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 sauté pan, over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and sauté 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.

Beachy Birthday

So this is 39!

For my birthday this year we made the trek to Depoe Bay to spend the weekend at an AirBnB house at the beach with friends. I’ve been looking forward to it for months! Saturday I went to the gym and then we packed the car and left after lunch.

The house we rented was SO GREAT!!!! It was called the “OctoMojo House” and it was a block from the beach with amazing views of the giant winter waves. There was a nice deck (which would be great in the summer time) and a hot tub and you could hear the ocean. The house had two bedrooms on the main floor and then a loft bedroom upstairs with even better views.

We unpacked and our friends, Sam and John, hadn’t arrived yet so we decided to take advantage of the nice weather and go for a walk on the beach!

You think Logan and Bella were having fun in the sand?!?! It was kinda gray and cold but it was dry so that’s all that mattered! We walked and ran and got super dirty. Then started to walk back to the house.

Our friends arrived and we made dinner. Pork tenderloin they had been marinating all day in lemon, ginger, soy sauce and garlic. It was delicious! We had salad and couscous, too. And fancy Trader Joe’s cheese with crackers while we cooked.

And opened a bottle of wine I’ve been saving for almost a year:

After Logan went to bed, the four of us got to chill out in the hot tub and listen to the ocean and just catch up on life. It was nice! And relaxing. I loved being able to hear the waves. And smelling the ocean air.

Sunday was a lazy day. It was stormy and rainy and the waves were even bigger. Breakfast was delicious omelettes made by Michael and Samantha. I actually got to enjoy my coffee while it was HOT. 😀

Then Logan and I went for a little walk outside in the drizzle.

Sam and I drove up to Lincoln City to Mo’s to pick up takeout lunch. It was nice to get away for a bit and have some time just the two of us. We got an order of Mo’s famous clam chowder and an order of clam strip appetizers.

I’ve wanted to try Mo’s for years but the lines are SO LONG we never go. I’m glad we finally got to try it! It was delicious! Creamy and tasty and hot on a dreary day. After lunch Logan took a nap, I took a short nap and then chilled with some hot tea and a good book. 🙂 Eventually there was a little break in the rain and Logan was still sleeping so Bella and I went for a walk on the beach just the two of us. It was nice!

Sunday night dinner was made by Samantha, with me helping prep the veggies. I brought chicken thighs and she brought the stuff to make an AMAZING curry dish! All fresh ingredients. She even showed me how to use fresh ginger (which has always intimidated me so I never bought it, now I want to try it!).

We opened some wine, turned on some great music and hung out in the kitchen while the boys did their thing in the living room. Then dinner was served. Curry chicken and veggies on top of mashed potatoes! SO good! Topped with fresh cilantro and green onion.

After dinner, Logan ran laps through the house 😉 and then went to bed and we played a few rounds of my new Family Feud board game (super fun!), more hot tubbing and then to bed for the great night of sleep I’ve had in awhile. Breakfast the next morning:

Scrambled eggs with green onions and diced jalapenos, bacon, topped with cheese, a side of toast and fruit salad. Monday the weather was just perfect. There was blue sky and rainbows.

I love the beach. Year round, doesn’t matter the weather. Stormy, sunny, whatever. The beach is in my blood. Someday, I will live at the beach. 🙂