Saturday, May 2, 2015

True Citrus GGMS Recipe

In my last post I mentioned how much I LOVE the Facebook groups right?!?  I really do, the ladies there are AMAZING and all of the encouragement a girl could ask for. Anyway, on to the real purpose of this post ;)

 I was scrolling through the posts in the Trim Healthy Mama facebook group and saw a post by fellow TMH-er Kelley Pack about her newest (And favorite!) version of GGMS. It seemed very intriguing and once it was confirmed that the flavoring packets WERE on plan (The sugar amount in the ingredients is so small it has no impact!) I knew I had to try it.  I didn't have the Black Cherry Limeade packets on hand but I DID have another flavor by the same company so I used that instead.  It was AMAZING!!!!  If you don't have any of the flavoring packets on hand you will want to get some, you really shouldn't miss this.  I am going to include both her original recipe here and the version I made after being inspired by her creation.

True Lime Black Cherry Limeade Water Enhancer
*1 serving does 16oz of water.  I actually use 1 serving for a full qt jar though and find the sweetness perfect for my tastes!
2Tbs Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar with "The Mother"
Ice (optional)

Mix flavoring packet, vinegar, water, and ice if desired together in a drinking glass/jar. Enjoy!

P.S. I think that the Ball Drinking Lid & Reusable Straw must be a "thing" for those who THM, and for good reason!  It is one of the best investments I ever made <3

Raspberry Lemonade GGMS
True Lemon Raspberry Lemonade Water Enhancer - 1 serving (More if desired!)
1qt Jar of water
1/4c Ginger Juice (Or ground ginger to taste)
*I make my own ginger juice by blending fresh ginger root with a cup of water and then straining out the fiber.  I add the liquid to a quart jar and fill the rest of the way with water. This can be stored at least a week in the fridge!
2 Tbs Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar with "The Mother"
Ice (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a 1qt jar and you are done!  I find it easiest to put my ice in first, the ginger and vinegar next, then the flavoring packet and top off with water last.

This brand makes several flavors of water enhancer; I plan to experiment with them all!
True Lemon
True Orange
True Lime
True Lemonade
True Raspberry Lemonade
True Peach Lemonade
True Black Cherry Limeade
True Mango Orange
True Lemon Iced Tea

 Happy Sipping!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

THM Shrinker Recipe - The COOLest Way To Sip Your Fat Away

One of the things I love the most about the Trim Healthy Mama way of eating is that I was finally able to kick a two decade long addiction to soda and artificial coffee creamer. I ate fresh foods and tried really hard to follow a balanced diet but sugary drinks were my kryptonite.  I tried several times to change to different sweeteners or get used to diet soda. I even tried cutting sweetened drinks out of my diet completely but could never stick to it.

I heard about Trim Healthy Mama from a friend who had lost over 50lbs on the plan and whose weight issues and eating style were very similar to mine.  I hung out in the groups on Facebook and tried some recipes I found floating around on Pinterest but wasn't real sure I wanted to invest in the book.  Then I ran across a blog post about Trim Healthy Mama drink recipes and decided to try a few.  I WAS HOOKED!  I could do this, I could give up my soda.  I could master my weight and have food and DRINK freedom.  I tried one drink recipe after another and liked them all.

One day noticed a lot of people in the facebook groups saying that a drink called "The Shrinker" was a great weight loss tool for them. Wahooo, I was going to drink it by the bucketfuls. I whipped up a batch right then and there. I HATED it!!!  Not disliked, not "thought it was gross"... I HATED it.  Those that know me are quite aware that I don't give up easily.  I tried a LOT of different "tweaks" and took the advice of many other people following the plan until one day I took a sip and then another and another until the entire quart jar was empty.  I had found a winner!

I want NEED to share the finished recipe with you so that you can experience the joy that I do from this new healthier way of eating (And drinking!).

The COOLest Shrinker Recipe
(Makes 2qt)
1. Fill a 2qt saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
*You could also measure almost 2qt into any size pan.
2. Remove from heat and add regular and/or oolong tea bags.
*Oolong is important to the weight loss properties. I use 4 lipton and 4 oolong.
3. Steep until tea reaches room temperature and then discard tea bags.
4. Add 3 doonks of Stevia. (Sweeten to taste)
*"Doonks" are the measurement used for THM brand stevia and are equivalent to 1/32tsp. If using a different sweetener, I find that a doonk is equivalent to a tablespoon of sugar in sweetness.
5. Pour tea into a clean 2qt jar and then add the following:
    1/2c unsweetened almond milk
    1tsp caramel extract
    1tsp vanilla
    1/2tsp cinnamon (Some prefer to add a cinnamon stick to the tea while it is steeping)
    1/4tsp cayenne pepper
6. Put the lid on your jar and shake it really well.
7. Remove the lid and fill the rest of the way with water and then shake it again to mix.

I pour half of the finished drink into a 1qt jar and use that as my drinking glass with my nifty Ball Drinking Lid & Reusable Straw.  You may want to add some ice to this first jar so it is cold. I save the other half for later, or at least attempt to; More often than not my Husband or one of the kids gets to it first ;)  I hope you like our version of this AMAZING drink just as much as we do, happy sipping!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

"Seriously Savory Steak" Recipe

You would think that living in cattle country would make beef an easily affordable meal option. As it turns out, that is not necessarily true! We live in a TEENY tiny little town, Paisley to be exact, in the Oregon outback. Really, there is NEARLY nothing here or even NEAR here. One of the few things that IS here is the ZX Ranch. The ZX is owned by Simplot and is rumored to be the largest cattle ranch in the US. It is also listed as one of the top 10 beef producers. You can read more about this miraculous steak and cheeseburger creating paradise here. I would love to tell you more but there are hungry folks here!!! Back to the topic at hand; Even here in the land of meaty goodness, beef (and especially steak) is very spendy.

 1. Now really the beginning of the journey is a matter of choice. We COULD get the cheapest cuts available but we try to go a little higher if we can. In my opinion, if you are buying 2lb of steak, that extra $3 per pound is only going to cost you an extra $6. Life is too short to eat "bad" steak. However, we do sometimes get even the VERY cheapest cuts. No matter what you pick, step #2 will change your life ;)

 2. Save some pennies and make your own marinade. THIS marinade to be exact. We first used it on top sirloin but have since tried it on every single cut imaginable. The kids loved it, the teen licked his plate...twice, and my hubbster "G" immediately stated that it was unequivocally the "most seriously savory steak EVER".

P.S. If you are gluten free like we are you can use Bragg Liquid Aminos instead of the soy sauce. We get it super fast and at a great price on Amazon!

Seriously Savory Steak Marinade 
Ingredients (makes approx 2 cups) 
2/3 cup soy sauce 
1/2 cup olive oil 
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice 
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce 
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder or 3 tablespoons minced garlic 
3 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning (Or basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme to taste) 
1 teaspoon ground pepper

 Mix all of the ingredients together in a glass bowl -OR- If you like your marinades thick or are simply an overachiever, mix the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Next I poke the meat several times on each side with a fork to help the marinade get down in there! Place steaks and marinade together in a gallon sized ziplock bag and place in the fridge. I usually shake them about in the bag or flip them over every hour or so. You can marinate for as little as 2 hours or as long as 24! The longer you marinate the more flavorful and tender your meat will be!

 3. Remove the steaks from the fridge about a half hour before you will cook them, some say even an hour! The key is to knock the chill off of them before cooking so the fibers don't seize up and make the meat tougher.

 4. Turn oven on and preheat to 375F. While the oven is heating, grab a heavy bottomed pan (Cast iron is perfect!) and place on the stovetop. You are going to turn it to high. Remove steaks from the marinade and wipe them off real quick. You can skip this step if you like, but we like a nice brown crust! Once the excess marinade has been wiped away I season them with a little salt and pepper. As soon as your pan starts to smoke a little you will want to add a couple tablespoons of oil, you want just enough to wet the bottom of the pan.

 5. Place the steaks (Seasoned side down) into your hot pan. DO NOT move them for about 3 minutes. The neighbors may be tempted to call the fire department if you are doing it right. It is OK, it is a necessary step! You want to form a nice brown crust on them. After about 3 minutes you will want to flip them over and repeat the browning process on the other side.

 6. As soon as both sides are well browned, quickly transfer the VERY hot pan to the oven. The steaks will stay there until they reach your desired level of doneness. The thinner the steak is the faster this will happen. I find a meat thermometer to be very helpful during this phase.

 7. Remove steaks to a plate and allow them to rest for approximately 5 minutes. I usually use this time to make some gravy in that very same pan. can you say TAAAAAAASTY?!?

 I hope you like this recipe as much as my family did. I apologize for the lack of  step by step photos, I promise to add some when I can. Something tells me though that this may happen somewhere between "someday" and "never". My duties as mom & wife to the Cool clan and owner of a thriving etsy shop keep me too plenty busy so I make no promises. I am an optimist though, lets shoot for someday!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Chili Mash Up Recipe

After trying and only "liking" several chili recipes (Dang you pinterest and all your delectable choices!) I have played (And REplayed) with them several times and eventually fell in love.  So without further ado, here is the resulting recipe!

Cool's Chili Mash Up

1lb Pork Sausage
2lb Ground Beef 
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
½ teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce

3 Tablespoons chili powder 
2 Tablespoons instant beef bouillon (or 6 cubes)
2 Tablespoons cumin, ground
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons paprika (Smoked if possible)
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa 
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (14.5-ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (15- to 16-ounce) can dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15- to 16-ounce) can tomato sauce

  1. Brown ground beef and sausage with chopped onion and minced garlic until meat is brown and onion is translucent; drain fat if needed.
  2. Add all spices, hot sauce, and liquid smoke (If used) and mix thoroughly.
  3. Drain and rinse kidney beans well.  Add the beans, tomato sauce, and stewed tomatoes to the slow cooker (Or a BIG pot if slow cooking on the stove top).
  4. Add the meat and spice mixture to the cooking pot and stir well to combine.
  5. Place a lid on the slow cooker or pot and try to keep yourself occupied while the tempting aroma wafts throughout the house.  
Firstly, yes I am aware that there are a LOT of ingredients up there ^^^^^.  However I recommend you add ALL of them if you can or it just isn't the same.  I guess what I am saying is he will still adore you but he may not "Put a ring on it".  She may think it is "good" but you may not get that extra kicker for it being "OMGoodness" amazing.  The kids will surely eat it but they may not offer to do the dishes afterwords if ONLY you promise to do it again...tomorrow. You know you want to do it!  Go BIG or go home right?!?

I like to take the lid off about an hour before I am going to serve it and give it a taste test. (If you are like me your test will involve a bowl, spoon, cheese, chopped onion, and a dollop of sour cream. What can I say, I am a perfectionist!) This is the time to add more salt, pepper, hot sauce, etc if you feel it needs a little more "oomph". If it is a tad drier/thicker than you like you could also add a little bit of water, tomato juice, or beef broth at this time. 

I am currently doing my 5th (WHY does it feel like 5 MILLIONITH?) load of wash, embroidering a shirt, mopping the floor, and trying to keep the Jaxinator from waking the sleeping monster baby BUT I will try to be back before 2013 ends to add a YUMMY corn bread recipe...emphasis on TRY!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Perfectly Balanced....Mess!

I know this is not a new struggle for any of us that have been elected CEO of Hearth & Home, but it seems like more and more I am running myself ragged from sun up to sun down and yet nothing is done to my satisfaction.  This led me to a long mental discussion with myself (Yes, I am aware that only crazy people talk to themselves.  I am my own favorite whack-a-doodle!) and the end conclusion we I arrived at is that the answer must lie in balances.

When I focus on my sewing I get orders done and shipped and clients are happy....but my home is a horrible mess and my heart is heavy as soon as I exit my studio.  After a day or two of this I get so fed up that I spend all day cleaning, and the next catching up laundry, and the next caring for my kids and their needs, and so on.  The end result is that I am now 5 days behind on orders and am dreaming of patterns and ripped seams in my sleep (Not to mention the sleep lost while nursing my squishy faced Stu-Bert and playing with all his little bits and pieces.  Yes, I am aware this is not "recommended" parenting, nights are for sleep, BUT he is my last and so I feel the need to rebel....sue me LOL).

Now if you have been paying attention you may have noticed that NOWHERE in here is there a mention of showers, quiet time with a book, a walk to see my family, or a cup of joe with my kick arse Mom.  Quite frankly I have decided this is BS.  I am the freaking CEO, I deserve perks...and basic needs to be met.  So with that in mind I have decided to do a week long series about balance.  Balance in family, home, work, spirit, self; Balance in all things!  I will be back soon with the first segment, right now myself and I need to sing in the shower...probably off key....and definitely Maroon 5  ;)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Taking The Dive!

Well since I have SOOOO much time and energy to spare (Insert snarky grin here) I thought I would try my hand at this infamous thing called blogging. I am sure there will be many things to learn with this, as with all new things I decide I MUST do, so I hope you will jump on in with me and be a bit patient as I get settled :)