Let's try this.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Paleo seems so easy now...

I feel like it has been an eternity now since we've made the full commitment to become a Paleo household!  I have forgotten all of the uncertainty that comes with giving up your absolute favorite foods....before you realize that you don't have to!!

Look!  Cookies!

There is much controversy in the Paleo community about many things...is this ingredient Paleo? Do I have to start wearing weird shoes to be accepted into your cult?  Do I have to start doing Crossfit...it's so scary?!! 

Look...I have come to the realization that everyone has their own "Paleo".  There is a framework to help you guide your way and the sooner that you can recite what you CAN EAT, then the less emphasis everyone will put on what you CAN'T eat (not that it's any of their damn business).  "High quality and sustainable meats, veggies, eggs, fruit, nuts, healthy fats (NO, for the love of all things sacred, canola oil is not a healthy fat), and natural sweeteners like honey, dates, maple, and coconut sugar."

It's not a DIET.  Yes, people tend to lose a lot of weight when they commit to eating this way, but that's not WHY you should eat this way.  You CANNOT half-ass this or it won't work.  If you think that you can eat strict Paleo all day long and then eat a bowl of cereal for dessert, think again.  If you understand the science behind the way grains affect your body, then you'll understand what I mean.  Read "Wheat Belly".

In my next post, I'm going to give you the tools you need in order to start the transition to a healthier way of life!  Pasta will be the first in the series!  It's so EASY...seriously.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cinnamon Roll Biscuits and Black Friday

I swear to gravy...if I hear "Black Friday" one more time, I'm going to stab myself in the neck. Srsly.

For those of you that follow me on Facebook, you'll be wondering about how my Cinnamon Roll Biscuits turned out...I think.  Well, they were REALLY good.  I tweaked them to my liking, of course, so I'll be posting the recipe with my personal touch.

Here is the original recipe.

And here is MY recipe:


3 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cardamom 
1/4 cup coconut oil/melted grass fed butter or ghee (I used coconut oil)
2 Tbls honey (doesn't need to be raw...you're cooking it!)
2 large room temp eggs (best quality you can get)

For the filling:
1/4-1/2 cup honey (I think...I just squirted it straight from the bottle onto the rolled out dough, and I was muy generoso)
1/2 cup ground pecans/walnuts
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1- 2 Tbls ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamom


Preheat the oven to 340 degrees, yes, 340.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, cardamom and baking soda.

In a mixer w/paddle attachment (if you have it, otherwise use beaters and a bowl!), beat together the honey and room temp eggs (not the oil/butter yet!).
Add the egg mixture to the almond flour mixture. Mix until decently incorporated, then add the oil/butter. It will be pretty sticky.  You can also let it rest in the fridge for 10 min. This might make it easier to work with, but try the next step before abandoning the dough in the fridge.

Roll the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper, into a giant, thin circle. Take your time and get a good uniform thickness.
Write your name with a squeeze bottle of honey on the dough, then cross it out, then squeeze squiggles over the dough.  A lot...until you think, "That's probably enough."  It's fun, and it tastes good. You can spread the honey around with your hands, if you're OCD, but I didn't and the world didn't stop turning. 

Mix the cinnamon and coconut sugar together in a bowl, then sprinkle it over the dough (use your HANDS, and reserve about 1 Tbs for later), then sprinkle the chopped nuts or whatever else you like in your cinnamon rolls (I like to put an extra shprinkle of Himalayan Pink salt).  Make sure you get everything all the way to the edges and try to keep the filling additions finely chopped so they don't tear through the dough when you start rolling. 

Now you're ready to roll it up!  Pick up the edge of the parchment paper and start to roll the edge of the dough away from you using the paper the whole time. Try to start a tight roll from the beginning. Continue rolling until you have a nice uniform log (don't worry if the edges look gnarly. If the roll cracks use the warmth of your hand to press it together and make it smooth again. Be gentle and careful when rolling up the dough. This dough is not as workable as a gluten based flour would be.

With a good bread knife, cut the roll into about 1-1.5" thick slices. Shape them a bit if needed.  Lay the rolls cut side down on to a parchment line cookie sheet. They can be placed apart or connected. Sprinkle the remainder of the coconut sugar/cinnamon mixture on top like this:

Bake 10-15 min.

I suggest staying close to the stove and checking a couple of minutes before the baking time is up. Everyone's oven cooks a bit differently and baking times will vary depending on the size of the rolls. They should be golden with some browning (you can see in this pic that the little edges are barely brown, and they were perfect). The dough toward the center of the roll should be soft but not to doughy. If baked too long they WILL become dry and hard. If cooked just right though, they will be heavenly.

When ready, remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 min. If you try to move them before then, they are likely to fall apart.

Makes about 9-10 cinnamon rolls.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Link love.

So, I constantly come across cool websites with a TON of information, recipes, money saving tips, DIY projects, etc.  I don't want to make a habit of just posting a bunch of links, but I thought if I gave you the basics, it might help.

Please keep in mind...NONE of these sites asked to be featured.  I had to reach into my brain and try to remember my favorite sites!  It wasn't easy, people...it's the day before Thanksgiving and I just want to get the hell out of here!

My heart is with Paleo, so let's start there!:

http://nomnompaleo.com/ (I HIGHLY recommend the "Asian Chicken Thighs"...the name is deceptively low key.  This is literally the best chicken I've ever eaten.)

http://paleoparents.com/ (This site is invaluable for parents!  The recipes even have little hearts next to the things the kids can help with.)

http://urbanposer.blogspot.com/  (Seriously, the baked goods on this site are the BEST consistency out there for grain free cooking.  If you've been doing this for a while, you'll know how valuable that is!)

http://www.theclothesmakethegirl.com/ (Whether you eat Paleo or not, this is some of the best food around. Pho Realz.)

http://stalkerville.net/site/chow/ (Like Allrecipes for Paleo)

http://stalkerville.net/site/dessert/ (The dessert version of Allrecipes)

http://fastpaleo.com/ (Another Allrecipes-esque site.  Between these three, you can find anything you used to love and make it Paleo)

Homestead-y links:

http://newlifeonahomestead.com/ (Huge following on this site and tons of great info.)

http://theelliotthomestead.com/ (She dove head-first into homesteading and journaled the whole thing for us to learn from.)


As far as homestead blogs go, I'm still working on a list.  They have to be informative AND a sense of humor is much appreciated...go easy on the religious stuff too.  Everyone has religious preferences, but they're rarely the same as everyone elses.  Please let me know if you have any suggestions!!

Since there are so many links in this post, I think I'm going to wrap this up.  Maybe I'll do this fairly regularly and have a different theme!  Omg...#grownupproblems  I just totally contradicted the first paragraph of this post by suggesting that I'm going to do this again. *sigh*  Great.  I also just realized there are a lot of !!!'s in this post. 

I'm going to go make the Urban Poser's Cinnamon Rolls and report back to you.  Hopefully I remember to take pictures this time. :D

Oh, P.S.  If you shop on Amazon, but don't use an affiliate link, please use this one: Tara Zen's Link for SHOPPING  Black Friday it up, people...from HOME. :D

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sweet Potato Lasagna and on the Homestead front...

As I sat here eating my Sweet Potato Lasagna with 2 pastured eggs on top...I started daydreaming about having chickens...and what I'm going to do with my trash....and do I want a log home?  I really want to be totally self-sufficient.  I suppose I should buy that chunk of property before I get too ahead of myself...

This lasagna is super duper, btw.  I will share the recipe. :D

Sweet Potato Lasagna
tweaked quite a bit from the original recipe here


  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1 large white/yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce (I used the sauce from Well Fed 2)
  • 2 Tbs coconut oil
  • couple leaves of fresh basil (leave it out if you don’t have it, just freshens up the sauce a bit)
  • 2-3 small sweet potatoes


Crank your oven to 400ºF.

In a saute pan, saute the onions & garlic in coconut oil, then brown the sausage.

While that’s going, peel the sweet pots and slice 'em with the slicing thingy on your food processor. If you don't have one, don't fret, just slice them into planks 1/4-1/2 inch thick...just make sure they're a uniform thickness so that they all cook evenly.

Mix the sausage/onion/garlic mixture together with the rest of the ingredients minus your potato planks...this way you only have to layer 2 things instead of 3-4.  Trust me, it all tastes the same.

Using a 9×9ish oven safe, lubed baking dish, start layering the potatoes and the sauce. Repeat until all your ingredients are used up…trying to reserve enough sauce to cover the top of the lasagna.

Bake for 45 minutes. You’re looking for a bubbly pan with a crispy, browned top. Right out of the oven, the lasagna may by liquidy, let it set for a good half hour before cutting into it, as it will solidify.

Serve for dinner with a salad, or for breakfast with a couple of runny eggs and some fruit...dude...seriously tasty.

I wonder if people read the stuff that comes after recipes...

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I want a homestead. Is this the first post in a series?

The more I get into the Paleo lifestyle, the more I like the idea of sustainable living.  Shows like American Blackout and Doomsday Preppers...as irritating and ignorant as they can be...also make me want to be less reliant on others for things like...food, water, and power.

I have become absolutely obsessed with buying property, paying it off ASAP, then starting to develop it into a totally self-sufficient homestead.

My head is just SPINNING right now with ideas since I found parcels of land for under $40K.  Beautiful, mountainous, HUGE parcels of land with oodles of potential.

Since I know that people read these blogs for recipes, I'll give you the one that I'm eating for breakfast:

1 head of cabbage
1 large onion
3 pieces of cooked bacon
Salt & Peps
Eggs for serving

1. Dice the onion, caramalize it in the bacon grease, then set it aside.
2. Make the cabbage into thin strips (shred) however you see fit, then saute it in a super hot pan until it has charred bits and is mostly cooked.
3.  Crumble or chop the bacon, then combine it with the onion and cabbage.  Season w/salt and peps, cover with eggs (cooked to your liking), and enjoy!
4.  If you have leftover cabbage mixture, serve whatever protein you want for dinner on top of it...we have a constant supply of this in the fridge and cover it like pasta.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Single Moms and Hockey Practice

I realized how hard it is to be a single mom again this weekend! Holyyyyy shit has it been a while. T was gone taking care of her dad up in Sacramento, and I was stuck trying to do ALL of the house stuff, cook, clean, do laundry, AND haul the Pickle to all of her hockey. Let me reiterate the weekend hockey schedule...Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning...all gone to the hockey gods. This was my view for most of the weekend:

I still managed to bottle the Kombucha:
Make almond milk, make the spaghetti sauce from Well Fed 2, do 4 loads of laundry, and a few other things that I don't remember...it's all a haze.

Want to know more about Kombucha??  Click here.  It's where I send everyone that asks.  Today's recipe is for a Kombucha Tea second ferment:

Tara's Favorite KT

In a quart glass jar, plop in:

5-7 Dark Sweet Cherries (frozen is fine)
1-2 inch piece of vanilla bean (1/2 tsp of extract can sub)

Pour your Kombucha Tea in (after about a 7 day ferment).  Let it sit on the counter for 2-3 more days, but DON'T FORGET TO BURP it every day!  Unless you like fermented tea and shards of glass decorating your kitchen.  Taste it...do you like it?  Strain it, bottle it, and put it in the fridge!

Costco and Crumb Cakes

Man, there is so much on my mind lately that I want to talk about...and while I would love to talk about how many idiots there are at Costco...letting their kids push carts...I think I'll talk about how awesomely friggin productive I was this weekend. :D But one more thing about Costco...why does it have to be a family affair where you bring your family of 342709832 people?!  OMG, srsly.

First I made Against All Grain's bread and forgot to take a picture of it. *sigh*....I'm the worst food blogger ever...but here is the recipe.  I made it from the book, but she has it posted on her site...it is SUPER good, makes a shit-ton of dishes, and it was TOTALLY worth it when my daughter said she would eat the crap out of it as long as it was toasted. Finally!

I made these Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake things again, but this time I tweaked it to my liking: Apple Crumb Cakes originally by the Paleo Parents.  I diced the apples by hand so that they were a little bit chunkier, and I added a teaspoon of baking soda.  That is SERIOUSLY the best way to do it...they aren't as dense and you can taste the apple more.


Apple Cinnamon Mini Crumb Cakes
1 1/2 C Almond Flour
2 Tbsp arrowroot powder
2 Tbsp tapioca flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 C applesauce
1/3 C honey
1/3 C coconut oil
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 large apple, peeled and diced
1/2 C Almond Flour
3 Tbsp palm sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
  1. Sift together flours, soda and cinnamon.
  2. Puree together in a food processor or electric mixer applesauce, honey, oil and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Pulse in dry ingredients (but not the diced apple!)until just combined and smooth.
  4. Stir/fold/whatever in the diced apple.
  5. Pour into muffin or loaf pans, 2/3 full
  6. In separate bowl, us fork to combine topping ingredients
  7. Distribute toppings evenly over top of loaves (about 1 Tbsp each)
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until lightly browned
Let cool before serving, to help them stiffen. Seriously...don't skip this step or you will have a MESS on your hands.

Keep them in the fridge and reheat in the toaster, or freeze them for quite a while!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pumpkin Granola and Working at the VA.

What's UP, everybody?!  Let government furloughs and pumpkin recipes roll in!  I'm just kidding about the furlough thing...that sucks.  Yes, I work at the VA, but I'm a nurse, so I get to keep coming to work. :D  Can you imagine if they decided to stop paying us and we decided to not come into a job we aren't going to get paid for?  Riiiiiiiiight.  Bad news.  

K, good news...Paleo PUMPKIN Granola!  PALEO!  My girlfriend has decided that I need to sell this stuff.  She is very serious.  Let me give you the recipe before she talks me into it.  I have modified it pretty significantly.  I make my own pumpkin pie spice...not because I'm amazing, but because it's SUPER easy.  I picked up a jar of pumpkin pie spice the other day in Marshall's and, no shit, there was sugar, cornstarch, and all kinds of shit I couldn't pronounce!  Here is a good one.  Make it yourself:
  • 4 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tsp ground ginger
  • 4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 tsp ground all spice
Mix it all together and put it in a recycled spice jar, then use it here:

Okay, I got the original recipe from Juli @ PaleOMG, but I've modified it quite a bit.

Pumpkin Granola
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1.5 cups pumpkin seeds (pepitas), divided, so pay attention!
  • 1.5 cups pecans, divided, again...pay attention!
  • 1 cup roasted cashews
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 10 dried dates, pits removed
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon of pink salt

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a food processor or high speed blender, add 1 cup EACH of almonds, pumpkin seeds, and pecans.  Pulse until it's about half nut flour, and half nut chunks, then dump it into a large mixing bowl.
  3. In your processor/high speed blender, add the dates, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla vanilla, and all spices. Puree the shit out of it.
  4. Add pumpkin mixture and coconut to your nut mixture and mix well.
  5. Hand-chop the rest of the nuts or just break them a couple of times with your fingers so that you have larger chunks and add them to your mix.  
  6. You might feel like this is a "batter" and way too wet to ever make granola, but TRUST ME, this will work!
  7. Place parchment paper on a large baking sheet and pour HALF of your granola mixture on top. Use a spatula to spread out the mixture evenly so everything will cook at the same time.
  8. Place in oven and cook in 15 minute intervals, taking out the granola and stirring it every time to be sure it doesn’t burn.(Fold the outside edges in, then chop it up with your spatula to even it out again, then smooth it out with your spatula.  Eventually it will be too crumbly, just keep stirring!)
  9. LET COOL. Letting the granola cool will help it harden up.  If you let it cool and it's still too soft and chewy, put your oven on 150 and let the granola sit in there for a couple of hours.  Stir it one more time, then turn off the oven and let it sit in the oven over night.
  10. Eat all by itself or top it off with coconut milk, almond milk, or even dairy milk (if you do that).

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Disclaimer post!

I think I'll probably end up linking to this post a lot because it turns out that my blog is very different from others out there.

1.  Links contained in posts:  I do not need to "finance my blogging activities".  If I post a link to something, it's because I think it's worth checking out.  I will not post links to stuff JUST in the hope of making a commission.  I will only post affiliate links to stuff that I actually own and would recommend. 

2.  This blog is mostly for me, and for pointing things out that I think you should check out.  If I use curse words or tell you something sucks and you don't like that, then I'm sorry for not being sorry.  I'm entitled to my opinion.  If you want to tell me that I suck and my opinions suck...you're entitled to your opinion too, but I'm probably going to delete your comment.  Same goes for if you're an asshole to someone else who has left a comment.  Be nice, people.

3.  I'm not in the business of taking credit for someone else's hard work!  I make every effort to give credit where credit is due.  If I have neglected to mention where I got a recipe, or if I've posted wrong information about something, then I have no problem standing corrected.  I will sometimes completely change a recipe to my liking, but I will always try to remember to post where I got the idea, at least.

Paleo Halloween?! Pickled mice and hot cocoa, anyone??

Still trucking along on my Whole 30.  Dude, I thought being Paleo 80/20 was good for my energy level, but DAMN!  I seriously get home, change my clothes, then start doing all kinds of shit until dinner time. 

My Bulletproof coffee is still disgusting, but I'm drinking it every day.  I also ordered 2 pounds of beets through Good Eggs because I knew I needed to consume them somehow.  (Disclaimer about links I post.)  On Sunday, I made the Beet Kvass out of #Fermented ...Look how pretty!: 
 I also made the Beet Simple Syrup from Butter Nutrition, but I forgot to take a picture. Other stuff I forgot to take pictures of that I made on Sunday: Hot Cocoa Mix from Feed Me Rachel (DUHlicious in coconut milk), Carrot Breakfast Muffins from Elana's Pantry (Holy SHIT those are good), and This Curry Awesomeness from Paleo Pot.  

OOH!  We LOVE Halloween at my house and everything seems to take on a Halloween theme this time of year.  I also made Pickled Mice.  Relax.  They're radishes!  4 cloves of garlic, a Thai chili, and radishes!  Oh, and a grape leaf on top...and that's a glass candle holder keeping everything under the brine.  It was 75 cents vs. the glass discs you find online for $8.  I hope there isn't anything weird in it that will leach into the radishes...?

Halloween Central!  Black kitty cat included!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

LuRong "Paleo Challenge" and Whole 30

Okay, I have good news and I have bad news.  Since you're not here to tell me which you want first, then we're going to start with the bad news and finish on a good news note. :)

My Crossfit box is all swept up by the LuRong Paleo Challenge.  8 weeks of strict Paleo eating, doing prescribed workouts (can scale) and over $100,000 in prizes!  Sounds awesome, right?!  Well...I didn't dig into it too much before saying I was in.  I made the commitment, then went to the site to sign up, and guess what??  It costs $50 a person.  Wait...it gets better.  It's only $47 for registration and your "first month's supply" of their supplements.  Crock of SHIT!  I go to the FAQ section and find out that on top of that, you only qualify for those prizes if you're competing in the upper levels of the workout.  Riiiiiiiight....I get it now.  You're hawking these non-Paleo approved supplements (there isn't a single one that's fully endorsed by the Paleo community), making us pay for them, then what??  Why don't you just let me fill you in on this because it was part of my training as a nurse:

They're collecting stats to market their product.  The people that pay $50 just for the challenge and no supplements?  They're the control group.  WE are paying THEM for a research study.  It's genius, really, but I'm onto them.  Our good Paleo doc, Chris Kresser sees it too.  They don't actually tell you any of this unless you dig deep into it, or actually make the commitment to register...on the second page of the registration is where it all comes together.  Fucking crooks.  If that ISN'T their intention, then it sure looks really bad that they're trying to use the Paleo label to hawk their shit.

Good stuff!! 

Whole 30.  I started September 4th.  Now...I know you're not supposed to weigh yourself but once at the very beginning and once at the end, but I can't help it.  I'm pretty sure I lost 4 pounds the first week.  I say "pretty sure" because I usually weigh myself in my chonies first thing in the morning, and today I had already started eating/drinking, and I was wearing my clogs....those weigh like 3lbs...srsly.

I'm so sick of black coffee.  The SECOND this W30 is over, I'm putting a TABLESPOON of coconut sugar in that shit.  Thankfully I have been having Bulletproof Coffee, so it's at least got some butter and MCT oil blended into it. Blech.

Well, this got really boring and wasn't particularly funny at all, so just go back to my post on Samoa cupcakes.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Primal Docs and Knee Socks

So, I joined Primal Docs.  I love the idea that there is a community out there of seriously legit doctors that "get it".  Imagine going to your regular doctor and telling them that you put butter and oil in your coffee, cook with bacon fat, and only work out 3 days a week for about an hour.  Yeah, right.  I'd probably just rather lie so that I don't have to hear a bunch of shit about how I should be eating my daily ration of whole grains. *farty noise*

Since I mentioned my Bulletproof coffee above, I feel like I should give you an update on that as well.  Dude...it's fucking amazing.  It took me a while to notice the effects...slowly, but surely, I did.  This coffee was the in-season, organic cherry on the dairy-free ice cream that I needed.  After YEARS of wanting to take a nap in the afternoon and just crash on the couch when I came home from work, I FEEL AMAZING.  Yesterday, I came home and did 3 loads of laundry and made something awesome from the Paleo Parents, and still had to force myself to go to bed at 10pm.

Update #2:  Gumball Poodle knee socks.  These things rule!  In case you didn't know, I used to weigh almost 300 pounds.  Yikes, yeah, I know.  Well, something that happens when you were fat and you lose a bunch of weight is that your calves are still huge.  It's so stupid.  Your boobs get tiny and your calves stay fat.  WTF.  Say goodbye to shorts...forever.  I won 2 pairs of Gumball Poodle socks and thought that would be a perfect way to test them out since most knee socks look all deformed when you wear them over big calves...like...you can't tell what they're supposed to say.  It's gnarly...and that's only if you can actually pull them up that far.  #fatgirlproblems  I love these so much, I'm going to let you see what they look like on me!  You're welcome.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cheap-O Paleo

Big ups to Gumball Poodle and KnickerRocker!  I was one of the lucky winners of their Facebook contest and recieved 2 pairs of SUPER cool socks and a $25 certificate to KnickerRocker. I've heard that the Gumball Poodle socks fit over big fat calves, so I'll update you after I Crossfit in them.

Okay, onto business.  Every blog post I read from my Paleo people lately talks about two things:  How to afford Paleo, and how to not spend every waking moment in the kitchen.  Well, I have an answer to both.

How to afford Paleo:

1.  MEAL PLAN.  This is the most important one and I'll elaborate in the next section...You only buy what you need because you have a list in front of you saying exactly how much you need.

2.  Google is your BFF.  Find local farmers.  Write them emails.  Buy their shit in bulk and have it delivered.  Google how to freeze/ferment/preserve your veggies for use all year 'round...on that note, cook seasonally if you don't have a giant freezer.

3.  Amazon is your BFF.  Subscribe to the shit you buy regularly.  I hear Amazon Prime is a good investment, but I've yet to see it pay off because I always buy over $25 worth of stuff and get free shipping on the stuff that qualifies anyway.

Okay, so on to the most important part...MEAL PLANNING:

I'm not in the business of blogging.  I don't make a profit on anything that I mention in my blog, so if I say it rules, it's because it rules, not because I make a dollar for every person that buys it/reads it/whatever.

Once A Month Mom changed my LIFE!  She offers several different menus...PALEO, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian, etc.  This might sound really intimidating, but this woman has thought of everything and walks you through how to cook once a month.  You prep a bunch of food (some cooked, some raw that you throw in the crotchpot or whatever).  You don't need as much freezer space as you might think.  I recently picked 40 pounds of organic strawberries at Swanton Farms and still had FOUR 1-gallon bags of whole strawberries in there when I did my once a month cooking.

You can CUSTOMIZE your menus for the amount of people in your family!!  This is genius.  Srsly.  You can't be totally technologically impaired because it involves some intermediate computer skills (I had to read her tutorial...I'm kind of a ditz), but at some point, you put a number 3, for example, into a box and everything miraculously changes to accommodate the size of your family.  All  you're responsible for after your cooking day is side dishes and a few breakfasts/lunches/snacks, etc.

I could go on all day, but only you can decide to do it.  You cook for an entire month in one day.  That's it.  


I think you have to pay for a nominal membership...like $8 a month or something.  It's worth every penny just for the chopping list...or the organized shopping list...or the moment to moment instructions for the whole day...

Okie dokie...this got really long and I have Friday-itis, so I'm going to try and get out of here early and bomb over to Santa Cruz. 

Dear Stalker,

Dear Stalker,

It wasn't as awesome as you think it was.  Move on.



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Chinatown, Bulletproof, and Samoas

I've been drinking my Bulletproof Coffee for the last few days...not like, butter and coconut oil in my regular coffee, but the $20 a bag ("Upgraded Coffee"), $32 a bottle ("Upgraded MCT Oil") for the actual Bulletproof stuff.  The jury is still out, and it probably doesn't help that I had an all day bender in SF...I had Millionaire's Bacon, y'all...if there's ever a good reason to cheat, I'm pretty sure that one tops the list. Probably not an awesome cheat was the dim sum from the Hang Ah Tea Room in Chinatown.  I don't want to hear how I'm going to die from a gluten/rice overdose because how many of you can say you've had dim sum in Chinatown?!

That reminds me...SF stinks.  I don't mean like...sucks, I mean the odor is nauseating.  SF is a very homeless-friendly city and that means that if there is a corner or doorway, it's been peed in. That sucks because I LOVE SF.  You've never seen a more beautiful collection of Victorian homes all squinched together in one place.  Feel like buying one?  Good luck because you won't find one (even a shanty) for under $1,000,000.  I don't think I want to pay that much for someone to pee on my stoop.  The food is network TV worthy, and it's gay-friendly...did I mention it's only an hour away??  Good stuff.

Sorry...I digress...I'm obviously very new to blogging and I don't know how to get a picture on here if I'm posting this from work.  I will give it a shot because I want to share this recipe with you...it's my new go-to cupcake recipe for special occasions.  I've adapted and tweaked it from the recipe that Juli Bauer from PaleOMG and Jenni from the Urban Poser did together for Samoa Donuts. I didn't feel like busting out my donut maker, so I made mini-cupcakes...also, my GF decided to take too long going out to buy coconut, so by the time she got home with it, the cakes were done...sans coconut.

Samoa Donuts
My tweaks of the original recipe by PaleOMG and The Urban Poser

For the Donuts/Mini cupcakes/Cupcakes
  • 2½ cups blanched almond flour (such as Honeyville)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • A scant less than ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, softened or liquid
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice
  • 3 whole large room temp eggs
Coconut Caramel Crack
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk (about 1½ cups)
  • ½ cup mild flavored honey or maple syrup
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 rounded tablespoon ghee or butter (can sub palm shortening or coconut oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup finely shredded coconut, plus 2 more tablespoons for garnishing
For the Dipping Chocolate
  • 1/2 C.-1 bag Enjoy Life Chocolate chips

  1. Preheat your mini donut making machine OR preheat the oven to 350 degrees if you are using a regular donut pan or making into muffins.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the almond flour, baking soda and salt.
  3. In another bowl, combine the honey, oil, vanilla, lemon juice and eggs.
  4. Add the oil/honey mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix till just combined.
  5. Add about 2 tablespoons of batter to each mold in the donut machine or scoop the batter into a ziplock bag, twisting the other end to close it. Snip the end off of one of the corners with a scissors. Start with a small cut. You can always make it bigger if you need too. Squeeze batter into molds.
  6. Close the lid and allow to cook for about 2 minutes. Times will vary with each machine. Open the machine and flip over each donut using the forked ‘skewer’ that comes with most machines. Close the lid again cook for about one more minute. Remove donuts and let cool on a wire rack. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  7. If using a regular donut pan, mini or regular muffin pan, fill each well-greased mold about ¾ full. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack or pretty platter like this:

  8. I made a solid 15 of these little suckers...
For the Coconut Caramel Crack
  1. In a small-medium heavy bottomed sauce pan, bring the coconut milk, honey and salt to a boil over medium high heat, being sure that they are well combined. Reduce to a medium heat, and let the mixture boil down for about 35-40 minutes.
  2. Add the ghee/butter/oil, stirring it in till well incorporated. Continue cooking for another 5-15 minutes or as long as needed until it is a deep caramel color. Don’t rush the process, but don't walk away! Depending on how hot your burner is this process could be faster or slower. Stir often toward the end to keep the bottom from burning too much. A little burning is fine as long as you are stirring it in to the mixture. It will give it a darker flavor...for reals...I burned mine pretty bad and it still came out perfectly...look:

  3. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and let cool for 5 minutes then stir vigorously until it’s creamy, shinny and smooth.
  4. While the caramel is cooking, spread the coconut out on an ungreased cookie sheet and toast the coconut in a 325 degree oven. Stir often till golden, about 5-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  5. Mix the toasted coconut into the caramel minus a tablespoon or so for garnishing later. Use coconut caramel while still warm for best spreading results. Caramel can be made ahead of time(w/o the shredded coconut) and reheated in a double boiler.
  6. After the donuts/cakes have cooled enough to handle, turn them upside down and dip them into the caramel: 
  7.  Melt your chocolate chips...officially, that means in a double broiler, but if you're impatient like me, you melt that shit in a pan on the stove...carefully.  Like I've said before...you're only a badass until you burn that expensive Paleo-friendly chocolate.

These things are dangerously good...enjoy. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

What's upChuck?

Alright, suckas.  I keep getting requests to start a blog and it's all pretty daunting when I think about how MUCH goes down in my life and how I'm supposed to get it all "on paper". Jesus.  Maybe if I just start with today, then at least I can tell everyone to suck it for a little while. :D

Let's get some stuff out of the way first so that you can keep reading or tell me where to shove my blog...I'm 34, I'm a veteran, I'm a Mom, a Buddhist, and I have a girlfriend.  My resume is ridiculous, but I'm a nurse now and forever, but I didn't become a nurse until 2010.  If you read my blog long enough, you'll eventually realize that I'm a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none. 

I cook a LOT (Paleo), Crossfit...not enough, support my GF as she goes to school, pay the bills, watch a lot of little girls play hockey, and generally keep our little household afloat while trying to save for vacation too.  We have a cat named Shakira that looks like she's wearing oven mitts and has a crazy crooked tail, and a snail named Sunshine.  R.I.P. Friendship the Beta fish...is that what you call them...or just beta?  Whatever...Friendship and Sunshine are names that happen when you let your Widget name your pets.

OH...I should mention...I used to weigh almost 300 pounds.  Yikes, yeah, I know.  I'm roughly 180 right now.  As you can tell, I have no shame about my weight.  It's just a number on a scale people, and only you know it.  How do you FEEL?  That's a better thing to measure.

Don't worry...I'll get to the details of my weight issues eventually.

For NOW...thanks for getting this far, and I'll give you an EASY recipe to start off with:

Grok Rocks
(these are from the Primal Blueprint meal plan)


6oz bar of Paleo-friendly dark chocolate...if you can find it.
1/2 C. dried plums (dude, they're prunes, just say it)

Melt the chocolate in a double broiler, or if you're like me, just melt that shit on the stove...carefully.  You're only a badass until you burn that expensive Paleo-friendly chocolate.  Cover your prunes in the chocolate, let 'em cool on some parchment paper, then eat a couple a day so that you stay regular.  If you're just starting out on Paleo, you're probably on protein overload and can't poop, so you're WELCOME.