Saturday, January 24, 2015

What is home?

I was on Pinterest the other day looking for inspiration. Inspiration for what? I don't know. But I ended up on home decor boards and began looking through design blogs for hours. I began mentally cataloguing all the ways my home falls short compared to homes more impeccable than magazine photos I have collecting dust in mine.

My home is NOT organized. There are stacks of paper everywhere. Bills to be paid. Dirty socks strewn about. And you don't even want to look in my kitchen cabinets--scary I tell ya. I started bumming harder the longer I looked through Pinterest projects I knew I would likely never finish. I looked around and saw all the chaos in my home and made a mental list on what I would tackle by spring.

I was mentally going through them all as I waited on the bus to pull up. A smile came over me as I saw the lights flashing yellow, then red. My son was closer to me, and giving him a huge hug after school is ALWAYS one of the best parts of my day. He walked slowly towards me, kicking a pebble down the sidewalk. My heart sunk. I knew he had a bad day, and it made my Pinterest moping seem so stupid. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Spinach Apple Salad

I thought I'd follow up my last post with something a little more healthy and colorful. And with a lot less gluten. But no less flavor! Random fact about me: I HATE boring salads. Iceberg, shredded carrots & ranch takes me right back to my grade school cafeteria. And then the mystery meat nightmares start. So I won't touch them. I will eat shameful amounts of fun salads with lots of flavors & textures. Seriously. I made so much of this salad it could fill up the whole buffet at Ryan's. And then I ate it. I mean… I gotta get my kicks somewhere.

Just check out this beauty:

Have mercy. 

Let me tell you a little something. Green apples, cheddar & bacon are the most delightful flavor combo ever. One of those flavor combos that changes your life. It makes salad a lot more fun. Even your carnivore husband will like it. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Banana Yogurt Pancakes

I know my family loves me always. But I also know they love me a whole-heck-of-a-lot more when the aroma of these little beauties permeates throughout our home. This recipe makes {about} 12 pancakes, but it can easily be doubled for a crowd. They are SO SIMPLE yet they taste better than pancakes from a pancake house. The best part? If you can measure pancake mix & mash a banana, you can do this!

Friday, January 2, 2015

New Year, New Hope

If Scrooge hates Christmas, I hate New Year's Eve more. I can't explain it, the cheesiness of a date on the calendar motivating the masses to acquire gym memberships, clean out their closets, open books, and initiate temporary change annoys me. So I stay home and watch the ball drop in my sweatpants while the world celebrates.

This morning, in quiet contemplation with my heavenly Father, it occurred to me that a lot of my resistance against this holiday has to do with my frustration with my failure to complete a lot of things in the past year. I often feel a lot like Lot's wife during New Year's Eve, I struggle with moving forward because I can't stop looking back. I look back on how I didn't get my garage cleaned out, I didn't lose that 20 pounds I wanted, I didn't read my bible as much as I wanted, and the list goes on and on…

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Sangria Roast Pork

I have to make a confession: I almost never brown anything before I put it in the crock pot. Isn't the whole point of a crock pot to make life as easy as possible? I really can't tell a difference when I brown the meat vs when I don't… So I'm sorry but not sorry.

If you feel so compelled, then brown away. Just don't make me wash your dishes.

Let's talk crock pot pork. You know what? Take any cheap cut of pork and the crock pot transforms it into fine dining! This little beauty proves my point beautifully. This one starts with a brine. For those who don't cook: a brine is just a really salty marinade. You now how you bloat up like a balloon and retain so much water you can't zip your favorite jeans after a really salty meal? Brines have the same effect on meat. They increase the meat's ability to retain fluid, and therefore, you get juicier, yummier food. Eating it may have some residual effect on your jeans, but the food is so delicious you won't care. Totally worth being fat for.