10 ways to wear a Two Minute Wrap

27 Jun

Once upon a time, I was a mom with more time on her hands.  Back then, I decided to try a Pinterest project I found that I knew my girlies would love:

The two minute wrap.

Yes, really.  The lazy part applies to every area of creativity.  Seriously.

It was incredibly simple and literally took 2 minutes to make each of them, (I made 3), after we purchased the fabric.

Then, my genius fashion designer found a way to never wear it the same way twice.  So, she decided to share with all of you.  Study the pictures to create your looks, then see what else you can come up with!

The Original:

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Look Number 2:

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Look Number 3:

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Look Number 4:

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Look Number 5:

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Look Number 6:

 

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Look Number 7:

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Look Number 8:

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Look Number 9:

 

 

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Look Number 10:

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What is your favorite?!

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Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

27 Jun

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I have a sweet friend who comes over somewhat regularly. We offer her food every time she is here. It has nothing to do with the fact that she is thin and lovely. For reals. Nothing.

Anyway, she always asks if it is healthy, or organic. Not because she wants only healthy and organic food, of course. She is just testing me. Waiting, I think, for me to offer her something that is full of high fructose corn syrup. (I think it is because the gummy bears I gave her while we painted my bedroom were made with non-GMO cane sugar. Seriously.)

It won’t happen, I tell her. But still she asks. She must know it secretly gives me pleasure to tell her what is in something I made. She must be an enabler. Oh dear.

Well she was here this morning, but not for these muffins. I’ll have to make them for her now, since I put her in the same blog post.

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“Mmmmmmmmm.” At least, that is what my 8 year old calls these muffins.

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(I had to melt the honey cuz it was all crystallized.)

“These muffins are delicious! You can taste the peanut butter and the chocolate chips add a nice chocolatey flavor. Yumyumyumyumyumyumyummy! ” My 12 year old typed that herself!

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(This is how it starts.  Keep mixing!)

My son rolled his eyes and gave a half-hearted thumbs up. But that could be because I asked him what he thought about the muffins while his face was stuffed with pizza.

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(Til it looks like this!)

These are a super simple recipe that can be done by hand, in a mixer, or in a food processor. They can also be made with ANY nut butter. I love versatility!IMG_2099

Nut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

6 eggs (pastured)
½ cup nut butter (I used peanut)

½ cup coconut milk

1 ½ Tbsp vanilla extract

½ cup honey (or other natural sweetener)*

½ cup coconut flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder (aluminum free)

½ tsp salt

½ -1 cup chocolate chips (Enjoy Life is a good brand)

 

*If you use another dry sweetener, like coconut sugar, add 1 Tbsp. coconut oil to maintain the moisture of the muffins.

Directions:

  1. In the food processor, mixer or by hand with a whisk, mix all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, until it is smooth.
  2. Add the chocolate chips and stir in.
  3. Use an ice cream scooper to fill the muffin cups about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  5. Cool on a wire rack (or not).

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Gluten Free Fallen Souffle Cups

12 Mar

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I am what you might call an irregular blogger.  Every time I make a meal I think in my head, “Oh yeah!  This would be a great one to blog.”  And then I finish making whatever it is, serve it, eat it, put the kids to bed and carry on my merry way, (with an occasional gratuitous food picture on Facebook).

This week, after 4 months of chaos in my house-including a leak in the walls, replacing floors, bathroom vanity, walls, etc-I finally had a free moment to think.  So what do I think about?  Ah, that was clearly a rhetorical question.

Lately, I have been spending an unreasonable amount of time thinking of breakfast.  You see, our beautiful little chickens have finally been laying after a long winter’s rest.

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This means one thing:  EGGS!  Well, it also means that I am getting my money’s worth out of keeping them again.  No chicken stew this week!  (Okay, so I really can’t make any of them into stew.  My kids have grown ridiculously attached to them all.  It looks like it will be the long haul for these girls.)

Thanks to Pinterest, I now have about 15,000 recipes to use for breakfast, (though admittedly about 14,990 of them are just variations on the other 10).

Using one of those gluten and dairy filled ideas as a starting point, I created a pancake/souffle/biscuit cup recipe that is incredibly versatile.  We have already had it two ways, with a third way in motion for tomorrow.  Oh, and did I mention they are EASY?!

Now, without further ado:

Gluten Free Fallen Souffle Cups (with a dairy free option!)

7 eggs (preferably pastured)

1 cup milk (preferably raw/grass fed) Dairy free option: Coconut milk (can probably use almond or hemp or whatever)

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3/4 cup tapioca starch

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp. sea salt (I increased this to almost a full teaspoon on the dairy free version)

1 tsp. vanilla (optional-great for breakfast, I left it out for dinner)

1/4 cup salted grass fed butter – Dairy free option: coconut oil

DIRECTIONS

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2.  Toss everything except the butter/coconut oil into a blender and mix until combined and slightly fluffy.  You MAY have to scrape the sides down once or twice.

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3.  Add half the butter/coconut oil, blend for about 15-20 seconds and then add the rest.

4.  Prep 12-18 baking cups, (you know, in a muffin pan), with either some really good oil or paper cups.  (I prefer the natural parchment paper liners)

5.  Divide the liquid evenly among the prepared cups.  For 18 cups, this is about 1/4-1/3 cup each.  For 12, go for about 1/3 cup to start and then go back and add more to each cup.

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6.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, until very puffy and turning golden.

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7.  Remove from oven and allow to sit for a couple minutes to deflate.  Remove them from the paper and allow to rest on a wire rack until ready to serve.  I like them served ultra warm so had all my fillings ready to go by the time they came out of the oven.

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Some options for filling/topping them:

scrambled eggs with sausage or bacon, jam, whipped cream with fruit, sausage and kale (see first picture), sloppy joe mix, pulled pork, etc, etc, etc.  What I found is that they are best when topped with something that includes some sort of sauce.  But that is just my own personal preference.

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This one was filled with cream cheese mixed with a tbsp of coconut sugar nd 1 tsp of fresh lemon zest, topped with a blueberry lemon compote.  Seriously amazing!

 

If you make them and try a new variation, be sure to tell me about it in the comments.

How to Cut a Pomegranate (Or Life Changing Tip #1)

24 Oct

When I first learned this method it literally changed my life.  Previously, we have dressed in painting clothes, filled and spilled large bowls of water and generally made messes while trying to open the nutrient rich red seeded fruit.  Many of our lovely poms have been sent out to the compost bin or thrown out into the chicken yard because I just didn’t have the time or energy to work on opening them.  It was a tragic waste of good food.

Suddenly, we are going through several pomegranates per week!  I can’t even save any to send to work with hubs!  Bring on the poms!!!  I am ready for you now!

Sunday Sampler Week 2

9 Oct

Yes, I know it isn’t Sunday..or Monday..or..Tuesday..ahem. I got a little behind this week with family visitors and while the meals were cooked, not much was recorded…

SO.

Meals for this week are fun and yummy!

Only one is frozen, the other 2 are refrigerated to keep the veggies nice and crisp.

Meal 1- Barbacoa Pot Roast

 

This is our frozen meal. I made a barbacoa marinade, soaked a 5 pound grass fed chuck roast, added onions, carrots, beef bone broth and a few extra spices and then let it set for about an hour before freezing. This is a crockpot meal and will be cooked on low for 6-8 hours to keep the meat tender and yummy.

Meal 2- Hot Dog Skewers

I made a marinade of mustard, apple cider vinegar, celery seed and sea salt. Into this I put chopped red onions, baby pickles, spicy peppers, pasture raised hot dogs, cherry tomatoes and zucchini. Everything that I could think of that might make a super incredible NYC hot dog. After tossing, I loaded it all onto presoaked skewers. These go into the fridge to wait for the day we pop them on the grill.

I also made a gluten free buttery biscuit to go with these and froze them precooked. They will go into a 400* oven while the hotdogs are on the grill and cook for about 20-25 minutes.

Meal 3- Pear and Balsamic Quinoa Salad

 

This is one of my favorite cold or hot salads. It can be made with pears or apples, both crisp and fresh.

Need:

Chicken, chopped or shredded

Zucchini, chopped

Onion, chopped

Crisp Pears, chopped

Stinky cheese, (bleu, gorgonzola, etc)

Parm Cheese, shredded

Carmelized nuts (any) I used walnuts.

For the marinade:

Balsamic vinegar

Olive Oil

Honey Mustard

Garlic cloves, minced

Onion, minced

Sea salt/pepper

Mix together. Add to zucchini, onion and chicken, evenly. Allow to marinate for at least an hour.

For the Caramelized nuts:

Very carefully, melt some coconut sugar in a saucepan. Add chopped nuts before it completely melts and stir constantly until it is all stuck together. Dump onto a bit of parchment paper to cool. This stuff is seriously hot. It can burn!

For the quinoa:

2 cups of soaked quinoa

4 cups of chicken bone broth

Cook in a saucepan over medium to low heat. Bring broth to a boil, pour in Quinoa and cover tightly. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 20 mins or until broth has been completely absorbed into quinoa. Remove lid to finish steaming and remove from heat. Toss lightly with a fork. Dump into a large bowl.

Cook up chicken (if it is not already cooked, otherwise heat it in the saucepan/skillet), dump into bowl with quinoa.

Cook up zucchini and onion, dump into bowl with quinoa, including sauce.

Dump in cooled nuts, stinky cheese, pears and parm cheese.

Toss it all together. Taste and then salt to taste.

This keeps very well in the fridge.

 

So there you go. Our three meals for the week. I also made pizza for our Sunday family meal and had a quick homemade mac and cheese for last night. That is a full meal week. Hope that helps with some ideas for you!!!

What are you having this week?

Sunday Sampler-Make Ahead Meals

30 Sep

Well, today is my cook for the week day, so I thought I would share my meal plan with you!

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I only make three meals, with the hope that there will be enough for leftovers at least twice.  That leaves me with just two days during the week to freak out come up with something easy.

This week, my folks are coming into town on Friday so we will probably have grilled tri-tip one night and something my dad likes the next.  Makes it easy!

So here we go:

Meal 1

Carne Asada Stir Fry, Tony Style

Will need 30 minutes on the day of consumption.

For this, I will be cutting up and marinating the meat, then freezing it.  The most time consuming part of making a stir fry is cutting up veggies.  These I will not be freezing but will be separating according to cooking times.

Meat Marinade (my Chinese hubby taught me the right way to do this!)

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1 lb thinly chopped carne asada, grass fed

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 or 2 tsp coconut aminos

(optional) 1 tsp tamari

3 cloves garlic

1 small diced onion

sea salt and pepper

1 tsp fresh grated ginger

1/4 cup red wine

1 tsp honey or coconut sugar

Mixed together, left to sit out for an hour, then frozen.

Veggies

Any combo of the following: bok choy, cabbage, celery, carrots, zucchini, onion, broccoli, green onions, chard, spinach, green and red peppers

These will be chopped and ready to be fried up in coconut oil.

Toppings, not for cooking: cilantro, chives, green onion tops.  These just get tossed in once everything is combined.

Rice

I will use either white rice or sprouted brown rice cooked in bone broth.  This will be saved for the day of cooking.  Broth is already made and in the fridge, ready to go.

Meal 2

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Tami’s Meatloaf

This will need about 45 minutes to cook at 350* after thawing in the fridge on the day of consumption.

The recipe will be mixed and placed in a loaf pan, ready to cook.  Easy to freeze, this will be just as easy to thaw and bake on the day we eat it.

2 lbs ground beef (with liver ground in!) grass fed

1/4 cup ketchup (homemade or Portland brand)

1/8 cup coconut aminos

1 cup gluten free organic oats (or cooked rice)

2 eggs, pasture raised

1 cup shredded zucchini

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

sea salt and pepper

Mixed together well.  Put into loaf pan.  Ditch made down the middle of the top and filled with ketchup. Frozen.

Meal 3

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Salmon cakes

These will need about 20 minutes in the oven from frozen at 400* on the day of consumption.

I don’t have the recipe for this one figured out yet, but I will be making these and frying them in coconut oil, then freezing with the intent to bake to reheat.

I’ll probably alter the recipes here, here and here, to make a unique and paleo option.  Might have to post that one this week.  🙂

I am using a bunch of the canned Think Pink brand.  This is wild caught salmon from Alaska.  Back when I had a Costco membership, I bought it there.  ( I really wish I could get paid for all this free advertising!)  But in all fairness, they have a lot of bones in their cans.  Just sayin.  Not super time efficient…

So there you go!  What are you having for dinner this week?

Meal planning-with a twist

26 Sep

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Every one needs a cool glass of sunset once in a while, don’t you think?

But seriously, wouldn’t it be awesome to have dinner at that table every night?    My family only got to have that view for a few short days during Christmas break, but every night was just that beautiful.

When my extended family gets together for several days, we have devised a plan to make sure we are all fed and fed well for the duration of the visit.  Each family takes on a meal or two and brings a variety of snacks to share.  It makes the gatherings both enjoyable and affordable, as well as easier for which to plan and shop.  Interestingly, we also end up leaving with lots of leftovers!

Sadly, my life at home is not quite so easy.  I have done a variety of meal plans, and some have worked well for short periods of time.  The truth is though, just because you have a plan, doesn’t mean it will always work.  My biggest issue is just finding the time and energy at the end of a long and sometimes crazily busy day to make dinner.  I can’t tell you how many times I have come in to the kitchen at 4:30 or 5pm and realized that the meat that was supposed to be thawing in the fridge overnight never made it out of the freezer.

Sigh.  (That is not always my thought.)

So this year, we are trying something new. While our setup is unique to me and my particulars, I wanted to share some ideas to motivate meals and build community at the same time.  In the upcoming weeks, I hope to come up with some kind of cool name, like Menu Mondays or Sample Sunday, and share the ideas we have for that week.  There won’t always be a recipe, but that is what google is for, right?

Idea 1: Barter

Trading for Services

Do you know someone who cooks the way you want to eat?  Do they have kids?  Do they have time?  Do you have something of value to trade?

If you can trade services for meals this is a fantastic way to get some good food on the table.  I know some people who trade massage therapy, piano lessons, handyman work, gardening, sewing lessons, etc.  Any of those things make excellent currency when looking to trade for meals.

If you are looking for cost comparisons, real food meals *IN TRADE* should cost about $10 per person per meal.  This would include time to prepare.

Trading Meals

If you are the one with the meals to barter, try making a double portion when you are cooking for someone else.  Freeze or refrigerate the second portion for your own family.  This way, your time is being utilized very well, and not only are you getting a service for your hard work, but also feeding your family at the same time.

Idea 2: Prepping with a Friend (or 3 or 5)

Find three to five friends who have similar family structure and food choices.  For example, if you have 3 or 4 young kids, you could partner with people who have 3 or 4 or 5 young kids OR with someone who has 1 or 2 teenagers.  The idea is to need about the same amount of food in each family, with or without leftovers.

Plan one day a week to either cook independently or, for a really fun day, together.  Each person contributes one meal but makes it in bulk with portions for each family.  So you leave your fun cooking session with 3 meals ready to go for the week.

There are so many things that can go along with this!  You can have family meal ratings, anonymous, of course.  This way, everyone gets feedback on the meals without getting feelings hurt.  You can have weekly or monthly themes, kid prepped weeks, added dessert weeks…

And if you are getting together to make the meals, you can have wine.

I’m just sayin…wine.  Win, win.

Idea 3: Payment plan

Similar to barter except…well, with money.

Pay for it

If you are fortunate enough to be able to afford it, find a friend who is a great cook and pay her/him to make you three or four meals per week.  This works really well if you are the payer, because time is money and crazy schedules can work if you have ready made meals to throw together.  If you eat out a lot, this can also be a time AND money AND waist line saver.  Count the cost, see if this is an option for you.

Some advantages from the community perspective is that you are becoming intimately involved with whoever cooks for you.  It is a labor of love, even if there is money involved.

Get Paid For It

If you are the awesome cook, you can offer this as a solution for a friend who can afford it.  (Even as an option to help someone save money!)  Bonus for the chef is that while you are doing meals for someone else, you make double portions and have meals for your own family as well.  Again, time is used very efficiently and you make a little money to pay for art or music lessons (or wine) on the side.

The Point

The point is, we aren’t in this alone.  There are lots of other families who are struggling to get dinner on the table each night.  What a great opportunity to step into a real community spirit and share the burden and blessing of food with each other!

If you have more ideas or something that has worked for your community, please share in the comments!