Last Spring Matt and I jumped on the Whole 30 bandwagon in an effort to reset our bodies, digestive system, and begin some better family routines. It was a really great experience, but can difficult to do as a family of five. While we enjoyed our experience, it’s not something we practice continually. However, the process gave us motivation to pay more attention to what ingredients are in the products we have in our household. I’ve always prided myself on buying as healthy and organic as I can. I TRY to cook homemade well-balanced meals at least 3-4 times a week. Yet, the when going through the rules and ideas behind Whole 30, I realized I wasn’t shopping simple. As in, simple ingredient lists. We have found some amazing recipes that have become staples and we work hard to keep our products as clean as we can.
Although we are almost through the last of October, SoCal has been hit with a serious heat wave. Living is a little cottage by the sea has all kinds of benefits but one downside is we are lacking AC. So once I pick up the kids from school, get the twins down for their nap and help Thomas with his homework, dinner time hits and I’m overheating. As a result Matt and I have had a few ‘lazy nights’. We get the kids fed and don’t feel up to cooking a meal so I’ll pull a couple of simple ingredients that we have in the fridge and graze.
I’ve mentioned my love of cheese and charcuterie before…
Is there anything better than slowly cooking a delicious stew or soup in a dutch oven. The smell of vegetables, meat, and wine simmering fills wrapping your home in a cozy blanket. With fall arriving and the temperatures dropping in the evenings I am giddy as I break out my heartier recipes.
Scrolling through Instagram I stumbled upon a delicious looking bowl of Ragu via The Modern Proper. Check it out, seriously, is your mouth watering? Mine is. So an evening making Ragu went straight to the top of my to do list.
I was given the opportunity to collaborate with West Elm and Whole Foods Market to raise donations and awareness with the Whole Planet Foundation. West Elm and Whole Foods are donating $1 to Whole Planet for each time someone shares their #westelmxwfm tag on Instagram. This campaign, using the New Denim Project and Party Hosting ideas, provided a few recipes perfect for a Fall get together. From sparkling cider to an Onion, Bacon, and Butternut Squash Tart, it was hard to decide what I wanted to make.
I opted for the Clementine Crush Sparkling cocktail paired with Ham and Roasted Pear Crostini. Making a few adjustments with the recipes to suit our tastes, the cocktail and appetizer worked well together. I don’t use pears in my recipes often, so I enjoyed seeing the difference in flavor with the addition of citrus and then roasting them.
Did you watch the finale of the Bachelor? I can’t tell you how much I enjoy watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette, I don’t know if it should admit that, but I’m gonna keep it real. Knowing a small amount of what goes on behind the scenes of a reality show, it’s basically people watching from your couch and that is GOLDEN. That might make me sound horrible, but it’s true. Plus, these people are signing up to be on a tv show, they must have some idea of what’s to come. So Monday nights Matt and I get the kids to bed, pour a glass of wine, and usually snack through our weekday guilty pleasure. This past season, my girlfriend Amelia joined us and occasionally I can coax Phil into watching too.