Sunday stuff! (or fun in the park and a little bit of food prep)

Hello, hello!

I know I said I was back last week but, apparently, I wasn’t ready. I needed a little bit more time to focus inward and just be.

It was definitely a needed break!

What really made things better was having Thing 1 come home for a few days.

It was really nice to have her home. I mean, the last time I saw her was in May!!

We hung out, we went shopping, we dined on Chipotle….. #winning


We also went out for a little photo shoot in the park with our favorite photographer. ❤

More pictures to come later!


Oh, look, there’s a wall over there! I must practice my handstands! #crossfitaddict



There may or may not have also been some planking and some push ups. 🙂

Then, I got down to business with my Sunday food prep.

Which, honestly, wasn’t as much as normal.  There’s some travelling going on this week and a little bit of extra time at home (don’t forget to thank a veteran!) so I didn’t need as much prepared food in the fridge.

I do, however, need to go to the grocery store because I went to make some quinoa for quick, healthy breakfasts and the box was pretty darned empty. 😦

I only got enough quinoa to try this recipe once this week.


Then, I made a loaf of sandwich bread, perfect for toast and, well, sandwiches. 😉

Apparently, the yeast were (hyper)active and the bread hit a growth spurt in the oven. #milehighbread


Then, for dinner, I was craving some comfort food so I made some Skinny Shepherd’s Pie. YUM!

The best part is the leftovers!


And today, there’s a pork butt in my crockpot and its destiny is to become carnitas tacos for dinner. Stay tuned for the recipe!

So, want to know what happens when you take a little bit of time off from blogging?

180 spam comments in the queue, that’s what.


One hundred. And. Eighty.


The best one?


Really. That’s all the comment was.

Maybe they thought my Cinnamon Buns should be a staple in all households?

Well, that spam bot is right! 😉

Talk to me: What’s your favorite way to use quinoa? What’s your favorite comfort food?

– jennifer

Sunday food prep – what went down in my kitchen (8)


I’d first like to thank you for being patient and understand while I took a little time away from my blog.

I needed the break to think and be in my own head for a little bit.

My grandma was a pretty amazing woman and it’s a little difficult to know that I’m not going to hear her laugh anymore.

Good thing I have it on the laugh track in my head. 🙂

Life won’t be the same without her but I can hear her telling me to stop moping around, get off my ass, and get back to it.

So, that’s what I’m doing. Cuz she’s the boss.

It was DARN cold this weekend. I heard it even snowed in some places!

And by some places, I don’t mean Alaska or Wisconsin or Minnesota. I mean, Tennessee. What the heck? November just started!

Anyway, as luck would have it, our heater is presently not working (service call  made, parts ordered, commence waiting game) but we do have a fireplace!


That we used all weekend.

And that Molly stayed in front of the whole time.

I woke up one morning to find her staring at it like she was waiting for the fire to start back up. Haha!

Because it was so cold, I really had no problems with food prep this weekend.

Oh, stand in front of a hot stove/oven all day? YES, PLEASE!!

The first thing I did was make some chili on Saturday night.

I decided I needed to try a new recipe from the new cookbook I picked up a few weeks ago. I love new cookbooks!! ❤

So, I made the chili con carne from The Ancestral Table by The Domestic Man because chili is practically necessary if it’s chilly outside. 😉


Holy. Amazeballs. This chili was delicious!

And, there’s plenty of leftovers for lunches during the week. And you KNOW that chili only gets more delicious after it sits for a day or so.

You’ll have to buy the cookbook to get the recipe, though. It’s totally worth it. 😉

(and no, I’m not getting anything from telling you to buy the cookbook except the knowledge that you might soon be eating some amazing new dishes!)

Then, Sunday morning, I got started early and made some cinnamon buns with buttermilk icing.


Yes, I’m aware that cinnamon rolls aren’t exactly food prep food but hey, I’m just trying to give you some ideas for what to bake in your oven, maybe next Sunday…. 😉

I also made some Pumpkin Bread.

Tis the season for pumpkin!


I kinda sorta followed this recipe out of my 1,001 LowFat Recipes cookbook except I used all King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour, subbed nonfat, plain Greek yogurt in place of the vegetable oil, and used 2 eggs instead of 1 egg and 1 egg white.

This bread is pretty yummy – especially if you slather it with nut butter. Who needs cream cheese when you have nut butter?! Om nom nom!!

Then, because I was craving it – yes, seriously, CRAVING – I made my favorite meat sauce.


I love this on top of roasted sweet potatoes, pasta, or even rice.

Hell, I’ve even eaten it straight out of the bowl.

Licked it clean, too.

I’m not proud. 😉

Talk to me: Was it cold in your neck of the woods? Do you have a fireplace? Did you food prep?

– jennifer

Sunday Food Prep – what went down in my kitchen (7)

Hello, hello!

Happy Monday!

Do you have the day off today? Do you have any fun plans?

We might go see a movie.

2 movies in 2 weeks! Watch out! 🙂

So, let’s talk food prep.

I approached the food prep a little differently this week.

You see, tomorrow, Thing 2 gets her wisdom teeth extracted.

So, she’s not going to be eating too much food that requires chewing for a few days.

My sailor and I are going to tag-team the “staying home with her” responsibilities to make sure she’s okay – she’s never been on pain medication before so we don’t know how she’s going to do with it – and that she gets some fluids/nutrition in her.

Plus, we’ll need easy things to eat while we’re home. 🙂

My sailor is more of a “grab and go” kind of person while I don’t mind a little more assembly time with my meals. Plus, he can be a little more snack-y than me.

So, I made some homemade granola bars!


I found the recipe over at Amanda’s blog, Running with Spoons, and went with it because of the addition of protein powder.

My sailor and Thing 2 are funny about their granola bars – not me, I’ll eat a raw bar any day of the week! – and this seemed the closest to a Quaker chewy bar without all the extra added crap. Seriously, have you ever read the ingredients list?! It’s a mile long!!

I have organic whey protein powder that’s pretty delicious so I have no problems tossing it into a recipe.


I usually get this at Harris Teeter but I have found it at TJ Maxx before.

And guess what? The granola bars are almost the exact as a Quaker chewy. Only better.

So. Much. Better.

Then, per my norm, I roasted a chicken in the crockpot.


Thing 2 really, really wants Chicken Curry as her “last meal” so I needed some chicken for that.

*side note – there were 2 recipes my mom made when I was growing up that have become staples in my own house. One was chicken adobo and the other was chicken curry. And I just realized I’ve never shared that recipe with you!

The rest of the chicken will be perfect for lunches throughout the week – for those of us who will be able to chew. 😉

I had something else in mind when I roasted that chicken.

Homemade chicken broth.

I’ve never made it before and 1. it was high time I did! and 2. Thing 2 likes chicken broth and it doesn’t require chewing! This way, she’ll be able to get some protein and great nutrients into her while she’s limited with what she can eat.

So, after the chicken finished roasting and I got it all shredded, I threw the carcass and skin back into the crockpot, tossed in a coarsely chopped onion, roughly chopped celery stalk, some chunked up baby carrots, some garlic cloves, a couple of bay leaves, some dried (because I didn’t have fresh) rosemary, basil, and thyme, salt, and filled the crockpot almost to the brim with water.

Cooked it overnight on low – about 10 hours – and when I woke up, I had lovely, and DELICIOUS (what? you know I had to taste it.) chicken broth!


I loosely followed this recipe as a guide because I needed an idea of how to cook it in the crockpot. All my cookbook recipes were in pots on the stove and I didn’t feel like babysitting stock all night long.

This made 8 cups which I separated into 1 cup portions in mason jars.  4 are in the fridge and 4 are in the freezer for later. #winning

For dinner (and leftovers!) I made a big ole pot of Boston Baked Beans



and some cornbread.


Now, let’s talk about those beans.

Holy. Yum.

I’ve made baked beans before and these have got to be, hands down, the very best I have ever made.

The beans were perfectly cooked and the flavor was amazing.

Even Thing 2’s bf, who “doesn’t like baked beans,” liked them.

Of course, he’s only ever eaten them out of a can. There’s a big difference between homemade and from a can!

He’s eaten, and liked!, a lot of things I’ve made that he “doesn’t like” or “doesn’t eat.”

I think that’s probably the biggest compliment I could ever receive. 🙂

Talk to me: Did you food prep yesterday? Have you ever made homemade chicken broth/stock? Do you think food prep means I’m on my feet in the kitchen all day? 😉


– jennifer