I licked garlic mayonnaise off of my microwave (and other embarrassing admissions)

I’d like to say it’s not as bad as it sounds…but it is. I licked garlic mayonnaise off of my microwave.

My dad gives the best gifts. He’s usually at least 6 months late, but they’re always worth it. The latest birthday present was 5 weeks of meals from HelloFresh (if you’re unfamiliar, they send pre-packaged, pre-measured ingredients with a recipe for each and you make the meals yourself).

It was that time of night: I was attempting to make dinner (jalapeño cheddar burgers that my toddler would not touch and my 6 month old might not let me sit to eat). I had read only pieces of the recipe (I have never been good at following direction) and I skipped steps and somehow added others, yet everything came out delicious (or was I just starving?)

With a cranky baby on my hip that wouldn’t let me put her down and my toddler running around the kitchen island asking me to play “shake your bum song” (aka Time Of Our Lives by Pitbul, featuring Neo) for the 16th consecutive time, I grabbed a sweet potato wedge and dunked it into the homemade garlic mayo. I stuffed it in my mouth and went back for more only this time trying to start the microwave to 5 minutes to sterilize the baby bottles. As I hit “start” with my pinky, a glob of garlic mayo smeared across the “cancel” button. I instinctively put the remaining wedge in my mouth and without hesitation, LICKED THE MAYO OFF OF THE MICROWAVE!

My toddler stopped running and even the baby shook her head at me. It needed it!! The potato was SO much better with the sauce and I didn’t want to waste it! Sigh.

I get my son to come downstairs with me to switch the laundry with a promise of skittles. I keep a jar downstairs in my spa (my home business) for clients. I always give him 2 and tell him that that’s all there is, but it’s enough to keep him happy. I usually hide the rest behind a picture or somewhere nearby.

I went to do laundry by myself recently and found one of the “hidden” opened bags under some clothes on the counter. Were they clean clothes? Questionable. Was there lint on the skittles? Yes. Did I eat them? Yes. Do I remember when I hid them there? No.

More often than not there is a piece of cereal (or some other stale snack) on the living room rug or playroom mat. Sometimes they get vacuumed, sometimes they are hand-picked up and thrown away and sometimes….they get eaten…by me. The trash is too far and my mouth is too convenient. My husband witnessed one of these events, looked at me and said “you’ve really just given up, huh?” Yes. Yes I have.

I left an opened bag of my favorite Trader Joe’s tail mix in my coat pocket and forgot about it months ago. The mix inevitably spilled out and my pocket was filled with loose cashews, almonds and craisins. I knew it was there but instead of throwing it away, I thought: “yay, a healthy future snack!” And it was. A month later, healthy, future snack. I wonder what I looked like picking nuts out of my pocket and throwing them in my mouth as I walked through Target toting 2 small children?

I have to hand it to the moms I see with actual clothes on (i.e. not yoga pants and a hoodie) and makeup! Are my babies just that demanding or do you put them in front of the tv so you can apply foundation and concealer? (Not that there’s anything wrong with that, Lord knows I do it too but it’s just so I don’t go a 2nd day without a shower).

Have you seen the remake of the Stepford Wives? The one with Nicole Kidman? I’m Bette Midler’s character

I might never be put together again. Once a decade when we actually get a date night, I’ll remind my husband that he isn’t married to a Neanderthal and I can be sexy (the sexiest version of myself I can be at this point) but I don’t foresee myself dusting off these hot nursing bras anytime soon! (I stopped breastfeeding 2 months ago).

Preggo Tip: Make Your Own

Ok, so if you’re pregnant or have children, you understand the seriousness of a craving. All bets are off, you’ll walk across hot coals to get what you want.

So, my new thrill in life (well…a more intense thrill) is food. I am pretty much known for my love of wine. In fact, we couldn’t even keep my pregnancy a secret because the second I turned down a glass of wine, everyone knew. Alas, I’ve always loved food, but now it’s all I can really get excited about on a daily (and hourly) basis.

I was picking up ingredients for dinner at the grocery store yesterday and began contemplating what to eat for dessert with our movie (Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, highly recommend for a good laugh!!). I had gone to the farmer’s market earlier and had some beautifully fresh strawberries to indulge on and was craving some strawberry shortcake. I saw a display at the store with strawberries, shortcake, angel food cake, etc. Of course, I look at the labels.

One of the first ingredients in any cake was bleached flour. Ugh. Why?? We are forever turning our food into something more “appealing” to look at (hence, making the normally yellow-ish flour appear bright/white and “clean” when it is anything but). In order to bleach flour, you need a chemical called Alloxan, which is a poison. Alloxan is used to produce diabetes in in healthy experimental animals so that researchers can then study diabetes “treatments” in the lab.

No, thank you. I’ll keep my off-white flour, it looks just fine to me. That being said, some people may argue that white flour, in general isn’t nutritious at all and here’s what I say to that: You can eat naturally gluten-free and paleo food all day…many times, I have. Right now, I’m growing a human inside of me and sweet potatoes aren’t cutting it.

I crave cookies, cupcakes, French toast and pizza. I could grab everything quickly off the shelf and satisfy my sweet tooth, but I’m choosing to make these goodies myself. Yes, there’s sugar and flour and butter, but I try my best to use unbleached flour, grass-fed butter and raw sugar. Does that happen 100% of the time? No. I do my best to feed this growing baby the best I can, including locally grown food and the least-processed ingredients I can. I grocery shop in about 4 or 5 different places throughout the week and educate myself.

This strawberry shortcake recipe was really easy and delicious. I bought whipping cream at Trader Joe’s, strawberries from a local farm and used unbleached flour. The heavy cream in the cake was not organic, nor was the sugar, but hey, you gotta live.

Here’s the recipe I followed, although I cut back on the sugar on the strawberries and I added a little more heavy cream to the cake batter:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/strawberry-shortcake-recipe3.html

img_20160430_230453.jpg

 

Gluten Free Granny Apple Crisp

This is probably THE best dessert ever. Anywhere you go, warm apple crisp with vanilla ice cream melting perfectly on top is just so comforting and this gluten-free version is no exception!

Here’s what I did:

  • 3 Large Granny Smith Apples (peeled and sliced)
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Gluten Free Flour (Trader Joe’s)
  • 3/4 Cup Gluten Free Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Melted Butter
  • Palm Shortening (to grease iron skillet)

Preheat oven to 375. Grease your skillet with some palm shortening and place the sliced apples. In a separate mixing bowl, combine all remaining ingredients and pour evenly over apples.

Bake for 30 minutes and remove from heat. Scoop and serve with vanilla ice cream and ENJOY!!!

20160302_205857.jpg20160302_211102.jpg20160302_211106.jpg20160302_215230.jpg

Paleo Chicken Marsala

This dish is so savory and satisfying, I absolutely recommend making this for yourself, family and friends! I served mine over pureed zucchini and avocado.

Here’s what I did:

  • 2 lbs Boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • Marsala Wine
  • Garlic
  • Onion
  • S&P to taste
  • Almond Meal
  • Arrow Root
  • Eggs
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Dried Parlsley
  • Sliced button mushrooms

In a large skillet, heat about 1 Tbs. grape seed oil over medium/low heat. Dice about 1 large garlic clove and add to oil.

In a bowl, beat 2 eggs. In another bowl, combine 1 part arrow root and 2 parts almond meal (I had to add some to finish coating the chicken, I used about 1 cup almond meal and 1/2 cup arrow root). Slice the chicken breasts in half (so they’re thinner), dip in egg wash and roll in flour mixture. Place each breast in the skillet evenly.

Sprinkle parsley, salt and pepper and once the chicken begins to cook on the edges, flip over and repeat. Pour the marsala wine over everything, enough to come up to the chicken but not cover it.

Dice 1/2 yellow onion and add to the chicken. Add about 12 ounces of sliced mushrooms, cover and allow to simmer for about 25-30 minutes.

For Zucchini mash: 1 large zucchini, 1/2 avocado.

Slice one large zucchini down the center the long way, turn each half on it’s side and slice once more, each. Cut into small cubed pieces and add to a small skillet heated with a little grape seed oil. Cover and allow to cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat, or until you can puncture with a fork. Add the zucchini and avocado to your food processor (leaving an opening on the top so heat can escape). Blend until completely smooth.

Serve your marsala over the zucchini mash! Enjoy!! I had Old Moon Zinfandel with this dish.

 

Paleo Chicken Piccata (DELISH!)

20160216_195446.jpg20160216_194216.jpgOk, so eating healthy can sometimes be a challenge, am I right? Sometimes you just want the yummy, buttery dish that your grandma used to make or that they served at your favorite Italian restaurant…WELL, you’re welcome in advance because not only is this dish Paleo, Gluten-Free, AND healthy, but it is DELICIOUS! My very picky husband inhaled it and didn’t even ask if it was paleo or gluten-free.

Here’s what I did:

  • Almond Meal
  • Arrow Root
  • Marinated Artichoke Hearts
  • Lemon Juice (and fresh slices)
  • Garlic
  • Chicken Breast (boneless, skinless. I used about 2 1/2 breasts)
  • Capers
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • S&P to taste

In a small mixing bowl, beat 2 eggs. In another, combine 2 parts almond meal and 1 part arrow root. Mix together with a fork.

In a large skillet, pour a small amount of oil over medium heat. Cut your chicken breasts down the center so they’re more thin, (you might even want to cut twice, depending on how thick they are). Mince some fresh garlic cloves (I used 1, large) and place in the skillet (careful not to burn).

Coat each piece of chicken in the egg and then roll in the almond meal mixture until completely coated and place in the skillet. Once all the chicken is in the skillet, allow to heat until the edges begin to cook through and squeeze some fresh lemon over everything (I like a lot of lemon, so I used 2 lemons). Sprinkle some salt and pepper to taste. Flip the chicken over and repeat.

Once the chicken is about 1/2 way cooked, pour your marinated artichoke hearts, juice included, over everything and add some capers (I used 3/4 of a 12 oz. jar of artichoke hearts and about 2 Tbs. of capers). Slice some lemon and place them on top.

Take about 1 Tbs. butter and cut into small pieces, place in between chicken. Reduce heat to low/medium/low, cover and allow to simmer for about 25 minutes.

I served this over steamed/mashed cauliflower with Napa River Chardonnay!

Perfect Paleo Banana Bread

This is THE MOST moist and delicious paleo bread I’ve had yet! I made it on a whim and was absolutely amazed at how good it was…Here’s what I did:

  • 3 Ripe Bananas
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 4 Tbs. Honey
  • 1 Cup Almond Meal
  • 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
  • 1/4 Cup Arrow Root
  • Palm Shortening to grease pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease the bread/loaf pan with palm shortening.

In my food processor, I put the bananas, eggs, vanilla and honey and blended until smooth. I transferred the mixture into a medium-sized bowl and added all remaining ingredients and ,mixed well. I poured the batter into my loaf pan and baked for 45 minutes.

Remove, allow to cool slightly and slice. Enjoy warm with a cup of coffee:)

Mini Paleo Fig Muffins With Vanilla Frosting

These are THE YUMMIEST muffins ever!! I got the great idea from “Eat Drink Paleo”

I made a few modifications, but didn’t use their topping recipe at all. I wanted something creamy and less sweet, so I made the paleo frosting, which is SO good and makes these muffins a real treat for dessert or with a cup of coffee in the morning (I did both:)

MUFFINS:

  • Palm Shortening to grease the muffin tins
  • 1/2 Cup Water (to soften figs)
  • 6 ounces of dried figs (about 3/4 cup or 10-12 figs)
  • 1 1/2 Ripe Banana
  • 3 Tbs. Coconut Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tbs. Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder

Preheat oven to 365. Grease your muffin tins with the palm shortening. Cut the little stems off of the figs and put them in a small pan with the water. Heat on medium until they begin to enlarge and soften while you prepare the rest of your ingredients (stir occasionally).

In your food processor, combine the eggs, bananas, coconut flour, vanilla and baking powder. Blend on high until completely smooth. Remove the figs from the heat, take them out of the water and add to the other mixture in the food processor. Pulse on high again a few times until the figs are blended evenly in the batter.

Pour the batter in 6 of the cupcake holders (I add water in the empty holders). Bake for 22 minutes and allow to cool.

FROSTING:

  • 1/2 Cup Palm Shortening
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Tbs. Arrowroot Powder
  • 2 Tbs. Coconut Flour
  • 1/8th tsp. Salt (I used pink Himalayan sea salt)
  • 2 Tbs. Melted Coconut Oil
  • 2 tsp. Cashew Milk

In your mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the coconut oil and cashew milk. Blend on high speed until the batter becomes thick, like frosting. Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the coconut oil and cashew milk until blended completely.

Once the muffins have cooled a little bit (you don’t want the frosting to melt off) lather your preferred amount of frosting on each.

If you want to get REAL crazy in the morning, enjoy these with a mimosa, minus the O.J.