Sunday, July 17, 2016

Sweet and Smoky Grilled Cheese -THM S

Okay so I haven't blogged in quite a while but I HAVE to share this recipe.  This was inspired by something my husband had ordered at a restaurant. This has my two favorite things in the world to eat. Bacon, pecans and cheese. Okay that was my three favorite things. I first made this sandwich a week or so ago when my good friend Chrissy Benoit (Visit her blog here, she has lots of yummy recipes) was visiting with her family and when my hubby said she had left her smoked cheddar in my fridge when they left, I knew she was a friend for life. (Visit her blog here, she has lots of yummy recipes)

This sandwich is sweet and smoky. Since I did as I usually do when I cook, throw things in, I don't have actual measurements. So you are going to have to wing it. 

First thing to do is cook up some slices of bacon. However many you think you can stuff in. 

Then you melt a 1/2 tablespoon of butter in a clean skillet and throw a handful of pecans in. To sweeten them up I sprinkled on two packets of Sugar Twin Stevia. Let those toast quickly and set aside. As you can see I let mine get a little too toasty. New stove and I'm not used to how fast it cooks. 

Then you take a pita. I use Joesph's low carb pitas.   Cut it in half and open it up so you can get all that goodness in. 

Slice your cheese. I used two wedges of laughing cow cheese, some slices of smoked cheddar and some smoked Gouda. (Can you tell I love smoked cheese? I was in love when I was in the cheese factory we went to in Amsterdam. Smoked goat cheese is amazing!)

Now it's time to assemble. First spread one wedge of laughing cow on the inside of the half pita, then half the Gouda, then half the pecans, then half the bacon and then half the cheddar. Repeat with the other half of the pita. You have to make sure that you have cheese on either side of the pecans and bacon because that's what holds them in. 

After you have it all assembled, melt some butter on your skillet and carefully place both half of your sandwich onto it. Cook on both sides until toasty and the cheese is melted. 

You will not regret making this sandwich. It is absolute to die for!  I might just make another one tomorrow. 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Healthy bacon wrapped smokies? THM -S

So we started a family tradition last year for New Years Eve. As the kids got older, and we parents got older we found that it was more fun to let the kids invite some friends over, have appetizers and play games until midnight.

Appetizers.....mmmmm my favorite. My problem being on the Trim Healthy Mama plan is that I have to find new or modify my favorite appies. I must confess something here. I totally went off plan for three days over Christmas. And in the process gained a whopping 10 pounds in those three days. Now I hunkered down and managed to lose those 10 pounds in between Christmas and New Years so I was determined not to let New Years derail me again. One of my all time favorite appetizers are bacon wrapped smokies. My kids love them too and they were requested by all four of them in the weeks leading up to Christmas. So inset about trying to figure out how to make some so I could eat them. And that's how I came up with this recipe. 

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Wrapped Smokies THM-S

1 package of cocktail wieners
1 package of bacon
2 TBSP THM Super Sweet Blend 
2 packets of Truvia
1-2 tsp of your favorite spicey blend (I use a homemade blackening spice blend)

1. Cut your package of bacon in half. Wrap each half piece of bacon around the cocktail wiener and secure with a toothpick. Place them all into a 13x9 baking dish. 
2. Mix the sweeteners and blackening spice together. Sprinkle evenly over the smokies and bake at 325 for 40-50 mins or at 350 for 30 mins or until bacon is crisp. 

I was so excited when I tasted them to find that they tasted just like the sugar filled version I had made the rest of the family . I even remembered to take a picture right before I devoured them. (Don't worry I did share) after I took the picture I had realized that they needed to head back to the oven to crisp up that bacon a bit more. 

Thanks so much for reading and just a reminder. J and I are still fundraising for our trip to Mozambique. We have done pretty good with various projects but still need a bit more to reach our goal. If you would like to learn more about our trip Click Here.  If you would like to donate you can click  on the right hand side of the blog. You could also send a cheque with a note saying who it is for (Natasha) to Summerside Community Church. Please make your cheque payable to:

Summerside Community Church
150 Industrial CrescentSummerside PE C1N 5N6

Thank you so much for your support! Please continue to pray for us as we move forward towards this goal.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Africa 2016!

This little girls name is Maria.  I don't know if I will see her again as she did not live in the orphanage but was one of the village kids.  She had a spirit that would light up the night sky.  I pray for her often.  

We have some exciting news to share with you. Julianna and I have been given the privilege of being part of the 2016 Africa Mission team to Mozambique, Africa. As most of you know I had this awesome experience back in November of 2012. It would be impossible to describe how that trip has changed how I view life and how I love other people. I am absolutely ecstatic that I get to share this adventure with Julianna.

We will be working with Iris Ministries ( in providing assistance to an area of Africa which has been ravaged by AIDS. Nearly 50% of the young adults are dying of AIDS and leaving large numbers of orphans behind with no one to care for them. Our church members now sponsor more than eighty children in the village of Meize. We will be involved in projects such as much needed medical care, health training, and construction of homes for our sponsored children as well as some other village children so they can attend high school in the city of Pemba, and possibly other projects intended to improve the economic opportunities for the villagers, blessing and being blessed by some of the poorest of the poor. We have committed to returning to the village of Meize every two years to maintain our relationship and support for these orphans and their village.

As a team member we are responsible for raising our own travel costs in addition to collecting clothes, tools and medical supplies to be given to the people in the village we have adopted.

Part of the commitment to the mission is the requirement to enlist the support of others in funding and praying for our participation and the success of the mission. We would love for you to be part of our team, either by donating and/or with your prayers. The total cost of the trip is $ 3,000.00 for each of us. That's a total of $6000.00 for the both of us. This covers everything….plane fare, food, lodging, in-country travel and supplies.

If you would like to support us in this effort we would appreciate it if you would respond immediately as we must have my funds in place as soon as possible so that our flights can be booked. You can click on the donate button below or on the right hand side of the blog. 

You could also send a cheque to Summerside Community Church. Please make your cheque payable to:

Summerside Community Church
150 Industrial Crescent
Summerside PE C1N 5N6

Thank you so much for your support! Please continue to pray for us as we move forward towards this goal.

Here are some pictures from the orphanage we will be visiting.  

Many of the kids wear rags and are so dirty.  This little ones name is Anna and had a gorgeous smile when she smiled. 

Many kids walked around with younger siblings on their backs.

After the feeding program where each child gets a dish of rice and beans, this sister of five took all their dishes, emptied them in to a tupperware type dish and then gave each of them a handful and took the rest home to their family.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes! (S)

Trim Healthy Mama has a fantastic recipe for pancakes.  They are so delicious with a bit of greek yogurt and fruit on top.  The only problem with them is that they are an "E" meal and so I need to limit my fats with it.  You know what that means?  NO bacon!  I know! It's so sad!  Breakfast would not be complete without bacon.   I've looked for pancakes that I could have with bacon but all the recipes I found seemed so complicated.  So I set out to make an S pancake on my own.  Here's what I came up with. I use a baking blend that I make from another website.   Click on the word baking blend to see the recipe. Or THM has their own baking blend but I haven't been able to try it yet.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Pancakes 
time=10 mins 

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp peanut flour
  • 2 tbsp low carb baking blend  
  • 2-3 packets of Truvia
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 2-3 frozen strawberries chopped

Directions: Mix all ingredients together.  Fry pancakes with butter in a pan.  Serve with sweetened greek yogurt and strawberries.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Berry Crisp for One (S)

 So I've been following Trim Healthy Mama now for over a year and a half and I have just finally started to write down some of my recipes.  Now I will share.  This recipe is classified as a "S" for satisfying.   This would be a good dessert to have after a nice steak dinner.  It's classified as an S because of the almond flour and the amount of butter used.  It could be easily converted to an "E" (Energizing) by switching out the almond flour for oat flour and only using 1 tsp of butter.  That way you could use apples or peaches.

Last night I was totally craving a crisp.  So I made this last night for a snack and served it with one spoonful of So Delicious Coconut Milk sugar free ice cream.

Anyway here is the recipe.

Berry Crisp for One

1/2 cup frozen berries
4 packets truvia
Sprinkle of glucomannan
2 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp almond flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1tbsp butter, melted

Place berries in ramekin and sprinkle 2 packs of truvia and a sprinkle of gluccie. In separate bowl mix oats, almond flour, cinnamon, and 2 packs of truvia.  Mix in the melted butter and place on top of the berries.   Bake at 350 for 20-22 mins.

Net carbs work out to be 9.9 grams so just under the allowed 10 carbs for a S snack.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 241 g 

Calories from Fat 
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 
Saturated Fat 
Trans Fat 
Total Carbohydrates 
Dietary Fiber 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The day's meals.

Hey everyone. 

So I've been doing the Trim Healthy mama plan now for 19 months tomorrow. I have not lost a pound since January but I have gone down in pant sizes and inches since then. This is a hugely successful plan and a way of life for me. I can't believe I get to eat such yummy food that is actually healthy for me. 

Lots of people have asked me what I do and I've explained that on the blog before so today I want to give you an idea on what I eat. I woke up later than usual this morning and I didn't feel like having my regular eggs or oatmeal for breakfast. So I booted up my computer and searched for a pancake recipe that I could have bacon with.  I finally found one that was low carb so I managed to have pancakes and bacon.  The recipe I found had a recipe for a maple butter that was super good. I didn't even need syrup or anything like that. I did put a dollop of greek yogurt on top of each pancake for some extra protein.   Here's where I found the recipe.

Because I woke up late and had breakfast late I didn't have time in my day to be able to have a snack. (Since I eat every three to four hours.) So my next meal was lunch!  This was leftover cheeseburger salad from last nights supper. It was so delicious. This recipe is from the pioneer woman website. ( Her cheeseburger salad, only I omit the croutons. I added a spoonful of chipotle ceasar dressing as well. 

I love adding pickles to this salad!

I added dessert to this meal. Yesterday I made a flourless chocolate cake ( it is delicious!  So dark and rich!  I had it with some sugar free So Delicious coconut milk ice cream. 

No snack again since I had a later lunch so supper is next. I put a small chicken in the oven to roast and served it with green beans and potato wedges for the rest of the family, I had pureed cauliflower with mine. So yummy!  I gulped it down quick as I had some chauffeuring to do with kids activities so I barely got to taste it. Lol. But it was good. 

My evening snack was another slice of cake. This time I sweetened some cream cheese and spread it on top. So yum!  I was so eager to taste that I forgot to take a picture. So there you have it. My day of meals. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The bright side

Wow, I didn't realize how long it's been since my last post.  It's been almost a year!  To be fair, my life has not changed a whole lot so you haven't missed much.  In a nut shell in the last 8 months, the kids finished up another year of homeschool (grades 7, 4, 2 and kindergarten respectively) we had a slow start to our summer since it was still cold in July! That meant we didn't get to the beach as much as we would have liked but Augusts and Septembers weather made up for a cold June and July. We even managed a beach day or two in September which is usually unheard of.  August was an extremely busy month with the girls taking part in the two week Spotlight Theatre Company's musical theatre camp as well as "T" going away to camp for the first time, then little miss Sweet Pea's 6th birthday, a conference "J" and I worked at for our church and J going away for camp following that. By the time September came around, I was ready to return to the routine of school and fall activities.  This meant though that we had to say goodbye during the days to our sweet T who decided he wanted to try grade five in public school. We as parents decided that if he wanted to do that then that is what we will let him do even though in my heart I hated the fact that he would be away for so much of the day each day.  So we slid into routine, T fit very well in school as we knew he would because he is just such a likeable kid and the other three started their homeschool year. I found with one less child to teach, it was easier to focus on my little grade 1 student and getting her to learn how to read. We decided to skip a grade with "I" who is now doing primarily grade 4 work (and some grade 5) and he is moving along smoothly as long as I can make sure he focuses.  "J" is plodding along in grade 8, not particularly enjoying school but glad to be able to stay home and do school in her pjs if she wants.

So here we are. I'm going to try and fill this post with bright sides... you know those silver linings that are hard to see when we are having  a miserable day/week.  We just began our fourth week of school. Let me tell you about how our week has gone so far. Let's start with Friday night.  What a fun night. We had friends over for supper. A supper that has been long overdue considering our busy summer.  After supper we got a phone call from other friends of ours who were in town. We were just about to play a new game we just got called The Resistance (get it, try it, it's a blast and you may not ever trust anyone again lol) so we invited them over too. This meant even more kids to play with for our own. I think with all the families combined plus neighbor kids we had 11-12 running around. So the adults sat down to play the game and the kids ran outside to play at the cul de sac behind our house.  We adults were having fun mistrusting each other when our friends 8 year old daughter came in the house saying someone was hurt.  After trying to figure out which kid she was talking about hubby jumped up and looked out the back door. He comes in and says "It's "J" and the boys are carrying her home."

At this point I jump up because if she needs to be carried home then it must be serious. Just as I get to the door, I hear them coming and her saying "ok I'm good". I relax.  She wasn't crying as she hobbled in so it must not have been too bad. She just said she twisted her ankle.  So we get her ice, everyone starts packing heir kids up ready to start home. Hubby had plans with other friends later in the evening so he left as our friends left. As soon as everyone was gone, I look at "J" and she burst in to tears saying how much her ankle hurt. The little stinker downplayed her injury while everyone was still there.  So since both boys left with our friends for sleepovers, I put Sweet Pea to bed and "J" and I cuddled in my bed watching a movie.  As she went to bed later that night, I hoped that by morning, the pain would have subsided.  It didn't..  the next morning, she complained that it hurt more and that she didn't sleep much of the night because of it.  Sooo I made arrangements for Hubby to cart Sweet pea and our neice to their dance class and took 'J' to the ER.  Seven hours of waiting in the waiting room ensued.  Finally we are called in, see the dr for all of 1 minute, get some xrays and get a diagnoses of a sprained ligament and instructions to stay off it for a week.  On the bright side..... my sweet aunt let us borrow some crutches that she had so we didn't have to rent them.

Fast forward to Monday... yesterday... I wake up to get the boy off to school and get my day started.  Hubby is just about to walk out the door for work when a full bottle of vanilla (big bottle from costco) jumps out of the cupboard and falls on the tile breaking the cap off.  On the bright side.... I managed to grab it before we lost too much of it.  Hubby helps to clean it up as much as he can before rushing off to work.  I end up getting the mop out and mopping the kitchen floor and since I had it out, I may as well mop the living room floor as well. The bright side now?  The house smells like delicious vanilla!  As I am doing that, I send "T" up to the attic to retrieve some little people toys for the little girls I was babysitting later on that morning.  So there we were, mopping the floor and rummaging in the attic.  As he comes back down, we happen to look at the time..  What do you know.. it's 8:19 and his bus comes at 8:25.  He scrambles out the door and I watch as he makes it to the bus stop.  I look at my watch, whew he made it and it was only 8:20.
Ahh.. as the other kids start straggling out of their beds, I realize I hadn't had time to eat breakfast so I start my daily routine of making oatmeal.  Just as I am about to get it into the microwave to cook, "T" comes into the house saying, "I think you need to drive me to school"  I look at my watch... 8:33. CRAP!  School bell rang 3 minutes ago and we had 2 minutes to get there before school started.  The bright side is we literally live a one minute drive from his school and 'J' is old enough to stay with the other kids while I ran out so I didn't have to pile everyone in the car.

So I got T to school, got the other kids started on their schoolwork, welcomed my little 21 month old nephew in who I babysit on Monday mornings and the two other little girls that I babysit on Mondays as well and went on with our day.  It was a fairly easy day.. The baby (9 month old) was super easy and had two naps for me. Even the other little girl (2 years) napped in the afternoon.  Things finally seemed to be running smoothly.  Until I started to feel dizzy, scratchy throat and my nose started filling up.  Ugh.. I had finally caught the cold that had run it's course through our household and so had 'J'   The bright side is I had gotten paid for babysitting so I had a little extra money and it was half off day at Greco so I ordered pizza for supper and didn't have to cook.  Hubby even took "I" to karate for me.

That evening as we started to wind down, three kids were in bed and I was watching a tv show with J when I heard  what I thought was hubby coughing.  Then a weak little "MOM" came from the bathroom.  Yup, it was 'T' throwing up.   After he was done though, he was convinced it was that he had ate too much junk that day and that he felt perfectly fine.. Since he sleeps on the top bunk, we decided it would be safer if he slept on the couch anyway just in case.  Boy was I glad he did.  Now normally, all our kids do very well getting to the toilet in time when having a stomach bug.. it's very rare to have any mess to clean up.  Last night was one of those rare times.  At about 11:00, I see him run past our bedroom to the bathroom.  I go to check on him and what a mess.  There were literally piles of puke from the couch to the bathroom.. probably a good 10-15 feet worth.  Here's the bright side.... my hubby has always been one to get in there and help clean up these kinds of messes.  If he weren't, I think I would have cried.  As we got 'T' into the shower and started to clean, we realized that I still had the steam mop out from that morning.  Perfect!  It took probably 20 minutes to get everything clean but the bright side is my living room, hallway and bathroom floors all are very clean and mopped.  We got 'T' settled in again this time on our "sick mat" on the floor with a nice big bucket.  He continued to throw up all night long and into the morning.  The bright side is we got to keep him home from school and enjoy him for the day and he is starting to feel much better.

My lack of sleep + cold symptoms has turned into a massive sinus headache but the  bright side is I am here... I'm alive and it's just a cold.  I will survive.

Based on how my week has started I could be miserable and complain but I choose to look at the bright side of things and know that tomorrow is a new day full of new silver linings!