Food For Thought Friday

The Pantry Trade-Off

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HAPPY FRIDAY!!!! Wahoooooo!!! It is raining dogs and ponies here in Atlanta, but in my heart it is SUNSHINE and rainbows!! I am so excited for the weekend!! (Can you tell?)

So, as many of you know, one of our favorite things to do is cook together. Affectionately, Craig and I refer to each other as chef and sous-chef in the kitchen and we just love watching The Food Network and any cooking show together – Our favorite is ‘America’s Test Kitchen’.

At this point, my dietary restrictions are no longer merely ‘preferences’. With my insulin resistance/PCOS/etc., I cannot and do not eat sugar – which includes all carbohydrates, including any grains. If you don’t practice this lifestyle, it may seem daunting at first…HOW do you love to cook and not use flour, sugar, rice, etc.???

Actually, once you know the trades for those items, you can pretty much make and eat anything. The possibilities are endless.

One thing that’s important to note is that if a product claims to be ‘low fat’, ‘low sugar’, etc., it’s because it is filled with something else in the place of that fat or sugar. This is pure danger, and it part of the reason America is in the obesity crisis we are!

Let’s take, for example, skim milk.

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Did you know that skim milk has about twice the amount of sugar as full fat cream!?!? When the fat is removed to make the milk ‘skim’, sugar is added in its place… For more information about this, see this article… Once you really begin researching nutrition…it’s quite eye-opening…You can change your entire health outlook with just a few switches in your pantry!

So, anyway, I love to create recipes that are similar to foods I enjoyed when I still ate carbs, but you’ll notice, as explained above, that I use several items which are SURPRISINGLY low carb & sugar, such as heavy whipping cream! (Note: At your favorite coffee shop, order your lattes ‘breve’, which means to use cream vs milk. You’ll save a TON of carbs this way!)

For today’s Food For Thought Friday, I thought I would share the recipe I ‘created’ last night for our dinner, Crusted Chicken in Dill Cream. It was delicious and so easy!

 

Crusted Chickenrecipe

Try out our recipe and let us know what you think! Comment below or send us a message here!

Have a beautiful weekend, y’all! We’ll see you on Monday!

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Food For Thought Friday

What’s For Dinner?

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Friends, it has been a long week alone! And tonight, although Craig was scheduled to return home, it looks like the airlines had other planes (Ha! A true Freudian slip!) plans for him. Alas, I have an exciting night of cooking ahead of me anyway, and if I can’t be with my husband tonight, I am actually a little thrilled to be getting back into meal planning and preparing meals ahead of time!;-)

So today, I thought I would share with you the recipes I am making tonight for next week, and a freebie: A Meal Plan Printable & Grocery List!

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Obviously, I’m a big fan of Danielle at Let’s Dish! For this coming week, every meal came from her food blog, so if you see anything that looks yummy to you – and how could it not?!?! – check it out for yourself!

Now, perhaps you’re wondering how I eat any of this if you know anything about my dietary restrictions, and the truth is, that I won’t be eating the pizza or sandwiches, but the quinoa cakes, salmon and chicken should be DELICIOUS with a few minor modifications. 🙂

What are your thoughts on meal planning and cooking in advance for the week ahead? If you’d like to try it (and experience the lessening of pressure from not having to THINK about what’s for dinner or the last minute rush to the grocery store), check out my free printable:

Meal Plan TemplateLet me know what you think, and how this system works for you! And by the way, what’s your favorite recipe? You never know, we may add it to our next meal plan!

Have a great weekend!

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Food For Thought Friday

A Quick Fix Delicious Chicken Dinner

Friday2Happy Friday Y’all!

Sad to say, I am NOT feeling well…still…but at least I am home today, with my sweet husband. Always looking for that silver lining… 🙂

As promised, we have a DELICIOUS recipe for you today. It’s simple and easy to make, and you can easily alter it based on your own personal taste!

recipe

Because we love spice, we chose seasoned pepper, and red pepper flakes as two of our seasonings. Also, we used a spicy relish in addition to the heirloom tomato and roasted red pepper. Seriously, this was a DELICIOUS dish, and easy to make after getting home from a long commute and a long day at work! 🙂

Enjoy this meal, and you won’t be sorry! What are some of your go-to recipes for a quick homemade meal?

Have a great weekend folks!

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My Choice Monday

Ask & You Shall Receive

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Happy Monday!

Whew! What a weekend! I’m about to fall asleep at my desk, and I have a sneaking suspicion Craig is feeling the same way today! His birthday weekend was AWESOME – but also one of those ‘vacations’ you need a vacation after to catch up! 🙂

Today’s “My Choice” is an answer to many a question we have received regarding FullTurn Church and our attendance there.

Here is a video clip of the Sunday ‘sermon’ a few weeks ago:

Listening to Pastor Alan, I can feel the Holy Spirit leading his message. We truly followed God to this place, and couldn’t be more ecstatic to have our weeks and weekends JAM-PACKED with Christ!

When the Holy Spirit is tugging at your heart, and urging you to do MORE for Him, to seek Him more, to follow Him more closely… you need to listen. It doesn’t matter if you are comfortable in the pew at church you have been sitting in for the past 12 years. He requires of us as Christians to seek Him first and foremost, and where He leads us, there shall we go.

Matthew 6:33

33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

 2 Chronicles 7:14

14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Y’all, if you ask for His guidance, He will lead you and He will guide you. There never has to be a decision you have to make alone. No problem or issue is too big or too small for Him.

And on a lighter note…

Lulu’s On Main

This AH-MAY-ZING restaurant in little ol’ Sylva, North Carolina is the definition of a hidden gem. The next time you come to visit us for more than one day, we will drive the 2 hours to have dinner here! There is a great menu for anyone and everyone – including those of us who are gluten-free, or going through a Lenten season of vegetarianism. 🙂 Click the image to be redirected to their website.

Enjoy the rest of your Monday – It’s time for a nap!

xoxo

Food For Thought Friday

Dream The Impossible Dream

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Happy Friday! Today open this post in a browser because we have a ton of thought-provoking information for you, and a lot of it is via video. You’ll want to watch. Trust us. 🙂

Some food for thought…

Isn’t that what childlike faith is all about?

Luke 18:17

17 I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

In other Food For Thought Friday News…

30,000 YEAR OLD VIRUS HAS BEEN REVIVED?!?!?! {click the picture for the link to the articleI don’t know about y’all…but that one should make you THINK!

And these two are just for fun…

Um…is it just me, or is that not SUPER cool?!?! That’s actually a current “concept” Pizza Hut is considering…Now if only the place had gluten-free pizza…

This next one freaks me out a little bit…The whole concept… But I want your opinion…Would you go?

The father…I just don’t understand how you could live with yourself… I really don’t…Did that bother you, too?

What are your overall thoughts after watching that documentary… I was very provoked by it…Made me think about how we should feel that way about Earth, since as Christians we are aliens in a strange land…

And finally, this Chevy commercial just made me cry right here at my desk.

All I could think about was our sweet fur-babies… Oh, pets are SUCH a blessing!

Have a great weekend boys and girls! Craig & I have a super fun excursion planned for the next couple days! Tune in next week for all the details! 😉

xoxo

*Enter the giveaway! You have until March 14th! Today, Like us on Facebook & then comment below “Done.”, for one entry. If you don’t have Facebook or already “like” our page, follow our blog, or comment on ANY ONE OF OUR POSTS for a chance to win – EACH COMMENT IS ONE ENTRY!!! Good luck!*

My Choice Monday

A Delicious Way To Wake Up!

MondayHappy Christmas Week!

We are writing to you from beautiful (& very chilly) Minnesota on this Monday before Christmas, with the perfect (mostly) prepare-ahead breakfast for your Christmas Morning!

Craig & I made breakfast for dinner last week, and tried this dish…It was so GOOD! We substituted blackberries & blueberries for the raspberries, and of course used Gluten-Free Bread – but you can certainly use “real” bread if you aren’t “gluten-challenged”!

Raspberry Cream Cheese French Toast Casserole

Click the link for the recipe, and until you make your own version, here is the one we made last week!

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yum2Oh my goodness, this was just so delicious! Craig ate his with maple syrup, and the look he gave me when he took his first bite told me he was in heaven! 🙂 Personally, I think whipped cream…or vanilla ice cream…mmmm…would be yummy, as well!

I would have taken a pretty, ‘staged’ picture our plates…but we just gobbled this up TOO quickly!!

If you enjoy this recipe and are gluten-challenged or interested in more gluten-free and delicious recipes, Udi’s has some great ones here – Your family won’t even be able to tell the difference! 🙂

Until tomorrow…

Love,
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TTC Tuesday

Trying To Conceive Tuesday

TuesdayWelcome Back!

It’s TTC (Trying To Conceive) Tuesday here at The Newlywed Lefebvres blog, where we will limit ourselves to one day per week of discussing our (trying) journey of infertility. For the purposes of future posts, maybe today I should tell you a little bit about our unique situation.

For the past year and 3 months, Craig and I have been trying to have a baby, and thus far, we have been unsuccessful. After complaining to my doctor the entire time of issues I was experiencing, after almost a year, he finally referred us to have some testing completed. Long story short, they found a polyp blocking my right fallopian tube. This was surgically removed in October.

Surgery

Further testing (which is an entire novel of a story in itself) confirmed I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) – Click here to find out more.

We began treating this condition in the past month with Metformin and Letrazole, as well as vitamin and mineral based supplements. In addition, I am using a progesterone cream, as well, and (as I have for years) am following a extremely low-GI, gluten-free diet. Yay.

Last Wednesday, I went in for my first sonogram to monitor the medication’s effectiveness…If you have gotten a frustrated call or e-mail from me, you know we are struggling with the most inept medical practice in Northwest Georgia, and to put the cherry on top, they had no idea why I was there when I arrived at the doctor’s office last week…So, that being said, who KNOWS if they were able to obtain any worthwhile results from our first sonogram or not. This Friday, they will have another shot, so we will have to let you know next week if they redeemed themselves or not. Pray for us and my patience with these people. Seriously.

On a positive note, the Metformin has been wonderful at treating all sorts of things I have struggled with for years. Insulin-resistance can affect alot of things, and finally finding an answer and a treatment is priceless, albeit a little bit maddening that it took so long for the doctors to diagnose and to grab their attention. If you want that saga, send me an e-mail. It’s quite the tale…

The bottom line is that YOU know your body. If YOU think something is off, don’t stop until the doctor LISTENS and DOES something!

The anagram is PUSH – Pray Until Something Happens. I say: SPADS – Start Praying And Don’t Stop.

Until Tomorrow…

Much Love,
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The Big 3-1 & The First Week On The Job!

Good Morning All!

First, my apologies for being MIA the past few weeks! We’ve had a lot going on here in Georgia – from C’s birthday to his recurrent training to my new job as a nanny! Unfortunately, in all the hustle and bustle, we were unable to make the trip to MN for Craig’s cousin’s wedding – We were so sad to miss it, but plans are in the works for us to make a trip north very soon! Would anyone in GA like to volunteer to watch this little rascal sweetheart for us while we are gone?

LUCYKINS

My sweet husband celebrated his 31st birthday last Saturday and we were so lucky to be able to spend the whole day together! I made a Layered Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting with Pecans – all from scratch. You can see the recipe here. I made a few minor changes: The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar, and I ran out of sugar at 1 1/3 cups…So I added Dark Brown Sugar to reach  1 1/2 cups, plus about another 1/3 of a cup. Also, I used pecans throughout the batter AND in the icing, as well. Craig LOVED this cake. He isn’t much of a dessert person, but loves his breakfast, so this combination worked out well for him, as it is very similar to Banana Bread. Typically, I would have a picture of this deliciousness for you…but, alas, I used a new type of icing to write “Happy Birthday Craig” on top of the cake….and instead I made a MESS! 🙂 Who says delicious has to be pretty?? 🙂

Birthday Boyl surprised the birthday boy with a ride in a World War II Vintage Open Cockpit BiPlane!

IMG_1739 IMG_1731 IMG_1736I had no idea how much fun our ride was going to be! You should definitely try it out! You can make a ‘reservation’ here. We followed our flight with a yummy dinner at Elevation Chophouse:

IMG_1749And then some of our very best friends – Josh, Julia and Steve – met us to end the evening at Electric Cowboy! Happy Belated 31st to Craig! And thank you to everyone who helped make his special day even more special! 🙂

In other news, I am officially into my second week as a nanny to beautiful newborn twins and a lovely two-year old little girl! This week I have begun to cook for the family, as well, and just cannot begin to  explain how much I am enjoying my new “job” – two of my favorites: cooking and children, and it’s what I do for a living?!?! Love it!

Well, speaking of my new nanny position, I must get going! Little Lucy needs a walk before I head off to work!

We hope all of you are doing well! Promise it won’t be such a long time until our next post! I’ve got a great recipe to share for a Buffalo Chicken Dip I turned into a Casserole/Hot Dish. It’s easy, gluten-free and quite tasty! 🙂 So, until then…

Take Care! XOXO,

Pier & Craig

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When In Rome…

Why, Hello There!

We are safely back stateside dears! I know you could hear the birds begin to sing a little bit sweeter when our plane touched down on Saturday evening. 😉

What an AMAZING trip!! Craig and I are so blessed to be able to have enjoyed such an experience! You can see ALL of our pictures (well, the ones from our digital camera) here. But I’ll give you some highlights from our trip below:

Peering Into St. Peter's Square
Peering Into St. Peter’s Square

Our first day in Rome, we arrived early – as our driver from the airport moonlighted for the Italian version of NASCAR. We took back roads, crawling with traffic and mopeds at well over 90 miles per hour. We enjoyed a breakfast at a small cafe near the Vatican while we waited for our bed and breakfast to open at 10am, at which time we dropped off our luggage and took to the neighborhood for exploring while our room was made ready. The photo above was taken while peering through the huge columns surrounding St. Peter’s Square, looking in at the Basilica.

That evening, after a LONG NAP to catch up on our beauty rest, Craig and I enjoyed a DELICIOUS dinner at Renovatio La Sofitta Ristorante, which can provide ANYTHING on their extensive Italian menu in a gluten-free version!

Pier Enjoying Gluten-Free Pasta
Pier Enjoying Gluten-Free Pasta
Said Gluten-Free Pasta...Yum!
Said Gluten-Free Pasta…Yum!

We also enjoyed a night out at Saxophone Pub:

Craig Enjoying A Beer at Saxophone Pub
Craig Enjoying A Beer at Saxophone Pub

The view from our room at the B&B was spectacular at night:

Room With A ViewCraig & I visited the AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL Vatican Museum.

The Vatican Museum

I mean...That's a CEILING - and not even the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel!
I mean…That’s a CEILING – and not even the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel!

My highlight of the entire trip was our next stop: St. Peter’s Basilica. If this place didn’t make your jaw drop, well…perhaps, your soul needs a check-up. I could hardly bring myself to take any pictures. I was mesmerized.

Looking At The Altar In Saint Peter's Basilica
Looking At The Altar In Saint Peter’s Basilica

We were so blessed to have the opportunity to celebrate Mass there that evening. It was amazing. I can’t speak for my better half, but there were tears in my eyes the entire time. It was that beautiful.

We enjoyed a sushi dinner at Konnichi Wa:

Sushi In Rome: This is what happens when the Sushi Menu is in Japanese with descriptions in Italian. Actually these were DELICIOUS!
Sushi In Rome: This is what happens when the Sushi Menu is in Japanese with descriptions in Italian. Actually these were DELICIOUS!

We toured the Galleria Borghese, which houses the original “David” by Bernini.

Galleria Borghese: Unfortunately, photos INSIDE are not allowed!
Galleria Borghese: Unfortunately, photos INSIDE are not allowed!

Until my decision to NOT wear a coat came back to bite me, we saw the ALMOST COMPLETELY OUTDOOR SITE of Castel San Angelo.

We toured Trastevere and must have walked 20 miles that day alone…It too was BEAUTIFUL!

We ate at a “fancy” ristorante called Il Viaggio (“The Journey”), and Craig thoroughly enjoyed his brandy!

My scotch wasn’t too shabby either!

We visited the Trevi Fountain and made our wishes!!!

In Trastevere, we saw St. Mary at Trastevere and prayed a very special prayer.

Santa Marie In Trastevere
Santa Marie In Trastevere

We also visited the Basilica of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of music, and my confirmation saint. It was a very special trip for me, thank you to the careful planning of my sweet husband. 🙂

Saint Cecilia
Saint Cecilia

If you’ve never read this amazing saint’s story, you should. And you can here.

Of course, Craig and I visited the Colosseum and the Ruins of Ancient Rome.

Colosseum
Colosseum

The Arch of Constantine
The Arch of Constantine

Absolutely breathtaking, and such an experience to be surrounded by so much culture and history. We enjoyed our busy time in Rome, and before we knew it, it was time to head back home. As our travels typically are, the trip home was an adventure, as well, and we made the 10 hour flight from Rome to Washington, D.C., and then raced through customs and the D.C. airport to make a flight back to Atlanta.

We made it!

We are now once again enjoying our little family, all home together: Craig, Pier, Daisy and Lucy – who is beginning to understand the importance of both sleeping through (most of) the night, and pottying outside. Yay! We are so blessed and so thankful for all of the many blessings we have. Please pray for continued blessings for our little family.

Tonight is C & I’s Movie & Popcorn Date Night for Mardi Gras, followed by Ash Wednesday tomorrow, and choir practice, and then Valentine’s Day – Our first as a married couple! I cannot WAIT to give C his gifts – which I had to hide (from MYSELF), so I wouldn’t break down and give them to him early. I’m horrible about that!

Happy Fat Tuesday to all of you! I hope you’ll all enjoy a big evening, before Lent begins tomorrow! Have you decided what to give up and/or add to your Christian walk?

Lots of Love,

Pier & Craig

 

 

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A Little Bit Of This…

My, my, my…only SIX more days until Christmas! Are all of you ready? Have you done all of your shopping? I’m happy (and relieved) to note that Craig and I are DONE! Now for me to wrap everything…

The past week has been a BUSY one, and I don’t know that things are going to slow down anytime soon! I went to a ‘Holiday Couples’ Shower’ for our dear friends Ashley & J.W. (sadly without my better half – Boo!!!!!!!), but I did get to enjoy a girls’ sing-along car ride to the shower and back with one of my faves, Julia! There’s nothing like singing at the top of your lungs to every song you know to pass the time on a long road trip!

Ashley & J.W.
Ashley & J.W.
The Girls
The Girls

pier.and.julia

Such a fun shower! And if you recognize the location, it’s because once again, it was hosted by another couple we absolutely adore: Lauren & Randall.

IMG_1197After the shower and our sing-a-long ride back to Northwestern Georgia, Julia and I met up with Craig and Julia’s hubs Josh & their children for dinner. 🙂 Always a great time with all of our special friends – Craig and I are so blessed to have such a great group of TRUE friends surrounding us!

On Monday, I FINALLY got my wedding bands back from the slowest man on earth jewelry designer! Our design turned out just BEAUTIFUL and I think the setting will be much stronger!

New Wedding Bands!
New Wedding Bands!

I am absolutely ECSTATIC to have my wedding bands displayed proudly on my finger once again! 🙂

Last night, C & I were up until 1:30am making a COMPLETELY FROM SCRATCH White Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake (completely gluten-free, as well!)…We even had to make the GRAHAM CRACKERS themselves for the crust, since we couldn’t find any sans gluten. Needless to say, even the cheesecake hater Craig thought it was delicious!

christmas.cheesecake

Tonight, we’ll be making Christmas cookies! 🙂 And when I detail that experience, you’ll have to remind me to show you a picture of the Peppermint Plate we made last night! So cute! (And yes, it’s the same thing you’ve seen all over Pinterest!)

Oh, and how could I have forgotten!?!?! Craig booked our hotel for our trip to Rome in February!! You’ll have to ask my sweet husband all about it! 🙂 We are SO excited about our upcoming vacation!!!

Y’all have a great evening! Maybe I can sneak in a short nap at the office before my long drive home?? 🙂

XOXO

Pier & Craig