Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Blood Orange Cocktail

I love wine. Like, a lot. But now that it’s super hot, sometimes I find myself craving a refreshing cocktail, like a Blood Orange and Vodka mix.

IMG_0034It’s so easy & refreshing!

IMG_0028I had the blood orange soda on hand, but you can use whatever flavor you’d like.

IMG_0031And I’m not going to lie, I don’t really measure, just eyeball. I’d call this about 6 ounces of vodka.

IMG_0033Once you’ve poured in the can, make sure to stir it all around! This is a large mason jar, so the whole can fit perfectly.

IMG_0037Oh, and make sure that you top it with a striped straw. It’s mandatory.

Enjoy! And as always, drink responsibly!

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Sausage & Sweet Potato Hash

I wasn’t a fan of sweet potatoes for a long time. I mean, like, FOREVER. I thought that they were this weird root vegetable that only was cooked with marshmallows. When I started eating Paleo last year though, I found that sweet potatoes were a pretty big staple, so I decided to suck it up and try them. This is one of my favorite dishes to make with yams, and I wanted to share it with y’all!

IMG_0181I start out with usually around 3 pounds of maple breakfast sausage & 4 pretty good sized sweet potatoes.

IMG_0169I realize now that raw sausage doesn’t look that great. But anyways, take the sausage out of the casing and scramble it up.

IMG_0173Peel, cut & shred the sweet potatoes (the food processor is your friend here). Once the sausage is pretty well cooked, start adding the potatoes in. You’ll probably have to expand to two pans at this point, but keep cooking it and the potatoes will cook down.

IMG_0179This made over 8 sandwich bags of hash that I freeze and defrost for mornings that I don’t want just eggs or waffles. I have to usually hold back from eating as much as I possibly can out of the pan…it’s that good.

Seriously. You’ll love it. You can use any kind of sausage you want & add whatever seasonings (I’d think that a whole bunch of garlic powder would make it even more amazing). Try it today!

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Chocolate Covered Bananas

How was your weekend? Mine was great, minus the time I had to go a local firefighter’s wake and funeral. (In case you were wondering, firefighter funerals are the worst kind, especially when they are buried with military honors. Tears for days.)

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So you can imagine that when I got home I was a little down, and what better way to cheer myself up with some chocolate? I found these at the grocery store a few months ago & I’m completely obsessed with them.

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I figured that I could save a few bucks and make them myself, & it couldn’t have been easier.

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First, I cut the bananas into fairly equal slices (they were ripe but still hard, if that makes any sense. You want to be able to cut them without squishing them).

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I then created a double boiler for the chocolate (I ended up using 1/2 dark, 1/2 milk chocolate chips) using a large pot of water and even larger metal bowl to melt the chocolate.

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Once it was melted, I simply put the slices in and flipped them a few times to get fully coated.

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Then I put them on a foil lined tray and stuck them in the freezer for about 2 hours (or until the chocolate is hard).

IMG_9183They’re so freaking yum; I made sure to test one (or three) before sharing the recipe. You’re welcome :). Make them today!

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Homemade Spicy Almonds

In an effort to keep eating healthy, I’ve turned to designer snacks. Salt and Pepper Cashews? Salsa Almonds? Sign me up! Nuts are full of good fats and are great to snack on during the day, but these designer versions of them are RIDICULOUSLY expensive at our local grocery store. $4 for a small bag of almonds? Are you out of your gourd?

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I found Salsa Almonds that I was truly obsessed with, and actually portioned them out so I wouldn’t eat the whole bag in one sitting. I was bummed when I finished them, and since the cost was preventing me from buying more so quickly after, I decided to try my hand at making some of my own! It was SO easy, and for $7, I was able to make a pound of Spicy Almonds!

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1. Preheat your oven to around 375 degrees. Use a baking sheet with edges (it will help contain the nuts), and spray it with your oil of choice (I used Coconut Oil).

2. I used a pound of almonds, but whatever size you use, make sure that they are not roasted or salted! I sprayed them with coconut oil as well and then added cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and cumin to taste! Mix it all up and taste a few times to make sure it’s got the heat that you want!

3. Spread in one layer in the pan and roast for around 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them! They will burn if you forget about them. Once they are done, take them out of the pan to cool, and enjoy!

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Paleo Spice Cake

Um, yeah. Remember me? I could come up with a laundry list of reasons why Wednesday is the first day I’m posting this week, but it basically boils down to: my time management SUCKS. Plus we started class this week; talk about throwing a monkey wrench in everything.
Anyways. About a month ago, I decided to dip my toes into the pool of Paleo eating. I loved it so much that I’ve continued and literally never felt better in my life! I’ve done the whole gluten free thing, but I still never felt 100%. I can say with absolute certainty that I do on the Paleo diet.

I’ve never been much of a sweets person (in fact, I very rarely ate ice cream, cookies, or cake before), but for some reason now I find myself wanting to chow down on every yummy cake recipe I find. It wasn’t until after I attended the Fireman’s SIL’s baby shower (and was forced to have a piece of cake…yeah, not the best idea) that the wheels in my head really started turning. I’ve found out that I secretly love spice cake, so I was thinking about a lovely triple layer spice cake with homemade apple butter as a filling. UH-MAZING. I hit up our local Job Lots (a super weird place to find almond meal and coconut flour), and started baking!

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Here’s the recipe that I used as a base. I made a small cake (because I didn’t want it to come out gross and have to toss a whole thing), so I just halved the recipe. I also didn’t use dates or apples.

These are the pans that I used to make the cakes in…they’re actually 5″ fry pans that I cut the rubber handles off of. Perfect size.

IMG_4260Ingredients (keep in mind that I halved everything):

IMG_42711/2 cup coconut flour // 1/2 cup almond flour // 1 tsp baking soda // 1 tsp cinnamon // 1 tsp all spice // 1/2 tsp nutmeg // pinch of salt // 4 eggs // 1/2 cup maple syrup // 1/4 cup coconut milk // 1/3 cup melted coconut oil

Mix all of the dried ingredients together, and then the wet ingredients together as well. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

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Place into cake pans:

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Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean). Let cool completely.

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Once they are completely cooled, spread the apple butter on each layer.

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I won’t judge you if you lick the knife when you’re done. I like a more rustic look to my cakes, so I trimmed the sides off of them.

IMG_4297To top it off, I added a dollop of apple butter and some dried apple pieces.

IMG_4310Um, yeah. It was kind of totally amazing. Very dense, but so yummy!

IMG_4315You really need to experience this for yourself.

IMG_4331I may or may not have eaten all of this by myself. I’ll never tell. Seriously though, make it. I can’t say enough good things about it!! It’s the perfect Fall recipe, and I’d love to make a bigger version of it soon!!

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Okay, before I start this, I’d like to preface it with: WTF MOTHER NATURE. This time last year, I was painting furniture outside. In shorts. Because it was 85 degrees. It topped out at 27 yesterday. #newhampshirefail

Anyways, as you know (and are probably feeling today), yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day, which is pretty much my favorite holiday because I can drink green beer, eat corned beef and cabbage, and act like a general fool and not get judged.

Except I worked a 24 hour shift so instead, I saw everyone elses Instagram and Facebook pictures and lived vicariously through them. #adultfail

It was also the Fireman’s last day at his job, so he wanted a dessert to celebrate with them (and no, he’s not jobless, he got a better job closer to home: #adultwin). Enter Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes, stage right. I made them last year for his birthday and apparently swore never again…but it was 98987x easier this time with a stand mixer.

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What is an Irish Car Bomb Cupcake, you ask? Well…they’re a Guinness cupcake with a whiskey chocolate ganache filling topped with Bailey’s frosting. They’re delightful. And lovely. And such a sugar rush. For real; the Fireman may or may not have indulged in the frosting a littttttle heavily Saturday night and then bounced off the walls for a good half hour before crashing.

You’ve been warned.

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Strange ingredients, I know, but seriously, when you try the cupcake itself, you’ll start making chocolate batter from scratch with Guinness.

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Oh, and it should be noted that it’s super helpful to open the Guinness with your shamrock bottle opener.

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This is going to sound totally wierd but you have to simmer the Guinness with butter until it’s blended. Trust me on this one.

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Then you dump a whole buttload of cocoa powder in. (Buttload is a relative term here).

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While that’s simmering together, mix up your dry ingredients and then beat eggs and sour cream together.

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Then dump it all together and mix it.

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At this point, I wouldn’t tell on you if you tried a swipe of the batter. Actually, I’d judge you if you DIDN’T, because the combination of everything is to die for. Once those get popped in the oven, start your ganache.

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Bittersweet chocolate…the only thing bittersweet here is that I couldn’t eat it all.

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Simmer some heavy cream, and then…

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Seriously? Mix it all together and then let it sit so it starts to harden a little bit. You want to be able to still pipe it into the cupcakes.

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These look pretty glorious in the before shot, but wait until you get to the after!

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This is my secret weapon for these cupcakes. I think it’s supposed to be used with oranges (?) but I use it to core out the cupcakes.

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Like so.

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This is what they should look like…not all the way through to the liner.

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Then fill them with some of that decadent ganache.

Next you’ll make your frosting. Here is where I have fallen in love again with my mixer. You have to beat the butter for 5 minutes. I hated this part with the handheld mixer.

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This is the after product of butter whipped for 5 minutes straight. Now you know.

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And this is what it looks like after 5 cups of sugar. OHMYGOD, amiright?

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My frosting technique sucks. It always looks hideous, and I’m pretty sure it’s because I use a small tip. Here’s my advice: use a big tip (that’s what she said. I’M SORRY, it’s just not a blog post without a dirty joke).

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Frost those babies to your hearts content. And then consume. Please and thank you.

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Or you can just take pictures of them.

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That’s what I did.

Oh, and be warned, this recipe yields SO MUCH FROSTING.

So much in fact, that I made sugar cookies, frosted them all, and then froze 2 bags of leftover frosting.

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I’d say it’s worth it in the end though.

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Thats pretty much what I would call these magical beings that I saw over on Kevin and Amanda today.

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I think I shall have to make them this week. I’ll check back in when I stop drooling.

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Foodstagram.

I love food. Like, a lot.

Apparently, I also love to take Instagram pictures of my food.

I must be a foodie. Who knew?

Psst – Don’t forget to check 365 Days of Photography for my daily picture.

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Banana Abuse.

Banana abuse is a hot button topic for me right now (if that even makes any sense at all).

We are frequent banana abusers and quite frankly, there is nothing that can be done about it.

We are shamed.

BUT WAIT!

What does one do with many abused bananas and some spare time on their hands?

Make friendship bracelets banana bread, of course.

It’s really quite simple.

Take your sadly forgotten bananas and strip them of their sad little skins.

Feel like a bad banana buyer.

Smush ’em up.

Add your simple little ingredients and mix.

Pop it in the oven for a little while…

And then drool when you take it out.

NOM NOM NOM!!! This was SO FREAKING DELICIOUS. And easy…no mixer required!!

Here is the full recipe:

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Method

No need for a mixer for this recipe.  Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).  With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.  Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in.  Add the flour last, mix.  Pour mixture into a buttered 4×8 inch loaf pan.  Bake for 1 hour.  Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

Yield: Makes one loaf.

You’re welcome.

Psst – Don’t forget to check 365 Days of Photography for my daily picture.

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Not Your Mama’s Sauce.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this sauce. I actually stumbled upon the sauce as part of a Chicken Parmesan recipe. And then I died and went to heaven when I ate it, so I decided that I had to recreate it forever and ever and ever.

Its super duper easy…

First, melt some butter and oil together. When they get nice and hot and bubbly, toss in a chopped onion and a couple of minced garlic cloves.

Saute the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes until they get nice and soft and browned. I realize that this is much easier in a frying pan. You’ve been warned.

After a few minutes, pour in about 1.5 cups of wine. I prefer to use red because of the fuller flavor, but you can use white as well. Also, the amount of wine that you use will determine the thickness of the sauce.

Let the wine cook down for a few minutes, then add a can of crushed tomatoes.

Add about 2 TBS of sugar, salt, and pepper to taste, then let it simmer for about 30 minutes. My sauce was a little bit thin so I added a few spoonfuls of tomato paste and it thickened right up.

After its done, I store it in glass mason jars and freeze it. See? I told you it was easy! Spread your wings and make it tonight!

Oh, and P.S. I think that I smell like tomato sauce now. Oh well, that’s a liveable side effect.

Psst – Don’t forget to check 365 Days of Photography for my daily picture!

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