Monday, February 16, 2015

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I've admitted this here before, but I'll say it again.  I'm not a veggie fan.  I have to hide them from myself to get them in.  This cauliflower pizza crust is the perfect way to do that!  It's easy and healthy and super versatile.  I combined a couple of recipes to do this and I feel like I'm still perfecting my version but a couple of you have asked for it so here it is!

1 medium cauliflower
2 T chopped parsley
2 T Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder

Your first step is to shred the cauliflower.  There are two ways to do this.  The easiest way is in the food processor.  If you don't have one you can definitely use a grater.  But a food processor is much easier.  Honestly if you don't have a little one at this point I would suggest purchasing one. You can get a cheap version for around twenty dollars.  

So, after you've pulsed your cauliflower you want to microwave it for about 4 minutes.  Take it out and place it in the refrigerator.  You want it to cool down enough so it doesn't scramble the egg when you mix it together!

While you are waiting shred your mozzarella cheese (we always purchase block cheese because it doesn't have any additives) and chop your parsley.  If you love parsley you can add more!

After you cauliflower cools mix in your beaten egg, cheese and spices.  You only need about 3 cups of cauliflower.  If you have extra you can add in more cheese and an additional egg.  

Take a piece of parchment paper and place it on a baking sheet.  Spray it with non-stick pray (we use coconut oil).  Spread your mixture out.  Make sure it's thin and even.

Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes.  Take it out of the over and add your ingredients.  Bake for another 10 minutes.

I've made this three times in the past week.  The first time my ratio was around 2.5-3 cups of cauliflower.  I also made sure I spread the mixture very thinly on the parchment paper.  The crust came out much better this way.  It's important to let the crust cook without ingredients until it is totally done.  Otherwise it is really crumbly and not really crust-like.  

You can mix up this recipe by adding other spices or cheeses to your crust.  Try goat cheese or even feta and make a mexican pizza!  I love this alternative and next time I'm going to try to make mini-pizzas.  I think smaller amounts will make the crust even more crust-like!

Let me know if you try it!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Curried Carrot Soup with Pork & Apple Meatballs

I consider myself an amateur foodie.  But if I'm honest I have to say that I don't enjoy veggies.  I really struggle to get in my recommended serving.  I have to trick myself by hiding veggies in my food.  Clearly none of my children are actually my children since I often find them scarfing carrots, green beans and peas for a snack!

I read about this carrot soup called Potage du Crecy on another blog and decided it was the perfect way to get my veggies in!

I put my own spin on it and added these amazing meatballs to it!  I don't know what to call it now other than delicious!  It's Whole30 and Paleo minus 1 tsp of brown sugar in the meatballs.  And they probably would have been just fine without it!

For the Soup
1 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 garlic cloves
1 onion
2 potatoes
10-12 carrots
chicken or vegetable stock
curry powder

Dice your onion and saute in olive oil and garlic.  Dice your potatoes and carrots and add to the pan.  Cover with stock.  Usually 4 cups is enough but it certainly won't hurt if you add more.  You basically just want to make sure that the veggies are covered.

Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium for about 30 minutes with the top on.  Take the soup off of the heat and let it cool.  Transfer to a blender and blend.  Add salt, pepper, curry and cayenne to taste.  (If you are in a big rush you can add the soup to the blender while it is hot.  Just make sure you put a hand towel on the top of the blender and hold it down.  Otherwise the top of the blender will come out and hot soup will be everywhere. Trust me on this one.)

For the meatballs

1 pound ground pork
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper
3/4 tsp sage
3/4 tsp thyme
1/8 tsp rosemary
1 tsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 egg
1 apple peeled and grated

Mix your spices together and then mix thoroughly with your meat.  In another bowl whisk your egg.  Grate a peeled apple (I used gala) and mix with the egg and sausage.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until center of meatball is cooked.  I always bake my meatballs in a mini-muffin tin.  It helps you make them uniform and it better for you than doing it on the stove since you don't need added oil!

That's it!  So easy.  And seriously super yummy!!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Sharing the Love

I can hardly believe it is February already.  I feel like I spent most of January getting prepared for the rest of the year.  I admire people who can make goals quickly but it really takes me a lot of time and preparation.  I love February though.  It's a month all about love and who doesn't love love?

One of my goals this year is to continue to share the awesome opportunity my business has provided with others.  This sharing is two-fold.  Number one, I want to share the business opportunity with others because it truly has been life changing for me in many ways.  Two, it allows me to partner with special people like the ones I'm going to share with you today.  The are the epitome of love!

Aren't they the cutest?

Meet the Kojaks.  I know they are glad that January has flown by because they leave THIS MONTH to go pick up their sweet baby boy!!!  

I almost hate to try to tell their story because Ali has such a breathtakingly beautiful way of sharing their tender hearts.  I knew Ali was special when I met her but she made a lasting impact on me during one of the hardest times of my life.  After we moved to Tacoma, Peter deployed rather quickly.  I was pregnant and lonely and not really sure how I was going to make it through six long months.  The day he left Ali brought me cupcakes and flowers.  I still tear up thinking about it because it was such a simple gesture on her part but it meant so very much to the scared, pregnant girl that I was on that day.  Throughout the next sixth months we spent time developing a friendship that only military life can foster.  We shared our second pregnancies.  We shared a love for donuts and Thai and Jesus.  She means more to me than I've probably ever told her.  So Ali, here you go :)

I've loved watching this story unfold because they have gone from "maybe someday we will do this" to "no matter how hard it is to live in the will of Jesus we are going to do it.  And we are going to do it with gusto!".  It's beautiful.  It's inspiring.  And I can not WAIT for their sweet babe to be home.

The rest of the family is pretty awesome too.  You can read about them here.  

I encourage you to explore her blog.  It tells about their hearts for their baby, Boo, but also their hearts for Jesus.  For living intentionally.  For really BEING Jesus to people.


So, for the month of February 50% of my business profits will go towards bringing Boo home!  

I'm an Independent Consultant for Rodan + Fields Dermatologists.  If that's a new name to you, you might be familiar with Proactiv.  Same Doctors, different product.  Rodan + Fields was developed to target the anti-aging market.  We have a wide variety of products that target everything from expression lines to dark spots.  Our four main regimens focus on Anti-Aging, Acne, Dark Spots (from sun or pregnancy) and Sensitive Skin.  In addition we have an arsenal of tools and other products designed to give you the best skin of your life!

All of our products come with a 60-day money back guarantee.  Empty bottle.  No questions asked.  

I've been using these products for the last 2 years and can honestly say my skin has never looked better.  We use all four regimens in our house for various things!

There are two ways to purchase.

1. As a Preferred Customers.  If you have questions about how to do this please let me know!  I am glad to help you pick products that will best help you.  This is the best value if you plan to purchase a regimen, tool or multiple products.  

2. Bulk orders.  I will be placing bulk orders for people who are interested in purchasing smaller items.  I'll be placing these towards the end of the month so I can hopefully send them to areas where there are lots of people wanting to support Ali & Chris.  I'll be doing a Florida order and a Tacoma order.  I am also glad to ship things to you as well!

 Here's the best way to get started!

This is a link to our solutions tool.  It helps you decide which products are right for your skin.  

Some of our best sellers include

 (Sunscreen, Body Lotion and Self Tanner)


I'm so excited to help the Kojaks as the raise the last bit of money they need to finalize their adoption.  Please consider purchasing or donating directly to their fund!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Homemade Mayo

When I did my first Whole30 I wasn't super ambitious in my recipes.  I mostly was just trying to keep up with all the cooking and dish washing!  That's one of the negatives to this diet for me since I am not a planner.  I do plan a basic menu in my head for the week but when you need to eat meat and veggies at each meal you have a lot more planning to do!

I don't eat a lot of mayonnaise on a regular basis but I do like an occasional egg salad or chicken salad.  To add some variety to my meals I branched out and made Whole30 compliant mayo.

Want to try it at home?  It's super easy and the mayo tastes great!  The benefits?  No added sugar, soybean oil or preservatives.  Much better for you!

This is from the Whole30 website.  

1 and 1/4 cup olive oil (NOT extra virgin)
1 egg
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 lemon, juiced

Put the egg, 1/4 cup olive oil, mustard and salt in the food processor.  Mix well.  Slowly stream in the rest of the olive oil.  I only used about 1/2 to 3/4 of a cup.  Mix lemon juice in to taste.

Here are some hints from the Whole30 site.

-again, make sure you are using olive oil and not extra virgin olive oil.  You WILL be able to taste a difference and you probably won't like it!

-make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature

-the slower you pour the thicker your mayo

Check out the Whole30 page for some variations!

I used my mayo to make egg salad and curried chicken salad  Curry is my new favorite spice.  I pretty much use it in everything!

For the chicken salad I just mixed curry powder, garlic powder, cayenne and salt with shredded chicken.  I ate it on top of apple slices (curry and apple together is amazing) and on top of mini sweet peppers.  Quick, easy, healthy and compliant meal!

This recipe makes about a cup to a cup and a half of mayo.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Cocoa Pancakes

I competed my second Whole30 this week and I'm glad to be in the clear for making a few treats!  These pancakes are technically Whole30 compliant however according to their "don't make anything that resembles foods that you love" rule, I only made them once or twice.  I don't eat pancakes generally so I don't feel like it was a problem for me to make them.  Now, if I were making compliant donuts, that would be another issue!

I've posted a version of these before but I like these better because they hold their shape.  If you pretend really hard too you can imagine you are eating strawberries and chocolate.  Haha!

Cocoa Pancakes

2 eggs
1 ripe but not too ripe medium banana
1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder*
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Extract **
shredded coconut***

Mix ingredients in a food processor and make pancakes just like you normally would!  The batter can be tricky so you might have to play around a bit to see how long to cook and how high you want your heat.  I cook on medium/medium/low heat.  If the batter just won't firm up in the pan then add a little more cocoa powder, otherwise you can just end up with brown scrambled eggs!  They still taste good but I think they are more satisfying in pancake form!

I sprinkled mine with sugar-free coconut and strawberries.  Yum!!

* If cocoa isn't your thing you could also make these with almond flour or coconut flour.  I use coconut flour as a substitute for flour and for corn starch often in cooking.  Just a little bit of flour will thicken these up enough to make them more "cake" like.

**Technically Vanilla Extract is also not permitted on Whole30.  I think it's a silly rule and so I used it.  I don't think you can or should do that with most of the rules within the program but that is definitely one of them!

***I buy my coconut in the bulk section of the grocery store.  The coconut sold in the baking aisle has SO much added sugar!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

On Being Beautiful

Today in the car on the way to meet Daddy for lunch I hear my three year old say,

"Mama.  You are beautiful."

Just about everything causes tears these days (I blame it on being almost 38 weeks pregnant) and this was no exception.

"Daddy says you are beautiful Mama.  You are beautiful."

I got it together and told him thank you.  And that Mama loves to hear that.  And then he proceeded to do this hideous noise and say "MAMA" as loud as he could at the top of his lungs.  I hate that noise.  The moment was over.  But his words are etched into my heart.

* * *

I've been thinking a lot about words lately.  Words and how they represent who I am.  Blogging has been a place for me to record my thoughts and feelings.  My words  To record the boys' milestones.  To share my favorite pictures and recipes.  And occasionally to connect with others who seem to "get" me.

When I started blogging it was purely to be a "Mommy blog" and to share pictures and moments with family scattered across the country.  And then somewhere along the way page views and connecting it to other forms of social media and shares and likes and followers started crowding in.  Instead of writing what was on my heart or in my head I started wondering what people would want to read about.  I started wanting people to want to read.  And when they didn't I got upset.

What am I doing wrong?  Why don't I have more followers?  Why am I not meeting up with my Insta-friends in real life?

I feel like I should add a disclaimer here because I don't think any of these things are wrong.  I love that blogging is an outlet for people.  I love that it is a place for people to connect over issues and get support.  I love that men and women are able to provide for their family by writing and sharing!  These are just things that I had to deal with personally because I was looking at blogging the wrong way for me!

And then one day it was literally like God spoke to me and said,

"Is what I've given you not enough?"

And I realized that I was looking to a computer screen to validate myself.  Likes and shares and followers were more important to me than actually liking and sharing moments.  Moments with family.  Moments with friends.  Moments where I was learning something or experiencing something new.

So I took a month off.  And it changed everything!  I stopped looking at pageviews.  I starting living my life and recording it for me and for my family again.  The words that I write are MY story.  Our story.  It's about the moments when my three year old brings happy tears and when we get to announce another baby.  It's about the things that are hard (cancer, deployments, crohns...just to name a few from the last 3 years).  It's about the lessons I'm learning and hopefully the ones I'm teaching.  It's about having a space to be me.

And if no one connects?   That's ok!  It doesn't mean I'm less of a Mom.  Or not a good friend.  It certainly doesn't change the way I look in the eyes of the boys and this precious baby girl we can't wait to meet.  It doesn't determine my worth.  I believe I'm called to live life in the moment.  Can I share that?  Sure!  But should I derive my worth from who reads it?  Never.

And THAT is beautiful to me!!

*This was an old post...written before Kelsey was born.  Just in case you were confused and thought we'd gone back in time.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Book Review--Duel With the Devil

One of my favorite things to do is read a really good history book.  Paul Collins definitely delivers that in his account of America's "First Sensational Murder Mystery", Duel with the Devil.

For the last few months, I, along with half of America, have been obsessed with the case presented on the podcast, Serial.  It's a sensational case.  Everyone wants to know who did it.  But who knows if we will really ever know?

Collins takes a previously unsolved case from 18th Century Manhattan.  He uses the court transcripts to solve the case and masterfully tells the story of intrigue, murder and politics gone awry.  It's a glimpse into the lives of the common person as well as political heros like Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton.

If the law, politics or American History are of any interested to you at all you'll love Duel with the Devil!


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