recipes

Dinner Party

Saturday we had a little dinner party. My aunt and uncle and cousin came over to see our new place. Michael smoked a chicken on the Traeger. I made a cheese plate. I got some really good stuff! A tomato and basil goat cheese and an apple and walnut smoked cheddar. Both were really delicious.

To go with the chicken, I made a roasted veggie dish. I found a recipe for Tahini Roasted Broccoli and it sounded so delicious I had to try it.

Instead of broccoli I used carrots and butternut squash. I was just feeling more of a “Fall” veggie. It turned out really good. I would definitely make it again but I probably wouldn’t use the butternut squash. It got a little mushy. I’d probably do carrots, sweet potatoes and broccoli next time.

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons tahini, well stirred
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to serve
  • large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Several grinds black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups broccoli, cut into 1 1/2-inch florets
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Place all of the ingredients except for the broccoli in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add broccoli and toss well to thoroughly coat. Scatter on a sheet pan and bake for 10 minutes. Serve hot for best flavor, squeezing a little extra lemon juice on top.

Anna brought a salad and it was fantastic! So delicious! I would make this for a party in a heartbeat: Honey Dijon Mustard and Poppy Seed Coleslaw with Cranberries and Toasted Almonds

The chicken turned out great, as usual. It’s always really good on the Traeger, much more juicy and flavorful than plain ol’ chicken.

I’m happy with how everything turned out!

It was nice to have them over to catch up and show them our place. We are slowly getting things finished up. We spent the whole weekend working on the office, storage, organizing and then organizing the half bath storage. Michael installed shelves in one of the office closets and I got everything organized (and labeled!). It felt good to check something off the list and it looks really nice.

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.