This week, we want to share some of the highlights of the whirlwind, and oh-so-much-fun, 5 days Zonya and I just spent together!
With me in Wichita and Zonya in Michigan, we have mastered the element of working long distance...as you can imagine.
When we have the opportunity to spend time together in the same location, we try to accomplish as much as humanly possible. And, to be honest, it really didn't seem like 5 days...it went so quick!
On Thursday, as I picked up Zonya from the airport in Wichita (with a cup of Spice Merchant iced tea waiting for her), I laughed as I told her to enjoy this 60 degree weather because, in typical Wichita style, within a few hours it was going to feel like she was back in Michigan! And, sure enough, the weather didn't disappoint, as it dropped 30 degrees in just a few hours.
As soon as she hit the door,
We enjoyed Asian Style Sloppy Joes over spaghetti squash and a new website test recipe -- Thai Peanut Salad -- to see if it would pass the test! (And, it did...it will be coming soon!) Zonya also spied the Baked Oatmeal Cups that were ready in the frig because we would be hitting the floor running each morning, and they were a life-saver!
or so we thought!
We were hit with the news that we got Trump Bumped due to a special report, but were extremely grateful they recorded our cooking demo spot to air later in the afternoon -- the KAKE 4 PM show was perfect! And, one of the best parts? The leftover Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potato and Coconut Chocolate Chip Banana Bread we made on air was our delicious lunch!
With the bitter winter weather, we realized it was an ideal time for a chili night and whipped up a batch of the Steak and Sausage Beer Chili (because, of course, there was another basketball game to go to!) and a Women's Fair to prepare for!
I finally perfected "shushing" kale!
You should know, Zonya is a master at shushing kale -- it's when you hold the stem of the kale with one hand and grab the leaves with the other and drag them off the stem. No knife required and even faster than tearing the leaves off the stem -- and she is a pro! But sometimes (OK, most of the time!), when I try to shush kale, it hits the floor! I was determined to master this shushing skill once and for all, and I did it!
Being tag-teamed with Dr. Jennifer Jackson, and following her presentation, was the extremely smart thinking of Ascension Via Christi -- and helped make the message of health and how-to with REAL food at the Fair a huge success!
We were blessed with an audience of over 120 people (standing room only!), who seemed to really enjoy the Massaged Kale Salad, Fire Roasted Sloppy Joes over spaghetti squash and Peanut Butter Cup Power Balls.
There are now many new owners of our Eat REAL Cookbook and we absolutely loved signing them and engaging with audience members!
Our weekend also included exposing Zonya to one of our winter indoor farmers' markets - and we introduced her to black garlic! It was so fun - and humbling - to walk in and hear people say, "I saw you on TV!" or, "I saw you in the paper!"
On Sunday evening, we tested another new recipe - Asian Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing - which was recommended by an Eat REAL America member. They whole family loved it and you will see it in the meal ideas this week!
We also made the Deconstructed Cabbage Rolls, just to make sure they are worthy of celebrating St. Patrick's Day in a few weeks...and they are! Our Sunday evening dinner typically includes a discussion of our schedules for the upcoming week...let's just say Zonya was relieved she was leaving town before the craziness ramps up this week!
We also enjoyed a few REAL food meals with some amazing local representatives, who are doing great things in the local community.
This included some of the organizations you nominated for charitable donations last December!
These discussions made our heads spin, with all of the collaboration opportunities that exist to help people navigate through the confusing messages about eating healthy and realize it's all about keeping it simple and EATING REAL!
There have been times when we felt like we were part of a very small group of people passionate about ditching fake foods and choosing to be socially inconvenient to choose REAL food over processed food.
One thing we realized, maybe even more than ever this weekend, is that we are part of a large and rapidly growing community of people who are are just as motivated, interested and willing to make REAL food their lifestyle. So, in case you ever have doubts,
none of us are alone on this journey!
We are more inspired and excited than ever to continue to work our hardest to find new and exciting ways to bring you ideas, coaching tips, and more recipes and meal ideas to make REAL food the easy and convenient - and healthy - way of life!
We are so grateful for everyone who came to see us, helped make the Wichita Women's Fair a success, and for all your continued engagement and support!