Posts Filed Under Food and Drink

Mid-July Updates

by bosssanders on July 15, 2015 with no comments

Outside my window…
It’s STEAMY hot with ninja mosquitoes.

Going outside equals 39,934,387 mosquito bites.  SERIOUSLY?!

Thank goodness for this mosquito soap (more about it at the bottom of the post)!

I am thinking…

I never updated about my weightloss/health journey!  ACK!

Several months ago, I began a journey to better health. I was at one of the lowest points of my health and I had become uncomfortable in my own skin. Daily nausea, bleeding for 45 days straight, light-headed, and extreme fatigue… It’s hard to be the mom you want to be when you struggle to just get out of bed. After a lot of research,I jumped into a nutritional journey. Within 2 weeks, I could both feel AND see a difference. Inches melted off, I gained energy, my hormones became balanced, and I began to look and feel like the old me. I lost 15 lbs in 30 days and took my life back. I’m B-A-C-K y’all. And better than ever!!

I am thankful…

71.  For fresh summer bounty – peaches and strawberries
72.  Summer days with rainbow chalk, sprinklers, sand, grill-outs and water
73.   Peach milkshakes
74.  Lunch with my mama
75.   Little girls, spinning and swaying in glittered gowns

In the kitchen

We’ve been trying some new recipes, and this is a new favorite!!
Chicken Broccoli Cheese Casserole

5 frozen chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
4-5 cups broccoli florets
2 cans cream of chicken soup
8 oz cream cheese, cut into blocks
3 cups shredded cheese
corn flakes to cover
4 T butter, melted

Heat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Mix all but last 2 ingredients.  Spread out in 9×13 dish.   Cover in crushed cornflakes and drizzle melted butter.  Cook in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until heated through.

Serve over rice!

…there was also this yumminess…

Warm brownie topped with fudge sauce, fresh strawberries, and whipped cream!

Easy Fudge Sauce:

1/2 c sugar
2 T cocoa
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2-2 T butter
1/4 c water (more or less just to make a stir-able consistency)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Combine first 3 ingredients in saucepan.  Add enough water to make a stir-able consistency.  Add butter to mixture.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Let boil for one minute (still stirring!).  Remove from heat.  Add vanilla extract.  Enjoy!!

I am reading…

Teacher’s Manuals!

Favorite Things…

Our family recently discovered a new business called Southern Suds.

And, I want ALL. THE. THINGS.!!!

We recently discovered MOSQUITO SOAP!!

This soap is ah-mazing!  Simply rub it on your skin (no shower needed) to keep those annoying buggers away!!  We cut ours up and each kid gets a cube of soap to apply.  This has become one of our summer essentials!  Great for the ballpark, camping, or…just playing in the yard!  At only $7, it’s a bargain that you can’t miss!!


I'd love it if you stalked me (subscribe to my RSS feed). Thanks for visiting!


As of today, July 25, 2014

by bosssanders on July 25, 2014 with 2 comments

I am thinking…

Hubby took us all to the drive-in movies last week for our date night (we shared it with the kiddos).  It’s my week again, and I’m thinking… go-karts and laser tag.  Or, wine trail.  Decisions, decisions.

I am thankful…

141.  For books.  I REALLY like books :)
142.  For friends who encourage.
143.  For friends who know me well enough to when I’m struggling and call me out on it.
144.  For ibuprofen.
145.  For the internet and the world of learning (FREE) that it opens up to us!
146.  Online shopping!  Our favorite diapers are from target, but we don’t have a target!
147.  Also…amazon prime.
148.  African drums.  I really love the sound…
149.  Dead mosquitoes.  Not live ones….just dead ones.
150.  Not being killed for my faith.

In the kitchen

I have a new recipe for y’all.  It’s one of our favorite (and EASY) breakfast casseroles.

Sausage, Egg, Crescent Roll Casserole

- 2 cans crescent rolls
- 2 pkgs sausage
- 1 dozen eggs
- 8 oz cream cheese

Grease a 9×13 casserole dish.  Cook sausage.  Drain.  Then, combine room temp cream cheese and sausage.

On bottom of 9×13 dish. unroll crescent rolls and cinch along perforation marks.  Pour in sausage/cream cheese mix.

Whisk 12 eggs and scramble in pan.  Add this on top of sausage layer.

Cover with another layer of crescent roll dough.

Bake for 20 minutes at 350 F

I also made some cucumber sandwiches (1 cucumber diced, 8 oz cream cheese, 1/3 c mayo, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and a 1tsp of dill – mix it all up and spread onto sandwich bread), cucumber “salad” (1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water to cover, a little sugar and pinch of salt –then in fridge for an hour or more).  We are using the cucumber “salad” for our Norwegian meal and we had cucumber sandwiches and bacon-tomato sandwiches today for lunch.

In my “cooking therapy” yesterday, I also put together a yummy new casserole.  It began as a squash casserole, but then morphed into a one-dish-dinner.  Not too shabby.

I am reading…

Hubby and I are still reading Kingdom Man and Kingdom Woman by Tony Evans together.  –definitely the type of book that makes me want to sit and read with highlighter in hand!

We/I am learning…

We just finished studying Norway.  Today, we finished up with some Norwegian candy and a geography review of Europe.  We’ll close our study up with a Norwegian meal this weekend – super excited!

Around the house…

Dreaming up ideas for our master bedroom…  to turn it into a lovely retreat instead of a dark cave


Gluten Free Week 1

by bosssanders on October 1, 2013 with no comments

A few of you asked for our plans for the week, so I’m including our meal plan.  Keep in mind that for lunches, we generally eat leftovers.  For breakfasts, things like hard-boiled eggs, bananas, yogurt, apples, oranges, etc

Also, I just wanted to note that just because something is Gluten Free… it doesn’t make it healthy.  I’ve heard folks complain about how they gain weight on the GF diet and thought for sure they’d lose weight (not sure this is the route I’d take for that, but anyhow…)  Gluten-Free processed foods can be just as unhealthy in general as many other processed foods.  Watch out for sugars, fillers, and chemicals in general.  The smaller the ingredient list, the better (check out the Paleo food lists for some great info).  Also, it’s WAY cheaper to eat GF if you use less of the processed stuff.  Just saying!

This week:

Crockpot Baked Ziti (link)
Enchilada Lasagna
Best GF Lasagna (with zucchini “noodles”)
Cheesy Broccoli Chicken
Tacos with corn tortillas

*It may seem like too much Mexican/Italian food in one week, but it’s what we’ve been craving, so it is what it is!
*I will post and link up more recipes as we go!

A LOT of dishes I really like are creamy and delicious and use the very glutened cream of something soups!  I’ve never loved the bright yellow soups and for a while, I couldn’t eat them unless heavily mixed and seasoned because I could taste “chemicals,” so I’m actually VERY excited to share this recipe.  Now, I just need my own source for inexpensive free-range chickens so I can make my own stock!!  (Bouillon cubes are loaded with nastiness FYI)

Gluten-Free Cream Of Chicken (or Mushroom) Soup
1 stick butter
1 Large Onion (optional)
1 c white or brown rice flour
6 c. hot chicken broth/stock (be careful with these… many have trace amounts of gluten when bought from the store!)
1/3 c. cream (or milk for a lighter version)

Melt butter in pot and saute chopped onion for 5 min.
Stir in flour and cook 2 min, stirring constantly.
Meanwhile, warm your stock/broth to very hot but not quite boiling.
Add broth to other mixture.  Whisk.
Simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken.
Stir in milk/cream.

TA-DA!  If you don’t use chopped onions, it takes about the same amount of time as opening a can of nasty goop and trying to get it out of the can and warming it up!

For cream of mushroom soup, use vegetable stock and stir in 1 cup of finely diced mushrooms at the end.  That’s it!

Enchilada Lasagna (makes 4 servings)
22 oz Cream of Chicken Soup (see recipe above)
1 lb chicken breast – chopped
1.5 c. sour cream
1/4 c. chopped green chilies (drained)
small corn tortillas
1 tsp cumin
2/3 tsp salt
pinch of pepper

Preheat oven to 425 F.
Cook chicken  and season with salt, pepper, and cumin .  (You can boil, bake, grill your chicken.  I like putting it in the oven and being able to depend on the timer to let me know when it’s finished, but that’s up to you!)

Combine Cream Of Chicken Soup and Sour cream and green chillies.

Spread 1/2 c cream mix on bottom of pan.  Layer tortillas, cream mix, chicken, cheese.

Repeat until you have 3-4 layers (for my last layer, I skip chicken and just use extra cheese).

Bake for 20 minutes at 425F.

(This is a pretty easy dish to multiply, however if you triple it, you will need 3 baking dishes, etc.  OR… really huge baking dishes.  I guess that’s a possibility!)

*NOTE:  Wanna jazz it up a little?  Add some salsa in!

What are some of your favorite recipes?

Eating GF?  What’s on your meal plan for this week?

Have a GF question you want to ask?  I have some super smart readers who could probably answer!

PS – If you are just starting Gluten free eating and wondering when your body will start feeling a difference… It can take 6-8 weeks to get the gluten out of your body (EEK!).  Great news, though, is that many people start feeling SOME improvements in their first week.  (That makes me feel a little better, how about you?!)  Just be careful not to expose yourself to gluten or you can be back at the 6-8 weeks mark, depending on the level of your intolerance!

Want more recipes?  Go over to the search bar on the right and type in “paleo” – I have some recipes that are gluten-free in there!


Going Gluten-Free

by bosssanders on September 30, 2013 with 1 comment

In an attempt to pinpoint a couple of annoying symptoms, I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet to see if it’s the culprit.  I’m not entirely sure what I hope the outcome to be — If it works, no more cupcakes or breads as I know them for me!  If it doesn’t… then, I’m still baffled with random weird stuff that is more than annoying!

So, here we go!

My hubby is on board and the kids… well, we’re not really telling them!  Because we took the Whole 30/Paleo Challenge a while back, I feel pretty well armed with some great places to start.  Our eating will definitely need to shift a lot, but I’m hoping we can make this as painless as possible!  Change can be hard!

Armed with what I know about Paleo (GF gives you a lot more to work with), I’ve been using the following resources to get me started (thought they’d be helpful for you too!):

Safe foods to eat (includes snacks, condiments, etc) –
Fast Foods + Gluten Free (It’s not the BEST, but sometimes you get caught out and are HUNGRY):
Gluten Free Restaurants:
More Gluten Free Restaurants (search by your city!):

DAY 1:

For my family, we need to be able to figure out how to eat GF without breaking the budget, so eating out isn’t a normal thing.  Like, hardly ever.  However, on DAY 1, we were caught “out” (aka poor planning on my part) and with nothing prepared and people were hungry.  We went by Wendy’s and I had a super-healthy (sarcasm) baked potato with broccoli and cheese and small chocolate frosty.  For supper, since we’d just finished our errands by that time, meaning our food wasn’t prepared… we opted for El Chico’s.  Hubby was wanting Mexican and this was more promising than our favorite minimal-English speaking spot we normally head to.  Talking about gluten in my own language can be hard, much less trying to communicate the complexities of it with people who don’t speak English well… it just wasn’t going to happen that night!  So, we headed to El Chico’s and they were GREAT!  They had a special menu, and my dinner was really delicious!  I had chicken and mushroom fajitas with corn tortillas and YUM!

Beyond eating and errands, we also had some shopping to do!  Every Saturday, I sit down with a list of our family’s favorite meals and choose meals for the week.  So, Day 1 was no different except I needed things I could easily make Gluten Free.  I found a couple of “fixes” that could turn our favorites into contenders.  YAY!  (I’ll share them with you below!)  We bought a few normal items at the grocery and then I picked up some Pamela’s Pancake Baking Mix, White and Brown Rice Flours, GF Penne Noodles, and GF Pizza Dough Flour (hubby had mentioned something earlier about wishing for a good GF pizza dough, so I picked it up on a whim).  Other than that, our purchases were “normal foods.”  The ketchup, mustard, and ranch brands we eat are all gluten free naturally.  So are our spaghetti sauces we had.  So, no changes there!  Cheese, meats, and veggies are all clear, so those are okay too!

DAY 2:
For Day 2, I had leftovers from supper the night before and because we had small groups that night, I chose to take a loaded baked potato and a GF brownie for the ease of things.  Everyone else was eating buffet style, so this was the easiest and most logical option for me… (And, I already had a baking potato that needed to be used!  Yay!)

DAY 3:
Today for lunch (for me) was hard-boiled eggs.  And, some GF brownie :)   The kids will end up on the GF diet (mostly) while I’m on it just for the ease of things, but since we had bread left, they had almond butter sandwiches and oranges (on the side).  Supper will be baked crockpot ziti.

A few random things I’ve learned so far:

1.  Being on this diet requires a LOT of trust in other people!  Trying to figure out which restaurant would be “safe” and would take food-handling very seriously or buffet bars is HARD!  You have almost no control in these areas and depending on what being glutened does to your body, this could make a person VERY sick!
2.  There is a difference between gluten allergy, intolerance, and celiac disease.  You can come up positive for one and not the other.
3.  The symptoms for these are a WIDE range of things… from neurological stuff to your skin to your gut and so many other things.  You can have random symptoms or just one or barely any or the whole shabang!  It’s hard to diagnose, apparently.  (Reminds me of Lyme Disease symptoms with all of the variety)
4.  Cross-contamination can happen EASILY.  Picking croutons off a salad or just taking buns off is a NO NO.  Not to mention people going before you in a buffet line.  (Did you know that if you have a party or buffet set up at home, you should ask those with food allergies to go first?  Because of cross-contamination.  One of those things you don’t realize/understand until it’s you or you know someone.
5.  Gluten isn’t bad for EVERYONE.  I do agree that we use way too much of it in America, but a GF diet isn’t necessarily the best thing for everyone.  ESPECIALLY if your version of GF is processed-ready made stuff rather than eating mostly lean meats, fish, cheese, and veggies and fruits.

And, time for a couple of recipes!

Easy Gluten-Free Brownies:
1/2 c. butter
4 T cocoa powder
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1/2 c. (heaping) almond flour
1/2 c. walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a 9×9 glass dish with oil.
Mix butter and cocoa powder.
Add sugar, eggs, flour, walnuts.  Mix with spoon or whisk.
Pour into pan.
Bake at 350 for 24-28 min.

Store in air-tight container.  Personally, I really like mine in the refrigerator.

Crockpot Baked Ziti:

1 15 oz part-skim ricotta
1 c. shredded mozzarella (plus more to top with if you prefer)
1 c. Parmesan cheese (grated)
1 tsp salt
1 lb GF ziti/penne noodles
2 25 oz jars marinara sauce (check back to make sure they are GF, most are)
2 T basil

Combine all 3 cheeses and salt in a medium bowl.
Rinse ziti under cold water and drain.  Allow some water to cling to pasta.
Mist inside of slow cooker with cooking oil.
Place 1/2 of pasta in an even layer over bottom of slow cooker.
Spoon 1/2 of sauce over pasta.
Next, add 1/2 of cheese mixture and 1/2 of basil.
Repeat with remaining pasta, sauce, cheese, and basil.
Pour in 2/3 c. water.
Cover and cook on high 2-3 hours until pasta is tender.

*NOTE:  You can add chopped veggies, mushrooms, meat (ground turkey, ground chicken, beef, shredded chicken, bacon), and more to this dish to change it up.  Also, while not necessary, our family loves adding 8 oz of cream cheese to the ricotta and cheeses.  YUM!

What are your favorite Gluten Free (or Paleo) recipes?
What do you guys use for lasagna noodles?  Do you buy them (if so, which/where?)?  Do you make them (recipe)? Do you use zuchinni/squash instead?
Have a GREAT bread recipe you want to share that’s GF, tastes great, is easy, doesn’t need a ton of ingredients, and is pretty healthy (not tons of fillers?)??


Whole30/Paleo Day 6-17

by bosssanders on September 17, 2012 with no comments

I’m not really the type of girl who posts photos of her food daily…  it has a little to do with not wanting to take the time to do it and most to do with the fact that I remember photos as I’m taking the last bite.  Oops.

Oh well.

We are really liking Paleo/Whole 30 type of eating and believe we’ll stick to the main jist of it all even after the month is over.  We’ll move over to a more Paleo way of eating (right now, we aren’t cooking with ANY sugars…not even agave, stevia, etc) and we won’t feel bad if we sometimes have a little cheese or just a little bread or a piece of cake.  I’ve actually been looking for recipes like these for a long time (over a year) and just figured out recently that it’s classified as Paleo/Primal.  I had an idea of how I wanted us to eat in my head but didn’t know what to call it!  I love that we found it and it’s so much easier when it’s lumped into a category…makes it easier to find recipes!

Anyhow, let’s link you up with some goodies we’ve tried, shall we?

Budget Friendly Balsamic Mustard Chicken and Oven Roasted Veggies by Everyday Paleo – This was an EASY meal and absolutely DELICIOUS!  The kids gobbled it down as fast as they could and wanted seconds!  We will definitely be cooking this again…plus, it was easy and pretty inexpensive!

For “desserts,” we occasionally have kiwi, grapefruit, pineapple, banana, etc.  On a couple of occasions I actually have made (and loved) the Fruit Parfaits and Fried Banana Pudding from Sarah Fragoso’s Everyday Paleo Family Cookbook. (Sidenote: We really really really like her cookbooks!  The 2 “desserts” didn’t use any “natural” sugars…it was just preparing the fruit/coconut milk/spices we were eating separately to make something that seemed more like dessert!)

Buffalo Beef “tacos” – For the adults, we season beef with Frank’s Hot Sauce and wrap in large lettuce leaves with tomatoes and avocados.  For the kids, we omit the hot sauce.  We serve them with sauteed veggies and are good to go!  Quick and easy!

Buffalo Chicken with Veggie Strips/Fries – Bake chicken wings, coat with Frank’s Hot Sauce.

For veggie strips/fries:

1. Preheat oven to 425 F

2. Cut carrots and zucchini/squash into strips of about 3 in long and about the width of your pinkie-ish.

3. Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and a light layer of olive oil.

4.  Season with salt and pepper, cumin, and paprika

5.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until tender, turning about half-way through.

6.  Eat.

Yummy Chicken Pasta – my mother in law informed me that the photo for this one looks “disgusting,” so I’m working on creating a new one for you… but, I urge you to try it.  It’s really really good.  It’s another one of our favorites!

More Southwestern Frittatta – We also took this to a gathering and it was a pretty big hit!  Love having leftovers for lunches and suppers!

Breakfast for Supper - Eggs, bacon, tomatoes, sauteed veggies

And, if you’re like me and “on the go” for breakfast/lunch and don’t have time to whip up a culinary wonder every time…check out this link for some GREAT time saving tips and ideas!!


Ice Cream!

by bosssanders on July 24, 2012 with no comments

Steven and I planned a super-special treat for the girls last night!  After chores were finished, we began mixing up a few ingredients so the girls could make their own ice cream!  Since sweets/snacks are “treats” over here, they were SUPER EXCITED.  Not only was it dessert, but it was FUN!  They loved it!!  (And asked to have it again for breakfast…we had a smoothie instead ;) )

Here’s the recipe we used to make our ICE CREAM (recipe makes one serving, so we doubled it):

  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup salt- we used table salt in one and the larger granules (Himalayan red salt, but you can use rock salt ;) ).  You can use both, but the larger salt WILL make ice cream that is thicker/more frozen.
  • Ice cubes (enough to fill each gallon-size bag about half full)
  • 1 pint-size ziploc bag
  • 1 gallon-size ziploc bag
  1. Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.
  2. Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it’s done.
  3. Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Easy cleanup too! Serves 1.

filed under Food and Drink, Recipes
tagged with

Kale Chips – A recipe!

by bosssanders on April 27, 2012 with 1 comment

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Wash and dry Kale leaves – then, separate leaves from middle vein and tear leaves into 1-2 inch pieces.  Cover a pan with parchment paper or tin foil.  Spray with a little olive oil (we have some in a squirt bottle) and drizzle with about 1 tsp salt or to taste.

Cook for 10 minutes.


Note:  For those of you who like spice or more flavor, feel free to experiment with your favorite herbs and seasonings…and then come back here and let us know what you experimented with and how they turned out!

This is a great recipe INSTEAD of potato chips!!

filed under Food and Drink, Health
tagged with

Dirty Dozen and Clean 15!

by bosssanders on April 27, 2012 with no comments







– imported

Grapes – imported

Red Pepper
Sweet bell peppers


– domestic


Kale/collard greens


Lowest in Pesticide


Sweet Corn
Sweet Corn




Sweet peas



- domestic




Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes




Top 10 Reasons to Avoid Sugar and Refined Grains

by bosssanders on April 15, 2012 with no comments

1.  Sugar is the primary dietary cause of the obesity epidemic.
Fat doesn’t make you fat.  But sugar that turns into fat will.

2.  Sugar causes hormonal and metabolic imbalance.
Swinging insulin and cortisol levels in the body, which decrease then increase blood sugar, not only cause your system to crash but set up a cascade of abnormal hormone functions that lead to premature aging and illness.

3.  Sugar is your fast track to diabetes.
On the Standard North American Diet, it is only a matter of time before insulin receptors burn out, unable to handle the onslaught of sugar.

4.  Sugar increases the acidity of the body.
All disease thrives in acidic environments.

5.  Sugar causes inflammation.
Inflammatory enzymes are elevated on higher-sugar diets.  Inflammation is at the heart of 98 percent of disease.

6.  Sugar is the primary reason for high cholesterol.
Your body’s innate healing system, which uses cholesterol, goes into high gear when the body is traumatized at the cellular level by high sugar, insulin, and inflammation.  The solution to high cholesterol is not to lower it forcefully but to remove the interference in the body causing it to rise in the first place.

7.  Sugar leads to heart disease.
Elevated inflammation in the arteries increases the risk of high blood pressure, hemorrhage, stroke, and heart attacks.

8.  Sugar is an anti-nutrient.
Your body’s expenditure to manage sugar is greater than the energy it gains from it.  If you think you are better off eating a chocolate bar, or piece of white bread, than going hungry – think again.

9.  Sugar is a known toxin.
Like all toxins, your body is constantly trying to eliminate it from the bloodstream.  You can assist your body by not giving it more sugar to handle.

10. Sugar promotes cancer.
Feeding cancer cells their primary fuel is like pouring gas on a fire.

Join the conversation and learn more over HERE!

*From Dr. B.J. Hardick, Kimberly Roberto, and Dr. Ben Lerner’s book: The solution to the dangers of Modern Nutrition – MaximizedLiving


Fat, Sick And Nearly Dead

by bosssanders on January 6, 2012 with no comments

Those of you who know me, know I am a committed health freak who NEVER sways.

(Haha, okay take a moment to go change your pants from laughing so hard…)

Anyways, I spotted the film above on Netflix and was admittedly intrigued.

So, I dug my Breville Juicer out from beneath layers of dust and tried Joe’s MEAN GREEN juice…


6 Kale Leaves
1 Cucumber
4 Celery Stalks
2 Green Apples
1/2 Lemon
1 piece of ginger

It was… well… GREEN.

Have you tried it?  What did you think?  Are you going to do the 10-30-or-60-day juice cleanse?  Do you have any favorite juice recipes?

Related Posts with Thumbnails