Tag Archives: Holiday

12 Days of (Paleo) Christmas 2015

Blog - Let It Snow

2015 List of Paleo-Friendly Gift Ideas:

On the first day of Christmas…la la la la la la…

InstantPot-IP-DUO

#1 Instant Pot pressure cooker for convenient prep of favorite Paleo comfort foods.

 

Frankincense

#2 Frankincense & Myrrh essential oils for nearly anything that ails you – even kills cancer cells!

 

wintercollection-shop

#3 Red Apple Lipstick Gluten-free makeup to deck yourself out for the holidays and every day.

 

Christmas Tea  brown betty

#4 Downton Abbey Christmas Tea and Brown Betty Teapot – because Downton and tea.  Yeah.

 

cassava flour Flour_Front_1024x1024

#5 Otto’s Cassava Flour and Tigernut Flour for all your GF/Paleo cooking and baking needs.

 

Bulletproof Cookbook 2

#6 Bulletproof Cookbook Fuel yourself to live a kick-ass life – and enjoy it!

 

toe socks

#7 Happy Feet Toe Socks align your feet and destress your body.

 

salt lamps

#8 Himalayan Salt Lamps purify the air of electrical pollution and particles.

 

thrive

#9 Thrive Market Membership for Paleo-friendly discounted food and lifestyle products.

Glutenza-60vc-1024x847 coconut-charcoal1

#10 Glutenza and Bulletproof Activated Charcoal Protect/recover from all those holiday parties.

 

beeswax candles

#11 Beeswax Candles for clean, sweet-smelling ambient light.

 

baconbar baconbites

#12 EPIC Bacon Bars & Bites  Well, because BACON!


Have a very Merry Christmas (or other appropriate Winter Holiday!)
We look forward to another year of sharing and caring with you.  🙂

 

Lego mistletoe

All of my boys LOVE Legos, so they are always on the Gift List!

2015 Paleo Thanksgiving Recap

BLOG Thxgvg

Thanksgiving was pretty low-key this year at our house.  It was just the four of us and the cats.

I did roast the annual Ferndale Farms pastured turkey, and there was pumpkin pie, of course.  The exciting part was the addition of Otto’s cassava flour to the recipes.  It made an awesome gravy thickener, as well as real pie crust and bread rolls.  Thank you Paleo Mom and Zenbelly for the pie crust and dinner roll recipes!

So while the rest of the family played and watched the parade on TV, I was in the kitchen.
Most of the food was made the day before, as I only have one oven and it was needed for the turkey.  For the fifth year, I used my trusty America’s Test Kitchen recipe for turkey and gravy, substituting Paleo-friendly ingredients.  I can always count on them for perfection!

Thx Turkey 1

The Chef Alarm (by the makers of the Thermapen) is critical to perfectly roasted meat. The alarm goes off when the probe reaches desired temperature an attaches to the outside of the oven with magnets.

Bent the rules a bit and made fingerling potatoes and stuffing with Udi’s Gluten-Free bread.

Thx Gravy

See how nicely that gravy is thickening? Even smoother and easier than traditional flour roux.

Added bacon deviled eggs for the appetizer (aka breakfast!) and Tigernut apple crisp.

Thx Eggs 1

Pastured eggs with Primal Mayo, scallions and BACON.

Thx Apple Crisp

My latest creation: apple crisp made with Tigernut flour.

FINALLY found this – and it is the BEST!  So good I stocked up on a few tubs for Christmas…
just in case there’s a run on it at the co-op – yes, it’s that good!   *nom nom nom*

Thx CocoWhip 1

Thx Apple Crisp 2

Yummy!

This was Max’s first Thanksgiving feast, and he enjoyed it immensely.
A little cautious about the pie and whip at first…

Thx Max Whip 2

Then grabbed the whole thing and chomped it down!

Thx Max Pie 2

BIG smile!  Toddler-approved.

Thx Max Smile 2

Bath time! LOL

Our new kittens Remi & Ella helped with the cleanup.  Panda & Raven got some turkey later.

We had our first snowfall of the season after a mild, extended Fall.
So Alex finally got his wish, and gleefully played in it.
Bundled up Max, only to find he outgrew his snow boots before ever wearing them!  Oy!  

Thx First Snow 4

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
Time to make notes for next year and start on Christmas celebration planning…

Our First Paleo Thanksgiving #TBT

 This will be our 4th Paleo Thanksgiving… My, how time flies when you’re having fun.
Once again, we will roast a local pastured Ferndale Farms turkey and serve it with sweet
potatoes, veggies and something pumpkin or apple for dessert.  Let the feasting begin!
Lego Feast
We hosted Thanksgiving dinner at our house for the first time in a few years, which meant NO TRAVEL (Yeah!) and we were not required to navigate a buffet avoiding sugars, grains, legumes, dairy and nightshades, resulting in a pile of dry turkey and small spoonful of squash.
Our menu was much more satisfying: a 15-pound local, pastured roast turkey with gravy made from drippings and bone broth stock; baked sweet potatoes; acorn and delicata squash; haricot verts sauteed with bacon, onions and mushrooms; chocolate coconut milk “pudding” and pumpkin coconut milk “pudding”  sweetened with maple syrup
Mmm…drooling just remembering it…
.
That turkey fed the five of us for Thanksgiving and was so good it lasted (the 3 of us) only another 2 days, including a batch of turkey stock.
We used America’s Test Kitchen’s turkey roasting technique, which involves a 1/2 sheet pan and cooling rack, with mirepoix (carrots, celery and onions) and broth under the rack, and the turkey parts on top for roasting.  Drippings and added bone broth reduced to make the gravy.
Baked the squash and sweet potatoes, sautéed the beans and made no-bake custards using coconut cream (separated from coconut milk).  [I highly recommend Lake Champlain’s Organic Cocoa for excellent chocolate flavor!]
Sorry, but there are no photos this time – I was too busy enjoying the meal!  😀

Paleo Easter Feast

Easter Decor 2

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.

HAPPY EASTER!!

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.

Deviled Eggs
12 boiled eggs, chilled
1 ripe avocado
mayonnaise*
minced parsley and chives
bacon grease
Himalayan salt

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.

Easter Feast 1

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).

MN Moo-Balls
ground grass-fed beef
minced parsley and scallions
garlic powder
Himalayan salt

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.

Easter Feast 4

Minnesota Moo-Balls and Walleye fillets

Lingonberries

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.

Easter Feast 5

An OFFline (Paleo) White Christmas

Christmas Eve forecast for MinneSNOWta:

SNOW ALERT
Forecast for Dec 24
EDEN PRAIRIE, MN
condition

PM Snow

High: 13°F
Low: 11°F

Chance of Precipitation 80%
Accumulation of 1 to 3 inches
Wind SSE 17 mph
Humidity 60%

 

Good thing Santa’s dressed in fur!

EXTREME COLD ALERT
Forecast for
EDEN PRAIRIE, MN
extreme cold

Wind Chill
Near -23°F

High: 13°F
Low: 11°F

Feels like -23°F
Chance of Precipitation 80%
Wind SSE 17 mph
Humidity 60%

 

Yes, we had a White Christmas.  It was very pretty – and cold.

I spent my Christmas Holiday OFFline with my Tribe.  Didn’t touch the computer for two days.

And it felt great.

IMG_0660

We hosted this year.  After Christmas Eve candlelight church service we had dinner.  Foods included a veggie tray with bacon avocado dip and smoked salmon, Boeuf Burguignon with sweet potato biscuits and 4 kinds of paleo cookies: sleighbells, cookie dough bon-bons, gingersnaps and mexican wedding cakes.

We feasted, popped open crackers, exchanged gifts and sat by the real fire while watching the musical yule log on TV.  LOL

IMG_0666

Paleo Christmas cookies: sleighbells, cookie dough bon-bons, gingersnaps and mexican wedding cakes

IMG_0668

Christmas Day brought more feasting on roasted chicken with green beans, squash, sweet potato biscuits (they were a hit!) and another platter of Paleo cookies.  Grandpa napped while the rest of us watched the Hobbit DVD until it was time for them to continue their journey to SIL’s in Nebraska.

Great fun was had by all, especially the kiddo who found out he’s going to Disney World and LegoLand Florida in February.   Woo-Hoo!  

Any recommendations for things to see, do and EAT (Paleo) are welcome in the Comments!

IMG_0678

“I’m going to Disney World!”

Disney Christmas

Iceland in the Making

We’ve had two days of glorious winter weather with temps above freezing and beautiful sunshine.  It was more than welcome after more than a week of gloom and subzero cold.

Sledding at Staring Lake Hill

Sledding yesterday at Staring Lake Hill

But this is Minnesota…  [As in: “Don’t like the weather?  Wait five minutes and it’ll change.”]

Here’s what’s coming tonight:

… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM CST SUNDAY…


* MAIN IMPACT: BLOWING SNOW WITH REDUCED VISIBILITIES IN OPEN AREAS MAKING TRAVEL DIFFICULT. OCCASIONAL WHITEOUT CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE.

* OTHER IMPACTS: WIND CHILL VALUES OF 20 TO 35 DEGREES BELOW ZERO WILL ALSO POSE A HAZARD.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

BLOWING SNOW WITH STRONG WINDS AND POOR VISIBILITIES ARE LIKELY. USE CAUTION WHEN TRAVELING… ESPECIALLY IN OPEN AREAS.

IF YOU VENTURE OUTDOORS… MAKE SURE YOU WEAR A HAT AND GLOVES.

… BLIZZARD CONDITIONS SPREADING SOUTHWARD ACROSS WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA THIS EVENING ALONG WITH DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS OVERNIGHT…

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR CENTRAL AND EASTERN MINNESOTA WHERE NORTHWEST WINDS OF 25 TO 30 MPH… WITH GUSTS NEAR 40 MPH WILL CAUSE BLOWING AND DRIFTING SNOW. IN ADDITION… TEMPERATURES WILL FALL OVERNIGHT WITH WIND CHILLS 25 TO 35 BELOW ZERO BY SUNDAY MORNING.

THE COMBINATION OF THESE WEATHER ELEMENTS WILL MAKE TRAVEL EXTREMELY DANGEROUS FOR MOTORISTS… ESPECIALLY IF STRANDED.

But we’ve learned to make the best of it, so I’m taking advantage and making some ice lanterns and shooters for New Year’s Eve next week.

Hmm...this isn’t as easy as I thought it would be – Yikes!  Those balloons are slippery when wet and one popped off the faucet and sprayed ALL OVER the bathroom!  Gaah!  

After wrestling with these punching bags a bit more, I got them filled, clipped and out into the porch.  If that doesn’t do it, I’ll put them outside tomorrow.  With -20F windchill temps I feared they may freeze solid instead of only part-way by morning of I put them out tonight.  The idea is to create a hollow sphere that functions as a candle lamp outside.

IMG_0785

We plan to set them up out front and light them New Year’s Eve in remembrance of Hubby’s Grandma Toyne who passed away on New Year’s Eve a few years ago.  She was quite the character and we miss her lots.  [The ice shooters are just for fun!]

I wonder if they’ll turn out like these?

ice lantern kit

Not likely…

*UPDATE*

ice lanterns 2

It worked!

ice lanterns 3

Ready for Candles!

New Year’s Eve: candles lit for Grandma Toyne.
About 8pm, the candles extinguished themselves…or did they?

ice lanterns 01-31-2013

The candles extinguished themselves about 8pm, the approximate time Grandma passed away a few years ago.