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Archive for the ‘Oh Fudge! the FOOD trials’ Category

For Valentine’s Day this year I woke up a little  earlier than usual so that I could, rather than buying flowers, make my own roses!….out of bacon! I used bbq skewers, bacon, and some spinach and voilà… Bacon roses for my love. I wish I could have gotten a video of his reaction…he immediately ate one right off the stick. Bahaha…Priceless.

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pretty yummy looking right?

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the special breakfast…omelet complete with an edible arrangement and coffee!

Not that I don’t like to receive flowers on occassion…but to be honest I’ve never been the biggest fan of Valentine’s Day. I love the idea of showing love and appreciation to those people who are dear to our hearts, but shouldn’t we do that daily? Plus, have you ever thought about where your flowers come from?

Did you know that most of our flowers come from Columbia and then Ecuador??? When I traveled to Ecuador several years back that was one thing that stood out to me…how cheap red roses were there and the crazy price that we pay for them here. If you’re interested check out this USA Today article here.

I’m not sure exactly what I’m getting at…but it was something I thought about a lot today, and even used for discussion in my Spanish classes. I brought in an image of one of Diego Rivera’s paintings to spark conversation and to hopefully bring some thought to the workers…creating the link between process and product. In many of his paintings, although esthetically pleasing and elegant, we are unable to see faces…as if to parallel the fact that often times the workers go unrecognized.

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El vendedor de alcatraces, Diego Rivera

Anyway, I’m not trying to put a downer on V-day….my  point I guess is to just a simple reminder to be aware and to always be thankful for what we have in life. I am so thankful for my loved ones, and even though this holiday may not always bring out the best in people (I can’t help but think about all the chocolates, jewelry, and silly stuffed animals purchased today just for the sake of giving someone something) I am thankful that the holiday has brought with it  some reflection.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

xoxoxo

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Sometimes Cajan sounds amazing right? Here’s my rendition as far as I remember! I didn’t write the ingredients down..oops, but it turned out pretty delicious…great texture, and just the right amount of spice!

Paleo Jambalaya

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Ingredients:

Package of wild caught, deveined, detailed shrimp

Andouille sausage, sliced

2-3 garlic cloves

1 bell pepper

1 onion

1 head of cauliflower

1 small can of tomato paste

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 cup of vegetable (or chicken) broth

Olive oil (for sautéing)

Salt and pepper

About a tsp of paprika

1/2 of cayenne pepper

Instructions:

!. Defrost the shrimp (follow the instructions on the package!)

2. Dice up all the veggies, cut the sausage into slices, and “rice” the cauliflower (I guess that was like 3 steps in one huh?…oh well!) To rice the cauliflower I took big chunks and threw them into a Ninja blender and pulse until they reached a “rice” like texture.

 

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3. Saute the garlic, onion, and bell pepper in the bottom of a large pot. Add the sausage and allow to cook for a few minutes. Toss in the cauliflower, broth and shrimp. Cover and let cook for like 5 minutes or so.

4. Add in the remaining ingredients, cover and allow to cook for another 10-15 minutes so that all the flavors combine.

 

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Yum!!

 

I also happened to be craving some dessert…but dessert that I wouldn’t feel guilty about eating. So for that I turned to my handy, dandy Practical Paleo cookbook. I made a dairy free chocolate mousse, and you can see the ingredients here. Who knew avocados and chocolate could taste so amazing??!! Give it a try!

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This past week was awesome…sooo many great things happened! I guess I should just start from the beginning right? For starters, Anthony and I signed a lease to rent a nice condo starting in August! Wooohooo!!!! I can’t stop thinking about how I want to decorate!! Haha, I look forward to seeing what kind of goodies I can find at yard sales this summer with my Mom.

I also started training for my new job as a summer Day Camp Leader. I am going to be the leader of the “Cub” group of kids ages 6-8. It is going to be a blast, and I can’t wait to tell you about all the kooky and fun things I envision myself to be doing this summer.

Another major event was my Mom finishing up her last treatment…so it’s all (hopefully) down hill from here! She seriously is like the toughest lady I know. “YAHOO! YOU’RE THROUGH!” was totally my grandma’s idea.

Sadie waiting for Mom to get home!!

Sadie waiting for Mom to get home!!

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Probably the biggest thing though, was that my Mom celebrated a very important birth year (I’m not going to reveal her age though, or I might suffer hearing “Riiiiley” accompanied by the stink eye).  My grandma and aunt were even able to come and celebrate with us!

For the "rock star" birthday girl

For the “rock star” birthday girl

My Mom can be a little stubborn when it comes to accepting gifts, so my brother and I thought this card was rather fitting.

"good birthday human, good"

“good birthday human, good”

Something else that my brother and I thought was fitting for this birthday  was a vacation. For that reason we’ve been planning something a little extra special for my Mom. After all she’s been through in recent months we figured she deserves to just get out of here and relax. For that reason, my brother and I planned a little escape vacation for my Mom and Dad to head to San Francisco, CA, rent a car and drive along the coast (something my Dad has always wanted to do) to their destination; Fort Bragg, CA. I titled the trip “Operation Relaxation”. Mom is looking forward to taking a ride on the Skunk Train!

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She requested two things for her birthday; a bird house and a strawberry pie, so that’s what we made her! Click here for the delicious paleo strawberry pie recipe that I used. It was nice because it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet or bitter like some fruit pies can be. It had just the right balance. Yum 🙂

Sweet bird house my Dad built!!

Sweet bird house my Dad built!!

Dates, strawberries and lemon juice!

Dates, strawberries and lemon juice!

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The week ended equally full of sunshine. Anthony and I went on a great hike on Memorial Day and then had my Dad over to BBQ. How did you all celebrate your 3 day weekend?

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ducks

 

What a great Monday. Yes, I did just say it was a great MONDAY.  Weird right?? It was though, what can I say. I babysat a cutie for most of the day. The weather was a little gloomy, but the baby and I were able to get in a couple walks around the park. I took a quick photo of some ducks that I saw by the pond, thinking to myself…aww…how cute. And for whatever reason they reminded me of Anthony (my fiance) and myself. I’m a dork, I know.

 

So, like I mentioned, the weather was a little gloomy…so logically a pot pie sounded delicious for dinner. I took the typical recipe and made a few changes to it to make it mostly paleo (next time I won’t cheat and I’ll make my own crust). It was a BIG hit. Anthony loved it…helped himself to seconds. As did myself and his roommate. You know what else was great about our dinner? The comforting, garlic, mashed sweet potatoes that I conjured up. MMMMM. P.S. as you can see…I’m the messiest cook on the planet…but hey, my messes almost always pan out into delicious meals. 

pot pie mess

 

To top this Monday off I even got a surprise! It’s not as awesome as a puppy…but it is pretty gosh darn great! Anthony and his roommate bolted out the door while I was cooking, and I knew they were up to something. They didn’t come home empty handed, but rather appeared in the garage with “Walter”… my very own moped!!

 

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Chicken Pot Pie Recipe 

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (plus an extra 1/4 cup of chicken stock for later)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 pound cooked chicken cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups frozen veggies (I used carrots, peas, and green beans)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 portions frozen piecrust dough, thawed
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp water

Melt the butter over medium heat. Toss in the onions and celery  and cook until tender. Mix in the flour, let it cook for a second and then mix in the chicken stock and the milk. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chicken spices (I used sage, salt and pepper, and some italian seasonings) and frozen veggies.

 

Pour the filling into one of the thawed pie crusts, and place the second piecrust over the top. With a fork gently press the top and bottom crusts together to seal well. Cut three 1-inch slits on the top. Mix the egg and water, and brush it on the pie crust. Place the pie onto a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400 degrees F. oven until the crust is golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.

 

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Paleo Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe

  • 2 Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 3 cups diced Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Milk
  • 1 tbsp of butter (or ghee)
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning Blend
  • 1 tsp Sage
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper

Lucky for you the oven is already pre heated to 400 degrees for the pot pie! Woo…the potatoes need the same temperature! In a bowl coat the diced sweet potatoes with the garlic, oil, sea salt and pepper and a dash of cayenne. Spread out on a baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes, stirring them up a few times during the process. You want the potatoes really soft.

Combine the coconut milk, butter, herbs,  and rest of the cayenne. When the sweet potatoes are ready, mush it all together until it’s the desired consistency! We don’t have a food processor, but if you do you’re lucky!

 

pre mashed potatoes

 

 

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DELICIOUS!!!

 

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I just wanted to share a really yummy recipe that I tried today! I’ve been diggin’ on this blog called PaleOMG lately, and the best part is that the writer is from Denver, CO! She has got some great recipes. I made this chicken coconut curry noodle bowl  and it was a big hit  (I didn’t even make too big of mess in the kitchen this time!).

 

cury

 

 

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Ingredients

¼ cup brewed coffee (a pinch of cinnamon added to the coffee grounds)

½ cup full fat coconut milk

¼ cup almond milk

4 ounces high quality chocolate

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

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Directions

Brew small batch of coffee first. In a saucepan add the remaining ingredients, heating over medium-low heat until the chocolate is melted and the cocoa reaches the desired temperature.

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Mix coffee and hot chocolate together and enjoy! I love the rich and creamy texture of the cocoa with the delicious undertone of coffee!

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Happy Saturday everyone! Normally we would save this yummy breakfast dish for a Sunday morning, but when we woke up yet again to a bunch of snow we figured, why not make some Paleo Biscuits and Gravy right now??

B’s & G’s are Anthony’s (my fiance) all time favorite breakfast dish…but aren’t always the healthiest option. When we decided to give the Paleo diet a try this was one of the first recipes he missed. That was until we discovered Robb Wolf’s AMAZING biscuits & gravy recipe that is 100% Paleo!!! It follows the same basic steps as the traditional b’s & g’s, except for some new ingredients. This is actually one of my favorite recipes to make with Anthony since he loves it so much, and we have really great teamwork when it comes to this one! Usually he’ll whip up the sausage and gravy mixture and I’ll tackle making the biscuits. Paired with some tasty coffee and a good movie and tada…a wonderful start to Saturday morning!

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Here’s the recipe we followed:

“Paleo Sausage Gravy

16 oz. country-style pork sausage
2 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 can coconut milk (shake it up before you open it)
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp dried, rubbed sage
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp salt

  1. Heat up a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the sausage. Break up the sausage into fairly small pieces so it will cook easily, but I like to leave some bigger chunks in there too. Once the sausage is thoroughly cooked, remove it with a slotted spoon and set it aside. Discard most of the fat, but leave about a tablespoon in there, and leave all the stuck-on brown bits of sausage in the bottom of the pan.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the arrowroot and stir it into the fat & brown bits, whisking constantly for about a minute so it doesn’t burn. It will get pretty thick and almost dry.
  3. Add the coconut milk about 1/3 of the can at a time, and whisk together with the “roux” you just made, incorporating it thoroughly. Some of the browned bits should start to come off the bottom of the pan, too. This is what we want. Keep adding in the coconut milk until it is all incorporated. Add the fennel, sage, cayenne, salt and pepper and mix it in.
  4. Add the sausage back in and incorporate throughout the gravy. Cook for a moment so everything is heated evenly. Serve immediately over biscuits.”

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“Paleo Biscuits

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cold grass-fed butter (coconut oil is fine here too)
6 egg whites
a little coconut oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease up 6 cups of a muffin tin with coconut oil.
  2. Put coconut flour, almond flour, salt and baking powder in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and pulse until the butter is incorporated. The butter pieces should be about the size of peas.
  3. In a blender (or by hand if you’re feeling energetic), whiz the egg whites until they are frothy. Add them to the food processor and pulse a couple of times until they’re incorporated. Don’t go crazy though, just pulse it a few times until just blended.
  4. Distribute the batter evenly into the 6 cups of your muffin tin. It should fill them about 3/4 full. These biscuits don’t rise, so that’s okay. Bake for 15 minutes until the tops are browned.
  5. Pour your gravy on top, and enjoy.”

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Now, you may notice a few differences from they typical b’s & g’s…but overall it tastes pretty gosh darn similar! We did cook the biscuits for a little less time because the first time we made the recipe they came out a little dry and crumbly. Also, don’t use too much arrowhead root (stick exactly to the recipe here.. otherwise .it will make the gravy sticky)!

Not too shabby for a snowy Saturday.

Thank you Robb Wolf! You can find the recipe at:

http://robbwolf.com/2011/01/05/gluten-free-sausage-gravy-paleo-biscuits/

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