Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Day I Let Olivia Pick The Dessert....

I had decided last night that it was time for a treat this week. I was ready to make up a batch of my favorite wheat free, sugar free cookies!! Olivia wanted to help. When I pulled up my Pinterest board to get the recipe Olivia started yelling "no, let's do this one" pointing to a picture with lots of strawberries. We picked strawberries Saturday and have been eating them all week. She loves them!

I looked over the recipe for Strawberry Hand Pies on All Day I Dream About Food and saw that I had all the ingredients. I should have taken some time to read Carolyn's write up on her creation and the blog comments. Oh time.

The dough that is created from gluten free ingredients is very fragile. I lost my cool more than once trying to make the dough and then again trying to cut it. In the end I had 6 very unattractive hand pies ready for the oven. Fortunately, they baked up just like Carolyn said they would and were incredibly tasty.

Edited to comment that I stored a few in a container and they were mushy the next day.  Not sure if the issue was how I stored them or just that they are meant to be consumed same day as they are baked.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

South Meets Far East

Last night for dinner I reheated some pulled pork I had made in the crockpot the day before and made two new sides, roasted okra and a crunchy napa cabbage asian slaw. 

I love fried okra and have been missing it since I have cut back on foods with breading. This roasted okra recipe was delicious and so easy! Honestly, I think I like this almost as good as my favorite fried okra at Cracker Barrel.  No one else in my family liked it so more for me! 

The slaw is also a new staple for me. I modified the recipe in that I did not have snap peas, radishes or green onions. I did shred some carrots into it as well as the cilantro. I used Swerve as my sugar substitute in the dressing.  I might have eaten almost the entire bowl. It was that good!  Again, my family wasn't as sold on this as I was so I think this will make an awesome lunch for me in the future, especially with chicken added.  One of the down sides to drastically changing your way of eating is that things that taste good to me now do not necessarily taste good to my husband.  My daughter is in the height of her picky eating at almost 4 years old!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Joy In The Midst

I have been on a journey for the past month to change my health.  Back in December I found out that my 7 years of being prediabetic were coming to a close and soon I would be leaping into the black hole of full blown diabetes.  I decided then that it was time to change.  I toyed around with cutting back on carbs but wasn't fully committed.  I saw some weight loss but soon I was discouraged because it was hard.  I went back to how I had been eating and gained back what I had lost.  In mid March I decided to try again and this time I fully committed by cold turkey giving up sugar sweetened beverages and treats, potatoes, rice, pasta and bread.  I started eating lower carb foods, mostly wheat free and sugar free, all day.  I began baking wheat free, sugar free treats again so that when I was tempted to snack I would have a suitable option.  I stopped eating out regularly.  I also started checking my blood sugar at home several times a day to see how different meals affected me.

The results of those changes have been great!  I have lost about 16 pounds, several inches off my waist, hips and chest and my cravings for junk have mostly subsided.  I also went back to the doctor for my 4 month recheck and my fasting glucose and Hemoglobin A1c were both improved.  My doctor was quite pleased and is letting me go 6 months before a recheck this time.

But now I am experiencing my first plateau.  The scale has been hovering around the same number for a week now and is actually inching up instead of down.  I feel so discouraged today and do not feel joy at all.  But, as I brewed my coffee this morning, mulling these feelings over, God reminded me of the Bible study I just finished up at church this past week - Choose Joy (Kay Warren).  One of the things I learned in that study is that there are false sources of joy.  Apparently, I've been finding some of my joy lately in the number on the scale.  Now quite honestly, considering that I have been halfheartedly trying to lose weight for several years without success, I don't think it is horrible that I've been joyous over the changes on the scale. However, now that it is not going in the direction I want it is affecting me negatively so I've gone too far.  In one of the videos Kay said that we can experience joy in the midst of trials, circumstances, etc.  Today I am reminded that I need to find my joy in Jesus even when the scale does not make me happy.  He is the only true source of joy!  The full title of the study is Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough.  So true!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Food Prep Sunday

I found a blog recently called The Lean Green Bean.  One of the regular weekly features showcases different bloggers and the food they prep on Sunday to make their weeks go smoother.  Being that I am terrible with meal planning this fascinated me.  The author has a page with over 50 links to food prep posts and I think I looked at almost all of them.  I loved seeing the different pictures of the prepped foods.  I decided this was something I needed to incorporate into my week pronto!  

So, I present my first attempt at Food Prep Sunday!  I made 4 batches of my homemade spaghetti meat sauce.  I always make 3-4 batches at a time with ground beef we buy in bulk at Sam's Club.  We have spaghetti once a week on average so I'm done for the month after a session of prepping these.  Once made, these go in the freezer, are thawed overnight and then cooked in the crockpot for 5-7 hours on low.  All I have to do then is cook noodles, bake frozen bread (for the family) and grate cheese (this sauce is extra yummy with shredded cheddar).  I love crockpot spaghetti sauce day!  

I also cleaned and chopped a bunch of celery and prepped a homemade taco salad dressing.  I eat taco salad at least twice a week for lunch with leftover taco meat and this dressing is also a great raw veggie dip!  It's from the Pioneer Woman's blog and so easy - 1/4 cup each salsa, mayo and sour cream.  I recently discovered the joy of actually using my mason jars.  I have tons of them for all those "gift in a jar" ideas I have pinned....oh I digress.  Anyway, I have found that they take up less space than my usual food storage containers, enable me to spot my ingredients more easily and now are no longer, win, win!

Today I followed up Food Prep Sunday with I Wasn't Done Last Night Monday (ha!) by putting a pork butt in the crockpot all day.  I used a 6 lb chunk-o-pig so hopefully there will be enough to freeze several baggies for quick meals another night.  This is my very first pork butt!  I followed a recipe from Everyday Paleo and it turned out yummy.  I also plan to make Cowboy Chili Stuffed Peppers from All Day I Dream About Food later this week so I prepped the recipe halfway to save time the night I make it.  Since I am making so much from scratch these days anything that can be made simpler, in advance or in the crockpot is music to my ears.


Thanks for stopping by my new blog.  I have had quite a few blogs over the last 4 years but they have all been focused on a specific topic.  I have had writer's block on my family blog for months now because the things I really wanted to write about were more about me and not my family.  For some reason that has kept me from feeling free to post more.  So, after much thought I decided to create yet another new blog for the random assortment of things that make up my life.  So, you can expect posts about my family, food, health goals, sewing, crafting, bible studies....whatever strikes my fancy!