Happy Halloween Everyone!
Another food-centered holiday – a minefeld for those of us with celiac and/or food allergies.
We will again be distributing an allergy-friendly treat for Halloween (Yummy Earth Organic Lollipops) and participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project.
Teal Pumpkin Project
Trick-or-Treating is fun, so we let our son(s) do the rounds in the neighborhood with Daddy and bring home their stash for sorting (minus a few safe bites). We use the Gluten-Free Candy List 2015 to verify GF safety and have ourselves a little gorge-fest (and ensuing sugar coma), then buy the rest of it from the kiddo(s) to send with Daddy to the office the next day. All unsafe candy automatically goes into that pile from the get-go.
The boys got to wear their costumes last weekend at the Arboretum’s Ghouls & Giggles Event.
There was a Teddy Bear Band and Trick-or-Treating along a trail in the woods. The maples were gorgeous, and everythign smelled like Fall.
I chose the astronaut costume for baby, and older brother decided to match. Daddy is always telling people that Big Bro will invent the first Warp-Core Engine and double-dog dare Baby to fly it. Gotta be an astronaut to do that, right?!
NASA Commander Jr.
Treats on the Wooded Trail
All that sugar impairs immunity. And every year like clockwork, all the kids at school get sick right after Halloween. One year, poor Alex even developed pneumonia. Oy, that was scary!
This year we are prepared – above and beyond eating nutrient-dense foods and vitamin D.
I armed myself with a bottle of Young Living’s Thieves essential oil. Legend has it, this oil protected four thieves from the Black Plague back in the Dark Ages. It really seems to work! If there is a hint of illness approaching, I place a few drops in a diffuser at bedtime (only for those of us older than 6!) and it works its magic. Science has verified the power of essential oil medicinal compounds. They are often superior to conventional antimicrobials and they do not develop resistant strains of pathogens. Lavender and Frankincense are safe for (conservative) use on babies, while peppermint should never be used on anyone under the age of 6.
I have been learning about and using essential oils for a few months now, and I must say I am impressed. Veriditas Botanicals (local Minneapolis company) have been my favorite products, although I also use Aura Cacia, Young Living and Mercola (all organic versions only!)
Here’s wishing you all a safe and happy Halloween!
Attended the Gluten Free Food Allergy Fest last Saturday in Minneapolis and was treated to all kinds of gluten-free food samples, ranging from sweets to savories.
Among the many booths, a few really stood out for us. We really enjoy Kinnikinnick treats, and they did not disappoint. Samples of their donuts were like bits of heaven, as moist and tender as the regular kind – maybe even moreso! The big guys Enjoy Life, Glutino Coconut Bliss and So Delicious all had yummy snacks to offer, and Grandpa’s Farm Organics was a surprise local (MN) favorite.
Living Paleo, we don’t eat many of the GF substitutes because grains are not nutrient-dense. They’re just “filler foods” and may even contain anti-nutrients. But. Sometimes you just have a craving or want to fit in. Enter bread…the one food item that is so very difficult to replace.
Thanks to Three Bakers, our search is over! Wow. Their white bread is just like the “real” thing. Luckily our local co-op carries it, so we are in business! The trade-off is that the loaves are smaller than in pre-celiac days. But hey – who cares?! My kiddo can now sometimes have a tasty sandwich in his lunch box, just like the other kids. Love it.
As an aside, it was also fun to meet Erica Dermer of Celiac and the Beast and Gina Passantino of DairyFreeGina in person! See you next time!
I recently discovered Sir Kensington’s condiments at our local Sur la Table in Edina.
This is some good stuff – in more ways than one! The ketchups, mustards, and mayonnaises are about as close to Paleo as you can get, short of making them yourself.
Quality ingredients, non-GMO and gluten-free! And VERY tasty! Check them out:
And the Newcomers:
I think it’s time to fire up the grill! :d
We couldn’t have had a more beautiful day to celebrate here in Minnesota. Sunny and mid-70’s was perfect for tea al fresco at the local Farmhouse coffee shop and my son’s all-school picnic lunch. Surprised him with our favorite sushi takeout and made his day. 🙂
I was also treated to birthday balloons and flowers from family, along with a Paleo strawberry shortcake birthday cake. Has anyone else received gifts that weren’t really for them, but for their kid(s) or spouse? LOL My wrapped gifts were Lego mystery minifigures and a little blankie bear. Hmm…
5 1/2 months (22 weeks) pregnant with son Max – YES at the age of 47!
Finished the day with our annual (4+ years now) traditional dinner at Axel’s in Chanhassen.
Big Birthday Hugs
I am still in denial about being 47. There is NO WAY I can be that old! Must be a mistake…
There is not much more Primal than cooking meat over flame – whether that flame come from wood, charcoal or propane!
Spring has finally sprung in Minnesota. Time to bring out the grill…
Wait – why isn’t it working properly?!
After 11+ years, it was time to do a full overhaul. Luckily Weber still makes the replacement parts for our model. I took a deep breath and prayed for patience before replacing all in the inner “guts” with Hubby’s help.
Fortunately, it was much easier than expected and we were up and grilling in no time. Yeah!
There really is nothing like meat cooked over open flame, and I have missed it so. I put this baby to work immediately on grass-fed burgers and bratwurst!
Don’t be fooled by appearances: it’s good as new – on the INSIDE anyway!
I recently discovered this Wilton pan set at Sur la Table and thought how perfect it would be for Paleo baking, as the coconut and almond flours do not rise nearly as much as the glutenous kind. And, who wouldn’t love all those layers of frosting or cream filling?!
Tested them out by making giant whoopie pies using the Carrot Cake Cream Pie recipe from Primal Cravings. They turned out perfect! One batch made 4 pans (2 giant pies) baked for 18 minutes (a few minutes longer than for the small pies). To ensure full release, I brushed the pans with ghee before filling.
batter in the pans…
baking for 18 minutes…
released and cooling…waiting…
…and ready for filling!
Ready to eat!
This cake serves 4 easily.
These carrot cakes were (Paleo) perfection!
*Note: These pans bake much more evenly that muffin tins or mini-loaves.
They are now my “go-to” Paleo bakeware!
Next Project: Vanilla layer cake using the Vanilla Cupcake recipe from Paleo Indulgences (p.60). The recipe should yield enough batter for all 5 pans and will be layered with maple cinnamon frosting (p.48) and topped with fresh pineapple rings!
I forsee these as useful for Paleo Dough flatbreads as well!
Spring Cleaning time is approaching and I am starting with the cupboards and pantry this year. I had a few partial packages of baking goods to use up, so I made some bite-sized snacks for lunches, etc.
I happened to have some shredded coconut, raisins and chocolate mini-chips, but one could add nuts, seeds and dried fruits of any kind – and I have in the past. It’s all held together with coconut oil and a drizzle of maple syrup. A dash of salt adds that extra “something”. Cute mini-muffin cups make them extra-fun and a bit neater to eat – everybody loves that!
As with many of my recipes, I just eyeball the ingredients and taste-test along the way.
For this mix I combined the shredded coconut, raisins and Enjoy Life® mini chocolate chips in a bowl, added a drizzle of maple syrup, a dash of Himalayan salt and just enough melted coconut oil to hold it all together once chilled. A small cookie scoop made quick work of portioning it into the mini-muffin cups. [Chill and store in the fridge.] Yummy!
Lookie what I found today! Discovered they sell these beauties not two miles from my house – AND they deliver! I have been looking for a good source of pastured eggs since Hubby’s (farmer) coworker left and we sort of fell off their list.
Marshall’s also has pastured pork (BACON!) and other goodies. Didn’t have enough cash to stock up at the Vintage Sale event, so I plan to call and order some bacon and ground pork sausage very soon! Yummy!
Just look at this beautiful orange yolk!!
The Treat Spread: Yes, I know the candies aren’t Paleo, but they ARE gluten/dairy-free! Sometimes we make choices that fall into that “80/10” philosophy, just to enjoy life and keep our sanity. So we opted for conventional candy this year despite the corn syrup and artificial colors. For us, gluten and casein are the deal-breakers.
One must have eggs at Easter, am I right?!
I was too lazy to color and decorate this year, so deviled eggs were the appetizer.
12 boiled eggs, chilled
1 ripe avocado
minced parsley and chives
crispy bacon bits
[*I make my own mayonnaise using Bulletproof Upgraded MCT oil for completely neutral flavor and MCT benefits. I think mayonnaise tastes strange when first mixed, so I like to let mine rest overnight in the fridge to bring out the true mayo flavor. My favorite recipe and method is from Orleatha Smith at Level Health and Nutrition.]
Cut boiled eggs in half lengthwise and place yolks into a mixing bowl.
(Whites go onto a serving platter.)
Add diced ripe avocado, along with mayonnaise, minced parsley/chives, salt and the bacon grease from crisping a couple slices of bacon to the yolks.
[Quantities are to taste. I just eyeball it when composing stuff like this.]
Whiz with a stick blender, or mash and mix by hand until smooth. Spoon into waiting egg whites and top with crispy bacon bits, or maybe some smoked salmon or salmon roe.
Appetizers: Black Olives, Smoked Salmon and Bacon-Avocado Deviled Eggs
Our main meal consisted of baked Walleye fillets (a freshwater fish popular in Minnesota) and meatballs (which I have affectionately nicknamed “MN Moo-Balls” due to the Scandanavian twist of topping with Lingonberry sauce).
ground grass-fed beef
minced parsley and scallions
Mix well and form into 1 1/2″ balls and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet.
Bake at 400F for 20 minutes. Serve with Lingonberry sauce.
Minnesota Moo-Balls and Walleye fillets
Lingonberry sauce is also excellent with hot or cold salmon and desserts.
The Plate: finished with a side of baby French green beans topped with butter or ghee.
Hubby and I discovered another burger joint here in the Minneapolis area that has both GF burgers and fries. Red Robin Gourmet Burgers in Plymouth has a separate, dedicated gluten-free fryer! Now we have another option besides Ernie’s.
Other items are on the menu, but the burgers are the stars here. Options include lettuce wrap or gluten-free buns, along with their famous fried egg topping. Good stuff!
Completely enjoyed the Royal Red Robin burger with the famous fried egg on a gluten-free bun – but without the cheese!
And check out these chunky, meaty fries! (Also in sweet potato.)
Are y’all drooling yet?! LOL