#friendsgiving

On Saturday my husband and I prepared our first thanksgiving dinner for our friends.  We were pleased with the turn out!  The following foods in a wonderful atmosphere were enjoyed….

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The napkins are actually dish towels from IKEA – a little secret, all restaurants use these to add to their “farm to table – rustic” look.  I cut off the inside label and the hanging string, ironed them and my husband rolled up the silverware!  The poinsettias are from Wegman’s and were repotted in these awesome tin cans from IKEA.  We had a fun time at IKEA the day after thanksgiving to do some non-sale shopping.

The food warming up and getting ready for your meal tour:

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We must begin with the foundation of every good thanksgiving meal…TURKEY:

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The turkey was purchased from Wegman’s – nothing fancy just a basic turkey that took forever to defrost!  We seasoned it with salt, pepper and garlic powder.  The turkey was extremely moist (sorry that’s the only word that properly describes the food) with delicious flavor!

Some other traditional favorites:

  • Cranberry Sauce:  I mixed one 12oz bag of cranberries, 3/4 cup water, 1/2 cup honey and a few tbsps of coconut palm sugar to taste (see under Vittles section which product I keep in my cabinet).  I cooked this mixture for about 25 minutes to ensure all the water had been absorbed, the cranberries had popped and the sauce was adequately thick.  The sauce was a little tart, however, my taste buds prefer this flavor as I “believe” it is more natural and less man-made.

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  • Mashed…turnips & parnsips for me and potatoes for the others.  I used this recipe for my paleo side dish:  mashed turnips and parsnips from Primal Palate.  Very basic ingredients and simple instructions, I used half an onion, instead of the full for a sweeter lighter taste… ENJOY!  The texture was thick lite and fluffy; I think I will use this recipe for our little one’s baby food!! Pictured below: paleo mash is featured first, followed by the potatoes being mashed & the final product.

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  • Brussel Sprouts:  we dolled these bland veggies up.  They were seasoned with salt, pepper & olive oil and baked with dried cherries & pistachios,  They were enjoyed by all, even those who don’t normally eat this vegetable…SUCCESS!!

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  • Stuffing… quinoa & red rice Williams Sonoma mix.  To make this treat more paleo friendly, I did not use butter – substituted with olive oil.  Additionally, I used half an onion, a full yellow pepper and the zest of half a lemon to add additional flavor.  Not a paleo dish as these are super food grains, however, you gotta splurge every now and then!

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  • Biscuits:  No bread!!! We made the famous Bacon and Chive Sweet Potato Biscuits from PaleOMG.  We had made these last year and fell in love with them, after being pregnant and eating GF CARBSSS I hadn’t made them since.  We forgot how good these biscuits are and will be making them again this weekend just to have around during the week!

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  • Pecan Pie:  You just have to have some dessert!! I made Gluten-Free Pie Crust by following the recipe from Living Without Gluten Free’s online recipes.  I used Cup4Cup flour, coconut oil and coconut palm sugar and followed the rest of the recipe as stated!  The filling, I cheated, I used Williams Sonoma’s Chocolate Pecan Pie filling which is sold in a glass jar and is absolutely divine!!!  Note:  the coconut ingredients gave the crust an additional unexpected coconut flavor, which paired with the chocolate pecan filling very nicely!

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Last but not least, you must sit down and feast!!!!!                      photo 3

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!!! My goal for this week… EXERCISE EVERYDAY!!!!

peace. love. paleo.

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weekend recap y’all.

lazy sunday.

Breakfast: sweet potato & pork hash with a poached egg

Made by my wonderful husband (I will have to work on getting the secret recipe ;p ).

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Lunch: Frankie’s meatballs, tomato sauce & spaghetti squash

These meatballs are a modification of Frankie Spuntino’s Meatballs (click on link for recipe) – we omitted cheese.  Guilty, we used gluten-free bread, next batch I would like to omit that ingredient as well.  Thankfully my husband bares with my diet restrictions and kindly adjusts the recipe for himself and I.  The tomato sauce is simply whole canned tomatoes strained and cooked on medium heat until thick consistency meets your liking.  Refer back to squash post for preparation for spaghetti replacement:  spaghetti squash (click on link for cooking instructions).

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Dinner: sausage with bacon & apple cider vinegar kale and parsnip fries.

This mild italian sausage was purchased from Wegman’s (their own brand), no additives.  The kale was sauteed in bacon grease and topped off with finely chopped bacon of two pieces and apple cider vinegar (add until your taste buds appreciate the flavor, I used about 4 tbsp on my serving).  My husband made parsnip fries again, twice fried in avocado oil.  This round he made the slices a bit thicker – I thoroughly enjoyed the “meatier” fry compared to the thinner crispy fries.  However, I do have to say both are excellent and I highly recommend making this side.

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Dessert: Paleo Lemon Bars

These yummy treats were made from the recipe on Paleo Cupboard’s website:  Paleo Lemon Bars.  This is the second recipe I have tried for paleo lemon bars.  This recipe produces bars that hold their shape and are firmer, given that tapioca flour is used.  However, I do prefer the taste of the lemon filling from the other recipe I have tried – I will share that recipe with you the next time I make them. Maybe I could mix and match recipes… use this crust and the filling of the other recipe!  Experimenting in the kitchen will happen!!

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Along with this food collection I have some home exercise routines you can do while your baby is awake and not stirring.  The Baby Bjorn is a fabulous accessory!  Place baby in this pouch and begin… squats, lunges, squat walks, heel raises, tree pose ya-da-ya-da-ya.  Followed by a casual stroll, you and your baby will be happy as clams.

happy monday:

peace. love. paleo.

PUMP IT UP!

A pet peeve of mine is when bloggers post about the previous day, but now I get it – sometimes there just is not time!  Yesterday I ran, my pace was a crush to my ego, but I chalked it up to being proud that I actually continuously ran up and down hills towing a baby & a stroller for an hour.  Here we go:  progress, not perfection.  There will be a day when I am back in fighting shape, until then I have to be patient with myself.  I have a bunch of songs that I’ll share with you that really let my mind wander and uplift my soul as I exercise.  These songs are currently the ones that give me that extra pump to push my out of shape self.

*Taylor Swift: Shake It Off

*Sheppard: Geronimo

*Alesso: Heroes (we could be)

*Avicii: The Days

*Nico & Vinz: Am I Wrong

*Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne : Rather Be (feat. Jess Glynne)

*CHVRCHES: The Mother We Share

*The Script: Superheroes

*CHRCHES: Tether

*One Direction: Steal My Girl

*Calvin Harris, John Newman: Blame

*Echosmith: Cool Kids

*MKTO: American Dream

The baby was a bit fussy yesterday, trying to eat was a bit challenging – I will share with you some easy meals that moms can easily prepare.

Breakfast: 

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Featured is: Bacon – made on the stove top, however, you could make it in the microwave.  Poached eggs were made using this handy gadget shown below.  This device is placed in the microwave for a minute and voila your eggs are poached – well kind of, but you know what moms that are just trying to get a bite to eat can’t be too picky on how perfect their poached eggs are!  Mixed greens with avocado oil and balsamic vinegar – get some acid in your belly to really fire you up for the day.  Big ole glass of water to help hydrate, along with a cup of apple & celery juice – made the day before for easy access.

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Lunch:

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I asked my husband to grab me these the other day on his Costco run after work.  I used to eat these all the time when I lived in the dorms at Georgetown University.  Take one out of the freezer, pop it in the microwave for 2 minutes and place it on top of a mixed greens salad with cucumber, tomatoes and avocado, toss with olive oil and red wine vinegar.  At this point you can tell that I probably have heartburn between two doses of vinegar and a crying baby — don’t worry I took my calcium supplement today AKA TUMS.

Dinner:

I was lucky enough to have my husband home for this meal – I have been wanting to try this recipe since I saw it on the Food Network one lazy afternoon.  Another recipe courtesy of Anne Burrell {Crispy Herb Crusted Halibut with Curly Celery and Haricots Verts}.  Some modifications were made to the recipe, instead of using halibut (my husband searched high and low for this fish and couldn’t find a piece anywhere!) we used mahi-mahi.  This type of fish paired very nicely as it is very mild, no fishy taste and is a fluffy light white fish when cooked.  Instead of using green beans, formally known as haricots verts, we made parsnip fries.  I have recently have had a hard time eating green beans due to their texture, it’s like chalk on a board when I bite into them.  The first picture, below, is the preparation of the egg rinse and potato flake & herb dip – we decided to coat the entire fish, not just one side as the recipe calls for.  This preparation gave the fish more flavor.  Additionally, this photo has the curled celery; I honestly was doubtful that this would actually work, but as you can see it does!!! I sliced the celery the night before with a Mandolin slicer and the next morning I added ice cubes, water and the juice of half a lemon to the plastic container.  By the time we were ready to prepare dinner the celery was perfectly curly.  The final two photos are the end products of our meal.  I left the table feeling satisfied and refreshed; nothing too heavy about this meal, despite frying the parsnip slices in avocado oil instead of baking them in the oven.

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Now go cook, listen to music & run as you think about:

peace. love. paleo.