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Cookie Surprise

24 Mar

“Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.”  Wendell Berry

The surprise about these cookies is that even after you tell people that they are gluten, dairy, and egg free they still like them.  These cookies could also be sugar free but I just couldn’t resist throwing in a few chocolate chips.  My bad.

INGREDIENTS:

2 bananas, mashed

1/3 cup coconut flour

3/4 cup almond butter – peanut butter, but made with almonds, about 1/2 jar

1/2 t baking soda

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1 apple, finely diced, or finally diced

1/3 cup coconut milk

1 T cinnamon

1/3 cup chocolate chips

DISTRUCTIONS:  Preheat oven to 370 degrees.  Mash banana in bowl and add the coconut flour, baking soda and almond butter.  Mix well.

Chop walnuts and apple to a very fine dice and add them to the bowl along with the rest of the ingredients.  

Drop by tablespoon full onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet.  Flatten into a cookie shape with a frosting spreader, knife, or other implement.  These cookies don’t spread so you want them to get into their final shape before baking.

Bake for approximately 25 minutes, turning the cookie sheet half way through the process.  These cookies seemed a little too moist for me so I placed them into my dehydrator for about an hour.  Otherwise you can let them out to air dry or eat them moist.  I love choices!

cookies

Happy cookies moments before their demise

Fun part – I was out of baking soda but remembered that I had a small glass of it in my bathroom medicine cabinet that I occasionally use to brush my teeth.  Went into the bathroom with a 1/2 teaspoon measure, walked back into the kitchen and dumped the baking soda into the bowl.  

My husband happened to be sitting in the kitchen.  “Did you just get something out of the bathroom and dump it into the cookie dough,” he asked.  I just smiled at him.  More for me!

Loveya – The Grandma

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Caesar Salad Dressing

22 Mar

“Fight apathy.  Or don’t.”  Graffito

Had a taste for Caesar salad dressing and I’m really into making my own.  Fortunately, I have a recipe and a blender.  That’s about all you need besides the ingredients.

But all did not go well.  I did end up with my dressing but it took a rather circuitous path to get to it.  And a bit of dressing on the cabinets, the front of my clothes, and on the copy of the recipe.  Note:  Make sure the blender (Vita Mix) is set on its lowest speed if you’re going to flick it on and quickly blend in something that you initially forgot to add. 

CeaRec

Recipe after blender mishap

INGREDIENTS:

Juice of two lemons

1 egg

6 anchovy filets

1 T worcestershire sauce

1 t chopped canned chipotle peppers

2 cloves garlic (I used one.  It was large)

S&P

1 cup olive oil

DISTRUCTIONS:  Place all of the ingredients except the olive oil into the blender and puree.  Slowly drizzle the oil into the blender.  Make sure the blender is running.  I take nothing for granted.

That’s it.  So why are you paying exorbitant prices for Caesar’s dressing that probably has unpronounceable ingredients in it!

THE REST OF THE STORY – The original recipe calls for 1 t canned chipotle pepper, which I left out in honor of my husband, Mike.  He doesn’t do spice.  The solution was to pour half of the mixture into a jar and then add the chipotle to the second half.  The second half was for me.

Caesars

Into the jar!

This worked well.  I was about to pour my half of the dressing into a second jar when I noticed my new, unopened bottle of worcestershire sauce on the counter.  Yes, I forgot to add it.  It was then that I decided to add it and flick the blender on for just a few seconds without checking what speed the blender was set.  The rest is history.  I got to wipe down the front of my cabinets along with a multitude of other surfaces.  Looks good!

Loveya – The Grandma

Beet Salad

4 Mar

“It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.”  W. Edwards Deming

Side note.  Got a call from one of my sons this morning.  He recommended a book that I might find helpful.  It’s about avoiding Alzheimer’s.  Pause for thought.

Todays recipe has to do with fermented food.  When visiting with a group and sharing something I’d heard about the benefits of eating fermented food, one of the women made a face as if she were wearing a tight girdle and said she didn’t see how anyone could eat anything fermented.  “Isn’t that food that’s rotten,” she asked.

I asked her if she likes sauerkraut, and of course, she said she loves it.  Also pickles and yogurt, but not together.  Bingo!

Here is a simple and delicious recipe to get fermented foods into your diet.  Look up the benefits on Google.  You’ll be amazed and delighted and just chomping at the bit to eat a bunch of fermented foods everyday.

Warning.  Yogurt with fruit already in it is crap.  Did I day that out loud?!  Too much sugar.  Buy plain yogurt, put on your big girl/boy pants, and put your own fresh fruit into the yogurt.  The microbes in your body that are hungry for such nourishment will thank you.

INGREDIENTS:

Roasted beets – organic, roasted beets available at Costco.  You don’t even have to do the work

Sauerkraut

Olive oil

DISTRUCTIONS:  Roast beets if you bought them fresh.  DO NOT USE CANNED BEETS.  Beets are easily roasted by placing them into parchment paper (sans greens) and then into foil with about a tablespoon or two of water.  Place in oven, 400 degrees, for one hour.  Allow the package to cool and then slip the peels off of the beets.

Chop the beets into chunks and place into your Ninja food chopper.  Throw in some sauerkraut (Bubbies is the best) along with a tablespoon or two of sauerkraut juice from the jar.  Chop it.  Place it in a bowl.  Stir in a bit of olive oil.

beet salad

Yes, I sprinkled a bit of chopped parsley on top for color.

Let me assure you that everyone who’s tasted this salad has nothing but praise for it.  I usually serve a small serving over baby greens.  Sometimes I add some other little salad, such as the old stand-by, black bean and corn with olive oil and lime juice salad.  

Feed your microbes.  Live long and prosper!

Loveya – The Grandma

Love It Pizza

28 Feb

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”  J. Krishmanurti

This pizza recipe is adapted from Everyday Paleo by Sarah Frangoso.  If you do not have a copy of this cookbook in your collection you are a loser.  Scratch that.  I meant to say that you should really consider the purchase. It’s a great cookbook.

However, I did dramatically change the recipe to accommodate things in my pantry.  This is my version.

CRUST;

2 cups almond flour

2 eggs

3 T extra virgin olive oil

1/4 t baking soda

1 t garlic powder

1 T Italian seasoning – oregano and basil if you don’t have an official blend of Italian seasoning

TOPPINGS:

1 pound Italian sausage – I bought bulk at Whole Foods

1 small onion, diced

2 small tomatoes, diced – or use canned well drained

peppers – I used the package of frozen red, green, and yellow, about a half cup

1/2 cup sliced black olives – I used sliced black olives

1 cup organic, gluten-free marinara sauce

DISTRUCTIONS:  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Mix all the crust ingredients together with a spoon until you can easily get in there with your hands.  Did you remember to wash your hands?  Good.  Form the dough into a ball.

Place the dough onto a round pizza pan or a cookie sheet that’s been lightly greased with olive oil.  Press the dough into the pan getting the dough as thin as possible.  Bake the crust for 20 minutes while you prepare the toppings.

At this point I chopped and diced.  I also squeezed the pork sausage into little flat pieces so they’d be ready to pop onto the crust and they would be thin enough to cook through.  True confession – I did not have an entire pound of the Italian sausage because it looked so good that I fried up a patty the previous day as part of my lunch.  Still had plenty for the pizza.

After the crust has been in the oven for 20 minutes top it with the marinara sauce, then the sausage, and then pile on the veggies.  Bake an additional 25 to 30 minutes.

Pizza

I love this pizza.  It had all the pizza flavor without cheese and gluten.  And think of all the other things you could top it with to make it your very own favorite.  I’m going to make it the next time I entertain the ladies.  Knowing my lady friends I’ll probably make two.  We are still ardent members of the clean plate club!

Loveya – The Grandma

Chili Cha Cha Cha

1 Feb

“No diet will remove all the fat from your body because the brain is entirely fat.  Without a brain, you might look good, but all you could do is run for public office.”  George Bernard Shaw

Chili is one of those dishes that has 1000 varieties.  Really?  It’s my blog so I get to say what I want.

Truthfully, variations with chili are seemingly endless. Here’s a basic recipe that will allow you to dash off in various directions, rethink ways to serve chili, and stock your freezer with chili for a quick-thaw meal.

INGREDIENTS:

1 T coconut oil, or other oil appropriate for browning meat

1 pound meat – I used ground turkey in this version

1 onion, chopped

2 cups diced carrots

2 cups diced celery

1 to 2 cups diced peppers – red, yellow, or green or a combination thereof

Large can diced tomatoes

1 T chili powder, more or less

1 T ground cumin, more or less

1 T cocoa powder (Yes!  This is the secret ingredient that will make you chili sing!)

S&P to taste

DISTRUCTIONS:  In a large kettle or skillet brown the meat in the oil.  Add the chopped veggies and cook until the mixture is nice and hot.  Add the tomatoes and spices.  Season.  Mix.  Cover.  Cook on low heat until the veggies are tender or dump the mixture into a crock pot and cook on low until you’re darn good and ready to eat.  Check seasonings one more time.  Was that so difficult?

Other things that could be included in chili are corn, lima beans, or any other kind of beans that you like.  You’ll notice that my recipe does not contain beans.  Just a personal preference but it still tastes like chili.  

chili1

This is not the entire batch of my chili, but simply a small portion that I’m heating up for breakfast.  Breakfast!  Yes.  I really enjoy a small amount of chili or any other kind of soup for breakfast.  Or it could be a lunch.  Just plop on an egg or two, cover, and cook until the eggs are done to your liking.

Chili2

Feeding a crowd?  Use a large skillet and festoon the mixture with eggs for everyone!  

Loveya – The Grandma

Mexican Chicken and Pepper Soup

28 Jan

“Self delusion is pulling in your stomach when you step on the scale.”  Paul Sweeney

The following recipe will make it unnecessary for you to pull in your stomach when you step onto the scale.  That’s because it follows the guidelines of Paleo eating.  Following these guidelines will make you svelte and irresistible to your heart’s desire.  I promise.  Have I ever lied to you?

I found this recipe, which sounded delicious, and of course I didn’t have the proper ingredients on hand so I improvised.  Didn’t have red and yellow peppers to cut into thin strips but I did have a bag of frozen red, yellow, and green pepper.  Didn’t have chicken chests so I used chicken thighs.  We all lived happily ever after.

INGREDIENTS – MY VERSION:

1 T olive oil

1 onion, thinly sliced

1/4 t chili flakes

1 t oregano

3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced

1/2 bag frozen pepper strips

1/2 large can diced tomatoes

3 skinless, boneless chicken thighs

Parsley and lime wedge to serve

DESTRUCTIONS:  Saute the onion, garlic and chili in the oil until fragrant.  I started this whole thing in a large skillet.  Easier  for me to control.

ONSpSoup

This is what was going on in the skillet with the first four ingredients.  The original recipe called for a teaspoon of chili flakes.  Even cutting the amount to 1/4 teaspoon gave this soup enough kick for this spice-loving lady.  More or less to suit your personal taste would be a good idea.

Soup2

Next add the stock, tomatoes, and oregano and bring to a boil.  Lovely aromas will begin to waft through your kitchen!  Next, add a half bag of frozen peppers.  Easy and no sliced fingers!

Soup3

Frozen peppers just waiting to join the fun!

At this point in the original recipe you’re supposed to add chicken breast and simmer about 5 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.  However, I did not have chicken breasts so I added diced chicken thighs (cut with a scissors into diced-sized pieces) and put everything into my trusty crock pot on low for about two hours.

The results were delicious and picture perfect!

Soup4

The squeeze of lime cut some of the heat.  A lovely, light soup that’s simple to prepare.  Can life get much better?  Yes!  I discovered a way to make my own, delicious, chili powder.  Stay tuned.

Loveya – The Grandma

Crockpot Pot Roast

27 Jan

“It’s not rocket science.”  Voted one of the ten most overused quotes.

Throughout my “career” as a housewife (No, I was not married to a house) I had the goal of learning to make a luscious pot roast.  Instead, my pot roast creations most resembled beef jerky with gravy.  In retaliation I became a vegetarian.

Within the last year, however, my body began to crave meat.  I like to think that my body knows what it’s talking about so I went back to my carnivore ways and stuck with fish, chicken, and burgers.  But the pot roast craving remained.

Yes, I tried the foil wrapped, soup drenched hunks of meat, but my desire to avoid processed food soon ruled out that route.  And then I re-discovered my crock pot.  But because I still enjoyed the onion, mushroom flavors with beef, I decided to look for other ways to accomplish this feat without resorting to processed food.

Fortunately, for me, one of my friends, while walking in the woods, came upon a hoard of puff ball mushrooms, brought them home, and shared.  I took my share and dehydrated them.  Next, I put the dehydrated chunks into my Ninja chopper and turned them into a white powder that would probably pass for an illegal drug in a B Movie.

But on to the pot roast recipe that could!

INGREDIENTS:

Roast

Dried onions, so specified because that’s what I had on hand.  Chopped or sliced fresh onions would work.  This is not rocket science!

Powdered puff ball mushrooms

S&P

DISTRUCTIONS:  Brown the roast in a hot pan on medium-high heat about 4 minutes on each side.  I used coconut oil for this.  Next salt and pepper the browned roast.

Next, place the roast into a crock pot and sprinkle on the dried onions.  Finally, sprinkle liberally with powdered mushroom.  Your pot roast will now look weird.  

PtRst1

Doesn’t that look appetizing.  But wait.  All you need to do is let the little darling stew while you go about the important business of emailing jokes to your friends or playing video games.  You can even go to work if you have a real job and forget about the fact that your pot roast is overcooking.  Yes, this beauty will only require 4 to 6 hours so unless you have a part-time job you best do this when you’re home.

PtRst2

And here it is, ladies and gentlemen!  My mushroom and onion crusted pot roast which was delicious.   The roast created enough juice that I thickened with arrowroot to make a gravy.  And we all lived happily ever after, except I kept making pot roast because I could and we got sick of it.

Moral of the story – It’s not rocket science.  Recipes are best when used as suggestions.  Use your imagination and what you have on hand.  Live on the edge.  Blah blah blah!

Loveya – The Grandma