When Summer Gives Way to Fall

September 21st, 2016

Life continues forward at quite a busy pace (as I know it is for all of us).   We finished Whole 30 and that evening I went out and got some amazing sushi take out.    I rarely eat rice, in fact- sushi is my exception, or unless I’m at someone else’s home and they make rice.   I don’t even keep rice in the house- Quinoa yes, rice, nope.

We had some REALLY warm temperatures for our area last week to the point of I was watching the weather like a hawk, counting down until the daytime highs were around 70.    I was over the moon when that day finally arrived and I’ve been enjoying them ever since.img_9348   I guess it’s ‘safe’ to say that we are kissing summer goodbye for 2016 and on the threshold of leaping into Fall.

Since some of the summer fruits are still amazing-  I made myself a bowl of Greek yogurt this morning with fresh fruit.  As you can see, I’m still playing with my food, but I believe starting the day with happy colors sets the tone for the entire day.    I couldn’t eat this without smiling, so it definitely did it’s job, in addition to nourishing my body.   Add a fresh cup of coffee and it was pure bliss.

It was also very simple to make-    Greek yogurt- strawberry puree that I made from fresh strawberries an did a reduction on the stoves, blueberries, mango and a little Kashi granola.    It was done and ready to eat in less than five minutes and that includes the peeling of the mango.

As the last of the summer fruit makes its way out to give way to Fall, I find myself thinking more and more about steel cut oats and other delicious Fall eats-    What about you?  What is your favorite Fall breakfast?

 

Loud Dreams

September 21st, 2016

Last night I had a dream that my neighbor had a concert in our street.   It is no secret in our neighborhood that he has aspirations of being the next Bono and he does have a lot of talent.    But I did wake up in the middle of the night with my heart pounding, because I was worried about being kept awake by the egnater rebel 30. As it turns out- it was only a dream. When I ran into him today- I told him about it and he laughed. He said as fun as it sounds, he doesn’t see it happening as our city would protest it in a big way. I believe he’s right.

Two More Days

September 11th, 2016

I am happy to report that I have ‘almost’ made it through another Whole 30.    I will be the first to admit that this time around has been MUCH more difficult for me than the first time.    The reason why, I believe is because my husband joined in and it made meal prep extremely challenging and time consuming.   I’m very easy-  I can keep things simple for myself and keep rolling along, but he isn’t quite that flexible.   He decided mid Whole 30 that he no longer wanted eggs or anything to do with them.    Oyyy-   That somewhat limited breakfast, but he did finally agree to breakfast with eggs- and his lunches have become daily salads- which I’ve added a variation to.       I would spend time each week cutting and shredding veggies, then all I’d have to do is add the base of mixed greens and various toppings- and a drizzle of good olive oil.   He was happy and so was I.

It has been a good experience though and he swears nothing has changed for him.  I find that hard to believe, but I have to take him at his word.  Those guys-  you gotta love em. :)

Late Night Sounds

September 11th, 2016

I was up somewhat late last night- first talking to mom and then my sister. I always enjoy my conversations with both of them, so last night was no exception. It was a great way to spend my Saturday evening. At around 12:30 I decided I had better get into bed and I start hearing music coming from somewhere. I listened and eventually was able to pinpoint that it was coming from my neighbor’s home. He’s in a band and when I saw him this morning he asked if he kept me up last night with the noise. He said he’d received a new boss gt-8 and couldn’t wait to test it. I told him it did bother me a little but nothing that I couldn’t manage since he doesn’t do it often. He’s a great neighbor and I love seeing him thrive with his music passion.

Welcome September

September 1st, 2016

IMG_8580Can you believe it, we are 2/3 through this year!    Four more months and we will be ringing in a new year.   First though, lets not get ahead of ourselves as there is still a lot of fun to be had between now and then.

September-  the month where summer gently gives way into autumn-  the air shifts and a slight crispness can be felt.  I’ve been feeling it for several weeks, despite some very warm weather.  How about you?    It’s also the month of my dad’s birthday. I was blessed enough to be able to spend last year with him, so I can’t complain much this year, although I’ll miss spending some time with him on his special day.

The daylight hours are getting shorter, and life tends to slow a little.   I love this time of year-  what about you?

In Full Whole 30 Swing

August 31st, 2016

We are on day 18 or 19 of Whole 30.  It’s round 2 for me0  round one for my guy.    This time has been more of a challenge for me, as I spend a lot more time in the kitchen making breakfasts and lunches for my husband- since he’s so used to having a sandwich of some sort every day.  Whole 30 breakfast On the days he works early in the morning- I’m left to my own vices for breakfast-   which today was a vice of mashed sweet potatoes, bacon, avocado mash, and scrambled eggs.   I added a little pepper to add a kick, oh and a few pumpkin seeds.    It was delicious & simple.   Two things I can really get behind when I’m doing Whole 30, or anytime, really.

Dinner tonight was another simple fare-  chicken breast that had been seasoned and grilled,  roasted eggplant and zucchini-  alongside a few browned potato slices.     I kept the potatoes at a low-  but again, an easy meal.

What’s your favorite ‘go to’ healthy meal?

 

Warm Weather Eats

August 24th, 2016

Just when I was sure Fall was knocking on the door-  summer came back with a vengeance.  Tropical temperatures for a few days, then the wind will shift and the hint of Fall will reappear-   In the meantime?   We have been eating salads since yesterday with more on the menu for the rest of this week.     It’s the great thing about the summer season, there are SO many wonderful delicious vegetables out there.   I spent a good portion of the day yesterday roasting vegetables, grating and peeling others and the fridge is stocked full of salad healthy salad toppings.    We have an assortment of greens, and since we’re doing Whole 30 we are forgoing the salad dressing fare and adding a bit of olive oil and the juice from the roasted tomatoes.  It’s so delicious and healthy on top of that.    You can’t go wrong with either.

Dessert has been fresh fruits-  all of which is a whole lot of delicious!

What is your favorite warm weather ‘go to’ meal?

 

 

Learning Something New

August 24th, 2016

My brother is in the process of building a new home, so I haven’t talked to him as often as I usually do. The other day I gave him a call, and while he was giving me an update he started talking about vapor mitigation and he lost me. I interrupted him in the midst of a technical explanation that sounded ‘Greek’ to me, so that I could have him explain it more in terms that his dear sister would understand. Granted, he laughed at the idea of me not having knowledge of something and him actually having to explain it to ‘big sis’, but he did explain it well enough that I got the gist of what he was trying to explain.

Since I’ve never built a home from the ground up- or had one built, I really didn’t know that sometimes you need to have things tested for specific sorts of toxic gases. I asked a lot of questions, some of which he had answers to and some he didn’t. When I could tell he was getting frustrated at my endless questions, I gave it a rest and asked him something much less time consuming to answer: What color scheme are you using in the house? He did send me some photos and I’ll admit it made me homesick and wishing I could be there to help when they get ready to move in, plus to help decorate and do little things that need to be done along the way. It’s one of the many things I miss out on by not living nearby. Thank goodness for technology which allows me not only to talk to my family and friends regularly, but also allows me to easily look up information about subjects that I have no knowledge about.

Summers Bounty- Roasted Tomatoes

August 19th, 2016

There is something about a good farmer’s market that brings me joy. Local fruits and vegetables, providing great produce to cook along with each season. Right now, tomatoes are in abundance & if you have never tried a fresh from the vine tomato, you’re missing out on something special. (Unless of course you hate tomatoes, then that’s a horse of an entirely different color.)

tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, healthy, seasonal cooking The only thing even better than a farm fresh summer tomato is roasted farm fresh tomatoes. They are SO easy to make and the depth of flavor that they add to pretty much everything is beyond comparison. They are great pureed in soups, eaten on salads, added to quiches or other dishes, or tossed on hot pasta. I keep mine in a glass jar in the fridge and we’ve been eating them on everything.

Plus the bonus is that tomatoes are extremely healthy, so you get a flavor win and a health win.   That’s something to celebrate!

Want to know how easy they are to make?    Want no more— Here I used various cherry & grape tomatoes, but you can use ANY tomato you wish.

 

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

  • 1 pound (or more) fresh tomatoes of any sort, or a mixed variety- washed
  • sea salt- to taste
  • pepper- to taste
  • garlic powder- to taste
  • italian herbs (optional) – to taste
  • regular olive oil or grapeseed oil  (I switch between the two- usually whichever I grab)  I often will add a little more of the ‘good stuff’ EVOO when they are done before I store them in the glass jar.     As far as amounts-  I  drizzle what looks good to me-  a few tablespoons to a 1/4 cup depending on how many tomatoes it is.

Preheat oven to 375-

  • Rinse tomatoes and add to baking dish
  • sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt, fresh ground cracked black pepper (or whatever you prefer), italian herbs.
  • Stir with wooden spoon to incorporate everything evenly.
  • Put in middle of oven and bake until desired doneness.

As you can see I bake mine until they start to pop and then also begin to brown on top-   Depending on your oven that could be between 25-40 minutes.    I start checking mine at 20 and then again every 10 minutes after that.   I pull them from the oven when they are my personal desired doneness and then leave them on the counter to cool if I’m not using them for a specific dish at that moment.    Once cooled, I transfer them, juice and all to a glass container with an airtight lid.  They also freeze well for a quick pasta or soup dish.

 

If you make these tomatoes, I’d love to know how you used them.  I’m always looking for some new cooking inspiration.

 

Happy weekend!

Home Again

August 10th, 2016

After a few days of travel and adventure this week- Marcel and I landed safely at home again. I’m a little tired, but on the whole I feel rejuvenated and inspired from the time spent away. I feel more determined than ever to get some of the projects here in house completed, plus since we got home & I was able to get everything unpacked and put away- all the laundry done- the other household ‘fun’ done such as vacuuming and mopping- tomorrow I can have a day to myself to work on some scheduling and planning.

I was hoping to get the window completed tomorrow, but it looks like the weather isn’t going to be cooperating with that idea, so I’ll work on some projects inside. There isn’t a lack of things that need to be done, plus I need to get some meal prep written for our upcoming Whole 30 plan we’re going to be starting. This will be my second one, but Marcel’s first. I want to make sure that it’s a success for him.

Tonight- I’m planning on curling up and doing a little catch up on some of my favorite shows. I don’t know about you, but I can smell fall in the air. The daylight hours are getting shorter, but the air has that fall crispness to it that I adore.

Have you noticed?e

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