Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 Highlights

I know I know, so cliché. I wasn’t going to do one of these posts then I was looking at old posts and noticed I did do one in 2012. So I started looking through my I-phone pictures. And then one thing led to another…and here we are.

Instead of talking about how truly amazing 2013 (I mean I got married, went on my honeymoon AND bought a house), I made a couple of picture collages. Gets the job done. Happy New Year everyone!

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From Top Left Clockwise- Camden bridal shower, me and Al at my bachelorette party :), house warming barn party, honeymoon, wedding, Frank ready to move to our new house, New York State Fair and O.A.R concert, Syracuse bridal shower, Niagara Falls (American side sucks). 

 

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From Top Left Clockwise– Finally moving into our new house in October, first Christmas tree cut from our backyard, our backyard in the fall, Karley, Ryan and Clover’s visit, new house again, Christmas with Frank!, cousins before my Papa’s funeral, Dresser Rand Christmas party, honeymoon (ahhhh why can’t I be there now)

 

Seriously, what a great year! I could go on and on however I think that’s enough for now.

Happy New Year!

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Paleo Plantain Pancakes

Alliteration!!!! I didn’t try to do that….that’s simply what these are…Paleo Plantain Pancakes. About a month ago I made a version and I wasn’t pleased with the consistency…when I got my hands on some plantains I knew that I wanted to try again. These cakes came out way better! I based them off an idea from Juli at PaleOMG, but since I didn’t have all the ingredients hers called for I made up my own.

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Paleo Caramelized Plantain Pancakes with coconut honey drizzle
Serves 1
A great way to get some healthy carbs in your morning!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
8 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
8 min
For the pancakes
  1. 1 plantain- the browner the better, peeled and chopped into 1"cubes
  2. 1 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  3. dash of coconut sugar
  4. 2 eggs
  5. 1 tablespoon coconut flour
  6. 2 tablespoons full fat coconut milk
  7. 1-2 tablespoons water
  8. 1/2 tsp cinnamon
For the honey drizzle
  1. 1 tsp honey (I used pumpkin spice raw honey)
  2. 1 tablespoon full fat coconut milk
Instructions
  1. First, caramelize your plantains.
  2. Throw your fat into a saute pan over medium-high heat and add the plantains.
  3. Add the cinnamon and coconut sugar and let caramelize, about 5 minutes.
  4. Place the plantains, eggs, coconut flour, coconut milk and cinnamon into a food processor and blend.
  5. Add water to desired consistency*see notes
  6. Pour batter in 3-4" rounds on a heated non-stick skillet or griddle.
  7. Cook 3-4 minutes per side.
  8. For the glaze, microwave the coconut milk and honey and pour over top!
  9. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. *this is because I thought it was a little thick at first. I added about 2 tablespoons
Pencils and Pancakes http://pencilsandpancakes.com/
So good!

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What are you favorite ways to enjoy plantains?

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Spicy Chorizo Hash

And….just like that, Christmas is over :(. So depressing. As a kid after Christmas I would always try to ease my depression about it by looking forward to New Year’s. But let’s face it- it is so not as good.

Don’t worry, I know everyone has been on the edge of their seats waiting to see all the food pictures I have been taking with my new camera. I’ve found the camera works way better when I use it for close up shots, which is why I wanted it. Still looking for tips though so send some my way if you have any!

I wanted to kick off the food shots with an amazing recipe that was a hit for Christmas brunch.

We visited a great local meat store to get some bacon and chorizo for this recipe. It’s called Side Hill Farmer’s market (we got our steaks there on Fourth of July when it first opened). OMG….is all I have to say about the bacon. And the chorizo (spicy mexican sausage) made this hash:

 

Spicy Chorizo Hash

Chorizo Breakfast Hash - Copy

9 eggs, whisked
1 lb spicy chorizo (or breakfast sausage)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium sweet potato, shredded with food processor
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ghee or cooking fat
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat the ghee in a large sauté pan over medium heat.
2. Add the chorizo, and cook until no longer pink, breaking apart with spoon.

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3. Put the chorizo in a dish to the side and reserve cooking fat. Add more ghee if necessary.
4. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
5. Add peppers and onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sweet potato and cook for another 3-4 minutes until softened. Put to the side.

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GreenPeppers

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6. Add whisked eggs and cook in the pan while mixing to get scrambled eggs.

7. Add back in the chorizo and veggies and cook 1-2 more minutes until everything is mixed together.
Eat with some avocado and salsa on top! Yum!

Spicy Chorizo Breakfast Hash

Christmas Brunch! Some civilized caveman banana bread with chocolate chips to go with it!

Civilized Caveman Banana Bread

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So how do you like my new camera skillz??

 

What are your favorite picks for brunch?

What did you eat on Christmas?

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Merry Christmas 2013

I feel amazingly blessed about all the love in my life right now. Every Christmas I feel blown away with the gifts that people get me. I feel as if it’s so unnecessary. Some favorites…. a new camera!! No more using my IPhone for pictures for the blog! Yay!

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I know it’s not the best picture…I still have to learn how to use it! I also cashed in with the Paleo cookbook department…

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That is a terrible picture. Not sure why. I guess I have to read the manual.

I think I will be set for all of this year with Paleo recipes……I am seriously thinking about recommitting myself to this whole foods things 100%. The more and more I let myself indulge and eat crap, the worse I feel. While I know it’s not healthy to dwell on it and let myself feel guilty, I feel like I owe it to myself to be committed to only putting quality food in my body.

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I am so blessed to have loving friends and family in my life that are for the most part in good health. I know that in order to be healthy I have to dedicate myself to nourishing my body with whole foods. I say this as I enter a sugar coma. From this:

Lindt White Chocolate Coconut Pineapple

 

It’s been a long year and I feel like the transition to whole foods and “paleo” eating has been a slow process. I plan on blogging about the whole process soon….It doesn’t happen over night, and I feel like I’m at the point where I can take it to the next level. Right after I finish that candy bar….

Anyways, I’ve been absent from blogging scene for the last couple of days, but I assume that everyone else has. I was just dropping by to brag about how lucky I am and thank everyone in my life..

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We had a big Christmas brunch today and I made something yummy…the recipe will be coming in a few days! I might get to it in the next, oh you know, week and a half I have off of work 😉

Merry Christmas Everyone! I have to go read my cookbooks and study how to use my camera.

What was your favorite gift/food you ate?

Do you think you could eat 100% paleo?

 

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Christmas Cookies 2013

Time to run down the inventory on the cookies I ended up making this year! I can’t wait for the next five days and all the amazing friends, family and food that will be involved.

Today was the last day of school before two weeks off and the kids were INSANE!!!! That’s an understatement. They were able to pull it together though this year to decorate our door again:

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Those were real branches left over from my tree!

They didn’t win the pizza party but I decided to make them cookies since they worked so hard on it.

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Great brownie recipe from The Foodie Army Wife. I might have sampled a couple.

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So I realized as I packed all of my goodies today to bring to co workers and to bring home for presents that I made a TON of Christmas cookies:

Spritz- finally figured out how to use that cookie press!!! It took a couple times. I didn’t realize that I had to stick the press down on the cookie sheet to actually make it work.

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Pineapple Macadamia Nut Bars

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White chocolate fig Paleo cookies made with lard!

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Roasted almond and coconut chocolate bark- omg this was good.

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They’re ready to be boxed up and given as gifts!!!

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Other gifts I put together…sorry for the spoiler if you get one!!!!!

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Oh fun…I love Christmas and I am getting better at baking after this year! So excited to celebrate and share all my goodies!!!

What cookies did you make this year?

What cookies look the best? I think the chocolate bark and the fig ones were my favs.

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12 Days of Allergy Free Christmas Recipes: Appetizers

I’m so excited to do this blog post in order to link up with Madison at Eating For Balance!!!!

12 Days of Allergy-Free Christmas Recipes

She’s commissioned some bloggers to do a link up outlining great allergy free recipes for the holidays and so far people have covered breakfasts, drinks, snacks, bread, main dishes…and it’s my turn to tackle appetizers!

Once I picked it I immediately saw how hard it would be to compile a great list. The one thing that comes to mind that I feel most holiday appetizers are loaded with…CHEESE! I don’t tolerate cheese very well and I eat a mostly Paleo diet. So a lot of appetizers are out….crackers, chips, cheesy dips 🙁 What does that leave us with? That’s what this post will help you with. Whether you’re Paleo, vegan, or have other food allergies or intolerance, hopefully you can find something delicious on this list! Enjoy

day 7

**The other day, I  made white chocolate covered strawberries dipped in sprinkles for a holiday party. Not exactly an appetizer, but for this particular party they functioned as one! I also thought if asked to bring an appetizer you could bring cut up fruit as well. But it’s not the season and it tends to get expensive. Just a thought. Here they are though:

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Unless otherwise noted, all are nut free, egg free, dairy free, and Paleo.

You can’t go wrong with bacon wrapped ANYTHING! Vegans close your eyes

Sriracha Bacon Chicken Bites

Bacon Wrapped Siracha Chicken Bites

 

Bacon Wrapped Avocado Wedges

Bacon Wrapped Dates

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Bacon Wrapped Chicken Pepper bites

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs (recipe has butter but you could replace with coconut oil)

Butter & Wine Roasted Mushrooms // So...Let's Hang Out

Butter and Wine roasted mushrooms (again you could replace the butter)

Cinnamon Roasted Plantains (mmmmmmm!)

 

My original aim was to include my own recipe for coconut shrimp and shrimp scampi that I made on Sunday, however I was in a rush and forgot to take measurements or pay attention to how long I cooked them….whoops! But nonetheless here are some equitable recipes:

Paleo Coconut Chili Lime Shrimp  (gluten free, dairy free)

Honey-glazed Coconut Shrimp

Honey Glazed Coconut Shirmp (egg free, gluten free, dairy free)

Healthier Dip:

Onion Dip

You'll love this unique and light appetizer: Yam & Cumin Dip. Garnish with cauliflower and snap peas. #recipes #holidays | Health.com

Yam & Cumin Dip <<Looks Interesting (Gluten free, egg free, vegetarian)

Pumpkin Hummus 2 WM

No bean Paleo Pumpkin Hummus (Paleo, egg free, vegan, vegetarian)

Roasted Parsnip Hummus Main | Popular Paleo

Roasted Parsnip Hummus (Paleo, egg free, vegan, vegtarian)

Well I don’t want to overload you with too many options! I know the feeling of having to many things to choose from to bring to the holiday party! Enjoy and thanks to Madison for inviting me to the link up!!

What are your favorite appetizers to bring to a party?

 

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Bourbon & Burger Co in Batavia

Yesterday Austin and I drove an hour and a half through a blizzard so we could go buy a tractor!!! For anyone who doesn’t know we recently bought a house that includes 26 acres and a farm so a tractor was definitely on the to-buy  list once we moved in. Here she is:

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Feels good to know we saved and accomplished finding one that was decent. After dropping that load of cash we figured that we should keep it going by rewarding our hard work with lunch. The options in the town looked pretty dismal- I think we passed Denny’s and Applebee’s on the way. Until I pulled out my phone and found this gem: Bourbon and Burger. It’s a craft burger and beer place. I was literally blown away by the choices on the menu.

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Pretty hard to read but choices included a Philly Cheesesteak burger, Buffalo Burger, “Pittsburgh Style” with coleslaw, “Garbage Plate” burger (a Rochester thing- a garbage plate usually includes some sort of meat piled with beans, mac salad, fries, and other things mixed together)..I mean the list goes on. It was just refreshing to see such a simple idea done right (as we found out when we tasted). The beer selection was impressive!

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I held off though……might have had something to do with the Christmas party we attended the night before…. :-X

I chose the California Avocado Burger (arugula, onions, tomatoes, avocado & bacon) with no bun and subbed sweet potato fries (obv). They did not skimp on the fries. And they came with a side of pure maple syrup. Mmmmmmm.

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Who needs a bun??? Seriously

Austin went with the “signature” Kentucky Bourbon Burger- it was marinated in bourbon, topped with BBQ sauce, bacon, onion rings, and cheese. I had a bite and it was glorious!!!!

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I usually refrain from whipping out my phone and looking like a total weirdo taking pictures of everything unless a place is really good. Like I said, this burger place is such a simple idea. You can’t really go wrong. So it’s a surprise to see it in such a small town. Service was good too.I feel like whenever we go out to dinner (unless we’re home in Syracuse or in a big city that I’ve spent hours Yelping where we’re going to go) I feel like we get the WORST service and mediocre food to boot. I know running a restaurant isn’t easy, but I’ve seen enough Restaurant Impossibles to know that if you just stick with simple, good ingredients you can’t go wrong.

And as far as the miserable service….I feel like having been a waitress I know it wasn’t the greatest job in the world. But you have to WORK for your tips. I basically found out if you don’t kiss the person’s butt you might as well not go to work. Austin and I are usually cursed with terrible service because it seems as though people feel like all they have to do is show up for work and get paid and not worry about anyone else. When I go out to dinner I am spending my hard earned money and expect a decent experience. I know there are some days when you are so in the weeds everything just goes out the window, however we experience this nearly every time we go out to dinner. I can’t say I haven’t been on the other end because I was a waitress for 4 years!!!

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Our waitress here, however, was excellent so we seemed to have dodged the bad service curse.

Overall a great experience! You should check it out if you’re from WNY.

Do you leave good tips no matter what?

Why do you think waitresses give bad service?

Ever been a waitress?

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Thinking out loud #1

Blogging is a full time job this week! I have finally switched over from Word Press hosting to self hosting and let me tell you…..it’s taken over my world. It’s a lot more work than I thought it was going to be considering I know NOTHING about technology and computers. So it’s all a learning process to say the least. I just feel bad I’ve been ignoring my husband and glued to the computer all week.

Hopefully it will all be worth it. I’ll be blogging from this super boring theme until I figure out what kind of custom designed theme I want so bear with me! This is the perfect opportunity for a random type of post…and I decided to link up with Amanda for her first Thinking Out Loud post link up. I always love reading Amanda’s posts and I like the random nature of Thinking Out Loud. So here it goes:

Thinking-Out-Loud

We cut our Christmas tree out of our back yard. It’s not perfect, but I never thought anyone would ever see it so I didn’t care (until I had girls from work over Friday…whoops). But I don’t think they cared. Frank enjoys it. And sitting by the heater.

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LOL

I finally cooked my previously discussed outrageously priced turkey this past Sunday. I literally spent the whole day in the kitchen doing my usual Sunday food prep as well as cooking the turkey, stuffing, mashed taters and cauliflower, and veggies. The top left are egg muffins from the 21DSD.

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Oh my….everything was phenomenal. And we will be eating turkey for the next solid week and a half. The turkey is actually going to provide us with more meals than originally thought….so awesome. Totally worth that price tag!

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This ended up on my doorstep the other day. I have no idea why. I bought something there over Thanksgiving break but I don’t have any idea how they got my address. But I don’t hate it.

 

Yesterday was my first meeting of my new “writing club” at school! At first I wanted to start a school newspaper but I figured that was not a good enough way to market it to the students. So I called it “creative writing club”. That drew a crowd. So now that I reigned them in I can probably convince some to do some “non fiction” writing like editorials, interviews and maybe movie/video game reviews. I plan to publish all of this on a blog and have like a class blog. I am so excited to merge my career and love for writing and blogging! I’ll give an update when we actually get the publication together. The kids seemed to have fun.

 

Austin and I are probably not going to want to eat turkey for a long, long time after these two weeks. I mean there is a lot of turkey. I made turkey soup that was phenomenal. I mean the best, richest tasting soup you will ever eat. And last night there was more:

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Turkey. I really stand by my decision to get the pastured turkey. It was not cheap but in all reality if I were to add up all the meals it’s going to give us and divide the price by that, it’s not much compared to eating out or how much you spend on a meal in general.

 

Well most of this post is about turkey, I apologize.

Tips for self hosting beginners please!!!

Do you cut down your own Christmas tree?

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Don’t leave me!!!

Hello all! I am in the process of attempting to switch over to self hosted blogging…..

I changed the nameservers but they say it takes 24 hours so I have no idea if it worked. I don’t want to leave you hanging in case it DID work. I will put up the link to my new blog when it is available.

If you like what you see, please follow me on bloglovin or your personal blog reader once it’s switched over.

And any advice to make this process easier will be much appreciated!!!

 

Also, if you self hosted, any suggestions on an affordable blog designer?? Thanks!!

 

Here’s a picture of my cat to hold you over.

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