Let's try this.

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!