Stuck in a Rut

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photo via coloring notebook

I apologize for the lack of posts as of late.  The goal was for us to post twice a week.  To be honest it’s been a bit of a struggle. One of my biggest faults is being a perfectionist, which makes it very difficult to finish projects or anything really.  My home is really good example of that.  There’s a half painted wall.  Seriously!

I’ve never really considered myself to be a good cook.  Pretty much anytime I ever make anything the first thing I notice is, what could have been better?  Needless to say that type of mindset can make things a wee bit difficult.

If someone would have told me a year ago that Rachel and I would start a food blog my response would have been “yeah, right”.  But after spending loads of time with her she’s inspired me to get out of my comfort zone of eating the same thing five times a week and cook up something different.

This week I’m super excited!  We’re having a bunch of really good friends over for our first annual friendsgiving this weekend.  Also I promised myself that I’m going to start spending more time nurturing my creativity.  I feel like lately I’ve been stuck in a bit of rut and it’s time to make some changes.

Have any of you ever been stuck in a creative rut? If so, how did you cope?  I’d love to read your comments and suggestions.

xo – Kristin

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Oh hey, it’s November!

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some of my favorite things from around the web.

this watercolor print.

I want to run a marathon next April.  This will probably be me at mile 22.  (photo via long run saturday)

 we might have to make these for our friendsgiving brunch.

The most cut-off man on Earth.

this portrait of Angelina Jolie

This post about communal living was very insightful.

Has anyone else heard of bullet journaling?  I’m intrigued.

I just read an article about this denim brand.  Has one else order jeans from them?

This site will definitely come in handy when cooking and baking.

This shirt.

Low-Carb “Gnocchi”

keto-low-carb-pasta-comfort-foodHave you ever ran 3 miles in the pouring rain?  I haven’t either until today.  Normally for me, 3 miles is meant to be a quick 30 min run, in and out.  Today, those miles weren’t quick nor easy.  It was a struggle once I got past the second mile.  I was cold, very wet and somewhat hungry.  The only thing that kept pushing me to keep on going was knowing as soon as I finished, I would get to come home and make this recipe.

Boy was I disappointed.  For the amount of work and elbow grease that I had to put in, my yield was fairly small.  I barely had a bowl full.  Also with each bite I took, I felt like I was eating a forkful of mozzarella sticks.  Not the warm, soft “potato pillows” I was expecting.  I ended up eating half a bowl for lunch to conquer my “post run hunger”.  I don’t think I’ve ever felt so physically full from eating such a small amount of food.  This definitely won’t be going into my weekly meal rotation.

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But any who, if you try this recipe out please let us know what you think.  I’m curious to read what other people think of this dish.

xo – Kristin

Low Carb “Gnocchi”

adapted from the Primitive Palate

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shredded Low-Moisture Part-Skim Mozzarella
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • butter & olive oil for sautéing
Method:

First, place cheese and granulated garlic into a microwave safe bowl and toss around to combine.  Melt cheese in the microwave for about one to two minutes (or until the cheese has melted).  Then fold in one egg yolk at a time until a homogeneous dough forms.  Keep doing it until the cheese and egg yolk completely combine with one another.

                       

Then portion the dough into 3 or 4 equal size balls.  After that stick them into the fridge to chill for at least 10 minutes.  Once the balls of dough have chilled, roll out each ball into a 12 inch log on a lightly greased parchment (to keep from sticking).  Slice each log into one inch pieces (I even took a fork to give the pieces that gnocchi look).

keto-low-carb-pasta-comfort-food         keto-low-carb-pasta-comfort-foodIn a large pot, bring about a half gallon of salted water to a boil (like you would for normal pasta). Place all the gnocchi into the pot and cook until they float, about 2-3 minutes. Then strain into a colander.  While the water is boiling, heat a large pan on medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil to pan.  Add the gnocchi and sauté each side for one to two minutes or golden brown.

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I added marinara sauce to mine, but feel free to add any sauce you see fit.

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Putting the Bloody Mary in Jello-Shots.

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When Rachelcakesmakes and I were trying to figure out what to bring to my brother’s tailgate, I figured we’d have to bring at least something that was boozy.  Then I found the two year old giant bottle of Absolute Peppar stashed away in the cupboard.  There is only one thing you can make with that and that’s bloody mary’s.  Put a bunch of college kids into the mix and let’s see if we can turn it into a jello-shot.

So we did a little bit of searching on the internet and found a recipe (who knew?!?).  We tweaked it a little bit.  Took out an ingredient or two, added a little bit of dill, (that little bit makes all the difference).  As a self proclaimed bloody mary “expert”, I prefer mine with a little bit more “bite”.  So we added a lot more worcestershire sauce than what the original recipe called for.

Keep in mind that this is a jello-shot.  So the vodka flavor is VERY strong.  We ended up sprinkling bacon flavored salt on the top to help mask some of that flavor.

Just a word of caution:  If you are NOT a fan of bloody mary’s this recipe is NOT for you!  

bloody-mary-jello-shot-ingredients          

Bloody Mary Jello-shot

adapted from the improv kitchen

Ingredients:
1 c. tomato juice
1 packet knox gelatin
¼ t. lemon juice
¼ t. garlic powder
¼ t. onion powder
¼ t. pepper (omit if using absolute peppar)
¼ t. salt
half tablespoon of worcestershire sauce (or as needed)
squirt of tabasco sauce
¾ c. vodka
flavored salt for the topping
Mix all ingredients except the vodka, gelatin, and celery stalks in a pot over medium heat. When liquid is bubbling, add gelatin and stir until dissolved. Pull mixture off the heat and let cool for 1 minute. Add vodka and then pour into little jello-shot cups.
If you try this out, please let us know if you end up liking it
xo – Kristin

Our third anniversary.

JLB-Wedding-photographer

(photo from my wedding courtesy of Jeffery Lewis Bennet)

Last week was pretty rough.  Between my husband working from 11am to 11pm all week and our son being sick, we had an unexpected death.  A really good friend of my husband had suddenly passed away at the young age of 27.

Way too often life can become a monotonous routine.  Wake up.  Go to work.  Come home.  Go to bed.  Sometimes it comes too naturally for me to nit-pick the little things.

“Carl, you looked like you slept in that, you should change your shirt.”                                                                                       “How hard would it be to put your dirty clothes in the laundry basket?”

And then today, I look through our wedding album to find a photo for this post and see the photo of us relaxing on the sofa.

Just the two of us.

The first time I ever saw that face I knew right then and there I was going to spend the rest of my life with him.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the everyday and let the little things grind you down.  I learned the hard way last week that they don’t really matter.

Life is short and beautiful.  Finding someone to spend it with is a gift.

xo – Kristin

Low Carb Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese

low-carb-keto-cauliflower-macaroni-cheese-gluten-free-grain-free-high-fat

Hey guys!  I have a confession to make:  I’ve been on a low carb diet since the end of August.  Longer than I’ve been working on this blog.  Crazy considering our first real post was about baking bread…I’ll admit, there are times when I wish I could just bury my face in a bowl full of pasta or even a box of Joe-Joes (the most delicious cookies EVER!!!!).

Monday was one of those days.  It was cold and grey.  All I could think about was a bowl full of warm, gooey mac and cheese.  So I went on google, found a recipe and this is what I came up with.

Pure. Deliciousness.

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Granted, there were no noodles in it.  Not one.  But it was still freaking good.  The cauliflower was the perfect substitute.  It mixed perfectly with the cheese and the broccoli.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

I made a few changes to the original recipe.  Instead of steaming the cauliflower, I roasted it.  I also swapped out the heavy cream for greek yogurt. I used pepper jack cheese instead of sharp cheddar.  Then I kicked it up a notch by adding bacon.  SO GOOD!!!  This recipe is so versatile.  I can’t wait to make this again.

Cauliflower “Mac” and Cheese

adapted from The Food Network

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt, as needed, plus 1/2 teaspoon
  • 1 large head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 cup greek yogurt (I used 2%)
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into small pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar, plus 1/2 cup for topping the casserole
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 pound of bacon

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Preheat oven to 400°F (205°C). Lightly oil a large roasting pan or baking sheet. Cut the cauliflower into florets and place them in a bowl. Toss with garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil and toss so that the florets are lightly coated with oil.

Spread the florets out into a single layer on the roasting pan. Place the cauliflower in the hot oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown.  When finished, remove from oven and place into a separate bowl.

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low-carb-keto-cauliflower-macaroni-cheese-gluten-free-grain-free-high-fat

While cauliflower is roasting in the oven, bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan, and whisk in the cream cheese until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese and whisk just until the cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat, pour over the cauliflower into an oven safe casserole, and stir to combine.  Cook bacon until crisp.  Crumble and mix into casserole.  Top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and bake until browned and bubbly hot, about 15 minutes. Serve.

low-carb-keto-cauliflower-macaroni-cheese-gluten-free-grain-free-high-fat

low-carb-keto-cauliflower-macaroni-cheese-gluten-free-grain-free-high-fat

Oh Hey, it’s October!

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Happy Monday everyone!  It was chilly and rainy all weekend, so I spent the majority of it just hanging out with the family aka being lazy.  Here’s a little bit of what I’m looking forward to this month.  Enjoy!

harvest-autumn-fall-pumpkins-colors-palette-inspiration

these gourds.

apple-cranberry-pandowdyi think i’m gonna bake this

poplar-trees-northern-oregon

Still waiting on the fall color to arrive in Michigan.  So i think i’ll go here instead.

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It’ll be our third wedding anniversary this month.

via jlbwedding

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this outfit

All the plaid.  I’ll take one of each please | It’s Le Crueset’s 90th anniversary | these loafers | fuuuuuur division | more plaid |