Saturday, August 31, 2013

simplest and sweetest snack.

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the peaches were divine for a couple weeks. and they were reasonably priced. and then the husband went hunting with Papa Dale in georgia, and they brought back a case (yes!) of fresh, for real ripe from the tree peaches from this beautiful "little" place that they were privileged to tour called Lane Southern Orchards.  it was peaches for breakfast, snack, and dessert. we were eating peaches in crisp and peaches with yogurt and peaches baked and topped with a dollop of ice cream (whoops! never did make that recipe!) 

but i think this was my favorite.  sweet.  simple.  perfection.

fresh peaches with raw salted caramel sauce.  this was my afternoon snack, but it'd be perfect for breakfast, maybe with greek yogurt or nuts?

the raw caramel sauce was a snap to make in my mini food processor.

Raw Caramel Sauce

1/2 cup pitted medjool dates (soak in 1 tablespoon warm water for 5 minutes if desired)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla or caramel flavoring (opt: use ground vanilla bean)

just give it a whirl and drizzle over the peaches.  enjoy!!!

Friday, August 30, 2013

savory beef tenderloin

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garlic might could become its own food group. sauteed with a little butter and herbs, this simple little steak topping found its place on our new favorites list. 

while we were all trying to be nice and polite and share, we noticed Little had grabbed the bowl and was happily dipping his steak (which he's taught himself to cut solo now, by-the-way and thank-you-very-much).  

a buttery pan-fried steak - next time i plan to serve this with a tomato-avocado salad with a lemony dressing.  i think the creamy avocado would compliment, and the tartness of tomato and lemon would be the perfect foil, for the rich garlicky steak seasoning.

find the recipe here.  enjoy!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

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this month as an allrecipes allstar, i've been trying out some goodies from Goya.
the recipes we chose have fit well with the way we're trying to eat these days: food that's simple to prepare, but full of flavor, and focused on fruits and vegetables, quality meats and healthy fats, including nuts and seeds.

this recipe for roast adobo pork loin fit the bill.  the "secret" addition of cinnamon added the perfect amount of sweetness, and i think it might be a great autumn dish.  we served our with sweet potatoes and onions that we roasted right in the pan.

true confession: i've had a tendency to overcook my pork lately.  don't do this.  :)
it makes it dry and unappetizing!  although i wish i'd left this one a little more pink (note to self: if it seems like it's been a while since you checked the timer, it has), the flavor was still good!

having a Mexican-food-loving husband has made testing these Goya recipes easy.  he even forgave me the over-cooking.  next time, i'm trying this one in the slow cooker.  with the longer, slow-cooked method, i think it might be even better.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

for always.

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sometimes things get out of order. 
the not-exactly-vital somehow seems life-necessary, and the only "thing" that matters seems mundane.  deceptively, deadlines and external gratification become front-burner and real relationship gets lost.

and then sometimes, you do hard things.  you say "no" to not-forever-important,
and you say "yes" to the people.  and the laughter.  and the quiet conversations.

dinner becomes about "always" and about the heart of the partakers.

sure, it's great recipes and steak-in-the-teeth and use-your-napkin and be-kind-to-your-sister.  and it's really about moments that are for always. 

curious your thoughts...

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i'm a chipotle girl. i'm a mojo girl. i like hot-and-spicy. but i have to admit, i didn't fall in love with the new Goya Mojo Chipotle. i'm going to try it again to see what i think, but next time i think i'll do a recipe with some maple syrup and lime added.  this was our first run with grilled pork chops with onions.

you can find the recipe in the Goya hub at, HERE

we served ours with roasted green beans.  it was just a bit more spice and a bit less flavor-depth than i like - i think i like the more traditional mojo.  and last time i shopped, i saw a bitter orange variety.  i think i might give that one a try, as well, just for kicks!

give it a try - what do you think? 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

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we've been having such a great time revamping our family eating habits. now i'm being honest - i'd let us get so far from where we should be that it has taken serious determination and genuine, consistent communication to begin re-educating our mindset and our palates.

i discovered, for instance, that our second (a teenage boy) does not like almonds.  he's tested sensitive to them in the past, too - go figure.  so in paring back grains and incorporating more nuts, i've started experimenting with pecan meal or walnut flour.  

i also got a talking-to from our three teen swimmers who didn't think they were eating enough.  i've had to get creative about snack options, and they're learning at the same time that with more nutrient-dense foods, they need to eat less at one sitting.

but we're getting somewhere.  we're eating more intentionally, and it's working.  skin is improving.  we're feeling fuller.  we're eating delicious foods!

like this one.  in partnering with "beef: it's what's for dinner" this month, i've bought some more pricey cuts of beef, and we're feasting.  try this recipe, for instance (click to go to recipe link!).

i doubled the tomato and cucumber salad and actually ate leftovers for breakfast the next day with chopped turkey!

i'm thinking you could do a more inexpensive cut of meat with this seasoning, but oh man, the crispy marbled fat is delish.

eating nourishing food is a blessing.  let me know if you try this!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

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after a full week of being "back in the saddle" of choosing my foods for nutrition and flavor, i'm excited to partner with "Beef, It's What's For Dinner," to feature some delicious and nutritious recipes. 

as i've worked toward increasing our protein and whole foods, including lots of fresh produce, i found this little tidbit to be very educational...

over the next few weeks, i'll be sharing some delicious beef recipes, and this was really helpful to me, to see all the good stuff they'll contain.

do you have a favorite beef recipe?


Monday, August 19, 2013

on putting first things, first

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over the last year i've noticed that the more i fail to put "first things, first," the less actually gets done. it goes something like this: 

stay up late trying to "get stuff done." get hungry so late, eat something yummy that's terrible for the body. go to bed exhausted. sleep fitfully. 

wake.  roll out of bed, sore and tired from the night before.

stumble into family devos, then off to the office to work more.

get distracted, hungry and tired, and eat something non-nutritious that may, if i'm lucky, feel good for the moment.  but not fill me for the day.

roll through the day in a blur, trying to "get it all done."
break for dinner with the fam, and begin again.

there are moments of sweetness...

we've gone from full-place-settings, cloth linens, to paper-plates-and-grab-it-fast.

on a good night, there is laughter and good food.  on an average night, it's scramble-and-gobble before or after a sporting event, or between editing photo galleries.

and i'm not "full."  i'm running after satisfaction, but i've got it out of order.
i'm trying to make "it" all happen myself.  work hard.  get more clients.  edit, edit, edit.
work, work, work.

but the sweetnesses are less and less, and the inspiration, creativity and passion begin taking a backseat to productivity.  the sparks of joy never burst into flame because they must be tamed to
get stuff done.

and the irony?  i'm never "done."  always running, never arriving.

the joy is in the journey, right?  i've forgotten!  the satisfaction is in knowing i'm celebrating as i run, listening for the voice of the Papa who made me to guide me, to remind me what the dance is all about.

i'm headed back to satisfaction in the One who can satisfy.

i'm starting with boundaries - no more settling for artificial foods, artificial fun... i'm going back to cooking what we know will nourish our bodies and our palates.  less burning the midnight oil, and more rising before the crew and spending time with my Papa, entering my day refreshed and ready.  for His agenda.  :)

just keepin' it real.  :)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

summer grillin'

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it's summer, and the grillin' is fine. except i'm no grill master, and i'd like to be! i enjoyed this lil' post with some basic tips. maybe i'll steal the grill tools from the men in the house and give it a go! i've been dying to try my hand at cedar planked salmon...

for more grillin' tips and recipes, visit at the grilling recipe hub!