A New and Better Egg Salad

Welcome to November! I find it hard to believe that we are in the final 2 months of 2016! The year has just flown by! We are finally seeing fall colors here in the South, but our temperatures are still summery. We’ve had temps over 80 degrees every day for the last 2 weeks or so, and more are ahead this week! And it is so very dry! We’ve not had significant rainfall since July.

Before I share my creation for a new and better egg salad, let me share some news! My oldest son and his wife are now home owners! We are thrilled for them! There is quite a bit of work to be done before they can actually move in, but many hands make light work, and we are all doing what we can to help them on this journey!

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And, of course, I simply must add a new picture of my sweet little grandman. I can’t wait to squeeze him at Thanksgiving!

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Last Saturday morning the ladies of our church prepared a great breakfast for the men who had been having a special service. I enjoyed working with friends to make the breakfast happen! We had very little left over when the 70 men were finished, but there were some bacon bits, grated cheddar cheese and chopped hard-cooked eggs. I decided that they could be used to make sandwiches for the church-wide fellowship we were having on Sunday evening. When I told my youngest son what I planned to make, he said that it sounded pretty good!

I don’t know amounts because I didn’t measure the ingredients, but I will give estimates.

  • about 2 cups chopped hard-cooked eggs
  • about 1-1/2 c. chopped cooked bacon
  • 1 c. grated cheddar cheese
  • mayonnaise–just enough to moisten the ingredients and hold them together
  • salt to taste

Mix all these ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Spread on Wasa crackers for a great THM lunch!  I used a good wheat bread and made sandwiches for our church supper. My youngest son said that they were just amazing! I think that we have a new egg salad recipe that I will probably use from now on!

Roasted Cauliflower

Last week was a whirl wind of activities! We learned that our deployed son was coming home! Now, we were already planning for his return, since we had a window when he told us he was coming. However, that window closed and he was still on the other side of the world. So when we got the new date, I didn’t tell a soul for fear that it would change again. It didn’t, and I finally got my hug!

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Then the next day I was totally surprised to have my 2Lt show up at my door!!! It seems that everyone in the family knew he was coming except me. That’s ok, because I just love surprises like that!! He came to surprise his girl who was playing in her first university symphony orchestra concert. He had to tell her though, because she already had plans for the weekend!

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I just love having my family come home, and my heart was almost full!  I was totally missing my girl,  but I am thankful that she and Sammy should be here for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to squeeze that little man again!

This recipe was originally created for potatoes, but I used it last week with cauliflower. It turned out great, and the hubby loved it. It could be used as a potato substitute or as a veggie side dish.

1 large head cauliflower

1/4 to 1/2 c. water

1 tsp. garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic)

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 c. dried parsley (I used dried cilantro since I had no parsley)

1/4 c. butter, melted

Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and place in a microwave-safe dish. Add the water and cover. Microwave until mostly tender. Strain the water and gently squeeze the cauliflower to remove any extra water.

Lightly spray the dish and return cauliflower to it. Sprinkle the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and parsley or cilantro over the top of the cauliflower, and gently stir to combine. Pour the butter on top of the mixture.

Place in a 350* oven and bake uncovered until cauliflower is tender and slightly golden, about 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Overnight Oatmeal

I’m back!!! I am finally taking the time to share a new recipe with you! Sorry it’s been so long…no real excuses…just haven’t done it. Oh, well! Here I am!

First a few updates on the family…I miss this little dude terribly! I hate that he and his parents live so far away!! I can’t wait to see him and his mommy at Thanksgiving! Grammy will do a whole lot of spoiling!!

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I also miss this “baby!” He’s been on the other side of the world for over 3 months now, and could possibly be home THIS weekend!!! I can not wait!!! I know that a 3-month deployment is not considered very long, but in the eyes of a mama, it is terribly long!

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This little munchkin is growing up so fast! I love that she lives nearby and that I can see her almost everyday! She loves trying to say new words and is quite the little yack-back.

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We got the news on Saturday that my dear Aunt Margie passed away out in South Dakota. She had recently turned 88 years old. Although her hubby was not much of a traveler, he didn’t mind if Aunt Margie traveled, so she and my Aunt Kay would often drive across the country to come south and visit with my mom, their older sister. I am so thankful for those visits! My children have wonderful memories of visits with their great-aunt! Aunt Margie was the 8th of 10 children born to my grandparents. I can’t believe that only the youngest 2 are left! I miss all my aunts and uncles, and of course, my own mom who passed away 9 years ago next week. They were a special bunch and had great love not only for their own families, but also for all the nieces and nephews. This picture is of Aunt Margie, Uncle Jim and me at a family reunion back in 2008.

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Last week I had a most embarrassing moment when I locked not only my keys but also my phone and wallet inside my van at the gas station! Now, I’ve been driving since I was 15…got my “Cinderella License” at that time and could drive by myself from sunup to sundown. In all these years I have never locked my keys in my car…until last week. Thanks to some extended Citadel family members, I was able to get the situation taken care of…but that’s another story!

Now to the recipe! I love oatmeal on cold mornings, and we have finally gotten cooler mornings here in the south. It has taken several weeks longer than normal, but I’m happy that it is finally here!

This recipe is just amazing! And if you forget to make it the night before, you can easily cook it in the microwave in the morning. It makes a great E breakfast if you follow THM.

1/2 c. old fashioned oats

1-1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder

2 tbsp. peanut butter powder

1/8 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. sweetener (I like Pyure)

2/3 c. almond milk

1/3 c. plain Greek yogurt

Mix the dry ingredients in a medium-sized cereal bowl. Add the almond milk and yogurt and stir well. Feel free to add a little more almond milk if the mixture looks like it is too dry. Cover and put in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, stir the oatmeal and zap it in the microwave to warm it up. Add more almond milk if needed or top with low-carb spray whipped cream. Enjoy!

New Recipe Coming Soon!

A friend reminded me the other day that it’s been a while since I shared a new recipe here. I guess time has gotten away from me! I promise I do have a new recipe to share. I’ll give you a hint…if you like chocolate-peanut butter cups, you will like the new recipe!!

In the mean time, enjoy this recipe for pumpkin snicker doodles!  We all love pumpkin at this time of year!

Nutritional Yeast, Turmeric, and Integral Collagen

We’ve had almost 10,000 visitors to the blog!

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If you’ve been reading this blog for the last few years, you know that I have been eating the Trim Healthy Mama way for over 2 years now. I love the way that I feel when I eat according to the plan. I can fudge a bit for maybe a day or so, but if I go much longer than 2 days, I begin to have joint pain and feel sluggish and puffy.

Following THM is very easy and doesn’t require a lot of extra foods that I need to purchase. I seriously don’t think that I’ve spent a lot of extra money on special ingredients! I do try to be more careful in what I purchase and read labels for certain ingredients that I don’t want in my diet any more.

There are however, 3 items that I have begun using in my diet on a regular basis. These are nutritional yeast, turmeric, and integral collagen. I have found these ingredients to be very helpful in helping me to feel better. Over the last months of adding these to my daily diet, I have noticed that my joints don’t hurt nearly as much as they used to…especially after physical activity. I have little to no inflamation in my ankles and fingers, and my lower back pain has all but disappeared.

Nutritional yeast is an ingredient often used in vegan diets. We do not eat vegan in the Gardner household!! However, nutritional yeast is high in the B vitamins. It is also gluten-free; sugar-free, and low in fat and sodium. Nutritional yeast can be added to a wide variety of foods. I enjoy adding it to scrambled eggs, quiches, and other egg dishes. For more information, visit here.

Turmeric is another ingredient that I have added into my diet. I always add it to my lemon drink. I also add it to scrambled eggs, pasta dishes, and chicken salad. Turmeric has many good health benefits, one of which is that it is anti-inflamatory. You can read more about it here.

The third ingredient is integral collagen. I began adding this to my hot tea each morning about a year ago. It took about 6 months before I began noticing a difference…mainly in my hair health and my fingernails! I actually have new hair growth at my hairline! And my fingernails are much stronger than they used to be. This page has more information.

I hope you find this information helpful, and that you research these items for yourself.

**Disclaimer** The links that I have used here are just ones I found on the internet that help explain more about these ingredients. I do not support these websites in anyway!

 

A Little Bit of Random Thoughts

OK, so it’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve shared anything at all here on the blog. Sorry about that! But, life does get busy….

I recently returned from spending 10 days with my girl and her little man. I loved getting to hold, cuddle, and love up on this little guy!

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You’d think that my girl and I would have cooked up some recipes while I was there, but no such thing happened…at all. Baby Sammy and painting took most of my time! I was able to help Barbi finish painting her dining room; the trim in her living room, and the downstairs half-bath!

Last week I discovered another blog here on WordPress. It caught my attention since it is not only for the military, but also for those of us who knit or crochet. Since I have 2 of my 4 Blue Stars deployed right now, this sort of thing is very close to my heart. Take a peek here, and then get out your yarn and hooks or needles, and make some scarves for our service men and women! I plan to start this project this weekend!

I actually do have a few blog post ideas floating around in my head. Once I get these thoughts organized, I will share them here.

Thanks for being patient with me!

Getting Kids to Eat

Those of us who have kids in the house, or have had kids in the house over the years know how tiring it can be to get them to eat what you  have spent time preparing! We all know how important it is for our children to eat well-balanced meals and to get proper nutrition for their growing bodies.

Unfortunately, those precious children, whom we dearly love, don’t always love the food that we put in front of them. During dinner, they will just push the food around on their plates making it look like they are eating at least some of it. Ya’ll know what I’m talking about.

When our kids were young, we always had family dinner together each evening. The children were required to eat at the table with us…no cell phones, toys, books or other distractions were allowed. And they were required to at least try a bite of everything that was served. If I served up their plates, I tried to give them small servings so that finishing dinner was not a terrible trial in the event they didn’t care for the meal. However, if they served themselves they had to eat what they had taken.

I am sure you all have fun stories to tell of your children and their eating habits. One of mine would walk by the stove as I was preparing dinner. He would stretch tall to see what I was cooking in the pan or pot. “What’s for dinner, Mom?” was the question. If he didn’t like the answer, I heard, “I’m not hungry.”  We decided that it was perfectly fine if he was not hungry. He had to sit at the table anyway. And if he didn’t eat, he got nothing as a snack in the evening when his siblings did.

One of my other children hated casseroles. There was something wrong about having different foods touching each other on the plate! And of course, there were always the vegetable battles.  “Eat your peas, Louise” was a story that we had read one time, and it became a phrase said often at our supper table!

Today I read a blog post about getting kids to eat. Holly, over at Home Sweet Home with Holly, shares a great idea that she has used in her family. I can see how Rating the Recipe would work well with older children. Wish I had thought of it years ago!

If you still have kids at home, give it a try!

Breakfast Casserole, THM style!

Things have been pretty quiet around here this week. My little grand darling and her parents are away for a week of family vacation with her other grandparents. I miss that little girl like crazy!! I can’t believe she is almost 2 years old! It won’t be long until she is in “First Day of School” pictures like I’ve been seeing on my Face Book news feed this week. Those children are so adorable!

This is also the time of year for colleges to begin again. It is hard for me to believe that my Citadel grad is starting his second year out of college! I have remained a member of some of the Citadel parent pages on Face Book in order to encourage parents who are new to the 4th class system of a military college. Back when Ben was a knob, I wrote this blog post about mailing packages to him. It is my most viewed post…over 2500 clicks on that post alone! I am amazed!

And of course, my heart misses my newest bundle of love! I can’t wait to see him (and his mommy!) again in September!

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Last week I saw this recipe come through my news feed and realized that I could make it low-carb with no trouble at all. The original recipe called for 1 lb. of hash brown potatoes. I switched that out for finely chopped cauliflower, and it worked great! The hubby even took seconds! This recipe makes 6 large portions.

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Mix these ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

  • 1 lb. chopped cauliflower
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. paprika

Cut  7 slices of bacon into bite-sized pieces and fry them in a skillet. Drain on paper towels.

Mix these ingredients together in another bowl.

  • 6-7 eggs
  • 1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
  • the fried bacon pieces

Lightly oil a baking pan. I used one that is 7 x 11 inches. Press the cauliflower mixture into the pan on the bottom and part way up the sides. Pour the egg mixture on top of the cauliflower. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and 1 tbsp of  chopped, fresh chives.

Bake at 350* for about 40 minutes or until the eggs are firm. Serve with a spoonful of fresh salsa. Enjoy!

 

Fig Cookies

Once again, we have had an abundance of figs on our fig tree! I thought that we had a lot last year, but I think that we have even more this summer. I have a bunch in the freezer to use in smoothies; we have dehydrated quite a few pounds; the hubby has been eating them fresh; we have sold some; and we have given some away. And I still have several pounds in the fridge!

A friend shared this recipe on Pinterest the other day, and I thought that it sounded pretty good. I don’t necessarily eat Paleo, but this recipe is very good. I tried making fig cookies several years ago, but I struggled with getting the cookie just right. This recipe is better, but still a little crumbly. Next time I might use some oat flour with the almond flour.The flavor of the fig filling is amazing! I really like it since there is no added sugar!

Mine didn’t turn out looking as pretty as hers did, but I think that it is because I should have used more figs. The recipe calls for 10 ounces of dried figs. I didn’t weigh the figs, so I probably didn’t use enough. All my figs were fresh, so I dried some in my dehydrator for about 2 hours. That process took out most of the moisture without making them too dry.

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Zucchini Pizza Slices

We always eat our main meal on Sunday after our morning worship service. And we always have the same foods! There is something comforting to having the same big Sunday dinner each week. Our kids grew up with beef roast, gravy, rice or mashed potatoes, and broccoli with cheese sauce each week. It was something they looked forward to! They still do if they happen to be home on the weekend! I mean, really! Sunday dinner is just not the same without them!

Having the main meal in the middle of the day means that I don’t cook anything fancy after our evening church service. Often, I make flat bread pizza for the hubby and myself. Yesterday, though, I wanted to try something different. And I did have a zucchini in the fridge that needed to be used!

This is based on a recipe that I saw on a cooking video over on Face Book. Unfortunately, I can’t remember which group shared it! I thought it was from Tasty, but when I did a search on their page, it did not come up. I really do want to give credit to the creator of this amazing dish, but, alas, I can not!

We’ve been eating a lot from our garden in recent weeks…fresh tomatoes, hot peppers, figs, peaches, basil, green onions, and garlic…to name just a few items! I even got some tomatoes canned this afternoon! The zucchini has not been as prolific this summer as it usually is, but we did get a few. The most recent one was rather large! It was about 2 inches in diameter and about 10 inches long! Usually, the large ones don’t taste as tender and delicious as the smaller ones, but this one was fine for the pizza slices!  I had my doubts as to whether the hubby would like this recipe, but he loved it! I had no leftovers!

As usual, I don’t have actual amounts for the ingredients. I just created the pizza slices with the pizza toppings that I had on hand. Use your own creativity to make yours! I love that it is THM-friendly!

  • Pizza Sauce
  • Pepperoni slices
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Onion and garlic powder
  • Oregano
  • 1 large zucchini

Wash and slice the zucchini. I cut mine about 1/4 inch thick. Lightly spray a cookie sheet and place the zucchini slices on the pan. Spread about 1 tbsp. of pizza sauce on each piece of zucchini. Place one slice of pepperoni on top of the sauce. *The video showed the pepperoni being cut into tiny circles. That seemed like too much work for me! One large slice of pepperoni one each zucchini slice works well! Sprinkle each slice with the cheeses and the spices.

Bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees.