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Fun With Coconut Flour

I love anything made with coconut, but coconut flour can be a little scary to use at first.  My first few recipes made with coconut flour had me questioning if I even read them right and I found myself thinking, “you want me to use a dozen eggs for this little bit of flour?” In the end though, everything worked out and delicious baked goods ended up being consumed en masse.  Because of this new affinity for coconut flour, I have been working on a master recipe that I have used as a biscuit for everything from breakfast sandwiches, burgers, and sloppy joes to cobbler and shortcake with jut a few small tweaks.

Blueberry Cobbler with coconut flour biscuit topping

Blueberry cobbler with coconut flour topping

Basic Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • a generous pinch of salt
  • a 400 degree oven
  • a parchment lined cookie sheet

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If you are looking to make a more savory biscuit for sammiches, burgers, or whatever then add in 1 small pureed onion (or 1/2 of a large) and maybe even a generous pinch of garlic.  Garlic makes everything better! If I am using them for sammies I like to spread them out a bit thinner with the back of a spoon to give myself a nice surface area for stuffing with meat, but if I am just doing drop biscuits as a side dish then they just get plopped on the parchment and left as is.  Bake these for about 17-23 minutes or until they are nice and browned around the edges and  they hold together nicely.  Be sure cool them on a wire rack so they don’t get soggy.

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Burger with spinach, sautéed onions, and Bubbies pickles. P.A.F

For the dessert version, you leave out the onion and add in a teaspoon of vanilla extract.  This is the exact same recipe I used in my strawberry shortcake recipe a few weeks back.

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All that coconut flour paleo goodness from just one recipe.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Dessert, Random

 

Whole Chickens Part One: Basic Grilled Chicken with Grilled Peach Salsa

Summer is a great time of year for us, we are getting a fresh whole chicken in our CSA box every other week, but there is no way I am turning my oven on for 5 hours in Virginia in the summertime, the temperature consistently stays at a level of uncomfortable which can only be described as “Satan’s ass crack.” So, after some experimenting, we have developed a few fool-proof methods for cooking whole chickens that keep my kitchen at a tolerable temperature.

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Ingredients:

  • One whole chicken
  • BBQ rub
  • two peaches or nectarines
  • a small onion or scallion
  • one tomato
  • one jalapeno pepper
  • juice of one lime
  • fresh herbs: cilantro and parsley work particularly well here
  • coconut oil

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Start off by seasoning your chicken inside and out with your favorite rub, we don’t personally make all of our own rubs, because other companies have spent plenty of time and effort discovering the perfect ratios so that I don’t have to. After your coals heat up, I want you to  divide them up so that the coals are pushed over to each side of the grill with a space in the middle.  Weber makes these neat little baskets you can use for this if you have them, but they aren’t necessary.

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If you have guessed that we are going to put the chicken in the space between the hot coals so that they dripping chicken fat doesn’t cause flare-ups then probably don’t even need to keep reading…just go fire up that grill.

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The bird goes in the middle of the coals breast side down, and we cooked it to about 150-160F before throwing on the ingredients for salsa.

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Finely chop the tomato, sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper and the lime juice then set it aside for later.  Then slice the peaches, onion, and jalapeno in half and lightly brush with coconut oil, before putting them directly over the coals.  Let them cook for a few minutes until they soften and nice grill marks form, this happens pretty quick so don’t wander off.  Flip them over and let them cook for another minute or two before pulling them off the grill.  By this point your chicken should have also reached an internal temp of  at least 165F, which means it is also ready to come off. Chop up the remaining ingredients for your salsa and add in the fresh herbs, the skin should easily pull away from your cooked peaches, it is texturally unappetizing if you leave it on.  Now you are ready to eat, we paired our chicken with a nice cool vinegary cucumber salad which turned out to be the perfect refreshing combination on yet another sweltering hot day.

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Posted by on July 24, 2013 in Chicken

 

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Grill Mods: Dual Zone Thermometers

So we did this a while back but I never posted it…partially because it was in the winter and I was pretty ashamed that we had no grass at that point.  Our yard looked super white trashy at the time, but after putting a pool in the middle of our front yard and waddling my huge pregnant booty out there in a bikini, I figure that my white trashiness has reached the point of no return, so here goes.

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The common question seems to be “Why the front yard?” Because the dogs are in the back and it would take them all of 3 seconds to have torn this thing apart.

Anyways, we went down to our local BBQ store to look for a couple of thermometers to add to the lid of our 22.5″ Weber kettle so we could monitor the temperature and have better control over our dual zone cooking.  We picked up two thermometers and a silicone sealant safe for high temperatures.  You are also going to need a power drill, marking pen, and possibly measuring tape(if you want things to be all nice and symmetrical)

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We (meaning Derek, I just stood there and took pictures), measured out the desired distance and drilled a pilot hole, which is a small guiding “starter hole” before you start putting holes in your grill lid with a giant drill bit.

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We also noticed that there was a small notch on the back of the thermometer, to keep it from turning I am assuming? Not really sure, but it required the drilling of yet another hole as well.

It doesn't have to be pretty, it just has to work

It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to work

Put your sealant around the top of the holes and install your thermometer.  Then seal up around the inside of the grill and you are done!

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Let this dry for at least 24 hours before using, and enjoy your new customized Weber grill!

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Posted by on July 11, 2013 in Barbeque, Technique

 

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I Stole This Recipe…Sort of

The Prudent Wife has a recipe for a sugar-free Vanilla Coconut Flour Cookies that really piqued my interest.  I have been craving baked goods of all sorts lately(and have been eating them more than I probably should).

Blueberry pancakes anyone?

Blueberry pancakes anyone?

This cookie recipe seemed too good to be true; easy, delicious, and I already have the ingredients lying around.  Sign me up!  You start off blending 6 eggs, 1 cup coconut milk, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1 TB vanilla extract, and some vanilla stevia to taste in a blender.  Then add in 1/4 tea salt and 3/4 cup coconut flour.  This is when disaster struck!  You know how carpenters always say “measure twice, cut once,” well I think there needs to be some kitchen cliché that reminds people to make sure they have enough of everything before making a vanilla-egg-coconut soup.  I ended up with 1/2 cup coconut flour left in my bag, so I used that and frantically searched my kitchen for a replacement.  After debating for a moment, I chose to start dumping in grated dried coconut.  I added about 1 1/8 cups and a tablespoon of coconut butter(because everything is better with coconut butter).  I also added in some almond extract and voilà, vanilla almond coconut cookies were born!  Which is good, because I would have been really pissed if I had to dump out a whole batch of batter because I was too stupid to make sure I had enough of everything first.

I cant believe this worked!

I cant believe this worked!

Don’t forget to check out all of these fabulous Beyond Bacon reviews and giveaways over at the Paleo Parents site while you are sitting in front of the computer in your underpants doing nothing.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2013 in Dessert

 

Chicken Cacciatore

As I sit here trying to think of some clever and entertaining way to start this recipe, I remember that I have not done anything interesting for months other than rescue a turtle from the road.  Even on that day I spent half of my hike resting with the dogs instead of being productive.  Pregnant people suck, we are boring, the only thing we talk about is babies, pregnancy and food.  Fortunately you came here for the food right?

6 months down, 3.5 to go!

6 months down, 3.5 to go!

Ok, so this recipe is so amazing we even shocked ourselves.  Cacciatore means “hunter” in Italian. In cuisine, alla cacciatora refers to a rustic stew prepared “hunter-style” with tomatoes, onions, and herbs…enjoy

Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs with the skin removed
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • about 1/4 cup bone broth (or more as needed)
  • am container of baby portabella mushrooms
  • 3 carrots
  • an onion
  • several springs of fresh rosemary
  • a few cloves of garlic
  • a pinch (or more) crushed red pepper
  • salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • handful of fresh herbs, I used parsley and basil, but thyme and oregano would be good too
  • small scoop of cooking fat (butter or coconut oil)
  • and of course, what is a meal without 8 pieces of bacon

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Fire up that grill and start chopping up all of your veggies and rosemary, put those in a bowl and set aside for later, then chop up that bacon.  Put the bacon and a bit of starter cooking fat into a grill friendly pan.  I used the Weber Gourmet BBQ system here, if you don’t have that a large cast iron skillet or dutch oven would work too. Season the thighs on both sides with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and go check those coals, they should be ready by now.

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Here is my setup, I seared the chicken thighs for a couple of minutes on each side until they got some grill marks and then set aside.  Do not cook these all the way through because they will finish up in your sauce. I put the bacon on there too, so it can start releasing some of its yummy bacony goodness.  Lets see a close up of that beautiful pork porn…

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Oh yeah baby!

Once your bacon has given you a nice amount of fat in the bottom of your pan add in your chopped veggies, garlic and rosemary and sauté, stirring frequently so they don’t burn.  Once they start to caramelize season them with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper then add in your tomatoes and let everything simmer for a few minutes. I kept a bit of bone broth on hand in case things started to look dried out and added a little bit at a time.  If you are using a dutch oven with a  lid you probably wont have this problem.

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Once those veggies start to get tender nestle those chicken thighs into the stew and let them finish cooking.  Once they hit 165, carefully pull the pan off the grill and serve with fresh herbs.  I even topped mine with a little shaved pecorino romano, but that is because it would take divine intervention to get me to give up cheese permanently.

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Don’t click on this picture unless you have a towel handy to wipe up the drool

The only word that comes to mind when I try to describe this dish is a-friggin-mazing! Derek, who had previously never even heard of chicken cacciatore, devoured it, gushing about how wonderful it was with each bite, and then asked if I would make it again.  An absolute must-have when you are sick of the same old burgers on the grill. Weber should seriously pay me to cook with their products!

Also, have you entered to win your free copy of Beyond Bacon yet?  Get on it!

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Bacon, Chicken, Soups

 

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Beyond Bacon Review and Giveaway!

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few months, you must have heard the buzz about the new book from the Paleo Parents, Matt McCarry and Stacy Toth. I hesitate to call Beyond Bacon a cookbook because it is so much more than that, this is actually the paleo pork bible, it tells you everything you need to know about purchasing and cooking a whole hog.

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Now, I consider myself to be quite the pork connoisseur, and they still managed to surprise me with the range and variety of recipes included, there is even a BBQ section for those of you with a smoker addiction(although I might have to challenge them to a cook-off for best smoked pork shoulder). The only disappointment is that I didn’t have this in my kitchen sooner, I really could have used this after our last hog aporkalypse when I was stuck with what seemed like an endless supply of pork chops.

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This book on it’s own is truly a piece of art, with rustic photography on each page more beautiful than the last but once you start to indulge in these recipes you will have a new appreciation for all parts of the hog. A couple of my favorites so far are the smoked pork belly, Italian tomato pork chops, and the salted mocha biscotti and I even tried my hand at making my own lard, caramel fudge and pancetta.

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Pancetta in progress

Ok, so I know you are sick of listening to me rave about Beyond Bacon, so I will stop myself before I ramble on all day.  I love this book, and you clearly need it, luckily Matt and Stacy sent along an extra copy, so here is your chance to win one…

Beyond Bacon Cookbook Giveaway

Good luck!

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2013 in Bacon, Pork, Random

 

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Summer Dessert Series: Strawberry Shortcake

This recipe brings me right back to my childhood.  My mom used to make strawberry shortcake as soon as the weather got nice every year.  This is, hands down, my favorite paleo dessert right now so I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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For the biscuits:

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Thats it.  Easy enough to throw together on a weeknight! Preheat your oven to 400F and mix everything together.  Now a lot of people tell you to combine the dry ingredients and whisk the wet, then sift one into the other, blah blah, blah.  I don’t do that, just throw it all together and combine well and you should be fine.  All those extra steps just mean more dishes to wash.

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Drop them onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.  When you check them, they should be brown on the bottom and very firm on the top with golden brown edges.  Once the biscuits are done move them to a wire rack to cool.  Don’t skip this step or else they could get pretty soggy, if you have worked with coconut flour before you know how well it soaks up liquids.  If you are not going to use all four of these right away store them on a wire rack on your counter or in the microwave, do not cover them up.

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Topping:

  • 2lb Sliced strawberries
  • Stevia or honey (just a small amount to taste)
  • Heavy Cream

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Put the berries and sweetener in a bowl and let them marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.  When you’re ready to serve whip up some heavy cream and divide the toppings evenly and enjoy.

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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Dessert, Favorites

 
 
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