Paleo Eats: 12/8/11

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Happy Birthday, Big-O!

I can’t believe the older of my two sprouts is SEVEN. Shoot. I’m an old mofo. 

In honor of his birthday, the Double-O’s and I baked some cinnamon bun muffins in the morning.

I bought some baking mixes from White Lion Baking Company after reading the glowing review on Everyday Paleo. The cinnamon bun muffins were a breeze to bake, had a delicate and moist crumb, and just the right amount of sweetness. Big-O loved them — even though he doesn’t have a sweet tooth at all. (That fact makes me question whether he is truly my son, as opposed to an alien implanted in my belly all those years ago.)

For my breakfast, I scarfed down a muffin, a few slices of Applegate Farms organic roast beef, and a handful of Paleo trail mix before I dashed off to  Lil-O’s preschool for my bi-monthly co-teaching assignment.

 At lunchtime, I came home and ate some more slices of roast beef and reheated a bowl of cauliflower fried rice.

I was still hungry so I ate a packet Steve’s Original Grass Fed Just Jerky and some dark chocolate. Uh, huh. I eat dark chocolate daily now. Bite me.

I had a little time to myself before I picked up the boys, so I seasoned some pork chops with Tabil, salt, and pepper…

…and threw them in the SousVide Supreme. I guess it’s a little telling that in my free time I’d rather dunk some swine in a warm bath than take one myself…

In the afternoon, my sister arrived from L.A. to help Big-O celebrate his special day.  When the two of us picked him up at school, her physical presence elicited his most ecstatic response of the day. I feel the same way and wish she still lived up in NorCal — but my squeals aren’t as cute.

For dinner, we all went to Sumika at the birthday boy’s request. We don’t come here often because Japanese food isn’t exactly Paleo (due to the soy, sugar, mirin, and vegetable oils), and I can’t resist the stuff with the badness in it.  Sumika is Big-O’s favorite restaurant — at his request, we dined here last year for his birthday, too — and the exceptional food is worth the detour off the Paleo highway.

Tonight, we ate a TON.

We shared some shrimp-stuffed shiitake mushrooms (yes, those are crispy noodles on top)…

…simmered daikon…

…chicken karaage…

…Okinawan-style stewed pork…

…beef tataki…

…and a bazillion skewers.

We chowed on chicken livers…

…crispy chicken skin…

…pork cheeks, chicken breasts with coconut sauce, chicken thighs…

…boneless(!) chicken necks (my FAVORITE)…

…pork-wrapped enoki mushrooms…

…chicken meatballs…

…chicken wings, and more chicken skin.

Halfway through dinner, our table was graced with a special appearance by the Unabomber Santa.

Happy Birthday (again!), my darling son!

Dining Out Paleo: Sumika (Los Altos, CA)

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Our oldest rugrat turned six today, and out of the blue, he requested that we all dine at Sumika for dinner. Yay! I love this Japanese yakitori place! It specializes in kushi-yaki, a type of cooking where bite-sized meat and vegetables are grilled over a charcoal grill. And not just any old charcoal, either: Sumika imports Binchō-tan charcoal from Japan, and this stuff is supposed to bring out the best flavors in grilled food because it doesn’t release smoke or other unpleasant flavors.

Sumika’s famous around these parts for its yakitori (grilled organic chicken skewers), and the restaurant skewers up all parts of the bird, including the neck, heart, liver, and skin. Everything is seasoned simply with fine-grain sea salt imported from the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and/or a freshly prepared marinade. It’s pretty easy to stay mostly Paleo here but it’s a good bet that there’s soy, sugar, and/or cornstarch in a bunch of the sauces.

Now, without further ado, let the food porn begin…

Unagi & shiitake bacon wrap: a terrine of tofu, unagi, and shitake mushrooms wrapped in bacon and drizzled with a teriyaki sauce:

Grilled chicken hearts:

Stewed beef gristle (yes, that’s what it’s called on the menu):

A platter of grilled meaty goodness — Kobe-style beef with onion apple sauce, chicken wings, pork cheeks, and bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms:

More yumminess. Skewers of chicken thigh, Angel shrimp, and shiitake mushrooms:

Chicken thigh skewer with spicy sauce:

Chicken breast with coconut sauce and almonds:

Chicken thigh with soy-balsamic glaze:

I’m so proud of our kindergartner for picking this place for his birthday dinner over some crappy spot like Olive Garden or Chili’s. However, my love for him is so deep that I’d actually step foot in one of those shitty chain restaurants if he requested it. Thank goodness he’s a little food snob in training!