Sunday, February 26, 2017

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Friday, February 24, 2017

TGIF~Dinner Addition

Hello, hello!  TGIF.

  I had planned to get a few more posts up this week, but in keeping up with a 9 week old puppy (who has learned that stairs are fun and making Gigi chase him up them is even more entertaining) and getting a few projects wrapped up (which I hope to share next week) it didn't happen.

He's down for his morning nap, so I thought I'd pop in and share a yummy recipe we made last night. How many of you remember the good old box of Hamburger Helper?  I personally was not a huge fan of it growing up, but hubby was so I knew he would love this recipe.  This gluten free, dairy free, healthier version is so much better than the boxed variety I remember eating many a weeknight growing up.  #2 approved too.  And the best part, one pot!

Homemade Hamburger Helper

1 lb ground beef (we prefer grass fed)
1 C onion, diced
1 tsp each paprika, parsley, oregano, garlic powder, salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp tomato paste for extra flavor (optional), you can also add a bit of hot chili sauce if you'd like
1 1/2 C beef broth (we use Pacific brand)
2 1/3 C gluten free noodles (we use Tinkiyada spirals, can be purchased at Whole Foods)
1 C cheddar cheese (we use Daiya Cheddar Shreds, Follow Your Heart is good too)
1-2 tsp gluten-free Worcestershire sauce


1. Preheat a 10 inch skillet with a tight fitting lid over medium heat.
2. Add in your ground beef and diced onion, brown.
3. Add in all the spices.
4. Stir in the liquids and noodles.
5. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover, and turn the heat to low.
6. Simmer about 10-15 minutes until the noodles are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
7. Remove from the heat, vent the lid, and let rest to absorb the remaining liquid for about 5 minutes.
8. Stir in the cheese and Worcestershire, taste, add more salt if necessary.


Original recipe can be found here.

And now I will leave you will a whole lot of cuteness...

Left: Week One Right: Week Two

Hanging out in my toy basket.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Motivational Monday~

Hello friends.  Is it just me or is 2017 off to a very fast paced start?  I mean, it's already February 20th.  Weren't we just celebrating the New Year???

Today I thought I'd share what I am currently reading, as it fits the "motivational" category.  My #2 gifted this book to me for Christmas, as she knows I love the two other books I have read written by Shauna.

Below is a brief summary from Barnes and Noble.

Returning to the theme of decluttering everyday life and concentrating on what is truly important, Niequist (Savor) weaves together a series of essays concerning her personal experiences overcoming a life overwrought with busyness, stress, and feelings of inadequacy. After years of frantic living, Niequist has come to the realization that she’s missing out on the beauty of everyday life with her husband and children—that it will all speed past her if she doesn’t slow down and simplify, learn how to say no to demands on her time, and stop worrying about others’ opinions of her. “Present over perfect living is real over image, connecting over comparing, meaning over mania, depth over artifice,” she writes, explaining along the way that she’s found a new “strength” in embracing quiet surroundings and in spending time alone. To emphasize her points, she quotes Scripture, but does so sparingly and intentionally—more often than not, her included references to her faith are intended only to bolster her own experiences of mindful living. Her style is conversational, friendly, inviting, and never heavy-handed, making the book accessible to people of all faiths. Women will find the advice hits closest to home. Niequist’s latest book is her most satisfying blend of mindfulness, scripture, and self-help to date, offering readers the blueprint for a life lived in the real instead of the ideal. 

I am thoroughly enjoying the book.  

Two others I recommend:

This is a great book with stories of shared meals around the table, and includes some wonderful recipes.

And, I love this devotional book by Shauna as well.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Dish It Up Sunday~Ribeye Nuggets with Jalapeno Pesto

Hi Everyone!  Today I am sharing a dish we originally prepared and shared back in 2014.  We made the dish again this past week and since many on IG inquired about it, I thought it was worth sharing again.  This time around we served it with a side of fire roasted corn.


This past weekend I picked up a new Paleo cookbook.  I loved that most recipes could be prepped ahead or made use of a slow cooker.

Make Ahead Paleo by Tammy Credicott (we found our copy at Barnes and Noble).

Last night we decided to give our first recipe a go.  Ribeye Nuggets with Jalapeno Pesto. The fact that it was St. Patrick's Day, the Jalapeno Pesto's vibrant green color was perfect for the occasion.  And, we decided to serve it with a side steak fries.  Our family is the furthest thing from Irish (we are Polish and German, with a dash of Danish and Scandinavian).

We prepped and made ours same  day, but you can prep ahead.

Container #1

4 ribeye steaks, cut into bite-sized pieces

Container #2
2 TBSP coconut oil (we substituted with olive oil as I cannot have coconut)

Container #3

1/2 C roasted, unsalted macadamia nuts
1 C packed fresh parsley
1/3 C packed cilantro leaves
1 small shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 jalapenos, cored, seeded, and chopped
1 TBSP lime juice
3/4 C olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For Serving Day

Sea salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Serves 4

Prep Day:

1. Place the steak pieces and coconut oil in separate airtight containers (#1 and #2).

2.  In a food processor, puree the pesto ingredients until smooth.  Add more olive oil if needed to get the consistency you like. (we used our Vitamix)

3. Spoon the pesto into airtight container #3.

4. Store the containers in the refrigerator or a cooler until ready to use.

Serving Day:

1. In an electric skillet set to medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil.

2. When the oil is hot, add the steak pieces to the skillet.  Season the steak with sea salt and pepper, and cook until it has browned on all sides but is still pink inside, about 5 minutes.

3. Serve the steak with the pesto drizzled on top. (we served on the side in a ramekin)

Again, we prepared ours same day.  But, I love that the recipes can be prepped ahead of time.  Perfect for busy family weeknights.

So yummy, and easy to prepare.  Looking forward to trying more recipes from the cookbook.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thoughts on Thursday~Puppy Addition

Hello friends!  I took a couple days off this week to focus on our new addition.  If you missed the big news you can read about it here. 

Henley is adjusting quite nicely, and is already fast friends with our Cairn Terrier, Kylee.  She does a great job of wearing him out for his nap times!!

Mom and GiGi are adjusting too.  Early mornings call for lots of coffee!

Trust me when I say having a puppy is like having a baby...only difference, no labor pains! Sometimes I think having a baby is easier...I mean, you can put a diaper on them and take them anywhere ;-)

So with that, I thought I'd share a little puppy humor with you today.

Lots and Lots of Coffee!

He hasn't tried it yet, but just yesterday learned we have stairs!  He can go up, but can't get back down.

Potty training is always fun said no parent of a human or canine baby ever!!!


That face makes is all worthwhile!

This would be us today...

Happy Thursday Friends!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dish It Up Sunday~Sweetness Addition

Hello friends!

Today we are dishing up a whole lot of sweetness along with a whole lot of cuteness...

Those of you who follow along on Instagram got a glimpse of our newest addition yesterday.

Meet Henley, our new grandpuppy (#2 is his mommy).  He is a 7 and a half week old Golden Retriever puppy who joined our family yesterday.

He has the sweetest, most soulful brown eyes (main reason I think #2 picked him out of the bunch). He's already settling in and our "princess", Kylee, seems to be quite smitten with him (it's only the 2nd day, but here's hoping they become fast friends).

His first car ride...once we hit the highway he slept the ENTIRE time, not a peep!

They are already smitten with each other.  (We called him the grumpy old man before she picked him out because in all the pictures the breeder posted he had a furrowed brow and an uncertain look).

He's already choosing his favorites.

Have a blessed week friends.  You can find me loving on this fluff ball!!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Simply Saturday~

Tune in later today to find out...

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thoughts On Thursday~

Deep, I know.

How many times have you found yourself or someone you love struggling to "fit in" or "succeed" only to feel like a wall flower or failure?

Did it ever occur to either of you that maybe it's not about the "person" but rather the environment or situation they are in?

We are all uniquely created as "individuals", therefore we all serve different purposes in this life. While one is a master in mathematics (not me), others are science oriented (not me either), others have the gift of compassion (I'd like to think so) or are gifted in technology (umm...let's not talk about that)...and the list goes on and on, we all have unique talents gifted to us by our creator.  The world would be a very boring place if we were all in ONE CAMP.  Think of seeing the world all in one color...your favorite or otherwise.  BORING!

So, if you are feeling a bit "out of sorts" or like you "don't quite fit the mold"...change things up, do what makes YOU happy! At the end of the day, feel comfortable in you own skin.

Have a blessed day sweet friends.  And more importantly, BE YOU!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

What's For Dinner Wednesday~Bolognese Pasta

Today I am sharing with you a hearty Italian dish.  The sauce is flavorful, and the recipe makes enough to feed a hungry crowd (or to have plenty of leftovers for lunch the following day).

Bolognese Sauce


4 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 oz pancetta, diced
1/2 C dried porcini, soaked, drained and chopped (we omitted as hubby and #2 detest mushrooms)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 large carrot, finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
1 lb ground pork
1 lb extra-lean ground beef
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (we use white)
4 TBS tomato paste
1 1/2 C red wine
2 C low-sodium chicken stock (we use Kitchen Basics)
1 large can San Marzano crushed tomatoes (28oz) *we couldn't find them already crushed, so we purchased whole and crushed with a potato masher)
4 tsp chopped fresh basil, plus torn leaves for garnish is desired
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
1-2 pounds of your favorite pasta (we used penne, fine pasta such as spaghetti or angel hair won't stand up to the heavy sauce)
Pecorino Romano cheese, for garnish (we used Follow Your Heart Shredded Parm for a dairy free option)


1. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat.  Add the pancetta, porcini, garlic, onions, carrots and celery.   Cook 6-7 minutes, or until lightly browned, stirring frequently so the vegetables don't burn or stick.  Deglaze the pan with a 1/2 cup of red wine.
2. Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a dutch oven set over medium-high heat.  Add the ground meat and cook for approximately 10 minutes, stirring frequently so the meat browns evenly. Salt and pepper liberally.  Then, add the tomato paste and saute for 2 minutes.
3. Next, add the vegetables and pancetta to the pot with the meat.  Then, add the remaining 1 cup red wine to deglaze the pot.  Scrape all the bits and pieces that might accumulate and reduce by half, about 5 minutes. Then, add the chicken stock and crushed tomatoes and simmer very gently for 1.5 hours or until the liquid is absorbed.
4. Adjust seasonings to taste (you can add a bit more salt and pepper at this point).  Finish the sauce with the chopped basil and thyme.
5. You have two options for serving: (1) You can add the cooked pasta and 1/2 cup pasta water directly to the pot of bolognese sauce and simmer for 2 minutes to incorporate the sauce into the pasta or (2) You can add the pasta to a plate and spoon the sauce on top of the pasta (how we chose to serve).
6. Garnish with the Pecorino Romano cheese (optional), torn basil and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil on top.

* You will notice in the photo above that the pasta is "mixed", that's what happens when you are trying to use up what you have and want leftovers for lunches ;-)

Bon Appetit!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Motiviational Monday~

Tough loss for our Atlanta Falcons last night.  Congratulations to the New England Patriots, and to Tom Brady for an outstanding game.

I think we can all agree, that whether you win or lose at something, there is always something you can learn from the experience.

It's how you chose to handle the loss that can make all the difference however.

Have a blessed week friends.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Dish It Up Sunday~

For today's menu, we are serving up another "Dirty Bird" recipe...

Atlanta Falcon's Style!


The Atlanta Falcons
The New England Patriots


1. Tune in to the pre-game show at 11:00 am on Fox TV.
2. Prepare game day munchies 11:00 am-5:30 pm. Don't forget to pick up the chicken wings!!
3. Grab a plate and refill your drinks (admit it, you've already started ;-) and claim your spot in front of the big screen tv by 6:00 pm.
4.  6:30 pm Kick Off
5.  Prepare to spend the next 3 hours and 12 minutes cheering on your favorite team, throwing things at the TV, wishing you could strangle a ref or two...and praying that this year brings no wardrobe malfunctions during the half time show!
6. Pray your team won or you'll be hearing about it for the next 12 months!!

Have a fun filled day friends!!

Simply Saturday~

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thoughts on Thursday~

First, I want to say a huge Thank You to all my cheerleaders (either fellow bloggers or IG followers) who have encouraged me the past couple weeks as we tackled some major painting projects in our home.  Both the fireplace surround and the media center are done.  I was advised to let the paint cure for a few days before placing shelves back in and decorating, so that is where we are currently at. I also am editing some decor and making some changes.  I have learned not to rush things over the years because it usually only leads to regret.

I thought I'd share a quote I recently came across while browsing Pinterest.  While waiting for paint to dry one has a bit of extra time. LOL

The older I get the more I find myself thinking about this.  And, my pastor recently preached about leaving a legacy.  What do we want to be remembered for?

I would hope that others remember me for the way I treated them, hopefully with the upmost love, affection and kindness, and that more than anything I was bold enough to share my faith with them and point them to my Heavenly Father. Two of my very favorite songs are Legacy by Nicole Nordeman and I Want to Live Like That (my ringtone) by Sidewalk Prophets.

I honestly believe in the end no one is going to remember what clothes I wore, what latest pair of booties were on my feet, the color of my walls and the list goes on.  At least I hope that isn't the case. Because if I am being honest, I missed the mark if that is the case.

Something to ponder on this Thursday.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

What's For Dinner Wednesday~

Hello my friends.  Been a busy week here at our homestead.  The painters arrived early this morning to paint our media center.  We went from dark chocolate brown to white, and the difference is amazing!  So light and bright.  Will share after the paint has had time to cure and things are back in place.

This week I have another fabulous soup recipe to share with you all.  Cold evenings are perfect for a hearty warm bowl full of flavorful soup.  And, this recipe is packed with flavor.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup (Paleo and Whole 30 Approved)


1-2 lb chicken breasts (frozen or fresh, prefer fresh and organic)
2 TBS cumin
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS cayenne pepper (adjust to amount of heat desired, 1 TBS is SPICY)
1 tsp chili powder
1 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalepeno pepper, de-seeded and finely diced
1 (14oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (32oz) container of chicken stock (no sugar added to make Whole 30 approved)
salt and pepper
1/4 C lime juice
tortilla trips (or plantain chips to make Whole 30 approved)


1. Place chicken breasts in the base of the slow cooker with cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and chili powder and place lid on top.  Cook on high 3-4 hours.
2 After about 2 hours, take chicken breasts out and shred.  Return to the slow cooker.
3. Add in onion, garlic, red bell pepper, jalepeno pepper, diced tomatoes, and chicken stock.
4. Minutes before serving add 1/4 cup of lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Garnish with sliced avocados and plantain chips (or tortilla strips).

Original recipe can be found here.