Wednesday after Brian came home from school, we packed up and headed to Lake Chelan to spend Thanksgiving with Grandma and Grandpa Ronk at their condo! It was a very low key Thanksgiving but I think that it was perfect for all of us to just relax a bit!
Kenley really wanted that "grape" (olive) and she took one bite and declared it "a bad one" and that she needed to throw it away. Silly girl! Claire ate 3 1/2 baked sweet potatoes and loved every bite! After dinner we decided to head to the pool. Everyone else seemed to have the same idea because it was packed!
Claire hated the pool and death gripped whoever was holding her. Kenley loved swimming and being tossed back and forth between Grandpa and Daddy! Its pretty funny how they each reacted because Claire LOVES bath/shower time and Kenley HATES it!
We also played a lot of Pinochle, as well as Hearts... How was Hearts Terri? :)On Saturday Grandma and Grandpa headed home and graciously allowed us to stay an extra night! There wasn't much to do because it was so cold so we decided to build a big fort! We weren't sure if Kenley was old enough to "get it" but she was and she LOVED it!! Okay, Okay, I loved it too! Inside the fort, Claire decided that she would crawl! She has been so close for such a long time now and she finally went for it! So now we have a crawler just in time for us to set up the Christmas tree... We will see how that goes!
You might not have a few of the ingredients that I have been posting about lately as staples in your pantry yet, but you should!
NuNaturals Vanilla Liquid Stevia-Stevia is a plant based sweetener that is sugar free but 300 times sweeter than sugar. I really enjoy the NuNaturals brand because it doesn't have a bitter aftertaste like some of the other stevia brands. I often add stevia to my smoothies and juices to make them just a bit sweeter. I bought my bottle at the Sno-Isle food co-op for around $14.99, it seems pricey but since the liquid is so concentrated it will last you for a long time! I wish I would have known about stevia during my sugar free months! It would have made them so much easier!
Himalayan Pink Salt- This salt is superior to table salt and sea salt because it contains more minerals and doesn't cause bloating like table salt. This post by Kimberly Snyder explains it well! It costs about $1.99 at Trader Joe's which is the same price as all of the other salts so this is an easy switch!
Peanut Butter Balls are always a favorite around the holidays but did you know that a traditional peanut butter ball can have around 200 calories a piece? Yikes!
My Skinny Mini Peanut Butter Balls only have about 30 calories a piece and they taste so creamy and peanut buttery that you wont feel like you are missing out on the "real deal" at all. These balls are low in sugar and low in fat but don't contain any suspect "diet" ingredients! Winning!
Mix first 4 ingredients together into a bowl until well combined then roll into 15 balls. Place balls in the refrigerator for 7-10 minutes to harden while you melt chocolate either in the microwave or a double boiler. Remove balls from fridge and dip in melted chocolate. Either leave at room temperature to harden and serve right way or store in the fridge. I enjoy them cold from the fridge!
I had started a food blog but then I decided that it was too much work to keep up a separate food blog apart from this blog so I decided to roll them both into one blog that will include family, food, and fitness! I hope you don't mind! :)
Hopefully the updated tabs at the top will be helpful for finding recipes and such too!
Everyday I am so amazed by how quickly Kenley's brain picks up on the things around her. She isn't even two and a half and yet she is already a pro at working my iPhone. She knows which apps are the games for her and can go back and forth between them. Her favorite right now is "the elephant game" aka Tiny Ear.
I guess she also enjoys taking pictures of her elephant, which she named June, because when I plugged my phone in today I noticed about 12 pictures of June. :)
This is the classic tired Kenley look... Big sleepy eyes and rubbing her nose with her blanket :)
Onto the food...
Last nights dinner was so great! Sundays meals weren't very full of veggies so I tried to make up for it with Monday's dinner. Roasted asparagus topped with goat gouda, mashed potatoes and carrots, and an amazing spinach salad.
I always know that the meal is good if Brian asks for seconds! I never expected him to ask for seconds of a spinach salad! It's so good that we were fighting over the last bits! Amazing Spinach Salad
1 bag of baby spinach
1/2 bag of Trader Joe's rosemary pecans and cranberries
1/2 container of Trader Joe's crumbled goat cheese
1 red onion, sliced and lightly sauteed in a bit of coconut oil
Seriously try it! Even if you think that you don't like spinach, try it! You are probably wrong about not liking spinach. :)
As for the fitness section, I think that I am going to start using that section to post my proposed workout plan for each week. I think it will be a good way to keep goals for myself and track the progress that I make. *I think* that Brian might even pop by for a few fitness posts! We will see!
1 more month until this lady turns 1! I know that I say it every time, but seriously how is she 11 months old already?
Claire loves to eat lately! Bananas, Pears, Apples, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Carrots, Kamut Puffs, you name it, she will eat it! As long as she gets to feed it to herself!
She is slowing down a bit with nursing since she has been eating so many table foods. Quite frankly I don't mind cutting back on the feedings because she is a biter....
She is so happy and mellow. One morning I went in her room 2 hours after she normally wakes up and she was just sitting up in her crib not making a peep.
She is finally getting to the age where she and Kenley can play together a little bit. It is so cute! Kenley absolutely loves it when they get to sit in the carts with the steering wheels together!
Claire loves to jibber jabber and laugh.
She still isn't quite crawling yet. But I think that she just doesn't do it in front of us because she has a knack for moving across the room very quickly when my eyes aren't on her. Today at church she was sitting on the floor in front of our pew during singing and next thing we know we look over and she is completely under the pew and Brian had to get down on all fours to scoop her out from under the pew!
She is starting to pull herself up and likes to practice standing!
When I first came home from the hospital after having Claire the only food that really sounded good to me was soup and bread. Our church family was kind enough to bring us many meals that first month home and anytime anyone called to see what we would like for dinner I was quick to say "Soup & Bread!". There were also many times where I would send Brian to the store for sourdough bread.
The other night Brian was called back up to sour dough bread buying duty. With the nights getting chillier I have been craving soup and bread once again. I used to love my southwest soup but I wanted something a little bit cleaner... and vegan... and full of vegetables. I started off by sauteing an onion and then threw nearly every vegetable we had in the fridge into the pot. The resulting soup has a nice hint of heat from the salsa but it mild enough that even Kenley enjoyed it!
I added a cup of navy beans to the soup because they were in the fridge and needed to be used up but the soup will be great with or without them. The great thing about soup is you can throw random leftovers in and it will still taste delicious! Vegetable Verde Soup
1 onion, quartered and sliced
4 large carrots, sliced
4 stalks celery, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced
2 T coconut oil
4 whole garlic cloves, smashed (mine were on the smaller side)
1 cup corn
1 cup navy beans (optional)
2 cartons vegetable broth
1 jar salsa verde
salt and pepper
In a large pot over medium heat add coconut oil and onions. Cook until onions are soft and translucent.
Add carrots, garlic, celery, and zucchini. Saute until just tender.
Add broth, salsa, corn, and beans to the pot and bring soup to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer covered for 20-30 minutes.
Add salt and pepper to taste and remove garlic cloves.
Serve with crusty (sourdough) bread!
I am contemplating starting a sourdough starter and regularly making sourdough bread, does anyone know a good place for me to start?
I have gotten into the habit of eating half of a Larabar before my group fitness classes and the other half after. Half before really seems to fuel me without weighing me down. My favorite flavor would have to be Chocolate Chip Brownie followed closely by Chocolate Chip Cherry Torte. Obviously not the healthiest flavors and as I am sure you know, Larabars are not cheap! I thought I would try my hand at making a brownie version of my own minus the chocolate chips.
I was trying to use my juicer to make these but then I had some technical difficulties and had to switch over to using my food processor. I really think the juicer would have given these a much smoother texture so I will have to try again!
1/4 cup Pecans
1/4 cup Cashews
1/4 cup Raisins
1-2 Tbsps Cocoa Powder depending on taste
Process all ingredients together in food processor until smooth. Shape into a rectangle and cut into 8 squares or balls. Store in fridge until ready to eat.
These would also taste great if you threw a few dried cherries in! I didn't have any but I will definitely try that next time!
I did it! I ran a 5k! I finished in 33:14 which is a really great pace for me. I said my goal was just to not stop running but secretly I hoped to finish in under 35 minutes.... Mission accomplished!! Pre-Race: (My mom came with to cheer me on and took this picture... to which I replied "Mom, you can not take pictures in locker rooms!!") My workout buddy Emily!! Mom and Brian both weren't even watching as I crossed the finish line because they thought it would take me way longer to run it!
I felt great during the run! Emily and I broke apart around the halfway point and then I made it my mission to just keep picking people off. I am competitive :)
Post run: We did it!! Emily and I both won turkeys in the raffle! Here are all the pictures that I stole off the EverettFF Facebook!
I was the 4th female to finish! I think that there were about 10 females running so that is kinda neat!
I am totally hooked on running races now! It was so fun and I feel so accomplished!