Weekend Projects

This weekend was a very busy one.  On Friday, we met up with friends for dinner at Alicia’s, one of our favorite Mexican restaurants and had their Steak Chipotle with grilled onions and guacamole (instead of rice and beans) and as always, it was fantastic.  But before we went out for dinner, I had some time to kill and about 6 egg yolks in the fridge left over from the “tortillas” we made for the shrimp tacos.  What better way to use up egg yolks than to make ice cream??

IMG_1409So off I went to my vast archives of saved recipes I’d like to try and ended up landing on this Paleo Coconut Vanilla Ice Cream from Paleo Leap.  It was actually fairly easy to put together since I also had some leftover coconut milk in the fridge, and with 6 eggs, I needed to make a recipe and a half to use up my eggs.  I used the Tahitian vanilla beans that E.J. gets in bulk to make our homemade vanilla extract every few years, honey to sweeten it, and added some dairy free chocolate chips at the very end of the churn in my ice cream maker.  The result was smooth and tasty – albeit with a little bit of a coconut overtone which is a little strange at first but is much better after the 2nd or 3rd bite.

On Saturday, we went to the Texas Wine and Art Festival in Old Town Spring, where I found some wonderful flavors from Texas wineries I haven’t visited yet, and then E.J. and I went up to the mall to take our wedding rings to be resized.  We’ve been waiting to get closer to our goal weights to make sure we have them sized correctly, and I’m pretty sure my fingers are as small as they’re going to be – it’s the knuckle that’s the biggest part now.  After some additional shopping and walking around, we ended the evening at Peli Peli for some fantastic South African cuisine, and as always it was delicious.

For Sunday Cookday, we had friends over for some friendly tabletop games, so I knew I wouldn’t have much time to spend in the kitchen on meals for the week.  To make it easy, we quartered two whole chickens, sprinkled the pieces with Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming spice blend, and popped them in the smoker with pecan wood for 4 hours.   I think I’ve decided smoking is the absolute best cooking method for chicken because you get a nice crispy and flavorful skin with a juicy and tender inside that’s not even close to being dry.  Yum!  I’ve got one of the leg quarters packed for lunch today.

IMG_1402.JPGI also made another recipe that we tried back in the early days of our Paleo journey for a spicy twist on meatloaf.  This Bacon Chorizo Chipotle Smothered Meatloaf from PaleOMG is simple, really tasty, and fantastic for packed lunches, so I made 2 loaves of it, some roasted cabbage (leftover from the shrimp tacos) and some roasted sweet potato bites, and voila, packed lunches for the week with minimal prep and cleanup.

E.J. and I have both had a lot of small victories with the weightloss lately – I’m now down into size 10’s (I started in 18W in September last year) and E.J.’s 36 pants are starting to get loose.  We’ve got vacation coming up in 2 weeks, so we hope we don’t slide out of our pattern too much, but if everything goes well, we should both be hitting our weight goals sometime in the summer months.  I never would have believed we could do it, but here we are.  Looking good and feeling great!

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