Stop Eating Salad to Lose Weight!

As the saying goes, I wish had a dime for every person who said to me, “I’m trying to fit into this dress so I’ve started eating more salads.” Or “Why are you eating a salad? You don’t need to lose weight.”

Actually, skip the dime. Let’s go with a dollar. After all, I have a kid in college and will have from now until 2027. Sometimes there will be two in college at once. I can absolutely use all the dollars I can get. Fives and tens are also welcome. And also some Kleenex because that’s a lot of graduations to get through. (I might have already started crying over the fact that I’ve got another guy graduating next spring.)

Stop eating salad to lose weight!

Stop Eating Salad to Lose Weight

Please notice that this admonition doesn’t end with the word “salad.” I have not said, “Stop eating salad.” I’m telling us all that none of us should eat salad as a way to lose weight. Instead…

All of us should eat salad as a way to gain nourishment.

Salad greens are some of the healthiest foods we can eat, and we should eat them every day if possible. (P.S. If you didn’t already know this – the greener the greens, the better they are. Iceberg lettuce isn’t bad for us necessarily, but it’s also not as packed with nutrients as other varieties of lettuce. The basic rule of thumb to follow is to pick the greenest of the greens because the greener it is, the more packed it is with nutrients we need.)

But no matter how green they are, never eat them in an effort to lose weight. Eat them because you know your body can utilize the nutrients they contain.

Why does it matter?

It matters because if you only eat salad in an effort to lose weight, if/when you fall off your diet wagon, you’re likely to think of salad as “diet food” and stop eating it.

It matters because if you are thin, you might not consider eating salad as a necessary option.

It matters because when it comes right down to it, none of the food choices we make should be based on whether or not we need to lose weight. We need to make food choices based on what will best give our bodies nourishment.

Just eat real food, people. (With the very occasional side of fries, because keeping an intentional balance is best and ultimately healthiest, in my research-based opinion.)

You might find that eating a great salad every day does result in weight loss if that is a need for you. But the bigger celebration should be in knowing that your body is loving all the goodness you’re putting into it. You will feel so much better! You will have more energy!

From now on, no one shall ever talk to me about eating salad to lose weight. Don’t think I won’t start asking for those dimes. Dollars. Kleenex. Whatever.

Are you a salad lover? 

P.S. Check out the cheater way I serve my family salad every day!

Easy, Low Sugar, Mini Crustless Brownie Cheesecake Recipe

If you like cheesecake, and you like brownies, you will love these Mini Crustless Chocolate Cheesecakes. The combination of (only 6!) ingredients creates what becomes a Brownie Cheesecake!

Indeed, I’m sharing this now so you can make your weekend the best of the best. I’m always here for you. True friends offer recipes so you can make guilt-free Brownie Cheesecake. Oh yeah. Did I not mention you can eat these guilt-free?

chocolate-cheesecake2

Huge Perk: These cheesecakes are super low in sugar and use all real food ingredients.

The main sweetener in this recipe is Stevia (this is my favorite brand). But if you’re not a huge fan of stevia, you’ll love knowing that this recipe also includes a tiny bit of maple syrup. The maple syrup overshadows any of the bitterness stevia sometimes leaves behind. In my experience, the combination of these two sweeteners keeps this recipe very low in sugar but creates a perfect, delicious treat that is perfectly sweet!

easy-mini-crustless-baked-cheesecake

You might remember the sister recipe to this one: Easy, Low Sugar Mini Crustless Cheesecakes. I think I like those even better than this chocolate variety, and I think we all know how much I love chocolate. Now I’m thinking that I should make a batch of each, and pour them into the pan together to make a Chocolate Vanilla Cheesecake Combo. Hmmm….put that on your “can’t wait until Laura tells us about that” list.

Easy, Low Sugar, Mini Crustless Chocolate Cheesecakes

Easy, Low Sugar, Mini Crustless Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe
 
Author:
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 full droppers of liquid stevia
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
  2. Pour into 12 muffin cups.
  3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Turn off heat, open the oven door, and leave the cheesecakes in the oven for an additional 20 minutes. (Cheesecakes will puff up during baking but deflate while continuing to sit in the oven.)
  5. Transfer cheesecakes to the fridge and chill for at least two hours before serving.

 

 

 

low-sugar-mini-crustless-chocolate-cheesecakes

Make These Cheesecakes EASY!

I always blend the ingredients for these cheesecakes in my Blendtec. It takes about 20 seconds. So easy! Also, I have a Silicone Baking Pan similar to this one that makes baking and cleaning up after these cheesecakes super simple. They pop right out of the pan right after cooling. The pan is BPA free and is very easy to clean!

silicone muffin pan

If you want more low sugar treat recipes, you’ll definitely want to check out this Low Sugar Treats, the Real Food Way eBook. It’s full of our family’s favorites!

Low Sugar Treats cover5

Here are more great cheesecake recipe ideas:

Some of the links in this post are my affiliate links.

Who of you is a cheesecake lover? Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla? Are you loving that we can have GUILT FREE cheesecake because of these recipes?!

My February Grocery Spending Totals (Did I Come in Under Budget?!)

Remember how I promised to document all my grocery spending during the month of February to share with you?

I did it! I saved all my receipts. I took all the pictures. I realized how much work it was to take all the pictures and type out all of this information.

(I’m trying to decide if I’m going to keep documenting my purchases every month as some have requested. It is a serious amount of work. Leave a comment to weigh in with how much you want to see this regularly!)

Two weeks ago I posted what I’d bought and how much I’d spent through Feb. 8. (I was up to $524 at that point already!) See the breakdown of my early Feb. grocery trips here.

groceries feb171

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Now I’ll show you what I bought and spent throughout the rest of February…

Yay me, I got to go to Lincoln again (twice in one month is rare, but hooray for cool grocery stores in the big city!).

My first stop in Lincoln is always Fresh Thyme Market. I had the most fun this shopping trip as so many of our favorites were either BOGO items or deeply discounted! All their organic produce was 25% off, so I filled my cart.

While shopping, I decided to take each of my boys a “special treat.” Why? Because it’s fun and food is my love language. See the shopping lists below to see what I took home for each of them. (Come to think of it, I didn’t get anything for Asa, who is away at college, but any time he comes home to eat I go out of my way to make his favorites, so we’re good.)

NOTE: I’ve gotten lazy so instead of setting all the food out on the table at home to take a picture before we put it all away (which takes several extra steps and a lot of extra time), I’ve started taking pictures of my full carts. I know it’s harder to see all the food, but… :)

groceries feb178

Fresh Thyme Market (2-15-17)

2 packages orange cranberry buns (BOGO) $3.99
2 packages chocolate pretzels $5.00
4 packages coffee (BOGO) $15.98
Havarti jalapeno cheese (surprise for Justus) $3.99
8 pounds organic butter (BOGO) $23.96
2 packages wheat tortillas $4.98
4 Brown Cow yogurt (BOGO) $1.98
1 pound kiwi $2.99
.82 pounds asparagus $2.45
2.74 pounds bartlett pears $2.66
3.39 pounds gala apples $3.29
1 pint grape tomatoes $0.88
3.44 pounds mini sweet peppers $6.85
3.27 pounds organic bananas $1.86
3.44 pounds organic braeburn apples $2.55
2.19 pounds organic broccoli $2.45
1 organic cucumber $0.66
5 organic avocados $3.70
Organic rainbow carrots $2.24
2 red bell peppers $1.76
2.64 pounds red grapes $2.56
6 pounds strawberries $9.00
1.05 pounds nectarines $1.86

Total $101.65

Next, I went to Aldi. Since I’d been there just two weeks prior, I didn’t need as much. But of course I got another case of salsa since we go through it so much. (Total jars of salsa purchased in February: twenty-eight. #lifewithteenageboys)

groceries feb 179

Aldi (2-15-17)

3 pounds yellow onions $0.79
4 pints blueberries $6.76
Valentine Danimals Smoothies (marked down after Vday – surprise for Malachi) $0.99
Pecan/Vanilla Granola (surprise for Elias) $2.99
2 packages organic cheese slices $5.98
2 packages brown sugar $2.58
2 packages uncured hotdogs $3.98
3 boxes fruit squeezes (for Asa to have in the dorm) $5.68
12 jars organic salsa $22.68

Total: $52.43

Just a few days later, we were out of fresh greens and cheese (staples at our house!). Plus we’d already eaten all those strawberries. I made a list and ran to our local Walmart.

groceries feb179

Walmart (2-20-17)

1 pound organic mixed greens $5.98
1 pound organic spinach $5.98
8 pounds marble jack cheese $27.88
1/2 gallon half-and-half $3.98
2 quarts heavy whipping cream $8.28
52 ounces frozen corn $3.96
4 pounds strawberries (price-matched) $5.96
1 pound whole wheat spaghetti $1.00 (looking forward to trying this brand to see if we like it since it’s such a good price!)

Total $63.02

I ordered several staple items online from Vitacost. Many of you have taken advantage of the “Get $10 off your first order of $30 or more!” so I had referral credit (thank you!) and got most of this with very little money out of pocket.

groceries feb1710

Vitacost (2-22-17)

32-ounces organic lemon juice
3 cans organic pizza sauce
2 32-ounce jugs organic maple syrup
32-ounces organic lime juice
33.8 ounce bottle organic olive oil
6 15-ounce cans organic baked beans

Total after credit: $5.42

I hit Wal-mart one last time on February 26. There were some GREAT price-matching options (strawberries for $0.98!). Plus I needed to pick up a few items to take with us this weekend when we head out of town for our annual homeschool basketball tournament. (We’ll eat out with the team sometimes too; but three meals a day for three days would be a little hard on our stomachs and budget.)

groceries feb1711

Wal-Mart (2-26-17)

6 bags Great Value “Fritos” $11.04
2 quarts cream $8.28
Colby Jack individually wrapped cheese (for bball tournament weekend) $2.88
2 packages Hormel Naturals lunch meat (for bball tournament) $11.52
1 loaf 100% whole wheat bread (for bball tournament) $1.68
3 boxes of crackers (for bball tournament) $8.88
LaCroix sparkling water (Mom’s treat!) $3.18
Sour Cream $3.94
48-ounces cashews (to make individual bags for the bball players on our team) $28.02
3 pounds mandarins (price-match!) $2.49
1 pound asparagus (price-match!) $1.47
4 avocados (price-match!) $2.00
3 pints organic grape tomatoes (price-match!) $2.94
8 pounds strawberries (price-match!) $7.84

Total: $96.16

Last but not least, we bought 5 dozen eggs from a local friend with chickens (I feel like we got more eggs earlier in the month that I forgot to document??). We also got one gallon of milk each week from a local farm, a total of four gallons this month.

Milk: $20
Eggs: $12.50 (plus whatever I forgot earlier this month)

Oh! I had a migraine last week and took advantage of a 50% off Pizza Hut coupon. I got four large pizzas for $30 with tax – a splurge, but not a bad price for 4 large pizzas!

Did we come in under budget?

Here’s a break-down of how much we’ve budgeted for our family of six (ages 43, 43, 19, 17, 15, and 12). Here’s a peek at the rest of the groceries I bought in February.

Grand total I spent for food in February: $905.59

That is a lot of money, but it is also a lot of good food! I am thankful.

How did your grocery budget hold up in February?

That Time I Stopped Buying Groceries to “Eat What We Had” In an Attempt to Save Money

If you look at my stash of food, you might decide, “This woman is crazy.”

groceries feb 172

You’d be right, of course. I mean, who buys 24 packs of cream cheese at once? Why do I need 36 pounds of pasta, seeing as I do not own an Italian restaurant? And what is up with the three cases of salsa? The 50 pound bag of oats? An entire shelf full of cocoa powder?

Dude. Never question a woman’s supply of chocolate. This is a necessity, much like water and air.

groceries april 221
Some might think I have a food hoarding problem. Some may be concerned that I have an unhealthy fear of running out of food. But the truth is:

My family eats a lot.

Also? Cooking is one of my very favorite things. It’s also a big part of my writing career – experimenting and coming up with recipes to share here. So basically, I like having my very own grocery store out in my storage room. When I get a new recipe idea, I almost always have the ingredients on hand that I need to work with. And I’ve almost always purchased them on sale in bulk. That’s how I roll. I find a good deal on an ingredient I use regularly, I stock up, I always have it on hand, and I have rarely paid full price.

groceries Lincoln

Which leads me to the time recently I decided, “Hey. I spend a lot of money on food every month. I have a lot of food already (ridiculous understatement). I wonder how long I can go without buying groceries. I bet I’d save a few bucks if I stayed away from the store. I should try it.”

This resolution lasted for two entire weeks. That’s how long I stayed out of the store. Then I couldn’t put it off any longer. I had to go shopping.

groceries feb178

What happened when I stopped buying groceries

Had we run out of food? Goodness, no. But suddenly I found we were down to frozen meat, several jars of homemade applesauce, and a pitiful can of olives, the brand of which I will never buy again.

I exaggerate. You can be sure we still had bags of rice and wheat and oats. I most definitely had a decent stash of butter in my freezer. But as nice of an idea it was that I use up what I have before I shop again, I learned very quickly that this doesn’t work for me at this season in my life.

Why I can’t avoid grocery shopping longer than two weeks

1. In only two weeks, my stock pile shrunk rapidly.

No, of course we didn’t go through 24 packages of cream cheese in two weeks. But I was amazed at how quickly my supply of food started to vanish and I began to feel uneasy about running out of essentials. Part of this is because we eat a lot. Actually, all of this is because we eat a lot. What can I say?

2. I stock up when the price is right.

If I use up what I’ve bought on sale, then I’ll have to pay full price when I need it again. Wham, bam, no thank you, ma’am. It works much better and saves us a significant amount money if I continue to stock up on needed items when the price is right – before I wait until my stock pile has run out.

3. The fresh produce only lasts so long.

Buying fresh fruits and vegetables in season is one of the main reasons I need to go to the store every week. After I’d avoided going to the store for longer than normal, we were down to two carrots and a few pears in the crisper drawer. I still had some frozen veggies too, but man shall not live on green beans alone.

4. I don’t have time to run to the store every time I run out of something important.

Having a nice supply of all the basics on hand not only saves me money, it saves me time. Running to the store for one or two items here and there is really a time waster for me. I can’t even tell you how nice it is to simply “shop” in my pantry and freezers when I need to make something at the last minute.

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There truly is something to be said about eating up the odds and ends that get shoved to the back of the freezer before they gets wasted. That’s the best part of committing to staying out of the store for as long as possible – it really challenges a person to make do with what she has.

But as for me and my household, I’m going to need to shop regularly and keep a good stockpile of the basics at all times. It helps keep my grocery budget under control and I think we all know I need as much help with that as I can get.

How about you? Have you found that it works well to take some time to avoid the store and instead work on eating up what you have on hand? What saves you the most money?

What Does Laura Think About the Instant Pot?

I think I might be the only person left on the planet who doesn’t have an Instant Pot. If you didn’t have one before, you surely got one for Christmas. Me though? I didn’t ask for one; didn’t get one. I’m the weirdo who still cooks everything the “old fashioned way” – in my crock pot, on my stove-top, and in my double oven.

instant pot

Am I anti-Instant Pot? Absolutely not. Research tells me they are healthy to use, and according to everyone (on the planet) who has one, they are fantastic.

So what in the world is wrong with me? Why don’t I have or even want an Instant Pot?

I liken my Instant Pot mindset to the way I feel about a Bread Machine. Great as they are, I never wanted one of those either. Why? Because I’m so used to making bread without one that I don’t have to think about how to make bread any more. I just do it. So if I got a Bread Machine, I’d have to actually read a manual and relearn how to make bread and while surely this learning curve would only take about 20 minutes, I just can’t wrap my brain around the endeavor without feeling overwhelmed.

Some things just don’t make sense, but inside my brain, it all makes perfect sense, so do try to understand. Making bread “the hard way” is easier than making bread “the easy way” because the harder way is easier for me. There. That ought to clear things right up.

I believe the same is true with the Instant Pot. I’ve heard I could cook hard boiled eggs in an Instant Pot in a shorter amount of time than it takes to boil them on the stove-top, but I’ve decided that by the time I figured out how to do it the new way, I could already have my eggs boiled and made into Deviled Eggs, amen and amen.

Perhaps I’m being dramatic. Perhaps I should just admit my abhorrence of owner’s manuals. Perhaps I’m set in my ways and I’ll turn into one of those grandmas who can’t handle change and never gives in to the latest and greatest that promises to make my life better.

Oh my goodness. It’s happened. I’ve become my grandma.

Indeed, my grandma hated air conditioning (can you imagine?) because she was so used to going without it that she didn’t know how to use the window unit her kids installed for her comfort. So she either left it off on 102 degree days, or she turned it on but still left all the windows open so the hot air had to compete with the cold air.

Heavens, what would Grandma have done if we gave her an Instant Pot?

There may be hope for me, and maybe one of these days I’ll go ahead and give an Instant Pot a try. (This one looks promising. Any thoughts? Recommendations?)

No doubt, I’ll love it once I’m used to it. I will admit that it really does sound great (owner’s manual notwithstanding). But in the meantime, I declare that the hard way is easier. If you are an Instant Pot owner, now’s your chance to talk some sense into me…

Simple Oven Fried Chicken

Oh look. It’s another post about chicken. It’s like we just can’t get enough.

fried-chicken2

My men-filled family loves fried chicken. Who doesn’t?

I used to stand at my electric skillet every couple of weeks frying a bunch of chicken legs, and I’d make a pot of mashed potatoes, use the chicken drippings to make gravy…oh I’d go all out. I did it because my family loved it and I love them.

It’s not that my family doesn’t still love fried chicken and it most certainly isn’t that I don’t still love my family. But at this point in my life, spending over an hour cooking one messy meal just isn’t something I can do. We’ve missed the fried chicken, for sure. But we all like it when Mama can use her nice words, so in a joint effort to keep me sane, no one has complained too much.

I finally decided to experiment with Oven Fried Chicken, though I didn’t see how it could possibly be as good as “actual” fried chicken. My family all agrees that it’s not...quite as good as actual fried chicken. But when the alternative is NO fried chicken, all six of us rally behind this and appreciate its simplicity and goodness.

Simple Oven Fried Chicken

5.0 from 1 reviews
Simple Oven Fried Chicken
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 8-10 bone-in chicken pieces
  • 1 cup flour (any grain you like)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ cup butter (1 stick)
Instructions
  1. Place butter in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  2. Put dish in oven as it preheats to 400 degrees. The butter will melt as the oven preheats.
  3. In the meantime, mix flour, garlic powder, salt, parsley, and paprika in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. Shake to mix.
  4. Put chicken pieces into the bag, seal, and shake until the chicken is well coated.
  5. Place prepared chicken in the dish of melted butter, giving each piece plenty of space for more even cooking.
  6. Bake, uncovered, for 50 minutes, turning chicken after the first 25 minutes of bake time.

simple-oven-fried-chicken

You might be wondering, as you look at the pictures above, “WHERE are the mashed potatoes??!” Where, indeed. But we went through all this a few days ago when I admitted that I’d broken up with mashed potatoes after years of happiness. We’ve agreed to remain friends, but for now, when I make this Simple Oven Fried Chicken, I stick with simple sides that take no effort. (I mean, if I don’t have time to make fried chicken, I surely don’t have time to make mashed potatoes.)

I guess it could be said that now that I’ve discovered this Oven Fried Chicken recipe, I’ve also broken up with “real” Fried Chicken. (Don’t worry Fat Bombs. I’ll love you forever. XOXO.) But at least this Oven Fried Chicken is the next best thing so we can keep our kitchen life simple and eat our chicken too.

Here are more Simple Recipes you’ll love!

Truly, all of these recipes are ridiculously easy, good, and nourishing.

If you haven’t joined Simple Meals yet, you are missing out on SIMPLE becoming even MORE SIMPLE! (It’s actually possible. I do the work for you!) Check it out here. Get an full Simple Meals Planning Packet in your inbox every single week!

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The Time I Got Attacked About Mashed Potatoes

It’s funny what people will say on social media. I find it especially humorous when I say a brief statement, link to a post, then people react to my words without clicking over to actually read the post.

Here’s what I shared on Facebook a few weeks ago:

facebook-mashed-potatoes

My intent with this Facebook post was to share some ways to cut back on our time in the kitchen. To share some easy recipes to make kitchen life easier for busy families. Everyone wants to hear about this, right?

But before I knew it, people were commenting, “What’s so hard about making mashed potatoes?!” and “Sounds like someone is too lazy to do their dishes!”

Lazy. Yes, that’s definitely it.

For the record, I didn’t actually feel attacked about my mashed potatoes. The comments were barely negative and most people shared nice comments. People like to share their opinions, and sure, sometimes their words can seem to come out a little harshly. I’ve grown a thicker skin through the years. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but mashed potatoes? Naw.

One thing I learned is this: Some people truly don’t find it difficult to make mashed potatoes regularly. I think this is fantastic. Bring on the gravy.

As for me? The thought of making mashed potatoes often, during this season in my life, truly does cause me stress.

Through the years, I’ve pared back and pared back and pared back on my kitchen duties. My family eats more food than ever, and at the same time, I have less time than ever to devote to cooking and cleaning.

Making mashed potatoes truly is easy – I get that. But for me, right now, they are hard. They create more dirty dishes than I’m willing to add to my already overflowing sink. They make extra steps in putting together a meal – and seeing as we are stepping all over ourselves trying to keep up with life – they are steps I’m not able to take right now. I guess we could say that with everything else I’m juggling right now, I’m not able to also juggle a pot full of potatoes. (Go ahead though. Try and picture it.)

I can do a simple main dish along with salad and steamed veggies. That’s it, and I love it. This is easy, doable, and nourishing and doesn’t require the boiling and the mashing nor any effort on my part to keep the mixer from spraying potatoes all over my cabinets and floor. (Clean cooking is not my gift.)

Someday maybe I’ll get back on the mashed potato train. Or not. I kind of like this new “keep the meals simple and good” lifestyle. This is what Simple Meals is made of. This is why so many of us love it. (Here’s a shameless plug to say, “You should totally join Simple Meals if you haven’t already. Do that here. I’ll give you $10 off.)

I’ll save the mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving. I’ll stick with baking potatoes because they are easier and less messy and more versatile.

7 Ways to Use Baked Potatoes

 

How about you? Have you given up on mashed potatoes like I have, or are you a mashed potato champion?

How I Killed Two Birds With… a Chicken?

Remember how my 3-year old used to call the “kitchen” a “chicken?” What in the world – that kid turned 17 this week. He doesn’t get his words mixed up much anymore, though at times he makes up his own words (I have no idea where he gets that). I find him to be more endearing than ever. Rest assured, he’s got the kitchen-chicken thing figured out by now.

justus31

As you all know, I enjoy the occasional opportunity to focus on chicken. (See also: God is Bigger Than a Free Range Chicken and How to Fend Off Mean Roosters.) So here I am finally with a new post about poultry.

I didn’t actually kill the two birds I’m writing about today, as the dearly beloved had already found themselves beheaded and plucked and stashed safely in the back of my freezer. The point of this post is actually to share how cooking a couple chickens to make broth ended up saving me a significant amount of time and made about six full meals for my family. Thus, I feel like I killed two birds with one stone; but what I actually did was knock out a lot of pending work with the effort I put into cooking two birds.

You see now where I got the title for this article. It’s easy to see that being clever is what I do second best after securing my family’s need for sustenance. So back to the chickens…

chicken week 1

I had two smallish birds in the freezer, so I pulled them both out and put them directly into a large pot of hot water with a bunch of vegetables. (Note: I’ve found that there is no need to thaw the chickens before making the broth. It’s all part of keeping life simple, being efficient, and killing two birds with one…well. You get it.)

The chickens and veggies and water all worked their magic for several hours on my stove until they turned into the liquid gold I’d been hoping to create. At this point I pulled all the chicken off the bones. Then I blended the mushy vegetables until they were smooth, and stirred them right back into the broth that had been created. I then tossed all the chicken bones right back into the pot with a fresh batch of water and vegetables to make another round of broth. (We call this getting the most out of your chicken bones, or rather, killing more, or perhaps fewer, birds with two birds. Try to keep up.)

When all was said and done, I had three gallons of rich chicken broth, which, if I do it right, will make 5-6 meals for my family or to share with others as the needs arise. In addition, I had a 9×13 dish full of cooked chicken to use in those meals or in others.

chicken week 3

I guess we could say I killed more than 2 birds with my birds, seeing as I had more than 2 meal options available to me after my broth making efforts.

A couple days later I cooked rice directly in some of the broth (to give it great nourishment and flavor!) and stirred together a big dish of Cheesy Chicken and Rice. I used the remaining cooked chicken to make a pot of Shredded BBQ Chicken (which is seriously as easy as dumping bbq sauce into the cooked chicken and stirring it – let’s not make life hard).

potato_soup

With the rest of the broth, I will make batches of Potato Soup, Chicken Soup with a Kick, and 20-Minute Taco Soup.

So cook yourself a couple of chickens to make broth, then use the broth and chicken to make a handful of other great dishes for your family. You, too, can kill a lot of work with a couple of birds and have a whole lot of meals to enjoy with your family.

At this point I’m wondering why I don’t have an entire category on my site dedicated entirely to Chicken. (See also: On Thursday I Killed the Chicken and Chickens and Cowboys.)

cowboys

This was taken six years ago when Malachi was only six
and I was still in my 30’s. What in the world?

What are your favorite dishes to make with broth and chicken?

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Hey! Lilla Rose is running a 41 hour sale. Check it out here!

41hoursale_1 (2)

20% – 40% Off Select Limited Releases and
Free Shipping for Retail orders over $60!

Offer Ends Friday February 17th at 11:59PM (midnight) Pacific

Care to Know How Often I Wash My Hair? (Plus win a $50 Lilla Rose Gift Certificate!)

I’m sure you’ve all been wondering how often I wash my hair. Just like you’re surely curious the frequency of how often I pull out a fresh tablecloth or shake out my bathroom rugs.

No? Don’t really care that much? I don’t blame you in the least. But I do feel it’s worth mentioning that I’ve trained my hair to need very infrequent washings.

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Photo credit to my oldest son, Asa. For the record, he took this on a day I washed my hair. :)

Certainly no head is created equal, so what works for me may not work for you. I’m just happy to have developed a lower maintenance hair lifestyle. I mean, back when I washed my hair every day, my hair thought it needed to be washed every day. Or, is it possible that I just thought it needed to be washed every day but it really didn’t? Maybe I was just in the habit of washing it every single morning without even considering the need to actually do that.

Either way, as the years have gone on, I’ve either gotten lazier or I’ve started to actually pay attention to what my hair actually needs. As it turns out, my hair doesn’t need to be washed every day. It doesn’t even need it every other day. My hair stays nice and healthy when I wash it just twice each week.

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Lazy or not, it sure is nice not to have to mess with washing, drying, and curling every day. I’ve said it many times before, and I don’t mind saying it again that I don’t know what I’d do without my pretty Flexi-Clips. I wash, dry, and curl my hair on Sundays for church. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday I simply pull my curls back into a Flexi. My hair isn’t anything fancy, and sure, the curls begin to flatten after that many days and nights of living life and sleeping. But my Flexi-Clips make it easy to pull my hair back in about 10 seconds. I get compliments on my clips all the time! It has nothing to do with my hair. The Flexis are just that cute!

What I love best about the Flexi-Clips is that I believe they help keep my hair healthier. They don’t break my hair like rubber bands did. They don’t pull my hair like rubber bands did. And unlike rubber bands, which stretch out and need to be thrown out after just a few uses, Flexi-Clips last forever!

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So there you have it. My hair-fixing life consists of infrequent washings, Sunday only curlings, and practically every day Flexi-Clip wearings. After so many years of Flexis, I have a fun little collection so I can match them to my outfits or moods.

Want to start (or add to) your own collection? Paula, our very own Lilla Rose consultant, is giving one of you a $50 gift certificate! Think of all the Flexi-Clips! And of course, they have Bobby Pins (which I also love) and other accessories too.

Sign up in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win the gift certificate! I’ll draw a random winner on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Watch for an email announcing the winner that I’ll send to everyone who signs up.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Peanut Butter Muffins (Naturally Gluten, Grain, and Dairy Free!)

Once there was a girl who hadn’t eaten a sandwich in a very long time. Then she finally found a recipe for bread that met her low carb-high protein needs. So she tried making a sandwich with the special bread, and it worked. It made her very happy because chicken, mayo, and spinach inside a bun are so delicious and normal.

You, too, can be this girl. Check out the fancy sandwich!

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Be very impressed, even if you are still among the many who can eat a “real sandwich” with “real bread.” Those of us who are frequently sandwichless feel so excited about this bread-making breakthrough!

For the record, my natural doctor thinks she is getting to the bottom of why my body can’t handle many carbs without experiencing a major crash. It’s still going to take some time to heal my cells and clear out the bad bacteria, but she gives me hope that I will be normal again. Normal is relative, so let’s not even start making jokes about that. I’m very well aware of and heartily embrace my cRaZy.

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Aren’t these the prettiest buns you’ve ever seen? (Many jokes. We could make so many jokes about that sentence.)

Hopefully you tried this Peanut Bread Recipe I shared a couple weeks ago. How fun that the batter that recipe creates also bakes into such light, fluffy, golden muffins.

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I’m excited to share that my “real bread” eating family loves this bread right along with me. It’s a great way to feed us all protein! My boys really like loading these with butter and honey or jelly. It’s the greatest way to eat PB&J!

Peanut Butter Muffins (Naturally Gluten, Grain, and Dairy Free)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Peanut Butter Muffins (Naturally Gluten, Grain, and Dairy Free!)
 
Author:
Serves: 12-18
Ingredients
  • 2 cups natural, unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Pinch of sea salt (omit if your peanut butter is salted)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a blender or with a hand mixer.
  2. Pour batter into 12 prepared muffin tins (either well greased tins, paper-lined, or silicone).
  3. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean.

Peanut Butter Muffins - naturally gluten, grain, and dairy free

This is the peanut butter recipe I use for this bread.

If you’re more interested in making a loaf of bread with this recipe, you’ll find those instructions here.

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Let me remind you that this recipe is not only for people who have dietary restrictions. I like feeding this to my family because of the high protein content. It’s a great way to start the day, and because it is so filling, it sticks with us the entire morning!

I’m very curious, when’s the last time you ate a sandwich? (I think it had been two years for me…unless you count the lettuce wraps I’ve enjoyed!) If you, too, have been sandwichless, you will so enjoy this recipe!