Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Cranberry Orange Muffins

It's seldom a good idea for me to try and follow a recipe and talk on the phone at the same time.

Fortunately I had all the ingredients for the muffins already in the blender when Sherri called.

Unfortunately, I forgot to set the timer on the oven.

Fortunately the muffins smelled so fantastic that I noticed them in time to take them out.

(This is yet ANOTHER great recipe from Against All Grains)

Next time I make these (there will definitely be a next time!), I should use the smaller blender container.  The tall one made it a bit challenging to scrape out all the batter.

There's nothing better than the smell of hot muffins on a rainy morning.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Some Hits and a Miss

I haven't posted for a while, so I thought I would just throw all the food pictures I've taken in the past couple of weeks into one entry.

Here goes (in no particular order):

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins and homemade apple juice.  The muffin recipe is from the cookbook: Against All Grain.  I adore these muffins.  They keep well in the refrigerator and are an easy grab and go breakfast. The juice is pretty great too.

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream and Brownies...this was my birthday "cake".  The ice cream is wonderful - and almost dairy free! The brownies are okay...I found them a bit dry - but I might have slightly over baked them.  Both recipes can be found in Against All Grain.

Homemade applesauce.  I sort of (but not really) followed the recipe in Against All Grain - but I didn't peel the apples...or core them. I have a food mill, so I just steamed/boiled the apples with the seasonings and then ran it through my food mill.  Excellent - especially warm.

Paleo Apple Crisp.  This was a miss.  It looked and smelled great, but it was just dry, dry, dry.  This was NOT from Against All Grains, I found the recipe on Paleo Newbie (here). I suspect it would be just fine with the addition of ice cream - but I didn't have any on hand.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Banana Coconut Bread

I'm a bit of a banana bread snob.  I seldom will even try other peoples banana bread - not sure why, but I think it's a texture thing.  I do make banana coconut bread fairly often (mostly because Rebekah likes and requests it...and sometimes provides the bananas), so when I got home from the hospital yesterday with 3 overripe bananas, I decided to give gluten-free banana bread a whirl.

Again, it's a recipe of Danielle Walkers (from her cookbook - Against All Grain)...and again, I had to cook it for at least 15 minutes longer than she suggested...but the finished product was, again, dependably good.

I made it pretty much per the recipe, then at the end I threw in a couple of large handfuls of shredded coconut.
The flavor was spot on.



This was one occasion that using coconut milk actually paid off. One word of warning - if you're going to make this, make sure you have your eggs at room temperature (otherwise the coconut oil will just solidify).

The texture is a bit spongy - which was fine when it was warm - not as appealing cold.  I am going to try toasting a slice of leftover in the toaster oven.

Pumpkin Blueberry Pancakes

After the semi-successful attempt at making (paleo)waffles last week, I thought I would give pancakes a try. The waffles tasted great, but the texture was a bit hard to work with in the waffle iron - so....pancakes!

I found a recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes on Against All Grain and decided to give it a try. I like using Danielle Walker's recipes - partly because my "pantry" is geared towards her style of cooking, and I don't have to go out and buy lots of bizarre different ingredients.

These were pretty easy to make, but I almost tossed the batter out because it smelled funky.  I'm glad I didn't, they ended up tasting just fine and dandy, especially the ones that I added blueberries to.
One thing I've noticed about the recipes from Danielle that require baking (like waffles, pancakes, banana bread...), it that they seem to take a lot longer for me to cook than she suggests.  I just take that into account while cooking. Her recipe says to flip them over after about 30 seconds.  I may have been using a lower heat than she did, but mine took a couple of minutes per side.

I didn't find that these pancakes tasted very much like pumpkin - I suspect the almond butter of hijacking the flavor - but they were great with the addition of blueberries.  (You can't see the blueberries on these pancakes because they are on the bottom)

The texture is not quite like regular pancakes, it's a bit more sponge-like...but I will definitely be adding these to my list of edible paleo recipes.  They get bonus points for Danny and Steve liking them, and more bonus points because Danny actually liked the ones with blueberries!

Monday, September 22, 2014


I admit that these aren't the prettiest waffles I have ever made...not even close.



I picked up a cookbook at Costco last week...and I am determined to try a bunch of the recipes.  It's call Against All Grain by Danielle Walker. I happened to have all the ingredients for her blueberry waffle recipe, so that's where I started. I haven't had anything bread-like in over a month, so I knew that these didn't have to be stupendous to be edible, but they were great.  Not quite waffle texture, and definitely different tasting (well, adding a cup of cashews is bound to make it taste nutty...), but really good.  The recipe was pretty easy - just dump everything in the blender and give it a whirl, but I did take the author's advice and processed the cashews a bit first.  I don't think my Ninja is quite as high speed as her blender.

The most difficult part of cooking these was, well, cooking these.  The recipe said to set your waffle iron on its lowest setting.  The lowest setting on mine would make a nice hand warmer, but doesn't actually cook anything.  I ended up putting mine between the highest and the medium setting...that seemed to work.  Also, she said to cook them for about 45 seconds to a minute or until the waffle iron stops steaming - it took well over a minute for my waffle iron.

Texture-wise these aren't as sturdy as waffles made with good old Krusteaz...thus the mangled specimen below:

This was the only one that I put blueberries in - I think fresh blueberries would work better than the frozen ones...but this waffle did taste amazing.

Yeah, not quite what mine looked like.
Steve and Danny both liked them - and as long as it's only the three of us, I can afford to make these occasionally.  The recipe says it makes 4-6 servings, but that's only if you count each waffle square as a serving.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Bomb Chili

I'm not a big chili fan.  I like it once in a while - but it doesn't always like me (heartburn, anyone?). This chili was super tasty, and best of all, NO HEARTBURN!

The recipe is super flexible too.  I found it here.  My ingredients were quite a bit different - but that doesn't really matter.  I was able to clean out my fridge - all the little odds and ends of leftover veggies were included here. Steve loved this chili - and suprisingly, so did I. Win.

let's face it, chili doesn't photograph well.

Two pounds of ground meat.  I used ground beef and ground chicken (Italian sausage)
2 cans tomato paste
1 can diced tomato (not the big can - the one that's around 15 ounces)
4 cups broth (I used chicken...because that's what I had on hand)
About 2 pounds of diced/chopped veggies.  You're aiming for about half meat, half veg.  I used carrots, celery, green pepper, onion, crushed garlic, and a sweet potato.
1 Tbsp of cocoa powder
1/4 cup Chili powder
salt/pepper/cayenne to taste (I only added a bit of salt to the ground beef as I was cooking it - no pepper or cayenne)

- brown ground meat, set aside.
-add all veggies to the broth and boil until they are tender.
-add ALL ingredients to the crockpot and cook on high for 6 hours or so.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Butternut Squash Soup

I'm nearing the end of the Whole30 challenge, and I have to say, it's been interesting.  I have tried new foods, gone to bed hungry more than once and have not missed sugar at all, much to my surprise.

I whipped up a batch of Butternut Squash Soup on Thursday night - so I'd have something to take to the hospital with me on Friday.

I found the recipe here. I liked it quite well, even though it was a bit sweeter than I anticipated. Steve loved it, but then, he does have a world-class sweet tooth.

Step 1: roast veggies

Step 2: simmer with stock eat!
I tweaked the recipe a bit to make it Whole30-ish.

Savory Butternut Squash Soup
1 butternut squash; peeled, de-seeded, and cubed
2 carrots, cut in thick slices
1 med onion, cubed
2 gala apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp of dried sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 cup almond milk
32 oz chicken stock
1/2 pound all natural sausage (optional - but I think it helped make this more of a main dish)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss squash, carrots, onion, apples, and garlic in large bowl with olive oil and the dried herbs. Spread them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or tin foil. Roast in oven for about 40 minutes, or until squash is tender and lightly browned. Remove from oven and place the vegetable mixture into a large soup pot over medium heat.
Add your chicken stock.  Simmer for 15 minutes and then remove the pot from the heat. I took the bay leaves out at this point. Working in 2-3 batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth. You can add more chicken stock if the soup is too thick. Add cooked sausage (or ham or bacon or whatever) at this point. Stir in almond milk until thoroughly mixed and serve! This recipe made a lot of soup - so I ended up freezing about half of it. I hope it reheats well!