Don’t Quit

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This is one of my favorite poems from my childhood. My mother used to love decorating with insightful poems, sayings, and plaques that covered our house. This used to be on the wall, and it always comes to mind when I know someone is going through a difficult time. I’m sharing it today so that we can all remember that we need to “stick to the fight when we’re hardest hit.”

Love you, M.

Change your plans

I don’t know what your dinner plans are for tonight, but cancel them. You NEED to make this roast immediately.

It’s like Fogo de Chao, but WAY BETTER. Like all the amazing garlic/salt/spice flavor you love in beef, but done in these delicate little slices that your deli roast beef would be jealous of.

…maybe that takes it a little too far?

Regardless, it was one of the most amazing things I’ve put in my mouth in more than a month, so I’m pushing it to high Heaven today to tell you to make it. My husband wasn’t a huge fan … he likes his stuff more on the bland side… but for all of you adventurers out there, try it out.

Here’s mine, and here’s how I improvised.

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Here’s what you need to make this awesomeness (serves 6-8):
1 – 3 to 4 pound beef bottom round roast (make sure you buy the right cut of meat!) mine was a little over three pounds.

For the garlic & herb rub:
8 garlic cloves, peeled – yep, had them
2 teaspoons sea salt – I used standard table salt
1 tablespoon dried parsley – done
1 teaspoon dried thyme– done
1 teaspoon dried rosemary– I didn’t have this, so I used 1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning as a sub.
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper – yep, done
1/4 cup olive oil– done

For the gravy:
1/2 cup water– yep
3 tablespoons arrowroot starch– I don’t buy this, and maybe I should, but I just used corn starch since that’s what I already had on hand.
pan drippings from the roast – yep, done
2 cups GF beef broth– I used one can of regular beef broth. Again, it’s what I had here.
1/2 cup good red organic wine – I did not use wine in this… listen, I’ve got a kid, I don’t really drink that much wine as it is, and my husband doesn’t care for it. I didn’t want a lonely bottle going bad in the cupboard over a half of a cup for this.

So, first, I’d like to start by saying I had a little “help” in the kitchen on this one….. AKA, obstacles I was jumping over like a show pony. I’m very impressed with myself that I was able to conquer this despite my “helper.” If I can, you can, too.

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  • I used my fancy Tupperware QuickChop chopper for the rub. It gave me a chance to use it and I liked how the garlic was a little chunky.
  • I don’t use my cast iron pan, so that was out. I used a regular casserole pan for cooking the roast, then emptied the drippings into a regular saucepan to cook it down for the sauce. Still turned out great.
  • I have a gas oven, and I cooked it at 375 for 1hr and 10 mins. You can see how rare mine was … I would have done it longer, but I threw out my meat thermometer so I had nothing to use for temperature gauging. Next time I’ll keep it in longer. The redder parts are delicious, but I have a small child so I try to give him the more cooked portions.
  • I almost decided I would never make this again because of the way the aroma filled my house during the cook time. I TAKE IT BACK. I will probably be making this at least once a month for the rest of my life.

Hope you like it as much as me and my son did!!!!! If you’re into bread, I could TOTALLY picture this on a crispy Italian roll. OHMYGOD. I bet it’s to die for! And the sauce is amazing. I wish I had potatoes on hand to just pour it over. Delicious!!!

Garlic & Herb Crusted Beef Roast

So, I saw this and I started salivating. I think that’s a good sign it might be something to make:

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There’s just something about thin-sliced steak that does it for me. I’m not much into pot roasts and all that heavy overpowering carrots/potato/comforting one-pot wonder business, but I live for delicate yet hearty flavors like this.

I have no idea if I have any of the things I need for this, but like usual, I’ll improvise and figure out some alternatives and share my findings tomorrow! For now, though, I’m taking the roast out of the freezer and prepping that bad boy for his debut tonight.

I’m down a few pounds now – I’ve been at this officially 8 days continuously – and I’ve seen a lot of improvement in the way my clothes fit and that my double chin is finally receding (thank the LORD). It’s not all gone yet, but after another 5 lbs I’ll be able to fit into my normal jeans again so I’m really looking forward to that 🙂 it will be amazing to be able to wear real jeans again! The biggest thing is that my bloating is way down. It’s going to be Shark Week soon, but at least I’m starting in a much better place for it this month.

A few random thoughts for today:

  • I’m so glad I’m not on social media right now. Instead, my cousin Jenny and I have been texting and making each other laugh, so we’re coping with life the best way we know how …. by dreaming of our future retirement plans in Cape May. 🙂
  • My son thinks it’s hilarious to de-lint the puppy whenever he gets the chance. He’ll beg me to give him the lint brush, and then he’ll chase Buddy everywhere trying to get all of the hair off of him. Whatta clown. LOL
  • The Charlie Brown “Peanuts” movie is hysterical, but also very sad. Poor Charlie Brown has no self-esteem, and he’s so pathetic it’s a sin. And Lucy is super mean to him. I am in love with Peppermint Patty, who’s the funniest of all of them. My son stands there mesmerized during the whole film, so it’s a win for all.

Hope you’re having a GREAT hump day!

Better days are on the way, my friend…

I’m feeling a LOT better today! It actually happened last night, sometime around 6:30pm everything just kind of slid right back into place. My recovery time (ie, withdraw from bad food) seems to be getting shorter every time I fall off the wagon… then climb back on. In one way, it’s promising to me because it means that in my “in-between” times, I must not be nearly as bad as I used to be on a normal day.

So, let’s call that progress!!

Today I’m trying to eat up all the leftovers from our fridge to make room for fresh fruits and veggies. I had a ton of vegetables that I bought with all the best intentions, but when I’m bad, there’s no such thing as “food budget” or “no takeout.” Nope. So, I’m slowly working my way through the things that are still good and clearing out what didn’t make it during my downtime.

Over the weekend I’m looking forward to trying out some new recipes to spice up my food life. Every time I get back on my Eating Well High Horse, I tend to make the things I remember liking from before… like braised beef (YUM), lemon chicken, and strawberry spinach salad. I need to mix up my routine to keep things moving… especially if I’m going to be doing this for all of my (currently theoretical) pregnancy!

Do you have any great recipes I should try? I’m always looking for ideas, especially for things that are Whole30 approved!

 

(Sidenote: does anyone recognize the Point of Grace lyric in the title?!)

 

 

Roasted Cauliflower

Cauliflower is not ever something I enjoyed. Apparently a lot of other people share my lack of enthusiasm for the veggie, because when I made a huge beautiful veggie tray for my nephew’s birthday last weekend, it was one of the few things that remained untouched.

Such is life.

So, I’m back on my Whole30/Paleo kick and I’m HUNGRY. There’s a nearly full head of cauliflower in my fridge staring at me, and I can’t stand to waste it. A memory of a friend of a friend comes to mind…. She looked my way during a food discussion at a party and screeched when I told her I didn’t like it. *Ahem* Apparently… people make pizza crust with it, and it’s a big thing I’m only now learning, because – in my world – pizza is god, and you do not mess with crust, sauce, and cheese. Some people beg to differ. Savages.

CHEAT DAY WAS INVENTED FOR PIZZA, PEOPLE.

But, I digress.

If you can’t tell, I’m a little wonky and spacey and out of sorts. I don’t really feel like myself today. It’s Day 2 of eating better and this time is always the hardest for me as I come down off my sugar high. I don’t want to do anything today but space out on the couch or nap… and napping is not something I do. Therefore, you can tell how weird this is for me!

Right. Cauliflower!

So, in case you don’t already know of her, Michelle from NOMNOMPALEO.COM is the Goddess of Paleo. She has a hundred award-winning recipes for just about everything. I typed “cauliflower paleo” into my google toolbar and I found this little gem

HUZZAH!

In reality, I cheated. A lot. And I didn’t really follow this true to form at all. But it was delicious so I want to share it anyway.

  • large cauliflower
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (I used like, a 1/2 c of olive oil by the time I was done…)
  • Kosher salt (Morton salt. Whatever, right? Same thing.)
  • ¼ cup capers, drained (I wish! I didn’t have any.)
  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley (I only had dried, so I sprinkled a little bit.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise (I used garlic powder)
  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or red pepper flakes) (I used red cayenne pepper)
  • I added juice from a whole lemon, and pepper.

Here’s what mine ended up looking like…  (the things next to it are the jalapeno chicken sausages… I could only eat one since I ate nearly that entire plate of cauliflower!)

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Some things I’ve learned:

  • smaller the better, especially when you have no patience. The smaller pieces were softer (ergo, more delicious) than the larger ones.
  • lemon makes everything better. period.
  • i started on med/high heat (since I wasn’t using a cast-iron pan) and i think that worked out well, but i turned down the heat a bit because i didn’t want to burn them. … which walks into my next bullet…
  • i used a LOT of olive oil. I once heard someone say that if you have olive oil that goes bad, it means you’re not using enough, so i used a lot. It kept my flowers from sticking and it helped them crisp up better. Plus, you can’t go wrong with a good heart-healthy fat like that!

I’ll definitely make this again, it was a huge win for me. Do you have a good way to prepare cauliflower that you want to share? I’m looking for new ideas now!

 

Hellooooo, February!

Ah, today is the day! Such hope! Such wonder! Such… headaches. 🙂

You would think I would be used to this by now, but yeah, I’m not. I’ve even had two cups of black coffee to try to counteract the agony of sugar withdraw, but so far, it ain’t helpin.

Whyyyy is sugar so bad, yet so good?!

It’s February 1st, which means I’ve run out of excuses why I can’t start being healthy. Ergo, here I am. I’ve also run out of excuses for other things, too. Like, my kid is mostly self-sufficient… he can “tell” me when he wants things, he plays really well with his toys without much participation from me, and he’s aware of his surroundings so I don’t have to watch him as much to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself. He’s a little man now, which means that while he’s playing, I should be doing productive things.

EEEEEEEEK!

I’ve recently chucked one of my most horrible timesuck habits and have been Facebook-free for 2.5 days now. It’s been great because I don’t constantly waste time stalking people or looking through a boring news feed. I hate to say it, but as nice as it (was/is) to keep tabs on everyone else’s comings and goings, I’m starting to just not care any more. After 10 – TEN!? – years of social media, I’m kind of over it.

I will, however, miss broadcasting my life and business for the world to see. Though I’m sure my husband will not miss that at all.

So helloooooooo February! Eating well, no social media distractions, thinking about life and what to do with it, and slowly crawling out of the winter hole I’ve been living in… cuddled up with hot cocoa and snacks while it’s been cold and miserable out. I’m heading back to Greensburg in a few months and I can’t wait to see my peeps! Hopefully by then I’ll be sharing some great news and enjoying a new purpose. ❤