Monthly Archives: March 2016

Easter Weekend Recap

Hi friends – I’m back! I had no intention of disappearing last week, but in typical Katie-fashion, I decided to take on a last minute project that took up all my blogging time. I had a friend coming into town and decided two Fridays ago, that I should use her visit as motivation to makeover the guest room/office. Which, shockingly, did not take one day, like I decided it would in my head. After working on it over the weekend, I was up at 5am and up until 11pm each night painting and painting and painting.  Anyway, it’s almost done, I had a great visit with my friend, and I’m back on the blog…until I take on another last minute project. I’ll do a room reveal when all the details are in place (when the second round of wall decals arrive and all the outlets are switched out etc.), so today is a recap of our fantastic holiday weekend!

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Oftentimes, things don’t feel like weekends around here. I travel for work a lot and TimTheFarmer has worked every.single.day since January. We were so grateful for a visit from a friend to refocus our energy and take a bit of a break from the running around. 

We started out the long weekend with a girls’ day on Friday. After wrapping up work meetings in the morning, we headed out for a long lunch in town, followed by pedicures, and a bit of shopping at local stores. I NEVER do this, so it was such a treat to spend a relaxing afternoon, sipping prosecco while we got foot massages and catching up on the last 6 months with a best friend. We ended the day on a high note, with more amazing burgers from Panzur. They are just so good. And, TimTheFarmer is developing a reputation as that guy who orders a burger with both pig belly AND bacon jam. #gobigorgohome

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On Saturday, the kiddo and I woke up early and snuck out of the house to go take care of the pigs at the farm, as a treat for TimTheFarmer so he could sleep past 6 AM one day in 3 months. Two things to note here: the kiddo did ALL the work with the pigs #idontdopigs and he did so good! And, TimTheFarmer totally knew we were up to something, but he still pretended to be asleep and let us do this for him. #thankshoney

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We decided to enjoy the beautiful day and go on a local hike I’d been hearing about. We had nothing (paleo) for lunch, so I quickly baked some almond flour rolls and we decided to have PB&Js at the top. Except, we all eat different kinds of nut butter and the rolls were still warm when we left the house, so we also packed up each of the nut butters (peanut, almond, and sun butters) into little containers as well as some homemade blueberry jam. I wish I had taken a picture of our nut butter sandwich bar on the top of the mountain – it was pretty ridiculous, but totally delicious!  I’d heard the hike up Stissing Mountain was a shortish, steep hike up to a fire tower, and they weren’t kidding about steep! Holy crow. We were huffing and puffing after the first 5 minutes. But, it was totally worth it! Once you climbed the rickety tower, you could see the entire Hudson Valley. 

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Otis, the hipster from Brooklyn, enjoyed his first journey up a mountain and Taz hung in there like the short-legged champ that he is. And, Otis alternated between rolling in the leaves and dirt, and keeping his tush clean by sitting on my legs #weirdo.

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That night we broke out the only store-bought eggs we buy each year and got busy dying eggs. We have a tradition in my family of decorating the eggs with crayons before we dye them. In addition to being cute, there’s a strategy here – after the egg hunt, we have an egg fight where you tap your eggs against each other. Often, the waxier the end, the better your chances are at winning fight.  

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We’d asked the kiddo, who is now 13, if he still wanted to do an egg hunt. He totally played it cool, like “Whatever…”, but he finally admitted he’d wanted to do the hunt, so the eggs were hidden. It’s way more fun to watch kids try to collect eggs than I ever would have thought, particularly when they walk right past the most obvious ones over and over (and over and over). It might have actually been worse this year with a sleepy teenager trying to find the obvious eggs.

Post egg hunt, we did some serious meal prep, which included making these ridiculously absurd (but tasty) deviled chicks. 

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My FIL joined us and we ate and had an egg fight and then ate some more. The kiddo made the “silver bullet” egg and it was the egg fight champion. It literally took down every other egg in the basket. 

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We also revisited my thoughts on how my life is a country song, when ‘She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy’ come on Sonos. My friend and I agreed that men do, in fact, often look good on tractors and that that’s ok. Then, she made this statement, which is for sure a keeper.

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All in all, we had a weekend that felt more like a weekend than one has in a long time. I loved spending time with friends and family! I hope your Easter weekend was fabulous as well!



{Friday Favorites} All Things Spring

How on Earth is it Friday already? This week has flown by. I’ve been in and out of NYC 3 times the last 7 days, ugh! I’m not sure if it’s the travel, moving the clocks forward on Sunday, or the increase I made in my methylated B vitamins (which often kick me in the butt and are part of my never-ending health journey), but after proclaiming two weeks ago that I feel better than I’ve felt in years, this week has been a tough week as far as energy goes. Despite all that, I am LOVING the feeling of spring in these parts. Which apparently I should savor, because it’s supposed to snow Sunday. 

Chicks are in the House

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We added another six chicks last weekend, so we’ve got a fish tank full of chicks in our TV room. Like I said, my life is a country song. We didn’t get chicks last year because we hoped we’d be moving (which turned out to be a good plan – we had to send all our old chickens “to the farm” when we moved, so it would have been a bummer to have chickens that had just started laying, only to “send them to the farm.”) and I forgot how much I love chicks. I’m not really an animal person, so my affection for chicks surprised me, but really, who doesn’t love a cute little baby chick? They’re so fluffy and sleepy and sweet and are always falling asleep in their food. 

Mrs. Meyer’s Geranium Candles

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I love having candles burning and decided about a year ago, when we embarked on our detox, to cut out all the Yankee Candles that are laden with synthetic scents, petroleum wax, and plastic wicks. We’ve gone all natural, y’all, including our candles. I was excited to see that my favorite hand soap company, Mrs. Meyer’s makes candles and they made with essential oils, soy wax, and cotton wicks. I loved their holiday scents, but when Christmas was over, we had to put the pine scent away and I went searching for a new scent. I’ve never even tried smelling their geranium soaps because I find real geraniums to have the most disgusting, off-putting smell to ever come off of a flower. I don’t even want to tell you what I think they smell like, but it’s that bad. But, low and behold, the geranium scent from Mrs. Meyer’s actually smells amazing, and when the candle burns, it literally smells like roses. Score!

Tulips on the Table

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Tulips are one of my favorite flowers to have around the house. They’re just.so.happy. Am I right or am I right? I tend to start picking them up at the store in March and they make me feel like spring is just around the corner. 

Longer Days

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I’m not one of those people with strong feelings about Daylight Savings Time – I just don’t see the point in complaining about something you can’t change. Even though Monday morning was a bit rough, it is what it is, I say. However, on Tuesday afternoon when I got home well after 6pm, there was still an hour of daylight which meant I could take these two crazies for a walk and I was stoked! So were they. On days when Otis can’t go to the farm, he’s a complete nut job, so when we can get him out for a long walk, everyone feels a bit better at the end of the day.

Welcoming Committee 

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Back to the country song bit for a minute, my welcoming committee when I get home totally cracks me up. P.S. we can’t wait to start landscaping!

SunButter

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Have you guys tried this stuff yet? We are a household divided on this, which is fine. Quitting peanut butter was a big loss around here and TimTheFarmer jumped right into almond butter, which he eats with a spoon. Even though I love almonds, almond butter never blew my skirt up. And, it’s not like we eat bread anymore (so I shouldn’t miss peanut butter that much), but I do love a chocolate-peanut butter combo.  When I was supposed to to quit tree nuts for 6 months, seeds were the only salty-snack-nut-like-thing left I could eat. I’d been seeing SunButter on various paleo sites, so I thought I’d give it a go. And….I really like it! It’s closer tasting to peanut butter than almond butter, especially if you add some salt. It finishes a little weird, like sunflower seeds (shocking, I know), but it does the snack trick! Now TimTheFarmer and I each have our silly-expensive nut/seed butter for eating with a spoon :).

Have a great weekend!! I’ll be spending mine back in my painter’s overalls. 



{Paleo Pantry} Peach Vinaigrette

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In August and September, we are drowning in peaches around here. Our favorite pick-your-own farm, Rose Hill Farm (now TimTheFarmer’s farm) has amazing peaches in late summer/early fall and there’s NOTHING better than a fresh-off-the-tree, perfectly ripe peach. When they’re ripe coming off the tree, however, they don’t have a long shelf life, so we’re always scrambling to eat them up or put them up before they go bad. By the time October rolls around, our shelves are full of jams, sauces, and canned peaches and our freezer has gallon baggies of peach slices for smoothies. 

Aug1Yes, that’s whiskey. I was prepping for our peach whiskey BBQ sauce. Yum!

Two summers ago there were no peaches up in these parts because of a late frost – so last summer, when they were plentiful, I may have gone a bit overboard with the picking. I’d exhausted our canning options, so I turned to another trick I use is to preserve the awesome flavors of late summer: making baby food. Just kidding. Sort of. I take the method moms use to make homemade baby food (pureeing and freezing in ice cube trays) and apply it to anything I can puree. We eat pesto year round (or until February when we run out) with this method. I pureed tons of peaches (everything but the pit, duh) in our NutriBullet, poured the puree into ice cube trays, and then stored in freezer baggies. 

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The peach puree is so good I could (and sometimes do) eat it with a spoon. There is nothing like the flavor of perfectly ripe peaches. Yum! One of our favorite recipes from this peach puree is Peach Vinaigrette. It is super quick and easy to make and immediately takes a salad from typical to AMAZING. It pairs really well with goat cheese, red peppers, red onions, or sliced almonds and seriously takes under 5 minutes to make. 

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Don’t worry if you don’t have peach puree on hand! Just grab some frozen peaches from the grocery store and put 8-10 in a bowl to defrost about 30 minutes before you’re ready to make your salad dressing. Then, puree them up and follow the directions below. Easy peasy.

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This dressing is awesome in the dead of winter because it brings back the taste of summer. Enjoy!

I should throw a disclaimer in here. I realize fruit can be off limits in the hard core inner cirlce of the paleo community. We, however, love our fresh local fruits and are completely ok with eating them in limited quantities.  I don’t want to live in a world without peaches, ok?

Peach Vinaigrette
Yields 1
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 5 peach puree cubes* or 8 frozen peach slices or 1 fresh peach (pitted)
  2. 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  3. 2 tbsp water
  4. 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1/2 tbsp raw honey
  6. 1/2 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Defrost peach puree.
  2. Combine all ingredients in blender, except the honey, and puree until smooth. Taste your dressing - if it needs a little extra sweetness, add a bit of honey in (and puree again) until it's just right.
  3. Store extra dressing in the fridge for up to a week.
Notes
  1. * I take the frozen peaches out when I start dinner - 30-40 minutes before I plan to make the dressing - to allow them to defrost. You could also microwave for 15 seconds at a time.
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