In My Kitchen Lately

Lately, my kitchen has been a hub bub of activity. Lots of prepping, cooking, baking and of course eating. The eating is the very best part, I’ll have you know. Though I will say it is not without its consequences.

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I took the solemn vow to lower my standards this holiday season and I’ve done that with some abandon. This doesn’t mean I have flown completely off the Paleo train by any stretch of the imagination, but it also means that every meal has not been the picture of healthy perfection and I am 100% okay with this. I have been really strict with myself over the last 2 years of holidays, so this year I just said to myself, “Self, do your best. And no matter what happens, know that you kick ass and you can deal with any consequences.”

The consequences seem to be that all of my pants are a little tighter – HEY-O – but at least I know exactly how to deal with that, so I will get to it at some point. That is the nice thing about lowering your standards, though. Because I am not weighing every decision with guilt and shame over what eating this cookie means about me as a person, I can indulge in something tasty and then go right back to making amazing, nourishing, delicious and healthy food. So here’s what’s that has looked like in my kitchen.

We have now decided the only way to eat taco salad is out of boats:

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Well, ok it is not quite actually a boat but it is serveware. Like, for a side dish. But WHY NOT have a salad in it? It feels kind of fancy! Also, my official favorite taco salad dressing has now become Mel’s Moroccan Dipping Oil. Cumin-Cilantro-Citrusy-Amazingness!

Need to make one dish that will work for dinner but also make great leftovers for lunch? I do this a lot when prepping food so I love casserole-y type stuff. This Turkey Chili and Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie was pretty darn easy and tasty and it lasted both of us for 4 separate meals. SCORE.

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For the record, I omitted the sour cream/creme fraiche in the sweet potatoes and added 2 tsp of red pepper flakes to the chili and it was REDONKULOUSLY good.

Along with Rachael Ray we’ve been waiving our Food Network Flag by making a few Ina Garten dishes here and there. I love her cookbooks! Always full of simple ingredients that end up being so tasty when combined.
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This shrimp dish (sans breadcrumbs, subbed with almond flour for the crumble) is a one-pot wonder. You could entertain with it, or if you are like us you could just make it for the two of you and polish it off watching Monday Night Football. Either/Or.

I turned most of my kitchen yellow while making this Lemon Olive Chicken.

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Oh turmeric, how you spice up my life!

When it comes to beverages, there has been quite a bit of Kombucha drinking.

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IMBIBING THE BOOCH!

I’m going to take the plunge and brew my own one of these days. Everyone seems to talk about it like it’s so easy. Guess I’ll have to figure it out. At $3 a bottle I’m hoping I figure it out sooner rather than later.

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I’ve also been downing this cheap-y herbal tea like it’s going out of style. I wish it wasn’t full of barley and artificial flavor, but I figure that’s better than diving head first into a Godiva Caramel Mocha at Peet’s, which is what I REALLY want to be drinking during the holidays, but I’m trying to reign it in where I can. Truth be told though, I have been mixing craptastic hot chocolate mix into my weekend cup of coffee on occasion. WHADDYAGONNADO?

So that’s what’s been happening around these parts. I’m still obsessed with this Southwestern Frittata from Everyday Paleo so we’ve been eating that for breakfast FOREVER. (Please try it! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE.) I’m pairing it with one cup of coffee. ONE. ONLY. VICTORY! So things on the caffeine front are going okay.

Food life is good. I’ve been having a biscuit here and there. I had a fabulous chocolate croissant at brunch with Elizabeth and Amy the other day. I drank a pumpkin milkshake WITH BOURBON IN IT with my book club last night. I’ve indulged in fresh baked whoopie pies from a coworker and I had a piece of tiramsu while Garrett’s mom was in town that mysteriously looked like a chocolate rendition of the Canadian flag.

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It’s been a lot. But it has also been delicious! And such a great reminder of why I eat how I eat most of the time. Because food life is tasty right now. But I’m not about to go PR’ing my half marathon time. My performance in the gym has also been a little lackluster. But I know you can’t have it all at once and so right now I’m specializing in being good to my body most of the time, and then following it up with a bubble bath full of champagne. And so far it’s working out.

It’s a delicate balance. But the fantastic part is, each meal is a new meal, and I am the one in charge of the kitchen.

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12 comments to In My Kitchen Lately

  • sizzle
    December 4, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Well, I basically just pinned all those recipes. I’ve been looking for inspiration so thank you!

    I’m not being super strict with myself but I am trying to keep temptations out of the house so that I won’t stuff my face with them. I’ve been partial to hot cocoa made with almond milk lately. Ok, and maybe a splash of homemade kahlua.

  • K
    December 4, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Holy balls. A pumpkin milkshake with bourbon? Hello, tasty!

  • AndreAnna
    December 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

    You know what you’re doing, you know how to enjoy it, you know to fix it.

    After this detox, I am going to tear up come cookies and wine on Xmas.

    And then I will be right back on that wagon. Wanna climb in December?

    Cmon, we’ve done it all between the two of us – Whole30, Sugar Detox, No Coffee – what’s left? What crazy-ass shit can we commit to in 2013? LOL

  • AndreAnna
    December 4, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Note, I meant January, not December.

    Clearly, no sugar or wine is bad for my brain.

    Duh.

    • Holly
      December 4, 2012 at 10:52 am

      I would like to commit to ALL the crazy ass shit in January! Actually I may even start early. All this indulging is fun, but I’m certainly losing steam. I think it will probably peter out in the next week or two frankly.

      But yes! Let’s get scheming for something great!

  • AndreAnna
    December 4, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Well, I’ve got 19 more days left of this detox. It’s not to late to hop on! ;)

    Hmmmm.. January…. we should do something epic and come up with special days to post things and stuff like “You’re a crazy whore Tuesday” etc. :)

  • Beth
    December 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    I’ve been eating the Moroccan Dipping Oil like it’s candy lately and smothering it over all kinds of meat, but I never thought to use it as a dressing, and you are so right with the taco salad. Once again, you’ve changed my life. Is that creepy to say? I hope not.

  • Casey P
    December 5, 2012 at 5:28 am

    Girlfriend, you had me at a milkshake with bourbon. Sounds AMAZING. Also, I probably eat Paleo like 90% of the time, which allowes me to not feel guilty the other 10%. My drug of choice is often a peppermint mocha from Starbucks (made the regular old way – whipped cream, chocolate shavings – you get the idea). We have to stay sane. Staying sane is kind if imperative, ya know. So I applaud your very healthy take on the whole indulging/holidays/still doing mostly Paleo thing.

  • Sara
    December 5, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I completely agree with your holiday sentiment! It’s tough being that I’m the person that everyone at my gym looks to for nutritional guidance so they think I’m perfect. However, I make a point on the holidays to say “hell yeah I’m eating some cookies!” Enjoying your life is incredibly important and I wish more people had the same philosophy that you do! :)

  • rockermocking
    December 5, 2012 at 10:42 am

    I love the Synergy Gingerade Kombucha! I am lucky to be a member of a food co-op that sells them much cheaper than a regular store but making it is the way to go to save the most.

  • bethanyrx
    December 7, 2012 at 6:32 am

    I jumped on the hombrew-kombucha train a couple of months ago… after a few tweaks, I think I’ve got it right! It definitely saves me some change, that’s for sure. ;)

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