Our Family

Our Family
Our Family

Friday, October 18, 2013

Pressure Cooker Chili

A dear friend of mine brought me some amazing chili after John David was born ... (He's now 3 weeks old). I had her email me the recipe so I could make it and stock my freezer with this healthy chili recipe.

Pressure Cooker Chili
5 chopped roma tomatos
1 large onion chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 green pepper chopped
1 jalepeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed and chopped
1 large or two small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 carrots peeled and chopped
1 - 8 oz can of tomato sauce (Or I guess you could do 4 oz of tom paste mixed with some water)
1 to 1 1/2 lbs of ground beef (frozen or not)
3 T. cornstarch and 1/2 c water 

Chop all veggies and put in your pressure cooker
Put frozen gr beef on top of veggies and pour spices on top of beef
Use a spice mix or just mix your fave chili spices like chili powder, cumin, paprika etc.
add 2 tsp of salt if your mix doesn't have it
Pour tomato sauce on top of frozen beef/spices
Add 6 - 8 oz of water (just rinse out tom sauce can)

Put top on pressure cooker and turn burner to high to bring to high pressure
As soon as high pressure achieved, turn burner to low and let cook on high pressure for 30 minutes
Then remove from heat and let steam come out naturally 10 - 12 minutes

Open up top and break up ground beef with a spoon and mix well
Add in cornstarch/water mixture to help thicken up a bit if desired

Thank you Stephanie Cowart for this Kitchen Changing recipe :) 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Month Worth of Dinners Oct/Nov

Ravioli and Marinara Chicken w/ Mozz
Julie Hamill Stew (FB) and Rolls (Use Sweet Potato) 
Hot Chicken Cass. (w/ Shredded Chicken)
Chicken Sausage/Rice Crockpot 365  … Salad (GJ)
TBD – Ginnie and Jay (Maybe Take Out)
Chili and Rice Chips, Mexi Cheese, Guac
Baked Italian Chicken and Roasted veggies
Italian Sausages, Veggies in Marinara and Rice Pasta
Crockpot Drumsticks (Save Leftovers for Sun), Roasted Carrots and Rice
Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Sweet Potato and Grilled Veggies
Grilled Ribs and Wings, Slaw, Sweet Potato Fries
L/O Crockpot Drumstick Meal 
Hot Dogs (Mac and Cheese – For the Boys) Raw Veggies and Fruit
Zucc. Crusted Pizza for the boys / Cooking Club- Mom  (Salami Cups w/ Antipasta)
Italian Chicken Soup and Salad
Taco Salad, Guac
Lamb Steaks, Roasted Sweet Potato and Green Beans
Almond Baked Chicken, Brocc and Rice 
Chili, Rice Chips, Guac
Chicken and Veggie Curry over Cauli Rice
Drumsticks BBQ, Salad, Paleo Brocc Cass.
Thai Express
Spag. Squash Bol (Prac Paleo)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stove Top Steel Oats

2 T coconut oil
1 1/2 steel oats (Gluten free)

Toast in large pot

2 1/2 cups of milk
2 cups of water
pinch of salt

Add to pot and bring to a boil. Stir.
Turn heat to low and cook 20-30 min. Stirring occasionally.

After it comes to the consistency of your liking you can add in toppings:

Apple Sauce
Pear Sauce
Diced Fruit
Dried Fruit
Shredded Coconut

Saturday, August 10, 2013

And a new chapter begins ... Alittle Bittersweet! Kindergarten and Staying Home Full-Time

This past Thursday Matthew started to phase-in to Kindergarten at Nolan Elementary. He will go back the following Thursday and then start going everyday starting the next two Wednesdays. It is a nice way to ease mama's into letting go! This is a bittersweet time for me personally because as I watch him and the teachers gear up for school ... I am not. This is the first time since 1986 that I have not gone to school myself (as a student or employee). We have faith that this is God's plan for our family ... because in about 6 weeks or so we will welcome our third son into our lives. As I am learning to let go of the past I am hopeful for what is to come: One on One time with Issac, Helping Matthew transition to Kindergarten, Staying at Home with the new baby, Getting more involved in community organizations ... Life is very full right now and we are thankful for God's continued grace ... even though it may not be easy ... it's easier because of Him!

Matthew's First day of School ... and so it begins! 

Here is our new weekly Menu:

Saturday: Pizza Soup (I made some alterations ofcourse ... I shredded a large zucchini, omitted the mushrooms, used ground turkey sausage instead of links, used homemade marinara instead of pizza sauce, I am also added black olives at the end)

Sunday: Church Potluck Taco Bar ... I'm bringing cookies, chips and My fresh tomato salsa!

Monday: Hot Wings, Rosemary Garlic Roasted Potatoes and Salad

Tuesday: Leftovers

Wednesday: Mandarin Orange Chicken over Cauli Rice w/ Steamed Broccoli

Thursday: Salmon Patties, Sweet Potato Fries and Green Beans

Friday: Grilled Turkey Sandwiches, Fruits and Veggies

Fresh Tomato Salsa

8 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced (I just sliced the top off and squeezed gently)
2 small onions, diced (right out of the dirt)
1 clove garlic
1 4oz. jar of green chilies
8 tsp. frozen cilantro or a bunch of fresh
1/4 more or less of pickled jalo or one fresh
1 T. lime juice
Salt to taste

Place all ingredients in blender and blend (the boys had fun taking turns pushing the button).
Put in fridge ... enjoy right away or wait a day or two and flavors will get better ... adjust seasoning as well!

"Easy peasy lemon squeezy!" - VeggieTales

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summertime ...

Weekly Menu ...

Monday: BLT, Roasted Green Beans and Sweet Potato Fries

Tuesday: Salmon and Eggplant Quinoa Bake (recipe below from Lisa Snow)

Wednesday: Church Picnic at the Park ... Subs, Chips and Apple sauce

Thursday: Salsa Verde Enchiladas and Fruit

Friday: (Farmer's Market inspired dinner)

Saturday: Grilled Steaks and Veggie Packs

Eggplant and Quinoa Bake

Sauté 2-3 garlic cloves, 1 onion, diced mushrooms (we didn't have mushrooms so I used some zucchini) , one large peeled and chopped eggplant in olive oil until soft. Add a can of diced tomatoes, a squirt or two of Braggs liquid aminos, and generous spices--basil, oregano, etc., salt and pepper to taste. Add cayenne if you like it spicy.
Separately cook about 1/2 to 3/4 cup dry quinoa and add to veggies once cooked. Stir in about 1/2 cup shredded cheddar and 1/2 cup shredded mozzerella, or whatever cheese you like.
Put mixture into large casserole dish and bake until bubbly at 350, about 25 min.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Quick and Easy Week July 14th to 20th

I have been finding it harder and harder to think of meals ... and the thought of spending aton of time cooking in the kitchen during this hot muggy summer is dreadful! So this week is quick and easy ...

Sunday : Hot Dogs, Chips, Green Beans and Watermelon

Monday: Cooking Club Night ... Italian Themed

Tuesday: Hoagies filled with sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms and olives

Wednesday: Chicken, Spinach, Artichoke Pasta Bake with Broccoli

Thursday: Beef and Salsa Verde Enchiladas (corn tortillas) with tomatoes and lettuce

Friday: Gyros with Chicken, Taziki and Homemade Pita / Side of Greek Salad

Saturday: Grilled Steak, Veggies and Potatoes

Lots of these ideas have come from pinterest ... another addiction of mine and the rest of the world!!!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes
(I tripled this recipe to feed 5)

1 large egg
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh pinnapple sage
1 (7.5 ounce) can crab meat drained (I use Trader Joes)
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon coconut oil, for frying

Combine the egg, mayonnaise, Worcestershire, salt, onion, and pinnapple sage in a large bowl and mix well. Add the crab and panko.

Using a 1/4 measuring cup to help shape into patties and place on a Silpat or foil lined baking sheet. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet or a large griddle set over medium heat. Cook patties until they are golden brown on the first side, about 4 minutes. Carefully flip cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Cranberry Goat Cheese Chicken Pasta

Tonights dinner was inspired by our freezer ... I found a cranberry goat cheese log and some boneless skinless chicken breasts and dinner was created. It was so yummy that everyone cleaned their plates ... and that is how I know I know I need to write the recipe down before I forget it!

Preheat oven to 350 


1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts

coated with: oil, salt, pepper, italian seasonings and dried minced onion

Bake for 30 min and set aside to rest. Then chop into bite size pieces.

Heat a large skillet and add: 

1 goat cheese log (cranberry coated)
1/2 or more of chicken broth
garlic powder
salt and pepper
minced pinnapple sage

Add already cooked pasta and ENJOY! 

We served it with roasted balsalmic broccoli from our CSA box!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Mexican Squash Cassarole

2 T. oil
5-6 yellow squash (chop big)
2 medium onions (chop)

* Saute for 7 minutes

1 can of roasted green chile peppers
Salt and Peppers
2 T. chile powder

* add and saute for another minute

1 can sweet yellow corn (drained)
1 can of diced tomatoes (drain about half the juice)

* add and saute for 2 minutes and pour into a 9x13 dish

1 tub of polenta (I like the organic kind from Trader Joes)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

* Slice polenta into 7 slices and top squash, then sprinkle with cheese

Bake at 500 for 12-15 minutes (watch so it don't burn)

Back to Life ... Back to Reality (6/25-6/30)

We are just getting back from a long weekend beach trip to Tybee Island, GA. We were kid free and celebrating a dear friends wedding ... as well as an awesome reunion with Michael's LaGrange boys and their lovely significant others. We have decided to keep this up and continue a yearly or more get together :)

So now we are back to laundry, dishes and dinners ... Here's the weekly menu:

Tuesday: Grilled TBone Steaks, Mexican Squash Cassarole and Pressure cookerbraised kale

Wednesday: Pork Tenderlion, Apple Bacon Slaw, Leftover Greens

Thursday: Hot Dogs, Leftover Slaw, Salad

Friday: Cranberry Goat Cheese Baked Chicken with brown rice penne pasta and steamed broccoli

Saturday: Picnic Dinner at the Park

Sunday: Leftovers

Breakfast Choices: Chocolate Banana Shakes, Baked Eggs with leftover squash, Blueberry Muffins

Lunch Choices: Tuna Sweet Potato Patties and Leftovers

Monday, June 3, 2013

Weekly Menu June 3 - 9

Today is my last day of work at Fairyland Elementary ... Saying goodbyes are hard but I am so encouraged by God's faithfulness ... He has a plan and I am not forgotten. I am so blessed with friends and family that support and encourage me. I have been leaning heavily on my mother lately. When I find myself saddened I call her ... what a gift I have in my mother. Now if I can be that same safe place for my boys ...

Enough about life ... onto food ... I am going to try a couple of new ideas/recipes this week ...

Monday: Sierra Steak Tacos with a radish slaw, Grilled Corn and Collards

Radish and Carrot Slaw 

7 radishes, grated
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup green onion, minced
1 T. pinnapple sage, minced 
1t. coconut palm sugar
1T. rice wine vinegar 
salt and pepper

Let sit for 30 min or more 

Tuesday: Cranberry Goat Cheese Baked Chicken and Antipasti Salad over mixed greens

Wednesday: Fiesta Chicken Salad (Romaine, Shredded Chicken, Corn, Black Beans, Green Onions, Cucumber, Tomatoes with a salsa ranch dressing)

Thursday: Tuna and Sweet Potato Cakes with Braised Red Cabbage

Friday: Pizza or Out to Dinner

Saturday: Grilled Wings, Gilled Corn and Grilled Veggie packs (potato, onion, zucchini and mushrooms)

Sunday: Leftover Night

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

South of the Border

Tonight we decided to add some spice and flavor into our dinner. The season has made a big turn to hot ... no more cold spells. Therefore our menu planning has to switch too. During Spring and Summer we tend to grill more and have mexican several times a week. So I decided to try some new recipes ...


Carne Asada
Spanish Cauli-Rice
Guacamole with radishes and oranges

Carne Asada

1.5 to 2 lb Top Sirlion (grass fed from New Dawn Farms)
2 T. oil (coconut)
1 t. cumin
1 t. smoked paprika
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 T lime juice

Sliced meat into strips and set aside. Mix the remaining ingredients in a bowl and add meat. Let marinate in the refrigerator for several hours.

Heat skillet to medium high heat and add 2 T oil. Saute meat in batches.

Serve with Cauli- Rice ...

Spanish Cauli- Rice

1 med. head of cauliflower, grated
2T oil
1 c. fresh style salsa
1 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. smoked paprika

Heat large skillet and add oil. Then add all spices and salsa. Very carefully add you riced cauliflower and stir to coat with spices and salsa. Cook for about 15 min on med low heat.

Enjoy! We sure did!

Monday, May 20, 2013

20 Weeks Pregnant and Feeling Fine!

So sorry it has been awhile. We are pregnant (20 weeks) with another boy ... so excited for a house of boys! During the first trimester it was hard/impossible for me to stick with Paleo eating. Ofcourse my body wanted bread/gluten and cheese ... which I have been staying away from. Now that my tummy has calmed down I am getting back on the bandwagon of Paleo ... I feel better and it help me lose/manage my weight. My plan make ahead as much as I can. So everything underlined I have made on Monday ...

So here is my menu for this week :

Breakfasts: Blueberry/Banana Muffins (from Eat Like a Dinosaur) and Spinach Tomato Basil and Feta Frittata Bake

Lunches: Poppyseed Chicken Salad with homemade mayo, Salmon Patties and Leftover Dinner


Monday: Cobb Salad (Grilled Chicken, Bacon, Eggs, Avocado, Tomato, Cucumber, Romaine and Dressing)

Tuesday: Spaghetti Squash with Beef and Marinara

Wednesday: Grilled Steaks and Broccoli Salad

Thursday: Mandarin Chicken (From Paleo Indulgences), Steamed Brocc over Cauli Rice

Friday: Make your own pizza night (Cauliflower crust for me, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, onion..)
* We just had the boys birthday last weekend ... and one of their gifts from my sweet friend Gretchen was chef hats, aprons (both with their names on them), spatulas, cutting board and measuring spoons ... so this night we will break it all in!

Issac is ready to cook with Mama! 

Happy Birthday Boys we love you and can't wait for our other little boy to join the fun! 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Week of Feb. 17

This week is a 3 day work week for me ... I am trying to be as prepared as possible without compromising our meals and budget.

So here's the plan :

Sunday: Grilled Sirloin, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and some corn

Monday : Kung Pao Chicken, Steamed Broccoli and Quinoa

Tuesday : halupki-stir fry (Made Monday afternoon)

Wednesday: crock-pot-hawaiian-bbq-chicken (I adjust this recipe some by using my own BBQ sauce), green beans and brown rice

Thursday: Leftovers

Friday: paleo-comfort-food-cottage-flower-pie (This makes alot so I am freezing half for another work night)

Saturday : (Shopping and menu planning this day)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Stealing Menu's from Stephanie

So my friend Stephanie has worked so hard the whole month of January and completed the WHOLE 30 ... a major feat! During this time she posted pictures of everything she onto facebook ... what an inspiration to us all. This week's menu is inspired by Stephanie ...

Sunday - moroccan-meatballs with roasted brussel sprouts and cauliflower rice

Monday - paleo-pad-thai (double the recipe)

Tuesday - leftover moroccan meatballs, brussel sprouts and cauli rice

Wednesday - Grilled pork chops with chez-panisse-braised-red-cabbage and apple sauce

Thursday - leftover pad thai

Friday - Curried Kelp Noodles with ground beef

Saturday - Grill Out ...

Breakfasts - Chicken Sausages, Veggie Frittata, chocolate-zucchini-muffins

Lunches - Chicken Salad w/ roasted red peppers and olives

Sunday, January 27, 2013

My Favorite Chili

We love chili especially during these cold winter days/months! I adapted my mother's recipe and civilizedcavemancooking.com and added some of my own twists along the way.

1 T. coconut oil 
2 green pepper
1 yellow, orange OR red pepper
2 onions
3 t. crushed garlic 
2 lbs. grassfed ground beef
3-4 med size carrots 
2 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 T. tomato paste
1 1/2 cups broth
4 oz. of green diced chilies 
3-4 T. chili powder 
1 t. cumin
1 t. oregano 
salt and pepper 

Chop all the onions and peppers and saute with garlic and oil. Then add ground beef, cook and drain oil. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 m. - 1 hour in a dutch oven. Then turn off heat and cover for several hours. Reheat when ready to serve. 
I will be making some grain and corn free "corn bread" minus the honey and add some green chilies ... yum 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Starting Over after the Flu

The flu has been here and destroyed me for almost a week ... 21 day detox went out the window ... So I have decided to start back at day 1. Even though I was half way to the end ... I realized there is no end to my health journey ... So why not start over :)

It's Saturday night and sitting here typing this is wearing me out! I hope and pray that I will be back to normal by Monday morning ... So here's the plan and I'm sticking to it!

Sunday - Chili and Rice leftovers from last week

Monday - Bacon Wrapped Chile Lime Chicken Thighs with broccoli

Tuesday - Meatloaf with Green Beans (Sweet Potatoes for the boys)

Wednesday - Salmon and Shrimp Cakes and Veggies

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Cooking Club Night - Chili and "cornbread"

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Greek Kalamata Olive Chicken

Tonights dinner was amazing! Yes a big Greek Chicken Salad was amazing ... you heard me! After my CT scan this morning and having some awful tummy pains following and not feeling like eating left me super hungry tonight ... So I threw this all together and the smell from the oven was delightful and fresh. I hope you enjoy this super simple recipe.

Greek Kalamata Olive Chicken  

4 blsl chicken breast
1/2 jar pitted kalamata olives
1/2 the jars olive juice
2 t. oregano
2 t. italian seasons blend
garlic (fresh or powder)
1 T. minced onion
2 T. coconut oil
1 T. lemon juice

Set oven to 400. Mix all the ingredients (except chicken) together in baking dish and add chicken. Coat chicken and set aside until the oven is ready. Once preheated put chicken in the oven and drop temp to 350. Set timer for 30 min and check if ready. Depending on the thickness of your chicken it may need more ... Mine needed another 12 min. Let rest in dish for another 5-10 mins.

* Pairings Ideas : Big Greek Salad, Cauli Rice and Mixed Veggies, Lemon Garlic Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Back to Work ... In more ways than one!

Week 1 results: Down 5.5 lbs, feeling great less bloated feeling, abit tired and getting tired of eggs but what can I do ... they are easy and cheap!

This is the week I dread ... back to work after 18 days home with my babies! Thanking the Lord I only work part time ... Lots of hard work has gone into me being able to stay home part time ... My amazing husband, my inlaws and Michael's grandparents. I do not in anyway take it for granted that I am blessed with this opportunity, I am home with my boys and get to pursue my career ... the best of both worlds.

Breakfast Ideas: Chorizo and Eggs, Smoothies, Vanilla Pancakes and Bacon, Hard Boiled Eggs

Lunch: tuna salad in wraps and leftovers


Sunday - Chili and Cauli Rice  with avocado

Monday - Halupki Casserole from Paleo Parents ELaD book and Roasted Carrots

Tuesday - (First day back) Roasted Garlic Chicken Sausages, Braised Red Cabbage and Kraut 

Wednesday - Curry-Meatballs over roasted broccoli

Thursday - meatloaf-cupcakes and green beans (MAKE ON WED)

Friday - Chicken Tenders (For the boys sweet potato fries) and fresh veggies

Saturday - Grilled Pork Chops and Grilled Veggies (Zucc, Mushrooms and Onions)

Sunday - Leftovers