Latest Entries »

December Paleo Penpals :)

I keep thinking that I will blog more often, but here I am… it’s been a month and I am just now coming back. *sigh*

This month, my Paleo Penpal sent me tapioca flour (also known as tapioca starch) as my ingredient. I was at a loss, but once I did some research… I was able to come up with a seasonal recipe that was perfect. :)

1132

Gingerbread Cookies

Ingredients

2 cup Blanched Almond Flour
2/3 cup Tapioca Flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1 tsp Ground Ginger
4 Tbsp Maple Sugar
1/2 cup Molasses
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil, Organic

Process

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine blanched almond flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and maple sugar. Stir ingredients with a wooden spoon to combine.

In a small sauce pan, bring molasses to a boil over medium heat.

Add coconut oil to the sauce pan, and stir until combined with the molasses.

Remove sauce pan from heat and pour into the dry ingredients.

Mix batter with a wooden spoon until you have formed a dark golden cookie dough, and all the dry ingredients are combined withe the molasses and coconut oil.

Place a sheet of parchment paper onto a flat cooking surface, and dust parchment with arrowroot flour.

Form dough into a ball, and place on the parchment paper. Lightly press dough down to flatten, and sprinkle with a small amount of tapioca flour. Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough, and roll into a thin sheet with a rolling pin (about 1/4 inch thick).

Sprinkle arrowroot on a small plate, and place cookie cutters into the arrowroot to coat the bottom for cutting. This will keep the cookie dough from sticking to the batter for an easy release after cutting.

Once you have made cuts throughout the entire sheet of cookie dough, carefully peel away the excess dough, and lightly transfer the cut out cookies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Form dough into another ball, and roll out again to repeat until all the dough is used.

Bake gingerbread people at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a cookie rack before frosting.

Notes

** Maple sure is a tough ingredient to find. We often find it at our local Whole foods. If you cannot find maple sugar near you, you can use granulated coconut sugar in the same amount, or you can use maple syrup added to the molasses in the sauce pan instead of to the dry ingredients.

** If you do not want to make cut out cookies, or if you do not have cookie cutters, you can alternately form dough into 1 inch balls, and press flat with the palm of your hand on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes to make gingersnap cookies.

Now, the recipe I found included a Paleo-friendly frosting, but I decided to go with the maple theme, and found the following recipe that I really liked with the cookies:

Maple Cream

3 cups grade A maple syrup
¼ teaspoon vegetable oil, optional
1 pinch table salt, optional

1. Set medium saucepan in bowl of ice and scatter more ice around sides of pan. Bring syrup, oil, if using, and salt, if using, to boil in second medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, without stirring, until syrup registers 235 degrees, 16 to 18 minutes. Quickly pour hot syrup into prepared saucepan and let cool, without stirring, until syrup registers 100 degrees, about 15 minutes.

2. Remove saucepan from ice bath and stir syrup vigorously with wooden spoon until maple syrup turns thick, pale, and opaque, about 30 minutes. Quickly transfer cream to jar with tight-fitting lid. Maple cream can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated for at least 2 months.

Okay, so I had to ponder uses for tahini in a recipe that was Paleo-friendly. It was challenging, and my pen pal knew that it would be!! (by the by… this is her post on the ingredient that I sent her… http://tgipaleo.com/2012/11/21/chimichurri-roasted-purple-potatoes/ )

I found a recipe for hummus and was able to use the tahini in a very successful and tasty way!! Traditionally, hummus is made with chickpeas, but those are not Paleo-friendly. All you need to prepare this tasty dish is a food processor and the following ingredients:

4 cups zucchini (peeled and chopped)
¾ cup sesame tahini
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of 4 lemons
4 garlic cloves (peeled)
1 tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons sea salt
¼ teaspoon paprika (for garnishing)

Steps:

1. Plug in your food processor, place all ingredients in (except paprika) and process until all ingredients have combined, and its consistency is smooth (like a paste).

2. Pour the mix into a bowl; garnish with paprika and a dribble of olive oil.

3. Serve immediately with baby carrots, celery, sweet potato chips or vegetable chips.

Hidey Ho neighbors!! I was a foodie penpal before, and it was way fun. Figured since I’ve been eating using the Paleo eating plan, this new group would be da bomb. This month, my penpal was Camilla. She lives in Colorado Springs, and sent me a huge container of sesame tahini. I am excited to find ways to use it, because unlike apparently the rest of the world, I’ve never have!! The only way that I know of is in hummus, and that is off-limits on the Paleo eating plan. So I’ma get creative!! LOL

I’ll keep y’all posted!!

Curious about Paleo Pen Pals? Here’s the 4-1-1:

Inspiring culinary creativity in paleo kitchens nationwide. Hosted by http://www.threedietsonedinner.com and http://www.whatigather.com, Paleo Pen Pals is a community chefs in the United States that swap paleo ingredients and recipes each month.

Let’s face it, we paleo folks eat some weird stuff. We use strange ingredients and we have to get creative. I just want you to know, you are not alone. Tarah from Wha
t I Gather and Brittanie from Three Diets One Dinner have teamed up to introduce the great paleo food blogger swap, Paleo Pen Pals.

If you choose to participate, we will pair you up with another paleo blogger or interested party. You two will then exchange a unique, paleo-friendly ingredient/local item that your partner can use in his/her next post.

This is a great opportunity to share some paleo blogger link love, discover some new paleo ingredients, get creative and interact with like-minded healthy cave people from all over the place.

YOU CAN JOIN THE ADVENTURE BY SIGNING UP AT THE PALEO PEN PALS FACEBOOK PAGE

Upon sign up, you will be sent guidelines, terms/conditions and contact information for your Paleo Pen Pal. The rest is up to you! We will have a round-up on both http://www.Threedietsonedinner.com and http://www.Whatigather.com at the end of each month showcasing your culinary creation. You will also have the opportunity to post a link to your recipe on the Paleo Pen Pal Facebook Page.

If you are not a blogger but would like to participate, Paleo Pen Pals is a great opportunity for guest posting. You can still showcase your creativity and paleo cooking skills on the many platforms paleo bloggers have to offer.

I just love this program!! This month, I was matched up with Laura, who has the blog Delightfully Vegan. She was the greatest!! She emailed me right away, and had a whole plethora of questions so that she could make sure to send me stuff I would truly like. How thoughtful!!

Laura sent me this wonderful hand-written note on pretty orange paper, and told me all about the stuff she’d sent. I just wanna be besties with this girl!! :)

Laura themed the package “South of the Border”, and she did a great job!! She sent me a bag of Beanito Chipotle Chips, and they’re amazing!! I’d never seen these before, and they were a huge hit at my house. They didn’t last long at all, and now I’m gonna hafta find them in my neck of the woods. She sent me a box of Yogi Tea, and it’s the most amazing stuff. I hadn’t tried it before, and now I am loving every sip. She sent me a bar of Chocolove very dark chocolate, and it’s absolutely amazing. Of course, the bar had melted in transit from her home in Michigan, but it still tasted wonderful. :) She sent a bottle of El Yucateco Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero as well. The word “habanero” in that title, I’ll hafta admit, is kinda intimidating. But luckily, I have a 12 year old that is absolutely fearless when it comes to hot food, and she told me it was not as bad as it sounded. I’ll hafta get back to y’all on that one. And the last item – my favorite – was a bag of Cholula flavored beef jerky. I LOVE beef jerky, and this spicier version was AMAZING.

Thank you, Laura!! Your package was da bomb, and I am so impressed by how you stepped up to my challenge of sticking with low carb and intense flavor to bring me a whole array of items that I’d never tried. :)

<img src="

The Lean Green Bean

So, are you new around here? Perhaps wondering what the heck Foodie Penpals is?

Here are the details:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating for October, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 5th!

*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean an email and she’ll see if she gets enough interest this month!

Happy Hump Day!! ;-)

Just a quick check-in. :)

I am sad and hurt that my youngest sister seems to hate me. She’s blocked me from her Facebook, forced her b/f (MY friend, incidentally, and big brother) to block me, including restricting him from contacting me, and is not answering my text messages. I am so hurt. :(

Went to a great party on Saturday. Drank too much. Partied too hard. LOL It was a party where we were instructed to wear something that “used to be cool”. I dressed in Flashdance gear. It was GREAT!!! Although… it took me until Monday to completely recover from my hangover…. Oh well. It was WORTH IT!!!!

Have a great evening folks!!

peace
red

Really??!!

Okay, so I grew up thinking that I had this tight-knit family. And if you’ve read my blog before, you know that recent years have proven to be challenging for me and my parents. I would like to think that we’ve rounded a bend of sorts, that things are looking up between us of late. Historically, I’ve gotten along well with my sisters… well, at least since we’ve all grown up. We got along like sisters when we were young. :) I was always closest to my middle sister growing up. We were closer in age, and seemed to have more in common. In recent years, I’d grown close to my youngest sister, however, and was happy to see our relationship becoming closer. In the past year, my youngest sister seemed to have been working against my middle sister in some ways. She planted seeds of doubt in my mind about her, and because I was all the way in Texas with them in Colorado, what could I do but believe what she told me? She had me thinking my middle sister had mental issues, was using drugs, etc.

In May, my grandmother passed away, and I went home for the weekend of the funeral. I stayed with my middle sister, and like to think that I got a good perspective of the reality of her. It became very clear to me that all that I’d been told was untrue. She and I are re-forging our relationship, and we check in with each other regularly. I feel for her, because I realized when I was home how lonely she really is. When her daughter is with her ex, she truly just has nothing to do with herself. I wish so much that I could help.

Now, my youngest sister has an old high school friend of mine living with her. He started out being like a big brother that I had never had, and ultimately set his sights on my sister. He loves her, and I am happy that the two of them have found each other. They have since broken up, and all of this has likely permanently damaged my relationship with her. She’s blocked me on her Facebook, so has he. I feel lost. Not only have I lost my sister, but I’ve lost someone who made promises to me and told me that I was like a little sister to him. I’m sad. Today is a melancholy day, because I feel that I cannot do anything to change these events.

I’m off to work. I’ma try to put all of this in the back of my mind. I just needed to write it all out so that I could try to make sense of it in my own way.

Peace.

red

August Foodie Penpals!!! :D

Oh this was the best month for Foodie Penpals. I was matched with Douglas from Bad Boy Bento Co. ( http://www.badboyben.to ) I was so pleased by his eagerness, as he contacted me very quickly after the matches were announced. He was so intent on making thoughtful choices, and seemed like such a pro!! I’ll be following his lead in future months, that’s for sure!! :)

He did his research about me, and discovered that I was into yoga. His package begins with a recipe.

“Center Yourself and your Family with this “OM” – Cooked Couscous Recipe” I LOVE IT!!!

His packaged included the following:

Pine Nuts
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO as labeled in the recipe)
Couscous
Split Peas
Dried Currants
Chives
Mint
Bouillon

What an amazing fellow!! I’m so psyched to prepare this recipe!! Thank you, Douglas!!

The Lean Green Bean

So, are you new around here? Perhaps wondering what the heck Foodie Penpals is?

Here are the details:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating for September, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

You must submit your information by September 4th as pairings will be emailed on September 5th!

*If you’re from somewhere besides the US, Canada or Europe and want to participate, send Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean an email and she’ll see if she gets enough interest this month!

Wow… okay so it has been a full week since we moved out. I have SUCH an amazing feeling of freedom, I cannot even describe it. We have boxes everywhere, and I still lack a few pieces of furniture that I need. But really… all of that is so minor. My tasks are all related to my desire to simplify. Remember that? My goal at the beginning of last year was to simplify my life. I have done a lot of sorting and getting rid of things already, but I am inspired to keep going. I have so much stuff. I don’t need it all. It’s time to simplify. For reals. ;-) I am going to put some items on the Freecycle board today. And I’ll continue with that trend this week. I have a futon for the living room coming later this week, and a chest of drawers for my bedroom next weekend. It’s all coming together. Remember the movie St. Elmo’s Fire? When Mare Winningham’s character moved in to her own place? She said that she got up to make herself a sandwich, and it was HER peanut butter, her bread…. and it was the best sandwich she’d EVER had? That is totally me. I am so happy to be on my own again. Ready to find my confidence and independence again.

I have had to go to the old house twice this week. I think that I’m done going there, except to get mail that slips through the forward order. I get the feeling he wants me to stick around. The hardest part of the move last weekend was how angry it made me that he wanted to drag it out in an effort to keep me there longer. I had friends and a rental truck lined up, and he pushed me to cancel it all. He said he didn’t want all of those people in his house. In the name of harmony, I relented, and canceled all of the help that I’d arranged. He was convinced that we could move everything in his vehicle and mine. And about mid-afternoon on Saturday, he refused to go up the stairs at the new place anymore. It was so much harder than it needed to be, and I was so angry by the time we were finished moving.

This week was challenging in many ways. One of my friends and coworkers lost his son this week. Drugs are such a horrible and senseless blight on this world. What a tragedy to see a young life snuffed out. And how heartbreaking it is to see a friend struggle with his feelings while he’s making funeral arrangements for his young son. I think he was so wrapped up in all of that this week that he’s not yet had the time or ability to really grieve. I’ll be praying for him and his wife in the coming days, weeks and months. I know from other friends who have lost their children that the healing time is long. I wonder actually if it ever happens, really. I think that the wounds will forever be fresh, the pain always present for them. I also found out tonight that a friend of mine also passed away this week. At this point it appears to be suicide. I cannot imagine being in such a dark place that ending it all is the most appealing option. This week’s sad events sure do make me appreciate my many blessings so much more.

As silly as it seems, I decided that I wanted to play around with a dating site online this weekend. I know it’s only been a week. I know that I am not ready to be in another relationship. But I am social. And I really just wanted to meet some new people, and get out and socialize a little bit, now that I can. The charge to my self-esteem and confidence was long overdue, and VERY needed. I’ll keep you posted. ;-)

July Foodie Penpals!!! <3

Oh I just love this Foodie Penpals thing!! :)

This month, my partner was Emily. This is her blog: in the moment And she sent me some uber cool stuff!!

My package contained:

A cool bag of dried fruit. YUM!! (it’s pretty much gone at this point…)
Ajiri Tea from Kenya
Dry Roasted Edamame
Wild Peppermint Mints
A Kind Fruit and Nut Bar

Such a cool compilation!! I was impressed with her willingness to find things I could have on Primatives/Paleo/Primal eating. :) Thanks, Emily!!

Do you want to participate in Foodie Penpals? Here’s the whole 411:

The Lean Green Bean

Here’s a detailed explanation of the program:

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

– Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & UK residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

I am a day late with this posting, and for that I apologize!! I found this group online of folks that share foodie finds with others across the country. Actually, across the US, Canada and the UK at this point. Tried it out in June, and it was a blast!!

This is the package that I received from my Foodie Pen Pal. She is Jenn, and she lives in Pennsylvania. What a blast, to get something from a totally different place!! Turns out that she works in a totally awesome place: Philadelphia-Reading Terminal Market. She even sent a shot glass as a souvenir. :) She sent some hot sauce from Becks, a Cajun stand in the market. Turns out Becks is right across from the bakery where she works, the Flying Monkey. She included a pot of chef’s salt, that I am uber excited to use. It came from the Penn General Store, along with the Pennsylvania Dutch pretzels. And while the pretzels were the only fatality in the box, they were mighty tasty, even in small pieces. *grin* She’s blessed to work in this great environment. She said that the Pennsylvania Dutch have a huge presence in the market, I can’t imagine how amazing that must be!! She said everything sold by the Pennsylvania Dutch is made in Lancaster County, and told me how great it is to be able to have access to fresh, homemade products, prepared by folks who care so much about them. Now I want to plan a road trip to the Market!!

Okay, here is how Foodie Pen Pals works:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.

-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!

-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!

-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)

-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.

-Foodie Penpals is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

If you’re interested in participating for July, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.

***If you’re in the UK, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

You must submit your information by July 4th as pairings will be emailed on July 5th!

I’m sooooo glad that I participated, as it was great fun to find stuff for my pairing, as well as exciting to anticipate what I’d get!!

Oh, and my recipient was Cheryl. She has a blog called Live Fit Daily. She blogged about the package that I’d sent, and sounded really pleased by the selection.

I’ve already told the organizer, Lindsay, that I want to participate in July. Can’t wait!!

Peace, everyone!! I hope you have a fabulous day!!

Red.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 660 other followers