Monday, February 24, 2014
I’ll be the first to admit, when it came to ranch dressings I thought there was nothing better than the Hidden Valley Ranch packet and adding some milk and mayo. I know some of you are probably cringing, and thinking about all the bad things that are probably in those packets. And trust me, I am too. I knew the packet dressing wasn’t good for me. But the flavor of that ranch dressing just never compared to any other store bought dressings. Or at least to me it didn’t. So I never tried to make any other version of ranch dressing at home, and after buying bottles and bottles of store bought ranch dressings and not finding one that tasted good enough I pretty much resigned myself to the fact that I was just going to have to go ranch-less, because I had already decided that I wasn’t going to be using the processed packet kind anymore.
Sunday morning around 3 AM, I was fighting another bought of pregnancy induced insomnia, and I was up watching the Food Network. Some show with Guy Fieri was on, and he made a salad with homemade ranch. Which, if you’ve seen some of the shows Guy Fieri does, a salad and dressing is pretty much the last thing I would expect him to be making. But he quickly threw together a homemade ranch, and I knew I could make my own right here at home, without any packet or crazy ingredients.
This ranch dressing is simple to throw together, and takes only a couple of minutes, using ingredients you most likely have on hand. I start with the lower amount in the ingredients and add more if more flavor is needed.
Homemade Ranch Dressing
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup mayo (you can make your own or use a store bought mayo)
1/2 cup sour cream (you can use greek yogurt if you prefer)
1-2 tablespoons of vinegar
1-2 cloves of smashed garlic (or 1-2 teaspoons of garlic powder)
2 teaspoons of dried parsley
2 teaspoons of dried chives
1/4 teaspoon of dried dill
salt and pepper to taste
Whisk everything together and pour into a jar to store in the refrigerator. No more packets, no more overly processed ranch. And you've got dressing that's been kid tested (if you count my two kiddos eating and loving it) and mom approved.
Friday, February 7, 2014
For several weeks I’ve been craving chicken pot pie. It’s always been a favorite food of mine. I love the richness and heartiness it provides. But when you have a husband who is following a paleo diet, you can’t exactly make the chicken pot pie your mom used to make, or buy a store bought grain free crust. Instead you improvise and come up with your own recipe. One that’s still rich and delicious tasting, and still hearty enough to fill you up on a cold night.
**This recipe is grain free, dairy free, and of course gluten free.
PAELO CHICKEN POT PIE RECIPE
Chicken Pot Pie Filling
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 white onion, diced
3 cups of chicken broth/stock
2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped into small pieces
1/2 can of coconut milk (full fat, shake before opening)
1 small head of cauliflower, cut off the florets and chop into small pieces
1 clove of garlic or 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
1 tsp. of Poultry Seasoning
1 tbsp of arrowroot flour
1 tbsp of avocado oil or olive oil
salt and pepper
1. In a large pot or enameled dutch oven add the oil, carrots, onion, and celery and sauté for a couple of minutes.
2. Add the chicken broth and garlic, and brig to a boil. Cook on medium for 5 minutes.
3. Add the chopped chicken and stir it in.
4. Add the coconut milk and stir it in. Allow it to come back to a simmer/bubbling before whisking in the arrowroot flour.
5. Add in the poultry seasoning, and some salt and pepper. Stir well before adding the cauliflower.
6. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium low, or until the carrots are soft, and the broth and milk has thickened has thickened. Turn the heat off while you prepare the crust.
1 1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup ground golden flax meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2-3 tbsp. melted coconut oil
1-2 tbsp of cold water
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix together the almond flour, flax meal, sea salt, and baking powder.
2. Pour in 2-3 tbsp. of coconut oil and begin to mix the dough together with a fork. Add the cold water as needed to make the dough smoother and stick together.
3. Separate the dough into small balls, and flatten into round discs.
Pour your chicken pot pie filling into an oven safe baking dish, and place the dough that you’ve flattened into discs on top of the filling. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the top of the crust begins to slightly brown.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
This Valentine’s Day is super different in this house. Last year Valentine’s Day would have meant Justin bringing home candy for the kids and himself. But since the great hip replacement of May 2013 he has completely changed his diet and lifestyle and candy is not even a blip on his radar. He’s been grain free since last August, and pretty much on a Paleo diet since last October. It’s really helped his auto-immune disease and we’re lucky to have seen so many improvements in his health.
Since he’s my Valentine, I thought it be kind of fun to make him up a Valentine’s Day “treat” he could take with him to work, and a cute printable to attach to the treat and slip in his lunch. I came up with the idea to combine a few of his every day snacks into one and attach the printable to jar. This combo is raw sprouted almonds, raw pepitas, dried unsulfured berries and raisins. You could use different nuts, seeds, or berries, and add grain free dairy free chocolate chips if you’re so inclined.
I also made four different printables in case any of you have a Valentine who is eating a paleo diet and wanted to send them off to work with a cute valentine and treat.
You can print all four at once, or print them individually. I’ve created Google docs for the printables and you can find them all by clicking on the links below. Feel free to print them and use them for your own Valentines.
PALEO INSPIRED VALENTINE PRINTABLES- ALL FOUR
PALEO INSPIRED VALENTINE PRINTABLE 1
PALEO INSPIRED VALENTINE PRINTABLE 2
PALEO INSPIRED VALENTINE PRINTABLE 3
PALEO INSPIRED VALENTINE PRINTABLE 4
Happy Valentine’s Day to all my grain free/paleo Friends!
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
From strong and extra-absorbent to ultra cushiony and ultra luxurious, Cottonelle is providing you with their longest rolls ever with their Clean Care and Ultra Comfort Care Triple Roll packs. We know just how important keeping a well stocked bathroom is in our home, and we want to know all your secrets for keeping yours well stocked too. We’ll be talking about the battle of the empty roll, how to turn little ones into helpers when it comes to changing the roll, and who you would vote for in your family as the person least likely to change the roll. Starting on February 2, 2014, when you purchase a Cottonelle Triple Roll pack from Walmart you have the chance to enter to win a 65” flat screen TV! (*Contest/promotion runs from 2/2/14 until 2/16/14.) Come join us for some “cheeky” fun and enter to win Walmart gift cards so you can keep your home well stocked with Cottonelle!
Here are the details:
When: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 from 8-9 pm EST (5-6:00 PST)
Where: On Twitter, using the hashtag #CtnlTripleRoll
Who: Be sure to follow our hosts @PollinateMedia, @alissamcircle, @jenhatzung, and guest of honor @Cottonelle
TweetDeck: We recommend following along using TweetDeck for the party. Search for our #CtnlTripleRoll hashtag + add a column to follow along
Prizes: We will be giving away 5 gift cards to @Walmart throughout the party. 2 $25 gift cards, 2 $50 gift cards, AND 1 $100 gift card! We’ll also be sharing about how you could enter to win a 65” flat screen TV with each Cottonelle Triple Roll pack you purchase from Walmart!
We’ve also made it easy for you to let your followers know about this twitter party. Just copy and paste the tweet below.
Join us as we chat about @Cottonelle Triple Roll & the importance of the roll 2/4/2014 8pm EST RSVP http://goo.gl/G7OXt6 #CtnlTripleRoll
Please RSVP using the link below (enter the URL to your Twitter profile) to be eligible for a prize. All winners will be chosen randomly from the RSVP list. Winners must be present and participating during the party to be eligible to win a prize. Be sure to follow the Party Hosts, along with using the hashtag in every tweet about the party.
This twitter party is sponsored by Cottonelle as part of a social shopper marketing campaign with Pollinate Media Group®. #CtnlTripleRoll #pmedia
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
I’m sure you’re not like me at all, waiting till the last minute to order Christmas/Holiday or New Year’s cards, always forgetting to make cute party invites, or always wanting to create cute personalized gifts for friends and family but never knowing where to go. No, you’re probably not like me at all. BUT if you are, then you have to check out Minted.com and you must look at all they have to offer.
I used to think Minted was just all about cards and invites, and don’t get me wrong, they have an amazing selection of both, but they’re also so much more. From party décor and photo calendars, to personalized journals and art prints, they offer you all of their creative paper products right there with the click of your mouse.
The Personalized Banners would be great for a party, or holiday décor, or even hanging up in your kid’s room.
These journals would make a thoughtful gift for any friend who loves to write or jot down their creative ideas.
I love the Art Prints from Minted too. The prints range in price depending on the size you order, and make great décor for any room in your house. This Rules to Live By print is so cute. I could picture it on my daughter’s gallery wall in her room.
And just because I love their Holiday and New Year’s cards so much, I decided to create a couple of mock ups of what our cards could look like.
Cute, right? And with Minted, you can enjoy 15% off all Holiday and New Year’s Cards when you order using the promo code HAPPY2014 (promotional code expires 1/1/2014). Great savings for their beautifully designed custom cards.
Have you used Minted.com before? Go check them out and I promise you will want to spend an hour just browsing their site and thinking up all the gifts you could make for people this year and next!
Disclosure: I was offered store credit in exchange for a honest review of Minted's website and services. No other compensation was given. This review reflects my honest opinion of the company and their services.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Welcome to the Instagram Blog Hop! If you're new around here, the Instagram Blog Hop is a party where you link up your Instagram account, find and follow new Instagram friends, and be continually inspired by what you see in your Instagram feed! No need to have a blog, just an Instagram account!
The Rules are Simple:
1. Follow your HOSTS:
Kimberly of A Night Owl | Instagram: @anightowlblog Erin of My Thirty Spot | Instagram: @mythirtyspot Angie of Little Inspiration| Instagram: @blogali
2. Follow your CO-HOSTS:
Jennifer | Instagram: @alwaysnwonder
Sara | Instagram: @momendeavors
3. Link up your Instagram Web Profile:
Just link up your new Instagram Web Profile (http://instagram.com/username) -OR- your web viewer of choice in the linky below!
4. Check out and follow a few fellow Instagram friends.
Tell folks you follow that you found them through the IGBH!
5. SHARE THE IGBH LOVE!
Before you link and run, we'd love for you to SHARE THE IGBH LOVE! We'd love to grow this lovely community, so we're asking you to share - with your friends, on your social media! Tweet about it, share it on G+ and Facebook or post about it on Instagram!
Monday, December 16, 2013
Believe it or not, but this is the first family photo we have had with all four of us since our little girl was 5 months old. I feel silly admitting this since I blog about stuff from our home, Instagram pictures like crazy, and share pretty much everything on Facebook that we do or eat, but I am terrible at taking Family pictures. And really have felt too self conscious with my weight in the past to want to take any. This year though, I figured since dropping some weight and feeling a little better at being in pictures it was finally time to take a family shot of us.
And I’m going to share some of the simple things we did to take a family photo, one that’s worthy of putting on a Christmas or New Year’s card, in my opinion.
- If you don’t know someone who can take a photo for you, or if this is a spur of the moment, completely impulsive decision, make sure you get a Tripod and a Remote.
- You can find decent tripods on amazon, maybe put it on your wish list this Christmas. They do come in handy.
- I bought a Remote for my camera for $20 at Best Buy. Best thing I could have done this year.
- Get a theme.
- My son had a cute plaid shirt that looked good with his jeans so we decided to go run with the denim and plaid look. My husband picked up a plaid flannel shirt from Target, and my daughter and I picked up gray shirts and plaid scarves from Old Navy.
- If you don’t have coordinating outfits, wear similar colors or colors that would look well together.
- Think about clothes that are comforting, and the kids won’t hesitate to wear. Not every family photo has to be styled to the nines, or include poofy dresses or ties. If that’s not what you’re comfortable in, or your kids are comfortable in, then wear something that you’ll all like and feel good in.
- Pick a good location. Backgrounds can help make the picture too.
- We went for the rustic wood look that is really just the side of an old unused building off a main road in our town.
- A brick wall could be good, a field, an orchard, etc. Use locations that are easy to get to, easy access was key for us with the kids.
- Bribe the kids with something they would like to get some good behavior and smiles during the photos.
- We told them after shopping and taking pictures we would get fruit smoothies and french fries. It was that simple. We would have taken them to eat after anyway, but they picked fruit smoothies and fries and when we said ok, it was that much easier to get them to smile in the pics.
- Remember to take a bunch of pics, some of you and the kids, some of just the kids, and some of you and your spouse. Who knows when you’ll get the chance to do it again, so take a lot of pictures during the time you' have.