paleo berry waffles.

This morning my husband had one request… waffles.

Now I have to admit, I was not crazy about the idea of making waffles.  Paleo waffles require the patience of Job to make, and end up tasting like cardboard anyway.  So naturally I told Adam… “I’d love to make you some waffles!”

My only pre-requisite was that he had to provide the recipe so that I was not at all responsible for the way these things would taste!

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He linked me with a waffle recipe on PaleoOMG… So I got crackin’!

I ground up some almonds and unsweetend coconut flakes for my flours… two eggs, coconut milk, sea salt, cinnamon, baking soda, raw honey.  Not much to them at all!!  Here’s the link to the recipe:

http://paleomg.com/almond-flour-coconut-waffles/

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The waffles were absolutely fabulous!! I did decide to make a berry compote for my topping!

I combined:

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp. honey

I brought the ingredients to a boil over high heat.  Once the berries began to boil I cut the heat and added 1/2 tsp. Vietnamese cinnamon.  I then stirred and smushed the berry compote and drizzled it over the waffles!

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I feel totally rejuvinated! Is that even possible after a big plate of waffles?  Many thanks go out to PaleoOMG!  Now onto the grocery store… time to get my Easter cooking on!

 

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april showers bring may flowers.

A storm whipped through these parts today. Large gusts of wind and rain left behind sloppy puddles, mushy azaelas, and one restless toddler.

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A perfect day to sip on some tea, listen to some acoustic, play “kitchen” with my little miss, and blow rasberries with my little bear.

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While these days as a young mother are often long, sometimes lonely, and routine, I know they are producing a great harvest.  I love watching my babies explore, learn, grow, and giggle.  I love this season, hard as it may sometimes be.

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You see, I know that my April showers will bring May flowers.  The drip drop of today will bring forth something magnificent and stunning that points to the Creator God.

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As I drove in the car today with rain pounding on my windshield and my hair sloppily pulled back in a wet bun on the top of my head (too busy to dry it these days), I reminded myself of this eternal truth…

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.”

2 Cor. 4:17

paleo shepherd’s pie.

Braveheart happens to be one of my all-time most favorite movies…  So when Adam told me he had never seen the movie a couple years back I jumped on the idea of preparing a classic Anglo-Saxon dish to celebrate the heritage.  I prepared none other than Elana’s Pantry shepherd’s pie!

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If you haven’t heard of Elana, well now ya have!  She is a pioneer in the gluten free/ grain free movement.  She adopted a gf lifestyle decades ago to combat Celiac disease.  Heralding from Boulder, CO, her blog and countless cookbooks have both inspired and challenged me to think creatively when preparing gf/paleo dishes.

While I love her recipe (which I have included with a link to her blog), the topping is a pain in the rear to prepare.  So, I have altered her recipe in a way that is both delicious, easy, and… friendly to all breastfeeding moms out there!!  (Cauliflower and babies don’t mix well)

Instead of making her cauliflower topping, I baked four large sweet potatoes at 350 degrees for a couple hours.  After letting them cool I scooped out the potato, whipped it all up with two tablespoons of grass-fed butter, and let that serve as my topping.

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I followed Elana’s recipe to a T, except for the topping!  I have bracketed the altered steps… here it is!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 pound turkey or pork bacon, cut into 2 inch slices
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • 1 pound organic grass fed ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ((2 large heads cauliflower, trimmed, chopped and steamed until very soft))
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Heat olive oil in a very large frying pan
  2. Saute onion for 15 minutes until soft
  3. Add bacon pieces to pan and sauté until cooked, about 10 minutes
  4. Add carrots and celery to pan and sauté in bacon fat for 10 minutes until soft
  5. Add ground beef to pan and sauté until brown, just a few minutes
  6. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika
  7. Add chicken broth and cook down broth until 60% evaporated
  8. ((Place cauliflower in food processor and puree with olive oil until smooth))
  9. Pour ground beef mixture into a 9 X 13 inch baking dish
  10. ((Pour mashed cauliflower over beef mixture))
  11. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes

http://www.elanaspantry.com/paleo-shepherds-pie/

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We usually make this recipe when we watch “The Hobbit,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Braveheart,” or “Far and Away.”  The warm, peppery, savory flavors of this dish go so well with a Black and Tan!  It’s a family favorite for sure!

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paleo fried apples.

I bought a huge bag of organic gala apples last Sunday… put them in the fridge, and forgot all about them!

That is, until I was cleaning out the fridge today (an entire week later).  What do I do with them all? They probably have another two days or so before they get a bit mealy.

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Fried apples!!

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As a breastfeeding mother I am always craving calories.  I LOVE me some country cookin’!

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I heated up 2 heaping tablespoons of coconut oil in a large skillet.  To that I added 8 sliced medium gala apples.  I fried and fried and fried some more until the apples were a bit mushy and golden (took about 15-20 minutes).  I cut the heat and added 2 – 3 tsp. of Vietnamese cinnamon.

At the same time I broiled 1/4 cup of pecans in the oven for a couple minutes.  I roughly chopped those and added them to my creation!

 

 

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They are fabulous!!

paleo spiced lara balls.

By Sunday my stomach is bloated, and I feel toxic.  It happens every week for me.  Could it be the Cracker Barrel run after church?  Or perhaps just a week of increasingly poor food choices that have accumulated in my cells?  By Sunday I am always ready to make Monday count.

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This week for us was hectic.  And when my family is hectic, we resort to frozen pizzas, caffeine hits at the Starbucks down the street, beer… ya know.

Today I was honestly fed up with the way I was feeling.  Run down, haggard, sore.  When I had to unbutton the top button of my blue jeans I said… “That’s it!!” Something has got to change this week.

I decided to prep majorly for the coming week.  I cooked dish after dish… snack after snack.  Literally, I was a mad woman.

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I happen to love Lara bars… the only problem is their sheer cost.  So I recreated them today in my own kitchen! My fridge is now fully loaded with guilt-free snacks that will fuel and rejuvenate my body throughout the week!

In my Vitamix (or food processor) I simply combined:

1 cup dates

1/2 cup raisins

3/4 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup walnuts

1 – 2 tsp. Vietnamese cinnamon

I turned the dough out onto parchment paper and formed it into 2 inch balls.  Into the fridge they went!  Easy as pie!

linda lou.

Today we celebrate the birthday of one of my most favorite people in the whole wide world… Linda Lou!

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She has been my “second” mother through most of my life… She became instant friends with my mom when I was four years old in our Bailey neighborhood.  We have been family friends ever since!  A source of great encouragement, love, and friendship.  She has driven me to countless soccer practices when I was younger.

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circa 2003 (Minnesota Soccer Tourney)

Hosted my Michigan wedding shower.

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circa 2009 (Michigan wedding shower)

Sent me cards, gifts,and prayed with me through some of the darkest and most difficult times in my life.

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circa 2002 (Ashely’s b-day partaay) 

Her spunk and Midwestern charm make it fun to just “hang” with my girl Linnie.  She is now in Minnesota, and I in Florida, but we never lose a beat.  

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circa 2013 (Flood’s wedding)

Happy Birthday Linda Lou! You are loved and adored by many!

 

paleo almond joy trail mix.

I don’t know about you, but I think bagged “all natural” trail mixes from Whole Foods, Publix, and Native Sun are a bit overrated and overpriced.  Not to mention… they are kinda stale.

I say any remedy to major supermaket disappointment is to try “improving” them at home.  With a little bit of creativity and time anything you make can taste better…

This afternoon I wanted something crunchy, sweet, and soulful to munch on.  Not only that, but my beautiful sis-in-law, Abigail, is coming over tonight to watch the babes and I wanted to leave her a treat!

I threw together everything that inspired me in a big white bowl… namely chocolate, raisins, chocolate, coconut, chocolate, nuts, and more chocolate.

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I toasted 1/2 cup of coconut flakes by spreading them out thinly on a baking sheet and broiling them for a few minutes.Easy peasy and makes all the difference in the world.

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I let them cool.  I then broiled and toasted 1/2 cup pecans for a few minutes and let them cool.

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I added to that 3/4 cup of dark chocolate chips, 1 cup raw almonds, 3/4 cup raisins, and a few chocolate covered almonds!!

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Instant paleo crunchy goodness!  Kinsley was crazy about her snack, and Elijah was just happy:)

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We’re ready to take on a trail!! If only we had one to traverse… oh well… a stroll around our cul-de-sac will have to do!:)