LOVING LATELY & A MOMENT VOLUME 20
Did you feel the energy of the eclipse moon this week? I took a gamble (it paid off) and dug into the world wide web because I truly did feel like something was happening, and I discovered this:
(Disclaimer: I am in no way sharing this as anything more than a fun, possibly insightful interpretation of what I sensed. To me it resonated. Also I feel the need to say that when one believes something you don't, it in no way takes away from your faith. There is infinite space for every body, being and belief! I am sure most people reading this already think in terms of expansion, not division as if we are all trying to cut the largest piece from one pie. And I love you for this. Thank you.)
If you're interested in just the takeaway message from the article, and it is an encouraging one, here it is:
"In final words, the transition of the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius represents the battle between two different systems, progress vs. tradition, mind vs. soul or God vs. machine. But it also represents the possibility for joining the spiritual to the collective, a time in which the longing for transcendence and divine connection surpasses the barriers of identity, race, color and social status, to a place where all humanity may reach the eternal universal connection."
The astrological calendar changes once every 2000 years or so. And I feel this shift in not just myself but so much of the world around me. As few as 5 years ago so many of us were existing in the 'harder, faster, more is better' hustle culture and lately...I just haven't felt it to be nearly as prolific as it once was.
Have you? I'd love to know if I am simply experiencing something of an echo chamber reflective of my age and social circle, or if there really is some sort of shift in humanity calling in more connection to our inner selves, and beginning to show up in new ways?
The question, posted on this podcast:
'What does your happiness depend on?' Do not wait to give this a listen. If just the thought of diving into this makes you nervous, relax. There are lots of prompts and guidance and real experiences from Caroline and will help get you started.
The conversation about halloween candy from Dianne in this podcast...YES!! I feel this so strongly! My nostalgic palette is absolutely in misalignment with my actual palette. If you listen, please let me know where you fall on this highly significant issue ;) In all seriousness, all the subject matter in the episode is excellent.
On a mission to get Tess a winter coat, I accidentally found the On Cloud 5 shoes in White/Chambray from REI. I absolutely LOVE that they have no tie laces because I always shove my feet right into my shoes without untying anyway. I've spent about two years looking for an alternative to this line (looking for something cheaper) after I wore through my first pair sometime in 2020. Turns out I would have saved in the long run had I just gone back to the brand I know works for me!
The (in)famous white chocolate peppermint pretzels of the season also accidentally made their way into my cart at Costco this week. I had never tried them before when Kim, Marci and I sampled all the treats of the season in an IG live. These were the one thing I had no interest in sampling but actually loved! Where do you stand on white chocolate? With the exception of these, I am a hard PASS.
Elle is constantly losing her water bottle (not what I am loving). So she's getting this one for her birthday (on sale too!). She's going to be very disappointed to realize she's now at an age where utilitarian gifts are a real thing (loving) and not just lore from her sisters. If you need anything Hydro Flask related for your holiday shopping, this link will get you a discount!
Using my favorite vegetable chopper nonstop and currently it is 25% off! When I bought this several years ago I had no idea how much I'd use it. It's not only so satisfyingly aesthetic to have all my veggies chopped neatly and scaled to size, but it's wonderful to have a consistent cooking time when roasting and sauteing. Cleanup is a breeze and contrary to what I assumed, it is faster for me than chopping with with a knife.
Keeping close watch on all the Black Friday Sales. I have started a live spreadsheet here with the details from some brands I love - many of with whom I do have an affiliate partnership. But I'll also include sales from other companies that I shop for myself, my family and friends. Keep tabs on it through the end of the holiday season for all the best deals and links! I will be adding to it as I get more information and you may want to bookmark it ;)
Even thought I had gone grocery shopping Monday, on Tuesday when lunch rolled around I hadn't really done anything with my 'ingredients,' as often happens after the exhaustion of huge grocery haul.
Standing in front of the fridge, wondering if I was going to make eggs again, I decided I had a better idea. A simple grilled cheese. If you haven't enjoyed the perfection of fresh bread, butter, cheddar + salt lately, allow me to INSIST that you assemble this immediately for yourself.
There was a time I would never have made this a meal choice. Certainly not in this arrangement without a 'proper protein' selection and large side of greens. I considered sandwiches (of just about any kind) 'kids food' and lumped them in with things like goldfish, oreos, fast food and a long list of other things I told myself I didn't really want anyway. To be fair I still don't want goldfish and oreos - but sandwiches have become a staple in my diet.
They are simple, satisfying and perfectly macro balanced. Even without a 'pure protein source,' this meal is everything I need for satisfaction, energy and nutrition. I'll refer you up to the podcast in my loving lately if you are still hung up on any food rules.
Just in time for holiday brunches with friends, breakfasts with family and dinner in my house, I have a brand new egg bake for you!
This one has a decidedly Mexican flair with the seasonings and add-ins I chose, but know that if you don't love these flavors you can absolutely tailor it to your tastes!
You also have a lot of flexibility with the ratio of eggs to egg whites (if any) you'd like to use. I came to these measurements because I wanted to finish an open container of egg whites and the 7 eggs I had left in a carton. So as long as your measurement comes to approximately 24 oz of eggs, it will work.
You also have flexibility in milk choice. I love unsweetened cashew milk but any dairy or unsweetened non-dairy option will work.
Using a cauliflower stir fry rather than simply riced cauliflower will impart extra flavor with zero work, which is why I lean on these heavily in recipes. If you can't find one, plain will work, just ensure you add at about a tablespoon of additional seasonings to avoid a super bland end result.
I know a lot of people will have to dust off their slow cooker for this one, but it was just wonderful to pop all the ingredients in, walk away for a few hours and have a crustless perfection waiting for me! I mean, just look at those sides and that depth in the slices.
Take a look at the recipe and let me know in the comments if you have any more questions. You can also click the link below for a downloadable PDF. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have!
1 lb frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 - 16 oz bag frozen riced cauli stir fry (I love Trader Joe's Spicy Mexican Cauli Stir Fry)
1 1/3 cup light mexican cheese
312 g/11 oz egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened cashew milk
1 - 6 oz can fire roasted diced green chiles
1/2 tsp garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
Coat slow cooker with nonstick spray.
Layer frozen potatoes first, adding a healthy pinch of salt and pepper if desired.
Massage the bag of frozen riced cauliflower stir fry so there are no lumps. Layer it (frozen) on top of the potatoes.
Add the cheese layer on top of the cauliflower.
Combine eggs, egg whites, milk, diced green chiles and seasonings and whisk well.
Pour over the cheese layer.
Cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
Casserole may sit on 'keep warm' setting for up to 3 hours. When ready, slice and serve warm.
Add additional seasonings desired, as the base is simple and mild. You can always build flavor in toppings too. Some favorites are: hot sauce, sour cream. salsa, guacamole, roasted red peppers, queso fresco, white queso, caramelized onions, bacon and sausage. Refrigerate leftovers for up to 5 days.
Fair warning: a surprise to no one who follows my recipes, the serving size for this is very large!
5 servings/376 g each
309 calories/19 carb/12 fat/29 protein/2 fiber
MFP Entry: Katie Crokus Breakfast Casserole
THOUGHTS IN PICTURES
Just another super typical week in Wisconsin. Something for everyone.
Sunday night dinner of Polpettes - sort of an italian meatball but add potatoes and meant to be eating with NO sauce, Roasted Cauliflower Chowder and Easy Peasant Bread (which also spurred my grilled cheese idea) totally hit the spot.
Dessert was chocolate chip cookies but in an effort to make them just a bit more special, I replaced half the flour with oats and used cooled salted browned butter rather than regular softened unsalted butter - and WOW. They were salty and nutty and caramel-y and I just might need to write this up! But the truth is it'll work with any cookie recipe you love if you make those switches.
On Monday we were pretty much out of food. I needed to eat before grocery shopping and this was perfect. I love having trader joes frozen meals (this one was Riced Cauli and Butternut Squash Risotto), eggs of any kind and edamame always on hand. I mixed the veggies and seasoned egg whites together and snacked on the edamame on the side. Really, outstanding for such a random compilation.
The cat watches as suspicious blow up Christmas decor (that I did not endorse) inflates.
Still cannot stop with the Pumpkin Pancake Bars. They've sort of taken over my life in the sense that I eat them every single day. For some reason I cannot seem to get past my cake for breakfast requirement. I haven't tried them with this cream cheese frosting yet, but I feel like they'll just be straight up dessert!
For a limited time I DO have the dry goods mixes (all three varieties) available on my shopify page!
Another limited time offer: the Beam white peppermint dream powder. And at 50% off until early December, there's never been a better time to give it a try. I've not been shy to report my challenges with sleep over the years and perhaps lately you've noticed an absence of this conversation. This is why. For now, you can use this link to get the deepest discount of the year - no code needed.
I love dinners most when they fall on photography days.
PSA: Call your girlfriends. Get coffee. Go for a walk. I didn't do this for about two years and I'm getting back into it now with so much gratitude. A small but mighty circle is all you need.
Elle's 3rd grade class just finished Harry Potter and she has most incredible teacher that has away of weaving a super challenging curriculum into 'events' that don't feel like learning. As a room parent I am lucky to get a front row seat. These cheese broomsticks I made for their HP Day are 100% the least impressive piece of the party.
The day is a surprise for the kids so they were gently instructed to wear something "Harry Potter-ish," without going to big. They were all sorted into Hogwarts Houses and Elle is in Gryffindor, so she went with the closest she could get to dark red with the classic Harry scar. I am so excited for her!
My co-room parent and party planner extraordinaire making me look really good. The only things in this entire spread I was in charge of were the cheese stick brooms and rock cakes (which were mini scones from Whole Foods).
Making time for self care every day. Are you?
The beginning of 6 dozen cookies for Anna's Christmas Market next week. I love this spin on regular peanut butter blossoms. The trader joes milk chocolate PB cups are non-negotiable, I never use the Reece's. I am not a huge lover of sprinkles saturating cookies, but these guys needed a little festivity.
We had some extra dough and figured out a new life hack; always pin the kisses upside down! So much easier for storage!! And the family consensus was that there was a much better distribution of chocolate in each bite. So important.
The amount of inquiries I get about my cards and practice amazes me (I love this community for always approaching with curiosity and not judgement!); and they also inspire me to continue sharing. Had you asked me one year ago, I would have been very tight lipped since I was just beginning to explore my spirituality for the first time in my life. Did you catch my reel about this reading on Saturday morning? I am working on some big new things, so these cards actually thrilled me. I don't love what I see every day but I always respect it. I have several decks and this one is my favorite.
We had some girls sleeping over this weekend and second dinner was this easy meal just before I crawled into be. Bake up some Trader Joe's pizza crust - $1.99!! - plus some cheese and sauce and leftovers don't exist.
Elle turns 9 the day after Thanksgiving, which is a difficult time for a party, so we last-minute called a few friends to get together to celebrate her on Saturday. I just love goody bags and this time of year because they are so fun and simple. A blanket, an ornament and some bonus candy does the trick.
Christmas movies are in full swing around here. We are in our first weekend without fall sports and we're filling it with celebrations of the season. Home Alone (1 & 2), Frozen, The Family Stone, Elf, The Holiday, Harry Potter (1st one) and Happiest Season (new last year I think) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation rank in our top seasonal movie spots.
What would you add?? Please share in the comments below. I know there are SO many good ones my girls have yet to see!
I hope you enjoy this final week before Thanksgiving is here! Don't forget to keep checking back on my Black Friday Deals - which I'll be updating every time I can share more news!
Warmly, Katie G E T I N T O U C H Communicate & Connect email@example.com @katiecrokus
S U B S C R I B E
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