Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Leek & Sweet Potato Soup With Prosciutto

Fall is just around the corner! My husband and I love soup. We actually eat it at least once a week all year round. But when fall finally hits, I feel like I can talk about my delicious soups. After all, it is a little strange to eat warm soup when it is 100 degrees outside. A lot of our childhood favorite soups are hard to turn Paleo. My husband made a wonderful Leek and Sweet Potato Soup with Prosciutto this week that was completely paleo. Here it is! Enjoy!

Leek & Sweet Potato Soup with Proscuitto

4 leeks, white and pale green parts
1/4 cup olive oil
6 slices of proscuitto, cut into ribbons
1 1/2 tsp minced thyme
8 cups chicken stock
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and then cut each half crosswise into pieces 1/2 inch thick. 

2. In a large, heavy pot, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the proscuitto and sauté until crisp, about 6 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

3. Add the leeks to the pot and stir to coat. Rduce the heat to medium-low, cook, and over. Stir occasionally, until the leeks begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the thyme.

4.Raise the heat to medium-high and slowly add the chicken broth while stirring constantly. Add the potatoes and bay leaves, season with pepper, cover, and bring to a boil. 

5. Reduce the heat to medium-low ad simmer until the potatoes just start to become tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, until he potatoes are tender all the way through, about 15 minutes.

6. Remove about 1/3 to 1/2 of the soup mixture and puree in blender. Add the thick mixture back into the pot and bring to a simmer.

7. Serve garnished with the fried proscuitto.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Summer {Fashion} Favorites

Summer is coming to an end. Fall is definitely my favorite season, but this summer I had some outfit combinations I loved. I will wear them as long as the weather is still warm. I wanted to share (and document) my Summer Favorites.

{ necklaces: j.crew}

{striped shirt: j.crew; aqua skirt: chelsea28, Nordstrom; denim blazer: Gibson, Nordstrom}

{polka dot shirt: j.crew, green cardigan: j.crew, statement necklace: Cara, Nordstrom}

{Birkenstocks: Nordstrom}

{white midi skirt: Topshop; polka denim shirt: Hinge, Nordstrom; necklace: BaubleBar, Nordstrom}

{Converse: Nordstrom, boyfriend jeans: Paige, Nordstrom}
{{Don't worry, these will be a staple throughout fall}}

What were your favorite summer pieces? Check soon for my fall wish-list!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Grapes & Whiskey

If you are an avid reader of my blog, you know I like wine. Living in San Antonio has brought the love of vineyards out of me. They are only an hour drive from us, so we visit them frequently. After a July harvest, almost all the wineries offer public Grape Stomps. We were able to attend the annual Grape Stomp at Becker's Vineyard.

I wanted to get there early because I knew it would be busy. I was the first person to stomp on my bucket of grapes. It felt so funny! Can you imagine doing this constantly to make wine like they did back in the day? Crazy! I didn't stomp very long because a line was already forming! The husband was too scared to stomp!

I was worried about my feet being stained purple. Don't worry, you have to stomp the grapes for  solid 8 hours before your feet stain!

People were putting their footprints on back of shirts to remember the day. One lady even did her infant's son feet on the shirt!

Becker's Vineyard opened their Bistro for the first time that day. The menu looked delicious. They said the Bistro would be open on event days. The building in which it was located was beautiful. You can have your wedding or special event in that building. I wish I had something special to host in there!

On our way home Rob wanted to stop at a distillery that is located close to home. Rebecca Creek Distillery is a local spirited distillery that produces whiskey, vodka, and peach vodka. They offer samples of all three and then can make any mixed drink for you. They also give a tour. It was neat to learn about distilling since we do many brewery and wine tours.

Rebecca Creek Distillery had a beautiful cooper pot still custom made for them. They use a lot of local materials to make their spirits unique. It was a nice, relaxing stop on our mini road trip.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Texas Hill Country Living

The nicest part about living in San Antonio is all the activities we can experience within a day's drive. We love visiting Fredericksburg and the wineries on Highway 290. Recently, we stopped in the little town of Blanco and enjoyed a nice day there.

First, we stopped for some BBQ at Old 300. It was amazing! The brisket was melt-in-your-mouth delicious and the ribs fell right off the bone. My BBQ stuffed baked potato was a huge hit! They let you fix it up all by yourself. The interior is decorated cute and locals were coming in the whole time we ate there. On Saturdays and Sunday they have a special type of brisket made with Wugyu beef. We can't wait to go back and try it!

We then went down the street to visit and tour Real Ale. They are known for their Fireman's 4, which is a pale ale. Right now Real Ale is only available in Texas. The tour was fun and laid back. They give you tastings (and tour) for free! It is offered only on Fridays, but I highly recommend bringing a group of friends and hanging out. They have picnic tables outside and allow dogs. And their beer tastes good!

Next we ventured down Ranch Road 1623 (which leads to Fredericksburg) and stopped at Albert Ice House. We have been wanting to visit it for quite awhile. They had their windows opened, letting you know they were open. The bar inside was so cute and unique! The have a food truck outside that is ready to satisfy your hunger, cold beer to quench your thirst, and a dance hall for your two-stepping nights. Old Texas Charm was everywhere here. The owners take great pride in it! We signed our name on the Guest Log (an actual log!) and hope to see it hanging from the ceiling one day.

Another Sunday we ventured off in the opposite direction of Blanco, towards New Braunfels. New Braunfels offers two rivers for guests to float: the Comal and the Guadalupe. We have heard that the Guadalupe is the prettiest to float but unfortunately it was too low when we came. Make sure you look up the river levels before you venture down! It was so low we would have had to carry our tubes most of the way; not relaxing! 

We stopped at Texas Tubes to gather our tubes. They are located right on the Comal River. So you park, rent your tubes, hand over your keys as a deposit, and then take the stairs to the river! Then at the end of your float there is a bus waiting for you. It was very convenient. We wanted to be there early Sunday morning to beat the rush of people plus the hot weather and bright sun. Perfect timing. The Comal is about 2 miles long and it took us 3 hours to float. 

Two great things about getting there early: you miss the crowds and its peaceful. When we finished, a lady said their tube shop just put in 400 tubes! When we got back to Texas Tubes, it was all rowdy with kids blaring their radio and coolers full! Fun, but just not what were were looking for that day. The bad thing about being so early on a Sunday: you can't drink any alcohol until after 12 pm. 

We saw a lot of deer and turtles. Unfortunately I was too scared to take my phone on the trip, so all our pictures during the float are on a waterproof camera. I need to get that developed soon. Wear a lot of sunscreen and have fun!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Chocolate Cereal (Paleo)

I have decided that if I want to continue blogging about our fantastic Paleo Meals I need to take some camera classes. Or at least invest in a good camera! Photos still don't do food half the justice they deserve!

Today I am going to share 'Against the Grain's recipe for Chocolate Cereal. This is my favorite snack and easy on-the-go breakfast. If I knew we are going to have a busy week, I will prepare this on Sunday. Warning: it does take a lot of time. If you have a dehydrator, it is a lot easier. If not, you can still use an oven. Just be expected to spend the whole day at home. Knock out some other chores while you wait on this to cook.

Chocolate Cereal

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw pecan halves
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon golden flaxseeds
1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1 cup honey
3 tablespoons raw coconut oil
2 tablespoon raw cacao
1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks (or more if you love chocolate!)

Place all the nuts and seeds in a bowl, add enough water to cover by 1 inch, and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Cover and let soak for 24 hours.

Drain the nuts and seeds and place on a paper towel to absorb the remaining water. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and pulse the nuts until they're the size of oats.

Place the honey, coconut oil, cacao, and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium heat until the cacao has dissolved. Add to the food processor with the cinnamon and remaining salt. Pulse twice to combine.

Pour the mixture into a bowl and mix with the coconut with a spoon. Turn the mixture out onto 3 parchment-covered dehydrator trays, spreading into thin layers. If using an oven, thinly layer on a parchment-covered cookie sheet.

Dehydrate at 120 degrees F for 24 hours, turning the granola with a spatula twice. The cereal may feel a little sticky but it will crisp up after cooling.
Place in the oven at 170 degrees F. Use a wooden spoon to prop the door open to let any extra moisture out. After 2 hours, carefully stir the cereal. Dry for another hour with oven door cracked open. Turn the oven off, shut the door and dry for another hour.

Transfer cereal to a wire rack and cool completely. Once cooled, stir in the chocolate chunks.

We have found that storing it in an air-tight container in the fridge helps it keep longer. Feel free to add any fruit into it as you would like! I love raspberries with mine. Rob loves to add coconut milk to his. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

When we moved to San Antonio, we wanted to do everything possible. After all we lived in Dallas for two years and couldn't tell you one exciting thing to do in the city. We have held up our promise well- Rampage hockey games, the Rodeo, visited lots of little towns around and now baseball. San Antonio has a MiLB lteam, San Antonio Missions. We stumbled across a Groupon deal for practically free tickets, so we have been going to a lot of games.

When you drive up to Nelson Wolffe Stadium, you can't expect much. The parking lot has weeds and barely has lines for the spaces. The stadium is outdated, at least 20 years old. Our University of Arkansas Baum Stadium was 100% better than this. The Frisco Dr. Pepper stadium we went to had a swimming pool! 

We have been pleasantly surprised! First off, we sit 2 rows behind the vistor's box. These tickets are $12 and the most expensive! Can you believe that- such a steal! Parking is $5, but there are promotions nights throughout the week. We tend to go on Thursdays, $1 beer, soda, and hotdog night. Tuesdays are $2 night- beer, parking, and reserved tickets. I highly recommend an evening game. Sunday games are in the afternoon and it gets hot under the Texas sun! Bring a blanket so you don't have to sit on a hot seat if you go on a Sunday. 

The team has two mascots- Ballapeno and Henry the Puffy Taco. Oh my goodness, they are hilarious! They love to dance. Ballapeno's eyes come off too. They add a lot of fun and excitement to the games!

The best part about the games is the family environment it creates. Before the first pitch, young softball and baseball teams get to line the bases. These kids thinks this is the most awesome thing ever! You should see their big smiles on their faces! The National Anthem is sung by a local school choir and is the sweetest thing. Between every inning there is a game or contest that the fans participate in. Watching all the kids catch the fly balls or hope the players will throw them one, it's priceless.

Overall, we enjoy these games a lot! They play our home teams, NWA Naturals, and the Frisco RoughRiders. In fact, the Missions were the Texas League Champions in 2013. Hopefully, we can watch them bring home another title this year!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

California Dreaming

Not to long ago, I took a trip to Northern California to visit my sister, Hayden. My brother, Grant, met up with me in the San Jose airport. We had a long overdue sibling weekend. We stayed a couple days in Monterey. My favorite part was the drive on Highway 1 to Big Sur. The scenery was amazing!

We stop at an amazing restaurant for brunch. The food was so amazing, I would recommend it for dinner as well! They have a bakery up front. Grab some pastries or cookies to go and enjoy on your hike or drive. 

We also ventured out to Carmel-by-the-sea. It is such a cute town! I wish we had spent more time here. They have lots of wine tasting places, cute shops, and an amazing cured meats bistro we ate lunch at. 

We drove into the city to glance at the Golden Gate Bridge. I have always loved San Francisco and fell back in love again. 

The trip was relaxing. I had forgotten how beautiful Northern California is. Cannot wait to get back out that way!