paleo bagels

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As I mentioned in my last post, Tyler and I have been eating about 95% paleo. We have our few exceptions, me: coffee creamer, Tyler: beer, and a few random treats in-between. But, as much as we both love the effects this lifestyle has on our bodies, there are some things we really miss now and then. Like bagels.

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Turns out, there are a ton of paleo (or “low carb”) options. This is the second recipe I’ve tried, and I really love how it came out!

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You can find the full recipe and instructions here. I would rewrite them, but honestly the only thing I changed was omitting the garlic powder so I could enjoy these with pumpkin cream cheese (not paleo, I know, but it’s hard to resist a good pumpkin treat this time of year).

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Don’t forget to toast it and add your favorite toppings!

grandma’s banana bread

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Growing up, I never really liked banana bread. Or bananas for that matter. I guess my child tastebuds hadn’t evolved yet because now I love banana bread. A couple years ago, we had some bananas slowly dying on the counter and Tyler suggested banana bread. So I thought, sure I’ll make him banana bread. And then I hate half of it. I guess my tastebuds finally came around. Plus, this recipe is extra special because it’s my grandma’s, and I’d always wanted to make it.

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Grandma’s Banana Bread – makes 1 loaf

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cup sugar

2 lightly beaten eggs

3/4 tsp baking soda

4 heaping tbs sour cream (I substitute greek yogurt)

1 cup very ripe mashed banana (about two small bananas)

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup flour

cinnamon and/or nutmeg to taste

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Preheat oven to 350F. Cream the butter with the sugar. Then add the beaten eggs. make sure everything mixes well. Mix the baking soda in the sour cream. Keep mixing until your sour cream turns into this light fluffy foamy stuff.

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See? Whoa. It’s like a  science experiment!  Add the foamy mixture to your butter mixture and mix really well. Once it’s incorporated, add the banana, salt, vanilla, flour and spices. Mix well.

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Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour + 10 minutes. I like to check my bread halfway through, and if the top is nice and brown, I put some foil over it for the remainder of time.

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Insert a toothpick to the center of the bread, if it comes out clean it’s done! If not, give it a couple more minutes, then take it out. Let the bread cool for a little.. If you can resist. Seriously, your house will smell like you’re living in a giant loaf of banana bread, and it might be impossible to resist cutting into it right away. That’s okay, it just wont be a clean slice. Enjoy!

gin citrus fizz

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The other night while grocery shopping, I bought a (cheap) bottle of gin. I don’t know what came over me. Gin is something I usually avoid. But, ever since I restored my bar cart, I’ve been a bit more adventurous with my drinks. Once we got home, I didn’t know what to do with it. I tried searching for recipes, but came up short on most of the ingredients. One trend I did notice throughout all the recipes, citrus.

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Gin Citrus Fizz – makes one

2 oz gin

splash of orange juice

2 drops bitters

3 wedges grapefruit

lemon sparking water

Add ice to a regular sized glass, pour in gin and bitters. Squeeze grapefruit wedges into your glass and add the rind to the drink. Splash in some orange juice, and fill the rest of the way with sparkling water. Stir, and enjoy.

I didn’t think I could like gin, but it is a surprisingly refreshing drink! What do you drink with your gin??

overnight crusty bread

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Have you ever had fresh baked bread? Like, still warm, fresh? If not, prepare yourself to be amazed. If you have, still be ready to be amazed because you are about to make some awesome homemade bread, from scratch, with no sweat in the kitchen.

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Homemade Crusty Bread – makes one loaf (adapted from here)

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp rapid rise or instant yeast

1 1/2 cups water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and mix (I use a spatula here, works great) until a “shaggy” mixture forms. The author of this recipe called the dough shaggy. That is the best description for this dough, seriously. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set on top of the fridge for 12-18 hours. I make mine and at night and bake it the next morning.

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Has it been 12 hours? Okay, now preheat oven to 450F.  When your oven reaches 450, put a dutch oven/lidded cast iron into the oven and let it heat up for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pull the dough out onto a heavily floured surface.  It should now be twice the size it was last night. Shape it into a ball, or loaf, shape. Cover with the plastic wrap from the bowl and let it sit on the counter while the dutch oven heats up.

After the pot baked for 30 minutes, carefully take it out of the oven. Plop the dough into the pot, cover, and bake for 30 minutes. Once it’s done, take the lid off and return it to the oven for 10-15 more minutes.

Pull out your pot and marvel at that gorgeous loaf of bread you just baked!

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Even though it will be really hard to resist, let the bread cool for a while. It will cut a lot easier. And will still be warm on the inside, promise.

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I love this recipe because you can experiment with it too! Try adding cheese and spices to the bread! YUM. My favorite variation so far is cinnamon raison. Yeah. Two words: French Toast. Try it.

Oh, and you can double this recipe, and give a loaf away to a friend. Or a relative. Or someone you want to impress.

roll em ups

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Growing up these were such a huge treat for us. It was always our birthday breakfast. Christmas breakfast. New Year’s Day breakfast. Easter Breakfast. Sunday Breakfast. Really, any excuse to get my parents to make these, breakfast. Childishly named “Roll Em Ups” by us girls, I had no idea they were actually crepes, a real thing not unique to our family. I thought it was a special recipe my grandma made up back in Russia. Silly kid. This is in fact my grandpa’s recipe, and not as uncommon as I thought.

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I’ve never actually tried another recipe for crepes. This is it. The one recipe you will ever need, I promise. It is so delicious, and simple. The hardest part is flipping them, and I think you would find that with any crepe recipe.

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Roll Em Ups – makes about 10-12, depending on your pan size

3 eggs

1 cup flour

2 cups milk

6 tbs butter, melted

pinch of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

toppings (fruit, jam, whipped cream, yogurt, etc, and of course syrup!)

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In a blender, add eggs and 1/2 cup of milk. Blend on low until completely blended. Slowly add flour while still blending. Continue blending on low and add remaining milk, butter, a pinch of salt, and cinnamon. Blend on low until completely mixed.

Spray a crepe pan (or any frying pan) with non stick spray and heat over medium high heat. Pour 1/3 cup (or 1/2 cup if your pan is larger) of batter into the pan. Swirl around so the batter evenly covers the pan. Cook until the crepe bubbles and they start popping. Then, flip! That’s the tricky part that takes a few broken crepes to master. Once you get the flow of it down, it’s easy.
Cook on that side just for a minute or so. You can check to see if its done by lifting up one edge with a spatula.
Start stacking em on a plate!

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Mmmmmm-mm-m! Look at those golden crepes!

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Once you’ve cooked them all, serve them up! Put your fillings in, and then, roll em up!

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As kids, we kept it simple. And sweet. Lots of syrup and whipped cream. Maybe a little jam. But that was it. I remember the first time I showed Tyler Roll Rm Ups. We were having my birthday breakfast feast at my parent’s house, and to my surprise (and dismay), he piled in eggs and hash browns. Then rolled it up and topped it with syrup. I thought he was crazy, until I tried a bite. It was really good! That husband of mine.. so full of surprises.

What would you put in your Roll Em Ups??

homemade herb drop biscuits

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This recipe was a total “I really hope this works” kind of thing. We were having dinner one night and I really wanted biscuits with it. I don’t even remember what the meal was. That’s because the biscuits stole the show. I took the “dumplings” from a chicken and dumplings recipe I had made and guessed on the oven temperature and time. And it worked. Phew! I figured, if they work in the dutch oven, they must come out okay in the oven right?

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Homemade Herb Biscuits – makes about 7-8 small biscuits.

3/4 cup flour

3/4 tsp dried herb (I usually use dill, chives or oregano)

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 tsp garlic powder

1 3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup milk (I use nonfat, I have also used almond milk!)

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Preheat oven to 350F.

Thoroughly mix together all of the dry ingredients. Slowly add milk to dry ingredients while constantly stirring. Gently mix until everything is well incorporated.

Using a spoon, drop biscuits into a greased biscuit mold, or onto a greased baking sheet. I like using my little cast iron mold because they come out as little balls. When I cook them on a baking sheet, the shapes are all over the place. But that is fun because it adds to the homemade feel of these. So, don’t sweat if you don’t have a fancy pan.

Try to make the biscuits all the same size for a uniform cooking time.

Cook for 20 minutes in preheated oven.

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If your biscuits are on the bigger side, they may need more time. If they are on the small side, then less time. Usually 20 minutes is perfect though. You want the tops to be golden and a tiny bit crispy.

Eat while warm, smearing a little butter in the middle. Enjoy.

 

country fried chicken + honey mustard dipping sauce

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There’s just something about fried foods. What is it? The smell? The taste? Knowing that you probably shouldn’t be eating it and doing it anyway? A special chemical in the food that tells our brain to eat lots of fried food as often as possible? Okay, I’m not sure about the last one. But I do know that this recipe is so great because it is one my friend Shannon shared with me. When someone gives you a recipe, it just makes it so special. It helps that Shannon is an amazingly talented cook. Her recipe was originally for Country Fried Steak that she made for us last summer. It was SO good with a delicious gravy to go with it. When I asked for the recipe, I only had chicken in the fridge, so I (impatiently) decided to try it with chicken and make the steaks in the (very) near future. I also decided to pair this with my new favorite recipe for Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce and my homemade biscuits (recipe for those soon too).

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Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce – serves four

3/4 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt

3 tbs honey

2tbs yellow mustard

1/2 lemon, juiced

Mix together all of your ingredients. Add more honey or mustard if desired. I like mine a little sweeter so I added more honey.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

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Country Fried Chicken by Shannon Hubbard – serves four

raw chicken tenders

1 cup milk

2 eggs

2 cups flour

salt + pepper + cayenne pepper

oil for frying (use an oil that is stable at high heats, I used sunflower oil)

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Whisk together the milk and eggs in one bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. First, dip your chicken into the milk mixture. Then, dip/roll/coat in the flour mixture.

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Cover a large cast iron pan with frying oil. Heat the pan on high. Once the oil is hot (you can test this by splashing a tiny bit of water on the oil. If it sizzles, it’s ready), add the chicken. Cook the meat until golden-brown. About 2-2.5 minutes per side.

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Once the chicken is cooked, transfer to a lined plate to cool for a minute. Then dip, and savor. Mmmmm….

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This recipe is so delicious! And the chicken paired with the honey mustard… yeah.

I can’t wait to try the steak and gravy next! Thank you Shannon for sharing this with me!