Weekend Recap and Red Curry

Hey hey! Well today definitely felt like a Monday. After so many long weekends in a row, this one seemed particularly short. We had a lot of big stuff going on, most importantly Jack’s first reconciliation!

He was SO nervous. I love that his whole class is going through this together, though- I think that helped calm his nerves a little. They were so cute standing in line waiting their turn to go in.

Happy and relieved after!

Brian and I are still sticking to the keto diet. Tomorrow will be the end of week 3. We’ve both lost some weight (though I thought it would be FASTER, womp womp), but the most noticeable thing is how much more energy I have in the afternoons. It’s been surprisingly easy during the week and I’m not hungry at all, but weekends are tough- I seriously miss my Friday night chips and margaritas.

Anyway I basically threw a tantrum on Saturday night because another meat-on-top-of-salad meal sounded awful, so we ended up taking the kids to Pie Five. They have a cauliflower-almond meal crust right now (only until February, I think) that is SO GOOD. I had the chicken carbonara pizza on the cauliflower crust. If you’re cutting carbs, this crust has 20g carbs for 1/2 a pizza. Not bad.

Tonight I made the chicken red curry from Simply Keto.

Ingredients (I forgot to include the actual JAR OF RED CURRY in the pic… only the most important part):

I altered it a little by adding mushrooms and an extra can of coconut milk. It tasted really salty with one can of the milk (probably my fault for over-seasoning the chicken), but was perfect once I added the 2nd can. I also browned the chicken first, removed it from the pan, and THEN sauteed the peppers. There wasn’t room in my Dutch oven to cook them at the same time. Also I added the juice of one lime at the end. I know, sounds like a lot of changes, but it turned out great! Served with cauliflower rice:

Ugh not even 9:00 and I’m already yawning. Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in January 2018 | Leave a comment

Macadamia Crusted Tilapia

I recently bought the cookbook Simply Keto and bookmarked a ton of recipes to try. One that stood out immediately was macadamia nut-crusted tilapia. I don’t make fish very often, though I’m not sure why?? Brian and I both love it, and it’s a huge bonus that it cooks so quickly. Anyway, this recipe called for making a “crust” of macadamia nuts, lemon juice and parsley- you pulse all of that in the food processor until it looks like bread crumbs. Then you press the crumbs on top of tilapia filets (coated in coconut oil) and bake. So easy!

Ingredients. I bought a bag of frozen tilapia filets at Costco so you’ll probably see this one again soon :)

I doctored up the “crumb” mixture by adding salt and lemon zest. It seemed a little bland on it’s own so definitely taste and season if you make this! I also sprinkled the fish with a little lemon pepper before adding the nut blend. Baked for about 15 minutes and that was it! It looks a little burnt but I swear the brown parts were the best.

On the side I threw together one of my favorite salads: arugula, olive oil, lots of lemon juice, shaved parmesan, salt and fresh pepper. I love that you don’t have to chop anything and it tastes so fresh!! Perfect with fish.

I’m loving these short weeks! Jack has his first reconciliation this weekend, but that’s really all that’s on the agenda. Have a great weekend!

Posted in January 2018 | Leave a comment

Ranch Pork Chops

Today was another big weather disappointment. We were supposed to get ice and snow overnight, and Jack ran into my room at exactly 6:30 on the dot to see if school had been cancelled. Nope. Needless to say, he was NOT a happy camper (neither was I… it’s tough getting back into the swing after a 3-day weekend).

It’s a ballet day, and I’m always sooooo tempted to just throw in the towel and go out for dinner since we get home late. But we’re trying to eat at home more, and I found a recipe that’s literally so fast and easy that I couldn’t justify going out: Instant Pot Buttery Ranch Pork Chops. I’m getting my money’s worth out of that giant ranch container from Costco, ha. It’s also keto, so that’s a bonus.

You melt coconut oil in the Instant Pot on saute, then brown the pork chops on both sides. Add a stick of butter, a couple tablespoons of ranch mix and a cup of chicken broth. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. FIVE. And since there’s not much in the pot, it doesn’t take long at all to come to pressure.

I let the pressure naturally release, then served it with mashed cauliflower and green beans. If I’d had fresh green beans I would have just tossed them in the pot with the pork chops and let them cook together… but we just had canned. The butter sauce is delish over veggies.

Definitely saving this one! The pork chops were super tender and not too dry. It sounds like a lot of butter (and it is), but most of it is left in the pot once you’re done… unless you dump it all over your meat and veggies like we did. Because it’s awesome.

Catch y’all tomorrow!

Posted in January 2018 | Leave a comment

Snow No

I got home from the gym around 10:30 today and it was 61 degrees and sunny. When I left the house to go pick up the kids at 3, it was 39 degrees, cloudy and windy. We were actually supposed to see some snow flurries this evening, but NO. Just really cold. Get it together, Texas… though we did have a pretty sunset.

Dinner last night was SO GOOD. I found this recipe for cheesy low-carb taco casserole on Pinterest and decided to give it a try. It’s basically just cauliflower rice and ground beef mixed together, along with onion, ro-tel, green onions and LOTS OF CHEESE. So simple but really, really delicious.

Topped mine with sour cream, guacamole and jalapenos.

This one is going into the rotation for sure. You could easily swap out the ground beef for turkey, too.

Pretty excited that tomorrow is Friday AND the kids are off Monday. Yay for 3-day weekends!!

Posted in January 2018 | Leave a comment

Mississippi Pot Roast

Dinner tonight was new for me/leftovers for Brian. I had a friend’s birthday dinner on Sunday night, but that morning I threw a roast into the crockpot to make Mississippi pot roast. It’s so easy and we actually had everything on hand except for the meat and the peppers.

You just brown the roast in a skillet, then transfer to a slow cooker. Sprinkle on a packet of French onion soup mix and a packet of ranch dressing mix. Place a stick of butter (I know!) on top of the roast and then top with a few peperoncini’s.

Brian and Jack had it for dinner on Sunday, then we had leftovers of it tonight. Despite the peppers, it’s not spicy at all. If you wanted it spicy, you could add some of the pepper liquid to the slow cooker or just add more peppers. Also, I used unsalted butter and felt that it turned out plenty salty. I basically never buy salted butter, but in case you do I would avoid using it in this recipe.

It is SO GOOD. The flavor is amazing and the meat just falls apart. Tonight we had it with mashed cauliflower and green beans, but this would be great for sandwiches too.

Tuesdays are currently our busy days (plus tonight we ran to Target for a few things after ballet and didn’t get home until 6ish), so it was really nice to have something we could just heat up for dinner.

Hoping to catch up on some reading tonight and head to bed early- like that ever happens!

Posted in January 2018 | Leave a comment

Back to School and Butter Chicken

Well Christmas break is officially over- the kids went back to school today. We’ve been lax on the bedtime routine these past few weeks, so I was a little nervous about how this morning would go… but both were easy to wake up and seemed excited to go back! Whew. I made it back to the gym today for the first time in like 3 weeks, so I guess we’re all back in our usual routines.

I had some major realizations over the break about how much I need to declutter. It feels like everywhere I look I see PILES. I did a major car clean out on Friday, then today I attempted to tackle our bathroom. Oh man. I spent at least 2 hours on it this afternoon and still only managed to clean out my side of the bathroom (just the vanity/under-sink storage… I still have a big cabinet to go through). It feels so good to pare down, but geez it’s time consuming!!

For dinner tonight I made Instant Pot butter chicken. I’ve made it before, but this time I added a few dollops of coconut cream (they sell it in a can at Trader Joe’s- NOT cream of coconut) to thicken it up. It’s a pretty simple recipe, though the spice list is pretty extensive. I left out the fenugreek but had everything else on hand.

Ingredients (minus spices and ghee):

You saute the onions in the Instant Pot, then add quartered chicken thighs and cook until no longer pink. Add in the spices and tomato sauce, then pressure cook for a few minutes. Release the pressure and add bell pepper (simmering until the pepper softens), then stir in coconut milk. Easy!

Served over cauliflower rice. I also squeezed some lime juice on top.

So good! It does contain a little cayenne but really isn’t spicy. I didn’t even try to feed it to the kids, but if yours like Indian food then this seems pretty kid-friendly.

Ok off to finish up that bathroom. Wish me luck!

Posted in January 2018 | Leave a comment

Birthday Boy

Just got back from dinner tonight celebrating the *almost* birthday boy! Brian turns 37 tomorrow (Friday).

Haha, Stevie used his cake topper to wish him an especially happy b-day.

I’m getting a little sad that school starts back on Monday! It’s been nice not having a real schedule. We have spent SO much time at home over this break- the kids have been happy to just play with their toys and veg. I think we go so much during the school year that they miss having time to just chill out at home.

That said, I’m chomping at the bit to start clearing out old toys once they go back to school. I thought I did a pretty good job paring down before the break but NO.

The low-carb, keto thing is going well (for 3 days in, ha). I did have wine at book club last night and at Brian’s birthday dinner tonight, but my meals have been pretty on point. I feel like I’m not as sluggish in the afternoons- probably because I’m not pounding handfuls of Christmas cookies.

For lunch the other day I had no idea what to make. In the fridge we had a big bag of Asian salad mix from Costco and a pound of ground turkey.

I ended up browning the turkey, removing it from the skillet, then sauteeing all the salad veggies in avocado oil. I added the turkey back to the pan, along with mushrooms, some toasted sesame oil and the packet of cashews and sesame seeds that came with the salad (I picked out the wonton strips). Served with a little Sriracha:

Really good! Kind of an eggroll-in-a-bowl thing. The turkey was super lean so next time I’ll probably use ground beef or pork to up the fat (ha, that’s a first…).

Have a great weekend!

Posted in January 2018 | Leave a comment

Eating Our Veggies

We’ve been slowly making our way through the piles upon piles of leftover holiday food in our house. I may or may not have eaten tamales for breakfast this morning (literally never get tired of them). With the kids home it’s been nice not having to worry about meal planning… but I will say that I’m ready to start eating a little cleaner.

Nothing drastic (’til Jan 1…, or more likely 2… that is) but today I did make a HUGE pot of bean and ham soup. My parents brought a Honeybaked Ham over here for Christmas, along with a packet of bean soup mix, so this morning I prepped all of the ingredients and threw them in the crock pot.

I sauteed a diced onion, some shredded carrots and about a cup of diced celery in olive oil until the veggies started to soften. Then I threw in a couple of minced garlic cloves, cooked for another 30 seconds or so, and added the mix to the slow cooker. Then I added the ham bone (which was gigantic), maybe a cup of diced ham, the rinsed beans, 2 bay leaves and the enclosed spice packet to the pot. Poured in 8 cups of chicken broth and cooked on low for about 7 hours.

Removed the ham bone, then added 2 cans of diced tomatoes. For some reason you’re not supposed to add tomatoes until the end when you’re cooking beans?

Cooked for another 30 minutes or so and then served:

Perfect meal for a COLD night- it’s in the 30′s here right now!

I can’t believe it’s almost Friday. Loving these short weeks! Hope everyone has a fun NYE!

Posted in December 2017 | Leave a comment

Christmas 2017 Recap

Hello again!! Hope everyone had a wonderful, relaxing Christmas! It feels like we’ve done a million things since I last posted. We had Brian’s firm Christmas party on Thursday, our friends’ party (with Santa!) on Friday, “framily” Christmas lunch on Saturday, brunch/gift exchange with my parents and brother’s family on Sunday morning, Christmas Eve mass that evening, followed by extended family party at my parents’ house that night. We spent all day Christmas Day at home for the first time. We’d just been running like crazy with holiday activities, Brian had been working constantly, and then with Isla just getting over strep we felt like we needed a low-key day.


My little baking helpers:

We made those little Rolo pretzels with pecans and M&Ms, and Ritz crackers sandwiched with PB and dipped in milk and white chocolate. It’s so fun- they’re at a great age for helping!

Meeting Santa at our friends’ Christmas party- one was way more into it than the other. #secondgradersaretoocool

Framily Christmas with the Barteau’s and the Juttons!

First look at what Santa left! This is actually NOT the first look. I tried to shoot a video but my stupid phone wouldn’t cooperate.

Presents! Jack realllllly wanted the Nintendo Switch, so he was super pumped. Isla just wanted everything- like literally every toy she saw on TV between September and December. But the good news is that she also gets really excited about everything! So she was a happy girl too.

I’m a little sad Christmas is over, but the kids still have 11 more days off! It’s kind of nice to have all of this after-Christmas time with them to just relax. We literally have NOTHING planned and I’m pretty happy about it.

Posted in December 2017 | Leave a comment

The Great Strep Battle of 2017

Well it’s been a rough couple of days but it finally looks like Isla’s on the mend. She seemed ok most of the day yesterday, but then fell asleep in the car on the way to pick Jack up from school. I moved her to the couch and she slept for another 2 hours (NOT normal- she is my never-napping child). I went to go wake her up and her forehead was on fire: 104.4 temp! I had a hard time getting it down. Put her in a lukewarm bath, gave her tylenol (FYI- ibuprofen is better for fevers that high… which I know NOW after talking to the nurse last night), but at 11pm her temp was back up to almost 104 again. Gave her ibuprofen, moved her to my bed, and she slept until almost 11 this morning. She had a slight fever this morning but has seemed great since. Honestly the absolute worst part is getting her to take any medicine. I ended up adding the fever reducer to her smoothie this morning, but we’re really struggling with the amoxicillin. She HATES it. Like it’s literally an hour process to get her to take one dose. We’ve tried everything- mixing it into her smoothie, chasing it with Sprite, bribing her with everything under the sun, texting Santa (I know, shameless). And only SEVEN more days of it! So if you have any tips, send them over…

That was probably way more info than you wanted on the strep throat battle! Tomorrow is our last day of school. It’s actually a half day and basically just class parties, but I’m glad that it looks like Isla will be able to attend.

Dinner tonight was that super easy tamale bake that I made a couple of months ago. I just picked up a package of chicken tamales from Trader Joe’s, along with shredded Mexican blend cheese and a jar of pineapple salsa (thought it would be more kid-friendly). Steamed the tamales in the microwave, then unwrapped them and placed them in a 9×13 baking dish. Topped with the jar of salsa and then sprinkled with cheese. Baked at 350 for about 15 minutes.

Served with Spanish rice and salad:

Not even really a recipe, but hey- it’s been a crazy week!

Just realized that Sunday is Christmas Eve so I probably won’t post again until the 26th. Have a Merry Christmas!!

Posted in December 2017 | Leave a comment