Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Some people call it nesting....

...I just call it another weekend of staying busy.

This past weekend I decided that I wanted to make a bunch of recipes and freeze everything so we could have a ton of food prepped for when Reed arrives.   Brian means well and all but helping around the kitchen is not one of his strong suits.  Now... if I wanted anything off the grill every day of the week then we would be good to go.  :)  

I didn't take any pictures because I was focused... and lets be honest... the blogs that I pulled these from do a lot better job with pictures than I could.  :)  

On another note, lets talk about how much I love Pinterest.  Every single one of these recipes that have a link  with it are from Pinterest.  The only changes that I would have made to any of the recipes would have involved adding extra flax seed to any of the baked goods to add a little more fiber.  

Pumpkin streusel loaf (I made 12 mini loaves):

Pumpkin Choc Chip loaf (I made 2 3x7 loaves and 3 mini loaves):

Choc Peanut Butter Balls (I made 4 dozen):

Mexican Dorito Casserole (I made 2 2qt dishes that are now in the freezer):
Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup (I made about 24 servings of this.  4 gl freezer bags full and 2 qt freezer bags full):

Baked Ravioli (I made a 13x9 dish of beef ravioli & a 13x9 dish of cheese ravioli):

 No Boil Freezer Manicotti (I made 2 8x8 pans of this):

Autumn Crunch (I filled 3 gallon size freezer bags of this):

Santa Fe Nachos (I made 1 freezer gallon bag)

This recipe is from 'From the Freezer to the Slow Cooker - Homemaking 911'. There is a PDF attached which is where I found the recipe.  I'm looking forward to trying this one out.  She has a ton of great recipes in the PDF but this is the only one I have tried so far.  

Peanut butter choc chip flax seed cookies (I made about 3 dozen of these)
I added 1/2 a cup of flax seed and only used 1 cup of flour.  At the end when I was adding the chocolate chips, I also tossed in 1/2 a cup of chopped pistachios and 1/2 a cup of chopped walnuts.  YUMMY!

Bob's Red Mill Flax Seed muffins
This recipe I found on the back of a Bob's Reed Mill ground flax seed package several years ago.  Brian and I eat these for breakfast just about every morning.  I made 2 full batches of the recipe which yielded about 60 mini and regular size muffins.  I tend to leave out a small container and then freeze the rest.  There is a lot of flax and grain in these and no sugar (except for brown sugar).

Aunt Billie's Baked Pineapple
Absolutely delicious recipe that I made for our Thanksgiving potluck at work.  We made this in London last year for Christmas and now Tucson for Thanksgiving.  This recipe sure is making its rounds across the globe!

Pecan Pie
My mom gave me this recipe years ago but I have no idea where it actually came from.  I will tell you, I always feel good about baking items and taking them to work because there are always compliments that follow.  I will be making another Pecan Pie for Thanksgiving Day at the Dycus residence.

These are the key things that I spent all weekend prepping.  I feel like I accomplished a lot!  We also made some beef vegetable stew, ground turkey with taco seasoning and shredded chicken that could be frozen and used in recipes later down the road.

I would have loved to brag that everything I did was Paleo or Gluten Free but I didn't have the energy to spend the time doing that research.  I just went with recipes that I saw on Pinterest that looked appealing and easy enough to prep.  Now that my fridge is back down to close to empty and my freezers are organized a little bit better I might try to make a couple more recipes.  We'll see how I feel in the next couple of weeks.  However, if you do have a recommendation for yummy recipes, I'm all ears.  

Monday, November 19, 2012

Oh Baby Baby

So the count down is getting closer!  We are both in awe that Reed will be here in just a few short weeks. What a journey this has continued to be. Brian and I will tell you we feel mighty blessed.  The whole pregnancy has been quite simple.  Besides the whole 'normal' side effects, nothing funky has happened.  

(Left) 32 weeks

(Right) 36 weeks

It is absolutely amazing how quickly he is growing.  Let me just tell you though... I am so thankful to live in a place where in late November it is still in the 70s so I do not have to buy winter preggo people clothes for my last month of carrying Reed.  

Reed however has decided over the last three weeks to lodge his precious tootsies in my rib cage... or at least that is what I am assuming he is doing.  When whatever is in my ribs isn't there, I feel great.  We are walking every morning (for the most part) and still trying not to eat junk galore.  That can be a challenge at times.  All in all, life is good, we are good and we are eagerly awaiting our little guy!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

So... two months later

Well, the last two months have been quite a journey so I apologize for not keeping up with recipes and the on-goings of the Goode-Wick fam! :)  We found out several weeks ago that we are expecting our first baby in December and are beyond excited.  Now, with that being said, I am not eating Paleo at this time.  The last thing I have wanted to see/cook/smell/eat is meat.  So, needless to say, not meat and continuing to eat Paleo do not really go together.  :)

I have been working on getting outside every single day and doing some sort of exercise.  I also sit on a pilate ball at work which I have been doing for a couple of years now.  So far I am still healthy and the baby is growing just fine. 

This is me towards the end of May (please ignore the sexy sweat stains)... I'm 17 weeks now so my pooch currently looks more like a gut then a baby belly.  :) 
I really have nothing to complain about though. 
I've also had some wonderful people give/send me baby things (which I always appreciate).  Its been sweet but sort of crazy starting to see baby things around our house. 
Our first onesie from Lyndsey Goode of NYC:

My co-worker Roxanne was being extra generous and gave me a Coach diaper bag that her sister bought her when she had her son.  Since he was a little older when she received it it really didn't get much use.  I was absolutely willing to take it off her hands. 

We find out in about two weeks what the gender of our little blueberry is and are eagerly awaiting that day! 

So for now, you are not going to be seeing a lot of recipes on this site until my taste buds come back to me.  :) 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Vitamix Lime Sherbert

My family loves the great State Fair of TX. We have no shame in this fact. I have flown back to TX just to be able to attend the fair with the fam.  Growing up in the FB all the kids got off from school for Fair Day.  We took full advantage of this day every year.  My parents would go to the ticket line and stock up on tickets for our family of 6 so we could enjoy all of the joys of the different foods that are offered.  We went to the fair this last year right after church on Sunday so I was hungry.  We went straight to the Fletchers Corny Dog line.   
B is slowly loving to appreciate the fair.  He may not love it, but he can appreciate it.  The last time I came to town I left B in Tucson so I could enjoy the fair on my own.  My mom wanted to make sure B had a trinket so she bought him the world-famous Big Tex bobble head.  B has his sitting proudly on his work desk! 
My dad knows how to navigate the fair and get to the key places we want to go.  We always spend a bulk of our day hanging out with our Vita-Mix friends. 


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Paleo spaghetti & meatballs

Spaghetti and meatballs, an American staple!  And let me tell you... this was GOOD!  I actually prepped the meatballs this morning and put them in the crockpot to cook all day while at work.  I love the idea of the crockpot because I really don't have to do much prep when I get home from a long day at work.  I found the initial recipe that I pretty much followed here.  I did not follow the recipe perfectly but it still tasted good!

I used:
2 lb lean ground turkey
2 stalks celery
2 whole carrots
1/4 white "sweet" onion
3 garlic cloves (minced)
2 eggs
1/4 cup Almond Meal
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp Black Pepper
Dash of Cayenne Pepper
Dash of Sea Salt

I used a chopper to mince up the celery, carrots and onions.  I dumped it into the KitchenAid with the rest of the ingredients and mixed it all up (see left picture).  From the recipe that I followed, there was WAY too much meat (see right picture) left over so that will be used for either more meatballs later or another recipe.  As you can see below.  I used about 1/3 of the whole recipe and filled the crockpot about two deep with meatballs. 

The sauce was absolutely delicious!  I used one 14.5 oz can of Organic Diced & Fire Roasted tomatoes as well as a 6 oz can of Organic tomato paste.  I added about 1/2 TBSP of dried basil and about 5 pieces of garlic minced (I really like garlic!) and mixed everything together.  I added about 1 cup of water to thin out the sauce mixture.  If you only use the diced tomatoes and paste, the sauce is quite thick.  It would have been perfect if I could have baked the meatballs and added the sauce on top later.  However, I wanted a thinner sauce to work well in the crock pot for a long day.

The sauce was added to the top of the meatballs and I cooked everything on "warm" for about 10-11 hours.  When I got home, I spaghetti-ized 3 zucchini and 1 yellow squash.  Once those were all prepped  I placed them in a microwave safe bowl and nuked them for 3 minutes.  Make sure to drain all the water out of the bowl before you serve the noodles.  As you can tell from the picture below, I did not drain the water well enough and it was a little watery.  B drained the liquid from the plate and enjoyed the rest of his meal!  This was such a satisfying meal and will be made again in our home.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Breakfast Bars & Fruit and Nut bars

Today was a day of baking.  B wanted more Fruit N' Nut bars and I found another recipe for breakfast bars so I decided to make both.  They use some of the same ingredients so it wasn't too crazy and hectic to do.  Also, I love being in the kitchen making and trying new things so this was nice for me. 

From the Breakfast Bars:
I found these at Elana's Pantry.  If you haven't checked out this site before go now!  It's great and has wonderful recipes. 
For the ingredients, I used:
1 ¼ cup blanched almond flour
 ¼ teaspoon sea salt
 ¼ teaspoon baking soda
 ¼ cup EVOO oil (because that's all I had on hand... the original recipe called for Grapeseed oil)
 ¼ cup agave nectar
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
 ½ cup pumpkin seeds
 ½ cup sunflower seeds
 ¼ cup almond slivers
 ¼ cup cranraisins (the original recipe called for raisins but I don't like them)

I combined the almond flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl
Then I added the oil, agave and vanilla in the Kitchen Aid mixer. 
Add the  dry ingredients into the wet ingredients
Mix in coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almond slivers and raisins
The recipe called for a 8x8 inch Pyrex baking dish but I don't have one so I used a 5 x 7 baking dish
Press the dough into the baking dish, I just used a spatula to even it all out in the pan.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes
My goodness this smells so GOOD!!!  They were still a little warm when I cut them so they feel a part but still will be a delicious snack throughout the week.

The Fruit N' Nut Bars (Coconut Cherry Bars). 
Again, I found these at EveryDay Paleo which is a great recourse through the journey of Paleo. 

Recipe calls for:
1 cup raw almonds
½ cup raw pecans
12 Medjool dates
1 cup dried cherries (unsweetened)
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup finely shredded coconut flakes (unsweetened)
¼ teaspoon salt

This time around I soaked my dates in pomegranate juice overnight to add a little more flavor.  I only own a mini chopper so I have to do all of this in parts which is simple enough.  I first chop the almonds.  Then the pecans with the salt.  I pour both into the Kitchen Aid mixer and stir lightly to mix.  I then have to chop of the dates after draining the pomegranate juice.  This turns into a thick gummy texture.  Add to the Kitchen Aid but do not mix.  Do the same with the dried cherries (I used cranraisins since I didn't have cherries on hand and these works just fine) with the 2 tbsp on coconut oil.  Once chopped, add to the Kitchen Aid mixer.  Dump in the 1/2 cup of coconut flakes and the Kitchen Aid do its magic.

Once mixed, grab a cookie sheet or just place some saran wrap on the counter top.  Dump the mixture onto the saran wrap and add another layer on top.  This allows you to roll it out without getting all sticky.  I put mine in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden a smidgen but this is not mandatory.  Cut it up and enjoy!  They aren't the prettiest looking things ever but the are mighty tasty and filling... which is all that it's about, right?!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Paleo tortilla FAIL

There was this lovely looking picture on my pin board in pinterest that showed tortillas.  I was feeling a little carb-acious (is that a word?) today so I decided to venture into a new recipe and try paleo tortillas and make some shredded chicken for Mexican dinner night.  Let's just say, I ended up eating something more like a tostada than tacos tonight.  The photo to the right is the picture that I saw and what I was aiming to make.  The recipe is here.  As you can see below... that is NOT at all what mine turned out like.  The recipe went a little something like this:
1/4 c coconut flour
8 large egg whites
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup water
coconut oil to use on your frying pan (aka my cast iron skillet)

All you do is mix all the ingredients together, heat the pan, and then pour about 3 tbsp of batter into the heated pan.  Can't be too difficult, right?  Well, leave it to me to make anything simple quite complicated.  The directs say to then tilt and swirl the skillet to spread out the batter into round thin tortilla shapes.  I used a spoon to thin them out.  The batter quickly began getting stuck onto the skillet so the first one had its far share of rips in it.  This is why I don't make pancakes either.  I cannot master the heat to oil to batter ratio that makes it easy to flip and look appealing all at the same time... I digress though...

The "tortillas" turned out more like a pancake.  They were thicker and clearly more browned than the lovely photo above.  The texture and taste were good... they just weren't tortilla-esque.  I decided we would still do Mexican night and make tostadas instead.  Now, I know tostadas are supposed to be crispy and these were not but I still thought it would be yummy.  I topped mine with shredded chicken, sauteed mushrooms, onions and red bell peppers, added some chopped lettuce and topped with 1/2 of an avocado.  The meal itself was filling and tasty.  Maybe some other day I will decide to try the tortillas again but until then, I guess I will be fine with no 'bread-like-substance'.  It was a thrilling thought while it lasted.   If you have the secret to perfecting the perfect tortilla, please let me know!!  I am eager to learn.  Thank you and enjoy your eating. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Paleo "candied" pecans (and I added walnuts too!)

Holy moly, may I say most delicious snack/dessert to have on hand!!!  These suckers smell delicious from the moment they go in the oven and taste even better when they come out.   I was in the mood for something sweet but didn't want to make homemade paleo ice cream so looked up online "paleo candied pecans".  I stumbled upon this website and decided to give it a try.  I followed the recipe to a "T" except for the fact that I didn't want to use just pecans.  I love pecans but had some walnuts on hand and at that time they sounded good "candied" too so I decided to give them a try. 
I preheated the oven to 250.  In a large bowl I added one egg white and 1 tbsp of water.  I whisked it for a good minute with a fork until it had a nice sheer frothy look to it.  I dumped two cups of pecans and two cups of walnuts in the egg bath and used a spoon to make sure all the nuts were bathed in the egg and water.  In a large Pyrex mixing cup I poured the 2/3 cup of honey, 1 tsp salt & 1 tsp cinnamon.  I also added about 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract for some extra flavor.  Add the honey mixture to the bowl of nuts and mix thoroughly.  Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and smooth down so that none are clumped on top of each other. 

Every 15 minutes for the next hour and fifteen minutes let the nuts roast away.  Every 15 minutes it is helpful to mix the nuts around on the parchment paper with a spatula so that they don't stick onto the paper.  At the end of the 1 hr 15 minutes, place into a glass bowl so that they don't cool on the parchment paper and stick there too.  Let cool and enjoy.  I have been snacking on them slightly warm and they are absolutely delicious.  They go in the fridge at night and are quite tasty chilled too.  Even though we aren't close to a winter holiday (which these remind me of) they are absolutely wonderful to snack on year round!  Enjoy.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Paleo Scotch Eggs

I've been reading about scotch eggs since I started Paleo.  I must be honest I have never heard of them nor seen then before now.  I googled Paleo scotch eggs and found this website.  A scotch egg is pretty much a hard boiled egg wrapped in ground meat and then baked.  I have also found recipes where you 'fry' them a bit on the stove and then pop them in the oven.  This recipe just involved baking so that is all I did this time around.  The recipe also mentioned that you could use breadcrumbs if you want on the outside.  I decided to try it out with Gluten Free Cornmeal as I tend to like a crunchy texture. The idea of just meat didn't settle with me. 

I had already pre-boiled the hard boiled eggs and thawed the ground turkey so this recipe did not take long at all to throw together.   All you do is remove the shell from the hard boiled egg and grab a handful of meat.  Place the egg in the center of the meat and start working it into a ball.  It's that easy.  All you have to do from there is dip the ball into the egg bath so that the gluten free cornmeal thoroughly sticks to the turkey. 
I did read in the instructions that you need to place the pre-cooked scotch eggs on some sort of drip tray so that the juices can drip from the meat while cooking.  I just use a cookie sheet lined with foil and placed an unfolded cooling rack on top.  This worked just fine. 

Have the oven pre-heated at 350.  Once the scotch eggs are prepped and ready to be cooked, place in the oven for 35 minutes.  When I took them out I didn't feel like they looked fully cooked.  We cut one open just to make sure and it was just fine.  I still think I might flash fry it before I eat it.  I understand they are good warm or cold but I'm not one for cold meat either.  One scotch egg can be a whole meal (to me).  They are quite hefty.  Moral of the story, they turned out fine and I'm glad I tried them...however I don't think I will be making these again.  They really didn't do that much for me. 

I have enjoyed exploring Paleo for this reason.  I am trying things I would NEVER have tried in the past and learning more and more of what I like and don't like.  This has been a fun journey so far.  Thank you for journeying along with me. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Today's Paleo-ized bfast & dinner

This morning I planned to make my breakfast and prep dinner at the same time.  I am continuing to practice my Crock Pot skills.  I'll tell you the truth, I still have a ways to go... but at least I'm trying.

For breakfast, I decided on sweet potato hash and eggs with 1/2 of an avocado.  The sweet potato is quite easy to put together although you will have to use your forearm muscles to grate the sweet potato.  I tend to buy two or three sweet potatoes at a time and will grate all of them at one time just to have it all prepped.  I have found that it lasts just fine in the refrigerator (in an air tight container) for a week or two. 

 I put about 1 1/2 - 2 cups grated sweet potato in a bowl, add some green onion and then plop in an egg to 'bind' it all together.  You can also add a splash of vanilla extract and cinnamon for a nice sweet treat.  Before I mix it all together, I warm up my cast iron skillet with a spoonful of coconut oil on medium-high heat.  I then just use my hand, but of course you can use a spoon or spatula, to mix it up.  I find it is just as easy to use my hand and then add it to the warmed cast iron.  I forgot to take a picture of the final product but trust me, you will not be disappointed with this meal.  I tend to make a large portion and put half away for dinner that night or breakfast the next morning.

Now, on to dinner!  I went with the crock pot pork chops again.  They were so tasty the last time that I just had to make them again.  I had thawed the pork chops in the fridge the night before so they were easy to work with.  I used 3 pieces of turkey bacon per each chop.  I layer the bacon just slightly and only use one tooth pick to hold it all together.    Turn on the broil setting of your oven.  When ready, place your chops in a baking dish and cook the bacon (crisps the bacon a bit which is what is intended) for about 15-20 minutes in the oven.  Eye the bacon to determine if it is crisped enough.  You don't want it to be blackened but you also don't want it too soft because they it gets soggy in the crock pot... and I just find that nasty.  I added 1 cup of beef broth (because that's the only broth I had in stock right now) and then some pineapple juice to the bottom of the crock pot.  Place the two broiled chops into the crock pot and smoother with pineapple (you can do rings, chunks or shredded).  I leave my crock pot on warm when I leave for work as I don't work a job that I can guarantee just an 8 hour day.  On this day, I ended up being gone for about 10 hours and the warmed crock pot worked just perfectly.  B loved the chops... however, when I cut into it I had one of  my meat-disgust moments and decided not to eat it.  I have done so much better about eating meat but I still run into those moments where, no matter how good it looks, I'm just not in the mood. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Paleo chocolate chip cookies

Oh my goodness, these are a hit at my house!  My mentor at work also is doing Paleo with his family so he has become such an asset to me in this part of the B & C food journey.  He sent me a recipe for Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies on Monday and said they were absolutely delicious.  Of course, when I got home from work on Monday, I HAD to try them out.  I did make a full batch but only baked 12 cookies.  B & I both don't always do well with portion control when it comes to dark chocolate.  :)  We have the dough handy if we need a couple of cookies here and there after a meal but this makes us heat up the oven and wait for them to be baked each time.  This has been a helpful tool for me in choosing wisely the foods that I need vs. the foods that I want.  So... let's get down to it, how do you actually make these delicious balls of goodness!?

3 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 c coconut oil
1/2 c maple syrup
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups Enjoy Life semi-sweet choc chips (I used choc chunks instead)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
First, I added the dry ingredients to my handy dandy KitchenAid mixer.
In a small bowl, I combined the eggs, maple syrup and vanilla extract and mixed thoroughly.
I then added the wet ingredients to the dry in the KitchenAid and mixed until blended
The 1/2 c of coconut oil went into the microwave for about 15 seconds to turn to a liquid substance and then was poured into the KitchenAid batter mixture.
Slowly, I added the chocolate chunks.
Once the mixture was ready to go, I took out my cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and went to work on our one dozen cookies that would be baked.  I have a cookie scoop that portions on the cookies perfectly. 
Bake for 15 minutes... and then voila!  Perfection in Paleo baking!!
Let cool for a couple of minutes then enjoy... you know I did!
I had two cookies out of this batch... Brian ate 10!!  He was not messing around.  Since our first batch, I have used the refrigerated cookie dough to make 3-6 cookies at a time.  I still preheat the oven to 375 degrees and bake for 15 minutes.  They turn out absolutely delicious each time around.  :)