Eat Happy: Prosciutto Wrapped Peaches & Cheese Crisps

Welcome to our second post in the Eat Happy cook-through series!  Last week Ashley cooked some yummy stuff and I was excited for my recipes to be extremely simple on a week that I was busy and sick….

Then I got started.

First I did Cheese Crisps, since they are my 12-year-old’s longtime favorite snack and he was wanting to eat crap.  They are also quick and easy and I was going to use the microwave method while working on cooking their dinner.  Easy.

Eating cheese while it cooks is always necessary.

I made them into a large disc that I broke into fourths, but also made a few smaller round ones.

After I had their dinner made, I moved onto the peaches.  I knew going in that I don’t like peaches OR prosciutto, but Stuart likes both and I figured it would be good for me to try something new.  The recipe was very straightforward.  What could possibly go wrong?

 

I got out all of my ingredients and tools and well… it was a pain in the ass.  My peaches weren’t ripe enough, so they were hard to peel AND hard to remove the pit.  Once I got them sliced, I thought the hard part was over.  I mean, what’s so hard about wrapping peaches in a thin slice of meat right?  HAHAHAHAHA.

FML.

The prosciutto was hard to handle without it tearing, yet wanted to stick to my hands as I tried to wrap it.  So annoying.  I have never been so frustrated trying to make something so simple.

When it was done, I  tried one and passed the rest to Stuart and Claudia.  Cause, yep, still don’t like peaches OR prosciutto.  Stuart raved about them too, so if you’re into those couple of things, GO for it!

Introduction to Eat Happy Cook Thru Series

Hey there! And happy Tuesday! We are incredibly glad to see you here at our happy place…this little corner of the internet that we call home. What are we doing around here today? Well, today we are introducing a new series that is going to be a regular Tuesday thing for….well…for a long time. Why? Well, we are cooking through one of our FAVORITE cook books…that has like 200 recipes…sooo dats a lot of Tuesdays! It’s going to be fun though!

Eat Happy is the cookbook in question. It was written by Anna Vocino and published in October of 2016. We know who Anna is because we both follow a way of eating called NSNG (no sugars no grains). Anna is close friends with and co hosts a podcast with the man who coined the phrase NSNG and started the revolution that is this way of eating, Vinnie Tortorich.

We could both literally write several blog posts detailing exactly what NSNG is, how we follow it on a daily basis, the million ways it has changed our lives and health for the better, BUT for now we’re going to give you the quick and short version. 😉 I mean, if you want to hear more please leave us a comment or drop an email or tune in to our Wine Wednesday Live Chats on our Facebook page…because NSNG has been a hot topic over there lately!

In short, eating NSNG means that you cut out all sugars and grains from your diet. The grain part is pretty easy for most people to understand and comprehend. Grains are obviously present in bread products and also things like rice. “Grains are peasant food.” – to quote a mutual friend of ours. They are filler foods that are not necessary to your survival and honestly don’t do anything to make you feel or function better on a daily basis. Wheat Belly is a great book to read if you are curious about the negative impact grains have on you. Sugars though? Most of us are running around as little sugar addicts and we are completely unaware.  And yes, obviously we are talking about cutting out sweets. Clearly, eating several cookies is not going to be good for you because there is obviously sugar involved in the process of making them. However, there are sugars hiding out in almost every form of processed food. We are talking SAVORY processed foods. Do you put prepared season packets in your food? There’s typically sugar added to those. Do you have a favorite salad dressing from the grocery store that you love to slather all over your leafy green salad? There’s likely sugar in that dressing. Do you crave a ready to go red sauce that is conveniently sold in a jar at your local supermarket? There’s added sugar in that. We could literally go on and on and on. Added and UNNECESSARY sugar is just sprinkled and dumped into processed foods like it’s the answer to everlasting life. But it isn’t. Sugar is an addictive killer. And all those sugar substitutes? The ones that companies use in order to put that “sugar free” label on their product. They’re still sugar. They taste like sugar. They act like sugar. The affect your body like sugar. And they will hurt you … just like ANY form of sugar will.

What does eating this way do for you? What has it done for us? We both feel so much better. We have more energy. We are able to ward of sickness more often than not. We don’t suffer from brain fog. We can control things like frequent migraines or headaches. We are able to truly taste things and appreciate the flavor of “just real food”. Our digestive systems function so much better than before. We’ve both lost a ton of weight. We are more happy with ourselves. We are no longer slaves to food. We can eat delicious food … as much of it as we like… without negative side effects.

Eat Happy has been an amazing resource for us to find new meals to prepare – and every single recipe in Eat Happy is void of sugars and grains. We just love it. We’ve cooked so many things from it. However, there are still a ton of recipes that we haven’t gotten to try yet! So, we thought a fun project would be to spend some time cooking all the way through the book…and to share that experience with you guys!

We are going to start with the very first recipe and plow through each one while alternating between the two of us. We won’t be sharing or posting the actual recipe on the blog, because we believe that you should purchase the book…but what we are going to share is our experience while making the meal – and introduce you to some meals that are super healthy and incredibly delicious!

Week In Review: Rhonda

Hey hey, and welcome back to a glimpse into my week.  Life has been a doozy lately with Claudia going through a phase of wanting all my attention, all the time.  I have tried to just embrace this phase of life and be thankful that I have the opportunity to watch her grow and learn and become a little lady.  Shit, it’s a challenge though.

She has been wild, dabbing and ridding her tricycle and playing Little Mama.

We did a lot of fun school lessons this week, learning about Arizona.  The kids love this state project we are working on.  Previously, they couldn’t really see past Texas or Mississippi.

Harper is absolutely obsessed with cooking and baking, so I have started to let go of a little control and let him in my beloved kitchen, mostly with free reign.  He decided to do cupcakes this week and they were delicious!  The cleanup wasn’t so fun though.

Quentin and Claudia helped me make my first roasted chicken (come back tomorrow for more about that experience) on Friday.  Then Saturday, we went to tour a possible wedding venue (now marked off the list).  In the evening, our friends came over to have drinks and dinner with us.  We had so much fun.  Lots of laughter.

On Sunday, the weather was sunny and perfect and Claudia wanted to play outside.  So we played in the driveway and ended up rolling out mats to lie down and soak up the sun.  After nap time, we went to a holiday parade.  We were so freaking late and parked a couple of miles away.  We were too late to get a good spot for viewing.  Quentin and Claudia took turns on Stuart’s shoulders.  I held Claudia on mine a little, but it was hurting with her dancing on my shoulders.  She’s a mess.  We enjoyed getting into the spirit of the season for sure!

Now onto Thanksgiving!  I can’t wait to have a good and hearty meal on Thursday and enjoy a long weekend together as a family.  AND PUT UP MY TREEEEEES!

How was your week?  Are you in total holiday mode yet?

Easy Homemade Cold Brew Coffee

Hello coffee lovers! You guys know that I love love love coffee. I particularly love a good trip to Starbucks. Cold coffee is my fave. Well. I like all my drinks cold. But yeah I love a good cold brew with cream or just regular iced coffee. Even though I do live for my daily trips to Starbucks, sometimes I crave my homemade cold brew…or sometimes my bank account is craving my homemade cold brew. 😉 Either way, I wanted to share with you guys how easy and inexpensive it is to make your own cold brew coffee at home!

Step One: Gather the necessary tools and ingredients

  • Large bowl – one with a spout is preferable
  • Tablespoon Measure
  • Bag of coffee grounds
  • Measuring cup that holds up to at least 6 fl oz
  • Coffee filters
  • Mesh strainer
  • Water
  • Pitcher with Lid

Step Two: Combine the coffee grounds and water

I use the tablespoon measure to scoop out the desired amount of coffee. I typically put 15 tablespoons in my bowl. This may seem like a lot, but just remember that your cold brew coffee could last you an entire week. So, after I put my 15 tbs of coffee grounds in the bowl I add the water. I put 6 oz of water per tablespoon of coffee grounds used. In this case, I used 90 oz of water. No stirring is necessary. If you were wondering. Also, I just use water from the tap. No fancy water needed! 😉

 

Step Three: Cover the bowl and refrigerate

I don’t have a lid for for my bowl which isn’t a big deal…I just cover it with tin foil. Anyway, I cover the bowl and stick it in the fridge for at least 12 hours. So set it and forget it!

Step Four: Strain the coffee grounds

After my coffee has brewed for at least 12 hours in the fridge,  I strain the coffee grounds from the liquid. This is the most time consuming part of the process, but it is totally worth it. I place my small mesh strainer over the top of the pitcher and place a coffee filter inside the strainer. Then…I pour the coffee through the filter. I usually will fill up a filter, let the coffee drain through, and then replace that filter before pouring more coffee. It’s not necessary to replace the filter after each pour, but I think using fresh filters for each pour makes the process go faster. That could be in my mind though. 😉

Now, beyond the actual process…just some tidbits about cold brew for you guys. Cold brew is not the same as iced coffee. In most cases iced coffee is literally hot coffee that has been poured over or into ice to cool it down. Sometimes iced coffee is a concoction made from using a dissolving instant coffee powder in cold water.  

Cold brew coffee depends on time rather than heat to extract the coffee’s oils, sugar, and caffeine from medium to coarse ground coffee. Cold brew coffee is also typically smoother and less bitter than heat brewed coffee AND more caffeine rich which is all a plus plus plus!  🙂

And there you have it! Easy peasy. Now you’ll have fresh made cold brew right at your fingertips in the comfort of your own fridge! Anddd if you need some of the supplies or ingredients I used click here for a curated list!

Buzzin’ Without the Belly – Low Carb Cocktails

Eating low carb is a lifestyle that Ashley and I have both lived for years.  Sure, we indulge in some chips and salsa and Chili’s margarita from time to time, but for the most part, we keep it clean.  Specifically, we follow the No Sugar No Grains lifestyle, which ends up being very low carb.

For years, I didn’t count my alcoholic beverages.  Those were my choice indulgences.  However, once I realized how much a weekly beer and a nightly glass of wine were hindering my weight loss and keeping my belly bloated, I knew I had to make some changes.  I decided to try vodka soda with lime as my go-to drink because it would be easy to make at home and order at any bar or restaurant.  That is still my standby drink, but I have made a few more flavorful drinks, along with some old favorites, to mix it up.

Today I bring to you my favorites, whether or not you eat well.

*It’s important to note that I drink Tito’s exclusively.  It’s delicious and made in Texas.  If you choose to go a cheaper route, you will feel the cheapness of it later.  Ouch.

You don’t have to choose the LaCroix brand.  They are just super fizzy, which I love.  I also buy the Simply Balanced Target store brand.  I wish bars and restaurants would carry flavored sparkling!

You have to actually like tequila to drink this margarita.  A lot of people like restaurant margaritas, but don’t actually like tequila.  Without all the sugary mixes, you will taste tequila.  My preferred brand is Milagro, but whatever you do, choose 100% agave.  It should be clear.  You don’t have a lot of control over this in a lot of bars, though.  Just go with it.  I like my rim salted.  That’s a personal choice.

There you have it, my favorite refreshing cocktails for summer!  Now get out there and mix one up this weekend!

 

Mimosa Me

Anyone who knows me knows I love a good mimosa.  What they may not realize is that I do not follow a simple bubbly + OJ combination.  Au Contraire.

Probably thirteen years ago, I didn’t have enough bubbly to make a mimosa, so I dug into my post-party freezer and pulled out some whipped cream flavored vodka.  I used it to substitute some of the bubbly.  I topped it off with OJ, and well, it was fucking magic.  On that Sunday hungover morning, I drank a fizzy creamsicle beverage like it was heaven’s clouds.

I never looked back and when I started visiting Stuart, we started our courtship with a proper hipster restaurant (Bolsa) brunch.  Then we we were going make mimosas at home the next time I came and so I told him my recipe.  He immediately loved it and we have had it every non-Bolsa weekend morning since.

One day, my friend Chrissy flew out to go to a concert with me.  Stuart made us brunch with mimosas her last morning here and after barely two she said, “Whew, I’ve never felt drunk off a couple of mimosas.”  We looked at each other and laughed.  “These aren’t regular mimosas. They have vodka.”

So, here is a guide to make the perfect SPECIAL mimosa.  Some of you will only be able to drink one.  Some of you will be able to drink 5 and I fucking salute you.  Come drink with us.

So, there’s not a recipe.  I mean, FFS, it’s a damn cocktail.  I don’t even measure out recipes that have specific measurements.  I’m never going to be that person.  So, my lovely fiance and bartender took pictures to show the approximate amounts he uses, and in what order.

First, you put in whipped vodka.  We use the Pinnacle brand.  I am sure there are other cream flavored ones.  Smirnoff vanilla works too. (Bae mistakenly bought cake vodka and HOLY FROSTING.  Don’t do that.  It’s too much.)

Second, add in some bubbly.   We use Cook’s or Andre most of the time.  It’s cheap and when mixed in with other stuff, you don’t know the difference.  Cook’s has the highest alcohol content.  So, you already know we get that most of the time.

At this point you should be 3/4 way to the rim.  Pour in your orange juice.  I don’t even bother with anything other than Simply Orange without pulp.

What? 3/4 of the glass is alcohol?? Yes. Yes, it is.

Get yo’ buzz on.

The next cocktail info I give you will be for how I make the perfect ZERO CARB vodka soda.

Drink up.