Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mmmm Nothing better than Waffles and Strawberries

     A nice long weekend at home and the hubby wanted some waffles for breakfast, but I will be honest since going Paleo I have not tried anything like them.  I was afraid that they would be disappointing, with out the use of regular flour I did not want them to be thin and weak. So I looked and looked for the perfect recipe and I could not find one that I liked. So I took a little from this recipe, took a little from that one and added a few tweaks of my own and Vaa Laa I did it.  

Paleo Strawberry Waffles

4 eggs plus 2 egg whites (separate and beat the whites to foamy peaks)
2 Tbs           Vanilla
1/2 Cup       Coconut milk
1 1/2 Cup    Almond flour                 

 3 Tbs          Coconut flour
1/2 tsp         Sea Salt
1 tsp            Baking soda
1 tsp            Cinnamon
1 pinch       Ground nutmeg
1/2 Cup      Fresh Strawberries (Diced)

I mixed all the wet ingredients, save the egg whites, with the dry ingredients.
Carefully fold the mixture into the egg whites trying to preserve as much volume as possible.

Waffles will not be as crisp as regular waffles but instead they will be light and fluffy. I hope you enjoy them as much as my family and I did. :-)

     Now for something tasty and yummy on top of them, how about a little bit of Paleo Strawberry Butter. Can we say Nom Nom.......

Paleo Strawberry Butter

1 lbs         Kelly Gold Butter (or any other grassfed butter)
1/2 Cup   Strawberries (Diced)
2 Tbs       Honey

Put butter in mixing bowl and mix till smooth and creamy, then add honey and strawberries and mix till throughly mixed in together.

Enjoy on waffles, muffins, biscuits or anything else that strikes your fancy.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Time For Some Baking!!

     Yesterday was such a cold, windy day that I did not feel like leaving the house (so I didn't. LOL)   So what is better than to do a little baking goodies on a cold day, Nothing!  Since I had not done any baking since we switched to the Paleo Lifestyle I figured it was time for me to finally get my butt up and give it a try and my kids were so happy I did, because I tried not one recipe but two. I knew for sure one of the things I was going to bake was a Raspberry Coconut Muffin my husband had seen on, so since he was going to the box for day 5 of his whole month of November Hero WOD's I figured I would have him stop by the commissary to pick up what I needed. While he was gone I was looking at a few recipes and I decided to make some Pumpkin muffins but I couldn't find a recipe that was just what I was looking for so I ended up being a little creative :-) This is what I ended up with and they were sooooooooo Yummy!!!

    The first ones I baked were the Raspberry Coconut Muffins, and I have to be very honest I did not think they were going to turn out very good. I gathered all the ingredients together and did every thing the recipe said to do, but the batter was very, very dry and crumbly. I thought there is no way in hell this is going to turn out to be anything edible, I even added another 1/4 cup coconut oil. I still wasn't happy with the results but I decided to go ahead and cook it anyways (didn't want to throw all that money away. LOL) I had to cook them a few minutes longer than the recipe called for, but I think that was because of the extra oil I added. They did not really rise at all, thank goodness I filled the muffin tin full. Low and be hold after they were done and cooled I tried one, I was so pleasently suprised that I could not believe it. They were  so moist and tasty!

                                                  Raspberry Coconut Muffins

6        eggs
1/2     cup honey
250g  melted coconut oil  (which converts to 8.75 ounces)
1 C.   coconut flour
1 C.   shredded coconut
2 C.   raspberries
1 tsp  baking soda
1 tsp  salt

 Pre heat oven to 180 degrees celcius in a fan forced oven and place patty pans in muffin tray.
 Place all wet ingredients (apart from raspberries) in a bowl and mix together with a mixer.
 Stir in dry ingredients and add raspberries last. ( I recommend folding them into the batter)
 Cook for 20-25 minutes
 let cool and then serve.
This batch made 16 muffins

While those were in the oven I went ahead and whipped up my Pumpkin Muffins and this is what I came up with......

Pumpkin Pecan Coco Muffins

1/2 cup     melted butter
6               eggs beaten
1 tsp         pure vanilla extract
1/2 C.       pumpkin puree
1/4 C.       honey
1/2 C.       coconut flour    
1/2 tsp      baking powder
1  3/4 tsp   cinnamon (i love cinnamon, so you can use less if you like)
1/4 tsp       cloves
1/4 tsp       nutmeg
1/4 C.        chopped pecans
1/4 C.        Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
and just a pinch of salt pinch

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Grease a standard muffin tray or use paper liners
Combine wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl together until well beaten: butter, eggs, vanilla, pumpkin and honey/maple syrup.
Mix dry ingredients together then slowly add into the wet ingredients, whisking as you do so that you don’t have lumps in the batter. After every thing is mixed throughly fold in the pecans and chips till mixed threw out.
Divide the batter evenly into the muffin tins
 bake for approximately 15-18 minutes or until slightly golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins

I hope you enjoy these as much as my family did :-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fall Butternut Casserole

     Nothing better in a cool fall evening then something warm, filling and comforting, so I decided to throw together a Butternut casserole. This was the first time I served this to the family and I have to say it was a hugh hit. They have requested to have it again already! LOL

Fall Butternut Casserole

1        Lg Butternut squash cut into pieces
1       Small onion (diced)
1       Pkg Smoked Chrdonnay Chicken Sausage (cut into small disks)
2       tbsp Fresh Sage (finely diced)
1/2    C.  Pure Maple Syrup
4       Tbsp Butter
Salt & Pepper

Mix first four ingredients together and put in casserole dish.
Mix maple syrup and melted butter and pour over casserole.
Toss gently and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

It is such a simple dish and the flavors blend togehter so wonderfully, I don't normally use sweets but I made an exception this time and I am really glad I did. I have already made plans for the next time I cook it,  I think next time I am going to use a pork sausage and sprinkle it with bacon. Everything always taste better with bacon on it, Yum Yum!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Helpful Tips and Tricks

     Since I didn't cook anything special tonight for dinner because it is left over night I thought I would give a couple tips and tricks that maybe you have and maybe you have not heard of to help make life a little easier on you and on your pocket book. I don't know about you but I like it when I can save myself a little money, because as far as I am concerned every little bit helps (and adds up).

     First on the list is a little trick to help measure sticky ingredients. It seems that when ever a recipe calls for a sticky ingredient such as honey more of it gets left behind in the measuring cup then actually gets in the bowl. Before I transitioned over to the Paleo side I use to use spray veg oil in the measuring cup but now that I do the best I can to avoid veg oil of any kind. I found that if you fill the measuring cup with the hottest possible tap water and let it sit for a minute the dump it out right before your going to measure your sticky stuff and suprisingly it will slide right out.

     I don't know about you but I hate it when I have a recipe that calls for on Tbs. or two of tomato paste then you are left with the rest of the can and don't know what to do with it so it usually ends up in the trash. Tha really pisses me off but since I don't use it that often I never know what to do with it till I learned this little trick. Take a cookie sheet lined with wax paper (or something similar) and measure out a Tbs at a time when you have used all the paste stick your in the freezer until frozen solid the place in a zip lock bag or other container. These will store in the freezer for up to three months. So the next time your making some of that chili, soups, or stews you will be all set.

     If you like me and grow your own herbs or just happened to buy to much, but don't want it to go to waste here is one of my favorite ways to save them. First chop up your  herbs and mix them in to some softened butter ( I prefer Kerry Gold), after you have them throughly mixed together use parchment paper to roll into a log. After you have the desired shape and lenght you want wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer, it will last up to three months with no problem. The fat in the butter will preserve the herbs' fresh flavors. You can cut off a slice or two and enjoy on a juicy steak, fish, burgers or even soup.
Don't be afaird to try to mix some of your herbs' togther for a different taste and effect.
Suggested herbs' to use:
Rosemary, chives, thyme, flat leaf parsley, oregano, dill, chevril, garlic chives

Oh and if you want to make it look a little fancy after you have it in the plastic wrap you can do like I do sometimes and roll it over a thin bamboo mat to give it that professional look before you freeze it.

     If you have some tips or tricks that you would like to share I would love to hear them and I am sure others would as well, so I will be looking forward to hearing from you :-)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Breakfast on a Cold Fall Day

     I guess fall is really here, since it has dropped from 85 degrees to 47 in just one day. I woke up this morning and it was cold, windy and rainy. One of those days were you just want to keep your butt in bed under the nice warm covers and snuggle, but instead of doing that I played the good mommy and wife this morning and made everyone a warm and tasty breakfast.
     After I finally dragged my butt out of bed I put the coffee on and got started on making breakfast. The first thing on the agenda was peeling the sweet potato's and grating them for sweet potato hash, then on to the organic uncured bacon it was. Thank goodness I already put the coffe on because I was in need of a cup. LOL  After taking a few sips of my coffee it was back to cooking, I had a couple of plantains that were ripe and almost too ripe so I decided to slice them up and fry them in some Kerry Gold butter for a little sweet treat with breakfast. I only had 2 small red peppers left from my garden this year so I decided to add those to the hash for an added little touch of Love. :-)

     So after making a tasty and yummy breakfast for everyone, my tummy was full and satisfied I climbed back on the bed and got under the covers (just one of those day, LOL) and watched my hubby play Gears of War 3.

     Now I just have to figure out what I have in the freezer so hopefully I don't have to go out in this cold, wet weather to get stuff for dinner. What do you like to have on days like this? Me personally I like things like soup, chili or stews something that warms you through and through.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Caramel Apples

     I have to appoligize for my absense, life has a way of happening to us all. It is by far no excuse but it is the truth and I will do the best I can to not let it happen again. So as my way of saying I am sorry here is a wonderful fall recipe that kids of all ages will love!

     This time of year one of the things I love is the cooler weather, the leaves changing colors and the fact that apple farms line nearby country roads and all manner of apple products are sold - apple pies, dumplings, fritter, ciders, doughnuts, sauces, cookies, and of course...caramel apples. It was just the reminder I needed. For years I've wanted to do a new caramel apple recipe. I thought I might be able to do a version using apples, honey, cream, and salt. That's it. No white sugar, no corn syrup, and no melting of Kraft caramel squares none of the things that we try to avoid on a daily basis.

     I  wanted to avoid a few of the caramel apple pitfalls that have tripped me up in the past. For example, I needed the caramel to stay on the apple. Lots of people, myself included, have had trouble with caramel not setting on their apples. I decided to use the technique I use to make my favorite caramels - the honey-sweetened caramel gives the apples a beautiful, opaque, golden coat and tastes rich, chewy, and decadent.

     A few things you should know before you start. You need a candy thermometer. I have one from Whole Foods Market that cost me about $4 - works fine. But I'm going to admit,  a thermometer is important because the key to this caramel recipe is achieving a good set, you want your caramel to be able to hold a shape once it cools. To make this happen you need to heat the ingredients to a very specific temperature. I know it all sounds precise and fussy, and to a certain extent it is, but really all you're doing here is putting a very short list of ingredients together in a pot, and bringing the temperature up, up, up into what is considered "hard ball" territory 255F - 260F degrees. If you don't heat the caramel enough, it will likely run off the apple, but alternately if you go too hot the caramel will be difficult to bite into, and will have more of a tendency to peel off the apple

Caramel Apple Recipe

Please be careful when making caramel apples, you will be working with dangerously hot, sticky, ingredients - I always put on an apron and make sure I have a closed-toed pair of shoes on when making candy. Be extra, extra careful if you have kids around. On the ingredient front, I typically go for a mild clover honey when making caramels.
6 - 8 small apples, unwaxed, cold
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup honey
          Chopped pecans if you like those on yours, I do :)
Special equipment: candy thermometer, and lollipop sticks
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Push a lollipop or popsicle stick deep into each apple - in through the stem.
Fill a large bowl 1/2 full with ice water and set aside.

In a medium, thick-bottomed saucepan heat the cream and salt until tiny bubbles start forming where the milk touches the pan - just before a simmer. Stir in the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil. Now reduce the heat to an active simmer and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for about 15-20 minutes minutes or until the mixture reaches about 255-260F degrees. To stop the caramel from cooking, very, very carefully set the bottom of the saucepan in the bowl of cold water you prepared earlier - taking special care not to get any of the water in the caramel mixture. Stir until caramel begins to thicken up - you want the caramel to be thin enough that it will easily coat your apples, but not so thin that it will run right off. If the caramel thickens too much simply put the pot back over the burner for 10 seconds or so to heat it up a bit.

I tilt my sauce pan so all the caramel forms a pool on one side, and use my other hand to dunk and twirl each apple until it is thoroughly coated with caramel. Place each apple on the parchment lined baking sheets and allow the caramel to cool and set.

Makes 6 - 8 caramel apples.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Hempy's London Broil......

     Oh my goodness can we say, Fat and Sassy...... well I can definately say I am sassy. LOL After the breakfast I had this morning I was so full I skipped lunch and went straight to dinner. With the dinner I had it is understandable why I didn't even worry about having lunch today.

     Dinner was so simple yet so tasty that you could not help but clean your plate. Tonight was Hempy's London Broil (in case your wondering why Hemphy's is because my last name is Hemphill, LMBO), Yellow and Green summer squash with a little sharp cheddar cheese (sorry I was having a Primal moment. LOL) and a little salald with some Honey Basalmic dressing.

                                                             Hemphy's London Broil

3-4lbs       London Broil
4Tbs        Oragano
4Tbs        Thyme
1Tbs        Sea Salt
3Tbs        Fresh Cracked Pepper
4Tbs        Garlic Powder
1              Shallot diced small
3Tbs        Cilantro chopped

Mix all ingredients together to make a dry rub, throughly rub all sides with rub.
Sear all sides with beef tallow, then put on top of London Broil the diced shallots and the cilantro (use as much as is needed to cover top), put in broiler for about 20 min for Med Rare
a little longer if you like yours done more.
Slice thinly against the grain, and enjoy!