A special announcement.

So I’ve already mentioned baby #3 here but here’s the official announcement! In December of this year our family is growing to a family of 5! It still feels so fresh and new to say, we’re so excited to welcome our third little baby into the world. December comes shortly after our anticipated “move-in” date. So, this should make for a busy rest of the year! We’re so excited!

Best of buds right here, so grateful for them. They love “working side-by-side”, fishing, hiking, and biking together. Their inseparable. I wonder if we’ll have another boy, or girl.??

More house progress.

Drywall is going up! Now we’re in the process of picking out light fixtures, flooring and paint. (The fun stuff!). Below is our kitchen, so exciting seeing everything come together!

Basement stairs in place! The temporary ones are gone.

And now…plaster is starting! Choosing our house color scheme, and continuing to fill my Pinterest boards full of design ideas are in top priority now. So grateful!! Move in date will still hopefully be before baby #3 arrives. 🙂

Strawberry Breakfast Muffins//gluten-free, low-sugar, high protein, (Vegan option)

Starting spring off right with freshly picked local, strawberries. These beauties taste so much better than store-bought! But if store-bought is all you have access to, I promise these healthy tasty treats won’t disappoint.

RECIPE:

2 cups almond flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp himalayan sea salt

4 TBSP butter, melted (coconut oil for VEGAN)

shy 1/4 cup honey (local is best) [coconut sugar for VEGAN]

3 TBSP sweetener of choice (added for stability/can use Truvia, Pyure, any baking blend sweetener OR sugar)

2 tsp Vanilla extract

1 cup chopped strawberries

4 eggs (or flax eggs=4 TBSP flax seed ground + 8 TBSP warm water set in bowl, mixed and let sit until it gels for VEGAN)

1/4 cup water

1/4-1/2 cup coconut sugar (for sprinkling)

PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Line a mini muffin pan, or regular-sized mufin pan with muffin liners. Chop, and wash strawberries in small 1/8″ cubes. In a mixer bowl add butter (or coconut oil), water, eggs (or flax eggs), honey (or coconut sugar), and Vanilla. Blend until incorporated well, about 1-2 minutes. Add almond flour first, then baking powder, and salt. Slowly stir together and add strawberries before completely incorporated. Use a cookie scooper to pour batter into mini muffin tins, or larger spoon to pour mixture into large muffin cups. Sprinkle each muffin with a little coconut sugar.

BAKE the minis for 13-15 min. And larger ones for 18-20 min or until no longer jiggly when you gently shake the pan. Let cool in pan for 5-10 min and then invert on to cooling rack. Enjoy with your favorite hot or iced beverage! Store in fridge for up to 4 days or freezer for up to 1 month.

Day in the life of a diabetic.

So by no means am I a “diabetic expert”. Not at all. But my husband is a diabetic, and I’m always on the look out for new and excited foods to put in his lunch. He gets a lunch obviously 5 sometimes more days a week. I like mixing things up, and always adding in some new foods to keep things interesting. Here are just a couple ideas for Diabetic Lunches that you may enjoy! Here’s to “brown-bagging it!”

ABOVE: Sugar-free jello with cottage cheese. That maaay not sound appetizing but it’s actually pretty tasty. Chad loves it. I’m more of a food purest and like things a little more natural. But, he’s able to eat it due to no-sugar, and he doesn’t have it all the time so it’s definitely a treat. Just sprinkle on some jello packet onto cottage cheese and mix, I topped with raspberries.

CHIA SEEDS on top of Oatmeal: Homemade oatmeal, a great source of carbs ad Chia Seeds were used in ancient times and their name means something like-long lasting energy. Don’t we all need that!? Their great to have before a hike, bike ride or strenuous activity.

VEGGIES: Roughage, gotta have a little roughage every day!

Walnuts and Raisins: Good fats, helpful for optimum brain function, and good source of lasting energy too.

GRAPEFRUIT: fat buster, and it’s delicious and creates an alkaline environment in your body.

SANDWICH: nothing special here, just a simple lunchmeat sammie, on light bread.

DARK CHOCOLATE: for a little antioxidant, great for the skin!

SUGAR-FREE CHOCOLATE PUDDING: A little indulgent for the day. Made with good for you ingredients.

LARA BAR: good fats and dried fruits for long lasting energy. LOVE these bars!

COTTAGE CHEESE: great source of protein with orange and pineapple, and hemp seeds (for stamina and more protein). SO GOOD.

HAMBURGER: it looks a little pathetic, but grass-fed beef and tasty. #helikesit

Peanut Butter Crackers: protein and complex carbs.

Apple Juice: in case his blood sugar goes low.

What are some of your favorite diabetic friendly foods to eat in your lunches?? I’m always looking for new ideas! Hope this gave you some new ideas!

Chocolate Covered Pretzels-A Memorial Day Treat

Correct, this is not a “diabetic-friendly” recipe…but, I’ve been making these for years now and their sort of a tradition! Plus their great to give as gifts for any holiday, party favors and so on. You can also make them any size you like! So below is a picture of 2 large rods together. I’ve broken them in half before (just be sure to dip the broken ends) or you can use mini pretzels. Sky’s the limit!

Here’s a super easy idea to surprise your loved ones with on Memorial Day! It includes chocolate, pretzels and your favorite candy, so easy! Wrap it up at the end with a big bow…it’s cute and makes a great Memorial Day Favor. I use white and milk chocolate but you can use whatever you like!

Below is enough to make about 10 large pretzels, doubled up (so two rods side-by-side.) How much candy you need varies, if you’re choosing Oreo, I do 3 Oreos per double stuck pretzel. Reese cups are the same I use 3 Reeses per double stuck pretzel. Use your judgement with whatever candy bar you use.

Ingredients:

1 block of Baking white dipping chocolate

1 block Baking milk dipping chocolate

1 – 26 oz. tub large pretzel rods (or 2 bags) approx.

Candy Bar, or Oreo, or Reese Cup of choice (30 Reese & Oreos needed to make 10 large pretzels)

10 clear plastic bags.

Ribbon, your choice of color to tie up the bag with.

These will keep for about a week or 2, so you can make them in advance which is convenient!

TO DO:

Over a double boiler melt the milk chocolate.

While chocolate is melting, chop up your candy bars. I like to keep them in piles of 6 chopped Oreos for example or 6 chopped Reese, that way I can just grab each pile when assembling, and I know I have the correct amount. Single rods take 3 cookies each.

Once the chocolate is melted, hold 1 large pretzel rod into the bowl, resting the rod on bottom of the bowl, and with a rubber spatula bring up the milk chocolate onto the pretzel leaving about 1″ without chocolate (the piece you’re holding onto).

Lay on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Do the same with another rod and lay side by side. (to create 1 pretzel). Do this until you use up all your pretzel, or make the desired amount.

Chill in freezer for about 5-10 min, not too long. While their firming up, melt the white chocolate.

In a Wilton Icing Pastry bag, (or large freezer-grade ziplock bag) drizzle on the white chocolate.

For single rods like the one pictured below, use 3 cookies and distribute them promptly after pouring on the white chocolate. Then drizzle back and forth with the milk choc, and top with sprinkles of choice!

Repeat the process until you’ve made however many you need!

So fun, easy and a good splurge for every now and then.

Sugar-free Gluten-free Berry Custard Pie

Indulgence is key to help keep my diabetic guy on track. Well, indulgence on the “right” foods, especially desserts like this one!! We both have a sweet tooth, so I’m always playing around with recipes attempting to make them more healthy. He loves this pie, and it’s so easy and delicious.

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THE CRUST:

1 cup King Arther (or your favorite brand) Gluten-free flour mix

1/3 cup (5 1/3 TBSP) salted butter, cut-up

1/2 tsp sea salt

3-5 TBSP iced water

PREHEAT oven to 375.

In an electric mixer add the flour and salt mix to combine. Then add in the butter chunks, mix until the chunks becomes much smaller (about 1/2 penny size). Stop the mixer, add the ice water, starting with 3 TBSP, and blend very minimally just until the dough starts to form. Add more iced water as needed, again very minimal mixing for a flakier crust.

In an un-greased pie pan, place in the dough directly into the pan. Begin pressing the dough out to form the edges, and then with remaining dough cover the bottom of the pie pan. Bake for about 8-10 min until firm, but not brown. Set on cooling rack to cool to room temperature. Your homemade crust is done!

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THE CUSTARD:

3 cups whole milk (OR 1 1/2c. whole milk, 1 1/2c. heavy cream)

1/3 cup gluten-free flour (King Arther works well)

1/3 cup Pyure Organic Stevia (or 2/3 cup sugar, or other sweetener of choice)

pinch of sea salt

3 slightly beaten large egg yolks

4 TBSP butter

4 tsp vanilla extract

SCALD the milk in a small saucepan at medium/high heat. (almost boiling but not quite.)

Meanwhile in another medium-sized saucepan combine the flour, salt and stevia.

On medium heat, slowly add 1 cup scaled milk to the saucepan of flour, whisking constantly.

Once mixture begins to thicken, add another cup of scaled milk to the mixture and whisk until it thickens.

Finally add last cup of scaled milk to the mixture. Keep on burner and cook over medium/low heat until the mixture thickens more.

Remove from heat, pour about 1 cup of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, whisking rigorously. Add yolks back into the hot mixture, stirring well.

Cook for another 2-3 minutes until filling reaches pudding consistency (should be boiling slightly at this point), then remove from heat.

Add in the vanilla, and butter and stir well.

Cool to about room temperature, stirring occasionally. Once cooled, pour into cooled pie pan, chill in fridge until set. (about 3 hours)

NOTE: because this pie is made with stevia and not sugar, it won’t set as well as a pie baked with sugar.

The Topping, Berry Sauce:

2 cups frozen mixed berries (you can use whatever berries are your favorite!)

1/3-1/2 cup Pyure sweetener, or sweetener of choice

1/2 squeezed lemon

PLACE all ingreidants into a medium sized saucepan and cook the mixture at medium/low heat (simmer) until mixture slowly boils down about 1/3. You don’t want this to be very runny. The longer it cooks, the thicker it gets. You would get better results if you added about 1/4 cup sugar instead of the Pyure but due to the diabetic in my home I did not.

FINISH by pour the cooled Berry Sauce onto the cooled pudding pie. Slice, and serve! Store in fridge, eat within 5 days for optimal freshness! ENJOY!

Our home progress.

Happy Saturday!! So it’s been several months, and our home is so close to being finished! We plan to move in this by this fall! It’s super exciting, and a lot of work at the same time! So many things to think about when building, you want to make sure you leave nothing out. We praise God for this time in our lives, to move into a new home with our little family of 4. God is so good to us.

Our little buddies.

Chad really loved this stone, and is so happy now that it’s on and matches everything else perfectly.

Have you built before?? Have you moved before?? I need all the advise on packing, it seems a little overwhelming right now! I’ll take all the tips. 🙂

“Sushi” bowls and peanut dressing recipe

This was so good! There’s actually no real sushi in the bowl pictured, I used an easy SteakUm for the meat eaters in my home. So it’s actaully more like a buddha bowl, but I like the name sushi bowl better.

A sushi bowl consists of: rice, protein (raw fish, or cooked protein of any kind), vegetables of choice (raw or cooked), some leafy greens, herbs, and a delicious dressing over everything.

Here’s the recipe for the dressing I made that goes so lovely on top of any sushi bowl. It has an Asian peanut-slant to it so we paired ours with onions, peppers, and panfried SteakUms with just simple salt and pepper.

Everyone assembled their own bowls and customized it to their liking—which makes for an easy family weeknight dinner.

RECIPE:

2 cups cooked rice (we used white today)

1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

1 green pepper

1 onion

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4-6 slabs of SteakUm meat – (for meat eaters, or use any type of beans heated with onions and peppers

DRESSING:

1/4 cup Natural Creamy Peanut Butter

2 tbsp sweet red chili sauce

1/8 cup soy sauce

1/2-1 tsp sesame seed oil

1 tbsp water

1 tbsp honey

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

MIX all ingredients except for the olive oil in a glass mason jar. Shake it up! Add oil, taste, and adjust seasonings to your liking. Pour over your personalized “sushi” bowl, as you would pour dressing over a salad. Enjoy!

Sugar-free, Antioxidant Rich, Strawberry Lemonade

Happy Food for Friday. This is such a delicious, refreshing drink to enjoy especially in the spring and summer! I make it using “Truvia” (a stevia-based sweetener, so my type 1 diabetic husband can enjoy it guilt free.) But you can use whatever sweetener you prefer.

RECIPE: (NUTRIBULLET VERSION)

In plastic mixer combine the following ingrediants

3 lemons, juiced (4 lemons if using slices to garnish)

1-2 tbsp Truvia sweetener (or sweetener of choice)

5-7 strawberries, preferably organic, with stews taken off

1 medium-sized handful of ice

2-3 cups purified water

BLEND all ingredients in your bullet, about 40 seconds. Pour into a glass, with a slice of lemon on the rim, and enjoy. Can last up to 3 days in the fridge. Best if enjoyed immediately. We love this guilt-free strawberry lemonade on a hot summer evening! Enjoy your antioxidants!

The secret: use either a high-powered blender, or for a slightly thiner drink use a juicer. I used a Nutribullet for the lemonade pictured, which is a little thicker than a juicer would make it. Either way you make it, you’ll still fall in love. Guilt-free, simple, and easy to make.

RECIPE: (JUICER VERSION)

Juice following ingrediants

3 lemons, peeled

5-7 strawberries, preferably organic, with stews taken off

Juice, then add the following ingredients:

1-2 tbsp Truvia sweetener, or sweetener of choice. (may have to pre-grind the Truvia in coffee grinder, so it won’t be granular.)

2-3 cups purified water

BEST if chilled before serving, or serve with ice!

Family Ohio Pyle Hike

Highlights from last years hiking trip…journalling for them to look back and remember.

Cherishing everyday together.

Salamander spotting! Mommy doesn’t touch them :/

Chad always finds adventure wherever we go. Our trip to Ohio Pyle last year we’ll definitely never forget. A landmark only 45 minutes away, visited by nearly 1.5 million adventurous people yearly. It was warm that day, we hiked down the rocky hillside, dipped our toes in the cold water right at the base of the waterfall. Absolutely beautiful. So refreshing to get away and enjoy the beauty in nature!