Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza- Gluten Free, THM

In September I bought a ton of fresh chicken breast from zaycon foods (I'm talking 120#). Best decision ever! It was a great price ($1.89/lb) and all natural, free of hormones, additives and artificial ingredients. We froze family size servings into gallon freezer bags and with about 10# I popped into a couple crockpots for half a day and then diced and froze that. It has been so nice to have already cooked, diced chicken breast right in the freezer for quick meals and that's what I used for this pizza!

I tweaked the homemade ranch dressing recipe from here and changed a couple things from the grain/gluten free crust recipe here. I also doubled the crust recipe so we could have some yummy garlic bread sticks too!!

If you didn't want to mess with the homemade ranch (It's super good though!) you could just use your favorite ranch dressing. Also we always buy  hormel uncured bacon, it's free of nitrates and nitrites and is a little pricey but oh so yummy- I stock up when it's on sale and always have some in the freezer (ok, unless my husband knows it's in there.. then he wants it every single day!!)


Ranch Dressing
1T Dried Minced Onion
1T Parsley
1 T Garlic Powder
1 1/2 t Onion Powder
1 1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
1/2 t Sugar or a sprinkle of Stevia
1 C Mayo
1C Low fat Sour cream
1/4 C Heavy Cream

3 eggs, beaten
1/2 C Coconut Flour
1/4 C Ground Flax Meal
1C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1t each of parsley, oregano, onion powder, 
garlic powder & salt. 
1/2 t Pepper

Ranch Dressing
2 C Cooked Chicken Breast, Cubed
2 C Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
12 oz Bacon, cooked & crumbled

 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together all ingredients for ranch dressing, feel free to add more mayo, sour cream and heavy cream if you feel like its too strong tasting. Set dressing aside. Combine together coconut flour,  flax meal and seasonings, whisk to get out any clumps of flour. Add eggs and cheese and mix until its all incorporated. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (don't skip this step!) Transfer the crust dough to the cookie sheet and using your hands, start from the middle and work the dough out to the edges. Try to keep the thickness as uniform as possible. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes until it's just browning. Take crust out of the oven and let cool slightly. Add dressing ( I had leftover, about 3/4 C), cheese, chicken and bacon and return to the oven for 8-10 minutes. I put mine underneath the broiler for a couple minutes to brown even further but that's optional. Enjoy!

This is an S style pizza for those of you following THM.

I doubled the crust recipe and made some yummy garlic bread sticks too and they were super easy! Follow the same directions for the crust and when it's done add melted butter, garlic salt and cheese. Pop it back in the oven for 8-10 minutes and your done :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Why being a Mom makes me cry...

That title sounds sad huh! It's not meant to be but it's so true, I've cried more in my years as a Mother than any other time in my life. I'm sure most people would tell me it's my hormones.. I have had 6 babies in 8 years, kind of a roller coaster for this body of mine but I think it's more than that. I don't cry all the time or every day but being a Mom seems to amplify all my emotions; I love harder, I hurt harder and my frustrations are stronger... my tears flow from joy, from laughter, from heartache and frustration.

Being a Mom makes me cry....

because I can't protect my kids from the suffering I know they have to go through

because some days I have nothing left to give them

because I can't fight their battles for them

because my heart aches for those women who want to but can't be Mothers

because these kids make me laugh so hard I cry

because I hear their little prayers and watch their relationships with Christ grow

because they love me so unconditionally

because sometimes it just feels good to cry.. for no apparent reason

because my body has not belonged to me in years, and it shows

because my "season" of baby growing in my belly  looks to be turning into just baby raising (tears well up just typing that.. I'm such a sap!!)

because God has trusted me with so many little lives and that responsibility can weigh heavily

because I can't grab up all the little babies that are hurting and bring them into my home

because my kids are growing, growing, growing too fast

I cry because these precious children of mine deserve the best of me and they don't get the best everyday but they show me grace and love me so much anyway. So yeah, being a Mom means that I shed more tears but I can't think of 6 better reasons to be crying :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Energy Bites- THM

For the longest time I've been making these Energy Bites. Our whole family likes them and they are so nice to have in the freezer to quick grab for snacks and lunches. So since I started following Trim Healthy Mama I've been thinking about how I could modify them make them work. Finally I think I got something kinda close.. or at least equally as yummy!

I just got my order from which included oat fiber and I got right to trying it out! These energy bites should be kept in the freezer because the coconut oil melt fast and they will turn into a gooey mess at room temp... a yummy gooey mess though :) These are perfect little bites to have with coffee, they melt in your mouth and satisfy a sweet craving after an S meal or even for, gasp.. breakfast!


Chocolate Chunks
1/4 C Virgin Coconut Oil
2 heaping T Cocoa Powder
2t Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
2t Heavy Whipping Cream
1t Erythritol/Stevia Extract Blend
Dash of Pure Stevia Extract
Sprinkle of Salt

Energy Bites
1C Oat Fiber
1C Flax Meal
1 Scoop Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1 1/2 C Sugar Free Peanut Butter
1/4 C Virgin Coconut Oil
1 1/2 t Erythritol/Stevia Extract Blend
Dash of Pure Stevia Extract
Dash of Salt
Chocolate Chunks

To make the chocolate chunks; heat coconut oil just until its get to liquid form, mix all ingredients except salt till blended together, pour into a shallow dish, sprinkle salt on top (optional) and freeze till firm.You can adjust the sweetener to your taste. Wait to break into chunks until all the energy bite ingredients are mixed to avoid melting.

For the Energy Bites; Mix oat fiber, flax meal, protein powder, sweetener and salt together then add peanut butter and coconut oil (heated to liquid) and mix well till dough comes together, refrigerate dough for 30 minutes, cut chocolate into chunks and mix into dough. Roll into balls about walnut size bites, I got 30. Freeze on a cookie sheet then transfer to an airtight container and store in the freezer.

A couple tips... I had to use a small metal spatula to keep them in one piece coming off the cookie sheet, I also used my hands some to mix the wet ingredients into the dry.

I think next time I might add some sesame seeds and coconut because I like that crunch but this is a good basic recipe to start and then add different things to suit your taste.

Dry ingredients mixed together
Dough Mixed together and chocolate waiting to be "chunked" and added to dough
Grabby little hands couldn't wait :)

I'm linking up to Trim Healthy Tuesdays at Gwen's Nest, check out her site-
 she has loads of info in THM and lots if yummy recipes too!

Just call me stingy

I'm Dutch, so I guess that makes me a little cheap on the money side but I wonder if it has anything to do with the type of stingy I'm talking about.. I'm stingy with my compliments!!

I work with some of most wonderful people who daily and almost as soon as I walk in the door compliment me in some way, my hair, outfit, bag.. someone always likes something. What a way to start the day huh! I also have some awesome friends who tell me I'm a great Mom and laugh at me constantly (the greatest compliment in my opinion) and I know people who just give compliments out so freely and effortlessly to the store clerk, a stranger, or a waitress without even thinking about it.. it just happens! And then there is my husband, who compliments me all the time and thinks I look great in my sweats.. thanks babe :)

Its not that way for me, I'm much more likely to tell my husband that his feet smell terrible than to tell him his butt looks good even if I think it does.. I do by the way :) I've always just been more critical than complimentary. There are so many times that I see opportunities to compliment someone and I think nice thoughts, but just rarely say it! I didn't really realize this about myself until my adult life when I very much started to appreciate compliments that I got from others, it's amazing what kind words can do for you.

I want to make other people feel good about themselves, the way that they do for me. I don't want it to be all about me and how I feel! If that means telling one of my patients that I like their cat sweater even if its not something I would ever, ever wear or giving a thankful hug to my child for coloring me the 16th my little pony picture for the day then I need to do that. I don't want to become a fake person but I don't think a couple extra compliments given would hurt me at all! The extra effort is worth it to put a smile in someones face, compliments are good for the soul.

In addition to not being so great at giving compliments, I'm not the best at graciously accepting them either! If I get a compliment about my hair I usually blabber on about how it needs to be cut or colored and that I need a new style and if someone likes my shirt I'll blurt out that it was super cheap on sale and there is a small stain in the sleeve and its starting to pill.... seriously- a simple thank you and a smile would be sufficient!!

 So I guess when it comes to compliments I need to work on dishing them out and taking them! Do others struggle with this as well?

Ooohh.. I LOOOVE your cat sweater ma'am :)