The 3 of you who follow this website may think I am literally starving right now because I haven’t posted any recipes, which likely means I am not eating. My soul-mate bff told me she was starving to death because I hadn’t posted anything. I realize that I started this website to post yummy recipes right at the same time I started 1,037 other projects. So sometimes things get pushed aside. And while I have about 25 recipes and pictures sitting on my computer, it seems impossible to find the time to sit down and plug them in to my computer. So… hang in there with me while I prioritize all my projects, and get a rythym going. My goal is to post 3-5 recipes a week. Hopefully it doesn’t take me 3-5 years to accomplish this.
Over the weekend my soul-mate bff Sage was here visiting me, and after training she really wanted some gluten free pizza. She hadn’t had a delicious pizza in ages and had been craving it. We decided to order some gluten free pizza from a local place that does a pretty fantastic job. While we were waiting for the delivery fella to bring us our lunch, I started to prepare dinner. The Hubs loves meat and potatoes, and now Sage has a Hubs of her own, so I was going over different easy meals that are not only super simple, but super delicious… and this one will certainly satisfy the Hubs’ love for meat and potatoes.
I didn’t think to grab my camera until the last second because this is such an easy meal I didn’t think to share it. But then I thought… maybe y’all might love it too. I am always looking for crock pot meals, so here is one to share with you.
What you will need:
1 box gluten free organic beef broth
4-6 carrots, peeled
10-12 small baby dutch potatoes (optional)
1 small red onion, chopped
3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1.5 tablespoons of dried shallots
salt and pepper
apple-wood smoked sea salt (optional)
First I warmed a pan on medium heat and added 2 tablespoons of Ghee. Once melted I added the chopped small red onion, the dried shallots, the thyme and bay leaves. I let that saute until the onions were nice and tender.
While this was going on a seasoned one side of the tri-tip with sea salt, a few cracks of ground pepper, and the apple-wood smoked sea salt (to add a little smoky flavor). If you are unsure how much seasoning to add, don’t over-do it. I put maybe 3 pinches of sea salt, 5-7 turns on the pepper mill, and 2-3 pinches of apple-wood smoked sea salt. Once the onions were tender I put the tri-tip in the pan, seasoned side down. I then seasoned the other side the same way. I cooked the tri-tip for about 4 minutes on each side, over medium heat. Just enough to brown and get those flavors going.
I transferred the tri-tip to the crock-pot with all the pan juices and goodies. I added the carrots, cut in to small chunks, and the baby dutch potatoes.These potatoes have a creamy subtle buttery flavor and taste amazing in stews.
I then added the box of beef broth. It shouldn’t completely cover the meat.
I cooked it on high for 4.5 hours. I would have preferred to cook it on low for 7 hours, but it was a last minute decision and still came out perfectly!
With about 20 minutes left, I grab 2 forks and shred up the meat. This way it can soak up some of the juices before you serve!
You can serve it 2 ways.
On a plate:
Or as stew:
This is a Paleo recipe. If you don’t have potatoes in your life, simply illuminate them from the recipe. This is a gluten free recipe, as always.
Other variations I have done with this meal is add chopped celery, and I have also added shredded cabbage. Sometimes with the cabbage I add it in the beginning so it sogs up in the juices, and sometimes I add it right on top of the stew about 30 minutes before it is done, so that it steams in the juices but doesn’t get super soggy. I have also cut the cabbage in quarters and placed the chunks of cabbage right on top of the stew. When it is finished cooking, I plate the cabbage quarter first, and then pour the shredded meat and juices all over the top. The good thing about stew is you can pretty much add whatever is in your fridge!
So I found out from Wikipedia that Shepherd’s Pie is only called Shepherd’s Pie when it is made with mutton or lamb. I had to google what mutton was, and that is any meat that comes from a sheep. However, not just any sheep. Lamb is a young sheep, under 1 year old that does not have any permanent incisor teeth. A hogget is a sheep that is male or female with no more than 2 permanent incisors. A mutton is a female sheep (ewe) OR a castrated male sheep (wether) having more than two permanent incisors. And all this time I thought there was just lamb.
Anyway, I love shepherd’s pie, but I don’t love it with lamb. I prefer lamb in the form of a chop with a nice Cabernet reduction poured all over it. I always make my Shepherd’s Pie with ground beef, but I learned something today. Although the name has been used interchangeably, when Shepherd’s Pie is made with meat other than lamb or mutton, it is actually called Cottage Pie.
Apparently around 1791, the potato was being introduced as an edible crop that was affordable for poor folks. This meal was a way to use leftover roasted meat- a pie dish was lined with mashed potato filled with meat, and topped again with mashed potato. It got the name Cottage Pie because poor people typically lived in cottages, and well, because they baked it like a pie.
It wasn’t until 1877 that Shepherd’s Pie began to appear in cookbooks, this time with lamb or mutton, because shepherds are concerned with sheep and not cows.
So now I know that it is actually Cottage Pie, unless I make it with lamb or mutton. Which I won’t, ever, so there it is. But I haven’t quite come to terms with the name Cottage Pie, so for today we are going to just call it Shepherd’s Pie, but know that it is really Cottage Pie. Also, I am adding bacon, so that just throws everything off.
Before you freak out if you are coming here for Paleo recipes and you see that there are mashed potatoes, first, what Robb has to say here about potatoes, and second read this post from The Food Lovers’ Primal Palate, and third, keep reading…
Because The Hubs and The Kiddo love mashed potatoes, I decided to make half mashed potatoes half sweet potatoes. Please note, I typically use the names yams and sweet potatoes interchangeably. I rarely call anything a yam and call everything a sweet potato. However, I always have both in the kitchen. Sometimes I like cooking with the ‘orange’ one sometimes the ‘yellowish white’ one. Today I chose the white one since it closely resembles a potato when mashed. If you are looking for Paleo recipes and didn’t like what Robb Wolf, or the Primal Palate had to say about potatoes, simply don’t use them. The great thing about this recipe is I made it half and half- you can choose which half fits your eating, and if both halves have a place in your kitchen and in your tummy, then you get to taste two different versions of delicious. But either way this is definitely a gluten free Shepherd’s Pie!
What you will need:
7 pieces of bacon (I used 1 package of Trader Joe’s Apple-wood smoked bacon)
1 large carrot or 1 cup finely chopped carrots
1 large celery stick or 1 cup finely chopped celery
1 leek, dark green part removed (only use the white and light green part when chopping)
2 sweet potatoes
6 yukon gold potatos
1.5 #’s of ground beef
3 garlic cloves
1 small can of tomato paste
1-2 cups of chicken stock
1 few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Unsalted seat cream butter or grassfed butter (optional)
garlic salt with parsley, 4-6 fresh chives, heavy whipping cream (optional for mashed potatoes)
sea salt and ground pepper
If you decide to use mashed potatoes that’s great, I will include my mashed potato recipe. If you choose to eliminate mashed potatoes then increase to 3 large sweet potatoes.
I am very lazy when it comes to peeling potatoes. So I don’t do it. Instead, I cut the sweet potatoes in half and pop them in the pressure cooker, on high pressure, for 13 minutes.
When they are finished, the skin is a bit loose and easy to peel off. If you are burning the tips of your fingers off, you can also use a fork to loosen and unravel the skin.
At the same time as the sweat potatoes are cooking in the pressure cooker, I boil the Yukon gold potatoes. Those too I easily peel after. *note, if your potato skins aren’t quite loose after boiling, which they should be, you can run them under cold water for a few seconds and this will help loosen them up.
So much better than using the f’ing potato peeler for 107 minutes before hand, right??
For the sweet potatoes, you can add 2 tablespoons of grassfed or unsalted sweet cream butter, but this is optional if you don’t include butter in your cooking. I think it is delicious when melted in a sweet potato! Once you have peeled them all, get out your hand mixer and whip them up! I don’t do any mashing beforehand, you can, but it is not needed. After coming out of the pressure cooker they are nice and soft and can be mashed easily with the hand mixer.
You want to whip them for 1-3 minutes or until creamy.
Set those aside and move on to the mashers (if you aren’t including mashers, skip this step). Add 3 tablespoons of butter, about 1/3 cup (a little more is ok) of heavy whipping cream, 3-4 shakes of your garlic salt with parsley, a pinch or two of pepper, and 4-6 diced chives.
And whip up with your handy hand mixer…
…until deliciously creamy.
Set both the mashers aside.
In 1 pan, brown your ground beef. Do not add any seasoning because we will be adding other flavors later, and the saltiness you get from the bacon will be flavorful. I always say, peeps eating your food can always season more after the food is finished, but will not eat it if it tastes like a salt lick. Just brown, do not complete the cooking of the ground beef.
Set that aside, and warm a pan on medium heat. Dice up your bacon…
… and put it in the pan. Yes my knife is pink. Don’t be jealous. It is also very, very sharp. Cook the bacon until it is just shy of the perfect doneness for your tastes where you want to just stick your hand in the pan, burning oil or not, and grab a delicious handful. I say just shy because it will get a few more minutes of cooking in a minute, and I hate burnt or overly crispy bacon.
Scoop it out and set it aside on some paper towels.
Save a tablespoon or two of bacon grease in your pan.
While your bacon is cooking, or after it is finished if you are not savy at kitchen multi-tasking, you want to dice up your carrot, celery, and leek. Or if you are lazy, and had already bought the already chopped carrots and celery from Whole Foods, then measure out about a cup of each, and add a couple more chops to it. We don’t want it super chunky.
With your left-over bacon grease on warm, add and saute your chopped up 3 garlic cloves for about 1 minute.
Then add your carrots, celery, and leeks along with a couple cranks on the pepper mill and 2 pinches of sea salt. Let that cook for about 7 minutes, until your veggies are soft. Around this time you should also preheat your oven to 385.
Mix in the ground beef…
…and then add 1 small can of tomato paste. Be patient mixing this in. It can be a major butt and want to clump to one part of the meat. Just keep folding the meat and veggie mixture in to the center where the tomato paste is and it will eventually blend well!
Once the tomato paste is all mixed in keep stirring for about 2 minutes so the tomato paste has time to brown and melt in to the fixins. Then add about a cup of chicken stock. This should be enough to coat all of the fixins. If you need extra that is ok, but don’t completely drown the meat. If you are unsure, and totally freaking out right now regarding what is enough, just use a cup.
Mix in your bacon chunks, then add your single bay leaf and your sprigs of thyme (just place right on top). Once that comes to a boil, turn your heat down to simmer and let cook for 2 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf and transfer the fixins into your favorite baking pan.
Top half with the mashed potatoes and half with the mashed sweet potatoes.
Put it in the oven! Because everything is pre-cooked, and you just took your meat off the stove, you only need to oven-it until the potatoes are warm. Approximately 10-15 minutes or until the top of your potatoes look like they are forming a bit of a crisp!
Cut it and serve piping hot! Here is a picture of mine, with sweet potato mashers:
This meal takes roughly an hour to prepare. In my opinion the left-overs taste even more amazing than when it was for dinner because after being left to sit in all of it’s own juices all night, the flavors are just enriched. Unfortunately I never have the patience to prepare it the day before I am going to cook it. But I do make a huge batch so I can eat it for breaky or lunch the next couple of days.
I have been really in to making soups lately, maybe because of the rainy days… It makes you want to curl up in your favorite sweats and watch a movie with a hot bowl of soup.
This was really easy, and was the best soup I have ever had on a lazy Sunday.
First I peeled and cubed 4 medium-sized sweet potatoes.
I then chopped up 5 garlic cloves, 1 large shallot and 1 leek (white and light green part only. Discard the dark green part of the leek).
Heat up a pan over medium heat and add 8-12 pieces of bacon, diced into small chunks. I used 1 package of Trader Joe’s Apple-wood smoked bacon.
Cook until browned, and than transfer to a paper towel to get rid of excess grease.
Back to your bacon pan, there should only be about a tablespoon of bacon grease left, if there is a huge amount more than this, pour it out, leaving 1-2 tablespoons. Over medium heat, add to the grease, 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter (grass-fed preferable). Once melted add your garlic, shallots, and leeks, along with a pinch of sea salt and 4-5 turns on the cracked pepper mill (or to taste). You don’t want to add more salt than this because the bacon is salty. You don’t want your soup to taste like a salt lick. You can always add more to the finished product.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and let that saute until the butter and grease is bubbling and the leeks have become tender and your kitchen smells amazing, 4-6 minutes.
Transfer the sweet potato chunks to your favorite stock pot or soup pan, top with the bacon, and pour in your whole pan of sauteed leeks, shallots, and garlic. Don’t leave behind any of that buttered bacon grease!
You want to add enough chicken stock to cover the sweet potatoes. If you don’t have time and/or are simply too lazy to make your own stock, just buy a couple boxes. I used an organic gluten free chicken stock that I buy at Costco. Always check your chicken stock to see if it is gluten free, sometimes it is NOT. And you wouldn’t want to ruin a whole batch of delicious soup!
I ended up using 1 whole box plus about a cup of chicken stock in order to nicely cover all the goods. Use a big spoon to stir it all up!
Cover and turn up the heat, bringing your soup to a boil.
Once it is boiling, turn the heat down to simmer and mix in 2 cups of heavy whipping cream.
Let your soup simmer for 30 minutes on low heat, stirring occasionally.
Pour half of your soup into a blender. The chunks may sink to the bottom, so make sure you aren’t pouring liquid only.
I used a large strainer spoon and scooped what I figured to be roughly half of the goods and half of the liquid in to the blender.
I left half of the goods in the soup because I wanted the soup to be chunky. If you want the soup to be more pureed, or like a bisque, you could blend the whole batch, or use an immersion blender. I like the idea of having a smooth creamy soup with some delicious bites in between.
Blend until creamy and then pour back into your soup pot.
Mix it all up and it is ready to serve!
To me, the good thing about blending only some of the soup is that it allows for some versatility in your eating. If you feel like a cup of creamy bisque like deliciousness, just skim off the top. Otherwise ladle in some of the creaminess and add a big spoonful of chunkiness and you have a mighty fine bowl of amazing.
*While some folks who are Paleo include heavy whipping cream and grassfed butter in their cooking, some do not. To make this soup go from PRIMAL to PALEO, simply do not add butter (add a touch more bacon grease), and eliminate the heavy whipping cream.
If I ask The Kiddo what she wants for dinner, her answer is always ‘Chinese food’. If I tell her we are not having Chinese food for dinner she then replies ‘sushi’.
Fortunately for us we have a local Chinese food restaurant that does gluten free Chinese food- they make almost all their dishes gluten free, if requested, for only $1 extra. And as amazing as it is, we simply cannot eat it every day of our lives and then some.
The other night we had gotten home from gymnastics, and I open the fridge to pull out my delish grass-fed flank steak that had been marinating all day in a fabulous Paleo sauce concotion, only to find the flank steak still wrapped in it’s butcher gift wrap. I obviously had imagined preparing it to soak all day.
I don’t love eating flank steak if it hasn’t been marinated. I poke my head around the fridge… I needed a plan B. ‘Hey kiddo! What do you want for dinner?’
‘Chinese broccoli and beef!’ she shouts, like, duh mom, obviously!
‘We are not going to get Chinese tonight.’
‘Well make it yourself mom!’ well of course, why didn’t I think of that? Maybe because I don’t know how to cook Chinese food?
I stood wondering how I could make something yummy with this flank steak in less than 15 minutes that would taste scrumdidlyumptious without being marinated all day.
So, in true Aimee fashion, I just started pulling stuff out of the fridge.
Added 2 Z’s of olive oil to the pan to warm.
Diced ½ a white onion and added it to a pan.
Added a pinch of sea salt and several cranks on the pepper mill.
Let that sauté for 3-4 minutes.
the flank steak, cut into strips.
¼ cup raw coconut aminos
¼ cup Tamari
6 finely diced chives
Juice from 1 medium orange
1 tsp crushed garlic
¼ tsp granulated garlic with parsley
Once that was mixed together, I added 1 bunch of broccolini.
I let that cook over medium heat until the flank steak was medium-medium rare and the broccolini was tender. You can cook this until the steak reaches your desired temperature, the broccolini will surely be done as well.
I served it in bowls and added some fresh orange zest on top.
Less than 15 minutes, and pretty darn delicious! Even the Kiddo went back for seconds.
* This is Paleo and Gluten Free. However, some folks who follow Paleo do not include Tamari (gluten free soy sauce) in their cooking repertoire, and so if this is you, simply exclude the Tamari, and add more Coconut aminos.
Yesterday for lunch on our Sunday lazy day, I had planned on making bacon wrapped burgers. But I was right in the middle of a very intense part of Super Bad, while also reading my book, and couldn’t pull myself away from the couch. The Hubs went in to the kitchen to start dicing up the bacon, and this is me: ‘why don’t we just add the ground beef to that bacon instead of making the patties… it’ll be delicious!’. READ: I am too lazy to get off the couch to do anything remotely close to forming patties for lunch, so ground beef is much quicker. I got up to add the seasonings, then got back to my laziness.
This is what went down in the kitchen.
1 whole package of Trader Joe’s applewood smoked bacon, diced in itty bitty chunks. Cook until browned, and nearly done to your liking.
Add 1/2 chopped white onion straight to that delicious bacon grease.
We mixed in to the bacon and onion, a smidge of applewood smoked sea salt (2-3 pinches), 1/8 tsp garlic powder, 1/8 tsp coarse black pepper, 1/8 tsp dried onion powder, 1/4 tsp dried french thyme, and 1/4 tsp dried sage.
We then added 1.5 pounds of grass-fed ground beef and 3 turns of crack pepper and 2 pinches of sea salt.
Mix it all up until the beef is done.
I added half an avocado to the top, and yum!
We had lot’s of left-overs and since I had established that yesterday was a lazy day, I decided to use our lunch to make dinner.
First I quartered up 1 large yam and 1 large Japanese yam and snuggled them up on a baking sheet. I added a hefty teaspoon of coconut oil on top of each and then sprinkled with fresh ground cinnamon.
I baked these on 385 degrees for 40 minutes.
With about 15 minutes to go I put the lunch pan, still nicely coated with bacon grease, on medium heat to warm. I added brussel sprout halves and cooked for about 5 minutes until browned.
I then added the meat-bacon concoction from lunch to re-heat. It was finished right as the timer for the coconut cinnamon yams went off.
Who says you can’t turn a lunch in to a completely different dinner? It was delicious! And so simple.
This whole breakfast took me less than 10 minutes. So for those people who say they don’t have time to make a delicious, healthy breakfast and choose to simply pop a bagel in the toaster and grab a yogurt, are totally full of shit.
I was home alone on Sunday morning and decided to get crackin on my Escaping Eggoredom egg ideas. So this recipe served just me! However, I tend to eat a lot, so this may actually work for 2. Up the eggs and quantities of the goodies according to how many you are going to feed.
I started with a warm pan on medium heat, and my ghetto-blaster-ipod-thingy blasting my jams. I added 1 olive oil ‘Z’ and let that heat for about 30 seconds. I added the diced shallots and minced garlic along with a pinch of seat salt and a couple turns of cracked pepper (add your salt and pepper to taste). I let that saute until the shallots were tender. I added 3 eggs and the sun-dried tomato flakes and scrambled them up. Just before the eggs were done I added the fresh basil chiffonade.
Escaping Eggoredom #2
At the same time as the eggs were cooking, in a separate pan, also on medium heat, I added 2 Z’s of olive oil and 1 sliced chicken apple sausage. I cooked this for about 5 minutes until browned.
Before I started the eggs and sausage, I cut 2 strawberries in half and hollowed them out a bit, and also cut open a pineapple and sliced it into thin chunks. I had bought a baby coconut at whole foods- have you seen them? The ones with the straws? I poured out the coconut water, and took the coconut outside and slammed it to the ground 3 times to crack it open. That was pretty much my workout for the day.
Once it was open, I scooped out small pieces of the wonderful fatty meat, and made little coconut fruit bites. I also made a mental note to serve these at the next party that I am invited to. They were pretty much amazing.
Strawberries with coconut
There it is… my whole breakfast in under 10 minutes. A delicious and hefty amount of protein, a bit of fruit, and a bit of yummy fat. I said delicious and there wasn’t even bacon in it… that’s when you know it’s good!
It is no secret that I love love love bacon. Unless you don’t know me, then you simply don’t know me. So now you know at least that.
I put bacon in just about everything I can, and eat it whenever I can.
The other night we got home late from the gym, and The Kiddo wasn’t home. The Hubs and I didn’t feel like eating a whole dinner, and really just wanted to have a snack and then sit on the couch to watch Alcatraz.
I stood in front of the fridge, not wanting chicken, not wanting left-over steak, not wanting eggs, or fruit or anything resembling a green leafy vegetable, not even wanting dark chocolate. Then, as if a spotlight started shining down and the soundtrack to my life started playing, the fresh bacon from the butcher was all I could focus on.
I wasn’t convinced I wanted to eat the bacon solo, and eating it with anything else in the fridge seemed about as exciting as listening to the Hanson Brothers.
I had already peeled one sweet potato and was waiting for the water to boil so that I could feed The Pups his dinner.
Suddenly, like in the movies, I got the greatest idea! Forgetting that 5,037 other people in this world has likely had, and even probably posted a recipe on, the same idea, and while thinking I was the biggest genius since Dr. Dre or even Einstein, I got to peeling another sweet potato!
I cut it in to long, thick, french-fry like shapes. I boiled them until tender enough to take an easy and smooth fork stab.
Sweet Potato Spears
I cut some bacon in half, and wrapped a half around each sweet potato.
I then lined them on a baking sheet covered in foil (because I didn’t want to clean bacon grease off the baking sheet, not because it is magical for the cooking process).
On half of the goodies I sprinkled a touch of brown sugar chile rub to caramelize and add a little kick of a treat (simply mix 2 tablespoons brown sugar with chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper to taste).
wrapped and ready for the oven!
I baked them at 385 degrees until the bacon was just near perfect to my tasting. I then switched the oven to broil for 3 minutes to add a little sass to the top of the sweet potato (you can skip this part- but if you choose to do it, keep an eye on them… broil can change delicious to charred in seconds if not watched). It gives it a nice crunch, and boils the bacon grease a bit to help caramelize the sweet potato.
They were delicious little things. More filling then eating bacon by itself! Little bite sizes of amazing-so rich and fabulous!
Sweet Potato Bacon Spears
* Note, these little bites of amazing are PALEO, however adding the brown sugar is NOT PALEO. You can still add the chili to give a little heat. But all alone, without the brown sugar chili rub, is simply amazing. I was just experimenting.
Seriously, I am almost embarrassed to put this up here because it is really not a recipe, but merely a delicious way to escape complete and utter eggoredom. Aka eggs so boring you have to shovel them in your mouth in 3 seconds to fuel your body. So hopefully y’all need ways to escape the eggoredom in your lives because I will be posting a zillion ways to make your Paleo eggs less boring.
This one is sinchy.
Put your favorite pan over medium heat to warm it up! Make an avocado oil Z. (If you don’t have avocado oil, you can use olive oil. I use the organic avocado oil from Whole Foods.)
Add 1-2 tablespoons of minced garlic (I like my garlic chunky, so I don’t put too much choppin’ into my mincing) depending on taste AND 1-2 tablespoons of chopped red onion to your desired chunkiness.
Add a pinch of sea salt, and desired cracked pepper and let that sauté for about a minute, then plop your eggs right on top! I cooked mine over-medium, but you could scramble them, or over-easy them, or even sunny-side up them.
Let the eggs cook until the white part gets firm (about a minute on medium heat), and right before you are going to flip them, add 3-4 fresh basil chiffonade and add it right on top of the eggs, then flip for another minute, or until eggs have reached your desired ‘doneness’.
Today I decided to bake something with the 2 over-over-over-ripe bananas sitting on my counter. Not one to waste food, I set forth to put those rotting bananas to work.
I decided to make a caramel banana cupcake with a vanilla bean frosting.
I had some left-over vanilla bean amazingness in my fridge from last Sunday’s spaghetti cupcakes. In preparing to re-whip and fluff up the frosting, I had sifted a cup of powder sugar and whisked up some heavy whipping cream. The sifted mound of powder sugar was in a small stainless steel bowl and placed right next to the Kitchenaid so that I had it ready for the buttercream when I was finished mixing the cupcake batter.
I mashed the 2 bananas in a separate bowl and stirred in my pizazz. AKA secret ingredients.
Then I started my batter. When it came time to alternate heavy whipping cream and the gluten free flour mixture, I mistakenly reached for the powder sugar bowl. After I was done mixing everything together I started to scoop the batter into the liners, noticing it was a bit thin, when I looked over and saw the flour mixture still on the counter. OH F!
Since I only had 2 rotting bananas available, and had used the last 3 eggs in the fridge, I couldn’t start over. And remember, I am not one to waste food… especially when it comes to cupcakes and bacon!
So…. I added the caramel that I had made to swirl in to the frosting all professional like, straight in to the batter, hoping it would help to absorb some of that powder sugar. Now I am by no means a professional baker, and I don’t know where my logic of this came from, or even if it is a real thing. I go through a lot of trial and error because I refuse to follow a recipe, and I have done little to no, ok no, research on the how-to’s what not’s what to’s of baking. I just thought… hmmmm it may work. Then I added the forgotten flour mixture, stirred it all up, added it to the liners, popped it in to the oven, and sat on the floor by the oven for 15 minutes staring at the rising cupcakes hoping for the best. Ok, that last part is a lie.
They came out of the oven smelling delish, and The Hubs, sniffing from the living room, says “Something smells good in there!”.
I impatiently waited about 10 minutes, ok, 37 seconds, for them to cool before I took a bite to try it out. Holy fierceness! Simply delicious. They taste like banana bread, but light and fluffy and in a vanilla bean kinda way. SOOOO GOOOOOD.
Once cooled for about 15 minutes, I piped the whipped vanilla bean frosting, and used the remaining smidge of caramel I had left at the bottom of the container to add a small drizzle on top.
Even better all tied together with the frosting and caramel drizzle. Thus, the Banaccident was born.
Maybe mistakes aren’t always a bad thing… we definitely can learn from them.
I get so sick of chicken sometimes that the thought of eating chicken makes me want to become a vegetarian. Just kidding, that was a terrible f’ing joke. But really… I try to come up with yummy ways to cook chicken because it is something that becomes very tiring for me, with the exception of Paleo Comfort Food’s fried chicken.
The other day I had some chicken to use to clear a space in my fridge for cupcakes, and decided to just start throwing stuff in the pan. Yippie for me (and my family) it came out yummerific, and I hope you enjoy it too!
First, I warmed my pan on medium heat. I then added a double ‘z’ dribble of olive oil to the pan (make a z, with the dribble, turn the pan 180° and add another z- I am not big on measuring, so I typically use 1-3 z’s in my recipes- remember the z trick because I will use this as my olive oil measurement). I let the oil heat for about 30 seconds then added 1/4 cup mix of diced garlic, shallots and white onions. *typically on Sunday I dice up 1-2 whole garlic clove clumps and 1-2 shallots, depending on size, along with a small white onion. I put all of this in an air-tight container and keep it in the fridge for cooking.
I added a smidge of sea salt and ground pepper (use your own smidge judgment depending on your taste- a smidge can be a pinch to a 1/4 tsp) to the garlicshallotonions and let that sauté in the olive oil for about 2 minutes.
I then added 3 boneless chicken breasts, cut in to small cubes. Once the chicken was browned I added the following:
1/2 tsp granulated garlic and parsley
2 cans diced tomatoes (I love Muir Glen Organic- they have different seasoned crushed and diced tomatoes. For this recipe I used the diced tomatoes with basil and garlic- I like it extra saucy so I used 2 cans, you could get away with 1 can.
I let that simmer for about 5 minutes until the chicken was nearly cooked through. I then added half a bag of broccoli slaw (bought from trader joes) and 2 cups of chopped spinach (rinsed and stems removed), and cooked until slaw and spinach was tender (about another 3-5 minutes depending on how you well done you like your veggies).
Amazing and under 20 minutes. Moms know… sometimes you don’t have a whole lot of time to do the cookin’, so when you can make something your kids love, and under 20 minutes, then that is a fabulous feat. This was not only yummy, but it had plenty of veggies packed in, so no side dishes were needed!
*This dish is PALEO and GLUTEN FREE
*note, you can click on all pictures on this website to enlarge!