End of 2016/Looking Ahead with Changes

This year has passed very quickly and so much has happened in the past 12 months that my head sometimes feels like it is swimming.  I am looking forward to 2017 in the hopes that I will be able to move past the recurrent injury & illness that has plagued me all year.  Our family went through a major transition this year as we lost my grandmother (my “grandlady” as I called her – pictured in post image with me).  She passed away just a few short weeks shy of her 88th birthday & she was one of my best friends.  She had been failing for some time, physically, and spent the last 2 months or so of her life in the hospital.  All except the last week, the family was able to be with her around the clock; once she was moved to a rest home we were only able to be there during the day.  She peacefully passed with a life fully lived.  Some days, the loss still feels like it was just yesterday.  She was my number one cheerleader and she was always willing to try my recipes as I transitioned to non-dairy.  Many of the heirloom recipes I shared this past year were hers.  Even though she is gone, her legacy lives on in her many family members & their love of family, cooking and food!

One positive – I started & completed a virtual marathon (definitely not the same as running a marathon).  This is one just to get a body moving & can be done in bits and pieces.  I started off really great but then the injury & illness set in and it was a struggle to keep the momentum up; I didn’t give up, but I did put it on hold a couple of times.  I had just returned to getting in a daily walk when I had the most recent injury over Thanksgiving.  A friend gave me a fitbit as a gift knowing I wouldn’t have purchased one for myself (and I am so excited to have it & absolutely love it!), and, since it tracked my daily movement I was able to use those (very, very) small “walks” to finish the race before the end of this year (2016).  I chose “The Race to Oz” on Yes Fit as my first virtual race.  I will be signing up with Yes Fit again shortly for the 2017 race; I will use this race to track my healing as my physical therapist gets me up and going over the next few weeks.  I am hoping & planning on doing at least on additional virtual “race” prior to the end of 2017 & if all goes well, I might even try for an actual 5K by the end of the year too.  I do have a dream of someday running a full marathon; this is one of the goals for working towards & making living healthier not just a resolution, but a life change.

 

My plans for this blog for 2017 will have to be adjusted for a few months.  My categories for 2017 are continuing the National Day of category & new categories of appetizers/beverages, comfort food and Mediterranean/Healthy cooking.  Unfortunately, due to injury I won’t actually be able to begin those specific categories until March or April.  I’m not able to be up on my feet for the next few months and thus, I’m not able to cook at this time.  Until then, I’m spending my blog time reading recipes and creating recipes that I can get started with as soon as I’m able to be up and cooking.

One of the other things that I am currently doing is receiving a “Farm Fresh to You” box every other week and I hope to create recipes with the items received in each box.  There are multiple box sizes & you custom when you receive them.  The few days prior to your delivery you can custom your box to fruits and vegetables that your family will eat and remove those that they won’t eat (there is a cut off – for example: changes must be made by 10 am Monday for a Wednesday delivery) .  If Farm Fresh isn’t available in your area check out your local CSA for opportunity to get fresh fruits and vegetables.  Kale anyone?

 

With the changes and the inability to cook, over the next few months I am going to blog a few recipes that I have completed but that I didn’t use over the past year as well as the healthier changes I am implementing in my life as I heal and tips and hits that are working (or not working) for me.

I’m also using the time away from the stove to create my first cookbook.  I have a couple of ideas and I’m not sure yet if I’m going to start with one or split it in two.  I’ll make that decision & announce my plans in the next week or so. I’m really excited about this & am looking forward to get started on working the recipes that I’ve been creating.

 

 

Do you have any big plans for 2017?  Any reflections on 2016?  Comment and let me know.

Do you have a “comfort food” that you love?  Comment & let me know & it might end up being featured in that category.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Nutrition: Re-Cap

It’s hard to believe we are already coming to the end of 2016.  Are you ready for 2017?  In some ways I’m not, but in others, I’m more than ready (2016 seemed to be the year of illness & injury for me).  There is only one weekend left 2016 & one more post after today.

When I was planning 2016 I knew that one of the topics I wanted to cover was making sure I was replacing the nutrition that I was getting when consuming dairy with other sources.  Today I’m going to re-cap those posts in one post so they are easily accessible.  Just click on each nutrient & it will take you to that post.

 

Disclaimer:

I’m not a professional/nutritionist or a doctor; this is just the result of research that I’ve done for myself that I am sharing.  Please research for yourself and don’t forget to consult/discuss with your healthcare provider!

 

Calcium

Vitamin D

Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese & Phosphorus

Potassium, Selenium, Sodium, Zinc

Minor Proteins & Enzymes in Milk; Butter Nutrients

Protein

Amino Acids

Vitamin A, B’s (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 & B12) & Fatty Acids

Vitamins C, E, K

 

National Day of Cocoa – Dec. 11

National Day of Cocoa.  So many options are available with cocoa – cakes, cookies, candy, mole, etc.  I’ve decided to keep it simple & short.  Prep/cooking is about 5-7 minutes & cooling is about 30.  I’m sharing one of my brothers’ favorite cookie recipe – Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies.  This is not really a cookie but a soft fudge candy.

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2 cups sugar

1/2 c non-dairy milk

1 stick Earth Balance or 8 tablespoons of your non-dairy “butter” of choice

1/4 cup cocoa

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup creamy peanut butter (some recipes call for crunchy – it would be a personal preference)

1 tablespoon pure vanilla flavoring

large pinch of kosher salt

 

 

Cover baking sheet with wax or parchment paper.

Combine the sugar, milk & “butter” in a saucepan & bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Once boiling (a full rolling boil), boil for 1 minute.

Remove from heat & add remaining ingredients; mix well to combine.

Drop by tablespoons full (or small cookie scoop) onto prepared pans until cool & hard – about 30 minutes.

Store in tightly sealed container for up to 3 days.

 

Prep:

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Cooking & Cooling:

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If you run out of cookie sheets – put parchment on the counter, like above.

Note:  If precipitation in the air (humidity, rain, snow, etc) I recommend allowing to boil 1 minute longer or your cookies will potentially be super soft.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

What is your favorite cookie?  Comment & let me know.

Heirloom: Mom’s Breakfast Sausage

This week I was going to share my grandmother’s Teriyaki Wings recipe, but I haven’t found where I put the recipe – I’ll share it a bit later once I find it.  Instead, I’m going to share my mother’s Breakfast Sausage recipe.

This stuff is mandatory for our camping trips – it’s just not the same without it.

I’m having a no shopping Dec/Jan.  I’ll be making a big batch of this in the coming weeks to have in the freezer for breakfasts.  I hope you enjoy!

 

2 lbs ground beef (not lean!)
2 teaspoons sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons water
Liquid Smoke, to taste (Optional)

Mix spices & liquids; add meat & mix well. Form patties. Freeze or cook.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Have you ever had homemade sausage?  Comment & let me know.