our full life: week thirty

Hello Friends,

Week 30 was pretty great. I don’t have pictures of every wonderful moment, but sometimes that’s okay. It meant I was just LIVING. Enjoy!

thai night.jpg Thai for dinner. This was such a great recipe!

roasry.jpgAt a stop light admiring the shadows. My mom gave me a cross to hang in my car years ago and it’s been there ever since.

home.jpgThis is home. And I never want to leave.

luke.jpg Community and babies. ❤

birthday celebration.jpgBelieve it or not, this was someone’s birthday party! I mean 3 chandeliers…whoa.the del.jpgThe Hotel Del from below.

palm streets 2.jpgMy happy place: Coronado at sunset.

Have a great week ahead. What is one summer thing you want to do this week?

xo sarah

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resolution day recipes

Happy New Year Friends!!!

2014

Something I would love to do more of on this blog is share more of my recipes and adventures in the kitchen. Probably about 10% of what I make in my kitchen actually makes it into a post with a recipe. It’s mostly because taking pictures becomes hard for me when the lighting is wrong, my props are limited, and my hands are a mess. I know: excuses, excuses. I will make it a goal this year to do more recipe posting.

I hope sharing a review of some of my recipes can help you in the year to come.

  1. My most popular post to date: Perfect Roast Chicken.
  2. My most personally used recipe: Granola Bar Glory
  3. Best for busy weeks & tight budgets: Perfect Turkey Chili
  4. Best for healthy refreshing treat: Blueberry Green Tea Slushies
  5. Great salad for crowds: Theis Family Salad
  6. Great salad for everyday: Sweet Kale Salad
  7. When you’re in the mood for Mexican: Tacos
  8. When you’re in the mood for Italian: Cheesy Baked Penne
  9. Indulgence for your morning coffee: Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake
  10. Indulgence for your afternoon tea: Mini Lemon Tea Cakes

I hope you can make some of these recipes and enjoy them as much as our family has. Let’s start the year off on the right foot: with love and joy and delicious food!

xo sarah

roast pork sirloin & bacon rosemary potatoes

Dad is coming over for dinner tonight! I’m so excited!

In case you were wondering, I am a daddy’s girl all the way. I am so blessed by his unconditional love and support. God was so good to give him to me.

Here’s the situation: My dad is a health fanatic. No carbs. No sugar. Lots of hot sauce and jalapeño peppers on EVERYTHING (I’m not kidding).

That being said, cooking dinner for my dad can be a little difficult. He has a routine of meals he likes to eat daily and doesn’t really venture outside of that. However, I think treating him to something classic and hearty, like a roast pork, will be good for him.

And, can I just say, YUMMM! This is the perfect dish for fall and winter months. It really hits the spot. It’s also really easy to make it your own style!

Ingredients:

  • 1 2-3 pound pork sirloin tip roast
  • 4-6 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 2-4 russet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped or sliced
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves torn off
  • 1-2 Tbsp EVOO
  • Salt and pepper, or other desired seasoning

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2. Chop bacon into bite size pieces and fry bacon in a heavy bottomed skillet until crispy.

3. Chop potatoes and onions. Set aside.

4. Remove meat from package and lightly coast the roast with oil and season as desired. I just used coarse salt and black pepper. Place in a oven safe roasting dish.

5. Assemble the potatoes, onions, bacon and fresh rosemary around your roast.

6. Cook for approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.

7. Remove from oven and let rest for 3 minutes.

8. Slice across the small end of the roast in 1/8 inch slices and serve!

Here is the bacon. Beautiful, right!?

Here is my pork roast & bacon rosemary potatoes before it went in the oven. You can toss the bacon into the potatoes and underneath the roast, too. It’s a shame that we gobbled it all up before I could get a picture of the roast and veggies plated all pretty! However, I think you can get an idea from this photo that it was quite mouthwatering!

Suggestion: I like to serve this delicious roast with a side of sautéed garlic green beans and peas. I would also suggest homemade apple pie for dessert! 

Here’s hoping my dad is a fan of this “out of his regular routine” dish! Let me know if you have any questions!

xo sarah

our first camping trip {part 3: camp meal-planning made simple}

Cooking away from home can be tricky.
Cooking healthy away from home can be almost impossible!
However, I was very determined to make it happen, so I am writing today to share some of the things that worked for me when planning out the menu for our big trip!
Below, you will find a full menu with options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and (of course) dessert! These meals are simple, healthy, and delicious! What more could you ask for while camping?

I did my shopping at 3 different stores for these meals:

  • Sprouts for all produce
  • Trader Joes for meat, eggs, bread and fun snacks
  • Vons for the “just add water & shake” pancake mix and s’mores supplies.

Most of these meals are very self-explanatory and you can add your personal twist however you would like! But make sure to look for a couple helpful recipes down below too. Enjoy!

Breakfast

Day 1: Pancakes, Berries, Canadian Bacon

Day 2: Scrambled Eggs with Homemade Bacon Bits, Skillet Garlic Potatoes, Oranges

Day 3: Pancakes, Chicken Apple Sausage, Berries

Day 4: Oatmeal w/Walnuts and Cranberries, Oranges

* Each breakfast paired with a hot cup of french press coffee of course!

Breakfast made easy and delicious!

Lunch

Day 1: Trader Joes Pre-Packaged Salad or Sandwich

Day 2: Canadian Bacon Sandies, Baby Carrots

Day 3: Leftovers of anything you need to get rid of

Day 4: Lunch out!

Dinner

Day 1: Garlic Sausage & Veggie Foil Dinner

Day 2: Vegetable Soup (Made ahead of time), Rolls

Day 3: Pasta with Sautéed Mushrooms, Green Beans

Day 4: Hot Dogs, Potato Salad, Corn on the Cob

Dessert

Day 1: S’mores

Day 2: Watermelon

Day 3: Banana Boats

Day 4: Watermelon or other fun snacks

RECIPE:  Garlic Sausage & Veggie Foil Dinner

Note: Before you leave for your trip you should par-boil your potatoes until a fork can just barley poke through the surface. This will help the cooking process along while your out camping!

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 squares of 1-foot foil
  • 4 garlic chicken sausage
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4 baby potatoes – I used purple potatoes!
  • (remember: parboil at home before you leave!)
  • 4 Tbsp cold butter
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • dash of red pepper flakes
  • season with salt & pepper

Directions:

1. Make sure fire is hot and ready to cook with.

2. Chop all veggies and potatoes into bite-size chunks.

3. Slice sausage in 1/4 inch thick slices.

4. Mince or mash garlic cloves.

5. Cut butter into little cubes.

6. Lay foil squares flat on a table and place even amounts of sausage, veggies, and potatoes into each piece of foil.

7. Scatter butter, garlic, red pepper flakes, and S&P even throughout each foil square.

8. Bring opposite corners of foil square together and seal together tightly. Make sure nothing will leak or fall out and that the seal is secure.

9. Roast on campfire grill for 15 minutes. Turn every 5 minutes.

10. Enjoy a healthy and hearty campfire meal! And treat yourself a glass of bordeaux if you can!

RECIPE:  Skillet Garlic Potatoes 

Note: Before you leave for your trip you should oven-bake your potatoes. Wash each potato, rub with kosher salt, wrap in foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. This will help the cooking process along while you’re out camping!

Ingredients:

  • Cast iron skillet
  • 3-5 russet potatoes (remember: oven-baked ahead of time!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Season with salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Make sure fire is hot and ready to cook with.

2. Mince garlic cloves.

3. Slice potatoes into 1/4 inch think slices.

4. Melt butter in cast iron skillet. Add garlic shortly after.

5. Add potatoes to skillet.  Season with S&P. Turn every couple minutes.

6. Your potatoes will be done in 5-10 minutes. They will turn golden brown and the garlic will get crispy!

7. ENJOY!

RECIPE:  Vegetable Soup

Note: This soup is made entirely ahead of time at home. Bring the serving sizes you need in an airtight container to place in the cooler. The soup can be warmed in a pot over the fire and served with rolls.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of dried beans (I used black eyed peas)
  • 1 cup of red or gold potatoes, cubed
  • 2 medium leeks, rinsed well and chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 3-4 red plum tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
  • 4 cups of vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp granulated garlic
  • season with salt and pepper

Directions:

1. In a large pot, cover your beans with 6 cups of water. Cover and bring to a rolling boil.

2. Drain and rinse the beans. Return the beans to the pot and cover with 12 cups of water.

3. Add the thyme and bay leaf and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat to simmer.

4. Add potatoes, leeks, carrots, tomatoes, and broth. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

5. Add the green beans and zucchini, and cook uncovered for 20 min.

6. Add the peas and cook uncovered for 5 minutes, or until soft.

7. Stir in granulated garlic and season with S&P.

8. ENJOY!

RECIPE:  Banana Boats

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana per person
  • 1 foil square per person, measured
  • chocolate chips/square from a hershey bar
  • marshmallows

Directions:

1. Make sure fire is hot and ready to cook with.

2. Carefully cut open each banana without cutting through to the other side.

3. Stuff with chocolate and marshmallows to your liking!

4. Wrap each banana up in the foil so there is a tight seal.

5. Cook over the fire for 5 minutes. Eat with a spoon and enjoy!!

Thanks for reading, friends! I hope you enjoyed this 3 part series of our first camping trip! Please don’t hesitate to ask me about any of these menus or recipes!

xo sarah