Monday, November 18, 2013

Christmas lights ....

I used to only put candles in the window and
a wreath on the front and back door
that was all I ever did on the outside even though
Johnny would want to cover the house in lights
Anything else was a bit tacky to me
Then slowly, I let Johnny put some lights in a tree or two
Then one day things changed ... our children gave us grandchildren!
And the "Clarke Griswold" that has been in Johnny begging
to come out was finally unleashed!!
He has icicles hanging from the shed and the garage
he has lined the deck in multi-colored icicles that the colors
change through a constant cycle
The fence is lined with white LED lights
all of the bushes in the front have blue and white lights, LED
there are 2 little trees on each side of the front door with
white lights and then 3 little live spruces with mini lights
and then, to top it all off, a spot light shining on the front door
that is draped in greenery!
I tried to take some pictures tonight, they didn't come out very
good. I'll try another night but here ya go........

And I know it's early to put everything up but that's what we like
It takes us a little more than a week to do the inside and outside
I used to wait until Thanksgiving weekend and then ended up
spending the entire holiday weekend working on the decorations.
When I would have rather been spending time with
family and shopping.
and here's my other me, November and December is
the holidays. And it's my favorite time of the year so I want to enjoy it as long as possible. Because once Christmas is over, I'm ready to clean up
and be ready to start the New Year in a clean house!! haha......
and the look on my grandchildren's face is totally worth
all of the work......they love it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday's dinner ....

I have not had pizza in what feels like forever.
I know I have not had it since I started eating clean July 10th.
So I was very excited for dinner tonight
The recipe is called Bacon Chicken pizza
the chicken, bacon and tomato sauce were all cooked
on Sunday. The pizza crust should have been cooked
Sunday night but I cheated on that one. I have been unable to find
coconut flour and arrowroot starch at a good price so I wasn't
prepared to make the crust. I just had the store brand crust for
tonight's dinner.
Like I said, the tomato sauce was cooked on Sunday and let
me say, it is wonderful. All recipes are from the
"Make Ahead Paleo" cookbook.
Red Sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (I used the flat left parsley)
  • 1 28 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 - 6 oz cans tomato paste
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • pinch of rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
`In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes
Stir in the garlic and parsely
Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomatoes, oregano, basil, rosemary, sea salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.
Reduce the heat to low and simmer the sauce, covered, for 30 minutes.
On our pizza's we put the other half of the chicken I cooked on Sunday, chopped bacon, onions, black olives and mushrooms. And believe it or not, no cheese!!
I thought for sure Johnny would want cheese on his but no, he opted out
and loved it. So much so that he is taking the leftovers to work
for his lunch tomorrow.
Another fast and successful dinner!!
tomorrow night should be the rest of the pulled pork but Jake
is coming in to town and him and Johnny are doing their "usual" and
going out for Mexican. So it's a good thing I decided to freeze the rest of the
pork. We'll have that another night.
I've sure enjoyed making dinner this week and having so many things
already cooked. Made it so much easier. I'll be doing this again but will want to find some other recipes to try.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Wednesday's dinner ....

Another yummy dinner from the cookbook
"Make Ahead Paleo"
Steak Cobb Salad with Mango Dressing
The steak was cooked on Sunday and I sliced it up thin and
put in an airtight container. The bacon and the hard boiled eggs were also
cooked on Sunday. I left the eggs whole until time to put on the salad but I did
chop up the bacon on Sunday.
So all I had to cut up tonight was the avocados and tomatoes.
Came home from Jazzercise at 7:00 and by 7:20 dinner was ready!
I'm loving this....
I used the other half of the mango salsa from last night to make the dressing.
here's the recipe.....
  • half of the mango salsa
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
add all to the food processor and puree. If you prefer a thinner dressing, add more water and process again.
The salad......
I filled both of our plates with a layer of lettuce
then I added everything in lines......
first steak, then eggs, bacon, tomatoes and last, avocados
I loved this and was very full afterward. I was worried whether Johnny would like it but he also loved it. And he's usually not a fan of cold steak but
with the mango dressing, he really enjoyed it.
Tomorrow night is PIZZA!!!

Charlottesville ....

Last Sunday we rode up to Charlottesville to spend the
day with our son Jake
it's only an hour away and just so beautiful
I just love as we're riding down the road and I get the first
glimpse of the mountains!

Jake loves when we come hang out with him

the look on Declan's face below is so funny....he's a little
puzzled over something, haha

I do love this one below of Declan looking up at Jake
before he played on Jake's's as if he's saying
"are you sure it's ok"

we were taking pictures and all of a sudden, Declan started
tinkling was so funny because we weren't sure
how it was running out of his diaper!

which then meant a diaper change in the
back seat of the car

We had lunch at Wild Wolfe Brewery and watched
a little football while there ... such fun!

I could ride around in the mountains of Virginia all day
so beautiful.......

I sure love visiting Jake up in Charlottesville


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday's dinner ....

For Tuesday's dinner in the week in a day cooking,
we had Shredded Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa
and let me just say......yummmm!!
Johnny and I both loved this one. At first he said no, he didn't want
any mango salsa, it would be too sweet. I'm like Johnny please, just taste it
so he did and he loved it
I got home from Jazzercise at 7:00 and by 7:15 dinner was ready.
You just can't believe how much I love this!! Cooking for a couple of
hours on Sunday was so worth it!
The pork tenderloin I had cooked on Sunday in the crock pot.
once cooled, I had shredded it. It is for 2 recipes this week so half
I put in an air tight container in the fridge
 and the other half I put in a freezer bag in
the freezer since we won't be having that until Friday.
The Mango Salsa I also made on Sunday. We used half tonight and will
use the other half tomorrow I will make it into a dressing.
The taco seasoning I also made on Sunday.
so here's the recipes.........and again, they are from the
"Make Ahead Paleo" cookbook.
Taco seasoning.
In a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine:
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of cayenne
I have made this taco seasoning before and trust me, so much better than that envelope of seasoning with heaven knows what all they use!! I use one of my mason jars to store this in the spice cabinet.
Mango Salsa
In a medium size bowl, combine all the ingredients, stir gently. Store the salsa in an airtight container in the fridge until needed.
  • 2 med ripe mangoes, peeled, seeds removed and diced. I used the frozen organic mangos that I buy at Costco. The only ingredient is mangos so yay!
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1 jalapeno, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (I used the flat leaf parsley)
  • 2 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch of fresh ground black pepper
Here are the instructions for the night you have this for dinner
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 3 tablespoons of coconut oil.
Add the shredded pork, and stir to coat the pork with the oil.
Add 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning and 1/4 cup of water, stir
to combine. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered until
the pork is heated through.
Serve the shredded pork in lettuce cups with Mango Salsa spooned on top.

We loved this recipe so I'll definitely will be making this a lot.
tomorrow night is Steak Cobb Salad with Mango Dressing.

Halloween ....

A few pictures from Halloween.......
we had right many trick or treaters so it was a fun
night passing out candy to the children in the neighborhood
I wish I had taken a night picture of the pumpkins below
I had candles not only in the pumpkins but also
in the looked pretty cool

and here's the skeleton trying to climb into one of the bedrooms!

cute baby Declan Liam

Declan and I wearing our skull and crossbones shirts

then he changed into his skeleton costume

Our favorite ninja ... Gabe!

and here's Maddox as the Hulk but he was pretty worn
out at this point. Notice his tongue sticking through
where his teeth used to be!! so cute


Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday ....

From my cooking in one day for a week
tonight we had Sesame Chicken Salad
and it was delicious!!
This recipe is from "Make Ahead Paleo"
I had cooked the chicken and made the dressing on
Sunday so fixing dinner tonight took all of 15 minutes
I had to cut up the cabbage, carrots and onions
here's the recipe......
  • half of the cooked chicken (I cooked a whole chicken and shredded it up so for this recipe, I just used half of that, I'll need the rest later in the week)
  • 1 small head of cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 4 green onions
  • 3 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • sesame dressing
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, cabbage, carrots, onions, sesame seeds and almonds. remove the dressing from the fridge, shake the jar to combine, and pour the dressing over the salad. Toss to coat.
 and here's the recipe for the dressing....which was so
dang good I'll definitely be making more of this just for salads
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon coconut aminos (I used soy sauce as I was out of aminos)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • fresh ground black pepper
combine all ingredients in a jar, shake and keep in the fridge
tomorrow night is
Shredded Pork Tacos with Mango Salsa

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Cooking all day ...

Today I cooked for a few  hours and now have our dinner
and lunch for the rest of the week!
From the "Make Ahead Paleo" cookbook, our dinner for
this week is.....
Monday - Sesame Chicken Salad
Tuesday - Shredded pork tacos with mango salsa
Wed - Steak Cobb salad with mango dressing
Thursday - Bacon chicken pizza
Friday - Pulled pork over cauliflower rice with spicy tomato sauce
I'm excited that dinner will be so easy this week
everything is packaged up in the frig ready to go each day
the main cooking is already done, just a little bit
of cutting up lettuce and things like that.
It was pretty easy......went to the grocery store this morning and got
everything I needed. So once home, no need to put anything away, just
start cooking. In this cookbook it's great because it tells you step
by step what to make for the entire week.

below is the tomato sauce that will be used for the
pizza and for the pulled pork on Friday

This mango salsa tasted so good......can't wait to have this!

I washed up dishes as I went along so clean up wasn't too bad

And while at it, I also cooked the doggies food
below is their ground turkey that they eat every day
I cook it up and then freeze it in individual baggies.
Then just pull out a baggie each morning
I cooked enough for 14 days for them

I started cooking about 2:00 and with cooking for the week, I also cooked our dinner for tonight and cooked the dogs food, cleaned up and was out of the kitchen by 7:00. I don't think that was too bad :)
Hope everyone has a wonderful week