Everyday Adventures

This week I am starting something new called Everyday Adventures. This may be a weekly feature or it may only be featured once or twice a month. I am still deciding on that part, but it will basically be a look into my everyday life.

I have really enjoyed highlighting some of my pictures from Instagram on my site over the last few months, but I decided to start sharing a little bigger picture of my life than just what I share on Instagram.

This new feature will be a fun way for me to share random everyday life and keeping it real type posts. It will be some of the things I share on Instagram, but also other random pictures, and  I also occasionally add a few things I love, that have nothing to do with kitchen life. Basically these will be random type posts about everyday life.

Today I am giving you a little look into my life living on 43 acres in Oklahoma.  And there is also a very real, I cleaned out the fridge, picture at the bottom of the post as well. You won’t want to miss the clean out the fridge picture. I am hoping I am not the only one that struggles with cleaning out the fridge.

4 wheeler

When I was a kid we had a three wheeler and I loved it. I spent so many hours riding around and around the seven acres I grew up on. I did so much thinking and having fun on that three wheeler. Then I grew up, moved away, and forgot how much fun it could be. We have now lived on our current property for almost ten years and we finally bought four wheelers last fall. Mainly for working around the property, but also for some fun.

Last Saturday, after a long week, I took a short ride around our property on the four wheeler and had so much fun. Really I forgot how much fun they could be. And how much easier it is when working around the property. No more walking clear across the forty some acres. You hop on a four wheeler and go. So much faster and easier. We are now wondering why we did not buy one years ago.

river

I took this picture last Saturday while out on the four wheeler. I love this view and wish I could see it from our house. So pretty.

flowers

My parents have a lilac bush that is almost as tall as their house and I have always loved it. It is so pretty in the spring when it is in full bloom. About five years ago I planted a lilac bush in our yard. Oklahoma is not the best area for lilac growing, and I highly doubt that my lilac bush will every be very big,  but after five years I am finally getting some beautiful flowers off of it. I love looking out and seeing this from my window.

The picture below is a picture that some of you will get right away and others of you will not understand at all what it is. Can you guess what it is?

storm shelter

It is a storm shelter. I have lived in Oklahoma for almost 20 years and finally have a storm shelter. We have wanted to get one for awhile. Actually I have wanted one for awhile. I think my husband got it mainly for my peace of mind.  We decided this was the year to finally get one. I don’t think I will ever get used to Oklahoma storms, but at least I feel a little better having a storm shelter.We got it installed last week and my kids found it fun to play in. It won’t be so fun if we actually have to use it.

If you live in Oklahoma, or anywhere near tornado alley, you know there are different options for storm shelters. We choose a pretty basic below ground one. For those of you that do not live anywhere near tornado alley, you may have never seen one. They are basically a giant cement box you put in the ground to keep you safe during a tornado. It is one of those things you buy hoping that you never have to use.

cream

And now for the keeping it real, please tell me I am not the only one, picture.

I found this in the back of my fridge eariler week. Yes that says December 3, 2013. It is currently the middle of April. Now I know I have cleaned out my fridge since December. I have cleaned it out quite a few times. How do things like this end up hiding way in the back where we don’t see them?! Please tell me I am not the only one that finds odd out dated things like this in the back of the fridge.

I hope you all have a great weekend and are able to spend some time with family and friends. We are having friends over for lunch on Saturday and will be grilling hamburgers. Then my in-laws are coming over Sunday for dinner. It should be a busy, but nice weekend.

I hope you enjoyed a look into my everyday life. I look forward to sharing another look soon.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Roasted Potatoes with Bacon

Roasted Potatoes with Bacon-

Potatoes. They are the perfect food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. They can be baked, fried, or cooked numerous other ways. They work for a side dish and even a main dish.

Potatoes may be one of the most versatile and delicious foods you can serve. And really who doesn’t like potatoes?! I think almost everyone likes them served one way or another.

These roasted potatoes I am sharing today are so very good. Slightly crispy on the outside, yet soft and buttery on the inside.

Roasted Potatoes with Bacon_

I usually serve roasted potatoes as a side dish, but when my husband and son were gone recently, my daughters and I ate them for dinner. We thought they made a great dinner all on their own because we added some cooked bacon to them.

You can easily add seasoning or herbs to these, but we like to keep them pretty simple.

If you have never had potatoes cooked like this you need to. Really you do. They are delicious!

Roasted Potatoes with Bacon

And these work with baby potatoes, the small gold ones like pictured above, fingerling potatoes, and even regular gold potatoes cut up.

Roasted Potatoes with Bacon__

 

 

 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Oatmeal Honey Breakfast Muffins

Oatmeal Honey Breakfast Muffins

Note: This post is sponsored by Vitacost but all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Starting the day with a good breakfast is important, especially for kids. And the best way to start the day is with a healthy and filling breakfast. These oatmeal honey breakfast muffins that I am sharing today are perfect for just that.

I was recently contacted by Vitacost about developing a recipe using some of their products. I have posted before about how much I like Vitacost, especially for gluten free items, so this was an easy challenge to say yes to.

Vitacost Box

My box of products arrived last week and I had so much fun working with the products over the weekend. They sent me several new things that I had never used before like coconut sugar and cacoa nibs.

I received two kinds of cacoa nibs. The regular ones I used in the muffin recipe I am sharing today. The other one was chocolate covered cacoa nibs and I think they are my new favorite snack. My son and I both love dark chocolate and we both loved the chocolate covered cacoa nibs. I think they would be great in some homemade trail mix.

When I was thinking about a recipe using Vitacost products breakfast instantly came to mind. Last week I shared a recipe that my daughter made by changing up one of my recipes. Well today I am using her basic idea but have changed it up quite a bit using the products Vitacost sent me.

Oatmeal Honey Breakfast Muffins_

I used the coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar. It worked great in the recipe and gave it a little different flavor than brown sugar that I enjoyed. I think either one works fine in the recipe.

I also added some honey to the recipe. I love honey. I love the flavor and the fact that it is a natural sugar. I can eat honey by the spoonful and love the flavor it adds to recipes like this.

And for the add ins to the recipe I made some with cacoa nibs, but really raisins or other dried fruit would work as well. The cacoa nibs gave the muffins a nice chocolate taste without adding sweetness to it, which I enjoyed. It made them more of a healthier muffin than adding chocolate chips.

Oatmeal Honey Breakfast Muffins-

Refer-A-Friends250x2501

And if you have never ordered from Vitacost you can now get $10 off your first order of $30 or more. This is a great way to give them a try. Just click on the Vitacost image above for details.

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Vitacost. I was sent free products to try and was compensated for my time in writing this post. This post also contains Vitacost affiliate links. 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Gluten Free Wednesdays {April 16th}

Gluten_Free_Wednesdays_310

It is time for another Gluten Free Wednesday, which I co-host with The Gluten Free Homemaker and Gluten Free Easily.

Last week over sixty recipes were  linked up. Two recipes tied for the most popular last week. One was the Chimichangas, don’t those look delicious!

Dairy Free Chimichangas

And the vegan brownies. Those look good too.

Vegan-Gluten-Free-Brownie-with-Marshmallow-Fluff-

I also had to share the Lemonade Cake that Jules linked up last week. I am going to have to make this one soon!

pink-lemonade-cake-

I can’t wait to see what everyone shares this week. And if you are looking for some new gluten free recipes be sure to visit the sites that link up. There are some great recipes linked up each week.

The Carnival

  • Keep the links to gluten-free eating ideas (recipes, reviews, menus)
  • If you’re new, please read the guidelines.
  • Leave a link back (I will not highlight any recipes that do not link back to one of the co-hosts.)
  • If you link up your link will show up on all three sites.
  • Thanks for participating!

Note:  Linking up indicates you are giving permission for us to share your submitted photo and your link via social media or in next week’s post if it is selected as the most popular post for the week or featured as a highlight.



Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Crock Pot Update

Crock Pot Tomato Soup from LynnsKitchenAdventures.com

Last week I posted an Ask the Reader question about how long Crock Pots last. In the post I mentioned that I recently had a crock pot break and had to get a new one.

I loved reading through all the comments on that post. If you are looking for a new Crock-Pot the comments on that post are great. There is a lot of great information.

Often times in the online world, and the real world for that matter, we love to complain. We talk about what doesn’t work or how we are not happy with something. We are less likely to talk about what we love and when we are happy with something.

Since last week I complained about about my Crock Pot, this week I want to share some good news. And share what great customer service Crock Pot has.

Now, I want to make sure to say this is not a sponsored post. When I called and talked to Crock Pot customer service, I did not tell them I had a food site. I mentioned nothing about sharing my experience with my readers. Crock Pot has no clue who I am or the fact that I am writing this.

Last week after I talked about my broken Crock Pot, I decided to give Crock Pot a call to let them know about what happened to mine. I really did not expect anything from them because I thought the warranty period was over, but I thought it was worth a try before I threw the Crock Pot out.

New Crock Pot

When I called they took some information about my Crock Pot, what was wrong with it, the model number, etc., and then put me on hold to check a few things. When the customer service representative came back he informed me that my Crock Pot was manufactured just over a year ago, so it was just over a year old, and it had a three year warranty. Because it had a three year warranty, he offered to send me a new one with no charge at all to me. I gave him my information and he said it would ship soon. By soon I thought he meant several weeks.

And actually I thought it might be too good to be true and I wondered if I would actually get a brand new one. But I did get a brand new one and it was not several weeks at all.

I called on Tuesday afternoon. Thursday a new Crock Pot showed up at my door. Yes, two days later, I had my new Crock Pot. I thought it would be weeks before I actually saw a new one, instead it was just days. That phone call was so worth taking the time to make.

So, my follow up to last week’s broken Crock Pot post is that Crock Pot has great costumer service. Or at least my experience with them was great. Thank you Crock Pot for standing by your product and for sending me a new one. And thanks to the very helpful customer service representative that helped send me a new Crock Pot.

Homemade Slow Cooked Refried Beans

And if you are looking for some Crock Pot recipes here are a few of our favorites

Slow Cooked Refried Beans

Slow Cooked Mexican Pork with Mexican Cole Slaw

Slow Cooked Barbecue Ranch Chicken

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

Crock Pot Tomato Soup

Slow Cooked Strawberry Cobbler

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this site. 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Oriental Pork Wraps

Oriental Pork Wraps

Today’s recipe for my Cooking Through My Collection series is for oriental pork wraps. This recipe is perfect for the warmer months that are ahead. It is a quick and easy stove top meal that is also pretty light and healthy.

These pork wraps come from the cookbook Pillsbury Fast and Healthy. I have had this cookbook for years. I used to use it all the time, but have not cooked out of it for a few years. I recently pulled it off the shelf to look through and decided that I need to start cooking from it again. It is a great cookbook full of healthier type meals.

Oriental Pork Wraps-

My family loved these pork wraps, but I will say that I did a terrible job following the recipe on these. I think maybe inspired by the original recipe might be more accurate. I did change the recipe, but not enough to really make it my own recipe.

The original recipe called for butterflied pork loin chops. I am sure those would work and be delicious, but I have quite a bit of ground pork in the freezer and decided to use that instead. It worked great. If you don’t have ground pork, I think ground turkey or chicken would work fine as well.

I also increased the sauce on the recipe. It just seemed like the recipe was not enough sauce for the amount of meat and vegetables in it, so I increased it. And again it turned out great.

I love simple and delicious meals like this. I think this one will be on the menu plan a lot this summer.

Oriental Pork Wraps

 

 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Gluten Free Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Raspberry Muffins

My 14 year old is becoming quite the baker. She loves to take recipes and make them gluten free. She also loves to take some of my basic recipes and put her own twist on them. These muffins are an example of that. She took one of our favorite muffin recipes and turned it into a raspberry muffin.

Gluten Free Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins-

One of the reasons my daughter loves the original muffin recipe is that it is sweet. It is more of a dessert type muffin than a breakfast type muffin. I think she figured that adding raspberries to them would make them more breakfast like. I am not sure I agree on that one, but either way, these are delicious. And I think they would work for snacks, dessert, or yes even breakfast.

These also freeze really well. She made a big batch and we put some in the freezer and they worked great for quick snacks and meals.

Gluten Free Raspberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Menu Plan {April 13th-19th}

Weekly Meal Plan

This week is beef week on the menu plan. Or at least it contains more beef recipes than I normally have. Every spring, for the last seven or so years, we have bought a half of beef from a local rancher. It was some of the best beef I have had. We loved it and looked forward to getting it each year.

This year though we found out that they are not selling beef. They may again in the future, but there was no beef to buy this year. I immediately started cutting back on the amount of beef I used. I wanted what I had left in the freezer to last because I did not know when I would be able to get more. Yes, I could buy beef in the store, but I prefer to buy local raised beef if I can.

After doing some checking around we were able to find a new source for beef. This is good news. The bad news is that the beef I have been using sparingly needs used up to make room for the half of beef we will be getting next month. And I know that is not really bad news. It just means that we will be eating a lot of beef over the next couple of weeks.

I love buying beef this way and we have been able to get some really good beef. Yes, it is a lot of money to spend at once for meat, but it is high quality meat and I love having my freezer stocked for the year.

Last year I did an Ask the Readers post on buying beef and I loved all the comments I got on that post. If you are curious about buying beef this way it might be helpful to read through those comments. There was a lot of great thoughts shared.

Do any of you buy beef this way? I would love to hear your thoughts if you have. 

Here is this week’s menu plan.

Breakfast 

breakfast bowls

Breakfast Bowls

freezer smoothies

Freezer Smoothies

granola-sundae

Granola Sundaes

Dinner

Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

Roast and Crock Pot Baked Potatoes

sweet and sour meatballs

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

one pot spaghetti

One Pot Spaghetti

porcupine meatballs

Porcupine Meatballs

Crock Pot Tomato Soup from LynnsKitchenAdventures.com

Crock Pot Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese

Breakfast Pizza from LynnsKitchenAdventures.com

Breakfast Pizza

The best oven fries_

Hamburgers and Oven Fries

Dessert of the Week

chocolate rice crispy treats

Chocolate Rice Crispy Treats

For more menu planning ideas see Menu Planning Mondays.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Gluten Free Menu Plan {April 13th-19th}

gluten-free-meal-plans

Here is the gluten free plan for the week. As always I made notes next to the items that need to be gluten free, but read labels to be sure the ingredients are safe for your family.

Breakfast

Oven Pancake

Easy Oven Pancakes

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

scrambled eggs

Creamy Scrambled Eggs

Dinner

fluffy-gluten-free-pancakes-

Fluffy Gluten Free Pancakes

Crock Pot Carrot Soup

Crock Pot Carrot Soup- use gluten free chicken broth

Pork Fried Rice

Pork Fried Rice- use gluten free soy sauce

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Gluten Free Cheeseburger Helper-

Gluten Free Cheeseburger Helper

Slow Cooked Swiss Steak

Slow Cooked Swiss Steak 

Gluten Free Dessert of the Week

gluten free chocolate graham crackers

Gluten Free Chocolate Graham Crackers

For more menu planning ideas see Menu Planning Mondays.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

A Few Thoughts On Staying Healthy

Red White and Blue Fruit Salad
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Udi’s Gluten Free, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Over the years I have learned that there is a wide range of views on what healthy really means. For some it may mean eating whole grains. For some it may be a no sugar whole foods type of diet or a low carb diet. For others it may mean being able to run a marathon.

My view of healthy has changed over the years, but what I have learned is to listen to my body and what it is telling me. I know how I feel, and I can tell when I feel the best.

Right now for me I feel the healthiest when I exercise, drink plenty of water, get enough sleep, and eat gluten free. That all sounds so simple. But we often know what we should do, it is doing it that is the challenge.

Let’s talk exercise.

I have a love hate relationship with it. I feel so much better when I exercise and I never regret doing it once I am done. I have realized that after a long day, running helps me relieve stress. A good run does amazing things for me when it comes to stress relief. I also know that I sleep better and feel better overall when I run at least 3-4 times a week. However, I am like everyone else. Some days I am tired. Some days it is hot or cold. Sometimes it rains. There are always a ton of excuses that I can come up with not to exercise. But none of those change the fact that exercise does me good. Over the winter I used those excuses a few too many times and now I am paying for it. Now that the weather is nicer, and the daylight lasts longer, I am trying to get back into running because I know how important it is.

Drinking water is another tough one for me.

I always thought I drank enough water, but once I started exercising during the summer in Oklahoma, I knew I needed to increase my water intake. Last year I shared some tips on how I make sure to drink enough water and they really work for me.

Sleep is another one that I struggle with.

I have never been a good sleeper. Two things that I know help me sleep better are exercise and gluten free eating. On days that I exercise I sleep better. And one of the first things I noticed when I first went gluten free was how much better I slept. I really don’t know why. I think it is probably a combination of things with gluten free eating that helps my sleep, but I know it does. A good night’s sleep is so important. I know it is one of the reasons I feel so much healthier over the last few years, and it makes gluten free eating and exercise even more worth it.

And I can’t talk about my health without talking about gluten free eating.

Gluten free eating really has changed my health. That is not everyone’s story, but it is mine. I have been gluten free for 4 1/2 years and I don’t regret it at all. It really is worth it for me. One of the things that I have noticed over the last year though is that not only do I feel better when I eat gluten free, I feel better when I eat less sugar and fewer grains. Now, don’t get me wrong I still love and enjoy my gluten free cakes, cookies, and Udi’s bread, but I have cut back on how much of them I eat. I don’t eat grains at ever meal anymore. My goal is only one meal a day. I have realized that I do better on a higher protein lower carb diet. I doubt I will ever cut out carbs altogether, but I do know I feel better when I watch how many I eat.

For more information on gluten free living be sure to visit the Udi’s Gluten Free Community.

Now I would love to hear what you do to stay healthy.

Learn more about living gluten free! Visit http://udisglutenfree.com/community

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Udi’s Gluten Free. The opinions and text are all mine.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures