Friday, February 15, 2013

We're all Sick and Tired, an easy chicken recipe

This past week has been a whirlwind, there seem to have been a lot of them lately. Those weeks where one thing goes wrong so the rest of the week is spent playing catch up.

Yesterday (when I was supposed to be substitute teaching) I was running all over creation (with my mother in law because The Nerd and I got no sleep) finding a nebulizer and getting medication for yet another upper respiratory infection that turned into croup. This means that in the past 6 months Jellybean has had 8 upper respiratory nasties, and in the past 3 weeks 2 cases of croup. Gross right? I think so too.

So how do you handle these whirlwind times? I don't know about you, but eating good food helps me. Most of the time getting into a sick family rut means taquitos, hot dogs, and any other grab and go food we have available. I totally understand. I have been living on instant Thai noodle soup the last few days. But we need to remember to feed our souls too. For most people, that kind of food takes more that 5 minutes to prepare.

I believe that's why God inspired someone to create crock pots. Let's take the 5-8 free minutes we have while the toddler is on the potty, or maybe a small portion of nap time and make something that actually tastes good. Maybe it even has recognizable protein in it, or vegetables, although that may be stretching it a bit.

We're all sick and tired chicken
You'll Need:
4 large chicken breasts (I like to put them in a ziploc and beat them up a little, but that is optional as this is a crock pot meal.)
1 10oz can Diced Tomatoes
1 large Green Bell Pepper Diced (We have a pampered chef chopper I use for this and the onion, it's like a slap chop.)
1 medium Onion Diced
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning (or less if you don't like spicy food)

Cook on low for 6 hours or high for about 3 1/2

Serve with rice or quinoa

Easy and delicious.

Happy eating!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Celebrating 2 With Chocolate Cake

There are few things in life that can put a big ol' smile on a toddler's face like 40 pounds of cake being brought into the house. Especially when that cake is topped with the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. That's right, Jellybean turned 2 and we had a party.

In case you haven't guessed yet I love baking. I know that may come as a shock to you, but bear with me. I am a nerd. Huge nerd. I love figuring out the whole formula for a new cake. I use science and math to accomplish this and I enjoy it. I get in my chemical formula zone and evaluate percentages and  just escape the world for a few hours. When you are planning a party those escapes can be so beneficial, this one also yielded chocolate cake. (Can you say major bonus points?)

Buttermilk Dark Chocolate Cake
(Makes Two 9 inch Round Cakes)

You'll Need:
35g Potato Starch
105g Sorghum Flour
140g Coconut Flour
70g Sweet Rice Flour
430g Sugar
110g Cocoa
5g Salt
15g Baking Soda
355ml Buttermilk
35g Ground Flax
2sticks + 6 Tbsp Butter Softened to Room Temperature
15ml Vanilla
4 Eggs
325ml Hot Brewed Coffee

Preheat oven to 350°F

Begin by mixing your potato starch, sorghum flour, coconut flour, sweet rice flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, and baking soda. in a large mixing bowl and mixing them until they are one. I like to do this with a whisk but some people sift it all together.

Combine your ground flax and your cold buttermilk in a bowl and let the flax bloom. I buy Bob's Red Mill ground flax seed and then further grind it for recipes like this. It gives the final product a smoother consistency.

Meanwhile place your butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium until it is light and fluffy. Then add eggs, vanilla, and your buttermilk flax mixture and mix fully.

Add 1/4 of your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and mix on low, after it is fully incorporated repeat with the next 1/4 portion until you have added in all of your dry mix. Let mix on low for a full minute then slowly pour in your hot coffee and mix on medium low for another full minute.

Grease your pans with solid vegetable shortening, the spray grease will not work. Call it a hunch... Then dust fully with cocoa to prevent sticking.

Bake for 50min or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked into the center.

Happy Eating!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Fighting the booger man

That's right folks. We have not had a boogey man invasion, we have had a booger man invasion. I have one of the many flu viruses, Jellybean gave it to me but her body turned it into croup, and now The Nerd is starting to sniffle, sneeze, and snot. So how do you fight the booger man?

1.) Hot tea - The Nerd and I love Traditional Medicinal's Breathe Easy tea, Jellybean likes peppermint tea with honey or  Traditional Medicinal's Kid's Nighty-Night tea. People think it's weird that my toddler loves herbal tea, but it helps! (She has let it come out her nose before, can you say sinus rinse? The best part, she acts like it's normal and just asks for a tissue, no tears! I died laughing the first time it happened.)

2.) Eucalyptus oil - This is the stuff that makes vapor rub smell so vapory (aside from the menthol). You can buy the essential oil at most health stores and some grocery stores. Our favorite way to use it is in a steamy shower. We turn the water on as hot as it will go, plug the drain, and put a few drops of oil in the tub. Then we just let the steam fill the bathroom and breathe in the goodness. We don't actually get in the bath as it is too hot, but sometimes the steam is highly necessary. You can also "refill" your vapor pads for your humidifier with the oil, or mix 2-3 drops with some coconut oil and you have home made petroleum free vapor rub. (Rosemary, Peppermint, Lemon, and Lavender essential oils are also great add ins)

3.) Nose Frida - It looks strange, okay it is strange, but it works better than traditional nasal aspirators. You just have to get over the fact that you are the one sucking your child's snot out.

4.) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate - Keep all that mucous liquid by keeping your body pumped up with water, tea, and any other liquids you are craving. Avoid overly sugary or caffeinated drinks as they can dehydrate you. I like drinking iced green tea to give me a break from water sometimes. Sweeten it with honey or agave for an extra boost away from sugar.

5.) Chicken and Dumplings - Nothing hits the spot like some good ol' chicken soup. In our house that equals chicken and dumplings. Find the recipe here but use these dumplings!

I probably have a few more ideas, but they aren't able to make it through the crummy haze. What are your go to natural remedies? Any favorite natural cold fighting products you love?

Happy eating healing!