Shrimp and Asparagus (AIP Friendly)

Simple easy AIP compliant dinner. Shrimp and asparagus (both on sale and both with coupons!) sauteed with onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, basil, fresh lemon, and a oilve oil/coconut oil mixture. #aipdiet #simplecooking  #healthyeating #dinnertime #blog | September 21, 2017 at 08:23PM

Simple easy AIP compliant dinner. Shrimp and asparagus (both on sale and both with coupons!) sauteed with onion powder, garlic powder, parsley, basil, fresh lemon, and a oilve oil/coconut oil mixture. #aipdiet #simplecooking #healthyeating #dinnertime #blog

For this dish I used 1 small bag of large raw frozen shrimp (Shelled) and 1 bag of microwavable frozen asparagus.

Directions:

Microwave frozen asparagus for 1/2 the  cook time stated on the package. Drizzle pan with olive oil and coconut oil.  Add frozen shrimp (do not defrost) and partially cooked asparagus to the pan.  Season with 1/2 large lemon (squeezed) and garlic powder, onion powder, and salt – to taste.   Cook until shrimp are done.

Easy, Quick, Delicious, Healthy.

*Nut Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Nightshade Free, Sugar Free – AIP Compliant*

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Toddler Test – Questions I asked Genevieve

I asked Genevieve these questions about a month ago and these were her answers…

Obviously some of these answers make no sense and some of her answers were not true to her actual preferences…It was hilarious hearing her answers.

  1. What is your name? Genevieve
  2. How old are you? 3
  3. When is your birthday? Rainbow
  4. How old is Mommy? Big
  5. What is your favorite color? Pink
  6. What is your favorite food? Green beans and green peas
  7. Who is your best friend? Ms. Erin
  8. What is your favorite song? Abcd
  9. What is your favorite animal? Cat and a sheep and a cow
  10. What are you Scared of? Ghost
  11. What makes you happy? Movie
  12. What is your favorite color? yellow
  13. What is your favorite toy? my hippo at home
  14. What is your favorite fruit? Oranges
  15. What is your favorite tv show? “that”
  16. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? People
  17. What is your favorite outfit? Animals
  18. What is your favorite game? Checkers
  19. What is your favorite snack? People
  20. What is your favorite animal? peacocks at the zoo
  21. What is your favorite song? Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
  22. What is your favorite book? Doggies
  23. Who is your best friend? Parker
  24. 1What is your favorite cereal? Checkers
  25. What is your favorite thing to do outside? play in the water
  26. What is your favorite drink? milk
  27. What is your favorite holiday? Santa Claus
  28. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Blankie and milk
  29. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Cereal and milk
  30. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Checkers
  31. What do you want to be when you grow up? A big girl

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The AIP Diet – A new adventure for my health and for my stomach

I have Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease, and most people probably know that, because I am pretty vocal about it.  I know the condition is fairly common and often easily treatable, mine never has been.  Even when the doctors tell me that my blood work is “within range,” I rarely feel like myself and constantly suffer from a broad range of related symptoms. More information about my autoimmune disease and my symptoms have been written about in previous posts (and I am sure I will post on that topic again).  However, I do want talk about food and its relation to Hashimoto’s and my health.

I have been on a gluten free diet for several years after discovering that this is often recommended for Hashimoto’s patients. There are lots of articles out there that talk about why gluten is bad, but basically eating gluten makes my body attach my thyroid more than it already is doing.  Here is a decent article on the topic: Gluten and Hashimoto’s Disease.  When eating a gluten free diet, I find that my symptoms are reduced somewhat and that my flares occur less often.

I was doing good as of last year was down to my pre-diagnosis weight!  I was so excited!  Then there was some major stress in my life and my thyroid levels over the last year have been going down and down.  I am up to 200 mcg of Synthroid a day!…my symptoms are all over the place, and my weight is back up to where it was at its highest (pre-pregnancy).

I have decided that something needs to change and I need to try something new.  I am looking for a new doctor and I am hoping to find a Functional Medicine Doctor that my insurance will cover, but in the meantime I have decided to take on the Auto Immune Protocol Diet.

I have been reading a lot about this Protocol and I am very optimistic that I will see positive results.  This protocol is often prescribed by doctors for patients with autoimmune issues and leaky gut.  I have been pulling my information from a number of sources, but my go-to has been Paleo Mom.  She gives a great overview of the protocol here.

What is the AIP diet?

The goal is to detox your system of foods and substances that often cause reactions.  The foods allows and disallowed are easily found online and Paleo Mom has some great reference charts.  This strict protocol is to be followed for a minimum of 30 days (although many people find that they are still symptomatic and need to follow it for longer) and then start reintroducing foods in a limited and specific way.  By reintroducing foods slowly, it should be easy to recognize which foods cause symptom flares.  Foods that cause a negative reaction should be removed and kept out of the eating plan for that individual.  The ultimate goal is to finish on the paleo diet with the addition of limiting food that that specific person also reacts too.

Wish me good luck and strength of will to stay on the AIP wagon!

Baked Stuffed Porkchops

My husband asked me to cook dinner because our schedules have been crazy lately and we havent had a good homemade dinner in a while.

I decided  that I would make baked stuffed porkchops, gluten free cornbread, and mashed potatoes.  I made black eyed peas too, but they were just frozen frozen peas that cooked in chicken stock.

Baked Stuffed Porkchops

  • Thick boneless porkchops
  • cream cheese
  • shredded Parmesan cheese
  • chopped garlic
  • Frank’s Seasoning
  • 1/4 Onion
  • Olive Oil

I cut a slit in the chops, seasoned them with Frank’s seasoning, and then seared them.  After I seared them, I stuffed the pork chops with a mixture of the onion, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese and then baked.

Play Kitchens

Genevieve loves playing with the kitchen center at her daycare, so we knew we wanted her to have one for her birthday  (which her Poppy and Bibbie got for her 2nd birthday).

She has the Kid Craft Large Pastel Play Kitchen (here).

It took Michael HOURS to put it together, but the end result was wonderful!  She still plays with her kitchen almost every day.

 

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Most of her dishes and things are from Green Toys and Melissa and Doug.  I prefer the wooden items as much as possible.

 

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This picture was taken when she was first given her kitchen!

We even got a video of her playing with if for the first time.

And more recently, she was gifted a condiment set to go with her kitchen.  She loved these condiments so much, she took them to bed with her every night for several weeks!

Breakfast for Dinner and Tales of a Helpful Toddler

Last night was the first night in a long time that I cooked dinner for my family.  I love to cook and I normally cook quite often, but Michael had been out of town for a bit and then my Mother-in-Law had a heart attack (more about that in another post) and as a result we have been back and forth to Little Rock (to visit the hospital) and Michael has been staying at the hospital a lot too.

Michael was home last night and I wanted to cook, but I had forgotten to set anything out to defrost.  I was left to ponder what I could fix for dinner fairly easily and with what I had on hand and ready to cook.

I decided on Breakfast for dinner –  a fairly regular meal at our house.  I thought about what I would include and decided on gluten-free biscuits, scrambled eggs, and sausage links.  Now generally Michael prefers bacon or at least sausage patties, but all I had was sausage links, so he was just going to have to make do with them.

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The kitchen quickly becomes a disaster area when I am cooking!

Genevieve saw me in the kitchen and wanted to help.  She climbed up in her learning tower (we found this at a Rhea Lana’s sale for so cheap!), and asked to help me.  She first pointed to the sausages and told me that she wanted to eat the “hot dog,” which was so cute!  I told her that they were sausages and she then told me that she wanted to eat the sausages, but I told her they had to cook first (much to her disappointment).  She then helped me cute the biscuits.  When I started breaking the eggs to scramble them, she asked if she could crack the eggs.  I wouldn’t let her crack the eggs because I didnt want to fish all the shells out.  She got so made at me that she ran out of the kitchen saying that she was going to go “tell daddy that you are doing it wrong!”

When dinner was finished cooking, we all sat down to the table to eat.  It was such a treat for us all to eat dinner together, since it had been so long.

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I ate my biscuits with honey…yum!

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Want to know how to make these amazing gluten-free biscuits?  I use this recipe from Maebell’s blog.  It is the best gluten-free biscuit recipe I have found.  I generally tweak it by adding 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum, cooking in a glass 9×13 casserole dish coated with melted butter, and I cook them a bit longer – 15 to 20 minutes (finishing with the broil setting to get a golden color on top).

Morphing a Gluten Free Cake Mix

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg Betty Crocker Gluten Free Yellow Cake mix
  • 1 pkg chocolate fudge jello pudding mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 stick butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk (add a couple extra tablespoons if the mix is too dry).
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

Mix all ingredients together and spoon into a oiled bunt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

The batter is VERY thick and will not pour.  This batter will need to be spooned into the pan.

Notes: This cake is one of the best cakes I have ever made, regarding texture.  The cake was very moist and held together very well.  It was fluffy.  I was afraid it would be dense because the batter was so heavy, but this cake is very light and springy.  I even cut it while it was hot and it didnt crumble at all!  I will say that it did not taste overly chocolaty.  I think next time I make it, I will add more cocoa powder.



 

 

Insta-Moment: why does the blurry photo have to be my favorite?

That moment when you try really hard to get a photo of your daughter playing with her dogs and the photo that has the best angle and position turns out blurry, but the picture with your daughter looking blankly  ahead while one dog bites the other turns out crystal clear. .... and yes that is my pile of laundry in the background. #blog #agirlandherdog #2yearsold #30months #candidphoto #momlife #toddlerlife | February 24, 2017 at 08:10AM

That moment when you try really hard to get a photo of your daughter playing with her dogs and the photo that has the best angle and position turns out blurry, but the picture with your daughter looking blankly ahead while one dog bites the other turns out crystal clear. …. and yes that is my pile of laundry in the background. #blog #agirlandherdog #2yearsold #30months #candidphoto #momlife #toddlerlife

Creamy Ground Turkey Casserole

In my effort to purchase minimal groceries this month (and try to use up what we already have), tonight’s dinner was an experiment.  However, it turned out to be a very  tasty experiment.

 

Ingredients:

1 lb of ground turkey

3 Cups minute rice (We use Minute Brown Rice)

1 1/2 Cup Chicken broth

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp chopped garlic

1 Yellow Bell pepper, chopped

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Cup sour cream

1 pkg Cream Cheese

1 Can diced tomatoes in juice

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1 1/2 to 2 cups shredded cheese

1/2 8oz can of tomato paste

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in the olive oil for a couple of minutes and then add the ground meat and Italian seasoning. Keep cooking until meat is browned.
  3. Add sugar, salt, , garlic powder, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste and keep cooking for a few more minutes (you want the flavors to blend together).
  4. Then add the cream cheese and sour cream and cook until melted into the sauce.
  5. Put the dry rice into a 9×13 casserole dish and pour the chicken broth over the top.
  6. Pour meat/sauce mixture on top of rice.  The sauce does not have to completely cover the rice.
  7. Top with the shredded cheese of your choice.
  8. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes.
  9. If there is too much liquid in the casserole then remove the foil and cook another 10 to 15 minutes.

 

 

Genevieve’s Bookshelf

Of course as a Librarian, everyone expects my daughter to love books.  Thankfully, she really does love them.  In fact, if she is upset or hurt, you can offer to read her a book and she immediately quits crying!

I recently discovered a movement that promotes the gifting books instead of toys.  This movement inspired the creation of a reverse registry and book recommendation website designed for children. This website is called Red Antler Books.  I will be reviewing this website soon, but while you anxiously await my review, I wanted to share the current list of titles on Genevieve’s bookshelf.

So without further ado: http://ninaksodhi.wixsite.com/red-antler-books/genevieve-exisiting-library

 

*the basket holds her clothes books. She also has a small basket next to the chair in her room for her current favorite books to read at bedtime.