Monthly Archives

January 2018

In Blog, Dairy Free, Dinner, Food, Recipes on
January 31, 2018

Taco Tuesday Sweet Potatoes

When I started writing this post it was Tuesday, hence the Taco Tuesday frame of mind! But it is now Wednesday. Don’t judge. In my opinion we should treat every day like its taco Tuesday though! That is the old San Antonio(n) coming out of me. In San Antonio, TX tacos are the norm. All day. Everyday. Well we don’t live in San Antonio anymore but tacos or taco inspired things are always still a good choice in my book.

As many of y’all know I ventured out on a 3 month journey of no dairy, no sugar, and no bread/wheat based pastas, etc. So taco Tuesday had to look a little different for us this month! And no, we don’t really eat tacos every Tuesday. It’s a fun idea though. This recipe incorporates a sweet potato as your “tortilla” and you stuff it TO THE BRIM with allllll the taco goodness. We are talking flavorful ground taco meat, onion, avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, and even black beans if you would like. It is a hearty and filling meal. To keep it whole 30 compliant say no to the black beans. To keep it vegan say no to the meat (duh) and simmer/season your black beans as if it was the ground beef. Here we go! 

 


Ingredients:

2-3 large sweet potatoes

1 lb ground beef

1 15 oz can of tomato sauce

2 cloves of garlic minced

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp paprika

½ tsp onion powder

¼  tsp chili powder

Small red onion

Tomato

Avocado

Cilantro

1 can black beans- optional

1 lime-optional

Instructions:

1.       Preheat oven to 425º. On a baking sheet, prick sweet potatoes all over with a fork and then wrap in foil.

2.       Bake until tender, test by poking with a fork, 40-45 minutes.

3.       While your sweet potatoes are cooking brown the ground beef and add in tomato sauce and all of the seasonings. Stir it well and allow it to simmer for at least 10 minutes to absorb all of the flavors.

4.       Chop up your onion, tomato, avocado, and cilantro.

5.       Once your potatoes are done let them cool for a few minutes, then split the tops open with a knife.

6.       Add in a hearty scoop of taco meat and top with all desired toppings. If you would like, add on black beans for extra flavor and protein and lastly squeeze a little lime juice over the top for an extra flair.

7.       Dig in! You won’t even miss the cheese, I promise!

In Food, Lunch, Recipes, Vegetarian on
January 21, 2018

Thai Peanut Kale Wraps

Heyo! It’s been a good bit since I have posted a recipe. I have been doing this “clean eating plan” that I put together from the beginning of the year and plan to do it all the way through March so I haven’t been able to be as creative because I am sticking to my meal plan 100%. Anyway, as y’all can probably guess, I love cooking and coming up with recipes to share, so I’ve missed it! I have every intention to get back to more recipe posting in coming months.

Anyway— today I have one to share with you, whoop whoop whoop! I am OBSESSED with anything Thai peanut flavored. To those who haven’t taken their taste buds in that direction, you might think adding peanut butter to things like noodles or kale or well anything except for bread or a banana is insane. Well you are right, except that it is insane-ly good! One day I thought up this recipe for these Thai Peanut Kale Wraps and I have eaten them a handful of times and they are tasty, healthy, crunchy, filling, and colorful. It is easy to just prep all the stuff and then pull it out and make them for lunch throughout the week. Best of all this tasty recipe is packed with so many veggies and they are coated with that delicious Thai peanut flavor! 


Ingredients:

Chopped kale

Red bell pepper

Carrots

Avocado

Cilantro

Cooked quinoa

Tortillas

For the sauce:

1/2 cup peanut butter (creamy works best)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

1 teaspoon minced ginger or ginger paste

1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic

Pinch red pepper flakes

1/4-1/3 cup water (add in gradually and taste to see how much you want )

Instructions:

1)      Cook your quinoa according to the package

2)      Make your sauce by combining all of the ingredients together in a magic bullet, blender, or by hand.

3)      Put chopped kale in a bowl (don’t use the hard parts of the stem) and pour the peanut sauce over the top. You judge how much you want on their but I like a lot of sauce… Most important part: MASSAGE your kale with the sauce on it for 1 minute. This helps the kale to be more enjoyable to eat.

4)      Next chop your veggies into thin strips or however you like to eat them.

5)      Add everything to a tortilla, quinoa, kale with sauce, bell pepper, carrot, avocado, and cilantro, roll up, and enjoy!

 

In Blog on
January 11, 2018

Boy meets girl or in our case Chief meets Maiden

I was in a fluffy, purple princess dress in the middle of a short, poky, bushy tree (thank you Texas hill country) being guarded by a small clan of ten year old boys. Normal, right? I see a group of tween boys running up to save me from the evil capturers guarding me and they are getting tagged out left and right; my fate was up in the air. Would I be a maiden trapped in this poky bush tree forever?! But  then I see a handsome chief running towards me avoiding those scary ten year old boys dodging left and right, weaving in and out and next thing I know he has my hand in his and we are running together to safety. Yes, this is all true. I still have a small scar from the barbed wire fence he helped me climb over. We ran hand in hand to safety, complete strangers. Funny enough, once we got to the safety road we had to walk down it together to get to where everyone else was and someone thought it would be funny to sing the wedding hymnal song and everyone else joined in (how crazy and fortuitous is this btw). Uhm.. awkward, I’m with this good looking guy holding his hand and I don’t even know his name and people are singing the wedding song..? I broke the awkwardness by saying to him “well this is awkward.” How clever of me. We shared names and high fived because most people aren’t able to win in this game.

This is the big purple dress and about 30 minutes before this whole story began.

You might be wondering what in the HECK were you doing…?! Well friends, let me mention that we were at a summer camp. I have my doubts that many people meet the love of their life amongst 100 yelling and sweaty kids but let me tell you, that’s the scenario in which I met my husband. The game was “rescue the maiden” which is basically capture the flag but with real life people (girls or guys in ridiculous costume dresses).

Let’s rewind a little bit. This was the summer of 2011. I had just finished my freshman year of college at Texas State University and what’s a better college job than to work at a summer camp? I’ll also mention, this was my beloved childhood camp that I went to every summer growing up. Camp Peniel in Marble Falls, TX. Shout out to all my CP folks reading this! I was so pumped to spend the summer counseling, being a light, learning more about myself, and playing outside like a bafoon all day everyday with my campers and fellow counselors but little did I know I would meet the love of my life.

He played it real cool, he laid low, I had no idea he had been eyeing me throughout the summer. You see, he came one week as a volunteer, I remember seeing him and thinking “who’s that handsome fella?” But I didn’t think much further into it because I found out he was 6 years older than me and he just seemed SO much more mature than me at the time (I was only 18.)

Anyway, that handsome fella, Mr. Steven Stelly, just so happened to be the “chief” who rescued me, the maiden, that fateful summer day. To be honest, nothing happened at all after that. We talked here and there, joked a little with each other, I crushed on him a little but like I mentioned earlier, I thought he was WAY too good for me. The summer went on, he kept sticking around camp even though he was only supposed to volunteer for a week.

The last day of camp came and it is always a dreaded day because you have to say goodbye to the people who have basically become your family over the span of two months. I hate goodbyes and I am totally fine dodging them to avoid the awkward “see you later” even though you know you won’t really “see” some people later. I didn’t see Steven that morning before I drove off and to be honest I probably didn’t look for him because as mentioned earlier, not a fan of goodbyes.

That night, I made it home to my parent’s house. I’m unpacking and processing through the whirlwind of an amazing summer when I get a call from an unknown number. I answered it and it was Steven… what the what?? Just calling to offer me an encouraging word. No big deal, seriously? That began the start of texting a lot over the next few weeks. He asked if I wanted to hang out once school started up again (he lived 45 mins away from where I went to school) and of course I said yes. Well this little hang out, I thought it was gonna be super casual, it started sounding more and more like a date. I’ll leave you here- this “hang out” turned into him asking if he could pick me up at 4:45 in the morning to go to a secret location. I was so giddy and excited so I said yes to this crazy request. He picked me up at 4:45am and we drove an hour somewhere in the dark and arrived to a park, still dark, and hiked up a one mile trail, still dark, to an observation deck that overlooked all of San Antonio. He brought us breakfast, we sat down and he told me he planned this so we could watch the sunrise together. Well folks, we laughed and shared stories and really the rest is history!  I love our story, I’m so thankful chief Stelly “rescued” me in the woods that fateful day. God writes pretty sweet stories, eh?

Our first picture taken together. I have no idea what prompted the sunglasses…?

This is the day we got engaged, but I put this here because this is also the observation deck where we had our first date. For those who want a visual.

*Fun fact, a year and a half later we got engaged at the park where our first date was and then way later got to celebrate Evy’s adoption there! It’s a pretty special place to us.

**another fun fact, Steven was only supposed to help out at camp for a week that summer but he tells me time and time again that he kept sticking around because he saw something in me and didn’t want to leave. OMG. Swoon.

 

 

In Adoption, Foster care, Mama, Mi Familia on
January 4, 2018

To my daughter’s birth mom

You don’t know anything about me, not even my name. But I know a lot about you.

We are the same age but oh were we dealt different hands.

It’s easy for me to be angry at you.

It is easy for me to point a finger at you and say that you harmed your babies and put them in danger.

But if I sit and think about it, it is also easy for me to lower my finger and want to hug you because the world was not kind to you.

I know I don’t know everything about you but I do know you have had a hard life.

My heart hurts for you because you are doing the only thing you know how to when it comes to coping.

I wish I could tell you that your daughter is safe, that she is healthy, thriving, and incredibly opinionated even only at 15 months old, that she loves being outside, eating , hugging her stuffed animals, seeing dogs and kitty cats, and dancing to music.

There are many times I think about reaching out to you anonymously but I just don’t know if that is a good idea or not.

I want you to know that I think of you often.

I want you to know that when Evy asks about you one day, she will know as much as she wants to and as much as is age appropriate.

I printed off a picture I found of you. It is tucked away and if Evy ever asks for it, I will give it to her.

You are not a secret.

As hard as all of this is, the fact that you got pregnant, endangered your child, and had her taken away, I am grateful. It seems twisted and unfair but the fact that despite every negative choice you made, you chose to bring a beautiful life into this world. That life is my daughter. She is going to make a difference in this world in the best way possible.

I’m sure it might anger you that your greatest heartbreak is my greatest joy.

I care about you. I want you to start making better decisions. I pray for you often. In a weird way I feel close to you.

As a foster and adoptive mom I am not in the business of taking away someone’s precious treasure. After much prayer I signed up to be a safe place, a parent to a child in need. Your child was in need, you were in need, you and I both know you were not in a place to take care of your child. So there I was. Not because I am any better than you. Life is hard and doesn’t always make sense.

You are capable of finding healing. You are worthy of love from your Creator, from your family, from those around you.

It starts with surrendering your hurts, apologizing to those you have hurt because you were hurt first, and with accepting love from others. Much easier said, than done but you can do it. I bet you are stronger than you think.

Your daughter is safe. She is healthy. She is happy.

I pray these things for you as well.