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mexican mondays

Such a beautiful thing. And wouldn’t you believe it because I seriously LOVE Mexican food. And now with my newfound adoration for cooking, nothing could be better than a homemade Mexican meal. (Well, not much can beat a dining experience at El Mezcal, right Kate?) 

Tonight I braved the waters and decided to try to replicate Rubio’s fish tacos. Now. I’ll go ahead and admit they tasted nothing like Rubio’s. But, they were still pretty fantastic if I do say so myself. I’m also gonna go ahead and let you know that I didn’t take any pictures because by the time I thought about it, the only bite left was a little piece of cilantro hanging out of Meg’s mouth like a cat caught red handed eating a bird. (Yes, cilantro, remember we talked about this?) But anyways, we devoured them. Hey, at least I’m honest.

On another note, I am so struggling with eating this week. Mainly because I don’t have many ingredients to choose from (it’s about time to hit the grocery store if ya know what I mean…) so it’s been mostly chips, salsa, hummus and fish. Which on the surface sounds pretty healthy, but if you truly knew the mass quantities that have been consumed you would be disgusted.

Which is why today’s Made to Crave was so encouraging. Lysa quoted her friend, Karen Ehman, in saying, “Define your week by obedience, not by a number on the scale.” So. Good. Karen went on to ask herself questions about the week behind her like, did she overeat? Did she try to exercise? Did she consciously choose food over God? If she could truly answer no to these questions then she had really been seeking God’s favor that week, and faithfully obeying Him. She goes on to say, “So, why oh why do I get tied up in a stupid number?” – For real??

I don’t own a scale. First, because I am poor and can’t afford one. And second, because I don’t want one. It makes my Weight Watchers weigh-in’s a little difficult, but I don’t want to know how much I weigh, nor do I need to. I just want to be happy with the way I look and feel. And so does God. He longs for our obedience to His voice throughout the day. As long as we are trying our best and respecting His instruction, we can’t go wrong!

Granted, I probably couldn’t answer no to most of those questions, but that’s why Grace is so amazing!! All He wants is my full attention and obedience, and everything else will fall into place. And I know I can use that thought process in other areas of my life as well. Which is super cool.

Here’s to new Mexican Monday traditions and obeying the Lord instead of idols, whatever yours may be.

So pull down your sombrero and take a siesta, because tomorrows a new day full of refreshing hope and grace.

Goodnight friends.

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almond butter

I don’t know when I decided I love cooking so much.

I should have seen it coming. Everyone in my family loves to cook. My ma, my ma’s ma, my pa, my pa’s ma, my bro… you get the point. And equally so, everyone in my family loves to eat. Good thing too, because so many delicious things were conjured up in my home growing up.

I had no idea cooking would act as some sort of a release for me. Awesome. I like immediate results. And with the exception of an 8 hour Crockpot recipe (those will be far and in between), I think cooking gives some pretty satisfying and immediate results.

Plus, who knew there was more to life than Ramen noodles and mozzarella sticks??

Like the amazing cilantro lime corn I made at midnight last night to take for lunch today? And I even got to practice self control by not eating the whole pot before bed! Or that delicioussss chicken I made the other night that will be accompanying my corn in my cute little lunch box today. Okay… I take a WalMart bag… Not very cute for a cooking girl. The chicken was a hit by the way. I know you were wondering.

Or the random willpower I got when I woke up this morning to just whip up some fresh almond butter for my toast. Never in my life (Ma, vouch for me on this) have I ever been able to do anything, much less “whip something up” before sayyy 10:30-11… I’d even say 12. It’s embarrassing. But this morning I must have sat straight up in bed craving almonds because I hadn’t even brushed my teeth before I woke up to the sound of my own food processor. GOOD morning.

At this point I thought coffee was a good idea.
I would like to bring to your attention that in the past 2 minutes while typing on my computer that is sitting on top of a cake box, which is sitting almost in the sink, I have burnt my toast to a crisp.

It looks like I’ll be eating my almond butter with a spoon. Yummy, just the way I like it.

Oh and now I’m almost late for work. Oh dear.

crepes and bbq chicken

I did it.

I used my crockpot for the first time. I know, shocking.

Here’s my thing with crockpots. How can it possibly be safe for anything to “simmer” for eight hours? It makes me so nervous. “Put all these ingredients in your crockpot, then turn up the heat, leave the house and don’t come back all day. I swear your house will still be there when you get back.”

Well I am here to report to you all that this morning I did just what they told me.

I filled my little red pot up and left the house (tempted to set up some kind of security camera or baby monitor contraption to keep an eye on it), and to my relief, it is still standing! Aaand my chicken is still not done. I also learned I need to start earlier when I am going to be using my lil crocker. At this rate I won’t be having dinner until 10.

But by the smell that has filled my home, it’s going to be worth it.

In the mean time…

I miss France…
So I gave in and made crepes. I followed a recipe I found online, but added 1 tsp. of vanilla extract, and holymeltinmymouth, I am almost positive that is exactly how Paris makes them. I may have jumped the gun on the dolloping of the Nutella. But hey, you can never have enough hazelnut goodness.

In other news, I failed to inform Bentley that today is the day we begin training for a 5k…

He won’t look at me right now.

I have had that Couch to 5k app on my phone since before Europe and was excited to get back to get started. And gosh, I am so glad I started after Europe, because I think all the walking we did there set me up for success. A little pre-workout…workout, if you will.

Anyways- I started it today and it is AMAZING. Maybe it’s because I truly did get prepared walking miles a day in London. Even if it’s not, the way it’s set up is so easy! It makes me feel like I can get it done without dry heaving 4 minutes in. Which is what would normally happen. I am not, I repeat, not a runner. But this program alternates between running and walking until your body gets used to it then slowly works up to all running.

And only once did I think of quitting. Progress my friends, progress. Bentley on the other hand, had already been playing all day and was blindsided by the extra exercise. He is still in the exact place he is in that picture. Oh wait, he just inched closer to his water bowl. Poor guy.

No more crepes.
Okay maybe on a cheat day or something like that. But I am getting back in the swing of things, and am so excited to track my progress!

If you have am iPhone you should download Couch to 5k and join me! Yay encouragement and community!

For some reason I’ve stopped to look at my fridge multiple times today.

You should take a look. Parrrticcularly up there in the top left corner. Morgan Stridde everyone. Get’s me every time.

Meg’s on her way to try out my first Crockpot recipe. Cross your fingers!

cilantro lime white bean hummus

I just had a little scuffle with my inner fat girl.

She won.

I feel like this isn’t something I should tell you in my second blog post about eating healthy… but I decided everybody makes mistakes. Plus maybe it will make you feel better about your midnight Sonic runs for mozzarella sticks. (P.S. I can’t decide if those are a temptation from the devil, or a precious gift from the Lord.) Maybe the way to a normal girl’s heart is through diamonds or flowers or whatever. But the way to my heart is with a motz stick. That’s what we call ’em at the Bento Box. It’s more fun to say. Try it. Motz stick.

But that’s not even what I caved into just now.

I was about to enter the doorway to the guest room of my parents house and suddenly what seemed like a forceful wind spun me around and shoved me back in the kitchen. Next thing I knew I was eating a bowl of ziti and a corn dog.

A CORN DOG.
I am disgusting.

In my defense, I didn’t finish the corn dog. And now I feel sick. If that makes any difference at all.

But gosh, I had been doing so good! Ma always tells me nothing good happens after midnight. I finally understand what she means.

Let’s be real. I know I’m not the only one this happens to. Right? Funny thing, because the topic for today in Made to Crave was centered around the thought of letting God down. I’ve thought about this so. many. times. when trying to get into a healthy routine. My lack of self control is not honoring him with my body. I don’t feel good about the way I look, therefore my spirit is not full of joy. My favorite thing Lysa said today was this, “When I don’t have peace physically, I don’t have peace spiritually… I need spiritual motivation to step in where my physical determination falls short.” So, so true. We may think we can keep the two areas of our life separated but we can’t! We have no choice but to give it over.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my cravings are the Lords. Well, when I say it like that I wonder why I can’t follow through more often. Hmm.

Big day tomorrow.
You’ll see.

Now go back in your kitchen and make this delicious hummus.

And yes, it’s WAY better than my last attempt.

sweet potatoes and yogurt drops

I knew this wasn’t going to go well the moment I decided I was going to do it.

Sweet Potato Hummus.

It was too good to be true. I am sure that somewhere out there, is a great, great recipe for this fabulous sounding dish… but it sure isn’t the one I stumbled upon.

Maybe it was because I forgot to roast my sweet potato before I tried to shred it in the processor, causing it to grind like chalk… Maybe.

Orrr, maybe it was that stupid online forum that said, “Oh, yeah, peanut butter is a GREAT substitute for tahini.” Either they lied on purpose or don’t have taste buds.

Or just maybe, it was because my processor is too small, so it actually wasn’t able to fit all of the ingredients needed to make this spackle, paste, hummus-thing…

I don’t think I can blame whatever this is on my lack of kitchen appliances. But in a perfect world… Well this probably wouldn’t exist there. Neither would alarm clocks.

I am obsessed with food. I think I have a problem actually. Which is why I am starting this blog. Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! I decided instead of steering clear of all food ever, I am going to stick it to the man and document my culinary adventures here.

Hoping that by the time I figure out I am using reverse psychology on myself, it will be too late. I’ll be skinny and there’s nothing I can do about it. I am calling it Operation: Flat Taylor. I may even put myself in an envelope when I’m done and travel the world by carrier pigeon.

I’ll be using two things on this journey that you may need to know about if you, sayyy, wanted to join me?

1. Weight Watchers. Hallelujah for whoever made this so simple. I’ve said in one of my previous blogs that I didn’t get it the first time around. Well there’s been an app developed since then, and maybe that’s all I needed. I’m pretty technological at times. It’s like my own personal assistant reminding me all day to track my points. And if you know anything about me, I could really use a personal assistant. Love. It.

2. Lysa TerKeurst. Well, kinda. A couple of weeks ago I decided it would be a good idea to leave my little boy at home while I ran to Kroger for who knows what, but I knew it was going to be a short trip so I didn’t bother to put him in his crate. When I came home I found little tiny shards of what may have at one point been paper, scattered across my bedroom floor. I pieced together what I could to find that my sweet Bentley had eaten, literally consumed, the whole transcript of Lysa’s book Made to Crave. Awesome. Ohh, the irony. So I told mom, and mom told Lysa, and the next thing I knew I checked the mailbox and there before my eyes laid a brand new copy! Woot! I thought that was a good enough sign. So- all that to say. I’ll be going through the Made to Crave devotional throughout this blog in hopes that it will aid you and I in becoming closer to God and healthy living!

After that hummus disaster, It’s probably best if I leave you with a treat. A healthy one duh.

I give you, Yogurt Drops.

Easy peasy.

I’m sure you all know the ole cut-a-hole-at-the-corner-of-a-ziplock-bag-for-an-instant-icing-decorator trick, but if you don’t, that’s what I used to drip little dots of yogurt on this foil covered cookie sheet.

Now, I believe you are supposed to use wax paper instead of foil, but we’ve already seen that my kitchen is anything but ready-made, so I learn to make due.

Anyways, spoon your favorite flavor of yogurt into that baggie, plop little dots all over that pan, and throw that baby in the freezer because it’s bedtime and you have to wake up early to eat ice cream for breakfast!! (Just play along, it’s all a part of the plan.) 

Word on the street is only 60 calories per whole pan of dots. I can dig it.

Bentley is running in his sleep as I type. He’s obviously excited about breakfast.

Goodnight foodies. So excited to go on this adventure together!