Monday, September 26, 2016

SCENES FROM A WEEKEND

Happy Monday! This weekend was a much quieter weekend that the past few-and that was 100% intentional. Neal and I talked about it yesterday-we have a few commitments through the end of October, but then we are giving up saying yes to things on Sunday. Sunday is our home day, our family day, and we are going to actively work toward making that the priority. It makes the whole week better for us. Of course things will come up, but over all - Sundays are going to belong to just us.
Here's what our weekend looked like:

We started out Friday night with jammies early, a big bowl of popcorn for the kiddos, and a movie. Ryder was really hoping for a couple dropped pieces.

 It's popcorn season for Scouting.


 An afternoon with their library books.

 New things. Neal bought these all for me, so I guess he's an official  #tiuhubby. (He'll be disappointed to know that he falls under a hashtag or as he call it, a pound sign.) Tone It Up fall challenge starts Saturday! I first started doing Tone It Up workouts last fall during this challenge, so I'm excited to see what happens this year.

DATE NIGHT. Long over do. We hit the road all smiles and ready for adventure! Just kidding. We  went to a movie (Sully; excellent.) and came right home. We also had no popcorn because we are Whole 30ing. We were THOSE PEOPLE who took dried fruit ropes into the theater and bought bottles of water. Also, there are a million and a half finger prints all over that back window, which is where Ava's seat is.

 Sunday Runday. The weather was gorgeous; fall is in the air. And my time was...better than it has been. But still sloooowww.

 My run was followed by a morning of food prep.


Pot Roast for Sunday Supper. It is the BEST meal for a fall evening. (I use The Pioneer Woman's recipe from her original cookbook. It is perfection). We ate it with Whole 30 compliant mashed potatoes, I'll be posting the recipe later this week!
 Set up my bullet journal for the week outside in the sunshine.

 Fall scents are my favorites.

 Our lab gets weirder everyday, bless his heart. Love him.

Chalkboard art. 

Have a fantastic Monday. May your coffee be strong and your eyeliner straight. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

FOR THE LOVE OF FRIDAY



Friday, sweet friend. I can always count on you. Reading/Wanting/Eating/Watching:

1. I just finished reading Belle Cora, which looks a little trashy based on the cover, but is in fact a very written, historical fiction novel based on a real life person. It covers several years and details life in San Francisco during the gold rush. 
Oh, and the main character is a very successful prostitute. Hence the cover, I suppose.

2. The Tory Burch Gemini Link Collection - yes please, everything.


4. My husband's family is originally from Upstate New York and I have heard A LOT about Half Moon Cookies, not to be confused with the Black and White Cookie of New York City. I found this recipe  for Half Moons and plan on adding it to my holiday baking.

5. How to Raise a Better Rejector Rebecca Woolf hits it out of the park.YES YES YES:
"I can't change the past. I cannot take back all the times I got into cars I shouldn't have. Wandered off with strangers when I didn't want to. Ate the cake when I didn't want to eat the cake. But I can do everything in my power to empower my children to be OKAY, or at the very least MORE OKAY THAN I WAS, at saying No." 


6. The New York Times profiled high school sweethearts who ended up married and I pretty much adored this whole piece. 

7. We finally finished up the second season of Broadchurch, on Netflix. I am officially one of those people who think that the British just do TV way better that us. (Sorry America.)

8. I'm headed into week 3 of my Whole 30 and am looking forward to this book coming out. If you're interested in Whole 30, make sure you're following @Whole30 and @Whole30Recipes on Instagram!

Happy Weekend, all!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

(whole30, paleo, grain free) ZUCCHINI FRIES


People. These zucchini fries are so delicious, that you will eat them off the pan, burning your mouth, and you simply won't care. You'll just shove more in your mouth, and say things to your children as they set the table like, "Do you want zucchini? No? That's fine! You can have carrots sticks instead tonight! No, you don't even have to take one bite!" And then you will eat all the zucchini fries all by yourself.

These are super simple, super quick, and so so so good. Annnnnd: totally grain free, gluten free, dairy free, paleo, and Whole 30 compliant.

Oven Baked Zucchini Fries
4 zucchini, cut into sticks
1/2 cup almond flour/meal
1 Tbsp spoon garlic salt
1 Tbsp onion powder
1/8 tsp smoked paprika (or regular paprika)
pinch of cayenne pepper
2 large eggs

Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil, parchment or a baking mat (such as a Silpat). Preheat the over to 425 degrees.
Whisk the eggs. Toss the zucchini sticks in the eggs until coated. Set aside.
Mix the almond flour and all the spices together. Coat zucchini sticks on all sides and lay in a single layer on your prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then increase heat to 450 degrees and bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove from and oven and serve hot.

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

HOW TO BUILD A WORK SALAD


I take a lunch to work every single day, and a great salad is ALWAYS part of my weekly rotation, no matter what the season. There's lots of advice out there on how to build a brown bag lunch salad salad, but I always follow these three rules:

1. Dressing on the bottom of the container (day of ONLY). 
2. Tons of greens
3. Three toppings, including at least one protein

Let's build a  lunch!

Step 1:

I've made my own salad dressing for the past few years. This is a Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette from the Whole 30 book, but most of the time I just use olive oil, a big squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper.

Step 2:

For lunch salads, I buy the containers of pre-washed mixed greens to make it quick and easy in the mornings.

Step 3:

Topping 1: Grilled chicken from my meal prep.

Step 4:

Topping 2: Walnuts. I love using nuts in place of croutons.

Step 5: 

Topping 3: Avocado. I keep the peel on and dice right inside. Then I place it face down on top of the salad, and it stays nice and green until lunch time. I just squeeze it out and toss it together!

I started cutting back on salad toppings after reading one of my all time favorite books: An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler. She actually thinks you should use only one, maybe two other ingredients when making a lettuce salad, so I'm cheating a bit here with all that protein.


Happy, healthy work lunch.

Happy salad making!


Monday, September 12, 2016

SCENES FROM A WEEKEND

We had a great weekend-up until yesterday afternoon where I was reminded of a Jen Hatmaker post, in which she prays to God that He protect her children from dying at her hands for their attitudes. It was a...challenging...Sunday. But! It's a new day and a new week. Things can only go up.


I started off my weekend with a much needed, long overdue. girl's night. We went to a comedy club, something I had never done. I had low expectations-I'm not one for jokey humor. But it was actually so much fun and one of the comics was truly funny. Plus I got to make a new friend and hang out with two of my favorite people ever. We have plans to make this a regular thing, trying out new places and things one a month or so. I'm excited to plan our next mini adventure!


Despite the fact that it was about 100 degree and 100 percent humidity, we took the kids to an outdoor expo Saturday. It was super fun-lots of crafts and displays. Also a blood hound puppy and a a falcon. I obviously need both of these animals as pets.


I finally got a run in. Two of the slowest miles ever.

 Meal prep like a boss. Or a Queen, to be more precise:

Still trying to understand Snapchat. It's more than just the filters, right? Maybe? I'm not sure at this point.


Sunday breakfast, Whole 30 style.


Sunday supper. We always have a nice, sit down dinner on Sunday evenings. I made salmon cakes (recipe here) and they were super good. The kids liked them which surprised me. Plus steamed green beans with ghee and garlic, and red skinned mashed potatoes, with ghee, coconut milk, and my homemade version of seasoned salt. A simple, delicious meal. Those salmon cakes are going into the fall meal rotation! Even in the midst of Meltdown Central that was our Sunday, everyone managed to pull it together and enjoy our dinner.
And then bedtime happened. But let's not think about that.

Happy Monday! Hope you have a great week.


Friday, September 9, 2016

FOR THE LOVE OF FRIDAY



PEOPLE. For the Love of Friday does not even begin to explain my feelings today. It has been the longest, most trying short week. Didn't eat dinner until 8pm the first day of school? Check! Dog needs to go to the vet? Check! But no appointments? Check! Totally new schedule to learn at work? Check! Training someone in a job I only learned a few months ago? Check! Ambulance called to work? Check! 
I need a nap. 

A few things I love and am intrigued by. It's a lucky seven this week:



1. We watched the movie Tallulah on Netflix. It was parts hilarious, terrifying, and wonderful. I highly recommend it. Allison Janey, Ellen Page, and Tammy Blanchard all give fantastic performances.

2. I loved this article about museum curator, Rujeko Hockley. I'm hoping to catch one of her curated shows at the Brooklyn Museum eventually.

3. I 100% want to get these for the kiddos.

4. "One Endless War."15 years of war. FIFTEEN. A war that lots of people don't understand, and which almost everyone has a strong opinion, one way or the other, on. It's a hot topic, that no one wants to talk about, except in soundbites. This was an interesting read. I'll leave it at that.

5. This Nom Nom Paleo Orange Dijon Chicken recipe is making it into meal planning next week.

6. Hey boo.

7. I loved these simple home cooking tips!


Happy Weekend!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

ALL ABOUT EGGS

September Whole 30 has begun, guys. And I can tell you: there are lots and lots and lots of eggs in my future. Eggs are an essential part of Whole 30 eating-since doing my first one I have eaten eggs almost every single day for breakfast. And I LOVE IT. Breakfast is the biggest take away I have gained from Whole 30 eating. I used to eat toast or a yogurt every morning-eggs and potatoes and meat were a special occasion breakfast; a luxury. And every day, without fail, I was starving by 10 am, or feeling slightly sick to my stomach. Realizing that limiting both diary and gluten were the best for my body was a light-bulb moment. Eating an egg keeps me full and never makes me feel ill. It's a great start to a morning and it literally only takes about 4 minutes to fry an egg. That's only about 2 minutes longer than getting cereal ready. But there are so many delicious ways to eat eggs. Let explore this, shall we?



Perfect Scrambled Eggs




Whisk two eggs with salt and pepper, set aside. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add a tablespoon or two of ghee or butter to the pan. Once melted, lower the heat to medium low. Add the whisked eggs. Let the eggs sit for about 30 seconds. Then, with a spatula or wooden spoon, gently scramble the eggs in a zigzag motion across the pan. Let sit for another 30 seconds, and repeat, until eggs are fully cooked and in small crud like pieces. Serve immediately. 

Try this:
Iri Iri Pan Pan


A Simple Poached Egg




Fill a small frying pan with 2 cups of water. Add 1 tsp of white distilled vinegar. Bring to a rolling boil. Crack an egg into a teacup and pour into the boiling water. Cover the pan and turn off the heat. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, gently shaking off excess water.

Try This:
Poached Eggs with Spinach and Prosciutto 

Egg Fritatta 




Whisk together 6 eggs, set aside. Chose one meat (ground beef or turkey, sausage, bacon, proscuitto, left overs from dinner) and 1-2 vegetables (or don't use meat if that's not your thing). Chop up your veggies, set aside. In an oven proof pan (such as cast iron), cook your meat until no longer pink (or if your reheating, until warm). Drain any excess grease. Add the vegetables and cook until soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of cooking fat-olive oil, ghee, butter, your choice. Pour the whisked eggs over the meat and vegetables and using a spatula fold the eggs into your meat and veggies. Let the eggs sit, without any stirring, until they are set but still wet looking about 10 minutes. Place the pan under the broiler in your oven for 3-5 minutes, until top is cooked and golden brown.

Try This:
Rustic Beef and Zucchini Fritatta 

Enjoy all those eggs, guys! If you're doing a #SeptemberWhole30 or jsut want to see tones of photos of things I'm eating, make sure to follow me on Instagram. @junenovember