Winter

Winter is Coming

It’s starting to feel like winter! It’s been 32 degrees in the morning with lots of ice on cars. It’s time to bring out the winter coats. Stevie has found his favorite spot in the new house:

…on the heater!

There’s also a small vent near the floor under the kitchen sink and he’ll sit right in front of that, too. Which is super convenient for us when we are trying to do dishes. 😉

I’m not sure if I mentioned it, but because our house is a little weird, we had to do a special situation for AC and heat. The first half of the house is the original 1920’s with vents like the above picture. So the main floor was “AC ready” but because the upstairs was a converted attic, there were no ducts up there. So when we got AC installed in our house this summer we had to do it in two parts. We got traditional AC for the main floor, then we had to get those Mitsubishi ductless units for our bedroom and for Logan’s bedroom.

Because it’s been so cold lately we finally got to use the heat portion of the ductless units and they are AMAZING! So quiet. Super efficient. It doesn’t take much to warm up the room and you can set it up to maintain a certain temperature (instead of just having it run all the time). It will be interesting to see HOW efficient they are on energy. Since we have solar panels on our new house, I am hoping the combination of the panels and the ductless units will save us a ton of money on heating and cooling in the house. Even though we have to spend a lot of money to do two separate systems.

Anyways, this weekend we had the Halloween Party and then Sunday was kind of a chill morning, hanging out with my parents and Logan was playing with his Halloween toys:

After my parents left to head home to Seattle, I went swimming, had a late lunch and then prepped dinner. I decided to make this keto beef stroganoff.

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 ½ pounds sirloin steak, thinly sliced (I get my grass-fed meat here)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons beef bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder (I use this brand of seasonings)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat the slow cooker on the high setting. To the slow cooker, add the beef stock and mushrooms and cover.
  2. Heat the butter in a large sautĂŠ pan, over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sautĂŠ until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Add them to the slow cooker.
  3. Sprinkle the sirloin with salt, add it to the pan and sear on both sides, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the steak, heavy cream, sour cream, beef bouillon, Dijon, parsley, onion powder, garlic powder, and oregano to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 6 hours.

It was pretty easy to make and I love having a crockpot meal! So easy. The only change I did was I added the heavy cream and sour cream one hour before it was going to be done. I didn’t thinking putting it in the crockpot for the whole time would be good–it might curdle or something.

I also used fresh garlic from a friend’s garden! It was so good!

Dinner was really flavorful! I liked it a lot. The sauce was a little thin. Then I realized that it was a SOUP! Duh. I might use less broth next time I make it, though.

I wasn’t sure what to use as a base — I had cauliflower “Rice”, low carb noodles, zoodles, and in the end we used a chickpea pasta rotini instead. Not low carb, but it was really tasty.

Right now I’m not really doing keto. I’m doing more of a low carb/carb cycling program. I saw the above graphic on instagram and I liked the diet suggestion. I might do something like what it suggests, where I do a month of keto, month of low carb, month of something else. Maybe Mediterranean Diet, maybe Paleo or Slow Carb. I just feel like my body adjusts to whatever diet I try REALLY FAST and then it stops working. So maybe doing something like this will be better to switch things up.

Fun in the Snow

Michael and I had the chance to have some fun in the snow and sun this weekend! On Saturday, his mom and stepdad came over to babysit Logan and we drove up to Mount Hood to go snowshoeing WITHOUT a kid and WITHOUT a dog! It was so crazy! LOL It was crazy how easy it was to pack for just us. 😉

It was such a gorgeous day. It was clear blue skies and warm–almost 45 degrees up on the mountain. We drove to White River West Sno Park and arrived at about 10am. (When we left the parking lot that holds 200 cars was packed full.)

White River is a popular place for sledding and there were lots of kids out sledding. It looked super fun! The other nice thing about White River is the immediate view of Mount Hood:

It was such a nice day! And it was so nice being out there just the two of us, doing something we used to do before having Logan. Not that it’s not nice doing stuff with our dog and kid, but it’s also nice just doing stuff as a couple, too.

We hiked around a bit and then crossed over into the trees where we found some other trails.

Lots of people were out that day!

 

We ended up doing the Boy Scout Ridge Trail (or at least, part of it). We were the only ones on the trail, which was kind of nice! We followed the trail through the quiet trees, away from the sledders. The trail had been forged and then the snow had frozen a bit and there wasn’t new snow, so that was nice because we didn’t lose the trail.

We followed the trail for a bit and then felt like it was time to turn around. We didn’t have a ton of time and since it was about an hour to drive home and we wanted to stop for lunch, we had to get going. I definitely want to explore this trail some more, though!

I was feeling really good and felt like I could keep going, which is a bummer! But we were short on time, so had to head back to the car. It was such a gorgeous day to be outside on the mountain! And such a nice way to spend some time together.

I was surprised that I didn’t burn more calories. Especially being at a higher weight that I am currently at right now. Usually snowshoeing burns a pretty decent amount. But my heart rate just never really got that high.

We stopped at the Tollgate Restaurant for lunch on the way down. We had a beer.

And split some mozzarella “sticks”:

I had a side salad and the brussels sprouts (about 1/3 of them. I was stuffed by then). The food wasn’t anything special. I don’t know that I’d go back, honestly.

Then home to this cutie pie:

He didn’t want to take a nap until we got home, which actually worked out well because we got home and ALL took a nap!!! It was glorious! It was a nice, relaxing, lazy afternoon. Just what we all needed. We were super lazy the rest of the night and I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner, slathered my calves with this magnesium lotion to hopefully stave off soreness, and went to bed early!

Sunday I went swimming and sat in the hot tub and that felt fantastic! I think the magnesium lotion helped a lot, too, because I wasn’t sore!