Nom Nom Paleo

Paleo Eats: 2/6/13

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Lil-O was felled with a “hot” throat this morning, so he got to play hooky from preschool. While I made breakfast, my little one curled up on the couch with his beloved stuffed cat to watch cartoons.

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Nursing a sick kiddo meant I had to skip my class at CrossFit Palo Alto. I’ve totally become an intermittent CrossFitter these days, and when I joke with my gym buddies that I’ll see them next month, I’m only kidding on the square. Sad.

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Paleo Eats: 2/5/13

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After a whirlwind trip to NYC last weekend, it was especially nice to wake up in my own bed. I heard the Double-Os stampede down the hallway precisely at 7 in the morning, but I had no trouble popping up; it was, after all, already 10 a.m. on the East Coast. Unfortunately, Henry wasn’t feeling as chipper: he woke up with a sore throat and fever.

Uh, oh.

As my hubby tried to grab a few more winks before dragging himself off to work (to infect his entire office, I’m sure), I made breakfast for the boys: scrambled eggs, sliced apple, and raw milk.

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After dropping Big-O off at school, I filled my pressure cooker with knuckle bones, chicken feet, beef stew meat, and veggies to make a meaty bone broth for my ailing husband.

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Paleo Eats: 12/23/12

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The San Francisco Bay Area was hit by two separate rainstorms this weekend, so we elected to hunker down indoors to stay cozy and dry.

For breakfast, I made scrambled eggs…

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….bacon…

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….and lobbed everyone a satsuma. I’m not kidding about launching tangerines at everyone’s heads — I’m training my kids to have ninja-like reflexes. Soon, they’ll be deflecting throwing stars.

After doing the dishes, I puttered around the kitchen, bottling up homemade kombucha, while the Double-Os performed their favorite Weird Al songs in the living room. After a few weeks of experimentation, we’ve landed on our favorite flavors: apple (Big-O), cherry (me), and Fuyu persimmon (Henry). When the kombucha in the continuous brewer achieves the perfect level of tanginess, I bottle the ‘booch with a few slices of fresh or frozen fruit.

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Then, I let the bottles condition in our cooler for two days before I stick them in the fridge. I’m still new to home brewing and flavoring, so I constantly find myself referring to my two favorite online resources: Kombucha Kamp and Food Renegade. My next kombucha-related project: Setting up a SCOBY hotel so I can share the yeasty, bacterial love with others.

Lunch was a simple affair: Paleo coleslaw and slider burgers. 

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After lunch, I grabbed a bag of apples from the fridge to make a batch of crunchy, cinnamon-dusted apple chips. I love my mother-in-law’s recipe for these treats — I’m kind of addicted to them — and I’ve been dying to make my own ever since my oven got fixed.

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Mission accomplished!

Because of the dreary weather, I was determined to make a hearty, comforting dinner — but not one that would take all afternoon. As a result, I broke out my pressure cookers (yes, plural) to make short ribs and mashed fauxtatoes. For an additional vegetable side dish, I roasted a tray of broccoli in the oven.

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Yep, it totally hit the spot — though using two pressure cookers mean more pots to clean.

As Christmas approaches, I’m feeling bummed out. Not because I have a ton of last-minute preparations — that’s a given — but because my vacation ends on the 26th. The day after Christmas also happens to be Lil-O’s birthday, and even though I’m not heading off to my shift at the hospital until after he goes to bed, it still bites. Plus, I’m now scheduled to work the nightshift for the next seven Christmases, as well as Lil-O’s next seven birthdays. Assuming I stay employed, I won’t have those days off again until both of my little boys are teenagers. I guess I’ll just have to make sure I savor every minute of family time before I start work on Wednesday night.

Happy holidays, everyone!

Paleo Eats: 12/7/12

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I was positively giddy about the start of my three week vacation…until it occurred to me that I’ll be a full-time, stay-at-home mom for the rest of the month. I love hanging with my boys, but I’m certainly busier when I’m on mommy duty than when I’m dealing drugs in the dead of night. On the other hand, I’m thankful that for the next three weeks, I’ll be able to go to bed at night. Simple pleasures, right?

This morning, I whipped up breakfast for the boys (scrambled eggs, mini chicken apple sausages, sliced apple, and raw whole milk) and packed their school lunches before my hubby shuttled them off to school. Once the house was empty, it was breakfast time for me: I pan-fried a few leftover slices of smoky 4505 Meats ham steak and cooked up a package of mixed frozen veggies for my own breakfast.

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I downed it all in a flash — chewing is so overrated — and with some time to kill, I decided to make some mocha popsicles with freshly brewed espresso (using the awesome Bialetti Moka Express that our friend Shiraaz got for us)…

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…coconut milk, cocoa powder, and some other secret stuff.

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Yes, I’m aware that it’s December, but just ‘cause it’s cold outside doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy a frozen treat, people. (Besides, we live in California. It’s not exactly arctic here.)

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Once the popsicles were in the freezer, I zoomed over to CrossFit Palo Alto and spent an hour practicing push presses, deadlifts, and double unders with the gals in the women’s class. One thing that the workout made clear: I can’t afford to stop working on my double unders. Back when I was regularly practicing in my garage, I was starting to string ‘em together, but now? Not so much.

Afterwards, I stopped by my new favorite local grocery store, Miki’s Farm Fresh Market, to pick up goodies for Big-O’s birthday party. (My boy was ripped out of my uterus eight years ago! Hooray!) If you live on the San Francisco Peninsula or South Bay, you need to check out this store. The grass fed/organic/pastured meat and produce selection is unparalleled on this side of the Bay — and the butcher sells grass fed beef liver. Chicken feet, too. I love this place.

When I came home, I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon playing around with the beta version of the new update for the Nom Nom Paleo app

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Henry and I have been working with our developer on some upgrades: We tweaked the look, added over a dozen recipes, and implemented a pretty major change that we think will make most folks very happy. (All these features and new recipes will be free for everyone who’s already downloaded the app.) Once testing’s done, we’ll submit it to Apple for approval. Fingers crossed!

For lunch, I took a tiny break from my QA duties to make a simple frittata with stir fried baby kale.

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Stacy & Matt generously gifted us with a sampler of artisanal Olio olive oils and flavored balsamic vinegars, and I’ve been drizzling ‘em on EVERYTHING. Even my eggy lunch entrée didn’t escape a fruity ribbon of olive oil.

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My favorite vinegar flavor? The chocolate balsamic. Big surprise, huh? 

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At 2 o’clock, I picked up the kiddos from school and we spent the rest of the afternoon struggling to set up a huge tent in the living room for Big-O’s slumber party. Having kids sleep in a tent in the house is very Party of Five. Or maybe The Sixth Sense, only with less barfing and screaming.

By 5 o’clock, the tent was still not set up, and I had no clue what to make for dinner. I would’ve totally spazzed out if it weren’t for two things: (1) my hubby got home from work and took over the tent duties, and (2) I remembered that I have PaleoChef marinades in the pantry. (By the way, this ain’t some sort of paid product placement for PaleoChef — I purchased a sampler pack last month to try them out on desperation dinner nights like tonight.)

We have a bunch of different marinades, and after surveying the boys, we popped open the bottle of Tomato Balsamic to flavor a bunch of salted chicken legs.

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I let the legs marinate for about an hour — just enough time to wash up the boys and give myself a hose down.

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Our wall oven is finally back in working order (thank you, Aloha Appliance Repair!), so I put it through it’s paces by roasting both the chicken…

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…and broccoli at the same time using the convection mode.

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When the broccoli finished roasting in the oven, I removed the tray from the oven and tossed the florets with some leftover roasted butternut squash and balsamic vinegar.

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The chicken was ready ten minutes later — and not a moment too soon, ‘cause we were all salivating from the tempting aromas wafting from the oven.

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Here’s my dinner plate:

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What’s the verdict on the marinade? Thumbs up from the whole family. Even picky Lil-O.

On another note, I just joined Google+. I’m kind of hesitant to add yet another social media channel to my plate. (I’m barely keeping up with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest as it is.) But the thing is, I really dig what Google+ has to offer. What do you think? Am I wasting my time with Google+? And why aren’t my small children offering to be my social media interns?

Paleo Eats: 11/5/12

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I’m more than halfway through my week of night shifts, and the work’s been steady — not too crazy and not too slow. It’s been juuust right. Sipping bone broth during my 10-hour shift staved off the hunger pangs, so my leftovers stayed in my lunchbox all night.

But when I walked through the front door and smelled the boys’ breakfast of eggs and sausages sizzling on the stove, I was suddenly famished. That Henry is a good daddy…

…AND a great husband ‘cause he made me a plate, no questions asked.

Breakfast for dinner!

Once the boys were out of the house, I set to work concocting a new Asian-inspired marinade with scallions, ginger, coconut aminos, rice vinegar (it’s Whole30-approved!), honey (gasp!), and Red Boat Fish Sauce (duh!).

I poured it over a bunch of chicken thighs…

…and stuck the chicken in the fridge before passing out in bed.

When I woke up several hours later, I grabbed the bag of thighs…

…and popped them into the oven. 

While the bird roasted, I cut up two bunches of kale…

…a few carrots, half an onion, and some garlic cloves…

…and tossed them in the pressure cooker to make a quick pot of braised greens.

As I waited for the chicken and kale to finish cooking, I pulsed a head of cauliflower in the food processor…

…and pan-fried some simple cauliflower rice.

In less than an hour after I stepped in the kitchen, dinner was ready. 

Here’s my plate:

And here’s me in all my bedheaded glory making dinner:

Obviously, I spend tons more time in the kitchen than I do in the powder room futzing about my appearance. But that’s all gonna change, people. I just ordered a mess of natural beauty products from the highly-acclaimed Primal Life Organics. Tape your jaws shut: The next time you see me, I’m going to be made up like Honey Boo Boo in full-on pageant mode, complete with Go Go Juice in hand.

Or not.