Happy Halloween!!!!!!!

Well Halloween wasn’t entirely cancelled this year, just different!

I prepared a bunch of goodie bags and put them out in our walkway. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and I definitely underprepared! There were a LOT of trick or treaters!

I did two batches. The first batch went out late afternoon and then we left for a bit and when we got home I put the rest out and it was all gone in a flash!

So this year, Logan was a Shark! He had a small Halloween party at preschool on Friday.

Then we went to two of my friend’s house to trick or treat there. The first one was my friend Debby. She loves Halloween as much as I do. She usually goes all out!

Logan was a little scared by the skeletons LOL but it was cute. She made a HUGE goodie bag for him. He had SO much candy (like seriously, the equivalent of many houses!).

Then we went to my friend Ed’s house and she put together a whole scavenger hunt in her back yard!!

There were clues for each “Station” in her backyard (I posted some videos on my Instagram account if you are interested) and then Logan had to dig (with a shovel!) for the clue that led him to the next clue.

The final riddle had to spell out a word (scorpion) and he had to find the scorpion in the yard and then dig. And then he found a KEY! And the key opened a treasure chest with a huge bag of halloween candy, toys, a book, etc. It was so amazing.

It was sooo incredibly sweet that friends did this and Logan LOVED it. He was so excited and did not even mention trick or treating or notice that we did something different this year, so that was good.

I also saw, as we drove around, how many people got creative! Lots of tables set up for safe candy grabbing (some with hand sanitizer!), candy attached to fences or string by clothespins. It was so cool. It made me happy so many people tried to make Halloween fun for kids.

We had dinner when we got home. I made Michael and me a Greek bowl: spinach, wild rice, roasted chickpeas, pepperoncinis, kalamata olives, onion, feta cheese and Goddess Dressing (it called for Greek dressing, which I didn’t have, but Goddess Dressing made with tahini went perfectly!). It was so yummy!

Michael and I watched “The Quiet Place” Saturday night (Friday night we watched “Hereditary”). So we got our scary movies in. 🙂

Sunday I made a REALLY good dinner I wanted to share here.

Butternut Squash soup with tortellini, sage and goat cheese.

It was the PERFECT fall soup. The soup was delicious, slightly sweet. Loved the pasta in it. The sage was sautĂŠed in butter til crispy, which was a fun addition. I used herbed goat cheese on top. I would definitely make this recipe again. Even Michael, who isn’t a huge fan of soup, or “sweet” soups, loved it, too. I recommend it!

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.