banana chocolate chip muffins–a consolation prize for me and you.

I had big plans for a big dinner and a new recipe post tonight. But life happened.

I broke the right arm off my sunglasses this morning–which happened to be my good prescription sunglasses. And I forgot my real glasses at work. So I had to wear my prescription sunglasses with only one arm into the grocery store this afternoon. 

It was a good look, let me tell you.

The boys wanted the car cart, of course. I love that thing. And I hate that thing. 

On one hand, my kids will sit still while they’re in the car cart–cramming the free cookies into their mouths for 30 minutes or so. Love it. 

But on the other hand, it’s hard to navigate the aisles of the grocery store feeling like you’re pushing the Titanic over a sheet of ice. Hate it. 

So anyway. I was pushing that car cart around the store, gathering all my ingredients for tonight’s dinner–working hard to read the labels with my one-armed-prescription-sunglasses. 

And of course we crashed into an endcap. 

An endcap full of red wine bottles. 

And we shattered a good dozen (maybe more) bottles of red wine all over the floor by the meat section. So sorry, meat section. My bad.

Aannnnd I called the ball, right then and there.

I offered to pay for the wine–they wouldn’t let me. God bless them. And then I helped the store clerk clean up all the broken glass with my one-armed sunglasses still hanging off my face. 

We circled back to the rotisserie chickens like that was our plan all along. Dinner is served. Boom.

So here’s our consolation prize–a banana chocolate chip muffin recipe sure to make everything better. I’ve been making these for awhile. My kids love them. I love them. You’ll love them. Get after it–they taste great with a big glass of red wine. Ha.

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins

Ingredients

  1. 1 cup almond butter
  2. 4 eggs
  3. 2 overripe bananas
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  6. 1/4 salt
  7. 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your muffin pan (I use coconut oil spray). 

Throw everything except the chocolate chips into your food processor. And blend. 


Fold in your chocolate chips. 


Pour into a mini-muffin tin. Bake for 15 minutes. Dive in. 


This recipe usually makes 20 mini-muffins. 

I’m eating one wearing my one-armed-prescription-sunglasses right now. Yum.

classic (paleo) beef stew.

Want to know how to have an awesome fall? Eat this. All day, everyday.

This is the best classic (paleo) beef stew of all the classic (paleo) beef stews. It rivals  Grandma Eleanor’s Beef Hash–which is one of my all time faves. This is another recipe from Mel Joulwan. If you search my blog you’ll find many of the recipes I use come from her. So check her out. Buy her cookbooks. I own all of them including her latest Well Fed Weeknights–a must for a new working mom like me.

I’ve cut and pasted from her blog again. No adaptations needed. She nails it, really truly. So fire up your stove and get after it.

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cooking fat
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, minced
  • 1 stalk celery, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 cup red wine (for Whole30, replace with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 4 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, coarsely chopped

Directions
1 Pat beef dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, mix arrowroot, 1/2 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Add the beef and toss until coated.
2 Heat a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the cooking fat and allow to melt, then add the beef and brown on all sides. Give the meat plenty of breathing room so it forms a nice crust; you might have to cook it in two batches. As it browns, remove the meat to a bowl.
3 When the meat is browned, add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the same pan. (If it’s dry, add another teaspoon or two of cooking fat). Sauté the vegetables until they’re soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook, stirring often, about 2 minutes.
Pour in the wine and broth; stir to combine, then add the beef and accumulated juices to the pot. Cover and simmer 1 hour.
4 Add the potatoes to the pot and simmer another hour, until the meat and potatoes are tender.
5 Simmer uncovered 5-10 minutes to thicken the gravy, then sprinkle with minced parsley before serving.
Get a big spoon and dig in. We ate ours on my Grandma Eleanor’s old harvest tablecloth–a perfect backdrop for this fall favorite.

the best gazpacho.

Oh hey, Sunday.

Our back patio door is open. There’s pumpkin spice steaming in my coffee cup and cinnamon bark and orange hissing in my diffuser.

It feels like fall over here today, doesn’t it? And I’m loving it.

Before I start simmering chili and baking cornbread, I thought I’d share one last summertime favorite recipe.

The best gazpacho–yummmm. It’s so easy and so healthy. And it will use up that crop of tomatoes you have hanging out on your kitchen counter.

My girlfriend Brook hooked us up last week. She knows the way to my heart. Would you look at all this homegrown goodness?

She and her little farmers gave us (pretty much) everything I needed to make this tasty cold soup. So get after it.

The Best Gazpacho

Ingredients

  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped)
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions

Throw tomatoes, cucumber, red pepper, red onion, jalapeno and garlic into your food processor. Pulse until it’s blended.


Add EVOO, water, lime, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and basil. Pulse until it’s all blended.


Chill for a little while–the longer the better. And enjoy.

I went to town on this bowl before I remembered to take a pic. Whoops. It’s just that good.

PS. We’re easing into a new fall routine over here.  A new job for mom. A new school for Johnny. A new house for all of us. So the posts may not be coming as fast and furious for a little while. Hang in here with me though, ok? XOXO.

the best paleo ranch.

Remember this spring when I told you I couldn’t wait to slip on my garden clogs and start digging in the dirt? I had plans for a big backyard garden this year–and plans for a big blog post about it too.

But the good (busy, cringe!) life happened. It does that sometimes, doesn’t it.

We bought a new house and sold our old house–and spent the summer renovating an investment property. And we had that big, old summer bucket list to conquer too. So that big backyard garden? It never happened. Eh, whatevs. Maybe I’ll get around to it next spring at the new house. We’ll see.

Lucky for us, I have a brother-in-law who has the most amazing green thumb–and loves to share his impressive veggie garden crop with us! Would you look at these beauties?


Is there anything better than cucumbers and tomatoes right from the garden? Well yes. Yes, there is. Cucumbers and tomatoes right from the garden–covered and smothered in my homemade ranch. Boom.

I made this ranch dressing a few years ago when I tried my first Whole30 and it’s been a staple in our fridge ever since. Up until then, I was always a Hidden Valley girl, but this ranch–woooooeeeee. It takes the cake.

Here’s the recipe, straight from the Whole30 website.

Basic Ranch

  • 2/3 cup light olive oil
  • 1 room temperature egg
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp dried herbs (dill is the only way to go here, trust me)
  • 2 tbsp full fat canned coconut milk

Place the egg, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, spices and herbs (everything but the oil and coconut milk) in your food processor.

Pulse a few times.

Slowly pour in your oil through the top hole of the food processor (running on low speed). It will take a few minutes to get it all in.

Once the oil has been added, add the coconut milk. It looks like this.

And pulse a few more times. Then refrigerate. Or dig in.

an oldie, but a goodie (probably two years ago). the boys shoveling in fresh garden veggies from deb with this paleo ranch.

Don’t like raw eggs? Here’s an egg-free recipe from my dear, old girlfriend. It’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser too.

Enjoy.

watermelon strawberry pops.

My kids were up at 5:30am this morning.

oh hey, neighbors. up and at ’em.

Partially because the sun was up–and bright. And partially because we made watermelon strawberry pops last night before bed and I told them they could each have one when they woke up.

So rise and shine, Mom.

I got the idea for these easy, healthy treats from my girlfriend Kate’s Instagram account. Check her out over at She Loves the F Word for some fashion, food and fitness fun.

These popsicles are easy and healthy. And made with two (or three) ingredients. They’re Whole30 and Paleo–and kid approved. And so yum.

Watermelon Strawberry Pops

  • half a watermelon–sliced
  • 1 lb strawberries–cut off the green tops
  • juice of a lime–optional but I love it for a little sour twist

Blend all your ingredients in a blender or food processor.


Pour into Popsicle molds.

Freeze for at least 6 hours–or until the crack of dawn. Ha.

Enjoy.

banana mango coconut milk freeze.

Summer is here! And hot days call for cold treats.

This banana mango coconut milk freeze is a summertime favorite of ours. It’s easy to make–and healthy. And you can whip it up in less than 5 minutes. Yum.

You could substitute any frozen fruit for mango–we’ve used pineapple (my favorite!),  strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, peaches and papaya–whatever you have on hand–they’re all good.

Make a big batch and keep it in your freezer for a sweet treat.

Enjoy!

Banana Mango Coconut Milk Freeze 

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (the fat from the top of the refrigerated can)

Combine all the ingredients in your food processor.

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Pulse until creamy and blended.

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Dig in!

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And these cut-off shirts from Nanny?! They love them, so I love them. Suns out, guns out. Boom.

paleo soft and chewy double chocolate cookies. and the cutest apron.

We’ve been celebrating World Baking Day all week over here. Strawberry Banana Coconut Muffins, a rhubarb pie (from scratch, never again) and these PaleOMG’s Soft & Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies.

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The cookies took the cake. They were good. So good.

And how cute is this little apron?

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The kid on my hip is pretty cute too.

I have a thing for aprons. I’ve amassed quite a collection–a whole drawer full of them actually. This apron–a coffee shop design (allllll the caffeine. she knows me too well)–came from my girlfriend Alexandra at Altruist Aprons. Alex is a crafting and sewing queen and an animal lover. She really, truly has the biggest heart–she gets it from her mama who is one of my favorites too.

Alexandra sews all her aprons (and pillows!) by hand, made to order. Check her out. And treat yourself to one of her sweet little creations (this blue floral vintage apron has your name all over it, don’t you think?). Oh and you can spice up your kitchen look and help fight animal cruelty at the same time. Alexandra donates $2 from each of her handmade apron sales to Animal Equality International, a non-profit organization that aims to defend all animals through public education, campaigns and investigations. So win, win.

. . .

Here’s the recipe for those PaleOMG’s Soft and Chewy Double Chocolate Cookies. Enjoy.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup thick almond butter (Make sure it’s not too oily or the cookies won’t come together. A few of our cookies kinda fell apart, this is why. They were still delish.)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix almond butter and coconut sugar. Johnny was begging to use the “mixing gun”. image.jpegDon’t do it. It made a huge mess. Just use a spatula. Then add the egg and stir again until well combined.

3. Add ¼ cup of cocoa powder at a time. I used my hands to knead the cocoa powder into the dough. Add all the cocoa powder and knead completely.

4. Add baking soda, vanilla, salt and chocolate chips and knead until everything is well mixed. It’s messy, but eh. (Your dough should be a very thick. If it’s not, you need a thicker almond butter).

5. Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough at a time and form into round balls. Place them on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. I had enough dough for about 14 cookies.

6. Once you’ve placed all your cookie balls onto your baking sheet, use a fork to press the cookies down just slightly.image.jpeg Don’t flatten them, just get them to look more like cookies than balls. If you press them down too much, they’ll come apart when they bake so be careful–this happened to some of mine. Again, eh.

7. Bake for 10 minutes.

8. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing cookies from baking sheet to place on cooling rack. If you try to remove these from the baking sheet too soon, they’ll fall apart. You were warned.

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Ours went straight from our baking sheet to our mouths. And I didn’t Maggie Hockenberry them either. I ate four, maybe five. And then I answered the door and had a long conversation with the Fed Ex man with teeth covered in double-chocolate cookies. Nice work, Hat.

TGIF…