Whole 30 Ranch Seasoning Mix

You guys! This ranks up there as one of my greatest food discoveries so far. One of the big things I’ve missed since having to give up dairy is ranch dressing. The good stuff…Hidden Valley deliciousness. Of course, it is really super delicious because it is loaded with MSG. In any event, I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest for a Whole 30 Ranch Seasoning Mix that could be mixed with mayo.

Here’s the recipe, courtesy of The Pinning Mama. Click here for her post about this.

  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp parsley
  • 3 tsp dill weed
  • 2 tsp dried chives
  • 4 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 tsp onion powder
  • 4 tsp dried onion flakes
  • 2 tsp black pepper

To be honest, I didn’t follow it exactly. I didn’t realize it would need so much parsley, so I ended up using just 1 TB. I also forgot it called for onion granules AND onion flakes. I just used a little more onion flakes and it was still delicious. I mixed 1 TB of this mix with about 1/2 cup of regular mayonnaise.

It is delicious and very authentic tasting, perfect for dipping veggies or chips. I would probably thin it with a little lemon juice or almond milk if I wanted to make dressing.

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Sick Day + Pear Cake

Yesterday was a sick day, you know, because my girls getting Hand, Foot, Mouth wasn’t enough, we had to catch colds too. Unfortunately, when you have small children and you’re the mommy, you don’t really get a break. I was craving pie, but I hate making pie crust (even though my crust is awesome) and I thought about making pear cake. This recipe is dairy free (bonus!) and easy to whip together. I used two pears total and added 1 tsp of cinnamon instead of the lemon (didn’t have any lemon). IMAG0822_1

Pear Cake (recipe courtesy of Not Derby Pie)
serves 8-12.

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
3 cups of fruit, any variety, but soft and juicy!

Combine all the above ingredients, reserving 1 cup of the sliced fruit.

Grease and flour a 9″ round or rectangular baking pan or springform pan.

At this point, EITHER:
1) pour in batter and add the last cup of fruit on top OR
2) arrange the remaining sliced fruit in spiral design in the springform, and pour batter over top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Recipe Box: Italian Chicken Tomato Soup

I love a good soup recipe, particularly one that can be made in the slow cooker and is a hit with my whole family. You’ll love this easy, healthy soup. I found it on this website and only made minor changes.

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Ingredients

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk (full fat)
1 cup chicken broth
1 (14 ounce)can diced tomatoes (add the juice)
1 8 ounce can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt (more to taste)
fresh ground pepper to taste

1 cup frozen corn

Directions

Mix the onions, garlic, coconut milk, chicken broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and corn, along with seasonings in your crock pot.  Add chicken.  Cover and cook on LOW for 7-9 hours or on HIGH for 4-6 hours or until chicken shreds easily.

Shred chicken and return to crock pot.  Keep warm until ready to serve.  Serves 6-8.

Some delicious additions would be crushed tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, or fresh avocado cubes.

Everyday at Our House

I didn’t manage a picture every single day, but I did get quite a few pictures for my picture challenge.

This first one is a picture of laundry in the middle of being folded and put away. Before Abrielle, we only did 2 loads a week. Now I think I do 5-6 loads a week.

Next up is tummy time for Abrielle. She really doesn’t like it but she’s getting better at it.

Here is Abrielle looking in the mirror before her bath. She’s not quite sure what to think of the “other baby.”

In the green bag are the clothes she has outgrown already. Every week I go through her clothes and add in clothes that might fit now. She has so many cute outfits I don’t want her to miss any of them!

This last is a picture of my kitchen while I’m in the middle of making spaghetti sauce. I was reminded yesterday that I am “living the dream.” When I was little, I pictured myself with a baby, in my house, cooking dinner while waiting for my husband to come home. And what do you know? That is what I am doing!

If  you did a picture challenge of your own, please comment on this post and share!

Homemade Jam

Help! I need room in my freezer. My ambitious self picked close to 5 gallons of blackberries this summer. My ambitious self forgot how small my apartment freezer is. So I thought, “Hey, I’ll make freezer jam!” Except that the freezer part is the problem. Growing up, I helped my mom make jam a couple times, but now it seemed a lot more complex than that. But, now I’m on the heels of a very large shopping trip involving the freezer section at Costco, and I need my freezer space. My good friend Mike supplied jars, lids, tongs, and a “canning pot.” I have to admit, it wasn’t so much hard as just a lot of steps. And a ton of sugar! Goodness.

Happily, my adventure resulted in 5 lovely cans of blackberry jam and the lids all sealed! Happy day! Notes to myself for next time:

-I should have spent the $1.69 to get a funnel. Seriously.

-You can’t put a price on those nice rubberized tongs to pull the cans out of boiling water. They can save you from many a mishap…say, dropping a can of jam into the dirty dishwater. 😦

I ended up not having enough lids sadly, so I have some “refrigerator jam.”