Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bacon covered meatloaf for 2

As soon as I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it and soon. Everything is better with bacon, after all.  Luckily, we had some chicken sausage in the freezer. I forget the brand but it was a gluten-free chicken sausage we picked up at CostCo. I will say that this particular sausage seemed really greasy when we cooked it.  We were all out of ground beef, though, so that meant a run to CostCo. Once I had everything in hand I set out to make the meatloaf of all meatloafs.

I've really got to get better at taking more pics as I go, but it's a little hard when your hands are all sticky and covered in meat mixture.  Since there are only 2 of us, I cut the recipe in about half. My recipe looked like this:

1lb ground beef
2-3 chicken sausages (casings removed)
1 egg
1/2 red pepper (diced)
1/2 red onion (diced)
handful of parsley (I used dried because it was all I had)
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1/2 cup almond flour
3Tbsp horseradish mustard (we had Dijon but horseradish just sounded better)
2 Tbsp bbq sauce
1/2 lb of bacon
salt, pepper

Preheat over to 350. Grease your loaf pan with coconut oil. (Do this first or, like me, you'll have to get someone else to do it later when your hands are all covered in meat). Mix the ground meat, sausage, egg, red pepper, onion, almond flour, garlic, mustard, salt & pepper together in a bowl. Use your hands, it's really the only way to mix a meatloaf.  Form it into a nice loaf shape and drop it into the greased loaf pan. Salt & Pepper the top of the loaf. Cover the top with BBQ sauce.  Then cover it with bacon.  I tried to lay them out ahead of time like they did in the other recipe but then I couldn't figure out how to transfer them to the loaf. So, I laid a few pieces across the loaf in one direction then went back the other way and so on, until it was nice and covered. Then place it in the over for 90 minutes.  Note, I found that my loaf was creating a lot of grease (I blame the sausages I used) so I took it out at about 60 minutes and drained most of the grease off.

I served our meat loaf with some nice sauteed (and slightly crispy) baby bella mushrooms.  It was quite yummy.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Brownies > Bread

I was trying to make bread, really I was.
I've been wanting to try this Paleo bread recipe for a while and today I was all set to do just that. Unfortunately, I only managed to properly seperate 3 eggs. I ended up dropping the yolk of the fourth egg into my whites and there went my plan.

Left with 4 eggs, I had to find something to do with them, so I went through my dessert board, figuring that I'd find something I could do with 4 eggs. Then I found these brownies sitting at the top of my Paleo dessert board.

I whipped everything together wondering how well this would really work.  I was craving some coffee so I threw a little into the mix before throwing it in the oven.

Ok, so I didn't wait 3 hours (or throw them in the fridge), I cut in after about 20 minutes because I just had to know.  In the picture above you can see that they are actually a rather cakey brownie and honestly were a little dry. I'm hoping that maybe after they sit a little while and cool off they will be a little better. I expected fudgier brownies since they were flourless.

Trying them again a few hours later and pieces in the middle seem to be somewhat fudgy but at the same time still really dry.  Hubby tried them and said they were good, but dry. He suggestd that the added coffee may have decreased the moisture.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Coconut milk coffee creamer

I've been gluten and dairy free for a little over a year now. I'm not a fan of the processed milks and creamers, but I do like something in my coffee.  I've taken to just using canned coconut milk or fresh almond milk.  I'd run across this recipe on Pinterest for Coconut Milk Creamer. There's just two problems with it... butter and egg.  The  two Paleo foods that I avoid.

I decided to try my own take on this recipe. 

1 can coconut milk
1/2 banana
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Peppermint extract

I put all that in the blender and blend well.  Store it in the fridge until needed.  

Depending on the fat quality of your milk, it will stiffen into a heavier cream in the  refrigerator. If you use a full fat coconut milk it will become not unlike a really good frosting or (frozen) cool whip after a few hours in the fridge.  Then you can just eat it with a spoon.  Nope, I've never done that... never! :)

When ready to drink, add 10oz hot coffee plus 1/2 cup of above creamer to blender and blend. It will give you a nice frothy consistency, not unlike cappuccino. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

DIY Valentine: Restaurant Passport

On the lookout for an idea (any idea) of something to give my hubby for Valentines Day (I am notoriously unromantic, to the point of often forgoing gifts), I ran across this little gem on Pinterest.
What an awesome idea, especially considering we often find ourself (just as Steph did) hitting up the same restaurants time and again. My food restrictions don't help and because of said restrictions I often get stuck picking where we eat. So, what better way to offer him a little control over where we eat than giving him a prepared list of restaurants that offer food I can eat. Plus it makes for a fun way to ensure that we try some new places this year.

The problem: My hand-writing is awful and all I could imagine was how junky a notebook with my writing in it would look. So, I decided why not make something that looks a little bit nicer, and so I did.

The notebook: I found at Dollar Tree (for, you guessed it, $1). Next I needed to print up the pages to go inside. I figured out that if I could find a template that would do 6 to a page it would work perfect. Since I suck at Word and have no idea how to make a template from scratch, I did a little search and found one I could modify and created the template to the left. If you'd like this template just email me and I'll be happy to send it to you.

I then printed the template onto 8x11 sticker paper to make things easier.  And attached a little heart sticker onto each page (so we can mark off when each restaurant is visited).  I didn't put the restaurants into any particular order. Thinking about this, I probably should have alphabetized them to make them easier to find when we do visit them.  I'm also thinking that some restaurants may get visited multiple times, so I should probably add some extra stickers in the back.

I put the stars on the pages so that we could fill in a rating for each restaurant. Also, I only put one restaurant every other page, leaving the left hand page empty. I figured this would give us space to write our thoughts, or share anything special about that visit.  If you wanted, you could also fill in the stars to indicate price-range. I think if I did that, I'd only do 3 stars on the page. 

Next was the Passport Cover. Initially, I was going to try to modify the looks of an actual Passport cover, but as I played with it and found a cool picture, I changed my mind.  A big thank you to Boudewijn Berends for making this photo available via creative commons.  I edited it just a bit to add the text "2013 Restaurant Passport", printed it out on another sticker sheet and stuck it on the cover of my notebook.  Here are the end results.

If I did it again I'd buy a different type of notebook. Instead of a cheap $1 notebook, I'd find a journal type notebook that was made to stretch out. I already noticed that a page in the back of this notebook is coming loose.  I've got time so I'm tempted to redo it.