5 Minute Perfect Paleo Sandwich Bread: Chicklets in the Kitchen Post

PaleoBread004

We’re headed into the fall and one of the best things is roasted meat. You know—roast chicken, roast beef, roast pork, all the best things about cooler weather. And after the meal, what to do with the left-over meat? Sandwiches of course!

But if you’re on a gluten free or paleo lifestyle like I am, sandwiches are tough. Of course you can do a lettuce wrap. I like those, especially in the summer. But for cold weather, I like something a little heartier. And this bread fills the bill.

If you’re looking for a giant slice of bread, this isn’t going to be it. But taken as is, it’s tasty, holds together well, (especially lightly toasted), and easy to make. So give this a try. You’ll be glad you did.

Note: I took this recipe from the Paleo and Gluten Free Eats website. Find more tasty recipes there at https://paleoglutenfree.com/recipes/5-min-perfect-paleo-sandwich-bread/

 

5 Minute Perfect Paleo Sandwich Bread

Hardware

Bread Pan, 4.5 X 8.5 inches

Parchment Paper

Mixing Bowl

1 Cup Measuring cup

1/2 Cup Measuring cup

Measuring Spoons

Large Spoon

 PaleoBread001

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cup Almond Flour

3 Tablespoons Psyllium Husk Powder

2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

4 Large Eggs

1 Teaspoon Sea Salt

1/2 Cup Apple Sauce

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Line the bread pan with parchment paper. Note: I sprayed the pan with cooking spray first as it helps keep the parchment paper in place.

Combine all of the ingredients together in a food processor (or by hand). Blend until the batter becomes smooth. Note: I just used a mixing bowl and a large spoon. I didn’t even melt the coconut oil first.

PaleoBread002

Pour that dough (it’s a thick batter) into the lined loaf pan and cook on 400F for 30 minutes until golden brown on top.

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NOTE: I let the bread cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then take it out and let it cool to room temp before peeling off the parchment paper and putting into a gallon storage bag. I store it in the refrigerator as I don’t eat the bread very fast to keep it from going bad quickly.

Enjoy your bread as toast, sandwiches or even to make croutons for your salads.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite bread to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

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Three Ingredient Coconut Yogurt: Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

Fruit and Yogurt Snack

Homegrown peaches with home made yogurt!

I have to say, the last three to four weeks I’ve pretty much blown off doing my paleo lifestyle. I re-introduced grains in the form of gluten-free bread and pizza crust, have been eating ice cream with homemade chocolate shell, and even gotten into the Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. (Peanuts are a no-no on paleo, not to mention the sugar.) Sigh.

Then I’m also stressed about the upcoming Northern Gila County Fair. I’ve introduced on-line exhibit registration and from what I can tell, it’s not being used. That means it’s going to be a lot of hands-on exhibit registration again this year. But I’ll have to input all of that hand-written stuff again, manually, into the fair database. Another sigh.

Anyway, this month I decided to do a video about this three-ingredient coconut yogurt. You can see from my face the result of eating the grains and dairy and sugar. Ugh. Back on the paleo I go. In the meantime, though, I’ll have lots of this delish yogurt to help me stay on my path. Clear skin, here I come.

 

Three Ingredient Coconut Yogurt

Hardware

Saucepan

Large Pot

2 Quart Measuring cup

1 Cup Measuring cup

3 One-pint canning jars

Tongs

Rubber Spatula

 

Ingredients

1 T/1 package unflavored gelatin

3 Cans (40.5 fluid ounces) coconut milk

4 capsules live probiotic (The more strains of probiotic the better. I used Solaray, mycrobiome probiotic, 30 billion live cultures, 24 strains. Live probiotics are kept in the refrigerated section of your local health food store.)

1/2 cup water

 

I made my first ever cooking video to show you how to do this. The video is hilarious as I made all sorts of mistakes. No matter. I think you’ll get the gist and you’ll have a laugh with me as you watch. See it here: https://youtu.be/0f-E_E41I24

Directions:

In the 1 cup measuring cup, bloom the gelatin in 1/2 C lukewarm water. (NOTE: A packet of gelatin is less than a tablespoon. You may want to go ahead and open a second packet of gelatin and measure it to reach a full tablespoon measure. Using two packets makes the yogurt very firm. Using no gelatin leaves the yogurt liquid.) As you use this recipe more than once, you’ll come to figure out how much you need for your taste and location.)

In the saucepan, pour in the coconut milk and heat to boiling. Many recipes I reviewed for this said this wasn’t a necessary step as the canned coconut milk should already be sterile. However, if you want to, go ahead and bring the milk to a boil for 5 minutes, then turn it off and pour into the two-quart measuring cup to cool. You must get the coconut milk down to under 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Hotter will kill the probiotics you’ll be adding in the next step.

Add the water/gelatin mix into the warm coconut milk. Stir to incorporate.

Open the caplets of probiotic and add to the under 110-degree mix and stir. Make sure the probiotics aren’t clumped up.

Lightly cover the container to keep out dust and put somewhere warm. I used my cold oven. Other people use a warm window sill. Some wrap the container in clean towels to help it stay warm. As long as the mixture isn’t in a cold spot, it should do fine. Hold it there twelve hours. Can you skip this step? No. This is where the probiotics you’ve added have a chance to grow and make your coconut milk into yogurt. This is as essential as the step where you let your bread rise.

After twelve hours, put your container, still lightly covered, in the refrigerator for another twelve hours. This lets the flavors develop and the yogurt to firm up.

Sterilize your canning jars and lids. Pull from the boiling water onto a clean kitchen towel and let cool to room temperature.

After the second twelve hours, you can eat your fresh yogurt! Store any extra in the sterilized canning jars.

NOTE: You’ll notice that aside from canning jars, I don’t use any equipment you don’t already have in your kitchen. Canning jars are generally available by the dozen in your local hardware stores, but I know I can also find them in the local thrift shops. ALWAYS use new canning jar lids (the flat part with the thin rubber circled edge.) This is essential to making sure you get a good seal on the canning jar. (This is less critical for the yogurt.) If you’re canning fruit or vegetables or jam/jelly, you have to get a good seal to keep the food safe. The rings that hold the lids are reusable.

Enjoy that fresh tangy flavor. In addition to having it as a snack or breakfast with fruit and nuts, you can also use your yogurt in homemade salad dressings, in place of some of the mayo in your macaroni or tuna salads, as part of your pancake toppings and so much more.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite snack or dessert to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Raspberry Coconut Panna Cotta: A Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

Coconut Blueberry PannaCotta 005

Raspberry Coconut Panna Cotta

It’s summer. It’s hot. The last thing you want to do is start the oven up. The first thing you want is something cool, smooth, slightly sweet, and refreshing. I’ve found just the thing over on www.healingfamilyeats.com/raspberry-coconut-panna-cotta/. As soon as I saw that delightfully pink, creamy-looking dessert, I just had to try it.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any raspberries. I did have frozen blueberries though, so that’s what I used. This recipe is easy, and has just five ingredients, probably already in your fridge, freezer or pantry. And it makes 8 servings! Yay!

This being a paleo recipe, we’re not using the usual panna cotta ingredients or methods but that’s just fine with me. Give it a try. Click here for the full post.

 

Raspberry Coconut Panna Cotta

Coconut Blueberry PannaCotta 002

Hardware

Small saucepan

Blender

Measuring cup

Measuring spoons

 

Ingredients

1 T unflavored gelatin                                    1 tsp vanilla

3 C coconut milk                                            1/4 C honey

1 C packed raspberries                                   1/2 C filtered water

 

Directions:

Coconut Blueberry PannaCotta 003

In the small saucepan, bloom the gelatin in 1/2 C water. (NOTE: I used a packet of gelatin and it was less than a tablespoon. My panna cotta came out creamy but loose. Go ahead and open a second packet of gelatin and measure it all into a tablespoon measure. You’ll be glad you did.) Once softened, heat gently over very low heat, then add the honey. Once honey is melted, remove from the heat and add the vanilla.

Coconut Blueberry PannaCotta 004

In the blender, mix the berries and coconut milk. (NOTE: The next time I make this, I’m going to try almond milk. The final dessert does taste a bit like coconut. That’s fine, but I’m going to try to get rid of the coconut flavor.)

Whisk the gelatin mix into the blender of coconut and berries. (NOTE: Any berry, fresh or frozen will work. Use your favorite or whatever is in season.)

Pour into ramekins and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until set. (NOTE: you can dress your dessert with the fresh berries used in your dessert, whipped cream (if you don’t mind straying from your paleo lifestyle, or whipped coconut cream.)

Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Banana-Loquat Smoothy: Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

Banana-Loquat Smoothie

So last month I posted a coconut-lemon whip recipe which I made from meyer lemons from my daughter’s back yard tree. She also had, loquats, ripening. A loquat is a cross between a plum and a cumquat. Sweet, yellow, small (1 – 2 inch) oval shaped fruit with anywhere from 1 to 4 fair-sized seeds inside, depending on how big the loquat is.

The loquats are delicious, sweet and succulent. Unfortunately, they don’t travel or keep well so not a commercial fruit as far as I can tell. I was very fortunate, then, to get about a pint of them.

Rather than eat them one by one, I cut them in half, de-seeded them, cut in quarters, and dropped into my blender. This time of year I prefer smoothies for breakfast to juice as with a smoothie you get all of the fiber. Also, I don’t, yet, have a juicer.

Banana-Loquat Smoothie

Hardware

Cutting Board

Knife

Blender

Cup and straw

 

Ingredients

1 pint Loquats, cut in half, seeded, then cut into quarters

1 ripe banana, chunks

1 cup Almond Milk (more or less as desired thickness)

 

Directions:

Put the cut loquats, the banana, and the almond milk in the blender. Blend on puree until smooth. Add ice if you want it very cold. (Lessen the amount of almond milk if you do.) Pour into your glass.

Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite smoothie to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com

Coconut-Lemon Whip: Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

Finished Lemon Whip

Coconut-Lemon Whip

I apologize for the lack of posts. March and April were extremely crazy for me but I didn’t forget about you. April saw me take an actual vacation, to see my daughter in southern California. We enjoyed the beach (cold!) and Solvang, CA, (hot!), and my daughter’s and her room mate’s new house. It’s small, but the back yard has producing fruit trees. One was a Meyer lemon, the lemons ripe and ready to pick. So of course, I brought home five of them. What else could I do but make a dessert?

I’m still sticking to my Paleo life-style. Whatever your eating style, there’s nothing wrong with whole, fresh food, especially straight from the tree! Fair warning, because of the coconut oil and milk, this isn’t low fat but it is “good” fat. Enjoy in moderation. It makes four 8oz, ramekins of dessert.

Paleo Lemon Curd

Hardware

Sauce Pot

Strainer

Measuring cups and spoons

Knife

Cutting board

Zester or Micro-plane

 

Ingredients

1/2 cup juice: 5 Meyer Lemons (6 or more regular lemons depending on how juicy they are.)

1 T Lemon zest

3 eggs (whole)

1/4 C Honey

6 T Coconut Oil

 

Directions:

Over gentle heat add the zest, eggs and honey to the sauce pot and whisk until the mixture is pale yellow and thickened.

Add the juice and 2 T of the coconut oil. Whisk and adding more oil as soon as the previous additions have melted. Whisk and add until all the oil is added and the mixture is thick and bubbly. Don’t stop whisking. It will burn very fast.

Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl. Cover and put in the refrigerator several hours or overnight. I do let it chill overnight.

 

Coconut Whipped Cream

Hardware

Large Mixing Bowl

Hand Mixer with Whisk Attachment

Ingredients

14 oz Coconut Cream (TastesLovely.com recommends Trader Joes coconut cream. If you’re like me, Trader Joes is a hundred miles away, but my local grocery does carry canned Imperial Dragon Whole Fat Coconut Milk. Refrigerate that overnight, open, scoop out the coconut cream which will be hardened at the top of the can. Save the coconut water to drink or to use in a sauce. You won’t have the full 14 ounces but you can either ignore it, which I do, or use 2 cans, storing any extra coconut cream in the coconut water until you’re ready to do an Indian chicken curry or other savory dish.)

1 T honey. Optional. (I’ve never added the honey to the cream as I like the tartness of the lemon curd and the whipped cream without it.)

 

Directions:

Use a big bowl!

In a large bowl, scoop the cream. Don’t use the little bowl like I have in the picture unless you’ve planned to wash down your kitchen walls and cabinets. Which is what I had to do by using too small a bowl. Fair warning!

Using your hand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the cream and honey. It will be hard, so keep at it until you have a fluffy mix.

Whisk the lemon curd, to loosen it up and make it fluffy, then add the coconut whipped cream. Whisk until fully combined. You can cover and store the mixture or put it into ramekins as I did. To serve, top with more coconut cream or if you don’t mind going off diet, regular whipped cream.

Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Baked Cauliflower

 

Serving of Baked Cauliflower

 

One thing I do miss while on my new eating plan is pasta. I have always loved pasta and for many years dedicated Saturday night to pasta dinners. But eating paleo has changed all that. I still want that comfort food for dinner though. So what to do? Recreate it, of course. Now no one is ever going to think that cauliflower is pasta but nevertheless, I made this baked cauliflower and it was so good, the hubby went for seconds!

To make this work, since I also am off of dairy, I had to make a cauliflower ricotta. So, this month you get two recipes, three, if you count the sauce, for the price of one! You can find my spaghetti sauce recipe here.

Cauliflower Ricotta, Makes 1 1/2 cups. From FrugalFreebiesandDeals.com

Hardware

Pot

Strainer

Clean Dish Towel

Measuring spoons

Food Processor

 

Ingredients

16 oz frozen cauliflower

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 T nutritional yeast (Optional)

1 egg (optional if you’re not using this in a baked dish)

Directions:

Cooling Cauliflower

Cook cauliflower according to package directions.

Allow to cool for 5 – 6 minutes

Pour into a colander and drain all water.

Squeeze the water out

Spend 1 – 2 minutes squeezing water out of the cauliflower.

Add all ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth.

Finished cauliflower ricotta

Baked Cauliflower from http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a57630/cauliflower-Baked-ziti-recipe/

Hardware

Pot

Strainer

9 X 13 baking dish

Large Bowl

Cutting Board

Knife

 

Ingredients

1 T olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 lb ground beef

Salt and pepper to taste

2 T tomato paste

1 tsp dried oregano

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes

2 T thinly sliced basil plus more for garnish

1 large head of cauliflower (about 3 cups) cut into florets, blanched and drained well

1 1/2 c ricotta

2 c shredded mozzarella

1/2 c freshly grated Parmesan

Note 1: I’m giving you the directions as listed in the recipe. I used the cauliflower ricotta above and vegan mozzarella. I cheated and used the real deal parmesan. There is no paleo substitute for parmesan. So if you want to keep this totally Paleo, just skip the parm.

Note 2: The above ingredients are for making the sauce. You can use this one or mine, see the link above.

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F.

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Add meat and season with salt and pepper. Saute until browned. Drain fat.

Add the tomato paste and oregano and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes more, until slightly darkened. Add the crushed tomatoes and bring sauce to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly reduced and flavors have melded, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil.

In a large bowl, pour the sauce over the cauliflower and stir to combine. In a large, oiled baking dish, place half the cauliflower in an even layer.

Dollop all over with half of the ricotta, and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and parmesan. Add the rest of the cauliflower in an even layer and top with the remaining cheeses.

Bake until the cheese is melty and golden, 25 minutes. Garnish with basil and serve.

Note 3: I only used half of the sauce on the cauliflower.

Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite baked dish to serve family or guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

3-Ingredient Coconut Cookies: A Chicklets in the Kitchen Blog Post

BananaCoconutCookies008

I should be posting a dinner or lunch recipe this month but I’ve been on my paleo diet all month, and some of you on the Whole 30 program. Aren’t you ready for something a little decadent? These cookies are totally paleo but very tasty! A nice treat for an after dinner dessert, as I did the day I made them.

1 cookie per person, Serves 8.

BananaCoconutCookies001

Hardware

Bowl

Knife

Cutting Board

1 cup glass measuring cup

Measuring spoons

1/3 cup measure

Cookie Sheet Lined with Parchment Paper

 

Ingredients

1 large over ripe banana

2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

4 oz dark chocolate (Optional)

1/4 cup rough chopped walnuts (optional)

1/4 tsp vanilla

Directions:

I have to tell you, I doubled this recipe right off the bat before I’d even tried it. I was glad I did!

BananaCoconutCookies002

Do a rough chop on the walnuts (or almonds or whatever other nut you may be using. Nuts are optional!)

Peel the banana. It should be extremely brown. Mine could have gone a couple more days but after I smushed it up with a fork, I used a whisk to get rid of most of the tiny lumps of banana.

Add the vanilla and mix.

BananaCoconutCookies004

If your coconut is shredded into longish strings, put it into a food processor to take it down to the fineness of instant oatmeal. Note: I didn’t do that, they came out great but processing the coconut may make it able to soak up more of the banana moisture. My batter came out a little on the wet side.

Add the coconut and nuts, combine thoroughly. The batter should look like coarsely mashed potatoes.

BananaCoconutCookies005

Using about 2 Tablespoons of batter per cookie, coop or roll them into balls and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Then, using a fork, gently mash each ball down crossways, like you would for a peanut butter cookie.

BananaCoconutCookies006

Place the cookie sheet on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 11 minutes. Check the cookies: they should be just starting to show bits of brown around the edges, and if you gently flip one over, they should look nicely browned in spots on the bottom. Put the flipped cookie back on its bottom.

Put the oven on broil. (I have to turn bake-mode off on my stove, then select broil. I used the High setting.)

Continue to bake and watch carefully for another one to four minutes. If after two minutes, they’re not browning on the top, you may move the sheet up to a higher rack, but watch them constantly with the door slightly open, because they can burn quickly. You’re just looking for them to brown in spots.

BananaCoconutCookies007

There may be a few small too-done places but those are easy to pick off.

Let cool.

They can be kept in an airtight baggie or container, either at room temperature or in the fridge.

Note 1: I didn’t check the bottoms of my cookies at the 11-minute mark, seeing a little browning at the bottom. I should have checked. After I broiled them, the top was nicely browned and firm but the bottoms, especially while warm, were quite gooey.

Note 2: Another option. After the cookies cooled, I dipped half of them, halfway, into 70% dark chocolate. The banana and coconut make the cookies surprisingly sweet and the dark chocolate is a nice foil.

Enjoy.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Poached Pears

PoachedPears005

Poached Pears with Frozen Custard and Orange Slice Garnish  Picture by Connie Cockrell

Lots has happened to me since my last post in June. July held the Payson Book Festival for which I am the director, then August is prep for the Northern Gila County Fair which is the weekend after Labor Day. Then, well, I was just tired.

But, news! In August I began eating the Paleo Diet. I love it! I lost 15 pounds in August alone. If you don’t know what the Paleo Diet is, a quick explanation is that you stop eating grains and dairy. You can Google it for a more complete explanation. I have Celiac Disease which is closely related to Hashimoto’s disease. With that, you should also stop eating sugar (well, we all should anyway), caffeine (which I gave up years ago), and raw cruciferous veg (cooked is ok). So that’s what I’ve done.

I don’t feel deprived at all, despite my strong love of anything pasta. But it was making me feel bad so, while I may make the very seldom choice to go gluten-free pasta, it’s gone! Now I eat as clean as possible (meaning organic, grass-fed meat, organic veg, organic fruit. It helps that I have my own pear, apple, and peach trees, and grow a lot of veg in my small garden.

The pears are where this blog comes in. My Bartlett pears became ripe the end of September. They’re not a soft pear. I was having my brother-in-law and his girl for supper and was thinking about dessert. At first, I thought about an avocado-chocolate mousse, (more on that next month), but then I was looking at all of my lovely ripe pears and decided poached pears would be a better choice.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not really missing anything on my new diet, but a girl does like the occasional sweet, am I right?

Serves 4 – 6.

PoachedPears001

Hardware and Ingredients  Photo by Connie Cockrell

Hardware

Cutting board

Knife

Saucepan

 

PoachedPears002

Juicing the Oranges  Photo by Connie Cockrell

Ingredients

4 pears, peeled, cored, cut into quarters or sixths

3 navel oranges, 2 juiced (1/2 cup or more if extra juicy), 1 sliced into rounds

5 – 6 whole cloves

1 tsp vanilla (Pictured is a bottle of homemade vanilla my friend Dee gave me for Christmas. It’s almost gone. ☹)

PoachedPears003

Cutting up the pears  Photo by Connie Cockrell

Directions:

Put the pears, vanilla, orange juice, orange slices, and cloves in the saucepan. The recipe I was using didn’t call for any other liquid and I saw that the pears were not fully submerged. Thinking that if they were going to poach they needed more liquid, I added water to just cover the pears.

PoachedPears004

Everything in the pot, heating up  Photo by Connie Cockrell

Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer for 20 minutes.

Check to see if the pears are completely tender. If not add another 5 to 10 minutes or more until they are.

I made my pears early in the day and after the mixture cooled, refrigerated it until time for dessert. However, you can plate this warm as well.

I served it with Culver’s vanilla custard (broke my diet a little there) and the pears.

For the picture, I did decorate with an orange slice but when I served it to my guests, I left the orange off. I thought it looked a little mushy and not nice to eat. The orange gives the pears a nice floral note and the cloves a little warm spicy flavor. Yum.

Enjoy.

Notes: Culver’s vanilla custard, as of this writing, is gluten-free. I figured the 1/4 cup I ate wouldn’t break the Paleo diet too much.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite dessert to serve guests? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

A New Year’s Breakfast: Chicklets In the Kitchen Post

paleo-breakfast

It’s the new year and to be honest, I’ve kind of let my weight get the better of me. That has to stop. It doesn’t feel good at all. So, the first day of the year I decided to change my eating and get some more exercise. I know. Everybody does that. But it’s true. Time for me to make a change. Since I have been suffering from plantar fasciitis and from tendonitis in both feet, doing my usual hiking and aerobic exercise can’t be done. So I went to the local community college where they have a gym and as a senior, I get free membership. I signed up for a trainer to help me develop a training program that allows me to exercise without pounding on my feet, allowing me time for them to heal. Yay! I’ve even scheduled the workouts on the calendar, like appointments. No being wishy-washy. It’s important.

So what’s that got to do with breakfast? It’s the other side of the coin, of course. Good fuel, good workout, happy author. Actually this breakfast hash is so simple I’m almost embarrassed to post it but a lot of people box breakfast up into a tiny space when it could be so much more.

Today’s breakfast is customizable. If you don’t like one thing in the ingredient list, substitute another. You don’t have a particular ingredient on hand, not a problem, put something else in. You’ll notice the breakfast is heavy on the veggies and has only moderate protein. That can be adjusted as well.

And paleo? A recent diet that eliminates grains, dairy and most sugar. Heavy on the vegetables and lean protein, it is said to resemble a cave-man diet. I’m not sure about that but I do know this combo works for me, just as for my grandma. Eliminate the carbs and the weight comes off, especially with a moderate amount of exercise.

Besides that, it’s good!

Hardware

Cutting Board

Knife

Medium frying pan

 

Ingredients

2 oz (1/3 cup) diced raw sweet potato

1 – 2 oz diced sweet pepper

6 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 green onion, sliced

1 oz fresh baby spinach leaves

1 – 2 oz ground breakfast sausage

1 T butter

Salt and pepper to taste

Other options: 2 oz sliced mushrooms, washed and patted dry, ham, eggs, celery, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, dried Thyme, oregano, sage, your favorite veggie.

 

In the frying pan, add the butter, melt. Add the sweet potato and sweet pepper. Sauté until nearly tender.

Add the onion, tomato, spinach and sausage. Cook till hot through and the spinach is wilted.

Plate and enjoy.

 

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Do you have a favorite breakfast? Please tell us about it in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Mysteries, and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.

Chicklets in the Kitchen Post: Grilling Chicken and Asparagus

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus by Connie Cockrell

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus by Connie Cockrell

For most of us Memorial Day weekend is the start of the summer season. Not so much in Texas, Oklahoma and the mid-west this year though. Anyway, summer means grilling. I grill a lot here in Arizona. Unless there’s snow on the ground and I can’t roll the BBQ out, I can grill. Summer grilling means making meals outside where I’m not heating up the house. I love that. Here is my go to grilled dinner, chicken thighs and asparagus. Add a potato or macaroni salad, made in the morning while it’s still cool, and you have a fast, easy, pan-free meal that’s practically hassle free.

The Chicken

Everyone in my family is a dark meat fan so chicken thighs or in this case leg and thigh quarters, are the way to go. We like to grill a lot of them so there is leftover chicken for sandwiches or just to eat cold when we’re having a snack attack. Perfect for those who are following the Paleo diet.

Chicken Quarters by Connie Cockrell

Chicken Quarters by Connie Cockrell

Chicken Prep

4 Quarters, thawed and brought to room temperature

Salt, Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Sage Mix by Connie Cockrell

Salt, Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Sage Mix by Connie Cockrell

Salt, Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Sage Mix by Connie Cockrell

Salt, Pepper, Dried Thyme, Dried Sage Mix by Connie Cockrell

Salt, pepper, dried thyme, dried sage mixture to sprinkle over the meat (I make a bunch and keep it in a recycled spice jar. 3T salt, 1T pepper, 1T dried thyme, 1T dried sage. You can adjust these amounts to suit your family’s tastes. And yes, that’s home grown thyme and sage.)

2 -3 T olive oil

Chicken oiled, sprinkled with herb mix and ready for the grill by Connie Cockrel

Chicken oiled, sprinkled with herb mix and ready for the grill by Connie Cockrell

Pat the quarters dry and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle both sides of the quarters with the salt/herb mixture.

Grill, Hot as it can Get by Connie Cockrell

Grill, Hot as it can Get by Connie Cockrell

Put skin side down on the grill. Make sure the grill is screaming hot when you put the chicken on.

Chicken on the Grill by Connie Cockrell

Chicken on the Grill by Connie Cockrell

Close the cover and turn down to medium low. Cook 20 minutes. Turn the chicken over and finish cooking, another 20 minutes or so, depending on your grill. I test for doneness with an instant read thermometer. I do NOT want to give my family rare chicken. That is not good eats. Cook longer if necessary.

The Asparagus

I love asparagus just about any way but grilled is my favorite. The flavor is still green and grassy but there’s also a nutty flavor from the grilling. Yummy.

Bunch Asparagus by Connie Cockrell

Bunch Asparagus by Connie Cockrell

Asparagus Prep
1 bunch fresh Asparagus

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil

1/2 fresh lemon

Wash and pat dry the asparagus. Snap the woody ends off.

Asparagus prepped with Oil, Salt and Pepper by Connie Cockrell

Asparagus prepped with Oil, Salt and Pepper by Connie Cockrell

Sprinkle the asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper, use your hands and mix the spears around until coated with the oil, salt and pepper.

Put on the grill with the chicken the last 15 minutes of the chicken’s cooking time. Cook 7 minutes, then with tongs, turn the spears over to cook on the other side. Cook another 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the asparagus. These are good even at room temp so if the chicken isn’t done, it’s not a problem.

Thanks for stopping by Chicklets in the Kitchen. Please tell us about your garden or favorite dessert recipe in the comments box below if you feel so inclined.

My name is Connie Cockrell and I write SciFi, Fantasy, Women’s Fiction and a lot of other things and you can find links to all of my books at http://www.ConniesRandomThoughts.com.