Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Sofiacheers

As we say good-bye to 2015 we say hello to so many changes coming in the New Year.  Construction just started on our fixer-upper, Karina has been accepted to her college of choice, and the baby chicks are just around the corner.  Greenhouse plans have been drawn, chicken coop is about to get built and my three dogs are having a blast on the property.

Life is funny… we’ve been through a lot of life to get us where we are today, and we are so thankful.  I thank God for every trial that led me to Neil and our future together.

Our Little New Year’s Eve (that is what we call the eve before NYE) meal is a simple, clean taco bar straight from the Paleo/Whole 30 eating plan.

Replace the tortilla’s with romaine leaves, leave out the cheese and you are good to go!

 

 

Ham and Potato Soup-Whole 30

WP_20151217_003

Leftover Christmas ham?  This is a wonderful soup with a Germ twist to it. Paleo and Whole 30 compliant depending the fats you use. I love this.  There is an extra dash of flavor and it is a nice change to the old split pea and ham.

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons ghee or Kerrygold butter

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1 cup cabbage or celery, diced

4-6 gold potatoes, diced

32 ounces chicken or vegetable stock

1 cup diced ham

1 cup milk (coconut or almond milk for Whole 30)

1 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

dash cayenne pepper

Directions

In a large stock pot add ghee/butter, onions.  Let cook 5 minutes.  Add potatoes and spices and let cook another 5 minutes.  Add broth, ham and cook additional 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender.  Add milk, cabbage and let simmer for additional 10 minutes.  Season to taste.

Melinda’s Homemade Egg Nog

Melinda’s Homemade Egg Nog

eggnog

My eldest step-daughter used to make this every holiday season.  This is my homage to her.  Miss her.

Melinda’s Homemade Egg Nog

2 eggs, beaten well

3 Tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, fresh ground if possible

2-1/3 cups milk of your choice

Blend all the ingredients together and serve chilled.

Lamb Roast

It’s time.  Lamb makes my quality of life just one notch higher than before I met my first lamb roast. This recipe is adapted from Nigella’s Lamb Roast for One and is great with shanks or a roast.  Usually saved for holidays, but now and then I find beautiful shanks from the meat counter at Whole Foods. Worth the splurge.

WP_20151215_001

Roast

In the slow cooker on low for six hours.

3-4 lb Lamb Shoulder Roast

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 bulb garlic, cloves peeled

1/2-1 cup olive oil

1/4-1/2 cup good red table wine or port

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon course black pepper

Place the lamb fat side up in slow cooker.  Make slits in the fat and stuff the peeled garlic cloves over entire top of lamb.  Yes, slightly tedious, but worth the infusion.  The lamb I get from Costco has a net over it so I stuff every other square with a piece of garlic.

Pour the olive oil and wine over the lamb.  I throw in sprigs of rosemary, thyme and mint leaves if I have some still fresh in the garden.  Sometimes I throw in some more garlic cloves just because we love it so much.  Generously salt and pepper the top and leave it alone for six hours.

 

 

Clean Slow Cooker Roast Beef, Paleo and Whole 30

Clean Slow Cooker Roast Beef, Paleo and Whole 30

WP_20151109_003

There are many variations of slow cooker roasts floating around.  I like this one because  it is easy and it makes a rich, flavorful sauce, and it is easy enough to throw together in the morning before you leave for work.  Please grow fresh herbs in your garden, you’ll smell the difference when you walk in the door at 6 o’clock. Derived from my other favorite recipe HERE but it isn’t exactly quick and not quite as easy.

The veg: celery (with leaves), carrots, onions, potatoes.  Feel free to throw in any root vegetables you like. I’d stay away from sweet potatoes as they get mushy.

The herbs: sing it with me, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme

Ingredients

2 lbs. chuck beef roast (or your favorite protein)

1 large onion

1 cup chopped carrots (I throw in baby carrots without chopping)

3 sprigs of the following herbs, chopped leaves: rosemary, thyme, parsley,

3 leaves of sage, chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed, smash, or throw in whole if you are in a hurry

2 cups broth, chicken works fine

1/4 cup red wine or red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

Instructions

Rinse and pat dry the meat.

Layer the onions first, potatoes, carrots and celery, in that order.

Disperse herbs around the vegetables.

Sprinkle meat with sea salt, pepper, garlic powder on both sides, place on top of veggie bed.

Turn that dial to low for 8 hours and leave the house.

Dad’s Oatmeal Cookies

Dad’s Oatmeal Cookies

oatmealcookie

This recipe is here because it is my dad’s favorite.  I have been making them for him for 34 years and counting. The end.

Ingredients

2 sticks butter

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-1/2 cups flour

1/2  teaspoon baking soda

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

3 ups quick or old fashioned oatmeal

Options: 1 cup raisins, craisins, or chocolate chips

Instructions

Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Beat together butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla until creamy and smooth.

Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and mix well (about 2 minutes on a stand mixer).

Slowly add the oats until incorporated.

Add any optional items after the oatmeal is mixed in.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake 10-12 minutes.

Cool 1 minute before moving to wire rack.

Makes 3-4 dozen cookies