Chili Paleo Style

I”m back!  Boy the end of the year was hectic.  Christmas, New Years, my kids being off from school for a week in a half for the holidays, and the kids catching the flu bug.   I tell ya, I wasn’t happy about that one.  Normally we don’t get the flu bug, I don’t really believe in it, but this year the doc talked me into it, being as Mitchell is just a baby and all.  Then this nasty version of influenza B starts going around, hear it was a mutated strain, not covered under the vaccine, yada yada yada.  Long story short, my kids all got sick, Becca the worst, Mitch was miserable, Janie wasn’t so bad, just a day or two under the weather.  Jason got a head cold with fever, and I had a bit of a sinus issue going on.

Big things have happened.  I signed up for a weight loss challenge, yay me!  Got lots to lose and this will be my year, yessiree bob!  Also, have become a recent Paleo convert.  Now, you’re probably think, Amanda, what in tar-nation is Paleo (okay, probably not that exactly, but close enough)?  Paleo is a lifestyle diet (diet meaning food, not diet like I’ll eat nothing but salad, lose 30 pounds, have one piece of bread and balloon up to fifty more).  It’s also known as the caveman diet.  Basically, if you can hunt it, catch it, forage it, you can eat it.  And I love it!

I found this lovely wonderful recipe on Multiply Delicious.  I had been reading about the lifestyle for a little while, searched the word Paleo on Pinterest, and found  her there.  She does an awesome description on Paleo, and has some wonderful recipes.

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I took the picture as I was putting the leftovers away, we don’t eat out of glad ware containers.

Chili, Paleo Style

(on a side note, this is kid approved!  Totally blew my mind, thought my kids were going to hate it!)

2 tablespoons coconut oil (or bacon grease)

1 small yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely diced, or 1Tbsp minced garlic

1 pound grass-fed beef (I just used hamburger, it was what I had)

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 1/2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoons cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano (didn’t add the oregano, I was all out)

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (didn’t add this, my kids don’t like spicy and I thought it was getting to be a bit much)

1 zucchini, diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 – 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (with the juice)

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

1 avocado, diced (optional)

Place a large pot over medium-high heat and add oil to heat.  Add diced onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes or until onion are translucent.  Add beef and break up into crumbles as it cooks.  Cook beef until no longer pink in color.  Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, oregano, sea salt, cayenne pepper, diced zucchini, diced carrots, diced sweet potato, can of crushed tomatoes, and chicken broth and stir to combine.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add cilantro and stir to incorporate.

Serve chili with diced avocado.

Makes about 6-8 servings

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Teething Biscuits

Thank you Lish at Imprintalish for writing up this wonderful recipe.  Seriously.  I have a ton of baby food (Mr Mitchell is helping us with our regular food in addition to) to use up, and I need to find things for him to chew on during the day.

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Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 cup dry infant cereal
1 jar of baby food
2 tsp seasoning (which is optional, I left it out)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water

Mix it up, roll it out, cut it up, bake at 425 F on a greased cookie sheet 10 minutes or so.

I decided to use Applesauce, Chicken in Broth, and Carrots (all separate batches, just in case you were going ewww).  Made carrots first.  While mixing it up, I didn’t follow the recipe and added another jar.  Big mistake, had to add a bunch more oatmeal to get it back to consistency.  Read the directions!

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Mr. Mitchell’s first bite was like “what?”.  But he ate it, along with a few more throughout the day.

Next day I made a batch of chicken.  He has a problem eating the meats, and I have all these jars, so I was hoping for a chicken biscuit (in which my sister lovingly pointed out sounded like the dog biscuits she makes, thanks).  Made it, baked it, cooled it, served it.

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I do believe Mr. Mitchell likes it.  Also, the way he went after it, he may like it better than the carrot (of course I didn’t screw up the recipe like I did carrot).

Success!

If y’all are probably wondering about the applesauce, my girls served it to him with his dinner, so haven’t gotten to make it.  But it should be a success also.

Crockpot Baked Potato Soup

I like trying new recipes, especially when they look super yummy.  This one did just that.

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Can’t tell me this doesn’t look good.  Team Carroll at Pearls, Handcuffs, and Happy Hour featured this a while back, and I finally got around to trying it.

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I threw everything in but the cream cheese.  I didn’t have any cream of chicken soup, so I did a mixture of flour, broth, and butter for substitute.  Let it cook for about 7 hours, adding the cream cheese in very small chunks an hour and a half before serving.  The cream cheese is added when super soft (I left it out all day to make sure of it) and it is supposed to melt in the soup, making it all creamy.

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It didn’t.  You can see in this picture the cream cheese totally didn’t melt, at all, didn’t blend, makes it look pretty yucky in fact.  That wasn’t going to stop us however, and I dished up bowls with promises of pizza if all went wrong.

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Added toppings of bacon, sour cream, shredded cheese, and I even added broccoli to mine, we took the first bite, and, surprise, we loved it!

Next time I may forgo the cream cheese, and just add sour cream, because that gave it the look of creaminess I was searching for.  I may also cook it longer, the potatoes were a little hard yet.  They were soft enough to eat, but not mushy soft either.

I give this recipe a B-.  Good flavor, easy to make, but problems with not melting cream cheese, and hard potatoes.

Coffee Creamer

I love love love my coffee.  I love it hot, cold, blended, shaken, and even the beans covered in chocolate.  I also love my coffee sweet.  So when I saw a post for homemade creamer awhile back, I had to try it.  Unfortunately I can’t find that post anymore, but I don’t know if I want to, it tasted TERRIBLE.  Turns out my sister tried the same recipe before also, and she hated it.

Back to the point, found another recipe, and was a little skeptical on trying it.  So I read it over a few times, debated until my husband said *”do it for science!”

*My husband loves science, it’s almost like a weird obsession the way he goes about it sometimes.  I love it.

coffee creamer

Ma Bacon, at Bacon In My Pocket, focused her post on Cinnamon Bun flavored creamer.  She also posted a few other variations at the bottom.  That is where I went.  My creamer of choice is hazelnut.  Love love love.

So this morning, after having a cup of coffee with my Coffee-Mate, I went to work, got out my milk, sweet and condensed milk, and hazelnut syrup.  On a side note, scored the syrup at Dollar Tree, so yay, even cheaper!!

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Mixed it up, poured some in a fresh cup of coffee, and yummy!

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Here is my coffee mostly gone by this point, it’s that good!

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On a side note, definitely get a larger container to keep your creamer in.  I thought a jar would look cute, and Ma Bacon uses one for hers according to the picture.  I only had 8 oz, so my creamer is in 3 separate containers, and maybe a container with a spout, cause it dribbled all over my counter as I poured it.

 

 

 

 

Homemade Cough Syrup

Last weekend, amid the hubbub of Black Friday craziness,  I got a cold.  Just the start of one, with the lovely hacking cough that won’t quit and the wonderful somebody shut my nose off already kinda drip.

Little tidbit about me, breastfeeding, so most conventional over the counter medicines are out for me right now, because they contain ingredients not good for baby.  So what’s a girl to do, besides suffer.

I remembered seeing homemade cough syrup, and pinning it, on my boards.  YAY!  Nancy at her blog Good Food Matters  posted a solution that will knock your socks off.

Ingredients:

honey

water

apple cider vinegar

ginger

cayenne (red pepper)

It’s supposed to turn into this lovely spicy sweet orange syrupy concoction that will cut through the worst three: Sore throat, hacking cough, tight congestion.

Sadly, mine didn’t look like hers.

Mine looked like this:

The floaty bits?  Red Pepper flakes and grated ginger.  I didn’t have the ground up stuff in the cupboard.

All in all, pretty good little concoction.  You can taste each of the elements in it, though in mine, the red pepper is the most stand outish.  Boy does it have a kick!  I think had mine been made exactly, with powdered ingredients, it would be more syrupy and maybe not as spicy.  Not sure.

Big question: does it do what it’s supposed to do?  Yes.  Every time I felt a cough coming on, I would take a tablespoon of this stuff, and it would be gone for hours.  My nose dried up, my cough disappeared, well worth it.  Will I give it to my kids, no.  Way to spicy for them, I need to find something else.