Author Archives: Carrie

Cupcake ūüíě anyone‚Ěď

These are as fantastic as they look! This recipe was inspired by a Paleomg.com granola recipe I’ve used for years but have made it my own. ¬†You can do the same by substituting with your favorite nuts and seeds. It would be difficult to mess this recipe up¬†unless you forget about it and burn the granola mixture, which sadly I have done.

Nutty Cups

Ingredients: 

1 cup walnuts
1 cup slivered, unsalted almonds
1/2 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup honey
2 TBSP maple syrup
2 TBSP coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder
1 TBSP cinnamon
1 dash of tumeric
1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1/2 cup Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate

Surprise! No “cake” is involved in this recipe but I think you knew that already! Read on, you won’t miss the cake.

Directions:

Preheat oven to bake at 325 degrees. Place all the nuts and seeds in a large bowl, pour in honey, syrup, oil, vanilla & mix well, sprinkle on the protein powder, tumeric & sea salt, continue to mix with a large spoon, place mixture on a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, spread evenly with your spatula for even baking, allow to bake for 10 mins. remove from oven, gently mix the granola by flipping, spreading it out again and baking for an additional 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to rest for 5 mins. Using  an ice cream scooper, fill in the scooper by pressing in the granola, then release a scoop in each decorative cupcake liner. (makes 12 cups)
Melt the Dark Chocolate chips on low, in a small saucepan on your stovetop or in a microwave dish, stirring every 30 seconds, should not take longer than 1 minute – 1.5 minutes. ¬†Drizzle the chocolate over each cup. Now it’s time to serve them or gift them.

Also, I use as many local & organic ingredients as possible with the honey, maple syrup, nuts & seeds.

Please share your modifications below.

**On my second batch of Nutty Cups, I topped each with unsweetened, dried cherries (tart) that I dredged through the melted chocolate. Yes, a dark chocolate cherry, topped each cup and it was amazing!

 

Charge On

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Why, why, why does anyone need this anymore?

This outdated tool has sat on my bedside table because I have not been able to throw it away. Maybe it’s because of what it represents? You certainly have noticed that it is the older charger, right? If you have an iPhone 4 or older this is your charger. Do you notice that this one is still new, although it’s outdated? ¬†Notice that it is still coiled up and there’s not any wear or tear on the components. No, I did not just buy it nor was it given to me. I came across it in my closet, as I was throwing out my old iPhone box, which felt heavier than what I thought an empty box should feel. Much to my surprise, this brand spanking new charger was in it!

Even though it seems like garbage since I’ve upgraded my phone, it made me think of the times I did need it. The times where I searched high and low for what I thought was my charger. I am sure I accused my husband and children of ripping mine off and leaving it somewhere.¬†Hmm, never did I think that “Carrie” forgot it! And IN THE BOX, no less! So lame, right?!

There was a time not too long ago that caused this silly forgetfulness in my life. It was a “busy” time, when I chased my tail and I’m sure grumbled at others all the time, “where’s my charger? Did you take it?”, ¬†“Did you leave it at your cousin’s house?” , ” Is My Charger in your room? Go check your room!” ¬†This was not a happy time for my family and my kids even feared to answer¬†me. They thought I would snap at them and would disengage from all conversation.

This charger reminds me that being too busy is toxic. It’s toxic for relationships with people you love and it keeps you from building potential relationships with others. Recognizing the important things under my nose was a real awakening for me.

I am thankful for this reminder and never want to be too busy for my family nor do I want to be accusatory. Which leads me to a different topic of taking responsibility for yourself.  That subject is definitely a post for another day.

CHARGE on readers & be the kindest version of yourself today. Your kids will love you for it and so will everyone in your circle.

Valentine’s Day Enjoy Life Delights

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After making these treats with the Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate, I knew I had to share the recipe! It’s ridiculously easy and delicious! ¬†These can be made with ZERO cooking skills & minimal effort.
Gathering the ingredients will take the most effort so get going. ¬†Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Fresh Market, Sprouts and even Wal-mart sell the Enjoy Life brand now. ¬†The other ingredients can be found at any one of these stores.¬†Look for Banana (or Plantain) Chips with minimal ingredients and no added sugar. I prefer the Trader Joe’s brand.
Feeling creative? Make a plethora of them and serve on a platter in a heart shape. This is definitely one of those ‘small things’ that make a BIG impact! ¬†Also, think about substitutions: a piece of bacon for the savory chip or a dash of cayenne for the spicy chips. Yes, chocolate and bacon go very well together. They are two peas in a pod, like Thelma & Louise, When Harry met Sally, popcorn and M&M’s, the list goes on…! I think most of my readers (all 3 of you) know this, though.
Remember, Valentine’s Day is just over 2 weeks away (on a Sunday). Even though I’ve never been enthusiastic about this day, I will celebrate it because I have lots of love to share! Plus, I am so loving these treats!!
Be sure to take a picture of your Delights, I would love to see your creations as well!
Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Tart, Spicy & Savory Delights
Ingredients: 
Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels – 1 bag (start with melting 1/2 the bag of morsels)
Banana or Plantain Chips – 1 bag
Unsweetened, dried cherries (2 oz. will depend on how many you make)
Fresh Jalapeno Sliced & seeded- 1
Slivered Almonds – 1-2 oz. (depending on how many you make)
Himalayan sea salt – a sprinkle or two
Directions:
Melt 1/4 cup Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels- microwave 1-1:20 mins.,
Dip each Plantain Chip halfway in the melted chocolate, place on parchment paper, then… the-Tart Banana add a dried unsweetened cherry on top
For the  -Tart Banana add a dried unsweetened cherry on top
               -Spicy Banana place one ring of a sliced fresh jalapeno on top

               -Savory add 2 slivers of almonds & a sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt

Repeat for as many Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Delights as you would like to Enjoy!

Chicken Salad Taco

This is a great weekend lunch while on the go.
The recipe started out with leftover chicken salad:
2 cooked chicken breasts
2 TBSP of Paleo mayo (I use the recipe that’s on the nomnompaleo site)
1 avocado
1 handful of cilantro
1/4 onion (white)
1 tsp salt
1/2 jalape√Īo (seeded)
Instructions:
Place all ingredients in a food processor & blend to a desired consistency. If you have time to sit & eat a salad (ha! nobody’s got time for that this time of year!), ¬†place on a bed of romaine with a drizzle of olive oil & juice from 1/2 of a lime. ¬†Or go with option #2!
Make tacos! In a small frying pan heat coconut oil on medium, place a white corn tortilla in the pan to heat for 1 min. lowering heat to a med.-low, then flip it, ¬†place a heaping tablespoon of chicken salad in the center, with your spatula press one side of the tortilla in half to line up with the opposite side, press to seal it shut, continue to brown on each side for 2-3 minutes. Top with salsa if you like or grab fresh jalapenos & go. ūüėč
**For more nutrition & crunch add some fresh broccoli slaw to the inside of the taco after adding the chicken salad.

Easy Peasey Pulled Pork Recipe

Hands down this must be the easiest recipe on the planet for the most delicious pulled pork! Thanks to nomnompaleo for her Kalua Pig creation!
Only 4 ingredients to this super simple recipe: pork butt, sea salt, garlic & not pictured, 3 strips of bacon. For the bacon, I like to use Pederson’s, Whole 30 approved bacon from Sprouts.
For step by step instructions check out the nomnompaleo link above. Even if you do not cook, you will be able to make this successfully! Now get your butt in gear & get ready to enjoy some pork!

Nobody’s Cuter Than You

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Surprise! A brown padded envelope¬†from Amazon arrives in the mail addressed to ME! What?Scanning my brain, I think to myself, I didn’t order anything. What could this be? My dear friend sent me this book on her birthday! Yes, it came to me on her birthday!! ¬†The title is the sweetest too, you’ll have to read my friends story on The Dreaming Tree to fully understand. ¬†This woman has many gifts, one is to make people feel sincerely special. (To see her other amazing gifts, you must check out her blog!)

The kids had arrived home so I was not able to jump into the book right away. The following few nights I stayed up late reading one story after the next. It brought back so many memories, some were sad but most were funny. I belly laughed as I read Melanie’s life stories.

I have learned so much about friendship through my friend, Elayne. She has inspired me in many ways and has reminded me how important friendship is, we need each other.  We need women in our lives that lift us up and encourage us. Do not take friendships for granted.

After finishing this book, marking it with a giant coffee spill right on the front cover, ¬†I decided it’s going on a journey to hopefully inspire others or at least make them laugh! The book is going to a smart, kind and loving friend of mine. I will ask her to do the same by passing it on to a friend and so on. It will be interesting to see the travels of this book & if or when it will make it back to Alabama. ¬†Hopefully, friends of friends will be as delighted as I was to receive it. If that is you, please let me know by leaving me a comment with the whereabouts¬†of the book. ¬†Happy reading and happy sharing. Now go bless someone today with an act or word of kindness!

Hearty Spinach Salad

Ingredients: Fresh spinach, 1 link of Nitrate free Chicken & Bleu Cheese sausage (browned & sliced), quartered artichoke hearts & grape tomato halves, 1 clementine (a citrus fruit), olive oil, almond slivers

For the dressing, squeeze fresh orange juice over the salad or any citrus, then drizzle 1 TBSP olive oil over it & a dash of sea salt.

The almond slivers were an afterthought, if you have them, add them.

Enjoy!

Be Ridiculous!

 

Yep! That is what I said,¬†¬†BE¬†RIDICULOUS!¬†Have you been offended by someone, ¬†your feelings hurt in some way or possibly a miscommunication between you? Instead of reacting today, take action today. ¬†Be completely ridiculous with your actions. What will leave this person in awe, saying “That’s ridiculous!”? ¬†Think doable though, this way you get it done today!

Here’s some food for thought…

**Buy a deliciously, fancy lunch and set it up at their desk with a white table cloth or cover their entire desk in white paper for a faux fancy look. Then leave a personal note of gratitude for one thing you appreciate about the person.


**Tape a huge Poster Board in their work area (or on their car) saying “You Are Loved!” or write something amazing about the person, whatever is appropriate. Remember to do this from a place of love.

**If you know they like a certain treat, pile it on their desk until it’s overflowing and falling to the ground.

**Give them something you have, that you know they would like to have, for example a project you know they wanted the lead on, or it could be a sweater, a pair of earrings or a gift card. ¬†If you go the gift card route, make it a honking gift card! That ‘s the term our Pastor uses and it cracks me up every time I hear it. ¬†As you know this¬†can be done online. ¬†Think about the person, do they like to cook? Williams Sonoma would be a good option. Do they enjoy Starbucks or the movies? There must be a sacrifice on your part. For some of us $5 may be a ridiculous sacrifice and for others $50, no one is judging. Do what YOU can do.

When you are performing an act of kindness throw practicality out the window. Excessiveness is o.k. when you are doing for others.  Plus, this is not any random act of kindness, you are being bold, to the point of  RIDICULOUSNESS.

Share your ridiculousness below. My hope is that you will experience freedom. Freedom from anger, frustration or from whatever is keeping you from forgiving.

 

Avocado Cup

3 simple ingredients for a yummy & satisfying snackūüí•: avocado, salsa (no sugar) & Trader Joes Banana Chipsūüėč. After cutting the avocado in half, use a few chips to scoop & eat the avo., once you have made space in your avocado bowl, fill with a large helping of salsaūüćÖ. Scoop a chip in for a chunk of avocado & a bit of salsa for a delightful bite! This tastes way better than it looks. My food photography skills are lacking.