Friday, January 30, 2015

Tahini-Glazed Chicken Wings

My only appreciation for winter comes from the fact that it's pretty much a prerequisite for spring, at least in this part of the world. And, in my optimistic opinion, we're on the road to spring beginning on December 22nd, when we start getting an additional minute or two of light each day. Spotting a vestige of light in the sky after 5 pm gives me hope.

Even when a blizzard comes through, dumping two feet of snow on my city and leaving my street virtually impassable for days afterward, I know that we are on the up and up, the unstoppable vector leading to spring.

In the meantime, let's eat some chicken wings!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cinnamon Hazelnut Date Cake

The humble date is much more delicious and versatile than one might guess based on its appearance. Dates are appealingly sticky and sweet, and their complex flavor makes you think a few aromatic spices like cinnamon and allspice may already be inside the fruit.

For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I had the pleasure of perusing Ros' blog, The more than occasional baker. As someone who also tends to fire up the oven more than occasionally, I was excited to see all the fabulous baked goods on her site.  From classics like chocolate peanut butter squares to innovative treats like parsnip cake, her blog has it all.

As soon as I spotted this cinnamon date cake, though, my mind was made up.  A beautiful Bundt cake sweetened with dates and flavored with cinnamon sounded like just the thing for a snowy January weekend, and it was!

For this recipe, you pit a bunch of dates and soak them in very hot water. (The pitted dates look just like hearts, so I had to stop and take a few photos. Looks like I'm in a valentine's mindset already!) The soaked dates and then blended into a paste in the food processor so they can permeate the batter with moisture and flavor.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pesto Frittata

I'm finished with the first week of my Whole30, and feeling pretty great.  You can see almost every delicious thing I've eaten over on Instagram--I've been having so much fun trying out new recipes and revisiting old favorites.  Doing a challenge like this really gets the creativity flowing!

So far I'm breezing through each day without craving any off-plan foods--I even survived a friend's birthday party last night without any serious yearnings for the cake, cookies, booze, or tortilla chips that everyone else was enjoying.  I sipped on seltzer with lime, snacked on mixed nuts, and felt pretty darn virtuous.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Top 14 Paleo Recipes of 2014

Happy New Year!  I hope you enjoy a 2015 full of love, happiness, and real food. I'm starting a Whole30 tomorrow and gearing up to share a lot of squeaky clean recipes this month, but for today, I'm sharing a roundup of my most popular paleo recipes from 2014. In case you're already in Whole30 mode, I've marked the recipes that are compliant with the program.

Here's to another year of cooking delicious and healthy food together!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Chewy Molasses Cookies

Is it too late for a Christmas cookie?

If it is, I understand.  I hope you'll consider this as you're choosing a Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, or random January afternoon cookie.  Chewy grain-free molasses cookies work anytime.

Normally I don't love cookies unless there's chocolate or caramel involved, but I've made an exception here.  There's something about the rich flavor of molasses in a chewy cookie with a hint of crunch from a coating of sparkling sugar that I can really get into.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Roasted Jerk Chicken with Carrots and Potatoes

As winter settles in, I'm trying to remain focused on the few cold-weather activities I actually enjoy-- namely, roasting things, making hot drinks, and baking cookies. (Don't even try to get me excited about skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. I'll just meet up with you in the lodge for some hot chocolate when you're done freezing your nose and toes on the frigid slopes.)

There is one other winter activity I enjoy, though, and that is going on Caribbean vacations. I don't have the money for a trip anywhere warm this year, but Ben and I had an amazing time in Jamaica year before last. Today we relived some of those good times by eating this paleo roasted jerk chicken with carrots and potatoes. It's no trip to the islands, but it does taste really good.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Ginger Thyme Tea

Feeling under the weather?  Try this simple ginger thyme tea!

I woke up Thanksgiving morning with the beginnings of a cold. Black Friday was even worse, with the irrepressible urge to nap setting in a mere three hours after I woke up. Yesterday, after getting over ten hours of sleep the night before, I spent the hours between six and eight pm dozing off on the couch with a purring cat on my stomach and a scarf wrapped around my head. I've gone through two pocket packs of tissues and finally had to cave and buy a full-size box.

Since I know a lot of people get sick around the holidays, I thought I'd share my favorite homemade remedy: a simple ginger tea.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Cranberry Orange Bread

My family doesn't have a well-defined set of Thanksgiving traditions.  Growing up with divorced parents, I often divided my time between two Thanksgiving dinners, having the main meal at one house and dessert at another.  Things always felt briefly desolate as I was shuttled between the two under the cover of early nightfall, but a slice of pie (or three) put an end to that pretty fast.  And I wouldn't have wanted to miss out on spending time with either of my families.  

My mom and I usually had dinner at a friends' house, and didn't have to do much of the cooking.  (I don't think either of us has ever roasted a whole turkey, unless she did a bunch of turkey-roasting before I was born and neglected to tell me about it.)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

I'm a little late to the pumpkin party this year.  I bought a couple of cartons of pumpkin puree over a month ago because I knew the pumpkin cravings would eventually hit, but wasn't sure when.

I made it through all of October and the first half of November without making a batch of my paleo pumpkin spice ice cream, a pumpkin and pecorino soufflĂ©, or a pumpkin caramel cheesecake pie.  I didn't just not make any of those things--I didn't even want them.  It was like I was over pumpkin.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Kratiem Prik Thai Short Ribs with Quick-Pickled Carrots

Kratiem Prik Thai Short Ribs with Quick-Pickled Carrots--a delicious and flavorful paleo meal |

Wintry weather has already made an appearance in Boston; we had our first snow, albeit a small one, last weekend.  I hate being cold outside and abhor feeling cold indoors even more, but I also, like a true New Englander, am always reluctant to turn on the heat.

My best solution for cold days at home is to have something in the oven pretty much at all times.  And since I can't always be making and eating desserts, my favorite thing to do is braise meat or chicken.  The cooking time is nice and long, so it will really warm up your house (or at least your kitchen).  The bonus effect of this heating strategy is that you will also be really well fed.