The Comfort of Home

Well, I’m back.  I can’t say, “and better than ever.”  It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, or actually a crazy month, here in the Longoria household.  We returned from a monster road trip to AZ on January 2nd, finally got all settled in and reacclimated, only to head back out to AZ on January 11th.  We got a call on the 9th that Tim’s mom passed away unexpectedly, so we went down for a week to be with Tim’s brothers and their families and to help with all the arrangements.  We flew back home on the 17th.  We spent the weekend unpacking, cleaning up, spending time with my parents, and getting prepared for really going back to work.

The first week back to “normal” was anything but relaxing.  I caught up on the 3 programming classes I missed whilst in AZ, only to discover that I was in WAY over my head.  The first homework assignment almost had me in tears.  I’m not usually super emotional, but a week away from home handling stressful business had worn away my protective layer.  So I ended up dropping the class, which was hard on my ego and pocketbook, but relieving to my shoulders and mental state.  I also discovered I completed my benefits form incorrectly, so I have to spend $1500 on vision and dental in 2014.  I think I’m going to get all 4 front teeth capped with gold.  Or maybe I’ll get lasik.  Who knows??  Anyway, it was a stressful week.

But today starts a new week, and I have faith it’s going to be a good week.  It culminates in my birthday, so how could it be bad??  I’m trying to figure out what to do for my birthday.  I get a day off for it, and I’m trying to decide if I want to spend it with people or spend it just doing whatever the heck I want to do for a whole day.  The latter would probably mean watching Pride & Prejudice for the 33rd time, eating a pan of paleo cupcakes, and trying to resist the urge to get my nails shellaced and my hair dyed red.  I’m *trying* to be more fiscally responsible.  I guess I have 4 days to figure it all out.

In the vein of getting back to normal, we did a lot of grocery shopping this weekend, so we are fully stocked with healthy food.  The past month has been hell on my digestion (and energy), so I’m looking forward to getting back on track.

I tried a new recipe yesterday – Beef Stew.  I tried this recipe.  Wow.  That really says it all.  This turned out SO fantastic.  I followed the recipe except for I subbed a large sweet potato for the turnips, I used dried thyme instead of fresh, and I used button mushrooms instead of cremini.  Nom Nom wasn’t lying when she said this recipe is a lot of work. I swear I was chopping and sauteeing for 2 hours yesterday!  But the result was fabulous.  The sweet potatoes disappeared into the sauce, making it sweet, and the meat was ever so tender.  This recipe is  definitely a keeper.

It being winter, and me missing the AZ sun and all, led me to crave pancakes today. I have yet to find a paleo pancake recipe that I love, so I searched around and found this one.  The flavor was excellent!  Like all paleo pancakes, I struggled with getting the inside cooked while not burning the outside.  I powered through though, and we ended up with edible, tasty cakes.  I might experiment with baking them next time.  I just get so pissed when they won’t flip.  Dammit.

I tried a couple of new recipes last week too but didn’t get around to writing about them.

Crispy Coconut Kale:  I absolutely love coconut milk.  I love to put it in my coffee, but often I will open a can to use in coffee and not use most of it before it congeals and goes bad. This time I was smart and found a couple of recipes that use coconut milk before I cracked the can open.  This recipe turned out amazingly delicious.  I will definitely make this again.  I used the rest of the coconut milk in these cupcakes, which Tim and I ate up in 2 days.  That’s why I REALLY want a paleo bakery in Dport.  I want to spend $3.00 to get ONE cupcake instead of spending $3.00 to make 12 paleo cupcakes and then eating them all.  I can’t be the only one.  If no one else is going to do this, I’m going to have to quit my job and launch HloDeCello’s Paleo Bakery!  So help me!

Silky-Smooth Chicken Liver Pate:  Hmm.  I do like the taste of liver.  I do.  But pates just go so much better with something crunchy.  I tried to eat this with carrots, and it just wasn’t that fantastic.  I made almost 2 pounds of it, so I need to figure out a good way to eat it.  Tim had the brilliant idea of making hardboiled eggs and mixing the pate with the yolks for the centers.  I may just try that.  This pate had a whole stick of grassfed butter in it, so I  HAVE to use it.  Plus it created a ton of disgusting dishes that Tim bravely washed for me.  Oxidized chicken liver is pretty hideous.

This week I kind of lazed out and didn’t plan any meals.  I did make a list of all the food in the fridge and freezer, however, so at least we can quickly plan a meal with a quick glance. I see lots of sauteed veggies and scrambles in our future.  But that’s alright.  I’m just so glad to be home and eating our own food again.  I’m sick of eating out.  At least for awhile.

I hope your 2014 is off to a better start than ours!  Take care, and I’ll write again soon.

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