Monday, July 30, 2012

Big Brother Chicken

Thanks to my loving husband, I am hooked on the CBS reality show "Big Brother." It's one of the most contrived (what reality shows aren't?) show of the bunch. About 7 years ago, he asked me why I hadn't watched it--I said "'Cause it's stupid, duh." Full disclosure, I'd watched every season of MTV's "The Real World" to this point. I have been hooked ever since! I will not commit to myself to any other TV show, and I look forward to it every dang year! You should watch it too that is if you're not already, that way we'll have more to chat about. To kick off the season I made this simple crispy chicken.

"Big Brother" Chicken
3 1/2 lbs. chicken legs/drumsticks
6 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
2 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tbs. rosemary

Preheat oven to 400. In a baking dish, lay out all the drumsticks. Next, melt coconut oil in a small bowl and whisk in garlic and rosemary then brush the mixture over the chicken. Bake for 30-40 mins or until the juices run clear.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cinna-choco Brownie Cookies

First of all, I cannot believe that 100 people like my page! I know there are other pages with thousands of likes but my "100" makes me feel like I have hit the jackpot! I literally scream out the number every time I get a like... It goes like this:

Me: 52!!!
Casey: Yay! 52!

I might even Facebook stalk the person (depending on privacy settings, hehe) Bonus points to SUPER EXCITED when the person is out of state! I'm beginning to feel like I'm doing what I should be doing in life, and things are falling into place. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to play a tiny role in spreading the word about Paleo. To celebrate, I made these insanely decadent cookies. They are super rich with a hint of cinnamon. Thanks again peeps! I am so happy that you all humor me and read my ridiculous posts.

Now eat the cookies!

Cinna-choco Brownie Cookies
2 8oz bags walnut chunks
1/2 cup honey + 3 Tbs.
3 Tbs. melted coconut oil
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 egg
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 Tbs. Vanilla
3.5 oz. 90% dark chocolate
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. Add walnuts to a food processor and grind until it turns to butter then add 3 Tbs. honey then coconut oil and cinnamon and mix until is smooth. Next, in a mixer, add the walnut mixture, egg, vanilla and blend. Then add in the remaining 1/2 cup honey, cocoa powder, baking soda and a few pinches of sea salt and mix until all ingredients are combined... it will be VERY sticky.  Break up a 3.5 oz choclolate bar (90%) into chunks and mix in using a spoon. Scoop out the dough (use your hands!) and place appropriately-sized balls of dough on a cookie sheet. Lightly dust with cinnamon and bake for 20 mins. You just made magic.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mexican Frittata

Recently at one of my Paleo workshops, we got on the subject of food withdrawals--they exist, and as we were talking about it I made the joke that during the first couple weeks of Paleo all you want to do is grab a loaf of bread and motorboat it. I'm one of those lame people who laughs at her own jokes and when we got home, the first thing my husband said was "Motorboating bread, where did you get that?" To be honest, I'm not quite sure, but I was pretty proud of it. But it's true that IS what you want to do. Maybe it's just me. Sometimes I will walk down the aisle at the grocery store just to smell a bag of marshmallows. I hope to one day conquer the paleo marshmallow but not today.We'll move on.

In all seriousness, it's sad that junk food has THAT kind of a hold on us, I associate marshmallows with everything good and happy, when it should be the other way around. When I was a little girl, honestly believed that the clouds were marshmallows and that angels walked, played, slept on them and eventually ate them. That sounds dreamy. I'm also reminded of a trip to Mexico (day after graduating from college) and was so exhausted because I was working full-time and planning my wedding and all I wanted to do was to take a trip that didn't require makeup, a blow dryer or any effort whatsoever. So my grandma, sister and I did just that. Best trip ever. My grandma and I spent a lot of time sitting out on our balcony, myself in a hammock. This has nothing to do with sugary food withdrawals I know, but apparently marshmallows remind me of happy times! Anyway, out on that balcony watching the sunset we had a long talk about Heaven and what we thought when we were little. We bounced around the idea that it's different for everyone and if that turns out to be true, I am getting marshmallow clouds. That is a pretty emotional attachment to food, no? The point is why are we so emotionally attached to food!? Why are we taught that food is a reward and not that the right food is a reward in and of itself? Let's break the mold, people! In honor of my mexican vacay, we are having a mexican frittata.


12oz. chorzio
1 12oz. bag of frozen fajita veggies
2 Tbs. pico de gallo
1 Tbs. cumin
1 T. bacon fat

In a large skillet heat the bacon fat and add chorizo. When meat has cooked about 5mins. add frozen veggies and pico and sautee. In the meantime, crack 12 eggs in a large mixing bowl and scabble until egg yolks are mixed with the whites. After meat is browned and veggies are soft add in the eggs and cumin and cook about 10 mins. on meduim to low heat then cover for 5-10 more mins. Serve with sliced avocoda.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Raspberry Cobbler Bars

Our friend and Crossfit coach Justin was recently transferred by the Coast Guard to New Orleans, and to send him off I made him and his wife Samantha this little treasure. I actually owed him a Paleo treat for opening the gym up to me a time or two when I couldn't make the normally-scheduled class. I also wanted to make something I hadn't tried before, plus I had all the frozen raspberries staring me in the face every time I looked in the freezer. I had bought a bunch of them on sale and froze what we wouldn't eat right away. They were basically crying because I'm always picking the blueberries out and not them.  They (still talking about the raspberries here) wanted to feel included in my cooking endeavors. I can definitely relate to that feeling, kinda like getting picked last for kickball in elementary school. Or needing to wear a helmet and pads during CrossFit... that would be me--but that is another story for another day. I sure hope they enjoyed this; I tasted it and I sure did.
One of my best dessert treats yet!

Raspberry Cobbler Bars
1 1/2 cups almond flour
2 Tbs. coconut oil
1 Tbs. raw honey
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350.
In a mixer, combine all ingredients until the mixture is crumbly. Grease a baking dish with a very small amount of coconut oil. I used a browning pan. Press mixture into the dish making sure that it is evenly distributed and there are no holes in the crust. Bake for 10-12 mins. Remove from oven and let cool.

1/4 cup honey
zest of one lemon
1/4 cup (or less, for preference) of lemon juice
12oz bag frozen raspberries (Preserving juice at the bottom of bag for chocolate drizzle)
2 Tbs. coconut oil

Without rinsing out the mixing bowl combine honey, zest, lemon juice and melted coconut oil. Next, add in raspberries and mix with your hands until berries are coated with juice, you want the berries to break up into small pieces so use the mixer if need be. Spread filling over the top of the crust and bake for 15 mins. Drizzle melted dark chocolate for extra pizazz.

Dark Chocolate drizzle
1/4 cup 90% chocolate (half of a 3.5oz bar broken up into chunks)
1/6 cup melted coconut oil
1 Tbs. raw honey
pinch of sea salt

On low heat, heat a small sauce pan and add mix all ingredients, stirring constantly until chocolate is smooth. I added in the juices and pieces or raspberry that were at the bottom of the bag (suggested earlier) an amount no more than about a Tbs. of juice and drizzled over the cooled raspberry bars.

*Dark Chocolate drizzle is optional, the bars are very tasty with out it.
**I popped my pan in the freezer for about 15 mins so the chocolate would harden and the bars would be easier to cut. Once they are room temp again they become more like cobbler than bars.

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

No-Brainer Salad

This "recipe" is a no-brainer... but tasty and refreshing none the less, and who knows maybe someone will get some kind of idea from this. I love salad, always have always will. I never had to be forced to eat my veggies, except corn which isn't a vegetable (foreshadowing). I hated corn-- always have, always will. That is... unless it's in the "popped" form. When I was younger, I wasn't big on mashed potatoes either because they always had pepper in them and I thought the little black specks were fleas. Other than that, I have never had a problem getting enough veggies. As a matter of fact, until the last year and a half it was much easier for me to get veggies in than meat. I certainly preferred them over meat proteins any day. My, my, look how things changed. Now I'm a cave-woman who no longer discriminates against any meat. But on a hot day (pick one out of the last 3 months in Texas) I always crave crunchy refreshing veggies to go along with my meat. That how this salad was born, with a twist.

No brain? Then this is the salad for you. 

No-Brainer Salad
Italian mix lettuce
half a tomato, sliced
1/2 a cucumber, sliced
handful of purple onion, diced (it's NOT red)
a few baby carrots
3 Tbs. tzatziki sauce (from the Gyros)

Put a few handfuls of Italian mix lettuce in a salad bowl. Slice the tomato, cucumber, and onion and toss in along with a few baby carrots. Pour tzatziki over lettuce and shake a little salt and pepper on top. Keep your sauce for gyros the next day!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Summer Roast

The amount of salt and pepper one uses is a personal choice. Like v-necks for a dude or what type of underwear you like, personal preference. If you notice I very seldom have a measurement for salt or pepper because it's a choice we all have to make for ourselves. I like salt, my husband likes pepper (I also like the band Salt n Peppa). I really like pink Himalayan sea salt (mostly because it's pink) and fresh cracked pepper. I dust a little salt on my apples from time to time but I never put pepper on them. Now imagine if every time I served apples in my house if I covered them in salt, what if my guests hated salt? Now that was a random post! Enjoy the roast!

Don't forget to juice a lemon on the roast, just before serving
Summer Roast
2lb. roast
2 zucchinis
2 yellow squash
2 bell peppers
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Set your crockpot on low. Chop all veggies and throw 'em in the pot along with a hunk of meat (I used beef tip roast). Add the garlic, salt and pepper and set the timer for 8-10 hours then go to work, the mall, a friends house, get a WOD in or whatever else you need to do and when you return home, dinner will be ready!

*Squeeze a little lemon juice on the meat before serving, it adds a little zest.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

Breadless Bruschetta

This is a great little appetizer for dinner parties. Plus, it fills your house with a beautiful garlic-herby aroma. I used to make traditional bruschetta all the time and I was starting to really miss it, not for the bread but for all the juice deliciousness on top of the bread and then it dawned on me that I didn't need the bread! I have these ridiculously tiny spoons that I finally had a chance to good use, which I found at either a Ross or Marshall's for like $5. It looked so pretty and fancy and I felt like I was a real hoity-toity grown-up entertaining other grown-ups all hoity-toity like.

Bruschetta. Don't eat the spoon!

Breadless Bruschetta
6 Campari Tomatoes
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 oz. basil
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 Tbs. nut oil*

In a large mixing bowl, combine  tomatoes, garlic, basil and oils. Toss around with your hands until everything is covered evenly with the oils. Cover tightly and refrigerate for about 1 hour. Preheat oven to 350. Remove from fridge and spread evenly over a baking sheet--with a lip, otherwise all the juices will be at the bottom of the oven. Bake about 10 mins, remove and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Be sure to run to the store and grab some comically-small spoons and use them to serve the bruschetta and arrange on a platter. This way your guests will have a bite-sized amount of Heaven.

*I used garlic-infused macadamia oil.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Maple Bacon BBQ Sauce

Martina McBride's "Independence Day" is playing in my head... Just in time for the 4th of July, a BBQ sauce that isn't filled with crap and is pretty spectacular if I say so myself. Side note: I feel like I brag about my food...It's not really that I think I am so awesome I just love food and like to compliment it as much as I can. Back to Independence day, I am reading a book right now about WWII and it gives me such a better understanding about what our servicemen and women go through. It also makes me very grateful to them! I have lots of Coastie friends and that too has given me a new appreciation. I'll be honest, they are better people than me, I'm way too selfish to do what our armed forces do, let alone go overseas in the middle of a war. I don't think I could protect others like these men and women so, I usually jump behind someone or run away if something is going down, and I get extremely nervous. Thank God we have such brave and unselfish people willing to fight for people like me! This might have been a better post on Memorial Day but oh well. To show my thanks, I made this Maple Bacon BBQ per request by my friend (silly sidenote: This is my potential replacement husband if A. Things don't work out with him and Julie Foucher and B. Something "happens" to Casey hehe) I would also like to point out that I slow cooked ribs all night slathered in this sauce... It is extremely hard to sleep with the smell of bacon creeping under your door!!

Maple Bacon Sauce
8 pieces of bacon
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 garlic cloves minced
1 cup ketchup
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Just a splash of 'liquid smoke'

In a sauce pan, cook bacon until crispy and remove from pot, set aside for later. Add maple syrup and garlic to the bacon grease, stir on medium to low heat. When it is nice and hot, add the rest of the ingredients. Stirring constantly, let simmer 5-10 mins. Let cool and store in a jar or eat right then and there!

* I slow-cooked a rack of baby back ribs seasoned with salt and pepper and a splash of liquid smoke for 12 hours on 250, while basting every few hours with the sauce

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