Weekend things and a little bit of food prep

Hi there!

Happy Monday!

Are you gearing up for Thanksgiving? Are you cooking? Have you started cooking already? Are you traveling to where someone else is doing all the cooking? <—-winning

I’ll be doing only a small amount of cooking this year as we’re headed to my folks’ house.

Mom’s having the bulk of the meal catered (this should be interesting – my first catered meal experience) and the rest of us are  responsible for a few side dishes and desserts.

I’m making this. I made it for just us last year and it is the bomb dot com.

Plus, the pecan tree in my back yard is literally vomiting pecans so…..yeah.


My town had its Thanksgiving market on Saturday and my favorite vendor was going to be there so, you know we had to go. 🙂


There were like 65 vendors or something!

Lots of artsy craftsy stuff.


There were lots of puppy dogs.

Seriously, I can’t post pictures of all the dogs – we’d be here all day.


And there were lots of leafy green veggies!


There was a pony that I wanted to ride but I don’t think he was there for people of my size age.


I loaded up on sweet taters (duh!) and apples and the biggest butternut squashes I have ever seen (needed for above recipe!).


I tried to get my sailor to take a picture of me holding the butternut squashes but he said no. Because I don’t have a porn blog.

Seriously, where was HIS brain? Haha

And besides, has he never ever heard of food porn?


So, he took this picture of this goat instead. Her name is Latte. She was hanging out with the goat cheese lady. Mmmm…..goat cheese……


Here’s my haul on fresh beef. Score!


After the market, we took our goodies home and headed out for some lunch and errands.

We went to our favorite Indian place. MMMM…


I had the medium spicy vindaloo and was sweating bullets at the table. lol

For the record, I only ate one little triangle of the naan because it is made with wheat and I’m doing that whole gluten free thing.

I was okay with it (or I just couldn’t tell I wasn’t because I was still breathing fire) but a few hours later, I had an iced skinny vanilla latte from Starbucks and that made my stomach hurt.

Did some research and turns out the skinny vanilla stuff has gluten in it! Blech!

I didn’t finish it. Which sucks. Starbucks ain’t cheap.

So, I’m thinking about heading to the doc to officially get tested for celiac, just to see. Because it really did make me feel bad. :/

Sunday was a pretty low key day.

I did a little food prep but not too much since we’re going to be laden with turkey leftovers, too. 🙂

I made some gluten-free banana bread. Because, it’s banana bread. Duh.


I made us some homemade chicken noodle soup (gluten free rotini pasta) with the last of the chicken from last week and some of the broth that I made.

To make it creamy, I added a tablespoon of grass-fed butter (I buy Kerrygold and if you haven’t tried it yet, you are totally missing out!) and about half a cup of heavy cream.

So delicious!


Then, I made some beef stew in the crockpot using some stew meat that I snagged at the farmer’s market.


I used less than 2 pounds of meat so I used upped the veggies a little. I also subbed Yukon Gold taters for the red taters because that’s what I had and I used regular onion because the recipe didn’t state red onion until down in the directions.

Yes, I broke the cardinal rule of following a recipe – I didn’t read the whole thing before I started.



It worked out okay though. 🙂

I also didn’t add any frozen corn because I didn’t have any. T’was fine. Delicious, in fact.

Talk to me: What’s your favorite thing on the Starbucks menu?

– jennifer

Running fast & some Paleo Beef Stew


Happy Wednesday!

I saw this on Facebook today. Cracked me up!

can you see friday

So, I jumped both feet into my 8 week marathon training plan yesterday.  Knocked out a quick 7.28 miles. I honestly didn’t mean it to be so quick but … well, it was cold! I had to run fast! 🙂


Actually, I pretty much just went out on an “explore” and checked out the running routes around my house (preliminary testing for those early morning runs once I find a J.O.B.) and then headed up to the park.

I took the long way to the park and was a little afraid I was going to overshoot my mileage.  Luckily, there are 2 routes once inside the park and I took the short one back.  I could have done more but – it’s an aggressive plan and I didn’t want to overdo it.

So, I overdid it when I got home by finally getting all the boxes in the bedroom unpacked and rearranging the dresser drawers.

This is what I looked like by dinner time:

owie back


So, I tried to stretch some while I was making dinner.

And  do some pistol squats.

Because, those seemed like a good idea.


Not so much.

But, dinner was a GREAT idea!

My sailor unpacked my cookbooks while I was unpacking the bedroom boxes and arranged them all on my cookbook bookcase.

Yes, I have a bookcase for just my cookbooks.


some cookbooks not pictured. 🙂

I need another one because it’s stuffed.

Or less cookbooks.


Anywho, it was pretty chilly yesterday so I was in the mood for a stew of some sort.

But, not one that would take forever to cook – which I normally love! – but, well, I didn’t have time for that.

got no time

I found a recipe for a beef and vegetable stew in my Paleo Diet Cookbook.

So, a little about me and beef stew.

I WANT to love beef stew.

I try so hard to love beef stew.

I’ve tried quite a few different recipes and they all smell just so good while they’re cooking but, when I get to the finished product, I’m always a little disappointed.

Everyone else always loves it but there’s something about the texture and doneness of the meat.  Yes, doneness is a word.

But, I keep trying them because – well, apparently, I’m a glutton for punishment.

And, sometimes, I find a gem in the coal mine that is beef stew recipes.

And, this one, my friends, is a sparkling diamond!





This was SO GOOD!

It doesn’t require all day to cook and I think that’s a major part of why I liked it so much.  The beef cooks just enough.

Plus, it has butternut squash in it.

I ❤ butternut squash.


Beef Stew with Vegetables
serves 4

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 pounds chuck steak, cut into cubes
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium flame (I used my Dutch oven). Add meat to skillet and brown evenly on all sides, for approximately twelve minutes. Remove from skillet.

2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, onion, and garlic to pan. Saute for 5 minutes. Toss in carrots, celery, and squash and saute for 5 additional minutes.

3. Return beef to skillet. Pour in broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Add bay leaf, rosemary, and oregano. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with black pepper.

4. OM. NOM. NOM!

Question: How do you feel about beef stew? Do you have a favorite recipe?

– jennifer

Too much of a good thing? plus Beef Goulash

Hello, hello!

Okay, okay, you had to see it coming. 🙂

Have you seen those AT&T commercials? Of course you have! Unless, of course, you live under a rock. You don’t live under a rock, do you? And, if you do and you’re still reading this, I’m impressed! And, thanks for stopping by!

Anyway, the AT&T commercials. LOVE. THEM. We actually rewind them to watch them over and over, especially if it’s a new one. Oh my gosh, they are so hilarious! This one is probably our favorite.

Hahahahaha! Hilarious.

Okay, I know you didn’t come here to watch commercials. I’m done. Really.

So, I read an interesting article yesterday from Women’s Health Magazine called 25 Reasons You Can’t Lose Weight. And, they’re good reasons, too!

For example, skipping breakfast is a total no-no. The saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” didn’t come from nowhere, you know! You need breakfast to jump-start your metabolism. Don’t have time for breakfast? Plan ahead! Make overnight refrigerator oatmeal or make a peanut butter and banana sandwich or by some of those Jimmy Dean delights sandwiches. Do something! Just make sure you include protein and fiber to give you energy and help fill you up. This will help prevent you from being SUPER hungry at lunch/dinner time and overeating. Really! You just have to trust me.

Another interesting one is not getting enough sleep. How on earth can sleep affect your weight?! Well, apparently, get too little and you’re going to be hungry. And, if you’re tired, you might reach for sugary things to give you that “boost” which ultimately comes with a crash later. Just not worth it. Plus, you won’t have the energy to get through your workout! I usually hit the sack around 8:30 – early, I know! – and I’m up at 3:30ish each morning. I’m a total morning workout person. LOVE it! But, that gives me about 7 hours and, with usually one bathroom trip in the middle of the night, I get between 6 – 6 1/2 hours each night. That may not be enough for you and I have been known to turn in at 8:00 to get a little more but it works for me. You need to listen to your body and be your own judge. If you find yourself reaching for a Snickers bar at 2:00pm to prevent an afternoon nap at your desk, you might need to get a little extra sleep. And, you should pack healthy snacks for your afternoon hunger monster – veggies and hummus, celery and peanut butter, apple and peanut butter, yogurt and granola, you know…YUMMY stuff! 🙂

The first reason on their list is overeating healthy foods. Wait? There’s such a thing as too much of a good thing?! Unfair, right! You know what my downfall is? Nut butters. Oh. Em. Gee. I love me some nut butters. Peanut, almond, cashew – I dream about them sometimes. And, they’re good for you! Right?

Well, so long as you buy the natural kind without all that extra added sugar and nonsense. Seriously, if you are still buying Jiff or Skippy, I highly recommend you try a peanut butter or almond butter that only has peanuts or almonds in it – no palm fruit oil, no sugars, no hydrogenated vegetable oils. The flavor is out of this world YUM! Anyway, I love them. I put a spoonful in my pre-CrossFit protein shake, I put it in my oatmeal (both refrigerator and regular), I eat it on waffles, pancakes, toast, with apples, bananas, celery … a spoon.

When you were a kid, did your mom (or dad) ever tell you that if you ate too much of something, you were going to turn into it? I waited and waited and waited for my sister to turn into a green pepper. Never happened. Talk about disappointing! How cool would that have been to have a “change-o” machine?!? Then, I could have been like “here’s my green pepper sister!” Oh. Nope. Not as cool as a puppy brother.

I wonder what life would be like if I turned into a nut butter? I wonder which nut I would be?!

So, made this in the crockpot yesterday. Was delicious to come home to after a tough afternoon CrossFit workout. I love it when dinner cooks itself and all I have to do is eat it. Now, if only it would clean up after itself. Then, life would be perfect.


Beef Goulash
makes 8 servings

1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 cups diced peeled baking potato (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
1 cup (1/4-inch-thick) slices carrot
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Hungarian sweet paprika (I used smoked but you could use regular if you can’t find sweet)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) can double-strength beef broth (I used beef stock)


1. Combine flour and beef in slow cooker; toss well to coat. Add remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

2. Grab a bowl and gobble it down. Om nom nom!

Calories 304; Fat 8.3g (sat 3g, mono 3.4g, poly 0.4g); Protein 25.4g; Carbs 31.3g; Fiber 3.2g; Cholesterol 72mg; Iron 3.5mg; Sodium 744mg

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, March 2006


1. What’s your favorite commercial? Do you have one? Do you live under a rock?

2. How many hours of sleep do you get?

3. What are you in danger of turning into? How much fun would a “change-o” machine be?!


– jennifer