Saturday, May 6, 2017

Italian Meatballs with Oven Roasted Broccoli and Tomato Coconut Sauce

It's day 6 of my 21 day Primal challenge. One thing I know about myself is that I need to make my food interesting and varied or there's no way I'll stay the course. I also really enjoy cooking and don't mind spending a lot of time in the kitchen. A few days ago I made the delicious meal you see above. I wanted to get the recipe down so I wouldn't forget about it. 

I should say that this isn't a real recipe but just me throwing some things together.

Italian Meatballs with Tomato Coconut Sauce

1 lb pasture raised ground pork
1 lb pasture raised ground beef
1/2 onion minced as fine as you can get it
2 cloves garlic minced fine
1 TBSPish Italian Seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
fat of choice
1 can coconut milk
1 large fresh tomato peeled and chopped
fresh sage, julienned
2 cloves garlic sliced 

To make the meatballs, put first 6 ingredients into a bowl and smoosh together with your hands until everything is mixed well. Roll into your desired size meatballs. I like mine on the smaller size so they cook faster and you can eat more of them! You can cook these either by baking them or frying them in oil or bacon fat. Bacon fat makes them a little bit yummier.

While you are cooking the meatballs, heat your fat of choice in a skillet and saute' the garlic slices for a few minutes. Add in the chopped tomato and saute' until the tomato turns into pulp and the juices are mostly evaporated. Add in the coconut milk and bring to a low boil. Continue cooking until the sauce reduces to your preferred state. Add the sage and cook for one or two minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the sauce over the meatballs and roasted broccoli (recipe to follow).

Roasted Broccoli

1 head broccoli cut into florets
olive oil 
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400F. Spread broccoli florets evenly on rimmed baking sheet. drizzle with oil and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until starting to brown on the top. I actually didn't time how long this took but I'm thinking around 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your florets. 

I hope you enjoy! I know we did. Next time I will make more broccoli but I just used what I had in the fridge for this recipe. If you've never had oven roasted broccoli you are in for a treat!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Having Fun

It's day four of my 21 day Primal Challenge. One of the Primal rules that I think is so wonderful is play.  I love this idea! So last night I went with a group of friends country line dancing! We were all novices and went on 'beginner night.' It was so much fun. It was also challenging (more to my brain than my body). We also met some of the nicest people ever. Everyone was really encouraging and helpful and friendly. I can't remember the last time I was in that kind of environment. 

It made me think about how I act around people I don't know very well and how I can be more encouraging and inclusive. 

So, by taking the rule of play seriously, I not only got some exercise, had some great socialization with some friends but also was able to take a little look inside myself for some (hopefully) positive changes.

Next up for fun I'm thinking of rock climbing!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Monday. The start of a new week and day 1 of my 21 day Primal Blueprint challenge. My day started with a disappointment that may lead to another change in my life. I don't really want to delve into it but it's made me take a good look at where I'm going and what I'm doing. It's a step back and peer closer kind of thing.

One of the Primal rules of living is to move around a lot at a slow pace. What that means for me is taking long walks, bike rides and hiking. These are exercises that I've always loved. So today, while I was needing to spend a lot of time in deep thought, taking a long walk was the perfect opportunity to do just that.

How will this situation all work out? Who knows. There's a lot to think about. In the end it will all be fine and will certainly give me an opportunity to grow in one way or another.

So for now, I'll just keep on thinking and finding more ways to move around a lot....slowly. Gardening anyone?

Sunday, April 30, 2017


I used to be such an avid blogger. I think social media has ruined the blog. So many wonderful blogs that used to inspire me have fallen by the wayside. They are replaced by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like. Yet, I find something is missing from these platforms. 


There's no going back. So why am I posting now? For many months I've thought to myself, "You should blog again." Yet I just couldn't seem to sit and do it.

Perhaps it's because I've been blogging on Sundays for my Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program and posting on my school Facebook page

Well, I've decided to dedicate the next three weeks to blogging agin. I've also dedicated the next 21 days to renewing my health, fitness and energy level. It's hard to believe that I'm 47 years old. I'm very happy with my life. Mike and I have lived very intentionally for the last 25 years. By not worrying about the 'ways of the world' we have been able to do the work we feel passionately about: music and education. Our children are grown and pursuing their own passions. 

Unfortunately, what we have not been so intentional about is caring for our health and fitness. Slowly over time we have come to understand that we need to eat in a way that is very counter to the "conventional wisdom" of our age. This is easier said than done. As I've aged, I've found it harder to maintain a healthy weight. order to get ourselves into the habit of eating and exercising we are devoting the next 21 days to the Primal Blueprint. I'm not going to say much about this now but will be blogging about our journey for the next three weeks.

I have decided to blog again to help myself. I've always blogged as a personal journal of sorts. I'm hoping by returning to this form of self reflection I can help myself stay the course and also have a record of the journey.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


But a shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse,
and from his roots a bud shall blossom.

 The spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him:
a spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
A spirit of counsel and of strength,
a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Autumn Garden

I have always loved the springtime and the new shoots appearing after the long, dark winter. Autumn to me was always joyous because of the relief in temperature from the hot days of August and September. 

This year, I am enjoying the autumn garden for an entirely different reason. One that I'm amazed I never thought much about before and one that is completely thrilling to me.

We had our first frost this past week and it killed the last of my vegetable garden. I've been harvesting a late crop of green beans and my oxheart tomatoes. Alas, they are no more. To be honest, I was ready for them to go. My freezer is full of both tomatoes, spaghetti sauce and frozen green beans. 

Today I spent the morning pulling out all the dead plants from the garden. What I love is seeing all the ways nature prepares for the spring, 6 months ahead of time. I also love to see the little things that are hidden away under the plants that tend to take over. When I cut things back, I find the small green things still growing. Looking at the different ways seeds disperse is also completely amazing to me. I have been teaching these lessons at school with my 3-6 year olds and making them hands on by blowing tissue paper, throwing paper helicopters and shooting beans from plastic cups and balloon bits. We are all having tons of fun while learning about the amazing way God keeps life going on our precious planet.

The way plants keep their offspring going amazes me and makes me want to keep the weeds that I used to throw out. If you drive by my house next year you might think we aren't taking care of things but I'm really thinking by letting nature take over a bit we are really helping out: the birds, the animals, the plants, the soil.

So, my challenge to you: go outside, take a walk and see the autumn garden.....death in preparation for the life to come in spring.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


It was another beautiful sunny day, today. I wanted to get out for a walk and decided I would go for a hike. For a long time I've wanted to explore all of the Lancaster County Conservancy preserves. In fact it was just over two years ago that I blogged about another Conservancy hike and challenged myself to try to get to them all. I'm not much closer to that goal now than I was two years ago but it's still part of the bucket list.

Today I determined to go to Reed Run Nature Preserve. It is toward the southern end of Lancaster County so it was a little bit of a drive but a beautiful one. Once I got to the site I realized I had been there before with Mike and the boys. The hike is a loop which you would think would be very easy to follow.

Oh no, think again.

The trail is marked with blue tree markers which are very visible (once you see them). The trail, however is VERY overgrown. I was very glad to be wearing long sleeves, long pants and my hiking boots. It was great fun trying to follow the trail, crossing the stream a few times, and generally NOT following the loop. I didn't get to see the overlook since I ended up going back and forth on the eastern side of the loop and the overlook is on the western side. 

All in all it was a really good hike. I felt a little bit like an explorer (ok, a pathetic explorer) and used my amazing sense of direction (the sun rises in the east and goes down in the west) to make sure I was headed back in the right direction. It really was challenging to find the trail at times both in the woods and on the edge of the woods. It was also a really good little workout without being overwhelmingly steep.

If you want to try this hike (let me know if you get the whole way around!) be sure to wear bright clothing since hunting is allowed in this preserve. I also recommend sturdy shoes, jeans and long sleeves. Oh, and a GPS might come in handy.
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