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Hello, friends! Thanks for coming back. I don’t think this blog has ever had a break this long between posts, but the break was necessary and natural and definitely enjoyed on my end! 😛 Ryan and I are well on our way to being settled into our house. The big boxes in the living room have been put away, the laundry and recycling piles aren’t running us out of the house, there is food in the fridge, and we have most of life’s necessities. We are very blessed. It feels like we’re starting to find a routine, something that both of us thrive on and are welcoming with open arms.
As I shared in my pre-wedding life update, I was slightly worried about whether or not I’d be able to find the balance between blogging/publishing and being the wife I am called to be, but I’m happy to share that God has given me a love for homemaking that surpasses my love for blogging. Actually, I still really enjoy both of those things, but if I’m pressed for time, my responsibilities here in my home easily take priority. Being a keeper at home gives me a lot of satisfaction and fulfillment. I’m very glad for that.
That being said, I’ve missed blogging, and I’m very glad to be coming back to it as I have time! Those of you who receive my email updates have seen a little more out of me than the general public, and if you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed that I post a lot of meals and behind-the-scenes stuff to my stories. I’ve been doing a lot of cooking, but I just haven’t had time to get any of it up on the blog yet! Many of the recipes I’m making are bookmarked to go into my next cookbook as exclusives, but I’ll be sharing some here on the blog as I have time. Stay tuned, and click here to sign up for email updates if you want to be sure not to miss new posts!
If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen a lot of Easy Chocolate Oatmeal lately. 😛 There was a week where I had it for breakfast every/single/morning. I never get tired of it, it’s cheap, and it’s easy. In the last few days I’ve been switching it up a little more because I’ve been keeping baked oatmeal and yogurt on hand to send with Ryan for breakfast in the mornings, and I’ve been enjoying some of those things myself. This morning it was back to chocolate oatmeal though. I miss it when I don’t have it! Marriage or not, some things never change. Maybe we can call it “The Chocolate Oatmeal Phenomenon.”
To forestall questions…I’m afraid I have no wedding pictures to share yet. These things take time, and *I* haven’t even seen any myself! Rest assured that I will post some eventually, when I receive them from the photographer. 🙂 I have posted a video at the end of this post that you might want to check out, though. A friend of mine (the same friend that posted the South Africa vlogs last February) published a vlog that includes a little bit of footage from our wedding, so feel free to check it out! My South Africa peeps sang at the wedding, which was really special.
I thought y’all might want to get a glimpse of my new kitchen! Ryan and I are renting a small house right now while he’s in residency. I love the neighborhood and have actually been adjusting to city living quite easily. I really enjoy having my own domain in which to cook. I could use a little more cupboard and counter space, but the coat closet in the living room does double duty as a pantry, so that works! As you can see above, we’re still improvising in a few areas, like our microwave cabinet. 😉
I was VERY blessed to receive many spices and extracts from the ladies that attended my bridal shower! To save on space, I rigged up a holder for my extracts on the cabinet door.
Yesterday I finally mixed up a batch of my baking mix so I can start baking again! I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet and have been living without baked goods for the past month! That was actually not a bad thing; I think I’m getting a better handle on my sweet tooth and eating simpler foods. However, I’m definitely looking forward to getting back into the baking groove and concocting some new recipes – for Ryan first and foremost, but for all you lovely people, too! I made a Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Muffin for Ryan and me to share the other night and he loved it, so I’m excited to try more baked goods on him.
Before I got married I made sure I had all my favorite basic THM-friendly ingredients on hand to stock my cupboards. THM Pure Stevia Extract Powder and whey protein powder go into my chocolate oatmeal nearly every morning. I’ve used THM Super Sweet Blend to sweeten a few other simple desserts and snacks, like cottage cheese with a touch of cinnamon, or a pineapple yogurt recipe I was working on. Coconut flour, oat fiber, whey protein, flaxmeal from Aldi (since I don’t have a good source for golden flax seeds here yet), and xanthan gum came together to make my baking mix. Glucomannan gave my Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Muffin a great texture, and I look forward to more recipes of that sort coming up soon!
Some of you have asked what I’m feeding Ryan. Well, lots of stuff! I think I’ve made 3 gallons of yogurt in the last two weeks. (You can click here for my yogurt tutorial.) Typically I would strain some of the whey off to make Greek yogurt, but we go through it so fast that I’ve just been leaving it as regular skim yogurt to use in a THM E setting for me. For Ryan it doesn’t really matter, since he expends a lot of energy at work and has a fast metabolism. A big bowl full of yogurt helps fill him up and makes a great component of breakfast, a snack, or dessert.
NOTE: I actually found that I have better luck with not burning my yogurt milk if I use a stainless steel kettle instead of the Dutch oven below. Also, I’m new to cooking with gas, and I’ve found that turning the burner heat down further than I would on an electric stove is necessary.
For on-the-go breakfasts I keep baked oatmeal and/or egg casseroles portioned out in the fridge. Ryan’s lunches usually consist of leftovers, fruits and veggies, yogurt (he prefers my homemade stevia-sweetened yogurt to the store-bought flavored kind!), and any other assorted food that happens to be available. I am so thankful that he’s not a picky eater. He’s very adventurous and loves everything I make, even when it’s not blog-worthy. Vegetables, brown rice – he’s game for anything – and he’s even gotten me hooked on greens! Collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens…I’ve tried them all now and love incorporating them into our meals!
One night last week I experimented with a chickpea curry that contained a whole bunch of mustard greens. It needs a few tweaks so I’ll be making it again, but it was still yummy and left me with enough leftovers for Ryan’s lunch for a few days. I was also experimenting with a cucumber raita and a broccoli salad. The raita needs some work, but the broccoli salad was amazing and will be in my next cookbook!
Yes, I am actively working on recipes for another cookbook now, but I’m not making any announcements about a pre-order or release date until it’s nearly done. I want to be able to focus on being a wife without putting myself under deadlines right now, but I am working on amassing recipes and getting plenty of opportunity to cook, that’s for sure! 🙂 Having lots of fun.
The only problem with cooking is the dishes that result. 😛 I have limited counter space and no dishwasher, so once in awhile the counter looks like this:
Not that often, thankfully. 😛
Here’s our living room:
I love all the windows in this house! They let in lots of sunshine.
You know what’s cool? Ryan found all that furniture on Craigslist. He’s a great bargain hunter.
This set of bowls was a wedding gift from one of my friends who lives in Norway! I think they’re just beautiful and have already used one or two in photographs with yummy food inside! All my blogging dishes are displayed in the china cabinet in our living room. It’s quite the mismatched collection, but we’ll call it a conversation starter. 😛
And yes, Ryan even found a piano on Craigslist. I was so happy to be able to keep playing and practicing my music!
Married life has a way of stretching and growing one as a person, but that’s a super good thing. I am so thankful for my new husband and the foundation that we’ve been able to built already – a foundation based on God and His love. I look forward to easing back into blogging as I have time and seeing more of y’all!
And now, what you’ve all been waiting for. 😉 Credits for this video go to Myron Eby. (You can click here to subscribe to his channel on YouTube.) I set this video up to start with the wedding footage, but feel free to go back to the beginning to catch all of Myron’s story from the weekend!
Grab a copy of my cookbook to get nearly 400 RECIPES to jump start your healthy journey! You’ll find lots of our Thomas family church cookbook favorites made healthy in this easy-to-use, hard cover/spiral bound book. CLICK HERE for details! You may also want to check out my 2018 recipe calendar with 12 brand new recipes and exclusive recipe cards! (The calendar is on sale!)