Cooking

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone had a good holiday!

We had a good, but busy week. We had friends over Sunday night for Yule dinner and presents. Then on Christmas Eve my parents came into town to visit for a few days. Michael smoked some chicken and I made a really delicious Brussels Sprout dish for dinner. (Cut sprouts in half, season with olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped shallots, red pepper flakes, bake for 15 minutes then top with cubes of brie cheese and chopped walnuts, bake for another 15 minutes. So good!)

This year was particularly fun. Logan understood Christmas a lot more and was SO excited! We left out milk and cookies for Santa and first thing Christmas morning, Logan walked past all the presents and went to inspect the milk and cookies to see if Santa ate them. 😉

Logan got lots of cool stuff from everyone. He got a Star Wars cape from his Auntie Rachel. 🙂 Lots of dinosaur stuff. Coloring books from us. And headphones from Santa for his very first plane ride next month!

He got Frozen PJs on Christmas Eve and LOVED them and wore them all day on Christmas.

I got some nice goodies! A tray for my jacuzzi tub (and a bathtub pillow!!)– I can’t wait to use it! My brother got me some keto chocolate and much needed new swim goggles. Michael got me a wireless charger for my phone for work. It was a really nice day.

Christmas Day was low key. Logan and I took a nap. He played with his new toys and watched movies with Grandpa. Stevie was loving all the attention. Then Michael’s family came over in the afternoon for Christmas #2 and dinner.

Lots of good food! For dinner we made a spiral ham and Michael’s mac n’ cheese. Michael’s sister made green bean casserole, deviled eggs and her famous beef and green bean appetizers. There were tons of munchies.

It was a full table!

All the food turned out great. There was tons of it, too. Leftovers for days.

More presents. Logan got a bunch of new PJs, clothes, underwear and new shoes (which were probably his favorite present!).

Christmas cookies made by Michael’s sister (she makes the best cookies!). It was chaotic but fun having a full house.

The day after Christmas we had breakfast and then my parents headed to the beach for a few days before going home to Seattle. Michael and Logan went to Michael’s mom’s house to set up some technology they got for Christmas. I went to the gym and then after-Christmas shopping.

The rest of the day was pretty low-key. Cleaning and then preparing for another dinner party with Michael’s childhood friends. This time it was chicken enchiladas (from the leftover smoked chicken) and leftover Mac n’ cheese. It was a fun night but I am so ready to have a few relaxing days this weekend!

Happy holidays!

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.