Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Most Delicious Baked Apple Dessert!

With a big nod to my friend Julie Fenn, who brought these to a potluck recently!

Really super simple, too...tart apples are best, I think.  I'd love to have found Jonathans, but Braeburns were good too.

Core your apples and enlarge the holes somewhat so you have room for stuffing them...

Mix raisins with cinnamon (and any other spice that suits your fancy) and stuff the holes in the apples.

Add a drizzle of maple syrup or honey or a tsp. of brown or raw sugar--you can substitute Xylitol or Splenda if you MUST, but it won't be quite the same...

Top with a spoonful of butter--the real thing.  We use Kerrygold unsalted butter from Ireland, it's delicious and they treat their cows much better, without hormones, etc.

I used a pinch of Joseph's pumpkin pie spice on top of the butter, then baked at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes, more or less.  (Test for doneness by poking with a knife or fork, they should be soft.)

Let cool a bit and top with cream if you wish...spoon any juices from the pan over the apples, it's luscious.  I don't miss crust or pastry in the least!

And these are wonderful warm or cold...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Mexican Meatloaf!

So there's a story to this one...but for now, I'll just share the recipe which is DELICIOUS....obviously, I couldn't wait to take the photo of the uncut loaf!

1 1/2 lb. ground turkey or burger (we always use turkey for originally came from a diet group  I belonged to, and I don't mind something besides red meat...honestly, you can't tell the difference.)

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce (I just used fire roasted diced tomatoes, since that's what we had...)

1/2 to 1 C. crushed tortilla chips (unless you're doing REALLY Primal/Paleo, which I I used chia flour instead, about 1/4 cup.  Corn doesn't have actual gluten, and in chip form, it reduces some of the ill effects while increasing available B vitamins, who knew??  Next time I may opt for the tortilla chips but aim for the healthiest I can find...*)

1 small can diced green chilis

1 egg

1 T. good chili powder (Joseph makes his own)
1/2 t. cumin (optional, I like cumin)
1/2 t. taco spice (also optional)
1 t. salt

Mix 1/2 the tomato sauce or tomatoes and other ingredients until well blended, then pack into a loaf pan.  Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.

Pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the loaf and bake 5 more minutes, then let stand 10 minutes before slicing.  I used a bit of salsa verde on mine...YUM.


So.  The funny story?  My first husband, God rest him, LOVED this stuff, and used to request it perhaps once a week.  LOVED it.

...until I told him it was ground turkey.  Then he refused to ever eat it again!

The other story attached is that I enjoyed it as well, and shared the recipe with my sis, in Nevada.  She really loved it, as did my brother in law.

Years later I was hungry for it and couldn't find my copy of the recipe, so she sent it to me again.  In our big kitchen cleanout recently, I went through all my loose recipes, and there it was, in her I felt like we just had a really great dinner with the whole family.

By the way, Joseph loved it too.  And he knows it's turkey.

* Note, via Mark Sisson's Mark's Daily Apple blog on tortilla chips--NOT that they're primal, or a great food source, or even a GOOD food source, but as an occasional indulgence:

"Corn tortillas are probably the best way to consume corn. By their very definition, corn tortillas are subjected to nixtamalization, an ancient form of corn processing that reduces antinutrients like phytic acid, unlocks B-vitamins like niacin, and fights back against mycotoxins. It also increases the available protein content of the corn while increasing the bioavailability of the calcium. In other words, it makes a fairly nutritionally-poor food a bit more nutritious – not all that important for those reading those, who likely have access to a wide range of nutrient-dense foods, but vital for populations who relied on corn for a large portion of their food intake. For us, it makes corn tortillas less problematic."

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Definitely not Paleo, and with this much cheese it's barely Primal, but hey, it's pizza without a grain-based crust! OK, it's not all that easy to pick up and eat with your fingers when it's still hot, but under the circumstances, eating pizza with a knife and fork can be forgiven. And if you have leftovers, it IS easy to eat with the fingers as God intended pizza to be eaten.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza


2 c cooked, riced cauliflower
2 c shredded mozzarella cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp garlic salt
olive oil

2 c pizza sauce (I use some form of organic pasta sauce, usually roasted garlic.)
2 c shredded cheese
Your choice of toppings
(Note: toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.)


Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove leaves, and chop the florets and stems into chunks. Add to food processor and rice it -  pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (Note: one large head should produce approximately 4 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week for other uses.)

Steam the riced cauliflower until soft, then drain it for at least an hour. (Note: you can microwave it for about 8 minutes without adding any water, in which case there’s no need to drain it.)

First, make the crust:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Grease a cookie sheet with olive oil.

In a medium bowl, stir together cauliflower, eggs and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, and mix well. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 12" round, then use the back of a spatula to level it.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.            
Finally, turn it into pizza!

Remove from oven and add sauce, cheese, and toppings. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted - approximately 3-4 minutes.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Cincinnati Chili, Starving Artists in the Kitchen Style


Traditionally,  Cincinnati Chili is served over spaghetti, but since we're wheat-free we act like barbarians and skip that layer.  There are any number of recipes and approaches, some juicier, some thicker, some using different ingredients, but cinnamon and chocolate are constants.

My friend Ann Emmert Abbott says in Cincinnati you pick which restaurant to go to depending on which variant you're hungry for!

So here's my version, put together to taste and from several different recipes...let me know if there's anything YOU consider absolutely essential.


            3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or high quality light)
            2 finely chopped onions
            4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
            3 pounds ground beef (or lamb, bison, or venison–we had grass fed beef)
            1 T. Sea salt, more or less, to taste
            2 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
            2 tablespoons chili powder (Joseph makes his own, the recipe is in this post.)
            1 ½ teaspoons cumin (more or less to taste.  I probably put 1 ½ tablespoons instead)
            1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice
            1 ½  teaspoons ground cinnamon
            1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (more or less, to taste)
            1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (couldn’t find mine so J. ground fresh...)
            2 tablespoons cocoa powder or finely chopped, unsweetened baker's chocolate
            1 teaspoon paprika  (I used smoked...)
            1 tablespoon dried oregano (we had organic Mexican)
            1 tablespoon organic sugar (or brown sugar)    (optional)   
            1 can organic cup tomato sauce
            1 can organic diced tomatoes (or your own, if you have them)   
            2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
            1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce       

Top with grated cheese of your choice–cheddar, Parmesan, 4-cheese, goat cheese, whatever...and raw chopped onions if you like.
Many recipes call for beans, but I skip them because of the lectins.  I gave up wheat 4 years ago and never looked back–just felt so much better!–but lots of people DO consider it blasphemy if you don't serve this over spaghetti.


I decided to finish this in the crock pot, but if you prefer it can be a one-pot dinner.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and the garlic and cook until soft, stirring, about 5 minutes. Add the beef and cook the mixture, stirring, until the beef is no longer pink, breaking up the large chunks.

I moved the cooked onions to the crock pot...

Break up the ground beef and cook till it's all brown...
We go for organic if we buy in the store...IF it's available!  Sometimes we have our own garden-grown stuff...

Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, cayenne and cloves. Cook, stirring, until fragrant. about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt.

Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, bay leaf and 1 1/2 cups water–you can rinse out the tomato can and use that. simmer the mixture, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thicker. Add the chocolate, vinegar and Worcestershire and cook until the mixture is thickened but still soupy, about 15 more minutes.

Hershey's was fine, but I would use the fancier organic stuff if I had it...

At this point I transferred everything to the crock pot, covered it and put it on low heat for a few hours.

To serve, discard the bay leaf and season the chili with the freshly ground pepper. Top with cheese and chopped onion.

We don't eat wheat, so J. made zucchini noodles to put under the chili.  Darn good, and no, it is NOT blasphemy!  Besides we keep trying to eat more vegetables...

Topped with a 4-cheese blend and plain yogurt instead of sour cream...absolutely delicious.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cultured Cranberry-Orange Relish

This is even better than my usual cranberry relish, plus it has probiotics...LOVE.

2 bags of fresh cranberries (organic if you can find them--we did!)
2-3 fresh oranges, ditto
1/4 C. organic sugar (or less--I didn't actually measure.) (You can use a bit of honey if you prefer)
fresh ginger, grated, if you have it...less than 1 tsp. unless you REALLY like ginger...

1/4 cup Basic Whey

(...which you make by putting whole organic yogurt in a strainer lined with clean cloth, over a big bowl.  Let it drain overnight, now you have whey in the bowl and Greek-style yogurt in the strainer--voila!)

Grate the cranberries coarsely in your blender or food processer.
Peel oranges, separate into sections and cut in small chunks. 
Mix everything well and pack into clean glass jars.
Put a lid on it!

Let it rest on the countertop 2-3 days or so (culturing takes longer when it's cold out) will develop a lovely flavor.  Taste it and if suits you, refrigerate!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Traditional Spring Treat--Wilted Lettuce Salad

Wilted Lettuce Salad

We always looked forward to the first wilted lettuce salad in the spring, when I was growing who could resist, with that lovely planter full of baby lettuce, chard, spinach, beet greens and more?
I picked judiciously to thin the planter and make some room for the tomato plants, then added a few wild greens as I walked back to the house: tender young dandelion greens, lambsquarter, wood sorrel...

See?  They NEEDED thinning!
I washed and trimmed everything and left it to drain while I fried up 3 slices of bacon, cut into chunks then reserved the grease.

A few onions chopped fine added to the dish...


Apple cider vinegar (a few tablespoons)

OR home made dandelion vinegar which is what I used.  (Pick dandelion flowers and tender leaves, put in a jar with apple cider vinegar for a week or so, shaking every day; strain and refrigerate for extra taste and nutrition!)

1 T. raw local honey
Sprinkle of sea salt and pepper, or Pepperman
Sprinkle of Italian herbs or Herbes de Provence, if you like

Stir well and set aside.

When you're ready to serve, reheat the bacon grease and pour over the lettuce, stirring to wilt and coat, add the dressing and toss.  Top with a bit of extra bacon, and if you want, a bit of grated Parmesan cheese...we were having Italian chicken/herb meatballs in red sauce, so it seemed to work!

Dig in! 

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

It's that time of year again--GARDENING!

First salad from the garden...

It's that time of year again, when the garden calls, the earth is rich and moist, the seeds are burning a hole in my pocket and the garden tools are standing at the ready. And so, last month, we got started--between rains!

We're still using the big planters we got at the discount store years ago...but each year we've added a bit more.  They're a good place to begin, anyway.

April spinach...

April lettuce, radish, mesclun...

May and ready to thin the spinach a bit.  I just stand there and eat it out of hand, fresh...

and a week later...

I say we expanded the garden this year...Joseph says it's an attempt to CONTAIN it, since the squash tried to take over Francis Street!  But whatever the case, we need to get it weeded, planted, and mulched!

And definitely a nice fresh salad...LOOK at that stuff.  You can't even see the planter!  The radishes didn't make as radishes, as crowded as they were, but the greens are fresh and spicy...

The first year, these planters were ALL we had, and it was lovely.  Now?  It's lovelier!

Volunteer squash family...NO idea what but I plan to find out.  We also planted cucumbers, zucchini, and summer squash...still need tomatoes, winter squash, and herbs...I plant between the planters!

This year we planted the Three Sisters in this corner, for history and for respect for those who came before.  I've been reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and listening to our good friend Robert Francis tell us much the same things in our Indian Fellowship meeting, so today I planted a hill of corn, beans, and squash.

Dear old friend Robert Reves sent us Hidatsa Squash, two kinds of Hidatsa beans (red and shield figure), and a packet of Pawnee blue flour corn.   Joseph blessed the earth and thanked it with an offering of tobacco, and I blew prayers onto the seeds...

That is a HANDY little tool...supposed to be for weeds, but it seems willing to till our small garden just fine.  Now to get the tomatoes in...and flowers...and...

I love being able to provide some of the food for our table, right here at home...fresh and organic as it gets!
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