REVIEW: October Favorites 

Happy November, friends!! Between Josh’s ever changing schedule (including a handful of overnight shifts) and someone using my personal info to book hotels in Japan, I’d say we had an interesting last month! Haha!! I had to hurry and change both my email address and phone number which is not fun to do…notifying everyone and re-subscribing to my favorite blogs – it’s a lot of work. Other than that, we had a great October! How about you?? 

OH!!! And any Cubs fans out there????!!!! What an amazing time. We’ve been watching the games at my parents house and I’ve been hit with so many wonderful memories. I was born and raised in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago and the Cubs were a big part of my childhood – as a family, we’d go to the games or watch them on tv at my grandparents house. I especially remember my grandfather listening to the games on an old radio in his garage. It’s been fun getting Willow into the games – I told her one day we’ll take her to Wrigley Field to see the Cubs play.

Fingers and toes crossed for tonight’s game!!!!

But now let’s move on to some pics!

We managed to pick the perfect day to make our annual trip to the pumpkin patch:



And Willow even snapped a rare photo of Josh and me!

And here are some fun pics from our snow adventures at Devils Lake (October 22, 2016):




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O C T O B E R  F A V O R I T E S:

I don’t have any new products to share with you this month – we actually did try some new things, but none worth sharing and none that I’ll be buying again.

RECIPES:

Ginger Zucchini Breakfast Soup >> Souffles and Sawdust >> In my quest to change up my breakfast routine, I found this soup recipe and it has become a favorite of mine! It calls for very few ingredients and it’s AIP-friendly. The only thing that was hard for me was chopping all the veggies in the morning while making Willow’s breakfast – I have since learned to prep ahead to make throwing this together a breeze. I did make a couple of adjustments: I used mushroom broth (instead of veggie broth), which made the soup significantly darker than intended, but I absolutely LOVED the flavor! I also omitted the coriander and black pepper. In the photo below, I topped it with chives, but I’ve also cooked up spinach or kale to go with it. Such a great way to start the day during the chillier months!

REVIEW: October Favorites
Cinnamon Plantain Fritters >> Grazed and Enthused >> They had me at cinnamon! Oh, goodness, this recipe was amazing! Even my husband enjoyed these and he’s not following an AIP diet. Mine didn’t turn out as pretty as her photos showed, but who cares when they’re delicious! The only adjustments: I added more cinnamon – to the batter and sprinkled on top…what can I say, I LOVE cinnamon! And I left the maple syrup out of the batter. I loved the crispy exterior and tender center – the flavor was also wonderful! Full of cinnamon and not too sweet thanks to the plantains not being ripe.

REVIEW: October Favorites
Autoimmune Paleo Apple Crisp >> The Curious Coconut >> When the Granny Smith apples you purchase turn out to be not that great, you figure out a way to use them…so my Pinterest search lead me to this recipe. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have high hopes because all of the apple crisps I’ve had in the past had oats, nuts, and/or flour. Not to mention that our all-time favorite (from The Oh She Glows Cookbook) seemed impossible to beat. I’m not saying that this beats it, but it comes really close! The kitchen smelled incredible and while I haven’t been consuming many sweets these days, I was half tempted to skip dinner and dive face first into a bowl of this apple crisp. I was floored at how delicious this was! Such perfect buttery, slightly crispy, sweet topping and tender, cinnamon-y apples…heavenly. And the best part was that I didn’t miss the grains or nuts one bit! Definitely give this recipe a try!

REVIEW: October Favorites

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Maple Glaze >> Veggie Inspired Journey >> It’s no secret that I LOVE brussels sprouts and any time a new recipe is created that involves them, I just have to try them! Jenn paired the sprouts with a butternut squash puree, but since I’m avoiding beans at the moment, I decided I still had to try the sprouts….and I am SO glad I did! Roasting them with red onion slices is delicious, BUT drizzling the Balsamic Maple Glaze over them….AMAZING! I absolutely love the simplicity of the recipe and how easy it was to whip up. We’ll definitely make them again…and again!

I tried another recipe of Jenn’s – a dressing, which you can find HERE and loved it! I used it on kale salads. Definitely check out how it’s intended to be used…it looks amazing!

Silky Sweet Vegan Date Caramel Sauce >> Feasting on Fruit >> My friend, Natalie, is on a roll with recipes these days and I have a lengthy list going of ones to try. But when she came out with this caramel recipe, I had to try it asap since it contained ingredients that were AIP friendly. You guys. I am so impressed!! Not only was this insanely easy to make, but it is also the creamiest caramel sauce I’ve had – it actually pours smoothly! And the best part…even after it’s been in the fridge, it holds its pourable consistency! No plopping. No clumps. No crazy thick, hard to work with caramel. Just smooth goodness. The day I made it, Willow had a drizzle on her pancakes and I’m pretty sure she’ll make it a standard pancake topping. I couldn’t stop sneaking bites of it that I gave myself a tummy ache…it’s SO good!! Josh has been eating it with sliced apples and we’ve also paired it with a recipe that is hopefully coming to the blog later this week. Try this caramel sauce!

REVIEW: October Favorites



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BOOKS:

Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss >> I finally finished this book in its entirety…all 1107 pages! Overall, I REALLY enjoyed this and while I didn’t quite love it like the first book in the series, it was still entertaining and I had a difficult time putting it down. However, there were parts in the book that seemed a bit drawn out and slow – small sections I could have done without, but I can see how they played a role in character development. And then there’s the ending. Good grief! When is the third book coming out???? 

In the meantime, I’ve started The Slow Regard of Silent Things – a novella by Patrick Rothfuss (#2.5 in this crazy series)! It’s a book about Auri, one of the characters in the series. 

MOMfulness: Mothering with Mindfulness, Compassion, and Grace by Denise Roy >> My sweet friend, Karina, recommended this book to me so I immediately ordered a copy via Amazon Prime…managed to find a used copy in really good condition for only a few dollars. I am SO happy to have my own copy to refer back to as it’s filled with meditations and thought-provoking quotes. If I had the money, I would gift this book to all of my mom friends. Lots of gentle reminders to be more present in the here and now.

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As always, I’d love to hear from you! Did you try any new products? Recipes? Read any books worth recommending?? Let me know in a comment below!
Thanks for stopping by!

❤️

17 thoughts on “REVIEW: October Favorites 

  1. I don’t think I knew that you grew up near Chicago. Do you still have family here? If you are ever back in this neck of the woods, you’ll have to let me know so we can meet up! My hubby is a HUGE Cubs fan. I am a Cardinals fan, so I’m conflicted in my feelings, but I do think it would be great for the city if they could pull it off.

    And thank you so much for featuring my recipes! I’m so glad you love them!

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    • I was born in Arlington Heights and lived the majority of my life in Palatine and Hoffman Estates…so crazy that you live around there!! I have some family back in IL, but none that I’m really close with…but I do hope to go back for a visit with Willow so she can see where I grew up and where Josh and I met. And of course take her to all of the wonderful museums in Chicago! I can’t believe you’re a Cardinals fan! Haha!! Your house has to be pretty interesting come baseball season! Did you watch game 7???? Oh, my! We were crying happy tears over here! So exciting!
      Jenn! We love your recipes! And I have so many more that I want to try! And when I’m able to eat more foods, I’ll have even more that I’ll want to try! Haha!! Hope you’re having a great week, friend! ❤️

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      • Small world! My husband works in Mt. Prospect and we live a little NW of there. Game 7 was great. I was rooting for them, but it wasn’t quite as stressful for me since it’s not my team. Quite pleasant to watch that way actually! 😀 I appreciate all the kind words. I’ve been meaning to leave feedback on your Etsy page and keep forgetting, but will be doing so soon!!

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      • Definitely a small world!!! I’d love to meet up if ever we find our way back there for a visit! Haha!!! It was SO stressful to watch – I’m glad it’s over 😉
        I hope you’re enjoying the products! Thank you, again! ❤

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  2. I always love reading your monthly wrap-ups! I love seeing pictures of you guys and especially Willow 💕 I can’t believe the snow in Devils Lake! Thanks for all the recommendations. Looking forward to investigating some of them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Awww! Thank you, friend!! 😘 It’s crazy for me to go back and read some of these old posts and see how much she’s grown – it happens too fast! Right??? It’s pretty wild to drive 40-45 minutes away and see snow and have the temps be 20° colder. But before we know it, we’ll have snow here!
      I think you would love that apple crisp!! And of course Jenn’s recipes! Definitely give them a try!! ❤️❤️

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    • Haha!! We had to take a drive to go see the snow – it’s always amazing to watch willow’s eyes light up when she see it! Im not quite ready for it here though!
      Mmmmm! I love those fritters!! Definitely try them!! xo

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    • Thank you, mama!! It’s definitely our favorite time of year – always nice to get out in that crisp air and enjoy the beauty of all things fall ❤
      It's been SO hard with all of you fantastic recipe creators pumping out these delicious ideas and all I can do at the moment is drool over pics 😉 Here's hoping my gut can be friends with nuts and grains one day down the road! Hope you're doing well, Sophia! xo

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  3. I have actually been waiting for this! I always love your favorites posts, but I really really love them when I know there will be fun AIP ideas to try involved🤗 Those plantain fritters–I have to make them!! Yours look amazing, and I just bought plantains, so it’s happening. Hopefully it will go much better than my own pancake attempts lol. I like the idea to leave out the maple syrup…and then maybe add a little on top ha! That apple crisp looks fabulous too, and your description…😋 Apples and me aren’t the best of buds right now, but eventually. Oh my goodness, your caramel sauce looks even silkier than mine😍😍 I want to dive in. Thank you so so much for trying it and including it and even suffering the tummy ache🙈 Wow so much snow! That is the cutest little snowman Willow constructed too☺️ The hotels in Japan part is absolute crazy, let’s hope November is a little more chill❤️ xo

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    • Oh, yay!!! I’m happy to hear this! I’ve been eating pretty much the same thing every day with a new recipe thrown in here and there – I’m glad I actually had some fun recipes to share this month! The last time I was at the naturopath, she told me I needed to add more fat to my diet and more coconut oil – that was hard for me since I’ve been consuming a mostly oil-free diet for the last couple of years. Those plantain fritters have been so helpful! I’ve been meaning to try them using softened coconut butter instead of oil – you’ll have to let me know if you try them! Yes!!!! That’s exactly what I do! I leave it out of the batter so I can drizzle a tiny bit on top – it’s crazy how sensitive my gut is to sweet stuff now. Yeah, I really enjoyed eating the apple crisp, but I overindulged and ended up with a bit of a tummy ache – if I do eat apples, I can only stomach a couple of slices and I can handle granny smith better than any other variety. That caramel sauce though!!!! Oh, my. Pure heaven!!!! Definitely worth the tummy ache 😉 Josh finished it up by mixing it with some peanut butter…apparently it was amazing! My mom is making it soon too after hearing our rave review of it!
      It’s pretty crazy to go from 60 degrees here at home and then driving a little ways to see snow and colder temps…we’re wondering when we’ll get our first snowfall here in the lower elevations – hopefully not for a while 😉 Isn’t that nuts?!?! I freaked out and explained, I don’t even have a passport so what would I be doing booking hotels in Japan? Haha!!! So glad that’s all be taken care of! Here’s to a more chill month! BIG hugs to you, sweet friend!!! ❤ xoxoxo

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  4. Oh my goodness, that ginger zucchini soup sounds right up my alley and the color is just gorgeous!! Zucchini is one of my favorite veggies and ginger I can eat raw, so I definitely need to try that! I’m in love with your beautiful pumpkin pics too, of course. You always have the sweetest family and nature photos and I thoroughly enjoy them so much. And that snow is so beautiful, but brrrrr, hahaha, I’m such a wimp with super cold weather. I love how snow looks, but I’d freeze my butt of, lol. That apple crisp looks yummy. I make one every year for the holidays and I think it’s my favorite dessert to make…crispy, sweet, moist…and so easy!

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    • I think you would LOVE that soup!!! When you use actual veggie broth, the color is lighter (at least that’s what I gather from the blog pics I got the recipe from). Ginger is amazing!!! It goes perfectly with the soup.
      Awww! Thank you! That’s really sweet of you to say. Both are really easy to snap photos of…something about the gorgeous outdoors ❤
      Hahaha!!! This is going to sound totally crazy, but if I could have the snow without the cold, I'd be in heaven! I love it! The snow pic here was basically that – the temps were really mild. Our temps have now dropped significantly and I'm getting a huge wake up call as to what's coming and I'm not looking forward to being cold all the time! Breaking out the layers and extra blankets now. Apple crisp is one of my all time favorite desserts and pretty much for the reasons you just listed! Thanks for the love here! Hope you have a great weekend! XO

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