Last week we chatted about finding healthy food choices in the midst of traveling, think spring break and those do-you-think-they’ll-ever-get-here summer vacations. We reflected a bit on those lofty New Year’s Resolutions and the upcoming shorts and tank top weather. For more than a handful of us, it seems all we have to do is glance at some tasty morsel and we gain 3 pounds. Usually in our thighs or midsection, and then it seems a mere 10 minutes later our clothes are too tight and we’re uncomfortable, and a tad grumpy about it all too. Hence the need for nutritional choices that don’t require weeks of hard work to undo. So today I have another option for you in our series Healthy Food Options for Travel | Breakfast Bombs.
This is another one of those general ideas “recipes” with room for lots of substitutions. It’s actually best with Read More
By this time of year, most of us have completely nailed those healthy eating resolutions from the New Year, right? For at least a week or two at least that is, then you hit a bump and fell off the wagon only to claw your way back on again a few days or weeks later. And depending on your temperament and resolve you’ve either maintained or repeated this scenario multiple times by now. Hopefully, you haven’t completely given up as I’ve been known to do from time to time, because now spring break and summer are actually about to become a reality for many of us. And that means shorts and tanks and …. enough said! And it’s precisely why we all need healthy food options for travel … or just crazy days at home, for that matter!
If you have food allergies, traveling can be the set up for a perfect storm when it comes to getting off track with Read More
A few years ago I came across a fun idea for Hot Cocoa on a Stick that Brittany from Be Be a la Mode Designs shared over at Thirty Handmade Days. She starts with a bag of chocolate chips and a few other ingredients and even includes a free printable label. They were very well received as Christmas gifts that year, because who doesn’t appreciate chocolate on a stick? Well, that got me thinking about the official holiday of all chocolate holidays next week and how these little chocolate beauties could be part of the intangible gift of time and connection. And so the Hot Chocolate on a Stick and a Midwinter Challenge was born.
More Hot Chocolate on a stick
Since that first Christmas, I’ve learned that there is no shortage of yummy hot chocolate on a stick recipes and variations on Pinterest … Read More
It’s mid-week, and it seems the perfect day to share a quick gift idea for that in-between group of people who have touched your days. You know the ones … the teachers and coaches and doctors and neighbors and … The ones who need more than a little Valentine’s card but not quite as much as an entire bouquet of flowers or a diamond necklace. Which is why Canning Jar Charm | Cookies Aplenty seems like the perfect post for what appears to be a cloudy February day in our part of the world. After all, what could brighten a day more than the promise of cookies? And if there are going to be cookies, then there should necessarily be cookies aplenty, because one should never run out of such sweet kindness!
Basically, all you need is a quart size canning jar and your favorite cookie recipe, and a few extra details to keep in mind …Read More
There’s a simple beauty in a canning jar filled with layers of dry ingredients. The old world look is the best marriage of simple beauty and utilitarian practicality. It’s why we find shelves of classic cookie and brownie recipes layered into canning jars for Christmas gift-giving. But they aren’t limited to gift giving. Sugars, dried herbs and mixes of all kinds are perfect for canning jars, or any wide-mouthed jar that has been scrubbed clean and relieved of its label. Last week I was mixing up some spices for my favorite sausage recipe and snapped a quick pic of the layers in the process. And at the request of a friend, today seems to be a good time to share with y’all what we’ll call Canning Jar Charm | Sausage Spice Mix.
This recipe is an adaptation of the Breakfast Sausage recipe found Read More
As kids many of us looked forward to decorating a shoe box, picking out Valentine’s for our classmates and an afternoon party at school. What’s not to love about sugar upon sugar? According to Hallmark, the 114 million cards sent on Valentine’s Day are second only to Christmas. That doesn’t even consider those exchanged in construction covered boxes in classrooms across the country. As the years pass we narrow our Valentine’s Day focus to a more select group of friends, those we’ve walked with more closely in the day to day. It’s a good reminder to show love and gratitude to those around us. But as nice as the chocolate and cards are, for many of us, the years also bring a deeper appreciation for time and connection with others as opposed to tangible gifts. These intangibles gifts are the sort of things you can look forward to here in the next two weeks, along with a few DIYs to whip up in the process. So you can consider today to be an invitation to share some love with a cookie party.
Age really isn’t a factor in the love of cookies though it may determine the thickness of icing and the total weight of sprinkles mounded on top Read More
There are three Christmas treats our kids ask for every year – Sugar cookies, Egg Nog and Wassail. For years, I wondered if they just liked saying “wassail”, which I have to admit is kind of fun, but it’s also pretty yummy stuff. If you’re not sure what wassail is, it’s the object of the Christmas classic “Here we come A-wassailing”. If that still doesn’t help, then it’s basically hot spiced apple cider. The biggest difference being that it’s much more fun to say wassail than hot spiced apple cider. This is the second in our little series of inexpensive DIY gifts – Gifts for Giving| Wassail Mix and Ornament Set.
One of our favorite gifts with a bit of character is a recipe of some sort in a fabric gift bag. These bags are so Read More
When it comes to desserts, I’m pretty much a cookie girl. I get it from my Grandma, aka. Granny Mawmaw. Don’t judge our silly name, it fit her perfectly! In planning for their 50th wedding celebration, she requested two ginormous platters piled with cookies instead of the traditional cake. We already knew she was the best Granny Mawmaw in the history of ever, but this decision on her part sealed that title in our minds. And yet, as much as I love cookies, on Thanksgiving it has to be pie. It just does. At our house, it has to be two specific pies, Butternut Squash Pie and Light Pecan Pie. So for this week, move over cookies, it’s time to bring on the pies!
Butternut Squash Pie
Yes, I thought the idea of Butternut Squash Pie sounded pretty disgusting the first time I heard it, but I also quickly found myself pleasantly surprised in a number of ways. It’s akin to Pumpkin Pie, but with a lighter texture. And who can’t use a little lighter anything by the end of the Thanksgiving feast? It’s also a bit milder than pumpkin pie. It’s just a nice change of pace in my book. And you can whip up the whole thing in the blender or ninja. Seriously y’all, what’s not to love about that?
Here’s my sister-in-laws recipe that we’ve used for years …
Butternut Squash Pie
Quarter and bake a large butternut squash, flesh side down in a shallow pan @ 350° for 1 hour
Liquefy in blender –
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter
Bake @ 450° for 15 minutes. Leave the oven door closed and lower the heat to 350°. Continue cooking for 50-60 minutes.
Light Pecan Pie
Don’t let the name fool you with this one. Yes, it uses light corn syrup, but it’s still loaded with sugar and pecan goodness. When the holidays roll around, we splurge. It’s how we roll! But the word light kind of makes us feel better about it too. Sort of …
And the recipe, from the same sister-in-law …
Light Pecan Pie
Blend in blender –
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs, well beaten
1/3 cup butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla
Blend all ingredients in a blender. Stir in 1 1/2 cups pecans. Pour into pie crust and bake for 1 hour.
So move over cookies, bring on the pies!
And there you have it. Two new options for this Thanksgiving if you like the traditional menu with a few new twists. Two pies requiring little more than dumping everything together, blending, pouring and baking.
Next week there will be cookies. Loads and loads of festive cookies and it will be glorious! But for this week? Move over cookies, we’re about to bring on the pies!
Do y’all look forward to the cozy layering this time of year? The sweaters, scarves and boots? They really do come in handy when our bodies seem to add a few extra layers, aka the muffin top, with all the amazing holiday foods. From Halloween candy to the Thanksgiving feast and Christmas cookies, it’s a season full of rich food traditions. For those dealing with food allergies, it can be even tougher, because indulging here and there can bring way more complications than a few extra pounds. If you find yourself in this growing group, or hosting some who are, then you don’t want to miss this post. Because today I’m sharing some hope for the holiday menu when you have food allergies.
** This post contains some affiliate links. Basically, that means if you click on the links I’ve provided and decide to make a purchase, then I’ll make a little commission. It does not cost you anything extra, it just makes it easier for you to find products.**
It’s not that I’m picky. Or trendy. Or that I have such amazing restraint and discipline. Though I will say that “watching my girlish figure” is more of an issue in this second half-century of days. But none of these are the reason I eat such an odd diet.
It’s the migraines. Sigh. This food allergy and eating outside the box thing has been a journey of years, I’ve honestly lost track of how many at this point.
There’s a list. Well, technically there are two lists. The first list is made up of those foods that can bring on the headache within a matter of minutes, rendering any semblance of reasonable thinking useless for the remainder of the day, and maybe the next too.
The second list are those foods that are acceptable in smaller doses. That is until too much of said food tips the scales and then hello, migraine. It’s kind of like a game of Jenga in that each of these foods may or may not be the one that brings the tower crashing down. I enjoy playing games. But I prefer the other version of Jenga – the one with the real blocks of wood. It’s just less painful.
That being said, breakfast has always been my favorite meal. Regardless of the time of day, I’m a firm believer that breakfast is always a good idea. So what’s a breakfast-loving girl to do when the first list includes such things as gluten, dairy, eggs and corn? Add to that the second list with it’s rice, refined sugars and a number of other yummy items.
Well then you’re pretty much left with the choice of eating way outside the box or fasting, and the fasting thing can bring on it’s own migraine. Having traveled to several countries in the past ten years, I’ve seen that the breakfast fare looks more similar to the dinner fare throughout the world. I read once that having dedicated breakfast foods is a rather American thing. Yet, one more thing to love about this country of ours, right?
This little malady has forced a paradigm shift for me when it comes to breakfast. Yeah, it can be a pain because the number of foods I can grab in a hurry are few and far between. But it has forced some creativity, and I actually feel better and have more energy when I stick to whole foods and a mostly Paleo menu.
One of my absolute favorite breakfasts is roasted sweet potatoes and sausage. I chunk up the sweet potatoes and toss them in a bag with coconut oil, salt, cinnamon and cloves and roast them for about an hour. They freeze well, and when I want to heat them I toss them in a cast iron skillet to brown with some crumbled sausage. My favorite sausage recipe is from the book Paleo Comfort Foods by Julie and Charles Mayfield (also a favorite cookbook). Before I knew I was allergic to eggs I enjoyed topping this combination with a crispy around the edges over-medium egg. My teenagers even ask for this for breakfast. Seriously!
I’ve also been known to have a burger, pork chop or fish and green beans for breakfast. And once you work past grieving that a deep dish Chicago style pizza is no longer in your future, a butterflied and pounded chicken breast pizza crust actually isn’t such a bad option.
So if you’re one of those who made some sort of resolution about losing weight or eating healthier or taking better care of yourself … or if you’re just someone with a hearty sense of adventure, then let me invite you to give it a try. Live on the edge and have some dinner food for breakfast. It feels a bit weird at first, but I have to say it’s pretty awesome to get up from the breakfast table knowing that you’ve already tallied at least two of your daily veggies. And you can kiss that mid-morning slump goodbye too.
If you already eat a paleo or food-allergy diet then by all means, share your best tips and ideas in the comments for the rest of us. And if you do decide to live on the edge and try this different approach to breakfast for one day, then let us know what you think. Yes, even if it’s something you never want to do again. Ever.