Almond Flour Thumbprint Cookies

I have been wanting to learn how to be more resourceful with Almond Flour.  It can be difficult to bake with alternative gluten free flours, because they absorb and bake different than regular flour.

Earlier this week I was having a sweet tooth and wanted to try my hand at almond flour cookies.  I have been craving thumbprint cookies (not sure why) and have been looking through Pinterest to find the right recipe that doesn’t involved me going to the store 🙂

I finally found a recipe from #Bakerita, and it was just what I needed! —>Recipe

These cookies were super simple and easy to make!

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The recipe says to roll the dough into a ball and then chill for 30 minutes to 24 hours. However, since I was planning on baking them right away, I rolled them into balls immediately and then chilled them for 45 minutes.

I used my own homemade strawberry jam as the filling and it was perfect (because there is nothing more perfect than homemade jam!!)!

Jam

Sweet Tooth satisfied!

love, hannah jane

PCOS and Lifestyle Realities

A couple of aspects that are hard with having PCOS is accepting that my body doesn’t accept and digest certain foods the way it use to, and “cheat days” are NOT worth it.

I have read and studied 1,000’s of articles regarding eating lifestyles that are beneficial for PCOS, and about 99% of them say that adapting to a gluten free/dairy free lifestyle is best in treating the symptoms of PCOS.

When I was first diagnosed, I went full on gluten free/dairy free.  It wasn’t easy, but I kept thinking in my head, if I follow this lifestyle, I’m bound to lose weight and get pregnant.  I did lose a few pounds, but never got pregnant.

I would get so frustrated because PCOS had put weight on me, and it was hard to lose it, and the way my body holds the weight mixed with the symptoms of PCOS made me look pregnant and so I was regularly asked it I was pregnant….which I wasn’t.

Most who asked if I was pregnant had no idea I was struggling with PCOS and infertility so I couldn’t be mad at them (even though sometimes I wanted to) because they had no idea what was going on.

As a result, I would get down on myself and my situation and eat all things comfort food… which usually involved all things I shouldn’t be eating.

This resulted in my hormones being out of wack, me putting on more weight, and feeling even worse about myself.  Good job Hannah.

So for the last few years, my eating lifestyle has been an absolute roller coaster, to say the least.  Some months I’m proactively following the “PCOS Lifestyle,” and other months not so much.

I’m human.

I’m a human who struggles to take care of myself because it’s hard.

It’s hard to see other eat whatever they want and not gain weight.

It’s hard to look pregnant and not be able to get pregnant.

**Complaining rant over**

So here I am… again… trying to be better about my PCOS Lifestyle, remembering that because I’m human I can keep trying.

Trying to be better about taking care of my body.

Not justifying cheat days…knowing the next day I’ll be regretting it.

Taking it day by day.

Continuing to learn more about PCOS and eating lifestyles.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! (thanks Mom)

Food

So, to start this off right, I am going to share some of my favorite PCOS appropriate recipes that I make.

Quite often when I’m cooking, I think, “oh, I should share this,” and then I completely forget to take a picture and share it’s goodness because I am just so excited to enjoy the great meal I made…. I’m going to try and be better about that!

Please note that I am NOT a photographer, and so most of the pictures I take will look like an amateur took them… because an amateur did!

Happy PCOS eating!

love, hannah jane

 

 

 

 

Expanding our Horizons Date #1

On Friday, Hailame and I painted the town red!  And by painting the town red, I mean we ate a fabulous dinner (splurging a little a lot) and watched the finale of This Is Us… which I cried through.  Needless to say it was a perfect date night in our little St. George, Utah.

Recently we realized after living in St. George for almost 4 years that we have the same set of 4 places that we like to eat at for date nights….Village Inn, Pasta Factory, Crackel Barrel, and Panda Express.  You can never go wrong eating at these places, and we’ve also learned to always order ahead at Panda, because they are packed ALL THE TIME!!

However, something I love about St. George is that small quaint restaurants you can find around town that aren’t the regular franchises you see everywhere.  So we’ve made it a goal to expand our horizons and try different spots around town.

So… Expanding our Horizons Date #1: Cappelettis

Cappelettis is in the heart of Historic St. George, and the food there is delicious!

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Our menu for the evening consisted of:

Appetizers:

Empenadas…the most gourmet hot pocket we’ve ever had!

Calamari…which Hyrum did not like at all…. I didn’t even try it because I’m not a seafood fan, and apparently he is not a calamari fan as well.

**Calamari Side Story:  So when Hyrum had the waiter take the Calamari untouched, he just mentioned that it wasn’t something he liked after all.  He wasn’t rude about just said no thanks, and we are happy to still pay for it.  Well the waiter went to the back and told everyone some guy didn’t like the Calamari and one by one each Chef came out to see who the crazy guy was who sent back their prized Calamari!

Main Dish:

Hannah: Gorgonzola Chicken with Whole Wheat Pasta!

**If you know me, you know I love cheese, and this was one of the best pasta dishes I have ever had!  It was wonderful!

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Hyrum: Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes and Veggies

**Hyrum was in awe of the thickness of the Pork Chop.  Most chops that he’s had have been super thin and this chop had some good thickness to it!

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Dessert…I told you, we decided to go all out!:

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Hannah: Creme Brulee…Yes, it was so good!

Hyrum: Flour-less Chocolate Cake (More like a big slice of fudge!)

Much to our surprise, this place was more affordable than what we’ve spent at Olive Garden, and we enjoyed this place much more.

Cappelettis reminded me of the restaurant, O’Reilly’s” in the movie “Return to Me.”  Such a good movie.  They don’t make movies like that anymore… Now I want to go watch it.

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Our evening ended in tears (only me…with Hailame making fun of me) with This is Us, and of course they left the final episode with loads of cliff hangers driving you crazy, knowing you have to wait until the Fall to watch it again.  TV Shows are messed up… but I love This is Us… I can’t help it!

Happy beginning of the new week… looking forward to the weekend already….

love, hannah jane

 

 

 

 

 

Water Wonders….

I love water!  I do!

When you see me, I will most likely have my generic $8.00 HydroFlask (just as effective as the real brand… only cheaper!) or eating out I rarely ever order any drink besides water.

I love water.  That H2O is good!

But I struggle with drinking enough water.

I’ve heard that when wanting to lose weight, it’s helps and is good for you to drink half your body weight in water.  But I have the hardest time sticking to that.

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This last week at work, I took 2 1-quart bottles to see if I could get through them each twice.  I’m not saying that’s the amount I should drink according to my weight, so don’t start doing the math.  I just was curious about how much I drank a day.

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Most days I could get through 1-1 1/2 quarts of water.  Well that was what I logged while working.  I maybe drink about 16 ounces at home for dinner.

I want to get more water in me.

I’m not a big fan of lemon water.  I’ll do it, and I know it’s good for you, but it’s not always my first choice!

What tricks do you have that help you keep the water flowing?!?!

love, hannah jane

 

 

The Special Noodle

***I am not a professional food photographer, so most of these pictures don’t do justice of the amazing-ness that they really are!

I experienced a “Wife Champion” moment last night.

My husband, Hailame, can be a picky eater sometimes.  He’s not a fan of un-traditional vegetables.  By un-traditional, I mean he prefers only the vegetables of corn, beans, broccoli and cauliflower.

Squash… is way to un-traditional for his liking.

Well last night, he enjoyed Chicken-Sausage Alfredo with a “special noodle.”

I was determined to use a spaghetti squash that had been sitting on my counter for weeks and I finally found a way to cook and serve it that Hailame had no idea what he was eating!

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I had to make certain that the spaghetti squash would be fully cooked.  I forked wholes all over the squash, placed it in a crock pot with about 2 inches of water, and cooked in on high for about 8 hours.

I will never prepare squash any other way.  For starters, it was loads easier to cut in half when it was finished cooking.  Cutting raw is like trying to cut in half a small boulder sometimes.  Also, when cleaning out the seeds, it’s so much easier to clean out when it’s cooked.  spaghettisquash

 

I found the Alfredo recipe here, and I’ve tried multiple ones and I’ve decided this is my new favorite.  Instead of using flour to thicken it, I used cornstarch, for gluten free needs.

Sauce

I lightly breaded and cooked the chicken bits with egg yolk and corn starch and sliced up some sausage.

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Poured the Alfredo sauce over the meat and the scraped out the spaghetti squash, or rather the “special noodle” and mixed it with the meat and sauce.

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Although the above picture looks something like porridge and sausage (gross), it was really one of my favorite new dishes I’ve made.

Hailame had no idea what he was eating and he loved it.  I just told him it was a “special noodle,” that was healthier for us.  SOLD!  He even saved some for his lunch today.

Like I said earlier, “Wife Champion” moment.

Sometimes ignorance really is bliss :)… for me and him!

love, hannah jane

My Simple Joys

Starting a blog is like attempting to de-clutter your junk drawer.  You see very clearly the end goal and what you want to accomplish, and once you get going it’s pretty smooth… but the initial get go is rough.

I’m not saying that what I want to share is the same as what’s in a junk drawer, there’s just so much that I want to say and don’t know how to put it into words that will adequately describe how I feel, am or want to put out there.

So I’ll start it out small and simple…

My name is Hannah Jane Tua’one (two-ah-oh-nay).  My last name is Tongan.  I’m not personally Tongan, but I’m married to the best one out there.  His name is Hailame (Hi-la-may), he’s also known as Hyrum.

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Wonderful cheese plate in New Zealand!

Some of Hailame’s simple joys in life are, but are not limited to, his wife (obviously), buying hats (and storing them all over the house), listening to music 24/7 (not an exaggeration), racquetball, spending time with family, cooking Tongan food with his Dad and brothers, and being the favorite Uncle (I have a lot to say about this!)

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Hiking Snow Canyon

My simple joys in life, in no particular order, are road trips with the hubby, sewing, learning about PCOS, trying new recipes (Thank you Pinterest), improving my Chaco tan line, Thrift Store shopping, running (needing to be better about this one), hiking, river rafting, camping, reading predictable romance novels, and watching Classic Musicals.

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Chacos at Lees Ferry.. January 1st, 2018

We’ve been married for 3 years and 4 months.

A few of our simple marital joys are playing pickleball, playing cards before or after dinner, exploring Southern Utah and Northern Arizona, hosting family and friends at our little home, watching Netflix and Hulu (This is Us, Good Doctor, Hawaii Five-0, Madam Secretary… always looking for suggestions), finding good Yard Sales, and road trips.

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Happy New Year from Us.

I’ll stop there for now…

Stay Tuned.

Love, HannahJane