JANUARY – You were a good 1/12 of a year!


Hello, friends! How are you?  We hope you are warm and well and wonderful!

Just wanted to check in and share some of the latest Murry Adventures. 🙂 Here we go….

31 Days in the Books!

Done. Over. Whoop.
Did you know that January is named after Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions? The name has its beginnings in Roman mythology, coming from the Latin word for door (ianua) since January is the door to the year. Now, don’t you feel a little bit smarter?

Here are some fun notes about January:
It is National Healthy Weight Awareness Month. Well, duh.
It is also National Soup Month (yes), Hot Tea Month (Chai is my favorite followed by Orange Spice), Oatmeal Month (you can have mine- unless you put it in cookies with pecans), and Be Kind To Food Servers Month (by proclamation in the State of TN). Well, then.

My word for the year is DISCIPLINE. There seem to be so many things out of wack in my life right now- from schedule to home improvement lists that won’t end. I decided I definitely need more discipline. January’s goal was discipline in the area of food. It was also a time to fast and pray. I like SUGAR way too much, and it had a hold on me.

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On January 1, when Andy woke up, I told him we were starting the Whole 30 eating plan. Now, I had told him I wanted to do it several times, but I think he was secretly hoping I would change my mind. He was not too happy. He couldn’t find much to eat in our kitchen that contained no sugar, legumes, corn, soy, or dairy. So, off to Sprouts and Trader Joe’s and Costco we went. My friend, Halie, let me borrow some of her Paleo cookbooks, and I found several Whole 30 compliant dishes.
We made it through. I learned to make my own mayo and my own ketchup. We grilled, we baked fries, we ate new vegetables like spaghetti squash and acorn squash. I sautéed brussel sprouts. We made “fried okra” by coating it in coconut flour. Here are the things from Trader Joe’s that saved my life:

Roasted Plantain Chips, Dried Apricots, Dried Mango, Pumpkin Seeds, Freeze Dried Bananas, and Salsa!

We learned to like this stuff:

La Croix -orange and lime are my favorites
Costco’s Chicken Florentine Apple Sausages saved the day.

Wholly Guacamole was a daily staple.

Now, I don’t want to eat any more of that stuff for a LOOOONNNGGG time.
You wanna know what I missed the most?

Skinny Pop



I haven’t really had a huge chocolate craving- we will see how long that lasts now that I can have it.

I have to add a DISCLAIMER…
When KC Restaurant Week falls smack dab in the middle of your Whole 30 plan, ( January 15-24) you have to make allowances.

So, here is the math that made logical sense to me:
Whole 30 + KC Restaurant Week= 4 cheat meals that extend your program by 1 1/3 days.
Because we were doing this program for health and as a spiritual fast, I talked to Jesus about it. Really. It is okay. 🙂
Please look at what we had at these fabulous restaurants for $15 a head at lunchtime:


Lidia’s Signature Caesar Salad with Shaved Grana and Foccacia Croutons- Kristi
Beet Risotto Arancini with Grana Fonduta and Balsamico -Andy
Lidia’s Pasta Tasting Trio- K & A
Banana and Mascarpone Semifreddo with Bittersweet Chocolate and Caramel- K & A

The best thing about Lidia’s was the bread basket and the butters. Ahh. I could have stopped there. Strawberry Jam Butter, Apricot Butter, and Sugar Butter.


McCormick and Schmick’s

First Course:
Blue Crab & Corn Chowder – Fresh roasted corn, chili oil, chives – K & A
Parmesan Chicken – Linguini Alfredo, lemon caper butter -A
Fire Cracker Shrimp Tacos – Tempura fried, cilantro peanut & sesame ranch dressings, sushi rice-K
Mini Molten Chocolate Cake – Heath bar, vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce – K & A

The Jacobson

FIRST COURSE                            

SALMON & CORN CHOWDER – Hearty, rich & creamy. – K
TRUFFLE FRIES – Hearty russet fries finished with fresh parsley, shredded Parmesan cheese & white truffle oil. Served with garlic aioli for dipping. – A


MOROCCAN SPICE-RUBBED DUROC PORK – Tender pulled pork piled high with crispy jicama slaw on Farm to Market brioche or lettuce wraps. – K.
HERB-GRILLED CHICKEN – Topped with roasted tomato, provolone & field greens on toasted ciabatta.-A


BANANA & WHITE CHOCOLATE BREAD PUDDING – Banana and chocolate bread pudding seasoned with rum, nutmeg & cinnamon. Topped with bourbon caramel glaze. -K
SALTED BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING – Served with fresh cream & shaved chocolate. -A

Rye– this was my least favorite because we only had 2 courses.

First Course
SEASONAL SOUP- Loaded Baked Potato Soup – K & A
FRIED CHICKEN Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Pickles -K & A

Just so you know, January was full of temptations. Our calendar was blowing up with events. Many of them required me to prepare food that I could not eat. I surely hope it all tasted okay because it left my kitchen having never crossed my lips!

I attended a baby shower where prepared and served Teresa’s Almond Tea:

Almond Tea
3 tea bags
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Juice of 3 lemons, or 6 Tablespoons concentrated lemon juice

In a saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, and add the tea bags, and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags. Add the sugar, extracts and lemon juice. Simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add 6 cups of cold water and chill. Serve over ice.
Make about 2 quarts
I was the Birthday Hostess at a work lunch and brought these items for dessert:

Rich Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars



Brownie Cookies

We had a Vertical Ladies’ Game Night where I made this:

BBQ Chicken Dip

We hosted a Murder Mystery Dinner Party where I undercooked the baked regular and sweet potatoes. My guests were so kind. They didn’t complain. They just ate more bread. I think I won them back over when I served these desserts:


Gooey Butter Cake

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We hosted a church meeting at our home where cinnamon rolls, brownies, Rice Krispie treats, peanut butter stuffed pretzels, and popcorn were available.  Andy and I just ate Halos- lots of Halos.


On this side of the process, I am proud of the fact that we showed some discipline. It’s nice to know that you are developing that self-control fruit that the Holy Spirit provides. However, because Ash Wednesday starts NEXT WEEK (Feb 10), I don’t think I will be giving up food items for LENT. I am not THAT self-controlled.

21 Days of Prayer

Church of the Highlands does this every January and August.

This was the first year I got up to watch the online services everyday at 6 am (9 am on Saturdays). It was an incredible way to spend the first part of my day for the first three weeks of the month. The messages were good, and I loved it when CJ led worship. My prayers were prayed out loud and were written down daily. Highly recommend!

Murder Mystery
Andy and I hosted our 4th Murder Mystery party. He was a ragged FBI agent named Bud Wizer (I know), and I was a Scottish author named Bonny Lass. I tried to talk like Merida but kept losing my accent.


Here is our game:

Here is our photo:


I do not have permission to share the group photo, but just know that our guests did not disappoint. There were accents, German phrases memorized and shared, props, and shady pasts (of characters) revealed. All in good fun.

Counting the Days
Here is another fun thing I did in January. My friend, Lindsay sent this to me in a care package. It is like a mini-diary. Love it.


It snowed here in the KC area once this month. Here is a picture from one of the offices I worked in downtown.


Dee Henderson

I stumbled upon this author via a recommendation I read on Facebook. I have really enjoyed her books. Christian fiction with a focus on crime/abduction/military. Here are the titles I have read/listened to in the past couple of months:

Circle Maker
Our D-Group is currently reading this.

Have you read it? What did you think? Would love to hear…

Well, gotta wrap it up. Gah- I talk about food so much. Jennifer M. will appreciate it! 🙂

Love you people out there. Come see me in KC!

Hope your January was great! Are you still resoluting? Meeting goals? I hope so. Keep it up!

Let us know how you are!


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