Index of Thoughts

Monday, March 30, 2015

20 Dairy & Egg Free Meal Ideas

Well, we thought we were out of the woods with food allergies but they are back and are very apparent in my children's lives.  My oldest daughter has had a pretty strong allergy to eggs since she was little.  It's an allergy that the doctors thought she might grow out of.  We thought that she had after letting her try them a year ago but after only 2 weeks the allergy came raging back.

About a month ago, my second daughter was tested for food allergies after complaining for some time about her tummy hurting.  The results came in with a dairy and egg allergy.  I had gotten down how to cook without eggs and now adding dairy was another challenge.  I realized how much of it that we were eating including butter, cheese, yogurt, milk, sour cream, etc....

I scoured Pinterest and Google for more ideas then kept a meal diary of my own to share with you all.  I have found that the advice of others including my mother who also has a dairy and egg allergy has made it easier.  And that some vegan products are really good and others are just not worth the money.  I have been super happy with all the coconut milk products!  I also prefer to use oil or vegetable shortening instead of the vegan butter.  I just avoid vegan cheese although the vegan cream cheese isn't too bad.  I hope this might help some of you who are also not Vegan but cooking for food allergies.

-Tacos with guacamole cream
-Vegan pancakes/waffles and sausage and fruit smoothies (I like to add oats to my batter)
-Thai Coconut Veggie Stirfry over rice ( I like to use all kinds of yummy veggies)
-Hamburgers and hot dogs with salad, Vegan Mac & Cheese (used the box kind & it is pretty good) and fries 
-Baked fish with breadcrumbs/olive oil/lemon/Greek seasoning with broccoli & rice pilaf
-Bahn Mi steak sandwich, broccoli & sweet potatoe fries
-White Bean & Rosemary Soup with sourdough bread & olive oil w/balsamic
-Chicken pot pie soup (almond milk and oil to sub), toast & vegan brownies (using flax seed/almond milk)
-Greek Chicken pasta salad (we used penne and omitted the feta)
-Burgers, salad & tots
-Spaghetti and salad (vegan parmesan)
-Pork & veggie fried rice (good base recipe - omit egg) and potstickers (frozen kind are egg free)
-Mustard Glazed Pork tenderloin, green beans, roasted potatoes & salad
-Grilled Steak, rice pilaf and green salad
-Korean beef bowls (so easy and a new fave -topped ours with some shredded carrot & cabbage, cilantro, fresh jalepenos)
-Jamaican Beef Stew over rice (left out habanero)
-Chicken, broccoli & pasta skillet meal with almond milk "cheese" sauce (flour, almond milk, olive oil, oregano, garlic, basil, parsley, seasoned salt, nutritional yeast)
-Chili with corn chips (so many yummy chilis to make - we love it with sweet potato in ours)

So there you go!  As you can see that a lot of Thai/Korean meals are super easy on a dairy/egg free diet.  Bon Appetit!

Monday, March 9, 2015

For the Love of Women

Yesterday was International Women's Day.  It was a day to remember and honor all the women who have paved the way for us and who still are.  As a tribute to all wonderful ladies who are all bad asses, I thought I would share some images that help me feel strong, empowered, confident, beautiful, fierce and compassionate.  You must invoke all of these things to truly change the world.  I believe the women of the world will create a better future for us all.  We must raise our girls and our boys to love and to have tolerance.

-To respect nature
Charlotte Caron
-To Triumph Over Your Fears

-To love and honor our children

-To Feel Wild and Free
Savannah London
-To Cherish our Family and Elders
Michael Sanders

-To think that you are Beautiful and Overcome Tragedies
Josie Earp
-To be a Bad Ass who takes care of business and a Graceful Lady at the same time
Kelly Reemsten
-To have Deep Connections with other Inspiring Women
Laura Carginan
-To Serve Others
-To have a Strong Spiritual Connection with Another and To Be Silly
-To be Fierce when needed but not to loose your softness
-To Be Happy and Laugh as much as possible

Monday, February 16, 2015

Easy Soul Food Recipes - Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole and Mexi-Skillet Dish

Lately, I have been cooking to feed my soul.  I've made super simple meals that are yummy, creamy, one dish and EASY.  I thought I'd share some of the great recipes that I have used and the ways that I have tweaked the recipes to my liking.  I hardly ever follow a recipe exactly. I see them as mere suggestions.  Then, I can just tailor it to what I have available in my kitchen.  You can do the same!

I made this chicken crescent roll casserole the other night and every one of us cleaned our plates.  I thought my kids were actually going to lick their plates!  I went ahead and made two of these casseroles so I could freeze one.  I am so glad that I did.  I like to freeze recipes like this because it is so helpful on those days that you just don't have time or you don't want to make time.  I also love being able to offer up one of my freezer meals to someone else who might need it.

Photo credit Dine & Dish

I made a variation of Kittencal's Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole. But it was my inspiration that I found on Pinterest.

Chicken Crescent Roll Casserole

2 cans crescent rolls
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken breasts
2 cups Homemade Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (I added celery, carrots and peas to mine)
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese

I oiled a casserole dish about the size of the one above.  I laid out the crescent roll strips with the small part hanging over the sides of the dish and overlapping the rolls on the bottom of the dish quite a bit.  I didn't do individual bundles like above.  I did one big roll.  I felt like it was too hard to do them separately but you can try it that way too.  Then I spread the chicken on top, then topped with the cheese.  I folded the rolls over the top. Then poured my cream of chicken soup all over the top.  All the seasoning and spice is in the soup mixture.  I made my soup a little less thick so it would cover nicely instead of being so thick.  I also added veggies to my soup mix too.  Then Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes.

This next dish is one that I make a lot.  I love a good one dish meal.  I hate having a lot of dirty dishes and I am always up for Mexican food.  I love my hot sauce!! It's a flexible recipe that allows for all kinds of substitutions.  My kids dig it too!

Photo credit

Mexi-Skillet Dish

1 lb meat of choice - chicken, pork, ground beef, turkey, tofu
1 can beans rinsed - black or pinto
1 can Rotel (tomatoes w/chiles)
1 chopped small onion
1 cup cooked grains - quinoa or rice
1 T olive oil
1 cup grated cheese of choice - colby, queso fresco, cheddar, monterey
Sour Cream, Sliced Avocados, Hot Sauce, Chips, Tortillas

Saute onion in olive oil.  Add meat until browned.  Add beans, rotel, grain and heat up.  Then top the skillet with cheese.  Place in heated oven to melt the cheese.  Serve with condiment of choice and either chips and/or tortillas.  So yummy and good!
*You could cook the grain in with the skillet but mine always ends up mushy.  I like to make this dish when I have leftover rice from the night before.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Southern Style Baby Shower

All ladies end up hosting one if not many showers in her lifetime.  I have had the honor to throw quite a few for my loved ones as well as catering some when I used to be a caterer.

Sometimes, hosting a shower without a couple of ladies can be a little overwhelming.

My advice is always to:

  1. Keep it simple. Less is Always more.
  2. Do as much ahead as possible.
  3. Delegate. (put your kids to work if you have them)

Since our family has been uprooted from the South to Colorado, there are some traditions that we miss.  So, my sister-in-law decided that she would like to have a Southern Style Baby Shower to remind us of all the love and goodness that we miss from Georgia.

I decided to do evite invitations to make it easier on myself.  Although that is kinda Not very Southern Style.  Oh well, you can't do it all.

Me and my beautiful sister in law

For favors I did little bottles of Tabasco with Monogrammed initial tags.  If it's not monogrammed then it's not Southern.  I had two bottles of Moonshine - one for my mom who let us have the shower at her house and one for the winner of our fun game.  I made up a Southern Sayings Trivia Game.  I typed up 20 different Southern Sayings and left out a word to see if these Colorado-ians could complete the saying.  For example - He's living in high _______.  (answer: cotton).

For Drinks, I made Coffee Punch which is a must have at any shower in the South.  It's super easy too.  1 Gallon of Vanilla Ice Cream, 2 pots of coffee, 1 tub of cool whip and a dusting of cocoa powder.  Pour room temperature coffee over ice cream.  Top with cool whip then dust with cocoa powder.

We also had Orange Juice and Grapefruit Juice with Champagne.

For the Food, I did a Buttermilk Biscuit Bar with honey ham slices, sausage gravy and honey/butter/peach preserve.  We had a fresh fruit salad (don't do the frozen kind - that's so yucky).  I made Paula Deen's Grits Casserole.  I printed out a menu, used disposable wares and had a pretty fresh floral centerpiece that also had a monogrammed initial medallion in the center.  

My mama making the biscuits

After letting our tummies settled, I brought out the Monogrammed Vanilla Bean Cupcakes which is the mama-to-be's favorite flavor.  A dear friend of ours made these for her.  Aren't they awesome!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Get the Look...{Shhh...there's wine in here}

Shhh....There's wine in here!

Shhh....There's wine in here! by krista-allmond-montalvo featuring Simone Perele

A night-in all by myself is rare occasion in my household.  But when I get one or a night at home alone with my man,  I love a sexy, comfy look.  Throw on that old band t-shirt or one of his button down shirts.  My lingerie pick is the soft cup Caressence bra (non-underwire) and boy short which are infused with aloe vera making them oh so soft!

Grab your bottle of wine.  I like to drink mine in a coffee mug and a good Chick Flick!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Throwback and A Free Tote

It's been four years since I started Marmie.  It has transformed along with me doing all types of different creative things.  Marmie has been my very own from the beginning.  It was a creative outlet for me and a way to connect with lots of other great women.  This journey helped me in discovering lingerie that fits well, is beautiful and is comfortable.  It's also a way of self-care and a way to boost your confidence.  It was a perfect fit for me to bring this experience to other women.

I love giving hostess gifts as a thank you for gathering your tribe of women together and all the work it takes to organize a party.  Last year I gave Sofia Champagne.  My Fave!!

This year I decided to do a little tribute to the beginning of Marmie during a time that I made purses and was struggling with centering my life and building my confidence.  I have always had a love for the French culture and all things classy and vintage.  The slipper chair was my first logo.  

I have NEW Marmie tote bags that were handcrafted and custom made just for YOU when you book a Lingerie Party with Marmie.  It's the perfect, classy tote to use at the gym, pool, grocery store, a night stay over or a catch all bag.  It's also available for sale for $16 each.

I am so looking forward to the new year and meeting so many new, beautiful faces!  I am also excited to add a couple of new lines this year in order to fit all the perfect shapes and sizes.  You are all so beautiful and perfect and there is a line out there that will fit you like a glove.  

I always tell the ladies that I fit "If it's not a Hell Yeah, then it's a No!"  

Book a Lingerie Party and find out how the perfect fitting bra and undies will add that extra pep in your step!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sometimes you just need to Hibernate

I've been wanting to write for some time but every draft that I have written I haven't published.  It seems my dragon (aka my anger) unleashes itself when I write so I have just stuck to journaling for myself the last few months.  I am going to try another go at it today because I have talked to so many others lately that have also been feeling similar to me.  2014 wasn't the best year for my family.  We had a great loss and a lot of transitions in many different forms.  I've also encountered so much negativity on social media and just having to deal with people in general hasn't been on the fun list.

It's hard to embrace the crap when you are thigh high in it.  It's also hard to see the good that will or has come from it when you're in it.

I've also been feeling like I don't want to put myself out there as much as I did before now that I have started a new business.  I have an image that I am supposed to represent but I also want to be who I am and what is real.  It's a slippery slope for sure.  I've never been really good at censoring myself.

My best friend offered me some great advice.
  "Sometimes you just need to hibernate."

It's so true and is what I have been feeling during this winter time.  I just feel like gathering my family and a couple of friends who are family and hunkering down in our "cabin in the woods" for the winter.  Have you also been feeling less social, less energetic, just less?  I think it's a great thing to withdraw sometimes especially for me.  I love putting myself out there but it catches up with me and I need to fill my cup back up.

I had a long list of New Year's Resolutions for 2015.  A lot of things that I wanted to do more of and things that I wanted to do less of.  But my friend, Kate stated it perfectly in her very wise words.  "Be more present in my own life."  That pretty much sums it up into the perfect resolution.

How can you be more present in your own life?  What does that look like to you?

For me just to name a few:

-It's less time on my phone/computer, less time worrying about other people, less time thinking about things that I have no control over, less time drinking, less time wasting time, and less time "poking at things".  My mom has told me that I "poke at things" and I need to let things play out or give them space.  

-It's more time playing with my kids, more time exercising, more time taking care of myself, more time eating breakfast, more time reading, more time thinking about my blessings, more time outside, more time accepting the what is, more time connecting with my new community, more time focusing on grounding myself, and more time writing just for me.

So, we all probably have the same goals and we all want to do them.  It's the HOW, right?  How do you do it especially when life gives you curve balls?

Eckhart Tolle says - You suffer enough and then you just do it.  Just like that!  And maybe the dark times are still good for you just like the good times are.  I think it's the yin and yang of life.  We just have to experience it all and try to embrace even the crappy parts.  And maybe embracing the crappy parts may piss you off and you need to break something.  I think that's all good too!

So, here's to a great new year to embrace and love it all.  And to go into it with the darkness of the past and be glad for it because it is BIG motivator to "be more present in my own life."


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