Family Recipe Swap

I have had a good time this holiday season taking part in building recipes, swapping recipes, cooking and baking!

For the first time, I decided to take part in my friend Susan’s Family Recipe Swap. I got to know Susan this summer when we were roommates for FitBloggin.  She is such a joy so there was no way I was missing the opportunity for this fun! 

I was paired with Stephanie to share my recipe with and I received a recipe from Sheryl.

I gave Stephanie my mama’s pecan pie recipe.  This actually came to us by way of my cousin’s wife, Kari.  Someone in her family has made it for quite a few years.  I’m not sure exactly how old this recipe is.  I can just tell you anytime my family has pecan pie, it is judged by this one.  I haven’t found many at all that can match up.

Now, onto the recipe I was given to recreate.  I pray I did it justice.  You can find the full recipe here. I was worried about the crust.  It looked just like flour to me when we stuck it into the oven.  Wouldn’t you know, these people who make these recipes know what they are doing? Amazing, huh?

maple nut pie bars 4 I did solicit the help of my baby boy to cut the butter in for me.  He did that while I made the filling.  I made way more out of this in my head than was necessary. When I “reviewed” the recipe, I looked at the ingredients and pictures.  And panicked.  It looked way intense.  Turns out the hardest part was not eating the nuts as I mixed the filling.  Super simple and super delish!

maple nut pie bars 3 This is the filling.  Beware you will want to drink this.  Don’t.  It contains raw eggs.  We did taste it so if we die soon, you will know why.  It was worth it.

maple nut pie bars 2 This is right before it went into the oven for the final time.  Because I baked this in a stone, I opted to not use foil on the bottom.  I was able to get the bars out fine with my mini spatula. 

maple nut pie bars 1 Insane delicious!

I feel this is a recipe that will be made time and again for my family.  It is not nearly a rich or “maple-y” as I thought it would be.  It is sweet, don’t get me wrong, but in the very best have-it-with-a-cup-or-milk-or-coffee kind of way. 

Go.  Now.  Add this to your holiday menu! You will NOT be sorry!

Please go visit Doree or Susan and see what everyone else is cooking up!

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One Week

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It has been one week since we dropped Ian off for basic training.  This has been the most emotional week of my life.  I have a cannon ball that will randomly appear in the pit of my stomach.  My eyeballs POP open, wide awake, at very strange times, with no chance of returning to sleep. I was hoping yesterday to have a definitive answer, but the thing is, Ian has hurt his knee.  I knew his first week was going to be awful going in, however, this has added insane stress to it, for him and us.  It is feeling better, but he has been told after it has healed, they will determine if it is “fit for duty” and at that point, they will decide if he will fall in with a later company or if he will come home.  I can’t imagine what he is going through.  These kids amaze me! They have a couple of them in there that have been injured for weeks and they refuse to give up.  The strength of their mama’s amaze me. It is unbelievably hard to know your child is hurt, body and spirit, and you can do absolutely nothing about it. 

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I feel like I’m on a roller coaster.  One second I’m fine and the next, I’m either physically sick or crying.  My ultimate goal? For my child to be happy. That’s all I want.  And to wave a wand and take away his pain.

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I have started knitting nightly.  It keeps my mind busy. I do fine as long as I don’t think. Work during the day takes care of those hours. I don’t like thinking because I tend to be paranoid anyway, this just quadruples those tendencies.

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I’ve asked this before, but if you pray, pray for my baby and all of them in basic training, as well as the mama’s.  I never could have imagined how hard this time is for all involved!

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NaBloPoMO

This is interesting.  It is a program where bloggers commit to most once per day for a month.  I’ve known about it always, but I sunk to deep into my own head to even remember so… here I am. A day late.  But better late than never, right?

I have a lot in my mind.  I am beyond worried about my child.  It is all I can think of unless I keep my mind totally busy.  Right now, the only thing keeping my mind that busy is work.  The only time in my life I’ve ever wished for overtime! This has been the hardest week of my life.  There are things that are up in the air.  I pray I have answers tomorrow, but there are no guarantees. I apologize for being vague, but I don’t know what can or can not be said at this point.  Hopefully, when I blog tomorrow, I’ll be able to say more.  Because I am blogging tomorrow.  Because NaBloPoMo!

Food and fitness for this week:

I am doing a plank per day challenge so that will happen.  Not sure beyond that what will happen. I haven’t made a plan.  At all.  I know “Failing to plan is planning to fail” but… that’s all I have to say about that.

Food: we are having: Chicken and rice, tofurkey dogs wrapped in crescent rolls, meatball subs and sweet potato fries, beans and rice.  Today, we had dinner with Kevin’s dad.  He made a ham, mac n cheese, sweet potato casserole and green beans.  It was good!

I am nervous for the tofurkey dogs.  I’ve never had them before.  If they don’t taste good, EGGS!

Have you had tofurkey dogs? Did you like them? What is your favorite hot dog? I LOVE applegate but my store was out.

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A Food Journal I Love

I have been an on again/off again food journaler (word doesn’t believe this is a word?)  for probably 20 years or more.  My problem is, I am a planner.  There has never been a food journal that met all of my needs so I would grow bored with it quite easily.

I am an avid meal planner, grocery lister and food prepper (not as avid as the first two but MUST get better at this one!).  That meant I had to have my grocery list and meal planning in my day planner and my food journal separate.  They are also normally huge so you either take notes and journal when you return home, praying you don’t forget anything, journal before you leave or wrench your shoulder carrying all things you need with you.  Neither of those sound appealing, correct?

Well, a couple of weeks ago, a fellow blogger asked if anyone would be interested in looking at a journal she has created.  Of course in my quest to find the perfect journal, I was all over it! JACKPOT!

This thing is perfect.  First, let me tell you a little about Sara:

Sara Evanchick is a busy mom that finally decided to take charge of her health! Using real food and exercise, she has lost over 100 pounds and overcome several serious health problems.  Now she works to inspire and motivate others on their quest for a healthy life.

Who better to create the perfect journal than someone who has LIVED what we are right now and absolutely knows what is needed for success, right?

In her journal, she has a space for a grocery list (SEPARATED by department!!), meal prep to-do, meal plan, fitness prep separated by strength and cardio, water intake, food and a fitness log as well as a space for notes regarding upcoming challenges and victories. 

It is also the perfect SIZE.  It is 4 weeks and can easily fit inside my day planner as it is only 6×9 inches. 

Sarah's Jounal Cover Isn’t this cover fantastic?  It is spiral bound and beautiful!!

Sara has graciously offered anyone a 20% discount on this journal.  All you have to do is order it here and use code SPLOVE.  Remember, you are supporting a small business with this purchase! This is available November 1 so order today!

Let me know if you order this and if you love it as much as I do!!

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Forgive My Absence, My Life Just Changed

I knew this was coming and I prepared myself as best I knew how.  I had no idea the feelings I would feel when it actually happened.

swear inMy precious baby boy was sworn in to the United States Coast Guard.  We stayed Monday night in the same hotel because it is a 3 hour drive.  We had to be at the base at 8 AM.  That would mean getting up at 4 AM.  Considering the amount of sleep I got, I should have just stayed home, however, we did get to have dinner with him Monday night and he stayed in the room with us until he had to be in his room for lights out.  We didn’t see him again until we arrived at the MEPS building on base.  They brought us into a family waiting room and when he wasn’t doing other things, he came in there with us.  When it was time for the actual swearing in, they came to get us.  He was in a room that had a giant window where anyone could watch.  I was not prepared for what I saw.  It was the most beautiful thing, yet there was something in it that made me feel as though I’d been punched in the gut.  He was standing on very official looking red carpet, on 3 walls was majestic blue curtains and on the wall we were facing was flags for the USA, the original flag for the 13 colonies and a flag for each branch of service.  The only other thing in there, was Ian at parade rest.  I’ve seen him like that dozens of time in his ROTC time but something about the room and the meaning of him being there was nothing I could ever have been prepared for.

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After he was sworn in, he received his travel briefing and we were told we could go to the airport with him. I was all over that because I want every single second I can get with him! We were able to stay with him right until he went through security 15 minutes before boarding began.

IMG_6810 Kevin even stood in the security line with him until I got scared he would get in trouble and made him come where I was, NOT in the security line.

IMG_6811 This nearly the last glimpse I had of him.  We could see him as he went through the X-Ray, I watched while he put his shoes back on and watched until I could no longer see his head walking toward his gate.

He was able to text me when he boarded, landed and we talked off and on while he was in the USO office waiting to be transported to the training facility.  The last text I got was just before they pulled into the gate and he had to put his phone away.  I will not hear from him again until Thanksgiving day (hopefully!!) and a week after that, he should be able to call.  If he has time, he will write letters to us but I told him his priority is taking care of himself, studying, resting and doing whatever he needs to do to get through the next few weeks.

For a control freak, the hardest part for me is not knowing.  Wicked hard.  I have been so blessed to have hardly any sleepless nights due to worry for the 22 years I have been his mama.  I have made up for that this week.  It is really difficult to sleep when you have a cannon ball sitting in the pit of your belly! I gave myself permission yesterday to have chinese food and wallow in fear and worry, but today I had to put on my big girl panties and make myself get back at it!

If you pray, please pray for him.  He needs peace, confidence and both physical and mental strength.

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Thinking Out Loud. Really Loud.

I have a million things running through my brain at a speed so fast I can’t keep up.  Every emotion that can be named and probably even a few that have yet to be discovered are being felt right now.  We are T-minus 2 weeks now till Ian boards an airplane for uncharted territory.  This mama’s heart both rejoices in his new adventures and mourns the loss all at once.  I am trying my best to contain all of the emotions when I am around him.  I am sure he is feeling enough of his own without having to deal with mine as well.  All of this stuff in my brain makes me very thankful that today is Thursday and I can empty some of what is filling this gray matter so that I may have more room for alloftheemotions.

First, I received my first graze box.  These things are so good!

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We’ve tried the brooklyn bites.  Delicious.  I haven’t tried the rest yet.  I will probably take them for roadtrip snack this weekend.  I also included a picture of the inside of the box.  I just wanted to go in there for a couple of hours with a good book. Isn’t it beautiful??? Also, if you would like to receive your first and your fifth box free, use code KTMDQ5P6E (this is a reward code and I do receive credit for each person who uses this code, however, I love these boxes either way!)

Next in my brain, I recently tried hemp hearts for the first time and I am now addicted.  I want you to become addicted as well, so please go here and enter my giveaway. Also, if you can’t wait that long and you want to order some NOW, you can use code HHSweatPink14 to receive a 20% discount through November 30.  (I receive nothing for you using this code, as a matter of fact, I’m sure I’ll use it as well!)

Now, my friend (am I a stalker if she doesn’t know we are friends???) Emily has a wonderful post talking about foods you would normally eat because you think they are healthy but ALAS, they are not! I get stuck in the nutbutter trap.  GIVE ME THE PEANUT BUTTTTAAAAHHHH!!!

This weekend, we are traveling to the half way point between my family and us to meet for the weekend.  My mom wants to spend time with Ian before his departure.  A family thing came up that made it impossible for them to be here for the week of so… this is the next best thing.

IMG_6438Nanny and her grandbabies!

That is all I have at the moment.  As SOON as I hit publish, I will think of 5 more things I need to say! You will have to just wait for those thoughts.  Now, head on over to Amanda’s house and give her some love.  If you have a blog and want to empty your noggin, feel free to join the party!

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Hemp Hearts

The legalities: I was sent a sample of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts for review through my partnership with FitApproach.  I did not receive any other compensation and all opinions are my own.

I have always been one who is not fond of different textures.  Therefore, I’ve never been fond of different seeds added to smoothies or foods and such.  Some things were just not meant to have chunks, know what I mean? Anyway, when I was given the opportunity to try Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts, I figured why now!? It can’t be that bad, yes?

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I decided it to sprinkle a tablespoon onto a container of Key Lime Greek Yogurt.  I needed a little taste of summer, ya know? It took my afternoon snack from healthy yogurt to Key Lime Pie! The hemp hearts gave it the flavor of pie crust.  They have a dynamic nutty taste that is great! These would also be great sprinkled on ice cream, but I can’t get past the yogurt.  I bought some pumpkin pie yogurt and I am very excited to taste them on that!

Not only are they delicious, they are also extremely nutritious! From their website: 30 g of hemp hearts have 10 G protein, 10 G Omega 3 and 6 and only 3 G carbs.  This is power packed.

Manitoba Harvest has graciously agreed to send a reader a bag of hemp hearts.  To win, simply leave a comment telling me how you are excited to try them. They have also given 20% off discount to all readers using code HHSweatPink14 through November 30. 

**the give away will close 10/25 and a winner will be announced 10/26

 

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