Pork Rice Noodle Bowl

mrsnowlin
Mixed Pork Noodle Bowl

Fifteen years after it began, there is still only one way I really want to greet you.

You know I like to save the food for last, so this post, I’ll start with some telly.

First up, I need to say that American Crime is my newest love, super addictive. The show is directed by John Ridley, who won an Oscar for the adapted screenplay of 12 Years a Slave. I can kinda see where it is headed, knowing now who the director is and slowly watching Felicity Huffman’s character show her uber racist side. Worth the watch, I promise. The acting is superb, Timothy Hutton is fantastic, as is Huffman. Desperate housewife in a total new way.

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I’m also watching Fresh off The Boat, which is straight from the early 90’s and my childhood. Except my family is not Chinese. Also, I was not a boy. We did have a maroon version of the minivan featured in the opening song though, wood panel and all.

Now, on to crappy media. My kids are obsessed with this song that was popular in the Me-hi-can community a couple years back. Remember, my mom is like 97% Mexican, so I can totally say it like that. This song is currently on loop in my brain, not by choice. If you are looking to change your kid’s mood or just entertain them for a few minutes, I say watch the video below. If you are on the brink of insanity or on a date night, I’d say skip.

*Disclaimer – If you are on a date with a Mexican farmer, totally watch it. You may get a proposal out of it.

I have a bunch of cookbooks from the libes (our family pet name for the library). I was so pumped to find Vietnamese Home Cooking, by Charles Phan. I’ve flipped through the book before and found (what looked to be) an easy recipe for Pho.

*If I knew how to put the Vietnamese tilde over the o in Pho, I totally would. Also, I am aware that it is not called a tilde, I’m just grammatically clueless here.

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I wanted something fast and pasta-less for dinner tonight, so I went the way of the rice noodle. Give this recipe a try, it’s easy, full of flavor and even got the approval of the little house men.

To tell the truth, the only reason I just referred to my flesh and blood as little house men, was to segue to Game of Thrones. It is so close!

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Can’t wait to see who survives this season. And what about the little smurf eyed baby? GAH, I can’t wait!

diesgot

Mixed Pork Noodle Bowl

 

Pork Noodle Bowl
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Cuisine: Fusion
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 carrot
  • 1" ginger
  • ½ yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Zest of ½ lime
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 box thin rice noodles
  • 1 pound pork
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro
  • ¼ c. grated parmesan cheese
  • Soy sauce
  • salt
  • pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in pan over medium-high heat
  2. Dice carrot, ginger, onion and garlic and cook 2 minutes or until fragrant
  3. Add pork to the pan and cook until no longer pink
  4. Add zest
  5. Drain oil from pan and set meat mixture aside in a large bowl
  6. In same pan, add 1 box broth and turn stove to high
  7. Let noodles cook until completely soft, around 4 minutes
  8. Pull noodles from broth, with large tongs and add into pork mixture
  9. Add lime juice, cilantro, parmesan and mix well
  10. Season with salt and pepper
  11. Add soy sauce to individual bowls as desired
 

White Baked Goods for Specific Ethnicity Gatherings

mrsnowlin

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Italian Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes, Mexican Wedding Cakes, Swedish Tea Cakes, what do you call the little white snowballish cookies that come around each December? Addictive, that’s what.

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I know that it’s January and we are all mid-cleanse, mid-Whole30, mid-detox, mid-misery, but I promised my sweet friend Mandi that I’d post about these babies and a promise is a promise. Plus, come February, you just might want to make these little drug balls for your Valentine. The recipe is, as always, at the bottom of this post, but I have SO much to talk about first! We haven’t chatted since October. Yeesh. A lot has happened in the past two and a half months. Man, where to start? Well, I got a haircut, like a SUPER bad haircut back in October. I asked for a long bob, something like this:

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After 90 minutes, I looked WAY more like this: 1586815645_cf6cb0ee13

The stylist spent an insane amount of time curling my hair under, while my seat was turned away from the mirror. I came home, cried and whipped out my trusty scissors and made the best of the worst. Ridiculous selfie #1:

me

Then, in November, after 37 years on earth, I’ve decided on the tattoo I’d get IF I chose to get a tattoo. But, sho nuff, someone else got it first.

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So, I may go with my second choice, once my next 37 year font search is over.

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Along came December and I fell back in love. Please don’t tell my husband. He actually doesn’t even know I have a blog, so this may wreak a lot of havoc. I’m not permitted to use our home computer. So really, keep quiet.

I remembered Mr. Darcy

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And Colin Firth in Love Actually, another favorite holiday movie.

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And I listened over and over to Ed Sheeran’s “Thinking Out Loud”, I’d love to post the video, but it’s so, so Dancing With the Stars cheesy. So, here’s some lyrics instead!

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I also did an insane amount of yoga in front of my christmas tree, which did NOTHING to balance out the calories I inhaled. Sweaty yoga selfie? Check! (Ridiculous selfie #2)yoga

Now we are all caught up. Doesn’t it feel good to be up to date with current events? Oh yeah and here’s the recipe for cookies…

 

Italian Wedding Cookies
Yields 80
Little balls of addiction, rolled in powdered sugar.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
1 hr 20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  2. 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  3. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 1/2 cups finely ground almonds
  5. 4 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Cream butter or margarine in a bowl, gradually add confectioners' sugar and salt.
  3. Beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add almonds and vanilla.
  5. Blend in flour gradually and mix well.
  6. Shape into balls (or crescents) using about 1 teaspoon for each cookie.
  7. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, and bake for 15-20 min.
  8. Do not brown. Cool slightly, then roll in the extra confectioners' sugar.
Notes
  1. If you aren't eating all of these immediately, keep in fridge or freezer and re-roll in sugar!
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
Adapted from Allrecipes.com
http://fooditforward.com/

Banana Nut Smoothie

I did something weird. Like, really weird. I made milk out of cashews. Doesn’t that sound like the most unnecessary thing you have ever heard of?

I needed cashew milk to replicate recipes from the new juice spot in town, called Nekter. No utters are involved, no straining either! The hardest part is waiting for the cashews to soak ahead of time, which makes them easier to digest. Apparently unsoaked cashews will give you webbed feet and a slight limp. *Previous statement is not scientifically proven

banananutsmoothie

You can find a recipe worth trying and modifying at Foodilistic. I can’t take a photo yummy enough to give this smoothie all the props it deserves. Dates, nutmeg, cashew milk, bananas…it’s so creamy and perfect for fall.

BUT, I have to stop.

It’s like, really, really not cool to say things like “give props” anymore. It’s right down there at the bottom of the list with, “All that and a bag of chips.” I’ve actually Googled terms such as, “latest slang”, “latest sayings” and researched Urban Dictionary to try to keep up with the language of the cool kids. Alas, I have fallen way, way behind.

The internet tells me I am middle-aged and white. Being 37, I take offense to the middle-aged idea, as that is a good 7 years off, dang it! I can’t exactly argue with the idea of being out of touch though. Yeah, I love to reference movies like Napolean Dynamite and Nacho Libre. Yeah, they are outdated. I can’t help it, I still love them!


As for the white girl thing? I don’t think I entirely look the part. In fact, people never really know what ethnicity I am!

A couple months ago, a cranky neighbor was extra pleasant to me, asking me why I moved back. Nope,  we’ve never moved, I told him. He responded in shock, he thought I was his friend who lived her before. I look just like her and talk like her too. Wasn’t I Persian he asked?

(I’m not)

  • When my hair is dark and curly, people speak Spanish to me.
  • When I wore eyeliner, more people speak Spanish.
  • Someone at a restaurant once mentioned I look like I don’t speak English.
  • I don’t stick out in the Jewish crowd, I blend just fine. (With good reason)
  • I once thought I found “my people” at Jy’s cousin’s wedding. Dark eyes and highlighted hair?! That’s me! Alas, I am not Armenian.
  • People find my blog by the search term, “Japanese eye surgery”. No joke.
  • I’ve been asked if I am I Portuguese? No, but my husband is part, does that count?
  • There was the year in the late 90’s when I had black hair and heard more than one person whisper “Doesn’t she….Monica Lewinsky?”

Here is what I actually am:

  1. Russian
  2. German
  3. Polish
  4. Mexican
  5. Spanish
  6. Native American
  7. Something else my mom can’t remember
  8. Something else that we don’t know. Family secrets, shh!

So, yes, plenty of European white-girl stuff, but also a good dose of the Latin stuff and a bit of mystery.

This is from a couple years back, but looking at this picture, what ethnicity would you say I am? Other than tired from staying up all night with a young baby?

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Me and my cousin April, who totally missed her calling as a catalog model.

Back to my white girl status. There has been a video going around about being a “basic” girl and plenty of memes about being a pumpkin-spice loving white girl. Those totally apply. However, When I say I am a white girl, I mean that I have little to no understanding of pop culture outside of what is highlighted on The Today Show.

For example, I am still Googling the concept of milkshakes bringing boys to the yard. Without the explanations of the internet, I’d still think this is how I get boys to come running:

Hey  boys! I've made shakes and smoothies! Come over here! Come out to the yard!
Hey boys! I’ve made shakes and smoothies! Come over here! Come out to the yard!

I’m on Instagram and follow all kinds of accounts. The other day, this popped up on my IG feed:

bye-felicia-whos-felicia-exactly-bye

Plenty of comments laid out their virtual laughs and I scrolled on. BUT THEN, I saw another.

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Ok internet, one point for you. I guess I am white. Who is Felicia? Is she on a reality show? Is she in a Tyler Perry movie?

“Bye Felicia” originated from the movie “Friday” where a crackhead named Felicia used to come and ask Craig (one of the main characters) for random things like if she can borrow his car or use his iron – just random stuff. One day she asked him for some money and he says “Bye Felicia” and when she refuses he says it again with gusto. Ever since then, people have been using it as a way to get rid of people in a funny way when someone does or says something outrageous. – Reddit

Which brings me to the next example,

Malia has been playing this song in yoga for a long time and I always figured the words were, “Come get it baby,” just a little slurred. Nope, it’s bae. I think by now everyone knows about bae. But it just bothers me on so many levels. WHY the E at the end? Why not bay or ba? It’s obviously an abbreviation of baby, right? Maybe not. If you are another logophile (word lover, it’s not an illegal act), then you might just love reading more about the controversy over the origin of the term bae at Visual Thesaurus. All the rest of the normal people out there, skip the link and read on about my lacking cultural awareness.

Once upon a time I lived in San Francisco, a couple blocks from the Castro District. I also lived on Treasure Island, half way over the Bay Bridge, between San Francisco and Oakland. I never truly fit in while living in San Francisco, my valley-girl roots just couldn’t be hidden. After a couple years though, I was a little bit city and more in touch with other cultures.

But now, now I live where everything is landscaped. The grocery stores aren’t just clean, they are stocked with over priced boutique items. I live where the CEO’s travel home to after a long day at work. Hence, we are probably one of the poorest family in our surrounding zip codes. But, (yeah, I started a sentence with but), the schools are the best, the parks are amazing, the community is like no other.

What’s the point of all this? I just wanted to really express my new found self-awareness. I am not cool. But no one has called me Felicia, either! So yes, ladies, blend up those pumpkin smoothies, drink down those pumpkin lattes, be basic all you want. I stand in solidarity with you. Let’s be outdated and basic together!
 

Cooking Once a Month. Loving the other 29 days.

I tried really hard to take a picture of a lady in some gross sweat pants at the grocery store. They weren’t dirty or shredded, but they had wording on the butt which read, “FYI, I might not be wearing underwear.” It was only on the right booty cheek, which happened to be the same side her sweater was hiked up on. She obviously really, really wanted to have her message read. 

This was so confusing. What did she want me to gather from her information? Was it a warning to not sit where she has sat? Was it an invitation for conversation about society and undergarments? Does she need some money for underwear?

I followed her and snapped a dozen photos, all of which were blurry. Not sure if you really needed to see her pants, it was more of a need to have proof that these pants exist. 

Are you ready for the worst part? It was in a really, really bad font. 

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Would you like a giant shortcut to dinner? You have two options. One, get really, really rich and hire someone to take care of your meals. Two, sign up for OnceAMonthMeals.com.

It will cost you $10 a month for a basic membership and $16 for premium. You will more than make that up with grocery savings, immediately. There are different monthly menus to choose from and once chosen, the site will compile a few lists for you:

1. A complete shopping list
2. A prep chart
3. Recipe cards
4. Cooking day instructions
5. Labels
6. A thawing sheet, with information for each recipe

The idea of Once A Month Meals is to plan meals, shop for them in one day and spend one day cooking, then freezing all of the meals. That day is not the most relaxing, but it is well worth it.

Onceamonthmeals

It would have made sense for me to take a photo of our freezer last month, when it was full of meals! I’m getting ready for round two of cooking for the month. Because I bought a premium membership, I can swap meals from the suggested menu and choose one of the other 3000+ meals on the site.

As of right now (October 2014), the menus offered are:

  • Traditional
  • Whole Foods (As in healthy, unprocessed foods)
  • Gluten Free, Dairy Free
  • Diet
  • Paleo
  • Kid’s Mini Menu
  • Vegetarian
  • Baby Food

The menus are seasonal and plenty of bonus menus seem to keep popping up, like the pumpkin menu!

Not only is it pretty awesome to have a homemade dinner every night of the week, it’s amazing how much money batch cooking saves. My other, other favorite part? There is usually only one crock pot meal per menu. 

Here is a sampling of what I cooked last month of my mega-cooking day –

Breakfasts:

  • GF Apple Pie Oatmeal Muffins
  • Homemade Cinnamon Rolls
  • Pumpkin Muffins

Lunches:

  • Taco Bowls
  • Lemon Orzo Soup
  • Quinoa Mexican Bowl

Dinners:

  • Perfect Roasted Chicken
  • Autumn Sausage Casserole
  • Crockpot Mongolian Beef
  • Honey Sesame Chicken
  • Mushroom White Wine Chicken

Doesn’t sound bad, does it? Regain your sanity. Stop cooking seven nights a week, that just plain sucks! 

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Biscuits On A Weeknight

mrsnowlin

What do you think of when I mention the idea of baking biscuits? 

Do you think of the urban legend, “Biscuit Bullet”, where a lady thinks she’s been shot in the head, but it is really the can of biscuits that popped open in her grocery bags and exploded? 

 

Do you think of June Cleaver, Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker or some other middle-aged white woman with a clean apron?
martha

Do you think of Sir Mixx A Lot and his masterpiece, “Buttermilk Biscuits.”

Y’all ready to get busy? (huh huh!)
Now, buttermilk biscuits here we go
Zip the flour roll the dough
Clap your hands and stomp your feet
Move your butt to the funky beat (huh huh)

Buttermilk biscuits (x 3)
(Lord have mercy Mix-A-Lot’s our here rappin’ about biscuits now)

Freak from L.A. to the Carolinas
Dip them suckers in Aunt Jemima
Don’t make a difference what food you make
Use buttermilk biscuits to clean your plate
You eat ’em in the morn’, you eat ’em at night
Kentucky Fried Chicken makes the suckers just right
I am eat ’em with jelly at my favorite deli
Wrapped and sealed by a freak named Shelley (huh huh)

Buttermilk biscuits (x 3)

 If this has all been too much for you and a little break is what you desire. I’d like to offer up a quick video from a master biscuit baker. Ladies and gentlemen, the best of…Mrs. Paula Deen.


 So, what makes these biscuits so wonderful? There is no need for a rolling pin, biscuit cutter or even kneading. You use two bowls, one for dry ingredients and one to whip egg whites. The egg white beating is the hardest part of this recipe and it is only so if you don’t have a mixer. As long as you keep any yolk remnants out of your egg whites, whipping the whites on high for about 2 minutes should change the liquid from foam to a puffy, white substance. Gently folding the eggs is the secret to allowing the biscuits to bake up light and airy. 

Try these, they are awesome. Once again, you can totally believe me. Not like those other freaks who swear the peas porridge in a pot, nine days old is the best way to eat it, sickos. 

peas

weeknight biscuits

 

Weeknight Biscuits
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Ingredients
  1. 2 c sifted all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp salt
  3. 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  4. 4 tsp baking powder
  5. 1/4 c soft butter
  6. 3 large eggs, separated
  7. 1 c whole milk
Instructions
  1. Sift dry ingredients 3 times.
  2. Cut butter into flour mixture.
  3. Beat egg yolks thoroughly and add milk and beat again.
  4. Stir egg yolk mixture into dry mixture gently.
  5. Beat egg Whites until stiff. Fold into batter and blend gently.
  6. Pour into buttered or sprayed muffin tins.
  7. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes.
  8. Check after 15 minutes and turn oven down to 375.
  9. Test with wooden toothpick for doneness.
http://fooditforward.com/

Apple Cake

mrsnowlin
light apple cake

I’ve told you about Lisa’s awesome apple cake in the past. Yet, I don’t see you making it, so I’m coming back at you with it. This time though, I’m changing something. I’m wondering if you aren’t making apple cake because you haven’t met Lisa in person.  

Maybe you are thinking, “I knew a girl named Lisa in high school and she was the worst. She was the Regina George of our school.”

Or, for you ladies (and gents) of the 80’s, “She was the Heather Chandler of our school.”

Or, for the readers of the 70’s, “She was the Carrie of our school.”

Friends from the 60’s, “She was the Yoko Ono of our school.”

For those who were in high school before the 60’s, “She was the Mary, Queen of Scots of our school.”

So even though I swear that Lisa is super fantastic and makes really, really good food, I’m going to rename Lisa’s Apple Cake to……

Apple Cake. 

Now, I know what you are thinking. 

How does a wordsmith of that caliber NOT have a job working for Hallmark?” Your guess is as good as mine. My first guess is, I’ve never applied for a job at Hallmark. 

You can use red or green apples in this recipe. Even the crappy ones that return home in your kid’s lunch! This isn’t your typical heavy, oil-laden cake. It’s light, airy and just sweet enough. Let me know if you try it. 

Or, I’ll keep writing about it. a la The Shining.

jack

light apple cake

Apple Cake
Serves 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 1/2 c. sugar
  2. 4 eggs
  3. 1 1/2 c. flour
  4. 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  5. 1/4 cup pineapple or orange juice
  6. 4-5 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped (large pieces)
  7. For the top - cinnamon, sugar, butter
Instructions
  1. Whisk eggs and sugar, add juice, then dry ingredients and stir until combined. Stir in chopped apples. Pour into greased 13 x 9 pan. Sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar, and place dabs of butter on top (as much or as little as you want). You can also sprinkle top with chopped walnuts. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.
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Paleo Pumpkin Pie

mrsnowlin

This morning, I offered Dallas some advice about being a good friend, he told me, “I know, Mama.”

My mother hates to be called mama. Totally not her thing. To her, mama means this:

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When I hear mama, I think of this:

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 I’ve transitioned  from a working mom back to being stay at home mom and things have been going really well. Yesterday, as we drove home from 2nd grade pick up, I was joking around with my kids. I had been feeling pretty good about all the stay at home mothering I had been lavishing on my children. 

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We listen to lots of music on Pandora in the car and a song from the Disney movie, Tangled came through the speakers. Rapunzel is singing on about all the chores she does before 7:15 am, as she has nothing else to do in her lonesome tower.

Max took this opportunity to tell me, “Mom, you are like Rapunzel!”

I couldn’t quite figure out what he meant, because I have recently cut my hair. Before I had more time to think, Max explained it’s because “I don’t ever give them any attention.”

Luckily, Dallas stood up for me, laughing and telling Max how his accusation was untrue. 

Still Max stood his ground. “No, mom. You don’t ever do anything with us.”

WHAT?

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He was trying to make some point about me being so busy doing chores all the time. Whatever kid. I think I only spend 19 or 20 hours a day (including a few hours at night) with you. Tell it to your future therapist. 

I know some drama is headed Max’s way, because he is determined to have three wives. Dallas offered some great advice this morning on the situation. “Max, it’s illegal to have three wives. But, it’s not illegal to have three girlfriends.” Should I call TLC now?

sister-wives-season-4

I joined a 7:30 pm meeting last night, after cooking my family some beef stew, biscuits (gluten-free),  homemade potato salad and (paleo) pumpkin pie (with non-paleo whip cream). A little treat was in order, so I got myself a Vietnamese iced coffee. 

Have you had one of these drinks? HOOOLY heartbeats. This type of coffee highlights caffeine for what it really is, a close cousin to crack. 

At 9 pm, I drove home and sat to check my email before bed. It wasn’t until then that I just how fast my heart was beating. 

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I couldn’t get to bed, so I sat and watched old clips of Joan Rivers. Honestly, I had no idea she was that funny. What a talented woman. The real win came this morning around 6 though…

woke

Sorry, that meme shouldn’t be funny. It still makes me giggle though. Maybe because I picture them as sister wives, too? Plus, its kind of stupid. They are all around 70, which is totally the new 55. Not nearly old enough to worry about sleep-dying. 

I was a total zombie the rest of today. Jy reheated leftovers and added in some extra hot dogs for good measure. I ate a protein bar for dinner. Why can’t my family just be happy with protein bars, too?

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Ok, so after this marathon day, let me share a great recipe! You don’t need to be a paleo-person to eat a piece of paleo pumpkin pie! Heck, it makes it even better, because now you can add some whipped cream. I also chickened out and dropped about 1/4 cup of raw sugar into my pie mix. The real winner here is the crust. Bookmark or pin this for the holidays, it will come in handy, I promise!

IMG_0223

Paleo Pie Crust
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Ingredients
  1. Crust
  2. 1 ¼ cups raw walnut halves (you could also substitute pecans)
  3. 1 cup blanched almond flour
  4. 1 egg white
  5. Generous pinch of salt
  6. Pie
  7. 1 ¾ cups pumpkin puree (use fresh or this is the equivalent of a 15oz can)
  8. 2/3 cups raw walnut halves
  9. 1/3 cup raw or roasted unsalted cashews
  10. 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk
  11. ¼ cup honey
  12. ¼ cup maple syrup
  13. 1 cup water
  14. 1 tsp ginger
  15. 1 tsp allspice
  16. 1 tsp nutmeg
  17. 2 tsp cinnamon
  18. ½ tsp cloves
  19. ½ tsp cardamom
  20. ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Grind walnuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground and almost starting to turn into walnut butter (i.e., just starting to clump together).
  3. Mix walnuts, almond flour, egg white, and salt together (you can pulse in your food processor or do this by hand).
  4. Press/pinch into a 9” pie plate (an 8” deep dish pie plate will work too).
  5. Pierce the crust with a fork every ¼” or so to stop the shell from bubbling up while it bakes.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes, until starting to turn golden brown.
  7. Let cool at least 10 minutes before pouring the custard in.
  8. Preheat oven to 350F (if you’re making your pie right after making the crust, just reduce the temperature).
  9. Place cashews and walnuts in your food processor or blender and pulse until finely ground. Add eggs, honey and maple syrup and blend for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth (you could also add some of the water if it’s too thick for your food processor or blender to puree well). It is very important to blend until completely smooth, otherwise your custard will be watery.
  10. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until combined.
  11. Pour into cooled pie shell (doesn’t need to be room temperature, just cool enough to touch). Spread the top out evenly with a spatula.
  12. Bake for 40 minutes. Allow pie to cool completely before serving.
http://fooditforward.com/

Chocolate Chip Cookies – Thin and Crispy

mrsnowlin
Chocolate chip gf cookies

Vacation is officially over! It would have been awesome if I had somebody blogging for me over the summer. That way, I could show up, acting as if nothing has changed and make some type of hilarious Becky Conner joke (a la the 7th season of Roseanne).

becky

 Instead, let’s just hit the recipes and act like none of this vacation stuff ever happened. 

mkay

I don’t know if mothers of generations past truly did make cookies for their kids to enjoy after school. Maybe it’s an urban legend that won’t go away. Maybe my mom just never got the memo?  Either way, the story isn’t going away and kids end up hearing about it from their friends. 

Wouldn’t you rather your kids hear it from you? Sit down and talk to your kids. If you aren’t sure where to start, maybe you could order some pamphlets. 

pamphlets

Enough joking around, let’s get cookie-ing. This recipe is from the cookbook I am convinced everyone should own, not just those with the title of “mom”. I’ve referenced The Mom 100, written by Katie Workman, in many different posts. Her recipes just don’t fail. They work and they work every time.

Sometimes it is easy it bypass the cookbook section of your local bookstore (or ahem…Amazon), thinking any recipe needed can be found on the internet. 

Here’s the problem with good ole’ internetty, baby girl just ain’t reliable. Sure, you’ll find 984,3454,345 recipes for clam chowder, but it is truly hard to know what to trust. Many times reviews of recipes or books are written by friends, fans and family, so you can’t always be sure of what you read.

Besides, everyone with a kitchen should own a couple of go-to cookbooks. They save you from wasting ingredients and time and offer insurance of happy tum-tums. 

*For those who don’t spend most of their time around kids, tum-tums are tummies, or stomachs. If you happen to be a middle-aged man with no children in their familial or social circles and you actually DO use the word tum-tum, I want you to stop. I want you to stop reading this blog and stop owning a computer. You sir, are strange. 

 

If you need a wee bit of proof before trying out this cookie recipe, read a couple posts of the past. Or, posts of yore, for those of you who prefer fancy Sherlock Holmes talk. 

These aren’t the only recipes from The Mom 100 I have made, just a small sampling. I baked her vanilla cake on Sunday, which turned out great too. If you don’t believe the most trustworthy person on the face of the earth, you can also check it out from the library. Just wash your hands after touching the pages. You never know where people take their library books once they get home. Reminds me of a little story…

 

Chocolate chip gf cookies

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour (I use Cup 4 Cup gluten free)
  2. 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
  3. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  5. 3⁄4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  6. 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
  7. 2 large eggs
  8. 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  9. 2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chunks or hand-chopped chocolate bars (we use milk chocolate chips)
Instructions
  1. Position two oven racks so that they divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 375°F if you are planning to bake the cookies right away, otherwise preheat the oven 30 minutes before you want to bake them.
  2. Place the flour, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to mix. Set the flour mixture aside. Place the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat them on medium speed until creamy and well blended, about 3 minutes.
  3. Scrape down the side of the bowl and add the eggs one at a time, beating until each is incorporated. Blend in the vanilla.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing in each addition until incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips using a spoon or a rubber spatula if you like your chips to be intact or continue using the electric mixer if you are interested in little bits of the chips breaking off and flecking the batter attractively.
  5. If you are not planning on baking the cookies immediately, press plastic wrap directly onto the dough in the bowl and refrigerate it for up to 4 days (the longer the dough sits, the richer and more developed the flavors will be).
  6. When ready to bake, roll pieces of dough into 11⁄2-inch balls and arrange them about 21⁄2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  7. You’ll probably fit 12 cookies on each baking sheet so this will take at least three baking sheets for all of the cookies. You’ll want to bake two sheets at a time, placing one on the top rack and one on the bottom.
  8. Bake the cookies until nicely browned, 14 to 16 minutes. Peek partway through the baking time and rotate the baking sheets if the cookies seem to be cooking unevenly.
  9. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies sit on them for about 1 minute to firm up a bit. Using a spatula, transfer the cookies to wire racks to finish cooling.
Notes
  1. Original recipe found at http://www.themom100.com/the-mom-100-blog/recipes/bigfatchocolatechunkcookies/#sthash.hhBrCHyJ.dpuf
Adapted from The Mom 100
Adapted from The Mom 100
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Mint Coleslaw and THE Yoga Nightmare

Happy Star Wars Day, friends!

clone-meme

 I should probably start by telling you all how rich I am. I won big yesterday at a Kentucky Derby party. Like, take your whole family to Starbucks big. $22 after betting on Danza, who came in 3rd place and two winning rounds of wind up horse races. Needless to say, I’m feeling pre-hetty good about my finances today!

How things have changed since Thursday! This was the night when the unthinkable happened. Let’s walk through it together. Here’s an ideal yoga class (below), lots of space between mats, beautiful light, live dj, best teacher ever…all things good. Now, lets try another scenario.

yoga

Dim lights, still great music, still best teacher ever, but now the heater is cranked to 90 degrees after an actual 90 degree day. Every time you drop your head down to your feet, which is every 30 seconds or so, you are blinded by your own sweat. This time, mats are just six inches apart. No time to think, just keep pushing on. You have almost made it to the end of a tough class, you can taste the end nearing, you can smell it. Wait, Oh My God, Oh My God, that’s not what you are smelling. What you are smelling is the 90 pound girl bending over in front of you. We are all turned sideways on our mats to save space, still just inches apart. Miss little thang in front of you is posed just like this:

wide-leg-forward-bend-pose

I lifted my head to change positions and deepen my stretch, instead, I experienced what no human should ever have to, a funked up smell and a little puff of air in my face. All her cute little yoga gear couldn’t hold in what she felt like sharing. The rest of the class I alternated between breathing only out of my mouth and holding in my laughter. Talk about feeling violated. 

You know what, though? This whole week has been strange. We had a few health scares at home, which turned out to be nothing major. We’ve also done what I would have never expected, we’ve fallen in love with our new family Chiropractor. Think what you will about Chiros, but this guy has total Jedi powers. We all feel better and you can’t trick a three year old into behaving better, there’s no power of suggestion at play in his brain, he’s acting totally different. 

 essence_zombies_need_chiropractors_too

On the subject of kids, the little guys at preschool have full blown spring fever. I wish I could record everything they say, it’s just too much. The things they say just aren’t heard in any other arena. Picture yourself at your work place or at a volunteer meeting or some other place where adults gather. Have you ever, EVER, heard another human say any of the following:

1. No, don’t! Stop looking at my poo!

2. My Daddy stands up to pee and he tells me to don’t look at his pee. 

3. If you touch that, you’ll get dead.

4. Look at my butt! Look at it! Look at it! Look at my butt!

5. When asked what students loved about their moms, I heard these replies: 

  •  Nothing. I don’t love her.
  •  Lollipops.
  • She drives and her likes food. 

49390850

 It’s like working around short, amateur comedians! They also whine and tattle a lot, but it’s cool. It totally justifies trying out fun cocktails on the weekend. This was an attempt at whipped cream flavored vodka mixed with black cherry soda, topped with whipped cream. It’s looks prettier than it tastes, hence the teeny photo. Not a recipe to share!

 black cherry whipped cream drink

 Before I do share my newest recipe, I need to be sure to wish my sweet boy a very happy year as a seven-year-old. I always worry about not having my scrapbooks up to date and not having special letters written to the boys, in case something ever happens to me (which it won’t, so calm down, mother). Then I remember that I have a blog! If they want to know how much I love them, they can scroll through all my social media. Except for Twitter, because I actually use that for adult commentary. So boys, don’t read Mommy’s Twitter feed, m’kay? Between Instagram, Facebook and this blog, they’ll have plenty of opportunities to hear my voice. I love you Dallas, you are so kind and loving and wonderful. Here’s the only picture from your birthday with Mommy actually looking at the camera, face bloated from post-Easter sugar. You and Max only really care about the cake in front of you. Eh, whaddaya gonna do?

Dallas bday

  Now for the food! I brought this to the Kentucky Derby party and thought it would be good enough to share with you. It’s an easy coleslaw that would work well for any warm weather potluck. I found all the ingredients at the farmer’s market and made my own mayo, which you totally don’t have to, using the Nom Nom Paleo recipe. However, I’d suggest you try it. It was easier than driving to the store for a jar of not-so-fresh mayonnaise and way tastier. 

coleslaw

Mint Coleslaw
Serves 6
Fresh coleslaw with mint and garlic, not too sweet and perfect for warm weather.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
45 min
Ingredients
  1. Small head of cabbage (1 to 1 ½ pounds), finely shredded
  2. 2 medium carrots, finely shredded
  3. 1/2 medium onion, finely shredded
  4. About 1/3 cup white wine or cider vinegar
  5. Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  6. 2 to 3 tightly packed tablespoons of fresh spearmint leaves
  7. 1 to 2 large garlic cloves
  8. 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, or 3 tablespoons cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon or more of sugar
  9. 1/3 cup mayonnaise, or to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the shredded cabbage, carrots, onions, the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Let stand 30 minutes. Then squeeze out most of the slaw's moisture into its bowl and put the squeezed portions in another bowl. Add about 1/4 cup of the liquid back to the slaw.
  2. In a food processor or by hand, mince together the mint and garlic (add the next amount of vinegar if using the processor). Turn it into the slaw along with the second quantity of vinegar if it is not already in the mixture. Toss together everything so it's thoroughly blended, then stir in the mayonnaise. Taste for enough sweet/tart balance (it should be subtle), enough mayonnaise, and for salt and pepper.
  3. Refrigerate the slaw for anywhere from 3 hours to several days. It's best the first day when the fresh mint flavor blossoms up.
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 Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, folks. Drop it like it’s hot. Unless it’s a pan of something hot, then don’t drop it, it will probably ruin it.

 

Love in San Francisco – Part Two

squirrel lady

There’s just no way I can talk about anything in San Francisco until I tell you about my family’s new, special friend.

I want to introduce you to the crazy squirrel lady. You can find her in Berkeley, where people who are just a little crazy are green lit to go full-force bananas. She frequents the marina, where the squirrel gather to eat her treats. Now, before we get into those treats, Id like to tell you why she says she feeds a population of rodents. You see, she’s pissed. The city of Berkeley plans to exterminate all the squirrels in the marina area, because they are digging holes near the water and sewage is seeping into the bay. This may of course, all be in her head, I have no idea.

For their last meals, these squirrels are treated to a healthy diet of shortbread Girl Scout cookies. The cookies are broken into two or three pieces and held out for the little squirrels to come and bite. She offered to let my kids feed the animals, an opportunity which they obviously jumped at, while I cautiously watched.

Here’s a special Bay Area kind of crazy for you, show the rodent population love with carbs! They are going to die, so she takes special care to not let them die without experiencing diarrhea.

Now, on to San Francisco. When you visit, you won’t want to look like a tourist, caught in a tank top on a foggy, windy day. Take fashion advice from this local gal (below) and dress in layers. Heck, bring like four purses too.

layers

San Francisco is a small city by comparison, but still too vast to walk everywhere, so my weekend involved a few cab rides. I have a video of my. Our driver was from Yemen and apparently had cloudy vision. He absolutely expected us to recognize songs by Tom Jones and other singers of his era. We obviously only look 25, so he was clearly drunk.

Ok, here’s where stuff kinda hits the wall. I LITERALLY, no, like, literally have a film degree. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Motion Picture & Video. Yet, I didn’t think about turning my phone to take this video. I also don’t know how to change it, so you’ll have to make like you are eating a taco and tilt your head.

Our happy (and drunk) driver had windows down and ABBA blaring. He also kept doing some creepy finger popping trick, which the camera just missed.

Our taxis were all summoned through the app Uber. If you haven’t heard of this, listen up, it’s awesome. You simply request a taxi or Limo, depending on your wallet and sense of self-worth, with a tap of a phone button. Uber locates you, finds a driver and notifies you of both the driver’s phone number, car ID and a photo of their face. The driver has your picture too, so no one will be stealing your ride, pal! You are given the fee in advance and pay through Paypal, including tip. No need to worry that your driver might take the long-cut to get to your destination. The only possible way I can see this being a bad idea is if your driver is a murderer, in which case, I’m sorry I recommended this app to you. Hope you are in heaven.

Speaking of heaven, this girl is in it. Not me, I’m at my desk and see NO signs of iced coffee fountains and still have frizz. I’m talking about the girl below, in the little hobbit-like house. She works at Juice Shop, a tiny closet of a shop that sells freshly bottled juice. Other than being kind of boring, how sweet of a job is this? You can people watch all day, you’ve got your refreshments next to you and no one is going to steal your favorite pen from your desk. Also, she could probably sell drugs and totally supplement her income. Juice Shop: 1994 Union St. juice collage

“But Kim,” you ask, “What if I find myself in the middle of the Tenderloin, needing a healthy breakfast after a long night of bad decisions? Well, have I got just the thing for you. Walk yourself a few blocks to the edge of Nob Hill at the TenderNob, which is slang for “Who are we kidding, this is still the Tenderloin” and visit Farm Table. Go early, like maybe 3 am, if you are hoping for a table. There’s just one. They totally aren’t joking with the name. The store isn’t much bigger than the hobbit house juice store I just showed you, but it’s pretty good. It’s tough to find a place downtown with homemade yogurt, gluten free foods, organic everything and an almond milk for your coffee.  Farm Table: 754 Post St. 

farm table

Lunch time? Got you covered there, too.

pica collage

These are snapshots of our food at Pica Pica, a Latin inspired eatery which specializes in these little corn pockets called arepas. They are grilled on the outside and moist on the inside, perfect for holding together some tasty meat. I ordered the grilled chicken, which was marinated in love or something, it was SO good. The fat fries in the photo above are Yucca and tasted the opposite. Yumma, fat and dense fries for this chick. The restaurant is 100% gluten free, which is awesome for all you GF peeps.

If you have some Brazilian pals, tell them you are going to Pyka Pyka. One of our other cab drivers was surprised at our lunch location. Apparently, in Portuguese, pica means something really, really different than lunch. Oh boy, it is killing me not to insert joke here. Pica is also the name of a disorder where people are compelled to eat dirt, chalk or things of the sort. Maybe next time the Pica Pica folk open a restaurant, they can consult with a marketing firm.

I only had one dinner in the city, so you’re on your own for the next meal. Or, how about this for a segue…head over to Fresh & Easy, they have some changes in store. (Ba dum dum – cymbal sound). Which is JUST what I’ll be chatting about next go round. Also, I’ll add some funny photos in case you aren’t that interested in grocery stores. Happy Easter weekend to those who celebrate. Those who don’t, happy regular weekend!