Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies

I am OBSESSED with these. Like cannot quit circling the brownie plate addicted. They are SO GOOD!! This is a bold statement but I do believe this is my very ...

Vegan Date Dessert & a Milkshake

Oh my gosh I am so excited to share these recipes with you I don’t know what to do?   I hope everyone who reads this post and has a ...

Vegetable Spaghetti with Spicy Meatballs

think I’ve posted a vegetable spaghetti recipe before but it’s been a while so here goes round two! This recipe comes from Bowen and I wanting something light and delicious ...

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WIAtuesday

I thought a good way to start back this blog would be a WIAW, on Tuesday. This came to me this am as I was fixing our breakfast-Baby Bowen and I eat mostly the same things now with slight variations.

I have had a lot of you looking for toddler meal inspiration so here’s a soft intro to some of his favorites eats-believe it or not he is into anything GREEN. Asparagus, broccoli, green beans, peas-all his very favorite foods!

I have so missed this little blog! Since I feel the Lord calling me to full time mom, not cookie business owner, I am hoping I can get back to blogging (during nap time and such).

Can you believe Baby Bowen will be one year old in December!! Where has time gone?? It’s been the best and hardest and most joyful and most sanctifying year of our lives. Praise God for this precious blessing!

 

On to todays eats: 

Breakfast- Bowen and I both ate a banana on the way to fit mama, his got everywhere-mine did not. At fit mama baby b had one of these peanut butter breakfast cookies from Laura Lea Balanced Cookbook! 

When I got home I made a vitamin C smoothie with oranges, lemon, frozen banana, kiwi, turmeric, grated ginger root and almond milk-still trying to kick this lingering cold I’ve had since forever. Baby B has a green smoothie and maybe an egg or fruit almost every morning. He sucks this green smoothie down made with spinach, banana, blueberries, spiruilina and almond milk.

Snack: cuties for Bowen, Siete food chips & a pb breakfast cookie for me 

Lunch: Butternut Squash soup and “salad in a jar”, I made a big salad to bring to a friends last night so while prepping that I went ahead and made salads for the week. Baby Bowen had butternut squash and some cuties. 

and a bonus lunch from yesterday so you can get an idea for some toddler eats! I made ground chicken taco salad, without the cayenne in my taco mix and Bowen ate it up. He had his with avocado, tomato and asparagus.

Dinner: We have been on the go this Holiday season I am sure like the rest of you.. Bowen and I call each other ship one and two because it seems like we are just passing each other by most nights! Tonight Bowen had bible study fellowship so we  all ate together early, which means dinner was ready and in the instapot early-the IP has saved the day the last couple of weeks.

Tonight was organic chicken thighs, baby portobello mushrooms, garlic, thyme and chicken stock over brown rice  with some steamed broccoli-super simple, quick and nourishing! 

If you don’t have an instapot you must get one for Christmas!! Today I have made butternut squash soup, brown rice and our chicken thighs in the IP. It’s so easy and packs some serious flavor in a short amount of time!

Baby Bowen had this same supper along with some asparagus then baked apples for dessert 😉
HE LOVES THESE APPLES. I bet he eats a bag of apples a week or more! I peel and slice any apples I have and simmer in water and some lemon juice until tender then add cinnamon. 

I had a little chocolate for my sweet treat! 

That’s it! Thanks for reading along, comment below your toddler’s favorite eats! 

 

Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bowls

Happy fall y’all for now at least! We finally have some cool temps today and we are taking full advantage! It is so beautiful out and baby b loves to stroll and go to the park which is making exercise really fun these days! 

I am getting ready for a half in December but can’t quite get past a certain mileage with b in the stroller which is making things a bit difficult.

I am thinking I’ll need to get up earlier and get a few miles in before b wakes up, except this is my b study time and I need it more than anything else. How do y’all train with a teen-tine, leave me a comment below! 

Bowen and I have been waking up extra early and having our coffee and bible study its been a sweet time.

B just started a new job and things are changing up around here! Bless the Lord for this sweet time we are having with our happy boy. Okay that kind of gets you up to speed. I am not really back in the cookie world yet but am doing some classes the next few months, Ill keep you posted on how they go! 

On to the recipe….I talked Bowen into having spaghetti squash by adding in the word pizza, it’s all about presentation. Bowen will eat veggies as long as he doesn’t feel like I am trying to deprive him 😉 

We both loved this dish and it made great leftovers for lunch. I loved how quick and easy it was to put together. I actually made these in the morning then baked them off at supper time.

I rarely fix supper at supper time… I do not understand how moms can get dinner together at 5 o clock. Baby b needs my full attention, crawling all over the place then having his supper then bath and more play. Bowen and I get in a quick supper in the midst of Bowen’s bed time routine then one of us will clean while the other gives him his last bottle. Where on earth does actual cooking fit in?? Most days I cook in the am and try to make more than one meal at a time. How do y’all do it!??

I cooked the spaghetti squash in my insta pot-all you do is half the squash and remove seeds then add one cup of water to pot and manually set to high pressure for 7 minutes-perfectly tender squash noodles! I made mine with vegan cheese which was deliciously creamy but slightly sweet. That’s the one downside to daiya, it’s lacking that salty, nutty component you get from dairy cheese. Let me know if you make this recipe!

Pizza Spaghetti Squash Bowls
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Ingredients
  1. 2 small spaghetti squash, halved
  2. 2 cups marina sauce*
  3. 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, or 2 cups vegan cheese
  4. Pizza toppings (I used appelegate pepperoni and crushed red pepper flakes)
Instructions
  1. Cook spaghetti squash then using a fork, shred the inside of the squash. Add 1/2 cup marina sauce and 1/4 cup shredded cheese to each squash half, and gently give it a toss until all of the squash is coated with the sauce. Top spaghetti squash with pepperonis and more cheese.
  2. Place the baking sheet with the spaghetti squash pizzas in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until cheese in golden brown and inside squash is hot. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. * I made my marina sauce by sautéing 1/2 cup onion, 3 cloves garlic and 2 celery sticks until soft then added crushed tomatoes, basil, garlic powder and a heavy pinch of coconut sugar and cooked for 30 minutes.
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Oatmeal Carrot Breakfast Cookies

It is so good to be in the kitchen and so fun to cook for baby b…if you can call smashed carrots cooking 😉 He really loves to eat and has been sitting with us at the dinner table which is so fun. I LOVE this age. Baby b is so busy and into everything including all the foods. 

These ice cubes trays are the easiest way to freeze and store baby food. I’ve been steaming veggies, pureeing them and then freezing in trays, pop them out and you are ready to go 🙂

more momma↑

I need a quick breakfast these days. Baby b is up around 7 and doesn’t go down for a nap for a couple hours so it’s all hands on deck.

I usually make a smoothie or oatmeal but haven’t had the time most mornings and chocolate caramel kind bars aren’t cutting it. I LOVE these breakfast cookies and I feel like they would make a great “on the way to school” b-fast.  Make ahead, no reheating, not messy and lots of nutrition.

These cookies are super moist and slightly sweet and the grated carrot and oats add a chewy texture. They make for a pretty good after-dinner sweet with a glob  bit of almond butter. 

Leave me a comment below if you have any baby food making tips! And let me know if you try these cookies out, happy back to school! 

Oatmeal Carrot Breakfast Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  2. 1 cup oat flour (blend together oats until fine consistency)
  3. ½ cup ground flaxseed
  4. 2 tsp. cinnamon
  5. ½ tsp. all spice or nutmeg
  6. ½ tsp. baking soda
  7. ½ tsp. salt
  8. 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  9. ½ cup honey
  10. 1 large egg
  11. 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  12. ¼ cup butter or coconut oil
  13. 1 1/2 cups grated carrot
  14. 1 cup grated apple, I used granny smith
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine oats, flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, applesauce, egg, and vanilla. Mix in the melted butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the grated carrot and apple.
  3. Use a large scoop or measuring cup to drop ¼-cup portions of dough onto parchment lined baking sheets. Gently shape cookies.
  4. Bake 12-14 minutes, until set. Enjoy!
Adapted from adapted from Kristine's Kitchen
Adapted from adapted from Kristine's Kitchen
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Baby B

Oh me it has been a while since I’ve posted! We’ve been on the go-go this last week and I just realized baby B will be 8 months tomorrow!!

This may be my favorite age so far, he’s so curious and excited about everything it makes my heart sing. He still is the happiest little feller and very animated like his momma and a good sleeper like his daddy. He pulled up for the first time yesterday and you would have thought he won his first tball game we were so excited.

Baby B is crawling all over the house and babbling dadadada….patiently waiting for him to say Momma! Oh, and we got our first tooth a few weeks ago-it’s been a big month!  

I am praising God for His keeping us and providing for us through this season with baby Bo. Here’s some pics to update you!! Now that summer’s over and routines are starting back I plan on blogging with some recipes. Stay tuned! 

“leftovers” potato crust frittata

Happy Friday my friends! It’s finally a sunshine-y day around here, PTL! I am currently sitting in my swimsuit waiting for baby b to get up to go to the pool! We have done a 360 around here.

Our angel boy is feeling much better and is such a happy little feller. He sleeps so good during the day and is going at least 12 hours at night without a peep. Praise God for bringing order to our days and rest to our nights.

Bowen’s baptism last weekend (gown made by our geangean)

 Even though baby b and I spend most of our time indoors I have missed the sunshine–once again so thankful (weir parents) for my treadmill! This morning I knocked out 6 miles watching the Iron Cowboy Documentary.

Does anyone else remember when he completed 50 iron man’s in 50 states in 50 days-it makes me sweat to think about 😉 ANWAYS I am really digging this documentary, I’m currenlty  on a documentary kick around here. Yesterday I watched “what the health” and I may be really inspired to eat plant-based. B will never go for it but we can always use more veggies around here! Okay ramble over…

We are eating whole foods as usual, for early lunch I made b this dairy- free potato crust frittata with leftover ground turkey bolognese, spinach, and crumbled bacon. He loved it! Since it’s swimsuit season and all I’ll try and keep posting my healthier recipes not strawberry cupcakes .

I also made these dairy-free blueberry muffins this week that I loved. Bowen thought they tasted “healthy”(shocker). They reminded me of a bran muffins my mom made growing up that I adored. The recipe is a modified version of blueberry bran muffins from the Laura Lea Balanced cookbook. Anybody want the recipe? Leave a comment below–Thanks for reading along! 

Potato Crusted Frittata
use what you have! I used leftover bolognese for the protein, a good substitute would be cooked, crumbled Italian sausage *dairy free *gluten free
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Ingredients
  1. 2-3 eggs
  2. 3 T water
  3. 4 oz spinach
  4. one small russet potato, cooked
  5. kosher salt and cracked pepper
  6. 1 T coconut oil
  7. 1/2 cup bolognese sauce
  8. 2 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400. Coat the bottom of a small baking dish with coconut oil and line the bottom of dish with potato slices-season with kosher salt and cracked pepper, bake in the oven for 10-15 or until golden brown. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, water and salt and pepper. Fold in torn spinach and bolognese sauce and pour into baking dish. Bake for 15 minutes the top with crumbled bacon and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes or until frittata is set. Enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Homemade Strawberry Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

Bowen had 2 request for father’s day, one super easy (that I made a challenge) and one not surprising if you know my boy.

Bowen LOVES cupcakes. Cupcakes and steak that is. His favorite meal in the world is steak and risotto and he loves strawberry cupcakes (from the box).

Can you believe I’ve been to culinary school and never made this boy homemade strawberry cupcakes? Shame on me. He deserves these treats and more.

I hope he knows how loved and cherished he is. Bowen has exceeded my greatest hopes in a dad for baby Bowen. He sacrificially loves us everyday and longs for us to know how loved we are. Praise God for His provision in giving baby Bowen and I this precious daddy. 

It’s been a big first father’s day, I think we set the bar high for years to come! 

baby B is really wanting a bite↑

Okay these cupcakes are OUT OF THIS WORLD. I don’t love strawberry cupcakes, if I am going to indulge I want it to be a vanilla magnolia bakery cupcake…that or a double chocolate something topped with more chocolate. These are far from the hot pink strawberry cupcakes from the box.

They are easy to make, super moist and the frosting beats any vanilla buttercream I’ve made. This recipe has fresh pureed strawberries and a splash of strawberry extract. You will love them! Leave me a comment below and let me know if you make them! 

Bowen got his steak and risotto too last night, he is the grill master which I have been so thankful for these last months-B4 has taken over a lot of the cooking duty and we aren’t mad about it.

Run Update: It’s been a minute since I’ve caught you up on the exercise portion of this blog, I have been SO THANKFUL for the treadmill lately. It’s hard to squeeze in an outside run before baby b gets up because he is usually awake for the day around 6:30.. I got in my longest run postpartum today (5) and felt good! I’m planning on running a couple of half’s this fall and really want to do a full one in 2017. Stay tuned!  I listened to this awesome Word on Romans 8 this am from Piper, find it HERE 

Homemade Strawberry Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting
Yields 22
adapted from Grandbaby Cakes
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For the Cupcakes
  1. 1 ¾ cup granulated sugar
  2. ¾ cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  3. 2 cups fresh whole strawberries, pureed ( I used my blender)
  4. 3 large whole eggs, room temperature
  5. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  6. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. ½ teaspoon salt
  9. ¾ cup heavy cream
  10. ¼ cup vegetable oil
  11. 1 teaspoon strawberry extract
For the Buttercream
  1. 6 cups confectioner's (powdered sugar)
  2. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  3. ¼ cup pureed fresh strawberries
  4. ½ teaspoon strawberry extract
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the granulated sugar and butter and cream together on medium-high speed for about 6 minutes, until very pale yellow and fluffy.Add the eggs 1 at a time to your stand mixer, combining well after each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Reduce your mixer speed to low and mix in the strawberry puree. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and oil. Add to your stand mixer bowl along with extract.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add ½ of the flour mixture to your stand mixer. Mix on the lowest speed until combined.
  4. Add the remaining flour mixture to your stand mixer bowl and mix on low speed until well incorporated. Be careful not to overbeat.
  5. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix the batter until just combined.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop (with trigger release) or a spoon, scoop the batter into the cupcake liners until each is ¾ full.
  7. Bake for 15-17 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out mostly clean but still moist.
  8. Let the cupcakes cool on rack until cool.
For the Buttercream
  1. In a stand mixer, add the confectioners' sugar and butter and mix on low speed, increasing the speed to medium-high once the sugar is fully incorporated. Continue to mix until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the strawberry puree, strawberry extract, and salt and beat until the mixture is desired consistency.
  3. Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, pipe them with the buttercream, top with fresh strawberries and enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Update!

You know when you get so behind on something it’s hard to sit down and catch up!?!?! That’s how I feel about this little blog I miss so much.

Believe it or not I have actually been cooking and enjoying eating a variety of foods, no more elimination diet for me!

My little angel boy has been struggling with reflux and I praise the Lord I’ve been able to devote all my time to taking care of his needs, which has been a 24/7 job. We’ve got the happiest little feller he has just not felt well lately. I pray his current medicine will be all it takes! 

Oh how the Lord is using this season in my sanctification and I praise Him for that, it is the joy of my salvation to know that He loves me enough to not leave me in my sin but desires that I lay down my the idols of my heart. In doing so I find that He alone is my hope, strength, comfort and exceeding joy! 

So here’s some pics to catch you up, baby B LOVES the water. He gets so excited in the swimming pool (and bath tub) he kicks his little legs and we can hardly stand the cuteness in his excitement. We’ve had lots of visitors lately which has been a treat, mom’s coming back this weekend while Bowen’s going fishing and we can’t wait! 

5 months old tomorrow⇑

I’ve got some new recipes I’m excited to share-leave me a message in the comments and let me know what looks good! Last night I knew Bowen needed some comfort food after taking the red eye and being out of town. I made a lightend up brocoolli chicken bake using brown rice, lots of veggies, a coconut oil/whole wheat flour béchamel. We have also loved these stuffed peppers, paleo pancakes and this lentil side dish with grilled salmon. Let me know what you want to see on the blog..supper ideas? lunch? WIAW? sweets? (sweets please!)

 One more thing! I haven’t done a run update in a while, I am still loving the time I get running and so thankful to be getting back in the groove. Bowen’s parents gave us their treadmill and it is the JAM. Such a great way to spend nap time, am I right??

 

Yesterday I listened to Sunday’s sermon from Harvest (memphis) and WHOA WOW YES> SO GOOD.   I love studying Exodus-the Lord really did a mighty work in my heart through this book in BSF a couple of year’s ago. This message is on Exodus 32-33, this was so HUGE and had me rejoicing in the Lord leading me out of my sin “The worst thing that could happen to any of us if God gives us everything we want without Him” Oh Lord give me more of yourself. Here’s the link to listen.

 

Coconut Flour Lemon Cake Bars

Happy Thursday everybody! Where has this week gone?? It is flying by. I cannot believe my baby boy is getting close to four months old–TIME SLOW DOWN!! We are loving every second of baby Bowen and praise the Lord for His great faithfulness and grace to us.

Some days (and nights) are SUPER hard but I know the Lord is using this season to sanctify us and grow our trust in Him alone. This verse keeps coming back to me and I am continually preaching to myself. I pray the Lord gives me grace to trust in Him not in my abilities in every way I take care of Bowen. Isaiah 30:15 In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…Oh to repent and rest in Jesus is my heart’s desire. 

I’d like to say my food restrictions have been keeping me from blogging as much as I would like but I think I’m having too much fun at my full time job (⇑) to stop and write.

Baby B has some gas issues every now and again which means I am getting serious about what I eat. I know cruciforous veggies don’t sit right but I’m also eliminating dairy/chocolate and grains (for myself). I’ll tell you what, not eating grains has done WONDERFUL things for me.

The only thing I am really missing are my oat treats and oatmeal. I need a little sweet treat every now and again and believe it or not I got tired of almond butter stuffed dates. THESE ARE MY CURRENT FAVORITE TREATS EVER. I cannot tell you how delicious these lemon cake bars are!

Bowen even loved them which is saying a lot, he is not usually a fan of my “healthy” treats. 

These coconut flour lemon bars are every thing you want in a springtime dessert, moist, lemony and oh so sweet. They take no time to whip up and are mostly healthy (sans the powdering sugar icing), the only problem is they go quick! We are down to just a few bars and I made them yesterday 😉 

This reminds me a lot of my sugar cookie dough! After you make the batter, roll into a cylinder shape and freeze for 30 minutes, then slice bars into 1/2 inch thickness. They bake in 8 minutes 😉

Coconut Flour Lemon Cake bars
lemony, moist delicious gluten free dessert
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  2. 1/4 cup honey
  3. 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  4. 1 large egg
  5. 1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  6. 1 cup coconut flour
  7. 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  8. 2 tsp almond extract
  9. 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  10. Zest from 1/2 lemon
lemon glaze
  1. 1 cup powdered sugar
  2. 2 T lemon juice
  3. zest of half lemon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, honey, coconut milk, egg, almond extract and 1 T lemon juice. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut flour, baking powder and kosher salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Roll the dough into a long cylinder, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or freeze for 30 minutes. Once dough is chilled, slice into 1/2 inch thick rounds and bake on parchment lined sheet tray for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let them cool completely. Once cooled, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice then drizzle over bars. Enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

updated granola

I think we will call this the perfect pair-homemade almond milk with my favorite granola (tweaked a tad bit)! You will love this granola recipe. It’s crunchy, slightly sweet and full of all the good stuff.

And there are a bajillion variations you could try, dried blueberries, apricots, cherries, cashews, almonds, chia’s, honey instead of coconut sugar, maple syrup-so many options. 

I’ve also had homemade nut milk on my list of things to make. A friend encouraged me to try a recipe recently and I gave it a go! Homemade nut milk has a delicious flavor, much better than almond breeze.

I do love califia farms toasted coconut almond milk but I feel certain you could add in full fat coconut milk to your homemade almond milk and achieve a similar flavor profile. 

 I soaked 1 cup of raw almonds for 12 hours then blended with warm water, a pinch of kosher salt and some date paste then strained. So easy and super yummy! 

Slightly Sweetened Almond Milk
Yields 3
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup raw almonds
  2. 2 T date puree, or 2-3 medjool dates
  3. ⅛ teaspoon kosher
Instructions
  1. Place nuts in a large bowl and cover with water and let stand at least 12 hours.
  2. Drain nuts and toss soaking liquid. In a high powered blender, purée nuts, dates, salt, and 4 cups very hot water until very smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing down on solids (reserve the almond pulp to add to smoothies) then transfer to mason jar and chill until cold.
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

How cute is my breakfast date this am? 

INGREDIENTS

adapted from my MIL’s recipe:)

3 cups old fashioned oats

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 T salt

1/2 cup powdered milk

3 T chia seeds

WET INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup melted coconut oil 
1/2 cup water
2 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup coconut sugar
INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 250. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients, in a separate bowl combine wet ingredients then mix the two together. Spread on cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour at 250 degrees, stirring occasionally to break into pieces. enjoy!

WIAW

Welcome back to WIAW on Thursday! It’s been a while since a ‘day in the life eats’ post and reading these post always give me lots of inspiration so I hope it will you too!

And I needed a little accountability if I’m being honest. Nursing baby B keeps me hungry all day everyday. As soon as I think I’ve gotten full I’m hungry again.

Keeping up with my eats for the day definitely makes me aware of shortcomings in my diet i.e the need for sweets after savory. I’ve got to kick the sugar habit!

I try and make the best whole foods choices for he and I both but sometimes I don’t have time to sit down for lunch or a properly prepared meal and trailmix/snackbars have to do! Right now I am on an RX bar kick, I am digging the peanut butter, whats your favorite flavor?

Breakfast: I pretty much start every morning with a big glass of lemon water and a green smoothie. I like to know I’m getting in all the good stuff first thing in the am.

Sometimes I’ll make a HUGE green smoothie and portion out individual servings for those mornings I’m really rushed. All you do is thaw frozen smoothie jar in a sink of warm water for 15-20 minutes, shake and your good to go! 

This smoothie had spinach, full fat coconut milk, frozen pineapple, strawberries, coconut, frozen banana, spirulina powder and collagen peptides. Leave a comment below if your interested in the ingredient lineup!

 

Snack: feeling a little bit under the weather with allergies so I’ve been loading  up on all the citrus. Lots of cuties and an rx bar

Lunch: leftover pizza toppings and homemade tuna salad in teff flour wrap with spinach

Snack: larabar & more cuties

Supper: Grilled salmon, braised kale and sweet potato

                                                                                                 cutest daddy

Sweet treat: a portion of my white bean brownies with granola almond butter and a splash of almond milk.

These brownies have a delicious, rich chocolate flavor but I’m not crazy about the texture..yet. I like a fudgy brownie and these were more cake-like. Ill work on the recipe and get back to you! 

Sweet & Sour Recipe

Happy first day of spring and happy birthday to our Geangean! 

We have had some really warm temps in Fairhope-spring (or summer) is definitely here! 

Baby b and I enjoyed some exercise at the water this am

and our boy is 12 weeks old–time is flying! 

Onto the recipes..I have to say, the instapot does it again! I can’t remember if I’ve told you how much I love my pressure cooker so I’ll tell you again it is the BEST kitchen gadget. Life is easier with the instapot! That should be their slogan 😉 

My very favorite thing to make it my instapot is chicken stock. You can make a delicious stock in no time in the instapot. I also LOVE making brown rice. Brown rice and I don’t have a great track record– I cannot make it on the stove for love or money but..

twenty-four minutes in the instapot and you have delicious takeout style chewy, nutty brown rice. I usually make enough to have for lunch or multiple suppers. Last night we had (skirt steak) Beef & Broccoli with this delicious sweet & sour sauce. Let me know if you have any instapot recipes I need to try in the comments below! 

Sweet & Sour Sauce for Stir-Fry
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup ketchup
  2. 1 T soy sauce + 1 tsp
  3. 1 T rice wine vinegar (or red wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar)
  4. 1/2 T sambal chili paste
  5. 1/4 cup fresh orange juice (I used squeeze cuties)
  6. Stir ingredients together in small bowl and pour over cooked veggies and beef in saute pan for 2-3 minutes. Enjoy!
Instapot Brown Rice
  1. 2 cups short grain brown rice
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 1 tsp salt
  4. 2 T butter
  5. Cook on manual high pressure for 24 minutes and enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

St. Patty’s Lemon Glazed Zucchini Bread *vegan

Happy St. Patty’s Day! I thought I would join in all the holiday fun and share a “green” recipe to celebrate 😉

We had some zucchini that needed to be used in our fridge which got me craving some sort of baked good or breakfast bread. This lemon glazed zucchini breakfast bread is so. dang. good.

It actually may be one of my favorite recipes of all time. I love the bright citrusy flavor from lemon zest and juice with a hint of sweet almond– the outside of the loaf has great texture and chew while the inside is oh so moist.

 

This recipe is also 100% vegan and gluten free. I planned on using eggs for this recipe but ran out this am with Bowen’s st pattys spinach omelet. I tried my hand at flax eggs substitute and was really happy with the result!

Here’s the recipe for an egg substitute equivalent to 2 eggs= 2 Tbsp  flaxseed meal  +5 Tbsp water, whisk together and let sit for 5 minutes.

I also attempted a coconut sugar glaze which did not turn out, you must use powdered sugar for the glaze to get the right consistency. The breakfast bread itself doesn’t have a ton of sugar so a little glaze on top never hurts.

This recipe calls for oat flour-I make my own using my ninja blender. Just add a cup of oats or so and blend until powder form then measure out 1 cup.

Gluten Free Glaze Zucchini Bread
gluten free and dairy free, sweet & moist breakfast bread
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup oat flour
  2. 1/2 cup coconut flour
  3. 1/2 cup coconut oil
  4. 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  5. 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  6. 1/4 tsp salt
  7. 2 tsp almond extract
  8. 2 "flax eggs" or 2 eggs
  9. 1 medium zucchini, grated
  10. 1 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened)
  11. 1 T lemon juice
  12. zest of half a lemon
Glaze
  1. 1 T lemon juice
  2. 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  3. mix together
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, melt coconut oil and whisk in coconut sugar then flax eggs, almond extract, almond milk, 1 T lemon juice, zest and zucchini. Next, mix in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. The mixture will be some what stiff, pour in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper or buttered and bake for 40 minutes. Let cool on baking rack then pour over glaze.
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
And it would really be a disservice to not tell you about the very best cake I’ve ever put in my mouth!!  My birthday was Tuesday and my sweet life on life group celebrated last night with this snicker’s cake (thanks Lucy & Marilyn!)–if you love chocolate and peanut combo you will flip over this, I did!

Birthday date night:) ↓

Coconut Cake Oatmeal

I dreamed up this carrot cake oatmeal in the wee hours of the morning during one of Bowen’s feedings ( I was STARVING) and I couldn’t get it off my mind until I had it. This breakfast did not disappoint! 

I love having oatmeal in the morning because it keeps me satisfied for several hours, which is no small feat these days.

These are the very best oats I’ve ever had- I’ve read a lot about them on other people’s blogs and finally bought some. They really are the best! Coach’s oats are extra chewy (not mushy) and so quick to cook.

Here’s the difference (from their website) “COACH’S OATS are prepared in an entirely new way. The groats are toasted to bring the natural sugars to the surface of the oat, then cracked into small pieces. This patented Cracked n’ Toasted™ process means that Coach’s Oats are never mushy, always naturally delicious and cook in just 3 to 5 minutes on a stove top or in the microwave.”

Carrot cake oatmeal is packed with nutrition: carrots, apples, walnuts and (optional) raisins. They’ve got a great natural sweetness from the fruit but a drizzle of honey sends these oats over the top!

I make enough for several days so I’m not up every morning grating carrots, I actually had this for lunch today too 😉 These oats freeze beautifully too! And in my opinion, the best part of this yummy breakfast..coconut whipped cream topping! 

Speaking of sweet…could you just squeal at the cuteness! We are going on a trip this weekend and taking B with us, anyone having tips for flying with an infant? leave me a comment! Ill be back soon with more recipes and maybe a WIAW–anyone interested? 

Carrot Cake Oatmeal
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2/3 cup coach's oats
  2. 2 cups almond milk
  3. 1 cup grated carrot
  4. 1/2 cup grated apple
  5. 1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
  6. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1/4 tsp allspice
  8. pinch of kosher salt
  9. 1/2 T local honey
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl combine oats, carrots, apples, milk and spices. Microwave on high for 7 minutes then top with chopped walnuts, honey and coconut whipped cream. Enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

My sweet tooth has been serious over here lately. But really when is it not?? I love a anytime night time treat, the only time I’ve really kicked my sweet habit was during whole 30 and that was a victory! 

A sweet friend brought Bowen and I peanut butter cookies after baby b was born and we ate 3 each before we knew what hit us. THEY WERE SO GOOD..this recipe has slightly less sugar but equally as delicious. 

I don’t feel so guilty about these cookies because 1. there made with nut butter and 2. healthy fats and coconut sugar 

Coconut sugar ranks lower than table sugar on the glycemic index and also has more vitamins and minerals than white table sugar- it contains trace amounts of vitamin C, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and copper. Coconut sugar also provides small amounts of phytonutrients. So maybe I feel a little better about my sweet treat now 😉

These are the EASIEST cookies to whip up, they take no time to mix together and bake for 9 minutes. 
Adding a smear of peanut butter and some dark chocolate doesn’t hurt either! Let me know if you make these cookies and what you think! Any other “healthy” cookie recipes that I must try? Leave a comment below! 

Coconut Sugar Peanut Butter Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup peanut butter
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  4. 2 T coconut oil
  5. 1/4 tsp kosher salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together. Drop on silpat using small scoop and bake for nine minutes. Enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Honey Dijon Grilled Salmon

Happy Sunday everyone!

mmmmMMM I love this recipe. Honey dijon grilled salmon is one of my very favorite supper’s and it’s as easy to make as it is delicious. This recipe seems almost to easy to share but I’m always looking for dinner inspiration, maybe you are too 🙂

My favorite part of grilling is the charred crust- I love the texture of a good sear and I certainly think it locks in the moisture especially for this recipe. 

Bowen loves to grill and I am so thankul to have help getting supper ready these days. I’ve learned nap time is go time. As soon as baby b goes down I get to work quick on all my household duties and getting supper ready even if that means meal prep at 10 am, that way when Bowen gets home from work we can be together and there’s not a crazy rush to cook and eat. 

If you read my last post you know my mainstays these days is chicken and veggies, one of these days I will graduate to more creative suppers but for now b and I both happy with our routine–this salmon is definitely going in the weekly lineup!

Does it get any cuter?? ↑

Oh! And I cannot wait to share these peanut butter cookies I made yesterday with coconut oil, coconut sugar and LOTS of peanut butter..Cannot. Get. Enough. 

Honey Mustard Grilled Salmon
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 whole grain mustard
  2. 1/4 cup local honey
  3. 1 lemon, halved and grilled
  4. 2 T olive oil
  5. 2, 6 oz salmon filets
  6. kosher salt &cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush salmon with olive oil and season with kosher salt and pepper. Place the salmon skin side down on the grill. Grill for 8 minutes to medium doneness, turning once after 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from grill and pour over honey mustard
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Morning Glory Muffins with Coconut Flour

The running joke around our house is that all we’ve eaten for 2 months is chicken and vegetables. When Bowen asks what’s for supper we both get a good laugh out of our unspoken response–we know we’re probably having some sort of chicken and veggies.

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We’ve been so appreciative of all the meals from our church family and friends but the truth is it’s been a miracle I have cooked at all! Taking care of this precious angel is a full time job and if I am going to cook anything exciting or time consuming it has to be prepped early in the day. My main focus is getting us all fed with healthy,nourishing ingredients.

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These morning glory muffins are a welcome change back in the kitchen creatively! I saw a food blogger make a version of these muffins on instastory and I couldn’t wait to try my own recipe out.

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These muffins are SO YUMMY and so good for you. I love the chewy texture from the carrots and nuts and the grated apple adds lots of moisture and sweetness.

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They make for a really delicious quick snack with a smear of almond butter too and I am all about those grab and go snacks these days. I need some suggestions from you for easy pre made snack! Leave a comment below if you have any favorites. Mainstays in our house have been larabars, rx bars, trail mix and apples. IMG_7507

Morning Glory Muffins with Coconut Flour 

1/4 cup pureed (or chopped) Medjool dates

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup almond milk

4 eggs

1 1/2 cup shredded carrots

1 1/2 cup of shredded green apple

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or almond extract

1/4 cup plus one tablespoon coconut flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ground allspice (or nutmeg)

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup raisins

3 T chia seeds

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°F
Grate carrots and apples using box grater or food processor and place them in large bowl then add the dates,coconut oil, almond milk, eggs, vanilla, and honey and mix together.
In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add the dry mix into the wet mix and blend well. The batter will look very wet/soupy–this is correct!
Line muffin tins with liners and fill each muffin liner almost to the top with muffin batter.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Enjoy warm with a smear of almond butter!

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Bowen V

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power together with all the saints to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more that all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever amen! Ephesians 3:16-21

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Bowen V has arrived! Great is thy faithfulness!

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Mom and I memorized this scripture before Bowen was born and the Lord truly gave me this verse and did more than we could have asked or imagined.

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I have a scripture rolodex next to my bed and guess what the verse was for the day Bowen was born, December 26? Ephesians 3:20-21!

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The Lord went before us in every way through labor and delivery we have received so much grace upon grace and are continuing to trust in Him who is our creator and sustainer to equip us with everything we need to do His will and take care of this precious blessing.

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There are no words to describe the love we have for our precious Bowen V! Here are some pics of the last couple of months 🙂

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I’ve got a recipe coming soon, it’s good to be back! 

Best Ever Chess Squares

Good morning Christmas week! 

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I know chess squares aren’t traditional on your Christmas table but they just landed a permanent spot on ours. This recipe is so YUMMY.

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Chess squares have always been one of my favorite treats, I mostly remember having them at showers and the grove. There’s something about that crackling crust I can’t get enough of. 

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If you didn’t know it already ( 😉 ) we are expecting baby Bowen V to arrive in 5 days!!  And my precious Bowen IV has the flu. The Lord has kept me well and I bless His name for His provision, we are praying Bo gets better quickly and our house remains healthy! 
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Anyways, Bowen needed a treat yesterday afternoon and I needed a break from cloroxing and laundry-these ‘best ever’ chess squares did the trick!

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One of of my favorite things about this recipe is that I had all the ingredients on hand (except cream cheese), no need for store bought cake mix- these are the real deal and worth the extra effort.img_6793

Bump Update: 39 weeks!! Im headed out to walk some hills and listen to the Word. I love catching up on Harvest memphis sermons  or John Piper’s daily sermon on Desiring God on my walks.   Merry Christmas everyone! img_4637

Best Ever Chess Squares
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  4. 1½ cups sugar
  5. ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1-2 tsp almond extract
  8. 4 large eggs, divided
  9. ¼ cup whole milk
  10. 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  11. 1 (1-pound) package confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 13x9-inch baking dish with parchment paper, letting ends extend over edges of pan. Spray with nonstick baking spray and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat sugar, butter, and vanilla/almond extract at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy. Add 1 egg, beating until smooth. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture and milk. Beat just until dough comes together and is smooth. Transfer to prepared dish. Using your fingers, press dough evenly into bottom of dish.
  3. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese at medium-high speed with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add remaining 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low. Add confectioners’ sugar, beating until mostly smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture over dough, spreading evenly with a spatula.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean and top is lightly browned, approximately 40 minutes. enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Cauliflower Pizza

Merry December everyone! I couldn’t stay away from cookies for long…. I got the itch yesterday and did a few Christmas cookies which made my heart oh so happy.

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I also made one of my very favorite Christmas treats, peppermint chocolate covered popcorn. This stuff is ADDICTIVE. I don’t know why I don’t make it year round I ‘m sure you could sub out the red peppermint for different colored crushed mints or sprinkles for different holidays. IT’S SO GOOD! You can find my recipe HERE.

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Also, does anyone else obsess over the peppermint chocolate milkshake from Chik fil A this time of year?? It really is my all time favorite and this year I’ve had to limit my intake. I told Bowen I was due for one more peppermint shake before Bowen V arrives. What’s your favorite Chick fil a ice cream treat?? 

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On to the recipe! I’ve been hearing about cauliflower pizza crust for a while now..I know I am late to the game but 1.) WOW IT WORKED and 2.) It was delicious. 

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Bowen’s always the true test for my “healthy” meat-free recipes, I’ll be honest after we finished he asked ‘what was for supper?’ Bo said he was really surprised at how much he liked it and how flavorful the crust was but it wasn’t filling enough. I will be doubling the recipe next time and there will be a next time in the near future! 

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Did you know you could buy riced cauliflower in the frozen foods aisle? HUGE timesaver. The key to this crust is making sure there is zero moisture before you add in the goat cheese and spices. 

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I really loved the savory crust-it’s not the same chewy texture as a glutinous pizza obviously but it was really yummy, good for us and a treat at that.

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Cauliflower Pizza
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 12 oz riced cauliflower
  2. 2-3 oz goat cheese
  3. 1/2 T dried basil
  4. 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  5. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  6. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  7. 1/2 cup your favorite pizza sauce ( I used leftover homemade tomato sauce with lots of fresh herbs I had frozen)
  8. 3-4 oz mozzarella or provolone
  9. parmesan and red pepper flakes to top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425. Cook cauliflower according to package directions. Once cooled, place riced cauliflower in clean dishtowel and wring out ALL the moisture. Place in large mixing bowl along with beaten egg, goat cheese, basil, salt and garlic powder and mix until combined. Shape cauliflower crust on a large sheet tray lined with parchment paper or silpat and bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Top with sauce, cheese and toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
 Bump update: 37 weeks on Thursday, it’s amazing how much he’s grown in a week! At this point I’m doing lots of walking and lots of praying! 

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WIAW bump edition part 2

Can you believe tomorrow is December 1??

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It’s really hard to think about Christmas just around the corner when it’s been almost 80 degrees here in Fairhope, we’ve still got the Christmas tunes playing and a few holiday knick knacks around.. I don’t know that we will be decorating quite like we have in years passed because Baby Bowen will be here in just a few weeks! 

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img_7070I thought I was well overdue for a WIAW (bump edition) and after reading this article on women’s health I was inspired. I love seeing how nutritionist/fitness guru’s fuel for the day, it always gives me some motivation to make new recipes or buy ingredients I haven’t tried before.

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How’s how I’m fueling with one month left of being pregnant! 

Breakast: I am loving kefir right now, the plain is definitely on the tart side but I am really digging the tanginess of this probiotic yogurt. I topped my kefir with this very addicting maple walnut yogurt, raspberries and some chia seeds. 
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Snack: ALL THE CUTIES. Or are they halos? I cannot get enough of these..I bet I eat five a day at least. I was on a green apple kick a couple of weeks ago and now these little oranges have taken over. 

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Lunch: This salad was SO GOOD. I topped spinach with toasted almonds and cashews, dried fruit and lots of crumbled goat cheese and added in some leftover quinoa, having a warm salad for lunch seems more satisfying to me. 

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Snack 2: Van’s cranberry almond is a holiday spice in a bag..so chewy and so delicious. 

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Supper: Chicken Cordon Blue made with some holiday ham we brought home from thanksgiving and swiss, coated in whole wheat flour and pan seared in evoo.. can you believe that spinach is a half a box?? Where does it all go! and Bowen and I shared a giant sweet potato.

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Dessert: More cuties and more granola

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I made some lactation cookies these week to freeze for when Bowen V arrives and wanted to share with you this awesome mix!! 

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Bona Dea Outrageous oat cookie mix (gluten free): $3.99 at home goods! 

  • Free from: Gluten, dairy, soy, nuts and eggs
  • Non-GMO project verified and made with organic whole grains
  • Versatile and easy-to-make with vegan and dairy-free recipe instructions
  • Try adding nut butter, raisins, toasted coconut or cinnamon
  • Produced in a dedicated facility free of gluten, wheat, milk, soy, eggs and tree nuts

I am a big fan of this and will definitely be ordering more! 

Bump Update: 36 Weeks! This pic was taken at the hospital gym 😉  at least if I go into labor I’m close by! 

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The look of ‘I’m carrying around an almost 6 lb baby’ ⇑⇑⇑

Friday Lunch

Just checking in over here! We are in full on nesting mode at our house, I spent most of last week preparing meals and getting my house in order.

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and I cannot wait to share this easy, delicious (good for you) lunch recipe

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Last week I made LOTS of bolognese sauce for veggie noodles and veggie lasagna or good ol’ spaghetti as well as roasted butternut squash soup, lots of homemade chicken stock, chicken vegetable soup and my mother in law’s meatloaf. Anybody have some suggestions for freezer must haves for us first time parents? Please leave a comment below and let me know! 

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I also made some oatmeal cookies and cinnamon rolls but those never made it to the freezer 😉

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I scooted home on Monday to spend a couple days with mom and dad before baby Bowen gets here. Of course we went to Walker’s, did some Christmas shopping and lots of catching up and sunset watching–it was a sweet, sweet time. 

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34 weeks Bump Update: 6 weeks to go! Feeling really good over here, sleeping has gotten better and I’m still exercising- Mom rode her bike with me while I ran four Tuesday, Wednesday was a 3 mile walk/run and this am I did a 40 min bootcamp. Come on baby Bowen! 

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Now that we’re caught up..on to the recipe! I had some free time this am and figured Bowen was tired of turkey salad/sandwich lunch rotation so thought I would get creative in the kitchen.

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I was also starving from having  a cookie and apple for dinner last night (no judging 😉 )  and wanted something a little more filling than spinach salad. THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE RECIPE–Warm spinach quinoa salad with roasted butternut squash AND BACON. 

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Nothing better than having Bowen home for lunch everyday ⇑

This is So GOOD! I think that probably has something to do with the crumbling bacon and the coconut sugar mustard vinagrette. I also loved having this roasted butternut squash/ quinoa salad warm..it tasted oh so fall. 

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This recipe basically has three parts, cook quinoa, roast squash and bacon and make vinaigrette. I would definitely double recipe and save in fridge for leftovers.

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Warm Spinach Quinoa Salad with Roasted Butternut Squash
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 butternut squash (1 1/2 cups), cubed into bite size pieces
  2. 1/2 onion, finely diced
  3. 2 pieced bacon, chopped into bite size pieces
  4. 1/2 cup quinoa
  5. 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
  6. 1 cup water
  7. 2 large handfuls of spinach (torn or roughly chopped)
  8. For the Vinaigrette
  9. 2 tsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  10. 1 T balsamic
  11. 1 T grain mustard or dijon mustard
  12. 3 T olive oil
  13. green onions, chopped for garnish
Instructions
  1. Combine quinoa and wine in sauce pot and reduce until wine has evaporated (2-3 minutes). Add in 1 cup of water and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes then set aside. Meanwhile, toss squash and onion with a little olive oil and kosher salt and cracked pepper and place on baking sheet. Roast butternut squash, onion and chopped bacon in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until squash is tender and bacon is crisp. Whisk together ingredients for vinaigrette. Toss roasted veggies, bacon, quinoa, add in the spinach and vinaigrette together and enjoy immediately!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Homemade Fudge Larabars

Happy Monday and almost election day!! I cannot believe we are in the first week of November, time is starting to fly by!

img_6540I woke up today with this Monday officially being on maternity leave.. I didn’t set an alarm, had coffee and smoothies with Bowen, leisurely did my Bible Study Fellowship, went for a SLOW run then off to all my grocery stores in no rush at all-it was glorious! 

 

I am really feeling like I am toting around a wiggly bowling ball these days, Bowen V is a growing boy.. 7 weeks left this Thursday and we are SO READY! 

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I’ve got a list of things I want to cook and freeze before baby comes but of course I got sidetracked and decided to test out all the chocolate a homemade larabar recipe I’ve been eyeing.

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I order chocolate chip lara bars from amazon because they are my very favorite and I love the ingredients: date, nuts and chocolate chips. 

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I think I like this homemade recipe better than store bought-it’s definitely more “chocolatey”.

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I added a splash of almond extract, cocoa powder and chia and flax seeds for omega-3’s and additional fiber– dried cherries would have really sent these over the top!

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I ended up rolling the bars into ball shaped then into cocoa powder because they were a little “tacky” to the touch. I may have added a splash to much of water. These will be the perfect after supper treat. 

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Homemade Lara Bars
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Ingredients
  1. 12 MEDJOOL dates, pitted
  2. 3/4 cup salted/roasted cashews
  3. 3 T cocoa powder
  4. 3 T chocolate chips (I used good life)
  5. 2 tsp almond extract
  6. 1 T water
  7. 1 T chia seeds
  8. 2 tsp flax seeds
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, pulse together cashews and dates then add in cocoa powder, almond extract, water, chia and flax seeds and pulse together. Lastly, fold in chocolate chips. Place mixture into a greased pan or pyrex dish and freeze for 10 minutes. Remove and cut into bars or roll into balls. These are VERY fudgy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
Okay I am off to tend to my chicken stock! This week I am making some soups to freeze for when Bowen V comes, leave  a comment below if you’re interested in these freezer meals 🙂

 

Tahini Sesame Dressing & an Update

Oh I have missed this little blog! Halloween was my last cookie push which means I am officially on maternity leave WOOHOO!! I am SO looking forward to posting some recent recipes we’ve loved and doing lots of nesting. We are getting so close to Bowen V’s arrival and I cannot wait. 

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My precious Bowen took me on a surprise mini moon to the beach this past weekend. We had high temps and no crowds-I think the last weekend of October is THE time to go to the beach:) 

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I had the best run I’ve had in a while on Sunday. I made it 4 miles without any walk breaks just a couple stops for water, overall I am feeling surprisingly good-much better than a couple months ago bless the Lord. This baby boy has REALLY popped out. I don’t know where he will fit but I trust he’ll keep on growing and I’ll keep making room 😉

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32 WEEKS!! ⇑

A friend gave me this book, Anything and I could NOT put it down. It’s so good and such a reminder of how often I (we) get caught in seeking out comfort and joy in the things of this world which for me are counterfeit glories and empty pursuits compared to being found in Christ alone, being surrendered to His purposes for my life. Here’s a peek at the premise of this book:

” Safe. Comfortable. Happy.

Words we all love. Feelings we want. Even crave. We may love God, but being that he’s invisible, words like comfortable seem to feel better faster.

We are all chasing something. Our hearts were made to run hard and fast after things that move us. But as a generation we are all beginning to stir and wake up, identifying that these words don’t satisfy for long, especially when compared to God. If God is real, and we are going to live with Him forever, shouldn’t He be everything?

Caught in this familiar haze of worldly happiness and empty pursuits, Jennie Allen and her husband Zac prayed a courageous prayer of abandonment that took them on an adventure God had written for them.

“God, we will do anything. Anything,

Anything is a prayer of surrender that will spark something. A prayer that will move us to stop chasing things that just make us feel happy and start living a life that matters. A life that is…

Surrendered. Reckless. Courageous.

If we truly know a God worth giving anything for, everything changes.”

SO GOOD. 

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Back to the foodie portion of MS-Made, I think the theme of this blog is about to take a shift to more efficient meals. With Bowen now being home for breakfast, lunch and dinner the cooking game has changed at our house.

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I am really focusing on stretching meals and making suppers that double as great lunches or second night leftovers. I made taco salads last night and while I was cooking deciding to stuff peppers for tonight’s supper-hoping to get that recipe up soon! 

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For now I’ll leave you with a quick, healthy lunch I had today. I don’t know about you but sometimes I need a new salad dressing to get me excited for my greens. I love this sesame tahini dressing-it’s creamy, savory and a delicious dressing for all your favorite veggies. 

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Sesame Tahini Dressing
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Ingredients
  1. 2 T soy sauce (low sodium)
  2. 2 T apple cider vinegar
  3. 1/3 cup water
  4. 1/2 cup tahini
  5. 1 clove garlic
  6. 2 T sesame oil (or olive oil)
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together in food processor or blender. Toss together fresh spinach, romaine, green onion, peppers, carrots and chopped cashews with tahini dressing for a delicious lunch.
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Update Part 2!

It’s a big week around our house-I hit the 30 week mark and Bowen turns 30 Friday!! Lots to celebrate this week!  

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I praise the Lord for Bowen-he is the biggest gift to me and being his wife is my greatest joy. I cannot wait to celebrate him Friday and soon to be celebrating Bowen V’s arrival! 

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Bump Update: Bowen V is definitely an active little buddy. He kicks like crazy and likes to be up at night 😉  I’m still exercising most every day, lots of walk/runs and exercise videos. If anyone is interested– this ‘be fit’ video is AWESOME! 

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And I wanted to share some shower sweetness and some more of mom’s beautiful sewing..this blog has been the gift that keeps on giving as far as keeping up with life events. I am always thankful I posted pics through different seasons and stages so here we go! 

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Update!

I guess Thursday’s have become my catchup days! I’ve been a busy bee with Weir Delicious this month along with getting ready for baby:) Mom came this week for a couple days which is always a treat, we had so much fun sitting in the nursery and finishing up a few things that needed to be done.

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I was actually doing all the sitting, she was mainly worker bee. My cookie business is shutting down shop after Halloween until we get settled with Bowen V and I really feel like it’s time. I am having to do a lot of sitting in the afternoon which makes making dough and rolling cookies a little challenging, I am sad to miss out on cute Christmas cookies but SO EXCITED for our angel boy to get here!! 

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I have to tell you this may be my favorite time of year in Fairhope, it’s breathtakingly beautiful. I went for a run (lots of walk breaks) then did my bible study at the Bay–it doesn’t get any prettier. 

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This season has been challenging but the Lord is teaching me to rest in Him and lay down those idols He has revealed to me that I place so much of my security in. He alone is my Rock and my Salvation. Bless His name that He doesn’t leave us in our sin but calls us to walk in freedom, in all fullness of joy.

 

Bump Update: 29 weeks today!!! Taking a selfie while exercising is not the easiest thing to do 😉 

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I wanted to share with you a “nice-cream” recipe I had today, this was a great afternoon pick me up and definitely satisfied my sweet tooth. 

It’s chocolate-ly and rich and a great use for those cacao nibs I’ve been wanting to use! 

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Cocoa Nice-cream
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Ingredients
  1. 1 frozen banana
  2. 2 T high quality cocoa powder
  3. 3 T cacao nibs
  4. 1/2 cup kefir (or greek yogurt)
  5. splash of water
  6. 1 small handful of kale
  7. 1 cup frozen berries
Instructions
  1. Blend until smooth!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Coconut Red Curry Lentils

I got so inspired watching youtube cooking videos the other night I had to try this curry recipe and it is now one of my absolute favorite recipes. I love how rich and satisfying this recipe is and it’s vegan (don’t tell Bowen)..he loved it too!

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This recipe has all my favorite flavors, spicy red curry, rich coconut milk, bright lemon grass and lots of nutritional value from lentils, purple cabbage and peppers.

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I served this over nutty brown rice with salted cashews and green onion. Leave a comment below if you try this recipe! Does anyone out there LOVE Indian food? We aren’t that adventurous but this recipe is easy and will definitely be added to the weekly rotation. 

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Coconut Red Curry Lentils
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can coconut milk (I used lite)
  2. 1 cup lentils, cooked according to package instructions
  3. 1/2 small onion, chopped
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 3 small yellow peppers, chopped or 1 large bell pepper
  6. 2 cups purple cabbage, chopped
  7. 2 T red curry paste
  8. 2 tsp lemon grass (optional)
  9. 2 tsp turmeric
  10. kosher salt and cracked pepper
  11. toppings: chopped cashews & green onion
Instructions
  1. To prepare lentils, simmer 1 cup lentils with 4 cups water for 30 minutes or until tender but not mushy. In a large saute pan, heat 1 T coconut oil and saute onion, peppers and garlic until fragrant (1-2 minutes), add in red curry paste and turmeric and saute for another 2 minutes. Next, add in coconut milk and bring to a boil, add cooked lentils to coconut broth along with the cabbage and cover and cook for 15 minutes. Serve over brown rice with chopped cashews and green onion.
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
 And moving on from Indian food to baby news.. It’s time for an update! We have arrived at the third trimester and man does it feel like it. My mind thinks I can do a whole lot more than this baby carrying body does. Many days I’ve set out to run and end up mostly walking with short burst of runs. I’m still exercising every day but it looks a lot different than normal, Jillian Michaels workout videos are my new routine paired with walks. 

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I have to share with you the sweetest sewing I ever did see. My mom is the most talented, creative woman in the world. She is the best cook (really chef) I know, the most creative lady there is and can sew like nothing I’ve ever seen. She does beautiful french hand sewn work and designs the sweetest outfits for day to day. I am so excited it’s finally my turn for her to get to sew for Bowen V! 

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img_6357I love the paci clips:) Have a happy FRIDAY!!!! 

Golden Oreo Chex Bars

Guess what? I’ve got a sugary sweet treat that’s not healthy-fied. I was googling vegan, healthy sweets during one of the 3 football games we watched today and Bowen requested I make him a treat that’s not sugar free 😉

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He LOVES golden Oreos, every time he goes to the store with me he stops by the Oreo aisle and tries to put them in our cart, I’ve won the battle until now.

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These are a really easy ‘throw together’ dessert. They’re perfect for your tailgating bunch or little ones-easy to eat and really yummy! 

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Bowen had his with a scoop of blue bell strawberries & homemade vanilla ice cream and I had a bite or three  from the dish, now that we’ve had our fix who’s coming to take these treats off my hands?

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If you don’t love golden Oreos I feel certain chocolate sandwich cookies would be equally delicious! 

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Golden Oreo No Bake Chex Bars 

INGREDIENTS: 

1/4 cup butter

10 oz bag mini marshmallows

1 box Vanilla Chex, 1 cup removed

20 Golden Oreos

DIRECTIONS: Spray a 9×13″ baking dish with nonstick spray then set aside.
Roughly chop golden Oreos then add to a very large bowl with the Chex and set aside.
Add butter to a microwave-safe bowl then microwave for 30 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows then stir to coat and microwave for 1 minute and 20 seconds. Stir until smooth then immediately pour over Chex mixture and mix until evenly coated. Scoop into prepared baking dish then press into an even layer. Top with extra golden Oreos Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and enjoy!

By the way, thanks for all the sleeping tips!  I’m currently posting from the comfort of my new body pillow-I LOVE IT. 

 

WIAW

Welcome back to WIAW “baby on the way” edition.

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Today was the second week of Bible Study Fellowship and it is so.so.so GOOD to be back!  I say it all the time but studying God’s word in BSF is the absolute best thing in my life, God has used this ministry in an awesome way in my life. We are studying in John and if you are looking for a solid study of God’s word see if there is a BSF in your town, chances are there is!
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Just a quick update, I had the absolute sweetest shower Sunday with my church family. I am overwhelmed by the love these women pour into my life and feel so thankful the Lord has place us where we are. Mom and mom in law did lots of driving to be there-it was a precious day, I cannot wait for Bowen V to get here!

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This blog has turned into a lot of lifestyle and a lot less of recipe but I am always thankful to have documented these big (and small) moments. 

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and we have a glider! You can’t see how sweet this textured fabric is but I love how it turned out:) 

Back to the (food) blog…

BREAKFAST: quick post run apple and almond butter, key lime Lara bar to go ( favorite flavor for sure)

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Green apples are my pregnancy craving. Of course, most everything taste better than normal when your pregnant but as far as cravings I can’t get enough green apples (try them with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of salt YUM)

LUNCH:  I met a precious friend for lunch who just moved here from Memphis. Soul Bowlz in Fairhope started serving salads and they are REALLY fresh and delicious. This is my kind of salad: spring mix, cucumber, cabbage, carrot, tomato, almond and avocado ranch. It was really hard to not get an acai bowl on the side but I resisted. 

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I stole this image from their facebook page.. check them out! 

SNACKS: the list is long here today, I had some grits I made for Bowen this morning and half a chocolate lara bar

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late afternoon I had a few bites of chicken salad I made yesterday. Has anyone tried this beagle bagel chicken salad recipe?? IT IS THE ABSOLUTE BEST THERE IS. I made this recipe for weekly lunches and we ended up devouring it over spinach last night. 

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I love these containers, you can order them from amazon HERE. 

SUPPER:  Zoodles with bolognese, I ordered a real deal zucchini noodle spiralizer and it was well worth the $23! 

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DESSERT:  sweet potato brownie, big shocker here 😉 

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BUMP UPDATE: 26 weeks tomorrow!! 

img_3258Bowen and I had a really good 4 mile this run although I was way behind him and had lots of walk breaks we got in four in what felt like July heat and humidity. I was surprised how good this run felt considering I am not sleeping great, baby is moving around big time at night-any tips on sleeping at this stage in the game? 

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Weeknight Meal Ideas

I don’t know about you.. but I’m always looking for some weeknight meal inspiration. We have a tendency to get stuck on the same few things on rotation.

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With Bowen working in Fairhope now (BLESS THE LORD) I’m trying to get a little more creative and keep lots of veggies in our diet without feeding him the same grain bowl/salad everynight like I like to eat. 

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Here’s two recipes we’ve had this week that were easy to make ahead and good for us. One of Bowen’s favorites growing up was his mom’s meatloaf..I’ve added her recipe to our weekly lineup and posted the recipe HERE. The only change I made was stuffing a bell pepper with meatloaf mixture instead of placing in a baking dish. We loved it! 

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 I also made some mini meatloaf’s with the same recipe for lunch, how cute are these? I just think they would be a perfect sandwich substitute for a school lunch. I never liked sandwiches growing up (soggy bread anybody???) so mom always packed me something delicious. I did get odd stares that time I brought leftover rack of lamb. 

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Last night I made chicken & veggie stir fry with leftover fried rice. Sounds unhealthy but totally nutritious (I don’t know that I used any fat at all in cooking the rice) and for us stir fry’s are a great way to get in a variety of veggies. 

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This recipe is a great way to use up leftover rice. I usually make a big batch of brown rice/grains on Monday then we have it for supper throughout the week. I had lots leftover so for this dish I added a scrambled egg and some edamame for fried rice. 

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Chicken & Veggie Stir Fry with "fried" Rice
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  2. 1 head broccoli, florets removed
  3. 1 carrots, cut into thin strips
  4. 1/2 onion, sliced thin
  5. 1 clove garlic minced
FRIED RICE
  1. 1 clove garlic, minced
  2. 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  3. 1 large carrot, diced
  4. 1 cup frozen (or fresh broccoli)
  5. 1/4 c. frozen peas
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 1/2 cup leftover rice
  8. 1 T vegetable oil
  9. 1 T soy sauce (g free tamari sauce)
  10. Instructions
  11. What you do: Heat a medium size skillet on medium high, add oil and stir fry chopped onion and carrots until onions are translucent. Next, add in minced garlic and sauté until fragrant (30 seconds). Add in broccoli and peas and warm through. Next add in cracked eggs and cook until scrambled. Finally, toss in you rice and flatten with spatula, let sit for a minute or two so the rice has a chance to "fry", toss and repeat then finish with soy sauce, chili paste ( on the side) and enjoy!
Instructions
  1. Heat a non stick cooking surface or saute pan on medium high heat, add 1 T coconut oil and sear seasoned chicken breast on both side. Cook until internal temp is 165. Remove and set aside. Next saute veggies on high heat until tender. Once your rice is fried, place chicken and veggies back in pan and add soy sauce & chili paste and heat through. enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
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I didn’t know what I was missing not having Bowen home every night! I mean, I did because it was a tough four years of traveling for me for him but I just praise the Lord for providing in His perfect timing an opportunity for Bowen to live in Fairhope. It’s been the best days of my life! img_9387

I was on the hunt for a grain bowl picture in my albums and came across this shot from this time last year. I guess its time for a bump update 25 weeks tomorrow! Sometimes Bowen is really showing out and sometimes not so much. 
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Cookies and running-still pretty much sums up most of my days. I found out why Im feeling so fatigued on my runs, low blood pressure! I’m mostly running/walking around my neighborhood now which lets me go home each mile for a water/snack/check in with Bowen break 😉 fullsizerender-53

Happy Game week all my Alabama people! 

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Mexican Stuffed Peppers

Oh Sunday scheduling has begun at our house. My plan was to  come home from church and rest and here I sit planning out menus for the week, organizing cookie orders and keeping this little blog that could updated.

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Saturday game day ↑

If you’re anything like me, planning your days/weeks gives you some sort of peace of mind. How convicted I’ve been lately that I all my planning/controlling is such a false sense of security. My only hope for joy and peace is to rest in the Great I am, the Lord who sovereignly directs my steps. 

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And I love this from Desiring God, Let us be thrilled and calm in these days of great upheaval because victory belongs to God, and no purposes that he wills to accomplish can be stopped.

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I thought I’d share an easy week night recipe with you I plan on adding to our line up this week: Mexican Stuffed Peppers with spicy black beans. 

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Mexican Stuffed Peppers
low carb*
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Ingredients
  1. 4 peppers, assorted colors
  2. 1 lb ground beef/turkey/or chicken
  3. 1/4 cup chopped onion
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  6. 2 tsp cumin powder
  7. 1 T chili powder
  8. 2 tsp garlic powder
  9. 1/2 tsp cayenne
  10. 1/2 cup sour cream (or cream cheese)
  11. 1 cup monterey jack cheese
  12. 2 green onions, chopped
  13. toppings: Avocado, tomato, extra cheese, cilantro
For the black beans
  1. 1 can drained and rinse black beans
  2. 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  3. 1 clove garlic, minced
  4. 1 cup chicken stock
  5. 1/2 cup white wine
  6. 2 tsp cumin
  7. 2 tsp chili powder
  8. Saute onions and garlic in 1/2 T olive oil until fragrant and softened. Add in spices and saute for a couple of minutes. Add in beans and stir for 2 more minutes. Deglaze pan with white wine. Cook on high for 30 seconds or until alcohol has cooked off. Add in stock and cover until peppers are ready.
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Remove stems from peppers and deseed. Rub peppers with olive oil and roast for 10 minutes turning continuously until all sides are lightly charred. Remove from oven and place upside down on paper towel so moisture can drain.
  2. Next, heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add the olive oil and onions, cook for about 1 minute. Next add the ground beef and garlic and cook until the onions become translucent, about 8 minutes. Add in spice and cook for a few more minutes. In a separate bowl mix the brown rice, sour cream, green onions and cheese then add the ground beef mixture and combine thoroughly. Stuff the mixture into the peppers. Sprinkle each pepper with 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Lower oven temp to 350 and cook peppers in a casserole dish for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with spicy black beans!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
And on the menu for this week: fudgy sweet potato brownies! I haven’t made these in TOO long. I love that these are a grain free sweet treat. Link to recipe is HERE.

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Bump/Run Update: I’ve got a heart monitor on for the next 30 days so any wardrobe problems I had before have become minor compared to carrying this device around with me 24/7. I am very thankful to hopefully get to the bottom of these arrythmyias. I’m still running and keeping up my routine so that these 30 days will be an accurate view of day to day life. I think I figured out a bit of my leg fatigue..WATER. I quit drinking water before runs so that I wouldn’t have to stop 50,000 times on a short run but now I’m thinking thats why my leg muscles have been so sore! I got in a slow four yesterday and felt pretty descent. 

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SUNDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Just popping back in to tell you that you MUST make these sweet potato fudge brownies. I just pulled a batch out of the oven and they may be my favorite thing on this blog. They are so fudgy and rich and decadent and they are made with whole foods! Other than a few dairy free chocolate chips these are really good for you if you stop at one.  Leave me a comment if you try them or if you have a wholesome dessert recipe I should try! 

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Chicken Parmesan

Welcome back to the week-I hope it was a laborless labor day for everybody! IMG_2882

I CAN’T WAIT for you to try this chicken parmesan recipe we had tonight. It blew our socks off.

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first things first..

We had a wonderful, refreshing trip to the beach. We grilled snapper and veggies and made grilled pizzas, walked on the beach, ran on holiday isle and got some rainy day shopping in. 

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We used a delicious store bough marinara for our pizza’s that I thought would make for great chicken parmesan tonight…which happens to be Bowen’s favorite meal of all time.

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When a Tuesday feels like a Monday you need your favorite meal for supper. 

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My favorite part of this recipe was the crispy crust, not too much breading but the perfect amount of crunch and the chicken stayed very moist. The most time consuming part of this recipe is the breading and it doesn’t take more than 5 min.

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dredge in whole wheat flour, dip in egg bath, finish in panko then lightly pan fry in olive oil 

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finish in the oven! 

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Best Ever Chicken Parmesan
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Ingredients
  1. 2 chicken breast, pounded out evenly
  2. 2 eggs mixed with 1/4 cup milk
  3. 1 cup whole wheat flour
  4. 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  5. 2 tsp garlic powder
  6. 1 T dried basil
  7. 1 bunch fresh basil
  8. kosher salt and cracked pepper
  9. 2 cups marinara ( I used Riserva brand with no added sugar)
  10. 1 1/2 cups mozzarella/provolone cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Pour sauce into the bottom of baking dish and top with basil.
  2. Place chicken breast in ziplock bag and using a rolling pin or heavy bottomed pan, pound chicken breast to even thickness. Set up your breading station with one plate of flour, one egg wash bowl, and plate of panko seasoned with garlic powder and dried basil. Next, coat chicken with flour then dip in egg and finally press chicken into panko breadcrumbs until evenly coated. Heat a large saute pan on medium high heat and coat the bottom with olive oil (maybe 1/4 cup), once the oil is hot, pan fry both sides of chicken breast. Remove from pan and place on top of marinara in baking dish, top with cheese and bake covered for 20-25 minutes or until internal temp is 160. Enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
Run/bump update:

6 months woohoo! I’ve lost some energy and gained an outie!

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Running is getting way tougher, it’s not necessarily the bump that’s slowing me down but some serious leg fatigue. I’m finding I can run a slow mile then need to walk a quarter then run a mile, walk a quarter etc.. quite an adjustment but feeling very thankful I can still get in some exercise outdoors. I know the Lord is at work on my heart during these season of change. This morning I listened to an awesome John Piper sermon..I love the Desiring God app! Here’s today’s Word. 

Friday Favorites

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and it’s a beautiful day!! We are so excited to be heading to Destin this afternoon for a beach getaway with friends. Let’s hope the sunshine keeps shining:) 

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Do these cookies not scream celebration? I am excited to introduce a new item to our WD menu! BUTTERCREAM DELICIOUSNESS.

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I thought I would pop in for a Friday favorites roundup, it’s been a minute since I’ve posted a favorites and I think these are worth sharing. Most of these finds are snacks that have carried me through (almost) the first two trimesters. FridayFavorites

I figured this out early on but the  best way for me to feel good and keep my energy up is to snack throughout the day, salads at lunch and not a super heavy supper. Here’s some of my favorite things:

BARNEY BUTTER 

This is by far by favorite brand of almond butter, I LOVE the “to go” packs. I carry these in my purse and when I feel  the hangry coming on these are really convenient and hold me over. I eat a banana with a almond butter just about every am..it’s great pre-run mini breakfast. 
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LARABARS 

These are EVERYTHING. I just recently started buying these in bulk on amazon because I go through them quickly. I try and limit myself but they are so good and I love the ingredients. All larabars are made from dates and nuts, thats basically it. 

61J+wo9UdRL My favorites are apple pie, key lime, cherry pie, coconut and the chocolate chip is my recent obsession. Here’s an example of ingredents for the cherry pie: Dates, Unsweetened Cherries, and Almonds..that’s it. 
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I think I may try making these from home in the near future..stay tuned! ChocChipCookieDoughBars01

 

ORGANIC AUSSIE BITES 

My mother in law had these aussie bites last time we were in Memphis and I loved them-she gave me her pack and I’ve really enjoyed these. I have to freeze them so I don’t eat them all in one sitting! They are a great pick me up, travel well and Im pretty happy with all the ingredients (other than the added sugar).

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TRUE LEMON/LIME

I used to be a great water drinker until I got pregnant and I now I need it to sparkle or have some sort of flavorings to drink as much as I should. I love all flavors of True Lemon Lime packs, this watermelon taste like a summer cocktail. Great ingredients too! 

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TESSEMAE’S DRESSING

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And lastly this is a great salad dressing option ( Whole 30 approved), I like to mix up my own salad dressings most of the time but at this stage in the game I’m going for convenience. I love the lemon garlic dressing: really delicious on romaine. 

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Bump Update: It’s rare that I get out of my workout clothes especially for a bump pic but last night Bowen and I got dressed for a banquet–Baby Bowen hides out from the front  but is definitely making himself known from the side. Im still running but taking lots of walk breaks-thankful fall weather is right around the corner! 

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BEET Smoothies

Happy Monday! It’s been a great one so far around the bakeshop-I’ve got lots of fun orders for the week 😉

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This blog is very representative of my state of mind these days…a little bit all of the place. We’ve gone from decadent cupcakes back to veggie heavy smoothies. This is truly a slice of life blog. 

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I started my day with a serious green smoothie and a fit mamma bootcamp. I saw this recipe in runner’s world for a beet smoothie and could wait to give it a whirl–the verdict: it’s really delicious, filling and energizing.

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Normally, I need a smoothie + snack bar, granola etc. This (yellow) beet smoothie really held me over for a while on its own. This recipe is from world class marathoner, Shalane Flanagan’s new cookbook Run Fast. Eat Slow. I can’t wait to get my hands on more of her recipes! 

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I’ve got two beet smoothies to share today: This morning’s smoothie was made with kale, yellow beets, tropical fruits and orange juice. A few days ago, I made a purple beet smoothie with banana, berries and almond milk and butter.

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In the first recipe my beets were raw, in the purple beet recipe I had cooked beets. If you’re blender is high powered it won’t matter! I couldn’t tell the difference in either smoothie. I use a cuisinart bullet that does the trick.

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Can't Beet Me Smoothie
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Purple Beet Smoothie
  1. 1 cooked beet, peeled and quartered
  2. 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  3. 1 small frozen banana
  4. 1 cup almond milk
  5. 1 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled
  6. 1 T almond butter
  7. Kale & Yellow Beet Smoothie
  8. 1/2 cup orange juice
  9. 1/2 cup water or coconut water
  10. 1 small frozen banana
  11. 1 cup frozen mangos, papaya, pineapple
  12. 1 yellow beet, peeled and cut into small pieces
  13. 1 bunch kale
Instructions
  1. Blend ingredients together. If making kale smoothie, blend the kale and liquid ingredients together first until smooth then add in the rest of your ingredients.
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
And I’ve got to brag on bo the builder as we call him around here. He’s the handiest one I know, he can build just about anything he wants too. I’ve commissioned him for a few nursery things and he’s exceeded my expectations! How great did this changing table turn out?? 

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                                                                                            Before ↑
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                                                                                                  and after !

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Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes *NOT WHOLE 30 ;)

One of my favorite places in the world is Magnolia Bakery in New York.

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When I lived there my freshman year I spent many a day walking to the West Village for a vanilla cupcake (and the Marc Jacobs store next door)..I’ve made their recipe several times and even shared it HERE.

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Their buttercream is hard to beat but I think I’ve found an even better cake recipe, believe it or not. 

This cupcake crumb is light and airy and not overly sweet but oh so moist. Bowen declared these his favorite cupcakes to date and  a new Weir birthday tradition..you may not know this about Bowen but he’s a cupcake connoisseur.

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He makes sure to find the best cupcake shop in every town on his work travels. I had a precious friend celebrate a birthday a few days ago and thought these would be the perfect happy!

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Let me know if you make these cupcakes and what you think! Anybody love Magnolia Bakery as much as me? IMG_5789

Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes
Yields 16
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
  2. 1 vanilla bean
  3. 1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour, not self-rising
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  7. 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  8. 2 large eggs, room temperature
  9. 1/3 cup (75 grams) full-fat sour cream
  10. 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil (60 ml)
  11. 1 tablespoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract
  12. 2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk
  13. Magnolia Bakery Buttercream
  14. 2 stick unsalted butter
  15. 8 cups powdered sugar
  16. 1/2 c whole milk
  17. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  18. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine butter, 4 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating for about 2 minutes after each addition, until icing reaches desired consistency; you may not need to add all the sugar.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean.
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
  5. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes. Because there is so little butter, you'll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
  6. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  8. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be liquid, not pancake batter liquid but milk liquid-dont worry you didnt mess up!
  9. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
  10. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done with toothpick. Next, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack until cool then frost.
Adapted from Cupcake Project
Adapted from Cupcake Project
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
Bump/Run update: almost 23 weeks! Baby Bowen has popped out, we are still running but REALLY slowing down if that is even possible. I bet I’m at an 11:30 min mile. Im not using my Garmin just running by feel, today we ran an easy four before church with lots of stops for walking 😉 

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Healthy Sweets!

I’m not going to lie,  I am super happy to be back to my vegan baking experiments. I love trying out new recipes using dates and bananas as sweeteners with extra dark chocolate and all the oats and seeds and nuts.

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I really love having a treat at night and not feeling like I am busting my sugar budget. It’s really amazing what you can make with some date paste and cocoa powder.

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A friend shared this DELICIOUS chocolate muffin recipe with me and I cannot believe I haven’t shared it yet.
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The best part is, all the ingredients are mixed together in the blender-how easy is that?! 

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I went home immediately after trying these muffins and had to make my own batch, they were gone in just a few days! They’re so good for you, you could even call these breakfast muffins. 

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Chocolate Chunk Muffins (guilt free)
gluten free & sugar free (except for sugars naturally found in fruit)
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Ingredients
  1. 1 3/4 c oats
  2. 3 egg whites
  3. 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  4. 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I omitted)
  5. 1/2 cup greek yogurt ( I omitted)
  6. 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  7. 1 T vanilla
  8. 1 1/2 t baking pwder
  9. 1 1/2 t baking soda
  10. 1/2 t cream of tartar
  11. 1/4 t salt
  12. 1 cup hot water
  13. 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together then pour in muffin tins and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
I also made a vegan chocolate chip “cookie” last night using date paste I found at a spice market in Mobile and really enjoyed these. I am taking a batch with me to Memphis nosh on when my sweet tooth hits 24/7.

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These cookies are perfectly sweet from the dates and dark chocolate but do not have the texture of a traditional chewy chocolate chip.

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The oatflour used in this recipe makes these cookies more granola like than cookie but still equally satisfying! Leave a comment below if there is a healthy treat you love that I need to try!

VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHIP OAT COOKIES:

1 cup rolled oats

pinch salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp vanilla extract

6 tbsp milk

4 tbsp date paste*

1/2 cup chocolate chips 

Directions: In a coffee grinder or food processor, pulse oats until fine flour. Combine all dry ingredients then whisk in wet ingredients. You will need to thoroughly whisk (stir) in date paste:) Fold in chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 7 minutes. 

Run/Bump Update: 21 weeks woohoo! Time’s starting to fly.  I’m still running just about everyday (everyday that I don’t cross train), Bowen and I ran four miles this am. He was WAY out ahead of me but I finished so that’s something 😉 Does anyone have experience with second trimester running? I am having serious leg fatigue and just overall find it MUCH harder than ever-leave a comment below if you have any tips! Have a sweet weekend! 

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look at our little friend that ran with me, don’t worry we found it’s rightful home..

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Rustic Pear Tart

Happy Sunday! It’s still nice and steamy down here in Fairhope, Bowen and I waited till late this afternoon to go on our tour de Fairhope-a 10 mile bike ride.

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It felt so good to not be fighting through thick humidity and 100 degree temps, I got up early this am to run before church and just couldn’t bear the heat. Our ride was the perfect outside exercise. 

We came home to not the most nutritious supper but oh so delicious. 

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I had LOTS of pears that were on their last leg and needed to be cooked quickly, I used half for a steel cut oatmeal brown butter pear topping and the other half for a really yummy, rustic pear tart.

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This pear tart reminded me a lot of apple pie. The only major difference was the pears were softer and a tad sweeter.

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I LOVED the streusel topping on this recipe, it really sent this dish over the top. 

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Now that I have OFFICIALLY broken Whole 30, 2 nights of desserts.. it’s back on the bandwagon! Ill be back with some healthier eats soon 😉 

Rustic Pear Tart
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Ingredients
  1. 6 bosc pears, peeled and sliced 1/4 in thick tossed in 1 T lemon juice
  2. 3 T granulated sugar
  3. 3 T AP flour
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon
  5. 1 prepared pie crust
streusel topping
  1. 1/4 cup flour
  2. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  3. 4 T butter, cold and cubed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and butter a 10 inch pie dish. Toss pear slices with flour, sugar and cinnamon and set aside. Unroll pie dough and place in the bottom of pie dish, fill the center with pears and fold over outside pie crust onto filling. For the streusel, combine the flour and brown sugar and using a fork or hands, cut in butter until small crumbles form. Top pears with crumble and bake for 30-35 minutes until crust is golden brown and pears are tender.
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Cauliflower Puree 2 Ways

Hello! It’s a been a big week here in Weir Delicious world. I started back with full time orders Monday and man did I miss decorating cookies! I do love a schedule and knowing what I have each day, this will be life with a newborn right? (hehe) 

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We also finished up Whole 30 this week woohoo! I’m still (sort of) sticking it to until I really want a sweet or it’s time for our Sunday night Mexican fix. My takeaways are the same as before, whole foods are definitely the best options for fueling your body and I do believe I had some improvements to my energy and Bowen lost 10 pounds! 

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And onto the recipe portion of the blog: We eat a lot of cauliflower at this house and both seem to tire of the same roasted side dish. I’ve been wanting to try this cauliflower puree and recently gave it a go-two thumbs up!

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It’s a delicious, creamy alternative to a sauce for any protein, we loved it. I also used the leftover cauliflower to stuff potato skins. We thought they needed some sharp cheddar, other than that a healthy option for game day eats. 

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Cauliflower Puree
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Ingredients
  1. 1 small head cauliflower
  2. 3 yukon gold potatoes
  3. 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  4. 2 T butter/ghee
  5. kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Remove florets from stalk of cauliflower, steam until tender. Bake potatoes in 400 degree oven until tender, remove potato flesh from skin. Working in batches, puree cauliflower and potatoes until smooth. Next, press the cauliflower puree through a mesh strainer (this ensures a silky end result). Place puree into a sauce pan and add coconut milk and butter, heat on low until ready to eat.
  2. You will have lots of delicious cauliflower and potato flesh left to stuff potato skins with! Mix potatoes in with butter and green onion and bacon and bake at 400 for 10-15 minutes.
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
 HALF-WAY BUMP UPDATE! 

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update!

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How about you?? 

It’s been a great Friday thus far, we have sunny skies and HOT temps here in lower AL which can only mean one thing: TREADMILL RUNS. I did 5 miles this am and felt really good praise the Lord. AND for any expecting moms are new moms that are local Thomas Hospital Fitness Center offers free memberships to pregnant and post baby mommas. I was THRILLED to hear this! 

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Cheers to almost halfway! 

We’re also still on the whole 30 bandwagon over here. I am ALMOST done. I do believe this week is my last week. Honestly there are days I love the “rigidness” and limited options and then some nights I just need my chill yogurt fix with all the toppings. 

Bowen has been a pro at whole 30 especially as much as he’s traveled. I bet he has lost ten pounds, me on the other hand–my shorts seem to be getting tighter 😉

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I mentioned in a previous post it hasn’t been a huge adjustment other than no oatmeal and no night time sweets. I plan on having a treat or six   after next week then getting back on it and sticking with whole foods. 

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Here’s a link to one of my favorite recipes (we had for supper last night) and this roast chicken makes a great leftover lunch! 

Mom came to be with me this week and we had a big time working on the nursery. We hit hit the ground running hard for three days and made a good bit of progress but have a long ways to go!

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Lots of monogramming to be done and furniture re-covering to be found. Hope everyone has a good weekend! 

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Whole 30 Ranch

We may just start calling this the soup blog… we just had the most delicious sweet potato soup tonight with curry paste.

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I planned on grilling chicken but at the last minute had to readjust my menu. I looked up a recipe and used what I had and am certain this soup with be a new staple in our house.

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Coconut milk has been my best friend this week! It’s been so delicious in soup, mashed potatoes and those frowned upon smoothies. Leave a comment below if you want me to share this sweet potato soup recipe

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Nothing new here but I’ve been having salad everyday which I really enjoy, except I tire out of my normal dressings so quickly. I saw a recipe for a “whole 30 ranch” and gave it a go-I really loved this dressing but wouldn’t go so far as to call it ranch.

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The dressing gets its creaminess from coconut milk but surprisingly does not taste coconut-y AND it definitely gets creamier as it sits in the fridge. I LOVED all the fresh herbs and really enjoyed this over mixed greens, apples and dried cherries! 

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Whole 30 Ranch
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Ingredients
  1. 1 egg (room temp) *I omitted this ingredient for baby but substituted 1 tsp dijon mustard (an emulsifier)
  2. 1 cup light olive oil
  3. 1 T lemon juice
  4. 2 T red wine vinegar
  5. 1 tsp kosher salt
  6. 1 tsp cracked pepper
  7. 3/4 tsp onion powder
  8. 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  9. 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  10. 1 bunch parsley
  11. 1 T chives
  12. 1 T dill
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together! If you do not want your "ranch" lime green like mine then chop your herbs and whisk in by hand after you have blended all the ingredients together. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. recipe adapted from whole-sisters
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Bump update: 18 weeks (now one day away)! 

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baby Bowen was hiding yesterday 😉

Gender Reveal!

It’s a boy! I can hardly believe it myself but we have a baby boy on the way! Actually we have a baby Alva Bowen Weir V to arrive in December. IMG_5456

My parents gave us a gender reveal party at their home this weekend, the very place Bowen and I had our first dance at our wedding reception.

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It was beyond special to celebrate new baby with our family and friends just 3 years after celebration our wedding, we called this night Father of the Bride part 2. 

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I have to say I have the most creative, talented (and giving) momma in the whole world. Not only is she a master sewer and chef but she can throw a party like no other.

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I know, I KNOW I have some rather large shoes to fill. Here’s a pic at some of the cuteness from our Friday night celebration. 

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One of my favorite details was all the baby clothes mom has made over the years that adorned the tables and front doors

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PURE JOY! 

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I’ve got a couple of  Whole30 recipes to share with you this week, be back soon! 

Quick (soup) Supper Recipe

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                                                                                         Sounds about right ↑

Whole30 isn’t so bad until dessert roles around then the struggle kicks in. Bowen and I have both decided our suppers look the same as before, lunch is a bit of a challenge but otherwise we are doing pretty good! 

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I wanted to share with you a not so summer recipe that is delicious and so satisfying. I always make butternut squash soup in the fall and winter.

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It’s been a busy week and since we are going out of town I wanted something that I could make Monday and eat for supper throughout the week and before we got on the road..I spiced this soup up with sweet peppers and turmeric. 

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Here’s a look at a day’s eats from this week: (minus all the fruit and carrot snacking)

Breakfast: Spinach, berries, pineapple, chia and raspberry smoothie 

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Lunch: organic roasted turkey wraps with avocado, tomato and a lot of mustard with purple cabbage coleslaw.  

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Supper: butternut soup, grilled quail and roasted veggies: mushrooms, peppers, onion and cherry tomatoes .

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How pretty is this view? Almost every morning I run I have to stop and take a picture. The heavens declare your greatness o Lord. 

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Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  2. 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  3. 2 cloves garlic
  4. 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  5. 3/4 yellow pepper, deseed and chopped
  6. 1 quart container chicken organic stock or homemade
  7. 2 tsp turmeric
  8. 1 tsp cumin
  9. 1/4 tsp cayenne
  10. kosher salt to taste
Instructions
  1. I used my trusty instapot to make this soup but for the stovetop recipe: Place all ingredients but spices in a large dutch oven or stock pot and bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until all veggies are tender. Puree ingredients until smooth in blender. Add in spices and simmer until ready to serve. Top with crumbled bacon, chives and a drizzle of olive oil!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Summer Succotash

This weekend has FLOWN by, that is until today and now it’s starting to creep. We found out the gender Friday but aren’t revealing it to ourselves or anyone else until next Friday at our party at my parents.

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Passing by this envelope everyday is painful. We cannot wait! I wore all blue to the dr Friday by accident..maybe I am thinking boy?

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We also got to spend the day/night showing Bowen’s sister and family around Fairhope. We hit up all the hotspots, genes beans, the Grand pool, dragon fly, sunset point..not the best time to start any food restrictions.

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How pretty is this run view? I’ll never tire of it. Great is thy faithfullness Lord great is THY faithfulness.

 

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Fair warning now, if you’re on whole 30 patrol don’t read this post 😉

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Last night for supper I made a delicious corn succotash with all the best summer veggies, sweet corn, tomatoes, basil and we loved it.

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Then I looked up whole 30 approved to see if cornmeal was allowed, only to find not only is cornmeal banned but so is corn! I truthfully thought all veggies but beans were allowed. oopsie.. 

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Anyways, this is a healthy delicious side option that’s perfect for summer entertaining or Sunday supper. I also made a quick dish of seared chicken breast and an easy pan sauce with portobella mushrooms. 

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Summer Corn Succotash with Arugula
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 2 ears of corn, kernels removed
  2. 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  3. 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  4. 1 clove garlic, chopped
  5. 1 small tomato, chopped or 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
  6. 1 bunch basil, torn
  7. 1 bunch arugula
  8. 2 T butter (we used ghee)
  9. kosher salt and cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell peppers and sprinkle with kosher salt. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add corn and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until corn is tender, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lastly, add in tomatoes and basil and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Turn off heat and toss in arugula.
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Whole Foods

I am real hesitant to say this out loud  but Bowen and I started Whole 30 last night (or whole 29 more on that later). 

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This shouldn’t be much of a change for us, most lunches and suppers I cook are whole 30 compliant. It’s all the snacking I do that gets me in trouble– I am excited to do this challenge to see what foods affect my energy/digestion/etc. I feel like this is basically getting off sugar again which is always a good thing for this dessert obsessor lover. 

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Breakfast is definitely the biggest challenge for me, I eat oatmeal or granola most days since I don’t like eggs 🙁 

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However, we will be giving each other some grace days. Bowen’s travels may pose a problem and we do have one big party to look forward to next Friday!  Champagne and muddy’s cupcakes are necessities for gender reveals, right? 

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Here’s a WIAW on Thursday whole 30.

Breakfast: Banana and LOTS of almond butter with berries, I’m planning on making chia seed pudding tomorrow and will report back with thoughts on that new craze..

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snacks: Snacking is discouraging on Whole 30, unless your pregnant. Sorry Bo 😉

I had guacamole and peppers and veggies chips  and late afternoon snack was dried cherries and almonds

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This snapper we grilled for supper was caught today by Bowen, doesnt get fresher than that! We also had sweet potato mash, spinach salad and roasted broccoli. Pretty standard day (minus all the popcorn I’m used to eating)

 

Ill leave you with a bump date: 

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Lunch Ideas

It’s only 10:30 and I’ve already had my 3rd(ish) meal of the day. I really  prefer to have several small meals throughout the day rather than three big ones.
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                                                                                 story of my (pregnant) life ⇑

I definetly feel like snacking throughout the day has been helpful in keeping any nausea at bay and it keeps my energy levels up. I ran a SLOW fives miles this morning which has made me extra hungry and craving everything something extra salty. One of my favorite lunch/snack options are ezekiel wrap pizzas.

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The wraps getting extra crispy in the oven and I love topping mine off with Pomi marina (from fresh market), fresh basil and red pepper flakes.

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If I had to guess, I would bet my next meal around 1 or so will be a BIG salad. I am loving this red wine vinaigrette with green olives.

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I chop lots of romaine along with some spinach or kale then add in peppers, carrots, green onion and cabbage. For the vinaigrette chop 2 T green olives and 1/2 clove garlic then whisk together 2 T of red wine vinegar with 3 T olive oil.

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Ezekiel Wrap Pizzas
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large ezekiel brand wrap
  2. 1/4 cup marina
  3. 1 babybel cheese or fresh mozzarella
  4. basil to top
Instructions
  1. Broil one side of the ezekiel wrap, flip over and add marina and cheese, broil for 2-3 minutes or until bubbly. Then top with basil, parmesan and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Beach Catch Up

Happy late July 4th and long over due blog post 😉

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Believe it or not, I’ve still been cooking and snapping pics..I just haven’t made it around to the blogging portion of this blog.  We’ve made it to the second trimester (16 weeks next week) so thankfully I am getting some energy back and plan on picking back up M2! 

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vacay eve↑

Every time I tell people who ask how I am doing that I stay pretty sleepy Bowen reminds them I haven’t quit running which he’s right about, I have managed to get out in the mornings and get my exercise in tired or not.

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I really need to start keeping up with my mileage with baby pea (or orange this week).  We did about  25 miles at the beach this week- it was some kind of hot but so fun!  I LOVE running at the beach. Most days we ran on the road but some mornings I changed it up and did three on the road and two in the sand.. talk about a workout.

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We also did lots of good eating at the beach last week (per usual). We had blue crab twice, my very favorite part of the beach! Fried shrimp, homemade gazpacho, redfish mom and dad caught in Louisiana, blackberry cobbler, lots of local tomato sandwiches and LOTS of chocolate cake (hence all the running).

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Ill leave you with some pics of our annual Ft Morgan trip and be back soon with actual recipes;) 

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bump update: 15 weeks (insert all the clapping emojis!!!) 

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Vegan Paleo Date Brownie Bites

Happy Friday! Don’t these mini pops just scream celebration?? 

IMG_5173Guess what I have to share today? Another sweet recipe! We can really tell what baby weir is enjoying these days…

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We have hit the 12 week mark, patiently waiting for this extreme tiredness to move on 😉

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How cute is this pic Bowen sent last week from work in  houston, they were celebrating the news of baby 🙂
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On to the recipe..

I am REALLY trying to limit my sugar intake, but the dessert cravings are a real deal struggle for me (pre pregnancy and now). These brownie bite date balls satisfy my sweet tooth with zero added sugar. Let me know if you try this recipe, leave a comment below! 

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Another reason I love this recipe, I most always have the ingredients on hand and they take 2 minutes to whip up. 
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(raw) Date Ball Brownie Bites
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup pitted medjool dates
  2. 1/4 cup peanut butter
  3. 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  4. pinch of salt
  5. 1/2 cup oats
  6. optional 1/2 cup walnuts
  7. 1-2 T water
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until well combined. The dough will be sticky.. using a large spoon, scoop out dough and form ball then roll date ball in cocoa powder. Refrigerate and enjoy! I also like to top mine with a dollop of peanut butter and sprinkle with salt:)
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
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(almost) Sugar Free Banana Muffins

I’ve got so many recipes I want to share with you! I mentioned a couple of post ago I’ve actually been cooking and baking just not posting. And now I’ve got several sweets recipes and one savory I cannot wait for you to try. I LOVE these whole wheat banana muffins.

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I’ll be honest-Bowen doesn’t think they are sweet enough. He wants a dessert-like muffin with a sugary topping and these aren’t that but they are delicious and in my opinion a yummy treat or pick me up.

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I love taking these in the car with me for after workouts/pre errands snack. They travel really well and hold up in this hot heat we are experiencing in lower Alabama. 

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Speaking of, I cannot believe how hot it already is. I had to run this am at 6:30 which just doesn’t seem right for a Saturday morning but by 8’0clock it was supposed to be 90 degrees! I couldn’t put our little pea-pod (growing baby) through that heat. 

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My view this am ↑

I did get in a six mile run this am which I am very proud of…this run was extremely slow but felt really good! I listened to this awesome Piper sermon, check it out HERE. 

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And a little recap for you, we went snapper fishing Thursday which was the funnest thing ever.. we were on a BIG boat so I never even felt a bump in the water.

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Thursday night view ↑

We’ve been enjoying snapper the past couple of nights. Last night I made Walker’s coconut curry black thai rice to go along with our fish. OH MY GOSH this is my favorite meal EVER. more to come on that. 

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(almost) Sugar Free Banana Muffins
I added very little sweeter to these (2 T maple syrup), you can certainly add the full amount for a sweeter muffin
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Ingredients
  1. ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
  2. ½ cup maple syrup *** I USED 2 TABLESPOONS, not 1/2 cup
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 cup packed mashed ripe bananas (about 3 very ripe bananas)
  5. ¼ cup almond milk
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
  8. ½ teaspoon salt
  9. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  10. 1¾ cups whole wheat flour
  11. 1 T chia seeds
  12. ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees, grease cups of your muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray
  2. In a large bowl, beat the coconut oil and maple syrup together with a whisk. Add eggs and beat well. Mix in the mashed bananas and milk, followed by the baking soda, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon and chia seeds.
  3. Add the flour and oats to the bowl and mix with a large spoon, just until combined.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups, filling each cup about two-thirds full. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a small amount of oats (about 1 tablespoon) Bake muffins for 23 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
  5. Place the muffin tin on a cooling rack to cool. You might need to run a butter knife along the outer edge of the muffins to loosen them from the pan.
Notes
  1. *recipe adapted from Cookie and Katie
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

WIAW

Welcome back WIAW, bump edition! 

First thing in the am: lemon water and a teeny bit of coffee with almond milk

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Breakfast: Post run grocery store bar.. I could NOT under any circumstances go one more minute without eating. I love this think thin bar, it has zero grams of sugar but taste really good. I don’t think the ingredients are anything to boast about but in a pinch this did the trick. 

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Breakfast: I’ve been craving a bagel for a while now, I had 1/2 Udi’s gluten free bagel with organic cream cheese and 1/2 with peanut butter and banana.

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Lunch: My only real struggle (so far) with choosing healthy foods seems to be  at lunch time. Before baby news, I ate a salad just about everyday for lunch. I love eating big salads with lots of veggies and really have never gotten sick of them. These days I am singing a different tune. Yesterday  I made a roasted beet spinach salad and barely got through it. 

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I LOVED my lunch today, I got in all my salad veggies but in a wrap which tasted much better to me! I heated some roasted turkey inside a warm ezekial wrap with a little mustard then added in cucumbers, cabbage, avocado and spinach. 

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I also made some potato soup last night for my Bowen who’s been sick so I had a little bit of that too. 

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Snack: THE BEST CANTELOPE. I ate half a cantaloupe today..so good. My mom says everything taste better when your expecting so far this has been true of cantaloupe and bagels not so much spinach 😉 

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Supper: Bowen and I split a ribeye-dont worry my portion was fully cooked 🙁 along with grilled corn and grilled sweet potato rounds

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dessert: orange, cherry, flax muffin with almond milk 

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Run recap: Still running! And still loving it.. I get really tired in the afternoons so I cherish this time in the am to exert some energy, sweat and feel like I am in my normal routine. This am I ran three with a friend then did an extra mile for four..

Avocado Caesar Salad

Happy Sunday everyone! I hope it’s been a great day, we’ve had a wonderful morning of worship and a really relaxing weekend.

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 I got to see my precious friend Mollie this weekend, we bopped around fairhope, did some exercising and went to the pool. 

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I’m still feeling really good praise the Lord and haven’t had any odd food cravings/aversions (yet).. sparkling water, lemons and oranges are at the top of my list.. and caesar salad.

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I had a major hankering for caesar salad but wanted to make my own dressing. Caesar dressing is traditionally made with egg yolks which are out of the question, instead I made an avocado caesar that was out of this world.

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It has all the components of your traditional dressing, peppery, parmesany and a nice kick from minced garlic and fresh lemon. 

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and…spending our (semi-rainy) Sunday doing a little baking. Sugar free banana muffins coming soon! 

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Avocado Caesar Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 1 avocado, pit removed
  2. 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  3. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  4. 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  5. 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  6. 1 to 2 garlic cloves
  7. 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  8. kosher salt and cracked pepper
  9. 3 T water
  10. chopped romaine lettuce
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine all ingredients until smooth. Dressing will be thick!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Update!

We’ve got big news at the Weir house, baby on the way due in December! IMG_4833 (1)
Psalm 103

 Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within mebless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,
Who redeems your life from destruction,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies,

Planning on putting this scripture to memory, He is My redeemer and my restorer. Bless His name! 

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It’s been a while since I last posted and truth be told I’ve been worn out! It’s been challenging to keep exercising, cookie-ing and taking care of things around the house, this little blog fell to the bottom of the list and I’ve missed it!

Here’s some pics to catch you up one what’s been going on..

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My sis n law and niece visited me for a few a days, lots of beach time and being together:)

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We’ve been keeping up eating mostly healthy around here..doing our best to stick to whole foods

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And I praise the Lord I’ve felt good these last couple of months.. aside from fatigue I have felt REALLY good, good enough to keep exercising just about every day. I’ve been running at least 4 miles most days, keeping up with spin and adding in a little tennis

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I’ll be back with recipes SOON! Happy June 1st, summer has officially arrived and I love it! 

 

Homemade Peanut Better Cups

Bowen and I have to have dessert just about every single night. It used to be ice cream then banana ice cream, I got on a peanut butter date kick and now CHOCOLATE.

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Most nights we eat a healthy supper so I hate to undo all our good nutrition with a heavy sugar dessert. These are a little more of a treat than usual but better than store bought candy, am I right? 

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I sprinkled some kosher salt on top for a salty bite. I love salty/sweet combo. 

My only change to this recipe would be to make the bottom layer a little thinner. These were really rich. 

These remind me ALOT of Justin’s organic cups.

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Homemade Reeses Peanut Better Cups
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup "good life" dairy free semi sweet chocolate chips
  2. 3/4 cup natural creamy putter butter
  3. 3 T coconut oil
  4. kosher salt for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt together chocolate chips and coconut oil for 30 seconds then stir to finish melting chocolate. Repeat until smooth.
  2. Spray cupcake tray with non stick spray and fill each holder with 2 T melted chocolate. Freeze for 10 minutes. Once hardened, add 1T (or 2T if you life PB) onto of each chocolate layer spreading out evenly, then top with more melted chocolate (about 1 heaping T). I sprinkled mine with a little kosher salt. Freeze for 10 minutes. Then cups should pop right out once they are ready!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

(lightened up) Cheeseburger Wraps

I love this recipe. It’s SUPER easy and super quick to put together. It also totally satisfies my craving for a cheeseburger without all the fat (and bun). 

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There’s a restaurant in downtown fairhope that serves a cheeseburger wrap and it’s delicious but rather indulgent. This is my slim downed version, but still Bowen approved.

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We enjoyed this recipe tonight and both agreed we need to make it part of normal rotation. enjoy! 

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toppings plus mayo, ketchup, mustard and cheddar cheese ↑

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Cheeseburger Wraps
lightened up version of a classic cheddar cheeseburger
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb ground organic turkey (96% lean, 4% fat)
  2. 2 ezekiel sprouted grain wraps
  3. 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  4. 2 heaping T ketchup
  5. 3 T mustard
  6. 2 tsp garlic powder
  7. kosher salt and cracked pepper
  8. toppings: mayo, ketchup, mustard
  9. lettuce
  10. tomatoes
  11. sliced onion
  12. grated cheddar
Instructions
  1. Brown ground turkey (in cast iron) in 1 T coconut oil over medium high heat. Once cooked, season with kosher salt, cracked pepper and garlic powder. Stir well. Then add in Worcestershire, ketchup and mustard and turn heat to low. Allow turkey to simmer for a couple of minutes. Then add 1/4 cup water and cover and cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid and check seasonings. Sometimes I add a little more Worcestershire here.
  2. Heat tortillas on griddle until warmed through. Smear with mayo and top with ground beef then cheddar then onion, lettuce and tomato. Fold and press for grilled cheeseburger wraps. enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
 And dessert tonight was homemade reese’s!!! Bowen wanted something sweet and these couldn’t be easier to make. Will post recipe asap! 

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update!

Happy almost weekend! It’s been a while since my last post which can only mean one thing around here, cookie duties have taken over! I don’t know what it is about this time of year but it’s  busy season for decorated cookies 😉

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Yesterday Bowen and I celebrated our three year anniversary! We are both so thankful the Lord by His sovereign hand placed us together for His purposes. I love being Bowen’s wife and am so grateful he’s mine. 

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We celebrated at Fischer’s in Orange Beach last night, then went for ice cream which we immediately threw away and ended up at Krispy Kreme–the hot sign was on and neither of us would ever turn that down. It’s may be our new tradition. 

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Aside from cookies, I’ve been doing some cooking. The night before last we had grilled salmon and sauteed spinach which I think may be a recipe I post soon and tonight I made ground chicken bolognese over spiralized veggie spaghetti. 

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and smoothie bowls of course 

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If you live in Fairhope I’m sure you’ve heard but the downtown farmer’s market is back and it is SO GOOD!! I wanted everything from every stand. We tried some very authentic tamales that were on point, a perfect snack/app. I picked up some peaches, snap beans and a few other veggies.  We are going to see Florida Georgia Line tomorrow so I hated to buy a ton of things we wouldn’t eat 🙂

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Be back soon!! Happy farmer’s market season! 

a smoothie a day..

Taco Tuesday! In the cookie room at least, we’re having cauliflower fried rice again but how cute are these ↓

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I’ve been wanting to share these smoothie recipes for a while now, Im glad I waited because I tried a new smoothie this am and it’s my new favorite: Chocolate coconut crunch!

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If there is one food/recipe I eat most regularly it’s smoothies. I love a thick, creamy smoothie with lots of fun (nutrious toppings). What I love most about smoothies is I am getting in a ton of leafy greens without eating salad for every meal. 

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My secret trick to hiding spinach/kale is blending your greens with your liquid first to make sure it gets totally smooth. You want even notice it’s in there! 

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I also like to add lots of “super foods” to my smoothies like chia seeds and cacao nibs (pictured above) or a scoop of wheat grass for extra nutrition.

Here’s two of my favorite “green” smoothie recipes. 

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Green Smoothies
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Ingredients
  1. Banana Mango Green Smoothie
  2. 1 frozen banana
  3. 1 cup frozen mixed fruit (strawberries, pineapple, mango)
  4. 1/2 cup almond milk (thick) or 1 cup almond milk (pourable)
  5. 1 bunch kale, rinsed
  6. 2 medjool dates
  7. 1 T chia seeds
  8. toppings: unsweetened coconut flakes and chopped strawberries
  9. Chocolate Crunch Green Smoothie
  10. 2 cups packed spinach (I freeze my fresh spinach)
  11. 1 frozen banana
  12. 3/4 cup frozen cherries
  13. 1 scoop vega chocolate protein powder
  14. 1/2 cup almond milk
  15. top with cacao nibs, unsweet coconut and blackberries
Instructions
  1. Puree greens and almond milk until smooth, add in frozen fruit, banana, dates and chia seeds. Puree until totally smooth. Top with super foods
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
 Every now and again I add vega protein powder to my smoothies, great taste and extra protein! 

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I also found my cacao nibs at fresh market, they have a unique flavor that similar to dark chocolate..check out their nutrition!

  • antioxidant properties
  • high in potassium 
  • lots of fiber
  • high flavonoid content 
  • no sugar! 
  • one of the highest concentrations of magnesium found in this natural food source
  • 61Pi8SUbZtL._SY355AA355_PIbundle-2,TopRight,0,0_AA355_SH20_

WIAW

Welcome back WIAW! I’ve been meaning to post some of my favorite smoothie recipes but cookie world has been crazy busy! 

 

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Breakfast: First things first a big glass of lemon water and a cup of coffee with unsweetened almond milk, I did some packing up of cookies then made a smoothie before Bible Study Fellowship this am. My green smoothie had berries, frozen banana, frozen spinach and some vega protein powder. I love topping off my smoothies with some unsweetened coconut flakes⇓

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I also ate a slice of ezekiel toast with pb since I had plans with friends after BSF and wouldn’t be home in time for lunch.

IMG_4749Snack: I was starving when I got home, I ate some of my homemade humus (recipe HERE) along with these delicious mary’s crackers and some veggies.

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Lunch: A BIG spinach salad with strawberries, avocado and cucumber topped with some evoo and balsamic vinegar.

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followed up by a sweet potato brownie!! THESE ARE STILL MY FAVORITE THINGS EVER. Link HERE.

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After an afternoon of cookie-ing, I grabbed another brownie and went to the gym. hehe that sounds funny to type but the truth. 

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Supper: Oh my word this was so fresh and good.  Supper was Pan seared cobia with basmati rice and roasted broccoli. 

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For now I’m holding off on dessert but I have a feeling after cleaning the kitchen a pb butter date may be calling my name. Be back soon! 

Cauliflower Fried Rice

Oh my word hurry up Friday! It has been a big cookie week for Weir Delicious and I can finally see the finish line-16 dozen cookies going out the door tomorrow↓

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I’ve been surviving on green smoothies and cauliflower fried rice. This is actually my second night in a row to make this recipe, we LOVED it. Bowen gave it a 9 out of 10 which is a thumbs up considering this is a veggie-centric dish. 

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I added gulf shrimp to our dish tonight and it did not disappoint. The best part of this dish is as long as you have cauliflower you can adapt the rest of the ingredients to what you have on hand. Fried rice/stir fry is a great way to use up veggies or get more veggies into your suppers. 

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I used peppers, onions, garlic, green peas and kale

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Leave a comment below if you make this dish and tell me what you think! 

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Cauliflower Fried Rice
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 heads (medium size) cauliflower
  2. 1/4 cup bell pepper, small diced
  3. 1/4 cup onion, small diced
  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 large carrot, small diced
  6. 1 bunch kale leaves, chopped
  7. 1/4 cup green peas
  8. 2 T soy sauce
  9. 2 T coconut oil
  10. 2 eggs, whisked together
yum yum sauce
  1. 3/4 cup mayo
  2. 2 T ketchup
  3. 1/2 T grated ginger
  4. 2 tsp garlic powder
  5. mix together & MUST refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving
Notes
  1. Grate cauliflower on the large side of a cheese grater or by using your food processor (cauliflower should be the same size as rice). Heat large saute pan over medium high heat and add coconut oil. Saute carrots, peppers and onions until translucent then add garlic and saute for another minute. Next add in cauliflower and stir for 2- minutes then create a well in cauliflower and scramble eggs. Once the eggs are cooked add kale and peas and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add soy sauce and remove from heat. Be careful not to overcook cauliflower or it will be mush. Drizzle over yum yum sauce and enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

WIAW

Welcome back WIAW 🙂  I can’t wait to share my supper recipe with you! Has anyone every tried cauliflower fried rice? I hadn’t until tonight and absolutely LOVED it! Leave a comment below and let me know if you’ve had it and what you think. 

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Breakfast: Before BSF Today I enjoyed some of my favorite granola recipe (link here) along with some almond milk and delicious strawberries. 

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I came home and did some cookie-ing and snacked on these delicious new crackers topped with some no sugar peanut butter and chopped dates and a “salted” pink lady. My mom taught me this trick, if you’ve never sprinkled kosher salt on a sweet, crisp apple you are missing out! 

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I got to sneak away today for an hour or so and sit by the pool, it’s been hot today!
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Lunch was a romaine salad with cabbage and peppers. I made a super simple dressing with 2 tsp of miso paste mixed with half a lemon..it’s my new favorite salad topper. 

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Pre run snack: more granola, I did a quick 4 miler this afternoon. I’m much better at morning runs but really enjoyed the beautiful weather and some John Piper. This 11 minute video “Go and Tell, ‘It is Finished” is really good!! 

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And onto dinner: I have seen a lot of recipes for cauliflower fried rice but was a little skeptical. I HAVE BEEN MISSING OUT. I loved it and will definetly be making this recipe part of our weekly rotation. I added kale and green peas to ours and made some pink sauce of course. 

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Dessert: you guessed it, peanut butter stuffed dates and some more granola 

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Be back this week with fried “rice” recipe! 

Get To Know Me Tag

I always assume the only people who see my blog are family and close friends, I have a sneaky suspicion there are a lot more readers out there that I don’t know personally. I thought this ‘get to know me’ tag would be a fun way to tell you a little bit about myself

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1) Tell us 5 random facts about you

1.) I went to fashion school straight out of highschool in NYC. 

2.) I’ve been to culinary school

3.) My first job was the editor of a magazine in Memphis 

4.) I LOATH eggs and have never/will never eat them

5.) I cannot sit still long enough to watch TV which drives my husband crazy, after sitting for a bit I have to get up and do something, unload the dishwasher fold clothes, fix a snack 😉 

2) When is your birthday?

March 

3) What is your favourite colour?

White/Cream (soft and clean) 

4) What is your favourite memory?

Bowen and I talk about this often but as a child, when my brother and I were in the back seat on the way to supper and my parents surprised us by saying we were going to Hawaii, the next day! 

5) Describe a day in your life

Wake up usually no later that 7 sometimes 6:45, drink a glass of lemon water immediately followed by coffee. Cuddle up in our sitting room for my bible study.. currently doing Bible Study Fellowship and we are studying Revelation. “All will sing, ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever'” (read that this am and love dwelling on the victory in Christ, “Jesus’ resurrection is the unshakeable reality that makes certain the resurrection to life and joy of all who put their trust in Him”

After study I either head to the water to run or get on the treadmill at the gym (most days I run four miles) if it’s Monday i’ll be at spin! Then I come home and eat a big snack

Then I bake and decorate all the cookie orders I have for the day, stopping for lunch around 1  (eat a big salad) then decorate more cookies. I usually stop at 3-4 and clean up the kitchen, seal up cookies and fix supper. Bowen and I have supper together and sometimes go watch the sunset or sit outside then we usually watch a show and hit the sack around 9-early birds I know. 

 

6) Name 5 of your favourite songs

  1. Behold our God
  2. His Love Awakens Me 
  3. Be young, Be foolish, Be Happy 
  4. My Girl 
  5. CURRENLTY: When Trials Come (in light of revelation this song has brought me to my knees) When trials come no longer fear
    For in the pain our God draws near
    To fire a faith worth more than gold
    And there His faithfulness is told
    And there His faithfulness is told  …..                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          One day all things will be made new
    I’ll see the hope You called me to
    And in your kingdom paved with gold
    I’ll praise your faithfulness of old
    I’ll praise your faithfulness of old       

7) If you could only eat 1 thing for the rest of your life what would it be and why?

SUSHI. It’s maybe my favorite thing to eat and has lots of nutritional value 

8) What is something you really dislike?

can I say eggs again? eggs & cold weather 

9) Summer or Winter?

See above. SUMMER! 

10) If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live and why?

Fairhope Alabama, the most beautiful, charming place in the world 

11) Name 4 of your favourite films

Father of the bride 1 

and 2 

Point Break ( this movie got 4% but I loved it) 

My Best Friends Wedding will forever be my favorite movie

 

12) If you won the lottery what would you buy?

A plane to get to family whenever! Offshore fishing boat for Bowen and a house at the beach. That should do it 🙂 

13)  Favourite day of the week?

Friday, always a half day at our house! 

14) What 3 things would you take to a desert island with you?

a doctor, a builder and my family (might as well stay!) 

15) Sweet or savoury?

sweet 

16) Early bird or night owl?

EARLY bird, I am DONE at 5 pm 

17) Name 4 of your favourite books

God’s Word

Tim Keller’s the Meaning of Marriage

Wetherell Johnson’s Created for Commitment 

Elin Hilderbrand’s The Island 

 

Week Eats

Happy day, it’s the weekend! tumblr_nimwcm5NTA1r320t0o1_1280

Mom’s been in town for a few days doing a sewing class in Mobile, we’ve loved being together and have been eating lots of yummy suppers!
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When Bowen heard mom would be here a few nights he immediately requested her fried shrimp..

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It may be my very favorite thing in the world. This is my mimi’s recipe my mom grew up eating on the gulf coast

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I have been drinking twice a day kale smoothies to balance out these yummy treats. IMG_4595

Yesterday am I marinated crab claws so they would be ready for an after sewing/work day app. Lots of fresh herbs, a little minced garlic, lemon and olive was the perfect compliment to one of our favorite foods. 

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Last night we grilled miso glazed cobia (we got from the same seafood market we bought the shrimp)..along with grilled napa cabbage SO GOOD. Anyone want the recipe? leave a comment below including the recipes you would like to see more of and I will post! 

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Run recap: Still feeling really good running! This am I went with a friend which always makes the time fly

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This afternoon I whipped up a batch of these fudgy sweet potatoes (recipe HERE) for my mom to try. They are so.so.so good. I could eat every bite in one sitting!! 

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Be back soon with recipes, enjoy this spring weather! 

WIAM

Welcome back WIAW, Monday edition! As usual  I lived in the cookie room today–lots of fun spring summer cookies in the works:)

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First thing in the am I had a HUGE glass of lemon water then  started the day studying revelations (via BSF packet) then went to spin at 7:45

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Breakfast was steel cut oats made in my insta pot with fresh vanilla bean, almonds and pecans and smashed banana with coconut flakes on top. My camera was charging during b fast so here’s last weeks oats. 

IMG_4237 Snack: Homemade hummus with carrots and blue corn tortillas, this week’s hummus had chili paste added in.
IMG_4529Bowen picked up our salmon from the meat market and grabbed this chicken salad which was decent but no beagle bagel recipe. 
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snack 2: chai latte with coconut milk and peanut butter stuffed dates 

Supper: Grilled salmon, baked sweet potato with roasted broccoli and crispy kale

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 After supper I whipped up another batch of this delicious oatmeal, just patiently waiting for it to finish baking for dessert:) 

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Plant Based Supper

I can’t believe it happened but I got Bo to eat an all veggie supper last night and he LOVED it. Im going out with friends tonight and he mentioned he may have just veggies again;) It was that yummy and SO filling. 

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It’s really hard to beat anything on the grill, we love the smoky flavor of charred veggies. I topped our brussel sprouts, beets, okra and zucchini with a  parsley (vegan) butter.

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My herbs are finally coming back for the summer woohoo! We also  grilled romaine with an easy vinaigrette.

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how sweet are these tulips? 

Grilled Romaine with Easy Vinaigrette
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Ingredients
  1. 1 Large head romaine, sliced in half lengthwise
  2. olive oil for brushing
  3. 1 T balsamic vinegar
  4. 3 T olive oil
  5. 1 garlic clove, minced
  6. 1 tsp dijon mustard
  7. splash of water to thin vinaigrette
Instructions
  1. Clean romaine by rinsing halves and dry lettuce well. Lightly brush romaine with oil olive and season with kosher salt and cracked pepper. Grill both sides of romaine for 1-2 min or until charred (and then no more)! Enjoy immediately:)
  2. Vinaigrette: Whisk together vinegar, dijon, salt cracked pepper and garlic. Then drizzle in olive oil (add water to thin)
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Update & Favorite Granola

Happy Hump Day! I am currently en route to Fairhope from Baton Rouge, I took advantage of a lighter cookie week to travel with Bowen and we’ve had a ball.  

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We might should call our trip the spring food tour. Its been an eating extravaganza at all his favorite spots in lower Louisiana–bbq at The Shed in Ocean Springs then onto raw oysters and Abita in the French Quarter, dinner at John Folse’s R’evolution and today we’ve enjoyed some greek food in Baton Rouge. 

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I’ve already gotten Bowen to agree to a supper of roasted veggies and salad. I have enjoyed indulging but am looking forward to veggie fueling. 

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And I plan on making my second batch of this delicious granola this afternoon. I have posted a version of this recipe before (my mother in law’s recipe from Deer Valley)..I changed the recipe up a bit by eliminating the sugar and added in some things and I love it so much.

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My very favorite granola recipe yet.

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There are some ingredients I don’t love in this recipe but you need to include them to achieve the right consistency of the mix. This granola taste JUST LIKE blueberry muffin streusel topping. It’s almost like a really chewy oatmeal cookie but better. Bowen said I should call this dessert instead of breakfast. Leave a comment below and let me know if you make it! 

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Blueberry Streusel Granola
Yields 2
recipe adapted from "jenny's granola" deer valley ranch
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Ingredients
  1. 3 cups old fashioned oats
  2. 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  3. 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  4. 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  5. 1/2 T salt
  6. 1/2 cup powdered milk
  7. 1/2 cup sliced almonds
wet ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup oil
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1/3 cup dried blueberries
  4. 2 tsp almond extract
  5. 1/2 cup grade B maple syrup
Instructions
  1. preheat oven to 250
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients, in a separate bowl combine wet ingredients then mix the two together. Spread on cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour at 250 degrees, stirring occasionally to break into pieces. enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Weekend Eats & a Recipe

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Happy Sunday! We’ve had a beautiful weekend in Fairhope, the rain moved out and the sun has been shining! And it’s finally patio weather, we love eating outside and have been taking full advantage. IMG_4389

Last night I made cheesy stuffed peppers with grass-fed beef and brown rice over some black beans and veggies. 

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We’ve also almost finished off the sweet potato brownies, still really loving these chocolate treats and plan on making them again next week. 

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Saturday morning I went on my longest run since IT band issue and ran the whole time without knee pain Praise the Lord!

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And lastly, a soup recipe! I realize it’s spring and the temps are definitely warmer but I love having a batch of soup made for the week. Especially this recipe that’s packed with green leaf veggies, lentils and sweet potatoes! I made this soup in my insta pot but I will try and adjust recipe for  normal stove top cooking:) 
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Lentil Sweet Potato Soup with White Beans
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Ingredients
  1. 3 carrots, chopped (all small dice roughly the same size)
  2. 1/2 large onion, chopped
  3. 2 small yukon golds, chopped
  4. 2 small sweet potatoes, chopped
  5. 1 can white beans, drained and rinsed
  6. 1/4 cup white wine
  7. 1 can green beans, drained
  8. 1/4 cup lentils
  9. 1 1/2 qt or 1 container organic chicken stock
  10. 1 cup chopped kale
  11. 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  12. parsley
Instructions
  1. In a large dutch oven or stock pot, saute carrots and onions in coconut oil until veggies are translucent and season with kosher salt and cracked pepper, next deglaze with white wine over high heat until all the liquid is reduced. Next add crushed tomatoes, potatoes, lentils and cover with stock and set over medium high heat. Cover pot and cook for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes and lentils are tender. Then add all the beans and kale. Simmer for another 15 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings! Finish soup with a drizzle of olive oil and chopped parsley
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

 

WIAW

Welcome back WIAW. I LOVED tonight’s supper so thought I would share all the goodness of today’s eats for a What I Ate Wednesday.
IMG_4294Breakfast: You can’t tell in the pic above but these are steel cut oats with chia seeds topped with some granola I made yesterday. I cooked the oats in my insta pot with chopped gala apple and lots of cinnamon (sugar free!) I added 1 T chia seeds to the mix and have been eating on this delicious breakfast all week.
IMG_4283 This granola is all gone, it got eaten up in 2 days. It was SO GOOD! I made it using oats, cherries, pecans, chia seeds, pb 2, coconut oil and some other goodies (sugar free too).
IMG_4280 Post spin/early lunch was ezekiel bread with homemade humus and avocado topped with cherry tomatoes and red pepper flakes.

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ALL THE SNACKS: As wholesome as these meals were, today was filled with a lot of snacking. I had some almond milk and granola post toast and a mango/banana/oats smoothie this afternoon and snacked on beet chips. 

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Supper was one of my favorites. This should be called the goodness bowl… quinoa, sautéed kale, chili roasted brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes along with a drizzle of evoo and balsamic vinegar.

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IMG_4306 Dessert: still stuck on peanut butter stuffed dates! 

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Stir Fry & Kale Salad

I couldn’t decide whether to post a WIAM or tonight’s stir fry recipe, how about a combo of both?? I am on the kale train this month.

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I have been incorporating the leafy green into almost every meal.. smoothies, salads, as a side dish or tucked in stir fry. I am loving getting one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet into every dish. 

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Here is a look at today’s farmer’s market haul-can you believe these brussels sprouts!! They’re huge!

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After a long run and lots of cookie-ing I made a red leaf lettuce salad for lunch with lots of kale, roasted beets, carrots, green onions and dried cranberries.

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I made a vinaigrette by combining 2 T balsamic vinegar with 1 small garlic clove grated and 1 tsp of dijon mustard then whisked in 3 T olive oil. I tossed the kale in the vinaigrette and let sit for 30 minutes to let the leaves get nice and tender. 

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Check out my mom’s kale and lettuces in her garden!! ⇑

Supper was veggie packed stir fry. Don’t tell Bowen but “stir fry”  is basically my excuse to cook a ton of veggies over brown rice. I added marinated flank steak for my steak loving b.

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Veggie Centric Flank Steak Stir Fry
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup chopped cauliflower
  2. 1/4 onion, sliced
  3. 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  4. 2 carrots, sliced
  5. 1 large bunch kale, chopped
  6. 1/2 T grated ginger
  7. flank steak (8 oz)
  8. marinated in korean bbq sauce
Instructions
  1. Heat cast iron over medium high heat and add 2 T olive oil until smoking, stir fry cauliflower and carrots until slightly tender then add other veggies continuous stirring with wooden spoon. Season with kosher salt and cracked pepper. After 2-3 minutes grate in ginger and remove veggies from heat. Sear meat on both sides then add back in veggies. Serve with soy sauce and chili paste. I made brown rice in my rice-cooker to serve with stir fry!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

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I hope everyone had a Happy Easter! How precious is this little angel in her Easter dress and bonnet made by mom 🙂 

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Homemade Hummus

Hello Monday! Who has had a busy day? Both hands raised over here. I am taking a break from cookie designer for a couple of days and putting my magazine hat back on. Tomorrow I am styling the Mobile Bay monthly fashion shoot, should be fun! 

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We didn’t get many pics this weekend, but we had a big time with my mom and dad! 

I spent today, like last week, focusing on feeling my very best. I made a delicious green juice with LOTS of ginger and this homemade hummus recipe to snack on.  I love every kind of hummus there is but I don’t love the texture of store-bought hummus. It always feels/tastes “whipped” to me.

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 A tip I learned in culinary school I’ll share with you is never buy anything from the grocery advertised as “whipped” i.e whipped yogurt, whipped ice cream etc… that basically means the company whipped in a lot of air, so you will be paying more money for less product.

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Anywhoo.. homemade hummus takes 2 minutes to make, I know everything that goes into it and I love the taste and texture. 

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Hummus Recipe
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Ingredients
  1. 1 can chickpeas,drained and rinsed
  2. 1 small garlic clove
  3. 3 T olive oil
  4. 1 small lemon, juiced
  5. 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  6. 2 T tahini paste (or 1 T peanut butter)
  7. top with a dash of cayenne and extra olive oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Homemade Power Granola

Finally!  A granola recipe I can feel good about eating.

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I love having granola in the morning and mixed in my smoothies–the problem I have run into over and over again is store bought granola is PACKED with sugar.

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I literally can’t find one single brand at the grocery store that doesn’t have loads of sugar in the ingredients, and it’s super expensive. Ezekial brand “cereal” doesn’t have sugar but its $7.

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I made this crunchy granola from ingredients I already had in my pantry..and it’s delicious! I added flax seeds, chia seeds, pureed dates, almonds and walnuts along with some peanut butter, pureed banana and coconut oil to bind and lots of toasty oats. 

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You can certainly add honey or maple syrup for some added sweetness-see recipe below! I like my granola with a little soy milk and blueberries, enjoy!

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 And happy Friday! My mom and dad are coming to visit this weekend for the Fairhope Art Festival, my favorite weekend of the year and mom’s birthday! We have plans to eat downtown, shop around, run the Spring Fever 10k and on Sunday,  Bowen and I are getting introduced to our church 🙂 

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Power Granola *vegan
Yields 1
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  2. 3/4 cup walnuts & almonds, rough chopped (I reserved some whole almonds)
  3. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  4. 1/2 T cinnamon
  5. 1 T flax seed
  6. 1 T chia seeds
  7. 1/4 cup coconut oil
  8. 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp maple syrup, agave (I omitted)
  9. 1 tsp vanilla extract or maple extract
  10. 1 medium ripe banana, mashed
  11. 3 T cranberries
  12. 1/4 cup peanut butter
  13. 2 dates, pureed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 250.
  2. Mix the oats, cinnamon, sugar, salt, flaxseed, cranberries and nuts together in a large bowl, then
  3. in a small saucepan over medium low heat, heat the coconut oil, maple syrup, pureed banana, dates and vanilla extract. Pour over the dry ingredients and mix well.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. Watch this closely, it will burn! Enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

Plant Based Lunch Ideas

A whole NEW WORLD! I got my computer back today and it is moving like the speed of lightening! It’s good to be back in blogging action.

This is an evaluation image and is Copyright Chud Tsankov. Do not publish without acquiring a license. Image number: 0521-1102-1611-4816. http://www.acclaimimages.com/_gallery/_pages/0521-1102-1611-4816.html

 

I woke up in the middle of the night not feeling great so my focus today is feeling better and fueling my body with nutritious foods. Praise the Lord I was able to get to Bible Study Fellowship this am- the Lord is teaching me who He is and changing my heart through His word. I would encourage anybody looking for a study to google if there is a BSF in your city.. it is the absolute best thing in my life!

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After BSF, I started brainstorming what would get me feeling better quickly and back on my work feet. I came up with a delicious juice recipe and kale and farro salad. I thought I would share what I had yesterday for lunch with you too. I am always looking for new ways to have plant based meals for lunch- I hope these recipes give you some inspiration! 

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Beet Kale Juice 

1/2 large beet, peeled

3 large kale stalks (stalks removed)

1 whole lemon, peeled

1/4 ginger root, peeled

1 pink lady apple

My juicer is Breville JE98XL, here is a link to the site! 

Yesterday’s lunch was farro salad with romaine, arugula micro greens and steamed squash and zucchini. I made a light vinaigrette with balsamic, dijon mustard, 1 grated garlic clove and olive oil. 

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Toady I used that same farro and made a kale salad with cranberries, green onion, kale and farro. Add some goat cheese for a little creaminess and more protein. 

Kale Farro Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch kale, chopped and massage
  2. 3-4 cup cooked farro
  3. 1 T green onion, Chopped
  4. 2 T cranberries
  5. 2 T olive oil
  6. 1 T balsamic
  7. kosher salt and cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. combine ingredients and enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
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Gulf Shrimp Grain Bowls

Happy Weekend! It’s been a rainy few days in Fairhope but we’ve made the most of it with lots of movies/treadmill runs and good eats.

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Friday night we picked up the most delicious Gulf shrimp to cook for grain bowls. This recipe is our favorite grain bowl combination to date! I love the combo of nutty brown rice with soy vinegar sauce and a steamed veggies–so good for you yet feels indulgent. I know it will be even more delicious when summer veggies are in season 🙂  

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Gulf Shrimp Grain Bowls
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup brown rice
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. kosher salt & vegan butter
  4. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  5. 3 T apple cidar vinegar
  6. 1 lb gulf shrimp, (peeled, deveined and butterflied)
  7. 2 cups cabbage, chopped
  8. 1 zucchini, sliced
  9. 1 squash, sliced
  10. Asian "yum yum" sauce
  11. 3/4 cup mayo
  12. 3 T ketchup
  13. pinch kosher salt
  14. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  15. 2 tsp grated ginger
  16. 2 T water
  17. *must refridgerate for at least 3 hours
Notes
  1. Cook brown rice according to package instructions ( I used my insta pot)- in the meantime in a separate pan/pot steam veggies until tender. Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add 2T coconut oil, season shrimp with kosher salt and cracked pepper then saute shrimp turning once when pink then remove from heat.
  2. To assemble: stir together soy sauce and vinegar in small bowl. Place rice in the bottom of bowl and top with 1-2 T of soy/vinegar sauce, then place steamed veggies and shrimp on rice and drizzle with yum yum sauce. Enjoy!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
We’ve started celebrating my bday early since we will be traveling on the actual day.. I have some fun news to share with you about a project mom and I are doing so stay tuned!

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 Bday celebrations started with buttercream stuffed snickerdoodles at breakfast..oh my sugar overload deliciousness. I am hoping all the leftover cabbage I ate may cancel out?  Let me know if you try this grain bowl, leave a comment below! Happy Spring and soon to be Easter! 

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Paleo Coconut Flour Banana Pancakes

Happy Saturday! I am currently waiting on my tennis partner to wake up from a post fishing snooze so we can go play! It’s the most beautiful day here sunny and 61 🙂  

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My computer has been in the shop being worked on for over a week, hence my lack of posting. I thought now was as good a time as any to steal Bowen’s and get some updating done.

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we love Saturdays in Fairhope

We started our Saturday the way we normally do with pancakes. My mom makes my niece Mollie banana pancakes with nothing but banana and egg-she eats them up! I made a more adult gluten free-sugar free version . They were SO GOOD! I wasn’t planning on posted but am so glad I took pics and wrote down the recipe because I will definitely be making these pancakes again.

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Don’t expect these to be Aunt Jemima’s they are definitely a “paleo pancake” but really delicious, I topped mine 1 T almond butter melted with 1/2 tsp of coconut oil and some vegan butter. Let me know what you think if you try this recipe! 

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Run recap:  5.75 miles today!!! very slow but finished- I went back to the orthopedic last week and news to me…there is no stress fracture, I’ve been dealing with ITB. Hopefully some streching and PT will do the trick.. be back soon when my computer recovers 🙂 

Coconut Flour Banana Pancakes
Serves 1
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Ingredients
  1. 2 T coconut flour
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 banana, mashed
  4. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  5. pinch of kosher salt
  6. 1/4 cup blueberries
  7. toppings: almond butter, coconut oil, vegan butter
Instructions
  1. Combine mashed banana and egg in a bowl then stir in coconut flour and fold in blueberries and salt. heat a griddle to 325 degrees, melt butter and add batter one ladle at the time. Flip when ready, top with syrup or coconut oil almond butter!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/

SOUPer Bowl Sunday

Some of my best recipe ideas come to me right as I am about to fall asleep. This is usually the hour I start thinking about my “tomorrow to do list”you know around 9-10 pm right when the lights go out 😉

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On our agenda this Sunday was church and some work around the house. Bowen worked on the garage and car cleaning and I tackled laundry and food prep. We are leaving Wednesday for Costa Rica so I didn’t have too much cooking do this week!

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It’s been pretty chilly here in Fairhope so last night I started dreaming of soup. I love butternut squash soup and so does Bowen but I don’t love the heavy cream. It occurred to me that in my other soups I use white beans (cannelloni beans) to thicken soup so why not with my butternut squash.

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Oh my gosh this was the best version of butternut squash soup I’ve had yet! So Creamy, slightly sweet and velveety. Bowen LOVED it–he usually can tell when I “lighten” a dish but not this one. I think my mom’s homemade chicken stock (she sent home last week) really sent this soup over the top. 

We topped our soup with evoo and served with a mixed green, loaded chopped veggie salad…really went against the grain with or super bowl food this year 😉

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Butternut Squash Soup with Cannelloni Beans
the creamiest, healthiest butternut squash soup
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Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 butternut squashes, peeled and cut into cubs
  2. 1 can cannelloni beans, rinsed
  3. 1 small onion, rough chopped
  4. 1 qt homemade chicken stock
  5. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  6. kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place cubed butternut squash, onion, chicken stock and white beans in a stock pot and bring to a boil, season with kosher salt, cracked pepper and turmeric. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until squash is fork tender. Transfer cooked ingredients to a blender, reserve 1-2 cups of cubed squash (we like a few bites of cubed squash in our soup). Blend until smooth, taste for seasonings and serve with a drizzle of olive oil!
Mississippi Made http://www.mississippi-made.com/
Run recap: FINALLY back running! very, very slow running but it’s happening! I waited almost 8 weeks to run and the first week was killer, I had a lot of knee pain and thought we may be going back to the DR. but the past 2 days I’ve been able to run with no pain, THANK GOODNESS< thank you Lord!

Today was a really slow 5 mile run, I should have snapped a pic of the bluest sky you’ve ever seen! We had a beautiful sunset tonight too. Have a great Monday! 

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Sugar-free update

It’s been a busy couple of weeks around here, hence my lack of posting. This time of year is what cookie-er’s call the busy season. We are cranking out cookies as fast as week can! Bowen and I are going to Costa Rica next week with my in-laws which means I’ve had a lot of work to get done before our trip. We are SO EXCITED for some swim and sun! 

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Last weekend marked the end of my 30-days of sugar free and I am still on the sugar free train! It was HARD work getting off sugar, so hard that I never want to go back to that sugar addiction and have to kick it again.

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Takeaways: 

1.) Fruit is PLETNY SWEET: I think the biggest change for me over the last month is my taste for sweetness has diminished significantly.  A fruit smoothie or pb2 stuffed date is PLENTY sweet for me. I used to need ice cream or a handfull of chocolate chips to get my  fix after supper…  now a piece of fruit taste really sweet. I don’t want to go back to the place where artificially, processed sugar is my standard for what sweet taste like. 

2.) No Headaches: I am used to be somebody who always had a headache it seems. Most of the time they are at night after supper, I cannot remember the last time I had a headache. I think it was probably the last time I ate sugary processed ice-cream after supper. 

3.) More energy: less afternoon slump and no more mood swings that come along with sugar high then sugar crash  

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4.) healthier skin:  Why? Sugar reacts with proteins in our bodies, changing their structure to form advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which accelerate the aging process. As a result, sugar makes collagen and elastin less supple, radiant, elastic, and resilient—and more susceptible to sun damage. ( http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/i-quit-sugar) 

I would definitely recommend cutting processed sugar from the diet, I don’t plan on adding it back to my diet like I initially thought I would. Although, I am planning on enjoying treats for special occasions. I can’t give up key lime bread pudding or peanut butter pie altogether, but these will definitely not be my normal anymore. 

People ask me all the time how I don’t eat the cookies I make all day everyday, for starter’s they’re almost $3 a cookies and if one breaks Bowen is always near by begging for the extras. IMG_3538

here’s some pics of the past couple weeks to catch you up on M^2 life: we went home for one of my closest friend’s weddings which was so sweet and beautiful! and we got to spend some time with my mom and dad AND mom sent me home with enough meals for the week. NO one is a better chef than my mom, she has ruined us this week. Her vegetable lasagna (noodle/meat free) is one of my favorite things in the world. Bowen LOVES it too. I’ll post the recipe for anyone who’s interested! Be back soon with some eats! 

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how precious is my niece is this  dress my mom made?!?! 

Friday Favorites

It’s been a minute since I last posted a Friday favorites. I’ve been thinking about some products/items I love this week and came up with a random diversified short list. 

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If you are reading this post from anywhere except Lower Alabama, Happy Snow Day!! It looks freezing out there. I love seeing all the snow day post via instagram and Facebook. I know I am guilty of spending too much time on social media but sure is a good way to keep up 🙂 

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onto the favorites: 

This one is a game changer..Sriracha TO GO! I see these little packets going in many a gift basket for Bowen. We love Sriracha and we need it on the go a lot. Cannot wait to get my order in HERE. 

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Favorite “once in a while”: 

This product is expensive but it is SO GOOD. We absolutely love this 7 grain rice from Seeds of Change, more so than any variety I’ve ever bought and made. Bonus: It takes 90 seconds in the microwave and it’s organic. I love the convenience of this rice..we actually had it last night with out roasted artichoke chicken. I found this at World Market but I am pretty sure most grocery stores carry the brand. 61B5c0xrH2L._SY355_

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“here to stay” favorite:

We are going through these dates like there’s no tomorrow. I think we finish 2 cartons of Medjool dates a week, and Bowen’s gone a good bit 😉  I cannot get enough of this sweet little jewel, it’s almost like a piece of caramel but better. I love to snack on them, puree them in smoothies and add them to oatmeal. Find them at fresh market or publix.

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beauty favorite:

This one is random but I couldn’t leave it out. Who else feels like there skin is see-through in January? I kept my tan until November just about with all this warm weather we have in LA (Lower Alabama) but lately I’ve been extra pale. We are going to Costa Rica in a few weeks and I need some color. This is the very best self tanner (gradual color) I’ve ever used. The color is very natural (not orange) and the smell is nice, not awesome but nice. k2-_9e43d5be-be98-4a0f-b9af-7ece339fe75b.v1