Around the house. 

  
Every time I’m in STL I stop by Trader Joe’s on my way home. Everytime I find some new things I love. Here are my new favorites. I actually saw the seasoning in my sisters kitchen first so thanks for the tip Am! It’s nothing fancy but let’s me be a lazier cook by adding more flavor without having to dig through my spices. I also like that it’s a grinder, so everything tastes fresh. The coconut oil isn’t perfectly paleo, but it’s close enough for me, and I love the convenience of a spray.  

And as promised here’s a peak at one of the updates we did, this room was beige and boring before. We have a lot of natural light in here so I went with an antique white and then made a stencil and painted a high gloss coat of the same color over the top. Easy one day project that brightened up our space. 🙂 

 

Berries and Cream Breakfast 

I went to visit some family over the weekend and made a stop at Trader Joe’s. While I was there I stocked up on a few of my favorite items. My sweet friend Blair had just told me about how she uses coconut cream and then I saw this:

  
So I bought a few cans, let one chill in the fridge overnight. 

In the morning open it, scoop out cream off the top into a small mixing bowl. (I used the thickest part of the cream but I’ll save the rest of the can for coffee creamer.) Next I add in a tiny drizzle of local honey. 

  
I love local honey! I’m considering getting bees of my own 🐝

Then I use a hand mixer on med speed for 3-4 minutes until it has the consistency of cool whip. 

Then just add some berries and enjoy!  

 
There was pleanty left over so I’ll be enjoying this a few times this week! Perfect summer paleo treat! 

  
Here is the essential “part of a complete breakfast” photo. But it’s pretty filling on its own. Enjoy!

Paleo-Faileo berry cobbler

WARNING The following is NOT a paleo recipe but it is amazing. And you’re welcome. 

  
Ok I make a real homemade berry cobbler about once a year. It feeds my soul. Reminds me of my Grammy. Today I was at Sam’s and couldn’t resist these beautiful strawberries. I already had intended to do something else with berries so one thing lead to another. I came home with a HUGE box of strawberries. 

  
Here’s what you need 

1 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 stick of butter melted (real butter, it’s important) 

1 single serving of yoplait yogurt (I usually go with strawberry or mixed berry) 

 
Last but not least the berries. Today I used strawberries, but blue berries and black berries are great too. Any combination of these work.
Preheat to 350

Mix the flour and sugar together then fold in the melted butter, the consistency is sort of like wet sand. Take about half pour into a greased pan (I used a 9×9) shake the pan until it spreads out and do some technical “smooshing” until it resembles more of a crust. Now here is the really technical part take a few more handfuls and smoosh around the edges of the pan. 

Boom you made crust. Good for you, Grammy would be proud. 

Now take your berries, slice them if you prefer and mix them with the yogurt. Seriously try this yogurt thing once and you’ll never by that goo they call pie filling ever again. 

Dump the berries in the crust. 

Dump the left over sand, -I mean crust mixture-over the top. 

Bake for 45 min and enjoy!  

One more shot for jealousy purposes.

 

#sandwellupdate

Well it’s been a while and the Sandwell’s have been busy! I received a promotion and my business relocated, Rob got an even bigger promotion and got relocated to a new store, we got a new car, we moved, and oh yeah and we had a baby!  So things have been going pretty great for us. 

We strayed from paleo during my pregnancy bc I had such food aversions. I wish I had been more dedicated bc I attribute our diet change to complications I had later on. 

But all is well, Jackson Blue Sandwell made his appearance on January 5 and our lives will never be the same. 

Now that he’s here we are back on the paleo wagon. So I will attempt to post now and then as we come up with new recipes. Thanks for reading! 

Here’s a peak at our newest Sandwell



Maple Bourbon Sweet Potato Bisque

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So when we get in a recipe rut I usually turn to Pinterest for inspiration. Usually I find something that sounds incredible and tweak it so it fits into our lifestyle but every now and then you find a recipe that sounds perfect with little to no tweaking necessary. So thanks “How Sweet it is” for posting this Bourbon Sweet Potato Bisque:

http://www.howsweeteats.com/2013/02/bourbon-sweet-potato-bisque-with-brown-butter-cinnamon-sugar-croutons/

I’ve been dying to try it since I pinned it and imagine it will not disappoint. Here is my version, with a few minor tweaks:

20130930-135710.jpgNeeded:
3 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
1/2 one large red onion diced
1 cup of coconut milk
3 cups of veggie broth
1 tsp minced garlic
2 tiny shot bottles of maple bourbon
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp of butter
Crushed red pepper, S&P, curry, cinnamon
Walnuts to garnish

So start by adding all the fat to a large soup pot once the butter melts down add onions and garlic, cook over med high heat for a few minutes then add the bourbon, sweet potatoes, coconut milk and veggie broth, pot a lid on that and let it come to a boil

20130930-135953.jpg (I cooked mine for about 20 minutes) then turn off the heat and check that the potatoes are fork tender if they are then it’s time to blend. I used my emersion blender to break down the potatoes. (Protip: make sure the blender is submerged completely otherwise you’ll be wall papering your kitchen with molten lava soup particles. Don’t ask me how I know, and just ignore that soup in my hair) I garnished it with cinnamon and walnuts.
So I knew the potatoes were gonna take some time to cook through and even though I love potato soup in any form, it’s always kind of a one note dish. I wanted something else on the side. So I decided on Brussels sprouts.

Most of us hated them as kids. I think this is bc they are shaped like tiny brains. And tasted exactly how I think tiny brains would taste. But a few years ago my brother brought some to a family dinner, tiny brains cooked it butter. I didn’t want to try them. I didn’t want to like them. But it kind of changed my mind on this super nutrient dense food. Turns out butter really does make everything better!

So today I made Cranberry Bacon Brussels.
Here’s what you need:
Brussels Sprouts, stemmed and halved (roughly a pound?)
2 stripes of bacon cooked and diced up small
1/2 red onion
Few handfuls of Cranberries fresh or dried (I used dried)
Few handfuls of Walnuts
2 tablespoons of butter

-sorry I’m bad with measurements, I’m am eye baller. But you can’t really go wrong here just toss in what sounds good. First melt the butter then add the onions, and Brussel, and bacon.

20130930-140912.jpgLet that cook for about ten minutes over med heat then add the berries and walnuts.

20130930-141055.jpgI then cooked it covered for a few minutes more just to make sure they would be tender all the way through, then I gave it a shake of salt and pepper and called it done.

20130930-141255.jpgWe will defiantly have left overs bc this makes for two very filling dishes. But I’m actually pretty stoked to have this sweet potato bisque with my coffee in the morning 🙂

Roasted red pepper soup in acorn squash

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Especially in the fall Sundays are for football in our house. So I knew we were going to have a lazy day around the house and I’m so ready for all things fall, so for lunch today I made roasted red pepper soup in acorn squash, along with some famous Sandwell cider. The cider is a Sandwell tradition that Rob and I have been making for years, but the other recipes were first attempts. But total, total wins. Unfortunately we’ve already eaten every bite so there will be no leftovers for a yummy lunch tomorrow 😦

So if you want to get your fall on, here are some recipes to kick it off:

Sandwell cider:
1 large container of cranberry-apple juice
1 single serving bottle of orange juice
4 tablespoons of aspen mulling cider spices
Combine all into a crockpot and simmer, if you want a spiked version sometimes we add spiced rum 🙂

Roasted acorn squash:
Preheat oven to 375.
Then cut acorn squash in half, remove seeds and cut stems off so they will sit flat

20130929-175918.jpgThen sprinkle them with cinnamon, curry, sea salt, and pepper. Spray a baking dish with olive oil and spray the squash as well then place squash cut side down on the dish and bake until fork tender (about an hour, but longer won’t hurt, I forgot about mine and left it in the oven for about an hour and a half, whoops!)

20130929-180056.jpgRoasted red pepper soup:
I bought 4 bell peppers of assorted colors (based on what was on sale) half of one red onion, I cut them up but I didn’t worry about getting them too small bc I knew they were going in the food processor. I plopped my sloppily cut veg into a small baking dish and drizzled a tiny bit of olive oil over it and seasoned it the same as the squash, cinnamon, curry, S&P then I put that in the oven next to the squash. (And then carried on living my life and totally forgot about it…)

Until the smell reminded me something delicious was in the oven.
When I got back to the kitchen the squash was cooked perfectly fork tender, and so were the peppers. Here’s what they looked like out of the oven:

20130929-180405.jpgTo turn the roasted peppers into soup I put them in the food processor for a minute to purée it. (I do not own a fancy expensive food processor. The one I own came from Hyvee, from the same aisle I buy Saran Wrap. It cost $12.)

After I puréed it I poured it in a bowl and added two cans of tomato sauce about 4 tablespoons of vegetable stock and some garlic salt, stirred it together and heated it through. Then I poured it in the squash and we ate every bite before it ever had a chance to cool off. This is for sure going to be made again soon, and it was so easy and such a success that I’m already excited to try these components in other dishes. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Chicken Dijonnaise

Today was a beautiful fall day and it put me in the mood for fall food. Here is what I had on hand.

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2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 lb of chicken thighs
Broccoli and cauliflower (a couple cups)
2 tsp minced garlic
Juice from one lemon
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup white wine
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

I made Chicken Dijonnaise with broccoli and cauliflower. I cooked the chicken thighs like usual in a bit of coconut oil. 5 min per side then in the oven (350) for another 10 (or more realistic until I’m done cooking everything else)

20130926-201012.jpgOnce I got the chicken in the pan, I started on the Dijonnaise. (Sounds fancy right?) I melted butter into a sauce pan, added the coconut milk, wine, Dijon, a little garlic and let it simmer and thicken.

20130926-201248.jpgAfter the chicken cooked a few minutes on each side I moved it to the oven and added the veg to the same pan. I put a lid on them and let them cook for about 5 minutes. Then I moved the veg to a platter, added the Dijon sauce to the chicken pan to incorporate the last of the drippings . Pull the chicken out of the oven, place on top of the veg, then top with the sauce and enjoy! All in about 30 minutes, perfect week night comfort food.

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Beef and Vegetable Soup

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So we used to make a meal that we called “Olive Garden Soup.” This was a recipe my wife brought to our marriage and it was always one of my favorites. It was basically a couple of cans of minestrone, a couple of cans of beans, a couple of cans of tomatoes, and a pound of seasoned ground beef. Since we started Paleo we haven’t made it because we don’t eat beans and pasta anymore, but I wanted to do something different than the meals we’ve been having lately so I decided to try giving it a Paleo twist.

Remember the soup formula, broth, veg, protein. I started with beef and chicken broth. Then I added my veg.

red onion
green bell pepper
red bell pepper
zucchini
squash
mushrooms
carrots
celery
one can of tomatoes with garlic and onions

Everything gets a rustic chop. Then I browned the beef in a skillet and just before it was done I added salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano, rosemary, basil, and thyme. When that was fully cooked I added it to the pot with the broth and veg.

I let this cook all day in the crockpot and came home to a house full of delicious aromas and a crockpot full of fantastic food. It tasted and smelled exactly like I remembered and I’ve been eating bowl after bowl ever since.

I like playing this game of “how can I make that dish Paleo.” It makes you think creatively and really examine mouth feel and flavor profile and try to come up with exciting new ways to enjoy your old favorites. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. I’m not gonna come up with too many Paleo alternatives to a DQ Reece’s Pieces Blizzard Treat. But sometimes you get to reacquaint yourself with an old standby and have the satisfaction of knowing you’re now eating in a healthy responsible way.

Give this dish a try and tell us what you think!

Lunch

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So my business recently moved to a new location. With this new location came a world of new and wonderful shiny things. But the thing I’ve been most excited about today is that I’m four blocks closer to the Sub-Shop!!! A tiny little restaurant that accepts cash only and is only open for 3 and a half hours a day on weekdays only. Why is it that a scarcity makes things seems to taste so much better? So today for a mere $6.50 I got to eat this salad of the Gods. It’s filled with mushrooms, olives, green peppers, tomato,banana peppers, pickles, carrots, chicken, and cashews, and topped with the dressing they make in house. Now that it’s gone I’m left contemplating how much of my future paychecks will be spent there. (A lot… Like-a-lotta-lot)

Sorry Rob.

Paleo Potluck!

So over the weekend Rob and I hosted a little garden party. Nothing fancy, just a few twinkle lights and a whole lot of food! I’m kicking myself for not taking more pictures of all the amazing goodness that there was to eat. The only picture I have is this quick shot Rob took of one of his dishes 20130917-210532.jpg

(sausage off the grill and onions and peppers) He also made fish and chips, (I’m so lucky to have a fella who likes to cook!) I made some coconut chicken and a fruit salad soaked in a honey rum sauce.

We invited some paleo friends and some not so paleo friends and had an amazing smorgasbord of food.

Our friends brought baked sweet potatoes and quite possibly the best salad I’ve ever eaten, with amazing homemade dressing to boot! There were lettuce wraps that held a mixture of cauliflour and carrots with the most delicious dry rub on them (Rob actually thought there was seasoned meat inside!) and then topped with guacamole! We washed it all down with wine and sparkling water. It was a perfect night with great friends.

Although I don’t have more pictures of the awesomeness we made great memories. There is something really special about sharing a meal with those you love, and Rob and I are blessed to have such wonderful friends.

Also I definitely walked away with tons of culinary inspiration! There is nothing better to get you out of a food rut then to eat with people who cook differently then you. I can’t wait to try all the recipes we tried! It makes me want to host a regular supper club! 😀