Two moms. Five daughters. Opposite ends of the globe.

Two moms. Five daughters. A friendship that spans opposite ends of the globe.

We have been best friends for ages with a shared love for good food. A desire of good health for ourselves and our families have lead us to exploring the paleo lifestyle together. Enjoy our adventure!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Kid Party Kababs!

I have twins in first grade and was asked to contribute specific items for the holiday party... 24 paper plates?  No problem!  24 fruit kabobs.....sigh.  There are tons of super cute ideas on the net that are easier...but somehow I got snowmen on the brain and they just had to be.  I am NOT a food photographer, and I could have tried a little harder to make the picture cuter, but I still have a dozen of these bad boys to go, and they are supposed to be at school TOMORROW, not Wednesday like I thought.

I didn't have a melon baller, so I used a tablespoon for the big sections and a teaspoon for the head... 1/2 a grape for the hat brim, and another grape for the top of the hat.  Raisin bits made up the eyes and buttons.  (cut in long halves, pre-poke the hole beforehand with an extra skewer.)  And little slivers of carrots for the nose!  I had all kinds of ideas with apples, apple bits, watermelon mittens even... but these were what I ended up with tonight.  They did keep getting cuter and cuter...I'm sure some super pinter-person will do them up even nicer and get great pics.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Whole 30 Chicken Pot Pie!!
No kidding! 

Pot Pie is one of those recipes where there are endless attempts to "paleotize" the crust or the rich, gravy like filling... And some look beautiful, but that doesn't fly when you're on a Whole30.  Well, I am wrapping up the end of the first week of a whole30, so they didn't work for me.  And I have leftover chicken...

What I came up with is a little more involved than I usually do, but I wanted a rich base to hold it all together, and I didn't want to use any nuts or thickeners at all.  So it's not a pie... but it's the flavor of the pot pie I love, not the crust, so really- do we need it? Paleotized or not?  I think not, and I also think it turned out absolutely delish.

Paleo Pot Pie

2 cups bone broth
a few split pigs feet - optional?
1 heaping teaspoon lard

1-2 T of oil of choice (coconut or rendered fat is what I tend to use)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup diced sweet potatoes

3+ cups chopped leftover chicken (or whatever you have on hand)

1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon sage
S&P to taste

First:  Simmer the two cups of stock until reduced to 3/4 cup or so.... I wanted it RICH, so I added a split pig's foot and my carrot and onion trimmings and simmered it covered until the liquid was reduced to somewhere between 3/4 and 1 cup.
Strain out the solids and bring it back to a simmer.  (make sure its hot)  Then remove from heat and whisk in a heaping tablespoon of cold fat.... I was aiming for the richness obtained when this is done with butter, without the butter... eh, maybe it was just adding a little good fat, whatever, the final dish I'll stick with this.

Next:  In a large frying pan... brown the chopped onion in oil... then add all the other chopped veggies and cook for a few minutes until they start to soften.

Then: stir in the chopped leftover chicken and stir in.  Add thyme, sage, S&P and stir.
Stir in the reduced cup of stock and adjust for taste.  (I also added a smidge of marjoram)
Pour into a greased pie pan and press it in nice and snug.
Cover with foil.

Bake in 350F oven for about an hour... let set for a few minutes and then be amazed.

(If you don't want to mess with reducing stock...I guess you could cook a little bit of sweet potato or turnip or something in about a cup of broth or stock, smush it up, and use that instead...)
Beef and Butternut Soup

Photo credit to Angie!  :o)

I should call this post "Basic Soup 101" because most of my soup endeavors start off about the same.  One chopped onion, 1 pound ground beef, 1 can chopped tomatoes, 1 can tomato paste, and as much stock as you can fit in the pot.  After that, anything goes.  Today I finished off some mushrooms and carrots, added some spices, set it to simmer in my favorite cast iron skillet, and headed to Costco....where I found pre-diced butternut squash!  I added half the package to the pot when I got home and simmered a little more until the squash was tender.  I saved a serving for Angie to try, and smashed the rest of the squash before I served it to my kids.  They think they don't like pumpkin or things that look like pumpkin.... HA.  

Basic soup:

1 onion, chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
Beef stock - 4 cups approx.
S&P+other spices

Brown onion and ground beef in a few T of your oil of choice... (I use fat rendered from making bone stock....can't beat it!) I also use pretty lean ground beef-- if you use fattier beef you may not need oil, drain excess if needed.


Today, I added chopped carrots and mushrooms, pepper, and about a teaspoon of mixed italian blended spices.

Add chopped tomatoes and paste

Stir to mix well and add broth or stock.  I just aim to fill the pot... for me and my stock pot that's about 4 cups.  

Simmer on low until done.  Or until you come back from the store and add:

2 cups diced butternut squash which case, simmer until squash is tender.  

Salt to taste and enjoy!