Shiloh turns three!

Shiloh and the Paradise Red litter will turn three six days from now on July 21, 2014. I (we) cannot believe how quickly three years have passed, but when I watch this video and realize how much more I wanted to put in it and didn’t for the sake of time I realize how action-packed these three years have been!

Could not love this girl more, and let’s hope we get to 16 and counting as is the case with her gorgeous, white-faced Grandma Rose (who you’ll see in this video). Cheers and Happy Birthday Shiloh!

In honor of Addison

In honor of what would have been Addison’s second birthday, February 9, 2014, a dear friend of our shared this video with us. She had no way of knowing that this is one of my all-time favorite songs…but then, that’s the kind of connection we have.

This is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen or heard, and it actually gives me some hope for what’s to come in this world. It is joyous and I hope you will enjoy it as much as we are.

Happy birthday Addison Love. <3

The Pioneer Woman’s peppermint fudge

All my life my grandmother has made fudge each year at Christmas. She usually puts nuts in hers, which I’m not a fan of (I love whole nuts, as a snack, but I can’t stand them IN things), but really her fudge is always amazing. 

The other day The Pioneer Woman made this super-simple and delicious peppermint fudge on her television show, and I made it the next day. It’s just three ingredients; super-simple…and it was a huge hit with my guinea pigs: Todd and all of our neighbors! I’m off to make a few more batches. 

peppermint fudge

Enjoy!

The Pioneer Woman's peppermint fudge
Serves 36
Three ingredients and super-simple!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 10 min
107 calories
16 g
4 g
5 g
1 g
3 g
26 g
16 g
14 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
26g
Servings
36
Amount Per Serving
Calories 107
Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
8%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 4mg
1%
Sodium 16mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 16g
5%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 14g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
4%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. Cooking spray, for spraying foil (or use non-stick foil)
  2. 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  3. 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  4. Red peppermint candies, crushed, for topping
Instructions
  1. Line an 8-by-8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil. Spray the foil with cooking spray if it's not non-stick foil.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate chips and sweetened condensed milk and stir until it's all melted and smooth. Pour it into the prepared pan and spread to even out the surface. Sprinkle on the crushed candies. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  3. Lift the foil out of the pan and peel off the fudge. Cut into small squares.
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calories
107
fat
5g
protein
1g
carbs
16g
more
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/

Stephanie’s spaghetti casserole

I was in the mood for spaghetti casserole last night so I searched Pinterest and Yumprint for a recipe. Some looked good, but nothing really bowled me over. So, I decided to give it a go on my own, and it turned out really well!

Mine is a little different from most others because I didn’t bake it in a casserole dish. Aside from boiling the pasta, I did everything in one pot and popped it in the oven for a few minutes at the very end; just long enough to melt the cheese. 

Bellisimo!

Spaghetti casserole
Serves 12
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
375 calories
30 g
70 g
17 g
24 g
7 g
211 g
507 g
6 g
1 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
211g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 375
Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g
26%
Saturated Fat 7g
37%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 70mg
23%
Sodium 507mg
21%
Total Carbohydrates 30g
10%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 6g
Protein 24g
Vitamin A
14%
Vitamin C
6%
Calcium
18%
Iron
15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 lb. grass-fed ground beef
  2. 1 T olive oil
  3. 3 T minced garlic
  4. 1 medium onion, diced
  5. 32 oz. marinara (I used Kirkland; Costco's brand)
  6. 1 can organic tomato sauce
  7. 1 can organic diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  8. pinch of red pepper flakes
  9. 2 T italian seasoning
  10. 3 T oregano
  11. 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  12. 12 oz. pasta, cooked to al dente (I used Jovial GF brown rice spaghetti; their caserecce also works very well in this dish, as would penne)
  13. 7.5 oz ricotta cheese
  14. 6 oz. shredded mozzarella
Instructions
  1. In a very large, deep, oven-safe pan (I used an 8-quart pasta pot), brown your ground beef along with the minced garlic and diced onion. Add the marinara, tomato sauce, and diced tomatoes and combine thoroughly.
  2. Stir in the red pepper flakes, italian seasoning, oregano, and grated parmesan. Cover and simmer lightly for 15 minutes (you can let it go longer if you want).
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Boil your pasta to al dente and drain.
  4. Gently fold your spaghetti in to the sauce, and then your ricotta.
  5. Top with 6 oz. shredded mozzarella, and place in the oven until the cheese melts thoroughly; about 5-6 minutes.
  6. Enjoy!
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calories
375
fat
17g
protein
24g
carbs
30g
more
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/
 spaghetti casserole 2

spaghetti casserole 3spaghetti casserole 4

Stephanie’s sloppy joes

Once again I found an amazing-looking recipe on Pinterest and finally decided to make sloppy joes tonight. This is one of Todd’s favorite meals, and I loved the idea because I knew it was a great opportunity to get a boatload of vegetables in to our meal.

We served them with parmesan roasted squash and broccoli and it was a very easy, healthy, and super-delicious meal!

I am thinking this will be making its way in to our somewhat regular meal rotation. :-)

Stephanie's sloppy joes
Serves 10
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
245 calories
6 g
70 g
15 g
21 g
6 g
158 g
112 g
3 g
1 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
158g
Servings
10
Amount Per Serving
Calories 245
Calories from Fat 133
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 15g
23%
Saturated Fat 6g
30%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 70mg
23%
Sodium 112mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 1g
6%
Sugars 3g
Protein 21g
Vitamin A
32%
Vitamin C
89%
Calcium
4%
Iron
14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 small yellow onion, diced
  2. 2 T minced garlic
  3. 2 T coconut oil
  4. 4 stalks organic celery, sliced thin
  5. 1 red bell pepper
  6. 1 yellow bell pepper
  7. 1 organic carrot, sliced thin
  8. 2 pounds organic, grass fed ground beef (90/10)
  9. 1 can organic tomato sauce
  10. 1 can organic diced tomatoes, drained
  11. 2 T light brown sugar
  12. 1/4 cup organic tomato paste
  13. 2 T cider vinegar
  14. 1 T djion or ground mustard
  15. sea salt + cracked black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Chop the onion and deseed and chop the bell peppers. Heat the coconut oil in a large, very deep skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, diced onion, bell peppers, carrot, and celery and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the ground beef and cook until browned.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, tomato paste, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil then simmer for 20 minutes. To serve, divide sloppy joe mixture evenly among over toasted bread, rolls, or rice - or just serve right on the plate alongside your favorite vegetables like we do. :-)
beta
calories
245
fat
15g
protein
21g
carbs
6g
more
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/

 sloppy joes 053013 1

sloppy joes 053013 2

sloppy joes 053013 3sloppy joes 052113

sloppy goes 052113 2

Slow-cooking cilantro lime chicken

cilantro lime chicken 051513

I found this recipe on Pinterest originally, and for once in my life I followed the recipe word-for-word.

I served it over rice with a dollop of organic sour cream on top, and while we definitely liked it, I felt it was a bit dry and overdone. I think the chicken cooked too long (about 7 hours) and I also felt that it needed more “sauce.”

So, below is how we’ll be making it going forward!

Slow-cooking cilantro lime chicken
Serves 8
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Total Time
6 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
6 hr
Total Time
6 hr 15 min
249 calories
9 g
101 g
9 g
34 g
2 g
212 g
966 g
4 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
212g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 249
Calories from Fat 77
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
13%
Saturated Fat 2g
12%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 101mg
34%
Sodium 966mg
40%
Total Carbohydrates 9g
3%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 4g
Protein 34g
Vitamin A
15%
Vitamin C
10%
Calcium
4%
Iron
12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 24 oz organic salsa or pico de gallo
  2. 1.25 ounce dry taco seasoning mix
  3. 1 lime, juiced
  4. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  5. 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast cut in thick strips or tenders
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken, salsa, taco seasoning, lime juice, and cilantro into your slow cooker. Cover, set to low, and cook until the chicken is very tender; about 6 hours. Shred chicken with 2 forks to serve.
Notes
  1. I served over rice and topped with a dollop of organic sour cream and it was delish!
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calories
249
fat
9g
protein
34g
carbs
9g
more
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/

cilantro lime chicken 051513 2

 

 

Mother’s Day Mexican feast

Todd’s parents are in town visiting us for a few days, and while they’re here we’re celebrating Mother’s Day (today) as well as their 50th wedding anniversary (tomorrow).

Today’s been a tough day for me…so many reminders that Addison is not here with us. She’d be about 15 months old by now. So hard to believe. So, it’s been really helpful that Todd’s parents came in town. Lots of fun time with them to distract me from the sadness.

Tonight Todd and I made a slightly modified version of Gwyneth Paltrow’s fajitas, roasted tomato + chipotle salsa, and guacamole (Todd has recently mastered the art of making the perfect guac!)

When we had the fajitas for the first time a couple of weeks ago they were really messy, so tonight we served the fajita mixture over rice instead of in tortillas.  It was not only much less messy, but really good!

mother's day fajitas 2013 3

Chicken fajitas over rice
Serves 4
A delicious chicken and vegetable fajita mixture served over rice.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
40 min
230 calories
6 g
73 g
10 g
28 g
2 g
164 g
138 g
2 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
164g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 230
Calories from Fat 91
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
16%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 73mg
24%
Sodium 138mg
6%
Total Carbohydrates 6g
2%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 28g
Vitamin A
15%
Vitamin C
45%
Calcium
3%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
  2. Coarse sea salt to taste
  3. Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  4. 1 tablespoon chili powder
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  6. 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  7. 1 green bell pepper, stem and seeds discarded, thinly sliced
  8. 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  9. Your favorite rice, cooked
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the chicken with large pinch of salt, the black pepper, the chili powder and the cumin. Set the chicken aside while you get your vegetables started.
  2. Heat the olive oil over high heat in the largest nonstick skillet you’ve got. Add the peppers and onion, and cook, stirring now and then, until they’re beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan and cook on medium heat, stirring now and then, until the chicken and vegetables are cooked though and nicely browned, 15 minutes,
  3. Meanwhile, cook the rice.
  4. Serve topped with the chicken and vegetable mixture, and all the toppings (we served with salsa, guac, and organic sour cream) and let everyone mix and match.
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calories
230
fat
10g
protein
28g
carbs
6g
more
Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Good
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/
Fresh + easy guacamole
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
116 calories
8 g
0 g
10 g
2 g
1 g
103 g
32 g
1 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
103g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 116
Calories from Fat 83
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
15%
Saturated Fat 1g
7%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 32mg
1%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
6%
Vitamin C
22%
Calcium
1%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 ripe avocados
  2. 2 tablespoons diced white onion
  3. 3 tablespoons roughly chopped cilantro
  4. 1 lime
  5. 1 vine tomato with seeds removed, diced
  6. Coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Cut each avocado in half, remove and discard the pits, and score the flesh inside the shells. Scoop the avocado into a mixing bowl and mash gently with a fork - you don’t want it to be completely smooth. Stir in the onion, tomato, and cilantro. Cut the lime in half and squeeze in the juice, cut side up so as to prevent any seeds from falling in. Season the guacamole to taste with salt, and serve!
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calories
116
fat
10g
protein
2g
carbs
8g
more
Adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow's It's All Good
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/
Gwyneth Paltrow's roasted tomato + chipotle salsa
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
62 calories
7 g
0 g
4 g
1 g
1 g
156 g
47 g
4 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
156g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 62
Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
6%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 47mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 7g
2%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
22%
Vitamin C
38%
Calcium
2%
Iron
2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 vine ripe tomatoes, cores removed and roughly chopped
  2. 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  3. 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 chipotle pepper (or more or less, depending on your heat tolerance - a whole pepper makes this salsa quite hot!) from a can of chipotles packed in adobo sauce
  5. 3 tablespoons cilantro
  6. 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  7. Coarse sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the broiler to high, placing the rack in the upper third of the oven. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and toss, directly on the sheet, the tomatoes and onion with the olive oil. Broil, stirring now and then, until the tomatoes have collapsed and the onions have softened a bit and everything is slightly charred, about 10 minutes. Place the tomatoes and onions in a food processor with the chipotle, cilantro and lime juice, and blitz until everything is puréed. Remove the salsa to a bowl and season to taste with salt.
Adapted from It's All Good
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calories
62
fat
4g
protein
1g
carbs
7g
more
Adapted from It's All Good
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/

Balsamic chicken + asparagus

So this was tonight’s glorious dinner…

balsamic chicken and asparagus 050613This is one of the easiest and most delicious meals we have made in quite a while, and honestly, I really didn’t change up the recipe much at all. 

I will tell you, though, as I was shopping for groceries today I kept thinking that fresh goat cheese might be better in this recipe than the mozzarella. BUT, uncharacteristically, I stuck to the recipe and bought fresh mozzarella.

Next time, I’m going with either goat cheese or feta . ;-)

Balsamic chicken + asparagus
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
35 min
489 calories
21 g
107 g
27 g
41 g
8 g
491 g
353 g
14 g
0 g
17 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
491g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 489
Calories from Fat 235
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 27g
41%
Saturated Fat 8g
42%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 14g
Cholesterol 107mg
36%
Sodium 353mg
15%
Total Carbohydrates 21g
7%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 14g
Protein 41g
Vitamin A
55%
Vitamin C
53%
Calcium
29%
Iron
26%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 bunch asparagus
  3. 6 tomatoes on the vine, sliced thick then quartered
  4. 6 oz fresh mozzarella
  5. 2/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  6. 1/4 cup olive oil
  7. 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  8. S + P to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine balsamic, olive oil, garlic powder and pepper in a ziploc bag. Add in raw chicken breasts and marinate anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.
  2. After marinating, grill chicken. [I did it on our grill pan - preheated to medium heat and then about 5 minutes per side. Perfect!]
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the end of asparagus (bend asparagus until it breaks, this is where you should be cutting off the ends). Line a baking sheet with tinfoil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Arrange asparagus in one layer on the cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Place on top rack of oven for 8-9 minutes.
  4. In a skillet preheated to low-medium heat, place cut tomatoes in a little olive oil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Cook for 5-6 minutes until tomatoes start to soften slightly.
  5. Plate chicken and asparagus, and top with tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle with extra balsamic mixture from the tomatoes.
Adapted from Maggie's Bites
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calories
489
fat
27g
protein
41g
carbs
21g
more
Adapted from Maggie's Bites
Only the Good Notes http://www.onlythegoodnotes.com/