Busy as Hell

I’m a member of a group of women who like to gather and ‘Lunch’ occasionally, which basically means drink wine, eat delicious food and chat each other up till the clock strikes and we all run back to our real lives. Today a member of the Ladies Who Lunch, who also happens to be a sister of mine, asked if we’ll be getting together in March. I quickly checked my calendar (thank you iPhone for organizing my life) and realized there is not one free moment this month. BUSY AS HELL! I kindly declined and then got thinking about preparing a few items for the kids, who have reverted to Cheerios 6 days a week for breakfast, much to my dismay, and for myself as far as breakfast and snack options during these hectic days running to and from schools and work and appointments. Today is the only day I have nothing scheduled. It’s been a real treat with no sense of urgency weighing on my back.

Currently, we have a new version of our infamous Paleo Muffin in the oven. This time I went with the basic ingredients and added a chopped, organic apple to the mix after reviewing Sarah Fragoso’s Paleo Apple Muffin recipe in my recently returned hardcopy of “Everyday Paleo” – Thanks Katie. The recipe looks something like this:

  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup grade b maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • pinch of baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • bigger pinch of cinnamon
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 chopped apple
  • 375, 25(ish) minutes until tops begin to brown
Another delicious treat I’ve been slacking on is mashed sweet potatoes, which take too long to make on the fly. I picked up a few, along with other essentials, while the kids played in the grocery store childcare this afternoon. That’s right folks, our grocery ‘giant’ has a childcare room that allows for 1.5 hours of grocery shopping bliss. Although sometimes I spend that time in the cafe reading, blogging, or working. It’s quite the commodity. Okay, back to topic: I have the potatoes peeled, sliced and boiling as we speak. Remember, after mashing, sweet pots only need a bit of coconut oil or butter added, too much and you’ll have a soupy mess. I store the end result in glass tupperware and refrigerate, portioning out at dinnertime and often baking it off in the oven while the meal is prepared. Butter and salt on top is total YUM. Incidentally, my girls saw me slicing ‘those orange taters’ and got very excited, looks like we’ll be adding some to the side of tonight’s dinner as well.

So… in the time I’ve been preparing the muffins and potatoes and attempting to write this blog, the first batch has finished and are a HUGE HIT with myself and my girls. We even made a mini batch and cooked them off in the Easy Bake oven. My soon-to-be 4-year-old, Roe, just gobbled up 5 mini muffins and my newly 5-year-old ate 4 before being cut off, as dinner is looming. Roe made me promise to include a muffin on her dinner plate – OKAY by me. These muffins will make a great treat for breakfast and will also be good to travel with as I have a trip looming, but don’t worry, I’ll blog about that soon enough! (HINT: I am a certifiable Paleo Geek)

I was truly disappointed when I went for a stem of Brussel sprouts and they were out of stock at the grocery today. I’m not sure what else I will be preparing, but thinking ahead for this week, and keeping in mind my stock of frozen meats, the crock pot looks like a million bucks right about now. What have you made recently that is non-grain, gluten-free and super delicious? I need ideas, help a girl out!

P.S. Nature’s Promise Uncured Bacon is on sale this week. I always stock up when this sale occurs – $2 off – and their stock often runs out, so get it while you can!

A Sweet Treat!

I’m a mom so it’s imperative I have a decent cookie recipe in my repertoire. I’m not certain baked goods are actually Paleo, but there are recipes to try, and enjoy. Everything in moderation!

Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffin

The following recipe was originally for a primal chocolate chip cookie but I took the base of this recipe and have used it for all the cookies and muffins I’ve made, until recently. The result is always delicious and I don’t feel guilty about indulging my sweet tooth or allowing the girls to have more than one.

Cookie / Muffin Recipe

  •  3 cups Almond Flour (local grocery “giant” carries it in their healthy foods section)
  • 1/2 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 cup Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract (optional)
  • ORIGINAL recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups ENJOY Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (I use a whole bag); BANANA NUT I like to add 3 ripe bananas and a generous handful or two of chopped walnuts, you can add chocolate chips, too. You can also use dark chocolate chips instead of ENJOY.
  • Pre-heat oven to 375
  • Combine dry ingredients in one bowl
  • In a smaller bowl beat eggs, maple syrup and vanilla (this is when you’d add your mashed bananas)
  • Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix
  • Melt coconut oil, pour into batter, mix
  • Add chocolate chips, walnuts or other additions – get creative!
  • Grease pan or use cupcake liners – your preference
  • Original cookie bakes for about 15 mins or until the cookie is golden and cake like. When banana is added, cook time goes up, I check every 5 minutes. Banana muffins become nice and brown when finished.

I’ve made this recipe a number of times as chocolate chip cookies, mini chocolate chip muffins, chocolate chip – banana nut (or no nut) muffins. Try heating them up for 10 seconds in the microwave and you’ll find heaven. 

That recipe had me fully satisfied for over 9 months until I saw a link to PaleoParents’ Dark Chocolate Banana Bites this week. I just happen to have a few soft bananas in the house in hopes of making “something banana”. KISMET. They are moist, satisfying and delicious. It’s an amazing fix for a chocolate craving and you can eat them for breakfast.

I made a few changes to Paleo Parent’s recipe  only because it’s what I had on hand and I love banana: 3 bananas, dark cocoa powder, ENJOY chocolate chips. It also took longer to cook, check every 5 minutes because I can’t remember but that’s what I did and they were perfect.