paleo sweet potato souffle.

I am completely convinced that you can get your home smelling like Thanksgiving in twenty minutes.

Heat up your oven to 350 degrees, pop in three or four sweet potatoes on a baking sheet (properly wash them and poke holes in them of course), light a pumpkin or cinnamon candle, and there you have it!

I love to create ambiance in my home, a sense of belonging and warmth.  For me that has always been accomplished through food, candles, and music.  This recipe evokes warm memories of my childhood visiting my Mema and Pepa in North Carolina for Thanksgiving.  The warm spiced aromas of sweet potatoes and cinnamon take me there every time.

So… To grandmother’s house we go! I promise you’ll love it!!  Please do yourself a favor and buy an autumn candle.  They’re 40% off at Hobby Lobby right now!

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For this recipe you will need:

3 baked sweet potatoes

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

3 eggs

1/4 cup coconut milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

To bake your sweet potatoes simply line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, wash your potatoes, and poke holes in them with a fork. Place them on your baking sheet and bake in the oven for approximately 45 minutes to an hour (or whenever the centers of the potatoes are soft).

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Peel your potatoes, and combine the mash with your salt, cinnamon, maple syrup, eggs, coconut milk, and vanilla.

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Use a hand mixer or Kitchen Aid and whip up your mixture until it takes on a light, aerated consistency.

Pour mixture into a greased pie pan, and bake for 40 minutes.

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Your house, at this point, should smell absolutely divine.

This souffle really is served best on days when you need a reason to smile.  It doesn’t have to be a holiday or special occasion to make a special meal for your loved ones!  Enjoy!

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effortless paleo dijon rosemary chicken.

I will never forget the general ease with which she crafted the ever frequent al fresco summer lunch on the patio. I watched her. Learned from her.

Those summer days for me were like gold.  I must have dead-headed thousands of red geraniums on her terrace (she has a special fondness for Mackinac Island), set a hundred tables “just so.”

My teenager summers in Michigan were spent employed at the Foote residence (now known as the Shoeman Family Farm).

http://www.horselessons.com/

Theresa Foote embodied, to me, the ultimate in fine living.  She was always entertaining, bringing guests into her home, blessing them with an abundance of gourmet food and poolside drinks.  She made everyone feel welcome and at home.

One recipe I took away from her was her dijon rosemary chicken.

This particular recipe really should include a grill, but if you’re in a hurry like me and forgot to fill up the propane tank or thaw your chicken, my take on this Foote classic is pan seared.

You will need:

2-3 chicken breasts

dijon mustard

fresh rosemary

1-2 tbsp olive oil

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Simply slice up your chicken in long strips and marinate in 3-4 tablespoons of dijon mustard for thirty minutes.

Heat up your oil over medium high heat.  Saute your chicken until meat is lightly browned.

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After chicken is browned add fresh rosemary to your dish, and garnish with a sprig.

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There you have it… the easiest (and tastiest) of all chicken dishes!

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Kinsley was a fan!

paleo almond chocolate bars

I found it absolutely essential today to make something deceptively delicious.  In the midst of laundry, bottles, and picking up toys (and crumbs), I become abundantly aware of my need for an over-the-top dessert.  Instead of running to Walgreens and “sneaking” myself a bag of Reeses butter cups, I decided to do myself a favor.  I lit some candles, put on my “Coffeehouse” station on DISH, and gave myself complete freedom to “re-create” my favorite lil candies.

This particular recipe was found on a blog called “Fast Paleo.”  The name should indeed give away the fact that these bars are easy as pie to make, and taste absolutely incredible… and I mean incredible!  This is a no bake, no nonsense recipe for the desperate housewives of America who absolutely NEED a chocolate fix.

You will need:

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or clarified grassfed butter)

1 1/4 cup almond flour (I grind my own in my Vitamix, it’s much more cost effective)

1 1/4 cup organic coconut palm sugar (I get mine at Whole Foods)

1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

2 tbsp. almond butter (for the topping)

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Mix together your almond butter, coconut oil, almond flour, and coconut palm sugar in a mixing bowl.

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Side note:

If you would like to grind your own almond flour, simply put 1 cup of almonds in your Vitamix or food processor and pulse until they become flour-like in their consistency.

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One cup of almonds yields around 1 1/2 cups of almond flour.

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Press your mixture into a 9″ Pyrex dish, and chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

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While your mixture is chilling, prepare your chocolate topping.

Mix together your chocolate chips and 2 tbsp. almond butter in a microwave-safe dish.

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Melt for 20 seconds, stir, melt for another 20 seconds… Repeat this process until you yield a smooth chocolate ganache (paleo style).

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Pour this topping evenly over your mixture, and continue to refrigerate for another hour or so.

Slice your chilled dessert into little squares, and devour! Enjoy!

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paleo beef stew.

As I scoured the shelves at the grocery store today for a somewhat healthy beef stew starter mix, I realized that such a thing does not exist.  I was astonished to discover that chief among the ingredients on the majority of McCormick’s spice starter packets was corn starch, followed by hydrolyzed corn gluten, soy protein, and wheat gluten.  Talk about a GMO meltdown in your gut!

Forget the seasoning mixes and stew starters!  I decided to make my stew from scratch, and boy was it worth it!

Here’s an excellent and simple recipe that is not only delicious, but also is completely paleo and provides ample leftovers!

You will need:

2 pounds stew beef (Grass fed beef is definitely the way to go.  Price comparisons show about a $2/lb difference, but the omega 3 to omega 6 ratio is well worth the extra money.  You can get grass fed stew beef at Whole Foods, Native Sun, alternative health food stores, or you can order different cuts of meat online at http://www.realtimefarms.com/farm/5552016/cowboy-meats)

2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil)

2 cups water

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (If you don’t have this just mix steak sauce with a splash of white vinegar)

1 clove garlic, peeled 

1 or 2 bay leaves

1 medium onion, diced

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon organic cane sugar

1/2 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1/8 tsp allspice or ground cloves

1 bag baby carrots

3 ribs celery, chopped

2 tbsp arrowroot powder

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Brown meat in hot oil.

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Add water, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika, allspice, carrots, and celery to your pot.  Cover and let simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours (or longer) over low heat.

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This is the point in the recipe where I clean up the kitchen!  You will have somewhat of a mess on your hands!

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To finish off your dish you may want to thicken your gravy.  To do this, use a separate bowl and combine 1/4 cup water and arrowroot powder until smooth.  Mix with a little hot liquid and return the mixture to the pot.

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And… ta da! You have an amazingly fragrant, stick- to- your bones kinda meal!

Kinsley loved it!

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paleo blueberry cobbler.

Sunday evenings are spent at my parent’s house in Jacksonville, Florida. Our time together cooking, eating, drinking wine (when I’m not pregnant), talking politics, and watching football has become to me cherished memories and conversations that will last my entire life. 

Cousins Gemma and SophieImage

 

Crawling races!

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What party would be complete without the doll house?Image

My mom has adopted a quasi form of the paleolithic diet… she is somewhat of a health nut in the best sense ever.  Between her “Go-Yen” juices, green smoothies, Mila, raw/vegan, and gluten- free lifestyle I’d say she pretty much has all the bases covere.  ImageWhen dinner rolls around on Sunday evening she seeks to incorporate her healthy living, and family’s general expectation for delicious, satisfying food. 

This past Sunday night she made us a fabulous dinner, and we girls all joined in to make a sensational “paleo blueberry cobbler.”

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

You will need:

2 pints of washed blueberries

juice of 1 lemon

1 cup almond flour

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1/4 cup melted butter (or coconut oil)

2 pinches salt

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup chopped nuts (we used walnuts)

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Evenly distribute your blueberries between six ramekin dishes.

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Juice one lemon, and sprinkle fresh lemon juice over each portion of your blueberries.

Mix together your “topping” in a small bowl.  This will include your almond flour, maple syrup, melted butter (or coconut oil), salt, and cinnamon.

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Chop your nuts, and incorporate them into your mixture as well. 

Evenly distribute your topping over each portion of the blueberries.

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Place the ramekins directly on your oven rack and bake in your preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the topping is nice and brown and your berries are bubbly.

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We served this with “So Delicious” vanilla coconut ice cream! You can get it at really any grocery store; Publix, Whole Foods, Native Sun, even Wal Mart!

Enjoy with the ones you love!

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primal rice pudding.

Today, September 22, 2013,  marks the official start to this autumn season!

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Today is a cause for celebration!

My favorite season has always been, and always will be fall.  The crisp air, Michigan apples, bonfires, and general change of wardrobe always excite me!  I want Kinsley to love this season as much as I do, and garner fond memories of this “hush” before winter.

In ode to this beloved equinox I made my family a simple yet oh so satisfying treat… rice pudding!  Its warmth and comfort reminded me of “chillier” times growing up in Michigan.  This particular recipe is sure to please, and is void of refined sugar!

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You will need:

1 1/2 cups cooked rice (I use Basmati because it cooks much faster and has a rich unique flavor)

2 cups whole milk, divided

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg, beaten

2/3 cup raisins

1 Tbsp butter (we love Dubliner Irish butter… You can find it at Costco)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/8 tsp cinnamon

Combine your cooked rice, 1 1/2 cups of milk, maple syrup, and salt in a saucepan.  Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently until the mixture is thick and creamy.

Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of milk, beaten egg, raisins; cook for an additional 2 minutes stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in butter, vanilla, and cinnamon.

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Serve immediately while hot and bubbly! Lets just say Adam was a happy camper upon receiving his treat!

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Prepare yourself to want “seconds…” just sayin’! Enjoy!

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paleo breakfast casserole.

My mother made sure when I was growing up that I never forgot where “she” came from!

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Being the southern belle that she is (minus the accent) we always had Grandma Lee’s sweet tea, biscuits and honey, and Pepa’s “chicken with substance” on a weekly, if not daily basis.

I remember my friends coming over for dinner on weekday evenings and pounding down the biscuits, banana pudding, etc.  You name it, mom can cook it, and cook it well.

Christmas mornings were always filled with our dear friend Trish Brown’s homemade cinnamon rolls, and my mother’s fabulous breakfast casserole.

Much has changed since those days regarding our diets, but my longing for that breakfast casserole has not! Mom, this one’s for you!

This is a great recipe to serve for brunch on the weekends, and re-heat throughout the week.

This recipe will require eggs… and lots of them!

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Gather your favorite veggies! Mine happen to include red pepper, onion, zucchini, and mushrooms.

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And of course, who could have breakfast casserole without sausage? We buy our sausage from Whole Foods in the meat case! They sell freshly ground Southern raised pork sausage for $4.99/lb.  Now that’s hard to beat!

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute:

1 diced red bell pepper

1/2 large diced onion

2 diced zucchinis

1 package of mushrooms

I like to saute my veggies in coconut oil, but feel free to use olive oil!  Cook over medium heat until veggies are tender and your onions are translucent.

Remove cooked veggies from skillet and place in a mixing bowl. Use the same pan to fry up 1 lb. of sausage.  Once sausage is cooked add your veggies back in.  Saute for a couple more minutes and then drain the excess liquid from the pan.

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Place your cooked veggies and sausage in a 15 X 10 casserole dish.

Crack and whip up 15 large eggs in a separate mixing bowl.   Add 1/4 cup of coconut milk, and salt and pepper to taste.Image

Pour the egg mixture over your veggies and sausage.

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Bake for 40 – 50 minutes uncovered, or until the center is firm.

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Cool for five minutes, and serve!

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Enjoy with the ones you love!

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My little helper ❤

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