and now as she has put it- another sibling has joined the tribe<3 <3