have a happy weekend.

It has been the craziest week with work... but even crazier because we put in an offer on a house! The next couple of months are bound to be a bit crazy. I'm looking forward to spending time with family this weekend and trying out a few new recipes:

I'll be dreaming of cooking here.

I'm dying to convert this recipe to a paleo friendly version.

Feeling a bit adventurous with your main course choice? You might want to grab Girl Hunter asap. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

paleo pulled bbq chicken.

Shortly after we were engaged, my mom gave us a slow cooker. At first, I was skeptical.  It took me a while to warm up to it. It sat, lonely, in our pantry (only place it fit) for several months before I finally decided to stop being ridiculous.

it's a wrap.

It's hard to believe summer is almost over {I'm just ignoring the fact it'll be hot here until December}. We spent the weekend house hunting {!!}, scouring the local antique shops, and then relaxing at the beach on Sunday. 

weekend warmup.

Over the weekends, we tend to break paleo and sometimes go out for the occasional cocktail or two. My dad's best friend and his wife gave us an amazing wedding gift: a book of all of his favorite, perfected, and "nearly famous" drink recipes. He also gave us a few goodies for our bar, so we've been experimenting a bit more with our cocktails {I'm usually a bourbon on the rocks girl, myself}.

paleo meatloaf

Paleo meatloaf is one of my favorite dishes to make.  It has two of the qualities I look for in a meal: easy and delicious :) Added bonus: since it's just the two of us, there is usually some leftover for lunch the next day. 

fitlife foods

Last week, I heard a strange crash right as I was about to fall asleep. I waited for about five minutes for the burglar to come upstairs... hearing nothing, I fell asleep {our bulldog is deaf, providing none of the usual comforts of having a dog in the house}. Turns out, there was no burglar, but this happened:

Needless to say, this type of event makes cooking even more cumbersome. I would say "you don't know what you've got til it's gone," but I really appreciated the sink. Very much. It's just over one week later, and we're still in the reparation process. We are happy that we're renters and not homeowners right now, because although we're dealing with the annoyance of not having a sink, we're not footing the bill. Suffice it to say, we've eaten out a lot since last Tuesday. 

We eat at Daily Eats a bit more often than I'd really like to admit {I'm one of those people who finds something she likes and returns, often}, so last night I thought I'd switch it up and try something new. I basically stumbled upon FitLife Foods via Instagram, and, after perusing their menu and concept, thought it might be worth a try. It has online ordering and is located pretty close to our house; it couldn't possibly be more convenient {actually, doorstep delivery would be nice, but I'll take what I can get}. The staff was super friendly, in that infectious kind of way, which is always refreshing after a fairly long Monday.

Apparently I'm not as awesome at multitasking as I thought, because I ordered the shrimp dish with rice {the "Firecracker Shrimp"} instead of sweet potatoes and swiss chard. I realized this after I got home, but I still checked my online order because I was convinced someone else had messed up {wrong}. Since rice is certainly not paleo {and this was not even jasmine rice, which I will happily break paleo for}, I kept reminding myself that millions of people eat rice every day and are perfectly healthy. I made some broccolini since my "medium" size meal had about 4 green beans, despite the fact the whole reason I went to FitLife was to avoid dirtying any dishes that we'd have to clean in the bathroom. 

Now that I've rambled for far too long, I must say, as far as "fast food" goes, it was good. I ordered a medium for myself and a large for my husband, but we probably would not have had enough if I hadn't made the broccolini, mainly because I didn't want to eat all of the rice {I did anyway}. The shrimp had great flavor and was cooked quite well. I also picked up breakfasts for us both, called The Marathon Morning: egg whites, kale, bacon, and sausage {it was a bit difficult to find one that didn't contain cheese}. Mine was pretty good {I am not a fan of sausage, but I ate it}. I had a small this time, and it was definitely enough. Despite my disdain for microwaving foods, I think we'll go back when we're having busy weeks. I'm even tempted to go back tonight, just so I can order the right dish. 

Ground Turkey with Collard Greens and Garlic Mashed "Potatoes"

After a fun Monday at the office, I especially enjoy coming home and cooking a full meal - followed by a delightful dish washing session {usually left to C, who is so much better at it than I am ;) }. In reality, a one or two pan meal is a lifesaver: less work, less clean-up, more relaxation. Not only is this dish quick and easy, it cheaply feeds two and occasionally will leave a bit of leftovers for lunch the next day.

ewg's dirty dozen

Frankly, it's not always easy to buy organic. Either the produce simply isn't available, or it isn't economically feasible to buy organic all the time {organic produce is absolutely more expensive than conventional}.

The Environmental Working Group recently released the Dirty Dozen: its list of fruits and vegetables containing the most pesticide residues, as well as the list of "clean" {the "Clean Fifteen"} fruits and veggies that are safer to buy conventional. 

Both sweet corn and papaya made the "Clean Fifteen" list. We tend to only buy organic corn because so much corn in the US is genetically modified (about 88%), and, honestly, I'm not sure whether corn is marketed all that clearly as simply corn or "sweet corn," so we'll probably stick to organic {when we're breaking paleo of course, since corn is, unfortunately, a grain}.  Apparently, most Hawaiian papaya is genetically modified, so choosing organic may be the best choice there as well. 

The "Dirty Dozen" is a great reference for determining when to demand organic {I admit it saddens me that sweet bell peppers are a member of the Dirty Dozen; I can almost never find organic bell peppers here}.  Looks to me like if it is thin skinned, or a green, leafy vegetable, buy organic.

you're not my boy, blue.

Have you had a marshmallow lately? Me either, but not just because s'more season ended months ago. Why then? Blue No. 1. {Go check; it's right there on the ingredients list... blue dye in white food.} Since I started my ongoing effort to avoid preservatives, chemicals, dyes, and unnecessary additives, I've tried to figure out what needs to be cut out immediately. Blue No. 1 definitely makes that list.

DIY: painted hutch.

Don't let Pinterest fool you: painting a hutch is NOT easy. At least with this wonderful piece of furniture it wasn't. A few months ago {yes, months, as in, before we were married}, I received a text from my wonderful husband with the picture below. I was elated to discover he'd found a hutch for a mere $35. With actual glass, and made of pretty decent wood {it's not mahogany by any means, but seriously, it was $35}. In case the picture isn't doing the hutch enough justice, it was an alarming shade of puke yellow. It also smelled less than wonderful {again, $35}.

friday smiles.

After working all last weekend, I'm dying for a day off. I'll be heading home tonight for wine and dinner with the hubby, a relaxing Saturday, and an even more relaxing Sunday :)

Earlier this week I mentioned baby elephants, and came across this video. I've watched it more than once, and it puts a smile on my face every time.

Have a happy weekend!