Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July - Summer in Full Swing

July 1-4 Vegas Baby
Our friends Molly and Andrew came to visit from Mexico.  We hardly ever get to see them so we took this opportunity to treat them to a weekend away.
I can't post all the pictures so here's the highlights:
We played sequence with m&ms for board pieces while making up a new guessing game called I Am. You can only ask yes or no questions to figure out what item you are (determined by opposing team), trust me this is hilarious especially when your drinking....err juice. 

We walked through the endless casinos playing/posing with novelty items like gigantic necklaces. 
We found a place that served deep fried lobster tail and lobster ice cream, tried both.  
Ate dinner at a country bar that had a disco bull.  Went to the aquarium at the Mandalay hotel, where I met a piranha and Andrew had his head in the mouth of a alligator.  Stuffed ourselves at a Brazilian buffet with the best chimichuri I've ever tasted.  Saw Vegas the show compliments of our time share.  Did lots of shopping.  Walked the strip at night then has midnight sushi.  Woke up late shopped some more, had lunch and enormous dessert at Serendipity 3.

July 18-20
I took advantage of a miss scheduling at work and some time share points that needed booking and took a little trip to Palm Springs.  It was intended to be a relaxing craft weekend but it didn't turn out like that with a 2 yr old in tow.  We did have a good time watching movies, playing in the pool and getting our toes done. 

Then rush right home for Taryn's recital and Aileen's baby shower....

Show ran till almost 7 pm, didn't make the shower went home to crash instead.

July 21 Family Dinner
Our first time having the whole family over since moving to the house.  Like my Brady bunch pic? My parents, grandparents, aunt, cousin, sister, bro in law and his parents...the whole kit and caboodle.

My grandparents have an affinity for grilling; my potato salad came out so good the first time that I made it again with traditional BBQ baked beans corn and burgers!  We also had mason jar margaritas and pineapple upside down cake.

I love my hubby 

July 27
No Shoes Nation tour
One if the best concerts ever! Eli Young Band, Eric Church, Kenny Chesney, my little country head was about to explode!  Hubby bought me a "crazy girl" baseball tee, I love it so much I'm having a hard time not over wearing it lol.

July 30
Turned 32, mom brought me some delicious perfume.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mason Jar - Dijon & Fig Glaze Salad

My latest fascination is mason jars. They are charming, country, space efficient and eco friendly. As you saw in my last post I've gone pin crazy on smoothie recipes and salads. I spent my Sunday testing new smoothie recipes and making mason jar salads.

I've also been looking into the differences between paleo and primal eating.  I am a lover of cheese, primal allows dairy.  I really shouldn't be doing dairy because of my auto immune deficiencies but as I'm dipping my toes back into the paleo pool I'm not going to cut it just yet, starting back with cutting grain and processed sugars.  You'll see some cheese etc in my recipes so change to fit your needs.

Dijon Fig Pear Champagne Glaze Salad

This glaze recipe was originally found on Trader Joes website.  I never cook a whole chicken because its just the 2 of us plus I prefer boneless skinless breasts, so I modified this slightly to fit my taste/need.  Usually I marinate and grill my chicken but in this case I'm using the glaze as my salad dressing.  Hubby kindly pre grilled a bunch of chicken for me so I could chop and go.
4 tbsp champagne pear Gorgonzola dressing
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp fig butter
Stir in a dish and microwave for 30 seconds to meld all the flavors. 
If your grilling chicken go ahead and start marinating, leave a little on the side for dipping.  If your making your salad wait for it to cool before placing in the jar.
I'm no expert here but I was told its all in how you layer your jars.  You want dressing on the bottom (be careful not to splash up on the sides) followed by meat and/or items that can marinate in dressing without falling apart, then comes your hearty veggies like cucumber, bell pepper, mushroom etc. and finally leafy greens

In my salad I chose glaze, chicken, cherries, candied walnuts, cucumber and romaine.

What do you like in your salads?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Smooth E Operator

I know its been few and far between that I've been able to post anything.  The short story of it all is that we're short staffed at my work and I've been working 13 hour days (that's right people, I'm gone from 5am to 7pm)  The sad side effect is that I've been eating out for all my meals because I leave so early and come home so late I'm to exhausted to prepare anything.....and now I've gained back all the weight I'd lost plus some more.  BOO.

Upside, Hubby bought me a Ipad so in my down time at work I've been on Pinterest, pin pin pining away paleo recipes.  By some miracle I had 6 days off in a row and decided to actually try some of these recipes and really try to get back on track with paleo eating.

These are my trusty tools:  IPAD and Blender.  I also picked up this snazzy mortar and pestle at Costco, a few of these recipes called for ground flax seed.  I also heard that ground chia seed helps thicken smoothies and is amazing in Omega 3.

This did take quite a while to cut up all the fruit and read each recipe so I don't have pictures of them all.  Instead I'm posting the pretty pictures from the blogs they came from, followed by my modified recipe, when you click on the picture it will link you to the original recipe.

Why modified you ask?  I'm allergic to banana (the base of most smoothies), I had to use the fruit on hand and some had to be paleo-fied.

Strawberry Sunbutter & Spinach

  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 2 large handful spinach leaves
  • 3 Tbsp sunbutter
  • 1cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1.5 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
I doubled the original recipe and it filled 2 mason jars perfectly.   This smoothie is pretty delicious, especially if your a peanut butter lover like my hubby is.  Sun butter is the perfect sub, Trader Joe's has a pretty yummy jar for under $5.

Mango Orange

  • 1 cup frozen mango's
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 2 apricots
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure coconut milk
  • Chia Seed and Ground Flax optional

  • Bright citrus flavor, the apricot didn't blend down to well though.  If you don't like chunky smoothies I would leave it out.

    Pina Colada
    • 2 cups pineapple (I used frozen from Trader Joe's)
    • 1 cup mango
    • 1 can coconut milk
    • 1 cup pineapple juice
    • Chia Seed and Ground Flax optional
    This was my favorite, the only down side was it was a little to acidic drinking it all at once, but that could just be me. I still have one more jar of this so I'm going to definitely try again.

    At this point I was feeling pretty confident in my smoothie making ability's and decided to wing it.  I had purchased some pre cooked beets at Costco, super healthy....super disgusting.  Picture me, dumping 3 juicy beets in the blender, dancing in the kitchen singing "turn the beet around, blah blah blah, the passion".  It didn't matter how much fruit I put in the blender it was not going to cover that taste.  I even dumped half out and tried to salvage it.  No Bueno.

    So we scrapped that batch and moved on.

    Very Berrylicious

  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 big hand fulls of spinach
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (I added ground flax too)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 

  • Another fav of the Hubby's, he loves anything berry and definitely better than beets!

    Here are my little beauties in the freezer, each batch filled 2 jars. My mom bought me blue ball jars at Target.  I also bought larger jars to make salads in more on that to come and more smoothie recipes too.  I found some with avocado base, that should be interesting.