Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tapioca Crepes

When I was in the 7th grade, I took a semester of French. I was head over heels for anything French; I was a ballerina after all. We had a French meal day where every student brought some French dish in to eat. My daddy and I had made fruit-filled crepes and they have been my favorite breakfast meal since then. I request them every year for my special birthday breakfast-in-bed meal. When our menu from for this week said crepes on it, I freaked! Crepes can be paleo, yes! So, of course, instead of waiting till the scheduled day to make them, I asked Rob to make them the next day. And oh my, they were delicious! Just served with any fresh berries is my favorite, or you can get creative with cinnamon, bacon, vegetables, etc.

Tapioca Crepes

1 cup tapicoa flour
1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
1 egg
pinch sea salt
toppings of choice

1. Combine all the ingredients (except toppings) in a medium bowl and mix completely.
2. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
3. When hot, pour in about 1/3 cup of mixture and tilt the pan in all directions to spread the batter to desired thickness.
4. Cook both sides until very lightly browned (2-3 minutes on each side).
5. Top with desired ingredients and serve warm or cold.
6. Top with agave nectar for a sweeter taste. You could also try some maple syrup.

We are finding out there are a lot of 'Paleo-fied' foods out there we can make! Of course I find a lot on Pinterest, but this is very exciting. We are making our favorite foods in a healthier way. Hopefully soon we can start writing out our own weekly menus.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Vegged Out

We have successfully completed week one of the Paleo diet! We use for our weekly menus and recipes. They make it so easy and provide a shopping list! The 1st trip we spent a lot more on groceries than normal, but we had to start building our base. We bought nuts and dried fruit in bulk since that's what we will be using every week. The meals were good and provided a lot of variety. I recommend them for anyone deciding to start the Paleo diet. Hint: They offer you a two-week free trial.

Rob spent a lot of time in the kitchen prepping our meals. He basically cooked every meal the night before so I could have it at work. He wasn't able to go to yoga and I made it twice this week. It was a crazy busy week for both of our works! 

I had a lot more energy this week than normal. I also slept a lot better at night and felt rested when I got up. Rob says he never had the "I ate too much, too full to move" feeling after a meal but he always was full. 

For our results: I have lost 2 lbs and Rob has gained a measly 1 lb. I gained some inches and he lost a couple of inches. It is just the first week, so nothing drastic. (otherwise I would be scared!)

We only had one cheat meal each this week. On my cheat meal I had a Caesar salad with grilled chicken. Rob had a salmon sandwich (with no bread) with grilled vegetables, as well as fried artichokes. I say we did pretty good!

Like I mentioned in my earlier post, I am a picky eater. I am proud to say I have eaten everything this week (except avocado)! Including the huge portobello mushroom the first night! Rob even ate sweet potato which he doesn't like. It feels so good to branch out!

This weekend we had some friends come stay with us, Tom & Sara. On Saturday night we went out to Granada to enjoy some live music. This place is also good for vegetarian/vegan meals according to Yelp. We all wanted a snack (their kitchen was closed), so we headed to the Libertine closer to home. We missed their kitchen by 30 minutes. Rob and I were sitting there thinking of our favorite bar, dreaming of their corn dogs and cheese dip. We were going to have a cheat night! It was going to be glorious!!! We all jump up and head to the next place...but our car had been towed!!! It was a sign that we should  not give into our cravings. Sadly and empty stomach-ed, we walked home.

We are doing so well on our diet; I am so proud of ourselves! I have two great recipes I am going to share so keep an eye out for my next posts!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Kitchen Curtains Complete!

Our kitchen has been my weak point for a year now. The window desperately need some color! The whole kitchen is white; white walls, white cabinets, white counter tops. I just really do not like to sew and kept putting this project off...and off. 

Earlier this week there was a Google Offer for 40% off one item at JoAnn's. This was my light under my butt; curtains must be done. With my crazy work schedule I wasn't able to use my coupon in time. The husband and I went to Ikea on Sunday and they had fabric there (who knew?!). They had exactly what I was looking for, grey & white checkered! And it was printed on both sides. Score!

I am not crafty enough to sew curtains with holes in the them or the little loops to put around the rod. Thankfully the rod my parents had given us came with rings, but no clips. I picked some up at Wal-Mart for about $7 a package. They had rings on them, so all I had to do was unhook the clips and put them on the rings.

The first step, of course, is to measure your window. I measured to see how wide and long my window was. I wanted to have enough fabric on each side to make it look like we had a lot of curtain, so I cut each panel the full size of my window. We would never actually close the curtains, so this was fine. 

I then pinned a one inch hem on all four sides of each panel. As I folded the corners, I cut a diagonal off so there wouldn't be a bunch of fabric in the corners and would lay flatter. Afterwards I ironed the sheets to get the fold marks out (if you have a lot, I recommend doing this before pinning) and the hems to help me sew straight. 

Then time to sew! Thankfully my machine worked smoothly with me. We usually are not the best of friends. At the corners I back stitched to make sure it was secure, turned the fabric then back stitched on the other side. So the whole panel was one continuous stitch.

After the panels were together, we hung them up on the rod and in the window. I decided then they would look cuter pulled to the side. My husband drill a small hole on each side of the window and twisted a hook into the wall. Then I grabbed some ribbon we had around the house and tied them back. I might switch the ribbon out, so don't judge me on it!

I am so proud of them! They add a lot to the room and finish the theme we have going. I still don't know if I love the accessories at the base of the window, but they look good for now!

I also framed one of Rob's grandmother's recipes in a frame by the window. It looks so good there! Such a nice memento! I am so proud that I finally did the curtains and they turned out well!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Changes in Attitude, Changes in...

Hey guys!

May has been an amazing month for us in the Snyder household. We kicked it off with our first Ranger's game (which we won!), a double date with my sister and her boyfriend, Ironman 3 with my girlfriend and her boy (another double date), and then I got a promotion! WOW! It happened so fast. It took 3 days for me to apply & get hired! I am so excited! I am now only three steps away from my dream job. This weekend we were able to attend a wedding shower for my sorority sister, Katie. It was so good to finally meet her finance!

Me, Katie (the bride), and Rae

Now I want to announce a huge change that will definitely affect this blog. Rob and I have decided to go on the Paleo diet. Have you heard of it? It is basically where you eat like they did in the 'caveman' days. So no breads, refined sugars, soda, dairy, legumes, etc. Its a lot of nuts, fruits, vegetables, and meat. I am extremely nervous, since I am a picky eater and don't like a lot of veggies. But Rob and I want to do this to change our eating habits. And maybe lose a couple of pounds here and there for its not a diet for dropping pounds like crazy. We are looking to gain a few things out of this diet incuding better eating habits, healthier lifestyle, and toner bodies.

We are not going to be very strict on this diet. You are only suppose to drink water, but if you know my husband we will keep our wine and beer as part of it. And we are doing it with 3 flex meals. So we can still go out and eat and enjoy some bread & cheese occasionally.  Along with the diet we are going to become better yogis. Rob is very dedicated about going to yoga every night. My work schedule is so back and forth, that I want to commit to at least 4 yoga classes a week. I will probably start going before work. 

We had our first Paleo-friendly shopping trips this weekend. We could not believe all the veggies we needed! It is crazy. 

I will use this blog to track our progress and also share any great recipes we try! I will also start posting more on our DIY projects and daily life, rather than all just recipes. Wish us luck on our journey! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Pioneer Woman Blueberry Cobbler

Here is the easiest dessert you will ever make! You will have the ingredients on hand except for the fresh berries I bet. Use any berry/fruit you want to. We made it with blueberries, but the Pioneer Woman suggests peaches and strawberries as well.

 Berry Cobbler

1/4 pound (1 stick) butter, melted
1 1/4 cups blus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup milk
2 cup fresh (or frozen) berries; blackberries, blueberries, raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 3-quart baking dish with butter.

In a medium bowl, whisk 1 cup of the sugar with the flour and milk. Whisk in the melted buter. Rinse the berries and pat them dry. Pour the batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle the berries evenly over the top of the batter. Sprinkle 1/4 cup sugar over the blackberries. 

Bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown and bubbly. When 10 minutes to cooking time remain, sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar over the top.

Enjoy hot out of the oven with some ice cream! Even have some leftovers for breakfast the next day!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Week 19- Fried Chicken and Buttermilk Biscuits

This week I wanted to make a truly southern meal. We have this cute cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, that is all southern food. It is a neat book because it follows this big city turned cowboy farm girl. She writes it more like a diary than a cookbook. Out of her book I decided to cook Fried Chicken, Buttermilk Biscuits, and Patsy's Blueberry Cobbler for our big ole meal. It was all so much easier to make than I thought. Just make sure you cook your chicken all the way through!

Fried Chicken

2 cut-up fryer chickens (I used only one chicken)
1 quart plus 1/4 cup buttermilk
5 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons seasoned salt, such as Lawry's
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup milk
canola or vegetable oil for frying (I used half a bottle)

Thoroughly rinse the chicken, then cover all the pieces with the quart of buttermilk and soak in the fridge overnight. When ready to fry, remove the bowl from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes, just to take of the chill.

In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 F and mix up the breading. Place the flour, seasoned salt, pepper, thyme, paprika, and cayenne in a very large bowl. Stir together well.

In the small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup buttermilk and the milk. Pour the milk mixture into the flour and, with a pastry cutter or fork, gradually mix until there are little lumps throughout. This will adhere to the chicken and make for a crispier breading. If necessary, add a little more flour or milk to the bowl in order to make it slightly lumpy.

Heat 1 1/2 inches of oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat until a thermometer reaches 365 F. Lower the heat slightly to keep the oil from getting any hotter.

Working in batches, thoroughly coat each buttermilk-soaked chicken piece with breading, pressing extra breading onto the chicken if necessary. Place the breaded pieces on a plate.

Add the chicken to the oil 3 or 4 pieces at a time. Make sure they aren't sticking together, then cover the pan and fry for 5 to 7 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the chicken isn't getting too brown. Turn the pieces over, cover again, and cook 3 to 5 minutes more. All the whole, monitor the temperature of the oil to make sure the chicken doesn't burn. Keep in mind that we'll finish cooking the chicken in the oven, and it will continue to brown.

Place the chicken on a baking sheet and continue frying the rest of the chicken. When all the chicken has been fried, bake the chicken for 15 minutes, to finish the cooking process. Sometimes I'll cut into the thicker part of one of the larger pieces, just to make sure the chicken is cooked through. If any pink is visible, the chicken needs to continue cooking in the oven.

Buttermilk Biscuits

4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cups buttermilk (If you don't have any, add 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar to just under 1 cup low-fat milk and stir together)

Preheat the oven to 450 F.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. Stir together. Add the shortening and cold butter pieces. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the shortening and butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Pour in the buttermilk and mix gently with a fork until just combined. The biscuit dough will be sticky, not overly dry or crumbly.

Lightly flour a clean surface. Turn the dough out of the bowl and roll to a 1/3 to 3/4 thickness, depending on how thick you'd like your biscuits to be.

Cut rounds with a biscuit cutter and place them in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet. Bake for 11 to 14 minutes, until golden brown. Do not underbake or the biscuits will be doughy.

It was a delicious southern meal! We didn't have a biscuit round, so I used a flower cooke cutter. Made the biscuits festive! Check out my next post for the blueberry cobbler!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Week 18- Skillet Sausage Pasta

Last week I wasn't able to cook because of my crazy work schedule and our little trip. We were able to go back to Arkansas and see my lovely friend, Jamie, get married! She has an awesome blog too, read it here

This week I wanted something easy to whip up before the premiere of Ironman 3. If you haven't seen it, you must! I found a one skillet pasta with sausage recipe online and decided to play with it. This is what I came up with! Rob says it was a 10 and very delicious! Plus is all is cooked in one dish, so easy clean up!

Skillet Sausage Pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 14-ounce package smoked turkey sausage, sliced into rounds
1 diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 10-ounce can Ro-Tel Tomatoes and Green Chiles, Original Style
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Salt, to taste

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet (or other oven-safe skillet) until smoking.  Add the sausage and onion, and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add in the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the broth, Ro-Tel, heavy cream, uncooked pasta, and pepper, and give the mixture a good stir.

 Bring to a boil, cover the skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until the pasta is tender, about 15 minutes, stirring once or twice while cooking. 

Preheat the oven to 400 F while the pasta is cooking. Remove the skillet from the heat, and stir in 1 cup of the cheese. Taste, and add salt as needed. 

Top with the remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned - about 3 minutes.