Friday, January 2, 2015

The New Year

Well we've made it to the year Back to the Future predicted would be extremely futuristic.  2015.  I have a feeling this will be a great year for many!  I've been mulling over ideas of what to post in the new year, and I've decided to discuss our household goals we are striving for in this glorious new year.  I hate setting resolutions, it's almost like you're condemning yourself to failure.  Creating a list of goals however, seems a bit more realistic.  If we accomplish even one goal on our list, I can feel satisfied that we accomplished something in 2015!  I'll also be re-posting and updating my culinary bucket list for you all.

Some of our goals are financial, others are related to personal/family growth.

This year we are working to rebuild my credit score in hopes of purchasing a house in the next few years.  That being said, we are also working to save towards that house.  I will definitely keep you all posted on the different things we are doing to save money and lock down our budget.

We are also looking to purchase a second vehicle this winter/spring.  We're going to the darkside and getting a Mini-van.  This pertains to one of our personal/family growth goals.  We've been discussing whether we are ready to add to our family or not.  We've had an outstanding list for some time of goals we'd like to accomplish before adding another child into our life.  The mini-van being one of them.

I personally am hoping to work on updating my blog more often to bring you yummy treats and fun projects! Hopefully this is one I'll be able to stick to.

I shared a few of our family goals, what are some of the goals you'd set for you or your family this year?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Tuna Pasta Salad

Tuna Noodle Salad

Every now and then Owen and I get sick of leftovers for lunch. Today I tried something different and made enough so Kevin can take some to work for lunches next week!

I whipped out my tuna salad recipe. I made a few changes from what I usually do since we have been trying to eat healthier, more organically, and more clean!  I omitted the gajillion cups of mayo and used a half cup of plain Greek yogurt instead. I did throw in 2 tblsps of mayo to keep a little bit of that mayo-y flavor.  

I had a gigantic bag of fresh peas that my parents brought down when they visited this past week, so I spent a good portion of yesterday afternoon shucking peas for my salad. It took about an hour(and 2.5lbs of peas) to come up with the two cups I needed! Needless to say, Owen found the container and was stuffing his face full last night, so I had to shuck some more today. We love fresh peas from Wilfert's Farm Stand back in our hometown!  

Enough with my rambling. Here's the recipe!

3 Cans of Albacore Tuna ( I prefer to use wild, pole caught tuna, Tuna isn't over-fished this way, and you are guaranteed to get all tuna.)
1 Box Pasta of Choice (I used Fiori)
2 - 3 Cups of Peas (Frozen or Fresh)
2 tbsp Mayo
3/4 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, and Celery Salt to taste! 

Boil water and cook the pasta until tender.  Drain and add to bowl.
Add tuna and peas.

In a smaller bowl, mix mayo, yogurt, and vinegar together.

Add to big bowl and combine.

Add salt, pepper, garlic, and celery salt and mix!


Optional Add-ins: diced onion, diced celery, diced water chestnuts

This salad was a huge hit with Owen! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Busy, Busy!

I haven't posted recently because A LOT has been going on!

In April, we had our son's 2nd birthday party! It was a huge success, even though I was deathly sick with bronchitis.  We are so lucky to have such great family and friends who helped get our house cleaned and all the food cooked for 40 people!  I had known for a while that it was going to be themed Sesame Street. We had amazing pulled BBQ pork sandwiches, German potato salad, and lots of fresh fruits and veggies!  

As you can see, we had a great time and I love planning Owen's birthday parties! Our close friends and family members were there to celebrate!

 In May, my husband started the interview process with a company located in Madison and by June 20th, we knew we were moving! So far it has been the biggest move of our lives! We had 5 weeks to pack, organize our Uhaul stuff, find a tenant for our current(now previous) house, and find people to help us!  Shortly after my husband was offered the job, we drove to Madison to look at houses/duplexes/apartments! We signed a lease and out of 69 other applicants, we were chosen for a beautiful 2 story, 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house! We loved our old house, but this move and job is a very great thing for our family!  We moved to Madison on August 1st and it has been amazing so far!  Kevin started his new job on August 4th and I worked on getting the house in order and getting Owen and Bear situated to our new environment.  So far so good!

We signed a 2 year lease on this baby, so we plan to do some work to really make it feel like ours this time.  Our first step will to paint some of the rooms.  Specifically Owen's room and our foyer/staircase/upstairs hallway.  I'm hoping we will be able to paint the main floor bathroom, if the landlord allows us to take down the wallpaper border.  Our new house is located just 3 short minutes from my brother and sister-in-law's house!  Periodically I will post our before and after pictures of each room in our new house and the corresponding projects with each room.

Now I'll fill you in on a few things I've been up to since we moved! I started pre-making Kevin's lunches and having ready to go stuff in the fridge so he just has to make his sandwich in the morning.  One thing I wanted to try was a veggie dip.  A few months ago, I purchased an amazing little dip packet at a CHD symposium I attended in Milwaukee.  There was an organization selling their handmade products called The Women's Bean Project.  This organization is great! They focus on providing transitional employment for women that are chronically unemployed or impoverished.  Typically these women were victims of domestic abuse and are trying to stand on there own two feet after going through a difficult time.

Check out their website here:  Women's Bean Project

Anyways, if you know anything about me, it's that I love dill.  Okay, not just love, I'd seriously marry it if I could.  I had a packet of their Dillicious Dill Dip mix from the symposium I attended and I decided to whip up a batch (which I ultimately ended up eating almost entirely by myself, um yeah, I have a serious problem).  I just followed the directions on the back, but instead of sour cream, I used 8oz of plain greek yogurt.

Last weekend we traveled up to our friend's cottage and had so much fun! I have no photos of our trip, because we were too busy enjoying the Northwoods!  

That's all I have for now! Keep your eyes peeled this weekend for our first project, The Garage! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chicken Curry

It's been a while since I posted! We moved to our new house in the beginning of December and I have a beautiful new kitchen!

We have been experiencing below zero temps on and off the last few weeks, so I figured it would be nice to make something warm and inviting.  Tonight I made chicken curry which was gluten free, dairy free, and soy free.  My son Owen has terrible eczema that we've struggled with since he came home from the hospital at almost 2 months old.  We've recently decided to try to heal his eczema from the inside out and try an elimination diet.  The first thing we are eliminating from his diet is gluten.  So far it has been an easy switch and he doesn't seem to mind it.  I made this even before we made the switch to gluten free and I've made it the same way (well almost since most of the time I don't measure ingredients, I go by taste.)

Chicken Curry

-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
-About 2 cups mixed veggies, you can use fresh or frozen, I used a frozen organic green bean, red pepper, and carrot mix from Costco(keep in mind if you use leafy type veggies, the will wilt so use more than 2c. IE cabbage, kale, spinach, etc.)
-1 can of coconut milk, unsweetened (coconut milk is naturally gluten free, but double check the labels! I used Thai Kitchen brand)
-2TBSP curry powder ( you can use less or more, your preference)
-1tsp ground coriander
-Salt & Pepper to taste
-Coconut oil or olive oil
Serve with cooked rice (Brown or white)


Start your rice first, once you get going with the chicken you won't have enough time for the rice to finish at the same time.  Tonight we tried out the new rice cooker my husband gave me for Christmas!

Cook the chicken in a pan or a wok in the oil of your choice. I prefer to use organic cold-pressed coconut oil or organic olive oil.  I usually salt and pepper the chicken while it is cooking.

Once your chicken is completely cooked (make sure by cutting a few bigger pieces in half and checking the color or use a meat thermometer which should measure at 165 degrees for chicken), drain off any excess liquid, if needed and add your mixed veggies with your chicken.  When the veggies are mostly cooked, add your coriander, curry powder and coconut milk.  Let it simmer for a few minutes, and it's ready to serve over rice!

I apologize for my pasta dishes for chicken curry! Nice bowls are on my wish list! :)

I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Possibilities are Endless

Well I haven't written in a while, but I have a great reason!  Next week we are moving into a new house! It is a cute little cottage type home with a huge sun room, lots of closets, first floor laundry, and an AMAZING kitchen!  I can't wait to get into our new kitchen and start sharing some more of my recipes with you!

I have also been approached by a few people asking for recipes and tips and tricks on how I have started to convert my family into a more healthy eating routine.  I am hoping to start sharing some of these tips, tricks, and recipes with you here while I write and get my ebook published.

I will leave you all with one of my favorite tips.  Invest in a CSA, Community Supported Agriculture.
A CSA is where you buy a share of a farm.  We are purchasing our first share in the spring for next summer.  We are getting a half share, since it's only me and my two guys, and will pick it up every other week.  The farm we are going through also offers an egg share, dairy share, meat share, among others, that you can pick and choose from.  We will most likely add an egg share and possibly their baked goods share to our farm share.  Anyways, back on topic, they go out and pick produce for you and you pick it up later that same day.  It's essentially a grab bag full of freshly picked produce! I am so excited to use this as a tool to introduce produce we would have otherwise over looked at the grocery store.  If you visit you can find CSA's near you!  This is great for the environment because it gets you to enjoy locally grown produce instead of produce that has been shipped from other states or countries. Plus I'm sure those farmers won't mind showing off the farm and animals to little kiddos that come help pick up their weekly shares!  This is also a great way to encourage yourself to try out something new in the kitchen, whether it be canning or a new technique.  Either way it will be fun!  We also plan to grown a small vegetable garden in our backyard of things that we eat a lot of; peppers, cukes, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, watermelon, etc.  I might even try to grow potatoes! I have all winter to plan for my garden.

I hope you found this tip helpful! Stay tuned for some more. :)

Friday, October 11, 2013

Herb Crusted Pork Loin, Cheesy Potatoes, and Maple-Ginger Glazed Carrots

Tonight Kevin was home from work at his usual time, so I was able to make a super yummy (and a little more time consuming) dinner!  I made one of our favorites, herb crusted pork loin!  I also tinkered with two new recipes, cheesy potatoes and maple ginger carrots.

I will start with the cheesy potatoes!

28oz bag of frozen potatoes (your pick hashbrowns, cubed)
1 1/2 cups plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup chicken broth (I used my own homemade stock! I will post a recipe soon!)
1/4 cup milk (I used whole milk, it's the only kind we buy for our little guy)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese

1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp Lawry's seasoning salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and pour into a 9x13 glass pan.  When using greek yogurt you must use glass, NOT metal.  It will have a weird reaction with metal and your food will taste like crap.  Don't have a glass pan? Go out and spend the ten bucks on one. Seriously, you need one.  I have two pyrex 9x13's that I use all the time.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake it for an hour and 10 minutes(this may vary depending on your oven) 

Once the potatoes were in the oven, I started on the pork loin
When I make this I usually just throw my favorite spices on it with some olive oil, but I actually measured them out this time. 

Pork tenderloin (We buy the big pork tenderloins in the bag when they are on sale for $1.99/lb and the hubby cuts it into three evenish sections and vaccum seals it with the foodsaver)
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp parsley
1 tsp kosher salt

Rinse your tenderloin off first and pat it dry.  I usually use a metal 9x13 pan for my tenderloin.  Mix together the oil and all your spices in a separate bowl, then pour it on the tenderloin (in the pan!).  Massage the oil mixture to coat the tender loin completely and you are ready to go!  Cook it at 350 degrees for about an hour or until your meat thermometer reads at least 145 degrees. 

To round up this meal I made maple ginger glazed carrots. 

8 medium size carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
2 tbsp real maple syrup, not that crap in the woman shaped bottle
1/2 tsp ground ginger

I boiled the carrots in salted water for about 15 minutes, or until they were tender-crisp. Mix the maple syrup and ginger together and pour it over the carrots. Super fast, super easy, and super delish! 

The finished product! Even Owen enjoyed it! He LOVED the carrots. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Curried Chicken Salad

Tonight  I had to dig through the fridge and figure out something quick and easy to make for Owen and I for dinner.  Kevin is at an ambulance meeting tonight, so it's just me and the little guy.  I realized I had a rotisserie chicken that needed to be broken down and turned into something.  I love buying rotisserie chickens when I go grocery shopping.  They are very versatile and can be made into a lot of different things!  Tonight I used it to make a Curry Chicken Salad.  

3-4 cups cooked, diced chicken (or the meat from one rotisserie chicken)
1 cup chopped pecans ( or any nut you prefer)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberries
OR use one cup grapes, halved, instead of the dried fruit

1 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp Dijon mustard
a pinch of garlic salt (I used a pinch of garlic powder and a pinch or salt)
1/2 tsp mango chutney  OR a pinch of cayenne pepper
1 1/2 TBSP  Curry powder

First I stripped the chicken from the bones and took the skin off and diced it up.

Here are the ingredients I used.  With the mango chutney, you can use that or cayenne pepper.  I found the mango chutney in the condiment aisle at the grocery store near the mustards.

Next I mixed up the sauce.  If your sauce turns out too spicy, add a little more Greek yogurt.

Then I chopped up my pecans ( you can use cashews, walnuts, almonds, whatever you prefer) and mixed up all my ingredients. 

Voila! I served it in whole wheat pita pockets.  For my 1 year old, I served it with pita chips and grape tomatoes.