FOOD & DRINK

QUICK CURRY CHICKEN SALAD

03/06/2017

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My ex-mother-in-law taught me how to make this incredibly easy curry chicken salad over 15 years ago. It’s really good and also a hit with the kids! Since I made bone broth last week, I decided to whip up this dish with the chicken I had left over. I hope you like it!

You will need:

One roasted chicken, you can roast your own or buy one pre-roasted, which I usually do for convenience
Two green granny smith apples
Two celery stalks
Cashews halves
2 heaping spoonfuls of mayo, I use Nayonaise or Just Mayo (my favorite!)
1-2 Tbsp. curry powder, to taste
Salt and pepper, to tase

Roast chicken if not pre-roasted. Remove breasts from whole chicken and cut into bite-size cubes. Chop all remaining ingredients and combine in a large mixing bowl. Stir in mayo and spices, to taste. Tip: Wait to add cashews until immediately before serving to avoid them softening.

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BONE BROTH AKA LIQUID GOLD

02/28/2017

BoneBroth_BleubirdMy friend Rebecca impressively makes bone broth every single week. She also happens to be my superhero in the kitchen, making incredible dishes for her family and friends on a daily basis, that could easily be served up in a fancy restaurant. Rebecca, I’ve told you this before, you need to open up your own restaurant one day soon, please and thank you!

My kitchen hero passed along her incredible bone broth recipe to me last year, and it is by far the best I’ve had. I wish I could drink this every day, but I don’t have the discipline to make it regularly. It’s time consuming, but kicks every other bone broth recipe’s ass, at least that I’ve had—both homemade and store bought—and is totally worth the trouble.

I only make bone broth using poultry, since I have Alpha-Gal and cannot eat read meat (more on that later), but I imagine you could use virtually any kind of bones for this recipe. One tip I have: go big or go home! Make a large batch. It’s a lot of work, so the more you make, the more you have and can freeze off for later.

Liquid Gold by Rebecca Branan

Place two chicken carcasses or one turkey carcass—preferably after being roasted in the oven with most of the meat removed, but not all—into a large stock pot, add any juice from roasting pan, as well.

Next, add roasted veggies: 3 whole carrots (with stems); 2 large stalks of celery; a few shallots (halved with skin on); and 4-5 whole garlic cloves. Roast these in the oven (preferably with the chicken or turkey above) and add into the stock pot.

Cover bones and veggies with water (I use filtered) and bring to a low boil. Add two bay leaves, a couple sprigs of fresh parsley and reduce to a simmer for about an hour. Then add a Parmesan rind (optional, but oh-so good!) and a half-inch of tumeric root, unpeeled. Keep the pot on a super-low simmer and leave for about 6 hours more, uncovered, or overnight, partially covered. Add more water anytime the liquid gets too low.

Once your bone broth is ready, let it cool a bit and strain through a large mesh sieve into mason jars, if going into the fridge. If you’ve made more to freeze, place 1-2 servings into strong plastic baggies with some room to expand once frozen. I like to freeze mine laying flat, so they are easy to stack in a freezer drawer until use. To thaw, run a bag under hot water until the frozen broth can be easily poured into a pot for continued thawing—usually a couple of minutes. Heat on stove top, pour, and enjoy.

That’s it! Sounds simple enough, but trust me, it’s kind of a pain and really is time consuming, plus your house will smell like soup, which I’m not mad about, but yeah. Cheers!

MORNING SMOOTHIES

10/13/2016

c96a6233We are a smoothie and juice loving family right here. We either make or buy (from our favorite local spot!) various juices or smoothies at least 4-5 mornings per week. It’s a surefire way to get some good nutrition and vitamins into these picky eaters of mine, and makes for a quick and easy clean up. Plus, as someone who has always been prone to skipping breakfast, for those mornings when I don’t have time or am not hungry, it’s easy to make a smoothie alongside my cup of coffee.

We have been longtime OLLY multivitamin users (I love the Beauty Vitamins), so I was naturally excited to hear that the brand recently released a line of plant-based smoothie protein powders. OLLY created nine different flavor options each slated for different dietary and wellness needs. From probiotics to workout enhancers to energy boosters, there are plenty of options for just about anyone (even little ones!). Some of the flavors include chocolate peanut butter, creamy strawberry, and salted caramel.

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c96a6221We were sent three to try—the Kids Smoothie, the Workout Smoothie, and the Nourishing Smoothie protein powders. The unique blends are designed to only need water for mixing, but we doctored up each one a bit with a few ingredients for extra flavor and nourishment.

Kids PB&B Chocolate: 1/3 frozen banana, ½ tbsp peanut butter, 8 oz milk, 2 scoops of smoothie protein powder.

Workout PB&B Chocolate: ½ frozen banana, 10 oz. ice cold water, 2 scoops of smoothie protein powder.

Carrot Ginger Zinger: ½ of medium carrot, 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 cup cold water, 2 scoops smoothie protein powder.

Luckily, OLLY is offering a “Smoothie Style Sweeps” that includes over $1,000 in prizes. So, check it out and get to blending!

This post is in partnership with OLLY.

SATURDAY MORNING TRADITION

07/20/2016

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Saturday mornings are one of my favorite times to spend together with my family. After a long, crazy week of work, school, and activities, we get woken up by the little kids, bright and early for breakfast and Saturday morning cartoons—yes, we still watch them. We watch the classics like Tom and Jerry, Loony Tunes, Garfield and Friends, or the old Micky Mouse episodes on the computer in our kitchen, since the networks no longer air the nostalgic Saturday lineup we adults loved as kids. When I grew up, there wasn’t access to 24-hour, on-demand cartoons and Saturday mornings were really special. I still want that for my kids, even though times have changed, so this small tradition is one that we look forward to and it always starts the weekend off right.

We usually make a bunch of different breakfast foods to cater to each of our likings or cravings week-to-week—eggs, pancakes or waffles, french toast, biscuits, sausage and bacon, skillet potatoes, and cereal and milk. We stay in our pajamas and powwow around the kitchen, talking about our weekend plans, watching cartoons, telling jokes, and playing this Q&A/trivia game that our family loves. Early morning bed-heads, tired eyes, giggles, the smell of fresh coffee, kids helping crack eggs and stirring batter, the sizzle of bacon, an ice-cold bowl of crunchy cereal, drinking the milk out of the bowl—it’s so incredibly simple, but to us this is the good life.

This past Saturday we watched Chip and Dale classics over a bowl of our favorite new cereal from our friends at Annie’s. The kids love the fun bunny-shaped varieties and the cocoa and fruity flavors (as parents, we’re thrilled we found a line that’s certified organic and free from artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives. Pancakes and fruit were part of the lineup, as well as frozen juice pops that we made the night before. We filled molds with oj, apple juice, and chocolate milk. They were the perfect after-breakfast treat. Even Bijou got in on this weekend’s breakfast party—Birdie poured her a tiny saucer of milk.

This upcoming Saturday the big kids fly home from their summer break in Florida, so it’ll be an extra-exciting day for us and our weekly morning tradition will be even better with everyone here.

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952101611131731212737385358645661bThis post is in partnership with Annie’s Homegrown, a brand we support and have loved for many years. Birdie and Sailor’s pajamas are from Mabo Kids.

THE PALOMA / MY NEW FAVORITE DRINK

06/28/2016

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6On our recent Texas trip, we discovered the most incredible drink called The Paloma. We were out one night, while in Austin and I asked the bartender if he could make me a margarita. He said “Yes, but it will be shit. We only have sweet and sour syrup and it’s not good. Let me make you a drink that you will love.” I was, of course, appreciative and agreed. I watched as he mixed blanco tequila, pink grapefruit juice, soda water, and squeezed in fresh lime. He didn’t give it a name after he handed it to me, but I tasted it and was quite happy. A friend later told me that it was called a Paloma. We were hooked and here’s why:

Reason one: blanco tequila (100% agave) does not give you a hangover. I repeat, it does not give you a hangover. At least, in our experience it did not, and let me tell you, there was a lot of blanco tequila consumed on our trip.

Reason two: it’s quite possibly the easiest drink to make. Yes, you can impress you friends at your next get together.

Reason three: It’s refreshing, delicious, and pink, and it reminds me of Dr. Seuss—”The ink he likes to drink is pink. He likes to wink and drink pink ink.”

Reason four: 15 more reasons why tequila is good for you.

So here’s the recipe for The Paloma, my current drink of choice, plus a little Marfa-found addition that makes it ever better!

You will need:
100% agave blanco tequila. We prefer Espolon
pink grapefruit juice
soda/sparkling water
fresh lime
hibiscus rose bitters (optional)
ice

I have become quite the pro-Paloma maker, so I just eyeball, but here is my best approximate ratio. Mix 1 part tequila, 1 part grapefruit juice, and two parts soda water. Top with a nice squeeze of fresh lime and add a few drops of hibiscus rose bitters. Stir and serve on the rocks. Garnish with a lime wedge if you’re feeling fancy.

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