This will most likely be my last post of the year. I've never really been a "New Years" person, so I don't have exciting plans to share with you. That's ok. I'm hoping to be asleep by 10:30 and not reminisce about this past year because... woof.
There's been a lot of good and bad. And the bad isn't BAD BAD. Just annoying stuff. To start, let's focus on the good. I CREATED MY BLOG! Yeah! We also finished a lot of house projects! I shouldn't say a lot, but we did finish our master bath (kinda - still need a mirror and pendant light lol), and we were able to park A car in the garage (P.S. I'm having a garage sale thing spring). We also painted the original pine ceiling in the family room white. THANK GOODNESS. We added a pergola to our front porch, and I love that little space. We all stayed healthy, and made new lifelong friendships, and for that, I'm thankful. I also learned to wake board. Learning new hobbies is fun. I also watched more sunsets from the boat than I can count. I'm currently missing those times...
BUT, with the good came a lot more bad. Literally everything we own that has a motor broke. The boat we bought broke, the lawn mower broke, the black Jeep broke, our BRAND NEW white Jeep broke (which was thankfully fixed because of warranty, but still sucked because it left Matt stranded on the side of the road hours away and he missed a continuing ed class), the garage door broke, (which was fixed by our awesome neighbor), our brand new stove is acting weird, and our drain field is failing. Our furnace was acting up the other day. I figured it'd be the icing on the cake for 2017, but it somehow pulled through. Fingers crossed. Again, woof.
I'm not one who deals well with stress, and all these broken things and unfinished house projects create a lot of stress in my life. I know it's all in my head, and I'm purposely creating the stress, but, that's just me. The fact that the boat, black Jeep, stove, and drain field are just broken in front of my very eyes is like staring into a spinning black tunnel with no end in sight.
I'm hoping we're somehow able to fix these things in 2018. It's hard when time and money aren't on our side. But, are they ever? I count my blessings - my husband, my children, my health, and my family and friends. It will be ok. Maybe. Lol. I'm thankful I browsed through old photos because it brought me back to reality to realize just how lucky I am.
At the start of every year, I like to stay strict for the entire month of January. I am excited to take you along the journey and share my meals and recipes with you. Every day on my Facebook page and Instagram stories, I will share what I eat for each meal. I hope this gives you some motivation to start the new year off right.
I also want to say thank you to my readers and followers. I've received some amazing messages from you - thanking me for doing what I do and helping them cook meals that your families can eat. I know I'm just a little blogger who writes in my spare time, but thank you for keeping me motivated. You mean more to me than you know.
I hope you all have a safe and healthy rest of 2017 and I'll chat with you next year! :)
This really isn't Christmas Eve paleo lasagna, but I'm calling it that because it's what's for dinner Christmas Eve!
I like to do a lot of prep work before the holiday. Who wants to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas day cooking? Not me. I want to be comfy with a drink in my hand! Today I made my "noodles" for the lasagna (recipe below). These guys can stay in the fridge for up to a week. Can I be frank about traditional noodles? Do they really taste like anything? In my opinion they're tasteless. They're just something that holds the good stuff. I make these like wraps, and cut them to fit my pan, or I layer two large wraps in my pan.
I am in charge of meat and dessert Christmas day, so I have that to prep. I'm also going to prep some paleo biscuits for biscuits and gravy (!!!) and cinnamon roll/sticky bun goodness for Christmas morning! (!!!)
What are your Christmas Eve/Christmas Day traditions?
PALEO LASAGNA NOODLES (aka wraps)
dairy free, grain free, gluten free, and soy free
PALEO LASAGNA FILLING
THERE IS SNOW IN MICHIGAN TODAY! FINALLY! I really love where I live. I love the four seasons. And when we have snow during the holidays, it's just plain magical. I can't imagine being anywhere else but here. I LOVE MICHIGAN!
I also love these PALEO Christmas cookies! Now, I can't take full responsibility for this recipe. Matt's grandma has a great Christmas cookie recipe. They're spiced and have citrus zest. It's everything dreamy in a cookie. BUT, you all know that eating "regular" Christmas cookies doesn't fly in this house. So, Matt and I worked with some ingredients and added his grandma's touches to the dough. They turned out lovely and even have great texture.
The frosting is kinda paleo. I say kinda because there's no way to replace powdered sugar. There are paleo frostings out there, but I promise they are gross and meh and not worth the effort. Instead of buying the usual Domino powdered sugar, I buy organic powdered sugar that's made with tapioca starch instead of corn starch. I also use organic palm shortening instead of Crisco. Did you know Crisco is soybean oil?! I also use natural food dyes and sprinkles. You wouldn't think something so small like a sprinkle could be so toxic. I found some awesome naturally died organic sprinkles that are made with tapioca instead of corn. I can't find them online, but they are available at Whole Foods for $2. I also picked up the natural food coloring at Whole Foods for $2.50/color. You can find the palm shortening at your local Kroger for $6.
Happy baking and I hope these become a new holiday favorite in your home!
PALEO CHRISTMAS COOKIES W/ FROSTING
Makes 20 cookies
dairy free, gluten free, grain free, and soy free
Last Sunday I cooked a pasture raised, nitrate free smoked Christmas ham from Greener Grass Farms! I did a simple pineapple ginger glaze with a pinch of chili flakes and it was the best. ham. ever. It was tender, juicy, and crispy. It was all the things that a ham should be. We had leftovers for days. I topped a pizza with the leftover ham and even threw some ham into my fave broccoli kale soup.
If you'd like to reserve your Christmas ham, call Dan or Deb! I know I've talked about this before, but please know where your meat comes from! Know that your animals are taken care of and respected. Know what they ate. Support a local farmer. Your body will thank you. I promise.
PALEO PINEAPPLE GINGER GLAZED SMOKED HAM
I LOVE BANANA BREAD! And I love paleo banana bread even more. I had five super ripe organic bananas that needed used, so this banana bread was just the ticket. I like to eat my banana bread with grass fed butter!
STEPH'S PALEO SPICED BANANA BREAD W/ WALNUTS
dairy free, grain free, gluten free, and soy free
Happy December! Why not start December off by saving some money? I'm here to help you do just that! I recently stumbled over Thrive Market. I fell in love with it because they carry a lot of items that fit my lifestyle. I can easily find hard to find paleo ingredients that I can't find at my local grocery store. If you live in a small town like me, it can be hard to find certain ingredients and foods.
What I really love about Thrive is that I can easily search for paleo and soy free foods. AND their products are non-gmo and organic! You can filter different options to fit you! Isn't that great? SO. I'm going to attach a link below. Click it and sign up! You get 25% off your purchase PLUS an ADDITIONAL $20 your first three orders. You can't beat it!
Here you go! http://thrv.me/BXGeYN (COPY & PASTE!)
Now go stock up on all your fave stuff. Happy shopping :)