A Visit from Family and Salisbury Steak

**NOTE** I tried posting this a couple of weeks ago, and it did not go through. I am hoping that it will post today! Sorry for the delay!

I hope you all enjoyed your long weekend! I know I did! My mom came to Auburn and we got to have a girl’s weekend. We did nothing but shop, eat, watch movies, shop some more, watch a few more movies… needless to say, it was a lazy, fun weekend! We had a blast! I took her to a local spot to eat named Niffer’s Place where they have awesome burgers, Cajun tots, and corn nuggets! It was delicious. She had never been there before, so she was in for a real treat. Everyone we knew was so jealous! We also went to Hobby Lobby and got new coloring books and colored pencils, so that was a lot of fun! We watched several movies, War Room, which I HIGHLY recommend. It was amazing. If you have not seen it, go and rent it tonight! It will change your life. I want my own war room now. We also watched Ted 2, which I was disappointed in. There was so much language that was just not needed, there was no nudity until the end and it was uncalled for, and there was just not a good storyline. Disappointed is an understatement. My mom had not seen Trainwrecked, so we watched that, and then Saturday night we watched The Martian. It was excellent! It was nowhere as good as the book, but are they ever? The book is hilarious. I laughed and laughed at the book. The movie was just okay as far as humor went. But overall the movie was terrific. I thought they did a good job of portraying the novel. We both loved it. I cannot wait to watch it with my dad.

Last week I made a wonderful recipe. It was for Salisbury Steak. Now, the Salisbury Steak that I usually make or have eaten in the past has been slathered in a nice yummy gravy. This recipe was more like a tomato pasta sauce. But, it was just as yummy, maybe even more so! I am so excited to share this recipe with you. I did not follow the recipe exactly as it called for, and I will let you know what I did differently, but it turned out so terrific, that I will probably do it the same next time as well. I got the recipe from Laughing Spatula and their Salisbury Steak Whole30 compliant section. So, here we go!

Salisbury Steak

1 pound ground beef – I used 85/15

1 egg

2 garlic cloves, finely minced

Salt and pepper

1 thinly sliced yellow onion

1½ cups sliced mushrooms

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup beef broth

Salt and pepper

  1. Add beef, egg, garlic, salt and pepper together in bowl and combine well.
  2. Shape into 4 patties.
    1. I had patties that I had already made beforehand. I simply cooked them without the egg in the garlic with salt and pepper. That was one change I made.
  3. Heat non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add beef patties to skillet.
  5. Cook 3-4 minutes per side until a nice crust forms.
  6. Remove patties from pan and set aside. (they will not be fully cooked but will continue to cook in sauce)
  7. Add onions and mushrooms to skillet – sauté for about 5 minutes.
    1. I used diced onions, not sliced. I actually liked them a lot better.
  8. Add tomato paste and beef broth to onion mushroom mixture.
  9. Stir until nice thick sauce forms.
  10. Season with salt and pepper.
  11. Add patties back to pan, cover and cook in sauce until cooked through. About 10 minutes.
  12. If sauce is to thin – you may uncover skillet until reduced to desired consistency.

Sadly, I do not have a picture because my photos got deleted off of my phone, but trust me… it was wonderful! This is a keeper! Have a wonderful day everyone!

~ A




Paleo Cookies? Can it be?

Last night I felt the creative juices flowing and decided to try out a new recipe. I was not craving a sweet, but I had a cookie recipe that was burning a hole in my pocket and I just had to give it a try! I found an easy Snickerdoodle recipe on the old trusty and true Pinterest that sounded simple and delicious. With fall in the air, the idea of this sweet cinnamon goodness sounded too good to be true. Paleo cookies? I heard that finding a recipe that was tasty could be difficult to do, so I approached this with a slight twinge of caution. But I forged ahead and boy am I glad that I did! The recipe came from Deliciously Organic and you can find a direct link to the recipe here. The process was simple in that you combined all the dry ingredients first along with the cashew butter and mixed together, then added the ghee, or butter, and honey until combined well. The resulting dough is slightly crumbly but sticks together well when you roll them into a ball. The recipe says it makes 12 cookies, but I guess I was being a little too stingy with my dough because I could have easily made 14 – 16 cookies. I went ahead and added more dough to the other cookies and still ended up with around 13. I then rolled the dough, as I made the balls, in the cinnamon and sugar mixture, and then placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Next time, I think I will flatten out the balls a little so they will not roll around the pan and will look a little more like the samples (even though the recipes does not call for this). I baked them in an oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes like the recipe said, but next time I will take them out at 11 minutes. I did check them at 11, and I thought they looked a little light, and then when I took them out at 12 they looked a little dark. But overall they tasted delicious and did not taste burned at all. Here are the finished results:

Snickerdoodle Dough  Snickerdoodle Ready to Bake Finished Result

Hopefully as I grow more confident and learn these new ingredients such as almond flour, coconut flour, and various sweeteners I can venture out and eventually make my own recipes. I would love to do that since I come from a long line of home cooks and sweets are our specialties, although our main dishes and sides are nothing to turn your nose at either. Thank for checking out the recipes that I find and are able to bring to light that you may be missing out on. I hope I can be your guinea pig as I explore this new Paleo world.

Oh, and little update! It is the small victories! As of today I have lost another 2 lbs. and that makes it a total of 14 in about three weeks. Let me share a little with you. And this is difficult for me to write.

In September of 2015 I weighed the most I have ever weighed in my entire life. I went in July, when I actually weighed less, and checked on weight loss surgery. Unfortunately, because I weighed below the weight limit the past two years I did not qualify until 2017. Well, that did not sit well with me. I could handle waiting until 2016, but for another entire year? No, that was just not acceptable. Many people get into the Paleo lifestyle for different reasons. Autoimmune disorders is just one reason. For me it is weight loss. Plus the added benefits such as sleeping better and other side effects. I have a lot of trouble with depression, a sleep disorder, anxiety disorder just to name a few things going on. I am on a lot of medication just to make it through the day. I pretty much take something to wake up and something to go to sleep. I am lucky in the respect that my sugar is great, my blood pressure is great, my cholesterol is perfect (the good and the bad), all lab work is good… it is just my weight that is a problem. I think a lot of the issue comes not just from eating poorly but also side effects from medication over the years. But eating the wrong way has not helped. My therapist has been suggesting the Paleo lifestyle for over a year, but I just did not feel that I could commit to it just yet. I tried Atkins and loved it, but gave it up at Christmas. This time around, however, I am going to stick with this. I am going to make my OCD work for me as my doctor said. I am going to plan meals for the holidays that I can eat and the entire family can find tasty and enjoy as well. I am hoping that I can lose the weight on my own and not need surgery. This is probably going to be a longer road, but it will be totally worth it. I hope you can be along for the ride as I take it.

~ A

Getting Started ~ Paleo? Are you sure?

So I have tried lots of diets. Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, Atkins, counting calories, you name it and I have tried it. My most successful attempts were with counting calories and Atkins. Something about being strict and ridged was easy for me, and made sense. I could not cheat my way out and eat whatever I wanted. I had to have some kind of structure, and those diets provided it for me. Now I am trying something new. After talking with several doctors, I have decided to try the Paleo plan. I do not want to call it a diet, because I want this to be a lifestyle change. I can do without bread, that is not a problem, and I can do without some of the other things called for, but cheese. Oh, cheese. You will be sorely missed. So far, I have been doing the Paleo method for a little over a week and a half and have lost about 10 lbs. I weigh in on Friday, so I will find out how much I have lost exactly. Pretty exciting! So far I have lived off of tuna, salad, bacon, eggs, hamburger in some form or another along with fruits and veggies. As you can see… I need to hit the grocery store ASAP! I did get in the mail Friday almond flour, coconut flour, palm shortening, maple sugar, cacao powder, Herbes de Provence, and maybe something else. I cannot wait to get cooking! I hope to go to Sam’s this weekend and pick up some coconut oil and a few other staples. I got a few Paleo cookbooks in the mail and I cannot wait to get started on cooking from them. I will post a review once I have made a few of the recipes found in the pages. One is a Southern cuisine cookbook, so you know I am super excited about that one. On the menu for Friday are Mini Chicken Pot Pies. These look and sound delicious and I hope they become one of my new favorite comfort foods. The recipe does not sound difficult and the picture looks gorgeous. The instructions do call for small mini pie tins or small oven safe bowls, but I plan on using one large pie plate. Look forward to some pictures soon.

I know I said I could do without bread, but tonight I am going to try a new recipe. I am going to try Jalapeno Bacon Bread from Paleo Bread Cookbook. I ordered this simple book full of bread, muffin, pancake, and waffle recipes from amazon for $6.99. It has been a great resource and has given me lots of ideas. Later, I may try the Cinnamon Rolls recipe with the cinnamon and honey glaze. That would make a yummy Saturday morning treat!

I hope with this blog I will help you find new recipes to try, hear back things you have tried as well, and offer words of encouragement. Cannot wait to share this journey with you!