Pinterest Wins

Oh, HEY! How is everyone doing?

So, since Bode was born, I haven’t been the most creative cook in the kitchen. The recipe creation has been close to zilch. HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean I haven’t been cooking!

I have been letting Pinterest inspire me to try new recipes. Good ol’ Pinterest. My Pinterest page is stocked full of delicious looking food ideas. I have started to make my way through  some of the pinned recipes and I what I want to do today is share with you not Pinterest fails, but Pinterest wins! Here are some of my Pinterest finds that I have successfully made and really enjoyed (I said Pinterest 6 times in this paragraph in case you were wondering…7 including this sentence)!

  1. BLT Lettuce Wraps. I’m not against bread, but this was seriously so good without it! It was definitely messy, but so worth it.

Pin Win 1

2. Banana Chocolate Almond Squares. This is a clean dessert that seriously fulfills my sweet tooth. It’s been way too long since I’ve made these!

Pin Win 2

3. Chickpea tacos with guacamole! I used this picture as inspiration but didn’t follow their recipe at all. I made my own taco seasoning and cooked the chickpeas with the homemade seasoning. I LOVED these.

Pin WIn 4

4. Slow cooker Texas BBQ Pulled Pork. I. LOVE. THE. SLOW. COOKER. It is my best friend. I served this pulled pork with coleslaw and baked beans of course. Winner.

Pin Win 5

5. Broccoli and Cheese Soup. Yum.  I recall I went a little heavy on the spiciness when I made this, but it was still very delicious. This will be a must-make this winter.

Pin Win 6

6. Carmelitas. And now you are all officially drooling, right? You can’t go wrong with these. Bring them to your next get-together, I dare you.

Pin Win 7

7. Crock Pot Chicken Wild Rice Soup. I just made this last weekend and OMG! I made a few of my own tweaks but it didn’t need much because it was SO good. I added some extra poultry seasoning , a little nutmeg and garlic powder. Salt and pepper to taste. Make this once the weather cools! This competes with Panera’s soup. That’s a bold statement and I said it.

Pin Win 8

8. Slow Cooker White Bean Chicken Chili. Weird, another slow cooker recipe! I made this for my family and they all loved it and asked for the recipe. This is a super simple to put together recipe. I served this chili with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, and cilantro.

Pin Win 9

How about those for Pinterest wins?! I think I need to stop pinning more recipes though so I can make the ones I have already pinned! That won’t happen. I love Pinterest! BTW follow me if you don’t already: https://www.pinterest.com/NuttyMelanie/

What are some of your Pinterest wins or successes?

Friday Favs: 1 2 3

HAPPY Friday! Today I’m playing along with Katie’s Friday Favorites! The date is 1/23 hence my post title. #nerd

FAVS

1. I’m noticing a trend in my phone photos in that they are 98% all of Bode. Not surprising right? He is my #1 favorite this week and every week. He is now officially in the crib and is a total rockstar! More sleep for mama makes for one happy lady. He is growing so quickly and changing every day. He amazes me.

2. Healthy meals. I am thrilled to have gotten out of my post-partum no-cook slump. This may go hand in hand with the fact that I am getting more sleep?!

kabob

3. The crock pot. The glorious crock pot. We were friends before but now we are BEST friends. I made a pork roast the other day and it couldn’t have been more easy thanks to my buddy.

 

 

pork tenderloin crock pot

4. Bridesmaid dress shopping for this beautiful girl’s wedding! I am insanely excited for this wedding and for the events leading up to it!

 

 

bridesmaid dress shopping betsy melanie

5. Rose ointment from Young Living. Unfortunately I have been dealing with dermatitis on my face and not only is it terribly embarrassing but it’s just annoying. My skin is so darn dry. This rose ointment has helped tremendously with that. And the smell, oh the smell is beautiful. Young Living in general is a Friday Favorite. This company rocks my socks.

 

 

rose ointment young living

 

6. I am limiting my gluten and dairy intake not only for my own health but to experiment with the little man and his reaction to my milk. This cream cheese is surprisingly delicious. It tastes darn near close to normal cream cheese and tastes great on almond crackers!

 

go veggie cream cheese

I hope you all have a super weekend! Relax and enjoy!

xoxo

Low-Fat Vegetable Soup in the Slow Cooker

It’s my favorite day of the week! HAPPY FRIDAY! I have a very low key weekend ahead of me and I am perfectly okay with that.

I have a recipe to share for you that was inspired by Courtney from SweetToothSweetLife. She made a veggie stew which looked spectacular and I wanted to try something similar. I made a few changes and am pretty darn happy with the results!

Into the crockpot on Wednesday morning:

  • carrots
  • parsnips
  • onion
  • garlic
  • green bell pepper
  • celery
  • tomatoes (frozen from garden!)
  • cannelini beans
  • chicken broth
  • italian spices
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper

vegetable soup

I set my favorite piece of kitchen equipment, aka the crock pot, on low for 8 hours during the day.

For lunch: Chicken breast with leftover refried beans, melted cheese, salsa, and avocado. This combo was just ‘meh’ to me. I didn’t LOVE it, but I did like that it was protein packed. I’m just more of a bean, Greek yogurt, egg, or peanut butter protein loving kinda gal.

chicken

I also ate a big baggy of carrots and a pear for dessert.

pear

After work I changed into my workout clothes and went to the living room to work my arms and back with the resistance band. My knees were hurting pretty badly after the race so I wanted to keep it low intensity.

Once dinner time rolled around I tested the flavor of the soup, added a touch more salt and pepper, and ladled up two bowls for the hubby and myself.

vegetable soup

I topped the veggie soup with parmesan cheese…

vegetable soup

And thoroughly enjoyed this soup. I went back for a second bowl too. It’s warm, hearty, veggie-filled, low-fat, and DELICIOUS.

Low-Fat Vegetable Soup in the Slow Cooker
Print
Ingredients
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ½ bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups white beans
  • 1½ Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1¼ cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (canned tomatoes would work fine)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into crockpot. Cover and set on low for 8 hours. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with parmesan cheese. ENJOY!

 

Mooser is just getting over an outer ear infection which included an antibiotic treatment as well as ointment in his ear daily. He quickly learned to hate the ear drops and got all too smart when it came time for them.

I thought this picture was hysterical and really captured his hate love for it!

moose

So resistant!

Thursday

Thursday was a pretty ordinary day around here. I went to work, went to the gym after work (elliptical, push-ups, and core work), came home, made dinner.

I went the easy route again with dinner: Buffalo chicken salad with green onions, celery, feta cheese, and light ranch dressing.

buffalo chicken salad

So spicaaay! I am realizing that the older I get, the more sensitive I become to spicy foods. Is that weird?

I am debating whether or not to get a workout in at some point today. My knees are still very sore. I’ve been icing them daily but they must not have been too happy with my cold run the other day because they are still aching. I’m pretty sure my body is trying to tell me to rest but I’m having a challenging time listening to it because it’s the new year and I really want to get back into a solid workout regime again. I will see how I am feeling this afternoon and then decide.

I am off to take on my day. I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and I will catch up with you later gators!

xoxo,

M

Apple Butter Low and Slow

Yay for Saturday! I hope you are all enjoying your weekend so far.

How about I preface this post by saying it was nearly impossible for me to take any appetizing photos of what you are about to see. I just couldn’t. With that being said, I want to share with you how I made my first every batch of homemade apple butter in the crock pot, with the help of one of my wonderful reader’s suggestions and Google for extra guidance.

Crock Pot Apple Butter

1. Peel, core and dice apples. Place into large crockpot. Sprinkle heavily with cinnamon and a drizzle of honey if you wish . *Next time I will probably add in some nutmeg or cloves.

2. Cover the pot and set on low. Let it go for 24 hours, stirring occasionally when you around the house.

3. Add 1 cup of water, stir and cover. Repeat this process 2 more times for a total of 72 hours or 3 days.

DSCN5551

4. By the end of day 3, the apple butter will take on a deep brown color which frankly, looks very unappetizing. At this point, you could leave your apple butter a little lumpy like in the photos below…

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Of you can blend until smooth. I chose the latter. I used an immersion blender right in the crockpot to work it until smooth.

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If you make a small batch of apple butter and plan to use it within two weeks or so, you can ladle it into an air-tight container and store in your refrigerator. If you make a humongous batch like I did, you might need to do some canning.

The Canning Process

This was my first time canning and it really wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. I thank Google again for getting me through this process…

1. Wash canning materials in hot soapy water. Place glass containers in hot boiling water for 5 minutes to sterilize, making sure they are fully dispersed with about 2 inches of water on top and that the jars do not touch. Place lids in a separate pot of hot water but not boiling.

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Fill jars with apple butter leaving about 1/2 inch space on top. Cover with lids and screw on top.

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Place back into boiling water for 10 minutes, again making sure that water covers the tops of the jars by about 2 inches and that the jars do not touch.

DSCN5616

Remove from water carefully and let cool on cooling rack. You will hear a popping noise from the lids once they start to cool which means they are sealed tight!

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Store in your pantry and enjoy all winter long! Refrigerate after opening.

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Some recipes for apple butter call for pectin and added sugar, but since I am following the SCD, I chose not to include those ingredients. The result is a very subtle apple butter with the perfect amount of sweetness, perfect for topping toast, muffins, crackers, or right off of a spoon. The great thing about this 3-day crock pot process is that your house smells amazing the whole time. Can’t beat that cinnamon apple smell! So fall, so comforting.

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I’m off for a run and a few other errands before some crazy fun festivities happen this weekend including celebrating me and my honey’s ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY! The actual date is October 1st but since that is a Monday we are celebrating this weekend. I look forward to filling you in later.

Hope you all have a super Saturday. Catch up with you soon!