Keeping it Chrissy…just eat it

imageOn Monday I shared a few thoughts and several tips that I implement in my “be healthy” routine. Today I’m going to talk about a few of the things I eat and some tips that have made my relationship with food a lot easier.

I have an uncontrollable urge to start this post with a quick blurb about the arch nemesis of the “diet” world…Mr. Calorie. Stressing over calories is detrimental. Hating calories is silly. I prefer to look at calories like a valuable tool that helps me understand my body. For instance, if I’m going to burn 500 calories doing an hour of Zumba, I’m going to need to fuel my body with 500 EXTRA calories of nutritious food. I’m not suggesting restricting calories! Use any of the online tools (myfitnesspal.com) to figure out what your body needs in terms of calories AND nutrition and do your best to stay within the parameters. The world wont end if you don’t, but practicing calorie “awareness” will keep a lot of confusion out of your life.

imageI try to do a 3 day cleanse twice a year. Cleanses are highly controversial and not for everybody so please do your research and make choices that work for you. PLEASE DO NOT do a cleanse to loose weight. Just don’t. I won’t weigh myself for at least three weeks after a cleanse because its just going to mess with my head. Flat out, playing for keeps …don’t do it. This is what happens to me; I loose 5 pounds. YAY…?? Yeah no. The next week I gain 2 pounds. The week after that I gain 3 pounds. HMMM… Keep in mind that I am keeping track of what I eat and seeing a weight gain of that much can undermine my sometimes volatile determination. Its so easy to give up, don’t chance it. If I’m doing a cleanse (or detox) its because I know I’ve been pumping my system with junk that just doesn’t need to be there (i.e Keystone Light #TheShamefulTruth) or I am having particularly strong cravings for junk food. I feel that after a cleanse these cravings are by far less intense and I have a better handle on my will power. I’m not a doctor so go ahead and ask me if I can back this up with science if you want me to laugh. Honestly, feeling better after a cleanse is probably much akin to the placebo effect but it works for me, so do it I shall (<–Yoda). Click here to read about the cleanse that I do, thats IF you’re interested in cleansing. Do your research or consult a physician. If you’re not interested in cleansing…move along there’s nothing to see here (<-Storm Trooper…sometimes my writing voice reveals my inner nerd).

imageBreakfast is the easiest meal to skip but skipping will slow down your metabolism. So do yourself a favor and eat.  I have a few “go tos” for breakfast. Coconut Banana Bread (see below) steel cut oats, chia seed pudding, and smoothies (just to name a few). If its one of the days that I exercise I eat more protein and more calories so I have plenty of energy… usually the steel cut oats. On days that I know I’ll be eating a hearty dinner I will compensate with my other meals by eating things that will keep me full but have lower calories like a blueberry/banana smoothie.

Lunch is an important meal. Whenever possible make it your big meal of the day. However, average American dinner protocol makes the possibility of this pretty minimal.  If I get this done once a month I’m patting myself on the back. Once again, I plan my meals with exercise in mind and make the necessary allowances for it. Mostly I’m eating left overs from dinner.

Heres the bomb shell. I cook two dinners when I need to. It is not fun but I try to plan my meals to make it easier. For instance, if I’m making pizza for my family, I make my quinoa crust pizza for myself (see below). The quinoa has to soak over night so I get the jump on it early. While my regular pizza dough is rising I make my quinoa crust. While my quinoa crust is baking I make my regular pizza. Then I  top the quinoa crust and bake them both at the same time. BOOM 2 dinners in less than 2 hours (barring the 12 hour soak time for the quinoa). Its really not ideal but if your family is like mine and roll their eyes at “squirrel food” (those are my husbands words) then really its your only avenue. Freeze your left overs in individual serving sizes! Once you have a surplus of left overs eating healthier is much easier. This is how I do things and is easiest for my family. Do what is easiest for you no matter what.

I would say that I cook 2 dinners about 4 times a week. The other days I am making swaps that are better suited for my daily calorie goals. For instance if we are having tacos, I’ll use greek yogurt instead of sour cream and 2 small flour tortillas instead of the massive burrito size. I also load up on the salsa and jalapenos! Spicy food boosts your metabolism and as I was raised on Tabasco, eating hot food is second nature.  Another swap I frequently make is spaghetti squash for noodles. I do this mostly with spaghetti (go check out my recipe for Italian meat sauce).I am really not a squash person but spaghetti squash doesn’t have a strong flavor.

That leads me to the discussion of meat. Obviously, your going to want to go as lean as possible. What do you do when ground Turkey feels and tastes like cardboard? (yes, it does) If you’ve been following us for long you know where I’m going with this. Venison. PERIOD.  Very lean and full of iron. My family eats venison at least 3 times a week, plus its very cheap. I cant imagine having to pay for it but would gladly do so if I had to. We butcher our own so I know where its been and calling it “organic” would be severely putting it lightly. Unlike many people, we don’t add pork fat into our elk burger so our meat is extra lean and full of flavor. However, venison is not for everybody because of its taste. It’s always worth a try. Find a lean meat that works for you. Beef on occasion is ok, cheap beef (burger) is not. Watch a slaughter house documentary and see if you can still eat cheap burger, I dare ya.

imageI am a huge snacker. I always crave a snack at 10am and 3pm. My favorite is dark chocolate chips and whole almonds. I also eat this excellent peanut butter dip made with greek yogurt and honey (see below) and apples. Quantities will depend on…you guessed it… whether I’m exercising that day ;)

I’ll say this ONE BILLION times before this little series is over… make choices that will make you happy. Don’t force mean green smoothies on yourself everyday if you despise them! If somebody says you’re going to loose 10 pounds in a week its a lie. Food should never be something you hate. If we weren’t meant to enjoy food, God would have made us with no taste buds. Eating food that you love AND still being mindful of what you eat is possible. The best tool for this is Pinterest. Pin things that look and sound good to you. READ those pins. If the prep and cook time are not to your liking or they have ingredients you dont like, find something similar that suits you better. Follow people with tastes similar to your own. Start off by checking out our board Mindful eating magic.

Plan your meals. I plan my meals every two weeks to coincide with my shopping trips. I have always done this for my family (Its a great way to save money btw) so this isn’t too much of a stretch for me.

The log I keep on my fridge. Arrows are where I tally my water.

The log I keep on my fridge. Arrows are where I tally my water.

KEEP A FOOD JOURNAL! Monday I talked about myfitnesspal.com. The easy way to keep a food journal and track your nutrition and calories. Log everything and hold yourself accountable for everything you do with your body. MFP logs all your food, exercise, water intake and a whole lot more. I keep 2 food journals. Yeah, I know its a little excessive. It works for me and thats what’s important. I have myfitnesspal.com to take care of where I am with my calories. I have a calendar on my fridge where I write down each of my meals and what vitamins/supplements I take (more on that later) and how much water I drink (also more later). In addition to my food journals, as a reward to myself for a day well done I put a star on the family calendar for each day I keep strong to mindful eating and another for the days I exercise. When I do BOTH I circle that day. As rewards go this is pretty lame but I look forward to doing it everyday. Revel in the small things ;)

imageI’m going to wrap this up by admitting my most horrible habit that is often the downfall of all my hard work. Eating in bed. Yeah…thats my dirty little secret. I eat in bed. Food is not fuel if your asleep. Don’t eat in bed. Don’t go to bed with an entire carton of oreos and a quart of milk. Dont go to bed with a bag of chips. Don’t go to bed with a stick of celery! Just go to bed.

On Monday I’m going to talk about the odds and ends that keep me feeling tip top.

As I promised heres a few of my favorite recipes.

Coconut Banana Bread
1&3/4 cup flour
1tps baking powder
1&1/4 tsp baking soda
3 large bananas (mashed)
1/2 cup + 2 tbs unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 tbs Coconut oil
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup honey
3 egg whites
2 tbs skim milk (or any milk)
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt (I always us Fage)
1/4 cup orange juice
Preheat oven to 350. Mix flour, baking powder and baking soda. Combine bananas honey and vanilla. Add egg whites. Mix until smooth. Add Oil. Slowly add dry ingredients into wet. Add yogurt and OJ. If batter is dry add up to 2 tbs of milk. Finally, stir in Coconut. Pour into greased loaf pan and sprinkle 2 tbs of coconut on top.

For the Original recipe click here.

Lean Chili
1 pound lean meat (I use Elk burger…always)
1 onion
1 pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup worcestershire
1-2 tbs tabasco
1 tbs Italian seasoning
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tsp salt
2 tbs sugar, honey (I use sometimes use Stevia too, but thats optional)
1 tbs Cumin
Cayenne to taste (I use about a half a tablespoon or more. Some like it hot)
1 Large can crushed tomatoes
2 cans Black beans, Rinsed thouroghly and squished (I grab handfuls and squish through my fingers until they are all done. The trick is to mash them so they are recognized as beans, so do it by hand not with a food processor)
1 can of tomato sauce
1 12oz can of light beer (optional. Bud Select 55 and Miller 64 will be your lowest calorie option but its for flavor so splurge and go with Michelob Ultra or any other light beer. The cheaper the better ;) )
Brown the burger rinse well and press to remove any grease. Add the next thirteen ingredients. Stir for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 2 hours.
This is my recipe so if you plan to reproduce it be a doll and source me here with a courtesy link. Thanks!

Quinoa Pizza Crust
3/4 Cup quinoa soaked for at least 8 hours, rinse and drain.
1/4-1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 clove garlic (Optional but I use way more)
2 tsp Italian Seasoning (Optional)

You HAVE to soak the quinoa. From what I hear this wont work with dry.
Rinse it and drain it.
Add all the ingredients into a food processor (I use my magic bullet). Pulse until the dough resembles pancake batter. Adjust the water as needed.
You can cook the dough in the oven or on the stove top. I’ve only done it in the oven so Click here for the Original post and also for the stove top directions.
I use my trusty 8″ cast iron skillet with a lid. Nothing with plastic! I coat the bottom with olive oil. Original recipe calls for 1-2 tablespoons of oil but thats quite a bit so use your best judgement. Put the lid on it and stick it in the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 450. My oven takes a while to heat up but make sure your skillet is nice and hot (10 minutes or so). Carefully remove the hot skillet and pour the dough in. It will sizzle so be careful please. Using the handle (AND A POT HOLDER) gently shake it until the dough is evenly distributed in the pan. Put the lid back on and place it in the oven. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for 5 minutes or until browned evenly.
I remove my crust and add toppings but if you wanted you could probably add your toppings and keep it in the skillet.

Chia Seed Pudding
1 cup Almond milk
3 tbs Chia seeds
splash of vanilla
honey or maple syrup to taste

Add seeds and milk. Leave on the counter stirring every five minutes for about 20 minutes. Let sit for over an hour then its ready. I eat this for breakfast so I just mix it up the night before and plop it in the fridge and forget it. The original post says that you may need to add extra milk but I never have. I add the vanilla and honey (or maple syrup) to taste.

Fruit Dip
3 tbs Peanut butter
1 1/4 Greek Yogurt (I love Fage)
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp to 1 tbs honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Throw it all in your food processor or stand mixer and whip it up. I could eat this with a spoon. Dip apples, bananas, grapes…anything works!
For the original post click here.

Chrissy*

Posted in Keeping it Chrissy Mini Series, Natural Body, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Keeping it Chrissy

imageI make bad choices…alot. One that often reoccurs is the choice to not care about my nutrition and fitness from the months of September until the end of December. I completely stop all effort in the fitness department. I’m not completely without scruples in the nutrition area and eating healthy is a priority, but all thoughts of portion control and mindful eating go straight out the window. Every year on January 1 I start over again with my “me” routine.  After years of this stupidity I have a pretty good hold on what it takes for me to get healthier and be in shape. While there is a whole lot of WRONG with my bad choices,  I can say that I have a food and fitness plan that I love and works for me. I’ve decided to share it in a mini series in the hopes that I may help somebody who struggles to find a plan and formulate their own. This is what works for me and WILL NOT work for you because we are different, you and I. Coming up with your own personalized plan will give you the best results. Consult with your physician before doing ANY weight loss program. That said, thats not what this is but I don’t to be sued…thank you very much.

Today I’m going to ease my way into my food “plan”.  I love food and hate the word diet. It’s a torture to think about in reference to restriction so lets think about diet in reference to daily nutrition needs. mmmm-kay?

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Me at my heaviest and running four miles a day to get in shape for my wedding.

If I had a dime for every time I heard the phrase “weight loss success is determined by 70% diet and 30% fitness” I would be rich. This is absolutely true. You cant out run your fork. However, whether these percentages are factual is completely up for debate. I can say for a fact that you can run 4 miles every day, eat whatever you want and still be overweight. Almost 7 years ago this was me. I ran 4 miles a day for 2 months and was  well over 200 pounds. Admittedly, I thought the appropriate reward for my hard work was Cool Ranch Doritos. I was in good enough shape to run that amount but my knees hurt from holding all that weight on a 5’6 frame. I wasn’t loosing weight… I was gaining. Granted some of that was muscle but when beautiful muscles are blanketed in a layer of fluff you don’t even realize they are there.  So I stopped (ps…running this much everyday for vanity purposes is stupid. No wonder I only made it 2 months… more on that later). Eating right should always come first.

imageI have attempted every “diet” under the sun, dabbled in bulimia and anorexia and thankfully nothing stuck. Its all unhealthy. Pay attention to what you eat…thats the best advice I can give. My biggest tool for keeping on top of my food intake is myfitnesspal.com. Download the app! Keeping a food diary has never been easier. I would like to go over all the perks and amenities of myfitnesspal but they are endless so please comment on this post with your email and we’ll chat about it. I”ll help you get started…its free so I’m not getting paid to say this.

Set a reasonable goal. Loosing weight fast is very unhealthy and chances are your going to gain it all back. (myfitnesspal.com is an excellent tool to help you here too). I didn’t gain all my weight at once so I wont loose it all at once either.

imageFood. Its a necessity. You have to eat and since you have to you might as well enjoy it. Make smart choices that will benefit your mind as well as your body. Example: if the name of the meal has the word “salad” in the title I wont eat it, not even Ambrosia Salad ( ;) just kidding I’ll eat it as long as its got whipped cream in it) I have a serious dislike for the word “salad” because its usually used in the same sentence as “diet” (restriction style). Which means…I’ll still be starving when I’m done eating a salad. Eat food that you like but be mindful of your portion control and nutrition. PLEASE do your body a favor and don’t succumb to the draw and ease of microwave meals like “lean cuisine”. SOOO…so bad for you. The amount of calories and preservatives in them makes me wanna puke. I have eaten my fair share of these puppies and in order to be full I had to eat at least 2. Eat real food! (heres a teaser for upcoming posts…”psst…your freezer is your friend!”)

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Make sure the good meals far outweigh the bad.

Plan your splurges ahead of time. I plan my splurges out by the month. Doing this keeps me on track in so many ways. My favorite place to splurge is the Snake River Grill in Hagerman. So if a bag of Doritos is calling my name (it always is) I think about all that fried alligator I’m going to eat when I make it to my splurge. Yeah, I said fried alligator. YOU should view your splurges as a splurge… your terms. A chef salad instead of a garden salad is not what I consider to be a splurge. When I splurge, I eat dessert if I have room. I do this for my mental stability. If I don’t stuff my face every now and then I start to feel miserable and defeated. I do this at the most every other week but generally try for once a month (depending on how I’m doing emotionally). Bob Harper on the Biggest Loser has been known to suggest splurges every week. I highly doubt that Bob’s splurges would allow for fried alligator though and that does not sparkle with me. Do your research and do your own thing. Keep in mind splurges do set you back to some degree but IMHO this is better than the emotional trauma of depriving yourself some of the joys in life…like fried alligator.

imageMost importantly (and this is something I have struggled with) don’t confuse weight loss with happiness. You can make yourself cookoo with too much weight loss focus. When the scale shows no weight loss or maybe a little gain, don’t take it as serious insult.  This leads to giving up or (in my case) serious obsessive compensation…starving yourself. I’ve hit my goal weight several times and was overcome with depression. I WAS STILL ME! I thought when I lost all my weight I would be the happiest person ever. I.was.still.me. Only lighter. When you loose weight to make your self happy and hitting your goal weight makes you miserable, its a sure bet your priorities are kittywampus. Loose weight and get into shape to be healthier not to make your jeans fit better.

I can already tell that this “mini” series has the potential to turn into a “monster” series so I’m going to wrap this up for today. So to summarize…

1. Make your own plan and set reasonable goals.

2. Myfitnesspal.com is an amazing tool.

3. Focus on food THEN fitness.

4. Eat real food.

5. A heavier happier you is better than a lighter miserable you so don’t loose weight for the wrong reasons.

Friday I’m going to get into the nitty gritty of what I eat and share some of my favorite recipes. WAHOO!! I love to talk about food!

Chrissy*

Posted in Keeping it Chrissy Mini Series, Natural Body, Stuff we do, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Sleeping Beauty Eye Serum

eyeserumLets face the serious business…I’m 33. Gone are the days of falling into bed in full makeup only to cake more on top the next day. Gone are the days when my eyes don’t look like welcome mats for the crows…I’m talking about CROWS FEET here ladies…and dudes. I was in the market for some face and eye gunk.

Since I was new to the anti-aging scene, I optimistically bopped into what seemed to be a parallel universe full of extremely high priced facial products. I stared for what felt like hours trying to find something that fit my budget and ended up walking away dejected. I was destined to look like a crocodile handbag. NO!! I would not accept defeat so easily. I began my search for an alternative and found in myself the courage to create. The dramatics are getting too thick in here…

startSBESOk so I found a few things on pinterest that I like the idea of, one consisting entirely of coconut oil and vitamin e. Since I am all about coconut oil I decided to formulate my own recipe to repel my inner old lady. Chemicals in coconut oil are very similar to those in the sebum we have juicing from our pores naturally. When we start to get older we produce less sebum and our skin dries and those dreaded lines and wrinkles strut onto the scene…good thing we have coconut oil to break dance fight those babies into submission. I am in love with my honeybees and have recognized their greatness to make things other than honey. Beeswax is an emollient or a support system for moisturizers (like coconut oil). It contains a natural sunscreen and repels water while also locking moisture into the area applied. Not to mention is super cool action of elasticity…woohoo! Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is greatly needed by the body and oddly enough not produced with in it. When applied topically vitamin e speeds up the process of regeneration in skins cells, replacing the gross dead guys with sparkly new ones. Finally, there’s lavender essential oil, which doubles as an anti-inflammatory, regenerator AND and antidepressant. The aromatherapy alone is enough to have me weeping, or sleeping with gratitude.

Lets crank this baby out,

¼ cup organic coconut oil

4 capsules vitamin e

1tbs beeswax

5 drops lavender essential oil

2 1.5 oz pots…target sells plastic ones. Cobalt or amber glass would be best but it’s not a deal breaker.

DblboilerIn a double boiler, or in my super classy case a saucepan and glass/metal measuring cup. Use glass whenever possible when putting things on your face, the surface is less porous and less likely to contain zit making bacteria. Melt your coconut oil and beeswax down to liquid form, I use short bursts like when melting chocolate to keep from burning my goods. Something I took away from breastfeeding was that heat can often kill the important stuff so I really try hard to not over do it when melting…does it matter? DON’T KNOW! Poke a good-sized hole in your vitamin e capsules, a pins not big enough to get your squeeze on so I used my exacto knife and it was perfect. Add your vitamin e and lavender essential oil and stir stir stir. Pour into your containers and leave the lid off until it sets up.

SetSBESThat night before you go to bed go about your normal routine… mine??? So funny you would ask… I start with my Lemon Pulp Honey Mask followed by the Lovely Lavender Toner. Finally I use my serum. Gently rub around your eye. I put on enough that there is enough left over to rub in the following morning. NEVER pull on the skin around your eye…the skin there is the most delicate! My favorite part about my sleeping beauty eye serum is the bonus of aromatherapy that helps me unwind for sleep. Plus the quality of my skin around my eye is soft and supple. I have been using thins for three months and I am in LOVE! I am also content to have Mother Nature fight with Mother Nature!

Chrissy*

Posted in Earthy Beauty, Fun Recipes, Natural Face, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Orangie Oatmeal Cookies

Oatmeal Cookies

These delectable little morsels are a nice spin off of the traditional oatmeal cookie. Trade out the raisins for dried cranberries and add some wild orange essential oil and you have a treat both kids AND adults will love.

The perfect combination of citrus and sweet, these cookies are hard to pass up! I’m working on a gluten-free version, but haven’t found one to parallel the gluten-full ones yet. I sneak a taste from time to time…it’s so hard to resist. :)

Orangie Oatmeal Cookies:
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar (or honey)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups quick oats
1 cup dehydrated cranberries (or chopped fresh cranberries)
15ish drops doTERRA’s Wild Orange Essential Oil*

Preheat oven to 375…

1. Cream butter and sugar together.
2. Beat in eggs one at a time
3. Add vanilla. Mix well.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda…add to butter mixture.
5. Stir in the oats, dehydrated cranberries, and essential oil*

Drop by the teaspoonful onto a greased cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes (edges should be slightly brown).

*I use doTERRA oils in my baking because I am confident that I can ingest the oils. They are the purest of pure…If you are unsure of the purity of your oils please don’t ingest them. It’s always best to know what you’re putting into your body. Zesting an orange should give you similar flavor as using the Wild Orange essential oil.

Allow your cookies to cool and then devour them!! ;)

Ginny

Posted in Home Recipes, Kids Food, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Lemon Pulp and Honey Face Mask

facemasktextLemons are absolutely an invaluable part of nature for any aspect of life. My FAVORITE way to use lemons is to implement them in my beauty routine. (For more information on how lemons can greatly improve your life check out my ebook “Life and Lemons“.) As somebody who has wasted vast amounts of money on face wash, masks, toners and moisturizers, I was a huge skeptic about using something as simple as a lemon on my face… “isn’t it acidic?” But that citric acid-y goodness also contains huge amounts of Vitamin C, which is super good for pores, scars, and skin tone. I came up with this facemask that I love because it contains my two passions – lemons AND honey.
What you’ll need:
5 lemons
1 TBS Raw honey
An available ice cube tray
Something small to store a small amount of the mask in-I have a little squeeze bottle from Walmart that was super cheap.
Juice your lemon and save your juice for cooking, or use it in some Lovely Lavender Toner. Peel the meat out of the lemon buy slicing it into wedges and peeling the guts away from the rind. Check out the awesome Lemon All-Purpose Cleaner that I make with my lemon rinds. Put your pulp into a food processor or my all time favorite appliance the Baby Bullet. Blend that biz up! Pulse frequently and if you did a super great job juicing you’ll probably have to add some back in. Go until you have a very smooth consistency that is like a thin paste. Add your honey directly into the processor and pulse some more. Your mix should pour easily and smell like heaven. Fill your tube up. If you decide to use a cosmetic pot – NEVER use your hands to remove any kind of product that you would use on your face from a pot. Doing this leaves behind bacteria that will go forth and multiply, then transfer to your face – YUCK! Use a sanitary spoon or try to pour into your palm.
Spread what is left into your ice cube tray, cover, and freeze. When completely frozen, remove, break apart, and place in an airtight bag or container. Doing this allows you to un-thaw as you use.
I use this mask as much as I can… sometimes every day. Every four uses I combine the mixture with a teaspoon of baking soda. First, wash with warm water or steam thoroughly, this opens the pores and gets them ready to be scoured. Towel dry by gently patting the face and apply the mix all over your face. Now, find your self a good book, or in my case, sit down to an episode of Doc Mcstuffins. (at least 20 minutes). Rinse with warm water completely, and end with an overall splash of cold to close those sparkly pores down.
I don’t moisturize because the awesomeness of the honey does that for me. But if your face feels dry, go for it. Also, just for the record, DO NOT go outside! Lemons are light sensitive and will lighten your complexion or in some cases bleach and burn your face… YIKES! This mask has done wonders for clearing up my face and I recommend it to anyone. However, I’m a housewife… not a dermatologist. What works for one-person may not work for another. I value all comments so please feel free to let me know if you tried this mask. If you hated it let me know too, since it’s of my own design I want to know how it works for others.

Chrissy*

Posted in Being Self Sufficient, Crafts for you, Earthy Beauty, Fun Recipes, Natural Face, Sisters Grown or Hunted, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Best Ever Elk/Venison Steak

Elk SteakLooking for a new way to spice up elk or deer steak? This full-of-flavor concoction will please the whole family. We LOVE this recipe! I make it about once a week (when we have elk or venison in our freezer) and there are never any leftovers.

Don’t have elk or venison in the freezer? I recommend cutting up a beef round steak or whatever kind of steak you have on hand.

My family couldn’t survive without some kind of wild game in the freezer. The hubbie is a magnificent hunter, so we usually end up with either an elk or deer to supply us through winter. If we’re lucky and we both draw a tag, we have two. My preference has always been elk. It tastes less gamy to me and is definitely more tender. There is nothing more fulfilling to us as being able to fill our freezer for practically no money at all (besides the fact that my husband would get paid to hunt, if someone would offer him a job in it). ;)

We have had a couple of years where the venison is a bit too tough or gamy. I always try and find ways to make it a bit more edible, so it doesn’t all have to be smoked into jerky.  A great way to tenderize tough meat is to pound it with a mallet (I use the pokey side) and then soak it over night/all day in buttermilk. Buttermilk is a magnificent tenderizer. You don’t have to even pound the meat if you don’t want to. The buttermilk will do the trick, but we like our meat extra tender. It’s easier for the little ones to chew up that way. My son has been known to chew up tuff meat until all of the flavor is gone and then spit the remains out on his plate…YUCK!! So, I want it to be chewable and worthy of swallowing at dinner time.

Here is the recipe and directions for making the “Best Ever Elk Steak”:

1 ½ – 2 lbs elk or venison backstraps (or steaks which may need tenderized)

1 ½ cups flour

1 tsp garlic salt

½ tsp fresh ground black pepper

2 cups of bread crumbs (click here for our DIY bread crumbs post)

1 pkg (4 TBS) onion soup mix

2 TBS beef granules

2 tsp dried parsley

3 eggs beaten

olive oil

Combine the flour, garlic salt, and pepper in one bowl. Then mix the bread crumbs, soup mix, beef granules, and parsley in another. Put the beaten eggs between the two powder ingredient bowls. I set mine up like a little assembly line. Dip your steak in the flour, turn to coat. Then, dip the flour covered steak in the beaten eggs…and finally in the bread crumbs. I kind of push my steak down to get a good coating with the bread crumbs and again turn to coat them. Set them on a plate.

After all of steak has been breaded, heat up a frying pan with oil in it. I sometimes get 2 pans going if I want to be done faster. Put your steak in the hot oil. Cover and cook for 7-9 minutes on each side.Elk Steak 2

If you don’t want to fry your steak, you can cook them on a greased cookie sheet. Set the oven to 350 and cook them for 15-20 minutes. Turn half way through.

Enjoy!!

 

Ginny

Posted in Home Recipes, Sisters Grown or Hunted, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Rosemary Focaccia and/or Breadsticks

breadsticks

We are Italian food loving fools! We like to have some kind of bread with our meat sauce…always. When I’m in a hurry I like to whip up a quick loaf of French bread (post coming soon) but when I’m wanting to really get fancy with spaghetti or stuffed manicotti I will make this awesome foccacia/breadstick recipe, and guess what!? Its still quick and easy. The best thing about this bread is the fresh rosemary (if you‘ve got it…dry works great too). It really adds an interesting twist to the bread.

foccaciaHere we go

2 ½ -3 cups flour

2 ¼ teaspoon dry yeast

1 tablespoon sugar *honey works great here too but mix it with your wet ingredients

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons oil (Olive oil is my favorite here but whatevs)

1 cup hot water

Mix 1 cup of flour with all other dry ingredients. Add in wet ingredients and mix well. Slowly add flour until your dough reaches desired consistency. I like mine to be slightly tacky because it rises better and makes for a much fluffier bread. Cover and allow to rise for 30 minutes.

If you are making only Foccacia.

Separate your dough into two pieces and form into 2 10 inch rounds. Brush with oil and allow to rise for 30 minutes. Make impressions with your fingers two inches apart over the entire round and bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

If your making only Breadsticks.

Shape your dough into ropes or snakes. I like mine to vary in size for my kids…who vary in size. Sprinkle with parmasean or course ground salt. Allow to rise for 20 minutes and bake at 425 for 10-12 minutes. The underside of these breadsticks brown quickly, so watch em.

I like to do both the foccacia and breadsticks. So my husband and I can eat like adults and the kids can play swords with their breadsticks behind my back.

Chrissy*

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Ginny’s Essential Oil #8

Grapefruit OilWho loves citrus oils???? I do. I do…I go back and forth between doTERRA’s grapefruit essential oil and wild orange essential oil as my favorite of the citrus oils. Since grapefruit oil is doTERRA’s product of the month, I thought I’d write about it this week.

I have always loved grapefruits. Their just so fresh and juicy…love the smell!! I’m a bit cooky and like my grapefruit with a bit of salt on it. Something about the salty, sour taste makes my mouth water just thinking about it. MMMMM!!!

doTERRA’s grapefruit essential oil is cold pressed from the rind of the fruit and is sourced in the U.S. The scent of the oil is very invigorating and uplifting; which helps make it an effective supporter for depression. I like to enjoy my grapefruit oil in the afternoon. I’ll smell it right from the bottle! It’s amazing…

After smelling the oil, I like to put a couple of drops in my water to help me get through my afternoon snack cravings. Grapefruit essential oil is one of the oils in the Slim and Sassy Essential Oil Blend (doTERRA’s metabolic blend). If you’ve got a resolution to loose some weight in the new year, grapefruit oil would be a great choice to help support you in your weight loss journey.

Here are a couple of other things that grapefruit essential oil can do for you:

  • disinfectant
  • immune support
  • preventing and treating acne
  • helps reduce cellulite
  • detox

With so many great benefits, who could afford to NOT have this in their home!! Gotta have those citrus oils!!!!

Ginny

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And the WINNER is…..

basket

 

Thank you Lisa for all of your hard work to win this beautiful basket. We hope you enjoy it!! Lisa earned points for follows and subscriptions on all the platforms, pinned every Sisters pin and shared every post on Facebook AND Google +!

We also want to thank everyone who participated in the giveaway. We have been so humbled by this experience. Who would have thought that in a few short months our blog would be such a success? Our hearts are full of gratitude for all of the people who started supporting us on day one. There will be many more blog posts to come.

The Sisters will be off for the week of Christmas to enjoy our families and kick our feet up. We hope you have a joyous holiday. God bless!

The Sisters

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Cozy Christmas Giveaway draws to a close.

basket1Here it is the final product of the Cozy Christmas Giveaway. All of our goodies that you’ve seen previously will be packed into this cute red basket. We trimmed the basket in the same chevron fabric we used for the cozy lounge pants and added some fun little snowflakes we cut out of some fun sheet metal, painted with glitter and added some extra bling. These would make cute ornaments if you wanted to take them off of the basket. The entire basket in its entirety would be a great addition to any Christmas decor in your home or as a gift to friends or family.

Just a reminder… here’s what will be in the Cozy Christmas Giveaway basket:

5ml Bottle of doTERRA’s Holiday Joy

Cozy Christmas Morning Lounge pants

A pint of our families special Tom and Jerry mix

A diffuser necklace

Double Dark Marshmallows (not pictured because I ate all the ones I made for the post last week…yes they were just that good)

Cozy Infinity Scarf and Matching fingerless gloves.

basket2Tomorrow is the day we will announce our winner so today is the day to get those points all squared away. Look for the announcement tomorrow morning!

For more information about the Cozy Christmas Giveaway click here.

For a detailed description of each item please click here.

We are so excited! This giveaway has been so much fun and we cant thank everybody who has participated enough!

Chrissy and Ginny

Posted in Cozy Christmas Giveaway, Stuff we do, Uncategorized | Leave a comment