Chatting on the Couch

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Pinterest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

When I rebranded this site with my name in big old letters about a year ago, I tried to focus in on what I wanted to talk about here. I’m a lifestyle blogger; I’m not ever going to have a niche. I call myself one-third food blog, one-third parenting and home life, and one-third spiritual stuff.

What I really wanted was to invite people onto my couch. If you were here with me, in my living room (which is, of course, a DISASTER, let’s not pretend), what would we talk about? What would we snack on? What would we see around us?

Welcome to my couch.

So hey. Put your feet up. Brush off any crumbs that you see, and I’ll try not to notice. Let’s talk.

I’m making cauliflower soup right now. I don’t dislike cauliflower, and I hope it will help me get in some extra veggies. I’ve been trying to eat mostly grain-free, but I had some pasta for lunch (recipe I had tested for an article, just sitting there …) because I was super hungry after going to Zumba and getting haircuts this morning. And the pasta has made me SLEEPY. But since I can’t remember the last time I slept through the night, I guess I can’t blame it completely.

Last week was hard. I’ve felt a little nuts emotionally as of late. My two older kids seem especially out-of-control, and I’m wondering what on earth to do about it. Plus there’s just the normal feeling completely inadequate at everything I do. I am really trying to realize that no one has it all together. But I so often sit and think everyone else is living in Normal City, and I’m the only oddball. The one just trying to scrape by and totally exhausted by what qualifies as “normalcy” right now.

I miss my mom.

I promise I’m not all down-and-out. If you sit here long enough, the kids will ask you to play Frozen Spot It. And Joshua will probably sing for you, which is my primary source of entertainment right now. Libbie will probably put on dress-up ballet clothes and dance with passion, if not skill, around the room. David will tell you that Thursday is pajama day at his school and HE GETS TO WEAR PAJAMAS. ALL DAY.

I feel like maybe the winter blues are getting to me. Maybe that is the cause of my funk. I promise I am taking my medicine, using essential oils, exercising, and trying to eat right. A little more time with friends might help. A date with my husband. It’s been wayyyy too long since we went out alone.

So that’s what’s going on with me. I’m sorry to be grumpy, but it’s just kind of how it is right now. Maybe you could tell me a funny story or send me a YouTube video that will make me laugh.

The cauliflower soup, by the way? It’s edible. Needs work. Can I interest you in some granola instead?

Favorites of the Week

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Pinterest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Joshua playing dress-up

Favorite picture: My little guy (22 months now!) playing dress-up. He has always been so happy and giggly. Love that.

Favorite links:

Recipes I want to make:

Favorite moments:

  • Joshua singing. We listen to Kids’ Place Live on Sirius most of the time, and so he’s started trying to sing along with some of the songs on there, especially anything that has a lot of “ooos” or repeated syllables. His favorites are “Best Day of My Life” from American Authors and “Light of Love” from Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could. It is beyond adorable.
  • Thursday bedtime dance party, including singing of above songs. Which I have video of, but I can’t get my desktop to connect to the Internet right now. Whoops.

I will tell you my NOT favorite moments include taking Libbie to the urgent care and finding out she had strep throat, which was followed by many breathing treatments for my asthmatic girl. This week has not been stellar. Dark winter weeks are not my favorite.

Favorite offline reading: I’m finally getting to a point in The Woman in White where it is interesting and I want to keep reading. So I’m hoping to finish it up soon!

How was your week?

 

 

Grain-Free Chili-Ranch Chicken Bites

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Pinterest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Grain-Free Chili Ranch Chicken Bites

Note: This post is sponsored by Naturally Fresh® and The Motherhood, and I was compensated for my time and recipe development. All opinions, pictures, and experiences are my own, and I hope you enjoy them. As always, money earned through sponsored posts will be donated, and I thank you greatly for giving me that ability! 

Party food. It’s basically the best, right? I am positive I could live on dips, maybe with a stuffed jalapeno and chicken wing thrown in there. And there is no time for party food like the Super Bowl.

I have zero interest in football. This morning I had a Trivia Crack question about who played in the 2014 Super Bowl, and I had no idea. I went to a party on campus. I swear! I cooked amazing chicken chili, which won a cook-off. But I had no idea who played in the game.

Naturally Fresh and The Motherhood asked if I would develop a Super Bowl snack recipe using one of their dressings. When I read that their dressings and dips have no preservatives or artificial colors or flavorings, I was sold! I hopped down to Publix and found a jar in the refrigerated section, near salads. Imagine that – the Ranch dressing is made with actual buttermilk that needs to be refrigerated.

I was impressed with the ingredients list, especially how low sugar is on the list; and I recognized all the ingredients on the label. I’ve been experimenting with making my own Paleo mayonnaise, mostly so I can make Ranch dressing. But so far that has been a disaster. And I am not eating dairy-free, so I’d much rather grab a nice jar of Ranch that I know tastes good than do battle with my immersion blender and have a kitchen splattered with olive oil again.

Ranch chicken bites

 

Since I am trying to eat grain-free right now, I decided to make a little chicken nugget that fits my diet. The chicken is marinated in Ranch dressing and spices, a technique I’ve used for years to make great pork chops. These are then breaded with almond meal and fried in palm oil shortening (or whatever you want to use for deep frying – it’s an oil I feel comfortable using).

I thought these were delicious, but I wasn’t sure if I could sell my kids on the gluten-free breading. Libbie happened to come by when I was trying them, though, and was ecstatic to be a taste-tester. And she LOVED them. Woohoo! These may be a good lunchbox staple, too.

Grain-Free Chili-Ranch Chicken Bites

Yield: about 40 chicken bites

Grain-Free Chili-Ranch Chicken Bites

Delicious fried chicken nuggets take on a new flavor profile after being marinated in Ranch dressing and coated with almond meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 large chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 c. Naturally Fresh® Classic Ranch dressing, plus more for dipping
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 c. coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 c. almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • oil for deep frying - I used palm oil shortening
  • salt for sprinkling

Instructions

Toss cubed chicken with the Ranch dressing, chili powder, and garlic powder. Cover and refrigerate at least half an hour.

Set up three bowls for coating chicken. In the first, put coconut flour. In the second, beat the egg. In the third, mix almond meal, salt, and pepper.

Heat shortening or oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Your oil should be about 1 inch deep. Test to see if oil is ready by using the end of a wooden spoon. If bubbles form around it, it is hot enough. Watch your oil and keep it fairly low. If too hot, the almond meal will easily burn.

Coat chicken pieces in coconut flour, then egg, then almond meal. Fry for 2-3 minutes per side, until chicken feels firm, flipping in the oil once. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate, and immediately sprinkle lightly with salt. Fry in batches, being careful not to overcrowd chicken.

Serve with extra Ranch dressing for dipping.

Notes

Cutting chicken while it is partially frozen will make it easier to get even cubes. For a spicier nugget, you can add some cayenne to the marinade or to the almond coating.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/01/grain-free-chili-ranch-chicken-bites/

Want some more gluten-free party food for your Super Bowl shindig? Try one of these!

Do you have a favorite Super Bowl party food? Anyone who leaves me a relevant comment will be entered to win a coupon for a free bottle of Naturally Ranch dressing. Woo! 

Favorites of the Week

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Pinterest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

IMG_5188 IMG_5189 IMG_5191

Favorite pictures: Antics last Saturday. Really, this picture of Libbie just kinda ticks me off. It really shows her attitude lately. But I didn’t feel like I could leave her out. And we will survive …

Favorite Links:

Recipes I Want to Make:

Favorite moments:

  • Making banana bars with David, and that being his thing he was thankful for during our family devotion time.
  • Watching Joshua play the tambourine and sing at the children’s museum today.
  • My class of 2, 3, and 4-year-olds at church painting with watercolors.
  • Having an uplifting and soul-baring Facebook chat with my friend Sarah, who is also our children’s minister.
  • Snuggling with both boys on the couch tonight – and with a giant stuffed dog – while we watched VeggieTales.
  • Making waffles with Libbie.

Favorite offline reading: I really have not read much besides the Bible this week. I am starting to get into The Woman in White, but the antiquated language makes me want to toss it aside for a good contemporary novel. I will persevere. Classics are almost always worth the read! (It’s free on Kindle if you want to try reading this 1865 book along with me!)

What was one of your favorites this week?

What I Read: December 2014

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Pinterest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

I know I am WAY behind the times on this post. I am grasping at straws to hold it together lately as we try to rest back into our school routine. David JUST started back to preschool on Tuesday, and I feel like I’ve had a million things on the to-do list.

But since Quick Lit is today, I wanted to recap my December reads.

Lucky Us by Amy Bloom – I read about this in a round-up of 2014 books somewhere and put it on my list. (Only maybe because of the cover, which I love.) I think I liked it, but it didn’t really affect me. It’s kind of like looking through a family scrapbook – scattered, with little interesting bits here and there. Not one I would probably recommend to a friend.

Speaking from Among the Bones and The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches by Alan Bradley – I continue to enjoy the Flavia de Luce books immensely, although #5 (Speaking from Among the Bones) was probably my least favorite so far. The story lagged a little bit, and I had a harder time finishing it. I liked The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches much more, which deals with the mystery of Flavia’s mother, Harriet de Luce. I will leave it at that, not wanting to uncover any of the mystery for you!

Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon – This is Karon’s newest installment in the Mitford series. It read slowly. I liked it, because the characters are the same, and they are good, and they are faithful. But I didn’t feel like there was enough real plot conflict to pull the story along.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt – I don’t know that I even knew what this book was about when I picked it up – just that it has been acclaimed by critics and several blog friends alike. While it’s very readable and there is some message in there about Art, I just didn’t love this big old book. I was kind of glad to be done reading it. And that is always a sad state!

Under a Maui Moon by Robin Jones Gunn – I’ve read almost everything RJG has written. While I still prefer the older Glenbrooke series, I like her newer fiction also. In this one, Carissa is wondering where her life is going. Her marriage seems to be failing and she is surprised to lose her job suddenly. Escaping to Hawaii seems like a good opportunity to think and rest. Once there, Carissa is surprised to find love from strangers … and from her Heavenly Father. (Yes, that sounds like a cheesy back cover. I’m trying.) I like when Robin deals with struggling marriages. It feels real, maybe more real at this point in my life than puppy love.

What have you been reading lately? Anything good? I will tell you, my reading posts for January through March are going to be much shorter. I am reading the Bible in 90 days, and that takes up most of my free reading time. And it is good.

Banana Paleo-Cakes

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Delicious
  • StumbleUpon
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS
  • Pinterest

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

Paleo Banana Pancakes

There are about a million versions of these super simple banana-and-egg pancakes. Yes, the combination sounds super weird, but it works. And these work with my new grain-free, refined sugar-free diet right now!

Here is how I like to make these little pancakes. (David and Joshua will eat them too. Libbie, my pickiest eater, is not a fan. But she doesn’t like regular banana pancakes, either. She is weird.)

Banana Paleo-Cakes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 11 minutes

Yield: 7-8 small pancakes

Serving Size: 3 pancakes

Banana Paleo-Cakes

Ingredients

  • 1 large, ripe banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 T coconut flour
  • 2 T butter (ghee, if you are Paleo) or coconut oil for frying
  • maple syrup or honey

Instructions

In a bowl, mash banana well. Beat in eggs. Stir in coconut flour.

Melt butter, ghee, or coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Scoop heaping tablespoons of batter into the hot oil/butter. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, flipping once, just like a pancake, until cooked through.

Once cooked, drizzle with pure maple syrup or honey.

Notes

Butter is fine if you haven't cut out dairy, but a true Paleo diet does. Most Paleo followers will eat clarified butter (ghee), which has all the milk solids skimmed off. Coconut oil is a great alternative, though, if you want to avoid butter altogether.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2015/01/paleo-banana-pancakes/

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...