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How Do You Organize Recipes?

I don’t know about you, but I have attempted many ways when it comes to organizing recipes. I have purchased cookbooks and tagged recipes I enjoyed. I have gone the binder route, placing printed recipes and ones cut from magazines into paper protectors putting them behind the appropriate section, i.e. breakfast, poultry, desserts, and so forth. And like many I am pinning away recipes to try on Pinterest. All of these ways are good, but there is another way that I have found even better and this way is through Evernote.

Evernote is a revolutionary way to take notes on your phone, ipad, and/or computer. The process is simple. Once you create your account, you can add notebooks, notes within the notebooks, and tags to your notes. You can even add audio and pictures directly to your notes. You can share your notes with family and friends as well. I have a recipe notebook along with several other notebooks through Evernote. To my recipe notebook, I add the recipe I have created, discovered online, or found in a magazine and tag it with words such as breakfast, dinner, dessert, paleo, poultry, etc. If I have any pictures, I will add them to the note as well. If it is a recipe I have found online, I add the url to the note in case I need to refer back to it or ask the blogger or cook a question regarding the recipe.

I absolutely love organizing my recipes this way for so many recipes. Here are a few…

1. I have access to my recipes wherever I am. If I am traveling, in the grocery store, or sharing a recipe with friends, I am able to view my recipes.

2. Through the search option, I can locate recipes quickly. I don’t know about you, but I have spent too much time thumbing my way through many cookbooks searching for a recipe.

3. When someone asks me for a recipe, I can easily share it through text or email by hitting the share button.

4. I can type notes as I cook from the recipes as reminders for next time.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I still love to look through a good cookbook or cooking magazine, but once I find my go to recipes or ones I want to try, they are filed away in my Evernote recipe notebook. How do you organize your recipes? Have you tried organizing them Evernote? If you haven’t, I highly suggest you should. If you have, what are your favorite things about Evernote?

 

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Freebies

Who doesn’t like a good deal especially when it is free. There are two websites I follow to stay alerted of freebies. The first website is Smart Apps for Kids. What I love about this site is that it provides an option to receive an email when free apps are available. Most of the apps are educational and pop-up advertisement free. Some of the educational apps are linked to parent apps that provide progress of your child’s learning. The apps are not just for small children either; there are free apps for elementary and junior high age children, too. If you have children, you need to sign up for this Free App Alert. The site also offers other parent friendly information about deals, educational tips, etc.

free app

The second website I check out frequently is  A Frugal Chick. A Frugal Chick’s site is full of great deals and freebies. I like her tag line, too….”living well without going broke.” If you are wanting to try out a product, she shares ways of testing out the product for free. She also keeps you updated of the best deals at your local stores and restaurants. Her website is full of coupons and store and shopping deals. Through the website, you can sign up to receive email alerts for deals and freebies.

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Now go and enjoy some free stuff and good deals today. Happy Tip Tuesday!


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Pack It Up – Tip Tuesday

A couple of months ago, my oldest son makes the wrong comment, “You don’t let me have anything. You never get me anything.” My response…”Pack it up!” That’s right…pack up all toys, movies, electronics, etc. I was hoping to instill a simple lesson about gratitude and after three days he had learned what it was like to be without. Having his toys returned was like Christmas and the gratitude he had for his toys was on a new level. Not only did his attitude change toward all that he had, but his respect for me changed as well. He saw me stick with my plan and realized that mom meant business. Now I am not saying that he has been perfectly grateful ever since as we recently had a “pack it up” powwow. (Things are actually packed up as I am typing this blog.) My son fell back into his “I want. I know best.” fiasco; therefore, we had to go without all things again. I will say though that this “pack it up” experience was different. Based on the past time, he knew exactly what this meant.

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If you have a child like mine who might be experiencing some ungratefulness, I would like to suggest to “pack it up.” I know what you are thinking. This is easier said than done. What am I going to do with a child who does not have anything to keep him or her entertained? What do you do with a child who does not have any toys, t.v., electronics, etc.? What I did and what I would invite you to do is bring it back to the basics with a pencil and paper. Allow them to draw, write, or make cards. They can help with cleaning and cooking and the list could go on.

I am hoping that this go around my son’s attitude will shift in less than three days, but only time will tell. I do know that sometimes you have to experience the same lesson over and over again until it sticks. And I am willing to “pack it up” until gratefulness grows.

Have you ever had to “pack it up”? Do you feel like it helped your child with gratefulness? What are other ways you have taught gratefulness to your children? I would love to hear.


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One Easy Recipe – Foodie Friday

“Why have I not made this before?” This question came to mind over and over again as we sat down to eat our chicken “tacos”. I did not have to cut or dice anything. I simply opened a can and added some seasonings with chicken breasts and viola. When I mention this recipe to my friends, they all say, “I make that all the time.” And I listen wondering why have I not heard about it yet. So maybe you are like me and have been living in the dark about the simplest chicken taco recipe ever. Today I am hoping to bring at least one person into the light of this simple and easy crockpot recipe.

CROCKPOT MEXICAN CHICKEN

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 1.5 lbs. of chicken breasts
  • 1 packet of organic taco seasoning or you can make your own seasoning
  • 1 – 2 cans of rotel

Directions:

Take all ingredients and place in crockpot on low heat. Cook for about 4 hours. Take chicken out, shred and place back in the crockpot. Stir the shredded chicken in the crockpot and serve. (Yep, it is that easy!)

How do we serve this in our home? We have made paleo nachos using plantain chips instead of tortilla chips. We have also eaten these as tacos using lettuce as the taco shell. . This quick and easy Mexican dish could also be bumped up a notch as a stuffing for peppers or used in a Mexican casserole. Have you tried this recipe? How do you serve this meal in your home? Because, our family has found that whatever way you eat it, it is good.

FYI – Cinco de Mayo is just a few days a way and this recipe would be a great idea to celebrate with your family and friends.


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Couch vs. Floor – Tip Tuesday

Couch versus floor…what on earth am I writing about. What is most comfortable? Preference of sitting? Well actually neither of those questions. As a stay-at-home mom of two young boys, I have noticed the difference of the couch versus the floor from the perspective of parenting. I have always been one to sit on the floor or lie in the grass as some like my husband might say I have some hippie tendencies. Hahaha. As a parent this “hippie” characteristic has been beneficial as I have watched the difference I have interacting with the kids from the couch versus from the floor. On the couch I am met with distractions and limits such as the nearness of my phone, the t.v. remote and the ability for my kids and I to really have room to play. On the floor playtime has endless possibilities. We can toss the ball, build legos, pretend play with dinosaurs, and, of course, tackle as I believe this is an innate feature of all boys. I am not saying that if you are sitting on the couch or your recliner you are disconnected from your kids. I am saying that for me the decision to move from the couch to the floor creates undistracted face-to-face playtime. As soon as I plant myself on the floor, the boys are immediately jumping on top of me. It is as if their eyes discover my placement, there bodies say, “Let’s jump on Mom!” I step into their world when I am on the floor. If you have young ones, I would like to suggest to you to take time to move from the couch to the floor and see what you discover as your kids come rushing towards you. It is a beautiful moment when you step out of your world and into theirs. But remember, sit on the floor with caution as they could come rushing in to tackle you!


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Paleo Pizza Crust Test

Most of us have seen the many pins on Pinterest and numerous blog posts about the “perfect” paleo pizza crust. Determining which to try can almost be overwhelming. Well last year, we tried a cauliflower crust and an almond crust, but they didn’t leave us desiring to make them again. The cauliflower crust had to be eaten with a fork as it easily fell apart and the almond crust was a little to dry and the almond flavor overpowered the pizza, however, it held together.

After leaving the paleo pizza world for a while, I reentered it this week on a search for a recipe that would pass the crust test of it’s ability to be hand held and tasty. And…drumroll please…one has been discovered! We gave Detoxinista’s “The Secret to Perfect Cauliflower Pizza Crust” a try and we were well pleased. The key is definitely reducing as much of the water from the cauliflower as possible and using parchment paper or a pizza stone for baking the crust. (We used parchment paper) The recipe does call for goat cheese, which is not a part of eating a strict paleo diet. If you prefer to omit the goat cheese, you could try the vegan option. I have not tried this option, but I am sure it is delightful.

Now on to the toppings…One side was for my husband, Jason, and the other side for me. Can you guess whose side is whose?

  • We bought a rotisserie chicken from the store as the main topping for both sides of the pizza.
  • Side One – tomato, goat cheese, bacon, roasted garlic
  • Side Tw0 – goat cheese, bacon, roasted garlic, jalapeño

Paleo Pizza

There are definitely more crust recipes to try, but I could honestly stop at this one. However, due to my foodie curiosity, I definitely plan to attempt Against All Grain’s pizza crust as I have never found a recipe of hers that I did not like. Have you found a paleo pizza crust that has passed the test? Or have you escaped the traditional pizza with out-of-the-box toppings like these from Paleo Grubs ? I would love for you to share!

1 COOKIE 2 Ways – Foodie Friday

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The Laird’s do cookies, especially Liam who pretty much will destroy any cookie that comes his way. Cookies are also one of my go to desserts as they are easy to prepare when friends and family are over or at 10:00 p.m. at night when that sweet tooth comes knocking at your door. Because of this love for cookies, I definitely try to make healthier versions. I have discovered two paleo chocolate chip cookies that are pretty yum. One is based with almond flour and the other coconut flour. What made me find two recipes is that in the paleo world, almond flour is getting slammed as not being a good alternative, but with much discussion and articles, I believe almond flour is a good alternative. However, like most foods, nothing is good in excess and almond flour is the same. (Check out the discussion here for more regarding this topic.) Enough about those details, let’s get to what we all want to know…what are these recipes and which one is the best?

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (This recipe I pulled from several recipes and the cookies were delicious.)

Ingredients:

1 cup of almond flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of honey (or more if you prefer it to be sweeter)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips

Directions: Mix all ingredients together, scoop on baking sheet or parchment paper and bake at 350 F for 10-12 minutes.

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Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (This recipe is from Multiply Delicious)

Ingredients:
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil or ghee, melted (I used coconut oil)
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey (I used honey)
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup dark chocolate, chopped (80% cacao and higher)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut flour, baking soda, seat salt, and cinnamon. Add coconut oil (or ghee), maple syrup or honey, eggs, and vanilla to the bowl and using a hand mixer mix until everything is incorporated. Stir in dark chocolate chunks. If batter is too wet add about 1/2 tablespoon coconut flour into the batter.Scoop batter using a 1-inch cookie scoop placing onto the prepared cookie sheet. Make sure the cookies are about 1-inch apart because the cookies will spread slightly. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden. Allow cookies to cool until trying to remove from the cookie sheet.

THE RESULTS

Both were delicious and both are extremely easy to make. The almond flour cookies were definitely a crunchier cookie. The coconut flour cookies had a pinch of cinnamon that might have won me over. Both cookies are better eaten straight from the oven as the consistency of the cookie changes when kept for another day.

If I were you, I would just go ahead and make both. The next time you are having friends over or have this need to bake (which I do often) go for these quick, easy and healthier cookie options.

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