Monthly Archives: January 2013

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My “Souper” Weekend (WIAW)

Wowee do I have a lot of pictures to share with you today!

So let’s skip the fluff and get right to it.

It’s time for another WIAW hosted by the lovely Jenn of Peas and Crayons. Go check out her blog for even more wonderful WIAW posts from some pretty awesome bloggers.

This weekend, as you know, was an extra long one with Monday off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Extended weekends are the greatest. I got to spend a lot of time with my family, cooking, and a little bit of shopping thrown in. Grocery shopping that is…

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Since starting GAPS in December, both of my parents have now joined me in whole foods living. My dad is currently a few stages ahead of me on the Intro Diet, while my mom started right onto full GAPS because she doesn’t have any digestive issues to begin with. Both are feeling great and are really embracing this new lifestyle. I am seriously so proud of their effort to eat clean. Their eating habits have changed dramatically since I wrote this WIAW post entitled Me Vs. Them.

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Another positive to having parents on GAPS is that now we eat some of the same food. On Friday when I came home my dad had a bowl of chicken and vegetable soup simmering on the stove to share. That is the first time in over six months where I have been able to eat the same thing as my parents for supper. It’s quite a surreal feeling.

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Also, on this whole foods journey I’ve introduced my dad to some awesome food. Like squash! At first he couldn’t stand it… Ya. I know. Who is this man?

Well, eventually he came around. He’s still not much into spending a lot of time cooking though, so I knew I had to figure out a quick, painless way to cook squash that he could do during the work week. Sure, he could have microwaved it, but we all know that microwaving isn’t the safest method of cooking. And slicing takes way too much effort…

So, with a little searching on pinterest, I came up with a method that is relatively pain-free:

How to Cook Squash in the Oven Painlessly

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Ingredients:

  • 1 whole squash, any kind
  • 1 oven
  • 1 pan

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place whole squash in the pan and bake for 1-2 hours.
  3. Check after 1 hour with a knife. When it goes clean through, it’s done.
  4. Cut in half and then scoop out the seeds.

Note: For squash that you can cube, bake on the lower end of the cooking times. For squash that comes off the skin easily and is soft enough to puree, bake closer to the 2 hour cooking time.

Hmm… Super easy, right? I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner? No peeling or slicing, and the seeds are so much easier to remove after the squash is cooked.

After I let the squash cool, I store it in a Pyrex container in the fridge. As I’m scooping and cutting, I tend to snack on a lot of squash (maybe too much sometimes? Hehe). My favorite way is to just slice butternut squash into wedges and eat. They kind of remind me of chomping on orange slices as a kid.

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Over the weekend I also made another batch of Cauliflower Rice Risotto with some of the butternut squash that I cooked.

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I let the risotto cool in the fridge again, then I topped it with some crock pot chicken and sweet peas.

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Other than food I also got to go to one of my brother’s basketball games. That was probably the highlight of my weekend; my brother is over six foot, so he is pretty good at stuffing players and blocking shots.

Last week I shared a picture of my dog Lilly, but my other pets got jealous. Now it’s their turn!

It was pretty cold over the weekend, so my dad let our larger, outside dog Riley in. We enclosed our kitchen with chairs so that he wouldn’t make a mess of the rest our house, but he was perfectly content with visiting with everyone and getting petted. He is such a sweetheart! I tried to get a good picture, but he just wouldn’t sit still.

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Scout also wanted to get in on the action. She’s such a little diva. As soon as we emptied one of our paper bags from Whole Foods, Scout hopped right on in and started messing around. Cats just LOVE boxes and bags. She actually let me carry her around in it for a while.

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And let’s not forget Apollo, my brother’s cat who he dubbed “Introvert.” He’s not exactly a people person…

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Let’s see, what other pictures do I have to share with you all?

How about this awesome shot I took while I was doing a load of jeans on Saturday:

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Or this picture I took of a sunset on the way to my brother’s game:

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A successful experiment on my mom’s part.

She experimented in making some homemade dressing made from lemon (or orange?) juice, olive oil, and salt. One half she used plain, and the other she mixed with some homemade yogurt. For a snack she dipped a few organic romaine lettuce leaves into the two dressings. She was very impressed, especially with it being GAPS legal.

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And a not so successful experiment on my part.

I’m always looking for new ways to incorporate protein powders into dessert for my brother to try. He can use all of the bulking up he can get with basketball! Last time it went over well, but I guess this time I made one too many substitutions when making these no-bake cookies. I personally think it would have tasted awesome, but he’s very very picky.

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Of course, since it’s WIAW, I should probably include some of my regular meals lately. Just because I’ve been eating a lot of soup, doesn’t mean I don’t make up some delicious combinations!

At home for a snack I cooked up two sliced carrots and shredded chicken in a little broth until tender. I drank the broth on the side (it’s so sweet and delicious from the cooked carrots) and I topped the carrots and chicken with a little coconut oil and sea salt.

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At school today I peeled and cooked yellow squash “noodles” in chicken broth. I topped the squash with a large strip of chicken, sea salt and rosemary. After I took this picture I also added a nice big drizzle of olive oil.

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To round out this incessantly long WIAW, a little warmth for this sub-zero weather that we’ve been experiencing up around here:

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Peppermint tea.

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Questions for you:

What is your favorite health food store? I’m all about Whole Foods and Earth Fare!

Have you ever tried cooking a squash whole? Do it. Now. You’ll never go back. Promise.

How do you capture good pictures of your pets?

Me, Currently

WIAWs get better week after week, am I right? If you missed mine, check out What I Read On This Fabulous Wednesday. I also shared a new recipe made of cauliflower rice. It’s the first thing on my list to make when I get home tomorrow!

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But WIAW is in the past for now. How about something more current? Like this super cool idea that I saw on the blog Chasing Chels yesterday.

The idea is to respond to all of the categories with what you’re loving most this minute. Think on some of these things as you read and enjoy!

fff-me-currently

Current Book: As I shared on Wednesday, I’m reading two right now. Frankenstein and The Search for Meaning. I’m also supposed to participate in a book discussion next week for Life of Pi, but that isn’t very likely to happen (it’s not for a class, so no penalty).

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Current Music: At school- nothing. On my rides to and from school- whatever country music station is in range. Or I just sing to myself. Favorite song to belt out- Everytime We Touch. Such an amazing ballad line.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4G6QDNC4jPs]
Current Guilty Pleasure: Army Wives on Netflix. I’m always a sucker for romantic war stories. I watched part of this series when it first came out, but had to stop because I was “too young.” Maybe 12 or 13?

Current Nail Color: All natural. It’s the new chic, or haven’t you heard?

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Current Drink: Peppermint tea. Good for soothing my stomach. Speaking of which… I should go make some right now!

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Current Food: Would it surprise you if I said soup?

Just call me Souper (Wo)man!

Current TV Show: Same as above. Toss in the occasional ABC Family drama (Pretty Little Liars or The Lying Game) or an something on antenna (New Girl, Big Bang Theory or The Mindy Project). Over the weekend I watched a few episodes of That 70s Show with my brother when he was sick.

Current Wish List: More time.

Current Need: A nice restful nap.

If only I was this cute when I’m asleep!

Current Triumph: Keeping up with all of my school work and not procrastinating too much.

Current Bane of My Existence: All of the boy-obsessed giggly girls on my floor.

Because one can never have too many quotes from the likes of the Foremans.

Current Celebrity Crush: Forever and Always. This guy:

SWOON.

Current Indulgence: Coconut Oil. On Everything.

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Current Blessing: My sweet dog waiting at home to greet me.

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Boy, doesn’t that face just say a thousand words?

Current Slang: Chill out. I say this to my dad on a daily basis when I’m at home. He hates that phrase… Then my brother started using it.

Current Outfit: A Snoopy T-Shirt that says “Futbol,” a pair of maroon Nike sweatpants, and red/white fuzzy socks.

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Current Excitement: The fact that I get to go home tomorrow. I know, I know. I’m supposed to be making friends, having the time of my life, and “experiencing the world.” I do that for five days a week. Give me a break.

Current Mood: Laid back. Not a care in the world until I have to start my MIS assignment. Let the stress begin!

Current Link: In order from the top of my internet window: PeasandCrayons.com, WordPress.com {this post specifically}, Youtube.com {Cascada}, ChasingChels.blogspot.com {looking at what “current” thing I need to write about next for this post}, Yahoo.com, UrbanDictionary.com.

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Does anybody else read WIAWs like it’s their job?

So, now what to leave you with?

Have a terrific weekend and Martin Luther King Jr. Day for those of you who do (or don’t) have off. For me that means three days of no school, but still tons to do. I hope everyone can find some time to take a break and just enjoy.

Happy Friday!

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Pick a few of the “currently” survey categories above and answer them!

What is your favorite kind of tea?

What one ingredient do you put on everything?