Monday, September 16, 2013

To Paleo or not...

It's no secret that I love to cook. And I love to eat. I really just love food in general.

After Hayes was born, I started caring about what I was eating and more specifically, what Hayes was eating. Nothing makes you want to get healthy more than having a tiny person you are responsible for.

After making some positive changes to our diet, I noticed a weight loss and energy increase without adding exercise to my day. Who doesn't love losing weight, right?

So began a new adventure, making "eating healthy" our new normal. I started making these changes right before we found out I was pregnant with Keller. We've learned a lot since then...what our bodies tolerate, dishes and flavor combos we like, what works for our family. This adventure is ever changing and I am definitely learning something new all the time.

I recently came across a Paleo cookbook, Against All Grain. I've blogged several recipes from this book and have loved everything I've made. This cookbook has prompted my research into the Paleo lifestyle.

What I love about Paleo:
Eliminating things that have been processed with all the chemicals that we know aren't good for us.

What makes me nervous:
Eliminating an entire food group. There are no grains on Paleo and very limited dairy.

Overall I think that it's up to me to decide what works best for my family and I think it's an adapted version of Paleo. I love that our plates are filled with lean meats and veggies at every meal. I'm not sure I want to cut out grains yet, we love brown rice and quinoa. I am definitely ok with cutting out the chemicals and learning how to make more kitchen staples myself to cut back on exposure to these chemicals. I see this as a new cooking challenge and that makes me super excited.

I will be posting many of my paleo recipes on here. It may not be for everyone, but hopefully everyone finds at least one recipe that inspires them!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Train Ride with George!

We live near an old train station that puts on themed train rides. When I saw there was a Curious George ride, I signed us up right away. Hayes loves George!

The train was really old and Hayes wasn't too sure about riding on it, but he eventually loosened his grip on Ryan's neck and enjoyed himself.

The train took us to a depot where George and The Man in the Yellow Hat were waiting to meet everyone. I wasn't expected Hayes to run and leap into George's arms for a least he is in the same frame...

Too much fun for Keller. A slow train ride was perfect for rocking him to sleep.

Instagram Obsessed...Catch Up

It's been a get ready for picture overload!

Go Irish!

Happy Fall!!

"My bed! I fixed it better."  -Hayes

My baby is 9 months old!

Keller and Callen at 8 months!

Lovin' on baby Gavin!

Cousin Chaos

Ready for football!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Slow Cooker Sesame Orange Chicken

Yet another recipe from Against All Grain. This meal was so good, so easy to make, and made our entire house smell amazing.

The way I made it tonight is not technically Paleo. We ate it over brown rice that I need to finish using. Still a delicious and healthy meal!

2 lbs chicken thighs
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut aminos
2 tbsp orange juice
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper

Place chicken thighs in slow cooker. Combine remaining ingredients in bowl and whisk together. Pour mixture over chicken thighs. Turn chicken once to make sure it is fully coated in the delicious sauce. Cook on low for 4 hours.

About 45 minutes before supper time, start your brown rice. While the rice is cooking, start preparations for the Ginger-Garlic Broccoli.

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 lbs broccoli, trimmed into florets
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
1/4 cup water

Heat both oils in large skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Add broccoli and salt and stir fry for 10 minutes. Add coconut aminos and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Now it's meal assembly time! Place brown rice in the bottom of a deep bowl. Top with broccoli and chicken. Pour some sauce from the slow cooker over the dish. Enjoy!

Rodan + Fields

I have started an exciting new journey and I can't wait to share it with everyone! I have partnered with the doctors who created Proactive, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, to help launch their skincare line.

I was first introduced to this line by Ryan's cousin, Emily. I was frustrated with my skin after 2 pregnancies and aging in general. I was having to wear more makeup than I ever have before just to make my skin look presentable. Cue R + F...

Within a few days of using the Redefine regimen, I noticed a difference in the brightness of my skin and the appearance of a more even complexion. I quickly became addicted to the micro-dermabrasion paste and loved how soft and clean my skin felt after every use.

Within 2 weeks, I knew I had to be a part of this business for 2 reasons.

1. I love love love the products and have enjoyed not only a positive change in my skin's appearance, but an increase in my self esteem as well.

2. I love my babies. I want to spend more time with them, especially while they are still young. It's hard to do this with a full time job and I know that R+F is what will allow me to cut back at work while not losing income.

R+F has a great line of products for all skin types. We have a team of specially trained dermatological nurses ready to assist in any skin care concerns. We also have a 60 day money back guarantee.

I would love to have the chance to tell you more about this fantastic business and the products I have fallen in love with! Contact me for more information!

Katie McCormick 
Independent Consultant

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Braised Chicken with Artichoke-Mushroom Sauce

Y'all. This meal was seriously amazing. And seriously easy. And we have leftovers. Which this busy mom loves.

Shocker, this is from Against All Grain. As are all my recipes this week. I love falling in love with cookbooks. time! I made adjustments based on our preferences and what was available.

6 tbsp unsalted butter
6 chicken breasts
1 lb bella mushrooms, sliced
2 cups marinated artichoke hearts
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp flour (I used whole wheat)
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper and paprika

I used a cast iron dutch oven to cook this meal. Start by melting 4 tbsp butter over med high heat. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika. Place in dutch oven and cook for 8 minutes, rotating every 2 minutes. Place chicken on a plate and add remaining 2 tbsp butter. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, flour, and apple cider vinegar. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add chicken back to pot. Place artichoke hearts on top of chicken breasts, cover, and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. I used this time to make green beans to eat with the chicken.

The flavor in this dish is incredible! I promise, you won't be disappointed!

Sausage Quiche with Sweet Potato Crust

This is a fun find from my new cookbook crush, Against All Grain. It was very easy to prepare and made enough for 2 nights of meals, plus we made a fun snack with the leftover ingredients;) I will share that soon, but first...Quiche!!

1 sweet potato, thinly sliced (we used a mandolin set at 1/8 inch)
10 eggs
1/2 lb ground turkey sausage (casings removed)
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
3 tbsp coconut milk (or whatever milk you have on hand)
salt and pepper
olive oil for greasing

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a pie dish with olive oil. I have really shallow pie dishes, so I actually used 2 for my recipe. It made very thin quiche and I probably could have fit it all in one, but it still turned out delicious!

Layer sweet potato slices around bottom of dish, making sure the bottom is completely covered. Place cooked sausage on top of potato slices and top with rosemary. In a bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour egg mixture over sausage and sweet potatoes. Press down any sausage that floats up with your spoon. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until quiche is set.

Yum! Enjoy!!

Got leftover sweet potatoes? We did. So I used another Against All Grain recipe. I soaked the leftover slices in ice water for 20 minutes (while the quiche was baking). Drain the water, rinse the potatoes, and then dry. I laid them out on papertowels to drain while we ate. Toss in melted coconut oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake on a cookie sheet at 425 for 20 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until crispy. These were beyond amazing. And this is coming from a girl who has been known to gag on sweet potatoes. Try them! You will love them!

Top 10

1. Got a new cookbook in this last week...Against All Grain. I feel so inspired by Danielle's story and love the new food ideas! It is a Paleo cookbook and I am not totally sold on the Paleo lifestyle for our family, but I do love healthy cooking!

2. I did it! Started running! Thank goodness for my running partner or I definitely wouldn't have gotten out of bed at 5:15 in the morning. I am so glad that I have started back up, it feels so good to run again. As much as I wish I could stay in bed longer, it is a great feeling to get my workout done first thing in the morning.

3. Potty Training. There have been a few moments in the last 2 weeks that almost broke us, but overall it has gone really well! I feel confident that we waited until Hayes was really ready or else it wouldn't be going so well. Of course we are by no means done, but we are off to a great start! Good job, Hayes!

4. Keller man has started cruising and walking behind push toys. Seriously? What happened to my baby?

5. Back to potty training for 5 seconds...Hayes gets a m&m when he has a successful potty trip. Today, on our way to retrieve his reward, he says "mommy, you can have one too." Thanks for rewarding me for my assistance in helping you achieve your potty dreams.

6. If you aren't watching Rookie Blue, you should be. I kinda love Nick & Andy.

7. Colleen Hoover is an amazing author. Read her books. Now.

8. My new favorite apps: Nike Running and PicTapGo. Check them out, if you run or like editing pics:)

9. Breakfast smoothies have become a staple for me. A healthy, filling breakfast on the go is perfect for busy moms.

10. Pray for sweet baby Liam. He was born early and is at Children's. He is quite the fighter and has made great progress since he was born! Pray for mommy and daddy and the medical professionals taking care of him as well!