I miss the old days and the older ways…

I take it back I don’t want to be an adult anymore…I want the late 80’s and early 90’s back STAT!

Yesterday G–Man wanted to watch Frozen, for a moment I had forgotten how to get the movie to show up on the tv. See it’s not so easy here at our house. You can’t just pop in the dvd, push play and sit back to enjoy…no that would be too ideal, too easy, too sane! Here let me show you what all has to be used in order to watch a dvd in our house, ready?!

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All right, let’s start breaking it down by breaking it down…3 remotes and a keyboard. The keyboard is part of my Dad’s Logitech internet tv set up. It’s a neat addition but a pain if you’re like me 🙂 From left to right we have: tuner remote, dvd player remote, and tv/cable box remote.

  • First thing to do is to switch the tv channel by using the tv/cable box remote by pushing the TV/VCR or Input button once. Check!
  • Next, turn on the dvd player and insert movie. Check!
  • Turn on the tuner(for the theatrical sound experience) and hit the HDMI 2 button to switch it over to the Logitech sound and screen……*grumble*…….and Check!
  • Finally, turn on the Logitech keyboard wait for screen to pop up and pray it’s still on the movie setting (which it was because I couldn’t remember what it was I had to click on). Click play and pray it works…CHECK!

Please tell me how this is so much better than what we had growing up as kids of the 80’s and 90’s…anyone?! I groan any time the set up changes, I don’t mind it when something gets eliminated from the process because my brain gets a break from having to remember what I’ll have to grab next. Anyone remember the old VCR’s and VHS tapes? I know many of you do 🙂 It was so simple! Take movie out of case, pop it in the VCR, adjust tracking if needed and enjoy! Does anyone else still have all their VHS movies? *raises my hand up high* All the Disney movies from my childhood are still on VHS with the exception to Cinderella, had to replace it with an Anniversary dvd after the tape died. I nearly cried the day that happened, it was the first movie I remember watching with our new VCR. I sat on the floor so close to the TV…just enthralled to see something like that in our home! 

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Ahhh, those were the days! We still have a VCR we purchased while in Brazil, it still works but I can’t interest my son in watching any of those old Disney movies. If it’s not on DVD he doesn’t want anything to do with it. Today’s kids, right?! smh…

Name those 80’s movies!

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Memorial Day…a day of rememberance…

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What is a memorial?

If you were to search for the definition of what a memorial is, here’s what you’d find…

noun
1. something designed to preserve the memory of a person, event, etc., as a monument or a holiday.
2. a written statement of facts presented to a sovereign, a legislative body, etc., as the ground of, or expressed in the form of, a petition or remonstrance.
adjective

3. preserving the memory of a person or thing; commemorative: memorial services.
4. of or pertaining to the memory.
That’s pretty cut and dry, basically just remembering someone or something that happened. But what’s so important about Memorial Day? Isn’t it just a four day weekend filled with lots of yummy food, warm weather activities, sunburns, time with family and friends? Well, I’m not going to come down on anyone for enjoying those things. We’re going to cook out today, enjoy some of our favorite movies and have fun, but this day is actually a somber day. When I think of a memorial, my mind always goes back to a funeral. How everyone who attends is quiet, reminiscing of the deceased, reflecting on the importance of life and being sure to never take for granted the importance of telling someone how much they mean to us. 
I’m always torn on this day, it’s so easy to get caught up in the “celebration” mode, I love a break and being able to relax,  yet I keep finding myself retreating to the quiet corners, thinking of friends who have served this country so faithfully and have died for freedoms sake. For the last couple of days Facebook has been booming with all kinds of Memorial Day pictures, everyone reminding each other of the true meaning of this day. This one picture, I think, sums it up perfectly!
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We’ve all been touched by the loss of someone who has served, be it a loved one, friend, or someone we had the pleasure meeting at one point in our life. Today at 3pm local time please pause for a minute to remember these great heroes who have given their all for this country. It’s the very least we can do for all that they have done for us. Stay safe, have fun, and God bless!
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A TBT Celebration!!!

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One of my favorite days of the week has been TBT’s. I love looking up old recipes, trying new things and sharing them on here. I know I’ve gotten lax in doing that lately, but I still enjoy this day even if I’m not writing about it. When I originally decided to share Throw Back Thursday posts it was my intention to bring back those recipes of old. You can do web searches for recipes that hearken back to the 1800’s and yet there aren’t any pictures, reviews or person thoughts. So I decided that it would be fun to pick certain ones that sounded good,for one, in the hopes you all would like to try them out yourselves. I would like to continue on with such posts, I do love cooking and baking after all, but instead of doing that weekly I may cut back to a once a month post for health reasons.

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I know I’ve said this another time before, but I love old cookbooks. I grew up pulling out all of my Mom’s 70’s and 80’s cookbooks from the shelves and would sit there reading each recipe and falling in love the old pictures and wondering what each dish would taste like. One such recipe I shared on here was the Dutch Butter Cookies recipe.

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When I discovered this recipe, at the time I had no idea just how big of a hit it would be. Especially with my Mom! I grew up with her hand rolled sugar cookies that she would make once a year, always for Christmas, and those are her favorite cookie. Now I think the Dutch Butter Cookies have either tied with the hand rolled sugar cookies or at least come in at a close second. You really can’t messed these cookies up, it’s a four ingredient recipe that you can either enjoy plain or with colored sugar on top(as pictured above).  When you serve them up small they are perfect then for get togethers, easier for kids to pick up and enjoy, or you could cut them larger and decorate with frosting. It’s not a sweet cookie but I’ve not had any complaints yet from adults or toddlers 🙂 And kids are my harshest critics some times!

One of my all time TBT favorites, and I mean this was a newly discovered recipe for me that has become a winter staple now, is Milk Toast. Just from the name of the recipe it doesn’t sound very appetizing, but just wait!

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I’m the only one in the family who has tried this recipe, no one else is brave enough 😦 I don’t share nasty recipes, at least I try not to. Perhaps this one is more of a personal preference, but don’t judge this recipe until you’ve eaten it just once. It’s a very hearty meal, it’s best to use a slightly thicker slice of toast for best results. I’ve tried it with lower carb bread, it’s ok just not thick enough for my liking.

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It’s thick like oatmeal, the sprinkle of cinnamon sugar on top is completely optional. You can pre–cut the toast for easier eating and enjoyment. You could definitely add some raisins or craisins to this if you like, use any bread you prefer, I’ve wondered it French loaf slices would be tasty…*nods thoughtfully* I think it would!

Don’t be afraid to try new things, my friends. You never know what you could be missing out on 🙂

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~Pinterest Celebration~

Afternoon everyone! Happy Hump Daaaaaaay! And just to get it out of my system….

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There, I feel so much better! LOL I hope this Wednesday has been a happy one for y’all! I went walking with my Dad, after several days of being out of commission it felt great to actually get out there. No pain from it until the last stretch and yikes my back was screaming at me to stop. Took us 16:25 to do nearly a mile…we were so close to it gaaah…will try again on Friday 😀 Tomorrow though I get to feel a whole different level of pain with my kickboxing.

Today I want to highlight the most popular NOK Pin on Pinterest, it has been re-pinned over 300 times so far! Are you ready? Is the anticipation getting to you?! All right, drum roll please… *drum roll*

TURKEY AND SAUSAGE BALLS

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Click the image to visit original post with recipe

No joke, this recipe has been finding it’s way onto low carb Pinterest boards recently, it’s become my daily update from Pinterest on my iPod. Seriously, I think this recipe is a hit! And if you’ve not tried it yet, go on jump on it!! This weekend is going to be the perfect time for snack/finger food, and this is one that will not add to your waist line. Trust me on this, it’s become a staple in our house, so good! Plus refer to yesterday’s post (<—click there to read) about how fat isn’t what makes you fat…..*taps the side of her nose*

I want to thank everyone for re-pinning this particular recipe, I am blown away 🙂 Thank you so much for making this place a joy to come to each and every day, I love you all!

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~Health Check Tuesday Celebration~

How can we not celebrate health this week?! Even if it’s just one good thing you’re doing today, be proud of that! It’s one thing that will help improve your life. Even if it’s just getting 6–8 glasses of water a day, opting for a salad instead of burger at lunch or dinner, or even taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Be proud of yourself 🙂

Health Check Tuesday came about as something that I wanted to initially use to bring awareness about PCOS to the masses. But over the last few weeks it’s morphed into sharing some of my weight loss triumphs and set backs, while encouraging everyone to continue on in their journey, which I love! No matter where we are in our health journeys we’re all heading toward the same goal::to become a better version of ourselves. We’re all striving to make changes that work for us and here on NOK Blog it’s important to emphasize good habits over any particular lifestyle, while also sharing the benefits I have personally received from living lower carb/alkaline. One of the things that PCOS women tend to struggle with is finding what works best for them. The temptation to find an easier solution is so great, especially when you’ve tried it all! I know, I’ve done most of it! I grew up on the food pyramid and ballooned. As a young adult I went to the more obscure and dangerous things such as laxatives, weight loss patches, thermogenic drinks, pills, starving myself, and it was all for naught.

The key I was missing in unlocking that door to losing weight, in a safe and natural way, was to stop depriving myself and just eat healthy food. I absolutely cannot tolerate much carbs. If I so much as go over 30 grams a day I start to feel tired, sluggish, and the numbers on the scale go up. When I over indulge and find myself in a food coma the symptoms get worse.

One of my fears when I began writing this blog a year ago was that people would EXPECT yummy comfort food all the time and that’s what I strived for. My health certainly took a turn for the worse the more I tried sharing the things that I *thought* people wanted from me. The weight I had lost came back with a vengeance and then some. That miserable sick feeling started to come back and I knew I needed to change what I was doing, but again worried that it would hurt this blog and folks would start losing interest.

I felt that people wouldn’t be interested in reading about my lower carb alkaline lifestyle, people could care less about my need to be gluten free, and most certainly didn’t want to push a particular mindset on others. But I’ve watched how those posts about lower carb recipes have gained views and visits from people all over the world, local readers telling me how much they have enjoyed reading my Health Check Tuesday posts and how they have learned so much about PCOS. That they never knew it existed until they started reading about it here. Let me tell you what an amazing feeling that is, to know you have just empowered someone with knowledge and they are sharing it with others and are now meeting other women who are struggling with this same condition! It’s almost surreal 🙂

So, in honor of today I want to look back at a couple of my favorite Health Check posts and want to encourage you all to share these with your friends and loved ones. They are really posts that everyone can benefit from so don’t think that people you don’t know someone with PCOS that they too wouldn’t enjoy reading something on here.

  1. Healthy Check Tuesday: Positive ThinkingThis post is full of steps in thinking and living more positively. We’re all living busier and certainly more hectic lives now than our parents ever did! What’s changed? We need to examine our lives, determine what can be cut out and what should be changed in order to make our lives simpler and yes more positive. It’s amazing how I much enjoy life when the wifi isn’t so readily accessible. Technology seems to be my downfall, when I let that little ipod device rule my day with it’s constant dinging, pinging, and ringing…letting me know when someone has liked, shared, or messaged me. When the wifi is out I’m not constantly picking it up to check what’s going on. For me, a positive change has been cutting back on my ipod usage. It’s amazing just how less stressed I feel, how much drama I miss out on, and happier I feel! Could that be the same for you too?
  2. Health Check Tuesday: Memory Loss & PCOS–This piece was especially beneficial for me to write. I struggle a lot with remembering things. That was hard for me to admit since there are people who rely on me to remember certain things. When I forget I feel like I’ve just let the world down! I know that it’s impossible to actually do that, I’m just this speck on the map of the world, but still I hate that feeling that I’ve dropped the ball yet again. Sometimes it’s easy to disguise it when online, I can google or bing something real quick and go “oh yeah duh Amanda!” and go about my merry way with a conversation! But in person it’s a different story, even with a list of things I need to remember to do or ask someone I still find myself forgetting something along the way. At the end of the day I just remind myself, the world has not ended because I forgot, tomorrow is another day, and if it really mattered THAT much someone would have said something. In other words, don’t sweat it!

 

Today, I want to look at why bacon is the culprit in making so many PCOS women fat…but pasta is.

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18 years ago I would have argued how bacon was fattening, that pasta was healthier, and you would have found me with a plate of of my Mom’s spaghetti going to town like a mad woman. This is why I’m so thankful I learned a few years later just how wrong that mindset was for our family. The issue with carbs, specifically pasta/rice/potatoes/bread is that they raise the insulin levels dangerously and in turn that causes cells to pull in more fat which results in more weight gain.

But how is it then that bacon isn’t the culprit for weight gain?

 

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I love these pictures, but still some might wonder where’s the evidence, I need the proof…give me more input!

To further break this down here’s a transcript from the smarter science of slim show that I stumbled upon not too long ago. It helps to explain this a bit better. The hosts of the show are Jonathan Bailor and Carrie Brown. I’ve started the quote after some back and forth chatter and picked up where Jonathan begins talking about the science of how fat isn’t the culprit of weight gain.

Jonathan: There is something that is really bad. It’s called ketoacidosis. That is a different thing, but as is common with things in the health world, if two words sound alike then people are like, oh well, ketoacidosis is horrible for you. Therefore, ketosis, which sounds like that word, must also be bad; it is not. They are two very, very different things.

So, ketosis – first of all, when you wake up in the morning you are in ketosis, because ketosis, very high level, just means your body is fueling itself using fat rather than sugar. That’s really all it means.

Carrie: How could anyone think that was bad?

Jonathan: Exactly. There is this mythology that your body requires carbohydrate. This is not an episode saying that we should all go on low carb diets; it’s also not an episode saying low carb diets are bad for you. They are absolutely not. In fact, they’re one of the most scientifically valid and studied ways of eating in the world.

But it is to say that this assumption that we have been told for the past forty years that 60-plus percent of our diet – excuse me, 65 percent plus of our diet should be carbohydrate because that’s the optimal fuel for our body is patently false. There is no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. There is such a thing as an essential amino acid, aka protein, and an essential fatty acid, aka fat. If you never ate a carbohydrate in your entire life, your body could fuel itself just fine via the process known as ketosis, aka burning fat as fuel. And it could also create all the glucose, aka sugar, it needs through a process that we talked about on the show “Gluconeogenesis” whereby protein is converted into sugar.

Carrie: So, we all want to be in ketosis then.

Jonathan: So, we want to be – it is absolutely critical that we give our body the ability to effectively fuel itself using fat. And that sounds obvious, but if our body is not good at using fat for fuel, keeping fat off our body is going to be extremely difficult. And this is why actually eating fat – we talk about it on the show a lot, how things that are intuitive aren’t always true. Right?

It’s intuitive that the earth is flat. Look outside; it looks flat. And if it wasn’t flat wouldn’t the people on the bottom fall off? We know there’s gravity; we know that’s not how the world works. And it’s intuitive that doesn’t eating fat make you fat? It is fat, you put it into your mouth and it just goes and sits on your hips, right? That is intuitive but it is wrong.

Here’s a better and a more scientifically accurate way to think about it. Okay? When you eat your body gets good at fueling itself based on what you eat. Makes sense, right?

Carrie: Right.

Jonathan: The more sugar you eat the better your body’s going to be at running off of sugar.
Because it’s like, this is the normal state for me, I better get used to this. Now think about how this works. If your body is best at burning sugar, meaning sugar is its preferred fuel source, for all intents and purposes your body does not store sugar. The only way to store energy on your body, practically – there is some level of glucose in your muscles and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah – but practically it’s in your fat. So, the way your body stores energy is through fat. But if you eat mostly sugar and your body is good at burning sugar, and prefers to burn sugar, then let’s say you eat breakfast and it’s a Pop Tart and orange juice, very common breakfast here in the States. Sugar, you basically had some sugar for breakfast. Well, in an hour your body has either burned through that sugar or more likely shuttled it off into your fat cells. So there is no sugar around, so your body needs energy. Well there’s no sugar around, so what’s it going to do? It’s going to make you hungry because the only way to get more sugar is to take some through your lips.

Carrie: Okay.

Jonathan: Now, think about if your body’s more accustomed to burning fat for fuel, and let’s say you have a delicious frittata with vegetables for breakfast.

Carrie: That was me today!

Jonathan: Exactly. Right? So you eat mostly fat. Most of your calories are coming from fat. You got some protein and you got some extremely healthy carbohydrate in the form of vegetables.

Carrie: Yum. It was delicious.

Jonathan: It’s delicious, so you get your calories, you get your nutrients, you get your energy and then when you – a few hours later, you’re sitting in the office or you’re sitting at the house, you’re sitting with your family and friends, and there’s no more energy floating around in the blood stream. Your body’s like, I need some more energy, and do you know what I like to use for energy? Fat. Oh hey. Good news; there’s some sitting right here on the hips. Or there’s some sitting right here maybe on the belly a little bit.

So the opposite of eating fat makes you fat; in fact, eating fat, helping your body to become conditioned at fueling itself off of fat, makes you better at burning fat. Because when you get into a state where you have a shortage of exogenous energy your body can just say, well, that’s okay, I don’t need to take any more fat through my lips. I can just eat it off my hips.

Carrie: The compelling reasons for not eating sugar just pile on and pile on. Don’t they?

Jonathan: Well, think about it, Carrie, it’s a, why is it?

Carrie: I can actually visualize what you just said happening in my mind, which is great, right? Because now every time I get that craving for sugar I’m going to go, nope, I don’t do that, because that’s going to help my body to think that sugar’s not the way to go and so I can visualize that; that’s super-helpful for me. Thank you, sir.

 

I absolutely loved his visuals! You condition your body to burn fat by eating fat. I know that isn’t going to sit well with most of you. Trust me, it took a lot of relearning for me to finally accept that after being told for years that bacon, olives, coconut, butter and yes eggs were all bad for me and I should eat those in extreme moderation. One of the first things I did after discovering a lower carb lifestyle was gorge myself on green stuffed olives! Oh yes, I think I ate half the jar in one sitting and I didn’t feel sick later on. In fact I felt pleasantly full for hours! Which was a new thing for me because I was having to eat every few hours and the weight was piling on like crazy! The first time I lost 50 pounds(I was 16 year old) people were beyond shocked when I told them how I was doing it. They were even floored when I told them that I was eating all these fatty foods and was losing weight hand over fist! So why didn’t I keep going? Life…I got thrown several fast curve balls and struck out one too many times. Wasn’t even allowed to walk the bases. When I finally was given the fourth chance to change my life I punted the ball and yes I’ve been running the bases ever since! (That’s the extent of my baseball knowledge, don’t go thinking I’m some fan…sorry, sports aren’t my thing lol)

I may not be dropping the weight like I did years ago when I first learned about this lifestyle, I’ve missed that golden opportunity, but at least I’m losing it. It’s going to take me longer this time to get to my goal weight(at least five years) but that’s ok too! The important thing is that I’m feeling better, I’m staying active, and there’s a little extra give in my clothes! How can anyone judge those results and say it’s all unhealthy?! That I’m doing something wrong and I need someone to take over my health for me? We’re not all cookie cutter here, therefore a cookie cutter lifestyle isn’t going to work for anyone. We have to figure out what works best for each of us and stick with it! Find new ways to spice it up, treat ourselves every once in a while(don’t call it cheating, that suggests it’s something bad, unhealthy, that should be kept a secret when it’s perfectly alright to have that special meal and stop when you’re full). Are carbs bad for everyone? No, but for the majority of Americans yes they are bad…toxic even. Should everyone jump back on the Atkins or South Beach diet wagon? Nope, in fact I don’t support either of those. They are both loaded with soy and not a healthy option for PCOS Cysters.

If you’re truly curious about what nutritional lifestyle you should be living I encourage you to take Dr. Joseph Mercola’s Nutritional Typing Test. I’ve taken it three times and get the same results. I’m a Protein Type, this is why a lower carb lifestyle works for me! All you have to do is enter your email address, he does not spam you nor will he sell your information to second or third parties. This is strictly to discover what nutritional plan you should be living. You are not obligated to buy anything, the test is free to take, all you have to provide is accurate information to get honest results.

My hearty thanks goes out to everyone who has liked and shared these Tuesday posts. I look forward to sharing more about my journey with you all and hope you continue to enjoy the lower carb/alkaline recipes along the way!

Change your mindset in order to see the results!

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It’s time to celebrate!

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Yesterday, the Night Owl Kitchen Blog became a year old! It has been an absolutely wonderful year of sharing things with all of you, getting to meet some new friends, and trying new things. All this week I plan to revisit my first posts as a new blogger and share my personal favorite posts from the year.

My very first blog post was a year ago today. I wrote about Chewy Sugar Cookies, (<—click the link to view post and recipe), they’ve been such a hit with family and friends that I cannot skip this simple crowd pleaser 🙂

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You absolutely cannot go wrong with sugar cookies….ever. They are the staple for most get togethers, kids absolutely love them(especially when iced) and they are elegant enough to serve at a bridal tea, baby shower, and yes even on a dessert table for weddings and anniversaries(or even as party favors)! The simplicity of this cookie is what makes it so versatile, but what make the recipe such a hit is that they aren’t hard to bite into, but have a wonderful chewy texture. The cookies are substantial enough to hold up to icing and sprinkles, plus they are perfect to use as homemade ice cream sandwiches, as an alternative crust for a cheesecake, and you can take the entire dough to use for a fruit pizza! I know everyone is looking for that perfect sugar cookie recipe, give this one a try. You might be surprised just how amazing it really is 🙂

 

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I’m so humbled to be sharing this wonderful week with all 287 of you! I can never say this enough, but I love you all! This blog would not be what it is today without each and every one of you. Thank you for your faithfulness, for liking, sharing, reblogging, and Pinning. I can’t wait to see what this second year will usher in 🙂 New recipes and experiences, more wonderful friends, and other tantalizing delights! We will definitely have too see!!!

One of my favorite posts, without a doubt, is when NOK Blog reached it’s first 100 followers 🙂

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I have never forgotten that feeling of “WOW! There are 100 people out there who actually enjoy this place!!” Many of my fellow bloggers can relate to what I’m about to say, I feel like this tiny spec on the map of the world and having 100 people actually following and reading what I write….it’s unbelievable! I have to share this, during lunch yesterday Dad was showing me a Better Homes and Garden Recipe app he had recently downloaded. He said, “You need to market your cookbook this way.” It truly is a neat app that BH&G offers, so many wonderful recipes, I love how you can view a recipe and it will add the ingredients you need to a shopping list! Two thumbs up from me!! Well, I can only hope that once NOK Blog has been around for 50+ years I’ll be able to market as well as BH&G has 🙂 Until then I’m very proud of the little family I have right now and the wonderful support that has come from it! You’ve all helped make some impossible dreams come true for me, I cannot thank you enough!

 

Here’s to another FABULOUS year!!!

~5 Faves~

Sorry about not doing this last week, got too busy to sit and write. So here are this week’s five favorite things that I shared on my person Facebook newsfeed, hope you enjoy!

 

1) Green Renaissance Pic

Green Renaissance shared a picture a while back encouraging everyone to “inspire the world to grow our own food, in every available space we have.” I love container gardening, it’s perfect for any space big or small. Now if I could just get the right size hazmat suit to keep the mosquitoes at bay so I can go back out to garden again!

 

2) Country Living’s Top Pin for Today

Tis the season for fresh tomatoes and peppers! I love fresh salsa in the summer, it’s a such a refreshing change to the store bought stuff and I especially love how it lacks all those harsh chemicals and preservatives. Click the link above the picture to view Country Living’s top pin and visit their site for the 18 delicious salsa recipes!

 

3) Sweet Friendship

I have seen this particular story several times and it always melts my heart! I am a huge dog lover (I like cats too) and seeing one in pain, sad, or suffering just tears me up. So happy for Lily’s sake she has a wonderful friend to help her along and bring life back into her 🙂 Just seeing her smile in that upper picture you just know she is happy again!

 

4) Be Positive!

   

Aside from all the good one can experience in a week, there can also be a lot of negativity that can and will happen. It is important to remember that a positive mind is the only one that will prevail. You will never progress in this life if you constantly live in a negative state of mind. You’ll be stuck, becoming more toxic to those around you. Surround yourself with positive people who see the glass as half full, remove as much pessimism from your life as you possibly can and always keep quotes, like above, on hand for those days when it just seems like everything is going downhill fast. Remind yourself that what has happened in the past needs to stay in the past, you can’t change people they have to change themselves, and you become most the five people you surround yourself with. Choose wisely!

 

5) Brick Books for the Garden

A friend shared this and I fell in love with it! If you’re a book lover you will appreciate this even more 🙂 You might be tempted to grab one on your way to the hammock, that is until you go to pick it up and feel like you’ve just picked up a brick…oh wait, that’s exactly what it is!!  I know many of you are so amazingly talented I hope to hear that someone has created a few for their garden!! I love how weathered they look, so old and REAL!

 

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s 5 faves 🙂 Share and reblog as much as you want!

Have a blessed weekend 🙂

Salsa Chicken and Spanish Faux Rice

Lately I’ve been going bonkers trying to find meals that not only everyone can enjoy but things that are lower in sodium for my Dad. His blood pressure has come down to a safer range and thankfully he’s started losing some weight. He and I are walking three days a week together and I think I’m getting more out of it than he is. I’m shorter and his stride is much longer than mine, we both have started using fitbit to monitor our steps, calories, and distance throughout the day.

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Lime green fitbit is happy about my progress so far!

 

So in trying to stay on track with my workouts(walking three days a week and doing cardio the other two) meals have become something I really don’t like to think about. I used to love planning out the weekly menu but lately I groan at just the thought of food. It’s bad enough I have to remember to eat 3 times a day but then add on the effort of actually making the food…yeah, no. The other night I decided chicken enchiladas sounded pretty good, they’re easy enough to throw together and the fresh homemade enchilada sauce tastes so much better than the can stuff from the store. I went to gather the ingredients and after going through the freezers(yes, more than one) I was heartbroken…there wasn’t any enchilada sauce  to be found. I think I experienced at least a dozen emotions all at once lol anger, frustration, utter sadness were the top three. It was going to be ok, I thought, I’ll just grab a jar of salsa verde! Newp, none to be found. At this point I was beginning to feel defeated, I seriously had no back ups for dinner and it was already after 5pm. I checked our other food storage shelves and it was as if the light from Heaven was shining down on the four jars of red salsa! *queue heavenly choir*

Thus salsa chicken, done enchilada style, was born! I went back to the freezer and grabbed two bags of frozen cauliflower, a can of Rotel tomatoes, and a package of low sodium taco seasoning. It was so on and I had about an hour to get it all done!  (I love a challenge!!!)

 

Salsa Chicken

3–13 ounce cans of chicken, drained and shredded, roughly 5 cups of chicken

1 taco season packet

2 tsp dried minced garlic

1 Tblsp dried onion flakes

8 low carb high fiber tortillas

2 jars salsa

4 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

Drain all three cans of chick and add to a large glass bowl. There might be some liquid still in the chicken, this is ok. Break up the chicken with your fingers or a fork till there are no more chunks. Sprinkle on an entire package of taco seasoning, add in dried minced garlic and onion flakes. Stir to combine and set aside. I used aluminum disposable pans to bake with, but you can use a 9×13 glass pan if you prefer. Pour half a jar of salsa in the bottom of your pan, depending on the size of your tortillas it will determine how many will be able to fit into the pan. Since we buy the large ones I could only fit four into each pan.

Now comes the fun part…the loading of the tortillas 🙂

Grab four fingers worth of cheese and place it down the center of a tortilla. Spoon about two large spoonfulls of the mexican chicken mix. By large spoonfulls, I mean rice spoon size. Fold over one side of the tortilla to the center followed by the other side to the center. Transfer to your pan placing it seam side down in the salsa. Continue on with the other seven tortillas, using one jar of salsa per pan. Pour the remaining half jar of salsa over the four chicken tortillas. Top with two cups of cheese, cover pan with foil and bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Uncover and continue baking for 10-15 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy with sour cream on top, your favorite tortilla chips on the side and my recipe for Spanish Faux Rice (see recipe below).

 

1/8 serving: 391 calories; 19g fat; 39g carbs; 15g fiber; 24g net carbs

 

Spanish Faux Rice

2 bags frozen cauliflower, 1 pound each

1 can Rotel tomatoes, do not drain

1/2 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

Paprika and Chili Powder for color and taste

Instructions

Steam cauliflower for 10 minutes. Using either a ricer or a shredding attachment for the food processor(which is what I do), process the cauliflower to look like rice. Set aside.

In a medium pan saute onions and garlic in a little olive oil till onions are transparent. Add in riced cauliflower, Rotel tomatoes, salt, paprika and chili powder. Let cook on low to allow flavors to blend, stirring often. Serve immediately.

1/12 serving: 289 calories; 13g fat; 29.6g carbs; 12g fiber; 18g net carbs

 

May 2014 006

May 2014 007     May 2014 004

This was such a hit with the family! Even my Mom who isn’t a Mexican chicken fan loved this dish 🙂 The key to the recipe is using canned chicken, it’s tender, juicy, and easier for her digest. Plus the entire meal was ready in an hour, right as my Dad was walking in the door! The Spanish faux rice looks just like the real deal and surprisingly had just a hint of a cabbagey flavor. Increase your onions and garlic to help mask that flavor. All in all it was a yummy treat meal! 

True these dishes aren’t for the induction phase, and you can reduce the carbs by eating half of a salsa chicken wrap. Or skip the tortillas all together and serve the salsa chicken over a salad with homemade guacamole dressing. Whichever way you choose to serve this up I know you’re going to fall in love with this dish as much as we have!

Enjoy!

~Liebster Award~

I’m just now finding the time to share this 🙂 Thank you so much Jhuls, over at The Not So Creative Cook, for nominating me 🙂 It’s such an honor to be recognized and for this little blog to get noticed. Often times I feel like a tiny speck in this gigantic world of amazing bloggers, that I feel like I’m barely getting out there, but it’s times like this that I’m so happy to be proven wrong! 

 

liebster-award

 

 

Here are my questions for the nominees if you’d love to participate:

1) What food/ingredient(s) you always make sure you have? I always make sure I have salt and pepper. They are essential to every savory dish I’ve ever made!

2) What is your signature dish? Eggplant Parmesan, I’ve been making it at least once a year now for 13 years and it gets better every time!

3) What is you favorite breakfast food? I love croissants and cheese danishes.

4) What is/are your other interest/s aside from cooking and baking? I enjoy finger knitting and loom knitting

5) If I ask your friends to describe you in one phrase, what do you think they will tell me? Straight forward, honest, understanding, loyal, loving, entertaining, dependable, unforgettable.

 
6) What is the first thing you’ve cooked and baked? The first the I ever baked (unsupervised) were some sugar cookies from scratch. I felt confident in myself to do it while my Mom was at work. An hour later I remembered they were in the oven. Yep. Never did that again lol
7) What is you favorite thing from your kitchen? Okay, you can name three. Without a doubt it would be my meat tenderizer! I absolutely love that simple tool, makes the best fried boneless chicken ever! I can’t live without my food processor and hand mixer. Both have been used for so many of the Night Owl Kitchen recipes 🙂
8) What is the latest thing you bought for your kitchen? The meat tenderizer.
9) Who inspired you to make your blog? My Mom, Memaw and all the amazing home cooks in my family! Without I wouldn’t have the knowledge that I do now, the wonderful recipes to share with everyone, or fond memories to pass on to my son.
10) Any advice to other new bloggers? I’m sure others have already voiced this, but just have fun. If you’re not enjoying ever aspect of blogging then the experience isn’t going to last for you. Also, don’t get hung up in the numbers. It’s not about how many people see your content every day but that those who are reading it are enjoying it and getting something out of it. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try you best to reach as many as you can, but blogging is so much more than just visitors and views. Good luck on your blogging journey 🙂

 

The rules:

  1. Link to the person who nominated you
  2. Answer their questions
  3. Nominate new blogs for the award
  4. Ask them 10 new questions
  5. Let the nominees know they have been nominated

My Nominations:

  1. The Dude With A Blog
  2. Project Light to Life
  3. Lady Melady: My Castle, My Food
  4. Heartmade
  5. Gayle Mullen Pace
  6. Eat Great, Be Great
  7. Barren & Unemployed
  8. Little Bliss Book
  9. What Jessica Baked Next
  10. Homestead Dad

 

My questions to you:

  1. What is the inspiration behind your blog?
  2. What makes your blog standout from the rest?
  3. What’s your favorite dessert(don’t hold back now)?
  4. Name three things that interests you other than what you post about on your blog.
  5. What can you absolutely not live without?
  6. Where would you love to travel to and stay for a month?
  7. If money were no object, what kind of good would you do for others?
  8. What charity do you support financially or in spirit?
  9. If you could have a sit down dinner with anyone in history(living or dead) who would it be and why?
  10. Any advice for new bloggers?

Coconut Crusted Chicken Patties

It’s not too often that I will use canned meat to make a dinner with. The occasional can of spam or canned ham have made their way into casseroles or soups in a pinch but tonight I was in a bind needing something fast since Dad had to be at a meeting. I spent over an hour tearing the internet apart looking for a quick low carb chicken recipe that was also low in sodium. That’s when I ran into Linda Sue‘s delicious recipe of coconut crusted chicken patties. Oh yes, they are every bit as good as you can imagine! Very tender, juicy with a lovely crunchy outer coating. The recipe calls for unsweetened coconut, if you aren’t concerned with carbs feel free to use sweetened coconut for a different flavor sensation 🙂

 

sweet pepper corn salad with coconut crusted chicken patty

Sweet Pepper Corn Salad with Coconut Crusted Chicken Patty

12 1/2 ounce can mixed white and dark meat chicken, drained *
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco or other hot sauce
1 egg white
1/4 cup finely shredded unsweetened coconut **
Oil for frying

In a medium bowl, break up the chicken with your fingers until it’s finely shredded. Stir in all of the remaining ingredients, except the coconut, until well blended. Divide into 4 equal portions on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Gently shape into patties with your hands. The mixture will be very soft. Put the coconut in a small shallow dish. Carefully set one chicken patty in the coconut and gently turn over to coat both sides; place back on wax paper. Repeat to coat all of the patties. Chill at least 1 hour. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties 4-5 minutes per side, flipping carefully, until golden brown on each side.

Makes 4 servings
Can be frozen

* A 12 1/2 ounce can will yield about 7 ounces of chicken

** You will only use about 2 tablespoons, but it will be easier to coat them if you have extra coconut in the dish. The counts reflect only 2 tablespoons of coconut for the batch.

Per Serving: 277 Calories; 23g Fat; 16g Protein; 2g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 1g Net Carbs

 

For our family I doubled the recipe and discovered I didn’t have anymore Old Bay(heartbreaking but it did not stop me). In place of the Old Bay I used a six pepper seasoning blend which lent a nice spice to the recipe. Instead of just using an egg white I used the whole egg, might a well(or in my case used two eggs). Instead of fresh green onions I used 1 1/2 Tablespoons dehydrated onion flakes, 2 teaspoons dried minced garlic, and instead of cayenne I added a pinch of red pepper flakes. Doubling this recipe gave us 10 patties, I used 1/3 cup to measure out each patty. You can certainly make these larger, smaller, or make them into nuggets. You can definitely use ground chicken instead of canned, just be sure to add a little salt to your meat mix.

For the salad I used a Cesar salad mix minus the croutons and dressing. Sliced up a few mini sweet peppers and sprinkled on a little corn for added color. You can use and dressing you like 🙂 Feel free dress your salad as you like, I personally prefer to keep it simple and not loaded with too many simple carbs. Have fun with your food!

Happy Eating!