Guest Posts Coming!

Hey…

So my posting does seem sporadic as of late, but I don’t want to close down my blog. So, I am now a “sporadic food blogger”. When I get especially inspired about a new recipe I have, or find one that I cannot stop using, etc. I will BLOG it! Or, if I get into a run of new recipes that I actually write down, I will BLOG! I want to have these for the future! I may make a cook book one day! For now though… sporadic.

In the mean time, I have asked my uncle, a GREAT cook, to sporadically (when he has a moment… which may not happen often) do a guest post on here! (or 2, or 100… whatever he can do!) I want some of his recipes, and the food I’ve been seeing him make lately look AMAZING! So, if you see another person posting, it’s on purpose, I promise!! Who knows…. maybe we will collaborate on a cookbook one day! Or a FOOD TRUCK! Or…. cook the BEST THANKSGIVING EVER! 🙂

Anyway… that’s what’s happening!

Oh, and I will be posting my new favorite brownie recipe later… IT’S AMAZING… and FLOUR free! WHAT?! Yes!

 

And, for my song of the day: (You’ll be able to tell what I saw over the weekend)

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Wednesday… Back to it!

It seems as though I can’t get “into  the groove” of constantly blog posting. I think it’s really just since I went to mainly “gluten free” and low carb. I try to use as much vegetables as possible and clean eating.

But, I’m determined. If I could do it before, I can do it too! I’ve gotta post more recipes for my jam that I am making today (YUM!) and dinner.

I’ve said in a previous post, every 2 weeks, before I go grocery shopping, I meal plan. I use pinterest to keep the recipes. Sometimes I only search on pinterest, otherwise I use it to save recipes from other websites that I find new and yummy recipes. From those 10 recipes that I’ve chosen, (I only plan for dinner. For lunches we eat leftovers or salads, and we have toast and oatmeal for breakfast.) I make a grocery shopping list. Once I make that shopping list, I add anything else I needed for other meals or odds and ends.

I will say this, my kids do NOT always eat the same thing we do. My husband comes home after 6 or 7 pretty regularly during the week, so my kids eat around 5 or 5:30, and it’s usually something different than we eat. On the weekends I try to have them eat the same thing as us, and we try to all eat at the table together. My son also has A LOT of food allergies, which adds to his picky eating…. there’s so little I can serve him, I’m constantly working on giving him a variety. SO… don’t assume my kids willingly eat everything I make. They don’t. They are normal. They do not have amazing “pallets” like chefs say about their kids on t.v.. Nope. Not my kids. My daughter’s favorite food is Little Ceasars bread sticks. Yeah. My son at least has an actual that’s his favorite: meatballs made by mommy. I do have them try the things that my son isn’t allergic to, and my daughter LOVES to sample my salads (as long as theirs no chicken… that’s a no-go.) etc. Beyond that, it’s smoothies. I give vitamins, smoothies and probiotics. They’ll get it one day. They don’t have to be perfect and put together and eat everything I want them to try now. We will slowly get there. I won’t give up… but I’m not worried about it either. We’ll get there.

Here is my pinterest board for the next 2 weeks (with extra meals in case suddenly everything I pinned looks gross… that happen to you ever??) http://pin.it/tLV_PYf

Anyone reading this, if you have suggestions of some great websites for low carb recipes, please share!!

Most recipes I find, I change at least 3+ things, and therefore the recipe becomes mine. If I do not, I share the recipe, how AMAZING it was, and a link to that person’s site.

Instead of a song of the day, I’m going to share a website that I think more people need to know about.

In the last few months, the MASSIVE problem of human trafficking has been brought to my attention. Not that I didn’t know about it before, I did. I just didn’t realize how BIG it was, or that it even happened so much HERE, in the U.S.! You always think of it as a problem way out east. Not true! You can support this AMAZING ministry who is helping the women and children brought by force into the slave trade! This ministry is giving them a completely different occupation! Giving them their dignity back!  Consider checking out their website! SO full of information on ways you can help!!! Let’s give back! 🙂

http://store.nightlightinternational.com/default.asp

You can also read more about this amazing woman who has given so much of her time to help so many women on her blog:

http://hegivesmecourage.com/

 

God bless!!

SISTERHOOD OF THE WORLD BLOGGER AWARD!!!!!!

So, I was sweetly nominated, and passed the award:

SisterhoodoftheWorld_zps04ae03d0

How sweet it that?!

Thank you to fellow blogger who nominated me, also named Becky. She has a great blog: https://beckysbubblesblog.wordpress.com/

She has a sweet blog about food, life, fun and enjoying it all! Give her a follow! 🙂

There are four rules:

1) Say “Thank You” to the person who nominated you & link their blog to your post.
2) Answer the 10 questions given to you.
3) Pass the award on to 7 other bloggers (I’m passing it to 5) and let them know they have been nominated.
4) Include the Award Badge in your post.

Here are the questions she asked me, and my answers:

And my questions to you:

1. How do you define pure and absolute joy?

The times that I can specifically remember those feelings are when I walked down the aisle towards my husband on our wedding day, when I first heard my children cry after they were born, and the first time my two babies said “I love you Mommy”. They seem to be family related, fulfilling moments. Times when I’m just overwhelmed and can’t express how I feel other than pure and absolute joy! 🙂

2. What so far has been your most memorable meal?

My most memorable meal was the best food I think I’ve ever had when my then boyfriend (now husband) took me to a Sunday Brunch at a hotel on Palm Beach Island called “The Breakers”. I had never seen such beautiful food in my life. Everything was so elegant! Before I was halfway done with my glass of water, they were filling it back up. There were King Crab legs, and rack of lamb.. and it was all buffet, so I got to try anything and everything! Definitely will always remember that meal!

3.  Your favorite quote and by whom?

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less.” C.S. Lewis (I love a LOT of quotes by C.S. Lewis)

4.  Favorite celebratory beverage?

Celebratory would be an Asti Spumante sparkling wine… something light, sweet and fun!

5. Best book you’ve read in the past year?

“Bridge to Haven” by Francine Rivers

6. How many different places have you lived…and…

I have lived in 3 different states, and many places within those states… especially during college!

7. Where was your favorite place you’ve lived?

My current home with my husband and family is my favorite HOME… but there are favorite things about each place I lived!

8. What was your favorite food in second grade?

Man… in 2nd grade?? Probably chips or pasta.

9.  What would you serve for a romantic dinner?

I would serve: A rack of lamb with rosemary and garlic mashed potatoes, balsamic brussel sprouts and for dessert it would be a pint of Ben&Jerry’s Americone Dream! 🙂

10. Champagne, sparkling wine, cava or prosecco?

Most of the time, sparkling wine! 🙂

My Nominations:

peeled.

Crafty Coin

Food Fellowship and Wine

Fitness and Health Spot

Put Your Best Food Forward

Cooking Without Limits

And my questions to you:

1. What was your favorite meal as a child?

2. What is your favorite thing to cook for your significant other?

3. Do you prefer chain restaurants, or the Mom&Pop/Dive local spots?

4. What is your favorite wine you’ve ever had?

5. If you are home by yourself, noone to cook for, what do you typically make as your go-to dish?

6. What is your favorite song that you could listen to on repeat?

7. What is the best and most memorable meal/thing someone has cooked for you?

8. What is your favorite city to visit and why?

9. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

10. If the President were to visit your home, what would you make?

Have you wondered what pans I use???

When I got a new induction stove top I had to get a new set of pans… and I did  A LOT of research. I am still looking at getting a cast iron enamel coated dutch oven… but that’s in the future. I also believe in paying cash for things… so sometimes it takes a while!! Luckily, my husband had some gift cards to good ol’ Amazon, and we got to get these AMAZING pans!!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE them! Seriously…. best pans I’ve ever had!!!

Spirit 10-Piece Cookware Set

So, if you are in the market for pans at all, give these a look! They work on ALL stove types, not just induction cook-tops!

Yummy Chicken Scampi!!

Do you ever look at a child and wonder “what on earth are they thinking?!” Yeah… I think that a lot. Especially with my 3 year old. I’ve also thought that with my dog… Today, I thought that with my 5 year old girl. She honestly, and I’m trying to not brag, is exceptional. She is sweet, tender hearted, obeys quickly, and was a very easy baby. It was God, not me. She’s easy to discipline because she immediately feels bad that she’s disobeyed and cries and apologizes and tries to not make the same mistake more than once. She is still a child though, and she makes childish mistakes…

For Valentines day she got $1 from my Grandma (whom she calls G.G.) and she got fluorescent pink hair chalk. Yeah… So, she absolutely LOVES it. She thinks it’s so fun to color her hair, and see it be so bright pink! Well, she made the mistake of showing her little brother this cool little thing she has, and being the normal 3 year old boy, he shoved his finger into the hair chalk. (This is shaped very similar to the E.O.S. round ball chapstick.) Then, suddenly, with the help of her dropping it, and his fingers COVERED in BRIGHT PINK hair chalk.. it now covered her BRAND NEW bed spread, sheets and new sham. I looked at her, and I’m just sitting there, knowing that she’s a child, and finding it so hard to believe that she thought that opening that and showing her brother that it was just a good idea to show him that, in her room, and on her bed. So, we’ll see if it comes out!!! Otherwise, pink goes well with purple… right?! Ha… she will be without that hair chalk for a couple of days… but at the moment, it’s kind of funny to think about. 🙂

So, is it bad that I comfort myself with pasta? It is isn’t it.

I made chicken scampi. And it was really good. Like REALLY good. 🙂

I am going to relay the recipe as best I can.

Try it!!!

chickenscampibowl2

Scampi Sauce:

3 tbs butter
2 TB minced sweet onions
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 cups low sodium free rance chicken broth
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp fine Himalayan sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbs fresh parsley
2 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice (Added BEFORE the cream)
1 cup organic half&half

The Pasta Dish!!

1 16 oz box angle hair pasta
4-6 frozen chicken tenderloins (I prefer Trader Joes brand)
salt and pepper
4 tbs olive oil
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
dash cayenne pepper
3 mini sweet peppers (I used 1 red, yellow and orange)
1/2 sweet onion diced
splash of white wine to deglaze the pan (or you can use a bit of chicken broth)

ChickenScampiinpan

Directions:

In a medium sized sauce pan add butter, minced onion, minced garlic and saute over medium heat for a 1-2 minutes. Don’t let the garlic burn! Add in chicken broth, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, dash of cayenne, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Simmer for 15 minutes on med-low heat.

After 15 minutes is up slowly add the half and half and simmer on LOW, without boiling for 10 minutes.

While the above is going on, in a separate pot, boil the angel hair pasta according to the directions on the box. SHORT time!! You don’t want over cooked angel hair pasta! Cook it al-dente!

To prepare your chicken tenderloins, sprinkle with salt and pepper and a bit of italian seasoning. Fry in a skillet over medium heat with a couple tablespoons of olive oil 5-8 minutes on each side (from frozen) until golden brown and cooked all the way through.  Set aside. Add a splash of white wine (1/4 cup) to the skillet that had the chicken in it, to loosen  up all the “yummy bits” from the bottom of the pan to ready the pan for the onions and peppers. Add the remainder of the lemon juice and lemon zest.

Take your onions and bell peppers and cut in julienne strips, making sure to remove all seeds and the white membrane on the inside. Place them into the skillet. I cook on high for 3-5 minutes until they get soft and caramelized in the white wine and lemon juice and olive oil. Dump the cooked pasta into the skillet with the onions and lightly toss with tongs or similar. Take the creamy garlic sauce and pour over the pasta, peppers and onions. Mix together well.

Dish up pasta, adding the chicken on top. Garnish with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese and a bit of fresh parsley.

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And ENJOY! DE-LISH!!! I LOVED the leftovers the next day too! YUM!

And now, for the quote of the day:

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I’m So Thankful

I am sitting here in my room, with my children actually playing nicely in the other room… on my computer that WORKS, in a house that I LOVE.

When I sit and be still and quiet and remember to be thankful to God for everything… I realize something. What I prayed for and hoped for from the time I was little… God has given to me! Do I still struggle, yes. Do I make mistakes and feel like a failure at times..? Oh yes! But I have a husband who LOVES me. He’s my absolute best friend and safe place in the whole world. The longer I am married to him, the better it gets. I love him more and deeper every day. I have 2 children. 2! I always dreamed of having 2 kids, a boy and a girl… and I DO! How blessed am I?! There are so many women out there that struggle. That want a baby so desperately… and they can’t! I will not question it… but man. Thank you God for blessing me with 2 happy and healthy children. I need to be thankful for them more often… and whine about the “stress of it all” a lot less. Being a mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But I can say one thing for certain. I know it will be the most rewarding. There is no other job like this one. Where I am literally responsible for their eternity. Pretty heavy stuff! I’m terrified I’m going to royally screw them up, but I am going to fiercely love them…. and make sure they know I love them, in the process. Praying as I go, and leading them towards God in the process… and never thinking I know everything. Doing better to not compare myself and my parenting and my children to other families. Knowing that God’s plan for my house and my family isn’t the same as the people next door. Also, keeping in mind, that we never know what goes on behind closed doors. (If only my children would act better when in the grocery store aisle though… I’m reading a book about that now… I’ll let you know if it helps… lol)
I have a house… a house that I feel safe, and comfortable in. A home that I love being in! Looking at people around the world… it’s not that common. Really. How much I have… I am going to stop and thank God for it more often. Stop picking at the little things that I don’t like… and just thank for the things I do, because it’s a lot.
We got to take our children to Disney… wow. That’s all on that one. Pretty self explanatory.
I literally do not “need” for anything. My husband is an amazing provider. He is a hard worker and is great at what he does. When he’s home, he’s 100% home… and he is an AMAZING daddy. Amazing. I get choked up when I think about what a great daddy he is. My daughter is going to have a great example to know what to search for in a husband one day. And my son, he knows how to treat a woman… and future children. What a blessing. I grew up in a loving home. I got the chance to start cooking dinner 1x per week at a young age… became decent at it. I really enjoyed creating something and watching their faces as they actually enjoyed my food. I gotta say… now, watching my husband (at times my children… they are picky,.. that’s a post for another time…) slowly eat my food and enjoying every single bite. I LOVE that!

I wish I didn’t have to remind myself to be grateful. I wish that when my kids were screaming at the top of their lungs at each other because one stole the other one’s toy… I wish I could, in that moment, be thankful for every bit of them. But, alas, I am human… and I have to pray, ask forgiveness for my sinful tirade at my tiny wide-eyed children, and start over. Again. And be thankful for what I have… again.

So… doing better at being grateful for what I have… I also have a little bit of a talent at cooking. Creating things with food we can afford (Thank you God that I don’t have to decided between feeding me or my children… between housing and food… that I can effortlessly feed my babies…) and having fun with it! I seriously LOVE to cook. (Especially when I don’t have whiny cranky children at my feet… that happens sometimes! I will remember to stop and be thankful for that… I hope!) So…. Here I start. Back to blogging again. My aim will not necessarily be calorie counting. My direction will be clean eating, healthy portions, and… accessible foods. Meaning… less ingredients, easier to make. Unless I splurge. Which I do sometimes. 🙂 For fun… because, well, THANKFULLY, I can. Wow.

I now have to go and walk my dog… who is slightly crazy… and then cook my family dinner. And… I will then post the results of such, later! Just had to get this out. I have been cooking at least 5 nights a week and posting nothing… but I’ve got a storehouse of pictures and recipes to share! Watch out! It’s gonna be delicious! I can’t wait to enjoy more food!

Be Blessed,

Becky

Arroz Con Mariscos (Or Rice with Seafood) My version… :)

Arrozconmorisca

So we are studying geography in homeschool with my daughter, and I thought… lets learn about dishes from different countries! So, for the next week or so we are going to do a few South American dishes. This specific one was Peruvian inspired… but with my own twist. And… DELICIOUS! I can only imagine if I had access to FRESH seafood… oh man! But alas, I must use frozen… still so good though! This dish took 30 minutes start to finish too, and that’s with kids crying and hanging on my ankles… so that’s a definite win! Easy, quick, TASTY, and not too heavy on the calories. Who wouldn’t want that! Please try this one for sure, and let me know how it turns out for you!

arrozwithseafood

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Trader Joes Seafood Blend (a blend of shrimp, bay scallops and calamari)
  • salt to taste
  • frozen mixed vegetables – 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice (I rinse and cook in my rice cooker)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 red onion diced
  • 2 tb cilantro
  • 1/3 cup of chopped carrots
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cajun seasoning
  • lemon zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce

Directions:

First: rinse your rice and start cooking. If you do not have a rice cooker, follow the directions on the packaging. If you do, rinse, put into the pot, fill with water corresponding on the directions… and press the button! Lovely right? It should take around 15 minutes.

Second: After about 10 minutes of the rice cooking, get the onions, garlic and olive oil simmering on the stove.

Now, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Take a baking dish or a lipped cookie sheet and line with tin foil. Dump out the seafood blend (or similar blend) onto the pan. Make sure a single layer… don’t have any overlapping, you want them to cook evenly. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, garlic powder, cajun seasoning, 1 Tb lemon juice and zest. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes. That’s it for the seafood!!! Now, if you have larger seafood than I did, you will want to bake longer. I had some jumbo shrimp that I cooked from frozen and it took 13 minutes… just make sure that it’s cooked through, curled up and not at all translucent.

Once the seafood blend is in the oven, add the frozen vegetables to the simmering onions and garlic in the pan along with the chopped carrots. Then add the remaining lemon juice and zest. Once the vegetables are still firm, but hot and cooked through. Then, spoon in the rice and stir. Take the seafood out of the oven, and pour into the skillet and stir. Add the turmeric to get the yellow color on the rice, and then season with a dash or so of soy sauce.

And… serve!!! I served mine with some chips and guacamole, but you could do it with some fruit, some bread… man, really anything! It’s versatile!

And now, for the quote of the day:

Quotation-Ted-Dekker-eyes-doubt-Meetville-Quotes-17847

Martha Stewart’s Strawberry Cake!!!!

Madilyn and I went to my mom’s house for a tea party after we had a field trip learning about tea and she had made this AMAZING cake from a recipe by Martha Stewart for her friends Birthday and we got to benefit from it! It was DELICIOUS! SOO good! And my mom, and if you know her you’ll know this is amazing, did NOT change ANYTHING in the recipe!!! So… this is completely and totally not either of our recipes, but you should definitely make it and try it. No kidding…. Seriously. 

YUM!

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This picture is my mom’s beautiful results and she served it with freshly whipped homemade whipped cream with just heavy whipping cream, sugar and lemon zest…. YUM! For Martha’s full pictures and more details, check out her link: http://www.marthastewart.com/336020/strawberry-cake

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pie plate
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved

DIRECTIONS

  1. STEP 1

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 10-inch pie plate. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together into a medium bowl.

    IN THIS STEP:

  2. STEP 2

    Put butter and 1 cup sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low; mix in egg,milk, and vanilla.

  3. STEP 3

    Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture. Transfer batter to buttered pie plate. Arrange strawberries on top of batter, cut sides down and as close together as possible. Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over berries.

  4. STEP 4

    Bake cake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until cake is golden brown and firm to the touch, about 1 hour. Let cool in pie plate on a wire rack. Cut into wedges. Cake can be stored at room temperature, loosely covered, up to 2 days

 

And now, for the quote of the day:

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Greek Chicken Kabob with Avocado Tzatziki Dip

GreekChickenKabobDip

I needed something light and carb free tonight. My recipes lately have been a little “heavy” on the calorie side. I have been walking a 70+lb dog at least 2x per day which has helped with the waist line… BUT, I do need to make sure that not ALL of my meals have carbs and butter! 🙂

So, Here is my “Lighter” dinner…

Ingredients:

Chicken:

10-12 chicken tenderloins
zest and juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. 21 Seasoning Salute (or Mrs. Dash)
Fresh Rosemary chopped fine

Stir all non-chicken ingredients in a large glass bowl. Take the tenderloins and  toss in the marinade and let marinate for at least 30 minutes in the fridge. Then, cut in half length-wise and place onto skewers. Grill for approximately 3-4 min per side. (on a HOT grill)

GreekChickenAvocadoTzatziki

Avocado Tzatziki Dipping Sauce!

3/4 cup low fat greek yogurt
juice of 1/2 of a lemon
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
1/2 of ripe avocado
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. 21 Seasoning Salute (Trader Joes) it’s like Mrs. Dash
1/2 tsp. Texas Pete Pepper Sauce (or tabasco or similar)
grated cucumber (about 2 TB worth) and finely chopped cucumber… about 2 TB worth
2 TB finely diced sweet onion

Stir together and refrigerate until ready to eat.

I served this with a simple spinach salad with homemade vinaigrette. It was light and filling!! My favorite part had to be that dipping sauce though!! DELISH! Very summery and savory.

Enjoy!

 

And, for the quote of the day:

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