Applesauce happens.

What happens when you buy a bag of apples and don’t get around to eating them because you’ve behaved naughtily and eaten snacks that you shouldn’t instead of the bag of apples? Applesauce happens. Easy, quick, warm, yummy applesauce.



  • 6 apples (these were Jonamacs but I’ve used all kinds)
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 tsp agave


  1. Peel and cut apples into chunks.
  2. Boil apples until you can pierce through with a knife.
  3. Drain apples and leave in pan.
  4. Mash apples until desired chunkiness (I like em big, I like em chunky – if you get that quote you win!).
  5. Mix in agave and cinnamon. Serve warm! Or cold. Enjoy!



Witch’s Stew… is that even a thing?

So the other night I was watching Cutthroat Kitchen from Food Network (yes, I love all things Alton Brown and his ever-present sassiness). This episode was halloween themed. One of the things they had to make was a “Witch’s Stew.” Meaning, a big pot of something stew-like. I watched as the chefs sabotaged each other gleefully and then sat back and said to myself, “It is time to make a stew.”

Now, I had no sabotages or time constraints. Just about 10 minutes of prep, 6 hours in a crockpot, and a bowl full of warm goodness to enjoy on a nice, crisp fall evening.

Here’s hoping you get a chance to enjoy!

Witch’s Stew aka Steph’s Beef Stew


  • 1 lb stew beef (meaning cubed beef)
  • I get a package of cut-up roasting vegetables at the store – this is a variety of sweet potatoes, butternut squash and parsnips. It is all cut up and the perfect amount (yes, I know, I am lazy, but a girl has to work!)
  • 1 onion, cut to same size as vegetables
  • 1 15-oz can of diced roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup of coffee
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • Salt & Pepper
  • A smorgasbord of spices – I used the following:
    • 1 T cinnamon
    • 2 T chile powder
    • 1 tsp chipotle chile flakes
    • 1 T cumin
    • 1 tsp nutmeg
    • 1 tsp All Spice
    • 1 T paprika

You put all of that together in a crockpot and stir it up.


Then you put the crockpot on low, come back 6 hours later and scoop yourself a bowl of something awesome! This will feed you for a week, I promise!



Balsamic Sage-Glazed Pork Chops

I remember the marvelous Sundays of my childhood when we got home after church and could smell amazingness (spellcheck isn’t arguing that word hmm) in the oven. That smell promised a day of sweatpants and football and naps. Ahhhh. I’m sure everyone has their own idea of that smell. For me it was these five, scrumptious letters: G-R-A-V-Y. Yesss anything with thick, home-cooked, flavorful, gravy. In search for that same level of goodness and comfort, I came across this sweet and savory, Fall-ish creation.


3 Bone-on pork chops

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 tsp Sage, dried

4 T Balsamic vinegar

2 T dijon mustard

4 tsp maple syrup

1/2 tsp salt

2 T olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375, grease a pan with 2 T olive oil and place pork chops in pan.
  2. Whisk together garlic, sage, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, and salt.
  3. Spoon or brush mixture over pork chops. Pour the rest into the pan.
  4. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until fully cooked.


My desire for comfort food was on 10 so I paired my chops with mashed butternut squash (cooking directions similar to spaghetti squash here) and corn. No butter needed! It is a yummy alternative to gravy-soaked mashed potatoes!


Shrimp Marinara over Spaghetti Squash

This is my favorite time of the year! With no intention of sounding braggy, I have to share that grocery shopping at my parents’ farm is awesome!!! They work insane hours as they plan, plant, weed, harvest, and can tons of vegetables, most of which for the purpose of giving away! Those are some serious givers…but that’s another post entirely.

Whether you have access to fresh groceries from a local farm or the grocery store, this is the time of the year for tomatoes and squash. Yum!

Stewed Tomatoes

4 large Italian canning tomatoes (or Romas, or whatevs)

6 cloves of garlic, minced

Splash olive oil

Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. In a pot, boil water and add tomatoes once boiling. Keep an eye on the tomatoes (few minutes) and remove them from the water once the skin has broken (a little slit in the skin). Dump the water.
  2. While the tomatoes are cooling, splash some olive oil in the pot and add the garlic. While the garlic is heating up, skin the tomatoes, and then slice them right into the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Hint: I tripled this recipe and used the rest to make Around The Way Chili.

Squash & Shrimp

1 large spaghetti squash

1lb of shrimp

1 can of coconut milk

4T butter

4 cloves of garlic, minced

Red pepper flakes (optional)

Fresh basil (optional)

Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Slice the spaghetti squash, scoop out the seeds and lay face down in a greased pan. Bake for 25-40 min, or until the flesh is easily pierced with a knife. squash
  2. In a skillet, add the butter and garlic. Sautee the garlic until golden. Add in the shrimp and cook (6-10 min).
  3. Add the stewed tomatoes to the shrimp, along with red pepper flakes if you want a little kick. Now add the pulp from one can of coconut milk (save the milk for countless other recipes).shrimps
  4. Once the squash is done, scrape out of the skin using a fork. Return it to the shell if you’re feeling fancy (or need a pic for your blog). Cover with shrimp marinara and top with a little fresh basil. Yum! Enjoy!done




Mama’s Balsamic Garlic Chicken

It is summer!!! Officially time for grilling and marinades. This quick recipe is incredible on any kind of meat. I got it from my mama so you know it’s good!

Balsamic Garlic Marinade

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Whisk the ingredients together and marinate the chicken for at least 3o minutes. My mama actually grilled the one below (thanks mom!). I paired it with some roasted asparagus from their garden (toss with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, 15 min at 400-degrees) and corn because it sounded good.


This meal is sooo good and very quick…especially if you’re reheating from your mama’s cooking! Enjoy!


Climb a Mountain, They Said…

My amazing husband is training to climb, hike, traverse, ice pick his way through Mount Rainier. He has become pretty boss at hiking and been doing a ton of training for this. Now, this means that I can spend my weekends at our home while he goes up to NH and we can constantly be a part, or I can make my way up to the White Mountains and hike with this stud.

Here’s what I would like to say. Hiking is amazing. It’s absolutely beautiful and the fresh air is wonderful and the achievement factor is off the charts. See this face? This is the face that thinks these things.

Me Starting Mountain

Look at her. She is naive and full of motivation to be awesome. Let’s talk to her in 5 miles, shall we? Where we see her at the top of the first of three peaks nourishing her very sore body with some almond butter (look at that, she’s even staying paleo on this hike!).

Me Almond Butter

That face is filled with optimism, because she reached the top. She will reach the top of two more peaks in this hike, all over 4000 feet, two over 5000. This is pretty awesome, she thinks. I can do this! And of course, she can. Because she has this stud with her to cheer her on.

Us Mountain

Here’s the thing though. While hiking really is awesome and it is pretty amazing, I must confess – I have a terrible mindset once I begin my hike down. This is because my knees have become the knees of an 80-year old and the pain is off the charts. Suddenly the beauty and fun get wiped away by the fact that I have 4 miles of jarring steps down on hard rocks before me. Oy.

It is really hard, I mean really hard, to motivate your mind to push through when you are in pain, isn’t it? All of a sudden, my sarcasm comes out and the idea of having a great time gets wiped away as you realize that a 65-year old woman is pacing with you down the mountainside. Yep, that’s me, shooting the breeze as we discuss her retirement. Aarrrgggghhhhh!!!!!!!!

Here’s what I know though – just because my body is different now and different than others who have no knee problems doesn’t take away from what I am achieving. We can constantly compare ourselves to whoever else is out there on the mountain or at the gym or even *gasp* in the mirror, or we can work as hard as we know how and then give it an extra 10% for good measure. Forget about what everyone else is achieving and enjoy what you are doing, because let’s face it, you are doing it! I hiked an 11-mile hike with 3-peaks with my wonderful husband. Yes, it was a LONG day, but I did it! And now, I have some knee braces and will attempt to do even more.

Don’t let yourself get discouraged. Life is too short to wish you had done something as well as someone else. Do it as best as you can and enjoy the amazing views along the way!



15-15-30 Update

June is here! At the beginning of last month, I shared my S.M.A.R.T. goals for the month of May (you can get caught up by clicking here). Since December, I’ve been in an exercise slump. Life got busier and exercise (and sleep) got moved down the priority ladder. This is not a good practice. Especially when you spend most of your 13-hour days sitting and listening to people! I am so glad that I took on this challenge for the month. I can honestly say that I haven’t worked out this much all year long.

So….drumroll….post a comment if you’re actually doing a drumroll right now….badadadadadadada….15 workouts completed (in ummmm 31 days because I was one short and needed to get it in at 9pm before I wrote this blog) and 7 pounds lost!

May Challenge

I’m aiming for the same goals in June but with much harder workouts. The massage is still on the table for June!


Chicken Tikka Masala – Crockpot Style

If you haven’t noticed, I love my crockpot! There is nothing quite like it. Throw in some meat and a bunch of herbs, put it on low and 6-8 hours later you have a very yummy meal that you had to do nothing with for hours!

The other day I had a hankering for some Indian food, so I thought that I would try out a version of chicken tikka masala, making it paleo and enjoying it after it had cooked all day while I worked. I must say – it was delicious! This amount can feed 6-8 people, or 2 people and give us leftovers for days. : )

Chicken Tikka Masala

Ingredients (feeds 6-8; half it if you want less):

  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 15-oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 4 T tomato paste
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 T garam masala spice
  • 1 T ground cumin
  • 1 15-oz can coconut milk
  • Head of cauliflower
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin
  • Olive oil
  • Cilantro & lime

Get your crockpot out and add in the 2 onions and 4 garlic cloves. Then add in the crusted tomatoes, tomato paste and spices (everything above the coconut milk on the list above). Top it off with your chicken thighs, season with more salt and pepper and put your lid on. You can cook it on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4.

When you have about a half hour left, grab your cauliflower and chop it up into small pieces. Add the EVOO (two turns) to your large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add in the diced onion, cook down till translucent, then add in the cauliflower. Stir often, season with salt and pepper.  Cook for about 20 minutes on low heat. Now, I like to add in a squeeze of lime and some cilantro along with the onions in the last 5 minutes of cooking, but you don’t need to if you don’t want to. Totally optional.

In the last 5 minutes, get the chicken out with a bunch of the sauce in a bowl and shred it up. Turn the can of coconut milk upside down and open it up that way. This will put all of the liquid at the top which you can pour out. Now you are staring at the hardened coconut milk. Scoop this out into a deep pot (I used my oval dutch oven) and turn that on to low heat. Add in your chicken mixture and stir well.

Chicken Tikka Masala Colalge

Now you are ready to assemble. Put in the cauliflower at the base of your bowl, top with the chicken tikka masala and garnish with some fresh cilantro. Enjoy!!

2016-05-09 18.32.49



Stepping It Up…

It’s that time of year when the sun is finally coming out, the trees are blooming, allergies are in abundance and we have the dreaded fear that we will no longer be able to wear big sweaters to cover up our muffin top.

2016-05-09 17.27.37

Yes, spring is here and summer (with all of its tank tops and swimsuits) is coming.

I love that Becca threw out her challenge for the next month. For me, I have been doing ok consistently. I get to the gym, I eat well (for the most part), and I have maintained a fluctuation of 5-10 lbs for a while now. But, I want a good challenge to kick it into high gear before the summer comes. Why? Because I want to feel good about myself this summer and not feel uncomfortable in my own skin.

Here is my challenge. Aside from staying consistent in my trips to the gym and eating, I’m throwing in an extra challenge to take care of my muffin top.

This week – 100 x 5 for abs (meaning 100 sit-ups or some sort of ab workout, 5 days this week)

Week 2 – 200 x 5

Week 3 – 300 x 5

Week 4 – 400 x 5

No, there will not be a before and after photo – sorry, I’m not about that life. But, there will be honesty. I wanted to start this challenge yesterday, but I didn’t. Instead, I ate well all day until the evening when I had a small cup of chocolate ice cream (yes, I know – I have a vice). That means I have the next five days to kick my abs into gear. It starts today, right now before I forget. So, here it goes!

What’s your challenge to yourself? How will you step it up this month?



It is hard to believe that Memorial Day is just 4 weeks away, especially with the cold weather that we’ve been having! Personally, I just came through a crazy busy season of life and am about to enter into another. However, these next two weeks are a tiny reprieve and I want to use them to get organized.

Reading past posts where Steph wrote about accountability (here) and Rah shared about goals,  got me thinking about S.M.A.R.T. goals. The following acronym is used in a variety of settings (you’ve probably heard of them) to help create goals.

Goals should be:

  • S –  Significant
  • M – Measurable
  • A –  Attainable
  • R –  Rewarding
  • T –  Time-focused

My SMART goal for the month of May is to complete 15 workouts, losing 15 pounds, in 30 days. My reward for completing this goal is to get a massage! I’m telling you now for accountability because I’ll update you in 30 days. Here is an inside view of my progress chart:


What do you want to accomplish by Memorial Day???