Monday, June 30, 2014

101 Things in 1001 Days: #26 - Add 50 New Amazing Recipes to My Recipe Book


This is a go-to Paleo quick weeknight dinner. We made these tacos with some of the ground pork we got from the farmers market a couple of weeks ago. This recipe is great but pairing that with local organic meat puts it over the top in flavor.

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Ground Pork Tacos


Ingredients

1lb ground pork 
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp ground pepper
5 or more lettuce leaves (I used Boston Red Leaf Lettuce)
taco toppings like diced green peppers/red peppers/avocado/onions etc. 

Directions
  1.  In a small bowl, mix using your hands, the ground pork and all the seasoning (except the salsa). Place the meat in a frying pan and turn the heat to medium. Constantly stir the meat making sure to breakup any large pieces.
  2. Once the meat is cooked drain the fat from the pan.
  3. Place the meat on the lettuce wraps and top with your favorite taco toppings
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#26 - Add 50 new amazing recipes to my recipe book


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Saturday, June 28, 2014

BluePrint Juice Cleanse



For the last couple of months I have been toying with the idea of trying a juice cleanse. Juice cleanses have become very fashionable at the moment and I cannot say that I am not intrigued. The one factor standing in my way from jumping on the bandwagon is the price. The most popular cleanse here on the east coast seems to be The BluePrint Juice Cleanse. The BluePrint Cleanse runs around $195 for a three day cleanse and they also offer an option to get the juices delivered monthly. If you attempt to go for the home-made solution I feel that you need knowledge about what specific produce provides for your body. If you make your own juices without the necessary information you can run the risk of depriving your body of essential nutrients just because your chose the produce you like or tastes the best. Personally, I do not feel as if I have the needed expertise to make the juices myself. Comparing the price of a ready-made cleanse vs. home-made, I am not sure if there will be much difference. If you choose the home-made option you will need to purchase all the organic produce as well as the juicer which can run close to the cost of purchasing an already-made cleanse. Although owning a juicer can pay off in the long run I am not ready to make that kind of commitment. 

Recently, I have noticed that my local health food store is beginning to carry the BluePrint juices and selling them individually. Individually each juice runs between $6.99 - $13.29. I am lucky enough to have a 20% employee discount at this store and everyone knows I like a bargain. So here is my announcement: I will be attempting a one day cleanse in the near future! I realize that normal juice cleanses are three days but I have spoken with a friend of mine that I consider a juice cleanse guru and she advised me to start off slow. If all goes as planned I may be expanding into multiple day cleanses. As soon as I figure out the details about when I will be completing this cleanse I will post those specifics. I will also be writing a full review about every step of the way.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

101 Things in 1001 Days: #26 - Add 50 New Amazing Recipes to My Recipe Book


This was my first attempt at a frittata and I have to say that it was rather easy. To prepare this dish took close to an hour. My personal opinion is that I would rather spend more time cooking dinner than breakfast because I usually want something fast and yummy. Once in a while for brunch I wouldn't mind making this dish because it was pretty tasty.

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Sausage Zucchini & Red Pepper Frittata


Ingredients

5 breakfast sausage links, cooked and chopped 
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 medium zucchini, grated (leave peel on if desired)
1/2 medium onion, diced small
6 eggs, whisked
1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 tbs of Italian seasoning, dried
Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook sausage and set aside
  2. Preheat oven to 375-degrees F
  3. Dice onion and bell pepper
  4. Grate zucchini and blot with paper towel to remove excess moisture
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, coconut milk, and seasonings together
  6. In a 10-inch oven-safe skillet on medium heat, sauté onions in 2 tbs fat (we used bacon fat) for about 4 minutes, then and add the red peppers and sauté for one more minute
  7. Add cooked bacon to skillet
  8. Add shredded zucchini to the mixing bowl with the eggs, stir, and pour into skillet
  9. Continue to cook on stove top about 1-2 minutes – just until mixture begins to set around the edges
  10. Transfer skillet to the preheated 375-degree oven
  11. Bake about 15 minutes, or until eggs are cooked through
  12. For a slightly browned top, move skillet to top rack and broil for 2-3 additional minutes
  13. Transfer to serving plate, slice and serve

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#26 - Add 50 new amazing recipes to my recipe book


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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Adventures in Dog-Sitting


This week Joe and I have the PLEASURE of baby-sitting the most amazing puppy in the whole world! This is Butch and he is the biggest teddy bear you will ever meet. Butch has stayed with us once before and trust me when I say that I would adopt this dog if he didn't have the greatest owner already. We look forward to hosting him months before his arrival. Our landlord even gets in on the fun and lets Butch out into the yard while Joe and I are at work.



We took him to Petco on Sunday and picked up his new little friend. It's only been a couple of days with Butch but I am already dreading his departure.

Monday, June 23, 2014

101 Things in 1001 Days: #26 - Add 50 New Amazing Recipes to My Recipe Book


This recipe is AMAZING and so simple. I was not a huge pork chop fan because they tend to be dry after they are cooked. I researched and found that if you bake them with a can of diced tomatoes it will help keep the moisture in. If there is any recipe on my blog that you should attempt this would be it! This meal is so simple and only takes about forty five minutes from prep to plating. Please try and let me know what you think:

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Spicy Tomato Pork Chops Recipe

By: PaleoLeap.com

 Ingredients 


4 pork chops
14.5 oz. diced tomatoes
2 medium sweet bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Directions

  1.  Preheat your oven to 350 F.
  2. Season the pork chops to taste with sea salt and black pepper.
  3. In a large skillet, heat some cooking fat over a high heat and add the chops. Cook until lightly browne (about 2 minutes per side) and transfer to a baking dish.
  4. In a bowl, combine the diced tomatoes, jalapeño, and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Heap the tomato-jalapeño mixture, and bell peppers on top of the pork chops.
  6. Bake everything in the oven for 35 minutes or until the pork is cooked and tender.
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#26 - Add 50 new amazing recipes to my recipe book

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

5th Visitor of 2014 was... (My Dog Ate My Camera?)

My Mommy!

My mother booked a spur of the moment trip the last weekend in May. During her visit we enjoyed some mother-daughter bonding while walking five miles around NYC. We attempted to go to a book convention (BookConn) but it was horrible and we left no later than fifteen after we arrived. We enjoyed all you can eat sushi, a new Mexican restaurant in town, visiting our favorite book store, and a lot more during her seven day trip. As you can tell there are no pictures to share of her visit. I really don't have an excuse for this other than the fact that we were always on the go.

She is of course planning her next trip out and we have some BIG plans in the works. Don't worry I won't forget the camera next time... :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

101 Things in 1001 Days *UPDATE*

 
I am officially 154 days into my 1001 day challenge. Let's see how I have been doing:

Married Life & Home Life
1.       Start a family
2.       Renew vows at our church so our marriage is recognized by the church
3.       Purchase a new bed and bed frame
4.       Finish decorating our apartment
5.       Purchase extra seating for living room (recliner or love seat)
6.       Go to church 20 times
7.       Purchase two new sets of blinds to match the new one
8.       Wash dishes and have a clean sink for two weeks straight   - I was able to complete is primarly because it's BBQ season and we are using the kitchen less.
9.       Get my husband’s Family Crest made into a pendant for his necklace
10.   Give the same pendant for my brother-in-laws 25th birthday
11.   Have 10 outdoorsy dates during summer - Two down, ten to go - 20% complete!
12.   Purchase a new Bedding Set
13.   Take a romantic weekend away
14.   Get all of our paperwork organized
15.   Organize the storage closet
 
Finances
16.   Be debt free
17.   Pay off the Corvette (Step to complete #1)
18.   Have $20,000 liquid savings in the back
19.   Have $10,000 in my new 401K
20.   Spend any overtime income – 1/3 Cash - 1/3 Debt - 1/3 Savings – for one year
21.   Put $1,000 into savings in one month
22.   Do not purchase any clothing for three months - ALMOST achieved this after canceling my StitchFix but I had to purchase a dress for a wedding in July.
  
Hobbies
23.   Be up to date with my scrapbooking 2012-current
24.   Increase my book reading challenge every year
25.   Read all the books on my book shelf - I need to STOP adding books to my book shelf!
26.   Add 50 new amazing recipes to my recipe book - 22% complete!
27.   Make a cake that tastes great and looks great
28.   Make 25 recipes out of my cookbook collection - 8% complete!
29.   Read all the Harry Potter Books
30.   Purchase a professional camera
31.   Blog at least 10 times a month for a full year
32.   Only use good quality pictures on my blog for a full year
33.   Finish Madison’s Quilt
34.   Cook Thanksgiving Day Dinner
35.   Make 3 recipes from Pinterest
36.   Create 3 DIY crafty items from Pinterest - 33% complete!
37.   Complete outline for my book
38.   Start writing my book
39.   Make 5 new flavors of ice cream
40.   Purchase a Cast Iron Skillet
41.   Create a watermark for my photos
42.   Acquire 25+ followers on my blog/bloglovin
  
Adventure & Travel
43.   3rd visit to Aruba
44.   Visit 5 new cities - Annapolis April 2014 - 20% complete!
45.   Have a vacation somewhere new outside of the U.S. -  BOOKED!!!
46.   Visit home twice during summer
47.   Visit Katherine in Texas/Seattle - BOOKED!!!
48.   Go on a cruise
49.   Go to the beach 5 times in NY or NJ
50.   Visit home 5 times - Christmas 2014 is BOOKED!!!
51.   Have 10 family members visit - Dad, Julie, & Mom - 30% complete!
52.   Have 10 friends visit
53.   Purchase 3 adventures form Groupon/Livingsocial
54.   Go camping - In the planning stage!
55.   Go snowmobiling
56.   Go to Niagara Falls - In the planning stage!
57.   Go to a Aquarium
  
Personal & Fitness
58.   Go to the gym 100 times - 24% complete!
59.   Get fit and keep fit for a whole year
60.   Give up alcohol for Lent
61.   Give up chocolate for Lent
62.   Run for 60mins without stopping on the elliptical
63.   Run for 90mins without stopping on the elliptical
64.   Go to the gym three times a week for three months straight
65.   Get a new tattoo
66.   Find three new hiking trails around my house - Found two - 66% complete!
67.   Go on a hike 20 times - Two hikes down, eighteen to go - 10% complete!
68.   Juice 15 times in one month
69.   Prepare a weeks’ worth of lunches every week for a month
70.   Complete 3 fitness challenges from Pinterest
  
Work & Education
71.   Get into a four year school
72.   Be on track to graduate within one year
73.   Complete 2 full years at my new job
74.   Get 2 raises
75.   Change my major to Accounting
76.   Work 100 hours of overtime - Fifty six hours down, forty four to go - 56% complete!
  
Fashion & Beauty
77.   Put energy into my work outfits for one month straight
78.   Wear a dress during summer 25 times
79.   Learn 5 new hairstyles
80.   Using the new hairstyles, style your hair 20 times
81.   Keep 10 items from Stitch Fix Boxes - 50% complete!
82.   Wear each Stitch Fix item 20 times - 15% complete!
83.   Learn 5 new makeup techniques
84.   Use the new makeup techniques 10 times
   
Random
85.   Spend a white Christmas with my family here in New York
86.   Have a garage sale
87.   Repair the Audi to 100%
88.   Buy my LV purse
89.   Use our Fondue Set
90.   Use our Pressure Cooker
91.   Use our Mini Pie Maker
92.   Use our Food Processor
93.   Send out birthday cards to family & friends for a full year
  
New York Living
94.   Visit the Empire State Building
95.   Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge
96.   Have pizza at my Husbands favorite pizza place in Brooklyn
97.   Explore Central Park
98.   Go to the Central Park Zoo
99.   See a Broadway show - Jersey Boys April 2014
100. Go to Coney Island
101. Visit 5 other New York landmarks/attractions

Well, it looks like I need to get my act together and cross out a few more of these items!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

101 Things in 1001 Days: #26 - Add 50 New Amazing Recipes to My Recipe Book

This amazing meal is full of all different kinds of vegetables while leaving out the carbs.The prep includes nothing more than basic chopping and cutting with a fabulous end result. You are able to keep this recipe fresh by mix and matching your favorite veggies every time you make this meal. My husband and I loved the flavor and were also thrilled will the amount of leftovers were able to use for lunches. Enjoy:

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Spaghetti Squash with Paleo Meat Sauce

By: AllRecipes.com


Ingredients

· 1/4 cup water

· 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

· 1 1/2 pounds ground beef

· 1 white onion, diced

· 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

· 1 cup sliced mushrooms

· 1 zucchini, diced

· 1 green bell pepper, chopped

· 1 red bell pepper, chopped

· 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

· 1 (8 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

· 1 tablespoon basil, or to taste

· 1 tablespoon oregano, or to taste

· 1 tablespoon thyme, or to taste

· 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, or to taste


Directions

1.    Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

2.    Pour water into a baking dish. Place squash halves with cut sides down in baking dish; roast for until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

3.    While squash is baking, cook and stir ground beef and onions in a skillet over medium-high heat until the beef is crumbly, evenly browned, and no longer pink. Drain and discard any excess grease. Set beef aside.

4.    Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir mushrooms, zucchini, green and red bell peppers, both amounts of crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano and thyme. Simmer over medium heat until vegetables are cooked through and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the ground beef and onions; stir to combine. Simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally, while you finish preparing spaghetti squash.

5.   Scrape the inside of hot spaghetti squash halves with a fork to shred the squash into strands; divide onto 8 plates. Top each serving of spaghetti squash with a generous amount of meat sauce.

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#26 - Add 50 new amazing recipes to my recipe book

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