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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?!

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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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!

My New Friend

29 Aug

Growing up in a family with 5 siblings, I didn’t get much alone time.  I guess it stuck, because I didn’t really like that much alone time, (until after I became a stay at home mom that is).

Before kids, I didn’t like going to the store alone.  Forget about the movies.

By myself?

Are you crazy?

Who will share the experience with me?!    Who will I laugh with?!  Or cry with?

I found that the same was true for exercise.  I liked running.  I especially liked running when someone would go with me.  In high school, I ran all the time, but that was mostly for basketball.  Then, I was always surrounded by my teammates who were just as miserable as I was.  In college, I found that my best friends were the ones who first were my running partners.  In fact, one of my college running buddies ran with me all the way up until I had my third and fourth kids.  (Twins)

About a year after they were born, I had a back injury, probably due to running.  It was a herniated disc which made running pretty impossible.  I forget sometimes, how bad it was.  But then I read the blog I wrote when I was making the decision for surgery and it reminds me.

I am better now.  Still have some numbness down my leg, even 4 years after surgery.  But it is really minor compared to what it was.  The main issue is that I am not supposed to be running.  Like, ever again.

Sigh.

Oh, and don’t forget, I homeschool and go to school (online).  Try that for making meeting up with friends to go exercise just about impossible!  And classes.  Bleck.  I mean…

I think you get now that I am what is called a buddy exerciser.  This makes it pretty challenging to be motivated to stay active without a buddy.  I mean, the kids are one thing, but they are not a buddy…

Enter my new friend.  (This is seriously not an advertisement.  I am not getting paid for this.  Though, that might not be a bad idea…)

I just got a fitbit a couple weeks ago.  Now, I don’t wear mine at night because I think we need to have at least one place in the house where we can escape the wireless electronics. (Read this link.  Worth further study, I think.) But it is set up so that you can track your sleeping habits as well.

(By the way, here is a really good article about artificial light and bad sleep.  I love Chris Kresser!)

I have to tell you, it has motivated me like a friend!  The goal is to get 10,000 steps per day.  That goal is adjustable, but that is the beginning level.  You can add people as friends on your fitbit profile page, though I have only added one so far.  Tonight, I went and did 50 minutes on my elliptical, which I normally hate.  When I was at about 30 minutes, and TIRED, I looked at my fitbit lights, (they light up based on how close you are to your goal) and realized I still had more than 20% left to go.

I swear, it was like hearing it say, “Come on!  You can keep going!  I’m not done yet!”

Um.  You are a sucky mean great friend.  So, okay.  Fine.  I’m going.

Of course, it is not a perfect friend.  It didn’t count half of my elliptical steps…um, thanks for nothing…?

But to its credit, it totally counted all my steps when I was making 6 meals on Sunday!  I did more than 3 miles in my kitchen!

So, I am taking the good with the bad.  And getting to know my friend better, as it makes me walk.  A lot.  All day.  Everyday.  With the kids.  And without the kids…

I think I need to name her.

Whole chicken to Dinner

27 Aug

 One of the ways we save money is to buy our pastured chickens whole.  That means that if we want to make a dish requiring cuts of chicken, I have to cut it myself.  Fortunately, I found a way, after watching multiple youtube videos, to cut it almost effortlessly.  Remember, this is the Lazy Chef way, which means there are not going to be gorgeous presentations at a gourmet dinner.  This is family cooking at it’s best. 

So, what better way to share my chicken cutting technique than on youtube!   This video was made a couple years ago for a friend.  I actually had her hunt it down for me from her archives so I could youtube it and share with all of you!  So thanks, Tracey! 

Just as a word of caution, this is a chicken.  And I am cutting it up.  So if you are squeamish about meat or the reality of food, you should not watch.  Seriously.  

Tomorrow, I will be sharing my pesto recipe.  This is a great way to cover the chicken we just cut…stay tuned!

 

Who is the lazy chef?

24 Aug

Let me be clear.  I consider myself a lazy chef because I just do not have time to spend three hours in the kitchen making these Cordon-Bleu-level-of-perfection masterpieces.  However, I love food, as long as it is REAL food, and I love to make things taste good.  I have a pretty good understanding of much of the science behind how foods work, both in the body and when combined in cooking.    I eat real, whole, straight from the farm foods, and that ain’t always easy!   All my recipes reflect that as a life philosophy, and I hope you can join in and enjoy the flavor life takes on when it is real.

I also have a story, just like each of you has a story.  Mine includes an amazing hubby, four kids under 12, homeschooling, multiple degrees in education and a degree in progress for Holistic Nutrition.  (Can you say over-achiever?)  It also includes growing up in the middle of the country with a great big garden and chickens, having chickens in our urban backyard on the west coast, and cooking for a kid with multiple allergies.  (Hubby wanted me to put urban “homesteading” backyard, just to make a point.  You’ll have to ask me about that for more info on the inside joke!)

Oh, and did I mention that I am very opinionated?  I don’t always share them, but I almost always have a strong opinion about any given topic.  My goal though, is to always be courteous when sharing mine, so that you can be courteous when sharing yours.

Intrigued yet?  No?  Then this blog is not for you.

My true purpose in starting this blog, (cuz I already have one that I rarely ever use), is to have a record of the recipes I make since I am always forgetting to write them down.  So, follow along, try my recipes, alter them and let me know how it worked for you!