Holiday Comfort Meal aka Paella a la Betsy via Gwyneth Paltrow

Chicken Paella
Chicken Paella

It finally feel like winter! At least for San Diego standards. I thought this would be a great time to share this amazing paella recipe I adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s book “It’s All Good.” The recipe is hearty, filling, and gluten and dairy free. This recipe makes SO much food is ideal for serving guests over the holidays

Continue reading Holiday Comfort Meal aka Paella a la Betsy via Gwyneth Paltrow

What you believe? What do you have faith in?

Happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. We got to spend a lot of time together as a family, which is always my favorite.

 

Kid's Snacks
Kid’s Snacks

Friday night I hosted Mommy Happy Hour. Every month or so during the school year a few of us moms take turns hosting a happy hour where the kiddos run around and play while the mommies sip vino and catch up. It’s glorious, especially when you hit that sweet spot where all of the kiddos get along, and you don’t spend the entire time stopping them from beating each other to a pulp.
Saturday was my niece’s birthday party:

 

Wyatt and Elmo
Wyatt and Elmo

and then we played tourist around Old Town San Diego (one of my favorite spots) and met up with some friends for dinner.

 

Gina and I and Margaritas
Gina and I and Margaritas

And of course, in this house Sunday is for football and brunch no matter how many times the Chargers break our hearts.

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

 

Brunching
Brunching

I wanted to share with you something that’s been on my mind. On Friday took a yoga class. It was a restorative yoga class that focused on stretching and meditation. The instructor led us through a thoughtfulness exercise that I wanted to share with you because it really hit home with me and I can’t stop thinking about it.

 

Yoga
Yoga

She first asked us: “What do you believe in?” and a few minutes later followed it up by asking “What do you have faith in?”

Lying, eyes closed on the mat wracking my brain, I had a very hard time coming up with any sort of answer. I’ve never been a very spiritual person but c’mon! I had nothing! Even as I write this I cannot come up with a solid set of beliefs or faith in something.

I very rarely take the time to stop and be mindful of my life, the past, my experiences. I tend to just keep pushing through, some days just trying to keep my head above water.

A a lot of things have changed in my life over the past 2 years and lately, I think I have been a bit emotionally paralyzed by all of it. I don’t tend to take the time to process the hows or why’s in life. I just go go go. As we wind down on 2016 my goal is to be more mindful of why things came together or undone as they have. What brought me to where I am right now, and why? What do I believe and have faith in? Am I where I need to be?

Maybe I should first look in the mirror and ask if I have enough faith in me?

So I ask you friends: What do you believe in? What do you have faith in?

Until next time. xoxo
Betsy

San Francisco Part 1: What We Ate

It is definitely safe to say that we did not starve in San Francisco. Most times when we travel we pretty much wing it when it comes to food. San Francisco though is a city filled with an incredible culinary scene so it is definitely worth doing a little homework before you head there. our first night we walked to Belden Place, an adorable alley way that is closed off to cars and tables and chairs are set up in the street. We ate at Cafe Tiramisu. It was probably one of the best meals of the trip.

 

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Our Adventurous Little Eater

 

The next morning we had brunch at Cafe Le Presse which had come highly recommended but honestly, it was just meh.

We continued on with our food marathon at an awesome Italian restaurant Original Joe’s in North Beach. It was everything from the dim lighting to the red booths. I need to recreate the chopped salad and artichoke dip. The menu isn’t huge but everything we ate was perfect.

That evening, we were exhausted and had promised our spoiled kiddos we could have room service. Also, as a nice bonus our hotel, an Omni brought the kiddos milk and cookies every night. We also had room service for breakfast the next morning.

 

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Room Service Breakfast

 

Now if you know anything about San Francisco, you would know about their amazing Chinatown. We LOVE Chinatown, and here is a small sampling of the dim sum we ate. I will be dedicating an entire blog post focus on Chinatown later this week!

After out trip to Alcatraz we stopped at Pier 39 and made a rookie mistake. Instead of waiting in line at Boudin we were so hangry we ate at a knock off version and it was not very good at all. The red chowder was awful, and I am still kicking myself. Luckily to make up for that lapse in judgement we walked to Ghiradelli Square and make quick work of these two ice cream sundaes. They were out of this world, and worth every single calorie.

Having walked close to eight miles that day, we were pretty pooped. Thank goodness for Postmates who delivered this awesome takeout from Brandy Ho’s!

Our last meal out was kind of a disappointment. We had spent the morning at the Ferry Building before our flight and ate at MarketBar. The service was NOT good, and the food was definitely nothing to write home about, especially for the price!

Well folks, there’s a look at our gluttony in San Francisco. Did we miss any must eats?

Until next time,

Betsy

More is Even More Rice Crispy Treats

 

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More is More Rice Crispy Treats

 

Happy Monday friends! We are exploring San Francisco write now, but I wanted to share this recipe with you to get your week off on the right track. And by right track, I mean with lots of gooey sugary awesomeness.

A few months ago a girlfriend emailed me this recipe for these brownies:

They were Insane! So of course when she sent me a link to Rice Crispy Treats of the same name, I had to try them. I slightly modified the recipe, and wanted to share my version with you:

More is Even More Rice Crispy Treats

Ingredients:

5 cups Rice Crispies

1/2 bag funfetti cake mix

Lots of sprinkles

2-3 Cups of crushed Oreos

1/2 stick of butta

1 10 oz bag of marshamllows ( I prefer the mini ones, they melt better)

 

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More is More Rice Crispy Treats Ingredients

 

In a large pan melt the butter over low heat, then add the bag of marshmallows. Once the butter and marshmallow are completely melted remove from heat.

 

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Step 1

 

Meanwhile take a little aggression out on your Oreos.

Mix Funfetti Cake mix, Rice Crispies, 3/4 of Oreos, and 3/4 of sprinkles in the pot.

Finally, pour the rest of the Oreos and Sprinkles into a well greased cake pan. Pour the rice crispy mix on top of that layer, and with damp fingers smoosh down into the pan (very technical, I know). Let cool at least 20 mins. Flip cake pan over and you will find a nice little Oreo/Sprinkle topping to the treats. Cut to desired size and enjoy!!!

 

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More is More Rice Crispy Treats

 

Let me know what ya think! I cannot wait to share all of our shenanigans from San Francisco. I will be rolling out a series of posts next week all about my fave San Francisco eats, attractions, and more!

Until next time! xoxo

Betsy

Changing Things Up

Hey friends! How are you? I hope you had a wonderful weekend. Ours was low key and fun. We had a cousin’s birthday party on Saturday, followed by some epic ramen for dinner.

On Sunday the hubs and I got in a little brunch/ kayaking date along the bay while my bestie Camille watched the boys.

 

As you may notice I have made some changes to this little blog. I wanted to share with you why.

While I love talking about my struggles as a fatty, and everyone’s feedback has been so amazing and positive, I have found the experience personally quite difficult. I feel that i’m focused obsessed with my weight and getting in shape and putting way too much pressure on myself. In my experience when I am trying to lose weight, the more I talk and obsess about it, the less I actually make better choices but instead rationalize that I “deserve” this cheat meal day week. It becomes a whole issue of what I can’t eat instead of making healthier decisions. So I am going to continue on my diet and fitness journey but keep those successes and failures a little closer to the vest.

 

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Hehe

 

Secondly, there is SO much I want to share with you and I felt that focusing solely on diet kept me from unleashing all of my true greatness 🙂 For those of you who know me personally, you know what a large part entertaining, cooking, and family play in my life. I want to incorporate these parts of my life to into the blog as well, and I look forward to sharing my passions with you!

Stay tuned for lots of exciting things to come!

Until next time,

Betsy

xoxo

You Decide My Diet!

Happy Monday Peeps!

I hope you had a great weekend! We spent this past Saturday on the bay enjoying a little staycation for my son’s birthday. It was fun, stressful, and exhausting, all topped off with a cupcake/cookie/taco binge on Saturday. Okay, Sunday too.

Next Monday is the start of August. While people with a much healthier relationship with food wouldn’t wait for a Monday, or the start of a new month to begin eating better, that is clearly not me!

So I have an idea….and I need your help!

Through Instagram I have noticed that the following weight loss/diet plans have some die hard followers:

 

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Whole 30

The Whole 30

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Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers

 

 

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21 Day Fix

21 Day Fix

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Ketogenic Diet

 

Ketogenic Diet

I want YOU to vote and decide which plan I should follow for the entire month of August. Once the votes are in, and the plan decided I will spend the rest of this week researching it. On Monday, August 1, I will begin that plan for the entire month. I will document my experience along the way and share with you all of my success and failures. At the end of the month I will do a complete review of the program.

So please VOTE VOTE VOTE!

 

Clean Chicken Fried Rice

Howdy friends! How is your week going? Remember, it’s Friday eve!!!

I have been lacking some major cooking mojo these days. I feel like lately my cook switch has been turned off. The thought of sitting down and making a meal plan seemed completely overwhelming these past few weeks, but I knew if I didn’t start cooking soon, we might have to sell the house to pay for all of the takeout we’ve been eating.

I also knew as soon as I got my butt back into the kitchen it would light that fire again. My first homemade meal in WAY too long was my cleaner version of chicken fried rice. It is super simple, and very flavorful.

I was not about chopping, and prepping much, so here is the almost homemade version:

 

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Fried Rice Ingredients

 

Ingredients:

1 bag mixed frozen vegetables (Peas, Carrots, and Corn)

4 Eggs

3 Cups brown rice cooked

2 Cooked chicken breasts chopped, or you can use firm tofu to make Lacto/Ovo vegetarian

4T Liquid Aminos

2 Cloves garlic minced

2T MCT oil

1T Sesame Oil

Recipe:

-In a large saute pan heat MCT oil over medium heat cook garlic about 2 mins or until fragrant.

-Add frozen vegetables until warmed through.

-Add chopped chicken, heat through.

-Move veggies and chicken to one side of pan and add sesame oil to the other side.

-Scramble eggs in the open side of the pan. Once scrambled combine ingredients in pan.

-Add brown rice and liquid aminos to the veggies and chicken. Mix well, heat through, and enjoy!

Serves 6

 

 

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Chicken Fried Rice

 

Until next time,

Betsy

It’s a double edged sword.

Here we are! Another Monday, another crazy weekend behind us.

Saturday morning I hit up a spin class at the gym, and then we had my nephew Nathan’s first birthday party at a park. It was everything a kid’s party should be. Bouncy house, pizza, pinata, pony rides, and a cake from Von’s. I don’t know what the Von’s bakery fairies do, but that shiz is so good!

Speaking of cake, look at this magical creation from Crafted Baked Goods. Unbelievable!

We had another celebration Saturday night and I brought this beauty as a hostess gift.

 

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Candy Cake

 

The party was on the rooftop of our friend’s condo in La Jolla. The view was stunning, and the company was even better.

 

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Sunset La Jolla Boys

 

I was flying solo because Jeremy had poker night. If only Wyatt would look at the camera.

 

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Sunset La Jolla

 

And of course Sunday was Father’s Day.

I am not a very good at articulating my feelings to people. I take that back. If you’re an asshole, I have no problem saying so.

I have a hard time verbalizing positive feelings towards people, especially when it comes to how much I care about my loved ones. I am not good at getting all mushy and lovey dovey with my words, but I try to show my love as much as possible. I have a tendency to give love through gestures like cooking, or helping out when extra hands are needed. Not to mention I am Jewish, so inherently I feel the need to constantly feed people. For Father’s Day I made my hubs breakfast in bed, he got an at home massage, and at his request a bone in ribeye for dinner.

 

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Breakfast

 

And I wonder why I can’t lose weight!

 

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BBQ

 

This is the part where the whole double edged sword reference comes into play.

I find holidays like Father’s Day to be very difficult and anxiety inducing for me.

Don’t get me wrong, I was so lucky to snag a husband who is a wonderful father. His devotion to his family is truly indescribable. Not to mention he treats me like an absolute queen. I also am fortunate enough to have some incredible father figures in my life. It has nothing to do with the subject of the holiday, more the reason behind it.

I would like to think that I try to acknowledge how much these men mean to me and to our family as much as possible. I don’t know that an earmarked day is necessary to do that. Not to mention that some aspects of Fathers Day are just plain ridiculous. An example of this is the race to see who can post the most poignant, adorable message on social media praising fathers. I was literally lying in bed Saturday night thinking about what to post when I woke up on Sunday.

Not to mention I can only imagine how this would be a difficult day for many, including my husband who lost his father just 2 years ago.  Or parents raising children alone, or with strained relationships. This can be a day of sadness and reflection on what they are missing.

I know I sound like a real buzz kill right now. All I’m saying is that maybe we should spend a little more time celebrating the ones we love on a daily basis, instead of waiting for that one pressure filled, anxiety inducing day to do it.

Just sayin.

Am I crazy? Have you had these sentiments towards these types of holidays or am I just a cranky asshole?

Until next time,

Betsy

June Gloom Comfort

Happy Hump Day!!!

Even though summer has technically started, we have been experiencing the typical San Diego June gloom. I’m not gonna complain though, I know it will get super hot soon (like, tomorrow!), So I will soak in this marine layer for as long as I can.

While enjoying this cozy weather the other night I decided to make some comfort food, figuring it will be a while before I get to make soups again. I made a tomato basil soup adapted from this The Barefoot Contessa recipe.

 

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Tomato Soup

 

You can easily make this recipe vegan by substituting the chicken stock with vegetable stock and omitting the butter.

 

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Tomato Soup Ingredients

 

I chose to use the immersion blender at the end, instead of a food mill because it is much easier to get the kiddos to eat soup with less texture.

 

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Tomato Soup

 

I also put together a little make your own grilled cheese bar to pair with the soup.

 

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Grilled Cheese Board

 

For my make your own grilled cheese bar, I had ciabatta, whole wheat, and gluten free bread. I put out some brie, smoked cheese, and cheddar out. I also offered some add ons like pancetta, sweet pickles, pancetta, and sweet medjool dates (not pictured).

The kiddos had the traditional cheddar, I jazzed mine up using the ciabatta bread, dates, brie, and pancetta, while the hubs had his with gluten free bread, smoked gouda and pancetta. A make your own grilled cheese bar is  a fun way to get everyone involved in dinner!

This is a fun, easy dinner for any night of the week. Let me know what you like in your grilled cheese! Is there anything I can’t live without?

Also, if you haven’t already entered this awesome giveaway yet, DO IT! The contest ends Friday!

Until next time,

Betsy

It’s beginning to look a lot like Summer!

Good Morning!

I hope you all had an awesome weekend. Even though the boys have three more days of school, it is basically summer time in these parts. On Friday I met up with my friend Gina for lunch. We went to Mitch’s in Point Loma. The place is SO good and right on the water. The smell of the ocean, and watching the tourists made me feel  like I was temporary plucked out of reality, and into Michelada heaven!

 

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Mitch’s

 

Saturday was karate, Costco, closing day of baseball,

 

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Little League

 

more fish tacos,

 

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Snack Shack Fish Tacos

 

and swimming at grandma’s.

 

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Pool Time

 

On Sunday the kid’s school held an end of the year party on the bay. It was great to see the kiddos having so much fun outside. (Not pictured, yet again tacos for lunch!)

Sunday night was the usual. Laundry, cooking, getting ready for the week.

Are you feeling the Summer vibe yet? Any fun plans coming up in the next few months?

If you haven’t entered the giveaway for 4 free tickets to the San Diego International Boat Show, click HERE and leave a comment to enter. The winner will be announced on Friday!

Until next time,

Betsy