Eat Happy: Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers

Welcome back to our Tuesday post, where we share our experience with cooking through the best cookbook on earth: Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook, because you should be buying the book to support the author.  However, we will be telling you about our experience with the process, as well as our opinion of the outcome.  Let’s do this.

I was really excited to do this recipe.  I love cheesy anything and love working with mini peppers.  I underestimated this simple little gem though.

As usual, I had grocery shopping misadventures when preparing for this recipe.  There were NO regular bags of mini peppers left like I usually buy.  There was ONE bag of organic, which doesn’t have as many peppers but I had to just roll with it.  It left me wondering though, what in the fuck is happening mid-March that everyone needs peppers?!

After a WalMart, a Target, and a local grocery store, I still couldn’t find the specific goat cheese the recipe requires.  I had to stop in the grocery store to look up what’s so special about that cheese.  I discovered that it’s made creamy like a spread, instead of crumbled like the one I could find.  I decided to just roll with it.

The cheese was a little difficult to get into the peppers and had just as much all over my countertop, but it was fine.  They smelled absolutely DIVINE while they were cooking!

I didn’t realize until I pulled them out of the oven that I forgot fresh herbs, so I foraged around in my spice cabinet and emerged with my finest dried parsley.

Absolutely could not stop eating these and had to force myself to save 3 for Stuart to try.  100% will be making these again…soon.

Eat Happy: Cheese Biscuits

Hi there.  Welcome back! We’re doing a weekly series that publishes every Tuesday wherein we are cooking through one of our FAVE cookbooks : Eat Happy! If you missed the intro post you can click on over here to read that.

We are starting with the very first recipe and working our way all the way through to the end. We will not be sharing with you the actual recipes that we cook. We WILL be sharing our experience during the whole process and our opinion of the outcome. So thanks for stopping by…and let’s dive in to this week’s recipe shall we?

This recipe is also made to where you can make cheese straws, which are a good ole southern tradition, but I did not have time for an extra step so I went with a good ole biscuit shape.

I hate, hate, hate grating or shredding cheese but I avoid the extra fillers in most shredded cheese if I can manage taking 5 extra minutes to do it myself.  I also happened to already have block cheese and it needed to be finely shredded, so I just went for it with my hand grater.

When I got the dough ready, I was 100% convinced that it was not done correctly and I had to just roll with what I had going on.  It was much wetter than anticipated.  These bitches smelled AMAZING while cooking.  The kids were just watching the oven, waiting for them to be ready.

When they came out, I was a little confused over how flat they were, but upon looking in a Facebook group where most of the members cook from this book, I realized that wasn’t uncommon.  The most common solution seems to be to add more almond flour, which I will try next time.

And there will be a next time, like probably tomorrow… the kids woofed them down in 30 seconds and begged for more.  Easy and delicious and they will make the perfect addition to a lot of our regular meals.

Melodramatic Birthday Post – Ashley

You guys – it’s Spring. I always say this time of year (March to the beginning of May) is like another Christmas season. There are sooo many birthdays and then throw in Mother’s Day to end the whole shabang. So I’m here to finally talk about my little birthday that occurred last week…and do some rambling….hope you’re all in on this one.  😉

Ok, so… let’s talk about 32. My birthday was last week. Last Tuesday – at 10pm I officially turned thirty-two years old. Honestly, I haven’t even given the number much thought. Yeah, I definitely feel like I’ve reached the point where I wouldn’t mind being able to stop time for a little while. You know – stay young longer. I’ve noticed differences in my body and mindset due to aging. Generally though – I’m at peace with my age. So, why am I here blabbing on and one about it? Well I did want to take some time to reflect. Think about where I’ve been … and where I want to be. I’ve always been the type of person that lived more in the future. I always look forward to where I’m going, what type of person I’ll be in ‘x’ amount of months or years… And overall, I’m really happy with where I am now. In this 32 year old life of mine. 😉

I made the comment the other day that I really wish I knew as much about taking care of my body and had the confidence in myself that I do now when I was younger. I am and always have been a super quiet and shy person. I think I’ve mentioned before how I’m socially awkward…not just in person. Ask Rhonda. It even takes a lot for me to interact virtually…. BUT I’ve come such a long way. My highschool and twenty something self didn’t think much of herself much less take any extra time to take care of her mind and body.

Weight was always an issue that I struggled with. The size of my body was something that always made me feel inferior, not attractive, not worth getting to know. I think it is so great now that there are plus sized super models or just plus sized celebrities and public figures who are letting it be known that size does not determine beauty of self worth. I try to flood my social media timelines with women like this. Women who are larger than average, and who are so so confident in themselves. I try to make a conscious effort to compliment my children – not just on their physical appearance. I try to say things like “ Oh my god…you are sooooo cute… and such a sweet baby.” I encourage my son to interact with other children. When he approaches other kids at the park and they don’t want to play with him. Of course, he comes running back to me. I tell him, “That’s ok. Find someone else to play with.” I try to teach him and demonstrate to him that rejection stings but we can move on from that. I want my daughter to be confident in her body and not afraid to wear whatever she wants. I want my son to be confident in his body and to not be afraid to wear whatever the hell he wants. I don’t want them to doubt themselves. I don’t want them to be afraid to make new friends or approach new people – because they worry about the reaction they will receive.  Because I lived that way for so long. I still struggle with that. I’m working on it. And I’ll keep working on it. 😉

Over the past 3 years I’ve made major changes in the way I eat and think about food. I lost a ton of weight….gained some back during and after being pregnant with Sophie…and am now back – less those extra pounds. Rhonda introduced me to the NSNG (No Sugar No Grains) Lifestyle that was coined, preached, and demonstrated by Vinnie Tortorich. Eating clean. Cutting out the majority of the sugar and grains in my diet. Those things have made me a physically and mentally healthier person. I know that it has made me a better mom. When you cut the crap out from  your diet, you don’t have to worry so much about the amount that you eat. You don’t have to restrict yourself to teeny tiny meals in the hopes of losing a few pounds. AND you don’t just lose weight. You gain healthier hair, nails, skin, mental clarity, energy, and on and on and on. Something else really important that I gained? Confidence in myself. Confidence in my body. Confidence that does not hinge on someone else’s opinion of me. Confidence that is due to my new opinion of myself.

I can look back … ten … or even fifteen years ago – and where I am now? That’s not where I thought I’d be. But you know, I’m ok with that. I had this disillusioned idea of what I thought life should look like at 32. And for a long time – those aspirations and goals that I set when I was a teenager – the fact that I hadn’t gotten to or reached those goals used to really haunt me. It used to make me feel … like I hadn’t accomplished anything   at all. Which is complete crap. I’ve accomplished a lot. Because listen. It’s ok to change your path. It’s ok to quit something that no longer holds any meaning for you. It’s ok to change your mind. I am a better person now. I’m not perfect. I still have a lot of work to do. BUT I am thankful the place I am at. 🙂 For me, feeling accomplished is no longer about marking off big achievements or reaching momentous goals. It’s not about having a list of things that I can say “LOOK at all the things I’ve checked off!!”. For me I try to feel accomplished in my every day. I look to my future with anticipation and excitement for things to come; however, I relish the here and now. I focus on the people in my life. I think about what can I do in the next few minutes to make something happen. I want to “Be here, now.” I don’t want to look back and think…. I wish I would have enjoyed that moment more…while it was happening.

I think 32 is going to be great. I don’t wake up with any dread of what I may face that day. My family is healthy and happy…and so am I. I really like my daytime job, and I am so happy to have this little blog space that I get to share with my best friend. I am so grateful that each of you come by to check in on us…see what we have to say. 🙂 I’m excited for our future, but I’m loving this. This right here. This moment. :):)